In our opinion: Human Rights Campaign dead wrong in concerns about religion


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  • Tekakaromatagi Dammam, Saudi Arabia
    Jan. 28, 2014 10:27 a.m.


    "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."

  • Tekakaromatagi Dammam, Saudi Arabia
    Jan. 28, 2014 10:16 a.m.

    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.

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    Jan. 26, 2014 3:49 p.m.


    "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.

  • GK Willington Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 26, 2014 12:47 p.m.

    to SCfan 1/24...

    Forgot about Matthew 6:6 have you? Oh, the irony.

  • A Quaker Brooklyn, NY
    Jan. 26, 2014 10:23 a.m.

    @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.

  • Longfellow Holladay, UT
    Jan. 26, 2014 5:10 a.m.

    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.

  • MaxPower Eagle Mountain, UT
    Jan. 25, 2014 5:55 p.m.


    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?


    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?

  • fmalad Malad, ID
    Jan. 25, 2014 4:24 p.m.

    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!

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    Jan. 25, 2014 3:57 p.m.

    @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?


    When did you ask yourself "do I want to be straight or gay?" Date/time please.

    Jan. 25, 2014 1:28 p.m.

    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.

  • Irony Guy Bountiful, Utah
    Jan. 25, 2014 1:05 p.m.

    "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...)

  • dmcvey Los Angeles, CA
    Jan. 25, 2014 12:39 p.m.

    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 life.

  • Objectified Tooele, UT
    Jan. 25, 2014 10:34 a.m.


    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.

  • Utefan60 Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 25, 2014 10:25 a.m.

    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?

  • J Thompson SPRINGVILLE, UT
    Jan. 25, 2014 10:24 a.m.

    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.

  • Tators Hyrum, UT
    Jan. 25, 2014 10:20 a.m.

    @ 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.

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    Jan. 25, 2014 9:31 a.m.


    "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?

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    Jan. 25, 2014 9:32 a.m.


    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.


    Amendment 3 was a product of the Mormon Church. They have been involved in every single state where an anti-marriage amendment has passed.


    You start minding your own business and we'll leave you alone.


    Well said.


    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.

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Jan. 25, 2014 8:48 a.m.

    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.

  • Starry starry night Palm Springs , CA
    Jan. 25, 2014 1:23 a.m.

    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 $100.00
    to 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!

  • RichLussier Columbia, SC
    Jan. 25, 2014 12:17 a.m.

    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.

  • oragami St. George, UT
    Jan. 25, 2014 12:15 a.m.

    @ 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 causation.

  • A Quaker Brooklyn, NY
    Jan. 24, 2014 10:12 p.m.

    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 you.

  • J Thompson SPRINGVILLE, UT
    Jan. 24, 2014 9:36 p.m.

    @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 intrusion?

  • Badgerbadger Murray, UT
    Jan. 24, 2014 8:48 p.m.


    "... 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.

  • Linguist Silver Spring, MD
    Jan. 24, 2014 8:19 p.m.

    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.

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Jan. 24, 2014 7:52 p.m.

    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.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    Jan. 24, 2014 4:51 p.m.

    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.

  • Darrel Eagle Mountain, UT
    Jan. 24, 2014 4:49 p.m.


    Ok, 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?

  • Really??? Kearns, UT
    Jan. 24, 2014 4:48 p.m.

    "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.

  • Star Bright Salt Lake City, Ut
    Jan. 24, 2014 4:13 p.m.

    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!

  • Tators Hyrum, UT
    Jan. 24, 2014 3:53 p.m.

    @ 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.

  • Objectified Tooele, UT
    Jan. 24, 2014 3:29 p.m.


    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.

  • Mr. Smitty Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 24, 2014 3:19 p.m.

    @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.

  • Mr. Smitty Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 24, 2014 3:06 p.m.

    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.

  • WestGranger West Valley City, Utah
    Jan. 24, 2014 2:19 p.m.

    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.

  • Darrel Eagle Mountain, UT
    Jan. 24, 2014 1:59 p.m.


    The 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.

  • Darrel Eagle Mountain, UT
    Jan. 24, 2014 1:53 p.m.


    "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.

  • Tators Hyrum, UT
    Jan. 24, 2014 1:47 p.m.

    @ 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.

  • J Thompson SPRINGVILLE, UT
    Jan. 24, 2014 1:40 p.m.

