Farm owners fined for refusing to host a wedding — for a lesbian couple

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  • SlopJ30 St Louis, MO
    Aug. 28, 2014 8:17 a.m.

    Again: whose morals? I've never heard a coherent response to this. Mormon morals? Christian morals? Even within those categories, you're dealing with vast expanses of grey area. It's impossible to legisltate morality in a free society.

    And why the conservative obsession with singling people out for being gay? Aren't there all sorts of other supposed moral transgressions you should be on the lookout for? Should a business be allowed to refuse service to a known adulterer? How about a couple "living in sin"? What about weird fetishes? If a straight couple wants to get married in this couple's house/chapel but had been cheating on previous spouses, would you refuse them service?

    Heck; how about someone who the business owner knows to be dishonest or abusive? The "morals" discussion tends to focus entirely on sex, and these days mostly on gay whoopee. Conservatives have their favorite pet morals, and those are the only ones they care about. It's not "morality"; it's phobia.

    And Chuck E Cheese may discriminate against beer, but not people. Bad analogy.

  • Riverton Cougar Riverton, UT
    Aug. 26, 2014 11:04 p.m.

    "First 'That is against our religious beliefs so I don't offer that service' if often just a nicer way of saying 'We don't serve your kind here.'"

    Certainly not. If you really believe that they are the same thing then you are so set in your liberal ways that nothing I say will change your mind (this tends to happen with "open-minded" people). I have nothing against gays. These farmers have nothing against gays. However, their viewpoint of marriage is that God has ordained it as being between a man and a woman and many of us believe that. Therefore we believe that hosting or supporting a gay marriage is in direct violation of God's will for us.

    "And they DO offer the service being sought . . a wedding."

    As I said, a gay marriage is completely different from a wedding for those of us who believe that marriage is sacred and should only be between a man and a woman. It's like suggesting that Chuck E Cheese's will have to be willing to host a late night beer party because they already host parties.

    Also, all criminal laws have a moral basis.

  • SlopJ30 St Louis, MO
    Aug. 26, 2014 9:40 a.m.


    Where to start? First "That is against our religious beliefs so I don't offer that service" if often just a nicer way of saying "We don't serve your kind here." There is literally nothing that someone somewhere hasn’t attempted to justify in that manner. And they DO offer the service being sought . . a wedding. This couple wasn't asking for anything besides what other couples have received.

    Second, JW's do pay taxes. You just repeated a myth some guy probably told you at work. If you know JW's who don't pay taxes, they're just trying to save money and freeload using religion as an excuse.

    Your argument about morality has been made over and over and over, ineffectively. The question, always unanswered, remains “Whose morals?” You cite murder and theft, two activities which by definition directly and adversely affect other people. That's not "morality"; it's order in a civilized society. To imply gay marriage is somehow in the same category is so absurd it’s not even worth debating.

  • Riverton Cougar Riverton, UT
    Aug. 25, 2014 8:36 p.m.


    This isn't a "we don't serve your kind here". It's a "that service is against my religious beliefs, so I don't offer that service". So if these farmers must host the wedding, then religious liberty is the casualty.

    Jehova's Witnesses are afforded lots of exceptions due to their religious beliefs; for example, they don't pay taxes, they don't enroll in the military, they are immune from military drafts, and they will not allow blood transfusions even if it means death is the alternative. Even though I don't agree with their viewpoints, I acknowledge that they are their beliefs and we can't force it upon them.

    You say that religion can't infringe on other people's rights, but many of the rights have a moral basis. Our common beliefs that murder and theft are wrong stem from moral issues, whether or not you deny it. Marriage is a moral issue as well, so people have every right to refuse participating in or endorsing a particular "marriage" ceremony that they believe is immoral.

  • SlopJ30 St Louis, MO
    Aug. 25, 2014 10:00 a.m.

    niners says: "It is a huge political war between liberals and conservatives to enforce their social views on the other."

    With one major, MAJOR difference:

    Conservatives love to tell everyone "You can't do that thing you want to do because of the way I feel about it."

    Liberals love to tell everyone "I should be allowed to do this thing I want to do, which is not harming you, because I choose to."

    I would think this distinction is obvious. Conservatives routinely attempt to flip the script and pre-emptively yelp about religious discrimination when they really mean the lack of legal backing for their own discriminatory actions. It doesn't work. Very few of the anti-SSM arguments or the commenters backing the business in this case hold up to the slightest scrutiny from a legal (or even rational) point of view.

    It's all sky-is-falling, slippery-slope predictions, absurd analogies, and moaning about Jesus and morality. None of this will ever hold any water in an impartial court of law, presided over by someone who bases their decisions on law rather than religion or tradition.

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    Aug. 25, 2014 9:32 a.m.

    @4Freedom (for yourself only);

    Allowing any business to say "we don't serve your kind here" is every bit as odious today when done to LGBT citizens as when it was done to black citizens in days of yore. They ARE every bit as comparable.

    If you can't serve everyone equally then you shouldn't be in business. You and your business are separate entities. Your business does NOT have a religious belief; it is a not a person.

  • 4Freedom Columbus, OH
    Aug. 25, 2014 5:29 a.m.

    A number of people here have said that to refuse service to homosexual couples because of religious beliefs would be the same as refusing someone because they are black or from a different country, etc. Making such a claim falsely charges the argument. No one is talking about racism here. No one is talking about anti-nationalism here. They are not the same thing. Let's talk about what is going on. It is one thing to protect homosexuals from the rare but violent people who would do them bodily harm, or verbal harrassment, just as we would protect an African American, a Mormon, or anyone else. It is quite another to put homosexuals in a "protected class" where any public institution must cater to their lifestyle, especially given that the majority of the country considers their lifestyle immoral. It is easy for some people to say, "If you can't serve everyone then get out of the business you are in." Really? Some of these people were in business long before the government stepped in to "redefine" these things. Now they are being punished in a retroactive way. How's that for fair? How's that for just?

    Aug. 24, 2014 5:31 p.m.

    That's a shame. That the government can literally force private business owners to go against their religious beliefs. They didn't refuse a reception only not to be part of a wedding ceremony, which to me is meeting on middle ground. Applause to Liberty Ridge Farm for standing up to their convictions!

  • K Mchenry, IL
    Aug. 24, 2014 7:11 a.m.

    @Laura, catholics don't believe once baptized you are catholic forever and can only marry in a catholic ceremony. You usually do a paperwork process to marry out of faith. But no one on earth would know if you bothered to do this or not. The Catholic Church needs to know if you have been sacramentally married before allowing you to do so again, and they would only do so if you were free to marry. Annulment or after one spouse died. And they want to know if you are civilly married and divorced and free to marry from a civil perspective. You could civilly marry and then after the fact have the church recognize the marriage. No one would know besides the church.

  • O'really Idaho Falls, ID
    Aug. 23, 2014 10:32 p.m.

    @ Lily Munster

    " Would you support their "Religious Freedom of their Beliefs" to discriminate then?"

    Absolutely! They can run their business any way they want. If they don't want to serve Mormons, that's their call.

  • Riverton Cougar Riverton, UT
    Aug. 23, 2014 9:02 p.m.

    There is a difference between refusing to provide service to someone because that person's lifestyle contradicts your religious beliefs (like not letting somebody eat at your restaurant because he/she is gay/lesbian) and refusing to provide a service that directly goes against your conscience because of your religious beliefs (such as refusing to host a gay marriage ceremony).

    The farm owners are in the right here, no doubt about it.

  • Stormwalker Cleveland , OH
    Aug. 23, 2014 8:27 p.m.

    There seems to be a problem with the headline on this article. Perhaps it can be fixed.

    It should read something like: "Business Owners Fined for Breaking New York Public Accommodations Law."

    Of course, that headline wouldn't have generated 121 comments.

  • Bob A. Bohey Marlborough, MA
    Aug. 23, 2014 8:01 a.m.

    I have lived in both UT and NY. Life well being in NY for me is so much better than it was in UT. Thank you NY for standing up to bigotry and hate and for showing the rest of the nation how to really lead on things that matter. Oh, and by the way. I am a wm hetrosexual in case you were wondering.

  • niners SAINT GEORGE, UT
    Aug. 23, 2014 6:20 a.m.

    I sincerely used to believe the gay community would not impose their views on religion. I thought they would get the right to marry and they would be happy. It didnt end there. How naive I was. As an atheist and libertarian I felt gay people had every right to marry. As an American I see religious freedom being violated. Every new law we emplace is less freedom. Americans truly cannot have certain opinions anymore without it jeopardizing their livelihood. We must take out all laws pertaining to social issues. It is a huge political war between liberals and conservatives to enforce their social views on the other. Why dont we take out social issues from politics and let the lowest unit (the family) decide what is right or wrong socially as long as it doesnt physically harm another person? Laws controlling social issues are truly the demise of freedom, and new social laws are getting passed everyday.

  • Lilalips Attleboro, MA
    Aug. 22, 2014 6:48 p.m.

    The farm owners should have told the happy couple that there was a conflict on the calendar. End of story.

  • KVC Sahuarita, az
    Aug. 22, 2014 5:49 p.m.

    Let's be totally honest here, almost every single person discriminates. That is a fact. The difference is that some people want to protect their right to discriminate while criminalizing others. They achieve this by labeling those they disagree with as bigots, and defend their right to discriminate against those they want as just fighting against bigotry. This is a very self righteous attitude to claim moral superiority in the area of discrimination.

