@RanchHand:"Business is blind. It has no religion. It has no
conscience. It has no objective except to make money."You should
sit back and consider what it is you are advocating. You claim sometimes to be
liberal, but right now you sound like you have moved someowhere to the right of
Koch Brothers.Have you ever heard of social responsibility? I am
glad that you are a ranch hand rather than some CEO of the Acme Toxic Waste
company up the stream from the orphanage. If you are the CEO of a cutthroat
capitalist corporation and you die and you go before God I don't think it
will go over very well to say, "But I was a corporation. My job was to make
money."Millions of people are out of business because of junk
mortgages that were made an repackaged as securities and no one was asking,
"Is this ethical?" Everyone was thinking, "Everyone else is doing
it. We are only here to make money."
I think it would be an interesting thing to create a group called "The Gay
Rights Campaign" and to use it to combat the worsening human rights record
of the US where the cake maker who was sued in Colorado because they did not
participate in an event which violated their freedom of conscience, or the
wedding photographer in New Mexico, or the Bed and Breakfast owner in Hawaii.
The list goes on.And when the HRC protests that the "Gay Rights
Campaign" is misnamed I could respond, "Well you are right. Obviously
you have our name, we have yours. Do you want to trade?"The
Human Rights Campaign is misnamed. They have taken co-opted human rights to
give themselves an appearance of moral authority which they do not deserve.
@Longfellow;"One thing is clear, the unfettered right of access
to services, in all cases, cannot coexist with the freedom to practice
one's religion."That's garbage. Business is blind.
It has no religion. It has no conscience. It has no objective except to make
money. A business is separate from the owner; that's why people
incorporate - to shield their personal finances from the financial risks of
operating a business. They thusly separate their own personal identity from
that of the business. No person should be allowed to use his/her religious
beliefs as a motive to refuse service. NO PERSON. Otherwise, you would still
have separate lunch counters for blacks and whites; it was a personal religious
belief of those business owners that they should not mingle.
to SCfan 1/24...Forgot about Matthew 6:6 have you? Oh, the irony.
@Objectified said,"Why would you or anyone else even want to do
business with someone who didn't want to do business with you and was being
forced to?"Somebody the other day was demanding on these pages
that the equal rights crowd forswear or be banned from organizing boycotts of
"Christian" businesses. So, to clarify...You want customers
banned from service at "Christian" businesses to just walk away, but not
tell all their friends and family and supporters that said businesses are
discriminating against them? Because unless you can keep this secret,
you're not going to be able to prevent people from organizing boycotts
against you.By the way, I put "Christian" in quotes because
I, as a Christian who actually follows Christ's teachings on equality, have
an entirely different understanding of what constitutes Christian behavior.
Ranch, your comment about operating a business is fundamentally wrong.Renting an apartment to an individual or hiring an individual, in a wholly
secular enterprise is, in no way endorses that individuals lifestyle. However,
baking a wedding cake, taking a wedding picture or providing any services
associated with the wedding of two individuals could reasonably be construed as
endorsing and participating in the celebration of their marriage. Therefore,
the provision of such wedding-related services to certain individuals may
violate the religious beliefs of many people in this country.Government should be extraordinarily cautious about forcing any citizen to
choose between practicing their religion and being allowed to practice their
profession. In every single case that is currently in some sort of
adjudication, the courts have recognized this conflict. Even in the cases were
the courts have ruled in favor of same sex couples, the courts have recognized
that the defendant's religious rights were violated by the decision.
Ultimately, this conflict between religious rights and access to services will
be adjudicated by the SCOTUS.One thing is clear, the unfettered
right of access to services, in all cases, cannot coexist with the freedom to
practice one's religion.
@ObjectifiedWhy would you or anyone else even want to do business
with someone who didn't want to do business with you and was being forced
to?======================Fair point: I wouldn't.
But as an American, and in a capitalist society, who should have the right that
takes precedence? The consumer, or producer? We have centuries of history
where the producer did, and the results were not kind at all to the American
citizen. Because of unfettered capitalism, Uncle Sam had to regulate the rail
roads so the farmers could get their goods to market; we had to set up the FDA
so our meet wouldn't be poisonous when we bought it. The "invisible
hand" was not enough in those cases. All Americans should have equal access
to the marketplace, should they not?You also point out that
sexuality is a choice. When did you decide that you were going to be straight?
Was it a difficult, hard thought decision? Did you have to weigh the pro's
and con's? Was prayer involved? Or were you like me, and just kind of
wired to like those of the opposite gender?
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that
they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among
these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.The key to the
issue is all men are created equal. It didn't say hetrosexual,black,
hispanic or homosexals. It states all of us are created equal. All have the
right to pursue happiness which includes marriage for gay,lbgt, hetrosexaual
etc. Thanks goodness for our forefathers that had more insight to our needs than
many people today! Hooray to our modern day leaders such as Martin luther king
and U.S. District Judge Robert Shelby who decided to step outside the box and
fight for the rights given to all men!
@Objectified & Tators;If there were 4 bakeries in your town and
none of them would serve you for "religious reasons", what would you do?
Go to the next town? What if they also refused to serve you? What then?@Objectified;When did you ask yourself "do I want to be
straight or gay?" Date/time please.
Isn't the point of this whole debate by Utah not really about gay marriage
per se, but about the due process of law? The courts are NOT supposed to be able
to legislate, but that is effectively what they do anytime they strike down a
law that has been voted for by a majority of citizens. Have a new vote, by all
means, or send the issue back to the legislature where it belongs, but
don't pretend that judges are supposed to have the power to change the law
based on either their own political idealogies or religious beliefs. They are
supposed to make rulings strictly based on the Constitution.
