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Richard Davis: On gay marriage, court shouldn't repeat abortion mistakes

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  • Really??? Kearns, UT
    March 27, 2013 6:44 a.m.

    So, you are stating that it should be up to each individual state to determine whether or not it is legal to discriminate against their neighbors. I get it, gays make up such a small percentage of the general population, so they really don't have a say in their civil rights. We don't want to upset the majority now, do we, because granting all the same rights to marry the adult they

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    March 27, 2013 7:12 a.m.

    I happen to disagree with this article.

    Unlike the abortion issue, Americans are fast accepting that GLBT Americans should be treated equally in marriage; in just a few short years, a majority of Americans now support same sex couple's rights to marry and that number is only going to continue to grow as older, more obstinate Americans move on to the next life and the younger generation moves into their place.

    Abortion is a completely different type of issue.

  • Really??? Kearns, UT
    March 27, 2013 7:50 a.m.

    My first message got cut of, but I see that most understand my intent.

    Teachers have a difficult enough time teaching kids to respect one another regardless of their differences. We need to grow up as a society and teach respect for all citizens by example. It's time we stop marginalizing people who don't fit into our narrow definition of perfection.

  • Roland Kayser Cottonwood Heights, UT
    March 27, 2013 8:04 a.m.

    Regardless of the court's decision, gay marriage will be legal in the U.S. before too long. People in their thirties and under support gay marriage by a two-to-one ratio. In twenty years, when their generation is running the show, they will make gay marriage legal everywhere. An overwhelming majority of the public will demand it.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    March 27, 2013 8:13 a.m.

    Before deciding on "who" is allowed to marry, wouldn't it be better to first agree on "what" marriage is?

    The Lord's Prophets have said: "We, the First Presidency and the Council of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, solemnly proclaim that marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God and that the family is central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children."

    What is "equality"? Is a man prohibited from marrying a woman? Is a woman prohibited from marrying a man? Is there any inequality?

    We have laws to protect society. The easiest test of any law is to simply ask, "What would happen if everyone did what I want to do?" If society would suffer, then my "wants" and "desires" need to be re-evaluated. It is easy to see that society would fail if everyone served their sexual needs by having sexual relations with someone of the same sex.

    God, no man, defined marriage.

    There is total equality within that definition.

    Society would crumble if marriage were redefined.

    The decision that must be reached is clear.

  • KJB1 Eugene, OR
    March 27, 2013 8:52 a.m.

    Mike,

    You may consider them "the Lord's Prophets" who are speaking for "God", but to everybody who isn't Mormon, they're just one religion out of many. Why should they get to dictate secular law for everyone?

  • Noodlekaboodle Poplar Grove, UT
    March 27, 2013 8:56 a.m.

    @Mike Richards
    I'm confused how society would crumble. Gay people have been around since.....forever. Gay people that are alive today are already living as couples. It's not like straight men would all of the sudden wake up and want to be with other men(same with the ladies). Gay people are already allowed to live the lifestyle they chose. Why not let them legally connect their lives, the only difference between banning and allowing gay marriage is the legal rights. The gay people who act married would be allowed to get married. How on earth does this affect your life in ANY way shape or form?

  • jonnyboy Orem, UT
    March 27, 2013 9:09 a.m.

    Mike Richards, society would be worse off if everyone decided to make bicycles, so maybe we should not allow people to make bicycles. (dont you love reductio ad absurdum?) This is the problem with Kant's universalization requirement...there are very few things that would be good to have everyone do. Also the universalization requirement leads to other obviously wrong answers. It would be bad for everyone to get divorced so nobody should get divorced and women should stay in abusive relationships.

  • The Skeptical Chymist SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    March 27, 2013 9:24 a.m.

    @Mike Richards

    I have never heard such a ridiculous argument as your statement: The easiest test of any law is to simply ask, "What would happen if everyone did what I want to do?"

    I'm a chemist. What would happen if everyone did what I want to do? If everyone decided to become a chemist, we would have total societal collapse. No farmers, no bankers (ok, that might be a good thing :) ), no lawyers, you name it.

    Your test of what is good for a society is ludicrous.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    March 27, 2013 10:19 a.m.

    The Skeptical Chymist,

    Mike Richard's test is not ludicrous but is a rather standard part of ethical decision making.

    Your post applied the test to non-moral decisions. There is no morality in choosing to be a chemist over a banker or a farmer rather than a lawyer. Those are preferences and are also things that (clearly) would not work in a society that has division of labor.

    The application of the test is for ethical dilemmas. Should we allow folks to do X and, if we do, what would be the ramifications if everyone in society engaged in behavior X? (assuming we cannot hold the choice to just a few "select" people whom we would trust with the decision).

    For example, if the behavior is murder, the effects are clearly negative so it should be forbidden (and no, I am not equating murder and same-sex marriage - just using a moral choice with an obvious negative outcome).

