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Bill would protect gay marriage opponents from discrimination claims

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  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 24, 2013 10:31 p.m.

    This is needed.

    I will never condone wrong choices and I will never hide how I feel about wrong choices.

    Those who do not support these life choices are victims more of discrimination than the people who try to claim discrimination themselves.

  • oragami St. George, UT
    Sept. 24, 2013 11:28 p.m.

    "I will never condone wrong choices and I will never hide how I feel about wrong choices."

    “Let each man learn to know himself;
    To gain that knowledge let him labor,
    Improve those failings in himself
    Which he condemns so in his neighbor.
    How lenient our own faults we view,
    And conscience’s voice adeptly smother;
    Yet, oh, how harshly we review
    The selfsame failings in another! …
    So first improve yourself today
    And then improve your friends tomorrow.”
    —Hymns, no. 91

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Sept. 24, 2013 11:35 p.m.

    Those who oppose gay marriage should not face discrimination claims. They should experience ridicule, marginalization, and isolation, but not claims of discrimination. That's just obvious.

  • bw00ds Tucson, AZ
    Sept. 24, 2013 11:44 p.m.

    "But supporters of same-sex marriage say religious beliefs and exercise are already protected under First Amendment"

    It may be protected under the First Amendment, but in practice it isn't. And the reason for the bill is that there are many who fear that the protection that we now have will further erode. These days, just because something is constitutional, doesn't mean that there are those who will ignore the constitution. You can see that from the President on down.

  • Mainly Me Werribee, 00
    Sept. 25, 2013 12:15 a.m.

    This is an excellent idea and definitely needed. However, the Dear Leader will veto this bill if it passes.

  • ClarkHippo Tooele, UT
    Sept. 25, 2013 12:26 a.m.

    "Labrador...said there aren't any cases of religious groups or nonprofits being subject to federal penalties based on their views or actions against a same-sex marriage."

    Not yet, but it's coming. Gays will stop at nothing in order to force every public school, university, non-profit group and yes, every church to fall in line with their demands 100% without flexibility and without debate.

    And using the IRS as a weapon against churches and non-profits is only the start.

    I easily see a time in which the gay and lesbian lobby will be so powerful, any disagreement with them will lead to people having handcuffs put on them. If you think I'm being paranoid, just keep in mind that this past week a man in Maryland was arrested at a school board meeting simply because he openly opposed the school's new Common Core curriculum.

    The fact is simply this. The left loves freedom of speech and freedom of religion and will fight hard to support both. Unless of course, you disagree with them.

  • Schwa South Jordan, UT
    Sept. 25, 2013 1:07 a.m.

    Your views on what are and are not wrong choices are not the binding rules by which we, in the land of the free, are subject to. Should I, as a business owner or landlord be allowed to deny service or housing to Mormons if I felt like they were making poor life choices?

  • LiberalEastCoastMember Parkesburg, PA
    Sept. 25, 2013 2:59 a.m.

    A Conservative using big government to protect us in our ignorance and arrogance. Priceless.

    We're all Republicans until we want something. Then we all turn into Democrats.

  • Stalwart Sentinel San Jose, CA
    Sept. 25, 2013 3:47 a.m.

    It is so shameful that an LDS legislator would sponsor such a bill; particularly given the way members of our own faith were treated just a few generations ago for our Church's stance on marriage.

    The admirable thing for LDS elected officials to do would be admit that while not every form of civil marriage is akin to the LDS standard for religious marriage, we recognize that each person should be permitted to marry the one they love and that we speak from experience in saying that state-sanctioned discrimination is never right.

  • TA1 Alexandria, VA
    Sept. 25, 2013 5:34 a.m.

    Its simple folks - don't discriminate in the public square - period. You really want people to believe this is needed - I think not - learn to treat others as you would want to be treated and don't throw up religion as an excuse for legitimizing discrimination again. History is replete with examples of what a bad idea this is.

  • Furry1993 Ogden, UT
    Sept. 25, 2013 5:36 a.m.

    In other words, this Congressman wants to legislate in favor of discrimination, bigotry and the ability to break the law. Sad.

  • Susan in VA Alexandria, VA
    Sept. 25, 2013 6:34 a.m.

    Since this article says little about what is actually IN this bill.... I would find it hard to comment on it. I do, however feel this article was written specifically to incite those who feel strongly one way or the other. I'm disappointed that the Deseret News would run this article with no actual facts in it.

  • grip Meridian, ID
    Sept. 25, 2013 6:40 a.m.

    It is a sad day when a law is needed to protect the United States Constitution. The first amendment is clear and easy to understand. The confusion arises when desire supersedes reason. Protection should apply to all people, not just a small minority whose distinction is a result of choice and seeks reverse discrimination to justify their behavior.

  • Springvillepoet Springville, UT
    Sept. 25, 2013 6:55 a.m.

    So basically when the KKK claims they can discriminate against Blacks thanks to this bill, because their religious views do not allow for the equal treatment of African-Americans, you will be okay with that.

    When somebody wants to discriminate in their business against Mormons because they feel the LDS Church is an abomination, that will be okay, too.

