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Comments about ‘Colliding causes: Gay rights and religious liberty’

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Published: Saturday, Feb. 11 2012 1:00 p.m. MST

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Sorry Charlie!
SLC, UT

Two questions, first why is this in every section but the one it belongs in? the opinion section and two why is the author being paid to rehash the rehash of stories that have been heavily vetted and found to be without merit several times in this paper alone? repeating the same nonsense over and over doe not make your point any stronger.

A voice of Reason
Salt Lake City, UT

Two choices-

In order to preserve freedom for gay persons, we take away choice from religious persons.

In order to preserve freedom for religious persons, we do not intervene and the choice is left to the people how they live their lives.

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With freedom, unpopular choices are made and sometimes people get offended or inconvenienced. However, freedom exists.

Without freedom, we all have the same options available but are forced into this system against our will.

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There is a difference between not having the option for others to recognize your union or do business with you and then forcing other people to act according to your will instead of their own. When people say 'why does your church spend so much time on issues less important than jobs, etc? I can't help but reply, and you really don't think my freedom is that important?

"Gay Liberty" is an inappropriate heading for this article. It should read "everyone else's freedom, will we let them be free or not?"

A Scientist
Provo, UT

"We don't photograph same sex weddings".

Can a business owner likewise claim, "We don't do business with Mormons", or how about "We don't serve blacks here."? Can a public school teacher refuse to teach children of a different Church because it violates their personal religious freedom? Can a University professor kick all the Mormons out of his class and refuse to teach them because of personal religious beliefs? Can that professor refuse to give them good grades because his personal religious belief is that they are brainwashed, unenlightened, and ignorant?

Is that acceptable to you? Is it acceptable if they claim it is a "religious belief", of it is a "personal value"?

If a person is going to claim they deserve an exception from the law on religious grounds, there must be clear and relevant religious justification and support for the exemption. You can't just throw any old personal prejudice or bigoted bias out there and try to pass it off as a "religious belief".

So where in all of scripture, or in the policies and commandments of this photographer's religion, does it say "Thou shalt not photograph two sinners"?

BobP
Port Alice, B.C.

Small businesses should be exempt from such laws.

It may be time for the gay community to exercise the kind of consideration they claim for themselves.

Darrel
Eagle Mountain, UT

Why is this even an issue?

Religously I find coffee and tea offensive...does that give me the right to ban them from the work place? No (unless I own my own business and then I can decide what I want) I can however decide not to consuem them.

Religously I find same sex marriage offensive...does that give me the right to ban it? No. I can however decide to only persue hetero marriages (which is all I am really interested anyway I like girls too much)

I have my set of religious beliefs that are sacred to me. That does not preclude someone from finding my beliefs offensive and thinking they are just as sacred to him. That is the great thing about this country, we are allowed to do that.

On a personal note, if I don't want someone voting whether or not my marriage is valid, what right do I have to do that to someone else? Would that not make me a hypocrite?

qjs
PROVO, UT

Thank you. I have to add my voice. I am very very shocked that any American would be discriminated against because of their religious beliefs. This is America. The lady who fought her "legally," because of not photographing her same sex ceremony could have gone to any other photographer. Why did the government get involved?

This has nothing to do with the government. Both same sex people and heterosexuals have their freedom and choice. The Hugenins were treated very very unjustly. And what did the money solve? Absolutely nothing. New Mexico and every state and our country is drifting away from the very principles America was founded on. There are consequences to this, and I exhort us to return to what George Washington and all the founding fathers preached, respect of people's beliefs, all people. If we do not we will reap devastation. I pray we will change our course of governing. Thank you.

Zona Zone
Mesa, AZ

Wow. What a well-researched and informative article. It's rare to see an article on this topic go into this much depth.

Hutterite
American Fork, UT

I have no problem with gay marriage, but nothing is gained through antagonism. If this person doesn't want to take the photos, it's their loss. If one or another church doesn't want to perform the wedding, it's a buyers market. Let's not just keep forcing ourselves into corners.

A voice of Reason
Salt Lake City, UT

lol, well the headline changed.

It is certainly more appropriate to weigh both options as "colliding causes" as I think we'd all agree that this is frequently the case.

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Free Agency, my stance.

It is morally right to be free to choose.
Religious group chooses to do something with other people.
Gay couple chooses to join.
Religious group chooses not to accept them.

No one has had choice taken away from them. If we accept that in order to preserve gays choice to participate, we must remove the religious group's choice- then we have accepted a infinitely dangerous doctrine. This same principle would mean that I can invite myself to my neighbors party, I can invite myself into your home, and so on. Equality is a good premise, but equally free to decide, equally free to progress, not equally free to take from others.

State recognition is the people's to give. We don't give it to polygamists and they hold ceremony's, just not state-endorsed. This photography business is their choice to make. When you force it from people, we are not free. Free to make your choice is free. Free to make other people's choices is wrong.

Mayfair
City, Ut

Hutterite--"If the person doesn't want to take the photos its their loss."

