A new term

Return To Article
Add a comment
  • jcobabe Provo, UT
    Jan. 31, 2014 5:12 a.m.

    If we call the tail a leg, how many legs does a dog have?

    This controversy seems more about insisting on the declaration of equivalence than about equality. A common misperception based on the premise that forcing us to name something with a term that we believe carries the inference of equivalence will somehow endow us with equality for ever more.

    And thence we will all live happily ever after.

  • Eliyahu Pleasant Grove, UT
    Jan. 29, 2014 9:13 a.m.

    Just an observation, but... I keep seeing responses from LDS writers who go on at length about how those who want anything except for "one man, one woman" to be recognized as a marriage are perverting the definition of marriage that God gave us. In doing so, it may not have occurred to them that they are, in effect, calling Joseph Smith and Brigham Young "perverts", along with all the other pioneers who had multiple wives. The reality is that throughout the ages the rules about who may marry and what constitutes a valid marriage have been about as solid and consistent as sandstorm, and history is not a Norman Rockwell painting where everything was just the way we'd like to remember it.

  • merich39 Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 28, 2014 3:43 p.m.

    @ Mike Richards:

    I can appreciate that you feel very strongly about your beliefs. But not everyone shares your beliefs. Your God is not the worldwide, universally accepted God. Your prophet does not speak to everyone. While I believe you should have every right to live your life as you see fit, I don't believe you should have the right to legislate your religious beliefs onto others when there you will suffer no harm by allowing same sex marriage. Homosexuals are not trying to force you to live as they live. They are not and will never try to force you to have a same sex marriage. Them having same sex marriages will not negatively affect your own marriage nor your own life. You list no public nor personal harm from same sex marriage. Self-righteousness is not a sufficient basis for legislation.

  • Noodlekaboodle Poplar Grove, UT
    Jan. 28, 2014 1:00 p.m.

    Why could they not have been satisfied with a category of secular union that would have offered them the secular benefits they sought?

    Because amendment 3 banned all gay unions. Part of the amendment didn't allow gay people into anything that had the same benefits as marriage.

  • Sven Morgan, UT
    Jan. 28, 2014 10:06 a.m.

    jimbo said:

    "I would hope that the religious zealots in our state would practice what they preach and truly 'hate the sin but love the sinner'..."

    I agree with you here that these lifestyles are sinful. I also agree with you that those entrapped in the LGBT lifestyles should never be hated. That being said, these types of lifestyles should not be celebrated and deemed "normal" as many in this community are trying to do so vigorously.

    "When will people like you finally understand that being LGBT is not a choice. Even the LDS church leaders acknowledge that."

    First, I could care less what LDS church leaders acknowledge. Secondly, if God calls these perversions sin, then the individual does indeed have a choice. Just because a person desires something, does not mean that they have no choice. A person who wants to cheat on their spouse has a choice. A person who wants to cheat on their taxes has a choice. A man who decides to have unnatural relations with another man has a choice.

    Saying they don’t have a choice, is simply an excuse to continue engaging in this behavior.

  • Kalindra Salt Lake City, Utah
    Jan. 28, 2014 9:50 a.m.

    @ The Deuce: Many others have posited your experiment - and many seem to think it a valid reason to deny marriage. However, a few additional experiments show the flaw of the argument.

    If the homosexual group is replaced by infertile individuals, by individuals too old to have children, by individuals who choose not to have children - the results are the same, yet society allows marriage for these other groups.

    The reality is that many less than ideal couples get married every year, reproductive technologies do exist, some people are gay, some people are going to have children and other people are not, and the legalization or prohibition of same-sex marriage is not going to drastically change how many people are gay or how many children are born every year.

    All legalization of same-sex marriage is going to do is make sure all families have access to the same benefits, protections, and responsibilities as all other families.

  • RFLASH Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 28, 2014 9:44 a.m.

    None of us have imposed any such thing on others! It takes nerve to say something like that. It takes a lot of arrogance also. Why is it that some people feel a need to impose some other word upon our unions, besides the word " marriage " Who says that the term marriage belongs only to heterosexuals. Well, the people that believe this are the very people that discriminate! They set themselves up as being superior human beings and expect us to live with the crumbs that they drop on the floor. We over extend ourselves? Who are you to tell us how far we can extend? Who are any of you to tell us we have to accept being somehow inferior to rest of you? What arrogant people! You wonder why others get sick of living in this state! Marriage isn't a word that belongs to one group of people and if we choose to use it, we will, with or without your permission. We certainly don't have to bow down to somebody's degrading beliefs about us. Get off your HIGH HORSE!