    * * *

    It really isn't surprising how myopic some people are. There are approximately 314,000 Christian congregations in the U.S., but because Gay people want equal rights, there must be some kind of war against Christianity. Having so few places to meet must make it very difficult for people with theological arguments against everyone enjoying basic rights as guaranteed in The Constitution (and various Supreme Court Decisions) to express their views. My heart goes out to those who find it necessary to seek protection for being bigoted. It's a rough life living in a nation which is so weakly represented in Christian ethics.

  • wazzup Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Sept. 25, 2013 7:03 a.m.

    If it's already a protected right, under the constitution, just codify it so there is no question about being sued for discrimination.

    FWIW...........that is the ultimate goal of the gays.........to force the performance of gay marriages and if not, take away your tax exempt status. don't fall for the ruse. Pass the legislation!

  • davidmpark Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 25, 2013 7:13 a.m.

    So, the courts gave the LGBT folks special protections while we all already has equality under the law. Gay marriage became proponents gained protected speech (I thought we had a first amendment) to be protected while harming opponents when we already had equality under the law. Now, gay marriage opponents need special protections... and I'm sure we already had equality under the law.

    From what I can tell; the people involved in both sides were not disabled (who do need extra protections under the law). The law making marriage between one man, one woman was ratified in a general election... I'm not seeing why special protections are necessary other than people are breaking existing law and it's not being properly enforced.

    There's a lot of people who owe us an explanation as to their inability to govern.

  • Riccar Moses Lake, WA
    Sept. 25, 2013 7:18 a.m.

    "Treat others as you would want to be treated." The trouble with that is, it is always so one sided and it is sure true in the gay issue. As with the photographer, the bakery, the Boy Scouts and others that I have read about, the LGBT wishes to take their rights away, even though they said that with gay marriage passing, that would be all they wanted. However, as we see, they keep pushing their agenda. And it will not stop. Mark my word, there will be the day when religions will be threatened to lose their tax status over this. They have no regard for how they treat others as long as they get their way. Don't make it sound like they are innocent and the rest of us are the sinners.

  • trekker Salt Lake, UT
    Sept. 25, 2013 7:47 a.m.

    The 1st amendment didn't protect the LDS Church when they wanted to practice their belief of plural marriage, even though it should have been protected under freedom of religion. I suspect the court would ignore the 1st amendment when those whose religious and moral beliefs do not want to accept gays. So I do think this bill is needed.

  • bandersen Saint George, UT
    Sept. 25, 2013 7:54 a.m.

    DOMA should never have been passed, just as a host of other legislation over the past 150 years. States should decide the issues, as our constitution originally intended. Instead of getting involved in all these partisan federal issues, people that really believe in self-government need to to just support God and the Constitution. Let the Gays falter along as they want; just stay clear and support States' rights. If California wants to allow people to marry plants, then let them do it! Eventually the best ideas come to the fore, including the definition of marriage. If people get uncomfortable with States' Rights, it is because they want control, instead of choice and freedom, which is what this country, and God always intended. Let go!

  • FDRfan Sugar City, ID
    Sept. 25, 2013 8:03 a.m.

    Where is the Utah GOP on this bill?

  • 1978 Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 25, 2013 8:59 a.m.

    Well done Rep. Labrador!

    As Elder Maxwell stated in LDS conference in April 1999:

    "Today, in place of some traditionally shared values is a demanding conformity pushed, ironically, by those who eventually will not tolerate those who once tolerated them."

  • LeslieDF Alameda, CA
    Sept. 25, 2013 9:05 a.m.

    Couples go to city hall to get a marriage license.
    Individuals go to city hall to get a business license.
    When did city halls become churches?

    When did baking a cake, arranging flowers, or taking photographs become the practice of a religion?
    I guess anything goes when someone calls it a “religion.”

    Bet voters wish they had not given their state the power to establish and regulate their “religion,” in marriage law, business law, property law, tax law.

    Mr. Labrador seems unaware of the First Amendment.

  • bw00ds Tucson, AZ
    Sept. 25, 2013 9:06 a.m.

    @Hutterite The sentiments of your post is exactly why this bill needs to pass. In light of how the church was persecuted during Prop 8 in CA show that attitudes like yours were harmful to others.

    And let's correct @LiberalEastCoastMember statement that the congressman is using "big government." No he's not. He's using the legislative process under the guidelines of the constitution to protect a persecuted group. Ironically, the group being persecuted is exercising the same rights as the proponents of gay marriage are.

    And I'm not sure that the statement "We're all Republicans until we want something. Then we all turn into Democrats." is really complementary of Democrats.

  • slow down Provo, UT
    Sept. 25, 2013 9:07 a.m.

    I also think something along these lines is needed. If freedom of religion extends no further than what happens in the chapel on Sunday and in the privacy of your own mind, then it is not worth much. I don't get my knickers in a twist very easily about "the state controlling our lives," but this would definitely fall into that category. Sexuality, marriage, and family really are issues of conscience with very deep pre-political roots, and it is not right for the state to play Lord over our personal understanding of these things. Our very ability to exercise moral choice is compromised. In this case, by standing for the idea that society should recognize the importance of a mother and father in a child's life, you are potentially a criminal. That can't be right.

