Comments about ‘My view: In debate about same sex marriage, we need a 'conscientious objector' status’

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Published: Friday, March 28 2014 12:00 a.m. MDT

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Salt Lake City, UT

"We believe homosexuality defies the purpose of our creation and offends our Creator." The assumption of the writer is that homosexuality is a voluntary condition that is contrary to the laws of the Creator, so it can and should be discouraged in a variety of ways.

But what if homosexuality is inborn? In other words, what if gays and lesbians are "born that way?" That means they are the way God made them. And the writer's logic falls completely apart.

And the Jim Crow reference is completely accurate in anticipating the treatment to gays and lesbians anticipated by the writer.

I believe the traditional family is best - heterosexuals married with children. It's what we know best. But what are gays and lesbians supposed to do with their lives? To deprive them of family is a cruel matter.

Many once believed Jim Crow was ordained of God. It took a long time to get past that travesty. Let's not repeat it.

The writer should set forth in detail the discriminatory measures anticipated to be directed against partners in same sex marriage.

We need empathy on all sides.

Salt Lake City, Utah

Many Christian and Jewish denominations support same-sex marriages - to infer that their doing so is false scriptural doctrine is insulting and weakens your point - you are asking for tolerance and respect for your belief system while refusing that same tolerance and respect to other belief systems.

Additionally, it is fraudulent to suggest that those who follow the Sikh belief system oppose same-sex marriage and would object to participating in celebrations of same-sex unions. While it is true that a Sikh leader issued an edict banning same-sex marriages, he does not have the authority of the Pope or Mormon Prophet so it is not binding. Monogamous same-sex relationship are strongly encouraged.

Which brings me to the final problem with this editorial - it is not just same-sex marriages that are the issues for people such as the author - they object to participating in anything celebrating same-sex monogamy - to pretend otherwise is disingenuous.

This entire editorial is deceptive.

If you are going to claim religious high ground, you should at least try to not violate one of the 10 Commandments while making your point.

Gaithersburg, MD

Ms. Updike's article makes the false assumption marriage is primarily a religious concept and her comment, "people who adhere to a traditional morality will be able to live according to their conscience," sums up her antagonistic view toward same-sex marriage (SSM) by equating SSM with immorality. We are speaking of changing civil laws that are not the purview of any church. Her article could have been written in 1967 during the inter-racial marriage debate. Her comment, "This is why individuals must have a right to deny offering services" smacks of an earlier time.

The courts decide how far the First Amendment religious protection umbrella extends. I doubt it extends to baking an identical cake sold to only straight couples.

"We may be pushed out of certain industries, ostracized from certain circles, and confined to a legal ghetto." Sorry, no tears, no cheek-turning. Ms. Updike will be able to practice her religion, not be evicted from her home, not be fired from her job, be able to be on her husband's insurance policy, and to visit her family member in the hospital. The least her baker friend could do is sell a cake to a gay couple.

Far East USA, SC

This article touches on two issues. SS Marriage and the treatment of gay people.

The second one is certainly a much tougher issue.

The first one? If you don't believe in SS Marriage I think that you should not be forced to marry someone of the same sex. But, I still cannot see how it affects you or me otherwise.

Stalwart Sentinel
San Jose, CA

I wonder if this letter writer has any idea that when she lists all the benefits of marriage as a social institution and then transitions to stating her personal, subjective beliefs for only a certain type of marriage that she unwittingly undermines her own position and makes the legal argument for marriage equality.

The reason conservatives have and will continue to lose legal battles regarding SSM is because they are essentially saying, "marriage is so great and provides so many benefits but we want to restrict those benefits to only the specific types of marriage that we subjectively deem worthy." I'm sorry but there is no religious test to obtain a marriage license and your personal moral convictions do not matter. The Constitution governs America, not your religion.

The Real Maverick
Orem, UT

I grow increasingly weary of these types of articles. Dnews, don't you have anything better to publish?

These articles offer absolutely nothing new to the debate. And it only makes us Mormons look worse.

It's simple, you cannot discriminate based on religious beliefs. We Mormons, of all people, should be sensitive to this. Just over 100 years ago we were abused, discriminated against, and kicked out of the east because of the "religious beliefs" of others.

I have some good advice to some of these business owners who don't want to use their creativity for gays: get out of the service industry.

If you can't take serving all, then get out. Find something better to do with your life. Or move away to a country where religious law and discrimination reign.

Springville, UT

Denying services that are offered to the general public will lead to a total breakdown of society. Would I be able to deny service because someone is wearing a religious garment that is contrary to my beliefs? Would I be able to deny service because a customer with 8 kids comes into the shop and I don't like big families? Would I be able to deny service if I don't like anything at all about anyone who comes through the doors? Take these hypotheticals and magnify them a million fold. This is the exact wrong approach and is totally contrary to the teachings of Christ as I read them. Has Christianity now gone non-Christian?

george of the jungle
goshen, UT

Considerate, has to be a shared idea by everyone. We have a state, we vote for our laws. [ Truth in taxation, we don't], that's besides the fact. If that is the law. A federal judge shouldn't come in and change the laws. That's rude, inconsiderate, that's abuse of power. Bad manners.

