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Religious freedom and anti-bias bills announced at pro-traditional marriage gathering

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  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    Jan. 27, 2014 4:31 p.m.

    If the Democrats oppose the right of individuals to practice their religion, as their state chairman seems to, they deserve to loose every single seat in the state legislature. I used to think there was some middle ground, but now that their state head has declared war on religious freedom, it is time for them to be totally trounced and shown that attacking people on a religious ground is not acceptable.

    Photographers are engaging in speech, and should have multiple 1st amendment protections.

    I am sick and tired of the Democrats fighting against individuals freedom to practice their religion. The government can not force people to recognize things that go against their religion.

  • Clarissa Layton, UT
    Jan. 27, 2014 3:11 p.m.

    @Ranch,

    I suppose that as long as the business owner refusing to bake a cake for an LGBT couple also refused to bake a cake for an adulterer getting re-married, or a pair who has been living together (fornicating) or a Sabbath breaker, or an eater of shellfish, then I could be on board.

    I probably wouldn't want to do most of these others things you mention either, although I have no idea how an eater of shellfish would apply. If the adulterer had repented, I'd be okay with it, but people living together? It would depend on the case. They have obvious decided to change their lifestyle, so I would be thrilled spitless to make a cake or whatever for them. I just believe I shouldn't be forced to do something that I was uncomfortable with. If I bake a cake on the Sabbath, I would not be keeping the Sabbath Day holy, so that is probably out also.

    I just believe that I have a religious right to not do anything against my beliefs, although, if you tried hard enough, you could probably beat me on sophistry. (Again, sorry if my spelling is off.)

  • Oatmeal Woods Cross, UT
    Jan. 27, 2014 2:44 p.m.

    I want NO anti-discrimination law for LGBT for the state of Utah. Such laws have been turned on their heads in other states to persecute and prosecute those who seek to live their religions. You can be pro-religious freedom or pro-LGBT. You can't be both.

  • empathic heart West Jordan, UT
    Jan. 27, 2014 10:20 a.m.

    If a person has not felt the sting of being told in little ways and in large ways that they, as a human being, are sinful, unnatural or worthless, it must be very difficult to understand the perspective of those who have. A dear friend of mine and her wife have decided to leave the state in the face of persecution they have seen and felt here.

    Either we are free to live according to the dictates of our own conscience[s] and allow all [people] the same privilege, or we are not and do not. It would hurt to be refused a service because of who I am, but if I ask to have the right to BE who I am, and live as the spirit directs my life, I must allow that service provider to choose not to serve me. Isn't unconditional love of all Jesus' doctrine? As I understand, the two great commandments are love God and love our neighbors. Working on those, I don't have time to judge people's relationships to determine if they love their spouse/partner as much as I love mine.

  • lds4gaymarriage Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 25, 2014 9:44 p.m.

    @Christopher B
    "As a member of the committee, I voted against the legislation because I believe that homosexual activity is immoral," Reid said, acknowledging that his decision was discriminatory.

    But he explained that society has always discriminated against immoral behavior"

    Well said.

    The Mormons have taken the correct approach here. Its possible to love the person but not support the sin.
    LDS4
    Didn't society discriminate against polygamy? Does that discrimination make polygamy objectively immoral? I guess it matters whose ox is being gored.

    @Mhenshaw
    (A)ll laws are society's determination of what is moral behavior. They are negotiated, compromised decisions about what behaviors society considers right and wrong. So demanding that laws never be based on morality is to demand an impossibility.
    LDS
    Laws, especially in a pluralistic society, should punish those who inflict OBJECTIVE harm on others. Murder, rape, robbery, fraud, etc... inflict OBJECTIVE harm. Worshiping a different god does not. Neither does shopping on another's Sabbath. Neither does SSM. It may offend others, but no one has a right to not be offended. 1 Cor. 10:29 condemns the idea that the rights of others can be limited by the morals of others. See also D&C 134:4.

  • Mormonmeuk London, 00
    Jan. 25, 2014 6:20 p.m.

    If Utah were to introduce a law that equates to allowing a shop keeper to hang a No-Gays-Allowed sign in their window... It would not only be the laughing stock of the civilised world, but pretty rapidly dragged back to the S.C.O.T.U.S. to have it's knuckles wrapped, again.

    Mitt Romney did not win the last election. Treating your fellow human beings in such a way is simply not acceptable.

  • Hey It's Me Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 25, 2014 4:33 p.m.

    @KIC I think you can have it both ways. I'm LDS and believe that they should have their choice to be united and to get rights of married people, however, they can be united under the new word "Pairage" a pair of people united. Problem solved! How easy. then everyone can be happy being united with their own term and God will take care of everything else.

  • JSB Sugar City, ID
    Jan. 25, 2014 1:09 p.m.

