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Utah, Oklahoma same-sex marriage cases on parallel track

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  • Henry Drummond San Jose, CA
    April 16, 2014 6:25 p.m.

    I've read the briefs in both cases. Overall, I would say that the Marriage Equality advocates in the Oklahoma case have the most provocative arguments. They center their case around the fact that in three Supreme Court cases affecting Gay Rights (Romer, Lawrence, and Windsor,) the majority applied a heightened level of scrutiny rather than rational basis.

    I strongly suspect that the Tenth Circuit Court is going to make some sort of ruling on that specific issue. This seems to be the aspect of the case receiving relatively little notice from the press. If the Marriage Equality advocates prevail in that argument, then as far as striking down bans on same sex marriage, its Game, Set, Match.

  • wrz Phoenix, AZ
    April 16, 2014 7:21 p.m.

    It ain't all that tough. That's alotta brainpower (three judges) for a simple issue..."Equal protection under the law."

    And the law in question is a Utah law which basically states that all marriages much comport to a certain set of circumstances.... one man/woman, no family members, no polygamy, no close relatives such as first cousins, certain minimum age, etc. It does not include people who happen to have feelings such as love or other types of attraction for another like another man, another man's wife or his own mother, father, brother or married neighbor. It applies to all citizens across the board. How difficult is that to comprehend and make a judgement on?

  • slcdenizen t-ville, UT
    April 16, 2014 7:46 p.m.

    @wrz

    "How difficult is that to comprehend and make a judgement on?"

    It's not, that's why the rulings have been made. These are the appeals, which will likely err on the side of equal protection. Definitely not rocket science here, folks.

  • intervention slc, UT
    April 16, 2014 7:50 p.m.

    @wrrz
    "It does not include people who happen to have feelings" why, because you say? Because the state says? Sorry it does not work that way?

  • Alfred Phoenix, AZ
    April 16, 2014 7:55 p.m.

    @Henry Drummond:
    "If the Marriage Equality advocates prevail in that argument, then as far as striking down bans on same sex marriage, its Game, Set, Match."

    If it's game, set, match for SSM, it also has to be game, set, match for dozens of other type of marriage relationships that can beconjured... such as polygamy... and you name it.

    And if it's game, set match the courts will have gotten themselves in a heap-a trouble essentially nullifying the age old institution of marriage.

  • wrz Phoenix, AZ
    April 16, 2014 8:39 p.m.

    @slcdenizen:
    "These are the appeals, which will likely err on the side of equal protection."

    If the judges rule for SSM they will have certainly erred.

    You can't have equal protection for gays/lesbians re marriage and not have the same equal protection for polygamist, marrying your mother, sister, brother, cousin, a tree, or a myriad of other possible marriage combinations.

    @intervention:
    "It does not include people who happen to have feelings" why... Because the state says?"

    Yeah, read the law.

  • Stormwalker Cleveland , OH
    April 16, 2014 8:47 p.m.

    @Alfred

    SSM has been legalized in a number of very civilized countries, including Canada.

    In which ones has it led to "If it's game, set, match for SSM, it also has to be game, set, match for dozens of other type of marriage relationships that can beconjured... such as polygamy... and you name it."?

    Please list.

  • intervention slc, UT
    April 16, 2014 9:03 p.m.

    @wrz

    Just because a state passed a law does not make it consitutional or simply a matter of fact as you would like to pretend.

  • Tolstoy salt lake, UT
    April 16, 2014 9:59 p.m.

    @WRZ

    the problem is your argument breaks down before it even starts you want to play a black and white zero sum game of either you have to be for everything or nothing then attempt exclude yourself from the game. following your logic if you are for heterosexual marriage you must also support all other forms of marriage. Simply because you have decided that heterosexual marriage is the only proper form of marriage does not buy you a pass any more then those that may have decided heterosexual marriage and homosexual marriage are the only appropriate forms of marriage or do not take a position on other forms of marriage.

  • Alfred Phoenix, AZ
    April 16, 2014 10:16 p.m.

    @Stormwalker:
    "SSM has been legalized in a number of very civilized countries, including Canada."

    And by doing so they have taken giant steps toward becoming uncivilized.

