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Utah

Attorney for same-sex couples files brief in Amendment 3 appeal

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  • Ranch Here, UT
    Feb. 26, 2014 6:33 a.m.

    The state should ask for their money back. The lawyers they purchased to defend their position wrote up a real lemon; this rebuttal shreds the state's case to itty-bitty-pieces.

  • Kalindra Salt Lake City, Utah
    Feb. 26, 2014 6:40 a.m.

    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 decided that not only did same-sex couples not deserve marriage, their relationships deserve no legal recognition or protection.

    Only by striking down Amendment 3 can any legal recognition and protections be 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.

  • John Kateel Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 26, 2014 6:53 a.m.

    This is probably the most well crafted legal counter punch I have ever seen. They used every argument that the State of Utah created, turned it around, and used it against them. The plaintiffs are pro marriage, pro family, and pro Constitution. The State of Utah seems almost juvenile in comparison with their arguments. I cannot wait for this to go all the way to the Supreme Court for a 5-4 ruling in favor of gay marriage nationwide. It almost as if the State of Utah is intentionally and deliberately stepping into a trap. Like they are intentionally choosing intellectual martyrdom. Analogous to a lost cause final push. They would rather go down blazing than give up one inch. Thank you Justice Sotomayor for setting this up nicely so that this gets fast tracked to the Supreme Court.

  • Flashback Kearns, UT
    Feb. 26, 2014 8:27 a.m.

    Read the 10th Amendment to the United States constitution folks.

  • Jamescmeyer Midwest City, USA, OK
    Feb. 26, 2014 8:28 a.m.

    The state of Utah treats two people of the same sex as "legal strangers" for the same reason it treats a given group of three or more people, or a person and an animal, as legal strangers. States recognize marriage, a union of a man and a woman, for the benefit of that state in social stability and rearing children who will grow into productive adults, which benefits the state.

    With the illegal and irrational push people have made to try and change marriage in Utah recently, they themselves have made it legally more confusing on those involved.

  • Maudine SLC, UT
    Feb. 26, 2014 9:31 a.m.

    @ Flashback: US Constitution, Article VI, Clause 2: "This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; ... shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding."

    Amendment IX: "The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people."

    Amendment X: "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, NOR PROHIBITED BY IT TO THE STATES, are reserved to the States respectively, or TO THE PEOPLE." (emphasis added)

    Amendment XIV, Section 1: "... No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."

    The 10th Amendment does not mean what you think it means once you fully read it and the rest of the Constitution.

  • JSB Sugar City, ID
    Feb. 26, 2014 10:02 a.m.

    For good reason, most Utah citizens desire a chaste society (i.e. one in which any intimate sex including outside of heterosexual marriage is discouraged). The advantages of a chaste society over a promiscuous society are very clear. The more promiscuous a society is the sicker it is: There is 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, should a state be forced to legitimize these behaviors through liberalizing marriage laws? Can’t a state or the people of the state for the good of the state, openly encourage chaste behavior and discourage sexually promiscuous behavior through reasonable laws and social pressure or expectations. Instead, those people who want to improve society through encouraging chaste behavior are branded by some mean spirited people as bigots.

  • Maudine SLC, UT
    Feb. 26, 2014 10:04 a.m.

    @ Jamescmeyer: People and animals are not treated as legal strangers - animals are treated as property and people have ownership rights over them. Animals cannot consent to this ownership arrangement (nor can they consent to any other arrangement) because they are animals and lack the capacity for self-determination - unlike humans.

    As for polygamy, there are many legal ramifications associated with the legalization of polygamy including the recognition of individuals as more than legal strangers within a relationship involving more than 2 people (e.g., what is the relationship of spouse 1 to spouse 2, how many spouses can each spouse have).

    Marriage has many social benefits and married same-sex couples provide those same social benefits including the rearing of children into productive adults.

    The recently filed plaintiff's brief shreds the Amendment 3 claims made by the state - and, by extension, your argument as well.

  • isrred South Jordan, UT
    Feb. 26, 2014 10:27 a.m.

    "Amendment 3 is also unconstitutional, however, for an even more basic reason: Preventing same-sex couples from marrying does not rationally advance any legitimate governmental interest. Even assuming that each of the governmental interests proffered by the state is legitimate, there is simply no rational connection between any of those asserted objectives and prohibiting same-sex couples from sharing in the protections and obligations of civil marriage...The State's argument that barring same-sex couples from marriage is rationally related to fostering a child-centric marriage culture--and in particular, that eliminating that ban might undermine marriage and cause parents to be less committed to their children--has no footing in any reasonably conceivable state of facts."
    This brief excellently exposes the absurdity of the State's arguments that no judge or court in this country has accepted.

  • TheTrueVoice West Richland, WA
    Feb. 26, 2014 10:48 a.m.

    "The state of Utah treats two people of the same sex as "legal strangers" for the same reason it treats a given group of three or more people, or a person and an animal, as legal strangers."