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    Jan. 28, 2014 8:53 a.m.

    The underlying problem is not equality and it has nothing to do with marriage. Equality and Marriage are just the surface elements that galvanize people. The underlying problem is whether man is the most intelligent "being" in the universe or whether there is a God who directs all things, including our very lives.

    Those who believe that we crawled from a swamp or swung down from a tree to find a banquet laid out for us with everything provided, water to drink, warmth from a star, fruits, flowers, animals and vegetables, find it hard to be thankful when they claim to be the highest intelligence that exists. They think that they can make the rules, whether those rules perpetuate the species or destroy the species. Since they are the "top dog", they demand that all accept their "wisdom".

    Then there are those who are thankful to their Creator for having been invited to participate in the banquet of life, who acknowledge His bounteous blessings, who realize that nothing that they can do, except to show obedience to Him, can ever repay His gift.

  • The Deuce Livermore, CA
    Jan. 28, 2014 8:32 a.m.

    To: jimbo, American Fork, UT - First, you have changed the scenario. My original experiment had no external support from modern medicine. Given your suggestion, yes, both groups would have a good chance of survival and growth beyond the original group. Second, I also agree with your suggestion for a practical experiment. The point of my original experiment was to help others understand the point of view held by many regarding the "marriage issue' we have. While I am taking no particular side here, it is important to understand the underlying issues and why many feel so compelled. If you look at "marriage" simply as a contract, this opens the door for just about any combination that people agree to. Equality does not excuse any of us from responsibility and consequences in the long term. We seem to forget this as we discuss numerous issues.

  • jimbo American Fork, UT
    Jan. 28, 2014 12:46 a.m.

    @The Deuce: If in your experiment, you're suggesting that success is based on the ability to produce offspring and grow numerically; I'm sure, with ingenuity and modern medicine, the gay and lesbian group could figure out a way to have as many children as the heterosexual group. But I would suggest a more practical experiment. Let's have a large group of heterosexual married couples live in the same communities with a significant but smaller number of gay married couples and see how they get a long and thrive. Oh wait, that has already been done in the numerous states that allow gay marriage and guess what, there haven't been any problems!

  • jimbo American Fork, UT
    Jan. 28, 2014 12:28 a.m.

    @ Sven: When will people like you finally understand that being LGBT is not a choice. Even the LDS church leaders acknowledge that. Why would someone choose a lifestyle that leads to ridicule, being beaten up and persecuted to the point of suicide. I'm sure virtually all gay people could care less about "pushing this mess on our kids". They just want equal rights which should be guaranteed to them under the law and live out their lives in peace and happiness like the rest of us. I know of several gay LDS young men who served honorable, successful missions for their church with the idea that if they were diligent and obedient, God would take the homosexuality away from them; all to no avail. Many then feel they have no choice but to leave the church. I would hope that the religious zealots in our state would practice what they preach and truly "hate the sin but love the sinner" and remember that tolerate does not equal love.

  • The Deuce Livermore, CA
    Jan. 27, 2014 9:47 p.m.

    Ok, let's try a simple experiement. Let's take a community of either Gay or Lesbian couples and a community of man/woman couples. With nothing else provided, which community has the greatest chance of success to grow beyond the original group?

  • Tolstoy salt lake, UT
    Jan. 27, 2014 4:21 p.m.


    For much of history marriage was typically between family members (i.e. cousins) to preserve family wealth and property rights the notion of marrying for a purpose other then to maintain family lineage and therefore wealth did not take hold until much later in history and nether the state or religion took much interest in recording (in the mid 1400's as noted above) let alone try to control who could marry. At no time in history has your definition of marriage been universal.

  • Sorry Charlie! SLC, UT
    Jan. 27, 2014 3:10 p.m.

    Yes marriage does date back further then that what does not date back to anytime is history is your definition of marriage as being only between a man and a women. It has no historical basis, not sure how to be any more clear about that.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Jan. 27, 2014 2:35 p.m.

    Sorry Charlie!
    Even if it only goes back to the mid 1400's... that's NOT recent.

