Richard Davis: Those who oppose should be welcomed

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  • MoNoMo Fair Oaks, CA
    May 18, 2014 11:51 a.m.

    In short, the message seems to be "We are really upset that it's no longer cool be anti-gay."

    Keep in mind that in over 25 states, including Utah, someone can still be fired from their job and denied housing just because they happen to be gay. Zero protections for gay people. Yet we so concerned a few rich bigots?

  • Demiurge San Diego, CA
    May 18, 2014 7:44 a.m.

    This editorial misses the point. The ani-SSM views are no more interesting and contributing to the public discourse than someone complaining about interracial marriage - and no more deserving of anything more than scorn.

  • Candied Ginger Brooklyn, OH
    May 17, 2014 2:40 p.m.

    "Do you think allowing incest is a good or a bad thing for a nation? How do you think a nation goes from marriage being between a man and a woman to allowing incest?"

    How? I don't know. Don't get it, myself.

    I guess we can look at some places that allow it. For example, Utah Code §30-1-1 says that "first cousins can marry if both are over 65, or, if both parties are over 55, if the court finds that they are unable to reproduce."

    Letting me marry my non-related partner is, you know, exactly like marriage. Letting first cousins marry? That looks like an actual slippery slope.

    I would suggest asking AG Reyes about it. He's all concerned about protecting marriage and whatnot.

    Also, Utah Code §30-1-9 lets 15 year old children get married. That would seem to be another of those slippery slopes your side keeps obsessing on. But, again, your side set the slope up...

  • TrihsDer ISS Enterprise, OH
    May 17, 2014 2:12 p.m.


    "Look at the football player...being punished because he didn't conform."

    No, he is being punished for violating behavior standards set by his employer. He can always leave the NFL and get a job at Walmart. Or, he can follow behavior standards.

    "Look at Donald Sterling..."

    No, he said things that violated the policies of the professional organization of which he is part. He knew the rules, violated them anyway.

    "The Koch brothers..." vs "George Sorros..."

    I have heard Limbaugh, Beck and Tparty leaders pillory Sorros. Both are lauded and vilified.

    "As for marriage, according to some SSM activists, the purpose of SSM is to destroy traditional marriage. Just look for the video of Masha Gessen saying so."

    Ms. Gessen speaks for herself, not a monolithic gay movement. If you actually ask gays, there are a few gay leaders who speak for a lot of the gay movement, none speak for us all and many who get attention speak for themselves and few followers.

    Don't tell me what I "must" believe based on the words of others. Ask. I'll respond.

  • Schnee Salt Lake City, UT
    May 16, 2014 3:42 p.m.

    "How do you think a nation goes from marriage being between a man and a woman to allowing incest?"

    If you want to claim that same-sex marriage is a precedent, then you have to deal with the fact that the precedent being set here was actually the courts overturning interracial marriage bans. However, you of course like most normal people support that decision so you wouldn't possibly try and blame that for establishing any sort of precedent that sometime down the road may theoretically lead to allowing incest or reinstating polygamy in these parts.

    By the way, why are so many people keen on throwing the pioneers under the wagon? It's like some of you are saying 'legalizing gay marriage is bad but you know what's even worse? legalizing what important people in Utah's history did'.

  • the truth Holladay, UT
    May 15, 2014 6:29 p.m.

    @Open Minded Mormon

    Jesus did to have long hair.

    Any such depiction in art is an artists choice, not gospel doctrine.

    In fact 1 Cor. 11:15 Paul says it is unnatural for men to have long hair.
    "Does not nature itself teach you that if a man wears long hair it is a disgrace for him,"

    It would be inconsistant and therefore ungodly if Jesus had long hair.

    Healthcare involve more than just one instant healing. And certainly bearsn o realtion to having hospitals, and healthcare plans and forcing your neighbor to pay fr your care..

    What Jesus did, as an EXAMPLE, was do it voluntarily of his own free will, he did not conscript his neighbor's property or money, nor involve government.

    Regarding: Neither my ways are your ways neither my thoughts your thoughts.
    You are confusing God and his perfect and infinitely higher ways with men striving for perfection.

    Why the need to punish another for a having a differing or dissenting or even offensive view?

    Would you want someone to do that to you?

  • the truth Holladay, UT
    May 15, 2014 6:15 p.m.


    It is one thing to be pilloried by public opinion for your views.

    It is quite another for society to punish you for having different or dissenting views.

  • RedShirtCalTech Pasedena, CA
    May 15, 2014 2:32 p.m.

    To "GingerAle" but the arguments about the slippery slope are being proven true. Here are some examples of what is going in around the world where SSM has been legalized:

    From the Brussels Journal "First Trio 'Married' in The Netherlands". They were the first western nation to legalize SSM, now they are headed down the same road with polygamy.

    From the UK Daily Mail "Is this the real-life 'Her'? Army veteran who wants to MARRY his laptop says computers are his 'preferred sexual object'".

    Consentual incest is already legal in Netherlands, Russia, Spain and Turkey. Switzerland is moving towards making it legal too.

    You say that it is hysteria, yet the very things that you claim wouldn't happen are happening.

    Do you think allowing incest is a good or a bad thing for a nation? How do you think a nation goes from marriage being between a man and a woman to allowing incest?