"No shirt, no shoes, no service" is a legitimate constraint because
it's about behavioral decorum and workplace safety, not about the
"status" of a customer that has no bearing on whether he should be
served or not. (Sorry to talk like a lawyer. Old training...)
It's always interesting how Christians in America claim victimization when
they are denying other people equal rights and access. Religions do not have to
change their stance on homosexuality because GLBT people are allowed equal
marriage. If they are looked at as intolerant, that's the way it goes.
People who were opposed to black people having equal rights probably felt (and
still feel) the same way. It's not bigotry to criticize people for their
bigotry. The fact that their bigotry is given sanction by their religion says
more about the religion than the people who don't want to give intolerance
a pass.Mormons, you won't be forced to let gay people marry
each other in your churches and temples. If you're looked at as
intolerant, that's the way it will have to be and your claiming to be
victims because people don't approve of your prejudices is just a fact of
Darrell,I would mostly have to agree with Tators concerning your
question. I probably wouldn't try to bake my own cake, but agree with the
rest of his (or her) answer. I truly believe any private business owner has the
right to refuse to do business with anyone... except in the case of race.
That's where I would draw the line. Religion and homosexuality
are choices. People choose to put themselves into those situations. But not
race. Therefore, other than for the reason of race (or gender), I feel a
business owner can create his own business model and choose which segment of
society he wants to target and then do business with that particular group (or
not).There are almost always other choices in any business
situation. That's the great thing about capitalism in our day and age.
Others would be happy to have my business.A question for you. Why
would you or anyone else even want to do business with someone who didn't
want to do business with you and was being forced to? It seems to me, that would
just be creating more personal animosity.
Mike Richards is pushing religion over any other form of government. I come
from polygamous stock, and I'm glad that "traditional marriage" as
defined by Mike Richards wasn't the norm when my forebears procreated with
multiple partners under the guise of religion. I'm glad they were as
promiscuous as they were or we would not be here. But to promote a very one
sided argument notwithstanding the history of non-traditional marriage in Utah
as a basis for discrimination is wrong. These people hide behind the Eagle
Forum and use tactics that degrade and intimidate decent normal citizens.
It's time they solve their own family's problems and leave others
alone with their own beliefs. When you look at some Eagle Forum people you have
to wonder why their families are racked with drug abuse, suicide and poor
behavior. Maybe it's their free agency working?
Ultra Bob,Unless you can show me your deed to a business, you are
not an owner. "Society" does not "own" your house, your
checkbook or my business. Those who have invested their MONEY in a business own
that business. We are not communists in America. This nations was built upon
the principle that government is limited to do only those things enumerated in
the Constitution. There is no government ownership of business in the
Constitution. In fact, just the opposite is true. The 5th Amendment requires
that government pay for any property that it takes from us. Surely
you don't believe that because PEOPLE were taxed to put a road in front of
your house that the Government somehow owns your house and that you owe all of
your success to government, yet you would have us believe that because you and
other PEOPLE paid taxes, that they have become owners of my business and your
property. I would like the keys to your car for the weekend, after
all, you got that car because of me and my neighbors who paid for your road.
@ Darrell:My totally honest answer is yes. He should be able to
refuse to do business with anyone he desires. Of course doing something like
that wouldn't be a good business practice... refusing somebody because of
religion. And I would think he was short-sighted. But nevertheless, it's
his business. So let him conduct it as he will. If I was that LDS
person wanting a wedding cake, I wouldn't even want to do business with
that person. He most lost likely wouldn't put his best effort into making
it. And thankfully, there are plenty of other places that would be happy for my
business and I would go to one of them. Heck, I'd even use a Betty Crocker
cake mix before doing business with that person who felt that way.
@Tators;"No shirt, no shoes, no service" signs serve a
health benefit. Also, they're conditions that are easily rectified by
putting on the missing attire.I may not believe in the divinity of
Jesus, but I know what he said, and since you claim to believe in him,
don't you think you should at least pretend to obey his commandments?
@Flashback;The 10th amendment says that states have the authority to
regulate, but they must do so within the confines of the US Constitution.
Perhaps you should read Article IV, Section II of the Constititution (before the
bill of rights, including the 10th amendment, was added). "The Citizens of
each State shall be entitled to all Privileges and Immunities of Citizens in the
several States."@J Thompson;"A private business
is PRIVATE." -- Like any other entity in the US, they're obligated to
adhere to the laws even though they are "private". As a
"private" citizen, you break a law, you pay the penalty. Businesses are
no different.@dalefarr;Amendment 3 was a product of the
Mormon Church. They have been involved in every single state where an
anti-marriage amendment has passed.@Cats;You start
minding your own business and we'll leave you alone.@Schnee;Well said.@NevadaCougar;We're not trying to
"exclude" your viewpoint. We just aren't going to let you force us
to live by your beliefs any longer.
J Thompson.A civilized society cannot exist without a government
that intrudes upon the members rights and freedoms. The law of the jungle,
every man for himself, complete freedom to do as you please, must be given up in
order to receive the rights and freedoms that the group, society, it's
government, provides. The notion that God provides rights and freedoms is nice
and can make us love and respect the person who says it, but it is not true.
All the rights and freedoms that you have are those secured to you by your
government. Business, the mechanism for sharing within the
civilized society, is owned and controlled by the society. A unit of business
known as a business operation can be wholly owned by a private person but the
opportunity, venue and reason for existence belongs to the society.
