Anti-Gay Christian Leader Whines About How Gay Couples Want Equal Treatment at Christian-Owned Businesses

In the wake of state and federal decisions on the side of same-sex couples, the Illinois Family Institute is desperate to find examples of Christians’ rights being taken away (as if civil rights are a zero-sum game).

Of course they can’t find any legitimate examples of that. So here’s what they’re doing: They’re arguing that Christian business owners are being targeted for their beliefs by gay bullies.

Here’s IFI’s Executive Director David Smith:

What cannot be dismissed, however, is that time and again homosexual activists have proven through their actions that the redefinition of marriage isn’t their only goal, but rather government enforced acceptance and celebration of the LGBT lifestyle. Here are just a few portents that shouldn’t be ignored:

  • Washington State is suing a Christian florist who declined to provide floral arrangements for a homosexual “wedding” ceremony. The state is threatening thousands of dollars in fines and a requirement that the elderly florist provide floral arrangements to any homosexual couple that seeks her services. (Read more HERE.)
  • The Christian owners of an Oregon bakery were contacted by the Oregon Department of Justice and told that they are being investigated because of a discrimination complaint that followed their refusal to violate their beliefs by providing a wedding cake for a lesbian “wedding” ceremony. (Read more HERE.)
  • A Christian owner of a bed and breakfast in Hawaii has been ordered to provide a room to any same-sex couple that wants to stay there, thus violating her religious convictions. (Read more HERE.)
  • And in Albuquerque, New Mexico, the owner of Elane Photography declined to provide her skills and services for a lesbian commitment, explaining that doing so would violate her conscience as a Christian. As a result of a complaint being filed with the New Mexico Human Rights Commission, a fine of $6,600 was issued against this small business for discrimination based on “sexual orientation.” This case is pending a hearing before the New Mexico Supreme Court. (Read more HERE.)

In short, all Smith can find are instances where gay couples were hoping to be treated the same way straight couples are. And he’s taking the side of Christians who wanted to delegate the gay couples to second-class status because of their sexual orientation.

You expect to see that sort of bigotry within the walls of a church — and the actions would be legal in a church setting — but these states have made clear that public businesses don’t get to deny their services to people who are black or Muslim or atheist or female or handicapped — or gay. Your “conscience” be damned. Just as you can’t hang a “No Jews Allowed” sign in front of your public floral business, you can’t tell gay couples you’re not going to bake a cake for their ceremony when you offer the same services to everybody else.

Remember: These kinds of Christians have no problem making cakes for people who’ve had a baby out of wedlock, are in the process of getting divorced, or happen to be Pagans. It’s not like they pay attention to their “conscience” on other issues.

Imagine if the roles were flipped: Catholic parents go to a bakery in Boystown to get a cake to celebrate their baby’s baptism… and the owners say no. Does anyone really believe Smith would let it slide and encourage the couple to just visit another bakery? Of course not. He’d be among the first to cry foul.

Smith ends his piece with this warning:

While it is important that we stand up to defend the institution of marriage, it is vital that we understand that the [gay] agenda is far more insidious and far-reaching than many realize. Once you understand how far they want to take this agenda, it is unconscionable to sit on the sidelines.

Ah, yes… the “insidious” agenda of wanted to be treated fairly. HOW DARE THOSE GAY MONSTERS?!

These aren’t cases of anti-Christian persecution. They’re examples of Christians trying to get out of doing the right thing on account of their faith, which apparently teaches them to be assholes.

The Christians just have gay-shaped holes in their hearts.

Maybe Jesus can fix them.

(Image via Shutterstock)

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • Spuddie

    When will people realize, religious belief is not an automatic pass to ignore laws nor does it mean that one’s bigoted actions are immune from criticism or social sanction?

  • Anna

    I was amused to see the Christian cake baker scenario turn up on ABC’s What Would You Do? a few weeks ago.

    It’s relevant to note that most patrons of the bakery (even some who said they didn’t support same-sex marriage) were appalled at the blatant discrimination.

  • Carpinions

    The violins for bigots are the smallest violins made.

    Interchange the gay/lesbian patrons with black heterosexual couples and rewind the clock 60 years, and you’d have restaurants whining about having to serve blacks and being targeted for their beliefs. That Christians don’t see this makes it plainly obvious that bigotry in modern society is never far from the surface. They can say it’s about “disagreements” and “beliefs” all they want.

  • Lee Miller

    When hell freezes over, maybe?

  • edb3803

    Bigotry disguised as freedom. Now where have I heard of that before?

  • Kevin_Of_Bangor

    I want to know what the fuck the gay agenda is. I hear about it all the time but never get a real answer.

    And since one of the stories links to The Blaze I found this wonderful comment.


    May. 31, 2013 at 4:57pm

    The constitution guarantees freedom of religion. If I refuse service based on my religious beliefs, then the discrimination laws cannot be applied. The bible says that being accepting of sodomy is as much a sin as practicing it. If they made a cake for a gay wedding, then they would be accepting of it and would have committed a mortal sin.

    A business is still private even if it serves the public. The progs have no right to punish someone based upon their religious beliefs.

    Edit: If you bake a cake for two gay guys you yourself have had butt sex. Isn’t that special.

  • Carpinions

    Around the same time they stop giving priests/pastors/imams/rabbis/shaman/etc. special treatment simply for being priests/pastors/imams/rabbis/shamans/etc. The more I think about the cultural deference that is afforded people who have put themselves in these roles willingly, the more I get annoyed that non-professions such as these drag our system down. There are plenty of nice people in these roles, but seriously, at the end of the day they blather about nonsense and get some amount of pay – however grandiose – for doing so. It highlights the injustice of things like low teacher salaries that much more.

  • 7Footpiper

    I am a landlord and I don’t want to rent to teh gays because of my religious beliefs, what should I do? I’m a cardiac surgeon and my deeply held religious beliefs teach me that homosexuality is an abomination, do I have to treat lesbians? Well obviously the answer legally as well as morally is yes. The IFI might think this is all about flowers and wedding cakes but it sets a dangerous precedent for withholding other services. Said it before and I’ll say it again. Gay rights are human rights.

