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Judge strikes down Michigan's ban on gay marriage

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  • firstamendment Lehi, UT
    March 22, 2014 2:30 a.m.

    Sad that Government by and for the People is perishing from the earth. Gays can already be monogamous, love, and so on. There is no reason to make voters and tax payers to promote homoesxduality and legally enforce relationships that really aren't crucial to our survival.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    March 22, 2014 7:17 a.m.

    Michigan joins Utah and a growing number of other states on the front lines in the defense of marriage equality.

  • Bob A. Bohey Marlborough, MA
    March 22, 2014 7:52 a.m.

    Soon the sun will rise and set on a truly free America. When that day comes people who walk the walk of real justice and love for their fellow man will realize that a truly righteous thing has been done in granting equal rights for all.

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    March 22, 2014 8:38 a.m.

    In many ways the headline is misleading. Michigan did not ban same-sex marriage, I created a man/woman definition of marriage that was inherent in the understanding of marriage as a complete union of two people. Only man/woman sex can have a unifying purpose and the ability to make two into one flesh. The successful creation of a child, or even the intention of creating a child is not needed for this unifying to create two into one flesh, but other sexual actions and non-sexual actions do not have this outcome.

    This is another case where we see someone who clearly was an activist judge. He excluded from testifying in the trial a person with a degree in philosophy who has written "What is Marriage: Man, Woman a defense" and formulated a comprehensive defense of the man/woman definition of marriage. This exclusion was justified on no logical grounds, and was basically just judicial action to stack the deck for the desired outcome.

  • george of the jungle goshen, UT
    March 22, 2014 8:57 a.m.

    I have an issue with the abuse of power. Of, By and For the People. When the people spoke with vote. Haw does a guy not respect that. Just because he has a position of respect doesn't make him respectable. Respect is earned.

  • Furry1993 Ogden, UT
    March 22, 2014 9:10 a.m.

    Once again the Constitutional protection and guarantee of equal civil rights prevails. Good.

  • koseighty The Shire, UT
    March 22, 2014 9:48 a.m.

    The whole point of our Constitution and civil rights is to protect us all (even minorities) from a tyranny of a majority.

    From the judge's ruling:

    "Many Michigan residents have religious convictions whose principles govern the conduct of their daily lives and inform their own viewpoints about marriage. Nonetheless, these views cannot strip other citizens of the guarantees of equal protection under the law."

    And later:

    "Today’s decision is a step in that direction, and affirms the enduring principle that regardless of whoever finds favor in the eyes of the most recent majority, the guarantee of equal protection must prevail."

    There have been 39 federal rulings on marriage equality since Windsor. ALL of those judges — Reagan, Bush, and Obama appointed — have ruled in favor of equality. (This "activist judge" was a Reagan appointee.) The score stands 39-0 in favor of equal protection under the law.

  • Understands Math Lacey, WA
    March 22, 2014 9:51 a.m.

    "This is another case where we see someone who clearly was an activist judge."

    Since the Supreme Court's Windsor decision last year, there have been cases dealing with marriage equality in New Mexico, Utah, Oklahoma, Virginia, Texas, Kentucky, Tennessee, Illinois, and now Michigan.

    The side of equality has won every single one of the cases. A perfect record.

    Are you maintaining that every single one of these judges was an activist?

  • 10CC Bountiful, UT
    March 22, 2014 10:08 a.m.

    It would be good to get the precise predictions of America's demise from those who cry the sky is really falling, this time, for reals.

    How exactly will hetero marriage and society be damaged?

    If there's one thing Americans are good at, it's exclaiming about our imminent demise, at numerous points throughout our history.

    Granting women the right to vote was going to ruin the Republic, same for granting civil rights to minorities. The list is pretty expansive, but somehow, we're still here, still quite free, doing pretty well, actually.

    If you believe the US is risking our demise by letting these other people get married, you need to go back and study our history - including Patrick Henry's passionate warning about how the US Constitution itself was a terrible development for freedom - and either conclude:

    1. We've never really been free, it's all been a façade.

    2. We've sailed through numerous changes just fine.

  • Baccus0902 Leesburg, VA
    March 22, 2014 10:09 a.m.

