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Liquor suit seeks to muzzle LDS Church

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  • One of Vai's Cousins Nairobi, Kenya
    Nov. 6, 2011 6:26 a.m.

    I personally think the Word of Wisdom is about as nonsensical and clearly non-revelatory as they come - just read it again word for word and tell me you think an intelligent God actually spoke those words. I think it reads a little (actually a lot) like someone copied the common health societies circulating in the U.S. at that time.

    But, the LDS Church has every right to have it's voice heard on this and every other issue as much but no more than any other group or individual. If the majority impinges on the rights of the minority then the usual recourse is through our court system. But every person has a right to vote and raise their voice regarding political issues.

  • bluecoug89 Highland, UT
    Nov. 4, 2011 4:05 p.m.

    Say what you will, the church itself doesn't decide these issues but it's members, who are acting on what they believe is right, do. It's not my fault that most of the politicians in Utah are LDS.

  • skeptic Phoenix, AZ
    Nov. 4, 2011 10:06 a.m.

    When will they learn, the Mormons own Utah, and the church is the decider on these issues.

  • bluecoug89 Highland, UT
    Nov. 3, 2011 9:20 p.m.

    @Dirty Hippee,

    I see what you are saying but even though I don't drink alcohol the consumption of it still effects me. I know that most people who drink aren't irresponsible and don't get drunk but there are those who do and I have to drive on the same streets as those who are drunk. People who are drunk go out into public sometimes and I am part of the public. I think that my point of views should be expressed as well since I am effected as well.

  • my slc Newport Beach, CA
    Nov. 3, 2011 8:15 p.m.

    Re Flashback: We have been here before. 1968:

    "Liquor by the drink, the proposal to license private establishments to dispense wine and alcohol, made its appearance as an initiative on the November ballot. Proponents argued that less stringent liquor laws would boost tourism; but, with LDS Church opposition to the measure, it was defeated by a vote of 320,000 to 97,000".

    A bright side to 1968 was that Calvin L. Rampton (D) won his second term as governor.

    Source: Allan Kent Powell, utah dot edu

    Google it.

  • Dirty Hippee Bountiful, UT
    Nov. 3, 2011 7:27 p.m.

    Since their members don't drink, they shouldn't be involved in the discussion or decisions. They should allow the rest of the adults in the state, to be adults. They shouldn't try to push their beliefs on those who are not their members.

  • bluecoug89 Highland, UT
    Nov. 3, 2011 6:44 p.m.

    @Lane Myer,

    Can you please direct me to those reports?

  • bluecoug89 Highland, UT
    Nov. 3, 2011 6:41 p.m.

    So many people here are saying that the LDS views should be ignored or completely denied. I am a member of the church myself and am obviously against drinking but that doesn't mean people shouldn't be allowed to live as they choose. That being said, I just want to say a few things:
    1. Those who are upset about the drinking laws in this state, just remember that you chose to live here where you knew it is a predominantly a Mormon society.
    2. If they want to "muzzle" the LDS church, isn't that unconstitutional? Shouldn't everyone have a voice? Shouldn't their say carry as much weight as everyone else's? I understand that you guys are upset because you feel like you haven't had a voice but isn't putting a muzzle on the church just turning things around (even though the church never put a muzzle on you)?

  • Doctor Tucson, AZ
    Nov. 3, 2011 6:37 p.m.

    These comments reinforce what non LDS go through in Utah. Don't get me wrong, love the state and love the people. I left because Utah was bland. Upscale restaurants serving alcohol won't cheapen your state but hey, what was the name of the buffet there? Chukarama? That's fine eatin!

  • LetsDebate PLEASANT GROVE, UT
    Nov. 3, 2011 3:37 p.m.

    Hey Christy - I challenge your view of community standards. Free flowing alcohol is not a family-oriented value. According to a quick search, Beaverton has 6 strip clubs all by itself. Although your LDS neighbors might find that acceptable within a family-oriented community, I think Utahns have the right to set different standards. Personally, I think greater restrictions to alcohol and exhibitionism than exist in the Portland area do make for better community standards.

  • LetsDebate PLEASANT GROVE, UT
    Nov. 3, 2011 2:39 p.m.

    Hey Christy - I just Googled "strip clubs in Beaverton, OR" and there are 6 of them just in Beaverton. I had friends in college that went to Portland to run the circuit of strip clubs in the area. Maybe your LDS friends there don't mind, but I'll take DSB's community to raise my family any day over one that thinks 6 strip clubs is a tolerable standard.

  • Flashback Kearns, UT
    Nov. 3, 2011 2:06 p.m.

    I challenge any of you out there to find one law passed by the legislature in the past 50 years that was written and passed by the Church. Just name one. You can't because there isn't one. There is legislation that the church has supported, but you name me one that the church twisted arms to pass.

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    Nov. 3, 2011 1:58 p.m.

    gramma b reminded me that there are several counties in Texas, Kentucky and other states where no liquor sale is legal. To claim that liquor regulation is just the province of the LDS Church is hogwash. Prohibition did not pass because of LDS views, and so this group just is trying to silence the field.

    It is very desturbing when a group of lobbyists seeks to prevent other people from speaking.

    It also tells you how much some people hate the LDS church that they as liberals will side with industry lobbyists.

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    Nov. 3, 2011 1:51 p.m.

    The gvernment has an obligation to protect those who suffer from others consequences.

    The free agency argument in this case is rubbish. By that argument laws against drunk driving should be extinquished.

    The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has full right to participate in discussions on liquor laws. This is in many ways a rubbish suit, since the Church does not advocate for candidates, its participation in the legislative process is already way less than that of the people who brought the suit.

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    Nov. 3, 2011 1:48 p.m.

    The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints does not get preferential treatment on this topic. It is the pro-liquor loby that is seeking to silence their openents.

    The LDS Church has the right to speak on any issue it deems worth speaking on. This suit is a direct violation of the 1st Admendment. All groups have the right to speak on any legislation. Courts can not and should not ban groups of people from speaking on legislation.

  • nick humphrey kent, WA
    Nov. 3, 2011 12:03 p.m.

    "You can't single out a religion and say, 'Everyone else gets to lobby the legislature but you.'"

    so the church *does* meddle in politics? =)

  • The Atheist Provo, UT
    Nov. 3, 2011 11:54 a.m.

    UtahResident wrote to me:

    "You are the one that is showing his ignorance and lack of logic. I was using the insane ideas to showcase the fact that you do not have to participate in an activity to have a vested interest in allowing or prohibiting that activity. I don't ski but that shouldn't exclude me from the political process if a bill were introduced that would affect the ski resorts. Free speech is guaranteed to all!"

    You fail to show where my comments are "ignorant" or contain fallacious logic.

    We are not talking about the general concept of free speech. We are talking about the Utah Legislature deliberately and systematically scheduling meetings with LDS Church officials to get their "approval" and opinions on legislation, while NOT doing the same with other organizations or individuals.

    That is an inappropriate "establishment" of religion in the legislative process.

    Moreover, in law one must have "legal standing" - demonstrated sufficient connection to and harm from a proposed law or action.

    What "legal standing" does the LDS Church have regarding liquor laws? They do not sell liquor (openly), nor is it clear how the LDS Church is harmed by liquor laws.

  • scojos Draper, UT
    Nov. 3, 2011 11:11 a.m.

    The Church in Utah will NEVER butt out of the law making process in Utah, be they laws about liqour or be they about the height of the trees lining state street. The Church is so entrenched that they only need to whisper and the entire Legislature will feel the gust. What is more importamnt is to remove the Church's tax free status. Then they can openly meddle all they want, they do it anyway.

  • Mandie29 Albuquerque, NM
    Nov. 3, 2011 11:08 a.m.

    In my experience Utah already has some of the worst drivers I have ever encountered anywhere and there have been some horrendous accidents along the Wasatch front. Imagine how much worse it would be with more alcohol consumption! Why would anyone oppose the LDS church concerns?

  • cindyacre Shelley, ID
    Nov. 3, 2011 10:19 a.m.

    There has been alcoholism in my family. It is a tough addiction to overcome. Alcoholism splits up families, those drinking have no logic and do illogical things. There are BEHAVIORAL laws regarding alcohol - why not educate more about alcohol as well as determining, for the good of families and the community, what amount of alcohol consumption is allowable? By the records and experiences of those affected, there should BE no alcohol. really, what earthly good is it? It wasn't good for my family. But I digress - this isn't about allowing alcohol - this is a lawsuit to silence a Church voice who speaks on behalf of families like mine - the less alcohol (or none) the better for all. Thank you, LDS church, for being a voice of reason.

  • UtahResident Lehi, UT
    Nov. 3, 2011 9:57 a.m.

    @als Atheist,

    You are the one that is showing his ignorance and lack of logic. I was using the insane ideas to showcase the fact that you do not have to participate in an activity to have a vested interest in allowing or prohibiting that activity. I don't ski but that shouldn't exclude me from the political process if a bill were introduced that would affect the ski resorts. Free speech is guaranteed to all!

  • heathen WOODS CROSS, UT
    Nov. 3, 2011 8:25 a.m.

    I think it pretty obvious most people on this board are for the current laws and want the LDS church to lobby in their favor. Do you people even know what would happen if we allowed bars to set their own prices or allow more bars? What if we allowed the private companies to run liquor stores? Do you really think we would be worse off. I know alcohol is an inconvenience for most of you and most of you would rather see it gone. If you call yourself a true Conservative that believes in limited government you're a complete hypocrite if you believe in government run liquor stores. Most of you aren't true conservatives and you love to regulate social issues.

    On another note is you believe the word of wisdom never said you can't drink beer you are ignorant.

    The revelation suggests that barley-based mild drinks (such as beer) may be permissible. As recently as 1901, Apostles Brigham Young, Jr. and John Henry Smith argued that the revelation did not prohibit beer. However, LDS Church leaders now teach that consumption of any form of alcohol, including beer, violates the Word of Wisdom

  • Rufio Saratoga, UT
    Nov. 3, 2011 6:42 a.m.

    "little separation of church and state"

    "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech,..."

    One word for this idiotic lawsuit....REALLY?

  • Christy Beaverton, OR
    Nov. 3, 2011 12:19 a.m.

    DSB | 10:16 p.m. Nov. 1, 2011
    Cedar Hills, UT

    ...although Beaverton was indeed a nice suburb of Portland, the liberal laws forcing everyone to live among the lowest legal standards of humanity certainly created a very unfavorable climate in many areas for family-oriented people.

    ===========

    Really? 'The lowest legal standards of humanity'? Daily drink specials at some restaurant constitutes 'the lowest legal standards of humanity'? The many LDS Church members who live here in Beaverton would probably disagree with you. I certainly do.

    You also wrote, "...if an unrestrained proliferation of strip clubs, pornography stores, and available liquor is your vision of ideal community standards, you should vote to make sure they remain legal and plentiful in your community."

    Again, Beaverton, my community, is not teeming with 'an unrestrained proliferation of strip clubs, pornography stores, and available liquor(?)', and no, that would not be my vision of an ideal community.

    Utah doesn't have a monopoly on 'wholesome' communities. And I'd question anyone who broadly painted their community as entirely 'wholesome', anyway.

    Doesn't Utah have the highest rate of online porn subscriptions?

