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The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

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New sign affirms church?s right to its own property

By Jonathan Deesing

We have all heard that property is nine-tenths of the law. Although this figure might not be entirely accurate, we all know that private property and the rights associated with it are significant, especially in the United States. When people impede upon these rights, they are in the wrong and should be properly reprimanded. This is as simple as the laws involving speed limits.

Unfortunately, some believe they can be the exception to this when it involves more sensitive issues. Such was the case late this summer, in which two gay men sharing a kiss were cited for trespassing in Temple Square. This raised the ire of many gay rights groups who insisted that the men were well within their rights to share a kiss on the plaza.

They were not.

Last week, to avoid further incidents, the LDS Church posted signs stating its right to remove anyone it wishes for any reason. The fact that the church had to do this is shameful.

This incident has nothing to do with gay rights and everything to do with the law. Although I can understand how people could see this as only further discrimination by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints against the gay community, legally, it was not. The LDS Church was well within its legal rights to cite the couple, as the two were on private property doing something the owners did not approve of.

Suppose you invited people to your home to see your Christmas lights. If one of them began smoking and you did not want them to, should you not be able to ask them to leave? Should that be considered reprehensible or discriminatory? No.

We certainly do not have to agree with everyone. Hell, I disagree with most people. But what we must do8212;especially in the case of religious organizations8212;is respect their right to exist. Indeed, it was one of the main principles upon which our country was founded.

The couple and the countless bloggers who called for various “kiss-ins” were attacking the LDS Church’s stance on gays in entirely the wrong way. This isn’t 1963 Birmingham, and Temple Square is not public property. By claiming that the church did not have the right to its own property, these groups could not legitimately and simultaneously call for an increase of their own rights.

Regardless of how you feel about the issues between gays and the LDS Church, it is important for us to realize that the law is important, and the rights of others cannot be infringed upon for any purpose. As college students, we must learn to keep our wits about us, especially when we face delicate or emotional topics. Logic must always prevail because the alternative is foolish.

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