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Gay marriage debate is changing how Americans settle differences

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  • Ohio-LDS NE, OH
    March 7, 2014 1:13 p.m.

    Ross Douthat is an insightful columnist. I appreciate his attempt to bring sanity to our public conversation on this topic. That said, the real challenge for religious groups will not come from external societal pressure. Eventually, the RNC will go mute and the media will move on to other topics. How quickly that happens depends largely on when (not if) the Supreme Court holds that state marriage laws cannot discriminate on the basis of sex (i.e., if a man can marry a woman, a woman must be allowed to marry a woman).

    The real challenge will come within religious communities as they attempt to hold on to a rising generation that supports gay marriage. For LDS, the pressure will come from the young woman who wants to serve a mission but fully supports her gay married brother. Or from the young men's leader who is happy to serve but skips over lessons on homosexuality because he thinks the lessons are wrong. Or the bishop who declines to discipline a married gay couple in his ward. That's where the real pressure will come from.

    May you live in interesting times.

  • liberty or ...? Ogden, UT
    March 7, 2014 1:12 p.m.

    Wow I guess Gods commandments are now at the dictates of mobocracy and corrupt societies. which one should make legal next how about murder, theft,covetousnesss (Oh I'm sorry thats called social justice and pay your fair share while I don't mentality I believe its also called socialism)? The cries of past civilizations who decided freedom to do something means that it is all right means God must bow to our will now. These so called religionists and secularists who like to cherry pick the scriptures and freedoms they want but ignore the points they don't remind me of a saying. something about they despise those who do good,call good evil and evil good. every man walketh in his own way, after the image of his own god which likeness is in the image of the world. They say histiry repeats itself. Hopefully we'll wake up before we enter and ignorant secularist dark ages next

  • Ranch Here, UT
    March 7, 2014 1:27 p.m.

    Religious conservatives had NO PROBLEM violating the civil rights of LGBT American by passing laws preventing marriage. Now they whine that we're not going to give them a pass to continue their bigotry as a business operator?

    Give me a break!

  • bandersen Saint George, UT
    March 7, 2014 1:55 p.m.

    The misery index just shot up another notch!

  • slcdenizen t-ville, UT
    March 7, 2014 2:08 p.m.

    "...prompting conservatives to find new ways of framing the question"

    This seems to be the primary concern of conservatives in lieu of generating new ideas for today's challenges and legislating accordingly.

  • GZE SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    March 7, 2014 3:40 p.m.

    the demand of people that their erotic and romantic activities, their orientations and relationships be sanctioned is now in our society on the ascent.

    And yet, you have had no complaint when heterosexual relationships - both erotic and romantic - have been sactioned and celebrated.

    Isn't that a little hypocritical?

  • Utefan4Lyf West Jordan, UT
    March 7, 2014 3:45 p.m.

    @Jamescmeyer: I had to read your first paragraph twice to make sure I knew which side you were on. As a straight person I'm not sure how you have been marginalized; nor can I understand how you think you need protection against mobocracy. What I have seen is my gay friends, family members and neighbors relationships marginalized in the name of religion, one in which they do not believe, and mobocracy rulings in voting to create an amendment against their relationship status. Perhaps the shoe should be on the other foot, so you know how it feels.

  • A Quaker Brooklyn, NY
    March 7, 2014 4:31 p.m.

    I'm having trouble accepting your assertions about the decline of religious liberty without laughing.

    We Quakers have never been allowed to exercise our right of conscience regarding taxes to pay for war, never allowed to withhold that portion of our taxes that pay for armies and weapons, never allowed to specifically redirect it to the poor or medical research or any worthwhile social activity. We have to pay war taxes or go to jail.

    In my borough of New York City, we have concentrated neighborhoods of Jews, of Moslems, of every religious and ethnic group. Jewish and Moslem neighborhoods have never been allowed to exclude Italian, Polish, or Hispanic food markets and restaurants, all of which sell pork. Hindu enclaves live cheek by jowl with meat-eaters. Buddhists must pay city taxes that support pigeon eradication programs and poisoning rats. The Sabbath laws observed by Jews are not enforced on others entering those Orthodox Jewish neighborhoods of Williamsburgh and Borough Park.

    Religious rights end at the boundaries of our persons, our homes, and houses of worship. In a civil, secular society, it should be no other way.

  • The Scientist Provo, UT
    March 7, 2014 4:31 p.m.

    The author misses the most obvious outcome: those few religious people who stubbornly insist on discriminating against gays and lesbians will become less and less relevant. They and their organizations and their Churches will fade into obscurity.

    Perfect.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    March 7, 2014 4:32 p.m.

    There will never be a gay marriage majority of states in the US. Nice try.

  • Schnee Salt Lake City, UT
    March 7, 2014 4:34 p.m.

    @Ohio-LDS
    "The real challenge will come within religious communities as they attempt to hold on to a rising generation that supports gay marriage."

    Precisely. A different example would be female clergy. Generally nobody outside a church with no female clergy cares all that much, at least not enough to protest.

  • SoCalChris Riverside, CA
    March 7, 2014 5:02 p.m.

    Douthat is dead wrong if he thinks Gov Brewer's veto of the AZ bill was any sort of veto of the right to exercise religious freedom. The bill wasn't necessary given we already have the 1st Amendment and was unnecessarily divisive and poorly drafted. Any attempt to construe it as surrender is ridiculous.

    I have to hand it to the gay rights movement. It used to be -- my private life is none of your business (I agree). Now it's -- I have a Constitutional right to society's approval of homosexuality. I'm dumbfounded that so many judges are buying it.

  • intervention slc, UT
    March 7, 2014 5:17 p.m.

    "What we're talking about here is something entirely new in human history," Mohler said,

    Actually public accommodation laws have ben around long before this debate started What we have not seen on such a large (or at least loud) scale since the days of segregation is this expansive view by some that religious liberties should allows people to discriminate based on their beliefs.

  • I know it. I Live it. I Love it. Provo, UT
    March 7, 2014 7:32 p.m.

    Giving your kindness or charity and giving your agreement are not the same.

    God loves, yet commands the truth regardless. We have a responsibility to do the same. The quote at the end of the article is very damaging because it is loaded with the presumption that people are victims of Christians being unkind. Not all Christians are the same, just as not all gays are the same. But none of this, literally none, and no amount of policy or persuasion will EVER change what is true and the consequences of whether we adhere to it or not.

    I am indeed sorry for every hurt feeling I could have avoided by acting with more kindness. I attest seeing people in pain. But I also attest seeing people in pain for the choices they made themselves that are wrong. That doesn't mean I start telling people that burning their hand on the stove is okay. I still tell people the truth because the truth needs to be stood for, otherwise more people would get burned.

    Charity and agreement aren't the same.
    Love people, but not the sin. There is nothing hateful about loving others.

  • LDS Scientist Mesa, AZ
    March 7, 2014 9:34 p.m.

    Ranch,
    Are you suggesting that vengeance is a sound basis for public policy? By that logic, we should enslave white people because they once enslaved African-Americans.

  • Alfred Phoenix, AZ
    March 7, 2014 11:03 p.m.

    "the same percentage now in favor of allowing gays to marry..."

    Gays have always been allowed to marry... provided they marry someone of the opposite sex.

    #10. I vote Democrat because I love the fact that I can now marry whatever I want. I’ve decided to marry my sister. - David Letterman

  • koseighty The Shire, UT
    March 7, 2014 11:24 p.m.

    @patriot who wrote:
    "There will never be a gay marriage majority of states in the US. Nice try."

    Utah may well be the state that pushes the Supreme Court to to make it legal in all 50 states. Karma for spending so much time and money to influence other states' laws? :o)

  • Kalindra Salt Lake City, Utah
    March 7, 2014 11:26 p.m.

    @ LDS Scientist: How is telling people they can no longer carry on discriminatory policies vengeance? There is absolutely nothing vengeful about telling business owners they must treat all members of the public the same.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    March 8, 2014 12:39 a.m.

    There is no longer an arbitrary outcome. Given a burden of proof, long held beliefs are failing to withstand judgement.

  • BYU_Convert Provo, UT
    March 8, 2014 3:05 a.m.

