Quantcast
Opinion

Michael and Jenet Erickson: Same-sex marriage debate needs 'voices of hope'

Comments

Return To Article
  • KJB1 Eugene, OR
    Feb. 23, 2014 1:07 a.m.

    If a gay man decides to marry a woman and raise a family, great. He should have that choice. That's still no excuse for using the law to deny same sex couples that same option. I'll give you credit for trying to come at this from a new angle, but no sale.

    You guys can tap dance around and grasp at straws all you like, but the dominoes are falling quickly. You're no longer the ones who get to solely define morality and marriage and family for everybody else. If you learn to accept it and focus on you and yours instead of obsessing over how others live their lives, you'll probably be a lot happier in the end...

  • Schnee Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 23, 2014 2:03 a.m.

    If that's what they want to have then more power to them. But... why can't the other gay people who want something different have that option too? Or for that matter straight people who want to marry someone of the same gender (I mean, if you think gay people should be just fine with entering in an opposite gender marriage, then shouldn't the reverse be fine too, straight people marrying a gay person of the same gender?).

  • Karen R. Houston, TX
    Feb. 23, 2014 5:49 a.m.

    @KJB1

    Yes, my thoughts as well. Isn't this story an argument FOR marriage equality? Doesn't this suggest that we really need to get our noses out of each other's business and let people make their own marriage decisions?

    This also came across to me as a self-conscious attempt to rationalize the belief in something that a growing majority are realizing is and has always been unjust and immoral. There is nothing "wrong" with LGBTs. What is wrong is the way we have looked at and treated them. We're finally moving towards changing this.

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    Feb. 23, 2014 8:12 a.m.

    The train has already left the station. Sorry about that.

  • Kalindra Salt Lake City, Utah
    Feb. 23, 2014 8:39 a.m.

    "With more understanding about the diverse lives of same-sex attracted men and women, our society can learn how to recognize the equal dignity of gays and lesbians without redefining marriage...."

    Ten years ago, during the Amendment 3 debate here in Utah, the LGBT and Ally community asked legislators not to include the second part, the part that states, "No other domestic union, however denominated, may be recognized as a marriage or given the same or substantially equivalent legal effect."

    Legislators ignored those voices.

    The LGBT and Ally community then asked voters to reject Amendment 3 because, by including that second part, it went too far. Sixty-six percent of active Utah voters that not only did same-sex couples not deserve marriage, their relationships deserve no legal recognition or protection.

    Utah voters shut the door on "recognizing the equal dignity" of same-sex couples without "redefining marriage". Only by striking down Amendment 3 can any legal recognition and protections he given to same-sex Utah couples. And once it falls, there will be no chance of redoing it the way it asked for 10 years ago. That ship has sailed and it is not coming back.

  • Locke Rexburg, ID
    Feb. 23, 2014 8:41 a.m.

    Extending rights of taxation, inheritance, visitation, etc. does not require redefinition of "marriage." Why not extend legal benefits another way?

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    Feb. 23, 2014 9:19 a.m.

    Dear Mr. & Mrs. Erickson;

    The choice of having a same sex marrige does NOT require any gay person to have one, it simply give us the option; the same option that heterosexual couples have.

    Having spent 30 years "in the closet", depressed, lonely, AND suicidal, I can attest to the joy and happiness that I've found being open and spending my life with my loving, committed partner of over 15 years.

    You have to ask yourself, "what would make a young gay person" oppose the opportunity for OTHER gay and lesbian couples to marry? Probably religion; how tragic and sad.

    From now on, instead of opposing someone elses joy, how about, if you can't accept it, then simply ignore it?

    BTW; would you ask your own son or daughter to marry a homosexual if they were heterosexual? Why do you ask us to do it then?

  • Sal Provo, UT
    Feb. 23, 2014 9:32 a.m.

    The gay community celebrates the hand writing on the wall as state after state loses its constitutional right to define marriage as solely between a man and a woman.

    Those who take the time to know God and his word also see the hand writing on the wall and it isn't nice for anyone. Droughts will deepen; plagues will rage throughout the earth; natural catastrophes will increase. We only break ourselves when we choose to ignore God's commandments. Majorities won't change the destructive outcome.

  • Ajax Mapleton, UT
    Feb. 23, 2014 9:54 a.m.

    I personally support LGBT marriage. In my view, it is the inevitable choice in a free and fair society.

    However, suppose a mother who, for whatever reason, wanted to give her newborn child up for adoption were to specify that the adoptive parents be biologically male and female. Should the mother appropriately have that choice? Would you call her a bigot? Suppose she specified a gay couple as adoptive parents. Would you think that equally bigoted?

    Where discretion ends and bigotry begins is a highly difficult if not impossible line to draw. Even among those of good faith the boundary is blurred. Our only recourse are judges and juries, where verdicts in such abstruse matters are routinely imperfect and resolution seldom complete. Court cases of personal discrimination may go on for years, and every decision either way leaves in its wake a trail of damaged lives.

    In my opinion, there is merit to the concern that in our rush to do the right thing we not unintentionally institutionalize a regimen of “correct thinking” that dampens the unfettered diversity of ideas and opinions so appealing in the American concept of liberty for all.

  • Stormwalker Cleveland , OH
    Feb. 23, 2014 10:12 a.m.

    Last night I watched a cooking show, where chefs are have a basket of "mystery" ingredients and compete to create the winning meal.

    Various kinds of chocolate had to be incorporated in three courses. One chef said he did not like chocolate, but as a chef he was challenged to learn to eat it so he could cook with it.

    He won. Not because he learned to like or enjoy chocolate, but because he created a meal that pleased the judges.

    Marriage is two people in a partnership with legal connections and responsibilities to each other. It is not about a relationship for others to judge and approve. Unlike cooking with chocolate, marriage is about the two people involved.

    While some relationships can work and even thrive when one member is same-sex-attracted, this is not a model that should be mandated or for every Gay person. I tried marriage several times before I stopped trying to please the judges and have a relationship for the right reasons, with the right person of the right, for me, gender.

    On the other hand, I love every kind of chocolate.

  • gmlewis Houston, TX
    Feb. 23, 2014 10:23 a.m.

    The real message of this article is that gays have a real choice beyond the simple "either/or" eventuality popularly held in society - either you enter a gay marriage or you remain alone throughout life.

    I would much rather have gay marriage legalized, and yet have a greater recognition in society that same sex attraction doesn't force you into a same sex relationship.

    God gave us the power to choose, and that power to choose is one of His greatest gifts.

  • Schnee Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 23, 2014 10:35 a.m.

    @Sal
    " Droughts will deepen; plagues will rage throughout the earth; natural catastrophes will increase."

    Never ceases to amaze me when people think the only anthropogenic climate change that occurs is a result of same-sex marriage.

  • george of the jungle goshen, UT
    Feb. 23, 2014 11:02 a.m.

    There is principal that I think means friends [pal], then there is principle [ple],a pledge that we make. I start thinking about all the pledges I make like the marriage vows, taking the oath joining the military, signing a contract. there are a lot of nonnegotiable things, it includes religion. Being a man of principles, is both principal and principle. Like the facts of life or laws of nature.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Feb. 23, 2014 12:23 p.m.

    Gay people can participate in opposite sex marriages. A voice of hope would say that's great; now let them participate in same sex marriages, too. Fortunately, the state of Utah is doing what it can to champion this cause.

  • CHS 85 Sandy, UT
    Feb. 23, 2014 12:45 p.m.

    This article is a joke. What about the woman who is married to the man who will never be attracted to them? What about them? Who out there would recommend to their daughter to marry a gay man and have children with him? Who wants their daughter to be married to a man and have a marriage where true intimacy can never exist? What could possibly go wrong?

