Linda & Richard Eyre: Ironies of the marriage debate

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  • antodav TAMPA, FL
    Jan. 24, 2014 4:11 p.m.

    All valid points, taken.

    Jan. 20, 2014 10:31 p.m.

    To me, one of the biggest ironies is that there's so much talk about fathers being essential in kids lives (to reduce crime, high school drop outs, teenage pregnancy, domestic abuse, etc. President Obama himself has encouraged fathers to be more present in their children's lives. He called fatherhood vital to our nation.) But somehow it is okay to rewrite law to make fathers optional for kids. Do these not contradict each other? How can fathers be essential for children when they are legally optional?

  • Lasvegaspam Henderson, NV
    Jan. 19, 2014 1:12 a.m.

    RedWings: What you've actually pointed out is that there are anti-Church principles to be found in all political parties, as well. Seems to me that voting for God to be removed from a party's platform (as occurred at the last Democratic National Convention in 2012) was a biggie.

    Jan. 17, 2014 11:37 a.m.


    Great comment! There is so much truth in the Church's statement that the principles of the Gospel can be found in the platforms of all major political parties.

    The Church is politically neutral. As members, we vote our conscience based on what issues are most important to us. Having never voted for a Republican presidential candidate, I will have a tough decision to make in 2016.

    I fear for those who in need if Republicans are in charge, but I also fear for the rights of all religious people to worship according to their conscience if we have 4 more years of Democratic control....

  • DavidNL Holladay, UT
    Jan. 16, 2014 6:16 p.m.


    We're just different people:

    You seem to define "conservative and traditional" -- someone who seeks to preserve tradition, who looks back to what was to inform you on what can be. I am more "realist and progressive" -- I look to what is now and the notion that things can be better in the future if we shed some of our old ideas. Both are valid and necessary in a culture... In fact, I came from a home in which both were taught and practiced, and employ both in my home.

    Your post makes you seem pessimistic about the future. I more optimistic. My faith -- and my rationality -- is key to my positive future outlook. (I am LDS).

    Finally, I've never believed that the laws of our land are the correct place for "God's word..." Our hearts -- and especially our actions -- are the appropriate place for God's word and sadly, this concept is largely lacking in our communal actions including our government, public policy, corporations, and individual attitudes. This is what scares me more than anything! Not two people of the same sex who want legal recognition and protection or their relationship and family.

  • Yorkshire City, Ut
    Jan. 16, 2014 6:03 p.m.

    GeoMan-some of your comments brought this quote to mind:

    "By rights we shouldn’t even be here. But we are. It’s like in the great stories....The ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger, they were. And sometimes you didn’t want to know the end. Because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened?....Those were the stories that stayed with you. That meant something, even if you were too small to understand why. But I think...I do understand. I know now. Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back, only they didn’t. They kept going. Because they were holding on to something.....That there’s some good in this world...and it’s worth fighting for."

  • bandersen Saint George, UT
    Jan. 16, 2014 4:04 p.m.

    David: I disagree with you from a number of standpoints, but the the one that I disagree with you the most is the implication that God is fearful, intolerant, and bigoted. I also disagree that it is inborn. what I believe is that the evaporation of God's word from more and more people's lives has left some with the only option of man's ideas, which can justify any behavior, thus giving some the impression that they were made that way. Actually, fear is evaporating by the minute, being replaced by courage and conviction regarding cGod's immutable laws. It is, indeed, a brave new world.

  • baddog Cedar Rapids, IA
    Jan. 16, 2014 3:29 p.m.


    The comments here regarding activist, liberal judges should strike fear in the hearts of anyone who loves religious freedom.

    Today, churches may dictate who can receive what ordinances. But tomorrow,in this uncertain climate, that could change. And I believe there will be those who try in the name of "equality" and "fairness."

    I'd not hang my hopes on the courts protecting religious rights. We have leaders who don't even believe or follow the Constitution. Why should they care about the rights of the religious?

  • DavidNL Holladay, UT
    Jan. 16, 2014 11:56 a.m.

    Marriage is desirable for many (if not always possible) and provides the ideal place to start and raise a family. Homosexuality is not a choice but an inborn characteristic, like heterosexuality. And, the drivers of marriage are the desire to support each other, the desire to have a family, AND attraction. All of this has been agreed upon by most, many religious people included. With that, it seems a logical conclusion that many homosexuals want what they came from or what the larger culture promotes -- marriage. So, the only components left to explain the animus are fear, ignorance or intolerance. Fear is vaporizing by the minute as is ignorance, as evidence by the very comments here and on many blogs, not to mention hallway conversations at church, and water cooler conversations at work. That leaves us with intolerance, which, sadly, seems to originate in religion, where homosexuality is among the most wicked of sins. This problem is solved by religions staying focused on their own, and letting the "world" advance in its notion of what is right and wrong.

