On the EDge: SCOTUS rules, love wins

OPINION — The message was simple: Love wins.

And, in the end, that is all that really matters.

Although we may think that we lived through a hugely historic day in United States history with Friday’s Supreme Court decision that legalized same-sex marriage nationwide, will it seem like that much of a landmark 50 years down the line?

Before you answer, remember that interracial marriage was illegal nationwide until the Court determined in 1967 that anti-miscegenation laws were unconstitutional.

Love won that one, too, by the way.

It was pretty much figured that Friday’s decision would come down 5-4. What wasn’t known, however, was which way it would go.

With four conservatives, three liberals and two moderates on the Court, it could have gone either way.

So, the United States now joins The Netherlands, Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, England and Wales, France, Finland, Iceland, Ireland, Luxembourg, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Scotland, Slovinia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden and Uruguay, which have already legalized same-sex marriage nationally. Mexico has legalized it in several jurisdictions.

There are still, of course, a fair number of nations where it is outlawed, so if you are interested, Iraq, Iran, Chad and a host of Middle Eastern and South African countries, as well as Jamaica and a few other island nations, might suit you. In fact, in some of those nations, you can be executed for engaging in certain sexual practices even if you are an avowed heterosexual.

It’s interesting, however, that the nations that have legalized same-sex marriage are recognized as Christian nations and most of those in opposition are not.

As far as the direct impact Friday’s decision will have on you and me and our daily lives, I would wager to say it will amount to none, other than the personal discomfort you may have with the idea or potential interaction you may have with a same-sex couple.

But, for those who can now make not only a moral but legal commitment to their partner, it will be a world of difference.

This whole argument was rooted in what some refer to as the immorality of same-sex marriages and the thought, held by many, that the reason for so-called “traditional marriage” is procreation. If that is true, why do churches allow couples that are well beyond their child-bearing years to marry?

I’ll bet it has something to do with love, companionship and the willingness to make a lifelong commitment to their partner, as long as they are of the opposite sex.

That said, I fail to see how somebody making a legal commitment to another human being, whether of the same or opposite sex, can be immoral, especially when that commitment is to love, honor and cherish each other.

We have already seen the ignorance at work, however, among those who, despite the ruling from the highest court in the land, refuse to accept or recognize it — a group that extends from the workaday religious right to several Republicans who have announced that they will seek their party’s nomination to run for president a year from now.

Some are elected officials who when sworn into office took an oath to uphold the laws of the land. My guess is that when that oath was administered, those officials were not allowed to pick and choose which laws they would uphold and which they would dismiss, sort of like the situation in Utah where we had successive attorneys general who refused to prosecute violations of the state’s bigamy/polygamy law.

There has been, and will continue to be, much theological debate regarding same-sex marriage and homosexuality in general, I’m sure. But it seems to me the over-riding tenet of all religions, at least as it is purported to be, is the one that instructs us to “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.”

Without that, the rest is simply meaningless, at least from all I have learned as I walk this planet.

We’ve not done a good job of that, I’m afraid. Otherwise, we wouldn’t have had the sorrow of the shootings in Charleston; the tragedy of the police killings in Ferguson, Baltimore and elsewhere; the anger over immigration; the violence and hate crimes perpetrated against the LGBT community; or this raging polarization over the right of two people to marry regardless of their gender.

We also wouldn’t have the hypocrisy of those who scream that their rights as individuals are being taken in one breath, then demanding that the rights of others are limited in the next breath, something I have seen and heard a lot of over the course of the last week.

All this does is underscore the narrow scope of our thinking and the coldness of our hearts.

Look, the ruling by the Supreme Court means you also have the right not to engage in same-sex marriage and the right, if you desire, to never marry.

It is shameful that so many other nations led the way in this, because isn’t the United States supposed to be the land of the free and the home of the brave?

Until recently, we had a lot of brave people who were not free, at least to choose who they would marry.

This nation is supposed to be the beacon of freedom, which means that even though we may disagree with a particular thought, religion, political stance or lifestyle, we defend and protect the rights of those who differ.

