In our opinion: Common Ground a positive initiative to bring faith-based institutions and LGBT groups together

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  • zzzz Mapleton, UT
    Feb. 8, 2017 8:49 p.m.

    I agree with the notion of BYU working with LGBTQ groups. I wish the BYU honor code did not discriminate against gays. There are 2 paragraphs in it that set LGBTQ students apart from straight students. The honor code is not just about chastity as many Mormons think. Straights can express affection such as hugging or holding hands. Gays cannot.

    Please take out those two paragraphs that separate LGBTQ students and just ask all students to refrain from public displays of affection. Otherwise, by definition, gays are being discriminated against.

  • the greater truth Bountiful, UT
    Feb. 7, 2017 6:40 p.m.


    Gays already have equal right to use any business.

    They can go into any bakery and buy any cake off the shelf.

    What they do not have the right to do is to demand demand labor and force others into servitude and business contracts in support of gay behaviors against the religion and conscience of the other person.

    We could claim anti religious thinking and belief is a mental illness. What s a silly argument.

    There is no discrimination here. See point one. No owner that I am aware sought out gays to come to their business to purposely deny them anything. Nope. no discrimination.

    There can be no discrimination when you are one forcing a business owner into a labor and service contract against their religion.

    But plenty of discrimination against the religious who want live their beliefs in public.

  • forward thinker Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 6, 2017 6:46 p.m.

    Those suggesting religion must be checked when a person steps into public turf, to avoid conflicts, shouldn't we all check our sexuality at the public door as well? There are laws regarding sexual behavior in public already, so there is precedent for that, and if we all did that, there would be no discrimination due to sexuality. If both religion and sexuality were checked at the public door, we could eliminate nearly all conflicts that occur between the two.

    Fair and equal, right?

    Fair and equal would also include checking Atheism at the public door.

    With all my rejected comments, I have none left to reply. It will be interesting to see who is in favor of equality and fairness and who is interesting in furthering their agenda and silencing all differing views.

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    Feb. 6, 2017 9:45 a.m.


    Refusing to serve a disruptive, violent customer is not the same thing as refusing to serve an entire class of people. If you're going to come up with situations in which you might refuse customers service, the least you could do is try to make them valid situations.

    No business has ever been forced to supply a product or service they don't normally supply. No business has been forced to serve violent customers either.

  • Shimlau SAINT GEORGE, UT
    Feb. 5, 2017 7:06 p.m.

    Furry 1993; a question, I own a business, a customer comes in, and doesn't like something that is done for him. He gets mad, and threatens the owner and all of rhe employees. The police are called, an officer arrives and diffuses the situation. I thereafter refuse this individual service. Am I now obligated to close my doors? It sounds like it according to your post.

  • Ranch Here, UT
    Feb. 5, 2017 6:31 p.m.

    the greater truth said:

    "Government is abridging my right to my conscience and my religion."

    --- I've asked it before but all I get back are crickets. Show me ANY scripture in ANY religion that says doing business with "sinners" violates your religious beliefs. Any scripture. You can't and therefore, the only conclusion is that you are using religion to cover your own biases (that's called 'lying' in the real world).

    " one should be enabling mental illness or mentally ill behaviors ..."

    --- Belief in invisible beings could be considered a "mental illness". Worshipping invisible playmates is a "mentally ill behavior", wouldn't you agree?

    "Religious peoples have EQUAL rights to any lgbtq person. "

    --- EXACTLY; that's why businesses need to treat EVERYBODY the same! Religion shouldn't even enter into the transaction.

    " Religious practice and worship MUST be guaranteed."

    --- Discrimination is NOT a valid "religious practice" (again, no scripture).

  • the greater truth Bountiful, UT
    Feb. 5, 2017 5:18 p.m.


    Being a legal construct is irrelevant to the constitution.

    Being forced to support or being forced to participate?

    What is the difference?

    Government is abridging my right to my conscience and my religion.

    Identity politics is not true science but individual preference (it's either that or mental illness and no one should be enabling mental illness or mentally ill behaviors ).

    No true rights are being denied here. Political correctness or popularity does not make something a right.
    And that is unconstitutional.

    Religious peoples have EQUAL rights to any lgbtq person. That is the 14th amendment. And the government is required to treat them equal under the law. including in business. Religious practice and worship MUST be guaranteed.

    The first amendment does not make any distinction between a person or a organization. It says only what congress can not do.

  • Furry1993 Ogden, UT
    Feb. 5, 2017 4:33 p.m.

    @RBB-Feb. 5, 2017 11:14 a.m.

