Utah attorney general to name outside counsel for same-sex marriage appeal

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  • Stephen Daedalus Arvada, CO
    Jan. 18, 2014 9:12 a.m.

    @Breathe Deep wrote: "They will go after bakers..." (and in later post) "Gail Fitches Wrote 'If a self-employed business owner with strong religious convictions refuses to offer his services to homosexuals and he is sued and goes bankrupt is he harmed?'...Does the business owner not have rights?...[N]ow who is being discriminated against?"

    U.S. Supreme Court answers:

    "When followers of a particular sect enter into commercial activity as a matter of choice, the limits they accept on their own conduct as a matter of conscience and faith are not to be superimposed on the statutory schemes which are binding on others in that activity." United States v Lee, (1982) "We have never held that an individual's religious beliefs excuse him from compliance with an otherwise valid law prohibiting conduct that the State is free to regulate." Employ. Div v Smith(1990)

    As discussed on other threads, the facts of the Colorado "baker" case are consistently misrepresented (see Tony Perkins/FRC, Doug Robinson column) to cynically whip up anti-SSM fears. These profane manipulations arise from and appeal to the darker aspects of our humanity, but likely won't persuade the 10th Circuit.

  • gmlewis Houston, TX
    Jan. 17, 2014 7:39 a.m.

    @Linguist - Peace in return. I spoke concerning SSA activists. This is a relatively small group.

    I clarified in a subsequent comment that I'm not saying that SSA resulted from a single, conscious choice. I'm merely suggesting that there could be other factors involved rather than genetics. If so, then SSA may not be immutable. Of course, not knowing the cause leaves us bereft of understanding how SSA could be modified.

  • SedonaYogi2 Sedona, AZ
    Jan. 17, 2014 1:10 a.m.

    @pleblian - I'm sure that the AG's office has great talent. They may have been directed by the Governor to bring in outside counsel as an extra set of eyes and hands. As it is, an additional law firm could probably work around the clock for a good many months on research, writing, strategy, and formulating the oral arguments. If the AG's office were to do that, no other work would be accomplished, including criminal prosecutions. Also, on something this important, you want experts on the procedural nuances and the routine of appealing both for the 10th Circuit and for the U.S. Supreme Court. A lot of attorneys that practice at the federal appellate level do so as their sole practice area. The procedural rules and details are so specific, to screw up one little thing can get your case thrown out. You need experts who already know it like the back of their hands and already have the resources, rather than a very talented attorney on your staff, who has done it once before (or a state appeal, but not federal - or maybe this is their first), but has to look everything up.

  • Linguist Silver Spring, MD
    Jan. 16, 2014 8:44 p.m.

    @gmlewis "The SSA activists want to crystalize their concept that people are born heterosexual or homosexual."

    With respect, I am gay, married to my very longterm partner, but I have never, ever claimed that I know what determines sexual orientation.

    I can, however, state categorically that I did not choose to be gay. I was there. The whole time. I spent decades of my life in an often desperate effort to change my sexual orientation. That effort included heartfelt prayer and counseling. I was, just for the record, celibate-- indeed, a "virgin", the entire time.

    Sexual orientation isn't a "habit." I did not so much as hold another man's hand until I was 30.

    I knew I was gay by the time I was 12.

    That doesn't mean its origin is genetic. It does mean that, despite conscious effort, sexual orientation is pretty well fixed for me and, it appears, for most people, by the time they are sexually aware. Not sure how one could argue otherwise. Again, I was "there" the entire time.


  • CDL Los Angeles, CA
    Jan. 16, 2014 6:32 p.m.

    Those posting here are obviously not Citizens in the State of Utah or are in the minority. The State has an obligation to fight to protect the rights of those that voted for this, win or lose. And obviously, if you read the article it appears that tax payers are not going to foot the bill.

  • gmlewis Houston, TX
    Jan. 16, 2014 3:20 p.m.

    @Tiago - If it isn't inborn genetically, how do we know that SSM is immutable? It would take a miracle, but miracles do occur.

    I appreciate your determination to obey the commandments in face of a lifetime of sacrifice. I know the Lord is proud of you, and you deserve our admiration.

  • MaxxFordham OREM, UT
    Jan. 16, 2014 3:12 p.m.

    "Physician, heal thyself!"