    Reference employment, the moral question fitting the test would be "should everyone have the same profession?" and the answer would clearly be no because it would destroy society.

  • The Skeptical Chymist SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    March 27, 2013 10:44 a.m.

    @Twin Lights

    If I accept your restriction of Mike Richard's test to moral decisions, let me propose another counterexample.

    Is it moral to choose not to have children? I would submit that this is a very personal choice, that the state should permit the individuals involved to make. Some may question their ability to be good parents (and many who fail to ask this question should do so, in my opinion). They should have the right to avoid parenthood.

    According to your (and Mike Richard's) test, it would be wrong to permit people to make the choice not to have children, because if everyone made this choice, where would society stand?

    The test of what would happen if everyone made this choice, even when restricted to moral decisions, is still a ludicrous test. As regards moral decisions, I believe in giving individuals the maximum liberty possible, so long as there is no harm to others and the liberties of others are not infringed.

  • jonnyboy Orem, UT
    March 27, 2013 10:42 a.m.

    Twin Lights please see my comment on why Kant's universalization criteria is problematic

  • Pagan Salt Lake City, UT
    March 27, 2013 11:00 a.m.

    Why should gay marriage become legal?

    'Kept From a Dying Partners Bedside' - By TARA PARKER-POPE - NY Times - 05/18/09

    '...the couples had prepared for a medical emergency, creating living wills, advanced directives and power-of-attorney documents.'

    And yet, even with Living Will, Medical Directive, Power of attorney and emergency contact information...

    Janice Langbehn was kept from the bedside of her dying partner, Lisa Pond.

    They were together for 18 years.

  • Pagan Salt Lake City, UT
    March 27, 2013 10:57 a.m.

    Reported by our own Deseret news:

    Gay Ca. veteran sues over denial of benefits’ – By Jessica Gresko – AP – Published by Dsnews – 02/01/12

    ‘The lawsuit announced in Washington involves a 12-year veteran of the Army, Tracey Cooper-Harris. After leaving the Army she married Maggie Cooper-Harris in California in 2008. Two years later, Tracey Cooper-Harris was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, and she has received disability benefits through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs as a result. But her application for additional money and benefits that married veterans are entitled to was denied.’ – article

  • Pagan Salt Lake City, UT
    March 27, 2013 10:57 a.m.

    More examples, of very much UNequal treatment:

    'Gay Americans pay MORE taxes for FEWER rights' - By Suze Orman – CNN – 02/25/13

    'We all have 83-year-old Edith Windsor to thank for in pushing the issue of same-sex marriage equality on to the national front. Edie and her partner Thea were together for 40 years. How many marriages do you know that have lasted that long? But when Thea died in 2009, Edie was hit with a $363,000 federal estate tax bill because as a same-sex couple they were not eligible for the unlimited marital deduction. Are we really a nation that says it is fair and just to demand Edie pay a $363,000 penalty because she is gay?'

  • cavetroll SANDY, UT
    March 27, 2013 11:11 a.m.

    @Mike Richards,

    So you're ok with the federal government deciding what marriage is? This is definitely contrary to your usual posts about limiting the federal government. Wher ein the US Constitution does it say anything about marriage? Or is the consitutional argument reserved for when it suits your agenda?

    And why should the government of any person have to abide by what some leader of a small religion declares? I couldn't care less what the "prophet" has to say on anything. The majority of Americans would probably agree with me.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    March 27, 2013 11:23 a.m.

    There are only two choices whenever a question arises. How we choose defines us.

    God defined marriage. Some people would allow government to re-define marriage. Which choice do you make? Do you stand with God or against Him?

    Some people would limit birth. God told us to multiply and replenish the earth. Do you stand with God or do you stand against Him?

    It's very simple. Those who reject God have told themselves that they can make the rules and that they can force others to accept their rules. They forget that rules were given to us to keep us from heartache and from misery. Yes, they can do whatever they want, but they can't escape the consequences of those choices.

    Marriage has a purpose. It is not to save money on taxes. It is not to let someone into a hospital room. It is not a cloak to hide our actions from public scrutiny. It is a divinely appointed ordinance that is used to procreate and to provide for those whom we have welcomed into the world.

    It needs no redefinition. God does not need our oversight.

  • glendenbg Salt Lake City, UT
    March 27, 2013 11:30 a.m.

    Mike's question is a good one: "What is marriage?" I'd answer by exploring the reasons people marry.

    I believe most people marry because they love the person they're marrying, they want to make a commitment to each other. Many couples plan to have children, but not all. Some couples want children and can't have them.

    As a practical matter, marriage isn't required for love or commitment or family formation. It doesn't prevent divorce or the end of relationships. Why get married? The short answer is that is provides a host of legal benefits and protections, such as inheritance of property and medical power of attorney, both of which can be incredibly important.

    Mike offers a religious rationale for marriage. If one is LDS, his argument is probably convincing and compelling. But most people aren't LDS; something like 20 to 25% of Americans claim no faith at all. Many of them get married. Many people of faith never marry. Marriage may or may not be divinely ordained, but as a social institution, it serves certain legal purposes that apply or should apply to all couples.

