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Senators introduce bill to protect religious opponents to gay marriage from losing tax-exempt status

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  • A Scientist Provo, UT
    Dec. 12, 2013 5:57 p.m.

    Rational people will hope this legislation fails.

  • michael.jensen369 Lethbridge, 00
    Dec. 12, 2013 11:05 p.m.

    The right to disagree is obviously no longer seen as a right by these people. Just something to be eradicated from the opposition. Because so many people who fear for their religious liberty are irrational when they see the persecution and bullying that supporters of the traditional family are subjected to. Just look at what happened to the Belgian Archbishop who had topless gay activists screaming at him and dousing him with water. Now that is a piece of fiction if there ever was one.

  • toosmartforyou Farmington, UT
    Dec. 12, 2013 11:17 p.m.

    And those same rational people (or are they really irrational?) will keep hoping that everyone must live according to the least common denominator in their daily lives and activities.

  • Prodicus Provo, UT
    Dec. 13, 2013 12:08 a.m.

    Scientist, whether somebody shares your set of values or not has nothing to do with rationality.

    People who are perfectly logical will still disagree on premises.

    Real science makes no moral or political prescriptions. It is a descriptive endeavor.

    Anyone who claims otherwise is abusing people's ignorance of science to try to browbeat people into falling in with their political position. This ultimately comes down to trying to turn science into a new pseudo-religious cult, just like the French Cult of Reason during the Reign of Terror.

    There is no commonality between "this set of differential equations provides a model that fits the observed evidence" and "give up your moral opinions which differ from mine or face the threat of force to make you comply."

  • fatherof7 Phelan, CA
    Dec. 13, 2013 1:26 a.m.

    Rational people will hope this legislation passes.

  • dotGone Puyallup, WA
    Dec. 13, 2013 5:06 a.m.

    And defenders of religious freedom will pray this legislation passes. Obama's "promise" is definitely not enough to protect our religious freedom. He hands out promises like free samples at Costco. When I was growing up in the 50's and 60's there was a lot of talk about life under communism. It sounded like the saddest place ever, with no religion, no holidays. It sounds familiar now, as strident voices in this country try to force their "freedom from religion" on the rest of us. If they succeed, where in the world will there be a country that has religious freedom? We have not forced our views on them, believing that they are free to worship or not. Neither is it just for opposing beliefs to be forced on us. Was this country not founded on freedom of religion, freedom to worship? All that work and sacrifice to have our way of life must not be in vain. Can we possibly lose it now? Nooooo!

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    Dec. 13, 2013 5:06 a.m.

    A superficial review might make one think that the legislation is a good idea, but it is in fact something that would open a Pandora box. Could it be the basis for discrimination on a wider basis. For example, someone might have a religious basis to not want to serve Mormons. Or a child born outside marriage. Or a woman living with a man without marriage. Or a person who had served time for a criminal offense. Where does it stop. This bill is in fact anti religion and would result in a society that is truly at war with itself. It would make us no different than countries where Shiites and Sunnis fight incessantly. @A Scientist is correct.

  • Tekakaromatagi Dammam, Saudi Arabia
    Dec. 13, 2013 5:12 a.m.

    (Sarcasm/ Well, Sen. Lee seems to have taken a liberal turn and betrayed his conservative credentials by supporting human rights and freedom of conscience. I think that the Tea Party needs to raise a primary challenger against him the next election. / End of Sarcasm)

    We should expect that if such a conservative politician is in favor of this that all the other senators who are supposedly to the left of Senator Lee will also support this. So we should get this passing by 100-0? I think that we'll suddenly discover that a lot of supposedly liberal senators are more right-wing than even the Tea Party.

  • m.g. scott clearfield, UT
    Dec. 13, 2013 6:24 a.m.

    If this bill, which seems to be needed in light of what is going on in todays attack against anything or anyone who has personal or religious beliefs (for which this country was founded in the first place) FAILS. Then our country has failed.

  • Thid Barker Victor, ID
    Dec. 13, 2013 7:00 a.m.

