November 10, 2014

Christian couple fined $13,000 for refusing to rent their wedding facility to a same-sex couple.

The facility is the farm where they've lived for 25 years, but they've made a business of offering it commercially for wedding ceremonies and receptions.
“We respect and care for everyone!’’ Cynthia Gifford told me. “We had an openly gay man working for us this past season... We’ve had a woman who’s transitioning to be a man. We don’t discriminate against anyone.... This is scary... It’s scary for all Americans."

202 comments:

1 – 200 of 202   Newer›   Newest»
MayBee said...

Whatever people who want to change the culture swear they won't do, they always end up doing.

Pete said...

You won, Althouse!

MadisonMan said...

I wonder (IANAL). Could a Methodist deny access in a similar venue to Catholics? I doubt it.

The owners could stipulate that only their own Priest could officiate the weddings at the venue, and that would essentially be the same thing.

Perhaps these owners can wait, and when the lesbians divorce, ask for the fine to be returned.

rhhardin said...

Enforcers are the rule.

MayBee said...

I should say "activists". People are great. Activists gotta activate.

rhhardin said...

If you want Epstein's rule, association should only be forced in noncompetitive markets.

rhhardin said...

The offense is that somebody doesn't think it's a marriage.

We can fine you to change your mind.

Amichel said...

TS. White had it right in the Once and Future King. We seem destined to the fate of an ant colony.

EVERYTHING WHICH IS NOT FORBIDDEN IS COMPULSORY

tim in vermont said...

Gay "Holy Matrimony," You heard it here first. That's the next target!

BrianE said...

I can't tell if you're rubbing your hands together in glee or not, but I have to assume you're satisfied with the results.

jacksonjay said...

What does Alex Walker have to say about this?

By the way, how does a couple of lesbians getting married threaten a traditional heterosexual couple, anyway? If you don't like SSM, don't get SSMed!

Bob R said...

People get upset when libertarians try to make a case against public accommodation laws. But as we can see here, it doesn't stop at true public accommodations like food and shelter. That's because tyranny is fun. It's good to be the king. Pushing around people who don't agree with you makes for good sport.

tim maguire said...

Thanks for the clarification, MayBee. This is not an argument against gay marriage, it's a sad example of the casual way certain rights of association are ignored by our "tolerant" society.

phantommut said...

I bet the lesbians in this case think of themselves as the Good People too. Heck, they only cost the couple $13,000 and ruined (or at least crippled) a business that served the needs of a lot of other people.

Because Angry Beavers rule.

chickelit said...

jacksonjay said...

By the way, how does a couple of lesbians getting married threaten a traditional heterosexual couple, anyway?

There are thirteen thousand reasons in the present example.

Mary Martha said...

For so long the argument was "Gay marriage will not impact anyone in the least. If you don't approve of gay marriage then you won't be forced to participate."

It is now clear that was a lie.

chillblaine said...

It's over. It ended when homosexuals secularized this holy sacrament. They achieved this by defining their goal as, "marriage equality."

Jail time for anyone who doesn't comply with their demands, even if it is to produce a wedding cake with Bert & Ernie on top. Individual liberty can go to hell.

RecChief said...

secretly recorded the conversation? sounds to me that the couple knew beforehand that the farm wouldn't book their wedding. Mental anguish my ass.

It's over. leftists never see the 2nd and 3rd order effects of their "activism".

phantommut said...

It's obvious from the story that the Angry Lesbians here were gunning for some Christian Bigots.

They'll be telling stories about the thrill of this hunt to all their Support Groups for years to come.

It's always open season on the bitter clingers.

Hey, it's all in Righteous Fun.

Heather said...

It was totally irrational of me to think people who didn't agree with gay marriage would be forced to participate.

Laslo Spatula said...

I would need to see the lesbians' breasts before I could render an opinion.

chickelit said...

Betting the farm and losing the House is the political fallout.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

Looking at those two smug, fat lesbian faces makes me feel angry. Taping the conversations ahead of time to set a trap? I hope they are proud of themselves. Decent people find that disgusting behavior.

Heartless Aztec said...

I blame the gay couple. While in complete support of gay marriage, the couple should have enough compassion and sensitivity to not upset these people who do not want them there.

I blame the proprietors. They should be able to over ride their aversion and rent the space to these wonderful people for the wedding they want. They do have civil rights.

Now that I've supported both sides of the coin (which I do)I've circled back to myself - Meade could well take a picture and put it on Puparazzo of me chasing my own tail. Sometimes society has conundrums that just aren't solvable by law, good sense or civil rights. Choose your poison.

Tank said...

The horse left the barn a long time ago when they turned private property into public accommodations. This kind of thing has been going on for years in other areas, now it's time to cram it down the throats of people who do not want to be directly involved in gay marriages. Did these farmers ever defend the sanctity of private property and freedom of association before? Well then, tough shit.

MayBee said...

Thanks. Tim in Vermont. Yeah, I had to change what I said because I realized how it sounded, and I am actually pro gay marriage and have been for decades.

It's the force I don't like, coupled with the recent promises that "Oh, we would ne-ver start *forcing* private businesses and churches to do what they don't agree with"

m stone said...

I'm thinking the gay marriage will be over before the appeals are exhausted.

m stone said...

I never would have guessed Maybee is pro-gay marriage.

A truly sensible person with a golden perspective in commenting.

JackWayne said...

This is just modern day red-lining. My bet is that Althouse supports that.

MayBee said...

Wow, thanks m stone.

Donald said...

How many people would be defending this business if its owners claimed their religious beliefs precluded them from permitting an inter-racial wedding in the facility?

jacksonjay said...

Laslo Spatula obviously didn't click over and read the article. Let's just say they aren't Elle "plus size"!

phantommut said...

I'm for Gay marriage, but very much against jerks and bigots.

One of my favorite married couples happens to be a couple of lesbians. They might be saddened and offended by the farmers in this story, but they wouldn't intentionally try to hurt them. That would be bigoted and mean.

One of the most annoying married couples I know happen to be a (different) couple of lesbians. I could very much see them pulling off the burn documented in this story.

I think the farm owners were wrong in their policy, but I don't think they held that policy in order to hurt anyone. The Angry Lesbians in this case should be ashamed of themselves for being so crass.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

Donald--I would.

The farm is their private property and their business and they should have to right to accept or decline business to whomever they want for any reason they want.

Tank said...

I'm with pants (and thank God for that).

CStanley said...

This is all a gray area for me, even though I personally don't support the expansion of the legal definition of marriage to include same sex couples, and I strongly support (and fear for) religious rights to object or abstain from participation.

Here's what makes me uncomfortable- I think the push for legitimization of SSM was a tipping point for Christians with regard to marriage. While some oppose it out of bigotry, there is a real theological reason for opposing it (best articulated by Catholic teaching on holy matrimony, IMO.)

But there are also real theological reasons for opposing some heterosexual unions. This is also best articulated in Catholic teaching, IMO. So if a religious entity (persons, organizations, or privately held companies) oppose these things across the board (for instance, a discernment process where priests help couples and determine if they will or will not agree to marry them) then there is no civil rights violation.

If the person or organization or business does not do that, though, then I can see why it is problematic to single out the same sex couples for this treatment.

Of course it is obvious why this particular objection has created more opposition among Christians- it is outwardly visible. This is what Catholics call scandal, and it is an additional layer of moral hazard.

Curious George said...

Those aren't Penthouse lesbians.

MadisonMan said...

It ended when homosexuals secularized this holy sacrament.

The secularization of the sacrament of marriage happened when the Government started issuing marriage licenses.

I'm not privy to the orientation of the Government officials who decided this was a good idea, but you are?

wendybar said...

Because FORCING people to do what is against their beliefs is so much more important than hurting someones feelings???? WTF??? Wait until it is your turn to be forced to do something. It will be coming, in this upside down world.

garage mahal said...

The farm is their private property and their business and they should have to right to accept or decline business to whomever they want for any reason they want.

Their farm is a LLC. New York state law bars places of public accommodation from discriminating based on sexual orientation. If they don't like laws that govern LLCs they can forfeit their profit and make their farm a house of worship. Putting the silly NYP article aside, this isn't very complicated.

Unknown said...

I wonder (IANAL). Could a Methodist deny access in a similar venue to Catholics? I doubt it.