    I am opposed to gay marriage because I am convinced that it will lead to social chaos and misery and poverty. My opposition doesn't have anything to do with religious beliefs. If we deviate from one man and one woman in marriage, then where will it stop? How will society legally prevent 3 women and 2 men from getting married if the criteria is that they love each other and want to get married? Or what about 3 or more men or 3 or more women? Imagine the messed up children, the poverty, the spread of venereal disease, the legal chaos if someone wants a divorce. One man and one woman marriage isn't perfect but it is better than changing the definition of marriage to anyone who wants to get married can get married for any reason.

  • mhenshaw Leesburg, VA
    Jan. 25, 2014 9:10 a.m.

    >>Morality should not and ever cannot be the base on which laws are made. Even if you consider them to be derived from historical moral interpretations...

    But all laws are society's determination of what is moral behavior. They are negotiated, compromised decisions about what behaviors society considers right and wrong. So demanding that laws never be based on morality is to demand an impossibility. And because we live in a democratic republic, the values of the majority will always be the dominant influence shaping those laws. You can't pass a law without making a moral judgment, the law will always reflect the values of the majority that passed it, and a judge can't overturn a law without making a moral judgment that runs counter to the majority's values (barring cases involving legal technicalities).

  • Karen R. Houston, TX
    Jan. 25, 2014 7:09 a.m.

    When it comes to religious liberty, the virulently religious are their own worst enemy.

  • LittleDrummerMan ,
    Jan. 25, 2014 12:32 a.m.

    The only problem with not being willing to sell a cake to an adulterer or a Sabbath breaker or whatever else, is that they won't openly come out and say they do those things.

  • Bob K portland, OR
    Jan. 25, 2014 12:22 a.m.

    KIC- Keep It Constitutional
    Salt Lake City, UT

    --- Thanks for the rest of what you wrote, but there is a flaw in this:

    "The LGBT march with banners of equality preaching that individuals should have free-will and not be controlled by government. But at the same time, want the government to tell business owners they can not make their own decisions."

    --- There is a huge difference between telling others what to do and denying a public accommodation. Businesses open to the public in States with laws enforcing equal treatment do not get to pick which group they will not serve. This seems wrong to some, but the greater wrong is to turn away a fellow citizen who has done nothing but be himself. In fact, it seems completely against Christ to do so.

    The reason for the laws against discrimination is that people did not stop doing it on their own. Yes, sometimes one might have to sell to folks he does not like, but the seller is harmed less than the person turned away in shame and humiliation.

    This is America. Citizens ought not to be turned away for who they are.

  • Shazandra Bakersfield, CA
    Jan. 25, 2014 12:16 a.m.

    125 years ago no LDS leader would have fought for "traditional" marriage, but they sure would have fought for religious freedom...
    My how times change. Who can predict what will be debated and legislated a century from today?

  • brotherJonathan SLC, UT
    Jan. 24, 2014 4:57 p.m.

    Is a civil union a biblical marriage? Not in my opinion. To allow other citizens the right to chose for themselves what lifestyle they would embrace is not the same as teaching their choice as a recommended way of life to your children. So we walk a delicate path of protecting individual rights of choice and defending our own right of choice in our schools and other places of gathering.
    Tolerance for others rights with respect for our choice when it comes to teaching our own children the principles of a happy fulfilled life, obeying the commands of our conscience. Because of the fact that children are impressionable and do not have founded psychological beliefs in experience and outcomes, we who have the responsibility to nurture and guide belief structure have the ultimate say in what should be and not be taught as a viable lifestyle for them until they are adults. Homosexual partnerships without science intervention cannot produce offspring, this is the facts. So nature has female and male as a parent structure and is the natural means of raising young humans to adulthood. Beyond those facts this is fairly new territory, protecting freedom of choice for both.

  • Bob K portland, OR
    Jan. 24, 2014 4:54 p.m.

    ....sponsored by the conservative Sutherland Institute and First Freedoms Coalition... largest of three similar First Freedom Forums held in St. George and Logan to rally support for the bills.

    --- I used to think the church controlled Utah, but it seems the Sutherland, etc, have stepped in, probably to help the church to appear not to be messing in politics.

    --- As far as these bills go:

    1-- The preposterous idea that Gay folks or the ACLU, etc is going to sue to make churches marry people is a mean spirited diversion. No court and no legislature would ever go for that.

    2-- As far as "Don't want to participate in Gay weddings": Someone will have to work out a compromise for photographers, I suppose, but a POLITE refusal would be taken well by almost anyone.
    "I can't do it because I am a Christian (implying that the Gay folks are not Christians) t is offensive. As far as cakes go, the baker is simply filling an order, not participating in the wedding.

    3-- If you can't realize that people want to ADD to traditional marriage by joining in, and keep calling it "ruining or changing", yes, those names apply to you.

  • UTSU Logan, UT
    Jan. 24, 2014 4:29 p.m.

    @jsf
    "If a photographer refuses to photograph a wedding on Sunday, or a baker refuses to deliver a cake on Sunday...."

    That is legal if they do not provide service to ANYBODY on Sunday. because they don't single out a specific group of customers and deny service.

    Singling out gay couples and deny service to them is discrimination。

  • LiberalJimmy Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 24, 2014 3:35 p.m.