  • Librepensadora

    Yeah, but today (7-23-13) Hobby Lobby won a court decision that they don’t have to provide birth control coverage for their employees. It wasn’t an automatic pass, since this was a reversal of an earlier decision after Hobby Lobby got it their way on an appeal.

  • Kevin_Of_Bangor

    Teh gays would just make your rental place fabulous and we cannot have that now :)

  • Kevin_Of_Bangor

    Hobby Lobby Inc. was given a temporary exemption Friday from a requirement in the new federal health care law to offer insurance coverage for the morning-after pill and similar emergency birth control methods or face steep fines.

    U.S. District Judge Joe Heaton issued the preliminary injunction for the Oklahoma City-based arts and crafts chain and stayed the case until Oct. 1 to give the federal government time to consider filing an appeal with the U.S. Supreme Court.

  • Mr. Pantaloons

    Pretty much everywhere that gay-rights supporters have been compared to Hitler, by the same people who want homosexuals rounded up and executed with no sense of irony.

  • Keyra

    I’m sure there’s atheists who realize this bigotry doesn’t reflect on Christians in general (but I wonder about that)

  • Sven2547

    Of all the shortsighted and fallacious “reasons” to ban marriage equality, this is probably the most stupid:
    I’m against equality because it infringes on MY RIGHT to discriminate against people!

  • Rationalist1

    I wonder if they approve of discriminating against religious people of one faith by other religious people of another faith?

  • Rationalist1

    I know it doesn’t reflect on Christians in general, but where are the Christian leaders saying this is unacceptable.

  • Todd Eddington

    Christianity justifies this kind of behavior and atheism (lack of belief) doesn’t justify anything.

  • Spuddie

    Why should anyone realize that?

    The bigots love to wave their identity as Christians like a banner to rally behind. They proudly proclaim their bigotry is based on their Christian belief.

  • Don Gwinn

    The Insidious Gay Agenda (we just call it TIGA) demands CAKE.

  • Rationalist1

    When a local business does discriminate like this and admits to it, review it online so that every one can see and then people can choose not to frequent that business.

  • Kevin_Of_Bangor

    Here is your cake.

  • Gus Snarp

    Yes, we realize that there are some liberal Christians out there. We also realize that there are Christians who think gay people are great, would never discriminate against them, and think they should have the same rights as anyone, including the right to marry the person they love.

    Sadly, most leaders of Christian churches don’t seem to feel this way. And any “liberal” Christian sitting in the pews, saying how this doesn’t represent Christianity, and putting their tithe in the dish need to abandon their churches as long as the leadership is bigoted. If this doesn’t represent Christianity, are we to remove the Catholic Church from the rank of Christians? The Lutheran Church? All the evangelicals and fundamentalists? Even many churches who are fairly accepting of homosexuality are against gay marriage.

    If this doesn’t represent Christians, then Christians should stand up and get new leaders who do, or get out of the churches if they can’t. Maybe if the tithes dried up we’d see something different from church leaders.

  • Gus Snarp

    The gay agenda seems to me to be for gay people to have the same rights as everyone else. What else could it be? Even the anti gay groups seem to be pretty much admitting that what they have a problem with is treating gay people like human beings.

  • Kevin_Of_Bangor

    Well the crazy Christians think it is to turn everyone gay and make them get gay married and churches will be forced to marry them and then they will be sued and the churches will go away and all that will be left is teh gays and atheist and then the devil will show up and Obama will become King of the Earth.

    I think I nailed most of the points but a person that truly is gay I’ve yet to hear that they have some sort of real agenda other than equal rights.

  • baal

    I’m also waiting for a list of stories from the U.S. where this type of discrimination isn’t being done behind the banner of Christianity. This doesn’t seem to be the case where the bigots just happen to be Christians.

  • Edmond

    What do you care? You won’t be back here to discuss it.

  • Spuddie

    More likely than not, Hobby Lobby’s case will not be able to pass muster if it made it to SCOTUS (assuming they don’t punt it).

    Even intellectually dishonest windbag Scalia takes a dim view of using religious belief as an excuse to weasel out of compliance with laws.

  • RedGreenInBlue

    I am neither a USAian nor a lawyer, and so my apologies in advance if this is a n00b question, but I can’t find a satisfactory answer online:

    Is there a danger that businesses owned by conservative Christians, for example, might reorganise themselves as private clubs or religious organisations in order to avoid anti-discrimination laws affecting “public accommodations”?

  • 00001000_bit

    “Imagine if the roles were flipped: Catholic parents go to a bakery in
    Boystown to get a cake to celebrate their baby’s baptism… and the owners
    say no. Does anyone really believe Smith would let it slide and
    encourage the couple to just visit another bakery? Of course not. He’d
    be among the first to cry foul”

    You’re forgetting that they have the privilege of majority. They can make that claim, because they know full well that if it were reversed, and a business decided not to do business with Christians (or more generally “the religious”) – that business would go out of business really quickly, anyway. That’s why the reverse would never happen, and they can play safe in their world of “I’d be fine with that” because they know they’ll never need to face that scenario.

  • C Peterson

    This is just an awful trend we’re seeing. What’s next? Are they going to make businesses serve blacks, as well? Oh, wait…

  • baal

    District court? brb

    The case is Hobby Lobby vs Sibelius. The district court case found for the government; HL appealed (must have then lost again); HL appealed to the 10th circuit appeals courts (en banc) who then ordered the DC judge to enter the stay. Next up is the SCOTUS who will likely take the case to kill ‘Obamacare’. The 10th circuit was clear in frame the case as one of religious liberty which is both good and bad.

    It’s a terrible ruling in that it substantiates your employer being able to deny you medical care based on their religion. This is the parade of horribles situation where it’s no more blood transfusions if your boss is a christian scientist and similar. The only silver lining is that it’s such a bad basis; any half decent judge (and the legal community) will blast it for idiocy.

    Note that the “becket fund” is paying for Hobby Lobby’s defense and has an entire swarm of these BS lawsuits. This is a prime example of a christian oligarch making everyone else pay for their massive ego and the power that obscene piles of money brings. Imagine if they used these millions (and it is many millions) in legal fees to feed the poor or otherwise actually help people.

