Save The Utah Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints for Loving Mormon Families

It would be a good political move too.

The ACLU, along with others, filed a lawsuit in the California Supreme Court that will crush Prop. 8 and once and for all shut down the hateful social engineering that has so embarrassed loving Mormons.  (complaint here)

The press release reminds everyone that California Attorney General Jerry Brown honor the marriages of same-sex couples and insure it is SHUT DOWN.

Brown’s position is significant because his office will represent the state in lawsuits over Prop. 8’s validity and meaning…

If only our own Attorney Jr. had such a backbone.

If the Utah Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is really about Jesus, LOVE, and salvation, there is another book which guarantees salvation.

Good Utah Mormons should take to the streets and the approximately 10% (higher in Utah) of the temple worthy should deposit their temple recommends at the gate of Temple Square until Monson can revisit this issue with God.


References:
The difference between civil unions and marriage.
Wikipedia entry on the Court challenge to Nazi proposition 8

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  1. #1 by jdberger on November 11, 2008 - 11:17 am

    Obviously, you don’t understand the role of the CA Attorney General, Cliff.

    He’ll have to defend Prop 8 in court. That’s his job. The fact that he didn’t find 8 retroactive means nothing. And it (by itself) doesn’t mean that he has some sort of “backbone”.

    That said, I’m a big fan of Jerry Brown. He’s one of a few Democrats I’d actually vote for.

  2. #2 by Ken on November 11, 2008 - 12:16 pm

    Cliff

    For you to be intellectually honest you need to be just as outraged at the 70% of black Californians that voted for proposition 8 as you are at the Church, in fact their vote had a much larger impact along with the Latino vote than the Mormon vote. Please have the courage to make your opinion known instead of only going after the easy soft target. Show some courage man!

  3. #3 by Ken on November 11, 2008 - 12:26 pm

    jdBerger

    You are absolutely correct. The State of California has the obligation to uphold Proposition 8 and defend it in court to the fullest even if the Governor or the Atty General do not agree with it. They swore to uphold and defend the Constitution when they took their oaths of office. With Proposition 8 being passed it is now part of the Constitution of the State of California and until something happens to change that IE court action or a new election then it is their duty to uphold it otherwise they are in dereliction of their Constitutional duty and must be removed from power.

  4. #4 by jdberger on November 11, 2008 - 12:35 pm

    Of course I’m right, Ken. ;)

  5. #5 by Cliff Lyon on November 11, 2008 - 1:17 pm

    Actually, you are both wrong. ;)

    How black and white of you homophobic bigots! When its convenient for you, its suddenly ok that officials constitutionally tasked with upholding the law, do so with some discretion.

    Gonzales on Geneva article 3 anyone?

    Good luck removing Jerry Brown. He won with like 70% of the vote. A bit more than the 30% (that voted against him) + the other 20% of rotten California barbarians that voted for prop 8.

    btw: The AG can refuse to enforce any law deemed unconstitutional and the only way you can remove him is if I say so.

  6. #6 by rbaker0381 on November 11, 2008 - 1:23 pm

    Well folks, I beleive in GOD and I beleive that GOD created Adam and Eve, GOD gave female to man as a help mate (Genesis Ch 2 vs-22). He commands man to love his WIFE (Ephesians Ch 5 vs-28), just one of many. Problem with alot (even myself) tend to abuse that passage for our own gain, Jesus was a servant, Yes he was brave and bold, but he served people. GOD rained down hells fire on Sodom and Gomorrah (I beleive) not only for the homosexual but the wickedness in general. So How can a nation founded on GOD to to such wickedness? Think about this, If you kick GOD out of this country, then what would you base your morals at? Where we are now? Homosexuality? Murder? Adultery? All sin is sin no matter the coating, We have all sinned and falling short of his Glory! Me included! Only different thing about me is that I am saved by GODs awesome grace, not deserving. For the wages of sin is death;but the gift(can only be received) of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.Romans 6:23

  7. #7 by Bob S. on November 11, 2008 - 1:24 pm

    Cliff,

    Careful there, your messianic complex is creeping into Obama level and terriority.

    btw: The AG can refuse to enforce any law deemed unconstitutional and the only way you can remove him is if I say so.

    I didn’t realize that you were that powerful.

  8. #8 by Ken on November 11, 2008 - 1:34 pm

    Cliff

    You should know me by now I am not a homophobe and I do not hate gay people. I think gay couples should have access to the same benefits as married heterosexual couples but it does not mean we have to redefine marriage. I do think there are elements of the gay community who are pushing this as a way to stick it to society and now the LDS Church and other churches that believe homosexual conduct is sinful. If homosexual marriage is such a fundamental right then why has it only been a real issue for the last decade or so? There was a time when the gay community pushed a live and let live attitude towards them but now many demand that society as a whole change its institutions and traditions to fit their agenda. I think the majority of Americans are quite comfortable with the live and let live concept but as polls and elections are showing we are not willing to change everything just to accommodate all of the gay communities demands.

  9. #9 by Ken on November 11, 2008 - 1:36 pm

    You should know me by now I am not a homophobe and I do not hate gay people. I think gay couples should have access to the same benefits as married heterosexual couples but it does not mean we have to redefine marriage. I do think there are elements of the gay community who are pushing this as a way to stick it to society and now the LDS Church and other churches that believe homosexual conduct is sinful. If homosexual marriage is such a fundamental right then why has it only been a real issue for the last decade or so? There was a time when the gay community encouraged a live and let live attitude towards them but now many demand that society as a whole change its institutions and traditions to fit their agenda. I think the majority of Americans are quite comfortable with the live and let live concept but as polls and elections are showing we are not willing to change everything just to accommodate all of the gay communities demands.

  10. #10 by Cliff Lyon on November 11, 2008 - 2:07 pm

    I know you don’t hate people Ken, unfortunately, that is the outcome, apparently of your teachings and your faith.

    What you wrote above is what we call apologetics. I would save it. Stuff it actually.

    Nobody buys that crap. Never did.

  11. #11 by Cliff Lyon on November 11, 2008 - 2:11 pm

    Ken,

    Did you listen to the Olbermann video?

    You must know that the excuse you just used for not giving gay folks equal rights, is the same one you would have used for not allowing black folks to hold the priesthood.

  12. #12 by Marv on November 11, 2008 - 2:13 pm

    Ken—

    Are you advocating a return to Jim Crow laws. You know, separate but equal. How progressive of you, those who are not just like you can have some rights, but not the same rights that you get. Would that make you feel more comfortable.

    I understand that you see “marriage” as a static institution, but perhaps you should do some legal research. Prior to the Supreme Court decision in Loving v. Virginia, inter racial marriage was illegal in a number of states. The Supreme Court found those laws to be unconstitutional because they violated the Equal Protection clause and other rights protected by the constitution.

    Does your unwillingness to allow minority groups to request that a discriminatory society “change its institutions and traditions to fit their agenda” start just recently or would it have applied to the Civil Rights Act of 1964. How about the Civil War, do you think that because slavery was an “institution and tradition.” that it shouldn’t have changed?

    I mean really, what are you thinking.

  13. #13 by Ken on November 11, 2008 - 2:16 pm

    You still never answered my question about having the courage to go against the African American community who voted 70% against gay marriage. Why only go after soft targets like the LDS Church when there are bigger fish to fry? If I were you I just might feel like the African American community has said to the gay community “Thanks for helping elect the first African American President, but screw you!”.

  14. #14 by Cliff Lyon on November 11, 2008 - 2:35 pm

    You never answered my question about watching the Olbermann video.

