Latter-day Saint leaders call for 'fairness for all' while opposing the Equality Act

A look at heated debates over legislation that would expand federal LGBTQ nondiscrimination protections.

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  • rexwhitmer , 00
    May 16, 2019 7:47 p.m.

    I am in my eighty fifth year of life, and I've been fortunate to meet and become friends with a whole lot of people. Often I didn't agree with their ideals and so forth, but we respected each other. We spoke of personal things without attempting to explain or condemn. I've known and worked with quite a few. I did not attempt to make them over, nor did they me. We were friends who could talk confidentially with each other without condemnation. The persons I've known have been both male and female. God sent me here to see MY behavior, not to condemn theirs. So long as persons of this nature respect me, I'll respect them, and to date, I've never had a problem with them, so why condemn them? I am not their judge. God will do that as he will. Making my own salvation is a lifetime process. Hate accomplishes nothing, only sorrow.

  • BarryB Provo, UT
    May 16, 2019 7:52 a.m.

    Does this remind anyone else of the pearl-clutching that was done over the ERA in the 70s? That seems rather quaint now.

  • EscherEnigma Ridgecrest, CA
    May 15, 2019 12:21 p.m.

    "I also agree they have the right to worship/practice how they choose that all religion needs believe that religious freedom needs to be protected."
    But just the anti-gay religious freedoms, right?

    Or am I honestly supposed to believe that any of y'all are interested in protecting...

    anti-black religious freedom
    anti-woman religious freedom
    anti-Irish religious freedom
    anti-Jew religious freedom
    anti-disabled religious freedom
    anti-old people religious freedom
    anti-"this person complained about my discrimination to the EEOC" religious freedom.

    I know religious folks like to pick and choose which doctrine to actually follow, but the government doesn't get to play that game. If "religious freedom needs to be protected", that means *all* of it, not just the parts you happen to agree with.

  • EscherEnigma Ridgecrest, CA
    May 15, 2019 12:06 p.m.

    Consider three scenarios.

    Scenario (A) Person A and Person B are both obligated to ignore what Person A's god thinks of gays, and render services regardless of that religious belief.

    Scenario (B) Person A and Person B are both permitted to consider what Person A's god thinks of gays, and can refuse services based on that religious belief.

    Scenario (C) Person A is permitted to consider what Person A's god thinks of gays and refuse services based on that religious belief, but Person B is obligated to ignore what Person A's god thinks of gay and render services regardless of that religious belief.

    According to the LDS church, Scenarios (A) and (B) (in which Person A and Person B are treated the same) are "unfair".

    According to the LDS church, Scenario (C) (in which Person A and Person B are treated differently) is "fairness for all".

  • Wynniscool Norman, OK
    May 15, 2019 8:23 a.m.

    While I disagree with the Church's stance on LGBTQ, I also agree they have the right to worship/practice how they choose that all religion needs believe that religious freedom needs to be protected. This is America after all, At the end of the day, any entity that excludes segments of the population based on whatever their religious beliefs are will eventually fade away, unless they adapt to changing attitudes.

  • Chessermesser West Valley City, UT
    May 15, 2019 7:32 a.m.

    The militant LGBT remind of the spoiled girl in the Willie Wonka movie, who always gets what she wants. “I want it right now!”

    They continue to push their agenda to benefit only themselves.

    Others has rights, also, but these militants want those rights removed.

    And if anyone disagrees with the militants, then the militants start talking about discrimination.

    As has been written in the comments before, everyone in the world discriminates to a certain extent. Such discrimination is not illegal, ethnically wrong, discourteous, hurtful, or morally wrong. As I said, we all do it. So the excessive and inappropriate use of the term discrimination by the militant LGBT against those with whom they disagree is tiresome. And not true.

    I believe in fairness for all and in compromise.

  • ERB Eagle Mountain, UT
    May 15, 2019 4:14 a.m.

    I don’t know if anybody else mentioned this but, Animal Farm anyone?

  • Donald Johnson Northern, MI
    May 14, 2019 8:29 p.m.

    I like the Church's statement, and I agree with a fairness for all approach that balances competing rights. I agree with the assessment that these conflicts are poisoning civil discourse.

    Three more key points to consider:
    1. Religious freedom rights and LGBTQ protection rights are not equal, as religious freedom is enshrined in the constitution.
    2. Contrary to some claims, the freedom to exercise religion includes the right not only to believe, but to act according to those beliefs (with only very limited exceptions).
    3. Troubling consequences of the Equality Act that have barely even been mentioned will be from the forced recognition and handling of gender identity preferences that conflict with biological sex, and the safety and fairness problems that result for bathrooms, shower and changing rooms, dorms, girls sports events, etc that I don't think our society is ready for yet.

  • Lilly Munster , 00
    May 14, 2019 7:11 p.m.

    Our LDS family has devoted our lives to studying the history of our beloved Faith.
    We can cite you chapter and verse regarding the discrimination, threats and violence that was inflicted on our LDS fathers and mothers for several generations. We have endured a century of oppression and terror because we were.....different.
    Have we forgotten that history lesson already? Are we to adopt and approve the same senseless bigotries that were inflicted on LDS Americans? How can our faith possibly be injured or destroyed by serving others with kindness and perseverance? How does saying "get out of my shop, I won't serve you in any way" make our Faith respected? Is that Christlike?
    As for our family, to respect and advance our LDS faith, we will not only serve everyone who comes to us for service and advice, but we will do so cheerfully. Our LDS ancestors have taught us many things, probably the best of which is to serve God, forgive those who trespass against us, and to ALWAYS show and live a Christlike, charitable demeanor. Our Faith can take whatever comes, because it is strong and loving, not weak or fearful.
    Thanks for listening.

    May 14, 2019 5:41 p.m.

    The US Constitution states: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. It is not always easy to balance these rights. My pursuit of happiness might encroach on the pursuit of happiness of another. In general, when I am in my home or my church, I should be able to teach, believe and act as I want. When I leave my home or church I should be able to interact in the public square and not be discriminated against because of my teachings and beliefs. I am also not entitled to take my beliefs into the public square and use them as a basis for discriminating against other individuals or groups. The price we pay for not being discriminated against in the public square is that we also give up the right to discriminate.

  • unrepentant progressive Bozeman, MT
    May 14, 2019 2:24 p.m.

    Funny that only the so-called fundamentalist religions are the ones calling for exemptions from discrimination law. That is not the position of all religions in this country. Do the fundamentalists presume to speak for everyone who claims a religious affiliation? Do we allow fundamentalists to insist that their version of the things be the only permitted viewpoint? That chutzpah, IMHO. And probably worse.

    The more proper term for what fundamentalists really want is the Fundamentalist Religious Freedom to Discriminate sort of laws. And as been pointed out, the hypocrisy of it all is baffling. We are not supposed to discriminate against an individual on the basis of religion. Yet some religions claim the right to discriminate, but generally only against those who are LGBT.

