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Why America's long history of protecting religion is at the center of gay marriage debate

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  • Contrariusest mid-state, TN
    Nov. 25, 2013 11:51 a.m.

    @DSB --

    "well, as long as you think it's stupid..."

    Of course it was stupid. I don't remember whether that photographer went out of business, but that cake baker did -- all because they weren't willing to treat their prospective customers like human beings. But noooooo, instead they had to get up on their self-righteous high horses -- and they ended up cutting off their nose to spite their face, as it were. They chose to be Religiously Correct and Pure instead of being human and civil and "neighborly". Stupid!

    "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments." (Matthew 22:37-40)

  • DSB Cedar Hills, UT
    Nov. 25, 2013 8:27 a.m.

    @Contrarywoman - well, as long as you think it's stupid...

  • Contrariusier mid-state, TN
    Nov. 23, 2013 10:23 a.m.

    @DSB --

    "being forced to memorialize a gay wedding..."

    That whole situation was stupid.

    The photographer should have said something like: "Sure I'll take that job for you, if you're sure you want to hire me. But I need to warn you in advance that I don't personally agree with gay marriage, so I hope you can understand that my heart might not be in it -- and that might be reflected in the quality of my work."

    And poof! That couple would have gone somewhere else. Problem solved.

    In reality, "being forced" to photograph a gay wedding is no more objectionable than "being forced" to cook for black people -- as restaurants have been required to do for decades.

    "And yet, you've said gay photographers should not be forced...."

    What I said was that it would be logical for gays to resist, because WBC is actively working to harm gays. Remember, WBC is even listed as a hate group by SPLC.

    "as long as YOU get to define what is harmful..."

    I am not the one who defines a difference between harming others and not harming others. Look up the harm principle sometime.

  • DSB Cedar Hills, UT
    Nov. 21, 2013 5:25 p.m.

    @Contrariuswoman

    Regarding stacked freedoms, on 11/14, 10:02 a.m., you say,

    " 'Gay'ness is irrelevant to business. It does nothing to harm your business. Therefore, legally, refusing to serves gay people is just as discriminatory as refusing to serve blacks at a lunch counter."

    True for food service, but if your craft is memorializing events through photography, then being forced to memorialize a gay wedding you believe is immoral can be perceived as very relevant to the service being rendered, and harmful to the photographers.

    You'll probably counter that nobody forces the photographers into the bedroom with gay people. And yet, you've said gay photographers should not be forced to memorialize WBC events, because now the offense has really crossed your line.

    And that's my point - as long as YOU get to define what is harmful, what is relevant, what level of offense crosses the line, who has to serve who, etc., everything's great. Some people have the freedom to patronize any business they want. Others don't. Some have the business freedom to refuse service if an offense is deemed legitimate. Others don't.

    As determined by government. That's the road to fascism.

  • Contrariusest mid-state, TN
    Nov. 21, 2013 1:23 p.m.

    @DSB --

    "To Contraryman"

    That's ContraryWOMan to you, thanks. ;-)

    "your posts are full of contradictions"

    Please list some. Be specific. Vague accusations mean nothing.

    "the freedoms allowed under the terms of the rights you support"

    The terms of the rights I support very clearly include religion along with sexual orientation under protected groups. No stacking there.

    "I doubt you could point to any article wherein Chris B, RedShirt, et.al come anywhere close to posting 20 comments,"

    Wrong again.

    I don't save links to old articles, but you can do DN searches for "Chelsea Manning" and "Howard Prince" to find just a couple of good examples of Chris' multi-posting (I only remember those in particular because of the names). There are similar examples in the DN archives for Red. I haven't seen wrz/Miss Piggie (I forget his other names) in awhile, so it would probably be difficult to find recent examples for him.

  • DSB Cedar Hills, UT
    Nov. 21, 2013 9:48 a.m.

    Senility may be catching me faster than I expected.

    Prior comment should read "@MrPlate...nailed it"

    Of course I always "nail it," so no need to pat myself on the back.

    To Contraryman - your posts are full of contradictions and comments that make MrPlate's assessment highly accurate. Although you may believe in equal rights for everyone, the freedoms allowed under the terms of the rights you support are very clearly stacked to the enjoyment of those who, in MrPlate's words, share your particular values and priorities.

    And I doubt you could point to any article wherein Chris B, RedShirt, et.al come anywhere close to posting 20 comments, outside of the sports pages where there are no comment limits. I think you are probably the King of comment rule cheating, so congrats on that.

  • Coontrariusester mid-state, TN
    Nov. 20, 2013 4:17 p.m.

    @MrPlate --

    "One, you believe the level of freedom one is granted should be based on your values and priorities."

    Nope. i'm just as willing to fight for the rights of the KKK and the WBC as for anyone else's. As I've mentioned elsewhere, I'm literally a card-carrying member of the ACLU. Civil rights apply to EVERYONE.

    "Business owners with your priorities and values are free to discriminate against those with whom they disagree"

    Nope. As I've already said elsewhere, gay business owners are obligated to serve Southern Baptist customers just as much as any other customers. The same would apply to Mormon customers as well.

    "Secondly, we've learned you apparently have more email accounts than any other commenter"

    Nope. For example, check out Chris B, Redshirt, and wrz/Miss Piggie -- all of whom are staunch conservatives.

    "I'll be shocked if this gets posted."

    Hey -- false posts get posted just as easily as true ones do.

  • DSB Cedar Hills, UT
    Nov. 20, 2013 3:47 p.m.

    @DSB

    In the words of Andy Bernard from The Office:

    Nailed it.

  • MrPlate Lindon, UT
    Nov. 19, 2013 6:47 p.m.

    @Contrari*.* - through all your word twisting, false characterizations of others' comments, and difficulty rebutting with relevant arguments, you have shown 2 things:

    One, you believe the level of freedom one is granted should be based on your values and priorities. Everyone else must ensure people with your values and priorities are fully served with no obstruction. Business owners with your priorities and values are free to discriminate against those with whom they disagree, because those who disagree are working to deny their equal rights. Offended traditional Christian photographers must photograph gay weddings if asked, but gay photographers must not be forced to photograph events that are offensive to them. How wonderful to have freedoms and political correctness align to your advantage.

    Secondly, we've learned you apparently have more email accounts than any other commenter, and DN monitors are too cowardly to hold you to the limits of 1, 2, 3, 4, or even 5 other normal commenters, so you can dominate the dialogue and outlast anyone and have the very last word. And, that doesn't embarrass you or the DN monitors.

    I'll be shocked if this gets posted.

  • Contrariusest mid-state, TN
    Nov. 19, 2013 4:04 p.m.

    @Mr. Plate --

    "If you're not suggesting LetsDebate advocated for anarchy, how does your response make any sense? "

    LetsDebate wasn't saying he wanted **more** freedom. He just kept saying things like "that's not freedom" and so on. He was speaking in absolutes. I was showing him that he doesn't really want "freedom" in an absolute sense, because -- as I said -- absolute freedom is anarchy.

    "And, you think violence and vandalism by gay activists is less widespread and harmful than a few WBC kooks with signs?"

    Sure. That's pretty obvious. The WBC spends hundreds of thousands of dollars every year on their protests and has participated in more than **40,000** protest events (see the wikipedia page on them) -- and they are far from the only church group to be actively working to deny equal rights to gay people, either.

  • Mr. Plate Lindon, UT
    Nov. 19, 2013 2:15 p.m.

    @Contrariusester

    LetsDebate says he believes in more freedom, and your response is "Pure freedom is anarchy -- and, no, I'm not a fan of anarchy."

    If you're not suggesting LetsDebate advocated for anarchy, how does your response make any sense? What is your point? Who IS supposedly a fan of anarchy, if not the person to whom you are responding? Who are you comparing yourself against? Do you understand the flow of a debate and how a rebuttal is supposed to relate to the point of another commenter?

    And, you think violence and vandalism by gay activists is less widespread and harmful than a few WBC kooks with signs? OK then. I guess as long as we let you define what's harmful, and who gets rights and freedoms, and whose conscience is allowed to be violated, I'm sure you'll be happy. Many others don't like the totalitarian direction our country is headed.

  • Contrariusester mid-state, TN
    Nov. 19, 2013 7:57 a.m.

    @O'really --

    Sorry I missed your post yesterday!

    "How and where do you get the information that polygamy is harmful to women and children?"

    There are tons of scientific studies, court decisions, and government reports with this info. I can provide specifics if you're interested, or you can just check some of my posts in other threads.

    In the meantime, two very good resources for you to look at would be two Canadian reports:

    "Polygamy in Canada: Legal and Social Implications for Women and Children"

    and

    "Polygyny and Canada’s Obligations under International Human Rights Law"

    These two documents together provide more than 400 pages of valuable information on the effects of polygamy worldwide.

    "homosexual sex involves unnatural and unhealthy practices"

    Many nonhuman animal species practice homosexual behaviors out in nature.. Therefore it's perfectly natural.

    Also, "homosexual sex" actually involves activities which are just as easily enjoyed by straight couples as by gay couples.

    And "homosexual sex" is not especially unhealthy -- promiscuity is. Gay marriage encourages MONOGAMY, remember?

  • Contrariusester mid-state, TN
    Nov. 19, 2013 7:42 a.m.

    @O'really --

    Sorry I missed your post yesterday!

    "How and where do you get the information that polygamy is harmful to women and children?"

    There are tons of scientific studies, court decisions, and government reports with this info. I can provide specifics if you're interested, or you can just check some of my posts in other threads.

    In the meantime, two very good resources for you to look at would be two Canadian reports:

    "Polygamy in Canada: Legal and Social Implications for Women and Children"

    and

    "Polygyny and Canada’s Obligations under International Human Rights Law"

    These two documents together provide more than 400 pages of valuable information on the effects of polygamy worldwide.

    "homosexual sex involves unnatural and unhealthy practices"

    Many nonhuman animal species practice homosexual behaviors out in nature.. Therefore it's perfectly natural.

    Also, "homosexual sex" actually involves activities which are just as easily enjoyed by straight couples as by gay couples.

    And "homosexual sex" is not especially unhealthy -- promiscuity is. Gay marriage encourages MONOGAMY, remember?

  • Contrariusester mid-state, TN
    Nov. 19, 2013 7:38 a.m.