Iron and clay said: "Thanks, Deseret News for peeling a layer off of the
"Human Rights Campaign" onion.Next up, find out which elite tax
exempt foundations are funding the "Human Rights Campaign" and
scrutinize the foundations owners and motives."The fact is that
HRC is supported by millions of people, straight and gay who believe that our
society is at a crossroads as we confront one of the last great bastions of
bigotry and prejudice in our nation. I myself donate $25.00, $50.00 and
sometimes even $100.00to HRC, a group that has leveraged incredibly smart
people and knowledgable lawyers to stimulate change from the inside of our
democratic system. I am a proud member of HRC. Don't hate us cause
we're good at what we do! Also...don't tell untruths that you
can't back up with facts!
Secularism: if you don't like that word, say instead "benevolent
neutrality." "Congress shall make no law," the first amendment
says, "respecting an establishment of religion." It's important to
realize that, in the 18th century, the word "establishment" did not just
refer to a physical institution, but rather to religiously inspired policy. The
federal government was supposed to be neutral--not hostile--but definitely
neutral.That the whole country saw it this way is buttressed by the
fact that the five states that had state churches or recognized various churches
for governmental support all disestablished their churches by the 1830s. And
for good reason: once you've decided to support a church or a religious
policy, the question becomes whose policy do you support? That of Mohammed,
Joseph Smith, John Calvin, Jonathan Edwards? Whose? And on what basis do you
distinguish religious truth from falsity? It's not like you can set up a
scientific experiment with replicable results telling us which dogma to believe.
@ Mechofahess"We citizens of Utah will not be silenced by your
intimidation tactics. If anything, your tactics have emboldened us to stand up
for morality and decency and to protect our children from influences that are an
affront to our Christian heritage." So, I take it you would
support the rights of Muslims to govern within the US according to Sharia
law?"Since homosexual conduct is associated with higher rates of
sexual promiscuity, sexually transmitted diseases, mental illness, substance
abuse, and domestic violence, it too qualifies as a behavior that is harmful to
the people who engage in it and to society at large..... This is why, in the
public policy arena, we will continue to oppose any policy or action that would
celebrate or affirm homosexual conduct"Some of these suggestions
are outright deceptive. Otherwise, you are confused. Correlation does not equal
We all have a right to speech.We all have a right to criticize other
people's speech.We all have a right to choose our own religious
beliefs.We all have a right to reject other people's religious
beliefs.We all have a right to advocate for political causes.We all have a right to advocate against other people's political
causes.What none of us have a right to do is restrict the rights of
others in violation of the Constitution of the United States. So,
the question here is one for the Courts. Whose ox is getting gored, and how
deeply? Is the right to define marriage vested in a religious tradition? Is
criticism by secular groups of religion or religious people an impermissible
restriction on religious freedom?To both questions, I would
confidently predict a court would answer, "No." In the first case, a
purely religious rationale would have to fail, if only because there are
religions such as my own that chafe at restrictions against legally recording
ALL of our marriages. In the second, do you Believe, or not? No one is stopping
@Ultra Bob,If the government feels that it needs to provide a
service, then the government can open a store and sell that service. Americans
cannot be forced to provide goods or services that violate their conscience.
How would you feel if the government required that you sell something that
violates your conscience, such as Republican Campaign Buttons?Seriously, government does not own our stores. Government has taken no risk
in creating those businesses. Government might think that it can force us to
sell something against our wishes, but, unless we are engaged in Interstate
Commerce, the Federal Government cannot interfere with our business. Read the
Constitution. It has no provision anywhere in it that allows the government to
dictate with whom we do business. Do you think that that was an oversight, or
do you think that our forefathers abhorred government interference after having
just seen 10% of all American men slaughtered on the battlefield to secure our
freedom from a government that would force us to be subject to a central
government. Do we remember WHY we are free from government
girl.in.slc"... me being able to legally adopt my own
children..."You need not adopt your own children. Your children
are already yours.If you want someone to give you a child, that is
another story. Other people's children are their children, not yours. You
have no 'right' to them. If they give you one, it is purely a gift,
not an entitlement or right of any kind.
With respect, I do believe that faith and even religious institutions have a
role to play in this debate and, indeed, in all social policy. That said, the
debate can't simply be, "God said it, and that ends it"-- because
if that's the standard, then I can assure you that you'll find LOTS of
differences in terms of belief of who God is, what He said and when and where,
and even what it meant. And under our system, no one belief has a
lock on the truth when it comes to social policy. For that, you need to make
arguments, both legal and social. I am a gay man. I am a person of
faith. My faith (Reform Judaism) informs my belief that social justice should
guide us and that excluding good, innocent and moral gay couple from signing
legally binding civil contracts denies them equal protection under the law, and
is unjust as well, and should be remedied. Your faith disagrees?
That's fine, of course. But you need to make the case in civil terms, not
simply based on faith or faith traditions.
J Thompson.Hopefully our government would only regulate business to
the extent of the needed service to its society. But it is governments duty to
see that business provides the products and services needed by the citizens.
Sometimes that may require a business operation to sell a product or service not
in the morality of the business. If a business is an ambulance
service it may be required to transport people of any race color or creed, any
time day or night. If the business operation is unwilling to provide the
service needed, it will be denied the permission to operate a business in that
particular place. Business operations are given a great deal of
latitude in the operation of their business, but they must always stay within
the limits of the civil law.
Mr. Smitty,I'm sure that you can read. I'm sure that you
can reason. I'm sure that if you actually read the Constitution, instead
of finding someone, even an ex-president with whom you agree, that you will see
that the 1st Amendment does not contain a separation between church and state.