    The same people warning against SSM also warned us about no fault divorces. Do we really need to wait 30 years to see the damage of adopting this attitude towards marriage?

  • RedShirtCalTech Pasedena, CA
    May 15, 2014 2:30 p.m.

    To "ECR" here are some examples of liberal "tolerance":

    Look at the football player who thought it was icky to see to gay men kiss and shove cake in eachothers mouths. He is being punished because he didn't conform.

    Look at Donald Sterling, he may lose his basketball team because he didn't conform.

    John Stewart recently did a pice mocking Harry Reid because of the liberal hypocrisy when they attack the Koch brothers. The Koch brothers donate money to conservative causes and are attacked, George Sorros can donate money to liberal causes and is praised for his efforts.

    You see, liberals are only tolerant of those who act and think like they do.

    As for marriage, according to some SSM activists, the purpose of SSM is to destroy traditional marriage. Just look for the video of Masha Gessen saying so.

    To "Open Minded Mormon" the word you are looking for is Libertarian, not liberal (at least not in todays world). Jesus wasn't forced to do any of those things by the government. He chose to do them.

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    May 15, 2014 1:27 p.m.


    Way to twist things there dude.

    SSM won't affect you. It won't.

    You are welcome to your opinion. However, if you try to use your opinion to deny equality to LGBT people you should be prepared to have people push back. Just because you can no longer get away with bigotry without criticism doesn't mean you are being oppressed.

    What "rights" do you actually lose by us getting equal rights? The "right" to oppress a minority? You never had that "right" to begin with. The "right" to vote on our marriages? You never had that "right" to begin with.

    One thing more, you do not have a "right" to grant rights to anyone, LGBT, women, or any other group; that is why they're called "rights"; they are inherent, not granted. They are ALREADY OURS to enjoy, just as they are yours to enjoy.

  • Vanceone Provo, UT
    May 15, 2014 1:10 p.m.

    Sure am glad the Gay rights people are finally more open about their true desires: to punish their opponents. Not too long ago, the Gay rights people would argue "How can legalizing gay marriage hurt you?" Now its a clear answer: The more rights the gays get, the less rights the rest of us have. They are open about firing people who disagree with them. They are open about silencing their opponents. It's labeled "Consequences for bigotry." They are contemptuous about Christianity (but silent with respect to Islam).

    Why should we give gays rights? They want to use their political power to punish everyone else. How can gay marriage hurt anyone else? By firing them, silencing them, sent to reeducation camp (like the NFL did). In short, the gay movement wants to institute thought control. If you even THINK different, you are verboten. And to be punished.

    Sounds American, right? That's what Washington fought for--to allow a group of 2-3 % of Americans to have total control over everyone else's thoughts.

  • Frozen Fractals Salt Lake City, UT
    May 15, 2014 12:40 p.m.

    "Stephen Colbert did an eye opening sketch when he showed that an accurate climate change discussion would have three scientists on one side of the table and 97 scientists on the other, not one of each. "

    That was John Oliver.

  • my_two_cents_worth university place, WA
    May 15, 2014 11:16 a.m.


    "I may disagree with what you say but I'll defend to the death your right to say it."

    That is still true today. I will continue to defend the rights of anyone to say stupid and hateful things. I will also continue to defend the rights of everyone else to call people out when they say stupid and hateful things and equally expect my right to call people out for saying stupid and hateful things. If calling them out gets them in trouble, oh well, that's the price you pay for exercising your right to say stupid and hateful things. Free speech is a many laned, omnidirectional street.

  • J in AZ San Tan Valley, AZ
    May 15, 2014 11:13 a.m.

    The problem with any discussion of SSM is that one side believes that any sex outside of a marriage between a man and woman is sin. The other side does not. The believer sees the problem as being one of allowing society to slip farther into immorality and hedonism. The SSM supporter operates from a position of allowing the individual to do as they see fit without consideration of right or wrong, good or evil. That is such a vast gap in world view that no communication is possible unless someone surrenders their principles.

    The problem with discussions of climate change is that the first instinct seems to be to try to attempt to mitigate any human contribution by limiting people's liberty and prosperity. People don't react very well to being told that they have to give up their goals for a more prosperous life for themselves and their children. When economically viable solutions come about that don't need government intervention to be competitive, this issue will become moot.

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    May 15, 2014 11:07 a.m.

    logicguy.."Today the prevalent attitude seems to be: "If I disagree with what you say I'll punish you for saying it."

    The problem with this is not someone has a different opinion, an opinion based only on religious belief, but that they are trying to make public policy based on that belief.

    When someone tries to make public policy based on "the bible says" it's down right dangerous to tolerate that belief in the policy discussion. We can sit down over a beer and discuss it all you want on a personal level but it can't be tolerated in the policy arean.

  • logicguy TUCSON, AZ
    May 15, 2014 10:43 a.m.

    Thank you for your very good article, Richard Davis.
    When I was in junior high school, having lessons on civics, I can remember our teacher telling us many times, "I may disagree with what you say but I'll defend to the death your right to say it."

    Today the prevalent attitude seems to be: "If I disagree with what you say I'll punish you for saying it."

