Should gays permit discrimination in the name of tolerance?

There’s an article up on RealClearPolitics, a right-wing site, about how gays should prove that we truly believe in tolerance by letting anti-gay bigots discriminate against us.

Get it? We prove we’re for freedom and diversity and tolerance by making sure people who hate us are able to freely discriminate against us.

Last time I checked, that was the problem in the first place – people discriminating against us. So tolerating their discrimination isn’t exactly a step forward. It’s called stagnation.

gay-marriageSpecifically the article is dealing with gay marriage, and how “intolerant” gays get when florists and bakeries refuse to work gay weddings (in the law, that’s called public accommodations discrimination). Coincidentally, all of these supposedly-oppressed “heterosexual” florists and wedding planners are the same talking point the officially-designated hate group, Family Research Council, brings up when trying to diss marriage equality for gays. And that talking point already got shot down by the official fact-checkers at Politifact.

But let’s assume, for the sake of argument, that all of these oppressed straight florists are being threatened with jail time for refusing to sell flowers to gay couples.  The notion that gay couples should put up with is a bit silly. The standard for judging whether florists, or wedding venues, should serve gay couples is the same standard we use for any other copule: Does civil rights law permit you to discriminate in the provision of public accommodations to other legitimately married couples?  (And more generally, does civil rights law permit you to discriminate against customers based on their gender, race, national origin, religion etc. – all the traditional  categories of civil rights law).

If society, via its laws, doesn’t permit you to discriminate against other marriages you might not like – such as when blacks marry whites.

Remember, in Mississippi recently nearly half (46%) of Republican primary voters thought inter-racial marriage should be illegal – only 40% thought it should be legal.  So if we give people the freedom to not serve weddings they don’t like, good luck getting married in Mississippi if your intended spouse is of a different race.

So when I hear people talk about how gays can “prove” how tolerant they are by tolerating the intolerance of others, I cry foul.


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown (1989); and worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, and as a stringer for the Economist. Frequent TV pundit: O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline & Reliable Sources. Bio, .

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  • boarderthom

    Yeah, they play the victim really well.

  • Butch1

    Never.

  • badskippy

    I dare the right-wing gay-haters to push the Black Community to “tolerate” the KKK at their weddings and funerals. Let’s see how far THAT goes over …..

  • Indigo

    I looked into settling into retirement near Russian River but then . . . I’m a tropical flower and Florida works better for me as I turn orange and rot slowly away. :-)

    Surprisingly, the Zimmerman Syndrome is easy to ignore on a day-to-day basis.

  • Indigo

    I love our subtropical climate here in Florida, California is not a real alternative for me. But the Yucatan is. And it makes for nice vacations as long as you don’t need American-style shopping malls. That would be Miami.

  • Indigo

    As it was and, to a surprising extent, still is.

  • rmthunter

    John, that’s a total bulls**t argument, and you should know it. Putting up with discrimination is not tolerance, it’s throwing in the towel. All it demonstrates is the right wing’s facility for turning the language on its head, at which they are past masters.

    What concerns me is that they stand a chance in the courts — the Hobby Lobby has been granted an injunction against having to provide contraceptive coverage to its employees. (http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/07/19/hobbylobby-contraception-idUSL1N0FP0UP20130719) What’s most worrisome is the opinion of the appeals court in giving the go-ahead for the suit:

    “In its June 27 ruling, the Denver appeals court said there was a good chance that Hobby Lobby would ultimately prevail.

    It said Hobby Lobby had “drawn a line at providing coverage for drugs or devices they consider to induce abortions, and it is not for us to question whether the line is reasonable.””

    Call it an abdication of judicial responsibility, but I would think it’s the court’s job to question whether that line is reasonable. With that kind of reasoning in the courts, it’s not so clear-cut that “religious liberty” is not going to trump everyone else’s rights at some point, including the right not to be discriminated against because of sexual orientation. (OT, but in the Hobby Lobby case, I’d love to see an employee sue the owners for violating her religious freedom.)

    These sorts of cases, no matter what area of social policy they occupy, are nothing more than an attempt to abrogate anti-discrimination laws. Tolerating that is not “generous” — it’s stupid.

  • David Lynd

    There but for the grace of god go I. We are the meek & humble. We are the chosen ones to climb aboard the Arc. They pelt the stone which weighs them down as they struggle with consciousness which will be too late ! And (they) will drown.