IANAL either, but my understanding is that you have to be in a "protected class" for anti-discrimination laws regarding public accommodation to apply.

http://civilrights.findlaw.com/enforcing-your-civil-rights/discrimination-in-public-accommodations.html

Federal law does prohibit discrimination in public accommodation due to religion, so my guess is that no a Methodist could not deny access to a Catholic. Though when drafted I would think the protected religious classes in mind would have been Judaism, Hinduism, Islam, etc. Not various Christian denominations, though in the past that would, at least occasionally, have been an issue.

So the question is, should homosexuals be a protected class, and if so, should there be an exception for people with religious objections who are running businesses. (Not all of whom are going to be Christians by the way. I know this surprises a lot of secular people, but every major world religion condemns homosexuality as wrong. Hell, the Dalai Lhama has written a book that states married people shouldn't have sex during daylight hours.)

The pro-homosexual marriage people all say, "Of course!"

Their arguments, such as I can discern them, are:

"Homophobia! Cause racism! Shut up Christianist scum!"

While the argument from those whose religious beliefs are that homosexual marriage is wrong is that:

"Forcing religious people to either violate their beliefs or forgo participating in economic activity is going to force the truly religious to further withdraw from society or abandon their beliefs."

To which the pro-homosexual marriage advocates reply:

"Exactly!"

tim in vermont said...

If you don't like SSM, don't get SSMed!

More like "If you don't like SSM, you still have to perform them, irrespective of your beliefs because the government is forcing you."

YoungHegelian said...

You want to see more Republican landslides like Tuesday? Keep up shit like this, gay activists.

The Democratic coalition is based on limousine liberal money & minority votes. The limousine liberals are fine with SSM. The minority communities, not so much. When one day a gay activist ends up targeting a business owned by blacks or Latinos, the shit'll hit the fan, and the coalition will fracture.

Their liberal white supporters think gays are really cool & fabulous. They think gays are like filet mignon --- everyone should love it if you have any taste at all. The rest of America sees gays as Limburger cheese -- if you want to mess it with it, well, go ahead, but keep it out of my face, please.

Unknown said...

Demonstrating my point, Donald and garage mahal.

David said...

"Chickenshit" comes to mind. It's turning out to be a useful word.

Legally this is probably the correct result. But the claim is chickenshit. Some things are better let go. I would not want to associate with these two women, and it's not because they are gay.

Vengefulness does not assist in creating harmonious marriages. Good luck ladies.

RecChief said...

Donald said...
How many people would be defending this business if its owners claimed their religious beliefs precluded them from permitting an inter-racial wedding in the facility?


That's an excellent question.

I've been told that homosexuality is something you're born with. Coded into your DNA. Except I've also seen advocates in the LGBT community say it's a choice.

If it's a lifestyle choice, then I don't see why any business owner couldn't refuse service. There used to be signs at bars that said "we reserve the right to refuse service...". It was so that they could refuse service to people who made the lifestyle choice to get drunk and raise hell. By the way, since genome mapping and gene therapies, I haven't heard any of the people I know in the LGBT community tell me it's in their DNA. As far as inter-racial marriage, you can't change the color of your skin (unless you're Michael Jackson).

Again, I think this would be an argument for allowing market forces to work. I'm guessing that there are plenty of people in the business of renting their property for weddings who don't give two shits about who the participants are. So it's not like every lunch counter refuses them service. Once a lesbian couple is refused, word will go out, and some of the opposite sex couples who would have booked a marriage ceremony, won't. Same result, but through a invisible mechanism.

This is also an argument for Civil Unions for everyone in the eyes of the state, and a marriage if you can find a church who finds your union acceptable to their tenets. Mark 12:17 is an excellent guide in this regard.

Unknown said...

to clarify, pro-homosexual marriage advocates are for making homosexuals a protected class and against any religious exemptions in public accommodation law.

Michael said...

Of course the gays are pissed. Because their marriage is not marriage marriage. They know it. Everyone knows it.

You can fine everyone on the planet 13 grand but it will still not be marriage marriage.

Stomp feet hard but still it is not....

Paddy O said...

"How many people would be defending this business if its owners claimed their religious beliefs precluded them from permitting an inter-racial wedding in the facility?"

This is a key question, I think. One that I was expecting to see.

The question it raises assumes that gender is the same as race, and that identity is established by sexual preferences, thus raising to the level that prior examples of discrimination.

It then defines the question in terms of such discrimination, which is really at the heart of the non-debate in our society. People who argue for gay marriage argue that sexual preference establishes a form of identity, that marriage is defined as a formalized relationship of two people.

These are assumed then others are judged for their reactions.

It misses the fundamental religious issue at hand. The religious side does not see sexuality as identity. Sex is what we do, not who we are. With this, the fundamental religious understanding of marriage is in terms of like and not-like, where it is the distinctions of physicality that create a bonding partner.

Which is why the question about inter-racial marriage is so apt. It both exemplifies one side's assumptions while entirely missing the religious side's assumptions, which is the state of the current debate.

What does it mean to be human? At what point does our behavior provide identity?

Sexuality has been part of the religious debates well before Christianity, so seeing sexuality as extraneous to religious conversation is simply absurd. At the same time, seeing the other side solely in terms of unproven and unsubstantiated philosophical assumptions is also absurd.

Both sides do it, of course, the one thinking the others are bigots, the other side thinking their opponents are debauched.

That's why the question about racial discrimination asked from one side is like the other side asking, "Well, what if someone wanted to marry their couch?"

It misses the absolutely key issue at hand. We're not talking about couches, we're talking about people. We're not talking about race, we're talking about sexuality.

YoungHegelian said...

@Ralph,

...pro-homosexual marriage advocates are for making homosexuals a protected class...

Exactly, and the problem is that, aside from simple legal positivism, there is absolutely no justification for doing so. Sadly, now that there is legal precedent for the creation other "protected classes" that are simply legal fictions (e.g. Hispanic), it's not just the camel's nose that's under the tent, it's the whole beast. The Libertarians were right years ago when they warned us that the logic of affirmative action taken to its conclusion would be disastrous.

James Pawlak said...

President Jefferson prescribed a solution for tyrants---Including certain judges.

Michael K said...

"Could a Methodist deny access in a similar venue to Catholics? I doubt it."

How odd to say this. Catholic and Protestant churches share facilities all the time.

The question of whether a Protestant couple would want a Catholic priest to officiate is an even stranger question.

This all about cramming homosexual marriage down the throats of religious people. I could not be less interested in the matter of gay marriage itself but this harassment of religious people is an example of hubris and will eventually be punished.

I expect the gays to go after church tax exemptions soon but my left wing son assured me that my concerns were groundless. That was about six years ago.

Birkel said...

"garage mahal" thinks the choice of business organization determines the rights of the people who run the business. Therefore, if one contracts to rid oneself of those pesky First Amendment rights, it's no problem.

In other areas, however, fundamental rights cannot be contracted away.

It's a puzzle "garage mahal" will never recognize as such.

Virgil Hilts said...

George Mahal - your "the law is the law" argument is not that persuasive given the large number of state statutes that made homosexual acts illegal for much of this country's history. The question is not whether the law is the law; its whether the law is an ass in this particular case.

Unknown said...

'There's glory for you!'
'I don't know what you mean by "glory",' Alice said.
Humpty Dumpty smiled contemptuously. 'Of course you don't — till I tell you. I meant "there's a nice knock-down argument for you!"'
'But "glory" doesn't mean "a nice knock-down argument",' Alice objected.
'When I use a word,' Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, 'it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.'
'The question is,' said Alice, 'whether you can make words mean so many different things.'
'The question is,' said Humpty Dumpty, 'which is to be master — that's all.'

mccullough said...

It's New York. Move if you don't like it. Plenty of people leaving.

Birkel said...

mccullough:
Let me try that argument, paraphrased, for you.

It's the South, black people. If you don't like it, move. Plenty of people are moving away from the South.

NOPE! That argument is a poor one.

hawkeyedjb said...

The law is the law.

Don't like the law? Then don't open a coffeehouse and tell people they can't exercise their second amendment rights. If you don't like guns in coffeehouses, get out of the business.

Submit. Conform. Obey.

mccullough said...

Birkel,

The federal government and the states have been interfering with small business owners' economic freedom for a long time. There's no federal law, at least yet, prohibiting them from doing what they did. But there is a stateaw. So they have to move to another state.

Your example of blacks in the south is why there is already a federal law prohibiting private discrimination. So do you think there should be a federal law banning discrimination against gays? Because it sounds like you do from your example.