    Discrimination of any nature is wrong. This bill seeks to add LGBT individuals and families to the list of protected peoples. It is unfathomable to me that Christianity has become owned by the fundamentalists who seek to implement their viewpoints as the only acceptable in the country.

  • jeclar2006 Oceanside, CA
    May 14, 2019 1:53 p.m.

    RiDal - Sandy, UT
    "Racial discrimination" was a special case, because of the worldwide history of slavery. But in that case, no religion or ethical system ever taught that it was immoral to "be Black". There may have been racists within religions, but they were always acting against the actual moral teachings of the religion.

    This is a highly inaccurate statement. There was a large amount of writing on the subject of the 'inferior races', in most cases the 'inferior races' were dark complex, whether 'black' or 'brown'. There was a great amount written on how to make the 'inferior races' conform morally, despite the belief that they were defective in morals in their 'natural' state.

    Slavery was justified by a number of means including biblical texts, and cultural views. The White race was defined as superior, even when confronted with long standing civilizations such as China and India, and of course Africa was known as the 'Dark Continent'.

    In the case of the LGBT cause, much of the writing of conservatives has used the 'immorality', relative to their bible precepts, to condemn, and call for the exclusion of the LGBT community from open participation in the society.

  • blackattack Orem, UT
    May 14, 2019 9:47 a.m.

    This country was founded on compromise. This zero-sum politics approach leads to an imbalance of rights and freedoms at the expense of another group.

    I think this statement says it all:
    “Ongoing conflict between religious liberty and LGBT rights is poisoning our civil discourse, eroding the free exercise of religion and preventing diverse Americans of good will from living together in respect and peace,” leaders wrote.

  • EscherEnigma Ridgecrest, CA
    May 14, 2019 9:32 a.m.

    "Cali civil unions had all State benefits of marriage."
    And no federal recognition. They weren't equal.

    "We will not give you an easy list of who to harass."
    That's a bit of a Catch-22, isn't it? Give us a list of places to avoid and you claim it's harassment. Don't give us a list and trick us into your store on false pretenses, and then claim it's harassment when we ask for services.

    "Civility requires honesty."
    Yep. And all Ranch was asking is that you be as "honest" as 1960s segregationists. If you don't want my business, then *say so*. And no, no one is impressed with the "well, we'll offer some services, but only some of them". If you wouldn't sell me a birthday cake (Take the Cake from Toledo, Ohio), then warn me off so I don't buy a cookie either.

    "Well, actually, the right to discriminate is the very essence of religious freedom."
    Then you're a hypocrite, because we're all statutorily prohibited from discriminating against religions. If it's so important to your religion that you refuse me service, then you must accept the same.

  • Christmas Carole Hurricane, UT
    May 14, 2019 9:18 a.m.

    THINK whatever you want...IF you don't desire to know REALITY no one can/should force you! THIS is reality...

    "The Equality Act now before Congress is not balanced and does not meet the standard of fairness for all. While providing extremely broad protections for LGBT rights, the Equality Act provides no protections for religious freedom. It would instead repeal long-standing religious rights under the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act, threaten religious employment standards, devastate religious education, defund numerous religious charities and impose secular standards on religious activities and properties. The Church joins other religious organizations that also strongly oppose the Equality Act as unbalanced, fundamentally unfair and a path to further conflict."

  • BobN St. Thomas, 00
    May 14, 2019 8:30 a.m.

    We can already see where this is going. Besides the obvious desire to discriminate against gay people, these "conservatives" hope to eviscerate all civil rights laws by adopting "religious exemptions". Case in point: the Trump administration is on record supporting the TN legislature's desire to adopt "religious exemptions" to existing civil rights law to allow religious adoption agencies to REFUSE to facilitate adoption by MORMON, Jewish, and Catholic couples.

    I would think any religious group which had endured so much persecution in this country's history would be more careful.

    As to "religious liberty", that right belongs to individuals, not to businesses. If a baker doesn't want to bake a cake for a gay couple, it's his boss' job to accommodate him and have someone else do it. No one should be compelled and no customer should be turned away. That is what religious freedom means.

  • Elsleuth Valencia, Ca
    May 14, 2019 8:25 a.m.

    Whenever Congress puts a name to an act, it will have the opposite effect. Three cases in point. The Patriot act sounds like a way to support America but in fact it has made spying on American's commonplace. The Affordable Care Act made medical care much more expensive. And the Equality Act protects the LGBGT community at the expense of religious freedom. Beware when Congress names an act.

  • unrepentant progressive Bozeman, MT
    May 14, 2019 7:36 a.m.

    It appears that the mainstay of certain religious sects in this country is a disdainful estimation of the LGBT population in this country.

    Therefore, one can understand why the hoolaballoo over extending discrmination prohibilition to include the LGBT population in this country. Discrimination prohibilitons that have included race, religion, age, disability.

    Now, I did not realize that the chief purpose of so many religious sects was to keep the LGBT community in a subservient position in America. So I suppose I will have to readjust my thinking on what Christianity and other religions are really all about.

  • IJ Hyrum, Ut
    May 14, 2019 6:52 a.m.

    As I understand the Bill of Rights, there is religious freedom; I see nowhere rights as far sexual orientation goes. I am more than happy to extend rights to all right up to the point where the guarenteed rights of the constitution are trampled. This is a sticky situation because there are those who want what they want and the rest of us be damned. They don't care about the constitution and the rights therein. Fairness for all will never be achieved due to there is no way to give rights to some while preserving the rights of others because desired rights overlap - oil and vinegar. I'm sure the baker feel justice was served while the others feel violated. It seems the Equality Act is set on overriding the 1st Amendment. Shame on anyone who would concock or support such a notion.

  • RiDal Sandy, UT
    May 14, 2019 6:33 a.m.

    @explorer686: "Religious freedom should/will not be a license to discriminate. The church has no valid argument."

    Well, actually, the right to discriminate is the very essence of religious freedom. We discriminate all the time, between good and evil, correct and incorrect, successful and unsuccessful, beneficial and harmful...
    "Discrimination" is the essence of "rational thought", and "immoral things" are the class of things that it is good to discriminate against.

    "Racial discrimination" was a special case, because of the worldwide history of slavery. But in that case, no religion or ethical system ever taught that it was immoral to "be Black". There may have been racists within religions, but they were always acting against the actual moral teachings of the religion. From that recent history, the concept of "discrimination" became dumbed-down so that it is always implied to be bad. But discrimination is what all people do every day.

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    May 14, 2019 6:32 a.m.

    Treating bakeries as public accomadations would be a violation of freedom of expression. In the case of funeral homes owners should have the reasonable right to make employees conform to sex specific dress codes especially considering their heavy faith based business.

    Specialized services like flower arranging and cake designing are artistic expression not public accomadation.

  • the greater truth Bountiful, UT
    May 14, 2019 1:08 a.m.

    How simple is it understand this part of the 1st amendment:

    "Congress shall make no law ... prohibiting the free exercise thereof [religion]"?

