Gay Marriage

Americans May Support Gay Marriage, But Not Demands for Cake, Flowers

Majority believes businesses should not be required to provide goods, services.

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Is this cake also making a statement about clone marriage?
Credit: Photographerlondon | Dreamstime.com

The Associated Press surveyed 1,045 adults at the end of January with questions about the current controversies connected to same-sex marriage. They discovered that while Americans do (narrowly) support legal recognition for same-sex marriage, they do not believe the government should require businesses to have to support them with goods or services:

David Kenney, a self-employed Catholic from Novi, Michigan, said he's fine with same-sex marriage being legal. He's among the 57 percent of Americans who said wedding-related businesses — such as florists — should be allowed to refuse service if they have an objection rooted in their religion.

"Why make an issue out of one florist when there are probably thousands of florists?" asked Kenney, 59. "The gay community wants people to understand their position, but at the same time, they don't want to understand other people's religious convictions. It's a two-way street."

Kenney isn't alone. About a quarter of those who favor legal same-sex marriage also favor religious exemptions for those who issue marriage licenses, the poll finds, and a third say wedding-related businesses should be allowed to refuse service.

Geri Rice, who lives near San Francisco and works in law firm management, strongly favors gay marriage. She's torn about whether a public official with religious objections should be exempt from issuing a license but says she believes that business owners should be allowed to tell somebody no thanks.

"I don't like it," Rice said, "but I think they have the right."

I'm guessing that those who support gay marriage recognition but would also allow government officials to opt out of granting marriage licenses to gay couples are assuming that there would be other officials to step in to handle it or an alternative way of legally certifying those marriages.

View the poll results (which also cover opinions on abortion) here (pdf).

NEXT: Brian Williams vs. New Media (AKA "a Guy Named Vinny in an Efficiency Apartment")

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  1. Do Millenials all want cake?

    1. Only if it is gluten free.

  2. The marriage license, the cake, the flowers are all about societal acceptance. For some activists, anything less than total acceptance will be unacceptable. Whether that is offered freely or forced under threat of violence doesn’t seem to be a concern.

    1. So far all they seem to be asking for is equal treatment under the law. If there’s a problem its with the laws which there was little outrage about outside of libertarian circles until they started to apply to gays.

      1. Forcing a baker to make them a cake is merely asking for equal treatment under the law?

        1. There are anti-discrimination laws that apply to a bunch of categories. They’ve been around for a long time. The fuss now, outside of libertarians, seems largely due to the mere fact that gays are now saying these laws apply to them too.

          1. there is freedom of association, too, or does it no longer count. If you are mad about perceived discrimination, then call out that person/business by 1) letting all your friends know and 2) taking your money elsewhere. But crying to Mama Govt is not an attempt at tolerance, it is bullying in a different form.

            1. I agree totally, I think anti-discrimination laws are terrible. But I didn’t start thinking that when they started to be invoked by gays.

              1. But I didn’t start thinking that when they started to be invoked by gays.

                You are sooooo superior to your straw man. Why don’t you set it on fire?

                1. Really, sarc? So show me the widespread opposition to anti-discrimination laws before the gay rights movement got successes.

                  1. Prove to me that you thought anti-discrimination laws were terrible before they started to be invoked by gays. And be specific. I want proof, not hearsay or anything like that. Documented proof. Otherwise I say you are a liar. Prove it or you are a liar. You can’t prove it, can you? You can’t show me documented proof, can you? Well then, I guess that makes you a liar.

              2. what does that even mean? There is no inherent right to a cake and what sort of moron wants one that was baked at the point of a gun?

                By the way, there is not much anti-SSM sentiment here but there comes a point when you expect people to take yes for an answer. Trying to force everyone into your camp is a tough sell.

                1. It means that the government has been forcing at the point of a gun bakers to serve people of races, creeds, genders, etc., they don’t want to serve for a long time. All gays are asking for that I can see is to be included in that.

                  1. Two wrongs make a right. Got it Bo.

                    1. A bad law + unequal application of it is worse than just a bad law.

                    2. A bad brain + illogic is worse than just a bad brain.

                    3. What does it feel like to be obviously on the wrong side of an issue like this?

                    4. I don’t feel, Tony. I think. You should try it sometime.

                    5. You don’t feel?

        2. Whatever happened to “We Reserve the Right to Refuse Service to Anyone?”

          Aside from the noses of the fine-print worshipers being in the way, I mean. . .

          We Reserve the Right – unless they’re black or Mexican or gay, then your business belongs to EVERYONE and you have NO right to refuse service.

      2. So far all they seem to be asking for is equal treatment under the law.

        I used to think that as well, until I saw that they would take no compromise that did not include redefining marriage. That’s when I realized that the goal was social acceptance by force, which is not something I can support.

        1. Of course there was going to be no compromise short of redefining marriage (or rather, civilly recognized marriages). That’s what the entire debate is about.

          1. So you agree that it is more about social acceptance by force than equality under the law?

            1. No more or less than if it were thought that some class of person shouldn’t be drivers and they sought drivers licenses would be ‘redefining what a driver is.’

              1. So ‘driver’ is a religious term, held sacred by millions of people? I didn’t know that. Learn something new every day.

                1. Who cares what people consider sacred? Why should that be the basis for law?

                  1. Who cares what people consider sacred?

                    Um, the people who consider things sacred.

                    Why should that be the basis for law?

                    I didn’t say it should. I think the government shouldn’t be in the marriage business. Redefining marriage is equivalent to passing a law that requires images of Muhammad to be displayed in public places. Talk about tolerance.

                    1. I didn’t say it should. I think the government shouldn’t be in the marriage business. Redefining marriage is equivalent to passing a law that requires images of Muhammad to be displayed in public places. Talk about tolerance.

                      Well they’re alike in one respect, in that the outrage and hand-wringing over “redefining marriage” is just as silly and substanceless as Muslim outrage over Muhammad cartoons.

