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Utah

3 gay couples want to intervene in Amendment 3 appeal

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  • worf Mcallen, TX
    Jan. 31, 2014 10:36 p.m.

    California would welcome these people

  • A Quaker Brooklyn, NY
    Jan. 31, 2014 10:58 p.m.

    We don't have long now to see the State's brief. Monday! I'm looking forward to reading it so I can figure out the betting line on this case. (Just kidding! Actually, I find social justice battles like this fascinating. If Schaerr & Co. fail to come up with anything compelling and germane, that's it, game over and we can anticipate marriage equality in the whole country in short order. OTOH, if the brief is a good one, it'll be fun to play along at home and try to guess the plaintiff's response.)

    Unless there's some new exciting legal theory about how homophobic fears trumps the civil rights of homosexual citizens, or states' rights trumps the U.S. Constitution, we may not even get to the testimony stage. Reading all the same easily dismissed arguments being presented here over and over by devout conservatives has me thinking there isn't much of a case in defense of Amendment 3. Let's see if Schaerr can prove me wrong. On the other hand, he might just try the procedural error route, but I don't think that will bear much fruit.

  • oragami St. George, UT
    Feb. 1, 2014 2:00 a.m.

    I don't see why the court would deny these couples an opportunity to testify. The outcome affects them directly after all.

    I have read some of Schaerr's publications regarding gay marriage and I have to say......If those are the best arguments he can present to the court, he will be falling on his sword shortly.

  • Bob K portland, OR
    Feb. 1, 2014 2:42 a.m.

    Suppose what the couples say is:

    We just want to be treated the same, including when we shop or look for work.
    We just want the same rights and privileges as our siblings.
    We want our kids to have married parents like other kids do.
    We have no interest in making any religious person do anything, other than being nice to us, avoiding pushing their religion in our face, and not gossip about us.
    We would like our own religion to recognize us, but we will be patient.
    We would prefer to not have to remind anyone that we are citizens who pay taxes.

    As well as:
    It hurts us and our families when some people call us names, say we are afflicted sinners, going to hell, and so on. We don't spend time knocking others.
    It seems to us that we are the "whipping boys/girls" for some religions, while divorce and adultery and other behavior that hurts people is mentioned much less.

    Finishing with:
    We understand the mindset of many Utahns, who feel that they are called to uphold values they believe in, even many who know that means discrimination against us.

  • The Scientist Provo, UT
    Feb. 1, 2014 4:45 a.m.

    I share Quaker's fascination. I have watched and even searched for sound, valid arguments coming from the religious communities supporting their opposition to marriage equality, but have done so in vain. Not a single argument has been raised to date that holds up to logical, legal, civil, or even moral muster. If Schaer et al can finally put together something worthy of consideration, I will be shocked and awed.

  • jcobabe Provo, UT
    Feb. 1, 2014 8:39 a.m.

    Won't that be just so nice? And we so seldom get a chance to hear a speech from such proponents. They're sadly under-represented in media coverage.

    I have no doubt that heart-felt testimony from objective witnesses will contribute to constructive and rational deliberation by the jurists hearing this case.

  • Cats Somewhere in Time, UT
    Feb. 1, 2014 10:33 a.m.

    I'm not a lawyer, but I didn't think testimony was taken at the appelate court level.

    If they are allowed to testify, then family experts need to be allowed to also testify about the damage done to children by gay so-called "families."

  • TheTrueVoice West Richland, WA
    Feb. 1, 2014 10:34 a.m.

    I also share A Quaker's interest in these cases (and, btw, some of your commentary these past few weeks have been awesome, A Quaker!)

    I am keen to read how the Schaerr arguments are constructed. Any attempt to use the same old canards used in the past - procreation, optimal child-rearing, tradition, 'natural' law - we've seen every one of these tired old straw-mans correctly tossed out; Schaerr *must* come up with something new that has a reasonable sounding argument that is not rooted in animus, or driven by dogma.

