The status of religious freedom bills from 2016 across America

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  • Alanh1249 Lincoln, CA
    Feb. 21, 2017 11:11 a.m.

    This is where these States are headed, The officers who raided Lebedev’s home were investigating a possible violation of a controversial Russian law that makes it a criminal offense to “insult the feelings of religious believers.”

  • Frozen Fractals Salt Lake City, UT
    April 13, 2016 2:14 p.m.

    @ConservativeUtahIsBest
    "So are you saying that Homosexuals are a completely different race then the rest of us?"

    No. I'm trying to draw a clear parallel. If refusing to bake a cake for an interracial marriage is racist, then refusing to bake a cake for a same-sex marriage is homophobic.

  • Lib Living on Planet Zion SLC, UT
    April 12, 2016 1:33 p.m.

    @ConservativeUtahisBest

    "One may even wonder why you would try to open a business in Utah County if you had an issue with Mormons. That idea just doesn't seem logical. I don't like Mormons, so I am going to open a business in Utah County and not sell to them. That is just asking for failure. Your claim has nothing to do with this article".

    When all else fails and empty rhetoric goes nowhere begin with Faux News tactics and flat out mislead. When did I state that I "had problems with Mormons"? On the contrary dear confused poster I have several family members which are of the Mormon faith. Unfortunately it is well known your extremist, obstructionist, anti-equality faction has no answers to give if the prosecution and deliberate discrimination effects themselves or their particular religious group. After all that is why you had no intellectual response to offer. Instead you chose to dismiss a very elementary point which several readers were able to comprehend. Apparently you believe the treatment your Mormon ancestors unfortunately experienced prior to settling Utah was acceptable. Correct?

  • Moderately Mormon Salt Lake City, UT
    April 12, 2016 1:31 p.m.

    I think this is a more delicate issue than most of us want to believe. On the one hand we have honest people who want to follow their faith and who don't want be put in a position of being forced to go against said faith. On the other hand, we have honest people who are in the LGBT community, who may even participate in the same faiths as the first group, who just want to purchase goods and services like any other person without consideration for the gender of their significant other. Many of the laws listed in this article appear to balance the rights and responsibilities of both parties. Many, but not all. Some really are bigotry and need to be rejected/repealed.

  • Contrariuses mid-state, TN
    April 12, 2016 12:48 p.m.

    @Vanceone --

    "Examine the law proposed in California. And tell me how that law is "Oppressing gays" and so forth."

    Please be more specific. The only thing I could find about a "religious freedom" law being proposed in CA posted within the last month has to do with banning official state travel to pro-discrimination states.

    "you LGBT types are openly calling for religions to be forced to solemnize gay weddings, aren't you?"

    Nope. What you keep forgetting is that ministers are ALREADY protected against having to perform gay weddings. No additional law is needed for that.

  • Vanceone Provo, UT
    April 12, 2016 11:21 a.m.

    Simple question: Examine the law proposed in California. And tell me how that law is "Oppressing gays" and so forth. Please, tell me how that law is "anti-gay." Or the law in Alaska, Kansas, or Louisiana.

    Some of you have said these are all anti-gay bills and are discriminatory against LGBT and must be overturned.

    Since these bill say that ministers don't have to solemnize gay weddings or student religious groups can actually only accept members of those religions: Are they anti-gay? If they are.... then you LGBT types are openly calling for religions to be forced to solemnize gay weddings, aren't you? And thus, religious liberty is indeed under attack if a bill saying a priest does not have to conduct a gay wedding is deemed "anti gay" and discriminatory and must be repealed/overturned.

  • contrariuss mid-state, TN
    April 12, 2016 6:34 a.m.

    @Jimbo Low--

    "I think bigger than this issue is the legislating from the bench."

    You seem to have conveniently forgotten that the 1964 Civil Rights Act (Pub.L. 88-352, 78 Stat. 241, enacted July 2, 1964) was a piece of federal legislation democratically passed by both houses of the US Congress. (In fact, it passed by quite large margins -- House 290-130, Senate 73-27.)

    You know, the guys who have the JOB of legislating for our country.

    Hmmm.

    And, of course, you *still* haven't answered my simple questions:

    Should those black college kids have gone to a different diner to eat?

    And should Maurice Bessinger's black customers have been satisfied with service through his drive-thru window, or did they deserve to eat inside his restaurant with the white folks, despite Bessinger's sincerely held religious beliefs against integration?

  • contrariuss mid-state, TN
    April 11, 2016 7:58 p.m.

