Unfortunate: ACLU On The Wrong Side Of A Free Speech Case

from the really-now? dept

Let me start this off by making two things clear, even though I don't think it should matter for this story. First, I strongly support the rights of gays and lesbians to marry if they choose to. In fact, I find it both depressing and shameful that this is even a debate today or that people have had to fight to change laws to make this possible. And I look forward to the time in the (hopefully) not too distant future, where the world looks back on the fights against allowing such a thing and recognizes it for what it is: a dark day in our history, in which governments were trying to tell people who they can and cannot love.

Second: I'm a big, big supporter of the ACLU and I think they (normally) do amazing work protecting our civil liberties -- even in situations where others might shy away. I know many people who work there, and consider them friends. The reputation of the ACLU in taking on cases in which they support individuals or groups with abhorrent positions is a very good thing -- such as the very famous case of the ACLU defending the rights of neo-Nazis to march in Skokie, Illinois. It is possible to defend the free speech rights of those whose views you find morally abhorrent. And the ACLU has a pretty good track record of doing that.

So I'm left confused by the news that the ACLU is on what I believe is the very wrong side of a case involving a photographer who has a moral objection to gay marriage, and has refused to photograph their weddings. Personally, I think that photographer Elaine Huguenin is on the wrong side of history with her views on gay marriage. But I have tremendous problems with the idea that a New Mexico law against discriminating against gays and lesbians automatically requires her to photograph their weddings and to then "tell their story." Huguenin argues that forcing her to tell their story when she doesn't want to do so violates her First Amendment rights against compelled speech.

Of course, I also think that there's a First Amendment right for everyone else to explain why they shouldn't want to hire Huguenin in the first place for holding such views. But it's disappointing to see the ACLU on the other side, and actually willing to argue that the First Amendment is somehow "less important" than making Huguenin photograph a wedding she doesn't want to photograph. That's what the ACLU's Louise Melling told the NY Times:
There are constitutional values on both sides of the case: the couple’s right to equal treatment and Ms. Huguenin’s right to free speech. I asked Louise Melling, a lawyer at the American Civil Liberties Union, which has a distinguished history of championing free speech, how the group had evaluated the case.

Ms. Melling said the evaluation had required difficult choices. Photography is expression protected by the Constitution, she said, and Ms. Huguenin acted from “heartfelt convictions.”

But the equal treatment of gay couples is more important than the free speech rights of commercial photographers, she said, explaining why the A.C.L.U. filed a brief in the New Mexico Supreme Court supporting the couple.
Except, as Reason rightly points out, that's not true. there aren't Constitutional issues on both sides.
... the Constitution guarantees equal treatment by the government, not by private individuals or organizations. The 14th Amendment cannot justify requiring photographers to treat all couples equally any more than the First Amendment can justify requiring publishers to treat all authors equally. By erroneously suggesting that deciding Huguenin's case means choosing between competing "constitutional values," [the NY Times] lends cover to the American Civil Liberties Union, which in this case is arguing that Huguenin's civil liberties should be overridden by a principle that cannot be found in the Bill of Rights...
So while I strongly support equal rights for everyone, and am greatly saddened that people out there are still opposed to things like gay marriage, I'm equally troubled by the idea that the government can force someone to express themselves in a manner that they are uncomfortable doing. The government absolutely should be required to treat everyone equally and not discriminate on the basis of who they're attracted to. But it's going way too far to argue that a private business should be forced both to do business with someone, but also to create expression that they personally disagree with.

And, yes, there is a reasonable concern that allowing a photographer (or someone in another profession) to discriminate the services they provide is an obnoxious and discriminatory practice -- but it's one that is rather easily solved without government compelled work and speech: just by letting the world know of the photographer's views, which would hopefully have a negative impact on her business. Compelling her to speak, on the other hand, is tremendously problematic. And it seems to go against most things that I thought the ACLU stood for.



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  1. icon
    Rikuo (profile), Dec 17th, 2013 @ 2:52pm

    I was initially on the side of the ACLU when I first read this article, but a re-read and a re-think moved me over to the other side of the debate.
    The thing that swung me is the fact that it's not simply a store selling a good/service, but it's a photographer whose business involves creating speech. I liken this to a hypothetical scenario where a Catholic Christian magazine/newspaper is told by the government to put in ads for birth control products, after an ad agency complains that they were unfairly rejected.

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  2. icon
    TKnarr (profile), Dec 17th, 2013 @ 3:13pm

    I don't consider this a matter of speech. That it's a photographer doesn't change the fact that it's a business. The law doesn't put any requirements on the photographer as far as choosing the subjects of their photography, the models they use or anything that goes into the photographs. At least, not when it's the photographer doing their own work for sale. What it puts requirements on is the business dealings of the photographer's business, which isn't speech. When the photographer goes beyond creating photographs and begins offering their services to the public, then they have to treat all customers equally just like any other business. You don't get to claim that somehow your selection of customers is free speech, because it isn't.

    Just like if I'm writing and printing my own books vs. if I'm running a print shop printing books for others. The former is my free speech, the latter is a business.

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  3. identicon
    Beech, Dec 17th, 2013 @ 3:14pm

    I'm not sure why this is a lawsuit. If someone is really THAT vehemently against photographing your wedding, why would you try to force them to do it? And if the government can compel this lady to take pictures at the wedding, can it compel her to take good ones? What if she, "accidentally" or otherwise, leaves the camera out of focus? Or only takes pictures of everyone's feet? Or only takes pictures of derp faces?

    It's not like there's not a huge number of options of photographers. Wouldn't you want to choose someone more progressive anyway?

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  4. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 17th, 2013 @ 3:20pm

    if they do get the photographer ordered to work for them, are they going to sue if they don't like the photos? what stops the photographer from sandbagging the product by taking photos from angles that chop off people's heads, using the wrong lens, or doing any of the dozens of little things that you hire a professional photographer for their skill in doing? Is the photographer going to be compelled to do a job, or to do a "good" job? If the latter, who decides whether they did a good enough job?

    Can a court compel a professional editor to copy-edit an anti-gay press release by the Westboro Baptist Church on the basis that to refuse to do so is religious discrimination?

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  5. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 17th, 2013 @ 3:20pm

    It is complicated...

    Suppose the photographer refused to take photos because the couple was black?
    What then?

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  6. identicon
    naprotector, Dec 17th, 2013 @ 3:20pm

    Point of view

    The only problem I see is opportunity loss. Instead of letting this photographer dictate which type of clients she would willingly take and leave a market open for a photographer with no problem taking the picture and "tell their story," instead forces a person to do the job that they choose to do. At this point if I was the photographer, I would add to my business policy where if I do a job that I don't like, I bill double the standard amount.

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  7. icon
    ethorad (profile), Dec 17th, 2013 @ 3:24pm

    similar situation in the UK

    There was a recent case of a small hotel owner trying to turn away gay couples, or at least deny them a double room, on the grounds of their religious belief.

    They lost their case, and aren't allowed to let their religious beliefs impact their business.

    Basically anti-discrimination trumps freedom of religion when it comes to offering services to the public it seems.

    Although as others have commented - I sure wouldn't want someone photographing my wedding unless they wanted to be there. So many ways for the photos not to turn out properly without anything obvious being done which would open the photographer up to being sued. No way I would want to risk that!

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  8. icon
    TKnarr (profile), Dec 17th, 2013 @ 3:26pm

    Re:

    I don't know. If a straight couple hired a photographer and they left the camera out of focus, only took pictures of everyone's feet, only took pictures of derp faces, would that couple have grounds to sue for failure to complete work as contracted? It seems to me that they would, since that kind of stuff fails the test of a minimum quality of work one could reasonably expect from a professional photographer offering their services as such to the public.

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    identicon
    out_of_the_blue, Dec 17th, 2013 @ 3:27pm

    No, all that disclaimer is irrelevant, Mike: you're a CORPORATIST.

    Holding that businesses are exempt from common law. You keep putting out the notion that being in biz is like feudal entitlement.

    But owners of businesses are bound to serve The Public: the permission they ask for BEFORE can run a business requires that up front. It's PUBLIC ACCOMMODATION that's in play here. If you run a business you're required to serve everyone who has money, can refuse service to none except under common law terms. Merely wanting to not photograph certain people doesn't reach to any common law exception.

    Where Mike daily proves the value of an economics degree.

    11:27:32[m-730-5]

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  10. identicon
    papicek, Dec 17th, 2013 @ 3:28pm

    There's plenty of precedent on this. If one is open for business to the public, one must serve all comers. Think barring Blacks from lunch counters.

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  11. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 17th, 2013 @ 3:29pm

    tl;dr Businesses have the right to refuse service of anyone. The mistake is telling others what that reason is.

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  12. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 17th, 2013 @ 3:30pm

    Re:

    You have some fundamental, deep lack of understanding about what the topic here is so I'll just go with the parts that have softball answers:

    No one is making a claim - nor could they with a straight face - that the "selection of customers" is free speech. The claim is that the service offered here is speech and that the first amendment protects against being compelled to speak, the latter point being inarguable on its own.

    Your book printing analogy makes no sense; that would analogize to a photo printing service, which has nothing to do with the issue at hand. A book writing service would certainly analogize, but I doubt you could even remotely convincingly argue that writers shouldn't have the privilege to refuse to write opinions that they believe are morally wrong.

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  13. icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), Dec 17th, 2013 @ 3:32pm

    Re:

    There's plenty of precedent on this. If one is open for business to the public, one must serve all comers. Think barring Blacks from lunch counters.

    That's discrimination on service, not on speech... It's the speech part that makes this an issue.

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  14. icon
    blaktron (profile), Dec 17th, 2013 @ 3:34pm

    Mike, the problem here is that is that if you offer a service to the public you MUST offer it to the entire public, and not discriminate who you chose. A store can't hang a 'no negros' sign on it, and a photographer can't have a 'no gays' policy.

    This is basically exactly the same as the B&B not allowing gay couples to stay. If you don't want to take pictures of everyone, don't take pictures of anyone.

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  15. icon
    Rex Karz (profile), Dec 17th, 2013 @ 3:37pm

    The key phrase here is ...

    ... Public Accomodation.

    In effect if your business serves the public, then you cannot refuse service to anyone because of YOUR religious beliefs.

    Photographer, hotel, restaurants, pharmacices or hospitals. Refuse me? Get out your checkbook. This is going to hurt.

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  16. identicon
    S. T. Stone, Dec 17th, 2013 @ 3:38pm

    I feel torn by this case. I think gay people deserve every right to take advantage of the same public accomodations as anyone else — and yet, I also think anti-discrimination laws shouldn’t require a ‘service provider’ to commit an act of ‘compelled speech’ that goes against their beliefs (religious or otherwise).

    When and how does discrimination against a class of people that runs up against the First Amendment in any way (e.g. the right to associate) become a matter upon which the government must intrude to protect those people from discrimination?

    I’d come down on the side of protection against discrimination in clear-cut cases where a business open to the public denies its services to one protected class of people while offering said services to other protected classes of people.

    I’d come down on the side of the First Amendment in clear-cut cases where a private figure who doesn’t typically make their services available to the general public denies said services in the way described above.

    The grey area between those two extreme situations (where I believe this case falls) make up a subject about which we need more thoughtful and insightful discussion: the socially acceptable range of discrimination.

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  17. identicon
    S. T. Stone, Dec 17th, 2013 @ 3:40pm

    Re: Re:

    But that raises the tricky question that has my brain working overtime: what if the service provider includes such ‘speech’ as part of their service?

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  18. icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Dec 17th, 2013 @ 3:41pm

    OHAI!
    So I think the photographer has every right to be a bigoted idiot.
    The other side of the coin is GLBT people being denied -
    Loans, housing, shopping, etc.
    While the market is vast to allow someone in a commercial enterprise to cherry pick who to serve harkens back to the days of Jim Crow laws.

    There is always going to be someone who thinks group x is icky.
    There is always to be a claim that they have some sort of protected right to deny service.

    I'm torn because I deal with bigotry on a daily basis. I have to change who I am and how I interact with people to make sure not to offend someone who has a protected objection to my existence. My right to be treated like everyone else is trampled by their protected right to be bigoted.

    If it was a gay photographer who objected to shooting a straight wedding, think the pundits would be screaming louder?
    What if it was a church that denied access to a gay photographer because the bible says no?

    Religious objection law has, in my reading, huge glaring loopholes where they have a right to be an ass and then claim god told them to. They can have gay friends, support gay charities, but once they decide god told them so they can deny gays service.

    I don't know if this is a great case for them to take, but I know what it is like to be treated as a 2nd class citizen.
    I know that "forcing" people to be accepting is not the right path, but the flip side is gays are being "forced" to accept being treated like shit with no recourse.

    If someone refused to photograph a couple because of their faith beliefs, isn't there a lawsuit there?
    A sign reading NO MORMONS would result in all sorts of lawsuits.

    You can't make people change with a law or lawsuit, but perhaps it is time to consider that if you protect 1 you have to protect all... and as we are unwilling to do such, maybe no one needs protections.

    All men are created equal, unless they worship the right god, have the right skin color, or are the right gender to be special.

    Try for a moment to look outside your personal bubble.
    Imagine media outlets reporting that you are a pedophile because of who you are. Or that you committing yourself to who you love leads to bestiality becoming legal. Or that you can work to protect your city/state/country but you shouldn't be treated the same as the 'man' next to you because it offends someone's beliefs. That you are sick because they have a "cure" that "works", even if the cure leads to the death of some people forced to take it.

    Let the photographer be a bigot, but lets stop pretending they need special laws to enshrine that right.

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  19. icon
    mr. sim (profile), Dec 17th, 2013 @ 3:41pm

    how can anyone fight for their rights, only to trample the rights of others and stand on the moral ground? Businesses have the right to refuse service to anyone. if someone does not want to cater/photograph/officiate or otherwise preside/participate in your LGBT weddings or events it is their right.

    It is YOUR RIGHT to choose another business to shower your money on.to simply, use the courts to force someone to do these things is immoral. When you go to court to FORCE them to take your business, you are impeding their rights, and the message is sent your not wanting equality, your DEMANDING them to put your rights above theirs.

    and that is the reason so many people are against marriage equality.

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  20. identicon
    s0beit, Dec 17th, 2013 @ 3:43pm

    well...

    I do like that the ACLU defends the rights of those they find 'abhorrent', but I'm still confused as to why they believe the second amendment is not a civil liberty. That is the primary reason I've never donated a cent to them, and probably never will.

    And in this a case their bias shines through again. The ACLU not only has ideologues there, but it now seems anti-business is more important than free speech.

    Defending the morally 'abhorrent' does not sheild you from criticism when you explicitly favor a particular party. That is clearly what is happening. It is the opposite side of that coin.

    If you want to be morally consistent, you can't just defend the rights of those who you disagree with, but you must not also particularly favors the rights of those you may sympathize with more often. The trampling of rights is just that, intent is irrelevant.

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  21. icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), Dec 17th, 2013 @ 3:43pm

    Re:

    Mike, the problem here is that is that if you offer a service to the public you MUST offer it to the entire public, and not discriminate who you chose. A store can't hang a 'no negros' sign on it, and a photographer can't have a 'no gays' policy.

    Again that's providing service, not speech.

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    identicon
    out_of_the_blue, Dec 17th, 2013 @ 3:43pm

    This part by "Reason" is particularly insidious baloney:

    "the Constitution guarantees equal treatment by the government, not by private individuals or organizations." -- The Constitution is about guaranteeing FAIRNESS in the basics of the playing field, especially economics. IF were only by the gov't, then it's meaningless! All persons have minimum inalienable rights, NOT TO BE disparaged by other individuals or organizations. It's not a far step from the "Reason" position that slavery was perfectly okay, so long as not done by the gov't. -- And YES, many whites DO have exactly that opinion, it's quite close to the "States Rights" notion where they argue that the federal gov't had no justification to fight for the rights of and free the slaves. But States don't have rights, NOR do corporations or organizations, only "natural" persons have rights. So as this actually only requires the photographer to TAKE THE MONEY and treat everyone the same, it's PERFECTLY and EXACTLY Constitutional.

    Most "libertarians" want to be FREE of government only because FAIR trade interferes with their own economic cheating.

    11:42:14[m-765-5]

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  23. icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), Dec 17th, 2013 @ 3:46pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    But that raises the tricky question that has my brain working overtime: what if the service provider includes such ‘speech’ as part of their service?

    I really don't think it's that "tricky." You don't use their service and then you use many of the tools around today to talk about what despicable people run such companies that won't provide service on such a basis. Use the freedom of speech in your favor.

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  24. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 17th, 2013 @ 3:50pm

    Re: This part by "Reason" is particularly insidious baloney:

    All persons have minimum inalienable rights, NOT TO BE disparaged by other individuals or organizations

    And yet you disparage the people at TechDirt all the time. Are you violating the constitution?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25. identicon
    evetsegap, Dec 17th, 2013 @ 3:51pm

    Re: It is complicated...

    Black or gay are two different issues. One is a moral issue and the other is a racial issue.

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  26. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 17th, 2013 @ 3:53pm

    I'm with the ACLU on this one. A photography business is no different than any other and should be subject to the same laws. You're allowed to have racist, prejudiced, and intolerant beliefs but you cannot act on them without breaking the law. If this was any other group, race, or religion you'd see the issue. There's no excuse for discriminatory homophobia.

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  27. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 17th, 2013 @ 3:54pm

    I can be a conscientious objector to war and be relieved of my responsibility to go and fight. But, it's illegal for me to have morals about the gay issue. Both are morals issues.

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  28. identicon
    Heather, Dec 17th, 2013 @ 3:56pm

    Re:

    Except writing and printing your own books is the equivalent of taking photographs and distributing them. They're both free speech. You can't compel someone to write about something that they don't want to, even though that might be their business. I'm not saying that the photographer is right (because she's not), but both writing and photography imply a personal connection to the work.

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  29. icon
    ken (profile), Dec 17th, 2013 @ 3:58pm

    This happens all the time in dictatorships

    This is like we see in dictatorships where authors and journalists are compelled to write nice things about the government.

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  30. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 17th, 2013 @ 3:59pm

    tl;dr Businesses have the right to refuse service of anyone. The mistake is telling others what that reason is.

    Oh, really? Can restaurants turn away blacks and gays?

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  31. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 17th, 2013 @ 3:59pm

    Re: Re: It is complicated...

    They're really not different at all. Both hold the belief that one group of people is morally superior to the other.

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  32. icon
    Rikuo (profile), Dec 17th, 2013 @ 4:02pm

    Re: This part by "Reason" is particularly insidious baloney:

    ...fuck. An actually half-way decent comment from the real OOTB. I don't fully agree with him/her, but it's a good argument none the less with none of the usual ad-homs.

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  33. icon
    Rikuo (profile), Dec 17th, 2013 @ 4:04pm

    Re:

    "be relieved of my responsibility to go and fight."

    Just checking...are you in a country where conscription or mandatory service is the norm?

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  34. icon
    T Teshima (profile), Dec 17th, 2013 @ 4:04pm

    Re: Re:

    Sorry, but I agree with the people who see this as a service issue first. If you are a writer or publisher or photographer offering a service to the public, you are not allowed (as a matter of law) to discriminate against certain groups. Now some people will object to having gays put in this category, but tough. That fight is already lost. You can't discriminate against people on the basis of race, religion, or sexual orientation. I think that trumps any free speech issue. If you are offering a service to the public, you just can not discriminate, period.

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  35. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 17th, 2013 @ 4:05pm

    Re: Re:

    Who cares? What money is going to make up for having no photos of your wedding?

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  36. icon
    tracyanne (profile), Dec 17th, 2013 @ 4:08pm

    Mike what I don't understand

    is what speech has to do with refusing to provide a service.

    If I refuse to provide a service because the person requesting that service has a Linux operating system, a common occurrence here, what does that have to do with speech?

    Similarly if I refuse to take photos at any wedding, what does that have to do with speech?

    Surely in both cases, that is my prerogative. Or is the problem here that the photographer stated their reason, and that reason is based on an opinion, that is based on religious bigotry? And would they not have been smarter to simply have given a different reason

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  37. icon
    The Wanderer (profile), Dec 17th, 2013 @ 4:09pm

    Re: Re: Re: It is complicated...

    ...for reasons that the "other" group cannot, or at least should not be expected to, change.

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  38. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 17th, 2013 @ 4:10pm

    Re: Mike what I don't understand

    In the article it says

    "Ms. Huguenin said that she would “gladly serve gays and lesbians — by, for example, providing them with portrait photography,” but that she did not want to tell the stories of same-sex weddings. To make her celebrate something her religion tells her is wrong, she said, would hijack her right to free speech. "

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  39. icon
    The Wanderer (profile), Dec 17th, 2013 @ 4:13pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    The counter to that argument is that if offering the service involves (what would be constitutionally protected) speech, then any law forbidding discrimination in the offering of that service would be a law "restricting the freedom of speech", and would therefore be in violation of the First Amendment - meaning it would be unconstitutional, and should be struck down. (And probably disobeyed in the meantime.)

    In that sense, this isn't a challenge to the inclusion of gays in the "may not discriminate against" category, but to the application of that category to services which involve acts classified as speech.

    I'm not sure there's any clean, no-compromises solution to this; at least one side is going to end up being dissatisfied, no matter how you analyze it. The best we can really hope for is that whatever no-one-is-satisfied compromise solution we end up with is not worse, overall, than what we started out with.

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  40. icon
    Pitabred (profile), Dec 17th, 2013 @ 4:17pm

    Re: Re:

    I'm wondering, would you also support a photographer refusing to photograph black people? People of any color? Redheads?

    I agree that photography is speech, except when you do it for hire, the rules change a bit. The problems come like they did back in the 60's, where there's no local photographer that will take pictures of gays. There's no business that will serve them. If homosexuality were not a protected class, this would be a different conversation. But the laws exist because otherwise these minorities experience quite real persecution. Maybe in 50 years we can revisit it, but right now, there's a societal reason for it, it ensures that everyone can access the same services regardless of their personal attributes.

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  41. icon
    Pitabred (profile), Dec 17th, 2013 @ 4:20pm

    Re:

    Is a restaurant a service provider? A hotel? Home repair? Plumber? Electrician?

    There's no difference between a photographer and a restaurant as far as a service provider. If you take advantage of incorporation and all the benefits society gives to encourage business, you can't section out society that you don't like. That leads to people who can't get services because nobody in town will give them.

    These things do change over time, but there's a reason that homosexuality, race, and religion are protected classes. They are things that people discriminate for, and until that stops being the case, there are limits on business practice vs. private speech and action.

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  42. icon
    Rapnel (profile), Dec 17th, 2013 @ 4:20pm

    What the II..?

    OK, wait, so, there's this couple who wants to marry and there's this photographer (a *person*) who would rather not photograph that event, because reasons, and the couple still wants that person to capitulate and take their pictures because other reasons?

    That's incredible.

    Couple: Please take our pictures.
    Photog: I'm afraid I'm not comfortable with that.
    Couple: Why? Because we're gay?
    Photog: Pretty much.
    Couple: We're going to sue you if you don't.
    Photog: Oh, I didn't know you were *that* kind of gay couple. Yeah, still no.

    The last time I looked at the yellow pages finding a photographer was not bereft of options.

    Dealing with a single, solitary individual that photographs is extreme "a corporation is a person" thinking (not that the premise alone isn't extreme enough).

    They need to get off their proverbial high horse and get back down to planet earth. That's what I think. As a matter regarding the rights of an individual the ACLU doesn't seem to have chosen wisely. i.e. I have the right to not be forced to dry heave while doing what I do for a living and I'm not about to quit, because reason.

    Fuck.

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  43. icon
    Pitabred (profile), Dec 17th, 2013 @ 4:23pm

    Re: What the II..?

    Yeah. Those blacks can just go find another lunch counter. We don't serve their kind here.

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  44. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 17th, 2013 @ 4:23pm

    Re: Re:

    So you believe that forcing your beliefs upon others is the right way to go about bringing understanding and acceptance?

    Honestly, you sound like the Westboro Baptist Church... IMHO, this couple would have a better go at hiring a bum on the street to photograph, than try to force some bigot to participate against their will.

    I say next we force the KKK to join in Hanakkah celebrations next...

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  45. identicon
    S. T. Stone, Dec 17th, 2013 @ 4:25pm

    Re: Re: Mike what I don't understand

    And there's part of the issue at play here: if her ‘speech’ comprises part of the service she offers, does the government have a right to compel her into providing that ‘speech’ for gay people just as she would provide it for any other protected class of people?

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  46. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 17th, 2013 @ 4:26pm

    Can restaurants turn away blacks and gays?


    Yeah they can.

    The pinch comes in when they give a reason. Tons of people face this every day with job applications. Since the employer can't say, "you're too old", or "you aren't of the right religion", or "you're gay", what they can say is overqualified, or you don't have the qualifications we are seeking, or any of another ton of vague off the wall reasons. Reasons that don't leave the seeking with a court venue.

    The restaurant could say, "Sorry but we are closing because we've had our entire facility rented for the night and we must prepare". Tomorrow when it didn't come off, they could come back with it was cancelled at the last minute. While this one example would not stand the test of time, it would stand one event of denying usage for what ever reason.

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  47. icon
    Rikuo (profile), Dec 17th, 2013 @ 4:31pm

    Re: Mike what I don't understand

    The reasoning runs like this:
    The First Amendment says Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech. Basically, you can say what the fuck you want, and the government cannot compel you to say something you don't want to. If a law is passed, whether state or federal, that forces you to make speech you don't want, then that law runs afoul of the First Amendment and is unconstitutional.
    The woman, Ms Hugenin, is a photographer. Photography has long been accepted as a medium of speech. Every photo you take is held to be you saying something. While yes it is bad in my opinion and others that she refuses service to homosexuals, her reasoning is correct: the law about businesses refusing service to classes is unconstitutional when it comes to services that are speech oriented. Here the government and the ACLU would be compelling the photographer to say something, which would be a violation of her First Amendment rights.

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  48. icon
    MikeC (profile), Dec 17th, 2013 @ 4:33pm

    RE: -- what about the cake bakers

    There was a recent lawsuit forcing a wedding cake bakery to do a cake for a gay wedding even though they felt it was wrong based on religion. Is designing and providing a wedding cake "free speech" .. if the art of photography is found to be free speech, any artistic en-devour would be similar no? Dress makers, party decorator's, wedding singers? What is 'free speech' in artistic impression?

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  49. icon
    MikeC (profile), Dec 17th, 2013 @ 4:36pm

    What is discrimination?

    What if they gay couple in question picked that photag just because they knew he was anti-gay and wanted to force him to provide service for their wedding? Stupid I know, but are they discriminating? If a person makes it's clear they don't want to work for you - for any reason, if you force them to aren't you discriminating against them based on the same reason they are discriminating against you... Why does it only go one way?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  50. icon
    TKnarr (profile), Dec 17th, 2013 @ 4:51pm

    Re: Re:

    Here's the thing: when you're running a photography business you aren't taking the pictures you want to take. You're taking the pictures your customer wants you to take. And that is the critical difference. If there's any speech involved it's the customer's, not yours, because they're the ones choosing what is to be photographed. If they want the family car photographed, you as the photographer can't decide that the house would make a better subject than the car. If you do, they get to sue you for breach of contract because you weren't hired to photograph the house. So if they can dictate something as basic as that, how is the photograph speech of any sort on the photographer's part?

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  51. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 17th, 2013 @ 4:51pm

    Re: Re: It is complicated...

    Discrimination is Discrimination no matter how you look at it

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  52. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 17th, 2013 @ 4:54pm

    Re: What is discrimination?

    This too has been done. I don't know if you remember but several years ago Dennys, a restaurant chain, was accused of not providing service to those of color. They pretty much had a ton of people descend on them across the nation demanding service.

    Mike has made it plain the article is not about service, it's about free speech and what that should/should not entail.

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  53. icon
    TKnarr (profile), Dec 17th, 2013 @ 4:55pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    That argument was lost when the voters passed the matter into law. The majority of society there decided it wasn't acceptable for businesses to refuse service to certain classes of people. We've done it before, deciding it wasn't acceptable to refuse service to blacks, or to Chinese, or to Catholics (yes there was a time when businesses in heavily-Protestant areas would refuse service to Catholics).

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  54. icon
    GeneralEmergency (profile), Dec 17th, 2013 @ 4:56pm

    This is simple...

    .


    The Constitutional First Amendment speech right trumps any Statutory (not in the Constitution) anti-discrimination laws.

    The Constitution and the Bill of Rights is the highest law of the land. Any time you try to saw away at the Constitution in an attempt to restrict a protected freedom, you have to have a compelling reason of imperative benefit to all.

    The desire (not right) of gays to have their weddings photographed does not rise to that standard.

    The mechanism of turning away this customer is the only "path to relief" that the photographer has to avoid being compelled to commit personally objectionable speech.

    .

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  55. icon
    Rikuo (profile), Dec 17th, 2013 @ 5:04pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Now you're getting into the area of editorial control. While yes the clients would have final say over what photos they'd like to keep and pay for, the photographer still has to make many a creative decision when taking the photo.

    However...now that you've brought it up, there's a troubling parallel with movie-making. The director of a movie is the ultimate editor of a movie. He hires people to do jobs to help make it. Say a director hires an animation studio for a pro-gay movie, but one of the animators in that studio objects. Should that animator have the right to not be forced to work on that movie or should he be fired?

