Gay Marriage

Ed Krayewski on Huffington Post Live Talking Gay Rights and Religious Liberty


I'm going to be talking about gay rights and religious liberty in reference to this report from Political Research Associates on Huffington Post Live at about 2:35pm ET. The crux of the discussion, I'm guessing, will be what the government can force you to do if it subsidizes you or, alternatively, provides you with a tax credit. Answer: more than it should. Bonus: Freedom means being able to do whatever you want (that doesn't physically hurt someone else or abrogate their property, more or less). You can watch here.

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  1. Link fail

  2. The report’s preface begins as follows

    ALMOST AS SOON AS THE U.S. SUPREME COURT made women’s access to abortion a constitutional right in Roe v. Wade, the Senate passed the first “conscience clause” allowing private (largely Roman Catholic) hospitals receiving federal funds to refuse to provide abortions or sterilizations on “the basis of religious beliefs or moral convictions.” Over the years, antichoice forces have won more “conscience clauses,” allowing health care professionals like pharmacists and physicians to refuse care based on their own religious or other beliefs.

    Note the scare quotes around conscience. These people don’t want freedom. They want to use the government and the force of law to force people to do what they want. They are fucking scary, nasty people.

    1. It’s shameful that these organization even need an exemption. If a doctor doesn’t want to operate, he shouldn’t have to operate. Period. If a pharmacist doesn’t want to do business with someone, he shouldn’t have to do business with someone. Period.

      1. And if a woman needs an abortion or contraception, she should be able to access it, period.

        1. and there are plenty of providers to help her do that. She just can’t force whomever she wants into providing either the abortion or contraception, and any woman who went to a Catholic outfit for either is not the sharpest tool in the drawer.

          1. Or she lives in an area where the Catholic Charities have bought up all the local hospitals and there is no other choice.

      2. If a doctor doesn’t want to operate, he shouldn’t have to operate.

        And he doesn’t have to. He just can’t force other taxpayers to pay him for it. The Catholic Church wants to have its cake and eat it too: they want taxpayers foot the bill for most of their operating costs, but then want to get upset when those same taxpayers feel entitled to direct how those public funds are used. Don’t suck at the public teat and then complain that everything smells like cow.

        If a pharmacist doesn’t want to do business with someone, he shouldn’t have to do business with someone.

        Again, who lobbied for laws that require people to go to pharmacists to get birth control to begin with? If you make it so you’re the only person in town allowed to sell me birth control, then you’re gonna sell me birth control, and screw your conscience.

  3. Being a pharmascisct and refusing to give contrecption is like a comptuer tech refusing to click keys on a keyboard.

    Why pick that career?

    1. Because you like it. How can the government mandate what you do and do not do? Your employer? Sure. But if your employer is okay with you refusing to deal with contraceptives, what business is it of mine or the government’s?

      1. How can the government mandate what you do and do not do? Your employer? Sure.

        Protected class. If you refuse to handle contraceptives and your employer wants you too, he can’t fire you based on that without risking a lawsuit.

        1. If religious beliefs are a protected class, and they are, then your employer can’t fire you for that anymore than they can fire you for wearing a cross or a head scarf.

          1. I have a lot of sympathy with discriminatory employers who genuinely find their employees’ religious beliefs a hindrance. HOWEVER – I am amused that many of the same people who defend employers’ prerogatives vis-a-vis religious employees will simply faint at the idea of employers defining their own employee benefit plans in a heteronormative manner.

        2. It’s market distortions all the way down…

      2. How can the government mandate what you do and do not do?

        State licensing, how does it work? If the state won’t let me buy my pills except from a special magic man, that special magic man better do his fucking job and sell me those pills. Because that is his only function, because he has signed his life away to the state. Can a Muslim who works at the DMV refuse to grant drivers licenses to apostates?

        1. Can a Muslim who works at the DMV refuse to grant drivers licenses to apostates?

          If he were giving private driver’s licenses sure. But since he is working for the state, no. Just because you have a state license doesn’t mean you give up your first amendment rights. Since you have a driver’s license, can the state tell you you must drive on Saturdays even though you are an Orthodox Jew? Why not? You do have a state license and that means you forfeited your rights by your logic.

    2. Dat spelling. Can’t look away…

    3. Looking at the neighborhood pharmacy, I see that less than 1% of products are related to contraception. So a better analogy would be: “being a pharmacisct and refusing to give contraception is like a chef refusing to serve foie gras”

      1. The chefs didn’t lobby for a law requiring everyone who wants foie gras to buy it from them and only from them.

  4. There there is this little gem

    The Religious Right, writes Michaelson, is working to redefine existing constitutional protections of freedom to (and from) religion to mean the right of conservative Christian individuals and businesses to practice discrimination otherwise prohibited by law. That means, for instance, expanding exemptions to allow major companies, like the craft-store giant Hobby Lobby, to refuse contraceptive coverage in its employee healthcare plans. With 525 stores in 42 states, Hobby Lobby’s founder David Green is a substantial employer; the Becket Fund is representing the company in court.

