That Didn’t Take Long

The draconian punishments for not supporting gay “marriage” begin.

Gay “marriage” is not about what people want to privately believe marriage means to them.  It is about bringing the armed might of the state to bear on punishing people who will not pretend that there is such thing as gay “marriage”.  It will create three classes of people.  Those who lie to themselves, those who lie to others, and those who will not lie and will be punished, sued, and jailed accordingly.  It is about force, not freedom.   And it will be used to punish the Church for its moral teaching.

  • Tim in Cleveland

    I don’t know if the 3rd group will be jailed. They’ll probably be fined. Heavily.

    But when they can’t pay that fine:

    http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/04/05/17615662-modern-day-debtors-prison-alleged-in-ohio?lite

  • Bob

    This didn’t take long, either.
    http://littlegreenfootballs.com/page/296033_Missouri_Man_Arrested_at_Hospi
    The power of the state can be deployed in lots of ways.

    • Mike

      Things swing one way; then another, like a pend. Both instances are idiotic,

  • Mike

    No, the modern Left will stand up for people who the State wants to jail for not being able to settle their debts. The Left will take pity on these people, who’ve been bankrupted and will resist attempts to jail them. Hmmm…maybe, one can hope ;) .

  • JoFro

    I wonder if the State has just gone stark ravin’ mad! Seriously, why is this florist being fined and why the hell was a gay man handcuffed and jailed because he wanted to stay at his partner’s bedside? Honestly, what the hell is going on in the US?

    • kenneth

      They gay guy was arrested because in the eyes of the law, he was just some strange belligerent dude off the street the family didn’t like. But gays don’t need gay marriage, because it’s really all just about the sex for them, and the only reason they want marriage is to stick it to the florists and the Church……

  • kenneth

    This has nothing to do with forcing belief. It’s about following the laws that govern business transactions. This is not something that was sprung out of nowhere on this florist. Nor was it created by passage of gay marriage. It’s a non-discrimination law that has been on the books for some time. Nor was the state out to crush dissent or put her out of business. The states AG told her months ago, “look, this is the law, please follow it.” The aim of the lawsuit is nothing more than an order to actually follow the law, and a $2,000 fine (which would probably be waived in a settlement).

    The fact that this can be called “draconian” illustrates the drama queen rhetoric that has come to define the Christian persecution narrative in the West. Before we render “draconian” a completely meaningless word, ask a Christian in Egypt or the street artists who cheesed off Putin and drew years in a Soviet style labor camp for actions that would have been First Amendment material here, with maybe some community service for a minor trespassing rap.

    And let’s not pretend this is some poor granny who’s going to get crushed beneath the wheels of the system. If this was not engineered as a test case from day one, it is now. She will be backed to the nines by the legal and financial resources of conservative Christian advocacy groups and will probably pull in six figures between social media donation campaigns and sympathy buying from all over the country. I could use a little of this sort of “oppression” these days. Nobody forced her into this business, and nobody is saying she has to support or believe anything about gay marriage. She could put up a disclaimer about her beliefs in the store, or pledge to donate to NOM or otherwise express her beliefs. She just has to treat gay customers the same as straight ones at the point of transaction. Unless and until she can convince a court that the state’s anti-discrimination law is unconstitutional (it could happen), she can suck it up and obey the law like the rest of us, or sell the joint to someone who can.

    • Michaelus

      Well – yes – but “gay marriage” laws sill extend the anti-discrimination laws. It will be illegal for anyone to not pretend that a man can marry a man. If I introduce some clients at a business meeting as Jimbo and his partner Jambo rather than Jimbo and his husband Jambo I will be committing a crime. If Jimbo is my employee and I refuse to call Jambo his husband I will get sued and lose. This will be true for everyone – including Catholic schools, hospitals, soupkitchens et. (that is if there are any such institutions remaining in the USA after August 1).

      • kenneth

        Can you cite any law anywhere that criminalizes an opinion about whether someone’s marriage is valid in the sacramental sense? If someone is married in the civil sense of the word, it’s a fact in human law, not metaphysics, and you don’t have to do anything other than to acknowledge that documented fact when it pertains to legal issues related to that civil marriage. If you’re in a business environment, you don’t need to bow down and kiss their ring and proclaim their marriage true before God, and you don’t have to make it a soapbox moment for preaching either. The genius of anti-discrimination law, like so much else of grown-up life is that you don’t have to like it. You just have to do it.

        • Michaelus

          So you agree that one will be forced to pretend that a man can marry a man? Be forced to say that Jimbo is married to Jambo? You cannot say that they have a union, are partners, are special friends – you have to say, to affirm, to explicitly agree in words and actions that they are married. This is where the civil right analogies fail. Anti-discrimination laws do not force the KKK man to say “Magic Johnson is a white man”. You cannot discriminate against men who enjoy sodomy today anyway.

          • kenneth

            The law in a million way forces us to acknowledge legal realities that we may not think legitimate on religious or philosophical grounds. You or I may not think each other “real Americans.” But if we have proof of citizen birth or naturalization, it is what it is. We’re still free to opine about how we think the other not “real Americans”, but if one of us is an ICE agent, we can’t very well deport the other. So yes, if a gay couple has a legal piece of paper saying they’re married, you have to acknowledge that in legal transactions where it’s relevant.

            You don’t have to believe their marriage is “real” in a sacramental sense, or what you think marriage ought to be. For that matter, a Catholic hetero couple who is legally married but not with benefit of annulment is, in the eyes of the Church, just a pair of adulterers living together. We can call them that, but when the rubber hits the road and they apply for a loan based on their legal marital status, that carries the day for the purposes of that transaction.