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  56. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 17th, 2013 @ 5:05pm

    Don't fuck with gay people.

    Or we will fuck with you, and you'll learn to like it.

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  57. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 17th, 2013 @ 5:09pm

    reverend john wont speak (because his sermon is speech) while blacks.. mexicans.. gays or lesbians are in his church his religious beliefs don't allow it ..is basically what shes saying this woman needs an enema

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  58. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 17th, 2013 @ 5:10pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I don't know, maybe it's just me. I feel this is basically a publicity stunt on both sides. One side is a couple trying to out a bigot, which in fact isn't so bad. On the other side, we have a religious wacko that won't offer a package deal because of beliefs. In the meantime, this couple has limited rights due to state actions such as health insurance, if they move out of state. Sounds like a hard won battle to out this one idiot, considering NM is one of the few states to actually recognize same sex marriage.

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  59. icon
    Rapnel (profile), Dec 17th, 2013 @ 5:30pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    I think that the correct tact here is that photography is an art (yes, even with your little camera phone rigs and even weddings) and all art is a form of speech. As such the medium, the "voice" of the artist, is of paramount concern to the artist before his customer's voice is ever heard much less considered. If you don't like the art you do not buy it, likewise, if the artist detests the medium he should not make it. Any in between would be at the behest of the artist.

    I could think of little that would be less appealing than hiring a photographer to take pictures of something they'd rather not take pictures of and then paying money for the results.

    It's almost as if because this is an equal rights issue and that the rights of one party supersedes the rights of the other because homosexuality is involved and the acceptance thereof.

    I would think that you can not legislate acceptance that forces an artist to provide art for you. An apartment, insurance or the right to marry, sure, but acceptance? Something tells me that that's not right.

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  60. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 17th, 2013 @ 5:33pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    You can't say the argument is already lost. If this was decided law, the Supreme Court would not be hearing the case.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  61. icon
    Karl (profile), Dec 17th, 2013 @ 5:34pm

    Re:

    I don't consider this a matter of speech. That it's a photographer doesn't change the fact that it's a business.

    It most certainly is a question of speech. Yes, it is a business as well, but that business makes their money from protected expression. Forcing the photographer to take a job against her will would literally mean the government is forcing people to express themselves in a specific way, and that's certainly a First Amendment violation.

    Even if it wasn't, this likely isn't an illegal violation of gay people's rights. Generally speaking, businesses only have to respect peoples' rights for public accommodations, and photography for hire wouldn't qualify.

    Besides, I'm pretty sure this photographer's business is going to be ruined anyway, once this gets widespread attention. And deservedly so, IMO.

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  62. icon
    Rapnel (profile), Dec 17th, 2013 @ 5:36pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    That animator should be taken off the project and preferably without resorting to dismissal which would lean back around to the studio's ethics and responsibilities. The individual can walk, run, suck it up or sue and then find a gig that he doesn't object to.

    Your example is one that is between an artist and his employing studio and not really between the artist and the customer.

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  63. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 17th, 2013 @ 5:40pm

    Re: Re: Mike what I don't understand

    but she doesnt deny services to homosexuals only to their unions as it says in the document

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  64. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 17th, 2013 @ 5:42pm

    Re: What the II..?

    but its not just this woman there are others that are now backing her and the state of new mexico already has laws on the books saying you can not deny service to anyone

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  65. icon
    Sychodelix (profile), Dec 17th, 2013 @ 5:42pm

    The fact is, although the law is trying to follow the Constitution in disallowing discrimination, it also forces speech, and that part is unconstitutional. The law should be struck down, and the ACLU has no business trying to force compliance with an law with an unconstitutional part of it. If the "tell their story" part was removed, the law would be just fine, but not the way it stands.

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  66. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 17th, 2013 @ 5:45pm

    Re:

    not under normal operating hours if others are being served

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  67. icon
    Rapnel (profile), Dec 17th, 2013 @ 5:47pm

    Re: Re: It is complicated...

    There is no difference, really. How can there be? The photographer can choose whether they'd like to take pictures of anything they like. To force that photographer to take pictures of any race that they're not comfortable with is forcing speech from the individual AND attempting to legislate free will.

    These are individuals, the picture snappers, there is no Oath of Photography, pictures are art, it is neither a racial nor a moral matter rather it seems an individual liberty matter.

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  68. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 17th, 2013 @ 5:47pm

    Freedom of religion is a constitutional right...

    ...gay marriage is not. The photographer has the right not to be compelled to violate her faith. This is why Christians have fought gay marriage.

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  69. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 17th, 2013 @ 5:50pm

    she only provides services to bigots because her religion adheres to hate mongering

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  70. icon
    John Snape (profile), Dec 17th, 2013 @ 5:53pm

    Which side will you be on

    Which side will you be on when a gay couple goes into a Muslim church and demands to be married there? The Muslim punishment for homosexuality is either stoning or having a wall tipped over on you.

    So do we do the marriage and then the killing?

    Or how about you just go to someone who applauds your lifestyle and leave the religious adherent alone?

    ...Maybe tell a few people you know what happened...there is this internet thingy to get the word out...you should try it sometime...

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  71. icon
    Rapnel (profile), Dec 17th, 2013 @ 5:54pm

    Re: similar situation in the UK

    The hotel should have lost. The hotel is not obligated to pay any attention to their guests beyond keys to a room and basic services. Keys and basic services are not art and are not speech.

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  72. identicon
    Lizzie, Dec 17th, 2013 @ 5:56pm

    Re:

    A business has the right to refuse services to anyone for ANY reason. While I find homophobia, misogyny and racism to be horrifying, disgusting and inhuman, it's the right of the proprietor to refuse service if they don't care for the customer.

    She has a right to say no, they have a right to find someone who WANTS to photograph the wedding.

    Because honestly, who would want someone taking pictures of a monumental day, when the person taking the pictures is (possibly) disgusted and angry about being a witness to the event?

    The pictures would come out badly, or be poorly done, or lack heart and understanding.

    As a dog trainer, I have a right to refuse service to anyone, including Michael Vick. As a photographer, she has a right to refuse service to anyone, including gay or lesbian couples.

    I really, really hate coming down on the side of a homophobe. But she has rights as well.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  73. icon
    art guerrilla (profile), Dec 17th, 2013 @ 5:59pm

    Re: The key phrase here is ...

    excellent point...

    1. kudos to mike for a difficult stance, defending free speech is difficult far too often, because people don't understand the implications when they go down the censorship road...

    2. this is really a difficult clash of morals for me: while NOT a fire-breathing libertariantard, i *do* appreciate their valuing the right of a private business owner to run their bidness as they see fit...
    *now*, if that means they don't serve teh gays, or even blacks, or whites, or atheists, or whatever, then that is THEIR bidness...

    *ASIDE* from whatever the law is, they may be acting immorally, they may be acting cruelly, they may be acting intolerantly...
    BUT, IF they are truly FREE, are they not free to act in a disagreeable manner ? ? ?

    i would *HOPE* their 'unfair' policies would be made public, and i would *HOPE* that enough of their clientele would disapprove and/or boycott them, they would either change their tune, or go out of bidness and let a more tolerant bidness owner make a go of it...

    HOWEVER, the problem that arises, is that the premise of this 'argument', is there are OTHER bidnesses of that type to turn to if you spurn the ones that are known to be intolerant jerks...

    if you live in small town or rural amerika, you can be run off, ruined, or terrorized by such actions where a small coterie of bigots and big shots rule the roost, and screw over anyone they disapprove of...

    (in point of fact, it is *just* such types of autocratic behaviors which lead to many laws forbidding 'discrimination', etc...)

    having said that, i don't care where you live, WHO would want to 'force' a photographer (or pretty much anyone) to perform a service for you when they didn't want to do that, FOR WHATEVER REASON OR NO REASON AT ALL ? ? ?

    again, as others have pointed out -and as some seem too stubborn to permit- this is an ARTISTIC exercise, to one extent or another; and you are FORCING an artist who doesn't like you to do your portrait, etc ? ? ?

    that's fucking weird...

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  74. icon
    Rapnel (profile), Dec 17th, 2013 @ 6:06pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    So you're saying that there is a real or perceived risk that all available photographers could flip their shingles when gay folks come a knocking? That seems relevant. Hmmm.. I, for one, believe that risk to be mighty close to nonexistent/highly improbable today but I definitely concede the point. I still do not see how *one* individual can be "forced" to tolerate what is abhorrent to the individual. That seems a little like torture. Underground artist in the making.

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  75. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 17th, 2013 @ 6:11pm

    What about prostitutes?

    How about we go further. What about prostitutes? Can they deny service based on gender or sexual orientation?

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  76. icon
    Rapnel (profile), Dec 17th, 2013 @ 6:12pm

    Re:

    And then there's this.

    I'm thinking all parties incorrectly assessed each other and the couple, having the clear upper-hand, got a little petty and decided to play beat down the bigot.

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  77. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 17th, 2013 @ 6:17pm

    Re:

    Simple, they're only getting married just to show straight people like her that they can! That's the whole reason I got married as a straight man, just to show my wedding ring to gays and tell them they can't get married!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  78. icon
    Rapnel (profile), Dec 17th, 2013 @ 6:18pm

    Re: RE: -- what about the cake bakers

    The baker need not watch the eating of his cake.

    The dress maker need not watch the clothing of the bride.

    The decorator need not attend the party.

    The singers do not need to observe the listeners.

    The photographer must see.

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  79. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 17th, 2013 @ 6:18pm

    Re: The key phrase here is ...

    Ask for a marriage license in a lot of states, or even to recognize your existing marriage license?
    Wikipedia

    While I find it horrible, I hate to say it, homophobia is still in effect across most of the US. Let's face it, if this couple was from Utah, this wouldn't have even made it to trial.

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  80. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 17th, 2013 @ 6:22pm

    Re: Re:

    Do you even know what a homophobe is? Have you ever seen even one person who had an unreasonable fear or any fear of a gay person?

    Now what I really dislike is people who practice infanticide. Many of the same people who are concerned with gay rights don't mind killing the unborn. Even unborn gays.

    Your morals are artificial and change with the wind.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  81. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 17th, 2013 @ 6:24pm

    Re: What the II..?

    You've pretty much got it.

    Except, of course, they are not being refused because they are gay. They are being refused because the photographer does not want to attend and photograph a gay *wedding* (and would have no problem just taking normal pictures of them.) There's a distinction there. According to the brief, the photographer has in the past also refused to do nude maternity pictures - this does not mean the photographer refuses to serve pregnant women.

    And I would say that nobody should be forced to attend a religious ceremony they are not comfortable with, for any reason. This is something fundamentally different than merely being served at a lunch counter.

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  82. icon
    Rapnel (profile), Dec 17th, 2013 @ 6:37pm

    Re: Re: What the II..?

    Serving lunch is not art. Although your point is not lost on me I think that I disagree with the interpretations of "service" and of "business" when an individual must "intimately observe" to produce their product.

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  83. icon
    Eldakka (profile), Dec 17th, 2013 @ 6:37pm

    Is it free speech?

    Say I created a business to offer 'court recording' type services. I offered my services to law firms for depositions and had some certification that said I could be an official recorder at depositions. either taking hand/steno notes, or using a recorder. The purpose of the 'recording' is to document facts. What was/was not said, what actions were taken and so on so it could later be produced in a court of law or kept on file etc.

    Could I then say "I'm not going to provide my services to law firm X as they represent gays. "? Or blacks? Asians? Arabs? Whites?

    I mean, I'm producing a 'work of art'. Either a recording or a 'book' if I take written notes using a steno machine.

    Is this 'free speech' or am I just documenting an event?

    How is taking paid photography work to record a wedding any different?

    The PURPOSE isn't to create a work of art. The purpose is to document an event. Who was there, what shenanigans (who threw up in the pot plant, who got naked and ran across the dance floor...) they got up to, and so on.

    The photographer hasn't been asked to make any comment about the wedding. Just like a court reporter isn't asked to provide any personal comment ("I think they did/didn't do it." or "They're pastafarians, they should be boiled until al dente then eaten, with meat ball sauce") or express any views regarding the event they are documenting.

    If the customers wanted the service provider to SUPPORT the event, THEN the provider would be within their rights to refuse service, as that is definitely a free speech issue.

    Has the photographer been engaged to support the event? Or have they been engaged to DOCUMENT the event?

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  84. identicon
    MrPendent, Dec 17th, 2013 @ 6:38pm

    Is this a joke post?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  85. icon
    HegemonicDistortion (profile), Dec 17th, 2013 @ 6:39pm

    Re:

    I understand your view and believe your argument is both logical and persuasive, but ultimately I think the argument that photography is "speech" or expression and is therefore something different than, say, a restaurant, hotel, auto repair shop, etc., is slightly more persuasive.

    One nice "bright line" way of distinguishing between an "expressive" service vs a "regular" service is copyright, i.e. is the product subject to copyright? In the case of photography, yes, it is: the photographer holds a copyright on his/her photographs

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  86. icon
    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Dec 17th, 2013 @ 6:42pm

    Re:

    Let's continue this argument since religion is the center of the entire debate.

    Reverend John won't perform the service to marry two gay people because it's against his religious beliefs.

    There we go. Same exact thing. The Reverend won't perform the service of marriage because he thinks gay people are icky. But there are two aspects to this, the service of marriage and the speech of religion. The laws for service say you can't discriminate, but the laws of speech say you can.

    So which laws take priority? Should the reverend be forced to disobey his religion or the anti-discrimination laws?

    So which aspect of this article takes priority? The service of photography or the speech of photography?

    I honestly don't know where I stand with this. I expected to read the article and polarize, but now I don't know. I think I'm on Mike's side, but not by much. The First Amendment trumps all other laws. Or would silence qualify as hate speech?

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  87. icon
    Rapnel (profile), Dec 17th, 2013 @ 6:50pm

    Re: Freedom of religion is a constitutional right...

    Wait. Wouldn't marriage, at the most rudimentary of levels, be a form of speech?

    Is this speech vs religion? Well, being that religion is, in essence, a form of speech (and in some speech it is religious) wouldn't speech set the igher bar here?

    Christians fight gay marriage because they are intolerant bigots and do not, in fact, live the tolerance that their lord would have them preach. Isn't there something like . .. something like "Judge not lest ye be judged."? I'm pretty sure that's an important aspect of life much less religion.

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  88. icon
    Rapnel (profile), Dec 17th, 2013 @ 6:58pm

    Re: Re:

    Being that the "right" to silence must now be "claimed" or it doesn't exist I would not be at all surprised with "silence equals hate" popping up along the way.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  89. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 17th, 2013 @ 6:59pm

    Re: Is it free speech?

    Except the photographer does more than "document the event". There's creativity in what is photographed, when to snap the pictures, how to frame it, the angle, how the photo is later cropped and edited, etc. Copyright is assigned to the photographer - she is legally considered the author of the works.

    This is NOT merely a transcription or recording of events, and I think you just help explain why. For example, they would probably NOT photograph the person who threw up on the plant, or get a close-up of some dirt on the floor, or accurately portray the condition of the toilet. (And even if any pictures WERE taken of the guy puking in the corner, they likely wouldn't make the cut into the wedding album.)

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  90. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 17th, 2013 @ 7:01pm

    Re: Re: Freedom of religion is a constitutional right...

    Your lack of knowledge of Christianity and many others here is astounding. It isn't about intolerance, it isn't a phobia, it is about not condonimg and participating in sin.

    If a man is sinning and asks you if he is ok, you tell him yes and he goes to hell, how much do you love him?

    If a man is sinning and asks you if he is ok and you tell him no and he goes to heaven, how much do you love him?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  91. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 17th, 2013 @ 7:09pm

    Re:

    Pretty good article. So basically to avoid lawsuits according to Ken, just ask what political party they belong to...
    "This hypothetical suffers from the reality that political views and political group membership, including membership in the Klan, are not protected categories under the NMHRA. See § 28-1-7(F) (prohibiting public accommodation discrimination based on “race, religion, color, national origin, ancestry, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, spousal affiliation or physical or mental handicap”)."

    IE. I don't serve Democrats this week, and if you switch parties so will I.

    This sounds like a disaster even before it starts.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  92. icon
    Andrew F (profile), Dec 17th, 2013 @ 7:14pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    You're correct if I agree to take a photo of a car and then later take a photo of a house, that's a breach of correct. But you can't force me to agree to that contract in the first place. Were it otherwise, you could pass a law forcing wedding photographers to take pictures of boats.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  93. icon
    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Dec 17th, 2013 @ 7:14pm

    Re: Re: Re: Freedom of religion is a constitutional right...

    "If a man is sinning and asks you if he is ok and you tell him no and he goes to heaven, how much do you love him?"

    That's all fine just as long as the "asks you" part is there. The problem that Rapnel is pointing out is where people go out and force that "no" answer on people.

    However, this is not relevant to the current argument. She didn't go out to find these people, they came to her. She's not shoving her opinion upon others, she's just stating it.

    The question is, in this situation, is it illegal to refuse to speak?

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  94. icon
    btrussell (profile), Dec 17th, 2013 @ 7:17pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I am sorry I cannot provide my services to you.
    My personal views inhibit me from providing the service you need and deserve. My doing so would be an injustice to us all. I must respectfully decline.

    Sincerely,

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  95. icon
    Andrew F (profile), Dec 17th, 2013 @ 7:19pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Under U.S. law, if there's a conflict, speech wins. The First Amendment protects freedom of speech. The Civil Rights Act (or equivalent statute in this case) is what protects the right of a person to equal service. The First Amendment is a constitutional provision and therefore trumps the Civil Rights Act, which is a mere statute.

    It's why "hate crimes" are generally punishable in the U.S. but "hate speech" is not.

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  96. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 17th, 2013 @ 7:23pm

    Open question to the non-religious here

    I see many here dropping names like homophobe but have you ever seen anyone who had any fear of a homosexual? No? Me either.

    You say that Christians are on the wrong side of history. You will fight tooth and nail for gay rights, yet many of you support the practice of infanticide. Do you think someday you will be on the wrong side of history about that?

    Why do you think the photographer is even "wrong" if there is no God? Without God, there is no right, no wrong, no morals, no absolute truths. There is only eat or be eaten, strong will survive. Morals are whatever you want them to be. What is right for you can be wrong for someone else and who is to say either of you are right or wrong since there is no right an wrong? By your own logic, slavery was ok back in the day. In fact, it must be ok today since there are more slaves today than at any other time in history, right?

    You cannot argue morals when morals are a completely made up concept without God. The fact that you know there is right and wrong shows you know, deep down, there is a God.

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  97. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 17th, 2013 @ 7:29pm

    Re: Re: Freedom of religion is a constitutional right...

    Wait. Wouldn't marriage, at the most rudimentary of levels, be a form of speech?


    At some level, yes. And that's the problem.

    Is this speech vs religion? Well, being that religion is, in essence, a form of speech (and in some speech it is religious) wouldn't speech set the igher bar here?


    I would say that the photographer's religious AND speech rights are being violated. She is being forced to attend a religious ceremony that she is opposed to, AND being forced to create photographs portraying it in a non-negative way.

    The photographer refusing to attend, on the other hand, does not violate the speech rights of the couple. They can still have their ceremony. Heck, even if every photographer in the country refused to participate (which did not happen, they easily found someone else who was actually cheaper) they could give everyone who attended a disposable camera and tell them to snap away. But you don't have the right to force someone ELSE into your speech.

    I'm sure you're someone who thinks being anti-gay is horrible and compelling people to ignore their religious beliefs on the job is fine. Please remember: This law, if allowed to be applied here, could one day be used to compel you to attend a service of the Westboro Baptist Church, listen to everything they have to say, and portray it in a positive way. Or a Tea Party group. Ask yourself if you are really OK with that.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  98. icon
    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Dec 17th, 2013 @ 7:33pm

    Re: Open question to the non-religious here

    You're trying to force a religious debate into a debate of law. The two should not meet, separation of church and state and all that. This is a debate between anti-discrimination laws and freedom of speech laws.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  99. identicon
    Digitari, Dec 17th, 2013 @ 7:38pm

    Funny thing

    I find this entire debate to be quite humorous.

    The "gays" ( remember when that meant "happy" or "fun") want equality and/or tolerance, yet they will not tolerate any thing less from everyone else.......

    isn't that a queer stance to take?

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  100. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 17th, 2013 @ 7:49pm

    Re: Funny thing

    Straight people have had it too good for too long. Who the hell needs so many breeders?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  101. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 17th, 2013 @ 7:53pm

    Re: Re: Open question to the non-religious here

    Except you also can't force religion OUT of this debate. Among other things, the photographer is being forced to attend a religious ceremony. This alone should violate her First Amendment freedom of religion.

    The government should never be forcing anyone to attend any particular religious ceremony, and I fail to understand why that would ever be controversial.

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  102. icon
    HegemonicDistortion (profile), Dec 17th, 2013 @ 7:54pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    You seem to be offering this as the deciding principle when public obligations may trump individual rights or vice versa: since a 'business' is a societal creation, society can therefore impose requirements and limitations as a condition of doing business.

    While that seems a good principle, here's where I think that's a bit of problem. There are some things you can't legally do at all without operating as business, such as running a hotel or a pharmacy. If we accept that, then there's nothing in principle that says we couldn't require that for any exchange of labor for money one has to either operate as a business or be an employee of a business. Thus to make any living at all, one has to accept society's terms for business, which may trump individual rights.

    That's why I think we need a better principle (or set of principles) for deciding than this. It's messier, but we have something closer to ideal now: i.e. consideration of whether a rule/restriction serves a compelling governmental interest, the nature of the business (one of "public accommodation"), etc.

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  103. identicon
    Billius Barns, Dec 17th, 2013 @ 8:08pm

    Re: Re:

    I have seen professional photographers botch wedding pics before. All slightly not centered and faintly out of focus. Obvious when some were enlarged but not in the original smaller pics. Not to mention how many closeups of hands and feet were in the roll. I've always wondered how the conversation went between the bride and photographer during the hiring process and sunup.

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  104. icon
    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Dec 17th, 2013 @ 8:10pm

    Re: Re: Re: Open question to the non-religious here

    Looking at what caused the debate, then yes. But if we just look at the debate, the important part when it comes to law, it is about the First Amendment vs. anti-discrimination. Two laws that I wholeheartedly agree with, but are in conflict.

    So the question comes down to: Should she be forced to violate her own speech just so that she doesn't discriminate, or should she be allowed to discriminate so that she doesn't violate her freedom of speech?

    Since she is not preaching hate speech (unless silence is hate speech), inciting a riot, or inciting panic, then freedom of speech should trump anti-discrimination.

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  105. identicon
    Anon, Dec 17th, 2013 @ 8:11pm

    Re: similar situation in the UK

    They also refused service to cohabitating heteros.

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  106. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 17th, 2013 @ 8:12pm

    Re:

    That's not completely accurate. I've seen people misbehaving refused service before.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  107. identicon
    Marcel, Dec 17th, 2013 @ 8:14pm

    Re: Re:

    Could it have been a case of anti-religious bigotry as well?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  108. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 17th, 2013 @ 8:18pm

    "Of course, I also think that there's a First Amendment right for everyone else to explain why they shouldn't want to hire Huguenin in the first place for holding such views."

    What do you mean "everyone else"? The fact that you embrace faggotry does not mean everyone else does.

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  109. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 17th, 2013 @ 8:46pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    You're obviously a little confused as to the definition of "infanticide."

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  110. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 17th, 2013 @ 9:02pm

    Re: Re:

    a photography SERVICE is not free speech, its a service, its paid for and it is a contract, as such you are not allowed to discriminate in the provision of a service. You are not allowed to discriminate about race, sex, age, disability it is a crime.

    Taking wedding photographs as a business is providing a service and PAID for service so you are saying it's 'PAID FOR FREE SPEECH' and not a paid for service ?

    it is no different to now allowing blacks on busses or making them sit up the back, no different to not allowing someone with a guide dog from entering your restaurant.

    Mr Masnick you once again do not seem able to grasp even this simple concept.

    is it possible your initial argument is so flawed to start with, your saying that a company that provides the SERVICE of professional wedding photos, is for the money they are paid providing FREE SPEECH ?? and not quality photo's of a ceremony?

    Do you honestly believe that initial argument, and do you think that is a valid argument in order to discriminate?

    Do you not understand discrimination because you are a non-disabled white/Anglo, hetro middle aged male?

    so professional photographers are providing 'free speech' not wedding photo's!! and on that basis it is ok for them to deny that service and not at the same time discriminate.

    So next they will refuse to photo black people at weddings ? how would you feel about that ? ok ?

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  111. icon
    Rapnel (profile), Dec 17th, 2013 @ 9:04pm

    Re: Open question to the non-religious here


    I am all religions and I am none.
    I am the dark and I am the light.
    I am the wrong and I am the right.
    What are you? You are your life.
    The decisions are your own.
    The decisions are mine.


    God has never told me what to do nor how to do it. The best that he has come up with is "I am not a wizard." (which is pretty good if you ask me). Everything else has to be written off to mild psychosis or was lost in the cacophony of reality.

    I'm confident that death will bring change. I'm also confident that causing death is deranged. Forcing this photographer to accept and photograph something that he or she doesn't want to photograph falls somewhere in the middle between death and religion.

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  112. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 17th, 2013 @ 9:05pm

    Re: Re: RE: -- what about the cake bakers

    "The photographer must see."

    So, is 'must see' = 'free speech' ?

    is paid photography (and set format) "free speech" or a paid service ?

    is a photo of a Marriage "free speech" of the photographer, or a expression of speech of the people being married ?

    Who owns the expressed speech of a marriage? the photographer or the couple ?

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  113. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 17th, 2013 @ 9:22pm

    The only problem is how to delineate between free speech and commerce. Does a speech writer have the right to discriminate against blacks, etc? Does a personal chef have that right? Does a wedding band singer who only does covers of Prince song exactly as Prince has performed them have that right? There are too many businesses out there that have an element of art in them that could easily fall under the category of free speech. The only concern is to not leave a gaping hole in which businesses can use free speech as a coverall for discrimination. And blah blah libertarian nonsense about big government telling people what to do but if businesses can discriminate it creates a fundamentally unequal society that damages the lives of those who have to endure it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  114. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 17th, 2013 @ 9:24pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Remember, this is not just a case of discrimination against gays - the photographer said she would be perfectly OK with just taking pictures of them. It's a case where you're trying to say the photographer must attend and photograph a gay wedding, and portray it positively while doing so.

    Do you think a professional political speechwriter should be forced to write for the Republican National Convention even though they are a Democrat? If not, how is this different?

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  115. identicon
    S Palmer, Dec 17th, 2013 @ 9:33pm

    ESPN Jesus Ad

    Where was the ACLU when ESPN refused to run an ad with the name "Jesus" in it? Would the ACLU also come to the defense of Westboro if they wanted to run an ad with whatever offensive beliefs they're preaching this week? If someone offered Rachel Maddow whatever her going rate is to say "Jesus is Lord" could she be forced to do it?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  116. icon
    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Dec 17th, 2013 @ 9:37pm

    Re: Re:

    Generally speaking, businesses only have to respect peoples' rights for public accommodations, and photography for hire wouldn't qualify.

    They're offering their services to the public, yes?

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  117. icon
    Internet Zen Master (profile), Dec 17th, 2013 @ 9:46pm

    Re: Re: Funny thing

    Gay people do! Unless of course you have some mystic hole that can pop out new gay people you're not telling us about...

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  118. icon
    Atkray (profile), Dec 17th, 2013 @ 9:55pm

    Re: Re: What the II..?

    And the couple should have thanked her for having the integrity to tell them she was uncomfortable with it instead of just taking their money and doing a piss poor job.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  119. icon
    Rapnel (profile), Dec 17th, 2013 @ 9:58pm

    Re: Re: Re: RE: -- what about the cake bakers

    The photographer, to produce a photograph, must see the objects being pictured. What the photographer sees results in photographs so in this sense yes, seeing is saying.

    Photography is the service. The photographs? Those say a thousand words. :O) No?

    A photograph of marriage is the photographer speaking, yes. The expression of speech of the people being married is the marriage. The photographer, obviously, has no bearing on the speech of the marriage. The couple would like the photographer to speak so that they, the couple, may reminisce over the beginning of their marriage, with the photographer's photographs.

    I'm not sure what you're trying to get at?

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  120. icon
    Rapnel (profile), Dec 17th, 2013 @ 10:06pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    It would seem so, yes, but not "in" public. Not everyone will have a right to be there and not everyone wants to be there. The service provider is not comfortable with teh proposed private setting.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  121. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 17th, 2013 @ 10:07pm

    Re: Re: Re: Funny thing

    Haven't you heard? Male impregnation is a thing that's being actively researched. Once gays figure out how to do it beyond the realms of horribly written crack fanfiction they'll be able to lay claim to every male rectum on the planet. No longer shall they be denied their destiny of a dick up every male poop chute! Sticking up a meatpole in a girl's vagina? Ewww, what kind of twisted, soulless individual are you?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  122. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 17th, 2013 @ 10:13pm

    Re:

    yes, you can refuse to fight in a war because you object to killing people, but you cannot refuse to go to war because you don't like gay people.

    it is the reason, not the perceived morality of it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  123. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 17th, 2013 @ 10:24pm

    Re: Re: Re: What the II..?

    "Serving lunch is not art."

    Neither are wedding photo's, photo's can be art and they can express the speech or opinion of the 'artist/photographer', but photography as art is not photography as paid professional wedding photo's.