    It is so sad that in a "free" country, people who support traditional marriage must be protected from its own government's persecution!

  • TA1 Alexandria, VA
    Dec. 13, 2013 7:21 a.m.

    This is another incredible waste of time on behalf of the proponents of "religious liberty". The lines between what Churches can and cannot do are very clear and have been for many years. I - for one - have no problem understanding them - I don't know why we need to go through this process for the nth time.

  • Larry Chandler CEDAR CITY, UT
    Dec. 13, 2013 7:55 a.m.

    Religious institutions have the right to oppose gay marriage. Churches are not public accommodations and would not be forced to offer gay marriage ceremonies.

    But do individuals have the right to bypass secular law? Can a person claim their religion allows them to deny service to gay people, Mormons, Blacks, or any other group?

  • New to Utah PAYSON, UT
    Dec. 13, 2013 8:00 a.m.

    This is much needed legislation in light of Christian cake makers and florist's being forced to
    provide services against their conscience. The cake shop in Portland Oregon had to go out of business,the business in New Mexico lost on appeal. The gay and lesbian communisty wants their lifestyle codified into law which is literally bashing anyone who disagrees.

  • Church member North Salt Lake, UT
    Dec. 13, 2013 8:13 a.m.

    I don't understand all these people on here who are saying their religious freedoms are under attack. What are you not being allowed to do??

    Religious freedom does not mean you can force everyone else to live the way your God says to live.

    This religious freedom battle is completely fabricated. As is the "War on Christmas". The religious right seems to think that if they don't control everything then they are under attack.

  • Stalwart Sentinel San Jose, CA
    Dec. 13, 2013 8:26 a.m.

    For those who support this flawed legislation, please understand that this bill is not simply being introduced to protection actual religions; rather it exists to extend to protect any "person or group tax-exempt status".

    I am about as liberal as they come but I wholly acknowledge a religion's right to "discriminate" within it's own sphere of influence. For example, the LDS Church will always have the exclusive say on who can/not enter the Temple. In fact, I would fight to defend that right. However, that same luxury must not be afforded non-profits that are simply run by or funded by a religion or hospitals/universities that are run by or funded by a religion. There is a huge difference between an actual religion (LDS) and an organization/institution that is run by that religion (LDS Hospital). Mr. Lee is trying to couch them under the same legal protections and this is unacceptable.

  • Hank Jr Draper, UT
    Dec. 13, 2013 8:33 a.m.

    A 'promise" from Obama to protect our God given rights? I would be for passing that bill as soon as possible!

  • goodnight-goodluck S.L.C., UT
    Dec. 13, 2013 8:45 a.m.

    Government sanctioned discrimination, is this a great country or what?

  • GZE SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Dec. 13, 2013 8:50 a.m.

    Does anyone have a single example of a church being threatened with loss of charity status? Anyone?

  • Schnee Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 13, 2013 9:04 a.m.

    @dotGone
    "Was this country not founded on freedom of religion, freedom to worship?"

    You can't have freedom of religion without freedom from religion.

  • DR73 USA, UT
    Dec. 13, 2013 9:21 a.m.

    @GZE "Does anyone have a single example of a church being threatened with loss of charity status? Anyone?"

    Yes, Democrats in California are pushing for a law to strip any entity specifically aiming at the Boy Scouts of America that discriminates against gays, lesbians or transexuals. The threat to force anyone who cordially disagrees is very real and this legislation is in direct response to that.

  • Bob A. Bohey Marlborough, MA
    Dec. 13, 2013 9:33 a.m.

    @Schnee: No this country was not founded on the freedom of religion. It was founded on the premise that all men are created equal with certain unalienable rights. Just 1 of those rights was to worship, or not, as one pleases. The founding fathers intended that the government does not endorse or suppress any religion. They were more concerned about other personal liberties and ensuring minority rights do not get trampled by the majority. The herd mentality of so "Christians" has been trampling other peoples rights in this country for far too long. People aren't taking it any more and this is the attack the so called "Christians" refer to when trying to justify their bigotry.