                    2. It’s not silly and substanceless to the people who hold those things sacred. At least Christians aren’t killing people over this, unlike those people in France. I’m not a person of faith, but I do think it is disrespectful to mock someone’s faith. And especially disrespectful to enshrine that mockery into law. Which, of course, is the intent of many SSM proponents.

                    3. And especially disrespectful to enshrine that mockery into law. Which, of course, is the intent of many SSM proponents.

                      That sounds like a strawman. I won’t deny that there are some, perhaps even many, unprincipled people who are fine with using the law as a means to the end of frustrating or punishing groups of people they don’t like. But even among SSM proponents I’ve never met anyone who I would accuse of having this as a primary reason for their support; most honestly see an injust and inequal application of the law that they think should be corrected. You can’t argue that the issues of survivor’s benefits, tax treatments, and so on aren’t real issues for a lot of people, so to reduce the whole issue to this idea of “enshrining mockery” is unfair.

                    4. When I discovered that there would be no compromise from the SSM community that did not include the word “marriage,” I deduced that the word, as in sticking it to anyone who believes marriage to be a man and a woman, was more important than equality under the law. Stated intentions and actual intentions are not always the same thing.

                    5. When I discovered that there would be no compromise from the SSM community that did not include the word “marriage,”

                      Was there some convention or treaty that all pro-SSM people signed on to at some point stating this? I must have missed that.

                      I see the whole “redefining marriage” angle as a canard, because whether or not the word is “redefined” isn’t going to hinge on any law or court decision. If we struck all of the laws regarding marriage and relevant benefits from the books, and simply allowed people to define and recognize marriages for themselves, you’d have gay people getting married all over the place and I see no reason that the current trend towards acceptance of that would not continue. If that becomes commonplace enough–all without any government force involved, mind you–marriage will have been “redefined” in much the same way you are objecting to here.

          2. the debate is not about redefining a term. A civil union is functionally no different than a marriage. That marriage has a specific definition to a large part of the country does not make those folks bigots.

  3. I’m disappointed in the gays.

    I thought we would have a major change in weddings. No more worn out routine with cake and dancing. How about some cocaine and a rave scene?

    1. They may be gay but they are guys. They’ll take one look at the bill and go with a justice of the peace and a backyard BBQ.

  4. Everyone who is not harming another is owed tolerance. Most people are willing to give acceptance to anyone who is not harming them. Activists will not stop until they receive mandated celebration

  5. How about a Constitutional exemption to freely associate? Any support for that?

    1. Do I have to put on a tie and go to that wedding this weekend?

  6. I agree that businesses shouldn’t have to provide services to those they don’t want to serve for any reason, but the government employee? Why should they be exempt from treating everyone equal before the law? If this works, I’m totally getting a job with the IRS and then not going after people for their incorrect filings, or lack thereof. Afterall, I have a philosophical objection to the income tax.

    1. We’re talking about a specific situation – career civil servants who took their jobs at a time when their duties involved opposite-sex marriages, not SSM.

      Maybe they wouldn’t have taken these jobs if they’d been told in advance that they’d have to solemnize SSM unions. But now they’ve invested so much of their lives in their jobs, suddenly the policy changes – often because of federal judges – and *now* they’re told to violate their consciences or be fired?

      Also, since in many cases it wasn’t the taxpayers’ elected representatives which imposed this new policy, but unelected, unaccountable judges, the argument that “they have to do the job they’re paid for” has a ring of falsity.

      1. Would your thinking have applied to other instances where a long established law held, so that those who disagreed with it could refuse service to people the law now allowed service to be rendered to? So post-Brown teachers who felt God ordained the separation of the races could refuse to teach black children put into their classes?

        1. Don’t forget to mention Mildred Loving and interracial marriage. That’s kind of SOP in gay rights disputes, isn’t it?

          I didn’t say *all* civil servants in all situations, I said in this situation.

          Of course, if giving the govt. seal of approval to same-sex relationships is the Most Important Thing in the World, just as urgent as abolishing Jim Crow, then of course all obstacles in the way of this holy cause should be swept away.

          1. “I said in this situation”

            So, what’s your principle for when a situation warrants this and when it doesnt?

            1. My principle is whatever annoys Bo.

              Seriously, I’ve explained myself, but since I don’t agree with you, you’re never going to accept the explanation.

              1. No, no, if you have a principle, why not state it? It looks suspiciously like your principle is ‘exemptions for officials when it’s something I think is the right stance to take.’

                1. Really? You think I’m against SSM? What gave you that idea?

                  1. I understand when you’re against something all other principles go out the window from our abortion and euthanasia discussions.

                    1. Yes, Bo, opposition to SSM is totally unprincipled, and protecting innocent civil servants from the gay-rights Jacobins is just like Jim Crow.

                      I suppose you’re principled, if being an imbecile is a principle.

                    2. It’s not ‘just like’ Jim Crow, but there seem to be similar principles and dynamics at work. You’re unable to articulate a principle that would apply to one but not the other other than that you are ok with one and don’t like the result in the other.

                    3. Of course *you* can’t distinguish these cases, because you think SSM is a holy crusade like the battle against Jim Crow, and you can’t understand why anyone would disagree with your premise.

                    4. You really have a block here, because you are fixated on the results and have no mind for the process.

                      Governments will decide to change long lasting laws that people feel strongly about on both sides. School segregation. SSM recognition. Concealed carry permits. Whatever. The changing of these laws will require officials to deal with citizens differently than they did before. You’re saying ‘when that involves SSM, something I feel strongly about, those poor officials should be exempted from having to do so, but in other cases, well, I don’t agree with the official there, so they should.’ That’s not a principle, it’s a preferred result.

                    5. Notice that issuing concealed carry permits does not equal marriage recognition does not equal school enrollment. But what they all share is they are instances where the law changes and officials are asked to officiate things regarding citizens differently. They don’t have to be the same for someone to say ‘in all cases like that, despite the underlying objection, how should the conscientous objecting official be accomodated (if at all). Your answer is particularly unprincipled: ‘SSM is not important to me like the other two, so it should get an exemption.’

