Sunday, April 20, 2008

Where's The Tolerance Here?

I need a little help with this one please. Is there anyone who can explain how the desires of these lesbians trumps the Constitutional rights of the photographers they sued? Anyone? This is absolutely unAmerican in the most basic sense! There is no way that anyone is obliged to do business with anyone wishing to celebrate their sexual deviancy. We have the right of free association. That means we can refuse to associate with anyone as much as associate with anyone. And the fact that what was asked of the photographers conflicts with their religious beliefs, this story is just another example of the downsides that 2% of the population intends to force upon the nation. I have no doubt that these sorry individuals could have easily found a photographer of lesser conscience to commemorate their so-called "special day". They were simply out to demonize Christians who were unwilling to ignore God's Will in favor of theirs. We need to pray for lost souls such as these while also standing against the insanity of their selfish and wicked agenda.


Vinny said...

Are there any limits on the right to refuse to do business with someone? Could the local Holiday Inn refuse to rent them a room for the reception? Could Appleby's refuse to serve them dinner if they just went there to celebrate after the ceremony? What if they were atheists or Wiccans?

I recognize that serving two women in a restaurant is different from photographing them kissing (although that sounds like it could be hot), but I am wondering if it is possible to articulate a principled way to know when it is permissible to refuse to do business with someone on religious freedom grounds.

Marshall Art said...

Well, it would be a whole lot easier if fewer people would engage in sinful behavior and expect the rest of us to tolerate it.

I think the only way we can know is if the parties in question, that is, the sinners, made known in some manner who they are. In the case of the lesbians, it was pretty plain considering what they wanted photographed. In a rental situation, for example, it might not be so plain as many pals get cribs together without being sexually involved with each other.

I see nothing discriminatory, however, with a business owner in some manner publicly posting their position and being able to act accordingly. For example, in the rental scenario, a rental agreement could have somewhere written the fact that the owners are Christians and do not allow unChristian behavior on their property. I once serviced a customer in my line of work that had a sign posted in their foyer that they are Christians and requested all who enter to act accordingly. It would be up to the judgement of the business owner/operator to decide how a given customer fits into that, since the consumer comes to the business rather than the other way around. By leaving it up to the business owner, they have their right of free association protected as well.

I think all the businesses you've mentioned could employ such policies if they so chose, though it might be cumbersome to monitor or enforce. Again, that an owner might employ the policy doesn't mean he'd necessarily screen each potential customer, but rather that should the customer make his self known as a given sinner, then the owner would be within his rights to refuse service.

Laws regarding discrimination cannot regard behavior in the same manner as skin color or gender and the like. Even if we concede that homosexuality is unchangable, that doesn't mean the behavior must be tolerated. I don't hate someone because he's a thief, I hate that he steals. He may still have the urge to take what doesn't belong to him, but if he doesn't act on the urge, he's cool by me. But if he insists on supporting himself by stealing, I don't want to do business with him or rent an apartment to him or engage in any form of commerce with him.

Vinny said...

How about a grocery store? Could a grocery store owner refuse to sell someone food just because he knew the person to be a homosexual?

Marshall Art said...

How many businesses do you intend to ask about? A grocery store owner could refuse service to me simply due to jealousy over my strikingly good looks. The basic idea is that one can refuse service to anyone for any reason. He might cripple his profit potential with such an attitude or he might enhance it, depending on the type of person refused. The point is, it's his business and it's a private matter.

It might make this easier if I give examples of when it isn't permissable to refuse service:

Police, fire, medical. Legal representation. Funerals.

The first three for sure. The other two, perhaps.

Frankly, there are other areas where I don't believe one should be required by law to serve customers they don't want to serve. I don't think you should be forced to serve a race against which you are bigoted. Yeah. I wouldn't patronize such a place, but if that dude don't mind losing the income, it's his choice. There are tons of other places the refused could go that will cheerfully accept his patronage. And the same is true for the lesbians who are suing the photographers.

But for the sake of this discussion, the point is that homosexual behavior is a sinful behavior. You might be among those who think that is no longer the case, but you'd simply be among those who are wrong. And as it takes the most incredible stretches to make the point Scripturally to support that side, the totality of the argument in support is so tenuous as to be beneath serious consideration.

In any case, those of us who understand that the Old Testament "thou shalt not" has never been repealed in the New, have the right to have their religious belief respected and it is unAmerican to force them to disregard their faith for the sake of anyone, much less such a small percentage of the population.

In everyday practice, I do not in any way treat people like this any differently than I would normal people (and I use that word purposely). Why would I since I don't for others I consider "not normal". In this case, I would ask that same sex couples not swap spit in front of my other guests, but I would ask as much of hetero couples. The difference being that I would not tolerate a peck on the lips either, though I would allow heteros that freedom. I would be even stricter when kids are around.

I don't care what they do (except as how it affects their salvation), but I don't and won't tolerate their attempts to normalize their lifestyles in the minds of others, especially kids.

Doc said...

Per the Federal Civil Rights Act, legally, unless there is a legitimate business reason for such discrimination, then they're out of luck.
Many states have additional legislation more stringent than the FCRA.
This is up for interpretation:
It's ironic that you bring up Funeral Homes. In California, a funeral home was sued by a family trying to keep out "punk rockers" from a service. The funeral home allowed their admission,thinking that under the Unruh Civil Rights Act of California, they could be sued if they didn't.
Don't ya love lawyers?