    My, how times have changed.

  • bandersen Saint George, UT
    May 15, 2014 10:41 a.m.

    Open Minded Mormon: Jesus was a long haired (Not many barbers back then!) Happy Liberal (Happy conservative too?) who gave away healthcare for free (He also said, "Physician heal thyself-drug addiction, smoking, drinking, and Pornography viewers weren't praised and excused, as is the case today) feed the multitudes without charging them (Those receiving the aid were followers, not arrogant conceited athiests), hung out with Social outcasts (but didn't invite others to commit adultery), forgave those who sinned (Told them to sin no more),told his followers to give their wealth to the poor (Didn't excuse envy and greed) and have all things in common(wasn't advocated getting something for nothing), and
    told his anti-Government distractors to just pipe down and pay their taxes (wasn't condoning Communism or Socialism since neither have anything to do with His view of charity and helping the poor).

    Try saying that in Sunday School, in Utah (Or anywhere where foolish ideas go unchallenged!),and see if your still welcome to come to Church (Sometimes people are just looking for an excuse to stay away).

  • saltykat Salt Lake City, UT
    May 15, 2014 9:39 a.m.

    Calling out those who would deny the same rights & privileges they enjoy is not limiting their speech.

  • Kally Salt Lake City, UT
    May 15, 2014 9:32 a.m.

    “There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge'.”
    ― Isaac Asimov

  • gmlewis Houston, TX
    May 15, 2014 9:11 a.m.

    @Karen R. of Houston disagreed with the author for labeling "anti-SSM" opinions as poltical speech. She made the very good point that their genesis is religious expression. However, I concord with Mr. Davis. Now that SSM is countenanced legally, it has become political speech.

  • Blue Salt Lake City, UT
    May 15, 2014 9:01 a.m.

    "The solution to opinions we disagree with is not banishment; rather, it is better arguments. "

    Awesome. When will you start?

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    May 15, 2014 8:42 a.m.

    Pops, "Unless we can talk to each other and explain why we believe as we do, all we get is eye-poking and confrontation."

    Been there done that, and it has no effect on the closed mind. Facts are on the side of human effected climate change, fetuses don't experience the human condition until around 26 weeks, God sanctioned marriage is based on a myth, the constitution prioritizes federal law over state law etc. etc.

    Stephen Colbert did an eye opening sketch when he showed that an accurate climate change discussion would have three scientists on one side of the table and 97 scientists on the other, not one of each.

    That's what were talking about. Opinions founded in facts not myths and wishes.

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    May 15, 2014 7:30 a.m.


    You criticize "the left" and ignore the exact same action from "the right". It's hard to take you seriously.

    You say: "It is completely dishonest to state that someone has freedom of speech when that someone's livelihood is taken away if they speak."

    Did you know that I can be fired simply for my speech at work if I say: "I'm gay"? Your worries are pretty hollow to me; can you be fired for hanging a picture of your wife in your cubicle?

    "If there is to be honest debate about same-sex marriage, there must be free and uninhibited dialogue."

    Do we get to debate your marriage?


    I agree, we shouldn't prohibit speakers with differing opinions.


    Actually witches do exist, wiccan is a valid religious option.


    It is pretty offensive and destructive to LGBT families to deny us marriage, especially when it has no affect on you.


    You're not being called a "bigot" for supporting "traditional marriage" (I support it too). It's your opposition to marriage equality.

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    May 15, 2014 7:07 a.m.

    @That's Right
    Provo, UT
    To Open Minded Mormon:

    Jesus might have given health care away for free, but he never advocated that the government force other to give free health care. Jesus never argued that we should use the government to do such things.

    5:05 p.m. May 14, 2014

    [Really?! Then please show me ONE scripture where He said we couldn't.]


    the truth
    Holladay, UT

    Long haired?. Jewish society did not wear their hair long.
    [Sure they did.]

    that is just the imagings of renaissance painters.
    [Really?! Then why does the One True Church, depict him with long hair in paintings, statues, AND in the Temple?]

    Healing someone is healthcare?
    [um, ...hello?...YES!]

    Neither my ways are your ways neither my thoughts your thoughts.
    [I guess that whole "Come, Follow me", "Trying to be like Jesus", "Do as I'm Doing" thing just can't be true then?]

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    May 15, 2014 7:05 a.m.

    "For example, only 30 years ago someone who came out as gay might be fired from their job. "

    For example, TODAY, IN UTAH, someone who came out as gay might be fired from their job.

    "Most people don’t want to run the risk of losing their economic livelihood for expressing their views. Hence, they will keep quiet."

    Which is why so many LGBT people remain in the closet, even today.

    It isn't about "opinion" only, Mr. Davis, it is about having your rights voted on. It is about having othe people constantly tell you you are "broken", "perverted", "inferior". It isn't about their opinion, it is about the ACTIONS they take to discriminate against their fellow LGBT citizens.

  • Karen R. Houston, TX
    May 15, 2014 6:49 a.m.

    I have now read this op-ed several times and the more I read it, the more it bothers me.

    Mr. Davis, exactly how does it make us more free to continue to entertain unjustifiable beliefs that another group should have their freedoms restricted or denied?