    Aren't antidepressants prescribed in Utah more often than in any other state?

  • Christy Beaverton, OR
    Nov. 2, 2011 11:13 p.m.

    There is a difference between individual tax-paying Mormons having their say at the ballot box, and the 'Church' politicking for a certain side of an issue, in actual Sacrament meetings, as was the case with Prop 8.

    Sure, they can make a statement about an issue. But that's where it needs to end. No legislating, no funding legislation. If they want to be an active political player, they need their tax exempt status stripped.

  • The Deuce Livermore, CA
    Nov. 2, 2011 10:52 p.m.

    Interesting set of comments here. Some cry "free agency" but forget that agency requires responsibility to work correctly. Yes, people should have the opportunity to exercise their agency. When they use that agency incorrectly and that results in harm to others, then you have taken that agency too far. You do not have to be a member of the LDS faith to recognize the issues with over consumption of alcohol. I am not a member of this faith but feel that alcohol sales should be regulated. The more drunks you can keep off the road the better. This is not a hard topic to understand. Please don't confuse agency with freedom. The more agency you have the more responsible you should be.

  • ParkCityAggie Park City, Ut
    Nov. 2, 2011 9:58 p.m.

    Yea alcohol is bad, very bad. Drunk people killing other people! Just like people with guns killing other people! Take those away right? Yea... if you want to point at a drug that does 10 times more harm than alcohol, about 100 times more harm than marijuana, then look no further than Utah's most popular narcotic of choice, one that knows no religious or cultural boundaries, it's called prescription drugs! You want to ban a substance that does more harm than alcohol, ban them! But that would be crazy, why punish the people who use pain meds as prescribed, right?!? Can we assume that some do use the drugs as they should? Can we make the same assumption about all narcotics? Some cliche's come to mind, babies and bathwater, and sledge hammers.

  • Linus Bountiful, UT
    Nov. 2, 2011 8:08 p.m.

    ToBeReadOutLoud: You say the Church should be able to say what they want as soon as they start paying taxes. Well, we Mormons do pay taxes on the same tax rate schedule everyone else does. So, I guess we Mormons have a right to say what we want. Right?

    Just remember this: The Church has no voice of its own. Its voice comes from the unified belief sustained by all its taxed members.

  • firstamendment Lehi, UT
    Nov. 2, 2011 6:50 p.m.

    Just read liquor laws by State, and Utah wasnt listed among the best (most stringent). So if Mormons cant speak on this because they are religious, hopefully they allow MADD or some other organization to help slow those seeking gain (for life?).

    Those arguing that "we cant legislate morality, cant tell us what to smoke, who to marry (number, age, gender), how to drive, not to steal, lie, or murder (ten commandments violate our right of separation) often also argue that "we CAN tell you who to marry and what property the religious may buy, and that you may scream hatred at Mormons and disrupt weddings but Mormons cant speak freely on issues, or even read from pioneer journals on the Mormon trail (because the journals dont contain the approved regime version of history); and no Christmas trees (even Egypt allows Christmas in parks etc) or crosses for public servants (Arlington cemetery next?) and religious people should pipe down or we'll tax you more (take provisions you give to the poor and donate to foreign banks, CEO bonuses, and our big controlling government (so they can afford to promote homosexuality by marriage)... : ) : ) funny but unfair logic ; )

  • kargirl Sacramento, CA
    Nov. 2, 2011 6:43 p.m.

    "The Church" I assume, refers here to the people who lead it, not the LDS Church as a body. That would be people in a lot of places besides Utah, with government decisions more immediately important to their own lives, don't you think? I would immagine that, however, since the leaders live in Utah and are her citizens, they have a right as voters to say something and the ability to make themselves heard, not to mention the verbal talent of making themselves understood and the intelligence of knowledge of the facts to support their position. This is known as being able to make a logical argument for one's opinion. It's something my junior history teacher in high school taught us: it's not what side you take that counts, but whether you have the facts to back up your opinion. If other groups disagree, let them say so just as succinctly and in as logical a manner, so that we have groups with facts, not emotions, speaking their truths. I have family in Utah, and, having lived there and enjoyed my time there, wish to see this done in an adult manner.

  • UtahResident Lehi, UT
    Nov. 2, 2011 5:17 p.m.

    In Nevada, if the casino industry doesn't approve of certain legislation, will it not have an uphill battle? Won't the legislators consult with that industry before trying to craft a bill? This happens all the time throughout the US. Major players in each state are consulted. If you want to pass a bill, you need to get buy in from those players. In Utah, the LDS Church is a major player. If a legislator wants to ignore that, then they risk losing the vote of LDS people.

  • casual observer Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 2, 2011 4:45 p.m.

    Every community has the right and responsibility to regulate alcohol consumption. Community stake holders in commerce, public health, education and faith-based organizations need to input before laws are passed. We ban those under 21 years of age from buying alcohol because various societies (Community standards are different in various locales, e.g. Nevada has only two counties that outlaw prostitution.) have mandated it. Because the LDS legislators have specific views does not invalidate their perspective in formulating regulations. Liquor lobbyists should not have unbalanced influence in legislative matters.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 2, 2011 4:33 p.m.

    @abinadi
    "My neighbors little girl was shot and killed right in front of my house by a youth who was drunk and playing with a rifle."

    That heartbreaking example raises an interesting dynamic because it involves two things...
    1. alcohol - liberals/libertarians want more freedom to be able to access it while conservatives believe it should be regulated
    2. firearms - liberals want those to be more regulated, conservatives/libertarians want those to be readily available

    So which is it, was the child a victim of lax rules on alcohol? Lax rules on firearms? Lax rules on both? Or should you blame the person in which case you shouldn't blame alcohol or guns?

    I have a feeling a lot of people have inconsistent stances as to whether they consider people innocent victims of alcohol or innocent victims of firearms.

  • kargirl Sacramento, CA
    Nov. 2, 2011 4:21 p.m.

    Mayhem Mike, this is primarily and LDS newspaper, but not dedicated to any particular readership. I've been reading it for a few years now, am LDS, most certainly not conservative--or rarely so--as you could infer from my posts. If you're offended because I'm reading it anyway, perhaps your offense level is set too low--just a suggestion here, but maybe it needs to be raised a bit. I hope the readers of this paper will continue to be the varied and interesting group who show up on these boards--including you--because that's why I read the articles and the comments.

  • Owl Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 2, 2011 4:19 p.m.

    Of course, let the liquor lobby use their influence, but muzzle MADD, parent-teacher groups and the LDS church. What could be more fair then that?

  • abinadi Magna, UT
    Nov. 2, 2011 4:15 p.m.

    There is a reason we have liquor laws - liquor makes people dangerous. My neighbors little girl was shot and killed right in front of my house by a youth who was drunk and playing with a rifle. Never mind drunk driving! We need more strict laws to protect all of us people from these people, not less!

  • disrupt the status Salt Lake City, Utah
    Nov. 2, 2011 4:01 p.m.

    If it bothers you so much, why don't they move to nevada?

  • My Humble Opinion Sandy, UT
    Nov. 2, 2011 3:31 p.m.

    Joggle: Perhaps I misunderstood you comment. I also agree that ALL people have a right to be heard. I believe the Utah Hospitality Association has had their voice heard in the past e.g. when the liquor laws were changed back when Huntsman was governor. I admit I don't know enough of the recent history as to why they are being ignored now, but it seems to me everyone should have a right to be heard. I don't care to have an argument over which laws are effective and which ones aren't. However, as for your comment "people need to stop assuming that supporters of more liberal alcohol laws aren't aware of those things or think they are unimportant"; If you read all the comments on here, many people do seem to be unaware or don't care. My main issue here is regarding the point that the article was trying to make, which is that people (including MANY on this article) are trying to silence the church. Like I said before, I believe everyone has the right to voice their opinion.

  • als Atheist Provo, UT
    Nov. 2, 2011 3:08 p.m.

    Jim of Mesa, Az wrote:

    "I have to agree with Gramma b, there is no constitutional right to consume alcohol."

    The 9th Amendment contradicts you: "The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people."

    The "right to consume alcohol" is retained by the people, regardless of Prohibition or desired theocratic tyranny.

    UtahResident of Lehi, UT wrote:

    "...I will agree ...if you agree to the following that uses the same logic:

    "We allow only murderers to create our laws on killing.
    We allow only burglars and thieves to create our laws on stealing.
    We allow only gangs to create our laws on vandalism.
    We allow only con artists to create our laws on scams.
    We allow only parents of students to vote on school bonds."

    Drinking alcohol is not illegal. Your comparison with illegal activities (killing, burglary, vandalism, fraud) is fallacious as well as intellectually indolent.

    So is your analog with voting on school bonds. School bonds are paid by taxes on all citizens. Alcohol consumption is not a debt, nor does it create a tax on all citizens.

    Please restrain your overzealousness to let logic in.

  • poeticnurse Midlothian, TX
    Nov. 2, 2011 2:42 p.m.

    Here in Texas many churches are involved at the state and local levels of legislature. No one complains about that taking place. In the legislatures people will vote their conscience, be they Baptist, Catholic, Seventh Day Adventist or what ever. If you don't like they way they vote vote them out and put in someone you approve of.

  • The Vanka Provo, UT
    Nov. 2, 2011 2:41 p.m.

    Joggle,

    You get my vote for best post:

    Joggle | 1:28 p.m. Nov. 2, 2011

    "Perhaps many of you and others should step outside your boxes and read
    other sources to get the whole story! There is nothing dumb about the fact
    that the UHA is left out of discussions, but the LDS Church isn't. That is a
    clear case of bias exercised by Utah's legislature.

    "Before each general session, GOP and Democratic leaders in the House and
    Senate sit down separately with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day
    Saints special affairs committee, a group made up of church general
    authorities, church public relations officials and their lobbyists, to
    discuss any items on the minds of both legislators and church leaders".
    Deseret News 1/19/08

    (Cue Hallelujah Chorus here)... Amen! and Amen!

    We are not advocating rampant drunkenness. We are not selling babies to drug lords. We are just opposed to the PREFERENTIAL treatment being given the LDS Church by legislators!

    Please stop demonizing those who do not see the world through your eyes! I know it is hard, but please TRY to do as Jesus taught: LOVE your enemies!

  • My Humble Opinion Sandy, UT
    Nov. 2, 2011 2:29 p.m.

    @ Doctor: "More restaurants serving alcohol will not lead to more drinkers, it will lead to more restaurants and tax revenue. The profit on alcohol is higher then on food and most business models won't work without that profit."

    Have you ever been to a restaurant that didn't serve alcohol? Me too. I guess that does mean that there are less drinkers when there are less licenses. While we both know if someone REALLY wants a drink they will go where they need to go to get it, you can't deny that some drinkers eat at restaurants that don't serve alcohol and therefore don't drink that evening when they might otherwise have done so.

  • Joggle Clearfield, UT
    Nov. 2, 2011 2:16 p.m.

    @My Humble Opinion

    Perhaps you missed my above post. I AGREE that the LDS Church has a right to have their heard on legislation. I also agree trying to restrict the rights of any organization to voice its opinion is simply unamerican. That includes the LDS Church. Should the LDS Church have so much influence that the governor and the legislature NOT hear the other side?

