Op-ed: Colorado baker case can be win-win for LGBT protections and religious liberties

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  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Sept. 20, 2017 12:10 p.m.

    To "RanchHand" ok, you tell me what business has ever produced anything without an owner or manager or workers. That is the only business that meets your criteria.

    The fact is the business owner should have the right to determine what his business will or will not do.

    Would you fight a law that forced you to be in a heterosexual relationship? (You have stated many times that you are gay) Why would you fight such a law? Why can't you separate your sexual preference from your relationships?

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    Sept. 20, 2017 7:44 a.m.

    @RedShirt;

    Once you open a business, that business is a *separate entity* from you. It does not automatically inherit your "beliefs" since it is a non-thinking, non-living entity. You keep spouting off about the "event" being the thing discriminated against; yet you refuse to separate the business as a separate entity, which legally it is.

    @bassoonlady;

    "Is it fair that this baker is being shamed, devalued, punished, and potentially criminalized for acting in accordance to an inseparable part of his identity?"

    --- His identity. Not his businesses' identity. His business is baking wedding cakes. If he doesn't want to follow the law then he needs to find another line of work where his "identity" isn't so tied up in his business.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Sept. 19, 2017 12:03 p.m.

    To "Bob K" just because a state passes a law or even a State Constitution amendment doesn't make it legitimate. It all goes back to how the law was interpreted.

    The question is about the Colorado law, and similar laws, are they constitutional when they force people to act contrary to their religious beliefs.

    You have a backhanded slap on Christians saying that declining to make the cake was "unchristian". However, isn't it also unchristian to force somebody to work for you when they don't want to?

    Your example about an LDS member serving beer is wrong. They are merely employees, and volunteered to work under certain circumstances if they didn't want to serve beer they shouldn't work there. If an LDS business owner decides to ban alcohol from their business because of religious beliefs, he can do so.

    Nice try, but still you ignore the issue of forcing people to act against their beliefs.

    Would you force a gay baker to make a custom wedding cake for an anti-LGBT event?

  • tig Mount Pleasant, MI
    Sept. 19, 2017 11:38 a.m.

    @RG "This article has emphasized the crucial distinction between people and events--a distinction that some DN commenters on past articles on this subject seem to not understand. Serve all people, but do not have to cater to all events. "

    Again, well said. See above. I love your distinction. I believe you are right. No one is interested in forcing a service provider to perform a service that they do not perform. If you are Mormon and don't want to serve alcohol in your restaurant because of your religions beliefs, then don't serve alcohol. No one can force you otherwise. If you are a photographer, and do not want to take nude pictures, then no one can force you to do so. If you are a baker and don't want to bake wedding cakes. Fine. So long as you don't make them for anyone.

    But, if you are Mormon and serve beer at your restaurant you can't decline to serve it to your stake president because you don't believe he should be doing it. If you are a photographer and you take nude photos, then you have to take them of both men and women, and if you are a baker that bakes wedding cakes, you need to do that for all citizens equally.

  • tig Mount Pleasant, MI
    Sept. 19, 2017 11:38 a.m.

    @RedShirt "As the article mentioned, the baker does not make Halloween cakes..." You are 100% correct. The baker does not make Halloween cakes for atheists, pagans, mormons, or jews. He does not make them for straight people and he does not make them for gay people. He doesn't make Halloween cakes for women nor does he make them for men. He doesn't make Halloween cakes for black people nor white people and he doesn't make them for citizens or non-citizens. Why? Because he doesn't make Halloween cakes. Cool.

    But he does make wedding cakes, doesn't he. Just not for all of God's children.

  • Bob K Davis, CA
    Sept. 19, 2017 4:50 a.m.

    RedShirt - USS Enterprise, UT
    "I don't think the liberals actually read the article.
    Again, this is not about discriminating against any protected group. This is protecting religious liberty"

    .... Since I'm not a mind-reader I would not deign to say what someone else read or did not read. The article is slanted at best so it doesn't say in plain English that what he did was illegal in Colorado according to legitimate law passed by the legislature.

