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04/12/2013

Anti-gay side has no argument against nondiscrimination and will lose; here's latest example

by Jeremy Hooper

Check out this take on the Washington florist situation, which comes courtesy of Concerned Women For America staffer Chelsen Vicari:

B1E7A3Abea8Fe110Ad40E4Bbca42D072 Now, while the radical Left is screaming “discrimination,” “bigotry,” and “hatred,” it is important to note that [Baronelle] Stutzman never denied service due to discrimination based on Richard Ingersoll and Curt Freed’s “sexual orientation.” In fact, the two men were pleased with Stutzman’s services, as they were repeat customers for nearly ten years.

No screaming matches or harassing phone calls or e-mails transpired when Stutzman declined to service Ingersoll and Freed’s event. Reportedly, Stutzman recalled, “He (Ingersoll) said he decided to get married, and before he got through, I grabbed his hand and said, ‘I am sorry. I can’t do your wedding because of my relationship with Jesus Christ.’ We hugged each other and he left, and I assumed it was the end of the story.”

Peace, love, and civility, as it should be. Live and let live, as it should be. In the example of Starbucks CEO Howard Shultz, “It’s a free country.” What’s the problem? You can buy flowers somewhere else, right? But the options — or opinions — of the Looney Left aren’t available to conservatives, apparently.

First the matter of nondiscrimination: Ms. Vicari asserts that the florist "never denied service due to discrimination based on Richard Ingersoll and Curt Freed’s 'sexual orientation'” (*smear quotes around sexual orientation are her own, tellingly superfluous, intensely derisive contribution). What the Concerned Women For America employee means to say is that the florist never denied service based on sexual orientation until this wedding incident. Yes, it is by all accounts true that the customers in question had purchased from Ms. Stutzman before, but it is also true that they were denied when they tried to purchase for their wedding. And the reason why they were denied is because the wedding was between two men (i.e. two men with an apparently gay or bisexual sexual orientation) and not a man and a woman (i.e. a couple with an apparently heterosexual sexual orientation). I know many social conservatives think that a wedding is some sort of "other" thing that gets some sort of a pass when it comes to a vendors' offering of wedding-related wares. But these social conservatives are simply wrong. W.R.O.N.G.

Then there's Ms. Vicari's talk of civility, which she immediately follows with a claim that people who support this couple deserve a "Looney Left" label. On its face this is ridiculous, since it ascribes partisanship to the nonpartisan concept of discrimination within the business community. But beyond politics, the labeling is also just plain, well—uncivil. Surely we can focus on winning arguments, Ms. Vicari, and not crass characterizations.

And finally, let's chat about the clear difference in terms of business practice. Ms. Vicari pretends there is a direct comparison between Starbucks and this florist, but that is patently ABSURD. Starbucks isn't refusing service to anyone; the coffee company is simply acting out its beliefs in terms of equality for all. The florist, on the other hand, is pointedly denying a customer of the ability to complete a business transaction. Look at it like this: If Starbucks is the one and only provider of a certain drink, every social conservative in America has full and equal right to purchase said beverage. On the other hand, if Baronelle Stutzman is the only florist in town who can make a certain kind of bouquet, this gay couple is just plain out of luck. And the reason why this gay couple is out of luck is because of who they are. Translation: Discrimination.

But nice try, Ms. Vicari.

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