First Amendment Defense Act protects critical 'space of freedom'

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  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    June 22, 2015 9:02 a.m.

    To "GK Willington" who is trying to eliminate equality? Since you state that rights are being eroded through legislation, I assume that you are rallying AGAINST liberals.

    In this case, you have conservatives trying to maintain rights that are held equally by all. However, liberals are working to destroy those rights through legislation.

    To "A Quaker" for somebody that uses religion in as their alias, you sure don't know much about the bible. Read Lev. 18:22, Lev. 20:13, 1 Cor. 6:9-10, and Rom. 1:26-28. Those all speak out against homosexuality. If homosexuality is wrong, that means that gay marriage is also wrong, according to any religion that believes the Bible to be the word of God.

    Your reference to Romans 14 is lame. I am not making any judgements. What I asked for is critical to the discussion. How can you have a reasonable discussion about the Biblical teachings and God with a person who does not believe in either?

  • Pendergast Salt Lake City, UT
    June 21, 2015 3:42 p.m.

    re Uteofferouus

    "It truly saddens me to see so much effort from liberals and gays to impose their anti- religious and anti-first amendment beliefs upon other citizens..."

    I must have missed the news story where it said Sen Lee and his crusade to implement "equality" was sanctioned by the Almighty himself.

  • Furry1993 Ogden, UT
    June 21, 2015 2:41 p.m.

    I'm wondering what Mike is going to do to protect us against the imposition of religion into the secular arena. Doesn't look like he will be willing to do much, if anything.

  • Stormwalker Cleveland , OH
    June 20, 2015 9:00 a.m.

    @Uteofferouus: "...we have every right to disagree with a practice that is counter anatomical, counter phisiological, counter intellectual, counter moral and anti-religious!"

    It was considered "counter anatomical, counter phisiological, counter intellectual, counter moral and anti-religious!" to allow women to vote, to own property, to go to college, to join the military, to serve in combat, be doctors and construction workers, cops and politicians. Except it wasn't.

    It was considered "counter anatomical, counter phisiological, counter intellectual, counter moral and anti-religious!" to allow blacks to be free, to vote, to go to school or church or live in a neighborhood with whites, and interracial marriage was beyond the pale! Except it wasn't.

    Now we hear it about Same-Sex Marriage, except 60% of all Americans and about 80% of those under 30 already know those claims aren't true.

    I'll give you a hint - insanity is making the same arguments over-and-over expecting different results. The next group on the conservative radar is the transgender community, and those arguments are already not true again.

  • Furry1993 Ogden, UT
    June 20, 2015 6:16 a.m.

    @Laura Billington 8:46 p.m. June 19, 2015

    One thing the Mikes (Lee and Richards) and their compatriots/alter egos forget. In Matthew 22:21, the Savior says "Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and unto God the things that are God's". They are attempting to render unto God the things that are Caesar's (and the qualifications for civil marriage, non-discrimination in secular affairs, etc., are definitely "Caesar" issues). Nobody is asking them or their churches to change church doctrine or personal belief or the way they worship, and they can be as discriminatory/bigoted in their personal beliefs and erroneous methods of worship as they want). They are only being required in civil secular business to comply with the social contract to which they agreed to adhere by living in the secular community, and treat all members of the community without prejudice or bigotry.

    Funny thing. I've been a Latter-day Saint for over 40 years, and have never seen anything in the tenets of my faith supporting prejudice, discrimination or bigotry. Just the opposite. “Do to others as you would have them do to you.” Luke 6:31

  • Shaun Sandy, UT
    June 20, 2015 12:32 a.m.

    @redshirt. Religion and faith is whatever you want it to be and that is why I do not have to name a specific group. This is why I think these religious bills are scary.

  • GK Willington Salt Lake City, UT
    June 19, 2015 9:24 p.m.

    per redshirt...

    {So, since you are so smart and know so much, I am sure it will be easy for you to say that a person who believes in religion X can't serve a person from racial group Y or religion Z.}

    The real irony is that is what the religious rights lobby efforts are trying to do eliminate equality (in the name of freedom) thru legislation... how very Orwellian.

  • Mister J Salt Lake City, UT
    June 19, 2015 9:16 p.m.

    to Mike Richards...

    "Shaun, You're trying to play "God" by setting laws for society."

    & who believes 1 size should fit & tries to enforce that post after post ad infinitum??

    As for your initial post, Jefferson's Wall in his letter to the Danbury Baptists restricts 'traffic' in both directions.