  • Julien Pierre

    When I hear the word discrimination, I reach for my dildo.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    And that’s a good thing!

  • Mike_in_the_Tundra

    Perhaps someone’s religion dictates that they not give certain services to Jews or Muslims. Would that be permitted?

  • tedhayes

    Should we permit tolerance? Tolerance is a negative when referring to people. Implicit in the word is the idea that the “kind” one(s) doing the tolerating is somehow better than the one(s) being tolerated. I don’t buy that at all!

  • Stev84

    I like the kid on the right who is forced by his parents to watch.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Me too, I’m very clean for an old goat!

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Oh.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    True. I prefer the circle.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Yep, a good melow Cab works!

  • tamarz

    p.s. a big mazeltov to you and your new husband.

  • tamarz

    unfortunately, some of the “wing-nutty,” “gargoyles of the American Taliban,” (great descriptors, BTW) have decamped from the anti-gay fringe and moved over to the anti-woman fringe. We’re seeing them wreaking their havoc in Texas, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Virginia.

  • tamarz

    I remember hearing that Levitt (of the manufactured Levittowns) said just that — he wanted a law forcing him to sell his houses to any buyer, regardless of race, because that protected him from being blacklisted by segregationists if he dared to sell a house to a black family.

  • tamarz

    they could get written recommendations from the Westboro Baptist Church.

  • tamarz

    this cartoon pretty well sums it up.

  • Stev84

    According to the Republicans, fetuses start masturbating when they are several weeks old.

  • Monoceros Forth

    I wonder if the excessively pious Jesus freaks realize that there are some of us who, when we hear someone proclaim his Christianity, do not therefore assume that he is a good and moral person. These days I assume that the ostentatious Christian is actually more evil than the average.

  • cole3244

    when the cross is a symbol of ancient history the world will be a better and more peaceful place, too bad i won’t be here to revel in that.

  • Monoceros Forth

    Er, that seems rather a point in its favor actually.

  • Monoceros Forth

    Drinking Bloody Marys, that’s what. Yuck! I prefer a glass or two of vino.

  • Monoceros Forth

    …has unclean associations with hooved ones.
    I take offence to that. I am quite clean, I assure you.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    A horny fetus? Yep, it would indicate a probable hippy birth.

  • J.W. Swift

    …or a liberal (they would have horns at that stage, too, from what I’ve heard).

  • J.W. Swift

    Or better yet, the short-lived series, “GCB”. People think it was too over-the-top to be real, but from my experience, it wasn’t really embellished all that much.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Like!!

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    These are the worst. Remember when Juror D37 referred to Trevon as ‘that boy’, while never failing to sympathize with ‘George’?

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Come to Northern California!

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Yep, Gandhi has to enter by the back door and eat in the kitchen.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Steel magnolias, my friend!

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Only if its divorced, rude to its parents, has unclean associations with hooved ones, menstruating and not breaking the crockery or wearing a Wal*Mart shawl made with nylon and cotton fibers.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    If it denounces TMZ, I’m going to be pissed.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Well done! The freedom to be unpleasant is an American right!

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Only if the ultra sound shows a demonic fetus.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Brava!!!!

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Like!

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Shouldn’t ‘we’ be compassionate and pick the higher road by offering free crucifixions, crown of thorns accessories, and thirst quenching vinegar to the truly devout? I’ll hold the spear.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    That’s probably why the Emperor Julian (?) called Christianity, the religion of slaves.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    They all bear a foam filled velvet covered cross in this lifetime.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    “they end up presenting an oxymoron with a straight face at times.” Let’s call that a ‘Randism.’

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    When they start up a new reality show called: ‘This old Cross’ I’m freaking!

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    I thought D37 on the Travon Martin jury was the quintessential example of which you are speaking. Her bigotry was so deep and pervasive she thought of her bias as southern charm and perfectly normal.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    “homosexual agenda” ( on vacation): sleep in late; a jog or gym; spa time; brunch; a Bloody Mary or two; nap; pool time; tea time at the Dock; work the dunes; cocktail time; nap; dinner at 10:00; the dunes; bedtime. What’s not to like about the homosexual agenda?

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Congrats!!!!! :-)

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    The were called the Vichy.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Let’s start a Sodom and Gomorrah Mingle,com.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    We should prove our tolerance for the bigots by being generous and feeding them free knuckle sandwiches when they are hungry and stop providing examples our superb love making skills, which apparently make conservatives impotent.

