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08/25/2014

Far-right still pretending limited nondiscrimination law opens whole new can of frosting

by Jeremy Hooper

Of the many situations they have failed to grasp over the years, the anti-LGBT far right's failure to understand nondiscrimination law and proper compliance to the same is certainly one of the worst. Take these latest musings from a longtime foe of 'mo-kind:

Here’s a hypothetical analogy for you to consider: Suppose a Christian couple planning a marriage went to a Jewish baker and requested a wedding cake decorated with a cross. And suppose the Jewish baker felt uncomfortable with that idea. Should he forced to do so? I don’t think so. Nor can I imagine any Christian couple wanting to use the coercive power of the state to do that. They would simply go to another baker. That would be the logical, non-tyrannical thing to do.

Here’s another hypothetical scenario: Suppose a Jewish couple chooses a homosexual photographer to take pictures at their wedding. Among the things they require the photographer to do is to take a photo of them before a banner emblazoned with the following scripture verse: Genesis 2:24 – “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” Maybe the photographer feels uncomfortable and even spiritually condemned with this requirement. Should he be forced by the state to do it because failing to accept the assignment would be tantamount to violating the Jewish couple’s “sexual orientation” or even their religious convictions? I don’t think so. Nor can I imagine any Jewish couple wanting to use the coercive power of the state to do that. They would simply go to another photographer. That would be the logical, non-tyrannical thing to do.

When “tolerance” becomes intolerance, we have bigotry.

When “diversity” becomes state-enforced conformity, we have religious persecution.


Joseph Farah, founder and editor of WND (formerly WorldNetDaily)

First hypothetical: Obviously a Jewish baker doesn't have to make a cake with a cross (or with bacon pieces or on Sabbath or...) if that's not a kind of cake that he or she makes. A Christian couple doesn't have the right to demand a certain shape or color or style that the bakery doesn't offer, the same way a same-sex couple cannot demand a pride flag cake, a wedding pie, or something else that the bakery in question doesn't happen to make. The issue in these nondiscrimination cases is not about style or selection. The issue is that a specific item that the bakery does absolutely and unequivocally make (e.g. a wedding cake) is denied in every way, shape, and form.

In the second situation, the gay photographer probably would have to take the picture described. After all, if he or she is already taking the photos, then the client and the business owner have presumably come to terms. The photographer has agreed to the job and contracting paper work has likely been signed. The photographer certainly doesn't have a right to discriminate on the basis of religion, so yes, he or she would most definitely have to take the shot. The photographer might first suggest alternatives or he or she might even take a really shitty shot so that it's unlikely to ever see the light of day. But no, I can't imagine a direct repudiation of the couple's religious wishes would hold up in court. I'd most likely side with the religious couple in this case, whether my opponents believe that or not.

The anti-LGBT side keeps trying to talk their way out of and/or trip us up within these nondiscrimination cases that have become such debate fodder over the past few years. The truth is that they are really quite straightforward (in more ways than one) cases that are pretty darn easy to understand. Which is why we never lose in court: because the matter or whether or not you can or cannot pointedly discriminate if you operate a business or some other public accommodation is not really that open of a debate, at least in areas that have responsible protections in place. The only reason these situations seem more complex than they are is because of the noise.

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