It says: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of
religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of
speech,"Ask your 7th grade English teacher what "an
establishment" means. Ask him/her to explain to you the difference between
"an" and "the". I take the Constitution as it is
written, not as you or Thomas Jefferson or President Obama wished that it had
been written. It was ratified by the States as written, not as implied or as
wished. If we can come together on accepting it as it is, then perhaps we can
make some progress as a nation to solve the issues that we have authorized the
Federal Government to solve.
@ObjectifiedOk, I'll bite, but I want you to answer this
honestly:Should an evangelical business owner, a person who
thoroughly despises the LDS church, and believes its member are condemned to
eternal damnation, be able to refuse to make a cake for a Temple Wedding?
"So if it makes a private business owner feel that he is going against his
personal moral convictions by serving gays, he shouldn't have to...
"I think of the advice my father gave my sister when she thought
she might want to become a flight attendant. He explained that one of the duties
of a flight attendant is to serve liquor to passengers who may want a drink.
That may go against my sister's moral and religious convictions, but it is
part of the job. My father explained that if she couldn't reconcile that
job responsibility with her own convictions, she should find a different
career.I feel like that would be the same thing for bakers,
photographers, and florists. If you are can't stomach serving a gay couple
for their wedding, you have a few options: get out of that business
completely,don't do ANY weddings as part of your business, or hire somebody
who has no objections to doing work for same-sex weddings.
I really don't care who anyone marries. Certainly plural marriage will be
the next thing to fall, and that means polyandry as well, can cousins, siblings
be far behind?My concern is that it is pushed and pushed on our children,
and even though you say "We don't attack your faith. That is extremely
insulting and it is a lie!", who was it that marched around our Temples and
threatened workers coming out?Of course the next push will be to make
Churches recognize and perform gay marriages or loose their tax exempt status.
Not an attack, I think so!
@ darrel:Correction. It's actually in The United States
Declaration of Independence (written July 4th, 1776) in the second paragraph
which explicitly states that our Creator has endowed us with certain inalienable
Rights. God was also referenced in the first and final paragraphs of
that special document.It was signed and ratified by most the same
men to wrote and ratified the Constitution, but was indeed a separate
document.I apologize if that caused any confusion.
Darrell:You seem to be having a hard time understanding the
principle Tators was trying to explain, at least as it came across to me. The
mention of world religions was to help explain the fallacy of "Church
members" and "Ranches" comparative contentions that business's
should lack of a specific right.I don't believe Tators was
saying any religion does or should advocate not serving gays or treating them
negatively. He (and I'm agreeing) was stating that PRIVATE business owners
shouldn't be forced to do business with anyone whose lifestyle they
consider socially corrupt... especially if it goes against their moral
conscience. That's especially applicable if there are other options to not
cause any undo hardship on those wanting that particular business service. I believe his (or her) point that businesses aren't forced to do
business regarding their "No shirt, no shoes, no business" policies that
have been in place for decades (or longer) and no one has ever disputed their
right to put those conditions on whom they choose to do business with. So do
they suddenly no longer have that right? It's a good point.
@Mike Richards: Thomas Jefferson opinion regarding the 1st amendment is in
sharp contrast to yours.Thomas Jefferson wrote, ""Believing
with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man & his God,
that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the
legitimate powers of government reach actions only, & not opinions, I
contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which
declared that their legislature should 'make no law respecting an
establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,' thus
building a wall of separation between Church and State."Furthermore, I am not sure why you think people are confusing THE
establishment of religion with AN establishment of religion. Clearly, the
desire to create a law based on your religious beliefs is the desire to create a
law respecting an establishment of religion.
The Deseret News article quotes the first amendment: "Congress shall make no
law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise
thereof."Religious conservatives clearly want a law that
respects an establishment of religion. Members of the LDS Church believe that
marriage is between a man and woman, and they expect their beliefs to become
codified into law. Certainly, most members believe they are prohibiting the
free exercise of their religion when they aren't allowed to codify their
laws into beliefs, but that's the first amendment.The U.S.
Constitution is clearly a secular document. The word God appears nowhere in the
document, and the separation of church and state is clear.
Secularism is in itself a belief system. However, anti-religion forces, often
masquerading as church-government separatists, don't mind forcing
secularist beliefs on those who are religious.
@TatorsThe Constitution itself makes reference to our Creator and
the inalienable rights He's granted us. ==============Article and Section please, or amendment. I am curious to see where the
Creator is mentioned.
@Tators"So serving Mormons or Blacks does not go against
anyone's personal religious morals or convictions. That comparison
isn't legitimate."======I am an active LDS
member and I consider myself pretty well versed in LDS Doctrine, and not once
have I ever come across a teaching, or principle that says we should treat Gays
as anything less than the Sons and Daughters of God they are. We
preach against Alcohol, does that mean we need to campaign to prohibit
restaraunts from selling it? We preach against Nicotine, when was the last time
you wrote to Walmart and demanded they stop it's sale? We preach of
honoring the Sabbath, why doesn't the legislature prohibit transactions of
business on Sunday?Why did we pick this issue to suddenly claim it
violates our religious freedom? Ministers are allowed to preach whatever they
want from their pulpit, no one is trying to change that. If you do not want a
gay marriage, don't enter into one.
@ PolishBear:Saying that God and religion have played a central role
in the civic life of this nation is not making a presumptuous statement at all.
This article quotes just a few of the hundreds of such statements
that George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and many other founding fathers to our
country made about the significant part that a central believe in God had in
forming our Constitution and in their personal convictions behind creating it.
