Beliefs Culture Jana Riess: Flunking Sainthood Opinion Politics

Mormons are changing their tune on same-sex marriage

This month the Public Religion Research Institute released the results of its annual American Values Atlas, which surveys more than 40,000 people about their lives and attitudes. Of the 40,000 respondents in the sample, more than 700 were Mormon.

The full report measures several other things besides LGBT issues, including perceptions of racial discrimination, but here I’m just focusing on three findings about how Mormons feel about same-sex marriage and religiously-based refusals of services to LGBT people.

  1. Mormons still oppose same-sex marriage, but . . .

According to the PRRI, 55% of Mormons in 2016 said they opposed same-sex marriage:

There are only three major religious groups among whom a majority oppose same-sex marriage: Jehovah’s Witnesses (53% oppose vs. 25% support), Mormons (55% oppose vs. 37% support), and white evangelical Protestants (61% oppose vs. 31% support). Together, these three religious groups comprise only 19 percent of the general public.

Even though 55% of Mormons still oppose same-sex marriage, that opposition is rapidly eroding: PRRI’s 2015 data about Mormons had 66% opposing it and 26% in favor.

That’s an 11-point drop in opposition over just one year (66% to 55%), with a corresponding 11-point rise in support (26% to 37%).


  1. Younger Mormons are quite a bit more supportive.

Like evangelical Protestants, Mormons have a clear “generation gap” in their feelings about same-sex marriage. There’s nearly a 20-point difference between the 28% of Mormon elders who support marriage equality and the 47% of younger Mormons who are in favor. That’s not quite majority status, but it’s close.

These PRRI findings are similar, but not identical, to what we found among the youngest and oldest Mormons in the Next Mormons Survey (NMS, 2016). The 18-26 age bracket of that study showed support for same sex-marriage at 40.2%, nearly twice the 20.3% support among Mormons 52 and over. So the NMS percentages aren’t as high as PRRI’s for either generation, but the 20-point difference between them is strikingly similar.


  1. Most Mormons now reject the idea that small business owners can refuse service to members of the LGBT community.

Fewer than half (42%) of Mormons now say it’s acceptable to allow small business owners such as florists and bakers to refuse gay people their services, while a majority (52%) now oppose such refusals.

This 2016 finding represents a sharp turnaround from where Mormons were just one year earlier, when 58% supported the right of small business owners to refuse services, and just 38% opposed.

That 16-point drop in the percentage of Mormons who think it’s OK for small businesses to refuse service represents the most significant change of any religious group in the survey, though almost every group experienced a smaller change in this direction.



About the author

Jana Riess

Senior columnist Jana Riess is the author of many books, including "The Prayer Wheel" (Random House/Convergent, 2018) and "The Next Mormons: How Millennials Are Changing the LDS Church" (Oxford University Press, 2019). She has a PhD in American religious history from Columbia University.


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  • It’s amazing how quickly attitudes changed (or people now willing to speak up). Back in the 1970s I would have bet that 100% of Jehovah’s Witnesses opposed same-sex marriages. If those numbers are accurate then Christianity is in for drastic changes as the old guard dies off.

  • Can we PLEASE stop using the term “marriage equality” when we mean same-sex marriage? It unnecessarily muddies the water, especially when you’ll have people on one side claiming that something cannot be “equal” if one doesn’t fit the definition to begin with, and others pointing out that equality does not exist for those in polygamous relationships or cousins who are in love and can’t get married in their own state. “Same-sex marriage” is a neutral and accurate term, so why not just use that?

  • While we’re at it, can we PLEASE start framing the issues around discrimination in business more precisely? The question as posed is just plain awful and does little to illuminate the more difficult questions that we are wrestling with, particularly as it will come before the Supreme Court in Masterpiece Cakeshop. I would guess that there are very few Christians, Mormons included, who when they stop and think about it really believe that providing a product or a service to a gay person violates their conscience. However, aiding in celebration of a same-sex wedding very much WOULD violate their conscience. These are very distinct ideas, and the more we conflate them, the more we as a society talk past each other.

    The issue coming to the Court in Masterpiece Cakeshop centers around the latter, since the shop owner (as have many others similarly situated) clearly indicated that he would sell the customers a cake for another occasion and would even sell a generic cake. I am dreading the coming fight over the basic facts as it relates to this issue.

  • Well one view is honest, that one is simply denying goods and services to gay people and using religion as an excuse. The other view which is complete nonsense, that selling goods and services in open commerce is somehow a religious rite or act of conscience.

    You are full of it. Simply working off the mistaken belief that calling something a different name changes what it is. We are talking about discrimination in open commerce based on personal prejudice. No different in deed or appearance from the kinds of action which were banned when Jim Crow was struck down.

    The shop owner was acting maliciously and sought to avoid laws of general application by claiming religious belief. It was not an act of conscience here. It was an act to deliberately demean the customers and inflict some token harm on them.

  • Nope. There is no distinction between heterosexual and homosexual marriage under the law. If you feel the need to demean gays who are married, that is your problem, not one for the rest of the world.

  • Do you support forcing a Muslim bakery to bake a cake with the image of Muhammad on top? Since they are selling a good in open commerce, it should be fine, right?

  • Now you are being very dishonest. How many more nonsense analogies will you come up with to avoid the facts here?

    How is a wedding cake for a gay couple different than for a straight couple? It is the same product. It is not a custom product. It does not have a specific message. The only difference here is the class of people the customers are, not the product.

    And to answer your overused, inane, inappropriate and dishonest question, I simply defer to what various bakers have done when set up 1diot Christian bigots trying to angle for “reverse discrimination”. Bake the cake in the usual standard fashion and let the customer make their own message and images/figures whatever.

    You guys really should come up with a different script. This one is just plain silly.

  • Discrimination is simply a negative word for consent. There’s no such thing as “reverse consent.” When you rob people of the right to consent, you promote rape culture. Well done.

  • No, discrimination is a legally actionable harm caused by denying people rightful access to open commerce and government services.

    Just because you don’t like what happens to people who engage in discrimination and may support doing it, doesn’t mean you get to pretend it doesn’t exist or isn’t considered a harm to others.

    When people engage in open commerce, they receive consent by the community to sell their wares to the entire public at large in accordance with the applicable laws for doing business. They get to sell their stuff in exchange for compliance with laws protecting consumers. Society has no tolerance for open commerce being tied up with personal prejudices of various vendors. It creates an unworkable and hostile situation which is unnecessary. One’s need to attack and demean certain classes of people is far less of an interest to the public as the free and open access to commerce.

    Your nonsense didn’t hold water when they used THE EXACT SAME ARGUMENTS to support racial discrimination in opposition to the Civil Rights Act, it doesn’t now. Its telling that bigots don’t change their arguments, only their targets.

    I am sure your tirade made sense in your head or in the mind of the person you cribbed it from. But it doesn’t.

  • I understand the law; the problem is the value statement. If one supports the notion of “marriage equality,” does that also include the right of cousins to get married (which is a right denied or limited in all but 18 states)? If not, then why not? Science shows that the offspring of cousins do not have a drastically increased risk of birth defects if the parents are not double cousins. My point is that the normative idea of “equality” can mean lots of different things to different people. “Same-sex” marriage carries no connotation, positive or negative.

  • I don’t think you are making any attempt to understand the issue, which proves my point regarding framing of the issue. “one is simply denying goods and services to gay people and using religion as an excuse.” No, this is clearly not the case in the Masterpiece Cakeshop case, since the owner would have sold a cake to the couple for any other purpose than their wedding. If someone were interested in simply denying a service based on their identity, they would not offer any kind of service for any occasion. So, given the fact that the shop owner ONLY denied service for the narrow purpose of the wedding, I think your allegation that that this was a deliberate act to demean customers and inflict harm falls flat.

    Tell me how to distinguish this case from the following hypothetical: A printer owns a shop that makes signs and T-Shirts. A member of the Westboro Baptist Church walks in wanting signs that say essentially that homosexuality is a sin (we won’t even go so far as to say that they are requesting the sort of offensive, demeaning, and potentially obscene stuff that they frequently display). If the printer refuses due to her own moral values, has the printer discriminated against the WBC member based on religion? After all, the activity that the WBC member wants to engage in is inextricably tied to their religion (a protected class). What if instead of a specific message, the printer were asked only to print T-shirts with a specific logo for the church, but the T-shirts were being printed specifically for a rally in which the members would spread the message that homosexuality is a sin. Would it be religious discrimination for the printer to refuse?

    You can confirm or deny, but I suspect that you would not think that a refusal to print the signs and shirts is an act of discrimination because of the customer’s religion, but an act based on the specific message the printer is being asked to support. The same goes for Masterpiece Cakeshop, which by its actions demonstrated that it was willing to sell to a gay couple, just not in support of the specific act for which the owner had a moral objection.

  • “It is the same product. It is not a custom product.” You are clearly not in the business of making wedding cakes. They are custom-made and frequently unique. The owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop in fact consented to do what you are suggesting: sell a non-custom cake. That did not appease the couple in that case.

  • They also don’t vary between those for a gay couple or a straight couple. If it were the case and the baker wasn’t a raging malicious bigot, he would have skirted violation of the anti discrimination law by claiming difficulty with the custom request. He would not claimed the lame defense that it didn’t apply to his religious beliefs.

    It wasn’t even a consideration. He just didn’t want to serve customers because they were gay. In this case appeasement means treating every customer as human beings and not being a hateful dbag to them. Not an imposition, but the normal expectations of open commerce.

    Your dishonesty is plain as day here.

  • I understand the issue and think you are making a spurious and dishonest point. Calling blatantly obvious discrimination “refusing to participate” or “an act of conscience” is whitewashing BS. Simply calling a hateful act by a more passive aggressive label. You want to treat gays as less than human and you want legal permission to attack them. That is some repugnant stuff. Your beliefs are garbage and have no business being given color of law. If you want me to respect them because you choose to cloak your bigotry in religion, get bent.

    People don’t have to be raging bigots all the time to discriminate. Just once will do. It was a deliberate attack on the couple. It was unacceptable and malicious behavior. You are an immoral person to look for excuses for such things.

    I addressed your nonsensical banned hypos with another poster. Sell the goods in a generic fashion like any other customer and let the bigot customize it themselves. As what has been done with Christian bigot m0r0ns have tried this nonsense in real life

  • You understand the law, you just don’t like it and want to pretend it doesn’t exist. Unlike your silly analogies, there are rational and secular reasons to ban consanguinity (2 headed babies and consent issues) and polygamy (havoc with legal marriage rights and obligations). Ones that do not exist for marriage equality.

    Marriage Equality exists. It isn’t going away with an argument here.

