What I say is true. The sooner politicians and conservatives, in general, realize this, the better.
I’ve been told that blacks like me should be offended by this development. True enough, blacks don’t DO anything to qualify as black. It is an “accident of birth”. The nature/nurture mix of homosexuality is not settled science. So there is some logical truth to saying that the civil rights of black and gay are a false equivalency.
That said, so what? Like blacks, gays don’t hurt anyone by being gay. Defenders of the original Indiana RFRA law present us with their own false equivalency. On Face the Nation former Senator and presidential candidate Rick Santorum asked should a gay printer be forced to publish flyers from the Westboro Baptist Church that declare “God hates fags”?
Here’s the problem with Rick’s logic. The Westboro Baptist Church is expressing hatred toward gays. A gay wedding does not express hatred for Christianity. In fact a good number of gays are as God fearing and God loving as their straight counterparts. So, the REAL truth is “Christians of conscience” CHOOSE to be offended by gay marriage. Being a baker, florist, photographer or caterer doesn’t mean YOU have to copulate with someone of your own gender.
What further bothers me about the debate is this notion of religious conscience and freedom of religion. Do you REALLY think there aren’t atheists who find homosexuality repulsive and disgusting? Do they get to refuse services related to a gay wedding? I suspect not. So let’s get this straight. If I find homosexuality an “abomination” I can only act on my “conscience” if I attend church on Sunday’s? Is that it? Only the religious have a conscience?
99% of commerce arrangements work out naturally. Most folks regardless of orientation don’t want to do business with folks who don’t like them. In the rare case where a consumer insists on doing business with a particular merchant, that merchant needs to realize times have changed and you don’t get to refuse service based on who the customer chooses to love.
WITH THAT SAID…
I find it ridiculous that an angry vindictive gay consumer can bring a small company to its knees over this. Penalties should be capped, perhaps with a small fine. If a gay wedding cake upsets you that much, cough up a $100.00 fine and put your money where your “conscience” is.
Second, there is a difference between a “gay wedding” cake and a “gay” wedding cake. A merchant should be able to refuse to put two copulating figurines on a wedding cake. One would hope the baker would have the same reaction to two straight figurines copulating on a wedding cake. A blanket refusal to serve a group of people is different from refusing to provide services that current mores dictate are indeed offensive.
That is really the crux of the debate. Gays embracing traditional marriage has largely gained acceptance in this country and our laws should reflect that. Our laws evolve to reflect societal values. If Adam and Steve ask for a tasteful cake for their wedding just like Adam and Eve do, bake the damn cake and get over yourself. Or pay a fine. But you don’t get to say no because your “conscience” aligns with some religion.
What do you think? The bar is open.