On the EDge: What is more dangerous to Utah families, polygamy or same-sex marriage?

OPINION – Well, we got our answer last night.

The governor and attorney general’s office think the legalization of same-sex marriage is such a threat to our way of life here that they sought emergency relief from a federal judge’s ruling yesterday that overturned an amendment to the Utah constitution that banned gay marriage.

Polygamy, on the other hand, is not such a pressing issue, at least in the eyes of the governor and attorney general.

As soon as Judge Robert Shelby filed his opinion Friday, striking down Utah’s same-sex marriage ban for being “an unconstitutional violation of due process and equal protection,” the attorney general’s office made an oral request for an emergency stay of the decision pending a filing of an appeal, the emergency stay was denied late last night. Utah is now one of 18 states that allows same-sex marriage with this ruling that comes just one day after same-sex marriage was allowed in New Mexico.

The response to last week’s federal court decision overturning the state’s anti-bigamy/anti-polygamy law remains in limbo as the attorney general’s office decides if it should appeal the ruling.

Apparently, polygamy and the inherent abuses of that culture pose a lesser threat to the state than the willingness of a same-sex couple to make a marital commitment.

Incredible.

In 2004, 66 percent of Utah voters approved an amendment to the state constitution that stated: “Marriage consists only of the legal union between a man and a woman,” and “no other domestic union, however denominated, may be recognized as a marriage or given the same or substantially legal effect.”

Utah wasn’t alone in this action as 10 other states passed similar amendments.

This whole thing was an inevitable house of cards, built on a foundation of religion rather than law. The two do not always mix, as noted by the First Amendment, which not only guarantees us religious freedom, but freedom from religion.

And, religion was at the heart of both laws that were overturned.

Polygamy was the chit laid on the table when Utah desired statehood. To be accepted into the Union, Utah had to give up plural marriage, a concession that has sat poorly with some over the years, particularly the fundamentalists who have settled along the Utah-Arizona state line in an area they call Short Creek where polygamy, despite social and legal conventions against it, has been practiced since the group that splintered from the mainstream LDS church settled there.

Opposition to same-sex marriage is also a religious matter. It is considered sinful, an aberration by mainstream religious organizations. No matter how much the various church leaders try to put a more positive spin on things and give the appearance of welcoming members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender community into their flock, most will not offer them a marriage ceremony. It’s their right to do so, of course, but, that doesn’t mean that right should be extended to a law that governs all people. That’s why we have separation of church and state in this country.

Our laws are supposed to be based on protecting the individuality and pursuit of life, liberty, and happiness, as long as that pursuit does not harm others.

And, that’s where the two decisions come into play.

The polygamy ruling was not made with an understanding of the full context of the polygamous community – particularly the fundamentalists who allow the underage marriage of girls to men, the rescinding of women’s rights, and the abuse of the welfare system.

The same-sex marriage ruling was based on a much broader scale of understanding. While there is no argument that same-sex marriage is certainly not within the traditionally defined conventions of marriage, it does no harm and does not threaten the institution of marriage or the family unit. If anything, it is further enhancement of the ideal that families are good things that unite people in love and purpose and, that same-sex marriage allows that institution to multiply.

Marriage is not simply about procreation. It is about partnership and unity. It is an expression of love and commitment that isn’t measured in the number of children born as a result of the union, but by the power of two people who entrust their hearts, minds, and souls with one another, and I don’t see anything wrong with that.

Most importantly, same-sex marriage is an act among consenting adults. There is no coercion at work here, as in polygamous cultures where one’s eternal salvation is based on adherence to the tenet of plural marriage; where young girls are forced to become child brides; where absolute fealty to a church leader is a requirement with terrible consequences for those who do not fall into line.

But, the rulings have been made and the natural response is, what happens next?

The attorney general’s office is putting together the paperwork to file a request for stay of the ruling that, I imagine, will be filed as soon as the courts open Monday morning. Judge Shelby said he will expedite his decision on the request and I have no reason to doubt that, however, I fully expect the request to be denied.

What will follow will be a long, drawn-out court fight that will cost the state a lot of money in a losing effort.

Meanwhile, I don’t expect the attorney general’s office to work as diligently to fight the polygamy ruling. It has, unfortunately, a history of having no interest in the polygamy woes out in Short Creek and even though it will give some lip service to the ruling, I don’t think much will come of it until something as egregious and vile as the case built against FLDS Warren Jeffs in Texas comes to light in Utah.

That’s why, on one hand, I congratulate the LGBT community for a decision that offers equality, at least in the eyes of the law, and on the other, worry about what it will take for our state officials to realize that the physical, emotional, and financial price it will pay for the polygamy ruling was wrong.

No bad days!

 

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

Email: edkociela.mx@gmail.com

Twitter: @STGnews, @EdKociela

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

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83 Comments

  • Elaine December 21, 2013 at 6:53 am

    Exactly.

    I escaped polygamy and its culture years ago. As a graduate student and an instructor at the university, I speak out and write against polygamy often. It speaks volumes to me that none of my more conservative friends said anything about the ruling on polygamy, while same-sex marriage is too “horrifying” for them to understand. The federal judge did not legalize same-sex polygamy, but monogamy. And it was a Utah judge that lifted the ban on polygamy?

    Shocker.

    Utah is a beautiful state filled with many beautiful people. And some of those beautiful people were finally allowed to get married yesterday. It is a happy day for our state, and especially considering all I know about polygamy, I am disgusted at how it’s ruling generated little to no outcry. But within hours, the courts and hundreds of people are appealing the ruling for same sex marriage.