  • ulvegaard Medical Lake, Washington
    Sept. 25, 2013 9:15 a.m.

    The 2nd Amendment gives us the right to bear arms -- though that one is falling under attack in the light of gun control laws. Now we can argue all we want as to ways to control violence, but the lesson is clear, current law makers have little regard for Constitutional laws or the protection of them. Sadly, it has become necessary to introduce and push for legislation which protects our constitutional rights.

  • Eliyahu Pleasant Grove, UT
    Sept. 25, 2013 9:20 a.m.

    All of the gay marriage legislation, both proposed and enacted, has to do with the right to civil marriages and not with religious ceremonies. This has nothing to do with churches or one's religious beliefs, any more than someone would insist that a LDS church perform a marriage between Roman Catholics, or that any church perform a marriage not in keeping with its beliefs and standards.

    More problematic with the idea behind this ill-conceived bill is that it is essentially no different than proposing a bill that would permit people to violate any other civil rights that have been enacted by law, whether it be putting up "whites only" signs, restricting job hiring to men only, or opening "exclusive" housing developments ("Exclusive" being the traditional way of saying "white Protestants only".)

  • PhotoSponge nampa, ID
    Sept. 25, 2013 9:37 a.m.

    The majority has a right to protect themselves AGAINST these minority groups who scream and shout for their rights. They have no tolerance for any ideas but their own.

  • arand Huntsville, u
    Sept. 25, 2013 9:51 a.m.

    As a business owner, I should have the right to hire or fire anyone I chose. If I don't agree with the way they dress or even their life style I should have that right. Please someone tell me why that is discrimination. I always try and hire people who have my same point of view to some extent, because it makes the workplace more enjoyable and productive. Believe it or not folks, I am in business to make a profit and feed my family. I am not in business to hire people.

  • postaledith Freeland, WA
    Sept. 25, 2013 10:28 a.m.

    Where do I start? Isn't it hypocritical when people speak against gay marriage and call it the "wrong" choice when a lot of you come from families that had multiple wives? My great, great grandfather had three wives. One of them was 14. His first wife wasn't too happy about it, but back then women were not allowed to speak their minds. The bakery in Oregon was wrong for refusing service because they had a business license and went against that. They ended up closing their store. Gay marriage and LBGT rights are here to stay and they deserve and should have their equal rights. This is the RIGHT choice.

  • Henry Drummond San Jose, CA
    Sept. 25, 2013 10:49 a.m.

    If someone sponsored a bill saying it was OK to discriminate against the Latter-day Saints if you believe "Mormons are not Christians," I have a funny feeling this newspaper would not see it as a legitimate protection of religious liberty. That which is hateful to yourself don't do to someone else.

  • Sundriver West Jordan, UT
    Sept. 25, 2013 10:51 a.m.

    I whole heartedly support the need for such a bill. Whether it goes far enough to protect religioous institutions, business and private individuals for speaking out/expressing public opposition to the underlying imorality and perversion of homosexual sex, remains to be seen. I do support the notion that such issues should be settled at the state level. However due to the terrible ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court, an amedment reaffirming first amendment rights needs to be passed, if not a federal amendment establishing the preeminence of traditional marriage and or the preemminence of the states to regulate such matters, over federal intrusions which are turning the issue over to unelected federal bureaucrats which in turn override the will of the people.

  • arand Huntsville, u
    Sept. 25, 2013 10:59 a.m.

    I don't speak against gay marriage, but as a business owner I should have the right to hire,fire and also work for whomever I please. I certainly would not take a remodel job in an area that would put my workers at risk. I also would not hire someone who walked in with baggy pants, tattoos and piercings all over their body. If you want to call that discrimination, you are right, but we all discriminate in one way or the other. Birds of a feather----.

  • Confused in AZ Chandler, AZ
    Sept. 25, 2013 11:13 a.m.

    Whether you are pro or con Gay marriage doesn't matter- we were ALL instructed to "JUDGE NOT" and that is the way I prefer to live my life. IF you believe that God, the Father, makes no mistakes then you can clearly see that he made ALL of us- straight, Gay and all those in between. YOU do not have a right to disagree with Father nor who or what He creates. If you think for one moment that the Church- which many of us love and follow- does not have many, many Gays as members then you are just sadly mistaken. You just don't know who they are. Yet. Mind your own business; clean up your own house and humble yourself before you make judgement on Father's sons and daughters.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    Sept. 25, 2013 11:22 a.m.

    Re:Arand

    Baggy pants and tattoos are not protected by any state or federal laws that i know of. Tell me though, how would you know whether a job applicant was gay unless you asked them?

    All i know is this:

    God commanded us to love our neighbor as ourselves and to do unto others as we would want others to do unto us.
    God did not give me the authority or reponsibility to prononuce judgment on others. Therefore, i choose to treat people with kindness and respect regardless of race, age, religion, and sexual orientation.

  • mcclark Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 25, 2013 11:31 a.m.

