LGBT

The LGBT Equality Act Puts Polarizing Politics Over Good Policy

The anti-discrimination law seems designed to divide when compromise would better serve to expand federal protections.

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The House voted Thursday, 224-206, to approve the Equality Act, which would add gay and transgender protections to federal civil rights laws. It passed with almost no Republican support, meaning it probably cannot reach the 60 votes needed to survive a Senate filibuster.

H.R. 5 would add sexual orientation and gender identity to various parts of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Fair Housing Act to cover public accommodations, education, jury service, employment, and similar preexisting categories.

If that's all the Equality Act did, it would probably still face some opposition, but shifting attitudes toward LGBT issues have resulted in the general public largely supporting protections. But there's more to the bill than this. There are two components that seemed designed to alienate many conservatives and libertarians.

First, the part getting much less news coverage: The Equality Act dramatically increases what is considered a public accommodation under federal law to cover just about every single consumer business. When the Civil Rights Act was crafted, lawmakers carefully focused on the venues where blacks had historically faced discrimination—restaurants, hotels, gas stations, et cetera. H.R. 5 expands what counts as a "public accommodation" law to any "establishment that provides a good, service, or program." Many of these businesses are already subject to broad state-level anti-discrimination laws. Now they'll also have to worry about the feds.

But second, the poison pill that is designed to feed the culture war: The Equality Act forbids the use of the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) as a defense against claims of discrimination. You will make the cake. You will prepare the bouquets. You will take the photos, even if you hold religious objections to same-sex marriage.

This extremely uncompromising approach to government authority is intended to foment a culture war, not establish a liberty-minded policy prescription that protects both LGBT people and religious freedom. It's worth noting that the RFRA is not just some magic spell to be invoked that allows people to wave a Bible (or another religious book) and then ignore the law. It was passed with overwhelming bipartisan support in 1993 to preserve a federal test that requires government officials to show that when a law burdens somebody's expression of religious freedom, it does so in the furtherance of a compelling government interest and that it does so in the least restrictive way possible.

But the Equality Act now simply eliminates the test for these discrimination claims. It's easy to see why people with deeply held religious beliefs see it as an attack.

The Equality Act passed the House once before, in 2019, but went nowhere in the Republican-controlled Senate. It actually picked up support from eight Republican representatives in 2019 and Sen. Susan Collins (R–Maine) said she would back it. But in Thursday's vote, only three Republicans joined the effort, and Collins has now withdrawn her support.

What changed? Well, for one, the Supreme Court ruled in June that LGBT workplace discrimination violated the Civil Rights Act in a 6-3 decision that "sex discrimination" covers sexual orientation and gender identity. That ruling hit one of the biggest top-of-mind LGBT concerns. Presumably, that ruling will filter to other references of sex discrimination in the Civil Rights Act, though a law officially declaring it so would not be out of line.

Collins was approached by a Washington Blade reporter a few days before H.R. 5 passed the House and she explained that her previous sponsorship of the bill was contingent on changes being made. Those revisions apparently did not occur, and interestingly, Collins' office said there's been no outreach to her, despite her record of being an LGBT rights supporter.

There is a compromise bill that would expand federal discrimination protections to LGBT people without attempting to alienate religious people and force them to take actions they object to. The Fairness for All Act, introduced by Rep. Chris Stewart (R–Utah) would provide some specific exemptions for religious institutions, religious nonprofits, and small businesses while still adding sexual orientation and gender identity to federal discrimination laws.

I noted the bill back in 2019 and the reality that neither religious conservative organizations like the Alliance Defending Freedom, nor LGBT lobby groups like the Human Rights Campaign, want anything to do with it. But given the state of the culture war right now, the Equality Act probably cannot pass. And to be cynical, the law doesn't seem designed to pass. It seems designed to be divisive for political purposes, to be used to request political donations, and to rally the base. Equality Act co-sponsor Sen. Jeff Merkley (D–Ore.) hinted he'd like to use the bill as a way to try to dump the filibuster.

Brookings Institution Senior Fellow Jonathan Rauch took to The Washington Post to beg LGBT groups to seriously think about allowing religious compromises if they want to get a bill passed. A similar compromise in Utah seems to have been successful:

The biggest prize would be the consolidation of public support for LGBTQ equality. Perhaps counterintuitively, LGBTQ civil rights protections enjoyed 77 percent support in conservative Utah in 2019, a level exceeded at the time only in New Hampshire. That's because the 2015 compromise spanned traditionally adversarial lines. "I think the animosity has gone away," said J. Stuart Adams, a conservative Republican and president of the Utah state Senate. "An amazing thing happens. When you reach out and try to protect the rights of someone you don't necessarily agree with, they are less likely to try to take away yours."

But all that requires you to want to protect both LGBT folks from discrimination and also preserve religious liberty and not pit the two groups against each other for your own political purposes. America does not seem to be in such a place right now.

NEXT: As the 9th Circuit Takes Another Look at California's 10-Round Magazine Limit, It Should Demand More Than Speculation From the Law's Defenders

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  1. “There are two components that seemed designed to alienate many conservatives and libertarians.’

