Overstock Executive Pushes Pointless Bill

Overstock Executive Pushes Pointless Bill August 13, 2013

Looks like we have another clueless rich guy willing to spend big money to peddle unjustified fear — the very definition of demagoguery — and unnecessary legislation. This time it’s Jonathan Johnson, executive vice chairman of, who is pushing a law in Utah to prevent churches from having to perform same-sex marriages.

“People may have said we don’t need this six months ago,” Johnson said. “I think with what the Supreme Court did earlier this summer people are less likely to say that now.”…

“Equal protection seems to be unbounded and, speaking politically, it feels like what’s fair always wins over what might be right,” he said. “But at end of day when equal protection and First Amendment free exercise of religion rights butt up against each other, then churches should be able to practice what they preach and believe.”

Anticipating such a constitutional collision, Johnson is crafting a proposed amendment that would prohibit requiring a religious organization to “solemnize, officiate in, or recognize any particular marriage or religious rite of marriage in violation of its beliefs,” according to a preliminary draft.

You mean you want to protect the rights that churches already have under the First Amendment, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, the ministerial exception and dozens of Supreme Court rulings? Yeah, we need yet another layer of protection. For crying out loud, is there anyone, even the most strident proponent of same-sex marriage, who thinks churches should be forced to perform such marriages? Not only are they demanding more protection against something that can’t happen under multiple laws and court rulings at every level of government, they want protection against something that no one actually proposes.

There are really only three options here: He’s either abysmally ignorant, paranoid to the point of being delusional, or he’s just a demagogue. Take your pick.

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