This is such utter nonsense. Intolerance of intolerance is not discrimination
but the inverse.Religious liberty extends to one's church and
one's home and one's private life. It is NOT a license to impose
one's beliefs into the public sphere.As soon as one engages in
public business, one is outside the realm of religious protections and forbidden
by law from any form of discrimination.
The Unruh Act in California prohibits discrimination by businesses offering
goods and services to the general public; most states have very similar
statutes. At times, sincere religious beliefs of business owners must certainly
be put aside to comply with the law, as that is the cost of doing business.Actual case - a person owns a duplex, in which she lives, and and rents
out the other unit. She wanted to rent only to a married couple, and refused to
rent to an unmarried uncouple, as cohabitation was against her religion and her
moral values. Although she was a small business, with limited operations, and
very much a vested interest in the entire set of circumstances, she was
prohibited from discriminating against unmarried couples. I believe this was
much more a personal issue than would be photographing a wedding of a same sex
couple, or making that couple a cake. Although application of the
law seems onerous, given the circumstances and intent of the duplex owner, such
application serves a broad purpose - all members of the public are treated
fairly and equally. It's a broad purpose law, which helps (forces,
actually) a diverse community to be tolerant of others.
If you don't want someone coming to your business just demand a high price
or give them bad service or give indications that they will get bad service.
Problem solved. All the laws in the world are never going to stop
discrimination just ask one of our African American brothers.
Buying a cake or taking photos at a certain store is certainly not a
"right." That's the first thing that needs to be clarified. Did
the stores discriminate? Yes, but therein lies the rub.Somehow,
individuals and businesses must be free to live according to their conscience,
just like anyone else. If they find some behavior morally offensive, they
should have the right to not associate with those doing that behavior. We have
to be smart enough to find a middle ground here, and I don't think the
Arizona bill is it. What we must avoid is a heirarchy that says gay rights (or
any other subset of rights) trump everything else, because that would take away
the rights of some group or other.
25 years after Loving v Virginia, the sheriff who back then arrested Mr. and
Mrs. Loving still believes black and white don't mix, and his view was
based on religion. In an interview with NYTimes: "I still think
it should be on the books," said Sheriff Brooks, "I don't think a
white person should marry a black person. I'm from the old school. The Lord
made sparrows and robins, not to mix with one another."Can
someone like him deny inter-racial couple's service on religious grounds?
The people backing this bigoted legislation are using some pretty twisted logic.
How is it against anyone's religious beliefs to sell a cake or flowers to
someone? It isn't. No one is forcing the owners of any business to actually
perform any act that is prohibited by their religion. Not forcing them to lie.
to kill. To sleep with their neighbor's wife. Not forcing them to miss
church or to blaspheme. They are saying that they must do something they already
do hundreds of time a day, serve a customer. Do the exact same action for person
X that they do for person Y. If your 'bible' or any other religious
book says that you should treat people differently based upon their color, race.
religion or sexual preference, then your religion is in conflict with our
constitution. You do not have the religious right to treat people of any kind in
a way that restricts THEIR constitutional rights. IF the dolts in Arizona do go
forward with this sick bill, it will be overturned within a year or two at most.
These stone-age clowns need to be driven from public office.
@USU-Logan:"25 years after Loving v Virginia, the sheriff who back
then arrested Mr. and Mrs. Loving still believes black and white don't mix,
and his view was based on religion."His position is
understandable. In the first part of the Bible strangers were not welcome among
the Israelis unless they were circumcised first. If they refused, they were not
welcomed. And, of course, the Egyptian pharaoh and his men were all drowned in
the sea basically to drive the point home about freedom of worship.However, marriage among the races should not be disparaged. In the coming
years there will not be black Americans or white Americans. There will be just
You people are dangerous.....If someone wants to hang a shingle outside their
door and create a business, that is their right. You can go somewhere else. If
the market decides they shouldn't exist then the people will vote with
their purchasing power. This is our system. Not crying to the government to
force someone to make you a cake. It is called freedom. You are free to go
somewhere else for you cake. Or better yet, start your own cake baking store
and put me out of business. That is the American way. To many of
you are from the 60's and want to cry to daddy to make it all go away.
Grow up and take responsibility for yourself and stop blaming others.
People should be free to discriminate... After all it helps me identify them and
avoid them. However this law codifies and legitimizes discrimination as
acceptable behavior. This laws says that the state is not only condoning such
behavior but actively supporting it.Such foolishness. And the
saddest thing of all is that the law (if passed) won't stand but will cost
taxpayers millions (lucky, lucky lawyers).
@DougW659:"The people backing this bigoted legislation are using some
pretty twisted logic. How is it against anyone's religious beliefs to sell
a cake or flowers to someone?"Some restaurants will not allow
you in unless you're properly dressed. Even some fast food establishments
will refuse service if you don't have a shirt on. It's not about
religion at all.
Why is it that the LGBT community are pushing for an anti-discrimination bill
here in Utah that would protect them from any discrimination, yet when
Christians in Arizona are pushing for an anti-discrimination bill that would
protect them from discrimination, the LGBT community is having hissy fits? That's a double standard and it reaks! If there were a
need for an anti-discrimination bill, then it should apply to all people. Nobody
deserves to be discriminated against including Christians.
To review the bill, Google: sb1062p.pdfThis is just a sloppy bill
and if it ever gets signed into law in AZ or other reactionary type states,
there will be some entertaining consequences. The law hinges on a purposefully
broad definition of the phrase "Exercise of religion" and allows both
individuals and limited liability entities (such as corporations, LLCs) to
assert it as a defense.This opens up every party that claims this
defense to having their religious beliefs litigated. By that I mean the other
side's attorneys will have every right to scrutinize both the validity of
what a person is claiming is a religion (overall) and the sincerity of that
person's own belief in that religion. Is that really where
folks want to go on this?
