How Indiana’s New RFRA Expands the Federal RFRA

Over the weekend, Indiana’s Republican Governor, Mike Pence, insisted that the new Religious Freedom Restoration Act he signed into law week is just like the federal RFRA, enacted in 1993, and doesn’t permit discrimination cloaked in religion. This same claim–that Indiana’s RFRA and the federal RFRA are identical–is the basis for the conservative outcry that the media has the story wrong, and the Indiana law is merely intended to protect religious rights, rather than allow discrimination, particularly against LGBT people.

In his appearance on ABC’s This Week, Pence maintained that the new law “does not even apply to disputes between private parties unless government action is involved.” He insisted that the statutory language is the same as the federal RFRA, as well as one in Illinois that President Barack Obama supported as a state senator. As PolitiFact noted, though, “Pence is incorrect to say the language is the same.” What’s more, “[p]roponents of this law are pushing the measure as a way that businesses can seek protection ‘for refusing to participate in a homosexual marriage.'”

Unlike the federal RFRA, and state RFRAs in fact modeled on it, the Indiana RFRA appears to permit a religious freedom claim or defense to be used in suits between private parties. Such suits could include claims by, say, a lesbian couple denied service by a baker who refuses to make a cake for a same-sex wedding. The federal RFRA, in contrast, permits suits only when there is government action involved, such as in the Hobby Lobby case, where the plaintiffs challenged a government regulation requiring no-cost coverage of contraception in employer-provided health care plans.

As Micah Schwartzman, Nelson Tebbe, and Robert Tuttle explain at Slate, the entire purpose of the new law was to permit businesses, like caterers and photographers, to refuse service to same-sex couples. After Elane Photography case, in which a photographer in New Mexico was found liable under the state’s anti-discrimination law for refusing to provide services at a same-sex ceremony, states began to see efforts to pass laws like the one Indiana enacted last week:

Compare Indiana’s newly minted RFRA to the one assessed by the court in New Mexico. The Indiana RFRA departs from New Mexico’s RFRA and the federal RFRA—on which many other state laws are modeled. How? Indiana’s RFRA expressly provides that a person can assert a “claim or defense in a judicial or administrative proceeding, regardless of whether the state or any other governmental entity is a party to the proceeding.

This new statutory language is designed to ensure that a wedding photographer in Indiana would be protected if she discriminates against a same-sex couple, unlike the photographer in New Mexico who lost in court. The provision explicitly permits a private party, including a for-profit corporation, to challenge on religious grounds any claim of discrimination brought by another private party, even when the government is not otherwise involved the case. In other words, when Gov. Pence said that his state’s law is just like RFRAs in other states and would not apply to disputes between private parties without government action, he was simply wrong about the law and its effect on future discrimination. (emphasis in original)

The new law’s supporters, though, accuse its opponents of misapprehending both the law’s intent and the motivation behind it. Russell Moore, president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, denies the law would be used to discriminate, calling the conversation around the new law “uninformed” and stemming from a “widespread ignorance of religious motivation.”

At The Federalist, Mollie Hemingway insists that the Indiana RFRA merely protects religious people from government imposing a substantial burden on their religious practice. To counter arguments that the Indiana RFRA was cooked up only to protect the beliefs of conservative Christians, Hemingway offers 10 cases litigated under the federal RFRA that involve mostly claimants of minority religions. The effect, of course, is to make opponents of Indiana’s RFRA look like intolerant jerks; after all, what kind of person would oppose the rights of the long-haired kindergartener, whose Native American religion mandated hair styles that conflicted with her public school’s grooming requirements?

Hemingway writes that “when Indiana passed the legislation last week, the media characterized it as nothing more than a bigoted anti-gay bill and celebrities and activists called for a boycott against the state,” and accused the media of being “highly uninformed about the topic.” Even though RFRAs have been in existence since 1993, she went on, ” no one can provide any evidence to substantiate the outlandish claims made against them.”

But few people are making “outlandish claims” about RFRAs in general. They are saying that the changes incorporated into Indiana’s RFRA represent a departure from the federal RFRA and the state laws that mirror it, because of the addition of the possibility of RFRA claims and defenses being raised in lawsuits involving private, not government conduct. As Hemingway herself admits, “RFRA simply allows religious people to challenge government activities that encroach on their beliefs. They have to show that the government action substantially burdens a religious belief that they sincerely hold. And if they prove all that, it falls to the government to show that the challenged action is justified as the least restrictive means of furthering a compelling governmental interest.” That is true of the federal RFRA. But it’s not of Indiana’s.

251 Comments

  • fiona64@livejournal.com' fiona64 says:

    All one really needs to know is that three of the so-called “religious leaders” in the room during the “private signing ceremony” were, in fact, leaders of known anti-GLBT organizations, including the president of the Indiana Chapter of the AFA — a known hate group.

  • reedjim51@gmail.com' Jim Reed says:

    We don’t really need religion for anything, do we? It seems like we could save ourselves some grief is we just tried to do without it for a while.

  • phillinj@slu.edu' NancyP says:

    It’s Indiana. In the 1920s Indiana had the most members of KKK – not a southern state. Indiana – home of the sundown town – as in “You better get your black *ss out of town” sundown town. Consequently, outside Indianapolis and Gary and a few other locations, Indiana is still ultra-white. You can bet that LGBT people won’t be the only ones affected by the law – brown people, especially those with foreign accents, are at risk. Out here in Red State Land (Midwest in general), every now and then someone beats the crap out of an Indian subcontinent-descended man. Missouri is no better.

  • repegs87924@mypacks.net' Anton says:

    The law goes too far. I think a lot of people who might generally view RFRAs positively are becoming wary. Most people might agree with religious exemptions that allow a kindergartener to wear long hair or a prisoner to have a 1/2″ beard. These are not moral issues. But many conservative religious folks no longer speak for the majority of moral Americans, and yet they attempt to apply indefensible moral arguments to justify exemptions from laws that are, essentially, designed to enforce civil morality. It seems their arguments are losing and their own morality has been brought into question.

  • drbobflint@gmail.com' Bob Moore says:

    So the law is saying that if you are sued by an individual and the lawsuit is based in part or whole on a government law or rule you can invoke RFRA as a defense for your case

  • fightdirector@yahoo.com' Richard White says:

    Jesus said (as recorded in the Book of Matthew) “Whatever you do to the least of my brethren, you do to me.” As a Christian, I do not believe that Jesus meant this only to apply to people like myself who are straight and Caucasian. So, Governor Pence and the members of the Indiana legislature who voted in favor of this law have violated this straight Christian’s religious beliefs and principles. I fully support a total boycott of the state of Indiana until this un-Christian and un-American law is repealed. As a starving artist/musician, I sure could use the money, but I will turn down every request to perform by any venue in Indiana until repeal.

  • oaim50@yahoo.com' Funny Bear says:

    I’m in favor of people not being forced to participate in gay culture against their will. Stone me.

  • bob.gehrls@hp.com' RoverSerton says:

    If you are in a business, open to the public. Stoning won’t occur but you will be ostracized. Please please, publicly and vocally say you won’t serve gays. Good people will be keeping a public list.

  • reedjim51@gmail.com' Jim Reed says:

    I think that’s the point of religion. He doesn’t have to say it because religion can say it for him.

  • I emailed the following, and posted on their FB pages (so far 116 likes on one page):

    Dear Congressman,

    When can I legally start refusing service to Christians, just because they are Christians?

    I ask this, because they are a threat to my life, liberty and pursuit of happiness.

    Many constantly state that their religious book says I, as a gay person, am an abomination in their god’s eyes, demanding that people like me be sentenced to death.

    These people have also traveled all over the USA, helping stop the passage of equal rights for minorities throughout the history of the U.S.A., and in some cases, have helped take away equal rights that minorities were legally given.

    Also, it has become public knowledge, that these very same Christians travel to other places in the World, like parts of Africa for example, consulting with and motivating law makers to create laws that sentence gays to life in prison, or even death, like the “Kill the Gays” bill that has received so much attention.

    As if that was not enough, I am forced to fund these people and groups they run, through the taxes I pay, and through programs that fall under ‘Faith-Based Initiatives’ and the indirect way taxes collected help balance out the tax-exempt status many of these groups are awarded, where they can teach that I should not not have equal rights, any rights, or even sentenced to death.

    I would like the same legal rights, protections and privileges Christians get.

    Why should they, or any other group for that matter, religious or not, be allowed to be considered a “special” class, exempt from laws and taxes the rest of the country, and some parts of the world, are legally bound to follow?

    Thank you in advance.

  • Republican Brian Bosma, Indiana’s Speaker of the House, Admit “No Gays” Signs Will be Allowed http://www.politicususa.com/2015/03/30/connecticut-state-boycottindianas-rfra.html

  • bob.gehrls@hp.com' RoverSerton says:

    Not counting the RCC that has made it known that they are against Marriage equality, individuals will make the decision to serve/not serve. Those decisions will be made public and people will choose to do business or not with them. I.e. Hobby lobby, chic-fil-e, Sweet cakes by Melissa. Those that support religious based discrimination will support them, those that believe in equality will not. The religious might win in the governments case, not in the court of public opinion. IMO.

  • merrimandl@gmail.com' Daniel Merriman says:

    This is a better analysis of the Indiana statute than I have seen in most places. However, there is one weakness: the text of the Federal RFRA may not appear to authorize RFRA as a defense or claim in a suit strictly between private parties, but several Federal Circuit Courts of Appeal have held that it does in fact operate in that fashion. Several Circuit Courts of Appeal have held the direct opposite. The Supreme Court has thus far refused to resolve this split.

    Similarly, the New Mexico Supreme Court’s decision to not apply its version of RFRA to suits between private litigants is in no way binding on courts in other states. In other words, even in a state with a RFRA that did not have the added language of the Indiana law, a Court could reach the same result as the New Mexico court — or the completely opposite result. Or, a state Court could say that yes, a state RFRA does apply to a suit between private litigants, but hold that non- discrimination was a compelling interest as evidenced by a local non- discrimination ordinance.

  • jjgallant@ma.rr.com' greenvervain says:

    Your point—-that a private is suit based on law, either statutory or common (court-made) law (i.e. government). seems obvious, Mr. Moore, but is unaddressed in a piece written by a highly paid professional journalist. Ms. Posner is not about providing information, but about scoring points with her self-selected peers.

  • jjgallant@ma.rr.com' greenvervain says:

    Richard, did Jesus mean that a person of weak conscience ought be made to participate in something he genuinely believed to be contrary to the requirements of right relationship with his God?

  • truktyre@hotmail.com' Craptacular says:

    “…ought be made to participate in something…” – greenvervain

    Because the photographer and baker are forced to have homosexual sex if they bake the cake or take the pictures?

  • leightonanderson@earthlink.net' trytoseeitmyway says:

    “When can I legally start refusing service to Christians, just because they are Christians?”

    You’ve never not been prohibited from doing that. Now, don’t you feel silly for asking an ignorant question to those congressmen?

  • truktyre@hotmail.com' Craptacular says:

    What I love most about these “religious freedom” laws is the pick-and-choose method the religious use to determine what they don’t want to be a party to. Homosexuality? No way! Not gonna bake a cake or take pictures of a lifestyle they find “sinful.” Abortions?! No way! They don’t want any of “their” money going towards women’s healthcare! But they are perfectly willing to sell guns that are used in the commission of a crime, design torture programs, or participate in a host of other services that are used in a “sinful” manner.

    Why do they still provide those services, despite the evidence of criminal activity, yet seek to withhold services based on zero evidence of sin? (Unless, of course, the bakery has a requirement to watch the marital couple consummate their marriage.)

    These laws expose the hypocrisy in how the religious apply their own beliefs to themselves…and it would be funny if it weren’t so divisive and tragic as we witnessed during the 1960’s.

  • jjgallant@ma.rr.com' greenvervain says:

    The “something” is the wedding. And the couple is not being denied anything more than one possible choice of photographer or baker. You think that that should be remedied by denying that photographer or baker the freedom of conscience?

