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My view: In debate about same sex marriage, we need a 'conscientious objector' status

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  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    March 28, 2014 12:49 a.m.

    "We believe homosexuality defies the purpose of our creation and offends our Creator." The assumption of the writer is that homosexuality is a voluntary condition that is contrary to the laws of the Creator, so it can and should be discouraged in a variety of ways.

    But what if homosexuality is inborn? In other words, what if gays and lesbians are "born that way?" That means they are the way God made them. And the writer's logic falls completely apart.

    And the Jim Crow reference is completely accurate in anticipating the treatment to gays and lesbians anticipated by the writer.

    I believe the traditional family is best - heterosexuals married with children. It's what we know best. But what are gays and lesbians supposed to do with their lives? To deprive them of family is a cruel matter.

    Many once believed Jim Crow was ordained of God. It took a long time to get past that travesty. Let's not repeat it.

    The writer should set forth in detail the discriminatory measures anticipated to be directed against partners in same sex marriage.

    We need empathy on all sides.

  • Kalindra Salt Lake City, Utah
    March 28, 2014 1:16 a.m.

    Many Christian and Jewish denominations support same-sex marriages - to infer that their doing so is false scriptural doctrine is insulting and weakens your point - you are asking for tolerance and respect for your belief system while refusing that same tolerance and respect to other belief systems.

    Additionally, it is fraudulent to suggest that those who follow the Sikh belief system oppose same-sex marriage and would object to participating in celebrations of same-sex unions. While it is true that a Sikh leader issued an edict banning same-sex marriages, he does not have the authority of the Pope or Mormon Prophet so it is not binding. Monogamous same-sex relationship are strongly encouraged.

    Which brings me to the final problem with this editorial - it is not just same-sex marriages that are the issues for people such as the author - they object to participating in anything celebrating same-sex monogamy - to pretend otherwise is disingenuous.

    This entire editorial is deceptive.

    If you are going to claim religious high ground, you should at least try to not violate one of the 10 Commandments while making your point.

  • ChuckGG Gaithersburg, MD
    March 28, 2014 1:35 a.m.

    Ms. Updike's article makes the false assumption marriage is primarily a religious concept and her comment, "people who adhere to a traditional morality will be able to live according to their conscience," sums up her antagonistic view toward same-sex marriage (SSM) by equating SSM with immorality. We are speaking of changing civil laws that are not the purview of any church. Her article could have been written in 1967 during the inter-racial marriage debate. Her comment, "This is why individuals must have a right to deny offering services" smacks of an earlier time.

    The courts decide how far the First Amendment religious protection umbrella extends. I doubt it extends to baking an identical cake sold to only straight couples.

    "We may be pushed out of certain industries, ostracized from certain circles, and confined to a legal ghetto." Sorry, no tears, no cheek-turning. Ms. Updike will be able to practice her religion, not be evicted from her home, not be fired from her job, be able to be on her husband's insurance policy, and to visit her family member in the hospital. The least her baker friend could do is sell a cake to a gay couple.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    March 28, 2014 5:03 a.m.

    This article touches on two issues. SS Marriage and the treatment of gay people.

    The second one is certainly a much tougher issue.

    The first one? If you don't believe in SS Marriage I think that you should not be forced to marry someone of the same sex. But, I still cannot see how it affects you or me otherwise.

  • Stalwart Sentinel San Jose, CA
    March 28, 2014 5:44 a.m.

    I wonder if this letter writer has any idea that when she lists all the benefits of marriage as a social institution and then transitions to stating her personal, subjective beliefs for only a certain type of marriage that she unwittingly undermines her own position and makes the legal argument for marriage equality.

    The reason conservatives have and will continue to lose legal battles regarding SSM is because they are essentially saying, "marriage is so great and provides so many benefits but we want to restrict those benefits to only the specific types of marriage that we subjectively deem worthy." I'm sorry but there is no religious test to obtain a marriage license and your personal moral convictions do not matter. The Constitution governs America, not your religion.

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    March 28, 2014 6:19 a.m.

    I grow increasingly weary of these types of articles. Dnews, don't you have anything better to publish?

    These articles offer absolutely nothing new to the debate. And it only makes us Mormons look worse.

    It's simple, you cannot discriminate based on religious beliefs. We Mormons, of all people, should be sensitive to this. Just over 100 years ago we were abused, discriminated against, and kicked out of the east because of the "religious beliefs" of others.

    I have some good advice to some of these business owners who don't want to use their creativity for gays: get out of the service industry.

    If you can't take serving all, then get out. Find something better to do with your life. Or move away to a country where religious law and discrimination reign.

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    March 28, 2014 6:38 a.m.

    Denying services that are offered to the general public will lead to a total breakdown of society. Would I be able to deny service because someone is wearing a religious garment that is contrary to my beliefs? Would I be able to deny service because a customer with 8 kids comes into the shop and I don't like big families? Would I be able to deny service if I don't like anything at all about anyone who comes through the doors? Take these hypotheticals and magnify them a million fold. This is the exact wrong approach and is totally contrary to the teachings of Christ as I read them. Has Christianity now gone non-Christian?

  • george of the jungle goshen, UT
    March 28, 2014 7:03 a.m.

    Considerate, has to be a shared idea by everyone. We have a state, we vote for our laws. [ Truth in taxation, we don't], that's besides the fact. If that is the law. A federal judge shouldn't come in and change the laws. That's rude, inconsiderate, that's abuse of power. Bad manners.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    March 28, 2014 7:13 a.m.

    It's not the books that guide us; it's God. When God speaks, nothing else needs to be said. God has clearly and definitely spoken about same-sex sex. He has clearly and definitely spoken about marriage, about the fact that it is between a man and a woman.

    The only argument that some homosexuals have is that they don't believe in "my" God, as if unbelief in an eternal law changes that law. Other homosexuals tell us that we need to "forgive" everyone. That is true, but they leave off the fact that before any of us can be forgiven by Christ, we have to change. Absent that change, Christ is bound by the eternal laws that His Father has set.

    It is impossible to accept something that many of us consider to be sin without abandoning our religion. Accepting the act is not the same as showing kindness to the "actor". We are commanded to love all "actors" no matter what their "sin", but helping them celebrate a ceremony that gives credence to a sexual "act" prohibited by God is not required.

  • Ranch Here, UT
    March 28, 2014 7:45 a.m.

    @Laura Updike;

    " I am waiting to learn whether people who adhere to a traditional morality will be able to live according to their conscience."

    --- Please provde the scriptural reference where your god commands you to deny services to "sinners" in order to "live according to your conscience".

    "...it was an attempt to create a conscientious objector status for people who don’t want to participate in or lend their creative powers to same-sex celebrations."

    --- Should we allow bigotry in the public square then?

    "...same-sex marriage is not a building block of society. It’s an affront to our consciences."

    --- You feel "affronted"? What about the LGBT couples you denigrate?

    "Should we employ our creative skills toward something we find fundamentally immoral? "

    --- Isn't bigotry "fundamentally immoral"? Jesus said "Do unto others...".

    "This is why individuals must have a right to deny offering services."

    If you won't serve every customer, do not go into business. Your choice.

  • isrred South Jordan, UT
    March 28, 2014 7:53 a.m.

    "We may be pushed out of certain industries, ostracized from certain circles, and confined to a legal ghetto."

    Oh, you mean like religious social conservatives did you gay people?