  • “He just didn’t want to serve customers because they were gay.” How many times do I have to repeat this: he was willing to serve them! Talk about dishonesty–you simply will not acknowledge that fact. He did not want to make a custom cake for their wedding, which violated his beliefs. Not the people; the wedding.

    If he claimed generic difficulty, he would have been dishonest, which is also presumably against his beliefs. At which point I’m sure you would be accusing him of hypocrisy.

  • “Calling blatantly obvious discrimination “refusing to participate” or “an act of conscience” is whitewashing BS.” You can continue to make this claim without evidence, or you can back it up. Something is not “hateful” simply because you say it is. You have so far provided zero evidence contrary to what I have cited. You have utterly failed to address the fact that the Maseterpiece Cakeshop owner, as most other owners in these types of cases, explicitly stated that he was willing to sell to gay customers for other events.

    “You want to treat gays as less than human and you want legal permission to attack them.” Not even close to true. Refusing to participate in a ceremony that you have a moral objection to is a far cry from treating someone as less than human and attacking them.

    “Sell the goods in a generic fashion like any other customer and let the bigot customize it themselves.” As I have said previously, selling the goods in a generic fashion apparently is not enough for the Colorado Civil Rights Commission, since Mr. Philips offered a generic cake. Refusal to make a custom cake is what did him in. Please, if you insist on continuing to push your argument, at least understand the facts first.

  • The dangers of consanguinity in first-cousins (non-double cousins) are about equal to the dangers of having a baby at 40, and yet I don’t see anyone trying to ban geriatric marriage. The legal rights and obligations surrounding polygamy are no more complicated than business associations.

    Marriage Equality (TM) may exist, but there’s no real equality for others who want to get married but face legal obstacles to doing so.

  • “I addressed your nonsensical banned hypos with another poster.” Really? Where? All I see as far as a response is that it is “nonsense.” You’ll forgive me for not accepting that as a bona fide response.

  • No he wasn’t. You are still lying here. He wasn’t willing to treat them like any other customer with a request he would gladly take, because they were gay. His actions were done to deliberately demean and attack the couple seeking his services. That he couldn’t treat them like human beings with a modicum of civility because he believed religious belief absolved him of such pleasantries and duties.

    It wasn’t a matter of not taking a special custom request, It’s a matter of personal animus against the customers. If he is such a raging bigot that he could not help himself from discrimination, well, that was his problem. His penalties are appropriate. I have no sympathy for someone so pathological in their prejudice.

    I am not going to pretend religious belief gives you license to attack others in service of your faith. You also shouldn’t be so dishonest about the custom nature of his shop. It had nothing to do with the product, just the customer. The baker lacked respect for the customers as human beings and wanted to feel superior to them. To demean them in denying services to them this occasion. It is not excusable. Objectively no different from every other discriminatory bigot who says, “We don’t serve ____”

  • See my responses to Lee Whitaker. I responded to your anyway in my prior post. I will say it for a third time.

    The answer to your nonsense hypo:

    Sell the product in a generic fashion and give the customer the means to put their own message on it.

    This has been done in such situations. But Christian bigots don’t like playing by the same rules as everyone else would.

    Exactly what the baker should have done if he wasn’t such a malicious raging bigot who thought he could flaunt the laws for Jesus.

  • The LDS church is not a democracy. Doctrines are not set forth or changed by popular demand or even legal rulings. These numbers in no way reflect the future of the LDS church – they only reflect the subset of those polled.

  • Your assurances don’t make it so.

    Cousins seeking marriage and polygamist should lobby if they believed such laws lacked a rational basis or any conceivable merit. But medical science and issues of consent through close relation seem largely against them here.

    When polygamists can draft laws pertaining to marriage rights which are fair and equitable for all spouses then I can consider their positionn. Until then, it is unworkable law in our binary spouse based laws.

    In the meantime you don’t want to recognize gay couples as married because you want to feel superior to them. Your alleged social lessers.

  • Doctrines are not set forth or changed by legal rulings?

    I think the history of LDS doctrine regarding polygamy suggests otherwise.

  • You’re either not familiar with the facts or you are willing to lie about it. Your proposed solution is exactly what Mr. Philips has been saying he was willing to do. That is, he could make other desserts, but since cakes are a custom product (and let’s be clear, the couple in this case were looking for a custom cake; read the facts of the case from the Colorado Civil Rights Commission), he felt he could not expend his artistry (look at pictures of his cakes on the Internet), he would not expend those efforts on an event he morally opposed. He was also unwilling to make cakes for Halloween and bachelor parties. Does this demonstrate animus and malicious reading bigotry towards people who celebrate Halloween or bachelor parties?

    Your entire argument rests on untrue assumptions on your part.

  • No actually you are the one making up crap here.

    What he did was the modern equivalent of saying, “I will serve black customers, but only at the takeout counter”. He refused to treat gay customers with the same level of civility he would treat others.

    You are trying to pretend “separate but equal” here is still a credible argument for commerce in this country.

    Christians will serve gay customers, but only in inferior and deliberately demeaning ways differently from other customers. Discrimination in its most blatant form.

    No, this still isn’t a case about not being or willing to create a custom product here. His escuse

    “He felt he could not expend his artistry”

    Translation for the honest: “Gays are inferior and unworthy of treating appropriately as customers”.

    His “moral quandry” was whether he needed to treat certain people like human beings. You expect me to treat that as something worthy of acceptance and respect? Give me a break.

    “Does this demonstrate animus and malicious reading bigotry towards people who celebrate Halloween or bachelor parties?”

    Yep, but they aren’t groups covered under anti-discrimination laws.

  • First of all, I have said nothing about whether I would recognize gay couples as married. I don’t think the world is going to hell in a hand basket because of same sex marriage. I just don’t think that people opposed to same sex marriage are opposed to equality any more than those opposing cousin marriage are opposed to equality. The arguments against cousin marriage and consensual polygamy are at least as weak as the arguments against same sex marriage. So if you believe in marriage equality, I assume you will soon be taking up the cause for others in non-traditional relationships who just want the right to marry.

    (Don’t believe me? Just look up Cousin Marriage on Wikipedia)

  • So if the printer from my earlier example is willing to sell a blank T-shirt but not a logoed T-shirt for the Westboro Baptist Church member like serving a black customer, but only at the takeout counter? You haven’t convincingly distinguish here because you are talking out of both sides of your mouth. On the one hand, the cake decorator could have made something generic (your solution when confronted with the printer example) but when I point out that’s what the cake decorator was willing to do, his taking that option is like serving blacks but only at the counter. Your arguments are self-contradictory.

  • You are the one who has problems with the terminology used because you consider their marriage inferior to others. Not equal. Now you are weaselwording and strawmanning your way to a brand new argument based on nothing that has been said before.

    People opposed marriage equality because they did not want to think of gays as people. They were uncomfortable with the idea of granting them legal rights.

    Your arguments against cosanguinity and polygamy were nonsense. I don’t take them seriously because they were never meant to be taken seriously. Its part of a typical overused script which ignores the obvious in favor of bad analogy. There are rational and secular arguments against them which you did nothing to credibly dispute. There are no such arguments against marriage equality. You coughed up none. So its an analogy fail on your part. The embers of that strawman went cold years ago.

    If you want to marry your cousin, leave me out of it. I can’t help it if your family tree is a straight line.

  • Nope. You are being dishonest and obtuse.

    The product is still being sold to the customer, even with the message desired. You missed the material part where I said that the customer would be instructed and given materials to make their message. A custom product is still being produced. The customer is treated in a fair and non-discriminatory manner.

    A far cry from saying, “We don’t serve ____”. “_____ don’t need to be treated like real customers”

    The baker acted badly and got rightfully punished for it. The only reason you don’t treat him with the same level of contempt as someone who would have done so to an interracial couple, or a couple of a different faith/sect (which you clearly would endorse him doing from this argument) is that you share the same prejudices.

    That is a load of crap. Its straight up discrimination like any other example. Your excuses, your inability to deal with the facts on hand and your brain dead analogy don’t change that.

  • My claim is backed up by the actions here. The actions are no different from an objective stance from any other act of refusing to engage in open commerce based on personal prejudices of the class of people as customers. You are asking for a Christian bigot version of Jim Crow against gays. It makes you a terrible person.

    “Cakeshop owner, as most other owners in these types of cases, explicitly stated that he was willing to sell to gay customers for other events.”

    Translation, He won’t treat gays like other customers. He felt they are inferior and therefore not worthy of wedding cakes. Like Jim Crow restaurants which would not let black customers sit down but would let them get takeout.

    “Refusal to make a custom cake is what did him in. ”

    Refusal to do so BECAUSE OF THE CLASS OF CUSTOMER is what did him in. It wasn’t refusal to do a custom product due to anything having to do with the product itself.There is nothing different about doing the job for a gay couple than doing it for a straight one. The work and product is still the same. It was not the nature of the product which was at issue. So stop being so dishonest.

  • Actually the doctrine prohibiting admitting blacks to the priesthood was changed precisely by popular demand. I know, I know…they said it was a “revelation.” Whatevs.

  • “The LDS church is not a democracy.”


    “Doctrines are not set forth or changed by popular demand or even legal rulings.”

    Well, fine. But it takes a special kind of credulity to argue that change within Mormonism never happens due to external pressures. I know that Church leadership is avid about appearing totally aloof from the concerns of the culture around them, but sometimes those claims strain credibility. It’s like they’re saying: ‘We do not negotiate with terrorists. Not ever. And especially not those terrorists who demanded we land a helicopter on the roof of that building where we just landed a helicopter, which has absolutely nothing to do with their demands. It’s OUR helicopter and we can land it wherever we want. We made the decision to land it there weeks ago, actually, long before the terrorists took over the building. The terrorists had absolutely nothing to do with it. Our helicopter landing decisions are always made completely independently.’

    “These numbers in no way reflect the future of the LDS church – they only reflect the subset of those polled.”

    Possibly true. I think the November 2015 exclusion policy was a fairly obvious piece of social engineering, aimed at changing the demographics of the Church with regard to members’ opinions about same-sex marriage and homosexuality in general. They want to jettison (or at least marginalize) gay people and their allies, because while the LDS position on homosexuality did hurt its brand with outsiders, what they really cannot abide is dissension in the ranks.

  • Your proposed solution does not resolve the issue. First of all, that is essentially what the baker proposed to do: sell some generic baked goods and they can do with it what they will. Second, and probably more importantly, the couple asked Mr. Philips to make them a custom cake, so a DIY cake kit would not have given them what they were looking for (and hence the lawsuit). Mr. Philips, by his history and actions, has demonstrated that he sells to gay people. He offered to sell something other than a custom cake designed for their wedding. You talk of strawmen, but your entire argument is against a strawman.

