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Indiana House passes controversial ‘religious freedom’ bill

Wedding cake with groom figures on top.

(Reuters)  A controversial Indiana bill that could protect business owners who don’t want to provide services for same-sex couples moved closer to law on Monday (March 23), after passage by the state’s House.

Senate Bill 101, known as the “Religious Freedom Restoration Act,” was approved by the Republican-controlled House by 63-31. A version was previously passed by the Republican-controlled Senate, and Republican Governor Mike Pence said he will sign it.

Wedding cake with groom figures on top.

Photo courtesy of Ivonne Wierink via Shutterstock

Wedding cake with groom figures on top.

“The legislation, SB 101, is about respecting and reassuring Hoosiers that their religious freedoms are intact,” Pence said in a statement. The bill will now go back to the Senate and if that chamber concurs with the House version, it will go to Pence for being signed into law.

Supporters of the law say it will keep government entities from forcing business owners — such as bakeries and florists who don’t want to provide services to gay couples — from acting in ways contrary to strongly held religious beliefs. Gay marriage became legal in Indiana last year following an appellate court ruling.

Supporter Micah Clark, executive director of the American Family Association of Indiana, tweeted after its passage in the House on Monday that the bill was a “good, tested, protective shield for all faiths.”

Opponents called it a “religious discrimination bill” which would allow private businesses, individuals and organizations to discriminate against gays and others on religious grounds.

“We are extremely disappointed that Indiana’s House, despite knowing the vast implications for all Hoosiers, voted to facilitate religious discrimination in many areas of life,” said Jennifer Pizer, national director of Lambda Legal’s Law and Policy Project, in a statement. Lambda is a national gay civil rights group.

Social conservatives have pushed for such laws following court rulings legalizing same-sex marriage, and in anticipation of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling this year on whether states can ban same-sex marriage.

(Reporting by Mary Wisniewski.)

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  • So Indiana republicans are finding a new and interesting way to waste taxpayer money. I guess the state is so overflowing with funds that it can afford passing legislation which is a guaranteed certainty to be shot down after expensive litigation.

    At no point does religious freedom entail a right to intentionally harm others in open commerce. Changing the kinds of prejudices doesn’t change the harm of the act. I guess enough people have forgotten about Jim Crow that conservatives think they can revive it.

  • Finally, a righteous victory !

    When so many services exist to placate the gay illusion of marriage, they should not be able to target those who cannot comply with them for moral reasons…..and ruin their livelihood or reputation.

    Whatever happened to the right to refuse service?

  • You cannot compare the Civil Rights Movement to the unnecessary strongarming by gays for everyone to accept their lifestyle. They act more like Nazis with their threats and demands.

    Civil Rights legislation dealt with the fact that white and black are equally human, deserving of the same rights equally. If a black person wanted a cake with the words ” I Hate All White People”……that would be a moral dilemma for the baker, and he should refuse if he chooses to.

  • Of course I can. The bigots even use the same arguments to do the same actions. Deny access to commerce on the basis of personal prejudices.

    Your little Godwinning is ridiculous. So how oppressive is it to be treated like any customer who walks in the door? Not at all.

    Religious freedom never entailed a right to malicious harm to others. You want a right to attack and demean people based on your prejudices. Tough luck you have to play by the same rules as everyone else. Being christian does not entitle you to special treatment under the law.

  • The right to refuse service based on personal prejudices died 51 years ago when it was racial discrimination.

    You have a business open to the public, you must serve the open public. If you don’t want people to apply parallels with racial prejudices under color of the law, stop using the same arguments for it.

    You are literally saying exactly what they said to protest the civil rights act.

  • Being gay just publicizes what you do in the bedroom, so I believe a Christian identity is far more superior than that on all levels…

  • So order a cake depicting a sexual act and see the response you get.

    Ummm, uh, well, we don’t……..

  • Being gay does not justify having access to commerce taken away under color of law.

    Being christian does not entitle one to privileges under the law either.

  • I see you can’t actually justify the bill based on facts so you go to stupid hyperbole. Its amazing what absurd bull crap you have to throw in defense of a legally indefensible act

    How about ordering a wedding cake just like every other they make? Oh no they can’t do that, because the customers are gay and they think god hates gays.