                    6. I supposed you missed the part where I said that if the Sheriff doesn’t issue the permit the applicant automatically gets the right to carry concealed?

                    7. that is, refuses to issue *any* permit to any applicant.

      2. But sure, I’m sure the government needs more “following orders” civil servants who bow to every change of the official line, like the Vicar of Bray.

        Why should we have conscientious people in government who worry about the morality of the laws they’re told to enforce? What good would it do to have such people in government?

        1. So, you’d be all for officials, in states requiring restrictions on abortions, who think those laws are immoral being exempted from having to enforce them?

          1. What about “a specific situation” was unclear to you?

            And I doubt that prolife laws will be imposed by federal courts over the objections of the taxpayers’ elected representatives.

            1. What about “a specific situation” was unclear to you?

              I think Bo’s position (not saying I agree) is that there should be some principle governing such decisions aside from your personal preferences.

              1. I *prefer* that the government give as little countenance to SSM as possible.

                And that conscientious civil servants who rightly oppose SSM, in agreement, in many cases, with the majority of the taxpayers (and many of these officials are elected), should not be purged for failing to be Vicars of Bray and switch their views on a dime.

                1. Bill, you can’t explain it to him…He’s lost, like when he’s lost in the folds of his Bishops robe…

      3. Maybe, but the clerk is not issuing the license, the state is. The clerk is merely processing. They should do their job as defined or get another one.

        1. As defined by whom? The elected representatives of the taxpayers who pay the clerks’ salary? Or some federal judges who have no accountability for how public money is spent?

          1. So the sheriff who is ordered to issue concealed firearms permits or building allowances for firing ranges in blue cities and who morally oppose them should be able to say no? Because a lot of them are ordered to by a federal judge.

            1. You think these things should need permits?

              1. I don’t, but unlike most SoCons I think the government should not recognize and support traditional or any marriage too.

                You’re point so far has been:

                Officials who started working when the law was different, but then is changed by ‘unelected, unaccountable judges’ should, if they have a deep moral objection, be exempt. So, tell me how that doesn’t fit my hypothetical?

                1. Provide for the automatic issuance of a permit if the Sheriff refuses to do it? Really, apply your creativity.

                  1. How does it ‘automatically issue?’ Someone has to process and sign it.

                    1. And, just like the Sisters of the Poor don’t want to sign that form, these Sheriffs don’t want to sign these licenses…It would be their pen stroke that enabled the evil carrying of firearms, and they don’t care that some unelected, unnaccountable federal judge has ordered them to. They know the people and representatives of their local and maybe state government think otherwise.

                    2. An affidavit (signed on penalty of perjury) that the Sheriff wouldn’t issue the permit?

                      Come on, you yourself could come up with all sorts of answers if you were engaged in a principled effort to solve this problem you’re concern-trolling about.

                    3. I do have a principled effort to solve this problem: your job choice does not obligate your employer to accommodate your wishes. Here the employer is the government, which is not just the laws made by our legislative bodies but judicial decisions on our Constitution as well. If employees disagree with what the boss tells them to do, let them find a boss they like better.

                      And again, how does your plan there work? I come in and demand my Blue City Sheriff process my license. He says he won’t and hands me an affidavit saying he won’t. Then what?

                    4. “your job choice does not obligate your employer to accommodate your wishes”

                      Sometimes it does, and sometimes it doesn’t.

                      You like Jim Crow analogies? What if you work for the Sheriff’s Department and they tell you to discriminate against black people? Or what if you’re a doctor working for the FDA but they tell you to sweep the floors “because you’re black?”

                    5. You mean when that was legal? I quit and work elsewhere and work to get such laws changed.

                2. unlike most SoCons I think the government should not recognize and support traditional or any marriage too.

                  then find some socons and take up your case with them. Who here has said that govt should have a role in marriage gay or straight? No one. Stop attacking arguments that no one is making. It’s what Obama does and it’s just as tedious with him doing it.

                  1. Eddie, do you think the government should recognize and support traditional marriage?

                    1. I find it more and more difficult to believe that this question is asked in good faith.

                      I’ve said yes more times than your girlfriend when I made love to her.

                    2. My girlfriend is out of your prissy Catholic school boy league Eddie.

                      I asked to demonstrate to wareagle that yes, there are in fact people here who believe what I mentioned.

                    3. You could simply have set wareagle straight rather than catechizing me.

                      You could have set him straight, just as I set your lesbian sister straight.

                    4. I have a brother, so you might want to make an appointment to meet your Bishop for some confession and possible extra hairshirt time.

                    5. Maybe it was your mother.

                    6. She has always been kind to the retarded, so perhaps.

                    7. Then there was a whole line of retarded people outside her front door.

                      What am I doing insulting your family? I doubt your foolishness is *their* fault.

                    8. “What am I doing insulting your family?”

                      You can’t help it. At heart, you’re a nasty little person whose devotion to Christianity is more about your traditional hang ups than the spirit of his example and his teachings, and so when anyone argues against you it’s a short time until you’re doing this sort of thing.

                    9. The projection is strong in this one.

                    10. Why don’t you take a look at our discussion and see who resorted to personal insult first?

                    11. The guy who said I was unprincipled and just making up principles to justify my personal preferences?

                    12. That’s about your argument, not insulting one’s family or such. But hey, if you think they’re equivalent in the battle to defend traditional marriage, you have to live with your own conscience.

                    13. Hey, I apologized to your family for associating them with your foolishness.

                    14. Bo,
                      you can find outliers for anything but you have this fixation on socons for whatever reason and are determined to conflate anyone not in league with you on any issue under that umbrella. It is tiresome. Stop it.

                      People here, regardless of their stance on SSM (which is mostly in favor) do NOT advocate govt handing out goodies to people who make specific life decisions. They would rather govt treat marriage as a contract rather than a publicly-funded benefit or a sacrament.

                      God damn, this is fucking tedious. So glad I have business lunch that is calling.

                    15. To be fair, there is *one* SoCon here who wants the govt. to support regular marriage, but as for “goodies,” I’d have to see a more specific definition.