    @Mr. Plate --

    "NOBODY is arguing for limitless freedom or anarchy. "

    And, of course, I never said that anyone was. In fact, I specifically said: "I agree with you that there's an active tension between freedoms and responsibilities, and that we need to be very careful about where we set the balance. We simply disagree on where the best balancing point between the two lies."

    Speaking of mischaracterization... ;-)

    "don't be naive, some gay activists have certainly tried to harm some churches."

    Don't be disingenuous. There's a huge difference between a few individual gay activists vandalizing a few individual churches on the one hand, and whole religious institutions trying to deny equal rights to a whole class of people on the other hand.

  • Mr. Plate Lindon, UT
    Nov. 18, 2013 3:26 p.m.

    NOBODY is arguing for limitless freedom or anarchy. Typical overreach mischaracterization. Government should ensure businesses don't endanger public safety. All Government agencies should have anti-discrimination laws probably to the current extent, and strive for fairness and equal treatment.

    Do you believe, Contrariusester, that before discrimination was made illegal for private businesses, the country was in anarchy? "We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone" may be foolish policy, but it's not anarchy by any stretch.

    Many people believe forcing conscientious objectors to assist in facilitating the very activities over which their conscience is offended is very much a violation of personal freedom, and harms those people. And don't be naive, some gay activists have certainly tried to harm some churches.

    I think it's obvious the balancing point in our country has been moving away from freedom and toward government control of not only public safety, but private thought and conscience-based activity. Many think that's immoral, and that our founders would be appalled at what our government attempts to control in private endeavors today. I suppose it won't matter to you until the government forces an issue that offends your conscience.

  • Contrariusester mid-state, TN
    Nov. 18, 2013 2:09 p.m.

    @LetsDebate --

    "You clearly believe government should determine the conscience-based freedoms of business-owning citizens, and that's not freedom. "

    Pure freedom is anarchy -- and, no, I'm not a fan of anarchy.

    When we enter into a society, we sign onto a social contract. We "agree", whether explicitly or implicitly, that we will limit our own actions (our freedoms) in return for experiencing the benefits of living within that society.

    Naturally, we should maintain as much "freedom" as possible for every citizen. But with no limits whatsoever, "freedom" becomes chaos.

    "I think it would reprehensible for the government to force a gay photographer to accept business from the Westboro Baptist Church."

    That is logical, since WBC actively tries to harm gay people.

    "You apparently do not believe in that freedom."

    Au contraire. As I mentioned above -- WBC actively tries to harm gay people. In contrast, gay people do not actively try to harm churches.

    I agree with you that there's an active tension between freedoms and responsibilities, and that we need to be very careful about where we set the balance. We simply disagree on where the best balancing point between the two lies.

  • LetsDebate PLEASANT GROVE, UT
    Nov. 18, 2013 12:02 p.m.

    @Contrariusiest - it appears to me that you believe in laws and responsibilities, but only in "rights" for some people, and your claim that you believe in freedom is belied by all of your comments. You clearly believe government should determine the conscience-based freedoms of business-owning citizens, and that's not freedom. I think it would reprehensible for the government to force a gay photographer to accept business from the Westboro Baptist Church. I think the photographer should have the freedom to accept that business or not, in a way, "discriminating" against a party the offends their conscience. You apparently do not believe in that freedom.

    Yes, we both believe in the freedom of speech for those organizations we are offended by, but only one of us believes in the freedom to engage in business according to our conscience. I believe in everyone's freedom to love, hate, include, discriminate, and to experience the consequences of our choices. You believe government should regulate inclusion. I believe freedom creates some discomfort and inequities. You believe these should be ironed out by government coercion. I don't, because I believe in freedom, messy as it may be.

  • Contrariusiest mid-state, TN
    Nov. 18, 2013 11:05 a.m.

    @LetsDebate --

    "You inferred something he didn't say, and rephrased his comments for him, a dishonest tactic. "

    Ha. I'll bet you $10 I'm right. ;-)

    "Obviously, you believe that principle only applies to those whose ideology matches yours. "

    Ha again.

    I'm literally a card-carrying member of the ACLU. You know, those crazies who defend the rights of folks like the KKK and Westboro Baptist Church right along with gay-marriage advocates and pro-polygamy groups.

    Rights, freedoms, and responsibilities apply equally to ALL people, of ANY persuasion.

    "My nose begins, and I feel personally harmed, when I am forced by law to engage in practices that violate my conscience, but you think that violation is acceptable."

    I think that when you decide to open a business, you agree to abide by the laws of the jurisdiction under which you operate. And I think that your personal religious views don't trump the law.

  • LetsDebate PLEASANT GROVE, UT
    Nov. 18, 2013 10:26 a.m.

    @Contrariusiest - yes, Charles specifically made a general statement about discrimination laws, but said nothing about marriage laws. You inferred something he didn't say, and rephrased his comments for him, a dishonest tactic. Charles stated repeatedly that he was pro-freedom, writing repeatedly about the rights of business owners and private citizens to engage in associations and business dealings according to their constitutional right of conscience.

    Charles wrote nothing at all about gay marriage, and neither you nor I really know whether Charles feels, as a government-sanctioned arrangement, that the freedom he espouses should be extended to marriage rights for anyone. For all you know, Charles believes gays should have the right to marry as a matter of freedom, but not the right to force others to serve them, because as you pointed out "one person's freedom ends at the next person's nose." Obviously, you believe that principle only applies to those whose ideology matches yours. My nose begins, and I feel personally harmed, when I am forced by law to engage in practices that violate my conscience, but you think that violation is acceptable.

    BTW, point acknowledged about circumventing DN comment rules.

  • Contrariusiest mid-state, TN
    Nov. 18, 2013 8:58 a.m.

    @LetsDebate --

    "I challenge you to tell us where Charles said he wanted to deny marriage to gay people."

    Charles specifically stated that "Laws against discrimination are foolishness from the beginning. "

    DOMA, Prop 8, state constitutional bans, and so on, institutionalize discrimination. Laws legalizing same-sex marriage *are* laws against discrimination.

    "Although I must admit anti-discrimination laws sped up integration and tolerance in the south, they also nonetheless trampled on the freedom of people to make their own decisions about their own businesses and experience the consequences."

    As others have pointed out, one person's freedom ends at the next person's nose. There is no freedom to harm others -- whether individually or in the aggregate. Anti-discrimination laws codify some of those harms that are important to prevent.

    "Evidence that, to a true liberal, rules are made for others and the liberals' opinions are too important to be restricted."

    Guess again. I learned the technique from posters like Chris B, Redshirt, and wrz/Miss Piggie.

  • LetsDebate PLEASANT GROVE, UT
    Nov. 18, 2013 7:53 a.m.

    @Contrariusiest - I challenge you to tell us where Charles said he wanted to deny marriage to gay people. He said he wanted freedom for everyone. If people were free, they could vote on a societal norm that's not a protected Constitutional right, like marriage or even discrimination laws for individuals and private businesses. Then, live with the consequences.

    Although I must admit anti-discrimination laws sped up integration and tolerance in the south, they also nonetheless trampled on the freedom of people to make their own decisions about their own businesses and experience the consequences.

    I find it ironic that you support enforcement of rules and laws when it fits your ideology, but that you find your way around rules in other matters, such as abiding by a 4-comment limit on the DN comment board. Evidence that, to a true liberal, rules are made for others and the liberals' opinions are too important to be restricted.

  • O'really Idaho Falls, ID
    Nov. 17, 2013 9:52 p.m.

    Contrary ( and all the other titles you've added to break the DN commenting rules)

    How and where do you get the information that polygamy is harmful to women and children? Obviously it hasn't gone well in some FLDS groups, but that was due to some deranged leaders of the group- not the polygamy itself. Polygamy actually went quite well for many families, my own ancestors included. The wives were best of friends and all the kids had a great time growing up.
    On the other hand, homosexual sex involves unnatural and unhealthy practices that have been and still are life threatening, especially to men. If you think that's just conjecture, talk to some of the ERs in San Francisco. Known and documented.

  • Charles S Freedomville, AZ
    Nov. 17, 2013 7:54 p.m.

    Contrarywhatever states: "TWO facts are necessary in order to justify the legalization of gay marriage:"

    You keep repeating yourself but these are your made up facts. They are not in the Constitution that you claim you love. They are your made up rules to include the behavior of homosexuality as marriage and to exclude others. It is ironic that you claim one thing and disagree with your claim in the next breath.

    The philosophies of man are relative. That's why homosexuality was changed from the disorder of behavior that it actually is to being born that way in the medical community. They were pressured politically to change.

    Moral relativity states homosexuality should be condoned and accepted. It states that unwed pregnancy is to be put on TV and normal and acceptable. It states that no fault divorce is a good thing for our nation. It states that abortion is a choice instead of killing an innocent unborn child. The list is endless of moral relativity.

    God's laws aren't relative, they are eternal. What a shame you dismiss your Creator with such ease.

  • Bob K porland, OR
    Nov. 17, 2013 5:16 p.m.

    Why don't we just pass laws saying that everyone must believe exactly as I do?

    That way, I would not have to trouble myself with respecting differences, and I would not have paranoid delusions that those who are different are trying to change or rule me.

    Of course, we HAVE tried this, notably in China and the Soviet Union.

    America means everyone must not single out others to damage or to deny rights.

  • Contrariusiest mid-state, TN
    Nov. 17, 2013 12:41 p.m.

    @bandersen --

    "Any person that thinks that gay marriage is superior to a polygamist marriage... "

    Here we go again.

    TWO facts are necessary in order to justify the legalization of gay marriage:

    1. Marriage is a civil right;

    AND

    2. Gay marriage in particular does not cause a significantly increased risk of harm compared to other forms of marriage.

    Now, marriage in general clearly IS a civil right, as established by the US Constitution and reaffirmed by multiple SCOTUS decisions.

    AND nobody has ever been able to show that gay marriage causes a significantly increased risk of harm to anyone.

    In stark contrast, polygamy is very well known to convey a significantly increased risk of harm to women and children in particular.

    Therefore, polygamy fails to qualify under the harm principle.

    The harm principle is a universal legal principle that is very often used to limit our rights and freedoms. For instance, we have no "right" to drive drunk, because drunken driving significantly increases the risk of harm to others.

    Similarly, polygamy conveys a significantly increased risk of harm. Therefore our government has an interest in continuing to ban it.

  • Contrariusiest mid-state, TN
    Nov. 17, 2013 11:08 a.m.

    @Charles --

    "you just don't get the principle of choice."

    Ummmm.