    If a business can't refuse to provide services for a gay wedding, how can they deny to put a kids name on a birthday cake because they don't like the name and think it is wrong. Why should the liberals be the ones who decide who can be discriminated against? When did the Constitution permit that?

    Irishrose- that means you can't judge or discriminate against the Aryan Nation, or anyone else that may be abhorrent in your view.

    Ranchhand- The issue is do I assist someone in doing something I deem sinful. If I deem gay marriage as sinful. Should you be required by force of law to assist or play a part in something you deem sinful?

  • KVC Sahuarita, az
    Aug. 22, 2014 3:53 p.m.

    Furry1993- The Constitution does not only provide protections for our private lives. You are saying that we must be willing to sacrifice our Constitutional rights if we want to own a business or have a job. That is nonsense. Just as Hobby Lobby does not have to provide contraception, a business has Constitutional protections as well.

    RanchHand- There is a difference between serving people who are LGBT and providing services for Gay weddings. It would be no different if the Farm objected to hosting a Polygamous wedding. They have every right. Prostitution is legal in Nevada. Should those women be required to serve all comers regardless of race or gender? Why should I be prevented from photographing heterosexual weddings because I don't want to attend gay weddings? Why should fertility doctors be required to help gay couples get pregnant if they don't support it?

    Lilly- the govt constantly allows businesses to discriminate and be prejudicial. People who donated to Prop 8 have lost their jobs based on that act alone. Musicians will refuse to perform at events for people they just don't like, especially conservatives. Those acts are discrimination yet permitted. Why is that okay?

  • goosehuntr Tooele, UT
    Aug. 22, 2014 3:30 p.m.

    Wow... we are in trouble. We have been sleeping too long, and we are awakening to our aweful situation. There is not a decision that anyone can make that it not affect someone somewhere in some way, small or great. The ripple effect of the decision to allow same sex marriage is growing from a ripple to a wave and it will continue to increase. The Courts condemn for Gender discrimination while at the same time discriminate against religeous beliefs. Contradiction is always a fruit of wickedness...a state that is increasing in our society. Anyone can see, we are not healthy as a society, government, or even physically generally speaking. Our choices are showing their fruits.

  • A Scientist Provo, UT
    Aug. 22, 2014 3:26 p.m.

    This is a just fine.

    And it is also amusing to watch the believers pull their hair out over it!

  • Irishrose Silverdale, WA
    Aug. 22, 2014 3:23 p.m.

    I think the comments by dragline are spot on. The bottom line is would you deny someone something simply because they look or act differently than you. Doesn't God teach us that He is the only one to judge us? Where do we come off judging the behavior of our brothers and sisters? Aren't we violating God's commandments when we do that?

  • Lilly Munster netherlands, 00
    Aug. 22, 2014 12:49 p.m.

    Bigotry is ALWAYS supported with twisted logic, disguised as "my freedom." Answer this question. what would you say if a Gay owned business owner, who is one of the millions of Americans who's religion FORBIDS discrimination (the vast majority of Protestant Denominations now) said "we don't serve Mormons, because our religion believes Mormonism to be discriminatory, hostile to Equality and abusive to women and minorities." Would you support their "Religious Freedom of their Beliefs" to discriminate then?

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    Aug. 22, 2014 12:42 p.m.


    1) You're going to be hard pressed to point me to a scripture that tells you not to do business with "sinners". As such, you're also going to be hard pressed to show me how it violates your religious freedom to provide services to LGBT citizens that you provide for others.

    2) Until and unless you refuse to do business with ALL "sinners" and not just the LGBT "sinners", then all your protestations of "religious conscience" ring quite hollow and are nothing more than pure discrimination.

    Do you do business with adulterers?
    Do you do business with thieves?
    Do you do business with Sabbath breakers?
    Do you do business with fornicators?

    When you claim that doing business with LGBT citizens violates your religious freedom, and you turn around and do business with any of the above, then you are nothing but a hypocrite, and guess what, I CAN point to numerous scriptures in your bible that condemn the hypocrites.

  • Furry1993 Ogden, UT
    Aug. 22, 2014 12:22 p.m.

    @Kora 11:42 a.m. Aug. 22, 2014

    FYI -- I'm not a liberal. I'm very mainstream. My husband and I are two weeks away from our 45th wedding anniversary. We're very religious (LDS). I'm making no representations concerning my moral beliefs in relation to anyone else's. I'm merely addressing the issue from the perspective of someone who has over 60 years of life and has seen a lot of issues play out during it.

    In your private life you are free to be as tolerant or intolerant as you choose. You are perfectly free to have whatever religious and/or personal beliefs and values you choose to have. Nobody is standing in your way, or requiring you to change. It is different when you choose to operate a business that provides a product or service to the public. Then you have to operate in a way that works to the benefit of ALL of the public you are serving. If you provide a product or service to one portion of the public, it is necessary for you to to provide that product or service on the terms to all of the public. That is only fair and right.

  • Lilly Munster netherlands, 00
    Aug. 22, 2014 12:21 p.m.

    Let's make this entirely clear, fair, and lawfully factual. When you apply for and get a Business License, you agree to serve the Public, without discrimination or bigotry. It's a Business License, not a Church Charter. Mormons should be defending non-discrimination, not promoting the same bigotries that persecuted US, for so nearly two centuries. Yes, your Mormon parents and Grandparents were told "We don't serve YOUR kind, because we don't approve of YOU." Persecution is persecution, and it is always illegal, ugly, and unproductive. If you will not serve the Public without prejudices, you should not get a Business License.

  • Kora Cedar Hills, UT
    Aug. 22, 2014 11:42 a.m.

    Furry1993- So why do liberals constantly oppose others imposing their morals on them, and then demand we accept their morals. Is that not hypocritical? You are stating that your moral beliefs are absolutely correct and everyone must adhere to them, but I am not allowed to let my morals influence anyone else. You cannot have it both ways. I am not forcing anyone to be straight or act in a moral manner that I think they should, but on the flip side, I should not be told what I have to accept, and violate my freedom of religion in order to run a business.

    Does anyone really think our Founders intended that we should be forced to violate our religious beliefs in order to have a business or work in our Nation. I think they would be outraged at such a thought, and there is no section of the Constitution that overrules the first Amendment.

    James Madison wrote: "nor shall the full and equal rights of conscience be in any manner, or on any pretence, infringed." This was the intent of our founders.

    It seems that the rights of conscience of many people are being infringed.

  • Furry1993 Ogden, UT
    Aug. 22, 2014 10:14 a.m.

    @Uncle_Fester 8:49 a.m. Aug. 22, 2014

    "They can still get married, just not at that farm."

    Right. And back in the day people could marry anyone they wanted, as long as they were of the same race. And people could sit anyone where on the bus they wanted, as long as it was in the back. And people could drink from any fountain they wanted, as long as it was the one set aside for their race. And a lot more examples. Why? Because it was considered immoral for people of mixed races to marry or sit together or drink from the same water fountain. In other words, it was against someone's religion.

    Sound familiar? Well it is. And just as ill-founded and ill-based and wrong as the prejudice against LGBT people today trying to have the same rights the rest of us have.

    Hopefully the prejudicial discrimination and (for some people, bigotry) against LGBT people will be just as unthinkable in a few years as the prejudicial discrimination and (for some people, bigotry) against people of color seems today.

  • Uncle_Fester Niskayuna, NY
    Aug. 22, 2014 8:49 a.m.

    This is just stupid. It's a business and businesses are not "public accommodations" in the way suggested. Any business can refuse a contract or deal if it wants to only now we play the shibboleth game. How it refuses suddenly matters. I can say "no" and provide no reason and I'm fine. But if I say "no" for a reason -such as it offends my free practice of religion by making me support behavior to which I am opposed, suddenly it's a problem. The fact is the people being discriminated against here are the business owners. Where are the damages to the lesbian couple? They can still get married, just not at that farm. Their damages are at best psychic while the true discriminatory harm falls on the religious farm owner. Since when is the First Amendment right to the free practice of religion trumped by the proclivities of people to engage in sexual practices of their liking? It's absurd.

  • danielPA Newcastle, WA
    Aug. 21, 2014 10:41 p.m.

    I find it simply unbelievable how far the government can go nowadays in interfering with freedom of choice. And THAT is what this is about. On privately owned property, no less.

  • New to Utah PAYSON, UT
    Aug. 21, 2014 7:01 p.m.

    The farm families involved in this case should appeal the ruling. After reading the article it became clear that they were not prejudiced and in fact employed gay and lesbian workers. It was strictly a religious conviction about performing a same sex marriage in their home. I think the US Constitution's first amendment would be adequate grounds for an appeal.

  • RednSilver Lawton, OK
    Aug. 21, 2014 4:42 p.m.

    This family rents out their home, other buildings, and an open field to the public for weddings all the time. They just declined to rent the property to a same-sex couple in a state where same-sex marriages have been legal for several years--and a state which prohibits discrimination in public accommodation. The couple is guilty of discrimination and must pay the fines. They can avoid similar fines in the future by ceasing to rent their property for any marriage ceremony or by ceasing to rent their property to the public for any purpose.

  • hermounts Pleasanton, CA
    Aug. 21, 2014 4:37 p.m.