    I'm fully aware of the social ills excessive drinking can cause in society and that the church supports families. People need to stop assuming that supporters of more liberal alcohol laws aren't aware of those things or think they are unimportant. However, prohibition or making access difficult has never prevented or discouraged people from drinking. Education, counciling, and stiff penalties are much more affective than prohibition or laws that stop nothing. Like someone suggested above. The low DUI rate in Utah is because of the LDS culture and not because of silly Utah drinking laws. If somebody wants to drink in excess in Utah there is absolutely no law currently existing that will stop or prevent that from happening.

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    Nov. 2, 2011 2:15 p.m.

    Re: ". . . it is against the law. Read our state constitution."

    If you've got proof of that, it's way past time you came forward with it.

    As we all know, the Utah constitution's prohibition on a church interfering with government was never intended, has never been interpreted, and could never be constitutionally enforced to require Church members to check their beliefs and principles at the capital door.

    Additionally, the misery and carnage inflicted on innocent Utahns by the "hospitality industry" is at least as much a moral, as a legal issue. Use of the laws to control and de-incentivize that misery and carnage, is both a legal and a moral imperative.

    If anyone out there sees this lawsuit as anything other than a desperate and ethically questionable lobbying tactic, I'd like to talk to them about buying a very nice bridge property in Brooklyn.

  • ouisc Farmington, UT
    Nov. 2, 2011 2:07 p.m.

    Alcohol has killed or maimed much less people than religeon has.

  • Darrel Eagle Mountain, UT
    Nov. 2, 2011 2:02 p.m.

    @Doctor

    " More restaurants serving alcohol will not lead to more drinkers, it will lead to more restaurants and tax revenue. "

    ==========

    Exactly! I don't drink, not because of limited availability, but because I choose not too. These laws do little to influence the amount of alcohol consumed.

  • christoph Brigham City, UT
    Nov. 2, 2011 1:55 p.m.

    If there is anyone out there in favor of driving drunk or underage drinking, will you please raise your right arm. Many religions (and common sense) frown on driving under the influence and people drinking too young-----no arguments from anybody on this-----fine---we all agree.

  • CreamOfWeber OGDEN, UT
    Nov. 2, 2011 1:42 p.m.

    Good. It's about time the LDS church removes their nose from issues it has no stake in.

    They don't drink... they shouldn't get to tell the rest of us how we should drink.

  • Doctor Tucson, AZ
    Nov. 2, 2011 1:40 p.m.

    The key issue folks are missing is not that the UHA wants to limit LDS influence, but that the LDS church should not have defacto veto power. Through its members and its public statements the LDS church willl always be influential in Utah. But when legislators are crafting laws about trade they should do so based on the facts. More restaurants serving alcohol will not lead to more drinkers, it will lead to more restaurants and tax revenue. The profit on alcohol is higher then on food and most business models won't work without that profit. Of course you can go to the Mayan or SpaghettiMama's.

  • Californian#1@94131 San Francisco, CA
    Nov. 2, 2011 1:33 p.m.

    On any public issue, isn't it important and necessary to hear the voices of all individuals or institutions with an interest in public health, safety, crime, morality, or impacts on the family, education, or the workplace?

    Who gets to choose which churches are allowed to speak and which aren't? You can't just single out and muzzle the one with the big foot or the one you don't like. The Southern Baptist and Seventh Day Adventist churches also frown on booze; should we shut them up too? PTAs, MADD, and automobile associations are outspoken about responsible drinking. Medical researchers keep finding reasons for people to be prudent with alcohol. Police, paramedics, and hospitals have a "big foot" in the community, and they have to deal with the immediate consequences of problem drinking. Can we kick them all out of the discussion? How soon before someone demands that because it carries a big foot, the Catholic Church ought to "butt out" of discussions of abortion?

    We either have a representative government where everyone is allowed to express their opinion and all groups are allowed to speak for their people--or we don't.

  • Joggle Clearfield, UT
    Nov. 2, 2011 1:28 p.m.

    @gramma b

    Perhaps many of you and others should step outside your boxes and read other sources to get the whole story! There is nothing dumb about the fact that the UHA is left out of discussions, but the LDS Church isn't. That is a clear case of bias exercised by Utah's legislature.

    "Before each general session, GOP and Democratic leaders in the House and Senate sit down separately with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints special affairs committee, a group made up of church general authorities, church public relations officials and their lobbyists, to discuss any items on the minds of both legislators and church leaders". Deseret News 1/19/08

    The UHA doesn't get to do the same? I think there is something very wrong with this picture!

  • My Humble Opinion Sandy, UT
    Nov. 2, 2011 1:26 p.m.

    @ Joggle: I'm glad you mentioned that we are part of a democratic republic. What I take from that is that the people have the right to freedom of speech and the right to petition their government, which rights the first ammendment grants us. I don't agree with your opinion, but I do believe you have the right to express it. The LDS church has that same right. The church does have a vested interest in the welfare of the state of Utah. Alcohol affects people whether they drink it or not. It can and does break up families (no, not EVERY family). The church believes families are crucial to our society and wants to protect them. Trying to restrict the rights of any organization to voice its opinion is simply unamerican.

  • gramma b Orem, UT
    Nov. 2, 2011 1:09 p.m.

    Really, people, read the article. This lawsuit is so fundamentally ridiculous that the Utah Hospitality Association and its lawyer should be forced to pay the State for the time spend in responding to it. It is dumber than a box of rocks.

  • Joggle Clearfield, UT
    Nov. 2, 2011 1:09 p.m.

    The complaints about the LDS Church are ligitimate when both sides are not being heard: "We know the church will never butt out," Wynn said, "but if they are going to be involved in it, at least talk to us and get our side of the liquor issue in this state. They are only getting one side. Nobody will talk to us."

    THAT says it all.

    While I must grudgingly agree that the LDS Church has the right to voice their opinion and represent a group view....I think it hugely unfair and biased to hear only one side.

    Deseret News failed to include this: The lawsuit also contends that a pair of church lobbyists had "warned" lawmakers that "there would be repercussions" if they disagreed with the church's position on the legislation. And...The association has no paid lobbyist and board members were shut out of conversations about the bill with both legislators -- including Valentine -- and the governor. Association attorneys say eliminating discount pricing for alcohol amounts to price-fixing that harms both consumers and businesses. They contend such limits on competition in liquor sales and distribution places an unfair restraint on trade that violates federal anti-trust laws_Fox_News.

  • Billy Pilgrim SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Nov. 2, 2011 1:08 p.m.

    Separation of church and state in Utah?

    Is this a joke?

    How do you have separation of church and state in a theocracy?

  • Lane Myer Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 2, 2011 12:54 p.m.

    JP71 | 12:41 p.m. Nov. 2, 2011
    Ogden, UT
    Lets go to Rome and complain about the Catholic influence, or to the south and complain about the Baptist influence, or Saudi Arabia and the Muslim influence. If you want to drink go live in Wyoming or Nevada. They will let you drink yourself to death if you want too. But dont complain about the Mormon influence in the Mormon capital of the world.

    ------------------

    EXCEPT that it is against the law. Read our state constitution.

    Those who are complaining have a good reason to. Right?

  • Lane Myer Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 2, 2011 12:52 p.m.

    georgeman: "No laws are being run through church leaders before being passed, that is just not happening. Legislators may be influenced as by any other lobbyist, but the stamp of approval does not come from the LDS Church before a law is enacted. The majority community values are being expressed in the laws, there is a difference. "

    ---------------

    Do you know this for a fact? Or is this what you want to believe?

    It has been reported that the LDS church looks over ALL legislation regarding liquor in this state. They also look over many more bills before they are passed.

    Why do you think that the LDS church has a full time lobbyist at the state capital?

    And...before each session starts, all lawmakers are invited to the LDS corp headquarters for a lunch and talk. Demos meet openly with them but Repubs have a closed door meeting. It looks funny and against the state constitution, doesn't it?

  • JP71 Ogden, UT
    Nov. 2, 2011 12:41 p.m.

    Lets go to Rome and complain about the Catholic influence, or to the south and complain about the Baptist influence, or Saudi Arabia and the Muslim influence. If you want to drink go live in Wyoming or Nevada. They will let you drink yourself to death if you want too. But dont complain about the Mormon influence in the Mormon capital of the world.

  • Trooper55 Williams, AZ
    Nov. 2, 2011 12:32 p.m.

    It seems to me that the churches in Utah have been getting involed in more issues that they shouldn't be. I believe that they need to keep to the business of spreading the world of the Lord and less in the politic. If they keep getting involed in some isssues, then they should be held accountable.

  • skeptic Phoenix, AZ
    Nov. 2, 2011 12:27 p.m.

    On the table or under the table, the church will have a strong voice in this matter.

  • georgeman Kearns, UT
    Nov. 2, 2011 12:22 p.m.

    Pagan 12:29 AM

    ...If I am not a member of the LDS church...
    why is my marriage a 'moral' issue to someone who is not in said, marriage?

    You did make it an issue!

    I appreciate the diversity you bring, I respect that you have a different view than I. I applaud your service to this country.

    The LDS Church is not trying to say what you have to do with your life. They are merely taking a stance on issues that they have strong beliefs about. No different than anyone else who takes a stance about their own beliefs.

    Every church in this country has that right, every citizen in this country has that right.

    This is also not a case of separation of church & state as others are saying.

    No laws are being run through church leaders before being passed, that is just not happening. Legislators may be influenced as by any other lobbyist, but the stamp of approval does not come from the LDS Church before a law is enacted. The majority community values are being expressed in the laws, there is a difference.

  • Joan Watson TWIN FALLS, ID
    Nov. 2, 2011 12:21 p.m.

    One must hope that the time never comes when religious denominations "butt out" or their good influence nuetered and their advise muzzled.

  • Joggle Clearfield, UT
    Nov. 2, 2011 12:09 p.m.

    @BobP

    Perhaps Utah via the LDS Church should secede from the U.S. That way they can have the theocracy they seem to prefer in this state and control everything. However, Utah wanted to receive the benefits the federal government has to offer so it gave up the right to be a theocracy and is instead a democratic republic. Perhaps Utah should isolate itself from the rest of the U.S., but that would mean giving up federal government perks, huh? The LDS church may be dominant, but it doesn't represent all the people. Unfortunately, many people's voices get drowned out here because of the power and influence the church wields and because its practically impossible to separate the Church from the State even when the state constitution says it must. Considering the state constitution says there should be a separation of Church and State....I think this association has good reason and standing to pursue this. Tough or stupid liquor laws only give the church and its members a false feeling they are preventing something when in actuality it changes nothing.

  • raybies Layton, UT
    Nov. 2, 2011 12:06 p.m.

    I don't drink, never have, but I've had to pay quite a bit to support the habit in others. Whether it's due to the unsightly beer canisters and bottles that one can find all over the "wild" outdoors from inebriated hikers who have no qualms about littering, or from the busted out windshield that I once discovered on my own car, because some kids were drinking in a parking lot and decided to throw their containers at my car, I would say the more we can limit and enforce responsible drinking the better.

    The problem with those entangled in the misuse of this legal drug is that the consequences come with a high price: Abuse, drunk driving, promiscuity due to the weakening of sensible inhibitions, and just the wanton disregard for civic decency, broken homes... we'd be best suited to avoid it altogether.