  • bandersen Saint George, UT
    Jan. 16, 2014 9:20 a.m.

    One may call me arrogant, bigoted, or hateful, but I also like being right! On this issue, I figure I'm in pretty good company. Because I believe strongly in choice, however,I wish my opponents the best in the looming battle. This is a battle that won't be finished until God, Himself has a word about it.

  • Schnee Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 16, 2014 9:19 a.m.

    "One has to be deaf, dumb and blind not to see that one of the next efforts of some gays will be to force LDS temples to ratify gay unions."

    Not many, typically the only ones who care about a certain church doing them are members of that church. Then most of those people know that the church has the right to not perform those marriages, just like say... there's anti-discrimination laws based on religion but churches are free to not marry mixed-faith couples in the temple for example. So they know the law can't force them to change... they just want the church to decide itself to change.

  • Don37 Nottingham, MD
    Jan. 16, 2014 9:12 a.m.

    Try, in all this chaos, to live your personal life so that if you were called home tomorrow, you would be welcomed with open arms. Politics makes for strange bedfellows, be it over SSM or BHO. Pray with sincerity for guidance for yourself and your family. Church leaders also pray for guidance for your part of the flock.

  • baddog Cedar Rapids, IA
    Jan. 16, 2014 8:36 a.m.

    I hope the evil spoken of is the evil of immorality, not the idea people who have attraction for those of the same gender are evil.

    Some appear to believe that the LDS Church, because it has made its position very clear that same-sex "marriage" is in opposition to God's commandments, hates gay people.

    If the purpose of the LDS Church is to help all people return to God's presence, then it is easier to understand the Church's position. The Church teaches that any kind of sexual activity outside of the bonds of marriage is in violation of God's laws and places us in jeopardy of returning to His presence after we die.

    Many don't believe that doctrine, as is their right. But to verbally pillery the Church for trying to help people become better is meaner spirited.

    One has to be deaf, dumb and blind not to see that one of the next efforts of some gays will be to force LDS temples to ratify gay unions.

  • elarue NEW YORK, NY
    Jan. 16, 2014 7:47 a.m.

    How ironic it is that Satan has been able to manipulate the gay marriage debate to tricking faithful members of the church into voting Republican, and thereby voting for economic policies that are not just harmful to families, but downright sadistically cruel to them. Thereby, Satan manages to create a situation where he can destroy families either by gay marriage or by Republican economics and win either way.

    Would that members of the church would recognize Satan's tactics and had the moral fortitude to say, "No, Satan, you will not trick me! You will not trick me into voting Republican. You will not trick me into voting for anti-family economics."

  • dalefarr South Jordan, Utah
    Jan. 15, 2014 2:35 p.m.

    Higv and GeoMan. Yes Utah was strategically foolish to Amend its Constitution. Did Amendment 3 protect hetero sexual marriage? No. Did it invite a law suit? Yes. Would those who favor only heterosexual marriage in Utah been better off if they hadn't amended the Utah Constitution? Absolutely. Would Utah Tax payers be better off without Amendment 3? Yep.

  • bandersen Saint George, UT
    Jan. 15, 2014 1:46 p.m.

    It is hard to believe that there are so many who read the impassioned pleas by those who have been so successful in creating wonderful marriages who want to create a counterfeit version of it. It says more about the loss that has occurred with even the discussion of SSM than the gain by those who view the counterfeit as something worthwhile. It will take many years, if it ever happens before God makes His statement, to undue the damage that is about to be unleashed on 'marriage' and the children of these alternative forms. Ironies abound, as the Eyres say, but I don't see them in the middle ground at all. If we want to change the focus of what constitutes a good marriage, I guess we better start at our own.

  • Razzle2 Bluffdale, UT
    Jan. 15, 2014 1:42 p.m.

    Mont Pugmire said "Where did our judges of today get so confused as to the true role of the judicial system ... that they are NOT the law makers nor are they the people."

    Yes. I am surprised that articles like this remind us that 33 states still have bans on same-sex marriage while only 17 allow it, as if those 17 states support same-sex marriage.