    What we're talking about here is a business transaction. Both parties should be equally free to choose whether or not to do business with each other. To say otherwise is inconsistent with both liberty and equality.

  • Bob K Davis, CA
    Aug. 21, 2014 4:32 p.m.

    So many ugly and un-Christian comments!

    No American residing in a State that has equal protection laws should be told "Get over it and go elsewhere" when refused service in a public business due to who they are.

    Imagine being told "Sorry, you can't have the wedding here, because it would desecrate our house and our religion" -- Again, notice that it is illegal in that State.

    Christ told us to walk in the other person's shoes, not to kick them with our own shoe!

    The unspoken issue is the lds uncertainty about what to do with their own Gay sons and daughters. In a culture where "everybody marries", lds parents are being told to inform one or more of their beloved children that they cannot have what their siblings have without lying to God.

  • Bob K Davis, CA
    Aug. 21, 2014 4:30 p.m.

    Provo, UT
    "How can a gay marriage harm you if you are not gay?
    Why, by fining you and threatening your livelihood, getting you fired if you don't have the "correct beliefs" (See: Brenden Eich)"

    --Brendan Eich had to resign because his prior actions (and refusal to retract them) cost him the consensus to LEAD the business. He was not "fired for beliefs". A majority or large plurality of the employees there do not respect him, because he allowed his catholic beliefs to promote something that was hateful to the general population of the company.

    "Freedom of religion? How much longer before it's all "Hate speech" and you can't even worship in peace anymore--two years, max?"

    -- This is typical older mormon "they sent soldiers to force us" stuff. No one is questioning how you worship. The issue is bringing religious beliefs into a public business to justify breaking a law.

    Utah is not the world -- and Utahns might take a look at their habit of telling others how they should behave and what their laws should be.

  • nycut New York, NY
    Aug. 21, 2014 4:29 p.m.

    @Nodak says:
    "The family that owns the farm did not "discriminate" against either of the ladies. They were both welcome to get married on the property. They discriminated between whether or not they would host for traditional marriages versus so-called same-gender marriages."

    That's a tricky bit of pseudo-logic. Playing by those rules, the farm DID discriminate against one of the ladies because if she were a man they'd be welcome to get married on the property. Discrimination based on sex, plain and simple.

    We could be ridiculous all day. Or have a real discussion about the importance of living in a country where business owners follow the law and all citizens have equal access to public accommodations. The farm broke the law. Like it nor not, it's an open and shut case.

  • Kora Cedar Hills, UT
    Aug. 21, 2014 3:50 p.m.

    So what I am hearing people say is that you can discriminate against anyone who is conservative or holds beliefs contrary to liberals, but you cannot discriminate against anyone that liberals consider a protected class. So if you are white you can be discriminated against if you don't hold the same beliefs as liberals. They can refuse to provide services to you if you openly oppose gay marriage. They can deny you services they provide others if they don't like your name. There are many groups I disagree with and would not want to serve, and should be allowed to refuse, including white supremacists. But how are these white people able to be discriminated against because of their beliefs? Isn't that political discrimination? Can I refuse to serve Democrats if I so choose? How about Black Panthers? Who gets to decide what people are protected and who is not? Do liberals get to decide whose morals are to be respected, and whose should not be?

    Liberals are so opposed to discrimination except when they want to discriminate, then it is okay. They see themselves as so enlightened above all others.

  • homers Provo, UT
    Aug. 21, 2014 3:48 p.m.

    All these types of cases are simply an indication that our society values all the first amendment enumerated rights except freedom of religion - that when freedom of religion clashes with the 14th amendment that freedom of religion is taking a back seat. The courts are saying that as a business person you must participate in actions that are abhorent to your religious beliefs or you are going to pay a steep price. And as to dragline's point - hospitals, daycare, restaurants, and theme parks don't do weddings as a primary part of their buisness. If they did, and if they objected to doing a wedding, based on religious beliefs, then their religious convictions should be given due considerations. There is a reason the first enumerated right in the First Amendment was the right to the free exercise of religion followed freedom of speech, the press, peaceable assembly and finally to petition the Government for redress.

  • calorimeter USA, ID
    Aug. 21, 2014 3:42 p.m.

    "Oh woah is us in Utah, being punished right along side the bigoted business that broke a public accommodation law 3,000 miles away! Can't you see how that tramples our rights. Wah wah. Boo hoo."

  • Kelliebelle66 West Jordan, UT
    Aug. 21, 2014 2:52 p.m.

    I was always taught to be tolerant of others beliefs and to not press my beliefs on others who may not want to hear them. I don't expect people to accommodate me, as an LDS person, and make their place of business totally conform to all my personal beliefs. If I walked into a restaurant and acted offended because they weren't complying with my personal beliefs because they were serving alcohol and took them to court I would be laughed out of the court system. Maybe I should decide to have my daughter's wedding reception at a local strip club and demand they change things up to fit my religious and personal beliefs. I know they would turn me down and I know the courts would not support me whatsoever. They would say go to a venue that fits what you believe. The LGBT community wanted the right to marry but has turned it into an agenda of bullying people who don't believe as they do. And I have a gay brother who is married with an adopted son who I love very much so I am not a gay hater.

  • USU-Logan Logan, UT
    Aug. 21, 2014 2:12 p.m.

    "hockeymom says:

    "Neither would Christ today smile lovingly at gay marriages. "

    --- You don't know that, it's only your opinion of how Christ would react. "

    Actually, Hockeymom does know that, and so do I, and so do thousands of others. Yes, know.


    That is your biblical interpretation.
    Many other Christians, especially today's young Christians more likely to agree with Ranch's interpretation, not agree with yours or hockeymom's.

    Just like decades ago, many Christians used to believe interracial marriage was ungodly, unnatural, their younger peers disagreed.

  • rnoble Pendleton, OR
    Aug. 21, 2014 1:31 p.m.

    My problem with this scenario involves the primary use of the land. It is not likely that this family derives even a major share of their farm income from renting for a dozen weddings. You might say they can just quit doing that which is true but how would you feel about their rights to rent the land for something else. I don't know the details but if the judge felt like their primary use or even a major component of the use was to provide space for weddings, then the judge probably called it right on the basis of the law. However, if the judge didn't think this use was primary or a major component but is ruling based on any use at all then I think this is an unreasonable decision. I wish I knew what the judge knew about those parameters and how he used the information.

  • Flashback Kearns, UT
    Aug. 21, 2014 1:27 p.m.

    And Utah wants to pass a non-discrimination law. Get ready folks. You are going to get it just like these guys did if it passes. Oppose such a law at all costs. There are already plenty of non-discrimination laws on the books. We don't need more.

    BTW, the farm is in upstate New York, the judge in the Bronx. Seems like a court up in the area that the farm is in would have been better equipped to hear this case.

  • RG Buena Vista, VA
    Aug. 21, 2014 12:57 p.m.

    "hockeymom says:

    "Neither would Christ today smile lovingly at gay marriages. "

    --- You don't know that, it's only your opinion of how Christ would react. "

    Actually, Hockeymom does know that, and so do I, and so do thousands of others. Yes, know.

  • MapleDon Springville, UT
    Aug. 21, 2014 12:41 p.m.

    It's just a matter of standing up to bullies. And these people (the gay community) are bullies. They get their way or they beat you up. Thank goodness they're not beheading people, but who knows how far they'll go.

    Me, I'll support any business or entity that stands up to bullies. If this farm operation were closer to home, I'd put my office there.

    Evil people tend to harm those who don't give them what they want. Whether it's the mafia, the drug cartel, ISIS, communists, or the gay bullies. They're all the same to me. And the only way to stop them is to confront them and beat them before they get to you.

  • Ranch Here, UT
    Aug. 21, 2014 12:16 p.m.

    hockeymom says:

    "Neither would Christ today smile lovingly at gay marriages. "

    --- You don't know that, it's only your opinion of how Christ would react.

    Neither would Christ smile lovingly at the "Christian" couple who rents out their property as a marriage venue and then DISCRIMINATES against an LGBT couple for wanting the same thing.


    They're supposed to be representing the Constitution of the USA, not any particular group's "beliefs" (not even the majority's).


    That would say far more (negative) about you than the couple marrying.


    Aren't you "trampling" my religious beliefs with your discrimination?


    You haven't been following the news, have you. We're not "attacking" traditional marriage, YOU are attacking ours.

  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    Aug. 21, 2014 12:12 p.m.

    We need to get rid of all of the "protected" classes. The protections that they are given do nothing more than increase tensions.

    If a white kid applies for a scholarship from the United Negro College Fund, can a law suit be filed for discrimination?

    What if the government gives a lesser qualified business a contract because it is owned by a woman, can the more qualified business sue over sexual discrimination?

    If a straight man goes into a gay bar and is told to go away, can he file a sexual discrimination law suit?

    If you have to sue somebody to serve you are you going to get the same quality of work as those that don't sue?

    People should be allowed to discriminate because you will be able to see those people for who they really are. If a business hates gays, let them discriminate so that a business that does not discriminate can come in and drive the people that discriminate out of business.

    To those looking at the religion of the farm owners. Do you think it is right to force somebody to participate in a religious ceremony that they object to?

    Aug. 21, 2014 11:17 a.m.

    Furry 1993:

    "If ye love me, keep my commandments". Christ does not compel righteousness, but He does expect it.

