Would the Equality Act harm religious freedom? Here's what you need to know

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  • Karen R. Houston, TX
    March 26, 2019 6:29 a.m.

    @ Counter

    "Why is it that Apple..."

    …can refuse to offer another vendor’s product/artistic creations in its store? Are the baker/florist being compelled to do this? No. You’re confusing two different issues.

    So, wrong again about what I think and why. There’s a shocker. And I've answered your question. I’d now ask you to answer mine, but I think I exposed your argument’s pretty substantial flaws, so that seems pointless. Unless you think you can rehab it – I’m happy to hear it if you think you can.

    But if you can’t, then please answer this question instead: You claim that I engaged in "intellectual obfuscation." I'm curious to know what I said that you think qualifies. Can you point to something specific and articulate why you think it’s obfuscating? (If the answer is, “Everything generally,” then again, please explain how. If you can’t, then I have no way to distinguish your claim from, “Nothing you said agrees with my position, therefore you are wrong and motivated by intolerance.”)

  • Counter Intelligence Salt Lake City, UT
    March 20, 2019 3:49 p.m.

    @ Karen R

    Once again you did a spectacular job of intellectual obfuscation; but you did not answer my query. Why is is that Apple computer has the right to a corporate conscience and choose to ban the hosting of apps for religious groups that they do not like because of their position on homosexuality, But a baker (Photographer, florist) cannot make a decision to not be actively involved in an event based upon their beliefs (in most of those cases the vendors DID serve homosexuals - then simply chose not to be involved in the event - a fact that critics routinely ignore). Particularly when hosting an app requires less effort than making a cake and involves NO artistic decisions

    I think the answer is apparent: Apple conforms to your world view - the others do not. Therefore Apple should be forgiven, others should not. Because everyone has a right to live by YOUR and only YOUR conscience; not their own - because you are tolerant and they are not. Which is the personification of intolerance

  • RiDal Sandy, UT
    March 18, 2019 7:50 a.m.

    I suppose the biggest unknown is what the "+" will come to stand for in "LGBTQ+".

  • Chessermesser West Valley City, UT
    March 18, 2019 3:27 a.m.

    Unintended consequences. That’s what I’m afraid of.

    Utah’s LBGT anti-discrimination in housing and employment is a good model for any national law. The proposed Federal law goes beyond this. Very far.

    Is it going to be criminal to force us all to use all those self-identifying gender pronouns? That alone would bring modern civilization to its knees, because of the burdern of keeping track of the ever evolving numbers of new pronouns, under the threat of fines and criminalization of innocent mistakes.

  • EscherEnigma Ridgecrest, CA
    March 15, 2019 9:44 p.m.

    @John Pack Lambert of Michigan - Ypsilanti, MI
    "This is not a goal to exclude from all services but to not be forced to support specific events."
    Then you need to amend the CRA (1964), because the status quo, for over fifty years now, is that you can't say "I oppose Christian weddings" and refuse them service on that ground.

  • F Alger Salt Lake City, UT
    March 15, 2019 9:18 p.m.

    As long as I have the option of another provider for a service. If you want to block me because you have some religious objections about it. Go for it.

    I also have the right to not serve you because it is against my beliefs to serve someone who believes in "witchcraft/superstition."

    It can go both ways right?

    I would think this law will protect both sides just fine.

  • RJohnson Salt Lake City, UT
    March 15, 2019 4:29 p.m.

    @John Pack Lambert

    “People do not refuse to serve marriages because of sexual orientation but because they believe only certain sex is ok.”

    They’ll serve a wedding where a heterosexual couple engaged in premarital or adulterous sex before the marriage but will not serve a celibate homosexual couple.

    Nope, it’s about sexual orientation 100%

  • Ranch Here, UT
    March 15, 2019 4:12 p.m.

    @NN, CI, et.al.;

    Your attempts to separate the issue of black/lgbt is simply a backhanded way of saying "choice/behavior" shouldn't be covered; the CRA already nullified that argument since religion is without a doubt "choice/behavior" and is covered.

    Your position is: "Religious Freedom" requires business owners (bo's) be allowed to discriminate against LGBT.

    The racist business owner's position was: "Religious Freedom" req's BO's be allowed to discriminate against blacks.

    The ONLY variable is the 'who'. "Religious Freedom req's BOs' be allowed to discriminate against 'n' ", where n=[blacks, LGBT, women, Mormons, Jews, disabled, etc.].

    Therefore this is an Either/Or situation. Either BO's are allowed to discriminate against ALL 'n' or NO 'n'. (14th Amendment - equal protection).

    There is one thing that is irrefutable though. ALL 'n' = People. My position is thus: "BO's should NOT be able to use "RF" to discriminate against ANY 'n' (people)".

    Also, NN, your gun analogy is lame (ftr, I am a gun owner too).

    @JPL;

    Unless you were invited to the wedding, you're not "supporting" anything; you're selling a product. Nothing more.

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    March 15, 2019 10:52 a.m.