    Missing is the argument that people’s rights should not be determined by which groups politicians decide to include in the law.

    Shackford seems to support how politicians hand our rights !
    He certainly NEVER touched on that fact!

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    2. Yeah, is it really too much to ask that Reason at least pay some lip service to freedom of association? Or is it the liberaltarian position that as long priests aren’t forced to officiate gay weddings, then we should just learn to love the steel caress of the heavy hand of the state?

      1. My contention has always been that the right to freedom of association applies to all private individuals or businesses or organizations who do not directly accept government funds or contracts, whether LGBTQ+, heterosexuals, or homophobes. And it should apply equally to all private individuals, not just those who claim a religious imprimateur. Special cut-outs in the law for religion are not compatible with equal justice before the law.

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        2. Freedom of association died with the passage of the Civil Rights Act and the creation of the concept of the ‘public accommodation.’

          Shackford is a child of public school education. He thinks that the CRA, and it’s progeny increased liberty.

    3. Right. The lithe suggestion that the preceeding clauses are justified while only the latter are objectionable is telling. Go tell George Floyd that it’s just a cultural issue; the same police officers standing on his neck are necessary to ensure trans people don’t get deadnamed or misgendered by any co-workers. Go tell the kids who got shot up by the defenders of the CHAZ that they’re just casualties of the fight for trans peoples’ right to pee wherever they please. Go tell Sicknick’s widow that he died so that homosexuals don’t face pay discrimination that may or may not be more illusory than the alleged disparity in women’s pay.

      Scott’s “Gay Rights Uber Alles” narrative rings through loud and clear.

      1. “Standing on his neck”? You should revisit that story. Any pics of your version?

        1. Would you feel better if I’d said Eric Garner? Freddie Gray?

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    4. Not only that, but these days GLBTs aren’t an oppressed group. The original CRAs were passed to protect oppressed minorities. Then came concern over an oppressed majority in the form of sex discrimination. Now it’s just a matter of making everybody like everybody under all circumstances.

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    9. I hope HR 5 passes because as a White Woman of Color, I can not wait for my share of the easy college acceptance, grants, scholarships and any other affirmative action programs reserved for people of color today.

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  3. I’ll never understand the appeal of state-enforced acceptance. I’m gay and I wouldn’t dream of forcing someone to act against their conscience, even if it meant extra work for me.

    Plus I’d rather someone genuinely want my business. Just the other day I ended up not getting a tattoo because the artist really didn’t seem excited to work on it. I feel like I spared us both.

    1. Was it an overtly gay tattoo?
      I can understand a gay wedding cake, but unless the tattoo’s one guy whacking off another or something, I can’t see what the problem would be.

      1. Lol nah, it was just some old symbols of vague philosophical significance. But I also wanted him to give it his own style, and maybe he wasn’t confident about that. Or he was just having a bad few days.

        My point is economic interactions are at their best when both parties are highly interested in carrying out the interaction.

        1. Or maybe he thought it was a dumb tattoo.

          1. Of course that’s always possible. Like the time I got my Live, Laugh, Love tramp stamp.

            1. No he would’ve quit on that one because it’s gay.

            2. Good to see you have a sense of humor.

            3. Thanks Cat. The media is forcing us to think that the LGBT crowd are a dour bunch that have lost their sense of humor. The “tramp Stamp” comment made me laugh. I may have seen that very tattoo in the keys.

    2. Zora Neale Hurston had a quote on discrimination that fits in nicely with what you’re saying and it applies with “race,” nationality, sex, or sexual orientation:

      “Sometimes, I feel discriminated against, but it does not make me angry. It merely astonishes me. How can any deny themselves the pleasure of my company? It’s beyond me.”

    3. As a gay man, I wouldn’t want to force someone to serve me either but sometimes it’s necessary. And that’s the problem with your comment. When a doctor won’t save a life because it would force them to “act against their conscience” or sell food or other items essential for living, that’s a problem. This is one of the main areas where libertarianism detaches from reality. We’ve allowed this kind of extreme “freedom of association” before; see “Jim Crow.”

      Not getting a wedding cake or a tattoo is no big deal. Not being able to stand by your spouse’s side while they die in a hospital bed because the ambulance took your partner to a Catholic hospital that refuses to recognize your marriage is not like getting a tattoo. Having the once pharmacy in town refuse to sell you your anti-retroviral medication to stave of HIV is not like being refused a wedding cake. Having the public school turn away your kid or the postal delivery refuse to stop at your house, etc.

      I don’t disagree that some religious exemptions could be carved out, but the right to refuse service cannot be one of them. Generally, churches are seen as exempt from portions of the Civil Rights Act. For example, a religious school can legally discriminate against other religions if it chooses to. It can also be single-gender. Those same rules would apply to LGBT rights as well (and do.) This law doesn’t change that. There’s a cost to exercising that right, though, which is loss of public tax funds–a fair trade in my opinion. Serve the public, get public monies. And this becomes an issue for church services like adoption that would want to contract with governments to use tax money to adopt kids. I think that’s fine provided they serve the whole public and not just the portion that fit their religious rules. They can always provide adoption services independently without taking taxes, right?

