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01/14/2014

FRC logic: Nondiscrimination incident in state w/out marriage equality proves marriage equality's consequences

by Jeremy Hooper

This comes from the Family Research Council's press release on today's historic court decision in Oklahoma, quote attributed to president Tony Perkins:

Screen Shot 2014-01-14 At 7.06.16 Pm
[FRC]

Of course Colorado doesn't have civil marriage equality (or hasn't "redefined marriage," as Tony would put it). The cake was for the non-legally-binding party of a couple who had legally married in Massachusetts prior to entering this cake shop. The issue in that matter has nothing to do with any sort of local policy change on marriage, court-enforced or otherwise, and everything to do with local nondiscrimination law. It doesn't matter if Colorado is months, years, or centuries away from getting marriage equality, or if the cake in question is for some other tangential party (anniversary, shower, etc.) related (or not) to their love—the nondiscrimination law prevents the sort of discrimination that the cake baker showed to the same-sex couple because it was based on WHO THEY ARE as customers (i.e. gay).

Now, people like Tony deny that and say, "oh, but he would've baked them a birthday or some other kind of cake." That changes nothing and absolves no one. If you gladly bake a cake for a customer's Super Bowl party yet deny his request for a wedding cake because he is marrying a woman of another religion, the second part is still problematic, even if the first cake was both ornate and delicious. As long as the customer puts in a request and is denied the request specifically because of who he or she is (e.g. a human customer who loves humans of the same gender), then you might just run afoul of your state's nondiscrimination law. This fair treatment of customers does not hinge upon a change in state marriage policy, and it sure as frosted roses doesn't "prove" why expanding marital freedoms is a bad idea.

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