ON Kilter: The gay marriage debate is over

OPINION – The gay marriage debate is over. What remains is for our country to accept it.

It may take some time, much like the Emancipation Proclamation, women’s right to vote, and the civil rights amendments of the 1960s, but be assured that history is in favor of this.

So is our constitution as a people.

Same-sex marriage is an American value.

Ok, I digress. The principle behind the right of an individual to make such a choice is an American value.

And if you disagree, you are validating the claim.

Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor said, “Outside of the marriage context, can you think of any other rational basis, reason, for a state using sexual orientation as a factor in denying homosexuals benefits or imposing burdens on them? Is there any other rational decision making that the government can make? Denying them a job, not granting them benefits of some sort, any other decision?”

The answer is we cannot.

For in doing so we would lay forth a precedent that mandated a form of governance that was in direct opposition to our foundational principles in this country.

The most adamant and verbose opposition to same-sex marriage comes mostly from the conservative religious right. They stand on Biblical definitions and principals of marriage and while they may very well be right, the fact remains their position is a religious one. And in this country, in matters of governance and liberty, we draw a hard line between the church and the state. It is at the very core of our fabric as a society and must be upheld else we crumble.

Imagine what the outcome might be were a large group of people to make the assertion that religion has been the cause of more war, senseless death, and discrimination of people, than all other ill factors combined. Then imagine they put forth legislation banning religion or the practice thereof under penalty of law.

What would fundamentalists say to this?

Would they point to their rights under the Constitution advocating their individual and collective liberties?

Yes.

To choose the right here is to choose what is favored and revealed in our history regarding matters of liberty. We must never allow our personal preferences, however ardent, interfere with the rights of others to have their own else we risk subjecting ourselves to the same.

The reason this issue, as with similar issues of decrepitude in how we live up to our foundational principles as well as those cemented in the 14th Amendment, is being heard before the Supreme Court is a sad but necessary one.

Our integrity as a nation of free people is being called to account here, and it should be able to rise to it.

This is not the rally cry of a minority voice or, as a recent colleague put it, a squeaky wheel.

This is justice calling out hypocrisy and it will not relent until it is once and for all heard.

See you out there.

 

Dallas Hyland is an opinion columnist. The opinions stated in this article are his and not representative of St. George News.

Email: dhyland@stgnews.com

Twitter: @dallashyland

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2013, all rights reserved.

Gay Not-so-much Pride

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25 Comments

  • Erica Bailey March 30, 2013 at 3:50 pm

    Well said!

  • Randy T March 30, 2013 at 3:57 pm

    An excellent article that pretty much sums it all up!! Thanks for writing this Dallas!!

  • Fred Maine March 30, 2013 at 4:15 pm

    Nope. THIS means it’s over for the Utah contingent:

    http://janariess.religionnews.com/2013/03/30/marie-osmond-speaks-out-for-marriage-equality/

    Marie Osmond comes out in favor of marriage equality!

  • sweet jude March 30, 2013 at 7:57 pm

    What a sad day for our country when there is utter disregard for what’s right and wrong. We live in the day spoken of in ancient times when “men shall call good evil and evil good. ” morality is the seemingly largest issue we have today, seemingly because we think we can go do as we please without any regard to consequences. DSU president Steven Nadauld pointedly reminds us in his book Why God Lets Us Choose that each of us has a moral responsibility towards influencing the laws that are right and that we tend to dwell on our so-called freedoms because of our lack of restraint and preferences to indulge ourselves with our base desires. If on the one hand we have the statue of liberty raising its triumphant banner on the east coast, isn’t it time for a statue to be erected on the west coast called the statue of responsibility? It seems that all too often we take our love for our fellow man and throw it out as worthless while we will do anything to satisfy our basest desires.

