Tribune ‘gay’ marriage column avoids the issue


Peg McEntee is a news columnist for The Salt Lake Tribune. Recently, she penned a column criticizing The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for signing on to a statement of belief regarding marriage and religious freedom.

Her column critical of the LDS Church and the document they signed displays the chasm separating advocates of “gay marriage” and supporters of marriage.

She makes two primary arguments. First, that “gay marriage” is not a threat to anyone or anything. She writes, “When I look at all the gay couples in my life, I see commitment, shared duties, sacrifice and bounty, and nothing remotely resembling a threat to my marriage or faith.” 

Second, that “gay marriage” is a matter of individual freedom. She writes about the document: “ ‘Marriage and religious freedom are both deeply woven into the fabric of this nation,’ the letter says. So is individual freedom, and that’s worth protecting, too.”

It’s not unusual for advocates of homosexual rights to confuse personal influences on their neighbors with legal influences on their neighbors. “How does my marriage affect yours?” Well, not at all personally – human to human. But changing the definition of marriage in the law does affect my marriage, especially as a person of faith. In fact, I don’t know how much more can be written on the subject of cause and effect under the law, except to point out that the letter this columnist criticizes spells out the threats in spades.

She might not agree with the analysis of the signatories to the statement but simply invoking a subjective “no harm” claim doesn’t address the disagreements. Perhaps avoidance of the issue was her rhetorical objective?

Furthermore, individual freedom is a precious commodity in America. It also isn’t the only precious commodity in America. In fact, it’s not even the highest commodity in America IF you really understand the integrated nature of our freedom. Individual freedom is important. So are family formation, stability and autonomy. So are the “goods” that define what it means to be a human being (no sense arguing for freedom until you first determine what is to be free). And so is religious liberty, as the LDS Church has articulated so many times.

I wonder why some Tribune columnists don’t just save space and write, “I don’t like what the LDS Church did. Signed, [insert name of writer].”