  • truktyre@hotmail.com' Craptacular says:

    I decided that comment did not express what I wanted. I deleted it.

  • robert.m.jeffers@lonestar.edu' Rmj says:

    So they can do this on racial grounds, too, right? A baker can refuse to bake a cake for a black couple, or for a couple where one is white, the other black? Or Mexican and white? Or Asian and black?

    Or Jewish?

    Or Catholic? I know a lot of Protestants who aren’t so keen on Catholics. They used to tell me stories about how the priests got the nuns pregnant and buried the aborted children behind the walls of the convent, to keep it all covered up. Should such people be allowed to refuse business services to Catholics, in order to retain their right relationship with God? What about Jews, especially if they consider them “Christ killers”? Or blacks, because they sincerely believe their religion forbids “race-mixing”?

  • robert.m.jeffers@lonestar.edu' Rmj says:

    If you are a business open to the public, the Civil Rights Act already requires you to serve covered classes of persons.

    The only problem is, the Civil Rights Act doesn’t currently cover homosexuals. The only reason it doesn’t is political; there is no reason the law could not be amended to include them as a protected class.

    Some states protect them, though I understand Indiana doesn’t. The problem with the Indiana RFRA is that it creates a ground for discrimination based on religious belief (the sincerity of which the courts cannot inquire into, based on Hobby Lobby v. Burwell). So it goes beyond the silence of Indiana law to create a positive basis for discrimination, one which can almost literally be whatever the holder of that belief says it is (Hobby Lobby was wrong about the factual basis for its objection to four kinds of contraceptives covered under the ACA, but that made no difference to the Court).

  • robert.m.jeffers@lonestar.edu' Rmj says:

    Actually that was covered by the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

  • reedjim51@gmail.com' Jim Reed says:

    I think Christianity is just looking for some kind of acknowledgement from society as a whole that the Christian lifestyle is morally superior to others. In the past this was kind of assumed, and they don’t want to be forced into facing a world where they are seen as morally just as bad as everyone else, maybe worse. They are down to just that couple ways left to make their point, so they press hard to hold on to those issues.

  • bob.gehrls@hp.com' RoverSerton says:

    absolutely agree with you.

  • truktyre@hotmail.com' Craptacular says:

    What if a person with a weak conscience decides that killing someone is the only way they can be right with their god? Or stealing something? Or violating some other criminal code?

    Are there limits to “religious freedom?” (I am hoping you agree with this…but if not, then stop reading here.)

    Now let’s take it a step further…we design our business laws with equal access to all. In a diverse society, this puts everyone on the same page and keeps our society functioning smoothly. We have already discovered that “separate but equal” is a dead end concept and cannot be maintained without prejudice and discrimination.

    The religious now want an exclusion to those business laws, claiming their conscience will not allow them to obey these laws. But we have historical proof that their requested methodology do not work, and will lead to the same situation as if we allowed the religious an exemption to criminal laws (which they did…remember lynchings?).

    This seems to be the world the religious are requesting…where the rest of us are second-class citizens.

  • terry_zimmerman@hotmail.com' ThereseZ says:

    your point is good. If the market drives the religious objector out of business not by suing them out of existence, but by voting with their wallet and going to the business that supports same-sex marriage, for example, then the market, the free will of the people, will have spoken. And that seems democratic to me.

  • terry_zimmerman@hotmail.com' ThereseZ says:

    No religion teaches that marriage between black people is contrary to God’s law, or that associating with Jewish people was forbidden. Every major religion up until about ten seconds ago forbade the union of two people of the same sex. And no civilization in history has ever recognized a sexual relationship between two people of the same sex as marriage.

  • merrimandl@gmail.com' Daniel Merriman says:

    The Hobby Lobby decision involved the Federal RFRA. State courts interpreting their own state laws could inquire into whether an asserted religious belief was sincere. Will they? Who knows.

  • truktyre@hotmail.com' Craptacular says:

    “No religion teaches that marriage between black people is contrary to God’s law, or that associating with Jewish people was forbidden.” – ThereseZ

    Now.

    “And no civilization in history has ever recognized a sexual relationship between two people of the same sex as marriage.” – ThereseZ

    And this is an ignorant statement, because there have been civilizations that recognized sexual relationships between same-sex couples. But based on your first statement I am sure you don’t know of any, nor will I spoil your surprise when you google it. I will just leave you with this:

    “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” – George Santayana

  • leightonanderson@earthlink.net' trytoseeitmyway says:

    OK. So you’re saying that if a conservative minister wants to force a gay photographer to prepare publicity photos for the minister’s meeting to rally support for traditional marriage … the minister can pretty much force the photographer to do that under the ’64 Act. Huh. I don’t think I’ve seen the case which says that.

  • truktyre@hotmail.com' Craptacular says:

    “…if a conservative minister wants to force a gay photographer to prepare publicity photos…” trytoseeitmyway

    So the religious are fine with doing business with the very homosexuals they want permission to refuse to do business with?

  • jjgallant@ma.rr.com' greenvervain says:

    There’s no method of picking and choosing–do you want government to decide whether your conviction is per se legitimate? The RFRAs require that the person invoking them demonstrate that they do, in fact, hold the religious conviction they claim motivates them. And, despite your implications, there are, I suspect, many whose
    religious convictions prohibit selling guns, torturing, and a host of
    other “sinful” things. That one person’s religious convictions don’t include all that you think are valid does not invalidate the ones he does hold.

    What you’re seeming to want is to determine which religious convictions you think are legitimate and right, and decide the validity of others’ by how they jibe with yours. That’s establishment of religion, if you use the government to do it.

  • jjgallant@ma.rr.com' greenvervain says:

    Of course there are limits to “religious freedom” –although what we’re talking about here isn’t really a positive freedom but a “safe harbor” from being forced to associate or express (both are considered communication covered by the other part of the First Amendment).

    And yes, generally, while there really aren’t as many laws as people seem to think that require businesses to “serve” all comers, we do expect businesses to not discriminate for particular reasons that law has made improper.

    Your argument, it seems to me, rests on assuming that all differences are of the same sort, and on categorizing religious convictions with any sort of opinion or conviction. The First Amendment does not allow the latter, and the former (e.g. race = sexual preference or orientation) is not, I think a winning argument when made openly.

  • equaltime@hotmail.com' EqualTime says:

    Following the sound and fury of this discussion, I suggest that rather than debating the nuance of the Indiana statute, we shift to the high level issue that one man (or woman’s) discrimination is another’s religious liberty. Let’s take the 5 examples on the Indiana law’s promoter’s website – advanceamerica.com. 1. Gay couple asks a baker/florist/photographer to service their wedding. Baker/Florist/Photographer replies, “I’d rather not, on religious grounds.” Does the gay couple file suit, or move on to a more willing provider? Does it make a difference if it’s a baker/florist, who produces the product in the shop and ships it to the wedding, vs. a photographer who has to participate in the wedding itself? 2.. Gay couple asks a church leader to host their gay wedding at the church. Church declines. Does the gay couple file suit, or move on to a more willing provider? 3. Pro Life business owner (say a bowling alley) is approached by a pro-choice group to rent a meeting room in the bowling alley for a planning meeting. Owner replies, “I’d rather not, on religious grounds.” Does the pro-choice group move on to a friendlier provider or file suit? 4. Pro Life business owner elects to find health care which does not provide abortion coverage. (I think Hobby Lobby addressed this.) 5. Male Cross Dresser asks to use a women’s restroom in a restaurant. Restaurant manager is aware of patron’s status, and says he/she prefers the patron not to use the women’s restroom. Does the patron file suit, or eat at a more situation friendly place. An option for all of these potential plaintiff’s is to take their business elsewhere vs. filing suit. I can understand how the potential defendants might resist. This is Pence’s inelegantly stated point, that tolerance is a two way street. So my question is, do opponents of the Indiana law think lawsuits should be filed in some or all of the above situations, or should the patron’s walk and spend their dollars in a friendlier business setting? What if the defendant was specifically selected because the plaintiff knew he/she would be rejected? What do you think are the chances of that happening? Slim to none or quite possible?

  • jjgallant@ma.rr.com' greenvervain says:

    Actually, courts are allowed to inquire into the sincerity of the adherent’s belief forming the basis of the requested accommodation.

  • reedjim51@gmail.com' Jim Reed says:

    What if a baker is serving wedding cake at his lunch counter, and a black person sits down? Could he say mixing races is against his religion, so he doesn’t serve blacks? That one would be difficult. It might take over 100 years for a final decision.

  • reedjim51@gmail.com' Jim Reed says:

    If your religious convictions prohibit selling guns, you don’t have to sell them. It might be a problem if you sell guns, but you refuse to sell them to gays because your religion teaches Jesus will soon come, and there will be a big battle (partly involving guns) where the sinners (including gays) will need to be shot.

  • jjgallant@ma.rr.com' greenvervain says:

    So a law protecting religious convictions is OK as long as it cannot be applied to a moral issue? And this should be so because other, non-religious people should get to decide moral issues. Your thoughts, refreshingly unvarnished, are exactly why RFRAs are needed.

  • truktyre@hotmail.com' Craptacular says:

    “What you’re seeming to want is to determine which religious convictions
    you think are legitimate and right, and decide the validity of others’
    by how they jibe with yours.” – greenvervian

    No, what I want is the religious to obey the laws. All the laws. If they disagree with a business law because they feel it supports a “sinful” lifestyle, they are free to start another business that does not require them to “associate and express” (as you termed it below) with those they don’t want to. If our society’s equal accessibility laws don’t fit with their religious beliefs, then they can find another business that they don’t feel compelled to be supportive of a lifestyle they disagree with (like a gunshop or designing torture programs).

    This was the same choice the bigots faced in the 1960’s…equal access or no business license (remember, owning/running a business is not a right, but a privilege).

  • reedjim51@gmail.com' Jim Reed says:

    I think the only way to check sincerity would be to have a list of approved religions and beliefs, and see if they are on the list.

  • jjgallant@ma.rr.com' greenvervain says:

    Did you forget the ? Questions of sincerity seek to establish that the person asking for the accommodation genuinely believes that the conduct is an affont to their genuinely held beliefs. State approval of actual religions and beliefs– surely you’ve heard of the First Amendment?

  • reedjim51@gmail.com' Jim Reed says:

    There will never be enough RFRAs to satisfy religion.

  • reedjim51@gmail.com' Jim Reed says:

    If we try to satisfy religion there is no way we can do anything but create a bigger mess. Religion doesn’t want to be satisfied. They want to defeat the non-religion.

  • jjgallant@ma.rr.com' greenvervain says:

    I am sorely tempted to turn that around on you, Jim, but I won’t.

  • truktyre@hotmail.com' Craptacular says:

    Or, if a business wants to be a business, they could just follow the law.

    What has happened is the adherents of institutionalized bigotry are seeking some legal recourse for continuing their prejudice and bigotry…like they did in the 1960’s after the Civil Rights Act.

  • equaltime@hotmail.com' EqualTime says:

    So, I think, Jim and Craptacular, you are both saying the Christian photographer must attend and take pictures at the gay wedding if asked?

  • jjgallant@ma.rr.com' greenvervain says:

    So, let’s be clear, refusing to serve someone based on their race is the same as declining to act as a photographer or baker to celebrate a wedding of two people (same sex or not)? No need to answer, really.

  • reedjim51@gmail.com' Jim Reed says:

    Maybe every business should be allowed to post a list of “We don’t serve” and list the groups they don’t like. We have been trying to build a free and open society, but maybe that is not possible in a society that is also religious. If some businesses are allowed to list certain choices, then I think we are headed to an eventual state where all businesses are allowed to to list all they want. Let’s just try that style and see how it works. At least it will solve most of the problems we run into on religious chat boards.

  • jjgallant@ma.rr.com' greenvervain says:

    Again, Jim, one could easily turn this around . . .

