Israel

Israel, Gay Marriage, Boycotts, and the Right to Withhold Consent

Who can participate in a boycott?

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Immanuel Kant, the great German philosopher, derived what he called the categorical imperative, one formulation of which says—pardon the paraphrase—that we should act only according to rules that could be applied universally. Which brings us to Israel and gay marriage.

Both of those issues have turned up in this year's Virginia General Assembly, although one has received far more attention than the other. Israel turns up in a bill that takes a swipe at the BDS movement, which urges boycotts, divestment and sanctions against Israel for its treatment of Palestinians.

The BDS movement is woefully misguided and deeply flawed. But it has every right to be. Nothing in the Constitution protects the rights of only those who are correct on the merits of an issue. Yet a bill in the House of Delegates (HB1282) would have prohibited state contractors from boycotting goods from Israel.

As the Virginia ACLU pointed out, that bill would have violated fundamental First Amendment principles by "target(ing) core political speech and infring(ing) on the freedom of business owners to express their political beliefs." After all, boycotts have a long and proud tradition in the U.S. They are, as the ACLU says, designed to bring about change through speech, association, assembly, and petition—basic constitutional rights.

Fortunately, the bill was rewritten and now requires only that the state's secretary of commerce and trade work with the Virginia-Israeli Advisory Board to "ensure free, fair, open, and consistent business practices." That's better than the original bill—but it still looks like a thumb on the scale.

During a recent Editorial Board meeting with opponents of the legislation, one BDS activist pointed out that, after all, people should be free to do business—or not do business—with anyone they pleased. The government should not tell people with whom they must conduct commerce.

And that is a valid argument.

But many of those who might sympathize with that argument regarding BDS find it abhorrent in another context.

The House of Delegates has passed a religious-freedom measure that some call a "license to discriminate." It stipulates that a government entity cannot take action against a person who holds a religious objection to gay marriage.

The Virginia ACLU's Claire Gastañaga made a good case against the bill in the Times-Dispatch a couple of weeks ago. She notes that the measure singles out certain types of belief—and only those types of belief— for special treatment. Moreover, its own language affords those beliefs protections "in addition to the protections provided under the United States Constitution, the Constitution of Virginia, and federal and state law." That, she correctly concludes, is a "grant of special rights" that "prefers one set of beliefs over others."

But this is as much a complaint that the bill is too narrow as that the bill is too broad. A more ecumenical bill—one stipulating that government could not take action against a person for any religious belief, or the lack of belief—would not privilege one faith over another, so that objection would go away.

But to get back to Kant.

A boycott consists of declining to engage in commerce with someone who is complicit in what the boycotter considers immoral. Boycotts usually are aimed at companies, but there is no law that says they must be. You could, say, boycott an individual artist by refusing to purchase Eminem's albums because of his misogynistic lyrics.

This raises a question: Under what general rule can the government allow someone to withhold his commerce from an Israeli exporter, on the basis of his moral and political objections to Israel's treatment of Palestinians, but forbid him to withhold his commerce from a gay couple on the basis of his moral and political objections to gay marriage?

Please note that in the most talked-about instances, in which bakers and photographers have resisted involvement with gay weddings, the resisters are not refusing to do business with gay or lesbian couples. The baker, for instance, just doesn't want to make a specific type of cake for a specific event. Yet he'd happily sell them a birthday cake, or a dozen chocolate-chip cookies. This might be more like a bookstore refusing to stock a certain book rather than refusing to sell any books to certain customers.

By the same token, Republicans in the General Assembly ought to explain by what general rule they would allow the baker to withhold his business from a gay couple—yet forbid a critic of Israel to withhold his business from an Israeli exporter.

You could say (though it's not clear why) that individuals may boycott but businesses can't. In many instances, though, the individual and the business are one and the same. And as the ACLU notes, "business owners" also have a constitutional right "to express their political beliefs."