            Can we discriminate against men who enjoy sodomy? Depends what you mean. In the commercial realm and in their capacity as equal citizens before government? No. Outside of that, all bets are off. If its not violent or threatening, you or I can call them “sodomites” to our hearts content, tell them we hope God puts them through a tree chipper in view of their loved ones and walk around with signs that would make Westboro Baptist look like teddy bears. That’s not how I’d care to spend my free time, but it would be perfectly legal.

            • Adam L

              I’m sorry, but how exactly is refusing to provide floral arrangements violent or threatening?

              • kenneth

                Never said it was.

                • Adam L

                  You missed my point. You just cited a lack of violence or threat thereof as a reason for not banning Westoro Baptist-type protests. My point is that the florists actions were no more threatening or violent than that (which you agree with), so why the difference? I would also point out that the reason that most people, whatever their religious beliefs, oppose anti-sodomy laws is because it is something which involves consenting adults. Why does that principle not apply in this case with the florist?

                  • kenneth

                    It does apply to the florist. The content of her position nor the civility that may accompany its expression is not the issue. I’m just asserting that acts of commerce and public accommodation are not legitimate venues of expression. I hold by that regardless of who the parties involved are or their basis for discrimination.

                    • Adam L

                      No, apparently the “consenting adult” principle does not apply to the florist in this situation in your view. In this particular transaction the florist refused to conduct business with the couple. This potential transaction only involved the florist and the couple – it involved no one else. The florist refused to give consent in this instance, but instead of respecting her decision, you want to involve the state to coerce the transaction.

                      You also say that you hold your position “regardless of who the parties involved are or the basis for their discrimination.” But I don’t think that’s entirely true. People and businesses discriminate on all sorts of bases in all sorts of situations – it would be impossible to do otherwise. You can’t simply have a blanket proscription against “discrimination” as such. You necessarily have to make distinctions between different kinds of discrimination.

                  • kenneth

                    I’m not sure where “consenting adult” principles come into play here either. The couple did not consent to have their legal rights under state law denied by refusal of the transaction.

      • OverlappingMagisteria

        What was the phrase that Chicken Little said to Goosey Loosey?

    • Bob

      You’re about to get a lot of responses by shrill Catholics. I wanted to jump in first as someone who agrees vigorously that gays have the right to marry and that that right should be protected by the state.
      Kenneth, you, sir, are FULL of it. And the position you advocate here plays right into the hands of the anti-gay marriage forces.
      Why is it so hard for all of us to simply agree that a private business contractor, like a florist or baker, who provides nonessential services, should not be forced by the government to participate in celebrations or ceremonies that violate their conscience? Is there a dearth of florists or bakers?
      Let me ask you, Kenneth: if you owned a bakery and someone came into your shop and said, “Hi, I’m Billy Bob. I’m the incoming Grand Wizard of the local KKK. My installation ceremony is coming up and we need a cake that says, ‘Welcome Grand Wizard.’ ” Are you saying, Kenneth, that the state should REQUIRE you to supply this cake?
      “But,” you’ll say, “what about those restaurants that used to prevent blacks from sitting at the counter?” Anti-discrimination laws should, of course, prevent businesses that provide PUBLIC ACCOMMODATIONS from discriminating against people. But a wedding florist? That’s an entirely different kind of business. Now you’re talking about two parties entering into a contractual agreement to provide a service at a private function. It’s obviously not the same thing as being denied the right to sit at a public lunch counter.
      As for this bug-eyed crapola:
      “Nobody forced her into this business, and nobody is saying she has to support or believe anything about gay marriage.”
      No, but she started her business before there was gay marriage and simply wishes to continue running it as she always has, without government busybodies deciding her values don’t conform to theirs. How DARE she?
      “She could put up a disclaimer about her beliefs in the store, or pledge to donate to NOM or otherwise express her beliefs.”
      Yes, that’s exactly the same as being able to live free and to run private business in keeping with your conscience. Instead of that, she can otherwise express her beliefs. SERIOUSLY, dude?
      “She just has to treat gay customers the same as straight ones at the point of transaction. ”
      But she should have the right not to engage in the transaction in the first place. A business owner must have the right, except in cases of public accommodation or when the service being provided is essential, to determine for herself who her customers are.
      Good grief.

      • Dale Price

        Well said.

        There is a fundamental difference between providing a personal service (photography, baking) and offering a public accommodation (gas, groceries). If the state compels the first, it is literally involuntary servitude.

        That kenneth–and many others who share his pr0-GM views–cannot, or will not, acknowledge this is deeply troubling. Using the police power of the state to attempt to settle the culture wars will end very, very badly.

      • Psy

        [ “Hi, I’m Billy Bob. I’m the incoming Grand Wizard of the local KKK. My installation ceremony is coming up and we need a cake that says, ‘Welcome Grand Wizard.’ ” Are you saying, Kenneth, that the state should REQUIRE you to supply this cake?]

        Yes you are required unless you know it will be used for illegal practice in some cases. It’s none of your business what a customer wants the product for other than preparing it and your personal judgmentalism is irrelevant in the public market. Though you don’t agree with their beliefs or opinion you should respect their right to their beliefs or you invalidate the right to your beliefs.
        Leviticus and Deuteronomy are not Constitutional Amendments.

        • Andy, Bad Person

          Leviticus and Deuteronomy are not Constitutional Amendments.

          You know what is? The freedom to practice your religion, which doesn’t end when you step outside a church.

          • Sven

            The “free exercise of religion” indeed does not end when you step outside the church. It DOES end when it involves messing with other people.

            • Tim in Cleveland

              “Messing with other people” is a vague legal concept.

              • Psy

                Discrimination in the public market is defined quite well.

          • Psy

            Rights have limits.