    @ John Pack Lambert of Michigan
    Ypsilanti, MI

    You wrote: " This is another case where we see someone who clearly was an activist judge."

    Interesting assumption, However, The Washington Post published this morning: "Friedman, 70, who was appointed by President Ronald Reagan and took senior status in 2009, said the state’s defense of the law was misguided. “In attempting to define this case as a challenge to ‘the will of the people,’ state defendants lost sight of what this case is truly about: people.”

    Wow!!! The Saint Patron of all Republicans, the infallible Ronald Reagan appointed this judge who now.....has become and activist judge ( suspense music in the background) the end is definitely coming.

    @ Bob A. Bohey
    Marlborough, MA
    You wrote:
    "Soon the sun will rise and set on a truly free America. When that day comes people who walk the walk of real justice and love for their fellow man will realize that a truly righteous thing has been done in granting equal rights for all".

    Thank you for your beautiful thought!!!

  • Values Voter LONG BEACH, CA
    March 22, 2014 11:29 a.m.

    This decision spells real trouble for Utah's prospects in the "Kitchen v. Herbert" appeal.

    Dr. Mark Regnerus, who is cited prominently in the state of Utah briefs, was put on the stand and did not do well. The judge, a Reagan appointee, wrote this concerning the state of Michigan's star witness "The Court finds Regnerus’s testimony entirely unbelievable and not worthy of serious consideration."

    As for John Pack Lambert's characterization of the judge's dismissal of Sherif Girgis -- actually, judge Friedman was quite complimentary, saying Girgis would probably eventually be a good witness, but as a graduate student, he was "still having his papers graded by someone else". This begs the question of why Michigan didn't put Princeton's Robert George on the stand, one of the professors in a position to be grading Girgis' papers.

  • Utefan60 Salt Lake City, UT
    March 22, 2014 11:31 a.m.

    Of course when a judge trained in the law and knowledgeable of the Constitution upholds that Constitution, it is then said they are an "activist judge" appointed by Obama. This is getting tiresome. These judges are not activists, they are upholding the Constitution that they are sworn to uphold. Voters do not have the right, and never have had the right to take away another citizens rights! This is yet another victory for the Constitution of the United States. Those who scream otherwise are not educated about the rights this Constitution gives ALL of it's citizens!

  • gmlewis Houston, TX
    March 22, 2014 2:56 p.m.

    With the current state of our corrupted laws, there was really no other decision that could be made. Next stop: legalized suicide. Why do I link these two choices? Because the only people hurt by Same Sex Marriage are themselves. The injury will not be apparent until they enter the Spirit World, where we shall have a bright recollection of all our guilt.

    Those with Same Sex Attraction have their moral agency to marry someone of their own sex, if they choose. Sometimes the law protects us from our choices, but most of the time we are free to pursue our own folly.

  • Baccus0902 Leesburg, VA
    March 22, 2014 4:25 p.m.

    gmlewis
    Houston, TX

    " The injury will not be apparent until they enter the Spirit World, where we shall have a bright recollection of all our guilt."

    My friend, careful what you wish for.

    LGBT and SSM marriage doesn't hurt anyone. Your bigotry, the physical and psychological violence against those who are different to you hurt millions.

  • Utefan60 Salt Lake City, UT
    March 22, 2014 5:04 p.m.

    To gmlewis

    What if we enter the spirit world and The Muslims were right and Christians are infidels? When someone judges some one else that goes against every Christian scripture. Or do you know for sure how everyone is going to be judged? I doubt it!

  • Avenue Vernal, UT
    March 22, 2014 10:29 p.m.

    @Baccus0902
    It seems to me that you are comparing certain religions, including my own, to bigotry. My, and I'm sure many others', opposition of SSM is not founded out of bigotry, but out of the belief that marriage between a man and a woman is a sacred union and the only marriage acceptable to God. gmlewis was simply stating his or her religious beliefs, and you have no reason to call him/her a bigot for that.

  • Stormwalker Cleveland , OH
    March 23, 2014 12:00 p.m.