Some might argue that we should allow people to withhold commerce only when they are right on the merits of the issue. Any half-intelligent person can see what a dead end that is.

And then there's the evil of Jim Crow-type discrimination. If people can withhold commerce from others for any reason, can white hotels turn away black customers? Can Christian doctors refuse to treat gay patients, or Islamic ones turn away Jews?

Perfect consistency of the kind Kant demanded can lead down some very dark roads. That is why even an idea as scintillating as the categorical imperative should be leavened with Chesterton's cautionary remarks about the maniac. The maniac, he wrote, is trapped "in the clean and well-lit prison of one idea: he is sharpened to one painful point. He is without healthy hesitation and healthy complexity."

Healthy indeed.

This column originally appeared at the Richmond Times Dispatch.

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  1. Will Muslim bakeries make a gay wedding cake?

    SPOILER ALERT: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RgWIhYAtan4

    1. Spoiler alert – the link is from HM, so we know it’s going to paint a rainbows-and-daisies picture of Muslims 🙂

  2. The BDS movement is woefully misguided and deeply flawed.

    Look at Bailey here, kink-shaming BDSM.

    1. No, he’s entirely right to point it out the sheer bigotry of arbitrarily excluding masochists.

      1. If exclusion is abuse, wouldn’t masochists welcome it?

        1. Touch? — your game is deep…

  3. Cannabis cures cancer. Is that categorical enough for you?

    ============

    Gay Palestinians should be returned to their government. As a gesture of reconciliation.

    1. Arafat’s body was already re-interred.

        1. Unfortunately, they waited until the pig-intercourses was dead.

  4. Yet a bill in the House of Delegates (HB1282) would have prohibited state contractors from boycotting goods from Israel…

    How would they enforce this exactly?

    1. Selectively, of course. That’s the underlying point of all of these measures.

      1. Well sure, that part is obvs. But are they gonna check to make sure contractors are circumcised?

    2. Anyone who contracts with any state or federal agency has to take on an ass-load of obligations unrelated to providing the goods or services they have contracted to provide. This extraneous requirement is not unusual at all in context, especially when you know that some of those requirements relate to your business contracting with minority owned businesses, etc. The feds have a long history of using their contracts as the thin edge of the wedge for any number of political or social projects.

      If you object to the anti-BDS requirement (which is fine by me), you also need to object to all the other extraneous requirements, or else explain why this one should be singled out as objectionable when the others are not.

      1. Threading fail. I blame . . . Hugh.

      2. This requirement is singular in that it is being considered for passage right now, and it is pretty blatantly a favor to a powerful lobby/international conspiracy.

      3. It is fair to address the proposal on its own merits without having to take on the baggage of addressing all of the ends that have been accomplished by the same means.

        … I’m really stretching to find meritorious arguments pro or anti here

        1. It is fair to address the proposal on its own merits without having to take on the baggage of addressing all of the ends that have been accomplished by the same means.

          Fair enough. Of course, considering these things out of context can lead you to disregard underlying principles and their implications, and carries an odor of special pleading.

          Hinkle does handwave at the principle (The government should not tell people with whom they must conduct commerce.), but that in itself is not exactly proof that special pleading isn’t what is going on.

          What other provisions “telling people with whom they must do business” are also being considered, right now? Are those being objected to?

      4. Yeah, I saw this line and kind of chuckled:

        The government should not tell people with whom they must conduct commerce.

        The government does this all the time.

  5. “That, she correctly concludes, is a “grant of special rights” that “prefers one set of beliefs over others.””

    I disagree. I read the bill. It does not grant special rights. It does not prefer one set of beliefs over others. It merely prevents the government from using its power to punish those who don’t share one set of beliefs.

    AND

    “The government should not tell people with whom they must conduct commerce.” That is a hoot. The BDS crowd moves for public universities (you know, government institutions) to institute policies from doing business with Israel.

    Both of these examples are similar. But not in the way the author has described. They are both examples of disingenuous opposition to pieces of legislation that are responses to those who would use the power of government to punish those who disagree with them.

