As Same-sex marriage progresses in the courts, we are going to see a shift in the ideas coming from those who claim to write from a religious perspective and this post at Abbey Road is a great example. The poster makes clear not supporting marriage equality, but at the same time, acknowledges that businesses cannot discriminate.  There is almost a sensible quality here. Too bad any rationality gets prefaced with hyperbolic snark.

Remember how marriage equality activists pretty much insisted legalizing gay marriage would not affect anyone, yet in every state where it is legal, businesses who refuse to provide services have been sued for discrimination – even when their objections are based upon religious beliefs.

Could someone please cite what marriage equality activist ever insisted marriage wouldn’t affect anyone? Because it never happened! No one ever suggested such a thing! What marriage equality activists said then and now, is that allowing same-sex couples the ability to protect their relationships as and their families with civil marriage wouldn’t harm any heterosexual marriage. That’s a really big difference.

But the Abbey Road writer is way off base even more than this hyperbole. Their example for how Same-sex marriage is impacting heterosexuals, and especially Christians? A case of discrimination, where a hunting lodge which is often a site rented for weddings, refused accommodations to a young gay male couple. The Abbey Road writer is clear- believe all businesses have to treat people fairly, but even that sentiment cloaked in a complaint about the inability to discriminate is difficult to see as anything positive.

Personally, I don’t see baking a cake, printing invitations, arranging flowers, or providing a facility as supporting or not supporting marriage. If a Catholic baker, or a Catholic hunting club owner does wedding/party business with non-Catholic wedding parties, even divorced and remarried wedding parties, I don’t see the problem with renting facilities for gay weddings. I’m against gay marriage of course, but f one provides goods and services to this party – the law says you have to do so to that party.

But then here comes the real agenda of the Abbey Road post, to tarnish the young gay couple, a smear similar to the earlier smear against the generic gay activists who supposedly claimed something that they never claimed.

That said, the two guys getting married lucked out. They are getting almost $9,000 in settlement money, despite the fact they opted for a house reception after a military chapel ceremony, explaining:

See those shifty gays get away with everything don’t they!

The lone commenter to the post expresses a standard libertarian policy:

I continue to disagree with tis line of reasoning. Refusing to provide a service for a same sex marriage is not discrimination against individuals (i.e. against teh gayz)—it is refusing to participate or support, even repomtely, in a particular activity. I for one favor very broad latitude for business owners to refuse jobs for reasons of conscience. That includes not baking a cake for a KKK party, or catering for a Republican party event (or a Democratic party event), or printing posters for a protest event with which the owner does not agree, or for a same sex marriage if the owner does not agree with it.

This is quite hogwash but in general, as well as specifically. In the specific case, the facility refused accommodation precisely because the guys were gay. But the libertarian idea is one to consider aside for that error of the commenter. According to this guy, “Michael,” any business owner should be able to refuse service to anyone else based on reasons of conscience. Refuse service to blacks, to women, to people with red hair, for any reason of conscience.

I opposed the war in Iraq- the one our then President entered into under the lie claiming there were weapons of mass destruction found. Because I oppose this war, would I have the right to refuse service to veterans? Or I’m opposed to open carry of guns. By this guy’s thinking I’d have a right to refuse to serve or sell to any gun owner?

Or perhaps, a fundamentalist Christian who believes- as a matter of Faith- that Baptism is by full immersion and under the name of Christ Jesus (a standard belief for many fundamentalists). That fundamentalist could refuse to serve Jews or Catholics or Methodists  for reasons of religious belief and conscience?

The bottom line is that Christians want special rights. They want to pick and choose who they can discriminate against based on their personal ideas and convictions. But the Abbey Road post shows progress. Still full of hyperbole, but at least there is some acceptance of civil law and a notion of the requirement to accept equality.



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