  • Noodlekaboodle Poplar Grove, UT
    March 27, 2013 12:02 p.m.

    @Mike Richards
    That is what LDS people believe about marriage. Which is fine, you are allowed to believe whatever you feel like. However, that isn't what the government believes about marriage, a government marriage license is a contract, that affords rights regarding another persons life, between consenting adults. What you are proposing Mike is to force LDS(others want to force similar christian values)onto the general population. The way marriage works according to the government currently is that a man and a woman who aren't related can get married. Really old people can marry really young people, different races can marry, you can get married and have 12 kids, or have no kids. Your church isn't(and shouldn't) be forced to recognize any marriage you don't think is valid. But the government isn't your religion, and shouldn't be enforcing your values.

  • Lagomorph Salt Lake City, UT
    March 27, 2013 1:04 p.m.

    Mike Richards: "Marriage has a purpose... It is a divinely appointed ordinance that is used to procreate and to provide for those whom we have welcomed into the world."

    I will grant you that one purpose of marriage is to encourage procreation and the nurturing of the children produced. I will even grant that it is a primary purpose. But it not the ONLY purpose. Why else would the overwhelmingly LDS Utah legislature make the INability to reproduce a mandatory legal requirement for certain couples to marry? That law was certainly not intended to promote procreation, yet it is on the books. It shows that there are other legitimate public policy purposes to marriage besides procreation.

    However, let's assume your case is true, that the only purpose of marriage is to improve the welfare of children. Then you are ignoring the many children of gay couples (40,000 in California alone, according to reports of the Prop 8 case, or about 1% of all children according to my back-of-the-envelope estimates). Your opposition to gay marriage condemns those children to the many documented diminished outcomes that attend to children without married parents. Is that good for children?

  • Poqui Murray, UT
    March 27, 2013 1:11 p.m.

    matrimony (n.)
    c.1300, from Old French matremoine "matrimony, marriage" and directly from Latin matrimonium "wedlock, marriage," from matrem (nominative mater) "mother" (see mother (n.1)) + -monium, suffix signifying "action, state, condition."

    Our own language defines matrimony as "the making of a mother."

  • J Thompson SPRINGVILLE, UT
    March 27, 2013 1:22 p.m.

    I think that Mike Richards clearly defined the issue. Either God is master or man is master. Which is it? Whether you believe in Mike's theology is not the issue. Either we just "happened" or we were "created". If we just "happened", then no law can constrain us. We are our own masters. Might makes right. If we were "created", then our Creator has the right to give us direction and define words.

    I can think of no reason to take God out of the equation. Anyone with any kind of statistical background knows that the probability of life, as we have it, is impossible. Anyone with any understanding of Darwinism would be able to see that the probability of a man "evolving" at exactly the same time as a woman evoles, so that procreation could happen is statistically impossible, and then to say that that exact impossibility happened for every species on this earth automatically defeats Darwinism.

    As Mike said, we have two choices. We can rebel against our creator, or we can accept him as the only one qualified to define "marriage". It really is logically simple, straining at gnats, notwithstanding.

  • GZE SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    March 27, 2013 1:58 p.m.

    Mike Richards, Government redefined marriage a very long time ago. Legally, marriage is a contract.

    Each couple defines marriage in their own ways. No two marriages are identical.

    You want us all to live according to God's definition, but various religions can't even agree on what that is.

    Also, I don't believe that anyone wants to force straights into gay marriage. That's ludicrous - almost as ludicrous as the people who say there is marriage equality because we are all free to marry a consenting adult of the other gender.

  • nonceleb Salt Lake City, UT
    March 27, 2013 2:20 p.m.

    The problem with upholding Prop 8 and striking down DOMA is a that a gay couple married in a state where it is legal lose all their legal rights and protections when moving to a state that has a ban on same-sex marriage.

  • 4601 Salt Lake City, UT
    March 27, 2013 2:30 p.m.

    If anyone can marry for love, are polyandry a polygamy soon to follow?

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    March 27, 2013 2:47 p.m.

    The Skeptical Chymist

    It does not necessarily work as a decision making tool for individuals. Rather it is a societal test for what should be allowed or prohibited. No, no one should be forced to have children (as the test would also reveal) but as a societal norm, favoring having children wins the moral nod as if all do, we continue, if none do, we do not.

    No moral/ethical test (of which I am aware) works in all situations. I am simply noting that this is not a ludicrous test unless fed ludicrous questions. It is one tool we may use to help determine a moral course for our society.

    The question of harm is specifically what is always at issue in thorny moral debates. Those proposing the change see none. Those fighting it see much. Also, each see liberties infringed upon if the change is made/not made.

    Jonnyboy,

    Again, we are using this as a tool to determine what should be prohibited, not required.

  • m.g. scott LAYTON, UT
    March 27, 2013 3:20 p.m.