    In wedding photo's it is NOT the photographer's expression of art, it is his professional job, and done to a generalised and standard format.

    it is also contractual, it is either a good or a service (or both) it IS PAID FOR, it is NOT therefore free speech.

    it is the very definition of discrimination, it is illegal, and again, IT IS NOT FREE SPEECH.

    it is also a business, a commercial enterprise, should they discriminate for illegal reasons (gender, orientation, race, age, disability....) they should be charged for discrimination and forced by law not to engage in that discrimination.

    This is what a court will find, it is clear.

    Mr Masnick, if you start on a false premise you will lose the argument, wedding photography is not art, it may be 'artful' but it is not an expression of artistry from the photographer.

    You've been to photo school you must understand some photography is art, some is not, just as some paintings are art and some are the side of your house.

    what you are saying is a person who paints your house is an artist and is expressing his artistic skills in painting your house!

    Some photographers are artists, and some photographs are artistic, but does not mean all photographs are therefore art and all photographers are artistic.

    Just as some painters are artists, and some paintings are artistic, but not all painters are artists and not all paintings are artistic.

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  124. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 17th, 2013 @ 10:32pm

    it's an unreasonable reason.

    can not deny service to anyone for unreasonable reasons, you can deny persons for many reasonable reasons, such as they might be very dirty or greasy, or acting in a violent or aggressive manner, they are reasonable reasons to 'discriminate'.

    An unreasonable reason who be on the basis of their race, their age, their sex or for some other unreasonable reason.

    So if you are a bus driver you can refuse to let a person on the bus if you feel he is too dirty and will mess up the buss, or if he is too drunk, or you feel fear from his actions, they are reasonable reasons to discriminate.

    But you ARE discriminating if your REASON is unreasonable, such as in this case, his REASON for not taking the photos is because they are gay, that is simply one of the UNREASONABLE reasons to discriminate.

    Now he provides that service to non-gay couples therefore it is discrimination against this couple based on their sexual orientation.

    It has nothing to do with "free speech" or "art" it is a service that he provides to one group but not another based on an unreasonable reason (they are gay).

    So he either takes the photo's or takes no photos at all anymore, but not some and not others based on if they are gay (or black, or white, or old, or disabled) or for any other UNREASONABLE REASON.

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  125. identicon
    Andrew D. Todd, Dec 17th, 2013 @ 10:32pm

    What is Art and Authorship?

    A lot of people seem to be confusing photography with art, or authorship. Some photography is art and authorship, but other parts are a craft, a trade,

    There are conditions in which the photographer is the author, but I don't think wedding photography is one of them. A wedding photographer has a standard set of conventional technical solutions, which grow out of the conventional construction of churches and chapels. This is where you have to be to get a good view of the couple, that kind of thing. A gay wedding is more like a straight wedding, than either is like, say, a knightly investiture, which involves one party swinging a sword around. A wedding photographer is a tradesman, at about the same level as a journeyman printer. A tradesman, unlike an artist, can make a living because he can do almost any kind of work-- he's not tied to a particular aesthetic or politics. A journeyman printer can set type for a Tea Party pamphlet one day, and for a a radical feminist pamphlet the next. He doesn't sign his name to either of them, his contribution in setting type is not copyrightable, and he is not viewed as the author. In the same way, someone who merely photographs a choreographed public ceremony, whose structure and setting are beyond his control, should not be viewed as the author.

    Of course, there needs to be some kind of balancing test to differentiate what an ordinary wedding photographer does from what Leni Riefenstahl did at the 1934 Nazi Party rally at Nuremberg, resulting in the film _Triumph of the Will_

    Child studio photography is something different. It's mostly psychological, about establishing some kind of rapport with a shy child who is naturally timid of strangers. I have heard of cases of professional child photographers being instinctively reluctant to photograph children suffering from terrible (and imminently lethal) congenital handicaps.

    Some photography derives its power from "being there," the classic example being combat photography. Very often, this kind of photography involves going into danger. In particular, I refer to photographers like Robert Capa and W. Eugene Smith, men whose artistry was practically bound up with a willingness to die for the causes they photographed. Obviously, this level of "witnessing" is not a public accommodation.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leni_Riefenstahl
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Capa
    h ttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/W._Eugene_Smith

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  126. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 17th, 2013 @ 10:33pm

    "Where was the ACLU when ESPN refused to run an ad with the name "Jesus" in it?"

    where is the discrimination there ?

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  127. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 17th, 2013 @ 10:40pm

    Unlawful discrimination

    It is unlawful to provide a product or service to one group or to treat one group less favourably that another.
    That is discrimination.

    If a professional photographer does wedding photos for heterosexual, and refused to provide THE SAME SERVICE on the basis of the sexual orientation of the other group that is discrimination.

    There is no free speech component in this argument, the photographer is not expressing his free speech, he is providing the public a product or a service and is conducting a business.

    he is therefore engaging in unlawful discrimination and should face the full legal consequences of his acts.

    if he should do the job and do it badly, it would be exactly the same as not doing it at all, and he would face the same consequences (plus considerable damages).

    Screw up someone's wedding photo's deliberately because you are a homophobe, expect HUGE FINES !!!! and public shame.

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  128. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 17th, 2013 @ 10:41pm

    Re: What is Art and Authorship?

    exactly, and well said..

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  129. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 17th, 2013 @ 10:45pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: What the II..?

    it is also contractual, it is either a good or a service (or both) it IS PAID FOR, it is NOT therefore free speech.


    Wonderful. You can tell that to every reporter who earns a salary. They provide a good or service and therefore it's not free speech, according to that logic.

    You do realize the "free" in "free speech" means freedom, and not free as in "free beer", right? It's well established that getting paid does not mean you give up the First Amendment.

    what you are saying is a person who paints your house is an artist and is expressing his artistic skills in painting your house!


    What about the artist who paints your picture? The Mona Lisa is not art because it was an actual person being painted?

    If there is no artistic skill involved in wedding photography, then why do people pay ridiculous sums of money for a good job?

    You do realize the wedding photographer chooses what to shoot, how to shoot it, whether to keep the picture, and how to edit it?

    This is what a court will find, it is clear.


    If the Supreme Court is hearing the case, then it is far from clear. They'd only accept the case if they were NOT sure other courts would get it right.

    I'm also still waiting for someone to justify forcing a person to attend a religious ceremony. I'm really curious as to how that can be defended.

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  130. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 17th, 2013 @ 10:49pm

    Re: Open question to the non-religious here

    "Without God, there is no right, no wrong, no morals, no absolute truths."

    where do you get that from ??

    if there is no truth without God, there is not God without truth, therefore there is no God!

    what 'truth' do you have that there is a God ?

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  131. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 17th, 2013 @ 10:52pm

    Re: Re: Re: Open question to the non-religious here

    he is attending, not participating in a ceremony.

    he is attending in the capacity of a paid professional to perform a specific function. That function is to take professional quality photo's of a ceremony, he is not being paid to express his own 'art' or opinion.

    sure, if he was being forced to marry then it would be different, but he's the freaking photographer BEING PAID.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  132. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 17th, 2013 @ 10:52pm

    Re: Re: Open question to the non-religious here

    if there is no truth without God, there is not God without truth, therefore there is no God!


    It's not often you see two logical errors in a statement that size. The second statement does not follow from the first, and the third does not follow from the first two.

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  133. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 17th, 2013 @ 10:56pm

    Re: Re: Re: Open question to the non-religious here

    exactly my point, I am glad you grasped that simple concept. Well done!

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  134. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 17th, 2013 @ 11:07pm

    Simple question

    Does an artist have the right to sell or not sell his art to someone based on their religion, sexual preference, age, race and so on?

    The answer is no, they are not 'reasonable' reasons to discriminate.

    Does a newspaper (or a blog web site) have the right to restrict who has access to it based on race, sex etc ?

    if a restaurant allowed to refuse certain people because of their race, age etc?

    So even if it is art, and the expression of the artist, it is still unlawful and discrimination to NOT sell it to someone based on that 'thing'. (sex, race, orientation etc).

    A newspaper may be the product of free speech, but that does not then give that newspaper the right to discriminate who has access to that speech.

    Free speech simply is not an excuse to discriminate, neither is "art".

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  135. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 17th, 2013 @ 11:12pm

    imagine this

    say you are a black person, you walk into an art gallery, and the person there tell you this "I am sorry sir, the artist who painted these paintings does not want to sell them to black people, you will have to leave now"

    Mr Masnick, would this be ok ?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  136. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 17th, 2013 @ 11:19pm

    so refusal to do something is "artful expession"?

    where is the "art" or "free speech" in refusing to do something?

    he is not an artist if he is not creating art, he might of 'been' an artist. But in this case he is not an artists, and therefore has no free speech/expression rights, especially not trumping discrimination.

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  137. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 17th, 2013 @ 11:21pm

    Re: Simple question

    if a restaurant allowed to refuse certain people because of their race, age etc?


    They can refuse to serve certain beverages to those who are not at least 21 - in fact, they HAVE to. They can also have a senior menu for those over 55, or a children's menu for those under 12.

    A newspaper may be the product of free speech, but that does not then give that newspaper the right to discriminate who has access to that speech.


    Once the paper is created, yes, they must sell their already-created newspaper in a nondiscriminatory manner. But they are never forced to write a particular article. Even if they normally send a reporter to cover marriages, they are NOT forced to send one to cover a gay marriage. Even though that's discrimination. They are free to write editorials saying that gay marriage is ruining everything, and do not have to include a contrary viewpoint ever. They could run articles on how Obama should not be President because he is black, and while they would be ridiculed and nobody would buy their paper anymore, they have every right to say or NOT say whatever they like, and cover or NOT cover any story.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  138. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 17th, 2013 @ 11:26pm

    Re: Re: Re: Open question to the non-religious here

    first you talk as if only Christians only get married, and that there is only one religion, and no other religions have marriages, and that people who are not religious also do not get married.

    Clear that is not the case, this has nothing to do with religion, particularly for the paid photographer who is attending the ceremony not partaking in it.

    unless you want to also discriminate on the basis of religion, then you would have to say that jews are not allowed to marry, or you cannot marry unless you are religious !

    Or that if you are gay you cannot be religious, also not the case.

    People do not have to conform to YOUR religion to be just as right as you are, and people do not have to conform to any religion if they choose not too.

    you have no right to express your 'morals' on others on the basis of your religious beliefs, they are YOUR beliefs not everyone's. Because you THINK you are right, does not make you right.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  139. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 17th, 2013 @ 11:29pm

    Re: so refusal to do something is "artful expession"?

    he is not an artist if he is not creating art, he might of 'been' an artist. But in this case he is not an artists, and therefore has no free speech/expression rights,


    So a Democratic speechwriter can be forced to write for the National Republican Convention because his free speech rights don't kick in until after he starts writing a speech? That's just stupid.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  140. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 17th, 2013 @ 11:32pm

    Re: Re: Open question to the non-religious here

    "This is a debate between anti-discrimination laws and freedom of speech laws."

    it's not even that, 'freedom of speech' does not really factor into it, refusing to do something you would normally do because of a discriminatory reason is what this is about.

    the law states you are not allowed to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation, a person refusing a service (even art) on that basis is engaging in unlawful discrimination.

    Refusing to do what you would otherwise do under 'different circumstances' is not free speech, it's discrimination. (if done for an unreasonable reason).

    Unreasonable reasons have been outlines here before such as race, age, sex, orientation, disability and so on.

    There are also 'reasonable reasons', for which you can discriminate.

    But the reason this person presented in not one of them, and it is not free speech NOT to do your usual paid job for that reason.

    this is what a court case will rightly find..

    again, an artist cannot say he will not sell his art to anyone 'who is not black', for example.

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  141. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 17th, 2013 @ 11:40pm

    you just dont get it

    he is a "Democratic speechwriter", correct, he is NOT a "generic speechwriter", he would not be forced to write a speech for the republicans because that is not his job.

    This photographer does not advertise as a "hetero only photographer" we advertises as a "wedding photographer", he cannot discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation, nor can he advertise a discriminatory service.

    so its not that stupid, if you THINK about it, (I hope you do).

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  142. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 17th, 2013 @ 11:45pm

    Re: Re: Re: Open question to the non-religious here

    again, an artist cannot say he will not sell his art to anyone 'who is not black', for example.


    Again, the photographer is not refusing to photograph them, she is just refusing to photograph the wedding.

    What if the wedding involved a 12 year old getting married to a 42 year old? Assuming the marriage was legal in that state, you think the photographer has no right to "discriminate" just because she thinks that's a horrible situation and should be illegal?

    What if it was a weird wedding ritual involving animal sacrifice? Assuming it was legal, should the photographer still be forced to attend and photograph it? Even if she is repulsed by the thought of it?

    Is there really NO line where someone is allowed to just say "nope, I don't like what you're doing here and won't come to take pictures of it"?

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  143. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 17th, 2013 @ 11:45pm

    Re: Re: Simple question

    "They can refuse to serve certain beverages to those who are not at least 21 - in fact, they HAVE to. They can also have a senior menu for those over 55, or a children's menu for those under 12.
    "

    yes, exactly right, it's called "A REASONABLE REASON TO DISCRIMINATE", there are many of them, just as there are many "UNREASONABLE REASONS".

    You are correct, it's not only REASONABLE, it is THE LAW that you MUST discriminate on the basis of age if it is a bar, that is REASONABLE.

    you must then learn what is reasonable and unreasonable, to stop underage drinking is reasonable grounds for discrimination, to discriminate based on sexual orientation is unreasonable.

    it's a fun game the entire family can play, "reasonable or unreasonable".

    Violent and aggressive behaviour = reasonable
    Sexual Orientation = Unreasonable
    Color of skin = Unreasonable
    Gender = Unreasonable


    your turn !

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  144. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 17th, 2013 @ 11:53pm

    Re: you just dont get it

    he is a "Democratic speechwriter", correct, he is NOT a "generic speechwriter", he would not be forced to write a speech for the republicans because that is not his job.


    So your issue is with how he markets himself? So if he advertises himself as a Democratic speechwriter, any Democrat could force him to write speeches? Even if the speechwriter actually thinks someone else is a better candidate?

    And political affiliation actually IS a protected class in some states. Not all, but some.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  145. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 18th, 2013 @ 12:03am

    Re: Re: Re: Simple question

    You're the one who said discriminating by age was unreasonable. Underage drinking laws aside, they still have children's menus and senior menus. I honestly don't see why discriminating in favor of seniors is allowed, but discriminating against them is prohibited. (And it's even allowed in housing - you can have "senior housing" that only older people can buy/rent, but you can't have "non-senior housing" for only people below 65. In fairness, if one is allowed they both should be, and if one is banned they both should be. But that's kind of getting off topic.)

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  146. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 18th, 2013 @ 12:05am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Open question to the non-religious here

    that's right if it's considered "unreasonable" and 'unreasonable discrimination' it is by definition unlawful discrimination.

    and if he would have otherwise provided the services if not for that reason it is discrimination for that reason.

    it is a well defined line, there is another tenant that is in place called "reasonable accommodation" which means you are on occasions allowed to discriminate on a basis that would normally be considered unreasonable because on 'undue hardship' and inability to provide 'reasonable accommodation'.

    You might be able to discriminate against a very fat person, if you cannot reasonable accommodate his requirements (your taxi is too small for example).

    So for something like animal sacrifice, you could make the argument that you cannot 'reasonable accommodate' or do your job to the required standard because of that sacrifice.

    But because they are simply gay, or same sex, that is not a 'undue hardship' or a reasonable reason to discriminate.

    You can argue 'animal sacrifice' sickens me, so I cannot do it, that is reasonable discrimination, but to say "gay people sicken me so I cannot do it' is unreasonable and unlawful discrimination.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  147. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 18th, 2013 @ 12:10am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Simple question

    and if you go to a restaurant and are not a child or a senior you can still order the child meals or the senior means, if your a child or a senior you can equally order the 'normal' means, or the child meals if you are a senior or the senior meals if you are a child.

    Where is the discrimination in this ?

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  148. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 18th, 2013 @ 12:11am

    Re: Re: Simple question

    "But they are never forced to write a particular article."

    yes, they are free not, not to discriminate.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  149. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 18th, 2013 @ 12:12am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Simple question

    You've never heard of a senior discount?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  150. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 18th, 2013 @ 12:19am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Simple question

    yes I have said, there are reasonable reasons to discriminate, just as there are unreasonable and unlawful reasons to discriminate.

    senior housing, is therefore a 'reasonable reason' under the law.

    just as a taxi driver can refuse someone covered in grease from entering his taxi (reasonable discrimination) being covered in grease and messing the cap is a reasonable defence for discrimination.

    Being gay or black is equally an unreasonable reason to refuse someone into his cab, both are discrimination one is 'lawful' (with reason) and one is not.

    Not all discrimination is unlawful, but all unreasonable reasoned discrimination is unlawful.

    yes, it's not unlawful to discriminate again a person under 21 on the basis of age if he is in a bar, but it is unreasonable to discriminate on the same age basis if he were buying a candy at the local shop.

    It is probably not unreasonable to discriminate again an old person who wants to ride on a giant roller-coaster, but it would be if you refused to sell him a toaster because he was old !

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  151. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 18th, 2013 @ 12:22am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Simple question

    again discrimination is not necessarily illegal or unlawful, there are many situated where there is valid 'reason' to discriminate, equally there are situations that are 'unreasonable', your expected to know and understand the difference.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  152. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 18th, 2013 @ 12:25am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Simple question

    "You've never heard of a senior discount?"

    yes I have, and trade discount, and staff discount, and share holder discount, and frequent flyer discount are these unreasonable discriminations too?

    Do you see many "black persons" discount, or 'whities discount" or 'gay discount'??

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  153. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 18th, 2013 @ 12:32am

    Re: Re: you just dont get it

    no, he does not do anything but 'democratic speeches', no one can force him to write speeches, but equally he is not allowed to use unreasonable discrimination as the basis for refusal.

    if he was asked to write a democratic speech (employed as a democratic speech writer), and he refused because the person who asked him to write the speech was gay that would be unlawful, and discrimination.

    its the reason for refusal to provide the service you normally provide that is the act of unlawful discrimination.

    if "BACAUSE OF THIS REASON" and that reason is an unlawful discrimination, then it is deemed for that reason.

    (if done for any other reason AND for the reason of unlawful discrimination is it to be judged as being FOR that reason).

    That is how the law is (correctly) worded.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  154. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 18th, 2013 @ 12:36am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Simple question

    Again, YOU are the one who stated that age was unreasonable. Here it is:

    Unreasonable reasons have been outlines here before such as race, age, sex, orientation, disability and so on.


    So now age is reasonable?

    senior housing, is therefore a 'reasonable reason' under the law.


    Yes, that is the law. But the law itself seems to be rather discriminatory when it allows certain age-based housing discrimination and not other age-based housing discrimination.

    And the law is ILLEGAL - that is, unconstitutional - when it purports to compel someone to photograph someone else's wedding.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  155. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 18th, 2013 @ 12:37am

    here some real discrimination law

    it's from the Australian disability discrimination act (applied to most discrimination).

    Direct disability discrimination
    (1) For the purposes of this Act, a person (the discriminator ) discriminates against another person (the aggrieved person ) on the ground of a disability of the aggrieved person if, because of the disability, the discriminator treats, or proposes to treat, the aggrieved person less favourably than the discriminator would treat a person without the disability in circumstances that are not materially different.

    (2) For the purposes of this Act, a person (the discriminator ) also discriminates against another person (the aggrieved person ) on the ground of a disability of the aggrieved person if:

    (a) the discriminator does not make, or proposes not to make, reasonable adjustments for the person; and

    (b) the failure to make the reasonable adjustments has, or would have, the effect that the aggrieved person is, because of the disability, treated less favourably than a person without the disability would be treated in circumstances that are not materially different.

    (3) For the purposes of this section, circumstances are not materially different because of the fact that, because of the disability, the aggrieved person requires adjustments.


    _____

    Act done because of disability and for other reason
    If:

    (a) an act is done for 2 or more reasons; and

    (b) one of the reasons is the disability of a person (whether or not it is the dominant or a substantial reason for doing the act);

    then, for the
    purposes of this Act, the act is taken to be done for that reason.


    ___________

    DISABILITY DISCRIMINATION ACT 1992 - SECT 24
    Goods, services and facilities
    It is unlawful for a person who, whether for payment or not, provides goods or services, or makes facilities available, to discriminate against another person on the ground of the other person's disability:

    (a) by refusing to provide the other person with those goods or services or to make those facilities available to the other person; or

    (b) in the terms or conditions on which the first-mentioned person provides the other person with those goods or services or makes those facilities available to the other person; or

    (c) in the manner in which the first-mentioned person provides the other person with those goods or services or makes those facilities available to the other person.


    just take out 'disability' and put in sexual orientation or race as necessary.

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  156. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 18th, 2013 @ 12:40am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Simple question

    in this situation it is considered reasonable because
    1) everyone has the chance to get old
    2) generally aged people are on a lower income or pension

    it is therefore reasonable discrimination, and accepted.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  157. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 18th, 2013 @ 12:42am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Simple question

    if it is something he would reasonable and normally do if not for the stated reason (being unlawful discrimination) then you are right.

    But he provides that service, and the only reason he is refusing is for that reason it is unlawful, and he should provide the same service he provides other, he does not get to choose who he wants to discriminate against for that reason.

    it is simply not a lawful reason.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  158. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 18th, 2013 @ 12:47am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Simple question

    the court did not compel him to photograph weddings, he advertises as a wedding photographer, he is self compelled to provide that service, he does that for a living, he has not right to not do it on the basis of sexual orientation of his clients, for many other reasons he is allowed to refuse service, but not lawfully for that reason.

    (1) For the purposes of this Act, a person (the discriminator ) discriminates against another person (the aggrieved person ) on the ground of a disability(race, sex etc) of the aggrieved person if, because of the disability, the discriminator treats, or proposes to treat, the aggrieved person less favourably than the discriminator would treat a person without the disability in circumstances that are not materially different.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  159. icon
    ethorad (profile), Dec 18th, 2013 @ 1:04am

    which jobs are protected by first amendment?

    I'm not a lawyer or a constitutional expert so I was wondering if there was a clear definition somewhere of what is speech and what isn't? I'm guessing it has to be decided by the courts?

    The reason I ask is it seems that there's an argument that a photographer can deny service since what they do counts as speech, but a diner couldn't. I can see that there's not much "speech" in getting a burger, however there's a multitude of jobs on the speech to processing scale

    Could a lecturer refuse to teach? They physically speak to teach people. How about if the lecturer was in say political science where it's more about the professor's opinion than say maths where it's hard fact, so not so much the professor's "speech"

    Musicians? party organisers? artists? like photographers they try and come up with new products to fit their client's desires.

    Does the line get drawn when the job involves creativity? In which case you could make an argument for lots of jobs to come under free speech - basically anything which isn't following a rigid checklist, so anyone offering a more bespoke service than you get at a macdonalds.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  160. icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), Dec 18th, 2013 @ 1:06am

    Re: Open question to the non-religious here

    Without God, there is no right, no wrong, no morals, no absolute truths.... You cannot argue morals when morals are a completely made up concept without God. The fact that you know there is right and wrong shows you know, deep down, there is a God.

    I just wanted to point out that these statements are so wrong as to take away all credibility. You need to get out more.

    You honestly believe that those who do not believe in God cannot have an implicit sense of right and wrong? You believe that your own sense of right wrong is entirely dictated by God? Really?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  161. identicon
    Beech, Dec 18th, 2013 @ 2:08am

    Re: It is complicated...

    Same damn thing. If you are a minority, why would you want someone who HATES you for something so arbitrary that is so out of your control? Why would you insist THEY spend a few hours around your friends and family? Why would you trust them to do a good job documenting the festivities? Why would you try to legally compel them to do so?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  162. identicon
    Beech, Dec 18th, 2013 @ 2:10am

    Re: Re: similar situation in the UK

    Tell that to the NSA/FBI/Local Cops. ;)

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  163. identicon
    Beech, Dec 18th, 2013 @ 2:18am

    Re:

    "Religious objection law has, in my reading, huge glaring loopholes where they have a right to be an ass and then claim god told them to. They can have gay friends, support gay charities, but once they decide god told them so they can deny gays service."

    If you really want to get technical, if they really wanted to follow the Bible, they could just stone the homos instead of denying them service...

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  164. identicon
    Beech, Dec 18th, 2013 @ 2:20am

    Re:

    Actually, they can still make you go, they just can't make you shoot at people. You could work sweeping the floors in HQ, or cleaning the toilets or something.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  165. identicon
    Beech, Dec 18th, 2013 @ 2:22am

    Re:

    Well that's the interesting part isnt it? If they say "No food for you, fag," then they are in big trouble.

    If they say "Sorry we're full up tonight. Reservations 100% til closing time." they're fine, as long as they don't get caught in a lie.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  166. icon
    btrussell (profile), Dec 18th, 2013 @ 2:37am

    Re: it's an unreasonable reason.

    You forgot if a moron in a hurry can make the wrong assumption about what you said as a reason to discriminate.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  167. identicon
    anonymouse, Dec 18th, 2013 @ 3:56am

    My Freedom to do and belive what i want.

    One thing i hate about the gay community is their attempt to force their beliefs about their sexual preferences on others, and that is exactly what is happening in this case.

    Damn keep it in the bedroom and dont try to force it on others and you will be accepted as a person not a figurehead.

    Everyone has the right to not like what you do, most dont really think about what you do in the bedroom but by forcing it on people and not stopping talking about it and creating situations like this it only turns me away from the gay community as a whole. Don't try to force me to accept you becasue of your sexual preferences and i will not treat you differently to anyone else.

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  168. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 18th, 2013 @ 4:07am

    Re: Re: Open question to the non-religious here

    You are usually very good at cutting straight to the issue but here you are so far off as to appear to be doing it on purpose.

    I never said people can't have a sense of right and wrong without God. My very point is they do and it is completely arbitrary. It changes with time, place and society. It even varies widely within a society. So nobody can truly say anyone or anything is wrong as it is merely opinion.

    I also do not believe and did not say my sense of right and wrong is fully in alignment with God. That is the very reason we need Jesus for salvation, we are imperfect and cannot save ourselves.

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  169. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 18th, 2013 @ 5:08am

    Re: Re:

    No, you have a fundamental, deep lack of understanding on this issue, as does mike.

    Look at it this way, the same could be said for a sign in a restaurant. The chef considers his meals a work of art, and therefore protected free speech. Which is all good, except when the sign says "whites only".

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  170. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 18th, 2013 @ 5:24am

    Re: Re:

    Yeah unfortunately it seems the type of people that wouldn't serve a hamburger to a gay guy aren't usually the ones that would just shut up about why they aren't doing it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  171. identicon
    Jasmine Charter, Dec 18th, 2013 @ 5:51am

    Can't have it both ways...

    Forcing anyone to do anything in the name of "fairness" is ridiculous - whether it's goods or services or speech.

    There is an equal case (greater actually for religious) for anyone who refuses service to someone on moral or religious grounds as there is for that person to get served.

    14th Amendment:
    "All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No STATE shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."

    I see nothing in there about private business and nothing in there saying it trumps the 1st Amendment, which is abundantly more clear.

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

    "OR PROHIBITING THE FREE EXERCISE THEREOF..."

    Regardless of my own or your own moral objection, if their religious belief holds that homosexuality is a sin, and the Bible specifically tells them to "flee from sin"... I'm not sure how forcing them to service a homosexual is nor "prohibiting the free exercise" of their religion.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  172. identicon
    AbbaDabba, Dec 18th, 2013 @ 6:25am

    What's really happening

    Why would someone force a photographer to take pictures the photographer finds morally objectionable? Wouldn't a sane consumer find someone who would go out of their way to do a good job? This case is pure and simple attempt to force the gay agenda on people who find it objectionable. We're moving into scary times when the courts turn into thought police to enforce political agendas. But I also wonder about the thought process of the photographer. Instead of being confrontational, wouldn't they be better served if they told the client they were already booked for that day/time?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  173. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 18th, 2013 @ 6:33am

    Re: No, all that disclaimer is irrelevant, Mike: you're a CORPORATIST.

    And now you're an expert on this too eh?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  174. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 18th, 2013 @ 6:35am

    There is of course a VERY VERY simple answer to this.

    Force anyone who doesn't want to deal with 'certain groups' to post publicly (and clearly) the groups they won't deal with BEFORE any contract is signed.

    If its online booking, make them tick boxes to say "I am not " etc.

    That way even a heterosexual couple will actively know that this photographer 'doesn't like the gays' and can make an informed choice whether to go elsewhere.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  175. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 18th, 2013 @ 6:41am

    Re: Re: Re:

    AC @5:08 AM:

    I think there are differences between your "whites only" scenario and the present situation. In the "whites only" scenario, you are permitting certain clients from entering your establishment and property, while preventing others from doing so. Clearly such exclusion is not equal treatment under the law.

    In the case of the photographer, the photographer is going to an event and using creative judgment in capturing images of the event. The photographer is not excluding anyone from any place. The only thing the photographer is refusing to do is to take pictures of an event that the photographer objects to morally. What if the event had been a religious event and the photographer was agnostic? Seems to me that forcing a photographer to take pictures of a religious event in spite of being against religion violates another constitutional prohibition.

