Advertisement

Opinion

Opinion

New Mexico case raises tolerance issues

September 18, 2012

Advertisement

— Elaine Huguenin, who with her husband operates Elane Photography in New Mexico, asks only to be let alone. But instead of being allowed a reasonable zone of sovereignty in which to live her life in accordance with her beliefs, she is being bullied by people wielding government power.

In 2006, Vanessa Willock, who was in a same-sex relationship, emailed Elane Photography about photographing a “commitment ceremony” she and her partner were planning. Willock said this would be a “same-gender ceremony.” Elane Photography responded that it photographed “traditional weddings.” The Huguenins are Christians who, for religious reasons, disapprove of same-sex unions. Willock sent a second email asking whether this meant that the company “does not offer photography services to same-sex couples.” Elane Photography responded “you are correct.”

Willock could then have said regarding Elane Photography what many same-sex couples have long hoped a tolerant society would say regarding them — “live and let live.” Willock could have hired a photographer with no objections to such events. Instead, Willock and her partner set out to break the Huguenins to the state’s saddle.

Willock’s partner, without disclosing her relationship with Willock, emailed Elane Photography. She said she was getting married — actually, she and Willock were having a “commitment ceremony” because New Mexico does not recognize same-sex marriages — and asked if the company would travel to photograph it. The company said yes. Willock’s partner never responded.

Instead, Willock, spoiling for a fight, filed a discrimination claim with the New Mexico Human Rights Commission, charging that Elane Photography is a “public accommodation,” akin to a hotel or restaurant, that denied her its services because of her sexual orientation. The NMHRC found against Elane and ordered it to pay $6,600 in attorney fees.

But what a tangled web we weave when we undertake to regulate more and more behaviors under overlapping codifications of conflicting rights. Elaine Huguenin says she is being denied her right to the “free exercise” of religion guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment and a similar provision in the New Mexico constitution. Furthermore, New Mexico’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act defines “free exercise” as “an act or a refusal to act that is substantially motivated by religious belief,” and forbids government from abridging that right except to “further a compelling government interest.”

So New Mexico, whose marriage laws discriminate against same-sex unions, has a “compelling interest” in compelling Huguenin to provide a service she finds repugnant and others would provide? Strange.

Eugene Volokh of the UCLA School of Law thinks Huguenin can also make a “compelled speech argument”: She cannot be coerced into creating expressive works, such as photographs, which express something she is uncomfortable expressing. Courts have repeatedly held that freedom of speech and the freedom not to speak are “complementary components of the broader concept of ‘individual freedom of mind.’”

A New Mexico court, however, has held that Elane Photography is merely “a conduit for another’s expression.” But the U.S. Supreme Court (upholding the right of a person to obscure the words “Live Free or Die” on New Hampshire’s license plates) has affirmed the right not to be compelled to be conduits of others’ expression.

New Mexico’s Supreme Court is going to sort all this out, which has been thoroughly reported and discussed by the invaluable blog The Volokh Conspiracy, where you can ponder this: In jurisdictions such as the District of Columbia and Seattle, which ban discrimination on the basis of political affiliation or ideology, would a photographer, even a Jewish photographer, be compelled to record a Nazi Party ceremony?

The Huguenin case demonstrates how advocates of tolerance become tyrannical. First, a disputed behavior, such as sexual activities between people of the same sex, is declared so personal and intimate that government should have no jurisdiction over it. Then, having won recognition of what Louis Brandeis, a pioneer of the privacy right, called “the right to be let alone,” some who have benefited from this achievement assert a right not to let other people alone. It is the right to coerce anyone who disapproves of the now protected behavior into acting as though they approve it, or at least into not acting on their disapproval.

So, in the name of tolerance, government declares intolerable individuals such as the Huguenins, who disapprove of a certain behavior but ask only to be let alone in their quiet disapproval. Perhaps advocates of gay rights should begin to restrain the bullies in their ranks.

— George Will is a columnist for Washington Post Writers Group.    

Comments

Orwell 2 years, 3 months ago

Right, George... and the good Southern Baptists who didn't approve of mixing races at their lunch counters should have been left alone, eh?

Liberty275 2 years, 3 months ago

I suggest you choose a different religion. Southern Baptists are not racist. There is a racist culture in the south, but phony gods have nothing to do with it.