  • Moderate Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 23, 2014 1:02 p.m.

    Locke wonders "Extending rights of taxation, inheritance, visitation, etc. does not require redefinition of "marriage." Why not extend legal benefits another way?"

    Why are such rights extended at all? Why should a married person get a better tax rate than a single person? Why should a person with a child get a better tax rate than a person without children? What you think of as "tradition", I think of as "government sponsored social engineering".

  • Baker Boy Westminster, CA
    Feb. 23, 2014 1:32 p.m.

    The notion that a gay person would choose to marry someone of the opposite sex is, in this day and age, just plain absurd! So, some have done it in the past, probably because of social pressure and not being willing to come out of the closet and face public and family shaming, especially in states like Utah.

    I would ask any straight person if he or she would consider marrying someone of the same sex. the idea is just plain stupid, yet expecting gay people to do the opposite plays into the ongoing discrimination of and disdain for gay people.

  • Stormwalker Cleveland , OH
    Feb. 23, 2014 2:03 p.m.

    @gmlewis
    "I would much rather have gay marriage legalized, and yet have a greater recognition in society that same sex attraction doesn't force you into a same sex relationship."

    Fully agree, we do have a choice. And, at the same time recognition and respect for SSM will also help people to see that is a real option and perhaps stop some of the "marriage cure" marriages that end in divorce and misery.

  • E Sam Provo, UT
    Feb. 23, 2014 2:15 p.m.

    Fine. Great. Our gay friends can choose any of a number of ways to conduct their lives. Thanks for another strong argument for marriage equality.

  • Larry Chandler CEDAR CITY, UT
    Feb. 23, 2014 3:05 p.m.

    Well, said CHS85. Why would anyone subject a woman to a man who doesn't genuinely desire her? A gay man who wants a family (or keep his job) might acquiesce in the demands for him to marry, but it subjects his wife to a lifetime of loneliness and not feeling wanted. And this has happened. A good friend unknowingly married a gay man and while they did produce children. she always wondered why he never seems to want her, to initiate intimacy. "Maybe I'm too heavy for him" she would say as she began yet another useless diet plan. "Perhaps if I had my hair done differently or bought a better perfume." Nothing worked until her kids were grown, he acknowledged he was gay, they divorced, and she married a man who genuinely loved and desired her. Now she's very happy, but it took until she was 45.

    If two people love each other, whether it's a gay man who loves a woman or another gay man or the same situation for women, who are we to tell them no? Does what our God say to us always say the same to them?

  • Tiago Seattle, WA
    Feb. 23, 2014 3:19 p.m.

    I am a huge supporter of the Voices of Hope project, but trying to use those individual stories to make your political point really fails. I'm friends with many of the people in the videos. They are amazing people and are or would be great parents no matter what. But, if we talk about averages and statistics instead of individuals, marriage between a gay and a straight person is WAY more likely to have major issues and fail than a marriage between two straight people. The failed marriage of Doug Mainwaring, quoted in the story, is an example of this.
    If you subscribe to Utah's argument that the legal definition of marriage is all about what is statistically and on average ideal for kids, I don't see how you can hold up these couples as a desired situation. Having a mom or dad who is not attracted to the other is not the best thing for kids. To be consistent to your position, it seems like you would need to oppose gay people marrying anybody--not just people they love.

  • Tiago Seattle, WA
    Feb. 23, 2014 3:48 p.m.

    Ericksons: By focusing only on people in mixed-orientation marriages, I think you missed an opportunity to really explain options that people with SSA have. Even though you said that the point is not to imply that all SSA men and women can or should marry someone of the opposite sex, you chose to only highlight those who have, which gives the impression that they are the model of what faithfully living with SSA looks like.
    The LDS church teaches that "marriage should not be viewed as a therapeutic step to solve problems such as homosexual inclinations" and "the perfect plan of our Father in Heaven makes provision for individuals who seek to keep His commandments but who, through no fault of their own, do not have an eternal marriage in mortal life."
    There are many other Voices of Hope videos featuring faithful LDS people with SSA who could not enter a mixed orientation marriage and choose to remain celibate. Those people are no less faithful and have just as much hope and potential for happiness.
    As a faith community, we can do better at supporting the faithful single people with SSA among us.

  • JSB Sugar City, ID
    Feb. 23, 2014 3:52 p.m.

    People with SSD who marry heterosexually recognize the need for a chaste society (i.e. one in which any intimate sex outside of heterosexual marriage is discouraged) in spite of their biological attraction. Just like heterosexuals must control their sexual appetites, so should responsible homosexuals. They recognized that the more promiscuous a society is the sicker it is. Promiscuous sexual behavior produces more divorce accompanied by expensive and tragic social costs (custody issues, poverty, abused and neglected children resulting in more crime, drug abuse, school dropouts, social maladjustment, violence, sexual perversion, etc.) Also, in a sexually promiscuous society there is more venereal disease, pornography and related sex crimes and psychological problems. Plus, promiscuity results in more abortions and/or unwanted children. Given the high cost to society of promiscuous sexual behavior, why are people, both homosexual and heterosexual, who advocate a chaste society by speaking out against gay marriage condemned as bigots?

  • Maudine SLC, UT
    Feb. 23, 2014 3:56 p.m.

    The biggest mistake same-sex marriage opponents made was defending Prop 8.

    Prior to the Prop 8 court case, the arguments against same-sex marriage were half-truths, omissions, speculations, and mis-representations - all told in 60 second TV commercials. It takes longer to offer a decent rebuttal, so it was difficult for supporters to get the real data out.

    During the Prop 8 trial, opponents had to provide the data to back up their claims - data they did not have. Additionally, proponents were able to challenge the claims and provide the full truth.

    Nationwide, citizens saw that there were no real factual reasons to fear or prohibit same-sex marriage - and the tide started turning.

    Now, opponents to same-sex marriage want to offer a consolation prize - civil unions or domestic partnerships. After all, prior to Prop 8 many same-sex couples would have settled for that....

    Two problems: One - why settle for less when marriage is in reach? Two - even if there was a willingness to settle, many laws and constitutional amendments prohibit those as well. If the laws and constitutions have to be changed anyway, why accept less than marriage?

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    Feb. 23, 2014 4:42 p.m.

    Tiago says:

    "To be consistent to your position, it seems like you would need to oppose gay people marrying anybody--not just people they love."

    -- That, sir/ma'am, is their actual goal.

  • BCA Murrieta, CA
    Feb. 23, 2014 5:04 p.m.

    This is not a solution to the problem. These are exceptions, presented as a solution. Even the LDS church does not consider this a solution. Great, get 1,000 stories. What you have then is 1,000 exceptions. LDS authorities used to tell gays to get married and those feelings would disappear. Experience taught them otherwise. Do the authors think this is new?

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Feb. 23, 2014 5:14 p.m.

    But, I don't want to understand same sex attraction, I don't want to learn to appreciate long hair music, I have no interest in fine art, I don't want to see people or animals fight to the death, I don't like people who harm others, and I will try my best to influence my children and those close to me to have the same attitudes.

    That said, I do not deny any one the right to be and do as he pleases so long as he doesn't harm or interfere with the rights and freedoms of others. I ask the same consideration from others.

    I stand against any who would impose their life values on me no matter how subtle or bright they do it. I am not a religious person and I get as upset over evangelism as people flaunting a life style that I don't like or want.

    I didn't ask to come to this world, but since I only have a temporary visa, I'll try to make the best of it.

  • NewAgeMormon Draper, UT
    Feb. 23, 2014 7:59 p.m.

    Since most Deseret News readers are LDS, I think it's very telling that 90% of the comments here are in favor of allowing equality for all. The tide has turned and it's now only a matter of time. Yes, I'm an active member of the LDS faith and I not only see the writing on the wall, I support it.