    People do not refuse to serve marriages because of sexual orientation but because they believe only certain sex is ok. This is not a goal to exclude from all services but to not be forced to support specific events. The analogy to what the civil rights act went after is flawed.

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    March 15, 2019 10:44 a.m.

    Phillips was willing to sell any existing goods for the homosexual commitment ceremony, he was kust not willing to create a work.

    Even worse the Colorado "civil rights" commission found against him in a case where someone asked for a cake celebrating an anniversery of their "gender" transition with a blue outside and a pink inside sending the message the person is truly female. No word yet on weather the decline of an asked for Satan's birthday cake with sex toy from the same person violated rights.

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    March 15, 2019 10:37 a.m.

    The shield claim depends on a belief religious freedom is invoked insincerely. This is not the case and the leftists pushing this law consistently fail to even try to understand why people do not want to be compelled to celebrate things that go against their religion.

  • unrepentant progressive Bozeman, MT
    March 15, 2019 5:19 a.m.

    Let us examine this newly minted claim of an infringement on "freedom of association" which our Conservative brothers/sisters insist on bringing up.

    Per Cornell Law School: "Freedom of association as a concept thus grew out of a series of cases in the 1950s and 1960s in which certain states were attempting to curb the activities of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People."

    There you have it. Freedom of association is not cataloged in the US Constitution. It was manufactured for the purpose of discrimination. Social Conservatism has corrupted the original intent of the Constitution and founded a principle of dubious origins to be used as a cudgel against disfavored minorities.

    So much for the Conservative notion of "originalism", as if it where intended by the founders (indeed irony compounded).

  • taking a stand for truth Lehi, UT
    March 14, 2019 11:19 p.m.

    This is a bad bill that sets forth "protection" of certain groups at the expense of the freedom and protection of others.

  • Donald Johnson Northern, MI
    March 14, 2019 9:24 p.m.

    The nondiscrimination rules for gender identity in this Act are less discussed but also problematic, in terms of not being able to separate bathrooms, locker rooms, shower rooms, student dorms and sports teams based on biological sex despite gender identity.

  • Hugh1 , 00
    March 14, 2019 6:21 p.m.

    Justifying discrimination against gays in the name of religion worship at the altar of martyrs who were killed in the name of their beliefs. Ironic.

  • EscherEnigma Ridgecrest, CA
    March 14, 2019 5:38 p.m.

    It's pretty simple: if the Equality Act would impinge on your "religious freedom", then the Civil Rights Act (1964) already does.

    And if you're okay with the Civil Rights Act impinging on your "religious freedom", but not okay with the Equality Act doing so? Then your objection isn't about religious freedom, it's about gay people.

    So c'mon. No special rights. Either support the Equality Act, and be as obligated as I already am, or call for the repeal of the CRA and let me as free as you already are. But you don't get to be free to discriminate against me while I'm obligated to serve you. That hypocrisy is untenable in the long run.

  • Karen R. Houston, TX
    March 14, 2019 5:09 p.m.

    @ Counter

    "A gay white male cannot become a racial minority woman by changes in thoughts, feelings and behaviors alone..."

    If he could, should he then feel an obligation to try to change so as to avoid offending a business owner with religious objections to his race? Also, mixed-faith couples can very easily change religions, but they aren't asked to do so to avoid offending the wedding service vendor. The vendor is the one required to exercise tolerance. So even if your view of sexual orientation is correct, why do you think the burden shifts?

  • ADifferentView Park City, UT
    March 14, 2019 12:44 p.m.

    I find it humorous that people keep trying to find some type of compromise for this issue. There is no middle ground between religious freedom and those who want to impose their new values on "all" of society. It's freedom to associate or it's no freedom to associate. You can't be almost free, or mostly free to associate.

    The only answer for a fair society moving forward is to eliminate the entire concept of "civil rights" for private individuals because it tramples on the superior concept of "individual rights" and individual freedom.

    I'm religious, but if you don't want to serve me at your restaurant because of it - I'm OK with that. I'll just start checking websites to see which restaurants are religious friendly before I go.

    IMHO, all other frameworks simply divide us into factions where the largest mob rules the lawmakers, and people troll businesses for artificial lawsuits based on no substantive harms.

  • Vermonter Plymouth, MI
    March 14, 2019 12:40 p.m.

    The Equality Act is a stealth attack on the First Amendment.

    It not only curtails freedom of religion, but also freedom of speech and freedom of the press. Even if it passed, reasonable judges would have to strike it down as unconstitutional.

    Supporters of the Equality Act need to make it a Constitutional Amendment as it will be used to significantly curtail relatively wide-open freedoms of speech, press and religion.

    Not to be argumentative, but the Equality Act really does have more in common with the Laws of the Soviet Union than US Constitutional government. The Equality Act is inherently anti-First Amendment. But, it’s most ardent supporters will not tell you this.

    The American people are free to choose. But, Equality Act supporters should do this honestly and constitutionally, with integrity, and not by stealth.

