Why Arizona's New Law is Right and Same-Sex "Marriage" is Wrong

Scenario 1: A same-sex couple walks into a county clerk’s office and is denied a marriage certificate. A heterosexual couple walks in and is granted one.

Scenario 2: A same-sex couple walks into a photographer’s office and is denied photography services for their upcoming “wedding.” A heterosexual couple walks in and is provided for.

The reason these situations do not count as discrimination is because the couples are not being treated differently on the basis of their being different from the service provider. They are given different treatment because of actions that the service provider cannot conscientiously support, not because the customers are different.

A good cake maker should make a cake for a heterosexual couple’s upcoming wedding, if he or she wants to support it, because what the couple is doing is good. But a good cake maker should not make a cake for a homosexual couple’s upcoming “wedding” because what the couple is doing is bad. The cake maker is not changing his or her behavior toward them based on race, sex, or even sexual orientation – he’s changing his behavior based on actions that he should not support.

Now, someone might object to this and say that this is still discrimination, it’s just that now the service provider (or the government, in scenario 1) is discriminating on the basis of behavior instead of on the basis of those other things. The problem with this argument is, it’s okay to change your behavior based on whether you want to support a person’s actions or not. When a person gives money to a soup kitchen, their donation might go untaxed by the government, even though the same money would be taxed if it had gone to a strip club. The difference is that in the one case the person is doing something good with his money, and in the other he is doing something bad. In the same way, a hotel provider might refuse to rent out rooms to a pimp for all his sex girls to do their thing in, even though he would rent out those same rooms to a businessman for all his travel partners to stay the night in.

As I hope all these examples are able to show, people should not be labeled as discriminators or bigots merely because they choose to support good actions and not support bad actions. That’s not blameworthy. It’s just prudence. And because of this, the debate on same-sex issues should be based on whether homosexual activity is good or bad, and whether it should be supported or not, rather than being based on whether the action in question is discriminatory.

Very well said. You’ve cut to the chase. :thumbsup:

Now watch as the “human rights defenders” begin frothing.

You know, I support and believe in the Churches teaching about marriage. But the last thing we need are laws that start dictating the practice of that Faith to others. This kind of law is a move toward a theocracy, which is not the form of government we should be aspiring too.

I have gotten to the place that I believe the Faithful are in fact responsible for living their lives according to the Faith, but none of us have the right to shove it down peoples throats. We should invite, encourage, explain, care, console and help. We need to get away from making laws for all aspects of life that are to be lived according to our or other peoples belief in God.

Our constitution allows for freedom of religion, and that includes the right to not believe as others or to believe in God at all. Making laws all the time is not going to bring anyone closer to God.

You know, I support and believe in the Churches teaching about marriage. But the last thing we need are laws that start dictating the practice of that Faith to others. This kind of law is a move toward a theocracy, which is not the form of government we should be aspiring too.

But the issue isn’t about shoving it down other peoples’ throats, but rather about being able to actually live out our faith by refusing to participate in immoral activity? Surely you agree we have that right?

Consider a slightly revised version, using exactly the same argument:

Scenario 1: A Catholic couple walks into a county clerk’s office and is denied a marriage certificate. A Protestant couple walks in and is granted one.

Scenario 2: A Catholic couple walks into a photographer’s office and is denied photography services for their upcoming “wedding.” A Protestant couple walks in and is provided for.

The reason these situations do not count as discrimination is because the couples are not being treated differently on the basis of their being different from the service provider. They are given different treatment because of actions that the service provider cannot conscientiously support, not because the customers are different.
In these cases the ‘service provider’ is an extreme anti-Catholic Protestant who sincerely believes that to allow Catholics to marry is to propagate the false beliefs of Catholicism. Their action of attending a Catholic Church on Sundays, which the extreme Protestant cannot support.

According to your argument there is no problem with this scenario. Similar anti-Catholic discrimination happened in America during the waves of Irish immigration in the 19th century. Are you now telling us that, provided it was due to a religious motivation, that anti-Cathoilc discrimination was perfectly OK because people were only following their consciences?

You are on a very dangerous path here.

rossum

Umm, no. It’s too slippery of a slope.

If one chooses to open a public business they should serve all of the public equally and professionally. It’s a business, not a personal. If I were a lesbian and went into a cake shop to order a wedding/civil union/commitment ceremony cake I would not be asking the business owner to support or condone my life choices. I would not be asking them to participate in anything. I would be asking them to do their job and bake a cake.

