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Everything posted by Daniel2

  1. Sorry—I edited the post to make it more clear. Aspects of both your posts.
  2. I tried to quote both Smac's and BlueDream's responses here, but only one saved... my following comments are for portions of both BlueDream’s post and also meant for Smac’s 'review' (and dismissive approach): I think if I understand part of what you're both saying is that the article's author loses credibility because a) Latter-day Saints would consider her descriptions of the doctrines of the LDS church to be inaccurate and b) she fails to use terminology the Church and it's membership prefer and connect with. Because members of the LDS church don't see her words as an accurate or honest portrayal of their lives, beliefs, values, and experiences, she's easy to dismiss and disregard as an unreliable source, at least so far as her criticisms are concerned. I wonder if others can see how that works in reverse just as much, if not more so, when applying that same standard in reverse: Consider how gay and lesbian couples regard the level of credibility (or lack thereof) that the LDS Church and it's leadership have, with regards to understanding and accurately portraying OUR lives and experiences. Given that how the Church has historically described--actually, misrepresented, demeaned, devalued, and condemned the LGBT experience, including our families, relationships, and fought against equal rights for those of us that have embraced a 'pro-LGBT' experience, and given how the LDS Church and it's leadership declined to use terminology that was either preferred or even reflective of us, our families, marriages, and our life experiences: a) how concerned do you think that author feels about making a few minor mistakes in how she describes church doctrines? b) how much do you think many must regard the credibility of the LDS church to speak authoritatively or even accurately about anything related to the pro-LGBT experience? Not saying one is right and one is wrong... but it's telling how Mormons dismiss this author for misrepresenting Mormonism, but don't see any issues at all with how LDS leaders distort and misrepresent LGBT relationships and lives. D
  3. Good grief, Smac. I haven't dodged your questions, and it's disappointing to see you trying to spin the circumstances as if I am. You may not recall (selective amnesia, perhaps?) that I've responded to them, but I have. On MANY occasions. But since you've accused me of not responding, I'll recap my views in response to your assertions above, as previously repeatedly expressed in past discussions, once again: There is a difference between inherently expressive speech vs. artistically-creative yet not-inherently expressive speech. The law has made this distinction on several occasions, and since those baking cakes and creating floral arrangements seem to feel they should be exempt from public accommodation laws, the courts will apparently continue to have to split the hair even further. To be clear: I don't believe anyone should have to write words or symbols which the law states are or defines as "inherently expressive." I also agree that certain images that are considered to be obscene or offensive may fall into that category. That's why I agree with and support the ruling which found that the t-shirt manufacturer did not have to print gay pride messages on it's t-shirts. Additionally, I don't believe any business can or should be forced to 'order in' a product that it doesn't already carry in inventory and already sell to the general public. Therefore, a baker who doesn't carry same-sex couple wedding toppers can't and shouldn't be forced to start carrying them or selling them. Finally, I believe that any artistic cake/artistic creation/floral arrangement which is offered to members of the general public cannot be refused to anyone on the basis of their religion, race, gender, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, veteran status, etc. In case my comments above aren't clear to you and you continue to presume I'm dodging anything: No, I don't believe cake makers of any stripe should be forced to create cakes that say "All fags go to Hell," that have a swastika, or that have violent imagery (i.e. the headless groom cake) on them. Just as I don't believe t-shirt manufacturers should be forced to print gay pride t-shirts, or printers should be forced to write same-sex invitations (not that any gay couples have asked anyone to, that I'm aware of, despite Brush & Nib's pre-emptive strike). Mr. Phillips didn't win his case because of the nature of the product he was creating; he won based on SCOTUS' finding that the Commission treated his religion with contempt. The court declined to rule on whether his cake was expression. I would presume you know this, but leave it unsaid in your comments, hoping it isn't noticed. The other bakers that the Colorado Commission found in favor of was because the messages those other bakers were asked to put on the cake fall into the same category of speech that is "inherently expressive," as I explained above. Ironically, though you wrongly classify them as "gay bakers," I know at least one was a straight Christian baker who refused to write anti-gay messages on their cakes. In sum, I believe we all should live by the same rules. I claim no special privileges for gays over straights; I claim no special privileges for my religious views (or lack thereof) over the religious views of others (or lack thereof); I am not inconsistent with how I want the law to apply to others vs. how I want the law applied to me. If anyone can show how I'm being inconsistent, I invite you to do so.
