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Colliding causes: Gay rights and religious liberty

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  • Sorry Charlie! SLC, UT
    Feb. 11, 2012 1:28 p.m.

    Two questions, first why is this in every section but the one it belongs in? the opinion section and two why is the author being paid to rehash the rehash of stories that have been heavily vetted and found to be without merit several times in this paper alone? repeating the same nonsense over and over doe not make your point any stronger.

  • A voice of Reason Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 11, 2012 1:37 p.m.

    Two choices-

    In order to preserve freedom for gay persons, we take away choice from religious persons.

    In order to preserve freedom for religious persons, we do not intervene and the choice is left to the people how they live their lives.

    ---

    With freedom, unpopular choices are made and sometimes people get offended or inconvenienced. However, freedom exists.

    Without freedom, we all have the same options available but are forced into this system against our will.

    -------

    There is a difference between not having the option for others to recognize your union or do business with you and then forcing other people to act according to your will instead of their own. When people say 'why does your church spend so much time on issues less important than jobs, etc? I can't help but reply, and you really don't think my freedom is that important?

    "Gay Liberty" is an inappropriate heading for this article. It should read "everyone else's freedom, will we let them be free or not?"

  • A Scientist Provo, UT
    Feb. 11, 2012 1:40 p.m.

    "We don't photograph same sex weddings".

    Can a business owner likewise claim, "We don't do business with Mormons", or how about "We don't serve blacks here."? Can a public school teacher refuse to teach children of a different Church because it violates their personal religious freedom? Can a University professor kick all the Mormons out of his class and refuse to teach them because of personal religious beliefs? Can that professor refuse to give them good grades because his personal religious belief is that they are brainwashed, unenlightened, and ignorant?

    Is that acceptable to you? Is it acceptable if they claim it is a "religious belief", of it is a "personal value"?

    If a person is going to claim they deserve an exception from the law on religious grounds, there must be clear and relevant religious justification and support for the exemption. You can't just throw any old personal prejudice or bigoted bias out there and try to pass it off as a "religious belief".

    So where in all of scripture, or in the policies and commandments of this photographer's religion, does it say "Thou shalt not photograph two sinners"?

  • BobP Port Alice, B.C.
    Feb. 11, 2012 2:08 p.m.

    Small businesses should be exempt from such laws.

    It may be time for the gay community to exercise the kind of consideration they claim for themselves.

  • Darrel Eagle Mountain, UT
    Feb. 11, 2012 2:13 p.m.

    Why is this even an issue?

    Religously I find coffee and tea offensive...does that give me the right to ban them from the work place? No (unless I own my own business and then I can decide what I want) I can however decide not to consuem them.

    Religously I find same sex marriage offensive...does that give me the right to ban it? No. I can however decide to only persue hetero marriages (which is all I am really interested anyway I like girls too much)

    I have my set of religious beliefs that are sacred to me. That does not preclude someone from finding my beliefs offensive and thinking they are just as sacred to him. That is the great thing about this country, we are allowed to do that.

    On a personal note, if I don't want someone voting whether or not my marriage is valid, what right do I have to do that to someone else? Would that not make me a hypocrite?

  • qjs PROVO, UT
    Feb. 11, 2012 2:14 p.m.

    Thank you. I have to add my voice. I am very very shocked that any American would be discriminated against because of their religious beliefs. This is America. The lady who fought her "legally," because of not photographing her same sex ceremony could have gone to any other photographer. Why did the government get involved?

    This has nothing to do with the government. Both same sex people and heterosexuals have their freedom and choice. The Hugenins were treated very very unjustly. And what did the money solve? Absolutely nothing. New Mexico and every state and our country is drifting away from the very principles America was founded on. There are consequences to this, and I exhort us to return to what George Washington and all the founding fathers preached, respect of people's beliefs, all people. If we do not we will reap devastation. I pray we will change our course of governing. Thank you.

  • Zona Zone Mesa, AZ
    Feb. 11, 2012 2:18 p.m.

    Wow. What a well-researched and informative article. It's rare to see an article on this topic go into this much depth.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Feb. 11, 2012 2:19 p.m.

    I have no problem with gay marriage, but nothing is gained through antagonism. If this person doesn't want to take the photos, it's their loss. If one or another church doesn't want to perform the wedding, it's a buyers market. Let's not just keep forcing ourselves into corners.

  • A voice of Reason Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 11, 2012 2:26 p.m.

    lol, well the headline changed.

    It is certainly more appropriate to weigh both options as "colliding causes" as I think we'd all agree that this is frequently the case.

    ---

    Free Agency, my stance.

    It is morally right to be free to choose.
    Religious group chooses to do something with other people.
    Gay couple chooses to join.
    Religious group chooses not to accept them.

    No one has had choice taken away from them. If we accept that in order to preserve gays choice to participate, we must remove the religious group's choice- then we have accepted a infinitely dangerous doctrine. This same principle would mean that I can invite myself to my neighbors party, I can invite myself into your home, and so on. Equality is a good premise, but equally free to decide, equally free to progress, not equally free to take from others.

    State recognition is the people's to give. We don't give it to polygamists and they hold ceremony's, just not state-endorsed. This photography business is their choice to make. When you force it from people, we are not free. Free to make your choice is free. Free to make other people's choices is wrong.

  • Mayfair City, Ut
    Feb. 11, 2012 2:29 p.m.

    Hutterite--"If the person doesn't want to take the photos its their loss."

    Yes, a court imposed loss of $6000.

  • Fibby1123 Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 11, 2012 2:56 p.m.

    Why is this not in "opinion"?
    Or is the Deseret News in the business of biased reporting?

  • Christy Beaverton, OR
    Feb. 11, 2012 3:09 p.m.

    So discriminating against same sex couples is a 'Christian conviction'?

    I think Christ might have a problem with that.

  • Square Kokonut Orem, Utah
    Feb. 11, 2012 3:36 p.m.

    Racial/Sexual discrimination laws have become nothing but 'reverse' discrimination on the most innocent of law abiding citizens...on the weakest of premises that wouldn't...rather shouldn't stand the light of day in a court of law!

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    Feb. 11, 2012 4:14 p.m.

    Churches have wide latitude to discriminate. For example, many, most churches don't have women in senior leadership positions, can choose who/who not can marry, get baptized. Most recently the Supreme Court ruled they were able to fire someone with a disability etc.

    But when people choose to have a public business or accept govt. money, then they cannot discriminate. What if 2 women decided to buy a house and are turned down for a mortgage because the lender believes they are lesbian? Should people be denied housing or service in a restauraunt due to sexual orientation? Should a store clerk refuse to sell beer or cigarettes because don't align with their moral values?

    Get over it people.

    Recommended viewing:
    Republican Representative Maureen Walsh from Washington state, explaining her stance on same-sex marriage. Google it.

  • Henry Drummond San Jose, CA
    Feb. 11, 2012 4:23 p.m.

    I think the Deseret News is way over the line here. There is another side to the story.

    The reason the Catholic Charities were not allowed to discriminate is because they were using public money to run the adoption agency. Do you honestly think that religious liberty includes the right to take public funds but only use it to benefit those you agree with? Had it been Mormons who were discriminated against, I suspect this paper would have cried foul.

    The case with the Pavilion was similar. They were granted special tax exemptions by agreeing to make the Pavilion open to the public. Again, if it was a Mormon wedding reception they refused to host under those circumstances because they felt "Mormons aren't Christians" this paper would be the first to say the tax exemption should be revoked.

    You will find similar circumstances in these other stories if you care to search them out. You will have to, since the Deseret News seems intent on only providing half the story.

    Those who are concerned about gay rights deserve to have their concerns aired. But doesn't a newspaper have the obligation to give both sides a voice?

  • ClarkHippo Tooele, UT
    Feb. 11, 2012 4:25 p.m.

    My wife and I are active LDS, having both served missions and been married in the temple.

    A few years ago, my wife started a small house cleaning business, and one of her clients has a grand daughter who asked my wife if she would clean her house once a month. This grand daughter is a lesbian who has a live in partner. Nevertheless, my wife took her on as a client for a few months, and only stopped because of time conflicts.

    My wife and I both feel we did not compromise our religious beliefs. Should we feel different?

    I've heard people say, "If gay and lesbian couples can go into any business and demand service, next thing you know, they'll demand to be married in any church they want and no one can stop them," but in my opinion, such arguments are apples and oranges.

    The former is about commerce, the later is about church vs. state.

  • Baccus0902 Leesburg, VA
    Feb. 11, 2012 4:37 p.m.

    Perhaps we should educate the religious community that we should give to God what belongs to God and to Caesar what belongs to Caesar.

    If you are in the public arena, if you are running a business, you have no right to discriminate because you would be violating the law.

    Are you violating the law of your God when you are following the law of your nation?

    We believe in freedom of religion. But we cannot accept the dehumanization of a person because you don't believe in his/her/their legal status based on your morals.

    Nobody is asking or forcing anyone to believe in same sex marriage. We as society ask that if you offer a service for monetary gain, you offer the service to everybody under the law.

  • Jeanie b. Orem, UT
    Feb. 11, 2012 4:38 p.m.

    Christy said "So discriminating against same sex couples is a 'Christian conviction'?
    I think Christ might have a problem with that."

    It would depend on what you believed Christ and his apostles taught. From what the Bible says (our source of Christ's teachings) he did not treat the sinner with scorn, but lovingly admonished them to repent and change their ways.

    He also taught that only those that repented of their sins, accepted him as their god and obeyed His commandments would be able to live with Him in heaven. It seems that ultimately He does discriminate.

    So, yes. Not wanting to take pictures of a wedding that goes against this couple's beliefs can be stated as a "Christian conviction" and Christ may indeed not have a problem with it. The couple was polite in their reply to the gay couple's request, just as Christ would have been.

  • Owen Heber City, UT
    Feb. 11, 2012 4:48 p.m.

    Here are some suggested edits:

    That means that when individuals of faith (who take public money or run a public business) refuse to host a (non-white) wedding in their catering hall, or refuse to provide health insurance benefits for a (minority spouse) they can, and likely will be sued...

    After all, when (the Constitution) written, (civil rights or female voting) wasn't even an issue...

    A public business or church that takes public money (in the form of tax exemptions) can not hang up a "whites/males/hetero only sign. We've already and this debate in America. Over and over and over.

  • nehu Kaysville, UT
    Feb. 11, 2012 4:48 p.m.

    Excellent article. I'm LDS and do not really have reason to oppose gay marriage, in my personal opinion. My feeling is that the church is against gay marriage because of the legal implications included in this article. Tough to find middle ground on this but I suppose it exists.

    Truthfully SLC is one of the worst places to discuss this in a reasonable manner. You have over hyped LDS members who want to pound their collective chests and a gay community that wants to do the same. Finding middle ground in this community may prove tough but willing to try.

  • A voice of Reason Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 11, 2012 5:11 p.m.

    Truthseeker,

    Except that the freedom to make those choices is more often being scrutinized. I don't force gay activists to place a Mormon at the top of their organization, nor do I have the right to. If this were reversed and the people shouting 'discrimination!' actually were fed their own medicine, they would see this doctrine clearly. Freedom goes both ways. Eventually everyone will be aware of the truth. People ultimately reap what they sew. If you deny my beliefs, then fine. But if people will that they should live according to certain principles, it is only just that when they force those laws on everyone else that they in the end will be required to live by the same doctrines. In the end, everyone will be consigned to the fruits of their labors.

    Nehu,

    The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has given reasons why it's position is maintained. It isn't because of legal impact, but because according to our doctrines, God's laws, and what we believe is right and best for all mankind is adherence to the basic principles of our existence- which is the divine design of the family. It is most sacred. No other unit can foster eternal happiness in this life and throughout eternity. For this reason, we affirm our position to protect and promote this true governing principle of happiness.

  • ClarkHippo Tooele, UT
    Feb. 11, 2012 5:12 p.m.

    @nehu

    I rarely if ever discuss same-sex marriage with family or friends for the very reason you mentioned.

    I remember after Boyd K. Packer's General Conference talk awhile back that stirred a lot of controversy in the gay community, some of my Facebook friends on both sides got into some pretty heated and at times nasty arguments of President Packer's talks.

    For the most part, I chose to stay out of it.

    I have my convictions and beliefs which I take seriously, but not to the point that I will throw insults and make wild accusations against those who disagree with me.

  • Utes Fan Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 11, 2012 5:48 p.m.

    A few points:

    1) That a business or person who offers a service to the public should be forced by law to cater to gay-marriage clients is a violation of freedom. The article makes the excellent point that when those discrimination laws were put in place, gay marriage wasn't part of the equation. We didn't have the option then, really, to lobby for the laws to include individual protection on the grounds of religious beliefs. And, might I add, the photographer, hotel owners, etc were not using public moneys like Catholic Services.

    2) That the Deseret News is somehow "biased" by covering the points in this article is nonsense. Given that the mostly left-wing based media has covered the pro-gay marriage news far more, especially the Salt Lake Tribune, I wholly welcome the coverage of the religious point of view, and think that just a little bit of balance is long-overdue. And I think it is about time these issues are thoroughly covered. As such, we can see that it is CLEAR that those who are concerned about the advancement of gay marriage into our laws have LEGITIMATE reasons to oppose it, not just based on religious beliefs, and especially not because of hatred and bigotry. I would hope that making the legal issues better known would cut down on the cries of bigotry and hatred, and at least, even if you disagree, see that religious people do indeed have a true concern.

  • Dart Thrower Ogden, UT
    Feb. 11, 2012 5:52 p.m.

    I perceive that Christians hold up this story of an example of how their world is somehow being compromised by Gays or others that don't adhere to their particular Christian view. But they should step back and see the impact of this type of self righteous treatment of others on the big mission - spreading the Gospel. Almost every non-member in Utah was told, sometime in their youth, by an LDS friend, that "Sorry, my parents won't let us play with non-members". I am sure these LDS parents somehow felt like they were really showing their devotion to the Gospel and holding to the iron rod, but their actions are emotionally devastating to non-members and create lifelong negative feelings towards LDS members. The New Testament is laden with teachings to "love one another", "love thy neighbor as thyself" and "judge not that ye not be judged". Yet well meaning Christian continually stick their faith in the faces of people they deem unworthy with the message that "we're better than you". Be humble. Think of the big picture. Love first and long.

