Idaho to allow same-sex marriage, beginning Friday

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Same Sex MarriageGreat news. Yesterday, a federal judge in Idaho lifted that state’s ban on same-sex marriage. NPR has reported:

U.S. District Magistrate Judge Candy Dale ruled Tuesday that the state’s law banning same-sex marriage is unconstitutional and that Idaho must allow gay couples to marry as soon as 9 a.m. Friday.

“Idaho’s Marriage Laws withhold from them a profound and personal choice, one that most can take for granted,” Dale wrote in a 57-page decision.

Gov. Butch Otter has said he will appeal the case. On Monday, he filed a pre-emptive motion for a stay in case the state lost . . . .

The ruling reverses a ban that has been in place since 2006, when Idaho voters approved a constitutional amendment that restricted marriage between a man and a woman as the only legal domestic union recognized in the state.

In that amendment, Idaho residents reflected the state’s staunchly conservative voter base and the Mormon affiliation of 24% of the state’s population. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has come out strongly in favor of traditional marriage between a man and a woman, though there are plenty of Mormons who don’t agree with the Church’s anti-gay activism (this blogger included).

The Idaho decision is the latest in a series of reversals on same-sex marriage, as judges throughout the country — including Utah in December and Arkansas just last Friday — strike down restrictive laws and extend more robust civil rights to gay and lesbian citizens.

Governor Otter has pledged to take the case all the way to the Supreme Court, which is inevitable with or without Idaho.

I’m grateful to be alive in a time when barriers for gay people are coming down across the nation, though it is of course sad to me that my church is heavily invested in continuing to deny basic rights to them.

It is one thing for a religious organization to refuse to perform a wedding for any couple it does not think worthy of an ecclesiastically-sanctioned marriage. It is another thing entirely for that religious organization to deny the couple to right to a civil marriage under the law, with all the privileges afforded under the legal system for married couples in terms of taxes, health care, etc.





  • Larry

    It bears noting with each of these type of court decisions that it is the effort of the anti-gay political machinations which is their undoing.

    Had they not made active efforts to keep gay marriage out of consideration through legislative bans, they would have succeeded. Had they left well enough alone, it is doubtful bills to permit marriage equality would pass. But since there was a ban under the law, it allowed the court to strike such thing down.

  • rcb1820

    Carol Lynn Pearson said one day the Church would look back on its anti-gay stance with embarrassment. I’m looking forward to the day when our first female Prophet, Seer and Revelator issues a formal apology to our gay brothers and sisters for an “uninspired policy.”

  • TomW

    Carol Lynn Pearson has said many things which she’ll likely look back on with embarrassment, as we all will in one way or another. The church will never have to feel shame for standing upon the rock of revelation and upholding the will of God in the face of societal decay.

  • Frank


  • TomW

    Jana, your heralding the actions of a rogue judge to thwart the will of the people of Idaho who enacted their laws according to constitutional processes is nothing to esteem as “great news.” And considering the unequivocal teachings of our present-day First Presidency on this matter, you invite legitimate questions from your occasional critics about the extent of your sustaining of those you raise your hand to uphold as prophets, seers, and revelators. There can be no question that your heart is in the right place with regard to your yearnings on behalf of those who are attracted to their same gender, but doctrinally there is an unavoidable disconnect on the question of government-sanctioned same-sex marriage, and politically these things are better decided by winning hearts and minds rather than getting judges to force their will upon an uncooperative citizenry. It didn’t work for securing societal acceptance of abortion, and it won’t work here either. To the extent that you greet this judge’s ruling with enthusiasm, the facts of the church’s position on the matter should at least seemingly temper your public display of happiness over it.

  • Perry

    If you want to see what socially liberal female religious leaders are like, you should look up Katharine Jefferts Schori, the presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church. Then look at how the Episcopal Church is doing. By the way, she’s become so inclusive of dissenting views that she no longer agrees that Jesus is necessarily the way to salvation.

  • Seagulljaap

    It’s only an activist, rouge judge when you don’t agree with their decisions.

  • Porter

    Tom, so sad that you’re still stuck on the “rogue judge” thing. The fact is that every single federal judge who has considered state prohibitions of gay marriage since the Windsor case has struck down those bans. Every single one. That’s a lot of rogue judges! Or, perhaps the better explanation is that gay marriage bans violate the US Constitution. This is basic Constitutional Law: If the “will of the people” violates the rights of a minority group then those laws will be struck down.

  • Completely agree with you, Jana. Well said.

    I recently wrote on my own blog about how “I now personally identify as an ‘ally’ and feel strongly in favor of marriage equality (and this isn’t even speaking as a religious issue, but as a public policy issue.) While I know many fellow members of my faith have become discouraged by the recent federal rulings in various states in favor of marriage equality, I have been heartened by them. I feel in my heart it is the right thing, and I love that love wins out.

    “I believe that religious beliefs of a majority should not dictate public policy for the minority. There is wisdom in separation of church and state. Our own scripture states this, but some don’t seem to recognize it: ‘We do not believe it just to mingle religious influence with civil government, whereby one religious society is fostered and another proscribed in its spiritual privileges, and the individual rights of its members, as citizens, denied’ (D&C 134:9)…

    …My personal opposition to ‘tyranny’ in any form, or any other imposition of human will over my personal liberty/rights, makes me sympathetic to our gay brothers and sisters. And my understanding of the gospel of Jesus Christ makes me more compassionate. I love my gay brothers and sisters and desire the best for them. I’m sorry that my church has been an impediment to this. I see hope that this has and is changing, although the pace of change is painfully slow.”

  • TomW

    I don’t judge anyone by their rouge!