  4. But second, the poison pill that is designed to feed the culture war: The Equality Act forbids the use of the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) as a defense against claims of discrimination.

    Congrefs shall make no law…

    1. Congrefs shall make no law? Oh fhit!

  5. Oh dark forces of prog, with this article premise and the testicles of a goat, do I summon Tony!

    1. Oh I’m sure he’ll be along shortly.

      1. Did he escape from your gimp basement?

        1. Well, the only things in my basement are a hot water heater, an HVAC unit, and spiders. The spiders eventually did nibble through his restraints though.

          1. And an endless supply of cookies. But we know it is your moms basement.

    2. That homo has betrayed the rest of us and simps hard for the tranny menace.

  6. RFRA and LGBT aside, imagine telling the Founding Fathers, Patrick Henry, Crispus Attucks, Harriet Tubman, Frederick Douglass, MLK, Malcolm X… that the Right to Peacably Assemble and to Freely Exercise your religion is a cultural issue subject to debate.

    Imagine a bus driver in Alabama stops to pick up an LGBT person and, in going to the back of the bus to make room for additional passengers, asks Rosa Parks to move. And when it’s all said and done, the integration of the bus system is regarded as a trivial cultural issue and discarded.

  7. And I clearly remember being called a nut when I said that they would go after the first amendment before they are finished neutering the second.

    This is fascism ruling, not a republic governing.
    Riddle me this; why the subterfuge? If they want to repeal the RFRA, why not do so directly? All fascists go after one religion first, then sweep up the rest afterwards. Only Jews last time, Christians as well this time.

    1. Notice people never go after the muslim business owners who are less open to the gays than both those religion

      1. Could that be because they don’t discriminate? Someone claimed that “Muslims discriminate in Michigan” but, “Christians can’t in Oregon”. One little problem….Oregon has anti-discrimination laws, while Michigan does not. Something can be completely legal in one state, but, outlawed in another. Utah wanted to become a state that allowed polygyny. As such, had the US accepted it, Utah would have been the only state that allowed it. Another example, I can drive a semi doing 65 in Nevada and it’s NOT speeding. However, if I did that in California, I WOULD be speeding. In California, the speed limit for trucks is 55…end of story.

  8. This sort of “can’t-we-all-get-along-and-agree-to-restrict-liberty-just-a-little-bit” attitude is not only unsuitable for a libertarian publication, it ignores a point I’ve quoted before:

    “[Liberals – or “progressives” if you prefer] are compelled, by the peculiarly dynamic character of their faith and its accompanying sacramental liturgy, to violate a central precept of the natural art of politics. This is the precept to not unnecessarily disrupt the traditions, the mores and life-ways, of the broad mass of the population, or, where those traditions must be disrupted in substance, at least to preserve the outward forms of tradition. Liberalism is incapable of respecting this constraint because to do so would betray its inner nature, which is to publicly and conspicuously celebrate its great liturgy, the Festival of Reason, the dynamic overcoming of the darkness, superstition, and slavish authoritarianism of the irrational past. That is a benchmark which necessarily changes with each celebration of the liturgy, requiring new enemies to play the part of the villain.”

    https://churchlifejournal.nd.edu/articles/all-human-conflict-is-ultimately-theological/

    1. Yup. He foretold exactly what was going to happen and they called him a bigotted obstructionist nutbag… and then proceeded to play out every charicature he painted of them:

      But to defend traditional marriage is not to condemn, demean, or humiliate those who would prefer other arrangements, any more than to defend the Constitution of the United States is to con- demn, demean, or humiliate other constitutions. To hurl such accusations so casually demeans this institution. In the majority’s judgment, any resistance to its holding is beyond the pale of reasoned disagreement. To question its high-handed invalidation of a presumptively valid statute is to act (the majority is sure) with the purpose to “dis- parage,” “injure,” “degrade,” “demean,” and “humiliate” our fellow human beings, our fellow citizens, who are homo- sexual. All that, simply for supporting an Act that did no more than codify an aspect of marriage that had been unquestioned in our society for most of its existence— indeed, had been unquestioned in virtually all societies for virtually all of human history. It is one thing for a society to elect change; it is another for a court of law to impose change by adjudging those who oppose it hostes humani generis, enemies of the human race.

      The rules that carried humanity through to the point and generated the freedom to have this debate have been discredited and discarded and replaced by much more sensible rules specifically designed to undermine the inhumane rules that got us here.

    2. John fought in the comments with Scott (and many others of us) in years past that the progressives wouldn’t be satisfied with just having things recognized and that they would never stop till their perceived enemies were ground into dust under their heels.

      So Scott acting at all surprised at this turn of events is a little disingenuous.

      1. Disingenuous Surprise when Democrats Do Exactly What They’ve Sworn To Do is in the Reason Stylebook.

        Right before the section on “Republicans Pounce.”