    You are the one who wants to deny gay people the freedom to choose marriage.

    "We aren't forced to do anything for anyone else."

    Ohhhhh. So -- as long as you're not "forced" to do it by God, then it's okay?

    "Actually discrimination is alive and well in society"

    I dispute that it's "alive and well", but it's certainly still in existence. However, it is neither as alive nor as well as it WOULD be if we lacked all anti-discrimination laws.

    "You don't want people to be able to do what they choose."

    I'm not a big fan of anarchy, no. And yes, I do love the US Constitution.

    @RBB --

    "All homosexuals should be required to go see Ender's Game"

    Hey, I encouraged everyone to go see "Ender's Game". Don't you realize that Lionsgate Films, the company that produced it, is a huge gay rights supporter?

    @defender --

    " If Gods laws...don't determine right and wrong, then morality by default is relative."

    ALL morality is relative -- including "God's Laws". But "relative" doesn't mean "nonexistent".

  • Really??? Kearns, UT
    Nov. 17, 2013 9:24 a.m.

    "It's sad that people like you can't understand the principle of freedom of choice."

    How, then, can creating laws that keep some people from choosing according to their desires be just? Just a little something to think about.

  • Brent T. Aurora CO Aurora, CO
    Nov. 17, 2013 7:55 a.m.

    The simplest solution to all this, which would be back pedaling in terms of civil rights laws, would be to draw the line at private versus public institutions... which seems the intent of the Founders in protecting individual rights. Would then label religious institutions as private... and they along with private business could maintain such status by not taking any public subsidies.

  • bandersen Saint George, UT
    Nov. 16, 2013 8:37 p.m.

    Just wondering how many of you 'tolerant' gay marriage supporters have been out there going to bat for all those polygamists? Any person that thinks that gay marriage is superior to a polygamist marriage and family needs to check how 'tolerant' they really are! Whatever argument you can come up with to discriminate against them doesn't fly in this day an age. Better get your intolerant views and put them back into the dark ages where they belong!

  • Charles S Freedomville, AZ
    Nov. 16, 2013 7:35 p.m.

    Dear Bob,

    I'm amazed if you could have a cogent argument with anyone. I have seen no one post what you claim.

    No one has said being LDS makes one perfect.
    No one has claimed that the world revolves around White men.

    You are not Jesus and neither am I. If you actually READ my post you would see where I quoted what Christ actually commanded us to do: love our neighbors as we would love ourselves. It's not a hard concept to understand.

    However, the principle of freedom of choice apparently is. Christ would NOT force you to be good to your neighbor so why must you try to legislate that exact behavior? Who gives you this right? I certainly don't.

    People always have and always will discriminate and they are free to for whatever reason they choose. No law will change that fact. It's sad that people like you can't understand the principle of freedom of choice. If you can't comprehend that principle, just say so, we'll understand.

    Your post is a strawman argument. No one, NO ONE, is posting what you are claiming is posted.

  • Bob K porland, OR
    Nov. 16, 2013 6:23 p.m.

    @Charles
    not from utah, 00
    ....and
    RBB
    Sandy, UT
    ....and
    Gildas
    LOGAN, UT

    Being a member of the lds does not make one perfect. Some of us think that some members here may re-enforce the idea that the world revolves around White men.

    Some of you take "freedom" to an absurd extreme, such as suggesting that anyone can discriminate against anybody, so we all should get over it. There would be some bit of sense to that if all the groups were exactly equal in power and resources, but, in reality it is bullying, because the White men and women would be making most of the decisions for others.

    I am not Jesus, but if I ask Him about this, he would tell me to treat everybody with the same love, even the ornery White guys who want to live in an imaginary past.

  • defender TWIN FALLS, ID
    Nov. 16, 2013 6:04 p.m.

    Liberty or...
    You have hit the nail on the head when you speak of moral relativism. When pro gay marriage advocates scream bigotry on the grounds religions are evil for their anti gay stance, I always wonder how they determine what is right and wrong. If Gods laws ( which I dipute are unchangeable) don't determine right and wrong, then morality by default is relative. Subsequently, my cry of bigotry towards you on the basis of hatred of me because of my religion carries equal weight.

  • RBB Sandy, UT
    Nov. 16, 2013 2:42 p.m.

    All homosexuals should be required to go see Ender's Game and to support businesses run by those who are religious. Oh, wait a minute, discrimination is OK against people who do not buy into the liberal agenda. It is just not ok if is cuts the other way.

    You see there is a value called freedom. You do what you want. I will do what I want. Each of us can live with the consequences of our actions.

  • @Charles not from utah, 00
    Nov. 16, 2013 2:07 p.m.

    It's clear that you just don't get the principle of choice. God said to love your neighbor as yourself but he left it up to us to actually make the choice. We aren't forced to do anything for anyone else.

    There is NOTHING in the Constitution about forcing someone to provide a service for another person not should there be. Nothing in the COTUS about treating others as you would treat yourself.

    Actually discrimination is alive and well in society, in all its forms. Blacks and Whites still don't like each other. Fat people are mad they have to buy an extra seat on the airplane. Homosexuals are mad society doesn't accept their behavior. Mexicans feel they should be able to break the laws of the US without punishment.

    Liberals like you are all about force. You don't want people to be able to do what they choose. You want to force compliance through illegal laws. True freedom and liberty demands that people be able to make their own choices. The principle of choice, most absolutely comes from God. It's man who decides to remove freedom from another man.

  • Contrariuserer mid-state, TN
    Nov. 16, 2013 1:11 p.m.

    @Charles

    "My principle is one that comes from God, not man."

    Errrr, no. There is no Godly principle that says "refuse to serve your fellow man just because you don't happen to like him."

    "Your preference is force"

    Nope. My preference is adherence to the US Constitution.

    "No matter what law you force on society, it will never change the mind or behavior of all mankind. "

    It does, actually.

    Back in the 50s and 60s, tons and tons of people felt the same way about serving blacks as you feel now about serving gay people. But you know what? Most of those racists learned, through years of exposure and, yes, partially "forced" interactions, that blacks weren't some terrible alien species after all.

    Is racial integration and equalization complete? No, of course not. But we are moving forward all the time -- and we wouldn't have been, if we didn't have those laws to "force" racists to respect the rights of blacks despite what they may have wanted to do.

    " the Equal Protection Clause, has NOTHING to do with whether I serve people under 110 lbs or not. "

    Suuuuuure. Take it up with SCOTUS and the Civil Rights Act.

  • @Charles not from utah, 00
    Nov. 16, 2013 12:34 p.m.

    Contrariuserer:

    My principle is one that comes from God, not man. And it is EXACTLY what this country is about. It's about freedom, liberty, free from government control or interference.

    Your preference is force, which has never worked. No matter what law you force on society, it will never change the mind or behavior of all mankind. You seem to fashion yourself as some sort of Constitution expert but the Equal Protection Clause, has NOTHING to do with whether I serve people under 110 lbs or not.

    The only way to put this nonsense to bed, for good, is to get rid of all these nonsense and illegal laws. When the laws are repealed then and only then will society be able to be free and have the ability to choose what we want to do. The ability to choose is the fundamental reason for our existence and people like you want to tell others what to do with their choice. Who are you to force your belief on me? Who gives you that right? I do not!

    Force has never worked. Freedom and liberty always have and always will. You are on the wrong side of the issue.

  • Contrariuserer mid-state, TN
    Nov. 16, 2013 11:44 a.m.

    @Charles --

    "If I choose to deny service to someone, that is my right. If people choose not to frequent my business because of this choice, that is their right. "

    Your principle only leads to fragmented enclaves and fosters intergroup hatred and isolationism. Whites refusing to serve blacks. Baptists refusing to serve Mormons. Republicans refusing to serve Democrats. And on, and on.

    That's not what our country is about.

    The Equal Protection Clause and its derivatives, like the 1964 Civil Rights Act, are intended as part of enforcing and nurturing our melting-pot society. Equal rights and equal protections for ALL citizens, ANYWHERE in our country.

  • @Charles not from utah, 00
    Nov. 16, 2013 11:09 a.m.

    Bob K states, "Gay [homosexual] people have no interest it telling you what to believe or how to behave, except when you want to continue the oppression that has hurt them so much."

    This is the whole argument, you have no right to tell me what to believe or how to behave, ever. If I choose to deny service to someone, that is my right. If people choose not to frequent my business because of this choice, that is their right.

    Laws against discrimination are foolishness from the beginning. They are inherently illegal and do nothing to stop what people believe or how people behave. You cannot legislate away stupidity.

    Based on the philosophy of laws against discrimination there is no end to creating protected classes. Fat people, blondes, green eyes, short people, right-handed people, etc. Where does the nonsense end?

    Yes, everyone should treat people with kindness and respect. Fact is, we do not and no legislation will end it. Grow up people, life is not always fair. Feeling offended is your issue, not the person who you claim did the offending. No one can offend you without your permission.

  • Really??? Kearns, UT
    Nov. 16, 2013 8:41 a.m.

    It's time for a little bit of myth busting:

    "* Adoption agencies will be forced to treat same-sex marriages equally."

    If the adoption agency receives public/government funds, then yes, they will be required to follow all laws, and that means they will not be able to discriminate against gay couples wishing to adopt. If, however, the agency is 100% funded by their managing church--like LDS Family Services--they are only required to follow the guidelines of their church.

    "* Teachers in public schools will be forced to include books like 'Heather Has 2 Mommies' in the curriculum."

    Teachers are still allowed quite a bit of freedom to use whatever literature that has been approved by the district to support the curriculum. A book like the one you mentioned may be available in the school, but that will most likely be left as an optional reading left up to the student. Parents. by the way, always have the opportunity to opt out of any lesson on book that students are required to study.

  • Gildas LOGAN, UT
    Nov. 15, 2013 6:31 p.m.

    There is no "long history of protecting religion" in America. The First Amendment "guarantees" religious freedom it but such a guarantee was not enforced, witness the LDS experience with mobs, murderers, arsonists etc. Before the Constitution Roger Williams and other reformers had to flee too.
    The main thing that "America" (the USA) has hitherto benefited from is a large country with room to escape to almost unpopulated areas, and start again at a greater distance from mobbers.

    We are not free to hire who we want in our own private businesses either. Why do we repeatedly hear the boast that we have a unique system of unparalleled economic freedom when we cannot even hire or fire without the state wanting to micro-manage and lawyers stirring up business? When every employer must collect sales and income taxes for the national authorities and the State alike (in most states), when we cannot enter business without permission from the authorities, when we are faced with a pile of paper work to dog us at every step of the way? I could go on......