    “soft targets like the LDS Church” ???

    Ken,

    Where do I live? Where do I do my politics? WHATS THE NAME OF the ONEUTAH blog?

    What religion are you?

    Any more questions.

  15. #15 by jdberger on November 11, 2008 - 2:39 pm

    Who was advocating removing Jerry Brown?

  16. #17 by Ken on November 11, 2008 - 3:03 pm

    Abolishing laws prohibiting inter-racial marriage did not require a fundamental change in the concept of marriage.

    Gays never had to sit in the back of the bus or drink from separate drinking fountains or go to different schools or enter building from the back door and they have never been enslaved. I think comparing gays not allowed to marry against the atrocities committed against blacks in the past offends many in the African American community which could possibly account for such a high percentage voting against gay marriage.

  17. #18 by Ken on November 11, 2008 - 3:05 pm

    Any California official, including the Governor, who is charged in defending the Constitution of the State is required to uphold Proposition 8 until if or when it changes. There personal feelings should have absolutely no bearing on a vigorous defense.

  18. #19 by Cliff Lyon on November 11, 2008 - 3:06 pm

    Ken,

    As you secret friend, I suggest you delete that comment quickly before anyone sees it.

  19. #20 by ldsnomore on November 11, 2008 - 3:09 pm

    Ken, I have to jump in here. I ‘did’ the church thing for 45 years. I worked hard at it.

    That is the kind of logic that awakened me from my slumber.

  20. #21 by Cliff Lyon on November 11, 2008 - 3:11 pm

    Ken, Did you check to see if there is any process from removing an AG for this kind of thing?

    I think not. As with the Criminal in Chief, justice does not always prevail as some would think.

  21. #22 by Cliff Lyon on November 11, 2008 - 3:13 pm

    Wow, that didn’t take long (ldsnomore). Ken, do you want me to delete it for you?

    Welcome back lds! Seems like at least a year.

  22. #23 by Ken on November 11, 2008 - 3:15 pm

    If he cannot in good conscience defend Proposition 8 he should step aside or at least recuse himself from this particular case. The default position of any state should be to defend the outcome of an election or a Constitutional amendment.

    C+liff – Email me ?????????@yahoo.com – then delete my email address

  23. #24 by jdberger on November 11, 2008 - 3:31 pm

    Cliff? Are you suggesting that the Attorney General should pick and chose what he defends as chief lawyer for the State?

    Are you really suggesting that?

    And yes, there is a mechanism for dealing with that. Impeachment.

    Of course, Jerry Brown wouldn’t run into that problem because he’s an honorable man who will keep his promises and fulfill his oath of office.

    That is why he got 70% of the vote.

  24. #25 by Becky Stauffer on November 11, 2008 - 3:34 pm

    Ken,

    Since you are insisting that people answer your questions, would you kindly scroll up and answer Marv, above? He makes some pretty good points and I’d like to know your response.

  25. #26 by jdberger on November 11, 2008 - 3:56 pm

    Becky – I don’t have a problem with same sex marraige. I also don’t have a problem with same sex rearing/adoption of children.

    BUT….Ken has a point – take the State out of the marriage business and you remove a bunch of opposition. Let Churches perform “marraiges”. If you can find a Church that wants to marry a gay couple (and there are lots of them), great. Relegate the State to the recognition of the social contract (this applies to both gay and straight couples).

    Is this a sufficient answer to Marv’s question?

    Edit – Sorry Becky. I thought your question was directed toward me.

  26. #27 by Ken on November 11, 2008 - 4:04 pm

    Becky and Marv

    Do you think the plight of the gay community can be compared to the plight of African Americans? I think we can agree that gays have been subject to some pretty heinous things in history but the two can never be compared.

    Jim Crow laws were designed to keep black people down and were fundamentally immoral and had to be abolished, but marriage is not an immoral institution and therefore not in need of changing.

  27. #28 by Cliff Lyon on November 11, 2008 - 4:05 pm

    JD, You can’t take the state out of the marriage business unless you are willing to surrender all the state protected benefits which include huge bodIES of statute that relates to guardianship, divorce, taxes, children and rights associated with the reproduction thereof.

    Its not a discussion you will catch two intelligent people having…so which one are you?

  28. #29 by Becky Stauffer on November 11, 2008 - 4:11 pm

    jd,

    I’ve long thought that marriage is more of a legal contract than anything. In a modern and enlightened time, it seems odd that we complicate it with religion. Interestingly, if I’m not mistaken (Ken correct me if I’m wrong), when married in the Mormon temple, couples have the civil part of the ceremony separate from the spiritual part. Actual separation of church and state. (I actually did that one, but a long time ago in my youth.)

  29. #30 by Becky Stauffer on November 11, 2008 - 4:14 pm

    Ken, you skewed Marv’s questions and did not answer. But then, I did not expect you to. Marv’s points remain most salient.

    Ken, I’m disturbed by the bigotry expressed in your last comment.

  30. #31 by jdberger on November 11, 2008 - 4:15 pm

    Yes you can, Cliff. It’s called a civil union.

    What I find amazing is that you can have this relatively intelligent (though incorrect) post, and then pollute it with vitriol.

    It’s almost like you have some sort of Tourretts that hinders your ability to be civil, even to folks who disagree with you. I really wonder if it’s a physiological condition that you should have someone look at.

    All this hate can’t be good for your body or your spirit.

  31. #32 by jdberger on November 11, 2008 - 4:17 pm

    Ken, I’m disturbed by the bigotry expressed in your last comment.

    Can you point out what you’re disturbed about (or the particular passage and what’s disturbing)?

  32. #33 by Ken on November 11, 2008 - 4:17 pm

    Becky

    I’m not sure if there are still countries that do this, but in the past some countries have not recognized LDS temple weddings so there had to be a civil wedding first then a temple sealing after.

  33. #34 by Becky Stauffer on November 11, 2008 - 4:31 pm

    JD, this,

    Do you think the plight of the gay community can be compared to the plight of African Americans? I think we can agree that gays have been subject to some pretty heinous things in history but the two can never be compared

    .

    Here Ken deftly marginalizes gays and says their plight is not significant enough to warrant justice.

    I’d really like to hear Ken’s response to Marv’s question about separate but equal.

  34. #35 by Becky Stauffer on November 11, 2008 - 4:33 pm

    I have news for you, Ken, a civil marriage is performed within the temple right here in Utah. I know. I had one. The officiator said something like this to me: “We have to satisfy the governor.” But the legal certificate was signed at a separate table and not at the altar.

  35. #36 by jdberger on November 11, 2008 - 4:44 pm

    I guess that I have different ears, Becky.

    Maybe different sensibilities, too.

    As far as I know, in America, homosexuals weren’t sold into slavery. They didn’t toil under Jim Crow. They weren’t subject to the same kind of institutional discrimination and subjugation as blacks were.

    I didn’t see a direct comparison or a marginalization of homosexuals in that statement. It appeared to me that Ken just didn’t specify gay bashing or any of the other horrible incidents because he didn’t need to.

    Then again, your mileage may vary.

  36. #37 by Becky Stauffer on November 11, 2008 - 4:56 pm

    jd, hate crimes are real and prolific. Ask a transgendered individual who tries to function in society. Or just walk down the street. Slavery was terrible, but it doesn’t negate the atrocities that are happening every day still in America. Both are reprehensible.

    But maybe I just need my filter changed.

  37. #38 by Cliff Lyon on November 11, 2008 - 4:58 pm

    JD,

    I think you misunderstand the subtlety of what is at hand here. Its a bit more complicated than the NRA agenda.

