Anti-discrimination proposal violates property rights

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  • Confused Sandy, UT
    Feb. 14, 2014 9:06 a.m.

    my Question is Where does my constitutional rights of Freedom of Association come into play when I refuse a patron because of their lifestyle.

    A lot of these responses on this issue are almost correct, and some are outright wrong. Businesses can refuse service for almost any reason (or no reason) with exceptions. Those exceptions at the federal level are race, religion, gender, national origin, and disability/perceived disability (refusing service based on sexual preference does not violate any federal law). Some states have laws covering all these categories plus sexual preference, and some also include transgendered persons and transsexuals.

    So the question is does Colorado/New Mexico have rights covering sexual preference? If not, both federal judges are in error. If they do, then the court ruled correctly.

  • RFLASH Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 12, 2014 4:02 p.m.

    Lets see, you are fighting for the right to discriminate? You want the right to say that your religious freedom includes treating people like they are inferior to you and then you have the nerve to tie it all into your belief in God! Isn't that amazing! When we pass anti discrimination laws, it is because we expect everyone to treat others in a good way! The laws tell us that if we are going to have a business that deals with the public, you should be willing to treat all your customers with the same respect. If that is not acceptable, then don't go into business! It is as simple as that! Can I say that it is an embarrassment to see Christians act this way! Our Savior never turned people away and he chastised those who did by say " Ye who have no sin cast the first stone" ( Not exact words, but you have all read it) Treating and serving others should be something you do every day and it surely does not change a person's belief! To respect others is not something to be ashamed of!

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    Feb. 10, 2014 6:26 p.m.

    There are so many rushing like lemmings over the cliff. Some actually believe that man is given the right to "make law". Where is that written?

    Redefining "marriage" is redefining an eternal law, written by our Creator. We have the choice to "discover" that law, just like Newton "discovered" the law of gravity. Gravity existed long before Newton. People fell to their death long before Newton. No one on earth wrote the law of gravity.

    Some think that they can restructure society in their own image, ignoring the eternal laws that existed long before this earth was created. How wonderful! They might as well light a match in the night and declare that they are lighting the universe. What arrogance!

    We are here to discover ourselves, not to write laws. We can legislate within the scope of eternal laws, already written, but we cannot write laws.

    Only a "righteous" people can live in a democracy. Only a people who can and will govern themselves have that privilege. All others turn to "force" and "compulsion" to achieve their goals, just like we're seeing today.

  • TA1 Alexandria, VA
    Feb. 10, 2014 5:46 p.m.

    It is frustrating to hear that people still believe that they can discriminate in the public square. No one was forced to open a business that caters to the general public rather they chose to do so and in choosing to do so - they must abide by the laws and regulations (e.g. - the fire code, and others) - it is really that simple.

  • Eclectic Idealist Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 10, 2014 5:14 p.m.

    Those who suppose that businesses are licensed by the state and therefore must play according to the states' rules are not even questioning whether or not governments have any duty or obligation to regulate business beyond ensuring that the rights of their employees, suppliers, and customers are not being violated, whether through fraud, theft, or damage or destruction to property or reputation through libel or slander.

    Nevertheless, while I still philosophically agree with Mr. Boyack, I am also a realist and maintain that were it not for the use of force of law on the part of the Federal Government, society may not ever have developed its moral conscience against racist and sexist forms of bigotry, or whether we would be as far along as we are in developing a conscience against discriminating against individuals based on their sexual identity and sexual orientation. The real problem is that our society's moral compass is broken... religion failed to bring about the change that Federal Law has accomplished in reshaping the views and values of the majority of society against racist and sexist discrimination; and it appears it will have to do so with sexual identity and sexual orientation as well.

  • Stephen Daedalus Arvada, CO
    Feb. 10, 2014 3:28 p.m.

    If this author and his "Libertas Institute" believe in the argument he makes, why then has that organization taken no position on its website on repealing Utah's existing anti-discrimination law, Utah Code § 13-7-2, which reads in part:

    "All persons within the jurisdiction of this state are free and equal and are entitled to full and equal accommodations, advantages, facilities, privileges, goods and services in all business establishments and in all places of public accommodation, and by all enterprises regulated by the state of every kind whatsoever, without discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, ancestry or national origin. ..."