The system is set up to protect all, not just a select few who may or may not be in the majority.

So you don’t believe in same-sex marriage?

Fine. Find a partner of the opposite sex, get married and go on with your life.

I promise you that the same-sex couple down the street will not harass you for your heterosexuality, nor try to ostracize you or deny any of your rights.

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

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Twitter: @STGnews, @EdKociela

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2015, all rights reserved.

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  • NotSoFast June 30, 2015 at 8:17 am

    Ed, I’ll get back to you for your opinion when 9000 limp wrist, males and an equal amount of hairy chested females want you to pay (no, demand that you pay) for their free operations to look as good and functional as Bruce Jenner. Just kidding Ed.
    On second thought, it could happen, No?. What say you?

  • anybody home June 30, 2015 at 10:22 am

    Right out of the box an ugly comment that just underlines the attitudes Ed was talking about. Your use of demeaning language to describe people who are gay: “limp wrist males” “hairy chested females” is precisely the point he was making. Are you uneducated, NSF, or just mean and nasty? Bitter about something or always this rude?

    • NotSoFast June 30, 2015 at 11:45 am

      I think I offended you anybody home. SO SORRY
      A ugly comment by me equals a uneducated, rude, mean and ‘oh so nasty to you’. Lets face it anybody, we’re in different camps on this subject and others.
      And Lets also face the fact that Ed is just doing his job by throwing divisive subjects out there for our attacks on each other. That’s what he gets paid for.duh! (i.e. Politically correct a-holes. verses us nasty cowboys)sell views.

  • BIG GUY June 30, 2015 at 11:30 am

    Ed, you make a promise you cannot keep and that the Solicitor General of the United States has indicated will be broken by the Federal government, no less. You say, “I promise you that the same-sex couple down the street will not harass you for your heterosexuality, nor try to ostracize you or deny any of your rights.” But they will, Ed, and have already started, demanding services from those who object to their lifestyle when those services are readily available elsewhere. Do you object to store signs that say “No shirt, no shoes, no service?” Why not? Aren’t they discriminatory? Should a business owner be required to provide services to a completely legal porn festival? Why not? Business owners’ personal beliefs do matter and should be respected.
    Next will come government compulsion for religious institutions to modify their standards, to accept LGBT same sex couples, and to actively cater to LGBT individuals and couples under threat of lawsuit. And there will be plenty of lawsuits, most filed by the LGBT community and their government supporters. The left’s respect for individual rights is limited to those rights of which they approve. Freedom of religion is a lesser right in most liberal minds, subordinate to whatever newly-invented right is the cause du jour.
    You rail against polygamy and almost all will agree that underage children should not be forced into any marriage. But polygamy and polyandry between consenting adults is “love” to them. How about first cousins or siblings deeply in love with each other? To be intellectually honest, you must support these as well.
    As for your off-the-subject complaints about police killings, the resulting firestorm of left wing criticism is resulting in curtailment of “stop and frisk” and similar community-based policing. Literally hundreds of young black men will die as a result of being shot by other young black men. Congratulations.

  • anybody home June 30, 2015 at 11:58 am

    Good column, Ed. The die-hards opposed to same-sex marriage will not shut up about it ever, but bloviating gasbags rarely have anything sensible to say (and can barely get beyond their own bigotry which they try to disguise with pseudo-intellectual arguments). People of good will from every faith both inside and outside Utah are celebrating that love has prevailed.

    • BIG GUY June 30, 2015 at 12:19 pm

      ANYBODY, I expect more thoughtful, civil comments from you. Bible-based faith is not bigotry for a vast number of Americans. Most “bloviating gasbags” seem to be on the left these days.

      • Roy J June 30, 2015 at 2:17 pm

        I agree with you, BIG GUY. I have been wondering for about a week now how somebody can simplywrite off the dissenting opinions as if they were without meaning. I am pretty sure that nobody from the opposing side read them.

      • anybody home June 30, 2015 at 3:16 pm

        Big Guy, you have taken me to task over and over when I was offering thoughtful, civil comments. That’s not really your point, is it?

