This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
As Egypt debates a new constitution, influential religious groups are demanding the nation adopt and implement Islamic law, including stoning adulterers and cutting off thieves' hands.
Fortunately, moderates are prevailing, but last Friday 10,000 demonstrators filled Cairo's Tahrir Square, chanting, "The people want God's law applied." If those people prevailed, and the Quran became Egypt's government document, I worry for the Coptic Christians and other non-Islamists living there.
I'm thankful to live in a secular nation whose Constitution guarantees religious freedom and equal protection of the laws. Still, replace the Quran with the Bible and the arguments by those who favor discriminating against homosexuals sound eerily close to Egypt's Islamic advocates: I oppose legalizing gay marriage because the Bible forbids it.
It's one thing to use the Bible to define your own religious community; that's freedom of religion. It's quite another to make the Bible the civil law for everyone; that's what's being proposed in Egypt.
Just because your god forbids gay marriage is no reason to impose that on everyone. And why single out gay marriage? Jesus forbade divorce, and the Mormon god prohibits coffee, yet they don't call for laws to implement those bans.
Salt Lake City