    I must say that the idea that it's okay because the people found a cake elsewhere seems to me to be a very non-Christian thought. You may recall that restaurants gas stations and other establishments in the south prior to the 60s which refuse service to black people are sent them to the back door believed that it was God's will for the races not to mix.

    If the man had said something like "I know we have non-discrimination laws and I'm not going to criticize your marriage but it's something I don't believe in and I really wouldn't do a good job for you. Would you mind if I did not take the job?" .... Even though he's breaking the law I think most couples would say okay we're going elsewhere.

  • Bob K Davis, CA
    Sept. 19, 2017 4:34 a.m.

    A few big holes in the article:

    --- the Colorado Supreme Court had no choice but to agree he discriminated because he broke a Colorado law, plain and simple.

    --- portraying him as an artist of cake and a person of high religious values when we don't know if he's following religion or made up his criteria.

    --- inventing the idea that a wedding cake is an essential Center to a religious marriage when, in the case of a church wedding the cake-cutting can come hours after the actual ceremony, typically in another building. It's like calling a Christmas tree an essential part of celebrating the birth of Christ.

    --- The idea that Merchants will be happy to sell things to gays as long as they're not selling them a wedding cake is insidious. It reminds me of the South pre 1960 when Merchants were happy to sell clothes and shoes to black people as long as they didn't try them on. It's creating a second-class status.

    --- Remember the Tower of Babel: doing as the writers suggest will result in every store clerk being free to make up their mind who they won't wait on. People should not bring their religion into a public business, period!

  • bassoonlady OREM, UT
    Sept. 18, 2017 6:42 p.m.

    On the one side, you have the fear that LGBQT will be treated as second class citizens, and the ruling will open the world up for discrimination against them.
    On the other side, you have the fear of eroding freedom of religion and speech. People fight against LGBQT not just because it goes against their deeply held religious beliefs, but because it represents them loosing their freedoms.
    A Gay person may find that they feel devalued because of a fundamental piece of their identity, but to us religious folks, our religion is also a fundamental piece of how we define ourselves. Not being allowed to act on my religion would be as painful to me as not acting on sexual preferences is to others. Is it fair that this baker is being shamed, devalued, punished, and potentially criminalized for acting in accordance to an inseparable part of his identity?
    That's where compromise is supposed to come in. We're supposed to be able to say that both groups are equally valuable, and neither group should be forced to act or be kept from acting on something fundamentally important to them. Both should be protected, not just one or the other. Don't cry foul for us wanting the same thing you want.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Sept. 18, 2017 4:52 p.m.

    I don't think the liberals actually read the article.

    Again, this is not about discriminating against any protected group. This is protecting religious liberty.

    All that is being asked it to not force people to attend or produce artistic works for events that they are against.

    As the article mentioned, the baker does not make Halloween cakes, cakes for anti-LGBT events, or anything that they find offensive. Race, religion, or sexual orientation have nothing to do with the events that they will refuse to service.

    Liberals, here is the test to determine what is going on:

    1. Is a custom work or attendance at a ceremony being asked for?
    2. Is the event something that is contrary to the business owner's religion?

    If you can say Yes to BOTH of those, then you may decline the business. Anything else requires that the business owner sell to them according to public accommodation laws.

    It really is that simple.

  • Laura Bilington Maple Valley, WA
    Sept. 18, 2017 11:33 a.m.

    @NoNames wrote,

    And the point of this editorial is that if you want to see anti-discrimination protections for homosexuals passed or expanded in any additional States, you're going to have to accept the compromise to let people avoid directly endorsing or supporting homosexual marriage celebrations.

    Got a simple solution for you, NoNames. Let the baker put a sticker on the cake box that says "This baker does not endorse the marriage that this cake is bought to celebrate". He's made it clear and the couple will have their cake.

  • McCarthyist Sacramento, CA
    Sept. 18, 2017 9:58 a.m.

    @RealMaverick

    "If you want to discriminate, you're free to leave this country and find a country that will allow you to discriminate against minorities. I hear Iran is wonderful this time of year."