    @Christopher B. (A.K.A. Chris B) The religious right continue living in The Utah County bubble. Change and equality are arriving even here on Planet Utah! "Mark it down!"

  • curtisjunk San Francisco, CA
    Jan. 24, 2014 2:11 p.m.

    This entire notion of "religious liberty" is a craven attempt to pervert the constitution and religion. It is predicated on the notion that religion requires as a matter of doctrine that members actively discriminate against those that do not share their religion and that are considered sinners by their religion. This idea violates the founding principles of this nation, and is the very reason that the Establishment Clause prohibiting the establishment of an official religion exists in the Bill of Rights. Conservatives only interest is to preserve their ability to discriminate, not to guarantee anyone's actual "liberty". They will sew seeds of fear and spread false stories about how religious people are forced to actually treat other people as equal human beings and rile up vulnerable people who will not think too carefully about the issue. Shameful.

  • koseighty Logan, UT
    Jan. 24, 2014 1:33 p.m.

    I only wish that those whose religion taught them to that homosexuality is a sin also taught them not to judge their neighbors. Then, a businessman (or woman) who thought homosexuality is a sin would see no reason not to serve their (sinful) neighbors.

    Perhaps adding something like the following to their "profoundly held religious beliefs" would help:

    "Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again." (Matthew 7:1-2, see also 3 Nephi 14:1-2)

  • bandersen Saint George, UT
    Jan. 24, 2014 1:32 p.m.

    Dominique: Extermination order versus not allowed to call something 'marriage'. I fail to see the equivalence!

  • Dominique* SLC, UT
    Jan. 24, 2014 1:24 p.m.

    Dear Badgerbadger..

    In this proposed law, they are one and the same.

    Religious persecution arose from religious belief. And now the persecuted have become the persecutors... again, with religious hubris and self-righteous indignation, feigning religious belief.

    My Mormon pioneer ancestors were kicked out because of the same religious hubris. And if laws like this pass, count on Mormons being denied service at places of business because of someone else's religious hubris.

    What would Jesus do?

  • DanO Mission Viejo, CA
    Jan. 24, 2014 1:04 p.m.

    Segregation is back in style? History does repeat.

  • jcobabe Provo, UT
    Jan. 24, 2014 12:54 p.m.

    This bill is a solution in search of a problem.

    Just how many "No Gays Served Here" signs have you seen posted in Utah businesses?

  • glendenbg Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 24, 2014 12:52 p.m.

    Philosopher John Rawls challenged people to think about public policy without knowing how to whom it would apply. How would it be if the law you support applied to you? It's easy to support it a law allowing religiously motivated discrimination (which is what Reid is proposing) if you think it would allow you to refuse to do business with someone. What if you were the person being denied?

    When looking at law, we have to ask, who is harmed and in what ways?

    Jim Crow was intolerable because it was a daily attack on the human dignity of African-Americans. It was a daily reminder by businesses and persons that some people were not, in their eyes, equal and it was supported by the force of law.

    Sen. Reid is proposing a form of Jim Crow, targeting gay and lesbian persons.

    Ask yourself who suffers more – the person who does business with someone they’d rather not do business with or the person treated as a second class citizen?

    It’s not about ignoring or trampling religious persons. It’s asking them to recognize that their preferred behaviors demean the human dignity of some of their fellow citizens.

  • Jeneva_Ray SLC, UT
    Jan. 24, 2014 12:02 p.m.

    It's disappointing that this kind of non-civility is becoming the norm, simply because of a difference in opinion. Seeing both sides (being raised Mormon while being transgendered myself), I can only say that I'm not surprised.

    I respect the stability of the nuclear family. I also experience the severe instability of having a hard time finding work and finding a place to live. This isn't a marriage issue for me, or even a sex issue (I'm celibate). It's only "legal discrimination" because there's no legal defense for me to stand on.

    I can see why Senator Reid could think it is a "sexual strategem". I don't understand why religious conscience is an issue, if I can be thrown under the bus year after year in the name of "doing what's right". By avoiding an issue and pretending it doesn't exist (as I've experienced), only injustice can be done.

  • desert Potsdam, 00
    Jan. 24, 2014 11:38 a.m.

    Once I didn't care about this, then I thought it would go away, now I am pleased people are waking up and discussing the issue. We should be all happy to have such ability.

    We need to get through this since there will be more coming, society is at a turn around not because of LGBT but the world is moving in on each other.

    Dictatorship has been there in history and we still see it around the world, but now we see the use of smart deception to bring in a lie, and call it freedom.
    That brings religious people up to defend their cause, however what is the truth does only matter to the believer, not the democratic process.

    We need to learn, Utah as well, that a different opinion cannot be struck down just by religious truth, it needs explanations and sometimes the translation of different feelings into understood language.

    Come on , is it that hard to change your attitude in missionary work to reach out for those who do not understand ? Do people in the LGBT community understand Mormons ??

  • mcclark Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 24, 2014 11:37 a.m.

    Once again people complaining that their religious liberty is being trampled on because they cant trample on other peoples rights.

