Keep Your Cake and Flowers

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Over the last two weeks, there has been an uproar over bills about to become law in Indiana and Arkansas.  If signed by their respective governors unchanged, these Religious Freedom Restoration Acts would have allowed individuals to refuse service to anyone if it conflicted with their religious beliefs.  Much of the controversy was because many interpreted this to be license for florists and bakers to discriminate against LGBT couples looking to get married.  Personally, I am not too bothered by private business owners shooing away customers because of their own hangups.  I would actually prefer if these businesses took it a step further and posted their discriminatory policies online. It would save me time and gas money not having to pile four kids into the minivan to go visit these hateful establishments. The market will deal with these businesses and I do believe that the number of businesses that actually invoke these RFRA laws will be low because the truth is, discrimination is bad for business.

I’m not worried about cake and flowers. I will happily go elsewhere and do business with better people that are more receptive to my family. What troubles me is how these laws are so broadly worded that they may allow for government employees to refuse service. If a county clerk has a problem with me when I apply for a marriage license or refuses to process my homestead tax exemption because they don’t agree with my family structure, that is a problem that is not as easily remedied with going somewhere else.  I feel that government officials, law enforcement officers, and healthcare professionals have a duty to serve the public, and if they can’t handle working with certain minorities, then they should resign and find another more insular line of work.

After much discussion, these laws were hastily amended in attempt to satisfy the public outcry.  Let them eat cake.  But I do not believe these fixes properly addressed potential situations in government, law enforcement and healthcare.  And bills like this are still being considered in other states.  I expect more reactionary measures like these will come up in anticipation of the Supreme Court decision coming in June, and the elections of 2016.

4 thoughts on “Keep Your Cake and Flowers

  1. Pingback: Links and Comments: Republican analogies; Hugo Awards trolling; Religious freedom laws | Views from Crestmont Drive

  2. Sir,

    I debated sending this post. Since our conversation didn’t have much of a conclusion, I decided to do so. Then debating where to post this, seeing as your last post in Askme’s blog said you weren’t going to continue the discussion there, I came here.

    I’m still not sure which side you were referring in the Supreme Court case since the way you made your statement could apply to either side.

    The only addition I wanted to add was an overall response to your final round of messages. When I first read through the newest messages, I was confused. You felt personally attacked, but I couldn’t see why or why the conversation was going downhill. It was only when I read through the thread a third time that I caught the source.

    Candygurl could’ve made a better post if she hadn’t used your daughter as an example what difficulties children will face with same-sex parents. It was certainly unwelcomed, and her post could’ve easily used a hypothetical child in the same situation.

    That’s fair.

    What wasn’t fair was your accusation that it was a personal attack. She didn’t insult you or your family, but brought up concerns about the rearing process. Polite disagreement isn’t mud-slinging. When you started throwing accusations at Askme, that really wasn’t fair, especially since she politely welcomed both VJ and CK, even thanking CK for his input.

    As before, if you wish to end our conversation here, then all you have to do is tell me and that’ll be that.

    • LGBT people deserve marriage equality for numerous reasons including protections for their families, tax benefits, healthcare decision making, estate and survivorship benefits.

      Neither you nor I have introduced details about our families to the conversation on that blog. Would you feel personally attacked if I scoured your online presence, entered into a discussion about how your mother looks like she is going to have a rough menopause and then suggested that you don’t love her enough?

      You and IMHO and Candy can call yourselves the arbiters of “fair vs. unfair” all you want, but Ms. Faust ultimately has the responsibility to enforce the rules of her own blog and moderate the discussion as she said she would. This is particularly ironic considering how she called out Jeremy Hooper for not moderating the comments on his Good As You blog only a few months ago. Tweeting about how busy she is doing laundry is not an adequate excuse for neglecting the forum she created and said she would police. If Ms. Faust feels I have been unfair to her she is welcome to speak up about it herself. She knows how to reach me. Until then I will interpret her silence as tacit approval of the behavior of her followers.

  3. I didn’t invite you here, but you can feel free to continue non abusive commentary all you like. You will be correct to assume that on this site I am the arbiter of what’s abusive. This is not set up like a moderated debate forum so I am in no way obligated to respond.

    Regarding placement of your comments, feel free to CC your statements to the other blog. I’ve opted out of the rest of that discussion, but your comments would add some much needed depth to your side’s position.

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