Gay-marriage debate takes new twist in Oregon: religious exemption

Comments (50)
ldfrmc wrote:

Exemption? A business exemption for the owner of a bakery, florist shop, or photography studio because he says it is really a church?!

Will he also ask for tax-exempt status?

When they call it a “religion,” anything goes.

Yep, Big2Tex, evil marches on. “God” licensed makes everything tax exempt.

Feb 02, 2014 8:46am EST  --  Report as abuse
westburke wrote:

Suddenly cake baking, photography, and selling flowers are “religious activities”. Let’s take this a bit further. Should a cab driver have the right to refuse to drive you to a gay wedding? Should a dressmaker have the right to refuse to make dresses for lesbians who are getting married? Should Target have the right to refuse to sell you khaki pants if you’re wearing them to your job as an equal rights lobbyist?

Now, should a gay cab driver have the right to refuse to drive you to a Catholic exorcism like the one performed by that “bishop” in Illinois? Should a gay barber be allowed to refuse to cut the hair of a Catholic priest for preaching against gay marriage?

Should a waiter have the right to refuse servie to the same bishops, priests, “christian” cake bakers etc?

Or should everyone have the right to thumb their nose at anyone for ‘religious’ reasons in the marketplace of goods and services?

If that is the case, then what kind of society is this? Do you want a return to the days when pastors stood outside of movie theaters to chase away their congregants if there was any risque behavior in the movie that was showing? Do you want every ‘church lady’ busybody to give you guff when you go to buy donuts or shampoo, just because you do something, anything really that she has ‘objections’ to?

IF you don’t want that for yourself, why is it OK to expect gay people to tolerate it?

Feb 02, 2014 9:32am EST  --  Report as abuse
david0296 wrote:

I had no idea that putting frosting on a cake was a religious sacrament. Oh right. It’s not. Does the Bible even mention wedding cakes? I’m fairly certain it doesn’t say anything about photographers.

If these religious zealots really want to be able to use their CHOSEN beliefs to discriminate, they are obligated to use those same beliefs against straight ‘sinners’ as well. Why aren’t these bakers screening opposite-sex couples to find out if they’ve had premarital sex, or have been divorced before, or have cheated on each other? Why don’t they care if their straight customers are sinners in the eyes of God? It’s almost as if the private lives of their straight customers isn’t any of their business. Weird, huh?

Feb 02, 2014 11:04am EST  --  Report as abuse
ChrisVogel wrote:

It would be fairer and less awkward if such businesses posted their preferences clearly in their window and on their advertising: “No Gays”, and whatever others apply: “No Jews”, “No Muslims”, “No Blacks”, etc., etc.

Feb 02, 2014 11:46am EST  --  Report as abuse
runfast3 wrote:

ADAM AND EVE…..NOT ADAM AND STEVE……

Feb 02, 2014 12:38pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Shary wrote:

Individual business owners should have the right of refusal to service a customer, no matter what the grounds, as long as they are consistently applied AND as long as they are NOT the ONLY business providing that service in the local area. Only when they comprise a de facto area-wide monopoly can they be banned from right of refusal.

Feb 02, 2014 12:47pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Binderowner wrote:

Idfrmc – It’s NOT that the business is a “Church” – it’s the fact that the OWNERS of the business feel they have the right to impose their beliefs on their customers.
The case here in Oregon was ridiculous – businesses have the right to refuse service to whom they please. The owners simply felt the need to justify the refusal to the couple, therefore openly acknowledging their violation of the Discrimination Laws in the State. Had they simply just declined, they would still have their business.

Feb 02, 2014 12:58pm EST  --  Report as abuse
jennamarie wrote:

So, my wife and I will soon be denied service at businesses which don’t allow LGBT people in their establishments, in Oregon?

Will this NO LGBT sign be next to the one that says Colored Bathrooms?