  • TomW

    It doesn’t matter how many judges violate the will of the people, Porter. The people still have the constitutional right to determine their own laws and not be subjects to judicial tyrants who usurp their ultimate authority.

  • TomW

    You can be an ally of anyone you want, but dishonestly clinging to a personal interpretation of the scope of D&C 134 to defend open opposition to the Lord’s living prophets is nothing less than spiritual quicksand.

  • HarryStamper

    Hey Jana… refer to the Church’s efforts as “the Church’s anti-gay activism”. If I write the article I would refer to the Church’s Pro Family and Pro Traditional marriage stance. The 1995 Proclamation on the Family has no mention of homosexuals or homosexual acts but does encourage at length traditional marriage between man and woman and the raising of children. Prop 8, similiar does not mention homosexuals but simply supports traditional marriage by amending the California Constitution with…”Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California”. You chose to define support of traditional marriage as “anti gay activism”.

  • Larry

    Considering the complete and total absence of rational and secular arguments proffered to support gay marriage bans in court, your “rogue judge” label just smacks of sour grapes.

    The irony is had bigots not lobbied for giving their views color of law, they would have been successful. Legislative lethargy and lack of consensus would have been enough to keep marriage equality from being passed as law.

    As for societal acceptance, my view is to not care. Discrimination always has the benefit of majority acceptance. It does not make it correct nor is an excuse to make it part of our laws. People always go into such changes kicking and screaming. Plus most importantly, our laws never have to conform to your religious views.

  • Larry

    Harry, you are lying like a cheap rug.

    Prop 8 invalidated existing gay legal marriages in California. That was its purpose. The purpose of “supporting traditional marriage” is to attack the ability of gays to get married. Not mentioning homosexuals in the wording of such rhetoric does not change its goals or desired effect.

    If it was not the goal, what other result does one expect from “supporting traditional marriage”?

  • “open opposition to the Lord’s living prophets is nothing less than spiritual quicksand”

    I’m completely fascinated, TomW, at your caricature of my words. It’s almost entertaining to see wade into this madness. 🙂

    I will go down to my grave defending the freedom of thought Hugh B Brown advocated here:

    I, and you’d be wise to, allow all men the privilege of worshipping according to the dictates of our own conscience. Like Levi Savage, who opposed the Martin handcart companies decision to go forward in the way that they did, I too am true to my conscience, my inner moral compass, but I don’t openly oppose our church leaders.

    Like Savage, I’m committed to the ride and to do my part, though I might not always enjoy the ride. My leaders are entitled to my sympathy, my support, and my suggestions. But to sustain them doesn’t mean I will always agree with them. We don’t believe in infallibility, so it goes without saying that they can be wrong, and I recognize I could be wrong too–so a little more humility all around is called for.

    I think this is an area best left separated from church and state. Obedience is to principle, not to persons.

    “Those who are able to think for themselves, are not only essential to the existence of free institutions but also fully prepared to enjoy and benefit from the blessings of life itself. For them, obedience is to principles, not persons; an informed conscience is their guide. Gen­eral Alexander W. Doniphan possessed the unusual courage to resist a written military order, and Joseph Smith was spared execution on the morning of 1 November 1838 (HC 3:190-99). We honor Doniphan for disobeying his military superior; his ultimate loyalty was to principle.”

  • Half-joking and half-serious, I move to make the following required reading before anyone (especially TomW) comments further:

  • Larry

    Every discriminatory law that existed was passed by majority vote. Although your religious belief seems to require malicious hostility to certain people, our laws need not take it seriously.

    Laws require a rational and secular basis. A gay marriage ban has neither. Which is why the judge struck it down. Your constitutional rights end where it harms others in a way to mock “equal protection under the law”.

    If bigots didn’t try to turn their attacks into legislation, they would have succeeded. As it stands every state with a gay marriage ban is just one court case away from creating the opposite desired effect.

  • “Every discriminatory law that existed was passed by majority vote. Although your religious belief seems to require malicious hostility to certain people, our laws need not take it seriously.

    “Laws require a rational and secular basis. A gay marriage ban has neither. Which is why the judge struck it down. Your constitutional rights end where it harms others in a way to mock “equal protection under the law”.”

    Well said Larry.

    I’m sure the folks in Montgomery Alabama felt similarly toward “activist judges” in the 1950’s. During the year that the Montgomery Bus Boycott took place, civil rights lawyers took the cause up with the Supreme Court. The justices ruled that the bus company was violating the Constitution and would have to change its ways. I’m sure they resisted stubbornly the call to end segregation despite what the white majority believed.

    “Equal protection” of the 14th amendment, of course, also applies to marriage equality today. Religious beliefs of the majority should have no place in dictating how gay Americans follow their own right to pursue happiness in their lives by loving a suitable helpmeet for them and their inherent sexual orientation.

    There was great wisdom in the Federalist papers about the courts being used to protect the rights of the minority from the majority and we’re seeing that wisdom being played out today.

    It’s fascinating to me, though, to hear Mormons cry foul when historically they were on the opposite end of the spectrum and Joseph Smith went all the way up to the President of the United States to complain about their minority rights being trammeled without any protection.

    Mormons crying foul against activist judges versus “states rights” would do well to remember what Joseph Smith about “states rights”:

    “The states rights doctrine are what feed mobs.”

    (From a letter he wrote to John C Calhoun before deciding to run for President himself. Quoted in Richard Bushman’s “Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling”, p. 514)

  • By the way, if by “activist judges” we use this definition of “activist” than I’m totally cool with it:

    “An activist is someone who cannot help but fight for something. That person is not usually motivated by a need for power, or money, or fame, but in fact driven slightly mad by some injustice, some cruelty, some unfairness–so much so that he or she is compelled by some internal moral engine to act to make it better” -Eve Ensler

    So three cheers for activist judges!