    Laura B:

    I believe that most churces do a whole lot to promote healthy traditional matrriages. SSM is only the latest attack on marriage. No-fault divorce, societal acceptance of living out of wedlock, and many other attacks have come against marriage.

    As a society we have turned marriage into a dsiposable legal agreement that is only acceptable as long as "I" get something out of it. Sacrifice, humility, and the other higher virtues that are part of marriage have been bruushed aside.

    Aug. 21, 2014 11:07 a.m.

    @ Ranch: "--- Quiet "god fearing" Christians who go around helping countries pass laws that criminalize gays. Who go around (in Russia) beating up LGBT people."

    No one is criminalizing gays. Courts are creating a right where none existed before. No one is being rounded up and put in jail for being gay.

    What about the prevalnece of "bash back" gangs throughout CA that are attacking people and beating them for opposing gay rights? even the media rfuse to report the actions of these criminals...

  • Nodak Minot, ND
    Aug. 21, 2014 10:41 a.m.

    The family that owns the farm did not "discriminate" against either of the ladies. They were both welcome to get married on the property. They discriminated between whether or not they would host for traditional marriages versus so-called same-gender marriages. The Constitution protects the free exercise of religious thought and they have every right to decide that their business does not cater to counterfeit marriage. They are not discriminating against the people, but a recently fabricated institution--of which in a free country they have every right to not provide support services for.

  • Laura Bilington Maple Valley, WA
    Aug. 21, 2014 9:53 a.m.

    @Fred Vader, most people are not stupid. They know:

    "States rights" was codespeak for opposing school integration,

    "Pro-life" legislators routinely veto any bills that might help children who are already born,
    and that "Pro-Traditional Marriage" groups do nothing to promote healthy straight marriages--the name is simply a front for people who oppose equal rights for gays.
    And yes, they would boycott any business which publicly announces its support for any of the above.

    @hockeymom, you can't sue a business for not letting you do a wedding on their property--UNLESS they already host weddings and charge for them and won't host yours because you're gay. Watermelon County, Alabama can decide to ban construction new LDS facilities. But they will very soon get sued, and rightly so, for discriminating against a particular religion.

    I knew a woman who gave birth to a child with a harelip in 1937, who was shunned by her mother-in-law, because the rural Kansas folk "knew" that a harelip was evidence of an attempted abortion. The beliefs about gay people have had an equally bizarre evolution. At least some of the churches in America realize how wrong this was.

  • Furry1993 Ogden, UT
    Aug. 21, 2014 9:49 a.m.

    @hockeymom 8:54 a.m. Aug. 21, 2014

    The Savior operates "not by commandment or constraint" but by persuasion. It is the "other guy's" plan to compel righteousness. The "other guy" would be very happy to see what the Giffords are doing.

  • hockeymom Highland, UT
    Aug. 21, 2014 9:46 a.m.

    @ tethered
    You got me there - my bad. So, since gender can also be changed, there are at least 2 protected classes that can be changed. How does any of this really change the argument that SSM advocates can trample the religious rights of anyone at any time, and get paid to do it? Might become a pretty lucrative career - just a new way to take advantage of "the system".

    Truly God-fearing people wouldn't condone the beating up of the gays either. Two wrongs don't make a right. Some people also use religion to do whatever they want. ISIS, for example.

    @Laura Billington
    I wonder how many of those tears from the crowd were genuinely happy tears? Tears flow for many different and conflicting emotions, though we may try to look happy on the outside. Also - supporters of traditional marriage aren't out to "punish" anyone. Gays can have lovely civil union ceremonies that can be just as happy.

  • Pablito South Jordan, UT
    Aug. 21, 2014 9:34 a.m.

    "Maybe if the hall was owned by a homosexual who refused to rent to non-homosexuals ...which by the way would be his right!!"

    This statement has two issues with it. One. I'm not a 'non-homosexual'? But you claim I'm not a 'straight' person any more?

    Two, if the homosexual has a right to refuse to rent, why can't the straight have a right to refuse to rent? You're statement is unclear as to your stance on this issue.

    It's just sad that there has to be ANY laws so called Protecting "classes" of people.

  • annewandering oakley, idaho
    Aug. 21, 2014 9:33 a.m.

    Sometimes when you force people to do things against their moral beliefs you dont get what you were wanting quite how you wanted. It would not be hard at the ceremony to express distaste at being forced to host a same sex wedding.

  • pldabbs Draper, UT
    Aug. 21, 2014 9:07 a.m.

    The same-sex problem is in the interpretation of the law and the treatment of the issues by the courts and the legislature. … “law judge Migdalia Pares rejected Cynthia and Robert Gifford's argument——the New Mexico Supreme Court ruled that a Christian photographer could not refuse to shoot gay wedding ceremonies—federal judge struck down ban on gay marriage in state constitution—legislation allowing people using religious beliefs to oppose same-sex marriage struck down by Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, in Kansas struck down by state Senate.”
    Do those we elect for public office represent the beliefs of their constituency or are they working against them? We need to be more careful about those we elect as judges to the state and supreme courts and to our representatives in congress. Maybe we’re to blame.

  • Noodlekaboodle Poplar Grove, UT
    Aug. 21, 2014 9:05 a.m.

    Go back and read up on your history sir. One of the most prominent arguments against interracial marriage was the fact that "race mixing" was immoral. It's the exact same argument 50 years later. More philosophically, who defines morality? Religion? If so, which religion? Because when someone says morality, that translates to, the version of morality that conservative Christian churches believe in. Why do atheists, liberal Christians(i'm looking at you Unitarians!!) agnostics, other faiths that don't care about gay marriage, and the people who are "spiritual but not religious" crowd get no say in what is moral?

  • hockeymom Highland, UT
    Aug. 21, 2014 8:54 a.m.

    @ Brahmabull

    This is what Christ was "like". He came to teach and fulfill His law of righteousness to His children. Remember the rigid laws of the Jews? He gave one final commandment greater than them all - to love one another. To the woman taken in adultery, he did not condemn or stone her along with the Jews, but said, "Go thy way and SIN no more". He didn't invite her into his inner circles until after she had repented and abandoned her wicked ways either. (Some people believe she may have been Mary Magdalene).

    Just like a modern day child who wants to participate in wickedness, drug abuse, gang behavior, etc. a parent isn't being "Christlike" who pulls up a chair and hangs out at the party, or drives them to their next shooting, all in the name of "tolerance". Neither would Christ today smile lovingly at gay marriages. Because He wants them not to engage in that behavior doesn't mean He doesn't love them, just that he doesn't condone what they do. Love does not equal permission of anything I want, no matter how much the child cries "You don't love me, then!"

  • tethered Salem, OR
    Aug. 21, 2014 8:47 a.m.

    It seems that lots of commenters on this article need to get their facts straight...

    @Hockeymom said "No one can change their race, gender, class, nationality, religion, OR sexual orientation, (according to some)."

    Excuse me, but what is the primary purpose of any religion having missions engaging folks in conversations around the world?


    Or are mission trying to CONVERT people into a specific religion.

    In reality, anyone can change their religion or their religious beliefs at any time in life!

    Religion is the only "protected class" in the United States that actually is changeable!

  • Laura Bilington Maple Valley, WA
    Aug. 21, 2014 8:40 a.m.

    My daughter was married last month on a farm in California--a lovely ceremony uniting her with the woman she loved. Over 40 people traveled from other states to be there in loving witness to their marriage. The kleenex box was passed back and forth as the couple and their family spoke of their joy that this marriage was able to happen.

    All of you who have written critical commentary--I wish, sincerely, that you would have been able to come. I would challenge you to attend even one gay wedding and see the palpable joy that people were feeling, and then come home and write some of the stuff you write.

  • Ranch Here, UT
    Aug. 21, 2014 8:39 a.m.

    @Lambo & No One Of Consequence;

    How "understanding" would you be if you went to a business that provided a service to all your neighbors, but they told you: "Sorry, we don't serve your kind here"?

    @Filthy Kuffar;

    They were discriminating against the PEOPLE.

    Frankly, for those of you arguing the "religious conscience" argument, you honestly have no conscience whatsoever if you'd use it to discriminate against someone.

  • Ranch Here, UT
    Aug. 21, 2014 8:36 a.m.

    RedWings says:

    "Another example of how SSM changes the law in the states where it is legal. Courts have to decide which right is more important - those of the noisy and sometimes violent LGBT or the quiet God-fearing property owner."

    --- Quiet "god fearing" Christians who go around helping countries pass laws that criminalize gays. Who go around (in Russia) beating up LGBT people.

    If you operate your property as a business that rents out for weddings, then you must operate it under the laws.


    Does your ma-pa store allow white people to enter barefoot? Or do they apply the rule to ALL customers? If they allow white people to enter barefoot but not Asians, then it is discriminatory. If the rule applies to all customers then it is not.


    NO reason is a good reason for bigotry.


    I certainly would provide the same consideration to a religious person I "demand" for myself. I would provide them the services of my business even though, imo, they're ridiculously superstitious.

  • Laura Bilington Maple Valley, WA
    Aug. 21, 2014 8:25 a.m.

    @No One Of Consequence, can I use your words?
    Just because you can do something doesn't mean that you should do it.