  • play by the rules SOUTH JORDAN, UT
    Feb. 23, 2014 8:01 p.m.

    Eugene Oregon is the first to weigh in on what happens in Utah. Go figure.

  • O'really Idaho Falls, ID
    Feb. 23, 2014 8:52 p.m.

    There is so much more to marriage than sex. I know a few couples who literally can't have sex and they are very happily married. It's a fallacy and a lie that homosexuals have to have a same gender partner to be truly happy. It just isn't so. These hetero couples ( at least one in the pair with same gender attraction) are speaking out to show that it can be done successfully if both in the pair are committed to something higher than just satisfying lust." Bridle your passions that ye may be filled with love..." comes from scripture but it's a universal truth.

  • Schnee Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 23, 2014 9:20 p.m.

    @JSB
    Nothing you said about a chaste society wouldn't be accomplished by same-sex marriage. In fact SSM would improve the situation rather than detract from it since marriage encourages committed monogamous relationships. So to answer your question...

    "Given the high cost to society of promiscuous sexual behavior, why are people, both homosexual and heterosexual, who advocate a chaste society by speaking out against gay marriage condemned as bigots?"

    because it makes no sense at all to be against gay marriage if you want to encourage less promiscuity.

  • Baker Boy Westminster, CA
    Feb. 23, 2014 9:23 p.m.

    The ideas expressed in this article reek of condescension and, dare I say, animus towards gay people. The notion that someone should deny one of the most fundamental aspects of his or her being by marrying someone he or she isn’t physically attracted to, strikes me as risky and potentially disastrous.

    While the authors detail some of the supposedly successful marriages they seem to be trumpeting, one wonders how many such marriages ultimately fail, creating bad relationships, broken families, and unfortunate circumstances for children.

  • tomr Salt Lake City, ut
    Feb. 23, 2014 9:32 p.m.

    If history has taught us anything it is that the family unit (consisting of a marital fidelity between man and woman) is the bedrock of society. Once you tear that apart, the disintegration of society is not too far distant. We can choose to ignore this much the same way ancient civilizations did, but it has never worked and it never will.

  • Baker Boy Westminster, CA
    Feb. 23, 2014 10:08 p.m.

    Tomr of Salt Lake tells us that "the family unit (consisting of a marital fidelity between man and woman) is the bedrock of society".

    Some bedrock, when 50% of all marriages end in divorce. One wonders why folks who are so energized about stopping gay marriage don't turn their attention to trying to reduce the divorce rate. Can't hurt, might help.

  • Willem Los Angeles, CA
    Feb. 23, 2014 10:12 p.m.

    Total mormon propaganda !

  • ImaUteFan West Jordan, UT
    Feb. 23, 2014 10:34 p.m.

    NewAgeMormon - 90% of the comments here may be favoring marriage equality, but I can assure you that 90% of the people making those comments are not LDS.

    You might want to reread the Proclamation on the Family. You should already know since you are an "active" LDS member that the Church does not currently nor will it ever condone or embrace SSM.

  • Badgerbadger Murray, UT
    Feb. 23, 2014 10:51 p.m.

    "If you learn to accept it and focus on you and yours instead of obsessing over how others live their lives, you'll probably be a lot happier in the end..."

    Actually I find that when I immerse myself in my own selfish motives, I am not happier. Perhaps you should try considering what is best for others, like children, and then you could be happy too.

    But this statement reveals the true nature of the SSM marriage movement. It is all about me me me, which is why they seek public endorsement. They are not happy when they focus solely on their own sexual desires, so they want the public to endorsement in hopes it will make them happy. It won't. Nor will it give them children.

    Society didn't choose to endorse sexual desires when it endorsed marriage. Society endorsed the most successful course for raising children. Were it not for children, there would be no marriage laws at all.

    To suggest that marriage law is all about sexual attraction is a gross fabrication, perpetuated by those who themselves are all about sexual attraction. Can't you consider or think about anything else?

  • Owen Heber City, UT
    Feb. 23, 2014 11:13 p.m.

    "Eugene Oregon is the first to weigh in on what happens in Utah. Go figure."

    Utah was the first to weigh in on what happened in Hawaii ('93) and Massachusetts ('99) and California ('08). Go figure.

  • gittalopctbi Glendale, AZ
    Feb. 23, 2014 11:15 p.m.

    Yes, voices of hope and voices of reason and voices of truth. Thanks for the article.

  • katy salt lake city, ut
    Feb. 23, 2014 11:16 p.m.

    A thoughtful article and gives another outlook on ways people try to keep their families intact. Made me wonder why having feelings for others of the same sex once they are married is any different from husbands and wives having romantic feelings for other men and women, who are not their spouses. So many choices in life that can have serious consequences.

  • katy salt lake city, ut
    Feb. 23, 2014 11:22 p.m.

    Another thought - there are many single people living chaste lives who have not had the opportunity to marry anyone and they are as happy as many people that are married.

  • jimbo American Fork, UT
    Feb. 23, 2014 11:54 p.m.

    I am LDS, straight, support same sex marriage and agree with most of the posts on this thread. One bit of pretty good science that hasn't been mentioned is the Masters and Johnson study that illuminated the fact that there is a variation in sexual orientation. They came up with a scale of 0-6 where 0 is completely heterosexual and 6 completely homosexual and those in between have various degrees of attraction to both sexes. It is felt by many that in those mixed orientation marriages that succeed, one or both of the partners has some bisexual feelings. Having said that, I agree with those who have said that the sexual part of marriage is only a small part of the relationship and often but not always, the longer a couple is married, the smaller it gets.

  • Landon F. Huntington, UT
    Feb. 24, 2014 12:15 a.m.

    It's funny that so many people comment on these stories stating that they are members of this church or that church(many claiming the LDS church) but then leave it at that. If you are going to bring up your religion in the conversation, then you can't leave religion out of it. God clearly defines what marriage is and what it isn't. So the instant you state your religion, keep your comment in check with your beliefs.
    I love all equally even if I don't agree with what they are fighting for. Marriage is what it has been since the beginning of time. It has been morally the same as instituted from God. Allowing something that is immoral does not make it moral. So no matter what the laws say or what people may do, SSM will always be morally wrong.
    If they want the tax break that comes with being married, well that break won't be along for too much longer as it is. The government will get rid of it.
    Also, by calling people bigots, intolerant, and they're judging just because they don't support your views makes you the same thing.

  • Janet Ontario, OR
    Feb. 24, 2014 1:26 a.m.

    I don't have a lot of data to support this, but every "gay person happily married to heterosexual" story I have read has seemed to include a gay person with SSA, not SS experience; an exceptionally strong bond between the marriage partners; and a powerful religious commitment. Also, these men may actually be bisexual, making the choice more of a choice. I would think that the heterosexual-only partner would be taking a huge gamble (a la Carol Lynn Pearson) by entering such a marriage. This is a puzzle with no solution that everyone can accept. As for gay marriage bringing Apocalyptic consequences, I think we can set it aside, and there is plenty of serious evil to do that (child molesters, drug cartels, human traffickers, Kim Jung Un....).

  • Ranch Here, UT
    Feb. 24, 2014 6:22 a.m.

    @JSB;

    Homosexuals married to one another are just as "chaste" as heterosexuals married to one another. Marriage promotes monogamy and reduces promiscuity. You should be supporting SSM as a means to that end. For whatever reason, you equate being gay to being promiscuous while at the same time, you do everything possible to prevent monogamy. You DEMAND that homosexuals remain celibate for life. Why don't you try it yourself!

    @O'really';

    The "lie" is that we have to do it your way. We will be perfectly happy and joyful in a same-sex relationship. Why settle for something lesser?