  • The Rock Federal Way, WA
    Feb. 11, 2012 6:43 p.m.

    Is discrimination wrong? Yes and No.

    We are all God's children. We need to remember the teachings of Christ; "In as much as yea do it unto the least of these, my brethren, ye have done it unto me."

    I have no desire to make life hard on anyone. Most people create their own problems and punish themselves far more than I could.

    For a business to turn away customers only because of race or religion might be reprehensible. I know a young lady who was raped. She got a good look at her assailant. She is mortally afraid of men of that race. To ask her to set her feeling aside is asking a lot.

    Personally I am sick and tired of people from certain religious persuasions telling me that I am not a Christian and a member of a cult. It would be very tempting to not accept them as customers. (I do get a certain satisfaction out of taking their money and sending it to LDS Missionaries. I love getting to finance my religion.)

    Discrimination and Decide come from a common Latin Root.
    You cannot make a single decision that effects another without discriminating. When I eat at Denny's I am discriminating against The Olive Garden.

    Freedom is the right to make our own choices. Anti Discrimination laws amount to giving certain groups the "right" to make the choices of others.

    Outlaw discrimination and you outlaw freedom.

  • Mick Murray, Utah
    Feb. 11, 2012 7:03 p.m.

    Private business should have the rights and freedom to choose clients they serve just like the public has the right to not choose a business because of those choices they have made. I would never sue a baptist if they didn't want to take pictures at my mormon wedding.

    Am I going to eventually be sued for not buying services from a gay/lesbian business if I choose not too? Sounds pretty silly doesn't it.

  • Ranch Here, UT
    Feb. 11, 2012 7:15 p.m.

    The law requires that businesses not discriminate against anybody. What is so hard about that. If you can't run your business without discriminating against some people, you are better off not opening a business.

    "...that defends the right of individuals to freely live their faith."

    --- Does living your faith require you to be a bigot? I don't think so.

    "Supporters of the Proposition have been labeled bigots and even attacked, and their churches have been picketed and vandalized."

    --- Proof please.

    "Catholic Charities of Illinois lost millions in state funding when they refused to place children with homosexual couples. Catholic Charities of Massachusetts stopped doing adoptions in 2006 for the same reason..."

    --- You can't take tax payer money and refuse to service some of those very taxpayers.

    "The (LDS) Church supports this ordinance because it is fair and reasonable and does not do violence to the institution of marriage,"

    --- Same sex couples getting married does not "do violence" to marriage either; on the other hand, heterosexual divorce does.

    This article is really very one-sided, DN. Why not include the other half of the argument. That tax money can't be taken if you want to discriminate against glbt couples. The pavilion received a tax-break for being a "public place" and then they want to discrminate against gays too? No.

    Catholic charities take tax money and want to discrminate against gay couples? No.

    Some of that tax money comes from glbt people. The LDS Church refuses to adopt to gay couples too, but they do it on their own dime; which is fine. They'll never be required to allow same-sex weddings in their chapels or temples. Never.

    I don't care if religious people want to discriminate against glbt americans in their homes and churches. If you run a business, you can not discrminate. Otherwise religion becomes an excuse to discriminate. Today it's discrimination against gays. Tomorrow it'll be discrmination against Muslims. The next day it'll be discrmination against blacks; "my religion says blacks are descendents of Cain, I can't support descendents of a murderer". And on and on and on. All in the name of "religion".

  • deep in thought Salt Lake, UT
    Feb. 11, 2012 7:15 p.m.

    OK, so I know this is a heated topic but I have to comment on this whole Prop 8 thing.

    So...does this mean in a few years in our public schools we have sex education on both hetero and homo-sexual relationships? Are school dances open to both homo and hetero-sexual couples? Are many more kids growing up from a very young age dealing with an identity crisis and gender identity decisions because homosexuality is being taught so openly? Schools are federally funded so I can see that they would need to follow suit with any decisions being made.

    I don't really get comments that say, "this doesn't affect me and my marriage." They seem a little short sighted. This is going to affect our children and their marriages and our grandchildren profoundly.

  • Owen Heber City, UT
    Feb. 11, 2012 7:50 p.m.

    Not so deep in thought - another suggested edit: This is going to affect our children and their marriages and our grandchildren (not at all).

    My gay brother's decade-long partnership has not affected his six sibling's marriages in any way -- except that they have another happy, loving person to share all family activities with. And have learned to speak out against naive comments that have no basis in fact. You're right, however, that it will affect their lives. For the better. The same way accepting diversity has throughout American history.

  • newintown WOODS CROSS, UT
    Feb. 11, 2012 8:09 p.m.

    Curious what the law would say if this couple had advertised to photograph only christian weddings? Would there be reason to sue them for religious discrimination on the basis of atheist exclusion or muslim exclusion?

    What about going into business only to photograph weddings for couples over the age of 50? Would that be age discrimination? What if they refused service to a Mormon wedding. Is that open to suit on the basis of religious descrimination? Something smell fishy here.

    Theirs is a service business not a public convenience business. It is an issue of right of association. It is not taxpayer funded. It is not a walk in business which relies on public accomodation. Legally, please show me why this couple cannot offer their services to anyone they choose or not choose?

    No opinions please. Cite me legal precedent other than the overreaching government entity which fined them $6,000.00 for refusing to support the GLBT.

  • Schwa South Jordan, UT
    Feb. 11, 2012 8:15 p.m.

    Can someone explain to me why we give churches tax breaks that other institutions do not receive? Also, organizing a boycott because a business's values do not coincide with yours has been a tactic long used by Christian conservatives, and is entirely legal.

    Let's not confuse religious freedom with religious popularity.

  • O'really Idaho Falls, ID
    Feb. 11, 2012 8:15 p.m.

    @Clarkhippo Cleaning a lesbians house is different from taking pictures of their wedding- usually kissing and embracing are involved in the photographs. It's hard to define the difference but it's there.

  • DH48 West Jordan, UT
    Feb. 11, 2012 8:31 p.m.

    This is the liberal agenda, to cry individual rights when they believe one party is discriminated against and then throw lawsuits at anyone who will not follow what they believe to be right. It is hypocrisy in its purest form.

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    Feb. 11, 2012 8:37 p.m.

    If I were to be the judge of the situation where the lady in New Mexico said she couldn't photograph a gay wedding because it conflicted with here religious beliefs It might go something like this.

    me: Why did you refuse to photograph a gay wedding.

    her: It violates my religious beliefs.

    me: can you elaborate.

    her: yes, homosexuality violates teachings in the bible.

    me: Suppose your sister or one of your roomates from college had been divorced, and was getting remarried, would you object to photograph their wedding?

    -----

    option 1

    her: yes I would, the Bible teaches women who have been divorced are not to remarry.

    me: you win the case, you can not photograph the wedding and suffer no penalty from the law.

    ------

    option 2

    her: I would have no problem with photographing her wedding because she was divorced. As a matter of fact, I myself am living with my 2nd husband.

    me: The Bible teaches married women not to remarry. It appears you pick and choose what you want to believe or act upon from the Bible. Either that or you don't care enough to learn what it says. You must photograph the wedding or be fined.

  • Sorry Charlie! SLC, UT
    Feb. 11, 2012 8:39 p.m.

    @the rock

    once again as has been pointed out to you over and over again discrimination and decide do not come from a common Latin Root. Seriously at this point you are just rendering your arguments meaningless by repeating this same distortion over and over again.

  • Schwa South Jordan, UT
    Feb. 11, 2012 9:14 p.m.

    Chik-Fil-A is a christian owned company. What if they suddenly decided to stop serving mormons or black people? Nobody is talking about forcing a private religious entity to minister to gays. But if you are taking public money or operating a business in the public, anti-discrimination laws do apply. And that doesn't affect your religious freedom. You are free to choose to close your business out of moral beliefs.

  • Captain Moroni Provo, UT
    Feb. 11, 2012 9:36 p.m.

    What happen to the "right" to refuse service?

  • Bubble SLC, UT
    Feb. 11, 2012 9:55 p.m.

    @captain Moroni

    your right to refuse services does not extend to violating others civil rights. ever heard of lunch counter sit ins? try to catch up.

  • sashabill Morgan Hill, CA
    Feb. 11, 2012 10:36 p.m.

    This is an example of why I contribute frequently to the Alliance Defense Fund and will continue to do so. Liberals were all for freedom of conscience during the 1960s when they were protesting against the draft and the Vietnam War. Now, however, their commitment to that concept seems to have mysteriously diminished.

    Moral standards are, by nature and definition, discriminatory - distinguishing between courses of action and behavior as differentiated from other courses of action and behavior. Individuals are within their rights to make such judgments and religious denominations are within their rights to advocate such standards publicly.

  • Kathy. Iowa, Iowa
    Feb. 11, 2012 10:46 p.m.

    I don't care what you do in your own home with two consenting adults but I do care if you want to force me to take pictures of it or provide cake for it.

  • Demisana South Jordan, UT
    Feb. 11, 2012 10:54 p.m.

    Why do people mix up homosexual behavior with race? People are born with a particular race - but Hollywood and the media have given us plenty of examples of people who switch between hetero and homosexual. A black man is always going to be black, no matter what. He didn't choose it and he can't change it.

    And don't give me the argument that gays were born that way. Alcoholism, OCD, and other issues may have genetic or biologic components too - doesn't mean we call them normal or promote them.

    We have constitutional protections for religion and for freedom of association. That means we also should have freedom NOT to associate.

    Why on earth would a gay couple WANT a Christian photographer, or to use a pavilion belonging to a church that teaches their behavior is sinful? If somebody didn't want to serve me because I'm Mormon, you can bet I'd take my money elsewhere.

  • ParkCityAggie Park City, Ut
    Feb. 11, 2012 10:54 p.m.

    A Mormon couple contacts a flower shop and asks for flowers to be delivered to... the Temple grounds for a photo shoot. The guy who answers the phone says "sorry, no thanks, I'm a 'Christian' and I do not sanction weddings of other religious groups." Is that ok with everyone? Guess what, that same discrimination rule that protects us all protects those of other races, religious creeds, etc. It's all so divisive. So this lady is a "so-called" Christian, she says can't do it because I don't condone same sex marriage/union. Where else in our jobs do we discriminate like this, against something we don't personally agree with? Think about it. Do we not serve our communities? Ive never walked in a grocery store in Utah and seen in absent of some vice that is not condoned by the LDS Church (tobacco, alcohol, coffee, tea, etc.). If I own a small car sales lot, do I get to discriminate like that? Tax preparation, if the person I'm doing taxes for wants an exemption for some activity that is legal, but I'm morally opposed to, do I say "sorry, use HR Block?" SILLY!

  • OnlyInUtah Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Feb. 11, 2012 11:08 p.m.

    An excellent and well researched article.

  • The Rock Federal Way, WA
    Feb. 11, 2012 11:30 p.m.

    @Sorry Charlie!

    It depends on which etymology you study. Even if Discriminate and Decide didn't come from a common root it is still not possible to make any decision that effects others without discriminating.

    If you outlaw discrimination you outlaw freedom.

    No right guaranteed by the constitution places obligation upon other. I am exercising my right to freedom of the press but you are not required to read what I write. We all enjoy freedom of speech but nobody is required to listen.

    Anti-discrimination laws place huge obligation upon others. These are not rights, they are wrongs. Most discrimination laws eventually turn into reverse discrimination laws.

    Conservatives rarely file discrimination law suits. It is not in their DNA to sue. Almost all discrimination law suits are filed by liberals. It is in their DNA to impose their will upon others.

    Every private citizen has the right to spend their money as they choose. Business owners have the same right.

    I believe that it is wrong to engage in extra-marital and per-marital relations. Why should a land lord who shares my belief be force to aid people in wrong doing by renting housing to them?

    Sorry but most discrimination laws only protect certain groups, mostly liberal constituency groups. The work they carefully to make sure that conservatives and whites cannot use them.

    If you outlaw discrimination you outlaw freedom pure and simple.

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    Feb. 11, 2012 11:57 p.m.

    re 'Captain Moroni' | 9:36 p.m. Feb. 11, 2012

    ----

    It was justifably done away with in the civil rights act of 1964. Before that time companies abused this right, therefore it was taken away.

  • Shuzzie53 HAYWARD, CA
    Feb. 12, 2012 1:05 a.m.

    All I want to know is, where's Pagan?

  • Joe Bauman Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 12, 2012 1:11 a.m.

    This article is based on false premises, setting up a conflict that is not real. There is no danger to religious liberty. "Religious liberty" involves freedom to worship, not freedom to discriminate in a non-worship setting. The examples cited are fraudulent. For example, if a photographer happens to belong to a white-dominance group calling itself a religion -- and such things have existed -- he cannot refuse to provide a business service to a back person by claiming that violates his religion. In the case of the pavilion, the church had a tax subsidy, and could not discriminate against one segment of the public. Gay people subsidize the pavilion as much as straight people. The Constitution is supposed to embody the noble ideals of the Declaration of Independence, the most fundamental of which is that all men are created equal. That definition has undergone a welcome evolution over many decades, expanding to include women and former slaves. Who would deny that equality? The sooner people accept the notion that all are created equal, with equal rights, the better. That doesn't mean all whites or all men or all heterosexuals, it means all, period.

  • Robert Johnson Sunland, CA
    Feb. 12, 2012 4:36 a.m.

    Thiarticle is more about "religious BIGOTRY" than it is about "Religious LIBERTY". There are responsibilities and requirements for taking advantage of the opportunities that this great country offers. One of them is non-discrimination. Imagine if this woman said "Sorry....I don't photograph inter-racial weddings" or "I don't photograph Jewish weddings"...or even "I don't photograph black people". What if this were a restaurant that said "Sorry, gays are not allowed to eat here" or "Whites only". Would that be any different? I don't think so. Shame on this woman. This is America. You either leave your bigoted views at the door or you stay home. You aren't free to do business in this country in a discriminatory matter. Period.

  • John Kateel Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 12, 2012 5:40 a.m.

    So if my evangelical mega Church believes that that the LDS faith is a heterodox cult, and I am a devout follower of my mega church, then I can rightly justify denying services to Mormon couples based on the religious freedom argument?

