Washington court rules against florist in gay wedding case

I find it troubling that the

I find it troubling that the government can compel a citizen to choose between his or her religious beliefs and his or her job. That flies in the face of what our country has historically stood for. In fact, you can't even be fired for your religious beliefs. What an irony that is. This florist could not fire an employee for their religious beliefs but she can be essentially fired from her own job because of it. 

The free market is a much better way to go about solving these kinds of problems.

More from National Review

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/444989/washington-supreme-court-ch...

In other words, she was not discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation. She was making a decision not to help celebrate an action, a form of expression. She would no more celebrate a gay wedding than she would any form of immorality, gay or straight. To dispense with her argument, the court did what numerous progressive courts have done: It rewrote the law. It rejected what it called the “status/conduct” distinction, and essentially interpreted the word “orientation” to also mean “action.”
 

Decision

I live in Washington. I'm a supervisory fraud investigator for the State. I read the decision. My initial reaction is that this was a reasonable interpretation of Washington law. I still have to read the brief filed by the florist's attorneys, and take a closer look at the RCW for myself - but my gut reaction is that this is not a bad decision. In order to wrap your head around a decision like this, you really have to read the arguments closely and do some digging. We'll see.

Remember, it is irrelevant if you personally like the decision. What matters is that the Washington Supreme Court interpreted the law fairly and correctly as it stands. I may change my mind, but I don't think this one is that bad. Read the decision.

TylerR is a former Pastor. He lives with his family in Olympia, WA. He blogs here.

The key is what the specific

The key is what the specific state laws says, allows and disallows. Thus the need for other legislation to allow exemptions for religious reasons, such as RFRA. This is the "Catch-22" situation for judges if we really want judges not to "legislate from the bench". The question is whether state legislatures will have the desire/will to enact exemptions. In Indiana, our state legislature and Gov. Pence found out the hard way what happens when you try. I imagine the judges in Washington didn't mind too much the results of their decision.

Wally Morris

Charity Baptist Church

Huntington, IN

amomentofcharity.blogspot.com

Providing products vs. celebrating action

It strikes me that if a florist sells to homosexual couples, she has already decided that she will take part in something she considers immoral, because flowers are often given as a celebration of the relationship, especially if they happen to be something like red roses.

I tend to agree that if the matter is the law of public access, this case was rightly decided, but I think we need a serious discussion on what level of public access laws are needed.  Strict ones in the south to prevent Jim Crow laws from being quietly re-implemented by businesses and such?  Sure, at least through the 1980s.  But the extent to which we need them now is debatable---I've rarely heard of any EEOC action where I thought "sounds like the boss took off his sheets just before coming to work.", to put it mildly. 

Judicial Activism

Two important things to note, beyond the decision itself:

  1. People involved in the sexual revolution are activists - they will take you to court if you refuse to celebrate their deviance
  2. They are well-funded.

Judicial activism is increasingly the way forward for this revolution. It won't change.

TylerR is a former Pastor. He lives with his family in Olympia, WA. He blogs here.

I am not a lawyer, but a face

I am not a lawyer, but a face value reading of the law along with the arguments presented do not seem to bear out that this is required by the law and in fact may be in violation of the law and the constitution. I skimmed through much of the decision and find it unconvincing. Two examples: There is no reasonable way to infer that same sex marriage was intended by the law in its passing. The decision's explanation of that was wanting. There is also no clear route to infer this was discrimination based on sexual orientation. In fact, such an understanding ignores the history that she had served them on many occasions. Both sides stipulated that fact so that should have immediately been adjudicated in her favor since she quite clearly was not discriminating on sexual orientation. If it was about sexual orientation, she would have never served them before.

Furthermore, this law seems to clearly violate the first amendment in at least two ways. First, the first amendment has never applied only to a dictionary definition of speech. The case law has clearly applied the first amendment to all forms of expression, including artistic expression. The court's rendering that her intent does not matter flies in the face of basic communicative principles. Authorial or creative intent or purpose is the major factor in establishing meaning. The court's decision makes misunderstanding essentially impossible.

Second, the first amendment prohibits laws that impinge on the free exercise of religion. This has been less clear in case law, but unfortunately so, IMO. The right to religious freedom is fundamental to our country and the court's coercion of religious belief should entirely out of bounds. The irony is that "creed" is a protected class under the same law. In other words, there is a strong case that the florist could not fire an employee for their religious beliefs in this area and must make accommodations for those beliefs. In other words, it seems she would have to accommodate a person who believes what she believes. The court seems to be forcing her to do something (violate her religious beliefs) that the law forbids her from doing (violating an employee's religious beliefs).