Feb 02, 2014 2:41pm EST  --  Report as abuse
bflat879 wrote:

It’s pretty obvious that liberals are not willing to allow the free market to rule, ever. It’s really quite simple, if a baker refuses to bake a cake for a LGBT couple and another says yes, the word will get around that one baker said no and another said yes. SO, one baker will be getting all the LGBT weddings and making all the cakes, while the other will be losing business. It takes time, but it does eventually work out. I seriously believe the courts are brought into too much and, like the ruling in New Mexico, it brings out disrespect for the law and the courts.

We don’t need to be getting the courts involved, let the markets rule and then, when the dust settles, everyone can respect the decisions made.

Feb 02, 2014 2:47pm EST  --  Report as abuse
FattyCakes wrote:

I’ve served tens of thousands of people. I can take their money and still hate them if i want. Serving does not mean agreeing with them on anything.

Feb 02, 2014 3:01pm EST  --  Report as abuse

To compell action from an unwilling person is tyranny, plain, unadorned tyranny.
Why on earth would you want someone participating in your wedding ceremoney under the threat of punishment?
What kind of people are you?
Does it give you a thrill to wave a club over someone who disagrees with you?

Feb 02, 2014 3:25pm EST  --  Report as abuse
jiff3 wrote:

Should we vote to have those gays ride on the back of the bus, too?

Feb 02, 2014 3:40pm EST  --  Report as abuse
NMAIF wrote:

I agree with the florists, bakeries, photographers. Not the event space renters though.

Feb 02, 2014 3:51pm EST  --  Report as abuse
MominVermont wrote:

Business owners who believe in gender integration in marriage should not be forced to do business for a male “marriage” or a female “marriage.” Segregating marriage by gender and sexual orientation is discriminatory and businesses shouldn’t be forced to participate in such discrimination against their religious beliefs.

Support pro-gender marriage. Because gender matters to everyone, including those with same sex attraction and their children.

Feb 02, 2014 4:17pm EST  --  Report as abuse
jennamarie wrote:

So, allowing business to openly discriminate against the LGBT, who is next? The Jew’s, Mormon’s and other religions? Where will it end? It will NOT, it is disgusting, totally disgusting.

Feb 02, 2014 4:17pm EST  --  Report as abuse
InisMagrath wrote:

Next up — bakers hanging signs in their windows saying:

- No Jews (they killed Jesus)
- No Blacks (they bear the curse of Ham)
- No divorcees
- No Catholics, Protestants only
- No Atheists
- No Chinese Buddhists (they don’t believe in Christ)
- No Democrats (my faith supports only Republicans)

I’m not being sarcastic. If you really really believe that bakers should be able to discriminate against LGBT Americans, then there is no logical barrier to extending those “religious freedoms” to let people refuse to serve Blacks, Jews, Chinese, etc.

Feb 02, 2014 4:40pm EST  --  Report as abuse
cdz1 wrote:

Not too long ago, homosexual activity itself was illegal, that changed, then civil unions appeared and then gay marriage. Ok..fine..however, note the vast majority of the world thinks this is all completely insane. Maybe it’s proper in a society like ours – you have you life and associates and I have mine. But if I’m Christian or Muslim or Orthodox Jew and my sacred scripture and traditions state that homosexual behavior is perverted and unacceptable, it is also true that freedom of religion needs to win here easily when there is a conflict. A devout religious person in in one of these faiths cannot attend a ceremony that they believe partly celebrates a perverted act or behavior. The gay couple, on the other hand, can find a willing cake seller easily. Merely selling some product or service to a gay person should not be an issue here but required attendance at the ceremony would be. Having the power of the government require someone to attend a gay marriage ceremony under threat of civil punishment is outrageous. If someone doesn’t want to take your money for these services or associate with you, move on and just find someone who will. You live your life and others can live theirs.