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Nov. 15, 2013 5:35 p.m.

    I'd really like to start hearing stories of services denied to people who are straight or religious. This issue would clear itself up fairly quickly.

  • Bob K porland, OR
    Nov. 15, 2013 4:46 p.m.

    1... Can we PLEASE use the better term "marriage equality"? A separate "Gay marriage" is not being created.

    2... Can some of the commenters please notice that their notion that "freedom" means not having to serve some people is exactly what was used in the South until 50 years ago. Churches taught that the races should be separate, so stores, restaurants, hotels, etc. thought they had Godly authorization to not serve Blacks.

    3... Can lds people please remember that only 35 years ago, a revelation told the church to allow Black men to be priests? The rest of the world says you had discriminated.

    4... Can everyone see that Gay people, every single day of the year, serve clients whose religious or other beliefs are wrong or evil, but they just do their jobs? Every day, you wear clothes by Gay designers, listen to music by Gay artists, watch "Ellen", etc.

    5... Can you understand that after Prop 8, I feel I have the right to spit in your eyes?

    Gay people have no interest it telling you what to believe or how to behave, except when you want to continue the oppression that has hurt them so much.

  • Contrariuserer mid-state, TN
    Nov. 15, 2013 4:23 p.m.

    @JSB --

    "I didn't say anything about polygamy. I mentioned polyamory which is something entirely different. "

    No it isn't.

    From Merriam-webster: "polygamy: marriage in which a spouse of either sex may have more than one mate at the same time ".

    The term "polygamy" covers spouses of either gender and in any combination of genders.

    If you are specifically thinking about polygamy as practiced by the old Mormons, then the precise word you're looking for is "polygyny."

    ""Gay marriage in particular does not cause a significantly increased risk of harm..." How do you know this?"

    The issue of gay marriage has been presented in many courts already, both here in the States and in other countries. NOBODY has been able to show any concrete harms so far. They've tried very hard to do so, but they have all failed miserably. If you want to try yourself, give it your best shot.

    As SCOTUS specifically noted in its decision on DOMA: "The federal statute is invalid, for no legitimate purpose overcomes the purpose and effect to disparage and to injure those whom the State, by its marriage laws, sought to protect in personhood and dignity."

  • Bob K porland, OR
    Nov. 15, 2013 4:16 p.m.

    atrulson
    cohoes, NY
    There is a pending decision in a legal dispute in upstate NY between a lesbian couple who wanted to get married at a farm. The owners of the farm are Catholic and refused to accommodate same-sex wedding. The plaintiffs called the owners "mean and vindictive, and discriminatory"
    Interestingly, the farm employs openly gay staff members and has hosted a birthday party for a boy with "two moms".
    Because of the anti-discrimination laws, the owners of the farm are forced to make a decision between going against their beliefs, or accommodating weddings at at all.

    ..... A perfect example of passing along a story without understanding it!
    Catholics who accomodate a same sex wedding would be heavily criticized in their parish, because the catholic bishops (now that the lds have pulled back) are the strongest force against marriage equality. The owners' personal views on equality are not necessarily the reason for the refusal.
    .... They accomodate Gay employees and the kids of Gay moms because that is OK with the bishops -- unless the Gay moms are married and do not keep it a secret.

    If a business is open to the public, that's everybody

  • vesmir Riverside, CA
    Nov. 15, 2013 3:13 p.m.

    Turn about is fair play. If religious individuals/groups wish to assert their religious prerogative and refuse service to gays, then it's only fair that religion can be the basis to deny service, and gays can in turn refuse service to those who are known to be against gay marriage and/or equality. I.E. anyone known to be affiliated with Mormon or Evangelical churches can and should refused service for their beliefs by any gay person who takes offense. Fair is fair.

  • Lagomorph Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 15, 2013 2:12 p.m.

    First of all, kudos to the DesNews for acknowledging that other forms of religious discrimination exist. For the many months that the paper has trumpeted "religious freedom," it's coverage could be summarized as: gay marriage and cake bakers, Hobby Lobby and the contraceptive mandate. Nice that they finally admit that there are other faiths and conflicts out there.

    That said, the coverage and opining is still shortsighted. For one, readers of the paper are led to believe that the entire gay marriage conflict is that people of faith who oppose SSM are being forced to accommodate it. This is not the full picture. Completely overlooked in this discussion are those faiths that accept SSM being prevented by the governments of 35 states from exercising their religious tenets. This is a direct interference by the government in religious exercise (much more so than requiring an employer to include contraceptive coverage in insurance plans), yet these pages are remarkably silent about this side of the coin.

  • JSB Sugar City, ID
    Nov. 15, 2013 2:02 p.m.

    re. Contrariuserer. I didn't say anything about polygamy. I mentioned polyamory which is something entirely different. I am not confident same sex marriage will not lead to polyamory. It just takes a sympathetic judge or two like what's happened with gay marriage.

    "Gay marriage in particular does not cause a significantly increased risk of harm..." How do you know this? Where are the long range studies to support your claim? Do you know for sure what will happen to the traditional family in a few generations? Unanticipated consequences happen all the time. People favoring abortion didn't anticipate the sex selection that is going on right now and which in some areas will tip the ratio of men to women significantly. This could cause significant social chaos.

    There just seems to be a bandwagon effect regarding gay marriage that could cause a lot of problems that our children will have to deal with. Like the national debt. We're just kicking the can down the road but the can might be full of dynamite. Perhaps something as basic as marriage we should be very careful about messing with.

  • Allen Salt Lake valley, UT
    Nov. 15, 2013 12:27 p.m.

    ops... I should have said, "Suppose two gay people fly ..."

  • Convert Cedar City, UT
    Nov. 15, 2013 12:18 p.m.

    I really appreciate the article. It did clarify the arguments related to how legalizing irreligious activities could affect one's freedom to practice their beliefs.

    However, DN, you have not "connected the dots" enough for me. I still do not understand how granting additional rights or freedoms to homosexual people would bring harm to my religious freedom, or anyone else's.

    From the day the Constituion became our national law, we began the continuing effort to grant freedoms to all. The Bill of Rights started it. Then came freeing the slaves. Then liberating women and granting them rights. It has continued almost without a break, including granting freedom and rights to black citizens, 18 year-old vets, children, those accused of breaking the law, those with disabilities, and on-and-on.

    Now comes gay or lesbian citizens seeking freedom and right to marry.

    The fact is since 1787 every time rights and freedoms have been extended we all have benefitted and become more free. I believe we will all benefit from the same-sex marriage rights when they are provided.

  • Allen Salt Lake valley, UT
    Nov. 15, 2013 12:02 p.m.

    A further comment. I've said I'm active LDS and support marriage between one man and one woman. Suppose two people fly to Hawaii and are married. Do I consider them married? Of course. If government regulation of marriage is stopped, there is no longer a legal "status" of marriage. Marriage is what ever the couple want it to be. Of course, God will have his definition of marriage and will address that at the final judgment. But, for our time in mortality, marriage, like baptism and other things, should be what ever we want it to be.

  • Contrariuserer mid-state, TN
    Nov. 15, 2013 11:54 a.m.

    @JSB --

    "polyamorous families (more than one person of each sex) will want to receive legal recognition for their relationships... "

    Here we go again.

    TWO facts are necessary in order to justify the legalization of gay marriage:

    1. Marriage is a civil right;

    AND

    2. Gay marriage in particular does not cause a significantly increased risk of harm compared to other forms of marriage.

    Now, marriage in general clearly IS a civil right, as established by the US Constitution and reaffirmed by multiple SCOTUS decisions.

    AND nobody has ever been able to show that gay marriage causes a significantly increased risk of harm to anyone.

    In stark contrast, polygamy is very well known to convey a significantly increased risk of harm to women and children in particular.

    Therefore, polygamy fails to qualify under the harm principle.

    The harm principle is a universal legal principle that is very often used to limit our rights and freedoms. For instance, we have no "right" to drive drunk, because drunken driving significantly increases the risk of harm to others.

    Similarly, polygamy conveys a significantly increased risk of harm. Therefore our government has an interest in continuing to ban it.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 15, 2013 11:51 a.m.

    @Andy
    "I want to hire a gay director or a gay dp to film or gay actors to play the roles. Can they refuse?"

    Yes, because indentured servitude is illegal.

  • Allen Salt Lake valley, UT
    Nov. 15, 2013 11:47 a.m.

    @Ranch

    How about us calling a Mormon marriage marriage. How about us calling a gay marriage marriage. I'm a Mormon and, as far as my wife and I are concerned, our marriage is between a man and a woman. I have gay friends. If they marry, as far as they are concerned, marriage is between to men or two women. I have Catholic friends. As far as they are concerned, marriage is between a Catholic man and a Catholic woman. I have friends who espouse no religion or belief in God. As far as they are concerned, marriage is between them. I have friends who live together without any marriage. As far as they are concerned, marriage doesn't exist.

    If government regulation is stopped, then each organization sets its own criteria for marriage. People who disagree with the organization's form of marriage can choose to not belong to that organization.

  • JSB Sugar City, ID
    Nov. 15, 2013 10:52 a.m.

    Regarding legalization of same sex marriages, I don't like it but it is inevitable. What frightens me is that there are no long-range(multigenerational) studies to see what the eventual effect on society will be. One thing we can predict is that polyamorous families (more than one person of each sex) will want to receive legal recognition for their relationships and I don't see how that can be prevented if same sex couples can be legally married. The resulting social chaos (disease, child abuse and neglect, divorce complications,emotional and mental illness, etc.) will be a nightmare. Same sex marriage, whether we want it or not, is a big step down a very steep and slippery slope into misery. Congratulations to Matt Brown for another enlightening and well-written article.

  • Ranch Here, UT
    Nov. 15, 2013 10:34 a.m.

    So Allen, under your scenario, what do you call a same-sex couple, married by another religion if you still consider a marriage as only between a man and a woman? Is their marriage not valid? Why should they accept yours then?

    Get religion out of the marriage business. Since yours is supposedly for eternity (though most religious marriages include the "till death do you part" bit) how about you call yours "eternal-ball-and-chain" instead of marriage? That works for me.

  • Contrariusier mid-state, TN
    Nov. 15, 2013 9:48 a.m.

