License to Discriminate passes Michigan House

snyderdiscriminateThey said that their priority this legislative session was to focus on issues that really mattered, like the condition of our roads, and the facts that good jobs for Michiganders are increasingly difficult to come by, but guess what? House Republicans, instead of focusing on things that really matter to Michigan families, just passed a bill that would allow individuals and businesses to use religion as an excuse to discriminate. The bill, which is euphemistically called the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, or HB 5958, passed the House in a 59-50 vote along party lines. Speaker of the House Jase Bolger, in defense of the bill, said, “This is not a license to discriminate,” and then went on to contradict himself by explaining how good Christians shouldn’t be forced to bake wedding cakes for godless homosexuals. (Sadly, homosexuals will not be allowed under the law to discriminate against those individuals they find to be unworthy of cake.) Bolger went on to say, “People simply want their government to allow them to practice their faith in peace.”

Democrats offered amendments that would have, among other things, require that individuals asserting “the right to discriminate” be able to somehow quantify their religiosity, by demonstrating that they, for instance, either tithe to their church, or participate actively in their congregations, but the Republicans, apparently not wanting to set the discrimination bar too high, chose not to include them.

The bill, having passed the House, will now move to the Michigan Senate, where Republican Majority Leader Randy Richardville is likely to bring it to a vote.

I know folks like Jase Bolger feel as though they have to pass legislation like this in order to protect the poor, defenseless Christian majority of Michigan from cake-loving homosexuals, who, if left to their now devices, would have the audacity to audacity to walk into a bakery and order food, but I wonder if they’ve really thought this through.

I was just reading today about how, at the Florida state capital, the Church of Satan would allowed to set up a display right alongside the depiction of the baby Jesus in the manger this holiday season. (While not yet approved, the adherents of Festivus are petitioning to have a 6-foot tall stack of empty beer cans displayed in accordance with their religious practices as well.) And it makes me wonder if maybe, just maybe, all of this could come back and explode in the face of Bolger and the persecuted majority he so faithfully represents. Might it be possible, I wonder, for one of our newer religions to adopt a doctrine outlawing proximity to old, white, angry conservatives? Or, better yet, I wonder if homosexuality could just become a religion, making it possible for its practitioners to deny service to Christians? [a note to all my gay friends: Just think of all the fabulous robes you could afford to make, and outrageous church parties you could afford to throw, if homosexuality were to become tax exempt?]

I posed this question in a round about way to my friend Jeff Irwin, who represents Ann Arbor in the Michigan House. Here’s our exchange.

MARK: Jeff, would I be right to assume that, under this law, if it were to pass, a devout Muslim shop owner could refuse service to a woman who was not completely covered?

JEFF: Well, it’s complicate, and it’s not clear which religious beliefs will be sufficiently sincere to receive protection. In practical terms, the bill gives anybody (such as the shop owner in your example) a defense in court against any government action that infringes on their religious beliefs. In that case, the government would be required to prove that our anti-discrimination laws are serving a “compelling gov’t interest” and are “narrowly tailored to satisfy the gov’t’s interest.” I have no problem with free exercise of religion, but I am very sensitive about violating the aspect of the first amendment preventing establishment of religion by the state.

So, if I read that correctly, we’re putting the state in the position where it will have to decide which religions will be able to exercise the right of bigotry… What could possibly go wrong?

And where in the Bible does it say that Christians can’t bake cakes for gays, anyway? Maybe I missed it, but I don’t recall Jesus ever having said, “My followers shouldn’t bake for certain kinds of people.” And, if he did say that, those people probably wouldn’t have been the gays. They’d have been the CEO class. Jesus washed the feet of prostitutes, for fuck’s sake.

And this, by they way, shouldn’t surprise anyone. This is what the Republicans do during the lame duck session. They seek to criminalize homosexuality and drive the intelligent from our state. Remember this headline from two years ago today… “New legislation in the Michigan Senate would empower health care workers to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation and religion“?

And who can forget that time that Michigan Republicans in the Senate amended anti-bullying legislation to so that it excused bullying by those motivated by religious conviction?