    • Tim in Cleveland

      Hopefully she will be backed by advocacy groups since she is up against the State. And God knows the State has unlimited resources to piss away (or so it believes). But the only way to get the attention of such advocacy groups is through “drama queen rhetoric”.

      And I don’t see how the terrible treatment of Christians in other countries should shame Christians in First World Countries to not pursue their own rights. Homosexuals in other countries are treated terribly, but I doubt you believe homosexuals should give up pursuing “marriage equality” because of that.

    • http://N/A John

      Kenneth, I agree with you about the emotional hyperbole on the defensive side of this issue, reminiscent of Alec Baldwin’s impassioned declaration that he would leave the country if Bush were elected (I forget whether this was 2000 or 2004). But I do think that you, and most people it seems, are not addressing the underlying assumption in the movement for gay “marriage.” The inescapable assumption is that there are no meaningful differences between men and women.

      In the civil rights movement a key item was desegregating public restrooms. So why then aren’t we pushing to end the universal segregation of restrooms based on gender. Women could argue that the use of urinals in men’s rooms is a violation of women’s civil rights, because it gives men an unfair advantage. Since it’s uncomfortable for women to pee standing up then, just to level the playing field, men should be willing to pee sitting down. But no one would ever think to suggest that because everyone knows that men and women ARE different. So the divide here is over the question of whether or not men and women are fundamentally different emotionally and spiritually as well.

      RE: Denying “marriage” to gays on the basis that homosexuality is immoral is clearly not an acceptable Christian position for two reasons:
      1. Homosexuality is clearly not a choice, therefore not a sin per se.
      2. A basic tenet of Christianity is that we are all sinners.

      However, the Book of Genesis is pretty clear about several things:
      • God is male and female
      • Men and women are fundamentally the same and fundamentally different
      o Men and women are co-heirs of the Kingdom
      o Women have an intuition that men don’t. The original Old Hebrew meaning of ezer kenegdo is not “helper” but “revealer of the enemy.” Any married man knows that his wife is constantly revealing his flaws and shortcomings, which in our heart of hearts we know are our worst enemies.
      • And – in my opinion – the highest purpose of “marriage” is the reuniting of the two fragmented halves of God.

      That’s my reason for being opposed to enshrining in law that a civil union between two people of the same sex must be treated in the same way in all respects as a civil union between a man and a woman .

      Of course if you don’t believe in the God of the Bible, which is fine, then I’m speaking complete nonsense. And f you believe that marriage is only about two people in love, wanting to live together and committing to stay together for life, then there is absolutely no reason to be against gay marriage. But to me the dance of Mars and Venus is a lot more powerful and nuanced than that, and indeed is the core drama of human existence.

      It’s way more than just a word.

      • kenneth

        I accept your argument in toto as a good argument for why a church should not have to perform a sacramental marriage for two men or two women. I don’t accept it as a reason to do so for civil marriage, which is premised on a presumption of equal civil rights before the law, not theological suppositions about the differences between men and women. At any rate, the law in play here stands apart form gay marriage and predates it.

    • http://pavelspoetry.com Pavel Chichikov

      The “street artists” did their thing in a cathedral, not the street.

      • Andy, Bad Person

        This. The general public seems to have a hard time distinguishing “street artists” from “women who stripped on an altar in a church.”

      • kenneth

        That is an element of their act that justifies a civil penalty of some sort. Years of hard labor is excessive by any reasonable standard. If you’re as Russian as your name implies, then you know that “draconian” punishment is a much, much tougher form of sport than facing a $2,000 fine and a court order to obey the law.

  • Scott W.

    This has nothing to do with forcing belief. It’s about following the laws that govern business transactions.

    In other words, make the truth illegal and the truthful criminals.

    • Benjamin

      There are people still around who think it is “truth” that interracial marriage is wrong. If you think florists and bakers should be able to deny their services to a couple on that basis, go ahead and say so. If you think the law should protect them, it should protect gay couples, too.

      • Tim in Cleveland

        The florist actually does provide services to gay people, but does not want to provide services for a gay “marriage”.

        • Benjamin

          (Racist hat on)

          I will provide my florist services to black people, but not for a so-called “interracial marriage”. Race-mixing is sinful.

          (racist hat off)

          • Tim in Cleveland

            Please don’t project, hat or no hat.

            • Benjamin

              Project what, exactly? I’m not opposed to interracial marriage in the least.

              • Tim in Cleveland

                I am not opposed either (in any degree). In fact, I am firmly against any opposition to a marriage based motivated by the race of the individuals. Race is irrelevant to marriage.

                Gender, however, is essential to marriage because I, and many others, believe marriage is ordered to children foremost and not to the adult couple. Allowing gay “marriage” redefines this purpose completely. It is a rational argument for traditional marriage, not one based on some arbitrary hatred of individuals based on how they identify themselves.

                • Dale Price

                  Benjamin will supply you your views, H8r, and you’ll like it. And he’ll make sure you comply or be crushed by the power of the State.

                  At least until it goes bankrupt, and then the fun really begins.

                  • Tim in Cleveland

                    I feel more “evolved” already.

                • Sven

                  Infertile people can and often do marry.
                  Married people can and often do abstain from having children.
                  Single people can and do have kids.

                  Marriage isn’t babymaking and babymaking isn’t marriage. Your “rational” argument is bunk.

                  • Dale Price

                    The straw is flyin’ fast and furious!

                    Again with the supplying of text. Andy didn’t say what your talking points insist that he say.

                    Kids are born outside of wedlock?

                    No shit?

                    Wow.

                    Mind. Blown.

                    No, actually. What Andy said procreation is “ordered to marriage,” not that it is marriage.

                    As in marriage is the best environment for the procreation and raising of children.

