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.