    @the truth --

    "The scripture you mentioned concerning judging is about HYPOCRISY and bad judging, if you read it all in context."

    Actually, I mentioned five different passages from three different books of the Gospels. ;-)

    "And from Moroni(7:15-19):"

    Less than 2% of the US population is Mormon. Surely you don't expect us to base laws on scriptures that 98% of the country couldn't even care less about?

    "The extreme left here seem top have no idea what individual liberty, rights, and freedom of conscience are all about."

    Ummm. Suuuuure. That's why we're the ones fighting to uphold the equal protection clause of the US Constitution, right? ;-)

    "To demand another's property, money or personal service against their religion is a violation of 1st amendments rights."

    It's called a business license. If you operate a business under a business license, then you have already agreed to abide by the laws of the jurisdiction in which you operate your business.

  • Allen Salt Lake valley, UT
    Nov. 15, 2013 9:00 a.m.

    It seems to me that if government at all levels got out of the marriage business and focused on civil rights for all people, a lot of our problems would be solved. Organizations, including religions, could perform marriages in whatever manner they chose, to whom whoever they chose. Government currently regulates and controls marriage because of cultural and political reasons not because of some inherent right. It's time to deregulate marriage and let people choose to marry whom ever they want. Religious groups accept members and perform baptisms without government regulation. Let's treat marriage the same way!

    I'm active LDS and will continue to support marriage between a man and a woman. If others want to have marriages between people of the same gender, or no marriage at all, fine with me.

  • Eliyahu Pleasant Grove, UT
    Nov. 15, 2013 8:52 a.m.

    @John T
    Scranton, PA
    "What ever happened to those old signs one used to see at most every business? "We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone?""

    You're misunderstanding the law. You may refuse to serve someone because of what he does -- filty, drunk, disorderly, obnoxious, has stolen from you, etc. -- but not because of who he is, whether it be his race, religion, ethnicity, or sexual orientation. If you doubt that, try putting up another one of those "old signs" saying "whites only" or "negroes use rear entrance" and see what happens to your business.

  • elarue NEW YORK, NY
    Nov. 15, 2013 8:37 a.m.

    Honestly, this should be a non-issue. Just legalize gay marriage while allowing exceptions saying that religious organizations are not required to solemnize gay marriage. That really is the only way to preserve religious liberty on both sides of the issue.

    @Kaladin - if by saying homosexuality is a sin you mean to say that homosexuality is inconsistent of the religious doctrines of your faith, then yes, you're perfectly fine saying so. If, on the other hand, you are saying that homosexuality makes you a base, immoral, destructive heathen, then no, that is not okay.

  • scwoz gambier, oh
    Nov. 15, 2013 7:21 a.m.

    Sorry but wrong is wrong. You cannot change it because you want to change it. However if the laws of the land are enacted we must stand behind to hose laws until we find a way to change them in the legal manner prescribed by your State of Country. God will understand if you have to violate your conscience in order to stay within the laws of the land as long as you are trying in a legal way to change it back. If that is not possible then the choice is to find new employment or move. Sorry, once again, it is still wrong and God will be the one to Judge, as needed not you. We are required to love everyone no matter what, no exceptions. Fight with all your might within the law but once the law you have to obey Caesars while in Caesars control..

  • Warrior Parent Belle Glade, FL
    Nov. 14, 2013 10:21 p.m.

    I believe God may have the last word on this argument...

    Luke 17:29

    29 But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all.

    Jude 1:7

    7 Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.

  • LetsDebate PLEASANT GROVE, UT
    Nov. 14, 2013 9:37 p.m.

    @Charles - AMEN! Most discrimination laws crush freedom today. Everyone should have freedom to think, love, hate, associate/do business with whom we choose, love a sinner but hate a sin, and follow our individual consciences.

    And, everyone should have the freedom to suffer any and all natural consequences of thoughts, actions, associations, and business dealings. If a restaurant wants to deny service to black people, why should we protect them from their own stupidity and inevitable business failure? If a florist doesn't want to provide flowers for a gay wedding, they can lose the business of gay people, and if society determines that's unacceptably bigoted, in time they won't survive on that business model. Gay business owners should have every right of conscience to reject patronage from members of the Westboro Baptist Church.

    Anti-discrimination laws are appropriate for government entities only, which should treat all people equally before the law. I don't think it's a constitutional right, and that the people of states should make that decision through voting.

    Engage in the marketplace of ideas. Vote your conscience. Live with the results while influencing societal improvement.

  • Kevin J. Kirkham Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 14, 2013 8:09 p.m.

    liberty or ...?
    If New york can vote yea for gay marriage then according to law California can say nay to gay marriage. Other wise you have discrimination in favor of homosexuality and the law is biased.
    KJK
    Replace “gay marriage” and “homosexuality” with “mixed-race marriage” and see if that makes sense.

    procuradorfiscalT
    [passing SSM laws] has resulted… in forcing religious institutions to permit gay marriage on their grounds, forcing people to provide artistic and other services in support of gay weddings..
    KJK
    The church “forced” to hold a SSM wedding agreed to allow the public to use a park (for weddings, etc..) they owned in exchange for not paying property taxes on the park. The artistic services were businesses run in states that require businesses to not discriminate against gays. They agreed to not discriminate when they signed their business license.

    procuradorfiscalT
    LGBT activists want to force us into being enablers of and participants in their sin, hoping to encourage justification of it…
    KJK
    So grocers can refuse selling condoms to unmarried people and diapers to teen mothers? Doing both facilitates their sin.

  • the truth Holladay, UT
    Nov. 14, 2013 7:50 p.m.

    @Contrariusier

    The scripture you mentioned concerning judging is about HYPOCRISY and bad judging, if you read it all in context.

    And from Moroni(7:15-19):

    15 For behold, my brethren, it is given unto you to judge, that ye may know good from evil; and the way to judge is as plain, that ye may know with a perfect knowledge, as the daylight is from the dark night.

    16 For behold, the Spirit of Christ is given to every man, that he may know good from evil; wherefore, I show unto you the way to judge; for every thing which inviteth to do good, and to persuade to believe in Christ, is sent forth by the power and gift of Christ; wherefore ye may know with a perfect knowledge it is of God.

    The extreme left here seem top have no idea what individual liberty, rights, and freedom of conscience are all about.

    To demand another's property, money or personal service against their religion is a violation of 1st amendments rights.

    You may not like it, you may disagree with it, but practice of religion, publically or privately is a guaranteed right.

  • @Charles not from utah, 00
    Nov. 14, 2013 7:36 p.m.

    Let's be real about this whole situation. Legislating a behavior never ever works. Contrary to popular belief, anyone should be able to discriminate against anyone else for any reason they choose.

    Who is anyone to tell someone else they must provide a service or anything else for anyone just because they are in that business? If business A wants to not provide service to someone that is their choice.

    Any law that is enacted to try to tell a business they must provide a service is an immoral and illegal law. This whole protected class legislation is just garbage, yes, garbage. Get rid of all of these silly laws and allow people to frequent any business of their choice and the business is free to provide the service or not.

    Sorry folks, that's how life should work, not legislating a behavior. Time for grown ups to take charge and those who support these laws aren't at the grown up table.

  • Contrariusier mid-state, TN
    Nov. 14, 2013 6:15 p.m.

    @Kaladin --

    "The use of one scripture to say flatly that we should never under any circumstances use any judgment..."

    Fortunately, I never said any such thing.

    “I have many things to say and to judge of you” (John 8:26) "

    Right.

    Judging is GOD'S job. Not ours.

    "Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven." Luke 6:37

    "If anyone hears my words but does not keep them, I do not judge that person. For I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world." John 12:47

    "Anyone who speaks against a brother or sister or judges them speaks against the law and judges it. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment on it." James 4:11

    "And he has given him authority to judge because he is the Son of Man." John 5:27

    "There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. But you—who are you to judge your neighbor?" James 4:12

  • sashabill Morgan Hill, CA
    Nov. 14, 2013 5:35 p.m.

    If liberals and LGBT advocates are genuinely interested in promoting marriage then I would like to know what they have done to help reverse the epidemic of fatherlessness and out-of-wedlock births in our inner cities. This goes together with the criminality, gang, and drug-related activity in those areas, as studies and statistics have shown for the past half-century. During that time, I have heard very little from the liberal community about the actual importance of marriage, or of the importance of fathers in young peoples' lives. Rather, liberals since the 1960s have given us an indifferent attitude toward marriage and a relativistic message of "whatever floats your boat," and "if it feels food, do it." When it involved the LGBT community, however, it's amazing how fast liberals suddenly "discovered" that marriage is a "fundamental right."

    This leads me, frankly, to question the sincerity of the liberal community when it comes to actually empowering parents, strengthening marriages, and promoting fatherhood and responsibility.

  • SoCalChris Riverside, CA
    Nov. 14, 2013 5:26 p.m.

    "those that passed and then tried to defend the restrictions on gay marriage have been unable to show any compelling state or public interest in doing so and the courts have ruled against them, that is how our system of check and balances works."

    A lone gay California judge decided there was no compelling state interest and the governor and attorney general refused to go to bat for the people of California. So much for a system of checks and balances.

    This is not about refusing services to someone who is gay. As I recall, the photographer in New Mexico had many gay customers. But she had a problem with photographing a same-sex wedding. This wasn't about not being able to find someone to photograph their wedding. It was about imposing their values on the photographer.

    Printers offer their services to the public. Should a printer be required to print business cards or flyers for the Westborro Baptist Church?

  • Kaladin Greeley, CO
    Nov. 14, 2013 5:01 p.m.

    @Contrariusier - The use of one scripture to say flatly that we should never under any circumstances use any judgment either shows a lack of understanding of the scriptures or a purposeful misrepresentation of its teachings. I hope it is the first. The Lord also said, “I have many things to say and to judge of you” (John 8:26) and “For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see” (John 9:39). These seemingly contradictory scriptures can be understood when a full study of the Gospel is undertaken. Final judgment is left for the Lord at a later date. It is that kind of judgment that He was unwilling to do during his ministry and that He directed us to refrain from doing. However, He instructed us to use intermediary righteous judgment on numerous occasions throughout His mortal sojourn. I would point you to a talk by Elder Dallin H. Oaks at BYU on March 1, 1998, which will more fully expound this concept than I can do in the limited space here.

  • Contrariusier mid-state, TN
    Nov. 14, 2013 4:28 p.m.