    You make some pretty bad assumptions about what I would and wouldn’t support. I would and do support the rights of an evangelical cake decorator to refuse to make a custom cake for my own Mormon temple marriage on the grounds that he believes Mormonism is heretical, and therefore cannot support a marriage in a Mormon temple. I would even support the rights of someone who claimed a religious objection (or non-religious objection, for that matter) to refrain from photographing, decorating, or catering my interracial wedding.

  • You have a real problem with assigning a position or belief to somebody without first ascertaining their beliefs. I do not consider gay marriages inferior others. I am sincere about the cousin marriage issue (I’m married to someone who is not remotely related to me, but after seeing the science behind the issue and the people who sincerely fall in love with their cousin, I see no reason they should not be married).

    Just because there are rational secular arguments against cousin marriage does not make those arguments persuasive or that they withstand scrutiny. We can talk about consanguinity issues, but as I have stated, the science demonstrates that the risk of birth defects for cousin relationships is still remote, and if Obergefell means anything, it is that arguments claiming a remote potential harm to children cannot overcome the dignity denied people seeking a marriage. I can’t help it if you won’t apply the principles you claim to hold to situations outside the cause de jour.

  • “based on personal prejudices of the class of people as customers.” You’re begging the question. Your argument rests on an assumption of its conclusion. You do it at the beginning of this response and at the end. Your argument is, summed up, Jack Philips was discriminating based on class and not based on a specific act he was asked to support because Jack Philips is a bigot and discriminates based on class. Literally every paragraph in your response rests on an assumption of the conclusion.

    Edit: I won’t even get to the ad hominem attacks.

  • Not at all, I am describing the actions in the plainest and most honest terms. There is no such thing as well intentioned discrimination. By its nature it’s an act of malice. The baker was a bigot. He acted in ways which were typical of one. He discriminated in ways which have been done before and honestly described as acts of prejudice. Having ones prejudice supported by religious belief doesn’t change its nature.

    It’s not as hominem here. It’s simply describing things in the most appropriate terms.

  • Not at all. The actions made his beliefs perfectly clear. He acted like a Jim Crow era shop owner. He gets described in such terms.

    Discrimination is a malicious act borne of prejudice. There are no excuses for it from a moral standpoint.

    You clearly considered gay marriage inferior by rankling at the term marriage equality and giving me bullcrap overused analogies to polygamy and consanguinity. You are arguing about them in a vain attempt at analogy and to avoid the general subject here. There are no principles involved in your argument other than fact free deflection.

  • Of course it does. There were even court cases about just that. There is no excuse for discriminatory conduct. Denial of goods and services in open commerce is a malicious and uncivil act.
    Your argument deliberately ignored my point of selling the good as intended. There is no potentially offensive message in a wedding cake. The artistic effort would be the same regardless of the customer and unlike your analogies.

    If you were more honest, you would use as an analogy a Christian Identity baker refusing to bake a wedding cake for an interracial couple because his religion finds mixing of races a sin. Same actions, same bigoted motives, same religious excuse. A moral person would not look for excuses for such actions. Of course it is a malicious and demeaning act for those on the receiving end.

    “I would and do support the rights of an evangelical cake decorator to refuse to make a custom cake for my own Mormon temple marriage on the grounds that he believes Mormonism is heretical”

    You are full of it. if you were on the receiving end of such treatment. You would feel attacked and demeaned by such actions.

  • Assuming these results are trustworthy, it seems the LDS Church needs to look at emphasizing the true nature of marriage and what it means to be an accessory to sin.

  • Yes, all the regular posters are very much aware that you believe that acquiring a business license means surrendering your 1st Amendment protection of your right to freely exercise your religion.

  • It didn’t fly when the same exact arguments were used against the civil right act, why should it be different now? Open commerce means giving up the opportunity to discriminate legally. There are methods of doing so. Just not in a business open to the general public.

    Attacking people in the name of your faith is not the free exercise of religion. It’s not a zero sum game. Nobody has to suffer in the name of your faith.

  • Yes, I’m well aware that a high proportion of judges are cultural bigots, that doesn’t change the self-evident truth that I stated. And the ones being forced to suffer in the name of their religion are the business owners having their lives destroyed by bigots.

  • The latest poll specifically asking whether a baker should be allowed to refuse to bake a wedding cake for a gay couple for religious reasons is out, and 57% of Likely Voters say yes while only 29% say the baker should be prosecuted for discrimination. I’d expect that Mormons would be on the high side of that 57%.

  • It’s from the company that won the polling roulette last presidential election, Rasmussen:

    Most of the article might be locked if you aren’t a subscriber, though.

    The question wording was: “Should it be legal for a baker to refuse for religious reasons to make a wedding cake for a gay couple, or should that baker be prosecuted for discrimination for refusing to make the wedding cake?”

    Rasmussen has also noted that large majorities oppose religious freedom laws for their states. So yeah, people are worried about discrimination but recognize the need for religious liberty — they recognize the subtleties that all too many public figures and pollsters don’t.

  • The misleading nature of the poll is to be expected because these polls are not conducted simply to find out where public opinion stands at any given time. They are done for the purpose of influencing lawmakers — who unfortunately are not always the brightest bulbs and can often be swayed with official-looking “statistics” about what their constituents supposedly want. And as you can see here, they are then employed to try to convince people to change their views to match the imagined herd.

    For myself, the 2016 election soured me on polls and public opinion surveys for the foreseeable future, and there are MANY who feel the same. The propaganda machine oveplayed its hand on that one.

  • They often do recognize them, but pretend not to. The first poll was deliberately tailored in such a way as to obscure them in service of a progressive agenda.

  • “Of course it does. There were even court cases about just that.” Two points: 1) Then why wasn’t offering to provide generic cakes enough in this case? 2) Name one case that has accepted that solution.

    “If you were more honest, you would use as an analogy a Christian Identity baker refusing to bake a wedding cake for an interracial couple because his religion finds mixing of races a sin.” You literally address my use of this analogy in the next paragraph. You know you can edit your comment before you submit it, right?

    “You are full of it. if you were on the receiving end of such treatment. You would feel attacked and demeaned by such actions.” No, actually I knew before I got married that there was a vendor we were looking at who was not too keen on Mormon weddings. So you know what we did? We approached someone else. What do you know, problem solved!

  • More begging the question here. You’re essentially saying he was discriminating because he was prejudiced and that his prejudice is demonstrated by his discrimination. You’re running logical circles so fast that I’m getting dizzy.

    I think my analogy is pretty good. You certainly haven’t distinguished the analogies, so they stand.

  • More begging the question. I can’t argue with that (not because it’s a winning argument, but because you can’t argue with fallacious reasoning.)

    “It’s not as hominem here.” Assuming you meant ad hominem, let’s quote every instance you made an ad hominem attack during this exchange:

    “If you want me to respect them because you choose to cloak your bigotry in religion, get bent.”

    “You are an immoral person”

    “Christian bigot m0r0ns”

    “Christian bigots”

    “It makes you a terrible person.”

    “If you want to marry your cousin, leave me out of it. I can’t help it if your family tree is a straight line.”

    Actually, that’s not a complete list, but it will do. I didn’t even bother with every time you called me personally dishonest, rather than attacking the argument, since I will just assume that what you really meant was the argument was dishonest (it wasn’t).

  • Get a primer on rhetorical fallacies before you start invoking them with others. You have been laboring under the notion that calling something by a different name makes an action different. That is just “alternative facts” argument formation. Then you throw

    If the baker did the same to an interracial couple, would you defend the baker the sane way? Maybe. Pre 1978 LDS would have.

    You chafe at the use of the term bigot. But it is entirely appropriate. Someone who is so overcome by prejudice they somehow in your argument feel compelled to attack people through discrimination.

    It a not meant to be nice, discrimination is not a nice act. Its proponents deserve the label.

    Your excuses are dishonest and your views are immoral and repugnant.

  • There is no such thing as well intentioned discrimination. The act implies motive. It is an act which in of itself displays malice and prejudice. There is simply no excuse religious or otherwise to be denying goods and services in open commerce based on the class of people of the customer. Your silly analogies avoided that.

    Sincere religious belief is not license to attack others. You argue the exception is if you share the same religious belief as the attacker.

  • That would be compelled speech on the printer’s part. As if someone held a gun to his head and was forced to confess to a murder. It is NOT the same when printed words are involved. A baker cannot be forced to write “Gay is great on a cake” BUT a baker is forced to sell the same generic cake to everyone regardless of what they plan to use it for.

  • Hey! You’re not supposed to take the cubes out of the magic 8 ball and list all the answers at once! You’re supposed to tilt the ball and see which one floats up. Since there aren’t that many, you don’t have to wait long to see them all.

  • Like selling your home only to white people and only allowing blacks to purchase a home in ghetto regardless.

  • The point is the act of baking a cake is NOT a religious rite. To claim exemption because you don’t agree with what it is used for is discrimination plain and simple.

  • “You have been laboring under the notion that calling something by a different name makes an action different.” Nope, I sure haven’t. I have been arguing that discrimination based on identity and discrimination based on support of an act or ceremony that the vendor finds offensive are fundamentally different things. If you don’t find that argument unpersuasive, that’s one thing, but that doesn’t make it fallacious.

    “If the baker did the same to an interracial couple, would you defend the baker the sane way?” I do everything the sane way. I would also defend the baker in the same way. That is, I would defend the baker’s right to refuse to support a wedding he finds morally or religiously offensive. I would also probably tell him to get with the times, that his probable source of scripture doesn’t actually condemn interracial marriage, and maybe even let others know that he has policies that offend mainstream values and they should maybe go somewhere else. (I have stated this multiple times; I don’t know why you keep bringing it up.)

    “You chafe at the use of the term bigot.” No, I chafe at the ad hominem attack that doesn’t support your argument. It’s fallacious reasoning. Unless, of course, you mean that Christians are bigots and therefore more likely to be motivated by a desire to harm, but in that case, we’re back to begging the question. Either way, you are painting a perfect picture of the types of logical fallacies that would be Day 1 of a logic 101 class.

  • You mean you DIDN’T require therapy for migraines, high blood pressure, excessive sleep, paleness, impaired digestion, resumption of smoking habit, feelings of mental rape, loss of appetite, weight gain and more as a result of the awareness of someone’s disapproval??? I’m shocked, I tell you!

  • “There is no such thing as well intentioned discrimination.” So again, if our printer refuses service to the WBC member for his rally, that is ill-intentioned discrimination? The act implies a motive that the printer dislikes Christians or at least WBC members. Refusal of service on that ground would be illegal religious discrimination. Tell me what the difference is.

  • I tried to account for that in my example by including use of a logo (assuming WBC has a logo). That would be a design, not words.