  • “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion”
    -1st Amendment

    “No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”
    -14th Amendment

    These rules are far more relevant to a free democratic society than Corinthians will ever be.

    Why do you hate freedom so much?

  • The more things change, the more they stay the same. SCOTUS invalidated a similar law to this one in 1996

    “It identifies persons by a single trait and then denies them protection across the board. The resulting disqualification of a class of persons from the right to seek specific protection from the law is unprecedented in our jurisprudence.”

    “the amendment seems inexplicable by anything but animus toward the class that it affects; it lacks a rational relationship to legitimate state interests”

  • Maybe if the gays just ordered a wedding cake, or wedding flowers without announcing at the top of their lungs that they are gay, we wouldn’t have this issue. But since “GAY” is tattooed on their forehead and they think their sex life defines them, it will always be a contentious, yucky, situation.

  • That religious bigots can’t see their own intolerance is exactly the same as racial intolerance is both incredulous and frighteningly unsurprising at the same time.

  • James Carr circa 1950
    “Maybe if black people weren’t so uppity about demanding to eat, sleep or live in the same places as white people, civil rights wouldn’t have been such an issue. They think their race defines them”

    “they think their sex life defines them”

    No, you think their sex life defines them and is somehow a justification for discrimination.

  • I guess I don’t get it. If you’re in business, why are you refusing customers. If a deli serves kosher food, and I walk in and order something, they serve it me even though I’m a Mormon, not a Jew. I can’t require them to make me a ham sandwich or insist their food be certified halal. Likewise, if you make cakes or rent a space for weddings, why so opposed to gay couples? Do they similarly refuse previously-married persons or those engaged in pre-marital relations? Can religious beliefs be used to refuse medical attention or auto repairs to gays? What about citing religious beliefs to not serve Muslims or people dressed immodestly? Where does it end?

  • That is not the point. If I asked for a cake decorated with Swastikas, it could be repelling to the baker as a matter of morals. He, as an individual should not be compelled to make it.
    And I am not equating homosexuality with Nazism.

  • There is no similarity with race discrimination and gay discrimination. Two highly different issues.

  • Except you are attacking people under the color of law and denying them access to open commerce based on arbitrary personal prejudices. So in that case it is exactly the same as racial discrimination. Even down to the same justifications.

    Just because you change the form of prejudice, doesn’t make the act any better.

  • Except your example is a special request. David is talking about simply ordering what is available to every customer coming through the door.

    Can you make even more dishonest arguments?

  • Nobody appears to be able to get their brains around the word PARTICIPATION. What exactly is so mysterious about a relatively straightforward concept like that?

  • James,
    If I missed the point, please spell it out for me.

    But it seems to me that a realtor should be willing to help individuals and families find a house, regardless of if it’s a mixed-race couple.

    Can an employer offer insurance only to couples who were married in a church?

    What about a waitress refusing to wait on military personnel?

    These religious restoration acts don’t limit themselves to saying it’s okay to discriminate against homosexuals, they leave it up to each individual to discriminate against those they don’t approve of and cite religious belief.

  • One cannot prove or disprove that an individual is discriminating for religious reasons (good) or hate reasons (bad), so the option should be open for those who cannot comply morally. They should not have to be forced to choose between their conscience or the law.
    We are just talking bakeries and florists, not gas stations or supermarkets for God’s sake.

  • I can discriminate if I want. Don’t want child molesters moving in next door, do you?

    Begin argument………..–NOW !

  • Michelle…just…stop…ok? We all know what 1 Cor 6 says–and what it doesn’t say. We all know what the Constitution says–and doesn’t say. Braying bible passages in public does nothing–except make you feel better about yourself, in this case by slandering and stereotyping an entire group of people. Congrats! You’ve shown us all how desperate you are to be a gate-keeper–even if it makes baby Jesus cry.

  • “They should not have to be forced to choose between their conscience or the law.”

    What your granddaddy said about Blacks in the 50s.

    “One cannot prove or disprove that an individual is discriminating for religious reasons (good) or hate reasons (bad), so the option should be open for those who cannot comply morally.”