Jane the Actuary said...

The next step: there are various "freelance" ministers who perform weddings as an occupation. There are other churches who provide weddings for non-parishoners; I suspect there are fees involved, or else "donations" which are essentially mandatory. They may not have LLC'd themselves but I fail to see what the legal distinction is.

All of the logic for all of these cases so far says, "if you charge a fee, you're a business and not a religious entity, so you're not protected."

jr565 said...

Those pushing for gay marriage SWORE this type of stuff wouldn't happen.
The issue is occurring by the way because of gays insistence on redefining marriage as opposed to accepting civil unions that provide the same rights.
The problem is they prior to this the civil definition of marriage was the same as the religious definition. And so ere was no conflict in providing weddings because it's the same thing.
Now they added a whole new definition but still have the same word. So then it becomes a religious crisis. And civil society is FORCING this crisis.
It would be like knowing Muslims don't serve pork, but then Changing the name of some pork to 'non pork' and then having people sue a business if they don't serve non pork. But themmuslims would say IT IS PORK, you just called it something differently.

CWJ said...

Donald wrote -

"How many people would be defending this business if its owners claimed their religious beliefs precluded them from permitting an inter-racial wedding in the facility?"

It depends. Are we talking about a normal male female inter-racial couple as I'm guessing you're asking us to imagine? Or are we talking about a same sex inter-racial couple?

Jane the Actuary said...

Here's a link to the fees for non-member use of a local church: http://images.acswebnetworks.com/1/302/WeddingApplication.pdf

If they allow non-members to pay their way into a wedding service, are they at risk of being a public accomodation?

Renee said...

I have little sympathy for wedding vendors, they're a part of the problem. Focused on the wedding day, not the relationship.

Pastors and public policy care about relationships.

MadisonMan said...

Catholic and Protestant churches share facilities all the time.

Really? So I could have a Methodist minister marry me in a Methodist ceremony in St. Peter's in Vatican City?

The owners of the venue in question could, I think, supply the minister to do the Religious ceremony. If the Religion in question does not perform Same-Sex marriages, problem solved.

The reason they supply the Officiant could be suitably couched (for your convenience, and we're sorry but no substitutions are allowed) to pass muster.

Unknown said...

The purpose of introducing interracial marriage into the discussion is to enable the branding of opponents as bigots and, as we all know, bigots don't have civil rights.

Anonymous said...

“We respect and care for everyone!’’ Cynthia Gifford told me. “We had an openly gay man working for us this past season,’’ she said.

“We’ve had a woman who’s transitioning to be a man. We don’t discriminate against anyone.’’


Jesus, I wish people being targeted by these angry, unappeassably aggrieved pains in the ass would learn to show some spine and self-respect.

Stop groveling. It only encourages them.

Donald: How many people would be defending this business if its owners claimed their religious beliefs precluded them from permitting an inter-racial wedding in the facility?

I would, for one. (Putting aside for now your erroneous assumption that all right-thinking people must accept that race and sex are analogous categories...)

garage mahal said...

The question is not whether the law is the law; its whether the law is an ass in this particular case.

Then change the law. Why do rights of business owners trump the rights of the individual? If you are in love and are denied the ability to marry in a publicly declared business that offers marriage services, you are not free.

CWJ said...

Ralph Hyatt wrote -

"to clarify, pro-homosexual marriage advocates are for making homosexuals a protected class and against any religious exemptions in public accommodation law."

Rent seeking on the back of the original civil rights movement.

jr565 said...

Everyone can marry the same. That doesn't allow for new forms of marriage. Saying we should legalize a new form of marriage would be based on the merits of that marriage, not on an equality argument. Gays had the exact same rights as non hpgays when it came to marriage. No one could marry members tori the same sex. Equal.
If society says we should make gay marriage a priority,mthen recognize its not a marriage per se, but we are granting it rights. This would be worked at on the local level. And if the sites said no, oh well. .but if they said yes, then great for gays. Thets the way this should have been handled.
One of my biggest beefs with gay marriage is not even so much that hays should behave rights they are denied but how those arguing for gay marriage are arguing for it. And the lengths they will go,to vilify anyone who disagrees.

Freeman Hunt said...

Say Sanford wanted to marry his mistress there. Would they have to allow it?

Renee said...

@Jane

I saw the application, some churches organize themselves with registered members. Some do this with annual dues, others do not.

For instance you may not be registered at a Catholic parish, even if you are a Catholic free to marry. The parish according to either the bride's or groom's residence be there parish if they are not registered with another.

jr565 said...

Garage mahal wrote:
"Then change the law. Why do rights of business owners trump the rights of the individual? If you are in love and are denied the ability to marry in a publicly declared business that offers marriage services, you are not free."
There are any number of places you can go.similarly in Hobby Lobby, if your employer doesn't provided you abortifacients, you can go to CVS.
Is imposing s harm on a religious business or a business claiming the religious objection,the least harmful way to achieve the result?

Unknown said...

Really? So I could have a Methodist minister marry me in a Methodist ceremony in St. Peter's in Vatican City?

Probably not, but I, a Lutheran, have attended several Catholic weddings. And just last week I attended a funeral for someone who had converted to Russian Orthodox ten years ago that was held in the non-denominational chapel of a funeral home.

Certainly the chapels in hospitals are used by both Catholics and Protestants. I dare say even St. Jude Children's Hospital has had some Protestant patronage.

Fernandinande said...

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...
Looking at those two smug, fat lesbian faces makes me feel angry. Taping the conversations ahead of time to set a trap? I hope they are proud of themselves. Decent people find that disgusting behavior.


Hell, I'd be fat, smug-ugly, sleazy, tyrannical and perverse for only $12,000.

CWJ said...

Ralph Hyatt @ 10:19,

Your near simultaneous comment completes my thought. Yours was primarily means. Mine motive.

chillblaine said...

"Why do rights of business owners trump the rights of the individual?"

You have this exactly backwards. The individual business owner's liberty is being trampled by a protected class.

Unknown said...

Why do rights of business owners trump the rights of the individual?

I was unaware that business owners are not individuals.

Perhaps we might more usefully formulate this as:

"Under what circumstances do the rights of one individual triumph over another?"

With the corollary:

"Is the inability to force someone to marry me who does not want do so make me unfree?"

By the way, the answer to the second question is a big fat no.

mccullough said...

Garage makes an interesting point that separates libertarians from liberals. To libertarians, freedom means freedom from the government. So the owners here are the ones whose freedom is being constricted, according to libertarians.

According to liberals, freedom means being allowed to use business services without discrimination. So the government, by passing and enforcing this anti-discrimination law, is enhancing freedom, according to liberals.

The Cracker Emcee Refulgent said...

"How many people would be defending this business if its owners claimed their religious beliefs precluded them from permitting an inter-racial wedding in the facility?"

That's not the case here so your question is irrelevant. Your attempt to equate the tantrums of smug, white middle-class clowns with the struggles of people of color is vomitous.
Slimy attempts to create false equivalancies make me think that perhaps Crack is right and white people do suck.

Lucid said...

garage said:
Why do rights of business owners trump the rights of the individual? If you are in love and are denied the ability to marry in a publicly declared business that offers marriage services, you are not free.


Business owners are also individuals with rights, correct? If you can't have a business that doesn't support homosexual marriage, like you want, are you truly free?

Must the minority always prevail? In this case are the business owners saying the couple can't get married, or that can't get married at their facility?

richard mcenroe said...

Time to start talking about "Queer Privilege"?

Unknown said...

Also, I was rather surprised to find out that while wedding ceremonies at St Peter's must be Catholic, they only require one of the couples to be Catholic.

Mixed marriages are allowed, if you have permission.

http://www.weddingsitaly.com/wedding-ceremonies/catholic-ceremony.html

garage mahal said...

I was unaware that business owners are not individuals.

If two gay business owners want to get married in a public business that offers marriage services, we can't infringe on their rights to get married either.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

Fern--except those two lovely ladies did it for $1500 each and the delicious, delicious righteousness.

The $10,000, as I recall from the article, went to the State of New York.

:)

And Garage--obviously I know they are an LLC; as others have pointed out, the law in an ass, which is the point. Surely you are aware that many hold the view that public accommodation laws are destructive to freedom of association.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

And agree with Anglelyne's observation re: groveling and meant to make it myself.