    With such a range of already protected classes, surely this existing law has a much greater impact on the sort of unfettered private property rights that the author believes allow a business owner to discriminate against anyone.

    What is so special about the proposed law?

  • my_two_cents_worth university place, WA
    Feb. 10, 2014 3:22 p.m.

    Mark 12:14-17 addresses dealing with the affairs of state vice the affairs of God. Businesses are licensed by the state (Caesar) and therefore must play by Caesar's rules.

  • airnaut Everett, 00
    Feb. 10, 2014 3:11 p.m.

    You are free to think and be as bigoted, racist, and prejudiced as you want -- in the privacy of your own home.

    You are not Free to be that way in public.

    There already is a way to avoid this,
    Like Utah's liquor laws --
    open for business as a PRIVATE club.

    If you are a Public business, you must comply with Public laws.

  • Testimony Philadelphia, PA
    Feb. 10, 2014 3:06 p.m.

    There are some really strange comments here.

    Please try to bear in mind that SB100 only extends the existing housing and employment nondiscrimination laws, adding one more group to the list of protected classes. It is not a completely new law.

    It also has nothing to do with Public Accommodations laws, i.e. civil rights conveyed by Federal law. Businesses such as stores, hotels, restaurants, and service providers are already required to serve people regardless of their sexual orientation. Utah doesn't have an exemption from the 1964 Civil Rights Act. It applies to the whole country. However, that law doesn't cover discrimination in housing or employment to the same extent.

    For the lady who was worried that a housing nondiscrimination law would apply to roommates, it doesn't. By the way, existing laws already cover gender and marital status, so a landlord can't refuse to rent apartments to single women, for example. If you own multiple apartments and rent them out, it applies to those. It does not apply to rooms in your own single-family home or apartment. You're free to choose your own roommates.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 10, 2014 2:50 p.m.

    re: 2bits "I think it would have been better if we (as a society) through education like Dr King was doing... won people's hearts and CONVINCED people that the color or a man's skin didn't matter..." Without the 1964 Civil Rights act we would still have Jim Crow, and two more generations (and counting) would have lived under that.

  • Ranch Here, UT
    Feb. 10, 2014 2:09 p.m.

    2 bits says:

    "But giving groups special rights because some people are jerks... "

    Please explain how adding sexual orientation to anti-discrimination laws is "special rights" for LGBT people? YOU also have a sexual orientation. You also would be covered.

    Additionally, don't groups like "religion" already have those "special" rights? Why should religion be covered and not sexual orienation? Or gender? Or race?

    Equal rights are not "special" rights.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Feb. 10, 2014 1:46 p.m.


    RE: "what kind of jerk would refuse a LGBT couple?"...

    just as you can't legislate morality, you can't make it illegal to be a jerk.

    IF we could make it illegal to be a jerk... we would have no problems at all!

    But giving groups special rights because some people are jerks... doesn't solve the problem. Society needs to solve the problem itself... through education (and time). Not through legislation (and force).

    We tried to solve the racial-divide through legislation. Did it work? (Hint... there are still jerks out there... aren't there).

    I think it would have been better if we (as a society) through education like Dr King was doing... won people's hearts and CONVINCED people that the color or a man's skin didn't matter (instead of forcing them by enacting racial quotas and other laws that caused more resentment, instead of letting the problem be fixed in our hearts so we don't need legislation).

    Legislation rarely fixes moral problems or keeps jerks from being jerks. Institutionalized preferential treatment intended to counter-balance jerks just causes long lasting resentment.

  • Eclectic Idealist Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 10, 2014 1:37 p.m.

    On the one hand, I agree with Mr. Boyack's position that individuals have the right to discriminate against whomever they wish for whatever reason they might have, and that the government oversteps its authority and unjustly exercises its powers to enforce anti-discrimination laws. On the other hand, I can't escape the likelihood that were it not for such laws having been enacted during my parent's generation, racial prejudice and discrimination against Blacks would most likely be continuing today,to largely the same degree as it did back then, and I likely would never have even met my wonderful, beautiful girlfriend.