        • BIG GUY June 30, 2015 at 3:54 pm

          ANYBODY, occasionally I have taken issue with your opinions which until this last week have been civil and thoughtful. But I have never referred to you as a “insensible, pseudo intellectual bloviating gas bag.” (Your descriptive terms above.) This isn’t the same woman I’d come to respect.

          • 42214 June 30, 2015 at 5:04 pm

            What were the dissenting opinions in Roe V Wade, Brown V Board of Education, Gore V Bush. Don’t remember cause they don’t matter. Dissenting opinions are 2 nd place trophys in a winner take all race.

          • anybody home June 30, 2015 at 5:32 pm

            Big guy, you’re right – that was a rude comment on my part, but I’m also right that you have taken me to task at times when I was offering a reasonable comment. I will admit, though, that I have a deep emotional stake in the decision about same-sex marriage. It will allow my daughter whom I love with all my heart and respect and cherish the possibility of marrying a woman she loves when the right one comes along. All mothers wish happy lives for their children, including happy marriages. I’ve had gay friends all my adult life and none of them would do the things you suggest about suing or forcing their lifestyle on others. I love them all very much, although I’m not gay. And I have many straight friends who feel the same way about gay friends. Yes, some activists will lobby for more just as some activists in the religious communities sometimes lobby for more – the church that uses the funerals of soldiers to picket and speak out about homosexuality comes to mind, an ugly practice in my opinion, using the tragedies of grieving families to make their own point.
            But you’ve made your point here, and because of my emotional stake in this matter, I’m bowing out of the discussion. You didn’t win anything, but you did make me realize that I was losing something of my own integrity here. There will be a better forum for me somewhere else.

          • BIG GUY June 30, 2015 at 6:22 pm

            ANYBODY, a civil and thoughtful reply. I’ll do my best to match your good example.

    • wilbur June 30, 2015 at 12:58 pm

      lived one block over from a Hollywood gay bar once. Every weekend night “love” was in the air. In leather drag, dresses, chains, tats and on an on. Ugh.

      Had to chase “love” from the bushes under my bedroom window one night with a stealthly-acquired garden hose.

      “Love” indeed.

  • 42214 June 30, 2015 at 1:33 pm

    What SCOTUS did was to recognize the LGBT community as a “protected class”. Just like Blacks, Americans with Disabilities, or any other specific race and ethnicity. So, all you have to do is substitute the LGBT person with a black person or other”protected class” in whatever scenario you like and ask the simple question, is it legal to discriminate in this situation. If a bi-racial couple wants a wedding cake made you can’t say no because you’re discriminating. You can’t refuse service to a black in a restaurant solely based on their skin color. Now you can’t refuse service to Bruce Jenner because you don’t like his sex change operation.
    The fundamental problem arises when religious beliefs are used as a shield to allow discrimination. It’s really that simple. If SCOTUS denied same sex marriage they would have to do it by ignoring the 14th ammendment which insures equal protection under the law. It doesn’t say equal protection as long as it doesn’t bother your religious beliefs.

    • BIG GUY June 30, 2015 at 4:36 pm

      42214, “the fundamental problem arises when [LIBERAL] beliefs are used as a shield to allow discrimination. It’s really that simple.” Liberals have a 1st Amendment obligation to respect the religious beliefs of others but rarely do. Instead they are absolutely sure of themselves as morally superior, just the offense of which they accuse others.
      Reasoned arguments for traditional marriage were presented in court. How else could different appeals courts come to different opinions? If the arguments were as bigoted as you and others suggest, why did the case go all the way to the Supreme Court? Were the appeals court justices all bigoted? Your argument for the obvious moral superiority of your position and the bigotry of others fails.
      Religious faith and beliefs have a place in the public square. Honest men and women can disagree with others’ beliefs, but to paraphrase, “should be willing to fight to the death for their right to be heard.” Sadly, many liberals leap at the opportunity to attack others’ beliefs through the courts and through the liberal media.
      In spite of Ed’s ill-considered promise above, liberals and LGBT activists will soon be attacking Notre Dame, Oral Roberts, BYU, Liberty University and a myriad of other church-sponsored universities to force them to accommodate same sex married housing, to change their teachings on homosexuality and their honor codes, etc. This will be applauded by the liberal elite and media who will castigate these institutions as bigoted and out of step with the times. They want much more than to be accepted as equals; they will insist on full-throated endorsement of their life style. Mark my words.