    I don't quite understand this. Why do attorneys sometimes need attorneys? (In other words, what happened to the word "attorney" from the term "ATTORNEY general"?)

    In this case, is it all just because of this (from the last paragraph): "When you're looking at a Supreme Court case, you really have to have somebody who understands the 10th Circuit Court system but also the Supreme Court system. It's an unusual qualification that you're looking for"? The state's own attorney really isn't versed enough in *that kind of stuff* to just be the state's counsel himself?


  • TheTrueVoice West Richland, WA
    Jan. 16, 2014 2:57 p.m.

    "One the first page alone, a majority of the comments came from out-of-state, even though defending our state constitution is purely an in-state issue."

    If defending your state constitution is strictly "an in-state issue", then why has the state obtained counsel from a non-Utah law firm to continue its push for legal discrimination?

    "A majority of this country still favor traditional marriage on this issue."

    This is patently incorrect. A simply Google inquiry will show that the majority of Americans approve of marriage equality dating back to the Gallup polls in 2011.

    "If equality under the law is the only issue at stake here, then shouldn't we allow young teenagers to vote and/or to marry"

    This logical fallacy is an example of a False Equivalency: teenagers are minors, not adults. They lack recognized legal capacity to consent to a contract.

    "And if allowing everyone the right of pursuit of happiness, then shouldn't we allow people to marry their dogs if it would make them happy?"

    Sorry, but that is another example of a False Equivalency fallacy. Dogs, animals, inanimate objects, etc all lack recognized legal capacity to consent to a contract.

  • Breathe Deep Eagle Rock, ID
    Jan. 16, 2014 2:05 p.m.

    @Ernest T. Bass, Gail Fitches Wrote "If a self-employed business owner with strong religious convictions refuses to offer his services to homosexuals and he is sued and goes
    bankrupt is he harmed?

    Does the business owner not have rights? I know the anti-discrimination laws say NO. But now who is being discriminated against?

    My question is why cant the SSM couple just go somewhere else and get that service. My answer is because they want to shove it down our throats and make us except their lifesyle. Or in other words you WILL serve us or we will sue you, organize a boycot against you and run you out of business.

  • truth in all its forms henderson, NV
    Jan. 16, 2014 1:58 p.m.

    Waist of tax payer money? You have got to be kidding me! this is about state rights, and standing up to activist judges! There is no price to large to pay for freedom from tyranny! I am glad that Utah is standing up for the people of the great state. If I still lived in utah I would gladly pay more money to fight for this important cause.

  • Ernest T. Bass Bountiful, UT
    Jan. 16, 2014 1:36 p.m.

    @Breathe Deep:
    So let me get this straight (no pun intended), you say SSM advocates are selfish because they won't conduct business with people who oppose SSM? You do see the irony in this, right? The fact that LGBT have been singled out and suffered from horrible discrimination for thousands of years hasn't triggered your empathy for people being wronged, but when a few SSM advocates decide not to purchase products from those who oppose equal rights, then suddenly you feel bad for those being picked on?
    That makes absolutely no sense.

  • Breathe Deep Eagle Rock, ID
    Jan. 16, 2014 1:08 p.m.

    @ Gail Fitches Those are excellent points and I agree with you 100%. The SSM advocates are only concerned with their own selfish interests. They don’t care how those points impacts people, business, and the society at large. They will go after bakers, photographers, pastors and anyone who opposes them until everyone will cower to their lifestyle in fear of retaliation.

  • Objectified Tooele, UT
    Jan. 16, 2014 1:07 p.m.

    @ Ranch:

    If equality under the law is the only issue at stake here, then shouldn't we allow young teenagers to vote and/or to marry... since they aren't being treated equal to older people?

    And if allowing everyone the right of pursuit of happiness, then shouldn't we allow people to marry their dogs if it would make them happy?

    And if everyone needs to be treated equally by law in every circumstance, then why can't Caucasians compete against African Americans in the Miss Black America pageant and compete for NAACP scholarships?

    And why are credit card companies allowed to charge some people higher interest rates than others, just because of credit ratings? That's certainly not treating everyone equally.

    And why doesn't our government allow convicts to vote? That's another example of government inequality in how they treat people.

    And why does our government allow some people to immigrate into our country and not others... just because they're felons? That's certainly not treating everyone equally.

