Indiana governor signs bill allowing businesses to reject gay customers

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Re: Indiana governor signs bill allowing businesses to reject gay customers

Postby amyjo88 » Sat Apr 11, 2015 9:41 pm

I'm kind of disappointed that a law like this would need to be enacted in the first place.

Note that I don't condone discrimination of any form. Frankly, if I were a business owner, it wouldn't matter to me what a person's orientation is - their money is as good as anyone else's. But if a business owner wants to discriminate against other people based on whatever (whether it's a Christian baker refusing to make cakes for gay weddings, or a Muslim butcher refusing to serve Jews, or whatever scenario you can think of), then they have the right to do so. However, they should also be prepared for the ramifications of such a decision as well (e.g. people boycotting their businesses for their beliefs - on a personal level, I wouldn't go to the aforementioned butcher because of his anti-Semitic beliefs).

We have the right in this nation to be jerks. We also have the right to avoid being friends with jerks, too. We shouldn't allow the government to take either of these rights away from us.
and we have the right to avoid businesses run by jerks. If a business owner refuses services based on their beliefs, you can bet that the person is going to post it everywhere and tell their friends. Boycotting, as you mentioned, is easier to organize on a massive scale than ever before. And would probably be WAY more effective than laws.

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Re: Indiana governor signs bill allowing businesses to reject gay customers

Postby ArcticFox » Sun Apr 12, 2015 9:15 am

and we have the right to avoid businesses run by jerks. If a business owner refuses services based on their beliefs, you can bet that the person is going to post it everywhere and tell their friends. Boycotting, as you mentioned, is easier to organize on a massive scale than ever before. And would probably be WAY more effective than laws.
Yes, it would be. And this is how we know the effort to force businesses into this stuff isn't about justice or fairness, it's about control.
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Re: Indiana governor signs bill allowing businesses to reject gay customers

Postby RoosterOnAStick » Sun Apr 12, 2015 12:44 pm

and we have the right to avoid businesses run by jerks. If a business owner refuses services based on their beliefs, you can bet that the person is going to post it everywhere and tell their friends. Boycotting, as you mentioned, is easier to organize on a massive scale than ever before. And would probably be WAY more effective than laws.
Generally speaking I agree with this. Unfortunately, since laws and court cases are already happening in various states and are likely to start popping up in others, we can't stick with just this anymore. We have to tackle the issue of what the laws should be. Sure, we can try to say that no laws should be passed and any that have been be removed, but that chances of that happening are almost zero. The second option is just push for laws that favor whatever your side represents and let the chips fall where they may. The third option is both sides come together to try to work out a set of laws that can work for both sides, which is what I have been trying to advocate here.
Yes, it would be. And this is how we know the effort to force businesses into this stuff isn't about justice or fairness, it's about control.
Perhaps it may be, but, I also remember a lot of these same religious people making that argument when boycotts and public protests were used as well. This was the reaction given during the Chick-Fil-A boycotts and the public protests against the CEO of Mozilla. Whatever one's take on whether the protests were merited or not, the point is there is just no way to win with these people. They say the government shouldn't be involved in making decisions and let the people or free market decide. Fair enough, but when the public does so without any government involvement of any sort they say the public shouldn't do anything either, even though the public has a right for peaceful protest. One cannot say to let the people decide and then get upset when the people decide something that's not what they were hoping for.
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Re: Indiana governor signs bill allowing businesses to reject gay customers

Postby Sstavix » Sun Apr 12, 2015 1:03 pm

Generally speaking I agree with this. Unfortunately, since laws and court cases are already happening in various states and are likely to start popping up in others, we can't stick with just this anymore. We have to tackle the issue of what the laws should be. Sure, we can try to say that no laws should be passed and any that have been be removed, but that chances of that happening are almost zero.
As long as the American people keep electing politicians who care more for their careers, rather than the fate of the nation, you're right. That's why a lot of people are trying to educate the general populace as to the principles used in the founding of this country, and encourage others to try and follow these principles and elect people who also reflect these (and, of course, the media and establishment politicians are against these candidates, because anything that threatens their comfy thrones need to be stopped! :roll: )
Perhaps it may be, but, I also remember a lot of these same religious people making that argument when boycotts and public protests were used as well. This was the reaction given during the Chick-Fil-A boycotts and the public protests against the CEO of Mozilla. Whatever one's take on whether the protests were merited or not, the point is there is just no way to win with these people. They say the government shouldn't be involved in making decisions and let the people or free market decide. Fair enough, but when the public does so without any government involvement of any sort they say the public shouldn't do anything either, even though the public has a right for peaceful protest. One cannot say to let the people decide and then get upset when the people decide something that's not what they were hoping for.
Yes, people will be upset when others exercise their rights to free speech. This happens all the time. But that gets back to the education portion I pointed out earlier. If you suppress the rights from one group, you could end up suppressing the rights of all groups. And that wouldn't be good for anyone! So we will just simply have to learn to tolerate our differences, and not jump to trying to litigate any time something happens that we simply don't like.