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    March 28, 2014 7:59 a.m.

    Re: Mike Richards "It is impossible to accept something that many of us consider to be sin without abandoning our religion." So the irresistible force meets the immovable object. What are we going to do? Rip our society apart? It's possible, this conflict happening on top of a collapsing middle class. Was Putin right when he said we would fragment within 10 years?

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    March 28, 2014 8:05 a.m.

    The question in debate here is very simple but very important. Does individual religious freedom extend to the market place (society as a whole) through the conscience of a business owner? Or does individual religious freedom end at the boundary of the individual person?

    The whole question only arises because of a nasty intolerance that is endemic to modern religions. It's an absolute intolerance for anything they personally object to. By absolute I mean modern persons of faith have come to believe that any contact with "evil" regardless of how remote or benign taints their relationship with God.

    Odd that Jesus walked amongst the sinners but if I bake a cake for a gay wedding I have offended my conscience and God. No one would claim Jesus condoned the sins but it's clear he wasn't offended by the association.

  • FT salt lake city, UT
    March 28, 2014 8:21 a.m.

    The more I listen to the arguments from SSM opponents the more they appear to come accross as mean, spiteful and unchristan. I'm torn between having sympathy or anger towards their prejudice. I truly feel sorry that giving somebody equal protection and consideration who believes and is different than them, bothers them so. In the past, my prayers and hopes were for the LGBT but now I think they must be for those whose fears, prejudices and beliefs seem to consume their souls.

  • KJB1 Eugene, OR
    March 28, 2014 8:21 a.m.

    "How are people of traditional faiths supposed to act in this environment?"

    I don't know. Maybe you should just try minding your own business and allow consenting adults to live their lives.

  • Sal Provo, UT
    March 28, 2014 8:24 a.m.

    @marxist:
    "What if God made them that way?" God gives weaknesses to us so we will come to him and learn that he can carry our burdens. We are not victims of our genes. We can obey Him in spite of what we are born with. Those born with genes for addictions need not succumb to alcohol and drugs. God has the power to strengthen them and help them be obedient.

  • Sal Provo, UT
    March 28, 2014 8:27 a.m.

    @pragmatist:

    Baking a cake for a gay marriage has to do with lending legitimacy to a sinful lifestyle. Jesus invited sinners to a higher ground asking them to repent and change. He didn't walk among them in a statement of condoning how they lived.

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    March 28, 2014 8:30 a.m.

    @ Mike Richards, since when did we live in a theocracy? Who gets to decide? The majority? Then I guess you were OK with Missouri back in the 1830s.

  • Sal Provo, UT
    March 28, 2014 8:32 a.m.

    Those arguing for traditional marriage are willing to do some giving and taking. You won't find the same from the gay/lesbian side. Traditional marriage advocates favor civil unions for gays and lesbians. Let's hear from gay and lesbian advocates as to how they can show tolerance for traditional marriage advocates whose beliefs are just as strong as the other side.

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    March 28, 2014 8:31 a.m.

    I am somewhat sympathetic towards people who genuinely (and without bigotry) hold this view… let’s assume for the sake of argument they exist.

    However, the author seems a bit confused as to what it means to be a conscientious objector. In the context of war (where this is typically applied) a conscientious objector can be excused from duties that will involve direct killing (infantry), but he is not excused from supporting the war effort of his nation. Usually they are assigned duties like medic or a behind the lines function.

    If this is correct and the analogy holds, then a conscientious objector towards gay marriage seems to be on solid ground when he asks not to be forced to have a gay marriage (i.e., if you don’t believe in gay marriage, don’t marry someone of the same sex).

    But he cannot use that status as a means to discriminate in the operations of a business both serving and deriving it’s livelihood from the public.

  • Lane Myer Salt Lake City, UT
    March 28, 2014 8:44 a.m.

    Sal

    Provo, UT

    Those arguing for traditional marriage are willing to do some giving and taking
    -----------

    NOW! Not when Amendment 3 was passed. Traditional marriage people were begged not to put in section two that forbid all forms of recognition of any type of relationship between gays by those who were pro-gay. Don't you remember?

    Now that Amendment 3 has been declared unconstitutional and states' anti-gay-marriage laws are falling like dominos, suddenly traditionalists are willing to trade.

    It is too late. It has gone in front of the courts and gay marriage will be the law of the land. We did not listen to gay marriage advocates in 2004. We could have bargained with them then, but we thought we knew what was best. We sealed our own fate. We did not see the future as it is today.

  • Happy Valley Heretic Orem, UT
    March 28, 2014 8:45 a.m.

    Mike said: "Other homosexuals tell us that we need to "forgive" everyone. That is true, but they leave off the fact that before any of us can be forgiven by Christ, we have to change. Absent that change, Christ is bound by the eternal laws that His Father has set."

    By your own description.
    Christ is doing the forgiving... NOT you mike.
    Christ is bound ... Not you mike
    This "sin" is between Christ and the sinner...not you mike.
    You are not responsible for the sinners mike, Christ is, right?

    Mike said: "It is impossible to accept something that many of us consider to be sin without abandoning our religion. Accepting the act is not the same as showing kindness to the "actor". We are commanded to love all "actors" no matter what their "sin", but helping them celebrate a ceremony that gives credence to a sexual "act" prohibited by God is not required."

    You start off good with "love all" but then you say "not required," that's true too, but how is that "abandoning our religion" that you start with?

  • Lane Myer Salt Lake City, UT
    March 28, 2014 8:59 a.m.

    Mike R: "It is impossible to accept something that many of us consider to be sin without abandoning our religion."

    -----------------
    But Mike, even YOU are a sinner. Whether it is the sin of pride or selfishness or placing yourself above others, we are ALL sinners. A company would not be able to sell anything to anyone if they were concerned about the sins of others. Why not just love and serve everyone and leave the judging to God?

    Sal: "Baking a cake for a gay marriage has to do with lending legitimacy to a sinful lifestyle."

    ----------------

    Who can a baker bake a cake for? Aren't we all sinners? Why are gay people singled out? Is it because you might be offended by them? Why aren't you offended by a liar? A cheater? Why is it fine to sell a cake to someone who swears and takes the Lord's name in vain? How about a person who loves money more than God? After all, that is the greatest commandment to love God first, isn' it?

    Be consistant. If it is just gays, it probably is because of prejudice, I am sure you can see.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    March 28, 2014 9:19 a.m.

    Okay people, you can call me a sinner. I am a sinner; but, I repent. I change. I look to God for direction, not to a political group. I accept what He says and I don't try to change His rules to agree with "my" way of thinking, but to follow His rules without excuse.

    God has not changed his mind. We are free to accept Him and His gospel or to reject Him and His gospel, but we cannot claim that His message has changed, just because we don't like to live His rules. That shows contempt towards our Creator. He gave us life. In return some tell Him that he made a mistake when He created us.

    That sounds like something that a two-year-old would say when we won't give him all the candy that he wants.

    Rules were put in place to help us, not to inhibit us. God knows that we will destroy ourselves if left to our own rules.

    He expects us to change. It is required.

  • samhill Salt Lake City, UT
    March 28, 2014 9:29 a.m.

    What an excellently articulated and well reasoned argument! Well done Lara!

    In a battle over definitions it is astonishing to see the kind of intolerance shown by those who demand tolerance of others.

    Which demonstrates that, among other things, the definition of both marriage AND tolerance are up for grabs in this debate.