  • http://parkandbark.wordpress.com/ Houndentenor

    EXACTLY. For some reason they believe that free speech includes freedom from criticism. It doesn’t. Being criticized is the price you pay for opening your mouth or writing down what you think. So many people these days (liberals as well as conservatives, people who follow a particular religion, etc.) live in a bubble where their unsubstantiated assumptions are never challenged. It’s a rude awakening when someone dismantles their logical fallacies, incorrect “information” or ludicrous political or religious beliefs. They see themselves as the victims when that happens. It’s absurd but the anger they feel is very real.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    The last refuge of the abject moral coward: My deity — whose existence I cannot prove but I believe in absolutely, and whose words all came through men — says I’m supposed to hate you.

    And no, we should not permit discrimination in the name of tolerance. No civil rights movement has ever carved out legal or social exceptions for bigotry.

    It may be generations or never before we’re able to expunge the poisonous bigotry people hold in their hearts and teach to their children. However, gradually we’re pushing that bigotry to the margins, making unacceptable the more overt expressions of it. A sportscaster who expresses an obliquely racist notion is fired from his multimillion dollar contract. A politician who refers to a man as a macaque loses an election. A radio broadcaster (who happens also to be the same sportscaster who was fired) spends days slandering and misrepresenting a woman as a slut loses dozens of advertiser accounts.

    I dream of the day when some public figure says it’s immoral to be a gay person, or we’re inherently a danger to children, or our mere existence is a terrible danger to civilization and the human race — and they suffer severe consequences for openly expressing their irrational bigotry and hate.

  • ComradeRutherford

    And of course you stone to death anyone that’s ever eaten a lobster, right?

  • http://parkandbark.wordpress.com/ Houndentenor

    I’ve gotten a stunned reaction to religious nutjobs many time by informing them that I never asked them what they think about my life and I don’t care what their opinions are. They really do think we’re all sitting around waiting to hear them pass judgment. LOL Just because they are terrified of the opinions of their fellow religious hypocrites doesn’t meant he rest of us are. I DO care when they use the government to impose their religious beliefs on the rest of us, but their disapproval is of no concern to me. And if they are going to actually say such things to me, they need to be prepared for what I have to say too, because I can give as good as I get.

  • http://parkandbark.wordpress.com/ Houndentenor

    If you’re not an Orthodox Jew (or similar), you have no reason to pay any attention to the rules in Leviticus.

  • http://parkandbark.wordpress.com/ Houndentenor

    ROFLOL. Of course you do. Next question: do you have one denouncing people for wearing garments made of two different fibers?

  • ComradeRutherford

    “Should gays permit discrimination in the name of tolerance?”

    No.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    Brilliant take-down. ((applause)) I for one am sick to death of these bigots trotting out their “but my religion says I have to hate and discriminate against gay people” argument.

    What I believe though is that even if it was legal to discriminate against some group or other based on race, religion, gender, sexual orientation — or any other innate human characteristic — it would be immoral, inhumane, and reprehensible to do so.

    It used to be perfectly legal to discriminate against someone due to their race or religion. It was still wrong.

    It’s legal in most states to fire someone from their job or deny them housing because they’re gay. It’s wrong anyway. It used to be universally legal to deny gays and lesbians the right to marry — and it remains an injustice that we cannot obtain civil, non-religious marriage rights throughout the country.

  • ComradeRutherford

    Religious freak: It violates my Religious Freedom that I can’t stone you to death for being different than me.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    The history of the American racial civil rights movement has ample instances of shop owners saying their rights were being trampled upon because they were no longer allowed to have “No Colored, No Chinese, No Irish” signs in their store windows, with the first one in that list disappearing last.

  • Bose

    OK, they’ve got a couple high-profile cases, but look what they’re asking for on behalf of ALL merchants: The option to QUIETLY deny service to people they don’t like with NO CONSEQUENCES.

    These businesses want to keep the hefty chunk of their revenues from gay-affirming folks who would walk if the discrimination became known.

    It wouldn’t be overly difficult to narrow their clientele to conservative Christians — include “Christian” in the brand name, run ads celebrating evangelists’ birthdays, develop bible-themed product lines, play hymns only as background music at the shop.

    But, they don’t want the drop in sales those changes would bring. And, they don’t just want to discriminate, they want LGBT people to STFU about being denied service.

  • nicho

    I certainly have — and you are absolutely correct. I don’t know about other churches, but the Catholic clergy are so misogynistic that it would stand your hair on end.