Cait McKnelly 2 years, 3 months ago

I'm going to say something that may make the jaws of a number of people on this board drop. I actually agree with George Will. At least in this instance.
This is not the same as denying someone the right to education, housing or employment. Nor is it the same as publicly refusing to seat someone in a restaurant or rent them a hotel room. This was an attempt to privately contract someone for a service and if they didn't want to do it then so be it. Who cares what their reason was? Go find someone else.
Over the years I have found the biggest deterrent to bigotry, hatred and fear is education, not the law. People like this photo business will eventually find themselves on the wrong side of history and, if nothing else, the opinion of society will force them to do the right thing or they will lose their business. So no, I don't agree with suing them. On the other hand, making it publicly known what bigoted jerks they are is an entirely different matter. Go for it.

jaywalker 2 years, 3 months ago

You were rolling along ok 'til the end, cait. I believe in equal rights for homosexuals, but because someone holds religious beliefs that sees the situation in a different light, they're "bigoted jerks"? From the story all they did was decline a photo shoot. So much for tolerance.

Cait McKnelly 2 years, 3 months ago

Ahh but I (and the couple involved) have just as much right to our opinion as they do theirs. And if you see publicly outing them for their bigotry as "intolerant" then what were they? The court of public opinion is a far better and greater tool than a court of law. Just ask Joe Montgomery.

Cant_have_it_both_ways 2 years, 3 months ago

Just as it is against the law to serve booze to someone that is already drunk or is old enough to serve in the armed forces and vote but not 21. This too, came from religion, or those who legislate morality and seems to be accepted.

You invest your hard earned cash into rental property, storefront, or anything else--then have the government or fringe groups tell you or legislate you into who your customers are or should be... well... frankly these people can kiss my #$%

tbaker 2 years, 3 months ago

Good for you Cait.

I read this and asked, who is being "intolerant" in this story? People need to be free to make up their own minds without sanction. With noted exception, business owners should be free to refuse service to anyone they chose. That freedom is whats at issue here.

Personally I think the phtographer was dumb to pass on the business, and the ladies should feel free to tell the world why. Thats another freedom that should not be infringed.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 3 months ago

They were asked to shoot a commitment ceremony, not a lesbian orgy. So, yes, they are bigoted.

But I agree that they should have the right to turn down any job they don't want to do. However, that does beg the question of where the line gets drawn on discriminatory behavior. If they ran a public hall that regularly does weddings, should they be allowed to discriminate in such a way?

jaywalker 2 years, 3 months ago

Sorry, but because it wasn't a "lesbian orgy" doesn't automatically make them bigots. A bigot is a person who is "utterly intolerant of any differing creed, belief, or opinion." You have no idea whatsoever what their tolerance level is, they simply chose not to photograph the wedding because it was for a same-sex couple. Could be based on religious beliefs, could be political. Pretty sad that saying "no" makes one a bigot.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 3 months ago

These folks clearly don't believe in equal rights for Lesbians. That makes them bigots, no matter what their rationale is.

jaywalker 2 years, 3 months ago

Like I said, pretty sad someone jumps to "Bigot!" because someone else said no. Pathetic, actually.

Jean Robart 2 years, 3 months ago

Sure they do---but there is no constitutional or religious right to harass and sue somebody simply because they disagree with how to live their lives. George Will is absolutely right.

Kathy Getto 2 years, 3 months ago

Well, what if the couple wanting photos was interracial? Would it be ok for them to say no and give the reason? It appears in New Mexico, sexual identity is protected.

rockchalker52 2 years, 3 months ago

Same-sex marriage should be legal, but the photogs got hosed.

rockchalker52 2 years, 3 months ago

Seriously? You think I'm the Linwood guy? Wow. I'm gonna take back my thumbs up I gave to you on another thread

rockchalker52 2 years, 3 months ago

whoops, my bad. The above post is in reply to bozo's.

geekin_topekan 2 years, 3 months ago

But the have no problem photographing those free-for-all orgies known as Christian weddings? Why the double standard?

LJWorld publicly invites us to approve those filthy orgies in their Marriage section every Monday AM.

verity 2 years, 3 months ago

While I think that Mr Will's particular brand of snark leaves something to be desired and tends to put me off, this does seem to be a gray area and is deserving of honest discussion.

My first reaction was to agree with Cait, but as I think about it, I'm not sure. Would it have been illegal for them to refuse to photograph a ceremony between two different races if they disapproved? While same-sex marriage is not legal in New Mexico, apparently same-sex commitment ceremonies haven't been outlawed.

As a semi-professional photographer, I can imagine being asked to photograph any number of things I find offensive. Should I be compelled to photograph an execution?