    1. Oh, and as far as the gay marriage thing, most of us think that business owners should be free to do business with whomever they choose. So in that respect the law doesn’t go nearly far enough. But the ACLU would be against that. So it is obvious that they merely oppose those who don’t follow their views.

      “You have to wear the AIDS ribbon!”

      1. Ding. Ding. What the ACLU is doing is what special pleading looks like.

        1. Ding. Ding. What the ACLU is doing is what special pleading looks like.

          So is what pro-Christian groups are arguing for, because what they want is continued anti-discrimination laws protecting Christians, while opposing reciprocal privileges for any other group.

  6. “The government should not tell people with whom they must conduct commerce.”

    Tell that to supporters of the Individual Mandate!

    1. I have never been on a man date.

      1. Try it – you might like it.

  7. I think gay Jewish bakers should be forced to create cakes in the shape of bisexual Palestinians clinging to feminized glaciers.

    1. The Palestinian Authority is outraged.

  8. Is today a holiday? No AM links.

    1. There were, but there have been a lot of posts since then. It’s the one with the huge mammer-jammers.

      1. Makes a good argument for voting.

  9. If people can withhold commerce from others for any reason, can white hotels turn away black customers?

    Yes, if we’re being consistent.

    1. What are, things that are not going to happen to any significant extent in this day and age?

    2. I’ve never understood why anyone, at all, would want to stay at a KKKomfort Inn. Or eat a wedding KKKake, for that matter.

      1. And it’s not like by simply passing a law, that you’re going to really change the facts on the ground. Kinda think I’d like to know, just by looking at the label on the tin, what kind of place it is I’m about to walk into, rather than finding out (or perhaps worse, not finding out) later, what really goes on. If you’ve got a racist burger-flipper going to spit on your food, might be better to, you know, let him advertise the fact, if he’s dumb enough to do it (which, by definition, he is, if we’re talking about forcing him to serve everybody).

      2. Same reason as everyone else, I’d assume. Word of mouth, right location and price, good reviews. You don’t find out it’s a “KKKomfort Inn” or “KKKake” until you’re already there.

        1. Seems you missed the point a bit — were it not outlawed, the big WHITES ONLY sign out front might help you make the choice beforehand, rather than finding out (or not) only later that Bubba always puts black couples in the room that he otherwise uses as his own personal cum-based impressionist art studio.

          1. Nope. I answered your question. Not my fault you asked the wrong question.

            And hey, there’s nothing stopping these anti-gay butchers/bakers/candle-stick-makers from posting signs about their unbiblical “one man, one woman” marriage views?. Just because you can’t discriminate doesn’t mean you can’t make your desire to do so known.

            That said, as has been demonstrated in Missouri and Oklahoma, the people that *want* to discriminate have no desire to give forewarning on the subject. Suggest that someone intending to take advantage of a “special right to discriminate” law should post a sign, and you find out that apparently signs are anti-Christian.

            1. Just because you can’t discriminate doesn’t mean you can’t make your desire to do so known.

              Yep, actually it does. Signage expressing intent to discriminate is illegal.

              That said, as has been demonstrated in Missouri and Oklahoma, the people that *want* to discriminate have no desire to give forewarning on the subject.

              Or perhaps they objected to a legal obligation to place signage, the wording of which they had no input or control, that they felt mischaracterized their position.

              And of course, in states where the special right to be served has not been expanded to include sexual orientation, there is no “special right to discriminate” – the forced obligation has to exist before there can be an exception to it, and the feds haven’t gotten around to that one yet.

              But then you knew that, you’re just a fascist piece of shit.

        2. Word of mouth, right location and price, good reviews.

          Because a great way to obtain good reviews and solid word of mouth recommendations is to racially discriminate against your customers.

    3. Yes, provided that I have the legal right to open a competing hotel to serve the customers that the “white hotel” turns away. I would even offer a 20% discount to anyone who was, in fact, turned away from the white hotel.