What you have in cases like this is tyranny of the foolishly aggrieved. Take away the issue of whether same-sex couples should marry and take away the idea that a person suffers emotionally because someone tells them no ("Get over yourself already"). The major issue is whether a person should be required to choose between their occupation and their religious belief. The idea that the state can compel that decision should be troubling to all, regardless of their religious belief or their political persuasion.

It strikes me that if a

It strikes me that if a florist sells to homosexual couples, she has already decided that she will take part in something she considers immoral, because flowers are often given as a celebration of the relationship, especially if they happen to be something like red roses.

The philosophical problem is that the state does not get to decide what violates one's conscience or religious belief. That is precisely what was intended to be forbidden by the founders in the First Amendment. One answer might be the formal and public nature of a wedding vs. personal gift.

And the reason the courts decision on this (with regard to Muslim weddings or atheist weddings) is that a religious person (such as myself) can legitimately consider a heterosexual wedding of another religion a legitimate wedding while considering a same sex marriage no marriage at all. That is a key distinction that the court ignores and thus renders this decision unsatisfactory. The state simply doesn't have the right to compel those beliefs.

With respect to public access laws, I tend to disagree with them. Let the market work. Make people pay a price for bigotry. If a business owner wants to turn away business based on some category or distinction, then let them do it and let the market punish them for that. It would take a bit longer, to be sure. But in the long run, it would be just as effective and perhaps more effective. 

 

Larry

I'm particularly interested in the arguments about religious freedom and freedom of speech. I need to read the florist's arguments, then re-read the court's decision. I probably won't have time for that in the next week, but it needs some deep thought.

My off the cuff thought, regardless of legal decisions, is this:

  • If you work in some aspect of the service and hospitality industry,
  • and you selectively choose who you will serve and who you won't (and the florist admitted this)
  • you are asking for problems

You must be consistent. For some people, it will mean you cannot expect to survive in the industry without some legal challenge. The Christian gloss has left our culture. It won't come back. We really need to expect this kind of opposition. The Christian message isn't syncretistic - it doesn't play well with others. It is exclusivistic. It makes people angry.

  • Should I refuse to investigate an insurance fraud complaint because the complainant is an unrepentant, un-Christian homosexual?
  • Or, should I simply do my job without caring about the complainant's deviance?
  • Is a florist's "artistic expression" somehow less important than my own expertise, experience and competence I apply to my own work?

I am torn here. On one hand, I realize this case was only brought because the "victims" are following the activist model so many other sexual revolutionaries have trod before them. On the other hand, I really have little sympathy for the florist. I do not have the luxury of choosing who my clients are in my profession, and I doubt many of you do, either. I just do my job.

TylerR is a former Pastor. He lives with his family in Olympia, WA. He blogs here.

 you selectively choose who

 you selectively choose who you will serve and who you won't (and the florist admitted this)

I don't think the florist admitted this at all. She was willing to serve them, and had served them. The issue for her was one of artistic expression for a particular event and she claimed it violated her conscience. 

Should I refuse to investigate an insurance fraud complaint because the complainant is an unrepentant, un-Christian homosexual?
Or, should I simply do my job without caring about the complainant's deviance?
Is a florist's "artistic expression" somehow less important than my own expertise, experience and competence I apply to my own work?

First, you work for someone. You are not a business owner. Second, no one (to my knowledge) has ever argued that an insurance fraud investigation is a work of art or freedom of expression. 

Interestingly, if you refused to investigate based on your creed, I don't think they could fire you under the law. They would have to make reasonable accommodations. Of course it is highly like they would find some other reason to fire you. But it's simply a different kind of law.

Supremacy Clause

This might be a correct ruling based on Washington's state law (although I'm not at all convinced of that), but that law clearly falls afoul of both Federal law (the RFRA) and the First Amendment.  The state can offer additional rights beyond those guaranteed by the federal government, but it cannot take any of those rights away.  It seems blindly obvious that if this is allowed to stand, no Christian will be able to have a public business of any kind for long, unless they are willing to abandon any sort of religious conviction that they may hold that runs counter to the prevailing ethos.

It is a bad ruling for those who value religious liberty.  It is a bad ruling for those who value American freedom.  It is a bad ruling for those who hold any unpopular belief.  If we do not speak out when they come for the bakers and the florists, we should not be surprised when they come for the pastors.  