    SoCalChris,

    No one is forcing any Christians or Latter-Day Saints to approve of homosexuality. The problem is that Christians in America are oppressing those that would use their own God-given agency to engage in homosexual activities, which includes gay marriage. Because religious entities want their states to strike down gay marriage, it is the religious orders' attempts to deny people of the LGBT community the freedom of choice. It may be the wrong choice. It may be a choice that will condemn one to eternal separation from God, but it is still their choice. I used to be a huge opponent to same-sex marriage, and now I am a huge opponent to banning same-sex marriage. As a member of the LDS faith, I've come to realize, that even though my God and my Church does not approve of homosexuality, one of the basic principles of the gospel is Agency, and attempts to ban gay marriage are attempts to strip away agency.

  • Cats Somewhere in Time, UT
    March 8, 2014 5:23 a.m.

    I cannot believe how fast this country is sinking into degradation. It is accelerating at warp speed. I can't believe I am living in the country in which I was born. Of course this was all foretold in the scriptures and, no matter how obvious it is, so many refuse to see it. We truly are in the last days and I wonder how much time we have left.

  • rondonaghe Mesilla/USA, NM
    March 8, 2014 6:16 a.m.

    I'm sorry that fundamentalist Christians, those who espouse the literal interpretation of the Bible, feel put upon for having to live in a secular society, where the laws of the State require equality before the law. This means that their practice of religion be confined to their churches, their families, and their private selves. Once they take their religion out into the larger civil society, they should realize that their rights end at the nose of others who may not believe as they do. If they open a business in this secular society, where there is separation of church and state, they have to serve everyone equally. It is discrimination when they choose only one group (LGBTs) to deny service to. If they denied the same service to everyone across the board, then it would not be discrimination, but no telling how long they would stay in business.

  • Joemamma W Jordan, UT
    March 8, 2014 6:44 a.m.

    There's no constitutional interpretation that allows for gay marriage except in the minds of the LGBT and the pro gay marriage advocates.
    The only reason why so many federally appointed judges are buying it is because it was planned that way.. Elena Kegan, Ginsberg, Sotomayor and countless other activist judges that usually force their ideology on the rest of us when opportunity presents itself.
    The Obama administration appointed judges in the states have been schooled on how to move the progressive agenda forward
    So the judicial system siding with the LGBT has nothing to do with constitutional logic or what's in the best interest of society or this country and more to do with moving a political agenda forward. While they force some to accept that which they repudiate there will be backlash for it, research history on you'll see. mark my words!!

  • Counter Intelligence Salt Lake City, UT
    March 8, 2014 7:12 a.m.

    On this anniversary of Joseph McCarthy
    How are the smear campaigns of the hard left any different?

    The slightest disagreement makes one a sexist racist homophobe

  • Karen R. Houston, TX
    March 8, 2014 7:19 a.m.

    @ LDS Scientist

    Ranch's post doesn't say what you heard.

    @ intervention

    I agree. Some religions are asking for special status: the right to be exempt from the Golden Rule while in the public sphere. You could perhaps say that we do them a kindness when we insist that they rise to the same standards of civility as the rest of us.

  • HeresAThought Queen Creek, AZ
    March 8, 2014 7:28 a.m.

    @Scientist Your comments imply that society has no need for people of faith, or the faiths themselves. When Atheists are the world's leader in humanitarian aid, helping the needy, the sick, the afflicted and bringing hope to mankind in the name of David Silverman, I might be willing to concur.

  • waikiki_dave Honolulu, HI
    March 8, 2014 7:56 a.m.

    I agree with point of view Mat is taking in this piece; especially the following comment he made at the end of the article "Mormons had plenty of opportunities to treat gay people with real charity and far to often chose intolerance." You may ask, as an active member of the Church, how have we not shown charity towards gay people? I will tell you; by the way you have characterized homosexuality as a perversion. In fact, gay people have no choice in their sexual orientation. Until the Church comes full swing on this, nothing will change.

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    March 8, 2014 8:08 a.m.

    "There will never be a gay marriage majority of states in the US. Nice try."

    Can't wait to pull this one out in 5 years.

    "These so called religionists and secularists who like to cherry pick the scriptures and freedoms they want but ignore the points they don't remind me of a saying. something about they despise those who do good,call good evil and evil good."

    Here's the point, the law, including the constitution is not a religious document dependent on scriptures for it's interpretation or enforcement. Both are in fact secular, civil documents meant to bind together and govern all kinds of people and all beliefs.

    Believe as you will but as Quaker said "Religious rights end at the boundaries of our persons, our homes, and houses of worship. In a civil, secular society, it should be no other way."

  • HaHaHaHa Othello, WA
    March 8, 2014 8:11 a.m.

    "It used to be -- my private life is none of your business (I agree). Now it's -- I have a Constitutional right to society's approval of homosexuality."

    Exactly right SoCalChris! The gay lobby agenda is only about forcing society to accept their repulsive activity. The "civil rights" claim is only a smokescreen to hide the real agenda. Millions of Americans have their "civil rights" violated EVERYDAY in areas unrelated to gayness, and nobody seeks to make special laws and court rulings for them. This assault becomes much easier to accomplish, as the gay crowd becomes more vocal and visible. Almost 100% of us have a friend, a cousin, a sibling, or some other close relative who has decided they are gay. The gay agenda plays on the sympathies of those of us who are weak, unthinking and gullible. The other aspect is religion. There are many who have no interest in the gay marriage argument, but see a opportunity to attack religion. They become gay agenda allies, because they hate religion. I think these situations are what the Lord uses to judge us. I chose to be seen as standing against perversion, not negotiating away my beliefs.

  • NewAgeMormon Draper, UT
    March 8, 2014 8:15 a.m.

    I'm not sure why the religious right feels such paranoia regarding this positive trend of giving equal status to the LGBT community. I'm a straight, married, LDS man, and my marriage is not at all threatened if my gay neighbors are granted the privilege of legitimizing their relationship.

    I'm a firm believer in the 11th Article of Faith. There is room for a lot of diversity in this world and I'm secure enough in my own beliefs to not feel threatened.

  • TheTrueVoice West Richland, WA
    March 8, 2014 8:22 a.m.

    Nice use the phrase "their erotic and romantic activities" to infer moral disapproval. As if heterosexuals never have erotic and romantic activities. Please.

    It is unfortunate that fevered dogma will not allow otherwise sensible adults to come to grips with the fact that this legal battle is over. The days of state-sponsored bigotry have have come to a close, and these dehumanizing bans are being properly dismantled across the land.

    Past time for some new 'revelations' that can be used to soothe the angst caused by cognitive dissonance.

  • liberty or ...? Ogden, UT
    March 8, 2014 8:26 a.m.

    Some of these comments which accuse me and others of being discrinminative just because I accept a different standard of morality then they do are interesting to say the least. News flash people your whole talk of discrimination is a mute point. Because the minute you accept any standard of morality or opinion whether religionist or secularist you are discriminating against somebody elses belief.So we are all guilty people. this is why truth matters. "When you eliminate the impossible (falsehood) whatever is left however improbable must be the truth" as Sherlock Holmes would say. At least people who espouse faith claim an external authority for their morals which secularism can neither prove nor disprove it can only accept or reject. If GOD exists and gave the moral standards people of faith claim then even if the whole world accepts it you might as well be denying gravity exists while your plummeting off a 400ft cliff. The world has done this before where their morality was different from the one. I believe his name was Noah and in the end it didnt make them right and him wrong. they were just fools.

  • JBQ Saint Louis, MO
    March 8, 2014 8:34 a.m.

    The claims in a comment from the Quakers is eye opening. The issue in a comment in regard to religion being bigoted would go all the way back to Moses and his breaking of the golden calf of Ba'al.

  • RBB Sandy, UT
    March 8, 2014 8:42 a.m.

    Quaker, your argument misses the point. During a time a war a Quaker can declare conscientious objector status and not fight. A Jewish store is not forced to be open on the Sabbath, Muslim is not forced to sell pork and a Hindu or Vegan is not forced to sell hunting supplies. I do not care who are sleeping with (as long as they are an adult). My objection is that gays and lesbians want to force people to participate in their lifestyle events whether it is baking a cake for their wedding or requiring a doctor to do in vitro on a lesbian couple. Just as a Quaker is not forced to go to war, anyone who finds homosexual conduct objectionable should not be forced to participate in any way in a gay wedding. I have friends and relatives who are gay. I would bake them a birthday cake, but not a wedding cake. Likewise I would not cater a swingers convention or a party for the Church of Satan.

