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My view: With SB262, Utah is at a crossroads

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  • Simple Truths Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 29, 2015 7:02 p.m.

    It's terrifying to me that an elected official believes that it is the role of government to legislate morality.

  • Badgerbadger Murray, UT
    March 14, 2013 6:07 p.m.

    There is more job discrimination against fat people than homosexual people. Yet that bill went down in flames.

    Let's stop making special classes of people. White males currently have a total disadvantage when trying to get into a top college, and getting a job upon graduation, due the special treatment of various groups.

    I guess some people won't be satisfied until the majority are penniless and homeless. And they are the ones preaching respect for their fellow man. Such hypocrites!

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    March 13, 2013 6:10 p.m.

    Re: "SB262 has NOTHING to do with promoting or condoning homosexual behavior . . . ."

    So, laws prohibiting discrimination against whistleblowers have nothing to do with promoting whistleblowing? And, laws prohibiting discrimination against female athletes have nothing to do with promoting athletics among females? Laws prohibiting discrimination against military members have nothing to do with promoting military service?

    Hmmmm. That'll certainly come as a surprise to the lawmakers that gave us those laws.

    It simply is not the role of government to take sides in this issue or to promote and encourage immorality.

    It wisely decided to stay out of the issue.

  • SLCPorter SLC, UT
    March 13, 2013 2:36 p.m.

    Senator Reid is misconstruing the LDS Church's position on this issue. On November 9, 2009 Michael Otterson issued the following statement supporting the Salt Lake City ordinance which was very similar to SB262: "The church supports this ordinance because it is fair and reasonable and does not do violence to the institution of marriage. It is also entirely consistent with the church's prior position on these matters. The church remains unequivocally committed to defending the bedrock foundation of marriage between a man and a woman.

    "I represent a church that believes in human dignity, in treating others with respect even when we disagree -- in fact, especially when we disagree. The church's past statements are on the public record for all to see. In these comments and in our actions, we try to follow what Jesus Christ taught. Our language will always be respectful and acknowledge those who differ, but will also be clear on matters that we feel are of great consequence to our society."

    Discrimination is also immoral, Senator Reid. SB262 has NOTHING to do with promoting or condoning homosexual behavior, its about prohibiting discrimination.

  • Owl Salt Lake City, UT
    March 12, 2013 7:10 p.m.

    One may be against something such as alcohol consumption, but allow others to responsibly imbibe (if such a concept is realistic). Homosexuality is too established and complex to ignore it or discriminate in public policy. Hats off to Sen. Reid for voting his conscience, but it should not carry the day.

  • Irony Guy Bountiful, Utah
    March 12, 2013 5:17 p.m.

    What a bizarre article. "Utah has determined homosexuality to be immoral." Where? When? Under what statutes that aren't blatantly unconstitutional? Is this determination posted somewhere in the Official Utah Encyclopedia of Morality?

    Mr. Reid is simply opposed to fairness, and all his verbal gymnastics don't change the fact that his conscience is deformed on this issue. Simple question for Mr. Reid: Is it fair or isn't it to fire a gay person who is otherwise ideal for the job just because he is gay?

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    March 12, 2013 4:23 p.m.

    Polish Bear

    you claim straight people have never been denied the right to marry the person they love. Sure they have. Anytime they have been married to someone, they have been denied the right to marry someone else.

    Desire does not factor into whether or not someone has a right (referring here to the FACT that gays can apply the SAME rules that apply to everyone else and marry someone unmarried of the opposite gender). I have NO desire to smoke, but that does not mean I have no right to smoke.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    March 12, 2013 4:19 p.m.

    Being in favor of firing people just because they are gay is blatant bigotry. Imagine the uproar if a legislator in any state thought that we should be able to fire someone based on religion because they considered Muslims or Jews, or Catholics, or Mormons to be immoral. (Remember, the first amendment protections of religious freedom only apply to the gov't, not employers, that's why such an anti-discrimination provision was necessary).

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    March 12, 2013 4:13 p.m.

    @procuradorfiscal
    "Most people, however, do consider homosexual conduct immoral."

    Even if we consider homosexual sex to be immoral... why should that justify firing someone from a job because of it?

    "Real people don't enjoy any protection from being dismissed because of our sexual practices."

    You don't understand what this bill does. It protects EVERYONE from being fired because of sexual orientation. The reason you don't hear of cases where someone is fired because they're straight is because that never happens.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    March 12, 2013 4:07 p.m.

    Senator Reid

    In the 1800's Mormons were driven from Illinois, in part because some Mormons were engaging in practices Illinois citizens considered to be immoral.

    Do landlords and employers in UT ask to see marriage licenses before renting or employing people? "Shacking up" and sex outside marriage is immoral whether one is heterosexual or homosexual.