    @tomr;

    Please show how SSM "disintegrates" society? You can't, because it doesn't.

  • Cleetorn Fuaamotu, Tonga
    Feb. 24, 2014 6:50 a.m.

    Larry Chandler, if God is the same yesterday, today and forever then He will say to us the same things that He says to "them." Why would God command one person to do one thing and another something altogether different? None of the issues at hand withstanding, God is not a God of confusion but of order and justice. Choice is a big part of this article. God gave us the right to choose. We can do what He tells us to or we can choose to co-opt what He tells us, ignore Him or reinterpret His word and go a different route altogether. Being LGBT or straight has nothing to do with God other than how we choose to follow or not.

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    Feb. 24, 2014 7:17 a.m.

    "Those who take the time to know God and his word also see the hand writing on the wall and it isn't nice for anyone. Droughts will deepen; plagues will rage throughout the earth; natural catastrophes will increase."

    Wow I thought this article was about marriage and here Sal starts talking about global warming.

  • Ranch Here, UT
    Feb. 24, 2014 7:22 a.m.

    @Badgerbadger:

    The moment YOU decide not to marry the person you love, then you can comment about "me, me, me". Until then, you're nothing but a hypcrite to expect of others what you're unwilling to do yourself.

    @katy;

    Did you marry someone you're not attracted to? Why expect otherwise of us? If we marry, then we too are "chaste", or are you not "chaste" within your own marriage? Why remain single if you have found your soulmate?

    @ImaUteFan;

    Have you been paying attention to the news lately? How do you know that your church won't "embrace ssm" in the next 30 years? They change often enough to not be able to, with any degree of security, say that. Besides, your Proc applies to you and nobody else (regardless what you may believe).

  • Mikhail ALPINE, UT
    Feb. 24, 2014 7:43 a.m.

    The question to be asked personally is whether we are or we are not children of a loving and wise God who has a personal plan for each of us. If it is so, then all must ask ourselves what that plan is for each of us - personally. Voices of Hope offers a paradigm that is an alternative to those previously offered regarding homosexuality and marriage. Might it not be true that we are in fact spiritual creatures having a mortal experience? Might it not be true that we actually can choose to obey the commandments of a real and loving God? Might we not be at risk if we choose our own human thinking over that of a loving God? These Voices of Hope stand as a testimony to the reality of God in these people's lives.
    As a society, we need to ask ourselves the same questions. Where is God and our true identity in all of this?

  • B Man Orem, UT
    Feb. 24, 2014 7:47 a.m.

    Thank you for sharing this very helpful viewpoint of the fact that there are multiple choices for those who have same-gender attraction.

    Support for traditional marriage is support for a standard of morality that is best for society, best for the rearing of children, and best for civilization. It does not take away anyone's rights to live their life as they see fit (all of us subject, of course, to the consequences of our decisions).

    And it is good to know (particularly for those who are LDS and who struggle with same-gender attraction), that they can find peace, hope, and joy without acting out in a way that contradicts their belief in God and in his commandments.

    Thank you, Mr. and Mrs. Erickson, for sharing this.

    Also, for all who use the idea that legalizing SSM is just the path of history and that anyone who opposes it is standing on the wrong side of history... this wouldn't be the first time in the history of the world that a popular opinion trend has led to terrible consequences for the civilization that went that direction. For example, see Gibbons "Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire".

  • SlopJ30 St Louis, MO
    Feb. 24, 2014 7:55 a.m.

    " . . redefining marriage to eliminate mothers and fathers."

    Man, I need to read more of these pieces. I had no idea the Gay Mafia was intent on eliminating mothers and fathers. That changes everything!

  • FT salt lake city, UT
    Feb. 24, 2014 8:03 a.m.

    This article seems to sum up conservatives views of LGBT's. And that is, it's ok to be different as long as you act the same.

  • Allen Salt Lake valley, UT
    Feb. 24, 2014 8:11 a.m.

    @Karen R. "Doesn't this suggest that we really need to get our noses out of each other's business and let people make their own marriage decisions?"

    As long as government at any level regulates and defines marriage, the government officials will continue to stick their noses in other people's business. Only by ending government regulation and defining of marriage and letting individual people and social groups define marriage will we be free of interference by others. I'm active LDS and accept the LDS definition of marriage, but I think others should be able to define marriage for their relationships. The "others" I speak of do not include government officials who currently define marriage.

  • Eliyahu Pleasant Grove, UT
    Feb. 24, 2014 8:27 a.m.

    The underlying error in this story is the idea that a gay person can easily enjoy sex and intimacy with a partner of the opposite sex. My gay cousin explained it to me this way: "Imagine, as a straight person, that you're expected to become intimate with a person of the same sex. How do you feel inside? To a gay person, having sex with someone of the opposite sex creates that same feeling, often bordering on revulsion." Now ask yourself, is it fair or reasonable to ask your son or daughter to spend the rest of their life in a union with someone who is totally turned off by the idea of sexual intimacy with them? And what sort of model does that set for any children they might have, growing up with parents whose relationship is Platonic, at best?

  • Eliyahu Pleasant Grove, UT
    Feb. 24, 2014 8:32 a.m.

    @ Jimbo:
    "the sexual part of marriage is only a small part of the relationship and often but not always, the longer a couple is married, the smaller it gets."

    Even so, there will still be the physical intimacy -- cuddling, holding hands, snuggling together in bed -- and if the desire for that intimacy isn't there, the marriage will still suffer. Sex is only a part of the physical attraction needed for a good marriage. How many of you would want to be in a lifetime union with someone who would just as soon that you stay on your side of the bed and on your end of the couch?

  • Kalindra Salt Lake City, Utah
    Feb. 24, 2014 8:34 a.m.

    @ B man: You should read Gibbons "Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire" - because it doesn't say what you think it says.

  • Meckofahess Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 24, 2014 8:35 a.m.

    @ NewAgeMormon
    Draper, UT

    You said and I quote: "Since most Deseret News readers are LDS, I think it's very telling that 90% of the comments here are in favor of allowing equality for all. The tide has turned and it's now only a matter of time. Yes, I'm an active member of the LDS faith and I not only see the writing on the wall, I support it."

    What a ridiculous statement. It is obvious that many if not a majority of the commentators on some of the Deseret News articles are either gay or gay supporters. The majority of LDS members oppose same-sex marriage. You claim to be an acive member of the LDS Church. If that is true, go read the March edition of the Ensign and see what the Church's position is on same-sex marriage. It appears that you are on the opposite side of the Church's doctrine on same-sex marriage. Please explain how you can reconcile your position with the teachings of the Church.

  • dmcvey Los Angeles, CA
    Feb. 24, 2014 8:42 a.m.

    This is about people having equal rights. GLBT people should have the same rights as anyone else. This isn't a redefinition of marriage any more than having marriage between one man and one woman replace the notion of polygamy that is the norm in the Bible.

    I know it's hard for Mormons to understand this, but the way you feel about gay people isn't the issue. It doesn't matter that you don't "hate" gay people--it matters that they should have equal rights and opportunities. Their marriages won't affect yours any more than yours affect other people.

    And the fact that they found this one gay man who seems to have talked himself in circles in order to justify trying to deny equal rights not just to himself but to others like him is just pathetic.

  • Instereo Eureka, UT
    Feb. 24, 2014 8:44 a.m.

    To me saying that marriage equality is something that should be denied gay couples because they should learn to live within the constraints of society while fully embracing their same sex attraction, is a little like saying we should free slaves but not allow them to integrate into society. I ask, after 150 years have we really fully integrated the decedents of former slaves into our society or do we still have structures in society that either openly or in a subtile way close them to the opportunities many of us take for granted like voting, getting a loan, or going to a good school.