                    16. Wareagle: Bo, you fool, no one here is making that argument!

                      Me: Er, yes, here’s Eddie right here.

                      Wareagle: Bo, you fool! Most of us are not making that argument!

          2. I share your disdain for judicial activism but I believe that employees should do their job as defined or get another.

            1. Defined by whom? The elected representatives of the people who pay their salary? Because in most states, SSM was not imposed by the taxpayers’ representatives, but by federal judges.

              Why should taxpayers who *agree* with the clerks’ stance fire them to appease the federal courts?

              1. What a silly argument. Federal judges have also been the ones striking down Blue State and city gun restrictions.

                1. You missed my proposal about sheriffs refusing to issue permits, didn’t you?

                  1. It’s not a proposal at all.

                    “And again, how does your plan there work? I come in and demand my Blue City Sheriff process my license. He says he won’t and hands me an affidavit saying he won’t. Then what?”

                    1. See below.

                    2. I mean infra.

                    3. Don’t see anything.

                      I go in and apply for a permit. Sheriff says no and gives me affidavit saying he won’t process it. I still have no permit.

                    4. Like I said, in that circumstance, let the guy carry concealed just as if he’d gotten a permit.

                    5. How would an affidavit from a Sheriff saying he won’t process my permit serve as my concealed carry permit? Do you have a concealed carry permit? Even in states where they are liberally granted there are requirements which must be checked and processed.

                    6. Like I said, let him carry concealed without a permit until there’s a Sheriff who’ll process his application.

                      Break, break, on the cold gray stones, oh sea
                      You still aren’t as oblivious as Bo is to me

                    7. Someone’s oblivious given that answer, but it ain’t me.

                    8. I know you are, but what am I?

                      You see, I can play that game, too!

              2. Defined by whom?

                Again, I share you disdain for judicial activism, but laws are not only made by elected legislatures and signed by elected executives, they are also interpreted by elected and appointed judges. That’s the way our system works.

                If government employees choose which laws to uphold, then the rule of law suffers.

                1. Well, Eddie has offered a way out of this. We just ask, is the official objecting to something Eddie thinks is important and should be grounds for an exemption? If so, then he should. If not, not.

                  1. You see, Bo, Jonathan Haidt was right – I understand your position but you don’t understand mine.

                    Maybe it’s something in the water by which lefties just don’t understand the other guy’s reasoning. Which is actually useful for me and the likes of me because I have the advantage of knowing *your* reasoning.

                    1. “but you don’t understand mine.”

                      If I’ve misunderstood it then say what it actually is.

                      I’ll help you: Government officials should be exempted from having to perform official duties in cases where they are ordered to by a federal judge but they morally object to doing so WHEN _________.

                      See, you fill in the blank.

                    2. Er, Eddie? Eddie?

                    3. Wrong premise. If they defy a federal judge’s order they’re in contempt. Didn’t you know that?

                      If you can find an example of such a contempt proceeding in the SSM context, go for it.

                      Of course, that *still* doesn’t show the state should assume the federal judge’s job and punish the contempt. The federal judges are perfectly capable of doing that themselves.

                    4. What a wiggly weasel.

                    5. You said “ordered…by a federal judge.”

                      In that case, let the federal judge enforce his own orders, he has the Federal Marshals and the U.S. Prison System at his disposal, why would he need state assistance?

                      As to filling in the blank in your question, I would put this link to the discussion:

                      https://reason.com/blog/2015/02…..-n#comment

                      But your repeated questions about the concealed carry issue, even after I’d repeatedly answered, don’t bode well.

                    6. You should stop crying that people don’t understand or state your argument when you refuse to plainly state it.

                      What should the criteria be to exempt an official from performing duties, that he objects to, but that are required by him, as determined by an apropriate federal judge (the official takes an oath to the federal Constitution too, remember)?

                    7. I see that you evaded the Nazi-diplomat question, showing that your “principled” stance only goes so far.

                      As for whether public officials should do your legal duties, of course, now let’s discuss what those legal duties *ought* to be.

                      Now, whoever imposes the duty should enforce the duty. If a federal judge says a particular official must marry Sam and Steve, then the judge can enforce obedience with prison and fines. If the local government won’t issue a license, the federal judge can bankrupt the local government, but AFAIK this hasn’t happened because the local government has always able to find officials ready to do the deed.

                      If the elected representatives of the people want a specific official to marry Sam and Steve, it can fire the official for refusing. But so long as *someone* does it, the federal courts probably won’t care whether it’s Clerk Joan or Clerk Bob who does it.

                      So the elected representatives of the people don’t have to require Jane to issue the license if Bob is willing – and if there’s no rule requiring Jane to do it, your comments about “it’s their job!” are question-begging.

  7. I’m guessing that those who support gay marriage recognition but would also allow government officials to opt out of granting marriage licenses to gay couples are assuming that there would be other officials to step in to handle it or an alternative way of legally certifying those marriages.

    Because a government licensing requirement is the same as a service or good from a private business?

    Scott, you favor employing force to make florists, bakers, et al work for those they would rather not? Limit such force to just gay weddings or anything else fall into the do it or be put out category?

    1. “Because a government licensing requirement is the same as a service or good from a private business?”

      Er, or because government licensing requirements kind of necessarily involve government officials processing the licenses? I’m not sure what you’re talking about.

      1. In Oklahoma, there’s a bill to get these officials out of the licensing business, only requiring them to *record* marriages performed by private parties (or common-law marriages).

        This bill wouldn’t bring about the libertarian utopia of “deregulated” marriages, but Reason still likes it as a step in the right direction.

        Yet the SSM people in Oklahoma objected to the bill as anti-gay; a bill which wouldn’t affect anyone’s right to be same-sex married.

        1. So this is about violating clerks’ consciences *even when this is totally unnecessary.*

        2. I’d support such a bill, but I imagine the cloud that hangs heavy over it is the history we have of equal protection advancements being met with officials saying ‘well, if we have to let these people in we’ll just close the whole thing down.’