Feb 02, 2014 4:46pm EST  --  Report as abuse
AIslander wrote:

This push for religious exemption is ridiculous. The exact same arguments were used decades ago to try to allow vendors to deny service to interracial couples weddings and to try to deny having to serve blacks at the same lunch counters as whites. Providing a business service to a wedding is NOT endorsement of that wedding. To try to pretend that it is is simply ludicrous. And if the laws of the jurisdiction prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation then it is a condition of doing business in that jurisdiction that the business may not deny service simply on the basis of the sexual orientation of the customer. What can’t people understand about this?

What’s next? The bakers refusing Jewish couples? Sounds like the 1930′s all over again.

It is very well settled law that neither religious nor moral objection can be used to circumvent anti-discrimination law. If you have a business and want to deny service to certain customers based upon their membership in a class of people named in the law, then you cannot do business in that jurisdiction. It’s that simple. Besides, refusing business based upon some personal disapproval of the customer is an insanely stupid business policy to begin with.

Feb 02, 2014 6:00pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Rydor wrote:

This is Oregon. We appreciate people of all kinds. If you don’t like it, we’ve got a special place you can shove that book of yours.

Seriously? Who in their right mind thinks a business discrimination law is going to pass here? We already have transgender employment discrimination protection. IMO this is just another backhanded attempt to open the business discrimination floodgates and roll us back 100 years in human rights.

Feb 02, 2014 7:09pm EST  --  Report as abuse
JeffreyRO5 wrote:

I don’t understand why religionists in business don’t mind serving adulterers and fornicators. The bible specifically says that fornicators may not marry, and adultery (that is, second marriage after divorce) is strictly forbidden. The bible doesn’t say a word about same-sex marriage. Very odd, to me.

Feb 02, 2014 7:59pm EST  --  Report as abuse
JeffreyRO5 wrote:

I don’t understand why religionists in business don’t mind serving adulterers and fornicators. The bible specifically says that fornicators may not marry, and adultery (that is, second marriage after divorce) is strictly forbidden. The bible doesn’t say a word about same-sex marriage. Very odd, to me.

Feb 02, 2014 7:59pm EST  --  Report as abuse

Here is my thought. As an Oregon voter I will not vote to give people a legal way to discriminate against anyone. If your a business that doesn’t want a gay or lesbian couple to spend their money with you then guess what…its your loss.

There are plenty of other vendor’s who will happily allow ANY couple to have the same rights as anyone else!

Feb 02, 2014 8:57pm EST  --  Report as abuse
hawkeye19 wrote:

@ the intolerant haters and bigots on the board–

“If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first.” – John 15:18

“Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. – Matthew 5:11

“Blessed are you when people hate you and when they exclude you and revile you and spurn your name as evil, on account of the Son of Man! – Luke 6:22

You will be hated by all for my name’s sake.- Luke 21:17

Feb 02, 2014 9:14pm EST  --  Report as abuse
JoshWeinstein wrote:

A quick look at history will tell you that bigotry dies hard. Even today, DECADES after the civil rights movement, there is still pervasive discrimination against black people. If gay marriage becomes the la of the land, the fight will still be FAR from over – the right wing will try to chip away at the rights of gay people wherever and whenever they can. It will be interesting to see what they come up with.

Feb 03, 2014 12:32am EST  --  Report as abuse
booker71 wrote:

Well, just to throw this out there as a possible impartial solution: state laws could follow Federal anti-discrimination statutes (including the proposed ENDA law against sexual orientation discrimination) and exempt all businesses with fifteen or fewer employees.

My impression is that it is these small, probably family-owned businesses that take this issue so personally, for the most part.

Feb 03, 2014 12:49am EST  --  Report as abuse
Budbud wrote:

Oh… let them have these stupid laws! It tells me and my straight friends and family who NOT to give our money to. WE on the other hand will GLADLY take THEIR money in OUR businesses and donate it to gay causes! It’s a win win!…

Also, these people are being very myopic. They forget they’re not the only religion on the menu. They’re opening THEMSELVES up to potential discrimination in the SECULAR world by people of all kinds of faiths!

I can just see it now. A nice fundamentalist Christian family is at the Wal-Mart check out, buying some ground beef for burgers and some big, juicy steaks! Oops, their particular cashier is Hindu and has a moral objection to the slaughtering and eating of cows and refuses to ring up or even touch that part of their order.

