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08/20/2014

Negligent anti-LGBT voices determined to eliminate *all* nondiscrimination laws

by Jeremy Hooper

What follows is the "logic" of Randall Wenger, chief counsel for the Pennsylvania Family Institute for why business owners should be free to deny LGBT customers whenever they are feeling too religious-y to sell them an item they purport to sell:

"True tolerance should mean that we're free to live according to our beliefs without being fined or forced out of business"
...
"It's not as if somebody can't go out and buy a wedding dress or get a cake baked"... "The issue is whether those who have a conscience against doing so need to be forced to do it to be made an example of, because somehow it's wrong for us to think differently, believe differently or act differently." [
ONN]

Tell me how you limit this view to just LGBT people or same-sex marriage. How? Seriously.

The answer: you can't. If you have the freedom to operate a business "according to your beliefs," then there is no way at all you can say that this supposed "freedom" only applies to Christians who have a problem with two men or women in love. In the model that the anti-LGBT activists are demanding, and in some cases forcing into law, there is ample opportunity for any other person to justify his or her right to discriminate, so long as he or she cites the bible while doing so. It is certain that one can find a scriptural passage to justify any kind of discrimination; under this insistent and ego-centric plan that the anti-LGBT crowd is plaguing onto fair-minded America, there is no logical way to stop this license to discriminate. It is, in essence, the ultimate slippery slope, coming from the very crowd that loves to insist clearly cut-and-dry hills are themselves wet simply because they allow LGBT people to climb up them.

These anti-LGBT business owners have the right to think and believe however they wish. Where Mr. Wenger is wrong is in his insistence that they get to act however they want. We have nondiscrimination laws precisely so we can safeguard against personal thoughts or beliefs that fly in the face of public accommodation. If the anti-LGBT activists want to keep fighting this fight, then they need to at least be honest enough to admit that theirs is a war against the whole body of nondiscrimination law and not just those which protect LGBT citizens.

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