    Backing off to a wider view, professionals refuse to take on clients for a huge array of reasons, which professionals who provide a service can do. Generally, it is accepted, and logical (more on that in a moment), that if a professional, regardless of whether that person is an attorney, painter, CPA, etc., decides not to take on a client, they do not have to do so. If this photographer is forced to take on clients she does not want, then how will this situation extrapolate to any other service provider? A couple can accuse an attorney of discrimination in not taking on their case. Continue to add examples ad infinitum. As a service provider myself, I decide who I take on as clients, and I have refused to take on many clients for a variety of reasons (though none because they were homosexual). I can see being accused of discrimination, even though it would be unfounded, and forced to perform when I do not wish to perform.

    One has to wonder whether it is advisable to force someone to perform a service that person does not wish to perform. Will they really provide their best work? I suspect that even with the best of intent, their efforts will be less than what they are capable of performing. Logically, why would you hire a professional who does not want to perform a service for you? After all, are they likely to give you 100% of their effort, or feel as though they had been coerced to perform?

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  176. identicon
    christopher oloughlin, Dec 18th, 2013 @ 6:44am

    ACLU is not on wrong side

    The principle "free speech"is as all principles are not subject to the whims of a particular "situation".
    In this situation the photographer says yes my photos are speech and yes I take photos for business and in some situations I refuse to take photos like in the "situation of being gay". Free speech is a principle and ACLU is rightly defending principle against situational decay.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  177. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 18th, 2013 @ 6:57am

    Re: Re: Re: It is complicated...

    AC @3:59:

    I think the issue gets very complicated when you mix issues, such as race and sexual orientation. What if the issue was vegetarianism, and you catered solely to vegetarians? If the photographer is forced to take pictures, which in the mind of the photographer is an endorsement of a lifestyle that the photographer finds abhorrent, then a vegetarian may be required to take on non-vegetarian clients, attorneys may no longer be able to refuse service to a client, painters may be required to take on any job, etc.

    Regardless of whether I agree with the photographer, she is not refusing to permit someone into her establishment, she is refusing to travel to a private event and perform at that event. Don't magicians, mimes, musicians, and even DJ's have the same right at this time? You are going to take the right to refuse a client away from service people who work from their homes and/or perform at a client site.

    By the way, if the photographer had a studio and a gay couple came into the studio and the photographer refused to take their picture, I would be on the opposite side. Once you have a facility that is open to the public and you perform your service on site, you can't discriminate. That goes for hair dressers, massage parlors, etc.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  178. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 18th, 2013 @ 7:16am

    What if we flip it around?

    Forgive me if I retread ground here, but would all of you feel the same if the situation was slightly different?

    Could the government compel a Christian speech writer to write a speech to ban religion?

    What about a black man who refuses to take flattering photographs at an anti-black demonstration?

    A gay photographer compelled to attend and photograph an anti-gay fundraiser?

    Or is it only a few people who should be able to compel a particular viewpoint? I do not like the photographer's reasons, but where does it cross a line for you?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  179. identicon
    Andrew D. Todd, Dec 18th, 2013 @ 7:28am

    Re: which jobs are protected by first amendment?

    Ethorad (#158) asks: "Could a lecturer refuse to teach?"

    I can speak to that, based on some slight experience. In the first place, there are very minimal restrictions on who can enroll in a given undergraduate liberal arts college course, and these are usually confined to math, hard science, foreign languages, etc., and these restrictions are based on having taken certain pre-requisite subjects. Depending on the efficiency of the college administration, a class list may or may not arrive before the first class meeting. The students obviously do not get to choose what the class will be about. They can enroll, or not enroll, and that is the limit of their choice. The lecturer lectures to whoever comes. There is a classic professorial remark, which goes as follows: "Mr. X, I am not interested in your opinion, only whether you know Aristotle's opinion, and can distinguish it from Plato's opinion." Substitute Marx and Spengler, if you like. I've said much the same thing myself, though rather more gently. At a higher level, the nineteenth-century historian Fustel de Coulanges was famous for saying to young men with theories, "have you a source," that is, have you got documentary evidence to back up your conjectures. People don't hold themselves out as being willing and able to teach anything, but merely as being willing to teach what they want to teach, to anyone who will listen. That is more or less the same offer as the author of a book makes.

    The only case I can think of where enrollment went by personal attributes, as distinct from abilities, was a course catalog entry I once saw for a class in horseback riding, which stipulated that the students could not weigh more than a hundred and thirty-five pounds. I think the course was offered by a commercial riding school through the university's "free college." Obviously, that was based on using the school's horses, and they didn't keep the specially big horses suitable for bigger people (Belgians, Percherons, Clydesdales, etc.).

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  180. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 18th, 2013 @ 7:53am

    Contract Differences?

    I'm confused at this whole thing. since the photographer is a contract based business, why is this an issue? she isn't denying them service, for say taking pictures at an event and refusing to take just theres; she is turning down the work.

    doesn't the aspect of the contract change the way that this is done?

    i'm not sure there is a free speech argunment at all, as IF she had taken the contract, she is then bound by it. her speech has nothing to do with taking the contract or not.

    help?

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  181. identicon
    James, Dec 18th, 2013 @ 7:55am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    But not, apparently, in this case.

    What if I wanted to hire a comedian to entertain my church, but he refused because he thinks Christians are all bigoted, close-minded, misguided homophobic misogynists?

    Could I sue him for not providing his public service to my religious organization, because he's discriminating on the basis of religion?

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  182. identicon
    James, Dec 18th, 2013 @ 8:17am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Open question to the non-religious here

    So, how about the minister?

    That person is there in a paid capacity, performing a professional function, and to read certain words in a prescribed order.

    Why should a Presbyterian, or Catholic, or Baptist minister/priest be allowed to refuse a request for a gay wedding ceremony?

    In fact, I would say that the role of the minister is less "artful" than that of the photographer.

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  183. identicon
    The Real Michael, Dec 18th, 2013 @ 8:41am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Why do you slap the bigot label on the photographer for adhering to her beliefs? Either there's a valid, logical reason that marriage has been recognized as between a man and a woman for thousands of years ...or everyone else had it wrong because, y'know, you know better.

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  184. icon
    The Wanderer (profile), Dec 18th, 2013 @ 8:47am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Do you even know what a homophobe is? Have you ever seen even one person who had an unreasonable fear or any fear of a gay person?

    This is one of a constellation of similar terms; one of the others is "xenophobia".

    The underlying idea is that all hatred, anger, et cetera, is inherently rooted in fear.

    Whether or not that's accurate, the word has come to refer to an attitude of active antipathy towards homosexuals and/or homosexuality, and - at least in common discourse - no longer has anything directly to do with fear, regardless of what its roots may mean.

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  185. identicon
    The Real Michael, Dec 18th, 2013 @ 8:55am

    Re: Re: Re: It is complicated...

    There is no moral imperative to abstain from providing a service for someone because of their race. However, homosexuals are not their own race. It is a sexual preference, a choice, otherwise there wouldn't be such a thing as gay people who change and straight and visa versa -- yet there are.

    All people are created equal but not all actions are, nor should they ever be considered to be. Nobody has an "equal right" to be photographed. If government can compel private business owners to violate their conscience then we're in fact operating under a communist-leaning judiciary, which is unconstitutional.

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  186. identicon
    The Real Michael, Dec 18th, 2013 @ 8:59am

    Re: Re: It is complicated...

    Take your pick: to bully, to intimidate, to set legal precedent, to force their lifestyle upon others.

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  187. identicon
    The Real Michael, Dec 18th, 2013 @ 9:09am

    Re: Re: The key phrase here is ...

    Just because the state decides to supercede the public by redefining marriage to appease this-or-that subsect of society doesn't mean that everyone else must comply. After all, what's the point in the First Amendment if people aren't free to make choices, moral or otherwise?

    'Homophobia' is a nonsensical slander implying fear where none exists. Disagreeing with someone's sexual poclivities in no way constitutes bigotry.

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  188. icon
    Rapnel (profile), Dec 18th, 2013 @ 9:15am

    Re: Re: What is Art and Authorship?

    What did he say, exactly? What did I miss?

    I saw no clear distinction separating art from wedding photography, at all. All rocking chairs are not created equally.

    The photog needs to insert himself, observe his subjects and facilitate the execution of his trade. He can not "unsee" gay intimacy.

    In this case she will need to observe, intimately, exactly that thing that she finds objectionable. That is she'll not be simply observing gay people but gay people expressing their love for each other. That would apply to not only the couple but I would surmise that other gay couples would be in attendance as well. Something for everybody - Combat photography. The situation will by no means be under her control and she can not simply look away.

    The essence of this case, for me, is that an individual stands the chance of being told what they can and cannot see as it pertains to their own human experience. There is no inherent opportunity for the individual to simply "pass by" the "crime scene" as they will have been forced to take part in it - Combat photography.

    This is not, necessarily, discrimination of gay people so much as discrimination of gay "lifestyle". She would need to insert herself into a position that consists of observing other people's life choices, vis-a-vis intimacy.

    This photographer's position is, given the circumstances, a rather respectable one in that she seems to be tolerant of the existence of gay people and will take their portraits willingly. The argument that consists of "She's a photographer therefore she must take pictures of gay weddings." seems, frankly, authoritarian. i.e. "Not only must you provide service to these people but you must provide service to these people in their intimate settings."

    I hold that one can, indeed, discriminate against lifestyle while at the same time not discriminate against individuals. It seems a clear difference between tolerance and acceptance. The former can be legislated the latter will forever be a choice.

    If the court ultimately decides to go your way I'll be pretty comfortable with the knowledge that they will not have chosen wisely and this solely due to the fact that the "goods" are produced through the eye of the observer. Photography is not a rocking chair and photography is not lunch.

    Behold! Forthwith you shall see what I have seen! ... yeah, still no.

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  189. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 18th, 2013 @ 9:23am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Simple question

    "self compelled"? No, government compelled. If she does not comply, men with guns will eventually come, forcibly take her away, and put her in a cage.

    She finds that there is a difference between normal marriage and gay marriage. You know what? SO DOES HER STATE. Gay marriage is actually only legal in 8 counties there.

    And once again, she has no problem serving gays, she merely does not want to attend a gay wedding. It is a religious ceremony that she finds to be against her religion. There is a difference between refusing to serve someone because they are gay, and refusing to attend a gay wedding. A black photographer should not be able to refuse someone because they are white, but they should absolutely be able to refuse to photograph a white supremacy rally - and it doesn't matter if they advertise as a photographer for rallies.

    I bet when Boston declared it would deny permits to Chik-Fil-A because they didn't like the anti-gay politics of the owner (the owner, not the business itself) you cheered it. Even though that was an obviously illegal discrimination on the part of the city. Even though discrimination by the government is a million times worse than discrimination by a single wedding photographer. Somehow it's OK for Boston to discriminate against those who oppose gay marriage, but a photographer cannot discriminate against someone who is anti gay marriage.

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  190. identicon
    Pragmatic, Dec 18th, 2013 @ 9:30am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    The issue of gay marriage is only thirty years or so old, according to Wikipedia, the result of two male students wanting to wed. Before that, no one but Caligula had even considered it.

    The reason it's come up is because of laws that provide special favors to married couples, e.g. health or death benefits. That means that, in states where gay marriage is not recognised, you can't even visit your partner in hospital because they don't recognise your relationship.

    With each law that infringes on their rights to be treated as a couple or as members of a family, or that prohibits acts that take place in private between consenting adults, we create a longer chain to tangle ourselves up with. We used to pretend it doesn't exist but gay won't go away because some of us find it objectionable. We need to learn to accept it and treat gay people fairly, otherwise, they do what every oppressed group in history has done: fight back till they win. And they will. Because you do when your back is against the wall.

    We really need to stop trying to regulate human relationships and stay the hell out of people's bedrooms. That's where all of this has come from. It's why I can't stand authoritarians. Ultimately, they are responsible for this, and the harder they try to force the genie back in the bottle (discourage all mention of homosexuality and force them all back in the closet), the more likely they are to simply break the damn thing. It's too late. It's here now, and the world hasn't come to an end so live and let live.

    As for the photographer, it's unfortunate that she has taken this stand, but if people want to go against the grain, let 'em. The last thing we need is to live in a world where you have to watch every word you say in case you end up in jail. Approved speech. All comments and blog posts, etc., checked for political correctness and the risk of being sent to reeducation camps if you say the wrong thing. It's getting like this in the UK, now, isn't it? Do we want it here? No, thank you.

    Bear in mind that, considering the political climate, this could go either way. You don't want to be crushed beneath the boot of the extreme left or right. All extremism is harmful and restrictive, after all.

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  191. identicon
    Almost Anonymous, Dec 18th, 2013 @ 10:00am

    Re:

    Yeah, I wondered about that too. How do you codify quality?

    "You must take pictures of their wedding, and they must be GOOD pictures."

    Yeah, let's see how far that flies. I seem to recall a recent similar story involving a bakery. If the baker doesn't want to bake a cake for a gay wedding, then the baker is undoubtedly an asshole, so you want to *force* an asshole baker to make your cake? I have serious doubts that it will taste good, or that your guests won't get food poisoning.

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  192. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 18th, 2013 @ 10:03am

    Re: Re: Re: It is complicated...

    Sorry, no, that is a stupid position. If I, as a business owner, kick someone out of my business because he is using loud profanity and upsetting other customers, it is not discrimination against loud-mouth assholes.

    Discrimination has very specific meanings as it applies to certain groups of people within the law.

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  193. icon
    Rapnel (profile), Dec 18th, 2013 @ 10:04am

    Re: Contract Differences?

    I think, and I may have this wrong, that because the photographer did not take the work AND stated why that the argument is that the photographer MUST take the work or be held to account for their apparent discrimination against gay people. I, personally, think that the photographer is not, in fact, discriminating against gay people but against gay people being, somewhat intimately, gay.

    I think the argument, at the basest level, is that if one offers services, photography in this case, than one must offer any and all services to homosexual persons that would, normally, be offered to heterosexual persons. My first impression was "of course you have to offer the same services" until I realized that, wait, that means they'd have to observe and document what they're seeing and what they're seeing is not "a gay person" but "a gay person's life choices". I cannot quite see how they are one and the same and that there is, perhaps, a delicate line here between tolerance and acceptance.

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  194. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 18th, 2013 @ 10:16am

    Re: Re: Re: The key phrase here is ...

    You are free to make choices, but Government institutions shouldn't be involved in religious matters. Marriage as such is not a religious thing when the Government requires it for healthcare, taxes, etc...

    The only opposition I have ever heard from people about same sex marriage is based on religion, which has imho no place in law.

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  195. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 18th, 2013 @ 10:21am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "a person who hates or refuses to accept the members of a particular group"

    Simple Merriam-Webster's dictionary: link

    -- a person who hates or refuses to accept the members of a particular group

    Sounds like she is not accepting the beliefs of another group to me. (PS Accepting and agreeing are totally different as well.)

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  196. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 18th, 2013 @ 10:22am

    Re: Re: Re:

    It's both speech and a service. Freedom of speech has nothing to do with whether you are paid for that speech or not. It has to do with whether you are allowed to or prohibited from speaking by the law. Also, part of the concept of freedom of speech is not just that you can't be prohibited by law from speaking but the content of your speech cannot be influenced by the law. You also can't be forced by the law to speak. Freedom of speech means you can say what you want and the law can't make you change it to say something else instead or even force you to say anything at all if you don't want to which is what the First Amendment issue here is.

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  197. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 18th, 2013 @ 10:31am

    Re: Re: Re: What the II..?

    "Serving lunch is not art."

    Sure it is. It's called the Culinary Arts for a reason.

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  198. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 18th, 2013 @ 10:42am

    Re:

    The act of refusing the service is also speech though. She is making the statement that she does not support gay marriage. Even if the service itself was not something speech related, the act of refusing it is itself speech. Forcing her to provide it is prohibiting her ability to boycott the event as a form of protest.

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  199. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 18th, 2013 @ 10:45am

    Re:

    +1 funny to you.

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  200. icon
    ArkieGuy (profile), Dec 18th, 2013 @ 10:47am

    Different but similar....

    Wouldn't this situation be very similar to:

    1 - a photographer who specializes in female portraits being forced to photograph a man?

    2 - a pro-civil rights writer being forced to ghost write a auto-biography of a KKK leader?

    3 - a church news letter being required to accept advertising for an abortion clinic?

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  201. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 18th, 2013 @ 11:05am

    Re: What is Art and Authorship?

    Your understanding of the art is a little lacking. Even though photojournalists (which is in effect what you are describing wedding photographers as) capture events more than creating images, there is still an art to using your understanding of the medium (mostly light), composition, positioning, and timing in order to capture those images. Also bad art and formulaic art is still art even if it does not command the acclaim that works do which are more original and refined. The first amendment doesn't just protect original or good speech. It protects all speech.

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  202. icon
    ArkieGuy (profile), Dec 18th, 2013 @ 11:35am

    All nude wedding?

    Could a photographer (or a preacher) be forced to participate in an all nude wedding? Both are "contract" for hire positions, I can't see how the contractor can be forced to take the contract.

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  203. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 18th, 2013 @ 11:38am

    Re: Open question to the non-religious here

    Let me give you a little history. The concepts of "right" and "wrong" come from the concepts of "beneficial" and "detrimental" which in turn stem from observation with applied logic and reason. Religion stems from a need to control (not always for nefarious reasons mind you) the population and in the past (and even in the present in some cultures) religion WAS/IS the law and not separated from it. Let me illustrate that with a simple example. Take the Jewish belief that pork is unclean and should not be eaten. At the time that the concept was created, there was no knowledge of microbiology or the diseases that can be transmitted by eating pork that is not handled properly or refrigeration technology and how it can be used to preserve meat for longer periods of time. The rulers of the Jewish people saw that people who ate pork more frequently got sick and died than those who did not. Without the ability to understand why this was the case, they explained it the best way they knew how. It must be that pigs are unclean, and God is telling us not to eat pigs. So to keep people from getting sick and dying, they made it part of the Jewish law and told people it was a sin thus making it "wrong" to eat pork because in those days eating pork was dangerous.

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  204. icon
    John Fenderson (profile), Dec 18th, 2013 @ 11:50am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Do you even know what a homophobe is? Have you ever seen even one person who had an unreasonable fear or any fear of a gay person?


    Yes, actually. Such people are quite common. You can tell by how they froth at the mouth and shake in anger when talking about gay people acting like actual people.

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  205. identicon
    CrushU, Dec 18th, 2013 @ 12:05pm

    In the words of the great Ambassador Mollari...

    "Love?! What does love have to do with marriage?!"

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  206. identicon
    Zonker, Dec 18th, 2013 @ 12:35pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Except that attending and photographing weddings and portraying them in a positive light is a job requirement for a wedding photographer. If you consider it to be immoral to perform the duties of your job then you are in the wrong line of work.

    You have a choice: either continue to perform your job regardless of your morals or quit your job. You don't get to pick and choose which job responsibilities you are willing to perform and which you aren't, it's all or nothing. No one has to work a job they object to since slavery was abolished, but if you won't do the job you don't get to keep job.

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  207. icon
    John Fenderson (profile), Dec 18th, 2013 @ 12:39pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Why do you slap the bigot label on the photographer for adhering to her beliefs?


    Perhaps because her beliefs are bigoted.

    Either there's a valid, logical reason that marriage has been recognized as between a man and a woman for thousands of years


    First, marriage as we know it today is not thousands of years old. It's actually fairly recent.

    The "valid, logical reason" that marriage has historically been between a man and a woman is because it was directly and solely concerned with setting the chain of inheritance of property and with the maintenance of political bloodlines.

    For most of history, if you had no property or power, marriage was a nonissue. You were considered "married" if you publicly declared that you were (and if you were a member of an Abrahamic religion, once you had sex). That's all.

    our modern notion of marriage is just that: modern. We made it up. There's nothing wrong with adjusting it as we see fit.

    For the record, I think that government-sanctioned "marriage" shouldn't exist at all. Leave it to the beliefs of the people who want to get married. The governmental side should replace "marriage" with a specialized form of incorporation (which is what it really is, legally speaking, anyway) that can be entered into by anybody who can legally enter into contracts.

    Think of the benefits all around -- the government is out of the marriage game, so all this arguing about same-sex marriage is nullified instantly. Additionally, the incorporation can happen between anybody. it would be really convenient to, for example, enter into the incorporation with an aging parent instead of the patchwork and inconsistent process needed to get the rights to speak on the parent's behalf when it comes to medical care, etc.

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  208. icon
    Rapnel (profile), Dec 18th, 2013 @ 12:39pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: What the II..?

    mhrm.. I thought that was the actual cooking & plating part. No? I would think that it's out of the norm for an establishment's cook to know who, exactly, his dish is for anyway. And nobody here is cooking homosexuals for that matter. I don't think this entire thread has a single applicable analogy. Everyone seems oddly stuck on the service perspective. ... Perhaps with good reason but I'm not seeing it.

    Maybe a masseuse? I will rub you even if you're gay but I'm not going to rub you and your partner together. ? Yeah?

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  209. icon
    John Fenderson (profile), Dec 18th, 2013 @ 12:42pm

    Re: Re: It is complicated...

    So you think that gay people choose to be gay, then?

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  210. icon
    John Fenderson (profile), Dec 18th, 2013 @ 12:45pm

    Re:

    If one is open for business to the public, one must serve all comers. Think barring Blacks from lunch counters.


    Not true. It is completely legal for a business to discriminate based on anything it wants to that isn't in the short list of exceptions such as gender, race, religion, etc.

    A business is entirely within it's rights to refuse to serve you just because they don't like the shirt you're wearing, for example.

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  211. icon
    John Fenderson (profile), Dec 18th, 2013 @ 12:47pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    If so, I don't see an indication of it.

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  212. identicon
    Zonker, Dec 18th, 2013 @ 12:47pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    And in response to your question, the difference is that the Democrat party would be the employer who hired the speechwriter to write for them. It would make no sense for the writer to be forced to work for a competing employer while already employed.

    That is like hiring a wedding photographer to photograph your wedding and they are forced to photograph another wedding party instead.

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  213. icon
    John Fenderson (profile), Dec 18th, 2013 @ 1:44pm

    Re: Re: Re: Open question to the non-religious here

    My very point is they do and it is completely arbitrary.


    We agree. However, introducing religion into the concept doesn't make anything less arbitrary at all.

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  214. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 18th, 2013 @ 2:05pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What the II..?

    When you look at it as the business (and the chef is a part of that entity) is providing the service and denying the service then it makes sense. Also with out the chef's artistic expression, there is no lunch to serve so it's kind of crucial here.

    BTW Who said anything about cooking homosexuals? LOL

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  215. identicon
    Charles Havens, Dec 18th, 2013 @ 2:11pm

    Use of coercive government power

    I got a kick out of the writer's lengthy, repetitious and groveling self abasement at the alter of support for everything homosexual at the outset of this. It was beyond parody. Thanks.

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  216. identicon
    askeptic, Dec 18th, 2013 @ 2:18pm

    Freedom of Speech & Association

    You do realize, don't you, that the position you are taking in this matter is the same position that Barry Goldwater took in relation to the Civil-Rights Act of 1964?

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  217. icon
    Karl (profile), Dec 18th, 2013 @ 2:22pm

    Re: Re: Re: Open question to the non-religious here

    My very point is they do and it is completely arbitrary.

    You don't accept arbitrary morality by looking to God as absolute moral arbiter. For, God may have completely arbitrary moral standards too. That was the whole point of Socrates' Euthyphro.

    Saying something is moral "because God said so" isn't a belief in morality, it's a belief in authoritarianism.

    Also, if you're claiming that atheists behave less morally than religious people, then you're empirically wrong.

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  218. identicon
    jblog, Dec 18th, 2013 @ 2:30pm

    Re:

    "When the photographer goes beyond creating photographs and begins offering their services to the public, then they have to treat all customers equally just like any other business."

    Actually, she doesn't -- if you strip away the constitutional arguments here, there is absolutely no legal requirement compelling the photographer to take this couple's business or anyone else's -- she has the right to refuse to take anyone's business for any reason.

    That's why the ACLU is attempting to argue this case on constitutional grounds -- without that argument, as flimsy as it is, they have absolutely no case.

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  219. icon
    Karl (profile), Dec 18th, 2013 @ 2:30pm

    Re: Re: Re: Open question to the non-religious here

    Actually, there's an even simpler argument to be made.

    My very point is they do and it is completely arbitrary.

    But there is no objective proof that God exists - certainly not that a particular God exists. Religious people agree with this; it's why faith is required.

    So, religious morality derives from a subjective belief in a particular God, which is just as "arbitrary" as morality derived from atheist or humanist beliefs.

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  220. icon
    Paul A'Barge (profile), Dec 18th, 2013 @ 2:32pm

    Lefties, aka ACLU

    The thing with lefties is that for most of them, tribal loyalty trumps any principle - Glenn Reynolds.

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  221. icon
    Paul A'Barge (profile), Dec 18th, 2013 @ 2:34pm

    Love is not Marriage

    governments were trying to tell people who they can and cannot love.

    Governments are not telling anyone whom they can or can not love. Governments are telling people whom they can marry.

    Love != Marriage. And it's government's job to define marriage as the culture wants marriage defined.

    In the case of America, that means marriage == union of one man and one woman.

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  222. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 18th, 2013 @ 2:47pm

    Re:

    Let's continue that thought.

    What if the photographer was black, advertised availability for and was hired to shoot a "fetish modeling session", only to discover the fetish in question was a mock lynching -- guy in blackface in a noose, banner above reading 'the only good nigger', and so on? Should that photographer be compelled by law to take that business, or to give up photography completely?

    Or: what if a devout Muslim catering service offered to create individualized menus for special events, only to learn that the event was Easter dinner, and the customer's menu included pork? Or same as above, only the caterer is Orthodox Jewish, and the menu is cheeseburgers? Should those caterers be compelled to touch and serve food they are forbidden as a matter of faith, or lose their livelihoods?

    Or: should gay artist Shepard Fairey (he created the 2008 blue-and-red Obama posters) be compelled to accept business from an anti-gay customer that required him to depict homosexuality as evil, or never again produce commercial art?

    Or: noteworthy science advocate Neil deGrasse Tyson offers himself to be hired to speak publicly through the Jodi F. Solomon Speakers Bureau. Should he be compelled to speak and be recorded praising young Earth creationism if a client requests him, or give up public appearances?

    I hope I've made the point that as soon as one gets away from "here are mass-produced things for sale, buy them", the question becomes far less tenable as a simple discrimination issue.

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  223. icon
    John85851 (profile), Dec 18th, 2013 @ 2:49pm

    Right to discriminate, but wrong reason given

    The photographer is a private business and can chose whom to do business with, or not do business with. Sure, it might be discriminatory, but like many people are saying, aren't there other photographers in town that would be happy to do the job, and I assume be happy to get the income?

    Photography is a creative service, hence the free speech issue. However, this further supports the idea that the photographer has every right to refuse service to a client if he doesn't think he can do a good job. How is this any different from refusing to do a wedding shoot on a volcano? "Sorry, it's too dangerous" "No it's not- you're discriminating against volcano lovers". Okay, that's a stretch of an example, but still.

    As for the posters asking if they had a business, could they turn away blacks and gays?
    Sure- it's your business and you can choose whom to serve and whom not to serve. But you need to be ready for the consequences, such as negative publicity, loss of business, and so on. And you would have no right to complain when a competitor opens and "steals your business" because they cater to the people that you're excluding.
    Or like another poster said, simply say "we're closing for a private event".

    I think the problem with this story is that the photographer said she couldn't do the job because of religious reasons, which made the couple angry, which started the fight. If the photographer had simply used a more generic excuse such as "I'm booked that weekend" or simply "I'm not available, but let me recommend someone else", none of this would have happened. Then, of course, the photographer saw she was facing a lawsuit, so she had to claim it was a free speech issue and get the ACLU involved. I'd be willing to bet that these are the kinds of people who would take their argument to the Supreme Court simply on the principle, rather than agreeing to use another photographer.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  224. identicon
    mousebert, Dec 18th, 2013 @ 2:52pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    At what point is a photographer is allowed to say NO? What if it was photographing nudes - is that required? How about copulation between consenting adults, or adults with animals and so on? What if the photographer didn't like working with infants?

    So, according to you, it is impossible to actually find someone who will photograph the gay wedding? I find that very difficult to believe.

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  225. icon
    John Fenderson (profile), Dec 18th, 2013 @ 2:56pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Yes, I believe you could.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  226. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 18th, 2013 @ 3:02pm

    If the photographer had simply used a more generic excuse such as "I'm booked that weekend" or simply "I'm not available, but let me recommend someone else", none of this would have happened.


    Nope. The couple that sued got someone else to ask about having an event on that day. So they knew it wasn't actually booked.

    And that wouldn't change the law, it would just be a way to break the law without getting caught sometimes.

    Then, of course, the photographer saw she was facing a lawsuit, so she had to claim it was a free speech issue and get the ACLU involved.


    The ACLU is siding AGAINST the photographer. Hence the article title.

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  227. identicon
    David Aitken, Dec 18th, 2013 @ 3:03pm

    Re:

    Should a black business owner be required to serve a KKK member?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  228. icon
    John Fenderson (profile), Dec 18th, 2013 @ 3:05pm

    Re: Re: Re: Open question to the non-religious here

    While I think that the ACLU is on the wrong side of this, I do understand why they frame it as a free speech issue.