  • Badgerbadger Murray, UT
    Jan. 24, 2014 11:30 a.m.

    Dear Dominique,

    You seem to have religious freedom confused with religious persecution.

  • dalefarr South Jordan, Utah
    Jan. 24, 2014 11:23 a.m.

    Amendment 3 was equivalent to placing a chip on our shoulder and daring others to knock it off via a law suit. Not surprisingly, they did. The proposed laws are additional chips which will lead to the same results. Legislative hysteria is not a reasonable substitute for sound, deliberate judgment.

  • Dominique* SLC, UT
    Jan. 24, 2014 10:51 a.m.

    Dear Extremist Religious Right of Utah:

    Please be careful, and sure of, what you ask. That whole "religious freedom" think???

    I'll remind you of four things:

    1. Palmayra, NY
    2. Kirtland, OH
    3. Nauvoo, IL
    4. Gov. Lilburn Boggs of MO

    For those who are no longer taught (or who don't remember) LDS history, religious freedom is precisely why your lot was forcefully evicted from cities and states; and why there was an extermination order for you.

    Please, think before you speak.

    Sincerely,
    Love and light of Christ

  • jsf Centerville, UT
    Jan. 24, 2014 10:47 a.m.

    But the argument is a business that will not provide services on Sunday is discriminating against a class of people, those that by a religious choice do not honor the Sabbath and are violating the rights of those people that do not honor the Sabbath. It is the same concept of SB100, we will carve out a special protection for one group of people not all people. It could just as easily be we will pass a new law that says if a business is licensed in our country, state, and cities, they must provide services to all at any time and cannot discriminate against Sunday Sabbath Breakers.

    And yes as a business owner, I can decide to pick and chose who I will serve. The concept otherwise is a totalitarian state run society.

  • jeclar2006 Oceanside, CA
    Jan. 24, 2014 10:41 a.m.

    To: Listening Ears:…

    As a Seventh-Day Adventist (if you still are…) you should be aware of the 'fight', supported in some instances by the 'horrid' ACLU, that has been fought in the past to prevent the State, as well as Employers, to legally discriminate against you in regard to 2 areas…

    Seventh-Day worship which requires that you not perform 'work'…
    and
    Prevents you from working because of the church's stand on 'union membership'.

    Both of these issues were 'solved' by court action, and then later included in reworked laws.

    It is also ironic in regard to 'religious liberty' that the Downtown LDS church filed 'amicus curiae' briefs on behalf of 'native american' workers who were fired from their state employment due to their use of 'controlled substances(Peyote)' in native american religious rituals. That case went to the Supreme Court and the court found in the state's favor.

  • jeclar2006 Oceanside, CA
    Jan. 24, 2014 10:30 a.m.

    One can wonder how such a definition of 'religious freedom' would benefit the White Separatist in the country, since they base their belief that races should not 'mix' on various, perhaps idiosyncratic interpretations of biblical passages.

    Just sounds like Jim Crow in a new suite of black feathers.

    On the other hand, perhaps 'religious freedom' is interpreted to be 'freedom to impose a specific religious belief on others, as long as the majority approves'…

    Fortunately for protestants, Vatican II declared protestant marriages to be 'valid'. (I'm sure the protestant world breathed a sigh of relief knowing that they were no longer living in sin according to the holy see…).

    The reason for this diversion, is that if these forms of 'religiously protected forms of discrimination' are to be come in effect, a 'catholic' could well not 'serve' a protestant married couple, as until Vatican II, that protestant couple would be classed as 'fornicating'.

    Of course in Utah, with the low number of catholics, perhaps it would be the other way around, where the believers who think that the Roman Church is some 'dragon'… would not serve those who follow the 'dragon'…

  • jsf Centerville, UT
    Jan. 24, 2014 10:30 a.m.

    "but the businesses are separate entities from the owners. Businesses do not have religion (they do not think)"

    Not true, business is the people that own and run them. In cases like the photography and the bakery they the individuals, providing the service, are the business. You go to that business because you want the services of that individual. The product is based on their personal involvement. And because they are individuals, they do think and they do have religion what ever it is.

    Even large multi shareholder corporations are run by the individuals who own the stock, they do think and they do have religion, and they do make decisions for the corporation by voting their shares.

    Only in a "1984" world would we expect government to decide what individuals in business or an individual thinks.

    This proposed law is to prevent another step toward the government deciding what the individual can think or say.

  • Schnee Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 24, 2014 10:25 a.m.

    @Counter Intelligence
    "So if a feminist owned bookstore does not sell playboy based upon principle - are they anti-men?"

    No, because that'd be a product that's not being offered to any of their customers. Offering wedding photographs but not to gay couples is a product that's being denied to some of their customers but not others.

    "If the Utah Pride Center wont special order ex-gay ministry pamphlets - are they anti-straight?"

    That doesn't even make sense.