  • C Peterson

    I’m sure there’s atheists who realize this bigotry doesn’t reflect on Christians in general…

    Not many. Because in fact, it does reflect on Christianity, and therefore on Christians in general. A wise atheist would not extend that generalization to any individual Christian without some evidence, but the generalization itself is fair. In the U.S., essentially 100% of the anti-gay rhetoric and behavior is driven by Christianity.

  • baal

    Hi RGIB,

    The law makes it pretty burdensome to become a private entity to avoid “public accommodations” law. You need to have member lists, dues, limits on number of members or limits on geographic scope, a clearly defined body of who could be a member etc. It’d be very hard to run a business like that.

    Also, if they did, we the secularists could use the legal bludgeon and force them to prove they are actually private on a semi regular basis.

  • smrnda

    As a society, we’ve decided that permitting ‘private discrimination’ makes any pretense of equality between different groups of people a farce, so our laws reduce property rights a tiny little bit in the interests of equality. What these people want is a right to return to ‘separate but equal’ but with homosexuals being assigned to that box.

  • smrnda

    Christians argue that they cannot lift a finger to do anything that might *celebrate* homosexuality, but they seem fairly unconcerned that their businesses might contribute towards other potentially sinful behaviors.There are Christians who sell guns. This seems like a total no no if you want to avoid any possibility that you’ve contributed to sin.

    No, they have to single out GLBT people to piss and shit on.

  • allein

    I’ll rent my place out for a month or two if they’ll come make it fabulous for me. I’m decorating-challenged and also lazy.

  • Kevin_Of_Bangor

    But one can be forgiven of their sin. All the GLBT people have to do is repent, become straight and Jesus will love them. It is the same with killing someone. Just ask Jesus for forgiveness and all is good.

  • rx7ward

    And that has what, exactly, to do with the topic of this article?

  • allein

    I doubt they’d manage to stay in business long.

  • C.L. Honeycutt

    I don’t exactly qualify as gay, but I can probably find some My Little Pony wallpaper. It’s pretty fab.

  • allein

    I was big into the ponies back in the day. I remember getting mad at my friend one day because she brushed all the curl out of one of my ponies’ tails. Ruined it, I tell ya.

  • Matt D

    And where exactly can I go to see this doesn’t reflect on them in “general”, Keyra? Where are the Christians saying this is wrong, Keyra? Which denomination disagrees with this stance, Keyra?

  • cary_w

    I don’t think it would be that hard to claim they were a private business.

    During one of the many incantation of Utah’s insane liquor laws, hard liquor could only be served in private clubs. All the bars sold lifetime memberships to as many people as they wanted to (who were over 21, of course) for a minimal fee (usually in the range of $5-$10), they also allowed members to bring in a certain number of “guests” and some of them sold temporary memberships for $1-$2 for one night.

    Certainly a bakery could operate with this same system, claim it was a private business, and refuse membership to gays and any other “undesirables”, but they’d have a heck of a time staying in business! They would attract a few hard-core Christian bigots and piss off everyone else. I’d actually love to see one of these businesses give it a try!

  • trj

    Don’t forget how the gays are targeting the children to be accepting of gays. The children!!!

    Apart from that I think your summary pretty much nails it.

  • cary_w

    Do they really have to do all that? When Utah had it’s private-club liquor laws the bars just sold cheep lifetime memberships to anyone who wanted one, I don’t think they had any other restrictions on them (except, of course, members had to be 21 or older)

  • Kevin_Of_Bangor


  • cary_w

    Interesting, I love the girl that says, “I must be on TV! There’s no way this is really happening!”. It’s sad that she’s wrong, it really is happening in some places.

  • Anna

    I guess it would be sort of like Price Club or Costco? You have to be a member to shop there. People can’t enter without showing their card, and they can’t purchase anything without a valid membership.

  • Don Gwinn

    That poor guy looks like he needs it more than I do at the moment . . .

  • Nate Frein

    Gotta be gen 4

  • Stev84

    Please just stop feeding this troll

  • Stev84

    A private club needs to collect membership fees or otherwise restrict its number of clients. Hard to do business that way in most fields.

  • Sven2547

    * Criticize people for overgeneralizing
    * In the process, overgeneralize

    Well played?

  • Stev84

    Also note that a lot of these cases don’t have anything to do with marriage equality. Neither Oregon, New Mexico or Hawaii have gay marriage. But they do have anti-discrimination laws.

  • baal

    Depends on the exact State. Also, Utah’s liquor law is a bit of a special case. I don’t think they’d get away with the same lax standard for bias against a protected class.

  • Kubricks_Rube

    Whenever someone plays the “think of the children” card, I tell them that that’s exactly what I’m doing. I don’t want my children, their children, or anyone else’s children treated like second class citizens when they grow up.

  • Silent Service

    For most, never. Sad, I know.

  • smrnda

    I agree that very, very few people would be willing to jump through those hoops just to make it easy for the business to discriminate. Booze is another issue – the customers want something that you can’t get anywhere else, and there’s a high chance they’ll keep coming back for more.

  • Tobias2772

    I’m not disagreeing with any of the anti-discrimination positions here, but I would like to see people exert economic pressure on this kind of BS instead of lawsuits. Boycotts are awfully effective and they spread the message beyond your supporters to the community at large. Plenty of religious people would side with us in this type of economic pressure and that would be good for more than just gay equality.

  • Captain Cassidy

    It’s very, very easy to armchair quarterback and say how someone would handle a situation, and it’s even easier when the situation couldn’t possibly ever get personal for that person. Then one doesn’t have to worry about even a shred of empathy to get in the way of all that moralizing and high-horsing.

  • Captain Cassidy

    These Christian bigots are just fine with them until they get all uppity and start wanting rights and equal treatment. As long as they’re quiet and meek and ashamed, that’s fine. But when they start wanting to get married like they were normal, law-abiding citizens who deserve happiness, equal protection under the law, and love just like anybody else, that’s where bigots’ blood pressure spike. Can’t be lettin’ ‘em get ideas.

  • Brian

    I think the point he was trying to make is that the economic impact of Christians boycotting a business that discriminates against them is much higher then that for a business being boycotted for discriminating against gays, since the numbers are much lower.