  9. Not supporting the “equality” act seems like it is getting close to “hate” speech. In coming twitter ban for Shackford and tought crime charges for those who voted against it.

  10. “In any age, the so-called progressives treat politics as their religion. Their holy mission is to use the coercive power of the state to remake man and society in their own image, according to an abstract ideal of perfection. Whatever means they use are therefore justified because, by definition, they are a virtuous people pursuing a deific end.”

    1. Every lefty; Throw out the USA. Make Revolutionary plans to “Fundamentally Change the Nation”….

      The Power to Steal = Wealth (i.e. robbery)
      The Power to Unify Religion = Peace (i.e. fascism)
      The Power to Unify (Min Wage) the economy = Equality (i.e. communism)

      With consistent history and countless wars, bloodshed, death and poverty always being the result of Power-Mad (“Power to” ) people it’s baffling these Hitlers don’t know any better. The USA was founded on Individual Liberty and Justice.

      The Power to Ensure Individual Liberty and Justice.

      Lefties LOVE using GUNS (i.e. Gov-Guns/FORCE) against ‘others’ in pursuit of their own self-importance/pride as a shortcut route (easy way out) to having to *earn* their self-importance by being creative, producing and being an asset to society or at the very least being able to support themselves independently.

      Ironically; Self-importance and pride gained through Power-Mad people using guns against others is a net negative / liability so more of the status-quo is demanded until everything is wiped out. Self-importance and pride of being an asset to society is a net positive / asset so more of it requires less demanded and more created. This is exactly how the USA became so strong and prosperous was it’s Individual Liberty and Justice ENSURING that self-importance was *EARNED* and not *STOLEN*.

  11. Sex reassignment surgery results in sterilization.

    That’s why it can only be performed by doctors attempting to alleviate a mental disorder, specifically gender dysphoria.

    Is that the equally you emulate?

    1. Sex is immutable and cannot be “reassigned”, surgically or otherwise.

      1. Everyone who values science agree with you.

        It’s just what cancel culture doctors call the cosmetic surgery that makes your wee wee look like a vee jay jay.

        1. Bwuahahahahahaha!

          You invoke “science!” But you don’t know a darned thing about the various ways biology works and “sex” is expressed in chromosomes, genes, and everything else. Actual science understands that some people are born outside of the artificial “male XY” “female XX” binary lie many conservatives tell themselves. And I’m not even referring to trans persons here. Actual babies born with any and all combinations of sex characteristics. Biology, and the rest of reality with it, is a messy business.

          1. People born “outside” of male or female are recognized by science as having a disorder.

  12. Yeah this bill is not the best idea.
    It risks the whole Roe v. Wade problem – just as attitudes are starting to liberalize, push the envelope too far and invite the backlash that can take decades to unwind.
    Also it is a bit telling that, at least according to the bill’s authors, that there is no legitimate religious justification for discrimination against gays. It is arrogant to be dictating what a person’s legitimate religious views are or aren’t, more so when it comes from the state.

    1. We live in a free society..govt should never be allowed to discriminate or pass laws forcing people to..beyond that you have every right to discriminate for any reason you like. It’s called freedom. enforce the law…govt needs to stop discriminating…

    2. The risk of backlash seems to be low on gay rights. There’s virtually no way younger generations will see antigay bigotry as anything but an evil to be eradicated. Even my parents’ generation has evolved on the issue before my eyes, which is a strike against generational determinism.

      The gays could be in for a world of hurt if the fascists take power, of course, but at that point it hardly matters since we’ll all be too busy shooting fascists.

      1. “There’s virtually no way younger generations will see antigay bigotry as anything but an evil to be eradicated. Even my parents’ generation has evolved on the issue before my eyes, which is a strike against generational determinism.”

        It’s almost as if government wants to pass this and take credit for getting rid of discrimination, nailing that final lid on the coffin that everyone else had almost finished.

        1. Alternatively, government is following popular will, like it’s supposed to.

    3. “Also it is a bit telling that, at least according to the bill’s authors, that there is no legitimate religious justification for discrimination against gays. It is arrogant to be dictating what a person’s legitimate religious views are or aren’t, more so when it comes from the state.”

      This is known as progsplaining: when a progressive explains something they don’t understand to you.

      And why shouldn’t they explain other people’s religions to them based on their own interpretation of Wikipedia? They do that with everything else.

    4. Views and actions aren’t the same thing.

      You can believe that all witches should be burned at the stake but the State will only step in when you try to actual burn a few.

  13. It all really goes back to parts of the CRA of 64. Govt can’t discriminate or force others to..and that is where they should have left it. buyers are allowed to discriminate but sellers are but only in certain circumstances that govt decides. That alone should be a prime reason why those sections are clearly unconstitutional. Either you say sellers have to sell as long at the buying can provide acceptable medium of exchange or not..not some BS middle ground. As a GenX’er I can’t fathom how this was passed in 64 with the govt deciding who gets to discriminate and who doesn’t. Reason should be be honest if they are libertarians and come out against I think section 2 and 8 of this law.

