If We Let Businesses Discriminate, Rural Gays Will Die of Starvation in a Ditch!

Dinner is servedroboppy / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-NDIn response to lawsuits filed against a florist in Washington State who refused to sell flowers for gay couples’ weddings because of religious reasons, a pack of conservative state legislators have introduced Senate Bill 5927. The bill would allow people or religious organizations to “deny services if providing those goods or services would be contrary to the individual's or entity owner's sincerely held religious beliefs, philosophical beliefs, or matters of conscience.”

So in response to the proposed addition to Washington’s antidiscrimination laws is a fairly absurd slippery slope argument: If businesses are free to discriminate against gay people, then it will happen to the degree that people will actually die.

The blog for The Stranger, Seattle’s alternative weekly, documents a particularly overblown argument between a citizen and a sponsoring senator’s staff:

When Slog reader Jay Castro called state senator Mike Hewitt's (R-Walla Walla) office this morning to ask about Senator Hewitt's co-sponsorship of SB 5927, a bill that would amend our anti-discrimination laws to allow people to discriminate against gays and lesbians because of their "sincerely held religious beliefs," Castro says he was hit with a surprising response: Gay people should be prepared to fend for themselves.

Castro's aware that this bill isn't likely to pass but he tells me, "Regardless of if it's just a publicity stunt, it's my livelihood and my life that's on the line." He added: "I fought very hard for gay rights in Spokane in the '90s, as a kid," and he was horrified to wake up to headlines about this bill. So he spent his morning calling its sponsors to let them know. During the phone calls, he says he asked staffers some variation of the question "What are rural gays supposed to do if the only gas station or grocery store for miles won't sell them gas and food?"

Castro says the staffer at Hewitt's office surprised him with the answer "Well, gay people can just grow their own food."

Later the office apologized to the blog for the poor handling of the call. The office is correct in agreeing that the call was poorly handled, but probably not in the way The Stranger thinks it is. Instead of saying, “Gay people can grow their own food,” the staffer should have simply pointed out how stupid this “What if?” scenario is, how unlikely it is to actually happen, how Castro probably has a very limited experience of what choices are actually available to folks in modern rural communities, not to mention how people in rural communities actually behave. Oh, also, if a community can’t support more than one place to purchase food, then it’s unlikely that one place can afford to engage in discrimination and thrive.

In order for a slippery slope argument to work, the outcome has to make sense. Any number of states do not offer discrimination protections against gays and lesbians. This is the stated reason for regular attempt to get the Employment Non-Discrimination Act passed. If grocery stores and gas stations were inclined to refuse to sell food to gay people, this is a thing that would already be happening and would have been happening for decades.

Castro obviously knows that a law that permits religious discrimination does not mean that everybody’s going to start discriminating. That’s why he tried to game the scenario in such a way that just one person deciding to discriminate could cause severe harm to the victims. It’s not a realistic analysis of what were to happen should SB 5927 were to actually pass. If Castro’s fears were remotely likely to happen, we would already been able to have pointed to any number of examples where anti-gay discrimination in the providing of services caused actual substantial harm and not just inconvenience and outrage. Even Chick-fil-A will sell sandwiches to gay people.

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  • $park¥||

    Because the only way to fix a stupid law is to make a new stupid law on top of it.

  • ||

    Well, in this case, it's to amend the original stupid law.

  • ||

    Too early, not caffinated enough, but would this bill mean that if I held kooky enough religious beliefs I could discriminate against people based on

    race, creed, color, national origin, sex, honorably discharged veteran or military status, sexual orientation, or the presence of any sensory, mental, or physical disability or the use of a trained dog guide or service animal by a person with a disability

    If yes, why are we not just repealing the law (which should be done anyway)?

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    No, it wouldn't, unfortunately.

  • KPres||

    "If yes, why are we not just repealing the law (which should be done anyway)?"

    The statist mentality holds a bias toward more laws? If you can accomplish the same thing by either repealing a law or writing a new one that contradicts the existing, it's always better to write a new one. Because it might get named after you or something, like the Brady Bill. Or maybe just because writing laws, especially long complex laws that nobody can interpret but you who just so happen to be one of societies intellectual elite (obviously!) makes you cream your pants.

  • Stormy Dragon||

    Does the new law provide a corresponding right for business owners to refuse to service people who are obviously Christian?

    Or is this another case of the Evangelicals wanting to take a dump in someone's bed and then cry oppression when the victim tries to throw them out of the house for it?

  • SIV||

    That's perfectly legal now.

    "No Christfags Allowed"

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    It's stupid that a law saying you don't have to do business with people you'd rather not is necessary at this point, but I don't think that makes the law itself stupid.