That said, there are battles that need to be fought and those that just seem to be vengeful and even counter productive. I don't think this one furthered anybody's cause.

Liberty275 2 years, 3 months ago

"I don't think this one furthered anybody's cause."

I think it will help clarify the law, which is always good.

"Should I be compelled to photograph an execution?"

Some artists will listen for the click just before the bang. Other will make what they are told to make and die a little every day. Six of one, half a dozen of the other.

Oppression is the same whether you like it or not.

jhawkinsf 2 years, 3 months ago

If you are going to engage in interstate commerce in this country, you're going to have to follow the rules.

jafs 2 years, 3 months ago

What rules mandate that they photograph this ceremony?

And, what interstate commerce are they engaged in?

jhawkinsf 2 years, 3 months ago

If you operate a business that might attract business from another state, then you're engaged in interstate commerce. It's the theory that disallowed cafes down south from discriminating based on race. That the cafe might attract a customer from another state, then Federal rules against discrimination apply.

Now the question is, are gays and lesbians protected by Federal law. I assume they are, so the business, as far as i can see, is not complying with Federal law. (on this point I'm making the assumption that gays and lesbians are part of a protected class. I'm not an attorney, so I don't know for certain. But I think I'm correct in my assumption).

jafs 2 years, 3 months ago

That's a very loose and wide interpretation of interstate commerce, and I'm not sure I agree with it.

I don't believe that gay and lesbian folks are protected in all activities, but just in specified ones, like housing, employment, etc.

So, getting one's wedding/commitment pictures taken wouldn't apply, I believe.

Scratch that - gay and lesbian folks aren't a protected class in any meaningful way, as far as I know. The federal government may have adopted non-discriminatory policies in hiring.

But, if they were a protected class on the national level, then cities wouldn't have to adopt anti-discrimination statutes.

jhawkinsf 2 years, 3 months ago

I think you'll agree that the Interstate Commerce Clause has expanded exponentially of late. If I owned a restaurant on a back road, deep in the country and swore on a stack of Bibles that no person from any other state has ever entered my restaurant, might I escape the Interstate Commerce Clause? I guarantee you the courts will rule against the restaurant. That a member of a protected class might enter is sufficient reason to enforce the laws. Now, is sexual orientation a protected class? I think it is, but I wouldn't swear to it. That's what we have courts for.

jafs 2 years, 3 months ago

No, I find the idea that a customer happening to come from another state means that one is engaged in interstate commerce is fundamentally flawed.

Interstate commerce is more properly understood as commerce between states.

If I own a restaurant, and my suppliers, employees, etc. come from the same state, I'd say I'm not engaged in interstate commerce, even if the occasional customer comes to KS and eats at my restaurant.

The courts have certainly widened the use of the ICC far beyond my idea of what it should be used for, in many ways.

One remarkable way is that the federal government uses it to prosecute people for growing marijuana for their own use in states that have legalized that - doesn't that seem absurd to you?

If sexual orientation were a protected class, then there'd be no need for cities and/or states to enact anti-discrimination statutes. So, the fact that they do means it's not such a class.

jafs 2 years, 3 months ago

"The Huguenins are Christians, who for religious reasons, disapprove of same-sex unions."

Bigot: A person obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices. Bigotry: 2. Acts or beliefs characteristic of a bigot.

Certainly seems to me that believing in your religious opinions so intolerantly and acting on them by refusing to photograph somebody's commitment ceremony qualifies as bigotry, based on the above definition.

But, this is in general an interesting and grey area for me - religious freedom is a foundational principle of our system, but at the same time there are other rights that we have, and have developed over time. When these things conflict, it's not always easy to sort them out.

If we decide that gay and lesbian people have the right not to be discriminated against, how do we at the same time protect the right of religious folks to practice their religion, which may involve decisions like this one?

jhawkinsf 2 years, 3 months ago

I don't think your religious rights are being discriminated against when it's your business that is being forced to conform to the law. You can believe whatever you want. Your business must conform to the rules of our society.

Peacemaker452 2 years, 3 months ago

So, do you believe that there is a complete and total legal seperation between the individual and their business?

jhawkinsf 2 years, 3 months ago

Individuals have certain rights and responsibilities. Businesses have other rights and responsibilities. The question is, if there is a conflict, but that conflict can be easily resolved simply by separating the business from the individual, then yes, that is what needs to happen.