  • PolishBear Charleston, WV
    March 28, 2014 9:39 a.m.

    A business is not a church. It doesn't matter whether you're talking about a bakery or a restaurant, a photo studio or a factory. They aren't in the business of providing spiritual guidance or enforcing moral doctrines. They are there to turn a profit. As such, they are obligated to abide by prevailing civil rights laws, whether those laws protect people from discrimination based on race, religion, or sexual orientation.

    Should a restaurant owner be able to refuse service to Blacks because he has "moral objections" to race-mixing? Should an employer be able to fire a Muslim employee because he wants to run "a nice Christian workplace"? And if a Christian florist agrees to provide flower arrangements at a Muslim couple's wedding, does it mean he is necessarily endorsing Islam?
    If the answer to these questions is NO, what justification is there refusing service to a Gay couple who wish to get a wedding cake or celebrate their anniversary in a restaurant?

  • Lane Myer Salt Lake City, UT
    March 28, 2014 9:40 a.m.

    He expects us to change. It is required.

    ----------

    You haven't changed, Mike. You still believe that we should have laws that make gays live by what you believe your God has said. That always amazes me. I wonder what you think the 11th Article of Faith means when it says that we "allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may."

    What gives us the right to pass laws that will not allow a gay person to worship their own legal marriage? Why do we have the right to legally (not religiously) prevent them from being recognized by their own government?

    YOU do not have to recognize them as a couple, Mike. You do not have to marry them in the temples or even in the wardhouses. The government is for ALL the people, not just those who you feel are righteous and obey the rules you believe are right.

  • Lightbearer Brigham City, UT
    March 28, 2014 9:42 a.m.

    From the article: "How are people of traditional faiths supposed to act in this environment? Should we abandon a core tenet of our religion?"

    If you're a Christian, how about ADHERING to a core tenet of your religion? Jesus himself said, "In everything, treat others as you would want them to treat you, for this fulfills the law and the prophets."

    What does "for this fulfills the law and the prophets" mean? As the Pulpit Bible commentary explains it, "This principle of action and mode of life is, in fact, the sum of all Bible teaching," and the Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary says, "'This is the substance of all relative duty; all Scripture in a nutshell.' Incomparable summary!"

    If there's one core tenet of your religion that is "the sum of all Bible teaching" and "all Scripture in a nutshell," isn't that one core tenet you should stick to?

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    March 28, 2014 9:52 a.m.

    I agree with the letter writer. Anyone who provides goods and services should be able to deny those items to someone if they believe their religious beliefs are offensive, immoral or an affront. For this is what you seek.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    March 28, 2014 9:54 a.m.

    @Mike Richards "I look to God for direction, not to a political group. I accept what He says and I don't try to change His rules to agree with "my" way of thinking, but to follow His rules without excuse. " Your views are mostly theology based, a theology which may have shaky foundations - you know what they are: 6,000 year old earth, survival of all species on a wooden boat, the Tower of Babel, Dinosaurs in the Garden of Eden. etc.

    That there is great power in Catholic and Mormon theology I will readily admit. But you have a hard time convincing a non-believer of your position for the above reasons. You had chance to make a deal with civil unions - admitted BTW by Senator Hatch, but you insisted on "all or nothing," and you're going to end up with nothing.

    There's a great deal I don't know, but I am sure it is a mistake to create our own brand of "untouchables."

  • FT salt lake city, UT
    March 28, 2014 10:14 a.m.

    @Lane Meyer
    Beautifully said. Unfortunatley, you can only pray for the sinners as their beliefs and prejudices have blinded them to the teachings of Jesus. Did Jesus ever say that homosexuality is a sin?

  • Happy Valley Heretic Orem, UT
    March 28, 2014 10:47 a.m.

    Mike Richards said: God has not changed his mind.

    How can you tell? Since those who profess to speak for God are either changing things all the time or God changes his mind. To claim that God doesn't change, means that his spokesmen are liars as anyone who reads the scriptures can see the rules changing with each new apostle, pope or prophet. And if they are lying why should we or anyone believe that they speak for God?

  • my_two_cents_worth university place, WA
    March 28, 2014 11:02 a.m.

    Here is a novel idea for you, Ms. Updike:

    And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord:

    And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.

    And the second is like, namely this, **Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.**

  • Think_then_speak Mesa, AZ
    March 28, 2014 11:18 a.m.

    Here in Mesa, AZ, where we have a substantial LDS presence, there are restaurants owned by active church members, which serve liquor. My understanding is that consumption of alcohol is a sin in the LDS faith. Is facilitating that sin okay? This seems analogous to the discussion on refusing service based on "beliefs". We are either bound by our beliefs or we are not. To claim that we cannot bake a wedding cake because it will be eaten by people whose lives we disapprovc of is so ludicrous as to be laughable. Is there a "vetting" process of every customer? A baker would bake a cake for a couple that are drug dealers or a couple that includes a woman who has had an abortion because you cannot SEE those things. Is "belief" discrimination based on what we can see (i.e. a same sex couple)?
    "Who am I to judge" - Pope Francis

  • Think_then_speak Mesa, AZ
    March 28, 2014 11:20 a.m.

    Here in Mesa, AZ, where we have a substantial LDS presence, there are restaurants owned by active church members, which serve liquor. My understanding is that consumption of alcohol is a sin in the LDS faith. Is facilitating that sin okay? This seems analogous to the discussion on refusing service based on "beliefs". We are either bound by our beliefs or we are not. To claim that we cannot bake a wedding cake because it will be eaten by people whose lives we disapprovc of is so ludicrous as to be laughable. Is there a "vetting" process of every customer? A baker would bake a cake for a couple that are drug dealers or a couple that includes a woman who has had an abortion because you cannot SEE those things. Is "belief" discrimination based on what we can see (i.e. a same sex couple)?
    "Who am I to judge" - Pope Francis

  • J in AZ San Tan Valley, AZ
    March 28, 2014 11:39 a.m.

    Marxist - There is no verified scientific evidence for biological origins of homosexuality. However, consider 1 Cor. 10:13 "There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it."

    This suggest to us that homosexual desires are a temptation that is inherent for some people just like other temptations are inherent for others. However, they are promised that they have the strength to resist the temptation and live their lives in accordance with God's laws. No promise whatsoever that resisting the temptation is easy. Just a promise that it is possible to resist. The fact that so many fail in resisting grave temptations is an eternal tragedy.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    March 28, 2014 11:43 a.m.

    To "marxist" ok, lets go that route. What if homosexuality is inborn. Scientists already know that withing the brains of homosexuals they have a different brain chemistry compared to others.

    This makes me questions, why do we celebrate homosexuality and shun those with bipolar. People with bipolar disorders are treated with medications and are cared for by doctors. The same can be said for many other mental disorders that alter a person's brain chemistry.

    So, this makes me as, why should we celebrate this chemical imbalance instead of finding a treatment for it?

  • Ranch Here, UT
    March 28, 2014 11:57 a.m.

    @J in AZ;

    I'd much rather be "tempted" with homosexuality than bigotry.

    @RedShirt;

    We are not ill and do not need treatment.

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    March 28, 2014 12:02 p.m.

    @ Mike Richards, you still make a religious argument. That is your right. But this is really a civil law matter. There is a difference, at least in our country.

  • Kally Salt Lake City, UT
    March 28, 2014 12:15 p.m.

    "That is why ... progressives need to be satisfied with only a partial victory."