    Our society needs anti-discrimination laws simply because our religious institutions are either unwilling or incapable of eliminating discriminatory practices from society. Religion, considered by our founding fathers to be the Nation's moral compass, has failed to eliminate prejudice from society, largely because that prejudice is endemic to the patriarchal Abrahamic traditions. The teachings of the Bible were and are used to justify slavery, racial segregation, sexism, and discrimination against people due to their religious beliefs and sexual orientation. Clearly, such a religion cannot be trusted to eliminate the prejudicial behaviors from society it perpetuates.

  • Disgusted American deptford, NJ
    Feb. 10, 2014 12:25 p.m.

    My view: Anti-discrimination proposal violates property rights - why thank you for that Information Governor George Wallace

  • DaveGarber1975 Provo, UT
    Feb. 10, 2014 12:04 p.m.

    I believe that our most basic innate (God-given) rights include the right to interact contractually via mutual voluntary informed consent, and that governments exist to help us to expertly defend such rights, not to dictate how we will exercise those rights. The right to contract implies the right to discriminate, even for reasons that seem foolish to others (and perhaps ARE so in some cases). Compelling one person to conduct business with another person is not only sinful but also genuinely criminal, demands hypocritical behavior, and may provide excuses to nurture resentment. If people truly have wrong ideas, then those ideas should be addressed through loving persuasion to change hearts/minds, not through prosecution.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 10, 2014 11:44 a.m.

    Re: Mike Richards "Government is not authorized to determine who can buy from a merchant. That is not a function of government. "

    So Mike, you would favor a return of Jim Crow laws?

  • Ranch Here, UT
    Feb. 10, 2014 11:02 a.m.

    @Mike Richards;

    Your "creator" is irrelevant to the discussion. This is about secular, civil rights in THIS WORLD. Your creator has no more relevance than the creator of the Aztecs or the Pagans or the ...

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Feb. 10, 2014 10:59 a.m.


    Just saying something, doesn't make it so.

    You said, "There is no such thing as property rights". Untrue.

    Our Declaration of Independence has base on John Locke's writings on Government, Toleration, and Human Understanding.

    When John Locke wrote his two treatises of Government... he wrote of "Natural Rights", which he defined as, "life, liberty, and estate/property".

    In A Letter Concerning Toleration, he wrote that the magistrate's power was limited to preserving a person's "civil interest", which he described as "life, liberty, health, and the possession of outward things".

    In the United States we DO have the right to own and control property (Goggle "property rights").

    This differentiated us from the societies of the times, where land/property ownership was limited to the Government and elites, and surfs could not own land, but could only USE land owned by their lords. And the Communist societies that came later (where the collective owned all land and businesses. No private property).

    But we DO have "Property Rights" (in the United States). Read up on it.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 10, 2014 10:54 a.m.

    As the logician Michael Oakshott pointed out - extend any two rights sufficiently far and they will collide.

    So is such collisions one favors the party most hurt - in this case the LGBT couple, for after all the photogrpapher still gets paid, right?

    And BTW, what kind of jerk would refuse a LGBT couple?

  • J Thompson SPRINGVILLE, UT
    Feb. 10, 2014 10:52 a.m.


    Has our educational system failed so miserably that we have to make up words to add to the Constitution? Government does not own private property. Government does not own private enterprise. Government can not tell us that me must allow it to choose to have someone live in our home, drive our cars or wear our clothes; yet, that is exactly what you are inferring.

    You think that someone in Government has been anointed to force us to do things HIS way, when the Constitution prohibits government, or people working in government to do that. Read the 5th Amendment, "nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation." A private business is private. A corporation is private, i.e., in the eyes of the State, a corporation is a person with all of the rights of a person.

    Twisting the meaning of the Constitution to make your case only weakens your argument. Equal employment, equal housing and equal services are not functions of government, therefore those "duties" fall to the people.

  • Schnee Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 10, 2014 10:28 a.m.

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

    What, you mean like the anti-discrimination policies we have about race, gender, and religion?

    @Chris B
    "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. "

    Opposing interracial marriage or same-sex marriage is one thing, this is comparative to the diners that put up whites only signs which was based on property rights.