                    Which nobody seriously argued was “bunk” a generation ago. But, hey–full speed ahead!

                    • Sven

                      Okay, so marriage is the best environment for raising children.
                      How is than an argument to ban same-sex marriage?

                  • Tim in Cleveland

                    I didn’t equate marriage with “babymaking”. I said its primary purpose, the reason the State recognizes it, is having and raising children. That doesn’t mean love and affection between the man and woman is irrelevant or not important.

                    • Sven

                      And I am pointing out that the State is more than happy to recognize marriages that don’t involve child-raising at all. So why ban this specific type of childless marriage?

          • Faith

            I am sure African Americans (who happen to tend to oppose gay marriage as a group), must be so offended by this comparison!

          • Frank

            Would it be legal for a gay florist to refuse to provide flowers for a Catholic wedding as a protest? No.

      • Bob

        “If you think florists and bakers should be able to deny their services to a couple on that basis, go ahead and say so.”
        OK. I think florists* and bakers* should be able to deny their services to anyone at all, for any reason. You seem to think a law is the only thing preventing this from happening, but public revulsion, basic decency, and the desire to stay in business is incentive enough, almost always, for private business owners to be friendly and accommodating to all potential customers.
        (*I’m speaking in the context of privately contracted services, such as for an event. Certainly, a retail florist or bakery can not and should not be able to prevent classes of people from entering their store and buying a rose or a cupcake.)

      • melissa

        The ban on mixed-race marriage was, in the context of history, a fairly short-lived and localized problem (in other words, for a couple hundred years and confined mainly to the U.S.) The fight to have this ban overturned brought the laws on mixed-race marriages back to what had been legal and common throughout the world for most of history. On the other hand, marriage has been only between a man and a woman for almost all of human history in every civilization in every part of the world. Yes, some societies had polygamous marriage, but there has never been marriage between two men or two women. There is absolutlely no relevance to the comparison of mixed-race marriage and “same sex marriage”.

    • kenneth

      “Anti-discrimination laws should, of course, prevent businesses that provide PUBLIC ACCOMMODATIONS from discriminating against people. But a wedding florist? That’s an entirely different kind of business.”

      No, it’s not. The point of civil rights laws were not about saving minorities from starvation for lack of lunch counters or hotel rooms or bus seats. It was about ending the hideous and un-American tradition of telling one class or another of people that “your money doesn’t spend here.”

      • SteveP

        Yup, it’s about the money. Folks in NYS were able to buy the best Senators who would “evolve” their beliefs. This is a bit different in that rather than an incentive, like the business savvy legislators, it will be a disincentive: “keep your mouth shut or I’ll pauperize you!”
        .
        Which black civil-right groups did this in the ‘50s and ‘60s? When MLK preach about universal brotherhood it was really about the power of gold?

      • Bob

        “The point of civil rights laws were not about saving minorities from starvation for lack of lunch counters or hotel rooms or bus seats.”
        Oh, brother.
        Those civil rights laws that addressed private business were designed to prevent owners of businesses that provided public accommodations the right to deny those accommodations to people based solely on race. In making such a denial, the owners were not making a moral stand. They simply did not wish to provide a service to particular class of people. Period.
        In the case of the florist, she’s not refusing service to gay people in general. A gay couple that comes to her shop to buy some flowers would, I’m sure, be happily accommodated. The florist is declining to participate in certain types of events, including same-sex weddings. Declining to participate in a celebration to which she has a moral objecting is not the same thing as discriminating generally against an entire class of people.
        The attorney general of Washington has misapplied state law, which forbids discrimination against someone based on sexual orientation, to a woman who is not doing that, but is, rather, simply declining to participate in a specific type of event.

        • kenneth

          Trying to pin this as an act on a specific type of event won’t fly. Her reason for refusing to do the event arises from no other reason than the fact of their orientation. If she had a policy of not catering weddings, or not catering outdoor weddings, or weddings that fell on prime numbered dates, and that happened to catch up a gay couple, that would be a different matter.

          • Benjamin 2.0

            Not the fact of their orientation, but the fact of their ceremony being a farce which was legitimized by the state for no purpose other than to demonstrate the shifting of morality under its own purview, whereas previously its laws were expected to conform to an objective standard of morality, is that to which she is opposed. I have no doubt that if these individuals came into her store and purchased pre-arranged flowers for their event, no issue would have occurred. Likewise, arranging flowers for the same people to host a dinner party might not caused a scene. It isn’t that the denied clients were homosexual which was at issue, it was participating in an event which called them married. Moral calculus is alien to people devoid of morals, though, so the distinction might be lost on you. Looking the devil in the eye and telling him non serviam is the height of the long Catholic tradition of ironicism. To do so is also the very right which was meant to be preserved by the “freedom of religion” clause.

  • Benjamin

    It’s about following civil right lLA It’d be the same if they refused to sell flowers to an interracial couple.

    • Tim in Cleveland

      Last I checked, civil rights included First Amendment rights which Washington State doesn’t seem too concerned about. Hopefully the State’s courts are concerned about those rights.

    • Andy, Bad Person

      I strongly suggest you read about what a circular argument is, AKA “begging the question.” Every single time you chime in on these types of threads it’s something along the lines of, “It’s a civil right; it’s the law, therefore they have to follow it.” However, when people are actually trying to frame the law, you are opposed.

      Seriously, the fanatical devotion to legalism is about as childish of a morality as you can get.

      • Dale Price

        You’re missing the point. Benjamin’s–and to a lesser, but still very real extent kenneth’s–goal is not to debate. Hence the constant invocation of Jim Crow.

        The goal is to make debate itself illegitimate. To rule your views out of bounds entirely. To marginalize and delegitimize what you stand for. To make sure you have no influence outside of a derided and safely-ignored fringe.