    "Please list."

    I did list... polygamy.

    If you want more added to the list, try marrying your mother, sister, brother, cousin, a tree (see wrz above).

    Also kids marrying. You might have seen an article recently that the youngest parents on record were a 12 year (girl) old and a 13 year old (boy). Whether they are married or not is not clear.

    @intervention:
    "Just because a state passed a law does not make it constitutional..."

    Doesn't make it unconstitutiona, either.

  • tedward55 Little Rock, AR
    April 16, 2014 10:21 p.m.

    @wrz Laws have to have a "rational basis" for existence and to be defensible in court. So far opponents of SSM have not been able to present a rational basis for their law banning it. In the cases of "polygamist, marrying your mother, sister, brother, cousin, a tree, or a myriad of other possible marriage combinations" states could very easily present rational basis for their laws banning them. Big difference

  • intervention slc, UT
    April 16, 2014 10:25 p.m.

    @alfred
    Funny the courts disagree

    Also Please do tell us how those countries have become more "uncivilized" and do please show us the evidance supporting a causal link between gay marriage and this negative shift you believe exist.

  • LovelyDeseret Gilbert, AZ
    April 16, 2014 10:54 p.m.

    I thought it showed the weakness of the arguments for those who are trying to redefine marriage as Judge Lucero kept trying to prevent the redefiners' attorney from answering the tough questions.

    With that said, the appellant Judges will affirm the Oklahoma district court ruling and then send the Utah ruling back on remand to determine if Utah has a compelling interest to define marriage in light of their polygamist history.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    April 16, 2014 10:58 p.m.

    Two trains, speeding along parallel tracks towards a huge concrete wall called the constitution. I guess it's a matter of who gets there first.

  • Bob K portland, OR
    April 17, 2014 12:49 a.m.

    Only in Utah

    Would so many commenters keep bringing up polygamy. Apart from other issues, polygamy is considered by most of the country to be weird and unconscionable. Utahns, if they could take the fact that marriage equality threatens the lds church out of their minds, would notice that it works works well in MA and other places for many years.

    All of this, including Prop 8, is about the catholic and lds churches being based on procreation, and having no room for Gay married couples.

    And only in Utah and a few other places would one hear the lie "trying to re-define marriage", as an argument against equal treatment.

    Only 180 years ago, the lds actually did "re-define marriage", then they later re-defined it again, under much pressure, that many here still resent.

    People who live in glass marriage definitions ought not to throw stones.

  • koseighty The Shire, UT
    April 17, 2014 1:16 a.m.

    If the passage of marriage equality will mean the automatic legalization of polygamy, the members of the LDS church should be overjoyed at the prospect of being able to live that portion of the gospel denied them since the 1890s by an evil federal government. ;o)

  • Willem Los Angeles, CA
    April 17, 2014 5:49 a.m.

    Victory for the LGBT community is undisputable.

  • Values Voter LONG BEACH, CA
    April 17, 2014 6:04 a.m.

    wrz wrote:

    "You can't have equal protection for gays/lesbians re marriage and not have the same equal protection for polygamist, marrying your mother, sister, brother, cousin, a tree, or a myriad of other possible marriage combinations."

    and

    "Yeah, read the law."

    I see you're still offering your slippery-slope arguments. Rather than repeat my question to you in a previous thread, I'll simply assign you these three SCOTUS cases to read:

    1.) Reynolds v. United States
    (DN readers should be familiar with that one).
    "Having Reynolds on the books for 135 years establishes weighty stare decisis considerations." From the Bostic brief

    2.) Zablocki v. Redhail

    3.) Loving v. Virginia

    "In the real world, there are unlikely to be facial class-action challenges to consanguinity laws. And if facial or as-applied challenges should someday be filed, courts have the doctrinal tools from Zablocki and Loving to decide them."

    Also from the Bostic brief

  • EstoPerpetua Holden, MA
    April 17, 2014 6:27 a.m.

    Perhaps the "opponents" of equal rights for LGBTs will pay the LGBT taxes so they can have their unequal rights imposed on the LGBT community. :>)

  • slcdenizen t-ville, UT
    April 17, 2014 6:52 a.m.