  • By the way, while it’s not a convenient truth to admit today, it’s a historical fact that many of our prophet-leaders were also on the wrong side of history in regards to the Civil Rights Movement…so there’s that.

  • HarryStamper

    Like Jana your emotionally attached to the pro homosexual point of view. I simply view the other side of the coin, the pro traditional marriage and keeping the definition of marriage as between a man and woman. The LDS church didn’t start it’s teaching on traditional marriage with Prop 8, this has been an ongoing issue for 30-40 years, even the 1995 proclamation on the Family was many years prior to Prop 8. The Church endorsing Prop 8 was the Church being consistent on the issue.

    I completely understand those who disagree would view it anti-gay. My point is Jana…the author….she is an active LDS member but she chooses to support the homosexual point of view. Obviously, one would think she would support traditional marriage. But again, that’s the beauty of our country and religion…everyone can have an equal opportunity to speak out and voice an opinion.

  • HarryStamper

    And yes…..I own many cheap rugs and often I’m found lying on them.

  • Porter

    Exactly. If it wasn’t for “rogue judges” who enforce the constitution the south would still be segregated.

  • Porter

    Wouldn’t a “true” prophet who actually spoke to God be leading the charge on equality for all people? Or do Mormons honestly think God is a bigot too?

  • So you think that “true” (whatever that means) prophets are God’s puppets?

    More likely God lets all of us–including prophets, to mess things up really good, expecting us to learn the hard lessons on our own. If even a prophet (one universally believed to speak for God–Moses) could sentence a man to death because that man picked up sticks on the Sabbath (Numbers 15:32-36), then mortal interpretations of the law’s penalties, even the human spokesman’s interpretations of “God’s declarations”, can indeed cause great harm and injustice.

    Don’t expect too much from any mortals–prophets or not.

  • Larry

    Don’t give me that condescending bull. I am pro-civil liberties and anti-bigotry under the color of law. I don’t like my laws to be dictated by those who can only justify them as “God’s will”. Its not what a democracy does. I don’t care what your religious beliefs are. They just don’t belong in our laws.

    Prop 8 had no rational or secular basis. Hence it was easy to shoot it down at 4 levels of court scrutiny from State to Federal. Its sole effect was to attack an existing right in CA of gays to be married.

    When it comes to support for Prop 8 from the LDS Church, they did a lot of lying to cover up their involvement. I am glad you are not bothering to insult my intelligence with cheap denials on that subject.

    All your talk of “traditional marriage” is simply trying to play games with language. Its a euphemism to keep gays from being married under our civil laws. As I said before, unless you could point out to some other result, it can only be seen as being anti-gay.

    There is no separate view here as “traditional marriage”. Part and parcel with attacking marriage equality are attempts to legalize discrimination against gays in workplaces, housing, and in commerce. It is more than “defending traditional marriage” it is attacking gays in their efforts to live peaceably and in a sane manner.

  • Raymond Takashi Swenson

    The 14th amendment was enacted by Congress and the majority of states to ensure equal protection under the law for all persons, specifically including all those who had recently been freed from slavery by either the emancipation proclamation or the 13th amendment. When the Supreme Court finally got around to enforcing the plain language of the 14th Amendment on racial equality, it had been refusing to obey the will of the people for 80 years. While liberals love to portray the Brown v. Board of Education decision as a revelatory decision by the Supreme Court, the Court should have apologized to America for its decades of defying the will of the people. Instead it was the first step toward claiming the divine right of judges.

    Our rights are memorialized in the Constitution and laws, reflecting the will of the People , and are not derived from the “enlightened” opinions of judges. When those judges defy the plain meaning of the law and the Constitution, and claim that the 14th Amendment contains a requirement that homosexual relationships be treated the same as the male-female marriage that has been the rule for eons in societies of many cultures, but in particular in the European/Christian/Jewish culture that is the basis for our laws, those judges are emulating the judges who ruled over a century ago in Plessy v. Ferguson that the 14th Amendment does not mean what it says. That Supreme Court approved racial segregation in schools and public transportation and public buildings because they didn’t like the words the people enacted through their elected Congress and legislatures.

    No honest judge could say with a straight face that gay marriage is not a sudden innovation. None of them could say with a straight face that the Congress and States who enacted the 14th Amendment were intending to require every state to legitimize gay marriage. If that intent was ever present in the 14th amendment at its enactment, it was totally missed during the first 140 years of the amendment’s existence.

    Indeed, if the 14th Amendment really meant that individuals were free to redefine the meaning of marriage, and force government to endow them with the benefits of marriage, then how did the Supreme Court rule against polygamy in Reynolds v. US? The dissenters in the original California Supreme Court ruling that imposed gay marriage on the state, and was repudiated by the voters, pointed out that there is NO rational distiniction between two people wanting to have a non-heterosexual union empowered as marriage, and three people wanting to have their relationship as a polygamou relationship similarly sanctioned. There are lawsuits already making that argument, and if someone who is merely gay gets legal recognition, then what about someone who is bisexual (the “B” in LGBT)? Isn’t the “mystery of existence” fulfilled for them only if they get to marry TWO other people at the same time? Then there are adult incest practitioners (a fictional example in the popular TV series Game of Thrones), and all the other myriad variations of human sexual perversion. And as the chaos comes, what will be the effect on children, and our social structure?

