Religious freedom advocates are divided over how to address LGBT rights

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  • glacierlake3 Provo, UT
    Jan. 23, 2017 6:21 p.m.

    The more I have studied the issue of religion and individual right of agency. I find that most all religions all started on one individuals personal relationship with a god or deity which came from a condition of personal agency of choice. So if one holds to the very basic individual right of god and and choice the more weight one can put on that of individual Choice as the answer to what need to rule in a changing nation.

  • Sheridan77 Winter Haven, FL
    Jan. 17, 2017 4:41 p.m.

    Can people choose to be gay? Lesbian historian, Dr. Lillian Faderman, has discovered that many lesbians had made a CHOICE to become gay. She writes about this in two of her award-winning books. In ”Surpassing the Love of Men: Romantic Friendship and Love Between Women from the Renaissance to the Present," Dr. Faderman speaks of the power of lesbian-feminism (page 17):

    "...I was also observing what was happening between women in the feminist movement of the 1970s. Many who had entered the movement as unquestioningly heterosexual, or heterosexual-by-default, experienced a metamorphosis: Their feminism led to radical feminism that led to lesbian-feminism. I had witnessed again and again the transformation of sexual/affectional--object CHOICE [my emphasis] in the context of an immediate social milieu--the radical feminist movement--that encouraged love between women."

  • RedShirtHarvard Cambridge, MA
    Jan. 17, 2017 10:21 a.m.

    To "RanchHand" you are wrong about Jesus. He said that you shouldn't judge unrighteous judgements. That means that you have to look at what they are doing and judge what they are doing according to the Gospel that Jesus taught.

    It is funny how your ilk will pull out that argument when what you are doing goes contrary to the Gospel that Jesus taught.

    So, let me get this right, you want me to stop judging you, but you don't want to stop sinning like Jesus taught. Isn't that a bit hypocritical?

    As for gays discriminating against Christians, there have been cases where your ilk have refused to make cakes or print tee shirts. You also have the cases where the LGBT community is attacking Christian colleges that have no recorded instances of discrimination. You have the LGBT businesses that have lobbied governments to enact anti-christian laws that force people to openly show signs that they accept the LGBT agenda.

    To "UtahTroutStalker" what you propose would actually make tax rates rise because fewer religious groups could operate their charitable foundations, which help more than Governments, if they had to pay property taxes.

  • Jamescmeyer Midwest City, USA, OK
    Jan. 17, 2017 8:42 a.m.

    The solution is simple:

    We have a right to life, liberty, and property. That means we can exercise our talents, labor, and resources in whatever way we deem appropriate-freedom of association. People have the right to be unkind and unfair, actions that legislation can't and won't eliminate. If religious people have ever seemed unkind or unfair to people who endorse a homosexual lifestyle, realize that the reverse is painfully abundant.

    We have a right to freely and publically express religious ideas. "Separation of Church and State" means that the State cannot financially endorse a particular sect. It does not mean that we are to pretend religion does not exist in public matters.

    We do not have the right to force a selfish or sex act centered idea of "marriage" onto others through fines and discrimination.

  • UtahTroutStalker draper, UT
    Jan. 16, 2017 10:21 p.m.

    I think there would be more religious freedom if religious institutions paid property taxes. Keep the money people give to their church, etc...tax exempt on the personal income tax, but tax all church owned property across America at the normal property tax rate.

    That would generate enough taxes to give the rest of us a tax break, or build more schools, or help the needy and the poor regardless of their beliefs. That way no one will feel coerced when they seek help.

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    Jan. 16, 2017 5:03 p.m.

    @summarizerer;

    Which part of equality and equal treatment is wrong? Which part of "do unto others as you'd have them do unto you" is wrong?

    @Facts;

    We (yes, the majority of us) couldn't care less if you "celebrate" our right or not (btw, they're the same rights you enjoy, so technically, you ought to celebrate them).

    As for marriage being 2000 year old definition, you ought to also check the "history of marriage". Many societies (even further back than just 2000 years) permitted SSM. Go figure.

    @RedShirt;

    You made the claim that LGBT businesses are discriminating against Christians. Try again.

    Jesus is the one who told you not to judge, if you can't follow his commandments (like the false witness commandment), can you honestly call yourself Christian?

  • summarizerer Berryville, VA
    Jan. 16, 2017 1:36 p.m.

    @ranch

    "This isn't about an "agenda", it isn't about "forcing" anyone. It's about equality. Nothing more."

    Yeah right...all your saying is "I'm right and your wrong."

  • Facts are friendly Sandy, UT
    Jan. 16, 2017 9:55 a.m.

    I employ and love very much 3 LGBQT people. I attend and support two families members recently married in same-sex marriages.

    But a huge problem remains. The LGBQT community will say all they want is equal rights. The vast majority of them don't. They want rights and YOUR CELEBRATION of their rights. They want you to gush over their lifestyle choices and be cheerleaders.

    As a man of faith, I feel marriage is a 2000 year-old institution of man-woman union for nurturing children with a father and a mother. That's what I celebrate. It's the ideal...and I will celebrate the ideal, without a single drop of "hate" for anybody. In fact, the contrary.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Jan. 16, 2017 9:43 a.m.

    To "RanchHand " so you are saying that it is ok to judge, just not when it is against something you value.

    As for discrimination against Christians, yes I can. Just read many of the posts here. How many liberals are telling Christians to keep their religion in their homes and churches and to hide it everywhere else. Furry1993 is a perfect example of the discrimination that LGBTs want to impose on Christians.

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    Jan. 16, 2017 9:23 a.m.

    @RedShirt;

    You refuse to admit that the "judging" you reference is not the same judging I mentioned. And you can't find a single honest example of LGBT businesses refusing to serve Christians. I thought one of the big 10 was "thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor". And you have the nerve to claim you follow your own religious tenets? That's a huge LOL.

    Try again.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Jan. 16, 2017 9:04 a.m.

    To "Laura Bilington" you do realize that 51 years ago gay marriage was not even a question or a thought people had, so why would a person in the 1960's even question the event? You might as well have used an example form the 1700's to question the uses of internet.

    To "Utefan60" actually the constitution does protect action too. If you read first amendment, all of the items listed there are actions. Nearly all of the Bill of Rights are related to actions.

    To "Misty Mountain" so you are saying that it is ok for gays to act according to their gay beliefs, but it is not ok for religious people to act according to their religious beliefs?

    To "Furry1993" tell us how preventing people from practicing their religion in the public space is constitutional? If my religion says that I wear a piece of jewelry for all to see you can't prevent that per the fist amendment because you are now prohibiting the free exercise of my religion. Tell us why you want to infringe my rights?

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Jan. 16, 2017 8:48 a.m.

    To "Ranch" but customers are judged all the time and it is done legally. You are sorely mistaken about heterosexuals being more protected than gays. Just look at the cases where gays have refused to provide their services for Christian events.