    Well prior to this hateful piece of self-serving legislation, the law, or at least laws like the Civil Rights Acts, didn’t make distinction between “good” and “bad” reasons for discrimination. Why? b/c it was obvious to any honest person that discrimination *itself* was the moral problem.

  • The “religious reasons” are also hate reasons. People feel the need to rationalize all sorts of prejudices. Religion is one of many commonly employed.

    Your “conscience” is not a license to attack others. Discrimination in business is a recognized attack on the customers and commerce in general.

    If one’s personal prejudices does not allow them to do business with the general public, eff them. They don’t belong in business. They are obviously too uncivil and malicious to follow the law and respect customers as people.

    We are talking about any and all forms of business and any and all forms of discrimination in business. All done under the sanction of this law. Jim Crow for a new generation of bigots.

  • Shawnie no matter how much you want to polish that turd, it is still discrimination in business done for purely arbitrary prejudicial;reasons. A legally recognized harm to individuals and the public at large. At no point is it the free exercise of religion. Your right to religious expression ends where it harms others and the public.

    This law is a blatant violation of 14th Amendment equal protection rights and will die a quick death in litigation. This issue was already before the Supreme Court in 1996. [See Romer v. Evans]

  • “They act more like Nazis with their threats and demands.”

    Yeah, I’m sure glad this new “religious freedom” law will protect your right to be the Christian Jesus wants you to be. 0.o

  • Eric-What are you talking about? I will not stop preaching the Truth and
    your response just shows how much the Truth needs to be preached.

  • No, no it doesn’t. All it shows is how much of a verbal exhibitionist you are. You hate gays in the name of Jesus and think all Christians should too. You want everyone to know that you love Jesus enough to hate people and you want us to see you throwing proof-texts like ninja stars so we know that you are a “real,” “Bible-believing” Christian. We get it already! And guess what? We. don’t. care.

  • “And I am not equating homosexuality with Nazism.”

    He says. Five hours after saying this:

    “They act more like Nazis with their threats and demands.”

  • Eric- If you read what I wrote I said all sin is wrong and the point that
    I was tryin to get across is that all sins are wrong and I preach on all
    sin not just gay marriage/abortion so get your facts straight. You are
    loved by Christ but we all must Repent/not practice our sin. God bless.

  • Michelle, at least be honest. You posted 1 Cor 6 for a reason–it’s one of the proof-texts conservative Christians love to cite as evidence that being gay is a sin. And spare us the nonsense about “preaching against all sin.” The RNN story isn’t about “all sin,” the unChristian law isn’t about “all sin,” and your comment wasn’t about “all sin.”

    You can pretend to lump gays and lesbians in with “all sin” to tell yourself you aren’t focusing on just one group, but you and I both know you are really only concerned with “one sin” in your comment. And you aren’t less bigoted because you claim you oppose “all sin.” You clearly think being gay is a sin–and that’s the whole problem. Like I said before, we all know what 1 Cor 6 says, so stop spouting it like it is a news flash.

  • There you go again comparing gays to something completely different and horrible. You should really look up what a “straw-man argument” is, because you keep using it and its making you look really stupid.

  • There is no way I can possibly take you seriously so I am simply going to make fun of your comment:

    “Don’t want child molesters moving in next door, do you?”

    -Where do you live James, I want to be sure I am not next door
    -I guess you don’t want to live next to a church
    -Who knew you were neighbors with Roman Polanski
    -You just don’t want the competition in the neighborhood.

  • Roger vs Evans was a completely different kind of law. And you can’t begin to understand all the factors that can potentially come into play here. The mere fact that you continue to harp on the false race-oroentation equivalence demonstrates that–no court has ever held orientation (or even gender) to be equivalent to race.

    It is certainly possible that the SCOTUS will extend a right to civil gay marriage but recognize a state’s right to protect the individual’s religious freedom to not participate.

    Look on the bright side: this way you guys can be sure none of your money goes into the “homophobes'” pockets. Isn’t that terrific? 🙂

  • Religion is clearly a danger to everyone’s freedom.

    Why can’t Christians just be happy in their churches and saying their prayers?
    Why must they insist everyone else join their bigotry train?

    “bring to me those enemies of mine and execute them in front of me” – JESUS (Luke 19:27)

    You want your sick religion?
    Fine – but you Keep it out of my laws!

