Your freedom does not allow you to harm others


Even if you don’t approve of same-sex relationships, you don’t have the right to discriminate.

(Scott Sommerdorf | The Salt Lake Tribune) A rainbow flag frames the LDS Temple from its place during the 8th Annual Mass Resignation at City Creek Park on Sunday, November 5, 2017.

I have friends, close friends, good people, people I love a lot who are gay. And they live in happy, fulfilling and, in my opinion, admirable same-sex relationships. And when I look at them, I see the same goodness in their love that I see when I look at my parents or my own wife.

I feel the same way I feel the spirit that their relationship is good, and when I think of the character of Christ and the nature of an all loving and all good God, I cannot see that person not to see. kindness in the love of my friends too.

I am confused as to the position of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on gay people, as I’m sure many were during the priesthood ban on people of African descent across the world. I don’t know how to reconcile my spiritual feelings with the teachings of church leaders, but I know I can’t deny it.

And while many members do not share my experience of the spirit, and many others might even view my experience as heretical, I think one thing they will agree with me on is the idea that “Your freedom to swing your fist ends where my nose begins.

This is a crude metaphor for the principle of evil, a principle that draws a line in the sand and says that individuals are not free to harm others or, in other words, as an individual, I am free to do whatever is not. t harm others. It is a freedom that we should all enjoy.

If you accept that the harm principle draws a line in the sand that we cannot cross, then even if you are not morally at odds with same-sex relationships, you cannot deny them equal social and political rights. . There is no substantial scientific evidence that same-sex relationships are harmful to society, and they certainly don’t harm you or me as individuals.

So when we don’t allow gay parents to adopt children or when a business tries to deny them services, we are violating their rights. Remember, people’s rights don’t end when you and I feel personally offended or disgusted. An individual’s rights end when their fist meets my nose, and gay people are not asking to punch people in the face. They ask to be equal. So you won’t be denied services in the same public store where you shop. To be able to adopt and love a baby the way you can. To be able to benefit from life-saving treatment when prescribed by your doctor. Have the same rights as you.

And the sad part is that we want to deny these rights not because allowing them is proven to be harmful, but because enough of us feel personally uncomfortable, offended or disgusted by it. ‘idea. But that’s not where we agreed to draw the line in the sand, and this deal applies to all of us, not just some of us.

Can you imagine if someone would deny you a service, medical care, or adoption because they were offended and morally opposed to the Christian way of life? Wouldn’t you call this kind of inequality in society bigotry and oppression?

And to those who might not care about justifying political and social inequality and violating the principle of prejudice just because they are offended, I hope you never find yourself in a hated or hated minority. The legal and social precedent that you have allowed will not protect you.

We all have to draw our lines in the sand, and for the reasons above, this is where I draw mine. But because we agree on the principle of evil, even if you morally disagree with homosexuality, when it comes to the political and social rights of homosexual people, you should do your best. .

And while many might think this is a settled issue in our country, I promise you it’s not. Religious freedom often means the freedom to discriminate, and as a friend once told me, “freedom of religion also means freedom of religion”.

And to my friends. I am your ally.

Payden Alder, Salt Lake City holds a philosophy degree from Utah Valley University and is applying to graduate schools to study social and political philosophy.


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