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Dec. 13, 2013 9:43 a.m.

    Government of the people should not favor private organizations.

    Government of the people should not favor private beliefs.

    Government of the people should not allow any organization to force its belief on non-believers.

    Government of the people should not allow any organization or any individual to change to rule of government by the people.

  • Henry Drummond San Jose, CA
    Dec. 13, 2013 9:46 a.m.

    Are you sure this is such a good idea? This Bill would also allows non-profits to discriminate against Mormons. You can't have it both ways.

    Groups that receive taxpayer funding or other taxpayer subsidized benefits should follow the rules the rest of us have to follow.

  • Blue Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 13, 2013 9:49 a.m.

    So basically, these religious conservatives are asking for a law to keep them immune from prosecution when they violate a person's right to equal treatment under the law.

    It boils down to this - they're asking for a law to shield them from the legal consequences of violating other people's basic civil rights.

    No.

  • Contrarius mid-state, TN
    Dec. 13, 2013 9:55 a.m.

    @DR73 --

    "Yes, Democrats in California are pushing for a law to strip any entity specifically aiming at the Boy Scouts of America"

    The BSA is neither a church nor a religious organization.

    Esquire, Stalwart, and others are correct. This legislation would only be the gateway to ever-widening swaths of legally permitted discrimination in many stripes. Can you see a tax-exempt KKK on the horizon?

  • LeslieDF Alameda, CA
    Dec. 13, 2013 10:13 a.m.

    These representatives do not know about the first and second amendments to the Constitution?!
    There are no shotgun weddings for same-sex couples, in a church, or at city hall. And married couples, all married couples, can now file their federal tax returns jointly in every state in the Union.

    Can they read?

  • LeslieDF Alameda, CA
    Dec. 13, 2013 10:26 a.m.

    @ New to Utah - "This is much needed legislation in light of Christian cake makers and florists..."

    None of the cases involve anyone in a business that advertises or advises customers the business is a "Christian" bakery, or a "Christian" photography studio, or that the baker or photographer is clergy, or that they solemnize marriage.

    The first amendment does not say: Anything goes, if you call it a religion.

  • Sasha Pachev Provo, UT
    Dec. 13, 2013 10:30 a.m.

    I am OK being discriminated for being Mormon by a business. If they are so unhappy with my religion to the point of making a big deal of it, I do not want to give them business anyway. If they do not give me a job for the same reason, I do not want to work for them anyway. If it gets to that point, I'd rather go hungry than force a private business to do something that is against the conscience of the owner.

    I think our problem, though, is that we as a society are starting to lose the grasp of the whole concept of moral conscience. My Russian literature teacher in the USSR complained that the youth were "devoid of spirit" and I sincerely had no clue of what she was talking about - they had taught us there was no spirit. I learned later from the LDS missionaries that there was, but I am wondering if the reason we argue conscience the way we do is that we are on the path of digressing to what I experienced in the Soviet Union.

  • J-TX Allen, TX
    Dec. 13, 2013 10:44 a.m.

    Well, a little paranoid, but OK.

    The mere fact that Obama chimed in, and that we can't trust him to ever tell the truth, is reason enough to consider this.

  • J-TX Allen, TX
    Dec. 13, 2013 10:45 a.m.

    @ Ultra Bob:

    Government of and by the PEOPLE doesn't exist any more. Or have you not been looking around?

    Yes, it's still in the books, but not in practice. Congress does not do what the people want, and neither does their President. So all your triteness is dissolved.

  • Mexican Ute mexico, 00
    Dec. 13, 2013 10:49 a.m.

    "If you like your doctor, you can keep him"--Barack Obama, 2009.

    "If you like your doctrine, you can keep it"--Today's opponents to this legislation.

  • Contrarius mid-state, TN
    Dec. 13, 2013 11:14 a.m.

