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A high-profile challenge of Va.'s gay marriage ban

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  • Gildas LOGAN, UT
    Sept. 30, 2013 9:14 a.m.

    Previously I only knew of Virginia as the first "colony", and the home of Thomas Jefferson and other notable founders, something that makes it of great interest historically.

    I am growing in respect for this state with this article and the one on capital punishment in today's Deseret News. There seems to be a significant and honorable sense of the old Puritan spirit here.

  • Maudine SLC, UT
    Sept. 30, 2013 9:38 a.m.

    This will be an interesting case to watch. If Virginia's amendment is held unconstitutional under the Federal Constitution, Utah's can't be far behind.

    The biggest challenge for opponents of same-sex marriage is finding a legally viable reason for prohibiting same-sex marriage. So far, they have not been able to find one that stands up in court.

    Reading the Prop 8 decision from the District Court and the DOMA decision from the Supreme Court lays out the challenges opponents must be able to overcome. None of the previous arguments hold up to close scrutiny and no one has been able to come up with a new argument - just rehashings of the same old ones.

  • Contrariuser mid-state, TN
    Sept. 30, 2013 9:54 a.m.

    Momentum just seems to keep building. We have New Jersey and apparently New Mexico on the brink, and Virginia as well.

    After DOMA was killed, I was convinced it would take 10 years to get gay marriage recognized. But now I'm getting more and more optimistic that it'll be more like 5.

    And I gotta say I am VERY impressed with Ted Olson. Remember, this guy was an Assistant Attorney General under **Reagan** and served as his legal counsel in the Iran-Contra controversy, was US Solicitor General under **Bush**, AND represented BUSH in the Bush v. Gore vote-recounting Supreme Court case. Who knew he would eventually See The Light and actually start fighting FOR civil rights?? ;-)

    Good going, guys!

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Sept. 30, 2013 10:13 a.m.

    Slowly, the roadblocks get pushed out of the way.

  • EternalPerspective Eldersburg, MD
    Sept. 30, 2013 10:41 a.m.

    Unfortunately, I have to agree with the pro-gay marriage comments here from two respects. First, I don't believe the culture of today will stop gay marriage from becoming legal in most if not all states eventually. Second, this trend appears to be accelerating so that the time frame is likely going to be much sooner than some may have originally thought.

    Freedom of choice is very important. Discrimination and persecution are awful things. While Jesus Christ did commune with sinners, He also also exorted people to have faith and repent of their sins.

    Consider also the future of the gay movement attacking private businesses and religious institutions who do not believe homosexuality is correct or a fixed genetic trait, but a series of choices made over a period of time until a person is convinced they are "gay".

    Liberal movements have convinced many that gay rights is the same as civil rights with those genetic traits we know are fixed such as race and gender. But, where is the proof that people are born "gay" as an immutable trait of a person? Would a merciful, just, and loving God really create any fixed conditions contrary to His commandments?

  • Contrariuser mid-state, TN
    Sept. 30, 2013 11:04 a.m.

    @ Eternal --

    "Would a merciful, just, and loving God really create any fixed conditions contrary to His commandments?"

    There is no commandment that says "thou shalt not be homosexual".

    "Consider also the future of the gay movement attacking private businesses and religious institutions who do not believe homosexuality is correct or a fixed genetic trait, but a series of choices made over a period of time until a person is convinced they are "gay"."

    I'll consider those businesses and religions just as much as I consider people who still believe the Earth is flat. I'll consider them just as much as I consider people who still believe that non-Caucasian races are inferior to Caucasians. I'll consider them just as much as I consider people who still believe that women belong in the kitchen, barefoot and pregnant.

    When civilization moves forward, there is always a reactionary group that refuses to move forward with it. They get left behind.

    "But, where is the proof that people are born "gay" as an immutable trait of a person? "

    Where is the proof that people are born straight?

  • Maudine SLC, UT
    Sept. 30, 2013 11:13 a.m.

    @ EternalPerspective: "Would a merciful, just, and loving God really create any fixed conditions contrary to His commandments?"

    That is a really good question with only two possible answers.

    One - Sexuality is a choice. Which brings up the question of when you chose yours and would be willing to change it as an experiment, just to prove it can be done? The other question brought up by the idea that sexuality is a choice and therefore not a civil right deserving of protections is, do you extend that reasoning to other issues that are a choice, such as religion?