        Get it through your head: whatever else it is, the goal is assuredly not to discuss things as equals with equally-legitimate views held in good faith.

        • Benjamin

          You’re exactly right that your views on gays are quickly becoming, socially, the equivalent of a hard line segregationist circa 1970. Get used to it, it’s only going to get worse for your side. The culture has moved on and you lost.

          • Dale Price

            Leninism was the wave of the future, too. Oops.

            To the contrary: all regimes based upon force, lies and intimidation–which is what your arguments boil down to–eventually end up on the ashheap.

            You might want to recall–one of these years, before the country slides down the tubes and you wonder how it all went wrong–that the real civil rights movements didn’t go around screaming “H8R!” They appealed to the better instincts–and assumed the core decency and humanity–of those on the other side.

            In contrast, you’re just a shrieky, bumpersticker-spouting blowhard invoking Hegel.

            In other words, for a guy who invokes the civil rights movement, you talk a lot more like Wallace than King.

            • Benjamin

              Give me a break, in the 60s you would have been shrieking COMMUNIST! At people like King and ranting that “big government” had no right to interfere in your private business if you wanted to be a racist. Your ilk isn’t fooling anybody.

              • Kathleen Lundquist

                “Your ilk…” Nice.

              • http://N/A John

                Benjamin, I know a lot of people who are opposed to gay marriage today and NOT A SINGLE ONE OF THEM was EVER opposed to the civil rights movement of the 60’s.

                • http://N/A John

                  It’s interesting. I tried to post a more thoughtful analysis and it was rejected as spam. I’ll try adding bits and pieces to see what it was that was considered possible “spam.”
                  PART TWO:
                  Also I lived (happily, I might add) in Greenwich Village NYC in the 70′s, ground zero for the gay pride/liberation movement. I had a lot of gay friends and not even the most militant of them EVER uttered a word about “marriage” for gays. The only reason it’s being promoted now is because of the way we pornography-addicted, ship-jumping, adulterous heterosexuals (I include myself) have desecrated marriage over the last 40 years!

                • http://N/A John

                  PART THREE:
                  But two wrongs don’t make a right. I am opposed to gay marriage not on moral grounds but on “what-are-you-crazy-common-sense grounds.” And I’m as passionate about protecting the civil rights of gays and lesbians (I’m blessed to still have some in my life) as I am opposed to calling gay civil unions “marriage.”

                  That’s all of it. So why was my full length post rejected as spam? Anyone have an idea on that?

        • kenneth

          It has nothing to do with making debate illegitimate. Refusing someone service based on who they are is not an act of debate. It is not an act of legitimate First Amendment expression. It is illegal even though it burdens First Amendment freedom because the expression of one’s views through the act of denying business exacts a price of humiliation and dehumanization of the victims and, to be very blunt, urinates on everything this country ever stood for and fought for. This still leaves that florist, and you, and I and everyone huge maneuvering room for debate. It is not illegal to believe and state one’s belief on gay marriage or anything else, and it will not be for the foreseeable future. If one’s views are “delegitimized” from the fact of being unpopular, tough. Grow a thicker skin, do a better job of selling your idea in the markeplace, or adopt a less controversial view.

          • Adam L

            I’m sorry, but I hardly think that a florist refusing to provide services for a ceremony that they have a moral objection to hardly qualifies as victimization and dehumanization. I would also note that no one has a right to not be humiliated. I would agree with you, however that this is not about freedom of speech in this instance. Rather, I would argue, it is a matter of private property and the right to choose not to do business with someone.

            I also have a question: Given as the Catholic Church refuses to recognize same-sex marriages, does that mean that Catholic priests should no longer be allowed to issue state marriage licences?

            • kenneth

              “….no one has a right to not be humiliated”…….
              Yeah, they really do, when it comes to public accommodation. You might want to re-read the history of the Civil Rights Act.

              I don’t think clergy of any kind has any business whatsoever acting as agents of the state in the civil portion of wedding. That makes no more sense to me than having a state official sign off on ordination of priests or bishops.

              • Adam L

                I’m sorry, but I find this public accommodation distinction rather odd. A business is still privately owned, whether or not they permit the general public access so that they may conduct business. I fail to see how labeling certain kinds of businesses as “public accommodations” changes that. What kind of business wouldn’t count as a “public accommodation” and how exactly can we distinguish between the two in a non-arbitrary way?

                • kenneth

                  I admit I don’t know the full detail of how that is distinguished. The 1964 act outlines certain things, which seem to have expanded through case law. My take on it is that basically any business that holds itself open to the public – ie you walk in off the street like a retail business, is a “public accommodation” where discrimination law is concerned. The specific state law in this case may also vary in its definitions. That might strike a lot of people as counter-intuitive, that a private business owner can be told what to do, but its been in effect in one way or another for many decades now.

              • The True Will

                I do not think the state has any business deciding who is “married” or not, much less forcing people who disagree to accept its decision.

              • Benjamin 2.0

                “I don’t think clergy of any kind has any business whatsoever acting as agents of the state in the civil portion of wedding. That makes no more sense to me than having a state official sign off on ordination of priests or bishops.”

                The priests and bishops were doing the marrying before any of the offending countries existed. Countries began ‘recognizing’ marriages for the puposes of records and tax benefits (because the resulting families were good for the countries). Therefore I propose that when countries start telling priests and bishops what a marriage is, those countries should see their own error and either get back in line or get out of the marriage business altogether. Anything else is hubris.

  • http://www.rosariesforlife.com Dave

    If this person were the only florist, I’d have some small amount of sympathy. As it is, though, why not just use the good old fashioned power of the boycott to try to get their point across? And yeah, I don’t think a florist should have to sell flowers to an interracial couple either. It would be horrible of the florist, and very likely suicidal to their business, but it would be the florist’s right to decline business.