    To "rdean92" if a gay couple can't find a building for a reception, does that prevent them from getting married? You are also getting the argument wrong. If your religion says that eating chicken is wrong, is it ok for somebody to force you to eat chicken? If you say No, tell us how that is different than a religion that says gay marriage is wrong and you refusing to take part in a gay marriage ceremony.

    To "UtahTroutStalker" you are wrong. You should be allowed to discriminate. Think of a daycare. Would you prevent a daycare from discriminate against a child rapist who wants to work at the daycare? How about a bank that wants to discriminate against somebody who once was convicted of theft? Discrimination is neither good nor evil. It is a tool used to protect a person or business.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Jan. 16, 2017 8:22 a.m.

    To "Hutterite" but if I am religious and I refuse to participate, your ilk has sued to force me to participate. Just look at the cases of the bakers, photographers, and other wedding related businesses that refused to participate in a gay wedding. Every time they are sued and forced to participate.

    To "MaxPower" when you see a single mother in the grocery store, how can you tell the difference between her and a married mother? Also, since when is buying groceries a religious event?

    To "Red Corvette" Jesus also pulled out a whip and drove the moneychangers out of the temple. He also cursed an unfruitful fig tree.

    To "Cheesecake" but businesses discriminate all the time. How many men do you see at Lady Fitness? How about Men's Only Country Clubs? Other than essential services, such as hospitals, doctors, grocery stores, and utilities, what would happen if businesses were allowed to discriminate? Will people die if a photographer discriminates? Will people die if a cleaning lady discriminates?

    Also, if you want to eliminate discrimination are you going to go after performers who refuse to go to certain states because of politics?

  • UtahTroutStalker draper, UT
    Jan. 16, 2017 7:02 a.m.

    I think we have two camps of what people believe is "religious freedom".

    There are those who say you are free to believe what you want, worship with like minded people of faith, etc... as long as you do not violate the laws of this land and harm others.

    And, there are those who believe that their religious beliefs and practices trump everything else. If they don't believe in paying taxes, they will not pay them. If they don't like a certain group of people they believe they should be able to discriminate against them in the marketplace, and create laws that subjugate them to that of a citizen with less rights.

    In the history of western civilization, only a few other regimes come to mind where latter camp came into power. Nazi Germany, current Iran, and North Korea. Let's do our best not to become like one of these.

  • geekusprimus Little Elm, TX
    Jan. 15, 2017 11:41 p.m.

    At the end of the day, the argument in favor of same-sex marriage and related sexual issues have about as much weight to them as the opposing arguments: it is literally one side saying, "Two men or two women should be allowed to marry each other because they love each other," and the other side saying, "We believe that it's wrong because God said so."

    To most religious individuals, the latter is very important. But to atheists or members of non-Abrahamic religions, it may not matter at all. An appropriate balance needs to be struck to defend both sides, and I think the vast majority of people agree. The issue is that extremists on one side are shouting, "Throw religion out the window," whereas the other extreme is saying, "Death to all gays!"

    On the other hand, if we locked them in a room together until they agree to a good compromise, the reasonable individuals of the world would have an eternity to come up with a more satisfactory solution for both sides, which would probably be something along the lines of, "You don't have to agree with the other guy, but you don't have to be a jerk about it, either."

  • Furry1993 Ogden, UT
    Jan. 14, 2017 7:25 a.m.

    Not a hard one to decide.

    Churches have the absolute right under the First Amendment to decide the qualifications for membership and the rites they provide.

    Individual people have the right to believe as they choose, to discuss their beliefs subject to the right of listeners to argue, and to associate in their private lives consistent with their beliefs and wishes.

    When dealing in the private, secular marketplace, people must deal with all potential customers equally -- if the business sells a good/service to some people, it must provide the same good/service to all people, and if the business denies a good/service to some people, it must deny the same good/service to all people. That's equitable treatment to all, and is consistent with both the 1st Amendment and 14th Amendment to the Constitution. That MUST be the standard all businesses provide.

    If that standard is not required, then businesses should at least be required to advise concerning whether they would serve everyone or deny service to some people. That way the people to whom service would be provided and/or denied would know and act accordingly.

  • Edward777 eugene, OR
    Jan. 14, 2017 3:29 a.m.

    How about equal rights for people wanting to be polygamist or live in polyamory? Are these people any less deserving of "protection" than gay people?

  • Karen R. Houston, TX
    Jan. 13, 2017 3:21 p.m.

    @ NeifyT

    "While, I have no doubt that you did not choose to be gay; circumstances beyond your control or even conscious thought caused that orientation to develop. But being 'born gay' is an outright false claim."

    That seems a little overstated. I would say it qualifies more as technically incorrect. As you yourself confirmed, the gist of rdean92's statement is, in fact, true: We don't knowingly choose our sexual orientation.

  • Hope & Faith give us strength Utah County, UT
    Jan. 13, 2017 12:06 p.m.

    Counter Intelligence

    I agree that orientation is willingly adopted or subverted.
    I agree that if an activist can question my thoughts, feelings, or behavior, I can theirs.
    I agree that anything less is hate from the LGBT, rather than open dialog.

    Although I believe there is merit to the term "Religious freedom". I agree with your point about it simply being "Freedom" on its own. This is why the most concise term is probably "conscience rights". The only problem is that the most vocal "warriors" of the left suggest that they in fact are defending the freedom of conscience. They do, as long as the conscience is what they approve of. The fact is, no moral relativist ever owns up to the fact that they aren't really a pacifist. They assert their own rule and live in denial that they do so.

    The danger is that their system is a facade built on the idea of tyranny and being a dictator to everyone else. They seek power, yet pretend to be peaceful on the outside. It's one of the greatest lies ever devised. Even my most atheist professors, even those who were anti-LDS recognized that in 2007. After Prop 8 they changed tunes.

  • Kate Hutch Kenmore, WA
    Jan. 13, 2017 11:02 a.m.

    Somebody please show us where Jesus said anything about homosexuality. That is, did anybody recall forty+ years later (when the Bible was written) if he did say anything about homosexuality. If he did, they forgot to write it down.

  • NeifyT Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 13, 2017 11:00 a.m.

    @rdean92,

    While, I have no doubt that you did not choose to be gay; circumstances beyond your control or even conscious thought caused that orientation to develop.

    But being "born gay" is an outright false claim. And I can prove it with just one word. Anyone who has studied the topic of human biology with any reasonable depth knows that the development of one's orientation is NOT completed at birth. While I have no doubt it starts in the womb (obviously because of the hormonal shifts that drive the development of certain body parts); it continues all throughout life; although it is largely set by puberty.

    The process is certainly, just like most other human development, at its peak during the first couple years of life. But, it most certainly is not "born that way."