The AZ law is wrong because it ALSO allows the baker to serve a cupcake or the florist to sell a Mother’s Day arrangement to a person the owner thinks is gay (OR black OR Catholic) because s/he is gay (OR black OR Catholic).

It allows ALL discrimination based on religious beliefs, not just allowing exemptions for refusal to participate in or facilitate same-sex marriage.

Even some of the legislators who voted for the law are now saying doing so was a mistake.

Hi Rossum, I think you make your point well, yet I don’t think it’s entirely convincing. This is because one’s religious belief and the subsequent religious ceremony attached to a wedding is not, of itself, intrinsic to the nature of marriage. A Protestant or Catholic wedding, while one might argue about the theological differences, is, from a secular perspective, the same in uniting a man and a woman together. Unless one lives in a theocracy (and few ever have), it is this secular angle from which laws are formed. Now, same-sex marriage would be fundamentally different in kind.

To refresh the scenario:

Scenario 1: A same-sex couple who happen to be Catholic walk into a county clerk’s office and is denied a marriage certificate. A heterosexual couple who happent o be Protestant walk in and is granted one.

Scenario 2: A same-sex couple who happen to be Catholic walk into a photographer’s office and are denied photography services for their upcoming “wedding.” A heterosexual couple who happen to be Protestant are provided for.

Now, although there is a theological difference between a Catholic and Protestant, from the perspective of the secular state, their religious differences must be treated as null in this case. However, the coupling of two members of the same sex as opposed to two members of the opposite sex is not in the same category because the secular state can justly discriminate between matters of biology or gender.

It would seem odd to say that the boy cannot go into the girl’s toilet because he is Catholic but quite sane to say he cannot go into the girl’s toilet because he is a boy. Likewise, denying a cake to a couple because they are Catholic contravenes the religious neutrality of state laws but denying a cake to a couple because it is for a same-sex wedding ceremony does not.

In regard to cases of a private business owner, it is one thing for the business-owner to refuse service to a person because of that person’s same-sex attraction (or even same-sex activity), and quite another to refuse service when that service would involve the business-owner in an activity he considers immoral.

Scenario A) A man who is gay walks into a restaurant for a meal, but is refused service because the owner of the restaurant knows he’s gay.

Scenario B) A lesbian couple asks a wedding photographer to shoot their wedding, but the photographer refuses because he thinks it would be wrong to participate in a same-sex wedding.

These are two very different kinds of situations. The former involves a refusal of service merely because of some attribute (unchosen attraction or chosen activity) of the would-be customer, while the latter involves refusal of service because it would more directly involve the business-owner himself in an activity he finds objectionable.

Personally, I see no objectively good reason for the former kind of discrimination (at least in most cases), though I don’t think there should necessarily be laws prohibiting it unless it were to become a serious enough problem.
In the latter kind of case, I think the business-owner has a right to refuse to participate. Must a wedding-photographer, for instance, take every job offer even if he finds it objectionable or uncomfortable? Of course not, and gay-weddings should be no exception to his freedom to choose what jobs to take.
Furthermore, I think there is arguably a need to legally protect the freedom of private business-owners (in the latter types of situations) from those who are intolerant of their desire to practice their moral and religious beliefs and wish to compel them to participate in situations they find immoral - there have been a number of cases in which same-sex couples have sued businesses for refusing service in this kind of scenario.

That being said, from what I’ve read of the bill in question, I fear it is too broad and would enshrine a right to discriminate in the “A)” type of scenario listed above. I think it would be better to make it’s language more precise and narrow.

Discrimination of this type is a serious enough problem, which is why the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was necessary.

Many people who did not live before it was passed have very little knowledge of how routine it was to deny housing, service in stores, job opportunities to minorities. Laws like the AZ one would legalize these practices.

It is a very bad law as it is written and would cost the state millions as it was challenged and brought to the Supreme Court, where it would be overturned.

I want to see text of the actual before making a judgment.

The nature of marriage has very little to do with my example. What is important is the religious beliefs of the discriminator. Can a Mormon discriminate against anyone who drinks alcohol or coffee? Can a Moslem discriminate against anyone who eats pork? Many religions have prohibitions against many things, which other religions allow. Does a member of a religion have carte blanche to discriminate against anyone who fails to follow their religion.