  • reedjim51@gmail.com' Jim Reed says:

    Maybe every business should be allowed to post a list of “We don’t serve” and list the groups they don’t like. We have been trying to build a free and open society, but maybe that is not possible in a society that is also religious. If some businesses are allowed to list certain choices, then I think we are headed to an eventual state where all businesses are allowed to to list all they want. Let’s just try that style and see how it works. At least it will solve most of the problems we run into on religious chat boards.

  • truktyre@hotmail.com' Craptacular says:

    “So a law protecting religious convictions is OK as long as it cannot be applied to a moral issue?” – greenvervain

    No, religious morals are so subjective we created laws to deal with interpersonal relationships to eliminate the ambiguity. Allowing the institutional bigotry to continue as long as we have against homosexuality has dug us into a deep, deep hole of prejudice that we are attempting to climb our way out of…with the religious doing their best to keep from treating everyone equally, once again.

  • reedjim51@gmail.com' Jim Reed says:

    Please do.

  • reedjim51@gmail.com' Jim Reed says:

    Religion needs something to feel superior about. Without that, what would be the point of creating systems of random beliefs? It is not personal. At least not supposed to be.

  • reedjim51@gmail.com' Jim Reed says:

    That’s the only way we learn.

  • reedjim51@gmail.com' Jim Reed says:

    I changed my mind. I think it is a waste of time trying to deal with it because religion just wants to cause trouble.

  • jjgallant@ma.rr.com' greenvervain says:

    So if you’re in business, you must not refuse to associate with or communicate approval of any and all convictions that a customer may bring to your door? We’re not talking about selling extension cords to Saddam Hussein, but about a songwriter composing a theme song for him . . .

  • truktyre@hotmail.com' Craptacular says:

    No, what I am saying is that personal convictions are not part of a business license. If my religion judged the disabled as sinful (why else would god not fix their disability?) I still have to provide ramp access to be in compliance with business law. And, if I felt strongly enough about my beliefs, I would find another line of work. Owning a business is a privilege, not a right.

  • truktyre@hotmail.com' Craptacular says:

    No, let’s be really, really clear. Refusing legitimate business service due to your personal beliefs/morals regarding an arbitrary, lawful group that belongs to or does XX (where XX is not a criminal activity), then you do not get or keep your business license. It is really very simple.

  • equaltime@hotmail.com' EqualTime says:

    So, Jim and Crap-man, you are now saying the photographer should not be forced to take the pictures, and hopefully, will not be sued, and the customer will move on and reward a more open minded provider?

  • jjgallant@ma.rr.com' greenvervain says:

    Jim, I can’t imagine how awkward and painful it would be to be, even gently, advised that a business would rather not, for personal reasons provide a service I’ve offered to buy. But I find it worse to force a person to be associated with something that they genuinely believe endangers their relationship with their God. A RFRA is a balance between these concerns. And I think that the screeching howls aimed at Indiana’s RFRA underscore that one side of the balance isn’t really interested in striking a balance at all.

  • equaltime@hotmail.com' EqualTime says:

    Sooo, you’re saying, which might be novel, that the couple refused service from whichever business should file a complaint with the town providing the license, and the town should take into consideration the refusal in renewing the license, but the photographer shouldn’t be sued to prove a point and the customers will just find a new photographer. If the photographer loses his business license (to the extent he/she needed one) he/she will have to what, form a new company?

  • reedjim51@gmail.com' Jim Reed says:

    I think there is no way to make religion happy. We need to back up where all this started, do our health care system with no regard to anything Republicans or Christians say because they just want to make it fail. Then let Christians serve or not serve anyone they want in their businesses, just hope they don’t start any more trouble. We have to live with the society we have, not the society we wish we had, because it is religious.

  • equaltime@hotmail.com' EqualTime says:

    I appreciate the dialogue Jim and think it does illustrate the complexity of the situation, and how, in today’s society, it does differ from “whites only” at the lunch counter. Under the circumstances, it may well be best to “let the market decide”.

  • jjgallant@ma.rr.com' greenvervain says:

    Well, we’re miles apart, sir. I don’t even think that most business license requirements are a legitimate government action– they’re generally used to put your competition out of business. All you’re really saying is that you’re comfortable with using the government to force someone to do business with you. Which, by the way, is exactly why the Indian RFRA explicitly applied to private parties; it is a farce to say that there is no government action when you use a law, enforced by government, to force a person to do something. The Indiana RFRA steps around this by making it available to “private” parties.

  • reedjim51@gmail.com' Jim Reed says:

    My new idea is honest. The RFRA way will slowly but surely build into a bigger and bigger nightmare. Christianity will never be satisfied until Jesus comes, and that won’t happen.

  • truktyre@hotmail.com' Craptacular says:

    So you are equating homosexuals to Saddam Hussein?

    Because, other than homosexuals, who are these laws aimed at?

  • leightonanderson@earthlink.net' trytoseeitmyway says:

    You think that can’t happen? I can easily imagine someone whose Christian religious views and activities could be offensive to someone (a photographer, for example) who would not want to be supportive of those views or activities. Yet, if that professional is asked to provide his or her for-profit services he or she would then be in a position of refusing service based on the religious views of the customer. I happen to think that he or she should have the right to do so AND I think that existing law would not force him or her to lend material support, by providing services for hire, to activities with which the professional strongly disagrees.

    Of course your idea is that the photographer, in my hypothetical, would say something like, “I’m gay so i don’t want to help you with your miserable hateful Christian activity,” to which you figure the minster would respond, “That’s OK we don’t really want you,” or something like that. But if the circumstances were exactly reversed, you can bet your last dollar that the customer would THEN be saying, “Oh, yeah? Well get ready for the barrage of negative publicity and judicial proceedings that will be falling on your head five minutes from now, you homophobe.”

    Right? That IS what would happen, right? So why would you not expect the Christian minister in my hypothetical to react the same way?

    But of course he or she doesn’t. Because they’re more Christian than that. Because some people say, live and let live. Because some people believe in freedom of choice. I realize that’s not you, but some other people who don’t hate as much as you.

  • truktyre@hotmail.com' Craptacular says:

    “…I don’t even think that most business license requirements are a legitimate government action…” -greenvervain

    Of course you don’t.

  • truktyre@hotmail.com' Craptacular says:

    You seem to have missed my point entirely. But you also seem to like to make stuff up and argue against it, so I will leave it at that.

  • truktyre@hotmail.com' Craptacular says:

    “A RFRA is a balance between these concerns.” – greenvervain

    Correction: An RFRA is a license to discriminate.

  • truktyre@hotmail.com' Craptacular says:

    You have no idea what I am talking about, nor do I feel the need to enlighten you.

  • truktyre@hotmail.com' Craptacular says:

    LOL. Jim makes fun of you and you appreciate the dialogue.

  • reedjim51@gmail.com' Jim Reed says:

    You are only saying that because I am always making fun of everybody. I appreciate the dialogue too.

  • truktyre@hotmail.com' Craptacular says:

    “…on categorizing religious convictions with any sort of opinion or conviction.” – greenvervian

    So you hold religious convictions to be separate from personal convictions? What differentiation does the word “religious” add to someone’s personal convictions? What if a second person holds the same conviction, but their religion does not? Would that mean the second person could not discriminate because it is a personal conviction rather than a religious conviction?

  • truktyre@hotmail.com' Craptacular says:

    You are correct, Jim. I should not point out when you make fun of people and let them draw their own conclusions. Point taken.

  • leightonanderson@earthlink.net' trytoseeitmyway says:

    You seem to prefer to ignore my point entirely. You folks aren’t against blacklisting, just some *types* of blacklists. That’s the point. You can continue to ignore it, though.

  • jjgallant@ma.rr.com' greenvervain says:

    You make my point.

  • truktyre@hotmail.com' Craptacular says:

    I will answer this because I don’t “blacklist” people…I will answer those that have a modicum of understanding. However, I was ignoring you because you didn’t understand my point and I felt no compunction to clarify it for you.

  • truktyre@hotmail.com' Craptacular says:

    “But I find it worse to force a person to be associated with something that they genuinely believe endangers their relationship with their God.” – greenvervain

    No one forces another to open a business. If their business can “endanger their relationship with their god,” they should think twice before opening the business.

  • jjgallant@ma.rr.com' greenvervain says:

    And you’re comfortable with using the government to force someone to do business with you. Are you so sure that you’re right that you (without much thought) use the cudgel of the state on those who won’t do what you want, or think as you do?

  • jjgallant@ma.rr.com' greenvervain says:

    The right to earn a living has since ancient times been held as a basic human need. So we can withhold a basic human need in order to affirm the preferred view on sexual relations? You trade the rights of others so easily.

  • truktyre@hotmail.com' Craptacular says:

    “…use the cudgel of the state on those who won’t do what you want, or think as you do?” – greenvervain

    You give me far too much power…I cannot “use the cudgel of the state” any more than you can, the state does that. Business licenses are more than just an agreement to do business. It means you have to meet certain health codes and accessibility laws that you seem comfortable doing away with or hoping that some “magic of the market force” will handle. I am not that naive.

    You also seem to take me for someone who agrees with the government about everything, which I do not. However, I do think the government has a place, and that is ensuring equal access to businesses, keeping our infrastructure safe and up-to-date, ensuring the majority is not trampling the rights of the minority, etc. You know, making it easier for us all to live together with as little friction as possible.

  • jjgallant@ma.rr.com' greenvervain says:

    That is beneath you.

    Well, employers who fire peyote users for one. Prisons that forbid even a half-inch beard. And people who want to force someone to associate with and thereby express approval of their view of marriage and sex.

  • truktyre@hotmail.com' Craptacular says:

    “The right to earn a living has since ancient times been held as a basic human need.” – greenvervain

    So owning a business is a “basic human need?”

    See, this is where you are setting up your strawmen and knocking them over. Do you really feel you made some sort of argument here?

  • jjgallant@ma.rr.com' greenvervain says:

    How does a RFRA interfere with what you say are the proper functions of government?

  • jjgallant@ma.rr.com' greenvervain says:

    Remember, the law is not about refusing service, but about having the defense of a sincerely held religious conviction when the government (on its own or as a cudgel in the hand of a private party) says that you must demonstrate association with and approval of a frankly moral question.

  • truktyre@hotmail.com' Craptacular says:

    “…want to force someone to associate with and thereby express approval…” -greevervain

    This is where you lose me. I am sorry, but homosexuals do exist (I am not one, but I have met several 🙂 ). Pretty much anyone who associates with more than 20 people probably associates with homosexuals as well.

    I bet the religious who want to avoid associating with homosexuals associate with other sinners, too, which was my point about the gun store owners and CIA contractors who designed the torture program…the religious want to avoid doing business with homosexuals (and thereby express approval) but are fine associating with murders and torturers (and thereby expressing their approval of those activities)…hypocrisy at its finest.

    But you will probably not understand and will make up more stuff to argue against because the hypocrisy is real and inarguable.

  • jjgallant@ma.rr.com' greenvervain says:

    Perhaps my nomenclature was a bit too flowery. So you think that making a living is not an important interest? You’ve been arguing all afternoon that we ought to be able to move you from one living to another if you don’t like the panoply of (straw man) conditions we put on them. men. And the only condition we’re talking about here is affirming same sex marriage.

  • jjgallant@ma.rr.com' greenvervain says:

    It’s not the opening of the business that endangers them, it’s forcing them to do something, refrain from doing something, or associate with a view contrary to their convictions.

    You’re just saying that we consider all the compromises up front before going into business. We’re arguing about whether those compromises ought to be required. And we’re really arguing about a very important compromise that is easily avoided—given the valid interests of government force.

  • truktyre@hotmail.com' Craptacular says:

    “…you must demonstrate association with and approval of a frankly moral question.” – greenvervain

    And this is where you fail. As long as you present homosexuality as some sort of moral issue, you are wrong. As wrong as racial bigotry, as wrong as religious bigotry, or as wrong nationalistic bigotry. What another person wants to do with their life, as long as it is doesn’t infringe on others, is not a moral issue for them. It might be a moral issue for you, but not them. You don’t get to treat them like they are part of your religion.