    And it takes but the review of just one word to prove that beyond any possible doubt. A word that I doubt I could use on here. But, that shows that this developmental process continues to occur after birth. Without getting deep into all of that, let me just put it this way, no baby is born wearing leather.

  • UtahTroutStalker draper, UT
    Jan. 13, 2017 10:10 a.m.

    @antodav - Tampa, FL

    Sorry, but my argument is not weak, and does not only consider roads, but also civil courts, criminal courts, police, fire, schools, economic development money,etc..

    SCOTUS apparently thinks like I do, and they are more learned in these matters. It is you who make the weaker argument. First you claim that the business "probably" paid more taxes. Really - how did you determine that? I seem to remember a pretty success business man who recently ran for President who admitted has hasn't paid any Federal Income taxes in years. Of course DJT doesn't have a problem renting his rooms in his hotels to LGBT people who may or may not be married, and yet many of those who claim to be part of the religious right still voted for him. Think about that for a moment.

  • Misty Mountain Kent, WA
    Jan. 13, 2017 7:46 a.m.

    Counter Intelligence says, "Gay activists have gone out of their way to present being homosexual as similar to gender or race: Scientific reality is clear that it is not.
    A straight white male may change his thoughts, feelings and behaviors to become gay, but it will never turn him into an Asian woman, regardless of bullying efforts to demand the contrary."

    I am startled--who is bullying Asian women to become white males (gay or straight)?

    And since you told us that you were homosexual, please tell us at what age you decided to "change [your] thoughts, feelings, and behaviors" to become so?

  • General Mormon Farmington, UT
    Jan. 13, 2017 7:13 a.m.

    Sorry folks,
    but you voted for Trump,
    and he's not going to change it either.

  • Ranch Here, UT
    Jan. 13, 2017 7:00 a.m.

    @Jimbo;

    Why are the fruits of equality so terrifying?

    @NoNames;

    "Declining to provide goods and services for ... a homosexual wedding, is different than discriminating against ... homosexuals."

    --- You are incorrect. Think about it.

    "we must respect business owners' conscience."

    --- Does their "conscience" also prevent them from serving fornicating heterosexuals or adulterers? Sabbath breakers? If not, then their "conscience" is selective and therefore suspect.

    @JoeSpald;

    "No where in the constitution is a lifestyle protected."

    --- Religion IS a "lifestyle".

    @Meck;

    You should have lived by that concept BEFORE P8, et.al.

    @Hope;

    Voting away someones equality is far more than "disagreement", and it most certainly is not "love". Nor is it living your doctrines.

    @worf;

    Life is full of things you don't want to be "exposed" to. Thats just life.

    @antodav;

    Are you required to "drive down the road" to the next business for their product? If not, why should LGBT have to? A customer is a customer is a customer.

  • Karen R. Houston, TX
    Jan. 13, 2017 6:16 a.m.

    @ antodav

    Humans have already run the experiment you're suggesting and found it detrimental to a civil public square. What does work is applying the basic rule most get introduced to in grade school: If you're going to bring treats to class, bring enough for all. If you only want to treat some, then do this in your own home.

    @ worf

    "To many, this is not natural, and react to it like finger nails rubbing along a chalkboard."

    As I understand it, sexual orientation falls on a spectrum. The stronger your hetero or homo orientation, the more likely you're going to experience a strong aversion to the other. So homosexuals can experience what you do, too, just in relation to hetero sex.

    It's a mistake to generalize one's personal experience to right/wrong for all. One's reaction is only about what's right/wrong for you and your makeup. It appears that LDS leaders now accept this as I believe they're no longer encouraging mixed-orientation marriages.

  • Counter Intelligence Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 13, 2017 5:34 a.m.

    Gay activists have gone out of their way to present being homosexual as similar to gender or race: Scientific reality is clear that it is not.
    Regardless of whether orientation has a genetic trigger or not, its expression is defined by thoughts, feelings and behaviors: A straight white male may change his thoughts, feelings and behaviors to become gay, but it will never turn him into an Asian woman, regardless of bullying efforts to demand the contrary.
     
    But most importantly; if gay activists have the right to question the thoughts, feeling and behavior of people that they disagree with - then the reverse MUST also be allowed, otherwise it is simply gay hate.
     
    I am homosexual and I have the right to disagree with gay activists (AKA bullies) for the same reason I have a right to NOT be forcibly involved in anyone's religion
    That is not just religious freedom - it is freedom

  • RBB Sandy, UT
    Jan. 13, 2017 12:34 a.m.

    There is some serious revisionist history here. The First Amendment clear prohibit's the government from establishing religion or preventing the free exercise thereof. If the government can compel you to participate in acts which violate your religious beliefs, you do not have free exercise of your religion.
    Also the claim that the founding fathers were all deist is a con pushed by many on the left. George Washington prayed before battle. John Adams was a vocal Christian. Even Thomas Jefferson advanced the argument that our rights came from God. Jefferson indicated that he followed Jesus' precepts, but was very critical of churches for corrupting Christianity.

    If you want to live your beliefs, allow others to live theirs. Otherwise you are a hypocrit.

  • antodav Tampa, FL
    Jan. 12, 2017 10:55 p.m.

    @UtahTroutStalker,

    Sorry but that is a very weak argument. The roads were not created specifically for any one business, and unlike the businesses themselves they are public property, not private. Also the business owners themselves also paid taxes to pave those roads (probably more in fact) which negates whatever claims or positive rights their customers think they have because they contributed a small amount to the funding of those roads. If a business closes its doors to you, you have the right to continue driving right on down the road to the next business that is willing to take your money. The business that turned you away has already suffered a loss at its own hands; there is no need to exact additional penalties against them just because the rejected customer's feelings were hurt.

  • worf McAllen, TX
    Jan. 12, 2017 10:13 p.m.

    JoeBlow,

    To many, this is not natural, and react to it like finger nails rubbing along a chalkboard.

    It's that way to the majority of folks, who don't want themselves, and children exposed to it.

  • General Mormon Farmington, UT
    Jan. 12, 2017 10:07 p.m.

    Religious freedom advocates are divided over how to address LGBT rights
    ===

    Hey,
    How about this for Religious Freedom --

    How about letting Religions decide if they want to sanction or perform Same-Sex Marriages or not, and keep Government OUT of it?

  • Utefan60 Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 12, 2017 9:42 p.m.

    JoeSpald - Orem, UT, you are completely right. The Constitution protects that right to have freedom of thought, but not freedom of action. The Mormon, Buddhist, or Catholic "Lifestyle" is not protected under the Constitution anymore than your supposed justification about the LBGT "Lifestyle". Stereotyping and promoting a supposed justification for discrimination, you must realize The Mormon "Lifestyle" has no Constitutional protections anymore than you claim that the LBGT "lifestyle" does. .

