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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South Jordan, UT

Why do people mix up homosexual behavior with race? People are born with a particular race - but Hollywood and the media have given us plenty of examples of people who switch between hetero and homosexual. A black man is always going to be black, no matter what. He didn't choose it and he can't change it.

And don't give me the argument that gays were born that way. Alcoholism, OCD, and other issues may have genetic or biologic components too - doesn't mean we call them normal or promote them.

We have constitutional protections for religion and for freedom of association. That means we also should have freedom NOT to associate.

Why on earth would a gay couple WANT a Christian photographer, or to use a pavilion belonging to a church that teaches their behavior is sinful? If somebody didn't want to serve me because I'm Mormon, you can bet I'd take my money elsewhere.

Park City, Ut

A Mormon couple contacts a flower shop and asks for flowers to be delivered to... the Temple grounds for a photo shoot. The guy who answers the phone says "sorry, no thanks, I'm a 'Christian' and I do not sanction weddings of other religious groups." Is that ok with everyone? Guess what, that same discrimination rule that protects us all protects those of other races, religious creeds, etc. It's all so divisive. So this lady is a "so-called" Christian, she says can't do it because I don't condone same sex marriage/union. Where else in our jobs do we discriminate like this, against something we don't personally agree with? Think about it. Do we not serve our communities? Ive never walked in a grocery store in Utah and seen in absent of some vice that is not condoned by the LDS Church (tobacco, alcohol, coffee, tea, etc.). If I own a small car sales lot, do I get to discriminate like that? Tax preparation, if the person I'm doing taxes for wants an exemption for some activity that is legal, but I'm morally opposed to, do I say "sorry, use HR Block?" SILLY!

Cottonwood Heights, UT

An excellent and well researched article.

The Rock
Federal Way, WA

@Sorry Charlie!

It depends on which etymology you study. Even if Discriminate and Decide didn't come from a common root it is still not possible to make any decision that effects others without discriminating.

If you outlaw discrimination you outlaw freedom.

No right guaranteed by the constitution places obligation upon other. I am exercising my right to freedom of the press but you are not required to read what I write. We all enjoy freedom of speech but nobody is required to listen.

Anti-discrimination laws place huge obligation upon others. These are not rights, they are wrongs. Most discrimination laws eventually turn into reverse discrimination laws.

Conservatives rarely file discrimination law suits. It is not in their DNA to sue. Almost all discrimination law suits are filed by liberals. It is in their DNA to impose their will upon others.

Every private citizen has the right to spend their money as they choose. Business owners have the same right.

I believe that it is wrong to engage in extra-marital and per-marital relations. Why should a land lord who shares my belief be force to aid people in wrong doing by renting housing to them?

Sorry but most discrimination laws only protect certain groups, mostly liberal constituency groups. The work they carefully to make sure that conservatives and whites cannot use them.

If you outlaw discrimination you outlaw freedom pure and simple.

Bountiful, UT

re 'Captain Moroni' | 9:36 p.m. Feb. 11, 2012


It was justifably done away with in the civil rights act of 1964. Before that time companies abused this right, therefore it was taken away.


All I want to know is, where's Pagan?

Joe Bauman
Salt Lake City, UT

This article is based on false premises, setting up a conflict that is not real. There is no danger to religious liberty. "Religious liberty" involves freedom to worship, not freedom to discriminate in a non-worship setting. The examples cited are fraudulent. For example, if a photographer happens to belong to a white-dominance group calling itself a religion -- and such things have existed -- he cannot refuse to provide a business service to a back person by claiming that violates his religion. In the case of the pavilion, the church had a tax subsidy, and could not discriminate against one segment of the public. Gay people subsidize the pavilion as much as straight people. The Constitution is supposed to embody the noble ideals of the Declaration of Independence, the most fundamental of which is that all men are created equal. That definition has undergone a welcome evolution over many decades, expanding to include women and former slaves. Who would deny that equality? The sooner people accept the notion that all are created equal, with equal rights, the better. That doesn't mean all whites or all men or all heterosexuals, it means all, period.

