LGBTQ Nation comments on those those defenseless religious folk and their war against godless gays:
I'm finding it unusually difficult to avoid the urge to scream at the seemingly endless parade of pundits and spin doctors tell me, in their most deferential and conciliatory tones, that the rash of proposed "religious protection" laws are not about discrimination.
Oh heavens no! They're really just there to protect defenseless religious folk from the godless gays. Like innocent business owners, who could be accused of discrimination, just for standing behind their deeply held religious views.
Not surprisingly, they can provide no examples where this kind of hypothetical religious discrimination has occurred, though Anderson Cooper and other journalists have asked often and pointedly...
How to respond, one wonders:
I've been spinning my wheels trying to frame a response in my usual polite and respectful manner, and think I've finally landed on something appropriate.
Apparently trying to play nice hasn't worked, so it's time to call it what it is. Hate. Discrimination. Bigotry. You can couch it in terms like "religious freedom" all you like, but it doesn't make the emperor any less naked.
What's at issue is not the opinion of a person, but an action taken by a business:
Individuals enjoy a number of rights and liberties, including the freedom of religion, but businesses are not individuals. Your cake shop is not a Christian, though its owner might be.
When you start a business it becomes subject to another set of laws and responsibilities. There are city ordinances, health codes, and tax laws that are separate from those for individuals.
As a business owner you get to decide a lot of things, but you do not get to pick and choose your customers. You agreed to rules of which one says you have to serve everyone equally.
You can't turn them away because of the color of their skin or perhaps your religion takes a dim view of women in the workplace. But, refuse to hire a qualified female applicant and it's discrimination. Sexual orientation is no different. My money is just as green and your public business is, by law, open to ALL of the public, of which I am also a part.
This common-sense take is ignored by asshats such as Ross Douthat who whine about the terms of their surrender:
It now seems certain that before too many years elapse, the Supreme Court will be forced to acknowledge the logic of its own jurisprudence on same-sex marriage and redefine marriage to include gay couples in all 50 states.
Once this happens, the national debate essentially will be finished, but the country will remain divided, with a substantial minority of Americans, most of them religious, still committed to the older view of marriage.
So what then? One possibility is that this division will recede into the cultural background, with marriage joining the long list of topics on which Americans disagree without making a political issue out of it.
Yep, just like white supremacists still object to interracial marriage decades after Loving v. Virginia--and their retrograde opinions will be paid as little heed.
Douthat whines that "Religious-affiliated adoption agencies would be closed if they declined to place children with same-sex couples. (This has happened in Massachusetts and Illinois.)" but what he elides here is that these agencies were receiving public funds--and, when faced with the choice between bigotry and helping children, they chose bigotry. They elected to close their own doors, deciding, in effect, that they were primarily religious organizations and not adoption agencies.
His complaint that "the press coverage...was mendacious and hysterical" smacks of projection, but at least he makes one good point:
Christians had plenty of opportunities -- thousands of years' worth -- to treat gay people with real charity, and far too often chose intolerance. (And still do, in many instances and places.) So being marginalized, being sued, losing tax-exempt status -- this will be uncomfortable, but we should keep perspective and remember our sins, and nobody should call it persecution.