Comments about ‘Same-sex marriage debate could impact proposed Utah nondiscrimination bill’

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Published: Monday, Jan. 13 2014 5:40 p.m. MST

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American Fork, UT

It appears that most of the special interest groups' stated concerns with this law are exempt from it. That they fight on makes me wonder if they have another agenda.

Salt Lake City, UT

In August of 2013, Democratic California Gov. Jerry Brown signed a new law into effect on Monday afternoon affording students confused about their “gender identity” a host of new rights, including the ability to use either a boy’s or girl’s restroom and either locker room.

The legislation, Assembly Bill 1266, authored by Democratic State Assemblyman Tom Ammiano from San Francisco, allows students in grades as young as kindergarten to use “facilities consistent with his or her gender identity, irrespective of the gender listed on the pupil’s records.”

Ammiano’s spokesman, Carlos Alcala, told TheBlaze on Monday afternoon the bill would even permit high school males who say they identify as females, to use a woman’s locker room

This is the sort of thing that these so called "non-discrimination" laws may lead to. Utah already has non-discrimination laws and does not need new ones that create a "special class" of citizens that have different rights than the rest of us.

Grandma 20
Allen, TX

Stop it!

Blue AZ Cougar
Chandler, AZ

While this law seems to be in line with the LDS church's stance (i.e. those with same-sex orientation should not be discriminated against in terms of housing / employment), it makes me wonder if Utah really has that much of a problem with discrimination that it requires a law. People have opposing views on the matter, yes, but how often are people missing out on housing or employment in Utah simply because of their sexual orientation?

Saint George, UT

Watch out! Political ambitions know no bounds, are scented with the most pleasing fragrance, and peddled with words dripped in honey!

Bob K
portland, OR

"....businesses owned by religious organizations and small businesses would be exempt from the law."

What a couple of huge loopholes! Inevitably leading to:

"Oh, sorry, didn't know you were Gay, I have to fire you due to my religion.
(Substitute "Can't do your taxes, won't make your cake, wont sell you a dress, etc)

Now, there has been a rash of firings of church music directors who are Gay --- can you really imagine many fields that are as full of Gay men? Should they all lie?

Ask yourself if another State can allow businesses to refuse mormons, or blacks, or whomever!

The reason businesses owned by religious organizations and small businesses should be covered is also about fairness to employees. Persons working minimum wage jobs often must take whatever they can get, and try to fit in.
--- Take the example of Catholic hospitals not wanting to provide contraception. Do women working their have fewer rights? (remember that 90% of catholic women have used contraception, so we are talking about a ridiculously antiquated rule)

Just looking at the tenacity of the objection is saddening.

The Hammer
lehi, utah

The bill gives special status to a group of people that practice something which is a determinant to society. Giving special status should not be something that is so easily won. Additionally it would undermine keeping marriage between a man and a woman because now they have the standing of law to say "hey we are a special class of people that needs the heavy hand of the government to force people to associate with us."

Basically it violates the freedoms guaranteed in the first amendment.

Marco Luxe
Los Angeles, CA

I was appalled at your claim that "The groups [like Sutherland], in general, advocate for traditional marriage and families and following constitutional principles." Such a claim is pure propaganda because it's simply untrue.

These organizations advocate for a privileged marriage exclusivity, and the promotion of majority [mob] rule over constitutional protections for minorities.

If they advocated for traditional marriage, they would support policy positions that make all families stronger, not just some 1950s fantasy of family. In addition, a basic provision of the Constitution is the promise of Equal Protection, which is the legal analog of the biblical Golden Rule. These "values" organizations certainly don't treat others the way they want to be treated. Thus, they fail a very basic test of the Christian values found in the US Constitution.


From the article: "... it's possible that a Utah nondiscrimination law could factor into the court's decision over same-sex marriage."

Utah has to prove that the law prohibiting same-sex marriage is not based on animus. Much of the opposition to the proposed anti-discrimination law doesn't work in Utah's favor - in fact, a lot of it aggressively works against Utah.

We don't hate gays, we just think we should be able to fire or evict them because of their sexual orientation and we should be able to prevent them from patronizing our businesses.

@ Blue AZ: It is a real problem in Utah. There are many individuals who have been fired or evicted and there are many others who live in fear of loosing employment or housing should their sexual orientation become known.

@ Meckofahess: "... the bill would even permit high school males who say they identify as females, to use a woman's locker room" Why is that a bad thing? It is not like they can change their mind from class period to class period.

"create a "special class" of citizens " Do you not have a sexual orientation? I thought you were heterosexual?

Salt Lake City, UT

"Laura Bunker, president of United Families Utah, said her group will continue to oppose the bill because she believes there is a connection between same-sex marriage and nondiscrimination laws.

"Together, they cover more bases and ways of impacting our religious freedoms,"

At some point this notion of religious freedom becomes absurd. For example the LDS Church has always opposed union shops, and has favored "right to work" laws. I tend to favor unions and oppose right-to-work. I guess according to the thinking of Ms. Bunker I am out to abridge the religious freedoms of LDS. At some point this becomes ridiculous.

