View Full Version : They want a special privilege and license to discriminate against gay people in business

02-02-2014, 12:27 PM
(Reuters) - Oregon voters will likely face two questions about gay marriage when they go to the ballot this year: whether to become the 18th state to let same-sex couples wed, and whether the state should be the first to allow florists, cake makers and others to refuse to participate in these weddings on religious grounds.

The ballot initiatives set up what some activists have said is the next frontier in the marriage debate - as more states move to extend marriage rights to same-sex couples, those who object on religious grounds want a legal right to opt out.

"This is not a sideshow issue," said James Esseks of the American Civil Liberties Union, referring to the Oregon ballot initiative and the coming debate over religious exemption. "This is going to be the issue that we fight about for the next ten years, at least, in the (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) rights movement."


Oregon's ballot initiative was inspired by an incident last year when Sweet Cakes by Melissa, a bakery in the Portland suburb of Gresham, refused to bake a wedding cake for a lesbian couple because of the owners' objections to same-sex marriage.

The couple, Rachel Cryer and Laurel Bowman, filed a complaint and, in January, labor investigators ruled the bakery had violated Oregon's nondiscrimination law. Sweet Cakes, which was inundated with angry emails and phone calls, lost a significant amount of business and was forced to relocate.

Cryer and Bowman declined to be interviewed, as did Sweet Cakes' owners, Aaron and Melissa Klein.

"I think it just made everybody realize that there may not be the right protections in place," said Harke.

Similar cases have unfolded across the country. A florist in Washington state, a Colorado bakery and a New Jersey event space have all sited religious objections in refusing to provide service to same-sex wedding and partnership ceremonies.

Last August, New Mexico's highest court ruled an event photographer's refusal on religious grounds to shoot a same-sex couple's commitment ceremony amounted to illegal discrimination. The court likened Elane Photography's refusal to a company declining to photograph an interracial wedding.

"They want a special privilege and a special license to discriminate against gay people in business," said Esseks. He called religious exemptions a "Plan B" strategy to "carve out a space where gay people's equality does not affect the way these other folks live their daily lives."

But Jordan Lorence, a lawyer with the conservative Alliance Defending Freedom, who represents Elane Photography, said the First Amendment protects the right of people not to endorse messages with which they disagree.

"The right of conscience protects all Americans," he said.


02-02-2014, 01:21 PM
Moar laughs...moar laughs....

02-02-2014, 02:16 PM
All businesses should have the right to discriminate in whatever way they want. Let the market work.

02-02-2014, 04:18 PM
They need this law because ...?
Because this is what happens when you don't respect property rights. If you own a business you have the right to do business with whoever you choose - even if your standards are considered by others to be offensive.

02-02-2014, 05:17 PM
Special Priviledges need to be replaced with actual Rights, and Limitations to those Rights.

For two people to get married, they both have to agree.

For a person to buy another persons car, they both have to agree to the terms and conditions of the sale.

Really, this is trying to supercede Contract Law with Statutory Law. A person sells a cake because the seller agreed to make a cake, and the buyer agrees to pay the price of that cake. Agreement = Sale, No Agreement = No Sale. People can claim what ever they want as a valid reason to not enter into a Contract or a Voluntary Agreement. Im not going to rent to you because I think you arent responsible. Fine. Im not going to rent to you because youre Gay, unfortunately, also fine.

As much as I do support the Equal Rights of Gay People, the important part is Equal Rights. Not Rights that supercede someone elses Rights because of Special Treatment. It destroys and undermines the concepts of having Rights to begin with. Two gay people want to get married? I have no say so because Im not involved in the Agreement / Contract between them. But the Rights of Gays End where the Equal Rights of others Begin. Thus, just because they are Gay, it does not give them any Authority over me to require me to bake them a cake, fix their car, rent to them, or engage in any for of activity where Agreement must be had by Both Parties, but what they do between themselves is their business.

Its called Free Market for a reason.

tod evans
02-02-2014, 05:39 PM
Freedom's hard on folks.

Government edicts aren't going to make anyone more free.

02-02-2014, 07:29 PM
Freedom's hard on folks.

Government edicts aren't going to make anyone more free.

Except for the freedom to another's labour, of course.