    Maybe you should get off the porch on this one.

  38. #39 by jdberger on November 11, 2008 - 5:00 pm

    But maybe I just need my filter changed.

    Yes. Because we’re saying the same thing. On a side note, we have a transgendered individual in our gun club….not a traditional venue….

    We also are big promoters of the Pink Pistols.

  39. #40 by jdberger on November 11, 2008 - 5:01 pm

    Quiet, Cliff.

    The adults are trying to have a conversation.

  40. #41 by Cliff Lyon on November 11, 2008 - 5:08 pm

    Message for the Pooch (JD) under the porch.

    Marriage is also a legal status, which comes with rights and responsibilities. Marriage establishes a legal kinship between you and your spouse. It is a relationship that is recognized across cultures, countries and religions.

    What is a Civil Union? Civil Unions exist in only a handful of places: Vermont, New Jersey and Connecticut. California and Oregon have domestic partnership laws that offer many of the same rights as civil unions.

    Vermont civil unions were created in 2000 to provide legal protections to gays and lesbians in relationships in that state because gay marriage is not an option. The protections do not extend beyond the border of Vermont and no federal protections are included with a Civil Union. Civil Unions offer some of the same rights and responsibilities as marriage, but only on a state level.

  41. #42 by jdberger on November 11, 2008 - 5:13 pm

    What’s your point, Cliff? Don’t make me send you back to the kiddie table.

  42. #43 by Cliff Lyon on November 11, 2008 - 6:01 pm

    JD, Last time.

    In response to my claim that you cannot take the State out of marriage you said:

    Yes you can, Cliff. It’s called a civil union.

    That suggest either that the state has no role in civil unions OR something I can’t quite figure out.

    So I posted a comparison of civil unions and marriage both of which involve the state.

    I’m guessing you meant something else and I misunderstood because the state defines both.

    Good luck ‘splain’n THAT brain fart.

  43. #44 by Kevin Owens on November 12, 2008 - 9:38 am

    Becky,

    The temple marriage doesn’t exactly separate the civil and religious parts of the marriage ceremony. Yes, the marriage certificate is signed at a different table, but this was also the case in my civil marriage. We did the “I do” part standing up and then later went to a table and signed the paperwork.

    What I find interesting is that you can get a civil “for time only” marriage in the temple. My widowed grandfather got one when he remarried. So, you can get civil-only, spiritual-only (sealing), or the packaged deal.

  44. #45 by Becky Stauffer on November 12, 2008 - 10:03 am

    Ah good, Kevin. Thus we have separation of church and state. Thank you for the info.

  45. #46 by jdberger on November 12, 2008 - 12:41 pm

    Cliff,

    Is Baptism a legal status, or a religious one?

    Start with that idea, and I’ll go slow so as not to confuse you.

    The State can simply STOP issuing marraige licenses. Instead, the State would issue a license to Civil Union, which would incurr all the benefits of what was previously known as marriage, but without the religious overtones.

    If, in addition to a Civil Union, a couple wanted their marraige sanctified by a Church, they could have their marraige in addition to their Civil Union (please see Becky’s description of the bifurcated Mormon ritual).

    Is this a better explanation, Cliff?

  46. #47 by Ken on November 12, 2008 - 1:07 pm

    http://www.lansingstatejournal.com/article/20081112/NEWS01/811120369

    DELTA TWP. – A radical gay rights group is claiming responsibility for a protest Sunday at Mount Hope Church in Delta Township.

    Protesters who entered the Creyts Road church along with worshippers surprised the congregation when they stood up during the service, threw fliers at churchgoers and shouted slogans such as “It’s OK to be gay,” and “Jesus was a homo,” according to David Williams, communications director at the church. His father, Dave Williams, is the church’s longtime pastor. He was not preaching at the church Sunday.

    The fact that no arrests were made is an outrage. These people who trespassed and disrupted a house of worship should be in jail facing years in a federal prison for this hate crime. It is a federal crime to disrupt or interfere in the operation of a house of worship.

    The fact these people were able to get away with this crime may be a bad omen that it is open season on the sanctity of Churches.

    Whether or not you disagree with gay marriage or not you should all be condemning this act and disavowing the group that perpetrated this heinous act.

  47. #48 by Marv on November 12, 2008 - 2:42 pm

    I think that there is some serious confusion about what this debate is really about. Although there seems to be an obsession with the word marriage, the bottom line is that the issue isn’t really about marriage or some specific or singular right attached to marriage. It’s about civil rights. The right not to face institutional discrimination.

    A sit in at a lunch counter during the civil rights movement was not about wanting a sandwich, it was about wanting equality and dignity. And the movement for gay marriage is about wanting equality and dignity as well. You hear alot of rhetoric about the civil rights movement in relation to the gay rights movement because they are both about attempting to overcome discrimination and the civil rights movement is the easiest and most well known example of institutional discrimination and the difficult struggle to move towards change.

    And I know, the civil rights movement and the gay rights movement are different. The challenges faced and the hardships suffered are very different. We are talking about general movements not situations which are identical. You need to understand that the movements are compared as metaphores or examples, to make things easier to understand. What you need to understand is that to deny equal rights to gay and lesbian people is discrimination, and it is wrong to discriminate.

    The point of my comments and of my examples is that change is hard, but most often (like in the example of the civil rights movement, or the legalization of interracial marriage) when we gain perspective and move away from that change, we see it as beneficial. The Civil Rights movement is an easy example to use, because most people (40 years after the movement) believe that the change was ultimately for the best.

    I think it would be beneficial to apply some perspective to the whole idea of “marriage.” Individuals in this discussion chose to justify their opinions with a blanket assumption that marriage is a singular static institution. That is just wrong. It’s like taking a picture of a single moment, on a single day in a specific location and callling it the whole of human history. Marriage has always been a dynamic institution, and while I would agree that family units are the basic building blocks of civilization, historically there has never been a civilization where family groups had only one kind of make up. In our own 21st century American culture, we see all kinds of people forming all kinds of groups to support each other throughout life. Nuclear families with a male and female head and their biological children, families with adopted children, grandparents raising children, childless heterosexual or gay couples, gay couples raising children or sharing in the raising or children, step families who make all kinds of arrangements about how they will support each other, individuals who co-habitate, groups of friends who live together. It goes on and on, there are all kinds of family groupings.

    Historically, a variety of family groups have existed. And those groups have included same sex couples. A variety of cultures have legitimate same sex marriage or marriage like ceremonies. Native American’s have a long history of same sex marriage (the institution is know as Berdache– as a side note, it is interesting that the Coquilles tribe of Oregon legalized same sex marriage recently– Indian Tribes are Federal Entities and the marriages should be recognized by the Federal Government.) Ancient Greeks and Romans also recognized certain same sex marriages. There are ancient (4th Century) Christian marriage rites for same sex couples and ancient China had a similar ceremony for same sex couples known as Fujian.

    In addition to cultures which legitimized same sex relationships, marriage relationships other than those between one man and one woman currently exist in a variety of cultures. Islamic societies legitimize polygamy (as did our own fine state for quite a long time) and polyandry (one wife with multiple husbands) is more rare but practiced in some cultures (nomadic Tibetan tribes for one). I could go on and on about the wide variety of family groupings throughout history, but the bottom line is that there always have been and always will be all different kinds of families.

    The assertion that allowing gay marriage, changes the fundamental nature of marriage is incorrect. There is no “fundamental tradition,” there are alot of diverse traditions. Your arguments certainly support your own tradition, but when subjected to any real scrutiny they aren’t credible. The bottom line is that a system in which some individuals are denied rights based upon the desires of other individuals to discriminate is an immoral system.