    "Free speech" means more than just being able to say what you want. It also means being able to not say what you don't want to say.

    If the photographer views photographing the couple as saying that gay marriage is OK, that is making her say something she doesn't want to say. Thus, free speech issue.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  229. icon
    Rapnel (profile), Dec 18th, 2013 @ 3:07pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What the II..?

    Ah, yes, however the chef's art as a service is not contingent upon an interaction with the eater. That's why I inserted cooking homosexuals as the chef would, definitely, be required to interact at that point. "I refuse to cook gay people." is quite different than "I refuse to cook for gay people.". This type of analogy seems a clear misrepresentation/misdirection away from the type of service we're trying to refer to which is an interactive service with little to no control over the setting. And so on.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  230. identicon
    Ken James, Dec 18th, 2013 @ 3:08pm

    Photographer and Religion

    Separation of church and state is and always has been a one way street. How does a religious person defend their views against a state that apparently abhors religion's moral values. I have no problem with gays, but I also have no problem with people who do have problems with their lifestyle. Who is more hateful in this instance - the photographer or a society who is skewering the photographer because don't kowtow to group-think who is not free to exercise her religious views. Breaking News: Gays are no longer the discriminated group they once were - religious people are now the morally deviant group. What a bastardized concept of society we have.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  231. icon
    John Fenderson (profile), Dec 18th, 2013 @ 3:09pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Open question to the non-religious here

    Saying something is moral "because God said so" isn't a belief in morality, it's a belief in authoritarianism.


    I've always thought that atheists and agnostics can claim to be more moral than believers in an authoritative god for just this reason.

    Doing a Good Thing because you fear the consequences of not doing it is not acting morally at all, it's acting selfishly (avoiding punishment). Doing a Good Thing because it's the right thing to do is acting morally.

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  232. icon
    John Fenderson (profile), Dec 18th, 2013 @ 3:11pm

    Re:

    The fact that you're a bigot doesn't mean everyone else is.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  233. icon
    Karl (profile), Dec 18th, 2013 @ 3:13pm

    Re: Open question to the non-religious here

    I see many here dropping names like homophobe but have you ever seen anyone who had any fear of a homosexual?

    Yes. I have also met people who had a fear of their own homosexual tendencies (or tendencies that they perceived as being homosexual), and turned this fear into hatred of others who were homosexual.

    A simple example is the idea that gay marriage "threatens" heterosexual marriage. It's obviously bunk: the fact that gays can marry does not in any way impact the ability for straight people to get married. Yet it is perceived as "threatening." That's homophobia in a very literal sense.

    You say that Christians are on the wrong side of history.

    Most Christians do not support discrimination against homosexuals. Most Christians would not support this photographer's stance. That stance is what is on the wrong side of history, not Christianity itself.

    Why do you think the photographer is even "wrong" if there is no God? Without God, there is no right, no wrong, no morals, no absolute truths.

    You do not need to believe in God to know that hurting others is wrong, and discrimination hurts others.

    By your own logic, slavery was ok back in the day.

    By your own logic, slavery still is OK, since it is frequently endorsed in the Bible (e.g. Leviticus 25:44-46, Exodus 21:2-6, Exodus 21:7-11, Ephesians 6:5). Unless, of course, you subjectively decide to ignore some parts of the Bible and not others.

    Also, morality may not be based on belief in God, but that does not mean it is completely subjective. Just as basing your morality on belief in God does not mean it is not completely subjective.

    This is basic Religion 101 stuff. Even a first-year seminary student could debunk it.

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  234. icon
    John Fenderson (profile), Dec 18th, 2013 @ 3:14pm

    Re: ESPN Jesus Ad

    The ACLU rarely, if ever, takes a case on its own volition. I can easily see them taking any of the cases you cite. They've done similar things, repeatedly, in the past. If they haven't taken a case, it's either because the injured party didn't ask them for help or because they determined that there really wasn't much help they could provide.

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  235. identicon
    MikeK, Dec 18th, 2013 @ 3:16pm

    Re:

    So, if her "telling their story" consists of a lecture on why she opposes gay marriage you're OK with that ?

    Amazing.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  236. icon
    Karl (profile), Dec 18th, 2013 @ 3:18pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Open question to the non-religious here

    I've always thought that atheists and agnostics can claim to be more moral than believers in an authoritative god for just this reason.

    That would require that people think "authoritarianism" is morally wrong in and of itself. Unfortunately, this belief is not particularly widespread among the religious.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  237. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 18th, 2013 @ 3:19pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    And in response to your question, the difference is that the Democrat party would be the employer who hired the speechwriter to write for them. It would make no sense for the writer to be forced to work for a competing employer while already employed.

    That is like hiring a wedding photographer to photograph your wedding and they are forced to photograph another wedding party instead.


    That doesn't solve the problem at all. What if it's a new speechwriter who isn't under any contract yet? What if the contract expired? What if he works on a per-speech basis and doesn't have any other obligations this week?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  238. identicon
    Someone, Dec 18th, 2013 @ 3:22pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    "Have you ever seen even one person who had an unreasonable fear or any fear of a gay person?"

    I think after reading some of the threats that gay people made on this list to the general population, I just acquired that very fear. Not because of their sexuality, but because of the high probability that gay people are bullies and not safe to know.

    Hope this helps,

    A bulliphobe

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  239. identicon
    ken james, Dec 18th, 2013 @ 3:28pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Open question to the non-religious here

    What do you folks have against someone who believes in a higher being? I am agnostic and it doesn't bother me a wit what religious people believe unless they try to force their views on me, which rarely happens. But, you want to force a lifestyle on them they absolutely disagree with. Ask that gay couple to go to a Muslim photographer and see what the result may be. Live and let live is a two way street, but a lot of folks want it to be one way with a dead end.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  240. identicon
    thomass, Dec 18th, 2013 @ 3:32pm

    There are also free association issues.... which the ACLU always tends to oppose.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  241. identicon
    Tom Bosworth, Dec 18th, 2013 @ 3:36pm

    Re: Free speech

    " if I'm running a print shop printing books for others. "

    So if you were a publisher you could be forced by the government to print neo-Nazi hate tracts, and you have no problem with government having that power over you?

    How about if you were a gay publisher and the government ordered you to print anti-gay tracts?

    How about if you were a commercial writer and the government ordered you to write pro-Nazi, anti-gay propaganda because "you are in the writing business"?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  242. icon
    Rex Karz (profile), Dec 18th, 2013 @ 3:36pm

    Re: Point of view

    I do that now.

    When I build a website for a client, I charge double if the client wans support for IE.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  243. identicon
    Dave smith, Dec 18th, 2013 @ 3:44pm

    Response to: Anonymous Coward on Dec 17th, 2013 @ 3:53pm

    The key is that she is not refusing to photograph them. As she said, if they came in for individual photos she would photograph them.

    Photographing a wedding is completely different. You have to attend the wedding as a participant! To force someone to participate in a ceremony they disagree with, for whatever reason, is immoral.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  244. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 18th, 2013 @ 3:44pm

    Re: Re:

    Actually, she doesn't -- if you strip away the constitutional arguments here, there is absolutely no legal requirement compelling the photographer to take this couple's business or anyone else's -- she has the right to refuse to take anyone's business for any reason.

    That's why the ACLU is attempting to argue this case on constitutional grounds -- without that argument, as flimsy as it is, they have absolutely no case.


    Actually, that's kinda backwards. There IS a "legal requirement" for the photographer in the form of the anti-discrimination law. The photographer is arguing a First Amendment right and saying that forcing her to do this is unconstituional.

    The ACLU is NOT arguing for any constitutional right (because there is none on their side of the argument) - they are arguing against the couple's First Amendment stance. (Which makes me wonder how often the ACLU actually argues *against* the First Amendment. Have they EVER done so before, in a case where there were no constitutional issues on the other side of the argument? I'm curious.)

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  245. identicon
    curmudgeoninchief, Dec 18th, 2013 @ 3:45pm

    If you haven't figured it out by now, this is part of the gay political movement's campaign of extortion and terrorism to get their way on gay marriage. The tactics they are using amount to "That's a nice little business you've got there. It would be a shame if anything happened to it". It's an extremely effective tactic, and most people don't even wait to be threatened.

    When a pair of boys walk into your establishment and want you to do the flowers, bake the cake, take the "wedding" photos at their nuptuals, you already know what's going to happen to you if you refuse. You read the paper, you watch TV, it's obvious what is in store for you if you refuse as a matter of conscience.

    As long as the US as a society, ignore the government, permits this and doesn't take steps to ratchet back these tactics, so long will we be no better than the good Germans who stood by and watched the Nazis break the windows of Jewish-owned stores on Kristalnacht.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  246. icon
    Karl (profile), Dec 18th, 2013 @ 4:01pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Open question to the non-religious here

    What do you folks have against someone who believes in a higher being?

    Plenty of people who believe in a higher being do not support prejudice against gay people.

    I am agnostic and it doesn't bother me a wit what religious people believe unless they try to force their views on me, which rarely happens.

    I'm glad that is your experience, but it is not mine. It certainly is not the experience of many gay people.

    But, you want to force a lifestyle on them they absolutely disagree with.

    Saying that you shouldn't discriminate against gays is not forcing a gay lifestyle on them.

    The photographer has a right to believe whatever she wants. It's an immoral belief, but people have a right to believe immoral things.

    The debate is whether she can refuse to do jobs for others because of her immoral beliefs. I actually think the photographer is legally in the right, but I'm not required to agree with her beliefs to think that.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  247. icon
    Karl (profile), Dec 18th, 2013 @ 4:11pm

    Re:

    If you haven't figured it out by now, this is part of the gay political movement's campaign of extortion and terrorism to get their way on gay marriage.

    This is the most ridiculous hogwash I've ever seen. "The gay political movement" (as if there even is a single "gay political movement") generally does not go around bombing businesses that disagree with their political stance. Unlike, say, certain anti-abortion activists.

    you already know what's going to happen to you if you refuse.

    The general public will see that you're discriminating against homosexuals, and refuse to do business with you.

    Because the general public - including its religious members - recognize that discrimination is a bad thing, and don't want to give their money to people who do it.

    That's not "extortion." That's a consequence of unethical behavior.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  248. icon
    vgh (profile), Dec 18th, 2013 @ 4:14pm

    So if a prostitute advertises on craigslist/ backpage and says no blacks. can she/ should she be prosecuted for civil rights violations

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  249. icon
    Rapnel (profile), Dec 18th, 2013 @ 4:23pm

    Re: Love is not Marriage

    Whoa, whoa, easy there big guy. You played your hand and gave the ace you were holding to the guy sitting across the table that you were playing with. You brought your position and debunked it in the same, short post.

    Clearly America is much more complex that you've allowed yourself to believe.

    You are your own tribe in your own tribal war.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  250. icon
    Karl (profile), Dec 18th, 2013 @ 4:27pm

    Re: Right to discriminate, but wrong reason given

    As for the posters asking if they had a business, could they turn away blacks and gays?
    Sure- it's your business and you can choose whom to serve and whom not to serve.


    No, you can't. The Federal Civil Rights Act guarantees all people the right to "full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, and accommodations of any place of public accommodation, without discrimination or segregation on the ground of race, color, religion, or national origin." This covers hotels, restaurants, theaters, gas stations, etc. See 42 USC 2000a.

    Additionally, there are numerous state laws that expand the equal protections to categories of people (e.g. sexual orientation) and places that aren't covered under the Federal statutes.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  251. identicon
    Doubting Rich, Dec 18th, 2013 @ 4:28pm

    Re:

    Where in the First Amendment does it say that speech is not speech when it is involved in a business? I think that the news industry would be concerned to hear your comment on that.

    Thee only other interpretation of your comment that I can think of is that the ACLU is acting against this photographer's business practices, not her photography, but a photographer's business practice is photography, they cannot be separated.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  252. icon
    Rapnel (profile), Dec 18th, 2013 @ 4:37pm

    Re:

    Sure, no blacks, third-trimester lesbians, red heads or men of any kind. Strict short-menu high-end hooking. What could go wrong?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  253. icon
    Mykpfsu (profile), Dec 18th, 2013 @ 4:45pm

    I'm willing to bet that alot of the people that say the photographer should be punished would line up quick to defend a photographer who made a print of a crap covered Jesus. Then all of the sudden photography would be about speech.
    As for those going on and on about public accommodation and such. First off, the federal civil rights act only affects interstate commerce. Pretty sure a rinky dink photographer doesn't count. Secondly, if you're going to drone on about public accommodation then please show where the photographer refused to do ANY work for gays. Last I checked the photographer only refused to photograph a gay wedding. This also makes the judge's reason that JCPenney could refuse a family based on race highly misleading bordering on slander.
    Lastly, if this decision stands, whats to stop the New Mexico government from forcing a catholic church to perform gay weddings? Obviously the religious objection would be mute. So what would really stop them?

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  254. identicon
    DADvocate, Dec 18th, 2013 @ 4:52pm

    Equality is a trap

    Liberals have turned equality into a trap where the government takes away our freedom in the name of equality. Freedom trumps equality. People in prisons are equal. Liberals are turning our entire country into a virtual prison.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  255. identicon
    ken james, Dec 18th, 2013 @ 4:59pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Open question to the non-religious here

    Your thinking is so skewed and clumsy I am not even going to try to respond. So her thinking is immoral because you say so? That is exactly the problem with the left. They want everyone to think the same as they do. You people are bat*h*t crazy and it's the reason so many of you go off the rails. You cannot tolerate anyone with a different viewpoint. Just call it racism and bigotry and that ends the argument. You cannot think and you all spew the same garbage over and over and over. Group-think. You disgust me.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  256. icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), Dec 18th, 2013 @ 5:07pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: It is complicated...

    It is a sexual preference, a choice, otherwise there wouldn't be such a thing as gay people who change and straight and visa versa -- yet there are.


    Really? I know that I cannot choose to be gay. I am straight and have always been so. But since you insist it's a choice, please prove it to me by turning gay for 2014, and then choosing to be straight again after. That would convince me. Otherwise, I'm pretty sure you have no idea what you're talking about.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  257. icon
    Bruce Brown (profile), Dec 18th, 2013 @ 5:26pm

    Test case

    This is exactly like the Washington law to force all pharmacies to carry abortion pills. Yes I know, the science is settled, it is not an abortion pill. Many pharmacies received an exemption. It was not in their economic interest, they had no customers for the pill. They were allowed exemptions from the rule. Anyone with a religious excuse was denied.

    These people shopped around to find someone to reject them.

    Get over yourselves, find someone who wants you. It is not hard to do. I would personally like to do your wedding photographs. I will be thrilled with the results. You, maybe not so much. Quit looking for something to be offended by.

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  258. identicon
    Someone, Dec 18th, 2013 @ 5:31pm

    Re:

    Maybe it's time for true equality to be established everywhere and start booking gay establishments for prayer meetings and hire their venues for parties for straights.

    I'm sure the local gay sauna/bar/hotel would not mind the extra business and certainly be open minded enough to not refuse their business services to the public.

    After all, segregation of any kind is bad for society anyway.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  259. identicon
    FrancisChalk, Dec 18th, 2013 @ 5:38pm

    ACLU

    Only an utter fool ever thought the ACLU gives a hoot about free speech. Their ONLY goal is to advance Leftism/Socialism/Communism--PERIOD, DOT!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  260. icon
    Rapnel (profile), Dec 18th, 2013 @ 5:46pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Open question to the non-religious here

    Batshit! Open up, you're allowed. Self-censorship is half overrated anyway and I can see you're only half-way there.

    I admit that I was taken a little back by the firm determination of morality, however, with regards to discrimination it is, in fact, not a moral thing.

    And, for the record, you called Mr. Karl skewed and clumsy, sure he weighted his views with his beliefs in the matter but you just sort of fired off like an angry fucking lunatic (and yes, I'm quite sure they procreate because I, typically, am one). Karl made me think, you made me type this batch of nonsense.

    Since you clearly did try to respond how about a little something something about why you seem to think that discrimination is a moral thing. Or did that particular church pamphlet not make it to the printer?

    Are you not your living God? Step it up a little bit.

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  261. icon
    Karl (profile), Dec 18th, 2013 @ 5:46pm

    Re: Re:

    start booking gay establishments for prayer meetings and hire their venues for parties for straights.

    Every single gay owner of an establishment does this already. Do you honestly believe that an owner of e.g. a hotel would turn away straight people merely because he's gay? His hotel would go out of business in a week.

    More to the point, how many gay photographers do you think would refuse to take photographs of straight weddings? There are quite a few gay photographers out there, and I've never heard of a single one doing this.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  262. identicon
    Billius Barns, Dec 18th, 2013 @ 5:49pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    …and runup to the wedding.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  263. icon
    Karl (profile), Dec 18th, 2013 @ 5:51pm

    Re: ACLU

    Their ONLY goal is to advance Leftism/Socialism/Communism

    Right, which is why they defended the rights of Nazis to march in Skokie.

    Oh, wait...

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  264. identicon
    Patrick, Dec 18th, 2013 @ 5:53pm

    Re:

    Curious if this position applies to for-profit newspapers or news networks?

    The NY Times, MSNBC, WasPost, Fox News are all commercial (profit) driven enterprises. They don't "create" the news, they simply provide the content to their audience. Or something.

    The photographer here is being asked to "report" the event in a positive light. So can the government then step in and tell MSNBC to provide positive coverage of a conservative politician?

    When in doubt, drop the emotional plea-bargaining we do in our head ("I support gay marriage") and turn it around. See if it still makes sense. If the answer differs, then we're doing it wrong.

    Respectfully,

    Patrick

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  265. icon
    Urgelt (profile), Dec 18th, 2013 @ 6:42pm

    Speech Versus Service

    Wedding photography is art, which is speech. It's a service, which isn't speech. Which is it primarily?

    I think it's primarily a service. The message being created isn't the wedding photographers - much. She picks her angles and exposures, which is art, but the message is determined mainly by the buyer. So it's a service more than it's her own art.

    An independent contractor/service provider should be free to sign contracts/provide services as pleases her. For example, a maid should be free to refuse employment with a particular rich employer if she doesn't like him. Her dislike is a good enough reason to refuse a contract and make it stick. It doesn't matter why she doesn't like him: he could be gay, or religious, or a reputed rapist, or has ugly children, or messes up the toilet seat, or maybe he wrote a book she hated. Any reason is good enough.

    It's different when a business opens itself to the public, like a restaurant. But this case is much closer to the maid analogy than a restaurant. So it makes no sense to me to compel the wedding photographer to sign a contract for people she doesn't want to serve.

    So I reach the conclusion that the ACLU is off-base this time, too - but not because the photographer is protected by the First Amendment. I don't see the First Amendment as having anything much to do with her right to refuse to serve the wedding couple.

    As for the Equal Protection Clause, I can't see how that would apply, either.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  266. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 18th, 2013 @ 6:50pm

    Re: Re:

    The photographer here is being asked to "report" the event in a positive light. So can the government then step in and tell MSNBC to provide positive coverage of a conservative politician?


    Apparently the other side thinks that this would not apply to reporters because they do not do news on demand.

    But wait! Many local news stations have at least one feature where they invite people to call in. "If you've been ripped off, call our investigative team!" So they're advertising this service... to the public... does this mean they lose all control and must investigate and report on whatever anyone demands?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  267. icon
    jdub57 (profile), Dec 18th, 2013 @ 6:55pm

    Re: Re:

    The U.S. Constitution does not apply to individuals or to businesses; it applies to government.

    The only reason this person is being persecuted is because of a state anti-discrimination law. She can run her business any way she pleases within the bounds of New Mexico law.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  268. identicon
    Naif Mabat, Dec 18th, 2013 @ 6:57pm

    I'm genuinely curious here. Is it the religious beliefs that are the problem here? Or is the discrimination against an aggrieved group?

    What about a photographer who refused to do a wedding because the bride was pregnant?

    Or because the bride was a divorcee and the groom's last name is "Cohen"?

    Presumably the ACLU wouldn't bother so much where the religious objections of the photographer were more narrow and technical and didn't touch on any political hot buttons.

    And is it really true that a business must serve all the public or none of the public? What about the grocery store that refused to bake a cake:

    http://www.foxnews.com/story/2008/12/17/little-adolf-hitler-denied-birthday-cake-at-new-jersey- grocery-store/

    Would the ACLU represent little Adolph's father in that one?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  269. icon
    BernardoVerda (profile), Dec 18th, 2013 @ 6:59pm

    Re: This part by "Reason" is particularly insidious baloney:

    Actually, disparagement is just fine -- it's discrimination that's a problem.

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  270. icon
    Rapnel (profile), Dec 18th, 2013 @ 7:24pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Apropos to nothing, I would pay to see that performance.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  271. identicon
    EDH, Dec 18th, 2013 @ 7:35pm

    Re:

    One difference is it's a personal service, not a place of public accommodation.

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  272. icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Dec 18th, 2013 @ 8:05pm

    Re: Re:

    start with the women who aren't virgins when they marry and lemme know how that works out.

    bible also says judge not lest ye be judged, but all these mfer's pass judgement on everyone all the time (except themselves of course). Don't see much help for the poor, unless they also accept a heaping plate of the 'right' religion with the meal.

    according to their book, god created adam and eve, who had 2 sons... and were are all descendants of them. work that one out in your mind.

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  273. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 18th, 2013 @ 8:23pm

    Re: What is Art and Authorship?

    So I have this script for a movie-- I know that it's going to play really well in front of certain audiences, and not so well in front of others. I've been told that it caters to stereotypical views of a certain group of people.

    In order to make it, I'm going to staff the entire project with the group of people who are being stereotyped. Cameramen, lighting, sound, actors, directors, etc. Especially the actors!

    Because they're providing a service for pay, can I require them to participate in my movie? I'm only expecting them to be professional about the work that they'll be doing-- they don't have to believe in the end product. They don't ever even have to see the end product.

    If I can't force these people to participate in my project, why not?

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  274. identicon
    Wes, Dec 18th, 2013 @ 8:37pm

    Not an easy question...

    See, these analogies to Jim Crow-era segregation laws just seem too facile to me. Simply saying, "refusing to serve gays is like refusing to serve blacks" ducks some serious questions.

    Let's put the issue another way: Could a gay photographer be legally compelled to cover some gay-bashing event put on by the Westboro Baptist Church?

    Do anti-discrimination laws mean a black photographer can be compelled to cover a KKK rally?

    Do anti-discrimination laws mean a Jewish photographer has an enforceable legal obligation to cover a skinhead celebration if those skinheads are willing to put up the money for it?

    Does the law mandate that simply by opening a photography business, a photographer with a moral objection to pornography has no choice but to photograph a swingers' orgy?

    Come on, man.

    I understand that as a general rule, businesses are legally required to serve all customers. But surely there is a point at which a business owner is entitled to say, "no, I cannot consent to have my time and talents used in the service of such-and-such."

    While I don't think "moral beliefs" should be an all-purpose license to discriminate, surely we can agree that there ought to be some limiting principle, some point at which the rights of the business owner trump the rights of the customer.

    I cannot imagine why any sane person would open a business if they knew that at any moment, some asshole with a lawyer could come barging in and legally force them to perform a task they find morally repugnant and they would have absolutely no right of refusal at all, for any reason.

    The idea that the law gives me an unrestricted right to hijack another person's labor simply because he or she possesses a business license makes a mockery of the concept of a free society. It makes a permit to operate a business the legal equivalent of selling yourself into slavery.

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  275. identicon
    PD Quig, Dec 18th, 2013 @ 8:52pm

    This train left the station a long time ago

    With the civil rights movement, moral and ethical behavior became required by law. The freedom of association was destroyed--albeit in a well-meaning cause--when private citizens were forced to do business with people they had previously chosen not to interact with. In my opinion, it was morally abhorrent for people to not serve blacks in their businesses, but it was a violation of their right to free association to force them to do so. Any business or individual not receiving funding from the government should be free to conduct legal business as they please. Government should not be able to discriminate, but all others should be free to conduct their affairs as they choose--and with whom they choose. Removal of this liberty may have been morally superior, but it has landed us in a place where the government and judges now get to decide how we manage our lives.

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  276. identicon
    JMA, Dec 18th, 2013 @ 9:03pm

    Hypothetical situation: What about the atheist man who has a speech writing business? He takes on various clients from the public. A pastor comes to him to have him write a sermon on why Jesus is Lord. He says no to the pastor customer on the grounds that he doesn't agree with the topic and is violently opposed to spreading the "myth" of religion.

    Should the man be compelled by government to provide the service?

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  277. icon
    That One Guy (profile), Dec 18th, 2013 @ 11:20pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: It is complicated...

    'It is a sexual preference, a choice, otherwise there wouldn't be such a thing as gay people who change and straight and visa versa -- yet there are.'

    1) Science says otherwise, and your continued insistence on this matter just demonstrates your willful lack of knowledge regarding the subject.

    2) So, by that logic heterosexuality is also a 'choice' people make. So then, when did you choose to be straight, how long did it take you to decide, and what was your thought process throughout the decision making?

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  278. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 18th, 2013 @ 11:49pm

    Re: Re: you just dont get it

    no its not about how he markets himself, its about the reason provided for not doing the work.

    First he is a democratic speechwriter, if he is asked to write a speech for a democrat and the REASON why he refused in UNREASONABLE DISCRIMINATION, such as "I wont write it because you are gay", that is unlawful discrimination against gays.

    If he says "I wont write it because I don't agree with your policies" he is not discriminating against a group or everyone who feels the same way as the person he refused.

    I know you will not understand the difference, but its the REASON for refusal that is the issue.

    Also if he does not normally provide that service to Reps then refusal to do so in the future is not discrimination.

    On the other hand a wedding photographer provides that service already, and the REASON he/she is refusing is on the basis of sexual orientation (or someone else), that is unlawful discrimination.

    All these silly people bringing up crazy "what if this" situations is a joke, you cant even grasp this issue so why confuse it with more stupid arguments?

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  279. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 18th, 2013 @ 11:53pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Simple question

    no, I said in some situation it is unreasonable to discriminate and in other situations it is reasonable.

    it is reasonable for example to discriminate people under 21 in a bar, or over 70 on a roller coaster ride.

    but it is not reasonable or lawful to use the excuse 'but they are gay' as a reason to discriminate, that is simple unlawful it is against discrimination, and is clearly stated.

    You should read them, you might learn something.

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  280. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 19th, 2013 @ 12:04am

    its not her free speech

    her free speech she claims is her art that is employed in her photographs, not in the fact that her STATEMENTS and REFUSAL to do the work is therefore not her stated "art", so how is she able to use her "art" as a free speech statement when she refused to 'express' that art?

    I hope she is forced to do it, and if she does a shit job I would expect a MASSIVE damages fine. (think 5 figures).

    if her photography is her "art" and her art is therefore free speech, clearly she is not exercising her free speech "art" by refusing the services of that art, and making the bigoted and discriminatory statements.

    Her speech and words and statements are not her art, that she is refusing the services of based on the orientation of the clients. (that is the stated reason, no other). So don't bother trying to make up other reasons, as they are not THE reasons.

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  281. identicon
    Will, Dec 19th, 2013 @ 12:59am

    A real photographer will photograph anything, anywhere, at any time, even risking grievous bodily harm to do so. If there are entire categories of very common (non-pornographic) things which you have a moral objection to photographing, you might want to consider changing professions and just sticking to Instagram.

    That said, the government actually forcing people to do things is in the long run even worse than casual homophobia or racism, because ultimately it is a soft form of implied violence and the imperialist expansion of cultural hegemony and ruling class ideology. Having to find a new wedding photographer will always be a smaller burden to bear than the knowledge that one day a man with a gun and a government badge might force you to act against your own will.

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  282. identicon
    Someone, Dec 19th, 2013 @ 12:59am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Of course gay hotel that have gay venues turn away straights, with the argument that they are a gay space. It's a common and ubiquitous discussion in the gay scene about feeling that their style is cramped if too many straights turn up.

    Hotels do this openly, saying their gay customers would not feel comfortable, and bars that let in straights limit the number to 'preserve' their gay culture.

    I agree with them, a gay bar is a *gay* bar, and holding a prayer meeting there to pray for homosexuals and their sins is somewhat inappropriate, just in the same way that holding a gay party in a church that holds the believe that homosexuality is a sin is not not appropriate either.

    Each group would rightly feel invaded and put upon, even if the law would make it compulsory to provide that service.

    Next up: pornographic film makers demanding that they are given access to film in the White House tour. It's just 'business', and one wouldn't want to discriminate... right?

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  283. identicon
    Andrew D. Todd, Dec 19th, 2013 @ 1:48am

    Re: Re: What is Art and Authorship?

    The short answer is that acting is not typesetting. Stanislavsky "Method" acting involves emotionally becoming the part. There are some actors or actresses who are hopelessly incompetent because, while they can repeat their lines correctly, they lack emotional response. It occasionally happens that one of these actors or actresses has extraordinary physical beauty, and is promoted beyond his or her level of emotional competence for a brief period. When this happens, you get the sense that a character in a movie is merely reading his lines, that he doesn't feel the events are _happening_ to him, that they are merely something he is looking at from outside.

    Setting type does not require that kind of involvement. You can transcribe something, whether you agree with it or disagree with it, and it doesn't matter. Of course, under modern conditions "setting type" actually works out to importing a word processor file, or something like that, and looking to see whether the paragraphs line up properly. Ability is often expressed in the form of writing a computer program to do the work, instead of doing it by hand, identifying the tasks you are doing over and over, and coding them.