  • $park¥||

    They are trying to give extra special protection to only one protected class of people.

  • $park¥||

    Sorry, against only one protected class.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    How are they doing that?

  • $park¥||

    There is a law that says you can't discriminate against any of the protected classes. Instead of getting rid of that law, they make a law that says you can discriminate against one of those classes if you meet a specific criteria. What are they gonna do when someone says they want to discriminate against blacks for religious reasons?

  • ||

    Sparky, you should read the text below. That is the effect of what they have done because they can't preempt federal law, but it's not exactly what they've written the law to do.

  • robc||

    I say let the Feds enforce federal law. Its not WA's job to enforce it for them.

  • ||

    In similar news, NBA veteran and journeyman center, Jason Collins has just come out of the closet. Read halfway through his SI op-ed announcing this when I realized the real reason why he was doing this now...

    "Now I'm a free agent..."

    He's getting old and worn and probably finding very tepid interest. TBH, I thought he had already retired. This will ensure a team signs him for the next couple of seasons.

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.c.....z2RrlL4ygo

  • John||

    You beat me too it. Yeah, a good chunk of the entertainment world has come out as gay and no one cares. No one is going to care when athletes come out. Around one to two percent of the population is guy. And by that I mean is only attracted to the same sex not happened to engage in some boarding school buggery or college sorority feminist street creed. So if there are 400 or so players in the NBA, there should be at least four or five gay ones at any given time.

  • ||

    Around one to two percent of the population is guy. And by that I mean is only attracted to the same sex not happened to engage in some boarding school buggery or college sorority feminist street creed.

    Citation?

  • John||

    It is around 3%. So I was a bit low but not much. It is pretty small. If you watch prime time TV, you would think it was 20%. But it is not.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L.....ted_States

  • ||

    right that 3.5% number is going to be skewed by demographics. If you look at the very end of the list of studies, the more recent ones show a higher number. There's also this (from the source of your "around 3%" number:

    A Gallup report published in October 2012 by the Williams Institute reported that 3.4% of US adults identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. Minorities were more likely to identify as non-heterosexual; 4.6% of blacks, 4.0% of Hispanics and 3.2% of whites. Younger people, aged 18-29, were three times more likely to identify as LGBT than seniors over the age of 65, the numbers being 6.4% and 1.9%, respectively.

    [emphasis mine]

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    Your point about demographics is a good one--as being gay becomes more socially acceptable, more people who are gay will be willing to identify as such. I'd be very surprised if it gets much higher than 10%, though.

  • KPres||

    It's an anonymous poll. I doubt social pressure matters. More likely, the demographics show that homosexuality is, in some large part, environmental rather than genetic.

  • ||

    I doubt social pressure matters

    Polling is plagued by people answering what they think they should believe rather than what they actually believe. That's why we often use indirect numbers to try to figure out how much racism there is. If you call up a hundred people 99 of them are going to say they aren't racist and the other one is 'Merkin.

    I think there's also an argument to be made that social pressures would prevent an individual from identifying as attracted to the same sex, much the same way we used to force left handed people to use their right hands for everything (and some cultures still do), but I don't think that environment is a "large part" of the inclination, I think it just determines the level of expression.

  • KPres||

    "If you call up a hundred people 99 of them are going to say they aren't racist"

    Or maybe 99% of people aren't racist.

    "but I don't think that environment is a "large part" of the inclination, I think it just determines the level of expression."

    My guess is that genetics create what you might call "inclinations" or "predispositions". From that point, your experiences and beliefs about yourself takes over. I'm strait, but under a certain amount of torture/brainwashing, I have no doubt I could come to believe I'm gay, and would go around happily fucking other guys. Don't take that as "gay people are brainwashed" because I don't mean that at all. My point is only that what you believe probably matters a lot, even if your genes inform that.

  • ||

    Pollsters get very different levels of response about issues when they pose direct questions about issue where there is social stigma and questions that indirectly get at those issues even if the polling is anonymous. I wasn't trying to state that those other 99 people ARE racist, but some of them are, but are ashamed of it. The only people who are going to admit that they are racist are those who are proud of that racism, or those who have spent too much time with their head up there asses "checking their white privilege."

    I think we largely agree on your second point.

  • KPres||

    "I wasn't trying to state that those other 99 people ARE racist, but some of them are, but are ashamed of it."

    And that's what I take issue with. I don't think shame matters much. What you're really seeing is that "racist" has many definitions, ranging from "If you don't think Obama is the best president in history, you're a racist" to "racism is believing that your race is intrinsically, inarguably and inalterably the best race, and everybody else should be inslaved or killed."

    The issue is, what definition is the person responding to the poll using? Nobody is racist according to my second definition, and any poll using that definition will rightfully find 0% racists.