    The State of Utah is using the Appeals Court to punish gay couples for wanting the same marriage rights that the straights have. The LDS church has also used the power of social media and news media to harm the Plaintiffs. Both of those things are immoral, unethical and just plain wrong, in my opinion.

    The State made a choice instead to use the religious convictions of the predominant church to further an agenda.

  • Fred Vader Oklahoma City, OK
    Aug. 21, 2014 8:14 a.m.

    @Bob K, who said..."--- Really? In most parts of the country, that would cost the business the majority of its younger customers, and a fair amount of its older ones."

    Yes, really. Why would putting up a sign saying that proceeds will be sent to traditional marriage support groups "cost the business the majority of its younger customers, and fair amount of its older ones"?

    I thought gay marriage supporters also support traditional marriage? So why woud that bother them? I have seen it posted numerous times in these news comments that gays are in support of traditional marriage. Are you saying those folks aren't sincere in their support of traditional marriage?

  • G-Day-M8 Where is Waldo, UT
    Aug. 21, 2014 7:22 a.m.

    The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day-Saints allows people to use their buildings for wedding receptions and civil marriage ceremonies. They do not charge a fee for the use of the building. Generally, the married couples are members of the Church but often times one is a member and the other is not and sometimes neither of them are active participants in the church.

    Under New York law, would the LSD Church be required to host a ceremony and or a reception for a homosexual couple?

  • hockeymom Highland, UT
    Aug. 21, 2014 7:22 a.m.


    The difference here is in the activity, not the person. No one can change their race, gender, class, nationality, religion, OR sexual orientation, (according to some).

    It was the activity that was in question. The farm owners said they could have their party there, just not the marriage. They maybe didn't want to send the message to their kids that they agree with or condone SSM. What if someone wanted to have a blood-letting or seance or satanic ceremony or a drunken brawl or kick boxing match or anything else the business owner's didn't feel comfortable with. Would they be forced to offer their facility to accommodate those activities too?

    Hospital, restaurant, day care and theme park may not the be best venues for a wedding either. They could all argue a wedding would interfere with their normal flow of traffic or their other customers. Couldn't those businesses refuse to accommodate a wedding request too? Now this business is a target for any homosexual couple who wants to make a quick $1500 each. Sad.

  • rbwinn Maricopa, AZ
    Aug. 21, 2014 7:14 a.m.

    I find it odd that these two lesbians have all of the public land in the United States available to them and feel that the only place they want to get married is on this one piece of private property.

  • ultragrampa Farmington, UT
    Aug. 21, 2014 6:45 a.m.

    A comparison was drawn in the article that refusing to allow this "wedding" of two lesbians was the same as not agreeing to allow an interracial heterosexual couple to be married there. The is a HUGE difference, however, and that difference is the forgotten word in the same-sex "marriage" debate: morality.

    It used to be considered that homosexual activities were immoral, but now that word, because a stance against morality cannot be defended, is simply ignored by those promoting such activities.

    Morality. The forgotten word in all of this. Homosexual behaviour is immoral. Period.

  • Jamescmeyer Midwest City, USA, OK
    Aug. 21, 2014 6:45 a.m.

    Something seems fundamentally misunderstood about this:

    Marriage has nothing to do with sexual orientation. There is no "right" to be able to marry someone of the same sex on the basis of sexual attraction; marriage is something above and distinct from that. Marriage doesn't change based on "preference". You can't marry multiple people or children or animals or toys-it has nothing to do with consent or equality or rights, that's just not what marriage is.

    It's not discrimination. It is not out of hate or intolerance, despite us being dealt such things unendingly. Having the legally preferential treatment of those who feel same-sex attraction and who willingly pursue a homosexual lifestyle that we do doesn't have a ghost of a thing to do with marriage. If Adam and Eve come to be married and I provide my property for their wedding, it is normal. If Eve and Edna come to be "married" and I do not provide my property, it is not discrimination; what they seek isn't marriage, it's an attempt to bully others into approving of their sexual union.

  • RG Buena Vista, VA
    Aug. 21, 2014 6:42 a.m.

    @Brahmabull: "If the religious think it is christlike to discriminate against people for any reason then we are in big trouble."

    Many people have an incorrect conception of what it is to be Christlike. Some people think He is only about tolerance, love, and getting along. But he drove moneychangers out of the temple, and said "Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword." (Matthew 10:34)

    When Christ does not let certain people into heaven, will you complain that He is discriminating, or not being Christlike?

  • RG Buena Vista, VA
    Aug. 21, 2014 6:33 a.m.

    @Oneobserver: " All people, regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation, or any other persuasion, are children of God and deserve to be treated with dignity and respect."

    And, the property owners DO treat everyone with respect. They WERE willing to host the reception. Just not to be a part of what they consider an immoral activity: the gay wedding.

    Next time, the property owners should just say they will be spending that day at home relaxing, so sorry, no events allowed that day.

    Or else do what Fred Vader said (above). Well said, Fred.

  • Jamescmeyer Midwest City, USA, OK
    Aug. 21, 2014 6:30 a.m.

    "Marriage is when a man and a woman, male and female, come together to bind and increase family. It is the physically and socially unique bond that only they can make. We will not promote an attempt to pervert that in a ceremony. You can have a party and celebration here on our party, but you can't have the actual ceremony."

    The intolerance isn't on the part of the farm owners. Even if marriage were about two people's "sexual orientation", even if marriage's purpose were merely a tax deduction or other temporal benefits, even if it were a "civil right", the evils that people perpetuate in forcing it on others render it unsupportable.

  • Laura Bilington Maple Valley, WA
    Aug. 21, 2014 6:22 a.m.

    The Bible proclaims a marriage as lasting for the life of both people--there is no provision for divorce.

    Do you believe that Christian wedding venue owners should be able to refuse to rent their building to a couple if one of them has been divorced?

    Catholics believe that, once baptized, a person is Catholic forever and can only marry in a Catholic ceremony. Should a wedding venue owner be able to turn away a Mormon couple if they find out that one of them was baptized Catholic but, as a toddler, was adopted by a Mormon family?

    My husband and I have been married for 35 years. A True Believer could refuse to make us an anniversary cake if they found out that my first husband and I were divorced in 1978. Would this be OK with you?

  • HaHaHaHa Othello, WA
    Aug. 21, 2014 6:13 a.m.

    In other words Equal Protection only applies to certain people...we get it!!

  • Bob A. Bohey Marlborough, MA
    Aug. 21, 2014 5:58 a.m.

    Based on the laws in the state of NY, the family that owns the farm is clearly in the wrong in this situation. The false outrage being displayed by some of the respondents here is actually quite amusing.

  • mba latino Herriman, UT
    Aug. 21, 2014 5:57 a.m.

    I understand protected classes. The problem here is that protected class does not mean one can't have morals or beliefs that they feel is wrong. Business have been denying customers for quite some time now. No one has even brought up the fact that there are many business that only cater to women. I believe sex is a protected class. Ask any male athlete to try out for a women's team. They will get denied. Ask a man to go sign up at an all women's gym. They will get denied.
    If you go to a private business that offers service and charges a fee. Does this mean I have the right to go to the women's rest room with out being sent to jail? That brings up a whole new slippery slope. Hate to say it but soon there will be no mens or women's restrooms or locker rooms. One can not be denied entrance based on sexual orientation. America is changing and we need to figure out how to get along without being sue happy for our beliefs. I may not believe what others do but that does not equal hate.

  • Noodlekaboodle Poplar Grove, UT
    Aug. 21, 2014 5:42 a.m.

    I honestly don't think that is a problem. The LDS church is different than a private business owner. They don't charge money to go to the temple, and they have never allowed anyone but LDS people in their temples. That makes them different than this farm. The LDS church proper(not entities like the deseret news) has different rules than a private business, due to them being a religion, and them not charging money for temple weddings. It has allowed them to not marry non LDS people in their temples for years, I don't see how gay marriage changes that.

  • Furry1993 Ogden, UT
    Aug. 21, 2014 5:09 a.m.

    The Giffords operated a business, offering the use of their land to the public for which offering they were paid. By operating a business they AGREED to abide by ALL laws in place or to be enacted governing the operation of a business. One of those laws was a prohibition against discrimination based on a number of criteria including sexual orientation. They willingly and deliberately violated that law when they refused the rental of their property by a member of the public who happened to be lesbian and used the excuse of "religion" for their action. They broke the law and violated their agreement to abide by the law. They were rightly held actionable.

  • JoeH42 Stillwater, OK
    Aug. 21, 2014 4:11 a.m.

    Once again proving the "same-sex marriage won't affect you" argument to be a complete and utter lie. You cannot choose to be tolerant, it is not allowed. You can submit to the demands of the LGBT community or be sued, that's your two choices. They have zero interest in tolerating anyone.

  • Wonder Provo, UT
    Aug. 21, 2014 3:05 a.m.

    @statman -- Why aren't people who are of another religion successfully suing the LDS church to allow them to be married in the temple? Because they would lose their suit. Just as gay couples would lose if they sued to be married in the temple. The temple isn't a business open to all for weddings. You really don't understand the issue at all.

  • Bob K Davis, CA
    Aug. 21, 2014 1:22 a.m.