  • THEREALND Mishawaka, IN
    March 14, 2019 12:28 p.m.

    I have a question for those of you who are against the "Equality Act".

    What services or products can be refused to Married same sex couples based on religious beliefs?

    In Indiana this year, a tax preparer refused to process the tax return of a married same sex couple filing a joint tax return. Is that OK? How about an airline that might fly them to a honeymoon destination? A resort or hotel? Grocery stores, gas stations, banks, restaurants, plumbers, electricians, mechanics, lawyers, doctors, hospitals, Universities (married student housing) etc,etc? Can they all deny services to people who are married and the same sex? Would they be endorsing their marriage by providing their services in some way? Where does this end, and who gets to decide?

    "There is no "right" to require a private party to conduct ANY business"

    That's true, but once a private party chooses to conduct business, they have to accommodate everyone.

  • THEREALND Mishawaka, IN
    March 14, 2019 12:02 p.m.

    @NoNamesAccepted - St. George, UT
    March 14, 2019 10:47 a.m.
    "The New Mexico wedding photographer case and the Colorado wedding baker case both show what happens when anti-discrimination laws include sexual orientation without providing protections for religious beliefs"

    What exactly did these cases show? Elane Photography lost their appeal to the New Mexico Supreme Court, and the US Supreme Court refused to hear the case. The US Supreme court did not rule in favor of the Baker's alleged religious beliefs and freedom. In fact, they didn't rule on that aspect at all. They kicked the can down the road on that ruling. So, I really wonder what you think that the rulings in these 2 case actually shows.

    "In Elane Photography v. Willock,1 the court unanimously upheld a ruling against a small company, Elane Photography LLC, for declining to shoot a same-sex commitment ceremony due to the owners’ beliefs on marriage. The New Mexico Supreme Court rejected the photographer’s arguments that the company’s rights to freedom of speech and religious liberty under federal and state law protected it from being forced to produce images"

  • Counter Intelligence Salt Lake City, UT
    March 14, 2019 11:59 a.m.

    @Ranch and others
    Comparing sexual orientation to racism is an amoral smear tactic.
    A gay white male cannot become a racial minority woman by changes in thoughts, feelings and behaviors alone - but changes in feelings will and do indicate changes in orientation. If disagreeing with feelings is equal to racism - then everyone who disagrees with me must be a racist.

    @unrepentant progressive
    Your argument that religion is fine as long as it is kept silent, is typical left-wing intolerance. When the same argument is made about orientation you quickly scream "victim"

    @Lilly Munster
    One only needs to look to Canada to see that your allegations are not accurate

    @The Atheist
    You certainly have the right to NOT believe in any religion - but you do not have the right to force your non-belief, aka atheism, onto others as a government mandated religion

    @others
    As soon as you demand that APPLE (with a gay CEO) is driven out of business because of its refusal to host apps from religious organizations that they do not like (because of theology re. homosexuality), then you will have credibility, otherwise you are major hypocrites (hosting an app requires less work than baking a cake)

  • Doug Ex-Fat Guy Fair Oaks, CA
    March 14, 2019 11:50 a.m.

    Re: Lilly Munster.

    "Lilly", I enjoyed the late Yvonne DeCarlo, as well as Fred Gwynne (Herman Munster, and after he was "Muldoon" on "Car 54, where are you?"), and, of course, Sister Pat Priest, whom resided here in the Sacramento area for years before retiring to Idaho. "Lilly", you're no Yvonne (DeCarlo) Margaret Middleton.

    The issue isn't necessarily protecting against discrimination of LDS folks by supporting these ill-considered laws. Be assured that those advocating these laws have every intention of discriminating against LDS and other religious groups, and intend to use them as a weapon in their anti-religious bigotry. The issue is to preserve First Amendment rights and the inherent right to (dis)associate with persons of our choosing. Conducting commerce doesn't carry with it the legal obligation to take all comers.

  • Light and Liberty St George, UT
    March 14, 2019 11:43 a.m.

    It is not just 'if' the LDS church, and all other churches, will be required to not teach doctrine, it is when. That 'when' will be sooner than you think with nonsense like this comes on board. Those who are members of the church that support this are also those who think that the church is just a man made organization that needs to change with the times. Talk about deception and irony. Active in a church, claiming membership in a church, that they really have no commitment to its teachings, but want the image of belonging to. How is that suppose to fit in with integrity and honesty?

  • Doug Ex-Fat Guy Fair Oaks, CA
    March 14, 2019 11:41 a.m.

    re: T-money$$$ - Salt Lake City, UT

    Extremely FALSE and DISINGENUOUS analogy, T-money$$ to liken attitudes towards interracial marriage in the 1960s and applicable laws (struck down entirely in Loving v. VA, 1967) towards the proposed "equality" laws. However, the reason to have seen Loving as a good and necessary SCOTUS ruling is the same as to oppose (or at least want sufficient language to allay concerns) these so-called "equality" laws: Freedom of (dis)association.