    All, mik-lee and his ilk are trying to do is chip away at the 1st amendment so the 'true believers' are like the pigs in Animal Farm after the revised rule 7 is announced.

  • Laura Bilington Maple Valley, WA
    June 19, 2015 8:46 p.m.

    @MikeThompson wrote, "You're trying to play "God" by setting laws for society. He's already done that. He clearly told us that man shall not lie with man as with a woman. That law has been in place for over 3,500 years, world wide. He has not changed His mind. In our time, He has declared that marriage is only between a man and a woman and that sex of any kind outside of marriage is wrong."

    Just as clearly, he told us that eating shellfish, wearing clothing with mixed fibers, and eating pork were also abominations. If he has not "changed his mind" on these things, maybe we should suggest to Mr. Lee that he introduce a "Defense of Leviticus" bill, making these things illegal as well.

  • OneHumanFamily Provo, UT
    June 19, 2015 3:53 p.m.

    Based on all of Mike Lee's talk of freedom he must be supportive of same-sex marriage, otherwise that would make him a huge hypocrite.

  • A Quaker Brooklyn, NY
    June 19, 2015 1:54 p.m.

    @Uteofferouus: "Religiophobic?" Goodness. You accuse a member of one Christian denomination, who is espousing the beliefs of that denomination on these pages of being against religion? How does that compute?

    My religion styles itself as actually following Christ (his teachings by word and example) rather than merely worshiping him or worshiping some Fourth Century dogma. That dogma, by the way, promulgated by a Church that all Protestants broke away from some 500 years ago.

    As Gandhi famously said, “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.” What Gandhi missed, though, is that there are many Christian denominations, not one, and some might practice a little more of what Christ might actually recognize should He return. Treating strangers and outcasts as your equals in His eyes, turning the other cheek, making peace, being meek in your assertions, and "judging not" would be a pretty good start.

    @Redshirt: The question is, do you? Read the parts about Jesus again. Then go back and look at all the parts of Leviticus that you violate all the time. Then read Romans 14.

  • Daedalus, Stephen ARVADA, CO
    June 19, 2015 11:59 a.m.

    Sen. Lee was so alarmed by the exchange between J. Alito and Solicitor General Verrilli during oral arguments that he reintroduced a warmed-over bill without waiting to see how SCOTUS actually rules on the matter. He warns readers that the "next controversies" include "whether churches who don’t [agree with SSM] will be targeted for reprisal by the state."

    Ignoring for the moment J. Alito's misstatement of the Bob Jones holding, here is his question to Verrilli, verbatim from the transcript:

    "Well, in the Bob Jones case, the Court held that a college was not entitled to tax-exempt status if it opposed interracial marriage or interracial dating. So would the same apply to a university or college if it opposed same-sex marriage?"

    For comparison sake, here is what Sen. Lee -tells- readers what J. Alito asked [EMPHASIS ADDED]:

    "...Justice Samuel Alito asked Solicitor General Verrilli whether RELIGIOUS INSTITUTIONS — including schools — that maintain the traditional definition of marriage would lose their tax-exempt status should the court strike down state laws defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman."

    See what he did there?

  • TheTrueVoice West Richland, WA
    June 19, 2015 11:47 a.m.

    Tried to reply to you, Red.... but DN mods denied the post.

    Oh... well.

  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    June 19, 2015 11:06 a.m.

    To "TheTrueVoice" are you Christian? Do you believe in the Bible?

  • TheTrueVoice West Richland, WA
    June 19, 2015 10:39 a.m.

    "No one had to tell the Founding Fathers that same-sex sex was wrong. They knew that it was wrong. They abhorred it. Most States openly outlawed it. What has changed since that time?"

    Seriously? well over two centuries have past... obviously, much has changed. We allow women to vote. We no longer own slaves. We allow mixed-race marriages. And likely within the next 10 days, Marriage Equality will be the Law of the Land. Well over two hundred years of time allows for a lot of social progress to occur.

    "Christ told us that marriage is between a man and a woman."

    Have any authoritative links to substantiate this claim? Can you point to a NT verse where Christ said anything about gay marriage?

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    June 19, 2015 10:05 a.m.

    America is not a religious organization created to promote and administer the imaginary laws of religion. America was created to further the desires and commercial goals of businessmen.

    All known types of civilized society of every race, every time period, every location, fits that description. Even Churches.

    Governments of any and all kinds, are the deciders of the rules of business in their authority range. And there are no rules that limit or control what rules may exist. Governments can specify the rules of discrimination and do so according to the will of the people, supposedly.