    In the New Testament i don't find any suggestion that people should be denied housing or employment based on who they love. But we are reminded to "judge not." Perhaps Senator Reid can leave the judging up to God and err on the side of love/compassion.

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    March 12, 2013 3:27 p.m.

    Could it be possible that homosexual behavior is neither moral or immoral?

    I support the right and freedom for an individual to be Gay if he wants to be. However, because of my inner aversions to the Gay life style I choose not to associate, if I can, with openly Gay people.

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    March 12, 2013 3:17 p.m.

    Re: "I see no rational reason why homosexuality should be considered immoral."

    No doubt.

    Most people, however, do consider homosexual conduct immoral.

    All the more reason government should steer clear of this ambiguity and refrain from picking winners or losers in the perverse practices sweepstakes.

    Real people don't enjoy any protection from being dismissed because of our sexual practices. Why should the universe be turned upside down to extend special protections to practices considered immoral by the vast majority of the world's people?

  • PolishBear Charleston, WV
    March 12, 2013 2:34 p.m.

    DEAR FUTURE PRESIDENT:

    Straight people have never had to worry about being fired from their jobs, kicked out of their apartments, targeted with violence or vandalism, or denied the right to marry the person they love solely on the basis of their sexual orientation.

    Gay people shouldn't have to worry about it either. We are not asking for special rights. We seek equal protection under the law.

  • Tolstoy salt lake, UT
    March 12, 2013 2:02 p.m.

    @future
    You have a lot to learn before becoming president including understanding this bill which covers everyone regardless of your gender or orientation.

  • future president Logan, Utah
    March 12, 2013 1:17 p.m.

    First marriage, next the Boy Scouts, now this. When and where will the LGBT community stop pushing their agenda? They already have equal rights, they enjoy the same rights and privileges as everybody else. Why the need for "special rights?"

  • Blue Salt Lake City, UT
    March 12, 2013 12:11 p.m.

    The "reasoning" that Senator Reid employs to excuse bigotry against gays is the same "reasoning" that fundamentalists in other religions employ to excuse bigotry against Mormons.

    When Senator Reid was sworn in to his office as a legislator he took an oath to uphold the constitution, which guarantees equal rights and due process for all citizens, and NOT to impose his personal religious beliefs on everyone in the state.

  • Lagomorph Salt Lake City, UT
    March 12, 2013 11:51 a.m.

    procuradorfiscal: "But homosexual behavior is [immoral]."

    As previously posted, I disagree.

    This discussion could devolve into playground taunting (is/is not/is too/is not/is too...) ad infinitum, but let's stay above that. It's clear that social codes of conduct vary from culture to culture and that even within a culture ideas of appropriate behavior change over time. It's clear that in our culture views on the morality of homosexual behavior are in flux and have changed considerably in the past few decades (maybe too fast for some to keep up with). Some would dismiss this as moral relativism, libertinism, or even hedonism ascendant and point to bedrock moral codes as sovereign. Fine. Others would say enlightenment is finally happening. Personally, in applying my limited observation and reason to the subject, I see no rational reason why homosexuality should be considered immoral. All of the standard reasons (procreation, disease, etc.) have been argued and refuted in other forums and don't bear repeating here. It seems it comes down to an ick factor, and personal discomfort doesn't strike me as a sound basis for determining morality. I think licorice is yucky, but not immoral.

  • PolishBear Charleston, WV
    March 12, 2013 10:16 a.m.

    DEAR PROCURADORFISCAL:

    People do not lose their jobs in Utah because of "homosexual behavior." People lose their jobs because of personal prejudice against people who are Gay.

    THERE.

    If anyone, Gay or Straight, is engaged in inappropriate "behavior" on the job, let the chips fall where they may. But no one should be at risk for losing his or her job solely on the basis of sexual orientation.

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    March 12, 2013 9:50 a.m.

    Re: "Finally: Homosexuality is not immoral. There."

    But homosexual behavior is.

    There.

    And it simply is not a proper role of government to foster, protect, encourage, or advance immorality.

    That's the Senator's point.

    One may well have a valid gripe about other immoral practices being fostered or encouraged by government [see the debates regarding legislative ethics or abolition of the "Zion curtain, for example], but a necessary pillar of our civilization has always been that one wrong does not justify another.

  • Kent C. DeForrest Provo, UT
    March 12, 2013 9:40 a.m.

    I haven't read the bill, so I can't speak to its particulars, but if it bans discrimination on the basis of behavior, that is one thing. It is quite another to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation alone.

  • PolishBear Charleston, WV
    March 12, 2013 9:24 a.m.

    DEAR 1CONSERVATIVE:

    You write, "I'm FULLY IN FAVOR of non-discrimination policies in the workplace as long as gay/lesbians don't try to "hide" behind the protection to receive special consideration."

    Claims of discrimination must be investigated by the appropriate agencies. When it comes to civil rights laws, this goes with the territory. For example, a Black employee might be certain that he was let go because his new boss doesn't like Blacks, whereas the boss might claim the employee was not doing his job. Such claims have to be investigated.