    Sounds to me like you are telling people to vote with their feet. Isn't that the same as telling someone to go find another state to live in, with more favorable public accommodation laws? Or, how about going and finding a different bakery that will make you a rainbow cake?

  • Woohoo Somewhere, ID
    Sept. 17, 2017 8:46 p.m.

    The government doesn't have the right to force people not to serve certain people (see jim crow laws) just as the government doesn't have the right to force people to celebrate events that they disagree with.

  • Woohoo Somewhere, ID
    Sept. 17, 2017 8:44 p.m.

    @Stephen Daedalus

    "No, not a slippery slope...this is a vertical cliff: if the theological absurdity that selling a cake is sinful exempts a business on religious grounds, then any half-baked 'belief' will work to refuse service based on age, religion, race..."

    You and many others can't seem to get the facts straight. It had nothing to do with selling a cake. The baker offered to sell them a cake. He wasn't willing to decorate a cake celebrating an event that he disagrees with. Not sure why the need to keep being disingenuous?

  • Daedalus, Stephen ARVADA, CO
    Sept. 17, 2017 8:05 p.m.

    @NoNamesAccepted: "... if you want to see anti-discrimination protections for homosexuals ... expanded in any additional States, you're going to have to accept the compromise ..."

    I understand that is the author's argument, I just find it completely unpersuasive.

    They offer no evidence to support their theory of causation: that the lack of protections for "religious" bakers (etc) is the cause of more states not adding sexual orientation as a protected class under their public accommodations laws.

    Yet they would have readers believe that if SCOTUS creates a strangely specific carve-out that applies only to some states and some citizens, that the remaining states would trip over each other to add LGBT as a protected class. Right.

    Occam's Razor suggests something simpler: the reason Utah and several other states will not add LGBT as a protected class any time soon is likely due to the same politics and attitudes that caused these same states to adopt comprehensive bans on SSM and any sort of union that resembled marriage for LGBT citizens.

    Time -- not some cynical offer of a highly speculative bargain -- will change these attitudes, politics...and eventually, laws.

  • glendenbg Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 17, 2017 6:38 p.m.

    The sit-ins at Woolworth's weren't about the french fries. They were about paying customers being treated equally by businesses that claimed to be open to the public.

    It's not about the cake. Or the flower or the photographs.

    The issue is the right of all Americans to be treated equally. A business is a public accommodation, which agrees to follow the law when it opens its doors. A business puts up a sign that says, "We sell wedding cakes" any member of the public who agrees to pay the posted price should be able to purchase a wedding cake. When they refuse to sell to one class of people, that business is treating that class of persons as second class citizens.

    The business owners want to say, "there is one class of Americans we will not serve"; are there reasons actually meaningful?

    There's been a lot of discussion about the feelings of the baker, florist and photographer but little mention of the reality of the gay couples whose human dignity is being denied and attacked by the business owners. How can any pluralistic society sit idly by while on class of its citizens is systematically humiliated and shamed on the basis of their identity?

  • Daedalus, Stephen ARVADA, CO
    Sept. 17, 2017 5:31 p.m.

    @unrepentant progressive: "We all know that the fight over the cake is not about cake or theology."

    And importantly, "religious freedom" is little more than a re-branding of the same motivation behind the over-reach of the comprehensive SSM-bans that were held to be unconstitutional by SCOTUS.

    Once Kitchens lost at the 10th C., and as other lower courts and the circuits shot down the SSM-bans...that was when the phrase "religious freedom" was rolled out.

    This was a strategic retreat, a pre-arranged fall-back position, as soon as it became clear that the SSM-bans were legally doomed. As if no one would notice how the coined slogan "religious freedom" was a self-serving abbreviation of the actual text and well-developed SCOTUS precedent of that little thing we Americans call the 1st Amendment.

    The problem in taking the Masterpiece position is that a 'win' creates a massive loophole in 100+ year old state public accommodations laws.