    Government allow citizens to be citizens provided those citizens obey the civil laws set by the government or be willing to accept the consequences. People who disobey the civil laws and are unwilling to accept the consequences, and usually know as criminals and can lose their citizenship. The same applies to business operations.

    Citizens and businesses are pretty much able to do that which in not prohibited by law. Like in "no shoes, no shirt" and who it pertains to. There are a lot of people admitted who may be only wearing a diaper.

  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    June 19, 2015 8:00 a.m.

    To "Shaun" name the religion that says that you can't serve another person from a specific group? I know of some religions that say they shouldn't support or show signs of supporting things contrary to their religious beliefs.

    So, since you are so smart and know so much, I am sure it will be easy for you to say that a person who believes in religion X can't serve a person from racial group Y or religion Z.

  • Uteofferouus Salt Lake City, UT
    June 19, 2015 7:41 a.m.

    @Quaker:

    Your arrogantly stated: "But here, in these pages, are the last remnants of hardcore prejudices, unjustified fears, and demands for legal immunity for homophobic abuse. No amount of logic, civics, reassurance, or disabusing is likely to change that in the short term, not as long as people have their ears and minds closed".

    Baloney, you are a shining example of the "religiophobic" element in society who want to remove any voice against immorality based on religious freedom rights. Just like you, we have every right to disagree with a practice that is counter anatomical, counter phisiological, counter intellectual, counter moral and anti-religious!

    Our eyes, ears and minds are completely open to people like you who want to deny us of our constitutional rights to religious freedoms.

  • Meckofahess Salt Lake City, UT
    June 19, 2015 7:21 a.m.

    Christians are often asked by gay activists why they oppose same-sex “marriage.” “How does our marriage hurt you?” they ask.

    Well, I can think of one significant way it will hurt us: It will destroy religious freedom and free speech rights.

    For example: "The handwriting is on the wall in Canada, which legalized same-sex “marriage” in 2005, in effect completely changing its true meaning. Since then, as Michael Coren notes in National Review Online, “there have been between 200 and 300 proceedings … against critics and opponents of same-sex marriage.” Of course he means legal proceedings.

    For instance, in Saskatchewan, a homosexual man called a state marriage commissioner, wanting to “marry” his partner. The commissioner, an evangelical Christian, declined to conduct the ceremony for religious reasons. He simply referred the man to another commissioner.

    But that was not enough for the gay couple. Even though they got their ceremony, they wanted to punish the Christian who had declined to conduct it. The case ended up in the courts. And the result? Those with religious objections to conducting such ceremonies now face the loss of their jobs".

    We need Senator Lee's legislation to protect our constitutional rights!

  • Uteofferouus Salt Lake City, UT
    June 19, 2015 7:18 a.m.

    It truly saddens me to see so much effort from liberals and gays to impose their anti- religious and anti-first amendment beliefs upon other citizens including conservatives and even non-believers who believe in sexual morality and that marriage should be between a man and a woman.

  • Bob K Davis, CA
    June 19, 2015 5:20 a.m.

    Shaded "truths", half-facts, and scare tactics!

    -- Marriage is not being "redefined", but simply opened legally to more taxpaying American Citizens.

    -- There is no chance, zero, none, nada, that churches will lose their tax exemptions for refusing to marry Gay couples.

    -- The bakers in Oregon defied a State law that was popular and destroyed their own business.

    -- The Massachusetts Catholic Charities were accepting State money, and refused to follow State law, so they stopped handling adoptions and blamed the State.

    -- If the following were held true, Black people would still be using rhe rear entrance at many establishments in the South, and interracial couples would routinely be turned down by County clerks:
    "You don’t need to subscribe to any particular faith, or hold any particular beliefs about marriage, to see the danger of a government forcing innocent people to violate their conscience when they are just trying to make a living, serve their community or educate the next generation."
    ....

    Ask yourself if politicians who promote extreme, divisive views do so from concern for citizens, from concern for what Jesus daid, or to get popularity and donations.

  • A Quaker Brooklyn, NY
    June 19, 2015 5:02 a.m.

    It's been about a year and a half since I first found these pages, about when the Kitchen case blew up in the news and this was the very best place to come to discuss it.

    There's been a lot of social progress on this issue since then. Most of the country has made peace with their old prejudices and seen the benefits of that progress. Our neighbors and relatives can now live their largely mundane and committed lives openly, and it turns out not to be a very big deal for anyone else.