    With these "equality" laws, there is insufficient protection for persons to avoid their own inherent right to associate, or NOT, and would force many, in the course of normal and routine business, to make a choice of upholding religious principles or these nebulous "laws". In the case of small businesses providing services, like wedding cakes, photography, or flowers, the Founders would have considered it preposterous and tyrannical to compel a proprietor to take on customers that (s)he did not want to serve. There is no "right" to require a private party to conduct ANY business, and these laws would be construed to do exactly that.

  • Counter Intelligence Salt Lake City, UT
    March 14, 2019 11:24 a.m.

    One need to look no further than Canada where Christian colleges were dis-accredited if they kept to their stated purpose of supporting traditional one man one woman marriage (even though everyone knew that was a underlying principle for even applying for the college).

    This no longer about tolerance - it is about silencing dissent

    The victims have become the perpetrators The "Jussie"ing of tolerance

  • Karen R. Houston, TX
    March 14, 2019 11:16 a.m.

    I think objectors to LGBT equal rights expose a belief that religion should have a special status when they worry about losing taxpayer money for their institutions/programs. For example, the religion-based adoption agencies that take government money, but don't want to adopt out to gay couples. Imagine if it were instead secular agencies that genuinely believed it would be harmful to place children with families that actively worshiped gods and believed in devils. In each instance the beliefs of the organizations are genuine and unsupported by the evidence. Yet only believers are protected from this insult to their character and dignity. Only gay people are forced to support a program that expressly excludes them as unfit. (And counter to the evidence!)

    IMO, there IS a compromise and we reached it in 1964. We are not asking people, businesses and organizations today to constrain their religious exercise any more than we did 55 years ago. There is no good reason not to. As those against mixed-race and mixed-faith marriage can tell you, it hasn't stopped them from believing and disapproving as they will, and belonging to religions that agree with them.

  • TheRealDJT Sandy, UT
    March 14, 2019 11:15 a.m.

    @Spangs:
    "Q: What religious liberty does one give up by supporting the Equality Act?
    A: The religious liberty to justify discrimination based upon religious beliefs. "

    It is important to note how The Liberal-Left is employing Orwellian Newspeak on this issue. In particular, a debasement of the word and concept "discrimination".

    Racial discrimination has always been "morally wrong". There may have been racists within religions, but they were always going directly against the teachings of every significant Church. It has never been considered "immoral" to "Be Black". Even those who may have believed in a Biblical "Mark of Caine" would have to note that God placed the Mark of Caine as a mark of protection, so that Caine's descendants would not be persecuted.

    "Discrimination" is not immoral in itself.
    We "discriminate" against things all the time. Every moral choice involves "discrimination" between right and wrong.
    In fact "Immorality" is "the class of things we should discriminate against."

  • NoNamesAccepted St. George, UT
    March 14, 2019 10:56 a.m.

    @Ranch: "...against LGBT couples, then it's a good enough excuse to discriminate against blacks."

    False analogy on two fronts.

    1-Nobody is asking to discriminate against sexual minorities. We are standing firm in our right not to attend nor promote an event we find offensive.

    Nobody should be denied any off-the-shelf good or service. And nobody should be forced to attend an event that offends him, nor use creative talent to promote an event he disagrees with. If you refuse me service because I'm LDS, you've discriminated. If, however, you decline to take photos at a church wedding or to apply your graphic design talents to promote a Missionary event, that is fine.

    2-Black is not a behavior. Nobody can tell me how black or inter-racial behavior differs from any other conduct. Indeed, science now tells us that race is a mere social construct. But same sex intimacy is fundamentally, biologically different that heterosexual.

    You remain happy to deny service to those lawfully carrying a gun. Don't expect me to attend and promote an event I find disagreeable.

    You don't want me at your party anyway. Stop trying to put me out of business for declinnig to attend.

  • NoNamesAccepted St. George, UT
    March 14, 2019 10:47 a.m.

    The New Mexico wedding photographer case and the Colorado wedding baker case both show what happens when anti-discrimination laws include sexual orientation without providing protections for religious beliefs. The left has made clear their desire to use student loans and grants to students who attend any religously owned colleges as the leverage to end all religious based conduct codes at those schools. Homosexual activists have also demonstrated they'd rather see adoption services shut down than allow churches to only adopt into heterosexual homes.

    Utah already protects in housing and employment. We should protect both sexual minorities and gun carriers in retail establishments. We must do so without forcing small business owners or providers of essential charity services out of the market.

    If society can permit billion dollar, international drug companies who sell to Medicaid/Medicare, to refuse to sell their drugs for use in legal state executions, and credit card companies to deny service to licensed gun dealers, then we can tolerate a few small business owners not catering to same-sex weddings and religious colleges maintaining codes of conduct that offend some people.

  • T-money$$$ Salt Lake City, UT
    March 14, 2019 10:42 a.m.

    In the 1960's there was this "radical" idea of a white man marrying a black woman and interracial marriage not only was a violation of religious freedom for many but surely would mark the decline of society's moral backbone.

    Funny how history tends to repeat itself.