    @Sascha --

    "but I am wondering if the reason we argue conscience the way we do is that we are on the path of digressing to what I experienced in the Soviet Union."

    Ummmm. Putin is the one squelching what we would consider to be First Amendment rights, remember? He's the one muzzling the press and criminalizing public protests, remember?

  • Mexican Ute mexico, 00
    Dec. 13, 2013 11:37 a.m.

    I think our problem, though, is that we as a society are starting to lose the grasp of the whole concept of moral conscience. My Russian literature teacher in the USSR complained that the youth were "devoid of spirit" and I sincerely had no clue of what she was talking about - they had taught us there was no spirit. I learned later from the LDS missionaries that there was, but I am wondering if the reason we argue conscience the way we do is that we are on the path of digressing to what I experienced in the Soviet Union.

    You nailed it, Саша Пачев. This is a big danger that the United States has, falling towards a type of government experienced in Drittesreich on one side or CCCP on the other. And I understand perfectly what is going on in the United States of America and what is going on in Mat Rossiya, and they are headed in two different directions very quickly.

  • Baccus0902 Leesburg, VA
    Dec. 13, 2013 11:53 a.m.

    This Bill was introduced by Mr. Raul Labrador (R) from ID on September 19, 2013. The Washington Post reported on it on September 25. It has an uphill battle in the Democrat controlled Senate.
    Why is DN only now reporting about it. Is this jus a "plan" to mobilize the masses?

    The WAPO reported:"The bill signifies a shift in strategy for gay marriage opponents: Increasingly resigned to the reality that they’re unlikely to stop gay marriage, they’re now trying to blunt its impact by carving out explicit protections for dissenters."

    Basically, opponents to SSM are giving up and are trying to protect or provide political coverage to any organization - religious or not- that stands against SSM. Of course, they give it a positive spin by saying that the reason behind "is to protect traditional marriage".

    Have news for you people, most of us LGBT people are the product of "a traditional marriage", we don't want to destroy our parents marriage, nor our brothers and sisters marriages. We just want to have one as they do. Go it? Really, guys is NOT that complicated....

  • ebur Charlotte, NC
    Dec. 13, 2013 12:39 p.m.

    Totally against this bill, I hope it won't pass. It will be another tool of discrimination that could be used against anyone who believes different from other.

  • Lagomorph Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 13, 2013 12:45 p.m.

    Christians routinely used scriptures to justify slavery before the Civil War. Does this legislation mean that groups working to repeal the 13th Amendment would have their tax exempt status protected? Can we keep slaves if we claim it's part of our religion?

    The tax exemption protection seems pretty narrow in scope and limited in benefit to the traditional values cause. It would have no effect whatsoever on the wedding cake bakers and wedding photographers (private, for profit businesses) that are so often touted in these comments.

    @Mexican Ute: How do you get the alternate character set? This forum doesn't support HTML.

  • Larry Chandler CEDAR CITY, UT
    Dec. 13, 2013 12:48 p.m.

    @DR73: The Boy Scouts are not a church. And even churches should not be allowed to discriminate in any secular businesses or services they provide. A church that owns a grocery store, for example, should not be allowed to refuse service to any group if it sells to the public generally. It could limit products to no alcohol, no pork, etc. if it chose.

    Religious services and functions are a different matter and they can follow their own beliefs here.

  • rw123 Sandy, UT
    Dec. 13, 2013 12:50 p.m.

    Has anyone read the first amendment lately? "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof . . ." For those of us who firmly believe same-sex marriage is a threat to society, we have a right to speak up. It is not a matter of civil rights to have same-sex marriage. To us, it is a matter of right and wrong, and we feel strongly about it. We may not have the right to break the law, but surely we have the right to influence law-making and speak our minds.

    "Rights" to same-sex marriage are not in the same ball park as civil rights for African Americans or other similar groups. I submit that participating in homosexual behavior is not equal to having a dark skin color. I have sympathy for those who struggle with same-sex attraction, who are trying to overcome such urges. To me, it (same–sex attraction) could be biologically understandable. But that understanding is a far cry from justifying extending the rights of marriage. I don’t believe the behavior itself is desirable or uncontrollable.