    It is egregious statements like this - comparing marriage equality to the patently illegal activities polygamy and bestiality - continue to demonstrate the true nature of those promoting state-sanction discrimination: pure animus.

    Polygamy = ILLEGAL in the United States.

    Bestiality = ILLEGAL in the United States.

    Homosexuality = LEGAL in the Untied States.

  • rad3 SLC, UT
    Feb. 26, 2014 10:48 a.m.

    @JSB Stating same sex relationships are sexually promiscuous is archaic, offensive, and all around ignorant and belittling. And though I highly question the validity of your underlying argument, allowing same sex marriage would obviously reduce sex outside of marriage thus increasing your limited perception of chastity. If anything the stability of society would increase with such unions as all committed relationships would be encouraged.

  • Baccus0902 Leesburg, VA
    Feb. 26, 2014 10:53 a.m.

    @ JSB
    You wrote: "For good reason, most Utah citizens desire a chaste society (i.e. one in which any intimate sex including outside of heterosexual marriage is discouraged). The advantages of a chaste society over a promiscuous society are very clear."

    It is ironic, but you and others who oppose SSM are advocating for a promiscuous society.

    For two millennial due to the distorted teachings of Christ, homosexuals have been forced to live their sexual lives in obscurity. This situation have had men and women living double lives. Carrying as you mentioned venereal diseases and other social problems due to multiple unknown sexual partners.

    The LGBT community is fighting for equal rights to live chaste, monogamous lives, to have a husband or wife and raised their kids as a normal family. Yet, you opposed that.

    The fact that homosexuality is disgusting to you, it is your problem. Your disgust doesn't take away that we are asking to live just as you describe. Yes we are not heterosexuals, but faithfulness, loyalty, love, is the same for us as is for you.

    If you really believe what you wrote, you may like to take a second look to both sides.

  • Tekakaromatagi Dammam, Saudi Arabia
    Feb. 26, 2014 10:57 a.m.

    "No matter how deeply they care for one another or how long they have stood by one another, for better or for worse, in sickness and in health, Amendment 3 treats plaintiffs and other same-sex couples as legal strangers to one another," according to the court filing.

    I love my Mom, I love my Dad, why can't I get marriage benefits from them? Am I legal stranger.

    If one type of non-procreational union can get marriage beneftis then all non-procreational unions should be able to get the legal benefits. Or else we've created a new class of second class citizens.

  • Maudine SLC, UT
    Feb. 26, 2014 11:33 a.m.

    @ JSB: Homosexuals cannot have unwanted children. Homosexuals in monogamous relationships - including marriage - are every bit as chaste as heterosexuals in monogamous relationships.

    If you truly believed the rest of your post, you would be advocating for improved sex education and legal sanctions against those who violate their marriage vows - none of which has anything to do with prohibiting same-sex marriage.

    @ Teka: Parents and children have a legal connection to each other - it is codified on a birth certificate or through adoption paperwork. Denying same-sex marriage often prohibits that legal relationship between one parent and their child.

    As for your comment, "If one type of non-procreational union can get marriage beneftis then all non-procreational unions should be able to get the legal benefits." that is exactly the claim being put forth by same-sex marriage proponents - infertile couples, aged couples, couples where one party is in jail, are all allowed to marry even though they cannot procreate but the state wants to deny marriage to same-sex couples on procreation grounds. You are right - it does create second class citizens. (And FYI - relationships between parents and children are not "unions.")

  • Strider303 Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 26, 2014 11:39 a.m.

    Help Me Obi-Wan, I don't understand.

    If Same Sex couples want to be treated just like any other couple with regard to marriage, why does DesNews (in this case) and media in many other cases identify the "couple" as either lesbian or gay?

    If uniformity of treatment is the goal, why is there some kind of clarification of the couple in question? To be truly uniform, we could add heterosexual to male and female couples to match, or go along with, the gay or lesbian explanation. Or we, as a society, could use the old hat title of homosexual/heterosexual and drop the gay/lesbian titles.

    It seems to be a conflicting goal, the quest to be included in the population as just folks, and then constantly trumpeting a rather obvious anomaly, culturally speaking.

    I find it hard to form an opinion of a person as a person, when immediately their sexual orientation is thrust into the forefront of the process of getting to know someone. We don't seek strangers political party preference, favorite baseball team or what vehicle they drive or food preferences. Why the constant proclamation of their sexual orientation?

  • Kaladin Greeley, CO
    Feb. 26, 2014 11:38 a.m.

    @TheTrueVoice - You say that polygamy is illegal so the argument that making SSM legal changes things the same way legalizing polygamy is illegitimate. You also point out that homosexuality is legal in the US. The thing about legality/illegality is that it is constantly in flux. Homosexuality used to be illegal. Furthermore, SSM is to homosexuality as polygamy is to sleeping with multiple heterosexual partners. Why is polygamy illegal? When the law was written people decided that marriage should be between one man and one woman. SSM was not legalized at the time. In fact, homosexuality was still illegal back then. So try again to explain why legalization of SSM should not lead to the legalization of polygamy. I am not in favor of polygamy but feel the need to point out the flaws in your argument.