    @J Thompson
    "Government is destroying unalienable rights because of propaganda from those who want "special" rights."

    The gov't is trying to make it so that everyone has the equal opportunity to be employed, or find housing, or be served by a business. The only one looking to make differences and special treatment possible are those who want to allow businesses to establish those differences.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    Feb. 10, 2014 10:14 a.m.

    People who give away their liberties for a "cause" have rejected all of the freedoms granted by our Creator. He made us responsible to Him for our actions, not to government. He defined marriage to be between a man and a woman. He told us that our first responsible was to obey Him. He told us that governments are instituted to protect the liberties that HE gave us, that the role of government is to insure that those unalienable rights are not taken away by "politically correct" politicians who would sell our liberties for votes.

    Those citizens who tell us that the government owns our property and our businesses have already forfeited their liberties. Now they want us to join with them and forfeit our liberties. George Washington believed differently. He led brave Colonists in a war that stopped that kind of thinking. Now, two centuries later, there are those who are so self-absorbed that they think nothing of individual rights, property ownership, and private business. They want "rights" to be own by government, not by the people. They reject the entire concept of America.

  • Lightbearer Brigham City, UT
    Feb. 10, 2014 9:56 a.m.

    From the article: "If we believe that an individual owns his business or his residential property ..."

    Who believes that?

    The proof that an individual doesn't own his residential property, at least in Utah, is that if he fails to pay his property taxes, the government can confiscate the property. The property is only his till the government decides to take it away, be it because of delinquent taxes, eminent domain, or some other compelling reason. So homeowners are really nothing more than glorified renters, responsible for improvements and upkeep, and the government is the real landlord.

  • Tekakaromatagi Dammam, Saudi Arabia
    Feb. 10, 2014 9:42 a.m.


    You said that businesses don’t have rights. I want to agree with you. However, the ACLU disagrees with us. What would happen if the legislature required cable TV companies to follow the same standards that public TV follows. They could call it the "Cable TV Decency" act. The ACLU would be on them in a heartbeat because the cable TV companies have rights.

    That happened about 30 years ago and I have adapted my views since then.

    The cases cited by the author were examples of business owners boycotting events. In one or two cases the owners could document that they had knowingly catered to the same gay customer who wanted to marry. It is just that the owner were not catering to an event.

    Someone who does not want to cater a Mormon wedding or a Mormon baptism or missionary farewell are within their rights. But not if they discriminate against a person simply because they are a Mormon. The two are different. This is part of the glue that holds us together as a society. ( I didn't say that, a judge in New Mexico said that.)

  • A Quaker Brooklyn, NY
    Feb. 10, 2014 8:34 a.m.

    For those of you who think you have a right to open a business and discriminate against people based on a class characteristic, whether that be color, national origin, religion, sex, height, weight, disability or sexual orientation, there's a little experiment you can do to see if you're right.

    Call your insurance broker. You want a non-political, free-market answer to your free-market question? That's the person to ask.

    Tell your broker that as a matter of personal conscience/opinion/whatever you want to be able to serve whoever you feel like, but you're worried about someone (those darned gays/Jews/blacks/Mexicans/others) taking you to court, and you want to buy legal liability insurance to protect you from that.

    See what your broker says. I mean, after the laughter stops.

  • L White Springville, UT
    Feb. 10, 2014 8:19 a.m.

    By golly, I didn't get it until reading these posts! A marriage license makes the government owner of our children. Obeying the marriage license law means that the government can compel us to teach our children that same-sex sex is normal, natural and the preferred type of marriage. Obeying the marriage license law means that government can compel us to borrow books from the library to reinforce same-sex sex. Obeying the marriage license law means that same-sex couples can sue us if we do not teach our children that same-sex sex is acceptable.

    Of course that's all a bunch of nonsense. Getting a marriage license does not make government a partner in our marriage any more than getting business license makes the government a partner in our business. The government cannot compel us to marry someone of government's choice nor can it compel us to have children or to not have children. Government cannot compel us to accept government's choice of customers to our business.

    The people are in charge or the government. The government exists to protect people from being forced by government to do the government's will.