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Re: Indiana governor signs bill allowing businesses to reject gay customers

Postby RoosterOnAStick » Sun Apr 12, 2015 1:24 pm

I dont see it that way, for two reasons. First, your take I think is in the minority of Christians today. Many Christians see any instance of discrimination against them and get really upset.
So?
I'm saying that most of the Christians in this country are hypocrites if they hold to this way of thinking. If they would see it as persecution when it is done to them but not if they do it to someone else, that's just wrong.

I'm not interested in what's going on with persecution in other countries, because the other countries you speak of don't have the same kinds of rights we have here. The abuses you speak of are hypothetical, while I'm talking about actual examples where religion is being suppressed for political correctness. It's just substituting one kind of attack on religious people for another.
Fair enough.

Still, these scenarios aren't totally out of left field either. Like I said, any business can deny service to any group if it can be explained that it provides a "substantial burden" on the business owner's beliefs without defining what constitutes a "substantial burden". The implications of not defining the key clause of this law are simple and straightforward. It allows for the scenarios I listed to occur. The wedding cake ones have already occurred and now the doors have been flung open for further abuse. You have not established any measuring stick whatsoever to determine whether or not a given situation falls under this law. It allows attacks on any group of people since in light of no external measure being defined, people will make up their own as they go along.

Second, as I have maintained before, if it is a wedding cake without a graphic or explicit message, it is not an attack on religious people.

How can you talk about the problems with moral relativism while advocating Government action that enforces people to conform to moral relativism?
To address this point on moral relativism, I don't think the kind of relativism you seem to imply is the case regarding whether or not the Government has authority to legislate on issues concerning marriage laws. Remember, this all started with whether businesses have a right to deny wedding cakes to gay couples looking to get married. As we know, the Constitution grants the state governments the authority to determine marriage laws and these kinds of issues fall under that jurisdiction. This is not a case of moral relativism, it is a case of the government doing its job by the powers given to it in the governing document of the Constitution. The government does answer to an external source of authority correct? So whether the laws are right or wrong, the government can enforce these kinds of laws as it is their right. The judicial system likewise is acting according to their authority given to them by the Constitution. This is the basis by which government action in this arena is not only permissible, but expected of them.

They have a duty to protect the rights of people, that is also part of the Constitution which is the foundational document by which the government is founded upon. Is it infallible? Of course not, not by any means, no man made system is. Nevertheless it is an external source of authority which allows to legislate certain matters of moral issues. Their responsibility is to get it right of course and the laws that they do pass are to be judged in light of that.

So, the reasoning in allowing gay marriage wedding cakes under certain conditions is quite simple. It does not constitute an attack on the faith, and unless there is a graphic or message doing so or staff are required to directly partake in the event itself it does not constitute as participating in it. In light of that it is not a violation of freedom of religion and thus it is not their right to deny service and cannot be defended as if it was. The gay couple does have the right not to be denied based on their demographic assuming these same circumstances are true. The government's job is to protect that right, even if some people would rather see results to the contrary.


Now in addition to all that, as much you claim that my take is advocating for government sanctioned moral relativism, your stance is the one that also advocates for it. Think about it, leaving all of this up solely to each individual in an already morally relativistic society will only serve to encourage it even more. It then devolves, as does most forms of subjectivism, to who can establish more power by which to impose their own individual will.
Again, as I said in my initial postings, if it is just a cake, it is the property of the couple to do what they wish with it.
Want to tell a Muslim that a cake with a graphic of the Prophet Mohammed on it is just a cake? Go ahead, I dare you.
I think you may have misunderstood the point. When I say "just a cake", I mean, and have meant the whole time, a cake without any graphic or writing on it that would carry such messages. This example would be more similar to the example I gave earlier about the Bert and Ernie saying "support gay marriage" graphic, not an example of what constitutes a plain old cake.

To that note something did occur to me. There is a way to get around the whole request for two male figures on the top of a wedding cake. The bakery can either sell it without them or just sell them separately and let the couple put them on themselves. There are other options even in that case.

Show me one of those Christian bakeries willing to bake a cake celebrating fornication and I'll show you a baker who is a hypocrite.
I have yet to find one that hasn't, and I have tried to look up any instances where a heterosexual couple was denied on any remotely similar grounds. I could not find an instance where they denied other couples of different faiths (many of which who would certainly hold to this view).