    If your religion requires you to discriminate against someone, maybe you need a new religion.

  • Contrariusester mid-state, TN
    Sept. 25, 2013 11:50 a.m.

    @PhotoSponge --

    "The majority has a right to protect themselves AGAINST these minority groups who scream and shout for their rights. They have no tolerance for any ideas but their own."

    LGBT people make up roughly 5% of the US population.
    Black people make up roughly 15% of the US population.
    Mormons make up less than 2% of the US population.

    Do you REALLY want to start making arguments based on population size?

    @arand --

    "As a business owner, I should have the right to hire or fire anyone I chose. "

    The US government has disagreed with you for decades now. Discrimination by businesses is illegal, and has been for quite a long time.

    "If I don't agree with the way they dress or even their life style I should have that right."

    There's a difference between not agreeing with someone's personal dress code and illegal discrimination. Educate yourself.

  • Aephelps14 San Luis Obispo, CA
    Sept. 25, 2013 11:49 a.m.

    As a member of the LDS church, I personally feel that participating in a marriage ceremony in which gay or lesbian individuals are married is perfectly fine. I participate in weddings all the time that involve people who do not adhere to my belief system because, simply, they don't share my beliefs and that is OK. I really doubt that God/Heavenly Father feels it is our responsibility to actively go around punishing people we love and care about simply because they have chosen to make different decisions than we do. What does that accomplish? Baking a cake, taking photos, providing music for ceremonies involving gay and lesbian couples does not compromise our moral standards, it means you respect another person's ability to choose how they will live their life. Otherwise, we are discriminating....I don't someone refusing to make a cake for my wedding because I am LDS or because I am white. We need to allow others the same courtesy.

  • Maudine SLC, UT
    Sept. 25, 2013 12:08 p.m.

    There is a very good reason the text of the bill is not listed in the article - as of today, there is no text in the bill.

    There is nothing to support or argue against.

  • Spider Rico Greeley, CO
    Sept. 25, 2013 12:14 p.m.

    @StalwartSentinel and others
    Obviously you didn't read the article or the bill. There is nothing anti-gay about it. It just is for the protection of organizations that are against gay marriage.

  • Contrariusester mid-state, TN
    Sept. 25, 2013 12:26 p.m.

    Excerpted from yesterday's NYT article on this bill --

    ----------

    "The measure would prevent the government from taking any “adverse actions” based on “acts in accordance” with a person or group’s religiously motivated opposition to same-sex marriage.

    An invitation to both unfairness and bureaucratic chaos, it could potentially allow federal employees to refuse to process tax returns or Social Security, veterans or other benefit claims from married same-sex couples. It could also allow businesses to deny same-sex spouses their rights under the Family and Medical Leave Act, including time off from work to care for a sick loved one.

    [....]

    Evan Wolfson, president of the pro-marriage equality group Freedom to Marry, likened the Act to pending legal challenges to the so-called contraception mandate: “the new bill is part of a larger legal and propaganda effort to portray recalcitrant opponents of fair treatment as victims and upset the successful balance of religious liberty and non-discrimination laws that has served the country well in many areas of civil rights over many decades.”

  • Ranch Here, UT
    Sept. 25, 2013 12:33 p.m.

    @Spider Rico;

    Making it legal to discriminate against gays in your business is the very definition of "anti-gay".

  • Archie1954 Vancouver, BC
    Sept. 25, 2013 12:35 p.m.

    But why would anyone support a law that protects unconstitutional behavior?

  • HaHaHaHa Othello, WA
    Sept. 25, 2013 12:36 p.m.

    Continued

    Same with the flower shop or cake maker. Gay persons were patronizing these business all the time, and receiving service, but when gays started requesting that the business be part of their gay lifestyle, the business owners had to draw a line. I believe that is their right. I don't expect to be able to go into a PRIVATE owned business, and require them to adopt to my LDS standards or rituals in order to provide me service. I'm not going to go out and sue them like a crazed fanatic would, over some lame civil rights theory. Some people need to grow up, and that's why we need this kind of legislation.

  • 1978 Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 25, 2013 1:18 p.m.

    "Do you REALLY want to start making arguments based on population size?"

    For the record the vast majority of the black population in California voted for Prop. 8.

    In terms of real numbers based on the latest scientific polls in the U.S. from UCLA and Gallup:
    Gay Population 1.7%
    Bisexual Population 1.8%

    Also from Gallup - Poll results from December 2012 (Percentage of Christians in U.S.):
    Protestant 51.9%
    Catholic 23.3%
    LDS 2.1%
    Total 77.3%

  • Oatmeal Woods Cross, UT
    Sept. 25, 2013 1:30 p.m.

    The Employment Non-Discrimination Act currently being debated in Congress would make private religious institutions (like BYU or Boy Scouts) adhere to federal anti-discrimination laws concerning homosexuals.