    But here, in these pages, are the last remnants of hardcore prejudices, unjustified fears, and demands for legal immunity for homophobic abuse. No amount of logic, civics, reassurance, or disabusing is likely to change that in the short term, not as long as people have their ears and minds closed.

    We Christians (and others) who place Equality high on our list of Testimonies have helped lead this fight for social justice. Others will either eventually follow, or fall by the wayside.

  • A Quaker Brooklyn, NY
    June 19, 2015 4:21 a.m.

    As a Senator, the highest national elected official of his state, Mike Lee should know better. A LOT better. Verrilli is the Solicitor General, not the Attorney General. He is no part whatsoever of the Justice Department. The job of the Solicitor General is to represent the President's Administration in civil litigation. He's not a prosecutor and isn't the boss of any prosecutor. He's not part of the Treasury Department and has no function regarding the IRS. He's just the President's lawyer.

    So, whatever Verrilli answered to Alito's time-wasting question is irrelevant and totally outside the scope of his position. He's no more versed in that issue than any other lawyer in the land, including Lee.

    Which brings me back around to... Mike Lee should know better than to peddle this nonsense, and probably does. This is just a cynical, opportunistic ploy to keep his electoral base happy.

    All any religious organization needs to do in order to keep its tax exemption for its donors is not spend its tax-exempt charitable income to support candidates for office, which is a non-exempt/non-charitable activity.

  • Bob K Davis, CA
    June 18, 2015 10:33 p.m.

    Hooky
    Riverton, UT
    "Shaun,
    This issue is not about refusing services to a PERSON. That is such a red herring portrayal of the issue, that too many people on the doomed bandwagon of "enlightened public opinion" would love for everyone to believe unwittingly.
    It IS about choosing not to provide a SERVICE the business owner doesn't want to participate in. Does it really matter WHY the business owner doesn't want to participate in it? No, it actually does not. Even if the basis of his decision is not religious, the business owner still has no obligation to provide any service that he objects to in his business practice.

    --- Sorry, but I am sick to death of people in small towns in Utah theorizing here on how things should be, while ignoring that anti-discrimination laws are welcomed in much of the country, and have now been passed in Utah.

    "If he were so obligated, it would be tyranny. Can you imagine the government COERCING (under penalty of law) a business owner into doing something that is clearly dishonest and unethical? This is exactly the same issue."

    --- It is NOT "The United States of Yosemite Sams".

  • Stormwalker Cleveland , OH
    June 18, 2015 10:26 p.m.

    @Mike Richards:

    If baking and selling a cake is "participating" in a wedding, then making and selling a gun or is "participating" in killing 9 people at a church and the shop owner needs to be arrested and prosecuted.

  • Shaun Sandy, UT
    June 18, 2015 8:17 p.m.

    @Mike Richards. You really failed to answer my question. Do you support based on religious grounds to not serve people?

    It is either all or nothing in this scenario. If you support businesses being able not to serve someone based on their belief that gay marriage is wrong then you should also support a business owner who doesn't want to serve people based on race because of the owners religious beliefs.

    Also I wonder what God should we follow? My beliefs and my God say gay marriage is not wrong.

  • ordinaryfolks seattle, WA
    June 18, 2015 7:39 p.m.

    Ranch

    Well said, but falling on deaf ears.

  • Ranch Here, UT
    June 18, 2015 6:53 p.m.

    @Hooky;

    Baking a wedding cake is NOT participating in the wedding. Same with flowers or photographing it (they're employees of the wedding party, not participants in the wedding).

    If these businesses use public services (roads to recieve, send their products, police protection, fire protection, etc.) which are paid for by ALL taxpayers, then they must not be allowed to refuse to serve taxpayers they do not approve of. They're in business to make money, NOT make moral judgements on their customers. Furthermore, until these same businesses also refuse to serve heterosexual adulterers, fornicators, liars, thieves, etc. All of which are against their "sincerely held religious beliefs", it is nothing more than hypocrisy and bigotry.

  • Hooky Riverton, UT
    June 18, 2015 6:29 p.m.

    Shaun,

    This issue is not about refusing services to a PERSON. That is such a red herring portrayal of the issue, that too many people on the doomed bandwagon of "enlightened public opinion" would love for everyone to believe unwittingly.

    It IS about choosing not to provide a SERVICE the business owner doesn't want to participate in. Does it really matter WHY the business owner doesn't want to participate in it? No, it actually does not. Even if the basis of his decision is not religious, the business owner still has no obligation to provide any service that he objects to in his business practice.

