How LGBTQ rights and religious freedom debates are polarizing our understanding of discrimination – and why it matters

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  • UtahBlueDevil Alpine, UT
    June 3, 2019 4:00 p.m.

    Chessermesser - I agree with most of you points. But the reality is that people are denied housing and employment based on their personal lives. The Williams Institute which is part of the UCLA School of law was a write up on 5 people who were terminated because of their lifestyle choices - Lisa Howe, Vandy Beth Glenn, Michael Carney, Jodi O’Brien and Peter TerVeer.

    But it is even a little more sinister than just that. Many times they are not overtly terminated for their orientation, but rather it is just like the current wave of age discrimination in the job place. My sister who works in HR in a California high tech company was asked to do a layoff, with the preference being for those over 60. She told her management that they can't do that, they have to have "cause".... not an age group. The reason why people were let go was not their age...but something more contrived. But the age was a factor.

    I think Utah is doing pretty good legislatively on this front.

  • Chessermesser West Valley City, UT
    June 3, 2019 3:26 p.m.

    Can someone explain how the LBGT are being discriminated in today’s society? Maybe citing specifics of recent instances where housing or employment was impacted? I’m opposed to this sort of discrimination. (Let’s exclude the cake shop in Colorado. That has been discussed enough.)

    Not embracing or endorsing a life style is not discrimination. I live the way I want and you do the same. We should both be happy with that.

    There are consequences for how we choose to live. If you rob banks for a living, you will eventually get caught. If you use illegal drugs, you will probably ruin your health. If you are risk adverse, you probably will never be rich or famous. If you are study diligently in high school, you most likely will get good grades and a college scholarship.

    Everyone can live like they want, according to their chosen lifestyle, with the understanding that we all have the right to do so, in an orderly society.

  • Meckofahess Salt Lake City, UT
    June 3, 2019 12:26 p.m.

    @1Covey:

    Well said, I couldn't agree more!

  • 1covey Salt Lake City, UT
    June 3, 2019 9:48 a.m.

    So, equality means the tail gets to wag the dog ? By forcing all faith-based initiatives, including adoption agencies to bow to LGBT claims of superiority , society will lose much. LGBT activists want supremacy, not equality.

  • Mainly Me Werribee, 00
    June 3, 2019 12:43 a.m.

    It wasn't the cake, it was what the cake was representing! If it was a birthday cake, a congratulations on your new job cake, retirement cake or any cake other than a same sex engagement or wedding, I'm sure that they could of had their cake and eaten it as well. However a wedding cake represented to the baker the condoning of breaking God's moral laws and they could not do it.

    On the other hand I hope that no Christian's go to a LGBTQ owned bakery and ask them to make a wedding cake with a man and a woman on it, that states: marriage should only be between a man and a woman. I am sure this would probably cause some problems as well. So it wasn't that they didn't want to make a cake, it was what the cake was representing to the Christian bakers..

  • williamgdunbar Scotland, 00
    May 17, 2019 10:52 a.m.

    Is there something missing in Genesis chapter 19?

    There was no discussion, no concession, positive action against moral sin and no regret!

  • Lilly Munster , 00
    May 16, 2019 11:38 p.m.

    Discrimination is very easy to identify, understand, and oppose. We have two centuries of witnessing and defeating the evils of discrimination. The following are literally, part of our "religious rights" history. Ask your LDS grandparents for conformation, if they were raised in the South or The Bible Belt they can tell you horror stories.
    No Irish.
    No Jews.
    No women
    No Mormons.
    No Blacks.
    No Gays.
    All of these positions were propagated and inflicted by "Sincere Believers." And we haven't even mentioned lynchings, voter suppression, and the violence inflicted on all those in the above categories. Several of my LDS Elders can tell you about the harassment and violence that they endured in Grand Rapids, Michigan and Dallas, Texas. Their jobs, homes and children were not safe, but they were not shaken in their demand for civil justice. Remember that.
    This is not a battle between Believers and LGTBQ Americans, since fully 68% of all Americans support civil right for all Americans, and so do the vast majority of self-identified American Christians.

  • PostLimitCapped Rio Rancho, NM
    May 1, 2019 1:41 p.m.

    @RedShirt
    "To "EscherEnigma" look at it from a more personal level. "
    No.

    Either the Civil Rights Act (1964) and all similar non-discrimination laws are unconstitutional under the 13th Amendment, or they are constitutional.

    The answer necessarily *cannot* hinge on the groups actually included.

    So which is it?

  • rlynn Brandon, FL
    April 29, 2019 5:11 p.m.

    Please answer this. Why is loving a person of the same sex, being married and creating a loving family is so offensive to conservative religions? If this is a sin, as you say. Why out of all the sins, you focus on this one. The religious right church preaches that we all are sinners. So why being Gay and saying that the God in Heaven created me as I am, what is so offensive to you? Why is the sin of bearing false witness, adultery, or using the Lord's name in vain not your number one sin? Why can't you accepted my believe that my Heavenly Father Created me as I am, to love another man? Being Gay is as part of men as having blue eyes. Why is my love and what I believe is true so offensive to you? So offensive in fact that you would deny me service, employment, housing, a loan, and living a life full of love.

  • Ms.W South Jordan, UT
    April 29, 2019 12:50 p.m.

    @Ranch "The self righteous are fooling themselves"

    Agreed. The self righteous could earn a little respect from the general public if there was humility instilled in them instead of showing public displays of pride and celebrating it.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    April 29, 2019 12:43 p.m.

    To "EscherEnigma" look at it from a more personal level. Would you want to buy a cake from a baker that is totally opposed to the event you are sponsoring? Would have have a black baker make a cake for the KKK? Would you force a Palestinian to cater a Jewish event? Would you force a Lesbian model to pose for Chick-fil-a advertisement?