    I submit that certain types of photography, notably wedding photography, are at the typesetting end of the spectrum. Cameras are getting better and more automatic. Just at the moment, the high end is a Lytro camera, which records a kind of hologram, and renders focus irrelevant.

    The muse is too capricious to allow one to make a reliable living out of her. Actors and actresses tend to work as restaurant waiters, store clerks, etc. The reality is that they will often work on the stage or screen for nothing, just to get a chance to act. When a section of work is reliably productive enough to enable people to open small businesses, it is almost invariably a craft, a technique, a trade.

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  284. identicon
    Rich Rostrom, Dec 19th, 2013 @ 1:55am

    This case is not equivalent to a hotel turning away a non-white guest, or a bank refusing a mortgage loan to a single woman, or a country club excluding Jews from its golf course.

    Those are cases of a public accommodation being denied to a person for an irrelevant quality.

    Elane Photography is refusing to participate in conduct its proprietors find objectionable.

    The Huguenins don't have, AFAIK, any objection to photographing a house or a dog owned by a homosexual, or taking a passport photo of a homosexual, or providing any other photography service to a homosexual that is not expressive of homosexual conduct.

    Unfortunately, they said implicitly that they don't approve 100% of homosexuality. Disapproval of homosexuality is a thoughtcrime that must be suppressed. Which is why they have been sued and ruined.

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  285. identicon
    Rich Rostrom, Dec 19th, 2013 @ 1:55am

    This case is not equivalent to a hotel turning away a non-white guest, or a bank refusing a mortgage loan to a single woman, or a country club excluding Jews from its golf course.

    Those are cases of a public accommodation being denied to a person for an irrelevant quality.

    Elane Photography is refusing to participate in conduct its proprietors find objectionable.

    The Huguenins don't have, AFAIK, any objection to photographing a house or a dog owned by a homosexual, or taking a passport photo of a homosexual, or providing any other photography service to a homosexual that is not expressive of homosexual conduct.

    Unfortunately, they said implicitly that they don't approve 100% of homosexuality. Disapproval of homosexuality is a thoughtcrime that must be suppressed. Which is why they have been sued and ruined.

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  286. identicon
    DerivedVariable, Dec 19th, 2013 @ 2:47am

    I do not think they are on the wrong side here

    I just wanted to add my voice to the slew of people who stated that I don't think the ACLU is on the wrong side here.

    Denouncing the effort to make sure that laws which prevent businesses from excluding customers of certain races, religious beliefs or sexual orientations are one of the core tools which were used (and are used as shown by this lawsuit) to help drive out segregation and ostracisation.

    Frankly, I see no difference between a photographer selling their services putting up a "no homosexuals sign" outside their shop to a restaurant or store owner doing the same. I also hold it to be as unacceptable as "No Blacks, No Dogs, No Irish".

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  287. identicon
    Pragmatic, Dec 19th, 2013 @ 2:48am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    There was a thing called "brotherment" back in the day...

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/08/070823110231.htm

    Maybe the whole persecution of gays thing is what's recent. Nobody seems to have given much of a damn till the moral hysteria started building up around it. Now we have groups speaking out against cartoon characters holding hands. Madness!

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  288. identicon
    Pragmatic, Dec 19th, 2013 @ 2:50am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: It is complicated...

    What the...?

    It's actually right-leaning, according to everyone else. What's wrong with you, Michael? Stop this crazy "Everyone who disagrees with me is an enemy of this nation" nonsense. Seriously. It's ridiculous.

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  289. icon
    Sheogorath (profile), Dec 19th, 2013 @ 2:58am

    Re:

    When the photographer goes beyond creating photographs and begins offering their services to the public, then they have to treat all customers equally just like any other business. You don't get to claim that somehow your selection of customers is free speech, because it isn't.
    I would agree with you if the photographer ran her business in the UK, but she doesn't, she's in the US. As much as I dislike her for being a homophobic bigot, she's in the right on this.

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  290. identicon
    Pragmatic, Dec 19th, 2013 @ 3:11am

    Re:

    Thank you, TAC, for making this important point. I'm conservative by nature but comments like yours make me soften my stance because we can't all be expected by law to "worship the right god, have the right skin color, or [be] the right gender to be special."

    This is why the church should NOT run the state.

    I know what it is like to be treated as a 2nd class citizen.
    I know that "forcing" people to be accepting is not the right path, but the flip side is gays are being "forced" to accept being treated like shit with no recourse.


    I am so sorry to learn that you're being mistreated and feel that you have to pretend you are somebody else just to get by. What a horrible experience! I don't have the answers either but I do think we need to have more discussion about this. The more we talk about it openly and publicly, the more of a chance we have to create a better, fairer situation for you.

    As I said, I learn a lot from comments like yours and it helps to change the way I think about issues like this. It's not as black-and-white as we'd like it to be.

    If someone refused to photograph a couple because of their faith beliefs, isn't there a lawsuit there?
    A sign reading NO MORMONS would result in all sorts of lawsuits.


    As would "No Blacks or Irish." That was a thing, back in the day.

    You can't make people change with a law or lawsuit, but perhaps it is time to consider that if you protect 1 you have to protect all... and as we are unwilling to do such, maybe no one needs protections.


    Good point.

    Try for a moment to look outside your personal bubble.
    Imagine media outlets reporting that you are a pedophile because of who you are. Or that you committing yourself to who you love leads to bestiality becoming legal. Or that you can work to protect your city/state/country but you shouldn't be treated the same as the 'man' next to you because it offends someone's beliefs. That you are sick because they have a "cure" that "works", even if the cure leads to the death of some people forced to take it.


    Media outlets seem to forget about the "straight" perverts who prey on children of the opposite gender. Does that make them superior or something? I think not.

    Let the photographer be a bigot, but lets stop pretending they need special laws to enshrine that right.


    That sounds reasonable to me.

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  291. identicon
    Pragmatic, Dec 19th, 2013 @ 3:36am

    Re: Re: ACLU

    Hey Karl,

    do you know these people think that Nazis are socialists because the word "Nazi" is short for "National Socialism?"

    So they're all, "It's in the title, stupid!"

    That's what we're up against.

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  292. icon
    Niall (profile), Dec 19th, 2013 @ 4:23am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Nice DARVO. Attack the bullied ones, then claim it's in offence to 'bullies'. If you are truly against bullies, then you shouldn't be picking on the 'gay people threats' only, but sticking up for anyone bullied.

    Speaking of which, I haven't seen any "threats that gay people made on this list to the general population" in this conversation...

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  293. icon
    Niall (profile), Dec 19th, 2013 @ 4:30am

    Re: Re:

    Yes. The issue is, does the KKK member act 'normally', or are they breaking some law, such as actively abusing the business owner. Then you get them for that. But business of any kind is not a licence to discriminate, or you'll simply find businesses using the flimsiest excuses to discriminate (oh, it's against my 1st amendment religious rights to serve Irish catholics/sons of Ham/mooooslem 'pagans'...)

    You want to make a business serving the public, you have to follow public rules. In a case like this of work for hire, the photographer should go with it.

    What happens when someone doesn't want to cover a mixed-race wedding, or a bar mitzvah, or even something like someone getting remarried (adultery to some Christians)?

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  294. icon
    Niall (profile), Dec 19th, 2013 @ 4:36am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Maybe there's a valid, logical reason that slavery has been recognised as being between a master and his slave for thousands of years ...or everyone else had it wrong because, y'know, you know better.

    Feel free to come up with those 'valid, logical reasons' that don't actually exclude many existing hetero marriages. And "I think it's icky" or "it's tradition" are not logical or valid reasons. Traditions change with time and culture, and what you think is icky is purely subjective.

    Letting same-sex couples marry will no more 'destroy' 'traditional' marriage any more than mixed-race or mixed-age marriages do. Go pick a fight with divorce and adultery, they are a far more existential threat to 'traditional' marriage!

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  295. icon
    Niall (profile), Dec 19th, 2013 @ 4:50am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: It is complicated...

    Ok, I'll refuse to take pictures of Protestants/Catholics. After all, it's "something they can be expected to change".

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  296. icon
    Niall (profile), Dec 19th, 2013 @ 4:53am

    Re: Re: Re: It is complicated...

    Funny how the biggest bullies whine the most about themselves being bullied when called out on their bullying.

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  297. identicon
    The Real Michael, Dec 19th, 2013 @ 4:54am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: It is complicated...

    Actually, there are plenty of ex-gay people. It would be hilarious if it weren't so pathetic how gay groups lash out at anyone who changes their sexual orientation. Clearly they're fearful of people recognizing that homosexuality is a choice, not an inherent, unalterable identity.

    Are you attempting to deny the reality of ex-gay people?

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  298. icon
    Niall (profile), Dec 19th, 2013 @ 4:55am

    Re: Point of view

    That would still be discrimination if it can be shown to be against a certain type of person (and not because, say, that particular individual annoyed you).

    In the web-coding example above, at least you can prove that there is a 'cost' to providing support for a particularl(ly bad) browser.

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  299. identicon
    The Real Michael, Dec 19th, 2013 @ 5:01am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: It is complicated...

    You mean bunk science produced in order to show a desired result, due to pro-gay influences in the background. There's no 'gay gene' nor anything of the sort. Indeed, even the man responsible for striking homosexuality from the list of mental illnesses in the APA, Dr. Nicholas Cummings, said that 20% of homosexuals who went to him changed their sexuality. So, quite frankly, you're full of it.

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  300. icon
    Niall (profile), Dec 19th, 2013 @ 5:05am

    Re: well...

    You can be for the Second Amendment, but not agree with the prevailing interpretation. There's very few countries I know of who would treat anyone old enough to hold a gun as 'well-regulated militia'. Even Switzerland and Israel have some criteria on who can be militia and have guns.

    If you actually had to join the National Guard or some similar body, that would be one thing, but allowing four-year-olds to own and use guns, when they can't drive a car for 12 years, or marry for 14?

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  301. identicon
    The Real Michael, Dec 19th, 2013 @ 5:08am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Simple question

    Two thumbs way up.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  302. icon
    Niall (profile), Dec 19th, 2013 @ 5:09am

    Re:

    The problem comes when everyone says "I don't serve blacks, go find someone else". Rights are always a byplay - my right to swing my fist any way I like is always impeded by your nose's right to stay unhurt.

    So, someone can just ignore your local speeding laws because they 'impinge on their right to drive how (fast) they like'? Better hope they're not driving in your neighbourhood!

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  303. identicon
    The Real Michael, Dec 19th, 2013 @ 5:10am

    Re: Unlawful discrimination

    How's that public shame thing working out for Chick-Fil-A? Oh, that's right, business is booming.

    Fortunately we live in a Constitutional Republic, not an authoritarian, communist regime where you get to enforce your brand of immoral ideology upon the masses.

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  304. icon
    Niall (profile), Dec 19th, 2013 @ 5:10am

    Re: Response to: Anonymous Coward on Dec 17th, 2013 @ 3:53pm

    Yes, but if she objected to a mixed-race wedding, or a Jewish or Islamic wedding, would that be considered ok?

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  305. identicon
    The Real Michael, Dec 19th, 2013 @ 5:12am

    Re: Re: ESPN Jesus Ad

    You said that they've done similar things, repeatedly, in the past. Care to list off these cases?

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  306. identicon
    The Real Michael, Dec 19th, 2013 @ 5:14am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Open question to the non-religious here

    Actually, no, it isn't. The photographer has every right to pick and choose who she provides services to. If the state infringes upon her 1A rights then congratulations, we live in a communist state. She does not in fact own her private business -- the government does. She's merely a slave to the state which in effect owns it.

    Can I walk into a Jewish deli and demand pork? The answer is no. My rights stop as soon as they infringe upon yours.

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  307. identicon
    The Real Michael, Dec 19th, 2013 @ 5:16am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Open question to the non-religious here

    What do you have to say about the state attempting to force its beliefs upon greater society, i.e. that sexual orientation somehow constitutes a "protected class," and doing so without forcing the religious to violate their conscience? There's no way to have religion and homosexuality both be regarded as equal under the law without creating a conflict of interest, because then it inevitably boils down to the biases of whoever happens to be wearing black robes. The end result will be discrimination one way or the other.

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  308. identicon
    The Real Michael, Dec 19th, 2013 @ 5:18am

    Re:

    It's like a conditioned reflex with progressive liberals: when someone disagrees, hurl labels and insults.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  309. icon
    Niall (profile), Dec 19th, 2013 @ 5:24am

    Re: Open question to the non-religious here

    You make an awful lot of statements of belief with no proof, and you also broad-brush people, assuming that everyone here for gay rights automatically wants to kill 'babies'. This coming from someone whose same demographic could be equally broad-brushed as being happy to murder adults (either by death sentence or by war-mongering).

    There is no de facto need for morals to come from any god. They can come about from instincts (children are important) or reason/common sense (if I don't hit people they won't hit me). Different morals happen at different times, in different cultures - there are no 'absolute' morals, and many claimed gods, all with their own moral 'codes'.

    So those of us who don't wish to adhere to your god's random and arbitrary codes feel perfectly happy making up our own, and it's not hard to work out that slavery is inconsistent with the belief in the right to life an liberty that anyone should have. You don't need an absent deity to 'force' morals on people - people can agree that they all think that murder and stealing are bad (individually and for society), and as a society forbid them.

    Besides, I seem to remember a few bits in the bible that either condoned abortion or treated newborns as not 'human' until a month or two old. And let's not go into the divinely sponsored or caused infanticides that happened en masse...
    So even your claimed deity can't keep his story (and hence morals) straight. I'm assuming you don't eat bacon or shellfish, and don't cut your beard?

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  310. identicon
    The Real Michael, Dec 19th, 2013 @ 5:32am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Freedom of religion is a constitutional right...

    "That's all fine just as long as the 'asks you' part is there. The problem that Rapnel is pointing out is where people go out and force that 'no' answer on people."

    Christians speaking out against homosexuality isn't the same as forcing someone to change.

    But while we're on the subject, explain CIGSYA (that's Cape and Islands Gay Straight Youth Alliance) forcing their views on Diane Splitz's son.

    http://www.massresistance.org/docs/gen2/13d/diane-splitz-hearing-1008/index.html

    "At CIGSYA our son was told that he was born gay, could never change, and that anyone who didn't embrace his sexual identity was a hater and a homophobe, including his family. Our son's life and identity were closely tied to his family and his church. Those who encouraged him to abandon his family and faith caused extensive confusion, pain and stress on an already emotionally fragile child. This was not only a critical time in his social and emotional development, but it was also at a time when he was learning how to drive, preparing to graduate from high school, and selecting a college. Trying to help him through these coming of age responsibilities was exceptionally challenging with people undermining our authority and questioning our ability as parents.

    At CIGSYA he was provided with sexually provocative and anti-Christian literature. When I asked the Upper Cape Tech adjustment counselor what gave her the right to refer our 16-year-old son to an outside organization without our knowledge or consent, she stated that she didn't "refer" him, but merely gave him a business card.

    The school administrators defended her actions and when I asked them what law allowed them to refer students to outside organizations, they referred me to the Mass. Department of Education [DOE] who refused to answer my questions over the phone and ignored my certified letter. Seeing links to GLSEN [Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network] on the DOE website, I attended their conference last spring where teachers were given instructions on how to insert the LGBT agenda into every subject starting in kindergarten, and on how to deal with religious and conservative parents who found their materials objectionable."

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  311. icon
    Niall (profile), Dec 19th, 2013 @ 5:34am

    Re: My Freedom to do and belive what i want.

    But that can be flipped over onto heteros doing stuff in public like existing in public, getting married, holding hands, etc.

    Again, changing what you wrote to say "blacks are ok but they shouldn't flaunt it, they should keep it to themselves" has already been decided by society to be unjustly bigoted. Why should any class of people 'have' to keep 'things' to themselves. What about all those people 'offended' by mixed marriages, or 'Moooslems' or even women not in the kitchen?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  312. identicon
    The Real Michael, Dec 19th, 2013 @ 5:34am

    Re: it's an unreasonable reason.

    If they can use the court to bully a private business owner into contractual agreement against her religious beliefs and free will then the court is practicing discrimination against religion, which is prohibited by the Constitution. You better believe that such an unconstitutional demonstration of force will create far more hostility towards gays in the long run than had they simply walked away and found another photographer.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  313. identicon
    The Real Michael, Dec 19th, 2013 @ 5:36am

    Re: Re: What the II..?

    Typical ploy, conflating sexual orientation with the civil rights movement.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  314. icon
    Niall (profile), Dec 19th, 2013 @ 5:36am

    Re: Love is not Marriage

    And culture is busy widening the definition of marriage, as it has previously widened it to include people of different colour, and narrowed it (in the further past) to not include multiple wives or underage children.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  315. identicon
    The Real Michael, Dec 19th, 2013 @ 5:37am

    Re: This happens all the time in dictatorships

    Indeed it is. Shades of communism.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  316. identicon
    The Real Michael, Dec 19th, 2013 @ 5:38am

    Re:

    The photographer isn't breaking the law by exercising her Constitutional rights; you don't have the right to walk into a private business and DEMAND anything.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  317. identicon
    The Real Michael, Dec 19th, 2013 @ 5:40am

    Re: well...

    Here's a few of the ACLU's affiliates:

    National Association for the Advancement of Colored People
    The American Jewish Congress
    People For the American Way
    Americans United for Separation of Church and State
    The National Organization for Women

    Should tell you something.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  318. identicon
    The Real Michael, Dec 19th, 2013 @ 5:44am

    Re:

    "All men are created equal, unless they worship the right god, have the right skin color, or are the right gender to be special."

    Please, get off your high horse. Disagreeing with your sexual proclivities isn't discrimination any more so than you disagreeing with my religious beliefs is. Gay people try to make it seem as though they're suffering persecution just because some private business owner didn't bake them a friggin' cake. Tell me, do you know what it's like to be threatened with decapitation due to your beliefs? Christians do. Does that give me the right to go bitch and moan about how bad we've got it, demanding special rights and legal protections not afforded to others as gay activists do?

    "Try for a moment to look outside your personal bubble.
    Imagine media outlets reporting that you are a pedophile because of who you are. Or that you committing yourself to who you love leads to bestiality becoming legal. Or that you can work to protect your city/state/country but you shouldn't be treated the same as the 'man' next to you because it offends someone's beliefs. That you are sick because they have a 'cure' that 'works,' even if the cure leads to the death of some people forced to take it."

    You mean like how in the former USSR, Christians were labeled as mentally disordered and sent for treatment, ultimately resulting in genocide by the tens of millions?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  319. icon
    Niall (profile), Dec 19th, 2013 @ 5:45am

    Re: ACLU

    My god, the right-wing trolls are out in force today!

    There are plenty of good arguments on both sides here without going into rabid partisan paranoid bigotry.

    Remember, the ACLU even defended those right-wing, gay-hating Westboro Baptist Church people. So no, they are not part of some mythical 'leftist' plot.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  320. identicon
    The Real Michael, Dec 19th, 2013 @ 5:46am

    Re: Re:

    Here's the paradox: in order to enforce anti-discrimination of one group, it would be necessary for the state to practice discrimination against the other. It is a contradiction which sets the stage for legislating behavior and thought crime.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  321. identicon
    The Real Michael, Dec 19th, 2013 @ 5:49am

    Re: Re: The key phrase here is ...

    "i would *HOPE* their 'unfair' policies would be made public, and i would *HOPE* that enough of their clientele would disapprove and/or boycott them, they would either change their tune, or go out of bidness and let a more tolerant bidness owner make a go of it..."

    You must be kidding. So if a photographer refuses to photograph a pornographic event or some other such thing which s/he finds morally repungant, are they being "intolerant" or is that false attribution reserved for instances where the offended clientele is gay?

    "if you live in small town or rural amerika, you can be run off, ruined, or terrorized by such actions where a small coterie of bigots and big shots rule the roost, and screw over anyone they disapprove of..."

    Somehow it's intolerable for religious people to stand their ground with regard to moral issues, but it's alright for your side to group people into neat boxes and slap demeaning labels on them.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  322. identicon
    The Real Michael, Dec 19th, 2013 @ 5:51am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    You could try but it would be an infringement upon his 1A rights.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  323. identicon
    The Real Michael, Dec 19th, 2013 @ 5:52am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    If this photographer is what you consider a "despicable person" for adhering to her Christian faith then you must also consider Christianity in general to be despicable, let alone other religions and people holding similar moral objectivity.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  324. identicon
    The Real Michael, Dec 19th, 2013 @ 5:55am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: It is complicated...

    Says who? If it's your business then you should call the shots. Otherwise, it becomes a state-owned business, a privilege, and you're merely "private owner" in name only.

    Do you know what communism is?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  325. identicon
    The Real Michael, Dec 19th, 2013 @ 5:58am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I'm not engaging in your game of linguistic gymnastics. Practically everyone is either a member of or otherwise affiliated with a group, faith or other social construct. Should a black photographer be compelled to render his/her service to a KKK rally? Should someone be allowed to walk into a Jewish bakery and demand a bagel in the shape of a cross? I could go on but what's the point when the answer is so obvious?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  326. identicon
    The Real Michael, Dec 19th, 2013 @ 6:00am

    Re: Re: Re:

    'Homophobe' is a blanket label meant to slander anyone who objects to homosexuality. You cannot bully people into affirming your sexuality, least of all by infringing upon their 1A rights. Doesn't seem to matter to the gay activists how many businesses they ruin, lives they destroy or rights they infringe upon, so long as they get their way. But it's all for the greater good, right?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  327. identicon
    ChurchSox, Dec 19th, 2013 @ 6:02am

    Re: It is complicated...

    Better question would be, what if the couple was mixed? Until recently, there were always preachers who wouldn't marry a mixed couple. I don't know what stopped the practice, but I'm almost sure it did not involve the courts.

    IMO, the New Mexico case is two issues: First, taking pictures; second, writing commentary.

    Taking the pictures needn't involve any expression of belief. Just get the composition, light and shutter speed right. Here, refusing service is a simple public accommodation problem.

    However, forcing the business to write commentary brings us to government-mandated speech. My objection is the same as when some teacher assigns the kids to lobby for a particular point of view. It's even creepier than outright censorship.

    But the disturbing part of the story, IMO, is to see the ACLU declare that anything -- anything -- is more important than the Bill of Rights. The business of the ACLU is to defend civil rights, no matter how offensively exercised.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  328. identicon
    The Real Michael, Dec 19th, 2013 @ 6:06am

    In response to Mike Masnick

    "First, I strongly support the rights of gays and lesbians to marry if they choose to. In fact, I find it both depressing and shameful that this is even a debate today or that people have had to fight to change laws to make this possible. And I look forward to the time in the (hopefully) not too distant future, where the world looks back on the fights against allowing such a thing and recognizes it for what it is: a dark day in our history, in which governments were trying to tell people who they can and cannot love."

    This is a ham-fisted emotional argument. You make it sound as though "same-sex marriages" were a universal right, a social norm, up until government altered the definition out of discrimination against gays.

    In reality the government are unilaterally attempting to redefine marriage to fit in with any and all relationships. Allowing the government to arbitrarily redefine words is dangerous.

    "Personally, I think that photographer Elaine Huguenin is on the wrong side of history with her views on gay marriage."

    What, was practically every society that's ever existed likewise been on "the wrong side of history" for not having gay marriage? Again, you make it sound as though we've always lived in a world where same-sex marriages were standard practice. C'mon now.

    "The government absolutely should be required to treat everyone equally and not discriminate on the basis of who they're attracted to."

    There's the emotional ploy again. What if someone's attracted to their relative (incest), more than one person (polygamy), an animal (bestiality), children (pedophilia), an object of some sort, or a corpse (necrophilia)? Anything goes, just so long as it's love?

    "And, yes, there is a reasonable concern that allowing a photographer (or someone in another profession) to discriminate the services they provide is an obnoxious and discriminatory practice -- but it's one that is rather easily solved without government compelled work and speech: just by letting the world know of the photographer's views, which would hopefully have a negative impact on her business."

    Right, but if Chick-Fil-A is any indication, all the attention will do is drive up business, because people resent it when private business owners are bullied by whiny minority groups who try by forceful means to make the world affirm their sexuality.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  329. identicon
    The Real Michael, Dec 19th, 2013 @ 6:11am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "our modern notion of marriage is just that: modern. We made it up. There's nothing wrong with adjusting it as we see fit."

    Maybe with regards to same-sex but definitely not hetero.

    "For the record, I think that government-sanctioned 'marriage' shouldn't exist at all. Leave it to the beliefs of the people who want to get married. The governmental side should replace 'marriage' with a specialized form of incorporation (which is what it really is, legally speaking, anyway) that can be entered into by anybody who can legally enter into contracts."

    Ok, I can agree with that. However, you do realize that the tax benefits were originally provided to traditional marriages for the benefit of giving birth to and raising children, right?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  330. identicon
    The Real Michael, Dec 19th, 2013 @ 6:25am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "Maybe there's a valid, logical reason that slavery has been recognised as being between a master and his slave for thousands of years ...or everyone else had it wrong because, y'know, you know better."

    You're conflating apples and oranges in order to give your argument an air of victimhood.

    "Feel free to come up with those 'valid, logical reasons' that don't actually exclude many existing hetero marriages. And 'I think it's icky' or 'it's tradition' are not logical or valid reasons. Traditions change with time and culture, and what you think is icky is purely subjective."

    Well if you're setting the terms of the discourse then there's nothing to discuss. Society decided long ago what constituted marriage until government and activists stretched the definition.

    "Letting same-sex couples marry will no more 'destroy' 'traditional' marriage any more than mixed-race or mixed-age marriages do. Go pick a fight with divorce and adultery, they are a far more existential threat to 'traditional' marriage!"

    No, it won't destroy traditional marriage but then that's beside the point. The idea is to legalize it so as to set a precedent for anti-discrimination rights which in practice discriminate against religion.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  331. identicon
    The Real Michael, Dec 19th, 2013 @ 6:29am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: The key phrase here is ...

    When laws are designed around protecting certain groups' emotions, it fosters injustice.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  332. identicon
    The Real Michael, Dec 19th, 2013 @ 6:40am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Open question to the non-religious here

    ken james is right. The people who don't believe in same-sex marriages are supposed to tolerate it while the gays will not tolerate anyone who disagrees, looking for any means of punishment, even if it means someone loses their job. It's ok that that person can no longer afford to eat, pay rent or utilities ...because they disagreed with sexual deviancy. Really?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  333. identicon
    The Real Michael, Dec 19th, 2013 @ 6:43am

    Re: Re: Open question to the non-religious here

    Were you present when Moses spoke with God?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  334. identicon
    The Real Michael, Dec 19th, 2013 @ 6:55am

    Re: Re: Open question to the non-religious here

    Here we go again. Aside from when the Jews were held captive in Egypt, the 'slavery' referred to in the Old Testament was more the order of indentured servitude, usually to pay off debt.

    The ultimate purpose of pushing for 'same-sex marriage' is to open the doors to legislating behavior and thought crime, via anti-discrimination laws (which effectively practice discrimination). Need I remind you that back when the courts legalized sodomy, they assured the public that it had absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with giving formal recognition to homosexual relationships. Then they shot down DOMA because they said that it demeans the couple which the Constitution protects (*note* actually the Constitution says nothing regarding the subject, because 'marriage' wasn't regarded as an individual right, but I digress). To say nothing of the SCOTUS and California activist judges who overturned Prop 8 and completely shit on the will of the majority.

    But then that's classic textbook progressive (socialist) liberalism at work, attempting to bully and force society into their delusional utopian collective, where the state dictates morality.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  335. icon
    John Fenderson (profile), Dec 19th, 2013 @ 6:56am

    Re: Re:

    Tell me, do you know what it's like to be threatened with decapitation due to your beliefs? Christians do.


    You think Christians have it bad? Try being an atheist -- still the most detested subgroup around. According to polls, they're less well-liked than terrorists.

    Does that give me the right to go bitch and moan about how bad we've got it, demanding special rights and legal protections not afforded to others


    Christians already have those things. Additionally, Christians run this nation. It's hard to make the case that you have it bad when you make the rules.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  336. icon
    John Fenderson (profile), Dec 19th, 2013 @ 7:12am

    Re: Re: Re: ESPN Jesus Ad

    Some examples are listed in the article here.

    Regarding the ACLU's position on the Westboro Baptist Church, they have overtly come out in defense of the Church's right to speak: https://www.aclu.org/blog/free-speech-lgbt-rights/why-fred-phelpss-free-speech-rights-should-matter- us-all

    The ACLU has a long track record of defending speakers of religious speech. There's too much to list here, but her's an overview: https://www.aclu.org/religion-belief

    That the ACLU takes a principled stance of defending liberty and freedom from (especially) government encroachment is indusputable and well documented. Their track record clearly shows that they take cases based not on what the beliefs of the people are, but whether or not they've had their rights infringed on.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  337. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 19th, 2013 @ 7:16am

    Re: Re: Contract Differences?

    while i am very pro-gay marriage, i still think that is more of a red herring in this case.

    it seems to me that the question is: can i be forced to sign a contract? because that is the issue, the photog, if she loses, will be forced into a contract.

    i don't like that.

    this isn't a store front where she takes pictures of customers who walk in. she doesn't work for the church where the service will be, and the church is now refusing the photography.

    she has been offered a contract for work and has turned it down. i can't see any reason why that should be a problem.

    there are a lot of battles that need to be fought for equality. this isn't one of them.

    and still, Mike (if you read down in the weeds this far) I still don't see anything with the 1st amendment in this. that seems a little contrived.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  338. identicon
    The Real Michael, Dec 19th, 2013 @ 7:28am

    Re:

    Gay activists want to set legal precedent for using litigation to silence and ultimately punish anyone who dares disagree. IOW, discrimination practiced by the state under the moniker of anti-discrimination. Orwellian double-speak.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  339. identicon
    The Real Michael, Dec 19th, 2013 @ 7:30am

    Re: Re: Re: ACLU

    EXACTLY.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  340. identicon
    The Real Michael, Dec 19th, 2013 @ 7:33am

    Re: Equality is a trap

    Spot-on.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  341. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 19th, 2013 @ 7:38am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: It is complicated...