    @Jimbo Low--

    "I think bigger than this issue is the legislating from the bench."

    You seem to have forgotten that the 1964 Civil Rights Act (Pub.L. 88-352, 78 Stat. 241, enacted July 2, 1964) was a piece of federal legislation democratically passed by both houses of the US Congress. (In fact, it passed by quite large margins -- House 290-130, Senate 73-27.)

    You know, the guys who have the JOB of legislating for our country.

    Hmmm.

  • Lib Living on Planet Zion SLC, UT
    April 11, 2016 6:05 p.m.

    @Jimbo Low

    "bigger than this issue is the legislating from the bench. At some point we Conservatives will realize that all this "legislating" is nothing more than a feel-good exercise that will be "struck down" by some "brilliant" liberal legal mind".

    "The only way to really take back the Constitution is to hold judges responsible, legally, for their rulings".

    "Ignore the actual law as a judge and you are put away--that is really the only way legislating anything will have any power of law. Judges need to be knocked of their thrones and be subject to the law they are commissioned to uphold".

    In other words. If Judges do not agree with the extremist, delusional, obstructionist, anti-science, anti-equality, anti-women, anti-immigration, modern day high-jacked Republican party rhetoric it's "legislation from the bench". Liberals such as myself continue thanking states such as Utah and Mississippi for leading the way in equality for all rather a select chosen few the Christian far right deem worthy. Furthermore. You may desire a more in depth education on the subject matter prior to posting. Many "conservative" Judges have also agreed with equality for all citizenry.

  • Jimbo Low PLEASANT GROVE, UT
    April 11, 2016 5:23 p.m.

    I think bigger than this issue is the legislating from the bench. At some point we Conservatives will realize that all this "legislating" is nothing more than a feel-good exercise that will be "struck down" by some "brilliant" liberal legal mind.
    The only way to really take back the Constitution is to hold judges responsible, legally, for their rulings. If a Judge such as Robert Shelby ignores the law (no matter how high he believes his own convictions are) and rules how he whims--he needs to be convicted by the law. Ignore the actual law as a judge and you are put away--that is really the only way legislating anything will have any power of law. Judges need to be knocked of their thrones and be subject to the law they are commissioned to uphold.

  • Liberal living on Planet Utah SLC, UT
    April 11, 2016 5:00 p.m.

    @ConservativeUtahisBest

    @liberal Living...

    "How would I feel? I would be fine by that. If I needed your product I would most likely get it from another person that sells the same stuff. If you don't want to sell to me then it is your choice. Whether or not your business last or not depends on if people come in to buy your product. If people don't buy it then you probably wouldnt' last too long. But that choice wouldn't bother me".

    Excellent. You engaged in the typical anti-equality extremist, obstructionist rhetoric I knew one would. Notice you used "most likely". Furthermore. You're implying that one would have other "options" finding another outlet that sells the same product/service. What if my company was the only source of the needed product/service? We both know you would be extremely insulted and rightfully so. Not to mention the inability in finding a source for the hypothetical product you desire/need. In closing. These are the type of ideals/beliefs which separate us from other countries. Based upon your posts/statements obviously you favor the identical treatment your Mormon ancestors experienced prior to settling in Utah. Correct?

  • Contrariuser mid-state, TN
    April 11, 2016 4:58 p.m.

    @Husker1 --

    "There is a huge difference between refusing service to homosexuals and refusing service to blacks from a religious perspective. "

    Not to Maurice Bessinger. What gives you the right to judge his religious beliefs? He deserves as much freedom of religion as you do, right?

    @ConservativeUtahisBest --

    "If I needed your product I would most likely get it from another person that sells the same stuff."

    And **still** nobody has answered my simple question:

    Should those black college kids at the lunch counters have gone to a different diner to eat?

  • EscherEnigma Ridgecrest, CA
    April 11, 2016 4:25 p.m.

    @ConservativeUtahisBest
    It's nice you feel that way.

    However, as there is not a single serious effort in this country, at local, state or federal level, to rescind existing non-discrimination protections for religion, it seems you are in the minority.

    When that changes I'll believe people are serious about "religious liberty".

    @Husker1
    Eh, I'm not in the habit of telling people whether there religious beliefs are sufficiently sincere. Whether that sincere belief is that they won't donate blood (7th Day Adventists), that they won't accept a driver's license (Amish), that they need Saturdays off for the Sabbath (Jews), that they need their break times to line up with prayer times (Muslim), that they won't socially mingle with black people (1960s Southern Baptist) or that they won't be the pediatrician for the daughter of a gay couple (Michigan, 2010s, unspecified Christian denomination).