    We are not talking about kicking people out of a restaurant, we are talking about forcing people to participate in events that they are morally against.

    You do know that CRA 1964 was only done to reverse the Jim Crow laws. In most of the US people didn't care about race and it wasn't an issue. Only in Liberal Strongholds was there any significant problem.

  • EscherEnigma Ridgecrest, CA
    April 29, 2019 10:14 a.m.

    @RiDal
    "You realize that the USA was almost never formed at all because of religious opposition to slavery ?"
    You realize that the Southern Baptist Convention formed their own church because of religious support of slavery? This isn't as one-sided as you want to think.

    @RedShirtMIT
    "To "Ranch" your ilk are pushing laws that force people to participate in events that they don't want to participate in. We used to call that slavery."

    I love how y'all refuse to address this obvious point: if enforcing non-discrimination laws is "slavery", then enforcing non-discrimination laws is "slavery" regardless whether the law is protecting sex, race, ethnicity, religion, national origin, veteran status, sexual orientation, marital status, or any other protected class.

    So long as you're okay with the CRA (1964) however, it is obvious that your objection is not with "forcing" people or "slavery" or "freedom of conscience". Your objection is extending these decades-old protections to gay people.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    April 29, 2019 7:39 a.m.

    To "Ranch" how can a pregnancy be compared to slavery? The woman chose to risk pregnancy. She gambled, and lost. Nobody forced her to become pregnant.

    However, when a business owner is forced to compromise their beliefs to serve somebody or else have their lives destroyed and business ruined, that is slavery.

  • GrainOfSalt Draper, UT
    April 28, 2019 11:17 p.m.

    @HateNo2
    It is interesting how you assume that just because I disagree I must be intolerant. Nothing can be further from the truth. I've had a gay sibling, worked very closely with a gay coworker, etc. I love them all and treat them with the respect and dignity everyone deserves. And I also disagree with the "it isn't a choice" theory of same sex attraction. Everything is a choice-- we choose how we entertain thoughts in or mind even. There is a significant community of ex-gays who will tell you emphatically it is a choice. The media chooses to ignore these stories more often than not. I do believe we each have our own personal challenges to overcome, and for some it may be same-sex attraction. But as soon as you say it cannot be helped you become a victim, and I reject the victim mentality. If you allow it in this instance then you have to allow it for a whole host of other behaviors. I chose to not be a victim and I encourage others to do the same.

  • swsmartlady Mesa, AZ
    April 28, 2019 9:20 a.m.

    @J2 - Riverton, UT

    How is working with a trans or gay person forcing anyone to do anything? The law doesn't state people have to live as a trans person or a gay person. It merely states they must treat them with the same respect and rights as a HUMAN BEING!

    Bottom line and think about this hard... specifically how does a gay or trans person impact your ability to live your life? Does it impact your own marriage? Does it impact your ability to do your job?

    I equate this to not liking people with tattoos or black people (or anyone of a different race). Does a black person impact your life? Does a person with tattoos impact your life?
    For me at least the answer is a big NO to all of the above. I have tattoos plus 3 college degrees and a successful financial business also and I am a straight older female. But I have gay clients, tattooed clients, non tattooed clients, christians, catholics, hispanics, blacks... in other words my clients are all human beings and I treat them all the same.

  • milojthatch Los Angeles, CA
    April 27, 2019 8:50 p.m.

    I find it interesting how as a lack of belief in God or organized religion increases, a negative view of religious people equally increases. People who claim that religions who preach homosexuality as sinful are really just bigots probably don’t value religion in the first place. I also strongly believe that many of these people use this gay rights movement as a weapon against organized religion and people of faith before anything else. As long as these negative views exist, I don’t see how we can get past this growing animosity.

    Further, I think a growing cultural revisionist view of what a right is from one side is also creating a larger divide. Many things that these people think of as “rights” traditionalists understand as “privileges.” Further, many things these people attack as not rights traditionalists would see as the foundation of human rights.

    Lastly, there are times where you literally can’t compromise. Either a person uses a certain bathroom or they don’t. Either a person publicly supports something or they don’t. These are very serious things that can’t be compromised away. A “you stay on your side of the line” approach is as close as we can get.

  • Vintage ME Kaysville, UT
    April 27, 2019 2:20 p.m.

    Overall this is an excellent article. However, read very carefully one might conclude that it's carefully slanted toward the LGBTQ side. Note that in the statement "Few bills related to religious freedom or LGBTQ nondiscrimination protections receive bipartisan support, and many are one-sided, concerned about only the needs of religious LEADERS or LGBTQ PEOPLE, instead of both ..." Why this disparity? Is the author of the opinion that our religious leaders are not representing the concerns of people of faith? I sincerely hope not but I am concerned when I see comments like this.

  • J2 Riverton, UT
    April 27, 2019 1:43 p.m.

    You can't force someone to do something that they disagree with. That is where the line ought to be drawn.

    Unfortunately, we have far too many laws on the books that force people to do things they don't want to do or associate with people they don't want to associate with.

    Until some people are willing to give up fighting for the ability to use the force of government as a weapon against the religious, this issue won't go away.

  • Laura Bilington Maple Valley, WA
    April 27, 2019 10:43 a.m.

    @RiDal wrote,

    "If you go back further in human history, you can see that the Christian Churches have always recognized Black priests, and all races."

    Absolutely not true. The mid-nineteenth century Christian missionaries to Hawaii were happy to convert the locals to Christianity but it was several decades before they would permit a native Hawaiian to be ordained as a minister.

  • Ranch Here, UT
    April 27, 2019 8:50 a.m.