@RobertThe principles of religion extend to behavior in the public sphere.
These people are not seeking to impose their beliefs on others, but trying to
live their own beliefs.Try to empathize. If you really believed
that you were exercising your art and skill to contribute to a wedding,
wouldn’t you want to have the right to choose not to contribute to
weddings that you found morally repugnant? Or, would you want to be able to
refuse service to someone asking you to photograph or cater something that you
found morally repugnant? I am not arguing in favor of this bill; I
think it is too broad. I am only arguing for empathy toward people trying to
practice their religion in public life.I am not arguing that SSM is
morally repugnant. I am arguing for people’s rights to feel that
something is amoral, and to refuse to participate, within reason.
Soon, states like arizona will make it legal to discriminate against anyone,
This is a difficult issue, with no good, clear cut "right" answer.Through either position we can imagine a 'parade of
horribles'.If a person or business cannot choose the customers
it serves, allowing for freedom of conscience:- A Jewish baker could
be compelled to bake and decorate a swastika cake, celebrating Nazi Germany- A black photographer could be compelled to attend and photograph a Ku Klux
Klan ceremony- A doctor could be compelled to perform elective abortion or
assisted suicide.On the other hand, we could return to the ugly
practices of the past:- Signs in shop windows preventing
entry/patronage- Prevention of groups from moving into neighborhoods- The list goes on and on.It's an ugly with NO good
governmental solution. Abuse will abound from those wanting to punish the other
side, filling up court rooms and attorney's pockets for decades. Many
innocents will be hurt in the process.Which is the lesser evil here:
patrons turned away, to (hopefully) be able to seek services elsewhere,
embittered and hurt, or persons compelled to act against their own conscience or
perhaps lose everything, resentful and afraid?Either option is bad.
Ah yes: Nothing screams "America!" like the government forcing private
citizens to violate their beliefs and become state actors in order to make a
living. Abraham Lincoln, Cooper Union Speech:The question
recurs, what will satisfy them? Simply this: We must not only let them alone,
but we must somehow, convince them that we do let them alone. This, we know by
experience, is no easy task. We have been so trying to convince them from the
very beginning of our organization, but with no success. In all our platforms
and speeches we have constantly protested our purpose to let them alone; but
this has had no tendency to convince them. Alike unavailing to convince them, is
the fact that they have never detected a man of us in any attempt to disturb
them.These natural, and apparently adequate means all failing, what
will convince them? This, and this only: cease to call [gay marriage] wrong, and
join them in calling it right. And this must be done thoroughly - done in acts
as well as in words. Silence will not be tolerated - we must place ourselves
avowedly with them.
Does the Arizona bill really give people of ALL religious beliefs the right to
refuse service based on those beliefs? For example, can those affiliated with
Christian Identity groups refuse service to interracial couples? If the bill
really does allow that, then it must be viewed as too extreme and undeserving of
support. If it does not allow such refusal of service, then we must conclude
that it has nothing to do with "religious freedom" in any general sense
and is simply a vehicle to allow those with one specific set of religious
beliefs to refuse service to one specific group.
@Bleed Crimson"yet when Christians in Arizona are pushing for an
anti-discrimination bill that would protect them from discrimination"Because that's not an anti-discrimination bill those Christians are
pushing for, it's a right-to-discriminate bill.
Yesterday I agreed with @Locke. Today I'm agreeing with @Demosthenes.
Does anyone else find this troubling?
This is bigoted racism hide behind religion
First off, I want to say that I don't necessarily support the law - I think
it could be more narrowly written, possibly in the way Mr. Laycock suggests in
the article. But I want to ask a question to those that are
appalled at the proposed law:If you owned some sort of small event
hall, and the Westboro Baptist Church (or some organization like it) came to
you, and wanted to reserve the hall for their annual "God Hates Gays"
banquet, would you like to be able to deny them service? Or should they be able
to sue you for discrimination?
A hypothetical question: If Jesus owned some sort of small shop - say, a
carpentry business - would He refuse service to anyone? Are there any genuine
Christ-followers out there who really believe that Jesus would not treat all who
entered His shop with the love and respect that He showed everyone when He was
here the first time? It seems to me, that we all need to stop judging people so
much, and let THE Judge deal with people in His own time and way. We may not
like or agree with others on a particular lifestyle or other issue, but we will
be held responsible for how we treat those with whom we disagree.
If the pro-gay side wins this argument, I'm afraid it will be to their
detriment - a Pyrrhic victory. It will only serve to promote distrust, anger,
and even hate as those who are simply acting according to their belief system
are strongly censured, losing ground instead of gaining it.
If someone running a business is confronted with people wanting them to provide
services for something morally wrong, the state shouldn't force them to do
business with them.If someone holding a "wedding" for two
men or two women can't get service from one business, they can get it from
another. It's not about promoting "Gay rights", it's about
silencing anyone who understands marriage differently from them. We're
here now trying to enact laws to protect people who aren't being protected
by sound laws that are regularly ignored or illegally struck down by the
"LGBT" movement anyway. What do they care that -this- law passes?
The only thing Jesus said about marriage was that people who divorced for
reasons other than infidelity were entering into adulterous relationships if
they remarried. Not committing adultery is one of the ten commandments. For
this reason,the Catholic church refuses to marry divorcees. (Note: nobody has
ever sued the Catholic church for this--and they can't, because of the
constitution.) Do those of you who support refusal of cake baking and picture
taking for the weddings of gay people also support refusal to bake cakes for,
take pictures of, and otherwise serve the weddings of people remarrying? Would
you support denying remarried folks employment or housing on religious grounds?
I have asked these questions here before but nobody answered me. Thanks.