    And yet I don't see you ever commenting on any of the above mentioned inequalities or trying to get them corrected. Why is that, Ranch?

  • Objectified Tooele, UT
    Jan. 16, 2014 12:34 p.m.

    @ Owen:

    I can guarantee that almost all companies considering relocating to Utah are much more concerned about their bottom line profit numbers than any political posturing on this issue.

    You and other like-minded people need to keep 2 other facts in mind.
    1) A majority of this country still favor traditional marriage on this issue.
    2) Utah has always been a conservative state with conservative values and stances on almost all political issues. And that hasn't been much of a hindrance (and sometimes even a benefit) when it comes to whether companies will or won't relocate to Utah.

    So your contention doesn't carry much weight, if any at all. It's just another example of pro-gay advocates trying to push their liberal opinions as fact. And most objective and reasonable people don't buy into such things.

  • Yorkshire City, Ut
    Jan. 16, 2014 12:33 p.m.

    Tiago said "I'm a Mormon, great family, six straight siblings, never abused, never seduced by a man, never fooled around, have tried multiple relationships with women--yet despite all of that, my fundamental orientation has been fixed and constant toward other guys. I'm not perverted or sick or dangerous. I am perfectly chaste, but I still recognize who I find charming, interesting, and attractive and it's other guys. I know many other people who have the same experience--even those who have married. "

    I am wondering if you would also share, as a gay chaste celibate man, and tell us your position on SSM and why.

    I would love to hear your thoughts.

    Thank you.

  • Objectified Tooele, UT
    Jan. 16, 2014 12:21 p.m.

    As has become predictable with this issue, liberal pro-homosexual marriage advocates jumped on this article like flies on sewage... dominating the early comments. One the first page alone, a majority of the comments came from out-of-state, even though defending our state constitution is purely an in-state issue.

    Something that is almost humorous is that those critics are trying to make a big deal about the amount of money used to defend this. The article stated that a worst case scenario would cost the state no more than $2M. It also stated that private contributions would likely make the cost much lower, if anything at all. So let's split the difference and use a $1M cost estimate.

    Let's put it into context. The state budget for this year is approximately $13 billion. So a $1 million cost would be 1/13,000 (or 1/130th of 1%) of the state annual budget. That is literally a miniscule percentage. In fact, the rounding errors of the overall budget are higher than that.

    So to make a big deal of that amount of state money is actually silly when put into comparative context.

  • Eliot Genola, UT
    Jan. 16, 2014 12:08 p.m.

    If Utah is the "anti-equality state" and companies are so reluctant to come here, then why is the next article on the website describing a projected 8% expansion of airport operations by Delta? So much for that little fantasy.

  • Ranch Here, UT
    Jan. 16, 2014 11:18 a.m.


    Even if homosexuality were a choice, it doesn't matter. The 14th Amendment applies to ALL US citizens, not just heterosexual ones.

    Religious preference is 100% not biological, yet it is protected.

    Choice or not, that isn't the issue. Equality under the law is the issue.

  • SedonaYogi2 Sedona, AZ
    Jan. 16, 2014 11:13 a.m.

    @Hutterite and @Marxist - Sutherland funding outside counsel shouldn't be an issue in terms of ethical representation. Whichever law firm is selected, their duty, loyalty, and confidentiality is to the State (and citizens) of Utah and its interests, no matter who pays the bill. What will really be the interesting issue here is how it will work between Mero speaking of "the right counsel and the right strategy" (which would understandably be a concern and a priority if your organization is willing to pay all legal fees) with the fact that there may be a public bidding process which has to be followed. I am eager to see who wins the draw, but I pity the attorneys. January 27th is an insanely short amount of time to put together a submission to the court.

    This is always an intricate topic for me. I am LDS and, at one point, I was a progressive civil rights attorney in liberal New Jersey. For years now, one hemisphere of my brain has been arguing against the other. It will be interesting to see how this Utah case unfolds, especially if it goes all the way up to the Supremes.

  • Tiago Seattle, WA
    Jan. 16, 2014 10:51 a.m.

    @gmlewis - Thanks. Yes, similar to autism, direct cause is not known but it seems to be immutable, which is the important thing to remember when deciding what choices we think people with SSA should make.