Just once I'd like to see these people not feel compelled to offer the Act of Contrition: "We love gay people! We're not bigots! Please believe us!"

I wish people would treat the question as to whether they are "bigots" as the irrelevancy it is.

Jason said...

Why do rights of business owners trump the rights of the individual?

News flash: business owners are individuals, dummy.

CStanley said...

I have to quibble with Paddy O on this:

It misses the fundamental religious issue at hand. The religious side does not see sexuality as identity. Sex is what we do, not who we are. With this, the fundamental religious understanding of marriage is in terms of like and not-like, where it is the distinctions of physicality that create a bonding partner.

Agree with the last sentence, but the "Sex is what we do, not who we are" isn't quite right. Sex, as in "male" or "female", is very much a part of our identity and that is what forms the basis for marriage as a joining of the two complementary sexes.

I take it that you may have been referring to a distinction between sex as an identity an action, and on that I agree (which forms the basis for tea pining that being homosexual is not a sin but engaging in homosexual acts is.)

Curious George said...

"garage mahal said...

If two gay business owners want to get married in a public business that offers marriage services, we can't infringe on their rights to get married either. "

Ok, what's "public business", and what does it have to do with this. We are talking about a private business.

Second, it's not "marriage services". It's "wedding services." The wedding has nothing to do with two people getting married. That's a government function. No wedding required. Just a fee, a few signatures, a witness.



Achilles said...

Ooohhhh... look at all the aggrieved conservatives who liked the power of the majority when they were the majority and don't like it when they are the minority. Yeah, using government to force someone into a business contract is wrong, but so was using the power of government to keep people from entering into a consensual contract.

We are going to get a new generation of libertarians out of this. The right in this country will believe in individual liberty now because of this. The progressives are making a huge mistake with this overreach. Majorities support gay marriage but bigger majorities think this is wrong.

Negative reinforcement is the fastest and most effective method of instruction. Hopefully conservatives are learning that democracy is the worst way to decide policy.

Achilles said...

garage mahal said...

"The question is not whether the law is the law; its whether the law is an ass in this particular case.

Then change the law. Why do rights of business owners trump the rights of the individual? If you are in love and are denied the ability to marry in a publicly declared business that offers marriage services, you are not free."

There is our little resident Jackboot helping our conservative members learn about the joys of government "protection."

Chef Mojo said...

My goodness. It's a rare day when I find myself in complete agreement with garage mahal. On this particular case and subject, garage is dead on.

"The law is a ass" is never a negation of law, but only an opinion of it. That term has long been a high sounding bit of Dickensian drivel most often used to mount moral certitude upon a losing legal argument. Another refuge for a scoundrel.

President-Mom-Jeans said...

Ah, that fat divorced middle school athletic hero chimes in on the topic of marriage.

How did yours work out for you, Madison Dough Boy?

And how was your November 4th? Mine was as fabulous as a same sex wedding.

n.n said...

If I lived a political life, I would confront selective exclusion, and force the issue to the forefront. So, bigamy, polygamy, incest, pedophilia (consent was relegated with the "choice"), and, yes, bestiality (animal and human equivalence is overwhelmingly unpopular and restricted to minority cults). All loving and not so loving relationships are bands in the "rainbow", despite the efforts of "equality"-minded individuals to suppress them.

Progressivism/incrementalism is an unethical ideology that creates moral hazards deferred to future generations for reconciliation. A Catastrophic Global Climate (e.g. cultural, moral, biological) Change would bypass progressivism and selectivity (e.g. pro-choice) and expose the consequences of the degenerate religion now, not later. It is dissociation of risk that is the opiate of the masses and elites.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Unpossible.

Skeptical Voter said...

Nothing like the various social justice Gestapos promoting "human rights" around the countryside.

In the USA today "tolerance" is something extended to thee, but sure as heck not to me.

This lesbian couple decided to make a mess at the farm--and they did.

Skeptical Voter said...

Ah n.n. when you bring bestiality into the mix, I'd have to say that a lot of animals have gotten "married" on a farm.

Of course one member of the party might be singing "Only Ewe", but there is a question of consent.

Gahrie said...

If you are in love and are denied the ability to marry in a publicly declared business that offers marriage services, you are not free.

Then what are you?

So your position is that if a private individual or business refuses to transact business with you they are enslaving you? That doesn't make sense.

Seems to me that you are perfectly free. Free to find a business that does want to serve you.

Gahrie said...

To those of you on the Right:

This sort of lawfare is going to continue. It is time to start fighting back.

Anonymous said...

Achilles: Ooohhhh... look at all the aggrieved conservatives who liked the power of the majority when they were the majority and don't like it when they are the minority. Yeah, using government to force someone into a business contract is wrong, but so was using the power of government to keep people from entering into a consensual contract.

Why, yes, Achilles, that's the libertarian view of government - a values-neutral enforcer of private contracts. Why are you projecting it onto non-conservatives? Neither liberals nor conservatives believe that government should never forbid some contracts and could or should never force citizens into other contracts. I'm sure you do know that, so what's with that "Ooohhhh" expressing puzzlement that people who aren't libertarians aren't arguing from libertarian first principles?

We are going to get a new generation of libertarians out of this.

Yeah, and then they'll grow up, and realize that the libertarian non-society of freely-contracting atoms with no shared culture and irreconcilable moral views is every bit as unworkable (and as likely to end unpleasantly) as those wonderful communist utopias.

I was pretty libertarian when I was 17.

n.n said...

Skeptical Voter:

I only include it because it was a topic of public discussion in Europe recently. Europeans have dismissed interspecies marriage with an argument that animals cannot offer implied consent. Apparently, this is a real issue that required political intervention to force reconciliation.

n.n said...

Basically, the Europeans argued that planned parenthood survivors (i.e. human clumps of cells) can be forced to register for Obamacare, but animals cannot as a matter of principle. Perhaps they think its gross, or antithetical to evolutionary fitness, or something.

RecChief said...

I'll just leave this here without comment on the peaceful desires of marriage equality activists and religious freedom.

tim in vermont said...

I hope the Democrats keep this up. For my own selfish reasons.

Kind of like the comment uncovered from Grumly that they had to make Obamacare impenetrable because Americans are stupid and wouldn't have gone for it if they knew what was in it.

prairie wind said...

Noticed that the two women each got only $1500 or the $13,000; the government, though, got to keep $10,000.

Because the feelings of the government were so hurt.

MaxedOutMama said...

Well, in the end, the farmer couple's decision was:
In summer, wedding ceremonies and receptions also are held on the farm. But once already-booked nuptials take place, the Giffords will no longer schedule new ceremonies. Only receptions — including same-sex ones — will go on.

Because it's really the marriage thing they stick at, not same-sex orientation. Seems like a pointless win to me.

Birkel said...

The point you missed, mccullough, was that the rights of the business owners were trampled. We already have laws to protect the business owners, namely the five parts of the First Amendment as incorporated against the states in the 14th Amendment. And the US Constitution remains Supreme even though New York would pretend otherwise.

Try harder.

Krumhorn said...

How many people would be defending this business if its owners claimed their religious beliefs precluded them from permitting an inter-racial wedding in the facility?

When last heard, marriage is a sacrament in most religious beliefs. I don't recall ever hearing anything about a racial component in the mainstream religious canons.

- Krumhorn

Jupiter said...

Donald said...
"How many people would be defending this business if its owners claimed their religious beliefs precluded them from permitting an inter-racial wedding in the facility?"

Why drag religion into it? If the owners want to put up a sign saying "No White People Allowed on These Premises", then us white people will have to find other premises to occupy. It's their property, for Christ's sake.

Anonymous said...

This is only going to get worse.

The culture wars are heating up and it's not going to end well for any of us.

The most surprised are going to be those who think, "It's over."

Chuck said...

There is, amazingly enough, some merit in something written by garage mahal:


"Their farm is a LLC. New York state law bars places of public accommodation from discriminating based on sexual orientation. If they don't like laws that govern LLCs they can forfeit their profit and make their farm a house of worship. Putting the silly NYP article aside, this isn't very complicated."


Indeed. Homosexuals win when the law is clearly on their side, such as with a public accommodation law like New York state's law.

But it gets a lot stickier when garage has to reckon with other perfectly valid state laws like those in Michigan, Ohio, Utah, Tennessee, Kentucky, etc., etc., in which the electorate has reached different conclusions about same-sex marriage. Not just state-based statutory laws, passed by legislative majorities but state CONSTITUTIONS in which sometimes supermajorities or combinations of popular votes plus approval by all elements of state government have endorsed bans on recognition of same-sex marriages.