The bottom line is this. The individuals possess the freedom of religion. The business does not. The business has a responsibility to obey applicable business laws. The individual may choose to obey the laws and continue to work in that business or they may choose to follow their beliefs by separating themselves from the business. Now if the individual were compelled to do work that violates their beliefs, that would be something very different. But no such compulsion exists.

Peacemaker452 2 years, 3 months ago

Am I understanding you to say that the individual's only choices are to perform a service that they disagree with or get out of the business?

jhawkinsf 2 years, 3 months ago

By choosing to engage in interstate commerce, you are agreeing to certain things. You're agreeing to pay certain taxes, whether or not the state then spends that money in ways that might conflict with you values or religion. You're agreeing to apply for certain permits. You're agreeing to certain standards that might be imposed on specific types of businesses (cleanliness, as an example in a restaurant, even more cleanliness in a doctor's office, etc.). And if one of the things you are agreeing to is a state imposed non-discrimination policy, then yes, your choice is to either comply or get out of business. Of course, there is always a third option and that is to change what's in your head and what's in your heart.

Peacemaker452 2 years, 3 months ago

Unfortunately, this conversation is going to wrap back around to our previous discussion on the origin of rights and the "social contract" that you support.

We didn't get anywhere with that before, so no point in repeating the process.

I will agree to disagree if you are OK with that.

jhawkinsf 2 years, 3 months ago

Agreeing to disagree is a moral victory for us both. A win/win.

jafs 2 years, 3 months ago

For many, religion is not just about belief, but also action that conforms with that belief.

The "free exercise" of religion isn't appropriately reduced to the free belief in it, as far as I can tell.

jhawkinsf 2 years, 3 months ago

So if your religion involved animal sacrifice, that would fall under the "free exercise" clause? How about if it were human sacrifice? No. The "free exercise" of your religion only exists so long as it conforms to the laws of the land AND as long as the laws of the land were not passes so as to restrict that free exercise.

jafs 2 years, 3 months ago

I don't think it's that simple.

Laws that protect against discrimination will be necessity limit one's free exercise of their religion, if people hold discriminatory beliefs.

Something has to give, that's all. You can't simultaneously protect both the religious freedom and the right to not be discriminated against.

Which way people prefer to go on that depends on their point of view, but there's no win-win scenario.

jhawkinsf 2 years, 3 months ago

Your right to throw a punch ends at the tip of my nose.

You can believe whatever you want. That is an absolute right. That right ends when you engage in activity that harms others. But if your argument is that the "free exercise" clause is an absolute right, I would argue that it is not.

But let me give you a hypothetical. Suppose your religion banned the color blue. You owned a restaurant that banned patrons from wearing anything blue. Can you do that? Yes. Wearers of blue are not a protected class. Unless you can prove it harms some specific group, as in Blacks wear blue and Whites do not, then you would be on shaky legal ground. But as long as no one claims that any specific group is harmed any more or any less than any other group, you can do that.

jafs 2 years, 3 months ago

I'm just saying that it's too simplistic to say that preventing a landlord from discriminating against a gay person isn't limiting his exercise of his religion.

We can certainly say we're willing to do that in certain circumstances, of course.

Gay and lesbian folks aren't protected groups, like black people and women are - at least not yet.

I'd much prefer that we simply ban discrimination that's not concretely related to reasonable concerns, like landlord references and credit history, rather than having to continually add groups to the "protected" status.

But, I have no illusions that doing that would in fact limit the freedom of landlords in a variety of ways, including their ability to freely exercise their religion, if it leads them not to rent to certain groups of people.

Kathy Getto 2 years, 3 months ago

Ah, but they are protected in New Mexico by New Mexico Human Rights Act.

jafs 2 years, 3 months ago

Would that include things like getting one's picture taken, or is it limited to housing, employment, etc. as most statutes are?

jesse499 2 years, 3 months ago

So gay and lesbians have the right to bigotry over religious freedom I see.

Liberty275 2 years, 3 months ago

The constitution can void any federal law. Sexual orientation is not directly protected by the constitution, while speech is. An artist cannot be forced to speak any sooner than he can be forced to shut up.

The SCOTUS will swat this nonsense down.

Kathy Getto 2 years, 3 months ago

The constitutional interest of public access more often than not outweigh the liberties of the individuals. Pretty cut and dried IMHO. I would suggest that the practice of religion not be involved in a business venture.

Peacemaker452 2 years, 3 months ago

Except the fact that the idea of "public access" to private property was created out of thin air by the courts, but individual liberties are specifically protected by the constitution.