    In reality, only three states have voted and approved SSM; Maine, Maryland, and Washington.

    Six state laws are not enforced because of court decisions. That's 39 states, nearly 4/5 of the country including California.

  • Razzle2 Bluffdale, UT
    Jan. 15, 2014 1:27 p.m.

    lasaurus to ksampow

    You are both right. While the Primary Children's Hospital is now run by IHC; the financial arm is still primarily the LDS Church. It is the hospital's largest contributor and donation drives are still done by volunteers through LDS Church assignments. The Church sits on boards to see that most of the donations are used directly for the benefits of patients and not for administrative purposes. The Church has stretched it's donation power by smart administrative choices.

    I know this as an insurance agent. You do not have to be in the IHC network to receive the of benefits of Primary Children's Hospital. Most of the Intermountain West and most parts of Central America can have access through their insurance due to the Church.

  • Mont Pugmire Fairview, UT
    Jan. 15, 2014 12:09 p.m.

    Overlooked by nearly everyone in this "debate" is the worrisome trend of the voice of the people being negated by liberal, activist judges who feel their version of the law is superior to huge majorities of voters in the huge majority of states who have spoken at the ballot box. Well over 60% in California; over 75% in Oklahoma and similar majorities nearly everywhere. Where did our judges of today get so confused as to the true role of the judicial system ... that they are NOT the law makers nor are they the people. Are all the people failing to grasp the picture ... or is it these 'out there' single person "majorities" (judges who think they know what we, the people want better than we do ourselves. It makes me very sad. Whatever your view on this subject is, this trend should frighten you.

  • lasaurus Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 15, 2014 11:38 a.m.


    While it was once true that the LDS church "maintains Primary Children's Hospital" it no longer is true. In 1975 the LDS church donated the hospital to the community and it is now run by Intermountain Healthcare.

  • Brent T. Aurora CO Aurora, CO
    Jan. 15, 2014 11:09 a.m.

    RanchHand -- We (not the Eyres) got married 34 years ago to begin a family because that was both of our goals. Yes, we loved each other (but in hindsight didn't, as love takes many years to comprehend). In even simpler terms, marriage validated the use of procreative powers which we both had saved until our wedding night; and while doing so has certainly drawn us closer, our purpose was to have children as soon as possible -- because we believed and still believe that is the purpose of marriage.

  • ksampow Farr West, Utah
    Jan. 15, 2014 11:04 a.m.

    Ranch: Not only are you off-topic, you are also dead wrong in suggesting that the LDS Church somehow causes neglect of children. The LDS church is the largest contributor to children's welfare in the state. Not only does the church provide large amounts of food and aide to poor families, it also maintains Primary Children's Hospital which cares for critically ill children.
    Even if you want to criticize on the basis of the actions of members, again you are wrong - statistics consistently show that members of the LDS church contribute a much higher than average percentage of their income to charities.
    And LDS Family Services helps couples adopt unwanted children and provide good homes for them - for much less than it would cost through other agencies (I am speaking from personal experience on this point).

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    Jan. 15, 2014 10:51 a.m.

    Classic examples of the mote v. the beam in one's eye.

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    Jan. 15, 2014 10:26 a.m.

    @Lagomorph – “From a return on investment standpoint, the numbers do not support doing much to fight gay marriage, if protecting children is truly the goal.”

    Excellent comments!

    Identifying hypocrisy is often the best method for cutting through obfuscation and seeing people’s real motivations. Personally, I have no respect for articles like this – people should have the courage of their convictions, state why they (truly) believe what they believe, and let the political chips fall where they may.

    For example, I find oremtigger7’s comment disturbing (assuming he/she meant gays were evil) and think his/her basic sense of human decency has been deranged by religion, but at least I respect his/her courage to be honest – especially since we live in a democracy where our ideas have to compete for legitimacy.

    Though it sounds like some on this board would prefer a theocracy…

  • GeoMan SALEM, OR
    Jan. 15, 2014 10:02 a.m.

    While there is no shortage of profound hypocrisy on the part of individuals on both sides of this issue, the position and actions of the LDS Church regarding the society importance of God’s Law of Chastity, and of families, are completely consistent. It is only by ignoring the Church’s embrace of the complete Law of Chastity that one can imagine hypocrisy. One might vehemently disagree, but there is no hypocrisy in the Church’s position.

  • GeoMan SALEM, OR
    Jan. 15, 2014 10:00 a.m.

