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Letter: No evidence of harm from gay marriages

Published January 4, 2014 1:01 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Re Bob Fuehr's commentary ("Gay marriage is latest federal encroachment on Utah values," Tribune, Dec. 28) about Judge Robert Shelby's ruling ("Federal judge strikes down Utah ban on same-sex marriage," Tribune, Dec. 21):

He expressed the usual Republican diatribe about "liberal activist judges," "executive orders" and, of course, President Obama. Not once did he explain why same-sex marriage should be outlawed. He did not explain the how it would harm Utah, either socially or fiscally. He provided no evidence that legalized same-sex marriage will result in more divorce, out-of-wedlock births, crime, drug use, suicide, or any other social ill. That is because there is no evidence.

Mr. Fuehr also said the state can "adopt social laws that reflect their values." But this is a moral argument for churches to decide whether to accept such unions. (The Catholic Church does not recognize legal marriages between divorcees, which is its right.)

The state must have laws that are fair and legal. Legally, marriage is a contract between two individuals that affords a plethora of economic and legal rights ranging from employer benefits to tax deductions to right-of-attorney.

To deny these benefits to tax-paying, law-abiding citizens because they are members of group that the majority dislikes is the essence of discrimination. Every responsible judge is obliged to overturn such laws, regardless of the margin of the popular vote.

Douglas Backes

Centerville