Not even one pinch of incense for Caesar.  

Principle

I'm not referring to the strict letter of the law in my analogy - I'm referring to the basic principle of the matter. My comparison was not a strict correspondence, but an analogy. I've never been able to generate much sympathy for any of the florists or bakers in these cases.

Overall, her arguments were weak. Here is one example:

If you are in this industry, be prepared to be very consistent or risk legal action. It's really that simple. She doomed herself with that comment at deposition. She did so because, honestly, she had not thought through the implications of the stand she chose to make, and did not consistently apply that principle to all her transactions with customers. This is why, from a legal perspective, I have little sympathy for her.

Yes, I'm being more than a bit analytical and cold-blooded right now. But, isn't that the very thing we all want judges to do - to examine the law dispassionately? Christians need to view these matters with two hats - (1) theological and (2) legal. They are not the same hats. The judges aren't interested in theology, and if they were, they'd be pretty bad judges. Christians love judicial activism just as much as the liberals do - as long as the judicial activism is on their side!

TylerR is a former Pastor. He lives with his family in Olympia, WA. He blogs here.

If it goes to SCOTUS and loses ...

Barry L. wrote:

Thus the ruling was correct based on that. People need to realize, though, that most states do allow for discrimination based on sexual orientation.

Here is a link to a map that shows which states do and which don't

http://www.aclu.org/map/non-discrimination-laws-state-state-information-map

If it goes to SCOTUS and loses ... 

All of the "freedom" states in the above map are losers

The Supreme Court's record in

The Supreme Court's record in 1st amendment cases is complicated, confusing, and often inconsistent. If the details of appeal law allow, they will wait to appeal for SC hearing until Gorsuch is on the Court, since he is sympathetic to religious liberty arguments, although the particular Episcopal church he is a member of allows homosexual members. Bottom Line: No way to know how the Supreme Court would rule.

Wally Morris

Charity Baptist Church

Huntington, IN

amomentofcharity.blogspot.com

Once again

 Blame this on our "friends" from the South who refused to serve Blacks. The power of the government ramped up to break that segregation. Now, the courts have ruled that owning a business means you cannot select in any way who you want to serve. It is patently ridiculous. But, the power used to break up racial segregation is being used to shut up opposition to same-sex marriage. 

I weep that our Christian forefathers sinned by promoting racial segregation, and that has led to even greater sin.

Something from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

I know most of you are too sanctified to ever watch TV, but some of us are worldly. Back in the 90s there was a TV show called Star Trek: DS9. IMHO it was the greatest of the real Star Trek.

The main antagonist is a Cardassian alien named Gul Dukat. At one point, talking of defeating your enemies, he says the point is not just to defeat them, but "to get them to admit that they were wrong to oppose you in the first place." That is where the same-sex crowd is headed on this issue.

I fail to see a meaningful

I fail to see a meaningful legal (not theological) distinction between (a) the artistic expression necessary to provide floral arrangement which she knows a homosexual man brings home to express affection to his homosexual lover, and (b) an arrangement for a homosexual wedding.

But the point of religious freedom and conscience is that it doesn't matter what you see or fail to see. The conscience belongs to her and she has a right to live under that conscience. You don't want courts deciding which matters of religious freedom and conscience are legitimate and which are not. 

Especially because, "[a]s Stutzman acknowledged at deposition, providing flowers for a wedding between Muslims would not necessarily constitute an endorsement of Islam, nor would providing flowers for an atheist couple endorse atheism(link is external)," (slip decision, p.27). Looks like she gave away the farm and hung herself on that one.

I don't know the full argument she presented, but at face value, a Muslim marriage is an actual marriage not a sinful one. Same with an atheist marriage. And again, it isn't your conscience that matters. The constitution does not afford you or the courts the right to sit in judgment on that. I think that remains the major problem here.

No Answer

Larry:

I agree with you that the courts shouldn't sit in judgment on these matters. But they have, and they will continue to. This is because the advocates for the sexual revolution will keep on pressing their warfare through the courts. This will not change. There is no future for Christians in public hospitality services. They will find you and sue you. Practically speaking, you must:

  1. Be very consistent with your Christian beliefs and basically serve only evangelical Christians (what's a Landmark Baptist florist to do!? Smile ) - and thus be sued by everybody, or
  2. Serve everybody, make a living, and remain silent about your "artistic expressions" in the context of your business. This is what millions of Christians do every single day where they work. They recognize they live in a passively hostile work environment. They do their jobs. They maintain a Christian testimony. They worship God in their church and preach the Gospel. They shut up at work and, well . . . work.