    If you want to do something that others find objectionable, you shouldn't expect then to participate in your event.

  • 1aggie SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    March 8, 2014 9:08 a.m.

    Question:

    How does a business person, say a florist or baker, determine whether or not his customer is an adulterer, marrying his mistress?

    Aren't we all sinners?

  • Schnee Salt Lake City, UT
    March 8, 2014 9:10 a.m.

    It's pretty easy to see how one goes from opposing same-sex marriage to supporting it since a quarter of Americans have done that the past 10 years (well technically some are just young people replacing old people who passed away)... but how would one go from supporting same-sex marriage to opposing it? That's why gay marriage will be legal in all 50 states, it's extremely rare for anyone to switch to being against it.

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    March 8, 2014 9:11 a.m.

    " I wonder how much time we have left."

    It depends on how old you are.

  • nycut New York, NY
    March 8, 2014 9:12 a.m.

    @Jamescmeyer

    Your comment contains a disturbing contradiction. You say you treat people with love and respect, then equate gay people with "sexual promiscuity" and "perversions of the family unit" incapable of "true or lasting happiness."

    Yet gay people are no more or less promiscuous than straight people. They do get married, form families and find lasting happiness.

    Accusing them of "emotive reasoning," you claim you are attacked, bullied, marginalized, denied humane treatment, called names, silenced, and censored by fanactics reminding you of communists and anarchists. My goodness.

    But are you really treated this way by your friends and neighbors? People seeking legal marriage and to be treated fairly in public life? People who, in addition to your name-calling, are subjected to actual bullying, physical attack, legal marginalization and real institutionalized discrimination?

    Better to take people at their word when they say they love each other, that gay is the way they are, that their marriages are meaningful, that they love their families, that their religious choices are as personal as yours, and that your opinion on how they live their lives is truly irrelevant to getting along.

    This is how you treat people with love and respect.

  • Furry1993 Ogden, UT
    March 8, 2014 9:17 a.m.

    @Alfred 11:03 p.m. March 7, 2014

    Gays have always been allowed to marry... provided they marry someone of the opposite sex.

    ------------------------

    I've seen that argument before -- in the 1960s. Only then it said "Negros have always been allowed to marry . . . provided they marry someone of the same race." It didn't work then, and was soundly rejected as being unconstitutional by the US Supreme Court in a unanimous decision (See Loving v. Virginia, 388 U.S. 1 (1967)). It wasn't a sound argument then, and it's not a sound argument now.

  • Furry1993 Ogden, UT
    March 8, 2014 9:18 a.m.

    @LDS Scientist 9:34 p.m. March 7, 2014

    Ranch,
    Are you suggesting that vengeance is a sound basis for public policy? By that logic, we should enslave white people because they once enslaved African-Americans.

    --------------------

    You appear to be suggesting that trying to gain and protect one's civil rights is somehow "vengeance." Let me give you a hint -- it's not in any way vengeance. It's justice.

  • The Skeptical Chymist SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    March 8, 2014 9:29 a.m.

    @Cats and many others

    You worry too much. We'll survive all of this, there won't be any "End Times" and the country will be a more loving, caring place when the Supreme Court rules that same sex marriage is legal everywhere in the US. Life will go on without all that much of a change. Parents will still love their children and most people will still choose to marry a person of the opposite sex. All that will be different is that a few individuals will now be able to marry the person they love, and they'll be accepted into the community just like the interracial couples who no longer seem quite so unusual. If you stop being so fearful, you'll discover this doesn't affect you at all, and it is a good thing for everyone.

  • Badgerbadger Murray, UT
    March 8, 2014 9:38 a.m.

    @ GZE, and all you others who oppress religious people,

    clearly you spend no time listening to us, or trying to understand us, or our deep held beliefs. I doubt you would give us the time of day.

    Why don't you try to be a friend to someone religious? Are you afraid you might find out that they are nice people and not monsters?

    It is easier to dehumanize them, and try to get vengeance on all of them for the offenses of a very few.

    @LDS Scientist

    Be careful what you suggest. There are already groups of people in this country who are trying to do exactly what you are suggesting. Their great-great-great-great grandma was a slave so every white living today should be a slave to them to pay for it, or as the Black Agenda Report says, pay every descendant 1.5 million dollars, for a total of 59.2 Trillion dollars. That would certainly amount to slavery for our children, grandchildren, etc, for many generations. (No wonder Obama doesn't think 17 Trillion in debt is a big deal.)

  • Shoe Auburn, King, WA
    March 8, 2014 9:59 a.m.

    To Rondonaghe:
    The First Amendment in our Bill of Rights talks about being able to "exercise" one's religion. You don't only exercise your religion in your home or at your house of worship but you are able to excise your religion in all aspects of your life, including your employment or personal business endeavor. The government has no right to cut you off in that ability to exercise it since the government never gave you that right in the first place. It comes from God and from the electorate, who allow the government to govern in our behalf. That's what a "right" is and that right should be very liberal in its application. Individual rights trump group rights and the market will determine who stays in or goes out of business without the heavy hand of government determining the outcome. Shoe.

  • aislander Anderson Island, WA
    March 8, 2014 10:01 a.m.

    @Patriot "There will never be a gay marriage majority of states in the US. Nice try."

    Patriot: Latest Washington Post/ABC poll 59% support gay marriage, only 34% opposed. EVERY nationwide poll since Windsor shows voter opposition to gay marriage to be in the rapidly diminishing minority. Your denial won't make any difference. There's also an interesting article about how many opposed to same sex refuse to accept reality on this subject; it could have been written about you: google this: gay marriage opponents don't know they're on the wrong side of public opinion.

    @Joemamma "There's no constitutional interpretation that allows for gay marriage except in the minds of the LGBT and the pro gay marriage advocates."

    Joe, since the Windsor decision alone, at least 36 Judges have weighed in on gay marriage or gay rights issues. About half of these justices are conservative Republican appointees. EVERY decision has been for the gays. Without exception. You can try to pretend that it's just due to "activist" (translation: "I don't agree with the judge" liberal judges, but that is completely and demonstrably false. Denial won't get you anywhere.

  • A Quaker Brooklyn, NY
    March 8, 2014 10:23 a.m.

    @Alfred ("Gays have always been allowed to marry, providing they marry someone of the opposite sex."):

    Okay, let's use your "logic" for a second. There was a recent story in this paper about the Mormon Temple in Preston, England losing its lawsuit to be totally tax-exempt. England is a Christian country, but with a designated official national church, The Church of England (aka Anglican, COE). Any other denomination's houses of worship have to meet certain legal requirements to avoid property tax.

    If you want full religious rights in England, to be completely tax-free, every English Mormon has an equal right to be an Anglican and attend services in their tax-free local church. Why should they need their own Temples? Equal rights for all. Not "special rights" for Mormons. Just go to the Anglican church like you're "supposed to" as a loyal Englishman.

    Now, I fully support religious freedom, and I'm obviously just kidding with you, but that's exactly the equivalent logic of your position on not letting gay people marry the true loves of their lives.

  • A Quaker Brooklyn, NY
    March 8, 2014 10:52 a.m.

    @RBB: Look at the arguments you are proposing in response to my earlier comment. By the very same token, a conservative Mormon doesn't have to marry a gay person. He doesn't have to accept a wedding invitation from his gay brother or sister. Doesn't have to buy them a wedding present. Can skip reading their marriage announcements in the newspaper, even stop buying newspapers that print them, and boycott bakeries that make them cakes. More importantly, no Mormon (nor any other) house of worship has to conduct marriages outside their doctrine and no religious cleric is forced to officiate them.

    However, the fact remains, I must pay war taxes. Observant Jews must put up with cars driving through their neighborhoods on the Sabbath and other disturbances caused by commerce in violation of the Bible's insistence to "keep the Sabbath Holy."

    You are going to have to put up with your neighbors living their own lives in accordance with their own consciences. It doesn't mean you have to invite them to dinner or go to their parties, although in the interest of true Christian spirit, I wouldn't discourage either.

  • brotherJonathan SLC, UT
    March 8, 2014 11:13 a.m.