    @IJ;

    It isn't "compromise" when you allow religious business owners to discriminate against LGBT customers but not other customers in the name of religion. It isn't compromise when they get to discriminate against LGBT customers but LGBT business owners don't get to discriminate against religious customers. The answer is very simple - treat ALL customers the same - if your religion doesn't allow that, it's the wrong religion.

    @GgaryP;

    I couldn't care less what you believe; I care that you want to use your "religion" as an excuse for discrimination. Jesus NEVER said it was against his gospel to bake a cake for a "sinner".

    @Red;

    I take your use of the words "ilk" and "liberal" as badges of honor. You claim that a BUSINESS Transaction of la few hours labor - for which they are paid - is "slavery" but you have no trouble forcing a woman into slavery for 9 months to a blob of cells. That's true hypocrisy.

    @RiDal;

    The definition of marriage has included gay couples for 1000's of years. YOU'RE the one trying to re-define it.

  • New to Utah Provo, UT
    April 26, 2019 11:40 p.m.

    It is clear at least in my opinion that the ACLU is spearheading an effort to give more rights to LGBTQ and take away rights from Christians or traditional value individuals. Just examine the bathroom issues they’ve supported.

  • Jeremiah S Fielding, UT
    April 26, 2019 5:29 p.m.

    I think that the Golden Rule applies here. The best way to preserve your own rights is to protects the rights of others. Put another way, don't try to deprive others of rights that you would not want to be deprived of yourself.

    Do you want to marry? Have a family? Be treated fairly in public accommodations? Pass on property? Work at a job and have fair housing? Believe in X, Y, or Z? Worship how you choose? Then don't try to deprive others of those rights. It's very simple.

    Learn how to have empathy for people different from you. Ask them what their lives are like. And listen, without speaking. Try to put yourself in their shoes.

    All of these ways of treating others may seem like cliches--we've heard this stuff since Kindergarten. These are not grand mysteries! Treat others as you yourself want to be treated! Don't use the machinery of democracy to constrain the rights of others. Use it to protect and defend. Use it to expand humanity.

  • 10CC Bountiful, UT
    April 26, 2019 4:54 p.m.

    @RiDal - when the abolition movement got started, the consensus interpretation was that slavery was sanctioned by the Bible. ("Did Jesus eradicate slavery? No.")

    Abolitionists had no effective religious response.

    Gradually, the nation began seeing more & more that slavery was morally reprehensible, and today it is almost impossible to find a Christian who claims slavery was Biblically supported.

    Interpretations and understandings change and evolve.

  • 212degrees , 00
    April 26, 2019 3:33 p.m.

    The way I see it, religious people discriminating against anyone, solely because their religious belief tells them to discriminate against them, should never be acceptable.

  • Frozen Fractals Salt Lake City, UT
    April 26, 2019 2:35 p.m.

    @RiDal
    "There may have been racists within religion, but no significant religion has ever taught that it was immoral to "be Black" ."

    I don't know what you consider to be a significant religion but I can think of one that decades ago had some choice words about interracial marriage or the notion of dark skin being a curse with speculative assertions about why they are black.

  • HateNo2 PROVO, UT
    April 26, 2019 2:33 p.m.

    To GrainOfSalt and others who persist in believing that there is a "gay" lifestyle--rubbish. Same-sex attraction is not a matter of a person deciding how to live. Rather it is a question of accepting who you are and how you were physically formed. We "religious" folks here in Utah county may have a lifestyle--we don't drink, cuss, whore, smoke, or dress provocatively. Those elements of our behavior constitute a lifestyle and it is one of our own choosing. Furthermore, we can change that anytime we want. Gays and lesbians can't change who they are (please don't confuse sexual orientation with gender identity--very different matters. Please take a bit of well-meaning advice: go to your nearest LDS bookstore and buy a copy of Greg Prince's new book on Gays and Mormons. Read it. Think about it. Be informed by it. Then go out and act towards others as you want them to act toward you. We'll all be better off for it.

  • Ernest T. Bass Bountiful, UT
    April 26, 2019 2:20 p.m.

    If your religion tells you that it's fine taking away the rights of others then it's not a religion, it's a political party and should be taxed.

  • IJ Hyrum, Ut
    April 26, 2019 2:19 p.m.

    Let's just accept that everyone is discriminated against by someone - and it doesn't matter which way the door swings or what issue there is. Most everyone wants what they want and when they don't get it their way they believe they are being offended. It is difficult to make laws that placate everyone; and it has nothing to do with what you do as a consenting adult. It involves everybody. The defendants in the Colorado Backery case feel like they were wronged; so would of the baker if the decision had of gone the other way - both wanted their rights. You can't have black and white at the same time, but you can have grey. Compromise, reaching across the aisle and trying to understand that point of view, and then seeing where you could give some, so they could give some and each could get a little win and a little give. Otherwise we just keep calling each other names.

  • ConradGurch Salt Lake City, Utah
    April 26, 2019 2:13 p.m.

    How do people find out if someone is LGBTQ?

  • GgaryP Provo, UT
    April 26, 2019 1:51 p.m.

    @swsmartlady - Mesa, AZ
    Unfortunately, there will never be any common ground. The reason? Because LGBT people and those who support them want to force people who have religious beliefs and live by their religion to do things that are against their belief. And when a person won't do what they believe to be against their religion then the LGBT community files lawsuits against that person, rather than find a different baker. I don't personally care what the LGBT community does or says, but my experience is that they have a big chip on their shoulder and will take anyone to court for not believing the way they do. So long as they continue to force their beliefs on others there will never be any common ground. And living someone's religion and beliefs, and disagreeing to bake a cake is NOT forcing their beliefs on the LBGT community, no matter what they thiink.