    Accepting the business of a young LDS couple seeking a professional photographer would be akin to tacitly accepting their Temple marriage as being equal to a marriage sanctioned by one and only true church.

    Being forced to do so is an assault on the Constitution and my freedom of religion. The founding fathers would be rolling in their graves. It is my God given right to be a bigot and use religion to shield my bigotry so I can extend this personal bigotry to the public realm.

  • Mike in Texas Cedar City, Utah
    Feb. 12, 2012 5:52 a.m.

    The Rock: If you outlaw murder do you you outlaw "freedom" as well? How about rape, or theft, or any other crime against persons or property?. Discrimination may be more insidious but It can be very damaging to persons and to the universal social compact that we depend upon to maintain a strong civil society.

  • silas brill Heber, UT
    Feb. 12, 2012 6:08 a.m.

    I literally believe Mormonism and Christianity are immoral. That doesn't stop me from doing business with Mormons and Christians.

    But imagine what would happen if, say, Baptist photographers had turned down Mormons for the same reasons?

    May I add one more thing? Is it just me, or does the desertnews.com web site have serious technical problems? I always get too long to respond messages.

  • Tekakaromatagi Dammam, Saudi Arabia
    Feb. 12, 2012 7:24 a.m.

    It is a tenet of progressive/liberal values to choose not to buy or sell as a statement of morality. Japan attached Pearl Harbor because the US and the British empire would not sell them raw materials because of their pillaging of China and Korea. We should rewrite hte history books. Roosevelt was a bigot against Japan and that started World War II.

    I look forward to a growing movement to boycott Israel. Would Israel's defenders sue a university that divests from Israel because they argue that the university not acting on a sincere belief that oppressing the politically weak is immoral but rather because of anti-semitism? In avoiding Israeli products, etc. am I actually a bigot on the same level as the KKK?

  • windsor City, Ut
    Feb. 12, 2012 7:33 a.m.

    Soon the photographer, the wedding cake baker, florist, gazebo owner etc. will catch on and learn the power of lying:

    Oh sorry--can't do your wedding. I'm all booked up.

  • ChuckGG Gaithersburg, MD
    Feb. 12, 2012 7:46 a.m.

    There are several issues here to discuss.

    First, the simple ones: Catholic Charities, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Catholic church, receives tax dollars (and lots of them) to provide social services such as adoption (but other services, as well) for ALL of the public, not just the people it deems as "not sinners." They were not "forced" out of anything. They chose to not comply with the law and backed out of the agreement. Adoption services were farmed out to another corporation. This was the case in DC where CCI contract was for $22M/annually.

    Very simple here. The task was to provide services to the government and comply with all government laws including non-discrimination laws. CCI felt it was unable to perform these services and backed out. Prior to this, however, the church in their typical passive-aggressive manner went on an ad campaign against the upcoming passage of gay marriage in DC, threatening to "pull out of DC" should the law pass. The DC Council called their bluff. With $22M on the table, CCI blinked.

    With regard to the other companies, this is a contentious issue. The parallels between failing to serve a person of color at a public restaurant and failing to serve a gay couple, is very close. I am sure the discrimination against inter-racial marriages and serving people in a restaurant had more than one reference to some biblical restriction. I also am sure the perpetrators of the discrimination felt fully justified at the time. Still, it was discrimination.

    This is a legal issue, no doubt, but it seems to me that if a church or a company hangs out a shingle and is "open for business" to the public, they ought to serve all of the public. They have crossed over from "religious protection" to "capitalism" once they open their pavilion to the public for profitable commercial use.

    But, as a practical matter, I would not push it. I would not want to eat a wedding cake from some company forced to produce the cake. There are plenty other bakeries with which to spend one's dollars. I know it is a matter of principle, but unless there is some severe hardship (the only tux shop in 400 miles), I'd take my dollars elsewhere and alert my friends this establishment discriminates. These kinds of shops are anachronisms in this day and age. In another 20 years, this kind of behavior will be as unusual as would the idea that blacks have to sit in the balcony of a movie theater.

    Hands down, young people (71%(?) of 18-29) are pro-gay-marriage and are perplexed why this is an issue. Proof of this is look at the success behind the repeal of DADT. No reported incidents. Good acceptance and even gay squad leaders have retained their command abilities. Interviews with the troops said their gay squad leader still commands their respect. So, times are changing. Give it some time and this issue will take care of itself as the new generation comes in and takes over.

  • JWB Kaysville, UT
    Feb. 12, 2012 8:17 a.m.

    A President who listened to Reverend Jeremiah Wright for 20 years, who spent a lot of his time preaching social issues instead true religion has skewed this President to believe that Religion is about social issues instead of religion. He has changed religion from belief in God and His teachings of the Ten Commandments and the basic beliefs in the Bible, Judeo-Christian teachings to the social values that have taken over the Congress, Executive and Court's responsibilities to Defend the Constitution of the United States. Both parties have fallen into this realm over the past 50 years. You can buy happiness with money is what they believe is the most important part of their job. The money has gone away so they keep on borrowing money for their happiness. The salaries and more importantly for bankers, Wall Street, and others is to take from others as long as they are happy. They go against the Golden Rule, as long as They are happy with money in Their pockets they don't care for their brother or sister.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 12, 2012 8:22 a.m.

    @The Rock
    "Sorry but most discrimination laws only protect certain groups, mostly liberal constituency groups"

    Actually that's not true, race and gender discrimination protects whites and males too, we just tend to find that majorities (or in the case of men, the ones who are in positions of power more often) tend to not get discriminated against much so it's rarely used for those categories though it can be.

  • Scott Farcus Beaver, UT
    Feb. 12, 2012 8:29 a.m.

    @Christy

    "So discriminating against same sex couples is a 'Christian conviction'?

    I think Christ might have a problem with that."

    Christ did, read the Bible, key words "Sodom and Gomorrah"

  • Scott Farcus Beaver, UT
    Feb. 12, 2012 8:43 a.m.

    To all religious beliefs; all it's going to take is a gay or lesbian couple professing to be a member of your religion, possibly living the rules that your religion lays down, to then ask for a marriage within your synagogs, chapels, cathedrals, churches or temples, then what?

    The first one to say No, will be involved in a law suite, then what?

    How will you answer the question at the Judgement day; what did you do to stop this sin that ravaged the country I gave you?

    Its time to stand up for your religious beliefs. Fight for them and don't be silenced. Its time to band together!

  • Holladay Holladay, UT
    Feb. 12, 2012 8:44 a.m.

    As a gay man, I would not want anyone at my wedding who does not believe in me and my life and the reasons all my family and friends were together. Or would I want to have any ceremony on any church grounds that hate me and my life.

    I'll take my money, family and friends to a community where my partner and I are excepted with open arms and empty cash registers and make the most wonderful day we can.

  • Furry1993 Clearfield, UT
    Feb. 12, 2012 9:04 a.m.

    There is something missing from this article. Each of the mentioned entities, since she/he/it has chosen to go into business and, therefore, has to have a business license. In order to get a business license, the applicant has to agree to comply with statutes and regulations in effect in the jurisdicion. The article doesn't mention the discrimination statutes and regulaions applicable to each entity's jurisdiction. For example, if an area has statutes and regulations which prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation, by obtaining a business license the business entity agrees not to discrimination based on sexual orientation and if it then does discriminate, it is liable for sanction.

    If the entity chooses to do business, it has to comply with applicable statutes and regulations. If it goes against the entity's moral or religious standards to comply with those statutes and regulations, it can choose not to do business. That is where the choice is found. The business entities aren't being FORCED to do anything.

  • Linguist Silver Spring, MD
    Feb. 12, 2012 9:08 a.m.

    It seems to me that there are two independent issues being confused here:

    The first is marriage equality for same-sex couples.

    The second is public accommodations and the laws governing them.

    They aren't the same issue at all.

    If there are sound reasons (and I believe there are) for recognizing the right of same-sex couples to sign legally-binding marriage contracts that opposite-sex couples now get to sign, then those arguments are necessarily independent from issues of who has to recognize legally-binding marriage contracts.

    After all, the Catholic Church need not recognize a civil divorce. How do bakers who follow Catholic teachings handle baking wedding cakes for civil marriages of divorcees?

    How does a Jewish photographer handle the wedding of a mixed-religious couple that her own temple would never agree to?

    How does an Evangelical motel owner respond to an unmarried couple that wants to book a room for the night?

    How does a Christian photographer handle an unmarried gay couple that simply wants to celebrate the 6th anniversary of their meeting?

    I don't know the answer to public accommodation laws, but I do know that this isn't a question that applies uniquely to same-sex marriage. It's exactly the same principle.

    I think this article, however sincere, does a disservice to both gay couples wishing to marry and to those with religious convictions wishing to thrive in a pluralistic society.

  • David B. Cedar City, UT
    Feb. 12, 2012 9:20 a.m.

    I also think this couple was unjustly dealt with by the commission and I would of told them to stuff it! My choice my business! Now personally I don't agree with same sex relationships and I also think it's immoral. This gay couple wanted something for nothing and the more this allowed to happen the more problems there are going to be.
    What ever happened to the business owners choice to set up their business anyway they want. If you're doing work on the internet I would have formated what my service would and would not do and if the customer doesn't like it they can go elsewhere but oh no the customer is trying to dictate how a small business should run thru the commissions or courts.It's also like a small restaurant With an english only menu or having each item listed be a number. Do you have any idea how hard it would be to have a menu in 10 languages.

  • Free Agency Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 12, 2012 9:59 a.m.

    As a gay guy I'm totally in agreement with any private service provider who, for whatever reason, does not want to have gays as their clients. They have the right to choose who they will, and will not provide services for.

    Why any gay would even *want* to hire someone who doesn't approve of him or her is beyond me. There are a multitude of gay and gay-friendly services which would gladly have gay clients.

    I don't understand the gays who brought these "discrimination" suits, but I strongly suspect they're fringe radicals--and in the distinct minority. Please don't get the idea that gays in general are out to "get" religious people. We simply don't want those people to impose their own beliefs on, e.g., our right to marry--a right which does *not* limit in any way how religious people run their own lives. It's a huge distinction.

    Again, this article is not about "gays"--it's about a handful of gay radicals who don't represent the great majority of us.

  • SoCalChris Riverside, CA
    Feb. 12, 2012 10:53 a.m.

    There IS a way to "live and let live." Civil unions.

    The LDS Church's position as described in this piece is once again exactly right. You show tolerance, compassion and accomodation without fully embracing and celebrating something you believe is wrong.

  • Ridgely Magna, UT
    Feb. 12, 2012 10:54 a.m.

    It's interesting that the same week the heavily LDS supported Prop 8 is declared unconstitutional(for a second time), the Des News prints an anti-gay article window dressed as an impending religious liberty crisis. It's specially disingenuous when it is primarily extrapolated from one sensationalized case SEVEN years ago.

    Gay marriage has been legal in Canada, Massachusetts,and parts of Europe for years now. It hasn't changed the daily functions of the LDS Church. It hasn't forced any changes to LDS religious doctrine or beliefs, and hasn't impacted LDS Temple work in those jurisdictions.

    Yet somehow that monumental fact never seems to make it into the Deseret News.

  • OnlyInUtah Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Feb. 12, 2012 12:04 p.m.

    Here's the key... every business and every individual has the right to refuse service to anyone but not in a discriminatory manner. For example, the photographer in the story should not have refused to take the photos because of the sexual orientation of the customer. But she could easily have refused based on a "scheduling conflict" or other non-discriminatory reason.

  • Kitenoa Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 12, 2012 12:06 p.m.

    For once, a balanced article. My comment:

    At many restaurants there is a sign at the front desk that reads "we reserve the right to deny anyone service", especially if the customer is antagonistic toward the restaurant's house rules". At bars, unruly or uncomplying customers are physically removed from the premises by a security officer (or bouncers). A customer can choose to comply with reasonable house rules (such as the business owner's religious belief does not allow them to photograph gay unions) or CHOOSE another business that allows services. It may be inconveinient but neverthless reasonable. Gays cannot force others against their rights to religious liberty and personal convictions. And it goes both ways, business cannot stop a celebration from happening.

    Financially, the house rule is an income loss to the business owners BUT you both get to choose; and you continue to have your freedom to choose.

    In this case, the photographer does not have a bouncer to kick out unruly gay couples, neither can the photographer stop the wedding celebration from proceeding.

  • lds4gaymarriage Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 12, 2012 12:31 p.m.

    Reading about the wedding photographer, the Ocean Grove Methodists and catholic Charities yet again reminds me of all of the anti-Mormon literature I've come across...Both have been answered and refuted several times yet their supporters refuse to even consider the truth.

    The businesses were in jurisdictions that forbade discrimination against gays, yet they CHOSE to do so. They knowingly violated the law of their own free will and choice.

    The Ocean Grove Methodists made a deal with the government to allow the park/gazebo to be tax exempt if it were open to the public. Weddings, concerts, etc... were held there. The church knowingly violated the deal of their own free will and choice.

    catholic Charities likewise knowingly violated the deal with the state of their own free will and choice. They got money if they didn't discriminate. They took the money anyway and discriminated.

    Being a libertarian, I am ALL in favor of ANy business being able to discriminate against ANYONE for whatever reason they choose, including race, religion, sex, etc...

    We as a society have chosen another path. We don't allow it. We LDS and other Christians can't say that OUR discrimination against others is fine, but discrimination against us is wrong. Christ hated hypocrites.

  • very concerned Sandy, UT
    Feb. 12, 2012 12:40 p.m.

    I do not believe in the basic premises upon which homosexuals have historically based their case. These premises are systematically assumed nowadays as fact. The scientific basis of such assumptions are not irrefutable.

    If I believed those premises; that homosexuality is uncontrollable (i.e. a biological imperative), that abstinence is not a viable option, that there is nothing immoral/unhealthy with having same-sex, that there is no God, nor prophet, then it would certainly follow that gay people are truly a persecuted minority and need the same *rights* (i.e. legalized same-sex marriage) as heterosexuals. These premises automatically lead to the kind of demands being made. Without these premises, the whole house of cards falls.