  • justaguy Out There in, WI
    Nov. 2, 2011 11:54 a.m.

    Sounds like the UHA is having a hard time accepting that they are not the only pebble on the beach. They are looking for advantage in the market place by trying to stifle a legitimate player in the process. I fully understand that they may feel their business is hampered by the particular public that makes up their market place. But seeking unfair advantage by excluding a rightful player is not the answer. Are they going to seek to single out and exclude every member of the public that opposes drinking? As has been pointed out, the church is not the only ones in opposition. This in no way is a seperation of church and state issue. Underhanded business practices is what this smacks of. I hope this effort gets laughed out of court. That's what it deserves.

  • firstamendment Lehi, UT
    Nov. 2, 2011 11:27 a.m.

    Seems some are saying: "cant legislate morality, can't tell us what to smoke, not to hit, who to sleep with or marry (how many, what age, what gender), or how fast to drive, or not to steal, lie, or murder (ten commandments are religious, so religious persons cant speak on this, violates our right of separation) but...since we're not religious!! Wellll ; ) we CAN tell you, who to marry and to tax Churches (but Churches cant buy public property) and you may scream hatred at Mormons and disrupt weddings on Temple square but Mormons cant speak freely on issues, or even read from pioneer journals on the Mormon trail (because the journals dont contain the sanitized Agnostic version of history); and no crosses for public servants (Arlington cemetery next?)actually, religious people should stop speaking entirely and let us get on with the 'important issues' (like? : ) : ))...pipe down or we'll tax you more (take provisions you give to the poor and donate to foreign banks, CEO bonuses, and our big controlling government (so they can use it for just causes, such as promoting homosexuality, etc)) it's OUR right, right?"

    Because we reject the Founders' Christian principles...: ): )

  • Richie Saint George, UT
    Nov. 2, 2011 11:26 a.m.

    This is all about greed. The tavern owners don't care what happens to the people. A very good friend of mine was hit by a drunken driver and killed. No matter how hard his wife tried to keep the family together she had real problems with the children. The people that fed the other driver booze didn't step forward to help the family. The LDS church did render assistance. A few years before that I was a heavy drinker at times and to this day I cannot understand why I never got a ticket for DUI and I never hit anyone. Someone was watching over me.

  • ksampow Farr West, Utah
    Nov. 2, 2011 11:24 a.m.

    @ClarkKent: Even if tthe percentage of active LDS members is or will be below 50%, it is still more than any other group in the state. To ignore the beliefs of a large portion of the population would be irresponsible. And, by the way, many who are not LDS choose to live in Utah for the family-friendly environment and want to keep it that way.

  • Evets Eagle Mountain, UT
    Nov. 2, 2011 11:03 a.m.

    For a long time I was somewhat sympathetic to the Utah Hospitality Association's quest to allow more liquer licenses because I wanted businesses to be free to grow and prosper with minimal government interference. With this attempt to muzzle the LDS church on liquer laws I have the feeling that the Association is getting out of hand. Therefore, I am going to encourage my representatives to go slow on allowing any expansion of liquer licenses.

    Am I being reasonable? Probably not! BUT I don't like the Associations attitude or the way it wants to "play ball". UHA don't ever try to limit my speech or anyone elses speach.

  • Kami Bountiful, Utah
    Nov. 2, 2011 10:52 a.m.

    CougarBlue | 10:11 a.m. Nov. 2, 2011
    Heber City, UT
    DeltaFoxtrot and ouisc what planet are you living on? 62% of this state is LDS. They are speaking for the majority of the people in this state.

    @CougarBlue. That statistic includes inactives and you should well know about the high percentage of inactives in this State, many of whom do not agree with the church's position on many issues. So .. I think it is reasonable to state that less than 50% of the people in this State are active LDS.

  • Pagan Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 2, 2011 10:51 a.m.

    '@ Pagan 12:29am

    I was waiting for you to make this a gay marriage debate.' - georgeman | 9:18 a.m. Nov. 2, 2011

    And since I have not, what does that make you look like?

    The LDS church has every right to dictate to it's followers.

    I am not a member of the LDS church.

    Please, stay out of my life.

    I am over 21, I have served in the US military, and I don't think a religion I do not belong too should have a say over what I do with my life.

    The facts, do not support the doctorine.

    *'Utah DUI arrests DECLINE despite looser liquor law' - By BROCK VERGAKIS - AP - Published by SL Tribune - 10/11/10

    'Opening Utahs bars to the public didnt result in an increase in drunk driving arrests.'

    And moderator,

    I was not the one who resorted to directed personal attacks instead of the story.

  • BobP Port Alice, B.C.
    Nov. 2, 2011 10:39 a.m.

    The LDS people settled in the Salt Lake Valley when it was still part of Mexico. They irrigated it, farmed it and built it up. The fought the Utah war. To this day they are the majority of the population.

    It's ours, we built it and we still own most it. If the booze lobby doesn't like it let them whine, and ignore them.

  • Lane Myer Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 2, 2011 10:34 a.m.

    Article 1 Section 4 (of the Utah State Constitution):

    "... There shall be no union of Church and State, nor shall any church dominate the State or interfere with its functions..."

    -----------------

    The constitution of Utah is much stronger than the US constitution as regards to the separation of church and state.

    Do you think that the control of liquor is a state function? Does the church have a right to interfere with that function per our state constitution?

    I say no.

  • Lane Myer Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 2, 2011 10:24 a.m.

    Cougar Blue: "No where in our constitution does it say separation of Church and state. That was the wording in a Supreme Court members opinion and is not fact, not is it law. You and other of your stance need to study the constitution before you make such silly irrational statements. "

    -------

    Actually, YOU need to read about it. It was written by Thomas Jefferson when he explained the first amendment.

    (BTW, who was the instigator behind the first ten amendments to the constitution, or bill of rights? Go find out.)

  • aumacoma SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Nov. 2, 2011 10:17 a.m.

    Ya know, I just can't see how so many faithful don't seem to grasp the concept of separtion of church and state when the whole point is to keep government from dictating how to worship or what to believe. This is to the benefit of all religions. Commonsense and logic tells you that it is also just as logical, and benficial to ALL of us, to not have religion dictate to government. Can you say 'Middle East'? We are first and foremost Americans. Country first. Not religion first. That would be a Theocracy, not a Democracy. I don't seem to ever have seen any government entity dictating to any religious group what they can choose to believe or prevent them from doing so. Nothing or no one can make anyone change their beliefs except a personal evolution. Yet the faithful seem to think that their religious freedom is being taken away because they can't dictate to government to pass laws on what to believe or how to worship. Completely illogical.

  • CougarBlue Heber City, UT
    Nov. 2, 2011 10:15 a.m.

    I feel we should quit eating at restaurants that belong to this organization and let them know how we feel about their ridiculous lawsuit. That would be as insane as what this group is trying accomplish. Insanity breeds insanity.

    Those that claim that we have stupid rules need to study facts before spouting off.

  • CougarBlue Heber City, UT
    Nov. 2, 2011 10:11 a.m.

    DeltaFoxtrot and ouisc what planet are you living on? 62% of this state is LDS. They are speaking for the majority of the people in this state. I would daresay that the Catholics are for limiting alcohol also, as I would assume the Baptismts, the Lutherans, etc. Are you ignorant of the rights of people or organizations to lobby for thing? Are you totally ignorant of the facts behind alcoholic use? Do you advocate that more alcohol should be available so we can have more drunks driving and more families being put through the horrors of alcoholic parents or their children becoming alcoholics. This lawsuit should be thrown and the group bringing it should be billed for any court costs for frivolous lawsuits. To say that a group should not be afforded their constitutional rights is ludicrous and undemocratic.

    No where in our constitution does it say separation of Church and state. That was the wording in a Supreme Court members opinion and is not fact, not is it law. You and other of your stance need to study the constitution before you make such silly irrational statements.

  • RodsA SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Nov. 2, 2011 10:03 a.m.

    I've never completely understood all this phobia over liquor. Didn't Jesus have a glass of wine at the last supper? Europeans have better health than Americans because they have a shot of liquor only with food. It is a natural blood thinner. This is probably one of these cultural things.
    I do think that any entity that doesn't pay taxes should not be lobbying lawmakers.

  • ted001 Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Nov. 2, 2011 9:42 a.m.

    georgeman, you're totally missing the point.
    I am an individual taxpayer, but my employer pays taxes too.

    Your church is a religious organization exempt from paying taxes, but they want to guide legislation. Therein lies the source of the lawsuit.

  • JoeBlow Miami Area, Fl
    Nov. 2, 2011 9:41 a.m.

    Here is where the difference is.

    It is one thing to be morally opposed to alcohol and have that message ingrained in church messages.

    It is very different situation when Law Makers feel the need to take specific written legislation and run it past church leadership for approval.

    Does one not think that a church official may say something like "I am opposed to what is written, but if you changed it to read this, we would not be opposed"

    The latter is unreasonable influence for a tax exempt organization.

  • Tibi001 Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Nov. 2, 2011 9:29 a.m.

    A message to the church of the Latter day Saints of Jesus Christ: Jesus Christ drank wine. Just read the bible. It's in it. Yupp, it is

  • georgeman Kearns, UT
    Nov. 2, 2011 9:26 a.m.

    @ ToBeReadOutLoud

    As a tax-exempt religious organization, isn't the LDS church prohibited from political activity?

    The Church is free to do whatever they want with liquor laws...if they start paying taxes

    Don't the members of the LDS Church pay taxes?

    The UHA can't tell the LDS Church what to do until they start paying tithing!!

  • Kami Bountiful, Utah
    Nov. 2, 2011 9:19 a.m.

    ToBeReadOutLoud | 8:24 a.m. Nov. 2, 2011
    SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    As a tax-exempt religious organization, isn't the LDS church prohibited from political activity?

    The Church is free to do whatever they want with liquor laws...if they start paying taxes.

    @ToBeRedOutLoud, not you are not correct. The church may not endorse any particular political candidate (although if you carefully read DN, which is owned by the church, one could argue that an endorsement for a Presidential candidate is clearly occurring here). The church may address its views on political and other issues without losing its tax exempt status.

  • georgeman Kearns, UT
    Nov. 2, 2011 9:18 a.m.

    @ Pagan 12:29am

    I was waiting for you to make this a gay marriage debate.

    The LDS Church has every right to determine what it considers a moral issue just as much as you have the right to determine what is not, whether it is drinking alcohol, gay marriage, pornography, etc...

    You just don't like anything the LDS Church says or does and can't wait to weigh in against them on every article that involves them.

  • ClarkKent Bountiful, Utah
    Nov. 2, 2011 9:13 a.m.

    Perhaps the LDS church should get involved in legislating the overconsumption of food, particularly when children are involved -- that would do a lot more Utahans good than legislating the sale and consumption of alcohol. But then, that would also require a good look in the mirror ...

  • JohnnyJingle SOUTH JORDAN, UT
    Nov. 2, 2011 8:54 a.m.

    Only in Utah is alcohol considered a "moral" issue.

  • georgeman Kearns, UT
    Nov. 2, 2011 8:44 a.m.

    @ The Atheist
    It really is strange that the opinions of a group that does not believe in consuming liquor at all should have anything of value to add to the regulations governing the consumption of alcohol.

    That would be like considering the opinion of vegetarians on how to cook and serve meat.