    1. As a GenX’er I can’t fathom how this was passed in 64 with the govt deciding who gets to discriminate and who doesn’t.

      I can because it was at a time when, in large parts of the country, if no one would sell you gas, rent you a room, or serve you a meal you were effectively dead. Now, how no one could foresee a time when that wouldn’t be the case I can’t fathom. I strongly surmise that many actually did foresee such a time and they dismissed with a “Whadday mean ‘First you, then me’? What does a bigot know about one-way ratchets anyhow?” Much the same way conservatives and libertarians have been dismissed consistently since at least that time.

      1. If you think that things like Jim Crow couldn’t happen again, you haven’t been to large parts of this country. How many states are trying to pass laws making it hard to vote, especially for minorities? How many states are trying to pass laws limiting LGBT civil rights today? We haven’t changed all that much in the last 56 years.

        Interestingly, the only two Catholic presidents we’ve ever had… Kennedy and Biden. 1963 and 2021.

  14. Remember when there was no gay agenda? Don’t worry, Antifa doesn’t exist either.

  15. Does this mean that we’ll now get the long-needed Woke Pronouns version of “Who’s on First?”

    1. You need to tell it fast before uttering it lands you in the slammer. That’s where all this is going.

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  17. These lunatics make me wish that the Stonewall rioters had been put down with massive brutality. If all that gays wanted was to be left alone, I’d have to be on their side, but they cannot seem to stop pushing and pushing and pushing. They’re like a little sibling that keeps on pestering and tormenting his big sibling until the big sibling has had ENOUGH…and then gets punished for “being mean to your baby brother.”

    1. If the complaint is police harassment and corruption (as I understand was the case with Stonewall), then I would support their complaint if not their tactics.

      If the complaint is “the police ought to harass our enemies,” then I wouldn’t support them.

    2. There is always going to be a small subset of any group that isn’t happy, and they get all the airtime. Had the stonewall rioters been put down with massive brutality, it might have only served to make them angrier.

  18. “Oh dear. Did I accidentally swap the sugar for salt in that wedding cake you put a gun to my head to bake for you? How terrible.”

    “All of your wedding photos were out of frame and focus? No memoirs of your special day? How terrible.”

    1. I’m not saying that never happens, just that if a business owner is going to commit “discrimination,” they would probably do so in a way which *didn’t* involve doing a bad job at their business. I mean, a deliberately-botched job, based on discriminatory motives, is just as illegal as openly refusing the service in the first place, in fact it’s extra illegal because it involves a breach of contract. And neither would be particularly hard for the plaintiff to prove.

      So if the business owner is going to make a gesture of defiance, wouldn’t it be better to make a gesture which doesn’t entail doing a bad job?

      1. Do those contracts usually have penalty clauses? Or is it just “you don’t get paid”?

        I mean, the flip side to all of this is that I don’t understand why people want to give money to people that hate them *anyway*.

        1. Depends on the cost to the victim of discrimination. If the wedding cake guy finds out it’s a gay wedding when he arrives at the reception and takes the cake away with him, that starts the tally. Then there’s the frantic calls to secure an emergency cake big enough for the event–you’ll pay extra for the quick icing and delivery. Anything else you had to pay extra for because of it too, like an extra hour on the rental because the event was pushed out, etc. Tally all of that up and subtract any payment for the cake you made but didn’t deliver (so opportunity cost, resources, etc) and you’ve got the start of bad day. Then, there’s the emotional distress and that usually adds to the fine. When all that is done being added up, depending on local laws, there could be other fines and multipliers. And, lastly, you could be saddled with paying for the victim’s court costs. That could easily put a dent in a small business.

      2. I mean, a deliberately-botched job, based on discriminatory motives, is just as illegal as openly refusing the service in the first place, in fact it’s extra illegal because it involves a breach of contract.

        Did you go to the Darth Vader school of business law? If you can’t refuse the job, it’s not a contract and you’re going to get punished no matter what you do.

  19. My problem with the protection of religious rights seems to be the selectivity in that protection. Those advocating that protection want broad protection for discrimination against LGBT people and for refusal of reproductive services to women. But would be appalled if that same level of broad protection were applied to every religious belief. What if the grocery store clerk refused to check out your pork chops because they were Jewish or Moslem? It does not matter that the clerk at the convenience store hates cigarette and his mon died of lung cancer, he is still expected to sell them to customers. Should Jehovah Witnesses pay for employee health care that included transfusions? Should we accept disfiguring procedures because of a person’s religious beliefs?

    So I will accept religious protections that are narrow and well defined. No one can tell you what to believe, religious organizations have a right to who they accept as members. But when you deal with the public you should provide service without regard to a person sexual orientation or gender identity.

    1. This argument doesn’t hold water.

      The hypothetical clerk in your examples most likely doesn’t own the store, because if they did and they didn’t want to sell those things they wouldn’t carry them. I don’t go to the halal butcher for bacon.

      The argument you’re trying to refute with these examples is of a business owner wishing to not do business with a specific individual. A business owner should not be forced to provide services they don’t wish to provide.