    I'm more concerned with whether you enjoy the protection of non-discrimination laws while protesting that others get the same.

  • ConservativeUtahisBest Murray, UT
    April 11, 2016 4:12 p.m.

    @Frozen Fractals

    So are you saying that Homosexuals are a completely different race then the rest of us?

  • ConservativeUtahisBest Murray, UT
    April 11, 2016 3:16 p.m.

    @liberal on Planet Utah

    One may even wonder why you would try to open a business in Utah County if you had an issue with Mormons. That idea just doesn't seem logical. I don't like Mormons, so I am going to open a business in Utah County and not sell to them. That is just asking for failure. Your claim has nothing to do with this article.

  • Frozen Fractals Salt Lake City, UT
    April 11, 2016 3:15 p.m.

    To those of you who support these laws:

    1. Should people have a religious right (if this is what their religion believes, obviously it's much rarer these days than in the 60s) to refuse to photograph or provide services for an inter-racial marriage if they are opposed to it?

    2. Would it be racist of someone to bake a birthday cake for a white woman or a black man but not a wedding cake for a marriage between the two of them?

  • ConservativeUtahisBest Murray, UT
    April 11, 2016 3:12 p.m.

    @liberal Living On Plane Utah

    How would I feel? I would be fine by that. If I needed your product I would most likely get it from another person that sells the same stuff. If you don't want to sell to me then it is your choice. Whether or not your business last or not depends on if people come in to buy your product. If people don't buy it then you probably wouldnt' last too long. But that choice wouldn't bother me.

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    April 11, 2016 2:27 p.m.

    @Husker1;

    Thou shalt not bear false witness.

    There is not one single scripture that says doing business with "sinners" is against your "sincerely held religious beliefs". Not a single one. Quite the opposite rather. Jesus himself COMMANDED his followers to treat others in the manner they would like to be treated themselves. ALL others. He didn't qualify his commandment with a footnote or anything else. ALL Others. If you think refusing to bake a wedding cake for an LGBT couple is following that commandment, you're sadly mistaken.

  • RJohnson Salt Lake City, UT
    April 11, 2016 2:18 p.m.

    @Husker1

    "If a gay couple try to order a cake from a bakery and the baker refuses to bake the cake because he does not want to support or endorse the homosexual lifestyle in any way, how is this "forcing others to believe as they do"?"

    Simple stuff, really. When the baker opened the business they had to get a secular license to provide a secular service in accordance with the secular civil, criminal, and business laws mandated by the secular license issuing authority: the state. By refusing to provide a service that they would provide to others without a "Leviticus" religious test they are imposing their religion onto the marketplace. Religious protection laws have one purpose: to make others "live" by the majority religion or recognize that they will not be served until such time as they do "live" by the majority religion.

  • Husker1 Northern Utah County, UT
    April 11, 2016 2:18 p.m.

    @Contrariuser

    There is a huge difference between refusing service to homosexuals and refusing service to blacks from a religious perspective. There are verses in both the Old Testament and the New Testament that speak against homosexuality. Using those verses, a Christian can prove they are being forced to go against their religious beliefs and support what they consider to be sinful behavior. On the other hand, there are no Scriptures that speak on the separation of races or the superiority of whites over blacks. Therefore, a Christian who claims integration is a violation of his religious beliefs has no proof from his own Scriptures to support that statement.

  • Liberal living on Planet Utah SLC, UT
    April 11, 2016 2:14 p.m.

    Liberal On Planet Zion

    (Prior to this comment being moderated into oblivion please keep in mind this identical post was approved regarding another anti-equality article on 5/5/16 entitled "Mississippi Governor signs law allowing service denial to gays")

    Attention to those which oppose equality for all regardless of sexual orientation: How is this for a hypothetical situation?

    I'm adopting a new policy effective immediately throughout all my businesses. It's against my personal beliefs that Mormons wear garments and my religion doesn't agree. Therefore I cannot offer any of my services to this group. My most sincere apology. Is this a solid business policy? How would this policy make you feel? How long will my businesses throughout Utah County last? Elsewhere, I'm not too concerned.

  • Contrariuser mid-state, TN
    April 11, 2016 2:01 p.m.

    @Rationaldeas--

    "But if homosexuals get denied service from the first wedding business they visit, they have been wronged...."