    There are many out there that can't see churches being forced to hire gay employees and perform gay marriage ceremonies. A year ago, I would have agreed with them. I no longer do. There IS a real effort being made to strip churches and religious organizations of their First Amendment rights. A "Right of Association" no longer exists. Religious practice will be severely limited if it is deemed discriminatory or outside the scope of the mores if modern society.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    Sept. 25, 2013 1:32 p.m.

    re:HaHaHa
    "I don't expect to be able to go into a PRIVATE owned business, and require them to adopt to my LDS standards"

    Really?
    First of all, they weren't private businesses. They were public businesses, subject to state laws.

    You expect a photographer or florist to tell you that they don't do business for LDS weddings?

  • jrp7sen Logan, UT
    Sept. 25, 2013 2:34 p.m.

    "The 1st amendment didn't protect the LDS Church when they wanted to practice their belief of plural marriage, even though it should have been protected under freedom of religion."

    Um, there are limits. Obviously. If a religion claimed their God commanded them to assassinate all those who did not belong to their faith.. then I'm sorry, the first amendment is not going to protect them.

  • Fender Bender Saint George, UT
    Sept. 25, 2013 3:09 p.m.

    The distinction needs to be made between the obligations of businesses and the obligations of religious organizations. Most states already have anti-discrimination laws in place that make this distinction.

    I support legislation that ensures the rights of religious organizations to define moral behavior as they see fit. As long as churches don't interfere with anyone's individual rights, they should be allowed to preach and worship however they want, and exclude whoever they want.

    Businesses are different. Imagine you've just moved to a small town where you're an outsider. The local grocery store owner refuses to sell goods to you, the local dentist, optometrist and family doctor all refuse to provide services to you or your family members. Local burger joints won't even sell you food. You have to drive 30 minutes out of your way to the nearest city to take care of your basic needs.

    Anti-discrimination laws prevent such scenarios, and allow everyone the same basic freedoms regardless of race, gender, ethnicity, age, disability or sexual preference. The same laws that protect the rights of a gay person in Utah also protect a Mormon in rural Kentucky or a black man in Connecticut.

  • Contrariusester mid-state, TN
    Sept. 25, 2013 3:21 p.m.

    @1978 --

    "For the record the vast majority of the black population in California voted for Prop. 8. "

    So what? They are still a minority who "scream and shout for their rights", as PhotoSponge put it.

    As for Gallup --

    Gallup's overall LGBT estimate was 3.4% . However, results vary widely from poll to poll. And as the Gallup folks themselves noted:

    "As a group still subject to social stigma, many of those who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender may not be forthcoming about this identity when asked about it in a survey. Therefore, it's likely that some Americans in what is commonly referred to as "the closet" would not be included in the estimates derived from the Gallup interviews. Thus, the 3.4% estimate can best be represented as adult Americans who publicly identify themselves as part of the LGBT community when asked in a survey context."

    I'll stick by my "roughly 5%" estimate, thanks.

    And I'll ask again: There are many more LGBT people in the US than Mormons, not to mention members of other minorities (like blacks, for instance). Does PhotoSponge REALLY want to start making arguments based on population size?

  • Luke Nelson West Valley City, UT
    Sept. 25, 2013 4:20 p.m.

    @Hutterite

    Ridicule, marginalization, and isolation sound a lot like discrimination.

  • Jeffsfla Glendale, CA
    Sept. 25, 2013 4:29 p.m.

    The Congressman is wrong to even bring this bill forward. His attempt to enact legislation which discriminates against a certain group of people is so UN-American. Religion does not belong in the public arena. If this was true...which religion should we use? All of you know this is only common sense...a very American virtue.

    Before you demonize me I believe and will defend your freedom of religion in your homes and in your houses of worship. But if you are going to get a job in the government or in the private sector you need to leave your religious beliefs outside the door. If you cannot..you might want to look for another job. Trust me...there are many people waiting in line for your job.

  • LiveLongAndProsper Eagle Mountain, UT
    Sept. 25, 2013 5:15 p.m.

    @HaHaHaHa (12:36pm):

    "Same with the flower shop or cake maker. Gay persons were patronizing these business all the time, and receiving service, but when gays started requesting that the business be part of their gay lifestyle, the business owners had to draw a line."

    Nonsense. The flower shop or cake maker were not asked to be part of their gay lifestyle. They were asked to do what their business was in the practice of doing...selling a cake or flowers. These were business transactions, not an endorsement, participation in or otherwise engaging in the "gay lifestyle."

  • moniker lewinsky Taylorsville, UT
    Sept. 25, 2013 10:02 p.m.

    I try to be progressive, but if it meant an end to the belly aching about the supposed loss of religious liberties, I would support it.
    Let people refuse service and the gays (or whomever is denied) can use facebook and twitter and all other forms of social media to reveal who these businesses are so that they can get a little negative or positive publicity depending on how you roll. Progressives like me will boycott said business owners and the same crowd that showed up at Chick Fil A in droves a couple years ago will probably bend over backwards to support the haters. It should all work out in the end.
    As long as it isn't a government entity, I don't see the harm. I am totally fine with people losing their tax exempt status though. Right to discriminate doesn't mean immunity to consequences. While we're on the subject, there are a few other corporations that I think should lose their tax exempt status. Cough.

  • arand Huntsville, u
    Sept. 25, 2013 10:06 p.m.