  • FT salt lake city, UT
    Feb. 26, 2014 11:55 a.m.

    Wow. As my old debate coach said, make an argument, support it with facts, speak clearly and leave out the jargon. Now granted, the State asked their attorneys to defend the undefensible but their argument, facts and clarity is extremely weak to the arguments the SSM attorneys have laid out. We're going to lose.

  • Something to think about Ogden, UT
    Feb. 26, 2014 12:11 p.m.

    The State of Utah continues to use the same rhetoric used by the pro-slavery and later pro-segregationists.

    I am against SSM. I'm against it on the basis of my religious upbringing. As a result, I'll choose not to participate in a SSM. They same way I choose not to drink alcohol, encourage an abortion, smoke, etc...

    However...

    It's obvious to me that SSM couples are being discriminated against. My wife and I recieve benefits from the government that they do not recieve. On those merits, constitutionally speaking, I believe they should recieve those same benefits.

    Rather than sounding archaic, those 'traditional marriage' advocates should be telling their legislators to remove the gov't benefits they are given as a result of their marriage. Then gays and lesbians would have no constitutional arguement.

    Like that will happen! They love their 'married' status at tax time!

  • Utefan60 Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 26, 2014 12:14 p.m.

    This fight for LBGT rights has been unquestionably a fight of the decade(s). However when you look at all the great people who pay taxes, support out economy and live lives that are exemplary, you have to wonder why those people do not have the same rights as others? I know of no LBGT people who have attacked religion. They have attacked the false discriminatory precepts of religion.

    This is the same fight that Blacks had years ago even against the religion prominent in this state. There are so many similarities. Civil constitutional rights have been denied. LBGT people have been murdered (Mathew Shepherd for one). All the time we as a community have put up with this dishonest behavior, turning our heads aside and putting ourselves above these "other people". They are the ones that are so far above us! We need to look at our own homes, families and stop acting so unchristian.

  • rad3 SLC, UT
    Feb. 26, 2014 12:14 p.m.

    @Strider303 The sexual orientation is stated in the article because it is what the article is about. Writing "two nondescript people want to get married but can't because of the law" doesn't really provide much in way of explanation. Obviously it is imperative to tell their sexual orientation or the article wouldn't make any sense.

    And it is the goal of these couples to have "uniformity of treatment." Same sex couples do not introduce their spouse as "Have you met my gay husband" or "This is my lesbian wife." It is simply husband and wife.

    And a final point, your perspective comes from a heternormative viewpoint. Gay people aren't rubbing their orientation in your face. A heternormative world view accepts the heterorelationship as default and anything different is very noticeable because it is novel. As same sex relationships become more accepted there won't be a need to continue to proclaim them.

  • Maudine SLC, UT
    Feb. 26, 2014 12:18 p.m.

    There seems to be some confusion on the part of same-sex marriage opponents, and I would like to take the opportunity of my last post to clarify some issues.

    Polygamy - there is a movement to legalize polygamy, but the outcome of that movement will be dependent entirely on its own merits and not on whether or not same-sex marriage is legalized. Continually bringing up polygamy does nothing to further the arguments against same-sex marriage which is why it has never been brought up in a same-sex marriage legal case.

    Incest, bestiality, pedophilia - these things all create well documented harms in society. Comparing same-sex marriage to these shows animus. Animus is not a legally valid reason for a law which is why attorneys and amicus briefs against same-sex marriage steer very clear of them. Constantly bringing them up weakens your position.

    Not understanding the law, legal terminology, and the case at hand - shows a lack of willingness to truly understand the issues and implies by default that your position is knee jerk and not based on legal issues.

    Civil unions - also prohibited by Amendment 3. Same-sex couples can't settle for them because of this.

  • Schnee Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 26, 2014 12:22 p.m.

    @JSB
    "The more promiscuous a society is the sicker it is:"

    Discouraging monogamous homosexual relationships does nothing to helping the cause of less promiscuity.

    "Instead, those people who want to improve society through encouraging chaste behavior are branded by some mean spirited people as bigots."

    Like I said last time, the reason for the branding is because the actions taken are counterproductive to the stated goal suggesting this is just some holier-than-thou excuse making to justify discriminatory policy.

  • Willem Los Angeles, CA
    Feb. 26, 2014 12:24 p.m.

    The nation’s first black attorney general, Mr. Holder has said he views today’s gay-rights campaigns as a continuation of the civil rights movement that won rights for black Americans in the 1950s and ’60s. He has called gay rights one of “the defining civil rights challenges of our time.”Mormons are you listening?

  • nycut New York, NY
    Feb. 26, 2014 12:31 p.m.

    Strider303: "Why the constant proclamation of their sexual orientation?"