Complain to the manager? Sorry! The Hindu cashier is protected under this “right of conscience” law. SORRY! Get back in another line or just go home with your chips and sodas!

Feb 03, 2014 1:55am EST  --  Report as abuse
InTheWest wrote:

Why is it “the American Civil Liberties Union,” but then “the conservative Alliance Defending Freedom?”

Shouldn’t it be “the liberal American Civil Liberties Union” and “the conservative Alliance Defending Freedom,” or just “the American Civil Liberties Union” and “the Alliance Defending Freedom?”

Feb 03, 2014 7:52am EST  --  Report as abuse
BlueOkie wrote:

Let them wed, just don’t give them any gov’t money because of it

Feb 03, 2014 10:42am EST  --  Report as abuse
ldfrmc wrote:

Binderowner wrote: Idfrmc – It’s NOT that the business is a “Church” – it’s the fact that the OWNERS of the business feel they have the right to impose their beliefs on their customers.

The owners of churches do the same thing to their customers. Man should have got a franchise from his church or moved the bakery there.

Feb 03, 2014 11:34am EST  --  Report as abuse
corareyn wrote:

There is no reason to deny gay people the right to marry. Christians, it is nice you have your beliefs, but when you force those beliefs onto the lives of REAL human beings then you are pushing your limits.

Feb 03, 2014 11:36am EST  --  Report as abuse
2tellthetruth wrote:

@ ‘Tex,

Re: “Evil marches on. God help us.”

Sorry, but marriage is NOT “evil”.

Feb 03, 2014 12:11pm EST  --  Report as abuse
2tellthetruth wrote:

Sorry, but selling flowers and cakes and photography services are NOT ‘religious exercises’. Which is WHY such exemptions will not (and should not) stand any legal tests.

Feb 03, 2014 12:12pm EST  --  Report as abuse
2tellthetruth wrote:

@ Chris Vogel,

Re: “It would be fairer and less awkward if such businesses posted their preferences clearly in their window and on their advertising: “No Gays”, and whatever others apply: “No Jews”, “No Muslims”, “No Blacks”, etc., etc.”

Not only would that NOT be “fairer”, it would also be quite un-Constitutional. And illegal.

Feb 03, 2014 12:14pm EST  --  Report as abuse
2tellthetruth wrote:

@ runfast3,

Who created Steve?

Feb 03, 2014 12:15pm EST  --  Report as abuse
2tellthetruth wrote:

@ Binderowner,

Re: “The case here in Oregon was ridiculous – businesses have the right to refuse service to whom they please. The owners simply felt the need to justify the refusal to the couple, therefore openly acknowledging their violation of the Discrimination Laws in the State.”

Sorry, but your 2nd sentence negates (i.e. disproves the claim made in) the first sentence. Business owners do NOT “have the right to refuse service to whom they please”. They DID break the public accommodations laws when they refused services to the gay customers.

Feb 03, 2014 12:18pm EST  --  Report as abuse
2tellthetruth wrote:

@ booker71,

Re: “My impression is that it is these small, probably family-owned businesses that take this issue so personally”

Dan Cathy at Chik-Fil-A would disagree on the “small” part. Bigotry can be (and, in America, all-too-often seems to be) HUGE.

Feb 03, 2014 12:23pm EST  --  Report as abuse
2tellthetruth wrote:

@ booker71,

Re: “My impression is that it is these small, probably family-owned businesses that take this issue so personally”

Dan Cathy at Chik-Fil-A would disagree on the “small” part. Bigotry can be (and, in America, all-too-often seems to be) HUGE.

Feb 03, 2014 12:23pm EST  --  Report as abuse
2tellthetruth wrote:

@ BlueOkie,

Re: “Let them wed, just don’t give them any gov’t money because of it”

Your ‘proposal’ would only work, would only be legal if heterosexual couples weren’t “give[n] any gov’t money because” THEY got legally married. Those 1,138 Federal “effects that flow from marriage” should (and WILL) flow – EQUALLY – to ALL legally married couples.