  48. #49 by Richard Warnick on November 12, 2008 - 2:53 pm

    Ken– Your idea of what constitutes a heinous act is wrong. The definition of heinous is “shockingly evil.” Bombing children in Afghanistan could be described as a heinous act.

  49. #50 by jdberger on November 12, 2008 - 3:36 pm

    Richard, you really are a pompous ass, sometimes.

    “Shockingly evil” is ONE definition of heinous. There are others like, “Grossly wicked or reprehensible; abominable”, “extremely wicked, deeply criminal; ‘a flagitious crime'”, “Hateful; hatefully bad; flagrant; odious; atrocious; giving great great offense; — applied to deeds or to character.”

    And while your example of Taliban activities in Afghanistan is heinous to us, to them it might well be a useful strategy.

    Clearly Ken was expressing his opinion. You had to flagrantly twist what he said in order to exhilarate your ego.

    Bravo.

  50. #51 by Richard Warnick on November 12, 2008 - 4:06 pm

    jd — Rhetorical overkill isn’t heinous, but I find it irritating. BTW, if you believe that only the Taliban kill children, you’re watching too much Faux News Channel.

  51. #52 by Richard Okelberry on November 13, 2008 - 8:47 am

    Marv,

    You have made the most complete and most logical statement about the issue of gay marriage yet in this discussion. While I respect many of your arguments I would like to take issue with just a few points. You are correct, that many civilizations through out history have had some form of gay marriage. While this is true, almost every on has given a different name or term to describe gay marriage. This indicates that even these ancient peoples recognized that gay marriage was different than heterosexual marriage. Now when I say different, I don’t necessarily mean worse, I have no idea how these people actually saw gay unions.

    I believe your opening statement hits the nail on the head but misses the mark.

    “Although there seems to be an obsession with the word marriage, the bottom line is that the issue isn’t really about marriage or some specific or singular right attached to marriage. It’s about civil rights. The right not to face institutional discrimination.”

    This is about civil rights, but has been made into a discussion about the definition of marriage. Therefore, I believe the best approach is to take away the ability of the government to define marriage by converting all “marriage licenses,” gay or straight into Civil Unions. Doing this, will afford equal civil rights to gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transsexuals while preserving the ability for both religious and non-religious institutions to define marriage as they see fit.

    When we go back even farther in history than your examples we find anthropological evidence that shows that marriage has long been a religious rite. Even today, varying religions approach marriage very differently. Even among Christian faiths we find that Catholics who consider marriage a holy sacrament disagree with most Protestants who see marriage as an institution of God but not rising to the level of a sacrament. On the other hand the LDS Church places even a greater significance on marriage and sees it as a way to bind two people together for all eternity. While each religious view on marriage may be deferent, none are in direct conflict with each other because there is no legislative restriction to each of their views. If we remove the need to have the government call gay-unions marriage, the opposition falls away because there is no longer a legislative conflict.

    The U.S. government has a long history of using the definition of marriage to discriminate against various religions. In Nebraska for example: only those that “preached the Gospel” were allowed to perform legal marriages outside of the authority of the magistrate. This law was intended to discriminate against all but Christian faiths. Incidentally, that law is still on the books in Nebraska but has been ruled by the courts to be unconstitutional. A similar ruling may help open the door to nationwide gay unions.

    Short of removing the definition of the word “marriage” from the hands of the government, it seems to me that the only other option for the gay rights movement on this front is to have a church that performs gay marriage seek a ruling by the highest court in an Ant-Establishment/Equal Protection suit. It would be very easy for a plaintiff to show the long historical connection between marriage and religion and claim that the Government is in essence showing a religious preference by not recognizing the unions of these churches. I think your assertion that the tribe in Oregon should have its marriages recognized, falls under this premise because tribes are seen by the government as religious/cultural entities.

    Unfortunately, people should not hinge too much of their hope on the idea of the Federal Government granting a special dispensation to a Native American Tribe. Historically, any such ruling or dispensation is only applied to the tribe itself. The fact that members of these tribes can use illegal drugs like peyote and “magic” mushrooms in religious ceremonies, while no non-native can, only shows that what happens on the reservation does not make legal precedent for the rest of the country.

    Becky was right… Good essay, Marv.

  52. #53 by Don on November 13, 2008 - 9:21 am

    “The State can simply STOP issuing marraige licenses. Instead, the State would issue a license to Civil Union, which would incurr all the benefits of what was previously known as marriage, but without the religious overtones.

    If, in addition to a Civil Union, a couple wanted their marraige sanctified by a Church, they could have their marraige in addition to their Civil Union (please see Becky’s description of the bifurcated Mormon ritual).”

    jd,
    Seeing as how the government would be treating all people equally,in principle, I agree with your proposal. However, I do have some concerns. What about people who aren’t religious? Would someone be available to “marry” them if they so wished? What if I and my spouse just wanted to say we were married, even though legally I only had a government recognized civil union? Would there be some law against that? Would the word “marriage” become an entity only for officially recognized religions?

    Personally, I think it would much easier, not too mention much less messy from a legal standpoint, to simply continue our current policy of keeping civil marriage and religious marriage separate. They are already two wholly separate entities as far as the state is concerned. Why should the state concern itself with the folly of religious people (by kowtowing to their wishes regarding the word “marriage”) who can’t seem to grasp the concept of civil marriage having nothing at all to do with their religious marriage?

  53. #54 by Don on November 13, 2008 - 9:30 am

    Okelberry,
    As with jd, I would agree with you in principle about converting all civil marriages to civil unions instead. However, this ignores the fact that the right to legally marry is well established in the United States. I don’t think that a fundamental right such as marriage can be so easily renamed simply to appease those with their marriage undies in a twist.

  54. #55 by Richard Okelberry on November 13, 2008 - 9:49 am

    Don,

    You are right, it may not be that easy to remove the term “marriage” from what is now basically a civil union contract. There will always be those on both sides of the issue that will demand the government recognize their particular form of marriage as valid. I don’t think most people need such validation from the government, though. I think most would see this as the best compromise.

    As for you question to JD about those who have no religion, the answer is simple. Without the government defining what is marriage, churches and people of varying faiths and even those without faith would be free to define marriage according to their own traditions. Ultimately, removing the government rule over the term marriage would right a wrong that occurred many generations ago. When, our founders decided to make a government free from religious authority, they failed to recognize the profound religious connection to the term marriage when it was institutionalized.

    This is an idea that I have been peddling for years now and I can honestly say that the far majority of those who oppose gay marriage and who I have presented this idea to are more than willing to concede that this is an acceptable compromise. Just as there is a growing movement within religious sects to finally say no to displays of religious monuments on public property and even remove the name of God from our money, people are beginning to recognize that it may just be best to not have government involved in what so many see as a religious institution first.

    Gay rights advocates have an unlikely potential ally in their cause. They only need to meet them part way.

  55. #56 by Don on November 13, 2008 - 10:02 am

    “… churches and people of varying faiths and even those without faith would be free to define marriage according to their own traditions.”

    Aren’t they already free to do so? I still see no need for the government to rid itself of the word “marriage” simply because the unwitting are told to be very concerned about the government redefining their definition of marriage when that simply isn’t what is happening with the push toward marriage equality.

  56. #57 by Cliff Lyon on November 13, 2008 - 10:21 am

    OkelButt.

    If I even remotely trusted you, I would take this as full capitulation on you otherwise consistent position that religion should guide one’s politics.

