|Here's a FOX "News" story about one of the early|
"religious freedom" cases, Sweet Cakes by Melissa.
There wasn't legal marriage in Oregon at the time.
Helpfully labeled so you know he's not Melissa.
Marriage equality is very nearly a done deal. Before the end of the year, we'll likely be past 35 states and the District of Columbia. What's left is pretty much the deep south and the Dakotas, with some stragglers around the edges (come on, Ohio, you're embarrassing me!). But the anti-gay side--and don't kid yourself, that is what they are--isn't ready to give up. Since they're pretty much out of options in regard to the actual legality of same-sex marriage, what they've got left is to make all sorts of claims of "religious freedom." They're actually making a case that the ability to legally discriminate, shun, or otherwise refuse service to gay people, is a central tenet of their religion.
|And the story about the |
Houston sermon subpoena
thing from Joe.My.God.
That's mayor Annise Parker,
who's caught up in it.
So, they've amped up their martyr complexes, and made mini celebrities out of themselves all across Right Wing World. And now that equality has come to the majority of the US, they're turning it up to eleven. The trouble is, their claims have just enough truthiness, and surfacy-outrage to potentially stick. In other words, though their claims are absolute bullshit, it might sound convincing enough to create backlash. Now, why do I say their claims are bullshit?
Well, first there is the above note that they have a difficult time pointing out the specific religious objections they might have to selling products or services to gay people. Second, this often has little to do with marriage itself, it has to do with public accommodation laws, which predate legal marriage. If you have a public accommodation business, open to the general public, you must serve the general public. It's as simple as the Woolworth's lunch counter not being legally able to bar black customers. I don't care if you don't think sexual orientation is a perfect analogy to race, legally, these cases are identical. If there is a public accommodation law that covers gay people (and they are far from universal, lest you think otherwise), you can't refuse to do business with them just because they're gay. Or have a different religion. Or are black. Or anything else covered by the law.
|The unbelievable disingenuousness of Las Vegas|
wedding chapels (Elvis?) alleging to be solemn
churches is just galling.
So, while I believe that these cases are bullshit, and a transparent attempt by the anti-gay to exert some control over a situation where they have none, I do worry. I saw Hobby Lobby, a case that was a
|A rustic, wild west, for-profit church?!?|
Our latest martyrs from Idaho.
As an atheist, I am a staunch supporter of religious freedom, because it protects my lack of belief, or is supposed to. But I don't like disingenuous, manipulative, dishonest movements like this one. And I have a very hard time thinking it's a good idea to grant legal exceptions for what amount to mythical beliefs.