      And in some cases, we’re talking about *very* personal services. Like the trans woman who wanted the women’s salon to wax her balls, and is suing because they refused.

      1. My point is that people want to carve out broad religious rights for only particular issues. Is there a difference between a convenience store clerk not wanting to sell cigarette and a pharmacist not wanting to birth control pills? Both could be employees yet some people think the pharmacist has religious rights to refuse.

        If you are providing services or products you have to provide them without prejudice. If you don’t want to wax male genitalia, then it is probably best not to was female genitalia. By the way this is not really a religious issue and would not count anyway.

        1. The worse part about you and your ‘clan’ is your, (your direct quote) “you have to” arrogant attitude.

          1. You have to obey the law. The “or you’ll be put in a cage” is understood.

            1. Pull the other one. For the left, laws are just inconveniences to ignore.

    2. “and for refusal of reproductive services to women”
      You mean killing babies, right? Why hide it with euphemisms?

      “What if the grocery store clerk refused to check out your pork chops because they were Jewish or Moslem?”
      They do all the time. All the big chains make exceptions for Muslim employees when it comes to working with pork. But that’s beside the point. The real equivalent would be going to a Kosher grocery store and demanding pork chops. Not your silly analogy.

      “convenience store hates cigarette and his mon died of lung cancer”
      That’s hardly a religious proscription, and why is he stocking cigarettes if he’s that anti-tobacco? If he’s not the owner, why work at a convenience store?
      That’s like an heterosexual Catholic getting a job at a bathhouse and wanting to avoid selling condoms.

      “Should Jehovah Witnesses pay for employee health care that included transfusions?”
      If transfusions were a specific policy option like birth control is, then no. But they’re not. What a fucking awkward analogy.
      Transfusions can be accepted or refused at a hospital anyway, so the JW could just encourage his employees to refuse transfusions.

      You really never thought any of this out, have you?

      1. The JW person pays taxes that support Medicaid. Doesn’t the JW has as much right to say, I don’t want my tax dollars supporting transfusions, as others have to say I don’t want my tax dollars to pay for abortions or birth control?

        The issue here is that the definition of a religious objection is supported for some beliefs but not for others.

      2. That’s not the correct analogy, as has been explained countless times. You can’t demand a shop provide you something they don’t offer.

        But if they offer a vanilla cake to a straight person, they have to offer a vanilla cake to a black person.

        Do you think that is bad law? If not, then you have no reason to say the line should be drawn at the gays. If you do support Jim Crow, just say so.

        1. More “have to offer” arrogant attitudes.

          1. You really should understand that a desire to commit genocide against black people preceded the philosophical justifications for it. There is no “states’ rights” without that initial impulse. There is no “right to free association” argument from which bigotry sprang. It’s the other way around. The very justification for slavery itself was found in property rights. That should tell you how useful it is to talk about property rights in a vacuum.

            I wouldn’t go so far to say that all libertarianism is the philosophical lipstick on the pig of a 20th century genocidal movement, but I’m not not saying it.

            1. Fuck off, Tony.

            2. There was no “desire to commit genocide”, you knownothing twat. There was once a desire to commit genocide against American Indians, and their population decreased by 95%.
              African American populations increased from 1865-1965, which is a weird byproduct of a genocide.

              STFU and find somewhere else to hang out

            3. ” commit genocide against black people”

              You don’t seem to know the meaning of the word “genocide”.

        2. > You can’t demand a shop provide you something they don’t offer.

          Like gay wedding cakes?

      3. ““and for refusal of reproductive services to women”
        You mean killing babies, right? Why hide it with euphemisms?”

        Calling a zygote a “baby” is just emotional hyperbole.
        But, you know, they also like to refuse contraceptives like birth control pills and that’s not “killing babies.” But you knew that. So why hide it behind your bad faith retort?

    3. It happens, things like not wanting to touch the pork items. But, I think if someone finds something so objectionable, why are they working at a place that sells it in the first place?

      1. I think your response is correct. If you object to handling pork you should not work for a grocery store that sells pork chops. That same idea should apply to pharmacists that don’t want to sell birth control pills. They should not work for a pharmacy that sells these products. Like wise if you should not work for the city clerk’s office that issues marriage license to gay couples if you object to gay marriages.

        There should not be one standard for one religious belief and another for other beliefs.

    4. So buyers can discriminate but sellers can’t? On what grounds does our Constitution and BOR allow the federal govt to decide on what grounds sellers can and can’t discriminate? You need to look at this before you go down the rabbit hole.

      1. The country went down that rabbit hole when we outlawed segregation and integrated lunch counters.

    5. What if the grocery store clerk refused to check out your pork chops because they were Jewish or Moslem?

      What if the grocery store refused to sell you pork chops because it’s a halal or kosher grocery store? Still want to force businesses to violate their religious principles?

      1. No one is forcing a business to sell anything. But if a business sell to the public then they sell to all the public and can not discriminate by race, religion, sexual orientation, or gender identity.

        Note that businesses can discriminant by age for products like cigarette or alcohol.