  • Lane Myer Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 24, 2014 10:22 a.m.

    jsf: "If a photographer refuses to photograph a wedding on Sunday, or a baker refuses to deliver a cake on Sunday, or a florist does not deliver on Sunday. Are they discriminating based on their religion. If someone of the jewish faith closes their business to honor their Sabbath on Saturday, and will not provide services to you on that day, are they discriminating."

    ----------

    You are not understanding what they are talking about. It is not forcing a business to do something that they are not doing now. It is having that business service gays the same way that they are servicing all others.

    If a florist does not deliver on Sunday, I assume that is for all his customers.

    When you open a business, you must abide by the rules of the city/state/country that you are in. We have non-discrimination laws in our country/state/cities. Can they pick and choose who they would like to serve?

    If they refused service to all sinners, they would have no customers, right? Why can they draw the line with homosexuals?

  • Vanceone Provo, UT
    Jan. 24, 2014 10:14 a.m.

    Look, just because the gay lobbyists are trying to force Americans to comply doesn't mean we have to let you. The State of Oregon is fining a couple hundreds of thousands of dollars because two lesbians sought them out on purpose so they could sue them. They will lose everything and be homeless, just so the gay lobby can claim a scalp.
    What "morality" is this? Destroying peoples lives is what you people want? Forcing them to choose between serving God and serving Mammon? Of course you do. The gay lobby, as proven around the world, wants to jail everyone who even THINKS that homosexuality is not the greatest thing ever. Just ask various pastors in England and Canada.

  • Maudine SLC, UT
    Jan. 24, 2014 10:11 a.m.

    @ Ranch: After careful thought and consideration, I could almost support this bill if, as a requirement of refusing services based on religious conscience, the businesses had to post prominent signs stating that they limit the services available to homosexuals.

    Why not let the free market decide?

    Those who think this law is necessary like to point to the cake baker that was forced out of business because he refused to make a cake for a gay wedding and, once that knowledge got out, people refused to patronize his business. Well, people have the right to decide where they want to shop and the more information they have available to help them make that decision, the better in my opinion.

    Of course, those who support laws like this swear they will support businesses that refuse service to homosexuals, but in the case of the cake baker, apparently there were not enough of them buying cakes.

    Post a sign stating you don't serve gays - gays and their supporters won't shop there - you won't be sued - and maybe you will get enough business to stay open and maybe you won't. But hey, your religious conscience wouldn't be violated!

  • jsf Centerville, UT
    Jan. 24, 2014 10:02 a.m.

    How do you know the business owner is not refusing to bake cakes for serial adulterers. He/she is not refusing to provide flowers to the fornicators. He/she is not refusing to photograph the marriages of Sabbath breakers. Keep the discussion to the idea in the thread. Supposing what every business is doing based on your opinion is as bigoted as any thing else. In my business I would not provide services to a serial adulterer, or a fornicators, because their actions indicate they are not honest to family or their partners, and as such from experience they are likely to be dishonest with me.

    If a photographer refuses to photograph a wedding on Sunday, or a baker refuses to deliver a cake on Sunday, or a florist does not deliver on Sunday. Are they discriminating based on their religion. If someone of the jewish faith closes their business to honor their Sabbath on Saturday, and will not provide services to you on that day, are they discriminating. By your standard because you want service from a business, you think they have an obligation to provided the service when and where you want.

  • BrandoSLC Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 24, 2014 9:41 a.m.

    First Amendment: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;..."

    Don't assume that your religion should have a place in politics. It is protected in that you have the freedom to worship as you please, but so does everyone else. We can all believe or disbelieve whatever we choose, and THAT is freedom.

    Same-sex marriage will not affect your freedom to worship as you please because the marriages will not take place in your chapels, but in a state office. Your church doesnt have to recognize them. In fact, you don't even have to worry about being invited.

    This debate has crossed the line from a civil cause to a religious witch hunt. Step outside of your bubbles and look at things objectively.

  • The Skeptical Chymist SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Jan. 24, 2014 9:40 a.m.

    Paul Mero says: "Men, women and children are happier, healthier, better educated, more prosperous and physically safer in the nurturing confines of a traditional marriage and natural family." Methinks that Mr. Mero paints with too broad a brush. There are a great many gays and lesbians who have enjoyed "the nurturing confines of a traditional marriage", and found it to be a very unhappy experience. Their heterosexual wives and husbands found it to be a very unhappy experience too. To claim that one particular situation (traditional marriage) is best for everyone is to ignore the fundamental individual differences that make us who we are.

  • TheTrueVoice West Richland, WA
    Jan. 24, 2014 9:20 a.m.

    @Prodicus: "In a federalist democratic republic, these decisions are generally supposed to be made by the will of the people on a local or state basis"

    Surprise. We do not live in a "federalist democratic republic".

    The American form of government is a "federal constitutional republic".

    There is a huge, Huge, HUGE difference between the two forms of government.

    In a federalist democratic republic, what you contend is essentially accurate: the majority Will of the People drives the laws of the land. This is why the Founding Fathers decided that a federalist democratic republic would not work in a pluralistic society such as America. To do so would invite legislation that could restrict the rights of the minority simply because 51% or more citizens voted for it.