@Bleed Crimson"yet when Christians in Arizona are pushing for an
anti-discrimination bill that would protect them from discrimination"See, here's the problem. It doesn't say anything about
Christians, yet that is the only people anyone seems to be interested in
Can they also refuse to bake cakes for people entering a second marriage? Can
Muslim taxi drivers refuse to drive unaccompanied women? Can Catholic bakers
refuse service to Mormons because they don't define "Christian" the
This is a necessary law to have for people of faith, otherwise you are violating
their religious freedom. It's not bigotry, it's for the sake sake of
people who hold to their faith. People who never go to church can't
understand that faith comes before money and business. The courts made a mess
out of everything in the first place by acknowledging gay marriage. No such
thing as a gay marriage. Marriage is really only between men and women. If you
force Christians to work for gays you are asking them to deny their faith which
real Christians aren't going to do anyway. Let them look for other
businesses who will support them and leave the Christian alone.
I don't think that this law is worth the controversy it has created. But
all of you claiming that this is an anti-gay bill should read that actual bill.
All that it does is provide someone one a "defense" to use if legal
action is brought upon them for refusing business for personal religious
reasons. It doesn't even keep a lawsuit from going to court and certainly
does not guaranty that a judge would even rule in their favor. No
where in the bill is sexuality mentioned in any form or in any way. So why is it
that only one group of individuals feel threatened by this bill? Is the vitriol
so severe that we have completely lost common sense? I am an accountant and
personally I would have no objection to providing accounting services to any one
based on their sexual preference, religion or race. However, if I was asked to
audit a strip club, which would require a visit to their location;
shouldn't I be able to refrain and ask them to please find another auditor?
This bill is not so much anti-gay as it is anti-Christian. They are using the
misinterpreted Early Bronze Age Jewish Biblical version as a bludgeon. The New
Testament, not so much, as their logic is contrary to the teachings of Christ.
They seem to be wearing the title of "Christian" under the guise of the
Old Vengeful God of ye olde tymes as passed down via tales of Bronze Age
Shepherds before Christ. Joseph La Rue, et.al are legislating from the wrong
I certainly am in favor of trying to pass a religious liberty law that will
allow people to exercise they religous beliefs especially when doing so does not
hurt anyone but possibly their own businesses. Gays can get photographers or
florists who may want to specialize in their wedding events. Gays just cannot
allow any afirmed right for people to say that their lifestyle is wrong without
being punished. This same attitude will be made against religions themselve
soon saying that those religions cant discriminate or they will lose their tax
exempt status. i dont know that this bill is the right law to allow
this right but I hope the U S Supreme Court will someday soon afirm the right
for States and religious people to define marriage as they want and to chose who
they want to serve in their businesses with out being punished for it.
@Bleed Crimson: Please explain how Christians in Arizona are being
discriminated against? I have absolutely no idea what religion my baker belongs
to. I have no idea what religion anyone I do business with belongs to with one
exception. The photographer of my wedding was Mormon. How do I know? Because
she provided me with lots and lots of samples to look at and the majority of the
photos were of large families standing in front of Mormon temples. But what,
exactly, would a baker provide me as samples of his Christian belief. More
importantly, what would a baker provide me as samples of his ignorant homophobia
belief (shrouded in religion) so I can avoid buying cookies, pastries and pies
re: Hutterite earlier today"Soon, states like arizona will make
it legal to discriminate against anyone, including heterosexuals."Wouldn't that put Natural selection in to play?
Should I not have the right to deny anyone services on acts of morality? What if
as an engineer I'm solicited to design a strip club--should I have the
right to refuse service? There is great danger in taking away a business'
right to refuse service. The debate really is centered around whether or not
homosexual marriage is a civil right. If the people do not now define some
boundaries of infringement on religious beliefs it will become an issue akin to
paying off the national debt. The litigious creep is subtle but these laws will
transcend questions of commerce and will be forced into our churches, schools,
and homes. You cannot infringe on freedom of religion without infringing on ALL
"If a religious baker "believes that baking that cake will cause them to
sin against their God,..."Please show me any scripture anywhere,
where god says "don't serve gays or you'll be sinning".Anywhere.
@ Robert RiversongYou have a big problem with your argument:The founders of this great country sought the almighty for guidance and
certainly imposed their religious beliefs into the constitution, which gives you
the rights you enjoy everyday.
Jerry Ball writes:"They are using the misinterpreted Early
Bronze Age Jewish Biblical version as a bludgeon. The New Testament, not so
much,. . . "How true that is. And why would people who call
themselves Christian not hew more closely to what Christ actually said and to
what his stated focus actually was? In the New Testament Jesus had
nothing, zero, zip, nada, to say about homosexuality, homosexuals and/or
homosexual couples, but he was VERY specific in his condemnation of divorce. As the late writer Paul Monette once observed -- (paraphrasing) --
homosexuality is a "sin" most zealous religious conservatives need never
worry about committing, which allows them to condemn it with GREAT authority!
When it comes to infractions, they, themselves might more commonly be guilty of
--(((cough, gluttony, divorce, etc.)))-- a whole different set of rules seem to
It’s pretty plain to see whose rights are being trampled on and who is
doing the trampling. Why this sudden urgency for legislation to protect
religious liberty? Such concern has been noticeably lacking up until same sex
marriage started to become an imminent prospect.Religious freedom is
in no peril in America. But the perception that it is being challenged is
certainly being encouraged.
It isn't obvious to me how far this goes. If a Mormon convenience store
attendant refuses to cater to smokers is that ok? If the store owner then fires
the Mormon attendant for following his religious conscience is that ok? If the
gas station owner then refuses to hire devout Mormons because their religious
conscience does't match with his is that ok? …or is this only meant
to apply to gays and not any other religious beliefs?
How can so many people support thought crime? Not selling something to someone
is not a crime. Making it a crime based on someone's thoughts when the
non-crime was committed is creating a thought crime.I support the
argument that you can't keep gays from getting married on the basis of
"its wrong." But this is a two way street, and you can't keep
someone from selling something to you on the basis of "its wrong" as
well. One or both of these actions could very well be wrong - but Americans
still have the right to be wrong at least for now.
