I disagree that human rights issues like this should be left to the
"representatives of the people." Constitutional amendments protect the
unlimited rights of the people (Amendment 9) and due process and equal
protection of the law (Amendment 14), and judicial review protects the minority
from the "tyranny of the majority." If left to the states and their
representatives civil rights and women's suffrage would not have been
accomplished as soon as they were. No one is arguing that a family with two
biological parents is not ideal. But, we do not ban or discourage
adoptive-families or step-families from forming. I contend that the
approximately 800,000 children of one biological parent in same sex partner
households in America would be better off if they were in a legal family with
two parents having the benefits and protections of marriage. If you are
pro-family why would you prefer that these children be in the legal equivalent
of a single parent family?
Could not disagree more, and take exception to almost every assertion. Marriage did not start out a the way to raise kids. Millennia ago it
was about property, inheritance and power. Studies do show that
kids were better raised in two parent homes, but there is more to the studies
than just that (divorce?). And new studies of kids raised in same sex
households show that kids are all right, and even better in some ways, than kids
raised by opposite sexed parents.Human rights in a constitutional
republic should never be put up for a vote. Our county's history is
replete with examples of bloody wars fought to solve this problem in the
extreme, and amendments and laws to end practices in which the majority is
repressing the minority. In the fight to maintain the specious
religious notion that marriage can only be about opposite sex parenting, no
stone is left unturned to convince the majority that gay marriage is some great
evil. Young people, and increasingly the mainstream of the country sees this as
By emphasizing the procreation aspect of marriage you denigrate the millions of
non-procreation marriages. On the other hand by emphasizing the "personal
aspects” such as “emotional support and public commitment” as
well as “access to legal and financial benefits" you do no harm to
married couples who choose to and are capable of having children. My non procreative marriage has done no harm to any of your procreative
marriages. In addition I don't remember anyone, including friends and
family insisting that my to be wife and I have children before we could get
married. There is absolutely no basis for denying someone the right
to marry the person they love based on whether they will or can have children,
and we have never done that...never. Simply put, in the end SSM is
about the commitment of two people and not whether the two people will choose to
procreate or parent.
Don't look now, but "Marriage" has been changing for over 100
years.Woman have the right to vote, Women have the right to
file for divorce.The "divorce" rate - for heterosexual
couples -has leveled off at 50%, But co-habitation "common law"
has increase 50 times since then, and is now considered
"normal".If heterosexual "marriages" are so perfect,
then why all the trouble?If yo are worried about "the children"
Society needs to fix that first.Blaming Same Sex Marriage couples
for the ills of "the children", is like the Nazis blaming
Germany's economic woes on the Jews.
With more marriage-minded women in Utah than men (thanks to the Mormon influence
which encourages women to marry and young men to do nothing but play the field)
the effects of same sex marriage does nothing to improve the dating pool for the
As a fundamental unit of society, marriage has really suffered under the care of
those that have been able to partake in it thus far. It's time to let those
that really want have a go, It's their right, and that right needs to be
protected from the meddling of 'the peoples' representatives'.
If we are going to make marriage about children, then let's make marriage
about children. Let's pass laws requiring those with children
to be married and, absence abuse, to remain married until the children are grown
and married themselves. Let's pass laws requiring those who are married to
have children, and if they cannot or choose not to have children, their marriage
automatically becomes null and void. Let's criminalize adultery
because of its potential to interfere with determining paternity of any
conceived offspring. Let's pass laws providing the benefits
necessary for one parent to stay at home and raise the children while the other
parent works. Let's pass laws requiring the working parent to spend time
daily assisting in the raising of their children. Let's pass laws
outlining contingency plans should one or both parents die or become
incapacitated, or if a divorce is granted due to abuse. Otherwise,
let's recognize "the children!" claim for the red herring it is and
The most recent study of the effects of same sex parenting, conducted by Dr.
Simon Crouch of the the University of Melbourne, concluded that "children in
same sex families scored better on a number of key measures of physical health
and social well-being than children from the general population." The
biggest problems faced by children of same sex couples is stigmatization and
prejudice. I notice that this piece chose to ignore the Australian study.