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    Feb. 24, 2014 9:04 a.m.

    Actually, I was just made aware last week of a marriage that is exactly what this article is about. A gay man marrying a women and having a family.

    Without too many details..the result is a decades long marriage where sex was still practiced, just not where you would hope it was in a marriage, and a terrific amount of trouble for the children.

    Working against human nature is not a good or practical thing.

  • rusty68 Cathedral City, CA
    Feb. 24, 2014 9:47 a.m.

    Q - Why is everybody mentioning that they are LDS?

    A - Because Utah is still a de facto LDS theocracy.

    NEWS FLASH:

    CIVIL marriage has NOTHING to do with the LDS Church or any other church.

    If your church teaches that same-sex marriage is not acceptable, then obey your church ... or leave and join a church that teaches equality, like the Episcopalians.

    Atheists and pagans marry every day in courthouses around the nation ... even in (GASP!) Zion. Their marriages are legally valid, and they receive all the benefits attached thereto ...

    AS SAME-SEX COUPLES SHOULD! It's in the CONSTITUTION (14th Amendment).

  • EstoPerpetua Holden, MA
    Feb. 24, 2014 9:54 a.m.

    I am male, born in 1941 and I was attracted to a military man. When I was five, I was emotionally attracted to a 6 year old boy. The following years continued to yield the same attraction to the same sex.

    I tried having girlfriends, including a very attractive Marilyn Monroe type girl. I could not become aroused by the opposite sex. They are like a pretty flower to which I have no sexual attraction.

    I went into the Navy in 1959, came out in Washington D.C. in 1960, and met my lifetime partner in 1962 in Boston.

    I received an honorable discharge in 1963, went to business school and learned computers, worked as a computer software professional, married my partner in 2004 when it became legal in Massachusetts, and retired in 2008.

    Today we are continuing to live our American dream, normally, as two married homosexual men.

    People need to be taught to know themselves i.e. know thyself and be true to thyself. Or today, we might say:
    Know who you are and be that person. People need to stop trying to teach what they think or heard about who a person is. They simply do not know others, only themselves.

  • rusty68 Cathedral City, CA
    Feb. 24, 2014 9:58 a.m.

    Comparing me to a drug addict, a kleptomaniac, a paedophile, etc. isn't going to win you any points with "Heavenly Father," OR the LGBTQAI community, OR the Federal Court system.

    By all means, continue.

    Our lawyers thank you.

    "Animus" as a reason for a law is not admissible in court.

  • brotherJonathan SLC, UT
    Feb. 24, 2014 10:02 a.m.

    Call it what it is "A Civil Union".
    If both sides of the debate would agree that a civil union between the same sex is a partnership with rights specified by legal agreement and not a marriage this would be more acceptable to all that are opposed to the wording. Marriage by definition is between man and woman. Rights on both sides could be preserved.
    If the real goal is to promote this practice of same sex as being a true or viable alternative to male and female union and can produce the same results: this is not logical or accurate. Same sex does not produce offspring. The question of public display of affection is always a difficult one whether homosexual or heterosexual. Use of our constitution so equality under all law is persevered, this is paramount to fair and just treatment of all citizens.

  • Azazael Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 24, 2014 10:26 a.m.

    Contrary to what some posts here seem to suggest, this article is not trying to advocate all people with SSA marrying people of the opposite sex. No one is suggesting forcing people to marry people that they are not attracted to.

    In the context of the Amendment-3 debate this article is trying to show that the basic human right to marry and have a family is not being denied to anyone; rather, that SSM seeks to redefine marriage.

    @Moderate
    We entrust legislators with the power to enact laws for the benefit of society. Families and parenting benefit society. Laws promote homeownership over renting and give benefits to small business owners. Legislators should be able to enact laws to promote the definition of the family that they believe best promotes the good of society.

    I’m with @Locke. We don’t need a redefinition of marriage to address the real grievances of same-sex couples.

  • Sven Morgan, UT
    Feb. 24, 2014 10:24 a.m.

    Baker Boy said:

    "I would ask any straight person if he or she would consider marrying someone of the same sex. the idea is just plain stupid, yet expecting gay people to do the opposite plays into the ongoing discrimination of and disdain for gay people."

    Why don't you answer the question: "Why wouldn't a strait person consider marrying a person of the same sex?" The answer is easy; homosexuality goes against the laws of nature. Ever wonder why homosexuals only make up about 2-3 percent of the entire population? Men and women were designed for one another. Yes, I said designed. Men and women have the ability to procreate. Men and women are designed to complement one another.

    More often than not, when I see a homosexual couple, one of the individuals will almost always take on the more feminine role, while the other takes on the more masculine role. For instance, when you see lesbians, one will almost always take on the male role; wearing men's clothes, men's hairstyles, acting more masculine etc. The other will take on the more feminine role. They are, in essence, proving what nature (God) intended.

  • ImaUteFan West Jordan, UT
    Feb. 24, 2014 10:29 a.m.

    @Ranch - If you think the Church will EVER changes its position on SSM marriage, here you go:

    "Our understanding of God’s plan and His doctrine gives us an eternal perspective that does not allow us to condone such behaviors or to find justification in the laws that permit them. And, unlike other organizations that can change their policies and even their doctrines, our policies are determined by the truths God has identified as unchangeable.

    . . . But man’s laws cannot make moral what God has declared immoral. Commitment to our highest priority—to love and serve God—requires that we look to His law for our standard of behavior. For example, we remain under divine command not to commit adultery or fornication even when those acts are no longer crimes under the laws of the states or countries where we reside. Similarly, laws legalizing so-called “same-sex marriage” do not change God’s law of marriage or His commandments and our standards concerning it. We remain under covenant to love God and keep His commandments and to refrain from serving other gods and priorities—even those becoming popular in our particular time and place."

    Dallin H. Oaks, October Conference, 2013

  • TheTrueVoice West Richland, WA
    Feb. 24, 2014 10:29 a.m.

    To those who continue to promote legal bigotry and discrimination while hiding behind supernatural dogma.... tick-tock, tick-tock... April 10th will be here soon.

    That's day that the 10th District Appeals will hear oral arguments... and shortly thereafter, they will agree with the Shelby ruling, and the days of Utah creating 2nd-class citizens (both adults *and* children) via marriage apartheid will be over.

    For too long, the regional majority's ability to enact dogma-driven legislation has harmed its citizenry. Those days are now over. In order to continue to repress your fellow citizens, detractors must now provide proof, using reason and logic, that SSM is harmful to society.

    You can't. Because it isn't harmful. And never has been, except those who allow dogma to control their thoughts and behaviors.

    There is a reason why every single federal court ruling since Windsor last summer has thrown out *ALL* of these lame arguments banning SSM: they are intellectually dishonest, they cannot withstand the most casual constitutional scrutiny, and they are patently un-American.

  • ThatGuyFromOrlando Orlando, FL
    Feb. 24, 2014 10:51 a.m.

    re: describes the Hobson’s choice presented to same-sex attracted men and women
    actually, that's a false dichotomy. There are lots of options that aren't "stay in the closet" and "become a gay activist totally defined by their sexual orientation"

    so their entire premise is built on a fallacy.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Feb. 24, 2014 11:00 a.m.

    IMO It's this hedonistic philosophy that whatever you are sexually attracted to.. you should indulge, that leads people to reject the possibility that if they experience same-sex attraction, that they can't control that attraction.

    We expect people who are sexually attracted to children to control that urge. We put them in jail if they don't.

    We expect someone who is attracted to a woman that is not their wife to control their attraction and their urges.