  • AxeGrrl

    I always have to giggle at the bigots who do the: gay “wedding” thing…..

    as if by putting quotation marks around the word “wedding”, they’re de-legitimizing it. They just have to do something to distinguish their “real” weddings from the ghey ones :)

    Witnessing someone trying sooooo hard to ‘take away’ something from someone else is incredibly illuminating, psychologically. And it’s not pretty.

  • Rwlawoffice

    “In short, all Smith can find are instances where gay couples were hoping
    to be treated the same way straight couples are. And he’s taking the
    side of Christians who wanted to delegate the gay couples to
    second-class status because of their sexual orientation.”

    Actually these are examples of homosexuals demanding that Christians engage in behavior that violate their religious beliefs. I know you don’t think this is a big deal because you have no religious beliefs and you believe that tolerance only goes the way you want it to go. But for those of us who have religious beliefs and understand the the constitution does not mean that we can only practice those beliefs in church, but that we can live them in our businesses and our lives, it is a big deal.

    This conflict between public accommodations and religious beliefs will be the next battleground and will ultimately be decided in the courts.

  • Slot

    Eh, while all the businesses that refused to do “gay” business are ridiculous, deserve to be shunned, and need to grow up – I do have a problem with the idea that there should be legal ramifications simply because they don’t want to do business with a certain group. I mean if I owned a bakery, I would want to reserve the right to refuse to make a cake that has “Let’s keep those queers out of our country!” written on it for a conservative christian group.

  • dagor_annon

    Great thing, there is no legal problem refusing to do business for a non-protected (non-bias) reason.

  • Peter_Dickinson

    Genuinely curious, why do you keep coming to this site and making the same accusation that atheists, or “New Atheists” as you love to write, are nothing more than bigots who can’t separate real christians from bigoted ones? What do you hope to get out of this? Several people have already written that yes, we can discriminate between the two, but it’s never enough for you. So, you want people to be more tolerant, what kind of dialogue are you trying to start?

  • Mario Strada

    That would be bullying. You would see the same rhetoric.

  • Mario Strada

    So I assume I can deny service to Christians from my gas station, Also I can tell christian couple that I won;t be marrying them because my “deeply held convictions” prevent me from marrying christians?

    No matter how you look at it, the reverse would be unacceptable and given that not all christians for instance are anti-gay the religious exclusion stops there. If I could take 10 Christians and have all of them tell me that their doctrine commands them to deny service to gays, then it may be something to consider and a known quantity.
    But that’s not the reality. Among Christians there are all sort of different opinions that makes it impossible to determine if something is being refused based on religious conviction or personal bigotry.
    Just to give you a pertinent example, every Muslim will tell you that a picture of Mohammed is against their religion. Not a one will say that they are OK with them.

    Clearly gay rights are not held at that level doctrinally. Some Christians don’t like them, some don’t care and some again care but they will bake the cake anyway.

    It is bigotry. You can put as much lipstick on this pig but it is personal bigotry. And the law specifies “Gender” as one of the protected classes.

  • wombat

    There’s a good slice of America that would push back against that kind of boycott, and there’s a good chance that it wouldn’t hurt their bottom line at all. Remember Chick-Fil-A?

  • AxeGrrl

    for those of us who have religious beliefs and understand the the constitution does not mean that we can only practice those beliefs in church….

    Sorry, but if those beliefs cause you do something that breaks, say, anti-discrimination laws, then yes, it DOES mean you can only practice them in church.

    (although, I have no idea how one would ‘practice’ refusing-to-serve-gay-people in church, or how refusing-to-serve-gay-people constitutes a “religious belief” to begin with).

    I’d love to hear a Christian describe what, exactly, in the Bible directs them to ‘not aid in gay marriages’……..haven’t heard any Christian do this yet. As a result, it seems as though some Christians are merely saying that ‘not aiding in gay marriages’ is somehow a ‘religious belief’ just so they can try to justify being able to practice their bigotry freely.

  • Artor

    Not equivalent. You can insist on decency standards if you want, but you can’t refuse service just because of whom your customers are. You can refuse to make the bigoted cake in your example, but you can’t refuse the Xians simply because they are Xian.

  • Halis

    i’m not sure where in the bible it says, “thou shalt not sell cake to homosexuals.” maybe right after the injunction against selling flowers or taking photos. right? and they do have that whole story about how there’s no room at the inn. oh, wait…

  • Artor

    So you can refuse service to Jews and blacks if your sect doesn’t like them then? Absolutely not, and we as a society settled that 40-plus years ago. Why do you feel the need to make so many excuses to hate people? What a disgusting example of humanity you are.

  • Artor

    Yes, it’s true that there are a few liberal, progressive Xians who aren’t ignorant bigots. Clearly, you aren’t one of them, so what is your point? Our criticisms definitely do apply to you, so no, you may not hide behind the relatively few decent Xians and claim that we are overgeneralizing.

  • doug105

    Frankly I wish they would hang signs out i front so i would know to go some where else.

  • WingedBeast

    Simple message to anybody who thinks that being denied the right to deny your business’s services or products to a gay couple constitutes you being oppressed. Edit the scenario so, instead of gay couple, the couple being denied is an interracial couple and, instead of you, the person doing the denying is someone who believes that their Christian faith speaks out against interracial marriage (as the KKK believes, for instance).

    Now, who’s oppressing who?

    For all the talk of freedom not being free, conservatives don’t get that the first price of freedom is that other people get to be free, too.

  • C.L. Honeycutt

    There you go again with your overt belief that it’s moral and ethical for businesses to deny services to blacks.

    So much for your love of Christ.

  • Beutelratti

    In short: “Why won’t you tolerate my intolerance already? Huh?”

  • rwlawoffice

    Never said anything of the sort. There you go repeating your inane comments about blacks in a post about religious liberties related to homosexual behavior. One has nothing to do with the other regardless of how often you try to make it so. African Americans will tell you if you ever asked them that they resent the homosexual activists trying to hi jack their civil rights movement as if it was the same experience.

  • rwlawoffice

    No, you won’t tolerate my constitutional rights to exercise my religious beliefs.

  • rwlawoffice

    Some believe that participating in same sex marriages is a sign that they believe in the lifestyle and approve of that behavior. They would rather not make money off of that nor do they want to participate. Some are artists for example and do not want to be associated with a behavior that is contrary to their religious beliefs.