    This especially means publicly. This includes the religious' businesses and their right to make a living.

    The civil rights act was never originally intended to protect homosexuality, nor does it override the constitution and its amendments. The constitution is the supreme law of the land.

    What freedom means is that people are free to say and do things you may not like or agree with, publicly.

    Congress cannot pass a law that prohibits religious exercise in a person 's privately owned business.

    This is not a discrimination issue as is falsely claimed, but a rights issue.

    You do not have right to someone else's property or labor(service).

  • Hugh1 , 00
    May 14, 2019 12:55 a.m.

    @Determinism, Utah, Utah "Why would any adversary of religious protections want to affiliate( Work for, live with, practice at?) with the protected religious organizations?"

    Excellent question. If I in any way didn't respect the values or religious beliefs of the people here or of the Church, I wouldn't be here. And I don't believe that the Church hates gay people - quite the opposite. The question is, how does one protect the constitutional rights of each interest. Additionally, many are not in a position to speak out.

    What possible right would I have to tell the Church or it's members what to believe? This includes any matter related to the operation of its religious practices or issues of faith. The question is, where is the line of fairness, sacred v. secular?

    In the public forum, religious beliefs should not trample LGBT peoples rights to live and prosper. The constitutional question of equality, in the long arc of history, will likely resolve along the issues of race. While crossing the secular line may be possible, is there an actual benefit? Finally, along with my quest for equality, I sincerely hope that the Church prospers.

  • Jim G Mesa, AZ
    May 14, 2019 12:14 a.m.

    The problem with the left’s initiatives is they are always based on a zero sum game. In other words you can’t help one group without penalizing another. In this case, religious freedom and rights must be sacrificed in order advance the prospects of the LGBT community.

    May 13, 2019 11:20 p.m.

    @ The Caravan Moves On.

    Yes I think the Church has enough bad press on this LGBT issue and they should lay low politically. They can and should continue to teach the principles no question. But stay out of the politics.

    Also spend more time talking about love, compassion and kindness and less about LGBT, Word of Wisdom and R rate movies. We have so much to offer and we are hung up on the silliest of things.

    Let get focused on Christ and make that the singular meaning of who we are - not the politics of the LGBT. The church has made its statement - now move on.

  • Lilly Munster , 00
    May 13, 2019 11:12 p.m.

    How can any Moral American claim that they oppose discrimination, but not for everyone?
    If you defend any form of "but not Them" you do not support full human rights.
    What would we say if this bill included a provision for discriminating against only LDS Americans?

  • Latter-daySaintForever St. George, UT
    May 13, 2019 9:40 p.m.

    The Church will always be on the right side of history. They will always do the right thing whether it is popular or not. President Nelson is a Prophet of God and as such gets instruction from one who is a higher authority than anyone else on earth. I am very glad that the Church issued a statement against the Equality Act.

  • Tekakaromatagi Dammam, Saudi Arabia
    May 13, 2019 8:18 p.m.

    The issue being debated is not about discriminating or not discriminating. It is whether we will define discrimination so broadly that it includes boycotting. Socially responsible businesses have been boycotting business that goes against their conscience. The various wedding services providers only boycotted gay weddings. But they still baked cakes, provided flower arrangements etc to gay clients.

    The issue is not just religious freedom but freedom of conscience. I can imagine a non-religious doctor having ethical objections to amputate a healthy body part for a man who feels he is a woman.

    In addition, sports associations would be required to allow men who feel that they are women to compete against women. In a sense, women would be redefined out of existence.

  • explorer686 davis, UT
    May 13, 2019 8:01 p.m.

    Religious freedom should/will not be a license to discriminate. The church has no valid argument.

  • Shaun Sandy, UT
    May 13, 2019 7:53 p.m.

    Religious folk are culpable for all this but supporters of gay right supporters need to have empathy for religious people.

    For forever religious folk have called the lgbt a lifestyle like it was a choice and have actively prevented gay marriage in all states and rights for lgbt. Religious folks treated gay people like two parts that could be separated not realizing or wanting to realize that being gay was just part of who they were.

    Now religious folk are upset because their soul is being attacked and all they know is god is part of who they are. They can’t separate the two parts and they are upset that they are mocked and ridiculed for being who they are.

    It sounds like both sides are both teaching and learning what it feels like to be who they are and to be mocked and ridiculed.

  • RedShirtUSouthernNDakotaatHoople Bismarck, ND
    May 13, 2019 7:27 p.m.

    I wonder if the self-righteous followers of Christ posting here could point out where Jesus stated that relegating those you hate to a second class citizenship status in the public square is something he demands. I’d like to see just one reference where Jesus promoted the notion that “we don’t serve your kind in here” is acceptable Christian practice. I’d also like one to show me where Christ said, “And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself unless, of course, your neighbor is LGBTQ; of them you shall demean them, deny them equality under the law, cast them completely under foot and then congratulate yourself for being so like me.”

  • THEREALND Mishawaka, IN
    May 13, 2019 6:54 p.m.

    A call for division disguised as a call for 'fairness for all'. It takes a lot of effort, hard work and wasted energy. Treating everyone equally is so much easier.

  • jeclar2006 Oceanside, CA
    May 13, 2019 6:02 p.m.

    "Religious Freedom" as used by many conservative religious groups is just pure and simply a code word for 'the right to discriminate'.

    No piece of legislation has been proposed that would limit a person from attending a particular house of worship, provided of course they conform to the religion's stated code of behavior, or engaging in some religious activity in any form of mainstream Christian denominations.

    Newer religious systems aren't so lucky. The long standing battle by the Church of Scientology proves that only a certain set of religious groups have 'Religious Freedom' without question. The current state things for Muslims also is on shaky group. And of course we now have a resurrection of violence towards Jews.

    One can see on a more individual level, women who wear full body/head covering being harassed in public places.

    The purpose of this legislation is to place those individuals who have a different sexual orientation than permitted by many religious groups, from being subjected to discrimination by said groups, as well as individuals who may not be using some longstanding religious grounds for discrimination.

  • bamafone Salem, UT
    May 13, 2019 5:35 p.m.

    I agree with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and other religions who oppose this. And, I couldn’t disagree more with the atheist. Let freedom ring.

  • Sense&Sensibility Mesa, AZ
    May 13, 2019 5:32 p.m.

    It makes sense to strengthen religious protections included in the 1st Amendment — the ‘free exercise of religion’, but we must also be aware & careful regarding the sensibilities of people who support the Equality Act. Their voices & views need to be heard. They need to be respected.

    That’s one reason I like the “Fairness for All” legislation that was crafted in Utah. Stakeholders on both sides of this issue (including civic, business, community & religious leaders) sat & really listened to each other in ‘cottage meetings’ to craft this law. It took into account what was most important for each side and they found room to compromise on what wasn’t as important. It was heralded by media outlets such as The New York Times! This is a good template for our nation.

  • UtahBruin Eagle Mountain, UT
    May 13, 2019 5:17 p.m.