    We who are LDS are just going to have to hold to the values that our leaders continue to teach us. That things like abortion, same-sex marriage, legal drugs, easy access pornography, ect. ect. ect. are now becoming commonplace, does not mean we change our values even if society does. Just because something is new or different or modern or hip does not mean it is right. I think we who are LDS are really going to see what it means to be called "a peculiar people" more than ever as things quickly change in this world. Hold to the iron rod.

  • Eric Samuelsen Provo, UT
    March 27, 2013 3:48 p.m.

    I disagree with Professor Davis in two specifics. First, I think it's likely that the Court will just conclude that the plaintiffs lack standing in the Prop 8 case. It would overturn Prop 8, without any larger repercussions. The more interesting case to me is DOMA, which clearly violates the 'full faith and credit' clause of the Constitution.
    I also think Roe was decided correctly. If there's a right to privacy (and I think there obviously is one), then the Court had no choice but to rule as they did.

  • jonnyboy Orem, UT
    March 27, 2013 4:33 p.m.

    @J Thompson...you said "If we just "happened", then no law can constrain us." This is a very contested claim in the philosophic study of practical rationality. David Gauthier has argued quite effectively in "Morals by Agreement" that it is possible to construct a theory of objective morality without a belief in God. I would recommend that book or at least his succinct article "Why Contractarianism" Both of these works quite strongly disprove your assertion that we cannot have objective morality without God.

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    March 27, 2013 4:32 p.m.

    A cogent analysis… and the comparison to Roe v Wade is, from a legal and especially political point of view, accurate.

    If we let the States (i.e., democracy) work as intended, this will be a moot issue in a few short years. If not, it will be a political football (same as abortion) for decades - polarizing and divisive.

    For those who think the Court should decide this solidly one way or the other, all I can say is be careful what you wish for.

    Let democracy work! Otherwise your rights will always be subject to the whims of nine judicial activists.

  • jonnyboy Orem, UT
    March 27, 2013 4:38 p.m.

    @Twin Lights, my example did not make a requirement. It did indeed offer a prohibition. If everyone got divorced it would be bad so we should prohibit divorce. Also, to say that the universalization principle is about prohibition and not requirement is contradictory. Prohibition is nothing but a requirement to not do something. So if a principle is meant to prohibit it inherently is a requirement.

  • J Thompson SPRINGVILLE, UT
    March 27, 2013 4:55 p.m.

    Should we stand idly by when there is great danger to society? Should we shrug our shoulders and pretend that others can change anything at anytime for any reason, and that because we believe differently, that we will not have to worry?

    Look at history!

    Look at how quickly people were torn from their homes and placed in camps because most of the world pretended that "because it didn't happen to me, it didn't happen to anyone".

    I'm not saying that the decision before the Court equates to the situation in Germany before and during WWII, but I am saying that changing the definition of marriage will fundamentally change the way that people think of themselves and of their relationship to God - from this day forward.

    When people can pretend that "government sanctioning" of a lifestyle makes moral something that has been defined by our Creator as wrong, then our society has lost all touch with its Creator. That is where the danger lies. We can only dismantle so much before we have dismantled everything of worth and are left with nothing but rubble.

  • Bebyebe UUU, UT
    March 27, 2013 5:04 p.m.

    For those arguing marriage is required by God, I don't believe in your god. I'm not a member of your religion. I'm not subject to it's rules.

    But I am a tax paying citizen of this country and am entitled to the same rights and privileges as you.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    March 27, 2013 5:15 p.m.

    Jonnyboy,

    Sorry. Let me try again. Question: Should we require all to engage in the same profession (any profession will do)? The test would immediately tell us no – that societal destruction would result.

    I am looking at it not for the decision of should bicycles be built (which is not really a moral question) but should society make a rule to require a single unified profession.

    Essentially, the test (and again, I note that NO moral test is perfect – all are just tools) simply helps us recognize if there are dangers that may be undetected in small amounts but would be devastating to society in larger amounts.

  • plainbrownwrapper Nashville, TN
    March 27, 2013 5:39 p.m.

    J Thompson -- "Look at how quickly people were torn from their homes and placed in camps because most of the world pretended that "because it didn't happen to me, it didn't happen to anyone"."

    That's a very interesting comparison you've made there. Of course, those people were torn from their homes and placed in camps because the majority thought of that minority as "less" than everyone else. They were stigmatized, demonized, and ostracized by the majority, told that they were less pure than everyone else and even sometimes told that they were evil and unnatural.

    Does that sound familiar to you in terms of our current gay marriage debate?

    It should.

  • The Skeptical Chymist SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    March 27, 2013 5:45 p.m.

    @J Thompson

    A person's choice of what god to believe in (or not) is absolutely his own choice and no one else's. The government should take no interest, one way or the other, in the individual's relationship to god. Many disagree with your concept of the creator god and his commandments, and resent your attempts to force your theology on them. I am one of them.