  • RedShirtMIT Cambridge, MA
    April 26, 2019 1:42 p.m.

    To "Ranch" your ilk are pushing laws that force people to participate in events that they don't want to participate in. We used to call that slavery.

    So what you are saying is that it is ok for the people that were once oppressed to now be the oppressors.

  • RiDal Sandy, UT
    April 26, 2019 1:36 p.m.

    @10cc@RiDal - "Racial Discrimination has always been wrong". This is 1000% incorrect. (Do people seriously believe this? Has our literacy rate dropped precipitously?)

    Irony alert: You realize that the USA was almost never formed at all because of religious opposition to slavery ? Google "The Great Compromise".

    If you go back further in human history, you can see that the Christian Churches have always recognized Black priests, and all races. Yes, racial discrimination has always been wrong; but humans have always been imperfect.

  • RiDal Sandy, UT
    April 26, 2019 1:32 p.m.

    @Ranch - Here: "You keep using the word "delusion" - you should realize that your god is nothing but a "delusion" itself. "

    Well, there you go. on some issues there really can be no meaningful "compromise". No matter which side you are on, when "nutrition" tries to compromise with "poison" the result is always "death".
    That is why humans gather and separate into different societies. That is why we "tolerate" things that we disagree with. America is already one of the most tolerant societies on Earth, as evidenced by the fact that we have this conversation.
    But "tolerant" does not mean "always acquiesce to the less restrictive moral code". Society tolerates a lot of things, and the tolerated minorities should tolerate the cultural moral standards of the vast majority.

    Let me clarify: all persons deserve all human rights.
    But there simply is no "right to redefine marriage" or "right to declare a new gender" or "right to force everyone else to approve of you".

  • eigerjoe Sandy, UT
    April 26, 2019 1:19 p.m.

    LGBTQ rights, religious freedom, and discrimination. I am finding these topics and these type of articles tired, boring, and over-used. We are never going to have universal agreement or consensus on these subjects. Let everyone believe what they may about religion, gender, and sexual orientation - and let's move on.

  • 10CC Bountiful, UT
    April 26, 2019 1:18 p.m.

    @McFadden - in searching for ideals, the Founders also listed self-evident truths that they didn't really believe in themselves, like "all men are created equally" (unless you're not white).

    So, in the spirit of what the Founders gave us, it's not unreasonable to think they expected we'd be defining self-evident truths for our different times. Women can vote now, as can Native Americans and African Americans, who are no longer slaves.

    @RiDal - "Racial Discrimination has always been wrong". This is 1000% incorrect. (Do people seriously believe this? Has our literacy rate dropped precipitously?)

    Actually, the battle for racial civil rights is the blueprint for the LGBTQ community, who hope to achieve similar levels of equality that MLK and others fought so hard for.

  • Ranch Here, UT
    April 26, 2019 1:01 p.m.

    @RiDal;

    You keep using the word "delusion" - you should realize that your god is nothing but a "delusion" itself.

    As for "immorality" - that is and has always been subjective. Furthermore, homosexuality has always and will always be with us. Those of us who are homosexual are NORMAL for us. Just because being heterosexual is normal for you does NOT make it "immoral" for us. Time for you to grow up and realize that your superstitions are the only "delusions" around here.

    Finally, if you can't treat others equally in the public sphere, you do NOT deserve to be treated equally yourself.

  • TheRealDJT Sandy, UT
    April 26, 2019 12:50 p.m.

    @Uteofferouus: "Sounds like maybe the God we worship preaches a different gospel than the God you worship?"

    But is it "God"?...or "the other guy" ?

  • Macfarren Dallas, TX
    April 26, 2019 12:49 p.m.

    The founders listed 'self-evident' truths in the Declaration. But there are some truths that are so 'self-evident' that they have no need to be listed or even discussed. For instance, men are men, and women are women, and thinking you are the opposite gender, or making up a gender is not truth, no matter how 'true' it feels for you. It never was and never will be. It has nothing to do with religion, it is embedded into the fundamental building blocks of life.

    You can say a circle is a square. You might even find a large number of people to agree with you. But it does not make it so.

    "If you can keep your head when all about you
    Are losing theirs and blaming it on you..."

    "Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
    And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!"

  • RiDal Sandy, UT
    April 26, 2019 12:30 p.m.

    Here is the sticking point, and why the LGBTQ+ rights issue is truly unique.

    "Discrimination" is not automatically "wrong". We discriminate all the time.
    "Racial discrimination" has always been recognized as wrong. There may have been racists within religion, but no significant religion has ever taught that it was immoral to "be Black" . Racists have always been going directly against the teaching of every significant religion.
    So the racial civil rights movement was a declaration that we are finally going to live up to our highest values.

    In contrast, whether you support LGBTQ+ rights or not, the simple historical fact is that sexual aberrations have been considered "immoral" throughout all human history. So to demand government-enforced acceptance of LGBTQ+ "rights" represents the first instance of the American government forcing people to directly violate their moral principles. Also, most of these things are not even "rights" at all. They are "wants" by people who want to normalize LGBTQ+ behaviors. A "T" person may have the right to "be" any way they want, but they do not have the right to force everyone else to participate in what most would call "a delusion".

  • Karen R. Houston, TX
    April 26, 2019 12:18 p.m.

    @ Count Rushmore

    "When you have a group of people who recognize the self-evident truth that men and women are different..."

    …you're among a group that hasn't been informed of what reality can look like at the chromosomal level.

    @ MsW.

    "Actually, the righteous know what sin is, there's no mistake."