    Exactly how does it make us more free to tell companies, "You can't respond to your market. You have to make sure no one feels 'punished'"? Doesn't this obliterate citizens' ability to influence their own markets? And how do you enforce this without governmental interference?

    I don't think you thought this one through. You're actually advocating the loss of free speech and regulation of company decision-making. I'm surprised the anti-government folks and free market worshippers weren't all over this one.

    If what you were trying to say is, "Let's not be so tough on those with unpopular views," my response is: It depends on the nature of the view. If it leads to injury to others without a rational justification, then I would think a just and moral society would want to demonstrate its disapproval, wouldn't you?

  • RichardB Murray, UT
    May 15, 2014 5:47 a.m.

    We all should respect diversity of opinion in America, unless it's from a white religious point of view. Then it should not be tolerated.

  • GaryO Virginia Beach, VA
    May 15, 2014 4:57 a.m.

    " Those who oppose should be welcomed"

    Sure why not?

    If the opposition is well reasoned with supporting facts and evidence, then absolutely it should be welcomed.

    And if it's a Right Wing rehash of lies on top of lies that circulate on Right Wing Radio, seemingly worthless drivel completely undeserving of of space or time . . . Publish it anyway, because it demonstrates just how wrong and willfully unaware some people are willing to be.

    And that can serve a useful purpose too.

  • higv Dietrich, ID
    May 14, 2014 9:51 p.m.

    Fred Phelphs would be a saint if you looked at some of the so called same gender marriage supporters. You can't defend traditional marriage without being called a bigot, narrowminded, this is the 21st century get with the times and on and on.

    People also say there is a constitutional right to marry someone of the same gender, though that is not found anywhere, while they will tell those who disagree with them to be quiet. Hypocrisy there as they don't want the 1st amendment applying to anyone that disagrees with them.

  • Kally Salt Lake City, UT
    May 14, 2014 8:36 p.m.

    Mississippi recently passed a religious freedom law stating that an individual or business who feels that their religious exercise is being burdened by a state law can use their religion as a defense for not following said law; they also have the option of suing the state over the law.

    Many individuals and businesses in Mississippi feel this law is discriminatory and have joined together to participate in an anti-discrimination campaign by displaying stickers that state, "We don't discriminate. If you'r buying, we're selling."

    The American Family Association, proud supporters of the law, believe that displaying the sticker is discriminatory towards religious freedom and will force businesses that would like to discriminate to do business with LGBT individuals - because LGBT individuals and their supporters will take their business to businesses that want to do business with them.

    In other words, the American Family Association wants to be able to choose not to do business with LGBT individuals, but doesn't want to make it easy for LGBT individuals to know where they are welcome because this will hurt their bottom line.

    They want it both ways.

    May 14, 2014 8:23 p.m.

    There's a great deal of irony in your comment, pragmatistfelife. The statements, "discriminatory, stupid, or unsupported by facts" and "offensive and destructive ideas" are opinions. You see, those who defend traditional marriage believe that SSM is "offensive and destructive", while SSM advocates believe that banning SSM is "offensive and destructive". Unless we can talk to each other and explain why we believe as we do, all we get is eye-poking and confrontation.

    In my view, a point of the article is that seeking to punish those with whom we disagree engenders confrontation and division, while allowing others to speak, and heaven forbid, listening to what they have to say, gives us at least a chance of finding common ground and working our way through differences.

    And yes, both sides are guilty of the same offense. So, if you buy into the philosophy that two wrongs make a right, then I guess that's an okay excuse to continue the hostilities.

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    May 14, 2014 6:45 p.m.

    Liberal Larry is the one who hit the nail on the head.

    "People are free to say what ever they want, but if it is discriminatory, stupid, or unsupported by facts they will rightly be pilloried by public opinion."

    Not one of the supposed injured suffered any kind of official or legal blow back. They simply experienced an appropriate response to an offensive opinion or statement.

    It's a healthy society that tolerates and encourages diversity including diversity of opinion, but it's a simply a political smoke screen to think that any and all offensive and destructive ideas will be tolerated. Unfortunately the right is full of such ideas now.

  • Fred Vader Oklahoma City, OK
    May 14, 2014 6:45 p.m.

    I seem to recall recently that there was a strong push by "gay marriage" supporters for Utah to pass laws restricting employers from discriminating against employees for being gay. However, based on the posts on this article, those same "gay marriage" supporters have changed their minds. Employers are now free to discriminate, because those choices are did you phrase it?.....oh, yes..... "employer decisions" and "free market".

    One less thing for legislatures and courts to worry about!

  • the truth Holladay, UT
    May 14, 2014 6:24 p.m.

    Society punishing another for their speech or exercising their conscience has a chilling effect on free speech and dissent.

    Where does it end?

    And in the end who will stand up for you?

    How is this any different than silencing dissent or censorship?

    Can you truly be considered a free and tolerant society?

    What is scary is the extreme left here trying to justifying their societal censorship and punishment of others.


    Long haired?. Jewish society did not wear their hair long.

    that is just the imagings of renaissance painters.

    Healing someone is healthcare?

    Jesus was none of those things and did none of those things.

    A closer read of the scriptures shows this.