    Your sky-is-falling view of what will happen if we permit same-sex marriage is not very convincing. There were many who predicted the end of civilization as we know it if mixed-race marriages were permitted. We seem to have survived that just fine, and we'll survive same-sex marriages being permitted as well. I would say that our country is a much better country now that we uniformly allow mixed race marriages throughout the land. We'll be a much better country when we uniformly allow same-sex marriages throughout the land as well. I honestly don't know what you are so afraid of. If you're against same-sex marriage, by all means don't marry a person of the same sex.

  • Lagomorph Salt Lake City, UT
    March 27, 2013 6:06 p.m.

    J Thompson @1:22: "I can think of no reason to take God out of the equation..."

    I'll let the more philosophically trained tackle your first paragraph, as jonnyboy has done. However, if it is as flawed as your second you might as well go home. Your appeals to probability to debunk evolution are way off the mark. As one who actually does know a bit about Darwinism, I can assure you that the synchronous appearance of male and female is no statistical fluke, but exactly what Darwinian theory would predict.

    Refer to the Index to Creationist Claims: CB010 and CB350. You might want to check out CA001, CA008, and CA009, too.

    J Thompson @4:55: "Should we stand idly by when there is great danger to society?"

    I agree that we should absolutely not fail to act in the face of danger. I part with you on the interpretation of the danger. I see the unequal treatment of the LGBT community as a grievous wrong that needs to be corrected and a danger to society. So I will act to change the inequitable laws. OK with you?

    J Thompson @4:55: "Look at history!... placed in camps"

    Godwin.

  • L White Springville, UT
    March 27, 2013 7:16 p.m.

    Normally, I don't choose to be too serious, but a lot has been written today by a lot of people. Some of it is well-rehearsed. Some of it is meant to confuse the issue. Some of it is meant to divert from the real issue.

    A few posters got it right. They reminded us that we do not make moral rules. They reminded us that government cannot re-define what God has already defined.

    We are not all of the same religion, but we are all of the same family. At our head is our Father, who created us and gave us rules of happiness. He also warned us to beware of ourselves, of our appetites and of unchecked passions.

    There is opposition in all things. We decide which side we will take. We decide whether we will abide by eternal law or whether we will rebel against eternal law. Finding excuses to rebel seems to be in man's nature. Finding a reason to believe in the God who gave us life seems to be too great a challenge for too many.

    Giving government control over God leaves us without God and with a totalitarian government.

  • Cats Somewhere in Time, UT
    March 27, 2013 7:19 p.m.

    When tnis even has to be debated, sociefy has reached a point of degradation from which there may be no return! It's tragic.

  • Lagomorph Salt Lake City, UT
    March 27, 2013 9:10 p.m.

    Cats: "When tnis even has to be debated, sociefy has reached a point of degradation from which there may be no return! It's tragic."

    I can only assume that by "this" you are referring to the systematic exclusion of a class of people from the equal application of the protections of law and the denial of basic rights by the government. Any other interpretation would indeed be tragic.

  • wrz Pheonix, AZ
    March 27, 2013 9:27 p.m.

    @Noodlekaboodle:
    "Gay people are already allowed to live the lifestyle they chose. Why not let them legally connect their lives..."

    It's quite simple... if one aberration to traditional marriage (same-sex) is allowed, there are numerous other combinations of associations that would also (rightly) demand recognition as marriage... such as polygamy, group marriages, adult/children, siblings marrying, and (gasp) humans marrying their pets (Don't laugh... some wealthy would love to leave money to their pets after death).

    "...the only difference between banning and allowing gay marriage is the legal rights."

    That's correct. So, can you not imagine a group of people agreeing to marry each other so they all can reap the benefits of thousands of federal programs now only available to the married?

    "The gay people who act married would be allowed to get married. How on earth does this affect your life in ANY way shape or form?"

    For one, it would likely bankrupt an already bankrupt national government. It's not beyond the realm of possibilities for the residents of a whole community or town to marry each other to capitalize on federal benefits.

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    March 27, 2013 9:58 p.m.

    @Wrz – “if one aberration to traditional marriage (same-sex) is allowed, there are numerous other combinations of associations that would also (rightly) demand recognition as marriage... such as polygamy, group marriages, adult/children, siblings marrying, and (gasp) humans marrying their pets…”

    Reduction to the absurd arguments (fallacies, actually) like this sound very convincing when you’re a college freshman (or an AM talk radio host), but given a little time (hopefully by your senior year) and wisdom and they are rightly recognized as sophistry and nonsense.

    My first glimpse of this truth was when (at 14) I said I wanted to go to the mall because “all my friends were going.” My Dad smugly replied “if all your friends jumped off a cliff, would you do it too?”

    I was speechless at the time, but even then my teenage brain knew his response was ridiculous.

  • wrz Pheonix, AZ
    March 27, 2013 10:09 p.m.