    Why must it be called a marriage? It is a civil union.
    Allowing other citizens the right to chose for themselves what lifestyle they would embrace is not the same as teaching their choice as a recommended way of life to your children. So we walk a delicate path of protecting individual rights of choice and defending our own right of choice in our schools and other places of gathering.
    Tolerance for others rights with respect for our choice when it comes to teaching our own children the principles of a happy fulfilled life, obeying the commands of our conscience. Because of the fact that children are impressionable and do not have founded psychological beliefs in experience and outcomes, we who have the responsibility to nurture and guide belief structure have the ultimate say in what should be and not be taught as a viable lifestyle for them until they are adults. Homosexual partnerships without science intervention cannot produce offspring, this is the facts. So nature has female and male as a parent structure and is the natural means of raising young humans to adulthood. Beyond those facts this is fairly new territory, protecting freedom of choice for both.

  • Big Joe V Rancho Cucamonga, CA
    March 8, 2014 11:46 a.m.

    Another big lie "a substantial minority of Americans, most of them religious, still committed to the older view of marriage."

    The majority of Americans are pro family, pro life, but they are suppressed and their voices are not heard by design of the liberal press. The only viable tactic the left has is to tell the lie loud enough and repeat it over and over till the weak and low information individuals give up and give in. It is being advanced through corruption and influence at high levels because when the people vote it is to support traditional marriage. If they are such a minority than then why have they been successful most of the time it has come to vote?

  • Henry Drummond San Jose, CA
    March 8, 2014 11:56 a.m.

    Does a County Clerk have the right to refuse to issue a marriage certificate to a Gay couple based only on his "sincere religious beliefs?" The Arizona Bill had a provision in it saying that he could. The idea was that the couple would have to seek out another clerk or another County.

    I suspect if a county clerk refused to issue a marriage license to a Latter-day Saint couple because Mormonism offended his "sincere religious beliefs," there would be outcry by this newspaper.

    The suggestion that in the past such exemptions existed and are now gone is simply wrong. Despite the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Mormons were not required to allow Blacks to have temple marriages. The same will true of Gay Marriage.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    March 8, 2014 12:00 p.m.

    @Cats
    "I cannot believe how fast this country is sinking into degradation. "

    Committed monogamous relationships. Yeah, same-sex marriage is such a degradation...

    @RBB
    "Muslim is not forced to sell pork "

    The correct analogy would be a store selling pork to Christians but refusing to sell it to Muslims.

  • Billy Bob Salt Lake City, UT
    March 8, 2014 1:10 p.m.

    The only thing I am worried about is the potential for the LGBT activists to take it to the next level once they have achieved their goal of making homosexual marriage legal everywhere in the USA. I am worried that they will try to make it so that churches will be forced to perform same-sex marriage or be faced with penalties, such as losing their tax exempt status. This, of course, would be wildly unconstitutional, but there will be those in the LBGT community who pursue this route. If the LGBT activists would be satisfied once same sex marriage is legal everywhere, then I would not actively oppose it (although I also still would not actively support it).

    And for those of you who say that my worries are baseless because no one currently is trying to force churches in to doing things against their will, if I didn't have a word limit I could give you many examples throughout history of causes that started out with good intentions that were brought to far and ended up with consequences that were unintended and/or not considered when the fight for the cause was first started.

  • BYU_Convert Provo, UT
    March 8, 2014 1:11 p.m.

    I don't understand why so many people are upset on this subject anyway. Gay marriage is not a novel concept, and so many of the Christian world blame people who are gay for bringing the downfall of the family and ruining their lives. When in all reality, the downfall of the family began back in the Book of Genesis, and people's lives were ruined the day Cain slew Abel.

    It's unfortunate to me though to witness first hand the backlash of the gay marriage issue against people who are gay or sympathize with the LGBT community by Christian-minded individuals in America. Christians claim to hate the sin but love the sinner, and yet very few actually do that. There is a major fallout in understanding by Christians toward the LGBT community. There is so much concentration on what goes on in the bedroom of gays, that Christians aren't too concerned that gay people are human beings created in the image of God and loved as much by God as they are despite their incredible life trials in comparison to their heterosexual counterparts.

  • GZE SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    March 8, 2014 2:50 p.m.

    Badger, I do not want to oppress anyone. I believe every single person has the right to make decisions about their own lives. Isn't that what agency is all about? I promise not to tell you that who you can or cannot marry or who you can or cannot love. I only think that you should do the same. Allowing others to make their own choices and live with the consequences of those choices is a basic building block of all religions.

    No one wants to take your religion away from you. We simply don't want you to try to apply your beliefs to the lives of others.

    I belong to no church but I come from a religious family. I respect their practices. I take my mother to church and act in a reverend and respectful manner. I am kind to everyone. Do not act as though you know me.

  • Meckofahess Salt Lake City, UT
    March 8, 2014 2:51 p.m.

    The Scientist

    You say "The author misses the most obvious outcome: those few religious people who stubbornly insist on discriminating against gays and lesbians will become less and less relevant. They and their organizations and their Churches will fade into obscurity".

    Sadly the DN allowed your insulting comment. So perhaps now they will allow mine? You are sadly mistaken, religious folks have been around for a long time and we have found ways to worship the creator of heaven and earth and to ascend our allegiance to him. Sin is still sin by any other name and so are the outcomes of sin. You can change the name of sinning, but you can't change the consequences. We who abhor the acts of deviants will find our ways to differentiate truth from error in our time.

  • Meckofahess Salt Lake City, UT
    March 8, 2014 3:00 p.m.

    @BYU_Convert

    The fallacy of your logic is that "agency" as you attempt to define it cannot justify running counter to the laws of God. Lucifer utilized his agency and what happened to him? He will end up on the wrong side of eternal history and on the outside of eternal progress. Those of us who are LDS that are tempted to put aside our standards to placate the sophistry of the gay community may very well find ourselves on the same side as he who was disobedient from the beginning. Moreover, there is much more at stake here than the agency of the gay community. The gay community is trying to change the laws of society to accommodate what has always been defined as indecent and inappropriate behavior (such as legalizing a gay person's rights to enter into a female locker room if they define themselves a "female identity". I do not believe society can abandon the principles of morality and survive intact. You might want to consider those consequences.

  • dmcvey Los Angeles, CA
    March 8, 2014 3:07 p.m.

    The Arizona Law didn't protect religious people--it singled out gay people for discrimination (which is already legal in Arizona). The states where someone has been sued for discriminating against gay people are states that have nondiscrimination laws that include gay people. It's dishonest to frame it as persecution of religious people.

    The fact is, just as those who discriminated against blacks and wouldn't serve them at lunch counters are now viewed as hateful, so someday shall those who continue to treat gays as second class citizens. That's just the way it will be. And it can't come fast enough.

  • Meckofahess Salt Lake City, UT
    March 8, 2014 3:08 p.m.

    Since there are quite of few (at least they claim to be LDS) on this forum who favor a position contrary to their Church when it comes to gay marriage; it will be interesting to see what the leaders of the Church have to say about such stances by members in the next conference. Perhaps it is time to include a question about our affiliation or sympathizing with groups who are opposed to the doctrines of the scriptures and the Church as a qualification for a temple recommend?

  • slcdenizen t-ville, UT
    March 8, 2014 3:14 p.m.

    There is an elephant in the room regarding "Christians". Where does Jesus mention homosexuality? Before dusting off the Bible, it's not there. It's stuck in obscure verses surrounded by ignored rules in the Old Testament. If I choose to work on Sundays, should I fear for my life? How many amendments have been put forward to ban the consumption of shellfish? Those of us who support LGBT rights are not infringing on the rights of Christians because many of us who have studied the Bible are still scratching our heads as to why homosexuality receives such attention and condemnation.

    Perhaps the argument for "christian" rights would be taken more seriously if an equally strident effort were made to curb wealth accumulation, poverty alleviation, or condemning strict adherence to rituals while ignoring the spirit of the law. Those were specifically mentioned by Jesus and often go completely unmentioned by the same groups complaining about their inability to denounce homosexuals without fierce objections.

  • Schnee Salt Lake City, UT
    March 8, 2014 4:01 p.m.

    @Meckofahess
    "Perhaps it is time to include a question about our affiliation or sympathizing with groups who are opposed to the doctrines of the scriptures and the Church as a qualification for a temple recommend?"

    [Latter-day Saints are free to disagree with their church on the issue without facing any sanction, said L. Whitney Clayton of the LDS Quorum of the Seventy. "We love them and bear them no ill will."]