    No, not a slippery slope...this is a vertical cliff: if the theological absurdity that selling a cake is sinful exempts a business on religious grounds, then any half-baked 'belief' will work to refuse service based on age, religion, race...

  • Nate Pleasant Grove, UT
    Sept. 17, 2017 4:01 p.m.

    I'll bake you a cake. The artwork and inscription? That falls under First Amendment free speech.

  • NoNamesAccepted St. George, UT
    Sept. 17, 2017 3:54 p.m.

    @Daedalus, Stephen :States that don't list sexual orientation as a protexted class don't have the SSM cake problem. But Colorado is neither, thank you very much."

    And the point of this editorial is that if you want to see anti-discrimination protections for homosexuals passed or expanded in any additional States, you're going to have to accept the compromise to let people avoid directly endorsing or supporting homosexual marriage celebrations.

    I don't want to see anyone denied general goods and services. But I must protect religious liberty and allow private busonesses to decline any direct involvement in homosexual marriages.

    @unrepentant progressive: "After making and delivering the cake, a baker generally has little to do with the wedding"

    But wedding photographers, wedding planners, and reception center owners have a lot to do with the wedding and you're not about to grant them an exception either. So your claim of bakers and florists not being directly involved doesnt hold water.

    Nobody should ever be forced to bake a cake to celebrate a white supremacist rally. You also have to allow bakers to decline events you like.

  • NoNamesAccepted St. George, UT
    Sept. 17, 2017 3:38 p.m.

    @sunderland56 "So does this "compromise" mean that a gay couple can go into a bakery and order a normal cake, and they must be served; but if they order a wedding cake they can be denied service?"

    Yes. Amd the baker in this offered to sell the homosexual couple an off the shelf cake. He declined only to use his creative, artistic talents to promote an event to which he objects.

    The article makes clear that the baker also refuses to make cakes that celebrate Halloween, or that would denigrate homosexuals or other groups.

    It isn't about hating homosexuals or anyone else. It is about endorsing certain events that one finds offensive.

    "Are we going to base the laws of our country on the color of cake icing?"

    No. We are going to recognize the difference between discriminating against individuals and not being forced to employ creative talent to promote a message one finds offensive.

    How many opposing the baker want to be forced themselves to provide creative services to an NRA fund raiser, an LDS missionary event, or a white supremacist rally?

    Homosexuals are not the only nor last group that will ever be protected. Be careful what you impose on others.

  • NoNamesAccepted St. George, UT
    Sept. 17, 2017 3:31 p.m.

    @JimDabakis: "Does that mean, we have your word, that if your side prevails, that you will speak with equal dedication to those same Senators about the passage of a Utah public accommodation law prohibiting discrimination against LGBTQ people who are not getting cakes from artists?"

    Sen. Dabakis,

    During debates over Prop 8 and Utah's Amd 3, your side promised us repeatedly that homosexual marriage would not affect anyone who did not actually want to be involved in such unions.

    But, since the SCOTUS decusion we've seen nothing but attempts to force artists and others who don't want to be involved in such marriages to be involved. When will you forcefully defend the rights of those you disagree with? When will "civility and tolerance" include encouraging your side to stop using words like bigots to describe those who simply want to be left in peace?

    You have never voted in favor of any bill supporting the individual right to own guns that the SCOTUS has declared the 2nd amd protects. But you expect those on the other side to change their views of marriage and morality bases on high court rulings.

    There is a word for that.

  • HSTucker Holladay, UT
    Sept. 17, 2017 3:05 p.m.

    Granting the state the right to compel speech is about the worst idea ever conceived.

  • GingerMarshall Brooklyn, OH
    Sept. 17, 2017 1:44 p.m.

    @letterwritter: "Why would the LGBT community want to patronize a business whose beliefs are antithetical to theirs?"

    We don't.

    That is why we want the wedding cake baker who refuses to bake a cake for a same-sex wedding to be legally allowed to do so *only* if he is legally required to display that information on all signs and advertising for his business.

    I want to know so I can decide if he gets any of my business at all. I want to know so friends and family know, and hopefully they will take all of their business to that baker down the street. All of their business.