    Which is *precisely* what happened 10 years ago in Utah, when Amendment 3 was passed. It created a situation where the majority of Utahns could legally discriminate against a minority segment of their fellow Utah citizens. That is completely illegal and patently un-American.

    And that is why Amendment 3 is being properly and correctly dismantled by the courts as we speak.

  • atrulson cohoes, NY
    Jan. 24, 2014 9:02 a.m.

    There's no problem with allowing freedom to discriminate based on religious views. One may disagree with anothers religious views. But that disagreement is a moral judgement in itself.

    If I offer wedding services and refuse a gay couple based on religious views, that couple should simply find a service who caters to gays. Wouldn't that be the civil thing to do?

  • TheTrueVoice West Richland, WA
    Jan. 24, 2014 8:38 a.m.

    "Reid said his Religious Liberties bill would allow an individual to deny services in those situations based on religious beliefs."

    How is it that this man even holds elected office?

    He can an elected representative introduce legislation to FURTHER the cause of discrimination against members in his own district?!

    How is it that these elected officials can not seem to be able to understand the notion that if a business enters the public realm, that business needs to adhere to all civil laws regarding business practices in the public arena?

    To try to codify law that has its true basis in animus, this is how Utah got into this marriage equality situation to begin with.

  • dmcvey Los Angeles, CA
    Jan. 24, 2014 8:34 a.m.

    Calling these people "supporters of traditional marriage" is dishonest. They are opponents of equal marriage rights. Allowing gay people to marry will do nothing to change their "traditional" marriages.

  • Badgerbadger Murray, UT
    Jan. 24, 2014 8:32 a.m.

    NO ONE should be forced to participate, including providing support (be it goods or services), in an event that is contrary to their religious beliefs, and especially if it mocks their religious rites.

    It is not a person or people that are being discriminated against, it is an action, which is offensive to many people's beliefs, protected religious beliefs.

    If homosexual people want a birthday cake, or flowers, or professional photos, and are refused because of their sexual orientation, they are being discriminated against, but if they are refused because the business owner is Johovah Witness, and they don't believe in birthday celebrations, then it probably has nothing to do with their sexual orientation. Heterosexuals would be turned down too.

  • tethered Salem, OR
    Jan. 24, 2014 8:33 a.m.

    Paul Mero, president of the Sutherland Institute aaid: "There is an obvious societal or state interest in supporting traditional marriage and the natural family".

    So how come that Mero/Sutherland says nothing about Adoption?

    Throughout this discussion of "religious freedom", NO ONE makes mention that religion is itself A CHOICE!

    Religion is NOT determined at birth.

    This discussion also ignores the fact that Utahns & Americans also have the right to be Atheist, just as much as they have the right to practice THEIR religion.

    Utahns & Americans do not have the right to force any religion onto anyone else.

  • EDM Castle Valley, Utah
    Jan. 24, 2014 8:30 a.m.

    Prodicus,

    I'm afraid your perception of a "supermajority" is off. Across our United States about half the population is for the legalization of SSM, and far fewer would prohibit gay civil unions, as Utah does. In some states, gay marriage was voted in. And even here in Utah, far fewer people now support Amendment 3 as it is written.

  • Ranch Here, UT
    Jan. 24, 2014 8:24 a.m.

    @Counter Intelligence;

    Bookstores do not carry every book or magazine ever written/published.

    Your analogy is false because the bookseller is still selling the books she carries to ALL customers who walk through the door, not just to some of them.

    Your analogy would have worked better had you argued instead that a baker who only makes cookies was being forced to bake a cake.

    @KIC;

    Nobody is telling business owners how to live their LIVES, but the businesses are separate entities from the owners. Businesses do not have religion (they do not think), Businesses do not have the right to say that we will only serve white customers and not black customers, or only serve heterosexual customers and not homosexual customers, only serve abled customers and not disabled customers. Businesses do not discern any difference from customer to customer.

  • Vince here San Diego, CA
    Jan. 24, 2014 8:16 a.m.

    Christopher B
    Ogden, UT

    If that's love, you can keep it. There are plenty of people who love and accept gays. Your tone is condescending.

    Chilidog,

    Right on. Apparently someone did. We want our First Amendment back.

    It seems like it's a re-hashing of the word "marriage." Now we want to restore "traditional marriage?" --- (the type that never existed?)

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Jan. 24, 2014 8:13 a.m.

    There are a lot of religious beliefs out there that prohibit various things.

    Can you imagine trying to make legal concessions to all of them? Not just those that you ascribe to but ALL of them.

    And then apply them to all of society. There are countries that incorporate much if not all of their religious teachings in their laws.

    Would anyone want to live in those countries? There is no difference just because we are talking about Christianity in the US.

  • IMAN Marlborough, MA
    Jan. 24, 2014 8:11 a.m.

    @Christopher B: At least the anti-equal rights proponents are starting to be honest by admitting that they chose to discriminate based on their religious definition of what is moral. Fortunately, the U.S. Constitution does not differentiate between moral and amoral discrimination.