The Constitution itself makes reference to our Creator and the
inalienable rights He's granted us. So if you were read a bit
more American history and perhaps the Constitution itself (which sadly, very few
people have) then that comment would make a lot more sense to you. And then you wouldn't need God to call any press conferences and start
conforming to your personal idea of what being media-savvy is. After all,
He's already given us a Bible to learn from, but very few bother to read
it.Just read, study and learn. That's all that's
necessary. It will then all make much more sense to you and anyone else willing
to put forth some effort.
@ Ultra Bob,Sorry, but I totally reject your analogy. Does the
government force a store to sell tobacco, beer, or anything else? Laws are in
place to protect the innocent from harm, even harm that they want to cause
themselves, but government does not force a store to sell products that violate
the store owner's conscience. For that matter, government cannot force a
store to be open at certain hours. It may restrict the hours that it allows
stores to be open, but if government allows stores to be open from 6:00 a.m. to
midnight, government does not fine a store that chooses to open at 10:00 a.m.
and close at 3:00 p.m.
I keep seeing from Liberals saying why will Utah allow a religious attorney on
the case. NEWS FLASH people Utah is a religious state! Over two thirds of the
state is LDS ... So who do you think should be the attorney for such a case...
Propably a LDS attorney.
@ Church member and Ranch:Your argument about who businesses need to
serve is weak. There are no significant religions in American society who preach
against being accepting of others because of their skin color or their religion.
So serving Mormons or Blacks does not go against anyone's personal
religious morals or convictions. That comparison isn't legitimate.There are a multitude of religions in the world who feel and preach that
homosexuality is wrong and is against their core moral believes. So if it
makes a private business owner feel that he is going against his personal moral
convictions by serving gays, he shouldn't have to... especially if there
are other options for that same service available to gays.You've never complained when stores post their "No shirt, no shoes,
no service" signs in deciding who they want to service. So you
shouldn't start now.Why do gays want to force others to do
things that cause more resentment toward them? That is exactly what they are
doing in these situations. Such actions aren't helping their cause in the
long run. Ranch... considering your past posts, it's humorous
reading you quote Jesus.
In all honesty, the LGBTQ movement is NOT about denying the rights of
Utah's righteous majority. Your rights are well protected.However, if it comes to you feeling uneasy about baking a cake for my wedding
over me being able to legally adopt my own children and make medical decisions
for them- We have a huge problem.As long as our families are
protected and recognized by the state, please speak your mind about what you
think about my family. At least I'd be able to feel safe in my home state
with the legal protections that come with marriage equality.
Proponents of Amend. 3, should be more concerned with how Schaerr says he will
fulfill a "religious and family duty: defending the constitutionality of
traditional marriage."This is not what Utah needs him to do.
Utah needs to defend the constitutionality of a law, not a concept.
That law prohibits some citizens from obtaining the legal status and benefits of
secular marriage that are available to other citizens, on the basis of sexual
orientation. To prevail Utah must demonstrate that banning SSM is a reasonable
means to achieve what must be a legitimate government interest. Let’s assume that increasing & maintaining opposite-sex marriages
and/or procreation by those same couples are sufficiently legitimate interests.
Is banning SSM is rationally related to achieving those ends? Specifically,
does banning SSM increase the number of opposite couples that choose to join and
remain in a ‘traditional marriage’ and the off-spring these couples
produce? Or conversely, does allowing SSM reduce those same statistics?If the answer is 'yes' Utah prevails. If 'no' Utah
loses. A speculative 'maybe' won’t cut it. Notice how
subjective opinions about 'morality' or 'tradition' are
simply not part of the legal analysis?
The fallacy that proponents of SSM advocate is precisely what this article
stated: the government cannot establish a religion, therefore any established
religion cannot participate in politics. This, of course, is a fallacy because
all law is based upon morals. Theft is against the law, because our society as
a whole believes it is wrong. That is true with, murder, speeding, minimum wage
laws, whatever. Most religious people believe homosexuality is destructive to
society and immoral. SSM proponents adhere to the "do what you feel"
and "I am not in control of my actions, aka born this way" moral
compass. By trying to exclude the religious and their morals, proponents of SSM
are hypocritically trying to exclude a viewpoint. What SSM proponents are
really saying is, "My morals are superior to yours and I want my morals
adopted, so the easiest way to accomplish that is to prevent you from expressing
your viewpoint in politics."
@Cats"Anyone who seeks to preserve the family and keep society from
going over the cliff of moral degradation is called a hater and a bigot."And anyone who supports same-sex marriage is being told they want
to..."intimidate, demonize and destroy"or that
they're bringing about the..."disintegration of our
civilization"and that for some reason these people who just want
to have committed relationships are somehow without any... "morality and decency"
J Thompson.There are no provisions the Constitution of the United
States of America that have any thing to do with business. A legal
private business operation exists, operates and is partially controlled by the
government where the business operation is located. A private business
operation not in conformance with civil law and regulations is discouraged by
being classified and criminal. Regards control of customers, laws
like Don't sell Tobacco to Children. Products sold must meet standards set
by the government. Employment must meet the conditions set be law. Accounting,
hours of operation, ...While some of the operation of a business is
left up to the owner/operator most of the real control comes from the
I must say I like the mostly civil discussion between opponents found here.
Congratulations to all. The other newspaper allows online comments that are
right down in the sewer with all the name calling, stereotyping and thinly
This is what is so insidious about the gay so-called "marriage"
movement. It seeks to intimidate, demonize and destroy. Anyone who seeks to
preserve the family and keep society from going over the cliff of moral
degradation is called a hater and a bigot. Anyone who seeks to act out of
conscience and religious conviction by refusing to serve gay weddings is
viciously attacked. Freedom of religion, morality and decency are
under assault across this nation and this movement is leading the attack. It is
the disintegration of our civilization and we are watching it before our very
"...to force the religious to internalize the major premise of secularism:
that religion has no proper bearing on public affairs.” You're
finally starting to get the point. Religion is just....religion. It's your
plaything, and it has no business in the real business of managing our society.