    Kind of like the way a group of Atheists (from another state)who don't believe in God have an issue with crosses for Highway Patrol officers who were killed.

    Double standard!!

  • Paul in MD Montgomery Village, MD
    Nov. 2, 2011 8:41 a.m.

    Every state regulates alcohol sales. Every state also asks representatives of large groups of people what they think of possible legislation. Utah legislators asking LDS church representatives their opinion is considered business as usual.

    Just because Utah's legislators can't come up with sensible liquor laws doesn't mean it's the LDS church's fault. The church isn't writing the legislation.

    On another note, the Constitutional clause governing separation of church and state says "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." This leaves government open to recognize that there is religion in the public square.

    Acknowledging that there is religion, and that people hold certain ideas about how their government should govern because of their religious beliefs does not violate the concept of separation of church and state. Banning religious groups from voicing their opinions actually does violate that, by using law to restrict input to those groups who hold no religious beliefs. That would, in essence, establish the "religion" of Atheism.

  • ToBeReadOutLoud SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Nov. 2, 2011 8:40 a.m.

    I think Utah's low DUI rate and safe suburban communities exist because of the populace, not because of the existence of stricter liquor laws. There are a lot of Mormons who don't drink.
    I highly doubt making alcohol more readily available at clubs or restaurants will drive those non-drinkers to drink or become alcoholics.

    What looser liquor laws *would* do is increase the state's tourism revenue. Every person who comes to SLC or Park City is not Mormon and might enjoy having a glass of wine with dinner, but limiting liquor licenses limits where and when they can get that glass of wine.

    Do you want your personal moral beliefs to harm Utah's income? As a student who has to pay 10% more in tuition every year, I certainly don't. I don't drink, but I don't like being broke, either.

  • UtahResident Lehi, UT
    Nov. 2, 2011 8:40 a.m.

    To all those who say that the LDS Church and mormons should butt out of the crafting of alcohol laws because they don't drink and they don't produce alcohol, I will agree to that if you agree to the following that uses the same logic:
    We allow only murderers to create our laws on killing.
    We allow only burglars and thieves to create our laws on stealing.
    We allow only gangs to create our laws on vandalism.
    We allow only con artists to create our laws on scams.
    We allow only parents of students to vote on school bonds.

    It is totally ridiculous to not allow some one a voice on an issue just because they don't do a particular activity associated with that issue. Just because some one doesn't participate in an activity doesn't mean that they are not affected by it.

  • 3grandslams Iowa City, IA
    Nov. 2, 2011 8:32 a.m.

    Drinking is a social issue with social repercussions. The Church has every right allowed by the Constitution to have a voice on this issue since they are a member of society. To force them to be silent is a direct affront to free speech.

    The Constitution doesn't guarantee speech only if it agrees with your opinion.

    The hospitality board has thrown in the seperation issue (not part of the constitution) hoping the public hasn't read the constitution. Won't fly in Utah.

  • stanfunky Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 2, 2011 8:28 a.m.

    "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of
    religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging
    the freedom of speech..."

    So you cannot make a law specific to the LDS Church, prohibiting them from lobbying for/against laws, or muzzle their freedom of speech.

    This lawsuit will get tossed in the first 5 minutes.

  • ToBeReadOutLoud SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Nov. 2, 2011 8:24 a.m.

    As a tax-exempt religious organization, isn't the LDS church prohibited from political activity?

    The Church is free to do whatever they want with liquor laws...if they start paying taxes.

  • majmajor Layton, UT
    Nov. 2, 2011 8:17 a.m.

    This is an attempt of a group's (liquor business associations) attempt to deny another's group's (LDS Church) 1st Amendment rights because the first group's disagreement. Just because someone represents a church, he or she doesn't lose the freedom of speech.

    Utah doesn't have that weird of liquor laws. Kentucky has dry counties (prohibition). The county that Jack Daniels is produced is dry... In PA, you can't buy beer in a convenience store. There are special "drive through" beer stores, and everything else is sold in a liquor store.

    Religion is part of all of the above local culture and morals, which are translated into laws. Deal with it.

  • jdd WEST JORDAN, UT
    Nov. 2, 2011 8:13 a.m.

    This frivilous lawsuit needs to be thrown out. Hasn't the lawyer read the First Amendment which guarantees freedom of speech to all, including those with another point of view? Churches have just as much right to weigh in on issues as the liquor industry, gays, unions, and everyone else. It is alarming that anyone would seek to get a court to deny a basic constitutional right to anyone just because they disagree with them.

    They also need to read the 21st Amendment which give states ultimate control over liquor laws. If one doesn't like Utah liquor laws, they should vote for legislators who embrace their point of view, rather than seek to get the courts to revoke the free speech rights of a group with which they disagree.

  • Flashback Kearns, UT
    Nov. 2, 2011 8:01 a.m.

    So all you lovers of Constitutional rights want to deny the LDS church theirs? Hypocrites.

  • wazzup Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Nov. 2, 2011 7:59 a.m.

    You can legislate what legislators think and why? Remind me again who is crazy here?

  • J-TX Allen, TX
    Nov. 2, 2011 7:49 a.m.

    Hey, Utah;

    Try a little perspective on for size. In Oregon, where I lived until 6 years ago, the State controls all liquor consumption by routing all liquor through state stores. Bars and restaurants pay the same price as a private citizen, so the drink in the bar costs 4X what it would cost at home.

    In Texas, where I live now, there are still "Blue Laws" which allow Dry Cities and even Dry Counties, where you cannot buy liquor at all, but have to drive to the next town or county. (Beer and wine are excepted, but you can't buy them after 10:00 PM or on Sunday).

    These are the result of the values of the community, as is the discussion in Utah. In neither Oregon or Texas is the LDS Church at the core of the debate. In Oregon, the State wants all the revenue. In Texas, deep seated Christian values drive policy. In Utah the LDS Church reflects much of the state's culture, and their right to free speech allows them to wield influence on the regulations governing the populace.

  • Jim Mesa, Az
    Nov. 2, 2011 7:45 a.m.

    I have to agree with Gramma b, there is no constitutional right to consume alcohol, but there is a constitutional right for peoples voices to be heard irrespective of their religious beliefs. One could argue that it is not constitutional for people to refuse input because of their religious beliefs.

  • ? SLC, UT
    Nov. 2, 2011 7:33 a.m.

    What's keeping some of these "Good" resturants from coming to Utah, but not serve alcohol as they do in other places? If what they serve really is that good, people will come whether there is alcohol served or not.

  • paulw Springville, UT
    Nov. 2, 2011 7:25 a.m.

    Could we get some better reporting? Any group that wants to tell anyone that they don't have a right to participate in democracy, is a despicable group. I want to know who they are, so I can be sure not to patronize them.

  • MAYHEM MIKE Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 2, 2011 7:16 a.m.

    I never cease to be amazed at the anti-LDS comments on articles like this one. It makes me think I'm reading an article in the SL Tribune or the Washington Post or New York Times! Why are "liberals" interested in reading a paper that's markedly conservative in the first place?

  • BrianS Martinsburg, WV
    Nov. 2, 2011 6:53 a.m.

    The LDS church or any other religious organization should be banned from lobbying or imposing their beliefs on any legislator? Really. Should we ban any group from lobbying for laws that are of concern to them? How about banning gun lobbyist from being able to influence laws?

    I thought that was the whole idea of lobbying in the first place.

  • BrianS Martinsburg, WV
    Nov. 2, 2011 6:43 a.m.

    Atheist,
    actually your comparison of asking a vegetarian how to cook meet would be more along the lines of asking a non-drinker how to mix their drink. But asking the opinion of people about liquor laws? I guess if I don't have a license to drive I can't express an opinion on speeding laws. If your logic is followed out, only women would have a say in abortion laws (which frankly makes sense to me since only women can have babies), only doctors would have a say in medical care laws, only construction workers would have a say in building and code laws... or maybe only lawyers would have a say in any law.

  • Jonathan Eddy Payson, UT
    Nov. 2, 2011 6:42 a.m.

    The Church sure is making it hard for a lobbyist to earn a decent living.

  • botdriver Midvale, UT
    Nov. 2, 2011 6:12 a.m.

    Does the LDS have the right to influence legislation, The statute for separation of Church and State was made when religion began to interfere with school teachings, and in the ways people think. Such as Darwin's law of Evolution, or life in space. What happened was Churches complained, and threatened teachers for teaching it, on the other hand what we have done, and this was many years ago is, remove school prayer, and the Pledge of allegiance. When one went the other did too, can't have one without the other. Churches should only be involved with their church and their parishioner's. They should not be allowed to influence the business practices of a state, or tell people what they can or can not do, enough is on their plate. Liquor is not the business of the church, nor the state, except to monitor the license's it issues, and those that sell it adhere to the laws applied. Liquor should be sold to business's directly, outside state run. If this states lawmakers can't make decision's, without outside influence (LDS church or any church, lobbyist's), we have a problem.

    I guess that can go with our current Federal government as well.

  • Dilly Cedar City, UT
    Nov. 2, 2011 5:02 a.m.

    If the LDS Church lost its right to lobby, then, by reasonable inference, other lobby groups, such as the UEA, UPEA, and the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance would have to forfeit their voices in the political process. Who wants that!

  • Stenar Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 2, 2011 1:22 a.m.

    Privatize Utah liquor sales.

  • Pagan Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 2, 2011 12:29 a.m.

    'The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints has an obligation to make its position known on any moral issue.' - savage sam | 11:28 p.m. Nov. 1, 2011

    And what EXACTLY constitutes a 'moral' issue.

    That's right.

    Anything the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints says is a moral issue.

    Would you like an example?

    What I choose to drink, when I am over 21 years of age and NOT a member of the LDS church, is not a moral issue.

    Want another example?

    If I am not a member of the LDS church...

    why is my marriage a 'moral' issue to someone who is not in said, marriage?

  • Munk Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Nov. 2, 2011 12:14 a.m.

    Strict liquor laws have done nothing to reduce the number of DUIs. That is a fallacy. The church has every right to make its opinion known as does any citizen or group in this state. It does not have the right however to act as if part of the legislature. If you wish to do that, then you must have fair representation by all the faiths here, not just the dominant one.

    What is naive is the fact that some of this mentality is hurting the state. You also want to get DUIs down? Add a small surcharge to the increased alcohol sale and put more cops on the road... and that will lower other crime as well.... Then again.. the police reports seem to indicate that a lot of the DUIs are upstanding members of the church and community.

  • savage sam Irvine, CA
    Nov. 1, 2011 11:28 p.m.

    The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints has an obligation to make its position known on any moral issue. Consumption of alcoholic beverages is a moral issue. Therefore the Church has an obligation to make its position clear. Taking a position is not the same as taking away a person's agency.

  • DSB Cedar Hills, UT
    Nov. 1, 2011 11:14 p.m.

    @Prodicus 10:08 - I regret that I have but one Recommendation to give for your post.

  • Herbal Tea Partier Taylorsville, UT
    Nov. 1, 2011 10:43 p.m.

    I like Utah's liquor law that prohibits the sale of alcohol on election day until after 8 p.m. That's why we have such great leaders here and representing us in Washington, D.C.