    For example, if I believe that white people, on average, have higher IQs than black people, and I act on that belief, am I racist? Some people no doubt think so, while others say facts can't be racist, that racism requires some kind of irrationality to qualify.

  • ||

    I think it's really hard to get a truly representative number on this just because the demographics are changing so much. My little brother is 12 years younger and one of his friends is gay. That friend had a radically different experience than I did in high school. Frankly I'm hoping that in a generation or two the idea that people's sexual orientations fit neatly into check boxes will seem quaint. That would require people to stop flogging both sides of the culture war though.

  • KPres||

    I'm hoping one day people will mind their own fucking business about things that have little or no effect on them, like for instance, somebody else's sexual orientation or religious views.

  • John||

    Even if you believe the natural number is 6.4%, that is still pretty small.

  • JW||

    ounger people, aged 18-29, were three times more likely to identify as LGBT than seniors over the age of 65, the numbers being 6.4% and 1.9%, respectively.

    To be fair, bitchy, old queens are usually pretty easy to spot.

  • Sidd Finch||

    1) Teh gay is not genetic. Think about it for 5 seconds.

    2) Polls are stupid. You have absurd percentages answering 'asexual' now. From the AIDS epidemic, it's clear that male homosexuality is in the 4% range in the US.

  • BuSab Agent||

    Teh gay could be genetic. Consider: why do female humans live a long time past menopause? It could be because a female who has her mother helping out without the bother of her own infants, had a better chance of her children's survival. In a similar fashion, if the same gene that made a female hyper-fertile also made her brothers gay, then they might help with the survival chance of her larger than average brood.

  • Sidd Finch||

    There's little downside to a woman living past menopause. In hunter gatherer societies, women are net producers until they're on their death bed.

    The math doesn't work. The gay gene would have to have enough effect on the sister's fertility to make up for all the gay brother's lost fertility. If that were the case, someone somewhere would have noticed.

  • Sidd Finch||

    The gay gene would have to have enough effect on the sister's fertility to make up for all the gay brother's lost fertility.

    "make up for" should be "double"

  • BuSab Agent||

    I think you misunderstand how evolution works. Success for a gene is getting at least one offspring to reproduce not how many. Failure is not producing any offspring at all, or offspring that do not survive to maturity. The "gay gene" (if it exists and I am hypothesizing here) in the female doesn't need to make up for or double the lost gay male contribution to persist if it continues down the female line. It's survival of the good enough, not the fittest.

  • BuSab Agent||

    Consider other sex-linked traits that are absolutely horrible for males, but no big thang for females ('cause we got that handy dandy back up X chromosome): color-blindness, hemophilia, etc.

  • Sidd Finch||

    Color-blindness is not anything close to horrible. Homosexuality is hundreds of times more common than hemophilia.

  • Sidd Finch||

    Success for a gene is getting at least one offspring to reproduce not how many.

    Umm ... what?! What do you know that RA Fischer and WD Hamilton didn't?

    The "gay gene" (if it exists and I am hypothesizing here) in the female doesn't need to make up for or double the lost gay male contribution to persist if it continues down the female line.

    Yes, yes it does.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    The Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law, a sexual orientation law and public policy think tank, estimates that 9 million (about 3.8%) of Americans identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender (2011). The institute also found that bisexuals make up 1.8% of the population, while 1.7% are gay or lesbian.

    Emphasis added.

    http://gaylife.about.com/od/co.....lation.htm

  • JW||

    Around one to two percent of the population is guy.

    I could have sworn it was around 50%.

  • Loki||

    This way when no one signs him he can go on TV and bloviate about how intolerant the NBA is towards gays, and how we need to pass MOAR LAWS to prevent discrimination against gay athletes, blah blah blah. When in reality if no one signs him it will be because he's a shitty basketball player.

    Question: Doen't he have a twin brother, Jarron Collins, who's also a shitty basketball player? Are they identical twins? If so, is his brother also gay? You'd think so considering they've been saying for years now that homosexuality is genetic.

  • ||

    The science is still out on what causes homosexuality. Current theories include uterine hormone levels (which is why birth order comes up quite a bit), genetics, and environmental/social influences. The last one is waning in popularity and the first one seems to be the most popular. We're really scratching the surface with epigenetics right now which may sweep the other ones away. From everything I've read I'd guess that biology sets a range of available behaviors which may be broader or narrower for some people and social pressures pick a point on that available range, but I'm not an expert.

  • GW||

    Yes, but something that seems to be lost on the Party of Science, which seemingly always touts homosexuality as a "born with it" situation, is that the very theory of evolution they rake Christian Conservatives over the coals over pretty much ensures that homosexuals aren't born that way.