  • Prodicus Provo, UT
    Jan. 24, 2014 8:04 a.m.

    @desert, every law imposes a moral position on others, from "murder is wrong" to "you ought to file your taxes on time to do your share to support public services" to "you ought not recklessly endanger others' lives by driving against traffic on the freeway." If we decide we can't enforce laws with which some people might morally disagree, there will be no law and no civil society.

    Your statement is specially ironic because I suppose you probably support the strongest "anti-discrimination" bills, which impose on everyone the moral position "you ought not take anyone's sexual actions and behaviors into account when dealing with them."

    Almost any disagreement between people can be seen as a moral disagreement. The question is whose morals will be imposed on whom. In a federalist democratic republic, these decisions are generally supposed to be made by the will of the people on a local or state basis, allowing a diversity of communities. Instead, we have a handful of liberals, especially unelected judges, involved in the culturally imperialist project of forcing their morals down the throats of every community in America and even attempting to extend that to nations abroad.

  • jeanie orem, UT
    Jan. 24, 2014 7:51 a.m.

    Two thoughts:

    First, society has to draw a line somewhere when it comes to giving the stamp of approval for unions. Some believe it needs to be kept between one man and one woman. Some believe it should be drawn with two consenting adults regardless of gender. Some want it between more than two consenting adults as long as only one man is involved. And so it goes. All of these opinions are based on what people think is morally right. You cannot seperate morality from marriage laws.

    Second, no matter where the line is drawn someone will feel their civil rights are being trampled on. It is hypocritical to call those who support traditional marriage haters and bigots, disrespecting and mocking their reasoning. The same terms could be applied to those who support same gender unions but do not support polygamy or any other combinations of unions. They would then rightly be accused of imposing their own "cherry picked" morality on others they disagree with.

    Take care that a standard you set isn't incriminating you too. Every person has a right to lobby for what they believe and whatever laws are created someone will feel discriminated against.

  • KIC- Keep It Constitutional Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 24, 2014 7:48 a.m.

    So let me understand this correctly. The LGBT march with banners of equality preaching that individuals should have free-will and not be controlled by government. But at the same time, want the government to tell business owners they can not make their own decisions.

    Seems a little ironic to me. I think the LGBT community need to get together and revaluate their wishes and their stance.

    Not speaking for the church nor the LGBT community, seems like the fight is just about a fight now and no longer about the issue.

    On the other hand I see a church with over 100,000 missionaries in the field preaching free will, but want laws to make sure that the government punishes those who don't choose their ways. It has been a while since I've been to church but sounds like a sunday school lesson.

    I see a LGBT community saying, I don't want the government telling me how to run my life but I want them to dictate mandates on others.

    To both: can you have it both ways. For those that say Yes, good luck.. For those that hesitate a moment in reason, I applaud you.

  • Counter Intelligence Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 24, 2014 7:45 a.m.

    Schnee - Ranch

    So if a feminist owned bookstore does not sell playboy based upon principle - are they anti-men?
    If the Utah Pride Center wont special order ex-gay ministry pamphlets - are they anti-straight?

    Strident left wing reactionary politics are the biggest source of intolerance in America

  • Ranch Here, UT
    Jan. 24, 2014 7:27 a.m.

    @Laura Ann;

    I suppose that as long as the business owner refusing to bake a cake for an LGBT couple also refused to bake a cake for an adulterer getting re-married, or a pair who has been living together (fornicating) or a Sabbath breaker, or an eater of shellfish, then I could be on board.

    However, your business owner is not refusing to bake cakes for serial adulterers. He/she is not refusing to provide flowers to the fornicators. He/she is not refusing to photograph the marriages of Sabbath breakers.

    What that tells us, is that it is NOT about "religious conscience". It is about bigotry against a single group of people.

    And you say you think this is okay.

  • Willem Los Angeles, CA
    Jan. 24, 2014 6:48 a.m.

    "But he explained that society has always discriminated against immoral behavior."

    The only persons that are being discriminated and denigrated are the gay and lesbian community in Utah.

  • Ranch Here, UT
    Jan. 24, 2014 6:43 a.m.

    Basically they're saying this bill will allow you to put up: "NO GAYS SERVED HERE" signs.

    What about the religious freedoms of those you are oppressing Senator Reid? Mr. Mero? Do those people not deserve "religious freedom" as well? Does the fact that their beliefs differ from yours make them less relevant?

    If someone doesn't want to serve all customers then they should choose to not open a business.

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    Jan. 24, 2014 6:22 a.m.

    "As a member of the committee, I voted against the legislation because I believe that homosexual activity is immoral," Reid said, acknowledging that his decision was discriminatory.

    But he explained that society has always discriminated against immoral behavior,

    ----

    Moslems believe it is immoral for women not to wear head coverings or berkas. Catholics believe birth control is immoral. How would any of us like it if some religion became a majority and began to enforce their own particular religious view on others because they claimed they were doing it for moral reasons? It is wrong to try to force your own religious view on others.