    Your whole comment argues that a choice like religion (which is clearly a choice and is changed frequently) should be given more respect than a choice (if it is a choice) like sexuality (which has never been successfully changed - only encouraged to go underground or celibate).

    If sexuality is a choice and deserves no respect, why should religion which is also a choice be treated differently?

    Two - God didn't. Which either means there is no God, or homosexuality is a sin.

    So - how do you answer your question and reconcile it with your belief system?

  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 30, 2013 11:27 a.m.

    I don't disagree that people may be born with certain challenges or feelings.

    It has similarly been proven that some people are born with a predisposition to alcoholism. That in and of itself is not wrong. It is the associated actions that are wrong. However, no one is forced to take these actions.

    Besides, there is no reason to deny plural marriage or two brothers from being able to marry if gays are allowed to marry.

    All people are born with challenges.

    It is what we do with those challenges that define us. The Mormons take the correct approach here.

  • Henry Drummond San Jose, CA
    Sept. 30, 2013 11:36 a.m.

    @EternalPerspective

    I appreciate your thoughtful analysis of the subject. I think you got to the heart of the matter when you asked,"Would a merciful, just, and loving God really create any fixed conditions contrary to His commandments?" That is indeed a puzzling question for people of faith.

    I think most of the laws that have been passed trying to prevent Gay Marriage are done with an eye to avoiding having to answer the question you pose. I would suggest the answer is best found in the chambers of faith and prayer however, and not in the halls of Government.

    I am an advocate of Gay Marriage and Gay rights. I have friends who are Gay and LDS who choose to live a traditional heterosexual existence than follow their orientation. I would never that choice as long as it is their choice, not something forced on them. I believe their is room for both these worlds to coexist.

  • Maudine SLC, UT
    Sept. 30, 2013 12:21 p.m.

    Sorry - my previous post should have said "Two - God didn't. Which either means there is no God, or homosexuality is not a sin."

    @ Chris B: As have been pointed out to you before, there are many social and legal challenges that would need to be addressed before polygamy could be legalized - these things are related to distinctions between "2" and "more than 2". For instance, when there are 2 people and 1 becomes incapacitated, the other 1 automatically receives the authority that can no longer be exercised by the incapacitated individual. However, that is not an automatic option when there are more than 2.

    We have also discussed incest before and the social harm it creates. Unlike homosexuality, incest has a known social harm which provides a valid reason for keeping it taboo.

    Alcohol is a very interesting choice for comparison. Many religions, including the Mormons, believe that drinking alcohol is a sin - yet it is perfectly legal. Perhaps there is a lesson there?

  • Contrariuser mid-state, TN
    Sept. 30, 2013 12:50 p.m.

    @Chris --

    "Besides, there is no reason to deny plural marriage or two brothers from being able to marry if gays are allowed to marry. "

    Here we go again.

    1. polygamy -- polygamy creates concrete dangers to citizens. Public safety -- the harm principle -- has always been a valid legal argument for limiting personal freedoms.
    -- As one judge has stated: "Polygamy's harm to society includes the critical fact that a great many of its individual harms are not specific to any particular religious, cultural or regional context. They can be generalized and expected to occur wherever polygamy exists."

    2. adult incest (adult siblings, adult parent/children) -- it's illegal in every state, again because of the harm principle.
    -- For details, look up any of SEVERAL recent court cases, both in Federal and state courts, which have very clearly and uniformly declared that homosexuality rulings do NOT apply to incest.

    3. child incest/pedophilia/bestiality -- children and animals are incapable of giving informed consent. Therefore, they can't sign marriage contracts. Informed consent is a bedrock principle of all our contract laws. It can't be removed.

    4. In contrast, gay marriages **don't** convey any special risk to public safety.

    Big difference, Chris.

  • Jeff Temple City, CA
    Sept. 30, 2013 12:54 p.m.

    I have several problems with things said on these threads and in the article.

    1. I have a problem with the use of the word "gay" (or its sometime synonym "homosexual") as a condition of existence not a behavior.

    2. While it might be possible that there are genetic traits that lead someone to be sexually attracted to persons of the same gender, there is no possible genetic predisposition to certain sexual behaviors. (The proof of that lies in the way we are designed.)