    And that's just when churches started recording them.

    I'm pretty sure people were "marrying" before that.

    But no matter how you look at it... it's NOT a "recent" thing.

  • airnaut Everett, 00
    Jan. 27, 2014 2:19 p.m.

    2 bits
    Cottonwood Heights, UT

    I mean even if you throw out all religious history... it even goes back to cave men/women.


    That wasn't "marriage",
    that was called mating.

    And I reckon the same 97% vs. 3% rule still applied -- even then.

  • Kalindra Salt Lake City, Utah
    Jan. 27, 2014 2:16 p.m.

    @ 2bits: The default marital status throughout history has been polygamy - not one man one woman. And many cultures have recognized homosexual relationships to some extent, including some that have recognized them on the same level as heterosexual unions.

  • Sorry Charlie! SLC, UT
    Jan. 27, 2014 2:07 p.m.


    Actually neither the government or religion took any part in marriage until the mid 1400's and at that point they merely started officially registering them. Prior to that point if people showed up and declared they had married the government and religion simply took it as fact. the definition you present has never been a universal one by religions or governments.

  • Sorry Charlie! SLC, UT
    Jan. 27, 2014 2:00 p.m.

    I am not sure if you don't know history or just confuse your religious beliefs (Adam and Eve) for historical fact but marriage being defined as between a man and a women does not date back much more then a hundred years in Utah or American culture let alone the world were it has never been a universal truth.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Jan. 27, 2014 1:52 p.m.

    Sorry Charlie,
    Are you serious? You think marriage being between a man and a woman has only been in our culture for a relatively short period of time??

    I'm pretty sure this definition goes clear back to Adam and Eve. That's pretty far back. About as far back as I can think of.

    Even if you think Adam and Eve is a myth.... it goes pretty far back. And I don't mean as far back as the founding of our country. I mean WAY back.

    Wasn't marriage traditionally between a man and a woman back in Germania? ancient England. ancient Greece? Crete? Even Africa, Mongolia and ancient China. I mean it goes back in history as far as recorded history goes?

    I mean even if you throw out all religious history... it even goes back to cave men/women. I mean they were probably pairing up as men and women even way back then (or how would the species have succeeded)?

    I'm pretty sure this pairing up as man & woman thing goes WAY back... whether you believe the religious aspect of it or not.

  • Sorry Charlie! SLC, UT
    Jan. 27, 2014 1:15 p.m.

    what I find most humorous is this author accuses gay people of altering the definition of marriage then turns around and makes false claims about the history of marriage which has only been defined between a man and a women (by some) within our culture for a relatively short period of time and never been a universal definition.

  • Lagomorph Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 27, 2014 1:06 p.m.

    @Stephen Daedalus:

    Perfectly stated. Even if one could simply [Ctrl-F] "marriage" and replace all with "civil union," you would have to do it to the entire US Code, the Code of Federal Regulations, fifty state codes and constitutions, and you would still have ripple effects throughout private documents (e.g. employment benefit packages) and elsewhere. It would take multiple acts of federal and state legislatures to accomplish, even if it were feasible.

    To be fair, civil unions would have to be the standard for all marriages, not just the "separate but equal" second class option for same sex couples. Sectarian marriage would be the alternative special case or supplement to the civil case.

    Society probably should have differentiated between civil and religious marriage a long time ago. That would have prevented the current fuss. But that horse has already left the barn. It's far too late to try to close the door with civil unions.

  • E Sam Provo, UT
    Jan. 27, 2014 1:07 p.m.

    Why won't 'They' settle for a different word? Because our gay brothers and sisters want to be treated equally. What's wrong with that?

  • Jl Sandy, UT
    Jan. 27, 2014 12:30 p.m.

    Rather than always arguing semantics, why not demonstrate how your marriage would suffer if the gay couple across the street is legally married. It's going to happen and you won't notice a thing.

  • Sven Morgan, UT
    Jan. 27, 2014 12:19 p.m.

    The LGBT types have a very heavy burden they must face, and quite frankly, a very sad one. They know all too well that their lifestyles are not normal, and go against the laws of nature.