"Recent cultural acceptance of same-sex relationships has paved the way for
marriage’s redefinition, but it is actually society’s changing
attitudes about what marriage means that are ultimately responsible for its
transformation."----------------This is a point I've
been making for at least the last 5 years and it's good to see that it is
found elsewhere.The greatest problem that I see with homosexual
"marriage" is that it is part of equating homosexual parentage, almost
an oxymoron considering the obvious biological constraints, with that of
heterosexual parentage. As someone who is very pro diversity, the obvious
advantages of being raised by both one's mother and father far outweigh
whatever benefits accrue to people in a homosexual coupling who also want to be
parents.I recognize that the traditional nuclear family of father,
mother and children is often not possible, for a variety of reasons. But,
creating the disadvantageous hurdle of not being raised with the diversity of
one's male/female parentage is something that should be minimized rather
than celebrated and encouraged.
Again if you have to use the same lies that have been disproven in more then a
dozen different courts of law about what the research shows then maybe there is
a problem with your argument. Claiming a morality to justify your position the
misrepresenting the facts diminishes not only your argument but also diminishes
religion as a whole.
The real problems with the institution of marriage are much more extensive and
more important to our survival than the argument over same sex marriage. In our
current world marriage is not as important as when it was first invented. Both
men and women have much more freedom and independence that often changes the
rules. Child rearing by Mom and Dad has always been regarded and
the best way create individuals with the best chance for survival and is
probably still so today. However that doesn't mean that child rearing by
Mom and Dad is THE best way to prepare an individual for success in our current
and future worlds. If we really wanted kids to have equal opportunity, we would
not leave it up to parents.
Ericksons: "Consistent with this adult-centric view, the majority flatly
rejected that 'procreation is an essential aspect of the marriage
relationship,' prioritizing instead the 'personal aspects' such
as 'emotional support and public commitment' as well as 'access
to legal and financial benefits.'"And yet the State of Utah
already embraced and endorsed the "adult-centric" view of marriage that
the Ericksons see as invalid in 1996 when it amended its marriage law to allow
first cousins to marry, but only if they were non-procreative. The arguments
advanced at that time in favor of the change were exactly those that the
Ericksons dismiss above-- emotional support, public commitment, and legal
benefits. Can they explain how childless first cousin marriage advances the
traditional procreative family model while same sex marriage (including many
couples with children) does not?The Ericksons too facilely and
cavalierly dismiss the many same sex couples that have children as unimportant
and irrelevant. They repeet the mantra of children needing "a mother and
father" but discount the benefits of two parents (irrespective of gender)
over single parenthood, which is perfectly legal.
Until Utah residents have made friends with SSM couples, they are simply
exhibiting fear of the unknown.They appear to be unable to say anything
good, because they really just do not know how happy and contented children
raised in SSM families can be. Utah is "sheltered" from much of
what the rest of our nation understands, and now comfortably accepts as good
and normal.People, open your hearts and minds so you can actually view,
unburden your life, and then know the truth.You will be able to live your
life in a different way because your blinders will have been removed!
"Transformative decisions are best left to the people's
representatives"???? If left to the "people's
representatives" of the Solid South, blacks would still be sitting at the
back of the bus and getting lynched for complaining about it. Under
our Constitution, the "people's representatives" cannot infringe on
the unalienable rights of human beings. That's the issue here.
Samhill, you continue to miss the point. "The greatest problem that I see
with homosexual "marriage" is that it is part of equating homosexual
parentage, almost an oxymoron considering the obvious biological constraints,
with that of heterosexual parentage. "The right to marry has
nothing..let me say it again, nothing to do with parenting. Two people who want
to commit to one another may or may not decide to or even be capable of having
children. It doesn't matter...again it doesn't matter.Like Maudine suggests if you want to talk about children and parenting then do
so, but it's not the same conversation as who is allowed to marry.