What it comes down to is this, we can discriminate in any way we like in the
name of religious freedom (in fact baptists can discriminate against Mormons -
religious freedom you know). Thus begins the rapid retrograde decline of the
Scientifically speaking, XX is not the same as XY. Why should people be
applauded for denying basic science?
If merchants are going to deny service to those people their religion identifies
as sinners then they should deny service to ALL the sinners that their religion
defines. If they pick and choose in any way, then they are just discriminating.
To everyone decrying the "discrimination" of religious people who
don't want to violate their beliefs, I ask you this: how many of you came
out to publicly support the family in New Jersey back in 2008 when the bakery
did not want to decorate their cake. The bakery refused to put the name of the
3-year old son on the cake because it was Adolf Hitler. So Robert
riversong, by your admission, that bakery had no right to not put that name on
the cake simply because they found it offensive.If you can't
refuse to serve gays you also cannot refuse to serve a Nazi or a racist. You
must produce products for their events or photograph those events, even if you
find them offensive. This cuts both ways. You cannot protect just one group, but
must protect all. Liberals don't have the right to make the decision of
what can be discriminated against and what cannot. Either anyone can follow
their conscience on such issues or no one.
Shouldn't it be my right as a business owner to refuse service to someone
whom I think is a lesser human?Don't I have a right to
discriminate against certain types of people that I find repugnant?They are the sinners, not me!
FractalTheorem,Your first two examples of persons of conscience don't
apply. There are already laws against being a party to hate speech.You are wrong, there is a good and simple solution for everyone. It is the
exact same one that changed Jim Crow segregation and denial of service: repeal
those laws and allow no new ones. That some will continue to decry
the freedom of others is their problem. But for the majority those complaints
vanish within a single generation.Will there always be whiners and
complainers about anything and everything anyway? Of course. We justy don't
let them determine orthodoxy or law.
I support this bill because if a company, business wants to not serve someone,
that person can go somewhere else and pay their money to another business so
that other business will make more money. I don't see how that is a huge
problem. We're so worried about gay rights that religion is getting kicked
in the teeth. It's only from the gays perspective, not from someone who is
religious. The gay person is discriminated against, not the religious person.
What happened to equality?
I support this bill because I'm for freedom to do whatever you want. If
you want to discriminate, then do so. Those business who support your lifestyle
will make more money anyway. And by the way, since when can we not bring
religious principles into the public sphere? Is that against the law, suddenly?
I don't think so, at least not for the first 150 years of our country it
Pbunny- Yes those groups have that right. What you are saying is that a black
photographer should be required to provide services for KKK functions, and Jews
for anti-Semitic functions. Am I wrong, or do you only believe in selective
discrimination against groups you disagree with?JerryBall and John
T- I believe Christ would say, and did say in the Bible, "Go and sin no
more". Would the LGBT community listen or sue for imposing his religious
beliefs on them. I suspect the latter. And does not the book of Romans in the
New Testament say that homosexuality is a sin? So how is being opposed to it a
early Bronze Age teaching?Would the gay community be okay with
renting out an event hall for an anti-gay rally? Based on your comments they
should be forced to create anti-gay cakes and provide photography for anti-gay
groups and events and provide whatever services to groups that they strongly
oppose. This must occur even if they find the groups vile and disgusting.
If a Nazi comes into my place of business, in full swastika uniform, I should be
able to refuse service. It is my business on my own private property. If
I'm not doing anything criminal or negligent and if I'm not breaching
any contracts, I should not be harassed by moral police, on MY OWN property.
When did we adopt Sharia law in this country?
@Demosthenes;As long as they're going to discriminate against
ALL "sinners", then fine. But they only want to discriminate against
gay "sinners", which really means that it is NOT about "religious
conscience". If it were, they wouldn't serve any "sinners".@Bleed Crimson;The difference is that the Utah bill prevents
discrimination, the Arizona bill endorses it.@Jamescmeyer;Please define, legally, "morally wrong". It could be anything from
sneezing without covering your mouth to dancing around naked in front of your
business. Very, very subjective. And why should LGBT citizens have to go from
business to business to get service? Do you?
It seems to me with respect to religious freedom, that yes, religions can
entertain business, but not government. Therefore, a business has a right to
deny service to any person or other business that it feels offensive to its
standards. grinolsson dot com
If an individual chooses to be with another individual of the same sex, that is
their choice. If an individual chooses to disagree with such choice and not
condone such behavior by refusing to make them a cake, that is their choice. Why
can't we just let people choose? It's ironic that those who are
pushing for freedoms to choose who they can marry are so up in arms about others
choosing who they will do business with. The "Religious Zealots" are not
advocating for Uganda type of laws here, they just want their freedom to choose
to be protected. Good for Arizona!
In essence granting the right for a business to deny service to gay couples.
What it does is protect the business from a law suit. I am not for gay marriage,
but I also am not for denying the rights to those who are gay. I can understand
a photographer in not being comfortable or a cake baker. The Savior taught us to
give service to the Samaritan. He also told those who accused the woman of
adultery to first cast the stone if they were without sin. It makes me sad to
see that those who have been taught these principals feel that the issue of gays
exempts them from this. As a Mormon, we do not smoke or drink, so should we
never provide service to those who smoke and drink? Of course not. Our church
leaders have encouraged us as members to be respectful to those that are gay,
this isn't just in words, it is also in service.
Sounds to me like reimposing the unconstitutional Jim Crow laws.