    • mark boggs March 31, 2013 at 6:55 am

      You may want to be careful when you assert this amorphous term “responsibility” that you claim others have towards doing what you think is “right” or “moral”. Because just as you might wield it against others, so might it be wielded against you. Like the “big soda” ban in New York City. Bloomberg thinks he’s doing you a favor by keeping you safe from yourself. Too much soda is harmful. But that’s not his call to make. At least not in a free society.
      .
      And what exactly constitutes “harm?” Just because something offends you does not make it harmful. Just because you think your God thinks it’s wrong does not necessarily make it harmful, nor does it give you broad sweeping power to legislate against those who do not share your opinion or your religion.
      .
      Besides, if you really wanted to talk about moral responsibility to do what is right, especially in a religious context, I’d think you’d be out railing against the excessive pay of CEO’s and athletes and the fact that they should be taking care of the least among us, making sure that no child goes hungry instead of their gluttonous consumption of million dollar homes, yachts, cars, etc. But that also that is not the country we live in. These people are free to seek out the highest earnings they can find, and then, short of their taxes, are free to do with that what they want, regardless of what you or I might feel is their duty or moral responsibility to those less fortunate.
      .
      And as far as what Mr. Nadauld stated, I’d like to offer the converse to you: We tend to dwell on others’ moral responsibilities at the expense of their liberties because we cannot fathom that someone might choose differently than us.
      .
      And, finally, how is letting other people live their lives, the way they feel is best, especially when they are simply asking for the same rights and responsibilities that your marriage license gives you, “throwing out our love for our fellow man?”
      .
      Or does it simply come back to what it always seems to come back to – the “ick” factor of gay sex? Because keep in mind, in this wonderful free country of ours, you’re still perfectly entitled to your disdain and loathing for gay people and their acts of depravity, but you are not entitled to deny them the equal rights under the law.

  • Julie March 30, 2013 at 9:36 pm

    The bottom line is there is no proof that any religious deity exists, let alone that he/she/it is concerned about what two dudes are doing in their spare time.

    You would think the creator of an unimaginably vast universe would have better things to do? It’s not coincidental that the religious deity is always in favor of and opposed to the same things the person claiming to speak for him is in favor of or opposed to. What a wonderful thing to have the creator of the universe on your side!

    • sweet jude March 31, 2013 at 4:23 pm

      Julie, one day you will be brought low and you will confess with your own tongue that you were deceived and that you cannot be saved from the justice that awaits you. You will wish that even the rocks could fall on you in order to keep you from the presence of a being who is higher than you.

      • kevin September 11, 2014 at 8:00 am

        Gee, you don’t sound alt all like some brainwashed cut adherent…..

    • Greg Haislip April 1, 2013 at 1:41 pm

      I lived with a man as my lover for the better part of 11 years. He cheated on me and I cheated on him. The ONLY thing we had going for us was lust. Today I’m married God’s way. My wife and I share the good news that Jesus can set you FREE from any sin and that includes the sin of homosexuality. I know that most people hate to hear the truth of God’s word so they create their own god, however, there is ONLY one God and ONLY one way to heaven. I have NOT had ex-gay therapy, unless you consider Jesus my Therapist.
      I USED TO BE ADDICTED TO MEN, BUT 7 YEARS AGO JESUS SET ME FREE! (YouTube video)

      • kevin September 11, 2014 at 8:01 am

        Great now your addicted to an imaginary dude in the sky…..

  • Emerson Forscams March 30, 2013 at 11:38 pm

    No matter how you phase your “God” and “morality” talk, you’re voicing a FAITH statement. Faith statements have no place determining policy in a religion-neutral government. You’d better learn to cling to religion-neutrality in government, because it’s the ONLY thing that allows you to practice your OWN religion in peace. Try forcing YOUR religion and YOUR morality on others in the name of YOUR god, and you will leave them no choice but to return the favor and try forcing THEIRS on YOU.

    Do you REALLY want that?

    If you do, you don’t have to go to all the trouble to establish religion here, where government is religion-neutral (OK, “godless” if you insist): you can go to numerous places on this earth where there is no distinction between religion and the government (as Savita Halappanavar could attest if she hadn’t been killed in the name of religion in Ireland, and as countless others could attest with regard to your choice of country in the so-called “Middle East”).

    To sum it up: YOUR ability to practice YOUR religion in peace depends on the government having NO religion. It ain’t rocket science, and it WILL be on the exam.

    (Written by a 65-year-old straight white male from the South, married to his “first wife” for 40 years and counting.)

    • sweet jude March 31, 2013 at 4:09 pm

      Emerson, its called a “conscience.” You were born with one. Nice try.

  • San March 30, 2013 at 11:59 pm

    Very well said. 🙂

  • RPMcMurphy March 31, 2013 at 10:59 am

    The gay marriage debate is not over.

    Public opinion may strongly favor the right of gays to marry and the courts may make that right settled law but the debate will not be over as long as a significant number of Americans maintain a moral objection to it.

    Regarding Justice Sotomayor – why should the marriage context be ignored? That is the context in which this debate is being waged and it should be cavalierly dismissed. Many Americans do consider marriage as special and not on the same level as the right to rent an apartment or hold a job.

    “We must never allow our personal preferences … interfere with the rights of others to have their own …” I guess that gets to the issue of “rights.” Does an adult male have the right to sodomize a 14-year-old boy? I am going to let my personal preferences cause me to petition my legislative representatives to make sure the adult does not have that right.

    We might in this country, in matters of governance and liberty, draw a hard line between the church and the state, but not between certain religious beliefs and the state. The founding principles of this country include the belief that we are endowed by our Creator with inalienable rights.