          1. There’s a history of Jim Crow states recording opposite-race marriages?

            1. Do you always struggle with analogy?

              1. You compared this bill to “clos[ing] the whole thing down,” whereas in the real world, it allows the recordation of SSM.

                1. Right, what’s ‘closed down’ is the officiating, right?

                  It would be like if school districts were closed down after being required to allow blacks but the state still administered GED tests (or recorded their private administration).

                  1. It’s not like that at all.

                    Shall I start with the part where you assume the conclusion – that failing to give a Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval to SSM is the same as Jim Crow?

                    Or should I mention that part where Nick Gillespie, who supports SSM as much as you do, but in a more informed manner, likes this bill?

                    https://reason.com/blog/2015/01…..marriage-e

                    1. See, you don’t understand analogies in general or this one specifically. In no analogy are the two things ‘the same.’ That’s kind of the point, you know?

                      And in this one it’s even further qualified because I mentioned the perception of similarity is probably what makes the SSM activists wary of this law.

                    2. “the perception of similarity”

                      Ah, you mean FEELZ!

                      That is certainly a good way to avoid the messy business of rational proof.

                    3. When you’re trying to explain someone’s motivation the feelz can be relevant.

                    4. But why are you invoking their FEELZ?

                      To criticize them, I suppose – it can’t be that you’re *endorsing* such unprincipled thinking?

                    5. The question is, why would the SSM activists be wary of Oklahoma doing this? The fact that it has similarities to the Jim Crow reaction is the answer.

                      If the proposal had been made out of what seemed like genuine, longstanding libertarian concerns about the inappropriateness of the government being involved in marriage and then they still balked, I’d be less sympathetic to them. But what happened was a long and current devotion of having the government bless and back traditional marriage joined with a revulsion of gays and their unions to produce a ‘well, if we have to let them into the club we’re going to shut it down altogether’ moment.

                    6. If the proposal had been made out of what seemed like genuine, longstanding libertarian concerns about the inappropriateness of the government being involved in marriage and then they still balked, I’d be less sympathetic to them.

                      But this is insane. They’re complying with a libertarian criticism. Whether they’re doing it for libertarian reasons or not is beside the point. And it’s not denying anyone any rights that it is granting to anyone else.

                      What you’re saying is that you have more sympathy for the people demanding a less libertarian outcome because you like them or their cause more than you do those who are arguing for the libertarian outcome.

                    7. I don’t see how this wouldn’t apply to the proposal to refuse to spend government money in educating blacks children. Libertarians want at as little government schooling as possible, and that would mean less, right? Yet most libertarians would object to this step.

                    8. Libertarians want at as little government schooling as possible, and that would mean less, right?

                      No, libertarians want the government out of the schooling business. Your claim is roughly analogous to claiming the NAP foreswears violence in self-defense because it entails more aggression.

                    9. I don’t think so. We certainly don’t think that anything short of complete abolition of schools is bad. If government is bad, less of it is good, unless, of course, there is some other value libertarians can claim, such as impartial treatment.

                    10. Well, if SSM advocates simply wanted to separate the govt from marriage, as opposed to waging a Jacobinical crusade to force their definition of marriage on everyone else on penalty of loss of job, bankruptcy, etc., etc., then maybe I’d be a bit more sympathetic. Not agree, just sympathize a bit more.

                  2. It would be like if school districts were closed down after being required to allow blacks but the state still administered GED tests (or recorded their private administration).

                    Whatever the motives of those making that change, that would be a pretty good development. Whose rights would that violate?

                    1. Should we have applauded when Southern districts shut down their schools rather than complying with federal unelected, unnaccountable judges orders to admit black students? I guess you could say ‘well, there finally was less government schooling, so yay!’ but it seems a bit off.

                    2. First, assuming the conclusion (opposing SSM = supporting Jim Crow).

                      Second, most people here (including me) would love to get thrown into that particular briar patch (racist!)

                    3. You have no idea what assuming the conclusion is. The only thing the analogy assumes is that in both instances you have federal judges issuing orders and local officials saying complying with them violates their beliefs. Which part of that is not analogous?

                    4. “Which part of that is not analogous?”

                      The part where disagreeing with SSM = Jim Crow.

                      You know what you’re doing with these analogies. It’s not that you just *happened* to reference Jim Crow as opposed to, say, a librarian neglecting to check out books.

                    5. Actually, you’ll note that to protect your tender sensibilities I’ve also been offering the concealed carry analogy regularly, so you have no leg to stand on.

                      The two are exactly analogous in that both are cases of what I describe. You only balk because you like one and not the other. But that’s no principle to resolve these situations.

                    6. And I’ve answered your concealed-carry question several times.

                    7. No, you haven’t.

                      “How would an affidavit from a Sheriff saying he won’t process my permit serve as my concealed carry permit? Do you have a concealed carry permit? Even in states where they are liberally granted there are requirements which must be checked and processed.”

                      Additionally, what if the Sheriff pulls a Little Sisters of the Poor and argues they won’t provide or sign such an affidavit because it would trigger the thing they morally object to?

                    8. At some point, I have to stop repeating my answer and just link to it:

                      https://reason.com/blog/2015/02…..nt_5069257

                    9. I’m afraid not. What if the Sheriff refuses to provide an affidavit a la the Little Sisters?

                    10. The phrase “carry concealed without a permit” somehow doesn’t seem to register with you.

                    11. Let the gun-owner provide his own affidavit, subject to a perjury prosecution. In the unlikely event that the cops don’t know of the sheriff’s stand.

                    12. Wait, I’ve already said that, too.

                      Is this like Groundhog Day? Every minute you wake up and ask the same questions?

                      https://reason.com/blog/2015/02…..nt_5069121

                    13. So you get stopped in another county and the cops find you’re carrying, but you pull out an affidavit you’ve signed saying you were refused a permit by your local sheriff. Then what happens?

                    14. They either prosecute you for perjury or let you go.

                      Holy shit, what’s wrong with you?

                    15. So they launch a perjury investigation?

                      That’s ludicrous Eddie.