    Sounds like you'd rather not know about it. But to be fair, you'd have to acknowledge all the ways big and small your sexual orientation is made apparent all the time. Consider this statement: "I'm going shopping with my wife." No matter who says it, it means the same thing. But if you can see that the speaker is male or female, you know their sexual orientation.

    Try getting through the day having normal conversations without "giving it away." Hide all pictures, careful who sees your phone. Be sure to say "spouse" or "partner" instead of husband or wife or boyfriend or girlfriend. And be careful not to use pronouns that might give "him" or "her" away.

    It's easier to simply acknowledge that some people are gay and some are straight, and get on with it.

    @Strider303: "I find it hard to form an opinion of a person as a person, when immediately their sexual orientation is thrust into the forefront of the process of getting to know someone."

    Why? Does your opinion change if they are gay? That might be the real question.

  • nycut New York, NY
    Feb. 26, 2014 12:39 p.m.

    @JSB: "…custody issues, poverty, abused and neglected children resulting in more crime, drug abuse, school dropouts, social maladjustment, violence, sexual perversion… venereal disease, pornography and related sex crimes and psychological problems… more abortions and/or unwanted children."

    That's quite a catalog of social ills to attribute to promiscuity. But the notion that preventing gay people from marrying somehow encourages chastity among heterosexuals is truly bizarre.

    Where your (recycled) comment goes most wrong is more disturbing: Equating gay people with promiscuity demonstrates ignorance and prejudice.

    Contrary to what your comment suggests, "gay" isn't just some extra-bad selection from the universal menu of promiscuous sexual behavior.

    People who are emotionally and physically attracted to each other quite predictably have love lives, sex lives and, yes, marriages, that reflect that attraction. You have yours, other people have theirs. Promiscuity has nothing to do with that.

    If your aim is to improve society, start small. Start by being polite. Stop calling a whole group of people in it "promiscuous" simply because you don't like their sexual orientation.

  • Paddycakes South Jordan, UT
    Feb. 26, 2014 12:56 p.m.

    If this is a land of Christians, then no quarter or special privileges should be given to same sex couples. If they want freedom of religion or paganism, it should not be denied, but also no special privileges. They should be ostracized by the Christian community. It is better to please God than men.

  • Henry Drummond San Jose, CA
    Feb. 26, 2014 12:58 p.m.

    I just read the brief. They use the arguments the State lawyers made against them very effectively. They also use the "arguments for" section of the Amendment 3 ballot measure very effectively. I wouldn't be surprised if the Court declares that discrimination against Gays requires heightened Constitutional scrutiny and not just "rational basis." If that holds, then I would say it will be Game, Set, and Match for the Marriage Equality side.

  • rightway2go Ellington, CT
    Feb. 26, 2014 1:12 p.m.

    Unions between people of the same sex shouldn't have been recognized as a marriage in the first place and should be reclassified as unions. Marriage has only been between couples of opposite sexes for thousands of years and a court order can't change what marriage is by the stroke of a pen now. Redefining it now by a court judge doesn't mean a thing. It just makes gay and lesbian couples live in a lie.

  • LovelyDeseret Gilbert, AZ
    Feb. 26, 2014 1:18 p.m.

    The problem with the arguments presented by those who want to redefine marriage is that these arguments can be used for anything. Single people, men, children, women, polygamists, unwed mothers, foreigners etc. Using this argument, men and women have to be treated exactly equal. No separate bathrooms etc, in fact they can't even be called men and women, they need to find a common name. Otherwise one group is being treated differently.
    Lastly, the term "legal strangers" is a made up term. Now the state will have to sanction and legally approve of any type of relationship that people can think of or else they are making those people "legal strangers". Sure we are brother and sister, but until the state gives us special legal status, we are "legal strangers". I can see why they didn't want other lawyers helping them with this brief.

  • Willem Los Angeles, CA
    Feb. 26, 2014 1:19 p.m.

    Latest news A federal judge on Wednesday declared Texas’ ban on gay marriage unconstitutional but left the ban in place while an appeals court considers the matter.Mormons are you listening?

  • CJL2020 Provo, UT
    Feb. 26, 2014 1:32 p.m.

    Next up on the agenda: Marriage between a human and robot. Yeah, I'm looking forward to it. If you don't like what you're partner's saying you just turn them off, but you still get access to legal benefits that married people get.

  • Values Voter LONG BEACH, CA
    Feb. 26, 2014 1:52 p.m.

    @Lovely Desert

    You wrote:

    "Sure we are brother and sister, but until the state gives us special legal status, we are "legal strangers".

    No you're not. A brother and sister are already family. They have "next of kin" rights, they can make medical decisions when necessary, they can do family transfers for there vehicles, etc. Marriage makes the two partners, previously unrelated, into a family.

  • Kalindra Salt Lake City, Utah
    Feb. 26, 2014 2:05 p.m.

    @ Paddycakes: I suggest you read the First Amendment and the legal brief.