    Just as there is a growing movement within religious sects to finally say no to displays of religious monuments on public property and even remove the name of God from our money, people are beginning to recognize that it may just be best to not have government involved in what so many see as a religious institution first.

    But I don’t trust you because I read every piece of garbage you write. If you truly intended a 180 degree surrender of your views on religion, you would be apologizing for and retracting shit like this.

    In the end, a person’s religious persuasion tells us a lot about an individual and is something that all candidates should be willing to discuss openly during a campaign. Of course I must also say that I feel it is completely okay to vote for someone that doesn’t share my religious beliefs as long as I can be relatively certain that we share similar [Christian] political ideas. In the end, many of the moral tenants held up by the Christian faithful across the country are shared and often practiced with more diligence by LDS followers. As for me, I will likely vote for Mitt Romney because of this reason.

    and this…

    [Obama] still supports the right of a woman to terminate a pregnancy at 8 and a half months, by running a rod into the skull of the unborn child that could easily survive outside of the womb, simply because the woman has expressed feelings of depression.

    Or maybe your unforgivable support for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and your criminally corrupt defense of them by comparing US casualties across other wars?

    When will you apologize for that ?

  57. #58 by Richard Okelberry on November 13, 2008 - 10:35 am

    Don,

    The “unwitting” as you call them are particularly sensitive to the definition of marriage primarily because of their religious beliefs. If these “unwitting” people are to be expected to be sensitive to the beliefs of an opposing minority, it would only be prudent to extend them some sensitivity as well… Or maybe you feel that the course of calling them bigots and trying to bully them into submission is a much better course of action.

  58. #59 by Cliff Lyon on November 13, 2008 - 11:02 am

    The “unwitting” (also known as ignorant) may be innocent foot soldiers in the Protestant Fundamentalist war against equality and progress, but to forgive their bigotry by excusing it as faith does not fly.

    Bigotry is NOT a two-way street. One side are bigots (bad) the other side are free-thinkers (good).

    RO, It shall not go unnoticed that you ave conveniently avoided addressing the Subject Du Jour; Intellectual Violence of your ilk, here and here.

  59. #60 by Richard Okelberry on November 13, 2008 - 11:33 am

    Cliff “the cowardly” Lyon,

    If you are going to quote my past essays, I would appreciate it if you would link to the original essay so that other readers may see how you take them out of context.

    I should note for everyone that Cliff “the cowardly” Lyon has added the bracketed word [Christian] to the above quote completely changing the original meaning of the statement. The premise of the essay was to argue that it is perfectly OK to take ones religious convictions into account when voting, as long as those religious convictions are truly known and understood by the voter. For example: if a radical Islamic fascist like Osama bin Laden were running for office, I would expect that most would find his faith alone disqualifying. The essay also goes on to say that I find it completely unacceptable to vote against someone simply because of their faith out of Bigotry. The Cowardly Lyon has quoted this essay so many times in the past, one would think that he should have by now read and understood it in its entirety. Converse to my beliefs about the role of religion in politics which closely match those of Barrack Obama, the Cowardly Lyon would seem to prefer that all persons of faith are excluded from public discourse and especially public office.

    As far as my comparison of the two current wars to history… Those charts are simply a depiction of real data and show that people’s perceptions about the success of our military on the ground is often not in line with historical measures. Regardless of what people think about the reasons for these wars, the success of our soldiers is undeniable.

    You will get no apology from me Cliff, but once again you receive my forgiveness for your broad attempts to win discussions not by the strength of your arguments but by repeated attempts to defame me. Again Cliff, you are forgiven.

  60. #61 by Richard Okelberry on November 13, 2008 - 12:19 pm

    You know Cliff, you seem like you really need to get things off your chest. Why don’t you let out one of those now famous anti religion rants? Give people of faith a good old fashioned tongue lashing. Tell everyone how ignorant and blind to reality they are and how they are the obstacle to your Utopian ideal that requires everyone to be free from the bonds of their faith. Have fun with it Cliff… Don’t be a Cowardly Lyon and hide behind your politically correct veil. After all, isn’t that why you made this site? I imagine not a single contributor here will oppose anything you say against religion. So let loose! Show us the truth! YOU ARE THE WARRIOR after all… Now prove it! Let the decapitations begin and the hammer fall! (Your metaphors, not mine. They were metaphors weren’t they? Like the time you talked about putting a bullet in someone’s head, that was a metaphor too right?)

    Pay attention Becky and Richard W. Let’s see if Cliff the Cowardly Lion will show us again his true stripes again and show you who you have hitched your trailers to!

  61. #62 by Becky Stauffer on November 13, 2008 - 12:35 pm

    Hitched my trailer, RO? I have complete editorial control over what I post here. No-one dictates my topics, no-one edits my words. I’ve never met any of the other authors personally and have exchanged but a couple of e-mails. I was invited to contribute in whatever way I saw fit. I still write in my own blog as well. I’m not hitched. Come and go as I please, actually. Can’t speak for Richard W. but expect it’s the same.

    By the way, RO, don’t panic if I don’t respond right away. I’m working and will check in later.

  62. #63 by Don on November 13, 2008 - 3:25 pm

    “[Obama] still supports the right of a woman to terminate a pregnancy at 8 and a half months, by running a rod into the skull of the unborn child that could easily survive outside of the womb, simply because the woman has expressed feelings of depression.”

    RO,
    I figured Cliff had inserted the word “Christian” into the first quote of yours. I saw it as his attempt to editorialize within the context of the quote.

    Did he similarly misquote you, in your opinion, on this one as well? Or did you really make such a hyperbolic and completely unsubstantiated claim about Obama?

  63. #64 by jasonthe on November 13, 2008 - 3:47 pm

    Not to derail the argument playing out here (an important one, I think), but just to correct some of the numbers mentioned by Ken above.

    While 70% of the African American community who voted did vote for Prop 8, it’s a twisting of numbers to say they are the reason it passed. Nate Smith at 538.com has broken the numbers down, and it’s clear that the largest bloc of voters supporting the proposition were voters 65 and over.

    I think there was a failure of the No on 8 campaigns to reach out to other minorities, yes, but those minority voters did not cause the passage of Prop 8. And it’s important too to remember the coalition of LDS and Evangelical activists were the largest and most publicly visible supporters of the proposition, and 40% of the donations to the Yes on 8 campaign in the final 60 days of the election came from LDS donors (the majority of which were in Utah).

    Just clarifying the facts on the exit polling, and perhaps shed a little light on why Mormons have been targeted in the backlash while the evangelicals are not (as much).

  64. #65 by Don on November 13, 2008 - 3:49 pm

    RO,
    I don’t necessarily fault the unwitting; I fault their masters. I don’t think they deserve sensitivity; I think they deserve a little candor.

    Those who do properly understand the situation (i.e. those who know the government’s use of the word “marriage” has nothing at all to do with their religious marriages), yet still actively work to arbitrarily deny to gay people (generally through specious and deceptive rhetoric) the same freedoms and equality that we ourselves enjoy, fully deserve to be called bigots.

    I don’t see why people who seem so willing to allow gay people every right and privilege associated with marriage, but only if it’s not called “marriage,” get so stuck on the word when it isn’t being used in the same context as their religion. It’s not rational to deny the government (which is us) the use of the word it has always used to codify civil domestic partnerships.

    (any moderator – my previous comment is stuck in moderation … thanks.)