    • audrey poore December 21, 2013 at 7:49 am

      I agree , as a survivor of a cult and a forced marriage . I understand all too well the situation of many young women whom face this situation ,many of them are very ill informed of even their basic rights.

    • Paul December 21, 2013 at 7:50 am

      I’m sorry about your polygamy experience, but don’t read to much into the misleading article. The reason you haven’t heard your neighbors talking about the polygamy ruling is because it’s very different than you think. Polygamy has not been made legal in Utah. If it had, that would have made national headlines. They simply have stopped the law that legally punished the personal lives of polygamists. Polygamy is one of the few adult sexual practices that is persecuted by law in may states. Similar punishments for homosexual practices have long been done away with.

      • Marion January 3, 2014 at 8:28 am

        if polygamy was simply about “adult sexual practices” I wouldn’t have a problem, but polygamy is so much more. Study after study has shown its negative effects on women and children, and even men. As Ed says, it needs to be seen in context for its harms to individuals and to the societies that support it. Country after country is working to ban polygamy for these reasons, and Utah wants to make it easier to practice? It’s about time for some new legislation specifically targeting this backward practice.

    • Marion January 3, 2014 at 8:35 am

      Elaine, I couldn’t agree more. You and I have an identical background it seems, and know the reality of polygamy not just from our own experiences, but also from observation within our past polygamist communities and from academic research. It’s about time that the public recognized that they have been bamboozled by pro polygamists into believing that same sex marriage and polygamy are part of the same individual rights argument. This couldn’t be further from the truth. The harms that come from polygamy have been well documented – and not just in FLDS-style polygamy, but in polygamy worldwide.

  • Yes No December 21, 2013 at 7:02 am

    From my perspective as a horny old white dude I’d have to agree with my Mormon counterparts.

    Although my moral and logical position as an American remains: as long as you’re not polluting my air and water or hurting children, stay … out of my personal life and I’ll keep … out of yours.
    Ed. ellipsis

  • simpsonsmovieblew December 21, 2013 at 7:09 am

    “And, religion was at the heart of both laws that were overturned.”

    That is only if one considers the licensing of any marriage to be part of the function of a state, in the first place.

    Some things are just too complicated to be parsed by the government, unless it’s all or nothing. (Another example that comes to mind is Medicair -for-all vs. Obamacare insurance compromise.)

  • Harrison December 21, 2013 at 7:10 am

    “Our laws are supposed to be based on protecting the individuality and pursuit of life, liberty, and happiness, as long as that pursuit does not harm others.”

    Male homosexual sex is directly linked to AIDS and the spread of AIDS. Innocent people have been infected by this virus through tainted blood donors. But some how this isn’t harming others.

    • Craig December 21, 2013 at 7:57 am

      ” Male homosexual sex is directly linked to AIDS and the spread of AIDS. Innocent people have been infected by this virus through tainted blood donors.”
      Is that your argument? If so, lobby for better blood testing. Lobby for better testing of blood donors.
      Place the blame where it belongs, on the companies and the individuals/institutions who collect and distribute blood without proper tests..

    • Lydia December 21, 2013 at 8:01 am

      The blood supply was tainted in the 80s because President Reagan refused to act and test the blood supply. The majority of the spread of AIDS is BY straight people. Someone being gay isn’t hurting you, but not honoring the equal rights of all Americans IS anti- American. Go live in the middle East, they hate gay people there too, bigot

      • ladybugavenger December 21, 2013 at 5:29 pm

        Lydia, America was founded on the gospel of Jesus. The Constitution was written with that moral and value. Which makes gay marriage anti american. America and Americans have lost their way! How do you think you got here? Two guys?

        • Jon Cornwell December 21, 2013 at 7:25 pm

          “Lydia, America was founded on the gospel of Jesus. The Constitution was written with that moral and value. Which makes gay marriage anti american. America and Americans have lost their way! How do you think you got here? Two guys?”
          Actually America was founded by the first nation(you probably call them Indians as it seems you lack any formal education) and no they did not believe in a Christian god. THEN if we talk about the Europeans we call the founding fathers, their entire reason for starting their own nation WAS FOR FREEDOM FROM RELIGIOUS PERSECUTION (among other things). So I’d say not only are you incorrect but you have “lost your way”.

          • ladybugavenger December 22, 2013 at 11:20 am

            Yeah I know John, my husband is native american- he went off on me too!!! Yes, I know john after the white man tried to genocide the native americans they took over this land.

          • ladybugavenger December 22, 2013 at 11:39 am

            Are you for gay marriage or against. I know your are against my comment. where do you stand on gay marriage Jon?

    • Jon December 21, 2013 at 8:19 am

      you are one messed up person if you think AIDS started with a Gay person, and ONLY a gay person transmits it, you need to think before you act, write, or any other thing you do, I sure hope your stupidity does not control your whole like. If you know so much about this, maybe you need to be a spokesperson for STUPIDITY!!

    • Emily December 21, 2013 at 8:21 am

      I hope damn well they’re testing your blood after you make a donation because I would hate to accidentally be infected with the amount of ignorance seeping through your body.

    • Julie December 21, 2013 at 8:34 am

      That argument is soooo late 70s and 80s when the gay men were marginalized because people like yourself thought that they were the ones that originated the HIV situation – I would like to remind you that it is not the orientation that spreads HIV but the specific behaviors that increases the likelihood of infection eg. Unsafe sex, sharing needles, infected mothers breast feeding. Put facts over your biases and religious bigotry!

      • Scruffy Mane December 21, 2013 at 12:21 pm

        You want facts, Julie? Try the fact that new HIV infections are highest among homosexual men. Try the fact that homosexual men make up the majority of new syphilis cases. Don’t believe me? It’s right there on the Centers for Disease Control’s website.