    Respectfully, I do not believe those premises. I know many of you do. The problem is that the pendulum is swinging so far in your direction that the First Amendment rights of sincere religious people are in jeopardy. I hope that concerns you of the GLBT community who are also sincere in your beliefs.

    Of course, those who practice GLBT lifestyles deserve respect and compassion just as any fellow human beings. But not at the expense of religious rights.

  • markusjbear Foothill Ranch, CA
    Feb. 12, 2012 12:43 p.m.

    Again, this is not a case of civil liberties but this is a case of Religious Freedom and Freedom of Speech. People do not like to hear that they are living amoral and want to stifle anyone who says they are living amoral. The gay community was all upset when a lesbian actor said this was her choice. They want to force her and us to think that it is all biological and not a choice. If we say this life style is wrong we are labeled a bigot the discrimination is turned around.

    The article was very well done. The article did not include the doctor in California that was force to complete artificial incrementation on a lesbian couple against his will or the San Diego firefighter that was forced to participate in gay-lesbian parade against his will.

    Many comments accused the article of need to be in the options column, but again, when someone brings out the facts that are against the gay and lesbian community, they scream and yell that it is opinion and want to silence it. The bottom line, the gay and lesbian agenda will put great limitations on religious freedom and the freedom of speech,which is The very cornerstone of this country.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 12, 2012 12:53 p.m.

    @OnlyInUtah
    So lying... you want someone to lie to cover up their discrimination?

  • SoCalChris Riverside, CA
    Feb. 12, 2012 12:58 p.m.

    These aren't isolated cases. There's a similar case going on right now with a bed and breakfast in Hawaii.

    The IS a slippery slope. The sky IS falling for those of us who don't believe homosexuality is perfectly normal and healthy and don't want our kids taught that it is. In California it's not tolerance it's totalitarianism. You WILL agree with our position. A handful of elite judges have foisted gay marriage on California despite what voters have had to say. SB 48 will now force schools to indoctrinate kids from Kindergarten on up about gays and lesbians.

    I will say this. It's wrong to refuse to photograph someone simply because he or she is gay. But it's also wrong to insist that someone photograph a gay wedding or some other overtly gay activity. There's a big difference.

  • DEW Sandy, UT
    Feb. 12, 2012 1:05 p.m.

    Those people who voted this Prop 8 going to be sued and fined? This is getting ugly and evil.

  • moderateinmagna MAGNA, UT
    Feb. 12, 2012 1:17 p.m.

    So i guess that any business that has a sign up that says "We reserve the right to refuse service to anybody" could be sued for discrimination if they decided not to serve someone who has long hair and tattoos even tho the owners had the sign up saying the reserve that right.

  • mytymouse09 SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Feb. 12, 2012 1:29 p.m.

    I'm so tired of gays DEMANDING their rights -- what about the rights of people who don't embrace the beliefs of gays. If this couple declined to photograph the lesbian couple in their "commitment", that should have been their choice without the fear of being sued. Too bad the photographers don't sue the lesbian couple for discriminating against the beliefs of the photographers. I'm sure the lesbians could have found a photographer who would have complied to their wants, but no, they had to make a big issue out of it and cause a financial burden to a young company. There are too many gays who are thin skinned, and think they are the only ones with rights. Before I get responses attacking my comment, I have a gay son, who I love dearly, and he even thinks there are too many obnoxious gays in our society.

  • Flashback Kearns, UT
    Feb. 12, 2012 1:47 p.m.

    I personally don't care who anyone sleeps with (unless it violates the law). That is their business and the government shouldn't be peeping into their bedrooms. That said, the only way that homosexuals have to practice their form of "poor me I'm discriminated against" is in the courts and the so called "human rights" commissions. I for one am getting sick and tired of the homosexual community always trying to ram things down my throat. If you go and watch one of their parades, they are in your face. The homosexual community want acceptance and tolerance. They should be able to give it back.

    In this case there were more than likely 100's of photographers those people could have chosed after being turned down by these people. Why didn't they go to another photographer? They threw the equivalent of a tantrum and wanted to force someone to accept their views and their way, which by the way is not the way Americans do things. There is no middle ground in this because no one wants there to be.

  • ulvegaard Medical Lake, Washington
    Feb. 12, 2012 2:31 p.m.

    If a boy scout had approached these photographers, wanting them to take pictures at his Eagle Court of Honor and, for what ever reason, they declined -- there might have been a few critical words spoken around the dinner table and the community. But a law suit? I doubt it.

    There is a difference between a hospital refusing to treat someone, and some photographer listed in the yellow pages from wanting to do business with someone, or anyone. It's capitalism in it's purest form. You do business, you make money, you don't, you lose out. Again, we're not talking about life threatening issues here.

    I don't think it's right to deny people services that are needful for existence - food, shelter, clothing --- but if I don't want to mow your lawn because there are too many hills, or someone won't paint my house because the siding is falling off . . . . there has to be some common sense here.

    From what I see, I get the feeling some individuals might even be purposely approaching someone to take pictures, rent a hall, or what ever, knowing full well they'll be turned down just so they can run to an attorney.

    These are the tenets of liberty or freedom. I don't attend churches which disagree with my beliefs just to start a fight -- but some do.

  • Macfarren Dallas, TX
    Feb. 12, 2012 2:44 p.m.

    Let's take this photography example to the extreme and see if the same logic holds up that the current court holds to. Let's say an active Christian photographer is asked by a potential client to do a pornographic photo-shoot. The photographer declines on the basis of violation of his beliefs. The potential client sues because they felt 'discriminated' against. Since pornography is not illegal, do you think the court would rule against the photographer?

    Many say that the wedding photo issue is no big deal and we should all get over it. Wake up! It's not about the wedding, it's about the ramifications of government intrusion into private (note-- not public) business, and the voice of a tiny angry minority turning the world on its head.

  • jonjon Cedar Hills, UT
    Feb. 12, 2012 2:51 p.m.

    thanks for the article. Discrimination is taking away someone rights based and gender, race, sexual preference. I didn't know that have a photographer at your wedding is someones right as a human being. I wish we would just let Capitalism work in this country. Another photographer could create a niche and get very well known for same sex weddings. Free Markets work, if the government would let them

  • ParkCityAggie Park City, Ut
    Feb. 12, 2012 2:55 p.m.

    Rational people of Utah.. Unite and take over!

  • Kimber Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 12, 2012 4:06 p.m.

    I am for religious liberty and for all people to have equal rights. I was a big reader of the civil rights movement and this reminds me of some of my readings. It used to be that black people, women, and others were not allowed in certain jobs, public and other areas until their rights were addressed. We don't have to agree how a person lives their lives to respect them.

  • moniker lewinsky Taylorsville, UT
    Feb. 12, 2012 4:31 p.m.

    It seems like a very very few bigots have gotten a taste of what gays and lesbians have experienced for years. I believe that private businesses- as long as they aren't getting government tax exemptions- should be able to decide whom to serve. Sometimes the courts make bad decisions. That said,

    1) denying an entire class of people civil rights is not the way to go about ensuring that the rights of religious people are protected. Especially when gays are far more threatened than conservatives. I'm sure we can find ways to make sure that everybody's rights are protected. But please let's not make anti-gay bigots out to be a threatened class because of a few isolated incidents.

    2)It is not treating somebody unfairly to boycott their business because you disagree with their business practices. Conservatives are pro at doing this, in fact. Conservative groups are always boycotting liberal business for this and that. They houldn't complain when Liberals do the same. That's free enterprise, a concept conservatives agree with for the most part.)

  • OnlyInUtah Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Feb. 12, 2012 4:40 p.m.

    to atl134:

    Yes, because the gays and lesbians can't handle the truth. So if a lie will make them feel better about their lifestyle I'd be happy to lie. The truth of the matter is that they live in sin and expect us to accept it and adjust our lives to cover up those sins.. which is the bigger lie?

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 12, 2012 5:16 p.m.

    One thing that should be noted is that this took place in New Mexico. So "fear of these sorts of things occurring" wouldn't be a reason to ban gay marriage since there's no gay marriage in New Mexico.

  • zabivka Orem, UT
    Feb. 12, 2012 5:17 p.m.

    I'm a huge champion of LGBT rights, however I think one thing that might help resolve this issue is perhaps a change in how the law is structured. There might be a way to ensure that minority groups like this can receive medical attention, housing, and food without discrimination, while service-oriented things like photography, graphic design, etc. would not be forced to accommodate the individual.

    As a web developer, I would be completely uncomfortable if I were forced to build a pornographic website, even though it is a completely legal endeavor. It's a tough, tough, issue, to be sure. I personally don't see anything immoral about two people of the same sex being in love and sharing a union, but I understand how this issue illustrates a collision between the rights of two groups.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 12, 2012 5:21 p.m.

    @mytymouse09

    " Before I get responses attacking my comment, I have a gay son, who I love dearly, and he even thinks there are too many obnoxious gays in our society. "

    I don't care if you have a gay son, you're advocating discrimination against a group of people and you're hiding behind the "hey I'm not racist I have black friends" defense.

  • Free Agency Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 12, 2012 5:46 p.m.

    @mytymouse09

    There are a number of gays who are "political"--not just in terms of securing the same rights for gays that straights have--but in terms of "pushing the envelope." Which often means demanding that people accept them who don't want to accept them.

    These are the gays who the media so often showcase, because they capture eyeballs.

    But there's a much greater number of gays who simply want to lead quiet, live-and-let-live lives. They're not so interesting to the media, just as most straights who have the same attitude aren't very interesting to the media.

    My point is that they public gets a very distorted view of what gays in general want. As I implied in an earlier posting, most gays have no desire to be around people who disapprove of them--much less support those people's businesses. Only someone with a radical agenda would push for this. Especially in a city like Albuquerque, which has a significant number of gay and gay-friendly businesses.

    To repeat my earlier message: please don't judge America's gay population by the acts of a relatively few people. Whether you're aware of it or not, you already know a number of gays. They'll never make the news, just as you most likely never will. But they--or should I say, we--are the gay majority.

  • Jeff Temple City, CA
    Feb. 12, 2012 5:54 p.m.

    For me the distinguishing point at which discrimintation based on religious beliefs must be allowed is the point at which one may feel that one is encouraging an improper sexual relationship.

    This is hard to define or prove, under normal circumstances, but in the case of a "commitment ceremony" (euphemistic for same-gender marriage where same-gender marriage is illegal) or marriage ceremony, the sexual relationship may be taken for granted.

    A celebration of such a sexual relationship would be offensive to most Christians, Jews, and Muslims who believe it to be an abomination. If a photographer views photographing a celebration of same-gender sexuality as abomination, that photographer rightly ought to be allowed to choose not to take the photographs, as suggested in a post above that uses pornography as an example.

    In matters such as housing, non-celebratory food, hospital visitation rights, and inheritance rights one may not safely assume that any such sexual relationship exists; these matters may rightly be protected by anti-discrimination laws.

  • the truth Holladay, UT
    Feb. 12, 2012 5:58 p.m.

    This all about the extreme left believing the are entitled to someone elses labor, skills, talents, time, money, services, property, and business.

    Let's make it simple for them: they do not.

    Thye MUST take away someoe else freedom to do this.

    YOur rights end when you stomp on my freedom and rights.

    This nonsense about they get this public thing or that public thing does not fly. There is nothting in the constitution that says one must give up constitutional rights if you receive some public thing. You do not have constitutional rights to demand something from another person or group.

    Depriving someone of rights based on skin color or ethnicity is not the same.

    Homosexuals and the left should be ashamed of themselves when they try.

    Lets us not forget religious expression is a guaranteed right.

  • ProudUtahn St. George, Utah
    Feb. 12, 2012 6:34 p.m.

    Henry Drummond San Jose, CA
    "I think the Deseret News is way over the line here. There is another side to the story.
    Those who are concerned about gay rights deserve to have their concerns aired. But doesn't a newspaper have the obligation to give both sides a voice?"

    There is always 3 sides to every story! Yours, Mine and what realy happened. I do not know what papers you read, but all I have seen in the media (both print and on tv) is the gay and lesbian side of the story. I have never seen any news media give justice to both sides they are always major slanted (mostly to the left) It was very refreshing to read this article!!

  • TA1 Alexandria, VA
    Feb. 12, 2012 7:07 p.m.

    In my opinion the term "Religious Liberty" merely suggests that those who operate businesses in the public arena can discriminate against people they donât like (for âreligious reasonsâ). If you are going to be a licensed business operating in the public arena, you cannot discriminate. You may ask for common courtesy and respect from those whom you do business with, and if you cannot be civil between the two parties then you simply walk away. The free market will decide who was right or wrong, but in the end - arbitrary and capricious discrimination (which is what this call for âReligious Libertyâ strikes me as) is, was, and forever will be wrong.

  • Macfarren Dallas, TX
    Feb. 12, 2012 7:34 p.m.

    Small business being forced to provide services against their personal beliefs.

    Church-owned companies being forced to provide birth control against their beliefs.

    Children being force-taught about homosexuality in schools, against their beliefs.

    Citizens being forced to purchase health care, on threat of financial penalty, against their wishes.

    Have you noticed? The country is not the country you knew 4 years ago. So does anybody want to discuss the Constitution hanging by a thread yet?

  • newintown WOODS CROSS, UT
    Feb. 12, 2012 8:30 p.m.

    So,
    Does this couple have the "right" to to be photographed by this woman? I know, the question sounds simple, but is their constitutional right to have this photographer do their wedding? Since when does any of us have the right to demand service from someone else?

    Is it the same right we each have to be supported by the rich? Is it the same right each of us has to insist that our employer pay for our health care?

    Is it the same right we each have to be successful financially whether we merit or not?

    None of these rights exists. neither does the right to demand that someone else supply service to us, gay or not. The commission erred badly here and set yet another precedent for poor social engineering.

    No contract existed between these parties as no offer was made nor accepted and no consideration changed hands. This is purely a matter of PC run amok.

    As purely a side note, I would not want someone taking my wedding pictures who did not want to do it.

  • Stenar Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 12, 2012 9:21 p.m.

    There's no place for bigotry.

  • lds4gaymarriage Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 12, 2012 9:35 p.m.

    markusjbear
    The gay community was all upset when a lesbian actor said this was her choice.
    LDS4
    She later explained that she was bi-sexual and CHOSE to be involved with a woman and be a defacto lesbian. She cannot choose to not be attracted to women.