  65. #66 by Richard Okelberry on November 13, 2008 - 3:53 pm

    Becky,

    Call it what you will, you currently are writing for the most left wing blog in the entire state. The owner, who invited you, regularly uses this as a venue to spew bigotry and HATE towards most every religion and person of faith. Additionally, Cliff the Cowardly Lion regularly disparages our armed service men and women calling what they do a “shit job” and truly believes and promotes the idea that Bush and Cheney orchestrated the attacks on 9/11. You may not be hitched yet, but to be sure we are often judged by the company we keep!

  66. #67 by Becky Stauffer on November 13, 2008 - 4:54 pm

    The most left-wing blog, Richard? You say that like it’s a bad thing. You may not have noticed, I’m a self-avowed lefty myself.

    Don’t try to drag me into your conflict with Cliff, Richard. That’s your deal. I do feel the need to tell you something, though. I have observed you for awhile. I’ve seen you brag about your IQ although you regularly misuse words like ‘resend’ when you mean ‘rescind’. You talk like some sort of moral authority, and then you brag about a prurient, juvenile video you made. You never fail to condescend when you address me (and others). I don’t know, Richard, for all your bluster and long diatribes in this comments, I think you might actually be a pompous ass.

  67. #68 by jdberger on November 13, 2008 - 4:58 pm

    Hey!

    No fair. I called Richard a pompous ass first.

    The other Richard…..

  68. #69 by Becky Stauffer on November 13, 2008 - 5:02 pm

    Yeah, but Richard O actually deserves it.

  69. #70 by jdberger on November 13, 2008 - 5:03 pm

    I don’t see why people who seem so willing to allow gay people every right and privilege associated with marriage, but only if it’s not called “marriage,” get so stuck on the word when it isn’t being used in the same context as their religion. It’s not rational to deny the government (which is us) the use of the word it has always used to codify civil domestic partnerships.

    Because it takes the argument away from the Churches. It moots religion and the possible threat to religion as an argument. It also assuages fears of an assault upon the free exercise of religion and threats to their tax exempt status.

    There is no other way for the churches to phrase the contract (or no other popularly accepted way). There is another way for the State to phrase it – so in this case, the State makes the compromise.

    Same sex couples that can find a church to marry them can still use the term “married”.

    The other option is to fight this out with the churches every election cycle.

  70. #71 by Don on November 13, 2008 - 5:53 pm

    jd,
    You almost had me until you said, “There is no other way for the churches to phrase the contract (or no other popularly accepted way).” Is not “sealing” a popularly accepted phraseology, at least among the majority of Utahns? Here’s an idea, why don’t all religions start using the term “sealing” for what they previously called “marriage” and then the state won’t have to worry about offending the poor, “persecuted” religious people by “redefining” marriage to their apparent disliking? Would that be so absurd?

    Or, we could just go the much simpler route and continue to differentiate between civil marriage and religious marriage as we already do.

    I guess the question I would like answered pertaining to Richard’s and your “compromise” is, why should the government (which represents everyone) have to defer to the irrational demands of religion?

  71. #72 by Richard Okelberry on November 14, 2008 - 8:01 am

    Don,

    Certainly, government doesn’t have to “compromise” on the use of the word marriage. By definition a compromise is a situation where both opposing parties are willing to meet in the middle on the issue and come to terms that are mutually acceptable. Obviously for you, it is more important for the government to continue to use the religious term of marriage because it is more important for the government to help “normalize” gay marriage than to actually grant the same contractual rights to gay couples as heterosexual couple enjoy. This is the very argument that the religious right has been making and is what fuels their opposition. By removing the term marriage from the government’s lexicon we would in effect remove the largest barrier to establishing equal treatment for gays.

    So you need to ask yourself, which is more important to you, the definition or the end result of granting the rights that gays seek? It almost appears that you would rather use this issue as an assault on religion than to actually act as an advocate for your cause. Certainly a protracted battle over the definition of marriage by the government will not move us closer to the stated goals of gay rights advocates but only serve to entrench the religious right.

    Consider that Prop. 8 was passed in one of the most liberal states in the union. Now imagine how difficult such a course would be in a state like Utah. While eventually Prop. 8 may fall in California, it could be decades before other states would ever seriously consider changing their definitions of marriage. On the other hand, if even one state completely removed the term marriage from its civil unions, the federal government would be forced to recognize those civil unions or have both tax codes and Federal benefits programs fail to function within that state. This is something that politicians simply will not allow to happen.

    In essence, you are fighting a losing battle and you ignore that we I have given you a path to victory. I wonder if your opposition is more personal, because of who proposed the compromise, than a logical assessment of the situation. If I tell you the sky is blue, will you argue that it is green?

  72. #73 by Richard Okelberry on November 14, 2008 - 8:31 am

    Becky,

    I am glad to hear that you are willing to admit that you have fully adopted the values of the extreme left. I wonder if that include Cliff’s belief that abortion and infanticide are acceptable means of population control?

    Still, thank you again for your copy editing skills. And the adjectives that you use to describe me are truly telling. Not only am I anal and condescending but also a pompous ass. Do you find any irony in any of those statements, Becky? You wouldn’t by chance think that you are better than me would you?

    Perhaps if you focused on the discussion and spent less time proof reading and thinking of various names to call people, you might actually be able contribute to a discussion. You really should let the IQ thing go. Apparently it makes you feel small and insignificant and does nothing for your arguments. Why not simply sit back and try really hard to use that gray matter for a second and maybe you will contribute more than simply regurgitation liberal talking points. Liberals like to call themselves Progressive, but JD and I seem to be the only ones offering a unique perspective around here.

    So Becky, seriously… What is your answer to the gay rights issue? Do you think standing in front of the SLC Temple calling Mormons and Catholics bigots will ultimately win the day? Is it you motto to fight bigotry with bigotry? Or are you one of those liberals that just sits around and complains about all the injustices in the world? In the words of U2, “Don’t expect, suggest!”

  73. #74 by C av on November 14, 2008 - 10:13 am

    Becky, me thinks ‘pompous ass’ not only falls way short, but, by connecting the critter to R.O., actually diminishes the vehicle on which Christ arrived in Jeruselem that sunny day so long ago.

    Pompous, Yes! But, for the sake of longwindedness, (which can easily be said of R.O.’s B.S.), there’s fun to be had in cultivating wordier descriptions. If you have the time – he is more than deserving.

  74. #75 by Becky Stauffer on November 14, 2008 - 10:16 am

    Good morning, everyone. I’m working and not able to catch up fully. But will a little later. Have enjoyed ALL the comments so far this AM. Isn’t it just the most fabulous day?!

  75. #76 by Richard Okelberry on November 14, 2008 - 11:22 am

    C av,

    I think you may have confused being a pompous ass with being confident. I am confident that I can defend any of my arguments. If I am merely long winded then you should be able to easily propose a short, sweet rebuttal. I will be waiting.

    BTW: your just not complaining like Becky are you? What is your remedy? For “progressives,” I’ve heard no new ideas. Maybe “regressive” would be a better term for liberals. Same old hat in a shiny new box.

  76. #77 by Cliff Lyon on November 14, 2008 - 11:53 am

    Pompous may be too forgiving for Okelberry, and ‘ass’ insufficient.

    A more descriptive term for someone who would construe support for a woman’s constitutional right to privacy, with population control would be ‘ASSHOLE’

    The “hole” part comes in of necessity when Okelberry takes it upon himself to unilaterally invent brand spanking new characterizations of someone else’ position.

    Cliff’s belief that abortion and infanticide are acceptable means of population control?

    One has to wonder if Okelberries’ confidence brings anything of value to the world.