    @ rightway2go: Amendment 3 also prohibits civil unions to same-sex couples. If you wanted them to do that instead of marriage, you should have voted against Amendment 3 and left them that option.

    @ LovelyDeseret: "Legal strangers" may be a made up term, but it has been in use since at least 1866 and no legal professional, first year law student, or individual who knows how to use google has any trouble understanding exactly what it means.

    As for your other claims, care to provide some rational proof that the claims made by the plaintiffs can be used to support anything?

    @ CJL2020: As we have seen from "Bicentennial Man" as soon as robots are recognized as individuals and not objects, they will be able to petition the courts for the right to marriage. However, since we have yet to develop a robot with real AI, I think your dreams are located somewhere in the distant future. (Also, I would suggest against holding your breath on being able to marry your pen, your dog, or your taxidermied cat.)

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Feb. 26, 2014 2:08 p.m.

    Thankfully, utah is leading the charge to get same sex marriage recognised nationally.

  • oragami St. George, UT
    Feb. 26, 2014 2:13 p.m.

    Whatever our opinion on homosexuality and same-sex marriage, opponents of same-sex marriage are losing on multiple front, including what has become the front line in the battle, right here in good old 60% LDS Utah. Today the Texas state constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage was struck down. Another red state falls.

    Some religious people across our state and country have started accepting this changing reality and are responding with reactive religious freedom bills (see Arizona). Many religious people are starting to see threats to religious freedom in every shadow.....lurking like, well, the devil himself. If a true threat to religious freedom arises, I'll be right beside you fighting for your rights. As for now, I'd advise caution. Crying wolf does you no favors. No one particularly likes this new victim mentality you are adopting, especially given your privileged position in society (especially Utah) and horrible track record of persecuting others.

  • cavetroll SANDY, UT
    Feb. 26, 2014 2:38 p.m.

    @Tekakaromatagi
    "I love my Mom, I love my Dad, why can't I get marriage benefits from them? Am I legal stranger." You do get benefits from them. You get "next of kin" rights.

    @Paddycakes
    "If this is a land of Christians, then no quarter or special privileges should be given to same sex couples. They should be ostracized by the Christian community. It is better to please God than men."

    That's very Christian of you. Do you believe God really wants you to ostracize any person? As a Christian, I want no part of your "God." Maybe you should be the one who is ostracized. The LGBT community is not asking for special privileges. They are asking for the same "right" heterosexuals enjoy. The "right" to marry whom they love.

    @rightway2go
    "Unions between people of the same sex shouldn't have been recognized as a marriage in the first place and should be reclassified as unions."

    Except that Amendment 3 specifically removed any chance of that happening. Amendment 3 specifically stated that not even "civil unions" would be recognized. Acting compassionate by "giving" somebody something after you took it away is insulting.

  • LovelyDeseret Gilbert, AZ
    Feb. 26, 2014 2:56 p.m.

    @ Values Voter

    Every Conservative state allows patients to designate all those things. Brother and Sister's don't get tax status thus under the brief they are "legal strangers". There is no law that makes two married people a family. Allow the redefinition of marriage gives special rights to gay couples. Now they will be the only married couple that can use the same lockerroom etc. This is discriminatory per the silly arguments set forth in the brief.

  • Jim Cobabe Provo, UT
    Feb. 26, 2014 3:23 p.m.

    Seems to be an awful lot of gratuitous "shredding" going on with those offering comments.

  • OHBU Columbus, OH
    Feb. 26, 2014 3:43 p.m.

    LovelyDeseret: "Every Conservative state allows patients to designate all those things. "

    That's not necessarily true, those types of situations (where medical decisions need to be made by someone other than the patient) often begin with some kind of emergency, and the hospital must conform to legal connections when deciding who to ask about things like removing someone from life support. Often, this means that parents and siblings, even if estranged, will have the power to make decisions before what the patient considered, but never could legally designate, their spouse. This has happened many times, and was the basis for the case against DOMA in the Supreme Court recently. In that case, the estranged parent not only took over decision making, but barred the woman their daughter had been with for many years from even seeing her love in the last moments of life.

  • equal protection Cedar, UT
    Feb. 26, 2014 3:46 p.m.

    @Lovely.. History shows us that marriage is not defined by those who are excluded. Otherwise, why would we allow horrific opposite sex felon spousal, drug, alcohol and child 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. There are no felony marriage licenses. There are no non-procreative marriage licenses. Allowing same-sex couples to participate and/or strengthen the existing institution, means there is only ONE marriage 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, that including another gender has made voting "genderless" and confuses school children on the meaning and purpose of traditional voting.

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

  • Lane Myer Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 26, 2014 4:02 p.m.

    LD: "There is no law that makes two married people a family."

    ------

    Legally, what do you think marriage does for a couple? It makes them the closest relative that each of them have on this earth by law. Not even their parents have the right to make medical decisions over the spouses objections, because marriage allows those two spouses to have over 1100 federal and state privileges and benefits that preclude all other relatives.