      But let’s not forget that the “white hotels” of the Jim Crow era were required by law to discriminate whether they wanted to or not.

      1. Yes, provided that I have the legal right to open a competing hotel to serve the customers that the “white hotel” turns away.

        Number2bnb, the “bnb” stands for “black ‘n brown”.

      2. Right, it was because the law *required* people to discriminate that white people rioted with ax handles and assaulted black people in the streets.

        Does that refrain actually persuade anyone? Does anyone actually think “well gee, I guess Jim Crow laws were forced on people and not a reflection of society at the time”?

        1. Does anyone actually think “well gee, I guess Jim Crow laws were forced on people and not a reflection of society at the time”?

          Historically and economically literate people understand that had there been no legal proscription on it, someone would have provided services to customers against whom others discriminated. Had that not been the case, the law would have been redundant and unnecessary. No one expect you to understand, being as you are, historically and economically illiterate.

        2. I guess Jim Crow laws were forced on people and not a reflection of society at the time”?

          You are absolutely right that Jim Crow laws were the product of our democratic political process. That is, the people (at least in Southern states) wanted racist oppression and politicians (mostly Democrats) delivered. Somehow, that lesson doesn’t seem to have sunk in with progressives, because the progressive message is still that everything would be so much better if only the people had even more power than they already have and that all the evil of the world is due to corporations being too economically powerful.

          Libertarians believe that the only way to avoid future Jim Crow laws is to stop arguing about who should wield that enormous power that government wields, because that has never worked, and instead limit the power of government overall. That is, the US government and states should simply never have been able to pass Jim Crow laws even if a majority of people wanted them. But if you look at people like Sanders, unbridled majority rule is what they are implicitly arguing for.

      3. good point.

        MY biggest objection to the “trading wiht Israel” law is that it seems to mandate boycotting, and also legitimises it as state action in that public contractors (those who deal directly with the State of Virginia, even if they also deal with others) are prohibited trading with both Israel and the State. This is wrong, as it involves public money. Besides, what if ABC Inc has Virginia as one client, thus cannot trade with Iarael, and has Sam as another, who has been buying a certain product, made in Israel, from ABD Inc for twenty years? That puts ABC Inc in an unacceptable position, and puts the taxpayers in one as well. Because Sam is undoubtedly a taxpayer whose money is used to buy the prioducts that ABC Inc USED to sell the state prior to this law, and now must increase prices on ALL products because ABC Inc’s financial structure has been signficantly changed by NOT trading with the State. Not to mention the taxpayers are now pauing more because ABC Inc had the best price/quality balance of any other supplier…. and no, the product to the State is not from Israel… but this law requries since they deal in OTHER items from Israel they can no longer supply the State.

        What a bunch of hokum. Never mind the politics behind the bill… no one wants to have a good look at how many rockets Palestinians hurled deep into Israel with no provocation, nor their sworn duty to wipe Israel off the map.

    4. note that in today’s Internet world,people who were refused service have the ability to wield great power against such a business,by spreading the news,inciting a boycott. (or to support a business in peril from a boycott,via fund-raising sites like GoFundMe.)
      (when GoFundMe doesn’t go politically correct…)
      That power did not exist in Jim Crow days or earlier.
      these days,it’s very easy to drive a business out of business through social media. In essence,that is allowing the people to DIRECTLY “vote” their support or displeasure at discriminatory people/businesses.
      It’s TREMENDOUS power. It outweighs or negates any need for “anti-discrimination” or “public accommodation” laws. People now have the power to fight back on their own,no need for government to become involved.
      That’s FREEDOM,for -both- sides.

  10. “As the Virginia ACLU pointed out, that bill would have violated fundamental First Amendment principles by “‘target(ing) core political speech and infring(ing) on the freedom of business owners to express their political beliefs.'”