  • skeptic Phoenix, AZ
    March 14, 2019 10:34 a.m.

    A problem with religion freedom is that for religion it is expedient for religion to see the dirt on others faces and inexpedient for religion to recognize the dirt on religion's face. This is especially incidental among extreme dogmatic church groups.

  • windsor Logan, UT
    March 14, 2019 10:35 a.m.

    Quote from Elder Bednar: "...there are people who push on the edges of what is legally allowable, and they use the courts to try to make additional progress to their particular point of view. Therefore, if you have a church, and it does not recognize same-gender marriage, then that is discriminatory....It is not just wild and crazy to suggest that there could be sanctions against the teaching of our doctrine"

    This is one of the dangers I see in the Equality Act. The LDS Church could have discrimination suits brought against it because of their stand and doctrine on SSM and LGBT.

  • Spangs Salt Lake City, UT
    March 14, 2019 10:04 a.m.

    "I continue to have concerns that the Equality Act has serious flaws — namely its failure to protect religious liberty,” - Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah.

    Q: What religious liberty does one give up by supporting the Equality Act?

    A: The religious liberty to justify discrimination based upon religious beliefs.

    Just because a person feels justified doing harm to another person based upon religious beliefs doesn't make it right or just. Is female mutilation acceptable just because certain religions favor its practice? Hardly.

  • RiDal Sandy, UT
    March 14, 2019 9:59 a.m.

    The fundamental question seems to be: "What is really a "right" ?
    We should all have all our "rights" protected...right?

    The "Right to free exercise of religion" is clearly delineated in the Constitution.

    The "Right to redefine society's oldest and most fundamental institution to accommodate one minority's sexual preferences" ....can't find it stated or implied anywhere.

    I think there is a difference.

  • RiDal Sandy, UT
    March 14, 2019 9:52 a.m.

    Everyone's rights should be protected...equally.
    That's the definition of "America".

    When you start singling out certain groups for "special protection" that is the beginning of Orwellian thought control.

    The Left is already foisting Newspeak upon us, with new definitions of imagined "rights" that are really just "socialist wish-lists". We oldthinkers unbellyfeel this wrongthink. It is doubleplus ungood.

  • Henry Drummond San Jose, CA
    March 14, 2019 9:45 a.m.

    My first reaction to this article is that it does a good job of presenting both sides of the argument. My second reaction is that those opposing LGBT nondiscrimination laws on religious grounds are losing the argument. You can't demand constitutional protections for yourselves while denying them to others.

  • Light and Liberty St George, UT
    March 14, 2019 9:20 a.m.

    I don't believe that calling yourself a victim is the way to hope and healing. Suicide can't be blamed on religious beliefs. The minute you take away someone's right to choose, you have created a victim and a state that is authoritarian. This legislation will only make suicide rates increase because the challenges they face are fundamental questions that government can resolve. Those who really want to affect the suicide rates need to promote those things that will actually help, rather than legislation that only values one outcome and disregards everything that brings healing and hope. All that happens with this legislation is more suicide and an iron first to force religion into their camp. Lee is right on target. He actually cares about the LGBTQ, and the Democrats can only appear as helping them. Sad day for the LGBTQ. They aim for relief, but will only suffer greater pain searching for something that can't be found by a amoral government agency.

  • 3grandslams Eagle Mountain, UT
    March 14, 2019 9:14 a.m.

    If it doesn’t protect everyone then it’s not a good law. Equality is becoming a social construct meaning if you don’t do it my way then you’re discriminating. It must not only protect the gay couple but the baker who has his beliefs too. If not it’s no good.

  • Justiciaparatodos Salt Lake City, UT
    March 14, 2019 9:12 a.m.

    @Hawk and KSM's Dad:

    You both nailed it. Thank you for your important and thoughtful comments.

    Clearly, there needs to be balance in this issue. The rights of religious adherents and the rights of LGBTQ citizens need to be respected and not infringed upon by either side. Obviously, the two sides will not agree on every single aspect of this question - that is impossible. But reasonable people can come up with reasonable compromises.

    We must also not ever believe that we can have compromise without some feeling offended in some of the application of the balancing of rights - but that is totally okay. In life there are tradeoffs and times when some personal sacrifices become necessary - and that applies to the folks on both sides of this whole issue!

    We must be very cautious to ensure a fairness to all approach and at all costs we must preserve freedom of conscience, freedom of expression and freedom of religion or the freedom to choose no religion.

  • Editorial Notes At Home In, UT
    March 14, 2019 9:10 a.m.

    In truth, "unrepentant progressive":

    We do have the right, and the citizen responsibility, to discriminate, using a myriad of measuring sticks, religion being one of them.

    There is no freedom of religion, speech, press, assembly or petition without agency to ascertain or make distinctions - or discriminations.

    What we do to others who discriminate differently than ourselves becomes one of the marks of a civil or failed society.

    Webster's 1828:

    DISCRIM'INATE, verb intransitive To make a difference or distinction; as, in the application of law, and the punishment of crimes, the judge should discriminate between degrees of guilt.

