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View Diary: Mississippi governor signs anti-gay 'religious freedom' law (158 comments)

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  •  so in MS, gays are the ones not wearing the (9+ / 0-)

    stars & bars

    Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "I’m not the strapping young Muslim socialist that I used to be" - Barack Obama 04/27/2013 (@eState4Column5).

    by annieli on Fri Apr 04, 2014 at 08:58:39 AM PDT

    •  gay or not gay in MS (6+ / 0-)

      Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "I’m not the strapping young Muslim socialist that I used to be" - Barack Obama 04/27/2013 (@eState4Column5).

      by annieli on Fri Apr 04, 2014 at 09:07:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  No Discrimination (0+ / 0-)

      I agree that there should be no discrimination against "gays". However there are a small number of cases where the free expression of religious beliefs should be protected.
      A case in point was the couple who owned a bakery. A lesbian couple who identified themselves as such and who requested that the couple make them a wedding cake. The bakery couple would have produced anything else for them, but could not make a wedding cake because that would have been in violation of the free expression of their religious beliefs.
      Much litigation occurred as a result, the couple was forced to close the bakery.
      I would welcome a reasonable reply to this.  

      •  Where do we draw the line? (0+ / 0-)

        Where I would tend to think it reasonable is for the baker to be free to refuse to do cakes with decorations that they find offensive or don't agree with, but not to be able to turn away customers per se.

        It's a subtle distinction, because the "Christian" baker could simply refuse to make a cake with two same-sex figures on top, if that's what the couple wanted -- but might still end up selling a cake to a same-sex couple where they don't want the figures on top of the cake anyway.

        But why I think this is a reasonable distinction is because it is the difference between artistic expression and just providing a service.

        Political Compass: -6.75, -3.08

        by TexasTom on Fri Apr 04, 2014 at 12:02:25 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  You're in. Public Business. Serving the Public. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Tom Anderson, Salty516, meinoregon

          You aren't a church, temple, synagogue, cathedral, mosque, abbey, seminary, monastery, etc.

          You don't want to serve gays, move to Iran or to Russia...

          •  That was not the issue (0+ / 0-)

            General serving gays was not the issue In this case. The bakery couple could not have a de facto participation in a homosexual wedding by producing a cake symbolizing that wedding. As I said before,they would've produced anything else for the Lesbian couple. The First Amendment protects the free exercise of religion. The question to be answered is the limits of that free exercise.
            Denial of entry into the bakery by the lesbian couple, or denial of the production of any product other than a wedding cake would have been beyond the limits of free expression. In this case the making of a symbolic lesbian wedding cake would have violated this couple's right to free expression. Please keep in mind that extremes should be avoided, to either the right of political beliefs, or the left of political beliefs. Please also remember that the free expression of religious beliefs Is not limited to being within a church, temple, synagogue, Cathedral, mosque, Abby, seminary, monastery, etc. That free expression can be performed in public so long as it stays within constitutional limits.

          •  Did you actually bother to read... (0+ / 0-)

            ...what I wrote?  Specifically, this:

            Where I would tend to think it reasonable is for the baker to be free to refuse to do cakes with decorations that they find offensive or don't agree with, but not to be able to turn away customers per se.
            Where does that say that they should be free to refuse service?

            Political Compass: -6.75, -3.08

            by TexasTom on Sat Apr 05, 2014 at 01:01:49 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  They are free to hate, but taking that hate out on (0+ / 0-)

          others has a price. This is as it should be. You can believe in ritual murder but carrying it out is a crime.

          That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

          by enhydra lutris on Fri Apr 04, 2014 at 01:32:51 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  No. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Tom Anderson

        If such a bakery were open to the general public, they should have a right to discriminate, or to claim exemption from a local or state anti-discrimination law. Period.

        Would it be acceptable for a business owner to cite religion in refusing to serve black people or Latinos? Or in refusing to serve an interracial couple? Or does one contend that sexual orientation should not qualify for the same protections as race, religion or ethnicity?

        •  Oops. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Tom Anderson

          Meant to read "they should not have a right to discriminate".

        •  I agree but . . (0+ / 0-)

          I certainly agree that there can be no religious justification, nor constitutional justification, for refusing to serve people on the basis of race or ethnicity.
          In the drive for the protection of the rights of homosexuals, there is a mistaken tendency to equate homosexuality with race or ethnicity.
          Homosexuality is an aberration of the human species which has always existed, which exists now, and which will probably always exist.
          Homosexuality can be due to physical, psychological, emotional or environmental reasons.
          Humans who are gay, should have the same constitutional rights as straights.
          The only limits to those rights would be actions beyond the pale.
          A business owner would not have any right to deny service to a gay couple.
          However, he would have the right to reject them from the business establishment if they were found to be having sex in his business bathroom.

