In the Dec. 20 editorial “Judicial tyranny,” you argue that Judge Shelby should allow Utah to continue to enforce what you call a traditional definition of marriage. This argument is intriguing considering that, as the editorial mentions, Utah has previously been tyrannized by the federal government in being forced to discard its own traditional definition of marriage as between one man and one or more women.
You state that the court ought to have special respect for “marital norms that have served society for millennia,” yet it seems that these norms did not serve the people of Utah so well 120 years ago. You argue that religious liberties deserve special consideration, and yet you support your argument with Utah’s rejection of religious liberty as a condition of entry to the Union.
It seems that the good people of Utah, more than any other state, should have an understanding of the way that social norms surrounding marriage change over time. It is, after all, hard to invoke the “slippery slope” argument that same-sex marriage leads to polygamy when, in Utah, a history of polygamy has apparently done nothing to encourage acceptance of others’ beliefs.