    • Tim in Cleveland

      Except that there is no allegation that this woman is denying her services based on the race of her customers. I realize you are not saying that, but others are and insinuating that she is tantamount to a racists.

      • Sven

        She’s denying her services based solely on her dislike of a broad category of customer. A category that has done her no wrong, but is discriminated against all the same.
        It’s an easy comparison to make, really.

        • melissa

          If you actually read the article, you would see that these were “long-term customers” who were suing her. She didn’t refuse to sell them flowers on an ordinary basis. She just declined to be the florist for their so-called wedding. As has been stated over and over, she wasn’t discriminating against gays by refusing to serve them in her shop. She was declining the job of being the florist for an event that went against her core beliefs.

          • kenneth

            It’s not a defense to anti-discrimination laws to say that you don’t bear any personal malice toward the people on an existential level. It is utterly meaningless to the theory and construction of such laws, and so stating it over and over, or even conclusively proving it, is a waste of time. Trying to spin this as some dispassionate stand against the fact of their marriage, rather than them, will not work. It was unequal treatment which was specifically illegal and which arose only from their orientation. This was not an act of protest against “gay marriage” in the abstract. It was an unlawful act of discrimination against two actual persons in a way that has been outlawed since before there was gay marriage in their state.

            • Tim in Cleveland

              So you wouldn’t mind the discrimination if there was no law? Apparently Washington State is unique in that it applies this law to business transactions while other states do not. New York does not:

              “At the same time, state law varies widely in terms of business transaction protections for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community.’

              ‘For example, New York state’s Sexual Orientation Non-Discrimination Act ‘prohibits discrimination on the basis of actual or perceived sexual orientation in employment, housing, public accommodations, education, credit, and the exercise of civil rights’ but does not necessarily cover private business transactions.”

              http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/10/etsy-same-sex-wedding-guest-book-christian_n_3053878.html?utm_hp_ref=mostpopular

              • kenneth

                I wouldn’t say I “wouldn’t mind” discrimination if it were not codified in law. I think the principle is sound and ought to apply to LGBT folk, but I realize it’s also an emerging area of jurisprudence and will take some time to sort out and balance claims. In this case however, the law is very clear.

                • Tim in Cleveland

                  The law may be clear (emphasis on “may”), but its Constitutionality is not.

  • Beccolina

    Instead of the constant comparison toward inter-racial marriage, it think it’s closer to comparing to a photographer who is hired to do family photos for a couple. But, the couple wants to do their photos in the nude. Maybe even some sexual poses–tastefully of course. Does the photographer have the right to say “No, I’m not comfortable doing that type of photo shoot.” or “No, I think those type of photos would be immoral.”?

    • kenneth

      If the photographer refused to do the same sorts of photos for hetero couples, then no, it would not be a problem legally.

      • Benjamin 2.0

        Have you decided to beg the question of what constitutes a moral qualm, then? If you’re opposed to family nudism, that’s a-okay by your current stance on your fluxional platform of moral legitimacy, but opposition to the denigration of marriage in action (indeed, the ceremony by which two men or two women are declared wed, a thing abhorrent to absolutely any and every non-migratory code of ethics) by nothing more than the act of nonparticipation (literally a non-act) is out of bounds? If you want to argue “that’s the law,” then I can not disagree, and I doubt anyone here would (that argument is then [i]non sequitur[/i]). The issue is that the law is preposterous and measurably so.

  • Chris M

    Sexual orientation is not equivalent to or even comparable to race/ethnicity. That’s begging the question.

    • Tim in Cleveland

      Doesn’t matter. It’s the new progressive canard so it’s true:

      “Our stance is that she’s allowed to believe whatever she wants,” Howard wrote, “but why does that excuse discrimination? What if she had refused service because we were black? Or Jewish? Or disabled? anything else? Why is it okay because it’s sexual orientation?”

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/10/etsy-same-sex-wedding-guest-book-christian_n_3053878.html?utm_hp_ref=mostpopular

    • Scott W.

      Welcome to the only argument progressives have: argumentum ad baculum

      • Timbot2000

        How does Scott Bakula enter into the argument? :)

    • Sven

      I don’t think you understand the concept of “begging the question”.

      • Andy, Bad Person

        I’d check yourself, if I were you. Comparing sexual orientation to race/ethnicity is assuming what you’re trying to prove, which is circular reasoning, aka begging the question.

  • Sven

    The United States is arrogantly demanding that you treat people as EQUALS?! Thank goodness that you are bravely standing up for Catholics’ right to treat millions of Americans as second-class citizens!

    • Chris M

      aaand again, thanks for begging the question! Seriously, do you folks have any argument that DOESN’T commit basic logical fallacies? Here’s your problem: Gays ARE being treated as equals because they have the exact same rights as anyone else. They can go get married just the same as I can. What is being asked is not to make gays equal (they already are), but to redefine marriage to mean something it doesn’t and never has: the union of same-sex couples. “But gays can’t marry the ones they love!” Wahh! You know what? Love has nothing to do with the argument, it’s merely a rhetorical appeal to emotions. If you’re going to argue that the law should be changed to change the definition of marriage to include same-sex couples, then fine.. argue THAT, but don’t pretend that this is about gays not having “equal rights”.

      • Sven

        Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. That was easy.
        Unless you can give a compelling reason to BAN the practice of same-sex marriage, then it should be allowed. That’s what it means to live in a free country.

        • Tim in Cleveland

          The Supreme Court has not yet ruled what level of scrutiny to use with laws affecting homosexuals. So far it is believed to be some kind of “rational basis” review which does not require a “compelling” reason. Strict scrutiny does.