    Trying to use Jesus to justify your man-created political ideologies is just wrong, plain wrong. Neither my ways are your ways neither my thoughts your thoughts.

  • That's Right Provo, UT
    May 14, 2014 5:05 p.m.

    To Open Minded Mormon:

    Jesus might have given health care away for free, but he never advocated that the government force other to give free health care. Jesus never argued that we should use the government to do such things.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    May 14, 2014 5:03 p.m.

    Those who oppose SHOULD be welcomed.

  • Henry Drummond San Jose, CA
    May 14, 2014 4:57 p.m.

    I think the author makes a valid point and is even-handed in his analysis. It wasn't that long ago that supporters of gay marriage were losing their jobs. Now that popular opinion has swung to the other side, some people want to even the score by seeing that people who opposed gay marriage get fired. This only poisons the public sphere for everyone. As Mahattmah Ghandi said: "An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth only makes the whole world blind and toothless."

  • Schnee Salt Lake City, UT
    May 14, 2014 3:30 p.m.

    "So Schnee is saying that mob action is not oppression (as long as it is against those whose views oppose his/hers).

    I disagree."

    I'm not saying it's not oppression, I'm just saying that it's not government oppression (since it's the company/employer making the decision, not any gov't law/official). We do not have laws that protect free speech in the workplace so if you want something to change then you're going to need labor laws (either through the gov't or collective bargaining) that cover such a thing.

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    May 14, 2014 3:10 p.m.

    the liberal reactionary comments about this article are ridiculous. Davis wasn’t telling the government to back-off, he was telling the mobocratic liberals to back off.

    You certainly can say any inane, foolish thing you want. YOU saying our comments are complete nonsense says more about you than the comments.

  • slcdenizen Murray, UT
    May 14, 2014 2:05 p.m.


    Liberalism and conservatism are simply lenses through which we view certain aspects of our society. As we've progressed and gained more insight into the nature of our world and the human experience, reality has become less fuzzy and certain truths replaced older, dogmatic ones. The window for political disagreement has likewise narrowed. Does anyone squabble over which is the best method of expelling witches? Or by which standard we price a slave? Those once contentious issues have been abandoned because of the progress made with regards to the fundamental truths about ourselves e.g. owning a person is morally reprehensible, and witches don't exist.

    SSM opponents make a simple claim that homosexuality is a conscientious choice rather than a genetic component of one's self. That is an inaccurate claim about human biology. Therefore, prescriptive claims about treating individuals a certain way should be rebutted and ignored. There's no room for disagreement on certified facts and dressing the issue up as a respectable political disagreement is as absurd as superciliously weighing in on the merits of burning or hanging a woman accused of witchcraft.

  • Manzanita Las Vegas, NV
    May 14, 2014 1:58 p.m.

    I agree with Professor Davis' larger point, and I offer this homegrown example: When Jeffrey Nielsen, a visiting professor at BYU at the time (2006), wrote an op-ed in the Salt Lake Tribune that staked out a position different from the Church's regarding same-sex marriage, he was dismissed from BYU. I think that chilling free expression in an academic environment is particularly harmful, since the exchange of ideas among faculty and students is the very raison d'etre of any worthwhile academic enterprise.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    May 14, 2014 1:38 p.m.

    "The objective is clear — the elimination of opposing opinions from the public square. The intent is to intimidate holders of opposing views into silence"

    Probably the only article Richard has written that I agree with. The above statement is exactly correct and IS the goal of the radical left in the country of which the gay community is a part of. These people allow only ONE opinion - theirs. The media are to blame for thrashing anyone who dares oppose the gay agenda. This is more akin to the paranoia with Joseph Mcarthy and is upheld and promoted by the Democrat party. We have seen a CEO fired recently at Mozilla for supporting Prop 8 six years ago with a small donation. We have seen NFL football players being told they need to go to "re-education" camps when they oppose or at even voice convern over this first GAY player on the RAMS. This is a society based on intimidation and terror but it is the direction America is headed sadly. The decline of a once great American society is happening so fast now that every week it seems a new freedom is being threatened. The ugly face of liberalism.

  • SCfan clearfield, UT
    May 14, 2014 1:32 p.m.


    Give me an example of unbiased truth. I don't mean Earth flat vs round. That is scientific truth. The examples you used about Bible, sexual orientation, marriage are merely social/political opinions that people have differences on. Based upon your point of view, I could just as easily say that liberalism is destructive to the American way and should be swiftly and unflinchingly done away with. You might say the same about conservatism. Point is, what you seem to want to call call "unbiased truth" might just be your opinion, not scientificly founded. In any case, I'll stick with more speech, not less. I'm surprised at how vehement your side seems to be in stopping speech you don't like. A rather totalitarian attitude in my (political scientific) opinion.

  • Testimony Philadelphia, PA
    May 14, 2014 1:13 p.m.

    There is a difference between freedom of speech and immunity to consequence.

    Freedom of speech means that the government can't prevent or sanction your speech. Minor exceptions to this are where you threaten, harass, defraud, or incite a riot or stampede. You also are liable for civil damages for libel and slander if you spread damaging untruths about someone. But, short of causing criminal damage intentionally, we have the freedom to express our honest thoughts and opinions.