    Fred Vader
    Oklahoma City, OK
    "Again, the solution is simple: If you own a private business and you believe your religious beliefs weigh against providing those services or benefits to gay or lesbian customers, simply put up a sign that says the proceeds from all gay or lesbian purchases will be donated to a traditional marriage support group. My guess is that will quickly change the minds of any gay or lesbian couple who desires your services or goods."

    --- Really? In most parts of the country, that would cost the business the majority of its younger customers, and a fair amount of its older ones.

    --- Some of you folks might notice that a poll asking "Which is morally better, Gays wanting to marry or mormons going to California to pass Prop 8?" would leave you way, way, way on the short end of results.

  • No One Of Consequence West Jordan, UT
    Aug. 21, 2014 12:21 a.m.

    Just because you can do something doesn't mean that you should do it.

    The same-sex couple was able to use the force of law to punish the owners of the farm for not wanting to host a same-sex wedding. They could also use the power of social media and news media to harm the business. Both of those things are immoral, unethical and just plain wrong, in my opinion.

    Once they knew that the farm owners did not want to host the wedding there is no way the couple would want to force them to accept their money. The couple made a choice instead to use the religious convictions of the farm owners to further an agenda.

    In commerce it is a good thing to do business with people you get along with - building on the positive instead of the negative.

  • Filthy Kuffar Spanish Fork, UT
    Aug. 21, 2014 12:12 a.m.

    Let's be clear, the farm owners were not discriminating against a class of people; they were discriminating gay marriage. Since when is gay marriage a protected class? They offered to let them use their facilities for a reception, so it wasn't that they were lesbians, but rather they don't believe in gay marriage, and because it is not something they normally do at their business (gay marriages). They obviously specialize in straight marriages.

    This appears to be a moral issue more than a discrimination issue, but the lines have been blurred in the name of political correctness and forcing a moral/immoral agenda on society by an oppressive government.

    Sad, really, that it has come to this.

  • sidhe2442 Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 21, 2014 12:05 a.m.

    Mike Richards, You need to read the constitution of the United States. The government can take your property at any time. It might have to pay you for it but all the land belongs to the government and you just rent it for a time, if at any time the government decides it wants/needs your land they get it.

    Abeille, To compare hygiene laws with laws that protect races, lgbt, any minority group that needs defending, is just as bad as people who wanted to separate toilets for people of other races for hygiene reasons.

    If you do not want to let someone into your private house, that is your choice. But, if you want to open a public company, that is your choice to have the public in your company. And into the house of your company. And the public is everyone.

  • Lambo Clearfield, UT
    Aug. 20, 2014 11:55 p.m.


    You say "All in the name of Christianity." What many fail to remember is that Christ was merciful, loving and forgiving, but He did not tolerate the desecration of holy things. Many people of faith try to be merciful, loving, and tolerant and like Christ try to protect that which is sacred. Sometimes when the virtue of tolerance for others and virtue of protecting what is sacred clash it is hard to know which side to err on. Do you fight for that which is sacred (like Jesus did casting the money changers out of the temple) or do you say "he who is without sin let him cast the first stone" like Jesus did. Ultimately, Jesus while loving the sinner never condoned sin or encouraged someone to continue in and adopt the sinful lifestyle. He always preached abandonment of sin--which gay marriage does not encourage. Some tend to confuse permissiveness with love and attack Christianity for lack of love anytime we are not permissive. True love is not permissiveness and condoning. Saying NO is in many cases especially when the consequences are serious a much greater show of love than saying yes.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 20, 2014 11:50 p.m.

    Most of you completely miss the point: was the farm a public accommodation? Yes, say the courts so all would be customers must be treated alike. What if an airline were to decide to deny tickets to gay couples? I suppose all you conservatives would support that too, right?

  • Lambo Clearfield, UT
    Aug. 20, 2014 10:53 p.m.

    In the end, there is no choice for people who believe in traditional marriage. They cannot get in the marriage or in some cases the adoption business or a government job that might require them to march in gay parades or perform civil ceremonies without being forced either by lawsuit or threat of firing to violate their conscience.

    Certain areas of business are now no longer a choice if you don't want to violate your conscience, I guess similar to the idea of being a bar tender as an LDS or Muslim can't in good conscience have that job. Sad to see as one group's rights increase, another's opportunities to own certain kinds of business is effectively taken away. What rankles me is this gay couple crucifying someone for not wanting to violate their conscience rather than just understanding and moving on. This discrimination resulted in no job loss, no loss of money, and was not a hate crime, just someone feeling like they would be offending God which for people of faith is a real issue. But hey if someone makes you mad, sue them to prove your point right? So shallow!

  • statman Lehi, UT
    Aug. 20, 2014 10:41 p.m.

    Belgie - the problem would be solved for the owners if they didn't allow any weddings on the property. Which is why in the short-to-medium term we'll see the LDS church stop conducting marriages in their temples. By bringing the State into the temple wedding, the church is opening itself up to a similar lawsuit. The Church in the US will match the practice in most of the rest of the world where a couple is married by a local government official, and then afterward "sealed" in the temple. It is only a matter of time...

  • Brahmabull sandy, ut
    Aug. 20, 2014 9:49 p.m.


    Do you really not get it? Your chick fil-a scenario isn't even close to the same. I am shocked that you think it is. If chick fil-a serves chicken, but they refuse to serve you chicken because you are Mormon and they don't believe in Mormons then they would be in the wrong. The couple didn't go to the reception center looking for a sky diving class, they went looking for a wedding venue - the same service that was provided to many other hetero sexual couples. You can't refuse to serve people because of color, religion, race, or sexual orientation. Not only is that rude, it is actually inhuman. All in the name of Christianity. Sad

  • Brahmabull sandy, ut
    Aug. 20, 2014 9:43 p.m.

    A couple of things about this whole scenario make me nervous. First, the religious and 'christlike' are always the ones who are in support of discriminating against people. That is scary to me. If the religious think it is christlike to discriminate against people for any reason then we are in big trouble.

    What if a certain business refused to serve Black people, or Jews, or Mormons, would everybody be ok with that? I doubt it. It Mormonism is against my beliefs do I have a right to not serve Mormons? That is ridiculous. That is exactly what discrimination is - it is serving one or multiple groups of people, but not serving another. Get real, if you are in the wedding business then it is a business. Don't let your religious beliefs influence your business decisions. Wow

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    Aug. 20, 2014 9:30 p.m.

    Ah yes, Mike Richards. You can always blame anything on Obama.

    Are you sure it's only "liberals" who support SSM?

  • Tekakaromatagi Dammam, Saudi Arabia
    Aug. 20, 2014 9:09 p.m.

    "“All New Yorkers are entitled to their own religious beliefs, but businesses cannot discriminate based on sexual orientation any more than they can based on race or national origin"

    They did not discriminate on race or national origin. In one case of a florist in Oregon, the florist would not provide flower for the same gender wedding, but the florist had had a business relationship with one of the men who wished to get 'married' for ten years. The florist was boycotting the event.

    I have chosen not to go on any vacations or to make any visits to Israel because of their treatment of the Palestinians. By this logic I am discriminating against Jews.

  • 1Observer Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Aug. 20, 2014 9:03 p.m.

    @ Kora

    The simple answer is - the groups you describe are not "protected classes" as defined in any anti-discrimination law.

    A boy named Adolph Hilter, white supremacists, anti-gay groups, politicians - none of these are protected classes in any law that I have seen at the federal or state level. Nor should they be. Protected classes are typically something that the person is born with or is inherent in their person (skin color, gender, and, at least under the law same-gender attraction, a disability, etc.) or an overarching fundamental right as in religion. Though classes like religion are treated differently than classes that are inherent characteristics like gender or race. For example - if a reception center business had a policy that refused to allow any religious ceremony that is probably okay since the entire class is treated equally. The trouble comes when they pick and choose among similar groups within a class. By the same token, they would probably run afoul of the law if the refused to serve women or persons of a certain race.

  • antodav TAMPA, FL
    Aug. 20, 2014 8:46 p.m.

    It's not enough that you no longer have ownership or control over your own labor anymore, and can now, according to the courts, be forced to perform a service for someone against your will even if you are, in name at least, the owner of your business. Even your own home is no longer a place where you get to make the rules for yourself. The government feels the need to intrude into and control every aspect of your life, and New York is well along that path, more so than many other states.

    What the heck has happened to this country.

  • junkgeek Agua Dulce, TX
    Aug. 20, 2014 8:35 p.m.

    It's about owning the business, not property rights.

  • Kora Cedar Hills, UT
    Aug. 20, 2014 8:27 p.m.

    A simple question for everyone: Can anyone be allowed to not provide services for something they disagree with? If so why?
    Let's examine the following circumstances:

    1) The grocery store in New Jersey that refused to make a birthday cake with the name of the boy, which happened to be Adolf Hitler. Why was that not discrimination? They put the names of other kids on their cakes.

    2) A Black photographer is asked to take pictures at a White supremacist wedding. Should he be allowed to legally refuse? Would the black community, and Obama/Holder, support forcing him to do so?

    3) Musicians commonly let political campaigns use their music, or will perform for events. Why are they allowed to discriminate against certain politicians or political parties? These same performers will charge to perform at events. Why are they allowed to refuse to perform at certain functions, or for people, they disagree with? Why should they be treated different than any other provider of a service?

    4) A gay couple who rents out their estate for various events and fund raisers is asked to host an anti-gay marriage fundraiser. Can they refuse? If so, why?