    Related to other comments, an analogy that I think is parallel, but might be weak:
    As a Mormon, I disagree with the Catholic idea of priesthood and that a priest must take a vow of celibacy. I would not become a Catholic priest.
    - I am not opposed to a school acknowledging that celibate Catholic priests exist and teaching honestly about the good and bad things priests have done in the world. I have no fear that this will lead my nephews to join the Catholic priesthood.
    - I would support a faithful Catholic friend who decides to join the priesthood and attend his ordination.
    - Once he made the vow of celibacy, I would not try to set him up with women and get him to break the vow.
    - I would serve a Catholic priest in my business and otherwise welcome him in society.
    - I would oppose laws designed to limit a Catholic's right to become priests and make vows of celibacy.

  • gmlewis Houston, TX
    Jan. 16, 2014 10:29 a.m.

    @Tiago -
    I am not saying that SSA is a choice, but I am also saying that it isn't scientifically proven to be inborn. There certainly could be another governing influence that has not yet been discovered or explored.

    I suggest that it is possibly formed by seemingly unrelated choices and actions as a very young child. For example, it is well known that children go through a series of transitions regarding which is their "favorite" parent. If something arrested that transition so that early on it stuck with a particular parent, that could be one of the contributing emotional habits that would enter the equation.

    This is certainly an untested hypothesis, and is poorly defined. I simply give it as an example of the kinds of complicated factors that could be involved rather than genetics.

  • pleblian salt lake city, utah
    Jan. 16, 2014 10:04 a.m.

    The attorney general's office is perfectly capable of handling the appeal itself. They have talent there.

    If we do not trust that, why do we trust them to jeopardize people's liberties with criminal charges?

    This is a waste of money.

  • Darmando Parker, CO
    Jan. 16, 2014 9:50 a.m.

    Years ago, Colorado voters tried to deny the rights of full citizenship for its homosexual/transsexual citizens, even going so far as to deny them the 1st amendment right to petition their government for redress of grievances. It was approved as a part of the Colorado constitution because the measure was presented as not giving "special rights" to some of their citizens, and the voters fell for that particularly silly argument. In a 6 to 3 Supreme Court opinion the court answered in part: "If the constitutional conception of 'equal protection of the laws' means anything, it must at the very least mean that a bare desire to harm a politically unpopular group cannot constitute a legitimate governmental interest." Romer v Evans. I don't think the citizens of Utah desire to harm those who have chosen SSM, but the actions of the AG indeed do. Live and let live. Colorado has civil unions - many understandably don't want to call it marriage. but Utah's constitution forbids civil unions as well. Maybe if an amendment to recognize civil unions were in place, the courts could reasonably back off, or maybe it has now gone too far for reasonable compromise.

  • Schnee Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 16, 2014 9:39 a.m.

    @Gail Fitches
    Those questions were asked before, but not by you. If you read farther you'd have seen responses to it.
    1. Pro-homosexuality teaching? You mean teaching that families with two parents of the same gender exist? Nobody's getting arrested from that unless the parent is making a disturbance.
    2. It'd be the business-owners fault for violating public law when it comes to business practice.
    3. Catholic Charities was not forced to shut down, they voluntarily chose to shut down once they stopped receiving gov't grants since gov't grants were only going to groups that'd adopt to all couples. LDSFS still operates while not adopting to same-sex couples.
    4. This isn't something that'd be a result of same-sex marriage becoming legal.
    5. Also not related to marriage (that's an AIDS activism group) and those protestors could be arrested for trespassing or something like that if they refuse to leave.
    6. That's vague.
    7. Are those supporting same-sex marriage harmed when they're branded as supporters of Satan or evil?

  • Tiago Seattle, WA
    Jan. 16, 2014 9:37 a.m.

    I'm curious about your observation that fundamental sexual orientation can be chosen or is fluid and that there is "total versatility in this area."
    I'm a Mormon, great family, six straight siblings, never abused, never seduced by a man, never fooled around, have tried multiple relationships with women--yet despite all of that, my fundamental orientation has been fixed and constant toward other guys. I'm not perverted or sick or dangerous. I am perfectly chaste, but I still recognize who I find charming, interesting, and attractive and it's other guys. I know many other people who have the same experience--even those who have married women. They are still oriented toward men.
    The LDS church agrees SSA is not a choice. Christian ex-gay organizations including LDS Evergreen and Christian Exodus have recently closed and been replaced by organizations that help gay people live chastely WITH their same-sex attraction.
    What choice or habit do you think we all made to do this to ourselves? Why would you discount actual lived experiences of real people over your observations?