    The Constitution allows ALL Citizens to participate in it's secular rules. Those rules have precluded the intrusion of religion to discriminate. Those cases have been already studied and ruled on by the Supreme Courts. That's why marriage and it's secular rights have been expanded. This is where religion inappropriately put their "lifestyles" over the right of others.

    Any "religion" that stereotypes or defames a segment of society that they don't understand is a false religion. People who do that and follow those beliefs that include discrimination are truly in a "lifestyle" that is Unchristian.

  • Laura Bilington Maple Valley, WA
    Jan. 12, 2017 9:26 p.m.

    @JimboLow wrote,

    "If you don't think "baking a cake" or "photographing a wedding" is participating, I don't think you have been to a wedding."

    When I got married fifty one years ago, the clerk at the Brigham City Safeway took my cake order and the cake was duly created. She didn't ask where the wedding was to be held, let alone the sex of the other party. I'm reasonably sure she forgot the transaction as soon as the next customer came in. Now please tell me how she "participated".

    "Homosexual weddings won't affect you." They are affecting the church and its members more and more each day. If you don't think they do--I will give you a million examples."

    Three would suffice. Please give them.

  • Laura Bilington Maple Valley, WA
    Jan. 12, 2017 9:17 p.m.

    "Instead, policymakers should prioritize passing laws that ensure the rights of traditional marriage supporters, Anderson said...Even when SOGI laws include religious exemptions, as Utah's did, they cast belief in traditional marriage in a negative light, Anderson said. "

    Ms. Dallas, virtually 100% of people out there are "traditional marriage supporters". A majority of them believe in marriage equality for all people. Please be honest and label Mr. Anderson accurately. He is not "supporting" anything. What he is doing is opposing gay marriage.

  • Laura Bilington Maple Valley, WA
    Jan. 12, 2017 9:05 p.m.

    @Mayfair writes, "Just imagine signs on businesses that read: "We do not serve Mormons." "

    Been there, done that.
    Several times."

    I doubt that you ever saw such a sign. Two reasons:

    1. It would have made national news. It didn't. Not once, let alone "several times".

    2. The business would have lost at least half their customers overnight. Lots of non-Mormons would be repulsed by such an attitude and found another business to patronize.

    Have you noticed that the places that won't accept work related to gay weddings never--repeat, never--post that position publicly? No signs in the window, and not in their advertising. What do you think the reason is?

  • Laura Bilington Maple Valley, WA
    Jan. 12, 2017 8:57 p.m.

    NoNames wrote, "All must respect religious freedom to publicly, peacefully call any conduct sinful and to avoid association with that conduct. Whether it is gambling, drinking, premarital or homosexual sex, or anything else. Unlike racist policies that emerged at some churches in the wake of civil rights, moral positions on homosexual conduct are long standing in most religions. "

    Moral objections to the LDS church are long standing in the Baptist religions. Please tell me that you have no problem with Baptists peacefully picketing the LDS temple in Gardendale while a wedding is going on there. You're implying that a long-standing belief is OK. Does that mean you don't see anything wrong with the racist policies that have been in effect in some churches for two hundred years? If so, why?

    Do you have a problem with an LDS man working as a grocery checker? When he sees a six pack of beer, should he peacefully convey his sincere belief that drinking is sinful? If not, why not?

  • Ernest T. Bass Bountiful, UT
    Jan. 12, 2017 8:55 p.m.

    Religious freedom and LGBT rights have nothing in common and don't have anything to do with one another. Both subjects are completely independent.
    Why does the dnews & others in Utah continue trying to mesh them together?

  • Hope & Faith give us strength Utah County, UT
    Jan. 12, 2017 6:59 p.m.

    You have to appreciate an irony here.

    The very same people who spend every effort of their life fighting, criticizing, hating, even lying about religion to mislead people away from it- all because of how untrue they say it is...

    ...get on here to tell us how much we aren't living our own doctrines. I mean, it's as if they think that they, the very people who *fundamentally disagree with our beliefs* would ever interpret the beliefs as accurately as we do.

    Of course, any well-meaning human being can be an ignorant hypocrite. I don't hate someone because they twist and warp my religion into something it isn't. But I do wonder if they ever ask themselves why they are so invested- not just in defending their own views, but in claiming to know our own religion better than we do. Such self-serving rhetoric is typical of the "get off my planet" secular movement. I mean, they wish we didn't exist and they tell us we are misunderstanding the meaning of "love thy neighbor".

    I can disagree with someone and love them.
    I'm pretty sure I can't wish they didn't even exist and love them.

    But hey, what do I know about my own religion?

  • Misty Mountain Kent, WA
    Jan. 12, 2017 6:40 p.m.

    @NoNames wrote, "No one should be forced to provide bakery or photography services for an NRA convention, a Mormon missionary effort, or a homosexual event. Note that this is markedly different than denying service to someone because of his religion, political affiliation, or sexual orientation."

    No, it is not different. No one except people of homosexual orientation hold "homosexual events", whatever those are supposed to be. No one except Mormons hold Mormon missionary events. And "gun owners" are not a protected class, any more than barefoot people are. Both can, and sometimes are, refused service.

    This has already been before the Supreme Court [Christian Legal Society v. Martinez]. The CLS claimed they were discriminating on gay conduct, not gay orientation. But the Court ruled that there was no difference--only gay people engaged in "gay conduct". Their point was that a tax on hats is religiously neutral, but a tax on just yarmulkes equates discrimination against jews, because only Jews wear yarmulkes.

  • Misty Mountain Kent, WA
    Jan. 12, 2017 6:10 p.m.

    @Vanceone (at 2:20) wrote,

    "The fact remains: Same sex activity is a sin, and you cannot make it right via government force. That is your current strategy, and your attempts to legislate morality and thought control is the very vilest of evil."

    Same sex activity is a sin? It is certainly your belief, and you have a right to believe it if you wish. Another religion believes that blood transfusions are a sin, but I think you'd be upset if they tried to outlaw this treatment option.

    And public accommodation laws are not "legislating morality". Nobody is forcing you to marry a same sex person or a person of another race (or get married at all).

    And no matter what you say or do, you're on the wrong side of history. You can attempt to control the thoughts of the next generation, but, by and large, you won't succeed. Fifty years ago you never saw blacks in advertising. Now there are ads with interracial families and gay families. Millennials read stories of the bakers who won't do cakes for gay weddings and wonder what the big deal is.

  • Meckofahess Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 12, 2017 5:25 p.m.

    Oh how I pray for success of all parties at the Yale meeting that they can find a way to determine policies in the states that address the needs and rights of all citizens and not just one group or the other. This planet belongs to all of us!

  • Tolstoy salt lake, UT
    Jan. 12, 2017 5:13 p.m.

    It's. very sad that after more then 49 years we still have so man that oppose gay rights still making the same tired arguments that have been refuted thousands of times and dismissed by the courts as baseless over and over again. l little hint for you all, you have not discovered any new arguments that have not already failed over and over and over again.