    The "issue" refers to Prop 8. There's nothing in church rules against supporting same-sex marriage as the law of the land (what the reaction is to someone advocating for the church itself to perform it... that's a different matter that I lack the answer for).

  • 1aggie SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    March 8, 2014 4:04 p.m.

    Meckofahess:
    "Those of us who are LDS that are tempted to put aside our standards..."

    Nope

    Matthew 22
    "Master, which is the great commandment in the law?

    37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt alove the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.

    38 This is the first and great commandment.

    39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt alove thy neighbour as thyself.

    40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets."

  • Values Voter LONG BEACH, CA
    March 8, 2014 4:30 p.m.

    @Meckofahess

    You wrote:

    "Perhaps it is time to include a question about our affiliation or sympathizing with groups who are opposed to the doctrines of the scriptures and the Church as a qualification for a temple recommend?"

    Really? Consider how unseemly that question might be for an LDS parent who had a gay child. I hope LDS leadership is wise enough and sensitive enough to never place such parents in that position.

  • Meckofahess Salt Lake City, UT
    March 8, 2014 4:40 p.m.

    @The Skeptical Chymist

    We don't fear the future as you say. What we do fear is that gay members of society will not be accepted as much as you think they will and this will lead to an on-going divide in society. Employers, business owners and other will tire of being sued because the want to exercise their freedom of conscience and their constitutional rights. Straight people will tire of the gay community disrespecting their rights and promoting immoral practices and behaviors in the community. I fear that there will be a backlash toward our humble and meek gay brothers and sisters because the activist element in the gay community is so radical that they alienated straights of good will. We will discover that these changes are not good for society at all and negative consequences will follow.

  • bandersen Saint George, UT
    March 8, 2014 4:41 p.m.

    I would put my money on the continued existence of Jews, Christians, Mennonites, Mormons, etc over those who want to exterminate their beliefs, such as is advocated by the LGBT community! Over thousands of years, those who have actually continued to put their belief in their traditions, morals, and teachings have proven over and over to persevere thru the persecution, prejudice, and violence perpetrated against them.

  • ulvegaard Medical Lake, Washington
    March 8, 2014 4:49 p.m.

    I appreciate BYU Converts view point. And indeed, he does make a good point.

    In not favoring gay marriage, I am not trying to prevent agency for anyone, I am concerned that there might be a deeper agenda. I honestly worry that the next step will be to coerce religious organizations to recognize and perform gay marriages in spite of their doctrine and policies. There has already been talk of threatening religious groups with denying them their tax exempt status if they continue to hold out against gay marriage. Maybe this 'threat' is exaggerated, I don't know, but it is for that reason that I continue to hold out.

  • I know it. I Live it. I Love it. Provo, UT
    March 8, 2014 5:42 p.m.

    ‘Gay marriage debate is changing how Americans settle differences’

    -The Deseret News comment pages have proven that true time and time again. America is falling. It's evident. Cats is right... we may not have much time. The real question is what are you going to do with it. Eventually we must all face whether we'll eat, drink, and be merry... or prepare ourselves for something better. Between God's kingdom, and the acceptance of the world... I know where I'll be happier in the end. From that alone, every decision I make ought to have that in mind.

    "No unclean thing can enter into his kingdom".

  • Kalindra Salt Lake City, Utah
    March 8, 2014 5:45 p.m.

    @ Meckofahess: "Since there are quite of few (at least they claim to be LDS) on this forum who favor a position contrary to their Church when it comes to gay marriage; it will be interesting to see what the leaders of the Church have to say about such stances by members in the next conference. Perhaps it is time to include a question about our affiliation or sympathizing with groups who are opposed to the doctrines of the scriptures and the Church as a qualification for a temple recommend?"

    Hmmm - perhaps they should also ask if you follow the church leaders and their admonition to not question the righteousness of others especially in public forums such as this one.

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    March 8, 2014 6:30 p.m.

    "I am worried about is the potential for the LGBT activists to take it to the next level once they have achieved their goal of making homosexual marriage legal everywhere in the USA. I am worried that they will try to make it so that churches will be forced to perform same-sex marriage or be faced with penalties, such as losing their tax exempt status. This, of course, would be wildly unconstitutional,"

    If you're right Billy Bob it won't happen, if you're wrong well...and the Supreme court by law, and by the constitution will make that decision. What you think won't sway their opinion.

    The whole problem here is to this point the religious position has been found to be unconstitutional, doesn't make any difference if it meets your moral standards or the moral standards of any other person.

    The courts will decide if it's legal God will decide if it's moral..that is if there is a God, but hey that's for another life..if there is another life.

  • Really??? Kearns, UT
    March 8, 2014 6:33 p.m.

    I am tired of all of this. I am tired of being judged by strangers. I am tired of being compared to pedophiles, rapists, and murderers. I am tired of people questioning my love and commitment to God. I am tired of being told I am selfish because I don't want to spend the rest of my life alone. I am tired of being told that I made a choice to be gay.

    I am tired of hearing the comments and noticing the disapproving looks when I am with other gay men in public--and we aren't behaving any differently than anyone else. I am tired of being afraid to go to the neighborhood park out of fear of being assaulted again. I am tired of being told that I don't love my LDS family and neighbors. I am tired of feeling like an outsider in the state where I was born. I am tired of being told that I am out to destroy religion.

    Is there any wonder some of our youth lose hope and take their own lives?

  • intervention slc, UT
    March 8, 2014 7:09 p.m.

    @Meckofahess
    It will also be interesting to see what they have to say about not questioning other faithfulness?

  • I know it. I Live it. I Love it. Provo, UT
    March 8, 2014 8:57 p.m.

    Really???,

    When I got tired of problems in my life, I turned to the Savior. He helped me change. Our creator designed us and can reshape us if we let Him. It's hard and sometimes others around you make it harder. But Satan is our true enemy, not each other. You can't make yourself perfect, or anyone else. The Savior can. We don't have the capacity to change the world around us. But He can change us. Without Him we are broken and lost. With Him we will always succeed.

    I don't blame you for being tired of others. But I'd suggest asking your bishop for advice, for a blessing, for guidance. Go to church. Read our scriptures. Pray. While you rely on the Savior, so do the rest of us. I don't hate you, but I've had similar burdens and had them lifted. I am telling you... there is only one person who can lift them. We have to forget about what others think, and worry about whether the Savior is pleased with us.

    When you please Him, blessings will overflow so much that how others treat you won't matter.

  • Mayfair City, Ut
    March 8, 2014 8:57 p.m.

    slcdenizen said "There is an elephant in the room regarding "Christians". Where does Jesus mention homosexuality?"

    Indeed, where does he mention child porn or human trafficking or any number of things?

    Just because Jesus did not personally mention them is not reason enough to embrace them.

  • Avenue Vernal, UT
    March 8, 2014 9:10 p.m.

    @Really???
    "I am tired of all of this."
    So am I, but I am tired of the fact that my religion is being attacked and ridiculed in the state in which it is headquartered. I am saddened by the fact that the majority of Americans now support this evil practice.

    "And if the time comes that the voice of the people doth choose iniquity, then is the time that the judgments of God will come upon you; yea, then is the time he will visit you with great destruction even as he has hitherto visited this land." (Mosiah 29:27)

  • Stormwalker Cleveland , OH
    March 9, 2014 8:49 a.m.

    @SoCalChris:
    I have to hand it to the gay rights movement. It used to be -- my private life is none of your business (I agree). Now it's -- I have a Constitutional right to society's approval of homosexuality. I'm dumbfounded that so many judges are buying it.

    Actually, the private lives of GLBT American citizens were made the business of their neighbors through laws making Same Sex relationships illegal, making it legal to fire gays who are outed and so on.

    I want my private life to be treated exactly like your private life. I want the legal protections you have, I want to be able to talk about my husband at work the same way you might mention your wife, I want to be able to hold hands or otherwise act like a couple in public. Nothing more, nothing less.

  • Karen R. Houston, TX
    March 9, 2014 9:10 a.m.

    @ "I know it. I live it. I love it."