    Are you really serious with your question?

    First of all, you are not “REQUIRED” to go anywhere. You go where you want. If someone doesn’t want to serve you, you go SOMEWHERE ELSE. You suggest that they/businesses should post they won’t serve you. Why would/should they do that? Do you walk around with a sign announcing you are of the LGBTQ community. I’m guessing probably not. You see, I’m bald, so if I go into a barber shop, someone may refuse to serve me. I still want the treatment, the hot towel, the neck massage, etc. but they refuse me without any explanation based on my appearance. I don’t announce that I am bald, I just tell them what I am willing to pay for. If they don’t want to serve me, I go someplace else. Trial and error, and I don’t whine about it. I don’t go to congress and require all barbers to serve me no matter what. I deal with it and move on. And by the way, you don’t want to be labeled. And once again, you just labeled yourself.


    How do we know the will of God? Pretty simple really, it’s in the scriptures. And well I don’t see a change because the world would cease to exist. Just guessing, I think God likes children.

  • Chessermesser West Valley City, UT
    May 13, 2019 4:44 p.m.

    Out of 14 employees I had three, who were gay. I didn’t care about their private sexual preferences. All I cared about was - did they get the job done. I’m tired of sexual preference being made by many as the most important criteria in judging a person’s worth.

    I don’t care about sexual preferences. I will not discriminate because of it. But what I don’t like is when someone wants to make a big deal out of his/her preference. What someone does in the bedroom should stay in the bedroom.

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    May 13, 2019 4:23 p.m.

    Re: ". . . a negotiated solution in which core religious practices get protected and more marginal ones get regulated."

    It trips so easily off the tongue, but there are innumerable insoluble problems, including:

    -- Negotiated "solution" -- who's negotiating with who? Real America is often left out in the cold when the elites "negotiate" solutions. Further, experience shows that "solutions" negotiated by out-of-touch, inside-the-beltway elites are nearly always worse than the problem.

    -- Core practices get protected, more marginal ones are regulated -- one person's core religious practice is another's marginal one. Further, the Constitution makes no distinction between "core" and "marginal" exercise of religion.

    -- Marginal practices get regulated -- How? By who? Using what coercive penalties? Gun banners have made it clear that "regulation" means "prohibition" to way too many professional politicos.

    The Left never suggests negotiating "solutions" to other rights. They never suggest negotiating solutions to things like the abortion debate. Or the issues of global warming, free speech, gun rights, national monuments, etc., etc.

  • Orson Woods Cross, UT
    May 13, 2019 4:18 p.m.

    Just because a person is hurt or offended by something a prophet/"the Church" says, doesn't make it wrong; in fact, it usually means it is right.

    The prophets simply haven't hurt millions of people; they have instead blessed them by gathering Israel. The prophets have offended many prideful people steeped in the philosophies of the world, but that is just how Jesus said it would be, for so persecuted they the prophets before them.

    Some people try to shoehorn prophetic pronouncements into the views of modern society (or vice-versa) and either call them compatible or criticize them. Neither works. Prideful people are often "hurt" because they won't repent; humble meek faithful people are healed and lifted and blessed

    May 13, 2019 4:18 p.m.

    Hugh1 - , 00- I think you make some very valid points and your tone and emotion expressed in your comment show the passion you feel for this issue. The challenge is that sexual preference has never been a recognized as a civil rights protected class. The supreme court recently ruled very narrowly in the context of marriage. The civil rights act of 1964 did not recognize sexuality because it is and was a common belief that you chose who you love, marry, engage sexually, you don't chose who you are attracted to. The LDS church has until now, required its students (BYU), businesses and housing weather student, missionary (senior at temple square) to live a certain set of standards. This law challenges those standards and forces the LDS church allow people of all lifestyles and standards to participate in their schools, business and organizations. This will fundamentally change these organizations for better or worse. The church doesn't want any of their current protections interjected into non religious environments. Why would any adversary of religious protections want to affiliate( Work for, live with, practice at?) with the protected religious organizations?

  • The Atheist Provo, UT
    May 13, 2019 3:52 p.m.

    A third theory says that none of the three are primary: religion/church, state/law, and commerce/markets are all social "artifacts" of our human traditions, and most specifically, the Western traditions in which we find ourselves -- what Edmund Burke called "ancient manners" and "the spirit of a gentleman" (yes, with praise of aristocracy).

    As such, "free" commerce promotes only a superficial cooperation/tolerance: the (anti-discrimination) law of Venice can only force [Shylock & Antonio] to a temporary truce. It was Napoleon’s army, not centuries of free commerce, that finally put an end to the Venetian ghetto.

    In short, in these recent clashes between LGBT couples and religious business owners, or the Contraception Mandate, where neither side in the dispute is willing to look the other way for the sake of commerce, we must draw upon the the Western traditions, the "ancient manners" and "the spirit of a gentleman," including the "noblesse oblige" of aristocrats, the "bonds of affection" by which "We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies."

    Yet, I see precious little expression of friendship, brotherhood, and liberality in these comments.

  • Semi-Strong Louisville, KY
    May 13, 2019 3:37 p.m.

    Per Douglas Laycock, the Univ. of Virginia professor noted in the article:

    "we could agree on a negotiated solution in which core religious practices get protected and more marginal ones get regulated. The obstacle to that is the hardliners on each end"

    Amen. But compromise is not in anyone's lexicon anymore.

  • JaneB Wilsonville, OR
    May 13, 2019 3:22 p.m.

    Sigh... We have a long way to go. But I am heartened by many of the comments here today.

    Also, why do some of you presume to know the will of God concerning gay people? You know no such thing! Is it our "doctrine" right now? Unfortunately yes. But our church denied black people the fullness of the gospel for decades (!), and our leaders and members said many many just plain wrong and hurtful things. They were dead wrong, and it hurt millions of people!

    The same thing is happening now, imo. Hoping for better days ahead.

  • Hugh1 , 00
    May 13, 2019 2:47 p.m.

    I'm gay. This is a problem? "The Equality Act ... would outlaw sexual orientation and gender identity-based discrimination in housing, hiring and other areas of public life."

    There is a word for, "'fairness for all' while opposing the Equality Act," and it's, 'oxymoron.'
    What justification is there to deny an LGBT person: a place to live, a seat at the lunch counter, a room in a hotel, or a job. What justification is there: to fire LGBT people, pay us less money, deny us marriage licenses, restrict our ability to adopt, or to have children, or in any way to treat us as 'sinners,' or as morally flawed people who deserve to be discriminated against?
    This is beyond outrageous. Compromise? With the right to discriminate because someone's religion thinks that being gay is a choice or a morally flawed state of being? No. There is no back of the bus here. In the long arc of history, it's pretty clear the path this will take.

  • The Atheist Provo, UT
    May 13, 2019 2:47 p.m.