Peacemaker452 2 years, 3 months ago

Could you please quote to me the portion of the constitution that gives you the absolute right to access my private property from which I choose to provide some business service.

Or, you can just say "bullhockey" again, whichever you prefer.

jafs 2 years, 3 months ago

The 9th Amendment makes these sorts of decisions difficult.

"The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people."

Clearly, the founders didn't intend for only the specific rights enumerated to be valid, but what sorts of rights outside of those were considered?

Peacemaker452 2 years, 3 months ago

Well, I am reluctant to discuss how I feel about this since I will likely be called a lot of things that I am not, but here goes:

Most of the legal discussion surrounding a case like this goes back to the court’s interpretation of the “commerce clause” and how it can be applied by the feds to individuals.

I don’t believe there is anyone who would publically debate the fact that government, at any level, is specifically prohibited from discriminating against any citizen. Challenges to laws that prohibit this type of action by government are routinely and rightfully dismissed at every level in our court system. The problem I have is how the government decided it could apply these laws to individuals. The first issue I have is the court’s creation of the idea that private property becomes “public accommodations” if any part of the general public is allowed access for commerce. I just don’t see any legal support for the idea that someone gives up their right to free association because they have a store. I also believe that the Supreme Court’s use of the commerce clause to support Title II of the Civil Rights Act speaks volumes as to the stretch the government was making. The argument that a person who is from another state visiting a local store is interstate commerce is extremely weak, especially when you consider that the Constitution says “to regulate commerce…among the several States”, which I contend limits the federal government’s power to regulate commerce between the political “States”, not any individual in a state. This idea is supported by the Founders discussions on the necessity for a Constitution, a major issue being harsh state laws that limited trade between the states.

(Disclaimer: those who are about to type how much of a bigot/racist/whatever can stop now, I didn’t say I support discrimination, only that I don’t believe that the Constitution gives the government the power to enforce anti-discrimination laws on private citizens. I would much prefer that the bigots poor their life savings into their business and then have it fail because no one will do business with them.)

Enough on that discussion; Fire Away

jhawkinsf 2 years, 3 months ago

I will certainly not call you any names at all. However, I will note that your interpretation of the Commerce Clause is in conflict with the Supreme Court's interpretation. You are certainly entitled to your opinion. And your opinion might be that the Supreme Court's interpretation is wrong. However, The Supreme Court is the Supreme Court.

Liberty275 2 years, 3 months ago

Regardless of precedent set using the commerce clause, the first amendment is an enumerated right, not a legislated right based on an interpretation of a clause of the constitution.

Legislation is subject to change by the opinions of simple majority of a small group of people. The constitution is subject to change by 66% of America. Which do think is the law of the land?

jafs 2 years, 3 months ago

Actually, I generally agree with your analysis of the ICC.

But, your post doesn't address my comment at all - the 9th amendment makes things difficult for those who ask people to point at specific language for specific rights, I think.

Peacemaker452 2 years, 3 months ago

Sorry, may have drifted a little. I agree that the wording of the 9th makes things less that clear. The point I was trying to make was that lacking any specific wording in the Constitution, I do not see how anyone’s “right” to access my property, whether I am running a business or not, can override my right to freely associate (or not associate) with whomever I please. My ramblings about the ICC were just to point out that the court had to use what I consider to be intellectually and historically dishonest interpretation to enforce this new “right”.

Liberty275 2 years, 3 months ago

Your hostile bigotry toward bigots is noted.

Kathy Getto 2 years, 3 months ago

I apologize peace, I was in a rush to leave. I certainly dont think you are a bigot for expressing your thoughts as you did.

This private property was used as a business. The more the owner uses the property for their advantage and opens it up to the public, the more his rights are limited by the rights of those who use it.

beatrice 2 years, 3 months ago

The photographers are independent contractors, not a "public accomodation." Building contractors have a right to turn a job down a construction job if it isn't right for them, and I agree with the photographers' right to turn down a job. If I were a photographer, I wouldn't want to photograph a white supremacist wedding. On this one, I side with the photographers.

Not that I am comparing gay marriage with the white supremacist movement. I just picked something I find objectionable. For some reason, others find gay marriage objectionable. So be it.

Besides, who would want to force a photographer to take a job? Talk aobut adding to your chances of pictures in which everyone is out of focus with their heads chopped off.

verity 2 years, 3 months ago

"Besides, who would want to force a photographer to take a job? Talk aobut adding to your chances of pictures in which everyone is out of focus with their heads chopped off."