    6. What if the grocery store clerk refused to check out your pork chops because they were Jewish or Moslem? It does not matter that the clerk at the convenience store hates cigarette and his mon died of lung cancer, he is still expected to sell them to customers.

      Many of the local grocery and convenience stores don’t carry tobacco products. Many, many of the employees who work at the ones who do would actually get fired if they sold tobacco products without prior training/permission.

  20. Are things like this bill why people tried to argue that Trump was anti-gay? Because bills like this are only put forward to give someone political ammo. It’s like a Republican putting forth a bill called the Protecting Children from Harm Act so they can say “See such and such Democrat hates children and doesn’t want them to be safe!”, even though the bull was about forcing women to be breeding factories ala Handmaids Tale.

    1. Republicans are currently spending their taxpayer-funded salaries whipping up a moral panic over a children’s toy.

      A plastic potato having a gender is more important to Republicans than climate change.

      Just let that sink in.

      1. What’s stupid is has to doesn’t even know it’s own toy’s history. Mrs. Potato head is a relatively new addition. The potato head originally could be whatever a child wanted it to be. Mustache wearing heels and carrying a purse? Nothing stopping.

        It’s stupid and lame political posturing that is meaningless.

    2. No, people said Trump was anti-gay for trying to kick trans folk out of the military, his state department not recognizing the adoptions of gay couples, his roll-back of non-discrimination policies in the fed (and fed contractors) that protected LGBT folk, the waivers his admin gave to contractors to violate non-discrimination laws and policies, his appointment of known homophobes to administration positions where they predicatbly acted out on their inclinations wherever they could, his platform literally having “appoint justices to undo Obergefel v. Hodges” in it.

      Regardless of Trump’s personal positions, his administration took the anti-gay position at every point it could. The only times it was “pro-gay” was when it was meaningless messaging. Anytime there was substance, his admin took the anti-gay side.

  21. You will make the cake. You will prepare the bouquets. You will take the photos, even if you hold religious objections to same-sex marriage.

    Unless you’re a tech company.

    1. It’s so fun how you turn your own hypocrisy on that issue into someone else’s. Nobody ever claimed that people have a right to be free from discrimination for their political views. Only you.

  22. If your principled position is constantly to defend the right of business owners to impose their bigotries on unsuspecting customers, you need to make clear whether you’re operating from the position of a dorm room bong session where all things are theoretical, or if you actually believe that the right to discriminate is more important than the right to participate in the commerce of your community.

    Let’s be clear what sort of people oppose this inclusion: theocrats who think the first amendment gives them a right to enforce genocide of undesirables.

    I say suppress the genociders and their terrible stupid bigotries until they die whining along with their God. There’s your recipe for freedom.

    1. Now do Big Tech and their well established bigotry “on unsuspecting customers”.

      1. Why? You are the one with the position that private companies can discriminate for whatever reason they choose, are you not?

        1. Correct. A private business is not a [WE] business. They have the right to draw up terms of service to refuse service to anyone for any reason. They are NOT YOUR SLAVE!

          1. So then I don’t know where you got the notion that there was something to bitch about with respect to tech companies.

            1. So then I don’t know where you got the notion that there was something to bitch about with respect to ANY companies bigotry on LGBT matters.

              1. Because denying people access to the market based on their immutable characteristics is considered one of society’s great evils, much like unchecked dissemination of violent fascist propaganda.

                Guess I’m the only one on the side of good on… either of these issues.

                1. Gender identity is not an immutable characteristic.

    2. “if you actually believe that the right to discriminate is more important than the right to participate in the commerce of your community.”

      I think the right to discriminate is more important than the right of any individual to have guaranteed business relations with every other human being.

      For example: assholes. If I sold widgets out of a factory, I’d sell to anyone. But if I had a bar or a restaurant, I’d have a strict no assholes policy: all known assholes would be kicked out. I don’t need that money, and they ruin places for everyone. And if the assholes have to travel to get their stuff, done it.

    3. “ Let’s be clear what sort of people oppose this inclusion: theocrats who think the first amendment gives them a right to enforce genocide of undesirables.”

      This is known as “misinformation.”

      1. Sounds like projection on Tony’s part. Look at what he says next:

        “I say suppress the genociders and their terrible stupid bigotries until they die whining along with their God.”

    4. Having a women’s track team and lockerroom is now “genocide”, per the dumbest non-libertarian to foist his presence on us

    5. If your principled position is constantly to defend the right of business owners to impose their bigotries on unsuspecting customers, you need to make clear whether you’re operating from the position of a dorm room bong session where all things are theoretical, or if you actually believe that the right to discriminate is more important than the right to participate in the commerce of your community.

      This is a bullshit alternative. When LGBTQ activists go out of their way to find the one business in town that doesn’t want to bake them a cake and then drives them out of business for trying to live by their principles, it isn’t the LGBTQs who are being denied the right to participate in the commerce of their community.

  23. Checkmate —
    Tony and M4E on Big Tech censorship — “It’s Private Business!”
    Tony and M4E on LGBT — “they have to offer!”