Otherwise, it would contravene the Constitution’s promise of Equal Protections of the Law.

sorry you don’t seem to ‘get’ that.

Feb 03, 2014 12:26pm EST  --  Report as abuse

Be careful what you wish for, bigots. If you open that door then we’ll have Muslims demanding to be exempt from working for women, Jews who refuse to serve or sell foods that are non-kosher, etc. Keep society secular!

Feb 03, 2014 11:01pm EST  --  Report as abuse
booker71 wrote:

@2tellthetruth, I didn’t say it was universally true, but when it comes to bakers, photographers, florists, etc, the cases I’ve seen have involved very small operations.

And Chik-fil-A actually doesn’t discriminate as a business, it was it’s donations to certain groups that was the issue there.

Feb 04, 2014 12:09am EST  --  Report as abuse
monkE wrote:

government cannot make laws respecting the establishment of religion. allowing a skirting of the law based on a religious objection cannot be codified by government as that would be an establishment of religion by the government. what don’t these people understand?

Feb 04, 2014 10:40am EST  --  Report as abuse
monkE wrote:

@bflat879 – this country is founded upon and governed by a set of laws called the constitution – not the laws of the “free” market. but you already knew that, didn’t you?

Feb 04, 2014 10:47am EST  --  Report as abuse
Dakotahgeo wrote:

I fail to understand the religious rights’ insistence on supporting bigotry and hate, and then having the unmitigated gall to use Jesus Christ as a strawman advertiser for their silliness. This is not a Christian question… it emanates from the American christian Taliban.

Feb 04, 2014 5:12pm EST  --  Report as abuse
TZHax wrote:

This is fine as long as businesses that quote the Bible about 2nd or 3rd marriages, people who have had sex before marriage, people in marriages who are bi-racial, people who have masturbated, or any other action that the Bible says is sin, that these public businesses can also refuse service to such people. If they don’t refuse service to these people, then they are just “cafeteria Christians” and they don’t deserve the right to pick and choose who they want to discriminate against.

Feb 04, 2014 10:34pm EST  --  Report as abuse
TZHax wrote:

This is fine as long as businesses that quote the Bible about 2nd or 3rd marriages, people who have had sex before marriage, people in marriages who are bi-racial, people who have masturbated, or any other action that the Bible says is sin, that these public businesses can also refuse service to such people. If they don’t refuse service to these people, then they are just “cafeteria Christians” and they don’t deserve the right to pick and choose who they want to discriminate against.

Feb 04, 2014 10:34pm EST  --  Report as abuse
TZHax wrote:

This is fine as long as businesses that quote the Bible about 2nd or 3rd marriages, people who have had sex before marriage, people in marriages who are bi-racial, people who have masturbated, or any other action that the Bible says is sin, that these public businesses can also refuse service to such people. If they don’t refuse service to these people, then they are just “cafeteria Christians” and they don’t deserve the right to pick and choose who they want to discriminate against.

Feb 04, 2014 10:34pm EST  --  Report as abuse

Those who oppose gay marriage are trying to derail it by citing “religious” objections to such banal activities as baking a wedding cake, preparing a venue for a gay wedding or reception, organizing the flowers for the ceremony, etc. I did not realize that any of these activities are sacrosanct to any particular religions, and I am certain that the Bible makes no mention of wedding cakes, preparations for weddings in terms of flowers being arranged, and halls decorated for any kind of wedding — gay or straight. If I were the owner of a bakery and I refused to bake a cake for an interracial couple, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (as amended) would crucify me, and I would be subject to heavy penalties. Religious exemptions to civil rights laws are reserved for churches and other religious entities — not florists, bakeries, and decorators. Anti-discrimination measures are grounded in the Commerce Clause of the US Constitution, and such measures already carve out exceptions for true ecclesiastical functions in church hierarchies — not for barbers, bakers, and decorators.