It appears that the biggest problem is that a large amount of the population can
no longer make "moral" decisions without the approval or force of the
government. There appears to no longer be trust between the citizens to do the
right thing, without the full force of the government.
rhappahannock: what about XXY or XYY? Where do they fit into you basic
science? Where do they fit into your well defined and limited plan?There are too many variables, not only with genes, but with hormones, prenatal
occurances, and the wiring in our brains to throw everyone into two catagories.
How about letting each find their own way and respecting their decisions?
These "religious freedom" bills seem to be designed to protect
discrimination, not to protect religious freedom. What actions are the bakers,
florists or other business people being asked to do that they do not do every
day in the course of their business? Nothing. The baker is being asked to
bake, the florist is being asked to provide flowers, the photographer is being
asked to take photographs. That's it. They are not being asked to engage
in any other activity, sinful or otherwise. Their business transaction is not
an endorsement of the end use of the product. It is simply business as intended
when they opened their services to the public. Claiming that you are somehow
sinning based not on your own personal actions, but on the actions or intentions
of your customers is ridiculous.
AZ-Byu fan,"....No where in the bill is sexuality mentioned in
any form or in any way. So why is it that only one group of individuals feel
threatened by this bill?...."______________________________The one group that feels threatened by the bill has ample cause to believe
that the bill is in direct response to issues of equality for gays, same sex
marriage in particular. Arizona is not the only state debating similar
legislation. No smokescreen about religious freedom will obfuscate what is
painfully obvious to the world.
If the government forces a business owner into accepting customers that are
acting in a way that violates the personal standards of the business owner or
his customers, it puts the business in a lose/lose situation. There are
customers that will not frequent nor take their children into a business if
other customers are drunk or immodest or displaying affection. An owner could
tell a heterosexual couple to "cool it" but if a homosexual couple got
asked to "cool it," the owner could be prosecuted for some civil rights
violation. Anyone that thinks this won't happen is living in denial. A
businessman should be able to conduct business in a way that doesn't offend
his own personal standards or the standards of his customers.
The bill is wrong headed. It should state that a private business owner has the
right to refuse service to anyone. And, no law shall compel an owner to provide
any service that creates an environment offensive to other patrons, or violates
the owner's religious, business or personal ethics.
Apparently there is no language that singles out gays in this bill. It simply
allows businesses to deal according to their conscience. If someone wanted a
photo-shoot at a Satanic cult party, a photographer should have the right to say
Not hiring someone or refusing selling a product is one thing.But
forcing people to attend their wedding is a whole other thing. Services should
not be forced to serve weddings against their belief.Should we force
services to attend a Satanist wedding or a Nazi wedding?
@John T:"A hypothetical question: If Jesus owned some sort of small
shop - say, a carpentry business - would He refuse service to anyone?"Supposing this same Jesus was in a Temple and some people came in and
wanted to 'change some money (money changers).' Would He refuse them?
Not only yes... But He'd drive them out of the Temple... likely with a
whip.@GZE:"Can Muslim taxi drivers refuse to drive
unaccompanied women?"They seem to be able to refuse to drive
almost anyone they wish... such as a guy with a big knife in a seedy part of
town.@Archer of Paradise:"What if as an engineer I'm
solicited to design a strip club--should I have the right to refuse
service?"You should be able to deny service in that case. The
best way is to just say... 'I don't wanna, period.' Same with
the baker of cakes.@Ranch:"Please show me any scripture
anywhere, where god says 'don't serve gays or you'll be
sinning.'"Jesus didn't say it, but his helpers
(Apostles) said something like... 'it's not kosher for two people of
the same sex to lie together.'
There should be a recognized distinction between suppliers of goods and
suppliers of services. At least for those small-business owners that provide
services. Granted, large companies and suppliers of goods in general
shouldn't be able to use religion as an excuse. However, small business
owners that provide services should be treated differently in my opinion. As an
attorney, I feel that I should be able to choose my clients. If I don't
like a case, I shouldn't be forced to take it. A photographer should not
be forced to take a job either. What if a pornographer asked her to shoot
offensive domination/bestiality photos for his website? No law should force
servitude. Isn't that just another name for slavery?
The Jim Crow laws forced stores and restaurants to provide separate services for
African American citizens. The Jim Crow laws didn't allow people to NOT
discriminate, in fact they forced them to. The so-called
non-discrimination laws similarly actually compel governments to actually force
religious persons to provide services that are against their conscience, such as
forcing a Catholic doctor to provide abortions. Religious persons
are entitled to laws that protect their right to exercise their religion freely,
without the interference of government. The government should NOT be in the
business of forcing people to violate their conscience. This is just a new form
of twisted discrimination. It's not about flowers or cake,
it's about the freedom to do or not do something according to your own
sense of right or wrong. Both free speech and free exercise of religion are
guarantees of the 1st Amendment. If we allow the rights of one group to be
suppressed in the name of "political correctness", everyone's
rights are at risk.
There is something to be said for everyone to have the right to religious
freedom. It is in the constitution. Right now there is a case going
through the courts of the United Kingdom, a gay couple is suing a church to
allow gay marriages there. As it seems that all things European are
brought to our soil, people of deep religious convictions are becoming very
concerned. This is not to say that public businesses should not be
open to everyone. This is to say people are afraid, they are being
forced at every level to accept things they find to be unacceptable,deeply vile
and evil.I personally have no problem with different lifestyles, as long
as they are not forcing that lifestyle on me and my family. Many Americans feel
this same way, however when our right to worship how, where and what we may is
I don't think it is so much baking a cake for a gay wedding that is
objected to, but how the couple may want their cake decorated or the
photographer asked to photograph behavior offensive to them. I think we have
every right to refuse this kind of service. I attended a wake for a gay man who
died of Aids many years ago. I liked this person a lot. I saw behavior at this
wake that was way too much for me to handle. In my opinion it was not behavior
that was respectful to the deceased, but it was a private party and their right
to do what they want. I did not voice my opinion, but politely thanked the host
for inviting me and then quietly left.