  • A Quaker Brooklyn, NY
    Jan. 16, 2014 9:33 a.m.

    @Tekakaromatagi: That's some pretty bigoted statement about kids from broken homes.

    In the last 90 years alone, we've had four U.S. Presidents who were from broken homes: Herbert Hoover, Gerald Ford, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama. Two Republicans and two Democrats. Death or divorce of parents, growing up with one parent or none, is no bar to great achievement in life. It's just another impediment to be overcome, and an intelligent society willing to invest in its citizens' welfare and education can lessen that impediment.

  • EstoPerpetua Holden, MA
    Jan. 16, 2014 9:18 a.m.

    Churches do not govern states, state governments do. State governments are supposed to separate church and state. Equal rights is a civil issue, not a religious one. To those who believe sexual orientation is a choice, I suggest that you search deeply within your souls to discover whom you are. Do not let others force their opinions on you. I was born gay and how do I know? I remember when I was born and I have not changed. I was brought up by heterosexual parents as a heterosexual which did not work for me. I followed the teachings, "Know thyself" and "Be true to thine self".
    I translate that to "Know who you are and be that person".
    I have been with my lifetime partner for 52 years, married 10 years, we are both retired, and I am also a Navy Vet.
    We live a wonderful life and have many friends, gay and straight. We worked, paid/still pay our taxes, and follow the civil rules, and God bless the United States of America.

  • JSB Sugar City, ID
    Jan. 16, 2014 9:08 a.m.

    Will and Ariel Durrant said: “…sex is a river of fire that must be banked and cooled by a hundred restraints if it is not to consume in chaos both the individual and the group." If same sex marriage is legalized, what will happen when these restraints are no longer banked and cooled but are legalized instead? Since there are no long term (multigenerational) studies that show the effects of gay marriage on a human society, before we move in that direction we should try to anticipate what will likely happen. "Families" with multiple partners (e.g. 3 men and 2 women or polyamory) are anxiously looking forward to legalization of gay marriage because it will open the door to legalization of their relationships. There are several hundred thousands of these "families" in the US today. And we could also see 3 or more gay men or 3 or more lesbian women wanting legalization of their "families." After all, they claim to love each other. This of course will lead to even more venereal disease, divorce, child abuse and neglect, poverty, crime and social chaos—just what the Durrants warned us about.

  • gmlewis Houston, TX
    Jan. 16, 2014 8:54 a.m.

    @Linguist: "What they don't get to choose is their basic orientation."

    Many disagree. The SSA activists want to crystalize their concept that people are born heterosexual or homosexual. So far, this cannot be demonstrated biologically (although there are some correllating gene combinations worth study).

    I have observed that humans are born with a total versatility in this area. Nearly everyone is exposed to influences that lead in either direction. We make choices that lead to actions. If the actions are repeated often enough, they form emotional and physical habits. One day, they realize that their habits have carried them into a certain direction.

    Many different choices and actions make up the habits that lead us to discover a sexual orientation. It is both simplistic and dangerous to assume that it was an inborn thing, and that the habits are at that point beyond our control.

  • JBQ Saint Louis, MO
    Jan. 16, 2014 8:29 a.m.

    Whether you are for or against this issue, this should be an area of grave concern. We are a government "of the people, by the people, for the people". The conservative columnist, Charles Krauthammer, has stated that the country appears to be moving toward acceptance of gay marriage. However, that is the decision of the people and not of the executive branch of the government nor one judge who serves in the judicial branch. On this issue, Justice Anthony Kennedy appears to be the "swing vote" for common sense. However, he appeared to "duck" a similar issue in California when the Supreme Court refused to act sending the issue back to the lower appeals court without comment which upheld the overthrow of a similar referendum. Without a doubt, the appeals court has to rule and the interference by Eric Holder was, to say the least, on the rude side.

  • A Quaker Brooklyn, NY
    Jan. 16, 2014 8:22 a.m.