According to Citizen's United, the "people" who are represented are
most like corporations with deep pockets. Like, you know, Hobby Lobby. Not
"Genderless marriage?" No! "[E[mphasizing adult choices about
marriage deemphasizes children's needs for marriage." Absolutely, No!
Gays do not want to redefine the foundations of traditional marriage - they want
same-sex commitments included under the marriage umbrella. Courts keep ruling
for equality since gay marriage is not a threat to traditional marriage. Most
gays grew up in straight households, they have the same respect for marriage,
child rearing, and parental commitment as their straight brothers and sisters.
Implying that a gay child is less valued in this generational contract is unfair
and morally wrong. If your son brought home a same sex partner, would preventing
him from entering a marriage contract serve any purpose? It's probably not
the marriage contract that your church is looking for, but what are your
son's options? To be excommunicated from church - and family? To live a
solitary life? These choices are cruel. It's time for parents and church to
recognize that this is your son's life, it's how he was born and
it's his decision, and you should love and respect him (and his choices),
as you would his brothers and sisters.
"Transformative decisions are best left to the people's
representatives".Gov. Boggs comes to mind. I'll bet the
Erikson's would have a substantial problem with their argument being made
by Gov. Boggs and used against them and their cohorts.
The Ericksons' analysis is spot-on. This is the discussion that should take
place in our society before marriage is redefined by judicial diktat. Marriage
should first and foremost be about creating the best chance for children to be
raised by two biological parents, not about the well being of adults.
Decisions are best left to the people who are directly affected by the
decisions. In the case of marriage that is the two people getting married.
The person that's elected to represent thousands of people on a plethora of
issues is simply not in a position to make such a personally profound and
intimate decision on behalf of the individuals involved. Other marriages
between consenting adults are not subject to the scrutiny or whim of any elected
official or body. There's no reason that should be the case for same sex
couples. A marriage is not comparable to other political activity such as
setting budgets or awarding construction contracts for public works projects.
Ericksons: "...the two-judge majority for the Tenth Circuit found a
fundamental right to same-sex marriage 'deeply rooted in the history and
tradition of the United States.'" The Ericksons further
insinuate that the 10th Cir. is improvising by "newly
applying...constitutional principles...[merely] in light of increased
understanding about sexual orientation."100% falsehoods.
Google "13-4178.pdf" to read the opinion. See pp
40-41 where the majority expressly rejects that the issue before it is
"whether there is a right to participate in same-sex marriage."Instead, the fundamental right considered by the 10th Cir. is the "freedom
of choice to marry" established in Loving v Virginia and cited by SCOTUS
many times since.The 10th Cir. cites SCOTUS precedent Lawrence v
Texas (2003) holding gays and lesbians share the same fundamental rights as
heterosexuals, despite how moral disapproval against them was once codified into
criminal code.The 10th Cir. breaks no new ground by applying strict
scrutiny to a law that infringes upon a fundamental right. Utah
simply failed to demonstrate how Amend 3 (a law that infringes LGBT
citizen's fundamental right to exercise choice in marriage) was
"narrowly tailored to serve a compelling state interest."
I applaud the Eriksons for putting the focus of the same-sex marriage debate on
what it needs to be on: children. Redefining marriage also redefines parenting,
and redefining parenting will have a huge impact on children whether we like it
or not. Society is about to conduct a huge social experiment on our most
vulnerable population. It’s a population who can't give their
consent. No responsible institution in the world would grant permission to
conduct such an experiment because it would likely be considered unethical. We
have no right to trample on children's civil rights in this manner.
No one is asking you to "endorse same-sex marriage." You may continue
to condemn it, denigrate it, ignore it, or despise those who enter into it.
What you can't do is legally prevent it.That is the big
difference. People have rights. Even people that you don't like, or
don't respect, still have rights. Their rights are not dependent upon your
"endorsement." And one of the rights that people have is to form
lifetime bonds to loved ones. That you don't recognize or appreciate that
love is not their problem. It is yours.But, when you attempt to
enact your lack of appreciation into law, to attempt to interfere with their
lives, to prevent them from accessing the same rights in a lifetime relationship
that others are fully entitled to, that is their problem, and the courts now
realize that they need to address that.This doesn't change your
lives in any way. If you can't recognize that fact, you do indeed have a
serious problem, but it is not the one you're describing.
