Perspective on equal protection

Frank Turek and William Murchison make heroes out of people who unlawfully refuse service to gays and lesbians.

You remember Frank Turek. He’s the consultant who lost a gig at Cisco due to his anti-gay bigotry. Murchison is a right wing columnist. Here’s Turek in today’s Christian Post, Freedom: Another Casualty of the Gay Agenda:

If you think that same sex marriage and “non-discrimination” laws are all about love and tolerance, you couldn’t be more wrong. A decision out of the New Mexico Supreme Court last week clearly shows why. The decision is itself intolerant and discriminatory.

And Murchison in the Washington Times, The New ‘Equality’ Principle:

The matter before the New Mexico court is in one sense about gay rights. It is in a larger and darker sense about freedom — freedom of the sort Americans at the founding of the republic thought they were enshrining forever.

The loud squeak-squawk you hear from the general direction of New Mexico is the cell door closing on the right not just to believe — as do the Huguenins — but to act on your beliefs, to put money wherever mouths may be.

May I digress with a personal story about discrimination? No, not me. This is about my late father, the chairman of the board of a publicly held casualty insurance company. In the 1950’s and 1960’s business often took him to the Bible Belt. From time to time he would be asked at a hotel, “Hart, is that short for Hartman?” Apparently his appearance was inconsistent with his last name. The way he told the stories, he would short circuit the discussion with “I am Jewish if that’s what you are asking.” Before he could be denied service he would say that the hotel was not as fine as he expected, summon a bell-boy for the luggage and the doorman to hail a cab. He would tip them well. Despite the dignified exit, I am sure that he was hurt and angry.

Getting back to the photographers in New Mexico, Elane Photography. The real victims are the lesbian couple who were told, we don’t serve your kind here. They were justifiably hurt and angry.

I am reasonably convinced that these people don’t deny service because they are religiously constrained but, rather, because they are religiously offended and they want to make a point. We get the point but you still have to serve us. What? Taking photographs is some sort of religious sacrament? Even if it were (and it’s not), you still have to serve us.

The First Amendment provides for “free exercise” of religion. Denying service to gays or Jews or mixed-race couples or [fill in the blank] is not part of free exercise. Rather it is the imposition of religious beliefs on others. This is settled law. Religion is not a license to discriminate.

Eventually, ENDA will be law. I cannot wait for that shit storm to hit. Undoubtedly Hobby Lobby and other “Christian” businesses will try to discriminate — and they will lose in the courts.

When did fairness cease to be an important American value?

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By David Cary Hart

Retired CEO. Formerly a W.E. Deming-trained quality-management consultant. Now just a cranky Jewish queer. Gay cis. He/Him/His.