    Michael:

    The government decided a long time ago (the 1960's, in fact) that if you have a business that is open to the public, that you cannot discriminate against anyone. Note that the key here is "open to the public." Shop owners, bookstore owners, etc., must admit anyone who walks in off the street.

    Now, is there an argument that a service provider can refuse to provide service to a specific client? If there is a legitimate issue, for example, a medical reason, for refusing service, I would say the answer is yet. Otherwise, you have to serve anyone who walks through the door.

    Note that professional services such as legal, accounting, etc., are usually not open to the public, and they avoid laws regarding discrimination in that way, though I suspect very few do so. After all, a paying client only has one color, race, religion, sexual orientation, etc.: green.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  342. identicon
    The Real Michael, Dec 19th, 2013 @ 7:44am

    Re: Re:

    Keep living in your fantasy world. Chick-Fil-A's business spiked significantly in the wake of its owner expressing his views, despite gay groups staging (disgusting) kiss-in protests and boycotts. The baker in Oregon whose rights were violated by the gay couple has received an outpouring of support from the locals. All of the whining and moaning by gays that they're being persecuted while they turn around and bully, harass and litigate anyone who dares not conform with their lifestyle choice is actually having the reverse effect.

    There's a reason that states don't bring the issue of 'same-sex marriage' and 'anti-discrimination laws' to public vote and ramrod it through, as they just did in Hawaii despite MASSIVE public opposition: because they'll never get public support.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  343. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 19th, 2013 @ 7:57am

    Now let's force some anti gay authors to write books about gay couples. Mmmm they're businesses right?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  344. identicon
    The Real Michael, Dec 19th, 2013 @ 7:58am

    Re: I do not think they are on the wrong side here

    Homosexuals aren't their own race of people. Besides, the photographer didn't refuse them her services on account of their 'being gay' but abstained from the 'same-sex wedding' out of moral objection, which is her right.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  345. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 19th, 2013 @ 7:59am

    Speech is the issue here, but does it really need to be?

    As Mike Masnick has pointed out several times, the legal issue is freedom of speech. However, does that need to be an issue? I am in a legal business, and by law I am permitted to refuse to service any client I wish. However, my place of business is not open to the public. Most people call me and if I like their story, I meet with them. If I do not, I tell them I am not interested.

    Do I ask them if they are black, green, yellow, Catholic, protestant, one-eyed pirates, evil Democrats, etc.? No, I do not. However, at no point do I have to provide service to a person until I provide them with a signed agreement.

    I once had my house painted by a painter without a public facility. I called him and asked him if he would paint my house. He said he wanted to see the house first. He came, looked around the house, and THEN said he would accept the job. At no point was he ever forced or legally required to take on the job.

    Let's revisit Title II of the Civil Rights Act (US), which:

    Outlawed discrimination based on race, color, religion or national origin in hotels, motels, restaurants, theaters, and all other public accommodations engaged in interstate commerce; exempted private clubs without defining the term "private."

    Note here that the discrimination is only with respect to public accommodations. The photographer is not a public accommodation. She could not refuse to take photographs of a homosexual couple in her studio, if it is open to the public, but she has no obligation to travel to an event and take photographs, and she may refuse for whatever reason she wants.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  346. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 19th, 2013 @ 8:04am

    Re: I do not think they are on the wrong side here

    The photographer cannot put up a sign outside their "shop" saying "no homosexuals," IF their shop is open to the public. That kind of discrimination is covered by Title II of the Civil Rights Act. However, if the photographer does not have a shop open to the public, the photographer has no obligation to accept any work or contract from any particular individual. The law is quite clear on this matter.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  347. identicon
    The Real Michael, Dec 19th, 2013 @ 8:13am

    Re:

    That's what they're really after, to affirm them, to make the Churches perform their weddings. They've become experts at moving the goal post, then turn around and deny that they're doing it. Frankly it's disturbing enough that they go hunting for private businesses and others to attack.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  348. identicon
    The Real Michael, Dec 19th, 2013 @ 8:20am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: It is complicated...

    You mean discrimination with regards to interstate commerce. But this is a red herring with regards to homosexuals because, unless they explicitly state their sexual proclivities, the shop owner would have no way of knowing either way. Besides, nowhere in the Constitution does it grant government the authority to enact commerce laws which can prohibit you from exercising your 1A rights.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  349. identicon
    The Real Michael, Dec 19th, 2013 @ 8:22am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: It is complicated...

    Photography is a luxury, not an inalienable right.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  350. identicon
    The Real Michael, Dec 19th, 2013 @ 8:34am

    Re: Re: Re:

    "You think Christians have it bad? Try being an atheist -- still the most detested subgroup around. According to polls, they're less well-liked than terrorists."

    Well that's stupid. Atheist, gay, straight, whatever. We're all human. Perhaps it has something to do with the open hostility towards religion, which it seems most all prominent atheists such as Richard Dawkins, Bill Maher, etc. make careers engaging in. Not to say that there aren't 'religious' people with extremist views, e.g. abortion clinic bombers. Either side blaming the other for "all the problems of the world" is patently ridiculous and doesn't solve anything.

    When I was a little kid, I was bullied and sometimes even got beat up. But I didn't need to go around playing victim because of it. The cold truth is that there's more than enough misery and suffering in the world, people who have it far worse than anyone on these forums will ever experience.

    "Christians already have those things. Additionally, Christians run this nation. It's hard to make the case that you have it bad when you make the rules."

    Which Constitutional rights are denied to gays?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  351. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 19th, 2013 @ 8:46am

    Suppose the happy couple gay or straight wants photos other than the wedding...

    ...should a photographer also be potentially forced by the courts to take photos of the consummation if that is the photo gig the couple is hiring for?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  352. identicon
    The Real Michael, Dec 19th, 2013 @ 8:47am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: ESPN Jesus Ad

    Whew, that's not much of a list, just a few isolated cases. Now then, how many cases have the ACLU taken on which targeted religion? I'm willing to bet hundreds, if not thousands.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  353. identicon
    James, Dec 19th, 2013 @ 8:59am

    Re: Business choice / speech

    I don't know. Would a boycott (which would affect a business dealing) be deemed illegal and thus a person can be enforced to hire that photographer?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  354. identicon
    The Real Michael, Dec 19th, 2013 @ 9:11am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: It is complicated...

    Well, whaddya know?

    Former Gay Activist Marries Woman; Addresses Critics Who Condemn His New Heterosexual Lifestyle

    http://www.christianpost.com/news/former-gay-activist-marries-woman-addresses-critics-who-c ondemn-his-new-heterosexual-lifestyle-110736/

    Incidentally, he takes exception being called 'ex-gay,' but whatever.

    "An ex-prominent gay activist and former editor of a San Francisco-based, youth-focused homosexual magazine penned an open letter about his recent heterosexual marriage addressed to "angry homosexuals" who have criticized him for leaving his past and finding God.

    "We are not a couple of people who are interested, per se, in being political pawns. I have never called myself an 'ex-gay,' though other people have called me that. But, then again, people have called me a lot of things, on account of the fact that I left homosexuality a few years back and decided that I felt more comfortable living heterosexually. This came about as direction from God and has been the best choice God ever made in my life," writes Glatze."

    P.S.
    Teacher fired by lesbian boss for having traditional values.

    http://nypost.com/2013/12/18/lesbian-boss-fired-teacher-over-traditional-family-suit/

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  355. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 19th, 2013 @ 9:22am

    Re: Re:

    The fact you cannot differentiate between homosexuality and faggotry is sad (but not surprising).

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  356. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 19th, 2013 @ 9:51am

    Re: Re: Response to: Anonymous Coward on Dec 17th, 2013 @ 3:53pm

    Yes, but if she objected to a mixed-race wedding, or a Jewish or Islamic wedding, would that be considered ok?


    I would say yes. It would perhaps be bigoted of her, but she should have the right to not attend a wedding she disapproves of.

    It doesn't matter if that wedding is between two women, or a white and a black, or a 12 year old and a 42 year old, or an atheist and a Catholic, or a man and a tree, or a widow and a divorcee, or an arranged marriage, or an eloping couple, or a polygamist and two women, or a Hatfield and a McCoy. If she finds that particular wedding to be morally objectionable, she should not have to attend.

    And Utah should not be able to override that by declaring polygamists to be a protected class, or by saying that she's discriminating against an offshoot group of Mormons by refusing to photograph their weddings. ("But Utah wouldn't do that!" Yes, I know, but if this ruling goes the wrong way they COULD, and it doesn't matter if the wedding isn't recognized by the state, they can still have a ceremony. Which nobody should be forced to attend just because they ordinarily do weddings.)

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  357. icon
    Rapnel (profile), Dec 19th, 2013 @ 10:05am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Open question to the non-religious here

    This seems a lot like the proverbial shoe being on the other foot.

    So, after eons of kicking, spitting, killing, maiming and discriminating against gays or those perceived as gay, folks are pissy? Where "folks" equates to anyone who may have had the tendency to use the term "those gays"? Folks that have been comfortable because they were "protected" in their bigotry and now... yeah, step it up.

    I hear you, loud and clear, so yes, "really". Defend yourself. Not everyone can be a grown up, clearly, and there are strides to be made in every direction.

    Ken is not right and he's not wrong, he's lashing out against what was once a very acceptable position at several different levels. Here he is a petulant man who is loosing some power over others that he may have once held that was supported and reinforced by like-minded folks. The seeds of hatred.

    The photographer is not in the wrong, just to be clear, however, if there was a remote possibility that this photographer's BUSINESS could place another photographer into position that was not "religiously bound" and still refused to do so only then would she not have a defensible position. As it was, the couple is demanding this very photographer which makes them the hateful bigots here. Morally indefensible on their part. In this I think we agree.

    And, yes, I believe that discrimination is not moral. Using religion to defend discrimination is not moral. Lashing out at these observations is petty and a loosing proposition. Those actions are not made of "free will" but rather introduced by indoctrination and as such are learned behaviors,

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  358. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 19th, 2013 @ 10:39am

    The ACLU seems to have slowly moved to straight political party positions on matters rather than by principle. That is why our family used to donate to the ACLU, but now donates to the EFF instead.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  359. identicon
    Reformed Trombonist, Dec 19th, 2013 @ 10:43am

    Re:

    Should a Jewish photographer be required to photograph an American Nazi Party convention? Or a black photographer to photograph a KKK gala? I would argue, no, to compel them to do so would violate their freedom as an American and their dignity as a person.

    > When the photographer goes beyond creating photographs and begins offering their services to the public, then they have to treat all customers equally just like any other business.

    The hypothetical Jew or black photographer would fall under the same arbitrary restriction you're setting up for the Christian photographer. "The public" includes American Nazis and KKK Grand Kleagles, though fortunately they've become rare.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  360. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 19th, 2013 @ 10:43am

    Re: In response to Mike Masnick

    incest, polygamy, bestiality, pedophilia, necrophilia...

    ... Your list left out (homosexuality) persons of same gender.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  361. icon
    Rapnel (profile), Dec 19th, 2013 @ 11:36am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: It is complicated...

    So is pooping on porcelain. What's your point?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  362. icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), Dec 19th, 2013 @ 1:14pm

    Re: Re: well...

    Here's a few of the ACLU's affiliates:

    National Association for the Advancement of Colored People
    The American Jewish Congress
    People For the American Way
    Americans United for Separation of Church and State
    The National Organization for Women

    Should tell you something.


    First, what do you mean by "affiliates"? Second, assuming they actually are affiliated, it says... nothing to me, other than the ACLU is working with a bunch of interesting groups doing important work.

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  363. identicon
    The Real Michael, Dec 19th, 2013 @ 1:27pm

    Re: Re: In response to Mike Masnick

    Right, because that's already part of the discussion.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  364. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 19th, 2013 @ 2:06pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: It is complicated...

    I stand by what I said. If you have a photography studio that is open to the public, and your business is taking pictures in your studio (portraits), then you cannot refuse to serve anyone who walks in off the street. I would love to see the ACLU take on that case, because I think they would lose.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  365. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 19th, 2013 @ 2:21pm

    Re: Is it free speech?

    Yes, the "court reporter" could refuse to offer services (which is not really quite precise, more on that in a moment) to a specific law firm, for whatever reason the "court reporter" had, including a dislike of their clientele. However, the reason they could do so is that the "court reporter" does not have a "store," which would then fall under "public accommodation." No store, no title II violation, I think.

    Back to "offer services." If the court reporter has an advertisement in the Yellow Pages, then the court reporter is OFFERING services to everyone. However, when someone asks for service, she can decline to provide that service.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  366. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 19th, 2013 @ 2:26pm

    Re: Unlawful discrimination

    Interesting viewpoint AC @ Dec 17, 2013, 10:40 PM. Could you please provide the specific law or act that supports your statement regarding discrimination, versus your short quote?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  367. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 19th, 2013 @ 2:30pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: It is complicated...

    I stand by what I said. If you have a photography studio that is open to the public, and your business is taking pictures in your studio (portraits), then you cannot refuse to serve anyone who walks in off the street. I would love to see the ACLU take on that case, because I think they would lose.


    And why would the ACLU take on that case? You do realize they are siding AGAINST the photographer, right? (I know, it's confusing that the ACLU is *opposing* the free speech argument and supporting the side whose only constitutional argument is to argue *against* free speech, but that's how it is.)

    Also, your statement is incorrect. The business does not have to take anyone who walks in. They just can't discriminate against a protected group.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  368. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 19th, 2013 @ 2:38pm

    Re:

    Rich Rostrom:

    I think you have hit on a peculiar aspect of this situation. As you have properly pointed out, the photographer never denied service in her public accommodation, which she cannot do under the law. However, she is refusing to travel to a private event at a location away from her public accommodation. The reason really should not matter from the perspective of the law. If the reason DOES matter, then we are in the position of punishing someone for their thoughts.

    I think Masnick is on the correct legal side here (though I think for a reason different from his), and I think the ACLU got it wrong.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  369. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 19th, 2013 @ 2:57pm

    Re: Re: Is it free speech?

    However, the reason they could do so is that the "court reporter" does not have a "store," which would then fall under "public accommodation."


    I think you're wrong. Here's New Mexico law:
    “Public accommodation” means any establishment that provides or offers its services, facilities, accommodations or goods to the public, but does not include a bona fide private club or other place or establishment which is by its nature and use distinctly private.

    http://www.nmcpr.state.nm.us/nmac/parts/title09/09.001.0001.htm

    Since the court reporter is offering his "services" to the public, the law would appear to apply whether or not he also offers his "facilities" or "accommodations". And since the New Mexico Supreme Court apparently agrees, that part is going to stand. The US Supreme Court can interpret the First Amendment to declare the law unconstitutional or not, but it's not going to overturn the state court on interpreting the state law.

    Unless you were trying to argue what the law SHOULD be, and not what it IS.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  370. icon
    That One Guy (profile), Dec 19th, 2013 @ 4:26pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: It is complicated...

    There's no 'gay gene' nor anything of the sort

    No, there isn't, and again your insistence on strawmen arguments like this is doing nothing more than showcasing your willful ignorance of the matter.

    Sexuality is far more complex than the black and white, 'straight' or 'gay' issue you seem to think it is(sexual orientation follows more of a sliding scale model actually), so the idea that a single gene determines sexual orientation is both a gross (incorrect) oversimplification of the issue, it's also a sure sign that the person making that argument has no idea what they're talking about.

    Also, I notice you didn't answer my question, so I'll ask again: if homosexuality is a 'choice', it follows that heterosexuality is as well, so when did you choose to be straight, how long did it take you to decide, and what was your thought process throughout the decision making?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  371. icon
    That One Guy (profile), Dec 19th, 2013 @ 4:29pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I'm with Rapnel on this one, I would totally be willing to go to a church service for something like that, because forcing him to show up is one thing, keeping him from venting his disgust and anger over being forced to show would be quite another, and as a comedian I'm sure the venting would be hilarious.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  372. icon
    That One Guy (profile), Dec 19th, 2013 @ 4:46pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: ESPN Jesus Ad

    Then you should have no problem finding and listing them, unless of course your assumption/guess is wrong...

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  373. identicon
    SDN, Dec 19th, 2013 @ 6:47pm

    Re: It is complicated...

    So what? There's always another business. Once the government can't keep other businesses from providing the service if they choose, the law's work is done.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  374. identicon
    Brown Line, Dec 19th, 2013 @ 8:38pm

    Not Free Speech: Involuntary Servitude

    With all due respect, this is not an issue concerning free speech. Rather, the issue is involuntary servitude, and the Constitutions prohibition of it.

    Please remember that there are *three* parties involved in this dispute: The couple, the business they approach to photograph their wedding, and the photographer. One may claim that the state has an interesting in seeing to it that a business services all comers. But this suit claims that the couple has the right to invoke the power of the state to compel an *individual* to do work that she finds abhorrent, or abandon her profession. Not to mince words: that is tyranny.

    A reasonable compromise, I think, would be for the business to state to say that a business has to accept all comers, but that the individual is free to take or refuse the job, as she chooses, and letting the business subcontact the job the to a photographer who is willing to shoot a gay wedding. That way, I think,the interests of all parties are preserved.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  375. icon
    Karl (profile), Dec 19th, 2013 @ 10:46pm

    Re: Re: Re: Open question to the non-religious here

    the 'slavery' referred to in the Old Testament was more the order of indentured servitude, usually to pay off debt.

    He was the one that accused me (and all other humanists) of thinking that "slavery was ok back in the day." Of course, no humanist that I am aware of believes this, but if you accept his argument, then Christians must believe this. The fact that "slavery" was more like "indentured servitude" is irrelevant; whatever you call it, you as a Christian must accept that it is moral - not just "back in the day" (for that would mean your morals "are whatever you want them to be), but today and forever more.

    If you believe his argument, that is. Which most people (including Christians) do not.

    The ultimate purpose of pushing for 'same-sex marriage' is to open the doors to legislating behavior and thought crime

    I personally know many other people pushing for same-sex marriage, and that is complete hogwash. The only thing they want is for two people of the same gender to be able to get the same rights as two people who are not of the same gender.

    The moment they argue for "legislating behavior and thought crime," I'll be right there with you. But that's not even remotely what's happening.

    That outlook is a perfect example of homophobia. You are, quite literally, afraid of homosexuality. You believe (though it's not true) that homosexuals gaining rights is somehow threatening to you personally. You're doing nothing but manufacturing a non-existent threat - and like all paranoid beliefs, it stems solely from fear.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  376. icon
    Karl (profile), Dec 19th, 2013 @ 11:08pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: ESPN Jesus Ad

    Whew, that's not much of a list, just a few isolated cases.

    Obviously you didn't actually go to the actual page, since it didn't list any actual cases, just provided links to other pages which did.

    Here's a page that does list actual cases:
    https://www.aclu.org/aclu-defense-religious-practice-and-expression

    It's a whole lot more than "just a few isolated cases." Here's a sampling:
    The ACLU of Pennsylvania (2012) filed a brief in support of a fifth grader's right to share her religious beliefs with classmates by distributing invitations to a Christmas party hosted by a local church.

    The ACLU of Louisiana (2012) filed a lawsuit on behalf of a member of Raven Ministries, a Christian congregation that regularly preaches the Gospel in New Orleans's French Quarter. The lawsuit challenged a city ordinance that restricts religious speech on Bourbon Street after dark.

    The ACLU of Virginia (2012 and 2010) opposed bans on students' right to wear rosary beads at two public middle schools.

    The ACLU of Utah (2012) filed a lawsuit on behalf of members of the Main Street Church, a non-denominational Christian church in Brigham City, who were denied access to certain city streets for the purpose of handing out religious literature.

    The ACLU of New Mexico (2012) filed a lawsuit on behalf of two Christian street preachers who were arrested multiple times for exercising their First Amendment rights by preaching in public.

    The ACLU of Texas (2011) opposed a public high school's policy prohibiting students from wearing visible rosaries and crosses in the Brownsville Independent School District.

    The ACLU of Nebraska (2011) opposed a policy at Fremont Public School that would prevent students from wearing Catholic rosaries to school.

    The ACLU of Texas (2011) filed a brief in support of students in the Plano school district who wanted to include Christian messages in their holiday gift bags.

    The ACLU of Virginia (2011) defended the free religious expression of a group of Christian athletes in Floyd County High School who had copies of the Ten Commandments removed from their personal lockers.

    The ACLU of Connecticut (2011) filed a lawsuit on behalf of a Naval officer who sought recognition as a conscientious objector because of his Christian convictions against war.

    The ACLU of Colorado (2010) supported the rights of students in Colorado Springs School District 11 to wear crosses, rosaries, and other religious symbols.

    The ACLU and the ACLU of Texas (2010) filed a brief in the U.S. Supreme Court in support of a Texas state prisoner seeking damages after prison officials denied him the opportunity to participate in Christian worship services.

    Those are all since 2010, and they all defend the rights of Christians to openly practice their faith. There are lots more.

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  377. icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Dec 20th, 2013 @ 12:20am

    Re: Re:

    A majority of pedophiles self-identify as heterosexual, I don't think if they are hetero, gay, bi really matters.
    What matters is they abuse children, and every word trying to find a perfect box to put them in distracts from dealing with the actual problem.

    I don't expect everyone to love me, but I would like to walk down the street and not hear faggot under people's breath.
    I would like to just be me and not have to worry that someone is gonna get the bright idea I should be beaten because I'm a faggot.
    Yes I am doing that whole using the offensive word thing, cause I don't care if people say it... I care if they act on it. Words are just words, the only have power if you let them.

    I'm part of the group that is popular to blame for bad things and we are a favored whipping boy right now.
    Brown people, those of the Muslim faith, "illegals" in the shades of brown, Sikhs, and them damn fatties also get some blame as well.
    A religion of peace and love where people need to shove others down to lift themselves up.

    I don't have the solution, but I think what is happening on both sides right now only inflames the issue and drives people to be more steadfast in refusing to listen, a great example of this effect would be Congress right now.

    Thank you for listening to what I said and considering it.
    I really am mostly a nice person unless your a lawyer working for Pretenda. :D

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  378. icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Dec 20th, 2013 @ 12:28am

    Re: Re:

    I'm sorry did someone see your bible and advance the idea of "bible panic" in a courtroom to justify murder?

    I'm not sure there is an open season in the US on Christians, but lots of GLBT people are beaten and murdered. The police often refuse to look into those cases. Oh and if you want to play the "we've got it worse around the globe card", your church supports leaders pushing for laws to have my people put to death... but it's only bad things that happen to your people.

    When is the last time someone in the US threatened to decapitate you?
    For me its been 3 weeks since someone threatened to kick my faggot ass.

    I'm glad you glossed over what I actually said in my post, it makes you the poster child for knee-jerk asshattery.

    How many people of other faiths have been murdered in history by believers of your faith? You seem to miss this little thing called the crusades.

    For everything you hold up as examples of the world being against you, in many cases they mirrored the behavior that "good" Christians were doing to them before.

    Perhaps if we learned from history we could stop repeating it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  379. icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Dec 20th, 2013 @ 12:31am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "Which Constitutional rights are denied to gays?"

    All men are created equal seems like a place to start with.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  380. identicon
    The Real Michael, Dec 20th, 2013 @ 6:04am

    Re: Re:

    She's not a "homophobic bigot" for not wanting to attend a 'same-sex marriage.' Disagreeing with someone's lifestyle choice doesn't make one a bigot, let alone fearful.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  381. identicon
    The Real Michael, Dec 20th, 2013 @ 6:19am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: It is complicated...

    It's not a straw man argument; it goes to the very epicenter of the gay movement: the man who struck homosexuality from the list of mental disorders in the APA stated that 20% of the homosexuals who went to him changed their sexuality.

    I was attracted to girls starting at about 4 or 5 years-old. So what are you driving at? Wait, let me guess where this is going: you're going to say that some people are "born gay". If that really were the case then homosexual activists wouldn't so hellbent on engaging in indoctrination in public schools, in order to brainwash and recruit children while they're most vulnerable and confused. That's the reason why they do it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  382. identicon
    The Real Michael, Dec 20th, 2013 @ 6:22am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Be more specific. Which Constitutional right(s) are others afforded which you're denied on account of your sexuality?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  383. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 20th, 2013 @ 6:34am

    Re: Not Free Speech: Involuntary Servitude

    I respectfully disagree, Brown Line, with part of your compromise.

    You state that a "business" has to accept all comers. However, the law differs. The law says that a business has to accept all comers ONLY when the business is open to the public (the "public accommodation" language of the Civil Rights Act). So, if a photographer works from his or her home, and performs contracts at a client site, other site, or his or her home, by arrangement, the photographer is not legally compelled to serve "all comers."

    Seems to me that a critical factor here is the "public accommodation." The plaintiff is claiming that the photographer should be compelled to travel to a private event to perform a service. The photographer has a moral objection to being present at the private event (regardless of the nature of that event). The private event is not a public accommodation under the definition of the law with respect to the services of the photographer.

    I doubt seriously that the ACLU and the plaintiff are going to get anywhere with this case, because it would mean that people could be compelled to perform their service in a non-public venue against their wishes. While not quite slavery, it certainly takes away free will.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  384. identicon
    The Real Michael, Dec 20th, 2013 @ 6:56am

    Re: Re: Re:

    "I'm not sure there is an open season in the US on Christians, but lots of GLBT people are beaten and murdered. The police often refuse to look into those cases. Oh and if you want to play the "we've got it worse around the globe card", your church supports leaders pushing for laws to have my people put to death... but it's only bad things that happen to your people."

    First off, when they passed the law recently in India to punish homosexuals, the Catholic Church condemned it. The Church is pro-life. As far as homosexuals being beaten and killed, guess what? So does everyone else. Recently an old nun was beaten and raped. Should Christians respond by pulling the victim card and pushing for draconian legislation to *ahem* "protect" ourselves from the hate?

    "When is the last time someone in the US threatened to decapitate you?
    For me its been 3 weeks since someone threatened to kick my faggot ass."

    Tell me, are homosexuals the only people in the US who ever get bullied?

    "I'm glad you glossed over what I actually said in my post, it makes you the poster child for knee-jerk asshattery."

    Play the victim card, then throw demeaning labels. That's your sole strategy.

    "How many people of other faiths have been murdered in history by believers of your faith? You seem to miss this little thing called the crusades."

    I went into the whole Crusades thing awhile back here on Techdirt. I'll just restate that the Crusades was in response to widespread Christian persecution back at that time.

    "For everything you hold up as examples of the world being against you, in many cases they mirrored the behavior that 'good' Christians were doing to them before."

    Right on cue, an attempt to slander Christianity. Shall I bring up some of the atrocities committed by homosexual dictators and then, in true Alinsky fashion, infer that you were somehow also responsible on account of your having the same sexual preference?

    "Perhaps if we learned from history we could stop repeating it."

    Agreed, let's not wind up like the Roman/Greek Empires.

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  385. identicon
    The Real Michael, Dec 20th, 2013 @ 7:02am

    Re: Re: Re: well...

    Uh, yeah. "...important work." Such as what, working in tandem with the ACLU to infringe upon others' 1A rights? How can any person or organization honestly claim to be working for equality while operating with an inherent bias?

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  386. identicon
    The Real Michael, Dec 20th, 2013 @ 7:11am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Open question to the non-religious here

    "So, after eons of kicking, spitting, killing, maiming and discriminating against gays or those perceived as gay, folks are pissy? Where "folks" equates to anyone who may have had the tendency to use the term "those gays"? Folks that have been comfortable because they were "protected" in their bigotry and now... yeah, step it up."

    Here we go with the persecution complex. Nevermind that they're afforded all the same Constitutional rights as everyone else. But that's not good enough. No, they have to make a statement with their puffed-up special rights by taking private business owners to court, stepping all over their rights and seeking to ruin them financially.

    Here's a double-standard
    ------------------------
    Someone speaks out in favor of same-sex marriage: applauded by the mainstream media, politicians, gay activists, called brave and heroic (how, I don't know), etc.

    Someone speaks out in favor of traditional marriage: demonized by the mainstream media as hate-filled bigots, homophobes, someone inevitably demands a public apology, calls for him/her to lose their job.

    Yeah, that's real nice. And these are the same people who have the nerve to preach tolerance?


    Case in point: Phil Robertson. GQ Magazine asked him for his opinion on homosexuality and sin and he told them his opinion. In response, A&E fired him, just for expressing his Christian views, albeit somewhat crudely. Incidentally, someone started a Facebook page to boycott A&E just over a day ago and it's already received over 1.3 million likes. So Facebook, liberals that they are, responded by suspending that person's account. Nothing shady about that.