A Quaker
Brooklyn, NY

If you're against anti-discrimination laws, you should support this one. It replaces 18 others around the state.

If an anti-discrimination law is good enough for SLC, which passed in 2009 with LDS leadership, shouldn't it be good enough for all of Utah?

I don't understand the arguments that seem to claim that religious freedom requires keeping the right to discriminate against people in employment and housing. Since when is inflicting intentional misery on others the loving Christian thing to do?

Sandy, UT

It is interesting how those who want the freedom to do what they want are the first to try and deny others the same privilege. Why pass a law preventing discrimination in hiring or housing for any group if that group is able to take economic action against another? For example, when Orson Scott Card merely stated his belief in traditional marriage, gay organizations threatened to boycott the movie Ender's Game. So, you must hire me regardless of my sexuality, but I am free to boycott your business if I do not like your religion. Sounds hypocritical.

I once attended a function with multiple employers. One indicated that they prefer not to hire Mormons. I commented to several of my classmates that openly stating such was unwise. Interestingly, all of my classmates in the conversation argued for the right of the company to do so even though all of them would have been outraged had the company said Jews instead.

People should have the right to hire or rent to whomever they want. It is their business or property. Otherwise, make it illegal to boycott a business based on the beliefs of the owner.

Karen R.
Houston, TX

"Laura Bunker, president of United Families Utah, said her group will continue to oppose the bill because she believes there is a connection between same-sex marriage and nondiscrimination laws. 'Together, they cover more bases and ways of impacting our religious freedoms'"...

Is this not a pretty plain admission that the intent is to discriminate and on the basis of religious beliefs?

Discriminate all you want in the privacy of your temples, churches, and homes. But the minute we or our businesses step into the public sphere, we are ALL accountable to the same public laws. That's the deal of our republic. We need to stop exempting religious institutions that offer services to the general public from meeting the same standards the rest of us must meet.

Ogden, UT

The passage of this nondiscrimination bill could work to mitigate the very apparent animus held by a lot of Utahns against people who are gay/lesbian. If the legislators don't want to pass the nondiscrimination bill because it s the right thing to do (and it IS the right thing to do) then they should pass it to give a talking point that could be used to counter arguments of animus. For whatever reason serves their interests best, the nondiscrimination bill should be passed.

sandy, UT

"But Bunker said Utah is in a unique situation and uncharted legal territory. "At this point, there are no rules to follow, she said". Laura Bunker, United Families Utah 1-14-14

Now let's see from where a civil society could draw guidance for this issue. The Bible, The Book of Mormon,The Talmud, The Koran, the US Constitution, the Civil Rights movement , the Joseph Smith Papers, Thomas Paine, Thomas Jefferson, Rousseau, Thomas Aquinas,Walt Disney, Looney Tunes, Marvel Comics and many many more. All you have to do is to want to do the right thing. There is nothing in the least "unique" about this civil rights issue. There is undoubtedly a hidden agendas and an animus towards the persons to be covered by this Bill.This lady, Laura Bunker should turn to her Church, if she has one, for guidance and maybe they will advise accordingly. Or, MAYBE they already have ??

LOU Montana
Pueblo, CO

People in Utah discriminate? Noooooo Never! LOL

Gonzales, LA

I note that the individual trying to pass the sb 100 bill didn't define what he wanted. When bills are brought up define each point so they can not be used against you to bring more hardship upon the general populace. How many thoughtful and wonderful bills have been passed that are misinterped and are open for the wrong things to be made law? Think about bills that feed the poor, taking care of the sick helping the downtrodden, each of these were written without any thought as to how they would end up being used, such as food and money given for relief from poverty used for drinking, gaming sex, and everthing that shouldn't be gotten. Why not write a bill and explain what is meant perfectly clear? It takes more time however in the end it would be much more difficult to change and have the wrong interpatation by those who desire to defraud and waste taxpayers money and change laws.

Salt Lake City, UT

To my post about a new law in California which ... "would even permit high school males who say they identify as females, to use a woman's locker room" a commentator evidently from the gay community stated:

"Why is that a bad thing? It is not like they can change their mind from class period to class period".

I must ask how can any society disregard basic morality and decency with impunity? The notion that the right of privacy of individals in public restrooms and locker rooms is allowed to be violated by so-called "non-discrimination laws" is ludicrous.

Both common sense and basic decency tells my brain, heart and concience that such thinking is simply wrong. I believe the majority of citizens in Utah have a moral compass that tells them that we don't want to go down that road.

Salt Lake City, UT

The proposed bill should be amended. If amended, It may be worth passing. There is a blog post "Problems with 2014 SB 100" that has several of them.

If the sponsor is not willing to amend the bill, I believe it will fail to pass. I believe there are those in favor of the bill that are OK with it being amended. I am not sure those that are opposed with change their mind no matter the amendments.

Springville, UT

So conservatives want to be able to resort to discrimination? It's that simple. This isn't Christianity at work.

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