  • Tekakaromatagi Dammam, Saudi Arabia
    Feb. 10, 2014 8:15 a.m.

    I sympathize with the writer of this, but I disagree that property rights are so important that other rights need to take a back seat. Property rights aren't in the Bill of Rights. Freedom of speech, freedom of association, religious freedom, but not property rights.

    Property rights are kind of trivial when compared to freedom of speech or freedom of religion. Much like someone's right to have their event sanctioned by society is a trivial right when compared to a first amendment right such as freedom of religion.

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    Feb. 10, 2014 7:42 a.m.

    After perusing this thread it is clear once again that the primary difference here is the refusal of some to recognize that a business license is not just a designation of ownership, it is literally permission to operate that business. Permission granted by the appropriate government.

    The piece of paper on the wall is not the whole entirety of the license.

    This attitude clearly displays the obsession and reverence some have for commerce. As an individual my actions are clearly restricted by the government. Yet some believe that once I as an individual operate under the cloak of commerce/business, my actions should be absolutely unrestricted. Business is a magic cloak, albeit it was a person who denied the couple a cake, and it is a person who denies a couple an apartment. It's just a person wearing a magic cloak.

    Well, let me be the first here to tell you that a magic cloak doesn't exist, and the business license is proof of that. The license says you don't do business unless I say so and you do it as I say. Try and not do it accordingly and you lose your right to do business.

  • Jamescmeyer Midwest City, USA, OK
    Feb. 10, 2014 7:19 a.m.

    "If we believe that an individual owns his business or his residential property, then by what right can we compel him to use it in association with people he prefers not to, whatever the reason? 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."

    I just repeated that for people who skipped over the article to comment against it.

  • Ranch Here, UT
    Feb. 10, 2014 6:53 a.m.

    " is our right to our own property that gives us the ability to discriminate in how that property is used. "

    --- You make a choice to use your property as a "bed-and-breakfast" and at the same time you CHOOSE to rent out to ALL comers. That is the law. You agree to adhere to that law when you CHOOSE to open your property to the public.

    "...put some religious people in a moral bind, forcing them to either adhere to their beliefs ..."

    --- I have yet to see a single scripture, anywhere, that says "Thou shalt not do business with sinners or you violate your religious conscience".

    "...If we believe that an individual owns his business or his residential property,..."

    --- Businesses are a privilege allowed by the government. When you open a business, you make a committment to obey the laws relating to operation of a business.

  • J Thompson SPRINGVILLE, UT
    Feb. 10, 2014 6:37 a.m.

    The only solution that is 100% fair and equitable is that if you feel that discrimination is going on, you have the right to spend your time and your money to open a business that caters to YOUR needs and to the wants and wishes of YOUR friends. If you think that the public owns every business, then open a business. Let someone sue you for not adding them to your customer list. Put your money where your mouth is. Risk your capital.

    Those who have to put their money where there mouth is always sing a different tune. If they were same-sex advocates, they would probably sue the public for NOT buying their product, using the same logic that same-sex advocates are using now, thinking that they are special and that they deserve to have whatever they want.

    The world doesn't work that way. People don't always get what they want. People don't always jump when someone says, "boo".

  • high school fan Huntington, UT
    Feb. 10, 2014 6:33 a.m.

    Sure are a lot of you who misunderstand the owning of a business or the getting of a business license. Businesses are not in existence for the good of the community but are in existence for the good of the owners since they are the ones taking all the risks. Business licenses generally exist so that government agencies can make money off issuing those licenses.
    Business' can only exist when people support them by using their services and paying them money, don't do either and the business will soon cease to exist. Government should let the market make or break a business not government regulations and unfortunately their will always be jerks and biased people out there but government has no right to prevent them from doing whatever it is that they do. The general populous will eventually handle that.

  • RealMormon Provo, UT
    Feb. 10, 2014 3:37 a.m.

    What 99% of the commenters fail to realize is that if I, as a business owner, discriminate against a customer, I am NOT infringing on the "right" of that customer. That customer does NOT have a "right" to MY cakes, MY flowers, or MY spare room.

    Are we all really that ignorant on what rights are?

    Either the business owner owns his property, or the customer owns the business owner's propety. It can't be both. True rights don't conflict with each other.