    SoCalChris
    Riverside, CA
    These aren't isolated cases. There's a similar case going on right now with a bed and breakfast in Hawaii.
    LDS4
    This is no different than the other businesses who, of their own free will and choice, choose to disobey the law regarding discrimination.

    SoCalChris
    A handful of elite judges have foisted gay marriage on California despite what voters have had to say.
    LDS4
    I read the decision. I also read the previous decision which was being challenged. The decision was proper. The only objection Judge Smith (the LDS judge from Idaho) offered was that Prop.8 could pass "rational basis scrutiny" because the state has an interest in having kids raised in the "optimal parenting situation". The problem with his assertion, as explained by the majority opinion, is that Prop. 8 was intentionally written and openly advertized/marketed as not changing any laws or rights that gays had prior to 8...just the term "marriage" would be denied. If no LEGAL rights were changed, then there is no way the 8 would have ANY effect on any child being in an "optimal parenting situation". Denying gays the name "marriage" does nothing to better the parenting situation of any child.

    perhaps Judge Smith was feeling pressure to give at least token opposition to ensure the ruling wasn't unanimous. He succeeded in both, especially giving a minimal and token dissent.

    Macfarren
    So does anybody want to discuss the Constitution hanging by a thread yet?
    LDS4
    After reading the three decisions on 8, I can honestly say that if the Constitution were hanging by a thread, we LDS were the ones who tried to bring the scissors.

  • 1hemlock Tooele, Utah
    Feb. 12, 2012 10:26 p.m.

    While "Gay rights" are promoted and at the forefront Gay marriage, the future consequences have to be taken into account. Statistics that are glaring are: 50%smoke, over 50% drink alcohol, there is double the use of illicit drugs then in the regular population, there is double the incidence of "domestic abuse" in these households, 70% are depressed and the depression was shown to NOT be due to societal pressures on Gay people, life expectancy is 20 years shorter than the regular population (just to cite a few statistics). Any of those factors make for a troubled home. By granting marriage they would then have equal standing in court as any other couple that wants to adopt. And we want to allow children into to households that have all those negatives? The incidence of all of those problems increases in their children. Children have the right to be raised by a mother and father. That is and has been the ideal for millennia. The slippery slope of "gay rights" and consequences is before us.

  • Alfred Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 12, 2012 10:43 p.m.

    A Scientist:

    "Can a business owner likewise claim, 'We don't do business with Mormons,' or how about 'We don't serve blacks here'?"

    Or, how about 'This restaurant does not serve people entering with no shoes or shirts.'?

    Seems a business can refuse service to anyone for any reason.

  • wrz Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 12, 2012 11:41 p.m.

    Darrel: "Religiously I find coffee and tea offensive...does that give me the right to ban them from the work place? No"

    Personally I find smoking offensive... does that give me the right to ban smoking in my restaurant?

    Truthseeker: "Should people be denied housing or service in a restaurant due to sexual orientation?"

    Should people be denied services in a restaurant if they want to smoke there?

    Christy: "So discriminating against same sex couples is a 'Christian conviction'?"

    You can find information about distaste of same sex couples in the Christian Bible. Look it up.

    ClarkHippo: "I've heard people say, 'If gay and lesbian couples can go into any business and demand service, next thing you know, they'll demand to be married in any church they want and no one can stop them,' but in my opinion, such arguments are apples and oranges."

    Don't hold your breath. You apparently haven't a clue as to the power the federal government has acquired in the last few decades.

    Owen: "You're right, however, that it will affect their lives. For the better. The same way accepting diversity has throughout American history."

    Wait'll your kid goes to a school dance mixer where the girls form a line and the boys form a line to encourage pairing. Where would the same sex kids line up... with their same sex or opposite sex?

  • SoCalChris Riverside, CA
    Feb. 12, 2012 11:52 p.m.

    LDS4
    I read the decision. I also read the previous decision which was being challenged. The decision was proper.

    SoCalChris
    Oh. Well that settles it then.

    Seriously. There is no legal precedent or legal analysis and certainly nothing in the 14th Amendment itself that requires the original Cal Supreme Ct edict enunciating gay marriage in Calif, the District Ct decision finding Prop 8 in violation of the Fed Const, or the 9th Circuit's decision. The 9th circuit had to use that cynical ploy - that a right had been granted (oh yeah, by other justices) and then taken away - because they know the traditional definition of marriage will pass a rational basis test. Yes, gay marriage has been foisted upon California -- in a shameful way.

  • Owen Heber City, UT
    Feb. 13, 2012 12:06 a.m.

    They would leave, feeling as discriminated against as segregated blacks did - having no "place" in polite society.

  • Christy Beaverton, OR
    Feb. 13, 2012 12:53 a.m.

    This is what Jesus said about gay people.
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    He didn't mention them. So you can't use the 'love the sinner, hate the sin' thing. YOU labeled it sin. HE didn't.

    Why don't you pay more attention to his, "As I have loved you, love one another" admonition?

  • Christy Beaverton, OR
    Feb. 13, 2012 1:23 a.m.

    It's so tempting to try to address all the wild lies and dead wrong, made up statistics regarding gay people and gay couples on vivid display here.

    But it's better to remember that truth overcomes lies, and love overcomes hate. Civilization is naturally progressive.

    Such narrow, bigoted views thin out and die, for the most part.

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    Feb. 13, 2012 8:08 a.m.

    wrz says:

    "You can find information about distaste of same sex couples in the Christian Bible. Look it up."

    Your own God said: "As ye have done to the least of these, ye have done unto me" - Look it up.

    ---

    "Distaste" isn't a valid reason to invalidate Constitutional Rights of any Citizens. Your bible and it's "distaste" has no standing in Civil Law.

    SoCalChris;

    The Constitution guarantees Equal Protection under the Law to ALL Citizens; even those you don't approve of.

  • lds4gaymarriage Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 13, 2012 8:46 a.m.

    ClarkHippo: "I've heard people say, 'If gay and lesbian couples can go into any business and demand service, next thing you know, they'll demand to be married in any church they want and no one can stop them,' but in my opinion, such arguments are apples and oranges."
    wrz
    You apparently haven't a clue as to the power the federal government has acquired in the last few decades.
    LDS4
    If gays ever try that, a constitutional amendment banning that would pass so easily that no politician would dare oppose it. Even most gays would support it. Women have FAR more power than gays and yet there has been no push trying to force LDS and Catholics to ordain women.


    SoCalChris
    The 9th circuit had to use that cynical ploy - that a right had been granted (oh yeah, by other justices) and then taken away - because they know the traditional definition of marriage will pass a rational basis test.
    LDS4
    The CA Supreme Court has a right, under CA's constitution, to interpret CA's constitution and they felt that Prop.22 violated CA's constitution. If prop.22 was a constitutional amendment instead of a state statute, no gays would have been married and therefore the 9th's reasoning wouldn't have applied and it would have been found constitutional under federal law. The anti-gay strategists made the tactical error in passing 22 as a statute.

    I wish you would address my comments on Judge Smith's opinion.

    Do you support the "separate but equal" status offered by Civil Unions?

  • county mom Monroe, UT
    Feb. 13, 2012 8:47 a.m.

    I would not ask someone who hates Mormons to come to the temple and take pictures. I would not ask someone who hates the Boy Scouts to come to an Eagle Court of Honor. If someone told me it was against their religious beliefs to take pictures of my family I would honor their right to believe as they wish and find someone who likes families. If my child married an African American, I would welcome them with open arms but, there are those in my extended family that would not. I would be hurt but I would honor their right to not come to the wedding. My rights do not extend into forcing others to believe as I do!

  • A Scientist Provo, UT
    Feb. 13, 2012 9:04 a.m.

    These businesses advertised their products and services to the general public without any caveats or conditions specified. Based on those ads, same sex couples had a reasonable expectation to receive goods and services. For these business owners to lure them in then deny those services for any reason is at minimum false advertising. To deny the advertised services explicitly for reasons of race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, and such is explicit illegal discrimination.

    If these businesses do not want to do business with "those kind" of people, then they must disclose that in their advertising and post it openly where the public can see:

    "Heterosexual Photography Only"

    "This pavilion reserved exclusively for the use of 'worthy' Christians who are not violating Leviticus 18:22"

    "Whites Only"

    -- oops, wrong issue with that last one, right?

    Claiming that your customers, who responded to your business advertising, are violating your religious freedoms by accepting your offer for goods and services, is disingenuous, false advertising, and downright illegal!

  • newintown WOODS CROSS, UT
    Feb. 13, 2012 9:15 a.m.

    The merit in this case is specious at best. This gay couple simply found a way to get a free $6,000. Why in the world would you insist that someone who doesn't want your business perform a service for you? Has logic and reason gone completely AWOL?

    Again, this is not a public accomodation business. It is subject to agreement on the part of both parties before any contract exists. It is no different than saying "I don't take photos in bars. Please contract someone aho does." This issue is yet again being hijacked legally and politically by LGBT extremism run amok.

    How about a service that only reds books to disabled children? Am I legally obligated to read to any person who requests my services or suffer legal action?

    Can a hotel refuse service to people who insist their pets are "family?"

  • Pagan Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 13, 2012 9:24 a.m.

    'All I want to know is, where's Pagan?' - Shuzzie53 | 1:05 a.m. Feb. 12, 2012

    I'm here, I'm here!

    Always nice to be wanted. :)

    Now, the crux of the issue is that homosexuality might conflict with religious practice, right?

    Which one?

    No. Really. Which religion are we going to follow?

    As, some Judeo-Christian faiths actually SUPPORT gay marriage. One example?

    United Church of Canada.

    Also, there is more than ONE faith. Mormon, Wiccan, Catholic, Muslim, etc.

    So, if we are going to follow the teachings of religion about homosexuality...

    1) Which one, should we follow?

    2) Are we then going to follow ALL teachings from a faith?

    As exampled, the bible has stories of:

    Rape
    Infidelity
    Slavery
    Murder
    Genocide.

    So, are we going to follow the teachings in the bible about homosexuality...and then NOT follow the examples of selling a wife into servitude. (Moses)

    2) Which teachings, are we going to follow?

    i.e. If we are going to deny photography due to homosexuality...

    then we cannot photograph people who are divorced.

  • A Scientist Provo, UT
    Feb. 13, 2012 9:25 a.m.

    False advertising is one thing. But then to turn this on its head, as this article tries to do, and make the false advertising business owners out to be innocent victims of gay and lesbian "activism" is blatantly dishonest and appalling.

    And it is hypocritical, especially when you consider that these religious business owners are all claiming to follow the doctrines of Jesus, who not only "did business with" but also dined with and hung out with tax collectors, drunkards, prostitutes, and probably a few gays and lesbians!

    Are these religious business owners placing themselves above their claimed Master? Are they claiming to be better than Him?

    It sure seems that way.

  • Pagan Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 13, 2012 9:27 a.m.

    Also:

    If we are going to target homosexuals then ANY minority can be subject to the same treatment.

    I will bring up the 'white only' resturants for Ameriocans of color in the 1950's.

    NOT, because orientation is comparable to race but because BOTH...

    are examples of discrimination.

    The only difference is that once you are INFORMED of a persons orientation, they are not 'moral.'

    And yet BEFORE the photagrapher found out, it was 'fine.'

    The people who do cannot see PAST the issue of race, do not want to draw the parralels of discrimination.

    Would then make THIS statement:

    **'Rick Perry backer decries Mitt Romney, Mormons' - By Jamshid Ghazi Askar, Deseret News - 10/08/11

    "(Robert) Jeffress described Romney's Mormon faith as a 'cult,' and said evangelicals had only one real option in the 2012 primaries. ... Asked by Politico if he believed Romney is a Christian, Jeffress answered: 'No.' " - article

    I want any Mormon willing to DEFEND this comment...

    after defending discrimination against LGBT.

  • Pagan Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 13, 2012 9:31 a.m.

    '...70% are depressed and the depression was shown to NOT be due to societal pressures on Gay people...' - 1hemlock | 10:26 p.m. Feb. 12, 2012

    Let me show you the facts:

    **'Teens gay or straight more likely to attempt suicide in conservative towns' - By LINDSEY TANNER - Medical Writer - AP - 04/18/11

    'CHICAGO Suicide attempts by gay teens and even straight kids are more common in politically conservative areas where schools don't have programs supporting gay rights, a study involving nearly 32,000 high school students found.' - article


    Utah, is one of the most conservative states in America.

    And:

    **'Utahns think about suicide more than other Americans, study shows' - By Dennis Romboy, Deseret News - 10/21/11

    There is a DIRECT link to conservatism and depression.

    And unlike you, I can prove it.

    'Children have the right to be raised by a mother and father.' - 1hemlock | 10:26 p.m. Feb. 12, 2012

    No.

    They do not.

    And I can prove it in two words:

    Bristol. Palin.

    "In most ways, the accumulated research shows, children of same-sex parents are not markedly different from those of heterosexual parents."

    - AMERICAN ACADEMY OF PEDIATRICS (AAP) - 02/01/10

  • Anti Government Alpine, UT
    Feb. 13, 2012 9:48 a.m.

    As usual and as promised, it is not enough that they be allowed to marry etc but now the militant gay community will force you to take pictures of them even if you don't want to.

    Imagine, they are forcing you to take pictures of them or else.

    So where will the line be drawn about what they can force you to do?

    I'm sure thera are plenty of photographers who would take their picture but they want to legally force this one to do it.

    Gays expect tolerance for all of their beliefs and yet will tolerate nothing but forcing you into behaviors you thought you had a choice in.

    Gay people create alot of the animosity themselves.

  • Pagan Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 13, 2012 9:59 a.m.

    'As usual and as promised, it is not enough that they be allowed to marry etc but now the militant gay community will force you to take pictures of them...' - Anti Government | 9:48 a.m. Feb. 13, 2012

    The.

    Humanity. (sarcasm)

    Tell me where it says in your religion...

    to not take pictures, of homosexuals.

    Can't find it?

    That's because there is no such rule.