  • It will happen in the blink of an eye. There are churches that are mostly made up of young people. They are very accepting. There are churches that are mostly made up of older people. They are set in their ways. Guess which will be around longer?

  • The LDS church like every other church is a democracy. It takes butts in the seats to pay the tith which pays the bills. When you alienate enough people….and lack of money becomes the focus….doctrines do change. It’s a business.

  • Ok, neenerpuss, maybe you have the answer. How would this case be any different than the WBC example I provided earlier? In fact, let’s modify it. Instead of a printer, let’s say it’s a baker. Let’s say that our WBC member asks for a custom cake with a specific design, but no words on it. That cake will be used by the Church in a celebration of its success bringing gays to Jesus. It wants it to look like a wedding cake, but instead of a topper with a bride and groom it has two grooms, one of which has turned its back on the other and is kneeling before Jesus. No words, just this. Now, the baker refuses to do so, saying that he can’t make that design. Our WBC member says that’s fine, just make the cake as designed minus the topper, and they’ll just put the topper on themselves. The baker still refuses. Discrimination based on the WBC member’s religion, or refusal to participate in an offensive message?

  • Marriage is still just marriage regardless of who is married to whom. We don’t call it “different sex marriage”. It’s just marriage….hence we call it marriage equality.

  • Right, so it should be that way for cousins who want to get married, right? Marriage is marriage, so marriage equality. Except we don’t have marriage equality.

  • So what is your rational to lump gay marriages into the same category of rational as cousin marriage? What warrants the same inspection?

  • We do have cousin marriage in the US. All they have to do is get married in one of the states that allows it. The other states, because of the Full Faith and Credit Act must recognize it as a valid marriage.

  • Well, they are just marriages, right? The are taboo not because of any real danger of harm, but because people find them icky. Cousins marrying doesn’t harm anybody else, just as gay marriage doesn’t harm anyone else.

  • It’s flour, eggs, and sugar. Regardless of what someone does with the final product. It is the same process. Regardless of who buys it. It is the same looking cake. Regardless of who eats it.

    Again compelled speech, forcing someone to write or speak words is different than frosting a cake or arranging flowers.

  • “All they have to do is get married in one of the states that allows it.” This was unacceptable to same-sex couples during the time that such marriages were legal in some but not all states. Which is fine if you were ok with that; your reasoning would be consistent. I just want to make sure that it is in fact consistent.

    “The other states, because of the Full Faith and Credit Act must recognize it as a valid marriage.” This actually isn’t an accurate statement of the current state of the law. There are multiple states that void a marriage with respect to their state laws if such a marriage would not be permitted under that state’s law (e.g. New Hampshire, Arizona, Utah).

  • So, if I understand right, you would agree that the baker in this case would have to bake the cake for the WBC member? The critical fact being that decorating a cake is not an expressive act? I can’t fault the reasoning there, even though I disagree that custom cake decorating (as opposed to simple baking) is not an expressive activity, and thus not compelled speech.

  • And if that is the only entanglement that the baker has with the event itself, it is not problematic. A standard design book with an impersonal method of purchase and delivery would go a long way toward eliminating difficulty.

  • How is the custom cake ANY different than simple baking? It is the EXACT same process as for the straight couple. It the exact same cake….

    It feel like they are arguing for separate water fountains. You can’t drink from our fountain even though the water comes from the same supply hose.

  • While I’m sure Phillips is a talented baker, the undisputed fact as stated in the Commission’s decision is that the couple never said they were looking for a “custom” cake. That word never appears in the decision. It is undisputed that once he found out the cake was to be for their wedding, the baker categorically refused to make them any wedding cake. The couple left the store before any discussion of the type of cake. The reason the Supreme Court took this case is stated in the Commission’s decision: “Phillips was not asked to apply any message or symbol to the cake, or to construct the cake in any fashion that could be reasonably understood as advocating same-sex marriage. . . . For all Phillips knew at the time, Complainants might have wanted a nondescript cake that would have been suitable for consumption at any wedding. Therefore, [Phillips’ and Masterpiece Cakeshop’s] claim that they refused to provide a cake because it would convey a message supporting same-sex marriage is specious. The act of preparing a cake is simply not ‘speech’ warranting First Amendment protection.” The baker’s claim that the mere baking of the cake is compelled speech is what’s at issue here.

  • DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act) stated:

    Section 1. Short titleThis Act may be cited as the “Defense of Marriage Act”.
    Section 2. Powers reserved to the states No State, territory, or possession of the United States, or Indian tribe, shall be required to give effect to any public act, record, or
    judicial proceeding of any other State, territory, possession, or tribe
    respecting a relationship between persons of the same sex that is
    treated as a marriage under the laws of such other State, territory,
    possession, or tribe, or a right or claim arising from such
    Section 3. Definition of marriageIn determining the meaning of any Act of Congress, or of any ruling, regulation, or interpretation of the various administrative bureaus and
    agencies of the United States, the word ‘marriage’ means only a legal
    union between one man and one woman as husband and wife, and the word
    ‘spouse’ refers only to a person of the opposite sex who is a husband or
    a wife.

    What section 2 did was NULLIFY the Full Faith and Credit Act (BUT only for gay people)
    What section 3 did was DECLARE that only opposite marriage exist and IGNORED gay marriage completely for all federal laws even for states that allowed it.

    That’s why this is different from “cousin marriage”.

  • Phillips never offered to make them a generic wedding cake. He told them he would sell or make them cakes for other, non-wedding occasions.

  • First, you didn’t actually confirm my questions, so now I’m left wondering.

    “It is the EXACT same process as for the straight couple.” Right, the process would be the same, as it would in the WBC example. Lithographing a T-shirt is the same process no matter what the message is. But the ends matter.

  • “The baker’s claim that the mere baking of the cake is compelled speech is what’s at issue here.” This is true at some level, but not what the Supreme Court is looking at. The question presented in the petition for cert was: “Whether applying Colorado’s public accommodations law to compel Phillips to create expression that violates his sincerely held religious beliefs about marriage violates the Free Speech or Free Exercise Clauses of the First Amendment.”

    This is a bad test case if the cake-making at issue here is simply not expressive activity, and would leave the question open for other expressive activities.

    I understand that the actual incident that began this whole controversy was extremely brief, but I don’t know that the fact that Phillips did not take the time to verify that the couple was asking for a custom cake matters. Given the nature of Phillips’ business, it would be reasonable to assume that the couple was not looking for an off-the-shelf cake.

  • On a federal level, yes, but not on a state level. I’m not too interested in the issue that was in play in Windsor, but the issue that was at play in Obergefell. If states cannot define marriage to exclude same-sex couples because it would deny dignity to these couples, why would a state be able to exclude cousin couples from the state definition of marriage? Are they not worthy of dignity?

  • I agree. I also think that a cake design may also be “speech” for First Amendment purposes, just as a sculpture is. I’m not aware of any principle of law that would make a piece of art non-speech because it is edible.

  • I don’t think we’re in disagreement about one of the questions posed in the cert petition: Does compelling Phillips to “create expression,” i.e. bake the cake, violate the Free Speech clause? Certainly, some kinds of cakes are expressive activity. Here, Phillips refused to make them any kind of cake, so he can only argue that any kind of cake must be expressive activity. I think the Court will rule that some types of expressive activity cannot be compelled by antidiscrimination statutes, but it has to be more than what Phillips is arguing here, that the act of baking a cake for a same-sex wedding is speech.

  • “Prosecuted” makes it sound like a criminal offense. This is a dishonestly stated question.

  • The millennial members of the church will be its top leaders in 50 or 60 years. So it does reflect what the future may hold.

  • Perhaps my recollection of the precise facts is off. From the Colorado Court of Appeals decision: “Phillips declined, telling them that he does not create wedding cakes for same-sex weddings because of his religious beliefs, but advising Craig and Mullins that he would be happy to make and sell them any other baked goods.” It appears to me from context that Philips would not make a “wedding cake” as that would be an expressive act, but was willing to make other “baked goods” since these would not constitute an expressive act. Whether the precise issue of whether a generic cake would be included in “baked goods” seems unclear upon further review, but it looks like the parties never had a chance to clarify.

  • Considering that we’re talking about fines heavy enough to destroy livelihoods, I’d say “persecuted” would be more appropriate. But for “prosecuted” in place of “taken to court” works just fine for me.

  • This article uses the term “same-sex marriage” seven times before broaching the term “marriage equality.” I think you may be projecting.

  • Well, we will discover the contours next term. To be clear, my primary point was that we need to be clear about the distinction between refusing to serve gay customers and refusing to engage in expressive activity in support of same-sex weddings. My secondary point is that the former may (and in many instances, should) be prohibited, while the latter should not be prohibited.

  • The very nature of such a distinction seems in question, but the Masterpiece Cakeshop case will hopefully get at that question. It should be noted, however, that if baking a cake constitutes expressive activity, then it won’t matter whether the refusal is to a same-sex wedding or anything else. In other words, if a gay individual came to the store and asked for a custom-designed birthday cake, the owner could refuse based on the fact that he just doesn’t like gay people. The MC case is attractive as a test case because it is undisputed that the baker (a) told the couple he would serve them for events other than their wedding, and (b) has refused other events based upon his Christian beliefs, such as Halloween, bachelor parties, etc.

  • I looked at the administrative tribunal decision in the case, which stated that the complainants sat down with Phillips at “the cake consulting table,” introduced themselves as “David” and “Charlie,” and said they wanted a “wedding cake” for “our wedding.” Phillips declined, them he “does not create wedding cakes for same-sex weddings.” He told them, “I’ll make you birthday cakes, shower cakes [I assume he meant baby showers, as making a cake for a same-sex bridal shower but not a same-sex wedding just seems unscrutable], sell you cookies and brownies, I just don’t make cakes for same-sex weddings.” Dec. at pp. 5-6. Tracking the ALJ’s statement of facts with the Colorado Ct. Apps. decision, the latter is probably is referring to this.

  • As others have said above, perhaps instead they’re trying to “purify” the Church by pushing out those who are amenable to SSM, through policies like the Nov. 2015 apostasizing of same-sex couples and barring their children from baptism until old enough to “denounce” the marriage.

  • If Tom can marry Jane…why not Dick? and If Susan can marry Harry…why not Elizabeth? Clearly Tom, Dick, and Harry are not treated the same as Jane, Susan, and Elizabeth. Men and Women were not treated the same. The issue was purely based on religious beliefs. Why restrict this combination of couples? On the other hand some states can see cousin marriage as a genetic safety issue. That would fall more in line with regulating safety for the sake of society…like age requirements. The state is defining what too closely related is. Like I said, I really have no problem with it but there is very different rational to both.

  • Lithographing is a printing process. We have freedom of the press. This would be compelled speech.