    The "free markets" perspective recognizes the moral commitments of open societies upon which free markets are built and that make them work: "The Dignity of Commerce", as it is called (by an LDS scholar). On this view, commerce generates trust and reciprocity and makes people comfortable cooperating with strangers on mutually beneficial projects and transactions. Privileging Anti-discrimination laws to some degree, but more importantly, contract law, tends to be supported by this view.

    Another theory places religion as preeminent over both state/law and commerce. On this view, the moral values underpinning religious belief must be honored above all -- even at the expense of business/economics, and the laws of the land must be deliberately designed to fundamentally protect "deeply held (religious) beliefs" at any and all costs, even at the expense of the dignity and fair/equal treatment of minorities, or at the expense of "free markets," economies, or even the current COTUS itself (hence, amendments)!

    This theory is obviously more "theocratic", and few Western thinkers are wont to take such ideas to their logical conclusion, the results of which we see in theocratic countries.

  • The Atheist Provo, UT
    May 13, 2019 2:21 p.m.

    The comments reflect opinionated views of "common folk:" unsupported assertions, blatant denigration of "opponents", name-calling, etc. Nobody will convince or be convinced.

    But these issues will ultimately be decided in judges' & congressional chambers, political & scholarly debates, & among wealthy elites. In these arenas, fundamental principles will clash:

    - Separation of Church and State/The "Establishment Clause" of the COTUS
    - "Religious Freedom" vs "anti-discrimination"
    - Commercial vs religious vs private activity and what "freedom" means for each (Free Markets vs Religious Freedom vs Individual Freedom/Conscience)

    Thoughtful scholars and leaders tend to agree this issue transcends "separation of Church and State." It also includes "commerce".

    How it resolves hinges on how we (as a civil society) conceive of the relationships among Religion, State (Law), & Wall Street.

    One theory insists that if commerce trumps church and state, ie, allow (require?) people to trade freely with one another without regard for religion or politics, the results will be wealth, tolerance, pluralism, and a benign indifference to deep (religious/political) disputes that otherwise divide us.

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    May 13, 2019 2:16 p.m.

    Re: "Be careful who you hate or choose to restrict rights from . . . ."

    We could say the same.

    Real America hates no one, but we do dislike having our religious rights restricted and repressed by those who are already protected, but who now want to the use the Nation's laws to oppress us, as they did the cake bakers in Oregon and Colorado.

    No one is insisting LGBT cake bakers make cakes emblazoned with sayings from the Westboro Baptist hymnal. The military transgender ban is based on the same logic as its ban on people who can't pass a physical exam -- the military's mission. We exist to fight and win the Nation's wars, not to provide healthcare to those seeking elective treatment.

    Why, then, are cynical political activists on the Left seeking to buy votes by insisting on legislation whose basis was quickly recognized by the Supreme Court as "clear and impermissible hostility" to religious beliefs?

    Do they harbor the vain hope that somehow we'll be convinced to abandon God's law and accept theirs? It can't work. It can only lead to hard feelings, backlash, and, ultimately, insurrection.

    Do they really hate God and us that much?

  • Orson Woods Cross, UT
    May 13, 2019 1:46 p.m.

    Let us hope our congressional leaders and legislators see the wisdom in stopping this bill from passing and further eroding our already disappearing religious freedoms. We should not be forced to worship at the shrine of secularism simply because it is so popular today. My the church's voice be heard and heeded by those with governmental influence.

  • Mind Baggage Bentonville, AR
    May 13, 2019 1:44 p.m.

    Our First amendment to the Constitution:

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

    This equality act would make a mockery of this amendment. Congress should be keeping their hands off of religion! How could the text not be any clearer than it is?

    The act would also make " the right to peaceably assemble" a joke as well. No one could assemble based on anything relevant. We are ALL equal after all.

    Congress and the courts are supposed to protect our freedoms. I simply can't understand how so many well meaning people can't see why a Christian pastor running an atheist organization doesn't make any sense.

  • Sanefan Wellsville, UT
    May 13, 2019 1:15 p.m.

    I go "somewhere else" all the time because I don't like their service to product. Just recently walked out of a restaurant, due to poor service. Don't see the point of doing business with someplace I don't like or feel comfortable with, unless your looking to pick a fight.

  • T-money$$$ Salt Lake City, UT
    May 13, 2019 1:15 p.m.

    The "Fairness For All" approach, while a good solution for the state of Utah, would fail to protect the rights of certain individuals at the federal level.

    In my opinion, it's deeply arrogant and inappropriate for the church to play the role of our legislators by assuming the Utah compromise is best thing for the country.

  • Sanefan Wellsville, UT
    May 13, 2019 1:10 p.m.

    All part of Satan's plan and right on schedule.

  • Bountiful Guy Bountiful, UT
    May 13, 2019 12:54 p.m.

    A few days ago, an article appeared where people commented about the selection of TV shows to watch. I wrote a comment listing criteria we use in our home for choosing shows to watch. My comment was denied by moderators, because my list violated a known code in society. You can choose shows privately by your own criteria, but you may not state criteria if the criteria includes some choices of lifestyle. That's just one small way that religious freedom is compromised. I can believe that certain choices are not correct, but stating such a belief is not allowed. On the other hand, those choosing certain options insist that I celebrate, participate in, support, and even advocate for those choices. And they want to advertise and entice kids in my family to join in. This is a legitimate debate.

  • Light and Liberty St George, UT
    May 13, 2019 12:47 p.m.

    Despite the fact that the gender issue is, to be clear, about finding happiness in disobedience to God's plan for all of His children, that is, fighting against nature. What I find most disturbing and annoying in a free society are people who are so insecure that the only way they can find validation is by making everything they do, whether right or wrong, public. Why do many of us have to put up with the constant drum beat of those who can't fight their battles all alone, like the rest of us do on a daily basis, without dragging and traipsing their private concerns and battles across a broad swath of the Social media, just because they can't handle living out their lives the way America has allowed us to do for generations, privately? Why do they continue to want everyone to agree with them, just like a child throwing a tantrum? Now, however, they want the legal system to validate their tantrums and force the parent to acknowledge the tantrum as the epitome of human aspirations! Really?

  • Birdman1990 Mapleton, UT
    May 13, 2019 12:44 p.m.

    religious people don’t understand that when churches have had power over government and particularly military forces that freedom for anyone is out the window and it’s been like this for thousands of years. leaders of religion have warped minds and forced their will onto many people for a long time and because of recent abilities to mass communicate religion is losing its grip on society and it’s about time. Leaders of men were commercializing religion since the days of Jesus. The more secular we get the better, because we’ve already gone the other route and we’re no longer crucify people, burn or hang them for witchcraft, behead people, rape and pillage in the name of god and a lot of other things were getting away from

  • The Dark Knight Salt Lake City, UT
    May 13, 2019 12:41 p.m.

    As a member of the Church I'm extremely disappointed. Religious freedom has nothing whatsoever to do with issue.

  • Passepartout Pleasant Grove, UT
    May 13, 2019 12:38 p.m.