      • 42214 June 30, 2015 at 7:17 pm

        You’re absolutely right about private religious based colleges like Notre Dame and BYU should be very concerned about this decision. I was playing Div 1 football in 1972 when Title 9 came down and we thought it was the end of the world as we knew it. Title 9 prohibits gender discrimination in athletic programs and meant that women’s softball, basketball, gymnastics etc had to be funded at much higher levels. The law only applied to schools that accept federal funding which virtually all schools do. Tax exempt status will be a huge hammer held over the head of the colleges sooner rather than later. I think this is unfair and intrusive but how do you reconcile that the feds give significant financial considerations to schools that ignore or outright disobey federal law.

      • mesaman June 30, 2015 at 9:29 pm

        Beautifully written. Regardless of the outcome we still have 2 percent of the population directing the cultural and religious customs of the 98 percent. I guess we could conclude they won equality and we lost fairness.

        • 42214 June 30, 2015 at 10:26 pm

          Why thanks Mesaman. I’m glad you appreciate my comment as beautifully written.

  • Dene June 30, 2015 at 1:54 pm

    Your off-the-subject complaints about “the tragedy of the police killings in Ferguson”, Hand Up Don’t Shoot was built on a lie that you still are carrying on as if it was true. Still proves you cannot change even when the truth is hitting you in the face.

  • anybody home June 30, 2015 at 3:06 pm

    What a freakin’ circus.

    • 42214 June 30, 2015 at 5:16 pm

      Well who doesn’t love a circus?

  • dodgers June 30, 2015 at 6:31 pm

    Next up, legalizing polygamy in all 50 states. Their rights are no different than same-sex. Apparently, love trumps all, so I hope all other groups get the same rights to marriage without any limits.

    • Hunter June 30, 2015 at 7:26 pm

      There was actually a very good analysis on slate.com that discussed the straw man aspect of marriage equality leading to legal polygamy based on the majority opinion from Friday.

  • ru1096 June 30, 2015 at 10:08 pm

    Ed condemns polygamy and lauds homosexuality. Anyone else see the irony? Meanwhile pedophiles are already beating the drum of “sexual preference”. The bottom line is the supreme court has zero right legislating from the bench. We are now being ruled by 9 men/women in black robes. And for a preview of what’s to come, look no further than our neighbors to the north 10 years in to gay marriage. We can kiss the 1st amendment goodbye. Feelin’ equal yet?

  • izzymuse June 30, 2015 at 10:19 pm

    I read the article in slate.com. The points based on Judge Kennedy’s arguments are too subjective to be considered a “home run” against polyamory marriage for many reasons (“polyamory” relationships in which people have multiple partnerships at once with the full knowledge of all involved).

    . Who is the government to determine who can or cannot marry? *period*. I have no problems with any consenting adults getting married. Have your celebration and have a good life.

    . Polyamory is “morally” wrong? Based on whose morality?
    Polyamory is illegal because no one is “born that way”? According to what scientists? (Note: there are more cases of polyamory in natur than homosexuality- I’m not for or against either, I’m simply making the point that governments subjective opinions are still not entirely based on science).

    Here’s science research debunking some myths about polyamory: http://www.livescience.com/27128-polyamory-myths-debunked.html

    Compare. It with the subjective nonsense in the slate.com article:


    Overall solution: let marriage be determined by the culture, NOT the government.

    .*Note: before the stupid comments about pedophilia and bestiality start, let’s not be rediculous; children and animals are not consenting parties. We’re talking about consenting adults having the right to pursue their happiness. If government is going to be in charge of determining who can marry, they need to be fair.

    • BIG GUY July 1, 2015 at 5:34 am

      IZZYMUSE, do you oppose our current laws preventing siblings and first cousins from marrying? If not, why not?

