This letter is a good example of why the Arizona bill was, in my opinion, a
misfire and Governor Brewer made the right decision in vetoing it. My oldest brother lives in North Carolina, and his daughters will likely want
to someday get married in either the Raleigh, NC temple or Washington DC Temple.
Suppose when that day comes, they can't find any businesses which will
provide them with flowers, a cake or photographer because they chose to marry in
an LDS temple? With that in mind however, I believe there needs to
be a constructive discussion on what in fact is the appropriate line between
religious freedom verses the rights of others. If, for example, I
own a restaurant and tell all my employees they must taste each of the coffees,
teas, and wines we serve, regardless of my employee's personal or religious
beliefs, would that be okay, or would my employee's rights not to taste all
those drinks trump my right to provide, as I see it, top quality customer
service? Another example, should parents have the right to
withdraw their kids from sex ed or maturation classes based on religious
I apologize. I shouldn't let it get me down so much! You should realize
that many of us came from among you! We didn't just wake up one day and
decide to be gay and most of us did not just give up our beliefs! It took a lot
of years for me to deal with it! I always loved being around other members and
sharing my life with them! This so painful to me! I never would have imagined
members of the church wanting to pass laws that were meant to hurt me!I
can honestly tell you that over the years, I have tried with all my heart to be
as close to members as possible and I think that very few of them even noticed!
It is worse than that, isn't it! I am not going to try any more! it took me
so many years of hoping to reach this point! I don't trust Mormons! How can
I? life with my partner has been the happy part of my life! That is the truth!
People would deny me that also! IT is not right! Oh well
Well said, Jerry. Thanks for writing.
Agreed! Thanks Jerry for this fine well articulated letter.
I can't believe the DN printed this letter. Great Letter,
Hogwash. A business should have every right to do business (or not) with
whomever they choose.
A "celestial" marriage as defined by D&C Section 132 is a polygamous
marriage. Probably why the bill is on the books. I don't care one way or
the other about polygamy, but it seems important to know this in order to
understand the history of this law.
Excellent and well reasoned letter. Thank you, Jerry Borrowman, for getting
"it' right. Good job.
I believe in freedom. I should have the freedom to buy a product or not to buy
a product. So it only stands to my reason that if a buyer has the freedom to
buy or not buy, then the seller should also have the freedom to sell or not
sell. A government that forces a seller to sell against their will is a
government that will force a buyer to buy against their will. This is not
Business decisions should be left up to the owner of the business, not the
government. The Arizona law was a huge overreach and was quite correctly
vetoed. Let the market determine the viability of the business if they refuse
service to someone. Death threats, picketing, badmouthing in the media are all
in bad form.
For a moment there I thought I was reading the Tribune.
Re: "I believe that a religion which endured great persecution for its views
on marriage should be particularly sensitive to laws that give legal authority
to discriminate against others in the public sphere."Amen.
@alleYcatWhat about the social contract? Do you really think that we all
live in a bubble, and are totally self sufficent, and that things that the
government does like build roads and public transit, provide fire/police/EMT
services, water, electricity and an educated workforce do nothing for a
business? If you don't why don't you try and open a business in South
America or Africa and tell me that those things don't make a successful
business. With that said, gay people pay taxes the same way the rest of us do.
Why should they pay for roads, schools and all the other things I mentioned, and
not be able to patronize business's that take advantage of the government
services they help pay for?
ClarkHippo,Have you even read the Arizona bill? It wasn't about the
GLBT community. They are just the most vocal group that was against it.I agree it was wrong-headed, but it wasn't what many characterize
it to be. But it wasn't needed.===If somebody
wouldn't sell me flowers because I was married in the temple... I think
I'd go to the next flower shop and buy them there. No big deal.The persecution Mormons went through back in the day wasn't somebody
refusing to sell them flowers or make them a tea shirt they found offensive.
It was being run off their property leaving their home, furniture, farm, etc,
behind or be killed.It's a totally different level of
persecution. Don't sell me flowers... I have no problem with that.