    Again. On the wrong side of history. From the First Presidency’s response to the Equal Rights Amendment in 1976:

    "We firmly believe that the Equal Rights Amendment is not the answer...ERA as a blanket attempt to help women could indeed bring them far more restraints and repressions. We fear it will even stifle many God-given feminine instincts"

  • LeDe Sandy, UT
    May 13, 2019 12:38 p.m.

    Be careful who you hate or choose to restrict rights from- it might be someone you love.
    Be careful with your words you might be unknowingly harming a loved one with the things you are saying. They will know that you aren’t safe.

    May 13, 2019 12:34 p.m.

    For most of our countries history, religion has enjoyed the leveraged protection of laws and constitutional rights. As the pendulum swings, religion and religious observers will feel alienated and have to make concessions. The biggest challenge will come in the practical application of these laws. Because the LGBTQ and proponents of these new laws harbor animosity towards religion and the current religious protections, they are underestimating the consequences of these changes. If the LDS church, BYU and every other affiliate organization is forced to abide by these rules, the lds church may remove itself for the education business and every other business it currently offers to LDS standard abiding citizens. If the church were to dissolve BYU and any other organization it currently operates, a lot of people would lose their jobs, educational opportunities and housing. If doesn't seem like the proponents of these laws care about those consequences. May they shouldn't because they have been marginalized and oppressed? Maybe religion is getting what they deserve?

  • Liberal On Planet Zion SLC, UT
    May 13, 2019 12:22 p.m.

    Anti-equality alt-rightists are seeking to enact laws all across the country permitting businesses to refuse to serve LGBT people. Over 200 discriminatory bills have been proposed in nearly 3 dozen state legislatures. For example. These zealots argue that Christian owners of companies should be able to refuse to provide birth control coverage to their female employees, otherwise, these holy owners would be forced to violate their own religious beliefs by facilitating birth control merely by providing a company health insurance plan. This is utterly absurd! These extremists have taken the concept of "religious liberty" and turned it on its head. The "liberty" part in "religious liberty" is not intended to empower the believers of a dominant religion, such as, say, Christianity, to give them the "liberty" to impose their beliefs upon everyone else. This is a perversion of the term "religious liberty." Instead, the "liberty" part is intended to protect minority NON-believers to ensure that they have the liberty to maintain their own independent beliefs without suffering any disadvantages imposed upon them by the dominant believers. Possibly pass con law, then repost! You’re welcome.

  • Lbone Salt Lake City, UT
    May 13, 2019 12:18 p.m.

    The "Equality" movement has been hijacked by extremists. It is not good for religion; it is not good for America.

    I fully support The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in opposing this legislation.

  • The Caravan Moves On Enid, OK
    May 13, 2019 12:10 p.m.

    @ Spangs - Salt Lake City, UT - May 13, 2019 10:11 a.m. - ".....I would think and expect that Church members would understand how important it is to protect the rights of the extreme minority. I can see a situation in which a Mormon couple living in the deep South might find themselves dealing with evangelical Christians who refuse service to them because they view Mormonism as heresy."

    My comment: Discrimination against LDS members happens all the time in the South even today. Know what those LDS members do? They go to another cake shop, peacefully. It's called "being wise and mature".

    @ Chummley - MISSION VIEJO, CA - May 13, 2019 10:46 a.m. - "Why get involved in a Bill that you know will never pass the Senate nor get signed by the President? ….- and all the Church did was make new enemies and distance friends. The LGBT issues are never going away, it would be better to learn how to teach the commandments and avoid politics."

    My comment: Politics is "all" about morality and "morality" is what churches "do". Christ said get involved in our communities and governments. The LDS church is only doing what Christ said to do.

    You disagree?

  • Seldom Seen Smith Orcutt, CA
    May 13, 2019 12:02 p.m.

    True story. My sister was a baker, she is guilty of discrimination. She once refused to create a cake for a bachelorette party that included, among other things, a banana.

    Other than possibly consumerism/hedonism, our country has no cultural norms, no glue to hold it together. America is disintegrating.

  • The Atheist Provo, UT
    May 13, 2019 12:01 p.m.

    How is a religious person "harmed" by having to abide by anti-discrimination laws?

    They aren't.

    Making a cake for a same sex wedding does NOTHING to "harm" a religious baker.

    Doing your job, whether in a hospital attending to patients, as a county clerk issuing marriage licenses, as a wedding planner, or in any other professional/commercial capacity does you NO HARM even when you have to "do your job" and "be professional" when dealing with people against whom you have prejudices and judgmental feelings.

    Just do your job. Be professional. Hiding your lack of professionalism behind the concept of "religious freedom" adds cowardice to your poor public performance.

  • The Caravan Moves On Enid, OK
    May 13, 2019 12:00 p.m.

    @ RiDal - Sandy, UT - May 13, 2019 10:07 a.m. - "The Left has a habit of naming legislation in a manner to put an Orwellian spin on it so that it is intended to accomplish to opposite of its title. Things like "gun rights acts" that are intended to curtail actual gun rights. "Immigration" acts that are intended to protect illegal aliens, etc.

    This "equality for all" act is intended to limit freedom of religion. There simply is no right to never hear about religion and never be offended by a religious belief."

    If I could give you a thousand "Likes", I would.

  • the REAL DEAL Sandy, UT
    May 13, 2019 11:57 a.m.

    @ Sportsfan123

    you said" Another pure example of the obama effect!"

    Let's go back to the good old days right? bring back lynching of black people, Murdering LGBTQ people because the bible said they are all inferior. Discrimination is awesome.

    No thanks!

  • The Caravan Moves On Enid, OK
    May 13, 2019 11:56 a.m.

    The LDS church is obviously bending over backwards trying to appease the pro-gay crowd in America. It looks like a mix of sincerely trying to love everyone, as Christ commanded us to do, while also trying to be "(as) wise as serpents, and harmless as doves."

    Regardless, I know where Pres. Nelson gets his marching orders from.

  • Light and Liberty St George, UT
    May 13, 2019 11:42 a.m.

    The people who can't see the forest for the trees on this issue are the last people I would want defending my freedom. I don't know what universe they live in, but the wrong side of history is Socialism, negating God-given rights, and building a golden calf of self absorption. The praise of the world is the last place I want to be supporting! I can only wonder how different things would be if these people had the power to destroy religious freedom from America! The irony is watching them state their devotion to discipleship while opposing His laws and commandments. Go figure!

  • Frozen Fractals Salt Lake City, UT
    May 13, 2019 11:29 a.m.

    A few decades ago it was commonplace for religious people to have beliefs that were racist in nature. But then we eventually started passing non-discrimination ordinances relating to race. Were religious rights threatened by those? If not then it should be pretty similar for this situation as well.

  • Robert Kuesterman West Valley City, UT
    May 13, 2019 11:29 a.m.

    "I can see a situation in which a Mormon couple living in the deep South might find themselves dealing with evangelical Christians who refuse service to them because they view Mormonism as heresy. "

    It's happened. A southern youth baseball leagued banned Mormons on the ground that they weren't Christian.