    @wrz

    'You can't have equal protection for gays/lesbians re marriage and not have the same equal protection for polygamist, marrying your mother, sister, brother, cousin, a tree, or a myriad of other possible marriage combinations."

    It's these types of frivolous arguments that further convince me that I'm on the right side of this debate. But by all means, continue to make silly arguments and those interested in honest debate will be drawn to the better ones.

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    April 17, 2014 8:30 a.m.

    The issue has to be dealt with by the Supreme Court. Cases in UT, OK, OH, MI and elsewhere will necessitate it. The question is whether this Court will establish a legacy on the issue similar to Dred Scott or Brown v. Board of Education. Either way, it will be epic and explosive.

  • AerilusMaximus Berryville, VA
    April 17, 2014 8:39 a.m.

    I support the original definition of marriage which is between a man and a woman. Here's hoping that the lower courts allow states to create their own laws to govern their states in how they see fit.

  • UT Brit London, England
    April 17, 2014 8:40 a.m.

    @Bob K

    Nah the thought of polygamy frightens Utahns, officially plural mariage is part of the church and still on the books. If things happened for polygamy be made legal then it will open up the leadership of the church to some uncomfortable questions.

  • dmcvey Los Angeles, CA
    April 17, 2014 9:13 a.m.

    Alfred, why does gay marriage mean that all these other things will be legal? Children cannot legally consent so that would not have any merit. As far as polygamy (which the Bible supports) if it's between consenting adults I don't see a problem with it. Maybe some of the abuses of polygamous groups toward women and children could be brought into the light if there was no longer the fear of arrests and having children taken away.

  • EstoPerpetua Holden, MA
    April 17, 2014 9:42 a.m.

    @Berryville

    It is OK to support the original definition of marriage as between a man and a woman but it is not OK to deny other Americans their equal rights, such as same-sex marriage. This is a civil issue, not a religious one, and Virginia will be joining equality soon.

  • environmental idiot Sanpete, UT
    April 17, 2014 9:47 a.m.

    In a way, I hope that this "marriage equality act" stands. It opens the gate for polygamous marriage and equality for polygamists under the law. Just think of the tax deductions that polygamists could claim! X number of spouse dependents and a myriad of child dependents. Polygamy could become a huge tax shelter. It is ironic that the people of the US who once claimed the ethical high ground in maternal relationships and persecuted polygamists and decanters of traditional monogamous relationships are now the advocates of "outside the norm" unions.

    The good part of all of this is it means the tax code would have to be changed to a flat tax or marriage could bankrupt the government.

  • 1 Voice orem, UT
    April 17, 2014 9:55 a.m.

    @ wrz

    Polygamy is no different than SSM in terms of rights. However, if the real issue isn't about rights (which it is not) than marriage can be restricted when it is not in the best interests of society. If courts have ruled polygamy isn't in the best interests of society (which they have) they can rule SSM isn't in the best interests of society. If they rule SSM is about equal rights then (to be fair in terms of equal rights) they should rule polygamous, bigamous, and polygamous marriages are OK as well.

  • AerilusMaximus Berryville, VA
    April 17, 2014 10:08 a.m.

    @ EstoPerpetua

    You can believe whatever you want to believe and I will continue to exercise my 1st Amendment right in telling you that it is NOT ok to change the definition of marriage.

    I think it is interesting how it seems like the world has for probably most of my lifetime defined marriage as "just another relationship." It seems like that is their main push and goal.

    It negates their greatest failure and allows them to ignore it better.

    No other success can compensate for failure in the home. - David O. Mckay

  • Schnee Salt Lake City, UT
    April 17, 2014 10:09 a.m.

    @wrz

    'You can't have equal protection for gays/lesbians re marriage and not have the same equal protection for polygamist, marrying your mother, sister, brother, cousin, a tree, or a myriad of other possible marriage combinations."

    Do you oppose the Supreme Court having struck down bans on interracial marriage because of this logic, or does that only apply to gay people in your book?

  • 1 Voice orem, UT
    April 17, 2014 10:13 a.m.

    @ stormwalker

    In Canada the government force SSM on the public without their consent. No the world hasn't come to an end but there is no evidence that this is in societies best interests.