    Yet again -- should those black college kids have gone to another diner to eat lunch?

    Oddly enough, you guys never manage to answer that question.

    @Husker1 --

    "The bakers beliefs, as supported by his religious Scriptures, are being trampled on."

    You and Rationaldeas keep forgetting the example of Maurice Bessinger.

    Yet again:

    Mr. Bessinger was a devout Baptist. He was happy to serve blacks in the drive-thrus of his restaurants, but he refused to serve them **inside** the restaurants.

    He argued that the Civil Rights Act violated his freedom of religion because "his religious beliefs compel him to oppose any integration of the races whatever." He said integration "contravenes the will of God" and the Civil Rights Act constitutes an interference with the "free exercise of the Defendant's religion." He stated that "it is really a constitutional right — whether a man has the right to run his business without governmental interference".

    Does any of this sound familiar?

    Should SCOTUS have ruled in his favor?

    Hint: they didn't. He lost -- 8-0.

  • Husker1 Northern Utah County, UT
    April 11, 2016 1:51 p.m.

    @RJohnson

    "It is those claiming to have the "true religion" that are wishing to "force others to believe as they do."

    If a gay couple try to order a cake from a bakery and the baker refuses to bake the cake because he does not want to support or endorse the homosexual lifestyle in any way, how is this "forcing others to believe as they do"? The baker is not asking the gay couple to become Christian. He is not proselytizing in any way. In fact, it is the gay couple who is forcing the baker to believe as they do.

    The bakers beliefs, as supported by his religious Scriptures, are being trampled on.

  • Lane Myer Salt Lake City, UT
    April 11, 2016 1:50 p.m.

    "Obviously, it is way more than just a wedding, and way more than just a cake. It is social acceptance and approval. "

    ------

    Yet, cake bakers MUST supply a cake to an inter-racial couple. They do not have a choice, even if they do not accept or approve of mixing of the races. So, this bakers should just tell this inter-racial couple that they should go to another baker because it is against their beliefs? That their hearts would not be in it and they would do a horrible job?

    PS - Weddings are for more than announcing that you are going to engage in sexual conduct. If that is what you see a is wedding for, I pitty your spouse!

    They are a legal commitment to each other--to be there for that person and to love a cherish them through thick and thin. You do this in front of friends, family and relations to show that you are serious and want them to witness this exchange of vows. To me, that is what a wedding if for.

  • RJohnson Salt Lake City, UT
    April 11, 2016 1:48 p.m.

    @Jimbo Low

    "So I must keep my religion in the closet."

    Never said such a thing. You want to hide behind your religion to violate the rights of those you don't like, with the blessings of the state, and then claim YOU are being persecuted when told you can't do that. You can put your religion on public display all you choose. You CANNOT use your religion, however, to trample on the civil rights of those you don't like.

  • EscherEnigma Ridgecrest, CA
    April 11, 2016 1:43 p.m.

    @RationalIdeas
    "Homosexuals demand it; They are no more entitled to it than any is a church."
    ... No more entitled then a church?

    Seeing as religion is covered under the Civil Rights Act (1964), thus prohibiting discrimination in employment, housing, and public accommodations on the basis of religion in all fifty states...

    I find this compromise acceptable.

  • Contrariuser mid-state, TN
    April 11, 2016 1:38 p.m.

    @Jimbo Low --

    "So I must keep my religion in the closet...is that what you are saying? Kind of ironic--don't you think?"

    No, that's NOT what anyone is saying. What we are saying is that you may not use *your* religion to control *our* lives. Control your own behavior, leave ours out of it, and stop using religion as an excuse to discriminate.

    @ConservativeUtahisBest --

    "You say that religions shouldn't be able to voice their disapproval of other lifestyles"

    She didn't say any such thing. If you believe she did, please quote her specific statement.

    Speech is free. But actively trying to deny rights to others is not.

  • Lane Myer Salt Lake City, UT
    April 11, 2016 1:33 p.m.

    Jimbo Low
    PLEASANT GROVE, UT

    @RJohnson:
    "What is under attack is your insistence that YOUR religion be a part of the daily lives of the rest of us..."
    So I must keep my religion in the closet...is that what you are saying? Kind of ironic--don't you think?

    -----------

    Make it part of YOUR life! Live it to its fullest!
    But don't make it part of everyone elses'. Can you live with others and serve others that do not believe as you do? Can you truly love that person who has different values than you? That is what is being asked of you.
    You would be surprised as the respect you will garner when you respect others and do not force them to act as you believe that they should.
    PS - I do not believe that the LDS church has ever asked anyone to refrain from baking a cake or fitting a tux to any gay couple that are getting married. Am I wrong?