                    16. It’s a ludicrously complex and silly solution to what has a simpler answer: if you work for the government you have to carry out your duties as told or quit.

                    17. Answer *my* question above – what if you work as a scientist for the FDA and they tell you to sweep the floors because you’re black? Or you work for the sheriff’s department and they order you to discriminate against black suspects?

                      Because we have laws limiting what public employers can demand of their employees. And yes, the laws can require some things of public employees while not requiring others.

                    18. If I’m asked to do something illegal then of course I should be ‘exempted’ from doing that. But we’re talking about something that has been legally blessed by an appropriate federal judge.

                      So my principle is the same: officials should have to follow the law or quit. If they are told to do something illegal, they don’t have to do it. If they are told they are legally required to do something, they have to do it or quit.

                    19. “If they are told they are legally required to do something, they have to do it or quit”

                      The key phrase in that sentence is “if.”

                      So that begs the question – what should they be legally required to do?

                      Should they be legally required to defy the wishes of the taxpayers who pay their salary? Should they be required to turn on a dime and do as a matter of obligation what was until recently forbidden, simply because some judge doesn’t want his SJW friends to call him names?

                    20. And in my hypothetical example, the FDA bosses *did* tell the black scientist he was legally obligated to sweep the floor.

                      So the question is whether the guy’s supervisors *ought* to have the right to command this? Yes, you’re right, the law denies them this power.

                    21. And under our system, a federal judge has the authority to do what they have done in the SSM cases, a supervisor does not have any authority to ask you to do something contrary to the law (federal or state).

                    22. They swear an oath to the Federal Constitution Eddie, and that’s how our system works.

                      Again, can you generalize what you’re saying? Does: “Should they be legally required to defy the wishes of the taxpayers who pay their salary? Should they be required to turn on a dime and do as a matter of obligation what was until recently forbidden, simply because some judge doesn’t want his NRA friends to call him names?” apply to the Blue State official facing a federal court decision striking down restrictions on gun possession and ownership?

                    23. Because here’s what I’d say to both the Blue State official who has lived his entire life upon gun control laws he is morally devoted to and which his local/state government and taxpayers support AND the Red State official who has lived his entire life under marriage laws he is morally devoted to and his local/state officials and taxpayers support: you live under a federal system where federal justices with the appropriate jurisdiction have the authority to review state laws and strike them when they are interpreted to conflict with the federal Constitution. If you don’t like that we have a system to fix it, quit and work within it, you don’t get to pick and choose which official duties the law obligates you to do you will perform.

                    24. Just to repeat, the federal courts have the Marshals Service and the Bureau of Prisons to enforce their orders.

                      Why should the state help out the federal judges when the judges can enforce their own orders?

                    25. Because they are part of the nation and under the same Constitutional system?

                    26. I don’t seem to recall the word “nation” in the constitution, except for Congress’ power to enforce the law of nations. But I don’t recall the n-word used to describe the United States.

                    27. “They swear an oath to the Federal Constitution Eddie, and that’s how our system works.”

                      Ah, the famous clause allowing the federal courts to adopt constitutional amendments.

                      So between 1896 and 1954, and public official who rejected the “separate but equal” segregation laws of his state would be guilty of perjury?

                    28. *any* public official

                    29. Any public official during that time facing a properly enacted segregationist state law when the federal courts had held that policy constitutionally permissible should either comply with it or quit, and work to get that changed in either case (your perjury example is silly, you’re not required to express agreement with laws, but if your position falls under them you must comply).

                    30. Wow, you manned up and faced the evil consequences of your own principles!

                    31. It’s not me that’s been having a problem with sticking to a principle Eddie.

                    32. Legal positivism isn’t a principle, it’s a cowardly capitulation to state power.

                      And you’re unprincipled because, though a positivist, you profess to be a libertarian.

                    33. So if you were a Nazi-era German diplomat who took a solemn oath to the Fuhrer, but then some Jews come to you asking for false papers to save their lives, and you realize that what they ask is contrary to the positive law, you should just resign and work for change from within?

                    34. I wouldn’t have taken a solemn oath to the Fuhrer.

                    35. Let’s say you changed your mind. It happens.

                    36. And I see you’re doing what you accuse me of doing – evading the question.

                    37. Don’t confuse the idea that petty officials should not be deciding what natural law allows or requires them to do with the fealty to positivism. There are natural laws, but a polity best arrives at them through certain policies, not by individual conscience of various petty officials.

                    38. Answer my question, Bo! The Jews are asking for false papers to save their lives. Resign and lose the power to help them, or stay in office and save lives?

                    39. Come on, answer the question!

                      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UhEQ1E8XPp4

                    40. Time’s up – what’s your answer?

                    41. Cat got your tongue?

                    42. Come on, Bo, resign according to your principles, or stay in the job and save lives?

                    43. To be fair, in your position I wouldn’t want to answer, either.

                      But you can drop the pretense that you are uniquely principled.

                    44. I’ve no illusions that my principle can lead to results I don’t like (for example, an official in a ‘sanctuary’ city that has an ordinance protecting unauthorized immigrants but whom a federal or state court has said his duty is to process deportations: he should have to do so or quit, though he can work to get the law changed).

                    45. Well, why not? To the extent I support libertarianism, I don’t think the government ought to particularly be in the segregation or desegregation business. And I certainly don’t think it belongs in the school business. So, what, am I to be upset that the wrong people did the right thing for the wrong reasons?

                    46. By this logic if the government simply decided to just deny any blacks admittance to government schools you’d have to be ok with that. After all, it means less government schooling overall.

                      It’s not that I don’t see what you’re saying. In a very strict sense it could be said that the only value for libertarians is less or more government. But I think there are other values that are important, and should be to libertarians, such as equal protection and treatment under the law. Government has to be less, but what government there is has to be fair (and I don’t mean ‘fair’ in the sense of working to produce ‘fair’ outcomes for citizens).

                    47. How about “impartial” rather than “fair”?

                    48. Yes, much better, thanks.

                    49. By this logic if the government simply decided to just deny any blacks admittance to government schools you’d have to be ok with that.