  • 2patricius2

    Right wing bigots say they want tolerance. But what they really want is the license to discriminate against people they don’t like. I say if “christian” cake bakers want to sell their cakes only to people they like, they should sell cakes to members of their churches. If they open their businesses to the public, they need to obey the laws – including non-discrimination laws – that regulate businesses that are open to the public. And if they don’t want to obey the laws, then they should be sued and fined or whatever the law allows. Or they should just go out of business. It is not tolerance to allow them to get away with discrimination. It is injustice. So they can whine, and cry “religious freedom” and play the victim card as much as they like. But they don’t deserve an exemption from the laws and requirements of a free, and open and decent society just because their “religious” beliefs make their poor little “godly” stomachs churn.

  • emjayay

    And Rand and Ron beg to disagree, but equivocate and evade like crazy when pressed on the issue.

  • emjayay

    Everyone already knows all the other prohibitions in Leviticus that Christianists violate every day.

  • emjayay

    HolyMoly: you need an avatar. Maybe the lady with the blindfold and scales.

  • Steven Jaeger

    What I find interesting is that they are acting like the classical protectionists. We need protectionism for our faith because it’s not big enough to stand up to the world in which it operates. “We can’t make a religious profit without protection from other groups with whom we disagree.” Wait a minute, are not many of the repugncrats isolationists also? So at least their message is consistent. We want to play by our rules only. Nobody can challenge us. The trouble is that many are challenging their “conventional wisdom” and they are seeing that all their arguments have enough plot holes in them to support a summer blockbuster (Ender’s Game).

  • mirror

    !!

  • emjayay

    Isn’t there already a right wing arguement that it’s OK for a pharmacist to refuse to fill a prescription for or sell a product they do not morally approve of? Isn’t this the Rand Paul (and his father’s) libertarian position which they both try to be evasive about and cover up that we have no business as a society telling a hotel or restaurant who to refuse to serve or not and the marketplace will solve the issue, just like it didn’t for a century in the South?

  • ArthurH

    The plea by bigots that were show some tolerance to them is really a demand to stifle dissent and criticism. When it comes to bigots, the only time I believe in turning the other cheeks is when I’m mooning them.

  • jomicur

    Have you ever sat in the middle of a group of priests or ministers? They make church ladies seem polite and restrained.

  • jomicur

    The courts have already dealt with this. Back in the 50s and 60s there were scads of bigots trying to plead that their discrimination against blacks arose from religious belief (the Biblical “mark of Cain,” children of Ham, etc.). The courts unanimously rejected that argument.

    Americans have every right to practice their religion. They have no right whatever to practice it on people who disagree with it. Period.

  • jomicur

    Absolutely not. And this kind of argument doesn’t just take the form of bleating about tolerance; like any kind of bigotry it is a shape-shifter. A couple of months ago I had an exchange with a guy (who assured me that “I’m not homophobic, but…”) who kept whining that gays should be willing to put our equality on hold in the interest of what he called “the bigger picture.” When I asked him what’s “bigger” than the Constitution, he ignored me and just repeated his heartfelt concern for “the bigger picture.” I then asked him which civil rights HE had voluntarily given up in favor of his big picture. He muttered an obscenity, ended the conversation and stomped away.

    Whether they’re pleading for “tolerance,” raising “bigger picture” straw men, or using whatever other sophistry that occurs to them, these people never rest. And we must never let them con us into giving up our struggle, no matter the nature of the arguments they pull out of their collective butt.

  • nicho

    I wonder if these wingnuts would say that we should have tolerated the Nazi’s “intolerance” of the Jews. I’m guessing they would.

  • Randy

    Yes. And also those who created life by marrying a person who does not satisfy them emotionally or physically.

    People who are in good healthy loving relationships know how good it can be, and only wish their friends could be in such a relationship. People who are not are very cranky and get angry at other people who are happy in their relationships.

  • Randy

    None of those florists or cake makers hand a list to their customers and demand them to answer if they have ever been divorced, had sex outside of marriage, masturbate, had sex purely out of lust, and so on. There are hundreds of sins listed in the Bible, and the sex sins are a large of it. But there are plenty of other sins as well, like the ten commandments. And that’s without even asking if the customers are atheists, muslims, mormons, or anything else they don’t like!

    If they truly believe that they cannot serve sinners, then they would have few customers. But they don’t — they hide behind their religion to justify their own bigotry.