  • Rationaldeas st. george, UT
    April 11, 2016 1:23 p.m.

    Karen R.: "where you see an objectionable idea and even an agenda, others just see a wedding."

    Nobody waged the legal battles they did over "just a wedding."

    Supporters of homosexual "marriage" benefits repeatedly spoke about how legal marriages were central to their "dignity", how lack of legal "marriage" benefits contributed to a lack of social acceptance that lead to discrimination and even criminal violence against homosexuals.

    Homosexuals see a lot more than "just a wedding".

    Homosexuals also see a lot more than just a cake or flowers from one baker or florist.

    I visited several photographers, bakers, and florists before finding the right fit for my wedding.

    But if homosexuals get denied service from the first wedding business they visit, they have been wronged, humiliated, and damaged beyond all ability to recover.

    Someone had the audacity to tell them, "I disagree with your choice to publicly announce you are engaging in homosexual conduct. I won't participate in that public declaration."

    Obviously, it is way more than just a wedding, and way more than just a cake. It is social acceptance and approval.

    Homosexuals demand it; They are no more entitled to it than any is a church.

  • Jimbo Low PLEASANT GROVE, UT
    April 11, 2016 12:55 p.m.

    @RJohnson:
    "What is under attack is your insistence that YOUR religion be a part of the daily lives of the rest of us..."
    So I must keep my religion in the closet...is that what you are saying? Kind of ironic--don't you think?

  • ConservativeUtahisBest Murray, UT
    April 11, 2016 12:49 p.m.

    @Karen R.

    So then should we get mad at the people that stand outside the conference center shouting at the LDS members going in that they disapprove of their religion and their views? You say that religions shouldn't be able to voice their disapproval of other lifestyles and yet the protestors outside the conference center are doing just that....

  • RJohnson Salt Lake City, UT
    April 11, 2016 11:09 a.m.

    @Jimbo Low

    "True religion virtually always been, is now, and will forever be under attack by those wishing to force others to believe as they do."

    Hardly. It is those claiming to have the "true religion" that are wishing to "force others to believe as they do." That is, after all, what is really behind these "Religious Freedom" bills--forcing your religion on everyone else through force of law.

    "Just because you reject what I call "religion" does not mean my religion is not under attack."

    Your religion IS NOT under any attack, you know it and the rest of us know it. What is under attack is your insistence that YOUR religion be a part of the daily lives of the rest of us who don't share your religion. Those days are long gone.

  • Jimbo Low PLEASANT GROVE, UT
    April 11, 2016 10:15 a.m.

    @Furry1993:
    "Freedom of religion is not, ,and has never been, under any type of attack"
    Probably the most sweeping, false statement purported by those wishing to force others in their "PC imagine all the people" world.
    True religion virtually always been, is now, and will forever be under attack by those wishing to force others to believe as they do. From Cain to the crucifiers of Christ to the mob persecuting clerks, cake bakers and untold numbers of others--to say freedom of religion has never been under attack is insane.
    Just because you reject what I call "religion" does not mean my religion is not under attack. Your argument has always been the basis for attack, persecution, execution, etc.. "We are not attacking freedom of religion--these people are just not complying with__________ and therefore need to go to prison/pay fines/be executed."

  • jsf Centerville, UT
    April 11, 2016 10:10 a.m.

    "People are perfectly free to believe as they choose, worship as they choose, socialize as they choose in private life"

    The same stance maintained in many Muslim countries, and many communist countries.

    Freedom to exercise your religion as long as Fury never sees it. This is the definitive example of attacks on religion.

    Pakistan 65 people were killed because they dared to meet as Christians in a state ruled by those who have the belief "People are perfectly free to believe as they choose, worship as they choose, socialize as they choose in private life,"

    15 were killed in a catholic church because they dared worship in public. A Muslim shop keeper was killed because he dared express publicly his belief.

    Yes religious belief and expression is under attack.

  • EscherEnigma Ridgecrest, CA
    April 11, 2016 10:06 a.m.

    Any argument that includes "Nobody should be forced to bake a cake" and similar phrases should examine current law.

    Because the current status quo is that, with very narrow exceptions, no one can fire, evict or refuse service to someone because that someone is Catholic. So when you have people asking for the right to fire, evict or refuse service to someone because they themselves are Catholic? It's a hard pill to swallow.