    @Pagan:
    "Janice Langbehn was kept from the bedside of her dying partner, Lisa Pond. They were together for 18 years."

    If that be the case, it was their own fault. They should-a planned ahead and had a notarized document prepared covering this contingency.

    @cavetroll:
    "Wher in the US Constitution does it say anything about marriage?"

    Where in the US Constitution does it say anything about abortion...? Yet we now have a SCOTUS 'Roe vs Wade' decision.

    @glendenbg:
    "I believe most people marry because they love the person they're marrying, they want to make a commitment to each other."

    That's true... and the polygamist community recently in the news might just fall into that love/commitment category.

    "The short answer is that is provides a host of legal benefits and protections, such as inheritance of property and medical power of attorney, both of which can be incredibly important."

    Why would you wanna limit that to just two people, regardless of sexual orientation?

    @4601:
    "If anyone can marry for love, are polyandry a polygamy soon to follow?"

    Of course they are... Unfortunately, SCOTUS may not be smart enough to see this.

  • Miss Piggie Pheonix, AZ
    March 27, 2013 11:27 p.m.

    @Eric Samuelsen:
    "I also think Roe was decided correctly. If there's a right to privacy (and I think there obviously is one), then the Court had no choice but to rule as they did."

    Indeed, there is a right to privacy in the Constitution. There is also a right to 'life liberty and the pursuit of happiness...' which millions of unborn are denied.

    @jonnyboy:
    "If everyone got divorced it would be bad so we should prohibit divorce."

    Everyone is getting divorced... It now stands at about 50% nation-wide. And I think it's having an adverse effect on our society.

    @The Skeptical Chymist:
    "We'll be a much better country when we uniformly allow same-sex marriages throughout the land as well."

    Very short-sighted of you. Same sex marriage is simply the opening of the door for more weird marriage combinations until the whole ritual will eventually disappear. This might be how this great country will eventually slip over the cliff.

  • RAB Bountiful, UT
    March 28, 2013 12:10 a.m.

    No one of consequence is arguing against finding ways to grant applicable rights to gay couples. Nor is anyone of consequence arguing to have gay couples punished if they choose to commit to each other for life.

    Marriage was designed for the purpose of establishing committed parents to care for the children resulting from the union. Everyone knows this. Exceptions exist. But exceptions to a rule do not justify adding more exceptions. Some people may live when they jump of a 4-story building. It doesn't mean we change the rule and allow everyone to jump off.

    More importantly, government has no business taking sides on moral issues. Many Americans believe gay intimacy is extremely sinful. The only way government can remain neutral on the subject is to not acknowledge it. If government legalizes and recognizes gay marriage, it will be taking sides on the moral issue, announcing that the every American officially endorces, supports, and financially backs intimate gay behavior.

  • amazondoc USA, TN
    March 28, 2013 7:15 a.m.

    @wrz --

    "if one aberration to traditional marriage (same-sex) is allowed, there are numerous other combinations of associations that would also (rightly) demand recognition as marriage... "

    Once again --

    Some people are already allowed to marry men. Other people are NOT allowed to marry men. The distinction is based solely on gender. Gender discrimination is unconstitutional. Therefore, marriage discrimination is unconstitutional.


    In contrast, NOBODY is allowed to marry multiple partners. NOBODY is allowed to commit incest. NOBODY is allowed to commit bestiality. Therefore, there is no discrimination. These laws ARE constitutional.

    

Further, in re bestiality and children: neither children nor animals are capable of giving informed consent. Consent is a fundamental component of all contract law. It can not be removed from our legal system. Therefore, children and animals will never be eligible for signing marriage contracts.



    Further, in re polygamy: unlike gay marriage, polygamy has very practical dangers. Women have always had less power in society than men; therefore, it is easy to take advantage of/subjugate/abuse women in polygamous relationships -- as we have seen repeatedly in polygamous sects. Gay marriages have no such proven, concrete dangers.

  • happy2bhere LAYTON, UT
    March 28, 2013 8:24 a.m.

    Cutting through this mess of philosophy we've been reading, it would be a good question now to ask. If two people of same sex can marry due to love. Why not three or more. Wouldn't the same arguments being made in favor of same sex couples also apply to more than three. The point I'm making is, I'd like to see how marriage could be defended as only 2 people when it cannot be defended as only male/female.

  • Contrarius Lebanon, TN
    March 28, 2013 8:27 a.m.

    @happy --

    "If two people of same sex can marry due to love. Why not three or more."

    Read the post by amazondoc. The one made just before your post. That should answer your question.

  • I M LDS 2 Provo, UT
    March 28, 2013 9:05 a.m.

    ZZZZZ... Doh! Sorry, I dozed off -- over the last year, because I have been bored into a stupor by the repetition of all the same old, lame, unconvincing, arguments trying to justify the continued discrimination and IN-equality before the law that exists in our marriage statutes.

    Same sex couples, who are in every way upright US citizens and residents of States, want to be married. Nobody has yet given a good reason for denying them. NOBODY. And nobody has said anything new in the past several years.