Kora, thank you for responding to my question. I do NOT think that that a black
photographer should be required to provide services at a KKK function or a Jew
for an anti-Semitic function. In the analogy, you are equating refusal to serve
at an event expressly focused on hating and denigrating the server (KKK,
anti-Semitic, and in your other example an anti-gay functions) with the refusal
to serve in the celebration of something the server doesn’t like or
don’t agree with (a gay marriage). Nobody should be subjected to their
own disparagement by a hateful group. However, the purpose of a wedding
isn’t to disparage and hate, it is to celebrate love and commitment.
There is not hateful purpose or intent. My real question, and it is
genuine, if anyone would like to answer is this: Would any of the commenters on
this page who would refuse to bake a cake for a gay wedding also refuse to bake
a cake for a remarriage? If not, why? Given that Jesus specifically condemned
remarriage and was silent about homosexuality.
@pbunny'However, the purpose of a wedding isn’t to
disparage and hate, it is to celebrate love and commitment. There is not hateful
purpose or intent.'That to me sounds an awful lot like a moral
judgment on your part. Which is perfectly fine. You are most certainly entitled
to make and pass judgment to what you think is right and wrong. However, the
state exists to uphold and enforce criminal, tort and contract laws, not pass
and enforce MORAL JUDGMENT. We are NOT Iran. We are America. We don't send
moral police around to harass individuals and businesses because they have been
deemed 'hateful.' Hate 'crimes' are not inherently criminal.
Criminal behavior is limited to a very small list of behaviors that infringe on
the rights, liberties and property of another, eg, murder, rape, theft, fraud,
etc. Feeling a certain way towards an individual or group is NOT a crime but a
non-objective, moral judgment.
@To many of you are from the 60's and want to cry to daddy to make it all
go away. Grow up and take responsibility for yourself and stop blaming
others.I disagree. If this was the 60's, people would be
saying, "Businesses need to have a conscience. There is more to business to
wanting to make a profit. Corporations need to be socially responsible."What I am saying is that there are a lot of people that think companies
should only be focused on making money.What if the Westboro Baptist
church wanted to buy a cake, or to be catered from an event. Religious
discrimination is illegal. Should someone be forced to cater to them?If they get onto this, they can go to Colorado, New Mexico, Oregon, Vermont,
etc and make a lot of money when they were discriminated against. But they
would probably avoid Kansas and Arizona because it would be less likely to work.
What business owner would not want to increase his/her profits? I can't see
how selling a cake to a Homosexual couple is a violation of our religious
beliefs. We shop at Grocery stores, who by the way, sell alcohol, cigarettes,
porno magazines, etc, etc. These things are not part of any religious worship,
but we don't complain about them be sold where we buy groceries.I am not for same sex marriages, but I just think that we, the people, are
taking this just a little to far. We need to relax and let nature take its
course. We should petition our legislature via of mail, phone calls or email and
express our concerns about redefining marriage, but don't treat the people
in the fashion. It just isn't Christian like to do this.
I guess what it really comes down too is, how are you going to sue or prosecute
someone for refusing to work for you? That's really all the Photographer
did, refused to work one day, and this uppity gay couple decided to sue him for
refusing their money.Honestly how backwards is that.
Some people stop at nothing to denigrate gay and lesbian Americans,just like
they used to do to African Americans not too long ago.
I would make a cake for a gay couple. I'll take their money. That
isn't the point. I should be able to refuse any individual or group my
goods and services for any or no reason without harassment from corrupt judges
and police passing their own sense of morality on myself. My business is MY own
property. In America, we have the right to private property as well as the
freedom of speech, expression, association and having an opinion. Legislators,
judges and police exist to defend that right. If I use my property to commit
something that is inherently criminal or negligent or if I breach a contract, by
all means, use the legal system to make it right. If I make a moral judgment,
however, that differs from the opinion of a judge or lawmaker, leave me alone.
This isn't Iran, this is America!
What's next? Requiring gays to wear rainbow patches and an identification
tattoo so these businesses can readily identify them? These types of bills are
a slippery slope and can be used as a gateway to all kinds of discrimination,
not just against gays. Similar types of incremental legislation happened in
1930's Germany, much done in the name of religious freedom. The same thing
is happening in Russia, and even worse, Uganda. This Arizona law wouldn't
be the end of the matter. It would only be the beginning if history has any say
If we can force people against their will to serve our wedding, can we force
them to work on Sunday too?
I'm rather disgusted with all the news coverage of this issue - not a one
really looks at the wording of bill. You all just want to stir the
hornet's nest and increase the volatility and divisiveness of the issue to
'make news'. I tried to include the link to the bill, but no
And what if a minister or other member of the clergy does not want to perform a
same sex marriage because he believes it is solemn mockery before God? Do we
force him to do so? He is like the business man or woman. He marries couples
all the time. Under this logic if we force business people to provide goods and
services, we have to force the minister as well.
Does anyone remember the story of Mary Magdalene, the adulterous woman who was
avoided and despised by others and who was yanked into the streets to face a
stoning until a loving and caring Jesus came along? I think we need a little
more of Jesus' example instead of the examples of the pharisees. When
people talk of religious convictions, are they talking about Christianity
because I'm not seeing a whole lot of real christian principles as modeled
by Christ in today's society. I see a lot of people hiding behind their
supposed faith in order to hurt others. Are people really exercising their
religious convictions concerning gays? If that is the case, why don't they
exercise their religious convictions concerning those customers who drink,
smoke, do drugs, commit adultery, get abortions, etc, etc, etc. It seems to me
that only one group is being targeted to make a religious example out of.