    @GailFitches: Perhaps you're confused. Schools don't teach "pro-homosexuality." At most, they teach tolerance to all children, and then only at an age-appropriate level. For example, a grade-school might want to teach that while some girls act more like boys and some boys act more like girls, most will grow out of it on their own, everyone has their good points, and it's very, very bad to be mean to anybody or call them names or hit them. And if it's a religious school, you might want to add that God tells us to be nice to everyone.

    As for all your other points, homophobic speech is protected speech. Homophobic action should not be. Everyone should be able to sit at the lunch counter.

    Criticism of homophobic speech and the people who make it, is also protected speech. If you're going to speak ill of others, you'd better have at least as thick a skin as them.

    And, being an equality-minded Christian, I boycott homophobic businesses.

    By the way, your message says nothing about civil marriage.

    Suggested reading: Romans 14

  • Starry starry night Palm Springs , CA
    Jan. 16, 2014 8:04 a.m.

    The fact that Utah's Attorney General in supposedly representing the people of Utah will spend millions of dollars trying to deny certain of its citizens their constitutional rights is deplorable. The government and law enforcement agencies of Utah represent all of the people, even the non Mormon ones. Am I the only person whe sees an abrogation of the tenets of separation of church and state here?

  • Tekakaromatagi Dammam, Saudi Arabia
    Jan. 16, 2014 8:00 a.m.

    The institution of marriage will be further eroded by diluting its meaning and redefining it. That means that the state of Utah could be building more prisons to incarcerate the offenders who will be growing up in broken homes.

    I applaud the state of Utah. This is money well-spent. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

  • one vote Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 16, 2014 7:55 a.m.

    Wealth transfer to downtown firm. Mavbe the church would spend another 30 million like they did in California.

  • genetics Canada, 00
    Jan. 16, 2014 7:51 a.m.


    Your comments are the basis of this entire discussion. The definition of marriage, one man and one woman, is biological and should be recognized on biological design (anatomical function, sperm, ovum, behavior, etc). Heterosexuality and homosexuality are not biologically equal and, therefore, do not merit the same definition (i.e. "marriage") under the law. However, this basic foundational fact is always obscured by misdirecting the issue to the misnomers of "human rights", "bigotry","hate", "religion" and the ever present "wrong side of history." Biology has no interest in these labels. Unfortunately, biology is obviously not required study at law schools.

  • Alpiner Alpine, UT
    Jan. 16, 2014 7:40 a.m.

    Why doesn't the state either join with Oklahoma or just let them carry the ball forward? It seems that a non mormon state would have a better chance of getting a fair shot with the supreme court.

  • Go Big Blue!!! Bountiful, UT
    Jan. 16, 2014 7:15 a.m.

    The state's annual budget is in the billions. This is a big issue with long-term implications for both social issues and with regards to state vs federal authority. It is money well spent. It is also Utah money, not CA or WA or AZ etc.

  • LOU Montana Pueblo, CO
    Jan. 16, 2014 6:59 a.m.

    Utah has a long history of wasting money on preserving the right to force their moral beliefs on others. I am glad it is not my money they are wasting. Just imagine what 2 million dollars could do for the schools or parks.

  • Bob A. Bohey Marlborough, MA
    Jan. 16, 2014 6:56 a.m.

    @Meckofahess: Without getting into another circular argument with an anti-equal rights proponent, you could not be more off base or flat out wrong in your exertions and time will prove this, you'll see.

  • Ranch Here, UT
    Jan. 16, 2014 6:45 a.m.

    Dear Mr. Reyes;

    How much money is Utah going to spend defending the 14th Amendment's Constitutional Rights of LGBT citizens to equal protection?

    $0.00? So much for "equal protection".

  • Gail Fitches Layton, UT
    Jan. 16, 2014 6:36 a.m.