    The greatest irony is that, in all this claimed urgency to give meaning to the Constitution, the religious freedom provisions of the First amendment get thrown under the bus. No dissent can be tolerated in the Brave New World where sex is everything and real humanity is nothing, just as Aldous Huxley prophesied.

    Those judges who now claim the 14th amendment as the source of their authority are liars. They have no legal authority to impose this change against the will of the voters, especially when it comes to marriage, which has always been a subject that was within the power of the states, not the Federal government. When judges act illegally, they have no legal authority, and their words have no legal force.

    If the states simply refuse to obey what a handful of judges tell them to do, when it is plainly illegal, what are the courts going to do? Are they going to send US Marshals to the capitol building in each state to arrest governors for contempt? Are they ready to get in a shootout with the highway patrol? Is President Obama going to activate the National Guard and tell them to force county clerks to issue marriage licenses at gunpoint? Trying to enforce these unconstitutional court rulings is calling for confrontations that could destroy the willingness of the people to obey the Federal courts, now and forever.

    There is nothing explicit in the constitution that gives judges the power to overrule elected government officers. Most of the other countries on earth don’t give their courts the power to invalidate legislative actions and referenda. America will be able to live without constant interference from judges (and legislators will have to take responsibility for what they enact).

    If the judges want to force this issue, and turn gay marriage into a power struggle between the people and the judges, who do you think will win? Democracy or those who think they are more enlightened than the masses of voters? George III made that mistake. Obama should not.

  • DougH

    Sorry, Jana, but I cannot consider yet more judges announcing that all of us that hold to the ancient understanding of the fundamental nature of marriage – a majority of the country – are irrational bigots to be “great news.” Especially when it threatens to open even more of us to legal persecution. After the constant harassment of anyone doing business with Orson Scott Card, Mozilla’s railroading of Brendan Eich, the cancellation of the Benham brothers’ HGTV show, the successful lawsuits against church, bakery and photographer, I have to agree with Mike Huckabee (not someone I like all that much) – it’s time to start impeaching judges.

  • ron

    Eventually people of christian conscience will see all too plainly that The Great and Abominable Church will have its efficacy through the use of the state. When the Prophets draw a line in the sand and define God’s Will that you will then see the spirit of anti-christ show itself. Everyone check your loyalty.

    The prophets have made it pretty clear that social change doesn’t drive Gods Will or His church. Its a tough pill to swollow because so many good people worship at the altar of government that they become so permissive of government to redefine law contrary to God’s law.

  • Larry

    Another joker who has to tear down the 200+ years of judicial review in order to justify their pet prejudices under the color of law. As I said before, every discriminatory law has been the product of the will of the majority and the legislative process. We have civil liberties because the will of the people in many cases involves attacking the rights of minority interests.

    Yes gay marriage is a new innovation, but that is hardly a reasonable argument against it. The founders never conceived of every permutation that social justice may be wrought. They just gave us the tools in which to seek it. One could say given the culmination of cases before it and how gays have been treated under the law, it is the right thing to do at the right time.

    In fact there have been no arguments against it which have been rational or secular in nature. The only arguments which seem to be proffered are vague whining about redefining marriage, “tradition” and the ridiculous/dishonest slippery slope nonsense. If the opponents of marriage equality had valid arguments to make, they would have been doing so in the various court cases they are losing left and right.

    Proposition 8 attacked an existing right people in California had. There was no rational or secular justification for such a loss of existing legal freedoms. These bans are grounded entirely in animus against gays and serve no purpose but discrimination.

    I find it funny that you are using the same arguments people used to fight desegregation when SCOTUS demanded it. The Court had to have a second case to say they meant business and it took legislation 9 years later for the country to finally get the hint.

    I leave you with a simple challenge:
    Give me rational and secular arguments against gay marriage.

    (Btw the “it will lead to incest/polygamy/buggery” is not rational. Its just a way to divert the discussion off topic. If you were honest, you would be able to point out where it has actually happened in states where gay marriage is legal. But you can’t)

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  • Nick Literski

    Harry, perhaps you could explain to all of us why this “we’re not against anyone, we’re for restricted marriage” meme is so important to you. Surely you realize that the LDS church only began using that line after its own members reacted negatively to Monson’s original Prop 8 letter. Young adult LDS members recoiled at the clearly anti-gay effort, so LDS leaders started claiming they weren’t “against” anyone at all.

    The laughable thing, of course, is that anyone would fall for the ridiculous notion that so-called “traditional” marriage is endangered. It’s as if bigots, unwilling to admit their bigotry even to themselves, desperately grasp for an excuse to crusade against those they hate. Portraying marriage as some sort of zero sum game is utterly preposterous to any rational person. No rational person would believe for a moment that allowing same sex couples to legally marry takes anything at all away from opposite sex couples.

  • DougH

    Tell that to the people that have been sued in order to force them to participate in or provide support for something their religion teaches is sinful.

  • Nice challenge, Larry. I’m grabbing my popcorn and staying tuned….

    (And by the way, you should probably add that “because the prophet said so” is not a rational argument either because of separation of church and state)

  • Larry

    You mean sued for violating anti-discrimination laws. You are talking about people who held their businesses out to the public but were too spiteful, uncivil and stupid to actually serve the public.

    The martyrbation is getting silly. You do not have a religious right to engage in discrimination of others. Just like the right of association and to own a business doesn’t give people the ability to select the skin color or religion of their customers.

  • DougH

    So you’re one of those that believe that individuals surrender their 1st Amendment rights when they acquire a business license? You have no problem with people being forced to either violate their consciences or shut down their businesses? That freedom means being free to act in ways approved by the larger society?

  • Larry

    Actually, YES!!!!