    But of course, that's not politically correct and implies that behavior is at least partly the cause.

  • ||

    That's not really true. By that logic sickle cell anemia wouldn't exist. Genes don't necessarily code for just one thing. The gene that codes for sickle cell also confers resistance to malaria, which is an appropriate trait in areas that would otherwise be crippled by malarial infection. That gene can also lead to high rates of mortality, but as long as the benefit outweighs the damage the gene continues to be propagated.

    There have been historical cultures (I think this is still true in Filipino culture) where feminine men get roped in as little sisters to help their siblings raise children. In this way they're helping to propagate their own genetic code by maximizing the number of children their siblings can effectively rear.

  • Sidd Finch||

    That's not really true.

    Yes, it is. You can't add.

    There have been historical cultures (I think this is still true in Filipino culture) where feminine men get roped in as little sisters to help their siblings raise children. In this way they're helping to propagate their own genetic code by maximizing the number of children their siblings can effectively rear.

    They would have to double the number of nieces and nephews to break even. If gays were doubling the number of siblings children, on average, everywhere, at all times; umm, well every culture would have lore about how gays are the clear-cut, by far best babysitters in the world. Since there's actually no evidence of that, we should probably discard the theory.

  • ||

    Your view of genetics is zero sum. Genetics isn't a zero sum game. With what we currently know about genetics nobody would argue that there is a single "gay gene" that only codes for homosexual behavior. As I indicated with the sickle cell example, sickle cell disease is terrible for genetic fitness, but malarial resistance is really good for it in certain contexts. Genetic traits that predispose someone to homosexual behavior could just be riding on the coat tails of other traits.

  • Sidd Finch||

    It's easy to make the math work for sickle cell. Falciparum malaria is deadly, so an an adaption that immunizes heterozygotes but kills homozygotes makes sense at the observed frequency.

    That doesn't work for homosexuality. There aren't any observed benefits and it's hell on fitness.

    Genetic traits that predispose someone to homosexual behavior could just be riding on the coat tails of other traits.

    Things that almost totally destroy reproduction get wiped out quickly. A mutation that results in an 80% loss of fitness should last only 1.25 generations. Is homosexuality influenced by genes? Almost certianly, since all known behavioral differences are. But genes can't be anywhere close to sufficient. If the math doesn't make that obvious, then mz twin concordance rates (20%) should.

  • ||

    Except nobody here has been saying that it's purely genetic. We were assuming for the sake of argument that the trait could survive under a correct set of conditions, namely that a predisposition to homosexual behavior isn't coded for explicitly at one location and that the component parts of a genetic cause for homosexuality are incidental to a constellation of other traits that are either benign or beneficial.

    If you read above I pointed out that "from everything I've read I'd guess that biology sets a range of available behaviors which may be broader or narrower for some people and social pressures pick a point on that available range"

    I'm hardly an advocate for pure biological determinism.

  • Sidd Finch||

    namely that a predisposition to homosexual behavior isn't coded for explicitly at one location

    Sickle cell is a bizarre example to bolster that point.

    that the component parts of a genetic cause for homosexuality are incidental to a constellation of other traits that are either benign or beneficial.

    ... and here were are again. The math doesn't fucking work. The fitness gains would be huge and obvious. Everywhere gay men existed, everyone would know that their brothers and sisters have huge families.

    from everything I've read I'd guess that biology sets a range of available behaviors which may be broader or narrower for some people and social pressures pick a point on that available range

    The question is "why does this range of behaviors include 'only wants to put penis in the wrong hole?'" The only other species that does this is domesticated rams. Perhaps that's a clue.

  • ||

    Sickle cell is a bizarre example to bolster that point.

    That's a fair point, but I brought up sickle cell purely as a genetic trait that obviously confers benefit in some contexts but not others. It is an oversimplification of my larger stance but appropriate in the context of GW's statement.

    only wants to put penis in the wrong hole

    I know at least a few guys who dated and slept with women before they came out. They all say that vaginal sex feels better than anal. They just aren't attracted enough to women to make that worthwhile, so I think you're grossly oversimplifying it by reducing attraction to buggery or not buggery.

  • Sidd Finch||

    I brought up sickle cell purely as a genetic trait that obviously confers benefit in some contexts but not others.

    Sickle cell is much less common in African Americans (accounting for European admixture) than in West Africans. In the New World the trait became neutral to awful, so it's disappearing. The same thing would have happened with gay genes, on a quicker timetable, if there were any.

    They just aren't attracted enough to women to make that worthwhile, so I think you're grossly oversimplifying it by reducing attraction to buggery or not buggery.

    Not particularly liking sex with women must have always been a significant loss of fitness since it must have always significantly reduced the incidents of 'sex with women'.