So yeah, New York. Have at it. Your laws have won the day, including in Windsor v. U.S. Now, see what sort of respect for state law there exists on the part of Justice Kennedy when he reviews the case of DeBoer v. Snyder coming out of the Sixth Circuit.

Jupiter said...

"Neither liberals nor conservatives believe that government should never forbid some contracts and could or should never force citizens into other contracts."

Angelyne, this is puzzling me. Can you give an example of a contract you think the government should force people into?

MaxedOutMama said...

Ralph Hyatt - but the interesting thing about this situation is that it is impossible to withdraw from economic participation in society. Of course ministers charge a fee for a marriage or a funeral in most cases. They will be the next targets.

The laws, interestingly, forbid Christians or Muslims or Buddhists from employing and associating with people who just think like they do.
So the laws on the one hand forbid privacy of association for the purpose of following one's beliefs, and on the other hand they force this sort of accommodation if one is "public".

In the end, this will result in the development of a subsociety in which a great many more people will be associated in religious civil and economic institutions, such as some Mennonites and Amish engage in, such as some Orthodox Jewish communities, etc.

I happen to think it's not a good result. But people cannot sacrifice some of their beliefs, and this sort of thing doesn't leave an alternative.

The paradox is that there are tens of millons of people in this country with belief systems akin to this couple's, so won't the result be more exclusionary toward those with a same sex orientation? But it will happen!

The courts will not rule against those associations, because they cannot. They can't outlaw the freedom to live your religion, or things such as halal bakeries, or kosher delis, or the Hasidic or Orthodox Jewish communities with their own institutions that are set up so that they can lead their own lives in conformity with their belief systems.

I mean, there's not much required of Christians in their daily lives other than not to be mean to other people, but one of the preeminent rules for any basically Christian belief system is that you can't deny that God's laws exist, although you can try to mitigate the bad results of not obeying them.

The problem is that such communities will become very successful, quite wealthy and in the end have disproportionate societal influence. We seem to be backing ourselves away from an open society. I can't see this as a good result, overall.

Jane the Actuary said...

Written during lunch break: http://janetheactuary.blogspot.com/2014/11/marriage-sacrament-or-commercial-service.html

Bottom line cynical prediction: there'll be trouble the first time a lesbian couple wants a church wedding, at a church that ordinarily allows nonmembers to have weddings there, if they pay required fees.

phantommut said...

So much of the minutia of the law would be unnecessary if people would just refrain from being assholes.

Paddy O said...

CStanley,

Sex as the verb. Maybe more precisely: "Sexual intercourse is what we do, not who we are"

Annie C. said...

Gahrie said it perfectly!

NotWhoIUsedtoBe said...

This was so predictable that even I saw it coming.

The religious bigots are going to get the war on religion that they want, with gay marriage as the weapon of choice.

The best kind of hatred is one cloaked in righteousness. I'm very suspicious of people who follow causes in which they have no apparent stake. Usually it's because the cause allows them to hate someone or something without guilt.

On the other side, all the people going on about the sanctity of marriage were the same people who watched divorce rates skyrocket and illegitimacy become normal. They didn't lift a finger until gay marriage came along. Only then did they demand gov't action. If marriage is in trouble, fix marriage. Don't scapegoat gays.

This is why I think people need to fight their own battles. Don't let them be hijacked by outside interests with their own agenda.

Derek Kite said...

"How many people would be defending this business if its owners claimed their religious beliefs precluded them from permitting an inter-racial wedding in the facility?"

That isn't what happened.

What if they owners were Jewish and the lesbians insisted that they rent the place to them on Sabbath?

CStanley said...

Yes that is better Paddy O. I thought that was probably what you meant but taken literally as written it kind of undermined the whole basis for the theology of matrimony (or as JPII called it, theology of the body.)

Known Unknown said...

Garage is right.

Live by the state, die by the state.

Freeman Hunt said...

What the place refused to rent to a couple who wanted vows of a more temporary nature, omitting the "'til death do us part?"

What if the place refused to rent to a couple for an arranged marriage?

What if the place only rented to couples whose vows honored Allah and His Prophet?

NotWhoIUsedtoBe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

"On the other side, all the people going on about the sanctity of marriage were the same people who watched divorce rates skyrocket and illegitimacy become normal. They didn't lift a finger until gay marriage came along. Only then did they demand gov't action. If marriage is in trouble, fix marriage. Don't scapegoat gays. "

Huh?

How does one fix something without first defining it? Which is what the battle of "gay" marriage is all about.

Your point is putting the cart before the horse. You tell me to fix marriage but leave the gays out of it.

Heh, that would be my pleasure.

Jupiter said...

"What if the place only rented to couples whose vows honored Allah and His Prophet?"

Yes, it does appear that the Left's War on Religion never seems to encounter any mosques.

Anonymous said...

"Yes, it does appear that the Left's War on Religion never seems to encounter any mosques. "

This is where the political right has been behind the time. Lawfare.

If the right were wise, they'd get conservative gay couples who oppose this sort of nonsense to start taping conversations with Mosques and other religious institutions yesterday.

Because while this particular case may not deal with a Church, it's coming. Might as well make the main case against a politically correct religion and see how that goes.

Mark said...

Could a Methodist deny access in a similar venue to Catholics? I doubt it.

Why not? The Catholic Church would deny this venue to Catholics, so why not the Methodists?

Renee said...

FYI

There was plenty of research on divorce / fatherless from the 80s/90s.

Every time we were vocal, about the alarming rates we were told to shut up back then as well.

Matt said...

If you offer a service that rents to people who want to marry then you offer a service that rents to people who want to marry. Period.

Would you be able to run a restaurant that doesn't serve Jewish people? Would be able to run a bookstore that doesn't sell books to women? No.

You cannot be in business and discriminate based on how you 'feel' about people's life style. Marriage in NY is legal.

PackerBronco said...

We need to make a distinction between discrimination based on the individual and discrimination based on the service.

For example, say I have business in which I create angel sculptures for lawn and garden decoration. Then a man approaches for me to create a sculpture of Satan, who is after all just a fallen angel? Am I obligated to accept the commission?

It seems obvious to me that I have no obligation to product an item or perform a service which is not part of my business. And thus it would not be discrimination against the customer to refuse the commission based on the grounds that the customer is trying to order something which my business simply doesn't handle.

On the other hand, say that I had policy in which I absolutely refused to serve customers based on their religious faith (or lack of it) so that when a Satanist or an atheist came to my shop, I refused him service and refused to sell one of my pre-carved sculptures. At that point, I am discriminating based on religion and probably have run afoul of the law.

The question then becomes, can a business be so designed to specialize in catering to heterosexual marriages (and even heterosexual marriages with Christian roots) and not to other types of marriages? In other words, can a proprietor of a business say, "I do not object to homosexuals or homosexual marriages, but the product or service you want to buy from me (be it a cake, managing the ceremony, or something that requires direct participation) is simply not what I'm in business to do.

Speaking for myself, I believe that a business can be constituted so as to specialize in one type of marriage or another. People have sincere and deeply held beliefs as to why they want to organize their business model around heterosexual marriages and I don't see why they should be compelled to offer products or services that they don't wish to offer.

To conclude: in my opinion a couple that refuses to manage a homosexual marriage is not discriminating against homosexuals as people; rather they are asserting their right to determine what kind of business they intend to run and what kinds of products and services they intend to sell.

RecChief said...

You cannot be in business and discriminate based on how you 'feel' about people's life style.

1. is homosexuality genetic or a lifestyle choice?

MadisonMan said...

Would you be able to run a restaurant that doesn't serve Jewish people?

Sure! Just serve pork and shellfish.

Mark said...

Would you be able to run a restaurant that doesn't serve Jewish people?

So you think that every restaurant everywhere should be required to make their kitchens and dining rooms compliant with kosher laws? Or that they should be banned from selling pork? Or cheeseburgers? Because, otherwise, a Jew could not eat there.

Alexander said...

You most certainly can discriminate on a "lifestyle":

No shoes, no shirt, no service.

In fact, any business any where that cultivates an image is discriminating based on "lifestyle". Hell, any business that demands you have a particular amount of US legal tender in order to receive their product is discriminating based on "lifestyle".

CStanley said...