ELAshley said...

“This is America. When ordering, please speak English.”

And in the bottom right hand corner of the photo...

"Management Reserves The Right To Refuse Service"

This is still America... but obviously not for much longer.

Vinny said...

How many businesses do you intend to ask about?

That'll do.

Marshall Art said...


The question is, is it really discrimination when a person of faith refuses to do business with a blatant and proud sinner? Keep in mind, we have to also view things from the perspective of the Christian. And though some goofy law forces him to do so, that doesn't make it right, just, or American. Fortunately, laws can be overturned. If the law you presented forces the Christian in the manner described, it's plainly unConstitutional. And it doesn't necessarily deprive the refused of anything until they've been refused by every possible professional photographer they can find. At that point, it becomes more plain that few photographers are in their camp and perhaps it's time for them to look inward and see if the problem is them, which it is.

This would be called, "Society placing expectations upon itself" and actually it's happening now, but in the wrong direction. The expectation is now to forsake one's Lord in favor of any manner of depravity that comes down the pike. I reject that expectation in favor of higher forms.

Doc said...

Yes, it is really discrimination--by the fact of refusing service--and in the definition as noted in the law. I am viewing the term "discrimination" as a legal term, not an ethical/moral one; which is logical, as we are discussing the interpretation of a specific law. You are better off asking if the law is moral or right. On that, it is difficult, as I think there are specific rights of individuals to conduct business within a specific code of conduct.
The problem exists, in such code, as to where one draws limits. As a pragmatist, I do believe that society has the right to clarify, by law, the specific definitions as to how businesses have to act in providing service. You agreed to as much in noting that emergency, medical and other services should be legally forced to provide services to anyone in their scope of services. The difference is in degree. The question is thus in degree: Should a private business be allowed to discriminate (by refusing business) against a specific group of people purely on the basis of their sexual orientation? The law currently says no for each and every business. I suggest you lobby to change the law.
Had the owners of this shop argued that this decision falls outside of a noted code of conduct, and made efforts to refer this couple to a willing provider of services, they probably could have made a viable argument of this being a business decision -as it could have caused them to lose other customers, etc. (It also probably wouldn't have become a court case). The bottom line is: Refusal of service needs to be defined in terms of a business decision, lest it be open for such claims.

Marshall Art said...


"Yes, it is really discrimination--by the fact of refusing service--and in the definition as noted in the law."

I concede this point, and...

"You are better off asking if the law is moral or right."

...this is the point I was clumsily attempting to make. It isn't right, or Constitutional, as I stated before, to force a group of people with a set of religious beliefs, to serve proud sinners in any and every way, particularly based on the desires of the sinners, more specifically, a group comprising such a minute percentage of the population. Further, I don't believe it should be up to the Christian to provide an alternative as that would be serving them as well. Also, it conflicts with the Christians' right of free association. I believe it also conflicts with the 9th Amendment (I think) which says one person's rights can't trump another's (in not so many words---I'll look it up later).

Legally, I assumed the law stretched as far as you've suggested, though I admit I wasn't sure. Hence, I spoke from the perspective of the way it oughta be.

To touch again on Vinny's question, there is a difference in businesses where to refuse service is difficult to enact by the owner, such as a grocery or retail store. However, even the flaming versions seeking to add to their smashing outfits or to stock up on Mazola, you know, for the cook-out (wink wink), in these cases they are only existing or going about a normal, everyday excursion called shopping. The photographer is being asked to participate in a celebration of their sin. The rental property owner is being asked to provide a place wherein they can partake of their sin. And in the latter case, whether an extra room in the house, or an apartment in a 100 unit apartment building, it's private property and property is an important point in determining one's rights (go to and scroll down a couple of days to an article regarding privacy and property rights by a guy named Anderson for the connection. Or I'll link in the next comment. I'm afraid I'll lose what I've just typed.)

At the same time, I have no problem with the concept of letting any business owner be as discriminating as he likes. The market will determine his success or failure in business if enough people care. The discriminated are sure to easily find another source for whatever it is the discriminator is selling.

Marshall Art said...

Here's the AT link.

Four* Pointer said...


I think the photog might have a case if she argues that she is beong forced to be an active participant in an event that she finds offensive. For example, suppose the KKK wanted to hire a black photographer to photograph their rally. Would all the flaming libs be so quick to force the black photographer to participate in such an event? I think we both know the answer to that.

As far as Vinny's argument about "Could the local Holiday Inn refuse to rent them a room for the reception? Could Appleby's refuse to serve them dinner if they just went there to celebrate after the ceremony?" Yes, they could.

A restaurant can refuse to serve a customer who is being loud and belligerent. Isn't that customer allowed to exercise his "freedom of expression?" Why does Applebee's think they can refuse service to someone who is simply exercising their First Amendment rights?

So yes, restaurants, grocery stores (no shirt, no shoes, no service), etc can always exercise their own discretion for refusing someone service on the basis of behavior and even lifestyle--but not over things they cannot change (race, color, national origin).