    I saw that someone posted a comment saying that business owners don't own anything, and that society owns his property instead.

    The thing that bothers me about comments like these are that they come from both "liberals" and "conservatives".... THE LARGE MAJORITY OF BOTH GROUPS.

    Communism has succeeded in conquering America. MOST AMERICANS, today, unknowingly defend and promote the fundamental concepts of Communism, and outlaw and condemn the fundamental concepts of true Americanism.

    And don't accuse me of just throwing the word "communism" out there without justification. This is ACTUAL TEXTBOOK COMMUNISM, LITERALLY.

    Do I accuse 99% of this country of being traitors? If 99% support anti-discrimination legislation, then yes, I do.

  • Really??? Kearns, UT
    Feb. 9, 2014 10:33 p.m.


    Unfortunately, the driver waited as the other men got off, and then looked in his mirror to my friend and I. He told us we had to get off as well. We hadn't been drinking. We were quiet and respectful, but we were told to leave.

    We pleaded our case and told the driver we weren't with the men he kicked out. He responded by telling us that he didn't care because we were just like them. My friend and I were humiliated by the experience. We didn't act like the unruly men, but we were told we weren't welcome on the bus because we were "like them."

    We don't realize that people need to be protected from discrimination until we experience it first hand. The experience I shared may seem small, but some people experience these small problems on a daily basis. Nobody should become accustomed to being treated with less dignity than others, and my God wouldn't tell me I have a right to treat some with less dignity than others.

  • Really??? Kearns, UT
    Feb. 9, 2014 10:26 p.m.

    "What if a photographer refused to photograph a wedding because, in his opinion, some of the participants were obscene in their dress or behavior?"

    I have an experience with this. A few years ago I went on vacation with some friends. One day, one friend and I got on the shuttle provided by our hotel to go to another part of the city. Some other men who had been drinking quite extensively boarded the shuttle at the same time. They sat near the front of the shuttle, and my friend and I sat in the back.

    The other men who got on the shuttle at the same time proceeded to be loud and unruly. They talked about vulgar topics and made everyone else on the shuttle uncomfortable. After several vulgar comments, the driver finally pulled over and told them to get out. My friend and I were just as happy as the other passengers.

  • DN Subscriber Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Feb. 9, 2014 10:25 p.m.

    It is amazing how those in favor of "equal rights" demand that the rights of others be trampled for the benefit of the activists.

    We can be sure that their "all animals are equal, but some animals are more equal" demands will surely stop when someone wants to hold a [traditional] marriage reception at a gay night club, or when straight men demand entrance into lesbian social groups.

    The proper role of government is NOT to force special (albeit deceptively called "equal" rights on the citizenry, but to allow maximum freedom in our actions, especially when those actions reflect the tenets of whatever religious faith a person freely worships. That includes Mormons, Jews, Muslims, Catholics, Atheists, Hedonists, Buddhists, Wiccans and any other flavor that someone believes in. That is religious freedom.

    If "equal" is mandated, then let's schedule a pig roast in the Mosques and Jewish Temple, and wine tastings at the Tabernacle, and baptisms at wherever the Wiccans hang out.

  • A Quaker Brooklyn, NY
    Feb. 9, 2014 10:14 p.m.

    @MikeRichards says, "We do not live in a Communistic country where the government dictates who we are and what we must do for a living."

    This is true. We live in a nation of laws, with protections for individual liberties, and concern for public safety and order.

    If you want to build a hotel, you must follow the building code, comply with fire safety regulations and allow government inspections in order to be allowed to open.

    If you run a restaurant, you must comply with health and safety laws and regular inspections.

    If you run a lunch counter, you can't refuse service on the basis of race, creed, or color.

    In a society of laws, you can't just do anything you want, no matter how badly you want to, how strongly you believe it, or how many assets you control. In America, you're a member of society. While you have rights, you also have responsibilities, including respecting others' rights.

    You haven't said what business you're in, but businesses that deal with the public already need to comply with civil rights law. The Utah law only affects discrimination in housing and employment.

  • Constitution Is King Brigham, UT
    Feb. 9, 2014 9:27 p.m.