    As the testimony before the Supreme Court continues to show, the arguments for denying equality are pathetic and lacking. Same sex marriage does NO HARM; Same sex marriage DOES provide positive value to society by 1) instantiating equality before the law and correcting historical injustice; 2) providing increased social stability for millions of Americans who are living in families headed by same sex couples; 3) reducing the convoluted (separate as well as unequal) legal machinations required of same sex couples to achieve the same financial, tax, and estate benefits as their heterosexual counterparts.

    There are NO rational arguments to the contrary, and everybody knows it.

    ...ZZZZZZ

  • happy2bhere LAYTON, UT
    March 28, 2013 10:18 a.m.

    Re: Contrarius

    It still doesn't address one of the principle issues in all of this. Peoples right to love whom they want, and adults making free choices. That there could be any negative issues with 3 or more can also be the case with just about any right we have. Look at the 2nd Amendment for instance. And up to recently NOBODY of the same sex could marry.

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    March 28, 2013 10:47 a.m.

    @J Thompson
    @Mike Richards
    South Jordan, Utah

    Marriage has a purpose....

    ============

    Very well,

    Marriage DOES have a purpose.
    Marriage is a promise and a comittment between people who love each other.
    Marriage is about shared lives, dreams, goals, hopes, aspirations, struggles, hardships, and a deep and profound friendship.
    It is about LOVE.

    It is sad that constantly degrade it and drag it through the mud by defining it strictly as SEXUAL acts?

    BTW - People procreate without marriage all the time. It is not a "requirement".

    As a Mormon - I live by those teachings, and would NEVER force to live by themany.

    If you don't want to smoke, don't.
    If you don't want to drink, don't.
    If you don't want to gamble, don't.
    If you don't want an abortion, don't.
    If you don't want to have pre-marital sex, don't.
    If you don't want to have a gay marriage, don't.

    There is nothing here taking away your Free Agency or threatening YOUR salvation or your marriage.

    Please stop promoting Lucifer's Plan by "Forcing" others by taking away their Free Agency.

  • Contrarius Lebanon, TN
    March 28, 2013 11:00 a.m.

    @happy --

    "Peoples right to love whom they want"

    Nobody is trying to prevent anyone from loving whomever they want.

    "and adults making free choices"

    "Free choices" are limited by law and the constitution.

    "That there could be any negative issues with 3 or more can also be the case with just about any right we have."

    This doesn't even make sense.

    "And up to recently NOBODY of the same sex could marry."

    Look at that earlier post again.

    Women can marry men. Men can not marry men. That is gender discrimination.

    There is no such thing as "number discrimination" anywhere in our laws or constitution.

    Furthermore -- polygamy has very real, recognized dangers in our society. For instance -- when a group of Canadian polygamists recently sued for marriage rights in Canada, British Columbia's Supreme Court ruled against them. In the court's decision, the Chief Justice noted that "women in polygamous relationships faced higher rates of domestic, physical and sexual abuse, died younger and were more prone to mental illnesses. Children from those marriages, he said, were more likely to be abused and neglected, less likely to perform well at school and often suffered from emotional and behavioral problems."

  • RFLASH Salt Lake City, UT
    March 28, 2013 11:19 a.m.

    We live in a state filled with people that are very determined to show the World who they are! They stand up for their religious values and that is great! They don't however respect the rights of gay people to do the same! They don't want to see the other side of the coin! The side that allows gay people the same religious rights that they so cherish. Gee, can you imagine a gay person actually having the nerve to believe that God created him that way! Religious freedom belongs to everyone! Because LDS people mock my relationship, doesn't make it any less important! I do have a deep belief in God and in my relationship! Nobody will take that from me. We come from among you and we have always been a part of you.How sad that you just throw us a way like you would a piece of garbage. That is what you do when you treated us like we are evil ans stupid. God would never discriminate in this way and our Savior Jesus Christ never mentioned anything, did He?

  • happy2bhere LAYTON, UT
    March 28, 2013 11:26 a.m.

    Iam not endorsing polygamy, it is just that if there were a strong argument put forth by a well funded minority, and it ended up in the courts, it may well face the same problems legislating against it that opposite sex only marriage is currently having.

    No such thing as "number discrimination?" Really? How about all the affirmative action programs that have been enacted due to number discrimination due to percieved racial discrimination, as in not enough blacks on the fire department or something.

    Furthermore, how can you dismiss the harm as well as the benefits of certain rights? My 2nd Amendment analogy was a prime example of such.

  • Contrarius Lebanon, TN
    March 28, 2013 12:03 p.m.

    @happy --

    "if there were a strong argument put forth by a well funded minority, and it ended up in the courts, it may well face the same problems legislating against it that opposite sex only marriage is currently having."

    If a polygamist group went to court, they would be rejected just as this Canadian polygamist group was. Civil rights do not supersede the safety of other citizens.