    I see this as a slippery slope for religious exemptions to pretty much anything….as there is no religious rite involved, just discrimination based on religion, and that is still discrimination. FYI…not all religions disapprove of gay relationships.

  • You are being silly. A cake for a gay couple is not made any differently than one for a straight one.
    He wasn’t objecting to the actual job being done, just who he was doing it for.

    Your attempt to pretend this was anything other than plain ordinary discrimination has been laughable. Even the baker hasn’t made that claim. He was claiming the anti-discrimination law violated his religious beliefs and his privilege to deny the gay couple the goods and services normally sold to any other customer.

    You are never going to make an honest claim that this kind of discrimination is excusable, well intentioned or not the act of a bigot.

    Instead you make silly analogies about custom goods for unreasonable customers and unreasonable requests. You try to fob it off as “its just a minor act of discrimination here”. You dropped the idea that such religious beliefs deserve special treatment early on when it was clear that it was never going to fly.

  • The answer to your first question is that Tom and Dick and Susan and Elizabeth lack the chief characteristic that makes a marriage a relationship that the state is concerned with. They can’t have children. True, other classes of persons also cannot have children, but that determination is invasive and difficult. A state can say that it only wants to extend benefits to those couples whose union may potentially make their relationship an area of public concern (couples able to produce children). It would be the same reason a state can grant tax breaks for property put to certain uses, but not for an individual homeowner. There’s nothing wrong with the homeowner using his property for a house, but his use of property just doesn’t encourage the activity the tax break is designed to incentivize.

    Now, you can agree or disagree with that reasoning, but it’s rational, if not persuasive. The argument against cousin marriage seems no more rational or persuasive than the argument against same-sex marriage. How to deal with the issue of children? Couples can adopt. Many states disallow cousin marriage even if the couple is unable to have children. I think if you really look into it, the rationale behind a banning of cousin marriage is that we think it is icky. Obergefell, with its talk of dignity, indicates that the collective sense that such a relationship is icky is not enough to deny people the dignity of marriage.

  • “Lithographing is a printing process. We have freedom of the press.” Wow, that is certainly a novel distinction that I did not anticipate, but one I don’t think a court would find persuasive. Why would the medium matter, though? Burning a flag is neither speech nor press, yet it is protected as “speech”. More specifically, nonrepresentational sculpture is protected, so I don’t think the lithograph vs. sculpted argument gets you very far.

    I’m also not arguing for a religious exemption. I’m arguing against compelled speech. That is, it is the Speech and Press Clause of the First Amendment that matters to me in this context, not the Free Exercise Clause.

  • “Instead you make silly analogies about custom goods for unreasonable customers and unreasonable requests.” Until you can adequately distinguish the analogy, I don’t think it’s silly at all.

    PS, this is like your eighth consecutive post that rests almost entirely on circular reasoning.

  • “So again, if our printer refuses service to the WBC member for his rally, that is ill-intentioned discrimination?”

    Yep. Its being uncivil and malicious.

    Especially since there are options to provide the goods and services REQUESTED with the same level of quality which do not offend the sensibilities here. As my prior examples showed.

    Your analogy is terrible. Move on from it. It doesn’t apply because a gay couple seeking a wedding cake, LIKE ANY OTHERS PROVIDED BY THE VENDOR is not the same as an offensive message on an item.

    So for the last time, since you are far too dishonest to let a lousy analogy go, it fails because:
    1. The cake requested has no fundamental difference from any the baker (despite each being somehow unique) would make for anyone else. It is not an unreasonable or unusual request or even one with a patently offensive message. Only the class of customer is what is difference. The baker just didn’t want to treat gays like other customers here. Bigotry incarnate

    2. Making some other generic good in response but refusing the wedding cake is refusing to provide the goods and services as requested by the customer.

  • “I have been arguing that discrimination based on identity and
    discrimination based on support of an act or ceremony that the vendor
    finds offensive are fundamentally different things”

    They aren’t. Selling goods and services in open commerce is not participating in a religious act or ceremony. Your argument is not fallacious, it is just downright dishonest. You are simply trying to use a different phrase to describe the same actions of discrimination. Refusal to sell goods and services on the basis of the class of people the customers are.

    If the idea of treating all customers with a modicum of civility is so offensive to a vendor, they have no business engaging in open commerce. They bring whatever penalties that happen upon themselves. There is no need for the laws to accommodate such behavior. There is no exercise of religious freedom in acting like a horse’s posterior and attacking customers seeking the goods and services normally sold by the business. You defend such actions purely out of sharing the same prejudice. If it were done to you or to a different class of people, you would not be making such arguments. There is nothing honest or moral in your views here.

    You are full of it.

  • How does eliminating same sex couples from marrying further a legitimate government interest? If you’re not eliminating women over 60 from marrying or doing fertility tests on the rest the argument becomes discriminatory and invalid because the rest of society is not subjected to the same level of scrutiny . A rational argument is not about cost saving. If that’s the case it can be argued that we should eliminate relationships that can produce marriage because children COST the state to spend more money for roads/bridges, teachers/schools, police/fire/ambulance, water/sewers.

    14th Amendment: No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the
    privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any
    State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due
    process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal
    protection of the laws.

    FYI: Marriage is a legal term or in other words a protection of the laws. Therefor it requires equal protection.

    Cousin marriage may be icky….but when they ban it they are banning all cousins not just certain ones.

  • Done in prior posts. I am done repeating myself.

    “We don’t serve (insert epithet of choice)” is no different from “We don’t serve (insert epithet of choice), because Jesus says it’s OK”

    You are refusing to sell goods because:
    A) You don’t normally sell such goods
    B) The goods are difficult to make or obtain
    C) Require you to expend extraordinary effort not usually done for customers
    D) You don’t like the class of people making the request and don’t feel they need to be treated like every other customer making a normal request.
    E) The request is objectively unreasonable for any vendor of that type.

    The baker answered D. Meaning he is bigoted discriminatory scum. Your analogies are all the others.

  • Your faith seems to demand a lot of unwilling sacrifices in service of it. Somehow everyone else has to suffer attacks, loss of liberty, denigration because your god demands it. How obnoxious.

    Such a snowflake that you whine about having to face consequences for acting badly to others. That is some sociipathic nonsense right there.

  • So speaks the person that can’t seem to understand the damage inflicted on people by forcing them to violate their consciences. There’s a reason why we have laws for recognizing conscientious objectors.

  • “I am done repeating myself.” Oh thank heavens! That would cause me to have to repeat myself again!

    “”We don’t serve (insert epithet of choice)” is no different from “We don’t serve (insert epithet of choice), because Jesus says it’s OK”” Darn, I thought I wasn’t going to have to repeat myself. But here goes: the difference is not as you describe it; it is between “We don’t serve (insert epithet of choice)” and “We don’t support (insert cause, philosophy, or practice).”

    The answer is not D. The answer is “You don’t want to expend your efforts in furtherance of an idea, practice, or philosophy that you find objectionable.” The fact that you have no response to this repeated assertion other than “nah uh” tells me you don’t have an argument.

  • Decades ago, I worked at a print shop while in college. While there I typeset, proofread, and printed many political and religious screeds by wack jobs from both the right and the left.

    I never once thought that by providing a service I was in anyway endorsing, supporting or celebrating their point of view. I was providing a service. One that supported their Constitutional right to free speech. If I was endorsing, supporting or celebrating anything, it was the right, of even the most addle minded, to express themselves.

    I can’t see it as any different for a cake baker, photographer, or county clerk.

  • It’s not hard to show how this is the same argument used against cousin marriage.

    How does eliminating [cousin] couples from marrying further a legitimate government interest? If you’re not eliminating women over [40] from [having childrenthe rest the argument becomes discriminatory and invalid because the rest of society is not subjected to the same level of scrutiny.

    “A rational argument is not about cost saving.” Sure it is. At some level, every policy decision is a balance between costs and benefits.

    “If that’s the case it can be argued that we should eliminate relationships that can produce marriage because children COST the state to spend more money for roads/bridges, teachers/schools, police/fire/ambulance, water/sewers.”

    A shrinking population is detrimental to an economy, and therefore a nation. This is a bad argument.

    “Marriage is a legal term or in other words a protection of the laws. Therefor it requires equal protection.” And cousin couples would (and do) say the exact same thing. They are entitled to equal protection.

    And we can turn your final sentence around in the flip situation as well.

    [Same sex] marriage may be icky….but when they ban it they are banning all [same sex couples] not just certain ones.

  • A very mature and rational way to think of it. Also not really relevant to whether another ought to have a right to object.

  • We have protected classes to help reverse historical denial of civil liberties — Race, color, religion, national origin, age, sex, etc. Some states have include LGBT in their protected classes.

    If you can’t, for religious or other personal reasons, serve everyone on that list then you shouldn’t be in business.

    If you are Muslim or Jewish, don’t take a job at a butcher shop that deals in pork.

    If you are Amish, don’t take a job as a cross country truck driver.

    If you oppose birth control, don’t take a job as a pharmacist.

    If you can’t print dogmatic drivel, don’t take a job as a printer.


  • Nope. He was willing to do the same work for straight customers. The only difference here is the customers were gay. And therefore had to be treated like crap according to Jesus.

    “You don’t want to expend your efforts in furtherance of an idea, practice, or philosophy that you find objectionable.”

    Your existence as human beings and my customers being the idea, practice and philosophy in question I find objectionable.

    At least have the guts to finish the idea as intended.

  • The horror of treating people like human beings! The agony of being just barely civil in public! Get the fainting couch!

  • The fact underlying all this, is not trying to live your religion. It’s trying to force others to live by your religion.

    My mother in law sold a house a few years ago. It was the house she moved into when she got married, raised all her children in, and her all her grandchildren. Needless to say, she was attached to it emotionally.

    When the new owners started making changes to the yard and house, she was very vocal in her disapproval. I had to remind her several times that she chose to sell it and it wasn’t hers anymore, and therefore not her concern.

    The same is true in business. You sell a product or service. It’s none of your business what happens after that. If it’s used by ‘good, God fearing, Christian folk’ or gay, Godless, pagan folk. It’s none of your business. Just provide the best product and service you can. Let that be your contribution to society.

  • Can we PLEASE stop using the term “marriage equality”

    Agreed! There is just ‘marriage’ now.

  • I know, it’s horrible that those forcing their own beliefs on the business owners can’t treat them like human beings, are so determined to impose their own values that they will force people to be accessories to sin involving the most fundamental heterosexual relationship. It’s really sad how intolerant the Left has become.

  • I for one support legalization of polygamy, although the legal work to make it possible would be astronomical compared to what marriage equality was.

    If polygamy had been open and legal for the last century plus, perhaps we could have avoided the secrecy in the fundamental Mormon sects. If we had avoided the secrecy, perhaps we could have avoided the coerced underage marriages. It was easy for them to ignore societal standards on age and relationships when the whole marriage was illegal.