  • EscherEnigma Ridgecrest, CA
    Jan. 12, 2017 5:04 p.m.

    To those saying gay folks are going to far...

    We had sodomy laws in this country until 2003.

    Policies preventing gay folk from working in the FOR UNTIL the 90s.

    A law preventing gay folk from serving in the military until 2011 or so.

    Laws preventing us from marrying until 2015.

    Various laws keeping us from being teachers.

    All supported by Christians while in effect, and mourned when they were gone.

    But the same exact non-discrimination protections you already enjoy is going "too far"?

  • JoeSpald Orem, UT
    Jan. 12, 2017 4:59 p.m.

    The answer is easy.

    Religious freedom, is the protection of free thought. No where in the constitution is a lifestyle protected.

    A religion does not have to promote or accept lifestyle choices. That includes LGBT relationships, using drugs, praying a certain way, living a certain way etc.

    The LGBT community doesn't want to be forced to accept other peoples religions, they shouldn't be trying to force others to accept theirs.

    The LGBT movement has become as much a religion as any other. It carries a code of conduct, it represents a lifestyle, it motivates or inspires action, there are Non-profits dedicated to the support of its members, they have special groups and affiliations, they accept donations and even offer special scholarships etc.

    They don't want to promote or advocate other peoples lifestyles then others shouldn't be forced to promote or advocate theirs. They can choose to deny entry to their support groups, their scholarships and their services if you aren't a member of the LGBT community, all while trying to force acceptance of their lifestyles.

  • EscherEnigma Ridgecrest, CA
    Jan. 12, 2017 4:46 p.m.

    I like how "I can refuse you service because of my God's grudge against gays, but you cannot refuse me service because of my God's grudge against gays" is being defined as "fairness for all".

    It doesn't fool anyone. If "conscience" is a good enough justification for you to violate laws of general applicability, then it's a good enough justification for me to violate laws of general applicability. *That* would be "fairness for all". These special exemptions? Obviously are not.

  • Baccus0902 Leesburg, VA
    Jan. 12, 2017 4:11 p.m.

    @ Vanceone

    "Let us consider who is the group that government has punished. It is the Christians. The gays get free reign to do whatever they want, yet cry out for complete control. The LGBT movement truly believes it should have the right to jail Christians who disagree with them."

    You really picked my curiosity:

    How has the government punished Christians?
    Can you provide an example of what LGBT can do that straight people are not allowed?
    Complete control.....? Of what?
    Can you please indicate, why, how,when, where, LGBT have tried jailing Christians or any one who disagrees with them?

    I am looking forward to your answers. Because you see, I consider myself a Christian who happens to be gay, and there are millions of other American citizens like me.

    I can assure you that if the LGBT movement is guilty of those things you accused us. I will stand up for those being prosecuted by us. I will defend them with the same passion that I have to defend us (LGBT) from some of my Christian brothers and sisters who are blinded by their prejudice.

  • Utefan60 Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 12, 2017 3:56 p.m.

    patriot - Cedar Hills, UT, you gaslighted us again. The Constitution is not, nor ever has been founded on Christian principles. The Founder and framers of the Constitution were for the most part Deists. They believed in a higher power, but it was not Christian belies i in most cases.
    They actually believed and wrote that religion was not to be included in the secular Constitution they wrote.

    The 1st Amendment later provided a large wall between religion and secular rights.

    Also any business that has a business license is required to serve the public at large. There is no religious and/or civil freedom to discriminate or not do business in the secular world that business is in. To do so violates Christian principles and the civil laws. The civil laws do not allow any business to discriminate.

    Also Patriot, tell us what freedoms you have lost? None! Religion that is used to discriminate is a false and dishonest fraud of Christian principles. This is why millennials are not flocking to mainstream religions. They have seen the hypocrisy in many religions that profess to love the Lord, but act with hatreds toward others that don't fit their narrow description.

  • NoNamesAccepted St. George, UT
    Jan. 12, 2017 3:54 p.m.

    @Cheesecake: " Just imagine signs on businesses that read: "We do not serve Mormons.""

    That is as offensive as "we don't serve gays" or "no guns allowed". I oppose all three.

    I do not oppose, "We don't do Mormon missionary events." Or even "We don't do photography on Mormon temple grounds." This is not denying service to individual Mormons. It is not promoting church events.

    Refusing to provide goods or services to an NRA convention is materially different than refusing to serve all gun owners, or even law abiding citizens legally carrying a gun for self defense.

    Declining to provide goods and services for homosexual Pride parade, or a homosexual wedding, is different than discriminating against individual homosexuals.

    Want a birthday cake? Your sexuality, race, religion, and politics must not be an impediment.

    Want a cake decorated for a black panther or KKK event? An NRA event? To promote a GOP candidate? To advance Mormon missionary work? Or to celebrate a homosexual or polygamous wedding? (Homosexual marriages used to be illegal too.) Now we must respect business owners' conscience.

  • Jimbo Low PLEASANT GROVE, UT
    Jan. 12, 2017 3:52 p.m.

    @Hutterite:
    "If you're religious and don't like it, don't participate. "
    The problem, Hutterite, is that this has already been proven to be false. If you don't think "baking a cake" or "photographing a wedding" is participating, I don't think you have been to a wedding. That is why the church fought so hard for Prop 8 (and won?)--they knew that it was a great lie to say "homosexual weddings won't affect you." They are affecting the church and its members more and more each day. If you don't think they do--I will give you a million examples.
    Our society has unfortunately accepted homosexuality and we will reap the fruits of our collective decision.

  • UtahTroutStalker draper, UT
    Jan. 12, 2017 3:20 p.m.

    @Antodav

    "The solution is really quite simple: the government should neither prohibit nor mandate discrimination based upon sexual orientation (or any other factor) by private businesses, while strictly prohibiting it by public agencies. "

    I feel I must respectfully disagree with you. Private businesses benefit from public roads, infrastructure, police, fire departments, courts, etc... all of these things and provided to the business in part through the tax paid by everyone which would include LGBT community, the conservative Religious community, etc... So if you do business in the public square then you give up your right to discriminate because you do so while taking from some without offer service to all.

  • UtahBlueDevil Lehi Ut & Durham, NC
    Jan. 12, 2017 3:12 p.m.

    Lets analyse that headline...... people who want to protect the rights of religious people are divided on what rights the LGBT crowd should have. Really.

    Lets give people the right to choose - and let the churches and families teach the correct principles they want their kids to have. I don't want the government telling anyone who they can love or marry. Frankly it is none of the governments business. Nor more so than I want the government to decide what is the right and proper way to worship.