    This is undoubtedly why the ACLU opposed state laws requiring all public contractors to divest themselves of all investments in South Africa as a condition of receiving public contracts. Because the right not to boycott is just as much a first amendment protected right of expression as the right to boycott?

    Am I right, ACLU?

  11. They key part of the gay-marriage bill says:

    “B. No person shall be:

    “1. Required to participate in the solemnization of any marriage; or

    “2. Subject to any penalty, any civil liability, or any other action by the Commonwealth, or its political subdivisions or representatives or agents, solely on account of such person’s belief, speech, or action in accordance with a sincerely held religious belief or moral conviction that marriage is or should be recognized as the union of one man and one woman.”

    To meet the ACLU’s objections, just amend the bill to say nobody shall be “required to participate in, *or forbidden from participating in,* any marriage” and protect *any* “belief or moral conviction” on the subject of consensual adult marriage.

    That would make the law even-handed – the government wouldn’t be able for *force* anyone to make gay cakes, but it wouldn’t be able to *forbid* it, either.

    In other words, the bill as written covers only situations which have actually happened (being forced to serve gays) – an even-handed bill would also save us from a hypothetical future government which tries to prevent people from serving gays.

    1. (for the sake of the bill only, I’d define “consensual adult marriage” to include divorce and remarriage against the wishes of your spouse, even though that isn’t really consensual, is it? But I’d protect the conscience rights of people who believe in adulterous marriages. Them today, me tomorrow, right?)

    2. Yeah, funny thing, isn’t it? It’s so trivially easy to make these “religious liberty” laws not single out a specific group of people, but they always do.

      It’s so easy to make it so that someone’s religious objection to an inter-faith or inter-racial marriage would be protection from a discrimination law-suit. But it’s never done.

      It’s almost like the people writing these laws don’t actually have an interest in treating people equally and fairly, and *want* to single out a group of people for discrimination.

    3. Perhaps something like this?

      Amendment I

      Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

      Amendment IX

      The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

      or this:

      Amendment X

      The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.

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

        Correct. And non-discrimination laws protecting religions are inconsistent with that, because they do “respect an establishment of religion”.

        On the other hand, non-discrimination laws saying “no business may discriminate against homosexuals” are consistent with that because they don’t actually either establish a religion or prohibits its exercise; what they interfere with is free exercise of commerce based on non-religious criteria, and states certainly have a right to do that.

        Having said that, I think we should strike anti-discrimination laws for both homosexuality and religion from the books. But having anti-discrimination laws for religion and then allowing religions to discriminate freely is wrong.

    4. I’m not religious,but it seems to me that requiring a private business to provide it’s goods or services in support of a SS”M” would be “aiding and abetting” a sin in the eyes of their religion,making them complicit in that sin,and thus the private business owner-operators strive to avoid doing that. It’s part of living according to their religion.
      (the wacky,far-out analogy of a religion refusing to serve blacks is not comparable in any rational way.)
      To force them to supply their goods or services for a SS”M” is to violate their 1st Amendment rights.

  12. It stipulates that a government entity cannot take action against a person who holds a religious objection to gay marriage.

    The Virginia legislature has taken a position against the state punishing someone for their religious beliefs. Which one would think is a good 1A position to take, no?

    The Virginia ACLU’s Claire Gasta?aga . . . notes that the measure singles out certain types of belief?and only those types of belief? for special treatment.

    Preventing the expansion of government mandates is “special treatment”? Maybe in some circumstances, but once we are in this game, isn’t expanding government mandates to give special protections to a class of people also “special treatment” of the protected class?

    Moreover, its own language affords those beliefs protections “in addition to the protections provided under the United States Constitution, the Constitution of Virginia, and federal and state law.”

    Aside from the argument that punishing people for opposing gay marriage on religious grounds is a violation of the 1A, its not clear to me that simply maintaining the gay marriage antebellum status quo is giving special protections in violation of all sorts of laws.

    That, she correctly concludes, is a “grant of special rights” that “prefers one set of beliefs over others.”