    I want to know so I can - on principle - refuse to attend or support any wedding or event he does make a cake for.

    I want to know so organizations and groups that affirm equality can make informed decisions on using his business.

    And I'm sure others would want to know, too.

    If his stand is that important to him, surely he'd have no objection to publicly owning it.

  • Frozen Fractals Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 17, 2017 11:34 a.m.

    @DrMan
    "Jewish printers cannot discriminate against alt-right, white supremacy, neo-Nazi clients who request creative services/products for banners, leaflets, or other materials. Is that correct? "

    That is incorrect. Why? Because only certain things (race, religion, gender, etc... and in some states sexual orientation) have non-discrimination laws associated with them. There isn't currently anything protecting political views so discrimination against that is allowed. Now if someone commenting voiced support for such a thing then that question would be more valid.

    @J2
    "Some people still can't see the difference between serving all CUSTOMERS versus endorsing or not endorsing an EVENT. These are two very different concepts, and they are fundamental pre-requisites for contributing effectively to this debate."

    Disagreement with you doesn't mean lack of understanding. People know full well what you're trying to argue, they just don't agree with the argument because it isn't applied as such. What do I mean? Well, should people be able to refuse to serve interracial marriages as an exception to anti-discrimination laws based on race?

  • sunderland56 Moab, UT
    Sept. 17, 2017 11:17 a.m.

    So does this "compromise" mean that a gay couple can go into a bakery and order a normal cake, and they must be served; but if they order a wedding cake they can be denied service? Are we going to base the laws of our country on the color of cake icing?

    Hopefully in any "compromise", both blacks and gays will be able to be served cake at a lunch counter.

  • Ranch Here, UT
    Sept. 17, 2017 10:00 a.m.

    RG says: (J2, this applies to your comment as well).

    "This article has emphasized the crucial distinction between people and events..."

    -- Why don't you bother to recognize the distinction between a business and a person? Masterpiece Cakeshop is *not* a person.

    @DrMAN;

    If the Jewish produces that type of material for one group, the absolutely he must for all others. However, if that is not the kind of material he produces for his customers then he is not required to add it to the 'menu' of items produced. The baker of wedding cakes can't tell one customer that he will not make the cake that is his core business for one customer but will do so for all others without batting an eye. You get the picture.

    Letterwriter says:

    "Why would the LGBT community want to patronize a business..."

    -- Unless they're willing to POST a sign on their storefront telling us, how are we to know?

  • Shaun Sandy, UT
    Sept. 17, 2017 9:20 a.m.

    I hope relegious freedoms are afforded to employees even if they contradict with the employers. Otherwise this is just another example of corporations being above everyone else.

  • Karen R. Houston, TX
    Sept. 17, 2017 8:55 a.m.

    @ Letterwriter

    "Why would the LGBT community want to patronize a business whose beliefs are antithetical to theirs?"

    Why would the LGBT community want to agree to a situation where they, and they only, must first inquire of a business owner if they'll be served? Oh, right. It isn't them that's being refused. No, it's their event.

    Events don't show up and order cakes. People do.

  • LOU Montana Pueblo, CO
    Sept. 17, 2017 8:18 a.m.

    Money green is the only thing a business should see.

  • unrepentant progressive Bozeman, MT
    Sept. 17, 2017 7:51 a.m.

    Cake is cake is cake is cake.

    After making and delivering the cake, a baker generally has little to do with the wedding other than getting paid. Same with the dress maker, the tux rental, the florist and the rest. No one demanded or legislated that the *ceremony* of the marriage be held in a church opposed to such unions on theological grounds. And there the argument should end.

    We all know that the fight over the cake is not about cake or theology. It is about asking to discriminate with a manufactured rationale.

  • Kings Court Alpine, UT
    Sept. 17, 2017 7:33 a.m.

    Making exceptions due to religious liberties can be a slippery slope. One could claim religious liberty in denying services to blacks or people of other religious faiths because of contradictions to one's religious views. If this is the path the country is headed toward where businesses open to the public are no longer really open to the public, then each storefront needs to have a clearly displayed list of groups that business will not serve and then let the public at large choose to support that business or not. Ultimately, businesses are about making money, so let that be the deciding factor with the public.