  • IsaacsTM Huntingtown, MD
    Dec. 13, 2013 12:54 p.m.

    The underlying problem here is that we think the government should get involved in our personal interactions with one another. We ask the question how can we let someone not serve a Mormon or a gay, etc? The answer is that the government, under a traditional view of the constitution, is so limited that it does not have the power to prevent us from being rude to or offending each other. I am Mormon and was kicked out of protestant church's soccer league as a coach precisely because of my faith. Was it wrong? Of course. Are my kids in the league any more? Of course not. But the last thing I would ever think to do is to legislate that they be nice to me. The Boys Scouts, churches, business owners, should be free to do things that might offend other people. That is freedom. Government power is simply to easy to abuse because humans pass laws and get offended, and that is exactly what is going on now which is why this legislation Mike Lee is proposing is unfortunately very necessary.

  • SammyB Provo, UT
    Dec. 13, 2013 1:38 p.m.

    In so many comments over the past few years, Gay supporters have claimed that there would never be infringement of any kind of people who disagreed with them. There are hundreds of examples of this happening and now legislation that could give that very protection to those with a different opinion is seen as bad? Not surprised. And for every example given, excuses are made that make it abundantly clear that few Gay advocates sincerely want freedom for both sides.

  • Paddycakes South Jordan, UT
    Dec. 13, 2013 1:43 p.m.

    Christians should band en masse to protect the rights of Christians and tell politically correct advocates 'you have gone to far, and no further'. We, as Christians have a duty to object and reject such anti-Christ behavior.

  • Contrariusier mid-state, TN
    Dec. 13, 2013 1:59 p.m.

    @RW123 --

    You said: " I submit that participating in homosexual behavior is not equal to having a dark skin color."

    Martin Luther King III supports a boycott of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi because of their anti-gay 'propaganda' law. He has said, referring to his father, that "I think that as he worked to advocate for civil and human rights, he was talking for everyone, not just for people of color."

    One of the chief architects of MLK Jr's March on Washington was an openly gay man, Bayard Rustin.

    Rev. Bernice King. MLK's daughter, said in 2012 that civil rights included those who are "heterosexual or homosexual, or gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender."

    Coretta Scott King said in 1998: "I still hear people say that I should not be talking about the rights of lesbian and gay people and I should stick to the issue of racial justice," she said. "But I hasten to remind them that Martin Luther King Jr. said, 'Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.'" "I appeal to everyone who believes in Martin Luther King Jr.'s dream to make room at the table of brother- and sisterhood for lesbian and gay people".

  • Candide Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 13, 2013 2:26 p.m.

    @IsaacsTM So are you saying that any public business/service provider should be able refuse providing a product or service because they don't agree with someone's religious beliefs, race, orientation, etc.? What kind of country would that be? Let's look at some examples of what might happen. You are in a car accident and the EMT that arrives to help you doesn't like the fact that you are LDS(he knows because of the CTR sticker on the bumper) and refuses to give you CPR. Or, you call the police to your house because someone is breaking in and the police refuse to come because you sound gay on the phone. Or, you need a medical procedure in a small town and the only doctor doesn't serve your kind. Or, you want to buy your significant other a present, but the only store in town that sells what you are looking for doesn't like the look of you. If you operate a public business in this country you must abide by the laws of United States of America. If you discriminate, which is against the law, you should not be operating a business.

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Dec. 13, 2013 3:10 p.m.

    The Boy Scouts is one of many groups that seek to mold the character and morals of young people into the desired shape of the sponsoring entity. While religion is always present, Patriotism, Honesty and Fairness along with other good and desirable attributes are on the program. I think the greatest lesson learned is that all can be winners regardless of color, creed, religion, or physical or mental ability.

    I would fault sports when they promote the winner-take-all mentality which is probably necessary for successful adults but not really necessary for the progress of human beings.