        Obviously you are not educated on the facts, and have to resort to name-calling to get your point across.

        Which, come to think of it, is typical of homosexuals and their supporters.

    • blut December 21, 2013 at 8:35 am

      Harrison,
      You are concerned about the spread of AIDS, This should be good news for you. A monogamous gay marriage would keep the spread of AIDS from happening as this couple would not seek outside partners.

    • Del December 21, 2013 at 8:38 am

      Harrison, just because two men have sex doesn’t ensure the spread of AIDS. With caution, the disease can be easily avoided. Also, the spread of it is COMPLETELY irrelevant to the idea of marriage. Furthermore, whether gays get married or not, they’re going to have sex. Your argument doesn’t make any sense here.

      • skip2maloo December 21, 2013 at 10:56 am

        Ah! But perhaps the rub is that they will have access to money and services that heteros enjoy. I say ditch the whole system of licensing people to be together, whatever their sexual bent. Start seriously loosening governmental oversight of people in all aspects of life. At every level of existence we seem to want to tell others what to do, how to be, etc. Happens irrespective of religious or political persuasion. Just different desires for control.

    • LOVE. WINS. December 21, 2013 at 8:52 am

      Harrison-

      While the two are unavoidably and tragically linked, it is frighteningly ignorant to imply that male homosexual sex is solely responsible for the AIDS epidemic. What about all the homo/heterosexuals having unprotected sex and spreading all sorts of STD’s? What about all the unprotected, unwed, homo/hetero sex that happens everyday, everywhere? People have sex, married or jot. Yet nothing is said about their promiscuity.

      But when TWO PEOPLE want to make a (hopefully) life-long commitment to one another in the form of marriage, that’s suddenly and outrageously not OK? While I cannot say for certain what your thought process is, I do wonder if, perhaps, you may have missed the heart of this article:

      “Marriage is not simply about procreation. It is about partnership and unity. It is an expression of love and commitment that isn’t measured in the number of children born as a result of the union, but by the power of two people who entrust their hearts, minds and souls with one another…”

      I’m a man married to a beautiful woman. My “institute of marriage” is NOT threatened by this.

  • karuna December 21, 2013 at 7:11 am

    Well said.

  • Daniel December 21, 2013 at 7:14 am

    There is nothing “incredible” about the simple fact that homosexuality is a far greater evil then polygamy.

  • Jacob beasley December 21, 2013 at 7:17 am

    Why the double standard? If government is to not pick sides on religion it needs to allow polygamous marriage, too. Its just logical hahaha. You argue for openness yet you contradict yourself at every turn…

  • Jacob beasley December 21, 2013 at 7:20 am

    And the polygamy problems could be solved with minimum age requirements on marriage, which I think they already have. some people are different than us. We need to be tolerant of their lifestyles.

  • Nonbeliever December 21, 2013 at 7:26 am

    Thank you for this intelligent and thought provoking piece.
    You have shined a very bright and obviously uncomfortable light on an interesting aspect of Utah attitudes towards polygamy and same sex marriages.
    Why indeed is there such acceptance/look the other way attitude about the disfunction and abuses going on in the local polygamist culture? Meanwhile marriage between two consenting and informed adults is considered wrong and met with epic levels of outrage.

  • Dr. Z December 21, 2013 at 7:26 am

    Just in the interests of accuracy, the federal court did not overturn the anti-bigamy/anti-polygamy law. It only invalidated that portion of the law pertaining to cohabitation between unmarried persons. That provision is unconstitutional after the 2003 Lawrence v Texas decision. The laws against polygamy remain in force in Utah and elsewhere.

  • Ken Langham December 21, 2013 at 7:28 am

    Utah! follow TEXAS into the rebellion of seeking Independence! The federal Government has no right!

  • Aloysious Farquart December 21, 2013 at 7:30 am

    […Judge Robert Shelby filed his opinion Friday, striking down Utah’s same-sex marriage ban for being “an unconstitutional violation of due process and equal protection,”]

    And isn’t it a crying shame that the USSC, with all their combined wisdom, is apparently unable to discern that obvious fact? I can’t help but feel any religious affiliation should disqualify one from holding any public office.

    (Why does SGTnews pretend to invite comments and provide virtually indiscernible CAPTCHA codes…?)

  • Aloysious Farquart December 21, 2013 at 7:32 am

    Cramming comments into a wall of text is a nice touch.

  • audrey poore December 21, 2013 at 7:33 am

    Polygamy and same sex marriage are not egual in comparison, same sex unions will be between two informed adults .polygamy on the other hand will put many young women and their rights at risk.

  • Brian December 21, 2013 at 7:42 am

    Harrison, Your comment shows a pure and utter lack of intelligence! To that point I could say married, heterosexual couples give birth to children who grow up to become murderers thus, harming people. Sounds idiotic doesn’t it? Nobody is asking for your approval in all of this but, stop and think about what you are saying before you say it. It will give your side more credibility in an argument if you don’t sound like a complete moron in doing so!

    Brian
    Davenport, Iowa

  • Paul December 21, 2013 at 7:42 am

    I found this article provocative and thought provoking. Then I did some fact checking on the recent polygamy ruling and learned that you are spreading false information. The polygamy ruling simply removes the legal ban on co-habitation. It is surprising that such a thing has managed to stay illegal for so long. On the other hand, the judge kept in place the law that doesn’t allow legal plural marriages. This is exactly the situation homosexuals face without legal marriage. They can have whatever sex-life and relationships they want. They can have a wedding and be married in a committed relationship. But they can’t legally force others to accept their marriage.