  77. #78 by Becky Stauffer on November 14, 2008 - 12:00 pm

    you have fully adopted the values of the extreme left

    Richard, dear, you are wont to make great assumptions from my statements. I’m a lefty, but we come in a lot of different flavors and colors. For example, my ex-husband was so far left of me, he used to call me “Cheney” as he thought that was where I more closely aligned. I guess how you see me depends a lot on where you’re standing.

    As to the adjectives I chose, each of those must be taken in the context in which they were given. As you will see, there was good cause for their use in those specific cases, but I wouldn’t necessarily say these are going to go on your permanent record–yet. I even hedged a bit on applying ‘pompous ass’, deserving though I thought you might be at the time. I’ll admit I can sometimes use harsh and hurtful words—it’s practically my only flaw, and if I’ve hurt your feelings, RO, I really do sincerely apologize. Truly, I do mean that.

    Your entire third paragraph in the last comment just made me laugh. And laughing is good for us, so thank you for that.

    And I’m assuming your remaining questions were all rhetorical so I’ll skip those. You can read all my posts and comments as we go along, and you’ll get a better feel for what I believe.

    P.S. I can’t help the proofreading. I know it puts me in a glass house situation, but I am so steeped in words and language that it’s almost like breathing for me. I’ll try not to let it get in the way of the discussion.

    P.P.S. Nope, I don’t think I’m better than you. Nor vice versa. But I still might bring up that IQ thing every once in while just because we all need to be reminded to be humble.

    And one more thing, Richard the fact that you attribute anything clever or smart that I write to be Cliff’s idea shows both that you admire Cliff more than you admit, and you don’t think a woman could be that smart.

  78. #79 by Cliff Lyon on November 14, 2008 - 1:26 pm

    Well.

    Thank you Okelberries for that kind endorsement albeit through Becky. I am honored and humbled.

    While your admiration for me is appreciated, I can help but assume that it comes with some difficulty given your own confidence and exceptionally high IQ and for that my respect for you is furthered immeasurably.

  79. #80 by Richard Okelberry on November 14, 2008 - 2:03 pm

    Cliff,

    Are you trying to call me a liar again? Do I have to repost AGAIN, your little example of the African tribe from our Abortion debate? I swear, it’s like you don’t even remember your own posts half the time. I am beginning to rethink my willingness to engage you again. I am completely serious when I question your mental health. Could you please put the question to rest so that I won’t feel so guilty about discrediting you? Like I said before, I’m not the kind of guy that will take advantage of such a situation.

    Regardless, I forgive you again Cliff. Go in peace.

  80. #81 by Don on November 14, 2008 - 3:30 pm

    Okelberry,
    Obviously, for you, it is very hard to understand the context and meaning of my words. I have expressly dismissed your argument that the term “marriage” is somehow inherently religious. Why do you continue to argue the point as if I have agreed that the government is using a religious term for their legal purposes?

    Do you really think religious people would go for removing the term “marriage” from the legal lexicon effectively making their “marriages” the legal equivalent to same-sex partnerships? Somehow, given the extent of the bigotry currently directed toward same-sex unions in most of our country, I don’t think that’s going to fly.

    Still, you haven’t answered why the government should bow to the wishes of some religious people at the expense of everyone? Please be clear, I have no desire to assault religion over this issue. My only desire is that religion ceases to assault common sense and good reason within our government.

  81. #82 by Don on November 14, 2008 - 3:39 pm

    Okelberry,
    The sky is green. ;)

    You can be a real piece of pompous assholiness when you think you have everything figured out, can’t you? I’m sorry you’ve fallen so head-over-heels in love with your own argument that you can’t see past the end of your nose to consider the arguments of others.

    Why should we stop using a term we have always used to legally describe domestic partnerships just to appease the irrational desires of some religions? Is it really so difficult to understand the difference between a civil marriage and a religious one? Jeeze, just get a few preachers, prophets and bishops on board to disseminate to the masses and we should be fine, right?

  82. #83 by Don on November 14, 2008 - 3:43 pm

    Okelberry,
    We don’t need a new idea! That’s the whole point I am trying, apparently unsuccessfully, to get you to see. We already have civil marriage and religious marriage. Why do we need anything else? Again, protecting the irrational sensibilities of religious people isn’t going to do it for me. Maybe you should try progressing toward a different argument for a change.

  83. #84 by Don on November 14, 2008 - 3:46 pm

    For the record, I called Okellydokelly a “real piece of pompous assholiness” before reading the ensuing conversation. Interesting how everyone seems to see it but him.

  84. #85 by jdberger on November 14, 2008 - 4:19 pm

    Don – you don’t seem to get it. The “irrational religious people” have won 3 for 3 in California. Maybe it’s time to change the debate and declare victory.

    Same sex marriage isn’t a political winner.

    If it really was a “rights” issue, what would be the rational objection to changing civil marriage to “Civil Union” or “Domestic Partnership” as long as it also had all of the rights and responsiblities of the former? Especially if same sex marriages could STILL be sancitified in a religious environment?

    You ask a final question in your response to me, “why should the government (which represents everyone) have to defer to the irrational demands of religion?”

    The First Amendment.

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

    It’s the same as allowing Muslim women to cover their heads in schools, making allowances for prayer, making allowances for religious observance, holidays, etc…

    To you, allowing your employees to get home before dark on Friday might be an irrational religious demand. To them, it’s a matter of religious observance.

  85. #86 by Don on November 14, 2008 - 4:38 pm

    jd,

    Your reference of the 1st Amendment in response to my question is a non sequitur.

    How is allowing same-sex couples to legally marry infringing upon anyone’s “free exercise” of their religion?

    I’ll ask you the same question I asked Okelberry. Do you really think religious people would go for removing the term “marriage” from the legal lexicon effectively making their “marriages” the legal equivalent to same-sex partnerships?

  86. #87 by jdberger on November 14, 2008 - 4:53 pm

    Don – your question was in respect to government acceding to the irrational demands of religion. I gave you a pretty concise answer.

    I’ll ask you the same question I asked Okelberry. Do you really think religious people would go for removing the term “marriage” from the legal lexicon effectively making their “marriages” the legal equivalent to same-sex partnerships?

    Yes. Because they can then sanctify their marriage in the church of their choice with out interference of the State.

  87. #88 by Richard Okelberry on November 14, 2008 - 4:56 pm

    Don,
    I’m going to put aside you need to continue the personal attacks. I understand that you must feel somewhere that it furthers your arguments.

    You are absolutely correct on one point. There are those on the extreme religious right that would never agree to not having the government sanction their religious unions. Likewise there are fundamentalist liberals like your self who also will always be unwilling to budge on the issue.

    You say that we don’t need a new idea. Is it the fact that the current idea has been working out so well that brings you to that opinion. What exactly is your strategy? It doesn’t involve sending packages with white powder to churches does it?

  88. #89 by Don on November 14, 2008 - 5:20 pm

    RO,
    Great. And I’ll put aside your need to continue being a pompous ass. I understand that for some reason you must feel it strengthens your arguments.

    Are you always such a hypocrite? You decry me for “attacking you personally” yet in the very next breath you call me a “fundamentalist liberal” and imply that I approve of sending threats to churches in the mail. Fuck you, asshole.

  89. #90 by Don on November 14, 2008 - 5:32 pm

    jd,
    Thank you for engaging in a rational discussion.

    The 1st Amendment isn’t relevant. If same-sex couples can legally marry that does not infringe upon anyone’s right to freely exercise their religion. It is irrational for religions to expect that the government would accede to their wishes that the “definition” of marriage not be changed relative to their definition of marriage. The government isn’t trying to change their definition of marriage. Any argument otherwise is simply incorrect.