    1. Serial liars and insurrectionists are not a protected class. On the contrary.

      1. 1A – Freedom of Speech (They are protected just as everyone else).

        If someone commits “insurrection” on the USA (as perfectly carried out by CHAZ and NOT on Jan 6th) they should be charged as such and punished by the court of law. Exactly what does that have to do with Big Tech censorship? Is Big Tech now the judicial system of the Nazi Left?

        1. Leftists did nothing the Bundy clan didn’t do.

          I’m talking about the attempt to violently cancel the presidential election. Has rightwing Youtube shoved that in the memory hole already to make way for important Mr. Potato Head news?

          1. GFY

          2. Bundies didn’t start their own “Leaving the USA ‘Pretend’ Government”.
            As a matter of fact the Bundies insisted the U.S. Constitution be honored.

            So less than 100 unarmed people are going to “violently cancel the presidential election”?? UR so retarded.

      2. “serial liars and insurrectionists” = “people to the right of Chuck Schumer”

    2. What does Big Tech censorship have to do with religion? Nothing that I can see. Are technology companies denying services based on a person’s religion, sexual orientation or gender identity? I don’t think that is the case.

      So let us all stay on the subject.

      1. What does LGBT have to do with religion? Is there a religious church assembling to have orgies of butt-pocking and twat-licking?

        And even if such a church did exist; do you think that church has the right to MANDATE to be served by anybodies services on the planet? Why; Do you think they’re *special* people entitled to ENSLAVE whoever they want?

  24. “What does LGBT have to do with religion?”

    Nothing and so you should not use religion to justify prejudice against LGBT persons.

    1. You mean other than all of those religions that have holy writings about LGBT, right?

  25. The real poison pill are the provisions making “gender identity” treated exactly the same as sex, which opens a serious can of worms when it comes to sex segregated things like prisons, sports, etc.

    And it begs the question – if you can choose your own gender identity, then why can’t anyone be black if they want to be black? Why can’t “racial identity” be treated the same as race?

    1. Which is why conservatives (and Shackford) supported precursor laws that would have added sexual orientation but not gender identity.

      Wait, no. That didn’t happen. Conservatives (and Shackford) have opposed any all attempts to do that. Just like they opposed civil unions and domestic partnerships alongside marriage, like they opposed hospital visitation rights for gay folk, like they opposed DADT repeal, like they opposed death registries, like they opposed adoption rights, and so-on.

      The “poison pill” is “gay rights” and always has been. Pretending it’s just one small part is to either be ignorant of history, or malicious in your deception.

  26. You should have the right the refuse to practice any culinary art on the grounds of the first amendment, including the right to free speech.

    Trust me: you really don’t want to eat a cake you forced someone to cook.

    1. Would it be more or less safe than a sandwich made at a newly integrated lunch counter?

      1. It depends. In this case, was the lunch counter previously segregated by law?

        1. This dipshit Tony has less than 0 umderstanding of the Civil Rights Era, yet continues to lecture on it

  27. What is all this fuss? Look if I were a baker and the other guy refused to sell gay wedding cakes I would put up an ad “gayest wedding cakes in town available here”. But that’s just me.

    I do not understand the religious conflict. Were we not all created in the image of God?

    1. Yes, but there are passages in the Bible that people interpret to mean, “being gay is bad. God doesn’t like it. Don’t be gay.”

      So they see the requirement to allow gays to get married in their church, or to provide gay wedding cakes, as requirements to participate in actions against their God’s will, which is somewhat frowned upon in their holy writings.

      And people who seek out such religious people to make a case out of it, and force them to bake cakes, when they can find perfectly gay wedding cakes somewhere else, are assholes. That’s how assholes roll.

      1. I mean, it is quite telling that in the examples of this anti-gay discrimination, I have yet to see a “straights only” restaurant sign in the news, even though everyone tells me it would be perfectly legal under current law.

        Maybe it’s time to let some people agree to disagree?

        1. You just gave me quite the idea- think Chik Fil A plus Hooters…..

      2. Yes, but there are passages in the Bible that people interpret to mean, “being gay is bad. God doesn’t like it. Don’t be gay.”

        Not just The Bible. Plato isn’t mentioned anywhere in The Bible but everybody in the English-speaking world calls it a platonic relationship, not a sexless relationship. And there’s plenty of independent and objective proof that wanton hedonism isn’t a good thing. Not saying everybody should be chaste as a nun but to act like raping and pillaging is good for society or even that drugged out orgies never hurt anyone is pretty oblivious.

  28. I’ll believe that conservatives oppose the Equality Act (and similar precursor legislation) for the supposed principles y’all keep trying to promote, when conservatives unite around legislation to repeal 90% of the CRA (1964) such that it only restricts government.

    Until then, it’s pretty obvious that conservatives have no problem with every ill you ascribe to the Equality Act… so long as it doesn’t protect gay people.

    1. I’m OK with you going ahead and hating conservatives.

  29. I hate public accommodations anti-discrimination laws; they violate property rights. Unfortunately, people take those laws for granted and accept them. Libertarians need to start a national conversation on this issue.

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