State of the Debate

On marriage equality, courts strive to catch up with the rest of us ...

First Published      Last Updated Sep 23 2014 02:16 pm

The basic constitutional question that is at the nub of most big Supreme Court issues is not so much the merits of any particular question. It is about who gets to decide — the feds, the state, the city, the corporation, the church or the individual.

Even though the opponents of same-sex marriage are complaining that the courts are overstepping their bounds, the effect of striking down all the state bans is that the choice of who is married is up to the individuals involved, as the culture — aka the marketplace of ideas — moves ahead of any government entity to accept that.

The courts are merely striving to catch up.

Reaching for the evil button is all too easy — George Pyle | The Salt Lake Tribune

" ... So many gay people, and same-sex couples raising kids, have come out and been bold enough to take to the streets and to the courts that we are forced to see that they are, in so many ways, just like us.

"Same-sex couples also have an advantage that other victimized groups — say, black people or immigrants — don't have. They really are us.

"They are people we cannot so easily shun or demean because, as comedian George Carlin once said about the growing acceptance of men with long hair, so many of us have one or two of them in our families. ..."

Gay sibling steered me to a new way of thinking — Mariah Noble — The Logan Herald-Journal

" ... Four years later, my brother came out to me. I was shocked, and at first I viewed that bit of information as a trial. What a burden it was to have a brother who would have to fight to fit in, I thought. What a struggle it was to no longer appear as though we had it all together. How were we supposed to be good examples now?

"Slowly, I realized that my brother was the same person he'd always been. Nothing about him had changed. He had just revealed another personality trait, like saying, 'I prefer apple juice to orange juice." The only thing that had changed was my willingness to let him belong. ..."

Not that everybody thinks that's a good idea.

Philosopher kings: Transformative decisions best left to people's representatives — By Michael Erickson and Jenet Jacob Erickson | For The Deseret News

" ... To find an historical basis for same-sex marriage, the majority concluded that the key element of marriage was 'freedom of choice' to marry. But as Judge Paul Kelly noted in dissent, 'marriage does not exist in a vacuum; it is a public institution, and states have the right to regulate it.' We would add that society not only has a right but an obligation to do so. That's why Utah sets age limits and prohibits multiple marriages (bigamy). And to promote children being raised by their fathers and mothers, Utah defined marriage as between a man and a woman. ..."

Crooks and cowards — Pamela Openshaw | For The Provo Daily Herald

" 'Congress is full of crooks because the pulpits are full of cowards.'

"So read a sign in a Montana town on Sept. 3, 2013, as reported by Peter Brown of WesternJournalism.com. The language is harsh but the message is clear: religious leaders need to speak up about morality in government and obedience to constitutional law. As keepers of the nation's moral lighthouse, they can spotlight the rocky shoals of disobedience to divinely established civil principles. Their collective voice is needed, wanted and missed. While their role to foster moral strength is widely understood, their opportunity to teach civic strength is all but forgotten. ..."

Being state attorney general means following the rule of law — Cynthia Coffman | For The Colorado Springs Gazette

" ... unlike my opponent in the race for attorney general, I do not confuse my policy preferences with my duty to defend laws with which I may disagree. When I chose to run for attorney general, I committed to set aside my opinions of what the law should be in favor of a higher legal system that recognizes the pivotal role of voters and the courts.

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