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Letter: Religious freedom

Published: Thursday, March 6 2014 12:00 a.m. MST

In 1975, as an active Latter-Day Saint, I was surprised to learn that language still in the Idaho Constitution prohibited anyone from holding public office who "believed in or practiced Celestial or Eternal marriage." Fortunately, this language was not then enforced as evidenced by the fact that I worked for Allan Larsen, an LDS Stake President who was also Speaker of the Idaho House of Representatives. Federal courts had stepped in to protect Mormons by declaring this prohibition invalid.

I respectfully submit that the Arizona Governor's veto of recent legislation was equally important to protecting people of faith. As the law was written virtually any business owner could refuse to do business with Mormons (or any other group of people) because of a self-declared conflict in beliefs. The fact that the underlying motive of the bill was targeted at gays makes it no less onerous.

In fact, I believe that a religion which endured great persecution for its views on marriage should be particular sensitive to laws that give legal authority to discriminate against others in the public sphere. It is well settled that in business "if you serve one, you must serve all." It's the only way for people of diverse views in a great society to get along. Governor Brewer acted appropriately.

Jerry Borrowman

Salt Lake City

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