                      Actually, no. That is a completely irrational comparison. The situation you held up was that they shut down the schools. Period. Not “shut down the schools for black people”. And my goal isn’t “less government schooling”. It’s for the government to get out of the schooling business. I do hope you have the ability to understand that the two things are different.

                      To the extent that it offered a service to one class of citizens that it refused to others, that would be a violation of the latters’ rights. Especially, insofar as they were taxed to pay for the service to the other group.

                      The parallel shows exactly why you’re wrong on the recording of marriages. Their government isn’t saying it will only record for some people while officiating for others. It’s saying it will only record. Period.

                    50. If you think government schooling is bad, why would you not be happy with less of it? Isn’t that at least a step in the right direction?

                      “Their government isn’t saying it will only record for some people while officiating for others. It’s saying it will only record. Period.”

                      Well, they’re also saying they will shut down the officiating, right?

                    51. If you think government schooling is bad, why would you not be happy with less of it?

                      Because I believe in equal treatment under the law?

                      Well, they’re also saying they will shut down the officiating, right?

                      Yes, and? It seems to be doing so equally, no?

                    52. I guess you have to go back to my first reply to you. I can see where a libertarian in the 50’s might have looked at Southern states shutting down their schools after being ordered to admit blacks and say ‘well, technically, this is a libertarian win, and since the schools are shut down equally for everyone that value is not violated.’ And technically, I guess that’s correct. But it sure seems a bit sour to the equal protection principle to me, and I’m sure many others. As I said originally, I’d support the OK law, I can just see how that sourness led others not to.

                    53. But it sure seems a bit sour to the equal protection principle to me, and I’m sure many others.

                      Honestly, I just don’t see where. Sure, I’ll agree with you that their motives suck. So what? Honestly, taking it back to the SSM issue, this solution seems ideal. It takes the marriage question out of the public hands leaves the matter a private affair. Without invoking all the culture war bullshit. Yay!

                      Unless you’re actively fighting on one side of the culture war (I’m not), I don’t see where you wind up with a better outcome.

                    54. I guess because it seems a lot like the kid who lets the other kids use his ball to play a game but when the black kid tries to join in, and the teacher tells them they have to let him if they want to play, takes his ball home. I guess if you were a neighbor that hated the noise of those kids playing you could technically celebrate, but I’m not sure I would.

                    55. Why not? This isn’t a case where anyone’s rights are being violated. Unless you simply were, as John and Notorious GKC suggest, demanding support for homosexuality be imposed on everyone, this is exactly what libertarians should want. This takes the matter out of the public domain. To the extent that it passes, SSM is no longer a political issue, but simply something for your church to hash out.

                    56. I’ve explained why I wouldn’t, for the same reason I might not cheer the kids stopping their noisy game because they didn’t want to include the black kid. I guess it’s because I don’t think the results are the only important thing in such matters.

                    57. Also, to follow up on your analogy. How would a libertarian revolution in education have differed from the policy enacted – give everyone a voucher and shut down the public schools. Sure, at the time, the immediate reason was to get around desegregation. But, as Friedman pointed out in Capitalism & Freedom, there’s no reason to think that would have necessarily been the long-term equilibrium result. If diversity is of value (as you’ve argued here vociferously), then one would expect the non-segregated schools would win out in honest competition.

                    58. I admit, the revolution would have been different only in that it was not motivated by such a rotten motive.

                      Like I said here, if the OK legislature had long standing stances about the government getting out of marriage and then SSM activists still complained I would criticize the SSM activists.

                    59. Bo, what I’m not understanding from you is how anyone is harmed when the government gets out of the marriage license business altogether. Motivation means fuck-all if no one is harmed and the law is applied equally.

                    60. I said originally I’d support the law, because in the end the result trumps the motivation. But I don’t think motivation is totally beside the point, as my examples note. Would you really have cheered the decision of Southern areas to close down schools because they were ordered to admit blacks?

                    61. Would you really have cheered the decision of Southern areas to close down schools because they were ordered to admit blacks?

                      If I’d lived in an alternate universe where the approach was allowed to play out and I understood the long-term consequences – a free market giving better education to everyone – you bet.

                    62. But – no matter how much I like the idea of public schools ceasing to exist – without a private education alternative you can make a decent argument that there was harm in the school scenario. Kids didn’t git thar learnin’. Assuming the recording of the marriage is what entitles people to all the marriage bennies, what harm occurs by the state not officiating ANY marriage?

                    63. Again, I said I supported this law. The only harm that occurs would be the same harm that falls on the black kid who can’t play now that the others decided they won’t play if he has to be included. I guess we can say he’s free to play with anyone else who will have him or by himself and he’s not been harmed, and that’s actually technically correct. But I can still see a harm there, though in this case it’s pretty vague and outweighed IMO by the result of getting the government further out of the marriage game.

                    64. I know you said you would support the law and I don’t mean to appear to be bashing you on that. It just seems that if there’s any harm at all, it’s what GKC alluded to: someone getting a SSM is deprived of the opportunity to wave around the government imprimatur as a symbol of acceptance.

          2. The history is, or at least should be, irrelevant. Unless an opponent can make the case that not licensing any marriage violates a particular person’s rights, the whinging is just that – whinging. No one has the right to demand others approve of them.

        3. I’d be okay with a law like that – provided that it abolished every state and local law, regulation and ordinance which gave special favors and status to marriage.

  8. career civil servants who took their jobs at a time when their duties involved opposite-sex marriages, not SSM.

    Now there’s a class of people for whom my heart bleeds.

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    1. I’m pretty sure that you’re looking for only 8 people, but you say “10” to try to get more people in.

      The whole thing about business coming to you “on a daily basis” is a crock’o’bull. Everybody knows that you force people to cold call and go door-to-door. I saw a video on Youtube about this.

      The reason you are “feeling crazy” is that you ARE crazy for expecting us to believe anything you say. It doesn’t ‘realy’ work. LEARN TO SPLEL YOU IDOIT!!!!