    Before anybody goes there... I'm not comparing gay people with pedophiles or anything. I'm just comparing the need to control our sexual attractions and our urges when it comes to taboo sexual attractions.

    We can't always control what attracts us. But we can still control how we respond to those attractions and urges.

    Some people have what seems like a natural and uncontrollable attraction to something that is still taboo in our society (children, people they are not married to, close relatives, etc). We need to learn to control that attraction. That's part of the test the individual has been given.

    May sound harsh, but it may be worth thinking about from that perspective.

  • Baccus0902 Leesburg, VA
    Feb. 24, 2014 11:11 a.m.

    I find this article not only insulting and disrespectful but overwhelmingly cruel!!

    LGBT in Heterosexual marriages is not a new idea, It was the norm for a long time.

    After I finished my mission, as a god LDS man I wanted to marry. However, as an LDS man I wanted to be honest. I promised myself I would never marry someone I couldn't fully love, I wouldn't expose the mother of my future children to deceit or suffering of any sort because of my nature.

    I was told that I could be cured. I went through the Reparative Therapy the church and some secular groups offered at the time (1978) I was not cured. Actually, at the end they said this was like AA you are never cured, you just live one day at a time and control it.

    In 1981 I found my soul-mate, a wonderful man. We have a wonderful daughter and we are very happy. I want to make sure the life we have built together is not destroyed when one of us is gone, that is why we need to get married.

  • Ranch Here, UT
    Feb. 24, 2014 11:14 a.m.

    Meckofahess says:

    "go read the... Ensign and see what the Church's position is on same-sex marriage. ... you are on the opposite side of the Church's doctrine on same-sex marriage. Please explain how you can reconcile your position with the teachings of the Church."

    --- Once upon a time, LDS members were told to examine the teachings and decide for themselves. Are you now supposed to just say "yes sir!" and all the thinking for yourself stops there?

    @brotherJonathan;

    And if we marry in our churches that allow SSM, what then, do we get to use the word "marriage" or will you still be offended?

    @Azazael;

    FYI. We, too, are parents and families.

    @ImaUteFan;

    I'm just pointing out how inconsistent your church has been, historically. Don't be surprised if they change their minds again.

  • UT Brit London, England
    Feb. 24, 2014 11:41 a.m.

    @ImaUteFan

    I can provide quotes from apostles alive today that are a direct contradiction to what the churches stance is regarding homosexuality. Things change.

  • Baccus0902 Leesburg, VA
    Feb. 24, 2014 12:30 p.m.

    @
    ImaUteFan

    You wrote:

    @Ranch - If you think the Church will EVER changes its position on SSM marriage, here you go:

    Then you go on quoting Elder Oaks.

    "Our understanding of God’s plan and His doctrine gives us an eternal perspective that does not allow us to condone such behaviors or to find justification in the laws that permit them. And, unlike other organizations that can change their policies and even their doctrines, our policies are determined by the truths God has identified as unchangeable."

    ImaUteFan:

    I think the LDS Church will change, you know why? Because, I know the leaders of the Church are good men who wants to do the will of God.

    Did you read the book "the Miracle of Forgiveness" by President Kimball? Can you say the posture of the church has not changed since that book was first published?

    I believe in God's Revelation to his children, and I believe the time will come when the gospel will be fully revealed and we will know and understand why homosexuality is part of humankind. This is not a new phenomenon, you find it at any time in history, any culture and ethnicity.

  • ImaUteFan West Jordan, UT
    Feb. 24, 2014 1:49 p.m.

    Ranch - And don't be surprised when they don't change their minds.

    UT Brit - Go ahead and post those quotes, I'd love to read them.

  • UT Brit London, England
    Feb. 24, 2014 2:18 p.m.

    Boyd K Packer

    There is a falsehood that some are born with an attraction to their own kind, with nothing they can do about it. They are just 'that way' and can only yield to those desires. That is a malicious and destructive lie. While it is a convincing idea to some, it is of the devil. No one is locked into that kind of life.

    Dallin H Oakes

    Dallin H. Oaks
    We should note that the words homosexual, lesbian, and Gay are adjectives to describe particular thoughts, feelings or behaviors. We should refrain from using these words as nouns to identify particular conditions or specific persons. Our religious doctrine dictates this usage. It is wrong to use these words to denote a condition, because this implies that a person is consigned by birth to a circumstance in which he or she has no choice in respect to the critically important matter of sexual behavior.

    The contradiction is shown from the new website below, right at the top of the page.

    Mormon and gays website

    Even though individuals do not choose to have such attractions, they do choose how to respond to them.

    There are many more quotes.

  • mauister Wailuku, HI
    Feb. 24, 2014 2:24 p.m.

    The problem is the moral stigma regarding same-sex sex, which is a social bias that contradicts the innate natures of gay people. Many times people suppress their innate desires to get along with society. Others don't.

  • RFLASH Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 24, 2014 3:06 p.m.

    This is why it is so important to have separation of church and state! People are so sure that they have the truth, that they can not separate the two. So, when it comes down to making up rules or laws, they don't even bother to consider another's point of view! LDS people have given themselves the privelege of deciding what marriage should be! They have taken for themselves the authority to decide which marriages and families will be eternal and it will only happen if it is done their way! They also feel like they should have the right to religous freedom, which would include the right to take away the rights of gay people and deny them any kind of equality in society.
    You keep on insisting that something is wrong with gay people and you won't let go of it! We will continuie to fight for our rights. I have had a gay partner for 15 years. It feels right because it is! I am happy! You don't want that story, do you! You don't want any successful gay stories and there are many! I will share!

  • bj-hp Maryville, MO
    Feb. 24, 2014 5:59 p.m.

    UT Brit: You are misrepresenting what they are saying. If you went and read the entire part of where your quotes come from you will find that both will state that those with Same Sex attraction must obey and be chaste. That some may not be able to marry in this life but that they are not repeat not to live the gay lifestyle. This means that in this life they must abstain from all sexual relations unless they are to get married by the definition the Lord so states. Homosexuality in and of itself is not a sin but to act I repeat act on the attraction which then becomes a choice they are then going against the law that our Heavenly Father has stated. Marriage is defined as between man and woman. Nothing else matters but that definition. In the end it will matter greatly because same sex marriage will not and again I repeat will not go beyond the veil.

  • JenPen Woods Cross, UT
    Feb. 24, 2014 6:51 p.m.

    I applaud the people in this article who are strong enough to see the end from the beginning and do in their lives what will bring true and lasting happiness now and eternally for them and for the children who depend so much on the stability only marriage between a man and a woman can provide them. 2 Nephi 24:3 "And it shall come to pass in that day that the Lord shall give thee rest, from thy sorrow, and from thy fear, and from the hard bondage wherein thou wast made to serve." To those who suffer from same-sex attraction, we love you and pray for you to be strong enough to make the moral decisions that will bless you and those you love eternally. Marriage between a man and a woman is essential to God's plan for the eternal happiness of all of His children.

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    Feb. 24, 2014 7:11 p.m.

    Marriage at route means the uniting of a man and a woman. The nature of the institution only exists when it has a man and a woman. Children are best off if raised by two parents one from each gender.

    It is time people started recognizing this, and making law that strove for this ideal.

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    Feb. 24, 2014 9:05 p.m.

    bj-hp says:

    "...that both will state that those with Same Sex attraction must obey and be chaste. That some may not be able to marry in this life but that they are not repeat not to live the gay lifestyle."

    1) If we marry, then we'll be as chaste as any heterosexual couple within marriage.

    2) The second half is utterly ridiculous. Why should any gay person "wait until the next life" (which is a fiction!) and waste this one? This is the life we have, this is the life WE SHOULD LIVE - there is not "next life".

