We all care about fairness, and adding "sexual orientation" and "gender identity" to Utah's nondiscrimination law might sound reasonable and fair, but it's not. The problem is that it would give special rights to some people at the expense of other people. In fact, it would give special rights to some that conflict with the first freedoms of others.
Utah courts would be compelled to recognize special rights at the expense of the most basic rights of others. The first freedoms of all Utahns will be put in jeopardy – foundational freedoms such as freedom of conscience, freedom of religion, the right to make a living, the right to privacy, freedom of speech, and freedom of association.
We know this will happen because it already has—in every state that has passed legislation giving special rights to some at the expense of the rights of others.
None of us should suffer infringement of our most basic freedoms. If real discrimination is a public concern, there are effective ways to address it that don't take away the first freedoms of others.
Creating new discrimination just to give special rights to some people at the expense of other people is simply unfair.
We can do better here in Utah.
Non-discrimination laws sound reasonable, but they're not. They give special rights to some at the expense of others. Let's come up with a better solution.
If real discrimination is a public concern, there are effective ways to address it. Every legislative attempt to alleviate real discrimination must rest on two pillars: 1) we cannot create new discrimination and 2) we must protect everyone’s first freedoms. To this end, the First Freedoms Coalition has created a compact consisting of five principles to guide our efforts.
All people in a free society share equally the free exercise of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of conscience, freedom of association, and the right to make a living.
Pluralism within a free society requires all people to adopt a “live and let live” approach to secular and religious expressions intended for the betterment of mankind. This is especially true when people of varying beliefs disagree about those expressions.
All people are to be treated reasonably and with fairness in their public and commercial interactions. No single group should be elevated to a “special class” above others with special rights that infringe on the first freedoms of everyone else.
Conflicting rights are inherent in a free society, and conflicts requiring public mediation should be handled rationally, respectfully and lawfully. Rational disagreements on sensitive issues are not justification for accusations of hatred, intolerance or bigotry.
Governance in a free society must differentiate between private and public concerns – respecting the right of people to work out their lives as they see fit while also respecting public policies intended to protect freedom and advance the common good.
Celebration of Marriage
Citizens for Families
Citizens for Principled Government
Citizens for Strong Families
Coalition for the Preservation of Family Values
Cornerstone of Freedom
Family First Foundation
Family Watch International Utah
For Children's Sake
Principled Liberty Foundation
Principles of Freedom Forum
Standard of Liberty
The Leadership Foundation
Thomas Jefferson Center for Constitutional Studies
United Families International
United Women's Forum
Utah Eagle Forum
Worldwide Organization For Women
Every state that has added “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” to its nondiscrimination law has opened the door to frivolous and unreasonable complaints or lawsuits. All of these problems began with a seemingly harmless passage of nondiscrimination in housing and employment. Adding “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” to a state nondiscrimination law for housing and employment has been the gateway to these complaints or lawsuits.
The “reverse discrimination” caused by these special rights against the first freedoms of others has been real and harmful. We want to prevent the same problems from hurting Utahns.
As you hover your mouse over each story, click on the “chain link” icon to learn more about the harms to the first freedoms of small business owners, students, employees and so on from poorly constructed nondiscrimination laws.
Jack Phillips, Colorado Baker
Colorado baker Jack Phillips has been ordered to bake wedding cakes for same-sex couples or face fines or possible jail time. Colo...
Elaine Huegenin, New Mexico photographer
Elaine Huegenin and her husband Jonathan are co-owners of Elane Photography in Albuquerque. The New Mexico Supreme Court recently ...
Student Refuses to Sign Letter Advocating Same-Sex Couple Adoptions
A social work student was accused of violating her school’s code of conduct when, for reasons of her faith, she refused to sign ...
Catholic Charities Required to Extend Benefits to Same-Sex Couples
As a condition of access to city housing and community redevelopment funds, a religious charity was required to extend employee sp...
Parent Objections to School Curriculum Overruled
In a recent case, parents of young elementary school students objected to curriculum and classroom discussions meant to inculcate ...
Barronelle Stutzman, Washington florist
Owner of Arlene's Flowers in Washington state, Barronelle Stutzman has employed many people, including those who identify as gay. ...
California Law Trumps Seton Medical Center’s Catholic Guidelines
A man who claimed to be a woman filed a lawsuit against Seton Medical Center, a Catholic hospital, after the hospital refused a re...
San Diego Fertility Doctor’s Religious Freedom Overruled
Shortly after the California Supreme Court redefined marriage, the court heard a case involving a doctor who had referred a woman ...
Yeshiva University’s Married-Student Housing Policy
In 2001, the New York Court of Appeals ruled that Yeshiva University’s married-student housing policy violated the New York City...
Archdiocese of Washington, D.C. Health Coverage Policies
After the District redefined marriage to include same- sex couples, the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C., was forced to change its ...
eHarmony, New Jersey-based Online Dating Site
A homosexual man sued eHarmony, an online dating service, because it did not offer an option for men seeking to date other men. Th...
Sandra Bruff, Counselor for North Mississippi Medical Center
A Mississippi counselor was fired for refusing to provide relationship counseling to unmarried couples. The counselor’s Title VI...
17-year-old Female Student Encounters Naked 45-year-old Man in Women’s Locker Room
The decision was made to allow a transgender 45-year-old college student who identifies as a woman but has male genitalia to use t...
Donald Mendell, Licensed School Guidance Counselor, Maine
A licensed school guidance counselor was the subject of a complaint seeking to have his license revoked after he appeared in a tel...
Contract Counselor, Centers for Disease Control
A contract counselor with the Centers for Disease Control referred an employee in a same-sex relationship to another counselor bec...
Methodist Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association
The Methodist Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association in New Jersey, which, as required by church law, declined to allow its property...
Massachusetts Catholic Charities Adoption Services
In the wake of the Goodridge v. Department of Public Health decision, Massachusetts Catholic Charities sought an exemption from St...
New York Law Trumps Parents’ Rights
A male teacher at a high school decided to undergo surgical procedures to appear as a female. The man began dressing as a woman ev...
Catholic Archdiocese, Washington, D.C. Foster Care
At the beginning of 2010, the Catholic Archdiocese of Washington, D.C., ceased its foster care placement program because, given th...
Maine Human Rights Commission Overrules Elementary School
A boy in fifth grade at Asa Adams Elementary School claimed that he was, in reality, a female and therefore entitled to use the gi...
Teacher Removed From Classroom for Facebook Post
A social studies teacher was removed from his classroom after he posted a comment on Facebook critical of same-sex marriage....
Grad Student Dismissed From Counseling Program
A graduate student at Eastern Michigan University was dismissed from the school’s counseling program after asking for permission...
Mary and Jim O’Reilly, Vermont innkeepers
Mary and Jim run their business according to their Catholic beliefs. For this, they had to pay a $30,000 penalty to the state of V...
Rainbow Alliance Seeks to Use Bathrooms of Their Choice
The Rainbow Alliance, a student group at the University of Pittsburgh, filed a complaint with the city’s Commission on Human Rel...
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To contact the First Freedoms Coalition, send us an email at info@FairToAll.org. We look forward to hearing from you!
Utah can do better. Let's come up with a solution that protects our First Freedoms while addressing the real issues.
The TV spots below are airing across the state to help Utahns understand some of the challenges related to statewide LGBT nondiscrimination proposals. Please share these videos with your friends and family!