  • fiona64@livejournal.com' fiona64 says:

    Please explain the “moral issue” involved in baking cakes or arranging flowers if one’s *public accommodation business* is doing exactly that. I’ll wait.

  • fiona64@livejournal.com' fiona64 says:

    Yeah, actually, denying someone service because of their religion *is* against the law.

    Except in Indiana, now. I can’t wait to hear all the screaming when a cishet white Xtian male is told “We don’t serve your kind here. It’s against our religion.”

  • fiona64@livejournal.com' fiona64 says:

    If someone doesn’t want to be a professional photographer, they should not open up a business. They can take photos for their friends and co-religionists as a for-profit hobby. Easy-peasy.

  • fiona64@livejournal.com' fiona64 says:

    I attended higher education in Indiana in the late 1980s/early 1990s. I will never forget, so long as I live, looking something up in the Yellow Pages and finding the local chapter of the KKK listed there, bold as brass, with phone number and address. I don’t recall what I was *trying* to find, but I do remember that.

    It seems that the KKK is *still* running the show; they’ve just picked a new target.

  • fiona64@livejournal.com' fiona64 says:

    The easy answer has already been provided. If you open a public accommodation, you cannot discriminate against members of the public “because Jesus” or any other reason. Period.

    There is no compelling state interest in permitting people to be bigots.

  • truktyre@hotmail.com' Craptacular says:

    “We’re arguing about whether those compromises ought to be required.” – greenvervain

    Compromise is necessary in all dealings with other people. To argue against compromise is to argue against having a society.

    The religious want to discriminate, it’s that simple. Our society has found discrimination to be harmful to the common good, even legalized discrimination. To continue down this path, which we trod before with racial discrimination, is not learning from our mistakes, but repeating them.

  • fiona64@livejournal.com' fiona64 says:

    Churches already pick and choose whom they marry.

    The rest of your post is bullshit.

  • fiona64@livejournal.com' fiona64 says:

    Yes, it is. Period.

  • fiona64@livejournal.com' fiona64 says:

    Again, what is the “frankly moral question” of baking a goddamned cake? Are the ingredients different? Do you use a different temperature depending on who is seeking the service?

  • fiona64@livejournal.com' fiona64 says:

    There are ways to make a living without opening a public accommodation. Your straw man is dismissed.

  • fiona64@livejournal.com' fiona64 says:

    The law specifically says that the “belief need not be a major part of one’s religious practice.” So, some bonehead could say “I hate queers because Jesus” in response to the query and the court has to accept that.

  • fiona64@livejournal.com' fiona64 says:

    How is baking a cake for one party “an affront to their genuinely held beliefs” when baking the same cake for another party isn’t? It’s still a freakin’ cake.

  • jjgallant@ma.rr.com' greenvervain says:

    I, too, know several homosexuals. My interactions with them are not, as far as I know, tainted in any way by my convictions about what they do. I do not avoid associating with them in the normal course of life, and I daresay I’ve not made one uncomfortable.

    It is only hypocritical of me to
    associate with someone while refusing to associate
    with others who have the same characteristic. And you want to decide for me which characteristics are “the same.” Well, first, hypocrisy is not a reason against a
    proposition. The proposition should stand or fall on its reasons, not whether someone consistently applies it. Laws are base on propositions, not on personal evaluations of people following or failing to follow them. And I’m not hypocritical because I associate with the CIA but not someone else. You’ve decided that the CIA is a sinner, not me. I cannot be a hypocrite (as trite as that accusation is) because I do not follow what you think is a consistent rule of association.

    At bottom, though, you’re turning the question on its head. It is not about me avoiding associating with anyone. It is about the government (through a private party or on its very own) forcing me to associate with a view (e.g. same sex marriage).

  • jjgallant@ma.rr.com' greenvervain says:

    I don’t think that term (straw man) means what you think it does, fiona64.

  • truktyre@hotmail.com' Craptacular says:

    Well, do you remember how businesses fought against handicap access? They used the same verbiage as you do here…a panoply of conditions that were put on them, the poor, poor business owners.

    However, in the America I live in, equal access has been a success, despite business owners’ objections. And with homosexuals, they don’t even need to build a separate (but equal) entrance!

  • fiona64@livejournal.com' fiona64 says:

    Let’s see. You made an assertion and then tried to attribute it to other people by putting words into their mouths. That’s pretty much a textbook straw man. ::shrug::

  • jjgallant@ma.rr.com' greenvervain says:

    Well, if a wedding cake is just a matter of ingredients and baking, why can’t the couple go somewhere else? Obviously, they see some sort of value to having that particular cake. Well, the particularity of the cake rests, in part, on the expression it represents.

    Why all the outrage if there is not a moral statement being made?

  • truktyre@hotmail.com' Craptacular says:

    “…forcing me to associate with a view…” – greenvervain

    Yes, the same way they force you to “associate with the views” that racial, religious, and gender bigotry will not be tolerated in business.

  • fiona64@livejournal.com' fiona64 says:

    why can’t the couple go somewhere else?

    Why cant the n*****s use the other water fountain?

  • jjgallant@ma.rr.com' greenvervain says:

    So you start by saying homosexuality is not a moral issue and then recite a string of other things that you apparently think are moral issues. Most are not so honest– they hide away their pet moral issues from discussion.

    What you’re saying is that I am not in sync with your opinion on one particular moral issue, and you are right to force me to affirm your opinion, because . . . . .

    Again, what the law does is to protect people from being forced to associate with a position that they do not hold, and then only when that position is anchored in religious conviction.

  • jjgallant@ma.rr.com' greenvervain says:

    So race = sexual preference, length of beard, eating meat . . .

  • jjgallant@ma.rr.com' greenvervain says:

    Certainly no need to answer my question below then, fiona64.

  • fiona64@livejournal.com' fiona64 says:

    One has no more control over one’s sexual orientation than one does over one’s ethnicity. So yes, the questions are the same.

    People claimed “moral and religious reasons” for segregation back in the day, too.

  • jjgallant@ma.rr.com' greenvervain says:

    Well, you might be interested to do a study sometime on what the benefits were to handicap access in relation to the costs. There is a small town in my state that has been paying lawyers for 10 years in a suit brought to force them to make God-knows what changes. Just think what that money could have been spent on. A cost, by definition, cannot be spent somewhere else.

    I grow weary reiterating this, sir, but the law does not prevent what you tout. The only person that is affected by this law is one who has a religious conviction that must be weighed in balance against the requirement.

  • leightonanderson@earthlink.net' trytoseeitmyway says:

    Yes, exactly. Because you think going into business should cost you your freedom to choose. But someday someone might want to restrict YOUR choice of who to enter into a contract with, and then it won’t seem so easy peasy to you. Freedom is worth defending, even when you don’t happen to like how it is being exercised.

    You don’t get that because you like the idea of taking freedom from people.

  • jjgallant@ma.rr.com' greenvervain says:

    Last response to you, fiona64.

    You realize, of course, that what you say is demonstrably false (not just unproven).

  • jjgallant@ma.rr.com' greenvervain says:

    You are arguing by adjective. You say that a compromise that allows me to follow my convictions is discrimination. And by discrimination you mean– probably, though I am not sure– the same sort of thing that motivated people to treat African Americans badly —

    So, your argument is that not wanting to associate with some idea is bad because it is discriminating, and by using the loaded term “discriminating” you import all sorts of premises that are not actually demonstrated in your argument.

    I simply do not agree that being an African American is comparable, logically, with same sex relations. I’m sorry, but I don’t. It’s a handy and (unprincipled) method of argument to swap them out, but it is not at all convincing to me.

  • jjgallant@ma.rr.com' greenvervain says:

    There are two parts to a meaning. Your recitation of the term’s definition does not demonstrate its proper use.

  • jjgallant@ma.rr.com' greenvervain says:

    Now that’s a straw man.

  • truktyre@hotmail.com' Craptacular says:

    “…wanting to associate with some idea is bad because it is discriminating, and by using the loaded term “discriminating” you import all sorts of premises that are not actually demonstrated in your argument.” – greenvervain

    No, it is “discrimination” when they refuse to perform the service they are in business to do, based on the race, nationality or gender of the client. In this case, they do not want to serve homosexuals because they feel homosexuality is a moral issue, and the courts have ruled otherwise.

  • jjgallant@ma.rr.com' greenvervain says:

    We simply disagree that those things are the same as same- sex relations.

    I don’t believe that you’d want to make posters for a cause that you found morally wrong (without even demonstrating any religious component).

    I just don’t see why you think that you are so right that you can use force to compel people to express agreement with it.

  • truktyre@hotmail.com' Craptacular says:

    “I just don’t see why you think that you are so right that you can use force to compel people to express agreement with it.” – greenvervain

    What makes it right (not me, but the idea of equality and equal access) is the proven track record of equality. What has also been proven (to my satisfaction and others, I am betting) is the failure of “separate but equal” which is what the religious are trying to sell to us (yet again). It didn’t work for racial segregation and it won’t work for religious segregation (which is what you are advocating). One’s “sincerely held” or “religiously held” beliefs are not based in logic or law, nor should that be a requirement for beliefs.

    What is based in law are our interactions with each other, which are founded on the principals of equality for all…or our best approximation of equality, since it seems to change over time.

  • truktyre@hotmail.com' Craptacular says:

    I’m in favor of people not being forced to participate in bigoted religious beliefs against their will. Pass me the bong and stoned I shall be.

  • fiona64@livejournal.com' fiona64 says:

    In this case, it most assuredly does.

    And that’s not the point, anyway. You are looking for an excuse to be a bigot. Being a bigot, unlike the color of someone’s skin or their sexual orientation, is a *choice.*

  • fiona64@livejournal.com' fiona64 says:

    If it is demonstrably false, as you claim, then surely you have a citation that proves sexual orientation is a choice. Cough it up.

    Actually, it’s a very simple matter: if sexual orientation is a choice, then go be gay. Seriously. Just go do it.

  • fiona64@livejournal.com' fiona64 says:

    If I open a public accommodation, I am in the business of serving the ::wait for it:: PUBLIC. That means that I have already agreed NOT to discriminate.

    You’d probably scream blue murder if you walked into a bakery and were told “we don’t serve your kind here,” but you’re more than happy to do it to GLBT people — because you’re a bigot.

  • fiona64@livejournal.com' fiona64 says:

    Your freedom of association does NOT apply except in a private capacity.

    Once again, for the terminally stupid: when you open a PUBLIC accommodation, you cannot discriminate against members of the PUBLIC.

  • equaltime@hotmail.com' EqualTime says:

    I was taking the examples from the Indiana RFRA promoter. Funny, I thought the Church example was the lamest. The others, I could imagine happening. They are either/or scenarios. I gather you think the lawsuits should be filed, Fiona?

  • equaltime@hotmail.com' EqualTime says:

    So tolerance is a one way street?

  • truktyre@hotmail.com' Craptacular says:

    “How does a RFRA interfere with what you say are the proper functions of government?” – greenvervain

    The RFRA is a piece of crappy legislation put in place by the religious in an attempt to enshrine their bigotry into law.

    Don’t believe me? Talk to the young people at your church…oh, wait, chances are they aren’t there. But if they show up for easter, ask them why they quit going.

  • equaltime@hotmail.com' EqualTime says:

    I took no offense, Crap-man, being neither Christian nor Republican. Jim’s post was “realpolitik”, IMHO, which was the point of my original post.

  • truktyre@hotmail.com' Craptacular says:

    LOL…calling someone intolerant for pointing out your bigotry. You would make an awesome Poe.

  • fiona64@livejournal.com' fiona64 says:

    No religion teaches that marriage between black people is contrary to
    God’s law, or that associating with Jewish people was forbidden

    Someone needs to crack a history book. Specifically, look up “anti-miscegenation law.” In fact, I’ll make it easy for you. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-miscegenation_laws_in_the_United_States

    And no civilization in history has ever recognized a sexual relationship between two people of the same sex as marriage.