    20 or so years ago, "progressives" were willing to settle for a partial victory - 10 years ago when Amendment 3 was passed, a partial victory would have been celebrated and welcomed.

    But up until Windsor was decided, "conservatives" were not willing to give an inch. Now that the tide has turned, they are pulling out the victim card and claiming that even though they are losing, they need to be declared the winners - they will graciously "give" same-sex couples marriage, but only if they don't have to actually acknowledge said marriages.

    Here is the interesting thing about that - the majority of Americans, including many who are highly religious, do not support the right of businesses to discriminate in who they serve. The majority of Americans think such behavior is wrong - more people think discrimination against homosexuals is wrong than think homosexuality is a sin. Most people who think homosexuality is a sin, think discrimination is a bigger sin.

    There is no religious tenet requiring you to own a business. If you cannot serve all equally, than choose a different career.

  • J in AZ San Tan Valley, AZ
    March 28, 2014 12:26 p.m.

    Marxist wrote "Your views are mostly theology based, a theology which may have shaky foundations - you know what they are: 6,000 year old earth, survival of all species on a wooden boat, the Tower of Babel, Dinosaurs in the Garden of Eden. etc." Let's deal with these from an LDS perspective.

    6,000 year old earth - Not a doctrine of the church. in 1844 W.W. Phelps published in Times and Seasons suggesting that the age of the earth was over two billion years. Elder Orson Pratt is rumored to have calculated the age of the earth at over 2.5 billion years.
    survival of all species on a wooden boat - Depends on how you interpret the word 'sort' in Genesis chapter six: "two of every sort shalt thou bring into the ark." If you interpret it to mean species, then you indeed have a logistics problem. If it means one of every genus, maybe not
    The Tower of Babel - Linguistics suggests that languages all eventually role back to a common root. Why not at Babel?

    Dinosaurs in the Garden of Eden - Brigham Young may have speculated about that. But again, not a doctrine of the LDS Church.

  • Happy Valley Heretic Orem, UT
    March 28, 2014 1:32 p.m.

    A 'conscientious objector' believes killing someone under any circumstances is wrong.

    Your comparing serving a gay couple, to murder or killing another person?
    Not only is this a horrible (radio) analogy, it's not even in your 10 commandments.

  • ChuckGG Gaithersburg, MD
    March 28, 2014 1:33 p.m.

    @Sal - Giving and taking?

    Civil Unions are not the same as legal civil marriage - that's what we are talking about. CIVIL marriage has -zero- to do with religious ceremonies that carry no legal weight whatsoever unless accompanied by a state-issued civil marriage license. Personally, I could not care less what your church says about my civil marriage.

    Civil Unions are just claptrap to keep the bible-thumpers at bay. Civil Unions are not recognized by all States, not recognized by the Federal government, and not recognized by all other countries. Legal marriage is blind to the genders of the participants. People are not "straight married" or "inter-racially married" or "inter-faith married." They are simply married, period.

    Let's grow up and move on. You keep your religious marriage. Let me have the civil one and we're done.

  • anotherview SLO, CA
    March 28, 2014 3:45 p.m.

    @MikeRichards

    Is adultery a sin? Why don't religious people screen their customers to make sure they aren't serving someone who has committed adultery and is marrying his mistress, or is involved in the pornography business, etc etc.?

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    March 28, 2014 4:26 p.m.

    Ah Sal that's the very point. Jesus was a social commentator and reformer not a business owner yet he didn't just invite the sinners to repent he walked amongst them inviting them into his presence. Yet people of faith today as business owners have decided that by providing their normal and public services to those who's lives they disapprove of is in fact condoning the sin thus the nasty intolerance. In fact providing a service is in no way condoning the lives of those you serve, that is reserved for your conscience not your public offerings.

    Also I don't why anyone engages Mr. Richards in his religious sophistry. This issue has nothing to do with religion. It's purely legal Human Rights.

  • J Thompson SPRINGVILLE, UT
    March 28, 2014 4:35 p.m.

    Who has the right to define "marriage"? Do you? Do I? Can a group of people who think that millenia of "traditional" marriage is "outdated" change the definition to include their attitudes and their desires? Who gave them that right? The people of Utah defined "marriage", as permitted by the Consitution, but that wasn't good enough for those who disagreed. They were not satisfied until they had redefined marriage to mean something completely different than marriage.

    One poster asked about adultry. He/she seems to find nothing wrong with adultry, even equating it to "marriage". That's foolishness. Adultry is not marrige. It is the antithesis of marriage, but it is the ruler against which he/she gauges marriage.

    Why should anyone be required to leave their religious views outside before discussing marriage while others, who do not believe in God think that they have the right to define an institution that has already been defined by our Creator. Why is their view "more right" than the view of those who honor our Creator? Look in your wallet. Every bill says, "In God We Trust".

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    March 28, 2014 4:38 p.m.

    The "conscientious objector" status already exists for every business operation and is the same as for anti-killers, ordinary employs and all citizens. If you don't like the requirements of your current status, QUIT.

    No one is forced to serve in the military. No one is forced to work for a specific employer. No one is forced to operate a business. And no one if forces to be a citizen of the United States of America.

    If you serve in the Military, you must follow the rules or suffer the consequences.

    If you choose to work for a given employer, you must do what he asks.

    If you choose to operate a business, you must follow the rules for business operations.

    If you choose to be an American, you should abide and support the laws of the USA.

    If you object to the rules, your first option is to QUIT the status or thing that requires your to the rules. OR you can try to change the rules by getting enough people on your side. But in the time when you are trying to change the rules, you have to obey the rules.

  • spring street SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    March 28, 2014 5:16 p.m.

    @redshirt
    As you have been told before, we don't treat it like an illness for the same reason we do not treat someone with blue eyes as sick because its not an illness. I know you disagree with the scientific experts of the field and like to misrepresent their research but the facts are the facts.

  • Schnee Salt Lake City, UT
    March 28, 2014 6:07 p.m.

    @Mike Richards
    "In return some tell Him that he made a mistake when He created us."

    Only people who think homosexuality is a mistake would tell Him that. Gay rights advocates certainly aren't going to be the ones saying it's a mistake.

    "why do we celebrate homosexuality and shun those with bipolar. People with bipolar disorders are treated with medications and are cared for by doctors."

    Because there's nothing inherently harmful about homosexuality. Kinda like how there's nothing inherently wrong with being left-handed.

    @J Thompson
    "Why should anyone be required to leave their religious views outside before discussing marriage while others"

    Use religion all you want in discussion, but when it comes to the laws of the land, you're going to need secular reasoning (that's why banning Sharia law has been ruled redundant).

  • Henry Drummond San Jose, CA
    March 28, 2014 6:42 p.m.

    @Marxist
    You beat me to it. The Arizona case is just the latest example of how nobody is buying this argument.

    I grew up in a world where people felt it was immoral for a white person to marry a black person. They used Biblical justifications for those beliefs. That was the origin of having separate lunch counters and drinking fountains and public accommodations.

    Unless you believe Religious Liberty justifies denying public services to Blacks, Catholics, Jews, or Mormons for that matter, you shouldn't be asking to do the same thing to Gays.

  • Willem Los Angeles, CA
    March 28, 2014 9:57 p.m.