  • NoNamesAccepted St. George, UT
    May 13, 2019 11:25 a.m.

    @tahnl :

    That is already the standard. Nobody is forced to promote a religious message they oppose.

    Refusing to bake me cookies because I'm LDS is discrimination. Declining to provide cookies for a temple open house or missionary outreach event is permissable under free speech.

    Nobody should be denied service simply for being homosexual. And thus far, nobody is asking to do that. We just don't want to be forced to promote a message we disagree with.

    You would not want me as a guest at your wedding. Forcing me to attend as a condition of a business license as a baker, caterer, photographer, singer, or wedding planning is not about getting services. It is a mean spirited attempt to punish me for disagreeing with you. That just isn't how we ought to do things.


    Cali civil unions had all State benefits of marriage.

    We will not give you an easy list of who to harass. That you don't know who won't promote your wedding is proof nobody is discriminating. They are selling to sexual minorities every day.

    Civility requires honesty. Part of that is admitting the difference between discriminating against individuals and being free not to promote a message or agenda.

  • LivinLarge Bountiful, UT
    May 13, 2019 11:23 a.m.

    In the end, laws and standards require discrimination.

  • Ball Boy Payson, UT
    May 13, 2019 11:23 a.m.

    Problem is my sexual orientation and nowadays the gender that I identify with can change daily. If I have to tell someone that I am gay in order to get the job I want or to live in a house that will benefit me and my family, I will tell whoever I need to tell that I am gay. It can change next week and then when they try to fire me or kick me out I can tell them I am gay again.

    Pretty simple.

  • Western Boomer Wellington, FL
    May 13, 2019 11:13 a.m.

    Ultimately there is no way to reconcile Gay demands for all inclusive anti-discrimination laws with Christian Religion's law of Chastity, which by definition discriminates against Gay relations. Those two opposing positions can never be reconciled unless all Gay couples stop having intimate relations both in and out of marriage. Religions based on the Bible declare the Gay life style to be a sin and abomination, so how are you going to reconcile that with Gay people's insistence on practicing said abomination?

  • Ranch Here, UT
    May 13, 2019 10:58 a.m.


    Not a single "civil union" law passed provided "full legal equality" with marriage. Not one.

    You want to allow businesses providing "special" products or services to discriminate then MAKE them post signs notifying us of that condition. It's denigrating to walk into an establishment and be told "we don't serve THAT to 'your kind'". We should know in advance where we will and won't be served if they're to be allowed to refuse us.

    Additonally, if religious business owners can discriminate against LGBT people, the LGBT business owners (and their supporters) MUST be allowed to discriminate against religious people (fair and equal treatment!).

    Any organization accepting taxpayer money should NOT be allowed to discriminate against some of those taxpayers.

    Utah Bruin, Yar,;

    How will we know where to go "somewhere else" if they don't post that they won't serve us? Unless you're REQUIRED to go "somewhere else" yourself, don't ask it of others.

  • Sportsfan123 Herriman, UT
    May 13, 2019 10:53 a.m.

    Another pure example of the obama effect!

    Ever since that man took office this country has been in turmoil, the constitution is under attack, freedom of speech on college campus's because of communist views by professors, guns rights are under attack, religious freedoms are under attack.

    The very framework of this constitutional republic has been underminded under the guise of civil rights, global warming, womens rights and false security.

    Obama set out to fundamentally change america and that he did. Using minority rights to further denograte religiousisty of this country which tears down moral behaviour, using womens rights to legalise eugenics a form of population control, using environmental control to over regulate business and property rights, using international trade deals claiming economic security and sold off our manufacturing industries and jobs in the process.

    The last four administrations have publically tauted the new world order but the strength of our constitution gets in the way of their agenda.

    This equality act by the democrats is just furthuring that agenda as they push for communal socialism in america and creating the new world order.

  • Ranch Here, UT
    May 13, 2019 10:48 a.m.

    "However, religious freedom advocates, including church leaders, say it's wrong to guarantee that LGBTQ rights almost always trump protections for sincerely held religious beliefs."

    -- Then "religious beliefs" also trump protections for mixed-race couples, blacks, women, and other religions too. You can't say that "religious beliefs" trump LGBT rights but don't trump beliefs on race, gender, religion, etc. It really is about EQUAL. Permitting discrimination against LGBT people based on "religious beliefs", but not the others is patently NOT "equal".

    Religions can already do whatever they want, but Businesses should NEVER be allowed to use religion as an excuse for discrimination - against *anyone*.

    By "compromise" religious people mean that LGBT people should just allow themselves to be discriminated against. That isn't compromise.

    Religious organizations can do whatever they want UNLESS they use public money. Then no discrimination allowed.

    It is discrimination that is poisoning civil discourse.

  • Chummley MISSION VIEJO, CA
    May 13, 2019 10:46 a.m.

    Why get involved in a Bill that you know will never pass the Senate nor get signed by the President. Someone in Church Headquarters needs to pick and choose ether battles better. I know, I know - you feel like we need to make a religious stand - well here is a thought - Teach better principles and stay out of things that chase away people because they don't get the complexities of politics.

    This bill is going no where fast - and all the Church did was make new enemies and distance friends. The LGBT issues are never going away, it would be better to learn how to teach the commandments and avoid politics.

  • Bloodhound Provo, UT
    May 13, 2019 10:47 a.m.

    Liberty Counsel alerted me several weeks ago to the dangers of this proposed legislation. I'm glad to see leaders of the LDS Church speaking out against this particular piece of bad legislation. I will be contacting my representatives and encouraging them to vote against it.

  • Bloodhound Provo, UT
    May 13, 2019 10:46 a.m.

    Liberty Counsel alerted me several weeks ago to the dangers of this proposed legislation. I'm glad to see leaders of the LDS Church speaking out against this particular piece of bad legislation. I will be contacting my representatives and encouraging them to vote against it.

  • Mikel G Borg Austin, TX
    May 13, 2019 10:41 a.m.

    The simplest and least effective way for the Mormon Church to avoid discrimination lawsuits is to not discriminate. I am an active Mormon. Dripping Springs ward in Texas.

  • Stalwart Sentinel San Jose, CA
    May 13, 2019 10:36 a.m.

    Unintentionally, multiple preceding comments in this thread only serve as blatant examples for why this type of legislation is needed in order to ensure all tax-paying Americans are given equal treatment and protections.

    Put a pin in this; unfortunately, it will serve as yet another scenario in which the Church positions itself on the wrong side of history and will lament the action in the future. It's sad when the Church squanders an opportunity to bring people of different backgrounds together, instead choosing to divide.

  • CDM1525 West Point, UT
    May 13, 2019 10:29 a.m.

    I’m so glad I have freedom from religion. I would hate to have to belong to a religion that discriminates and justifies it as part of their religion. That Doesn’t seem very Christlike to me.

  • Henry Drummond San Jose, CA
    May 13, 2019 10:26 a.m.