  • No it wasn’t different. It was a law specifically to remove civil liberties protections to gays.

    Shawnie, you don’t get to use religious belief as license to harm others. A right to discriminate in business is a right to harm individuals and society as a whole.

    Just because you are too dishonest to see the obvious parallels with racial discrimination, doesn’t mean they do not exist. Changing the object of prejudice does not make the act of discrimination any less pernicious. The only reason you say its different is you want to excuse your own behavior. Tough crap.

    The supreme court will shoot this thing down easily. States rights arguments die easily in light of 14th amendment equal protection arguments.

  • Parallels between anti-gay argument and support of segregation:

    -God says so
    -Freedom of association
    -State’s rights
    -Separate but equal (they can always go to the black owned stores)
    -Its my business, I can serve who I want

    “Religious freedom restoration” acts
    -God says so
    -Freedom of association
    -State’s rights
    -Separate but equal (they can always go to the not christian d-bag owned stores)
    -Its my business, I can serve who I want

    Nothing similar at all. No sirree. The two are nothing alike 😉

  • So your argument is it’s okay because florists and bakers are niceties, only add to the quality of life but aren’t necessities? The article listed these as examples, not as definitive of the types of businesses allowed to invoke religious beliefs to disregard laws they don’t like.

  • I thought Nazis were the ones using government to discriminate, to separate out people for exclusion, to decide who doesn’t get to be fully integrated in the community

  • Child molesters harm innocent victims, use their position to try to keep their victims quiet…so you’re equating discriminating business owners with child molesters? That’s pretty harsh, way beyond the pale.

  • You can use an even better example than that one, James.

    Ask Larry if he supports the religious freedom of Jewish bakers to say “No” if members of the local Aryan Club walk into the bakery and ask the bakers to bake them a big Swastika Cake for their next business meeting. See what he says.

  • Every customer can request a cake, Larry, including wedding cakes.

    But customers do NOT have the right to force Jewish or Christian bakers to serve cakes with Swastikas or Pentagrams or Two Plastic Gay Guys on top of the cake.

    Customers — all customers of all flavors — can simply ask for a wedding cake and frosting accessories (those in stock), and then they can go home and turn their own purchased cake into a literal “Devils Food Cake” on their OWN perverted time and dime. Knock yourselves out folks, y’all have yourselves a good ole satanic party. Wear your tuxedos, yeah.

    But you don’t have the right to force that Jewish or Christian baker to demonstrate any tacit acceptance of your personal MESS, via forcing them to actually create the finished product that affirms and celebrates said mess.

    That’s why Larry’s argument fails (as always), and that’s why Indiana is doing the right thing. They’re right, you’re wrong.

  • The Rev. Steve Viars, writing in the Lafayette (Ind.) Journal and Courier, recently pointed out why the Indiana bill is necessary.

    “For example, not long after Faith West opened in West Lafayette, an activist from Chicago called and demanded to see one of our apartments. When told that we were completely full, he accused us of discrimination. He then stated that he and his boyfriend from Washington, D.C., were coming to town the following week anyway and insisted that we show him a residence.

    “Of course they had no interest in actually living at our faith-based covenant community — they just wanted to bully our female volunteer and pick a fight. Their harassment escalated to the point that we eventually had to seek a restraining order and involve the police.

    “The RFRA provides an important shield against the handful of progressives looking to force their views and behaviors upon good people of religious faith.”

    It’s time for the Gay Gestapo to back off, Larry. Time…

  • @David D: Because most of the controversy centers around the wedding services industry. Christians have no problem serving gays in any other context.

    Which is why I’d simply vacate the wedding industry altogether before I’d let myself be bullied in this manner. Problem solved. And it is no great loss, because the wedding industry has in large part become an excuse for tasteless and meaningless extravagance anyway. Girls need to start dreaming of a solid and blessed marriage, not an expensive “princess-for-a-day” party.

  • Romer certainly was different. It was a blanket prohibition on extending any kind of protected class status to gays (mostly to avoid affirmative action-type results), with no competing interest being served by so doing. What we have here is a right to religious liberty and conscience being balanced with a right to..a party. Pfft.