    I suspect that the loving one another in the way they do and wanting to have children are inseparable from the Eyre’s perspective. From my perspective, your attempt to separate them makes no sense. From my perspective, having sexual relations with someone outside the context of establishing a “traditional” family isn’t love. It is simply self-gratification. There are many ways to express love besides sex. While it is true that not all heterosexual couples will be blessed by children, if a willingness and desire to accept children isn’t part of the package, their love will be incomplete. It isn’t just the actual children that augment love; it is the mindset.

  • GeoMan SALEM, OR
    Jan. 15, 2014 9:58 a.m.

    One simply needs to look at the US history of the 1950s, 60s, and 70s to see that the LDS Church (among others) expended a great deal of money and effort defending heterosexual families and children. The same forces of “sexual freedom” that are still at work today were at work then too. The battlefront has simply moved. You have eloquently described some of the fruits of “sexual freedom” trumping society's need for the greater good of the whole. It is ironic that you don’t seem to see this.

  • GeoMan SALEM, OR
    Jan. 15, 2014 9:56 a.m.

    Foolishly? Kind of like the United Kingdom "foolishly" stood against Germany in the 1930s and 40s? Sometimes one must "foolishly" fight against something that is wrong. In so doing, one may loose many battles. But in the final analysis, standing for what is right carries with it inherent rewards that are worth the cost. The same-sex marriage issue is a conflict of ideas rather than a military war, but the analogy is apt. Both sides in most conflicts feel that they are right, or justified. That situation does nothing to reveal which side stands on the moral high ground.
    Societies are all about balancing the good of the whole against the disparate desires of individuals. Since societies inherently involve interpersonal interactions, the ideal of "live and let live" is constrained. The recent situation in Charleston, WV dramatically illustrates this. To try and pretend otherwise is truly "foolish."

  • John C. C. Payson, UT
    Jan. 15, 2014 9:08 a.m.

    We would never be debating gay marriage if we hadn't first strayed decades ago. Men had begun living a double standard, winking at indiscretions rather than honoring their wives. We foolishly devalued family stability by allowing no-fault divorce. Youth in the '60's made the mistake of confusing lust with love, shouting, "make love, not war." Many claimed, "you can't legislate morality," "victimless crimes," "consenting adults," and "government has no business knowing what goes on in the privacy of my own home." We celebrated selfishness. Public media began to scorn religion as outdated. Irrational fear of population growth justified a host of selfish policy changes from birth control (excluding abstinence) to abortion. Motherhood, a cherished American institution was demeaned in favor of career fulfillment.

    We now have few youth who have ever grown up in stable homes, raised by faithful, lifelong birth parents. Even if you don't accept old standards of chastity and virtue as divine commandments the costs of abandoning them are now clear. Promiscuity is socially acceptable, porn floods the media, and prohibitions still enshrined in our Utah Constitution against adultery, fornication and sodomy are practically unenforceable.

  • Razzle2 Bluffdale, UT
    Jan. 15, 2014 9:03 a.m.

    Lagomorph says "How many states have recently passed constitutional amendments or significant legislation prohibiting or significantly restricting divorce?"

    Anti-divorce laws are anti-marriage. In fact, I believe, no-fault divorce in California has done more to damage families than same-sex marriage. Until recently, second-marriages (including LDS) were not recognized by Argentina and were not given any protection by the courts.

    A marriage license is a contract backed by the U.S. judicial system. A commitment to pool your resources together for a lifetime plan together. If one partner breaks the contract through abuse, theft, or infidelity, you should have the right to sue for divorce.

    Co-habitation commitments (heterosexual, same-sex, or polygamous) do not have the same recourse for the victims of abuse.

  • downtown424 CHICAGO, IL
    Jan. 15, 2014 8:00 a.m.

    "Almost like fighting wars overseas to keep the conflicts from coming to our shores, some felt that if they fought same-sex marriage hard enough in other states, they would never have to face the issue in their own state"

    This doesn't make any sense. Maybe if those people had never taken high school civics?

  • higv Dietrich, ID
    Jan. 15, 2014 7:39 a.m.

    @dalefer so the voters in Utah and 30+ other states were foolish for voting to keep marriage between a man and a women like it always has been? And I think the divorce rate is far less than 50 percent if you look at it carefully. I am sure most students as they enter college leave home still living with there Mother and Father. In the case of same gender marriage you are not living with one of your biological parents. So it is not 50% divorce and most of the people have always believed marriage is between a man and a women. Hopefully so called same gender marriage will topple under it's own weight. Evil cannot last too long in the promised land.