    If other states would adopt the same law, we would have more decent national leaders. Half the people who vote don't know anything about politics, the Constitution, or current events. Add on being intoxicated, and we end up with a President Obama, a Nancy Pelosi, etc.

  • niners SAINT GEORGE, UT
    Nov. 1, 2011 10:27 p.m.

    This is right on...I do not drink alcohol, I am a Mormon, but Utah follows the laws of the United States Government...Why do Utahan's think separation from church and state does not apply to us?

  • DSB Cedar Hills, UT
    Nov. 1, 2011 10:16 p.m.

    Christy - you make me laugh. I lived in Portland for 8 years, and although Beaverton was indeed a nice suburb of Portland, the liberal laws forcing everyone to live among the lowest legal standards of humanity certainly created a very unfavorable climate in many areas for family-oriented people.

    Even though I loved Portland and really did not initially like the idea of moving to Utah, my experience has been that Utah's community standards are far, far more wholesome than those in the Portland area. But, if an unrestrained proliferation of strip clubs, pornography stores, and available liquor is your vision of ideal community standards, you should vote to make sure they remain legal and plentiful in your community.

    Power should be in the people who live in the community, and my neighbors and I should not be ashamed to use our voices to influence the standards of our community. Neither should any organization, such as the church, that also resides in the community. Anyone who disagrees should have a voice as well. Engage in the debate and let the people vote.

  • Prodicus Provo, UT
    Nov. 1, 2011 10:08 p.m.

    @Christy- I'm certainly not saying Utah legislation is perfect (one glance through the smog in our valleys tells me there are ways our community standards need improving) or that every place with looser liquor laws is a slum.

    What I am saying: the fundamental idea of democracy is that people get to collectively choose what kind of society to be. Those who get worked up about liquor laws infringing on their "right" to do whatever they darn well please are really claiming that the wishes of the majority should be ignored and we should all have to live with lowest-common-denominator standards.

    If you and most folks in Beaverton prefer liberal liquor laws, fine for you. But if you move to a place where most people disagree, don't expect to foist that policy on everybody else.

    The Founders came up with a very short and very appropriate list of cases where the individual's interests should trump the majority (the Bill of Rights) and a short list of Federal powers for making universal laws. In all other cases- liquor expressly included per section 2 of the 21st amendment- states and communities should choose what to become.

  • DUBBLEDUB Scottsdale, AZ
    Nov. 1, 2011 9:28 p.m.

    Bout time.

  • Zona Zone Mesa, AZ
    Nov. 1, 2011 9:00 p.m.

    This is clearly a P.R. stunt because the result the Hospitality Association would have the Court reach would itself be unconstitutional since it clearly limits free speech of the Church, a violation of the First Amendment. Meanwhile, the claim obviously could not implicate the free exercise clause, so it has to go to the establishment clause. The Church is not a state actor, so it can't be precluded from lobbying. At best, the Hospitality Association may claim that Legislators violate the establishment clause when they listen to the LDS Church, but that is too far attenuated from the Constitution to have merit and is open to claims that such a position is (1) unconstitutionally non-justiciable, (2) imposes an unconstitutional religious test, (3) unconstitutionally restricts free speech, and (4) unconstitutionally targets a religion, a violation of the free exercise clause. The only reasonable conclusion is that the Hospitality Association is attempting to bully the LDS Church into being silent because, legally, their case is an embarrassment.

  • BSU Lehi, UT
    Nov. 1, 2011 8:57 p.m.

    When my wife moved here from Pittsburgh she was surprised to see beer selling in grocery stores, convenience stores, and so on. I didnt realize that there were places with laws stricter than Utah, but I knew Utah had very low rates of death by drunk driving and was always proud that I lived in a State where we put life above getting tourist dollars. I looked up Pittsburgh stats and they had even lower rates of death by automobile accident.

    Some people are always angry whenever the LDS Church does anything, builds anything, or speaks on anything, so it's difficult to do anything good in Utah (even if the LDS Church isn't involved at all). Some people scream that Mormons (the Church is all of us) should only be involved in moral issues, but saving lives and helping prevent other drunken mistakes are certainly moral issues.
    I say let them speak, let everyone speak on the issue before letting a few, who might put dollars and profit over life, decide for all of us.

  • steve-0 CLEARFIELD, UT
    Nov. 1, 2011 8:56 p.m.

    I love when I hear people who move to Utah and love how family friendly and safe it is then complain they can't find beer or porn. There's a reason why its so pleasant here.

    Just as any lobby, the LDS church is well within its rights of free speech to chime in on legislation.

  • als Atheist Provo, UT
    Nov. 1, 2011 8:54 p.m.

    Bill in Nebraska wrote:

    "Our failure [to regulate alcohol] will destroy the society in which we live."

    Oh, No! The destruction of society argument...again!

    The gays getting married will destroy society.
    Loosening alcohol laws will destroy society.
    Removing crosses from the side of the freeway will destroy society.
    Failing to pay off the national debt will destroy society.

    yada, yada...

    When you religious people are done crying wolf, please let us know so we can get down to the business of actually solving important problems.

    Until then, all you do is undermine your own credibility with your fear-mongering and horribilizing paranoia.

  • Bill in Nebraska Maryville, MO
    Nov. 1, 2011 8:38 p.m.

    Many will tell you they want stricter laws to make it more difficult to get the alchol. They want the bars to be forced to close earlier. They want anyone that sells alchol to stop selling alchol at least one hour before they close. They also want stricter laws for those who have more than one DUI. Some states are even allowing Insurance Companies to have lower rates for those who have never been convicted of a DUI. Ask the families that have an alcholic father, son, mother, daughter, etc. what they feel and the answers are the same. In fact, there are teenagers today that are alcholics before they even get out of middle school. Tougher laws are needed and the data I've mentioned is every where on the internet. I agree with the laws of Utah to make it harder for others to get it. Still they will get it if they want. They will still drink and drive. There will still be alcholics but it is up to the common man to try and reduce the threat. Our failure will destroy the society in which we live.

  • Bill in Nebraska Maryville, MO
    Nov. 1, 2011 8:32 p.m.

    As fr alchol and its evils there are many. However, there are 18-20 year olds that are dying for their country and are not allowed to drink. They are however, allowed to vote. This is a national age limit. This age limit was decided upon by members of congress and was decided solely on the data that accidents involving this age group almost always involved drinking and speed. They still get their alchol and we still have the problem. Yet, nothing has changed in the 25 years since it was placed into effect.

    It is well known that many drink to excess that many can not drink just one drink. I believe that we have made it too easy across this country for anyone to get alchol anytime they want it. In fact there was a time when DUIs were more prevalent after 2:00am. Why because this is how late bars across this country are open. Now with the advent of alchol being sold in grocery stores (Walmart, Sams Club, convient stores, etc.) people are DUI at all hours of the day. Ask the families of loved ones killed by a drunk driver what their feelings are.

  • Eugene2 Bear Lake, ID
    Nov. 1, 2011 8:09 p.m.

    Churches all over this land speak out on moral issues all the time. Barring the LDS Church its opinion is wrong on so many levels. The subject of no drinking is no different. If those who drink would live in a vacuum, then that is one thing. Since they have to live with non-drinkers then all who have an opinion are guaranteed the opportunity to opine. Unfortunately, there is a health and safety issue for all, especially when drinking is followed by driving.

  • kargirl Sacramento, CA
    Nov. 1, 2011 8:01 p.m.

    The LDS Church happens to have a whole lot of members in Utah, and, oh, yes, it's where the headquarters are. So? Just because some people say something or hold an office who happen to be LDS (or Catholic or Druids, for goodness' sake!) doesn't mean they represent that group. When I speak, I don't represent my religion, or left-handed people, or anything else, unless I was chosen to speak as that group's specific representative. Please, before assuming that "The LDS (Mormon) Church" is doing, saying, weighing in, or deciding on something, be sure that is really what is happening, and not that the person/people doing it don't just happen to be members of it. After all, if they were all left-handed, would you say it was a left-handed pressure group?

  • Jeff Temple City, CA
    Nov. 1, 2011 7:23 p.m.

    The issue, according to the article, is whether or not the Church, which is both a constituent of the Utah State Legislature, and which represents the strongly held beliefs of more than half of Utahns, may express itself to the legislature.

    I cannot see why anyone would reason that it should not be so. People who oppose the Church may join with like-minded individuals and elect representatives who share their views, thereby limiting any perceived influence the Church may have. If that is so, the contrary may happen as well (if you forbid one, you must forbid the other).

    Churches, just like large, secular organizations (such as The Sierra Club or the National Rifle Association), ought to be given access to those who potentially represent them and their members. If any such organization is able to persuade the members of their group to support or oppose whatever law, either through direct election or through election of representatives, more's the power to them.

    Limiting one group's access to government must inevitably lead to all groups' access.

  • Brave Sir Robin San Diego, CA
    Nov. 1, 2011 7:02 p.m.

    The fact that so many people (on these forums and elsewhere) are so bent about the possibility of not being able to get their precious alcohol tells you a lot about what a dangerous vice alcohol is.

  • kargirl Sacramento, CA
    Nov. 1, 2011 6:59 p.m.

    First time I voted was in the Commonwealth of Virginia, and the voting age was 21. The issue--liquor by the drink. The good citizens who lived in Virginia were leaving the state to enjoy dinner out with a glass of their favorite alcoholic beverage elsewhere, since we didn't allow it sold other than at state stores Monday through Saturday (Blue Laws). Where I lived, people went to the really fine establishments in D.C. The revenues, of course, from the fine meals (and we did have nice restaurants), theaters, and other activities available were going to other places, instead of our state. That was the backstory of the issue. I was a thoughtful, voting, LDS woman. I voted with my conscience. It's a secret ballot, but I am sure the hospitality businesses in Virginia did better later that year.

  • Christy Beaverton, OR
    Nov. 1, 2011 6:52 p.m.

    Prodicus is a perfect example of a Utahn wearing blinders. As if my safe, family-centered community, with it's liberal liquor laws, has a bar on every corner and drunks stumbling around. You think Utahns have better community standards than anywhere else? Come on.

  • southmtnman Provo, UT
    Nov. 1, 2011 6:35 p.m.

    I attended a VIP get together at Abravanel Hall the other night where they served alcohol. The event was sponsored by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Foundation. Free wine was served, both red and white.

  • Cowboy Joe Encampment, WY
    Nov. 1, 2011 6:34 p.m.

    How come many posters are saying it is ok for the church to chime in on alcohol, but these same posters say the church should not get involved in the immigration debate?

    Many hypocrites are posting here.

  • Prodicus Provo, UT
    Nov. 1, 2011 6:20 p.m.

    @ DSB 3:40 p.m.

    Thanks for hitting the nail on the head about what is the real issue here. Somehow people seem to think that the views of the majority about community standards and many other kinds of legislation ought to be ignored just because their views are influenced by their faith.

    Liquor laws are one of the ways we as a people decide what kind of community we want to be. I've been in plenty of places in the US where there's a bar on almost every corner and drunkards ambling unsteadily around every street. If that's the kind of community you want to live in, you ought to move to one of these locations; you'll find plenty of people who share your opinions and you can have the community standards you want. In the meantime we in Utah will choose to have different standards.

  • Christy Beaverton, OR
    Nov. 1, 2011 6:02 p.m.

