Religious Freedom

by Web Master 4. July 2015 23:36

With marriage equality becoming the law of the land there have been several instances where business and government employees, such as county clerks, bakers and florists, have refused services to same-sex couples using the excuse that doing so violates their religious freedom. They do not want to participate in a same-sex wedding. It is illegal to deny services based on certain traits of people requesting the service, such as religion, sex, race and, in some States, sexual orientation. The courts are finding businesses that deny services to same-sex couples for their weddings are in violation of these equal protection laws. Are the business owners and government employees being denied their religious freedom by being forced to accomodate marriages between people of the same sex?  I say no, they are not being denied their religious freedom. Let me share my reasoning.

The business and government employees provide services to the general public also known as a public accomodation.  The service provided may include baking a wedding cake in the case of a baker or issuing a marriage certificate for a county clerk. The complaint has been that the employee doesn't want to participate in a same-sex wedding and providing the service makes them a participant. This is nonsense. The service provider is hired to do a service, not to become a participant. How many brides and grooms thank their florist for "participating" in the wedding? None! They may thank them for the flowers, but don't consider them active participants. To think this is utter nonsense.

Some people argue that to provide a wedding cake or flowers to a same-sex marriage is asking the business to provide a new service that they don't provide.  Comparisons are made to asking a Muslim restaurant to provide bacon when that isn't already on the menu.  This argument is also nonsense. There is no physical difference between a cake made for a wedding between a same sex couple and that of an opposite sex couple. The product is EXACTLY the same physically. If the baker was asked to change the cake, such as putting a distasteful message on it, then that is a service they don't provide to anyone, gay or straight, and need not make that change. However, the people denying services are not doing so because of any physical change to the service. They are just flat out denying a product they would serve to an opposite sex couple to the same sex couple.

From a religious standpoint, why is it that a service provided to countless opposite sex couples suddenly become a sin when given to same sex couples? You aren't sinning because of what other people are doing with your product. The employee is not being asked to marry someone of the same sex. They are only expected to provide the SAME service to everyone EQUALLY. Actions, such as baking a cake, don't become sinful because of what your customer does with the cake!



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Politics | Religion

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