  • rwlawoffice

    Not all Christians have to believe the same things at every doctrinal level in order for the belief to be a sincerely held religious belief. Different denominations have different beliefs and some people within those denominations have stronger beliefs than others. The level of that belief of others is not the constitutional test for protection of religious liberties.

  • C.L. Honeycutt

    It’s an inescapable consequence of your position. Either it’s ethical to deny service to someone for their birth circumstances, or it is not. Your claiming special ethical privilege based on certain types of birth circumstances does not grant you that privilege. Jesus you are bad at this, bigot.

    Your dishonest, mewling attempt to change the argument – again – is noted.

  • C.L. Honeycutt

    Poor, poor stupid liar, still claiming his religion trumps the rights of others, no matter how often his lack of morals is explained.

  • C.L. Honeycutt

    Providing goods is not “participating”. Why do you lie for your lord? Would he approve of, I don’t know, making an interracial couple sleep in a manger?

  • C.L. Honeycutt

    Repeating what Mario Strada said does not counter his argument. It affirms what he said.

    You just argued that level and doctrine of belief are not relevant and therefore people cannot be denied access to public accommodations based on birth circumstance regardless of how strongly you feel about it. Congratulations.

  • C.L. Honeycutt

    Your victim-blaming is unworthy of Christ.

  • Tobias2772

    I think this would work locally better than nationally. People tend to feel more empathetic and involved. It wouldn’t take a lot of boycotting customers for the local business to feel the pinch. Boycotts have long been an effective political tool. Oh, by the way, I still don’t eat at Chick-Fil-A

  • Raising_Rlyeh

    Just to add that bakery was perfectly fine with doing a wedding cake for a dog “wedding” and was perfectly ok with doing a cake celebrating a divorce. Apparently doggy marriages don’t mock or belittle marriage, but two consenting adults of the same sex do.

  • dborod

    Would a Jewish baker have the right to refuse to make a cake with a swastika on top? What about a black seamstress asked to mend some KKK uniforms?

  • Mark W.

    Ahh, the good old “The government shouldn’t infringe on my right to infringe on someone else’s rights.”

  • michaela

    Oh, the aggressive language he uses! Such twisted and weak logic – the gay agenda is insidious because proponents expect all business owners to, you know, conduct a business transaction?

    For all the talk about slippery slopes in the gay debate, I am seeing quite a different slope developing with that logic.

  • Kodie

    Do they sell goods to Jews? Seems like that would violate their beliefs more.

  • WingedBeast

    There’s a content difference.

    Would a Jewish baker have the right to refuse to make a birthday cake for the birthday of someone who is an avowed Nazi? Would the black seamstress have the right to refuse to mend a pair of jeans for a KKK member?

    We’re not talking about a wedding cake with “Gay Sex In Heaven, ha-ha-ha stupid Christians” or a florist required to make a bouquet in the shape of man-on-man felatio. The denial wasn’t based on the service itself, but upon the recipients.

  • WingedBeast

    Note: The KKK claims it their deeply held religious belief that different races should not marry or comingle. Therefore, I take it that you agree that a KKK member has the right to deny service to any event that involves comingling of different races, such as interracial marriage.

  • Dez

    Speak for yourself. I certainly do not feel that way. For me it is very similar.

  • islandbrewer

    a florist required to make a bouquet in the shape of man-on-man felatio.

    And now, you have totally wasted my morning with this mental topology/floriculture puzzle.

    It starts with irises and lilies, and I’m trying to work in freesias, but they don’t quite fit.

  • Captain Cassidy

    I agree completely that the effects are vastly different for the one situation than the other.

  • dborod

    Good point, there is a difference, but is it right for the state to compel the Jewish baker to bake a cake for an avowed Nazi? What if the client were the American Nazi Party instead of a person. Would that make a difference?

    As a small business owner, am I compelled to offer to my services to everyone who wants them? Am I not permitted to choose to decline to offer my services to whomever I choose?

  • Nate Frein

    As a small business owner, you have decided to offer a public accommodation. in doing so, you accept the responsibility not to discriminate in those services, yes.

  • dborod

    So as someone who is Jewish by heredity, and owns a business that hosts web sites, I can’t decline to provide web site hosting services for the American Nazi Party? This doesn’t strike me as reasonable or fair.

  • Nate Frein

    That’s a content issue, not a client issue. Who your client is should not be germane to the decision.

    When you decline to host a racist website, you are declining to host content.

    When you decline to host a member of the Nazi party’s personal website, that has no mention of his history or political views, then you are declining the client on grounds that are not germane to the service you are providing.

  • WingedBeast

    It’s an element of the first price of freedom, being that you don’t get to be the only one.

    You don’t get to deny service to someone based on their being of a category that you do not like. So, if a neonazi comes into your store, you may set the requirement that no such uniform may be worn within your store, that anybody heard to utter racial slurs will be ejected from your store, or deny service based upon behavior related to your store. A past of having done the above or of abusing the staff or of failing to pay or of…

    But, you cannot deny service to an individual based on the fact that, in situations completely separate from interactions with your business or yourself, a particular customer is a Nazi.

    Neither, and it needs to be noted that this is related, can you deny service on the basis of race or religion. Because this is specifically in order to make sure that businesses cannot create a second class citizenship. So, you’re right to sue over being denied service on the basis of your racial or religious identity (not based on the service you are requesting or on your behavior) requires that gay people be able to sue over denial of services based on their bare existence as being gay.

  • dborod

    If it’s ok then to discriminate on the basis of content, can’t the photographer use this argument to decline to retouch pictures of same sex couples kissing each other at their wedding? Isn’t this the same as the Jewish baker inscribing “Happy Birthday Adolph Hitler” on the top of the cake?

    I’m not trying to be difficult, but it seems to me that the basis upon which the state can compel a private business to provide services is flimsy, and perhaps it might be better to let market forces determine which business strategies are successful in the long run.

    Also, many businesses refuse to provide services to people all the time based on their personal history, credit worthiness, etc.

  • Nate Frein

    If it’s ok then to discriminate on the basis of content, can’t the photographer use this argument to decline to retouch pictures of same sex couples kissing each other at their wedding? Isn’t this the same as the Jewish baker inscribing “Happy Birthday Adolph Hitler” on the top of the cake?