A few of the recent comments are going I. A direction I thought of as well. Is it discrimatory to only offer certain products and services?

A restaurant would be in violation of the law for refusing to serve Jewish customers, for instance, but they aren't compelled by law to keep a Kosher kitchen.

I suppose the counter argument is that the law itself on the (new) definition of marriage makes no distinction between the types of marriage and in fact the intent was to redefine the previous definition of marriage to be more inclusive. It might be hard, especially with a judicial branch that is activist in this regard IMO, to retain the right to distinguish the two types of unions.

Of course this very point is what causes many of us concern about the future of religious objection. How does this interpretation leave any room for clergy to discriminate? The argument that historically this hasn't been a problem is getting harder to accept as reassurance.

Mark said...

If you insist on following truth, if you follow the wisdom of tens of thousands of human history, then you are to be prohibited from entering into the public marketplace. Toleration is a one-way street.

gerry said...

1. is homosexuality genetic or a lifestyle choice?

They've mapped the genome.

The genomes of straights and homosexuals show no significant differences.

There is no "gay gene".

The debate continues.

Matt said...

Mark
> So you think that every restaurant everywhere should be required to make their kitchens and dining rooms compliant with kosher laws?

I didn't say that. You're comparing two different things. I said if you run a restaurant you can't discriminate against allowing Jewish people into your restaurant. The TYPE of food is not at issue. Being open to all people is. Offering food that isn't kosher is a specific service not related to simply serving food. The Jewish person isn't being told he CAN'T eat there. He is making that choice HIMSELF.

Same if you are a vegetarian restaurant you wouldn't serve meat. A vegetarian is WELCOME to come in but the CHOICE is limited. For instance no one would sue a bookstore for not selling shoes. But marriage is marriage. There is no distinction between same sex marriage and opposite sex marriage. It's just marriage as defined by the state.

Anonymous said...

Jupiter: Angelyne, this is puzzling me. Can you give an example of a contract you think the government should force people into?

Sure - the government forces me into all kinds of contracts I don't have a problem with - I have to contract with a garbage disposal service to keep the trash from piling up in my house and yard and stinking up the neighborhood, electricians to keep my house up to code, doctors or clinics to vaccinate my kids...you get the picture.

But I was making a general statement - the point being that Achilles was implying that there is something inconsistent or hypocritical about anyone thinking government should coerce this but not that - which is a garage level stupid claim, on the level of "hyuuk hyuuuk hyuuk, you rethuglicans hypocrites hate Obamacare and gun control but think the government has the right to impose infectious disease quarantines hyuuk hyuuk so much for caring about personal liberty haw haw haw haw burn".

Matt said...

RecChief, Alexander et al.

It doesn't matter if being gay is a choice or genetic or whatever. That has nothing to do with the issue. Same sex marriage is legal in New York. They don't ask WHY people are gay when they give out a marriage license. Therefore it does not matter. As if it would [or should] anyway....

RecChief said...

You're comparing two different things. I said if you run a restaurant you can't discriminate against allowing Jewish people into your restaurant. The TYPE of food is not at issue. Being open to all people is. Offering food that isn't kosher is a specific service not related to simply serving food. The Jewish person isn't being told he CAN'T eat there. He is making that choice HIMSELF.

Except for two points. First, the owners aren't preventing gays from entering their property, as they will allow same sex couples to use the building for receptions. What I get from your comments here is that a muslim should be able to walk into a Famous Dave's barbecue and demand Halal food. After all, Famous Dave's is for profit, and it is a "public accomodation".

RecChief said...

Matt said...
RecChief, Alexander et al.

It doesn't matter if being gay is a choice or genetic or whatever. That has nothing to do with the issue. Same sex marriage is legal in New York. They don't ask WHY people are gay when they give out a marriage license. Therefore it does not matter. As if it would [or should] anyway....


If you read my past posts, you'll see where I come down on same sex marriage. The issue here is whether a couple should be able to force someone, against their religious beliefs, to participate in a wedding. I'm not satisfied that they can, the photographer and cake baker cases notwithstanding. You seem to to be saying that gay marriage trumps the free exercise of a person's religion.

Jason said...

A Jewish butcher doesn't have to sell non-Kosher food. Why should another vendor be forced to sell non-Kosher marriages?

RecChief said...

There is no distinction between same sex marriage and opposite sex marriage.

uh, biological children would seem to be a possible distinction.

Not to mention, there seems to be a large swath of the public, in this country and others, that disagree with that statement.

Mark said...

There is no distinction between same sex marriage and opposite sex marriage

You do realize that you made a distinction here in insisting that there is no distinction?

Anonymous said...

John Lynch: The religious bigots...

Ah come on, John. Not everybody who disagrees with you is a religious bigot. Some of us atheists are "bigots" too.

The best kind of hatred is one cloaked in self-righteousness. I enjoy being paranoid and suspicious of, and engaging in bogus psychoanalysis about, people who follow causes in which *I* can't discern their having any apparent interest, mostly out of my sheer intellectual laziness, but also because I'm temperamentally incapable of attempting to get a handle on, let alone understand or respect, the viewpoints of people who disagree with me about something that punches my emotional hot buttons. But this allows me to project my own hostile emotions onto them and enjoy the pleasures of hatred without guilt.

FTFY.

Mark said...

you can't discriminate against allowing Jewish people into your restaurant. The TYPE of food is not at issue

Nowhere did this couple refuse to allow those with a same-sex attraction onto their property. Nowhere did they deny a same-sex attracted person from getting married. What they did refuse was to be involved with a fiction, a fraud.

Donald said...

The direction this thread is taking, towards re-defining the service offered, is something of a red herring.

What if the business owners offered only to provide "intra-racial marriage ceremonies?" Upon hearing a complaint that this is discriminatory, the owners would reply, "Of course it isn't. It applies to all races equally. No one of one race can marry someone of another race."

For those of you who would defend the business owners' right to refuse service to inter-racial couples, I grant that you're consistent. Of course, since 1964, your position is contrary to federal law. And the vast majority of Americans support that law.

For those of you who wouldn't permit a religious exemption for religious discrimination but would for refusal to allow SSM, what you're really saying is that it's wrong to deny people the equal protection of the law based on their race, but it's fine to do so on the basis of their sexual orientation. We can debate whether such a position is synonymous with bigotry. But at least we should be clear about what your position really is.

Gabriel said...

@RecChief: What I get from your comments here is that a muslim should be able to walk into a Famous Dave's barbecue and demand Halal food.

And receive damages when they don't get it.

This is exactly the analogy.

CStanley said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mark said...

The essence of equal protection is to treat similarly situated people similarly.
If they are, in fact, differently situated, it is of course appropriate to treat them differently.
A male-female relationship, which by its very nature is potentially procreative, is entirely different, i.e., not similarly situated, from a male-male or female-female relationship, both of which are, by their very nature, inherently sterile. Apples and oranges.

CStanley said...

For those of you who wouldn't permit a religious exemption for religious discrimination but would for refusal to allow SSM, what you're really saying is that it's wrong to deny people the equal protection of the law based on their race, but it's fine to do so on the basis of their sexual orientation. We can debate whether such a position is synonymous with bigotry. But at least we should be clear about what your position really is.

This is why some people have brought up the distinction between gay as an immutable identity (as is race) and a behavior or lifestyle choice,

Matt said...

RecChief

Do religious beliefs trump state laws when you run a public business? You are saying yes. I am saying no.

There are laws everywhere prohibiting businesses from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, race, sex, disability, religion or other protected categories. If YOU think that means Famous Dave's BBQ should prepare Halal food for Muslims then that's your interpretation. But show me the lawsuits where this happens. And then show me where a court would tell Dave's BBQ would be forced to comply.

You can't because the two are completely DIFFERENT. You know this. But I'm enjoying the debate.

tim in vermont said...

Basically, what the gay marriage movement is up to now is bayoneting the wounded.

Revenant said...

I'm puzzled as to why this is supposed to be shocking. If the title was "white couple fined for refusing to rent to black couple", nobody would bat an eye. The right to freedom of association was an early casualty of civil rights law.

mccullough said...

People have limited economic freedom in this country. Without a religious exemption, even small businesses have to comply with the law.

Does anyone have a problem with religious exemptions being discriminatory? Why should a violation of someone's religious beliefs count for more than a violation of someone's strongly held beliefs that aren't religiously motivated?

Freeman Hunt said...