    So let's have a discussion about non-discrimination law in this country, if that's your thing. But by keeping it so narrowly focused on *religious* people serving *gay* people, you make it clear that aren't serious about forcing *people* to serve *people*.

  • Lagomorph Salt Lake City, UT
    April 11, 2016 9:01 a.m.

    So, private secular businesses engaged in secular activities entirely peripheral to a wedding have their religious free expression trampled on by having to serve gay customers. A baker or caterer need not event attend the event; their product is likely served well after the ceremony at an offsite reception hall. They might as well be catering a corporate party.

    Meanwhile, those passionately defending religious liberty when it comes to secular businesses were strangely on the opposite side of the argument when it came to the free exercise rights of actual ordained clergy in actual churches. Prior to the Obergefelt decision, pastors and rabbis faced fines and imprisonment for conducting sacred religious rites in accordance with the dictates of their consciences and the tenets of their faiths. In Utah, it was a third degree felony for clergy to solemnize holy matrimony for same-sex couples.

    If requiring a private business to accommodate all customers is an infringement on religious liberty, what about the government directly interfering with the genuinely religious things that churches do? And why weren’t those defending the religious rights of businesses also defending the religious rights of churches?

  • Fullypresent Salt Lake City, UT
    April 10, 2016 3:44 p.m.

    The hypocrisy comes in that many people who feel their religious rights are being trampled upon in serving the LGBTQ community and treating them fairly are people that have problems with or serve people that have committed adultery, have challenges with porn, have committed serious crimes, struggle with addictions, are white or blue collar criminals, and many other things.

    It makes more sense to treat everyone fairly, all people work to not trample on each other's rights, and let there be a place for people that care about religion and those that don't. When people feel compelled to get rid of one another or to shut the door to serving those that do not agree with them, that is something to be concerned about.

    When you start excluding people where do you draw the line? If you want to go to extremes you could find a reason not to serve most of the public for one reason or another due to the number of ways people can be offensive or offend with their attitudes, beliefs, values, and behavior.

  • Moderate Salt Lake City, UT
    April 10, 2016 9:18 a.m.

    Its amazing how many Americans think that running a business is a right. A business license is a privilege, like a driver's license. If you drive on the left side of the road claiming "religious freedom" you will lose your privilege to drive. If you can't run a business by the rules, you lose that privilege too.

  • RBB Sandy, UT
    April 10, 2016 9:16 a.m.

    Why have Americans become so afraid of freedom? Real freedom means being able to do what you want while respecting other people's right to do what they want. Compelling someone to participate in a wedding ceremony in any way that they belive is objectionable is denying them religious freedom. We have long recognized that by concientious objector status in the military.

    I am in a marriage which some people find to be objectionable. Not only would I not wish to force any to participate who had religious or ethical objections, I would go out of my way to have them not participate.

    We have gone from where we want tolerance to where we demand acceptance and participation. Once your bar any "discrimination," the Jewish baker must make a birthday cake celebrating Hitler. The black print shop owner must print advertisements for a white supremicist. A minister, an imam or a rabbi is forced to conduct a marriage which violates his ot her religious beliefs.

    How can compelling someone to violate their religious beliefs not be a violation of the "free exercise" of religion? I support your free exercise of religion, even if it causes me a little inconvenience.

  • Karen R. Houston, TX
    April 10, 2016 7:00 a.m.

    @ Rationaldeas

    "Nobody sane forces his supposed enemy to bake him a cake..."

    I agree. But how is a gay couple to know beforehand who holds religious objections to serving them? Are we to expect them to first deferentially inquire into whether their business is welcome? How demeaning is that! Would you like this to be required of you?

    No. It's the business owner's belief that creates the issue, so the burden of bearing the consequences of it falls to them. Unlike with conscientious objectors in war time, no one is compelling them to offer the service they're selling or to be a government employee. Further, as a condition of holding these positions, they previously agreed to abide by ALL applicable laws. Should they be held to their word or shouldn't they?

    Granted, the consequences of certain beliefs about gay people have changed in our society, putting some in a real bind. The same thing happened when we changed our mores about black people. You've already acknowledged that we were right not to accommodate those religious beliefs. SSM objectors have failed to demonstrate that theirs about gay people are materially different.

  • Contrariusiest mid-state, TN
    April 10, 2016 3:58 a.m.

    @Rationaldeas --

    "you are hostile to any religious exercise that offends you. ..."