    2. To observe or note a difference; to distinguish; as, in judging of evidence, we should be careful to discriminate between probability and slight presumption.

  • Elsleuith Eagle Mountain, UT
    March 14, 2019 8:08 a.m.

    When Congress puts a name to a bill, be aware, the bill will have the opposite effect. Private religious institutions and private business owners will lose.

  • Thomas Jefferson Salt Lake City, UT
    March 14, 2019 7:59 a.m.

    And the greying of religion continues.

    Religion is dying a slow death. The attitudes of many of these posters is one of the reasons why.

  • ute alumni Salt Lake City, UT
    March 14, 2019 7:24 a.m.

    Those clapping tell me this is bad.

  • The Atheist Provo, UT
    March 14, 2019 7:18 a.m.

    In the US and most democratic countries, so-called "religious freedom" is a faked and politicized concept religionists are using to preserve their hegemony.

    In many other countries, however, there are legitimate and pressing "religious freedom" issues caused by one religion oppressing all those not if that religion, including non-believers of all kinds.

    And finally, there are a few countries in which the secular state restricts all religions in the public square much more than we do here.

    If religionists take off their blinders and advocate for "freedom FROM religion" among with "religious freedom", they may find common cause with humanists who are powerful allies!

  • Hawk Littleton, CO
    March 14, 2019 7:16 a.m.

    I'm amazed with the lack of historical understanding of the constitution, as evidenced by Utefan60's comment, "The Constitution is there to keep religion from entering the secular portions of our nation, our government, and our businesses."

    That was never the intent of the constitution. The framers were a diverse bunch, but most (if not all) realize that biblical morality was critical to self government. Washington stated that , “Religion and morality are indispensible supports” for “it is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible.”

    The constitution had measures to assure that one religion was not favored over the other, the framers realizing that concentrated power (such as a state sponsored religion) often leads to tyranny. The concept of "separation of church and state" was introduced by a bill in Virginia a couple of years after the constitution was ratified, which was passed to keep government out of religion, not (as Utefan60 states) the other way around.

  • KSM's Dad Ogden, UT
    March 14, 2019 7:13 a.m.

    Targeted discrimination flows both ways. LGBT advocates use laws and protections they enjoy to discriminate against others just as they claim happens to them. Targeting anyone to force them to support a lifestyle or belief is wrong. Forcing a business owner to create a work of art counter to their beliefs is just as wrong as evicting a person because of orientation. This is a slippery slope that may have elements he violate religious freedoms.

    @utefan60, you need to better understand the constitution. It wasn’t established to protect people “from” religion, in fact it was the opposite. It was to protect religious freedoms because of the forced religion that existed in England at the time. It was to keep government out of religion.

  • Ranch Here, UT
    March 14, 2019 7:13 a.m.

    Didn't the CRA do the same thing this article complains of when it made it illegal to discriminate against blacks in public or mixed-race couples?

    If religion is a good enough excuse to discriminate against LGBT couples, then it's a good enough excuse to discriminate against blacks. If it isn't a good enough excuse for the one, it isn't a good enough excuse of for the other either.

    Furthermore, if you want to use religion to discriminate against LGBT people, you should be willing to give up your own non-discrimination protections - after all, equality for all, right?

  • rickmac37 , 00
    March 14, 2019 7:11 a.m.

    Once again we have way too many laws. Now they want to force a law that protects a minority of people on the majority of people. Just enforce what’s on the books now.

  • unrepentant progressive Bozeman, MT
    March 14, 2019 6:10 a.m.

    Your freedom to worship as you please, believe as you please and behave as you please are protected.

    What is not protected is your right to discriminate. And that is the problem. Every poster so far on this thread is asking America for the right to discriminate, using their religion, against those that their religion sanctions in one form or another. This discrimination is not only for the purposes of the acts of worship/fellowship activities within the confines of their institutions but also for any public act.

    Think about that. Religious people want to use their faith tradition as reason to discriminate against a disfavored minority in every public act. Their religion has become a tool for oppression.

    That is not a country I wish to live in. You are free to believe what you will, worship as you will and administer your institutions as you will. However, we have declared that some beliefs are not appropriate (racial discrimination). We seek to expand that declaration to another disfavored minority. IMHO, when you disfavor one set of Americans, you disfavor all Americans.

    Period.

  • THEREALND Mishawaka, IN
    March 14, 2019 4:25 a.m.

    I can't understand how baking a cake can be considered participating and endorsing a same sex marriage. I can't understand how preparing a joint tax return for a same sex couple can be considered an endorsement of same sex marriage.

    And yet a 40 foot tall Latin cross is not an endorsement Christianity, but merely a war memorial.

  • my_two_cents_worth university place, WA
    March 14, 2019 4:12 a.m.

    In my previous post, “Business owners, regardless of religious strip are not about the law.“ should have read “Business owners, regardless of religious strip, are not above the law.“

  • my_two_cents_worth university place, WA
    March 14, 2019 12:44 a.m.