I'm not saying this is "right" or "the way things should be." I'm just saying that is what you'll have to do. Or be sued. Activists are making courts legislate on matters they shouldn't really be touching, because these deviants have an agenda. They seek to impose celebration of their deviance through legislation.

Ironically, they're legislating morality.  

TylerR is a former Pastor. He lives with his family in Olympia, WA. He blogs here.

Star Trek

Mark, Now I know the truth about you! Smile

TylerR is a former Pastor. He lives with his family in Olympia, WA. He blogs here.

Limited reach of anti-discrimination laws

One thing that is very important here is that historic anti-discrimination laws were fairly tenable--they remedied real discrimination against an easily identifiable group.  You get 20% black applicants for jobs/housing, and if nobody with dark skin gets a job or an apartment, you've got cause to investigate.  

With homosexuals/etc.,  now increasingly qualifying for protection, you've got a case where it's only obvious that they're in the group when they are either (a) being completely obvious or stereotypical or (b) contracting for wedding related services.  And in the case of (a), if someone really doesn't want to give them a job or apartment, you simply say "their personality wouldn't work with our staff or clients" or "their personality is not a good fit for our other renters", and the EEOC and others are going to have a hard time making anything stick.

And statistics?  Given many homosexuals are not "out", good luck making a statistical case for disparate impact.  So apart from harassing photographers, DJs, bakers, and florists, I've got to admit I really don't know what one would do with applying discrimination law to homosexuals--besides making lawyers rich.

Not sure if Apples to Apples

Larry wrote:

Should a Christian programmer be forced to code for a pornography site?

Not sure if Apples to Apples but consider this:

A Christian has a retail store that sells computers. Most computers today are powerful enough to serve webpages with the right software, et cetera

The retailer would sell to all comers with the right cash

Christian Programmer

Nope. Which is why a Christian programmer who decides to take that stand will find himself quickly destroyed by he courts unless he is very consistent because, presumably:

  • He does not impose a religious test on all clients he has - but he has made an exception for this one. Why?
  • Where is the line between who this programmer will code for, and who he won't? Will he code for a purely secular, benign news site? What if the news site is very leftist, and promotes a very anti-Christian worldview? Why not protest then? Why is there a break now, with pornography?
  • What about this particular hypothetical scenario (the pornographer) makes the Christian programmer protest? Is pornography inherently more sinful than the LGBTQRSTUVWXYZ articles the post at the news site he programs for?
  • Pretend the Christian is a programmer on the next Windows project at Microsoft. He knows the operating system will be used by people who engage in all sorts of criminal activity, including child pornography. Should he file a grievance and demand Microsoft pull him off this project because he can't be involved with a project which facilitates sinful behavior? Does the employee deserve to review all proposed assignments and impose his own subjective religious test on which projects he takes on?

We can go round and round on this forever, Larry. I agree with you theologically. Legally, I just have no sympathy for the florist. Or the Christian programmer. Quit if you need to - but recognize the position you're in. Years back, I could have applied to a senior emergency management position at the regional Planned Parenthood. I didn't even bother - because I couldn't do the job, in good conscience. If I had applied, got the job, then turned around and been indignant because (gee, who woulda thunk it?) I'm being asked to do things against my conscience, I'd be laughed at.

This world is overtly hostile to convicted Christian principles. We'd better get used to it.

TylerR is a former Pastor. He lives with his family in Olympia, WA. He blogs here.

...or an unemployed person be forced into prostitution?

It's worth noting that a few years back, German authorities applied the fact that prostitution is legal there to "suggest" that unemployed women consider the trade in their search for work, or else lose benefits.  Thankfully, they backed off, but it does illustrate what a libertarian (guilty in part at least) will tell you about having government run things; "He who pays the piper calls the tune."  

Which is also to say that Mark has a good point in his comment above; more or less to compel people to say "we were wrong all along".  It's a play for acceptance, really. 

But Tyler

Does the Constitution really say that to operate a business means you have to serve EVERYONE?

Remember the old "no shoes, no shirt, no service" signs?

Great Question

Larry wrote:

Should a Christian programmer be forced to code for a pornography site?

You are a website development company. A pornographer wants you to develop a site for him. Must you?

Or, a local Islamic organization wants you to develop an Islamic evangelization website. Must you?