    Freedom from religion? Since when is there a right to be free from anything? Do I have a right to be free from Pittsburgh Steeler fans? Liberals? If I have a right to be free from something, other people are necessarily prohibited from doing that something. These people are scary.

    1. Freedom from religion?

      I have seen this many times. They take the “freedom of religion” and say that also means “freedom from religion.” This is their thinking when they go after public displays of religion.

      1. Which of course is sinister as shit. The old Soviet Union had just such a right written into their constitution. And it was the legal justification for all of their oppression of religion.

        1. Which of course is sinister as shit.

          Well, they are lefties.

  5. The Separation of Church/State women seems remarkably dishonest. She implied that the Catholic bishops signed off on the contraceptive mandate. Then she said that employers provide health care simply to attract quality employees, not because of government mandates.

    1. The Catholic Church isn’t oppressed because they got to meet with Feinstein!

  6. The guy is arguing that exemption of secular for-profit companies from SSM laws is “separate but equal,” equal to permitting racial discrimination.

    Gosh, who could possibly have predicted this?

    1. Liberals don’t give a shit about gay marriage. They just want a club to use in the culture war. They are going to use gay marriage as a way of shutting down views they don’t like. And Libertarians have been right there cheering them on. Isn’t that fucking lovely.

      1. Liberals are fighting a culture war against conservatives and they actually want to win it? HOW DARE THEY!

        1. On this subject, you started out by denying that private businesses were being required to help at customers’ same-sex weddings. Then you dropped that angle and said that religious objectors had some interesting arguments, but of course every rational, non-religious business person would be chafing at the bit to help out at gay marriages, calling into question why these sorts of laws are needed at all. Unless these laws are, indeed, targeted only at the religious.

          1. I don’t recall making all of those arguments.

            Basically I think it’s blindingly obvious that there is no good reason to deny gay people equal rights with respect to marriage, and that antidiscrimination policies are an entirely separate discussion.

            1. Tony| 12.2.11 @ 6:50PM |#

              Just to be clear, this is something you made up in your head, and not a regulation anybody’s actually talking about implementing, right?

              Pretty sure wedding photographers are free to reject business for any reason they choose, and don’t even have to say why.

              Tony| 12.2.11 @ 10:11PM |#

              That’s an interesting case. You’re not wrong to be concerned about threats to religious liberty, which is what “the right to discriminate against gays” boils down to.

              But in the tension between religious liberty and minority equal rights, religious liberty tends to lose. Can you imagine a religious objection to interracial marriage? It still happens, but the churches are shunned. I don’t necessarily think there should be legal implications, but only if society takes care of it on its own.

              1. Tony| 12.3.11 @ 2:37PM |#

                People without invisible friends speaking in their heads have no reason to hate gays… it’s all about gay rights vs. religious liberty.

                1. Wow that was a long time ago. Am I contradicting myself somewhere?

  7. Ed K finally made a useful remark – they don’t seem to be letting him talk much, though.

    1. I have to learn to butt in more. It makes for much better TV

      1. And I think you said you were getting married – congratulations!

          1. But are you getting gay married? Because it would be super libertarian of you to take one for the cause.

      2. They’re giving Ed the Ron Paul media treatment.

  8. Can’t get my comment in there:

    Should Jay be forced to photograph a KKK meeting if they want to hire him?

  9. To the author of the Political Research Associates report:

    I notice that, in 2002, your organization endorsed “dialectical materialism,” and that the article was “Adapted from an article written for the Spring/Summer 2002 issue of From the Left, the newsletter of the Marxist section of the American Sociological Association.”…..tions.html

    So you’re into Marx – isn’t that cute!

    Have you checked out what Marx thought about Jews?…..-question/ (I especially like the part where he says “What is the worldly religion of the Jew? Huckstering. What is his worldly God? Money.”)

    1. Or black people?…..t_Lassalle

      1. The fact that their organization is being presented as some kind of serious, above-the-boards think tank while subscribing to dialectical materialism is vomit-inducing.

        1. It would be as if some right-wing organization talked about “blood and soil” – with this difference, that a group which goes around talking about blood and soil wouldn’t be given credibility as a source of political research.

          1. Since Marxism has killed so many people over the last 100 years, I wonder if I can get the Southern Poverty Law Center to list them as a hate-group, for espousing ideals which have caused genocides.

            1. The group’s cofounder was a member of the National Lawyers’ Guild, a commie organization:


  10. So who comes up with all that stuff man? I mean like wow.

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