    You *really* need to crack a history book. Wow. I’ll make it easy for you again. Your concepts of kinship diagrams are seriously lacking. http://www.theguardian.com/books/2015/jan/23/-sp-secret-history-same-sex-marriage

    Love and kisses, an anthropologist

  • fiona64@livejournal.com' fiona64 says:

    I’m sorry; I didn’t realize that, on your planet, baking a cake meant an invitation to the wedding. I guess my husband and I did it wrong, since our baker wasn’t there.

  • leightonanderson@earthlink.net' trytoseeitmyway says:

    That’s the point. I WOULDN’T “scream bloody murder” or make a federal case of it at all. If someone doesn’t want me to hire them, I figure, that’s their choice. You’re against freedom of choice, I get that. It’s why I’m a libertarian and you’re not. You want your freedom and to restrict the freedom of others even in parallel cases.

  • equaltime@hotmail.com' EqualTime says:

    So there’s no point in taking someone’s deeply held religious belief into consideration in comparison to your own needs? That’s intolerant? Yes or No question.

  • jjgallant@ma.rr.com' greenvervain says:

    You simply prove my point. You just repeat “discrimination” as though race, nationality, gender, and sexual preference are the same thing.

    Just because you have made a moral judgment that same sex relations are fine doesn’t mean logically or otherwise that they are the same as the other three.

  • jjgallant@ma.rr.com' greenvervain says:

    So, because young people don’t want it (btw, that isn’t true of where I attend) it is bigotry? C’mon, I remember what it was like to be twenty-something, and now I wince at some of the things I was sure about then.

  • fiona64@livejournal.com' fiona64 says:

    Since I didn’t say anything about hiring, but about entering a public accommodation and being denied service, I’ll just call you intellectually dishonest.

    I’m not at all surprised that you’re a Libertarian; it’s the party of “I got mine, so fuck you.”

  • fiona64@livejournal.com' fiona64 says:

    Calling out your bigotry is NOT intolerance, no matter how much you want to frame it that way.

  • fiona64@livejournal.com' fiona64 says:

    They’re bullshit, and you know it.

  • jjgallant@ma.rr.com' greenvervain says:

    Do you really, honestly think that sexual relations are of the same human importance as race and gender (nationality is really a proxy for race)? That it warrants the same protection as they do?

  • fiona64@livejournal.com' fiona64 says:

    Those of you who don’t think that this bill will allow for discrimination need to read this. Michigan has no laws protecting GLBT people — just like Indiana (outside of a few municipalities that have created their own ordinance). A physician has used her religious beliefs as a reason not to treat the infant of a legally married lesbian couple. http://www.alternet.org/civil-liberties/doctor-refuses-treat-same-sex-couples-6-day-old-baby

  • jjgallant@ma.rr.com' greenvervain says:

    Google it fiona64. You might have to sift to the fourth page or so. At most, it is seen as a combination of factors, one of which is probably biological. Unless, of course, you’re playing semantics games, in which “orientation” is defined as the biological part.

    If it takes too long to see that sexual preference is different from race or gender, I’m just not sure that you’re trying.

  • jjgallant@ma.rr.com' greenvervain says:

    So now we’re name calling. There are people out there who genuinely wish to see both sides and think and discuss their way to a position. You’re not one of them.

  • phillinj@slu.edu' NancyP says:

    I am enjoying the worldwide attention Indiana is getting. Hey, Gov. Pence! Vlad Putin wants to “friend” you. So does Pres. Musaveni. Meanwhile, everyone else is pointing fingers and laughing at Indiana.

  • leightonanderson@earthlink.net' trytoseeitmyway says:

    Funny. As distinguished from the party of “We’ll hurt you if we want, because we own you.”

    The public-accommodation thing gets murky when the “accommodation” is a personal service by an individual, e.g., a photographer in the example we’ve discussed. (Or that I’ve discussed anyway – you just engage in name-calling which, of course, is consistent with your own political preferences.) What it really means is that you think that some blacklists are OK and some aren’t, depending on how you feel about the underlying motive for the blacklist. This is what I object to, on the grounds that it is inconsistent with liberty. You don’t because liberty means nothing compared to your ability to hurt people and make them do what you want.

  • jjgallant@ma.rr.com' greenvervain says:

    Forcing me to express agreement with your opinion is not equality, it is tyranny.

    We are no where near with same sex relationships the places that “separate but equal” took race.

    I applaud your obvious efforts to understand all of this.

  • jjgallant@ma.rr.com' greenvervain says:

    Friend, it is time to turn to something else. Think for yourself.

  • jjgallant@ma.rr.com' greenvervain says:

    fiona64, freedom of association is not a private right.

  • equaltime@hotmail.com' EqualTime says:

    Are you saying they’re bullshit, so they’ll never occur, so if they’ll never occur, there’s no point in worrying about whether the law is on the books or not? Or they’re bullshit and if they arise, the photographer should either take the pictures at the gay wedding or be sued, or have the couple just move on? “Bullshit” is just not a good answer here.

  • jjgallant@ma.rr.com' greenvervain says:

    “religious morals are so subjective we created laws to deal with interpersonal relationships to eliminate the ambiguity”

    Not so. You had no trouble coming up with a slew of moral “truths.” And again, you must justify using the loaded term bigotry. You don’t get to bootstrap in all the premises that come with it just by using it. It is also a moral judgment, by the way.

  • jjgallant@ma.rr.com' greenvervain says:

    Wow, that took a lot of thought.

  • jjgallant@ma.rr.com' greenvervain says:

    If you do not recognize that his baking or not baking the cake is a statement about the wedding, then who cares? If the particular baker means nothing (there is no statement being made by him/her that can be made by no one else) then why would you care if he declined? Convenience? His religious conviction should give way to your convenience?

  • This law is badly written because it is so broad that it not only allows discrimination against the LGBT, but also against anyone whom they feel is not consistent with their religious beliefs. This would allow Muslim businesses to refuse services to any woman who was not properly covered under their beliefs, Orthodox Jews to refuse service to Muslims or Christians as to do business with non-believers is wrong, allow businesses to refuse to do business with atheists, and the list could go on.

    The fact that it is being identified as merely against the LGBT community is a symptom of the homophobia that pervades this nation, and using religion to hide behind is both un-American and not Christian, but somehow that never seems to bother those who pass such laws. This bill is a disgrace and the leaders in Indiana should be ashamed of themselves and held personally responsible, both morally and financially, for the backlash the state is experiencing.

  • etthurma@sewanee.edu' Eric Thurman says:

    “Russell Moore, president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, denies the law would be used to discriminate, calling the conversation around the new law “uninformed” and stemming from a “widespread ignorance of religious motivation.””

    So, either Russell Moore knowns nothing about the constituency he represents or he is lying. Take your pick.

  • aed939@yahoo.com' aed939 says:

    Just to be clear, private parties are generally allowed to discriminate on any basis except for the provisions in the civil rights act affecting large employers in employment and accomodations. This article sounds like the right to discriminate is a bigger deal than the government discriminating. Civil rights is by definition protecting the people against the government.

  • chris@mindcramp.com' Observer says:

    Apologies for butting into your conversation, but you get to what I think is the heart of the matter. Is discrimination against gays analogous to racial discrimination?

    You apparently don’t, but I think they’re very much so. You think it’s unprincipled to take this stance, I think it’s unprincipled to deny it.

    What do the two have in common? Among other things, both are discrimination based on innate characteristics which cannot be changed, and both involve discrimination based on things which cannot possibly materially harm the person doing the discrimination.

    Now I don’t expect to convince you of either premise, but for the sake of argument grant me them for a moment.

    You appear to be arguing for a radical notion of freedom of association. If taken to its extreme conclusion it would nullify any civil rights legislation. At the same time, you seem to agree that racial discrimination is bad, and I suspect you would agree with me that the civil rights act was necessary to allow people of color to truly participate in the promise of liberty.

    I believe in religious freedom, and I also believe in the rights of gays to participate in society. The question is, as it always has been, what happens when these two rights collide?

    The answer to that question is necessarily somewhat arbitrary. But I think history should be our guide. Radical freedom of association didn’t work for the blacks in Jim Crow south, and I see no reason why it should work for gays in those areas today.

    This does not mean that I think people should be forced to participate in everything that violates their religious beliefs. I don’t claim to know exactly where the line will be drawn, but a line does have to be drawn somewhere.

    I’m fine with not requiring a person who has religious objections to participate in a gay wedding. But how about letting them kick a gay couple out of their restaurant? Or firing them because they’re gay? Or refusing to rent to them? I’m not fine with those things. Are you?

    Most conservative Christians I’ve spoken to insist that this law has nothing to do with those things. I don’t believe that for a minute. Indiana has no statewide civil rights protections for gays, only local ordinances. The law reads as if it overrides these local ordinances.

    My point, ultimately, is that a compromise is needed, and the Indiana law, far from being a compromise is in fact an effort to prevent one. If it were a true compromise it would have language defining and protecting the civil rights of gays, or at least defining the limits of its applicability.

  • chris@mindcramp.com' Observer says:

    I think sexual orientation is, absolutely of the same importance as race and gender. I don’t think sexual relations, as you put it, are. Why don’t you think they are?

  • jjgallant@ma.rr.com' greenvervain says:

    I’m sorry, but after comparing Indiana’s RFRA to the other RFRA’s in force and reviewing the take on it by experts in similar laws (using similar if not identical language) it’s hard to take your claims of ambiguity and overbreadth or the “list of horribles” seriously.

    As now expected, you use the term loaded term “discriminate” without justification.

    Homophobia? You trot out that tarnished dog whistle that never had an ounce of valid thinking in it.

    Unthinking lockstep critiques such as this are a disgrace, but expect no shame or responsibility (or original cogent thought) from their purveyors

  • jjgallant@ma.rr.com' greenvervain says:

    I don’t think that how I prefer to have sex (either by orientation or preference) deserves the same attention, deference, or protection in civil discourse.

  • jjgallant@ma.rr.com' greenvervain says:

    I do not think that sex (either from orientation or preference) is a proper subject or consideration in public discourse. You do?

    Do you find it relevant or necessary to know what kind of sex your new co-worker prefers? How about your mechanic? I find it bizarre that anyone thinks sexual orientation or preference is related in any way to business or any civil interaction.

  • chris@mindcramp.com' Observer says:

    To your first paragraph: it depends on context. We’re discussing sex and sexual orientation right now in something like public discourse, and presumably you have no objection to that. Your point either eludes me or is too cute by half.

    To your second paragraph, I agree very much. But I’m not the one seeking to limit a business transaction due to other peoples’ sexual orientation, so again your point eludes me.

  • chris@mindcramp.com' Observer says:

    To add to my other reply, I don’t find it necessary to know their race or gender either. So what exactly are you driving at here?

  • jjgallant@ma.rr.com' greenvervain says:

    You are correct that you will not convince me that sexual orientation is innate. And I’ve read most of the stuff claiming that it is. It is a hodgepodge of disingenuous semantics and throat clearing elevated to data. At best, biological factors are one of at least three. There are probably biological factors for all sorts of things that we don’t elevate to civil rights status.

    Aside from and in addition to this, sexual orientation or preference is, of course, defined by behavior, a behavior that we all become intensely interested in at a relatively late age and one that we all learn to control, limit, and can abstain from for life, if desired. I really can’t take seriously anyone who has to think very hard to distinguish between sex and race.

    The very real distinction between sexual orientation or preference and race and gender means that your comparisons with historical civil rights laws are invalid– you see that coming and come up with the second prong, that avoiding association with same sex marriage and avoiding association for innate characteristics are the same because neither can possibly materially harm the person doing the discrimination. Setting aside whether or not this is true, it is beside the point. It is the innateness and the character of race and gender that make them civil rights and the lack of innateness and the character of sexual activity itself prevents sexual orientation or preference from warranting the protection of civil rights. And because the right to free association is fundamental to western civil society, in the balance, it trumps.