  • ||

    Not particularly liking sex with women must have always been a significant loss of fitness since it must have always significantly reduced the incidents of 'sex with women'.

    I suppose the next few generations will figure that out as less pressure to stay in the closet is applied and fewer people with same sex inclinations form families. I don't think it's entirely genetic, so I'd assume the persistence of homosexual inclination after that point, but if that's not the case gay rights activists will have solved their own problem a little differently than they'd expected and the world will keep on spinning.

  • Sidd Finch||

    20% mz twin concordance means it couldn't be much genetic.

    if that's not the case gay rights activists will have solved their own problem a little differently than they'd expected and the world will keep on spinning.

    Heh. I'd bet that in my lifetime somebody is going to figure out how to prevent it.

    Social tolerance and technology seem to be progressing at about the same pace. Things are already starting to get funny. Now that everybody agrees that Eugenics was bad, women are aborting babies with chromosomal problems and that's ... somehow not eugenics.

  • Harvard||

    Then there is the color purple. You gotta consider all the possibilities.

  • KPres||

    I actually agree with this, especially the hypocrisy from the Party of Science. And I agree that the default hypothesis should be that homosexuality wouldn't survive evolution. But that doesn't mean it's not possible. Suppose the "gay gene" only makes you gay when mixed one other particular gene, but when mixed with a second different gene, turns you into a hyper-sexualized heterosexual, baby-cranking-out machine. In the former case the gene would eliminate itself, while at the same time being propagated through the latter case.

  • Sidd Finch||

    That's theoretically possible, but the baby-making effect would have to be large enough to be obvious to make up for the gays loss of fitness.

  • Stormy Dragon||

    And I agree that the default hypothesis should be that homosexuality wouldn't survive evolution.

    Why should the default hypothesis be something that's obviously not true? Regardless of the ultimate cause, homosexuality obviously does survive evolution since it's still here.

  • Sidd Finch||

    Whooping coughs survived evolution too. Perhaps we should assume that's genetically determined too, because survival.

  • Stormy Dragon||

    Whooping Cough is genitcally determined. Particularly the genetics contained in a Bordetella pertussis cell.

  • KPres||

    Um, homosexuality can exist even if couldn't survive evolution. It just couldn't be genetic, which is what we're talking about.

  • Stormy Dragon||

    Our receptivity to whatever is causing non-genetic homosexuality would still have to survive the process of evolution. If it couldn't survive evolution, we'd have become immune to whatever it was.

  • Sidd Finch||

  • ||

    Any particular one there or are you just shooting from the hip that it's caused by an infection?

  • Sidd Finch||

    I'd say an infection would the necessary condition, not the cause per se. If it is an infection, somebody probably would've noticed if it was one of those.

    I do think that's the most likely explanation. Read this guy's wiki.
    Keep in mind that homosexuality could be considered a disease in a Darwinian sense, even though there's nothing 'wrong' with it.

  • ||

    I'm familiar with his theories (I was reading something on cytomegalovirus and hypertension recently), but not directly of him. It's certainly a promising avenue of research. We really are just scratching the surface of what we know about medical science. I have no doubt that med students 50 years hence will be laughing their asses off at what we believe now.

  • John||

    I wouldn't call anyone who had a 12 year NBA career, even as a bench warmer, a shitty basketball player.

  • KDN||

    Jason Collins is on the the short list of worst basketball players to hold a regular job for that long. He was a good defensive center but utterly worthless offensively, the only reason he played as much as he did was the utter lack of center talent in his era.

  • Mokers||

    He is a free agent because his team finished the regular season. Nobody can sign him until free agency begins after the season. There are definitely basketball reasons why Collins wouldn't get re-signed for a team, but for what he is there to provide (defense and size off the bench for 10 minutes a game) there are reasons to have him around.

  • Jon Lester||

    He's not the first to coin that term. I'm probably not, either, but it's been a few weeks since I answered someone's question of, "I thought she batted for the other team," with, "she's a free agent."

  • James Sinclair||

    Eh, maybe, but there are two ways to look at it. He could be hoping the publicity extends his career, or maybe he just knows his career will be over soon and he's running out of time to come out while still an active player.

  • ||

    He's also just guaranteed himself a lifetime gig in the NBA corporate offices in some BS "diversity and public outreach" department.

    Even if its not to extend his less than average career, I don't believe for a second he did this solely for the advancement of the LGBT community.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    During the phone calls, he says he asked staffers some variation of the question "What are rural gays supposed to do if the only gas station or grocery store for miles won't sell them gas and food?"

    Castro says the staffer at Hewitt's office surprised him with the answer "Well, gay people can just grow their own food."