    Not really. It very much depends on when you live and in what culture. What was considered sinful 1,000, 500, even 50 years ago isn't necessarily regarded as such today. And then there are the things like slavery that the Christian holy book condones, but most now believe is sinful. Finally, some sects believe in continuing revelation, which to me requires that you remain open to the prospect of change.

    So that's why I think believers' confidence in this particular belief isn't justified.

    @ dski

    "the early immigrants came here…not to determine or practice their gender identities."

    As meaningful as saying they didn't come here to invent baseball.

    I wish more religious people kept in mind that it is secular law that rescued them from the cycle of persecuting each other (and nonbelievers) out of the certainty of their beliefs.

  • Ranch Here, UT
    April 26, 2019 12:17 p.m.

    @GrainOfSalt;

    Prove your god isn't just a mythological superstition first. Once it's proved, then it'll have relevance; otherwise it isn't, and shouldn't be a factor.

    Red says:

    "it is because it is the LGBTQ+ community that is constantly attacking the religious one."

    -- Yeah, we're the ones passing laws allowing us to refuse products and services to you. We tried to pass laws that prevented hetero marriages. We passed laws making hetero sex illegal. You see where this is going? You "religious" are clearly the ones doing the attacking, not the other way around. Why don't you try using the truth for a change?

    @Jacobiuntherus;

    Nobody is trying to say that churches have to let us into their temples; you and I both know that the gov't would not force that. You couldn't pay me enough to have my marriage to my husband "sealed" in your temples.

    I had my name removed from the LDS roles, if anyone ever tries to put me back after I'm dead, you can rest assured, my ghost will come back and haunt the holy-heck out of them.

  • CMTM , 00
    April 26, 2019 11:55 a.m.

    Karen R.. If you believe your god is responsible for the natural world and our capacity to learn about it, then IMO you have to consider the possibility that your god wanted you to learn how you've been mistaken about sexual orientation and gender. They just aren't as cut and dried as we once believed. Another religious view:

    Thai Buddhist author Bunmi, believes that homosexuality stems from "lower level spirits" (phi-sang-thewada), a factor that is influenced by one's past life Many Buddhists view it as the mark of a person born with a disability as a direct consequence for past sins

  • Nathan Andelin West Jordan, UT
    April 26, 2019 11:49 a.m.

    I agree with a key point of the article; Discussions that lead to understanding are better than lawsuits.

    People need to be able to have faith that logic and persuasion are more effective at changing opponents minds, spirits, and behaviors than legal precedents where winners take all.

    I should warn against declarations such as "That's just the way I am, or the way that God created me". Self-actualization and other terms that describe human progress are a process which are ultimately not constrained by time.

  • EscherEnigma Ridgecrest, CA
    April 26, 2019 11:14 a.m.

    @Jacobiuntherus
    "You attempt to deceive that many LGBTQ folks wouldn't persecute religious folks for their beliefs (like get you fired if you believe in traditional marriage). You pretend that there aren't activist gays who harass and shun religious folks for their beliefs."
    First, I claimed nothing of the sort. I pointed out that the fate you fear is the fate that's been enforced on others for decades.

    And since you missed the actual point, I'll repeat it: Either (A) enforcing non-discrimination laws is persecution, or (B) enforcing non-discrimination laws is not persecution.

    But whether it is (A) or (B) does not depend on whether you're talking about non-discrimination laws that cover race, sex, religion, national origin, disability status, sexual orientation, veteran status, etc. or any other possibly-protected class.

    Or to put it another way: Either we all have to suck it up and play nice, or we all get to bare our teeth and go for the throat. But you don't get to go for the throat while I have to play nice. No special rights.

  • RedShirtMIT Cambridge, MA
    April 26, 2019 11:10 a.m.

    To "rlynn" it is because it is the LGBTQ+ community that is constantly attacking the religious one.

    To "Karen R." but the APA doesn't know how homosexuality develops. They don't know if it is learned or inborn. How do you know that it is inborn?

    To "UtahBlueDevil" from what I have seen people leave organized religions when they see that the religion is bowing to political pressures or else as become an extension of a political organization.

  • Ernest T. Bass Bountiful, UT
    April 26, 2019 11:07 a.m.

    LGBTQ just want the same rights as everyone else.

    In no way, shape or form does that infringe on anybody's religion. If you think gay people having the same rights as you have is somehow an infringement on your religion you should take a long hard look at what human rights are.

    Does a religion grant rights to it's followers while at the same time try to take away rights of someone else? Then that isn't a religion and it should be subject to being taxed.

  • GrainOfSalt Draper, UT
    April 26, 2019 11:01 a.m.

    At the end of the day the disagreement will ultimately come down to how much one side, in this case the LGBQT group, will get to control the actions, and to some degree, the thoughts of the other--the so-called religious folks. The roles were reversed a few decades ago but the political/societal pendulum has swung the other way. But also lost in the discussion is "morals". Isn't that really the underlying disagreement? A lot of people believe, based on a higher authority (God), it is morally wrong to practice a gay/lesbian/bi/trans (etc.) lifestyle. The other side insists others accept and respect their chosen lifestyle--to do otherwise is to be thrown in the ever-expanding umbrella of discrimination, even when the disagreement is respectful, kind and loving. This is such a sensitive issue, because there will be "injustices" on either side, depending on ones perspective. Ultimately, the question will come down to, for me and many others, is there really a higher power with higher authority and "laws"? If there is, then there will be nothing anyone can do to change my position. I will be kind, respectful and loving, but not accepting of the other position.

  • Ranch Here, UT
    April 26, 2019 11:02 a.m.

    If religious people want to discriminate against LGBT people, then they must be willing to face discrimination themselves, anything else is hypocritical.