Calling hate and discrimination religious "liberty" is erroneous. The
idea that the people who cherry pick excerpts from the Old Testament to excuse
their hate and discrimination when that is the book of the Jews and Christ said
nothing about it in the New Testament (the book of Christians) shows that it is
a weak argument to begin with. The majority of sane responsible Americans
don't buy this hogwash. Trying to bring Jim Crow back by discriminating
against a different demographic isn't legal, to begin with. From the
fourteen defining characteristics of fascism: "3. Identification of
Enemies/Scapegoats as a Unifying Cause - The people are rallied into a unifying
patriotic frenzy over the need to eliminate a perceived common threat or foe:
racial , ethnic or religious minorities; liberals; communists; socialists,
terrorists, etc." It used to be blacks but now gay people are the new
Force is the opposite of freedom. This most troubling issue should concern
everyone, including gay rights supporters who without knowing it, our selling
away their own freedoms in the future by fighting this.
Values Voter, you commented: "In the New Testament Jesus had nothing, zero,
zip, nada, to say about homosexuality, homosexuals and/or homosexual couples,
but he was VERY specific in his condemnation of divorce." Do not make the
mistake here of practicing eisegesis, which is the practice of reading into
Scripture one's own ideas. While Jesus may not have mentioned homosexuality
directly as a sin, He strongly endorsed marriage between one man and one woman.
In condemning divorce, Jesus quoted from Genesis 2:24: “And He answered
and said to them, “Have you not read that He who made them at the
beginning ‘made them male and female,’” (Matthew 19:4,
NKJV) The arguments that "Jesus did not say anything about it,"
or "The Bible doesn't mention it," are dangerous turf upon which to
stand. While certain actions or sins may not be mentioned by name, the biblical
principals which lie beneath condemnation of those actions are valid.
This bill carves out a special waiver for the religious. Doesn't this
necessarily require government to enforce "an establishment of
religion"?I don't think Governor Brewer will sign the bill,
but I kind of hope she does. It will then be challenged in the courts and
we'll soon have another legal conclusion that strengthens the First
This is not a double standard by any case - for years the LGBT community has
been discriminated against. All that is being asked here is to be treated
equally. These bill(s) just codify the discrimination that has taken so long to
get out from under. Is that to much to ask from those who call themselves
RALPH: "They are the sinners, not me!" Excuse me? “But now the
righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law
and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ,
to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference; for all have sinned
and fall short of the glory of God,” (Romans 3:21–23, NKJV)We
ALL fall short, my friend - every one of us. I agree, that homosexuality is a
sin, but it is not THE sin - it's one of many. And, we all still sin in one
way or the other. “Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what
judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be
measured back to you.” (Matthew 7:1–2, NKJV)
@Creeper51;Your "uppity gay couple" says a heck of a lot
about you. How is it "uppity" to ask for a business to provide them the
SAME service they provide to everyone else? @NoBoxScot;Wording doesn't have to specifically say "lgbt" for everyone
(literally everyone) to know that the purpose of the bill is to allow people
tell lgbt couples "we don't serve your kind here" (especially since
these bills were never even thought of until lgbt couples began to be allowed to
And what good does it do to pass any bill or vote?? A judge will come along and
do it his way.
Can a Jewish caterer refuse to cater a Neo-Nazi rally? How about an African
American and a KKK event? Is that bigotry, too? How about an Attorney General
whose job is to defend a law to which she morally objects (like
California's or Virginia's bans on gay marriage)? Why is it okay to
refuse to do your job due to a moral objection there? This isn't about
bigotry. It's just about deciding that some moral objections are more
politically acceptable than others.
Most businesses in Arizona, many ran by conservatives, are pressuring Gov.
Brewer to veto the bill. AZ tourism leaders say the bill will haunt Arizona for
decades. Even AZ Senator John McCain said the bill "would have devastating
results."Arizona is not new to legislation that seeks to
discriminate against whole groups of people. Anyone remember Arizona Senate
Bill 1070? A bill Jan Brewer signed into law? It allows for racial profiling of
citizens "suspected of being illegals" targeting African Americans and
Latinos.Did you know that in 1989 Arizona voted down to acknowledge
Martin Luther King Day as a holiday? Did you know that as a result of that vote,
conventions and tourists boycotted the state. And that the Super Bowl was moved
to California that year costing the Arizona $500 million in lost revenue?Discrimination is discrimination, and it just doesn't pay.
How one can say with a straight face that religious freedom is under attack in
America is laughable. What is going on in this country is that people are sick
and tired of religious types running rough shod over the Constitution. They
won't and legally do not have to passively take this type of violence
anymore. The tide has turned for the better.
For those of you who are against this bill, I think you are missing the point.
There have been a number of cases in states across the country where a gay
couple went to a wedding service provider who said they wouldn't provide a
service for their wedding. In all of these cases, there were probably 100 other
photographers or bakers the gay couples could have gone to. But no, they
decided the shove their agenda down the throats of Christians and tried to sue
them. Give me a break. Abortion is legal, but doctors who don't want to
provide abortions don't have to. And there are still millions of abortions
every year by doctors willing to provide them.The 1st Amendment
guarantees the free exercise of religion. At some point there are going to be
gays who sue a Christian pastor or Bishop to perform their wedding. That is
what this fight is ultimately all about. Christians should not be forced to
participate in any way in a gay wedding that they find morally objectionable.Last question: was Barack Obama a bigot in 2008 when he said he thought
marriage was between a man and a woman?
Saying that this has anything to do with religious freedom is an outright lie.
Nothing in Jesus's teachings condones the discrimination against people you
don't like, even if you believe that they are sinners. In fact, people you
believe to be sinners are those any real Christian should be showing the
greatest hospitality, as both an example and as testimony of the love of Jesus
Christ. Jesus, remember, shunned the company of "good church-going
people" and associated mostly with those whom such people would treat just
as these bigots would treat gays. He called on his followers to do the same.