    Any law is about coercion. It is dishonest to say that it is not.

  • readitagain December 21, 2013 at 7:48 am

    The ruling on ‘polygamy’ had nothing to do with legal, state-sanctioned marriage. It had to do with whether two or more people could live in the same house without being married. It means that two college kids can now get an apartment together to share the expenses: that’s all.

    It doesn’t help either side of the argument if we don’t get our facts right.

  • JJ32 December 21, 2013 at 8:01 am

    I think the problem is that society can define all types proscribed marriage — adult incestuous, polygamist and homosexual — as simply bronze age taboos that have no legal basis and can not be impeded under the constitution.

    The gay rights groups claim there are “over 1,000” government and other benefits available to married couples and not equally available to unmarried gay couples. That has been debunked. virally all but a dozen are available to gay couples under civil unions. Those same dozen benefits are unavailable to de facto non de je jure polygamists, and also unavailable to incestuous adult couples.

    It is striking how some of the gay marriage advocates say polygamy and incestuous adult marriage are fundamentally different. To claim they are different can be seen as just a bigotry as well. It is hypocrisy to assert a difference.

    I think the government has to get out of the business of regulating and indeed recognizing, negatively or positively sanctioning completely. Allow people and groups of people to create civil contracts, and then they are free to call themselves whatever and engage in whatever religious/cultural affirmation.

    How are our courts supposed to deal with tow first cousins, or indeed siblings or parent and adult child that want to get married? Or a group of three or more people? Objectively there are now benefits denied them, even with their kinship or civil contracts, given to gay married couples. Once we say the prohibition on gay marriage is just an old anachronistic cultural artifact, the taboos against ALL “non traditional marriage” become logically and constitutionally indefensible.

    Now some will say marriage between three is different than two. But is it? No. Anthropologists tell us it was the norm for most of human history and has no per se drawback that cant be shown to exist in both traditional and gay marriage.

    Some will also assert health issues of offspring with incestuous marriage. That is an anti-science position. And how is that the case with a post menopausal mother and adult son? one sterile partner? Siblings who have undergone genetic testing, etc.

    I am afraid Mr. Koicela repeats the same mud slinging and bigotry as we saw against gay marriage. He mentions underage marriage in polygamy. He is just picking out exceptions like anti gay rights persons who cite pederasty (underage relationships) in the gay community.

    And underage is occurring precisely because the practice has been driven underground. Kociala is committing the most common logical fallacy of bigots he is using a EFFECT of illegality to support the keeping something illegal He is parroting the alcohol prohibitionists who said alcohol was organized crime related without even considering the obvious, that organized crime’s association with alcohol was due to prohibition of alcohol!

    He also mentions coercion.Does he have data that coercion is the case in most polygamous relationships? Or that it occurs more in these relationships more than in gay or straight relationships? Or is he just slinging mud and voice bigotry identical to that voiced against gays by using anecdotes — which are not science?

    It is time to wrap your head around the obvious. Prohibitions, or any control of polygamist, gay or incestuous marriage are based on the identical logical and historic principles. There is a phrase for it: social norms.

    Without prejudice to whether you accept social norms or communal morals as valid for law- at least be consistent. Apply them for all cases or accept them for all cases. Picking them for some and not others makes you a bigot and a hypocrite.

  • Frank December 21, 2013 at 8:10 am

    Thank you HARRISON for that enlightening comment. Now everyone against the legalization of same-sex marriage on this thread is by default associated with an uneducated bigot such as yourself. You are in effect helping the LGBT cause, and I am sure they appreciate it.

    For future reference, male homosexual sex is not directly linked to AIDS – Unprotexted sex is, and can be spread by male, female, gay and straight alike. It is also spread by unsafe medical practices, heroine addicts, transfered from mother to fetus, etc. A gay male was also not “patient zero” if that is your arguement. An intelligent and evidenced-based person does their research before announcing their position on an issue. My guess is that you are are neither. Again, thanks for helping support same-sex marriage.

  • Danny Moore December 21, 2013 at 8:15 am

    We stayed in your beautiful city one night a few years ago. If you are from St George, you know Joseph Smith praised polygamy and you know why. Neither the prophet nor Brigham commented on same sex behavior as far as I know, so in Utah, you can hardly be surprised. Allowing same sex marriage legal makes a mockery of marriage. I suggest that Christians institute a system of marriage that lies outside the legal system. This makes sense, because many heterosexuals totally eschew vows or only get married as an afterthought, also making a mockery of marriage. The biblical discussion of the matter is not in the context of government control. We should look carefully at that. The changing of polygamy and homosexual marriage rules are part of a move to say society can impose no rules on personal behavior, but must embrace any impulse. NAMBLA will certainly have their day in court some day, following this trend.

    • Mark boggs December 21, 2013 at 3:15 pm

      And you win the award for the first person to make the oft-used, poorly reasoned association between homosexuality and pedophilia. Consenting adults and children without the capacity for consent are not synonymous no matter how much you want them to be so you can use the comparison as a pejorative. Try harder.

  • John December 21, 2013 at 8:18 am

    What a load of garbage. What was struck down in Utah is the ban on marriage-like cohabitation, which is a no brainer because of the precedent of Lawrence v. Texas against government intrusion into private lives. There are already laws against underage marriage, false imprisonment, etc. that are real crimes which the likes of Warren Jeffs are convicted of, and which many polygamous families never even commit. To ban polygamy just because probability of these incidences are higher in polygamous families is like to ban heterosexual marriage because husbands have higher probability of beating their wives. Award winning journalist fails at logic.