      • izzymuse July 1, 2015 at 8:00 am

        That’s a fair question. Incest (adult consensual) is not only gross, but scientifically proven to be dangerous for the children. Here is an article based on the findings: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/animals-and-us/201210/the-problem-incest

        . The difficulty with incest between consenting adults is when they are NOT going to have children. Even though most of us find the thought of being with our parent or sibling seriously disgusting, there are surprisingly many in “developed ” countries (USA, UK, etc..) who are in incestuos relationships. So, yes, I do agree with making incest illegal because it really is a public danger for their offspring and that effects public safety directly and indirectly. Otherwise, if the couples wanting incest marriage are NOT going to have children I really don’t care—even though it’s sick. Most humans and even many plants and other animals have anti-incest mechanisms to prevent the reproductive mutations, deformities, defects, retardation so…etc. caused by incest. So incest is wrong, not only based on subjective morals, but objective biological laws of nature. Good question.

      • BIG GUY July 1, 2015 at 9:03 am

        IZZYMUSE, I respect your reply and your apparent rejection of your earlier statement above: “let marriage be determined by the culture, NOT the government. ”
        While you will certainly object, do you realize that with only a few minor modifications, your reply above could have been written by someone opposing same sex marriage by merely substituting the words “same sex marriage” for the word “incest?” You would label such a person a bigot. Should we label you an “incest bigot?”
        The Bible, the Torah and the Koran all condemn both incest and homosexual acts. Does that make the hundreds of millions of people who believe one or more of these to be God’s word a bigot? Can anyone who supports same sex marriage claim be a true believer? On what basis?

        • Roy J July 1, 2015 at 9:29 am


          Below is a link to the American Pediatrics Association 2013 article on the research it has done regarding the serious damage caused by same-sex parenting. I hope that this qualifies as a serious, scientific review of the matter. Regards.

          • Roy J July 1, 2015 at 9:30 am

            Excuse me. That is the American College of Pediatricians. Hem.

          • Roy J July 1, 2015 at 9:38 am

            Hmm…On closer inspection, it may be the case that the ACP is not an entirely trustworthy source. Disregard.

        • izzymuse July 1, 2015 at 11:25 am

          My comment “let marriage be determined by the culture, NOT the government” is not a rejection of my earlier statement. Let me put it in other words: Get government OUT of marriage entirely. Rethink the system to privatize marriage entirely (between consenting adults — I have made the conditions clear. I don’t feel the need to restate my points on those). In that case, it would be determined on an individual basis by people without government intervention. If gay or heterosexual or polyamorous/polygamous people desire to get married, then they simply go to their church or organization (those who do not go to any church would have their own celebrations to celebrate their unions). I’m not saying that the culture would have legal powers to limit or exclude anyone. I’m saying all Americans would be free to make their own relationship arrangements like you and I do in any business arrangements and any other relationship that the government is not involved in determining (marriage is the most personal relationship. Why do we allow the government to dictate that? Research the history of marriage and you will see that it hasn’t always been the case). The government has simply found a way to exploit marriage like many other things.
          Every individual has the right to their opinions. Incest is gross to me. I wouldn’t call that being an “incest-bigot”. Bigot: “a person who is intolerant toward those holding different opinions.” I am tolerant of you if you wanted to have sexual relations with your sibling/parent (IF all involved are consenting adults), but read my comment and the linked article. I feel that I have made my point very clear on why incest is proven to be a serious danger to unborn children and why that justifies legal intervention for the unborn child’s behalf. Whenever a “third party” is going to be harmed, law intercedes. That is the purpose for law: to protect the life and property of individuals and the welfare of society. That is an objective conclusion, NOT a subjective “morality” of religion etc.

  • radioviking June 30, 2015 at 10:50 pm

    What about adult consensual incest? Parent-child adults, brother-sister, ?

    • izzymuse July 1, 2015 at 8:01 am

      Please see my response to BIG GUY above. Thanks

  • fun bag July 2, 2015 at 1:08 pm

    “beam me up Scotus” what a stupida..* acronym…
    *Ed. ellipses

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