    As for the question about religions not caring about their marriages being legally equivalent to same-sex unions, I do not believe the majority would agree with you. California probably would, but most of the country, including Utah, would probably fight tooth and nail to keep same-sex unions “separate but equal”. It will certainly be interesting to see how the LDS Church responds to the proposed legislation here in Utah to start allowing same-sex couples some of the same legal rights through civil authority as those obtained through marriage for heterosexual couples.

  90. #91 by Don on November 14, 2008 - 6:15 pm

    “Because they can then sanctify their marriage in the church of their choice with out interference of the State.”

    How would a legally recognized civil same-sex marriage interfere with any Church’s ability to sanctify marriages of their choice?

  91. #92 by Richard Okelberry on November 14, 2008 - 6:39 pm

    Don,

    Did I insult you? I am sorry… I didn’t know you were so sensitive. Sometimes I forget how easily you all can be offended.

    What exactly about the term Fundamentalist Liberal offends you. Do you not practice an unyielding dogmatic form of liberalism, devoid of true progressive thought? What is it about your political philosophy that is truly unique or “progressive?” Can you give me a single simple example?

    As for your profane outburst, I FORGIVE YOU! I know you have said that you do not need to reveal your real name because your words speak for themselves. I suppose that this is what you must have meant. You must feel pretty strong in you anonymity to be so abrasive. I truly hope it made you feel bigger than me.

    Now if you could, I would like to ask you the same question you asked but from the opposite perspective. Why should change the meaning of a term we have always used to legally describe heterosexual domestic partnerships just to appease the irrational desires of some homosexuals who are barely 4% of the population? Why should they be appeased but religions who have long laid claim to the term shouldn’t.

    Please note: I was not implying that you would send packages to churches, I was referencing the fact that someone on your side has already decided that to be an effective tactic. Turn on you evening news.

    Also, I want to say for the record that even President Elect Obama disagrees with gay marriage. When even your guy isn’t on your side, how can you expect to convince the rest of America?

  92. #93 by jdberger on November 14, 2008 - 6:50 pm

    Don,

    The doctrine of some churches opposes same sex marriages.

  93. #94 by Don on November 14, 2008 - 7:02 pm

    jd,
    So? The government isn’t telling them they have to sanction same-sex marriages.

    You don’t think freedom to exercise one’s religion gives religions the right to restrict the rights and freedoms of others based simply upon their religious tenets, do you?

  94. #95 by jdberger on November 14, 2008 - 11:31 pm

    No, Don.

    I’m just giving the No on 8 folks an easy painless way to win the day. Redefine the argument.

    The conflict ceases to be about equal rights. If they want to get entrenched about semantics it’s just going to be much more difficult.

    It’s not about different drinking fountains or sitting at the back of the bus, it’s about whether you can get the State to call your social contract a certain word. And the religious have the advantage of precedent and tradition on their side.

  95. #96 by Don on November 14, 2008 - 11:45 pm

    jd,
    As I said previously, I agree with you … in principle. As long as equality is served I personally wouldn’t have a problem with civil unions issued by the government for both gay and straight partnerships and leaving marriage up to any non-governmental entity to perform (or even just letting anyone who wants to use the word; no one’s stopping anyone now).

    The point I am making and have not deviated from is that it is an unreasonable and wholly unnecessary exercise to remove the word “marriage” from the realm of government. I also do not believe religious people would be so willing to give up the word “marriage” in their legally recognized unions so the entire argument could well be moot. If the LDS Church stands by its recent statements and truly comes out in favor of civil unions for gay couples in Utah then I might start to think differently.

    Nevertheless, I’m still not sure how to get around the fact that the ability to legally “marry” is more or less considered a fundamental right in probably every state in the Union. Can that right simply be changed to the right to “civilly unionize”? I don’t know, it seems like there are some challenges to the concept that aren’t readily apparent. I’ll ask again, what’s the point of jumping through hoops to obtain equality when we already have the legal infrastructure in place to do it now?

  96. #97 by jdberger on November 15, 2008 - 12:12 am

    Try this, from a ConLaw professor at Pepperdine

    …The governor has administrative authority to have regulations issued interpreting family law, and nothing in Prop. 8 precludes him from ensuring that homosexual and heterosexual couples are treated equally under state law so long as he stays clear of “marriage.” This could be accomplished by limiting the state of California prospectively to the issuance of civil unions for all couples, rather than marriage licenses, leaving marriage, which in origin is predominantly a religious concept and not the real business of the state, to religion.

    To convince both sides to come to the table, the governor’s ruling should:

    — Eliminate any doubt as to the validity of same-sex marriages undertaken between the time of the Supreme Court’s judgment and the effective date of Prop. 8. This is only fair because the proposition did not clearly state that it would be retroactive. People are entitled to have confidence in the law as it exists today without having to anticipate how it might change.

    — Reaffirm the unfettered freedom of religions (not the state) to be either in favor or opposition to same-sex marriage as their doctrine teaches. …

    \

    Wow. Almost like I wrote that myself….

    But I could never work at Pepperdine.

    I’d never get anything done. I’d always get sand in my laptop…

  97. #98 by Don on November 15, 2008 - 12:23 am

    Thanks jd. I wonder how the CA Supreme Court would interpret such an act? Does the governor really have the power to more or less rename the legal right to “marriage” as long as it treats everyone equally?

  98. #99 by jdberger on November 15, 2008 - 12:34 am

    Dunno. Sounds like a good question for Prof. Kmeic…though I think that he’d just restate:

    The governor has administrative authority to have regulations issued interpreting family law

    It’s an even better question for Judge Alex Kozinski, but he probably won’t answer (or even speculate). After all, the case might end up in front of the Ninth Circuit.

    As a caveat (and something I didn’t consider before), the Fed doesn’t recognize civil unions/domestic partnerships. Though, if the entire state of California were to suddenly lose their marriage status, the Fed might have to acquiesce.

    You’ll have to excuse me for a bit. I need to go load some ammunition.

    Thanks for the dialogue.

  99. #100 by Don on November 15, 2008 - 12:49 am

    LOL . . . goin’ shootin’ tonight, eh?

    Yes, the question of Federal recognition is a bit of a conundrum. Okelberry seems to think the Feds would acquiesce to a state such as CA going “full civil union” on them and simply recognize the state’s CV’s as marriages for federal purposes. I’m not so sure that’s the case (DOMA being on the books and all) and I’m not so sure CA politicians or citizens would want to take a chance that their federal marriage status would disappear, even if only temporarily. That’s just one more thing solidifying my opinion that trying to have the government give up the word “marriage” is more trouble than it sounds like on paper.

  100. #101 by Cliff Lyon on November 15, 2008 - 11:20 am

    Don,

    I don’t think our homophobic friends understand that civil unions are only recognized in their respective states and enjoy no federal protections.

    That may be my fault because I mis-linked the ‘educational’ reference in the post.

    Here is a clear description of civil unions vs marriage for those of us more obsessed with the sex part than the rights part.

  101. #102 by jdberger on November 15, 2008 - 12:10 pm

    Some more thinking on this, Don….(loading ammo is a meditative task)…

    DOMA would apply to same sex marriages and civil unions equally as things currently stand.

    The Fed doesn’t recognize civil unions as marriage, they also don’t recognize same sex marriages as “marriage”. So, the debate as far as the Fed is concerned is currently moot.

    Now, should you have a significant number of States embrace Dr. Kmiec’s proposal, the Fed might have to take some action to recognize civil unions on the same level as marriage.

    Further, if it could be done by executive order, Pres. Obama wouldn’t have to crawfish on a campaign promise.

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