Comments about ‘Religious freedom and anti-bias bills announced at pro-traditional marriage gathering’

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Published: Thursday, Jan. 23 2014 10:30 p.m. MST

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Provo, UT

@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.

Marlborough, MA

@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.

Far East USA, SC

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.

Vince here
San Diego, CA

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.


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?)

Here, UT

@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.


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.

Castle Valley, Utah


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.

Salem, OR

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.

Murray, UT

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.

Los Angeles, CA

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.

West Richland, WA

"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.

cohoes, NY

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?

West Richland, WA

@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.

The Skeptical Chymist

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.

Salt Lake City, UT

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.

Centerville, UT

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.


@ 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!

Provo, UT

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.

Lane Myer
Salt Lake City, UT

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?

Salt Lake City, UT

@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.

Centerville, UT

"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.

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