    3. Homosexuality is inherently sexist. It is based on the superiority of one gender at the exclusion of the other.

    4. There is no valid correlation between civil rights granted to a previously enslaved race and people who engage in a sexual practice that is discouraged. If so, then there are many discouraged sexual practices that must deserve civil rights protection.

    5. We have historical examples of societies that encouraged various sexual practices that our society has historically suppressed. It is not unreasonable for us to suppose that we will suffer the same consequences as those societies.

  • Ranch Here, UT
    Sept. 30, 2013 1:27 p.m.

    @EternalPerspective;

    Why would a loving god create people of color, knowing they were going to be discriminated against?

    Scientists have only recently identified the gene responsible for skin color. What makes you think they can isolate one related to an individual's internal identity when it's taken so long to identify one as obvious as the color of one's skin?

    @Jeff;

    I have a problem using the word "righteous" as s synonym for religious.

    "It is not unreasonable for us to suppose that we will suffer the same consequences as those societies."

    I'm assuming you mean that those societies were destroyed for it? You're going to have to prove your hypothesis that these societies were destroyed for their sexuality and not for some other reason, like stagnation.

  • El Chango Supremo Rexburg, ID
    Sept. 30, 2013 1:33 p.m.

    Why is biological incompatibility always glossed over when arguing for or against gay marriage?

    An interracial couple is completely biologically compatible. A homosexual couple lacks any physical compatibility whatsoever and when seeking to raise children is missing either a mother or a father.

  • Contrarius mid-state, TN
    Sept. 30, 2013 1:51 p.m.

    @Jeff --

    "1. I have a problem with the use of the word "gay"...as a condition of existence not a behavior."

    Would you be any less "straight" if you were celibate?

    I didn't think so.

    2. "there is no possible genetic predisposition to certain sexual behaviors."

    Baloney.

    Many nonhuman species practice homosexual behaviors.

    Another point -- our mouths were not biologically designed for kissing. Is kissing therefore immoral, or somehow anti-evolutionary??

    3. "Homosexuality is inherently sexist."

    This one is just completely nonsensical.

    4. "There is no valid correlation between civil rights granted to a previously enslaved race and people who engage in a sexual practice that is discouraged. "

    Major civil rights leaders -- like Coretta Scott King and MLK's own children -- disagree with you. Heck, one openly gay man (Bayard Rustin) was an integral part of MLK's campaigns.

    5. "We have historical examples..."

    You mean like ancient Greece and ancient Rome? Civilizations that survived for more than 1000 years each? Or ancient China, which accepted homosexuality until the West came along -- and whose civilization has been going strong for THOUSANDS of years?

    IMHO those are darned GOOD historical examples. We can only hope to last so long ourselves!

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 30, 2013 1:53 p.m.

    @Jeff
    "3. Homosexuality is inherently sexist. It is based on the superiority of one gender at the exclusion of the other.
    "

    What in the world... so under that logic I'm supposed to claim you're sexist because you're only attracted to women?

  • jskains Orem, UT
    Sept. 30, 2013 1:57 p.m.

    I have to give the gay agenda credit. They played it fairly well. Trying to tie a behavior to a skin color and ignore logic, rather focus on emotion is a powerful game. No one wants to be compared to the KKK, even if the comparison is off base. It's a game, they played it dirty, but they won. It's textbook "Rules for Radicals". It doesn't matter how dirty you play as long as you get the results you want.

    Next is demolishing gender. California already lets boys pretend to be girls and go into the girls bathroom to keep up the ruse. Cause kindergartners know about gender confusion and transgenderism. Certainly that doesn't come from parental influence and lack of direction, right?

  • Contrarius mid-state, TN
    Sept. 30, 2013 3:46 p.m.

    @El Chango Supremo --

    "Why is biological incompatibility always glossed over when arguing for or against gay marriage? "

    Probably because this supposed "incompatibility" doesn't actually exist.

    Gay couples are no more "incompatible" than any other infertile couple.

    Out in nature, homosexual behaviors are widely practiced by nonhuman species -- from bonobo chimps (where more than half of all sexual interactions are between females) to giraffes (where 90% of all sexual interactions are between males) to black swans (where one quarter of all pairs are males) and many others.

    I'm sure they don't feel any "incompatibility" either.

    "when seeking to raise children is missing either a mother or a father."