When my husband and I got married, I doubt any church would have had us given my plain theism at the time and the short length of our relationship prior to our nuptials. Fortunately the first available justice of the peace didn't mind our getting married on the steps of her insurance business. Who knows what terrible pain and suffering we were spared by not asking around for more elaborate wedding digs.

tim in vermont said...

it's wrong to deny people the equal protection of the law based on their race, but it's fine to do so on the basis of their sexual orientation.

So they would have to host polygamous marriages then too? Marriages of pedophile Muslims to their captive child brides? This is about forcing culture at the point of a gun. Nothing more, nothing less. You might not like the comparison, but this is about the culture, which you want to use the law to change.

I support gay "marriage" by the way, whatever that means. If gay people want to pretend to be married so they can cash in on benefits, great! Go for it. I am a libertarian on the subject. I just don't see how freedom to marry turns into taking guns and forcing it on other people.

Anonymous said...

"For those of you who wouldn't permit a religious exemption for religious discrimination but would for refusal to allow SSM, what you're really saying is that it's wrong to deny people the equal protection of the law based on their race, but it's fine to do so on the basis of their sexual orientation."

Well, if we are looking for clarity, then it's not on the basis of their sexual orientation.

It's on the basis of their choices. That is to say, homo sex.
The reason for marriage within Christianity (And many other world religions) is for the purpose of procreation. This meant that once married, there was going to be sexual intercourse. A deed, not an orientation.

It's the deed they are opposed to. Officiating over a marriage is an endorsement of the deed.

Revenant said...

Except for two points. First, the owners aren't preventing gays from entering their property, as they will allow same sex couples to use the building for receptions.

The couple routinely rents the property for legal marriage ceremonies. They refused in this case solely because the couple getting married is homosexual.

The couple is of the opinion that gay marriage isn't real marriage, but as a matter of law they are wrong about that.

What I get from your comments here is that a muslim should be able to walk into a Famous Dave's barbecue and demand Halal food.

Bad analogy. If the couple was being forced to conduct the marriage ceremony, your parallel would hold. The relevant parallel here would be "a muslim should be able to walk into a Famous Dave's and eat there". And, as a matter of law, they can.

Revenant said...

Does anyone have a problem with religious exemptions being discriminatory? Why should a violation of someone's religious beliefs count for more than a violation of someone's strongly held beliefs that aren't religiously motivated?

Morally it shouldn't. As a practical matter, the answer is "because most Americans are Christians".

Jim in St Louis said...

I'm pretty sure this comment will be burried in all the interesting comments about religious rights and DNA- but... what is the definition of public accomadation?

As I understood it the 60’s Civil Rights Acts were passed to eliminate the execrable practice of small town democrats in the south passing laws that forbid business from accommodating blacks at restaurants, lunch counters, and motels. The business owners wanted to make a buck (thank you Adam Smith) but they were forbidden from serving blacks. After the Civil Rights Act private business were compelled that if they were going to put out a sign that says “Come in we are Open” then they had to serve the public.

But what I don’t understand is private contracts, how can those be compelled by the government? If you are a baker and you have cupcakes on your shelf and a lesbian couple comes in you must sell them your cupcakes. But if they want to contract you to perform a service and have you bake a special cake- (or video their wedding- or host their ceremony ) those all sound like contracts.

I’ve read above all about the right of SS couples to enter into voluntary contracts with each other- but can people be compelled to enter into a contract for a service they don’t want to perform?

Revenant said...

Well, if we are looking for clarity, then it's not on the basis of their sexual orientation. It's on the basis of their choices. That is to say, homo sex.

Well, no. They're not asking permission to fuck in the Christian couple's barn, they're asking for permission to get married there.

Freeman Hunt said...

I agree with Tim. I'm in favor of government gay marriage, but that doesn't extend to forcing private citizens who offer marriage services to participate in any legal marriage. I can think of all sorts of reasons why different providers might pick and choose differently. That should be their right.

Revenant said...

But what I don’t understand is private contracts, how can those be compelled by the government?

Because the Supreme Court upheld that part of the Civil Rights Act in 1964.

It wasn't just about forcing states to allow businesses to stop discriminating -- the law also legally forbade businesses from discriminating.

Matt said...

Freeman Hunt

So you would allow a wedding service to discriminate against races they don't want to marry? You would allow a wedding service to discriminate against religious peoples they don't like? You think the government is FORCING the law on private citizens who own a marriage service and only marry the types of people they like? If you say yes to some discrimination then you are saying yes to other kinds as well. The state of NY does not distinguish between types of marriage. There is only marriage.

Jim in St Louis said...

But a motel room is generic. It would be the same no matter who the next customer in line is.
Its not really a contract like the services that this farm offered.

No doubt the couple wanted customized services for the wedding ceremony. Their colors, their choice of flowers etc. It was not a generic wedding chapel like in Vegas that you just take a number and get hitched.

I think this is an important distinction. If you want a hamburger then the lunch counter should sell you what is on the menu. If you want a catered brunch for 18- then that is a contract that BOTH parties should agree to.

fivewheels said...

All the talk of Catholics reminded me of when a co-worker got engaged years ago and the couple was shopping for a wedding site. I recall that their priest gave them a hard time about the fact they were living together in sin at the time. I'm not positive, but I think he might have wanted them to move out if they wanted a church wedding (they ended up having the ceremony at a fine restaurant).

Is that unreasonable? Why should he overlook their pretty flagrant and unrepentant transgression?

Revenant said...

So they would have to host polygamous marriages then too? Marriages of pedophile Muslims to their captive child brides?

No, because neither form of marriage is recognized by New York.

Fritz said...

Yet.

Revenant said...

No doubt the couple wanted customized services for the wedding ceremony. Their colors, their choice of flowers etc. It was not a generic wedding chapel like in Vegas that you just take a number and get hitched.

Do you have an actual factual basis for any of that, or are you just assuming it is true? Plenty of quickie wedding chapels allow customization, and plenty of wedding venues provide nothing other than a location.

I think this is an important distinction.

The law never has. Quality of service isn't the deciding factor -- the nature of the service provided is. If you routinely rent space to people for a function, you cannot refuse to rent to people for one of the legally-protected reasons such as race or sexual orientation.

Businesses should be allowed to, but it has been half a century since they could.

Jupiter said...

"For those of you who would defend the business owners' right to refuse service to inter-racial couples, I grant that you're consistent. Of course, since 1964, your position is contrary to federal law."

It would have been possible for the CRA to outlaw racial discrimination by local governments, and laws requiring private citizens to discriminate, without depriving private citizens of their property rights. This would have allowed at least the possibility that racial discrimination would be terminated voluntarily, by property owners. That would not have served Lyndon Johnson's purpose, which was, as he famously made clear, to make Negroes grateful to, and dependent upon, the Democrats.


Unknown said...

Gay marriage had a couple of flavors of supporters, but IMHO what pushed public support (as opposed to Court driven support) was the meanness factor. The meanness factor swings both ways, and I would surprised if that support does not swing too.

RecChief said...

Bad analogy. If the couple was being forced to conduct the marriage ceremony, your parallel would hold. The relevant parallel here would be "a muslim should be able to walk into a Famous Dave's and eat there". And, as a matter of law, they can.

I disagree that it's a bad analogy. Precisely because the didn't say the lesbian couple renting the barn didn't say the couple couldn't come on to their property, but that they couldn't get a certain type of ceremony there. Also, the lesbian couple isn't being denied that service on the basis of skin color, somthing that can't be changed, but on the basis of a lifestyle choice, which can be.

Freeman Hunt said...

Matt, I'll answer your questions when you answer the ones I've already posed.

Freeman Hunt said...

"Facilitate Sanford's wedding or go to jail!"

Mark said...

as a matter of law they are wrong about that

Not so fast. Because we also have here a gross misunderstanding -- society-wide -- of what law is. Judicial fiat is not law. No ruling of courts is law. No civil statute enacted by legislatures is law. Each of these might have the force of law, but they are not themselves law. Law is not something created, much less recreated, but is something discovered. It pre-exists judges and legislatures. And when they issue decrees that are contrary to this pre-existing law, they themselves are not law, but a perversion of law. As such, not entitled to respect.

RecChief said...

Matt said...
RecChief

Do religious beliefs trump state laws when you run a public business? You are saying yes. I am saying no.