Thanks, Deseret News for peeling a layer off of the "Human Rights
Campaign" onion.Next up, find out which elite tax exempt
foundations are funding the "Human Rights Campaign" and scrutinize the
foundations owners and motives.
I agree with the editorial, but it was a mistake in judgment for the
State's lawyer to inject religion as to why he is leaving his law firm and
taking on the case. It creates the appearance that Amendment 3 is only product
of the Mormon Church. The emails were not helpful to his case or his church. I
hope he doesn't make similar mistakes in his court filings.
Politicians often say the things to support their ideas that don't
necessarily stand the test of reality. The statement:"that all
men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain
unalienable rights"Is simply not true. All men are not created
equal, all babies are not born with equal chances to live, some don't get
to live at all. However it's great statement to make to
influence people to die for you.
I find it very sad that so many think their religious rights are being violated
because they are not allowed to violate other peoples rights. The argument
against gay marriage seems to be "its our club, and we don't want them
in it". Equal protection for all is in the constitution.
If you want government to stay out of religion, you have to keep religion out of
I have seen the No Shirt, No Shoes, No Service signs. I have also seen the ones
that read Whites Only. The notion that private businesses can cater to whoever
they please because they are private disappeared long ago.
@John KateelI agree with the tone and theme of your comment.Similar comments from this DN reader are often denied.Thank
you for your efforts.Thank you DN for allowing John Kateel to
express his opinion.
The idea to promote life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness by restricting
the power of government through a constitution imposed upon the governors by the
governed is the most inspired idea in the history of human government. The
limitation on our governors to impose upon the governed their own views on
marriage relationships was a constitutional enactment by the governed of this
state and others. The sad fact is that there are federal judges so arrogant in
their self-importance and so desperate to curry the approval of the mob that
they will stoop to do violence to the constitutions that stand between tyranny
and true democracy. While the Bill of Rights was intended to protect the rights
of the minority from the will of the majority, it was never intended to turn
democracy and constitutional government upside down.
Joe,I have experienced not being served because of my religion. I
was asked to leave town once while serving a mission. I was arrested and spent
a day in jail while the poor jailer laughed his head off and spent most of the
day apologizing. It is a fine line true, but mostly in trying to fix these
issues (as some called them) we have created by far much larger problems. The
first principle for finding solutions is that there must be one. Most often
time is the best solution. Real problems usually naturally go away.Enjoyed your thoughts. It is not so simple.Mark
sal:No, the LGBT community is in no way forcing their religion upon
you. Photographers and cake-makers are forced to perform those weddings because
they advertise themselves as open to the general public. These laws were
created so that communities couldn't circumvent the law and institute
de-facto Jim-Crow-like laws. A strongly anti-gay community could, for example,
simply refuse service to gay people in every way as a way to strip their
rights.As to the adoptions, you're leaving out a crucial
component: the only agencies being forced to offer their services to gay
couples are those that are accepting government money. You borrow the money,
you agree to the strings attached to it. And to anyone who still
believes gay people have the same rights to marry an opposite-sex partner, I
would counter that such a statement is equivalent to saying that banning the
practice of Mormonism should be legal, and that Mormons would still have the
same rights to attend Baptist services as everyone else. It's a false
Mike Richards; of course you are fee to express your opinions, as was the
HRC. "There is no "separation of church and state"
clause in the Constitution". Try as you may (an, the,
establishment) the fact is you would never be allowed to even argue your case
before the supreme court if you sole justification was "God said".
The Human Rights Campaign and similar organizations are interested in just one
thing: Fair and equal treatment for LGBT Americans. Under the Constitution, and
specifically the 14th Amendment, laws must be applied equally across all
relevant demographic groups. Just because there are more Straight people than
Gay people doesn't mean Straight people get to be treated with
favoritism.Why should fair treatment for law-abiding, taxpaying Gay
Americans be even remotely controversial? People who are Straight (i.e.
heterosexual) have never had to worry about being fired from their jobs, kicked
out of their rental properties, turned away from businesses, targeted with
vandalism or violence, or denied the right to marry the person they love solely
because of THEIR sexual orientation. I don't think it's asking too
much that Gay people shouldn't have to worry about these things, either.
I am gay. My belief in God is no less important than the belief in God that any
other man may have! All of my life I have believed in God! All of my life I have
been gay. It has taken years to reconcile issues and some may never be
reconciled because they involve the people I love and some things can or should
not be forced! Do you notice how the wonderful people of this place completely
ignore whatever faith gay people may have! You speak of your faith and you stand
up for it and you don't even acknowledge us! We have great faith! We have
faith to stand up to the lies that people expect us to live! What do we get when
we try to make our lives better? You kick us in the face. You tell us we are
immoral,; that we are an abomination to God; and whatever else fits your
description of who a gay person is! We don't attack your faith. That is
extremely insulting and it is a lie! Guess what, faith is strong among gay
people! What do you think brought us to this point!
@ Church member,Do you think that the government has the right to
force a private business to do anything? Where do you draw the line? Are we
nothing more than a clone of Nazi Germany where the government forced businesses
to do the will of Hitler? A private business is PRIVATE. It has
the right to pick its customers. Haven't you seen the signs in stores and
restaurants, "No shirt, No shoes, No service"? Haven't you seen
the signs on the counters of many PRIVATE businesses that say, "We have the
right to refuse service to anyone"? What does that mean? Does that mean
that a PRIVATE business can choose for itself how it will conduct its business?