    There’s nothing radical about being free from being forced to associate
    with ideas one finds offensive, morally or otherwise. The right to be free from associating is “trumped” by the civil rights of those who actually suffer harm from that freedom. This is not so with sexual orientation or preference because in at least in context of public and civil interaction, these “rights” are not of the same sort.

    I’m not sure that your OK-not OK list of where a religious objection should trump makes sense, or if you’re serious about it. In any event I’ll not take the bait.

    Same sex relations are the current cause celebre of the enlightened. I don’t see homosexuals finding too many obstacles other than religious discomfort with them, and they have set their sights on that. Just look at where we are—frothing at the mouth about providing a legal defense to someone accused of “discrimination” for avoiding association with same sex marriage based on religious conviction. Does that sound like a crisis for same sex people or for those of conflicting religious convictions?

  • chris@mindcramp.com' Observer says:

    Fair enough. You certainly don’t have to answer my question.

  • chris@mindcramp.com' Observer says:

    Of course I didn’t say that freedom of association is radical. I said that you seem to be advocating a radical form of freedom of association: one that knows no limits and that appears to trump most other rights.

    I very much agree that freedom of association is a right, but I recognize that sometimes rights come into conflict. And when they do, decisions have to be made. So I asked you about where exactly would you draw the line. Answer or not, it’s your choice.

  • jjgallant@ma.rr.com' greenvervain says:

    I am puzzled by the instinct to consider sexual orientation or preference—a behavior-based classification if there ever was one—with race or gender—two innate classifications.

  • jjgallant@ma.rr.com' greenvervain says:

    It is a balance between the right of a person to avoid affirming or associating with something against which they have religious objection. The hue and cry is that this should not be allowed because a classification based on sexual conduct “trumps” that right. I am surprised that anyone thinks such a classification should do so.

  • chris@mindcramp.com' Observer says:

    Ok. Thanks for the response. I appreciate your willingness to discuss.

  • chris@mindcramp.com' Observer says:

    Perhaps you’re puzzled because you insist upon calling it an instinct rather than an evaluation of the evidence and a conclusion that differs from your own?

  • tiltuesday@ymail.com' 'Til Tuesday says:

    Most telling is that when an attempt was made to add a clause to Indiana’s RFRA stating that the law could not be used to discriminate, the Republicans flat-out rejected it. Combined with the statements of the proponents of the bill saying that the bill was intended to give a business the right to refuse to serve or sell to gay people, there was overwhelming evidence that the purpose of the law was animus toward gay people. The Governor didn’t help his case by including several notorious anti-gay opponents standing right behind him while he signed the bill into law. The bill went much further than the federal and state RFRA’s. Americans and the business community read it correctly and reacted accordingly.

  • charles.hoffman@yahoo.com' Ch Hoffman says:

    defending the indefensible is a sign of an ideologue on a sinking ship

    this is the wrong hill to plant the flag of religious liberty

  • reedjim51@gmail.com' Jim Reed says:

    It is up to religions where they will plan their flag.

  • jjgallant@ma.rr.com' greenvervain says:

    Read any number of the “arguments” here and elsewhere that assume sexual behavior as a right trumping any conflicting right, and tell me who is or isn’t “evaluating evidence” (or even thinking ).

  • bbailey1956@cableone.net' nmgirl says:

    I’ve been doing without it officially for about 10 years and unconsciously for about 30 years. Life has been pretty good for me.

  • bbailey1956@cableone.net' nmgirl says:

    so you would be OK with me refusing services to someone who comes into my shop wearing a cross? I’m an atheist and I object to ( so-called) christians.

  • fiona64@livejournal.com' fiona64 says:

    why would you care if he declined?

    You really are ignorant of how public accommodation laws work, aren’t you? Educate yourself. http://civilrights.findlaw.com/enforcing-your-civil-rights/discrimination-in-public-accommodations.html

  • fiona64@livejournal.com' fiona64 says:

    They’re bullshit because they are so ridiculously unlikely that they are not going to occur and are there solely as red herrings.

    You’re another one who needs education on public accommodation laws. http://civilrights.findlaw.com/enforcing-your-civil-rights/discrimination-in-public-accommodations.html

  • fiona64@livejournal.com' fiona64 says:

    Yeah, actually, it is. http://civilrights.findlaw.com/enforcing-your-civil-rights/discrimination-in-public-accommodations.html

    You can be as much of a bigot as you want in your home. The minute you hang out your shingle as a public accommodation, you forfeit the right to take your personal beliefs into the business world.

  • fiona64@livejournal.com' fiona64 says:

    The public-accommodation thing gets murky when the “accommodation” is a personal service by an individual,

    No, it does not. http://civilrights.findlaw.com/enforcing-your-civil-rights/discrimination-in-public-accommodations.html

  • fiona64@livejournal.com' fiona64 says:

    You don’t want to see “both sides.” You want a license to bigot.

  • fiona64@livejournal.com' fiona64 says:

    You’re the one who made the claim; *you* back it up. I’m not doing your homework for you.

  • fiona64@livejournal.com' fiona64 says:

    For all those in the thread claiming that they should have the right to both operate a public accommodation and be a bigot, because “religion”: I can only assume that you have no idea how public accommodation laws work. Start educating yourself here: http://civilrights.findlaw.com/enforcing-your-civil-rights/discrimination-in-public-accommodations.html

    And yes, the laws explicitly apply to “privately-owned businesses.”

  • fiona64@livejournal.com' fiona64 says:

    sexual orientation or preference is, of course, defined by behavior

    Bullshit. I was straight when I was a virgin, and I’m straight now.

    Are you arguing that a gay virgin is not actually gay?

    BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

  • fiona64@livejournal.com' fiona64 says:

    I said that you seem to be advocating a radical form of freedom of
    association: one that knows no limits and that appears to trump most
    other rights.

    That’s the Libertarian position in a nutshell.

  • fiona64@livejournal.com' fiona64 says:

    Yes, because gay people are just like Saddam Hussein.

    And you still want us to believe you’re not about bigotry. Heh.

  • fiona64@livejournal.com' fiona64 says:

    Your right to swing your Bible ends where the other fellow’s nose begins. Your right to your “deeply held religious beliefs” does NOT include the right to force others to participate in them … and it does NOT include the right to be a bigot when you run a public accommodation.

  • jjgallant@ma.rr.com' greenvervain says:

    First and last answer to fiona64 today. First, you’re not answering the question or joining issue– the point is that your insisting on a particular cake (instead of a substitute) recognizes that there is something about baking the cake that, like it or not, gives rise to the baker’s rights. Second, a RFRA a legal defense to someone caught in the crosshairs of a public accommodation law or any law in which someone may be asked to compromise a genuinely held religious conviction. The court will decide who wins, and in the fight between PA laws and previous RFRAs, the PA law has won every time.

    Please don’t assume some sort of intellectual arrogance and send someone to Findlaw. That’s more than a little ironic.

  • truktyre@hotmail.com' Craptacular says:

    Institutional bigotry is everything from “white only” water fountains to police looking the other way when homosexuals or other minorities were beaten or had other civil liberties infringed. Some of it was legal (the water fountains) and some was due to the toxic culture produced by the attempt of a “separate but equal” policy.

    You can attempt to deny this culture existed, but I was raised in it and will not allow it to be repeated, at least not without me taking a stand against the hateful majority. You seem to be very concerned about the feelings/beliefs of one group while disregarding the actual, physical civil liberties of another.

    Sorry, my friend, but while I support a religious person’s right to hold whatever beliefs they want, I will never support one person’s “belief” over another person’s civil liberties.

  • jjgallant@ma.rr.com' greenvervain says:

    So the actual, physical liberties of a religious person may be infringed (he will be fined and/or forced out of business) not because he has done anything to anyone but declined to associate with them?

    That is what the RFRA is designed to prevent. It gives no right to the religious person, only a legal defense (based on a constitutional right) that will be evaluated by a court.

  • jjgallant@ma.rr.com' greenvervain says:

    Yes.

  • truktyre@hotmail.com' Craptacular says:

    “…your comparisons with historical civil rights laws are invalid…” – greenvervain

    Actually, what I am arguing against is institutionalized discrimination, which our culture attempted to implement with “separate but equal” racial policies. We are still dealing with the blowback of these failed policies (see: Ferguson, MO).

    And you can’t get around the fact that you want to render one group’s civil liberties invalid because of a second group’s belief. What I have a hard time getting over is that you have the gall to say you support “liberty” when you put ancient prejudices and beliefs ahead of living, breathing people.

  • reedjim51@gmail.com' Jim Reed says:

    The new clarification law they write later this week might help improve things after the law was signed earlier in the week, but it might also raise some questions from those who want to discriminate, so next week they will probably have to pass an amendment to the clarification limiting it in certain circumstances.

  • chris@mindcramp.com' Observer says:

    The mere fact that I am here discussing with you is evidence that I consider your evaluation of the evidence to be weak. (Non existent, actually.) I could refer you to the APA website on what homosexuality is and isn’t, but I’m sure that isn’t going to sway you a bit. Indeed nothing anything I or anybody else says could possibly sway you, because you’re not interested in understanding other people’s points, only making sure they understand yours.

    As I pointed out earlier, the crucial issue seems to be whether same sex attraction is innate. That’s the criterion you and I seem to agree upon to determine whether someone has rights worthy of enforcing through civil rights legislation.

    By innate, I don’t mean only biologically determined, although the evidence showing a biological component is compelling. I mean that the evidence shows that it isn’t simply a choice. At some point in a person’s development sexual attraction becomes a core component of identity or personality, and in most people is fixed and effectively unmodifiable throughout the rest of their lives.

    I’m also talking about attraction or orientation, not merely the sex act, as you continually seem to focus on. For a homosexual, the ability to form fulfilling intimate pair bonds in the way that I form with my wife is directed toward people of the same sex. Certainly they can choose abstinence, but that won’t change how they form relationships.

    None of what I have written above is at all controversial is the psychological or psychiatric community. You can choose not to believe me on that, but you would still be wrong.

    To take this into the realm of rights, my relationship with my wife is probably the most important thing in my life. When I say it’s central to my happiness, I mean that in the most profound way; in the way I think Jefferson meant happiness when he wrote the Declaration of Independence.

    This relationship certainly involves sexual attraction, but it transends that, as I expect your own marriage does, if you have one.

    When I see the relationship of my closest gay friend to his partner, who he has been committed to for longer than the 30 years I have been married, it seems obvious that his relationship is in no substantive way different from mine. It isn’t merely about sex, it’s about intimacy and fulfillment. The fact that he can only forge this kind of relationship with someone of the same sex doesn’t change the quality of the relationship.

    Given that I see this same pattern in all my homosexual friends, and that I believe the relevant research shows the nature of their attraction to be an immutable part of who they are, and given that I believe my ability to form those same sorts of intimate relationships is a God given right, worthy of protection by the stare, would I not be a moral monster if I failed to advocate for that same right on behalf of homosexuals?

    Again, I know nothing I have written will sway you, because nothing can sway you. But you said you were puzzled why people believe differently from you. I think my take speaks for a great many. I’ve laid it out in the hope that it helps you understand not only the reason, but the emotion behind it.

    Basically, it’s there so that you can understand what you’re up against politically. To sway me and others like me, you will have to convince us that homosexual attraction is not essentially an immutable trait, and that gay relationships are not substantially similar to heterosexual relationships. If you can do that, you have a chance of winning the political debate.

  • truktyre@hotmail.com' Craptacular says:

    If there is a segment of the population you do not want to “associate with,” then don’t open a public business. It’s the same with any other law regarding your business…if you violate healthcode and the government closes you down, did they infringe on your civil liberty? If my religious belief prohibits me from bathing or washing, can I open a restaurant and exempt myself from the healthcode?

    How does “not opening a public business” infringe on your civil liberties? Unless you are saying that opening a public business is a right?

  • fiona64@livejournal.com' fiona64 says:

    Second, a RFRA a legal defense to someone caught in the crosshairs of a
    public accommodation law or any law in which someone may be asked to
    compromise a genuinely held religious conviction.

    Oh, bullshit. It’s an excuse to bigot and you know it.