    Let me ask you this truth seeker----First off I would not ask anyone if they were gay, but If I did hire a gay and they kept making passes at some of my employees do you think the ACLU would be on my side if I tried to fire them for sexual harassment? I had one heck of a time trying to fire a woman that just did not do a good job. Try and fire a minority sometime and see what happens.

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    Sept. 26, 2013 5:15 a.m.

    arand says;

    "... but If I did hire a gay and they kept making passes at some of my employees..."

    Are you serious? What if you did hire a straight and they kept making passes at some of your employees? We are NO DIFFERENT than straight people. You're comment is completely clueless.

  • Yorkshire City, Ut
    Sept. 26, 2013 6:50 a.m.

    Truthseeker said "You expect a photographer or florist to tell you that they don't do business for LDS weddings?"

    Yup. Same kind of thing happens to Mormons all the time.

    As an LDS family not living in Utah, we were told that the many scholarships my children applied for would not be granted because they were Mormons and also because those sponsoring the scholarships did not want their $$$ to potentially go to BYU....They were free to apply, but the councilor said to know up front that being a straight A student and top of their class would never trump being a Mormon...

    A Christian bookstore refused service to LDS Missionaries, and asked them to please leave.

    A Boy Scout troop refused to let a Mormon boy join their troop, as thy were afraid he would spread his Mormon opinions and ideas to the other Scouts.

    A teen was hired and then 2 minutes later fired after asking if he could ever have some Sundays off to go to Church. When asked which Church, he was then told that the employer had decided this teen would not be a good fit for his company, and was asked to leave.

  • Contrariusester mid-state, TN
    Sept. 26, 2013 8:24 a.m.

    @arand --

    "If I did hire a gay and they kept making passes at some of my employees do you think the ACLU would be on my side if I tried to fire them for sexual harassment?"

    Why wouldn't they be?

    Remember, the ACLU has defended **Westboro Baptist Church** in court. Civil rights apply to EVERYONE, not just to people we like!

    @Yorkshire --

    Sorry, but urban legends aren't the same things as facts. Show us FACT -- names, dates, locations -- or don't expect us to take you seriously.

    And even if your legends are actually fact, they do nothing to counter the civil rights of the gay people who sued those businesses. Discrimination in some cases does NOT excuse discrimination in other cases.

  • 1978 Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 26, 2013 8:54 a.m.

    @Contrariusester

    This is not an issue about Mormons and the LGBT community in my mind and never has been. For the record it was a Catholic Bishop who asked the LDS community to help with the Prop. 8 movement in California.

    It was Protestant ministers especially in the black community who also strongly supported Prop. 8. Therefore if you want to compare numbers I will stick with the ones I posted. 77.3% and 3.5%.

    And one more point. The major Christian religions in the U.S. support the traditional definition of marriage - period. When the govt. slowly is beginning to force businesses and eventually organizations to comply it is time to act.

    Again - Thank You Rep. Labrador and the other 61 representatives including 2 democrats so far.

  • Contrariuser mid-state, TN
    Sept. 26, 2013 9:38 a.m.

    @1978 --

    "It was Protestant ministers especially in the black community who also strongly supported Prop. 8. Therefore if you want to compare numbers I will stick with the ones I posted. 77.3% and 3.5%. "

    So you'd be okay with discrimination against Mormons? After all, even using your numbers there are still far fewer Mormons in the US than gay people.

    "And one more point. The major Christian religions in the U.S. support the traditional definition of marriage - period."

    This is simply not true.

    The Episcopal Church of the US, the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, the Presbyterian Church USA, the Quakers, the United Church of Christ, the Unitarian Universalist Association, the Metropolitan Community Church, the Reformed Jews (not Christian, obviously), and the Conservative Jews are all happy to perform gay marriage or bless same-sex unions, or allow each diocese or minister to decide independently. And that's just a partial list.

  • ksampow Farr West, Utah
    Sept. 26, 2013 9:51 a.m.

    The gay rights activists have distorted this whole issue by claiming that they are discriminated against if anyone holds to the centuries-old, time honored (and divinely ordained) definition of marriage. This is not about stopping gays from doing anything - they can live together, and do as they please. But they have no right to force someone to adopt their definition of what it is that they are doing. They are domestic patners, not spouses, in the traditional definition. For example, this is similar to a hypothetical example I will propose: a photographer claiming that taking pictures of animals is "hunting" and saying that a hunting club must treat picture-taking the same as hunting. A photographer has as much right to take pictures as a hunter has to hunt, but he has no right to force the hunters to admit that taking photographs is the same as hunting.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 26, 2013 10:36 a.m.

    @1978
    I don't know how many times this must be repeated over the years, but the reason the LDS church gets a disproportionate amount of blame/credit for Prop 8 is because, while they are indeed a small percentage of California, they contributed roughly half of the funds to the Prop 8 side and the majority of volunteer hours. Turns out people give credit where credit is due, to the people who worked hardest for it.

  • 1978 Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 26, 2013 11:06 a.m.

    @Contrariuser

    It is not discrimination to support the traditional definition of marriage and all that means.