  4. I haven't read through this entire thread yet, so I apologize if this has already been shared, but this article is a good representation of how Nelson's devotional is being reported in LGBT circles (this particular article is written by a former member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints):
  5. LOLOL.... Nehor, this was THE best response I’ve EVER read here... I bow down to your superior intellect-and sense of humor!
  6. Ahhhh..... you’ve kept that ‘drive-by cut-and-paste’ post on speed dial for those new to these discussions. For those of us who’ve been around awhile, that very same post, pics and all, has been addressed and answered in multiple threads, ad nauseum. But you already know that. Thankfully, the court will decide to take up the case (or consolidate several similar ones) that will eventually provide the legally definitive final answer to the issue. But as you of all people also know, the courts often intentionally glacial pace is intended to move with caution and care as the entire court system continues to build a preponderance of precedent upon which to make the final ruling. In the meantime, I expect you’ll continue to get a lot of mileage here with that cut-and-paste post.
  7. White Christian business owners seeking to deny services to blacks or interracial couples sympathized and supported very similar (and in some cases, virtually identical) arguments you’re peddling in their efforts to defend denial of services to blacks and interracial couples. As we look back on those white, Christian business owners’ attempts for self-justification, history certainly doesn’t support your similar characterization of them as “the victims.” And rightfully so, IMO.
  8. Ed Smart says he hasn’t been sexually unfaithful to his wife. The point that as far as we know, sex isn’t a factor in the Smart’s divorce has been repeatedly emphasized by numerous participants here. You’re always welcome to advocate for your beliefs about sex addiction, but they certainly seem off topic in this thread. New readers unfamiliar with our past conversations may not realize based on your comments above that we have discussed this topic numerous times before, and I am not ignorant of both your views and the alleged research and experiences you mention. I have studied much of the type of information you’ve proffered as evidence of your position and believe that the relief you and others have experienced has been correlated with some of the actions taken to relieve shame, but is still misdiagnosed as the a treatment for so-called “sex addiction.” That’s similar to how David Matheson, former “reparative therapist,” has since denounced the change aspects of that brand of therapy but still acknowledges that aspects of it were beneficial in that some of the processes helped men struggling against their homosexual attractions to decrease shame and self-loathing, this setting them up to paths of true healing. It’s always worth remembering that correlation is not the same thing as causation. All of this said, we are straying off topic, so this will be my last post on the matter in this thread. And again, your post doesn’t seem to be relevant in the Smart’s case.
  9. Can you even conceive that either party could be choosing to divorce for reasons that don’t include sex...?
  10. Something tells me you wouldn’t be as fiercely critical of a “covenant-breaking” woman who previously married her girlfriend, chose to adopt and raise babies together, yet ultimately divorced her wife after converting to Christianity.... Similarly, I imagine you wouldn’t be as critical of converts to the LDS Faith who break the covenants they made as members of their former religious Faiths to join Mormonism. If so, why do you think that is...? Perhaps I’m wrong, and you actually suggest gay couples who dissolve their martial vows and members of other Faith who break their sacred commitments are immoral covenant-breakers who lack integrity, as well.
  11. Since Mrs. Smart filed for the divorce, your words seem to imply she’s being irresponsible. What evidence is there that either Mr. or Mrs. Smart are being irresponsible in their actions?
  12. Part of wisdom and growth is recognizing when one has made irrational, unsustainable, and unhealthy covenants and promises that lead to self-destructive thoughts and behaviors and destabilize mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical health. Part of adulthood is putting away such childish things and making restitution as best as one is able for previous mistakes and unkept-yet-unrealistic promises. Part of compassion is learning to avoid judgment and condemnation, and instead learn to forgive others and one’s self when all of the above happen. When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. One of my favorite songs, courtesy of John Denver: It’s in every one of us to be wise. Find your heart Open up both your eyes, We can all know everything without ever knowing why. It’s in every one of us By and by. It’s in every one of us I just remembered It’s like I been sleeping for years, I’m not awake as I can be, but my seeing’s better, I can see through the tears, I’ve been realizing that, I bought this ticket and watching only half of the show, There is scenery and lights man’s a cast of thousands, who all know what I know and it’s good that it’s so. It’s in every one of us to be wise. Find your heart Open up both your eyes, We can all know everything without ever knowing why. It’s in every one of us By and by.