    The mainstream media should just come out and admit that they're really state-controlled subversives hellbent on dismantling our Constitution and ruining our country.

    "Ken is not right and he's not wrong, he's lashing out against what was once a very acceptable position at several different levels. Here he is a petulant man who is loosing some power over others that he may have once held that was supported and reinforced by like-minded folks. The seeds of hatred."

    The majority is opposed to same-sex marriage; the only reason it's even legalized is because of politicians overriding/ignoring popular referendum and forcing through legislation. Heck, the SCOTUS had the audacity to conclude that the only possible reason for voting for DOMA was out of hatred, which is pure bullcrap. More like the only reason they voted to overturn it was because of their desire to inject immorality into society and pave the way towards state-practiced discrimination against religion.

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  387. identicon
    The Real Michael, Dec 20th, 2013 @ 7:17am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: ESPN Jesus Ad

    Unfortunately these cases are still few and far-between when compared with the full scope of their activity. They didn't get a reputation for being anti-Christian for nothing. I noticed that these few instances were all recent, which seems to indicate damage control.

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  388. identicon
    The Real Michael, Dec 20th, 2013 @ 7:19am

    Re: Re: Love is not Marriage

    No, his views are the majority's. We live in a Constitutional Republic, electing heads of state to do the will of the people, yet seem to have this nasty habit of overriding the will of the people and unilaterally pushing through onerous laws. Then, once they leave office, someone else comes in and inevitably the process repeats itself.

    Why, you'd think they all had the same agenda.

    Wait a minute...

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  389. identicon
    The Real Michael, Dec 20th, 2013 @ 7:40am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Open question to the non-religious here

    Well would you look at that: another internet psychologist. You've got it all figured out, haven't you?

    Disagreement and fear are two different things.

    Do you consider maids, butlers and live-in servants to be slaves?

    Homosexuals had all the same Constitutional rights as everyone else. Ergo, they wanted special rights (re: anti-discrimination laws which in turn practice discrimination by punishing thought crimes) and to alter the definition of marriage through legislature, bypassing public approval. They then used their newfound social status to threaten Catholic adoption agencies into closing down. More tolerance from the gay bullies. Give me a good reason why anyone should respect them when they demonstrate utter contempt for anyone with opposing views?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  390. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 20th, 2013 @ 9:58am

    Re: Re: Not Free Speech: Involuntary Servitude

    The law says that a business has to accept all comers ONLY when the business is open to the public (the "public accommodation" language of the Civil Rights Act).


    But we're dealing with the New Mexico law here, and not the federal Civil Rights Act. And they define "public accommodation" broadly. See comment 369 where I quote their definition. Again, the US Supreme Court is not going to overrule the NM Supreme Court on a matter of NM law. They can declare the law unconstitutional, or say it was applied unconstitutionally in this particular case, but they aren't going to change the interpretation of the law.

    I doubt seriously that the ACLU and the plaintiff are going to get anywhere with this case, because it would mean that people could be compelled to perform their service in a non-public venue against their wishes. While not quite slavery, it certainly takes away free will.


    They aren't "going to get anywhere"? "Not going anywhere" is when your case gets dismissed and your appeal is denied. In this case, the NM Supreme Court ruled in favor of the plaintiff! The case is being heard by the US Supreme Court! I'd say they went *somewhere*!

    If there's any consolation, the NM Supreme Court is elected. So there may be some political reasons for their vote that won't be as present in the US Supreme Court. On the other hand, as someone pointed out, it's a court that said DOMA was hate-motivated. Once you go down the road of demonizing one side of the argument it's hard to go back.

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  391. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 20th, 2013 @ 10:35am

    Re: Re: Re: Not Free Speech: Involuntary Servitude

    AC @ Dec. 20th, 9:58 AM:

    Let us look at New Mexico law, since you cited it:

    “Public accommodation” means any establishment that provides or offers its services, facilities, accommodations or goods to the public, but does not include a bona fide private club or other place or establishment which is by its nature and use distinctly private.

    The accepted definition of "establishment" in this context is:

    "A place of business or residence with its furnishings and staff."

    This wording and law are consistent with Title II of the Civil Rights Act, in that any establishment that offers goods or services to the public must provide that service to anyone entering the establishment. The problem for the plaintiff is that the plaintiff is going to have to prove to the Supreme Court that the photographer qualifies as a "public accommodation." My belief is that interpretation is a non-starter at the level of the Supreme Court.

    I apologize with respect to the lack of clarity regarding my statement that says "not going to get anywhere." I meant not going to get anywhere with the Supreme Court. The New Mexico Supreme Court, made of highly skilled and well trained legal professionals, appears to have misinterpreted their own laws.

    I am betting money on this case, and in favor of the plaintiff.

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  392. icon
    Rapnel (profile), Dec 20th, 2013 @ 10:35am

    Re: Re: Re: Love is not Marriage

    Yeah, wait a minute. I was under the impression that gay couples wanted their nuptials to be recognized by the state. You're of the party that doesn't want the state to do so because of your religious(moral) beliefs, no? So, in effect, you want to force your views on the state elevating your views above those of other individuals.

    This country is supposedly about the freedom of the individual and yet... here you are trying to wave the stick of "the majority". You're being a bully and using a religious majority to help swing your stick.

    The point of all this is the not you nor your religious majority should ever, ever be allowed to steer much less dictate the fates and choices of individuals.

    Frankly, boohoo for your traditions.

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  393. icon
    Rapnel (profile), Dec 20th, 2013 @ 10:54am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: It is complicated...

    Born, choose, decide, flip a coin .. the only persons giving any fucks are the ones that aren't getting their way with regards to other individuals .

    The hills are to your left and to your right. Running is an option and for some it's even a good option.

    Homosexuals exist and being that they exist as individuals they can co-exist, until death. That's the reason they do it.

    And so...

    The diversity of humanity is exactly the thing that I believe will progress it.

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  394. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 20th, 2013 @ 11:04am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Not Free Speech: Involuntary Servitude

    I am betting money on this case, and in favor of the plaintiff.

    I would not bet money either way on the case itself, but I would put money on the US Supreme Court not overruling the NM Supreme Court on the definition of public accommodation as defined in NM law.

    That's just not the kind of thing that falls under their review. They are a federal court. They deal with federal things (like the First Amendment.) If there was no First Amendment or other federal claim in the case, they would not be able to hear it AT ALL no matter HOW wrong the NM Supreme Court was.

    Here's an exmaple of the Supreme Court deferring to state law:
    Whether the prosecution and trial court are required to do so is a matter of state law, and it is not the place of this Court to settle those matters.
    We remand for the Missouri Court of Appeals to consider these state-law questions

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  395. identicon
    The Real Michael, Dec 20th, 2013 @ 1:22pm

    Re: Re: My Freedom to do and belive what i want.

    What's next, vegetarians segregating themselves and then attempting to sue meat-eaters for discrimination? No way is someone's sexual preference anywhere near as significant as race/gender.

    For some reason liberals think it's fair game to offend Christianity at every turn, yet will throw a conniption fit if someone says that they don't believe in same-sex marriage. Heck, merely voicing support for either traditional marriage or family values, e.g. Chik-Fil-A, is enough to set off a firestorm.

    State law can never override the Constitution -- it protects both theist and non-theist alike. Otherwise, the government could try and force you to do something which violates your 1A rights, or else have guns pointed at your head. One of the hallmarks of a totalitarian state is that it seizes its power via the abolishing of privacy, including your property and/or business. Before you know it, everything you say or do becomes the state's business (read: NSA).

    No matter how much the militant socialists pout and scream, us Christians are never going to change our beliefs and practices in order to cater to their insecurities.

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  396. identicon
    The Real Michael, Dec 20th, 2013 @ 1:36pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Love is not Marriage

    Who's the bully, the majority for preserving a longstanding institution between male and female or a pushy minority group trying to alter the definition and aggressively shove it in everyone's face? Funny, coming from the same side which not long ago demanded that the government get out of the bedroom...

    Even if the state forces through 'same-sex marriage' without public referendum, in actuality all they've got is a sheet of paper written by immoral state-heads and the illusion that they're something they're not.

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  397. identicon
    The Real Michael, Dec 20th, 2013 @ 1:47pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: It is complicated...

    Vegetarians also exist. Maybe they should push for onerous anti-discrimination laws to protect them from such "hate crimes" as preferring red meat.

    People with same-sex attraction are not the issue. Problems arise when they try to force the world to cater to and affirm their sexuality.

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  398. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 20th, 2013 @ 1:51pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Not Free Speech: Involuntary Servitude

    AC @ Dec 20th, 2013, 11:04 AM:

    I believe there are federal issues here, both constitutional and compliance with title II of the Civil Rights Act. In theory, the state can provide a higher standard than federal law, but I think the Supreme Court will side with the photographer on this one for a multitude of reasons.

    I continue to maintain, and will do so until the Supreme Court says otherwise, that a person who performs a service at a client site does not fall under the definition of "public accommodation" as defined by New Mexico law and under federal law. I think the New Mexico Supreme Court got it wrong, and I think the U.S. Supreme Court will agree that compulsion to perform a service at a private location is wrong - presuming there is no contract that was agreed to in good faith by the service provider.

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  399. icon
    Rapnel (profile), Dec 20th, 2013 @ 2:59pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Love is not Marriage

    And you will forever remain above the fray.

    There is only conflict here because you're insisting that your definitions trump someone else's. Everyone has a right to couple up and be recognized. Marriage, i in the eyes of the state, is between two people. In other words religion(s) are no longer the defining characteristic of matrimony, people are.

    I can't make you see that and don't mind if you don't see that but that is root.

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  400. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 20th, 2013 @ 3:52pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Not Free Speech: Involuntary Servitude

    I think the New Mexico Supreme Court got it wrong, and I think the U.S. Supreme Court will agree that compulsion to perform a service at a private location is wrong - presuming there is no contract that was agreed to in good faith by the service provider.


    Whether or not the NMSC got NM law wrong, the USSC is going to defer to them on matters of state law. They MUST. And even the photographer's lawyers agree. Let me quote from the photographer's petition:

    Yet this Court did not purport to reverse Massachusetts’s highest court on that question of state law; nor would it have had the authority to do so. See Albertson v. Millard, 345 U.S. 242, 244 (1953) (“The construction given to a state statute by the state courts is binding upon federal courts.”).


    I don't think it can get any clearer than that. The Court is not going to reinterpret a state law. And even if they could, which they can't, they aren't going to do so to benefit a party that told them NOT to. They generally stick to arguments actually made by the parties.

    I do hope they reverse, and I totally agree that there are federal questions. I'm just saying here that the meaning of "public accommodation" is not going to be reinterpreted by the USSC, because the photographer is not asking them to do that and because it's the state court's job, not theirs. They may well say "this law is unconstitutional the way you have it now, but it would be constitutional if you interpreted it differently, nudge nudge," but they cannot force the NMSC to interpret it this way.

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  401. icon
    That One Guy (profile), Dec 20th, 2013 @ 4:42pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: ESPN Jesus Ad

    I notice you still haven't posted evidence of their ' hundreds, if not thousands' of cases they took that were where they were on the 'anti-religious' side.

    Come on now, if there is really that many, it shouldn't take you any effort at all to find at least a dozen to match the cases Karl just listed.

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  402. icon
    Karl (profile), Dec 20th, 2013 @ 5:02pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: ESPN Jesus Ad

    Unfortunately these cases are still few and far-between when compared with the full scope of their activity.

    About half of the cases where they defend religious rights are cases where they defend the rights of Christians. That's not "few and far between."

    They didn't get a reputation for being anti-Christian for nothing.

    No, they got a reputation for being "anti-Christian" because they also defend the religious rights of Jews and Muslims. The "anti-Christian" reputation is fomented by a minority of Christian fundamentalists, who believe that defending any other religion is akin to worshiping Satan. These are the types of people who believe "religious freedom" is the freedom to force their religion on everyone else.

    The ACLU is also seen as a "leftist atheist" group because of their support for things like gender equality or their advocacy for teaching evolution. Of course, the majority of Christians also believe in these things, so in this case it's simply the Christian right attacking anything that's not the Christian right, including Christians on the left or in the middle.

    Try not to believe them.

    I noticed that these few instances were all recent

    I purposely only listed the recent cases - as I said. The reason is because if I went back further, there would be far too many to list. They've been defending the rights of Christians for decades.

    Here's a site with some more cases:
    http://www.aclufightsforchristians.com

    Here's a defense of the ACLU from none other than Christianity Today:
    http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2006/may/22.64.html

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  403. icon
    That One Guy (profile), Dec 20th, 2013 @ 5:09pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Open question to the non-religious here

    See, this is one of the things that really bothers me about fundamentalist religious people, in defending their 'holy book', it forces them to defend the indefensible, in this case slavery.

    When's the last time someone nailed a butler's ear to the door to mark him as the owner's slave for the rest of his life(1)?

    When's the last time it was acceptable to sell your own children to be servants to someone else(2)?

    The last time it was acceptable to take slaves of the people in the country that aren't of your 'tribe', from children to whole families(3)? Not only that, but keep, forever, any children they might have as property(4)?

    Think about what you're 'defending' next time, or don't be surprised when people react negatively to you when you defend slavery with 'oh it wasn't that bad', or 'it wasn't slavery, it was more like unpaid forced service... where you could beat your servants to death as long as it took them a few days to die'(5).

    (1) Exodus, 21:6
    (2) Exodus, 21:7
    (3) Leviticus, 25:44-45
    (4) Leviticus, 25:46
    (5) Exodus, 21:20

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  404. icon
    Karl (profile), Dec 20th, 2013 @ 5:25pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Open question to the non-religious here

    Disagreement and fear are two different things.

    Creating threats where none exists is not "disagreement." It is fear, and it is fear-mongering.

    Do you consider maids, butlers and live-in servants to be slaves?

    That is not even remotely what the Bible was talking about.

    "Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves. You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property. You can bequeath them to your children as inherited property and can make them slaves for life..." (Leviticus 25:44-46)

    "Anyone who beats their male or female slave with a rod must be punished if the slave dies as a direct result, but they are not to be punished if the slave recovers after a day or two, since the slave is their property." (Exodus 21:20-21)

    Now, once again, very few Christians (in fact, none that I'm personally aware of) actually believe this. But, if the original commenter's argument is right, that means that those Christians are actually turning away from "the absolute truth." Their morality is "completely arbitrary," and based on "nothing but opinion."

    It shows how full of BS his argument is.

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  405. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 20th, 2013 @ 6:07pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Not Free Speech: Involuntary Servitude

    To Anonymous Coward, Dec 20th, 2013 @ 3:52pm:

    Down deep in the Supreme Court brief is one statement that could sink the ship for the plaintiff. In the brief was the statement about advertising photographing weddings, with the term "any." If the plaintiff provided such an advertisement (there is no evidence that the plaintiff did), the plaintiff is doomed. You cannot publicly advertise a service without limitations and then withhold that service on the basis of discrimination.

    On the other hand, if the photography service advertised their studio, and said that they may, at their discretion, perform event photography, then they have limited access to their photography off-site, and should not be a "public accommodation." Even better would be if they did not advertise off-site photography at all, and only did such photography under specific, limited conditions.

    As with all such cases, the behavior and actions of the plaintiff will be a huge determiner of the Supreme Court's decision. Describing such behavior and actions as would led to an unfavorable result is unnecessary.

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  406. icon
    That One Guy (profile), Dec 20th, 2013 @ 6:08pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: It is complicated...

    'brainwash and recruit children while they're most vulnerable and confused. '

    Ooh, poor choice of words...

    I'm sorry, how early does your church start teaching children how terrible those gays or people from other religions are? How people who don't do what your 'holy book'/church tells them to will not only suffer eternal torture, but deserve it? How science is wrong if it contradicts what your 'holy book' says, despite any evidence to the contrary? How doubting or objectively questioning(and especially thinking about leaving) the church/bible is a sign of sin, and something to be avoided lest that 'eternal torture' thing happen to them?

    'Brainwash and recruit children while they're most vulnerable and confused' is the absolute last accusation a fundamentalist religious person should be throwing out, considering how insanely easy it is to toss it right back at you.

    That out of the way, maybe they're teaching children that homosexuality isn't this terrible disease, or a 'choice' that indicates a person is full of sin or somehow bad, to counteract people like you, who go around trying to teach children those very things, despite all the scientific evidence that shows your position to be rubbish.

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  407. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 20th, 2013 @ 8:09pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Not Free Speech: Involuntary Servitude

    Down deep in the Supreme Court brief is one statement that could sink the ship for the plaintiff. In the brief was the statement about advertising photographing weddings, with the term "any." If the plaintiff provided such an advertisement (there is no evidence that the plaintiff did), the plaintiff is doomed. You cannot publicly advertise a service without limitations and then withhold that service on the basis of discrimination.


    Did you mean this? "If a writer establishes a business advertising to the public that she will write the story of any customer’s wedding for a fee, then that business cannot discriminate". That was just the couple's side arguing a hypothetical. And showing exactly why the First Amendment applies - they would extend this law even to someone explicitly writing the story of the wedding. I'm sorry, but that should not be something you're forced to do for everyone just because you put out an ad.

    Also, keep in mind that this was not, technically, a wedding ceremony. It was termed a "commitment ceremony", presumably because New Mexico doesn't have gay marriage. Even if she had advertised "all weddings", it wouldn't matter. (And oh, the utter hypocrisy in the state ruling against the photographer for not recognizing a "wedding" that the state itself does not recognize.)

    On the other hand, if the photography service advertised their studio, and said that they may, at their discretion, perform event photography, then they have limited access to their photography off-site, and should not be a "public accommodation." Even better would be if they did not advertise off-site photography at all, and only did such photography under specific, limited conditions.


    That sort of thing isn't going to help unless they honestly only do weddings for people they know. Otherwise they would, at best, be getting away with breaking the law instead of getting caught. That would be like putting a sign up at your diner that says "Members Only" and then accepting any white person who walks in as a member and denying membership to any black person. It's simply not going to fly if it gets challenged.

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  408. identicon
    Annonimus, Dec 21st, 2013 @ 12:01am

    Re:

    I take it you've never heard of a site called Not Always Right? Look it up if you have not. It deals with the kind of stupidity and bullshit people try to pull on business with the same logic that is being used to sue this photograph. I honestly do not need more of a reason then the contents of that site to think that winning against Elaine Huguenin in this case will come back to haunt the ACLU big time.

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  409. icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Dec 21st, 2013 @ 1:16am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "First off, when they passed the law recently in India to punish homosexuals, the Catholic Church condemned it. The Church is pro-life. As far as homosexuals being beaten and killed, guess what? So does everyone else. Recently an old nun was beaten and raped. Should Christians respond by pulling the victim card and pushing for draconian legislation to *ahem* "protect" ourselves from the hate?"

    And the bishops in Africa who push for laws to have them murdered and preach hate from the pulpit?
    If the Church is so pro-life why are so many followers so supportive of the death penalty?
    Maybe you missed where those nice church people play the victim card all the time already. They do seem to have these nice laws protecting them and scream how their rights are being trampled because another group might get treated as equals.

    "Tell me, are homosexuals the only people in the US who ever get bullied?"
    No many women who aren't believers in your religion are bullied by people who think they have a right to mandate their morality and medical decisions. Doesn't matter if they were raped or the pregnant might kill them - the life of the "unborn" has to trump all.
    Homes and businesses are bombed, harassing phonecalls are made, people dealing with truly tragic things are called more horrible things by these "loving caring compassionate" people of faith.

    I do not have to slander Christianity, it makes a compelling case all on its own. And suggesting that I was throwing demeaning labels around just proves you did not actually read my original response, you saw gay and your eyes rolled up into your head and assumed what it was I wrote. Had you read, you might have noticed I didn't think the lawsuit was the right way to proceed and I did insult the photographer with the label bigot.

    Your response has been this huge religion is so under attack, and your all mean to us. You speak of attacks all over the globe trying to disconnect them from what were the actions that lead to them happening.

    If I wanted to have 'fun' taking out the religion we'd go back to discussing pedophiles and a group of people who enable them. A group spending money to make sure those pedophiles they protected do not face the law. A group more concerned with their own coffers than compensating the victims. A group that created more victims because their "good name" trumped turning a child molester into the authorities. A group that shuffled known child abusers to remote locations and gave them new victim pools. A group that attacks those victims believing that it is all just because people want to slander the church. We could discuss one of the wealthiest religions who still require people give more money, while the efforts they make to serve the poor are lacking and are being used to bully people into accepting the "right" religion before they can be helped.

    You don't have to like GBLT people, but trying to force your beliefs onto the rest of the country/world is wrong. If a loving couple get married it has no effect on you, so why do we have to make sure it doesn't offend your imaginary friend in the sky? Why are they not protesting football? Same section, same denouncement... way less bitching.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  410. identicon
    The Real Michael, Dec 21st, 2013 @ 5:33am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: It is complicated...

    "I'm sorry, how early does your church start teaching children how terrible those gays or people from other religions are? How people who don't do what your 'holy book'/church tells them to will not only suffer eternal torture, but deserve it? How science is wrong if it contradicts what your 'holy book' says, despite any evidence to the contrary? How doubting or objectively questioning(and especially thinking about leaving) the church/bible is a sign of sin, and something to be avoided lest that 'eternal torture' thing happen to them?"

    Well for one thing, we're not in public schools under the banner of anti-bullying and tolerance to brainwash other people's children to "tolerate" us. Second, whatever religious values parents decide to instill in their children is none of your business. Lastly, Christianity doesn't teach us that it's acceptable to hate the person, only the sin, because (we believe) we're all sinners.

    "'Brainwash and recruit children while they're most vulnerable and confused' is the absolute last accusation a fundamentalist religious person should be throwing out, considering how insanely easy it is to toss it right back at you."

    Show me all the curriculum in public schools where Christians are brainwashing children.

    "That out of the way, maybe they're teaching children that homosexuality isn't this terrible disease, or a 'choice' that indicates a person is full of sin or somehow bad, to counteract people like you, who go around trying to teach children those very things, despite all the scientific evidence that shows your position to be rubbish."

    It's hard fact that that STDs and urinary tract infections are more prevalent among homosexuals. Homosexuality isn't a sin; homosex is.

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  411. identicon
    The Real Michael, Dec 21st, 2013 @ 5:37am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: It is complicated...

    Funny you should say that because the only group I see bullying others into affirming their lifestyle choices and throwing lawsuits at people for exercising their 1A rights are radical homosexuals.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  412. identicon
    The Real Michael, Dec 21st, 2013 @ 6:42am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "And the bishops in Africa who push for laws to have them murdered and preach hate from the pulpit?"

    They're wrong too and not in line with Catholic teaching.

    "If the Church is so pro-life why are so many followers so supportive of the death penalty?"

    I'm sure that there are but that doesn't necessarily make it right.

    "Maybe you missed where those nice church people play the victim card all the time already. They do seem to have these nice laws protecting them and scream how their rights are being trampled because another group might get treated as equals."

    What do you call being treated equal, forcing Churches to perform gay/lesbian marriages? Government telling municipal workers that if they dare voice support for family values or traditional marriage it's a hate crime? Anti-discrimination laws which in practice discriminate against religious institutes such as Catholic adoption agencies? IRS crackdowns on protestors, priests and pastors who oppose the gay agenda, birth control and abortion? Is this the "equality" you're after?
    Once again, which Constitutional rights are others afforded which you're denied on account of your sexuality? And don't say marriage because that's not a Constitutional right.

    "No many women who aren't believers in your religion are bullied by people who think they have a right to mandate their morality and medical decisions. Doesn't matter if they were raped or the pregnant might kill them - the life of the 'unborn' has to trump all.
    Homes and businesses are bombed, harassing phonecalls are made, people dealing with truly tragic things are called more horrible things by these 'loving caring compassionate' people of faith."

    You're just cherry-picking a few extremists in an effort to smear Christianity. I could likewise highlight extremism and violence perpetrated by homosexuals but that would solve nothing.

    "I do not have to slander Christianity, it makes a compelling case all on its own. And suggesting that I was throwing demeaning labels around just proves you did not actually read my original response, you saw gay and your eyes rolled up into your head and assumed what it was I wrote. Had you read, you might have noticed I didn't think the lawsuit was the right way to proceed and I did insult the photographer with the label bigot."

    IOW you're in favor of homosexuals trampling upon others' rights. Do you even know why privacy is essential to a free society, let alone realize how this photography case is an attempt to set a precedent to destroy it? If you want for unscrupulous judges to arbitrate people's beliefs and actions then you want tyranny.

    "Your response has been this huge religion is so under attack, and your all mean to us. You speak of attacks all over the globe trying to disconnect them from what were the actions that lead to them happening."

    Just showing how pathetic it is when you pull the victim card. Think about it.

    "If I wanted to have 'fun' taking out the religion we'd go back to discussing pedophiles and a group of people who enable them. A group spending money to make sure those pedophiles they protected do not face the law. A group more concerned with their own coffers than compensating the victims. A group that created more victims because their 'good name' trumped turning a child molester into the authorities. A group that shuffled known child abusers to remote locations and gave them new victim pools. A group that attacks those victims believing that it is all just because people want to slander the church. We could discuss one of the wealthiest religions who still require people give more money, while the efforts they make to serve the poor are lacking and are being used to bully people into accepting the 'right' religion before they can be helped."

    You are aware that the majority of those pedophile cases were few and far-between and were committed by gay priests, right? You're further aware that out of over 100,000 priests in the US, only around 260-300 or so were prosecuted for sexual crimes, right? Even if the actual number was twice as much, it would still be less than 1% -- hardly the epidemic you and the liberal mainstream have made it out to be. Lastly, you're aware that cases of molestation and pedophilia are disproportionately greater within the homosexual community on a per capita basis than the hetero, right?

    "You don't have to like GBLT people, but trying to force your beliefs onto the rest of the country/world is wrong."

    Nowhere did I state that I don't like homosexuals; I don't approve of their lifestyle nor their forceful methods. One would hope you'd see the irony in your side claiming to be all about free speech, tolerance and diversity, then turning around and attempting to take away others' right to express their opposing views. How intolerant.

    "If a loving couple get married it has no effect on you, so why do we have to make sure it doesn't offend your imaginary friend in the sky? Why are they not protesting football? Same section, same denouncement... way less bitching."

    Society decided long ago what constituted marriage; it was the homosexual activists who decided they wanted to alter the definition to be this all-inclusive hodgepodge. Go have your make-believe weddings and whatever but don't think that we're going to cater to your demands.

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  413. identicon
    The Real Michael, Dec 21st, 2013 @ 7:14am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Open question to the non-religious here

    You're taking a knee-jerk reaction to Old Testament 'slavery' by conflating it with the modern, e.g. blacks in the south. They were still treated like human beings and afforded rights. The thing to remember is that God allowed for both good and bad things to happen. Why, I don't know. Why does God allow war, famine, plague, suffering, etc.? For a greater good to arise out of it? As a consequence for man's sins? Even we Christians don't fully understand why evil is permitted. But not all of the slavery in the OT is to be regarded as an intrinsic evil.

    "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, says the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts." - Isaiah 55, 8-9

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  414. icon
    Karl (profile), Dec 21st, 2013 @ 11:38am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Open question to the non-religious here

    Amazing. Here's the accusation that started this whole thread:

    What is right for you can be wrong for someone else and who is to say either of you are right or wrong since there is no right an wrong? By your own logic, slavery was ok back in the day.

    And now, here you are, making exactly the argument that the OP accused humanists of making: "not all of the slavery in the OT is to be regarded as an intrinsic evil. 'For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, says the Lord.'"

    Simply amazing.

    It's a good thing you don't speak for all of Christianity. I think you're going to get a stern talking-to when you reach the ol' pearly gates.

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  415. identicon
    The Real Michael, Dec 21st, 2013 @ 12:13pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Open question to the non-religious here

    "Amazing. Here's the accusation that started this whole thread:

    What is right for you can be wrong for someone else and who is to say either of you are right or wrong since there is no right an wrong? By your own logic, slavery was ok back in the day."

    Ok, but who said that? Not me.

    "And now, here you are, making exactly the argument that the OP accused humanists of making: "not all of the slavery in the OT is to be regarded as an intrinsic evil. 'For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, says the Lord.'"

    Simply amazing."

    No, I'm not claiming that it's ok, only that it was allowed by God and that it wasn't akin to the racial slavery we're familiar with.

    Am I to take it that you're next going to decry countries such as North Korea where Christians are locked up for life in gulags and forced to work until they die?

    "It's a good thing you don't speak for all of Christianity. I think you're going to get a stern talking-to when you reach the ol' pearly gates."

    Perhaps. I've done more than my share of sinning. That's why I go to receive the sacrament of reconciliation, because I'm not perfect.

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  416. icon
    Karl (profile), Dec 21st, 2013 @ 1:29pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Open question to the non-religious here

    Ok, but who said that? Not me.

    But it is rather telling that an admitted Christian made that argument, but that humanists do not. In any case, it shows that belief in God does not equate to holding more ethical beliefs than humanism.

    No, I'm not claiming that it's ok, only that it was allowed by God and that it wasn't akin to the racial slavery we're familiar with.

    Not just "allowed," but "endorsed." At least if you believe that the Bible is the word of God.

    And getting back to the original poster, it means either that your belief is no less "arbitrary" than humanist beliefs, or that there is an objective morality that trumps what the Bible says. I have no problem with either conclusion, but the OP would.

    Am I to take it that you're next going to decry countries