    It is not discrimination for a Catholic Priest to refuse to perform an LDS wedding ceremony in his church and vica versa.

    It is discrimination to refuse a person employment, housing or education based on whether or not they are a member of the LGBT community. The LDS church and you would agree on that.

    Finally - I mentioned that the "major" Christian religions in the U.S. support traditional marriage:
    Catholics – 57.2 million
    Baptists – 36.1 million
    Methodists – 11.4 million
    LDS – 6.4 million

  • Contrariuser mid-state, TN
    Sept. 26, 2013 1:58 p.m.

    @1978 --

    "It is not discrimination to support the traditional definition of marriage"

    You don't need to be anti-gay marriage in order to be pro-traditional marriage.

    "It is not discrimination for a Catholic Priest to refuse to perform an LDS wedding ceremony in his church and vica versa."

    So? Gays aren't suing churches to perform gay weddings.

    "Finally - I mentioned that the "major" Christian religions in the U.S. support traditional marriage:"

    LOL!!

    I think this is the first time I've ever heard Episcopalians, Presbyterians, or Lutherans being called "minor religions".

    Again -- supporting traditional marriage does NOT mean opposing gay marriage. It's entirely possible to support both.

    And I'll ask you again: Would you be okay with discrimination against Mormons? After all, even using your numbers there are still far fewer Mormons in the US than gay people. If you're not okay with anti-Mormon discrimination, then how do you justify anti-gay discrimination?

    @ksampow --

    "This is not about stopping gays from doing anything"

    Of course it is.

    "They are domestic patners, not spouses"

    Why not?

    What are they doing that is any different from any other infertile married couples?

  • trekker Salt Lake, UT
    Sept. 26, 2013 3:30 p.m.

    jrp7sen, Yes there are limits to what a religion can do,Back to my earlier comment I fail to see how LDS doctrine regarding plural marriage was threat to anyone else in the country at the time the the government banned it. As I read comments online on various sites I do feel there is an ever increasing attack on anyone who is religious to the extent people are persecuted for having different beliefs that go against what society is trying to portray as normal. Often this comes from people who cry tolerance but they are the most least tolerant of all. Religiously I do not agree with homosexuality, I don't see how it fits into Gods plan according to my religion, However I do not condone or think they should be treated badly or discriminated against as Americans. I feel only God can Judge them as will the rest of us will be judged. They on the other hand should not be calling people names for believing differently. I have gay friends and family and we respect each others view points.

  • ludwig GREENVILLE, SC
    Sept. 26, 2013 3:37 p.m.

    The First amendment section that includes religious liberty is not absolute. While you may believe any fairy tale is true or that any deity exists ---no matter how far out it is or extreme it is--there are limits here that restrict all religious bodies in what they may do or believe. That said we have the absolute right to be free of religion but not the absolute right to be a devout member of it.
    --the LDS is not following Christ's teaching of loving your neighbot as yourself even if he or she is gay or person who is despised as Christ was. The LDS position on gay people is the same as that of Southerners had against blacks previous to 1970.
    Church and State are absolutely separate. While religious groups may agree or disagree with what the State does --the state has the interest of all people to consider not a particular religious group. Let the church mind its own business and stay out of the State's business and everyone will get along just find.

  • Candide Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 26, 2013 4:37 p.m.

    Many of the comments on this article have stated that the Gays are being intolerant because they won't allow people to live their religious tenets as they see fit. I don't see wanting equal rights as intolerant. I should have the same right that you do to walk into a business and be served, to hold the hand of my partner and not feel threatened, and to marry the one I love. You can believe whatever religious doctrine you want, but we live in a secular nation not a theocracy. Can you imagine what would happen if people could be given a personal exemption from following the law just because it is against their religion? If that were the case people could kill you for working on Sunday, women could be denied the right to vote, you could sell your daughters, and murderers could say that God told them to do it, etc., etc. Therefore, I will not tolerate your bigotry or discrimination just because your religion says that it is okay. I will work until all have the same right to marry the one they love.
    "Tolerance of intolerance is cowardice"
    Ayaan Hirsi Ali

  • Jeff Temple City, CA
    Sept. 28, 2013 4:25 p.m.

    There are more secular reasons for opposing same-gender marriage than there are religious reasons. The problem is that a discussion of same-gender marriage in the context of evolution without God would gradually become something horrific.

    The mere fact that most of us have religious scruples against same-gender marriage is what moderates the conversation. Certainly there are non-religious arguments; I just don't like them or really believe them. My personal arguments against homosexuality as a practice (not a "condition") or against same-gender marriage are all religious because I believe that the religious arguments are superior to the secular ones because the secular ones must all inevitably descend into arguments over who is the fittest to survive.

    Having made that choice, and firmly believing that the discussion is as civil and as kind as it is because of the presence of religious believers, I think it may be necessary to protect religious beliefs in the sinfulness of homosexual acts. We shouldn't require such a bill, but, alas, we do.

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    Sept. 29, 2013 10:12 a.m.

    @Jeff;

    What a bunch of tripe. You can believe whatever you want but you can't use your beliefs against other American citizens; regardless what your beliefs say on the subject.