No, this, sadly, is par for the course in Michigan, and no one seems to give a damn. If they had, they would have voted in November, and we wouldn’t be having this conversation right now. We knew that this was coming, and yet we did nothing to stop it… How long will it be before we start seeing “No Homosexuals” signs hanging in the windows of our local businesses?

nogay

[The image at the top of the page is courtesy of the Michigan Democrats.]

This entry was posted in Civil Liberties, Religious Extremism, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

44 Comments

  1. Posted December 4, 2014 at 9:59 pm | Permalink

    Not even the semi-rigid will be served.”

  2. Posted December 4, 2014 at 11:16 pm | Permalink

    How disturbing! I didn’t know this was going on. Our state may be wonderful in many ways, but the fact that there are so many people who discriminate on the basis of race, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, etc is HORRIFYING. I am mortified. I don’t understand it. People are not well.

  3. EOS
    Posted December 5, 2014 at 3:19 am | Permalink

    The first ammendment protects the free exercise of religion. You can pass laws to legalize porn, but you can’t force me to watch it. Abortion may be legal today, but no one can be forced to kill their baby and no one can be forced to publically state that it is anything other than evil. The freedom for any individual to make a choice cannot compel others to accept that choice as good, beneficial, or acceptable. Tolerance allows everyone to make a choice and allows everyone to advocate their preference in the public square. But you cannot legalize any sin and then compel others to participate. Homosexuals may hate many religious practices, but they cannot outlaw them.

  4. John Galt
    Posted December 5, 2014 at 6:36 am | Permalink

    I for one look forward to the return of segregated lunch counters. That was real freedom!

  5. Demetrius
    Posted December 5, 2014 at 6:53 am | Permalink

    Sounds like the perfect time to start a new religion (or two) …

  6. anonymous
    Posted December 5, 2014 at 8:29 am | Permalink

    I can’t believe there were people who thought that the Republicans, if they won in November, would really focus on issues that mattered, like the roads. What happened here was predictable. Since Snyder has taken office, this has become the norm.

  7. Joe M.
    Posted December 5, 2014 at 8:41 am | Permalink

    And this:

    “Welfare drug testing pilot program approved by Michigan House”

    http://www.mlive.com/…/welfare_drug_testing_pilot_pro.html

  8. Lynne
    Posted December 5, 2014 at 10:12 am | Permalink

    I hold everyone who voted GOP or didn’t vote in this last election responsible for this. It is just plain mean.

  9. Shanna
    Posted December 5, 2014 at 10:35 am | Permalink

    Right, Joe. So since drug testing welfare recipients failed in other states and cost more money than it saved, Michigan has to do it, too, just to make sure. Unreal. Perpetuating stereotypes and preying on the fear and anger they cause in order to hold onto power. Shameful.

  10. Pete Murdock
    Posted December 5, 2014 at 11:09 am | Permalink

    Lansing Lame duckers have gone wild and put City of Ypsilanti’s community standards in jeopardy.

    FREEDOM TO DISCRIMINATE TAKES DIRECT AIM AT CITY’S HARD FOUGHT NON-DISCRIMINATION POLICIES

    http://www.thenewcivilrightsmovement.com/davidbadash/breaking_michigan_house_passes_religious_license_to_discriminate_bill

    ROAD FUNDING SHELL GAME THAT TAKES MONEY FROM SCHOOLS AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS TO FUND ROADS
    After local governments and schools have taken large hits to their revenue over the past several years, more reductions will jeopardize recovery efforts of both the City and School district..
    http://www.prioritiesmichigan.org/2014/12/04/road-funding-bill-short-changes-communities-schools/

    LEGISLATION INTRODUCED THAT WOULD WEAKEN THE CITY”S RENTAL INSPECTION PROGRAM
    In a time when there is a need to strengthen the City’s rental inspection program, this would be a step backward.

    http://blogs.mml.org/wp/inside208/2013/10/03/sb-313-crippling-rental-inspections-passes-senate-committee/