          •  Wow... (0+ / 0-)

            ...there is so much wrong with this statement, I don't know where to start. If you insist on speaking in stereotypes, then don't expect your opinion to be taken seriously.


          •  Heh, so says the ignorant straight person: (0+ / 0-)
            Homosexuality is an aberration of the human species..
            First of all, educate yourself a little, it's not just confined to humans.

            Secondly, homosexuality evolved because it promotes the perpetuation of genes. Natural selection selected for homosexuality.

            Wow, think about that.

            Oh wait, you can't. Because you don't even believe in evolution... That's alright, go back to your ignorance and your big daddy in the sky mythology. This is too complex for you to understand.


            •  Understanding . . . (0+ / 0-)

              I understand far better than you can imagine. Your "theory" statement is quite inaccurate. How can you possibly assume to know what I believe or don't believe about various aspects of evolution?
              By the way, my comprehension of complex matters is excellent,since I have a genius level IQ.
              I suggest that you take some lessons in rational discourse.

            •  Aberration?? Does this person know how many (0+ / 0-)

              species in the wild engage in homosexual behavior?  It's in the hundreds.  Have they ever lived on a farm for a while? I am all in favor of prosecuting "crimes against Nature"! Like poisoning a community's water supply.  Contaminating air and farmland to create "cancer clusters".  Wiping out entire species. Denuding the land of topsoil.  Killing other creatures for "the sport of it".  Destroying the natural legacy we should be leaving to future generations.  Yes, let's prosecute, and impose the death penalty for the guilty.

          •  what if heterosexuals were having sex (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            In the business bathroom?

          •  Why do you assume this to be true? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            there can be no religious justification, nor constitutional justification, for refusing to serve people on the basis of race or ethnicity.
            Do you know that slave owners routinely used religion to justify their holding of African slaves as property?
            Slaveholders justified the practice by citing the Bible, Brinton says.

                They asked who could question the Word of God when it said, "slaves, obey your earthly masters with fear and trembling" (Ephesians 6:5), or "tell slaves to be submissive to their masters and to give satisfaction in every respect" (Titus 2:9).
            How the Bible was used to justify slavery, abolitionism

            I would like a reasonable response from you explaining how the Mississippi law just passed could not be used by someone to say they can own black slaves, based on their religion.

            Oddly, the CNN article that I cited mentions abolition in the title, but not in the articles itself. However, I think the whole point of this argument is that using scripture to defend the abolition of slavery is in defense of freedom of the target of the belief, whereas the Mississippi law uses religious believe to deprive the target of the belief of service. As MLK would say the Mississippi is therefore an unjust law, same as racial segregation laws were.

            Finally, you write:

            However, he would have the right to reject them from the business establishment if they were found to be having sex in his business bathroom.
            OK, fair enough. So straight people can continue to have sex in the bathroom? That is OK with the owner, your statement suggests. Also, leaving aside the active sex scenario, how does the business owner tell whether customers are gay? Sure, asking for a lesbian wedding cake is obvious. But what if the customers don't ask for anything obviously homosexual? Sounds like the there is an ambiguity over whether the business owner feels religiously compelled to refuse service to people who ask for gay things, but not to people who are actually gay but who don't show it. That seems to be an odd way to advance one's religious freedom if one wants to eliminate gayness from the world.
            •  Freedom of speech (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              lastamendment, sendtheasteroid

              "Sure, asking for a lesbian wedding cake is obvious. But what if the customers don't ask for anything obviously homosexual?"

              Correct. The couple could have asked for a cake for an undisclosed private celebration, in which case they would have been essentially coerced by a misguided law into a don't ask, don't tell situation. Their right of free speech, to say the words "for our gay wedding" clearly trumps the bakery's supposed right of religious practice as a licensed public business.

          •  Aberration? Really? (0+ / 0-)

            Nice way to qualify YOUR bigotry.

      •  When they opened to the public as a Bakery... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        ... they tossed out any "beliefs" that would be upheld in that business.


        The Bakery is not a church! It is not a place of worship, nor is it a religious-aligned nonprofit, or any other permutation that says "this establishment caters to X Religion Only".

        Now, if they WANTED to run their shop that way, hey, I'm sure the IRS would let them... as long as they didn't make much money at it.  