If you can find me an example of bakeries doing otherwise but in the absence of that it seems pretty clear that they have no qualms about serving cakes to anyone else. The only qualms we have seen at all are to gay couples.

Side note: Not all Christian denominations recognize church marriages exclusively. For many, even the secular commitment of a courthouse wedding will suffice. The LDS church is an example.
So what of secular commitments of a couple that is not Christian or non practicing Christian?
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Re: Indiana governor signs bill allowing businesses to reject gay customers

Postby ArcticFox » Sun Apr 12, 2015 7:23 pm

I'm saying that most of the Christians in this country are hypocrites if they hold to this way of thinking. If they would see it as persecution when it is done to them but not if they do it to someone else, that's just wrong.
I agree, which is why I'd like to see the Muslim community as well as others affected negatively by this to come together in a united way.
Any business can deny service to any group if it can be explained that it provides a "substantial burden" on the business owner's beliefs without defining what constitutes a "substantial burden". The implications of not defining the key clause of this law are simple and straightforward. It allows for the scenarios I listed to occur. The wedding cake ones have already occurred and now the doors have been flung open for further abuse. You have not established any measuring stick whatsoever to determine whether or not a given situation falls under this law. It allows attacks on any group of people since in light of no external measure being defined, people will make up their own as they go along.
I understand what you mean, but I don't think it's so easy to create such a definition. I don't think it's possible to define it in such a way that both adequately protects all scenarios while at the same time being fortified against abuse.

That said, ultimately I think looking to Government to find the answer is all wrong. People will, as we all know, vote with their feet. If someone abuses the definition then they'll eventually lose enough business to close down. OR, enough people will still want to do business with them, suggesting the "harm" they're causing isn't so significant after all.
Second, as I have maintained before, if it is a wedding cake without a graphic or explicit message, it is not an attack on religious people.
Why would it need to be a directed attack? A celebratory message for the KKK would be offensive whether it's aimed at someone's religion or not.
To address this point on moral relativism, I don't think the kind of relativism you seem to imply is the case regarding whether or not the Government has authority to legislate on issues concerning marriage laws. Remember, this all started with whether businesses have a right to deny wedding cakes to gay couples looking to get married. As we know, the Constitution grants the state governments the authority to determine marriage laws and these kinds of issues fall under that jurisdiction. This is not a case of moral relativism, it is a case of the government doing its job by the powers given to it in the governing document of the Constitution. The government does answer to an external source of authority correct? So whether the laws are right or wrong, the government can enforce these kinds of laws as it is their right. The judicial system likewise is acting according to their authority given to them by the Constitution. This is the basis by which government action in this arena is not only permissible, but expected of them.
Hold on there I think you've hit upon a couple of the differences in our worldviews. From where I'm sitting, the Government has NO "rights" of any kind. Nowhere in the Constitution or in any Amendment will you see text granting a "right" to the Government at any level. The reason that's important is because I believe the Government only has the authority the people give it. To suggest it has a "right" is to suggest that it has a power the people have NO ability to take from it, which is untrue.

Another is that while it's true the states define their own marriage laws, we aren't talking about marriage laws here. We're talking about one person being forced to violate their beliefs in order to accommodate someone else, even when their refusal creates no severe burden upon that someone else.
So, the reasoning in allowing gay marriage wedding cakes under certain conditions is quite simple. It does not constitute an attack on the faith, and unless there is a graphic or message doing so or staff are required to directly partake in the event itself it does not constitute as participating in it. In light of that it is not a violation of freedom of religion and thus it is not their right to deny service and cannot be defended as if it was. The gay couple does have the right not to be denied based on their demographic assuming these same circumstances are true. The government's job is to protect that right, even if some people would rather see results to the contrary.
Again, I don't think it needs to be framed as an attack on religion to be reasonably viewed as a burden upon a person of conscience. Should a conscientious Atheist be compelled to bake a cake for the KKK anniversary party?
Now in addition to all that, as much you claim that my take is advocating for government sanctioned moral relativism, your stance is the one that also advocates for it. Think about it, leaving all of this up solely to each individual in an already morally relativistic society will only serve to encourage it even more. It then devolves, as does most forms of subjectivism, to who can establish more power by which to impose their own individual will.
Not really, because the relativism you're talking about wouldn't be codified into law if people just left each other alone instead of looking to persecute people who don't want to be involved in someone else's party. The point of the IN law was to reiterate that idea, as opposed to the other side who wants to use Government power to force everyone to act in support of the currently accepted Government morality whether they share it or not. It's moral relativism in the sense that the notion that gay marriage is moral has nothing to do with any particular moral system, but rather public pressure which is fleeting and changeable.
I think you may have misunderstood the point. When I say "just a cake", I mean, and have meant the whole time, a cake without any graphic or writing on it that would carry such messages. This example would be more similar to the example I gave earlier about the Bert and Ernie saying "support gay marriage" graphic, not an example of what constitutes a plain old cake.
But we've already agreed that if a gay couple shows up to buy a generic cake and take it with them, I doubt many Christian bakers would refuse them.
To that note something did occur to me. There is a way to get around the whole request for two male figures on the top of a wedding cake. The bakery can either sell it without them or just sell them separately and let the couple put them on themselves. There are other options even in that case.
I bet that's a compromise that a few places have used already.