    And that is what should make really devout people angry — you should never use your religion as a justification for your bigotry, hate or desire to harm others. These people cheapen religion even for the true believers.

  • Monoceros Forth

    Well, OK, but there’s different ways of dealing with “Them”. Patiently enduring the slings and arrows is one way. Complaining incessantly and demanding to be screened from anyone and anything outside one’s comfort zone is rather different.
    (Shouldn’t that be “Us vs. They”? But that sounds a bit silly.)

  • Ryan

    Public accommodation law protects both the customer and the business owner. While the benefit to the customer is obvious, the benefit for the business owner is that it frees them from having to make judgements about their customers and more importantly it frees them from being subject to pressure from outside groups. It gives them a convenient answer when the local busybodies start objecting to their customers.

  • J.W. Swift

    Oh my goodness, yes! It was one of the first things that started getting me disenchanted with the church: the hypocritical, backstabbing “ladies” of the church. What a bunch of mean-spirited busybodies! They were ruthless beneath that genteel Southern “lady” exterior.

  • http://fridae.asia/profile/page.php?username=asterix773 DaveandEric FabieLim

    You know what…? Fine, I admit it, I am really really enjoying the epic meltdown that is currently happening over on the Wing-nutty anti-gay political and religious Right in the United States, in the wake of the historic Supreme Court Rulings, To see the bizarre nonsensical splutters of bigoted rage on wingnut websites like that one, all across virtual Teabagistan…Well, it’s been more than fun, frankly it’s been a joy to watch.

    Last week my husband and I flew from London to San Francisco where with our friends and family gathered around us, we were married in SF City Hall. Next week we will start the Green Card Petition process for my British Hubby. One thing that the last few weeks have made clear is that the Gargoyles of the American Taliban, will NEVER let go of the idea that EQUAL rights for LGBT people is somehow an attack on them.

    I say them them rage and rant all they want. Like the Nazis, the KKK, the ethnic cleansers of the Balkans, they too are headed for (in the words of Ronald Reagan) the ash heap of history,…. and good riddance.

  • Monoceros Forth

    I think you’re right. I’m reminded of those folks who whine about being oppressed by “political correctness” when they get smacked down for telling a racist joke. Nobody’s preventing them from telling as many racist jokes as they like but that’s not really the point: what is the point, what gets them bothered and defensive, is that they’re not getting the automatic pat on the back from society that they think they deserve.

  • nicho

    Religion has always been Us vs. Them.

  • Guest

    You know what John? we all should stop paying attention to these lunatics. They have lost and they can’t stand it, so they are throwing up whatever nonsensical argument the loudest voice in their head comes up with. Last week my husband and I flew from London to SF and got married in City Hall, next week we will start the Green Card process for my British Husband. the very idea that we are now treated no differently than any other bi-national couple is beyond comprehension for these bigots. The fact is, the American Taliban will NEVER let go if the idea that our having EQUAL rights is somehow an attack on then. I say let them rant, scream and stamp their little feet on every nutjob website across virtual Teabagistan. Like the Nazis, the KKK, the ethic cleansers of the Balkans, and skinhead thugs of Putin’s Russia, the Bigots of the American Taliban are destined (In the words of Ronald Reagan) for the ash heap of history, and good riddance.

  • HolyMoly

    Pogden, civil law trumps religious beliefs every time. The Constitution itself states that it is “the law of the land,” meaning no other set of laws supersedes it. Not Jewish law, not Christian tenets, nothing. Certainly not mere religious opinion.

    I think the most easily overlooked part of the first amendment is the significance of the word “prohibit” vs. the word “abridge,” or a total ban vs. simply a limitation. Congress is forbidden to abridge (limit) freedom of speech, press, etc. Congress is forbidden to prohibit (ban) the free exercise of religion. If I ABRIDGE your free exercise of religion have I PROHIBITED it? The answer is no.

    The reason for this is clear. If Congress was forbidden to ABRIDGE — even the slightest limitation — the free exercise of religion, then religion would be above the law. Got a speeding ticket? “My god commands his followers to move quickly.” No more speeding ticket. Murder someone? “My god demands human sacrifice.” Charges dropped. Own a business that serves the public but refuse to serve certain segments of the public — like gays? “It goes against my religious beliefs.” Okay, uh, then you’re free to ignore that law too. We’d have total anarchy if this was the case.

    Believers of one religion or another would be exempt from the law, while non-believers could be prosecuted for the same actions. Everyone and their mother would be using religion as an excuse to get out of this or that transgression.