    The Church likes to legislate morality. It should pay taxes for the privilege.

  • John C. C. Payson, UT
    Nov. 1, 2011 5:47 p.m.

    They want a judge to "block Utah legislators from considering input from the LDS Church."

    This would be an effective denial of free speech.

    Exactly where do they feel the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints crosses the line in exerting "too much influence?"

    Do they threaten the lawmakers' good standing in the Church? Do they promise to increase or decrease political funding? Or do they just say, "We feel this is or is not a good idea?"

    Think of it this way. What if a single person has no official power of her own, but expresses an opinion that almost everyone chooses to agree with? Would that mean that she exercises excessive influence?

    If so, perhaps all popular, wise, educated, experienced, intelligent, thoughtful, and/or inspired individuals need to be muzzled to keep us from listening to anyone we choose to respect.

    Perhaps the next step is to muzzle God's influence by outlawing prayer or forbidding us from referring to our better judgment when voting, lest their be something in the better judgment section of our brains that exercises excessive influence.

  • Noodlekaboodle Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 1, 2011 5:01 p.m.

    Why should the LDS church have special access to legislators? I can't call my state senator(John Valentine) and have a meeting about liquor laws before the legislative session starts. Heck, I can't even get a form letter from his office when I write in about an issue. Do you think he would treat Pres Monson the same way? I would eat my own face if he did. However, I think this speaks to a bigger problem in politics. The rich and or powerfull(think lobbyists for large companies and just plain old rich guys) have a much easier time pushing their agenda on the rest of us than the average man does and the LDS church falls into the catagory of both rich and powerfull.

  • Doctor Tucson, AZ
    Nov. 1, 2011 5:00 p.m.

    The LDS church is free to influence the legislators on Sunday, but as a religious institution they should not get preferential input on bills.

  • runsrealfast POCATELLO, ID
    Nov. 1, 2011 4:52 p.m.

    Heres the thing about liquor laws (or almost any law for that matter). They are in place because someone did something stupid and caused harm to another. Maybe no one is arguing that point but when one entity has information to create any law shouldnt that come into play? Do we not consider ALL the facts before making a choice? Do we also not consider the moral consequences ? In reality what should be happening is that the legislators should be required to ask more religious groups and more MADD groups, and other groups(who support the freedom to drink) while considering these laws. We are supposed to be a government of the people that means ALL groups should get a say. Limiting this actually goes against the consitution.

  • Pagan Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 1, 2011 4:49 p.m.

    My concern would be what FACTUAL information would the LDS church provide on this subject?

    Factual.

    Not theological.

  • speed66 Heber City, UT
    Nov. 1, 2011 4:42 p.m.

    @LDSRichard - I feel for your loss. I've had two family members killed by drunk driving. However, more people are killed by over-eating every year than alcohol...should we make that illegal as well? Will we make it illegal to feed your children unhealthy foods and portions a crime?

    Consuming alcohol in and of itself is not "immoral" or dangerous. It's the abuse of the alcohol. Why is it that the very people who want to make alcohol illegal are the ones who refuse to want to put any limits on firearms?

    I believe in tough drunk-driving laws. I believe in education. I do not believe that laws that are primary for show are the answer.

    Even if drinking is immoral, you can't and shouldn't legislate morality. It just doesn't work.

  • Drew1house PLEASANT GROVE, UT
    Nov. 1, 2011 4:32 p.m.

    I was at the meet the candidates night last thursday here in Pleasant Grove. PG is in great need of a greater commercial tax base. We have the land for it. Zoned correctly and available cheap... We have a larger population base than neighboring American Fork or Lindon and yet we cannot attract a couple of nice sit-down restaurants due to no available liquor licenses. The candidates were excited to outdo each other in either how they were going to go fix this issue one way or another with no concept of how the DABC works in Utah. It was comical really... only a couple of the candidates knew anything about what the challenges were to dealing with this. Funny but I would bet my left foot each and every one of those running is a good LDS church member. All desperate to help get more licenses... As a LDS church member I think the DABC policies are too stringent. We need more agency... what happened to raise them up the way they will go and when they are old they will not depart from it or whatever... Seems like regulate so we can avoid temptation works better?

  • ClarkKent Bountiful, Utah
    Nov. 1, 2011 4:29 p.m.

    Linus | 4:05 p.m. Nov. 1, 2011
    Bountiful, UT
    Since approximately fifty-eight percent of the population in Utah are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

    @Linus -- that statistic includes inactive members of the church. I'd guess that significantly less than 50% of the population in Utah are active LDS and that number is dropping. Another 2 - 3 generations LDS will be way down there in the minority. The power and control of a religious institution over State politicians will then have been lost.

  • DeltaFoxtrot West Valley, UT
    Nov. 1, 2011 4:28 p.m.

    @gramma b: I see you've never lived in the South. There may be dry counties, but the South is the home of good old fashioned moonshine. All the Baptists over there who say they don't drink... you can find them pounding PBR at the race track, in the stands at a football game or with a cooler on the fishing boat. They dress up nice and go to service on Sunday, but they enjoy themselves the rest of the time. Believe me, I lived there for 27 years.

  • speed66 Heber City, UT
    Nov. 1, 2011 4:25 p.m.

    First, I don't drink. Second, I can't tell from this article how much or how the LDS church influences the law. Are they helping to draft language? The church will always have its hands in our laws in Utah. That's part of the problem of having a church that believes it communicates directly with god. They feel they have better judgment than others despite their rather imperfect track record.

    The laws are absurd and they serve little purpose except to make getting a drink inconvenient. They remind me of the security screening at the airport...more for show than for actual safety.

    Trying to eliminate "daily drink specials" is clearly not the purview of the state legislature. It is also clearly over-reaching to limit liquor licenses based on population. Those who drink will drink. Having four more restaurants that serve alcohol won't cause anyone else to start drinking.

  • Pagan Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 1, 2011 4:23 p.m.

    'SALT LAKE CITY A trade group for bars and restaurants is asking a federal judge to block Utah legislators from considering input from the LDS Church when drafting future liquor laws.' - Article

    And when the LDS church starts PRODUCING it's own form of liquor, I can understand it's input.

    However, since they do NOT factaully have any input except 'it's against our doctorine', I fail to see any facts that would contribute to the debate.

    Also, we have EVIDENCE that the relaxing liquor laws have NO EFFECT on Utah's mentality in regards to alchohol consumption:

    *'Utah DUI arrests DECLINE despite looser liquor law' - By BROCK VERGAKIS - AP - Published by SL Tribune - 10/11/10

    Opening Utahs bars to the public didnt result in an increase in drunk driving arrests.

    Keep your faith. It is yours.

    Allow others the freedom to do as THEY wish.

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    Nov. 1, 2011 4:23 p.m.

    Drinking alcohol is not a moral issue, unless it is abused. But that is true with a lot of things. The LDS church chooses to ask their members to abstain and this is fine, but there is no reason for the LDS church to try to make it difficult for the population in general to drink.

    Jesus did make alcoholic wine. Some LDS doubt this, but when he made the wine from water, the lord of the feast, asked why the best wind was put out second, and not first. He said, when people are well DRUNK, then the lesser (good) wine is set out, but he said, you have put out the best wind out second. Therefore they were not talking about non alcoholic wine in the new testament. Their wind had alcohol.

    Later in the New testament, it says bishops shall not be 'given to strong drink', i.e. drink (much) alcohol. This would never be said about bishops if the church back then didn't allow drinking of alcohol, because it would have been understood to apply to all people of the church.

  • DSB Cedar Hills, UT
    Nov. 1, 2011 4:13 p.m.

    To DeltaFoxTrot - what a bunch of hogwash. Using religion to CONTROL government is called "theocracy." Allowing everyone, including sports clubs, insurance groups, unions, corporate lobbyists, the NRA, Mothers Against Drunk Drivers, Loggers, Environmentalists, Evolutionists, the American Medical Association, and yes, even Religions to have whatever influence they can legally wield on our government is called a Democratic Republic. If you don't like how your representatives represent you, convince others to your thinking and vote them out.

    Follow your conscience, express your voice, engage in the debate, and let the voters decide. Engage the courts if you think the will of the majority is unconstitutional.

    Your desire to silence all other significant voices in the formation of our society, when you are in the minority, is much closer to a theocratic philosophy, even if your theology doesn't include a God.

  • LDSRichard KAYSVILLE, UT
    Nov. 1, 2011 4:09 p.m.

    I support any legislation against alcohol consumption. If good, high moral, christian legislators want to vote the views of the majority of their voters then so be it. Don't call them "the" LDS church when they exercise their moral rights to protect and build up a better society. I was hit buy three drunk farm laborers in California June 19th. They all had multiple DUI's. My truck killed two of them, as they hit me head on with the drivers side of their Cavalier. The third ran to Mexico as he was the owner of the car. I took three drunks off the roads of California, lost my income, my ability to walk, and had to move back to Utah to live with family. So, tell me why you oppose stricter drinking laws? They are not strict enough. Do not blame the LDS church for your bad habits and choices. If you do not like the liquor laws then find another place to live. I will always be a victim and a statistic a sounding voice against alcohol the rest of my life, whats left of it.

  • Linus Bountiful, UT
    Nov. 1, 2011 4:05 p.m.

    Since approximately fifty-eight percent of the population in Utah are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, it stands to reason that those elected by the majority to represent them in the legislature are going to be responsive to their constituency. The Constitution of the United States works only if our representatives hear and represent the majority view while protecting the constitutional rights of all.

    Those pursuing this law suit need instead to concentrate their efforts on the passage of a constitutional amendment that makes free-flowing alcohol consumption a protect right. Otherwise, let legislators represent the majority view. After all, we believe in a government of the people, by the people and for the people. And, as one of the people, I would like to see alcohol consumption ended entirely. But I don't get my way any more than these folks do.

  • Taco Salad Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Nov. 1, 2011 3:45 p.m.

    I think the alcohol law the state are dumb however the LDS Church has as much rights to be heard as the Restaurant, Club, and Hospitality Association that is trying to deny them the same rights in the suit.

  • OnlyInUtah Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Nov. 1, 2011 3:42 p.m.

    There is nothing wrong with allowing the State Legislators to hear the opinion of the leaders of any Church within the state. That is part of their job.. to listen to the people of the State. Church leaders, whether Catholic, Baptist, Muslim, or LDS respresent the peoples of Utah. These same legislators also ask the opinion of business leaders and other influencial people. The legislators then determine how to vote on the varied proposals before them. This is common practice in every state. It is one way that the voice of the people is heard. It is not unconstitutional.

    To create a law saying any of these organizations can not voice their opinion however would be unconstitutional. I trust the courts will throw this lawsuit out of court and not waste time on it.

  • DeltaFoxtrot West Valley, UT
    Nov. 1, 2011 3:40 p.m.

    Religious speech is protected. Religious practices are protected. Using religion to influence government policy is called *theocracy*. If you love your religion that much and think that the church knows what is best I invite you to examine the lives of people in Iran.

    Religions, like all other institutions, have their own agenda. I guarantee you that agenda is not freedom and equality for all.

  • DSB Cedar Hills, UT
    Nov. 1, 2011 3:40 p.m.