    'False advertising is one thing. But then to turn this on its head, as this article tries to do, and make the false advertising business owners out to be innocent victims of gay and lesbian "activism" is blatantly dishonest and appalling.' - A Scientist | 9:25 a.m. Feb. 13, 2012

    Best quote in the comment board.

    The issue here is disclaimer.

    What happened to the 'Right to refuse service' buisness?

    They don't exist.

    People have a right to have service, if they have the money to PAY, for service.

    Can you picture honest disclaimers?

    'We reserve the right to refuse service. If you are black, female, or gay we can deny you serivce. If I do not believe you are 'Christian', I can deny you service. If you are not in good standing...'

  • DanO Mission Viejo, CA
    Feb. 13, 2012 10:18 a.m.

    The irony is we are becoming more and more like Sodom every day.. but it's the true sin of Sodom: being inhospitable.

    "Also thou shalt not oppress a stranger: for ye know the heart of a stranger, seeing ye were strangers in the land of Egypt."

  • spring street SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Feb. 13, 2012 10:20 a.m.

    1hemlock illustrates the real reason christians have lost a lot of their previous standing in society it is simply due to their own words and deeds. Since christians have taken to complete fabrications and blatantly lie about those they do not agree with they have done more damage to their own reputation and standing in society then any atheist or gay person could ever do. As pagan has already illustrated there s not one fact in 1hemlocks entire post. If Christians want respect maybe they should stop breaking their own commandments and live by their own dictates.

  • Al_Tenuta SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Feb. 13, 2012 10:49 a.m.

    Photographers, simply say you loathe gay marriage, but you will shoot the wedding because you really need the money. Any reasonable person would find someone else to photograph their wedding.

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    Feb. 13, 2012 11:07 a.m.

    One's "right of conscience" says that if I don't believe in something I don't do it. It says nothing about refusing to do business with those who do participate in the things I find morally wrong.

    Examples;

    (1) Drug use. Does this photographer do weddings of drug users/pushers? If so, isn't she "violating" her religious conscience?

    (2) Rape and Murder. Does she photograph the weddings of rapists and murderers?

    (3) Child abuse. Does she photograph the weddings of people like the Sloops?

    (4) Shellfish eaters. Does she photograph the weddings of those who eat shellfish? These people are abominations too, you can read all about it in that wonderful book everyone seems to be quoting all the time, you know, the "Bible".

    (5) Gingrich's 2nd & 3rd marriages. Would she have photographed these weddings? You know, both wife #2, wife #3 as well as Gingy were all adulterers and should have been stoned according to her "Christian beliefs".

    I'll bet you she would have serviced all of the above weddings though. Any takers?

    Nothing in your Christian Values says you can't do business with sinners, only that you, yourself shouldn't sin.

    That is what your "right of conscience" should be about: "I won't sin, but whatever others do is none of my business and won't affect how I do business with them".

  • christoph Brigham City, UT
    Feb. 13, 2012 11:10 a.m.

    Nobody is interested in gay marriage; just turning society and schools and nations and families upside down (due to boredom) and calling religion and history and traditional family-- bad names. You have been discriminated against? Who cares? The Mormons were treated badly in Missouri and Illinois and ended up leaving the USA and going to Mexico (Utah). Have faith and forgive and pray and fast and believe in community. A society that disagrees on every single issue is divided and won't last. Get a library card, take up art, poetry, golf, learn a language, start a business, write a book, start your own university. God allows us to do a thousand hobbies but says no to a few things.
    If you can't say no to gay marriage, you won't say no to anything.

  • christoph Brigham City, UT
    Feb. 13, 2012 11:15 a.m.

    Christy in Oregon----Peter and Paul called it sin---they did the Lord's dirty work. The New Testament is more bold against this than the Book of Mormon. Over 50 times Peter and Paul condemn lust and putting flesh over spirit. Peter and Paul were called to leadership for a reason.

  • 22ozn44ozglass Southern Utah, UT
    Feb. 13, 2012 11:34 a.m.

    DanO

    "The irony is we are becoming more and more like Sodom every day.. but it's the true sin of Sodom: being inhospitable"

    This claim that the sin of Sodom was being "inhospitable" does not hold up under scrutiny.

    Genesis 18:20
    20 And the Lord said, Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grievous;

    Genesis 13:13
    13 But the men of Sodom were wicked and sinners before the Lord exceedingly.

    Genesis 18:26
    26 And the Lord said, If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare all the place for their sakes.

    2 Peter 2:6
    6 And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly;

    Jude 1:7
    7 Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.

    Genesis 19:4-5
    4 ¶But before they lay down, the men of the city, even the men of Sodom, compassed the house round, both old and young, all the people from every quarter:

    5 And they called unto Lot, and said unto him, Where are the men which came in to thee this night? bring them out unto us, that we may know them.

  • Rick LT GLENDALE, AZ
    Feb. 13, 2012 11:43 a.m.

    There is no such thing as "gay rights". Check the constitution. However, freedom OF religion IS in the constitution. Any person in America, single, and of legal is can marry anyone else of the opposite sex they choose. No discrimination there. This NM commission is just another example of a radical left wing-nut agenda gone awry. Churches in NM need to rise up in arms over this to get the governor to disband the commission.

  • CTR Stan PROVO, UT
    Feb. 13, 2012 11:51 a.m.

    Why is it that the public forum constantly being forced into the religious forum, while the religious forum is constantly being forced out of the public forum? It seem the separation of church and state is a one way street with religious freedoms constantly being eroded.

    I used to create websites and whenever I was asked to make a pornographic website I always refused based on my religious beliefs. I am grateful I did not live in New Mexico or I may have had to pay the pornographers not to build them a website. If court ordered to make a porn site I would choose to go to jail.

    Due to personal experience with some gay individuals showing off their nude gay photos; I feel Elaine Huguenin had every right to refuse photographing the ceremony. What if Vanessa Willock asked Elaine Huguenin to take some erotic photos of their wedding or reception? It would not be a surprise if this happened. Elaine Huguenin had every right to refuse photographing Vanessa Willock. There was no damage done to Vanessa Willock. Gays are constantly pushing the boundaries, constantly forcing their way of life on others. I know this from experience too! My wife was regularly hounded by her sister's lesbian friends to come out, when she wanted nothing to do with them. My son is also a victim of gays trying to get their way with him at his workplace. This is harassment, yet it would be politically incorrect and dangerous to speak out against the harassment by the gay community.

  • Rynn Las Vegas, NV
    Feb. 13, 2012 12:14 p.m.

    RE: Why do people mix up homosexual behavior with race? People are born with a particular race - but Hollywood and the media have given us plenty of examples of people who switch between hetero and homosexual. A black man is always going to be black, no matter what. He didn't choose it and he can't change it.

    ........religion is a choice too.

  • DanO Mission Viejo, CA
    Feb. 13, 2012 12:24 p.m.

    22ozn44ozglass, and none of those quotes had anything to do with loving committed gay relationships. The Genesis 19:4-5 quote is about an act of rape and humiliation, a very inhospitable act to say the least.

    Ezekiel 16:49 "Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy."

    Nope.. not about committed gay relationships.

  • spring street SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Feb. 13, 2012 12:31 p.m.

    @Rynn

    whether it is a chosen behavior or if people are born that way is a hot topic but the bottom line is it does not matter since people that oppose gay rights can give no legitimate reason to restrict their rights, which is exactly why the courts keep deciding against them. You cannot simply restrict another persons rights simply because you disagree with some aspect of their life, it is on those that seek to restrict those rights to prove why such restrictions are justified and not the responsibility of those how want their rights to prove they deserve them.

  • spring street SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Feb. 13, 2012 12:31 p.m.

    @Rynn

    whether it is a chosen behavior or if people are born that way is a hot topic but the bottom line is it does not matter since people that oppose gay rights can give no legitimate reason to restrict their rights, which is exactly why the courts keep deciding against them. You cannot simply restrict another persons rights simply because you disagree with some aspect of their life, it is on those that seek to restrict those rights to prove why such restrictions are justified and not the responsibility of those how want their rights to prove they deserve them.

  • CTR Stan PROVO, UT
    Feb. 13, 2012 12:52 p.m.

    @DanO

    Sorry, homosexuality is a sin and Jesus never did nor will He condone it. This is what the scriptures have to say:

    bring them out unto us, that we may know them, Gen. 19:5 (These were men wanting to have the male guests of Lot and to "know them" is to have homosexual sex.)

    Thou shalt not lie with mankind ⦠it is abomination, Lev. 18:22 (Lev. 20:13). (to "lie with mankind" is to have homosexual sex.)

    There shall be no ⦠sodomite of the sons of Israel, Deut. 23:17 (I am not going to define what a "sodomite" is, but it is not hard to figure out what city this sin was named after. And only men are naturally capable of being a "sodomite")

    declare their sin as Sodom, Isa. 3:9 (2 Ne. 13:9).

    men ⦠burned in their lust one toward another, Rom. 1:27

    nor abusers of themselves with mankind, 1 Cor. 6:9

    them that defile themselves with mankind, 1 Tim. 1:10

    as Sodom and Gomorrha ⦠going after strange flesh, Jude 1:7 (Comparing "strange flesh" to Sodom means homosexual sex.)

    doth declare their sin to be even as Sodom, 2 Ne. 13:9

    After reading these scriptures it appears there is no such thing as a "healthy gay relationship" it is a sinful relationship.

  • The American Spanish Fork, UT
    Feb. 13, 2012 12:59 p.m.

    The issue about gay marriage should be decided by the people state by state as California did. The government was established "for the people and by the people" therefore, if the people decide something, especially on a state basis, it should be followed. The courts shouldn't have claim because it was a decision made by the people. If you don't like the peoples decision move to another state. If you try and say if this happened to Mormons it would be different, look into their history. The Mormons were driven from state to state from Missouri they were to be exterminated if found, talk about unconstitutional. The Mormons finally left the country to find peace. I'm not condoling or condemning anything here, all I am saying is that the people should decide, and since there are already states who accept the marriage move there if your so committed and for religious beliefs if you find yourself in a pickle. Maybe it would be best if able to move to a state that would be more accepting of your rights and beliefs.

  • Darrel Eagle Mountain, UT
    Feb. 13, 2012 1:13 p.m.

    @The American,

    Are you saying what happened to the Mormons in Missouri should have been legal, that had the courts stepped in it would have been an abuse of their power?

    An interesting position if you take it, but it would allow you to support your majority rule position without being hypocritical.

    I for one am glad we have a Constitution that seeks to protect the rights of even the minority.

  • spring street SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Feb. 13, 2012 1:16 p.m.

    once again civil rights are not up for pubic vote.

  • ClarkHippo Tooele, UT
    Feb. 13, 2012 1:28 p.m.

    @wrz

    I said - "I've heard people say, 'If gay and lesbian couples can go into any business and demand service, next thing you know, they'll demand to be married in any church they want and no one can stop them,' but in my opinion, such arguments are apples and oranges."

    You said - "Don't hold your breath. You apparently haven't a clue as to the power the federal government has acquired in the last few decades."

    What power is that exactly? What laws have been passed forcing churches to accept gay and lesbian couples? Can I get some specifics here, please?

  • 22ozn44ozglass Southern Utah, UT
    Feb. 13, 2012 1:31 p.m.

    Dan O

    The law given to Moses was clearly and without question declared any kind of homosexual relations as a violation of Gods law and an abomination. If homosexual acts were a violation of Gods law then any "committed gay relationship" that included sexual relations was expressly offensive to God and an abomination unto God. The Old Testament is very clear-God did not approve of gay relationships period whether the two men deemed themselves as "committed" or "married" or not.

    When the Law of Moses was fulfilled at the time of Christ's resurrection, some practices and rituals of the law were changed such as blood sacrifices and burnt offerings. However, they were replaced by a higher law that called for a more spiritual and a more personal offering, symbolic ordinances such as baptism and covenants. In addition, the Lord was now going to send his word to people and nations other than the house of Israel as promised.

    However, the Lords Law of chastity/morality did not change whether it was against incest, fornication, adultery or homosexual sexual relations. In fact the Lord instituted a higher law that included lustful thoughts and fantasies regarding all of the previously forbidden sexual sins including homosexual acts.

    The changes made to the Lords law and commandments as a result of the crowning sacrifice of Christ were either directly specified or explained by Christ, his Prophets, or his authorized Apostles or they were exemplified by Christ as a model for us. There is absolutely no verse in the Old or New Testaments that states the the Lord now approved of incest, rape, fornication, adultery and last but not least homosexual sexual relations. Nor is there any instance where Christ modeled these behaviors or stated that they were no longer sins and now acceptable as a result of a change in the law. Christ came to fulfill the Law of Moses which was a law of sacrifice but the spiritual laws and principles behind the Law of Moses and the Commandments observed from Adam to Abraham did not change.

    If you are going to use the Old and New Testaments to support homosexuality in a "committed relationship" you can not just cherry pick verses to suit your agenda.

  • Vince here San Diego, CA
    Feb. 13, 2012 1:44 p.m.

    Please become informed. Look up "religious liberty" in The United States Supreme Court website. To join the argument of religious liberty alongside universal rights is combining apples with oranges. The rhetoric is a screen to prevent logical evaluation of the real history, background, and legal defense for the issues.

  • Christy Beaverton, OR
    Feb. 13, 2012 2:03 p.m.

    Peter and Paul did the Lord's dirty work? The Lord delegated dirty work? He outsourced?

    How many other prophets have done the Lord's dirty work?

  • Erwin Canada, 00
    Feb. 13, 2012 2:30 p.m.

    IF you took the gay pride parade and called the celebration Haunika, would that not violate religious rights? Marriage has a biblical definition, but that definition seems to have been watered down by the continuous use of the word for all unions of all faiths (or non faiths) in a christian founded country. The gays... and everyone for that matter have the freedom or free agency to create a union with similar contract commitments found in a marriage contract, BUT should find another word other than marriage to use to identify that union. Christians have the additional responsability of warning against what the written word (scripture) has to say about certain situations and this is one of them. Gays have the right to ignor them and create their union. They do not have the right, in my opinion, to use the word that is religiously defined as a union between a woman and a man. Do what you want to do, but don't claim our beliefs and values to be the same as yours by using our words in your actions. I blame the government for this conflict as they should remove the word in unions that have no tie to biblical definitions. There would be a holy war if you called a gay pride march by the name of a religious event... this is no different.