    The Supreme Court case, Reynolds vs. United States (1879) 98 U.S. 145, more eloquently expounds on the point I have made:

    “Laws are made for the government of actions, and while they cannot interfere with mere religious belief or opinions, THEY MAY WITH PRACTICES….Can a man excuse his practices to the contrary [contrary to the civil law -- in this particular case, contrary to laws against polygamy] because of his religious belief? TO PERMIT THIS WOULD BE TO MAKE THE PROFESSED DOCTRINES OF RELIGIOUS BELIEF SUPERIOR TO THE LAW OF THE LAND, AND IN EFFECT TO PERMIT EVERY CITIZEN TO BECOME A LAW UNTO HIMSELF. Government could exist only in name under such circumstances.” (Emphasis mine)

    Anti-discrimination measures do not “trample” on religious freedom, as you have stated. It LIMITS religious freedom, as is allowed under the Constitution (“prohibit,” not “abridge” — the overwhelming majority of the Constitution’s framers were extremely intelligent, most having studied law, and were acutely aware of the importance of their choice of words. They knew the difference in meaning of the two words and did not choose them arbitrarily.)

    But that applies only to Congress, right? What about the state and local governments? 14th Amendment: “No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States…nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” States have got to obey the Constitution as well. So now it’s not just “Congress shall make no law…”, but also “State/local governments shall make no law….”

    You have to face the fact that we live in a variegated society. Different cultures, different religions, different sub-sects within each religion, etc. Therefore, government and its laws must be secular in nature. In the case or Reynolds, the congressional prohibition of polygamy (Utah was a territory at the time and therefore governed by Congress) was NOT an attack on Mormonism. The law was passed for practical, secular reasons. As far as religious opinion goes, you’re going to win some and you’re going to lose some.

    (I don’t believe Christians really have an argument here. Mark 12:17, “render unto Caesar,” introduces the idea that man should obey the laws of his land. Romans 13:1-etc. “Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established….Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted.” In other words, God put U.S. authorities in place, and their laws (including anti-discrimination laws against gays) are valid and must be obeyed.)

  • SkippyFlipjack

    I have to say, I commend the writers for at least acknowledging a couple of big truths, including that the idea of a “homosexual agenda” is hogwash. That’s a huge admission since it’s such a staple of anti-gay rhetoric.

    That said, the article is kind of pointless. What they’re asking is a question for the courts, not the public. I think they’re asking “Will the gays please be nice and just stop complaining when a wedding shop won’t make them a cake, and go find another wedding shop?” The question is only whether the couple in question will choose to challenge the issue and find some resolution in the courts.

  • maildude39

    Once again, it’s the bigots who are playing the role of “victims”. It’s the only way they know how to stir up public sympathy for their thinly (and sometimes not so thinly) veiled hatred of others.

  • Stev84

    “Tolerance” is made out to be this great thing and ideal. But all it really means is “to put up with”

  • Stev84

    1.) It only protects beliefs. It has never and does not protect actions

    2.) Running a business it not a religious belief or any way whatsoever connected to religion.

  • cole3244

    down with all religions and those that use religion as an excuse for racism, bigotry, and intolerance, start with christianity.

  • Monoceros Forth

    It’s the whining that gets to me. As I’ve commented before, isn’t the Christian faith supposed to be a source of strength? Instead it seems to be this weak, uncertain thing that must be cosseted along and shielded from the evil forces of the godless world at large, a thing that must be propped up by public affirmation and validation at every moment. Wouldn’t a truly devout individual be able to face the evils of Harry Potter and two guys kissing, secure in the power of his faith to endure such indignities?

  • Plisko

    Right wing commentators are famous for being so committed to their own bullshit that they end up presenting an oxymoron with a straight face at times.

    I once read one who was praising China for having a “controlled free market” Now we have people who apparently forgot that all the segregation arguments saying that we must now allow a new form of segregation as proof that we are a tolerant society. They are so committed to their basic premises, that really, any argument will do. . . . in the bubble.

  • Monoceros Forth

    A shop like that would probably make a rubbish cake anyway, straight out of a box.

  • nicho

    If you want gossip, you don’t need the National Enquirer. Just listen in on a group of church ladies.

  • http://musephotos.wordpress.com/ GarySFBCN

    it depends upon the rest of the “package.”