The problem with most of thee cases isn't that the Christian baker is simply baking a cake. Remember that the majority of bakeries who do wedding cakes are doing custom cakes, and often deliver them to the venue where the wedding is taking place. That's a significant level of involvement.
I have yet to find one that hasn't, and I have tried to look up any instances where a heterosexual couple was denied on any remotely similar grounds. I could not find an instance where they denied other couples of different faiths (many of which who would certainly hold to this view).

If you can find me an example of bakeries doing otherwise but in the absence of that it seems pretty clear that they have no qualms about serving cakes to anyone else. The only qualms we have seen at all are to gay couples.
Can you clarify your first sentence? It sounds like you said you have yet to find a Christian bakery that hasn't made a cake celebrating fornication, but I don't think that's how you meant it.
So what of secular commitments of a couple that is not Christian or non practicing Christian?
What about them? There's no conflict there, since I'm unaware of any Biblical mandate that people had to be married in a church.
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Re: Indiana governor signs bill allowing businesses to reject gay customers

Postby Sstavix » Sun Apr 12, 2015 11:57 pm


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Re: Indiana governor signs bill allowing businesses to reject gay customers

Postby Bruce_Campbell » Mon Apr 13, 2015 1:18 am

Yeah, I'd heard of this guy, and I have zero sympathy for him. First of all, he recorded the call without the bakery owner's knowledge or permission, which is a crime in Florida. He then posted the video of the phone call online, revealing the name and location of the bakery in said video. He also called her on April Fools Day. IIRC, she just hung up on him thinking it was a prank call. So as a result of the video, the owner has received death threats. If that isn't harassment, I don't know what is.

To top it off, this pastor is shady. A few months ago he set up a public fundraiser page to raise $20,000 for a new camera. Since raising the money, there has been no sign of the camera; he's still posting videos on his cell phone, and apparently he's been posting pictures of expensive watches and jewelry, etc. on social media since raising the money.

Seth Andrews made the following video about the guy and the camera controversy (this was before he was actually charged with a crime). (I think there's one H-word in the video, FYI.)



EDIT: I haven't found anything outside that article saying that Feuerstein was charged with a crime; just that the baker called the authorities on him and is considering suing (and who wouldn't in her situation?).
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Re: Indiana governor signs bill allowing businesses to reject gay customers

Postby Lazarus » Mon Apr 13, 2015 6:00 am

I think Bruce was dead-on, but this looks like a slam-dunk to me too!

1. "rightwingnews.com" This looks to be an unbiased, impartial source of news!

2. The url is literally "pastor-who-asked-gay-bakery-for-a-christian-cake-being-charged-with-a-crime"
and yet the article itself literally says that he hasn't been charged with any crime!

3. The fact that you think this helps your argument is pretty sad. Why haven't you mentioned the case of NYC cab driver Mohammad Dahbi. A court fined him $10,000 for telling a lesbian couple to stop kissing in the back of his cab.
http://www.dnainfo.com/new-york/2015041 ... op-kissing

I'm assuming it flew under the radar because his name sounds Arabic?

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Re: Indiana governor signs bill allowing businesses to reject gay customers

Postby Sstavix » Mon Apr 13, 2015 8:30 am


3. The fact that you think this helps your argument is pretty sad. Why haven't you mentioned the case of NYC cab driver Mohammad Dahbi. A court fined him $10,000 for telling a lesbian couple to stop kissing in the back of his cab.
http://www.dnainfo.com/new-york/2015041 ... op-kissing

I'm assuming it flew under the radar because his name sounds Arabic?
Actually, I was perusing other news when that headline popped up under a sideline, and I thought it would fit with this topic. Your example is much better than mine! :lol:

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Re: Indiana governor signs bill allowing businesses to reject gay customers

Postby Lazarus » Mon Apr 13, 2015 9:02 am

It kinda muddies the waters because the driver didn't bring his religion beliefs into it, he just claimed the kissing was "distracting". Which is a paper-thin excuse for a cabbie with 17 years of experience.