    When I consider some of the known consequences of our long-held beliefs about LGBTs - suicide, homeless children, harassment, discrimination, assault, murder - it is abundantly clear that our actions have not been examples of love and kindness, but rather of judgment and condemnation. Many young people are able to recognize this difference as well, even if they can't articulate it. I know I did. I walked away from those who couldn't see it as soon as I was able. And as polling tells us, more than ever before, today's youth are walking away as well.

    I believe this undeniable evidence of harm is why some religious beliefs will not and should not be honored in the public sphere. They have no place there if we are to be a good and decent people.

  • Really??? Kearns, UT
    March 9, 2014 9:47 a.m.

    This is not meant as an attack, but do you who suggested I turn to God for help not see the problem in your advice? Do you not think that that is exactly what I have done for forty years? I don't need your advice to turn to God--I have done that and continue to do that. He loves me and accepts me. I honestly believe He is waiting for the rest of His followers to catch up and be less judgmental but more loving.

    I am reminded of the text of one of my favorite hymns:

    Who am I to judge another
    When I walk imperfectly?
    In the quiet heart is hidden
    Sorrow that the eye can't see?
    Who am I to judge another?
    Lord, I would follow thee.

    We are commanded to love. It's that simple. I believe so many of us need to pause daily and pray to find love for those we find offensive and repulsive. It's time we all pray for more charity. I do it, and I was surprised at how God changed me.

  • nycut New York, NY
    March 9, 2014 11:01 a.m.

    @Really???:
    Still they come, sitting in judgment of who you are, discussing what rights you deserve, choosing your religion for you.

    Here's @know-live-love. Encouraging you to follow his/her path of righteousness so your burden will be lifted.

    Next is @Mayfair, to add child porn and human trafficking to the list of "Things Ignorant People Associate with Being Gay." In defense of Christianity of course.

    And @Avenue, so "sad" that her/his church would be criticized while it pushes laws that punish gay people for not choosing to follow its doctrine.

    Self-righteous proselytizing, ignorance and prejudice, victimhood born of unearned entitlement.

    We all recognize these simple songs, even with fewer people, singing louder.

    Many have learned to overcome feeling uncomfortable. To see gay people as whole people, not adjectives. To give respect to earn respect.

    Demand others follow your beliefs: be invited to mind your own business. Promote your anti-gay views in public: learn others may find those beliefs appalling and tell you so. Support anti-gay public policies: expect opposition from the fair-minded.

    This poll, the positive shift in understanding, and national momentum toward equality shows continuing change for the better.

  • bandersen Saint George, UT
    March 9, 2014 11:27 a.m.

    Really: Give up being offended at everything and everyone and recognize that your lifestyle is considered a threat, for good reason, to a way of life that has proven to be the best for children to be raised. Just because you have chosen a different lifestyle or a different way of looking at things is not going to remove the threat people feel from your continued adherence to something that many feel is dangerous to not only children, but to civilization. You can go on and on about how tired you are of fighting the battle or you can just accept people for who they are and live your life accordingly. Everybody has burdens to carry. Yours is no different than many other burdens that people carry. You just have chosen to broadcast it to everyone! Make a choice and let people be who they are!

  • Testimony Philadelphia, PA
    March 9, 2014 1:25 p.m.

    Avenue,

    Your religion is being attacked?! How is that?

    Are you being forced to hide your religion, pretend to be a different one in public, and practice your religion in secret, like the Jews in 16th Century Spain who were converted to Christianity by force?

    Is your property being seized, your family expelled from the state and you locked up in jail for your heresy, like the Baptists in early colonial Connecticut?

    Are you being publicly whipped, thrown in jail and then hung from the gallows for not recanting your religion, like the Quakers in Massachusetts in the mid-17th Century?

    Are your children taken from you by force to be brought up in a foreign religion, your language banned, your women sterilized, your sacred religious artifacts and instruments of worship burned like the Lapps (Sami peoples) of Scandinavia have, up through most of the 20th Century?

    If you're simply being melodramatic over what you perceive as expressions of disapproval, perhaps it's an appropriate reaction to your expressing disrespect for others. It's hard to respect anyone who has no respect for others.

  • 1aggie SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    March 9, 2014 4:14 p.m.

    @Really?

    Deepest condolences for the hurtful and harsh comments here.

    As an LDS member, I think many are missing the essence of the Gospel. The LDS church is made poorer in every sense of the word because our gay brothers and sisters and their families are not welcome to participate and partake alongside the rest of us. While those inside the church look outward and point at the outward "worldly" iniquity they are blind to the iniquity that resides within.

    Matthew 7
    "21 ¶Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.

    22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?

    23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity."

    Peace

  • Testimony Philadelphia, PA
    March 9, 2014 4:15 p.m.

    HeresAThought said,

    "@Scientist: Your comments imply that society has no need for people of faith..."

    As a person of faith, I feel comfortable in saying this. Society has need of good citizens, who treat each other with respect and loving care, who have empathy for each other's pains and trials, who are willing to help their neighbors in time of adversity, and support them against unjust accusations.

    Faith is not an end unto itself. It leads some to find that source of universal love with which to fill themselves and share with others. But, however one becomes a good citizen and a loving neighbor, that is the end that matters. When an atheist practices good ethics and loving care of his neighbors because his heart or his head tells him to -- without faith, without fear of heaven-sent perdition, with no longing for posthumous reward -- he is everything God would ever wish for in one of His children, so treat him with respect.

    If your faith comforts you, but you use it to discomfort others, it is of no value to society whatsoever.

  • Really??? Kearns, UT
    March 9, 2014 6:05 p.m.

    Thanks 1aggie and Testimony. People like you give me hope that things will change.

  • SoCalChris Riverside, CA
    March 9, 2014 7:56 p.m.

    BYU Convert,

    How is retaining the traditional definition of marriage denying anyone free agency??

    I have compassion for anyone with SSA and I support civil unions. But SSM has less to do with allowing freedoms and more to do with how gay unions are recognized by society. It's about insisting that homosexuality be viewed as every bit as normal and healthy as heterosexuality.

    So free agency now includes a right to have society view your choices a certain way?

  • SuziQ Springville, UT
    March 9, 2014 10:11 p.m.

    There are implications to changing the definition of marriage to make those who have a different sexual orientation feel equal.
    1. Will churches have to marry same gender couples if they marry opposite gender couples? Will they stripped of their legal authority to perform marriages if they refuse?
    2. Will religiously affiliated adoption services be forced to place children in same gender homes, even if they have a religious objection to it? Who decides? The church or the state or the federal judges?
    3. Will people be prosecuted for discrimination if they refuse to provide floral services, wedding planning, photography, cake decorating, or a venue to a same gender couple due to a religious objection?
    4. What goes on a birth certificate of a child? Do we put mother and father for a biological birth and parent 1, parent 2 or mother 1, mother 2, or father 1, father 2 for adopted children? (That is supposing that we don't start cloning or forcing 2 eggs or 2 sperm to reproduce.) That isn't so farfetched if marriage includes the right to children. Do we just all turn into a generic parent?
    5. Do we change the custom of a wife taking on the husband's name? It won't work any more.

  • Testimony Philadelphia, PA
    March 9, 2014 10:59 p.m.

    SuziQ, you have questions, I have answers!

    1) No, and no.

    2) Forced, no. Not if they use their own money. If, however, they need state funds, then in a state that has nondiscrimination laws, they can't get any if they discriminate. Look at Massachusetts. LDS didn't accept state funding and still runs adoption services per its own doctrine. Catholics refused to operate without state funds, or meet the law's requirements, and so closed their doors.

    3) If it's covered by nondiscrimination laws, then yes. Otherwise, no. Many services in many states are not covered.

    4) Depends on who the legal parents are at the time of birth, or what the court orders at the time of adoption.

    5) Some cultures keep the wife's name. In this country, it's quite prevalent in the Religious Society of Friends. In Catholic Spain, the upper classes carry up to 32 names, honoring both sides of their families for 5 generations.

  • TheTrueVoice West Richland, WA
    March 10, 2014 1:08 p.m.

    @SoCalChris: "It's about insisting that homosexuality be viewed as every bit as normal and healthy as heterosexuality."

    Has a gay couple come up to you and said: "We 'insist' you view us as healthy and normal"?

    I am doubtful this has ever occurred.

    When the 10th District Appeals in Denver strikes down Amendment 3 next month, you will still be free to view homosexuality as "unhealthy" or "abnormal". When SSM becomes law of the land, you will still be free harbor ill-will about them, and still retain animus towards them.

