Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) claims Christians should be allowed to discriminate against gays and lesbians if doing business with LGBT people violates their religious faith.
“Everyone has to reconcile their own faith with how they interact with others, and that’s a choice you’ve got to make based on your understanding of biblical teachings and based on the best understanding you can come to it. I’m very much a believer that the scripture teaches that you hate the sin and love the sinner, and so, you know, from my perspective I am perfectly willing to interact with anybody. Look, I work in the U.S. Congress. But at the same time, I don’t think the law should be forcing Americans to violate their religious faith.”
Cruz is wrong. Religious bigotry is no justification for discrimination. Individuals are free to believe any religious superstition that appeals to them, but once they enter into public business, they are subject to all laws and regulations, including laws that prohibit business owners from discriminating.
100 years ago white Christians made the same sort of argument about being forced to do business with African Americans. It was wrong then, and it is wrong today. Religious bigotry is always wrong, and never an acceptable justification for discrimination.