Threaten to kill me and rape my wife for being Mormon... I have a problem with
@NoodlekaboodleA street leads to your home. Do you think this means
that the taxpayers should be able to dictate what you do there? What about the
I find that those who shrug off the occurrence of discrimination or trivialize
it are those who never face it and never expect to face it even if it were
@2 bitsIf somebody wouldn't sell me flowers because I was
married in the temple... I think I'd go to the next flower shop and buy
them there. No big deal.================================Should I be able to refuse to sell you flowers because you are black? Or
white?What if I live in no name city, Alabama where there may only
be the one flower shop within 50 miles? As an American, I should
have the right to go to any business, that is open to the public and expect to
be treated fairly. If a flower shop doesn't want to sell to Mormons, maybe
they shouldn't open a flower shop.
Some of you shoudl be just ashamed of your uber-far-wing-wing selves....This law the about the closest since the Nazi allowed descrimination of
business to Jews, Homosexuals, minorities and and Illegal immigrants in
Germany.Legallized discrimination was the 1st legal step to the
"Should I be able to refuse to sell you flowers because you are black? Or
white?" Not really the same question is it? I didn't
choose to be white or black, like I may have chosen to be Mormon or gay or at
least to be gay married. This is the problem. We are comparing apples to
oranges. Sad when some bleeding heart has to invent a scenario trying to equate
apples to oranges. In a land of freedom, which we not longer have, you should be
free to make choices. Those choices should belong to both sides. I personally
think a private business should be able to discriminate between black and white.
That is freedom, however in an evolved society like we have today, why would a
business like that survive. In an environment of freedom, nobody would associate
with that business. It really comes down to the leftist nuts desiring to impose
their morality on the rest of society, but they forget how much they scream when
the shoe is on the other foot. 2bits is exactly right. Denying someone service,
isn't the same as assaulting them, or taking away their private property.
NatePleasant Grove, UT@NoodlekaboodleA
street leads to your home. Do you think this means that the taxpayers should be
able to dictate what you do there? What about the social contract?_____________Try growing marijuana on your property, or beating
your children and wife, or not paying your taxes and see if you can do whatever
you want on your own property. There are laws governing your actions and the
actions of business owners. They are made for the betterment of society. Pretty simple, really.
I remember the old Utah liquor laws, You could open a business licensed as
a "Club" -- i.e., NOT open to the general public.I
suppose, if you wanted to open a Business and be able to discriminate, I
suppose you could license it as a "Private Club just for Bigots", and
get away with it, But then again -- I'm not a Lawyer.
"We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone" is what some
businesses post on their windows or walls. Is that actually legal? Yes in some
cases and no in others. Legal rulings have established that certain classes are
protected from discrimination when seeking employment or business-provided
services. You can't discriminate on the basis of race/color, national
origin/ancestry, sex/gender, religion/creed, or disability (physical and
mental). This is not a complete list, but all that is necessary for this
discussion.So the question remains as to whether a business can
refuse service to customers who behave in a manner that offends the business
proprietor's sensibilities or conscience. Are those who engage in engage in
same-sex marriage a protected class? That hasn't been established with
finality. What about hiring a photographer to take pictures of couples depicting
obvious same-sex affection (assuming they're not sexually explicit or even
suggestive)? How does that differ from, say, a mixed-race or, more commonly, a
mixed religion couple in similar poses? Some businesses may object to some or
all of these possibilities.
Actually, gun confiscation was the 1st legal step to the Final Solution.
To "LDS Liberal" actually, it is probably more like the Jim Crowe laws
that the Southern Democrats put into action.But the fact remains
that something needs to be done to prevent people from being made slaves to
people they don't want to do business with.IMHO let people
discriminate against whoever they want. Gays discriminate against straight
people all the time through their militancy in forcing others to accept their
behavior. The government discriminates all the time too. If you don't
believe me, just think about when the last time was that you filled out a
government form and was not asked about your gender or race. If the government
can discriminate, why can't the people?
@HahahahaNot really the same question is it? I didn't choose to
be white or black, like I may have chosen to be Mormon or gay or at least to be
gay married.========When did you choose to be straight?