  • Woohoo Somewhere, ID
    Sept. 17, 2017 4:57 a.m.

    Sorry liberals but you can't force your PC agenda on the nation. Everyone doesn't have to think and believe like you do.

    When it comes to cakes I would be probably be ok baking a cake for a same-sex couple but I am not alright forcing those that don't feel comfortable to do the same.

    I will be shocked if this SCOTUS rules in favor of the couple. It is clear that this man is not a bigot because he is willing to serve them almost any capacity as a baker. What he is not willing to do is to celebrate a ceremony that he finds sinful. If he were asked to bake cakes celebrate other sinful behavior I am sure he would decline making cakes for those activities as well. A person isn't a bigot just because they believe differently than you.

  • Mar4k Bountiful, UT
    Sept. 17, 2017 4:18 a.m.

    If I have to bake a cake with two men kissing on it, what's next? HOW is that freedom?

  • Letterwriter Bountiful, Utah
    Sept. 16, 2017 11:58 p.m.

    This case isn't about equality. It's about power. It's about force. Why would the LGBT community want to patronize a business whose beliefs are antithetical to theirs? Why would they want to give their hard-earned money to such a business? There are other bakers, photographers, etc. who would be happy to bake a cake, take a photograph, etc. for them. Why don't they want to support those businesses financially? This is a lawsuit brought by the LBGT community to show who has the power.

  • Dustin P. Provo, UT
    Sept. 16, 2017 10:39 p.m.

    Selling baked goods is one thing, designing and creating a wedding cake is something entirely different. The first is providing a commodity, the second is the artistic expression of the cake's creator. There is a very real freedom of speech issue at play. An artist has a right to choose which art he or she will create. A painter, sculpter, director, novelist, or playwright can never be forced to create a work of art with a message contrary to what they believe. Nor should a cake designer, photographer, or floral arranger. This is not just buying a cake, it's commissioning a work of art.

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    Sept. 16, 2017 10:26 p.m.

    Dr.Man " some seem perfectly happy to impose their senses of morality on others (i.e., opt out of providing products/services for gay weddings because its moral to do so). Piercing enough?

    One morality is based on the "knowledge" that some are being discriminated against because of who they are as humans.

    The other sense of morality is based on a "belief" as to how humans should interact with one another.

    On it's face there is no contest here as to what is moral and what is purely discriminatory. Believe as you wish..for the millionth time..but it is still immoral to impose your "beliefs" on someone else because of what their humanity is.

  • J2 Riverton, UT
    Sept. 16, 2017 9:29 p.m.

    Wow. All the uber-liberal commentators have really come out in force for this one. (See the other Deseret News article about the LDS Church backing the baker for a more balanced and nuanced comment thread. There are some very smart and well-reasoned comments over there.)

    Some people still can't see the difference between serving all CUSTOMERS versus endorsing or not endorsing an EVENT. These are two very different concepts, and they are fundamental pre-requisites for contributing effectively to this debate.

    Though I get the sense that some people just don't WANT to understand it. Understanding such concepts as free speech and implied endorsement completely destroys any identity politics-based arguments.

  • Daedalus, Stephen ARVADA, CO
    Sept. 16, 2017 9:00 p.m.

    @RG: "This article has emphasized the crucial distinction between people and events..."

    Crucial? Only for the authors' make-believe examples.

    In the real world, events like SSM may be inseparable from the characteristics that define a protected class included in a state public accommodations law.

    For example, refusing to cater any bar mitzvahs and bat mitzvahs violates public accommodations laws on the basis of religion.

    Refusing to photograph a reception following any mixed-race marriage violates those same laws on basis of race.

    Refusing to rent the honeymoon suite to any couple celebrating a wedding anniversary over the 25th year violates a public accommodations law that bars discrimination by age.

    In each of these cases, refusing to "participate" in "event" necessarily requires refusing service to a protected class of citizens.