    In the movie "Thank You For Smoking" a father teaches his son to debate.

    The son declares chocolate ice cream is his favorite and the best. The father responds "I need more than chocolate, and for that matter I need more than vanilla. I believe we need freedom and choice when it comes to our ice-cream, and that is the definition of liberty."

    The son says, "you didn't prove I'm wrong." The father points to an imaginary audience, "I'm not after you. I'm after them."

    The proponents of "traditional marriage" argued for religious chocolate ice cream. They talked about "biblical marriage" but missed Bible marriages being business transactions between two men that included multiple wives and concubines.

    They argued for the "sanctity of marriage," while ignoring divorce rates of their congregations and party leaders.

    They argued for "protecting children" while ignoring children in gay families.

    SSM proponents talked about decades long relationships without legal standing; gay parents raising children and adopting special needs children; equal protection under the law.

    The public realized we can have chocolate ice cream and vanilla. And we can have marriage equality.

  • gmlewis Houston, TX
    March 23, 2014 12:34 p.m.

    Utefan60: You might have noticed that I said that "we will have a bright recollection of all our guilt" in the Spirit World. Everyone, including myself, will recognize in the Spirit World our follies in mortal life. By focusing on the Spirit World, I deliberately avoided discussion of the Final Judgement, which occurs much later. I cannot possibly know how I or anyone else will be judged, because we will have time in the Spirit World to complete our repentence.

    However, Same Sex Marriage is a folly that will just complicate things during that time.

  • equal protection Cedar, UT
    March 23, 2014 1:06 p.m.

    @ Avenue ".. I'm sure many others', opposition of SSM is not founded out of bigotry, but out of the belief that marriage between a man and a woman is a sacred union and the only marriage acceptable to God"

    A few decades ago many believed that God separated the races for a reason, and justified that belief to oppose interracial marriages. They argued that this belief was not bigotry, it was was what God wanted.

    History demonstrates very well the use of God to justify bigotry. It didn't work then, and it should not be allowed to work today.

  • Values Voter LONG BEACH, CA
    March 23, 2014 4:17 p.m.

    gmlewis wrote:
    "The injury will not be apparent until they enter the Spirit World, where we shall have a bright recollection of all our guilt."

    and

    "Everyone, including myself, will recognize in the Spirit World our follies in mortal life."

    and

    "By focusing on the Spirit World, I deliberately avoided discussion of the Final Judgement, which occurs much later."

    These are eccentric religious beliefs most likely acquired as part of an intense childhood indoctrination. While I find them fascinating, I am very clear in my own belief that gmlewis is mistaken. There are simply no good reasons to believe any of the above propositions, let alone to organize one's life around them. Yet I would never try to induce someone such as gmlewis to abandon those beliefs, nor would I try to prevent him/her from living according to those beliefs. I accept that they probably give him/her comfort and meaning and I'm fine with that. I certainly would never seek to outlaw them.

    Please understand, though, in a pluralistic society, religious beliefs alone, can never be the basis on which to formulate secular laws.

  • Baccus0902 Leesburg, VA
    March 23, 2014 6:12 p.m.

    @ Avenue
    Vernal, UT

    @Baccus0902
    " was simply stating his or her religious beliefs, and you have no reason to call him/her a bigot for that."

    My dear Avenue, I am not ignoring your comment. Several hours ago I answered your post unfortunately the DN censorship felt my comment was 'dubious" in something and put it on
    "hold". Let's see igf this fares better.
    What I answered was the definition of bigotry and the difference between belief and action.
    However, despite the fact that I didn't insulted you. I answered your statement, something was considered out of place. As usual as is the case when we mix religion and reason, id religion has the power will silence reason...history repeats itself.

    Avenue, by the way. My answer stated my support for your right to disagree with SSM and my disagreement with forcing religious beliefs through legislation. Nothing too fancy or complicated but obviously dangerous :)

  • A Quaker Brooklyn, NY
    March 23, 2014 6:26 p.m.

    @Avenue: You said, "@Baccus0902, It seems to me that you are comparing certain religions, including my own, to bigotry."

    That's not what he said. It's time each of us accepts personal responsibility for the way we treat others.