No church can ever be forced to marry a gay couple, just as no church can ever be forced to marry an interracial couple. Dressing up purely private objections to gay weddings by re-framing them as religious objections are cynical ploys to avoid providing services to a group of people who are still shunned and abused based on a characteristic which is intrinsic to their identities — that is, homosexual sexual orientation.

The only way out for these providers of services, if they truly wish to discriminate against gay persons on religious grounds, is for them to register with the IRS as religions (a surprisingly easy thing to do).

A wedding is a wedding is a wedding — at least, in 17 states and the District of Columbia.

PHILIP CHANDLER

Feb 05, 2014 5:00pm EST  --  Report as abuse

Those who oppose gay marriage are trying to derail it by citing “religious” objections to such banal activities as baking a wedding cake, preparing a venue for a gay wedding or reception, organizing the flowers for the ceremony, etc. I did not realize that any of these activities are sacrosanct to any particular religions, and I am certain that the Bible makes no mention of wedding cakes, preparations for weddings in terms of flowers being arranged, and halls decorated for any kind of wedding — gay or straight. If I were the owner of a bakery and I refused to bake a cake for an interracial couple, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (as amended) would crucify me, and I would be subject to heavy penalties. Religious exemptions to civil rights laws are reserved for churches and other religious entities — not florists, bakeries, and decorators. Anti-discrimination measures are grounded in the Commerce Clause of the US Constitution, and such measures already carve out exceptions for true ecclesiastical functions in church hierarchies — not for barbers, bakers, and decorators.

No church can ever be forced to marry a gay couple, just as no church can ever be forced to marry an interracial couple. Dressing up purely private objections to gay weddings by re-framing them as religious objections are cynical ploys to avoid providing services to a group of people who are still shunned and abused based on a characteristic which is intrinsic to their identities — that is, homosexual sexual orientation.

The only way out for these providers of services, if they truly wish to discriminate against gay persons on religious grounds, is for them to register with the IRS as religions (a surprisingly easy thing to do).

A wedding is a wedding is a wedding — at least, in 17 states and the District of Columbia.

PHILIP CHANDLER

Feb 05, 2014 5:01pm EST  --  Report as abuse

Those who oppose gay marriage are trying to derail it by citing “religious” objections to such banal activities as baking a wedding cake, preparing a venue for a gay wedding or reception, organizing the flowers for the ceremony, etc. I did not realize that any of these activities are sacrosanct to any particular religions, and I am certain that the Bible makes no mention of wedding cakes, preparations for weddings in terms of flowers being arranged, and halls decorated for any kind of wedding — gay or straight. If I were the owner of a bakery and I refused to bake a cake for an interracial couple, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (as amended) would crucify me, and I would be subject to heavy penalties. Religious exemptions to civil rights laws are reserved for churches and other religious entities — not florists, bakeries, and decorators. Anti-discrimination measures are grounded in the Commerce Clause of the US Constitution, and such measures already carve out exceptions for true ecclesiastical functions in church hierarchies — not for barbers, bakers, and decorators.

No church can ever be forced to marry a gay couple, just as no church can ever be forced to marry an interracial couple. Dressing up purely private objections to gay weddings by re-framing them as religious objections are cynical ploys to avoid providing services to a group of people who are still shunned and abused based on a characteristic which is intrinsic to their identities — that is, homosexual sexual orientation.

The only way out for these providers of services, if they truly wish to discriminate against gay persons on religious grounds, is for them to register with the IRS as religions (a surprisingly easy thing to do).

A wedding is a wedding is a wedding — at least, in 17 states and the District of Columbia.

PHILIP CHANDLER

Feb 05, 2014 5:01pm EST  --  Report as abuse

RUNFAST3 — Is that the best you an do? Trot out the same tired trope about Adam and Eve? Are you that desperate?

PHILIP CHANDLER

Feb 05, 2014 5:04pm EST  --  Report as abuse
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