Broken Promises on Religious Freedom

Back in 2012, when the Washington State legislature was debating a same-sex marriage law, supporters assured the public at every opportunity that there was absolutely, positively, promise to God, cross my heart and hope to die, no risk to religious freedom.

Senator Marko Liias was in the House of Representatives at the time.  Here’s what he said about the impact of religious freedom on same-sex marriage.

In light of these unambiguous comments, Marko Liias should be sponsoring legislation to protect businesses like Arlene’s Flowers from the lawsuits he promised us would never happen.  Contact Sen. Liias and the rest of your state legislators and urge them to do what they said they were going to do in the first place…protect conscience rights and religious freedom.  You can call them through the legislative hotline number at 1-800-562-6000 or email them here. 

11 replies
  1. JH
    JH says:

    I disagree. The only time there are feathers ruffled over enforcement of anti-discrimination laws it’s because Christians don’t like it when it works against them. There are going to be people you are uncomfortable with. It comes with being part of a civilization. The laws are clear and the reasons well defined and completely justified. Just take a blinder-free stroll through America’s history for all the revealing reasons why you and the shop owner are incorrect on this matter.

    She should have just taken the fine and been done with it. It was a generous offer. The more she fights and the more support she gets from like-minded individuals just shows how much more ground we, as a civilization, need to go to reach the goals set by our insightful forefathers.

    Reply
  2. Tim
    Tim says:

    Joe, you don’t understand freedom. Let’s just swap a word in your sentence (“homosexual” for “Christian”) and see if your point is still valid: “Homosexuals are free to pretend they are morally superior in the privacy of their homes and churches. But not when it comes to conducting business with the general public. That’s how this country works.”

    See how your logic is broken?

    The Jewish/Christian scriptures, which are thousands of years old, teach that homosexual behavior is a sin before God. Arlene serves and employs people from the LGBT community but she simply wanted to opt out of making a cake which would condone/celebrate a homosexual wedding. For her, condoning a homosexual ceremony would be causing her to take part in that sin. Washington’s constitution guarantees us “freedom of conscience in all matters of religious sentiment.” Just because people voted in 2012 to re-define marriage doesn’t mean that it re-defined God’s view of it.

    Freedom of religion is #1 in the Bill of Rights. That’s how this country works.

    Reply
    • JH
      JH says:

      But the homosexuals merely walked into a florist shop to order flowers. They were turned away because they were homosexuals. If you pulled into a gas station and they decided they didn’t want to give you any gas because you had a fish sticker on the bumper or a cross hanging from your rear-view, you would have the exact same case as the homosexuals in question.

      It doesn’t matter how old your scriptures are. I’m quite certain you don’t follow the bible’s scripture, word for word. Do you honestly believe in a 6000 year old Earth? The Ark? Christians make a choice to pick and choose which portions of the bible are important and which are merely guidelines. Who decides which are important and which are fables meant to impart some kind of morally suggestive? You do. But our laws are clear. They are documented and real. And anyone wising to conduct themselves as an American and enjoy the freedoms that comes with that honor needs to respect the laws that define how we conduct ourselves in regards to other people.

      In other words, the bible is not the guiding rule for every American. But the Constitution is. Learn the differences and conduct yourself accordingly. Simple.

      Reply
      • Jeannette
        Jeannette says:

        This is simply not true. They were not turned away because they were homosexuals and, in fact, at least one of them had been a long-time customer. It was not the people who were turned away. It was the event that she did not want to participate in, which is very different. She was not discriminating against them, the protected class. She was discriminating against the event for which she was being asked to serve.

        Reply
        • JH
          JH says:

          It is indeed the fact that they were homosexuals. If the event was to supply flowers to any other wedding I’m quite certain that she would have happily obliged. Hence, the discrimination case against her.

          She seems like a nice lady though. She should have taken the settlement. Unfortunately, her support lead her astray. Hopefully she can find another job that wont subject her to moral conflict.

          Reply
      • Cherry Picker
        Cherry Picker says:

        If people must rely on the bible for their moral compass, I wish they would choose: “Love thy neighbor,” a biblical command that is conveniently ignored by those who are driven by prejudice.

        Reply
  3. Joe
    Joe says:

    Since when are anti-discrimination laws a threat to religious freedoms? It’s never ok for a service oriented business to deny service because of bigotry in America. The Bible’s labeling a group of people as ‘abominations’ does not supersede the Constitutional rights of any American. Be careful what you wish for. That sword you like to wield will very likely swing back in your direction.

    Christians are free to pretend they are morally superior in the privacy of their homes and churches. But not when it comes to conducting business with the general public. That’s how this country works. If you don’t like providing services that could be purchased by the homosexual community then you should not be offering those services. End of story.

    Reply
    • Joseph Backholm
      Joseph Backholm says:

      Anti-discrimination laws became a threat to religious freedom when they stopped being about ensuring equal opportunity and started being about forcing people to conform to one narrow view of the world in order to be in business.

      The only bigotry involved in this case is the bigotry of the people who run to the cops to force their neighbor to do something they aren’t comfortable with.

      In the same way, the only rights being violated here are Mrs. Stutzmans. Neither the federal or state constitution has ever recognized a right to force someone to work for you. There is a constitutional right to have a wedding and to buy flowers. But there is no constitutional right to force one specific person to do it for you, even if that person would do it for someone else.

      Reply
      • JH
        JH says:

        I disagree. The only time there are feathers ruffled over enforcement of anti-discrimination laws it’s because Christians don’t like it when it works against them. There are going to be people you are uncomfortable with. It comes with being part of a civilization. The laws are clear and the reasons well defined and completely justified. Just take a blinder-free stroll through America’s history for all the revealing reasons why you and the shop owner are incorrect on this matter.

        She should have just taken the fine and been done with it. It was a generous offer. The more she fights and the more support she gets from like-minded individuals just shows how much more ground we, as a civilization, need to go to reach the goals set by our insightful forefathers.

        Reply
        • Joseph Backholm
          Joseph Backholm says:

          I’ll quote you back to you and see if it helps.

          “There are going to be people you are uncomfortable with. It comes with being part of a civilization.”

          Your attempt to appreciate the Founding Fathers is noted, but if you think they started this country so that one day I would have the power to force you to do something I want you to do because it hurts my feelings if you don’t, we have a very different understanding of what our country was, is, and should be.

          Reply
          • JH
            JH says:

            Nobody forced this woman to go in to business. It was her responsibility to comprehend the laws that go with serving the public. It was her oversight that lead to her overstepping discrimination laws. It was her supporters that told her to hold fast instead of taking the settlement offer. Now she is out of business.

            It’s ironic, don’t you think… that Christians have the most trouble coming to terms with the American version of the Golden Rule?

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