    But, you don't have the power to make everyone accept what you say, nor do you have the power to pretend it has no effect on the people around you. Conservatives frequently argue that people have no right to a job. Try to unionize, and the typical Conservative viewpoint is crystal clear.

    Here, where you find a conflict between free speech and employer rights, you're being hypocritical. Of course a company has the right to dismiss a contract worker if they feel they're a liability to them. A company has every right to polish their image as they see fit. The customer comes first.

  • GingerAle North East, OH
    May 14, 2014 12:14 p.m.

    Mr Davis:

    My family consists of four. Me and my partner, and our two adopted children. She works, I am a stay-at-home mom for at least another year, maybe longer - both kids are special needs, it takes time.

    I will be blunt. If "my side" wins the debate, your family will not change or even be touched. You may have some psychological discomfort at the abstract thought of same-sex people getting married. But you suffer no harm.

    If your side wins it has very real-world impact on my family, on our children. It harms them, treats them as second class, makes many things you take for granted much more difficult for us to do.

    Your side talks abstracts and slippery-slope and makes false equivalencies.

    My side talks about real loss and real harm.

    You can talk, but understand that I may not be very sympathetic, may not have patience for what you say.

  • my_two_cents_worth university place, WA
    May 14, 2014 12:11 p.m.

    To John Charity Spring, Liberal Today, lost in DC, this is from an earlier post of mine on another thread:

    What do Disney, Starbucks, Pepsi, UPS, Oreos, Muppets, JC Penny, Levi Strauss and Company, J.P. Morgan, American Airlines, Medtronic, Inc. of Minneapolis, MN, Well’s Fargo, Portland General Gas and Electric of Portland Oregon, Hewlett Packard, The Providence Journal, Textron, Fleet Bank, IBM Corporation, CVS/Pharmacy Stores, Carrier Corp. of Syracuse, NY, Amazon, Nike, Google, Home Depot, General Mills and Cheerios, and the Girl Scouts all have in common? Right wing Christian Groups are and have been calling for boycotts of everyone of these because of their support for Gay rights. Ford Motor Company, under pressure from right-wing groups, pulled advertising from pro gay publications because of the economic Impact brought by the Christian Right--the exact same thing HGTV did with the Brenham brothers.

    What's good for the goose....

  • ordinaryfolks seattle, WA
    May 14, 2014 12:00 p.m.

    The conservative, reactionary comments about this are ridiculous. The free enterprise system "silenced" these people, not the government. There is a difference. If you don't know that, you ought to return to elementary school.

    You certainly can say any inane, foolish thing you wish. However, you also have to accept the consequences of being held to the public as a fool. And no one has the duty or responsibility to hire a fool for a paying job such as these already well off dudes.

    What happened to the conservative line of personal responsibility anyway? You want to utter complete nonsense, and then fight to avoid the consequences.

  • slcdenizen Murray, UT
    May 14, 2014 11:40 a.m.


    "The harm is when a college or students deny the opportunity of speech to be heard on campus for political or social reasons they disagree with"

    In the case of "traditional marriage" advocates, this type of speech has no place within the halls, except philosophy, of our universities for two reasons:

    1. The premise of Biblical inerrancy is entirely subjective and should not be considered objective truth, or reflecting objective reality.

    2. The basic assumption of human sexuality being an individual choice is inaccurate and should therefore be placed on the same shelf as flat earth mapping and geocentrism.

    If we attribute any value to unbiased truth, then the reaction to false claims about our fellow humans should be swift and unflinching. To do otherwise, as Mr. Davis is suggesting, would be cowardice.

  • Badgerbadger Murray, UT
    May 14, 2014 10:57 a.m.

    So Schnee is saying that mob action is not oppression (as long as it is against those whose views oppose his/hers).

    I disagree.

  • Schnee Salt Lake City, UT
    May 14, 2014 10:38 a.m.

    "It is completely dishonest to state that someone has freedom of speech when that someone's livelihood is taken away if they speak. "

    Freedom of speech is associated with the gov't not oppressing you. The examples you cited weren't gov't based, they were employer decisions. If you want greater protections for workers in the workplace regarding free speech, you probably need a stronger labor movement. It's your side that argued for all this time that gov't needs to get out of the way of business, that businesses should be able to refuse services like making cakes for same-sex couples.

  • EJM Herriman, UT
    May 14, 2014 10:27 a.m.

    The editorial applies to both sides of the aisle. I find it amusing to read both sides calling out the other using examples that only benefit themselves. Those posters missed the point of the column.

  • SCfan clearfield, UT
    May 14, 2014 10:23 a.m.


    I can't speak for Mr. Davis, or BYU, but I would agree that a politician who held those views should be allowed to speak on campus. What's the harm? The harm is when a college or students deny the opportunity of speech to be heard on campus for political or social reasons they disagree with. And if said speaker is offensive enough, there will be few people listening. One of the main purposes of a university was to allow such. As well as the purpose of the 1st Amendment. To protect free speech, particularly that which may be offensive to many or the majority. It seems many on the left in America have forgotten those basic principles, or never agreed with them in the first place.

  • The Wraith Kaysville, UT
    May 14, 2014 10:17 a.m.

    Organizing boycotts and protests is now terrorism?