    A business license is an agreement with the state to conduct your commercial activities within the confines of the applicable laws. It means you voluntarily make yourself subject to laws of incorporation, labor laws and yes commercial anti-discrimination laws.

    Nobody forces someone to do business in open commerce. If you want to discriminate in your business, keep it private, members-only or limited to exclusive and selective venues for advertising.

    The 1st Amendment NEVER gave you a right to deliberately harm others in your speech and religious practice. Denying business to customers while engaging in open commerce is considered discriminatory and a harmful act to those on the receiving end. It is obviously recognized as such since the lawsuits were not dismissed as lacking a recognizable cause of action.

    There have always been limits to the 1st Amendment. You never had the freedom to engage in human sacrifice, use hallucinogenic drugs as sacrament, or engage in religiously inspired pogroms against your neighbors. Freedom is always tempered by reasonable limits to avoid deliberate harm to others. It is what a civil society requires.

  • K fed

    The church both has to and will be embarrassed for stripping the rights away from millions of people and upholding so much rhetoric that has led LGBT youth to kill themselves in droves.

  • K fed

    I’m sorry, but how did this judge impose his will on anyone? It seems all he did was prevent a religious group from forcing their will on those of a different belief system than them. He upheld freedom of religion by no longer forcing people who may not be Christian to live by Christian laws and values. In no way is your will or autonomy compromised by homosexuals being able to marry the person they prefer to marry. In no single way is that the case. Your life will continue and the lives of the oppressed will finally gain some of their own free will back.

  • SanAntonioRob

    No one has broached the subject on this blog, as it causes even more cries of bigot when it is broached. But since I’m open to talk about anything, here goes…

    How far does your quest for completely rational and secular laws regarding marriage extend? To polygamy, for example? Are those who want to confine secular marriage to only 2 consenting adults bigots?

    “It’s not the same thing”, you will cry! Absolutely true, yet those who say homosexual relationships are not the same as heterosexual relationships (and therefore should not be treated as such) are bigots. So why aren’t you for saying polygamous marriages aren’t the same as monogamous marriages (and therefore should not be treated as such)?

    Federally sanctioned polygamous marriages make as much rational and secular sense as homosexual marriages. It’s between consenting adults. They love each other. Our opposition to it is based in historical theology. Although some studies may show mongamous marriages are better for children, there are ample children from polygamous marriages that are way better off than some monogamous marriages. Allowing polygamous marriages doesn’t undermine existing monogamous marriages. It is founded at least as much in biology and inate sexual desires as homosexual marriage is.

    So, who is going to call me a bigot for not wanting polygamous marriage to become legal?

    You don’t agree, fine. But my views are not founded in bigotry and hate, and it is not “rational” to claim they are if you are not willing to take the charge yourself.

  • Larry

    Slippery slope argument, as expected. Its not rational because factually it is not related to the subject.

    I don’t call you a bigot for bringing it up. I call it a dishonest argument instead. If your argument had any merit, it would not be hypothetical.
    In the decade or so where gay marriage has been legal, there is no evidence of it leading to any of the “slippery slope” outcomes predicted. Countries which have polygamy also ban gay marriage. So even culturally the two are unrelated. One clearly on its facts does not lead to the other. Therefore the argument is not a rational one.

    The argument against polygamy is not moral, its practical. I can give a rational and secular purpose behind its ban. Something you are not giving on gay marriage.

    Polygamy without any form of legislative infrastructure to shoehorn it into existing laws is a legal nightmare. It leads to a mess in the application of every law having to do with rights and obligations of a married couple, their children and property. In contrast, gay marriage easily fits in our current gender neutral laws concerning marriage rights. All it requires is congressional or judicial approval. That’s it. No other changes to the laws needed.

    Claiming a relation to gay marriage to polygamy is not rational on that respect alone.

    My attitude towards polygamy is that without some major legislative drafting to make it work, there is no need for it to be legal. The squeaky wheel gets the grease. If polygamists want it legal, let them draft laws in an equitable and just manner which allow it to function. Until then, there is no need for it.

    So are you going to address gay marriage on its own facts or are you going to waste time talking about polygamy?

    So in conclusion, no I don’t think you are a bigot for bringing up the “slippery slope” argument. I just don’t think you are rational or honest for doing so.

  • DougH

    Sorry, but that is nonsense. The state and federal governments have no more right to violate the 1st Amendment in issuing and enforcing business licensing than they do in any other operations of government.

  • Larry

    No, nonsense is claiming you have a right to intentionally harm others under the guise of religious freedom. The 1st Amendment never covered such things. You should have read past the second word of my last post.

    What really galls me about people like yourself believe religious freedom only applies to your own beliefs and nobody else. There are many faiths and sects who have no problems with gay marriage. Are their rights not infringed upon by a ban? Of course they are. Are the actions of those groups harmful to the rights of other citizens? Not at all.

    The reaction of the anti-gay crowd was to attack such groups as “not really being religions” or “not really churches” As if it was something you had the power to determine.

    So let me say, personally when people like yourself start invoking “religious freedom”, blow it out your posterior. You have no understanding or appreciation of the words beyond your own selfish interests.

  • EteU Spencer

    I am a staunch Latter-Day Saint. I am also an African-American Latter-Day Saint. I fully understand LDS oppression “in the name of God.” I lived through it. More important than any “decree” or “advice” from any church leaders is the God-Given right to agency. Wasn’t it agency that created, or brought to pass the “Plan of Salvation”
    What would Jesus do? Truly? I don’t care what any church authority tells me if it takes away my right to decide. No authority is high enough to impinge my right to self-determination.
    This is the constitutional basis for the Federal argument. Now, who will call me apostate? I will go to the temple and pray for your awakening if you do…….