    Nonsense.

    For instance, there's an article on the DN right now concerning the right of Santerians to perform animal sacrifices. Animal sacrifice greatly offends me -- yet I have commented SUPPORTING their right to continue that religious exercise.

    "No."

    Dingdingding!

    Correct. Bessinger lost his court case -- just like the bakers and florists who have attempted to refuse service to LGBT weddings.

    "But that doesn't mean religious (or even secular) concerns should never be accommodated."

    Nobody has made this claim. Straw man.

    "those who don't want to live in a nation with the free exercise of religion should move."

    Correct. And free exercise includes ALL religious viewpoints -- not just yours. Your religious viewpoint does NOT give you license to impinge on the rights of others.

    "Nobody sane forces his supposed enemy to bake him a cake..."

    So should those black college kids have gone to eat at a different lunch counter? No sane person would have "forced" those racists to cook lunch for them -- right?

    "I oppose forcing anyone to support political candidates/parties,..."

    Straw man. Nobody is being forced to support anything -- only to refrain from discrimination.

  • Kalindra Salt Lake City, Utah
    April 10, 2016 12:07 a.m.

    The funniest thing about this whole "we don't want to serve you" brouhaha is how offended the "religious rights" activists get if you ask them to be upfront about their beliefs.

    It has been suggested they post their intention to deny services in their window for all to see (or conversely that those who will serve all post that in their windows) and the religious claim that will lead those they don't wish to serve to discriminate against them.

    Basically, they should get to use their religious beliefs to deny you service, but you shouldn't have the knowledge to refuse to do business with them because of their religious beliefs.

    In many places businesses that have chosen to refuse service to LGBT members of the community have found that their attitude is so unpopular other members of the community will not support them, causing them to go out of business - not from lawsuits, just from lack of business.

  • Karen R. Houston, TX
    April 9, 2016 9:28 p.m.

    @ marxist

    Understood. I was phrasing it to match how Rationaldeas put it.

    BTW, Rationaldeas, where you see an objectionable idea and even an agenda, others just see a wedding.

  • Rationaldeas st. george, UT
    April 9, 2016 9:17 p.m.

    @Contrariusiest: "We are hostile to discrimination, not to religion."

    You've repeatedly made clear you are hostile to any religious exercise that offends you. You desire to force everyone to comport to your view of social interactions, regardless of their personal beliefs.

    "Should SCOTUS have ruled in his favor?"

    No. Neither should the SCOTUS rule in favor of human sacrifice or honor killings, female genital mutilation, blowing up buildings, nor similar conduct that some may claim is required by their religious beliefs.

    But that doesn't mean religious (or even secular) concerns should never be accommodated.

    The 1st amendment exists to protect the free exercise of religion as much as to keep government from sponsoring a state religion. As you recently said about the 14th amendment, I say about the 1st (and 2nd): those who don't want to live in a nation with the free exercise of religion should move.

    Nobody sane forces his supposed enemy to bake him a cake, take his most important photos, or do other creative work for him.

    I oppose discrimination for general goods and services.

    I oppose forcing anyone to support political candidates/parties, church events, or homosexual events that offend them.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    April 9, 2016 7:46 p.m.

    @Karen R "Believers opposed to SSM see a gay couple wanting to marry as an objectionable idea or agenda because of their freely chosen religious beliefs. This perspective isn't the fault of the gay couple. They have no control over what others believe. "

    Actually I think religionists here 'bouts who object to doing business in conjunction with a SSM are really objecting to the individuals themselves, the homosexual or lesbian or whatever, and want to discriminate against them because their status runs contrary to religious dogma. THAT is what is going on.

    As they say, it's time to take off the gloves. Let's all try to be honest about our beliefs. One thing though, everyone has a right to a full life even if some object to who they are.

  • The Real Maverick Spanish Fork, UT
    April 9, 2016 11:33 a.m.

    Why are regressives trying to turn the nation's attention away from the economic policy they gave us in the 1980s (which has failed miserably)? It seems like they want to turn back the clock to the 1950s socially. Is this really the best they can offer? And how do we know that this isn't merely a trick to further enrich the uber rich and distract us from the economic policy that is impoverishing millions of Americans?

  • Karen R. Houston, TX
    April 9, 2016 10:07 a.m.

    @ RationalIdeas

    "There is a huge difference between refusing goods and services...and declining to support an event intended to advance an idea or agenda."

