Comments about ‘My view: Anti-discrimination proposal violates property rights’

Return to article »

Published: Sunday, Feb. 9 2014 12:00 a.m. MST

  • Oldest first
  • Newest first
  • Most recommended
Roland Kayser
Cottonwood Heights, UT

The exact same arguments were used against civil rights for racial minorities.

Centerville, UT

Deficiencies in Mr. Boyack's argument:
1. Anti-discrimination bills do not require customers to patronize businesses owned by LGBT individuals, rent a home from them or be employed by them. Reductio ad absurdum is a logical fallacy.
2. The government frequently regulates property rights. Zoning laws, for example, limit the uses we make of our property,presumably to benefit society.
3. It's not "that simple" because when two rights collide, an accommodation must be reached.
4. Does anyone's religion teach that a baker should not make a wedding cake for a gay wedding? Some churches oppose gay marriage. Do they also oppose providing services for those weddings? Is it a sin to photograph a gay wedding?
Nonetheless,if a bakery didn't want to bake me a cake, I would find a different bakery. I would not file an anti-discrimination complaint.

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

When people seek "special rights" to promote themselves, their way of life, or their attitude about society, we end up with lawsuits.

Read the Declaration of Independence, the document that gave the reason for fighting a bloody war to win our independence from a King who tried to force us to do what he wanted.

"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.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,"

Rights come from God, not from government. Government is instituted to protect us from government's usurpation of those rights. Government has no inherent rights. Government is not authorized to determine who can buy from a merchant. That is not a function of government. Read the Constitution, Article 1, Section 8. Government intervention in non-interstate commerce is not an enumerated duty of government. The "right" to sell is left to the people to determine, not to the government.

Kearns, UT

Not another "I don't want to play fair in the sandbox" rant! Personally, my religious upbringing taught me to treat others better than I am treated. You see, that's one step beyond "doing unto others." I appreciate my parents for teaching that important principal to me.

It has taught me that while I don't necessarily agree with the way other people live, I have the responsibility to treat them with the dignity worthy of every child of God. I have learned that kindness is more important than convincing others that my beliefs are somehow better than theirs. My God will do the judging of other people's choices, so I don't have to worry about doing that. These ideas have lifted a very heavy burden off of my shoulders.

American Fork, UT

As I've noted before, all it's going to take to fix this up is a few straight, religious people to be denied services or goods specifically because they're straight and religious. It's legal, and someone should do it.

Ultra Bob
Cottonwood Heights, UT

There is no such thing as property rights.

There is no such thing as business rights.

Businessmen may own the complete set of assets, land, buildings, etc., of a business operation but they do not own business. All business operations must have the permission to operate their business that is given on a temporary basis by the agent of society, its government, with the expectation that the business operation will abide by all civil law. Society owns the institution of business.

Only people can have rights. Those rights include only those rights granted to the members of society, by the society. And secured by the government of that society. The notion of a God given right to life, if it exists, is not secured and cannot be enforced. And is not enforced even by God.

Civil rights are those that society gives and enforces. Voluntary participation in a society requires adherence to the civil laws of that society. Even if those civil laws conflict with personal views. You don't have to be an American, and abide by our rules, but we expect to cease your participation if you wont abide by our rules.



Yes, and those arguments were valid then as they are now. Racism is despicable, and any form of discrimination is un-Christian at the very least (not that that means much anymore), but it's not the place of the government to try to control how people think. Businesses ought to be able to serve and cater to whatever clientele they want, and refuse any clientele they want, likewise. They lose money by doing so, but that is their choice as business owners. If you don't like a particular business's policies, go shop somewhere else. It is not the place of the state to tell people how to run their private affairs.

It's unfortunate that the LGBT community, while demanding "equality", doesn't really seem to care much about liberty. Or at least, if they do, they don't seem to understand it very well, at all.

Sandy, UT

The writer of this article would opening a Pandora box. If someone is allowed to discriminate against individuals just because of his religious convictions then equal rights would have to go.

What about rejecting Mormons who want to rent a house? It could be against someones religion and therefore the landlord could discriminate against the renters.

The list could go on and on.


This is a terrible opinion for a variety of reasons. A person, licensed by the state to conduct business, operates under the constitutional precedents governing businesses, not individuals. Per the constitution and many Supreme Court decisions interpreting the constitution, Congress regulates essentially all commerce, and congress has said it is not ok to discriminate against certain classes of individuals as a business. Businesses already cannot legally discriminate against gay people. Antidiscrimination legislation only makes this explicit and proactively protective, where as of now, complaints would have to make their way through the courts after the fact. Either way, the end result is the same, as we've seen from myriad cases across the country. And lastly, this opinion is terrible in that it essentially says "I think people should be able to treat others like inhuman trash because Jesus". What a horrible message that reflects badly, and yet often accurately, on a certain group of people. Does that mean the group is horrible? You be the judge.