    LEGISLATION INTRODUCED TO PROHIBIT LOCAL WAGE AND LABOR REQUIREMENTS IN DEVELOPMENT AGREEMENTS –
    A direct aim on the City’s living wage, minimum wage and prevailing wage requirements for developers.

    http://blogs.mml.org/wp/inside208/2014/12/04/house-considers-local-community-benefits-agreements-preemption/

    And who knows what’s next

  11. facebook stalker
    Posted December 5, 2014 at 11:10 am | Permalink

    From someone on Facebook:

    Today the Michigan State House passed a bill that would allow discrimination based on a strongly held religious belief. That means that pharmacists wouldn’t have to dispense certain medications, a police officer could refuse to defend a mosque or synagogue, a school guidance counselor could deny help to a gay student, a landlord could refuse to rent to a single mother, or a man could claim that he has a religious right to discipline his wife and kids as he sees fit—all based on their religious beliefs. An amendment was offered by Rep. Jeff Irwin that said this law could not be used to justify child abuse or genital mutilation, that amendment failed, and the bill passed on party lines (Guess which party?) ‪#‎LameDuck‬

  12. site admin
    Posted December 5, 2014 at 11:14 am | Permalink

    From Jeff Irwin last night:

    Now, in attempt to pack all of the biblical pandering into one night, we’re voting on HB 4927.

    This legislation authorizes religious agencies that perform adoptions to use public money to steer adoptions away from LGBT families, divorcees or anybody else that offends their sincerely held religious beliefs.

    That’s right, our tax dollars are going to fund religious organizations that use our money to proselytize, pressure and/or discriminate against prospective adoptive parents.

    http://www.legislature.mi.gov/(S(ujiwy2atrzgfdu55vjchbc55))/mileg.aspx?page=getObject&objectName=2013-HB-4927

  13. Demetrius
    Posted December 5, 2014 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

    And yet, the people who are pushing this are the same ones who are always warning us about “Sharia Law.”

    This makes me wonder: Could there be such a thing as an “Irony Black Hole,” in which the force of irony becomes so strong that it implodes in upon itself, swallowing all facts, reason, and logic — the smae way interstellar black holes swallow energy and light?

  14. Chris Taylor
    Posted December 5, 2014 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

    HOLY SHIT! i just called the motherfucking Michigan Governor’s office to ask him to please veto the Religious Freedom Act that the dipshit republicans passed. The woman who answered the phone was SO RUDE and condescending and clammed to not know what I was talking about and when I was forced to explain it to her she claimed that by not passing it that she would discriminated against due to her religious beliefs. I wish I could drive to Lansing and punch that person in the face. That person should be fired!!
    Please call this number and explain to her and the other pigs just how 100% full shit they are.
    517-373-3400
    SO FUCKING PISSED OFF! SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE!
    CALL THESE ASSHOLES NOW!!!!!
    517-373-3400
    http://www.michigan.gov/…/0,4668,7-277-57827-267869–,00.ht…

  15. Eel
    Posted December 5, 2014 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

    Agnostic tattoo artists no longer have to tattoo bible quotes. Christian cab drivers can legally drive right by pairs of men or women, fearful that they might be homosexuals. Scientologist restaurant owners can turn away people who they believe to be inhabited by lower-level thetans.

  16. Frosted Flakes
    Posted December 5, 2014 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

    The thought process behind the FRA is mind boggling. We need to be tolerant of intolerance? I don’t get it!!!!

  17. Mr. Y
    Posted December 5, 2014 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

    The ACLU is on it:

    Yesterday, the full House voted along party lines to pass the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, only hours after it was reported from committee.

    If the Senate fails to stop this poorly written bill, people will be able to take advantage and claim that their religion gives them the right to ignore critical laws – laws that protect against child labor, domestic violence and discrimination.

    Freedom of religion is one of our fundamental rights as Americans. That’s why it’s well protected in the state and federal constitutions. This legislation wouldn’t restore any lost freedom. Instead, it would put an individual’s religious beliefs ahead of the common good.