Robert Johnson
Sunland, CA

Thiarticle is more about "religious BIGOTRY" than it is about "Religious LIBERTY". There are responsibilities and requirements for taking advantage of the opportunities that this great country offers. One of them is non-discrimination. Imagine if this woman said "Sorry....I don't photograph inter-racial weddings" or "I don't photograph Jewish weddings"...or even "I don't photograph black people". What if this were a restaurant that said "Sorry, gays are not allowed to eat here" or "Whites only". Would that be any different? I don't think so. Shame on this woman. This is America. You either leave your bigoted views at the door or you stay home. You aren't free to do business in this country in a discriminatory matter. Period.

John Kateel
Salt Lake City, UT

So if my evangelical mega Church believes that that the LDS faith is a heterodox cult, and I am a devout follower of my mega church, then I can rightly justify denying services to Mormon couples based on the religious freedom argument?

Accepting the business of a young LDS couple seeking a professional photographer would be akin to tacitly accepting their Temple marriage as being equal to a marriage sanctioned by one and only true church.

Being forced to do so is an assault on the Constitution and my freedom of religion. The founding fathers would be rolling in their graves. It is my God given right to be a bigot and use religion to shield my bigotry so I can extend this personal bigotry to the public realm.

Mike in Texas
Cedar City, Utah

The Rock: If you outlaw murder do you you outlaw "freedom" as well? How about rape, or theft, or any other crime against persons or property?. Discrimination may be more insidious but It can be very damaging to persons and to the universal social compact that we depend upon to maintain a strong civil society.

silas brill
Heber, UT

I literally believe Mormonism and Christianity are immoral. That doesn't stop me from doing business with Mormons and Christians.

But imagine what would happen if, say, Baptist photographers had turned down Mormons for the same reasons?

May I add one more thing? Is it just me, or does the desertnews.com web site have serious technical problems? I always get too long to respond messages.

Dammam, Saudi Arabia

It is a tenet of progressive/liberal values to choose not to buy or sell as a statement of morality. Japan attached Pearl Harbor because the US and the British empire would not sell them raw materials because of their pillaging of China and Korea. We should rewrite hte history books. Roosevelt was a bigot against Japan and that started World War II.

I look forward to a growing movement to boycott Israel. Would Israel's defenders sue a university that divests from Israel because they argue that the university not acting on a sincere belief that oppressing the politically weak is immoral but rather because of anti-semitism? In avoiding Israeli products, etc. am I actually a bigot on the same level as the KKK?

City, Ut

Soon the photographer, the wedding cake baker, florist, gazebo owner etc. will catch on and learn the power of lying:

Oh sorry--can't do your wedding. I'm all booked up.

Gaithersburg, MD

There are several issues here to discuss.

First, the simple ones: Catholic Charities, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Catholic church, receives tax dollars (and lots of them) to provide social services such as adoption (but other services, as well) for ALL of the public, not just the people it deems as "not sinners." They were not "forced" out of anything. They chose to not comply with the law and backed out of the agreement. Adoption services were farmed out to another corporation. This was the case in DC where CCI contract was for $22M/annually.

Very simple here. The task was to provide services to the government and comply with all government laws including non-discrimination laws. CCI felt it was unable to perform these services and backed out. Prior to this, however, the church in their typical passive-aggressive manner went on an ad campaign against the upcoming passage of gay marriage in DC, threatening to "pull out of DC" should the law pass. The DC Council called their bluff. With $22M on the table, CCI blinked.

With regard to the other companies, this is a contentious issue. The parallels between failing to serve a person of color at a public restaurant and failing to serve a gay couple, is very close. I am sure the discrimination against inter-racial marriages and serving people in a restaurant had more than one reference to some biblical restriction. I also am sure the perpetrators of the discrimination felt fully justified at the time. Still, it was discrimination.