    Sorry, RBB-businesses are legal constructs, created when their registration paperwork is correctly filed in the state in which they are located (which paperwork includes an agreement to adhere to any and all applicable laws affecting the jurisdiction, including but not limited to anti-discrimination laws). While they may be owned by a person or persons, businesses are not human in any way and do not have deeply held beliefs. If the people want to do business, they have to adhere to the regulations as agreed when they registered to do business; if they don't want to adhere to those regulations, they need to find another way to earn their keep.

    Individuals don't have to "participate in activities which they find offensive." That's an easy one. If they find it offensive to provide a good/service for some people, their business just doesn't provide it for anyone.

    Finally, providing a cake/flower/photos, etc., is not "participating" in anything. It's merely providing a product/service that they provide for anyone. Nothing more, nothing less.

  • Ranch Here, UT
    Feb. 5, 2017 3:28 p.m.

    alt-patriot says:

    "what we have today is 'brute force' being used by one side with zero tolerance for the other side. "

    --- Who was it again, that VOTED to take away other citizen's rights? Oh, it was you guys. Who is it passing laws preventing a certain group from using restrooms that match their identity? Oh, it is you guys.

    "The faith based values of Christians or other faiths will be disregarded."

    --- As if you were even living your own "faith based values" (Love one another, judge not, treat others as you'd like to be treated). Before you start demanding your "values" be respected, perhaps you'd do well to begin living them and showing by example that they're worthy of respect?

    @Middle of the road Mormon;



    Businesses don't have "beliefs"; they're non-living entities. The owners CHOSE to follow the laws when they CHOSE to get a business license. They still have all the freedom they had to begin with. If you have to spread lies to promote your agenda, perhaps you should revisit your agenda.

    @Meck & Just;

    See comment above about who did what to whom.

  • CaliCougar American Fork, UT
    Feb. 5, 2017 2:32 p.m.

    While I understand in theory why the word "common" is used here, I prefer the word "middle". There are some matters that I have little hope either side will ever be able to truly find "common" ground on. I think there are some matters that each side should "agree to disagree" on, with the recognition that they can still coexist and get along in doing so. "Middle" ground involves finding compromise in some cases. I still maintain hope that we can do so.

  • CaliCougar American Fork, UT
    Feb. 5, 2017 2:25 p.m.

    Middle of the road Mormon,

    You had my head nodding with you in agreement until your final words about Steve Bannon. Perhaps this was not meant to be a partisan statement, but it came across that way to me.

    Both the Republican party and the Democratic party have their fair share of members that do a good job of dividing our country, intentional or otherwise.

    I still maintain hope that these two parties will learn to have civil dialogue with each other, and stop resorting to the name-calling and labeling that seem to be a way of life nowadays. This is true for both their elected officials and their party members.

    Those of us "in the middle", that is not of the either the far left or the far right, will need to be more involved and more vocal going forward for this to happen, in my opinion.

  • Justiciaparatodos Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 5, 2017 1:57 p.m.


    Your comment paints a sobering and thought provoking analysis of current trends. In many ways I think you are right given the actions we saw by the mobs at Cal-Berkley recently. Perhaps the only hope is for the many millions of citizens who still believe in free speech to stand up and be counted - as we did in the last election.

    There is some hope that this new administration will bring some balance to the other-wise out of balance state of our American freedoms that have been decimated by the far left. We can only imagine the dark place we would have been headed for if Hillary Clinton had been elected as she would have stood behind the leftist extremists, Universities, LGBTQ groups and other mobs who are intent on restricting our God given freedoms of speech and worship.

  • Meckofahess Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 5, 2017 1:47 p.m.

    "Jenkins is correct to caution the NCAA against joining an emerging social culture that increasingly bullies and silences unpopular political opponents rather than engaging them intellectually."

    For years the LGBT community engaged in tactics and strategies designed to silence view points that disagree with their agenda. I will be very surprised if the LGBGT activists are willing to engage with conservative entities in finding solutions that benefit all participants. I hope I am wrong in this concern. The only way the LGBT citizens will ever find fulfillment is to engage with conservative citizens in ways that are open minded and balanced and fair to all view points.

  • RBB Sandy, UT
    Feb. 5, 2017 11:14 a.m.

    Fury1993's proposal essentially strips any business of being able to comply with its deeply held beliefs. If you must provide the same service to anyone, you must participate in things you find offensive. If you bake birthday cakes, you must bake a birthday cake or someone who wants to celebrate Hitler's birthday, If you bake wedding cakes, you must bake a wedding cake for a 50 year old man marrying a 15 year old girl. If you make T-shirts, you must make t-shirts that contain anti-gay, lesbian, etc. messages. If you operate a backhoe, you must help cut a road with pristine areas of nature so wealthy Californian can have a vacation home.