  • samhill Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 20, 2014 8:02 p.m.

    I hope no one is surprised by this. The objective of the long denied but by now obvious (I should hope) "gay agenda" has been to overturn every possible objection and opposition regardless of its infringement on the civil/religious/human rights of others.

    Simply put, the new orthodoxy decreeing that homosexuality, in all its expressions, is to be considered normal, natural and not to be disagreed with by anyone for any reason, trumps everything else. We'd better get used to it, or else!

  • K Mchenry, IL
    Aug. 20, 2014 6:27 p.m.

    Christians can't participate and/or profit off a same sex marriage. They can not be involved. Hosting a party, fine. Taking a picture of the family at a reunion, fine. They will have everyone as a client, just not everyone for weddings. That is the conflict over religion.

  • belgie Tualatin, OR
    Aug. 20, 2014 4:03 p.m.

    @Maudine - you completely missed my point. In fact, in doing so, you accidentally supported it. I can disallow alcoholic beverages (or satanic rituals) in my business for religious reasons. I cannot discriminate against people that drink (or worship Satan), but I can forbid that activity. Along the same lines, I cannot (and should not) discriminate against gays, but should be able do disallow any homosexual activities - including gay marriage.

  • worf Mcallen, TX
    Aug. 20, 2014 4:02 p.m.

    Freedom of religion?

  • Maudine SLC, UT
    Aug. 20, 2014 3:59 p.m.

    @ Abeille: There are many "protected classes" against which discrimination is illegal - and contrary to your post, being a Baptist does place you in one of those protected classes ("Baptist" is a religion, and religion is a protected class - you cannot refuse to provide services to someone based on their "creed" or religion). Age, disability, race, national origin, color, marital status, military status, sex, predisposing genetic condition, domestic violence victim, arrest, conviction, and, in housing, familial status are also protected by law in New York.

    The interesting thing about protected classes - they cover everyone. Everyone has a sexual orientation. Everyone has a religion. Everyone has an age. Everyone has a disability status. In some of these cases, the answer may be "none," but you are still protected by the law because the law recognizes "none" as a valid answer (similar to the way they recognize "bald" as a hair color for driver's licenses).

    Gay business owners are no more allowed by law to discriminate than straight business owners.

    Aug. 20, 2014 3:50 p.m.

    @ Fred Vader:

    Excellent Post

    @ Abielle:

    Great point on the legal arguments.

    Maybe in the next 20 years we will have Affirmative Action for gay couples which will require preferred treatment of them. AA was put into law by Executive Order after all....

  • Abeille West Point, UT
    Aug. 20, 2014 3:09 p.m.

    1Observer -

    I agree with you completely. My issue is with creating 'protected classes.'

    Frozen Fractals, Maudine -

    I do understand the law in this case. While creating protected classes might look good on the surface, giving protected classes a 'freedom' enforced by law will eventually result in problems for the whole. For example, let's say 20 years from now, when SSM is the law of the land, a New York same sex couple refuses to let a Baptist hetrosexual couple marry in their 'Barn', primarily due to past unpleasant experiences with evangelical groups. Will the New York courts uphold the ruling issued today and fine the SSM couple for disallowing the wedding based on religious discrimination and order the same sex couple to pay the Hetrosexual couple? Unfortunately, based on current litigation activity, probably not. Being a Baptist does not put you in a 'Protected Class'. Over time, if this continues, justice under the law will eventually be distributed unequally, with certain 'classes' afforded more rights than others. Justice will no longer be 'blind'.

  • Maudine SLC, UT
    Aug. 20, 2014 2:47 p.m.

    @ belgie: If you are a business that does not serve alcohol, then yes - you can continue to not serve alcohol. However, if you allow Adam to bring his own bottle, you must also allow Frank, Ed, and Mary to bring their own bottles.

    This business was not being forced to do something it does not regularly do. It is in the business of hosting weddings and wedding receptions. According to New York law, businesses are not allowed to discriminate based on sexual orientation.

    It is not discrimination to forbid an illegal activity or an activity you already do not offer.

  • Diligent Dave Logan, UT
    Aug. 20, 2014 2:47 p.m.

    Re: Genesis 19:4-11

    In something within a century or so of 3800 years ago, it is apparent little has changed. Only now, instead of blindly beating down your door, physically, to get at you, now they do it with the full force of the law behind them, and eyes wide open.

    Jesus, in Matthew 24, alluded to the time when the "Son of Man" would return (meaning, of course, himself), and gave indications that things would be "normal"—

    But as the days of Noe (Noah) were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
    For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark,
    And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

    —Matthew 24:37-39

    It is now becoming obvious, that rather, things will be very non-normal. Homosexuals are marrying, and many heterosexuals aren't (almost half of all babies born in the U.S. are born to unwed mothers).Legally, culturally, morally, the blind are leading the blind!

  • Maudine SLC, UT
    Aug. 20, 2014 2:38 p.m.

    @ Vanceone: In situations in which the turned away party has decided to let the market work, the business still complains. Mississippi recently passed a law allowing businesses to use religious belief as a defense for not serving all customers. Businesses who will serve all are placing stickers in their windows advertising this fact - the businesses who want to turn people away are arguing that the stickers cause discrimination against them because people they might want to serve might not come in.

    Additionally, if a turned away customer tells other people and gets support by those other people deciding they will not do business with the business (a.k.a a boycott), many of the same people who support this farms right to turn away same-sex couples claim that the boycott is an unfair practice.

    So, the general response to situations like this seems to be that businesses should be able to do what they want with no repercussions because sanctioned through the law or through the free market disadvantages the business and makes them look bad. Well, that is not an acceptable response. Those who have been turned away have a right to have their grievences addressed.

  • Fred Vader Oklahoma City, OK
    Aug. 20, 2014 2:38 p.m.

    Again, the solution is simple: If you own a private business and you believe your religious beliefs weigh against providing those services or benefits to gay or lesbian customers, simply put up a sign that says the proceeds from all gay or lesbian purchases will be donated to a traditional marriage support group. My guess is that will quickly change the minds of any gay or lesbian couple who desires your services or goods.

  • Random Redlands, CA
    Aug. 20, 2014 2:37 p.m.

    The main concern isn't that we're replacing one word -- one group -- for another. It's that if I can't find what I want at one store, place of business, whatever, I leave. I don't get to sue Chik-Fil-A for not serving me pizza. I find some place that will serve me pizza if that's what I want. And apparently, the right to sue anyone who disagrees with me is a taking the place of the rights I learned about in civics in high school.

  • Maudine SLC, UT
    Aug. 20, 2014 2:33 p.m.

    @ Abielle: "No shirt, no shoes, no service" is a hygiene and safety statement (interestingly enough, if someone belonged to a religion that prohibited them wearing shoes, the store would have to let them in) - there is no discrimination involved; similar to the "no pets - service animals are welcome" issue.

    For a business to state they are not going to serve a particular part of the population because of some trait of that group is discrimination - which is not allowed by New York state law.

    @ Mike: 1 - No one was jailed, and 2 - are you really claiming Obama now controls state laws? If so, why do some states still not cover sexual orientation as a protected class?

  • OneWifeOnly San Diego, CA
    Aug. 20, 2014 2:30 p.m.

    I'm going to try again to get my point of view through DN moderators.

    A previous poster quoted Genesis 19:4 - 11. I also tried to add some items from Genesis 19 along with a question which included two different versions of the bible (the Joseph Smith Translation and the King James version).

    Why is the story of Lot used as the 'Go To' scripture when speaking about righteousness? I am very very far from being a bible scholar but my reading of this chapter in the bible revealed a questionable sin or two.

    The poster who quoted Genesis 19 was allowed to use his post to get out his point of view as to why he is against same sex marriage and why he would support a business owner refusing service to gay patrons. I'll have to leave it to the readers of my post to do their own reading and interpretation of the balance of Genesis 19 to understand my opposing point of view.

  • belgie Tualatin, OR
    Aug. 20, 2014 2:26 p.m.

    Serious questions: Can I refuse to allow alcohol in my place of business? Can I refuse to allow other activities that, while perhaps legal, I consider immoral, like a swingers party? Satanic rituals?

  • 1Observer Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Aug. 20, 2014 2:18 p.m.

    I do not support gay marriage but I also recognize the legal arguments in this case. The farm owners regularly held services for couples in their home and they charged for those services. Under most states' anti-discrimination laws that changes the character of their "private" property and the commercial enterprise subjects them to the anti-discrimination laws. For these same reasons the farm family could not refuse to serve an African-American couple, a Catholic couple, a Mormon couple or a couple of any other stripe. Businesses who post signs that say they can refuse service to anyone are fooling only themselves. That battle was lost (rightfully so) a long time ago. All people, regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation, or any other persuasion, are children of God and deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. As a business owner, I don't think that my faith or my conscience would be threatened by providing services to a gay person. I can only hope that the gay movement will afford to religion the same consideration that they now demand from everyone else.

  • Frozen Fractals Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 20, 2014 2:13 p.m.

    "if they have a sign up that says 'No Shoes, No Shirt, No Service' and then refuses to serve someone that comes in barefoot, can they be successfully sued for discriminatory practices against the shoeless? "

    Shoelessness is not a protected class unlike race, gender, ethnicity, religion, and in some states sexual orientation. So no, they wouldn't be sued successfully (maybe only if shoelessness tied into a certain religious practice there might be something there).