    @JenPen;

    FYI. We don't "suffer from same-sex attraction", you do suffer from the delusions of religion though.

    @JPLOM;

    Do we get to make laws that restrict your rights? No? Then you do not get to make laws that restrict ours. MYOB.

  • rusty68 Cathedral City, CA
    Feb. 24, 2014 9:55 p.m.

    @John Pack Lambert of Michigan:

    Let's make laws against religious bigotry and discrimination instead.

  • UT Brit London, England
    Feb. 25, 2014 12:15 a.m.

    @bj-hp

    You are not reading the quotes or the church website. The quotes clearly state that same sex attractions are a choice while the church website clearly states it is not a choice. How is that not a contradiction?

    The church has clearly changed its stance on homosexuality over the years. I've been a member for a while and seen it. A few decades ago in Utah they used to send some homosexuals to mental institutions. Read up on the churches use of aversion therapy in the 70's, it does not make for pleasant reading.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Feb. 25, 2014 8:03 a.m.

    There once was a time when LDS Church leaders said polygamy would NEVER change.
    It did, and many ultra-Conservative members left the Church.

    There once was a time when LDS Church leaders said Blacks would never receive the Priesthood in this life.
    It changed, and many ultra-Conservative members left the Church.

    There is a time now when some say Gays will never be married in the Church,
    I'll give you some advise --
    Don't leave the Church if/when that changes.

    BTW --
    The same thing applies with Socialism/Communism...

    I'm good with it,
    ALL of it.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Feb. 25, 2014 8:17 a.m.

    From LDS dot Org:

    The Church has advocated for rights for same-sex couples regarding “hospitalization and medical care, fair housing and employment rights, or probate rights, so long as these do not infringe on the integrity of the traditional family or the constitutional rights of churches.” In Salt Lake City, for example, the Church supported ordinances aimed at protecting gay residents from discrimination in housing and employment."

    Reading that,
    The Church could still fully support Civil Unions and Domestic Partneships.

    I stand with the Church,
    and our gay Brothers and Sisters.

    Anyone suggesting less is NOT following official LDS Church policy.

  • Baccus0902 Leesburg, VA
    Feb. 25, 2014 9:07 a.m.

    The Desert News is very much interested in the developments of the Same Sex Marriage issue. It makes sense the LDS church investigates and explores this issue since there is discrepancy between the LDS doctrinal concept of marriage and the broader view of the civil and secular society.
    In pursue of the truth would be interesting that the Deseret News publish articles written by LGBT people. It would be interesting to know the various points of view of LDS homosexuals on this topic.
    With all due respect to Mr. and Mrs. Erickson, they don't have the expertise or the first hand knowledge of what means to be gay. You can find very accomplished writers, psychologists, and professionals in all fields that are gay and could provide us with well written and objective papers on this issue.
    I always remember this line from the movie "In Search of Happiness" "only when you are not afraid of the truth you can find it".

  • EstoPerpetua Holden, MA
    Feb. 25, 2014 9:26 a.m.

    People created religion and all of the related religious books, not God. They believed the world was flat until science proved otherwise. There are good values that teach us to be kind and love one another. Why not practice the good values which are based on common sense and leave the rest back in the dark ages from whence it came from. As for marriage, it is ironic that those who preach about marriage as being between a man and women do not mention all of those who never marry and have children or those who marry and never have children. These people are part of our civilization and deserve equal rights as do all Americans including LGBTs.

  • Sven Morgan, UT
    Feb. 25, 2014 10:11 a.m.

    EstoPerpetua said:

    "These people are part of our civilization and deserve equal rights as do all Americans including LGBTs..."

    Two points:

    1) Homosexuals don't want equal rights; they indeed want special rights. Ever hear "Hate Crimes"? Somehow, according to Homosexuals, crimes committed against are more serious and harmful than crimes committed against Heterosexuals. The whole idea of hate crimes is anything but "equal rights."

    2) What does transgender even mean anyway? Apparently this a person who just cannot decide if they're male or female...even though they have anatomy that tells them otherwise. Okay, so what "equal rights" do these folks require? Maybe the freedom to use whatever bathroom they deem appropriate on a given day, if they are feeling a little more male than female, or visa versa?

    I'm very curious what your thoughts are?

  • Janet Ontario, OR
    Feb. 25, 2014 10:26 a.m.

    Jews traditionally see themselves as the Covenant People, having a contract with God, and therefore they are required to do or not do certain things. They have never expected Gentiles/Goyim to keep the covenants that are (to them)uniquely Jewish. A Catholic nun or priest has taken a vow of chastity, but no priest expects every member of his parish to remain single and celibate. As a Mormon, I do not keep kosher or observe Catholic days of holy obligation. Nor do I face Mecca and pray five times a day. However, I keep the covenants I have made. I have family members who are not LDS. I wish they wouldn't drink alcohol or use tobacco, but I am not going to try to force them to follow the commandments I have covenanted to keep. There are countries in the world where strict moral standards are enforced under penalty of imprisonment, torture, and even death. Agency means nothing, for all must be forced to comply. Now, whose plan was that again? We should be free to preach and embrace God's word as we understand it, but when a theocracy is established, Jesus will establish it.

  • Owen Heber City, UT
    Feb. 25, 2014 1:48 p.m.

    Amen to LDS Lib:

    The March 2014 Ensign: "Some would have us believe that the Church’s stand against same-gender physical relationships is a temporary policy and not an eternal doctrine. Such a belief would be at odds with the scriptures, with the words of modern prophets, and with the plan of salvation ..."

    First Presidency, 1947: “… inter (racial) marriage, a concept which has heretofore been most repugnant to most normal-minded people … We are not unmindful of the fact that there is a growing tendency… toward the breaking down of race barriers in the matter of intermarriage between whites and blacks, but it does not have the sanction of the Church and is contrary to Church doctrine."

  • JSB Sugar City, ID
    Feb. 25, 2014 2:50 p.m.

    Schnee: If Gay marriage is legalized, legalization of polygamous and polyamorous (two or more adults of each sex) "families" will follow. After all, these people "love and are committed to each other" too. These "families" are anxiously looking forward to that door being opened. Legalization of three or more homosexual people getting "married" could also happen. The long term socially chaotic effects of gay marriage and what will follow will be disastrous for our society and tragic for the children involved. Given the serious problems we presently have in our society, whatever our sexual inclinations are, isn't it time for us to start living in a mature and responsible way and to discourage selfish, irresponsible sexual behavior? Is it too much to ask and expect of our fellow citizens to live a chaste life? Are people who desire this kind of civil society really mean spirited bigots or are they genuinely concerned good citizens?

  • Baccus0902 Leesburg, VA
    Feb. 25, 2014 3:00 p.m.

    @ SVEN

    Special rights????

    "Unlike race, gender, age, ethnicity or religion, sexual orientation is not a protected characteristic under current federal civil rights law. But following the 1969 Stonewall riots of gays in Greenwich Village, a key goal of the gay and lesbian political movement has been to win civil rights protection against discrimination in employment, housing, and elsewhere. Too often, gay men and lesbians face hostility, discrimination -- and sometimes deadly violence -- solely because of their sexual orientation.

    Hate crimes committed against gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and/or transgendered individuals constitute the third-highest category of hate crimes reported to the FBI -- 14% of all hate crimes reported nationally, according to the Human Rights Campaign. And while violent crime rates have been declining generally, the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs reports that the number of actual or suspected anti-gay murders is on the rise: from 14 in 1997 to 33 in 1998 and 28 in 1999. "

    SVEN:
    You can give yourself a few minutes to look for some of the crimes against LGBT that make the news. Many go unreported. Study, compare and then decide if you will keep your mind set about violence against homosexuals.