Anyone who claims that their Christian beliefs justify their acting on their
bigotry and hate to discriminate against any other person is a nothing but a
hateful un-Christian liar who is spitting on the very foundation of
Christianity, and on Jesus himself.
A fundamental right of our constitution is to prevent state power from
prohibiting the "free exercise" of religion. I am stunned
that so many people in this forum think that government should be allowed to
prevent you from "exercising" your religious beliefs in the conduct of
your business. Marriage as defined in the Bible is a fundamental
tenet of religion. If one believes that gay marriage is destructive of the
Biblical belief, he or she has every right to fight against it--privately in
one's business or in the public square. Free exercise is not limited to
one’s home or church. Those who would deny a business owner
the right to serve whom he will on religious grounds would also coerce a
Christian physician to perform an abortion.Note that the
Constitution also prohibits the establishment of a state religion. If the state
makes exercise of my beliefs illegal (through hate crime or anti-discrimination
laws, for instance), it not only violates the free exercise clause, but
essentially establishes irreligion as the state religion, and imposes it by law.
@Uncle Rico: You are wrong. There is no passage in the U.S. Constitution that
mentions God. Furthermore, when religion is mentioned, it says that no
religious test is required to hold office, that says that Congress shall make no
law respecting an establishment of religion. Furthermore, many of the principle
founders were Deists; Deists believed in God, but they did not believe in
It's like Christians asking for the right to treat others in am unchristian
manner. So much irony.
John T I liked the points you made regarding Jesus Christ during His ministry.
He did indeed preach love but He did not condone sin. He said to the woman
about to be stoned - "Go your way and sin no more." I would also like to
point out that Jesus actually had a lot to say about the sin of homosexually.
It is found mostly in the O.T. in the Law of Moses. Jehovah was the God of the
O.T. which was actually the pre-mortal Jesus Christ Himself. When the writings
of the O.T. were being translated, it was considered incorrect to repeat the
name of deity so many times, so references to "Jehovah," was replaced
with "Lord." This change has created a lot of confusion. The Apostle
Paul also spoke of the sin of homosexually, and since he was preaching the
gospel of Jesus Christ, then our Savior's teachings was the source of what
You know, people say that they are just trying to do what the constitution
states, giving everyone freedom of religion, speech, etc.., as well as following
the 14th amendment. This is true completely. Everyone should be able to have as
many rights as they want. However, as in the recent bill in
Arizona... The constitution does say that no state shall deny equal protection
of law. It does not say that the citizens can't refuse service to other
citizensThat last sentence sounds bad, and probably reminds people
of oppression of the blacks during the 1960s. Many of you are probably going to
say Blah Blah Blah Civil Rights Act Blah Blah Blah. This still sounds terrible.
The civil rights act of 1964 says that you can't discriminate based of of
Gender, race, religion, color, origin. Last time I checked, Homosexual
isn't a religion. Also, because the companies in Arizona sold to both male
and female, just not to gays, it is legal to do so. It may not be right, and it
is not my position to decide, but it is LEGAL
amend to my previous comment...It is legal FOR NOW
I am a gay person, but I also grew up Mormon. I must admit that I was truly
blessed in my life because I grew up among some wonderful people. I gained a lot
of strength among them and I learned how important it is to be among people that
care about you. I guess I viewed many of the teachings differently than most
people! I was always taught to respect others, even those who didn't
believe the same way I did! I understand the beliefs, but I do not understand
peoples actions! there are those of us who have to take another path! I can no
longer believe those negative teachings about who I am! Why is it so hard for
people to have respect for gay people! We should have a right to live according
to our own beliefs in God and if you are talking about religous freedom, you
should include us as well. We are the ones being accused of not being good
enough!Everyone's beliefs are important! Do people really want to
incorporate such a nasty law into their beliefs? Think about it! that isn't
what I learned growing up Mormon!
@Gze: "Can Muslim taxi drivers refuse to drive unaccompanied women?"
Why would they want to, that isn't part of their religion. You know, I
have seen and participated in a lot of cross-cultural communication. One simple
rule to follow is if someone outside of a culture tells you something about
someone in another culture, "They won't give a ride to uaccompanied
women." "They'll throw their children in front a car to collect
insurance." etc, etc.The smart thing to do is recognize the
source and don't blindly accept everything you hear on faith. You are in
Utah, you can think for yourself now.
The rhetoric about this bill has been either fueled by people who do not
understand it, or who are trying to mislead others. The law makes no mention to
sexual orientation at all. It merely clarifies that businesses can assert
religious freedom rights, and that religious freedom applies to lawsuits. Both
of these are in fact probably already the case.
Much of the rhetoric around this bill ignores that in Arizona it is not clear
that the issue of people trying to get a same-sex marriage would be actionable
in the courts at all. Without a law defining sexual orientation as a protected
class, it is not clear that people would have grounds to sue for discrimination
at all.Put another way, legally, store owners in Utah, Michigan,
Ohio and many other states could refuse to sell to homosexuals. The fact that
they don't shows that the claims that this is a threat are false and
missing what is really being debated.What is being debated is the
right of individuals to control how they use their expressive talents, in making
cakes, arranging flowers, taking photographs and buying services for their
@ John Pack Lambert of MichiganWhat is being debated is whether or
not it's okay to discriminate. The answer: It's not.
@John Pack Lambert" The law makes no mention to sexual orientation at
all. It merely clarifies that businesses can assert religious freedom rights,
and that religious freedom applies to lawsuits. Both of these are in fact
probably already the case."Read between the lines; it's
obvious this bill was specifically made with sexual orientation in mind. Arizona
is just one of a dozen or so states that at the same time were looking at the
same type of thing as a reaction to those bakery/photographer cases. "Without a law defining sexual orientation as a protected class, it is not
clear that people would have grounds to sue for discrimination at all."They might've been able to in one of the other states. I'm not
sure what the laws are in New Mexico, Washington, or others.