    @ 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.

  • Chris A Salt Lake , UT
    Jan. 24, 2014 1:29 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.

  • Tators Hyrum, UT
    Jan. 24, 2014 1:26 p.m.

    @ 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.

  • girl.in.slc Salt Lake , UT
    Jan. 24, 2014 1:02 p.m.

    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.

  • Stephen Daedalus Arvada, CO
    Jan. 24, 2014 12:54 p.m.

    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?

  • NevadaCougar Panaca, NV
    Jan. 24, 2014 12:36 p.m.

    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."

  • Schnee Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 24, 2014 12:33 p.m.

    "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"

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Jan. 24, 2014 12:26 p.m.

    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 government.

  • Svoboda_Religii West valley City, UT
    Jan. 24, 2014 11:46 a.m.

    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 veiled threats.

  • Cats Somewhere in Time, UT
    Jan. 24, 2014 11:30 a.m.

    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 eyes.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Jan. 24, 2014 11:27 a.m.

    "...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.

  • iron&clay RIVERTON, UT
    Jan. 24, 2014 11:22 a.m.

    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.

  • dalefarr South Jordan, Utah
    Jan. 24, 2014 11:18 a.m.

    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.

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Jan. 24, 2014 11:17 a.m.

    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.

  • mcclark Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 24, 2014 11:13 a.m.

    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.

  • Darrel Eagle Mountain, UT
    Jan. 24, 2014 11:00 a.m.

    If you want government to stay out of religion, you have to keep religion out of Government

  • Craig Coleman Genola, UT
    Jan. 24, 2014 10:49 a.m.

    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.

  • There You Go Again Saint George, UT
    Jan. 24, 2014 10:37 a.m.

    @John Kateel

    I 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.

  • Mighty Mouse Salt Lake City, Utah
    Jan. 24, 2014 10:33 a.m.

    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.

  • MarkMAN West Columbia, TX
    Jan. 24, 2014 10:32 a.m.


    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.


  • OHBU Columbus, OH
    Jan. 24, 2014 10:32 a.m.


    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 equivalence.

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    Jan. 24, 2014 10:30 a.m.

    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".

  • PolishBear Charleston, WV
    Jan. 24, 2014 10:29 a.m.

    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.

  • RFLASH Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 24, 2014 10:28 a.m.

    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!

  • J Thompson SPRINGVILLE, UT
    Jan. 24, 2014 10:19 a.m.

    @ 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 businesses?

  • Flashback Kearns, UT
    Jan. 24, 2014 10:18 a.m.

    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.

  • Irony Guy Bountiful, Utah
    Jan. 24, 2014 10:14 a.m.

    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.

  • PolishBear Charleston, WV
    Jan. 24, 2014 10:03 a.m.

    "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.

  • MormonDemocrat Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 24, 2014 9:44 a.m.

    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.

  • Church member North Salt Lake, UT
    Jan. 24, 2014 9:31 a.m.

    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.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    Jan. 24, 2014 9:29 a.m.

    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.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Jan. 24, 2014 9:26 a.m.

    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 complicated.

  • Ranch Here, UT
    Jan. 24, 2014 9:25 a.m.

    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.

  • Meckofahess Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 24, 2014 9:17 a.m.

    "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

  • Badgerbadger Murray, UT
    Jan. 24, 2014 9:14 a.m.

    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.

  • Sal Provo, UT
    Jan. 24, 2014 9:07 a.m.

    @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?

  • Church member North Salt Lake, UT
    Jan. 24, 2014 8:48 a.m.

    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.

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    Jan. 24, 2014 8:26 a.m.

    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.

  • Meckofahess Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 24, 2014 8:09 a.m.

    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 desired acceptance.

  • Counter Intelligence Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 24, 2014 7:40 a.m.

    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.

  • Blue Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 24, 2014 7:34 a.m.

    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.

  • SCfan clearfield, UT
    Jan. 24, 2014 7:10 a.m.

    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.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    Jan. 24, 2014 6:56 a.m.

    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"?

  • Ranch Here, UT
    Jan. 24, 2014 6:50 a.m.

    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.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Jan. 24, 2014 5:40 a.m.

    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.

  • Schnee Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 24, 2014 12:47 a.m.

    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.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 24, 2014 12:31 a.m.

    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 fight(s) begin!