    • S Steed December 21, 2013 at 12:25 pm

      Thank you John, this guy has some beef with the pligs; it’s good to see some people recognize that. I wonder if anyone realizes that polygamy and gay marriage have no effect on you unless you choose into it- otherwise it is really none of your business and you should … . That goes for the state too.
      Ed. ellipsis

  • Husband & Father December 21, 2013 at 8:23 am

    What is the long-term goal of same-sex marriage and homosexuality versus heterosexuality, other than pro creation? I believe a man and woman become stronger in character & morals from their union and commitment to each other. This in turn strengthens the very fabric of society. The state is concerned about the fabric of society, or is it?

  • Larry R Kramer December 21, 2013 at 8:33 am

    Same sex marriage has little to do with religion. It is altogether about the laws of nature. While aberrations do exist wherein same sex animals (people included) may cohabit, there is only one standard for the future of all of mankind. If same sex marriage is approved then society is endorsing a way contrary with the natural state. This is violation of the natural order and is wrong.

    • Brian December 21, 2013 at 11:03 pm

      As a gay man I have a question. If gay marriage were to be outlawed everywhere in these United States do you believe that my sexual orientation would magically change? Larry, I hope you don’t; eat shellfish, cut your hair, wear clothing made of two different fabrics, eat meat from an animal with cloven hooves, plant 2 different crops next to each other, work on the Sabbath etc… As these are all sins as well, some of which are punishable by public stoning! You cannot pick and choose the parts of the bible you like to throw in our face. It’s all or nothing pal!!

  • BF December 21, 2013 at 8:34 am

    Bravo! It’s about time all Americans (Utahans too!) have the same rights.

  • dbben December 21, 2013 at 8:36 am

    “What is more dangerous to Utah families, polygamy or same-sex marriage?” i would say that it is religion that is most dangerous and at the heart of all evil and hatred.

  • Wickeman December 21, 2013 at 8:39 am

    The bigotry and intolerance displayed in the comment section of articles on this subject over the past several hours is sickening and saddening. People love who they love. Why should that be of concern to anyone else? If you don’t like gay marriage, don’t get gay married. Their happiness won’t disrupt your everyday life in the slightest.

  • Ronald J Marsden December 21, 2013 at 8:42 am

    I read this article on the right for gay people to marry and I must say its been a long time that
    I have read anything so amazing true to our constitution. Why the Mormons are afraid
    that gay people marrying is some how going to threaten there way of living is absurd.
    wake up ,your living in a free society..thank God

  • RobertS December 21, 2013 at 8:42 am

    I’d like to comment on a couple of the posts here:
    “Male homosexual sex is directly linked to AIDS and the spread of AIDS. Innocent people have been infected by this virus through tainted blood donors. But some how this isn’t harming others.”
    –Male and female heterosexual sex spreads AIDS far more than homosexual sex.
    http://kff.org/global-health-policy/fact-sheet/the-global-hivaids-epidemic/

    “There is nothing “incredible” about the simple fact that homosexuality is a far greater evil then polygamy.”
    — That is your personal opinion. Many other people do not share your personal opinion.

  • Steve Knicks December 21, 2013 at 8:47 am

    @Danial “There is nothing “incredible” about the simple fact that homosexuality is a far greater evil then polygamy.”

    My guess is you learned that Homosexuality is evil from the same people that told you that God didn’t want Black folks to have your priesthood, oh that’s right, he changed his mind a few years back and now it is cool with Him.

  • Casey December 21, 2013 at 8:51 am

    The reason the polygamy ruling was not appealed immediately is because it had zero impact in a practical sense with how the state handles polygamy. It did NOT legalize polygamy or grant the right to legal marriage licenses to people who desire more than one spouse. Had the ruling granted legal marriages to polygamists, there is no doubt the state would have instantly requested a stay. The state already has a policy of not prosecuting consenting adult polygamists because of the challenge in actually enforcing the poorly worded, far too broad language of the bigamy statute. The ruling decriminalized the informal polygamous relationships that fall outside of legal marriage, clarifying the language of the bigamy statute to where it now is similar to Arizona’s bigamy statute. There is no legal access to polygamous marriage, but private consensual relationships of adults are nobody’s business and are not prosecutable. I rejoiced in yesterday’s ruling for my gay friends, and I rejoiced in the polygamy ruling for my polygamous friends. Crimes against women and children are still against the law and can and will continue to be prosecuted and should be.

  • But Seriously December 21, 2013 at 8:52 am

    Come on people, this is Utah. Everybody knows that marriage is between a man and his nieces.

  • Elaine December 21, 2013 at 9:01 am

    Incredible. And none of you who support it–saying as long as there are adults–even mention equality. Then again, I get it–we’re in Utah, right?

  • Annalee December 21, 2013 at 9:16 am

    My comment is in response to Harrison. Are you not splitting hair a little? Yes, AIDS is a problem in the world but not just in the LGBT community and your chances of getting aids from a blood donor is almost none. Don’t you think that the spread of AIDS would slow down if you let them marry and encourage monogamy?

    This article was great. Utah would be much better off if they would learn to separate church and state.

  • J. Azevado December 21, 2013 at 9:19 am

    Just because ‘law’ and ‘logic’ both begin with the letter “L” does not mean that there is any necessary connection between them. That the courts are gradually, and with no forethought or planning, changing the definition of ‘marriage’ ought to give us a chance to carefully and logically get out in front to provide a definition that produces the best results for society and for the individuals within it.

    If we start with a clear division of state and religion, what should be the secular purposes of marriage? Religious communities can have any definition they want for their own parishioners, but ought not interfere with the religious (or non-religious) beliefs of others.