    They become a family - the closest relationship offered by the government.

    Civilly, marriage is a contract between the two people and the government. This is the relationship that gay couples and families are looking for.

    I know you are open-minded enough to see the difference between a temple sealing and this civil marriage that each and every citizen of the US is entitled to per our 14th amendment.

  • Just Wondering... Gilbert, AZ
    Feb. 26, 2014 4:08 p.m.

    I believe that God loves all of his children and expects us to do the same. God also has a standard that is consistent. God's standard of chastity is that sexual relations are reserved for a man and woman who are lawfully married. Even if same sex marriage is determined to be an acceptable "legal" contract, God's standard will not change and the rulings in the courts will not make homosexual behavior "chaste" inside or outside of a same sex marriage.

  • Values Voter LONG BEACH, CA
    Feb. 26, 2014 4:09 p.m.

    @Lovely Deseret

    I'm not inclined to spend much time picking through your points because, a.) errors have already been addressed by previous posts and, b.) I trust any reasonably intelligent reader to spot additional factual problems in your post and flaws in your thinking. Your dismissal of the arguments set forth in the Kitchen v. Herbert reply brief as "silly", given the legal landscape around you, makes you look particularly unserious.

    A couple of questions: Gay people exist. They form relationships. In some cases they adopt children or have them through any number of avenues. What should societies answer to that state of affairs be?

    Currently, in Utah, because of Amendment 3 they get nothing. Is this wise, fair or desirable?

  • JSB Sugar City, ID
    Feb. 26, 2014 4:31 p.m.

    To those who disagree with my earlier comment about a chaste society the problem is this: If gay marriage is legalized, what will prevent legal recognition of polygamous and polyamorous (two or more adults of each sex) "families" (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 have some self control and live a chaste life (i.e. sex between a man and woman who are married to each other)? Are people who desire this kind of civil society really mean spirited bigots or are they genuinely concerned good citizens?

  • Furry1993 Ogden, UT
    Feb. 26, 2014 5:48 p.m.

    @Tekakaromatagi 10:57 a.m. Feb. 26, 2014

    If one type of non-procreational union can get marriage beneftis then all non-procreational unions should be able to get the legal benefits. Or else we've created a new class of second class citizens.
    -------------------------

    I am straight, as is my husband. We have been married for over 44 years. Our un ion is non-procreational since we are long past our time of fertility. e get marriage benefits. You just said that we don't deserve them because we re unable to procreate. You are wrong.

    If you think otherwise, please explain why some non-procreational unions (like ours) deserve benefits while others don't.

  • A Quaker Brooklyn, NY
    Feb. 26, 2014 6:43 p.m.

    I see several commenters here are recycling the same arguments against same-sex marriage that they've argued all along. Many of those arguments have either been debunked, or correctly characterized as mere expressions of prejudice, or are echoes of talking points being promulgated by a number of anti-LGBT organizations, most of which have been classified by the Southern Poverty Law Center as hate groups.

    Have any of you actually read the brief? It's linked to in the article. You could read the whole thing in under an hour, or just use the table of contents to read the part that addresses your own favorite anti-gay (or "pro-Traditional") argument. After comparing what you're saying with what the Plaintiff's brief says, who do you think the Court is going to favor, and why?

  • Here Sandy, UT
    Feb. 26, 2014 7:23 p.m.

    Unfortunately, the LGBT community has successfully hijacked a very American notion, that of equality and equal rights, to justify what really is a matter of unhealthy sexual behavior. This principle of equality has become a buzz-word. This hijacking of those God-given principles has given the homosexual lifestyle the best appearance possible under the circumstances.

    In my view, to call it equal rights to protect gay behavior is a extraordinary effort to take unfair advantage of those sublime equal-rights principles. But I have no doubt some truly believe the premise that it is an equality issue. To them, I invite them to rethink. Are you really comparing your sexual behavior (as a basis of equality) with the equality based on different skin color?

    Has the GLBT community given up the notion that we can have self-control? We, as humans, do have the power to live with same-sex attraction and still not participate in the behavior.

  • Kalindra Salt Lake City, Utah
    Feb. 26, 2014 7:50 p.m.

    @ Just Wondering: No one is trying to change the standards of your god. You and your god are more than welcome to believe that same-sex marriage is sin. Your religion is more than welcome to not officiate at same-sex marriages. But this discussion is not about religious beliefs - it is a discussion about civil laws and legality. And based on civil laws and legality, same-sex couples should be allowed to enter into marriage and the religions that support it should be able to perform them.

    @ JSB: You make some good arguments against polygamy - but none of those arguments are valid for denying same-sex marriage. To claim that allowing same-sex marriage will naturally lead to polygamy is similar to claiming that allowing children to drink soda will lead to allowing them to drink alcohol - after all, soda and alcohol are both beverages made with water. We know that there is a difference between soda and alcohol and we know there are reasons to limit the ability of children to consume alcohol. We can draw those same distinctions between same-sex marriage and polygamy.