        But when you are open to the public as a for-profit enterprise, you either reserve the right to turn ANYONE away, no reason given, or you serve EVERYONE who walks up, calls, emails, or otherwise arranges goods and services for legal tender during your posted business hours.  Them's the rules.

        The Rich and Spoiled 1%'ers are making the Biker Gang 1%'ers look a lot better than they used to.

        by dcnblues on Sat Apr 05, 2014 at 12:04:55 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Rules . . (0+ / 0-)

          I see the point that you are trying to make. I think there needs to be clear definition of the meaning of free expression of religious beliefs. It certainly is not limited to being within the walls of a church, synagogue, temple or whatever. There is a free expression right in the daily practice of activities. What limits there are to that free expression is the question. Certainly, no one should advocate the extremes of "1984", or Stalinist rule. The question to be answered is what balance there needs to be in the granting of one set of rights versus the denial of another set of rights.

        •  They would have been happy to serve the gay couple (0+ / 0-)

          but not to make them a wedding cake.  They never said they wouldn't serve them.  Did they want a doughnut?  A croissant?  Maybe a nice apple pie?  No?  Gotta be a wedding cake?  How about a birthday cake, instead?  Or a cake celebrating someone's graduation from high school or college?  No?  Gotta be a wedding cake?  Then sorry, they wouldn't do that.

          There's a difference between refusing to serve a gay couple and refusing to bake a wedding cake for them.  The bakery shoulda won the case.

          "Conservatives are not necessarily stupid, but most stupid people are conservatives." - John Stuart Mill, 1806 - 1873

          by Terry S on Sat Apr 05, 2014 at 03:55:48 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Really? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            So, if I walk into a store wanting to buy a certain item, the owner has the right to refuse to sell it to me on religious principle?  But I should think it's okay if he sells me something I don't want?  Like a pharmacist who doesn't believe in contraception could say "no" to birth control pills but could agree to sell me laxatives instead?  There is no acceptable substitute for a wedding cake either---none, nada---do you see how this just doesn't work?

      •  Oh yeah. But it didn't violate their (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SpaK, JuliathePoet, CookieThumper

        expression of religious beliefs when their tax money was wrested from their grasp and sent overseas, so "heroes" could shoot barefoot peasants from helicopters?  Tender little particular religious consciences they've got over one narrow subject. Do they refuse wedding cakes to Muslims, and baby shower cakes to single mothers, and birthday cakse to children with birth defects, too? How convenient their consciences function in such a way as to allow them to act like the a$$holes they really are.

      •  Reply to your post (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Please know that the term "gay marriage" does not sit well with me. Marriage is a religious state in my opinion and belief. What we have here is a civil union, a legal construct that creates a contract between two persons of the same gender that confers the legal rights and obligations of the state of marriage. In my opinion, the government has the duty to define the legal and civil details that provide for the contract between two consenting adults.

        What is a free expression of religious belief? When does that free expression become intrusive and infringe on the free expression of other people's lives? Is there a point of denying them simple human interaction? Should a private, for profit business be allowed to choose who to serve and who to deny to serve based on the owner's beliefs, religious or otherwise, in a free society?

        In the USA, you may believe what you want, say what you want (within reason), practice NEARLY ANY religion you want and not be persecuted for that practice (human and animal sacrifices may be going too far).

        Religious expression stops short of denying service, rights or equal legal protection to another person or persons. Religious expression stops short of denying another person the right or ability to live. Thus hospitals cannot deny healing service to Muslims; restaurants can no longer deny food service to African Americans; Religious social service agencies must provide services to persons of all faiths as well as to persons of no faith in keeping with their mission.

        If the bakers felt they would be seen as supporting a lesbian union, then I really feel sorry for them. I can't tell them how to feel, I can only say that if you are in business, you do what is legal and moral and ethical and you serve you customers to the best of your ability regardless of your personal religious or political views. Otherwise, you are not cut out to be in business.

        •  you have a right to your opinion (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          But not to your own facts. Marriage is a legal, socioeconomic instititution that has existed in every known society throughout history and has predated organized religion. And continues to be of great importance to most people today, regardless of their religion, including those with no religion.Your religion might have rules regarding marriage, just as some religions have dietary laws or clothing requirements. But that doesn't make it a religious state any more than food or clothing are religious states.

        •  Marriage, unions, et al. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Skyprogress, JuliathePoet
          Please know that the term "gay marriage" does not sit well with me. Marriage is a religious state in my opinion and belief.
          And some religions have absolutely no problem with it. There are several religious officials who would marry a gay couple without blinking an eye. Similarly, there are others who won't marry a couple unless at least one of them belongs to that official's religion.