    I still don’t see now carving out an exception to a grant of special rights is, itself, a grant of special rights.

    Principles. What are they, and how do they work.

    1. Principles?

      If they had principles, they’d say “if ‘my god hates fags’ is good enough excuse for a Christian to discriminate against a gay person, then ‘your god hates fags’ is a good enough excuse for a gay person to discriminate against a Christian”.

      1. That’s basic freedom of association.

  13. Further proof that government shouldn’t do stuff.

    1. Yup. If gummint got out of marriage altogether, then I’d be free to participate or not in any type of marriage, or other such relationship, or any marking, celebration, solemnising of any such relationship. If I’m a housepainter and I decided for some reason I will NOT paint any house pink, or black, or ______________, and government have not established such colours as “protected colours” then I’ve committed no harmful act. Plenty of other painters in the phone book. If I WANTED to paint houses pink, I could advertise such, and they who desired this type of service would flock to MY paintbrush. Bonus.

      But when the State, City, or Homeowers Association decides what colours of paint are acceptable, desired, mandated, prohibited, then we have problems.

  14. “[…] This might be more like a bookstore refusing to stock a certain book rather than refusing to sell any books to certain customers.”

    Unless you’re trying the tortured “a wedding cake for a gay wedding is intrinsically different then a wedding cake for a straight wedding” line of argument, that analogy doesn’t hold. The bookstore does stock the book, and sells it to most people just fine, but refuses to sell that book to certain customers.

    And if you want to try that argument, then you need to find a reason that the same exact product (same flavor, same frosting, same decoration, etc.) becomes intrinsically different based on who gets to cut it.

    1. Because wedding cakes are often personal, and made to specifically celebrate the marriage of the two people involved. If a Muslim, Orthodox Jew, or Christian does not wish to make a cake celebrating the marriage of two people for a religious reason (they are a different religion, they are a gay couple, they are two different religions), they have the right to refuse service, and the couple can find another baker. If you’d read about most of these cases, you would notice that the bakeries in question will not refuse service for any other item, just wedding cakes, and that is their right, just as it is your right to protest them on social media and call them racist teathuglicanns.

      1. If a Muslim, Orthodox Jew, or Christian does not wish to make a cake celebrating the marriage of two people for a religious reason (they are a different religion, they are a gay couple, they are two different religions), they have the right to refuse service, and the couple can find another baker.

        No, obviously they don’t have that right in many states, just like a gay baker can’t refuse to bake a wedding cake for a Jew or Muslim or Christian on moral grounds. That’s because both homosexuals and Christians are groups with special privileges under civil rights legislation.

        Now, that intrusion of the state into private affairs is wrong. But if you want to remedy it, you need to eliminate these privileges for everybody.

  15. This bill of BDS says STATE CONTRACTORS. Since when does the government have the right to emulate Adolf Hitler? I know the misnamed “Reason Magazine” supports Nazi holocaust denial, but “Reason Magazine” is a private entity — not a state! Hopefully the Massad will grow some cojones and take care of these BDS people. And maybe take care of some of these holocaust denial people, too.

    “There’s no need to fear. Undergzog is here.”

  16. By the same token, Republicans in the General Assembly ought to explain by what general rule they would allow the baker to withhold his business from a gay couple?yet forbid a critic of Israel to withhold his business from an Israeli exporter.

    They could point to the fact that this is a retarded false equivalence, since the BDS bill only limits the behavior of the business owner conditionally if he does business with the state. State contracts are not a right. The state could, for example, require contractors with whom it does business to serve gay customers as a condition of doing business with the state. Many states and the federal government already do so.

    1. nor can one be forced to enter into a contract with another on that other person’s demand. contracts are by the mutual consent of BOTH parties. Making a wedding cake or a SS”M” cake (NOT the same thing…) are special-order items (contracted orders),not standard products off the shelf.

      should a black baker be forced to make a Confederate Flag cake for a customer that requests one? I don’t believe so.
      Nor should private bakers be forced to make SS”M” cakes against their will.
      does a person have any right to the labors or property of another person or business if that other party doesn’t freely consent to it? No.
      Private property rights should always trump your feelings being hurt or your desire to do business somewhere.