My favorite part was this:
"He(the driver) also told the judge that for the last few weeks he had been volunteering at a food pantry for a charity called Metropolitan Community Church, which serves many gay homeless individuals."

It's the new "I'm not racist, my best friends are black!!!"!

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Re: Indiana governor signs bill allowing businesses to reject gay customers

Postby ArcticFox » Mon Apr 13, 2015 12:04 pm

You know, I think I've had something of an epiphany on this issue.

I don't think this is about rights, religion, freedom or anything else like that. Sure, those are the main issues for many people, but I think the core of this question is two competing worldviews.

In one worldview, a public facing business is a community asset. It's privately owned, but it "belongs to" the community in a meaningful enough way that it should be expected to cater to absolutely any individual from the community who wishes to do business there. It uses public utilities like roads and sewers. It's viewed in a way that's very much like a Government agency, in that it belongs to the public and must be accessible by anyone. Looking at it in this way, it's easy to see where the expectation that a business owner should put aside their personal beliefs comes from. I suspect this is the worldview Rooster is coming from.

On the other worldview, a public facing business interacts with the public, but is private property just like a home or a car, and therefore only the owner has the right to determine how it does business and with whom. While it uses public utilities it pays taxes for that use just like anyone else. Just as private homeowners have a right to decide who comes into their home and who doesn't, a private business owner also has the right to control his own property as he sees fit. Looking at it in this way, it's easy to see where the expectation that a business owner has the right to decide how to run their business comes from. This is the worldview I come from.

When you distill the debate down to this level, the only thing left to do is agree to disagree, because worldviews are a baseline that generally doesn't change.
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Re: Indiana governor signs bill allowing businesses to reject gay customers

Postby ArchAngel » Mon Apr 13, 2015 2:37 pm

Not at all. These are not axiomatic assertions, these are perspectives on businesses and their relations to the public. Nor can this be distilled to a simple dichotomy. This is a complex issue. It's usually pretty complex when the freedom of some people will reduce the freedoms for others.

Frankly, businesses are probably somewhere in between the two concepts you listed. While they don't necessarily "belong" to the community, they aren't private property like one's home. Grow a little bigger than a Ma 'n' Pop shop, and it becomes increasingly clear it's not just simply one's property. They are specific registered entities that facilitate trade along particular guidelines. You most certainly can't "do as you like with them," and doing so can get you thrown in jail. There are laws and regulations on how business operates. As a capitalistic country, we rely on businesses to provide many essential services and as such, there are certain requirements that come along with it.
As such, there are certain responsibilities they have to the community, among these that according to our laws, if you are a public service business, you cannot discriminate based on certain traits.
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Re: Indiana governor signs bill allowing businesses to reject gay customers

Postby Lazarus » Mon Apr 13, 2015 7:31 pm

When you distill the debate down to this level, the only thing left to do is agree to disagree, because worldviews are a baseline that generally doesn't change.
I would distill the debate down to some people claiming their homophobia is a religious belief and said belief makes them immune to prosecution.

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Re: Indiana governor signs bill allowing businesses to reject gay customers

Postby ArcticFox » Tue Apr 14, 2015 8:29 am

Not at all. These are not axiomatic assertions, these are perspectives on businesses and their relations to the public. Nor can this be distilled to a simple dichotomy. This is a complex issue. It's usually pretty complex when the freedom of some people will reduce the freedoms for others.

Frankly, businesses are probably somewhere in between the two concepts you listed. While they don't necessarily "belong" to the community, they aren't private property like one's home. Grow a little bigger than a Ma 'n' Pop shop, and it becomes increasingly clear it's not just simply one's property. They are specific registered entities that facilitate trade along particular guidelines. You most certainly can't "do as you like with them," and doing so can get you thrown in jail. There are laws and regulations on how business operates. As a capitalistic country, we rely on businesses to provide many essential services and as such, there are certain requirements that come along with it.
As such, there are certain responsibilities they have to the community, among these that according to our laws, if you are a public service business, you cannot discriminate based on certain traits.
That's all fine I'm just making a point about worldviews. Sometimes we see debates where people start repeating themselves over and over, because in their thought process is the notion that "my opponent would agree with me if I could just get him to see all the information!" The trouble with that is you can have two people, both having all the same info, and still see it in very different ways. The trick in a discussion is to get to that root worldview difference. Sometimes they can be reconciled, sometimes you have to agree to disagree.
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