As I have said before I have no real problem with Gay Marriage. No, I do not think we will ever see a constitutional amendment defining marriage, and that is, to me for the best. The definition of marriage ought to be left to the states, and there ought to be a federal statute preventing suits that seek to force states to recognize same sex marriages. To me, it is highly probable that most same sex couples, like most Heterosexual couples really do not wish to force their weddings, or marriages on to anyone else. they wish to be happy, and I hope they are. Are you shocked by this? Does it surprise you that a Conservative would utter such beliefs? If so it should not. After all, I am just not a very good “Social” Conservative where public policy and laws are concerned. Outside of abortion, which is a barbaric procedure that destroys an innocent human life, I really want the government, on all levels, OUT of issues many “Social” Conservatives wish it to be in. Face it folks, once government is in, well, they stay in. That is nothing anyone who loves liberty should hope for.
To me, the real threat from Gay marriage is from a small minority of Gay activists who will never be sated unless they force, yes force, through governmental powers, everyone to kneel before them and praise them. The stories of bakeries, wedding planners, florists, wedding photographers, etc. who refuse to do business with same sex weddings are a warning sign to all of us who love liberty. Surely you have heard and read these stories, and surely you have heard those business owners who are being persecuted by activists and their willing partners in Statism in government claim that their inherent right to freedom of religion is under assault. And, yes, they are correct, their freedom of religion IS being attacked. But, we never seem to hear anyone say that the equally basic right of freedom of association is being attacked do we? This bothers me.
Take this story for instance. A florist is being sued because, well, she dared to take a stand for her beliefs
A Washington florist who was sued after refusing to provide services for a gay wedding rejected Friday the state attorney general’s offer to settle the case against her, saying the deal requires her to give up her religious freedom.
Barronelle Stutzman, the 70-year-old owner of Arlene’s Flowers, said she has turned down the settlement agreement offered by Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson, which requires her to pay $2,001 and agree to participate in same-sex marriage ceremonies by creating floral arrangements and providing other services.
“Your offer reveals that you don’t really understand me or what this conflict is all about,” Ms. Stutzman said in a letter to Mr. Ferguson. “It’s about freedom, not money. I certainly don’t relish the idea of losing my business, my home, and everything else that your lawsuit threatens to take from my family, but my freedom to honor God in doing what I do best is more important.”
Mr. Ferguson’s offer came after a Benton County Superior Court judge ruled Wednesday against Ms. Stutzman, saying she had violated the state’s Consumer Protection Act by declining service for a same-sex wedding ceremony in 2013.
Hmmm, what type of law, in a free nation, based upon individual liberty, would seek to force a business owner to do business with someone they chose not to? Is that liberty? No, that is not. Yes, yes, I know, right now people are reading this and saying “but discrimination is bad”. To that I would say SOME discrimination is bad, some is not, it depends. It is like the time I broke off a relationship because the young lady I was dating vandalized the car of female co-worker of mine. She got jealous because she saw us talking in the store parking lot. Did I not discriminate in my decision? Certainly, I chose to stop associating with a nut case who was extremely jealous. So, I discriminated, maybe she should have been able to sue me, to force me to continue sleeping with her? That would be ludicrous you say?
Well, what if I owned a business and refused to sell my products, or perform a service for her based on her actions? Would that be illegal? Should I be forced to allow her in my store, or to conduct a business transaction with her? Most would answer of course not in such a case. But, choosing not to do business with someone based on their race, religion, gender or sexual orientation is different. How exactly? If I open a business, should I not, as a business owner have the same right to freedom of association? Should a Homosexual florist have a right to do business with ONLY same-sex couples? Should such a florist be allowed to offer services to ONLY Lesbian couples? Yes, absolutely they should. Should they be allowed to refuse service to Christians? Yes, they should. It is THEIR business.
I know, I know, we have been conditioned to think discrimination is bad, and in many cases it is. But, the government should not hold such power as to dictate against freedom of association. That is the rub here folks. Personally, If I was that florist in the story I referenced, I would do business with pretty much anyone with money to pay for services. But,what if someone wanted flowers for a Satanic Church function? I would tell them to pound sand. Could I be forced to sell them flowers? Would I be forced to lose my business, maybe go to jail, pay huge fines or sell a Satanist flowers?
Yes, I know, I know, many will argue that I am comparing apples and oranges, but I am not. I am arguing a principle here. Principles are bigger than issues. Far bigger frankly. Is discrimination against people based on who they sleep with wrong? As long as we are talking about people of age then yes, I believe it is. But, what if I own a business and I am also dating a 17-year-old girl? She is of age, but it would disgust most people that a guy in his forties would date a teenage girl. Should they NOT have a right to say “I would never buy anything from that scumbag!” Absolutely! Freedom of association. Now, what if those same people owned a business and decided that I should not be welcome in their store? Should they NOT hold a right to tell me to piss off and not come back? Does freedom of association not work both ways? Should a business be forced to do transactions with a forty something guy, or woman, who is banging a 17-year-old? No, because freedom of association.
Now, I know some will say that I am conflating issues and giving extreme examples to prove a point. No, again, this is about principle! Either we have a right to associate with whom we choose or we do not! That is no different from saying either we have a right to speak unless someone is offended! The fact is our right to speak is the same no matter how many we offend. The same is true of the right to freedom of association is it not? Think about that question folks.