    The Equality Act amends existing Civil Rights laws that have been in effect for generations to include sexual orientation. That puts the LGBTQ community on a equal footing with Faith communities. That's fairness for all.

    Using Religious Liberty as a loophole around these laws isn't fairness for all.

  • CDM1525 West Point, UT
    May 13, 2019 10:27 a.m.

    I don’t see a problem here. The church can discriminate or have its religious freedoms (whatever you want to call it) all it wants as long as it doesn’t accept any federal funding or tax exempt status. Discriminate/have your religious freedoms all you want, just don’t accept federal monies as you do it. As I see it the LDS and Catholic Churches have plenty of money and if it’s that important then tell the federal government we don’t need your money, we can discriminate/practice our religion all we want without any money coming from you.

  • shamrock Salt Lake City, UT
    May 13, 2019 10:23 a.m.

    I seriously don’t understand why religions want to insist on the right to discriminate in the public sphere. It seems to contradict every moral principle to treat some people as less than others. What you do within your own church is your prerogative but civil laws should not allow any of us to discriminate in the marketplace or in government services.

  • skeptic Phoenix, AZ
    May 13, 2019 10:21 a.m.

    Man's organized religion is in conflict with God's laws of nature and God's authority and sense of creation. Religion finds fault with God's craft; and man's religion wants to condemn God's creation to conform to religions prejudices. Religion wants to be God. God may not like that.

  • Eponymous Eggplant Salt Lake City, UT
    May 13, 2019 10:18 a.m.

    For the church's newspaper to be throwing shade on the church is just ridiculous. Surely there is somebody on staff who knows better? Here's a better version of the headline:

    Latter-day Saint leaders call for fairness for all while opposing the 'Equality' Act

  • Spangs Salt Lake City, UT
    May 13, 2019 10:11 a.m.

    The pros and cons of the Equality Act aside, What would the Church do if the shoe was on the other foot? The LDS Church and its people has been the target of persecution and discrimination from its earliest days. Even now, once outside Utah, it can be tough for LDS folk.

    I would think and expect that Church members would understand how important it is to protect the rights of the extreme minority. I can see a situation in which a Mormon couple living in the deep South might find themselves dealing with evangelical Christians who refuse service to them because they view Mormonism as heresy.

    Unfair! you'll say. But isn't that an expression of religious freedom as well?

  • RiDal Sandy, UT
    May 13, 2019 10:07 a.m.

    The Left has a habit of naming legislation in a manner to put an Orwellian spin on it so that it is intended to accomplish to opposite of its title. Things like "gun rights acts" that are intended to curtail actual gun rights. "Immigration" acts that are intended to protect illegal aliens, etc.

    This "equality for all" act is intended to limit freedom of religion. There simply is no right to never hear about religion and never be offended by a religious belief.

  • DN Subscriber Cottonwood Heights, UT
    May 13, 2019 10:04 a.m.

    Once upon a time a segment of our society was indeed discriminated against and demanded "equality" and being allowed to love whomever they wanted, etc.
    So it was done.
    Now, like in Orwell's "Animal Farm." those who demanded "equality" demand even more, to make it that "All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal."

    That is wrong, and discriminatory.

    True equality, yes, but we must never cave into bullying demands that are in reality discrimination.

    Time for the LGBTQ folks to give up their demands that everyone else not only tolerate their behavior, but praise it and sacrifice their own right to worship and love whom they love.

  • tahnl Francis, UT
    May 13, 2019 9:56 a.m.

    IF you want the right discriminate against me in the public square because of your religion, it is only fair and right that I can return the favor and discriminate against you because of your religion. It is a very very slippery slope.

  • NoNamesAccepted St. George, UT
    May 13, 2019 9:56 a.m.

    I would support nationwide anti-discrimination laws for sexual minorities today on two very simple conditions:

    1-The law must recognize the difference between essential or off-the-shelf goods and services, and custom or creative services. In other words, the difference between serving an individual and promoting a message.

    As the sexual minority community argued in Obergfeld, marriage is more than just legal rights. Marriage sends powerful social messages. That is why "civil unions" with full legal equality with marriage were not sufficient.

    Fair enough. But that means nobody should be compelled to promote that message.

    This is the same standard we set for everyone else. Nobody is denied service for being a member of the NRA, but nobody is compelled to provide goods or services to an NRA fund raiser.

    2-Anti-discrimination must include all groups and all lawful activity. I continue to be denied service in too many businesses that are free to post "No Guns Allowed" signs. My lawful, peaceful posession of a firearm should never be cause to refuse me basic service. It should not be cause to arrest me because I crossed a State line.

  • BrentBot Salt Lake City, UT
    May 13, 2019 9:47 a.m.

     The Apostle Philip taught that the existence of the world depends on the mystery of marriage: “Great is the mystery of marriage! For without it the world would not have existed. How the existence of the world depends on man, and the existence of man on marriage”

    LGBT activists want to frustrate God's plan for this Earth. They find immediate acceptance in the atheist party in power in the House of Representatives.

  • UtahBruin Eagle Mountain, UT
    May 13, 2019 9:27 a.m.

    I seriously don’t get all of this. I don’t know why we need to pass laws, and restrict religious beliefs so one “community” can get their way. So I’m straight, and if I was ever to go to a bakery, or place of lodging that treated me poorly, because that is what it is. The LGBTQ Community is being treated poorly by some select individuals. I would go somewhere else. There is more than one bakery, and there are several places of lodging. Why do we need legislation to tell us what we can or can’t do, or who, what, when, where, why in how we serve people. Eventually businesses will weed themselves out of service is an issue. If they survive and don’t fall. Then just find a new place to have your services met. It’s easy. I don’t go to Burger King because I am not a fan of their food. Rumor has it, they are struggling. Not because of just straight guy me, but probably because they have failed more in food service and offering, so people go elsewhere. LGBTQ keeps saying they don’t want to be labeled. But their labeling themselves with things like this. It’s time to let it go, and just go live and be the best person you can be.

  • BradJames Manti, UT
    May 13, 2019 9:26 a.m.

    those of us who have the temerity to believe in religious freedom should not have our rights compromised. Everyone should have the right to feel as they wish. It's an imperfect world, so someone is going to feel like they got the raw end of the deal. The best thing to do is do what's the most fair for all parties.

  • Yar Springville, UT
    May 13, 2019 9:17 a.m.

    A few days ago, I wrote an email message to one of my representatives of Utah named John Curtis, asking him to reject the so-called “Equality Act” and ask the creators of it to consider revising it to make it more fair minded and not so biased against religious people and even Democrat leaning individuals who voice major concerns about the bill. This bill truly is the worst anti-discrimination bill anyone has ever crafted. I hope the majority of our representatives of Congress can gird up the courage to say no to Nadler's and Pelosi's mistaken legislation they dare attempt to get away with and convince more representatives to consider better alternatives like Utah's anti-discrimination law for example, which protects LGBT people the right way without the messy biases the “Equality Act” is plagued by.