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08/20/2014

Video: To Focus on the Family's Citizenlink, a simple business request = 'home invasion'

by Jeremy Hooper

Get a load of this false witness:

Let's start with Stuart Shepard's intro. He acts like the couple just took on weddings as a fun way to earn some money from close friends, as if it were some sort of side biz. In truth, the family chose to enter into the wedding business the same way any other event hall enters into this area of commerce: they obtained a license, began advertising their offerings, and turned focus to their bottom line. The business hosts a robust website that details all of the offerings, from event planning to tenting to catering to anything else that goes into planning a ceremony:

Screen Shot 2014-08-19 At 9.37.24 Pm http://libertyridgefarmny.com/packages-pricing/

This wasn't something the Giffords started on a lark so they could show off the beauty of their agricultural expanse. This is a busine$$. Whether or not they choose to live on site makes no practical difference and it is ludicrous to suggest that it does. What, are they also allowed to violate health codes since they feed their family in the same kitchen where they bake their wedding cakes?

Let's move on to the tearful couple. Ms. Gifford says they wouldn't perform same-sex marriages because of their religious convictions. Well I have to wonder: do the Giffords make it practice to ask every straight couple who comes on site how, exactly, they live their lives and how, in fact, they plan to apply their wedding vows? Do they deny atheist couples, divorced people seeking remarriage, or couples who plan to have premarital sex RIGHT THERE IN THEIR HOUSE? Because if they don't, they might want to start, lest they be seen as hypocrites.

Then there's the idea that "a small business is a piece of the owner's life." Okay, sure. But again, so what? Your passion doesn't give the right to flout nondiscrimination laws. You might personally believe people of other faiths are hellbound, but that doesn't give you, a person who put up a shingle, the "right" to turn away said heretics. Same goes for race. Or national origin. Or sexual orientation (to name just a few categories). If they wanted this ability to pick and choose and occasionally exclude, then the Giffords could've hosted these weddings for fun. But when they went into the world of for-profit business, they agree (whether they realized it or not) to adhere to certain practices—practices that are good for the state of New York and its people.

And don't even get me started on my old pal Jason McGuire. He starts with the whole "they live in the house" thing, which, on a legal level, has as much practical application as saying "they enjoy eating at Applebees." Then he pivots toward "religious freedom," pretending that the simple request for them to sell a service that they purport to offer to the public constitutes some sort of unfair burden on the business owners. And of course he plays that canard about them allowing other kinds of events where gay people and/or their children were allowed to attend (how kind of them), as if they are in the clear, so long as they meet their LGBT quota for the year. Jason's part is filled with a whole lot of nothing-talk, which is pretty much what we heard from Jason all during New York's marriage debate (that is when he wasn't condemning local lawmakers to hell).

The whole video, in fact, is just discrimination-justifying spin railroading into each other. Which is what you do, I guess, when you (a) desperately want to regain the upper hand against a minority group that you got used to being able to dominate but are (b) running out of ways to do it.

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