  • DanO Mission Viejo, CA
    Feb. 13, 2012 2:47 p.m.

    22ozn44ozglass, sorry, but Ezekial clearly pointed out that the sin of Sodom was not taking care of others. Everyone says it was destroyed because of homosexuality, but that wasn't the case. Ezekial's passage defines the list. It doesn't say "some of the things" it declares a specific list. Homosexuality wasn't in that list. The Jews were doing exactly to outsiders exactly as the "good Christian folk" are doing today.

    Also, you're rationalizing away the rest of Leviticus which I'm sure you don't follow so that you can pick and choose the ones you do. But even then, there is some argument whether Leviticus 18:22 is even translated correctly. As KJV has it, it's unsupported by Hebrew text.

  • Furry1993 Clearfield, UT
    Feb. 13, 2012 3:36 p.m.

    To The American | 12:59 p.m.

    Please tell me why you think some people can vote away the civil rights of others. Please tell me where you believe support for voting away the civil rights of others is found in the Constitution.

    I'll give you a hint and a starting point -- it's not.

  • Lane Myer Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 13, 2012 3:44 p.m.

    "Marriage has a biblical definition, but that definition seems to have been watered down by the continuous use of the word for all unions of all faiths (or non faiths) in a christian founded country. "

    -----------

    Are you telling me that there were no "Marriages" before the old testament was written? Really?

    Check your world history. You might be surprised that the tribes that wrote down the bible were not the first to marry. In fact, if you look up the meaning of marriage in these countries, they were mainly used to pass property and lineage down in a patriarchal society. Women were property.

    That defination of marriage only ended a few hundred years ago.

    Marriage has evolved and meant different things to different societies. It is still evolving, wouldn't you say?

  • Lane Myer Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 13, 2012 4:01 p.m.

    All you citizens who are against gay marriage: Can you give me an argument that can be used in a court of law to support the ban of gays marrying? Would you quote the Bible? It really is not admissable as evidence, any more than any other book of beliefs are.

    What could you show to a judge or panel of judges that would prove to them that marriage is not a privilege that we should share with gay Americans? Where is the proof that religions will be harmed?

    Do any of you realize that New Mexico has a clause written into their state constitution that makes homosexuals a minority that cannot be discriminated against, just like Mormons and blacks? That is why the photographer was sued. It was under an amendment to their constitution that was duly voted upon by the citizens of New Mexico and accepted as law.

    I do hate it when others tell only half of a story to prove their own point of view.

    I am waiting to hear your fact supported argument that can be used in front of a court. So far, no one has come up with anything that shows that gay marriage is bad for society. Massachusetts has had gay marriage for almost a decade. No one is clammoring to be married in the Boston temple. Not one LDS member has complained that they cannot worship however they want to. They can still preach again homosexuality in all their churches. Everyone there can believe whatever they want to regarding being gay. All it has done is grant a few more of of tax-paying, law-abiding citizens rights and privileges that we all have enjoyed.

    Anyone have a good argument?

  • VocalLocal Salt Lake, UT
    Feb. 13, 2012 4:37 p.m.

    I suppose if we allow businesses to decide whether or not to provide services to homosexuals because it is 'a choice' which they find morally objectionable we should also allow businesses to not provide services to those who choose a religion that they find morally objectionable. If so, then that seems fair.

  • SoCalChris Riverside, CA
    Feb. 13, 2012 6:13 p.m.

    The photographer did not discriminate against someone because they were gay. She declined to photograph a gay wedding, something that contradicted her values. Im amazed this distinction keeps getting blurred. If a photographer refuses to photograph a Mormon group at a Prop 8 rally is that religious bigotry? Or maybe he doesnt hate Mormons, he just opposes Prop 8 and doesn't want to be a part of it.

    In California, the only hate that was seen during the Prop 8 campaign was from one side. Prop 8 supporters were spit at, flipped off, things were thrown at them. Prop 8 contributors have been black listed and some have lost their jobs. I dont know of anything remotely comparable on the flip side.

  • Baccus0902 Leesburg, VA
    Feb. 13, 2012 6:49 p.m.

    Congratulations to Washington State, the 7th State in the Union to legalize Same Sex Marriage.

    Marriage and a big variety of them exist now and have existed since the beginning of time.

    The LDS and any other group can believe whatever they want about marriage, homosexuality, tobacco, alcohol, etc. that is their right. Right that most civilized human beings would defend even if they are in disagreement with their beliefs.

    When you are calling SSM a "sin" you are stating your belief not a fact. Just your belief.

    Fortunately for a nation as diverse as ours. Your believes are personal and should have no influence in the edict of laws for the people.

    We are blessed to live in a time and place where social justice is finally making roots in our society and culture.

    The courageous leaders, supporters and people, gays and straihght , who have made this transformation possible deserve our admiration and respect.

    "Great spirits have often encountered violent opposition from weak minds." Albert Einstein

  • Bubble SLC, UT
    Feb. 13, 2012 7:10 p.m.

    @SoCalChris

    the only hate? I would call actively working to keep certain families and individuals from having the same protections as everyone else and in effect treating them as second class citizens pretty hateful sorry.

    the first part of your comment trying to make a distinction makes no sense. It is however a great example of circular reasoning.

  • 22ozn44ozglass Southern Utah, UT
    Feb. 13, 2012 7:20 p.m.

    Lane Meyer:

    "Do any of you realize that New Mexico has a clause written into their state constitution that makes homosexuals a minority that cannot be discriminated against.. That is why the photographer was sued. It was under an amendment to their constitution that was duly voted upon by the citizens of New Mexico and accepted as law"

    I suggest you read the appeal for this case Elaine Photoghraphy LLC Plaintif vs Vanessa Willock Defendant. First a few facts that make this case all the more interesting. When Ms Willock inquired about having Elaine photogrhapy take pictures of her "committment ceremony" she clearly stated that it was going to be a same sex ceremony and then specifically asked IF the Elaine Photography was "open to helping us celebrate our day".

    There are many photographers in New Mexico who had no religous objection to taking pictures of the commitment ceremony. However, Ms Willock then filed a complaint with the New Mexico Division of Human Rights proving that her words and her actions are not the same regarding whether Elaine photoghrapy was open to taking pictures of the same sex union. It should be pointed out that at the time of Willock's complaint, New Mexico did not recognise SSM or any type of legal union between same sex couples.

    Now for a couple points of law that you are wrong on. First, the complaint was investigated by the NM Division of Human Rights. The New Mexico Commision on Human Rights and not a Jury or a legitimate District Court ruled that Elaine Photography had engaged in an illegal act of sexual orientation discrimination by a public accomodation in violation of New Mexico State Statute 28-1-7 which is also referred to as Employment New Mexico Human Rigts Act. In addition the director of the NM Division of Human rights and not a prosecuting attorney determined that the complaint was valid and should be investigated.

    The ruling was NOT based upon any ammendment to the New Mexico Constitution as you claim,and the appeal makes it absolutly clear that the State Statute mentioned above was the entire crux of the the complaint against Elaine Photography. The NM Constitution is not even mentioned in the ruling and the appeal of that ruling.

    LM sayeth "I do hate it when others tell only half of a story to prove their own point of view"

    How do you feel about those who do not present the true facts and the actual points of law to prove their point of view?

  • ProudUtahn St. George, Utah
    Feb. 13, 2012 8:08 p.m.

    VocalLocal Salt Lake, UT

    "I suppose if we allow businesses to decide whether or not to provide services to homosexuals because it is 'a choice' which they find morally objectionable we should also allow businesses to not provide services to those who choose a religion that they find morally objectionable. If so, then that seems fair."

    If someone refuses service to another because of homosexuality, how would the business owner have any idea unless that person told them? I go into businesses all the time with my wife, son, brother and or friend. No one knows my orintation or religion unless they know me personaly or I tell them. They can make an assumtion by my mannorisms or actions otherwise they would never know. I believe a business owner has the right to refuse service to who ever they choose without government intervention the owner is the one missing out on the sale.

  • ProudUtahn St. George, Utah
    Feb. 13, 2012 8:25 p.m.

    I am one who believes in God and that the scriptures are true giving guidence and warning to the world. For those who do not believe as such I say this. If religion is man made and securalism is man made. Then those speaking of religion and praying has just as much right in schools and the public square as the foul language, stories and litriture that is allowed now days.

    All this discussion on marriage, what happend? it was not that long ago that the media made it out that most people did not believe a piece of paper mattered and marriage was not needed anymore.

  • Joe Carlin OAKLAND, CA
    Feb. 13, 2012 9:27 p.m.

    What is unsaid is that a Mormon adoption agency in Massachusetts continues to operates. They continue to refuse to place children with same sex couples. It is very legal for them to do so, because they are a private agency, and their faith says they can.

    What they also don't mention is that the Catholic organization could also do the same thing if they operated as a private organization. But they don't. They accept taxpayer money and thus strangely feel at odds that the taxpayers don't like it when their money is used to discriminate against them. Try being any charity receiving money and then the charity telling you thanks, but you have absolutely no say in how it'll be used. You'll find that charity out of business quite soon. And that's exactly what happened here.

    Individuals and organizations are free to operate as they choose. But the government cannot nor should it ever discriminate. If organizations wish to use government funding, they shouldn't be surprised that the government doesn't wish them to use it to discriminate either.

  • Kevin J. Kirkham Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 13, 2012 10:57 p.m.

    SoCalChris
    The photographer did not discriminate against someone because they were gay. She declined to photograph a gay wedding, something that contradicted her values. Im amazed this distinction keeps getting blurred.
    KJK
    So ...a baker refused to make a wedding cake for an LDS couple because the couple wanted the baker to draw the Salt Lake temple in icing on the cake. If the baker feels that temple rituals are demonic, that would be OK? Why is YOUR form of discrimination OK and the other is not?

    SCC
    Prop 8 contributors have been black listed and some have lost their jobs. I dont know of anything remotely comparable on the flip side.
    KJK
    Since firing someone for their politics is illegal, why haven't we heard of those fired suing?

    22/44
    It should be pointed out that at the time of Willock's complaint, New Mexico did not recognise SSM or any type of legal union between same sex couples.
    KJK
    So, the photographer still violated a valid state law.

    22/44
    Now for a couple points of law that you are wrong on. First, the complaint was investigated by the NM Division of Human Rights. The New Mexico Commision on Human Rights and not a Jury or a legitimate District Court ruled that Elaine Photography had engaged in an illegal act of sexual orientation discrimination by a public accomodation in violation of New Mexico State Statute 28-1-7 which is also referred to as Employment New Mexico Human Rigts Act. In addition the director of the NM Division of Human rights and not a prosecuting attorney determined that the complaint was valid and should be investigated.
    KJK
    Hmmm...that sounds like the IRS. No prosecuting attorney determines whether my 1040 looks sketchy and deserving of an audit. The governing agency (IRS or the NM Division of Human rights) makes the call. It's perfectly fine.

    22/44
    The ruling was NOT based upon any ammendment to the New Mexico Constitution as you claim,and the appeal makes it absolutly clear that the State Statute mentioned above was the entire crux of the the complaint against Elaine Photography. The NM Constitution is not even mentioned in the ruling and the appeal of that ruling.
    KJK
    So? It's a validly enacted law and Christians are commanded to "render unto Caesar". The passing of and enforcing of laws in our secular society definitionally belong to Caesar.

  • Gregg Weber SEATTLE, WA
    Feb. 13, 2012 11:32 p.m.

    I tried this a couple of time with no response at all. Even saying thank you and it will be screened. Either this is a duplicate, sorry 'bout that chief, or this is the first to actually get through some computer bottleneck.

    Let's see if I get this right. Allan wants Berry to do something for Allan that Berry doesn't agree with. Berry says no and looses the job. Allan finds Charles who does it with no problem. Allan doesn't like it that Berry said no so he (Allan) sues Berry for not doing that thing that Charles did.
    Now Berry went to his friend Doug and told him the story. Doug didn't like what Allan did and found out that Allan sells widgets. Doug figures out a use of those widgets that Allan wouldn't want them to be used for. Doug, Edward, and Frank each individually go to Allan to buy some widgets but Allan tells them that he won't sell any widgets to any of them. They would have to buy the widgets from Gregg.
    Whether it be selling or doing a job, just as not selling something to a class of people, something that another will sell, harms your pocket book there should be no legal restraint from doing what you consider right in refusing to sell or do something and you should face the financial consequences.
    Legal consequences is [as a catagory, singular] a double edged sword that can be used both for and against you.

  • A Scientist Provo, UT
    Feb. 14, 2012 7:21 a.m.

    It is disturbing to see how perverse are the arguments used to justify bigotry. What a sad commentary on religion that it's followers will warp truth to maintain hatred and condemnation of others.

  • bebot SHAWNEE MISSION, KS
    Feb. 14, 2012 7:53 a.m.

    I have some strong opinions about this and many other topics, but no matter how respectful and on topic I write, my comments a not approved. Is there some kind of trick to get your comments published because I see much more controversial comments on here than anything I tried to write.

    It is difficult to watch fellow Christians and LDS people discriminate against a group of people and think it is okay. If you refuse service to someone because of race, gender, or sexual orientation you should be ashamed of yourself. I'm LDS and work with gays all the time and at no point do I ever feel like I'm compromising my standards.

    Religious intolerance has cause more wars and murders than any other cause. Once we accept others for what type of people they are and not for what type of religious beliefs they hold, our society will progress.

  • Gregg Weber SEATTLE, WA
    Feb. 14, 2012 9:13 a.m.

    Concerning bebot's comment about religious intolerance being the cause of more wars and murders I can see that if one includes the religious wars started by Muhammad against the jews and others, Hitler against the jews and others, Stalin against Ukraine.
    You might search "how many people were killed by tyrants" and see what comes up.
    It is true that tyranny kills more than freedom.

    I assume that this got approved to show the other side of an argument (debate) otherwise only one side would be presented.

  • Malcolm Swall SAN DIEGO, CA
    Feb. 14, 2012 9:45 a.m.

    Allowing same sex couples to marry will change marriage exactly as much as allowing women to vote changed voting.