    As long as no political views are being espoused. You would be discriminating against the client, not the content.

    The Hitler example is funky. If the man for whom the cake is intended is actually named Adolf Hitler, then my response is “mind your own business, he didn’t choose the name”. Otherwise, you’re talking about political content, because the Adolf Hitler I assume you’re referring to is not alive and putting his name on a cake has further context germane to your decision whether or not to make the cake.

    If Ken Cucinelli’s wife came into my store and wanted a happy birthday cake, I would have no grounds to deny that. Doesn’t matter that Cucinelli says I’m soulless and self-destructive.

    Also, many businesses refuse to provide services to people all the time based on their personal history, credit worthiness, etc.

    Not the same. Refusing to take on a known credit risk is the same as refusing to do a job before being paid. Choosing to work for cash up front is perfectly acceptable.

    Part of the context of many of the florist lawsuits (I’m not so sure about the bakers) is that the couples filing suit had been longstanding customers. Only when they wanted flowers for their wedding did they florists balk. Many of the bakers had no problem providing cakes for divorce parties, second (and third and fourth) weddings, etc. And yet managed to have a problem with gay weddings.

    Further, from a logistical standpoint, these businesses impose burden on the clients they deny by forcing them to go farther to obtain the services they need, increasing cost, a problem that increases the more rural the environment becomes.

  • Spuddie

    Assuming that Christian religious beliefs involve treating others with hatred and ostracizing them. I am sure many will disagree with you on that.

    Religious belief has never been a valid excuse for violating laws which are religiously neutral and mundane in nature. Anti-discrimination laws exist to penalize private citizens from denying goods and services offered to the public based on various classes. This includes sexual orientation. There is no opt-out from compliance with such laws based on religious beliefs to the contrary.

    One’s right to religious expression ends where it causes harm to others. If your religious beliefs involve actively seeking to harm a specific group, as yours do, nobody needs to give it any kind deference.

    I don’t have to accommodate your religious belief any more than I would have to tolerate human sacrifice.

    The conflict is between bigots who don’t want to follow the laws of the land and people who demand that they be treated like human beings.

  • Spuddie

    Your right to exercise your religious beliefs end where it does harm to others. Your views are akin to supporting human sacrifice, temple prostitution and burning crosses on someone’s lawn.

    You don’t have a right to ignore anti-discrimination laws out of religious belief. Obviously you only work in a law office and are not a lawyer yourself. Even law school students know this much.

  • C.L. Honeycutt

    perhaps it might be better to let market forces determine which business strategies are successful in the long run.

    That’s been tried. It’s exactly the reason that anti-discrimination laws exist now. Did you know that there used to be White-Only hospitals that wouldn’t admit injured black people, and instead pointed them at the nearest “black” hospital, which might be twenty or fifty miles away? Bigots have no trouble staying in business unless they are part of a minority group.

  • Spuddie

    Unfortunately you seem entirely unaware of the constitutional test for protection of religious liberties.

    Religious liberties may be limited for any number of reasons. As long as the laws used to limit the perceived religious liberties are secular, mundane in nature and not specifically designed to discriminate against a given religion, you can’t say “God says I don’t have to follow this”.

  • phantomreader42

    So, you’re officially going on record as saying that not being a bigoted asshole is against your religious beliefs? Thanks for finally admitting it.

    Do your beliefs also demand that you discriminate against interracial couples? Is the fact that the government does not allow you to wantonly murder Wiccans without consequence “demanding that Christians engage in behavior that violate their religious beliefs” due to that bible verse about not suffering a witch to live? Are laws against kidnapping non-christians and offering them as human sacrifices an act of anti-christian persecution due to that verse where jeebus said to bring those who would not follow him and slay them?

    Are you capable of thinking through any of the shit you say? Or do you just ignore anything that’s inconvenient at the moment?

  • phantomreader42

    How is your whining about not being able to discriminate against people your cult doesn’t like NOT endorsing discrimination against black people, when cults have existed and STILL exist that officially consider non-whites subhuman?
    Unless of course you’re dmeanding that only YOUR cult be allowed to ignore anti-discrimination laws, along with any other laws you find inconvenient, but you don’t want anyone else to have this special privelige you demand for people who worship YOUR imaginary friend. Of course, in that case you’re admitting that you think your cult is above the law, and demanding that it be established as such in flagrant violation of the First Amendment, which makes you a theocrat and therefore a traitor.

  • phantomreader42

    You don’t have a constitutional right to ignore any laws your sick death cult doesn’t agree with.

  • phantomreader42

    I’m sure there are christians who aren’t hypocritical lying sacks of shit like Keyra. Somewhere.

  • Spuddie

    You hold to the notion that your right to free exercise of religion allows one to discriminate against others openly.

    Why would it not apply to Christian Identity (KKK’s religious wing) against racial minorities? According to you, religious expression trumps anti-discrimination laws.

    “African Americans will tell you if you ever asked them that they resent the homosexual activists trying to hi jack their civil rights movement as if it was the same experience.”

    You mean like when the NAACP, Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton gave their overwhelming support of marriage equality. That kind of resentment?

    When have you stopped lying?

  • phantomreader42

    Some believe that they are Napoleon Bonaparte. This belief does not in any way obligate the government of the nation of France to hand over control to them.
    Some believe that they are protected from all harm by a magical forcefield. This belief does not exempt them from seatbelt laws, nor does it exempt their employers from OSHA requirements.
    Some believe that those close to them have been kidnapped by some nefarious conspiracy and replaced by robotic duplicates. This does not mean they can murder the supposed robots without legal consequence.
    Some believe that any woman who shows any skin at all has granted irrevocable consent to sex. Others believe that a married woman has no right to refuse her husband’s sexual advances under any circumstances. Neither of these groups are exempt from laws against rape.
    Your beliefs do not magically make the law go away. No matter how much you want them to.

  • Spuddie

    And their beliefs are not a free pass to ignore the law nor to harm others. Never have been.

    Since their “participating” involves selling goods and services to the open public, their beliefs are irrelevant here. Their compliance with the laws of the land is not excused.

  • Nate Frein

    African Americans will tell you if you ever asked them that they resent the homosexual activists trying to hi jack their civil rights movement as if it was the same experience.