  13. This is beautifully said, Calm. Thank you so much for sharing your insight.
  14. One of the most gentle, compassionate, and insightful perspectives of divorce that I have seen is from Helen M. Luke. It certainly seems to mirror at least some of the sentiments of Ed Smart’s letter to his family:
  15. I think those of us who have followed this thread understand your point as articulated above, as we understand it in context. I suspect, though, that if you polled most Latter-day Saints in casual conversation or especially in public (not-exclusively-LDS) settings, a large majority would disagree with the statement that “Latter-day Saints believe that all LDS divorces are the result of infidelity.” I’d expect that for those that would agree with it, in the very least, they’d be quick to explain they weren’t meaning to suggest that all LDS divorces are the result of adultery, and add the clarifying comments you did.
  16. What’s ironic is your focus entirely on the gay spouse without mentioning any of the straight spouse’s behaviors which may have contributed to the divorce itself. The woman I married was mentally and emotionally abusive to both myself and children; I’m not making this up, it was substantiated by Department of Child and Family Services and my court ordered therapists during our divorce process. The last two years before I left her she became physical (throwing things at me, hitting me with her fists, breaking down our bathroom door after I locked myself inside to try to get away from her, and ultimately threatening me with a kitchen knife as she was screaming at me, which was the last straw and caused me to leave and never go back). I endured 8 years of emotional hell at her hand.... and the reason I endured that long was the fear and guilt I took upon myself that if our marriage failed, it would be MY fault because I was attracted to men. I endured her abuse because a) my self-loathing self thought I deserved it, and b) I thought God would hold me accountable if I didn’t make my marriage work. After years of my dad having witnessed her behavior, at the time I told my parents I had finally left my wife, my own extremely-devout LDS and very anti-divorce father told me that there is no way he would have lasted 6 months, let alone 8 years. I made my own mistakes and wasn’t perfect, but neither was I ever emotionally or physically abusive. I also was open to and did actively participate in individual and couples therapy; my ex-wife refused to engage with either, and instead blamed me for all the problems in our marriage. My experience is clearly not Ed and Lois Smart’s.... but I wanted to share because many here are acting as if the gay spouse in these scenarios is the culpable sinner. Marriage and divorce are never black and white.
  17. Historically, you’ve always raised this question in gay-related threads, so it’s not surprising you do so, here. What troubling, though, is that Mr. Smart said nothing of sex being his motivation for coming out at all, yet you still continue to imply being gay is tied to sex addiction. It’s also worth continuing to repeat that the concept of “sex addiction” is highly controversial and isn’t actually recognized by most major medical/psychological/psychiatric organizations.
  18. This is a HUGE leap in logic, and recklessly untrue. I personally know many gay men who never expressed or acted up on their sexuality who have left the church; some were singles, others were in a mixed-marriage.
  19. To be clear, then, it naturally follows that from your view, all LDS divorces are the result of infidelity.
  20. Yes, faithfulness is loyalty and unfaithfulness is disloyalty according to the dictionary, but context is key, and even though a word technically meets a given definition doesn’t mean the context doesn’t alter which definition is inferred and understood by the majority of who’s following the discussion. I appreciate Julie’s posts asking for clarification from you so your views and use of the word are better understood by all.
  21. CFR that anyone is “celebrating” what the Smart family is going through.
  22. I don’t see anyone affirming infidelity, or anything close to suggesting infidelity is noble. Most of the comments I see acknowledge the painful challenges facing all members of this family, as well as sympathy for what they are going through. What I do believe is noble is having the courage to be forthright about and apologizing for years of dishonesty to ones family, as well as humbly and candidly striving to live the tenants of “the serenity prayer” (to accept the things we cannot change, to change the things we can, and to achieve the wisdom of knowing the difference). Many gay spouses have great empathy for their straight spouses and do all we can to take their needs, thoughts, and feelings into consideration as we try to figure out how to make restitution for our mistakes. Finally, I do find it life-affirming to identify and move away from harmful behaviors, attitudes, beliefs, and environments that inspire self-destructive behaviors, wherever they be found (in either straight and gay-affirming circles or in exclusively straight-affirming circumstances).