  • Jim Olson

    Hound, I’ll look through my files. I have a sermon that in fact does denounce the National Enquirer for the sin of gossip…as well as Entertainment Tonight, Access Hollywood, etc.

  • http://parkandbark.wordpress.com/ Houndentenor

    it’s not their freedom that is being threatened; it’s their privilege. That’s what the freak-out is about. They have been allowed for generations to impose their hypocrisy on the rest of society, and they are finally facing a backlash and they realize that without their privilege they have nothing. Their beliefs do not hold up to questioning or rational scrutiny. If they can be challenged the whole thing collapses like the house of cards that it is. On various levels, they are aware of this and it scares the crap out of them.

  • Monoceros Forth

    Someone says the obvious thing. None of the persons who want publicly to flaunt their hatred of GLBT citizens seem to work up nearly as much self-righteous incivility about other things that supposedly are contrary to their religion.

  • nicho

    Christians in the US are the most privileged pampered group in history. All this incessant whining about how their religious freedom is threatened is nauseating.

  • http://parkandbark.wordpress.com/ Houndentenor

    I think you already know the answer. It’s so they can sit in hypocritical judgment over the “sinners”. Never mind their own transgressions against the many rules found in the Bible (gossiping is a common one and considered serious by the authors of the Christian Bible, yet I’ve never heard a sermon denouncing the National Enquirer). No, you have to pick out a sin that doesn’t tempt you (or one that does…that’s another topic entirely) and rant about that one so that you can feel morally superior. I grew up in that nonsense. *shudder*

  • nicho

    Aha, but what if my religion says that I have to be shirtless and shoeless when I eat? Shouldn’t you respect my “religious freedom?”

  • nicho

    So, if I’m a doctor who believes that christians are evil, I can refuse to treat them?

  • Monoceros Forth

    You are free not to kiss another man, if you feel that to be against your religion. You are free to associate at your church with other unpleasant persons who believe the same thing, and you are free to kick GLBT celebrants out of that church. You have complete freedom of religion in every way that matters. You are not free to inflict your religious bigotry on the rest of us. Somehow I suspect that those who commit other sins don’t cause you to bat an eye. Why single this one sin out as an excuse to be churlish and inconsiderate?

  • http://parkandbark.wordpress.com/ Houndentenor

    The problem is this idea of “tolerance”. You have rights and so do I. So long as you aren’t interfering in my rights, what do I care what you think or feel? It’s none of my business. It’s why I never use the word “tolerance” or “tolerate” because 99% of the time I see them, they are being used as a weapon against people who want everyone to be treated with respect and dignity.

  • keirmeister

    The Courts have already resolved this. Personal religious beliefs do not trump the law – particularly if the law is not targeting a specific group of people.

  • SkippyFlipjack

    Why even give these idiots any attention? Many people have made this argument, and it’s stupid. Accepting people with red hair is different than accepting people who hate people with red hair. They’re essentially completely unrelated.

  • SkippyFlipjack

    If your religion says that being gay is bad, don’t be gay. That’s your religious freedom. That’s where the protection ends — at your freedom regarding your own behavior.

  • keirmeister

    Somehow I think these businesses still provide their services to many people who break the Ten Commandments, so it’s clear it’s nothing more than simple bigotry, not religious convictions or morals.

    Also, operating a business is a privilege….

  • Steven

    It protects their beliefs; it doesn’t necessarily protect the actions they take in the name of those beliefs. There’s a big difference. You can believe, sincerely and deeply, that gays are an abomination and they should be put to death for the good of society. But do you think you have the freedom in the Constitution to act on that?

  • rondonaghe

    Good article in response to the one in RealPolitics. Allowing a business open to the public to turn away customers based on the owner’s religious views wouldn’t stop at cakes and flowers. Pharmacists could refuse to fill prescriptions; grocers could refuse to sell groceries; hospitals could refuse to serve gay patients. The list is endless. If you’re in business to serve the public then you are bound to serve the public. Of course, I wouldn’t want to have a cake for my same-sex wedding baked by a store who doesn’t want to serve me. Who knows what the cake would “accidentally” turn out like.

  • StevesWeb

    I saw this post, and in order to establish whether their equating bigotry with people resisting bigotry made sense I made a list of all of the anti-bigot ballot measures gays have attempted to pass in US states. After I crunched all the data I could find my list looked like zero ballot initiatives in zero states intended to take zero legal rights away from zero bigots.

    This did inform my opinion about equating resisting bigotry with bigotry.