    In West Virginia, where I live, Gay people do lose their jobs for no other reason than the fact that their employers found out they were Gay. Under state law, the human rights commission is powerless to even DOCUMENT such cases, let alone investigate.

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    March 12, 2013 9:10 a.m.

    The lack of protections does not necessarily mean institutional discrimination.

    We don’t ban discrimination against left-handed people, but that does not mean we discriminate against them.

    If you want to see institutional discrimination, look at BO’s executive orders requiring the advancement of women, gays, and minorities over straight white males.

  • Lagomorph Salt Lake City, UT
    March 12, 2013 9:02 a.m.

    There are so many responses to this flawed opinion, but only 200 words. Well, let's try...

    The bill does not prohibit discrimination against gays, it prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, a big difference. It protects straights from discrimination, too. Is heterosexuality immoral?

    There are many things that are immoral that are not illegal, and vice versa. Morality by itself is not the sole determinant of legislative propriety.

    I thought the current guidance among the predominant cultural ethos in Utah was that homosexuality as a condition (the state of having same sex attraction) was not immoral, only the acting on the attraction. Therefore the law does not necessarily condone immorality. Gay tenants and employees could be perfectly moral.

    The law gives heterosexuals a moral escape clause. The morality deck is stacked against gays. The same behaviors that are immoral by unmarried straights and gays alike miraculously become moral for straights by virtue of a marriage license. Currently, gays cannot get that exemption here. (Ironically, the very things gay marriage opponents find troubling about the "gay lifestyle"-- instability, STDs-- would be disincentivized and moderated by marriage, just as they are for straights.)

    Finally: Homosexuality is not immoral. There.

  • 1conservative WEST VALLEY CITY, UT
    March 12, 2013 8:48 a.m.

    I agree with Sen. Reid, but for a different reason than most.

    In my working life I've worked with many gay/lesbian people. Some I knew about, some I didn't . I couldn't care less about their sexual attraction, (or lack of it) as long as they were good employees and did their jobs.

    Once my employer implemented sex non-discrimination policies I saw the number of employee complaints skyrocket regarding employees who felt discriminated against.

    I saw (at least to my perception)employees who had been up to that time very productive, but once the non-discrimination policies were implemented their work output went down (sometimes) dramatically yet supervisors were afraid to bring complaints against them for fear they would be called discriminatory.

    I would be interested to hear from other supervisors as to whether they also felt intimidated when trying to correct work deficiencies when gay/lesbian employees were involved.

    I'm FULLY IN FAVOR of non-discrimination policies in the workplace as long as gay/lesbians don't try to "hide" behind the protection to receive special consideration.

  • PolishBear Charleston, WV
    March 12, 2013 8:06 a.m.

    Stuart Reid is apparently under the impression that if Gay people are not protected from discrimination in the workplace, they'll just stop being Gay. I think it's time for him to join the modern world.

  • Timj South Jordan, UT
    March 12, 2013 7:55 a.m.

    I wonder how Senator Reid feels about the anti-discrimination laws in SLC. Laws that had the full support of the LDS Church behind them...

  • ingslc salt lake city, UT
    March 12, 2013 7:07 a.m.

    I would suggest that our air pollution causes FAR more harm to society than any gay person does, and that by refusing to take decisive action to "discriminate" against big polluters, the state behaves immorally. I urge the good legislator to please refocus his concern away from the sex lives of law abiding citizens and toward real problems that face our society. What makes a better legacy, supporting anti gay bias? Or contributing to cleaning up the air of our beautiful valley? Thank you.

  • spring street SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    March 12, 2013 5:41 a.m.

    The use of lies and deceit to justify restricting free agency sounds like the toolbox of the devil to me Mr Reid.

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    March 12, 2013 5:37 a.m.

    Re: "When one scrapes away all of the rhetoric for and against SB262, remaining is the fundamental question whether homosexual activity is immoral."

    Hear, hear!

    Favoring, protecting, and advancing the cause of immorality is simply beyond the proper role of government. And, it will lead inevitably to debate over what immorality government should next foster and protect.

    This is not the same as saying that anyone should act rudely or behave cruelly toward someone struggling with immorality -- be it homosexuality, adultery, dishonesty, or any of a myriad of other immoral behaviors. But it's beyond dispute that government's proper role simply does NOT extend to singling out favored immoral behaviors, elevating them to virtues, or advancing and encouraging them with special protections unavailable to other immoral behaviors.

    And, scraping away the disingenuous liberal, libertine rhetoric, that's exactly what SB262 does.

  • micawber Centerville, UT
    March 12, 2013 2:09 a.m.

    I disagree with Senator Reid's logic. Whether or not homosexual activity is moral, GLBT people should be protected against employment and housing discrimination.