    Just amazing,im old enough to remember that racist used the same language in the South of our country,proclaiming that whites and blacks will never be equal.
    I have news for this writer ever since the Supreme Court ruling all cases brougth before the courts including Utah have gone for Marriage Equality so you better get used to us.Matter of fact did we get to vote on your happy marriage?

  • mpo South Jordan, UT
    March 28, 2014 10:27 p.m.

    I COMPLETELY AGREE WITH THIS ARTICLE! Very well said!

    We need a balance where people who wish to do so are allowed to not celebrate sinful behavior and where people who choose to violate God's commandments of chastity can do so without being persecuted or shunned.

  • Outside-View Federal Way, WA
    March 28, 2014 10:35 p.m.

    I also hope that some middle ground will be found from the courts that will allow people to avoid being forced to participating in same sex celebrations. The court judge simply wanted to 'work some thing out" with other judges on staff. Gays really dont want someone who doesnt support gay marriage from being part of it. However, they especially dont want anyone to have a legal right not to participate in it.

    Until the legeal right might be granted businesses will have to "outsource" the services to this group whereever they can.

  • mpo South Jordan, UT
    March 28, 2014 10:38 p.m.

    dear marxist,

    'But what if homosexuality is inborn? In other words, what if gays and lesbians are "born that way?" That means they are the way God made them. And the writer's logic falls completely apart.'

    I must disagree. We are all born with temptations and weaknesses, all of which God gave us. Does that mean he intends us to succumb to temptation? If I acted on my sexual temptations, my life would be _very_ different to what it is now. Our choices matter, not our temptations.

    'But what are gays and lesbians supposed to do with their lives? To deprive them of family is a cruel matter.'

    Life isn't about society handing you privileges because you are born with a specific set of temptations. It's about making choices and reaping consequences. If a person chooses to live with another person with whom they knowingly cannot reproduce, they are depriving themselves of a family. How can the ownership of this problem be shifted to anyone else or society in general?

  • AT Elk River, MN
    March 28, 2014 10:50 p.m.

    This is really about property rights, personal rights, and the power of the state. LBGT supporters are saying that the state has the right to force you to associate with people with whom you don't want to associate. I believe this is wrong. I have the right, responsibility, and freedom to discriminate. Say I owned a bakery. Someone came into my bakery wearing a shirt that read, "I hate ". I have the right to tell that person to get out of my shop. The bakery down the street may well get this person's business. That loss of income is my decision. Maybe I might go out of business because of my stance.

    Back in the day, the LBGT community promoted "tolerance." No longer. Now, the coercive power of state is being employed to force their perspective upon other people. I do not believe I have the right to force a baker to service a gay couple. The state then, acting as my agent, has no similar right. It's no longer about "tolerance" it's about force and domination. You "will" accept and support gay marriage or you will face the force of the state.

  • wrz Phoenix, AZ
    March 28, 2014 11:13 p.m.

    @my_two_cents_worth:
    "And the second is like, namely this, **Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.**"

    The love you speak of is not of a sexual nature. To love your neighbor does not mean you go around the neighborhood and have sex with each of them.

    @Schnee:
    "Because there's nothing inherently harmful about homosexuality. Kinda like how there's nothing inherently wrong with being left-handed."

    Let's put it this way... if everyone was homosexual, the human species would have disappeared shortly after Adam and Eve left the Garden of Eden. That's mainly what's wrong.

    @Willem:
    "I have news for this writer ever since the Supreme Court ruling all cases brougth before the courts including Utah have gone for Marriage Equality..."

    The courts have not ruled on marriage equality... The court have said nothing about polygamy, incest, and a myriad of other partnership combinations that can be conjured.

    "Matter of fact did we get to vote on your happy marriage?"

    How would you vote re incestuous marriages, for example?

  • wrz Phoenix, AZ
    March 28, 2014 11:17 p.m.

    @marxist:
    "But what if homosexuality is inborn?"

    There's alotta different human conditions that are inborn. I could mention a few derogatory ones but the moderators would not allow the comment. What homosexuals and others with peculiarities should do is work to overcome them just like other most all humans must do.

    And the Jim Crow reference is completely accurate in anticipating the treatment to gays and lesbians anticipated by the writer.

    "But what are gays and lesbians supposed to do with their lives?"

    What is a person who has a propensity to rob banks supposed to do with his/her life? Try to overcome.

    @Stalwart Sentinel:
    "I wonder if this letter writer has any idea that when she lists all the benefits of marriage as a social institution and then transitions to stating her personal, subjective beliefs for only a certain type of marriage that she unwittingly undermines her own position and makes the legal argument for marriage equality."

    Same Sex Marriage (SSM) supporters do the same thing. While pushing for SSM, they seem to ignore/deny all other types of potential marriage arrangement such as polygamy, incest, and myriads of other relationship combinations.

  • David Centerville, UT
    March 28, 2014 11:35 p.m.

    I agree with this article. In order to maintain freedom of religion, individuals, and corporations owned by those individuals, should be free to establish the services they will offer. If you don't like the service, or if a service you are seeking is not offered by the business or individual, then find a business that will offer the service (in this case, gay marriage).

    This type of discrimination already occurs all of the time. Gay activists and sympathizers are blowing things way out of proportion. You don't see people non-compliant with "No Shirt, No Shoes, No Service" marching, litigating, and berating others. If you try to walk through a drive-thru at McDonalds or any fast-food restaurant, you will be refused service. I don't see pedestrians marching, litigating, and blockading McDonalds. Some businesses refuse to accept personal checks. Other businesses will not accept a Visa card, taking only American Express.

    We can live along side one another peacefully, without destroying beliefs. But the liberals seem to want to force their views on everyone else.

  • Ariz Madison, AL
    March 29, 2014 7:27 a.m.

    "Rather, it was an attempt to create a conscientious objector status for people who don’t want to participate in or lend their creative powers to same-sex celebrations."

    There was no wording in the Arizona bill that limited religious objections to same sex marriage or even sexual orientation in general. It was in no way as narrow or constrained as supporters made it out to be. Basically the law would have allowed business to throw out religious trump card for any discrimination claim.

  • my_two_cents_worth university place, WA
    March 29, 2014 10:15 a.m.

    @wrz

    You said: "The love you speak of is not of a sexual nature. To love your neighbor does not mean you go around the neighborhood and have sex with each of them."

    I never implied such; never even hinted at it. What motivated you to assume I did? When Jesus said “love they neighbor” he did not caveat it with “unless, of course, they are gay or black or single moms or of a different church than you…” He was pretty straight forward: treat others as you would want to be treated. Remember, too, that Jesus spent a lot of time with folks the rest of society found “objectionable”; something modern day “Christians” would likely condemn him for today.

  • Binder Salt Lake City, UT
    March 29, 2014 10:57 a.m.

    This is a well written letter on a highly charged issue. As Mrs. Updike wisely points out, marriage is not a private activity that affects no one else. Using the government to force private businesses to participate in the creation of an important social institution that blatantly contradicts their core religious beliefs is wrong, very wrong.

  • Jeffsfla Glendale, CA
    March 29, 2014 11:24 a.m.

    "In the eyes of social conservatives, though, same-sex marriage is not a building block of society. It’s an affront to our consciences." May I ask who has anointed you to pass judgment on others lives? Has GOD our savior provided you with some special "hall monitor pass". The answer is no. You are but a mere mortal who has certainly inalienable rights. Just like gays and lesbians have too. Your definition of "conscientious objector" is nothing but a lame attempt at redefining control over the population with your definition of what is the right religious beliefs.