    All the reputable professional groups of child-development experts in this country SUPPORT gay marriage.

    These groups include:

    American Academy of Pediatrics
    American Academy of Family Practitioners
    Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
    American Psychological Association
    American Psychiatric Association
    National Association of Social Workers

    These professional experts work with children every day of their working lives. They ALL recognize that children grow up just fine in gay-led homes.

    Every family has something "different" about it -- some are rich, some are poor, some are Texan. ;-) "Different" does not mean "worse".

  • Jeff Temple City, CA
    Sept. 30, 2013 11:02 p.m.

    @Ranch:@Jeff;

    "I have a problem using the word "righteous" as s synonym for religious."

    So do I. They're not synonyms.

    "I'm assuming you mean that those societies were destroyed for homosexuality?"

    Wrong assumption. Not "for" homosexuality, but "because" of it. Sappho's colony is the most famous example. They simply died out.

    @ Contrarius: I have the same problem with the word "straight."

    "Many nonhuman species practice homosexual behaviors."

    Again, I don't believe that "practice" is necessarily a genetic predisposition.

    "Another point -- our mouths were not biologically designed for kissing."

    This is a silly thing to argue. Since kissing involves lips, and we have lips, I'm not sure if your biological assessment is valid.

    @ Contrarius and atl: Homosexuality is sexist because it completely excludes one gender. Heterosexuality inherently recognizes both the need and the value of both genders. atl's logic fails in this case; if I favor a woman, and she favors me, both genders are favored and neither is excluded. Not so in homosexual relationships.

    Ancient Greece and Rome accepted recreational homosexuality but demanded heterosexuality in marriage. China survived because of heterosexual marriages.

    Endorsement by celebrity means black equals gay?

  • EternalPerspective Eldersburg, MD
    Oct. 1, 2013 5:15 a.m.

    Contrariuser

    "Where is the proof that people are born straight?"

    Only men and women can have children and hence, preserve our species on the earth. What if many were born gay? Would anyone be left on the earth today?

    "...gay marriages **don't** convey any special risk to public safety."

    I won't convince you this is a sin anymore then you could convince it is not. But, I do know God loves all His children regardless of their choices. Nevertheless, examples of serious sins like sexual ones invite others to self-justify the same, which proliferates evil in societies. It is not unlike any addiction to more obvious habits like alcohol that gratifies pleasure in the self and the body, yet does great harm spiritually and physically.

    “And there shall also be many which shall say: Eat, drink, and be merry; nevertheless, fear God—he will justify in committing a little sin…and there shall be many which shall teach after this manner, false and vain and foolish doctrines, and shall be puffed up in their hearts, and shall seek deep to hide their counsels from the Lord; and their works shall be in the dark.”

  • Contrariusier mid-state, TN
    Oct. 1, 2013 9:54 a.m.

    (continued from previous post)

    Lips and mouths were designed for eating, not for kissing. Is kissing therefore immoral?

    Is it immoral for one man to kiss another man?

    "Homosexuality is sexist because it completely excludes one gender. "

    I am Caucasian. If I marry another Caucasian, I have completely excluded other races. Am I therefore racist?

    "Endorsement by celebrity means black equals gay?"

    Endorsement by black civil rights leaders means that they know a lot more about the comparability of gay rights than you do.

    @Eternal --

    "Only men and women can have children..."

    So what? That is a biological limitation, not a moral one.

    "What if many were born gay?"

    What if many decided to become celibate monks?

    Is celibacy immoral? Paul didn't think so.

    "which proliferates evil in societies."

    Harm to others is what proliferates evil.

    Consensual sex between gay people doesn't harm anyone. Therefore it's none of your business.

    "alcohol that gratifies pleasure in the self and the body, yet does great harm spiritually and physically."

    Yet alcohol is legal in all 50 states.

    And you have yet to show ANY evidence that homosexuality causes ANY harm -- either spiritual or physical.

  • Contrariusier mid-state, TN
    Oct. 1, 2013 11:33 a.m.

    @Jeff --

    "Sappho's colony is the most famous example."

    Sappho was born and lived in the city of Mytilene, which still exists to this day.

    You may be thinking of her educational efforts, which apparently were focused on women. This would have been more or less like a finishing school, and certainly NOT a colony.

    Learn some history before basing your claims on fantasy.