This Will Never End

People used to be "big boys" and "big girls" and just take their business elsewhere. Now, courts are being forced to legislate secular morality, which is something they really cannot do well. The end-result will be that everybody is afraid to do or say anything.

I will say this - Christians who support this florist in this case should be perfectly prepared for a gay florist to refuse to do a Christian wedding at the local Baptist church. They should celebrate that right and not say one single thing about it. That would be consistency.

TylerR is a former Pastor. He lives with his family in Olympia, WA. He blogs here.

Not a protected class

Mark_Smith wrote:

 

Larry wrote:

 

Should a Christian programmer be forced to code for a pornography site?

 

 

You are a website development company. A pornographer wants you to develop a site for him. Must you?

Or, a local Islamic organization wants you to develop an Islamic evangelization website. Must you?

There are two reasons that a website developer need not develop a site.  First of all, pornographers and Muslims are not protected classes, and of course the latter invokes religious freedoms to boot.  Also, I would guess that even secular developers might say "there is simply some content that I will not install to your site..."  

A Christian has a retail

A Christian has a retail store that sells computers. Most computers today are powerful enough to serve webpages with the right software, et cetera

The retailer would sell to all comers with the right cash

No, not apples to apples because computers have a legitimate use.

correction

Muslims are of course a protected class under religion, but then of course you've also got your religious freedom rights.  Plus, since we don't know Arabic or Muslim, we ain't likely to get the job.  :^)

Nice oops on my part!

It's the law in Washington

It's the law in Washington State

But should it be? No, IMO. And I am not even sure they got this law right. This seems a conclusion in search of a reason. This is an easy one. It has nothing to do with being Christian. It has to do with being American.

In the case of refused service....

Per Tyler's comment, it strikes me that our response to service refused ought to be to go on, but at times to remember that "they don't like to serve our kind."  Since there are a lot more "fundagelicals" out there than homosexuals, at least in most areas, I think people will get the message if at all they depend on business outside their own demographic.  

And really, if a business doesn't want to serve demographic A, they can do it under the radar.  For example, if you don't want to serve blacks, fly the Confederate Battle Flag.  Don't want to serve fundagelicals?  Rainbow flag will do great.  Don't want to serve gun owners?  Post the business as a gun free zone.  

Which is to say that while anti-bias laws aren't quite useless, it's pretty close, as businesses signal what they're about pretty routinely. 

IMO it is immoral and beyond

IMO it is immoral and beyond the original intent of governnent to tell a business who they can and cannot do business with. Yes Tyler I do think the gay photographer has every right to refuse to marry a couple in a baptist church.

Fencing the Constitution

I don't believe the framers of the Constitution would understand what on earth the Washington State Supreme Court was thinking. The Constitution has been lost. To borrow a theological phrase, it has been "fenced in" by so many precedents and other decisions that you cannot really find it anymore.

You'd need a near-miracle for the Supreme Court to cut through all the layers of interpretive precedent and get back to what the text actually says. I see no hope. Those who looked to Trump to solve our cultural sin were sorely mistaken.

I don't think the florist should be forced to serve these people. Yet, if you interpret the statutes and precedents, the florist loses. She only loses according to legal standards in accordance with Washington State law, not objective moral standards according to God's law.

People need to read 2 Peter and buckle up. It's not gonna get better. Things are 'bout to get real, ya'll. We can cry over injustices, or start preparing ourselves for more of this. One thing is certain, the other side ain't playin' with kid gloves.

TylerR is a former Pastor. He lives with his family in Olympia, WA. He blogs here.

Nope. Which is why a

Nope. Which is why a Christian programmer who decides to take that stand will find himself quickly destroyed by he courts unless he is very consistent because, presumably:

He does not impose a religious test on all clients he has - but he has made an exception for this one. Why?

I talked about this in Sunday School class with the court clerk who was in the spotlight last year.  My issue is this - how can a Christian argue that it is against their conscience to prepare flowers for a homosexual wedding if they have been selling flower arrangements to all other sorts of sexual deviancy?  Unmarried/Cohabiting Couples, Men and their mistresses, even just teenagers that are in 'love' and want something nice to celebrate their third anniversary?

I get that two guys buying flowers for each other is obvious, but we can't have it both ways.  Either don't do it at all or take all comers.  You can't be consistent without asking invasive and unwarranted questions of your clients.

Personally, I'd advise Christian florists to get out of that field.  It's just a litigation war zone on this topic.

