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10/03/2014

No, I'm not even kind of 'happy about this,' Ms. Gallagher

by Jeremy Hooper

Here's Maggie's take on the Oregon bakers who have admitted that they discriminated against lesbians because they believe homosexuality is a sin, who have owned up to the fact that they turned away other gay customers before they were finally called out for doing so, and who recently baked cakes for a very fringe "ex-gay" organization that tells gay people they must "change"

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Happy? Why would we be happy? The whole point is that we find public accommodation discrimination to be ugly. And wrong. And, per the laws of society that values participation, unlawful in many cases.

Maggie is appealing to emotion by mentioning the couple's five children and potential bankruptcy. As a compassionate human, I am sensitive to that, especially for the children. But is that supposed to give them a pass? Are we supposed to disregard all policies when a couple has children? Again, let me repeat that I am sensitive to the burden because I am a bit of a Pollyanna that would like to see everyone thrive. And I am glad that staunch conservative Gallagher is in tough with her "bleeding heart" here. But neither of us can fairly use that lens to discuss this matter.

The bottom line is that Melissa and Aaron Klein wanted to operate a public business but didn't want to comply with policies that they knew (or should have known) to be reality the day they opened their doors. Am I happy that they made this choice? No, and I wouldn't be happy if they made the choice for any other reason that falls under nondiscrimination law (race, gender, religion, etc.). The whole situation is sad for all involved. Almost everything involving anti-LGBT activism is sad. And it makes me sad even more often than it makes angry.

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