Does that give a PRIVATE business the right to succeed or fail if it drives away
potential customers?If you believe that the government controls
every business, please show us in the Constitution where that authority is
given. The 5th Amendment protects us from seizure without compensation. Has
the government purchased every business? Does it "own" those
Oh by the way. Sometime some of you need to go and read the 10th Amendment.
You know, the last one in the original Bill of Rights.
The HRC is right. Mr. Schaerr is being paid (by us taxpayers) to impose the
creed of his religion on the people of Utah. He admits it openly. His admission
does not bode well for him, our state, or the LDS Church, as the Court is very
likely to take his statement into account in their deliberations. They may well
find the motive behind Schaerr's appeal to be a violation of the 1st
Amendment as well as the 14th.
"Few can deny the central role religion and a belief in God has played, and
continues to play, in the civic life of this nation."Now
THAT'S an awfully presumptuous statement. It's almost as though God
Himself decided to meet with the editorial board before this column was
written.I just wish that GOD, in His wisdom and omnipotence, would
be just a bit more media-savvy in this day and age. Maybe He can call a press
conference. After all, we have countless religions, each with its own unique
take on what God expects of us. Wouldn’t God be a little more effective in
getting us to behave decently toward one another if He would just put together a
website or a television channel or at the very least a 1-800 number? There is a
wide variety of contemporary social and economic issues I sure would like to get
His opinion on.
1. The fact that Mr. Schaerr felt motivated by his religious beliefs to quit his
job and take up Utah's appeal in the Amendment 3 case is NOT the same thing
as saying that he is seeking to impose his religious beliefs on other people. I
imagine he will make a number of secular arguments, persuasive or not, in
support of the State’s position. Let's wait to see what the
State's brief says before we decide what arguments Schaerr and the State of
Utah are putting forward. 2. If I were the State of Utah, the tone and content
of Mr. Schaerr's departing email to his colleagues at his law firm would
make me question his wisdom and judgment. I thought it was a very odd email to
write, under the circumstances.
To Sal:Do you really want to live in a country where businesses can
choose not to serve Mormons because of their religion? Or blacks because of
their skin color? Or gays because of their partner?I sure
don't. If you are going to open your doors to the public, as a
business, then you should be willing to serve anyone that comes in. Or find an
employee who will.
There is no "separation of church and state" clause in the Constitution.
Read it for yourselves. Our right to be free from the Federal
Government's control of an existing church's doctrine is guaranteed.
It is the first clause of the 1st Amendment. Those who have passed 7th grade
English know what "AN establishment" of religion means and they do not
confuse it with "THE establishment" of religion. No matter how much
those who oppose religion in our lives try, they cannot make their case by
claiming "separation of church and state" as their argument. Anyone in
government can talk about religion, can promote religion, can express his
"testimony" about the God that he serves. That is allowed, not only
because their is no prohibition against doing that, but also because we have the
right, even government workers, to speak freely about God, about government and
about the relationship that we should all have with our Creator. Those who fight God and impose their warped view of the Constitutional and
prohibit religion mock everything that America stands for.
This whole discussion is really about where you draw the line? I
believe it is hard to make the argument that a photographer should be forced to
work a SSM wedding.Much harder to make the argument about making a
cake for a gay wedding.The problem arises when you take this to more
extreme situations.While I do not believe that a Doctor should be
forced to perform an abortion, should they be able to deny treatment to a gay
man on religious grounds?Can Walmart refuse to sell to admitted
gays? Can the Quick lube guy refuse an oil change if he knows you are gay?Where do we draw the line? The issue requires more thought than many
want to give it.I dont know the answer, but I understand that it is
Sal says:"Isn't that what the LGBT community is trying to
do, force its secular religion down the throats of the Christians? "Nobody is trying to force you to marry someone of the same gender.If you don't want to operate your business like a busines, you have
no business being in business. If you won't service all customers, you
have no business being in business. practice your religious beliefs yourself,
do not expect a non-living entity (your business) to practice your beliefs as
well since your business has no thoughts, ideas, religion or life of it's
own.Jesus never once told you to refuse to serve the
"sinners"; he told you to judge not.
"Since homosexual conduct is associated with higher rates of sexual
promiscuity, sexually transmitted diseases, mental illness, substance abuse, and
domestic violence, it too qualifies as a behavior that is harmful to the people
who engage in it and to society at large..... This is why, in the public policy
arena, we will continue to oppose any policy or action that would celebrate or
affirm homosexual conduct.The model for a Christian response to
homosexuals may be the story of the woman caught in adultery. When the crowd
responded with violence, by gathering to stone her, Jesus said, "Let him who
is without sin cast the first stone." Knowing that they were all sinners,
the crowd melted away. But Jesus' words to the woman he saved were crucial.
He did not say, "Go, for you have not sinned." Instead, he said, "Go
and sin no more." There is no contradiction between Christian
compassion and a call for holy living. But the life which is holy (from a
spiritual perspective) or even healthy (from a secular perspective) requires
abstinence from homosexual conduct. We would do no one a favor if we ceased to
proclaim that truth". From writings of Tony Perkins
The HRC wants those with an opposing view to have NO representation. They want
them to forfeit, like they did in California and Virginia.Our system
allows both sides of any suit to have their own legal representatives. The HRC
is trying to deny the citizens of the State of Utah their Constitutional right
to counsel. The HRC seems to be confused about who is abusing people with its
power.Thank you DN for exposing the HRC.