While I find the tone of this OP/ED to be respectful and evolved in its views of
gays in our society, I disagree with the inflexible conclusions about
procreation's central role in the institution of marriage. Marriage,
throughout history, has meant different things. Even within the Church of
Latter Day Saints there has been a history of conflict that required adaptation
to changing times. As society advances, all of us will need to move forward as
well. The definition of family has irreversibly changed. The structure of our
society confers legal and financial protections through the structure of
marriage. Rather than weakening marriage, inclusion of same sex unions
strengthens the institution by declaring the fundamentality of its traditions
and protections as irreplaceable. As we fully absorb our gay fellow citizens
into our culture and as we recognize the immutability of their sexuality we
advance our culture and the institution of marriage at the same time. A win-win
for all. We are living in historic times, let's all rise to the challenge
with our hearts and our eyes wide open!
So, apparently now as the argument is being made by those who oppose same sex
marriage, children have a civil right to be raised by their biological
parents.Holy ghost Batman, talk about hypocrisy finding a civil
right not enumerated in the Constitution, is apostasy n the Republican/Tea
Party. Let us at least try a little political consistency.And, if
indeed is a right for offspring to be raised by biological parents, then what do
with do to people who decide not to continue their marriage, give up a child for
adoption, or other circumstances that violate this new right? Fines?
Incarceration? Exile?All this huff and puff from the anti same sex
marriage crowd just continues to show the vacuity of their arguments.
re: Irony GuyAgreed. Its like the *edited* version of rule 7 in
@ordinaryfolks: There's no reason to stop there. Let's take their
faux reasoning to its logical conclusion.IF every child has an
absolute right to its biological parents, then obviously society has a duty to
enable that right. That duty includes direct financial support where necessary,
support programs, and support personnel. Direct financial support might include
aid to the child's parent or parents for additional housing and ongoing
living expenses. Support programs might include publicly-funded childcare, so a
young mother could complete school and/or job training. Support personnel might
include nanny services to make sure the child not only integrates well with its
family situation, but gets every advantage in early education. And social
services to rehabilitate unfit parents or support unprepared ones.These people who claim "Children's Rights!" are complete
hypocrites, since they're the same people who oppose any spending for
programs which would make that possible, and the first to scream
"Socialism!" at even the suggestion of it.
Awesome article. Kids need a mom and a dad. I stand with kids on this issue.
The authors devote a paragraph to establishing their gay-friendly bona fides,
yet refer to gay people as "individuals who experience same-sex
attraction." I wonder if they refer to their hetero friends as
"individuals who experience opposite-sex attraction."I know,
I know - "SSA" is a thing - an affliction, a "challenge" to be
overcome. But our "increased understanding about sexual orientation"
actually rebuts this notion. The only part of the universe still holding fast
to this myth is the religious part - and in diminishing proportions. Fine, Ericksons - place loyalty to your religion over knowledge. This is your
choice. But don't in the next breath claim respect for gay people when you
can only see them through the prism of your faith - a faith that tells you they
have an affliction even as gay people and evidence are saying, "This is not
true."I have to go now. I have a meeting with my boss who
experiences opposite-sex attraction and left-handedness.
Awesome article! Every child deserves a father and a mother!
Yes! Thanks for making such a clear description of the situation. Our society
should be very careful about redefining the basic unit of our communities. Adult
desires should not outweigh the good of the children. Great article!!!
Great analysis by the Ericksons. Very thoughtful and thought provoking. Those
who have tried to disagree on this comment thread have done a poor job of
addressing the concerns they express. Many sound like they didn't read the
article. The Ericksons say nothing derogatory about same sex attracted people.
But rather express respect and gratitude for them sharing their experiences.