  23. Others beat me to the punch, so I think your question was answered already and won't elaborate further other than saying it's clear that the couple in question didn't start out by targeting or singling out Stutzman because of her beliefs; they simply anticipated the same amicable service they'd received from Arlene's flowers for the previous 9 years.
  24. Amulek, On 6/8/2019 at 1:51 PM, you said: Expressive conduct is generally considered to be protected by the First Amendment, even if the work in question can't be said to communicate any discernible message (e.g., a Jackson Pollock painting). On 6/8/2019 at 3:35 PM, Calm asked you a follow-up question: Could you please post a source for this as the legal commentary Daniel posted appears to view conduct differently. On 6/10/2019 at 8:27 AM, you responded to Calm's request to post a source for your legal commentary that refutes the case as quoted by myself by responding: HURLEY v. IRISH-AMERICAN GAY, LESBIAN AND BISEXUAL GROUP OF BOSTON, INC. Here, the court stated that "the Constitution looks beyond written or spoken words as mediums of expression. Noting that "symbolism is a primitive but effective way of communicating ideas," our cases have recognized that the First Amendment shields such acts as saluting a flag (and refusing to do so), wearing an armband to protest a war, displaying a red flag, and even "[m]arching, walking or parading" in uniforms displaying the swastika. As some of these examples show, a narrow, succinctly articulable message is not a condition of constitutional protection, which if confined to expressions conveying a "particularized message," cf. Spence v. Washington, would never reach the unquestionably shielded painting of Jackson Pollock, music of Arnold Schoenberg, or Jabberwocky verse of Lewis Carroll." [citations omitted, emphasis added] Which isn't terribly surprising. Art is generally considered to be inherently expressive and thus protected by the First Amendment. How does the WA court deal with the petitioner's claim that custom floral arrangements are art? By waiving their hand and declaring "that the regulated activity at issue in this case—Stutzman's sale of wedding floral arrangements—is not "speech" in a literal sense and is thus properly characterized as conduct." But I think that elides the point. The argument is that it is the creation of custom floral arrangements that should be considered art - and thus afforded speech protections - not merely the sale of already made goods. You even got a couple of "Likes" for your post above, courtesy of USU78 and Anijen. The great irony in your employment of Hurley as an example that is supposed to refute the legal case I quoted is that not only was Hurley already actually examined and employed by WA's Supreme Court in their ruling against Arlene's flowers, the rub is that I even quoted that portion--about Hurley and why the court found it different than the questions in Arlene's flowers--in the very same post that prompted Calm asked you to provide a citation that refutes the case I quoted! It's on page four of this thread and was posted at 9:25 AM this past Saturday. For some reason, when I try to repost it here, I keep getting a 403 Error message, but you're welcome to go back and read it. EDITING to add in the quote in question: Stutzman contends that her floral arrangements are "speech" for purposes of First Amendment protections because they involve her artistic decisions. Relying on the dictionary definition of "art," as well as expert testimony regarding her creativity and expressive style, she argues for a broad reading of protected speech that encompasses her "unique expression," crafted in "petal, leaf, and loam." Ingersoll and the State counter that Stutzman's arrangements are simply one facet of conduct—selling goods and services for weddings in the commercial marketplace—that does not implicate First Amendment protections at all. We agree that the regulated activity at issue in this case—Stutzman's sale of wedding floral arrangements—is not "speech" in a literal sense and is thus properly characterized as conduct. But that does not end our inquiry. The Supreme Court has protected conduct as speech if two conditions are met: "[(1)] [a]n intent to convey a particularized message was present, and [(2)] in the surrounding circumstances the likelihood was great that the message would be understood by those who viewed it." Recent cases have characterized this as an inquiry into whether the conduct at issue was "inherently expressive." Stutzman's floral arrangements do not meet this definition. Certainly, she argues that she intends to communicate a message through her floral arrangements. But the major contest is over whether Stutzman's intended communications actually communicated something to the public at large—whether her conduct was "inherently expressive." And her actions in creating floral arrangements for wedding ceremonies do not satisfy this standard. The leading case on the "inherently expressive" standard is FAIR. The plaintiffs in FAIR—an association of law schools and faculty members—challenged the constitutionality of a law that required higher education institutions to provide military recruiters on campus with access to facilities and students that was at least equivalent to that of the most favorably treated nonmilitary recruiter. The FAIR Court ruled that the law schools' conduct