    I’m sure some would. And my black ex-boyfriend would have some words for you trying to do just about the same thing here.

  • phantomreader42

    Would pulling off a lesbian version be easier? Would you need orchids?

  • WingedBeast

    In one lawsuit against Walmart, a man who had named his son Adolph Hitler was denied the service of writing on the birthday cake. The finding was for Walmart, in that they sold him the cake, but refused to print anything that could so easily be a message lauding the Nazi leader.

    So, there is a small *touch* of fuzz to that line, if you get out the microscope to search for it.

    That said, Walmart would not have faired as well had they refused to sell to him at all.

  • Edward

    To me, it’s the difference between something you are (being gay, or from a different ethnic group) and something you choose. Obviously, a whole bunch of people insist that being gay is a choice, in which case, they see it as being fully within their rights to refuse that.

    That said, your two examples above illustrate why my simplistic ruling doesn’t cut it. I’m forced to consider that in those cases, they would be bound by the same rules as covers the Christian bakery owners.

    The only provision that I see that might – and I stress the word ‘might’ – cover that scenario would be a blanket policy by the stores that they will not provide services for racist themed cakes or clothing. I don’t know if that would be legal or not.

  • Slot

    I’ll just say that you aren’t alone in your beliefs here – I’m openly bi, but I personally believe that private businesses should have the right to kick me out of their establishment if I’m casually holding hands with my boyfriend. I would prefer that the law allowed open discrimination, so that I know the mindset of the people running the businesses I may/may not be patronizing. I think it is absurd to try to force the whole world to be polite, I’d prefer we let the assholes be assholes, and let the public decide who deserves their business.

  • Rwlawoffice

    You did not understand my point. Religious beliefs are relevant regardless of whether everyone else believes them.

  • Rwlawoffice

    That simply isn’t true. You can say all day long that religious liberties are limited to where they hurt someone else, but this blanket statement is simply not the law.

  • rwlawoffice

    What gives you the right to arbitrarily claim that providing goods or services for a wedding is not participating in it?

  • Rwlawoffice

    That is the argument of those that want to force their beliefs on others but it is not the law and it will be the battleground in those cities and states where these new laws are being passed. Ultimately the courts will decide.

  • Rwlawoffice

    It is not a consequence of the position that people attempting to force others to be involved in behavior that violates their religious beliefs violates religious liberties. You keep trying to claim that it is the same but it fails.

    If you will notice, the conflicts arise with the conflict caused by behavior not birth circumstances. Look at the cases that have been filed and you will see the difference.

  • Rwlawoffice

    Do you even know what the word lie means? You guys throw it around like you don’t. Let me help- a difference of opinion or a different view on a matter is not a lie.

    As for the African American comment- I am referring to African Americans who I have talked with who grew up in Selma, actually lived discrimination for the color of their skin and understand the difference. The NAACP, Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton do not speak for all African Americans. Try talking to a few real black pastors and you will see a different view.

  • Rwlawoffice

    Quote me the verse where you think that Jesus called for the murder of people that did not believe in him. That one is a new one on me.

    Laws passed by the state regulating behavior have to be constitutional and as cannot unduly infringe upon religious freedoms. Sorry if you don’t agree with that.

  • Kodie

    It’s a cake, it’s a prop. What if a gay couple got married at city hall and went to a restaurant for their celebration – would the restaurant owner be participating in a gay wedding? Could the couple be turned from the restaurant because they were a married gay couple? Could they be turned away because they were gay and not married, or gay but not even together? Making a cake is not participating in the wedding, it’s making a prop for a party that people who get married like to have. It’s not a religious piece of the puzzle like a church or a clergyperson would be. Cake is secular. Flowers are secular. You are also a liar and/or really blind/stubborn.

  • Kodie

    Your pet beliefs are not relevant to and should not be inflicted upon the secular world. They’re only relevant to your family and your church.

  • WingedBeast

    “If your very own brother, or your son or daughter, or the wife you love, or your closest friend secretly entices you, saying, “Let us go and worship other gods” (gods that neither you nor your ancestors have known, 7 gods of the peoples around you, whether near or far, from one end of the land to the other), 8 do not yield to them or listen to them. Show them no pity. Do not spare them or shield them. 9 You must certainly put them to death. Your hand must be the first in putting them to death, and then the hands of all the people. 10 Stone them to death, because they tried to turn you away from the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. 11 Then all Israel will hear and be afraid, and no one among you will do such an evil thing again.”

    That’s from the NIV version. Old law. Jesus, on the other hand, said that not one scribbling of the old law is taken away.

    Therefore, any Christian could argue, with solid biblical sourcing and justification, that Jesus requires that the Christians of a community kill anybody who suggests that they worship another god.

  • WingedBeast

    That’s simple enough a thing to want when the people who hate you, or are willing to face the slings and arrows of outrageous local bad press, are in the minority. It doesn’t cause you much trouble.

    However, if you’re in a situation where A. you can’t and/or won’t hide the part of you that others find offensive and B. those that hate that are in a much more powerful position and majority, then that “right” to deny you service becomes a denial of much more.

    It can deny you education, even to the point of denying you the tools of self-education. It can deny you connection to the culture at large, including the kind of business contacts that can be crucial for advancing in the business world. It can deny you employment options. It can deny you access to entire neighborhoods, as owners refuse to sell or rent to you, forcing you into areas of a city or town that gain a reputation for housing the less valued members of society. It can deny you your very life as doctors refuse to tend you.

    What’s even more insidious is that it can deny you all of that and more at the hands of people who hold you in no disregard whatsoever. Because they would fear the social and economic penalties paid for not refusing you.
    That’s why this is a civil rights issue. This, though it was not government lead, was a means of denying the essential rights and access to the American Dream and, at times, life itself to a group.

    And, I want to be clear that I’m not arguing slippery slope. I’m arguing that the ability to go to a business and, regardless of anything but personal behavior towards that business, purchase a good or service is, as we have discovered through the civil rights struggle, an essential right of a free nation.

  • Sven2547

    Religious beliefs are relevant regardless of whether everyone else believes them.

    A person’s religious beliefs are no more relevant than a person’s opinions. Everyone is entitled to have them, but they do not override the rule of law.