    It’s crucial that we tell our senators that religion should never be used as an excuse to harm others.

    FOLLOW THIS LINK TO WRITE YOUR SENATOR:

    http://www.aclumich.org/blog/2014-12-05/take-action-tell-your-senator-religion-isnt-license-discriminate

  18. idea man
    Posted December 5, 2014 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

    What if this is all just a huge plot to grow support for the Church of Satan?

  19. Jeff Irwin
    Posted December 5, 2014 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

    Here were some of my thoughts offered from the floor yesterday: http://youtu.be/LKkLBJP58d0

  20. Dem
    Posted December 10, 2014 at 11:15 am | Permalink

    As you liked the other graphic from the Michigan Democratic Party, I thought that you might like this one as well.

    http://imgur.com/Hl0uSCZ

  21. Dem
    Posted December 11, 2014 at 9:48 am | Permalink

    The Michigan Senate just suspended the normal committee process rules and referred the “right to discriminate” bill to Senate floor for a full vote as soon as TODAY.

    H.B. 5958 was passed by the Michigan House last week as a supposed counter to a proposed bill to protect LGBT people from discrimination essentially allowing businesses to cite religion in order to try to “opt out” of following the law and discriminate (the legislation has been called the “turn away gays” bill by some).

    Well the anti-discrimination bill never even moved, but the House passed the “right to discriminate” bill anyway, and now it’s about to get voted on in the Senate!

    Your state senator needs to hear from you right now first thing this morning or as soon as you get to call.

    Call and tell your state senator to OPPOSE H.B. 5958, the Michigan Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

    Rep. David E. Rutledge (517) 373-1771

  22. EOS
    Posted December 16, 2014 at 5:23 am | Permalink

    http://www.libertynews.com/2014/12/video-man-tries-to-get-gay-bakery-to-make-anti-gay-wedding-cake-all-13-turn-him-down/

    Those opposed to this bill have resorted to lies and distortion about what it entails. I think the Michigan Senate is waiting to vote on this bill to give us a Christmas present as the last action they take this year. There’s no doubt they have the votes.

  23. kjc
    Posted December 16, 2014 at 9:37 am | Permalink

    lol. EOS that link is a new low for your supposedly rational mind.

  24. anonymous
    Posted December 16, 2014 at 9:53 am | Permalink

    EOS’s link, if you follow it, will take you to the work of a man name Theodore Shoebat.

    Here, if you’d like to get a sense as to what he’s about, is something that he recently posted to Twitter.

    http://imgur.com/cAHSLLJ

    http://shoebat.com/2014/12/15/homosexual-gang-takes-man-strips-naked-ties-rapes-blood-pours-anus/

  25. Meta
    Posted December 16, 2014 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    From today’s NYT:

    Jack Phillips is a baker whose evangelical Protestant faith informs his business. There are no Halloween treats in his bakery — he does not see devils and witches as a laughing matter. He will not make erotic-themed pastries — they offend his sense of morality. And he declines cake orders for same-sex weddings because he believes Christianity teaches that homosexuality is wrong.

    Mr. Phillips, whose refusal two years ago to make a cake for a gay male couple has led to a court battle now getting underway, is one of a small number of wedding vendors across the country who are emerging as the unlikely face of faith-based resistance to same-sex marriage.

    The refusals by the religious merchants — bakers, florists and photographers, for example — have been taking place for several years. But now local governments are taking an increasingly hard line on the issue, as legislative debates over whether to protect religious shop owners are overtaken by administrative efforts to punish them.

    In Colorado, where Mr. Phillips, 58, owns and operates a small bakery called Masterpiece Cakeshop, the State Civil Rights Commission determined that Mr. Phillips had violated a state law banning discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation in places of public accommodation. The commission ordered Mr. Phillips to retrain all of his employees, who include his 87-year-old mother, and to produce a quarterly report detailing any refusals to bake; in response, he has stopped accepting orders for any wedding cakes while he appeals the ruling to the state courts.