    Our emphasis in all cases should be on adult, informed consent.

  • If a KKK clubhouse is legal in your area, you have no right to refuse to sell to them. They are, after all, a religious organization — a protected class.

  • Thank the gods, old and new, that the Mormon church doesn’t get to define ‘the true nature of marriage.’

  • There’s a world of difference between what a god might say and what a group of self-appointed spokesmen for a god say.

    If God created us man and woman, why are 1 in 400 people on the planet born with some combination of chromosomes other than XX or XY? How does this creator not know about all the possible genetic variations that occur? How does he know nothing of epigenetics?

    Black and white scripture written by a primitive people. It’s time to grow up.

  • You’re right, it’s time for those that insist the world is whatever they want it to be regardless of reality to grow up.

  • When one does not believe in marriage equality, it telegraphs your bad faith argument to whine about the use of the term. The second sentence makes no sense and “paints with a broad brush.” When you are reduced to trying to language police people, it’s a revelation you’ve lost the argument and are seeking to change the rules.

  • I know too much of Mormon teachings to grant that any are based in reality. Your claim of a strictly binary, ‘man and woman’, humanity displays the church’s ignorance of reality.

  • Because some people are born without hands, does that mean the human norm isn’t to have two hands? The fact that some people don’t fit the norms doesn’t mean those norms don’t exist.

  • We don’t have ‘prophets’ declaring that all humans are born whole and perfect.

    We did have, until very recently, self-proclaimed Mormon prophets declaring that no one is born gay. Homosexuals have always told us that they were born this way. And Mormon prophets continually and consistently insisted that being gay was a choice and not innate.

    Of course, when science shows that yes, gays are born that way, the prophets simply fall silent on the issue. They never apologize. They never admit they were wrong. They change their tune and wait for their followers to forget how godawfully wrong they were.

  • And here you were just accusing us of being strictly binary. No one is “born gay.” Yes, there is a genetic component that increases the possibility, but for the question of whether sexual attraction is determined by genetics or environment, the answer is “yes.”

  • Thankfully, most people don’t think the way you do, and believe you shouldn’t have to sacrifice you’re values just to engage in commerce.

  • Thankfully, the last time we had this discussion, the country decided equality in the public square trumped ‘deeply held religious beliefs’ to treat other people as second-class citizens.

    If we hadn’t, perhaps Mormon and Baptist owned businesses would still be making black folk shop in separate stores and drink from separate water fountains.

    Jesus hung out with prostitutes and tax collectors. He admonished us all to ‘judge not.’ I have no respect for Christians who refuse to follow his example.

  • The epigenetic — the combination of genetics and environment you’re stretching for — changes for homosexuality occur in the womb and appear to be largely based on hormonal changes in the mother. Oddly enough, in cases of twins, they may affect one twin and not the other.

    So, yes. Homosexuals are born that way.

    For someone who preached ‘reality’ you seem to have very little grasp on it.

  • Here are some very simple questions.

    We have laws at every level of government which forbid discrimination in public accommodations due to religious belief: yours OR mine. Selling cakes is a public accommodation BY DEFINITION. It has been that way since 1964, when the Civl Rights Act was passed. There is NO exception for “sincere” religious belief, whatever that may mean, because ALL religious belief is assumed to be sincere.

    So, do you think thathat discrimination on the basis of religious belief is always acceptable, never acceptable, or acceptable in THIS CASE AND THIS CASE ONLY?

  • I will certainly read this study. But at first glance, it seems to be based on older data.

    But in the mean time I’ll offer this study summary:

    Most epigenetic modifications are erased during development of germ cells and soon after fertilization so that cell lineages can be programmed with new epigenetic modifications. But if epi-marks that direct sexual development are not erased correctly, a mother could pass down epi-marks that direct female development to her son, resulting in an attraction to men, and vice versa for a father and his daughters, the researchers theorize.

    And a nice little National Geographic clip explaining it:

  • Understand I’m not saying that epigenetic modifications in the womb don’t take place, they obviously do. What I’m saying is that such modifications aren’t the totality of what scholars mean when they refer to environmental factors, and as such those factors aren’t just genetic.

  • No TRUE Christian will EVER support homosexual “marriage” whether society at large supports it is immaterial. Morality has been eroding steadily since the end of WW2, and this is just another symptom.
    Also, I would not lump Mormons with evangelical Christians.

  • This goes back to my first point. The question is not whether one should be free to discriminate based on identity. Selling cakes off the shelf is indeed a public accommodation, and one should not refuse to sell based on identity. Jack Phillips of Masterpiece Cakeshop did not refuse to sell based on the customers being gay; he explicitly stated that he would be willing to sell a cake for another purpose or to sell general baked goods that they good use at his wedding. He simply refused to make a custom product in the aid of an event that was against his religion. Most people defending him don’t think that he should be allowed to simply refuse service based on whether they are gay.

    So you are basically ignoring the original issue, which is framing. This isn’t a question of being able to discriminate against people because they are gay; it’s an issue of being able to refuse to support a specific event which the owner finds objectionable.

  • “Thankfully, the last time we had this discussion, the country decided equality in the public square trumped ‘deeply held religious beliefs’ to treat other people as second-class citizens.” When have we had this discussion before? Last time I checked it was when the first round of RFRAs went around, and those had broad support from conservatives and liberals alike.

  • ” it’s an issue of being able to refuse to support a specific event which the owner to find objectionable.”…

    …On the basis of his religious beliefs.

    If you can show the difference between a cake for a same sex wedding and one for an opposite sex wedding, you might possibly have a point.

    I’ll tell you how I see the issue. This is the only case where the business person sees the event as objectionable. Demon worshipping Hindus having a religious ceremony to solemnize a wedding, where false gods are invoked? no problem. Atheists ignoring a god they don’t believe in in which the businessperson thinks of as a religious event? no problem.

    But gay people? There’s a problem.

  • “If you can show the difference between a cake for a same sex wedding and one for an opposite sex wedding, you might possibly have a point.”

    It’s the same as the difference between a cake for the Republican National Convention and the Democratic National Convention. Or, on some level, the difference between a cake for a birthday party and a KKK rally. I don’t see this as a religious issue, and it will be interesting to see if the Supreme Court does.

    “This is the only case where the business person sees the event as objectionable.” This is patently false. Jack Phillips “declines lucrative business by not creating goods that contain alcohol or cakes celebrating Halloween and other messages his faith prohibits, such as racism, atheism, and any marriage not between one man and one woman.”

  • On the all important issue of religion and business in the public marketplace, Mormons are finally starting to follow the “profits.” The same is true of most religionists; the hold outs are the Evangelicals, half of whom still think they have the right to judge people for wanting buy goods and services in public. I guess that puts them on the same page as Marie Antoinette with respect to cultural change, except that she at least wanted the oppressed to have cake. Evangelicals don’t even want to “Let them eat cake.” What will it take for them to get the point?

  • You just posted this because you thought the Marie Antoinette thing was clever. Brilliant.

  • I wanted to make my several points in a clever way, and the line attributed to her seemed to fit. Molly Mormons will not like me using “profits” for “prophets.” You have the right to disagree. Just don’t lose your head over it.

  • You’re just so gosh darn clever. You deserve to pat yourself on the back for your 100% original ideas.

  • The results are encouraging. The major problem in the Church is that leadership is insulated and isolated from any real dialogue with the typical member. They not only have policies in place that are harmful but have actually moved the goalposts further to the extreme with their policies regarding LGBT people the last few years. These elderly men need to be replaced by a different mindset which is difficult to do when they pick people who mirror their thinking,

  • Wait though. Let’s talk about the cake store “menu”. This menu and the goods on the menu should be available to everyone who walks in the door, regardless. What you are saying / seem to be supporting, is that wedding cakes for Gays should be off limits (If the store owner so desires). But, Cupcakes or cookies are ok. This is PURE hypocrisy. By this definition, being Gay is what is keeps the vendor from making a wedding cake. Why not apply this logic to all services? If bakers want to deny wedding cake services for Gay people, they should also demand not making any goods for gay people. All or nothing. How can you separate? There is a name for all of this, it is called… wait for it… discrimination.

  • Come on Lee. Does the Muslim bakery usually sell cakes with The Prophet Muhammad on them? If they do, then they have to offer to everyone. If they don’t sell that type of cake, then you cannot force them to make something that is not on their menu. Do you understand that? Jewish bakeries must sell Kugel to everyone, even if you are not Jewish. But they do not have to sell you bacon. You know why? Because, bacon is not on the menu. Simple. Wedding cakes on the menu? They should sell them to everyone.

  • I don’t think you understand the difference between a cake store and a cake decorator. It’s the difference between your local Kroger bakery and Ace of Cakes. There is no “menu” for custom cakes. You consult with the decorator and design a cake together. The cake decorator is expected to use his artistry to come up with a suitable custom cake. It’s much like a commissioned sculpture, except that it’s edible. Anything that is on the Menu should be sold to anyone that can pay, and that’s exactly what Phillips did in this case.

    Have you really read this thread? The key, fundamental difference that practically everyone here refuses to address is the difference between refusing to serve a class of people and refusing to support a specific event (or even class of events).

  • I will not say that religion causes racism. But people of the time used their religious beliefs to justify their racism.

    “I’m not racist. God said…” was a common refrain.

    Today, Facebook is filled with posts saying “I’m not a bigot. God said…”

    Racists tried to hide behind God. Today, bigots try to hide behind God.

    Even if your God was a racist, you were still a racist. Even if your God is a bigot, you’re still a bigot.

  • Because no one looked to “science” to justify their racism either?

    Also, I don’t see anyone trying to use their “deeply held scientific beliefs” to justify denying rights, products and services to anyone. Yet there we are with religion.

  • “Things are coming to a pretty pass when religion is allowed to invade public life.” — Lord Melbourne, in opposition to the efforts of William Wilberforce to have the slave trade abolished.

  • It’s the difference between objecting to the person and objecting to being involved in an action.

  • But if that person is a god denying atheist, a Jesus denying Jew, or a demon worshipping Hindu, you simply define yourself as not being involved in that action.

  • There you ago again. Flinging the theopoo at other Christians for not being the right sort of christian,

    True Christians agree with me. Not true Christians don’t agree with me.

  • I knew I was gay when I was THREE. I didn’t know what it was or what it meant. But I knew.


  • Atheists and pagans can get married too. The Bible speaks of many heathen men together with their wives

  • As always, it amazes me how carefully you draw those lines around what is participation and condoning. A vendor providing a cake for demon worshipping Hindus or Jesus denying Jews is not partipating and condoning the sinfulness of worshipping demons and false gods or denying Jesus being the son of god, but the same vendor baking exactly the same cake, doing exactly what he would do for the Hindus or the Jews, is participating and condoning the sinful marriage of Christians who happen to be of the same sex.