  • SanAntonioRob

    I’m afraid it’s your argument that is disingenuous. Homosexual marriage can (not does) fit in our current laws, so anyone who opposes is a bigot, right? Polygamous marriage might require some tweaking of the laws, so you can prevent those people from being married without being a bigot? Hardly a compelling argument.

    The arguments for homosexual marriage almost always draw ties to interracial marriage, which was previously banned and is now agreed as having been bigoted – a supposed symmetry for bigotry against same-sex marriage. But no ties can be drawn between same-sex marriage and polygamous marriage to draw the same parallels? Again, not a compelling argument.

    The point is, removing morals and easily resolved technicalities, the same arguments for same-sex marriage can be made for polygamous marriages. So you either allow moral arguments as justifiable arguments or accept the bigot label if you are against polygamous marriages.

  • Larry

    SanAntonioRob, you are misinformed. Gay marriage fits in our current marriage laws in a way polygamy or any other slippery slope type ever can. Our laws relating to marriage rights are written as gender neutral. Husband and wife are no longer used in such things. It is always “spouse”. All states have adopted this format. Gay marriage does absolutely nothing to change the existing laws.

    The arguments and attitudes adopted by the anti-marriage equality set parallel those of segregationists surprisingly closely. They even tried to bring back a new version of Jim Crow a few months back! The ties between gay marriage and interracial marriage are much closer than with polygamy. As I stated before, which you clearly ignored for what is a dishonest argument, there are rational and secular arguments against polygamy. There are none for banning gay or interracial marriage.

    Fitting in polygamy is more than a technicality. It requires a massive overhaul in a way that can never be honestly equated with gay marriage. Downgrading the effort involved is not honest on your part. It shows a lack of knowledge on your part or a strong desire to “hand wave” the most ridiculous part of your argument.

    People who oppose something having to do with the rights of others and can’t cough up rational or secular motives for doing so, are probably bigots. So the label is generally more appropriate than not. People who complain about being called bigots, but do nothing to deny such claims are just being whiny. If the show fits…

    So why do you oppose gay marriage? Do you have an honest sane reason you can articulate.

    This polygamy thing is utter crap. As I stated before, if you could show where gay marriage has led to the things you are trying to equate to it, you would have a good faith point. But you don’t.

    Your argument has been entirely disingenuous. The real point is, not once have you given a rational or secular argument in opposition to gay marriage. Parallels to polygamy aren’t rational.

  • SanAntonioRob

    Also, my argument is not a slippery slope argument. I am not saying we shouldn’t allow same-sex marriage because it will lead to polygamous marriage. My argument is that you are slapping the bigot label on everyone who opposes same-sex marriage. Supposedly marriage is a basic right which society cannot deny consenting, loving adults unless they are bigots. No appeals to historic morals allowed. By that logic, anyone opposed to legalized polygamous marriage is a bigot. There is no slippery slope. You’re already there. It’s the logical conclusion of your own arguments. Whether it not you will own up to that is still to be seen.

  • larry

    You weren’t addressing my responses to that either.

    People who oppose a civil liberties issue but can’t articulate a rational or secular argument for their views are obviously motivated by something else. Bigotry is appropriate to assume.

    Besides the fact that bigotry is constantly displayed by the rhetoric and actions of such people, it is well deserved label. Complaints about being called a bigot are not denials of being one.

    Your argument has always been bullcrap because whereas I can articulate a rational and secular argument against polygamy, you can’t do the same for gay marriage

  • DougH

    “Supposedly marriage is a basic right which society cannot deny consenting, loving adults unless they are bigots.”

    No, marriage is a basic right which society cannot deny consenting heterosexual monogamous couples unless they are bigots.

  • SanAntonioRob

    If “it might get messy” was a rational argument for keeping things related to marriage illegal, we wouldn’t have legal divorce. I didn’t give a lengthy answer to your argument because it’s a foolish argument. We passed a 1000+ page healthcare bill for goodness sake. If marriage is a right we cannot deny consenting adults, we can figure polygamy out in short order. Come up with a better argument.

    The first question your original comments poses is whether marriage between consenting adults should be a basic right that “bigoted” people are trying to prevent. Obviously your answer is no, or changing laws regarding polygamy would be a requirement for a just government, not an excuse for keeping the status quo. My answer is also no. But, boil it down and the only lasting arguments for not changing the laws and keeping polygamy illegal are moral arguments. And if using moral arguments against polygamy does not equal bigotry, neither does using moral arguments against same-sex marriage.

  • Larry

    You are a victim of runaway analogy and strawman arguments.

    There is nothing messy about divorce laws. Another analogy fail on your part. They are straightforward and thanks to the No-Fault regime adopted in all 50 states, most of the legal mess has been removed from the process. Its the people who go through it who are just nuts.

    You never gave me an answer with your rational and secular arguments against gay marriage BECAUSE YOU HAVE NONE.

    As for “moral arguments”, I never made any. You have been arguing against a point that was never brought up. Classic example of a strawman fallacy. I always talked about rational and secular arguments. As for “figuring out polygamy in short order”, its not here yet. Until the polygamists start drafting ways to fit it into our laws, I don’t have to care. Nor do I have to make an assumption it is even possible.

    There are far more reasons to ban polygamy besides morals. You know that, but your canned argument has a major blind spot in that department. You seem to be unable to deviate from it and think for yourself.

    The biggest proof you have been full of horsecrap has been reality. I live in a state where gay marriage is legal. All it required was a bill passing saying essentially “its OK”. That was it. There was no need to change matrimonial, property, divorce, estate laws or any laws related to marriage. That can never be the case with polygamy.