    If you have a problem with anti-discrimination laws, get the laws changed. If you think a small business owner should be allowed to discriminate, and the law says they shouldn't - petition your legislature, start an initiative, circulate a petition.

  • O'really Idaho Falls, ID
    Feb. 14, 2012 9:46 a.m.

    @ Kevin If a baker didn't want to make a cake with a temple on it for me, I'd simply find another baker, or make it myself.

    I think these complaints serve only to further a dubious agenda, nothing else. They certainly don't serve to generate approval and acceptance of LGBT "rights" from those who disagree with the whole thing. They only serve to further antagonize.

  • lds4gaymarriage Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 14, 2012 10:42 a.m.

    Rynn
    RE: Why do people mix up homosexual behavior with race? People are born with a particular race - but Hollywood and the media have given us plenty of examples of people who switch between hetero and homosexual. A black man is always going to be black, no matter what. He didn't choose it and he can't change it.

    LDS4
    I was baptized as a convert 35 years ago. I CHOSE to be LDS. People switch between LDS and non-LDS all of the time. You seem to imply that if one CHOOSES to be part of a group that faces discrimination, then you can't complain since you CHOSE to join that group. Should people be allowed to discriminate against people since they CHOSE to live that lifestyle?

    Most LDS CHOOSE to be Republicans. What if Obama gave an executive order ordering only the names of Democrat candidates be printed on the ballot? Voters wanting to vote for GOP candidates would have to write in the name of the candidate. Since the GOP guy can CHOOSE to be a Democrat if he wants his name on the ballot, then there is no discrimination, especially since they can still be elected via a write-in vote.

    Just because someone CHOOSES to be X doesn't mean that we can freely discriminate against X and then say that if people want societal approval, all they have to do if CHOOSE to no longer be X. The LDS at Haun's Mill could have chosen to not be LDS. Do you believe that it's their own fault for what happened to them? That's crazy!

  • Baccus0902 Leesburg, VA
    Feb. 14, 2012 10:51 a.m.

    @ Gregg Weber
    You are using as examples selective cases to contradict bebot's assertion. However, your presentation is also vague and undefined.Because you are basing your position on fairly new historical cases.
    If we look at crimes committed in the name of religion you may like to start with the Old Testament;
    Israel against all those people they conquered, took their land and killed in the name of God.
    Persians, Assyrians, etc. against Israel.
    The Crusades
    The Inquisition
    Let's go to the Americas:
    The Inca Empire, being the chosen one by the god Sun
    The Aztecs
    The Mayans
    And the list goes on and on. Unfortunately we don't have the numbers to corroborate bebo's assertion. But we don't have the numbers to dispute it either.

    However, those numbers are really irrelevant. Because, you see, no crimes should ever be committed in the name of religion. One crime in the name of God is one too many.

    Discrimination, bigotry, social injustice in the name of God is wrong regardless the number of time those Gospel violations are committed. They are always wrong!

  • Lane Myer Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 14, 2012 12:53 p.m.

    "As of July 1, 2003, New Mexico non-discrimination law extends to categories of "sexual orientation and gender identity" as well as "race, color, national origin, ancestry, sex, physical or mental handicap or serious medial condition." An Act Relating to Human Rights, N.M. S.B. 28 to be codified at ch. 196, N.M. Stat. Ann. §§ 28-1-2, 7, 9 (April 8, 2003); N.M. Stat. Ann. § 28-1-7 (2001). Sexual orientation is defined to mean: heterosexuality, homosexuality or bisexuality, whether actual or perceived."

    I was wrong. Just a law - not an amendment.

    BUT it has been a law since 2003. Those photographers had to choice to move to a state (like Utah) that has no anti-discrimination law if they wanted to be able to discriminate to those who didn't believe like they did. Why did they choose a state that had laws against the very thing that they purported to want to do - only photograph those things that agreed with their beliefs?

    Why can't we blame these individuals for their choices too?

  • The Finite Orem, UT
    Feb. 14, 2012 4:25 p.m.

    If you believe in a Constitutional republic like we do, then you believe that other people's beliefs, no matter how reprehensible to you, deserve some level of protection. This obviously cuts both ways, hence the article. The answer is balancing. We protect what's most important but have to sacrifice what's less important.

    Which is more important: that a gay couple gets to choose its photographer or that a photographer is allowed to maintain her livelihood? Paraphrasing may commenters: "She shouldn't be offering a service to the public if she's not willing to do it without discriminating." Rephrased: "She shouldn't be allowed to make a living if she isn't willing to violate her deeply held, Constitutionally protected religious beliefs." In my opinion, the application of the New Mexico law in this case is unConstitutional.

    That changes if every photographer were to discriminate in this way. In that case, the tables turn as was the case in the South as most business owners discriminated against blacks. If the gay couple couldn't hire any wedding photographer, then that's worse than requiring the photographer to photograph a single gay ceremony.

    I'm LDS. If someone refused to shoot my wedding because of religious conviction, but I had other photographers to choose from, I don't believe that my commitment to a Constitutional republic allows me to force the photographer to shoot my wedding.

    This principle also distinguishes fundamental things like employment and housing from things like wedding photographers.

    The irony is that the article referenced the need for balance and middle-ground, something that seems to have gone unnoticed by many of these commenters.

  • O'really Idaho Falls, ID
    Feb. 14, 2012 10:01 p.m.

    @ Pagan and Ranch Hand...I suggest you do an indepth study of the Bible, not just as spiritual direction, but as a historical document. It would explain the accusations you so often use against religion, ie the tiresome old shellfish barb (it was part of the Mosaic law which was done away with after Christ was on the earth. It doesn't apply in 2012. It was a test of obedience before Christ.) And all the accounts of murders and wars in the Bible. These are not condoning the same violence in our modern times as you would suggest. So many of these things you post are taken out of context in the Bible. From your endless comments, you obviously have never read or studied it with the intent of gaining spiritual understanding. I suggest you read commentaries by historians and anthropologists about the Middle East and how the Bible fits into the cultural past.

    As much as you blame religious folks for not bothering to understand what may be behind gayness, it appears you haven't taken the time to really understand religion and spirituality. There are far more logical explanations within the Bible than you want to admit.

  • RFLASH Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 15, 2012 3:39 p.m.

    It is truly truly sad reading this article. To use God as an excuse to treat others this is sad and then to turn the entire thing around and put the discriminator as the victom in the story! Please, come sit down with me and I will give you the chance to explain this to my face. How often I have tried to reach out! there is a woman I admire and love so much. I was always so worried what her reaction would be to know i was gay. At work, one day, she did. Before i knew I was got frantic and I found myself telling her that I would do my best not to offend. I still vcare deeply about this woman. Finally when all was out in the open, we were both in tears. Thankfully, nobody was around. I thanked her for those things that are hard to talk about. She cried and said she felt like testimony meeting. She was right, and you know, it was the only time in years that someone actually shared God with me. Without trying to offend anyone, we deserve a little more.. . You don't always know! We should al care more. why is it so difficult

  • A voice of Reason Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 16, 2012 11:12 a.m.

    A Scientist,

    My arguing from a religious standpoint doesn't disprove my claims. As far as "warping" truth goes, you included that little fallacy in your comment. You will find my comments frequently on this site when this topic of debate comes up. I provide reason, and no one has yet proven me wrong. Not only that, I have proven many of my claims to be irrefutably true. I make statements like that, people say "what about this?" and I respond with how people are either inadequately addressing the logic involved, denying principles that are legally binding according to our laws and constitution, by denying principles that are self-evident to our existence (simple principles that are inescapable), and by denying all reason in order to further a relativist agenda- to be a law "unto themselves" rather than accept democratic government as a means of protecting individual freedom.

    The principles of the LDS Church's teachings can withstand and will withstand any scrutiny you can ever come up with. Why? Because the LDS Church is true. There is nothing warped about it. What's warped is people pretending they are a different gender, people pretending that their anatomy functions according to their desires and according to nothing else.

    There is nothing warped about the truth, just those who deny it.

  • Kevin J. Kirkham Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 16, 2012 1:02 p.m.

    A voice of Reason
    You will find my comments frequently on this site when this topic of debate comes up. I provide reason, and no one has yet proven me wrong. Not only that, I have proven many of my claims to be irrefutably true.

    KJK
    Dude? Seriously? Your comment reminds me of the Black Knight from "Monty Python and the Holy Grail". You can claim, "It's just a flesh wound" all you want, but that doesn't make it true nor the battle not lost.

  • harrylevan Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 16, 2012 2:07 p.m.

    I assume you'll be apologizing for misrepresenting the facts of the stories you cite?

  • Vince here San Diego, CA
    Feb. 16, 2012 6:10 p.m.

    The caravan of equality is coming through. You can choose to join it or be a casual observer.

    The worst part, of course, is to be stand in its way and have your words be a footnote in history, becoming the part of the dialogue that refuses to step up to an equality whose time has come.

  • Rifleman Salt Lake City, Utah
    April 5, 2012 6:07 a.m.

    This issue is exactly why the American people refused to pass the Equal Rights Amendment. In today's world of declining morality I'm not so sure that amendment to our US Constitution wouldn't have become law. Thankfully it didn't.

  • Ms.W South Jordan, UT
    April 5, 2012 11:14 a.m.

    "I've heard people say, "If gay and lesbian couples can go into any business and demand service, next thing you know, they'll demand to be married in any church they want and no one can stop them," but in my opinion, such arguments are apples and oranges. "

    The demands are already being made. Go to the sltrib commentary and click " Time for same-sex LDS marriages" and then tell me this is just all fluff.

  • Mormoncowboy Provo, Ut
    April 6, 2012 10:55 a.m.

    The photography case is interesting, and so far the only case where I can agree that SSM has posed a threat against religious liberty. The other examples are void because it has to do with tax status and public funds, which cannot be discriminatory. In fact, I would hope that more people would discriminate in this line of business so that I can compete against them and gobble up all the business they refuse to do.

  • John C. C. Payson, UT
    April 8, 2012 8:23 p.m.

    The current dilemma is not new. In the 1960's "modern thinkers" decided to abandon traditional family values and quit enforcing laws against fornication and adultery. For centuries decent societies have risen and fallen on the strength of weakness of their family values. The basic principles haven't changed, a large segment of society has chosen to ignore those principles. Now over half of our children are being born outside of marriage.

    There is a reason the violation of the sanctity of marriage has historically been an offense almost as serious as murder. It destroys our society from the inside out much more effectively than foreign invaders from the outside in. If mates cannot stay true to each other and commit to raising their families, there is no hope for loyalty to any other institution, such as our national government.

  • RFLASH Salt Lake City, UT
    April 9, 2012 8:47 a.m.

    If it would have been me, I would leave and let it go, but there is a reason why people don't. Maybe, one day, these people will truly have somebody that steps over their bounds and lets them know what it is like. It is not a fun feeling to get treated like you are some kind of leper. You know, give me a break, how can somebody do that and say it is their religion that tells them it is ok. I was raised 100% Mormon and this would never have been alright according to how I perceived the teachings. Sadly, I have come to see that there are those who use their religous beliefs to do some very nasty things. So, how far do people use their religion to do things like this. Most of my beliefs have come from Mormonism, so what about my religois beliefs! Because, being treated like that certainly is something I never believed in!

  • Big R Danville, CA
    April 9, 2012 9:23 a.m.

    You will hear all about the movie "Bully" that is out now, but not once will the gay, lesbian, trans-gender group ever stop to think that what they do is just as much bullying as what kids do on playgrounds. If you disagree with their views they bully you any way they can to drive you out of business, out of sight and get their way. I'd like to hear Ellen DeGeneres, who is a sincere, good person, discuss this issue on her show.

  • 3oflast4 Draper, UT
    April 9, 2012 12:18 p.m.

    This is a slippery slope that will continue to get steeper with each occuring issue as the boundaries between gender/sexual orientation definitions get blurred further and further.

    A couple of years ago there was a situation in Oregon where a women had undergone partial surgery to look like a man but kept her reproductive organs. She was in a relationship with a woman who was unable to have kids. The transgender person (who now looked like a man) was able to get pregnant by artificial insemination and 9 months later delivered a healthy baby.

    Because he was the birth mother, the hospital listed him as the birth mother. The couple fought the hospital and wanted him listed as the father (even though she didn't provide the sperm) and the female partner listed as the mother even though she didn't give birth.

    Things like this will continue to de-evolve into even further unimaginable scenarios and what's now becoming a nightmare will continue to get even worse.

  • Free Agency Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 26, 2012 9:24 p.m.

    Within the gay community, you'll find not just activists but the "overzealous" kind, who are ready to jump on anything they see as "discrimination" and march into battle.

    Probably every minority group has this type. So it's important to look separately at each issue in the gay fight for equality and ask, "Is this imposing on others' beliefs? Or are others trying to impose *their* beliefs on gays?"

    The legalization of gay marriage is a classic example. There's no just reason why gays shouldn't be allowed to marry. The objections people have are based solely on their own beliefs.

    Should clergy be made to perform marriage ceremonies for gays, even though it violates the clergy's beliefs? Should vendors (such as the photographer) be made to accept assignments for gay weddings, even though it goes agains th vendors' beliefs?

    Absolutely not. That's an imposition on these people of the gay clients' own beliefs.

    As a gay male, let me assure you that the majority of gays are much more reasonable and fair-minded than those overzealous activists. Please get to know gays individually before making judgements about gays

  • Forward Anthem, AZ
    Aug. 23, 2013 2:54 p.m.

    Perhaps the Defense should have asked a more relevant question. Such as,

    “If a photographer being Hindu was asked to photograph an Orthodox Jew’s practice of a religious ceremony which included an animal sacrifice of a cow, could the photographer be accused of Religious discrimination for refusing to shoot the ceremony on grounds that he believes cows to be sacred.” Although the photographer would not be participating in the ceremony should the courts be able to require this Hindu photographer to take the job? I would stand and say emphatically, NO. Would this not infringe upon freedom of speech and compel unwanted expression?

    If Elane believes that eliciting sexual arousal in any person not your spouse and of opposite gender to be adultery, then photography of such an event would be considered pornography. So if her religious belief is to abstain from immorality including pornography, then compelling her to photograph such behavior would most definitely infringe upon her freedom of religion, and compel unwanted expression!