    @liberty or ...? --

    "You have just proven my point that both sides are in violation of the law"

    Sorry, but your post doesn't even make sense. Please try again.

    @Tooele Mom --

    "Loving a sinner is not the same as removing the idea of sin. "

    "If anyone hears my words but does not keep them, I do not judge that person. For I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world." John 12:47

    Even Jesus himself says that he doesn't judge sinners.

    "Personally, my only concern with the legalization of gay marriage (which is becoming inevitable), is that there will begin to be lawsuits against my church..."

    Have there been lawsuits against churches who refuse to marry interfaith couples? Lawsuits against churches who refuse to marry black couples, or interracial couples? Lawsuits against churches who refuse to marry couples of other faiths?

    @Andy --

    "I commission a gay screenplay writer to write it. Can he refuse?"

    Yes.

    Screenplay writers do not place ads proclaiming themselves to the public as providing screenwriting services to the general public.

    Businesses like wedding cake bakers do advertise their services as being available to the general public.

  • WRK Riverton, UT
    Nov. 14, 2013 4:19 p.m.

    Now it is not common that the voice of the people desire anything contrary to that which is right; but it is common for the lesser part of the people to desire that which is not right; therefore this shall you observe and make it your law—to do your business by the voice of the people.

    And if the time comes that the voice of the people does choose iniquity, then is the time that the judgments of God will come upon you; yes, then is the time He will visit you with great destruction even as He has hitherto visited this land.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    Nov. 14, 2013 4:12 p.m.

    The Bible says a lot more about divorce than it does homosexuality.

    We have more children being raised in single-parent homes and living in poverty.

    We should do more to support families and treat each other with kindness and respect.

    period.

  • spring street SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Nov. 14, 2013 3:50 p.m.

    @liberty or
    Actually no I did not prove your point and I do not have to agree with your view on gun laws, speech restrictions, separation of church and state laws etc..some gun laws have violated the federal constitution and been overturned others have stood because they do not. Some restrictions on those rights have been upheld by the courts because the state was able to show a compelling state and public interest in doing so (i.e. not yelling fire in a crowded theater) Some restriction on marriage have been accepted because those that have passed and defended them have been able to show a compelling state interest in doing so (polygamy). those that passed and then tried to defend the restrictions on gay marriage have been unable to show any compelling state or public interest in doing so and the courts have ruled against them, that is how our system of check and balances works.

  • Steven Palmer Rigby, ID
    Nov. 14, 2013 3:22 p.m.

    I do believe a large degree of tolerance to differences of others beliefs and views are necessary for a diverse and healthy society. That is not the same as forcing others to accept my views and behaviors through legislative actions.

  • Steven Palmer Rigby, ID
    Nov. 14, 2013 3:07 p.m.

    I find it interesting that labels like "bigots" and "victims" are thrown around so easily here. It seems some prefer to throwing around labels rather than having an honest open discussion.

    I find alcohol consumption offensive to my religious and personal views and have expressed to others not to drink around me. Does that make me a "bigot" or drinkers "victims"? Do I have the right to express my views to others or to ask them to take it somewhere else?

    I don't believe I have the right to "force them to stop" drinking altogether nor do they have the right to "force me to be exposed" to it, especially when I cannot go somewhere else. However, I don't see any Gay being "forced to stop" what they choose to do. But I do think gay activists are "forcing" the "outward expression" of their sexual preference upon businesses and sometimes employees through legislative action.

  • archemeedees Tooele, UT
    Nov. 14, 2013 2:59 p.m.

    Forcing others to do your will is not a human right.

  • The Scientist Provo, UT
    Nov. 14, 2013 2:46 p.m.

    Tooele Mom wrote:

    "Libs love to bring up Jesus' compassion and his spending time with sinners. May I point out that Jesus did not sit by the sinners and tell them that their sin was acceptable."

    "Libs"?

    Engage in name-calling much?

    Anyway, go ahead and "preach" to the same sex couple that comes into your cake store that you think they are sinners - just as you do all the opposite sex couples who are sinners (you DO this, right?)... but then MAKE THE CAKE!

    Only if you refuse service to ALL the sinners who come into your store can you be genuine as a true Christian...

    Are you willing to do that?

  • Andy Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Nov. 14, 2013 2:45 p.m.

    I want to commission a script for a film. It will explore the dark, abusive, exploitative side of homosexual life. The film will portrayal of a young man exploring his sexual identity which ends in suicide after being treated as an object in every one of his relationships. Although accurate, it will be viewed as anti-gay.

    I commission a gay screenplay writer to write it. Can he refuse? I want to hire a gay director or a gay dp to film or gay actors to play the roles. Can they refuse?

    Now this is a project for Evergreen (I think) that works to help people overcome same gender attraction. Can gay people refuse to help?

    Based on my understanding of the New Mexico case, the laws in New Mexico would force everyone to do whatever they were to do "as a price of citizenship" in the country.

    Now the more interesting question: can I sue them if they intentionally do a poor job?

  • The Scientist Provo, UT
    Nov. 14, 2013 2:40 p.m.

    procuradorfiscal responded:

    == Re: ". . . believers want "freedom from religion?" - freedom from practicing their own
    == religion?"

    == No. Freedom from being forced to express belief in, and to engage in the practice of your
    == secular [ir]religion.

    == And, it's not just what we want, it's also what we're guaranteed in the Constitution."

    And for that, you will make yourselves hypocrites (in the sense used by Jesus, in whom you claim to believe?)? For that "worldly" political point, you will abandon your own religious beliefs and act contrary to your "Master"?

    If so, then what exactly is it you are fighting for the "freedom" of? - if your "religion" means so little to you, then why fight for its "freedom"?

  • Tooele Mom Tooele, UT
    Nov. 14, 2013 2:20 p.m.

    Libs love to bring up Jesus' compassion and his spending time with sinners. May I point out that Jesus did not sit by the sinners and tell them that their sin was acceptable. He taught them His gospel. He blessed them. He forgave them (which He has authority to do) for their sins. Our responsibility as Christians is to teach His gospel, to love the sinner and to plead to God for forgiveness for our own sins.

    Loving a sinner is not the same as removing the idea of sin. The new liberal movement would like nothing more than to completely remove sin from the discussion of teen and adult sexuality.

    Personally, my only concern with the legalization of gay marriage (which is becoming inevitable), is that there will begin to be lawsuits against my church and the liberal hippie-run government will decide that if we don't perform gay marriages, we can't legally perform marriages at all. Lawsuits against a photographer or a wedding venue for not wanting to serve gay couples indicate that this is, in fact, something we should fear.

  • liberty or ...? Ogden, UT
    Nov. 14, 2013 1:40 p.m.

    @contrarious and spring street. You have just proven my point that both sides are in violation of the law ans that they have been manipulating case law to there own agenda instead of following the law as stated. that is why I said if you want to do this legally and justly. Slavery and Jim Crow were conctitutional and upheld by law for a number decades despite them being in clear violation of the constitution I am appealing to the law as it stands which must be amended or complied with. Also the trumping of constitutional liberties with state laws is a weak argument otherwise every Gun control legislation, speech restriction etc that and seperation of church and state law on the books you must agree is in direct violation of this. Also the founders specifically set up the state goverments to have sovereignity of right. People have forgotten that there is a difference between state and federal sovereignity

  • Contrarius mid-state, TN
    Nov. 14, 2013 1:35 p.m.

    @procuradorfiscal --

    "But bullying liberals and LGBT activists are not content with that. The demand that we also PARTICIPATE in and celebrate their sin. "

    Uhhhhh, no.

    Again -- no gay person in the WORLD wants to have you in their bedroom.

    Even for strict Bible interpreters, the bedroom is the ONLY place where homosexuals commit any serious sins.

    Providing commercial wedding services for a gay wedding is no more participating in a sin than providing commercial wedding services for divorced people getting remarried (adultery) is. Or providing wedding services for an interracial couple (miscegenation -- multiple OT passages speak against this). Or providing wedding services for an interfaith couple (Paul -- and several OT passages -- told Christians not to marry other faiths).

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    Nov. 14, 2013 12:57 p.m.

    Re: "Self-righteous claptrap."

    Fortunately, saying it don't make it so.

    Real people of faith serve others every day, whether they agree with them, or not. Most of us don't believe we should be forced by law to do so, but we do it anyway. I gladly, humbly, gratefully provide legal services to people who've confessed sins to me, including sexual sin, same and opposite sex. And, I do so without the slightest reservation.

    Nearly all people of faith do the same.

    But bullying liberals and LGBT activists are not content with that. The demand that we also PARTICIPATE in and celebrate their sin. That we permit commitment to a life of sin in our religious properties, and that we enable and join in those celebrations with planning, cakes, and decor.

    Liberal, "pro-choice" activists and libertines demand we participate in killing the unborn, that we counsel people against feeling guilt for sin, and that we force people who consider contraception a sin, to provide tools needed to commit the sin.

    That's not service.

  • Henry Drummond San Jose, CA
    Nov. 14, 2013 12:43 p.m.

    In the cited examples if you replaced "Gays" with "Mormons" you would be outraged. If an Evangelical Christian believes Latter-day Saints are a cult, should they be allowed to fire Mormons from the workplace, refuse to provide Mormons housing, prohibit Mormon Missionaries from proselyting in their city, or withhold taxpayer funded services from Mormons?

    You can't demand protection against discrimination for yourself and deny it to others.

  • Contrarius mid-state, TN
    Nov. 14, 2013 12:27 p.m.

    @procuradorfiscal --

    "The BIG difference is that LGBT activists want to force us into being enablers of and participants in their sin"

    Self-righteous claptrap.

    Even if my religion tells me that Mormons are cultists, I am still required by law to serve them.

    Even if my religion tells me that people of other races are subhuman, I am still required by law to serve them.

    Even if my religion tells me that men are brutes, I am still required by law to serve them.

    Even if my religion tells me that Wiccans are devil worshippers, I am still required by law to serve them.

    NOBODY is trying to force you into the bedroom with gay people. Trust me, they DON'T want you there.

  • Wastintime Los Angeles, CA
    Nov. 14, 2013 11:54 a.m.

    @O'really and others

    Your very "cake baking" and other arguments I'm reading here were bantered about prior to the Prop 8 trial in California. I followed the case with great interest because I thought these arguments were ridiculous and wanted to see how they played in a court of law. Of course we all know what happened. The witnesses scheduled to testify regarding the violation of religious freedom evaporated and virtually no argument was put up regarding why gay marriage violates anybody's religious freedoms or rights. Some people seem unfazed and continue to make the same arguments here. The fact that you had your chance to make up them when the world was watching and chose not to should tell us all we need to know about their validity.

