04 Dec United Families Utah Counters Equality Utah
In the wake of California’s proposition 8, Equality Utah has the ear of some of Utah’s most influential policy makers. According to the Deseret news, “A group of Utah lawmakers unveiled five pieces of proposed legislation aimed at securing rights for gay couples”. If you thought this could only happen in California or on the East Coast, think again.
The first of these five bills, the Wrongful Death Amendments Bill, passed the Joint Judiciary Interim Committee on Nov. 19 with flying colors. The vote was (10-4). Although the committee membership includes two of three openly gay state legislators, the amount of support on this committee calls for great concern. The bill is now eligible to be heard during the regular legislative session that begins on Jan 26, 2009.
Equality Utah, Utah’s gay rights organization is the impetus behind this bill. Senator Scott McCoy, one of the three openly gay Utah legislators, is the sponsor of the seemingly harmless bill. It appears harmless because it makes no explicit mention of marriage in the bill, and appeals to those living together who have no sexual relationship worthy of wrongful death benefits to make the bill palatable. The bill is simply a cover for an obvious agenda to circumvent the Constitution, and achieve, statute by statute, step by step, the rights denied by the Utah State Constitution.
United Families Utah Statement on WDAB:
United Families International, a non-profit organization devoted to the preservation of the traditional family on a local, national, and international level.
While we have compassion for those represented today by the Equality Utah Coalition, we stand in firm opposition to the proposed Wrongful Death Amendments Bill for what it both ‘includes,’ ‘excludes” and “infers” in its attempt to rewrite Utah law and negotiate the definition of marriage.
1. WDAB INCLUDES:
The WDAB “includes” a provision for “heirs” to consign a designated same-sex or cohabiting partner as heir in suing for wrongful death.
While this may seem an innocuous request, we don’t believe it is. Extending through the Wrongful Death Amendments Bill benefits and provisions designed for and due married couples and their children to non-marital, cohabiting partnerships is commensurate with elevating homosexual or consensual cohabiting relationships to legally recognized status. Once sanctioned legally, through affording benefits reserved for married couples, a precedent is set for the acquisition of additional and ultimately all benefits due married couples. That is a precedent we do not wish to set in Utah. Marriage and consensual cohabiting relationships are not equal. Marriage is an unequivocal institution not created by law but that is upheld by it, since it is singular in its benefits to society “indissolubly linked to the procreation of our race and childrearing.”
Unwin’s study is a monumental reminder: In Sex and Culture, he chronicles the decline of 86 cultures. He revealed that strict marital monogamy is central to social energy and growth, and stated, “In human records there is no instance of a society retaining its energy after a complete new generation has inherited a tradition which does not insist on prenuptial and post nuptial continence.”(Sex and Culture, 1934).
Preserving these rights properly due marriage for marriage is not a civil rights issue nor would it deny homosexuals their basic civil rights accorded other citizens, including the right to establish and order their private lives by contract.
2. WDAB EXCLUDES:
By removing the marriage protection clause this bill reveals a larger agenda. It is not only a first attempt to establish legal legitimacy equivalent to marriage for future claims to marriage benefits, it is an overt attempt to subvert marriage by virtue of what it excludes.
This bill excludes the following statement: Neither a grant of standing under this section, nor anything else in this section, nor any finding by the court under this section may be construed as recognizing or treating a mutually supportive and dependent relationship as a marriage, civil union, domestic partnership, or any other legal or relationship status that intends to approximate the design, qualities, significance or effect of marriage as defined in Article I, Section 29 of the Utah Constitution.
This is a significant exclusion. It indicates to us, that while the knock on the front door of marriage rights is the redefinition of heirs and a step onto the Utah ladder of legal recognition—the even louder knock on the back door is indicative of a bigger overarching agenda, to subvert the definition of marriage. As one homosexual writer and activist, Michelangelo Signorile, admits, the goals of homosexuals is “to fight for same-sex marriage and its benefits and then once granted redefine the institution of marriage to demand the right to marry [and, I would add, or rights of marriage] not as a way of adhering to society’s moral codes but rather to debunk a myth and radically alter an archaic institution” (“Bridal Wave,” Out, Dec. 1994). Clearly, the intent of this bill veers in this direction. The agenda of the sponsors, Equality Utah is quite clear on their website.
In summary, Utah voters overwhelmingly supported a Constitutional Amendment banning gay marriage, indicating their desire to uphold traditional heterosexual marriage with its respective legal privileges and benefits. By including marriage benefits packages, we dismantle the institution and permit a reconstruction of family and family law. This cannot be sanctioned.