    Just out of curiosity, when something is said that people on the left find offensive (like that of Robertson or the Benham brothers) what should they do? If they can't protest, express their anger, organize a boycott or other activities what do you want them to do? Keep their mouths shut? Stay out of the public square and pretend not to exist?

  • KJB1 Eugene, OR
    May 14, 2014 9:45 a.m.

    ECR makes an excellent point, and there are plenty of other examples. Amendment 3 gave same-sex couple absolutely no recourse to have their unions legally recognized. I don't recall the DN asking for tolerance then, but now that the shoe's on the other foot, we're suddenly supposed to compromise.

    It's a bit late to complain about this now, guys.

    And JCS? One man's "economic terrorism" is another's free market. What's your solution? The government forcing HGTV to hire those people back? So much for conservatism...

  • John Charity Spring Back Home in Davis County, UT
    May 14, 2014 9:07 a.m.

    The usual left-wingers have been quick to criticize, and equally quick to ignore fact. For those who claim that the left doesn't use economic terrorism to silence its critics, we need only look at examples from Mozilla, ESPN, CBS, and this from H GTV to see the irrefutable truth.

    It is completely dishonest to state that someone has freedom of speech when that someone's livelihood is taken away if they speak. The prisoners in the Soviet gulags had similar freedom.

    If there is to be honest debate about same-sex marriage, there must be free and uninhibited dialogue. That is the issue here.

  • Liberal Today Murray, UT
    May 14, 2014 9:06 a.m.

    When homosexuals and atheists are censored in their speech by taking away their shows and their ability to earn a living it is called discrimination.

    When so called 'Christians' are censored in their speech by taking away their shows and their ability to earn a living it is called payback and justice. It is time they learn their lesson.

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    May 14, 2014 9:05 a.m.

    I can relate --

    Jesus was a long haired,
    happy Liberal,
    who gave away healthcare for free,
    feed the multitudes without charging them,
    hung out with Social outcasts,
    forgave those who sinned,
    told his follwers to give their wealth to the poor and have all things in common,
    told his anti-Government distractors to just pipe down and pay their taxes.

    Try saying that in Sunday School, in Utah,
    and see if your still welcome to come to Church.

  • slcdenizen Murray, UT
    May 14, 2014 9:05 a.m.

    Would a politician seeking to pass legislation that stripped the LDS church of benefits that are awarded to his own congretation be welcomed at BYU to express his certain beliefs that the Mormon church is a cult? Would Mr. Davis rush to the defense of such a figure because of his willingness to welcome dissent? If you don't see that happening, then a situation in which ignorant, libelous comments aren't roundly comdemned is just as likely to occur.

  • The Wraith Kaysville, UT
    May 14, 2014 8:07 a.m.

    @John Charity Spring

    No one has taken "destroyed" the freedom of speech of either Phil Robertson or the Benham brothers. Do you know I can tell? Because they are just as free today to say what they did, they could say it today, tomorrow, the next day, a year from now. No one is putting them in jail. Their freedom of speech in still 100% intact.

    However, they did say something that made many people angry and those people exercised their freedom of speech to protest. The corporations these people worked for decided to suspend the individual (in the case of Robertson) or cut ties with them (in the case of the Benham brothers). These companies are completely within their rights to do that if they so choose. If you want to be upset with anyone be upset with the companies, protest the companies decision, write letters to the companies complaining about their decision.

    There are things I could say that my employer would be very upset about and might even cost me my job. I'm sure there are things you could say that would cost you your job. That isn't a limit on your freedom of speech though.

  • Owen Heber City, UT
    May 14, 2014 8:05 a.m.

    Neither of the examples are free speech being restricted. They are examples of two employers (A&E and HGTV) imposing standards of conduct upon employees who are the faces of the company. I doubt it would be an issue for A&E's accountants to take a public stance.

    The evidence is in the editorial: when A&E's bosses realized the comments wouldn't hurt revenue streams, they reversed course.

  • ECR Burke, VA
    May 14, 2014 8:03 a.m.

    John Charity Spring - I challenge you to provide documentation of the things you claim to be true. For the record, I consider myself to be a liberal in many ways, but not all of ways. I have never proposed stripping anyone of "employment, community safety, and even the pursuit of happiness" simply because I disagree with them I would not like to see anyone put out of work and especially not want anyone's children to go hungry. In fact, a true liberal agenda celebrates differences and always promotes the health and well being of all the citizens.

    Unfortunately there are liberals and conservatives alike who suffer from low self esteem and are so consumed by their fears that they speak out against anyone who disagrees with their position an almost anything. Because of my religious beliefs I interpret that to be a lack of faith in a higher power. Without that faith, and the feelings of being loved that accompany it, people instead fear that with which they might disagree.

    So I would challenge you John, to provide specific examples of what you claim.

  • John Charity Spring Back Home in Davis County, UT
    May 14, 2014 7:42 a.m.

    The left-wing will stop at nothing in its efforts to silence all who oppose it. This includes stripping opponents of employment, community safety, and even the pursuit of happiness.

    The left would rather see parents put out of work and have their children go hungry than to allow dissenting voices to be heard. In the vision of the left, only one viewpoint has the right to be expressed.