    As always, I can reject the totality of Christian belief, and this really doesn’t bother anyone except the most rabid of fundamentalists. But let me say that I am a gay person, or even worse, a gay Christian, and wish the same respect and courtesy that the routinely proffer to all of the rest of the people they believe are sinful and are going to burn in hell forever, and suddenly, their snowflake consciences are bruised beyond recognition.

  • “As always, it amazes me how carefully you draw those lines around what is participation and condoning.” As always, you’re feeling your way around in the dark. You have neither faith nor scripture nor the example of heroic forefathers to make sense of it for you. Your confusion is understandable.

  • Confused by reality, or confused by a book written thousands of years ago?

    And of course, you just ignored the point. But that in itself just underlines to me what this is all about, and it is not about cakes and god.

  • “Confused by reality, or confused by a book” Both.

    If I seem to be ignoring a point, it is because all of your points have been made and addressed before, Ben. Some of them multiple times. By now it is obvious that you have no actual interest in any answers or understanding, and I of course have no interest in being told what I “really” think by a talking head on the net. I’ll still briefly respond to you from time to time if you address me, and you can gossip about me to other posters to your heart’s content (I’ll try not to be too flattered!), but for all substantive purposes I’m done with you and have been for some time now.

  • Of course I have made them before. I will continue to make them, as often as necessary. And people will look at what you have to say, and what I have to say. And people who are not blinded by their self-assigned and highly imaginary superiority as heterosexuals, so called moral people, self labeled “good Christians” and human beings, will think…

    “hmm. One of these people wants all people treated better, and the law to reflect that. One of these people says freedom of religion means I can do whatever I want, claim god is ok with it, and if some people are treated like garbage, well that’s the price of self assigned godliness– for other people.”

    So far as I can tell, public opinion has been moving steadily against you and yours. Of course, to you, that’s just proof of how right and righteous you are, how close you are to being god’s BFFF, how we are in the last days of god’s righteous judgment, and how special people who use religion as a weapon against others are. Especially THAT last one, as those truest to god will get their extra special reward, and doesn’t make them that just much more extra special.

    You are of course entitled to believe that. ISIS members think the same thing as the wreak their extra special version of god’s love on people who don’t share their beliefs. There is a difference between you and them, of course. You, at least, are constrained by the law and by civilization and by your own sense of morality. They are not.

  • It IS trivial to feign interest and discussion of issues surrounding a faith that you neither understand nor CARE to understand in service of some political agenda. Trivialization of faith that millions have given their lives for and still do even as we speak. Contrary to what you seem to believe, few (except perhaps for other atheists, and not even all of them) are impressed by atheists trying to tell people of faith what they should believe or how they should go about practicing or not practicing their faith — in fact, that merely feeds the stereotypes that make you guys so unpopular. Atheists that live and let live and mind their own business are much more attractive.

  • It IS trivial to feign interest and discussion of issues surrounding a faith that you neither understand nor CARE to understand in service of some political agenda.” No, I think I do understand a good deal of it. But I don’t claim to know as much as I used to, simply because there is only so much I can retain of the myriad beliefs of Christianity, not to mention the myriad justifications for it all, and the ever increasing justifications for simple rudeness and simple despite.

    That you don’t think I do is simply your opinion. Plenty of Christians disagree with you. Both about me and about you. I could just as easily say the same about YOU as you denigrate, and allow others to denigrate, other Christians, in favor of your unwavering belief that the Bible is the word o’ god, and that you possess the truth about that, unlike anyone, or for that matter, everyone else. You, as the sola scriptorum girl that you are, are completely justified in your own mind about that. Good for you. As I said, a lot of Christians disagree with you about your faith and your justifications.

    But if we want to talk about political agendas, then we should talk about the weaponization and the politicization of your faith. Because that is my issue, as you know. And as long as you and people like you use your faith as a weapon, expect people like me to be there to point it out. As I have said to you many times before, if you would just keep it to yourselves, you’d be surprised at how little people like you would matter to people like me,

    “Trivialization of faith that millions have given their lives for and still do even as we speak” Yes they have, as have many other Christians and many other people of many other faiths, as people who USE THEIR FAITH AS WEAPONS AND POLITICIZE IT -attack and even murder others on the name of daily. If you want to talk about the trivialization of faith and people dying for their faiths, let’s talk about that.

    “Contrary to what you seem to believe, few (except perhaps for other atheists, and not even all of them) are impressed by atheists trying to tell people of faith what they should believe or how they should go about practicing or not practicing their faith — in fact, that merely feeds the stereotypes that make you guys so unpopular”. Only among the hyper religious, such as yourself and your fellow travelers. You are also not so popular among your fellow religionists, let alone other faiths. I don’t care about what you believe or how you believe it. As I have said many times to you, and no doubt will again, what I care about is what you do with your faith. See paragraph 2

    “Atheists that live and let live and mind their own business are much more attractive. ”

    “Religionists that live and let live and mind their own business are much more attractive.” There you go. Fixed it for you.

  • Old stuff, Ben. Same words, even. Endessly rehashed, reheated, regurgitated, and re-pasted.

    Jesus answered and said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot SEE the kingdom of God.” John 3:3.

    ‘Night, Ben.

  • I’m hardly an expert, but from a quick look there’s number of older brothers, place in birth order, sexuality of parents, an opposite-sex female twin (unless there’s an older brother), I’m sure there’s others. The point is that I don’t know of any scholars that claim that genetics are the sole determinant of sexual orientation.

  • Old stuff, Shawnie. Same words even. Endlessly rehashed, reheated, regurgitated, and repasted. Jesus said this, Paul said that, Peter said the other. I believe they said it, so that settles it.

    When you do it, it’s holy. When I do it, it’s wrong.

    As I said before, neither of us is ever going to convince the other. I don’t intend to convince you. As I have said before, I’m not writing for you, but for other people.

    As I said before, when you people stop trying to force your religion down other people’s throats, as every antigay person has said before over and over and over and over about us, you’ll be positively exasperated at how uninteresting you become.

  • There are established correlations between birth order and sexual orientation and/or sexual identity, but there is no cause-and-effect link, as yet. There may never be. But there is a greater chance for someone to be LGBTQ if they are either an only child or second or third-born in a family. The oldest child of a family with two or more kids is least likely to be LGBTQ but it still does happen. That’s why such correlations are interesting, even intriguing, but not conclusive. It is safe to say that we are all amalgamations of our genes, upbringings and life experiences outside of family, but that’s what gives variety and variability, not what causes definable, predictable patterns. It is predictable that at least 5% of any generation of people in any nation or culture will be born LGBTQ, and that about 50% or more of that number will feel compelled to be openly LGBTQ, while the other half will want to be much more under the radar about it, suffering other consequences for staying in the closet. That is all predictable, what is not is which 5 of 100 kids will be so affected.

  • I’ve been thinking and looking into this off-and-on since your post. First, no one is gay at age three — homosexuality is about sexual attraction, and a three-year-old isn’t sexually attracted to anyone. But more, how do you know that your own beliefs, expectations and attitudes didn’t influence your own development growing up? While surfing the internet yet again on this subject, I came across a recent USA Today article you might want to look at:

    Among other quotes in the article, there’s this from Meg-John Barker:

    “Most aspects of human experiences are actually biopsychosocial: a long
    word which means that they involve our biology, our psychology, and the
    social world around us, with all of those things influencing each other
    in complex feedback loops, making it impossible to tease apart each
    element or the direction of any cause-effect relationships.”

    The point is that sexual attraction isn’t something predetermined by genetics or even biology. While men are less fluid than women, for both sexes it is something that changes and develops as we do.

  • I’m glad you have been thinking about it. I am even gladder that you feel free to call me a liar, and to tell me that you simply cannot believe that I knew I was gay when I was three. So many gay people, like me, who have had exactly the same experience, are clearly so delusional when it comes to our own lives, that we definitely need a conservative Christian, who is not gay, to tell us all about it, especially if they read a few articles on the internet. Perhaps we need your moral guidance and information about god’s plan as well, just to make sure we get the message. And as a last resort, there is always the law. There is simply no limit to the misery you can cause when you have the coercive power of the state to enforce your purelybtheological concerns on people who don’t share them.

    I am afraid you simply do not know what you are talking about. Many gay people know at quite an early age. As I said, I knew I was different in a way I had Damn well better not talk about. I was having definite sexual fantasies– naked boys and naked men– when I was six. And no, I wasn’t molested. Some gay kids don’t know until they hit puberty. Some people finally figure it out quite late in life. For some people it is fixed early, for others, it takes a while. I have known a great many people who knew, as I did, when they were quite small, but didn’t understand what “it” was. I have met others who have come out later in life: some clueless, some who always knew that something was different, despite their “lifelong heterosexuality”, until they weren’t.

    The biopsychosocial factors you cite probably don’t determine whether someone is gay, but only when he or she comes to know it in a way that they cannot repress. And that is the key word: repression. (The other key word is bisexuality, which is, I suspect, far more the norm for our species than some religious people seem to need to believe). If we lived in a society where it was completely not an issue, where the gender-sexuality issues that so obsess some people were not so deeply engrained in our culture, so much so that fathers don’t kiss their sons less someone think they’re queer, we might see a vastly different picture of homosexuality in human beings. We have some hint of it in bonobo monkeys, as we have in hundreds if not thousands of other mammalian and bird species.

    Humans are the only species that seems to care whether all of its members toe the heterosexual line or not. Humans are also the only species with religion, bloodlines, and private property. Coincidence? I don’t think so.

    What is very clear is that whatever determines sexual orientation– there is precious little evidence that it is environmental to any great extent, and a fair amount that it is inborn in ways we are not capable of defining– scientists don’t really know. They are making guesses. But I suspect they don’t know as much as some people seem to need to believe is definite, rather than speculative. That’s what your quoted remark is actually saying. They don’t know, because there are a lot of factors that go into the public expression of sexuality, rather than the actual sexuality itself.

    But what they do know vastly outdistances what the religious know about it, even factoring in how much what the religious know is based upon their religious beliefs, and not actual facts.

  • No, I didn’t call you a liar. I have no doubt that you experienced something that in retrospect you believe was an early indication that you were gay. I have no problem with the idea that what you experienced might have had an impact on how you developed later. I’ll even agree that, considering modern culture, the source of that experience is unlikely to have been social. But with homosexuality defined as an exclusive sexual attraction to one’s own sex and sexual maturity being required for sexual attraction, it isn’t possible for prepubescents to be homosexuals … or any other kind of -sexuals, for that matter.