    This is my answer too (though the 'gay' part is irrelevant. You don't have a right to other people's stuff.

  • robc||

    This.

    And we have at least 1 senator who agrees with us.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    If they're living out in the middle of nowhere, why the fuck AREN'T they growing at least some their own food?

  • Harvard||

    Let them eat tube steak.

  • John||

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.c.....z2RrlL4ygo

    Journeyman NBA Center comes out as gay. No one cares. Douche bag sports writers spend the next month pretending this is a big deal.

  • Matrix||

    you're late

  • John||

    I know. That bastard.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    If he was gay he wouldn't have to worry about being late.

  • Loki||

    "A wizard homosexual is never late, nor is he early, he arrives precisely when he means to."

  • Agammamon||

    So when he shows up late its because he precisely meant to be a dick?

  • Slammer||

    "What are rural gays supposed to do if the only gas station or grocery store for miles won't sell them gas and food?"

    How would the store even know what your sexuality is?

  • John||

    Good question. And do such places even exist outside of gay activists' imagination? Go find me a small town in America that only has one grocery store and is hours from any other place and refuses to serve gays. Then come talk to me. I am thinking I will be waiting a while.

  • Jumbie||

    Because the owner isn't gay but he lets you have a blowjob once in a while.

  • Brett L||

    Yeah, I mean lots of overweight rural women wear jean shorts and Birkenstocks while rocking the mullet. Especially in Washington state.

  • Idle Hands||

    well see you need a large set of scales and a duck.

  • Generic Stranger||

    Who are you who are so wise in the ways of science?

  • BakedPenguin||

    How would the store even know what your sexuality is?

    Hmmm.

  • lap83||

    Identity politics. If you subscribe to it, you get a pass to act any way you want without social repercussions.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    How would the store even know what your sexuality is?

    Gaydar, you fool.

  • Jumbie||

    I hear Radio Shack sells it right next to the GPS.

  • robc||

    "What are rural gays supposed to do if the only gas station or grocery store for miles won't sell them gas and food?"

    Move to the city like every other gay has done?

  • robc||

    I think without these laws we would quickly find out how much store owners value dollars.

    Hint: It turns out, a lot.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    No, no, these rural bigots would rather go out of business than accept money from gays, pagans, Jews, women, liberals, blacks, etc. They will refuse to take your money unless you furnish a certificate proving that you are a full-blooded gentile Aryan Protestant fundamentalist male who has sexual relations with your wife on a regular basis.

  • KPres||

    Actually, many would. But so what? In a free market, their punishment is their impoverishment. Why is jail time or some fine for civil rights violation preferable to that?

    The irony is that the same people who like anti-discrimination also claim that behavior, values, etc has little effect on income, ergo poor people are victims.

  • robc||

    "many"?

    I dont think so.

    Some, sure, but I doubt it would be many.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    So it seems that gay-rights activists confuse their dystopian fantasies with reality, and we all pay the price.

  • ||

    So, I'm 100% in favor of the below addition to this law (I think):

    (4) Nothing in this section may burden a person or religious organization's freedom of religion including, but not limited to, the right of an individual or entity to deny services if providing those goods or services would be contrary to the individual's or entity owner's sincerely held religious beliefs, philosophical beliefs, or matters of conscience. This subsection does not apply to the denial of services to individuals recognized as a protected class under federal law applicable to the state as of the effective date of this section. The right to act or refuse to act in a manner motivated by a sincerely held religious belief, philosophical belief, or matter of conscience may not be burdened unless the government proves that it has a compelling governmental interest in infringing the specific act or refusal to act and has used the least restrictive means to further that interest.

    But doesn't it effectively negate the whole statute? I mean, anyone who violated it would say they were doing it because of a sincerely held belief, no? Racism, sexism, homophobia, etc., are all sincerely held beliefs.

  • Brett L||

    Nah, some of us just like to fuck with the split-tails.

    "Sorry, honey, this big bad gun ain't for you. C'mon back with your husband and let him pick one out for you."

  • Auric Demonocles||

    Sir, your wife's hysterical, so I'll address this to you. This oven is lightning fast. it takes only five hours to cook a roast.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    This subsection does not apply to the denial of services to individuals recognized as a protected class under federal law applicable to the state as of the effective date of this section.

    This basically guts it.

  • ||

    It guts it for everyone except gays, I think.

  • ||

    And I think they're stuck with that, right? Otherwise they would be in conflict with federal law. It seems they are doing all they can, and I appreciate the "philosophical belief or matter of conscience" language. I just think their hands are mostly tied.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    Doesn't Washington law protect fat people and other groups that federal law doesn't? I may be confusing it with some other batshit coastal state, but I think it does.