    Believers opposed to SSM see a gay couple wanting to marry as an objectionable idea or agenda because of their freely chosen religious beliefs. This perspective isn't the fault of the gay couple. They have no control over what others believe.

    Should others be required to bear the consequences of our freely chosen beliefs or should that burden fall on us?

  • Contrariusiest mid-state, TN
    April 9, 2016 9:58 a.m.

    @Rationaldeas --

    "I suppose we shouldn't be surprised that those hostile to religion are yet again trying to minimize what "the free exercise of religion" really means."

    Tsk.

    Yet again -- many Christians support full LGBT equality, and many Christians oppose discrimination for any reason.

    We are hostile to discrimination, not to religion.

    "Nobody should be forced to support or advance an idea, or participate in conduct that offends him."

    Soooo.... Maurice Bessinger, a very religious man who believed integration violated Biblical edicts, should have been allowed to refuse service to blacks in his restaurant? He was happy to serve blacks **outside** his restaurant, after all (at the drive-thru window). He didn't oppose serving blacks, but he "declined to support an event intended to advance an idea or agenda" -- the idea and agenda of integration.

    Should SCOTUS have ruled in his favor?

    Hint: they didn't.

  • 1st avenue New York, NY
    April 9, 2016 9:49 a.m.

    So many of these proposals have already been ruled to be on direct violation of the Federal law and/or Contitution. It just once again goes to show the selective morality of GOP that cares little about the constitution or the rule of law.

  • Impartial7 DRAPER, UT
    April 9, 2016 9:49 a.m.

    "Religious Freedom". That term used to actually stand for something. Now, it code for "blatant discrimination".

  • Rationaldeas st. george, UT
    April 9, 2016 9:39 a.m.

    I suppose we shouldn't be surprised that those hostile to religion are yet again trying to minimize what "the free exercise of religion" really means. They would limit "the free exercise of religion" to merely believing, attending church, and praying privately. Yet these are the same folks who scream "hypocrisy" anytime they sense a believer is not being generous and charitable on Monday after having attended church on Sunday. The anti-religious want their cake and to eat it to.

    What is especially galling is to see atheists and those hostile to religion presuming to school the faithful on what religion or faith requires of them. That is beyond presumptuous.

    Nobody should be forced to support or advance an idea, or participate in conduct that offends him.

    There is a huge difference between refusing goods and services to an individual who happens to be homosexual, or Republican, or LDS, and declining to support an event intended to advance an idea or agenda. Nobody should be forced to provide support to the GOP convention, a Mormon missionary event, or a homosexual wedding.

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    April 9, 2016 9:17 a.m.

    Corrected Headline: The status of anti-gay bills from 2016 across America".

    Lets at least try to be honest, please? We all know these bills aren't truly about "religious freedom". They're about legalizing bigotry and discrimination against LGBT citizens.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    April 9, 2016 9:12 a.m.

    What other dark little bits of the religious conscience do these bills protect?

  • JSB Sugar City, ID
    April 9, 2016 9:04 a.m.

    If a professional photographer was asked to take photos at a wedding in which there was nudity or other behaviors very offensive to him, is he legally obligated to provide his service?

  • Karen R. Houston, TX
    April 9, 2016 6:04 a.m.

    A few things this list makes clear:

    1) Many believers, including their lawmakers, really don't understand the concept of religious freedom;

    2) For some it seems that one very important aspect of practicing their religion is being able to demonstrate disapproval of another by refusing goods and services; and

    3) The more believers display their willful ignorance of and incivility towards the LGBT community (and pass this off as "morals" and "values"), the more they expose the ugly side of religion. IMO that's a good thing.

  • Furry1993 Ogden, UT
    April 9, 2016 5:30 a.m.

    Nothing is being done to challenge freedom of religion. Freedom of religion is not, ,and has never been, under any type of attack. People are perfectly free to believe as they choose, worship as they choose, socialize as they choose in private life, etc. Religious establishments are not being forced to do anything, or peach anything, or perform any rites or ceremonies, that is/are contrary to their dogma and practices. The only thing that is being challenged is the attempts by the self-called "religious" to impose their so-called "religious" values on civil, secular society. People have every right to believe as they feel appropriate but, when they operate in civil, secular society, they have the obligation to treat all sinners (and we are all sinners) the same, regardless what the perceived sin might be.

    Matthew 22:21, quoting the Savior: "Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and unto God the things that are God's". Our Savior clearly distinguished between religious issues and civil law. I find it sad that today's so-called religious people cannot do the same.