Yes, a court imposed loss of $6000.

Fibby1123
Salt Lake City, UT

Why is this not in "opinion"?
Or is the Deseret News in the business of biased reporting?

Christy
Beaverton, OR

So discriminating against same sex couples is a 'Christian conviction'?

I think Christ might have a problem with that.

Square Kokonut
Orem, Utah

Racial/Sexual discrimination laws have become nothing but 'reverse' discrimination on the most innocent of law abiding citizens...on the weakest of premises that wouldn't...rather shouldn't stand the light of day in a court of law!

Truthseeker
SLO, CA

Churches have wide latitude to discriminate. For example, many, most churches don't have women in senior leadership positions, can choose who/who not can marry, get baptized. Most recently the Supreme Court ruled they were able to fire someone with a disability etc.

But when people choose to have a public business or accept govt. money, then they cannot discriminate. What if 2 women decided to buy a house and are turned down for a mortgage because the lender believes they are lesbian? Should people be denied housing or service in a restauraunt due to sexual orientation? Should a store clerk refuse to sell beer or cigarettes because don't align with their moral values?

Get over it people.

Recommended viewing:
Republican Representative Maureen Walsh from Washington state, explaining her stance on same-sex marriage. Google it.

Henry Drummond
San Jose, CA

I think the Deseret News is way over the line here. There is another side to the story.

The reason the Catholic Charities were not allowed to discriminate is because they were using public money to run the adoption agency. Do you honestly think that religious liberty includes the right to take public funds but only use it to benefit those you agree with? Had it been Mormons who were discriminated against, I suspect this paper would have cried foul.

The case with the Pavilion was similar. They were granted special tax exemptions by agreeing to make the Pavilion open to the public. Again, if it was a Mormon wedding reception they refused to host under those circumstances because they felt "Mormons aren't Christians" this paper would be the first to say the tax exemption should be revoked.

You will find similar circumstances in these other stories if you care to search them out. You will have to, since the Deseret News seems intent on only providing half the story.

Those who are concerned about gay rights deserve to have their concerns aired. But doesn't a newspaper have the obligation to give both sides a voice?

ClarkHippo
Tooele, UT

My wife and I are active LDS, having both served missions and been married in the temple.

A few years ago, my wife started a small house cleaning business, and one of her clients has a grand daughter who asked my wife if she would clean her house once a month. This grand daughter is a lesbian who has a live in partner. Nevertheless, my wife took her on as a client for a few months, and only stopped because of time conflicts.

My wife and I both feel we did not compromise our religious beliefs. Should we feel different?

I've heard people say, "If gay and lesbian couples can go into any business and demand service, next thing you know, they'll demand to be married in any church they want and no one can stop them," but in my opinion, such arguments are apples and oranges.

The former is about commerce, the later is about church vs. state.

Baccus0902
Leesburg, VA

Perhaps we should educate the religious community that we should give to God what belongs to God and to Caesar what belongs to Caesar.

If you are in the public arena, if you are running a business, you have no right to discriminate because you would be violating the law.

Are you violating the law of your God when you are following the law of your nation?

We believe in freedom of religion. But we cannot accept the dehumanization of a person because you don't believe in his/her/their legal status based on your morals.

Nobody is asking or forcing anyone to believe in same sex marriage. We as society ask that if you offer a service for monetary gain, you offer the service to everybody under the law.

Jeanie b.
Orem, UT

Christy said "So discriminating against same sex couples is a 'Christian conviction'?
I think Christ might have a problem with that."

It would depend on what you believed Christ and his apostles taught. From what the Bible says (our source of Christ's teachings) he did not treat the sinner with scorn, but lovingly admonished them to repent and change their ways.

He also taught that only those that repented of their sins, accepted him as their god and obeyed His commandments would be able to live with Him in heaven. It seems that ultimately He does discriminate.

So, yes. Not wanting to take pictures of a wedding that goes against this couple's beliefs can be stated as a "Christian conviction" and Christ may indeed not have a problem with it. The couple was polite in their reply to the gay couple's request, just as Christ would have been.

Owen
Heber City, UT

Here are some suggested edits:

That means that when individuals of faith (who take public money or run a public business) refuse to host a (non-white) wedding in their catering hall, or refuse to provide health insurance benefits for a (minority spouse) they can, and likely will be sued...

After all, when (the Constitution) written, (civil rights or female voting) wasn't even an issue...

A public business or church that takes public money (in the form of tax exemptions) can not hang up a "whites/males/hetero only sign. We've already and this debate in America. Over and over and over.

nehu
Kaysville, UT

Excellent article. I'm LDS and do not really have reason to oppose gay marriage, in my personal opinion. My feeling is that the church is against gay marriage because of the legal implications included in this article. Tough to find middle ground on this but I suppose it exists.

Truthfully SLC is one of the worst places to discuss this in a reasonable manner. You have over hyped LDS members who want to pound their collective chests and a gay community that wants to do the same. Finding middle ground in this community may prove tough but willing to try.

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