  10. Then again, there is Hobby Lobby who refused to provide insurance that covers birth control for their employees. Their religious belief? Well that’s fine except, it isn’t all of their employees’ beliefs. And it certainly wouldn’t be an issue if they had only hired people of their own religion. Surely, there were plenty of applicants who fit the bill?
    The only problem with that is, that it is against the law to discriminate.
    Flowers and Cake you can get anywhere besides, why pay someone for a service that does not respect you. I’d be a little weary biting into that cake or even sticking my nose in their flowers.

    1. Well that’s fine except, it isn’t all of their employees’ beliefs.

      No one is forcing them to work there.

    2. It is one thing to have a sit in or force someone to do business with you when the majority of business won’t allow you in. There you have no other choice and are standing up to real oppression.

      It is quite another thing to do this when the vast majority of businesses will happily serve you and you seek out the one business that won’t and use the force of law to make them. There you are not being oppressed. Your access to goods and services is not being diminished. There you are just being a bully who wants to create a conflict where there doesn’t have to be one and punish someone for the crime of holding a view you don’t like.

      1. Where are same-sex couples supposed to get Christian-baked cakes if no Christian bakeries will make one for them?

        1. That’s the great thing about the 21st century, there are Christian gay bakers and Christian gay florists. Who would have ever thought that possible? Now if we can only get them into government.

          1. “…Christian gay bakers…”

            How can their cakes be as tasty as those baked by people who are forced to do so against their will?

    3. Then again, there is Hobby Lobby who refused to provide insurance that covers birth control for their employees

      bullfuckingshit. HL refused to cover a small number of things it considers abortion-inducing. It did NOT say no to conventional contraceptives. If your argument begins with blatant dishonesty, there is no reason for anyone to listen to the rest of it.

      1. People who consider abortion to be a form of birth control cannot understand the distinction.

        1. I wasn’t aware that any insurance company paid for non-medical abortions anyway ?
          If you bequeath no one read my posts, I’m sure everyone will respect your wishes.

          1. There is a difference between preventing conception (the pill, the morning after pill, etc) and inducing an abortion after conception (abortion pill).

            HL will pay for the former, but not the latter.

            So it is dishonest to claim they oppose birth control for their employees.

    4. And it certainly wouldn’t be an issue if they had only hired people of their own religion.

      Except it’s ILLEGAL to only hire people of their religion, because that’s discrimination on the basis of religion.

  11. This is a big moment for the gay community. If they allow the left to use gay marriage to associate “gay” with intolerance, they are going to regret it. Gays are not black people. They are not 12% of the population. They are one or two percent. There was a real backlash to forcing accommodation for blacks. It didn’t prevent blacks from being accepted into society because they were a large enough group that the backlash couldn’t overcome the numbers. Gays are not.

    1. “They are not 12% of the population. They are one or two percent.”

      Well, the key percentage is the proportion of SJWs in the population. I think that population has reached a critical mass so that they can have decent chance of getting the government on their side on issues which they consider morally urgent.

    2. There is not going to be a backlash against gays, much as you might want one. And fuck you for implying that heterosexual white people own the right to decide how society should look. The only thing that matters here is that gay people are 100% equal under the law, and if you have a problem with that you can go cry somewhere.

    3. Dammit, John, I really hate it when you make me agree with Tony, even if you do it unintentionally.

      1. You agreee with Tony that it is a good idea to put a government boot on people’s faces to make them accept you? As if the whole fucking world owes you acceptance?

        1. Only as much as it does the same for other classes of people that contain historically oppressed members. And yes the whole fucking world owes us acceptance, and those who don’t can go fuck themselves until they learn to. The world’s a scary place. Having gays in it is not one of the reasons why, so maybe learn to ration your pants-wetting.

          1. And yes the whole fucking world owes us acceptance, and those who don’t can go fuck themselves until they learn to.

            How ridiculous. And fuck you.

            Nobody owes you, or me, anything. You’re just playing victim. You may force a business to bake you a cake, but you won’t win any hearts and minds. In fact, you’ll lose the ones that have been won. Nobody likes a cheater.

  12. “…Americans do (narrowly) support legal recognition for same-sex marriage…”

    There is a huge difference between Americans “supporting” same-gender marriage and simply not really giving a shit about it.

    I would suggest the latter is far more likely the case: When Americans are asked about same-gender marriage, they shrug their shoulders are reply “Yeah….whatever.”

    And that is precisely how they’ll respond when asked if 3 people should be allowed to marry: Those shoulders will shrug and they’ll emit a sigh and say “Okay by me”.

    1. Marriage fatigue.

      1. I have gay wedding cake article fatigue.

      2. That’s what I tell my mom when she hassles me. “It’s just ALL SO POLITICAL THESE DAYS.”

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  14. The only thing I get from this debate is that some people think that private businesses owners don’t have the right to live their lives according to their beliefs.
    As soons as you start selling something -BOOM – your a fucking slave and anyone can force you to give them whatever it is they want, whether it’s an employee demanding you pay for their birth control or a gay couple demanding you bake them a wedding cake.

    I guess that people who own businesses are evil sinners who deserve to be punished and controlled by society and treated like servants who have no individual rights.

    1. I guess the T9ony response to this is going to be something along the lines of “it’s just their JOB, not their LIFE, we’re only controlling how they do their JOB”.

      As if someone’s WORK isn’t the SAME THING as someone’s LIFE when they are the owner of a small business.
      It’s as if they can’t fucking conceptualize the idea that someone might live via their work, that their work might be an expression of the self. Fucking sheep who are accustomed to punching the clock and checking out at 4:45 PM can’t comprehend or empathize with a person who’s choice of work is integrated into his identity, or relate to being forbidden from expressing that identity through work unless he violates some other aspect of that identity.

      1. You can either be a baker or a devout Christian, says society, to the Christian conservative who lives to bake.

    2. I guess that people who own businesses are evil sinners who deserve to be punished and controlled by society and treated like servants who have no individual rights.

      Yes and this is a treacherous development. When we demonize the most productive in society, we’re on Hayek’s road to serfdom.

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