      1. Private property rights should always trump your feelings being hurt or your desire to do business somewhere.

        We have civil rights legislation, that’s just a fact. And Christians receive certain privileges under that legislation. It seems to me that as long as we have this kind or legislation, at least the privileges should be reciprocal. That is, if both group A and group B are protected by civil rights legislation, then neither group should be allowed to discriminate against each other in business.

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  19. On the subject of refusing homos a “wedding cake” the issue has been distorted into one of “refusing service” to homos. But what they are actually doing is quite legal – they do not offer a homo wedding cake as one of their products, which they can do quite rightly and legitimately. Most thinking on this matter is deeply flawed, as here.
    They also can, quite reasonably, consider and view homos as psychotics, a conclusion which has been the approved diagnosis by psychiatry for most of the past 70 years, excepting certain countries in the West. Certainly one cannot argue that homosexual behavior makes any sense , either sexually or romantically. Actually, it is behavior that often provokes hearty derisive laughter at the misguided folks so engaged. Kant’s categorical imperative would condemn such behavior as immoral ,or, at the very least, extremely dopey, to use philosophical terminology : what if everybody did it? The result would be the same as suicide, which it somewhat resembles and is often associated with – the human species would die off in a single generation.

    1. They also can, quite reasonably, consider and view homos as psychotics

      One can also, quite reasonably, say the same thing about Christians.

      Certainly one cannot argue that homosexual behavior makes any sense , either sexually or romantically.

      Neither does Catholicism, Calvinism, or priestly celibacy. In fact, oddly enough, there is a huge overlap between homosexuals and the Catholic priesthood.

      On the subject of refusing homos a “wedding cake” the issue has been distorted into one of “refusing service” to homos. But what they are actually doing is quite legal – they do not offer a homo wedding cake as one of their products, which they can do quite rightly and legitimately. Most thinking on this matter is deeply flawed, as here.

      I’m perfectly fine with that. Generally, I actually prefer if bigots and stupid people like you are allowed to speak freely without fear of legal repercussions. That way, you identify yourself and one doesn’t run the risk of supporting your business.

      However, as a matter of principle, homos and atheists should reasonably be allowed to refuse to do business based on someone’s religion, yet for some reason, Christian churches and politicians don’t generally seem to suggest striking religion from civil rights laws, only sexuality.

  20. private businesses are private,not owned by the public. their goods or services are theirs to trade AS THEY CHOOSE,it’s basic contract law.
    does a person have any right to the labors or property of another person or business if that other party doesn’t freely consent to it? No.
    Does a person lose their Constitutional rights (First,5th,and 13th amendments) when they open a business? No.
    If one goes by the Constitution,”public accommodation” laws are unconstitutional,they force people into slavery,indentured servitude.
    It’s anti-freedom. it’s Fascism.
    Private property rights should always trump your feelings being hurt or your desire to do business somewhere.

  21. Why aren’t the people that wrote the original piece of shit bill barred from ever participating in government in any way what so ever.
    Such obvious scum need to be sanctioned, since only scum want to kill free speech.

  22. Under what general rule can the government allow someone to withhold his commerce from an Israeli exporter, on the basis of his moral and political objections to Israel’s treatment of Palestinians, but forbid him to withhold his commerce from a gay couple on the basis of his moral and political objections to gay marriage?

    Under the same general rule that forbids gay bakeries to withhold their commerce from Christians on the basis of their moral and political objections. That is, Christians are part of the civil rights special interest club, and the very least one should demand is that the privileges they enjoy are reciprocal. In different words, if you use the power of government to compel others to associate with you, you shouldn’t complain if you are forced to associate with others by the same laws.

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