    For states that passed mini-RFRAs, businesses can ignore SCOTUS 1990 Empl. Div. v. Smith decision. States that don't list sexual orientation as a protexted class don't have the SSM cake problem.

    But Colorado is neither, thank you very much.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    Sept. 16, 2017 9:00 p.m.

    What appears to differentiate these cases from prior issues of public accommodation, is that stores, restaurants, and hotels simply serve their clientele.

    By contrast, wedding professionals are part of the wedding. Their talents go directly into that celebration thereof. If they are opposed, then best to find someone who wants to participate and celebrate with the couple.

  • misanthrope sl, UT
    Sept. 16, 2017 8:56 p.m.

    Liberty, common sense, and the desire-much less the ability-to reason, are dead.

  • DrMAN Orem, UT
    Sept. 16, 2017 8:53 p.m.

    @ pragmatistferlife "No..it's against the law, and immoral." Well...your piercing detail of logic and explanation has convinced...no one.

    Why might this be being heard by the Supreme Court? Because the law is not clear on the subject. You have Constitutional individual rights (of the bakers, florists, etc., to exercise free speech and religious exercise) vs. civil rights (of same sex couples for non-discrimination in the marketplace based on sex orientation) that are in conflict one with another. Hence, the Court needs to decide which takes priorities.

    As to the immorality claim: some seem perfectly happy to impose their senses of morality on others (i.e., force these bakers/florists to provide products/services for gay weddings because its immoral not to) but yet are perfectly unwilling to have others' senses of morality imposed on them (i.e., opt out of providing products/services for gay weddings because its moral to do so).

  • DrMAN Orem, UT
    Sept. 16, 2017 7:58 p.m.

    @Maudine

    It's not about the sins of others, but I'm sure other "sins" would be and are already happily included and discriminated accordingly. If bakers were asked by embezzlers, "We're holding a party this weekend, so we need a cake. We just stole $170 million dollars from investors in a Ponzi scheme, so we need a cake to symbolize our victims bleeding hearts and flowing tears. What can you do for us?" If florists were asked by clients, "I need 11 dozen roses. For 10 dozen, I need those for my girlfriend. We're celebrating our 1 year anniversary. The other dozen, I need that for my wife. She thinks I'm at the office working late, bless her heart."

    It sounds like you're saying these florists/bakers are obligated to take this work, right? They can't discriminate against them based on the sins those clients commit?

    Many argue that all should be able to reject clients based on moral, ethical, and/or religious conscience grounds to what clients are asking them to do with their profesional services/products. If it's me, let these clients find someone else to help them celebrate stealing and infidelity. I want no part of it.

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    Sept. 16, 2017 6:39 p.m.

    DRMAN.."Shouldn't the printer be able to *politely* (keyword!) decline these clients, provide them recommendations of other printers that may be interested in the business, and the two groups part amicably? Shouldn't bakers, florists, and other professionals be able to do the same thing with the LGBT community for whom same sex marriage is something they cannot reconcile with their religious principles?"

    No..it's against the law, and immoral.

  • Maudine SLC, UT
    Sept. 16, 2017 4:32 p.m.

    I would have a much easier time believing this was about religious beliefs if all "sins" were covered, not just same-sex marriage.

    When grocery clerks can turn away customers with too many children or not enough children, or tattoos or no tattoos, or women with short hair or men with long hair, or people who swear, or people who drink coffee or who smoke, or people who don't use homeopathic medicine or people who do use homeopathic medicine - and the list goes on and on - then I will believe this is about religious freedom and not discrimination.

    And if it is decided that discrimination is okay, I think bakeries and photographers and others who wish to discriminate should have to clearly post the groups they refuse to help so we can make informed decisions of where we want to shop.

  • DrMAN Orem, UT
    Sept. 16, 2017 2:48 p.m.