  • Spuddie

    Stating something you know to be untrue is as good a definition as any.

    Your remark about African Americans and their alleged antipathy to gays calling their efforts a civil rights movement is a bald faced lie if ever there was one. You are trying to worm around what was obviously an untrue statement by claiming your alleged personal experiences say otherwise. As if it could be confirmed or we are supposed to just take your word for it. You haven’t been credible so far. No reason to change such an opinion.

    You made the statement as if the community or those who speak for it in general claim so. It is not the case. You lied.

    You continue to lie about how religious liberties are considered as well. You act as if the right to free exercise of religion trumps all other considerations. You know that to be untrue.

  • Spuddie

    Mine is the argument for people who understand the laws and the limits of free exercise of religion with 135 years of precedent continuing until the present day. You do not understand the laws, but like to pretend you do.

    “To permit [an illegal practice] 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.”
    Reynolds v. United States, 98 U.S. (8 Otto.) 145 (1878),

    You make the argument of those who are too whiny to accept that their bigoted, discriminatory actions do not have social or legal sanction. Your argument is one borne of complete ignorance and disdain for the Constitution. You neither make a valid nor a good faith point in any way.

    Ultimately nothing like this is going to make it out of federal district courts. The law is pretty damn clear on the subject. You just don’t like it. =)

  • Spuddie

    You are either ignorant or a liar. There is a long history of precedent to that effect. Again, if you were an actual lawyer or even a law student you would be familiar with it. You aren’t.

    ” We have never held that an individual’s religious beliefs excuse him from compliance with an otherwise valid law prohibiting conduct that the State is free to regulate. On the contrary, the record of more than a century of our free exercise jurisprudence contradicts that proposition.”
    Employment Division v. Smith (1990) written by arch right winger ANTONIN MUTHERFUCKING SCALIA!!!

    Your views are exactly the ones which would be used to support sectarian based murder, human sacrifice, temple prostitution and burning crosses on someone’s lawn.Those actions are illegal and will remain so no matter what kind of religious belief and practice employs them.

  • rwlawoffice

    It is not just my personal experiences regarding the African American community viewing their fight for civil rights different than those of the homosexual community. There are countless articles on it. Here are just a few of the links:

    I never said that the right to exercise religion trumps all other considerations. For you to claim I did is a lie. What I said was that when it comes to the issue of discrimination ordinances or any law for that matter that might infringe upon religious liberties, these rights cannot be ignored. What you claim is that all discrimination laws trump religious rights and that simply is not true nor is it the law. Cities and states are passing these ordinances and are charging people with crimes for standing up to their religious beliefs. These cases are making their way through the courts and we will soon see the result.

  • rwlawoffice

    Actually any Christian who followed this hermeneutics would be incorrect in their interpretation

  • WingedBeast

    The correctness of their interpretation would be, at best, a side issue. It is that person’s belief that their faith requires them to kill anybody who suggests that he or she worship anybody but Jesus.
    The conflict is there.

  • Spuddie

    Your citations are shit. You didn’t even read what you linked to. Two of the articles showed that racial civil rights leaders have sympathy and support of the gay rights movement. The third one had a rather misleading poll as to whether gay rights movement is the same as racial civil rights.

    Not one of them indicated as you professed that the black community is hostile to the gay rights movement. You are still a liar.

    “I never said that the right to exercise religion trumps all other considerations.”

    Actually you did and continue to do so. You are under the mistaken impression that religious exercise trumps compliance with laws which are entirely secular and mundane in nature. That all other considerations, including those of the rights of others, can be curtailed based on the free exercise of religion of a given party.

    My responses within this thread have shown your view to be completely off the mark. Not only is my view true, it has been the prevailing view of the law for over 130 years.

    What you call standing up for their religious beliefs anyone else calls being whiny, discriminatory and bigoted. It deserves no respect. Wrapping repugnant actions around the Bible doesn’t make them respectable.

  • C.L. Honeycutt

    Jesus told me they weren’t “real” pastors and that their interpretation of His word was incorrect, but the NAACP’s was.

    My dog but you are bad at this.

  • C.L. Honeycutt

    Let’s switch out two words in the title of this thread and see how your claim holds up:

    “Anti-Black Christian Leader Whines About How Black Couples Want Equal Treatment At Christian Owned Business”

    It seems the “behavior” is people wanting a service. and the “religious belief” is people who don’t want them to have that service because of how they were born.

  • C.L. Honeycutt

    The courts already decided back when they said that your ilk couldn’t send dying children to the nearest negro hospital instead of treating them because their hair didn’t curl the “right” way. You’re a little behind the times.

  • C.L. Honeycutt

    So you just argued that selling a firearm is tantamount to participating in a murder committed with it.

  • C.L. Honeycutt

    Actually, that’s part of the reason why they are irrelevant.

  • phantomreader42

    You know, when you dust off this stupid old whine of “WAAAAAH!!!1 NO ONE’S ALLOWED TO CALL ME A LIAR UNLESS THEY CAN READ MY MIND! WAAAAAAAAAAHHHH!!!11” everyone knows what you’re doing. You’re hiding from the fact that what you said is just simply NOT FUCKING TRUE, that you KNOW it is not true, and don’t care, and that you will continue repeating bullshit you know perfectly well is not true without the slightest remorse. You are a lying sack of shit. This used to just be a matter of opinion, but thanks to your reckless disregard for the truth you have made it an incontrovertible FACT.

  • phantomreader42

    So, someone who kidnapped a guy and cut out his still-beating heart, then said the gods told him to do it, WOULD NOT BE CHARGED WITH MURDER?
    Or are you still only demanding that YOUR cult be exempt from the law?

  • phantomreader42

    Let the record show that Rwlawoffice is, as always, too much of a worthless coward to answer the question.

  • phantomreader42

    Ah, I see, as The World’s One And Only True Christian™, you and you alone get to decide what qualifies as valid chrisitianity. But since that makes you a bigoted death cult of one, why should anyone take your drivel seriously, much less allow you to ignore or rewrite law based on it?

  • RedGreenInBlue

    A belated Thanks Baal, cary_w, allein and Stev84 for your replies! For whoever down voted my comment, I would like to stress that I was not advocating such a strategy! :( ;-)

  • Robert Leonardo