    Over the past 4,000 years of history and across the many cultures of the world, the primary purposes of marriage are the formation of a legal and economic unit containing two or more individuals. Probably the most important function that a marriage serves is the provision of a safe, supportive unit for the raising of children.

    We need laws ensuring that a marriage is between consenting adults of whatever sex(es) and that children are nourished and protected. Each faith community can then decide which forms within that structure to endorse and which not. We need laws for entering into such units and laws for dissolving the legal bonds while providing maximum protection for the individuals (especially children) involved.

  • Chuck Anziulewicz December 21, 2013 at 9:21 am

    Harrison writes, “Male homosexual sex is directly linked to AIDS and the spread of AIDS.”

    Yes, and HETEROSEXUAL sex is also directly linked to AIDS. You become infected with HIV either by having sex with someone with HIV, or sharing a needle with someone with HIV. Beyond that, the virus really doesn’t care what kind of person you are.

    If two Gay men who test negative for HIV enter into a monogamous relationship based on trust and commitment, AIDS is not going to suddenly strike them like a lightning bolt hurled by an angry and vindictive God. That why enouraging marriage and monogamy among Gay couples is preferable from a public health standpoint.

    • Bobby December 21, 2013 at 10:34 am

      Yes, but they are the reason that it spread so quickly in the beginning! Not that this is part of my own argument against gay marriage because it isn’t. One only needs to look at the social decay in our society and the correlation with the Liberal/gay movement. This will (without a doubt) lead to the acceptance of all kinds of behaviors that neither side will want in the end!

  • Bobby December 21, 2013 at 10:14 am

    I love how gay people ad their supporters want everyone to be open to everything they want to do in their alternative lifestyles but when it comes to others, they want to make up reasons why it’s wrong! Well, we on this side have given all kinds of reasons why it’s wrong!
    Ed Kociela (the author of this article) wants to bring up a few bad eggs in the polygamy community when he says that there is underage marriage. I bet we can find plenty of gay people doing wrong to underage people too! This doesn’t mean they are all this way!
    So I think it only fair that if two guys can marry and have an alternative lifestyle, then this should open the door for whatever people want to do! If one mommy is good for a kid and now you say that two mommies is now ok, then think of how great it would be for a kid to have 10 mommies! And why not two gay mommies and two gay daddies all marrying one straight mommy? Let’s just let everyone do what they want to do and we will all be accepting of everything! If a guy wants to marry his dog, then we should let him! Who cares, he isn’t hurting anyone! Right? Forget about social decay! Forget about social norms! But before we do, let’s all look back 20 or 30 years and say goodbye to those old days…
    Let’s look back to a time before all the gay rights movements! .
    For example, let’s look back to a time when kids weren’t shooting up schools and crazy men weren’t shooting up an Amish school house! A time when crazy people weren’t walking into movie theaters and shooting everyone. A time when people left their bedroom activities, in the bedroom! Those days are gone so let’s properly say “Goodbye” and then say “Hello” to the crazy mess we have in society today! No one really knows why it is like this today but who cares just as long as everyone can do whatever they want as long as it doesn’t harm anyone!

  • JAR December 21, 2013 at 11:12 am

    I have a question that someone reading these comments might be able to answer. Do I have a right, as a American human to love and marry a monkey? Have a sexual relations, become one, etc.? When I asked my monkey- bride to be if she would be my bride to be, she smiled with approval. Reading that the start of the our AID’s problem started with the getting it on Cheeta, then through the homos community, then through dirty needles, etc. And, I also read a chart showing there was 1.20 MILLION death cause by aids in North America alone.
    Thinking about what is the worst problem, problems associated with a LGBT life style or a polygamy one, I think I’ll side with polygamy.
    Also, I think Ed wrote a excellent article. He got a lot of us jumping out of the trees.

  • Barbara December 21, 2013 at 1:07 pm

    I see a storm coming.. I happen to know a gay couple that are planning on adopting children. “Not hurting anyone?” What happens when this children start school.. It is going to be brutal, for there is nothing more cruel than school age children.. And going in with this kind of baggage they might as well have a target on their backs. If you agree with gay marriage and not polygamy. Then you are just as guilty of prejudice.. Why is it right if you believe it and wrong if you disagree.. Why is your opinion anymore important than mine? I disagree with both.. In both cases it will be the children who pay for the parents choices and in both counts the children lose…

    • Steve December 21, 2013 at 7:17 pm

      So true Barbara.

    • Nonbeliever December 22, 2013 at 1:25 am

      Children would not be harassed or hurt by other children if their parents cared enough to teach them kindness and respect for one another from day one.
      Our children mimic what we say and do. They are a direct reflection of your behavior and actions.
      You treat others with respect and dignity, your children will do the same.
      This is a lesson that is apparently lost on even the most basic subjects.
      We instill fear, hatred and suspicion in our children and they react accordingly.
      Parents and adults have a great deal of power.
      In regard to Polygamy:
      People don’t agree with the polygamist life that cultivates underage girls and powerless women. Tightly closed societies dictated by fear and punishment literally breeds chaos and abuse.
      However Polygamy practiced between consenting informed adults living in a free society is their personal right.
      There is an enormous difference between these two groups practicing polygamy.

  • bUB December 21, 2013 at 1:09 pm

    Good article and pointing out the irony that is Utah

  • zacii December 21, 2013 at 1:23 pm

    Dear St. George News,

    Could you please change your comments settings to allow for double spacing for paragraphs?

    It’s really hard to read comments when the text is so small and all bunched together. And the captcha codes are hard to decipher. Sometimes I have to refresh many times to get one that I can read.