    @Impartial7 Then by your logic, Jewish printers cannot discriminate against alt-right, white supremacy, neo-Nazi clients who request creative services/products for banners, leaflets, or other materials. Is that correct? I mean, they just need to leave their Jewish principles at the door and can't discriminate against alt-right, white supremacy, neo-Nazi clients, right? By selling these clients the requested services/products, they're not endorsing the alt-right, white supremacy, neo-Nazi event or ideology, right? They're just printers, hired to do a job...nothing more.

    Is it these types of situations we want to see...time and time again...by forcing people to providing products/services against their individual freedoms and constitutional rights? Shouldn't the printer be able to *politely* (keyword!) decline these clients, provide them recommendations of other printers that may be interested in the business, and the two groups part amicably? Shouldn't bakers, florists, and other professionals be able to do the same thing with the LGBT community for whom same sex marriage is something they cannot reconcile with their religious principles?

  • nonceleb Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 16, 2017 2:20 p.m.

    The doctor and director state that no one should be denied services for being gay, but a wedding professional should be permitted to decline services to a gay couple. Isn't that blatantly contradictory? And it most certainly is not a compromise. When you open a business to serve the public, it means all of the law-abiding public. You cannot deny a lawful customer a product or service based on your religious beliefs. What you deem as sinful is their sin, not yours. By providing a product or service, you are not an accessory to or endorsing a lifestyle any more than a Catholic pharmacist is complicit in or promoting what he or she sees as sinful by providing customers with birth control medication or working for a pharmacy that sells condoms. If we allow businesses to deny services or products based on religious beliefs, who knows where it will end. In fact it could come back to bite individuals of certain faiths that some proprietors see as heretical .

  • RG Buena Vista, VA
    Sept. 16, 2017 12:40 p.m.

    This article has emphasized the crucial distinction between people and events--a distinction that some DN commenters on past articles on this subject seem to not understand. Serve all people, but do not have to cater to all events. Well said.

  • The Real Maverick Spanish Fork, UT
    Sept. 16, 2017 12:02 p.m.

    So if businesees are allowed to discriminate again over supposedly "religiously held beliefs" where will it stop? Once blacks are discriminated against? Once Jews are discriminated against? Once Mormons are discriminated against?

    The truth is, these folks from Sutherland who support enabling businesses to discriminate would be the first to cry bloody murder if they were discriminated against. Furthermore, this oped claimed that this would be a win for the LGBT community. Yet, it didn't even address it.

    The gay marriage debate and discriminating against gays is over and done with folks. You can't discriminate once you become a business. If you want to discriminate, you're free to leave this country and find a country that will allow you to discriminate against minorities. I hear Iran is wonderful this time of year.

  • Impartial7 DRAPER, UT
    Sept. 16, 2017 11:56 a.m.

    "Contrary to this current state of affairs, most Americans favor compromise. A strong majority agrees no one should be denied services for being gay but also agrees wedding professionals should be permitted to decline services in celebration of same-sex weddings."

    This is disingenuous. The majority agrees no one should be denied services for being gay. They also agree religious officials should not have to officiate same sex weddings if it's against their religious beliefs. No one is asking mormons, Catholics, Baptists or anyone else to be forced to conduct gay weddings. If you're selling cakes or flowers or anything else, you can't discriminate against gay weddings.

  • Frozen Fractals Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 16, 2017 11:46 a.m.

    The Utah compromise is not adequate protections. It's only the best that could be gotten at the time in a deep red state. By the way the reason there hasn't been more of the non-discrimination laws passing since 2009 is because Republicans took control of a ton of states in that 2010 wave. Everything that tends to come from Democrats slowed down since then legislatively though support for same-sex marriage continues to increase on a trajectory similar to interracial marriage.

  • JimDabakis slc, UT
    Sept. 16, 2017 11:42 a.m.

    Mr Erickson, you will spend a great time and energy lobbying the Utah GOP Senators to the amicus brief allowing bakers to not serve LGBTQ people. Now you speak of a win-win. Does that mean, we have your word, that if your side prevails, that you will speak with equal dedication to those same Senators about the passage of a Utah public accommodation law prohibiting discrimination against LGBTQ people who are not getting cakes from artists?