The Salt Lake City Domestic Partner Registry

matthew's picture

Ralph Becker made a promise in the 2007 Salt Lake City mayoral race. He promised to attempt to create a domestic partner registry. This would allow unmarried couples to do things like visit a partner in the hospital when hospitalized cannot indicate consent, automatically inherit goods upon death in the absence of a will, and full access to city facilities similar to that granted to a spouse.

This has, as you can guess, aroused a great deal of controversy in this overwhelmingly right-wing, straight-laced state.

One interesting side-effect of this legislation, though, is the promise from right-wing pundits that it runs afoul of Utah's Constitutional Amendment 3, which bans marriage or anything like marriage between anything other than two opposite-sex partners. It was an express move to prevent "civil unions" between gay people.

The side I land on is that this move finally allows those who share resources and are dependents upon one another to share the benefits of their employment and city residency. My employer already has really good domestic-partner benefits, and it's nice to see a move toward this in Utah's capitol. Not only would it be good for gay people, it would be good for those who conscientiously object to state sanctioning of religious marriage, and to those who rely on one another's income but are not in a sexual relationship, like a daughter who works for the city and her disabled mother.

Yet it has aroused considerable concern. Here are a few of them, excerpted (fair use with comments) from the Deseret Morning News commentary on the article:

  • Homosexuality is a bad thing. God lives and he condemns this and all other sin. Whether people choose to obey him or not does not change the fact that it is wrong and should be stopped by the individual...Homosexuality is evil. The good thing is that people can abandon homosexuality, and through Jesus Christ become clean from this act.
  • You are a glowing representative of your religion. Tell you what: why don't you abandon your supposed heterosexuality?

  • I always knew that Becker was a gay man, now he shows it. It was the gays who voted for him and now he pays them back. What a sick society.
  • That's charitable. Divorced with two sons and one daughter, lives up to his campaign promises, and that makes him gay. OK.

  • The LDS Church website has wonderful resources to help anyone struggling with same-gender attraction.
  • I used to really struggle with opposite-gender attraction. I strived mightily trying to get dates with pretty girls. I eventually settled into a long-term, committed relationship with a beautiful girl, and now it's not such a struggle anymore. I have a regular straight date on Friday or Saturday nights, and she's a great time. Can the LDS Church web site help gay people get gay dates on Friday or Saturday nights? I think that would really help their struggle a lot. Maybe you're available?
    Anyway, the LDS church's "wonderful resources" at one time included genital shock-treatment for homosexuals at BYU. Ouch!

  • The Proclamation on the Family should put all arguments to rest once and for all that the LDS Church does not involve itself in politics.
  • Right. The Church absolutely, positively involves itself in politics all the time, to the tune of tens of millions of dollars of tithing money every year. It doesn't endorse specific candidates because it's forbidden to do so as a 501(c)3 corporation, but it does lobby heavily to have resolutions and amendments passed which favor its religious interpretations. That's their right... and it's my right to oppose religious interference in secular government.

  • What about the rights of a child to have a Mother and a Father?
  • U.S. divorce rates took care of that one a long time ago. There's no such right. I would lobby in favor of some sort of "right to parents" for the children in Social Services, though. Every kid should have a role model... and guess what? If the kid is straight and has gay parents, chances are he's still gonna be straight as an adult.

  • HEY SUBURBS! We are a liberal city with liberal values and will always elect liberal leaders. Get used to it.
  • No, you're an eclectic city full of individuals who vote all over the map on issues, with a particularly strong variance based upon residency on the east side of the city vs. the west side.

  • GOD CALLED IT ABOMINABLE BEHAVIOR. We can not support such behavior or anything like unto it. This nation will tremble and crumble some day and the lack of morality in all faucets of life will be one of the reasons why we will be thus smitten. All you of you who doubt will believe when you see the misery of which I speak.
  • Yeah, your posts certainly are abominable behavior. I don't support them. On a side note, when do your life's faucets turn on?

  • How would it be to belong to a movement or a society that the vary nature of it is in a self-destruct mode. If we all became homosexuals and didn't reproduce we would eventually become extinct.
  • Right, that's why, according to very conservative estimates, at least 3% of the mammal population -- including humans -- tends to be homosexual. It's done a great job of wiping us out up to this point.
    Your rhetorical technique here is called "reducto ad absurdium". Read up on why it's called a "logical fallacy".

  • History, nature, and the design of the human body suggest that homosexuality is not the way to go for survival into the future.
  • History and nature also suggest that brutally killing our neighboring tribes is the best way to ensure our ability to guarantee expansion territory to our progeny. I don't support that method. And the "design" of the human body is pretty severely flawed... the lack of redundant systems alone is a killer.

  • They said that Becker was the only one that wouldn't be controlled by the LDS church, but which candidates won't be controlled by the ACLU?
  • Well, luckily the ACLU wasn't involved in his decision. And the fact is, the ACLU is the only organization I've encountered which defends all of the provisions of the Bill of Rights... and not just #2.

I'm done.


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daniel's picture

Too easy

Oh, Matt--pick on someone intellectually your own size. It's like taking candy from a baby! ;)

weed's picture


For the January 2008 "Backhanded Compliment of the Month"!!!

My $.02

My $.02

matthew's picture

Beating them up privately...

Yeah, and here rather than participating on the restrictive Deseret News boards, I'm posting my response somewhere I won't be censored and most of them will never see it. Armchair-quarterbacking of the highest order.

Matthew P. Barnson

Matthew P. Barnson

Sammy G's picture

That's pretty gay

Okay. I read it. That whole thing is pretty gay.