    Similarly, we don't allow human sacrifice in this country even though we do guarantee freedom of religion. There are limits on all freedoms.

    "No such thing as "number discrimination?" Really? How about all the affirmative action programs that have been enacted due to number discrimination"

    That isn't number discrimination, that's racial discrimination. There is no such thing as discrimination against a number.

    "Furthermore, how can you dismiss the harm as well as the benefits of certain rights? My 2nd Amendment analogy was a prime example of such."

    I don't even understand what you mean here. Nobody is dismissing any harms, as for instance the harms that go along with polygamy in this country. What have firearms got to do with gay marriages?

  • wrz Pheonix, AZ
    March 28, 2013 8:37 p.m.

    @amazondoc:
    "Some people are already allowed to marry men. Other people are NOT allowed to marry men. The distinction is based solely on gender."

    Women give birth, men can't... gender discrimination. Thus, to be fair to both genders, there should be a law prohibiting women from giving birth.

    "In contrast, NOBODY is allowed to marry multiple partners. NOBODY is allowed to commit incest."

    Polygamy and incest laws can be changed.

    "Further, in re bestiality and children: neither children nor animals are capable of giving informed consent."

    Both can give consent. My dog wags his tail giving consent. A three year old nods her head to give consent. What more is needed? Besides, what dangers can you conjure that marriage brings to a child?

    "It can not be removed from our legal system."

    All it takes is a vote... There are many societies who have no such laws.

    "...children and animals will never be eligible for signing marriage contracts.

"

    Children can sign an 'X.' Dogs can use an inked paw.

    "Further, in re polygamy: unlike gay marriage, polygamy has very practical dangers."

    Only because polygamists must hide from the law.

  • Pagan Salt Lake City, UT
    March 28, 2013 11:37 p.m.

    It is no wonder that those against gay marriage must typically hide their identity.

    Such open examples of bigotry, lies and ignorance would otherwise have consequence.

    Gay marriage serves a purpose. Mongamy serves a purpose, otherwise those trying to 'defend it' would have zero grounds.

    What is at stake here is the continued discrimination against LGBT Americans. They work. They love. They pay taxes. And yet...

    'Gay Americans pay MORE taxes for FEWER rights' - By Suze Orman – CNN – 02/25/13

    'We all have 83-year-old Edith Windsor to thank for in pushing the issue of same-sex marriage equality on to the national front. Edie and her partner Thea were together for 40 years. How many marriages do you know that have lasted that long? But when Thea died in 2009, Edie was hit with a $363,000 federal estate tax bill because as a same-sex couple they were not eligible for the unlimited marital deduction. Are we really a nation that says it is fair and just to demand Edie pay a $363,000 penalty because she is gay?'

    They continue, to be treated poorly.

  • amazondoc USA, TN
    March 29, 2013 5:42 a.m.

    @wrz --

    "Women give birth, men can't... gender discrimination."

    You are confusing biology with law.

    "Thus, to be fair to both genders, there should be a law prohibiting women from giving birth."

    Nope. Even if this **were** legal discrimination, discrimination issues are never solved by prohibiting anything. They are solved by **permitting** the oppressed group to **do** something. You figure out how to allow men to give birth, and I'll be right there with ya. ;-)

    "Polygamy and incest laws can be changed."

    See the multiple posts that have already discussed this for the many many reasons why gay marriages are not comparable to either polygamy or incest. You haven't successfully rebutted any of those posts yet.

    "My dog wags his tail giving consent."

    Nope. Look up the term "informed consent". It's a foundational aspect of all contract law. It can't be removed from the system.

    "what dangers can you conjure that marriage brings to a child?"

    You're kidding, right?

    "There are many societies who have no such laws."

    Show me one civilized country that does NOT have principles of informed consent inherent throughout its contract law, and then **maybe** I'll take you seriously.

  • raybies Layton, UT
    March 29, 2013 6:54 a.m.

    i agree that the supreme court should not invent a new right and foist it on the states. let the states decide. Over time if it is right, then each state and its people should be given the time to arrive at that conclusion.

    What's ironic (and little understood) about the Roe V. Wade decision is that when the courts invented a women's right to choose, that abortion laws were already popular and gaining in popularity in a majority of states. When the courts forced the issue, it radicalized the right-to-life movement.

    One wonders had that ruling been curtailed, if we'd still be debating the issue all these years later.

    Let the states work this out. Eventually whatever is the right path, will likewise fall out of this.

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    March 29, 2013 10:57 a.m.

    Raybies – “Let the states work this out. Eventually whatever is the right path, will likewise fall out of this.”

    Excellent! Perhaps because this mirrors my sentiments exactly, but very well said.

  • Ranch Here, UT
    March 29, 2013 5:00 p.m.

    @Raybies;

    Why should citizens of the United States of America have to "wait" for the states to decide that as citizens, gays deserve the same legal protections as heterosexual citizens?

    Why wait to do what is right? Do it now.