    And as the article I linked to points out through the studies and scientists it mentions, some causes of who we are sexually attracted to are biological, some are psychological, some are social, we don’t really understand yet how they feed into each other, but the current evidence seems to be that no one cause necessarily has primacy.

  • Again, you do have a doubt, which you again expressed, and again denied my experience, and the experience of so many gay people I have known in my life. Sexual maturity being required for sexual attraction? nonsense. I doubt you would make the same response to a known heterosexual. You’d just say to that little boy trying to kiss a little girl: “how cute. Little Johnny is already quite the ladies man.”

    Let me clear.

    I KNEW I WAS DIFFERENT WHEN I WAS THREE. I didn’t know what to call it, or what it meant, but I absolutely knew even then. and I knew I couldn’t talk about it. You can label that a retrospective opinion of my actual experience. But that is far more about you than it is about me.

    I had gay sexual fantasies are a little boy. I remember them clearly even now. I will not repeat them, but they were real, and I remember them. So your statement is again nonsense.

    So all your statements about what You think I or any other gay person has experienced are simply your opinion, not based upon our lives. As with so many religious heterosexuals, you are more than happy to tell other people what you think must be true. It’s not that the current evidence does not indicate that one cause nessarily has primacy, but that scientists are unable to determine it. There is a world of difference there.

    But what I would guess is that you assume heterosexuality is normal, and that homosexuality is the aberration that must be explained. Putting it baldly, in its most simple terms, I have been informed repeatedly that there is no homosexual gene. What the people who bleat that never want to acknowledge is that there is no known heterosexual gene, either, and no one is claiming that there are a host of factors that go into determining heterosexuality. It’s the default position. But sexual orientation is not the same thing as reproduction, or reproductive capability.

  • You really need to reread my post, I did not deny your experience. The sense that something is different is a common experience for people that become gay when sexual attraction starts with maturation between ten and fourteen. But what I don’t see any consensus for in the literature whether that is an indicator or a driver of that development. And that is the point of the current literature — sexual desire is the result of multiple, intertwined factors playing off each other. And yes, while all that’s needed to see that heterosexuality is the norm is look at the respective percentages, the same factors behind the development of homosexuals are behind the development of heterosexuals.

  • If I’m a paramedic, and I find your Mormon butt dying of a heart attack on the ground, why should I be forced to endorse your lifestyle choice by giving you CPR? I mean, what more fundamental endorsement of a lifestyle is there than by keeping someone alive to continue practicing it?

    Not as funny when it’s you being on the wrong end of discrimination.

    And if you think this is an exaggeration, look up Tyra Hunter, because that’s exactly what happened.

    She died.

    The paramedics walked free.

  • It’s like you didn’t even read the comment that you’re responding to. As I stated, providing services generally, especially life-saving services, is unlikely to violate the beliefs of any mainstream Christian, Mormons included. There is a pretty clear distinction between supporting expressive acts and rendering ordinary services.

    I wasn’t aware that anyone in the Tyra Hunter case used religion to justify their actions. Please provide a source that says as much, as I would be very interested to read it.

  • Actually, a pediatrician in Michigan RECENTLY cited her religious beliefs to refuse to treat the child of two lesbian parents. Catholic hospitals are refusing to treat transgender patients.

    You want a society where people like you can discriminate against people like me, but you neglect to mention that it is illegal to discriminate against people on the basis of their religious beliefs. As much as the religious right like to call LGBT people “special snowflakes”, you sure get persnickity when you have to treat us they way we’re legally required to treat you.

  • Whoa there. You’re making a lot of assumptions about me and my beliefs. First of all, the type of “discrimination” I’m talking about is directly related to ideology and expression, not identity. That is, I am perfectly fine with a photographer, artist, cake decorator, or any other person engaged in an expressive business discriminating against my marriage on the basis that it took place in Mormon temple if that ceremony violates their morals or sense of decency. If you believe Mormonism is so backward as to be offensive, and you don’t want to have anything to do with a religious ceremony within that tradition, by all means, send me on my way. In fact, something similar did happen with my wedding. Solution: I went somewhere else.

    A doctor is a different story. Doctors should be free to not perform procedures that violate their conscience (e.g. abortion, gender reassignment, etc.), but such refusal should be based on a nexus between the belief and the procedure, NOT between the person’s identity and the belief. So a doctor SHOULD NOT be allowed to refuse to treat based on a person’s identity, whether religious, sexual, or political, and certainly not for any lifesaving procedures.

  • 1. Easy for you to say you don’t want that right, because you’ve got it, by law and by the 1964 Civil Rights Amendment.

    2. Easy to say everyone should be allowed to discriminate, you’ll just go somewhere else. I can’t think of an all gay town. I can name plenty of places in Utah where the population is 95% Mormon. Even if the law worked the way you say you think it should, it would work out fine for Mormons. For a lot of queer people, it doesn’t. (BTW: check out the suicide statistics for queer teens in Utah. You’re doing a bang up job of “love one another.”)

    3. Guess what? If the law worked the way you say you wanted it to, the doctor example would be true EVERYWHERE, and no law could prevent it, because of Masterpiece Cake Shop. There’s a case in the Michigan district of 6th Circuit right now that is created a religious exemption to discriminate on the basis of sex using the same arguments.

    Not impressed by your supposed libertarians leanings because a. We would have to scrap the Civil Rights Act, and perhaps the 1st Amendment, in order for it to work that way. b. We both know that’s not happening c. You are effectively arguing for a right to discriminate that can only go one direction legally, that would still favor you anyway even in the remote chance that a happened.

  • 1. You mean Civil Rights Act, which is also law, so to say “by law and the 1964 Civil Rights Act” is redundant. Anyway, my argument is that under the Civil Rights Act, a person can in fact refuse to participate in an expressive activity (like a religious ceremony) without running afoul of the law. The Civil Rights Act applies to inns and hotels, restaurants and all places serving food, service stations, and theaters and arenas. Expressive activities aren’t even covered. My argument is further that such a law compelling such participation would be unconstitutional under the First Amendment as a violation of the Freedom of Speech. So no, I don’t have the right to demand someone engage in an expressive activity in support of my religious ceremonies.

    2. Do you really think there are many places where a gay couple can’t find a florist, photographer and cake decorator? In the Masterpiece Cakeshop example, the couple immediately found someone else.

    “(BTW: check out the suicide statistics for queer teens in Utah. You’re doing a bang up job of “love one another.”)” Utah /= Mormons. Drawing conclusions that Mormonism causes something based solely on whether something is more common in Utah would lead to the erroneous conclusion that Mormonism causes snowboarding. If you look at data within Utah, you will find that many of the least Mormon counties have the highest suicide rates. Compare: and

    3. “Guess what? If the law worked the way you say you wanted it to, the doctor example would be true EVERYWHERE, and no law could prevent it, because of Masterpiece Cake Shop.” This is nonsensical. I’m saying the doctor example would NOT be true even if Masterpiece Cake Shop wins.

  • You’re arguing for Christians to not mind their own business and live and let live. One can argue for all people to mind their own business and live and let live, but nobody besides certain Christians are going to be fans of the idea that Christians should push their beliefs on everyone and everyone else should shut up.

  • What goes on in the civil government is as much our business as anyone else’s — we are citizens equal to you and as entitled as you are to vote for policies we feel are good for society. This is why the founders said that religion and virtue are the underpinnings of liberty.

    But atheists are NOT part of the household of faith and their opinions carry no weight when they intrude and tell us how what we should believe and how we should practice that belief.

    And in return, I’ll happily stay off “The Friendly Atheist” where my opinion similarly doesn’t count. Deal?

  • That’s a fancy verbal dance that doesn’t respond to anything I said. Of course Christians are “as entitled as [I am] to vote for policies [they] feel are good for society.” But that’s not a response to anything I said.

    Then you functionally repeat yourself; you, as a Christian, reserve the right to tell atheists how they should practice their beliefs, and somehow believe that atheists are shocking when they tell you how you should practice your beliefs. Atheists are not part of the “household of faith”*, and have no responsibility to listen to you when you tell them they should shut up and stop criticizing you.

    * I believe that many Hindus, Muslims, Jews and Pagans would take strong exception to such a grouping. The remaining practitioners of Native American and Australian religions, after Christians slaughtered their peoples and specifically tried to wipe out their religions, might take especially strong exception to the concept.

  • Atheists can practice their “faith, “ so to speak, any way they wish. I’m not interested; that’s why I don’t go to their sites to weigh in. I wish they would extend to us the same courtesy — the threads would be less cluttered.

  • Reading the about page, I fail to see why you believe this site is for any particular group of people. Moreover, we are citizens equal to you; “RNS is affiliated with the Missouri School of Journalism at the University of Missouri” and a state resource can not be owned by the religious. Even if you demand spaces free from any one who disagrees with you, this is not one of them.

  • The site is for everybody, but the articles are not about everybody. They deal with particular faiths or lack thereof. And as sure as the sun rises in the east the same cabal of atheists who “don’t care about religion” show up to tell everyone how they’re supposed to read scripture and practice faith — and many of them have obviously never opened a bible in their lives. Even you, for example, took exception to my words about the “household of faith,” evidently without recognizing it as a phrase from Galatians referring to the Body of Christ, the church. Another Christian would have known instantly what I was talking about.

    You’ll find little or no Christian presence, however, on atheist threads, or Muslim, or Hindu, or what have you. It simply doesn’t concern us.

    Of course anyone can stay and comment on intrachuch matters– nobody is saying they can’t — but it’s not particularly productive, Scoffers flounder about too much and demonstrate their scriptural and doctrinal ignorance to no real purpose, and some of them make no contribution at all other than vulgar one-liners that are typical of irreligious sites and ideally should remain there (these I block for the sake of saving scrolling time).

  • The particular faith under question here is Mormonism. Do you consider yourself a Mormon? It’s clear many of your fellow Christians here don’t.

    The Pew Research Center did a “U.S. Religious Knowledge Survey” in 2010, and on twelve questions about Christianity, Christians answered 6.2 correctly on average, with atheists 6.7. White Evangelicals managed 7.3, but any way you cut it, the difference is far from enough to say “Another Christian would have known instantly what I was talking about.”

    Also, perhaps it would help if you tried to communicate with people not of your religion? Using such a phrase is prone to miscommunication, and prone to offense even if they do understand what you’re referring to. I would note, again, that you’re posting on a thread about a religious group that often wouldn’t be considered part of the Body of Christ.

    It simply doesn’t concern you. Exactly; as the dominant religion on the planet, you can afford not to give a damn about other religions. But people of other beliefs don’t have that luxury. In the case of this article, I have an gay friend from a Mormon family who hasn’t talked to any of his relatives in years. This actually does concern me and mine.