    I’m sorry you’re too stupid to understand how public accommodation laws work.

  • leightonanderson@earthlink.net' trytoseeitmyway says:

    Apparently when you run out of insults, you just insert a link to substitute for argument. The linked summary fails to contradict my comment, and is vague about what constitutes public accommodation. But, no problem, I realize that we’ve taxed your intellect here. It’s happened before.

    Guy walks into a kosher deli and orders a ham sandwich. Fellow behind the counter says, gee, that’s against our religion. Guy says, “Oh yeah? See you in court, Jew!”

  • jjgallant@ma.rr.com' greenvervain says:

    I thought the core issue was whether same-sex relationships were on par with civil rights. You took the word “instinct” that I used to describe the unthinking equation of the two and, it appears, used it (somewhat disingenuously) as a segue-way to the “evidence” that same sex attraction is innate. So you’re now at its innateness, which is a different point than whether it is comparable to classic civil rights.

    As to innateness, though, I have followed the APA “evolution” on same-sex attraction (as much as is available, which isn’t a lot) and am unpersuaded that it was based on falsifiable evidence. Other considerations—nurture-based explanations that satisfied observers and scientists for dozens of years—have been anathematized for about twenty years, so no conflicting theories or evidence is any longer considered (hardly a scientific approach). Even then, honest scientists say that there is, as you only suggest, a biological component, but no completely biological explanation. In short, the case for innateness is weak, unless you define innate much differently that scientist do for anything else.

    You then shift to what is, for most people, that which turns them toward
    expressing deference to same-sex relationships: the observation
    that they are deep and caring, and a little big of an underdog. There
    remains just enough of the innateness “myth” to give this feel-good
    position a patina of empiricism (not that empiricism has a place in
    answering moral questions, but it is important to the scientistic, i.e., those that fool themselves into thinking that they are doing science because they use numbers, regardless of whether they are accurate or sufficient to account for all the variables).

    The majority of people expressing support for same-sex rights are basing it, consciously or not, on this feel-good, sorta kinda scientistic assumption. So for most, the question of whether same-sex relationships are a civil right (in the classic sense) rests on the “feel-goodness” of the proposition, not its innateness. But even if it were completely innate (a claim that can be made only by distorting the concept of innateness), same-sex relations are not on par with classic civil rights.

    Without getting sidetracked into putting opposite sex marriage in its proper place (I wouldn’t conflate happiness with practical effect, and point out that legal deference to it is actually quite limited), the question remains as to why the desire, innate or not, to have sex with and marry a person of the same sex (or the opposite sex, for that matter), deserves such deference that it attains a legal status that trumps, in all instances, firmly held religious convictions. That is the question presented, I think, by the passage of a law that only provides a legal defense, based on those religious convictions, to government-sanctioned coercion.

  • chris@mindcramp.com' Observer says:

    I’m not convinced you’re right about the notion that Christians wouldn’t cry fowl and send a barrage of anger and/or legal trouble towards the photographer. Claims of Christian persecution seem to be a growth industry these days.

    But I do think you’re right about the limits of public accommodation laws and what current law allows.

    I want religious people to have the maximum protection available for the practice of their religion. My concern is that RFRAs being enacted in an environment where there are no civil rights protections for gays are an invitation to expansion beyond their original intent. I’m convinced that some of the backers of the Indiana law know this and support it for exactly that reason.

    My question is, why can’t the law be rewritten to clarify its areas of protection? There are several interest groups who have resisted every attempt to do this, and that makes me suspicious of their motives.

    Since we appear to be in an atmosphere of mutual distrust, isn’t the better approach to rewrite the law to me more specific?

  • jjgallant@ma.rr.com' greenvervain says:

    Do you know what a caricature is? You may wear the crown today for being the best caricature of a self-important painfully ignorant “cool” loudmouth. Enjoy.

  • chris@mindcramp.com' Observer says:

    I used innateness because per our previous conversation I had stated it was my primary criterion for making the analogy to race, and in our subsequent conversation you consistently referred to it and treated it in the same way. You appear to be shifting the goalposts here.

    You talk about your evaluation of the evidence, but remain unwilling to concede that others can and have seen it and reached the opposite conclusion. In fact, your take on the evidence is very much a minority view, while the APA’s represents the overwhelming consensus. That doesn’t make it right, of course, but it does cast doubt on your apparent claim that only your conclusion is reasonable and all your opponents are unthinking. Believe it or not, thinking people can view the same evidence and come to differing conclusions.

    I have never maintained that legal recognition of same sex attraction trumps firmly held religious beliefs in all instances. If you’ve taken that from my posts, I’m sorry.

    I don’t believe that a person with religious objections should have to participate in a gay wedding, inter-racial wedding, or any kind of wedding. But there is a line somewhere at which point they will have to be forced to associate with homosexuals. The question I think we should be debating is, where is that line? I asked you earlier about where you were willing to draw that line, and you seemed to think it was some kind of trick. It was not.

    It goes without saying that I don’t agree that I’ve been disingenuous. It’s certainly possible that I’m wrong, but that’s not the same thing. I do know, however, that people don’t really change each others minds on Internet forums. All I can do is try to understand your reasoning and try to accurately convey mine.

  • jjgallant@ma.rr.com' greenvervain says:

    Um, yes. We’ve been over this before.

  • fiona64@livejournal.com' fiona64 says:

    The bottom line is that your whole position (“Libertarianism”) is a bullshit political philosophy based on selfishness and nothing but. Like pure communism, it looks great on paper — but where rubber meets the road, real people are harmed by it.

    “Fuck you, I’ve got mine” is not the way civilized people live. You calling *me* a caricature is a *joke.* There is *no one* more “self-important” than a Randian Objectivist like you. You think you’re the center of the universe and it doesn’t matter who is harmed by your nonsense.

    You remind me of a quote by John Rogers:

    “There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life:
    The Lord of the Rings
    and Atlas Shrugged.
    One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession
    with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted,
    socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The
    other, of course, involves orcs.”

  • jjgallant@ma.rr.com' greenvervain says:

    While it may help you in dealing with the ideas that refuse to fit in your worldview to swear at libertarians, I am not one . More important, nothing I’ve said requires me to be one.

  • fiona64@livejournal.com' fiona64 says:

    And now you’ve made up another asinine straw man to try to prove your point. How unoriginal.

  • fiona64@livejournal.com' fiona64 says:

    Did you, or did you not, claim to be a libertarian earlier in this thread?

  • leightonanderson@earthlink.net' trytoseeitmyway says:

    I might cry foul, but never fowl. (That’s a joke, sorry.)

    It strikes me as odd that people want to read dark motives into a proposed statute that is closely patterned after laws which have been on the books for many years without controversy. Similarly trying to find such purposes in a difference, here or there, of a word or phrase turns out to be highly tendentious where not completely feigned. What is really going on is that, far from the gay-wedding hypotheticals, many are upset with the outcome of the Hobby Lobby case (how DARE an employer insert its moral preferences into the question of what insurance to buy!) and want to denigrate religion as a basis for making moral decisions, choices and judgments.

    Your question is, why not go back and re-work the statute. Well, it looks like they’re doing that … because so many people wanted to discriminate against everyone in the entire state because the legislature had the temerity to enact a law just like the federal law, just like Illinois’s law, just like … well, you get the point. So that’s fine. But I am still sympathetic to the idea that just because someone is in business, they have to abandon moral preferences and choices if those preferences and choices are grounded in religion.

  • leightonanderson@earthlink.net' trytoseeitmyway says:

    And it’s an asinine straw man because of why exactly? I get that you prefer insults to analysis – due to your analytical weaknesses, one must suppose.

  • chris@mindcramp.com' Observer says:

    I assume you meant unsympathic?

  • fiona64@livejournal.com' fiona64 says:

    It’s an asinine straw man because you and I both know that no one goes into a kosher deli and orders a ham sandwich. People of all walks of life, however, do walk into bakeries and order cakes.

    The mental weakness that makes you think bigotry is acceptable is not my fault.

  • equaltime@hotmail.com' EqualTime says:

    Here you go. Note that according to the article, the couple taped the brief conversation. I don’t know why you think this is beyond belief. http://nypost.com/2014/11/10/couple-fined-for-refusing-to-host-same-sex-wedding-on-their-farm/

  • fiona64@livejournal.com' fiona64 says:

    Actually, your article proves *my* point. They hold weddings and receptions on the farm *regularly,* and refused to do the same for a lesbian couple “because Jesus.”

    This quote proves it: In summer, wedding ceremonies and receptions also are held on the farm.

    They are in violation of the public accommodations law.

  • equaltime@hotmail.com' EqualTime says:

    How is forcing the baker/florist/photographer/b&b host to participate in the gay wedding under threat of fine or suit when there are other readily available providers not imposing your views on others? Not even a little bit? Are there no less restrictive means (such as the power of the market)? And FYI, I’m not swinging a Bible. I’m coming to this view from a individual rights perspective. I support gay marriage, full equality for gays – full stop. But the thought of making a photographer take pictures at a wedding he or she would prefer not to attend or get out of the profession seems to me to be over the top – especially if there’s a growing track record of couples who might target that person to make a point, as Jennifer McCarthy did in NY, or do you think Ms. McCarthy records all of her partner’s phone conversations?

  • fiona64@livejournal.com' fiona64 says:

    Once again … if one does not wish to operate a public accommodation, one can find another way of making a living.

  • leightonanderson@earthlink.net' trytoseeitmyway says:

    I don’t think bigotry is acceptable and therefore I wish you would cease being bigoted against people on religious grounds.

    You think in the history of the world, no one has ever ordered a ham sandwich in a kosher deli. My own bet is that in the history of antisemitism, it has happened often enough. There are people who would be delighted to trigger off a dispute just like that, because they imagine that no one should ever allow religious beliefs to influence business decisions. This was at the heart of the Hobby Lobby case, for example. What we consistently see is that you and others use the rubric of anti-bigotry to discriminate against using religion to inform moral beliefs, when you want to insist on an irreligious, secular basis for moral views. To put that in other terms, you don’t want “them” imposing “their” morality on you, but you are perfectly willing to impose yours on others.

    You and I both know that someone walks into a bakery to buy a generic cake, they walk out with a cake. What really happens is that sometimes to make a political point someone will want to insist that a business person do more than just hand a pre-made item across a counter. Instead, someone will want to require the vendor to *participate* in an activity by supplying goods and services specific to that activity even if the activity offends the seriously held moral views of the supplier. It would be like requiring someone who despises racism to cater a KKK fundraiser. Your idea is that the vendor just needs to do what he or she is damn well told and shut up about it. Right? That’s your idea, isn’t it? No matter how offensive the person finds it? You just like the idea of imposing your morality on other people.

  • leightonanderson@earthlink.net' trytoseeitmyway says:

    Thanks for the spelling correction – I’ll fix that. 😉

    Actually I revised the whole sentence.

  • equaltime@hotmail.com' EqualTime says:

    Sorry, I thought your point was my hypothetical that a gay couple would seek out and file a claim against a provider was so ridiculously unlikely that they are not going to occur and are there solely as red herrings. Do you think Ms. McCarthy records all of her partner’s phone calls, or just the ones to providers against whom she plans to file complaints?

  • truktyre@hotmail.com' Craptacular says:

    “As now expected, you use the term loaded term “discriminate” without justification.” – greenvervain

    You must be using the same definition of “discrimination” as the pizza shop owner from Indiana quoted in a Raw Story article:

    “If a gay couple came in and wanted us to provide pizzas for their
    wedding, we would have to say no…we’re not discriminating against anyone, that’s just our belief…I do not think it’s targeting gays. I don’t think it’s discrimination.” – Crystal O’Connor of Memories Pizza in Raw Story

    So it’s not discrimination, they just won’t serve pizza at a homosexual wedding. And they aren’t targeting gays, they just won’t serve the homosexuals.

