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].”

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  • JBT

    Granting legal rights and benefits to a gay couple that they would have if they were heterosexual and married does not in any way take away those legal rights and benefits currently enjoyed by married heterosexual couples.

    Those who fought the hardest against interracial marriage made the same argument that allowing blacks and whites to marry would denigrate the institution of marriage for everyone. That simply didn’t happen. Broadening the definition of a married couple to include any two adults who are committed to one another and wish to share a life together has already taken place in several states across the U.S. All of the feared consequences of these same sex marriages exist only in the minds of the beholders.

  • JBT

    I wonder why some Sutherland writers don’t just save space and write, “I don’t like homosexuals. Signed, [insert name of writer/homophobe].”

    • KJS

      …or you could save space and a lot of time by repeating your simplistically inane “arguments” this way, “You don’t agree with me and must be a bigot or homophobe. Signed, JBT.”

  • JBT

    From Wikipedia

    “The predominant usage [of the word “bigot”] in modern English refers to persons hostile to those of differing sex, race, ethnicity, religious belief or spirituality, nationality, language, sexual orientation,>/b>, and age; and to those from a different region, with non-normative gender identity. . . ”

    I would argue that those who vigorously defend the practice of discrimination against the GLBT community such as the members of the Sutherland Institute are in fact “hostile” to those of differing sexual orientation and gender identity.

    The use of the term “bigot” in my view is an accurate description of the traits exhibited by those individuals who are on a campaign to treat other citizens not as equals in society, but as lesser human beings by virtue of their different sexual orientation. The old adage “if the shoe fits. . .”

    All discrimination and bigotry can be traced back to an innate fear of those who are the objects of this prejudice, hence the word “homophobe” accurately fits those individuals who vociferously stand up in defense of discrimination.

  • KJS

    Wikipedia? Really? Look, saying someone supports discrimination because they disagree with the wording of discrimination ordinances is much like saying someone supports world hunger because they don’t like the food that they’re being fed.

    Sutherland has at least put forth their reasoning behind their disagreement with anti-discrimination ordinances. You, on the other hand, don’t seem interested in reasoning or dialogue. Going back to the subject of the original post, your “being hostile to those of differing … religious belief” sounds awfully bigoted to me.

  • JBT

    No language in a discrimination ordinance protecting homosexuals is going to be found acceptable by those who wish to discriminate against persons based upon their sexual orientation. The reason is that the Sutherland Institute’s position is that it is within their “freedom of religion” to view homosexuals as morally inferior and not entitled to equal treatment under the law. The irony of this position is astounding, since the LDS folks who hold this view also profess to be Christians.

    The essence of this issue could not be more clear. You are either in favor of discrimination and prejudice against this class of citizens or you are opposed. All of the other verbiage is simply “fluff” to disguise and cover up this core issue. Prejudice and bigotry wrapped up in “moral values” is still prejudice and bigotry.

    True love and tolerance requires that all are treated equally. You don’t need to like, accept, approve of, or adopt what others do in order to show them the love and tolerance to allow them to be who they are without discrimination or recrimination. This is the concept I would like to get across to those who disagree with me on this important topic.

  • gary

    The LDS church, along with numerous other religious and charitable organizations, has signed an open letter regarding marriage and religious freedom. It’s no surprise that Tribune writers, and many of their readers, would take an opposing view – just as they routinely do whenever the word “religious” is in the text.
    It’s also no surprise that there are those who would resort to the use of words like “bigot” and “homophobe” to further their argument. Name-calling and labeling is a trite technique, used primarily by liberals, to shut down rational debate – and it’s boring. While I adamently disagree with legalizing gay marriage, I do agree with one’s right to support it.

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