  • Mexican Ute mexico, 00
    Dec. 13, 2013 3:11 p.m.

    @LAGOMORPH

    You can get the alternate character set simply by going to your language bar, looking at Configurations, adding the desired language set (in my case that was Russian), and typing up what you wanted to do in that language.

    @ISAACSTM

    Your last sentence nailed it. For that reason, I put Obama's health care whopper and compared it with the current whoppers told by the opponents of the legislation.

  • Fender Bender Saint George, UT
    Dec. 13, 2013 3:21 p.m.

    @ Sasha & IsaacsTM

    You claim that people should be free to refuse to do business with you if they object to your LDS faith. I gather that both of you live in Utah. Consider how you might feel if you lived in, say, a small, isolated town in rural Mississippi, where you were the only LDS person, and 99% or your neighbors were Baptist. If the people in your community refused to do business with Mormons, would you mind being forced to travel half an hour to the nearest town to get your car fixed, see an eye doctor, or buy groceries?

    Thankfully we have laws in place that prohibit businesses from discriminating against people based on race, religion, ethnicity, disability, age, or sexual orientation. Providing goods and/or services to a diverse group of people is simply a necessary part of doing business in the United States. If you'd rather not associate with people who don't share your opinions, beliefs or background, then don't go into business.

  • Here Sandy, UT
    Dec. 13, 2013 3:30 p.m.

    The Book of Mormon teaches us we are in big trouble as a nation when the voice of the people (in other words, the majority) chooses the wrong. I believe this (same-sex marriage) is a classic case of misunderstood rights, making good seem bad (and vice versa), and anti-religious sentiment and actions being exercised in the guise of civil rights.

    The GLBT community is demanding “tolerance”. Yet they seem to be the least tolerant of all groups involved. What I see with the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day-Saints is that, with quiet diligence and dignity, it is opposing what it views to be one of the most significant anti-religious issues of the day.

    And the fact that taking away tax-exempt status is even being discussed, as several posts and politicians have mentioned, means to me that it is a possibility in a democracy/republic such as ours. I would suggest that anyone who doesn't see that possibility may not be paying attention.

  • 1aggie SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Dec. 13, 2013 3:31 p.m.

    I can't find the part in the scriptures where it tells me to judge others and not bake cakes, not take pictures for those I deem to be sinners.

  • Baccus0902 Leesburg, VA
    Dec. 13, 2013 3:53 p.m.

    @ SammyB

    You wrote: "And for every example given, excuses are made that make it abundantly clear that few Gay advocates sincerely want freedom for both sides."

    Have you notice that the only people who divide society in this issue are religious people?
    You are talking about "sides", there are no sides. We are one society and the struggle is not to take anything from you to give to somebody else. There are no sides.

    If your LGBT friends get married, how their action has an impact in your life? Does your life change in any way shape or form?

    Are LGBT against you? If they are not against you now, why they will be against you after they get married? What kind of logic is that?

    @ Paddycakes:
    O.K. you should get together and then what?

    It seems that we should all get on our knees and pray to God to protect us from his followers. Christiasn should talk about peace, love, community, justice and salvation ....
    you rhetoric implies hate and violence.

    LGBT are not against you. You are against those who don't see the world as you see it.

    May God forgive you.

  • Here Sandy, UT
    Dec. 13, 2013 4:29 p.m.

    With due respect to the King family, I'll say this. We SHOULD love all our brother and sisters as human beings and children of God. We all deserve the inalienable rights proposed by the constitution, by conscience, and by decency. I just don't believe that same-sex marriage is one of them. But, I believe that, whatever our persuasion, we have the ability to live in peace over these issues, even with our differences.

    I just feel the GLBT community asking for the rights and privileges of marriage is not appropriate. Marriage was and is always intended by God as an institution of a man and a woman to raise and nurture children and learn to love and respect each other within such an institution.

    There is no mystery on where I stand. I say, let us love our fellow man, but not approve of his, or our own, sins. Especially when those actions will monumentally affect society, religion, and religious people. Knowing the courts, a pro-marriage ruling for the GLBT community will shift the paradigm to unfairly burden religion and the individual of religion.