    If he were so obligated, it would be tyranny. Can you imagine the government COERCING (under penalty of law) a business owner into doing something that is clearly dishonest and unethical? This is exactly the same issue.

    The obvious, most common-sense solution to this debacle is to let the business owner decide what services he will provide in his business. If some people object to it, market forces will take care of the rest.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    June 18, 2015 6:27 p.m.

    Shaun,

    You're trying to play "God" by setting laws for society. He's already done that. He clearly told us that man shall not lie with man as with a woman. That law has been in place for over 3,500 years, world wide. He has not changed His mind. In our time, He has declared that marriage is only between a man and a woman and that sex of any kind outside of marriage is wrong.

    That should not be hard for anyone to understand. He spoke plainly. Your task is to decide whether God makes the rules or whether you do.

    No one had to tell the Founding Fathers that same-sex sex was wrong. They knew that it was wrong. They abhorred it. Most States openly outlawed it. What has changed since that time? Did society suddenly find a god who agreed with the liberal minded, or, did the liberal minded openly rebel against God?

    No one has the Constitutional authority to make anyone celebrate a same-sex union IF that person belongs to a religious establishment what rejects same-sex sex. Read the 1st Amendment.

  • Shaun Sandy, UT
    June 18, 2015 4:43 p.m.

    @Mike Richards.

    Your McDonalds concept applies to everybody though. You photo business concept makes sense because it applies to everybody.

    Your Jewish concept is flawed because they do not serve pork to begin with.

    If you were a baker and you didn't make wedding cakes at all then no one could sue you because that was not your scope of business and it applies to heterosexual and to same sex.

    Should a baker or photographer be able to refuse to "celebrate" a mixed race couples wedding? Or how about a mixed faith wedding? What about a wedding of a couple that has a different race than you?

    Based on your logic a person should be able to discriminate against anyone for any reason as long as they state they have deeply held religious beliefs.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    June 18, 2015 4:13 p.m.

    Shawn,

    Perhaps your question should be addressed to McDonalds or to any other fast food restaurant. On their doors, they clearly have signs stating, "No shirt, no shoes, no service". Just because they're in the business of selling fast food does not require them to lower their standards to accommodate everyone who walks through their doors.

    Can you order polled pork at a Jewish restaurant? Why not? They're in the restaurant business.

    When I ran a professional photo lab, our policy was that we did not print photos of nudes or any boudoir photography. Would you object? Would you have forced my wife, my sister, and other female employees to print your nudes or boudoir photos?

    I will not celebrate a same-sex marriage by providing ANY service for that wedding. I don't believe is same-sex marriage because I fully accept "The Family: A Proclamation to the World" as religious doctrine. No same-sex argument supersedes that document.

    Take me to court. Strip me of all worldly possessions. What would you prove? Only that you are so afraid that you are wrong that you would sue anyone who disagrees with you.

  • Shaun Sandy, UT
    June 18, 2015 3:39 p.m.

    @Mike Richards.

    To be honest I do not understand your argument or point of view. How is selling something endorsing something you think is immoral? Does your internet provider endorse pornography just because the customer who uses it looks at pornography? Does rocky mountain power endorse a gay couple who uses power for their home? If I provide a service to the LDS Church does that mean I now official endorse them?

  • Frozen Fractals Salt Lake City, UT
    June 18, 2015 12:55 p.m.

    @Redshirt1701
    "since when it is a special privilege to have your religious beliefs protected? "

    In a general sense, (I don't want to argue any particular examples that are or aren't, I'm just seeing if we can agree on a concept), it's a "special privilege" if the protection you are given is something that invoking it violates the rights of others.

  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    June 18, 2015 12:33 p.m.

    To "Esquire" since when it is a special privilege to have your religious beliefs protected? I can see a clause in the Constitution that states that the government won't interfere with my religious beliefs. I can also find quite a few cases where the government has violated that right. Based on track record of the government and its multiple violations of our 1st Amendment Rights, don't you think that enacting laws to further protect our rights is warranted?

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    June 18, 2015 12:28 p.m.

    What does the CONSTITUTION say about "special rights" given to churches? What does it say about the separation of church and state?

    "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;"

    Churches do NOT need to defend their doctrine. Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.

    Members of those churches have no legal obligation to "prove" that the religious doctrine that they follow is "correct" when the Constitution guarantees that we are free to practice our religion.

    Naysayers would have us believe differently. They would demand that we prove that our religion does not violate the Constitution, when they should ask themselves why THEY violate the Constitution by demanding that we "prove" that our religion agrees with THEIR personal belief in God.