    “I do like doing the wedding cakes,” he said. “But I don’t like having the government tell me which ones I can make and which ones I can’t make, and trying to control that part of my life.”

    In New York, an administrative law judge fined Cynthia and Robert Gifford $13,000 for declining to rent their upstate farmhouse, which they often rent out for heterosexual weddings, for the wedding of two women. The couple paid the fine but, in an action similar to that taken by Mr. Phillips, has stopped accepting reservations for any weddings while appealing.

    There have been more than a half-dozen other instances of business owners, most citing their understanding of Christian faith, declining to provide services for same-sex weddings. They include a photographer in New Mexico, a florist in Washington State, a bakery in Oregon, an inn in Vermont and wedding chapels in Idaho and in Nevada. And new cases continue to arise — over the last few weeks, a wedding planner in Arizona declined to work with a lesbian couple, and a business in California refused to photograph the wedding of a gay male couple (and then closed its doors after an outcry).

    The cases are largely being fought, and some say fueled, by two legal advocacy organizations: the American Civil Liberties Union, which supports same-sex marriage, and the Alliance Defending Freedom, which opposes it. Each side cites bedrock American principles: First Amendment rights of religion and speech versus prohibitions in 21 states against discrimination in public accommodations on the basis of sexual orientation.
    Continue reading the main story

    “It’s a clear, well-settled proposition that businesses who open the door to the public must serve the public,” said Evan Wolfson, the president of Freedom to Marry, an organization advocating same-sex marriage. “We don’t want Americans walking into businesses and being turned away because of who they are — that’s what nondiscrimination principles mean.”

    Read more:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/16/us/cant-have-your-cake-gays-are-told-and-a-rights-battle-rises.html

  26. EOS
    Posted December 16, 2014 at 11:29 am | Permalink

    Tolerance is a 2 way street.

  27. Krab
    Posted December 19, 2014 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

    You were wrong, EOS, when you said the following.

    “I think the Michigan Senate is waiting to vote on this bill to give us a Christmas present as the last action they take this year. There’s no doubt they have the votes.”

    We got out of the lame duck session without the License to Discriminate.

    Happy Holidays!

    The following is from People for the American Way.

    The Michigan Senate just suspended the normal committee process rules and referred the “right to discriminate” bill to Senate floor for a full vote as soon as TODAY.

    H.B. 5958 was passed by the Michigan House last week as a supposed counter to a proposed bill to protect LGBT people from discrimination essentially allowing businesses to cite religion in order to try to “opt out” of following the law and discriminate (the legislation has been called the “turn away gays” bill by some).

    Well the anti-discrimination bill never even moved, but the House passed the “right to discriminate” bill anyway, and now it’s about to get voted on in the Senate!

    Your state senator needs to hear from you right now first thing this morning or as soon as you get to call.

    Call and tell your state senator to OPPOSE H.B. 5958, the Michigan Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

    Rep. David E. Rutledge (517) 373-1771

  28. EOS
    Posted March 11, 2015 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

    As the owner of the printing shop Hands On Originals in Lexington, Kentucky, Blaine Adamson is used to receiving all kinds of print requests. He regularly makes judgment calls about where the line is in terms of messages that his shop will express or promote to remain consistent with his religious convictions. He’s even gone so far as to make arrangements with other local printers to ensure that when he needs to decline a request that conflicts with his Christian faith, he can refer these customers to another shop that will match his price.

    That’s why, when Blaine received a request from the Gay and Lesbian Services Organization (GLSO) to print t-shirts promoting the group’s Pride Festival, Blaine was honest about being unable to support the message. As a Christian, he believes that sexual relationships and sexual activity is reserved for marriage between a man and a woman.

    Instead, he offered to refer the group to another printer who would match his price. But GLSO took offense. Despite getting their t-shirts printed for free at another shop, they pursued a complaint with the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Human Rights Commission accusing Hands On Originals of discrimination.