  • Karen R. Houston, TX
    Feb. 26, 2014 10:19 p.m.

    The appellee's brief easily dismantles the weak and misleading arguments of the State. I'm now convinced more than ever that the State knows it has a loser, but intends to proceed to the end out of principle.

    Religious principle, that is.

    Religious principle that isn't even shared by every religion in the state.

    And it's being done with taxpayer money.

    Truly a free exercise of religion, eh?

  • frugalfly PULLMAN, WA
    Feb. 26, 2014 10:59 p.m.

    I think that we must acknowledge the ideal. Children function best with their mother and father who are committed to each other and the children. Anything less than this is an adjustment, compromise or artificial environment. Adopted, single, divorced, homosexual or otherwise is a noble imitation or an attempt at the ideal. Mother or father who does not meet their obligations to each other and to their children is a negative impact on society. We must hold up the ideal as just that. THE IDEAL. Obviously life isn't ideal and as a society we have to do the best we can when the ideal can't be achieved. But not holding the ideal up as the IDEAL brings a distortion and an eventual destruction or dissolution of that culture.

  • Bob A. Bohey Marlborough, MA
    Feb. 27, 2014 5:42 a.m.

    One is left to wonder what happened in the lives of the people who support using violence to suppress equal rights to all people. Make no mistake, whether it's done via a pen or a sword denying equal rights as guaranteed under the Constitution is a violent act. State sanctioned violence against same sex couples is a stain on this great nation.

  • equal protection Cedar, UT
    Feb. 27, 2014 5:46 a.m.

    @frugalfly "Children function best with their mother and father who are committed to each other and the children."

    Not supported in fact by any main stream medical, sociological or psychological or psychiatric organization responsible for child welfare on parenting. Have you read the brief (it's linked to this story)?

    Moreover, are you proposing a "parental fitness test" for civil marriage law, that would include annual income and educational requirements and a criminal record check (well known to influence child outcomes)?

    Currently the "best 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.

  • NedGrimley Brigham City, UT
    Feb. 27, 2014 7:11 a.m.

    Headline: "Attorney for same-sex couples files brief in Amendment 3 appeal" ... While others spend countless hours throwing rocks, comments, innuendo and vitriol at each other on the Dnews and SLTrib comment pages, thinking somehow their tired arguments will convince the other side of "the truth"...

  • cavetroll SANDY, UT
    Feb. 27, 2014 7:20 a.m.

    @LovelyDeseret

    "Allow the redefinition of marriage gives special rights to gay couples. Now they will be the only married couple that can use the same lockerroom etc."

    Sharing a locker room is not a right. Siblings can make medical decisions for a sick loved one. An LGBT person in a homsexual relationship cannot make medical decisions for their loved one.

  • Testimony Philadelphia, PA
    Feb. 27, 2014 9:02 a.m.

    Not sure if anyone here has seen it yet, but the State has filed a motion with the 10th Circuit requesting an additional 7 days and 5000 words for their response to Plaintiff's brief. (Tip: Might make a good story for the DN.)

    One doesn't wish to infer too much from Gene Schaerr's language, but it seems to me he might be feeling a little panicky after seeing Plaintiff's far-superior filing.

    I find it amusing that after petitioning the Court for an additional 10,000 words, and an extension to file, the State now finds themselves in a hole of their own making. Having granted additional wordcount to the State, the Court granted same to Plaintiffs, and now the State is complaining about having to answer a longer brief! The State pushed everything closer to the Court's April oral argument date with their first request for an extension, and now the State finds itself running out of time.

    The 10th Circuit may refuse this request, as they've set this hearing date in conjunction with Oklahoma's. Besides, Schaerr's arguing appellants need time to answer amici briefs is nonsense.

  • Happy Valley Heretic Orem, UT
    Feb. 27, 2014 12:26 p.m.

    Freedom is the Distance Between Church and State

  • Kalindra Salt Lake City, Utah
    Feb. 27, 2014 12:40 p.m.

    @ Testimony: The not so nice part of me wants the request denied - the process is supposed to be fast-tracked so there is less harm to the plaintiff's and others who are waiting resolution. The brief doesn't take that long to read, it shouldn't take that long to come up with rebuttals.

    The other, even less nice, part of me wants the request granted. When the State is shot down and loses pathetically, I don't want people to be able to claim the State wasn't given every opportunity to present the best case possible. I want it extremely obvious that they lost because there is no basis for prohibiting same-sex marriage.

  • Empyrean Logan, UT
    Feb. 27, 2014 2:01 p.m.

    @ RanchHand:

    Anyone who contends that God is irrelevant is not whose side of any argument I want to be on.
    Whether later in this life or sometime in the next, I promise you that someday you will change your opinion about that.

  • Objectified Tooele, UT
    Feb. 27, 2014 2:35 p.m.

    It's amusing to see how quickly liberal supporters jump to this subject whenever it comes out in any way, shape or form in a newspaper article. They jump to the comment sections like flies to stink. The numbers speak for themselves.