    “Changing the object of prejudice does not make the act of discrimination any less pernicious. ”

    Well, then, convince the SCOTUS that it’s equally pernicious. Because so far they’ve declined to so rule.

    “States rights arguments die easily in light of 14th amendment equal protection arguments.”

    Except this isn’t a mere states’ rights issue but one of religious freedom, which is first and foremost among our civil liberties — the primary reason, in fact, why our republic was founded. In case you haven’t noticed, the trend over the last generation has been for MORE protection for religious freedom, not less.

    LOTS of possibilities…

  • Because, as Jesus taught us, faith is not a matter of buildings and prayers but a comprehensive way of life.

    I’ll keep my faith out of your life and you keep your intrusions out of mine. Deal?

  • Considering the arguments in support of racial discrimination ARE EXACTLY like those for anti-gay discrimination, the parallel still is valid. You are attacking a group for bigoted motives under color of law. It makes no difference what kind of prejudices are in play here. The acts are exactly the same. Closing off commerce.

    Romer v. Evans was a law targeting gays in an effort to strip them of civil liberties protection. This is exactly the same. The only differences being the excuses given for them. None of which are rational or secular in nature.

    “It is certainly possible that the SCOTUS will extend a right to civil gay marriage but recognize a state’s right to protect the individual’s religious freedom to not participate.”

    Not bloody likely, since DOMA is dead. The whole point of the case in front of them is whether states have a right to ban it. (“not to participate” in the bullcrap parlance employed)

  • The STATE’s right to ban it is not the same as the INDIVIDUAL”S right to not participate. The state has no religion. Freedom of religion is an individual right. Geez, Larry, get a clue.

    The rest of your post is just a reiteration of your initial assertions and demonstrates that you either did not read my response, did not understand it, or must ignore it for lack of a rebuttal. Just another day in the life…

  • Its funny how your “individual right not to participate” always involves actively and maliciously harming others through your actions.

    “I am not affirming the right of gay people to live so I chose not to participate in providing them necessary medical care.”

    You can’t get around that you are supporting discrimination in business. That isn’t failing to participate, that is going out and deliberately attacking people in an affirmative fashion. The same crap which was prevalent under segregation. You even make the same arguments in favor of it.

    Shawnie, I think we have enough fertilizer at the moment, you have given us all plenty.

  • My OCD is probably the only method I have of acknowledging your comments. I’m obsessed with re-reading posts that seem repetitive but I always find a word changed or a punctuation changed from a period to an explanation point. How’s that drivel about “Abrahamaic, Judeo, Messianic, Pauline Christianity ” theory catching on? I’ll be watching, buddy……….., I will find Waldo sooner or later.

  • “I am not affirming the right of gay people to live so I chose not to participate in providing them necessary medical care.”

    Who said that? No one…you simply pulled it out of your butt. Eveyone has a fundamental right to life and there is no sin in providing ANYONE with medical care–it is a sacred duty. Outside of the provision of wedding services (and pornography/prostitution, I suppose, but I think we need not go there), there isn’t really any other business-related situation in which one could realistically be said to be actually participating in and celebrating same-sex behavior.

  • Faith based covenant community would be a place with illegal discriminatory restrictive covenants on domiciles. Kind of like of I set up a block of apartments for whites only. Unless it is private property of a church, Faith West was breaking the law. If the community got sued for it, good. They had it coming.

  • Doc, still missing the point about special requests.

    If you are too uncivil to say, “sorry I don’t have the time for that request” or “sorry I don’t have the ability for that request” you are too stupid to stay in business. Good luck trying to sue for your nazi cake.

    Too bad it has nothing to do with the subject. Why can’t you stay focused?

  • Hey Doc, if your excuse for not serving a customer is “God tells me you are unworthy of my business” you’re an idiot who deserves whatever consequences that come from it.

  • God deemed gays as worthy of the blood of God’s Son as everyone else.

    But nobody is going to make us pretend that God smiles on the sins that His blood covered, whether yours or ours.

    So if you guys insist on your mock weddings then get busy and start some wedding businesses to take the place of the ones we vacate–so that you can stop whining and get on with your lives.

  • Who said that?