There are laws everywhere prohibiting businesses from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, race, sex, disability, religion or other protected categories. If YOU think that means Famous Dave's BBQ should prepare Halal food for Muslims then that's your interpretation. But show me the lawsuits where this happens. And then show me where a court would tell Dave's BBQ would be forced to comply.


I'm kicking around the question of whether the "right" to same sex marriage trumps the exercise clause of the 1st amendment. You're saying it does. I don't think so. Also, yes religious beliefs trump laws. Ever hear of Conscientious Objector status?

As for "show me the lawsuits!" How do you know someone isn't preparing one right now? I was told by several well meaning people just like you that same sex marriage wasn't a slippery slope to polygamy, yet here we are, a utah (or was it Idaho?) invalidated that state's prohibition against it.

Leftists are always saying things are as simple waving their hand. If you can't see that it's a difficult question, perhaps you lack introspection. What's coming soon is there will be a lawsuit trying to force a catholic church to perform a same sex wedding.

Jupiter said...

Matt gushed...

"So you would allow a wedding service to discriminate against races they don't want to marry? You would allow a wedding service to discriminate against religious peoples they don't like?" "

Yeah. Why not? The idea that the lesbians should get paid because their little feewies are hurt is sickening. It amounts to penalizing the couple for expressing their views, on the grounds that someone else would rather not be aware of those views. I would rather not be aware of your views. Send me a couple grand, OK?

"You think the government is FORCING the law on private citizens who own a marriage service and only marry the types of people they like?"

No shit, Sherlock. Of course the government is FORCING the law on private citizens. What do you think, these are voluntary fines?

Revenant said...

I disagree that it's a bad analogy.

It isn't really a matter of opinion. Demanding that a restaurant prepare the exact kind of food you want is not equivalent to renting a marriage venue from a place that rents marriage venues.

"But gay marriage is different from hetero marriage!" you may say. You are objectively wrong as a matter of New York law.

MaxedOutMama said...

Mccullough - that's a very good point about religious convictions, but the courts have generally concluded that any strong moral conviction is the same type of thing. Thus the usage of "conscience clauses" in legal terminology. It's pretty strongly established that strong convictions of conscience have the same place as religiously based convictions in US law.

In United States v Seeger and later in Welsh v. United States, the SC made it clear that any type of exclusion has to be not just on traditional religious grounds and can't be restricted to those with a belief in a deity, for example.

RecChief said...

And in this particualr case, with the lesbian couple recording the call and the renter not knowing that fact (is that legal in NY?), it looks to me like the lesbian couple went in search of someone who would refuse them.

Maybe they were looking for $3000 to finance their honeymoon and found a way to get it?

Revenant said...

Because we also have here a gross misunderstanding -- society-wide -- of what law is.

Well, Matt, I'm sorry that the rest of the world doesn't march in lock-step to your desires.

Meanwhile, back here in reality, law is determined by the courts and the legislature.

RecChief said...

@Revanant,

thanks for the explanation.

George Grady said...

Would it be legal for a business to specialize in gay marriages only?

Gabriel said...

@Revenant:

A T-shirt printing business has now been found culpable for refusing to print up pro-gay marriage T-shirts.

It's not an accomodation issue, because gays who want other T-shirts are not refused service.

And yet they are found guilty of having discriminated. Wake up.

Or continue to debase your otherwise-sterling libertarian principles because you don't like people whom you think don't like gays.

Gabriel said...

@Revenant: The T-shirt business is exactly analogous to a Muslim demanding that Dave's supply him with a halal meal.

Jason said...

"But gay marriage is different from hetero marriage!" you may say. You are objectively wrong as a matter of New York law.

You are objectively wrong as a matter of Mosaic and Ecclesiastical law.

And the 1st Amendment, the supreme secular law of the land, guarantees the free exercise of both.

Trumps the fuck out of New York law.

Jupiter said...

Revenant explained...

'"But gay marriage is different from hetero marriage!" you may say. You are objectively wrong as a matter of New York law.'

Right. Like when the Oklahoma Legislature passed the law that pi = 3.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

So you would allow a wedding service to discriminate against races they don't want to marry? You would allow a wedding service to discriminate against religious peoples they don't like? You think the government is FORCING the law on private citizens who own a marriage service and only marry the types of people they like? If you say yes to some discrimination then you are saying yes to other kinds as well.

Your SHOCKED, SHOCKED tone seems to indicate that you do not realize that many people do not equate the possibility of legal discrimination with TEH END OF THE WORLD AS WE KNOW IT.

I used to live on an overseas US territory with large minority populations and was told to my face by a Filipina store owner that "this is not a haole store" and had her take my shopping basket out of my hand.

Amazingly, I survived, and even enjoy telling the tale.

Jupiter said...

"The ruling also means that Hands On may not discriminate in the future, Sexton said, and that in the next year, its employees will have to undergo diversity training."

So the business owner will be forced to pay to have his employees given training that is contrary to his religious beliefs. Hell, maybe pi is 3.

jr565 said...

Revenant wrote:
So they would have to host polygamous marriages then too? Marriages of pedophile Muslims to their captive child brides?

"No, because neither form of marriage is recognized by New York."

When the state went after the bakers who didn't want to bake a cake for a gay wedding, the state hadn't yet recognized gay marriage either.

jr565 said...

Revenant wrote:
"But gay marriage is different from hetero marriage!" you may say. You are objectively wrong as a matter of New York law.
And this is the problem. They lumped gay marriage in with marriage. Clearly we can all tell it's different. If they made polygamy legal would they call it marriage or polygamy?

Prior to gay marriage civil society had a marriage equal a man and a woman. ANd religion ALSO had marriage equal a man and a woman.
Civil society then changed the definition but still calls it marriage.
Christians, who don't view marriage that way now are faced with a religious crisis because the legislatures got sloppy. I would think if polygamy was legal, a Christian baker could argue that he didnt' have to bake a cake for a polygamous marriage. However, if socity called it "marriage" too, then they would again provoke the religious conflict.
Lets not pretend then that it's religious folks in the wrong here.

Revenant said...

Right. Like when the Oklahoma Legislature passed the law that pi = 3.

You can get into all sorts of trouble when you rely on the Bible for information.

Revenant said...

A T-shirt printing business has now been found culpable for refusing to print up pro-gay marriage T-shirts.

Gabriel, did you actually read the article you linked? Gay marriage had nothing to do with the case.

Or continue to debase your otherwise-sterling libertarian principles because you don't like people whom you think don't like gays.

Two reading comprehension failures in a row, Gabriel? I've already said in this very thread that business owners should be allowed to discriminate. I've simply observed that *forbidding* business owners from discriminating is nothing new.

Revenant said...

You are objectively wrong as a matter of Mosaic and Ecclesiastical law.

Neither of which matters.

And the 1st Amendment, the supreme secular law of the land, guarantees the free exercise of both.

You've confused "free exercise of religion" with "freedom to ignore secular law in favor of religious law". So even though Mosaic law calls for all homosexuals to be murdered, you still go to prison in America if you try it. Similarly, a Muslim who decided to murder you in the name of jihad would go to prison even though he's on firm ground theologically.

In any case, nothing in Christianity requires that you not rent farmland to non-Christians. The notion that religious freedom is being violated here is an obvious lie. What is being violated is the plain old secular right to freedom of association -- but that right was taken out back and shot by the Warren court a long time ago.

chickelit said...

It seems to me that the moment any minister is forced to either say "I now pronounce you woman and wife" or pay a fine, the moment has arrived for a nice infringement case. Never mind the establishment clause -- it's Government infringement of a basic 1st Amendment right. The farm owners should countersue, prevail and perhaps bankrupt/embarrass those who levied the fine.

chickelit said...

Maybe the NY State officials will wise up like that town did in Idaho.

n.n said...

On one side, it's a Libertine religion, effectively a state established religion, that is notoriously selective. On the other side, it's a Christian religion, tenuously adhered to by a majority of Americans. I wonder how this will be settled.

Revenant said...

It seems to me that the moment any minister is forced to either say "I now pronounce you woman and wife" or pay a fine, the moment has arrived for a nice infringement case. Never mind the establishment clause -- it's Government infringement of a basic 1st Amendment right. The farm owners should countersue, prevail and perhaps bankrupt/embarrass those who levied the fine.

Your third sentence doesn't follow from the first two. The farm owners didn't conduct marriage ceremonies. They rented out their land as a venue FOR marriage ceremonies and wedding receptions.

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