    Those of us who support traditional marriage are not anti-gay for saying we believe there is a purpose for our being here on earth. That purpose involves traditional families. No not all traditional families are perfect but it is still worth supporting as it is in the best interests of society. This doesn't mean we discriminate against those who don't share our values. We just adhere to our constitutional right to support causes we value. As for the right and privileges of marriage for same sex and common-law relationships, these can be handled in other legal ways.

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    April 17, 2014 10:25 a.m.

    On the polygamy issue that keeps getting raised, the question and the covenant are essentially relations with the person to whom you are legally and lawfully married. If polygamy is legal in, say Saudi Arabia, and a polygamist joins the Church, will the marriages be recognized by the Church. And if a gay marriage is legal and lawful, same question. So do the questions and the covenants, i.e., the doctrine, change?

  • 1 Voice orem, UT
    April 17, 2014 10:25 a.m.

    @schnee

    your logic is flawed.

    Banning interracial marriage was not in the best interests of society and rightly so the policy was abolished. People keep bringing that up as if it justifies doing things that are not in the best interest of society.

  • UT Brit London, England
    April 17, 2014 10:43 a.m.

    Esquire

    The church would argue that the marriages were not performed in the temple. We still do sealings of multiple women to one man in temples so it should be asked why he could not be sealed to them in a Saudi temple.

  • AerilusMaximus Berryville, VA
    April 17, 2014 10:46 a.m.

    @ Esquire

    You can not be a Member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and be in a polygamous relationship. You will be ex-communicated if you are.

    The church has already stated that homosexuality is a sin. To have homosexual thoughts and feelings is not a sin but when you act upon them it is. The same applies to those who engage in sex before marriage.

    Marriage according to the LDS Church is defined in the "Proclamation on the family". You can find that by searching Proclamation on the family.

  • UT Brit London, England
    April 17, 2014 11:25 a.m.

    AerilusMaximus

    Elder Oaks is sealed to two women, although he is not with them both on the earth at this time the idea is this will continue through eternity. Polygamy is still a doctrine of the church.

  • Tolstoy salt lake, UT
    April 17, 2014 11:32 a.m.

    @1 Voice

    actually you just helped him make his point as to why it is the same, there has been based on the evidence presented the courts have repeatedly found there to be no credible evidence to support the claim that there is any harm to society by allowing same sex marriage. It may not be convenient for your argument but it is just a fact of life. There is no unturned leaves at this point the evidence has been thoroughly vetted and the arguments against same sex marriage have been found to be wanting.

  • Willem Los Angeles, CA
    April 17, 2014 11:41 a.m.

    The conservative lawyer who defended California’s ban on gay marriage at the Supreme Court is at work on another project: planning his daughter’s upcoming same-sex wedding ceremony.

    Charles J. Cooper, a former top official in the Reagan Justice Department and onetime “Republican lawyer of the year,” learned of his daughter’s sexual orientation during the legal battle over California’s Proposition 8, according to journalist Jo Becker’s soon-to-be-released book chronicling the movement to legalize same-sex marriage.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    April 17, 2014 11:45 a.m.

    To "Bob K" if you go back 30 years ago and asked people what they thought of gay marriage, they would have said it was "weird and unconscionable." The same with people living together before marriage, and coutless other things that people commonly do now.

  • Shelama SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    April 17, 2014 12:52 p.m.

    It will be nice when this is finally over and gay marriage is legal everywhere and we can spend more time identifying actual problems to work on.

    However delicious with irony, it will be nice that Utah and the Mormon church facilitated this progress into the future.

    I worry that the Mormon church will opt to excommunicate gay Mormons who marry or Mormons who officiate at their weddings but I don't see how they can avoid making that their official policy.

    But I'm heartened to know that those Mormons would have lived their life correctly, with honesty and integrity, and with real morality and real worthiness intact. And, just like everybody else, they will be totally supportive of traditional marriage... the marriage that was never threatened in the first place.

  • Schnee Salt Lake City, UT
    April 17, 2014 1:51 p.m.

    @1 Voice
    "Banning interracial marriage was not in the best interests of society and rightly so the policy was abolished."