This is a legal issue, no doubt, but it seems to me that if a church or a company hangs out a shingle and is "open for business" to the public, they ought to serve all of the public. They have crossed over from "religious protection" to "capitalism" once they open their pavilion to the public for profitable commercial use.

But, as a practical matter, I would not push it. I would not want to eat a wedding cake from some company forced to produce the cake. There are plenty other bakeries with which to spend one's dollars. I know it is a matter of principle, but unless there is some severe hardship (the only tux shop in 400 miles), I'd take my dollars elsewhere and alert my friends this establishment discriminates. These kinds of shops are anachronisms in this day and age. In another 20 years, this kind of behavior will be as unusual as would the idea that blacks have to sit in the balcony of a movie theater.

Hands down, young people (71%(?) of 18-29) are pro-gay-marriage and are perplexed why this is an issue. Proof of this is look at the success behind the repeal of DADT. No reported incidents. Good acceptance and even gay squad leaders have retained their command abilities. Interviews with the troops said their gay squad leader still commands their respect. So, times are changing. Give it some time and this issue will take care of itself as the new generation comes in and takes over.

Kaysville, UT

A President who listened to Reverend Jeremiah Wright for 20 years, who spent a lot of his time preaching social issues instead true religion has skewed this President to believe that Religion is about social issues instead of religion. He has changed religion from belief in God and His teachings of the Ten Commandments and the basic beliefs in the Bible, Judeo-Christian teachings to the social values that have taken over the Congress, Executive and Court's responsibilities to Defend the Constitution of the United States. Both parties have fallen into this realm over the past 50 years. You can buy happiness with money is what they believe is the most important part of their job. The money has gone away so they keep on borrowing money for their happiness. The salaries and more importantly for bankers, Wall Street, and others is to take from others as long as they are happy. They go against the Golden Rule, as long as They are happy with money in Their pockets they don't care for their brother or sister.

Salt Lake City, UT

@The Rock
"Sorry but most discrimination laws only protect certain groups, mostly liberal constituency groups"

Actually that's not true, race and gender discrimination protects whites and males too, we just tend to find that majorities (or in the case of men, the ones who are in positions of power more often) tend to not get discriminated against much so it's rarely used for those categories though it can be.

Scott Farcus
Beaver, UT


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

I think Christ might have a problem with that."

Christ did, read the Bible, key words "Sodom and Gomorrah"

Scott Farcus
Beaver, UT

To all religious beliefs; all it's going to take is a gay or lesbian couple professing to be a member of your religion, possibly living the rules that your religion lays down, to then ask for a marriage within your synagogs, chapels, cathedrals, churches or temples, then what?

The first one to say No, will be involved in a law suite, then what?

How will you answer the question at the Judgement day; what did you do to stop this sin that ravaged the country I gave you?

Its time to stand up for your religious beliefs. Fight for them and don't be silenced. Its time to band together!

Holladay, UT

As a gay man, I would not want anyone at my wedding who does not believe in me and my life and the reasons all my family and friends were together. Or would I want to have any ceremony on any church grounds that hate me and my life.

I'll take my money, family and friends to a community where my partner and I are excepted with open arms and empty cash registers and make the most wonderful day we can.

Clearfield, UT

There is something missing from this article. Each of the mentioned entities, since she/he/it has chosen to go into business and, therefore, has to have a business license. In order to get a business license, the applicant has to agree to comply with statutes and regulations in effect in the jurisdicion. The article doesn't mention the discrimination statutes and regulaions applicable to each entity's jurisdiction. For example, if an area has statutes and regulations which prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation, by obtaining a business license the business entity agrees not to discrimination based on sexual orientation and if it then does discriminate, it is liable for sanction.

If the entity chooses to do business, it has to comply with applicable statutes and regulations. If it goes against the entity's moral or religious standards to comply with those statutes and regulations, it can choose not to do business. That is where the choice is found. The business entities aren't being FORCED to do anything.

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