    "I don't want to be discriminated against for my religious beliefs, but I want to use my religious beliefs to discriminate against LGBT people". -- that isn't going to fly.

    Texas is considering laws that allow ANY "religious" business owner to refuse services to ANY gay person. Texas is only 1 of many states currently considering these "religious freedom" laws - BUT, and this is the key point, it is ONLY LGBT customers which can be refused services on "religious" grounds. That says all we need to know; it isn't really about "religious freedom", it is clearly about anti-LGBT animus.

    @dski;

    And, apparently, they've become the oppressors they fled.

    @Jacobiuntherus;

    At the end of the day, our "religious" "friends" are going to have to learn that they're not going to be allowed to discriminate against LGBT customers in the public sphere. Common ground: Everyone is treated EQUALLY.

    @Ms.W;

    The self-"righteous" are fooling themselves.

  • Whale of Fortune Salt Lake City, UT
    April 26, 2019 10:49 a.m.

    It seems clear to me that the progressive sexualization of America, especially children, has fundamentally changed its culture.

    Exposing children to harmful materials is aptly considered child abuse, yet America somehow allows it to happen on the internet and the problem has become worse by making it possible for adults to contact kids anonymously on their cell phones (e.g., Snapchat, Kik). The way I see it, the "harm" is manifesting itself in the pain, anxiety, and confusion of, especially, the younger generation. The way they see it, their pain is caused by those who believe in the creation (e.g., man, woman, marriage, fidelity, children).

    I sympathize with their distress but it's neither "phobic" nor "hateful" to disagree with their perception of reality.

  • Deej Salt Lake City, UT
    April 26, 2019 10:46 a.m.

    Lots of judgement in here from people who don't know the first thing about what it's like to be gay and how you are treated. Newsflash--there has been and continues to be discrimination. And it's simply wrong.

  • Jacobiuntherus Salt Lake City, UT
    April 26, 2019 10:45 a.m.

    @EscherEnigma:

    You purposely misrepresented the context of my comment - so there goes your credibility. You attempt to deceive that many LGBTQ folks wouldn't persecute religious folks for their beliefs (like get you fired if you believe in traditional marriage). You pretend that there aren't activist gays who harass and shun religious folks for their beliefs.

    @T-money$$$
    You commented: "but if the expression of your beliefs require you to actively discriminate against other minority groups that aren't presenting a threat to you or your family, then frankly - you need a new religion".

    Baloney! First of all, my faith does not require me to actively discriminate against other minority groups. I am not against serving gay weddings or the like. I don't believe in discrimination in employment or housing for gays. Where do I draw the line? I do not believe gay couples should be able to have their "marriages" sealed in LDS temples. I believe God set forth the requirements for that - go argue with him.

  • Peanut Gallery Sandy, UT
    April 26, 2019 10:31 a.m.

    The main points of the article were missed by some readers who left comments. Finding common ground, having discussions about both sides of the issues, and living in a mutually respectful and empathetic way accomplishes more good for society than a winner-takes-all mentality. The litigious approach often has unintended consequences. Neither side will achieve their ideal scenario, but being less divisive creates a more harmonious society, which leads to solutions!

  • Henry Drummond San Jose, CA
    April 26, 2019 10:29 a.m.

    This article, and many others like it, advocates the concept of "fairness for all." But what does that mean? Why is it "fairness for all" for an adoption agency that takes taxpayer dollars to discriminate against LGBTQ couples in the name of Religious Liberty? If the same thing happened to a Latter-day Saint couple I doubt you would consider it "fair?"

  • Ms.W South Jordan, UT
    April 26, 2019 10:27 a.m.

    Karen R " your god wanted you to learn how you've been mistaken about sexual orientation and gender"

    Actually, the righteous know what sin is, there's no mistake. They are the ones who are constantly striving, repenting and relying on Christ. If the Godless weren't busy thumbing their nose at God and His laws, maybe they could understand this concept.

  • EscherEnigma Ridgecrest, CA
    April 26, 2019 10:16 a.m.

    @Jacobiuntherus
    "At the end of the day, our LGBTQ community members are going to have to find ways to understand and not persecute people of faith for their beliefs about traditional morals and traditional marriage."

    (A) If expecting folks to obey non-discrimination laws is "persecution", then religious folks have been "persecuting" everyone since 1964.

    (B) I love arguments like this! "Sure, we had sodomy laws, marriage bans, adoption bans, foster bans, bans on civil unions, domestic partnerships, employment bans, death registries... sure we ignored wills, living wills and medical directives... but it's *you* who needs to not persecute *us*".

    Face it: the *worst* you claim we do to you (expecting you to obey non-discrimination laws and not discriminate against us in public accommodations) is
    (B.1) something you still do to us (expecting us to obey non-discrimination laws and not discriminate against you in public accommodations)
    and (B.2) the *least* of what you have verifiably done to us.

    And (C) If non-discrimination laws are really "persecution", then go after the CRA. Until you do, no one believes you're serious.

  • T-money$$$ Salt Lake City, UT
    April 26, 2019 9:43 a.m.

    We outlaw certain behaviors because they create a potential harm towards society.

    It might seem like a strange concept for a cis-gendered heterosexual to understand, but not being able to be express your personal identity for fear of backlash, bullying, discrimination, or being deemed "unacceptable" is very, very detrimental for minority individuals and deteriorates one's mental and emotional health over time.

    There is empirical data to show this - suicides, drug overdoses, incidents of violence - etc.

    Self-actualization is the end goal of human existence according to Maslow - after all other human needs (water, clothing, security, etc) are met. This is nearly impossible to achieve in a society that sees basic aspects of your identity - like your gender and sexuality - as invalid or broken.