    The only difference - the *sole* difference - is that they will finally obtain the *same* rights you currently enjoy. That's it. They are not gaining "special rights" - just the *same* rights all free Americans enjoy regardless of race, ethnicity, religious belief, gender or orientation.

  • 435>801 Spanish Fork, UT
    March 10, 2014 5:18 p.m.

    I am in favor of same sex marriage because I don't want to live in a theocracy. I am LDS and I can say with good conscience that I don't believe that God would punish me, or anyone for that matter, for selling a wedding cake, dress/tux, or anything of that nature to a gay couple. If that were the case, any LDS person who owns a store or restaurant that has alcohol, tobacco, coffee, or even iced tea is going to be in trouble when they get to the other side.

  • SoCalChris Riverside, CA
    March 10, 2014 5:51 p.m.

    TrueVoice,

    So if I don't think homosexuality is perfectly fine and dandy, I have animus and ill will toward gay people? Good grief. I don't think divorce is a good thing or obesity is a good thing and have no ill will toward divorced or obese people. As I've already said I have compassion for gay people. I've had gay friends and close relatives. I treat them all with kindness and respect. I don't fault anyone for having SSA.

    Please be honest enough to admit that this is about more than rights. Civil unions can accomplish that. It's about saying heterosexuality and homosexuality are equal in every way and legally indistinguishable. Obviously, that's the PC view, and many judges are buying it. I don't want that taught to my school kids.

  • Avenue Vernal, UT
    March 10, 2014 8:27 p.m.

    @testimony
    To answer your question regarding my earlier comment, I would like to remind you that the devil is very cunning. He can use subtle ways to push evil practices and attack the ways of God. Things can start small and subtle, but as time passes, they can become large and horrific. That's just the way the devil works. Eventually, some of the terrible deeds you listed above may happen to us.

  • 10CC Bountiful, UT
    March 10, 2014 8:42 p.m.

    It is striking how forcefully and how quickly understandings change in the Information Age. It took 100 years after the Civil War for blacks to be guaranteed the right to vote. We've seen a reversal in public thought on gay marriage in 10 years.

    I feel for those clinging to their historic understandings, even as those understandings are changing under their feet, often within the churches they've attended their whole lives.

    I can see the legitimate desire for religious people to not want to be persecuted for not wanting to support a gay marriage, including florists, photographers, etc, but even if they are successful at carving out exemptions, the inertia of social change means others will exercise their freedom of association, and the Rosa Parks boycott strategy will emerge, and with the speed of information, those businesses will suffer, quickly, as even heterosexual couples will want to distance themselves from what is increasingly viewed as bigotry. Florists and photographers who don't have the equality sign will be bypassed.

    The Internet is a catalyst for social change, and it's not a gradual process.

  • SuziQ Springville, UT
    March 11, 2014 12:13 a.m.

    @ Testimony

    If the weight of social change is any indication, there will be no religious exemption for anything including ministers and religiously affiliated organizations. A same gender marriage will be exactly the same as an opposite gender marriage, even though it isn't the same biologically or socially. There will be consequences, even unforeseen one such as the designation of parental names on birth certificates or who will regulate adoption. If religious organizations had to fight over birth control, don't you think there will be a fight over adoption? Especially for a couple that cannot produce children naturally.

    It's ironic that President Obama just announced this week that our families have been weakened by the lack of fathers in homes. He even said that he had suffered from the lack of a father. Same gender marriage will provide two fathers or two mothers. His administration is encouraging Attorney Generals in every state to not enforce state marriage laws if they do not include same gender ones. What is the real message?

  • SuziQ Springville, UT
    March 11, 2014 12:41 a.m.

    The definition of marriage has always been a man and a woman who have the biological capacity to reproduce. It has included designation of parentage, inheritance, certain privileges and certain responsibilities between spouses and to children. It has to be sanctioned by the state and only allowed to be broken according to rules of the state. It is so fundamental that changing the definition to include same gender couples cancels out the previous definition of marriage. In fact, it is no longer marriage as we have known it. Marriage becomes merely a designation that allows two people who love each other to declare that they are now legally joined, same gender or opposite gender. In fact, if the term marriage includes any person who wants to join with another, maybe it will also include many of one gender or another gender. Who will regulate this? Good question. How will this affect the stability of families and society? We don't know. And apparently we don't care.

  • Bob K portland, OR
    March 11, 2014 12:52 a.m.

    My reply to folks who have bought into extreme right wing rumors, such as this person:
    --------------------------
    ulvegaard
    Medical Lake, Washington
    "I appreciate BYU Converts view point. And indeed, he does make a good point.
    ... I am concerned that there might be a deeper agenda. I honestly worry that the next step will be to coerce religious organizations to recognize and perform gay marriages in spite of their doctrine and policies. There has already been talk of threatening religious groups with denying them their tax exempt status if they continue to hold out against gay marriage"

    -- All one has to do is THINK and see that one has bought into a ludicrous idea. No court and no legislature could get away with telling a religion whom they must marry. That talk concerned wedding facilities rented out to the public.

    ---If you think, you realize the real threat to lds and catholic churches is that their own members will not put up with their Gay children being treated as being in a lower class status, and not allowed to marry in church like their siblings.

    Joining the 21st Century is not going against God

  • BYU_Convert Provo, UT
    March 11, 2014 3:04 a.m.

    SoCalChris,

    Denying same-sex marriage denies people of the LGBT community basic rights afforded to you as a heterosexual--basic rights most heterosexuals take for granted. It is unfair to treat gay people as subhumans, and yet the denial of Utah to pass the non-discrimination law and continued attacks against the LGBT community by religious organizations demanding their unions to not be recognized by the IRS, by employers for insurance benefits, by people who have housing and employment restrictions based on sexual orientation essentially relegates their status below that of their heterosexual counterparts, and yet most of the LGBT community--most who struggle with same-sex attractions--have endured unfathomable amounts of psychological and social damage throughout their lives, no heterosexual could even begin to relate or truly understand. Many and have come to accept their lot in this life with their SSA. Some wish to be rid of it. Some wish to embrace it. It is the choices of they who are afflicted, not the choice of the majority who still afflict them.

  • BYU_Convert Provo, UT
    March 11, 2014 3:12 a.m.

    I would hope a florist would not deny a gay person a bouquet to put on a best friend's grave.

    I would hope a baker would not deny a gay person a cake to give to his/her mother on her birthday.

    I would hope a photographer would be open to taking pictures of a gay person with his or her friends.

    I would hope a church would allow a gay person to worship with them.

    Would a business deny a gay person to do these basic things because they are gay? It very well could happen because of increasing homophobia among Christian conservatives who have strongholds in the South and in Utah and Arizona. It is frightening to me how relegated to subhuman status many of the heterosexual persuasion view people who live with homosexuality of whatever degree. Whatever happened to love thy neighbor? Whatever happened to following the LDS 12th Article of Faith? Not very many in my religion do either of those with regards to people with same-sex attractions, and I find that very sad.

  • TheTrueVoice West Richland, WA
    March 11, 2014 9:33 a.m.

    @SoCalChris:

    Sorry, sir, I did indeed try to reply to your questions: I put together a rather substantial reply, where I tried to go into much detail - but the DN mods refuse to publish it, sorry.

    It is always unfortunate when meaningful dialogue is prevented. It was always possible that my reply could have been very illuminating to you, or to another reader with questions similar to yours.

    But now, we will never know - very unfortunate indeed.

    The DN mods said: "Your comment has been flagged for further review by an editor. In some situations, this can significantly increase the amount of time it takes for a comment to be accepted or rejected."

    Translation: it will not get published, ever. That is to say: I've had a few of these "on hold" messages before; they never, ever get published. Not once.

  • nycut New York, NY
    March 11, 2014 9:35 a.m.

    @SoCalChris
    You treat gay people kindly, seeing in yourself no animus. Yet comparing them to overweight or divorced people shows self-centered insensitivity at best.

    Consider the assertion that gay people "have" SSA.

    A serious question: Do you "have" OSA? Is Opposite Sex Attraction alterable? I'm not talking about foregoing sex or love-- that's possible. Re-orient your ability to love. "Decide" someone of the same sex will call to you body and soul.

    No. "OSA" is baked in to who you are. Why would you suppress it? More to the point, why ask that of someone else?