  • ||

    From when I was reading up on the original law her a few days ago, because of the initial story about the florist, I think sexual orientation/transgenderism were the only things WA protected that weren't also federally protected (though it appears the law also separately protects breastfeeding mothers, which I guess is another thing too).

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    In addition [to federal prohibitions], Washington state law also prohibits discrimination based on:

    Marital status
    Sexual orientation
    AIDS/HIV
    Hepatitis C infection
    Member of state militia
    Use of service animal
    gender identity
    domestic violence victim status

    But not weight.

  • ||

    Washington would discriminate against the rubenesque. Othering pigs.

  • robc||

    No need for states to encode federal law themselves. Let the Feds enforce it.

  • Raston Bot||

    Yep, that's like the blight backdoor to any eminent domain reform.

  • robc||

    This subsection does not apply to the denial of services to individuals recognized as a protected class under federal law applicable to the state as of the effective date of this section.

    ^^^
    That sentence is the biggest problem.

    Why should there be protected classes at all?

  • Loki||

    Racism, sexism, homophobia, etc., are all sincerely held beliefs.

    But they're not officially sanctioned, government approved beliefs.

  • Agammamon||

    But doesn't it effectively negate the whole statute? I mean, anyone who violated it would say they were doing it because of a sincerely held belief, no?"

    But the beauty of it is that it now opens a hole in which the government can now vet *sincerely* held beliefs.

  • ||

    Right. You'll have to show that your beliefs are part of the teachings of some legitimate "church" or other entity.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "The bill would allow people or religious organizations to “deny services if providing those goods or services would be contrary to the individual's or entity owner's sincerely held religious beliefs, philosophical beliefs, or matters of conscience."

    There's no need for a law like that--it's already written into the very First Amendment.

    "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof".

  • Ken Shultz||

    For some reason, liberals always forget about the "free exercise" part. They always remember the "establishment" part, but when you talk about "free exercise", it's like they've never heard of it before.

    Progressives haven't heard about the "free exercise" part either--but then they don't give a shit about our Constitutional rights; in fact, they're almost uniformly hostile to the idea of individual rights from the get go.

  • ||

    Yes, I'm curious as to the outcome of the case. Does "free execerice" include not providing goods and services that violate your convictions?
    See contraception mandate.

  • Ken Shultz||

    It certainly seems to me that just because everyone should be free to buy contraception from a willing seller, that doesn't mean they have a right to buy it from an unwilling seller.

    That's probably another good definition for a libertarian--someone who thinks exchanges should be made on a voluntary basis.

    If someone has a right to buy contraception from an unwilling seller, does that mean they have a right to jip the seller on the price, too?

    If there's a right to buy things from unwilling sellers, how far does that right extend? And where's the line? Is it only okay to force people to sell things they don't want to if the seller isn't selling it for religious reasons?

    P.S. Should Wal*Mart be required to sell porn?

  • SugarFree||

    Hate the sin, love the sinner, right?

  • robc||

    OT: Have to compliment government when they kinda/sorta do stuff right.

    As of yesterday, restaurants in Louisville could sell liquor at 10 AM on sundays instead of having to wait until 1 PM.

    Brought up, passed, and implemented in short time. Of course, with Derby this weekend, its a boon to the restaurants next Sunday.

  • Loki||

    "What are rural gays supposed to do if the only gas station or grocery store for miles won't sell them gas and food?"

    How would the gas station or grocery store employees/ owners know if a person's gay in the first place? The only reason the florist who refused to sell flowers for gay couples' weddings was able to "discriminate" was because, well, it was gay couples' weddings. Unless gay people routinely go around telling everyone they see that they're gay*, I don't think this will be a problem.

    *I know some gay people are a little more obvious, i.e. "flaming" about it than others, but most gays are indistinguishable from anyone else in public.

  • robc||

    At what gas station do you interact with people instead of a card reader on a machine anyway?

  • Raston Bot||

    The northeast has that silly full-service rule.

  • robc||

    I thought just New Jersey and Oregon.

  • ||

    Yeah, it's just NJ and OR.

  • Raston Bot||

    That means the gas stations in Maine and Connecticut were full-service for some other reason than it was required.

  • ||

    Growing up in CT, I've known many that were full service because they were in wealthy areas and knew they could charge the correspondingly higher prices. My mom used to get full-serve all the time when I was little, but it was definitely optional, as we also went to gas stations where you pumped yourself.

  • anarch||

    Castro probably has a very limited experience of what choices are actually available to folks in modern rural communities, not to mention how people in rural communities actually behave.
    we also went to gas stations where you pumped yourself

    Sure hope Castro's reading this.