          And the “pursuit of happiness” is just a phrase. It has no legal force.

          • Sven

            The “Pursuit of Happiness” is an inalienable right that our country was founded on. It does not carry legal force by itself, but laws exist to secure rights such as that one.
            There’s also the “Liberty” one. Also relevant here, I reckon.

            • Tim in Cleveland

              Never learned that in law school. I wonder if a judge will find a cite from a combox persuasive.

              • Sven

                You never learned that in law school?
                Then you’ve never been to law school, haha, or you somehow went to one that didn’t mention the Declaration of Independence.

                • Tim in Cleveland

                  Unfortunately I have the student loans to prove that I have been to law school.

              • Andy, Bad Person

                Tim, if there’s one thing lefties can’t get enough of, it’s pretending that the preamble is law.

                • Tim in Cleveland

                  And I’m sure Sven is adamant that the source of our inalienable rights is our Creator.

                  • Sven

                    The source of each person’s inalienable rights is their creator, yes. That doesn’t change the fact that they have those rights, does it?

                  • John

                    “And I’m sure Sven is adamant
                    that the source of our inalienable rights is our Creator.” Of course he’s adamant about that! Just as Thomas Jefferson was. If no one created us then anything goes,
                    might alone makes right, and NO right is inalienable. Hollywood (we worship and submit to what we love. TMZ doesn’t do stories on accountants and stay-at-home moms) and the GLBTF
                    (as opposed to my non-agenda-driven gay friends) are using their might to make
                    a right where there neither is, nor needs to be, a right. People who
                    are 5’2″ can’t be airline pilots. That doesn’t make them unequal to pilots
                    in any meaningful way.

                • Sven

                  Who said anything about the Preamble?
                  And no, I didn’t say the Declaration of Independence is law. It is a statement of the founding principles of our country, though. If you think that’s worthless, then that’s your opinion.

              • kenneth

                They will find 50 years of civil rights law persuasive.

                • Tim in Cleveland

                  They will also find persuasive an even longer tradition of First Amendment jurisprudence.

      • Sven

        I further note that I never said anything about “love”. You have some nerve talking about logical fallacies while propping up a straw-man.

    • http://pavelspoetry.com Pavel Chichikov

      If you are a male person you cannot be a female person. Only a male person can marry a female person. Only a female person can marry a male person.

      Anything else is parody, and no matter how much you dislike that, marriage is between persons of opposite gender and nothing else.

      • Sven

        So Alice can marry Bob, but Charlie can’t marry Bob, for no reason other than the fact that Alice is a woman and Charlie is a man? How can you reconcile that with the 14th Amendment?

        • Andy, Bad Person

          So Alice can marry Bob, but Charlie can’t marry Bob, for no reason other than the fact that Alice is a woman and Charlie is a man? How can you reconcile that with the 14th Amendment?

          Easy. Pavel’s comment is grounded in something called “reality,” in which the 14th Amendment securely rests.

        • http://pavelspoetry.com Pavel Chichikov

          It’s as impossible for Charlie to marry Bob as it is for Sven to be Napoleon Bonaparte. Sven can portray the Emperor in a play, but he can never *be* Napoleon.

          But this culture in infected by make-believe.

          • http://pavelspoetry.com Pavel Chichikov

            This culture is infected by make-believe. Everybody watches some “show.” And while you watch, your ***** are being cut off.

  • http://pavelspoetry.com Pavel Chichikov

    Benjamin, there is no such thing as same-sex marriage. There can only be a parody marriage between people of the same sex.

    I personally don’t find the argument from reproduction as strong a position as this: Parody marriage between persons of the same gender is wrong, as wrong as incest, bestiality, and knocking people down because you want their money. It is *wrong”, morally wrong.

    You can move on as much as you like – it is wrong. All the civil laws in the world don’t change that. It is wrong.

    • Brian Westley

      You can move on as much as you like – it is wrong. All the civil laws in the world don’t change that. It is wrong.

      I’ll stick with the legal aspects, not your opinion.

      • http://pavelspoetry.com Pavel Chichikov

        Do you think it is only a unique personal opinion of mine? Tens of thousands of years of human culture disagree. They say it is wrong, and they have tens of thousands of years of adaptive survival behind them.

        Morality is adaptive as well as right.

        • kenneth

          If length of pedigree of a practice determines morality, than slavery and rape as a tool of war must be right as rain.

          • Benjamin 2.0

            How, exactly, is this even an argument? To the contention that marriage is a thing which can be observed throughout human history as having a “right” definition based on natural law and persistent use you argue “[i]f length of pedigree of a practice determines morality, than[sic] slavery and rape as a tool of war must be right as rain.” Do you intend to redefine ‘rape’ or ‘slavery’ in such a way that it means something other than it did in times past? Perhaps you’re suggesting that something which was persistently used was wrong (while, silently as possible, overstepping whether it is right by natural law or any other ethic), despite the fact that your opponent is not *married* (see what I did, there?) to the position that such is impossible. What you need to do is provide some basis for your claim that, despite untold generations’ testimony to the contrary in almost every culture our planet has yet produced, something which exists between two people of the same sex can be called a marriage. Something beyond the standard milquetoast fare of “it’s not fair” to combat the concrete natural realities and unanimous tradition of your opponents would be greatly appreciated (e.g it’s not fair that I can’t normalize American politics to what I know to be demonstrably, objectively, and morally true, but I don’t expect that to be an effective platform for a political campaign for the position of supreme dictator).