They are only suggesting that changing the definition of marriage is something
that needs debated and discussed thoroughly,exploring the probable effects on
society generally and on children directly, rather than a few men wielding power
in seeming response to slogans and the latest popular beliefs.
Utah law allows first cousins to marry if they are unable to have children. If
marriages are to be "child-centric," this law needs to change.Utah law allows single individuals to foster and adopt. If children
"deserve" a mother and a father, this law needs to change.Many children are being raised by single parents. If children have a
"right" to a mother and a father, laws need to be passed to correct
these situations.Why is it that so many people are concerned about
"the children" when it comes to limiting the right of same-sex couples
to marry but not at any other time?Many children are being raised by
same-sex parents. Prohibiting marriage to these parents does nothing to provide
the children with two opposite-sex parents, but it does make their situation
less secure and threatens their stability should something happen to one of the
Re: A Quaker " People have rights. Even people that you don't like,
or don't respect, still have rights. Their rights are not dependent upon
your "endorsement." And one of the rights that people have is to form
lifetime bonds to loved ones. That you don't recognize or appreciate that
love is not their problem. It is yours."Well stated and exactly
It may be worth noting that the title, "Transformative Decisions are best
left to People's Representatives" which has been quoted in the comments
several times, seems to have been misunderstood by those who quoted it.I understand the arguments against allowing representatives to dictate
transformative decisions, and I agree. But that is not the point of the authors,
and construing it as such is a gross misunderstanding. The authors' point
is very clear, which is that such transformative decisions should be made by the
PEOPLE, or their representatives, NOT by a few judges. And I think that's
something we can all get on board with.Although it is nice to voice
an opinion here, we all know that this string of comments will not dictate what
is right or wrong for America or for same-sex marriage. The only value our
comments have is rooted in the hopes that the people actually do get to choose
the future of America. If, on the other hand, we continue to allow the judges to
make these transformative decisions for us, these comment strings will have no
worth at all. Let's all hope for better!
Loved the article!! Very well said. Let's do all we can to help our
@ factoidThe only reason judges are making these calls at this time
is because people took it upon themselves to vote on the rights of others. One
reason it is now being argued that "transformative decisions" should be
made by the people/their representatives is because those with this view see
that they're losing in the courts. If they were winning in the courts
they'd be all about the judges.But what I also hear when some
make arguments like this is, "Wait. We're not ready." I can
empathize with this and I do wish the world worked so that we could all feel
prepared for the next change coming around the bend. But it doesn't and it
would be unfair to ask gay people and their families to wait until everyone can
get their heads wrapped around this. They've been waiting to be
acknowledged as equal citizens for centuries. The sooner we end this injustice,
One argument for same-sex marriage is that there is no higher law by which any
of us need abide, and morality stems from religion. If true, then marriage,
gay-rights, abortion, or whatever the issue, is only a preference and we should
accept any choice another makes. However, those who argue in this direction are
often caught saying things like, That's not fair! or You're being
hypocritical. Well doesn't that let the cat out?If there is no
morality by which we need abide, then there is no wrong in hypocrisy or
unfairness. It's simply preference.Once you pull the unfair
card, you have admitted that there is a higher law each of us is aware of that
establishes right and wrong, and that this law IS NOT created by man. If true,
then we must be very alert towards our consciences as we establish political
laws. Is it possible that this law touches not only how we interact with others,
but how life begins/ends, children are raised, and how we treat these
procreative abilities?Give me a leader with a true moral conscience,
and I will give my loyalty and life.
@factoid;Morality doesn't stem from religion.@nmgirl;Preventing gay couples from marrying does absolutely
NOTHING to "help the children".
I couldn't agree more! I appreciate this explanation by Michael and Jenet
Erickson and am grateful for the wise words of Judge Kelly. Adult choices
should not be the priority, and the people, not the judges, should have the
final say. What is ultimately best for children is the big issue, and each
child truly benefits from both a mother and a father. I feel strongly that
marriage, as defined since the beginning of recorded time, should stand...always
as the bedrock institution it was designed to be for the benefit of children,
families and society.