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    Nov. 14, 2013 11:52 a.m.

    Re: "Either he's consistent and refuses to rent to ALL sinners or he's nothing but a hypocrite . . . ."

    Sorry, but that's just LGBT sophistry.

    The BIG difference is that LGBT activists want to force us into being enablers of and participants in their sin, hoping to encourage justification of it by those not well-grounded in God-given doctrines of their religion.

    That's vastly different from being tolerant of, even embracing the sinner, as our religion does, in fact require us to do.

    And, it's not that they don't know what they're doing. They do. They simply use disingenuous argument and sophistry to try and divert attention away from their actual intent.

    People of faith embrace all God's children. We encourage all to come to Him.

    That doesn't require us, however, to stand by and watch them intentionally destroy His little ones.

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    Nov. 14, 2013 11:52 a.m.

    Accepting same sex marriage expends less energy than fulminating against it to the point of wrath. Welcoming it as advanced humanity shows a spark of nobility and is far more tranquil.

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    Nov. 14, 2013 11:47 a.m.

    I recall a time when Mormons wanted the Government to stay out of our Un-orthodox Marriages,
    and claimed Freedom of Religion trumps laws toward polygamy....

    Now,
    some Mormons [not all of us] want MORE Government to get involved of others un-orthodox marriages,
    and claim Freedom of Religion trumps laws toward gay marriage.

    Be careful for what you wish for,
    You just might get it....

  • Ranch Here, UT
    Nov. 14, 2013 11:20 a.m.

    @atrulson;

    Since he's running his farm as a wedding venue business, then he should not be allowed to use his religion to deny the venue to "unacceptable" couples. He could, theoretically, deny mixed-race hetero couples using that argument. That, just like denying the venue to gay couples is bigotry and discrimination.

    Furthermore, if this farmer rents to murderers for their weddings, thieves for their weddings, adulterers for their (subsequent) weddings, isn't he also violating his "religious conscience" since each of these things is condemned in the Bible?

    Either he's consistent and refuses to rent to ALL sinners or he's nothing but a hypocrite; which is also condemned in the bible.

    Same thing for florists, bakers, photographers, pencil makers, etc.

    @O'really;

    Why should LGBT customers have to "find someone else" when there's a perfectly good provider of the service needed right next door?

  • Pagan Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 14, 2013 11:14 a.m.

    'Protecting religion'..

    60% of America identifies themselves as Christian.

    And pay zero taxes.

    And now we want MORE 'protections' to discriminate against OTHERS..? In THEIR jobs and homes and families and marriages.

    Protections.

    'I do not think that word means, what you think it means.'

  • Tekakaromatagi Dammam, Saudi Arabia
    Nov. 14, 2013 11:14 a.m.

    @Ranch:

    "Nonsense. The human rights issue of our time is how religious people are treating others in a negative manner (i.e., look at what Orthodox Christians are doing to LGBT people in Russia these days)."

    You've argued in the past that morality is relative and that the only thing that is evil is bigotry. By that standard then the idea of human rights,-- a universally acceptable way of treating people which is derived from the belief in a Creator and the belief in an absolute morality -- is a social construct. Now you are arguing that Russia should be respecting human rights of gays. Your present views appears to be inconsistent with your earlier view that morality is relative and not absolute, except for the part about bigotry being evil.

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    Nov. 14, 2013 11:10 a.m.

    Re: ". . . believers want "freedom from religion?" - freedom from practicing their own religion?"

    No. Freedom from being forced to express belief in, and to engage in the practice of your secular [ir]religion.

    And, it's not just what we want, it's also what we're guaranteed in the Constitution.

  • Kaladin Greeley, CO
    Nov. 14, 2013 11:02 a.m.

    Apparently it is against the rules of civil dialogue to say homosexuality is a sin. Let's see if they accept it this time. So now that I have let you all know that I believe it to be a sin, what does that mean about me? Am I a bigot, a horrible person? Should I be rehabilitated? Should I just accept it and let my children be taught that it is okay, or should I stand up for what I believe? Do you stand up for what you believe or do you just lay down and take it when the courts have spoken?

  • The Scientist Provo, UT
    Nov. 14, 2013 10:49 a.m.

    O'really wrote:

    "Baking a cake for a wedding is a supportive act, even when receiving money for it. So is decorating or taking pictures or providing a venue performing the ceremony. To support something that goes against one's conscience, let alone religious beliefs and commitments should still be a right in this country."

    From Mark 2:

    "14 As [Jesus] walked along, he saw Levi son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax collector’s booth. 'Follow me,' Jesus told him, and Levi got up and followed him.

    15 While Jesus was having dinner at Levi’s house, many tax collectors and sinners were eating with him and his disciples, for there were many who followed him. 16 When the teachers of the law who were Pharisees saw him eating with the sinners and tax collectors, they asked his disciples: 'Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?'

    17 On hearing this, Jesus said to them, 'It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.'"

    Religious separatism is elitist and UNChristian.

    Now the believers want "freedom from religion?" - freedom from practicing their own religion?

  • O'really Idaho Falls, ID
    Nov. 14, 2013 10:10 a.m.

    @ David Cary Hart

    It's not merely spreading butter cream on sponge cake. Baking a cake for a wedding is a supportive act, even when receiving money for it. So is decorating or taking pictures or providing a venue performing the ceremony. To support something that goes against one's conscience, let alone religious beliefs and commitments should still be a right in this country. What ever happened to live and let live. I think the LGBT community needs to be reminded it goes both ways. Since 50% of the country is just fine with gay marriage, it really shouldn't be that hard to find someone else who will support that marriage. Common sense seems to be lacking with the LGBT agenda.

  • Contrarius mid-state, TN
    Nov. 14, 2013 10:02 a.m.

    @John T --

    "Does a business owner in a so-called "public venue" have a right to turn away a customer who is intoxicated..."

    Of course.

    In law, "illegal discrimination" means distinguishing between groups of people based on criteria that are irrelevant to the right (or privilege) in question. For example, if I want to buy lunch from you it is irrelevant if I have pink skin or brown skin.

    It is NOT illegal to distinguish between groups of people based on RELEVANT criteria. If someone is disrupting your business -- for example, drunk or disorderly -- then that harms your business and endangers your customers, and you have every right to throw that person out.

    "Gay"ness is irrelevant to business. It does nothing to harm your business. Therefore, legally, refusing to serves gay people is just as discriminatory as refusing to serve blacks at a lunch counter.

    "Why do they insist on forcing themselves on those whom they know will resist?"

    Why did black college students sit down at a Woolworths lunch counter where they knew they were not wanted?

    They did it because they were standing up for their rights as US citizens.

  • Joan Watson TWIN FALLS, ID
    Nov. 14, 2013 10:00 a.m.

    Long ago it used to be state run churches that oppressed minds and hearts. That is one of the reason many came to the 'new world' to escape such oppression because they sought to worship God as one believed and desired. The framers of the constitution made religious freedom top priority. Take away ones right to worship God as they so desire and so LIVE accordingly to the dictates on ones beliefs is to strike against religious freedom.

  • John T Scranton, PA
    Nov. 14, 2013 9:48 a.m.

    What ever happened to those old signs one used to see at most every business? "We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone?" Does a business owner in a so-called "public venue" have a right to turn away a customer who is intoxicated, or otherwise extremely disrupting to his business? It seems to me, that the gay-rights, "everybody is absolutely equal" crowd do not look upon Christians, or anyone else who for any reason disagrees with them in any way, as deserving of those same equal rights. I have observed that many times, gay couples will deliberately target a business which they know full well is owned by a Christian, rather than take their business elsewhere. Why do they insist on forcing themselves on those whom they know will resist? This practice of deliberate confrontation is counterproductive, and does nothing at all to enhance the public image of those who live alternative lifestyles.

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    Nov. 14, 2013 9:37 a.m.

    Re: ". . . saying we should start issuing licenses to discriminate based on people’s views is a recipe for unraveling democracy itself . . . ."

    Such disingenuous blather is the exact opposite, of course, what the law has always been, and what believing Americans seek.

    Constitutional freedom of religion has always demanded that government refrain from "excessively entanglement" in religion, and in enforcing laws, to either benefit or disadvantage people of faith.

    LGBT activists today, however, demand that government do the exact opposite -- BECOME excessively entangled in religion, with the express aim of enforcing LGBT beliefs and demands on people of faith.

    This has resulted, not just in forcing violation of beliefs regarding reproductive choice, but in forcing religious institutions to permit gay marriage on their grounds, forcing people to provide artistic and other services in support of gay weddings, and in forcing people in professions to accede to demonic secular views and practices as part of "ethics" codes.

    People of faith actually want only to be left out of mandatory practice of liberal secular religion.

    Nothing more.

  • Kaladin Greeley, CO
    Nov. 14, 2013 9:35 a.m.

    Homosexuality is a sin. Should I be thrown in jail because I believe that? Am I a bigot because I believe that? Am I a terrible person?

  • Contrarius mid-state, TN
    Nov. 14, 2013 9:28 a.m.

    @liberty or ...?

    "the supreme court has already said on 2 sperate occasions that marriage is not a right. "

    This is not actually true.

    A few relevant SCOTUS cases:

    -- Loving v. Virginia: "Marriage is one of the 'basic civil rights of man'..."
    -- Zablocki v. Redhail -- "the right to marry is of fundamental importance for all individuals"
    -- Skinner v. Oklahoma -- a person, being cut off from "marriage and procreation," would be "forever deprived of a basic liberty."
    -- Turner v. Safley -- invalidated a prohibition on marriages by prison inmates under privacy rights
    -- Meyer v. Nebraska -- the liberty protected by the 14th Amendment "without doubt…denotes not merely freedom from bodily restraint but also the right of the individual to contract, to engage in any of the common occupations of life, to acquire useful knowledge, to marry, establish a home and bring up children..."

    SCOTUS has reaffirmed on multiple occasions that marriage IS a fundamental civil right.

  • spring street SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Nov. 14, 2013 9:26 a.m.