    A pediatrician by the name of Vesna Roi. Evidently being a Christian to her meant refusing to treat the 6 day old child of a lesbian couple out of a deep conviction of not affirming their sins. Not that you would disagree with such an action.

    I guess you Christian bigots aren’t interested in just discriminating in the wedding industry.

  • James Carr, your comment of “superiority” illustrates the problem with you religious zealots. No matter rhe religion, y’all think you’re the best and the most righteous. This law you applaud will also enable the Muslims to make Sharia law “lawful”. Afterall it’s their “religious right” too!

  • I’d have treated the poor infant. Deprived of her birthright of a biological father by design, she needs all the help she can get.

  • @Shawnie5,
    I share your disgust at the extravagance surrounding the wedding day.

    And for those who feel so strongly against gay marriage that they cannot, in good conscience, sell anything if it may be used at a gay wedding, I agree with your solution to get out of that sector. Engaging in public commerce means we are regulated, laws govern aspects of what we do, from who we hire to whom we sell to. If we cannot abide by them, then we need to move on to a different activity.

  • You know what else is a sin according to the bible? Wearing clothes made of more than one material. Eating seafood. Yet I’m sure these things are fine with you. So, let’s not bring up bible verses. And let me just say the bible also says to love thy neighbor as thy self. And you sure aren’t doing that. One more thing, Jesus literally died for our sins thus your argument that being gay is a sin is pointless.

  • I have no problem with selling items that may be used at a gay wedding; anybody may go into a store and purchase any item and use it however they wish, whether that be the intended use or not. Who cares who comes in and purchases a standard wedding cake or why? Mine was picked from a book, paid for with a card and delivered to a site before anyone had arrived. The problem is when an unwilling person is dragged into the midst and coerced to actually participate — putting what they consider to be obscene messages or images on a cake, decorating or pnotograpning which necessitates attendance and interaction, etc. That is what is being objected to.

  • Everyone should have freedom of association. All business should be voluntary on the part of both buyer and seller. I like this bill and wish my state would do the same thing.

  • Hate groups and LGBT folks are not the same thing. They aren’t asking anyone to actually do anything except provide a public service. Making cakes and taking photos and any other service that you could offer to people in this population doesn’t force you accept their “lifestyle”. It does demand that you treat everyone with respect and not add to the heap of persecution that they have already experienced. C’mon have some compassion.

  • There is no moral code that demands that you not provide a public service for people who do not adhere to the same moral code. Providing that service does not “placate” anything. It just means that you have the ability to treat people who believe differently than you as actual human beings…kinda like Christ did.

  • If you are in Indiana for some worthy reason, such as passing through or you have relatives there, you might ask any business if they serve various minority groups beofre you buy anything. Let them know that you won’t do business with them unless they serve all people equally. This Indiana law will probably get knocked down. We just have to wait for our courts to work.

  • Nice to see so many Christians outing themselves yet again as hateful, exclusionary, bigoted, small-minded group willing to use the laws of our country to enforce their prejudices. And once again using their supposedly “universal loving god” to excuse discriminating against their fellow men and women. Never mind that supposedly “we are all god’s children” when it comes time to refuse service or aid to someone you don’t like or approve of. Jesus said “Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven” (Luke 6:37), but since when have most Christians payed any attention to what Jesus said? Especially when it doesn’t agree with their personal prejudices and hates?

  • Why do you hate religious freedom so much? Stop trying to compare skin color with sexual acts. Gays are human and they have civil rights (but marriage does not describe same-sex pairings) and gays are completely unlike the blacks circa 1950s and 1960s, when the blacks were treated as less than human. You prove where gays are being treated as less than human because of their skin color and then I’ll concede there’s an equal comparison. But you cannot – no, you can’t – compare the discrimination based on the color of a person’s skin to a person’s sexual acts infringing on business owners’ right to moral beliefs. No one should be forced to provide any service whatsoever when doing so will make them an accomplice in standing witness to a lie, a mockery of marriage, regardless of the civil legality of it. Just because something is legal does not mean it’s moral or right. The gay lobby has strong-armed people for years. Now they are getting a justifiable taste of their own medicine.

