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02/26/2014

Don't be discriminatory and disingenuous, ADF!

by Jeremy Hooper

In a recent CNN appearance, Alliance Defending Freedom senior vice president Douglas Napier denied that license-to-discriminate laws like the one under scrutiny in Arizona could be used to deny gay customers at restaurants. However, he is flat-out lying, even by his own stated standard.

Read the exchange and then I'll get back to you:

Screen Shot 2014-02-26 At 10.15.39 Am CNN's ERIN BURNETT: I mean, Doug, some people are going to say, look, you are using religion as a shield here. You are saying my religion can't serve gay people. Again, I know I keep bringing up this example, but there is a commandment against adultery, but you would be all right serving people who are adulterers. The inconsistency makes it look like religion is a shield to discriminate against gay people. Why am I wrong?

ADF's DOUG NAPIER: Because, one, if you read the bill, it doesn't protect any and every action that is under the guides of religion. In fact, the bill requires several things that have to be proven in order to have any protection under this bill. First of all, you have to prove that you have a sincerely held religious belief. You have to prove that it is a religious belief and so you have to cross those hurdles --

BURNETT: How do you prove that?

NAPIER: Well, that's the burden of the person on that end of it. You can point to religious tradition. I don't know of any religious tradition that kicks people out of restaurants for any reason. That's never happen. It's not going to happen and if it did happen under this bill then Paul is right. That part could not be upheld, but the bill is still sound --

CNN LEGAL ANALYST PAUL CALLAN: Doug, is there a religion that kicks photographers out of wedding ceremonies where gay people are being married? Is that in the bible someplace? That's what we are told this law rose from, a photographer that didn't want to take pictures at a gay wedding? Now what provision of the bible of any religion talks about photographers at gay weddings if we are talking sincerely held religious beliefs?

NAPIER: You know, it's interesting, Paul, because the majority of the people really understand the facts of that case and you are talking about a lane photography in New Mexico, a case which we are handling. You are asking the photographer to go into a wedding, to create a story book, to use the expressive talents, and to be part of a ceremony that she didn't believe in. She said I will take their portraits. It has nothing to do --

CALLAN: How is that different than a caterer serving gay people in a restaurant?

NAPIER: Well, because it has nothing to do -- they are not being asked to use their expressive --

CALLAN: Creating food --

BURNETT: Let Doug finish.

NAPIER: No, they can't go out and say I endorse this ceremony that violates my religious views. Any more than a Jewish deli could be forced to cater a wedding and serve pork sandwiches. That's what I am talking about.
FULL TRANSCRIPT [CNN]

Two words: bridal shower.
Two more words: rehearsal dinner.
Two more still: bachelor party.

If a photographer can claim that it unfairly burdens her to use her creative expression to photograph a same-sex ceremony, it is not even kind of difficult to imagine a chef, caterer, or mixologist who turns away a wedding party because their event is in celebration of a forthcoming same-sex wedding! It is completely ludicrous for the ADF lawyer to deny that this supposed "right" will extend to every professional person who comes in contact with a same-sex wedding party. Every. Last. One.

And I'm only using the conceit of a wedding party because of Mr. Napier's own example. This newfound "right" won't even require a wedding party. The door Doug Napier and his anti-gay allies are trying to force open is one that would allow a new form of segregation against LGBT consumers. He and virtually every one else standing in support of this law oppose LGBT rights in general, not just same-sex marriage in particular. There is no reason to assume that these folks, once emboldened, will have to wait for a wedding before they suddenly discover that they're feeling too church-y to accomodate an LGBT person. And those who claim they can and won't to limit this supposed new freedom in a narrow way are flat-out lying.

Do not be fooled: this is an subversive assault against homosexuality itself. Call it out for the attempted onslaught that it is!

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