    There is a "secular/legal" relationship people have between each other, then there are the convents we make between our spouses and with God. These are not the same thing. If that were the case, churches would have to grant divorces rather than governments. What man puts together, man takes apart. What God puts together, man must deal with God with breaking that covenant.

    Let churches determine what rights and ceremonies they will hold and with whom, and let people who want to establish secular relationship make that decision, with the government. Keep the churches out of the governments business, and government out of churches business.

  • opieisog Eagle Mountain, UT
    Jan. 12, 2017 2:34 p.m.

    Vanceone

    LGBT do not want the right to jail Christians. This is the problem. You consider the LGBT so vile to heinous, that you are doing the same thing you are accusing them of. Not everyone is LDS, not everyone is Christian. Just because you feel everyone should be, doesn't mean it is true. I see no harm in the IRS looking at the tax exempt status of many religions. If there is no wrongdoing, there is nothing to fear.

    Also, let people live their lives. If you don't believe in gay marriage, you do not have to participate. You should not be able to tell others what they are doing to be happy is wrong, when it does not harm you. Being gay isn't contagious. They are the same as you and me, trying to live a good life and be happy and successful.

  • Karen R. Houston, TX
    Jan. 12, 2017 2:30 p.m.

    @ Yar

    "Some of them feel that...they need to force others to accept and celebrate homosexual behavior..."

    I really think this perspective is the choice of those objecting. For instance, does selling a cake come with the requirement that one approve of the customer or celebrate their event? One can CHOOSE to see things this way, but this is a choice, not something forced upon them. And they can just as easily choose to make X cake with celebration and acceptance in their heart, but not so much when making Y cake.

    So as I see it, this problem is entirely within the control of the objector.

  • Vanceone Provo, UT
    Jan. 12, 2017 2:20 p.m.

    Let us consider who is the group that government has punished. It is the Christians. The gays get free reign to do whatever they want, yet cry out for complete control. The LGBT movement truly believes it should have the right to jail Christians who disagree with them.

    Look at the prominent LGBT lobbyist trying to destroy the LDS church right this very second. Every single one of you "Same sex marriage is not hurting anyone" also vigorously supports this attempt to use the IRS as a weapon against one of the largest churches in the United States.

    No matter how many people you fine, jail, persecute, reeducate, or otherwise punish, the fact remains: Same sex activity is a sin, and you cannot make it right via government force. That is your current strategy, and your attempts to legislate morality and thought control is the very vilest of evil.

  • antodav Tampa, FL
    Jan. 12, 2017 2:11 p.m.

    The solution is really quite simple: the government should neither prohibit nor mandate discrimination based upon sexual orientation (or any other factor) by private businesses, while strictly prohibiting it by public agencies. If a business owner chooses to turn away paying customers, it will face the social and financial consequences of that decision at the hands of the public without government interference. It should also get out of the business of marriage entirely and allow individuals to create private contractual unions civil unions each other without requiring them to obtain a license from the state. It should be trying neither to legislate morality nor to forcibly change social institutions without the consent of the public. And it should cease to provide any sorts of special benefits to people on account of marital status, which would in turn indemnify churches from any potential legal liability for refusing to perform ordinances that are contrary to their doctrines.

    The state makes this issue far more complicated than it needs to be. Hopefully leaders begin to see reason soon.

  • Ranch Here, UT
    Jan. 12, 2017 1:47 p.m.

    @Yar;

    --- This is what you consider "way too far" and "against someone's beliefs":

    * Having a business treat LGBT customers exactly like any other customer.
    * Having an LGBT citizen be treated exactly like any other citizen by a public employee.
    * Giving LGBT people the same protections that heterosexual people enjoy.

    This isn't about whether belief or non is more important, and we couldn't care less if you don't "celebrate homosexual behavior". Its about someone claiming that their "religious belief" is so important that they can't do business with "sinners", then they break the Sabbath and serve other groups that also break their religious tenets. Just how important are those beliefs then? When does this finally show that their claims of "religious belief" are simply convenient excuses for discrimination against JUST this one group?

    This isn't about an "agenda", it isn't about "forcing" anyone. It's about equality. Nothing more.

  • COUGARSTRONG HIGHLANDS RANCH, CO
    Jan. 12, 2017 1:37 p.m.

    We to just concede that there are decent people on both sides of the issue and there are extreme positions and points of view on both sides of this issue. We need to also concede that both sides are going to be uncomfortable with the give and take. I don't think that dropping random scriptures is going to change many minds or opinions. I see the , "Jesus said love one another" reference a lot. What if i don't want to be like Jesus or believe in him? The real challenge is that each side is coming to the discussion with different believe systems, perspectives, life experiences etc. When a religious person quotes a scripture, it is meaningless if I don't subscribe to the Bible or believe in God in the context of convincing one another that their position is right. It is simply going to be uncomfortable as each side makes small concessions to the other.

  • Baccus0902 Leesburg, VA
    Jan. 12, 2017 1:16 p.m.

    @ Yar (2)

    Again, if we ask the same group of people if an "unnamed sin/action" of others, which is allowed by law. Should be an infringement of their own sanctity if they provide a service to sinners as required by law ? The answer would be No! because Christ words would come into play: "Do not judge", "Give Cesar what belongs to Cesar, etc. etc. "

    So, basically what I am trying to say is reason and logic should prevent discrimination.

    However, many times our own negative instincts take over and we justify them with the label of "moral conscience", when in reality is not our conscience but our prejudice it is what is dictating our behavior. ( I really hope you understand what I'm trying to convey)

  • Baccus0902 Leesburg, VA
    Jan. 12, 2017 1:15 p.m.

    @ Yar - Springville, UT
    ", this... debate has gone on, for quite a long time. I.. hope that this issue gets resolved, soon. I mean,..., both sides need protection. LGBT people need to be treated like real human beings and religious people need to be able to follow their moral conscience. "

    Yar, by your tone I think you should be a nice and reasonable person. But please, allow me to disagree with "religious people need to be able to follow their moral conscience". Moral conscience and religious truth are not the same. if I ask a group of Christians , chances are the majority of them will agree that discrimination is wrong. However, many of the same individuals will not hesitate to defend their right, based on their moral conscience, to deny services to another individual because they don't agree with that individual's life style.

    (continues)

  • wishiwaswrong Sandy, UT
    Jan. 12, 2017 1:14 p.m.

    Refusing to sell to or serve certain groups of people may get you a couple of "high fives" at Sunday School. But we're well past the tipping point where that's acceptable in society at large. Be prepared for a surprising number of people who no longer want your goods or services.

  • mcclark Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 12, 2017 1:09 p.m.

    @Mayfair please tell us where and when you went to a store that had a sign saying no Mormons.

  • Yar Springville, UT
    Jan. 12, 2017 1:03 p.m.