    If this story sounds familiar, it’s probably because stories like Blaine’s are becoming more and more common. Here’s how they tend to go:

    Business owner happily serves and/or employs people who identify as homosexual
    Business owner declines a request that would force him or her to promote or convey messages about sexuality or marriage that conflict with his or her religious convictions
    Someone sues the business owner, either the customer or the government, for discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity
    Customer has no problem obtaining the requested goods or services from a different business, oftentimes free of charge
    But as outrageous as these lawsuits appear, what’s even more outrageous is that states continue to prioritize sexual freedom over the precious freedoms granted by the First Amendment.

    In a troubling ruling, the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Human Rights Commission found that Blaine had discriminated against the GLSO and ordered that he not only print promotional materials that express messages he does not want to promote, but that he attend a government-run reeducation program.

    If the government can’t compel United States citizens to pledge allegiance to the Flag, how can it compel a private business owner to use his work to express support for same-sex marriage and homosexual behavior?

    “No one should be forced by the government to endorse or promote ideas that they disagree with,” said ADF Senior Legal Counsel Jim Campbell. “Blaine declined the request to print these particular shirts not because of any characteristic of the people who asked for them, but because of the message that the shirts would communicate.”

    ADF appealed the order and a hearing is scheduled for March 13th before the Fayette Circuit Court.

    There is no question that printing messages is a form of speech—even the hearing examiner correctly acknowledged that Hands On Originals acts as a speaker when it prints promotional items for customers. But instead of recognizing that compelling Blaine and his company to print certain messages is a violation of his free-speech rights, the Commission decided that no one forced Blaine to go into the printing business so therefore, they could not be compelling him to speak.

    In essence, the Commission’s order sends the message that Blaine must print things he disagrees with or abandon the work he’s passionate about and get a different job.

    We need to pass RFRA this term!

  29. anonymous
    Posted March 12, 2015 at 8:15 am | Permalink

    How is this story of yours any different than the story of a lunch counter operator in the days of Jim Crow telling black people that they’d be happier if they ate at a black restaurant on the other side of town?

    You don’t have to answer, EOS. I already know how you’ll respond. It’s different, you’ll say, because black people can’t help but be black, whereas homosexuals choose to live a deviant lifestyle.

    You, EOS, are a very sick man, and I hope you get the help you need.

  30. EOS
    Posted March 12, 2015 at 8:50 am | Permalink

    I just cut and pasted a story that is widespread.

  31. Posted March 12, 2015 at 9:05 am | Permalink

    But this situation regarding the print shop is slightly different. Though the printer was unwilling to print the item due to the personal beliefs of the owner, it appears that the owner took the extra step of referring the persons to someone that would and insured that they would receive the same price. I’m assuming the owner had called the other shop and explained the situation.

    Given that, I have a hard time coming out against the owner of this shop. Are printers obligated to print pornography or religious material which violates the sensibilities of the owner? I would say, no, they are not.

    It is a complex issue, I think.

    I do not support discrimination (such as refusing to serve same sex couples in a restaurant), but this, like the cake, is somewhat different since it is really a conflict of ideologies in a print medium rather than exclusion of members of a particular group from the community in a public space.

    Regardless, EOS has proven him/herself to be a bigot of the highest order and my comment here should not be construed as an endorsement or a validation of the reprehensible beliefs of this individual.

  32. Frosted Flakes
    Posted March 12, 2015 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    It is wrong to force someone to say/ print something they do not agree with. The baker should bake the cake and the gay and lesbian organization should go to a different printer.

  33. Posted March 12, 2015 at 11:41 am | Permalink

    Yes, I don’t think that the printer refused to serve gay customers. The problem was the content of what was being printed.

    At least, based on what was written here.

  34. Posted March 12, 2015 at 11:43 am | Permalink

    Is a cake to be considered print media?

    Would the printer be obligated to print invitations to a gay wedding?

  35. EOS
    Posted March 12, 2015 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

    In the City of Ypsilanti, a printer was not required to print raffle tickets for a fundraiser for an LGBTQ group on Eastern’s campus, even after revision to the Human Rights Ordinance to include homosexuals as a protected class.