    The entire crux of my argument is that marriage laws are permissive of a union unless the state has a compelling reason not to approve of it. A rational and secular reason to ban it. It has nothing to do with “moral arguments”. Polygamy, incest, buggery all have rational and secular reasons for not being permitted. You have none for gay marriage. You never will give one. This is why it is safe to assume its opponents are motivated by nothing short of bigotry. A bigot opposes civil liberties of others without reason. So the label is more than appropriate in this situation.

    The reasons for gay marriage are:
    -It is equitable and fair for gay couples to be able to marry
    -It is entirely congruent to our current laws
    -There is no compelling rational and secular reason not to allow it

    It is just that simple.

  • SanAntonioRob

    You’re skirting the issue and you know it. You’re argument can’t really be that if we had made heterosexuality more ingrained in the legal system we wouldn’t be bigots. If it is, that’s a stupid argument.

    Yet your only argument against polygamy is that monogamy is ingrained in the legal system, so we’re not bigots if we don’t change it. That is in no way a rational argument.

    We make lots of things illegal because they are immoral. If something isn’t immoral, there is no good reason to make it illegal. So no, you don’t need a purely secular (non-moral) reason against same-sex marriage. If you do, once again, give me a purely secular argument against polygamous marriage that actually makes sense. So far, you have not.

  • Larry

    “You’re argument can’t really be that if we had made heterosexuality more ingrained in the legal system we wouldn’t be bigots. If it is, that’s a stupid argument.”

    That’s good because I never made that argument. It has NOTHING TO DO WITH ANYTHING I SAID.

    You have been working off of a script and playing a fixed game that I have not been participating in.

    Somehow you missed all my talk of lack of rational and secular arguments against gay marriage. Despite mentioning it constantly.
    You haven’t understood a word I said or ignored it all to keep the same strawman arguments.

    “Yet your only argument against polygamy is that monogamy is ingrained in the legal system, so we’re not bigots if we don’t change it. That is in no way a rational argument.”

    And also not the argument I made. Have fun with that

    I repeatedly said the reason it hasn’t been changed, is lack of effort to make it fit in our system. I have no moral qualm with polygamy. I have a practical one.

    As I said to you, which you repeatedly ignored in favor of your script, if polygamists can cough up the necessary changes to the law which are fair and equitable to make it fit, I have no objection. Until then, I do.

    You don’t like that argument because it doesn’t fit with your script. Tough luck there. Maybe next time think for yourself instead of using such a lousy canned argument.

    “We make lots of things illegal because they are immoral. ”

    We make things illegal because we need to keep a level of social order. Laws and morality may intersect at times but they are not dependent on each other. We criminalize murder, theft, perjury, and all sorts of things because we cannot have a functional society where such things go unchecked. In our society laws must have rational and secular purposes to remain on the books.

    We also make a lot of things people think are immoral perfectly legal. Adultery, swearing, premarital sex, polytheism are all legal and to many people grave sins. Ones the Bible would proscribe the death penalty for.

    “If something isn’t immoral, there is no good reason to make it illegal.”

    Of course there is. Its what I have been talking about but you are ignoring.

    Some things are illegal because there is a compelling government interest in making it so. You pay taxes not because you have a moral obligation, but a legal one. Driving without a license is not a moral failing. Immigration laws are not driven by moral concerns.

    If something has a rational and secular reason for it not to be allowed, and the government can show a compelling interest why it should be so, then it is not allowed. That is how our laws work in regards to our rights. Morality does not enter the picture. Morality is too vague, arbitrary and varied to be a benchmark for such things.

    Your whole argument, besides ignoring anything I said in favor of fictional strawman arguments is also based on a childish view of how laws work.

    You have been arguing with yourself, not me. I said nothing on those lines of what you claim to be responding to. You obviously have no need to pretend to be addressing me since you seem to be carrying on a discussion with yourself.

    If this has been your best argument against gay marriage, you haven’ got jack. You are far too ignorant and dishonest to carry on a good faith discussion on this subject.

  • SanAntonioRob

    You talk about “compelling government interest” and “need for societal order”. How do you form societal order if not from an agreed upon set of what is right to regulate and what is wrong to regulate? And how is that not a wholly moral decision?

    I’ll use some of your examples since you don’t like mine. Why have drivers licenses if not for the moral obligation to keep those on the road safe? Our “rational” thinking in that regard is based on our shared moral of having an obligation to others’ safety.

    Why make murder illegal if not for the moral obligation not to take away someone’s right to life?

    Even immigration laws are a balance of moral obligations to allow immigrants to pursue happiness and property, and the moral obligation not to unduly burden the ability if current citizens to pursue happiness and property.

    You can’t separate laws and morals. Rational thinking is essential, yes, but what we consider rational is completely and utterly shaped by what we think is right and wrong – our morals.

    Does that mean that everything that is immoral is illegal? No. But even that decision is based on the moral obligation to allow others freedom.

    What it does mean is that trying to force morals out of a discussion our laws is completely futile and disingenuous.

  • Larry

    You have strayed far off topic and put your head completely up your sphincter here.

    Read these and get back to me. They are the classic definitions of the basis of laws Malum in se, malum prohibitium

    Your attempts to stretch the point beyond any reasonable limits are noted. Your ignorance of the basics of classifications of laws are also duly noted.

    My rational and secular arguments against polygamy made perfect sense. Just not to you. Because you are either dishonest or just plain stupid.