  • Eric, your calling Michelle a ‘verbal exhibitionist’ is high irony, since that is what the gay lobby has been exhibiting for years in their quest to legalize wrongdoing in the name of “this is the way I am.” Any one of us is “the way we are”, but if we act on sinful inclinations, then there is no reason, no excuse that legitimizes it. This is where speaking the truth is vitally important. Whether you care or not about the truth is irrelevant, but you should care, care for your soul. Those who have the opposite view of your own have every right to speak it as you speak yours, but to accuse Michelle of hate is a manipulative and false charge. When someone hates you, they will encourage you to commit sin. It is not love which tells you that sin is not a sin, that, itself, is true hatred. Jesus shed his blood for our sins, but his blood was not shed to allow us to continue to sin and justify it by calling opponents of sin “haters”. That is a lie as terrible as any sinful behavior.

  • You are spitting out mixed issues to see what will stick: women, pay scales, patriarchal society, penile energy… what else, to try to distract from the real issue? Legal protection for a lifestyle? They have it. Prove they don’t. Because they can’t get “married”? They can’t, no matter that a “law” says they are “married”. Gay “marriage” is a legal fiction; it does not exist and never will, only in the minds of the deluded. Anyone can live the lifestyle they wish, they just cannot call it marriage if they are the same gender. If they wish to play Let’s Pretend, assisted by the courts in making a lie legal, then they will do so. But that does not confer upon them the right to force others to go along with their fantasy by making them bake cakes and arrange flowers for it. Some people live in reality, and don’t call others “haters” when they can’t get their immoral way. Funny, isn’t it, how much-touted tolerance only is supposed to flow one way – the gay lobby’s way.

  • I’m sorry, but the notion that civil rights in the US is exclusively limited to race relations is, quite simply, not true. Tiresome as it may be to some, women (those whom Republicans refer to as a “lesser cut of meat”), the LGBT community and just about everyone has ‘civil rights’ these days Including the beaten wives and the trafficked children . Y’all should reconsider this attempt to treat others like garbage with impunity. Outside of CPAC, most people don’t recognize the moral authority of the religious right.

  • We are being discriminated against based on who we are be with, not based on skin color. Although, those who exist in more than one minority group can be hit in multiple places, confounding their struggle.
    If your moral code is under attack imagine how we feel being constantly persecuted for wanting equality. Our sexuality doesn’t define our morality. Nothing about existing under the LGBTQA banner equates criminal, except under laws that promote discrimination and twist the meaning of religious freedom to instead mean free to practice any religion as long as whomever is providing or selling a service agrees with it.
    Those laws in turn say anyone who is an atheist, who doesn’t follow or subscribe to any religion, has the right to refuse service because you follow a religion, and that goes against their “religion”. (Atheism is not a religion, it is the absence of one, but Americans place it as an option under Religious Belief because it represents what they believe.)

  • Definition of marriage: the legally or formally recognized union of two people as partners in a relationship.
    Example purposes: taxes, child custody, monetary and physical assets gained under both partners names.

    For legal reasons, my union, commitment, and life-long promise needs to be recognized by the government at state and federal levels.
    For this reason, separation of church and state is preached because when you combine lifestyle with law things get messy and everyone gets stepped on. If the only reason my marriage cannot be legally recognized is because it doesn’t follow some religion’s definition of the term, then ideals America was founded on have been desecrated.

  • I agree. Since freedom is the heart of the argument, and if I own a business, I am free to operate my business as I desire – w/o gov’t intrusion. Pie in the sky. I am offended with really one aspect of what folks piggy-back relative to discrimantory law at the behest of politicians and to the disgrace of those who have given much freedom in their fight to enact such reforms: special treatment for groups in our day and age is a farce given the nations treatment of American Indians, Blacks and women. Gays and lesbians seeking special equality under, around, below the backdrop of Civil Rights is only damning their cause with the thinking folks, that in the end, deal social policy generationally. Gays and lesbians are their own worst enemy. Frankly, the current discussion appears to be the first shot across the bow folks are making in relation to the lack of strength within the current democratic ticket for 2016. Wait it out folks. A deeper issue with value will soon arise.

