HB 322: Religious Freedom Protection is Common Sense

It is often said that one should never discuss religion or politics in good company. However, with HB 322 up for discussion in the Utah Legislature both topics come hand-in-hand these days. This bill, sponsored in the house by Rep. LaVar Christensen (R-Draper) expands religious freedom protection for individuals and organizations that operate according to a specific set of religious guidelines. It also reaffirms guidelines to prevent discrimination in employment and housing. Main provisions of HB 322 include: “adds religious liberty provisions to the Utah Antidiscrimination Act and the Utah…

Towards a Brighter Future Without Discrimination

As a nation and as a state, we find ourselves at an interesting crossroads regarding both same-sex marriage / non-discrimination for the LGBT community, and religious rights. Fear and feelings run deep on both sides. Having sought opinions on both sides I have noticed some interesting things. There really aren’t two sides to this issue, but more of a spectrum of opinions. From what I have observed the spectrum goes all the way from legal consequences from one side to legal consequences for the other. But I believe most people…

Protecting Religious Liberty

Our country was founded by groups fleeing religious persecution by the state. Many of the men and women involved in the formation of our government were also highly skeptical and suspicious of organized religion. These traditions are what lead to the First Amendment’s protections not just for religious belief, but the ability to be able to freely put those beliefs into action. It also extends those rights to individuals, not merely organized churches. It would be hard to find a nation on the earth more dedicated to preserving that degree…

Libertas Opposes Anti-Discrimination Laws Supported by LDS Church

Libertas Institute, the libertarian think-tank run by Connor Boyack, responded to the LDS church’s exceedingly rare press conference held earlier today, addressing non-discrimination and religious freedom. Libertas said that the think-tank agrees with the LDS Church’s statements and because they agree, they therefore oppose the anti-discrimination bill being proposed. Libertas further disagreed with Sister Neill F Marriott when she said that “basic rights such as securing a job or a place to live should not depend on someone’s sexual orientation.”   Said Libertas: “It is incorrect to say that person X has…

Leave the Nuance; Take the Talking Points

The LDS Church earlier today announced support for both a non-discrimination law for sexual orientation in housing and employment and support for greater protections for religious liberty. The reaction from proponents of a non-discrimination ordinance was swift: a near-complete dismissal of any need to protect the free exercise of religion while gladly taking the endorsement of non-discrimination. In many cases, freedom of religion was completely misrepresented as the freedom of belief, but not of exercise. This lays the groundwork for why I remain deeply suspicious and skeptical of any such proposed…

Should We Amend the Constitution to Guarantee a Right to Vote?

Breathe a collective sigh of relief, America. We’ve made it through another election season, and, somehow our little-d democracy (or constitutional compound republic, depending on your perspective) remains intact despite rampant warnings of voter fraud and voter suppression. We survived. And we did it even though our Constitution doesn’t even contain a right to vote. Wait . . . what? Yes, you read that right — the United States Constitution doesn’t expressly guarantee the right to vote. Now, before you get too up in arms, realized that the Constitution does have provisions dealing…