    I issue my strongest possible condemnation of those leftists who are seeking to destroy freedom of speech. Their disregard for the Constitution is nothing short of shameful

  • JoeCapitalist2 Orem, UT
    May 14, 2014 7:09 a.m.

    From the article: "This reaction is not for a slur of a group or individual, which would be understandable, but for articulation of a political opinion."

    The problem is that all the free speech opponents out there try to equate every political opinion they don't agree with as a slur on a group or individual.

    If you express any support for traditional marriage, then it must be because you hate gays. If you think abortion is wrong, then you must hate women. If you think that terrorism must be defeated, then you must hate Muslims. If you want us to protect our borders, then you must hate Hispanics. Etc., etc..

  • liberal larry salt lake City, utah
    May 14, 2014 7:06 a.m.

    “homosexuality and its agenda that is attacking the nation.”

    People are free to say what ever they want, but if it is discriminatory, stupid, or unsupported by facts they will rightly be pilloried by public opinion.

    There has has to be a degree of proportionality, we don't have time to take seriously any crazy notion hat comes out of the mouth of David Benham.

    Our country is open to the "marketpace of ideas" and if you have a radical idea, thats fine, but let's hear some proof!

  • Gandalf Salt Lake City, UT
    May 14, 2014 6:58 a.m.

    Good op-ed. We need greater tolerance for dissent and diversity. In the predominant religious culture here in Utah, too often different, valid lifestyle or political choices are viewed as deviations from gospel doctrine (e.g. tattoos, wearing sleeveless dresses, or aligning yourself with something other than the Republican party). And significant deviations from gospel doctrine in those areas are viewed as acceptable in light of cultural standards (e.g., our excess consumption of food, trashing the environment, exaltation of capitalism, and anti-federal government ranting). People need to appreciate more the strength that can come to our society by cultivating divergent views and the weakness that comes from encouraging lock step, uncritical thinking.

  • SCfan clearfield, UT
    May 14, 2014 6:57 a.m.

    It has been said that the best way to counter bad speech is with more speech, not with censorship. Those who don't have a good counter to speech they disagree with are the ones who want speech codes on college campuses. Who would deny a woman like Condaleeza Rice a chance to speak at a college. Who want a fairness doctrine in the media, especially on talk radio, which would stifle a lot of conservative speech. In other words, a lot of this is coming from people who "consider" themselves to be open minded, tolerant, inclusive, diverse. In other words, liberal. Ironic isn't it.

  • Karen R. Houston, TX
    May 14, 2014 6:37 a.m.

    Mr. Davis writes as if the anti-SSM position is an equally valid position. He writes as if the consequences of the discriminatory beliefs about LGBTs are not -- discrimination.

    Why, when we now have information that refutes all of the stereotypes, that makes baseless all the fears - why would we respect as equally valid beliefs that cause people injury? Do we give equal standing to other beliefs we now see as unjust and harmful? They still exist (e.g., white supremacy). People still have a right to express them. Do we give them equal standing in the public square? Is Mr. Davis saying we should?

    I think those that believe their gods condemn homosexuality need to come to terms with the fact that society now regards this belief of theirs as immoral, unjust, and overdue for the scrap heap of history.

    BTW, Mr. Davis, calling this a "political" belief is just trying to hide the ball. We all know the genesis of these odious beliefs is religion and that the anti-SSM position is overwhelmingly religious in nature. Let's call a spade a spade.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    May 14, 2014 5:59 a.m.

    "Rather than impose social or economic punishment on the holder of unpopular views, we should welcome them into public discourse."

    Mr Davis appears to have at least one blinder on. I was surprised that he was apparently unable to find examples where those on the right attempted to "impose social or economic punishment on the holder of unpopular views"

    When JC Penny hired Ellen DeGeneres as a spokesperson, there were certainly calls for her to be removed from that position or face "economic punishment"

    There are countless other examples.

    And, I see nothing wrong with them. Isn't the free market system based on "economic punishment" and "economic reward" from consumers?

    We are all free to speak our minds. But we are not free from the fallout in doing so.

    Lets just be consistent.

  • ECR Burke, VA
    May 14, 2014 5:44 a.m.

    On March 10, 2003, Dixie Chicks lead singer, Natalie Maines, made a statement to an audience in England that said, "Just so you know, we're on the good side with y'all. We do not want this war, this violence, and we're ashamed that the President of the United States is from Texas."

    The outcry from the right was monumental. On March 14 Maines apologized. "As a concerned American citizen, I apologize to President Bush because my remark was disrespectful. I feel that whoever holds that office should be treated with the utmost respect. ...I just want to see every possible alternative exhausted before children and American soldiers' lives are lost. I love my country. I am a proud American." But to no avail. Their CDs were smashed in public demonstrations and right leaning country music stations banned their music and the women of the group received hate mail, some of it physically threatening. Today the band is still loosely organized and plays at limited venues, but the band members have taken other avenues in recording music.

    So this was a right wing outcry against a liberal position. What editorials were writen in favor the Dixie Chicks when this happened?

  • Roland Kayser Cottonwood Heights, UT
    May 14, 2014 12:31 a.m.

    Great editorial. Everyone has the right of free speech. Whether or not I agree is completely irrelevant.