    In many small towns, in remote places, there is only economic room for one bakery, one flower shop, one photography studio, one movie theater (if you're lucky), one motel, one grocer, one banker, etc.. The next nearest town could be hundreds of miles away. For these remote towns to function well, businesses must provide equal service to EVERYONE because there isn't economic room for a second business. These business essentially have a monopoly in the town and that's why they need to have some degree of regulation. If the owner of the bakery can't serve everyone equally, then they should have their business license revoked and given to another person who would would be happy to start a new business to serve everyone equally.

  • JSB Sugar City, ID
    Feb. 9, 2014 9:00 p.m.

    What if a photographer refused to photograph a wedding because, in his opinion, some of the participants were obscene in their dress or behavior? Gay or heterosexual wedding, does a person have to comply with the wishes of the customer if what the customer wants is offensive to the photographer?

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    Feb. 9, 2014 4:56 p.m.

    There is so much false information being bandied about today. The government does not own my business. It has not sent me a list of customers that I must accommodate. My business licence shows me as a sole proprietor, not a partner with Obama, or Governor Herbert. I am free to run my business as I see fit, owing only the taxes that all businesses are obligated to pay from the profits that I make. There are no strings attached. I do not have to have customers preauthorized before I can serve them. No one can go to the city council and demand that they make me serve them. That is my decision. If I choose to serve them, my business will prosper. If I choose to NOT serve them, I had better find someone else to serve or I will lose my business.

    We do not live in a Communistic country where the government dictates who we are and what we must do for a living.

    If people spent as much time reading about our freedoms as they spend trying to encourage government to restrict those God-given freedoms, we might make some progress.

    Feb. 9, 2014 4:14 p.m.

    You have every right as an individual to keep anyone off your property you chose. However, once you turn your property into a business - by charging for it - you no longer have that right because you are no longer a individual - you are a business.

  • Unreconstructed Reb Chantilly, VA
    Feb. 9, 2014 3:15 p.m.

    "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."

    And the Declaration of Independence has force of law...where exactly?

    And just what point is there in quoting it as an argument against people who only want to be treated equally rather than discriminated against? This is precisely the sort of situation where the Founders believed government not only had the right, but the duty to intervene.

    "Read the Constitution, Article 1, Section 8. Government intervention in non-interstate commerce is not an enumerated duty of government."

    Given that the legislation at issue is a state initiative, not federal, your argument is immaterial on its face.

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    Feb. 9, 2014 3:14 p.m.

    "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?

  • isrred South Jordan, UT
    Feb. 9, 2014 1:29 p.m.

    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?

  • RWSmith6 Providence, UT
    Feb. 9, 2014 1:28 p.m.

    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.

  • Furry1993 Ogden, UT
    Feb. 9, 2014 12:40 p.m.

    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.

    Feb. 9, 2014 12:37 p.m.

    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.

  • Irony Guy Bountiful, Utah
    Feb. 9, 2014 12:08 p.m.

    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.

  • J Thompson SPRINGVILLE, UT
    Feb. 9, 2014 11:46 a.m.

    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.

  • jcobabe Provo, UT
    Feb. 9, 2014 11:41 a.m.

    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.

  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 9, 2014 11:02 a.m.


    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.

  • David King Layton, UT
    Feb. 9, 2014 10:49 a.m.

    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.

  • Maudine SLC, UT
    Feb. 9, 2014 10:29 a.m.

    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.

  • Elms OGDEN, UT
    Feb. 9, 2014 10:19 a.m.

    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.

  • Shaun Sandy, UT
    Feb. 9, 2014 10:10 a.m.

    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.

  • antodav TAMPA, FL
    Feb. 9, 2014 10:05 a.m.


    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.

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Feb. 9, 2014 10:03 a.m.

    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.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Feb. 9, 2014 9:11 a.m.

    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.

  • Really??? Kearns, UT
    Feb. 9, 2014 8:54 a.m.

    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.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    Feb. 9, 2014 8:30 a.m.

    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.

  • micawber Centerville, UT
    Feb. 9, 2014 6:45 a.m.

    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.

  • Roland Kayser Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Feb. 9, 2014 12:23 a.m.

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