    You never understood my arguments because it didn’t follow the script you were working with. Sorry I couldn’t play along. Your game was just silly. 🙂

    You have been full of crap from the get-go. You used canned responses to canned issues having nothing to do with the points made. You ignored facts and whined like a little schoolgirl when reality made your argument look ridiculous.

    Unless you can point to rational and secular reasons to ban gay marriage, you have nothing of value to say to me here.

  • DougH

    We’ll see you at the voting station.

  • HarryStamper

    Hey Larry…..If Prop 8 in California were/ was still law, what are the many detriments and restrictions that homosexuals would suffer….you indicate many negative things happened or will happen. Please give me a rational and secular answer. I’m not even trying to be funny, your posts are hard to follow because you go on and on with emotion.

  • SanAntonioRob

    This discussion is not off-topic. In your reponses to HarryStamper you made the assertions that acceptable opposition to same-sex marriage must be confined to rational and secular arguments (It appears what you mean by this is non-morally based arguments). You also asserted that anyone opposed to same-sex marriage who does not confine himself to your pre-set boundaries of acceptable arguments is a bigot. Before we can successfully address the point of same-sex marriage, we must address the limits you are putting on the arguments.

    You gave examples to how laws are not based on morals, by way of wiki articles. Malum in se laws are most definitely based in morals, so hopefully there is no argument there. Even malum prihibtum laws are based on morals, just less directly.

    The articles gives illegal hunting as an example of malum prohibitum. Hunting without a license is not in itself wrong, except that the law made it wrong. True, but the reason hunting licenses are required in the first place are: 1) To ensure hunters fulfill their moral obligation of being safe around others by completing a hunter’s safety course; 2) To ensure hunters fulfill their moral obligation of not hunting the animals into extinction; 3) To mitigate access to guns for people who use them for immoral purposes; etc., etc., etc.

    All laws are based in morality. There is no reason for me, or anyone else, to be confined by your limitations of not using moral arguments. That is not off-topic. It is completely based in what YOU said above.

    Yes, the polgamy analogy went awry. I’ll concede that point. That doesn’t negate the larger point I was attempting to make through that analogy.

  • SanAntonioRob

    Here is my argument against gay marriage. It is rational. It is secular, in that the views are not particular to any one set of beliefs or religion. It is not without moral compass, nor do I believe it should be. I will try to do it in as few words as possible.

    The purpose of a family is to nurture and support the members of the family, teaching each member how to successfully interact with other people and the world as a whole. The family is where core values are determined and strengthened, and family members can find peace and safety in each others’ company. Cohesive families are essential to a sustainable, civil society.

    The purpose of civil marriage is to put in place the legal structure society needs to support familial cohesiveness. There are certain rights given, so that married couples can easily care for each other. There are also certain responsibilities, so that the dissolution of familial structure isn’t taken so lightly.

    Family is the single-most import structure supported by society’s laws, because – for the most part – it is the most important and influential structure to each individual person in the society. Because of it’s importance, marriage is not, and should not be, a “right” that just anyone can enter into. It is a pinnacle of society that society has a duty to regulate with a degree of prejudice (prejudice in its simplest denotation, not its most immoral connotation).

    Many people’s view, including my own, is that the ideal family is one that has a male and a female parent, so that each child has both masculine and feminine parental influence. Because of this, a homosexual union would be less than the ideal for the familial structure. Since it is not the ideal, it should not be given the status of marriage.

    The automatic reply is that no marriage is ideal. True, but making gay marriage legal (indeed, preventing it from becoming illegal) is not just recognizing that no marriage is ideal. It is codifying less than ideal into society’s laws. I don’t want that.

  • HarryStamper

    Hey Larry….I read with interest your non emotional rational secular arguments….here’s a reprint of some of your better one’s…….

    malicious hostility to certain people
    If bigots didn’t try to turn their attacks
    smacks of sour grapes.
    you are lying like a cheap rug
    Don’t give me that condescending bull
    insult my intelligence with cheap denials
    The argument against polygamy is not moral
    to deny such claims are just being whiny. If the show fits…
    This polygamy thing is utter crap
    Your argument has always been bullcrap
    You are a victim of runaway analogy and strawman arguments
    You seem to be unable to deviate from it and think for yourself
    The biggest proof you have been full of horsecrap has been reality
    Maybe next time think for yourself instead of using such a lousy canned argument
    fictional strawman arguments is also based on a childish view
    You have been arguing with yourself, not me
    You obviously have no need to pretend to be addressing me since you seem to be carrying on a discussion with yourself
    you haven’ got jack
    You are far too ignorant and dishonest to carry on a good faith discussion
    put your head completely up your sphincter here
    Your ignorance of the basics of classifications of laws
    you are either dishonest or just plain stupid
    Sorry I couldn’t play along. Your game was just silly.
    You have been full of crap
    whined like a little schoolgirl
    too spiteful, uncivil and stupid to actually serve the public
    What really galls me
    blow it out your posterior
    Another joker who has to tear down
    If you were honest

  • Trys

    I agree completely with what you have said. The constitution of the United States clearly denotes that there be a separation between church and state.

    And, for anyone wanting an articulate reason for becoming an ally to LGBT human beings, I highly recommend watching John Dehlin’s Ted Talk, link here:

  • Karen

    Perhaps you have heard about the mission president’s wife who wrote about Elder Nelson’s remarks about same-sex marriage? She quoted him saying that once ssm becomes legal, it will become illegal for the church to preach the word of God.

  • DougH

    No, the Constitution mandates that the federal government neither set up a state church nor interfere with the states’ established churches, and not interfere with individual exercise of religion. It says nothing about religious interference with government.

  • Luke Velasco

    That will definitely never happen.

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