    I would argue that banning same-sex marriage is not in the best interests of society so the policy should be abolished.

    And my initial point was about slippery slopes. If it's true that allowing same-sex marriage would necessitate legalization of polygamy, etc, then is it also true that allowing interracial marriage necessitates same-sex marriage, polygamy, etc? I keep seeing the slippery slope argument used but the people who use it seem to ignore the fact that it's interracial marriage and not same-sex marriage that set the precedents for courts striking down marriage bans.

  • tedward55 Little Rock, AR
    April 17, 2014 1:52 p.m.

    @ LovelyDesert

    If the court affirms the Oklahoma court decision, doesn't that make the Utah case irrelevant as both states reside within the 10th Circuit jurisdiction? So why would they send that case back on remand?

  • AerilusMaximus Berryville, VA
    April 17, 2014 3:30 p.m.

    @ UT BRIT

    If you look at Esquires question he is talking about in real life.

    Here is the crux of Esquires question:

    "If polygamy is legal in, say Saudi Arabia, and a polygamist joins the Church"

    Polygamists don't join the church. If you are a polygamist you can't join the church. If you become a polygamist you get excommunicated from the church.

    I already know and understand what the church believes about polygamy. Yes I know you can be sealed to more than one woman and such.

    If you want to get technical about it. When a man is married to more than one wife at a time, the relationship is called polygyny;

    Also it is hard to compare being sealed to more than one wife vs. having polygamus relationships while on this earth.

  • Values Voter LONG BEACH, CA
    April 17, 2014 4:53 p.m.

    Re: The subject of this news story -- Utah, Oklahoma cases being argued at the 10 circuit in Denver:

    I've just finished listening to oral arguments and I'd say it looks very good for Marriage Equality. Probably not unanimous, but I wouldn't be at all surprised at a 2-1 ruling in favor of the plaintiffs.

    Now the waiting begins . . .

  • UT Brit London, England
    April 18, 2014 8:11 a.m.

    AerilusMaximus

    If you were a member of the church you wouldn't be talking about plural marriage and sealings in that way. Being sealed is about as real life as you can get in the church.
    Polygamy will be practiced again on this earth, prophets have foretold this on more than one occasion. So we have the prophets words, church doctrine and the fact that a man can be sealed to more than one woman currently. If polygamy is made legal what would stop the church from starting the practice again?

    Oh and in this discussion you can assume that the type of polygamy we are referring to is polygny. Don't know why you brought that up really.

  • Tators Hyrum, UT
    April 18, 2014 9:00 a.m.

    Its very interesting how Obama has done a complete flip-flop on this issue from earlier in his presidency. When talking to a religious group from their church, he earlier stated how his Christian beliefs made him feel and believe that marriage indeed should be limited to between a man and and a woman. He left no doubt that he supported traditional marriage.... when he felt that such a stance would help him politically.

    Fast-forward several years. As has happened many times before when the winds of national political correctness shift, Obama has now shifted his stance to become a SSM advocate before a larger audience and to be inline with his party's liberal platform. Had a Republican flip-flopped like that, the liberal press would've crucified him.

    Interesting indeed.

  • Candied Ginger Brooklyn, OH
    April 18, 2014 12:10 p.m.

    @Tators --
    "Had a Republican flip-flopped like that, the liberal press would've crucified him."

    ---------

    Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio. Very opposed to SSM and gay rights in general and a raising star in the GOP. Then his son came out to him and introduced his partner.

    Sen. Portman got to see a same-sex-relationship in person, involving somebody he cared about: his son. Suddenly it was real, not just political posturing talking points and theory.

    He switched positions and now fully supports SSM.

    He was crucified by the GOP, the TEA Party, and religious leaders. The "liberal" press reported it as news. Both parts - Portman's announcement, and the howling attacks as the right called for him to be crucified.

  • Objectified Tooele, UT
    April 18, 2014 1:52 p.m.

    @ Candied Ginger:

    Yes, it's the established decorum for each political party to attack one of their own who flip flops. How decisively strong the attack happens depends on the issue involved. No surprise there.