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

It's not the books that guide us; it's God. When God speaks, nothing else needs to be said. God has clearly and definitely spoken about same-sex sex. He has clearly and definitely spoken about marriage, about the fact that it is between a man and a woman.

The only argument that some homosexuals have is that they don't believe in "my" God, as if unbelief in an eternal law changes that law. Other homosexuals tell us that we need to "forgive" everyone. That is true, but they leave off the fact that before any of us can be forgiven by Christ, we have to change. Absent that change, Christ is bound by the eternal laws that His Father has set.

It is impossible to accept something that many of us consider to be sin without abandoning our religion. Accepting the act is not the same as showing kindness to the "actor". We are commanded to love all "actors" no matter what their "sin", but helping them celebrate a ceremony that gives credence to a sexual "act" prohibited by God is not required.

Here, UT

@Laura Updike;

" I am waiting to learn whether people who adhere to a traditional morality will be able to live according to their conscience."

--- Please provde the scriptural reference where your god commands you to deny services to "sinners" in order to "live according to your conscience".

"...it was an attempt to create a conscientious objector status for people who don’t want to participate in or lend their creative powers to same-sex celebrations."

--- Should we allow bigotry in the public square then?

"...same-sex marriage is not a building block of society. It’s an affront to our consciences."

--- You feel "affronted"? What about the LGBT couples you denigrate?

"Should we employ our creative skills toward something we find fundamentally immoral? "

--- Isn't bigotry "fundamentally immoral"? Jesus said "Do unto others...".

"This is why individuals must have a right to deny offering services."

If you won't serve every customer, do not go into business. Your choice.

South Jordan, UT

"We may be pushed out of certain industries, ostracized from certain circles, and confined to a legal ghetto."

Oh, you mean like religious social conservatives did you gay people?

Salt Lake City, UT

Re: Mike Richards "It is impossible to accept something that many of us consider to be sin without abandoning our religion." So the irresistible force meets the immovable object. What are we going to do? Rip our society apart? It's possible, this conflict happening on top of a collapsing middle class. Was Putin right when he said we would fragment within 10 years?

salt lake city, utah

The question in debate here is very simple but very important. Does individual religious freedom extend to the market place (society as a whole) through the conscience of a business owner? Or does individual religious freedom end at the boundary of the individual person?

The whole question only arises because of a nasty intolerance that is endemic to modern religions. It's an absolute intolerance for anything they personally object to. By absolute I mean modern persons of faith have come to believe that any contact with "evil" regardless of how remote or benign taints their relationship with God.

Odd that Jesus walked amongst the sinners but if I bake a cake for a gay wedding I have offended my conscience and God. No one would claim Jesus condoned the sins but it's clear he wasn't offended by the association.

salt lake city, UT

The more I listen to the arguments from SSM opponents the more they appear to come accross as mean, spiteful and unchristan. I'm torn between having sympathy or anger towards their prejudice. I truly feel sorry that giving somebody equal protection and consideration who believes and is different than them, bothers them so. In the past, my prayers and hopes were for the LGBT but now I think they must be for those whose fears, prejudices and beliefs seem to consume their souls.

Eugene, OR

"How are people of traditional faiths supposed to act in this environment?"

I don't know. Maybe you should just try minding your own business and allow consenting adults to live their lives.

Provo, UT

"What if God made them that way?" God gives weaknesses to us so we will come to him and learn that he can carry our burdens. We are not victims of our genes. We can obey Him in spite of what we are born with. Those born with genes for addictions need not succumb to alcohol and drugs. God has the power to strengthen them and help them be obedient.

Provo, UT


Baking a cake for a gay marriage has to do with lending legitimacy to a sinful lifestyle. Jesus invited sinners to a higher ground asking them to repent and change. He didn't walk among them in a statement of condoning how they lived.

Springville, UT

@ Mike Richards, since when did we live in a theocracy? Who gets to decide? The majority? Then I guess you were OK with Missouri back in the 1830s.

Provo, UT

Those arguing for traditional marriage are willing to do some giving and taking. You won't find the same from the gay/lesbian side. Traditional marriage advocates favor civil unions for gays and lesbians. Let's hear from gay and lesbian advocates as to how they can show tolerance for traditional marriage advocates whose beliefs are just as strong as the other side.

Tyler D
Meridian, ID

I am somewhat sympathetic towards people who genuinely (and without bigotry) hold this view… let’s assume for the sake of argument they exist.

However, the author seems a bit confused as to what it means to be a conscientious objector. In the context of war (where this is typically applied) a conscientious objector can be excused from duties that will involve direct killing (infantry), but he is not excused from supporting the war effort of his nation. Usually they are assigned duties like medic or a behind the lines function.

If this is correct and the analogy holds, then a conscientious objector towards gay marriage seems to be on solid ground when he asks not to be forced to have a gay marriage (i.e., if you don’t believe in gay marriage, don’t marry someone of the same sex).

But he cannot use that status as a means to discriminate in the operations of a business both serving and deriving it’s livelihood from the public.

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