    @Ranch

    Well, here's a question I think everyone should consider. What makes a non-belief more important than a religious belief? Look, the problem here is that some people are forcing their own agenda on others. And unfortunately, from what I've seen, that what some gay rights groups are doing. Some of them feel that protections are not enough and that they need to force others to accept and celebrate homosexual behavior as something good, force them to go against their beliefs that they don't agree with, and silence those who disagree with them. Yes, gay rights are important, but some people are seriously pushing their agenda way too far.

  • Amazed Bountiful, UT
    Jan. 12, 2017 12:58 p.m.

    Luke 20:25
    Mark 12:17
    Matthew 22:21

    The answers were provided long ago, by a very wise man. So when a group compels another group to right their perceived wrongs, I have a difficult time accepting that, unless that group is Government. The preamble is pretty clear cut. If you chose to associate with a vocal minority, and push your agenda beyond governmental laws, be prepared for equal push back by a largely silent majority.

  • rdean92 Los Angeles, CA
    Jan. 12, 2017 12:54 p.m.

    @patriot, I have said it once and I will say it again. People are born Gay. I was born Gay. I can say that because I am Gay. I assume you were born straight? People don't "struggle" with same sex attraction. They are beautiful exactly how they are. Attitudes like this is what contributes to severe harm to those who are less confident in their surroundings. My suggestion is that you practice what the Lord teaches. "Love One Another." Period. Also, there are MANY Christina Churches who teach that being Gay is ok. Is your religion supposed to be more valid than theirs?

  • Karen R. Houston, TX
    Jan. 12, 2017 12:52 p.m.

    I begin considering conflicts like this with genuine willingness to find a fair solution for all. However, what inevitably creeps into the back of my mind is the fact that the religious side can't prove that anything they believe about LGBTs is actually true.

    Why doesn't this matter, particularly when we can show that behaving as if the beliefs are true results in harm to LGBTs? Isn't this why we wouldn't allow a genuine religious belief in the evils of left-handedness to be an excuse to force a college student to use only his right hand at risk of being expelled? Is the nature of the "harm" done on the religious side in this instance any different than what believers face on the LGBT issue?

  • Ranch Here, UT
    Jan. 12, 2017 12:52 p.m.

    @Yar;

    Nobody says that a religious person can't follow their "conscience". The issue is that when they open a business, that business is NOT them. Businesses have different rules than individuals. Discriminate against LGBT people all they want, in your private lives. A businesses is a public life issue, and it needs to act like a business. All customers are simply customers. Business owners have no business judging the morals of their customers.

    Public employess need to serve *all* the public. If their religious beliefs preclude that, and they refuse to serve all the public, then they should find other lines of work that won't lead to conflict.

    When these people claim "religious conscience" and then serve all other types of so-called "sin", then their "beliefs" are truly suspect.

    @NoNames;

    "Once we recognize that sincerely held and peacefully exercised religious beliefs are not "bigotry"..."

    --- Actually, when used to discriminate against a customer that IS bigotry.

    @Cats;

    All LGBT people are asking for is the SAME protections you enjoy; nothing "special" about that.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Jan. 12, 2017 12:49 p.m.

    Patriot,

    Can you explain to me how allowing Same Sex Marriage affects you. I ask this sincerely.

    Cats writes "I see no reason why LGBT should get special rights or protections. I just don't see why."

    It appears to me that the LGBT community wants no special rights or protections. They want exactly what the heterosexual community wants. Please explain why I am wrong.

  • Mayfair City, Ut
    Jan. 12, 2017 12:48 p.m.

    @ "Just imagine signs on businesses that read: "We do not serve Mormons." "

    Been there, done that.
    Several times.

    You just move on.

    But LGBT will not move on.
    They stick around to sue and punish those who refuse to agree with them.

  • rdean92 Los Angeles, CA
    Jan. 12, 2017 12:48 p.m.

    @NoNamesAccepted, you are absolutely right about the Church part, a Church should ALWAYS have that right, no matter what. But I have a few things to let you in on, Gay people can be religious. Gay people are normal people. Just as you don't discuss the privacy of your bedroom, neither do many other people-including many Gay people. What happens if a Gay couple live somewhere where there are not many choices to hold a reception? In fact, let's say the only place is that cool cabin down the street, not owned by a Church, but owned by Dorothy and Truman, a Church attending straight couple. As a public business, in your definition, the Gay couple is out of luck? The public accommodation concept is that if you sell wedding to the public, you must sell them to everyone. You cannot pick and choose. If you are implying that people should be able to choose who and what types of people they serve (i.e., no Gays, etc.). What if every single business operated that way? Some would not want Mormons, some would not want Muslims, some would not want Jews, some would not want Christians, some would not want Gay people. How exactly do you propose we make that work?

  • Why would I? Kaysville, UT
    Jan. 12, 2017 12:43 p.m.

    Why would I not be surprised by all this fuss? The best approach seems to be considering both sides of the issue together, just like Utah did. Everyone seemed to be satisfied that things worked out for the best. There were smiles and handshakes on all sides as the legislation was passed.

    Then a short time later there was the Big12 LGBT letter thing by persons who had never set foot on the BYU Campus or talked with anyone. It seems all the happiness was just rhetoric and a deeper, underlying effort was not satisfied at all, it was just delayed to rear it's head at a later date.

    You can't have a "my way or the highway" attitude and be disingenuous with the issues. It requires give and take. Ever notice how environmentalists, communists, fringe LGBT advocates and too many movements like BLM all use identical tactics? The Utah solution wasn't like that at all, yet folks can't just be satisfied and move on. It's "all-or-nothing" for them and that will lead to failure as many who would otherwise embrace their movements are really turned off by the antics they employ. That is truly a sad day for all.

  • Ranch Here, UT
    Jan. 12, 2017 12:30 p.m.

    "...with exemptions to protect the conscience rights of faith communities and religious business owners."

    "...calling for stronger religious freedom laws rather than Fairness for All legislation."

    --- What makes the religious "belief" against SSM more valid than the religious "belief" that the races should be segregated? If the one is valid, so should the other be valid. If the one is not valid, neither should the other be valid. Otherwise, someone's religious beliefs are elevated above the religious beliefs of others. Businesses should treat ALL customers as customers and just stop judging them.

    "In the aftermath of the (same-sex marriage) decision, we don't need additional laws protecting gay and lesbian Americans. We need laws that protect those who lost,..."

    --- You already have far more protections than LGBT people do. Perhaps you ought to try to follow Jesus instead of bigotry.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    Jan. 12, 2017 12:29 p.m.