  • george of the jungle goshen, UT
    Jan. 15, 2014 7:35 a.m.

    I Goggled how many people are gay and how many of those people stay together. I learned that it's nothing to be concerned about.So I figure it's about the 15 minuets of fame. Than I thought about the movie called 15 Minuets, The Russian Guy said; I love America, no none is responsible for any thing. Than I thought of a Post that someone wrote. A family is having Responsibility's. How true that is. every one has to have responsibility's to feel like they belong to the family. I see family's and family Reunions end because of the lack of.

  • Ranch Here, UT
    Jan. 15, 2014 7:32 a.m.


    Don't forget the state's dismal performance in health outcomes for the children of poor heterosexuals; and their dismal funding of education for these same children.

  • Ohio-LDS NE, OH
    Jan. 15, 2014 7:09 a.m.

    Speaking of ironies, did you know that the LDS church, which is a major champion of religious freedom, has actively fought to deny other faiths the ability to have their marriage ceremonies recognized by civil authorities? Many faiths support and sustain marriages between same-sex couples. But the LDS church has fought against these religious institutions. O, the irony!

  • The Scientist Provo, UT
    Jan. 15, 2014 1:05 a.m.


    That's not irony. That is the blinders of religious hypocrisy!

  • Lagomorph Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 14, 2014 9:03 p.m.

    The state made the "Gold Standard" family of married Dad+Mom+Kids the centerpiece of its defense in the Kitchen case. That's the optimal policy mechanism maximize positive outcomes in children’s lives, it argued. But look at what Utah has done, rather than what it says. It has allocated vast public and private resources towards banning SSM while committing comparatively few resources towards promoting the "Gold Standard" it professes to desire. Opposing gay marriage hurts the children of gay couples by denying them the benefits of having married parents and diverts finite resources from strengthening straight marriages, so those kids don’t get the married parent benefits, either. Children lose all around. A rational person looking at that could conclude that "Gold Standard" equals "Lip Service" and seek another motive behind the state’s offensive against SSM. It’s not a big leap to conclude animus towards gays is a factor. And from animus it’s a short leap to equal protection.

    So-- the state's campaign against SSM not only hurts the children it professes to love, it also provides fodder to buttress the legal challenges of its opponents. That's irony for you.

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    Jan. 14, 2014 7:52 p.m.

    I have to ask the Eyres if their first reason for getting married was "the children" or if it was for love of one another?

  • Lagomorph Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 14, 2014 6:20 p.m.

    Eyres: "The lesson is that those who want to keep marriage between one man and one woman ought to work at least as hard at honoring, promoting and celebrating heterosexual marriage as they do fighting same-sex marriage."

    How many states have recently passed constitutional amendments or significant legislation prohibiting or significantly restricting divorce? How many voter initiatives have there been, how many dollars have been spent, to prevent single parenthood? Now answer the same questions about banning gay marriage.

    If the goal of family policy is to help children have their entitled two parents, then, as the lolcats would say, "U R not doing it right." Heteros make up about 95% of the population and half of hetero marriages fail, leaving children with a single parent. Then there are all the children born to unmarried straight mothers who also have a single parent. OTOH, gays only make up about 5% of the population and most do not have children (about 20-35% do). From a return on investment standpoint, the numbers do not support doing much to fight gay marriage, if protecting children is truly the goal. Besides, banning gay marriage keeps the children of gay couples from getting their entitlement.

  • dalefarr South Jordan, Utah
    Jan. 14, 2014 4:53 p.m.

    As to the first point, Utah became the target and focal point for gay marriage when it foolishly adopted Amendment 3. Amendment 3 did not protect heterosexual marriage, it invited a legal challenge to it. Similarly, some legislators want to repeat the mistake. Right now there is no issue regarding whether religions have to perform same sex marriages. They don't. But if Utah amends its constitution to say so, look for a legal challenge probably arguing that such an amendment violates the separation of church and state clause in the first amendment.

  • oremtigger7 orem, UT
    Jan. 14, 2014 4:33 p.m.

    Another classic case of failing to call evil, evil. And good, good. Those who look to find common ground with societal trends that run afoul of their religion are probably trying to sell something to the masses. Like books. Abinidi, Paul and others probably would not have been best sellers and able to keep their image alive, but they knew what was right and what was wrong

    Good job Eyes. As always, you are artful at staying in the middle ground.