Alliance Defending Freedom asserts that their clients are not discriminatory like racists during the Civil Rights Era. I disagree. According to ADF blogger Sarah Kramer:

Isn’t declining to participate in a same-sex ceremony just like the injustices of the Civil Rights era?

It’s a common question we hear regarding our cases defending creative professionals who have declined – or would like to preserve their freedom to decline – certain projects that would require them to promote a message or event that violates their faith.

The short answer is, absolutely not. ADF Senior Counsel Jeremy Tedesco explains this further.

That is a Gish Gallup. Selling flowers, providing invitations or baking a cake for a same-sex wedding is not “participating in a ceremony.” It is a simple business transactions. According to ADF, everyone is a “creative professional.” The phrase has no meaning in this context. ADF’s intent is to suggest that their clients produce works of art. Neither a floral arrangement nor a cake, no matter how exquisitely executed, is a work of art and it would not matter if they were works of art. Nor are any of these people “promoting” anything. As public accommodations they are selling goods and services in exchange for money.

ADF has two types of clients in this regard. The first, and largest group, are people who have broken state or municipal nondiscrimination laws by discriminating against gay people. They claim that they deserve a religious exemption. The second are people seeking to discriminate against gay people. They believe that they are entitled to a religious exemption to state or municipal nondiscrimination laws so that they are then free to discriminate with impunity.

Aside from seeking attention these people are in love with their own self-importance. According to them (exclusively) they have approval powers and the freedom to decline to sell their product irrespective of law and if they agree to sell someone their product then they are participants in the event that the product is destined for as they promote that event. It is all value added. It is also bullshit. Again, it is the exchange of goods and services for money.

At the outset, Mr. Tedesco relegates this to freedom of speech as the turd tower gets taller. Tedesco’s claim is that these people oppose the message of the event rather than the people involved in the event. That is also bullshit. What is this message that they object to on religious grounds and to whom is it directed? Or is this a case of conservative Christians able to hear a dog whistle that hasn’t been blown? If one disapproves of a same-sex wedding that is because they disapprove of gay people. It is easy to understand their confusion because they are intent on sending a message that they do not approve of gay people. Theirs is a distinction without a difference.

Tedesco correctly observes that the goal of segregation was the exclusion of African-Americans from the economic, political and social life of the country. ADF’s clients are no different. Not only are those people the same discriminatory bigots but ADF routinely fights for the right to discriminate against LGBT people in employment, housing and public accommodations. According to Tedesco “there is no comparison at all.” I think that he is referring to real lawyers in contrast to ADF’s religious zealots who seek a country that looks a great deal like Iran.

Unsurprisingly, Mr. Tedesco’s law degree is from Regent U. He has spent the entirety of his 13 year legal career with ADF.

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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.