    A tough assignment, that, because that is essentially all they have to argue with. However innocuous they can make their arguments sound, an argument that has it's logic based upon veiled celestial indoctrination, or has its true basis in animus, these arguments are always unmasked upon the most casual of legal scrutiny.

    My prediction: The 10th will uphold the Shelby ruling, and as long as no other federal court rules differently, SCOTUS won't hear the case, thus quality comes to all states in the 10th District.

  • A Quaker Brooklyn, NY
    Feb. 1, 2014 10:58 a.m.

    @TheScientist: You said, "Not a single argument has been raised to date that holds up to logical, legal, civil, or even moral muster."

    To that list, I would even add theological muster. As previously cited, several denominations find total justification in the sacred texts, in Christ's instructions, and in continuing revelation, for being open and welcoming to LGBT persons, up to and including offering marriage and commitment rites, including my own Quaker Meeting.

    Other than what little I've read and the few missionaries I've met, I'm ignorant about Mormonism. I don't know how central their Articles of Faith are to their actual faith and practice, but reading especially Articles 11, 12, and 13, I don't understand why so many seem to discount those apparent commands to respect secular law, civil authorities, people of other religions, and to find the good in everything. I particularly don't understand how you can look at people who wish to commit themselves to love and care for each other for the rest of their lives and be completely unable to find "anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy."

  • Oatmeal Woods Cross, UT
    Feb. 1, 2014 11:23 a.m.

    Correct me if I am wrong, but a circuit court is an federal appellate court and only reviews questions of law. The witness stage is over. The facts of the case have been submitted. The question is did Judge Shelby rule correctly in this case regarding the constitutionality of Amendment 3. "Heart-felt testimony" is in the trial stage, this is an appeal.

  • atrulson cohoes, NY
    Feb. 1, 2014 12:55 p.m.

    "The couples say the state is discriminatory in not allowing them to file state taxes jointly, receive certain state pension benefits, adopt or be named a legal guardian of a partner's child, receive inheritance protections or make medical decisions for a partner."

    All of these issues could be dealt with under domestic partnership laws or power of attorney.

    Coitus as a type of social bond should be recognized and distinguished from other types of social bonds as a means of promoting and maintaining an ideal in the social fabric. This ideal has been recognized and defended by the majority of voters in Utah, and will be the basis for the brief.

    Those who are hurling accusations of bigotry are just using a cheap shot to distract from the real argument.

  • Willem Los Angeles, CA
    Feb. 1, 2014 2:45 p.m.

    We understand the mindset of many Utahns, who feel that they are called to uphold values they believe in, even many who know that means discrimination against us.
    So well written ,lets hope that all gay mormons get marriage equality as provided under our constitution.

  • Stephen Daedalus Arvada, CO
    Feb. 1, 2014 3:24 p.m.

    @Cats is correct - these 3 couples won't 'testify' as that occurs at the trial level. So no speeches and they won't be witnesses. Instead, their attorney asks to present two more legal reasons why Utah's Amend 3 is unconstitutional, based on SCOTUS holdings in Windsor and Romer.

    If granted, it opens up a second front in Utah's legal battle to deny SSM.

    The Windsor attorney, fresh from defeating DOMA at SCOTUS, has reasons why Amend 3 is unconstitutional which were not argued in the Kitchen's motion for summary judgment. If simply included in a friend-of-the-court brief, the 10th Cir. would not need to consider these reasons, and no opportunity to advocate during oral argument. Kitchen's attorneys did not consent to this request (not unusual, given lawyer egos and implication that they missed some points) but SSM proponents should cheer if granted, as this attorney is versed like no other in the arguments that just won at SCOTUS, as 10th Cir. will be well aware.

    This dramatic maneuver suggests that the Windsor lawyer may see this as the final stand for SSM-bans nationwide and wants a spot in history books too.

  • omahahusker Modesto, CA
    Feb. 1, 2014 4:50 p.m.