  • Jeff Temple City, CA
    Sept. 30, 2013 11:08 p.m.

    @ Ranchhand: Of course I can use my beliefs when I vote, or when I discuss, or when I argue, or whenever in any circumstances I function within the American democracy. Since when has it been illegal or immoral in America to allow one's beliefs to have an influence on one's behavior?

    Be careful with declarations like this. They cut both ways. If I can't allow my beliefs to influence my democratic interactions, then how are you to justify using yours? Are you confessing to fascism?

  • Contrariusier mid-state, TN
    Oct. 1, 2013 8:43 a.m.

    @Jeff --

    "Be careful with declarations like this."

    Try **reading** what Ranch said.

    He said that you can't use your beliefs AGAINST other American citizens. In other words, your beliefs do not give you any right to harm others -- or to deny rights to others.

  • Jeff Temple City, CA
    Oct. 1, 2013 11:39 a.m.

    @ Contrariusier: I understand your interpretation of "against." It is certainly possible to understand the word in terms of whether or not it hurts someone, as "to slam against something." But your own screen name shows that you must understand "against" in a similar way to my obvious reading of it: to oppose something, to be contrary to something.

    In the understanding that to be "against" something may be to hurt that thing, and being a member of a religious minority in which people who have been "against" us have often turned violent and even murderous, I would agree.

    But RanchHand did not make any such limited statement. In fact, he made it clear that "you can believe whatever you want," then he made a blanket declaration that I may not use my beliefs "against other American citizens" (apparently leaving non-citizens open for "againsting"), "regardless" what my beliefs say on the subject.

    My beliefs say, for example, that slavery is wrong, and when someone in California was arrested recently for human trafficking, I used my beliefs to support the law against human trafficking and to condone that arrest.

    If I believe something is wrong, I will be "against" it.

  • Contrarius mid-state, TN
    Oct. 1, 2013 4:51 p.m.

    @Jeff --

    "to oppose something, to be contrary to something."

    Ahhh, but Ranch didn't say that you couldn't use your beliefs against "something". He specifically said against PEOPLE.

    Anti-gay opinions hurt PEOPLE -- not things.

  • Jeff Temple City, CA
    Oct. 1, 2013 8:58 p.m.

    Ah, well, Contrarius, I suppose if "PEOPLE" are hurt because I say that they are doing something wrong, then I will have to accept that.

    By the way, RanchHand never did say if he was confessing to fascism or not. I think fascism is bad. In fact, I think it is very bad. I think many of its precepts ought to be banned. I am willing to allow for individual fascists to believe in it, since this country allows for freedom of belief and expression, but if fascists ran for public office, I would use all the influence of my beliefs to keep them from winning. I would give money and support, if necessary, to the cause of defeating fascism in America.

    I believe that fascism is wrong. I believe that the practice of fascism is bad for the country and the world. I will use my beliefs "against" the people who practice fascism in every legal way available to me.

    I understand that fascists are PEOPLE, and maybe I'm hurting their feelings by making a public announcement that I am against them. I guess I'll have to live with it.

  • Contrarius mid-state, TN
    Oct. 2, 2013 7:13 a.m.

    @Jeff --

    Anti-gay opinions KILL.

    I was living in Knoxville just a few years ago, when a man stormed into a Unitarian church there and **shot nine people** just because he hated "liberals, Democrats, blacks, and gays".

    Gay people in the US are still **eight times** more likely to be the victims of violent crimes than straight people.

    Another gay man was shot and killed in NYC in June -- **with** the shooter shouting gay slurs at him -- in yet another obvious hate crime. Gaybashings in NYC and elsewhere in the US are **rising**.

    We see continuing violence against gays all over the world -- like those mobs in the country of Georgia that have been **led by priests** and egged on by the government.

    In some countries, homosexuality is still **punishable by death**.

    When somebody says homosexuals are "sinning" -- or "disgusting" -- or "perverted" -- or "anti-family" -- or "anti-Christian" -- they're reinforcing an image of homosexuals as "other" or "less than" or "inferior".

    And the reinforcement of that subhumanized image is what makes so many people think that it's okay or even DESIRABLE to bash gay people.

    Anti-gay opinions KILL.

  • Badgerbadger Murray, UT
    Oct. 3, 2013 3:33 p.m.

    Jeff - RIGHT ON!!!!

    Thanks for articulating so well.

    You have to realize who you are dealing with. You will never get an inch with certain posters, who have so many accounts so they can shout down those of us who abide the 4 post limit. Is it any surprise they think they should get carte blanche to say and do whatever they want in the face of anyone with different views? They think that their special label should give them all kinds of privileges at the expense of common religious folks (which is why this bill is needed). The screeners are extra nice to them, because they fear getting sued by the 'minority', just like arand points out, and thus they can call total strangers murderers and it gets posted. I have copied/pasted the exact words back, regarding their intolerance, and it gets censored.

    You make no difference with them. They will go on sinning in the face of anyone who will look, and fighting to make us say wrong is right, to make them feel better in their sin.

    But I, and others like me, are heartened by your words!!!