"Our task today is to tell people — who no longer know what sin is...no longer see themselves as sinners, and no longer have room for these categories — that Christ died for sins of which they do not think they’re guilty." - David Wells

My issue is this - how can a

My issue is this - how can a Christian argue that it is against their conscience to prepare flowers for a homosexual wedding if they have been selling flower arrangements to all other sorts of sexual deviancy? 

Because it's their conscience. It doesn't have to conform to others. No one has the right to coerce that. That is what keeps getting missed here. People think that other people's conscience is up for judgment.

The Washington florists ARE obeying their consciences!

The Washington florists ARE obeying their consciences!

  • They are obeying the Washington state law by NOT purveying flowers to any weddings
  • While continuing their artistic passions of purveying flowers  to other events

Their "we must obey God rather than man" option would be:

  • Purveying flowers to only to weddings that they deem meeting the standards of godly weddings
  • Trusting God
  • Experiencing the consequences

OR the "Mayflower" option:

  • Go to another "shore" where they can express their artistic passions of purveying flowers selectively 
  • And not be persecuted by the state

We live in Babylon NOT Theocractic Israel (say the "good times" under Moses or David)

Babylon's court (SCOTUS) is not likely to help them!

Jim, First, my point was

Jim, First, my point was about Jay's (and other's) question about how someone can do X and not Y. The answer is that it is their conscience. It doesn't have to make sense to someone else or be acceptable to them. The whole point of conscience is that it belongs to individuals, not to states, or even to others.

Second, it's not about Babylon vs. theocratic. This is the history of our country and written right into the founding document. The same thing applies to all religions and all consciences, not simply Christians. Muslims, Jews, atheists, etc. should have all the same rights. The point is that they shouldn't have to make that choice to stop. Their religious freedoms guaranteed by the founding documents and agreements are being curtailed with no compelling governmental interest.

Third, it is doubtful that SCOTUS will intervene.

I have 2 issues with the florists, bakers & photogs

I have 2 issues with the florists, bakers & photogs (not saying I am "right" but the issues with which I struggle)

  1. The "artist" claim (me: how are they different than say a plumber or electrician or DJ)
  2. The "we only support god-honoring marriages" (of which "'gay marriages' don't qualify" claim)

On point 2: (Jay was on this line above): What about?

  • 2nd marriages?
  • Unequally yoked marriages?
  • Fornicators before marriage unions?
  • Et cetera

More on point 2: When I was a pastor I was very selective

 

 

Christians refuse to deduct

  • Christians refuse to deduct donations to their respective churches
  • Churches pay property taxes
  • Pastors refuse to claim the housing allowance

What does that have to do with any of this? Tax exemption is designed to protect churches from government interference and power. It is to prevent the use of tax policy to govern religion. No taxes=no power. They can't come and promise me a lower tax rate for supporting certain things and they can't raise my tax rate for no supporting certain things. They have no say. None of these things you list would have any effect on the topic at hand which is individual, not corporate, and not even Christian.

I have 2 issues with the florists, bakers & photogs (not saying I am "right" but the issues with which I struggle)

The "artist" claim (me: how are they different than say a plumber or electrician or DJ)
The "we only support god-honoring marriages" (of which "'gay marriages' don't qualify" claim)

Are there a lot of plumbers and electricians claiming their work is art? I have seen some of their work, and it doesn't look like art to me. And I have done some of it. It wasn't art. But if they make that claim, let them make it and lose the business they would have otherwise had. Let the market work. If people don't want to make money from a certain thing, then they shouldn't have to. The irony is that so many on the left are claiming people make too much money and now they want to force them to make more.

On point 2: (Jay was on this line above): What about?

2nd marriages?
Unequally yoked marriages?
Fornicators before marriage unions?
Et cetera

What about them?  They are all actual marriages, right or wrong. A gay marriage is not an actual marriage. And if someone doesn't want to do flowers or photography for these kinds of weddings, then they shouldn't have to. The government should stay out of it. Let the vendors and the consumers do business in a way that is satisfactory to both. There are plenty of people--Christians and otherwise--who will be glad to take these jobs and make money off of them. 

Jim, I don't understand the consternation. How could this be any more simple? This is not even a hard matter. It requires no baby to split. It is a matter of conscience and market. Let both work. If someone doesn't want to make money by selling something to someone, then don't force them to, regardless of the reason they give (or the real reason). And if someone doesn't want to buy from someone, then don't force them to. 

The government has actual real live problems to deal with. Imagine how many issues of actual significance could have been adjudicated for the time and money that have been put in to this absolutely nonsensical issue.  

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