  • Arizona1 Tucson, AZ
    March 29, 2014 11:27 a.m.

    Unfortunately, as a society we loosely toss terms around, causing a myopic view of the subject we are really talking about. Is it a "right" to marry people of the same sex? Are people who sincerely adhere to the tenets of the Catholic, Mormon, Jewish, and Islam faiths "discriminatory bigots"? Do they practice a "nasty intolerance . . . for anything they personally object to"?

    For those arguing that objectors should get out of a profession if they do not want to contribute to a ceremony or activity that they find offensive, should photographers have to take pornographic shots as such behavior becomes more acceptable in society? Should a cake maker have to make obscene cakes just because someone wants it?

    Sadly, as our morals continue to erode, so too will our laws. Like many great countries before us, if our moral fabric becomes so intertwined with the celebration of decadent lifestyles and the rewriting of social mores, our once great nation will lose its international relevance as it pulls itself down from within.

  • Jeffsfla Glendale, CA
    March 29, 2014 11:28 a.m.

    When you receive a license to do business and profit on society you cede certain rights to maintain a stable and peaceful society. If you cannot do this may I suggest you not serve the general public. To the author...please do not try to twist these bad business practices into some form of religious persecution. It is just pathetic.

  • ChuckGG Gaithersburg, MD
    March 29, 2014 11:44 a.m.

    @AT - You and businesses can discriminate in some cases. We regularly see signs in stores - "No shirt, No shoes, No Service." That is because shirtless, shoeless people are not part of a protected class as defined in the non-discrimination laws.

    However, along with race, creed, national origin, age, and so on, is the class called "sexual orientation." You cannot refuse to serve a person based upon that person's sexual orientation anymore than you can refuse service based upon their race. That's the law.

    All the bakers, florists, caterers, and photographers who have been cited in refusing to serve gay couples have been cited as they violated the non-discrimination laws based upon sexual orientation. It has nothing at all to do with a gay wedding.

    If a baker bakes a wedding cake the same or similar to all his other wedding cakes and refuses to sell that cake to a gay couple, when he would sell the same or similar cake to a straight couple, that's a violation of the non-discrimination law.

    Don't like it? Change the non-discrimination law. In the eyes of the law this has nothing to do with gay weddings.

  • Arizona1 Tucson, AZ
    March 29, 2014 12:03 p.m.

    Lane Myer and "anotherview" suggest that people who decline to offer service for a "same sex marriage" or something similar are hypocritical in their views. As Lane points out, we are indeed all sinners.

    What these two posters have missed, however, is that very few people are making an argument to refuse service to the sinner, but rather the celebration of the sin.

    Bakers generally don't object to making cakes for sinners, regardless of the sin, but they may object to being forced to use their creativity to celebrate what they view as a sinful behavior. The same goes for photographers.

    There is a difference between offering service to sinners (all of us) and to having to participate in the "celebration" of whatever sins a potential client may commit.

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    March 29, 2014 12:05 p.m.

    @David;

    Since it is pretty darn easy to put on a shirt and shoes to gain the service, the "no shirt, no shoes, no service" comment is absurd.

    Additionally, the "no shirt, no shoes, no service" rule applies equally to every customer.

    The "No Gays Served Here" applies only to gays. The business still provides the exact same service to every other "sinner"; so this discrimination is 100% based on bigotry.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    March 29, 2014 12:46 p.m.

    The people of Utah voted on marriage and decided to agree with God who defined marriage as being the union between a man and a woman. That definition became part of the Supreme Law of Utah, as allowed by the Constitution, Amendment 10. The founding fathers knew that a God fearing people would make correct decisions. The believed in God. They worshipped God. They told the world, "In God We Trust". They (and we) would not allow the government to dictate to religion any doctrine or to have any power over religion.

    Things have changed. Those who did not agree with the Utah State Constitution, defined "marriage" to mean something that has never before been defined as "marriage".

    Now they take those who will not help them celebrate their form of marriage to court. They use the courts to enforce a definition of "marriage" that was rejected by the people of Utah and of other States.

    No one has the right to redefine something that our Creator defined, something that the majority of people agree with, something held sacred by the people of Utah.

  • bandersen Saint George, UT
    March 29, 2014 1:14 p.m.

    There is a very simple way to "not" play the gay culture game! If it were me, I would honestly not be able to give the highest service to these situations because my "passion" for excellence is tied to who I am! I would give lousy service and the problem is solved!

  • slcdenizen t-ville, UT
    March 29, 2014 1:18 p.m.

    Life is full of trade-offs. You cannot hold bigoted or erroneous views about a group of people, unwilling to update in accordance with modern understanding, and still receive respect for your views. This article is a plea to maintain the poisonous view that homosexuals have chosen their same-gender attraction and that the choice is a wrong one without being considered a form of bigotry. It is not a simple disagreement where those who support same-sex marriage are viciously attacking a perfectly reasoned and coherent viewpoint. One must accept the world for the way it is, not the way they would prefer it to be.

  • Kally Salt Lake City, UT
    March 29, 2014 1:55 p.m.

    @mike

    again Mike the "people of Utah" and you using your beliefs about a "creator." do not have the right to violate the federally protected rights of individuals which take "supremacy" over the "Utah Constitution."

  • David Centerville, UT
    March 29, 2014 2:52 p.m.

    Ranch Hand,

    You threw out the term "bigotry", which means an intolerance towards other people or their ideas, etc.

    I can't judge the circumstances and heart of those who deny service to gay customers. In some cases their refusal could be bigotry, as was the case when LDS properties were vandalized in California and Utah during the Prop 8 vote. That was bigotry and violent expression, damage of property, outright expression of hatred.

    Other business owners may deny services because it does not fit their business model: no shirt, no shoes, no service. Cash only. Children under 8 not allowed. Businesses set up their models according to their target audience. If we let the market dictate whether that model is acceptable, the business will thrive or diminish. I'm just saying, let the free market work.

    If gays want to be married by a priest, they'll have to find one that agrees to perform the ceremony. But don't take a priest to court to punish, humiliate, or embarrass him. If a business doesn't want to take pictures at a gay wedding, find a different photographer. Its simple, really.

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    March 29, 2014 4:40 p.m.

    @Arizona1

    If the photographers take pornographic pictures as part of their living for one group, then they need to be consistent and take pornographic pictures for all groups. On the other hand, if they do NOT take pornographic photos for any group, then they're perfectly fine saying: "we don't do pornographic photos". Just as the WEDDING photographer takes WEDDING photos, s/he needs to take them for ALL WEDDINGS and not exclude any group.

    When you talk about "morals continuing to erode"; I agree, it seems bigotry is now acceptable.

    Isn't baking a wedding cake for the adulterer getting remarried, "celebrating the sin"? You need to re-think your argument.

    @Mike Richards;

    The "people of Utah" do NOT have the right to vote on the rights of their fellow citizens.

    @bandersen;

    You provide "lousy service" and it'll get around to EVERYONE that you provide "lousy service". You'll soon have no customers.

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    March 29, 2014 4:41 p.m.

    @David;

    Of course I can judge their hearts. They continue to provide their services to murderers getting married, adulterers getting re-married, fornicators getting married; just not gays getting married. All of those things "violate their religious conscience". Do you see the hypocrisy? That, sir, is the very definition of bigotry.

  • NoMoralSeparation Ridgcrest, CA
    March 29, 2014 5:18 p.m.