Excellent point, Bea.

Kathy Getto 2 years, 3 months ago

I agree with this part, Bea, however, it has absolutely nothing to do with this case.

Kathy Getto 2 years, 3 months ago

Bea. I didn' t use the word accomodation, but the Court did. They are not independent contractors and must follow the law. They are a commercial business with public access. As the Court determined, on the claim of a First Amendment right, taking those pictures in no way sends a message from the photographer.

beatrice 2 years, 3 months ago

I disagree larely because of the nature of the finished product. A photograph is not a product like gaskets and french fries, rather it is an artistic expression. Certainly we wouldn't expect artists who work in oil paints to be forced to take every commission presented to them, would we? Same with photographers.

As far as the photographs not sending a message for the photographer, I ask, wouldn't you look at a photographer's portfolio before hiring him or her? The finished product certainly speaks about the photographer.

beatrice 2 years, 3 months ago

And if doing further research came upon their photos of a White Supremacist wedding, it wouldn't give you pause?

Kathy Getto 2 years, 3 months ago

From the Court:

 Similar to Rumsfeld v. FAIR, an observer who merely sees Elane Photography photographing a same-sex commitment ceremony has no way of knowing if such conduct is an expression of Elane Photography’s approval of such ceremonies. Instead, such an observer might simply assume that Elane Photography operates a business for profit and will accept any commercially viable photography job. Without Elane Photography’s explanatory speech regarding its personal views about same-sex marriage, an observer might assume Elane Photography rejected Willock’s request for any number of reasons, including that Elane Photography was already booked, or did not want to travel.... In no context would Elane Photography’s conduct alone send a message of approval for same-sex ceremonies. Without explanatory speech, the act of photographing a same-sex ceremony does not express any opinions regarding same-sex commitments, or disseminate a personal message about such ceremonies.

Kathy Getto 2 years, 3 months ago

And this is probably the most important:

"Moreover, the NMHRA prohibits discriminating in services offered to the public, but it does not require Elane Photography to identify with its clients or publically showcase client photographs."

beatrice 2 years, 3 months ago

"an observer might simply assume ..."

Well, you know what they say about those who assume.

Kathy Getto 2 years, 3 months ago

Cute, but still has nothing to do with this. :-) America is about separating public/civic responsibility and private beliefs, if those beliefs lead to discrimination. That is what this case is about. It seems to me this would be a growing market to tap. Not only did they break the law, but they obviously aren't very smart business people.

Liberty275 2 years, 3 months ago

"Besides, who would want to force a photographer to take a job? Talk aobut adding to your chances of pictures in which everyone is out of focus with their heads chopped off."

Bad idea. If you agree to accommodate another person's belief, and then purposely discriminate you aren't protected at all by the constitution. If you aren't protected by federal law or the constitution, then the courts in New Mexico will be the final authority. You will lose. Then you will lose based on fraud and probably a bevy of civil lawsuits.

jesse499 2 years, 3 months ago

Amazeing the bigotry showing on this page for somebodys religious beliefs bigotry works both ways doesn't it.

jhawkinsf 2 years, 3 months ago

If you hire a Chief, you'll probably lose and won't even cover the spread.

Kathy Getto 2 years, 3 months ago

i don't know, but I would think the fact that you know by their advertisement they don' t cook meat makes the example moot.

beatrice 2 years, 3 months ago

Do I get to keep the Rush Limbaugh punching bag and Cal Thomas dart board?

verity 2 years, 3 months ago

My fuzzy slippers are not negotiable.

verity 2 years, 3 months ago

So if I just say I have headache, nobody can make me do it?

jesse499 2 years, 3 months ago

What about all these stores that have a sign no shirt,no shoes,no service if a owner of a business doesn't have a right to say who he does business with this is bigotry to.

purplesage 2 years, 3 months ago

Orwell uses flawed reasoning in attempting to equate homosexuality with race. It is not the same thing. And it points out the danger of tryng to equale morality with simple bio-chemical connections in the body, void of a moral sense.

Southern Baptists have an African-American convention president. They are the most ethnically diverse religious body in America. There have been official acknowledgements and apologies for a "racist past."

America is still a racist culture. Only God's kingdom will erase those differences. The Bible makes distinction between belief and unbelief, not skin pigmentation. It does, however, list homosexuality among other sexual sins - including heterosexual sin such as adultery and fornication.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.