    While their stated desire is to gain acceptance/approval from society on the basis of equality (e.g. admission into the BSA, Gay Marriage, benefits, etc.), there is another reason the LGBT community is trying so desperately to have their lifestyle considered "normal." They are attempting to deny reality to sooth their own consciences. Their thought is: "Hey, if society considers this healthy and normal...well, it must be!" No, it's not, and the LGBT types know it's not. Ever wonder why there’s a need for Gay Pride parades and celebrations? These are not the actions of people who are comfortable with their lifestyles, but rather people who are trying to convince themselves that it is normal.

    Sadly, now the LGBT crowd is trying to push this mess on our kids as an “alternative lifestyle” choice. Just one more peg in trying to normalize these abnormal lifestyle choices.

  • Badgerbadger Murray, UT
    Jan. 27, 2014 11:31 a.m.

    Great point! See the straw-man arguments roll forth.

  • Really??? Kearns, UT
    Jan. 27, 2014 10:30 a.m.

    "Why could they not have been satisfied with a category of secular union that would have offered them the secular benefits they sought?"

    I think the key word in every argument against marriage equality or anti-discrimination laws is the word THEY. It is a word that separates us instead of bringing us together as a community. It keeps those of us who are the THEY at arms length. You are really telling us that we aren't as good as the rest of you; that you don't want to get to know us.

    The real reason for the fight is about inclusion. We want to be a part of your communities. We want to be invited to the neighborhood barbecues. We want you to realize that we have the same dreams and aspirations as the rest of you. We would like your acceptance, but we will survive without it.

  • Stephen Daedalus Arvada, CO
    Jan. 27, 2014 9:07 a.m.

    In addition to points made by the prior comments, there is a very practical issue that is not often discussed. Even if 'civil unions' (or comparable term other than word 'marriage') were to be offered to same-sex couples, with the idea that it would be roughly identical in terms of rights/obligations to marriage, it is not simply a matter of doing a word-processing 'search-and-replace' throughout the text of state/federal statutes.

    The secular concept of 'marriage' is marbled throughout both statutes and case law, and can't easily be swapped out with a phrase such as 'marriage or civil unions'. Even amending all statutes where marriage is mentioned would tie up state legislatures and Congress more so than amending the U.S. Constitution, given how difficult it is to pass the least controversial bills.

    This same problem applies to the other idea of 'getting government out of the marriage business' by simply referring to all secular 2-person state-recognized bonds as something other than 'marriage'. I agree that would sort of avoid the current controversy, but there are insurmountable practical hurdles to overcome, so its more of a theory than anything that could be achieved.

  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 27, 2014 9:05 a.m.

    I'm not LDS, but on this issue I stand with Mormon prophet Monson, who according to Mormons speaks for God. Nice to know I'm with him on this! He has stated only a man and woman should be able to marry.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Jan. 27, 2014 8:53 a.m.

    I don't see a need to bury it in semantics. Every marriage is a civil union; the sacred or religious component is just a veneer some couples put on it.

  • airnaut Everett, 00
    Jan. 27, 2014 8:30 a.m.

    liberal larry
    salt lake City, utah

    Ya --

    I suppose Utah can then deal with Gay marriages like they have with Plural marriages...

    They can pass all the laws they want to banning it,
    and then NOTHING about enforcing any of them.

  • liberal larry salt lake City, utah
    Jan. 27, 2014 8:07 a.m.

    I can't figure out the strong reaction against gay marriage in Utah. When we first moved here we lived next to a group of polygamists who exercised an ancient form of "traditional marriage" and guess what? It didn't have any effect on our more modern form of marriage.

    Even though these types had been living in our midst for over 100 years no one seemed to care! It seemed like a classic "live and let live" situation.

    I think it is getting harder to find reasonable arguments as to why gay marriages are detrimental to society, and the explanations are becoming more convoluted and legalistic, and harder to take seriously.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    Jan. 27, 2014 8:04 a.m.

    Those who tell us that God made a mistake have made a grave error. They think that people listen to their malarkey. They think that they, who cannot raise even a blade of grass from the dead, can instruct their creator on what constitutes the most fundamental unit of society. What arrogance! What pretentious, vainglorious, pomposity!

    Where are the worlds that they created? Which stars have they lit to shine for eons? Which planets have they set in orbit? What life forms have they placed on those planets? When did they breathe the breath of life into those life forms? Yet they lecture us on the structure of a family.