    Let's say your a photographer.

    And Some People believe in getting married naked
    Or people will have smoking at the marriage

    Can you refuse?

    If you are forced to take pictures at a wedding are you also forced to put up advertising you don't agree with?

  • Stormwalker Cleveland , OH
    March 29, 2014 6:17 p.m.

    @Sal: "Those arguing for traditional marriage are willing to do some giving and taking."

    Really? Amendment 3 specifically outlawed any type of civil union, as did the amendments passed in most of the states that have one.

    How, exactly, are you asking for "give and take" when the law your side supported specifically says give and take is not allowed?

    Please, I want to understand.

  • NoMoralSeparation Ridgcrest, CA
    March 29, 2014 6:29 p.m.

    I believe you should be able to refuse service to anyone regardless of the reason, otherwise it is slavery. definition of slavery : "a person who is forced to work for another against his will".

    If a person refuses service, what is the worst that can happen to the Gay couple. They get a offended and have to go somewhere else.

    What is the worst that can happen to the person. Get sued 35,000$ and never agrees to weddings again.

    If the person provides the service against their will, what is the worst that can happen. They are forced to go to a wedding and spend hours there when they don't want to go to. People view them as supporting something they do not.

  • David Centerville, UT
    March 29, 2014 6:36 p.m.

    Ranch hand,

    You said "Of course I can judge their hearts. They continue to provide their services to murderers getting married, adulterers getting re-married, fornicators getting married; just not gays getting married. All of those things "violate their religious conscience". Do you see the hypocrisy? That, sir, is the very definition of bigotry"

    In each of those cases you presented, a photographer would not know the background or circumstances of the individual seeking photography services. Nor would a bed and breakfast, bakery, etc. But if a murderer wanted a wedding photo with the murder weapon in the picture, or an adulterer wanted to hold a picture of his ex in the new wedding photo, etc., I believe the photographer would equally refuse to offer their services. Why? For the same reason they may refuse services to a gay couple.

    But the murderer, the adulterer, the fornicator, could still seek photography services elsewhere until they found someone willing to provide the service.

    I am sure there are plenty of photographers, bakers, etc. willing to provide services to gay couples. The court cases are seemingly meant to hurt religious believers who oppose gay marriage.

    Could the court cases reveal bigotry?

  • J Thompson SPRINGVILLE, UT
    March 29, 2014 6:48 p.m.

    let's review what has happened.

    The people of Utah voted on the definition of marriage, which, according to the Constitution and to the Supreme Court, they had the right to do. That vote became part of the Supreme Law of the State.

    Some people were not satisfied. They claimed that their feelings about their sexuality required that the law be changed. They could produce no evidence from their parents or their doctors that they had a different "sex" than that which was written on their birth certificates, but that didn't matter to them. they demanded that the definition of "marriage" be changed.

    A Federal Judge used the minority decision of the Supreme Court to declare that Utah had violated the "rights" of that group. The Supreme Court "stayed" that ruling.

    That group is now suing anyone who does not believe as they do. No medical or parental evidence supports their claim. The majority ruling of the Supreme Court agrees with Utah's right to define "marriage".

    So, who gave that group of people the right to change the law?

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    March 29, 2014 7:06 p.m.

    @David;

    "I didn't know..." has never been a valid excuse.

    Does it really matter if the baker or photographer knows the person is an adulterer or murderer? If simply providing the service for the "sinner" contaminates them (as, apparently providing the services for gays does), then they're going to be contaminated by the others regardless of their knowledge of it or not, right? After all, God is apparently going to judge them for providing the service they disagree with; do you think he'll care whether they were aware of their "sin" of providing a service or not? Apparently the simple contact with the sinner contaminates, right?

    If these people truly care about not providing services to "sinners" who are "violating their religious conscience", they they should require an application form be filled out prior to the service being agreed upon.

  • Stormwalker Cleveland , OH
    March 29, 2014 7:37 p.m.

    @bandersen: "I would give lousy service and the problem is solved!"

    Do unto others as you would have others do unto you. Also some passages about "Lord, when did we" mistreat you?

    @Arizona1: "What these two posters have missed, however, is that very few people are making an argument to refuse service to the sinner, but rather the celebration of the sin."

    Sorry, you are selling a product, not being part of a celebration unless you have an invitation to attend.

    @J Thompson: You seem to have confused "Transgender" with "Gay" and "Lesbian." Transgender people should have legal protections and participation in society, but that is a different issue.

    For those who say "Don't do business with those bakers, photographers and so on..."

    We do that. When we ask friends and allies to join us we are called bullies and worse. When a company mistreats a section of the general public then that mistreatment should be publicized in any way possible. If your now limited clientele can help you stay in business, good for you. Otherwise, those who are more willing follow the commandment "Do unto others..." will fill the vacuum.

  • wrz Phoenix, AZ
    March 29, 2014 8:07 p.m.

    @my_two_cents_worth:
    "I never implied such; never even hinted at it."

    Just wanted to be sure.

    "When Jesus said "love they neighbor" he did not caveat it with "unless, of course, they are gay or black or single moms or of a different church than you…'"

    He also said, or at least implied through His appointed servants, that physical love between same sexes is verboten.

  • bandersen Saint George, UT
    March 29, 2014 9:51 p.m.

    Ranch hand: What will get around, hopefully, is that I give excellent service to those who inspire my passion, which doesn't include those who don't. Now, let them figure out on their own, which shouldn't be difficult, what that means. Let him with ears and a heart figure it out, but it certainly won't be a judge. The confines of my own conscience and voice can never be challenged, even though that is exactly what the gay culture wants to control! When the voice of the people is respected, it makes for a civil society where privacy is respected, not manipulated by those who want to control my thoughts!

  • David Centerville, UT
    March 29, 2014 11:39 p.m.

    Ranch hand,

    Markets decide which business succeed or fail. Individuals decide how they will treat others. But don't force an individual or business to do something it is not established to do.

    God has commanded us to forgive all people. He has commanded us to show compassion, walk the extra mile, give our coat, love others.

    We condemn ourselves, and we will be quite aware of our position on judgment day as we stand before God.

    In my business I provide services to all people, including gays. But I will oppose our government as it acts to weaken or destroy families, freedom, and opportunity. I do not believe the government should control and dictate to a photographer to provide a service that they are opposed to providing because of their faith.

    There have been arguments proposing that gay marriage is akin to civil rights. I reject that. How we act is our own choice and we will be accountable to a merciful and just God for our lives. Gay tendencies do not equate to gay behavior any more than tendencies to anger must be acted out in violence towards others.

  • anotherview SLO, CA
    March 30, 2014 9:54 a.m.

    We have a long way to go. However, the younger generation will lead the way toward more equality and respect. It is disappointing (again) to see (some) churches and their adherents on the wrong side of equality.

    Rep. John Lewis of Georgia, (who stood alongside MLK and was an integral figure in the Civil Rights movement) wrote, "I've heard the reasons for opposing civil marriage for same-sex couples. Cut through the distractions, and they stink of the same fear, hatred and intolerance I have known in racism and in bigotry."
    And:
    "“I fought too hard and too long against discrimination based on race and color not to stand up and speak up against discrimination against our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters. I see the right to marriage as a civil rights issue. You cannot have rights for one segment of the population, or one group of people, and not for everybody. Civil rights and equal rights must be for all of God's children.”