  • Here Sandy, UT
    Dec. 13, 2013 4:33 p.m.

    I don't intend to cause pain. I am not the judge of individuals or groups. But I - and everyone else - can judge for themselves what they think is right. I just know what this will do to harm to people and their religions. To marriage itself. I believe there have been enough stories and discussions in this very newspaper that document the intended and unintended consequences of legalizing same-sex marriage.

    With all due respect to the King family, I think I understand where they are coming from, but still stick with my assertion that gay activities are immoral and do not, by any stretch of the imagination, warrant changing the marriage laws.

  • Lagomorph Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 13, 2013 10:56 p.m.

    SammyB: "And for every example given, excuses are made that make it abundantly clear that few Gay advocates sincerely want freedom for both sides."

    On double standards and freedom for both sides-- The Catholic Church and others have taken a strong stand in favor of employers accommodating the religious convictions of employees, namely demanding that pharmacists not be required to dispense birth control and doctors and nurses not be required to participate in abortions. Principle established: employers must accommodate the religious tenets of their employees, even if (especially if) they differ from those of the employer. Fair enough. Yet yesterday this paper reported on a gay teacher at a Catholic school who was fired for announcing his engagement to another man. The employer refused to accommodate the religious tenets of its employee. How is this equitable application of the principle? Religious conservatives want the law to force their employers to protect their own religious practice, but they want to reserve the right not to respect the religious practice of employees when they are the employer. It seems abundantly clear that few faith advocates sincerely want freedom for both sides either.

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    Dec. 14, 2013 1:49 p.m.

    If you're using tax exempt money to fight the civil rights of *some* American Tax-payers, then that money should be taxed. If you want to play politics, then you should also pay.

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    Dec. 14, 2013 3:07 p.m.

    rw123 says:

    "Has anyone read the first amendment lately? "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof . . ." For those of us who firmly believe same-sex marriage is a threat to society, we have a right to speak up. It is not a matter of civil rights to have same-sex marriage. To us, it is a matter of right and wrong, and we feel strongly about it. We may not have the right to break the law, but surely we have the right to influence law-making and speak our minds."

    -- And what if your "right" to pass such laws violates the religious freedom of someone else? Have you thought about that?

    SammyB says:

    "In so many comments over the past few years, Gay supporters have claimed that there would never be infringement of any kind of people who disagreed with them. "

    -- That is not true. We said that *churches* won't be required to perform gay marriages if they don't want. We never said you could discriminate against us to your heart's (if you have one) content.

  • A Scientist Provo, UT
    Dec. 14, 2013 6:42 p.m.

    Paddycakes wrote:

    "Christians should band en masse to protect the rights of Christians and tell politically correct advocates 'you have gone to far, and no further'. We, as Christians have a duty to object and reject such anti-Christ behavior."

    I'm sorry, but how is that militant attitude any different than what has been going on for the last two thousand years, and always at the expense of human rights, equality, democracy, and truth?

  • Charles S Freedomville, AZ
    Dec. 14, 2013 6:45 p.m.

    Under what principle or value should anyone be forced to provide a service to someone else if they choose otherwise?

    Unfortunately a law like this is needed because some people cannot read the Constitution and/or understand the 1st Amendment.

    I find it even hard to believe that homosexuals continue to claim they have no agenda. That claim is in the same arena as Obama claiming if you like your insurance, you can keep it.

  • Contrariusier mid-state, TN
    Dec. 15, 2013 12:04 p.m.

    @Charles S --

    "Unfortunately a law like this is needed because some people cannot read the Constitution and/or understand the 1st Amendment. "

    Yeah. Like all those evil old SCOTUS justices who have consistently affirmed and reaffirmed anti-discrimination laws. Too bad those SCOTUS judges can't read the Constitution.

