Reader Op-Ed: Religious Liberty Strengthened, Not Harmed, By Same-Sex Legal Equality

op edHomosexual individuals and couples are to be afforded the same legal protections, benefits, and opportunities as are available to heterosexual individuals and couples. Religious morality need not be transcribed specifically into secular law, as demonstrated by Jesus Christ. Additionally, religious terms need not be used in secular legislation.

Religious Freedom and all sister liberties are to be granted to all people equally, as long as one’s beliefs or actions do not hinder the rights of another or others to do the same. The Founding Fathers of the United States of America proclaimed in the name of their belief in an Almighty God, the standards to which such freedoms should be measured. Such freedom of choice should only be limited if such prevents another from life, liberty, or the pursuit of happiness, regardless of the opinion of the religious majority.

Groups of people, as they are imperfect, sometimes forget when they are in the religious majority that they desired the same protection and equal opportunities under the law when they were the religious minority. Additionally, religious terms are for religious organizations to confer upon a religious ceremony and agreement, not to be legislated to refer to the secular contract of such ceremony.

As a couple engaging in consensual sexual relations of any kind is an expression of religious liberty, it can be compared to a couple of a differing religion than the majority. The principle to withhold equal legal rights and opportunities from couples of differing religious beliefs is invalid. Therefore, it is unjust to not provide homosexual couples the same legal opportunities and benefits, as those that are afforded heterosexual couples in the current legal contract known as “marriage,” in the state of Utah.

Whether heterosexual or homosexual, all such agreements under the law are to be referred to as “legal partnerships,” with the participants being referred to as “legal partners.” Religious institutions may classify such legal agreements according to their desires. It is believed that the Constitution of the United States affords such equality and that Jesus Christ Himself demonstrated respect for religious choice and having morality being separate from secular legality.

Bjorn Jones,
Salt Lake County

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