    What is the eventual result of their chosen lifestyle, if they convince foolish people to follow them? It is the extinction of the human race - yet they tell us that their lifestyle harms no one! They have made the most grave error. They have rejected light and truth and replaced it with arrogance. That was tried before. It failed then. It will always fail.

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    Jan. 27, 2014 7:43 a.m.

    West Jordan, UT

    12:14 a.m. Jan. 27, 2014


    (wish I had 10 stars to give you)

    That is precisely why Amendment 3 was struck down.
    Had Civil Unions or Domestic Partnerships been allowed - traditional Marriage COULD have ben salvaged.

    But in their over zealous over reach,
    they stomped and trampled ANY allowance of access to equal rights.

  • Furry1993 Ogden, UT
    Jan. 27, 2014 7:18 a.m.

    The best way to handle this is to have ALL civil relationships (one active partnership per person consistent with age and sanginuity requirements) be called something other than marriage -- civil unions or civil partnerships perhaps -- and, after a couple has registered their civil union/partnership with the state, they can go to an entity of their choice to participate in a marriage ceremony if they wish. The "marriage" would have no legal force or effect -- that would be the purview of the civil partnership, which would convey all the legal rights and responsibilities now embodied in marriage. People could accept or reject the "marriage" as they chose as long as they recognize the legal civil union/partnership exists. Problem solved.

  • CHS 85 Sandy, UT
    Jan. 27, 2014 7:09 a.m.

    "Segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever!"

    Jan. 27, 2014 6:37 a.m.

    "they have tended to overreach."

    How dare those people want to be treated just like me.

  • Ranch Here, UT
    Jan. 27, 2014 6:20 a.m.

    "Why could they not have been satisfied with a category of secular union that would have offered them the secular benefits they sought? "

    A marriage is a a marriage is a marriage is a marriage is a marriage....

    Separate but equal is NOT EQUAL.

  • Blue Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 27, 2014 5:53 a.m.

    Two serious problems with Mr. Strong's argument:

    First, Utah's Amendment 3 prohibits state recognition of anything that would grant secular benefits to same sex couples the way that state-recognized marriage does.

    Second, and most significantly, multiple federal courts have concluded that, like the south's Jim Crow laws of a century ago, "separate but equal" is in fact _not_ equal, and a violation of the constitution's Equal Protection language.

    Antipathy towards homosexuals is both irrational and harmful, and state-sanctioned antipathy towards same sex couples fails in court when subjected to legal scrutiny. It's long-past time for the state of Utah to release its homophobia.

  • Baccus0902 Leesburg, VA
    Jan. 27, 2014 4:53 a.m.

    Mr. Strong,

    I don't know if you are familiar with Amendment 3 which prevented LGBT from obtaining Civil Unions or SSM. Your letter displays a lack of knowledge at best or is disingenuous at worst.

    In my personal opinion, all the arguments pro and against Same Sex Marriage have been presented. Now, is the time to wait for the SCOTUS to emit a ruling.

    The tendency of most developed countries and societies is to move toward acceptance and equality. Countries with a strong tradition of tribal and religious rivalries such as Uganda are becoming more antagonistic toward homosexuality. They seem to need somebody to blame for their self-inflicted maladies.

    Mr. Strong, I invite you to wait for the SCOTUS and the evolution that is taking place across this beautiful land of ours.

    God Bless!!

  • Bob K portland, OR
    Jan. 27, 2014 2:23 a.m.

    "It seems reasonable to suppose that a same-sex union is of a different nature than a traditional marriage,"

    Actually, to the people involved, there is NO difference at all. A few hurches are based on marriage and procreation (lds and catholic, for instance)so some of their members see a marriage that is not for the purpose of procreation as different. That is not the business of civil laws, and will never win a court case.

    People want to be "married", not spend their lives explaining differences. Children want parents who are married. Gay siblings deserve to marry their partner the way straight siblings do. Imagine telling one of your kids he is unfortunately left out.

    The entire reason this issue is not a done deal is that the procreation-based churches created opposition, hurting all Gay people, because they did not want their own Gay kids to want the marriage that God put into their hearts.

  • Owen Heber City, UT
    Jan. 27, 2014 12:14 a.m.

    This letter provides some good language for the courts to use in their orders - with a little tweaking: "Expanding the time-honored definition of marriage to include same-sex unions will do no harm to other unions. No evidence shows that same-sex unions are different, so both types of unions should enjoy the same secular benefits."