  • Sven Morgan, UT
    Feb. 26, 2014 2:19 a.m.

    @Baccus0902 said:

    "...the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs reports that the number of actual or suspected anti-gay murders is on the rise: from 14 in 1997 to 33 in 1998 and 28 in 1999."

    Okay, please provide the actual cases (not "suspected" cases, whatever that means) of anti-gay murders and violence that are supposedly plaguing our nation. If this is such an epidemic, it should be easy to provide names, incidents in question, convictions and other data for these cases.

    I ask again, why should the penalties for violence or murder, perpetrated against homosexuals, be different from those same acts being committed against other members of our society? We already have laws on the books for murder and abuse. Why should one group have more value placed on them in the eyes of our justice system, over another group. Murder is murder.

    So, homosexuals never commit acts of violence against other homosexuals? Are we to believe that any and all violence that happens to a homosexual, is always by an evil homophobe? I'll wager a good portion of violence against homosexuals, is by other homosexuals. Nice to have a scapegoat though.

  • Maudine SLC, UT
    Feb. 26, 2014 10:33 a.m.

    @ Sven: You misunderstand hate crimes legislation. Since everyone has a sexual orientation, sexual orientation hate crimes laws would protect everyone - just as religious hate crimes laws protect everyone including Mormons whose chapels in Chubbock, ID have recently been vandalized.

    While it is true that there are anti-vandalism laws in place, the nature of the vandalism in this case elevates the harm caused by the vandalism and hate crime legislation will allow the state and/or federal government to elevate the punishment to match the increased level of harm.

    This increased level of punishment is not a "special right" for Mormons, but an equality of protection based on the severity of the crime.

  • nycut New York, NY
    Feb. 26, 2014 3:38 p.m.

    @JSB:
    "Just like heterosexuals must control their sexual appetites, so should responsible homosexuals."

    For you, "controlling your sexual appetites" seems to mean having sex only with a person of the opposite sex, who you've married-- a chaste ideal you think saves us from social ills. Oh, and what a lucky coincidence, it aligns with your own emotional and sexual attractions.

    But for gay people, "controlling your sexual appetite" means NOT having sex, NOT marrying a person of the same sex, NOT existing in alignment with their own emotional and sexual attractions.

    @JSB:
    "Is it too much to ask and expect of our fellow citizens to live a chaste life? Are people who desire this kind of civil society really mean spirited bigots or are they genuinely concerned good citizens?"

    Reducing gay people to an out-of-control sexual appetite is offensive and inaccurate. Seeking to exclude them because you believe it’s morally wrong to be gay is bigoted.

    You refuse to see gay people as whole people, whose emotional and sexual lives are reflective of a meaningful human existence.

    So yes, expecting your fellow citizens to live life according to your values is too much to ask.

  • equal protection Cedar, UT
    Feb. 28, 2014 9:28 a.m.

    re: "...without redefining marriage to eliminate mothers and fathers"

    History shows us that marriage is not defined by those who are excluded. Otherwise, why would we allow opposite sex felon spousal, child, drug and alcohol abusers to civil marry? Interracial couples wanted to participate in the institution that traditionally did not allow them to marry. Tradition is simply not a valid reason to continue a practice of discrimination. There are no:
    -Interracial marriage licenses
    -felony marriage licenses.
    -non-procreative marriage licenses.
    Allowing same-sex couples to participate and/or strengthen the existing institution, means there is only ONE marriage license for all. Nothing has been re-defined. Look no further than "traditional voting" which was NOT "re-defined" by allowing women the right to vote. Some say the meaning of voting was redefined, confusing people about the real meaning of voting, by including another gender. Nonsense.

    A right to marry someone for which there is no attraction or desire of intimacy is simply no right at all.

    The "ideal way for bearing/procreating children" does not have the slightest relevance to civil marriage law. Parental fitness and procreation is an issue for adoption, reproductive and family law.

  • equal protection Cedar, UT
    Feb. 28, 2014 9:36 a.m.

    re: "I think you missed an opportunity to really explain options that people with SSA have."

    What about the folks who are afflicted with ONLY opposite sex attraction? Would society view a decision to marry someone of the SAME-sex a rational and logical thing for them to do?

    Does this situation make sense and the best way to insure the success of their marriage?

    We need voices of hope, voices of reason and truth for these marriages too. Until that happens I see a train wreck in the making.

    Been there done that. The biggest lie I ever told myself, was that I'm only same-sex attracted, but I'm certainly NOT one of those!

  • Stop The Nonsense El Paso, TX
    Feb. 28, 2014 11:05 a.m.

    The reason tax breaks were given to couples with children is because it is in the government's best interest to replenish and grow the next generation of workers/taxpayers. Previously, it was common practice in our society for people to get married and then have children (in that order), so tax benefits were made available to married couples (because of their reproductive potential) in the hopes that it would help incentivize couples to marry and reproduce. Seems we've lost sight of that objective. The government doesn't subsidize marriage because it wants more married couples, it does so because it wants a larger future work force. (And please do not respond with, "Well what about infertile couples?!" as that is a tired, overly-simplified argument.)

    I guess you could argue that stable relationships are also a benefit to the country, with which I would agree, but because marriage (straight or gay) does not ensure this by any means, that argument becomes somewhat insubstantial when you consider the poor return on investment that would be for the government.

    Paying people with tax breaks to have children is all about dollars and cents for the government.

  • Schnee Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 28, 2014 11:23 a.m.

    @JSB
    "If Gay marriage is legalized, legalization of polygamous and polyamorous (two or more adults of each sex) "families" will follow."

    That's a slippery slope logical fallacy.

    "isn't it time for us to start living in a mature and responsible way and to discourage selfish, irresponsible sexual behavior?"

    Perhaps, there's just one problem with that...

    "Is it too much to ask and expect of our fellow citizens to live a chaste life?"

    ... there's no reason to oppose monogamous homosexual relationships since those encourage responsible sexual behavior.

    "Are people who desire this kind of civil society really mean spirited bigots"

    Desiring a more chaste society in and of itself isn't bigoted, but if one is taking a position contrary to that claimed goal by making an exception in order to target one particular group... that would seem to carry some animus with it towards that particular group.

  • Big Bubba Herriman, UT
    Feb. 28, 2014 3:53 p.m.

    Thanks for being brave and sharing your stories. God bless you and your wonderful families.

  • RFLASH Salt Lake City, UT
    March 4, 2014 4:47 p.m.

    I would like to say something to Michael and Jenet. You seem like wonderful people and although I do not agree with you, I do believe that you care. I just want to suggest that you take some time and talk and get to know other gay people. Being in my relationship has been the good part of my life! The difficult part is dealing with all the people I care about who treat me differently! How often have you taken a moment to listen to what gay people have to say? You may always believe the same, as far as religion goes, but if you took some time and allowed us to sincerely tell you our stories, I promise you that you will change the way you perceive and view us! I have friends who have married and ones who didn't but went back to church. I would never ridicule their decisions, but that can never work for some of us! I could never live a lie! I can not live my whole life based on a lie! I almost died. I had a near death experience! I know that God accepts me as I am!

  • AZcoug8 Mesa, AZ
    Feb. 1, 2015 2:03 a.m.

    Been trying to figure out how I feel about this issue (people with SSA marrying someone of the opposite gender for whatever reason). I've come to a simple conclusion:

    Political- I support their RIGHT to marry whomever they choose. No ifs, ands or buts.

    Personal- I feel sorry for both partners in that marriage, because they chose to marry someone that wasn't right for them in some way. The most common from what I've seen is a homosexual man marrying a straight woman. I feel so sorry, especially for the woman, who has to accept that she will never be his ideal.

    See how easy that is, 'defenders of marriage'? Separate rights and beliefs.