@Ranch: "You are welcome to practice your religious beliefs. You are not
welcome to force others to practice your religious beliefs." Isn't
that what the LGBT community is trying to do, force its secular religion down
the throats of the Christians? Trying to force Christian photographers to film
LGBT weddings against their religious rights? Trying to force Christian
adoption centers to adopt to gay couples? Trying to force schools to teach
their secular religion to kindergartners? Forcing schools to allow men into
girls' locker rooms?
To Mike Richards:The problem with your life philosophy is that
everyone "knows" that their church is right. I know you know you are
right. But so do the FLDS, scientology, and Muslims. You keep saying
that everyone should just do what God tells us to do and that everyone should
accept "wholesomeness". But your idea of what God wants and what is
considered "wholesome" is different than what others believe.I think what you are trying to say is that everyone should believe as you do.
There is a vast difference between your ability to express your religious
beliefs, and laws, public policies, etc. founded "solely" on those
religious beliefs. The latter would in fact be the establishment of religion.
In your hearts you all know this, because one, it's why you
want to establish such policies (Gods will), and two you fight hard against
others when they wish to do the same (Sharia law). The fact is we
have progressed to the point in our society that laws and policies based solely
on religious beliefs will not prevail. You can talk on and on all you want
about this being a religious and even a Christian nation but..in reality the
public square is secular and only those religious beliefs that are supported by
secular principles of life liberty and the pursuit of happiness will prevail.
Good job DN Editorial Board. Thank you once again for exposing the spurious
agenda of the "Human Rights Campaign (HRC)" which unceasingly strives to
exclude the conservative or religious point of view from the public dialogue.
The HRC along with the at large gay community continues to want to deny citizens
rights to freedom of expression.We citizens of Utah will not be
silenced by your intimidation tactics. If anything, your tactics have
emboldened us to stand up for morality and decency and to protect our children
from influences that are an affront to our Christian heritage. We
seek not to deny the legitimate rights and concerns of the minority, but the
majority have rights too - including the right to express our views on
immorality and indecency and what our Christian point of view is!You
might try to legislate immorality - but you cannot. Immorality and indecency
will never cease to be an affront to logic and intellectual analysis. Trying to
force others to accept such behavior by judicial fiat will never result in
I am homosexual: HRC represents me in much the same way NOW represents women or
the Klan represents white people - mostly they are an embarrassment.
Yes, we as a society are increasingly scrutinizing Bronze Age dogma through the
lens of real-world evidence, humane compassion, and a commitment to honesty,
equality and justice through the application of reason. And
increasingly, the more carefully we examine Bronze Age dogma and its influence
on our laws, the less we like what we discover.Good. There is yet
hope for our species.
It used to be that the homosexuals were the ones being forced to hide "in
the closet". Now, not only are they "out", but the same liberal
element now wants religious people to go into a closet. All in the name of
tolerance. Interesting. The BOM sure saw these days coming.
The powerful purposes that drive each of us to act should be founded on the
purpose of life itself. We were endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable
rights. Those rights are our foundation. The right to life, the right to
liberty and the right to pursue our dreams are fundamental to our very being
here on earth. We have the right to pursue life, liberty and happiness.We have the right to defend against those who would diminish those
unalienable rights. We have the right to promote our Creator's definition
of "family", of "marriage", of "goodness" and of
"wholesomeness".Who would disparage those "rights"?
Who is their leader? What is their purpose? Why would they claim a
"right" to deny life through abortion? Why would they claim a
"right" to restrict liberty by claiming that liberty is a right given us
from government, not from God? Why would they claim a "right" to
transfer wealth from those who work hard in pursuing their dreams to those who
work hard at avoiding responsibility? Who promotes that "doctrine"?
You are welcome to practice your religious beliefs. You are not welcome to
force others to practice your religious beliefs. Denying marriage to LGBT
couples and saying "you have the same right to marry someone of the opposite
sex", is attempting to force them to adhere to your beliefs.
I dont get it.I read the article and it seems like both sides are
doing what is commonly done by both sides. They are getting ready for battle,
pushing their sides agenda.Then the article concludes that "Threatening lawyers out of defending [the law] is both shortsighted and
wrong," Slate legal correspondent Dahlia Lithwick wrote at the time of
HRC’s actions."What was contained in the article hardly
approaches "Threatening Lawyers"This is a big case with big
ramifications. This is the preseason.
If a majority supported Sharia law would that be okay? No, because that'd
violate the first amendment. Secularism in gov't protects religious
freedom. It's not wrong to have a law that you support due to motivation by
faith, but you need a non-religious reason to back it (and you need it to be
constitutional). For instance, murder fundamentally violates the right to life
and causes direct harm to people. You don't need a religious reason to ban
it though of course religions oppose it. What this attorney needs to do if he
wants to win is figure out how to make a case that there's a reason to ban
same-sex marriage other than a religious one. I don't see it.
HRC said that "Schaerr’s entire motivation for taking this
anti-equality case is to impose a certain religious viewpoint on all Utahns
– and that’s wrong. When you become an attorney, you take an oath to
uphold the U.S. Constitution, not any particular religious doctrine.”I agree that this is a very stupid thing for HRC to say. How does HRC
know that such is Schaerr's "entire motivation?" All
of us need to get past this notion that open speech must be circumscribed by
special rules. If any speech is not libelous it should be OK. I'm for
free and open and inclusive discussion. If somebody wants to defend a course of
action based on religious dogma (or any other sort of dogma), that's fine
with me. But those advancing religious doctrine as defense for certain actions
need to understand that this debate is occurring in a secular space, so every
view can be attacked - nothing is off-limits in this arena. Let the