    The Christian religion is not bigoted. Jesus loves all, accepts all, and tells you to "Love thy neighbor, as thyself." It's YOUR choice to ignore this. If you, or the leaders you follow, make a CHOICE to dig into the Old Testament and root around for an EXCUSE to shun, persecute and ostracize our gay and lesbian neighbors, that's your responsibility, not His. There are 613 commandments (mitzvot) in the Old Testament. Jesus simplified this to two principles for us. Love God and Love thy neighbor.

    If you can't bother to do that, you'd best get busy following those other 612 commandments you've been ignoring. You can start with Leviticus 15:19-30 and 20:18.

  • gmlewis Houston, TX
    March 23, 2014 7:51 p.m.

    @Values Voter: "These are eccentric religious beliefs most likely acquired as part of an intense childhood indoctrination."

    Nope, they were acquired as an adult. I didn't know a thing about the Plan of Salvation as a child. I'm glad you find these beliefs fascinating; I do, too.

  • Utefan60 Salt Lake City, UT
    March 24, 2014 7:18 a.m.

    gmlewis I am relying on my six generations of Mormon background. First and foremost is that we are to obey the laws of the land. It never said we have to agree with them. We can believe whatever we want but we are to be subject to the law.

    My religious beliefs are my own, but I strongly believe that all citizens should be allowed civil rights as citizens of this country. My religious beliefs should not enter into condemnation of those who believe differently than I do. I support the right to all citizens living with secular laws that uphold the constitution. Using my religious beliefs to condemn others is not a value that my Mormon forbearers taught. So when people start to tell others that they will be judged in the afterlife, I take offense.

    Man things I personally may not believe in but I'm not going to push my beliefs on others. It seems this is what the Eagle Forum has been doing for years and it is back firing on them now.

  • A Quaker Brooklyn, NY
    March 24, 2014 11:04 a.m.

    I think I've noticed a bias in Deseret News' headlines. When a single judge sitting at trial rules in favor of something that DN favors, or at least doesn't oppose, the headline reads, "Court Rules...," expressing full respect for the court as an institution, being more than the decision of that single judge who made it.

    But, when a similarly-comprised court rules in such a way to irritate DN, your headline expresses no such respect for the court, diminishing it to just some decision of one man, "Judge Strikes Down ...."

    I'm not saying you shouldn't be allowed to express your opinion, or even your contempt, but if you want to be professional about it, put that on the editorial pages and try to report the news itself in a consistent manner.

  • gmlewis Houston, TX
    March 24, 2014 2:11 p.m.

    @Utefan60:
    I didn't say that Same Sex Marriage should be legally denied. I said that those who enter in to it on earth will encounter complications in the Spirit World. There is nothing judgemental about that. I have had friends over the past 45 years who were or are attracted to their same sex. It isn't my place to judge them, nor am I qualified to do so. But I do know that those who legally bind themselves to someone of their same sex in mortality is going to encounter additional problems in the Spirit World. That is a fact which you are perfectly free to disagree with.

  • A Quaker Brooklyn, NY
    March 24, 2014 2:47 p.m.

    @gmlewis: I humbly suggest that you need to learn the difference between fact and belief. No one alive has seen the spirit world of which you speak. It may be a fact that someone imagined such a world for you, but merely describing something doesn't prove its existence.

    True, there is much in spiritual allegorical fiction that we can learn from, but let's not confuse that with reality. In fact, much of the Bible's description of judgement after life speaks about what is in someone's heart, and not the petty violations of commission or omission that make up much of our lives. Paul explains in Romans 14 why a Christian's heart is more important than verbatim Old Testament law.

    We on Earth are not qualified to judge the moral totality of a person's life. That is reserved unto God. And there are other warnings that the judgemental shall be judged harshly themselves, for the lack of love in their hearts, lack of hospitality, and for their unkind words and acts.

    If you want a pleasant afterlife, be more loving in this one.

  • Owen Heber City, UT
    March 24, 2014 3:14 p.m.