Was it a difficult, long thought out process? Or were you like me and said
"I think girls are cute" (assuming you are male). You could really move
this "science" forward by deciding to be "gay", I mean it is a
choice after all right?Regardless, it would seem there are two
opposing rights, and we must choose with whom lies the greater right; those of a
provider, and those of a consumer. I feel in America, that without protections
given to a consumer, the provider will take advantage of the consumer; this has
been shown in our history.If I am taking my family out for a nice
Friday night dinner, should I have to worry if the restaurant will serve me and
them? If I want to buy flowers for my wife, should I have to worry if the
florist will serve me?
@NateHave you ever owned a home? Do you really think if you own property
in a city that you can do whatever you want there? I live in SLC, they
won't let me put broken down cars in the front yard. They make me maintain
at least 1/3 of the parkstrip with vegitation. I can't just put an addition
on my house without city approval. So ya, it is part of the social contract that
I can't do whatever I want on my own property.
@2bits;What if there is no other business that will sell you
flowers? No other business that would bake your cake? What then?Frankly, if your religion tells you certain things are a sin and you
shouldn't "participate", then you have no business being in
business because you will absolutely serve someone, somewhere, somewhen, that
violates your "religious beliefs".@HaHaHaHa;And
I didn't choose to be gay, but I am. When did you choose to be straight?
@jsfCenterville, UTActually, gun confiscation was the 1st legal step
to the Final Solution.1:06 p.m. March 6, 2014---German laws
banning guns was part of the 1919 Treaty of Versailles -- German
dis-armenment.You can thank the Allies for that one, it had nothing to do
with Hitler.As for those who say you "choose" your sexual
orientation or religion, Why don't we just prepend that people
can un-gay or un-Mormon themselves before going into a Business to avoid any
intolerance from the owners....
Opinionated. There are no rights or freedoms applicable to a
business operation other than those specified in the business license agreement.
The rules covering the operation of a business are set by the government(s) of
the area of operation. AlleYcat. Flashback. Nate.
The government cannot force a seller to sell anything, but they can
withhold a business license and prevent the business from selling anything. A
business operation must agree to follow the rules set for business in that area.
So.The rules of business are generally for the
protection of the consumers and employees. However, since businessmen are
generally the ones who make the rules, sometimes the rules are made to protect
the businessmen profit.
For the record -- Gay bars can not dis-allow Hetero-sexuals...andI'm pretty sure gays and lesbians working in all sectors of life must
serve heterosexual customers.Even the LDS Church has addressed
it's members to treat others with dignity and respect.[i.e., NOT
turning away business based on orientaion].This all boils down to
one thing, and one thing only -- bigotry.
RanchRE: "What if there is no other business that will sell you
flowers? No other business that would bake your cake? What then?"...Obviously I would have to make my own cake. Still no big deal.
It's not like they were going to exterminate me and my family if I
didn't leave my farm and all my possessions and leave the State. Big
difference. No cake... vs kill you if you don't leave. No cake is no
@Lane Myer "There are laws governing your actions and the actions of
business owners."Exactly. So I'm suggesting we cite the
laws, not some ambiguous social contract that I never signed onto, which seems
to mean whatever the person invoking it wants it to mean.@Noodlekaboodle "So ya, it is part of the social contract that I
can't do whatever I want on my own property."No, it
isn't. It's the law. If you want to have a contract with me, come and
talk, and we'll agree on something. If you can't show me where I
signed a contract, we don't have one. Simple enough?
@Nate,It seems that you can't think of a good argument against my
point, and so you are now trying to argue semantics. Laws are the social
contract, it's insane to say that we should all go sign an individual
contract with each other. So the question is, Why should gay people have to pay
taxes for government services the business use, and not be allowed to patronize
that business because someone doesn't like their lifestyle? We have elected
people to represent us that agreed that business can't discriminate against
someone because of their race or religion, and in many places also their sexual
orientation. That is the social contract.
@Schnee 10:51 a.m. March 6, 2014 I find that those who shrug off the
occurrence of discrimination or trivialize it are those who never face it and
never expect to face it even if it were legal...-----------------------I know what it is like to be treated as
property. That's how women were treated prior to the advent of the
women's rights movement and the gains that movement brought to women --
prior to marriage they were considered to be their father's property and
then, when they married, ownership was handed over to their husbands. Prior to
1920 they couldn't even vote and, after that, they still couldn't
manage the marital property or make decisions about their own concerns. When we
married, my husband had to give his permission for me to receive a prescription
for contraception and the credit I had so carefully tended prior to marriage was
suddenly taken away from me. My husband and I are proud to be two of the
workers that made women more equal. As a result, we both are strong advocates
for civil equality for the LGBT community.