    But the point Tators seems to be making is that the press attacks much more vehemently against Conservatives who change positions than they do against Liberals who do the same thing. It's their proven bias which has been demonstrated and noted time and time again. Even the New York Times doesn't dispute they are strongly liberal leaning in their editorials and general reporting.

    Like you stated... when a conservatives switches to a liberal stance, it's reported as positive news even though his fellow conservatives get up in arms. But if a liberal switches to a conservative posture on an issue, he's deemed worthy of crucifixion or ignoted altogether.
    When liberals llike Obama switches sides (as Tators noted), the press basically downplays it altogether. They seldom report on it whatsoever. In fact, many people aren't even aware of the flip-flop Obama did with this issue, because of the lack of attention the media gave it.

  • Eliyahu Pleasant Grove, UT
    April 21, 2014 9:00 a.m.

    Same ol' "slippery slope" arguments as always. If you can get that tree into the clerk's office, prove that it is of legal age and competent to enter into a contract, and it can sign the marriage license application, feel free to marry it. Better be ready to prove that it's the opposite sex, though, or you'll never have a Temple ceremony.

    Meantime, we need to outlaw opposite-sex marriage, or the next thing you'll see is people wanting interracial marriages and same sex marriages. Opposite-sex marriage clearly starts that slippery slope going downhill, so we should nip it in the bud.

  • Ranch Here, UT
    April 21, 2014 10:05 a.m.

    @Eliyahu;

    Some trees, like Araucaria araucana for example, are either male or female. Though, I think the first embrace would be the last of anybody marrying this particular tree. :)

  • CBAX Provo, UT
    April 21, 2014 12:52 p.m.

    Carried about by every wind of doctrine.

  • Stormwalker Cleveland , OH
    April 21, 2014 1:11 p.m.

    @CBAX:

    Actually, we are not be carried about by any doctrine. We are talking about civil laws under the Constitution of the United States of America.

    Back in the day, due more than anything else to religion, only white protestant males were considered citizens who could vote and hold office. Everyone else was second class... or worse.

    We have made a lot of progress since then. We no longer own slaves, Jim Crow is a bad chapter in history not a socially acceptable fact of life, women can vote and own property and be elected to public office...

    And now the Gays and Lesbians - who have been part of every society in recorded history - are demanding to be treated as equal citizens, too.

    You are welcome to your doctrine, I will stick with civilized laws, thank you very much.

  • blur Murray, UT
    April 21, 2014 2:07 p.m.

    While I can't think of one good reason why any two or more people shouldn't be able to get married, I can think of several reasons why homosexual marriage isn't equal to heterosexual marriage. First, homosexual marriage runs counter to the rules of evolution. The marriage is a biological dead end in all cases. Second, marriage was instituted to create a stable environment where children would be raised by a male and female parent. A homosexual marriage lacks the diversity that a heterosexual marriage brings into a child's life. Third, from a metaphysical stand point a homosexual marriage lacks the balance between male energy and female energy that a heterosexual marriage brings.

    Oh, by the way. As a heterosexual male, I don't have the ' right' to get married. So, how can anyone contend that a homosexual couple has the 'right' to get married!?

  • Lane Myer Salt Lake City, UT
    April 21, 2014 4:35 p.m.

    blur,

    Homosexuals just want that second-class marriage that older couples are allowed. The one where no expects them to bear any children, but they might end up raising some anyway. You know, the one where they are unable to produce offspring, but are allowed all the rights and privileges that young, fertile, heterosexual couples enjoy. They don't need that sacred, baby-producing marriage certificate but only the infertile couple one.

    What? They only issue one type of marriage certificate? How can that be? Older couples marriages are biologically dead!

    I don't think you know any gay couples. There is plenty of female/male energy in that relationship, just like, if you believe in metaphysics, there is plenty of female/male energy in every human being. It is balancing each inside of you that makes you whole - not finding someone who puts out the opposite energy as a counter. I would condend that if that is what your marriage consists of, it will truely struggle. The best marriages consist of two whole people.

  • CBAX Provo, UT
    April 21, 2014 8:25 p.m.

    @StormWalker

    Doctrine, law, opinion, thoughts, feelings, whatever. Doesn't really make a difference.