    "If one answers no, are we applying discrimination laws only to those who have religious viewpoints, as this article intimates?"

    No, because discrimination laws are applied to anyone (not just religious people) when it comes to discrimination based on the aforementioned groups.

  • Evets Eagle Mountain, UT
    Aug. 20, 2014 2:02 p.m.

    And you wonder why so many of us are against same sex marriages! Here is one of many reasons.

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    Aug. 20, 2014 1:43 p.m.

    Welcome to the "fundamentally transformed America."

  • Diligent Dave Logan, UT
    Aug. 20, 2014 1:40 p.m.

    But before they lay down, the men of the city, even the men of Sodom, compassed the house round, both old and young, all the people from every quarter:
    And they called unto Lot, and said unto him, Where are the men which came in to thee this night? bring them out unto us, that we may know them.
    And Lot went out at the door unto them, and shut the door after him,
    And said, I pray you, brethren, do not so wickedly.
    …Unto these men do nothing; for therefore came they under the shadow of my roof.
    And they said, Stand back. And they said again, This one fellow came in to sojourn, and he will needs be a judge: now will we deal worse with thee, than with them. And they pressed sore upon the man, even Lot, and came near to break the door.
    But the men put forth their hand, and pulled Lot into the house to them, and shut to the door.
    And they smote the men that were at the door of the house with blindness, both small and great: so that they wearied themselves to find the door.

    Genesis 19:4 - 11

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    Aug. 20, 2014 1:40 p.m.

    Bottom line – if you want to be in business that serves the public you are not free to practice all your own personal prejudices, even if those prejudices are sanctified by your religion.

    And by the way if you’re going to play the “religious freedom” card I hope you are consistent in following the teachings of your tradition – which for the Christian Right means you better also be discriminating against… anyone wearing polyester, eating shellfish, witches, Hindus (the graven image thing), really anyone worshipping a god other than Yahweh, sorcerers, children who talk back, adulterers, slaveholders… oh wait, according to your book slaveholders are fine.

    Oh, and if you open your business on the Sabbath I am within my god given right (actually, I’m commanded to do so) to stone you.

  • Abeille West Point, UT
    Aug. 20, 2014 1:39 p.m.

    I wonder... Hypothetically, let's say a 'Ma and Pa' store considers themselves a 'Private Business' and have the right to refuse business to anyone at anytime: if they have a sign up that says 'No Shoes, No Shirt, No Service' and then refuses to serve someone that comes in barefoot, can they be successfully sued for discriminatory practices against the shoeless? If yes, one has to ask themselves if private property rights exist anymore. If one answers no, are we applying discrimination laws only to those who have religious viewpoints, as this article intimates? Wouldn't that make the courts discriminatory toward the religious?

    If so, in the end, everyone will lose. Makes you wonder how deep the rabbit hole goes...

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    Aug. 20, 2014 1:34 p.m.

    Who owns the farm, a family, or the government? Those who demand that we turn over our private property for their political statement on same-sex sex will tell us that government owns everything. The Constitution disagrees.

    It's time that real Americans who believe in America tell the liberals to found their own country where they can all wear flowers and hold hands; meanwhile millions of soldiers and civilians died to protect private property from government control. Your relatives and my relatives died to protect our right to control our own property without liberals telling a us that we would be jailed if we didn't rent out our farms to those whose religious beliefs differed from our own.

    Either the people are in charge or else we're all pawns of Obama. We can't have it both ways.

  • Dragline Orem, UT
    Aug. 20, 2014 1:27 p.m.

    Just for a mental exercise, how about we take out same sex marriage as the issue, and replace it with race, gender, nationality, class, or religion.

    Would we be complaining if the law protected discrimination based on gender? Would we put up with the rights-of-private-business argument if denied services based on race or religion?
    Maybe the answer is that you would find another business who wants your money and punish the offending business as best you can--a free market solution.

    But now replace wedding hall with hospital, day care, restaurants, and theme parks. See the problem?

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    Aug. 20, 2014 1:23 p.m.

    I'm about as liberal as you can get, but this is going much too far.

  • Schnee Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 20, 2014 12:58 p.m.

    "If I decide to open a business, suddenly I am enslaved to the gays? Because it sure sounds like it. "

    Only in the sense that you'd also be enslaved to whites, blacks, Jews, Christians, straights... since anti-discrimination laws apply to all that too.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    Aug. 20, 2014 12:57 p.m.


    "gets denied service specially because they are straight"? Never happened to my knowledge and why would it? I guess if they didn't have the money to rent the hall for the night that might be a reason. Maybe if the hall was owned by a homosexual who refused to rent to non-homosexuals ...which by the way would be his right!! America used to be a place where freedom really meant freedom but no more. Today we have those who have decided they will decide what is right and what is wrong and FORCE it upon the rest of us. America or the old USSR? Sounds more like the latter.

  • Schnee Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 20, 2014 12:39 p.m.

    @conservative scientist
    Religious freedom does not cover allowing businesses to practice Jim Crow equivalents for gay people.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Aug. 20, 2014 12:36 p.m.

    The first time someone gets denied service specifically because they're straight, attitudes will change.

  • Vanceone Provo, UT
    Aug. 20, 2014 12:34 p.m.

    Plain and simple: These guys were fined for not being slaves. They simply did not want to participate in a wedding ceremony. They offered to have the reception, but they did not want to participate in the wedding itself.

    And the state says you have to participate in a ceremony; you don't get a choice. What happened to the 13th Amendment? If I decide to open a business, suddenly I am enslaved to the gays? Because it sure sounds like it.

    It sounds to me like we need a law to protect the rest of us from predatory gays who want to enslave you if you dare to earn money. Remember, you can't hold a job and have the "wrong beliefs" --Brendan Eich, and several more show that. You can't own a business; because you are required to submit to the gays. In short, if you want to make money, no matter how, the gays own you and you cannot do or speak against them--you must jump to their every whim, else you are either fired or fined.

    13th amendment?

  • Brave Sir Robin San Diego, CA
    Aug. 20, 2014 12:20 p.m.

    Who gets married in a barn?

  • Moderate Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 20, 2014 12:17 p.m.

    water rocket "What ever happened to property rights?"
    The farm family wasn't offering their land for free. They offer their land to weddings as a business, at which point property rights go out the window.

    Business is a privilege, not a right.

  • taatmk West Jordan, UT
    Aug. 20, 2014 11:55 a.m.

    Was this the only reception center in New York? If a private business has specific requirements to rent their facilities, what is wrong with the would-be users simply crossing that one off the list and moving on to select another one?

  • conservative scientist Lindon, UT
    Aug. 20, 2014 11:50 a.m.

    So much for the argument that "what I do in my bedroom is my business and doesn't affect anyone else". I personally feel anti-discrimination laws regarding sexual orientation affecting the businesses owned by people of faith infringe on first amendment protections of religious freedom and conscience...and I am not alone..There are many very smart people who agree - or who at least agree that there is a legitimate debate - including chief justice Sotomayor. While some are certain to disagree with me, I find it difficult for a reasonable person to argue that this militant cause of gay rights is not having significant effects on many people who, for religious reasons, feel deeply and differently and feel that accommodating a same gender wedding violates their religious standards.

    It amazes me how the "tolerant", (supposedly) liberal, and (supposedly) progressive crowd is so intolerant of anyone with a different opinion. It is far easier to scoff at and dismiss anyone with concerns about the homosexual movement as a bigot, intolerant, and whatever else subsequent posters label me.

  • Liberal Ted Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 20, 2014 11:45 a.m.

    Now wait a minute. The LGBTQ community claimed that all they wanted was the right to marry. It was NOT going to interfere with religious beliefs at all.

    But it does. They lied.

  • water rocket Magna, UT
    Aug. 20, 2014 11:40 a.m.

    It is obvious who's rights are being violated here. The farm family didn't deny any body anything except to use their property for the use of someone else's purposes. What ever happened to property rights? This is a horrible miscarriage of justice and should be appealed to a higher court.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    Aug. 20, 2014 11:28 a.m.

    freedom doesn't mean free anymore in America. Get used to it folks because the PC police is watching you....

  • Vanceone Provo, UT
    Aug. 20, 2014 11:22 a.m.

    How can a gay marriage harm you if you are not gay?

    Why, by fining you and threatening your livelihood, getting you fired if you don't have the "correct beliefs" (See: Brenden Eich) and in general you lose your rights if a gay person thinks they don't like you. After all, their right to "not be offended" quite clearly trumps any rights the rest of us have.
    Freedom of speech? Nope. Freedom of the press? Just try to find a newspaper in the USA that doesn't cower from the threats of a gay lawsuit. Freedom to assemble? Well, this case and story shows you get fined for disagreeing with the gay agenda. Freedom of religion? How much longer before it's all "Hate speech" and you can't even worship in peace anymore--two years, max?

  • Br. Jones East Coast, MD
    Aug. 20, 2014 11:22 a.m.

    Before everyone hyperventilates: New York, like New Mexico, has a state law forbidding discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation. Google "SONDA New York" for information about it. Businesses in states without such laws (including Utah) are still welcome to refuse patrons based on their orientation.

    Whether or not you agree with such laws, if you are a business owner and your business is open to the public, it's your duty to know the laws of your state and municipality and abide by them.