@NateExactly. So I'm suggesting we cite the laws, not some
ambiguous social contract that I never signed onto, which seems to mean whatever
the person invoking it wants it to mean.===============The term social contract comes from John Locke, a philosopher on whose
philosophies we have based our government. In this, a social contract is what a
group of people enter into to form a government. We surrender some of our
liberties and freedoms, in exchange for the protections and services the
government provides. In this case, the social contract is called the
Constitution of the United States. This Constitution derives its power from the
Sovereign (the people) and in turns empowers a National Government to govern
several States.If you claim citizenship, you have agreed to be bound
by this contract. If you do not claim citizenship, and you reside within its
borders, you are here as our guest, and are bound by this contract.We all have equal claim to protection under this Constitution (see Ammendment
XIV) and the government is empowered to regulate commerce.
@NoodlekaboodleNo, it's more than semantics. We live in a
country where individual rights trump majority rule. There are limits to how far
the majority can go. As a rule, when I see the social contract being invoked,
someone's rights are about to be walked on. I don't recognize any such
contract. Our written contract is the U.S. Constitution, the constitution of the
state we live in, and the laws passed under them. The fact of driving on public
streets or attending public schools doesn't give a majority of voters any
right to tell me how I must worship, what I can or cannot say, or with whom I
may or may not assemble.As I told you before, if you want to argue
the relative merits of a particular law, go ahead and do it. But it would be
incorrect to assume that just because 50.1% of the people got behind a measure,
they are permitted to violate the rights of a free individual.
@DarrelIt should be clear to you that I have no problem with
Locke's conception. I won't put up with Rousseau's.
Re: Opinionated "Hogwash. A business should have every right to do
business (or not) with whomever they choose." Opinionated, you should be
aware that the theory of the market you presumably venerate assumes
non-discrimination. If there is discrimination in a market all bets are off as
to market efficiency and optimality. A Marxist shouldn't have to point
this out to a conservative.
NatePleasant Grove, UT@NoodlekaboodleNo, it's more
than semantics. We live in a country where individual rights trump majority
rule....it would be incorrect to assume that just because 50.1% of
the people got behind a measure, they are permitted to violate the rights of a
free individual.======== Funny, you only use this
argument when it's support's your agenda, yet are dis-ingenuous when
it doesn't...because that's precisely why - even with 60%
aprroval ratings - Utah's Amendment 3 was struct down, and that
Arizona's law was corrrectly vetoed.
@2 bits;Tell that to Matthew Shepherd and the thousands of other men
and women who have been beaten or killed in the name of religion for being
gay.@Nate;That social contract you so despise is the
reason I pay taxes to pay for the education of YOUR children. You can at least
show me the courtesy of providing the service to me that you provide to EVERYONE
Yet again: This has nothing to do with homosexuality: It was opposed by
homosexual lobbyists because it was to help protect those whom they are
currently and viciously attacking.No one's sincere religious
beliefs prohibit working with members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter
Day Saints. Yet, if they did, it is there prerogative.
Sorry for making a second consecutive comment, but as an additional note:@RanchIf no one will sell you flowers for a gay wedding in
America, you do the American thing and start a business that does.
Ranch makes the comment "Tell that to Matthew Shepherd....who have been
beaten or killed in the name of religion for being gay." This is a false
premise, evidence shows Shepherd was known by one of his attackers, was involved
in the same drug circles, and was beaten over a robbery attempt. Religion was
not the motive and his gay lifestyle was not the motive. As provided in an ABC
report investigating the motive. His killers were hardly religious, being drug
dealers and one actually had same sex relations. I know there are arguments for
the cause but ABC does a good job laying out the evidence.