    @Back Talk

    "As the article says, Gays should relish and support people of faith so that they dont have to live in fear that gay rights groups will sue them out of business for not wanting to participate in a gay wedding."

    I know of no backer or florist who has been forced to participate in a wedding ceremony and I challenge you to name any. Now, if you sell wedding cakes and floral arraignments and your state anti-discrimination laws prohibit discrimination against LGBTQ in the market place then be prepared to serve all under the law or face the consequences. If that means getting sued out of business, so be it.

    "Supreme Court ruling soon that will support Religious Freedom for individuals, businesses and Private Educational Institutions."

    Religious freedom currently exists for individuals and private, religious educational institutions (unless they want government money). Businesses have no religious rights. In fact, businesses have only those rights conferred upon them by the municipality issuing them their business license.

  • Lilly Munster , 00
    March 13, 2019 11:59 p.m.

    It is sad to see that so many LDS Citizens do not understand equality and human rights, unless they are the victims of discrimination themselves.
    Reread LDS history. All of it. We were persecuted, excluded, beaten and killed for legitimate reasons: someone else's "sincerely held religious beliefs" declared LDS Americans unworthy of respect, safety and courtesy.
    Be careful what you demand, when you wish to give ANY person, religious or not, the power to exclude anyone. It can and will easily be turned on you.
    Our family has owned several types of businesses. We have never turned anyone away, for any reason. We sincerely believe (because we have been told) that our generosity, fairness and cheerful service has left a very good impression and gratitude from our thousands of non-LDS customers. We are not God, a Judge or a Jury. Which is more Christlike? To say get out of our shop, because we are righteous and you are not? Or.....we will gladly serve you, because LDS People are the soul of hospitality and comfort? it really comes down to those two choices. Ugly recriminations, or sharing the loaves and fishes, as Christ did.

  • Blake19868976 Las Vegas, NV
    March 13, 2019 11:25 p.m.

    Why is it that when the notion of non-discrimination comes up, religious folks are the first to clinch their fists? Probably just a coincidence.

  • Back Talk Federal Way, WA
    March 13, 2019 10:24 p.m.

    So they are telling us that we can have religious freedom so long as Democrats agree with the kind of religious freedom we want.

    As the article says, Gays should relish and support people of faith so that they dont have to live in fear that gay rights groups will sue them out of business for not wanting to participate in a gay wedding.

    Hope we can get a Supreme Court ruling soon that will support Religious Freedom for individuals, businesses and Private Educational Institutions.

  • Yar Springville, UT
    March 13, 2019 9:15 p.m.

    I appreciate the Dems desires to protect LGBT folks from discrimination, but this is the wrong approach to take. I know that religion has been used to abuse otherwise good people, but not everything is black and white. Jack Phillip's case certainly was not a black and white case. I think a better approach to this is to apply these anti-discrimination measures on a case by case standard. Look at what actually happened and then apply them accordingly. This bill does not use that approach and that is its most fatal flaw. If the Dems want to accomplish their goals of eliminating hatred of minorities, they’ll have to do much better than that. Consider using Utah's approach to the issue for example or Idaho's. Both of those state's versions are balanced, considerate of both sides, and does not assume ill will against either side.

  • pickemright FREDERICK, MD
    March 13, 2019 9:15 p.m.

    I cannot believe that God fearing people do not "see" what this law is about. It is not about protecting a groups rights, but weakening religious worship. Any law that takes God out of the driver's seat and places him in the back is a bad law. There are consequences for turning away from He who rules the Universe.

  • my_two_cents_worth university place, WA
    March 13, 2019 9:12 p.m.

    @J2

    "First, "equality" is not a right."

    It most certainly is and that's the problem. The religious majority has had "special rights" for so long they are unwilling to give them up.

    "Life, liberty, and property are rights."

    For all, not just the "religious" among us.

    "no private business owner should ever be compelled to transact with a client he/she doesn't want to."

    Private business owners are required to follow the law under which their license to practice is based.

    "Where is the consideration of the rights of business owners?"

    They have a right to be in business or not be in business. If they choose the former they are expected to obey the laws where they practice their business. Business owners, regardless of religious strip are not about the law.

    "private religious institutions have no obligation to do anything that violates their religious values."

    And we the people are under no obligation to allow them to dine at Caesar's table on Caesar's dime while denying equality to all Caesar's people.

    "Why do the advocates of these appalling measures not understand rights?"

    Why does the religious right not understand that we all have rights, not just them?

  • Utefan60 , 00
    March 13, 2019 9:05 p.m.

    Any religion that claims "religious freedom" to discriminate against another group of God's children for whatever reason is not a true religion of any God that I have read about.

    Mike Lee can not name one religious freedom that he has lost. Not one. Constitutional scholar? That is untrue. The Constitution is there to keep religion from entering the secular portions of our nation, our government, and our businesses.