    As long as the the state of Utah can defend the legitimate will off the people, versus the lack of an argument when the leaders of California failed to so is a positive sign. Given the current makeup of the court in Washington DC, Utah(the people) will probably lose. What courts will not do is to define what marriage is, the lawful union of a man and a woman sanctified by God. Benefits for gay partners, same sex partners, etc., should not not be denied, just don't make it(same sex marriage) justified in the eyes of the almighty creator.

  • Baccus0902 Leesburg, VA
    Feb. 1, 2014 5:51 p.m.

    @ Cats

    You wrote: " If they are allowed to testify, then family experts need to be allowed to also testify about the damage done to children by gay so-called "families."

    Cats, by all means. If there is valid scientific evidence of damage done to children it should be presented.

    If you are implying that the welfare of the children is paramount, I can tell you that the LGBT community is 100% with you. The important thing here is to be objective and provide sound evidence on both sides of the issue.

    Fortunately for all of us (society) so far, no "reliable" evidence to support your fears have been presented. I am sure you are glad of that. If that is your main concern and there is proof that you can relax, I am glad you will support the rights of all to marry the person they love.

    Thank you!

  • Marco Luxe Los Angeles, CA
    Feb. 1, 2014 6:59 p.m.

    The story here is not quite accurate. The couples have filed a petition to intervene at the 10th Circuit to try to raise separate 14th Amendment claims that were addressed, but indirectly in the motion for summary judgment before the district court.

    IMHO, the petition to intervene will not be granted. The 10th Circuit's denial to UT's emergency petition for a stay shows they're ready to rule on the existing case. The district court found both that there was a fundamental right to civil marriage, and that there was not any rational basis to exclude gay couples from civil marriage. Viz: "Amendment 3 perpetuates inequality by holding that the families and relationships of same-sex couples are not now, nor ever will be, worthy of recognition. Amendment 3 does not thereby elevate the status of opposite-sex marriage; it merely demeans the dignity of same-sex couples."

  • Bob K portland, OR
    Feb. 1, 2014 8:14 p.m.

    atrulson
    cohoes, NY
    "'The couples say the state is discriminatory in not allowing them to file state taxes jointly, receive certain state pension benefits, adopt or be named a legal guardian of a partner's child, receive inheritance protections or make medical decisions for a partner.'
    All of these issues could be dealt with under domestic partnership laws or power of attorney.Z"

    --- This is deceitgul:
    A- All the Federal laws and policies would have to be re-written to please you.
    B- Everyone knows that "domestic partners" will not be treated the same as husbands and wives are treated, nor will their children be treated the same.

    "Coitus....has been recognized and defended by the majority of voters in Utah, and will be the basis for the brief."

    --- This is a baldfaced attempt to say religious doctrine trumps the Constitution of the US

    "Those who are hurling accusations of bigotry are just using a cheap shot to distract from the real argument."

    --- The shoe fits quiet well, so it seems not Christian to say it pinches.
    Generally, such words apply to the people blocking freedoms, not those wanting to be free.

  • CBAX Provo, UT
    Feb. 1, 2014 9:32 p.m.

    To both sides:

    You. Cannot. Legislate. Morality.

    These 4 (5?) words apply directly to both sides. Think about it for a second.

    Bottom line?: SSM will become legal.

    That's it.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Feb. 3, 2014 11:48 a.m.

    To "Baccus0902" but there is evidence that children being raised by gay couples are damaged. They do fine on their acedemic studies, but their psychological profiles are a mess.

    There are multiple studies out there showing that the kids of gay parents are more likely to engage in risky sexual behavior, more likely to experiment with gay sexual relationships, and a host of other high risk behaviors.

    On top of that, the DOJ has studies out there that show that when 2 gays merely co-habitate as intimate partners, the likelyhood of violence doubles or tripples when comparted with similar heterosexual relationships.

    There is a lot of evidence out there showing that homosexual relationships are bad for kids, and bad for the gays themselves.

  • KSC Sandy, UT
    Feb. 3, 2014 3:19 p.m.