  • koseighty Logan, UT
    Jan. 24, 2014 6:16 a.m.

    Seems hetero privilege is the new white privilege – to be protected at all costs.

    You can't expect us to treat "those people" the same as every body else, can you?!?

  • Listening Ears Provo, UT
    Jan. 24, 2014 5:37 a.m.

    To deny services to others is an interesting choice. Having grown up in a Seventh Day Adventist community, we were never denied service because we pertained to a different belief system - grateful there was no prejudicial bias to servicing us. Having lived and traveled in many countries, I have never been denied service to eat in restaurants, prepare parties, etc. I am hoping this type of disservice will not happen in our state that has had a reputation of peacefulness to others.

  • Chilidog Somewhere, IL
    Jan. 24, 2014 4:51 a.m.

    Why is all this neccesary? Did someone repeal the first amendment while I wasn't looking?

  • Gibster San Antonio, TX
    Jan. 24, 2014 3:15 a.m.

    Insanity!!!!!!!!!

  • desert Potsdam, 00
    Jan. 24, 2014 1:12 a.m.

    Morality should not and ever cannot be the base on which laws are made.
    Even if you consider them to be derived from historical moral interpretations,
    in our day we are shifting from a Utah based society to an international formed living,
    that cannot include morals or religion to rule the people.

    We must come up with accurate definitions on marriage, that will last the next century, and people can relate to.

    You can preach repentance as in the days of Noah fine, but for laws of the land, we must get ready to include a whole lot more than just Utahns, we must define what is good for our children and future generations by using secular mentality.
    After all these are just words, but words can be powerfull, morality is good but not to be imposed on others.

  • Prodicus Provo, UT
    Jan. 24, 2014 1:02 a.m.

    @EDM Rather, things are getting twisted as a tiny minority tries to overthrow representative government in favor of a dictatorship where unelected judicial and a lying president assume all legislative power and the citizenry has no power.

    Attempting to deny a supermajority of citizens the ability to participate in determining what kind of community we will live in is the real civil rights issue here.

  • Schnee Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 24, 2014 12:59 a.m.

    "they would protect individual religious conscience rights"

    I assume this is the cake type stuff, right? If so, I'm really not surprised that Utah's the one that wants to encode the right to discriminate into law.

  • RBB Sandy, UT
    Jan. 24, 2014 12:09 a.m.

    It all amounts to an issue of Freedom. I want the freedom to do what I want, but you should not have the freedom to do what you want. Let people sleep with whomever they want, but likewise allow people to elect not to participate in any way with conduct they find objectionable. Should I have the right to insist that a corner deli violate kosher just because I like bacon? Freedom. You have it or you don't. Right now we don't because people want to regulate what everyone else is doing.

  • oragami St. George, UT
    Jan. 24, 2014 12:06 a.m.

    Utah's uber-conservatives are fighting for their right to force their own cherry-picked views of morality on every citizen in the state.......kinda like they have always done. I guess they don't like the fact that a growing number of people in this state are tired of it. Thus, they resort to the straw man argument that "religious freedom" is threatened.

    We are free-thinking, empathetic Mormons and non-Mormons who love our families, friends, and neighbors (including the LGBT ones) more than we love any church. That isn't anti-religion, it is Christ-like.

  • Christopher B Ogden, UT
    Jan. 23, 2014 11:52 p.m.

    "As a member of the committee, I voted against the legislation because I believe that homosexual activity is immoral," Reid said, acknowledging that his decision was discriminatory.

    But he explained that society has always discriminated against immoral behavior"

    Well said.

    The Mormons have taken the correct approach here. Its possible to love the person but not support the sin.

  • Laura Ann Layton, UT
    Jan. 23, 2014 11:17 p.m.

    I think that an individual should have the right to refuse services for something that they have religious objections to. It's not fair to the person who has to do it and it also isn't fair to the people who are asking for the service. How can you take good pictures when your heart just isn't into it? Why should someone make a cake representing something they are opposed to? After all, I believe you have a right to not serve in the military, at least on the battle front, if you are a conscious objector. (If my spelling is off, please forgive me.) I know many people who do not have a problem with serving anyone, regardless of sexual orientation. I just know that I couldn't do it. I have relatives who are gay, and I love them. I have no desire to hurt them, but what if something someone wants hurts me?

  • Sal Provo, UT
    Jan. 23, 2014 11:11 p.m.

    If I were a business owner I would have no problem renting to, selling to, or serving gay couples. If they were my neighbors I would be their friend. However, if I had to photograph a gay wedding I couldn't do it. I could not take pictures of two men or two women kissing. That would be an open violation of God's laws. Even the LDS Church invites all people to worship in their churches, AS LONG AS THE CHURCH'S STANDARDS ARE MAINTAINED.

    Good luck crafting a bill that protects religious and gay rights.

  • EDM Castle Valley, Utah
    Jan. 23, 2014 10:56 p.m.

    Holy cow. Things are getting really twisted as the conservative right squirms in agony.