    Thanks

    • Joyce Kuzmanic Joyce Kuzmanic December 21, 2013 at 3:05 pm

      I agree, zacii – I’ll pass it on to the wizards who have power over these things and see what they say.

      Joyce
      EIC

  • D Hodja December 21, 2013 at 1:48 pm

    The thing that has been jarring for me is realizing how there is a very small minority in Utah that choses to actually think for itself. Instead most give over their free thinking and critical thought to an institution that builds malls and runs political campaigns in ill-fated attempts to prove it is something it is not. Just last week this same institution attempted to blame one of its prophets for all of its racism. A prophet who led it longer than any other prophet. They said he just flat “got it all wrong” causing the faithful non-thinking to believe totally false teachings that led to unfathomable hurt for so many…yet here we go again with the following sheep…no thought, no real response from the institution, nope that will happen in about 150 years is my guess at the rate that they correct their wrong prophets and apostles. Again god only true church, its leaders, its followers are on the wrong side of history…do more than follow and apply more faith Utahns.

  • bUB December 21, 2013 at 2:06 pm

    Another factor to be considered is which lifestyle has more detrimental effect on society.

    -The polygs tend to try and get rid of the young men that the compound doesn’t want around and dump them off somewhere, and a lot of times will become criminals and cause other social problems
    -They have a pretty bad track record of molesting young girls
    -They depend fully on gov’t welfare services for their life style

    To say that they just sit up there in their compound and don’t have a detrimental effect on the rest of us is very naive. I think the polyg lifestyle costs us a lot more in terms of just dollars as well.

    I can’t think right now how their corrupt lifestyle can be regulated by law, but I think it’s something that needs to be done.

  • Brian December 21, 2013 at 2:55 pm

    Saying that the 1st Amendment guarantees freedom FROM religion is stupid, wrong, and entirely unsupported by history. The people and Founding Fathers that created the Constitution, (with help from God, whom they freely recognized using the super secret code word “Providence”), had just fled religious oppression where a single, state-sponsored religion (pay attention, that’s important) was crammed down their throat.

    In none of their writings were they trying to create a country or even a government devoid of religion. On the contrary, the very founding documents they created have specific mention to religion. You’ll have to look close as it’s hidden in secret code words like “Nature’s God”, “by their Creator” (note the capital C), and “divine Providence” (note the capital P).

    The 1st Amendment clearly states “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;”. In other words, “Congress shall make no law giving one religion preferential treatment, or prohibiting the free exercise of religion”. The word AN is very important, as it is singular.

    It is important to note that though not all of the Founding Fathers were religious, both before and after the Constitution and Bill of Rights were signed the town squares of every town, the court houses, etc, were full of Christian symbols, references, and quotes. After the Bill of Rights and 1st Amendment were in full force, zero effort was made to remove these and to purge our government of all references to God, or even the 10 commandments. Why? Because that would have been entirely contrary to the intent of the people and the 1st Amendment.

    It has taken 230+ years for atheists to sufficiently rewrite and revise history to the point they can convince ~some~ of the people of the lie that the 1st Amendment provides freedom FROM religion. It does not. That is a lie, entirely untrue, and entirely unsupported by history. And quoting some bone-headed judge from 30 or 40 years ago doesn’t change that one bit.

  • Ada Mildred Barlow December 21, 2013 at 3:02 pm

    In coming out from the FLDS, I can say that polygamy isn’t the problem. The problem is forcing them to hide it, thereby creating a mindset of “We have to break the law to go to heaven!!” Now they feel themselves above the law because of it! If it were not such a big deal, I can tell you there are many who would be standing up for their daughters’ rights!

    • John Hammon December 21, 2013 at 5:52 pm

      I agree with Ada. What is wrong with the FLDS is 100 years of isolation and rejected by our Mother Country as unwanted bastards. America was and still is ashamed of us while we have sent more than our community’ fair share of boys to die in foreign wars.

      We are a people born of the American Spirit. Our beliefs did not come from a foreign land, so much. We grew right here.

      The article writes with the prejudices it defensed gays from. I’m not sure what she is saying, exactly. That people reacted to same sex marriage more abhorrently then to polygamy? Polygamy brought the Mormons to Utah, why should they suddenly be upset about it?

      And abuse isn’t inherit, anymore than it is among gays. I know a very large numbers of gay folk. The cheating and lying is a major part of the gay culture, as they too have broken many rules and laws to engage in their beliefs.

      Anyway, this writer has a seriously forked tongue.

  • david December 21, 2013 at 3:05 pm

    I guess what bothers me is the fact that 1 Federal Judge 6 homosexuals and a hand full of lawyers can overturn a law that was instituted by the will of 1.9 million people who live , love, do business , pay taxes, raise children and vote in the state of Utah. Simply so they allow a sexually deviant and perverted union that goes against the physical laws of procreation and the moral standing of the majority of people residing in this state. Not to mention the obvious conflict with the greater Christian community in the country we live in. If this type of perversion is allowed, then what type of perversions will be acceptable in the future. Are we opening a door for child molestation, animal sex, open pornography, rampant legal prostitution, perhaps slavery? Where do you draw the line? Cannot an argument be made for just about any form of perversion if the justification is ” I love to do it so it’s my right “.

    • Steve December 21, 2013 at 7:38 pm

      They don’t care what most utahans want. They have an agenda to ruin this state like our president is ruining the country. Can’t liberals just leave Utah alone?