    Yes your religion (or at least spiritual health) is part of your identity as well, but if the expression of your beliefs require you to actively discriminate against other minority groups that aren't presenting a threat to you or your family, then frankly - you need a new religion.

  • Dal Pal Rexburg, ID
    April 26, 2019 9:36 a.m.

    I think the real solution is to not perform surgeries on kids to change their genders, that's pretty mean to do to them, especially because they don't fully understand it. If we frown upon choosing careers for kids at a young age, or choosing their spouses at a young age, then why is it acceptable to make the choice of a huge surgery on them. Is it just so people can try to look good by being part of a movement, putting the consequences on their kids?

  • Uteofferouus Salt Lake City, UT
    April 26, 2019 9:29 a.m.

    @rlynn:

    Sounds like maybe the God we worship preaches a different gospel than the God you worship?

  • Jacobiuntherus Salt Lake City, UT
    April 26, 2019 9:27 a.m.

    At the end of the day, our LGBTQ community members are going to have to find ways to understand and not persecute people of faith for their beliefs about traditional morals and traditional marriage. The reason why this must happen is because our LGBTQ community members want to be understood and not persecuted for their non traditional moral beliefs and very different life style.

    So we are going to have to find some common ground and also build bridges to uncommon ground and make it work for everyone. If either side thinks they can have it all then no progress will happen.

    I certainly don't want to be the enemy of my religious neighbors, I want to be their friend and get along and show respect for everyone's basic civil rights and religious liberties.

  • tahnl Francis, UT
    April 26, 2019 9:19 a.m.

    @dski
    The Pilgrims left England and went to Holland for religious freedom. Several years later, they then left Holland because their kids were integrating into the Dutch society and speaking Dutch and the parents didn't like that and they wanted a more 'English' style life.

  • skeptic Phoenix, AZ
    April 26, 2019 9:04 a.m.

    America should stand for; To each his/her own. But, there are those who believe they should own their own and have ownership of others owns also. It is called the privileged of religious hypocrisy and political corruption.

  • Eponymous Eggplant Salt Lake City, UT
    April 26, 2019 8:48 a.m.

    "...57 percent of U.S. adults who identify with or lean toward the Democratic party say gays and lesbians face "a lot" of discrimination...."

    It's no surprise that they have come to believe the identity politics propaganda being spewed by the media/entertainment/democrat complex. I would love to see a poll broken down by Democrat vs Republican as to how many people believe Jussie Smollett is a victim of an anti-LGBT, anti-black hate crime, as he claims, notwithstanding the documentary evidence and having been charged with more than a dozen crimes. I have a theory that he would be considered a victim only by the most hard-core adherents of identity politics, namely Democrats, and by virtually zero Republicans. It would be interesting to test that theory with observation.

  • EscherEnigma Ridgecrest, CA
    April 26, 2019 8:31 a.m.

    @dski
    "I know this much, the early immigrants came here from England to find a better place for practicing their religious beliefs, not to determine or practice their gender identities."
    Nah, you *believe* that, you don't *know* that.

    Fact is, anytime you have a "new frontier", folks who don't quite fit in into mainstream society... gay men and women, men who want to live as women and vice-versa, racial minorities who feel oppressed in their once-upon-home... will be among the first to go.

    You just don't hear about it because folks like to sanitize history.

    @What in Tucket
    "The Trump adminstration has a global initiative to decriminalize homosexuals who are considered criminals in some countries."
    You do know there's no evidence that's actually happening, right? Grenell made that one declaration, Trump said he had no idea what folks were talking about, and nothing more has been said or done. Fact is, nothings going to happen now for the same reason nothing has happened before: Saudi Arabia is too important for oil and the stability of the Middle East. President Trump could always prove me wrong, but I wouldn't bet on it.

  • Frozen Fractals Salt Lake City, UT
    April 26, 2019 8:13 a.m.

    @Christoph
    "Our previous president's two appointees to the Supreme Court support law suit nation"

    Our current president has long had a personal habit of both threatening to sue and suing all sorts of people for oftentimes absurd reasons.

  • Frozen Fractals Salt Lake City, UT
    April 26, 2019 8:09 a.m.

    @Mainly Me
    ["...57 percent of U.S. adults who identify with or lean toward the Democratic party say gays and lesbians face "a lot" of discrimination...."

    Of course, they will. This is the victimhood party.]

    A Hill-Harris poll last month found that 75 percent of Republicans said that white Americans are subject to discrimination.

  • Furry1993 MSC, UT
    April 26, 2019 8:07 a.m.

    @Mainly Me - April 26, 2019 12:51 a.m.
    "...57 percent of U.S. adults who identify with or lean toward the Democratic party say gays and lesbians face "a lot" of discrimination...."

    Of course, they will. This is the victimhood party.

    ----------------------

    Actually it's because these adults recognize the truth when they see it.

    BTW -- I'm a life-long Republican going back to the 1960s when I was first eligible to vote (and am a moderate/centrist Republican, not a far right extreme authoritarian), and I also see the truth in the statement that gays and lesbians face "a lot" of discrimination . . .

  • What in Tucket Provo, UT
    April 26, 2019 8:06 a.m.

    The Trump adminstration has a global initiative to decriminalize homosexuals who are considered criminals in some countries. Why did the previous administration not do this?

  • dski Herriman, UT
    April 26, 2019 8:02 a.m.

    I know this much, the early immigrants came here from England to find a better place for practicing their religious beliefs, not to determine or practice their gender identities.

  • swsmartlady Mesa, AZ
    April 26, 2019 7:42 a.m.