          Granted, I do think it would be worthwhile to explicitly (ahem) divorce the "state-recognized contract" from the "religious institution" in language. I've proposed taking the word "marriage" completely out of laws for that very reason. You could go to the courthouse for the legal part, or a church for the religious part, but neither of them would have any effect on the other.

          Former libertarian...who grew up.

          by RevBobMIB on Sat Apr 05, 2014 at 04:23:31 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  The bakery violated the Public Accommodation Law. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        RevBobMIB, JuliathePoet

        ORS 659A.403 provides that (1) Except as provided in subsection (2) of this section, all persons within the jurisdiction of this state are entitled to the full and equal accommodations, advantages, facilities and privileges of any place of public accommodation, without any distinction, discrimination or restriction on account of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, marital status or age if the individual is 18 years of age or older.

        What that means is that if you CHOOSE to provide services or products for SALE in the State of Oregon (and all states and the Federal government also have public accommodation laws), you cannot discriminate in providing those services or products based on someone's sexual orientation.  Period.  If you sell wedding cakes to straight people, you cannot refuse to sell a wedding cake to a gay person.  It is really very simple and  common fairness.

        Commerce cannot discriminate.  If you want to preserve your God-given right to discriminate against gay people or Black people or Muslims or Mexicans, don't go into business.  Pretty simple really.

      •  No Discrimination (0+ / 0-)

        Where did this happen?  What did the lesbian couple want on the cake that would have offended the bakery couple?

        •  It happened in Oregon (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          And funny thing, more people in Oregon value nondiscrimination.  They were out of business before the lawsuit was ever heard. Turns out they didn't have a lot of business anyway, and the lesion couple who were trying to "shop local" probably would have been a bigger help than all the free publicity they got from refusing to serve them.

          They told a reporter at the time of the lawsuit,  that they believed that by "standing for religious freedom and the right to live and run their business based in their religious beliefs," that their customers would respect that and stand by them. Ironically, the bakery was empty during the interview,  and it stayed that way. They did a lot of "free publicity" interviews, but it just hurt their business more. If they hoped for a Chick-fil-a type response,  with long lines of people coming to support they,  they bet wrong.

      •  Hmmmmm (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JuliathePoet, sendtheasteroid

        When you open a business to serve the public you are expected to serve all the public.  You may, of course, establish reasonable shirt, no shoes and that sort of thing.  You may also have restrictions such as "tie required" but you must apply those restrictions equally.

        With regard to the baker, there are a couple things that are relevant.  First, they didn't only decline to make the cake they also lectured the prospective customers on how terrible they were, etc.

        The Constitution assures that the government won't install a religion, and it promises that everyone may practice their own religion as they see fit.  That, however, doesn't mean that religious practices are carte blanche legal.  If your faith includes killing children as sacrifices then other laws come into play.  Similarly the Constitution does not suggest that you are free to inflict your religion upon others.  So, you may view the LGBTQ lifestyle as "sinful" or "inappropriate"...and you can certainly express those thoughts to others, however, in most states you can't discriminate. could refuse to make a cake with raspberry filling if you simply don't make that style, but you can't tell one customer you won't make it and then make it for another.  If you open a business to the public, you get all the public, not just the folks you happen to like.

      •  Just bake the goddamned cake. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        That would have taken care of everything. Ever hear  the adage  "The customer is always right"?
        And the couple was not forced to close anything. They chose discrimination, based on some sort of religion but I've heard of none that would deny the baking of a cake. Is that a 'christian' thing? ".
        And if you knew how much money "gay folk" spend at bakeries, maybe you would change your tune and welcome their business, you know, like NORMAL business people.

      •  Mississippi governor (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        When you apply for a business license to do business with the public, it says you have to do with business with all people not just people that have your religious beliefs. If you want to run a business based on your religion and your religious believes then open up a club business and state it is only for members that have religious believes like your yours, charge a fee to join and then let your customers pay for your products. Running a business for profit means that religion is not part of that business, that is why Jesus threw the money changers out of the Temple, for making a profit in God's holy Temple. Own a business that is for profit and you sell to the general public, your religion nor your religious beliefs belong in business building.


        VOTE NOVEMBER 2014

    •  So, the good people of Mississippi (0+ / 0-)

      desire to waste their sparse tax dollars in defending this idiotic and unconstitutional law, then decry those who fight for their equal treatment under our Constitution as evil, as they wasted the tax dollars.
      Or some other shit.

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