  • Chris December 21, 2013 at 3:39 pm

    “Our twelfth article of faith states our belief in being subject to civil authority and “in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law.” But man’s laws cannot make moral what God has declared immoral. Commitment to our highest priority—to love and serve God—requires that we look to His law for our standard of behavior. For example, we remain under divine command not to commit adultery or fornication even when those acts are no longer crimes under the laws of the states or countries where we reside. Similarly, laws legalizing so-called “same-sex marriage” do not change God’s law of marriage or His commandments and our standards concerning it. We remain under covenant to love God and keep His commandments and to refrain from serving other gods and priorities—even those becoming popular in our particular time and place.” Elder Oaks

  • Glock December 21, 2013 at 4:34 pm

    I wonder if Sodom and Gomorrah had similar debates before they were destroyed.

  • Jen December 21, 2013 at 7:21 pm

    I’m thinking that this opinion writer is very biased in his thinking and very antagonistic and has some weird vendetta against a religious belief I don’t believe he has any clue about. What Texas did to those poor families was terrible, putting women and children in nothing less than a concentration camp. So ya let’s applaud Texas for traumatizing little kids. I really have no problem with people living their life the way they see fit , There is abuse everywhere, and yes I’ve known of abuse cases involving Homosexuals, as well as LDS bishops, Catholic Priests, Scout Masters, Teachers…. If a gay person can commit and live a good life with someone yay for them, but I thought it interesting that he remarks that both rulings are religion based and the thought that came to me was that yup, Plurality of wives was lived by men in the bible that were deemed as good and holy men. while Homosexuality was considered to be a bad thing. I just think it’s funny that the thinking on both subjects is now reversed and the one based on the bible is “dangerous” while another is not. Both groups of people just want freedom to live how they believe is right which is guaranteed to them by the constitution. One being a religious based practice and the other not.

  • Dustin December 21, 2013 at 8:02 pm

    As a gay male reading some of. The comments are very hurtful, how dare you people call yourself Christ like. Being raised lds and and growing hating who you are and praying for god to change to be straight , it doesn’t happen you are born gay or straight, when people ask me so when did you choose to be gay, I ask them so when did you choose to be straight. Do you think that I would choose to be hated by my own family for being gay, no one chooses that. I must say thank you to everyone who supports me and understands that we all live our own lives. We are all different. I have some truly amazing lds family members and friends who are still true to their religion but understand each other and love is love. I don’t mean to be ride in no way to any religion but being Christain is showing love to everyone. Trust me I do the whole polygamy is wrong l, cause when I commit to the love of my life I don’t want I give up on that love or share it with multiple partners. Marriage isn’t just a religion thing it was created by the human race. I was raised to love everyone and treat others how you would want to be treated, and I do, I would never want to take away your rights as a heterosexual couple so why take away mine

    • ladybugavenger December 22, 2013 at 11:59 am

      Dustin, i like gay people. They are fun, kind, full of character. I’m a believer in Christ. Never have been a Morman nor do I come from a Morman family. And I’m not here to judge your soul. I do have an opinion. And listen, my son was arrested…hes a thief and user of Meth. He doesnt talk to me because what he is doing is wrong and I will tell him that. I don’t need him in my life lying to me.He is a liar, a thief, and aint no love in his heart for his momma, just for his drug- Was he born that way? It seems like it, hes been lying and stealing most of his life then came meth. Does he have to stay that way? No. Sin is Sin and if there is no love in a persons heart than it matters not if they believe in Christ or not, or if they have done things in Christ’s name. If there is no love, than their is nothing. I love my son, thief, meth addict, liar, gay. I love him. The problem is where is his love? and I am sorry that your family hated on you. I am not for gay marriage but I am not against you being gay. I am not for meth and Im not for being lied too, and Im not for being stolen from but I am not against my son. You want the right get married? you got it. Now you also have the right to get divorced.

      • ladybugavenger December 22, 2013 at 12:18 pm

        correction: my son is not gay (it may have read that way) and Correction I said : “I am not for gay marriage but I am not against you being gay.” I am against gay marriage and against practicing gay activities. I am not against you. I am against the sinful nature that Jesus died on the cross for so that we would not have to die in our sin. Sin is sin. We all are sinners and have fallen short of the glory of God. Let us not glory in our rights, let us not glory in ourselves and put oursellves above people who struggle with sin that we do not. you see we all sin. Homosexuality has always been there because you and I are born sinners. Plain and simple. No temptation taken you as such is common to man. It’s a sinful nature given to us by the curse in the garden of Eden when Adam ate of the fruit from which his wife gave him. Eve was beguiled of the devil. So thats what happens when we are born, we are sinners.

  • Kat December 22, 2013 at 2:00 pm

    I am not against either directly as long as it is a choice. If it is forced on those who don’t have a choice I am 100% against it such as many of the FLDS members and children. That sort of polygamy is wrong or secretly marrying another woman when you are already married and the first wife doesn’t know or have a say. If it is a mutual agreement and all involved have the free will and are making a sane choice, I don’t see a problem. Same sex marriage is not a threat to marriage if you think it is maybe someone is in the closet or their marriage isn’t stable in the first place. People are born this way it has been around for thousands of years, it isn’t a choice it is nature.

  • bUB December 22, 2013 at 6:16 pm

    I read these comments I keep hearing about Jesus. Jesus has no place in government, and if you think so then your argument is irrelevant.

    • Brian December 23, 2013 at 7:23 am

      Jesus may not have a place in government, but His followers (and by extension his teachings and values) certainly do. This nation was founded on Judeo-Christian principles and values; history clearly shows that. If you deny that or are fighting it, you are on the wrong side of history and the Founding Fathers and our nations foundation, not us.

      • bUB December 23, 2013 at 1:35 pm

        If I remember correctly, Jesus never mentioned anything about homosexuals or polygamy.

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