  • http://pavelspoetry.com Pavel Chichikov

    These people who think they can define right and wrong will bitterly regret their error, because they will discover that once you define right and wrong to suit your convenience, the only convenience standing will be that of power. Power will crush you, no matter how advanced you believe yourself to be. In fact, the more strongly you believe yourself to be advanced, the more surely you will be crushed. You will have made yourself a competitor of power. Only Power will be advanced. Not even submission will save you. Only surrendering your personality and individuality might save you. You will have to dissolve yourself in your own self-secreted acid.

    Advance, then.

    • Dave

      Ding-ding-ding. We have a winner!

  • http://pavelspoetry.com Pavel Chichikov

    “Same-sex marriage” is an artifact of a dying culture, and what is to be born afterwards may very well be inhuman.

    • kenneth

      That’s the prequel to “Blade Runner”. You let two of those creampuffs marry, and next thing you know, you got replicants running amok!

      • http://pavelspoetry.com Pavel Chichikov

        This ain’t no movie, chum.

  • Sven

    If a florist refused to help customers with a Catholic wedding, for no reason other than the fact that it’s a Catholic wedding, they would be prosecuted (not persecuted) under the same law. That’s equality. Crazy concept, I know.

    • Benjamin 2.0

      A Catholic who isn’t a deplorable churl wouldn’t use the weight of law to crush his persecutors.
      On the next level of argumentation: A Catholic wedding isn’t a non-wedding in absolutely anyone’s opinion, thus the opposition wouldn’t be to a ham-fisted attempt to force the populace to knuckle-under to an arbitrary state-imposed rule of morality which offends anyone holding a non-arbitrary moral code, but to the clients’ Catholicity.
      Last level: If the fate of antidiscrimination laws is to crush religion, I argue that antidiscrimination laws should be repealed. Shouldn’t a citizen of a “free country” be allowed to do with his own goods (or ‘body,’ in the case of service occupations) what he pleases regardless of other citizens’ opinions of his motives? Isn’t that argument I just used the only argument for not only same-sex “marriage” but tolerance of homosexual behavior?
      Conclusion: Equality my eye!

      • Sven

        Why not? You mean to tell me Catholics, when persecuted, never use the rule of law against their would-be persecutors?
        What makes the morality of same-sex marriage “arbitrary”, but the morality of Catholic marriage “non-arbitrary”?
        And NO, the fate of anti-discrimination laws is NOT “to crush religion”. What a silly thing to say.

        • Benjamin 2.0

          “You mean to tell me Catholics, when persecuted, never use the rule of law against their would-be persecutors?” If the persecution is the unwillingness to enter into a contractual arrangement, then no, one wouldn’t.

          “What makes the morality of same-sex marriage “arbitrary”, but the morality of Catholic marriage “non-arbitrary”?” In short, the arbitrariness. The moral judgement that two people of the same sex can marry is one perfectly novel and ungrounded in any existing code of ethics. It’s moral relativism by definition writ large and a shocking, naked power grab by secular authorities aimed at making the moral stance not what it has always been but the state’s Will to Power (let the reader understand). The contrary is divinely revealed, present in natural law and its many imitators, and otherwise ubiquitously the traditional stance.

          “And NO, the fate of anti-discrimination laws is NOT “to crush religion”. What a silly thing to say.” What a silly thing to say. Is your placid denial supposed to make me overlook the fact that people who have no interest in participating in these mock weddings can be taken to court, that there isn’t a push centered on this subject in Canada and Europe (and, increasingly, here) to marginalize real morality, that I don’t even now have to tolerate “unisex” restrooms in my university as a sign of universal solidarity to the cause that a man who thinks he is a woman is no longer considered wrong but a woman? I find that disingenuous.

  • Scott W.

    My guilty pleasure is video games, and recently I picked up Spec Ops: The Line set in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. On a lark, I looked up the wiki entry on the UAE because I didn’t know much about it. It wasn’t surprising that like most Muslim states they are tolerant of other religions as long as you kept it strictly between your ears. Of course people would go “Aha! See what theocracy gets you?!” Well, not so fast. I recall John C. Wright had a heated discussion with your typical pseudo-libertarian scoffer who blurted out, “MY holy book is the U.S. Constitution!” Welcome to your theocracy where voting is the lex orandi and your sacraments are abortion and any sexual act outside of traditional marriage.”

  • les

    I cant help but think that the future of this country and the Church here, is written in the history of the Spanish civil war and the French revolution.

  • Margaret

    Should a florist who happens to be a vegetarian be compelled to provide the arrangements for the local butcher’s association annual banquet? I should hope not…

    • Margaret

      For that matter, should any sane florist/printer/caterer/etc. be compelled to provide services for a local KKK gathering? I would go to prison first…

  • Mark G.

    Mark, Unfortunately, I believe you’re right. Unless we can extract society for the Hollywood – DC alliance, we as Americans who believe other than the company line will eventually be forced to submit or face the consequences. Until then we the people will just be spoon fed by the “pay no attention to the man behind the curtain” media.

  • http://www.cappadociainlowell.blogspot.com Renee

    I know the artistic concern does raise a valid concern, it isn’t as if she is selling pre-arranged flowers. On the other hand, I don’t remember my florist really caring about my marriage. She was more concerned with the business.

    So there is this line, when it comes to services. Services are at times very personal in nature, if it was someone DJing the ceremony/reception, there would be more understanding if they felt compelled they could not participate in the activity.

    I know as an attorney in Massachusetts, when I was in practice (I’m in-active fore years now), I couldn’t not be forced in taking a case. If I felt I could not take a case, I still had to protect the person’s rights though. I would diligently and professionally pass along the the state’s lawyer referral number/info and inform the individuals of any statute of limitations.

    I feel as long as she did it in a professional manner and reference florists that wouldn’t mind or info to a local florist association, she covered herself.


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