  • Drew2u

    Already am. My dad and I were looking for another vacation some place and it’s usually tended to be Florida. We’re looking at other options

  • Drew2u

    Code-words and dog-whistles.

  • Drew2u

    Oh, of course not! Because “Capitalism!” and not, “Philanthropy”.

  • NCMan

    the question I have is whether or not the NYT is also demanding that OSC donate his money to LGBT equality organizations and if not, why not?

  • http://musephotos.wordpress.com/ GarySFBCN

    So if my religious beliefs are such that blacks are evil, I don’t have to allow them in my restaurant? Of course, the answer is that, other than prohibiting individuals based upon behavior (no shoes, no shirt, no service) I cannot deny service to any people based upon race, gender, religion, physical disability, age, and, in some states, sexual orientation.

    And the courts have resolved this.

  • pogden297

    The bottom line is the Constitution protects people’s religious beliefs. If you’re demanding that people take actions (such as bake a cake or photograph a wedding) that violates those religious beliefs, there is a problem. I’m not sure how the courts will resolve discrimination issues when anti-discrimination measures trample on religious freedom, but I certainly wouldn’t bet against religious freedom.

  • Indigo

    True, although boycotting all str8s would be clumsy. Just boycott Florida. (Gotta start somewhere.)

  • Indigo

    That’s probably the same crowd that’s bleating “Racism is over!” on the media these days. Right. And living here in CenFla, I’ve seen the Zimmerman face on every other redneck and street boy in town. The vigilantes are spoiling for a fight. Watch your step, be wise, and stay cool because the troublemakers have got fresh trash talk to spew. Here in Orlan-dodo the newspaper is explaining how a boycott Florida move would hurt the little worker people, oh, my! The little worker people know how that goes and they also know that it is corporate Skeletor (Gov. Scott) and his ilk who hurt the little worker people. Be real, a boycott hurts the profit margin. Boycott Florida!

  • kingstonbears

    Oh good grief. We all know that all the faaaaaabulous florists are gay.

  • Steven

    This is what they are doing with accusations of racism now, too. If you decry someone for using racist language or actions, you are then called the TRUE racist for pointing it out. YOU are the one who introduced race into the discussion, not the person who called Trayvon a thug or Obama the n-word. So if you point out that someone is discriminating against gay people, you are the one guilty of discrimination because you are not tolerating their intolerance. It’s all ridiculous, of course, but that’s where we’re at.

    If you can’t serve ALL the public, find something else to do. There are plenty of other businesses to take your place.

  • climate3

    NOPE. Human beings don’t allow themselves to get treated less than human beings. Tolerance does not mean allowing disrespect and if you can discriminate against gays in the name of “religious liberty,” then where is the line drawn? Who is next?

  • Drew2u

    Yes and no. The big hurdle is making those people recognize and accept that being gay is not equal to religion, for one can change their religion but not their attraction-characteristic. Equating the two means both are “choices” that one “does not have to choose to follow if they want to see the light”.
    Fundie-logic is insanity.

  • Drew2u

    What is it called, again, when a business is in charge of the consumer’s dollar instead of the consumers themselves?
    It’s the same gripe I have against the NYT baw-baw about OSC: “How dare you not spend your money on this vile pus!?”

  • S1AMER

    Substitute nouns. If it’s okay for a “Christian” to deny goods and services to gays and lesbians, is it okay for a devout Catholic to refuse to bake a wedding cake for a divorced person marrying someone else? For a Moslem photographer to refuse to film a Jewish wedding? For a Baptist hotelier to refuse to rent a room to a Buddhist?

    Ask these noun-substitution questions of most people who seem to think religious beliefs justify discrimination against one group of people, and you’re likely on the way to changing some minds.

  • FLL

    I think the laws that mandate marriage equality in 13 states are different than the laws that outlaw discrimination in public accommodations. If that’s the case the bigoted florist or baker is trying to fight a law that covers not just florists and bakers, but also landlords, hotels, bed & breakfasts, etc. Most reasonable people would say that the bigoted florist is just out of luck, unless they think they want to repeal the state barring discrimination in accommodations.

  • caphillprof

    I think the backlash is greatest among those persons who have created a life suppressing their natural same sex attractions and now are furious that they made the wrong bet.

  • rerutled

    Tolerance means to make space for the equal representation of ideas, and a peaceful coexistence. Discrimination against LGBTs provides neither, and is therefore anti-tolerance. Those who cry “foul” at this have another agenda.

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