    Mike Lee can not name one religious freedom he is losing. But I can name hundreds of examples of the LBGTQ community losing their rights, freedoms, and civil liberties to these supposed religious. That can not happen and Mike Lee is completely wrong about this.

    No truly religious person, and religion with real values would ever enter the secular arena to discriminate against any other minority.

    This is again a wolf in sheeps clothing by the radical right claiming "religious freedom". Again Mike Lee, tell us one religious freedom you have lost? Crickets!

  • Donald Johnson Northern, MI
    March 13, 2019 8:54 p.m.

    The Utah compromise was a fair compromise, striking a reasonable balance between competing rights. This is not the Utah compromise. BYU and its honor code would be in violation. Religious organizations like The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints would not be able to limit hiring decisions in accordance with church principles. Public schools would not be able to limit bathrooms and locker rooms and even sports teams based on biological sex instead of claimed gender identity. Religious business owners and charities like adoption agencies and counseling services would not be able to limit their services to things compatible with their religious beliefs. It is completely contrary to the spirit of the first amendment and the religious liberty central to the Constitution.

  • J2 Riverton, UT
    March 13, 2019 8:51 p.m.

    Disgraceful and anti-American.

    First, "equality" is not a right. Equality is a condition which we are all born into inherently, by virtue of the fact that it is God, and not government, who makes us equal.

    Life, liberty, and property are rights.

    Second, no private business owner should ever be compelled to transact with a client he/she doesn't want to. Where is the consideration of the rights of business owners?

    Third, private religious institutions have no obligation to do anything that violates their religious values.

    Why do the advocates of these appalling measures not understand rights?

  • kranny utah, UT
    March 13, 2019 8:30 p.m.

    Titles like "equality act" can be misleading. This bill, while protecting the rights of the LGBTQ, infringes on the rights of religion-based schools. Equality to some means to make everyone comply with arbitrary rules. Congress has to stop trying to rewrite the Constitution. We have already strayed from it's path to the point that the Founding Fathers would claim that we've become what the early colonists vehemently opposed and wanted to escape from, and hoped to prevent from recurring any time in the future. If you don't like Constitutional rule, go live in Venezuela, what some are trying to turn America into, and see how Socialism really works.

  • The Dark Knight Salt Lake City, UT
    March 13, 2019 8:25 p.m.

    I am religious person and I support religious freedom. But I believe that the concept of religious freedom is frequently distorted to excuse discriminatory practices that aren't legitimately protected under that umbrella. Religious freedom is the right to live by your beliefs, not to impose them on others.

  • Light and Liberty St George, UT
    March 13, 2019 8:16 p.m.

    Lee is our Constitutional scholar, which is why I voted for him and support him. He is against it; I'm with him. This is typical of the Democrats. Seeking cover and not wanting to do anything of substance, including seeking protection for all, LGBTQ and Religious sectors. Irony of all, of course, is watching their absolute unity on this shallow legislation that hits the mark of the appearance of good governance without substance, but can't seem to find even a token voice for the life of the unborn. Perhaps the Democrats can take up the cause of the latest victims of the Social Justice warriors, the white, protestant, male. Let there be no mistake here what the real goal of this community is: Unequivocal acceptance across the board of their lifestyle, including those who of religious faith don't accept. It is not about stopping discrimination.
    It is about acceptance of their lifestyle and choices. Democrats and many Republicans just don't get it. Libertarians and independents are on the rise for a reason. Insanity and lack of leadership by both political parties. You got my vote Lee. Trump is my man, but should have listened to Lee.

  • 112358 Alpine, UT
    March 13, 2019 8:16 p.m.

    A fitting Orwellian name for an act that would be used to oppress people of faith for exercising their First Amendment rights. All animals are equal, indeed.

  • Lilly Munster , 00
    March 13, 2019 7:04 p.m.

    It is absolutely NOT true that "if this law is passed, it would take away religious rights, generate lawsuits, and cause harm to Christians."
    We always have our religious rights: to worship as we please, to share our faith openly, and to organize and run our Churches without outside interference. That is a given, and is not in jeopardy.
    What is in jeopardy, is blatant discrimination in public housing, jobs, and at non-religious businesses that are licensed to serve ALL customers, citizens and neighbors.
    No one can deny goods services to me as an LDS believer. No one can deny services or merchandise to any Jew, Catholic, Atheist, left handed person, or a tattooed Presbyterian.
    If any citizen can be discriminated against because someone does not approve of their imagined "Lifestyle" then any and all LDS Citizens can be turned away as well. That's the thing about morality, justice, equality and decency. They do not single anyone out for punishment or exclusion. Much as I hate tattoos, dirty hair, body odor, bad breath and bad manners, my personal dislikes, for any reason, are NOT allowed to be weaponized.

  • christoph Brigham City, UT
    March 13, 2019 6:55 p.m.

    Negative group of people to think all history is oppressive. Wedding cake lawsuits is what we got with Mr. Obama's two choices on the U.S. Supreme Court. There is a reason Mr. Trump was elected. Lawsuit nation will never be happy.