    I don't understand why this is still even an issue and continuing to happen? How about treating all people with respect period?
    Don't believe in gay relationships? Great! Then don't have one. Don't believe there is such a thing as gender identification? Fantastic! Stay the gender that you are.
    You do you

  • Count Rushmore Salt Lake City, UT
    April 26, 2019 7:35 a.m.

    When you have a group of people who recognize the self-evident truth that men and women are different, and who want to take reasonable steps to ensure equality of opportunity for men and women, and then you have another group of people who believe that men and women can switch gender by simply "identifying" as another (potentially made-up) gender, there is going to be polarization.

    A simple example: allowing biological men to compete in sporting events with women is fundamentally anti-woman, for the simple and self-evident reason that men have different physical characteristics than women.

    It's deeply concerning that so many people can be hoodwinked into following an ideology that is irrational at its core. They can be led to accept equally irrational beliefs, e.g., that conservatives are Nazis, self-defense is immoral, speech is violence, the state is responsible for your well-being, and so on.

  • unrepentant progressive Bozeman, MT
    April 26, 2019 7:25 a.m.

    Mainly Me

    The comment about Democrats being an aggrieved lot is uncalled for.

    This article is about the need for parties on the polar opposite sides of the LGBT anti-discrimination debate to talk to one another and seek common ground. Your comment does not inform, it inflames.

    What purpose does that serve? Or perhaps this kind of dialog is "entertainment" used to taunt those with different attitudes on political issues. Either way, it is counter to the proposals that people of good intent are trying to put forward in this country.

    Why don't you argue about the efficacy of seeking common ground rather than engage in extraneous name calling? Or maybe help find common ground?

  • Ming on Mongo ,
    April 26, 2019 7:17 a.m.

    Good article, thx. Though we should probably note that it's kinda hard to have much of a 'dialogue', if one side has already decided that the other one is 'evil' and "an abomination against God".

  • Macfarren Dallas, TX
    April 26, 2019 7:00 a.m.

    This is at least the second time this has been a leading story on DN. Why?

  • UtahBlueDevil Alpine, UT
    April 26, 2019 6:43 a.m.

    People scratch their heads why people are leaving "organized" religion - why many youth who are self proclaimed "spiritual" souls disassociate themselves from churches. But it is beliefs that this is a zero-sum game, a binary decision.... you either are for LGBTQ rights OR religious rights, that forces these false narratives.

    That fact is you can be for both. Rather you should be for both. There is no conflict between being for the right to practice religion any way you like (as long as legally), and granting others the right to live their lives as their conscience dictate. It doesn't mean you condone are approve of others decisions, but rather that they have the right to make those decisions.

    Compelling others to live by your standards, to live only with like minded people, is not what this life is about. Its about personally making decisions, and living a life that supports your beliefs, and allowing others to do likewise.

    Discrimination against any people based on their faith, or their life style choices is wrong. Those seeking religious freedom should be the ones supporting others quest for their rights the most. Not a zero sum battle, rather its additive.

  • christoph Brigham City, UT
    April 26, 2019 6:10 a.m.

    Our previous president's two appointees to the Supreme Court support law suit nation, meaning law suits for every category, from little league sports to wedding cakes. Current president is a normal, ordinary, common person since he believes in religious liberty and capitalism. Economy and trade have been around longer than government and are more important. You can survive and thrive and flourish and enrich your life without government. There is no government without faith and hope and united community, which close-knit community has bright future. People who visit their neighbors are more powerful than media and universities and Hollywood.

  • Karen R. Houston, TX
    April 26, 2019 5:52 a.m.

    "'It's really, really hard to ask for your inherent worth to be respected while you're denying the inherent worth of everybody around you,' she said."

    Religious beliefs aren't inherent. They're taught. It's only LGBTs whose inherent worth is being denied. For example, Franklin Graham's recent call for candidate Pete Buttigieg to repent for being who he is. Yes, homosexuals - repent for having a sexual orientation just like every other human being! You too, transgenders. How dare you choose a chromosomal variation that's at odds with your physical features! How dare you act on who you are just like everyone else does!

    The more I learn about how sexual orientation and gender are developed, and all the variations that can occur, the more I see how our notions of morality about them have been flat wrong. As wrong as we were about the import of red hair and left-handedness.

    If you believe your god is responsible for the natural world and our capacity to learn about it, then IMO you have to consider the possibility that your god wanted you to learn how you've been mistaken about sexual orientation and gender. They just aren't as cut and dried as we once believed.

  • bjeanb Orem, UT
    April 26, 2019 5:31 a.m.

    “Americans increasingly attack the people they disagree with rather than seek compromise or acknowledge complexity.”
    It’s much easier to hate than to love, and American attitudes have hardened, cocooning us into our bitter little shells as protection against “the others.”

  • Zzzptm Dallas, TX
    April 26, 2019 3:51 a.m.

    We are better off if we work together. Best words in the whole article. :-)

  • rlynn Brandon, FL
    April 26, 2019 2:53 a.m.

    "Some people act as if LGBTQ discrimination doesn't exist, and others as if religious freedom claims are motivated by anti-LGBTQ animus" If religious freedom acts are not motivated by anti-LGBTQ animus why is that every time religious freedom is talked about it centers around the LGBTQ community? Why is it that as a Gay man all hateful acts and discrimination that I have experienced is based on religious beliefs? Where is my religious freedom? For the God I worship tells me I am not a sinner because I am Gay, married to a man, my God tells me that He loves me they way that I am, because he created me the way that I am - Gay. Where is my religious freedom to believe what I know is true and to follow my heart?

  • Mainly Me Werribee, 00
    April 26, 2019 12:51 a.m.

    "...57 percent of U.S. adults who identify with or lean toward the Democratic party say gays and lesbians face "a lot" of discrimination...."

    Of course, they will. This is the victimhood party.