    The debate as to whether that fundamental belief will continue to carry this country forward is not over.

    • mark boggs March 31, 2013 at 12:38 pm

      Mr. McMurphy:

      The idea that the rights of two, consenting, same-sex individuals is the equivalent of a grown man sodomizing a 14 year old boy rather exposes your visceral distaste, but misunderstanding, of just exactly what gays and lesbians seek in this debate.
      .

      I sense that you dislike the idea of gay marriage and find it as harmful as many southerners viewed the idea of a black man marrying a white woman. Many of those same southerners found biblical support for their disdain, just like they found biblical support for the notion of slavery. Thankfully, despite the biblical nod of approval towards these things, we have what is called equality before the law in this country. And quite a bit of judicial precedent in support of it.
      .

      Again, no one is asking you to stop feeling threatened or horrified by the fact that two people of the same sex are asking to confer the same rights and responsibilities on each other through a civil marriage contract; you’re entitled to those feelings under the same Constitution that espouses the concept of equal protection under the law. I imagine they simply wish you’d leave them alone to live their lives – you know, all that “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” stuff.
      .

      • RPMcMurphy March 31, 2013 at 5:41 pm

        Actually I don’t oppose gay marriage. I think Govt should get out of the business of sanctioning marriage altogether and just provide for registering civil contracts. Marriage should be the blessing of a union by a church and if a church wants to bless gay marriage that neither breaks my leg nor picks my pocket.
        I was disputing the notion that we cannot and should not use our personal preferences to interfere with the rights of others.
        If you think gay marriage is wrong you should oppose it
        If you think abortion is the taking of an innocent life and that is wrong you should oppose it.
        You should oppose anything you find morally repugnant. Whether the Govt or the rest of society agrees with you is another story.

        • mark boggs March 31, 2013 at 9:22 pm

          Well, the whole idea of opposing behavior, even to the point of petitioning government to pass laws outlawing the behavior you find repugnant, is a double-edged sword.

          If enough Muslims moved into a certain area to comprise a majority, would they be entitled, sheerly by their opposition, to vote away your right to eat pork or vote to make women cover their faces? They find much of western culture “morally repugnant”.
          .
          Are you willing to let what you consider to be your rights and behaviors, rights and behaviors that do no harm to anyone else, be voted away simply because a majority find them morally repugnant? I think if the shoe were on the other foot, you might have some qualms with the idea of the tyranny of the majority.

          • RPMcMurphy March 31, 2013 at 11:08 pm

            You are right — it is a double edged sword.
            Nonetheless — are you suggesting someone should not advocate for their beliefs because someday the shoe may be on the other foot?
            Should we placidly accept what happens around us and to us just because the Govt or a majority of people say that is the way it must be?

          • mark boggs April 1, 2013 at 8:14 am

            I’m saying they should be wary of the idea that just because they find something morally repugnant, despite that thing not otherwise affecting them in any meaningful way, they ought to urge legislative action to ban it.
            .
            This is what leads us to “big soda” bans. And banning books from public libraries.

    • sweet jude March 31, 2013 at 4:06 pm

      Great correlations you pointed out here, mr. Mcmurphy. Those who cling to these so-called rights are in denial that right and wrong do exist. They are headed down that slippery slope path where one small thing leads to another until they are completely lost in utter despair. Im so glad to know that someone else on here has a conscience still and knows how to use it, not abuse it! I wonder how many more excuses these lost individuals will come up with before they begin to rationalize the unthinkable.

  • pete March 31, 2013 at 11:49 am

    wow. awesome. i heard some new ideas here, glad to hear some new stuff. great job dallas.

    also, can someone please send this to kate dalley? ha ha ha

  • pete March 31, 2013 at 11:50 am

    EDIT:

    wow. awesome. i heard some new ideas here, glad to hear some new stuff. great job dallas.
    also, can someone please send this article to kate dalley? ha ha ha

  • Dallas Hyland April 1, 2013 at 7:51 am

    While I make it a policy not to engage in the comments of my own articles, I do want to make it known how impressed I am at the level of integral dialogue taking place here. This issue can bring out some pretty serious nonsense but what appears to be happening here is honest and rigorous discussion on matters of consequence. No approval or disdain for my writing could affirm me more than seeing that my intention to challenge answers, invoke thought, and provoke conversation is at the least, doing just that. Thank you all for engaging.

  • Mojave Red April 2, 2013 at 11:32 pm

    Wouldn’t it be great if people could just live and let live? Too bad that so many feel it necessary to persecute (or worse) anyone who does not conform to their particular narrow view of the world.

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