    This entire first amendment argument has gotten out of control over the past 8 years and I hope with a new more conservative "constitution originalist" court we can reel some of the extreme arguments back in to align with what our founders intended. Religious liberty has been attacked under the Obama years no question with little or no regard for people of faith. This entire issue has been one-sided up to this point and Christian people are frustrated and frightened. The radical left which includes the radical gay crowd want no compromise and instead think "force" is the answer. It isn't. People whom legitimately struggle with same sex attraction should be heard and treated with respect and the same holds true with people of faith. Christian worship cannot exist where freedom and liberty are supressed. It is a fact that homosexual conduct is forbidden in the Christian faith -- a faith that is over 2000 years old and is a foundational part of our constitution. At the same time we need to help and respect people who have legitimate gender attraction issues. Cooler heads need to talk and prevail here.

  • Cheesecake Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 12, 2017 12:09 p.m.

    "These protections need to extend even to religiously operated for profit businesses like wedding chapels." -NoNamesAccepted - St. George, UT

    Absolutely not. Religious protections are exclusively for non-profit religious institutions. If anything were passed that protected for-profit business simply because they call themselves "religiously operated" it would create a loophole for any and all businesses to discriminate against anything they want. This could be used to protect business owners who discriminate against those of particular religious affiliations, national origin, skin color, etc... Just imagine signs on businesses that read: "We do not serve Mormons."

  • Ignominious Sandy, UT
    Jan. 12, 2017 12:08 p.m.

    All natural rights are individual. Group rights are based on individual rights. As with the "Utah Compromise", groups are wrongly given greater protection than the individual.

    Also, I saw no mention in this article of protections for business owners. Businesses are in reality individuals or groups of individuals that deserve the same protections as a religious organization.

    Individuals/groups have the natural right to discriminate and any governmental interference is an over step. That said, I believe that everyone should be treated fairly and justly.

  • Cats Somewhere in Time, UT
    Jan. 12, 2017 11:56 a.m.

    All people have rights under the Constitution. I see no reason why LGBT should get special rights or protections. I just don't see why.

  • NoNamesAccepted St. George, UT
    Jan. 12, 2017 11:55 a.m.

    Church owned schools (K-post-graduate) must enjoy the same protections as churches themselves when it comes to student conduct codes, housing, restrooms, etc. Such morally or doctrinally based policies must never be an impediment to accreditation, students receiving government funded student aid on equal basis as students attending any secular school, access to taxpayer funded research efforts, etc.

    Decent people should also be able to accept that such policies should not be an impediment to membership in inter-school associations, sports conferences, etc.

    Once we recognize that sincerely held and peacefully exercised religious beliefs are not "bigotry", this becomes clear.

    At government run schools, religious clubs must be free to set requirements for leadership positions.

    @Red Corvette: "He did not say "Make others do what you do or think they should do."

    And both sides need to live by that. Don't force a baker or photographer to do work they don't want. Don't force a religious college to endorse homosexual relationships. Don't force your neighbor to hide or deny his religious convictions by labeling him a "bigot".

  • NoNamesAccepted St. George, UT
    Jan. 12, 2017 11:50 a.m.

    We must also provide the absolute highest levels of protections to churches and church run schools.

    Churches must remain absolutely free to administer or withhold sacraments (including marriage rites) as they see fit. They must be completely free to offer or deny the use of their property (such as for wedding receptions) as they see fit. These protections need to extend even to religiously operated for profit businesses like wedding chapels.

    Nobody demands to hold his wedding or reception in a location where the owners don't want him, except to rub someone's nose in something. That isn't productive. All must respect religious freedom to publicly, peacefully call any conduct sinful and to avoid association with that conduct. Whether it is gambling, drinking, premarital or homosexual sex, or anything else.

    Unlike racist policies that emerged at some churches in the wake of civil rights, moral positions on homosexual conduct are long standing in most religions.

    Tax exemption must never be at stake on these matters.

  • NoNamesAccepted St. George, UT
    Jan. 12, 2017 11:42 a.m.

    A civil resolution requires both sides to view the other as opponents, rather than enemies. Accusations like bigotry or sinner just poison the well.

    All persons, including sexual minorities and those who own and carry guns must have access to routine goods and services without discrimination. "No gays" and "No guns" signs and policies generally need to be as socially and legally unacceptable as were "Irish need not apply" and "No Coloreds" signs.

    All persons also need to be protected in their conscience not to participate in events that offend them. Advertising companies should be free to pick their specialties and only work with Democrat candidates for example. No one should be forced to provide bakery or photography services for an NRA convention, a Mormon missionary effort, or a homosexual event. Note that this is markedly different than denying service to someone because of his religion, political affiliation, or sexual orientation.

    We must recognize the difference between individuals accessing services and forcing someone to promote an event which he finds offensive for whatever reason.

  • mcclark Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 12, 2017 11:42 a.m.

    Yeah, how about that do unto others thing, doesn't seem too complicated.

  • Red Corvette St George, UT
    Jan. 12, 2017 11:12 a.m.

    What happened to Jesus' admonition to "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you"? He did not say "Make others do what you do or think they should do."

  • Yar Springville, UT
    Jan. 12, 2017 10:44 a.m.

    I've gotta say, this heated debate has gone on, for quite a long time. I really hope that this issue gets resolved, soon. I mean, the reality is, both sides need protection. LGBT people need to be treated like real human beings and religious people need to be able to follow their moral conscience. Sadly, with extremists on both sides, progress is really really slow. But there's still hope to resolve this conflict. One of those days, someone will get it right. And when we do get it right, all of us will celebrate and no longer will this become a burden (hopefully for quite a while).

  • MaxPower Eagle Mountain, UT
    Jan. 12, 2017 10:41 a.m.

    Jesus explicitly taught against divorce: yet no one bats an eye at making a cake for someone's second or third wedding.

    The Bible outright condemns fornication, yet a single unwed mother can still get service at a grocery store.

    Religious freedom groups just need to stop selectively following certain teachings.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Jan. 12, 2017 10:34 a.m.

    Really, in the case of same sex marriage, for example, it shouldn't be that difficult. Same sex marriages happen. They're legal. If you're religious and don't like it, don't participate. Religion should be allowed to live in its' insular world and not have to participate.
    But the larger world is moving on without them.

  • Baccus0902 Leesburg, VA
    Jan. 12, 2017 9:43 a.m.

    I wish we didn't need SOGI laws but we do.
    The article mentions "Ryan Anderson, a senior fellow at the Heritage Foundation...he disagrees with the logic of Fairness for All legislation, arguing that now is not the time to turn sexual orientation and gender identity into protected categories under the law." He added " "In the aftermath of the (same-sex marriage) decision, we don't need additional laws protecting gay and lesbian Americans. We need laws that protect those who lost," he said.".

    I would like to ask Mr. Anderson when would be, in his enlighten opinion, a good time to protect all law abiding citizens from discrimination?

    Mr. Anderson claims that "we need laws to protect those who lost". What did you loose? You only lost the right to discriminate.
    Protection from what? Are LGBT people "harming" those opposed to them and their rights?

    I am always shocked in disbelief how certain individuals who claim to believe in Jesus Christ can use his name to contradict his teachings.