A look at heated debates over legislation that would expand federal LGBTQ nondiscrimination protections.
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
Does this remind anyone else of the pearl-clutching that was done over the ERA
in the 70s? That seems rather quaint now.
@Wynniscool"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 freedomanti-woman religious
freedomanti-Irish religious freedomanti-Jew religious freedomanti-disabled religious freedomanti-old people religious freedomanti-"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.
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".
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.
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
I don’t know if anybody else mentioned this but, Animal Farm anyone?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
@NoNamesAccepted"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.@RiDal"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.
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."
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.
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
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.
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
@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.
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.
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).
@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.
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.
@ 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.
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?
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
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
Religious freedom should/will not be a license to discriminate. The church has
no valid argument.
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.
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.”
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.
"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.
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.
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
@RanchAre 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.@JaneBHow 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.
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.
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.
JaneB,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
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?
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.
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.
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
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 "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
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
All part of Satan's plan and right on schedule.
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.
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?
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
As a member of the Church I'm extremely disappointed. Religious freedom
has nothing whatsoever to do with issue.
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"
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
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?
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.
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.
@ 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?
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
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.
@ 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.
@ Sportsfan123you 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 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.
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!
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.
"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
@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.@RanchCali 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.
In the end, laws and standards require discrimination.
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.
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?
@NoNames;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,
et.al;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.
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
"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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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
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?
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.