    While the attorneys are lining up witnesses to testify that they have been injured by other people’s true Constitutional Right of Freedom of Religion, let’s also line up the witnesses that have intentionally been harmed by specific and personally targeted actions by the LGBT community: cake bakers, photographers, clergy, even the Boy Scouts.
    It is one thing to claim harm because the world will not bend to your desires; it is another to intentionally set someone else’s house on fire.

  • postaledith Freeland, WA
    Feb. 3, 2014 4:39 p.m.

    I feel sad and frustrated about the fact that the case on gay marriage is still in the appeal process. It never should have happened. Gay marriage is here to stay and it's growing. I don't understand what people are so afraid of. Gay marriage has never hurt anyone else's marriage. It helps the economy. It's about love, the most positive emotion there is. Allowing same-sex couples to marry is not going against religion or others' beliefs. It's allowing two people in love to make a commitment to each other and have the same benefits other married couples have. There is nothing wrong with that. What is wrong is others who judge these people and ignore what is going on in their own back yard.

  • Miss Piggie Phoenix, AZ
    Feb. 5, 2014 5:32 p.m.

    @Testimony:
    "MissPiggie: Before you go on your big marriage and murder spree..."

    Murder? Where you gettin' murder from? Murder's illegal.

    "... perhaps you should know that you can only collect one survivor benefit from Social Security."

    Then the survivor benefits laws will have to be changed to accommodate. If Utah's law can be changed to accommodate SSM it surely can be changed for my type of marriage arrangements... else we will have blatant discrimination.

    "I also think you're having trouble with this whole 'same gender' concept. Your aunt and uncle are the same gender as you?"

    One of them is. And the other, well that would be a heterosexual relationship. What's wrong with heterosexual relationship?

    "Oh, and incest? Those laws are not going anywhere."

    Well, if the law can be changed for SSM surely can be changed for my type of marriage arrangements... else we will have discrimination (did I say?).

    @Stormwalker
    "This argument claims the state 'values' Gay citizens and their relationships and families, it also says those citizens need to go to the back of the bus."

    If there's a back-of-the-bus issue with SSM, it's because they put themselves there.

  • AkMama ANCHORAGE, AK
    Feb. 5, 2014 6:02 p.m.

    Gay marriage is not about love. It is not about receiving benefits. It is not about fairness or equality. It is about trying to make homosexual behavior normal in mainstream society. Love, benefits, equality-- these are just the camel's nose being let into the tent. SMM may well become the law of the land. That will not make homosexual behavior right or even normal. And normalizing something that is morally wrong will not erase guilt, antisocial behavior, gender confusion, depression, or a host of other Pandora's box items that society has yet to "benefit" from. And to the screamers who say the state can't decide what behavior is moral and what is not, garbage. We've decided some types of murder and theft are not moral behaviors, to name just two examples. And yes, homosexual behavior does cause harm. To those sowing the wind, no thanks for the whirlwind that my children and grandchildren will be "blessed" to endure.

  • wrz Phoenix, AZ
    Feb. 5, 2014 6:20 p.m.

    @TheTrueVoice:
    "Schaerr *must* come up with something new that has a reasonable sounding argument not rooted in animus, or dogma."

    It's not that tough. Let's help. Everyone has the right to marry provided they pick someone of the opposite sex. See how easy.

    A girl who wants to marry her aunt whom she loves dearly, can't. They're not of opposite sex. A guy who wants to marry his son whom he loves dearly, can't. They're not of the opposite sex.

    And, there are even further restrictions as to who can marry whom. A brother can't marry his sister whom he dearly loves. They are too closely related. A son who wants to marry his mom whom he dearly loves, can't. They are too closely related. A person who wants to marry a two-year old whom he/she dearly loves, can't. The two-year old can't give consent. Persons who want to marry their pet parrot whom they dearly love, can't. Parrots cannot give consent.

    Same-sex attracted people are not alone in forbidden marriages. They will just have to buck up, just like the folks indicated above must.