  36. John Galt
    Posted March 12, 2015 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

    You are blind if you don’t see where this is headed. Obama wants to make us all gay marry.

  37. EOS
    Posted March 12, 2015 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

    Frosted Flakes,
    I think that compelling someone to engage in activity that supports an idea to which you are opposed, such as baking a cake, is a far greater level of involvement than mere speech, and should be protected as well. A private business owner should be the one to decide how they want to earn their living and be able to do so in a manner consistent with their beliefs and ideology.

  38. Frosted Flakes
    Posted March 12, 2015 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

    It is a line drawing issue for me. Baking a cake is so solidly not crossing any lines in my opinion. However, as Peter suggests, it gets complicated when it comes to decorating the cake with messages. I for one, do not think anyone should be forced to say anything they do not want to say. So, as much as I support someone’s right to be gay and enter into marriage I don’t think anyone should be forced to write “holy Union” for example, on the gay couples cake. If I was a baker, against gay marriage, I would bake the cake, to the best of my abilities but I would refuse to write any messages on the cake I did not agree with…

  39. Frosted Flakes
    Posted March 12, 2015 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

    I suspect some of these issues are just political stunts. It is a huge drain on resources to expect a court to practice judgement on every case. I wish people would just use more common sense…Bake the cake. Go to another printshop. Respect people’s choices. Respect people’s freedom of speech.

  40. Posted March 12, 2015 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

    Maybe the best way to solve this is to let the shop owner be homophobic, but make him post the fact. If he had a sign saying “Heterosexuals Only,” he would still be entitled to his beliefs, but customers who didn’t want to do business with a bigot would know to go elsewhere.

  41. kjc
    Posted March 12, 2015 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

    Doug’s right. Gay people would be spared the humiliating rejection and the Christian bigot would be spared interaction with damned humans who walk around wanting cake and lottery tickets, acting all normal and mundane, blithely buying goods and services like regular old wordly consumers.

  42. EOS
    Posted March 12, 2015 at 8:05 pm | Permalink

    You probably think that public ridicule will change another persons beliefs. But there will always be believers who will not cave to cultural pressure. No fine is big enough and the jails aren’t large enough to contain the numbers of Christians who are determined to follow Christ, regardless of the cost. As the culture heaps humiliating rejection on Biblical values, we grow stronger.

    The real problem is that homosexuals think they will feel better about their sinful choices once all of society is compelled to affirm their behavior. But the reality is sin causes pain and problems that won’t go away by silencing Christians. Without a personal relationship with the One who created you, there is no real hope or joy. Everyone of us is a sinner in this cursed world. But Christ will never reject anyone who sincerely seeks Him. Following Jesus is infintely better than engaging in any sinful activity.

  43. Posted March 12, 2015 at 10:10 pm | Permalink

    EOS continues to equate homophobia with Christianity. Fortunately, not all Christians are like EOS: http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/USA-Update/2014/0226/More-religious-Americans-support-gay-marriage-than-a-decade-ago-survey-finds-video

  44. EOS
    Posted March 12, 2015 at 10:20 pm | Permalink

    There’s a significant difference between being “religious” and being a follower of Christ.

4 Trackbacks

  1. […] State & local politics • The Mark Maynard blog recently examined the implications of Michigan’s “Religious Freedom Restoration Act” in a post called “License to Discriminate passes Michigan House”. […]

  2. By Save yourselves. Don’t be like Michigan. on December 10, 2014 at 10:08 pm

    […] inclined to slash public school funding, reclassify burning tires as a renewable energy source, and make it possible for bigoted EMTs not to treat people who they fear may, god forbid, love someone of…. Maybe, by living through this, we’re serving the greater good, like the people of Florida […]

  3. […] in the week, in a response to something that I’d written about Michigan’s “License to Discriminate” legislation having passed the House, a reader by the name of EOS posted a link to a ridiculous video intended to demonstrate, if I […]

  4. […] session last December, as you might recall, our elected representatives passed something called the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which would give Michiganders of faith the freedom to discriminate against those they feel to be […]

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