  • J Thompson SPRINGVILLE, UT
    March 30, 2014 10:35 a.m.

    I can assure those (who promote the gay lifestyle) that I know the difference between being gay and having a sex change operation. God gave us bodies that have a specific function. He instructed us to be married to someone of the opposite sex and to multiply and replenish the earth. The promised us joy and happiness if we obeyed Him and misery and sorrow if we did not obey him.

    I choose to honor Him and to obey Him and to use my body in the way that He intended it to be used. I also choose to only have sex with my wife and only within the boundaries that He has set: Marriage. Further, I respect His right to define marriage, after all, he created all that is. Who am I to defy Him or to tell Him that his children have examined His doctrine and found that He didn't know what He was talking about?

    I also honor Him by not participating in any way in any ceremony that would give credence to other forms of worship, because that is exactling what I would be doing: worshiping another god.

  • bandersen Saint George, UT
    March 30, 2014 10:45 a.m.

    Storm walker: And wherein does the savior's admonition apply to those who would compel me to act in a way that violates my rights, as well as my conscience? Your reminder, however, is a difficult doctrine for sure, but if the gay culture continues to assault my rights, as well as my conscience, while turning the savior's definition of "love" into something it isn't, I will gladly inform in my own way that my service is not untouched by those who mock who I am!

  • Values Voter LONG BEACH, CA
    March 30, 2014 4:38 p.m.

    bandersen wrote:

    "...but if the gay culture continues to assault my rights,..."

    Those bad gays, huh?

    A couple of things,

    1.) Your problem is, increasingly, not with gays and "gay culture" (whatever that is in 2014), but with your fellow straights. Somehow, they're abandoning, in ever greater numbers, the position you hold. A growing number have been persuade to accept and even celebrate gay unions as marriages. This is true of the population at large, of the religious, Christians, even Latter-day Saints. This is especially true of the young in any of these groups. Your task, it seems to me, is to figure out why.

    2.) The writer of this opinion piece lives in Washington state. Once upon a time, we gays were told this issue should be decided democratically. But conservative religious folks didn't really meant, did they? Although I strongly disagree with putting the rights of a minority to a popular vote, I note that same-sex couples in Washington gained the right to marry because the electorate agreed they should have it.

  • Stormwalker Cleveland , OH
    March 30, 2014 7:37 p.m.

    @banderson:

    To answer your question Jewish Law had very clear teachings on the treatment of "Gentiles." "Love the stranger," (Deut. 10:19). "Don't wrong the stranger in buying or selling," (Ex. 22:20). "Don't wrong the stranger in speech," (Ex. 22:20).

    Jesus said "Love your neighbor as yourself." He didn't put any limit on that in any Bible I have read. He just said "Treat others well."

    @Avenue:
    The First Amendment does not allow people to mistreat their neighbor for "religious reasons." That would be chaos, not liberty or freedom.

  • Avenue Vernal, UT
    March 30, 2014 8:54 p.m.

    @Stormwalker
    A business has a right to refuse service to anyone, no matter the reason, especially if it would violate the religious beliefs of the owner to do so. Exercising this right is not mistreatment. What is mistreatment is a government forcing someone to go against their religious beliefs and ruin their conscience. Forcing someone to celebrate evil and sin is immoral and wrong.

  • Furry1993 Ogden, UT
    March 31, 2014 7:00 a.m.

    @Avenue 8:54 p.m. March 30, 2014

    A business has a right to refuse service to anyone, no matter the reason, especially if it would violate the religious beliefs of the owner to do so.

    ----------------------

    That is not true. When a person wishes to do business, s/he has to obtain a business license. When that person obtains a business license, s/he agrees to follow all of the laws which are in place, or which may ben enacted in the future, dealing with operations of businesses. Those laws, among other things, include prohibitions against refusal of service for discriminatory reasons (including, among other issues, discromination based on race, sex, age, handicap, and in some jurisdictions sexual orientation). Because, by obtaining a business license, the person AGREES to obey those laws, rights to refuse service based on his/her religious beliefs are wawived. The government is not "forcing someone to go against their religious beliefs and ruin their conscience" in any way, shape or form. The government is not "forcing someone to celebrate evil and sin" but just do what they agreed to do.

    All businesses are required to do is serve everyone equally.

  • Tekakaromatagi Dammam, Saudi Arabia
    March 31, 2014 9:56 a.m.

    @Valuevoter:
    "1.) Your problem is, increasingly, not with gays and "gay culture" (whatever that is in 2014), but with your fellow straights. "

    So if Banderson is an independant thinker what is the harm? Decide right and wrong based on thought, rather than followng the herd mentality.

    I saw a photographic series of ten mysterious people. One of them was a blurry blownup image of someone in a giant rally in the Germany in the 1930's. Everyone around him is making a Hitler salute and this one person mysterious, free thinker was not.

    He ended up being on the right side of history.

  • Values Voter LONG BEACH, CA
    March 31, 2014 2:02 p.m.

    Tekakaromatagi wrote:
    "So if Banderson is an independant thinker what is the harm?"

    There's NO harm. Contrary to what you might think, I'm not for convicting people of thought crimes. Independent thinking is a good thing -- I'm all for it. If banderson, for whatever reason, opposes the right of same-sex couples to marry, he/she should absolutely have the right to express that view, to protest, to construct arguments against it, to speak out in public forums and so forth.

    The point I was trying to make, though, was this -- there has been a process of persuasion going on around this issue for a while. By all measures, LGBT people have been winning the battle of persuasion, slowly, but surely -- in courts, in the court of public opinion, in the arena of popular culture, and most recently, at the voting booth. If banderson wants to focus his/her attention where the problem really is, I suggested concentrating on the citizenry at large, (most of whom are straight), rather than vilifying gays, as I feel he/she did.

  • Karen R. Houston, TX
    March 31, 2014 8:49 p.m.

    I think the author makes an excellent argument against religion.

  • bandersen Saint George, UT
    March 31, 2014 9:24 p.m.

    Values voter: I am quite content to be on the side of God on this issue despite the rise of sin and immorality in our society. In gen. 1:27 The Lord states, "So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him, male and female created he them." Jesus declared to the Pharisees, with some incredulity, " Have ye not read that He made THEM at the beginning male and female." Even the Mormon faith's Proclaimation on the Family declares, "Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premarital, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose." Nothing could be more clear, and a clarity, I might add, that isn't going to equivocate because of a trend in our society. homosexuality was not only a sin in Old Testament times, but the New Testament as well. According to the written word of God, it is an "abomination" (Lev. 18:22). It is, as Paul declared, "vile," "unnatural," and "unseemly." (Rom. 1:26-27). It is a manifestation of a "reprobate mind" and those who "hate God." (Rom. 1:29-30). Return to God and spare yourself His wrath .

  • Values Voter LONG BEACH, CA
    April 1, 2014 8:51 a.m.

    @banderson

    Quoting from your particular version of an iron and bronze-age ancient book, you offer, among other things, Lev. 18:22 and Rom. 1:26-27. Why stop there? Why not also offer Lev. 20:13, if you're going to be completely consistent and honest? You then close with a threat about God's wrath, and you wonder why fewer and fewer people want any part of this archaic, pinched, punitive world-view.

    The concept of "sin" is baggage you choose to carry. Not all of us want to participate in this type of mass delusion. And how is any of this relevant to a set of civil laws in a nation where there is a wall of separation between church and state?