At issue is whether tort laws that require business not to discriminate against a class of people must apply to a owner-operator business while the owner-operator, because his business is a separate legal entity, is not allowed to apply his personal, First Amendment rights to freedom of expression and religion to his business. Perhaps what the cake baker should do is to honor the customer’s request and then to include a public disclaimer that the cake does not necessarily represent an endorsement of gay marriage by the management, the same way liberal and conservative media outlets take the ad money from and run ads for products and people who with whom they completely disagree. The gay couple would have the right to refuse the goods, since they are the customer. Then we could have the constitutional argument over whether they could suppress the disclaimer. My guess is that would prefer to go elsewhere, but maybe they would be open-minded enough not to care
This is one problem I have with churches being licensed as businesses, because they are not businesses in the tort sense. They have a First Amendment right to assemble and to say whatever they feel to be the truth as their scriptures or gurus tell them. Whether those outside the assembly agree with what they preach should be of no consequence
Also, if the state wishes to have some kind of cohabitation contract, that is the state’s business. But a Christian marriage should fall under the jurisdiction of the Christian assembly and should not be a matter for state licensure. We cry a lot about the separation of church and state, and yet there is non. If there actually were, Christians might not feel the need to try to legislate their religion, and they might not see every anti-christian legislation as an attack against the Church.
We critics of modern society tend to run into a problem very similar to the one you encounter when you go to a bar with 27 different beers on tap.
Sometimes, we just don’t know where to begin.
That’s how I feel when I read about the progressives working themselves into a lather over that religious freedom bill in Arizona. The legislation simply solidifies a business owner’s right to act according to his or her religious beliefs (I say “further solidifies” because the First Amendment already covers this ground pretty thoroughly). “News” outlets like CNN, engaging in blatant editorializing (surprise!), refer to it as “the anti-gay bill,” because part of religious freedom is the right to not participate in activities which you find mortally sinful.
It’s not that business owners want to “refuse service” to gays simply because they’re gay; it’s that some business owners — particularly people who work in the wedding industry…
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