    @liberty or
    While you are correct as far as you take your reasoning you failed to address the fact that states cannot violate the federal constitutions protected rights of individuals. A good test of the reasoning is to extend the types of protections that the DN claims should be allowed for individual religious beliefs. What would happen if we allowed a blanket exemption fro people to reject services to anyone they feel serving would violate their religious conscious? we know what happens chaos and harm.

  • teeoh Anytown, KY
    Nov. 14, 2013 9:24 a.m.

    @Craig Clark, who said, “Legalizing same-sex marriage forces nothing onto anyone.”

    I’m not sure what you mean by that. Consider the following:
    * Adoption agencies will be forced to treat same-sex marriages equally.
    * Teachers in public schools will be forced to include books like “Heather Has 2 Mommies” in the curriculum.
    * Photographers, bakers, wedding planners, etc. will be forced to provide services which cause them to feel a condoning of same-sex marriage.

    You can say that all of these things SHOULD be forced upon the public, but you simply cannot say that SSM forces nothing onto anyone.

  • David Cary Hart Miami Beach, FL
    Nov. 14, 2013 9:17 a.m.

    @atrulson

    Refusing to rent your public accommodation out for a same-sex wedding is not an article of faith. It's a statement as a defender of the faith and an act of martyrdom. These are self-manufactured "victims." Are they asking prospective customers if they have been divorced? Can they turn away a Hindu or Jewish wedding? How about an atheist wedding? After all, those are at least equally insulting to their faith. Suppose the owners belong to the Christian Identity Church. Can they legally turn away Blacks and Jews?

  • SCfan clearfield, UT
    Nov. 14, 2013 9:12 a.m.

    Ranch

    When courts rule on law, that IS making law. Look at Roe/Wade. And it is activist when courts rule politically. There is a reason that the most liberal federal court, the 9th circuit, based in San Francisco, is the most overturned court by the Supreme Court. Courts and judges today have taken on themselves the mantle of creating law where none exists, or changing law to suit a political agenda. When Justice Suter was asked about that in his confirmation hearings he admitted that the courts will fill the void if a legislature has not made a law pertaining to a particular issue.

  • David Cary Hart Miami Beach, FL
    Nov. 14, 2013 9:03 a.m.

    Justice Scalia writing for the majority in Employment Division v Smith seemingly settled this issue. According to Scalia, religious exemptions to otherwise valid laws made those laws entirely unenforceable.

    Moreover, smearing butter-cream on sponge cake isn't exactly God's work. Some of these people need to get over themselves. We must remember that the real victims of discrimination are not the business owners who discriminate. Rather, it is the people who are told "we don't serve your kind here."

  • atrulson cohoes, NY
    Nov. 14, 2013 9:00 a.m.

    @Ranch:
    google "Liberty Ridge Farm NY" and you'll find more info.

  • liberty or ...? Ogden, UT
    Nov. 14, 2013 8:55 a.m.

    EDM just because your morrality standards are different doesn't make them bigoted you not. To say that your definition of morality is superior just because you say so only shows that you suffer fromthe same symptom you accuse them of. At least religious people claim external authority for their morals. If you take an atheist stand point then you have no leg to stand on because morality is all relative and yours is no better than mine.Gay activity may be okay morally to you whilepedophilia is okay with other peoples and cultures or arrange marriages

  • atrulson cohoes, NY
    Nov. 14, 2013 8:49 a.m.

    @Ranch:

    Yes, they were offering their location as a marriage venue, which is why I said they are now forced to decide between going against their beliefs, or ceasing marriage accommodation all together.
    I'm not sure what more detail you needed.

  • atrulson cohoes, NY
    Nov. 14, 2013 8:43 a.m.

    @Church member:
    you can worry about slipping down that slope if you want, but it appears to me we are slipping down the opposite side of the slope.

  • liberty or ...? Ogden, UT
    Nov. 14, 2013 8:42 a.m.

    Continued from previous post-...If however the LGBT community wants to say marriage is an inalianable right then you have a problem because the supreme court has already said on 2 sperate occasions that marriage is not a right. See DOMA and edmund tucker acts. Other individual cases exist as well. Since this has already been ruled on then you must propose an amendment to the constitution which must be voted on by the voice of the people and ratified by 2/3 of the states.IF you want to do it non oppressively and justly. But forcing adoption through judicial litigation is only another form of opression.However I disagree whole heartedly with TA1 & bob bohey. I would agree with you on publicly traded companies but in regards to sole proprietorship or property rights where the business or property is not distuinguished seperately from the private individualbut is an extension of themselves tax wise or legally then you cannnot force these people to check their beliefs at the door.I might as well ask you because I have a right to worship you must recognize and support my church even if your atheist otherwise you are discriminating.

  • Pat Salt Lake , UT
    Nov. 14, 2013 8:29 a.m.

    To Craig Clark, in the case of the farm couple mentioned above it appears that is not true.

  • liberty or ...? Ogden, UT
    Nov. 14, 2013 8:26 a.m.

    I usually don't comment on these topics but the level of ignorance dispalyed here in these comments is both hypocritical and biased. I will agree first with part of Craig Clarks comment only so far as I don't believe the government should have any say in who you mary. However there are 2 problems with this. That is not how the supreme court or the law was set up. All marriages performed by religion or government representative are technicaly civil unions on the books and the states under the constitution were given the power to decide through the voice of the peoplewhat forms of marriage are accepted and not this is why New York can legalize gay marriage.However, that being said Gay community members cannot use the law when it is in their favor and cry discrimination when it is not. If New york can vote yea for gay marriage then according to law California can say nay to gay marriage. Other wise you have discrimination in favor of homosexuality and the law is biased.

  • EDM Castle Valley, Utah
    Nov. 14, 2013 8:18 a.m.

    Bigotry in the name of freedom of religion is still bigotry. And the attempt to apply conscientious objection to bigotry doesn't change it either.

  • Ranch Here, UT
    Nov. 14, 2013 8:16 a.m.

    @SCfan;

    It is the judicial branch's RESPONSIBILITY to determine the Constitutionality of laws passed by the legislative branch. Just because you don't like their rulings doesn't mean they're being "activist" and making laws.

    @Tekakaromatagi;

    "Freedom of religion is the Human Rights issue of our time."

    --- Nonsense. The human rights issue of our time is how religious people are treating others in a negative manner (i.e., look at what Orthodox Christians are doing to LGBT people in Russia these days).

    @atrulson;

    You left out critical details in your story. Was the "farm" offering their location as a marriage venue? No? Yes? If so, then they should accomodate all forms of marriage. If not, the lesbian couple had no cause to complain. (I find it hard to believe your story w/o the requisite details).

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    Nov. 14, 2013 8:00 a.m.

    Legalizing same-sex marriage forces nothing onto anyone. Keeping it illegal does.

  • SCfan clearfield, UT
    Nov. 14, 2013 7:46 a.m.

    I hope this is hammered out in the legislatures, and not the courtrooms. I trust the elected officials who have to be accountable to their constituents every few years to be the best judges of what the law should be, rather than the unaccountable judges, sometimes only one or two, to make permanent law. Making law is not what judges were supposed to do in the first place, but is seems the judiciary has acquired that power these days at the expense of legislatures, who are elected to do so. Legislative made laws can be changed much more easily than judicial ruling laws, which set precident.

  • Church member North Salt Lake, UT
    Nov. 14, 2013 7:46 a.m.

    I'm interested in people's opinion on this: what is going to stop people from starting "religions" so that they can do things they want to do under the banner of "religious freedom". If you want to smoke cannabis, start a religion. Want to discriminate against black people, tell people God is commanding you to do so. Isn't religious freedom a slippery slope?

    Since when did believing in religion give you the ability to act anyway that you want to?

  • atrulson cohoes, NY
    Nov. 14, 2013 7:37 a.m.

    There is a pending decision in a legal dispute in upstate NY between a lesbian couple who wanted to get married at a farm. The owners of the farm are Catholic and refused to accommodate same-sex wedding. The plaintiffs called the owners "mean and vindictive, and discriminatory"
    Interestingly, the farm employs openly gay staff members and has hosted a birthday party for a boy with "two moms".
    Because of the anti-discrimination laws, the owners of the farm are forced to make a decision between going against their beliefs, or accommodating weddings at all.

    The lesbian couple has since been married in another venue.

  • Tekakaromatagi Dammam, Saudi Arabia
    Nov. 14, 2013 7:17 a.m.

    Years ago I was active in diversity issues at the UofU. There was this one gay rights activist who had these really right wing views about Christians. He thought that their should be a quota on how many Mormons who could be admitted to the UofU. At one point he said that Jews and Christians have a collective guilt because the Old Testament condemns same gender relations. Then he added, but he didn't hold a grudge against Jews because of the Holocaust they had sort of paid off their guilt.

    A couple of years ago in this forum I pointed out that there are people with some scary right wing views on the margins who would use same sex marriage as a tool to persecute.

    Freedom of religion is the Human Rights issue of our time.

  • Ranch Here, UT
    Nov. 14, 2013 7:00 a.m.

    "Defending individual conscience rights has often been divisive,..." "Today, the battleground is the legalization of same-sex marriage, which is testing the limits of exemptions to balance personal religious freedom and equal rights for gays and lesbians."

    --- Specifically, how does serving a gay customer violate one's "conscience"? How does marriage for GLBT couples violate one's "conscience"? If you don't marry a same-sex person yourself, you haven't done anything against your religion, right?

    This whole nonsense about "religious freedom" is nothing but another attack on the rights of LGBT couples. Your religious freedoms are guaranteed but you can't use "religious freedom" as an excuse for bigotry.

    "Justice Antonin Scalia wrote in that opinion that letting individual conscience become a law unto itself contradicted common sense and could lead to anarchy."

    This is one case where I agree with Scalia.

    "But no one has been able to sell an individual exemption to a legislature."
    --- Because it's wrong to allow someone to use religion as an excuse of bigotry.

  • TA1 Alexandria, VA
    Nov. 14, 2013 6:19 a.m.

    This discussion should be over by now but it all comes down to whether or not you run a business that operates in the "public square". If you do than you are subject to the laws governing those business. You can't discriminate and should not be allowed to discriminate in a business that caters to the general public. Hopefully we figured that out in the last 100 + years in America.

  • Bob A. Bohey Marlborough, MA
    Nov. 14, 2013 5:35 a.m.

    Discriminating against someone based on their sexual orientation and laws that attempt to prevent same sex marriage are NOT conscience rights. Any argument to equate them as such is fraudulent, deceptive and just a passive aggressive form of bigotry.