    1.If a parent objects to a school teaching pro-homosexuality and pulls his
    child out of school, and because of it is ridiculed and/or jailed, is he
    2.If a self-employed business owner with strong religious convictions
    refuses to offer his services to homosexuals and he is sued and goes
    bankrupt, is he harmed?
    3.If a Catholic orphanage is forced to shut down because it is against its
    religious moral code to turn children over to homosexual couples, is someone
    4.If a public school teacher voices his disapproval of homosexuality on
    Facebook on his own time, away from work, in his own home, on his own
    computer, and is fired from his teaching position, is he harmed?
    5.If a group of pro-homosexual activists (Act-UP) disrupt the worship
    service of a Christian congregation by throwing condoms at the pastor, is
    the congregation harmed?
    6.If Christians are forced into silence because of fear of legal, social,
    and financial retribution, are they harmed?
    7.When morally conservative people who disapprove of homosexuality are
    labeled as "moral dinosaurs," "bigots," "hate mongers," "right wing
    fanatics," "preachers of hatred," "intolerant," are they harmed?

  • Linguist Silver Spring, MD
    Jan. 16, 2014 5:18 a.m.

    @Meckofahess "we cannot define a behavior as an intrinsic characteristic."

    With respect, I don't believe anyone is arguing that.

    Behavior and orientation are distinct. Gay people, like all people, make choices about their lives and who they spend their lives with.

    What they don't get to choose is their basic orientation.

  • Owen Heber City, UT
    Jan. 16, 2014 12:51 a.m.

    Any dollars spent on defense of this should be re-allocated from the Governor's economic-development budget. After establishing ourselves as the anti-equality state, we can wave goodbye to companies considering locating in Utah.

  • ThornBirds St.George, Utah
    Jan. 15, 2014 11:35 p.m.


    There are retirees who have come to Southern Utah from states all across the USA. A good number of them, for one reason or another, chose not to have children. These are well educated, well traveled, good people, and good citizens. Here in St. George you could find many to converse with concerning your post.
    Many of these are gay couples who have been together for many years. They are just as committed as your "Strong Heterosexual pair". These couples have good educations, good jobs, and our good people and good neighbors and good citizens. Some have children, some do not. Their children are successful and well adjusted, just as the children are that you are discussing.
    Do you have any gay friends? Do you have any childless friends? Have you ever spent any time with them and their families?
    You sound like you may only have information from a book, not real life experience with your fellow men and women.

  • worf Mcallen, TX
    Jan. 15, 2014 11:16 p.m.

    Ultimate evil/destruction, is created in steps as people become desensitized.

    Evidence of this can be found in today's world, and through out history.

    I would recommend intense independent research.

  • JSB Sugar City, ID
    Jan. 15, 2014 10:53 p.m.

    The court should recognize that same-sex marriage is a biological issue. The purpose for sex is reproduction: 1) to unite the sperm and egg; and 2) to help the zygote to develop into a mature adult individual. In the human species permanent heterosexual pair bonds have evolved because it takes a long time to train human children into mature, responsible, productive adults. Humans who grow up in a home where there is a strong heterosexual pair bond are more likely to mature into well-adjusted adults than if the heterosexual pair bond is damaged, corrupted or missing. In the past this heterosexual pair-bonding has been called marriage. Changing the definition of marriage will not change the biological reality of the need for strong, heterosexual pair bonds if we want well-adjusted children and a strong, healthy society. (continued)

  • The Professor Provo, UT
    Jan. 15, 2014 10:11 p.m.

    It is interesting that so many folks that live out of state are so concerned about the expenditure of Utah tax dollars.

    It is also strange that folks say it will be a waste of money to fight this issue. Then they complain when some one wants to supply funding.

    I believe this is an issue that we should fight in the courts. Heaven knows state monies have been spent in many more wasteful ways than this.

  • A Quaker Brooklyn, NY
    Jan. 15, 2014 10:07 p.m.

    I'd love the State of Utah to lose this case, but I only want them to lose after putting the best possible case forward. That's the only way to demonstrate that there really is no good case in law for prohibiting same-sex couples from applying for the same civil marriage benefits as "traditional" couples.

    I hope the firm they hire is brilliant and creative and has the resources to pull together enough expert testimony to support whatever case they present, so everyone can see them lose fair and square.

    The same sex couples who are going to get married are most likely already living together as committed life partners, perhaps in your very neighborhood. In every boring way, they're like any of your other married neighbors. If you could only avoid obsessing over other people's sex lives (is that possibly covered under "not covet thy neighbor's wife?"), this would be a non-issue.

  • Willem Los Angeles, CA
    Jan. 15, 2014 9:59 p.m.

    This case is lost ,glbt are the winners,so sorry.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 15, 2014 9:30 p.m.