This letter comes with its own bucket of cold water, "While we may morally object to his decision, and find it disappointing that he refuses to offer his resources to a person because he’s black, short, smelly, gay, lazy or Mormon, these concerns do not provide a basis for compulsion through the law."
This is why attempts to justify these laws fail. Setting aside history and federal law for a minute. How many of you would honestly be alright with such laws if you found yourself or others living or traveling In the south and find you were banned from many businesses due to your religion (which many in the south have very strong opinions about). How many of you are ready to face signs that say "whites only," etc? Know let's go back to history, we have been down this path as. A country and it was not only disatreious to individuals but to our entire society which is why we have federal laws prohibiting such dicrinination as they current laws propose.

David King
Layton, UT

This is one of those areas where many of us hold conflicting opinions without realizing it. As an example, some pediatricians refuse children as patients if their parents won't allow them to be vaccinated. My guess is that many of the people who say that a baker shouldn't be able to refuse to make a cake for a same-sex couple would turn right around and support the doctor in his right to refuse a patient over their personal beliefs or actions.

People who seek to erode the freedom of conscience in one area should take note that their efforts may have many unintended consequences.

Chris B
Salt Lake City, UT


No, they didn't.

Those who opposed civil rights for blacks or example did so on the basis in their beliefs that blacks were inferior and that was their justification.

This opinion piece does not use that as the argument; rather that it infringes on the rights of others to not allow them to control their property

Those are not the same arguments.

Provo, UT

We reach a point in legal oversight where the enforcement of one freedom approaches slavery. How ironic when proponents of anti-discrimination use this argument as a defense. The exact same arguments could never have been used to promote civil rights because circumstances are NOT the "exact same".

I do not agree with the premise presented in this article, but I can see that the argument is relevant and compelling. We need to understand it, not dismiss it with a comparison to racism.

J Thompson

Too many people are trying to reverse the role of government. They want government to make their lives easier, no matter the consequences to others. They want to be served, on their terms because they consider themselves to be special. Hitler preyed on that mentality. He told the German people that they were "special", that they deserved to rule the world, that property rights had to be seen within the context of his predefined "specialness". The German people bought into to that nonsense. They forced Jews to leave their shops and homes because they were not part of those that Hitler has selected as being "special".

History is repeating itself. Government is destroying unalienable rights because of propaganda from those who want "special" rights. Government has seized (in effect, if not in actuality) businesses for which they have not paid to force their brand of political correctness on us. It is up to the owner of a business to decide how he will run his business. If he chooses properly, he will have customers; if not, he will lose his business. It is his decision and his alone.

Irony Guy
Bountiful, Utah

Shallow reasoning. No one's property rights are absolute, especially a business open for public accommodation. A business owner has no legal or moral right to refuse service to anyone because of what the person IS. Of course the business has every right to refuse service on account of a customer's public behavior--that's why it's ok to say "no shoes, no service" or "no smelly people." Please, Mr. Boyack, don't mix up "smelly people" with "black, gay, or female people." It's not the same thing.

Mark l

In a supposed free society not only are we supposed to have property rights, but we should also have freedom of association. A free market will allow consumers to make choices which businesses deserve support and patronage.

Also, discrimination is not a bad thing. Everyone discriminates every day. I was discriminating in the choice of which girls I chose to date, and I discriminated against many girls when I chose a wife. I discriminate when I choose to buy a sandwich at one shop over another.

Ogden, UT

The owner of the Vermont inn received tax benefits for making the property available to the PUBLIC as, among other things, a wedding venue. The photographer, the baker and the florist all had business licenses establishing them as PUBLIC accommodations. That meant all of them had to serve the PUBLIC -- all of the public, with no right to limit what part of the public they served. They all were sanctioned when they breached their agreements with the governmental authorities with whom they contracted, and when they declined to serve part of the PUBLIC they had agreed, and were obligated, to serve. They "made their beds" when they sought tax benefits and/or business licenses; now they have to lie in them and pay the penalties they brought on themselves when they decided to refuse to comply with the requirements of the benefits/licenses they sought and obtained.

Providence, UT

Each of us has obligation to the larger society first--if we are members of that society, that is. If we disagree with what is being done in that larger society, we have the ability to petition, vote, protest. We do not have the right to decide whether to obey the law on our property or not. We obey the law and petition, vote, protest to have it changed if we wish.

There's seriously a problem in the United States these days over individual rights/liberty versus communal responsibilities and tolerance as established by law locally and/or nationally. The end result of repeated conflicts with the laws of a diverse society based on personal religious belief could be the balkanizing of America--a real but unnecessary possibility. "Different strokes for different folks" seems the wiser rule of thumb in any country populated by more than 300,000,000 people. Just look at those countries ahead of us in pupulation for proof.

Careful what you ask for, Boyack.

South Jordan, UT

Boyack complains that a Mormon business owner couldn't fire an employee for finding out he was gay on the basis of his religious beliefs, but I seemed to have missed Boyack's complaint about a gay employer not being able to fire a Mormon employee because they are already protected by non-discrimination law.

Why are religious folks content to accept their protections for their choices (in violation of my property rights according to Boyack) but throw a tantrum when others want those same protections?

Springville, UT

"I want to be able to discriminate!" I'm sorry, that just doesn't sound like a sentiment for diverse, pluralistic society like we have under the U.S. Constitution. Do we adhere to those principles, or do we want to tear our nation apart?

to comment

DeseretNews.com encourages a civil dialogue among its readers. We welcome your thoughtful comments.
About comments