  • True, it isn’t limited to just race. And everyone who feels discriminated against, creates self discrimination or enacts an ambulance chasing approach involving discrimination demeans the fight folks who have a true tragic story to tell. Funny how ignorance bound within and misunderstanding of truth promotes political freedom through lobbying and media; both sides by the way. In the end, folks can and will engage in acts they see fit and will try to find legislation to protect themselves from those who are against such acts; again, both ways. Truth is, there is no historical comparison of abuse that gives leverage to gays and lesbians in the political arena. Quite the opposite.

  • Yes, just like Christ did. But you forget, he also admonished people to sin no more. Both to those who engage in acts contrary to his teaching; in this case those who engage in homosexuality, and those who harm them; in this case those who discriminate against homosexuals. Please cover the whole argument – not just that which makes your point. Every Christian version of the Bible used by just about every Christian demonination is faced with this truth. So before you misuse Christ on His own terms, understand the whole of His love within the truth of His admonition to those who sin and abuse sinners. Pretty profound in its simplicity. Only foolish folks pick and choose…

  • Amen. Ambulance chasing folks piggy-backing off discrimantory laws fought for by the likes of MLK makes me find little comfort in the gay and lesbian political platform. No, frankly, it just makes me feel sad. Truths spoken by Christ are used, misused and abused; but that isn’t anything unusual. Much like in His time, foolish people will force the rest of us to swallow their political abuse as long as we allow…frankly, time to disallow.

  • Among so many other things that Larry is wrong about, he stated that the Swastikas is a “special request” which indicates that Nazism is not real or somehow less prominent or less serious than his movement. The national average in the US for gays is approximately 3.5% of the population and for the Nazis (National Socialist Party) is approximately 3% and world wide is much higher than that. Thus the comparison was actually a good comparison. One last thing, you and your supporters talk about Christian like they are so horrible. Why don’t you take your business to a Muslim bakery. Ask a good Islamic person how they feel about your cause. You talk about tolerance and you have none.

  • Larry this issue is actually a property rights issue not a religious freedom issue. And yes a business should have the right to refuse service based on property rights. To anyone for any reason. This is not a religious freedom issue, so if you want to do that let’s do that then! We can call it the restoring property rights to American business act.. BUT that would include being able to discriminate against black, or whites, or jews, or gays, or just because your breath is bad… Property rights not a religious freedom.. Why do you not understand freedom?

  • Demanding, forcing respect. Seriously? Claims of persecution because a person, group, business decides to not sell you a cake out of discrestion. The ignorance here is profound. No wonder folks demand, force; to then claim compassion be shown? Find a source of instruction and better equip yourself to demand, force respect as a result of a intellect. Persecution as a result of not recieving a cake? True, gays have been ridiculed, persecuted by way of modern day situational definition(s). Used to be God wiped out homosexual cities. Nobody believes that right? Christ in His compassion says repent or visit Hell. But again, nobody believes this right? Accepting God utterly destroyed gay cities supports your claim. Or, mabe Christ refused to break bread, and serve fish to gays. Right? He never existed. Gays persecuted as a whole? Here’s a challenge. Find a secular record of your case, say over the course of western civilization. Indiginous folks, religous folks…gays?

  • Larry, my guess would be that I could come up with much better examples of tax waste than what’s going on in Indiana. What I do love to see are folks rallying to donate to causes based upon truth. Much like the young lady who spoke her view centered within truthful discretion, who was then bombasted by the deplorable media (both sides). The same folks who created this issue. I am quite pleased that a local, grassroots, freemarket example is now provided to me allowing my kiddos understand the ups and downs of taxation and how to get around it. Well one way anyway. Oversimplification? Of course, notheless, I am quite thankful to the gays for providing the small pizza shop (currently in the news) with what amounts to be a sizable SBA loan. Walmart, Apple (seriously, Apple?) boycott away. Please do…lets rebuild local business; local mom and pops; local community relationships. Boycott Walmart. Hey, I don’t own an Apple product as a result of a moral bias. Step up Benjis.

  • My partner of 25 years and I own three service-based businesses in the south. We just provided wedding services to a bride for her 4th wedding (it was the groom’s 5th marriage). Our businesses are proudly gay owned and operated but we welcome everybody to use our services and to shop at our establishments. As long as the check clears, why would any business owner care. Oh, and in case it matters, I am Jewish and my partner is Catholic.