    ;-)

  • Charles S Freedomville, AZ
    Dec. 15, 2013 8:32 p.m.

    oh Contrary: I am so sorry that you do not understand the concept of freedom of choice. The Constitution has been so twisted by SCOTUS it is hard to recognize. And just because SCOTUS says something is constitutional does not really mean it is. Just like Obama usurping power to himself, SCOTUS has done the same thing.

    Anyone has the right to refuse service to anyone else for whatever reason they choose, regardless of your insensitivity to freedom and choice. No law will ever stop it nor should it.

    Social Security, Medicare, Obamacare are all against the COTUS. Doling out money to foreign countries is against COTUS.

    Homosexuals state they do not have an agenda. If that is true, then why the constant push to have their behavior pushed and accepted by society? It should never be accepted, and this law will go a long way to state that religious bodies can continue to preach the gospel of Christ without worrying about the homosexual agenda.

    Marriage always has been and always will be a man and a woman. Nothing you can post will change that fact.

    ;-)

  • Contrarius mid-state, TN
    Dec. 16, 2013 7:07 a.m.

    @Charles S --

    "The Constitution has been so twisted by SCOTUS it is hard to recognize."

    And, of course, you know more about the Constitution than many decades-worth of SCOTUS justices.

    What law schools did you study at, Charles? What courses in Constitutional law did you take?

    "Anyone has the right to refuse service to anyone else for whatever reason they choose"

    Not legally, they don't.

    "If that is true, then why the constant push to have their behavior pushed and accepted by society? "

    Why do blacks constantly push to be accepted by society? Why do women?

    Because equality is a foundational value of our society -- and our Constitution -- of course.

    "Marriage always has been and always will be a man and a woman. "

    Never let a few inconvenient facts get in the way of your nice fantasy, right?

  • 2 tell the truth Clearwater, FL
    Dec. 17, 2013 9:38 a.m.

    Most "religious opponents" of equal marriage are not tax exempt to begin with. The vast majority of them are secular businessmen - bakers, and florists, etc. And, it is they who refuse to accept that their chosen secular profession is NOT the priesthood.

  • 2 tell the truth Clearwater, FL
    Dec. 17, 2013 9:41 a.m.

    Re: "Other bill sponsors include GOP Sens. Orrin Hatch, Utah; David Vitter, Louisiana; Marco Rubio, Florida, Tom Coburn and Jim Inhofe, Oklahoma; Pat Roberts, Kansas; Roy Blunt, Missouri; Thad Cochran and Roger Wicker, Mississippi; James Risch, Idaho; and Lindsey Graham, South Carolina.

    The House version has 92 sponsors, including Democrat Reps. Mike McIntyre, North Carolina, and Daniel Lipinski, Illinois.

    Lee's website also said these groups have endorsed the bill: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Family Research Council, National Organization for Marriage, Heritage Action, Concerned Women for America, the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, and the Liberty Counsel Action."

    IOW, the usual suspects.

  • RedWings CLEARFIELD, UT
    Dec. 17, 2013 1:13 p.m.

    2 tell the truth: You call the the usual suspects, I call the defenders of religious freedom.

    Homosexuality is a behavior. Same-sex attraction can be changed. I know because I do not struggle with it anymore. To engage in homosexual behavior is a choice. As such, those who choose to engage in a behavior will come across those who disagree with that behavior.

    "Tolerance" means accepting this fact and still coexisting. I can coexist with someone who engages in homosexual behavior but I will never support their choice. I don't have to.

    It is sad that the LGBT and left demand certain values in society and then refuse to follow those same values themselves....

  • Contrarius mid-state, TN
    Dec. 17, 2013 5:05 p.m.

    @RedWings --

    "It is sad that the LGBT and left demand certain values in society and then refuse to follow those same values themselves...."

    Nobody cares if you attend a same-sex wedding or have one yourself. And gays don't want to stop you from getting married to the person of your choice, either.

    The only serious intolerance here is on the side of those who DO want to prevent people from marrying, and those who insist on treating LGBT individuals as second-class citizens.