    Ah. Beliefs. Beliefs catering to how YOU are, that place "people with OSA" at the center of eternal meaning. Accepting that gay is not merely heterosexual deviation challenges that heterosexual cosmology.

    So you define gay in a way that suits you.

    Maintaining your existential comfort, you choose not to see gay people as they are: whole, born on this earth just like you, exactly as they are.

    This self-serving blind spot creates animus you can't perceive: you reduce someone else's personhood to a behavior, and see nothing wrong with that.

  • Lane Myer Salt Lake City, UT
    March 11, 2014 10:32 a.m.

    SOCALCHRIS: "Please be honest enough to admit that this is about more than rights. Civil unions can accomplish that. It's about saying heterosexuality and homosexuality are equal in every way and legally indistinguishable."

    ---------------
    It is about rights but it is more about being treated equally under the law per our constitution.

    Civil Unions are just as illegal under our Amendment #3 as are gay marriages, btw.

    I am willing to say that heterosexuality and homosexuality are equal (under our constitution) and are legally indistinguishable - just as a marriage of fertile heterosexuals are as indistinguishable as two heterosexual octogenarians marrying. We give them them same marriage license, the same privileges, and the same rights. We do not distinguish with a "fertile, baby producing marriage license" or a "companion marriage license." They are treated the same, even though their marriages may be for different reasons. We do not give "drunken, las vegas - soon to be divorced marriage licenses," with different legal benefits, why would we treat two gays marriage as any different, except, in your beliefs, they are not worthy. Luckily, the constitution does not worry about worthiness or not when treating ALL as equals.

  • nycut New York, NY
    March 11, 2014 10:49 a.m.

    @SuziQ says: "The definition of marriage has always been a man and a woman who have the biological capacity to reproduce."

    This is not true.

    There is no fertility test prior marriage, nor is there a procreation requirement for marriage. There is no requirement that people who marry even love each other.

    Like others in these comments, you are confusing your personal, idealized definition of marriage with actual marriage.

    Even so, using your definition of marriage, we would exclude many straight people, but we don't. So I suspect those aren't the real reasons you want to prevent gay people from marriage.

  • SoCalChris Riverside, CA
    March 11, 2014 10:52 a.m.

    nycut,

    OSA as you call it is the reason we are all here. It is what you study under human reproduction. It is the whole reason we have gender difference to begin with. Homosexuality is a departure from the norm. This isn't my subjective self-centered view as you suggest. The comparison I made was only to point out that I can have an issue with something without hating the individual.

    BYU Convert, I disagree. I see increased understanding and compassion toward gay people. Society has come a long way. As for the LDS Church, I've always heard nothing but compassion from Church leaders. They've always denounced sinful conduct but I have never heard anyone condemned for SSA. As for the florists and photographers in the news, they have all made it clear they had no problem catering to gay clients. Their objection was to participating in a same sex wedding.

    Again. I don't fault anyone for being gay. I can't imagine the struggle. My heart goes out to gay people. But I don't see it as wise for there to be zero legal difference between traditional marriage and same sex unions.

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    March 11, 2014 10:53 a.m.

    @SoCalChris;

    Perhaps you should home-school your kids so they don't get exposure to the real world.

    @SuzyQ;

    You need a history lesson about marriage; there are a lot of on-line resources you can access to discover the truth.

  • Testimony Philadelphia, PA
    March 11, 2014 11:32 a.m.

    To Avenue, who said, "... the Devil is very cunning,"

    Why is it that some people spend so much more time thinking about, praising the abilities of, and living in fear and awe of "the Devil" than they do of the all-powerful and loving God at the center of their religion? Exactly who are you worshiping, anyway?

    God loves us, who are ALL made by Him, male and female, in His image (Gen 1:27). The Bible tells us that we are all equal, and time and again tells us to treat each other as such. It tells us time and again that God loves us, that God gives us the gift of love to love each other and wants us to use it.

    I don't accept that there is a Devil. All the evil done in this world is done by people. If there is an afterlife, and if we are to be judged there, how are you going to explain that you believed in some non-existent uber-demon and structured your life around that, rather than trusting the Lord, loving God and loving your neighbor as yourself?

  • Avenue Vernal, UT
    March 11, 2014 9:00 p.m.

    @ Testimony
    The devil does exist. He is the opposition to God and all He stands for. Everything has to have opposition. If the devil did not exist, no evil would be present on this earth. The people who do evil things are tempted by Lucifer, and they give in to those temptations.

    I believe that God loves us, even though he knows that everyone will sin. God has declared that certain things are sinful, and his standards will never change.

    "If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them."
    (Leviticus 20:13)

  • A Quaker Brooklyn, NY
    March 12, 2014 5:41 a.m.

    @Avenue: Ah... Leviticus! There are 21 Abominations in that Book. Everything from that nice bowl of clam chowder, to your 7-Grain bread, to your comfort-blend shirt, to your backyard vegetable garden.

    The ancient Israelites brought all their meat animals to the Temple for ritual sacrifice. The priests got a "cut" for their services, the animals' spirits were returned to God, and the farmer got the rest. (That part, and most of the rest of Leviticus, was mooted with the destruction of the First Temple. Rabbinic Judaism replaced animal sacrifice and Levite Priests with study and prayer.)

    But, do you know which is its first Abomination? (Hint: Lev 7.) It's the eating of meat from an animal killed before yesterday ("... on the third day ..."). Absolutely none of your meat meets that today. Those canned goods of yours are an Abomination. So is all the "fresh" meat in the supermarket, and all the coldcuts, even kosher salami.

    Now, back to your citation, and that most important word, "also." Therefore, a man who NOT "lieth with women," but mankind exclusively, has committed no abomination. Being lesbian's okay, too, apparently.

  • RFLASH Salt Lake City, UT
    March 12, 2014 10:32 a.m.

    Why is it that people want to say that gay issues go contrary to religous freedom? Over and over they say this!. My being gay and getting married does not take away any Christian's religious freedom! In fact, if you look at the truth, it is the Christians who go against religious freedom! They can not get into their heads that religious freedom includes gay people! Hello, I know you people want to dismiss us as if we don't have any value, but we do and we have a religous freedom to live according to our faith and our faith does not include the derogatory beliefs that many Christians have! This is the root of the entire problem! These Christians want their freedoms and they want to ignore any freedom that gay people have a right to! If your religion is one that tells you that you can walk all over me, then you better believe I will oppose whatever part of it discriminates against me! It isn't hard to understand that it works both ways! People want to do something based upon their hateful beliefs and they justify it by claiming it comes from God!

  • Liberty For All Cedar, UT
    March 12, 2014 11:01 a.m.

    As a Christian I don't believe Satan has special rights, especially in the name of religious freedom.

  • RFLASH Salt Lake City, UT
    March 12, 2014 11:04 a.m.

    I do know it is getting better. If people could just understand that gay people have religious beliefs also. I was Mormon. People at Church outed me long before I ever dealt with it myself. I had divorced and somebody close to me started a rumor and from then on everything changed! Nobody bothered to find out what the truth was! I immediately felt cut off! When I spoke about my belief, they simply wouldn't say anything. How can I explain it? It feels like they, in their minds, have taken you out of the church and they no longer find anything you say about God as being valid! I am not saying that people do it on purpose. It happens with my own family.
    It is so wrong! I have never given up my beliefs in God! I have had to change some of them, but my beliefs in God still matter! What a shame that so many people turn the other way. You know, it took me another ten years to come out! I never really got over what happened! Some things are wrong! It isn't right to just dismiss us like that!

  • SuziQ Springville, UT
    March 12, 2014 10:20 p.m.

    @nycut
    I didn't say that a heterosexual couple would be able to produce children or have to produce children in order to have a valid marriage nor do they need to love each other. I said they have the biological capacity to do so since they are of opposite genders. Up until the advent of birth control, the possibility of having children was definitely part of marriage. Children born out of wedlock, back in the dark ages, were even considered illegitimate and had no claim legally on their father's property or name. Putting the possibility of children aside, I am pretty sure we allow all the other rights to be designated legally in our day and age. I even think civil unions would help protect those who want to formalize their commitment. Just don't change the definition of marriage.

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    March 16, 2014 8:38 a.m.

    @SuziQ;

    They don't "have the capacity" if they're infertile.