in denying military recruiters most-favorable-recruiter access to students was not protected by the First Amendment because it was not "inherently expressive." It explained that additional speech would be required for an outside observer to understand that the schools' reason for denying militaiy recruiters favorable access was to protest the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy. Stutzman's refusal is analogous. The decision to either provide or refuse to provide flowers for a wedding does not inherently express a message about that wedding. As Stutzman acknowledged at deposition, providing flowers for a wedding between Muslims would not necessarily constitute an endorsement of Islam, nor would providing flowers for an atheist couple endorse atheism. Stutzman also testified that she has previously declined wedding business on "[m]ajor holidays, when we don't have the staff or if they want particular flowers that we can't get in the time frame they need." Accordingly, an outside observer may be left to wonder whether a wedding was declined for one of at least three reasons: a religious objection, insufficient staff, or insufficient stock. Stutzman argues that FAIR is inapposite and that we should instead apply Hurley. Hurley held that a state anti-discrimination law could not be applied so as to require a private parade to include marchers displaying a gay pride message. Stutzman claims Hurley recognizes her First Amendment right "to exclude a message [she] did not like from the communication [she] chose to make." The Court noted that the parade's "inherent expressiveness" distinguished it from the places traditionally subject to public accommodations laws—places that provide "publicly available goods, privileges, and services." Hurley is therefore unavailing to Stutzman: her store is the kind of public accommodation that has traditionally been subject to antidiscrimination laws. See Elane Photography, 309 P.3d at 68 (rejecting photographer's reliance on Hurley because state antidiscrimination law applies not to defendant's photographs but to "its business decision not to offer its services to protected classes of people"; concluding that "[wjhile photography may be expressive, the operation of a photography business is not").' United States Supreme Court decisions that accord free speech protections to conduct under the First Amendment have all dealt with conduct that is clearly expressive, in and of itself, without further explanation. See Hurley (parades); United States v. Eichman (burning the American flag), 2533, 105 L. Ed. 2d 342 (1989) (burning the American flag); United States v. Grace (distributing leaflets outside Supreme Court building in violation of federal statute); Nat'I Socialist Party of Am. V. Village of Skokie, ('"[m]arching, walking or parading'" while wearing Nazi uniforms); Smith v. Goguen (treating flag '"contemptuously"' by wearing a small American flag sewn into the seat of one's pants); Wooley v. Maynard (state motto on license plates); Spence (displaying American flag upside down on private property with peace sign superimposed on it to express feelings about Cambodian invasion and Kent State University shootings); Cohen v. California (wearing jacket emblazoned with the words "'F**k the Draft'"); Schacht V. United States (wearing army uniform in short play criticizing United States involvement in Vietnam, inasmuch as it does not tend to discredit the armed forces); Tinker v. Des Moines Indep. Cmty. Sch. Dist. (wearing black armbands to protest Vietnam conflict); Brown v. Louisiana (sit-in to protest "whites only" area in public library during civil rights struggle); Cox v. Louisiana (giving speech and leading group of protesters in song and prayer in opposition to segregation); Edwards v. South Carolina, (peaceful march on sidewalk around State House grounds in protest of discrimination); W. Va. State Bd.of Educ. V. Barnette (refusing to salute the American flag while saying pledge of allegiance); Stromberg v. California, (peaceful display of red flag as a sign of opposition to organized government). Stutzman's conduct—whether it is characterized as creating floral arrangements, providing floral an"angement services for opposite-sex weddings, or denying those services for same-sex weddings—is not like the inherently expressive activities at issue in these cases. Instead, it is like the unprotected conduct in FAIR. As others have suggested, it's puzzling that some seem to be continually weighing in on the matter without actually reading the case itself or even what's already been posted here in the thread. I don't understand that seemingly willful ignorance to a topic one participates in. 😳 To make a long story short, then, Calm, no.... despite Amulek's invocation of it as evidence that contradicts what I or the ruling are saying, Washington's Supreme Court rejected Hurley as applicable in this case. When a business owner chooses to engage in regulated commerce, such as either a) making and selling flower boquets (as in Arlene's Flowers, as decided currently by the Supreme Court of Washington State; TBD by SCOTUS) or b) of documenting a marriage as a wedding photographer (as in the case of Elane's photography, as decided by SCOTUS when they decline to intervene upon appeal) neither set of conduct classifies as First Amendment-protected speech.
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