    "Ancient Greece and Rome accepted recreational homosexuality but demanded heterosexuality in marriage. "

    Nope.

    Homosexual marriages were recognized in the Roman empire from at least 600 BC. At least two Roman EMPERORS married men.

    Rome didn't fall until a couple hundred years after same-sex marriages were banned there.

    Again -- learn some history.

    "Again, I don't believe that "practice" is necessarily a genetic predisposition."

    Did some gay activist go around teaching giraffes and black swans how to be gay??

    "Since kissing involves lips, and we have lips, I'm not sure if your biological assessment is valid. "

    And sex involves sexual organs -- so why are you complaining about gay people who have sex?

    Straight couples often enjoy the same activities that gay people do. Are they acting immorally?

    (continued in next post)

  • EternalPerspective Eldersburg, MD
    Oct. 2, 2013 5:05 a.m.

    Contrariusier

    Having a strong conviction in what is believed can be a wonderful thing. But, who are you trying to convince with a litany of details, yourself or others?

    Are questions a manifestation of truth genuinely sought independent of conclusions found, or does the end justify the means already in the eyes of the beholder?

    Are questions rhetorically asked to overload with details that justify one vantage point and discount all other possibilities?

    Are the correct questions being asked to gain knowledge, versus declare personal opinions that lead down avenues of endless debate, denial, redirection, and rebuttal?

    In the pursuit of knowledge and truth, is one open to ideas outside the current spectrum of understand and locus of control?

    Ah, but, if one does not want to hear anything to the contrary and uses debating as a tactic to continue a never-ending argument as a means of self-assertion of beliefs, then is the truth really the object of intent?

    Or, is the object of intent to further convince others of things already believed that have no chance of deviation despite any evidence to the contrary?

    Such formiddible techniques of persuasion when truth is nebulous. But is it?

  • Contrarius mid-state, TN
    Oct. 2, 2013 8:11 a.m.

    @EternalPerspective --

    "who are you trying to convince with a litany of details, yourself or others? "

    I'm not actually trying to convince anyone. I'm simply pointing out the many and obvious flaws in your arguments.

    And since you haven't answered any of my rebuttals, I see that I've succeeded.

    ;-)

  • EternalPerspective Eldersburg, MD
    Oct. 2, 2013 9:04 a.m.

    Contrarius

    Flaws or just one set of opinions based on what you know to date concerning history and other areas of worldly study?

    Faith is not based on what can be quantified by the physical senses or those temporal objects humanity views as measurable. Does that make it less true?

    So, if I were to answer your questions, it would create much dialog that is analogous with comparing apples to oranges. Where would we then go from there?

    There is no purpose in making a case to someone who is adamantly opposed to the very foundation of another's belief system. Hence, we have an impasse...

    Until God prepares you...that which is quantifiable by the physical world will always supersede the pursuit of spiritual truths. The latter only comes with faith and preconditions that permit truth to be given by God.

    If one wants to know the truth about this topic and many others pertaining to the existence, purity, and immutability of God's laws, they simply need to ask God directly in all humility, sincerity, and intent and act upon what is given. But only God knows of this state, so seek and ye shall find...

  • Contrarius mid-state, TN
    Oct. 2, 2013 9:29 a.m.

    @EternalPerspective --

    "Flaws or just one set of opinions based on what you know to date concerning history and other areas of worldly study?"

    You are welcome to your own opinions. But you are not welcome to your own "facts" -- and when your opinions are logically contradictory, they will justifiably be questioned.

    Faith, whether objectively verifiable or not, should always maintain internal consistency. If it doesn't, then you need to question that faith long and hard.

  • Ranch Here, UT
    Oct. 3, 2013 2:27 p.m.

    Jeff says:

    "Ancient Greece and Rome accepted recreational homosexuality but demanded heterosexuality in marriage. China survived because of heterosexual marriages."

    Nope.

    At least in ancient Rome same sex couples did marry. There are records of these marriages.

    No nation has EVER survived because of "heterosexual marriage". They've survived because their inhabitants had sex, which in turn often produced children (but not always). Marriage is not necessary to reproduce.

  • Ranch Here, UT
    Oct. 3, 2013 2:30 p.m.

    @Eternal Perspective;

    You're first going to have to prove the existence of your god and that what you say he said is actually what he said BEFORE you can impose your beliefs in him on others.