    Are we really so naive as to believe that we are now somehow morally superior (open) in our thinking to what all other societies around the world have been for thousands of years? Deviancy has always been kept in the shadows of civilized societies for a reason.

    Apparently, we're going to have to learn that lesson the hard way this time. Unfortunately, it will probably take at least several decades to finally become obvious to those with the most "progressive" attitudes.

  • Bob K portland, OR
    Feb. 28, 2014 12:49 a.m.

    JSB
    Sugar City, ID
    "...Given the high cost to society of promiscuous sexual behavior, should a state be forced to legitimize these behaviors through liberalizing marriage laws? Can’t a state or the people of the state for the good of the state, openly encourage chaste behavior and discourage sexually promiscuous behavior through reasonable laws and social pressure or expectations. Instead, those people who want to improve society through encouraging chaste behavior are branded by some mean spirited people as bigots."

    --- What name should we propose for people who say that keeping some people from marrying encourages chaste behavior?

    I tried to think of some kind of comparison about this thinking, but I just could not.

    Maybe some people think that Gays are waiting for marriage to have sex, and should wait for eternity.

  • cavetroll SANDY, UT
    Feb. 28, 2014 11:58 a.m.

    @Here

    "Are you really comparing your sexual behavior (as a basis of equality) with the equality based on different skin color?"

    Yes, because where you see this issue as one of sexual behavior (which can be controlled), the real issue is one about sexual orientation (which, like race or skin color cannot be controlled). LGBT couples want to get married and enjoy the same rights and privileges as others. Sex is down on the list as a reason to get married.

  • NedGrimley Brigham City, UT
    Feb. 28, 2014 12:06 p.m.

    Kalindra: Part of me will be waiting to see how each side acts or reacts when the final decision is made. I think it will be very telling.

  • cavetroll SANDY, UT
    Feb. 28, 2014 12:41 p.m.

    @Empyrean

    "Anyone who contends that God is irrelevant is not whose side of any argument I want to be on."

    Ok, my God tells me to treat all people with respect, dignity, and fairness, which includes homosexuals can get married to each other. Your God says "no". Whose God is correct? We could argue like this all year long.

  • logicandtruth OREM, UT
    Feb. 28, 2014 12:41 p.m.

    If you don't like the definition of marriage as between one man and one woman, what definition would you propose?

    Other definitions are advocated by society in the name of equality. Indeed, many think the only way to fix "inequality" is to allow gay marraige. Alright. Let's say, gays can marry. But, if equality is really what we're after, can 3 people get married? 4? What about marriage with 2 men and one woman? If equality is what we're after then there is no logical reason to deny these other relationships.

    And so I ask, if marriage is not defined by the relationship of one man and one woman, what definition would you propose? Are we okay with inequality for people under a certain age? Or inequality for people in multiple partner relationships? If equality is what society is really after there is no reason to deny marriage for other types of relationships. If that's the case, marriage will come to mean something so broad it will mean nothing.

    Rather, it makes sense to have a marriage definition of one man and one woman. If we don't preserve this definition of marriage, what definition would you propose?

  • equal protection Cedar, UT
    Feb. 28, 2014 8:04 p.m.

    @Tekakaromatagi "I love my Mom, I love my Dad, why can't I get marriage benefits from them? Am I legal stranger."

    You already have a legal kinship relationship with your mom and dad (e.g., inheritance, health directive decision making).
    Marriage implies an intimate relationship, which you may desire with your mom and dad, but that would be incest and is against the law.

    @Logic and truth. Same-sex couples are not asking for group marriage. Polygamists can legally marry one other spouse. Polygamy has been determined by science to be much like a religious practice a choice. Sexual orientation, like race, and gender, for most people is immutable. A requirement to change a fundamental immutable part of ones identity in order to marry is not constitutional. A right to marry someone for which there is no intimate attraction is no right at all. Marrying multiple spouses is not an inherent immutable and fundamental characteristic of ones identity. Therefore the government through civil marriage law is not required to recognize every single type of relationship one may wish to enter.

  • nycut New York, NY
    March 1, 2014 10:41 a.m.

    @Objectified: "It's amusing to see how quickly liberal supporters jump to this subject whenever it comes out in any way, shape or form in a newspaper article."

    Conservative supporters for marriage equality are here too.

    They acknowledge the simple fact that some people are gay-- and that whether it is right or wrong to be gay is a personal decision.

    They recognize that gay people are emotionally and physically attracted to members of the same sex, and have chosen a religious view that supports that, and will live their lives accordingly.

    This is freedom of religion in action: a conservative value.

    Utah leadership has struggled and failed to make an argument against gay marriage based on anything other than a religious principle.

    People fall in love, marry, and sometimes raise children. We have a system of laws for accommodating this perfectly human sequence of events that currently excludes gay people.

    Protecting our own rights to define who we are and what we believe means making room for others to do the same.