    Make no mistake. There are those who believe that God interferes in their personal lives such that they want God removed from all political discourse. They will not change, but they expect all others to change to accept their personal views of God and of religion.

    Don't they have the "cart" before the "horse"?

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    June 18, 2015 12:09 p.m.

    @ Mike Richards, isn't the U.S. violating the clause of the Constitution that you quoted by giving special privileges to churches. The tax exemption is conditioned on the government recognizing a religion/church, but if the recognition is not given for whatever purpose, then there is a preference, and the provision you cite has been violated. So, I assume, with your strict interpretation of the Constitution, that you have stated many times on the pages of this website, you would agree. I assume your interpretation is not situational, but is absolute.

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    June 18, 2015 11:56 a.m.

    Mike

    Is Senator Lee proposing a law or an amendment to the Constitution.

    "Congress shall make no law …

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    June 18, 2015 11:48 a.m.

    It truly saddens me to see so much effort from churches and religion to impose their beliefs upon other people of other faiths and even the non-believers. It is to their shame and discredit that they must do so.

    America has given so much freedom to churches, exceeding all other organizations, and all we ask in return is to allow each individual American to freely choose his own choice and even no choice if he chooses.

    Our language, the words and even the meanings don't belong to anyone. And to our discredit, don't always mean the same thing. But it is the American way we support that allows it to happen.

    The real culprit in our dilemma is our economic system that allows itself to be used to punish or reward at the will of private individuals. The master/slave relationship of the employer and employee is unfair and the employee is too often the looser.

    I support the notion of keeping government out of religion and I also support the notion of keeping religion our of government.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    June 18, 2015 10:59 a.m.

    Senator Lee is absolutely correct when he stands for his oath of office to uphold the Constitution which clearly states:

    "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;"

    There are those who apparently despise the Constitution when they insist that they will sue anyone whose religion "violates" their right to require everyone, particularly Christians, to celebrate their sexual preferences on the day of their "marriage" by photographing them, by baking cakes for them, by printing invitations for them, and by hosting them. Can they point to the "right" in the Constitution where sexual preferences takes precedence over the freedom from governmental interference in religion and the free practice of religion? The FIRST Amendment guarantees freedom from their lawsuits. The FIRST clause in the FIRST Amendment guarantees freedom from their lawsuits.

    Trying to intimidate others to participate in any celebration whose basis is sexual oriention by threatening suit could be easily construed to be not only a breach of religious freedom but also sexual harassment. So, bring on the lawsuits.

  • Impartial7 DRAPER, UT
    June 18, 2015 10:58 a.m.

    Somebody needs to remind Mike "smaller government" Lee, that we don't need another convoluted law. We already have a law on the books. It's called the 1st amendment.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    June 18, 2015 10:39 a.m.

    Personally, I think the first amendment should allow religion, and the religious, unto themselves to practice whatever hatred or discrimination they want. However, this does not extend into the larger society. If you want to exist in or serve the society at large it has to be recognised that your religious prejudices may not arbitrarily be extended to and imposed upon others.

  • OneHumanFamily Provo, UT
    June 18, 2015 10:02 a.m.

    If this is passed, can I stop paying taxes then? Why should some of my hard earned money go to further subsidizing bigoted organizations?

  • 10CC Bountiful, UT
    June 18, 2015 7:54 a.m.

    The silver lining with Mike Lee pushing this line of thinking is that with the evolution in social understandings occurring under his feet, Mike will look like a dinosaur very, very quickly.

    He may as well name his bill the "Bob Jones University Defense Act". This is the obvious example these people refer to, in private, but don't have the courage to come out and say so, publicly.

  • Bob A. Bohey Marlborough, MA
    June 18, 2015 7:07 a.m.

    "We first saw this new wave of intolerance emerge a decade ago in Massachusetts, when Catholic Charities of Boston was forced to stop providing adoption services because they would not — could not — place children in the homes of same-sex couples."

    This is the type of misinformation those opposed to SSM use to stoke irrational fear in people. The state DID NOT force Catholic Charities of Boston to stop providing adoption services. The state simply refused to fund the services with TAXPAYER dollars when Catholic Charities would not comply with the law. This type of dishonest reporting of the facts is a perfect example of why so many distrust anything being said or written by people or organizations under the veil of religious freedom. They simply can not be trusted.

  • george of the jungle goshen, UT
    June 18, 2015 6:30 a.m.

    The first thing ya'd need is reverence, a deep respect for it.