  • Brett L||

    More importantly, how much above minimum wage would you have to pay a gas station attendant to make eye contact and/or give a shit?

  • Zeb||

    I think that business owners should be allowed to refuse to do business with whomever they want for any reason. But one question sticks in my mind. What religious conviction is violated by selling flowers to gay people? I mean, makign someone officiate a wedding, or host it in their church certainly does violate some people's religious principles. But selling them flowers or cake? That's not a religious objection, that's just being a dick to make a point. Which people should have a right to do as part of a general right to do business as you see fit. I'm just a little skeptical of the religious freedom argument. I'm all for religious freedom, but I think that it needs to be protected by maximizing freedom for everyone. No special treatment for religion.

  • robc||

    that's just being a dick

    Some people have made that into a religion.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    What religious conviction is violated by selling flowers to gay people?

    I could see how not wanting to help people celebrate what that person sees as immoral because of his religious beliefs is wrapped up in his convictions. If you're only allowed to have the convictions but not actually act on them because the action is distinct, convictions don't mean much.

  • lap83||

    I agree with this.... also, marriage is really meaningful to Christians. It's analogous to the relationship between God and man. So a Christian working in the wedding business does not view it as strictly business.

  • ||

    Agreed. And the other question is, if you were a gay couple, why you want to buy flowers from a bigot? There are lots of other florists.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    He added: "I fought very hard for gay rights in Spokane in the '90s, as a kid,"

    He must mean, "I fought hard to avoid getting the shit kicked out of me when I tried to hit on the cute jock in fourth grade."

  • Fatty Bolger||

    Hypotheticals are fun! Can we all play this game? It's not just for progs, right?

    How about:

    "What are teachers and students supposed to do if somebody starts shooting at them, but the school doesn't allow guns on its premises?"

    or

    "What are parents supposed to do if the only good schools in the area are shut down because the teachers union doesn't like them?"

    Ooooops, guess those aren't so hypothetical after all.

  • lap83||

    I think there is a pretty good chance we will have a federal amendment in the near future outlawing discrimination against alternative lifestyles. All the LGBT groups need are some national news stories of violence against gays that will make people think this is a new Civil Rights fight.

  • Gladstone||

    Nah they can just find some emanations and penumbras in the 14th amendment.

  • Tony||

    Maybe people could stop being ignorant religious bigots?

  • KPres||

    I'd rather be surrounded by religious bigots than patronizing nanny-statists.

    Any. Fucking. Day.

    At least the religious people have lain out in a book what they don't like about me. The nanny-state twats like you change their minds on every whim.

  • ant1sthenes||

    Well, there are more bigoted religious folk than gays (especially worldwide), so utilitarianism dictates that gays should just change their sexual orientation.

  • ||

    Maybe people could just stop believing whatever it is they believe. Wouldn't that be nice?

  • Ken Shultz||

    "Maybe people could stop being ignorant religious bigots?"

    I think that's an excellent suggestion!

    The problem is that idiot progressives like Tony don't really think people should stop being ignorant religious bigots--they think that the government should impose Tony's values on the rest of us by force.

    The other problem is that idiot progressives like Tony can't tell the difference between encouraging people to stop being bigots and using the coercive power of government. That's one of the reasons why progressives are America's most horrible people.

  • Tony||

    Is having a secular system of government and secular public schools using government coercion to discourage religious belief? If so, I plead guilty.

    I'm not for government telling people what philosophical or religious views to have, and support our constitution's strictures on such matters.

    But it's simply true that religion is bad for society and that less religion correlates to higher education and overall well-being. Government shouldn't be breaking down church doors, but it shouldn't be encouraging religion either. I'm not sure what you think I'm advocating with respect to religion.

    Even if I wanted to stamp it out by force, I know that this never works, and the only way to temper the negative influence of religion is to get people educated.

  • ||

    Interesting question, strange thought ...

    If it's unlawful to discriminate against people on the basis of race/ethnicity/sexual orientation and so forth because of some personal religious convision or political belief, then what about Israel?

    There are plenty of progressive leftists who are pushing boycotts of Israeli products on the grounds of a moral objection to Israel's policies. Suppose someone decided that, as a protest against Israel's policies, that they were going to refuse to serve Israeli nationals. Not JEWS per se, because that would be anti-semitism, but Israeli nationals. Similarly, suppose a person in a foreign country wants to discriminate against Americans as a protest of American foreign policy.

    Should either of those things be unlawful and if not, why should discriminating against gays based on religious convistions be unlawful?

    Keep in mind that a lot of business doesn't even necessarily occur on a person-to-person level. We could be talking about corporate entity A refusing to buy or sell to corporate entity B because of B's country of incorporation. At what point does a corporate boycott become ethnic or national discrimination?

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