    “Homophobia? You trot out that tarnished dog whistle that never had an ounce of valid thinking in it.” – greenvervain

  • fiona64@livejournal.com' fiona64 says:

    Perhaps she was recording it because they wanted a record of booking the farm they really wanted. Perhaps the answering machine was on by mistake. Perhaps an orbiting mind control laser made her do it.

    Your bullshit scenarios had NOTHING to do with violating a public accommodations law … and you are well aware of that.

  • fiona64@livejournal.com' fiona64 says:

    I wish you would cease being bigoted against people on religious grounds.

    Please show where I have done so. I’ll wait.

    No love, a follower of Jesus’ teachings who refuses to self-identify as a Christian because bigots like you have co-opted the word.

  • equaltime@hotmail.com' EqualTime says:

    Let’s weigh the article representing real world events vs. your excuses (orbiting mind control, really) on the bullshit scenario scale and see which is more practical. Thanks for the discussion.

  • jjgallant@ma.rr.com' greenvervain says:

    The term discrimination should be limited to the realm of classic civil rights. Same sex relationships and marriages are not of a kind with race and gender. By using the loaded term discrimination, you associate declining to associate with the view affirming same sex relationships and marriage with the active abrogation of fundamental rights of a person because of their race (or gender). Call it bait and switch, trojan horse arguing, or conclusory reasoning, but it is dishonest when deliberate and always reflects badly on a position subject to unbiased critical thinking.

    The pizza shop said “It’s just our belief” — What can you be saying other than they are not allowed to have that belief and that they may not decline to affirm what a gay marriage ceremony means?

    “Homophobia” sought to assign a medical or “sciency” gloss to the then widely held (and politely ignored) discomfort people felt surrounding same-sex relationships. It was a preposterous (but successful) ploy to control the “flavor” of the debate by accusing normal people of a pseudo-medical abnormality.

  • fiona64@livejournal.com' fiona64 says:

    You asked me why I thought they would take the conversation. Since I am obviously not privy to their decision-making process, you are asking me to speculate. I did so.

    Don’t like it? Tough shit.

  • leightonanderson@earthlink.net' trytoseeitmyway says:

    Show you? Sure. Review every insult you’ve directed toward me. That will get you started.

    What, those are non-bigoted insults, you say? Well, bigots always say that.

  • truktyre@hotmail.com' Craptacular says:

    “Same sex relationships and marriages are not of a kind with race and gender.” – greenvervain

    Then why are the same arguments that were used by the religious against racial integration and public access laws being recycled for homosexual civil rights?:

    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/cafe/reminder-we-ve-used-religious-liberty-for-discrimination-before

  • fiona64@livejournal.com' fiona64 says:

    I’ve never referenced your religion, sweetie. Not once. Why? Because I don’t know it (nor do I need to). What I *have* referenced is your bigotry.

    Unless you are telling me that bigotry is your religion … which would not surprise me at this juncture.

  • jjgallant@ma.rr.com' greenvervain says:

    Thinking objectively is hard. Being swept along in some movement is much easier. Think for yourself.

  • leightonanderson@earthlink.net' trytoseeitmyway says:

    Gosh, you’re getting defensive, there, snookie pumpkin. I suppose you think that you have to reference explicitly the discriminated-against characteristic before your remarks can be considered bigoted. Your insults drip with your hatred toward those who rely on religious beliefs as limiting the activities in which they wish to participate and provide support, while you affirm the right of *other* people to rely on *other* beliefs when doing likewise. You are really the worst sort of hater.

    And it’s of interest, too, that you deny your reference to my religion even though it occurred just recently. Intending to be insulting, as usual, you said, that you refuse to self-identify as a Christian “because bigots like you have co-opted the word.” So there you go. You said that I have “co-opted” the word “Christian,” which is undeniably a reference to my religion (or anyway your assumption about it – I haven’t specified it here) at the same time as you referred to self-identifying Christians as “bigots.”

    Oh well. You’re boring me now. Soo predicable in your hate.

  • truktyre@hotmail.com' Craptacular says:

    “Thinking objectively is hard.” – greenvervain

    How would you know?

    “Being swept along in some movement is much easier.” – greenvervain

    You mean, like joining a religion?

    “Think for yourself.” – greenvervain

    This is too funny. It ranks right up there with my bigoted father telling me to “have an open mind.”

  • robert.m.jeffers@lonestar.edu' Rmj says:

    A) you can’t force anyone to do anything under the law (I’ve had to explain this before, it gets tedious). You can only seek redress for the refusal, if such redress is allowed by law. Curiously to your example, there are states where gays and lesbians cannot seek redress for discrimination, since they are not a legally protected class under federal or some state laws..

    B) Your example would not constitute discrimination, merely a refusal to take the job, similar to requiring a black man to photograph a Klan rally, or a Jew to photograph a meeting of neo-Nazis. Discrimination would require a protected class, and a refusal to provide services by a business open to the general public simply because the customer was a member of a protected class.

    So:

    C) your example is inapt and inapplicable.

  • fiona64@livejournal.com' fiona64 says:

    Your insults drip with your hatred toward those who rely on religious
    beliefs as limiting the activities in which they wish to participate and
    provide support,

    You’re goddamned right that I hate those who use their “religion” as an excuse to bigot.

    while you affirm the right of *other* people to rely on *other* beliefs when doing likewise.

    Being gay is not a “belief,” any more than being black is a “belief.”

    You’re just pissed because I called you out. Deal with it.

  • leightonanderson@earthlink.net' trytoseeitmyway says:

    And you can’t force anyone to pay taxes, you can only throw him in jail for the refusal. No wonder it gets tedious trying to defend sophistry. If the alternative do doing something is the payment of damages, that is the equivalent of forcing the act. Sheesh.

    I get your point about a protected class. But here the idea is not that a protected class is refused service, the point is that a person for religious reasons (also potected, you know) wants to avoid participating in an *activity*. To that extent, it is exactly “similar to requiring a black man to photograph a Klan rally, or a Jew to photograph a meeting of neo-Nazis” from the point of view of the person whose moral values are being overridden by your imposition on them. See how that works?

    This isn’t Rosa Parks at the lunch counter, no matter how much people want to make it that. You want a cake? The baker says, here, have a cake. You want a portrait done? The photographer says, Fine, sit for your picture. No one cares about race, gender, orientation or anything else. The problem comes in because you start to dictate *content* or the *manner* of delivery. So you say, bring my cake to my party and never mind about what happens there. Well, maybe you mind a lot. If I say that I have religious reasons why I respectfully decline to be part of your event because of how I personally feel about what goes on there – but here let me refer you to some people who will be happy to decorate your cake with anything you want – I don’t deserve to be called names. It ought to be something that can be respected and tolerated in a respectful and tolerant culture.

  • leightonanderson@earthlink.net' trytoseeitmyway says:

    You’re just pissed because I called you out. Deal with it.

  • fiona64@livejournal.com' fiona64 says:

    I am sure that you think you’re infinitely clever … but calling out your bigotry is NOT bigotry. Never has been, never will be — no matter how much you and the rest of the bigots try to spin it that way.

  • leightonanderson@earthlink.net' trytoseeitmyway says:

    Yes, but I’m not the bigot. You are. That’s what we’ve established.

  • fiona64@livejournal.com' fiona64 says:

    I’m sure that it comforts you to believe that. Truth is, you just don’t like the mirror being held up and showing you what you really are.

  • fiona64@livejournal.com' fiona64 says:

    I would like to thank the self-proclaimed “Christians” in this thread for showing their true colors. All thinking people know that this Indiana law is nothing but an excuse to bigot in the public square, and several posters here are doing a bang-up job of proving it.

  • leightonanderson@earthlink.net' trytoseeitmyway says:

    No, sorry. It is comforting to you to attribute motives and purposes to others that they don’t actually have or experience. This is WHY you are a bigot, because you do that. I would earnestly wish you could find it in your heart to be tolerant of people whose only sin is to think differently and have different values. You would be much happier, I promise.

    This got to be tedious a long time ago, so go ahead and insult me again. I won’t respond and then you can feel like you won something or whatever it is you’re trying to get out of the way you’re conducting yourself. Go ahead, it’s your free shot.

  • fiona64@livejournal.com' fiona64 says:

    I would earnestly wish you could find it in your heart to be tolerant of
    people whose only sin is to think differently and have different
    values. You would be much happier, I promise.

    Take your own advice, bigot.

  • truktyre@hotmail.com' Craptacular says:

    “So, because young people don’t want it, it is bigotry?” – greenvervain

    No, because the young people aren’t burdened with the same prejudices we older people have due to the world we grew up in. Not to say that young people don’t have their own issues, but I have noticed that they seem more tolerant of racial and sexual differences than my generation (which gives me hope).

  • truktyre@hotmail.com' Craptacular says:

    “Do you really, honestly think that sexual relations are of the same human importance as race and gender (nationality is really a proxy for race)? That it warrants the same protection as they do?” – greenvervain

    Believe it or not, this is not about sex or even homosexuality.

    It’s about one group of people singling out another group and denying them civil liberties based on non-criminal activity/behavior they disagree with. That’s it.

  • truktyre@hotmail.com' Craptacular says:

    “I find it bizarre that anyone thinks sexual orientation or preference is related in any way to business or any civil interaction.” – greenvervain

    Me, too! Which is why it boggles my mind when a florist or baker refuses to serve their clients.

  • truktyre@hotmail.com' Craptacular says:

    “…what the law does is to protect people from being forced to associate with a position…” – greenvervain

    You keep phrasing this concept as if the religious are attempting to avoid some nebulous idea or concept, when what they are actually doing is attempting to avoid dealing with another human being. That is bigotry and discrimination, pure and simple.

  • phatkhat@centurylink.net' phatkhat says:

    I think the easiest thing to do – what I would do – is say, “Sorry, I’m booked. Why don’t you try John Jones Photography? Maybe he can schedule you.”

    Why can’t the Xtians do this? Why do they have to make a big “persecution” case out of it? Because they WANT to be persecuted, that’s why. It’s a way to gain power, which is what their final goal is. I live in Arkansas, and I do not delude myself that theocracy is not the ultimate goal.

  • leightonanderson@earthlink.net' trytoseeitmyway says:

    You don’t think that there is any “big ‘persecution’ case” being made by the other side, I guess.

    That pizza place, no one even asked them to serve food anywhere. A reporter came along and asked them what they would do if asked. Giving an honest answer was enough to earn them death threats.

    You can say, gee, don’t give an honest answer then. They have probably figured that out by now. But it would be impossible to deny that they were persecuted just for expressing a preference.

    How about this? Live and let live. Ever think about that one?

  • phatkhat@centurylink.net' phatkhat says:

    Oh, I love “live and let live”. But the Xtian fundies do not. They want to tell everyone else how to live. No gays, no gay marriage, no abortions, no sex outside marriage, etc. And though they feel it is their right to deny service to those they disagree with, when the shoe might go on the other foot, they scream bloody murder.

    As to the pizza place, they probably got no more death threats than a lot of LGBTs and atheists do on a regular basis. And, ultimately, they collected hundreds of thousands of dollars from fellow bigots on GoFundMe. They don’t need the pizza joint anymore.

  • phatkhat@centurylink.net' phatkhat says:

    Since there is a FEDERAL RFRA, why do the states need to reiterate it? UNLESS they are trying to enable discrimination.

  • leightonanderson@earthlink.net' trytoseeitmyway says:

    Oh yeah, I see now. Anything YOU do is justified by what you think THEY do. That’s how you understand “live and let live.”

    In other words, you can’t be a hypocrite because “they” were hypocrites first. And you wonder why people laugh at you.

    Good column by Kiersten Powers today: http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2015/04/07/indiana-gay-protection-memories-pizza-eich-column/25373045/ “It’s hard for the people who call themselves liberals (while
    acting like anything but) to top their past bullying and intolerance of
    those who won’t fall in line with their worldview.”

  • leightonanderson@earthlink.net' trytoseeitmyway says:

    Good question. You might ask Pres. Obama that, after he voted as a state senator for the Illinois RFRA. The answer is that states want to be sure that their state law strikes the same balance.

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