    We should probably start requiring LDS people to sustain religious leaders online. Then, gather the names and prohibit them from voting on anything related to liquor, gambling, pornography, gay rights, prostitution, abortion, and probably many other issues. LDS people should also probably not be allowed to vote if a non-LDS person is running for office.

    Baptists probably should be prohibited from voting over similar measures in Southern states, as well as Catholics in Massachusetts. 7th-Day Adventists in Loma Linda, California should also be denied their voices in such matters.

    Why should any of these groups have any influence over the government of communities in which they live and raise their families? In fact, if you belong to any church whatsoever, you should just butt out and let everyone else establish all community living standards for you.

    Clearly, we need to move toward a government of the minority, by the minority, and for the minority.

  • JayJay Sandy, UT
    Nov. 1, 2011 3:38 p.m.

    I'm asking this as a serious question cause I am not sure. Did the LDS Church actually make up these liquor laws or did the elected officials make up the laws and where influenced by their personal religious views? There is a big difference and I really don't know much about the subject.

  • one vote Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 1, 2011 3:35 p.m.

    Private sector , free enterprise time.

  • bigelhad TAYLORSVILLE, UT
    Nov. 1, 2011 3:35 p.m.

    I know that Utah has the lowest number of drinkers per capita in the nation. However, I question that Utah has the lowest rate of DUI's in the nation. Where did you get that information. When I lived in Florida in the early 70's , Florida had a lower rate of DUI's than Utah according to the national alcoholic beverage association statistics.

  • MapleDon Springville, UT
    Nov. 1, 2011 3:28 p.m.

    Some of you are clearly ignorant of the efforts by the LDS Church over the past five or so years to ease liquor laws. Even going so far as to say, through a spokesperson, that the Church does not oppose the responsible consumption of alcoholic beverages by informed adults (you can look it up).

    My guess is that for some of you it isn't really a liquor issue as much as it is an LDS Church issue. Even if there were a bar on every corner with booze flowing freely, your dander would get up if President Monson said "Good morning."

  • bigelhad TAYLORSVILLE, UT
    Nov. 1, 2011 3:20 p.m.

    The LDS church or any other religious organization should be banned from lobbying or imposing their beliefs on any legislator. It is difficult enough for each legislator to consider the impact of legislation on all of their constituents and include the various minority views. Obviously they will be influenced by their own religious beliefs but their job is to consider all views equally. Besides, having the LDS church influence the drinking laws is a bit like having the blind lead the sighted on a hike. I went into culture shock when I moved to Florida to go to college and discovered that the liquor stores had drive-up windows and cold beer. You could even order a mixed drink at the drive-up as long as you were not the driver. The amazing thing was that Florida had a lower rate of DUI's than Utah and drivers acted more responsibly than they did in Utah. Maybe it was because they were allowed to act like adults and make their own responsible decisions without being hovered over.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 1, 2011 3:11 p.m.

    @toosmartforyou

    "Is it also "embarrassing" to you that Utah has the LOWEST DUI rate in the nation? "

    That's because Utah has a large percentage of the population that don't drink such as myself. But here's the important question. These laws that make getting alcohol more difficult... are they going to stop alcoholics from getting drunk? Or are they just an annoyance for the casual drinker who just wants a drink or two? In other words... are these laws really leading to the lowest DUI rate or is the fact half the state is LDS pretty much guaranteeing the lowest DUI rate in the nation regardless of the laws? Utah is, by about 3%, the lowest state in the nation for smoking rates but it doesn't seem to be any harder to buy cigarettes here than in Maryland. Regardless of cigarette access Utah is always going to be the lowest rate of smoking because of the massive LDS population. I think that applies, to some extent at least, to alcohol too. Having the lowest DUI rates is great but I'm not convinced that the laws have as much impact as some think. Having trax run later would help though.

  • gramma b Orem, UT
    Nov. 1, 2011 3:08 p.m.

    There is no constitutional right to consume alcohol. The regulation of alcohol is one of the legitimate "police" functions of state and local governments. All states regulate alcohol to one degree or another. This is so because the consumption of alcohol has negative effects on all of society, even those who do not drink. And, there are jurisdictions in the US with laws as strict as, or stricter than, Utah's, especially in the South, where there are large groups of non-drinkers who are not Mormon.

    Legislators are free to consider the views of anyone, and all citizens and groups are free to express those views. All law is based on someone's set of values, and most of those values had their roots, at least initially, in religion.

    The foregoing are some of the reasons why this lawsuit is so stupid. Another reason is that it is trying to state an antitrust claim against legislation, which is just dumb. It honestly makes one wonder whether overconsumption of alcohol led to the drafting of the complaint.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 1, 2011 3:03 p.m.

    I think this will just backfire on them. Everyone knows the LDS church's views already so this lawsuit is likely to make some politicians react in a less compromise-ready sort of way, regardless of the outcome.

  • educated_conservative Springville, UT
    Nov. 1, 2011 2:52 p.m.

    It seems right for legislatures to NOT actively solicit input from the LDS Church or any other. But at the same time one cannot deny a church's right (or anyone else's right, for that matter) to make it's input known. You know, free speech and all of that.

  • toosmartforyou Farmington, UT
    Nov. 1, 2011 2:42 p.m.

    @ ouisc

    Is it also "embarrassing" to you that Utah has the LOWEST DUI rate in the nation? Is it embarrassing to you that people in Utah insist on drinking and then driving? Is it embarrassing to you that liquor in abundance produces social ills and costs that are bourne by all the taxpayers, not just the drinkers? Does it embarrass you that the funds from the sale of liquor as controlled by the State all go towards funding education? Are these facts also "phobia's" in your view? Cannot anyone who really wants a drink actualy get enough to get drunk fairly easily, just not by using the neighborhood grocery store as a "supplier" like they do in so many States that have a huge problem with DUI's, speaking of hard liquor only, as beer is readily available everywhere every day of the week? Would you rather we were like Nevada?

  • DeltaFoxtrot West Valley, UT
    Nov. 1, 2011 2:37 p.m.

    @USAlover: Considering the 64 DUI arrests over the weekend I'd say the liquor laws are hardly doing their job. Just like criminals with guns, if a drinker wants a drink he's going to get one... no matter what the law says. These laws aren't stopping any drunks, they are only making it harder for average folks to have a drink or two.

    Want to know why SLC has a shortage of good (and I mean REALLY good) restaurants? Because they can't get liquor licenses. Alcohol sales are a HUGE part of a restaurant's income. Putting restrictions on it only hurts businesses.

  • The Rock Federal Way, WA
    Nov. 1, 2011 2:34 p.m.

    I live in Washington State. Costco sponsored an initiative last year that would have ended the states monopoly at the state liquor stores. Bars can sell hard liquor in Washington but all other sales must be through the state liquor stores. Costco wants to sell liquor at their stores. They have spent $22 Million to get this initiative passed this time (it failed last year).

    Mormons comprise less than 5% of this states population yet state liquor stores exist here.

    Does the LDS church have freedom of speech? Yup.
    Does the LDS church have the same rights as anyone else? Nope, the church is not a person and does not vote.

    This law suit seeks to deny the LDS church their first amendment rights.

    If this were in sports San Diego State would have sought to ban Jimmer from playing last year because BYU was simply too powerful with the Jimmer.

    These clowns always seek to change the rules when they see that they cannot win.

  • cheffy chef Holladay, UT
    Nov. 1, 2011 2:30 p.m.

    No matter what my views are on alcohol consumption I do believe the Mormon church should stay out of this debate. It is bad for the LDS church and the state of Utah to take the church's view on drinking into consideration when making the laws that effect everyone living in the state. And it is of course unconstitutional. Prohibition created a culture of heavy drinkers, speak easys and organized crime. I should think we all would have learned better.
    Limiting access to booze does not sway anyone from it. Never has. The church should remain a church and stay out of politics.

  • Clark Griswold Cedar City, UT
    Nov. 1, 2011 2:27 p.m.

    The LDS authorities (not many of my local acquaintances, who don't seem to care much and sometimes come over for a sip) may have influenced the selection available to me, but they've never had any influence on my attitude toward a tall cold one. Given that, is influencing the selection supposed to make me feel more positive towards them? If it is, may I suggest maybe that's not working very well? I have a momma, I don't need government in that role.

  • Brave Sir Robin San Diego, CA
    Nov. 1, 2011 2:20 p.m.

    Good luck enforcing that one. Can you keep legislators from asking the First Presidency their views on liquor laws? Sure. But most of these guys are LDS anyway...are you going to pass a law that they have to step out into the foyer whenever there's a word of wisdom talk at church?

    And sorry to burst your bubble Hutterite, but there's nothing in the constitution about freedom from religion. You might just have to learn to accept some religious interference in your life. I have to put up with plenty of atheist interference in mine - why should you be any different?

  • The Atheist Provo, UT
    Nov. 1, 2011 2:08 p.m.

    It really is strange that the opinions of a group that does not believe in consuming liquor at all should have anything of value to add to the regulations governing the consumption of alcohol.

    That would be like considering the opinion of vegetarians on how to cook and serve meat.

  • golfinggrandma Sand, UT
    Nov. 1, 2011 2:07 p.m.

    Oops...left out a word....If you deny people the chance to make a choice, you take away their free agency.

  • golfinggrandma Sand, UT
    Nov. 1, 2011 2:06 p.m.

    It's about time some one took them to court! What happened to free agency that they preach? If you people the chance to make a choice, you are taking away their free agency.

  • Kaare Bye KAMAS, UT
    Nov. 1, 2011 2:03 p.m.

    No we will be a part of stopping _ALL liquer sales in Utah, keep your demogathery inszide your head please

  • ouisc Farmington, UT
    Nov. 1, 2011 2:03 p.m.

    This lawsuit is right on. Utah has embarassing liquor laws, that are based upon personal phobias and misinformation, generated from personal religeous beliefs. Utah generates the strangest, most inconsistent liquor laws, based upon lawmaker's statements that could easily be applied to non-alcoholic industries as well. But aren't.

    I don't know what this lawsuit will bring--the State of Utah likes the control of alcohol, because it brings the state great revenue. But who knows what will happen when a Federal judge recognizes that our laws are based on unrealistic, personal phobias that are quoted in our legislature.

    Good luck!

  • USAlover Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 1, 2011 2:00 p.m.

    Yeah, this is exactly what we need. More liquor. More DUI's. More escape from reality. More liver disease. MORE! MORE! MORE!

  • gramma b Orem, UT
    Nov. 1, 2011 1:59 p.m.

    This is one of the stupidest lawsuits I've ever seen. But, I don't think it's surprising, considering its source.

  • Plebeius Holladay, UT
    Nov. 1, 2011 1:59 p.m.

    Why should the church not have any influence? That is a narrow and naive view. I want it things only when they are in my favor.
    I know what half a the addlepated will say "seperation of church and state" but this is not what it implies.

  • DeltaFoxtrot West Valley, UT
    Nov. 1, 2011 1:56 p.m.

    It's about time.

    Loosen up on liquor sales and a lot of people will be much happier. More business for stores and restaurants, more tax dollars for the government. The Church needs to worry about its people, not everyone else.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Nov. 1, 2011 1:45 p.m.

    It IS unconstitutional. The church is welcome to make its' views known to our legislators, just like anybody else. Including me. I refuse to accept that they should get preferential hearing on issues such as this. Freedom of for me means freedom from.