    "We would be willing to foot the entire bill if we had the right counsel and the right strategy," Mero said. "At this point, I can tell you the Sutherland Institute is involved in conversations about the right counsel and the right strategy."

    OK, this hired counsel is supposed to be representing the citizens of Utah, right? But if Sutherland funds the counsel in full or in part how can said counsel be said to represent the people of Utah. In fact it would be representing Sutherland. This is another example of the requisite lines in Utah being extremely and disturbingly fuzzy, like mixing church and state. Moreover, bully Mero acts like he can run rough shod over any of the citizenry who don't like the Sutherland focus.

  • Meckofahess Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 15, 2014 8:48 p.m.

    When Rights Are Wrong

    A wise man said : "At this point Christians have to think very carefully. We do not want to deny anyone his or her civil rights. To do so would not only violate the Constitution but also deny the rights that are granted, not by the government, but by the Creator. But is same-sex marriage such a right? The answer to that question must be no.

    Discrimination on the basis of an unchangeable characteristic such as skin color would be wrong. But Christians cannot accept the argument that homosexuality is an immutable characteristic. While recognizing the complexity of issues related to sexual orientation, we cannot define a behavior as an intrinsic characteristic. On that basis, why not grant theft or other sinful behavior the same civil rights protection?

    Those pushing for the legalization of same-sex marriage have been tremendously successful in convincing many people—and several courts—of their argument that same-sex marriage is a civil right. But this is a confusion of categories that Christians cannot accept".

    You cannot legislate immorality any more than you can legislate morality.

  • Baccus0902 Leesburg, VA
    Jan. 15, 2014 7:26 p.m.

    As an outside observer, I wonder if the AG of Utah is really representing the Utah interest.
    California didn't defend Prop. 8. Not because of caprice but because :
    1.-it was undefendable from a constitutional perspective and
    2.- The understanding of the people had increased and changed their position.

    My apologies, I don't recall the name of the poster here. But somebody reported yesterday that Utah was declaring 48% pro and 48% against Same Sex Marriage. It seems that Utah is evolving faster than California.

    As an LDS myself, many times in my life (almost everyday) I have to examine and re-examine my life, ideas, perspective in social and personal issues. I think this is a great skill that the LDS church is able to transmit to its members.

    I love the LDS Church and wish the best to the Saints in Utah and the world. I hope the Utah AG office doesn't just have a knee jerk reaction, but a well thought out action, whatever that may be.

    I don't mind to be in opposite sides in the flow of ideas as long as both sides are able to present themselves with dignity, respect and intelligence.

    Peace to all.

  • Blue Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 15, 2014 7:09 p.m.

    If our legislature is so bent on wasting millions of our dollars, couldn't they at least "waste" it on our schools or our parks or meals-on-wheels for elderly shut-ins?

    How much dental care for the children of low-income families could these millions provide?


  • bradk77 sandy/USA, 00
    Jan. 15, 2014 7:00 p.m.

    If you are opposed to gay marriage, then don't marry someone your own gender. Problem solved. Otherwise, mind your own business, please. Keep government as small as possible by keeping it out of private adult lives.

  • Schnee Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 15, 2014 6:42 p.m.

    I'm fine with the tax money being spent. As far as I'm concerned it's charitable giving to the other 32 states without same-sex marriage when we get it to the Supreme Court if it gets made legal nationwide.

  • Henry Drummond San Jose, CA
    Jan. 15, 2014 6:03 p.m.


    Even though I am an advocate for Marriage Equality, I think this issue deserves to be debated in a competent and dignified way in the courts. I would be very concerned about the Institute's demand for "the right counsel and the right strategy." I think there is a strong possibility that somebody will simply use the notoriety of this case for their own purposes.

  • Kings Court Alpine, UT
    Jan. 15, 2014 5:59 p.m.

    @Gibster, in Utah they won't raise taxes to pay for these misadventures. It is the teachers and school kids who bear the burden of the costs.

  • Gibster San Antonio, TX
    Jan. 15, 2014 5:43 p.m.

    I said it before and I'll say it again, this is a complete waste of the taxpayers money. Glad that this is not my bill to pay.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Jan. 15, 2014 5:25 p.m.

    Is there an ethical issue created when the state gets outside, private funding to support this appeal?