    @ gmlewis -- As someone who learned about the Plan since I was born more than 55 years ago, I don't know that those who legally bind themselves to someone of the same sex in mortality is going to encounter additional problems in the Spirit World. And neither do you.

    That is a fact you are perfectly free to disagree with. But doing so puts you at odds with your own religion, which relies on continuous revelation on many great and important things. Our founders taught we don't know a tiny fraction about the afterlife and that those minds unwilling to accept change "will fly to peaces like glass as soon as any thing Comes that is Contrary to their traditions ..."

  • koseighty The Shire, UT
    March 24, 2014 6:24 p.m.

    A Quaker said:
    "And there are other warnings that the judgemental shall be judged harshly themselves, for the lack of love in their hearts, lack of hospitality, and for their unkind words and acts."

    This. A thousand times this. Interesting you should mention hospitality in your list. Jewish tradition teaches that the sin of Sodom and Gamorrah was their treatment of the poor and strangers. Lot proved himself worthy by taking the strangers (angels) in and offering them food, water, wine and shelter. Never did it have anything to do with homosexuality as the Christians and Muslems would (much) later claim.

    As Ezekiel said, "Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy." (Ezekiel 16:49)

    Treat others as you would be treated — still the best way to judge any situation.

  • Miss Piggie Phoenix, AZ
    March 24, 2014 10:02 p.m.

    @10CC:
    "How exactly will hetero marriage and society be damaged?"

    Try this for a possibility... If marriage goes beyond one/man, one/woman the door has to be opened for marriages of any and all relationship combinations that can be imagined. This could include incest, polygamy, children, and even a bunch of friends of all sexes deciding to tie a common knot. At which time marriage will become meaningless and will more than likely disappear. Those who interpret the law saying SSM should be allowed cannot stop there unless they are willing to foster discriminatory action.

    @Baccus0902:L
    "LGBT and SSM marriage doesn't hurt anyone."

    The issue is not about hurting anyone. The issue is about preserving the institution of marriage as it appears God intended. If you can show that God intended SSM, please provide the cites.

    "Your bigotry, the physical and psychological violence against those who are different to you hurt millions."

    It's not the poster's violence. It's God's who tells us that 'vengeance is Mine.' Walking on thin ice for momentary pleasures might not be very smart.

  • wrz Phoenix, AZ
    March 24, 2014 10:38 p.m.

    @equal protection:
    "A few decades ago many believed that God separated the races for a reason, and justified that belief to oppose interracial marriages. They argued that this belief was not bigotry, it was was what God wanted."

    God seems to have wanted alotta things that man has ignored using free-agency. Doesn't mean that God is wrong or has changed Her mind.

  • Incite Full Layton, UT
    March 25, 2014 7:50 a.m.

    Foolish Michiganians! How dare you think you could make your own laws!

  • Kalindra Salt Lake City, Utah
    March 25, 2014 3:22 p.m.

    @ Incite: You really should read the Judge's decision. From pages 29 and 30:

    "The popular origin of the MMA does nothing to insulate the provision from constitutional
    scrutiny. As Justice Robert H. Jackson once wrote, "... [t]he very purpose of a Bill of Rights was to withdraw certain subjects from the vicissitudes of political controversy, to place them beyond the reach of majorities and officials and to establish them as legal principles to be applied by the courts. One’s right to life, liberty, and property, to free speech, a free press, freedom of worship and assembly, and other fundamental rights may not be submitted to vote; they depend on the outcome of no elections.""

    "The Court is not aware of any legal authority that entitles a ballot-approved measure to special deference in the event it raises a constitutional question. On the contrary, 'the Supreme Court has clearly stated that if . . . an enactment violates the U.S. Constitution - whether passed by the people or their representatives - judicial review is necessary to preserve the rule of law . . . [t]he electorate cannot order a violation of the Due Process or Equal Protection Clauses by referendum or otherwise, ...'"

  • Jimmytheliberal Salt Lake City, UT
    March 26, 2014 12:48 p.m.

    @gmlewis...Your post referencing "The Spirit World" indicates to me that you assume everyone is of Mormon faith. Is that correct? Do you truly believe that anyone outside of your faith actually cares about what is to happen in this "Spirit World"?