    Or not, Some states like Colorado have penalized businesses which refused to make pro-LGBT t-shirts, and then refused to penalize businesses that would not make anti-LGBT t-shirts.

    The government should not be allowed to discriminate. Individuals, however, must be allowed to not participate in activities which they find offensive. Otherwise, we are not really free. We are just tools of the state.

  • unrepentant progressive Bozeman, MT
    Feb. 5, 2017 10:24 a.m.

    I wholeheartedly applaud the state of Utah and its LGBT citizens for coming to a mutually acceptable solution to a tension in American society.

    The LGBT community fought long and hard to attain a modicum of civil rights afforded their heterosexual siblings. And the Religious (generally traditional, conservative, fundamentalist, etc) has fought long and hard to resist the LGBT community from getting those rights, all in the name of freedom of religion. Forgotten to most of us is the fact that most Americans are not fundamentalists of any stripe, and many fundamentalists aren't on board with the conservative social agenda. Somehow, with good will and good intentions, the powers that be in Utah found a way to meet in the middle.

    Sadly, the country can not do so on almost any other matter. We are doomed to the extremes propogated by those who seek to dominate us and force us to some sort of orthodoxy. In these days, the right seems more guilty than the left.

    The only orthodoxy appropriate for this country is acceptance of the "other", the rule of law and the righteouness of compromise. Turn a deaf ear to those who say otherwise.

  • Middle of the road Mormon South Jordan, UT
    Feb. 5, 2017 9:27 a.m.

    Common ground is something we should all be seeking. Right now our political parties are dominated with voices from the extreme Left and extreme Right.

    70-80% of Americans have more centrist views and just want to work, earn a living, and let other live as they choose.

    Let's find a way to let our faith guide our own moral judgement and how we run our lives in our own homes without attempting to create laws that limit the freedoms or reduce the rights of others. If the shoe was on the other foot that is how we would want it.

    People like Steve Bannon of Breitbart make their living creating division. Let us Rise Above!

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    Feb. 5, 2017 7:48 a.m.

    Common ground? This is a pipe dream so far. There is no more common ground than there is free speech allowed on college campuses. It sounds good but it doesn't exist. If the NCAA is honest in its common ground inititive then they are going to have to swim against a strong tide of political correctness in America and I doubt they can or will do that. What we have today is 'brute force' being used by one side with zero tolerance for the other side. A company-university-even military base WILL be strong armed by the federal government and FORCE all men-women-children to comply with the changing wishes with the so-called LGBT folks. That is reality. The faith based values of Christians or other faiths will be disregarded. That is reality. You can see this exact same attitude pervasive on college campuses where there is NO free speech but instead there is sensorship and silencing of speech. Only far left speech and thought are allowed on campus othewise buildings will be burned and the speaker chased off campus with bricks and brutality from the left. That is reality as we just saw at CalBerkley. So common ground? Not yet.

  • Hugh1 Denver, CO
    Feb. 5, 2017 5:32 a.m.

    The Utah compromise and the situation in North Carolina are not the same. The LDS Church and the LGBT community were engaged at some level, regardless of what you think about the compromise. That's how democracy works.

    North Carolina stuck it to the gay community. There were no discussions, anti-gay forces steamrolled the legislature, and they stepped on home rule by outlawing anti-gay discrimination in the cities. It was brute force intimidation.

    "We applaud the NCAA...", as you should. You are wrong to criticize the NCAA and for "[warning] the NCAA against using its financial might to silence unpopular perspectives rather than engage them in constructive dialogue." It took courageous action by NCAA, business, civic, and religious groups - and an election to replace the governor - to even begin a dialogue. NCAA's actions were courageous, sometimes you have to step on a few toes to bring people to the table.

    The Utah compromise, while far from perfect, illustrates why the LDS Church (and Utah's legislature) deserves much credit for engaging dialogue and avoiding the catastrophic situation that engulfed North Carolina.

  • Furry1993 Ogden, UT
    Feb. 5, 2017 5:24 a.m.

    One more thing is needed to complete Utah's protections against discrimination for people who happen to be LGBTQ--banning discrimination in the civil/secular marketplace. While people should be, and are, free to believe/worship, advocate and socialize as they choose, no discrimination should be allowed the civil/secular marketplace. If a person/business provides a good/service to some people, it must provide the identical good/service to all people seeking it. If a person/business refuses to provide a good/service to some people, it must refuse to the identical good/service to all people seeking it. That's how secular commerce works, or should work--no discrimination.

    BUT if a company is allowed to decide who it will or will not serve and what products it will or will not provide to some people, it must overtly advise the public of that fact, both on premises and in any advertisement it issues. That way people will know whether their commerce is and is not acceptable (and whether the business is acceptable to them), and can decide accordingly whether to enter into commerce with the person/business.