Even taking marriage, the MCC, liberal Quakers and liberal Jews all allow same sex marriage. Different denominations already have different definitions of marriage, witness the Catholic treatment of divorce.

There is also the problem of what constitutes a sincerely held religious belief. “I’m sorry, I can’t serve you because you eat butter on a Wednesday.” Rossumism (*) has the commandment “Thou shalt not eat butter on a Wednesday.” That opens a whole legal can of worms, which ultimately leads to judges deciding what does, and what does not, constitute a bona fide religion. That is immediately going to run into constitutional problems in the USA.

(*) Rossumism a new religion which has the fastest growth rate of any religion in the world. From 0 believers to 1 believer in the last hour, that is an infinite percent growth rate. :slight_smile:

rossum

Your examples are ridiculous. Are you actually arguing that Muslim business owners should be forced to provide pork? Or Mormons alcohol? They can’t be and there’s no reason why they should be forced to do so.

You live in the UK. Go to London and visit any shop or restaurant that caters to Muslims and start demanding they sell pork and alcohol to anyone who demands it. Further demand, moreover, that they also allow anyone and everyone to eat and drink that pork and alcohol in their shops. Also demand they let you sit there all day harassing their customers about the merits of drinking and eating pork and distributing propaganda catered to children encouraging them to ignore their parents instructions and indulge all day in pork and alcohol. Then finally accuse the shop owners when they refuse to do this or let you do any of it on their property of being ignorant, bigoted cibophobes and methyphobes.

We, as Catholics, should stand for laws that support the TRUTH. We should oppose laws that that allow people to spread UN-TRUTH. Being a member of Christ’s mystical body, we would have an obligation to stand up against laws that discriminate against Christ’s Church.

As Catholics, with the full knowledge of truth and faith, have an obligation to speak out against homosexuality. Now I do believe that Catholics of good conscience can disagree over whether a law such as this one is the best way to go about it. But as Catholics we have the truth, and shouldn’t look at these laws through a secular lens.

The question here is: does this law further the truth about how Christ wants us to live? Before anyone argues that we can’t legislate morality, I would point out that murder and stealing also happen to be immoral acts. So we, as a society, do choose to enshrine in laws what we believe is morally correct/incorrect.

Sean

That is not what I am arguing. The proposed law would allow a Mormon to refuse all service to anyone who ever drank alcohol or coffee, since the Mormon shopkeeper disapproved of such behaviour for religious reasons.

The exemption from anti-discrimination laws is drawn far too widely.

rossum

The point of this protection is to provide a defense for lawsuits from people who demand from a Mormon waiter that he tend a bar and serve alcohol and coffee, or from a Muslim caterer that they serve pork at a dinner. Would you rather have them harrassed, bullied and sued out of business like the Christians?

So what? If you don’t like it, don’t do business there.

Sean

Then in that case I actually agree and that’s why I am opposed to its wording also. It is a reactionary law that aims -badly- to protect people’s basic rights but could end up being like setting a bull loose in a china shop.

It would suffice to simply just say:

No one can be forced against their conscience or will to participate in or provide services for a same-sex union or ceremony.

That suffices as there is simply no convincing reason why anyone should be forced to do so.

Again, lets try that in a different key:

We, as Muslims, should stand for laws that support the TRUTH. We should oppose laws that that allow people to spread UN-TRUTH.

Now, tell me how the government is going to decide what TRUTH to allow in law, and what to disallow? There have been some very nasty religious TRUTHS proposed at times, such as slavery. Do you really want judges to decide in court what bits of TRUTH is allowed and what is not allowed? Be very careful what you wish for.

So we, as a society, do choose to enshrine in laws what we believe is morally correct/incorrect.

Some morally correct rules are enforced, while others are not. Avoiding pork is not enforced, avoiding murder is. In general the line seems to be harm to others is covered by laws.

Government enforced morality is not a good idea, and one of the reasons why the Pilgrim Fathers crossed the Atlantic. In England the law enforced attendance at an Anglican/Episcopal church every Sunday on pain of a fine. Are Catholics a majority in the USA? Do you want to law to enforce attendance at a Protestant Church every Sunday?

rossum

Scepticism fails every time rossum as its turns against itself.

Who in government is supposed to decide just what (or who) the government is?

Should we repeal false advertising laws? Because obviously someone in government is presuming to determine a difference between what is true to say and what is false.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.