@Open Minded Mormon "Funny, you only use this argument when it's
support's your agenda, yet are dis-ingenuous when it
doesn't..."Can you provide an example? Actual quotes would
be great.@Ranch "That social contract you so despise..."...doesn't exist as described. I don't have to give up any of
my religious rights just because my house is connected to a sewer line and the
garbage truck stops at my curb."You can at least show me the
courtesy of providing the service to me that you provide to EVERYONE
else."I don't provide my service to everyone else. I choose
whom I do business with, based on all kinds of criteria, and sometimes just on a
gut feeling. It's my choice to make.
D&C 132 does not equate "celestial marriage" with polygamy. Read it
So true...I agree with the letter writer. But I would like to add that we also
need to be aware that some forms of marriage can be damaging to women, children
and some young men. (Not all polygamy is bad, but the practice can make women
become 2nd class citizens) But I believe that any TWO people who are loving and
kind to each other (whether different genders or not) can be good marriage
partners and good parents.
RanchWhat happened to Matthew Shepherd was already totally illegal
(regardless of the Arizona bill). That's a different topic.===IMO people who won't sell you a cake are bigots, but being
a bigot isn't against the law... yet.What happened to Mathew
Shepherd was murder (it happens to hundreds of straight people each year too).
Doesn't make it OK.My suggestion is... if someone won't
sell you a cake... go to the next cake shop and buy one.
@ NoodlekaboodleThere should be a distinction between public services and
private transactions of trade. I'd prefer we protected the
'private' nature of personal property and commercial transactions
between private parties. While I'm not sure it makes good business sense
to alienate market segments based on your religion or belief system, I'd
protect the freedom of the private party to make their own decisions on who they
trade with. No shirts, no shoes, no service.@ Ultra BobI'll concede the point that the government "can" withhold a
business license and prevent a business from selling anything. I wonder whether
it "should" when the goods/services being privately exchanged have no
bearing on public welfare.
When a business opens to serve the public, and they have willingly accepted the
benefits of public infrastructures ie, sidewalks, roads, utilities, education
systems, not to mention protection services etc, and their customers are
respectful and pay for their services then by law they are obligated to treat
each and every customer equally without prejudice based on race, religion,
gender or sexual orientation. When you make an exception for one, you then make
exceptions for all. Be careful what you wish for because if you aren't it
may come back to haunt you.
I will never understand how selling a cake to a person can violate another
person's religious rights. It's a cake. If you sell cakes, sell
cakes. Selling someone a cake is not about making value judgments. The only
thing that should be judged is whether or not you bake tasty cakes.
How does a business owner, say a florist or baker, screen potential customers to
weed out the adulterers, the liars, etc? Would it not be a grave sin to provide
a wedding cake for a wedding involving a man who left his wife to wed his
@ClarkHippo:"If, for example, I own a restaurant and tell all my
employees they must taste each of the coffees, teas, and wines we serve,
regardless of my employee's personal or religious beliefs, would that be
okay, or would my employee's rights not to taste all those drinks trump my
right to provide, as I see it, top quality customer service?"Let's say you owned a restaurant and you insisted your employees arrive
to work sober. Would that be okay or would your employees have the right to
imbibe what and when they want?@alleYcat:"A government
that forces a seller to sell against their will is a government that will force
a buyer to buy against their will."We're already there.
Have you not heard of Obamacare? You gotta buy insurance or face a fine (er,
tax). Maybe even jail.@HaHaHaHa:"We are comparing apples
to oranges."True. A restaurant can refuse service to someone
not dressed appropriately such as no shirt of shoes. But a restaurant cannot
refuse to serve an African-American. What's the difference? The guy with
no shoes can remedy the situation. The African-American can't change his
It would only be a matter of time before the "no coloreds allowed" signs
would pop back up if the law were passed. It was a dumb law and
thankfully Brewer vetoed it. That it got through the state legislature is an
@Darrel:"I mean it is a choice after all right?"Life
is full of choices. Sometimes choices that must be made to get along in this
world go against natural propensities."If I am taking my family
out for a nice Friday night dinner, should I have to worry if the restaurant
will serve me and them?"You should dress appropriately. Many
restaurants are prone to not serve folks who enter without shoes or shirts.
dang… not sure how I missed this one, but well reasoned and stated. One
can not protect their own rights by denying another of their rights.