This article highlights some of the issues we are facing. I feel it does it in a way that is tasteful to those on both sides of this issue.
Santa Fe New Mexican
Looking In: Marriage views not off-limits for businesses
By | The New Mexican
Santa Fe hairdresser Antonio Darden decided he can no longer in good conscience cut the hair of Gov. Susana Martinez because she does not support redefining marriage to include same-sex couples. In order to operate his business according to his beliefs and make a public statement against the governor's position on marriage, he is refusing to offer his services to her. Many admire Darden for his courage.
Suppose Gov. Martinez were to feel insulted or hurt by Darden's actions and decided to file a discrimination complaint against him. Then suppose state officials find "probable cause" that Darden violated New Mexico's anti-discrimination law, and the New Mexico Human Rights Commission orders him to stand trial.
While on the witness stand, suppose Darden endures the withering cross-examination by the governor's attorney while he calmly explains that his business is an expression of who he is and that he could not in good conscience cut the hair of a governor that declines to redefine marriage.
Suppose that Darden's attorney explains how the First Amendment protects Darden's actions, but the commission harshly rejects that argument and says Darden surrendered that right when he became a commercial hairstylist.
Imagine the commission demeaning Darden as a mere dispenser of services who must dispense haircuts as a gumball machine dispenses gum when someone puts in money. Then suppose the commission finds Darden guilty of discrimination and orders him to pay the governor $6,600 in attorneys' fees.
Many would be outraged by such a misuse of anti-discrimination laws to punish someone with views different from the governor's.
Well, it turns out that the commission has already done exactly that -- only not to Darden, but to another small business, Elane Photography, run by a young husband and wife from Albuquerque.
Their business received an email from a woman in a same-sex relationship inquiring about prices for shooting her and her partner's "commitment ceremony" in Taos. The photographer knew that she could not in good conscience use her artistic skills to photograph a ceremony that communicated support for redefining marriage. Although the same-sex couple found another photographer for their ceremony, one of the partners filed a discrimination complaint with the state, subjecting the owners to a trial before the Human Rights Commission.
The owners explained that they tried to operate their business according to their higher principles, including those on marriage. The commission rejected their First Amendment defenses, found the company guilty, and ordered it to pay $6,600 in attorneys' fees. The case is now on appeal and awaiting a decision by the New Mexico Court of Appeals.
Both Darden and Elane Photography have the right to decline to provide services to people with whom they disagree about what marriage truly is. I don't think many would accuse Darden of bigotry and discrimination against Gov. Martinez, and they shouldn't level that same accusation against Elane Photography either.
Even though cutting hair has little to do with the definition of marriage, many would admire Darden's act of courage and conscience. People should view Elane Photography's case the same way.
We should encourage business owners to operate their businesses with ethics and higher principles so that they do not mindlessly dispense goods and services with no thought to the impact of their actions. The Constitution protects people's expression of their views, even when it comes in a commercial context.
Business owners do not surrender their constitutionally protected rights at the marketplace gate. Although Antonio Darden and Elane Photography disagree on the definition of marriage, both should have their rights protected to operate their businesses within the protections of the First Amendment.
Jordan Lorence is senior counsel with the Alliance Defense Fund (www.telladf.org), which is defending Elane Photography in court.
Allison Rose Warn
I did state the following: "It is the responsibility of the parent to teach their children to treat other people with respect, not the school."
I in no way suggested any parent should teach a child disrespect or allow or encourage them to be a bully. But...it does happen. We can't regulate who can and can not have children. There is no test to determine if someone is a good parent or not. At least nothing short of actually having children. What I am saying is there are prejudiced people out there you will not get through to. They teach their kids things you or I would not. Forcing LGBT agenda into schools will not solve this problem.
Neither the Easter bunny or Santa clause are in the Bible. Those are relics of pagan religions. Take religious teachings out of the schools. While we are at it, let's eliminate Christmas, Easter, and Thanksgiving from the calender as official holidays. No more paid time off for such things. I really don't care if we observe those holidays officially or not. I really wish we could get rid of the commercialization of those holidays. While we are at it let's get rid of Halloween too. That is most definitely a pagan religious holiday. That's a whole different battle than what we are discussing here. If people do not have or are being denied rights that they should have under existing law then let them fight for them. Passing gay marriage is not going to solve any of those problems.
We can discuss this for the next 20 years and the only thing we will ever agree on is that we disagree. You want to change the basic foundations that our country was created on. If our founding fathers could have foreseen how what they have written is being misconstrued today they would have written far more than one sentence about religious freedom.
You say you are Christian too. God isn't looking for fence straddlers.
Allison Rose Warn
Children who are bullies are typically the result of bad parenting. Teaching the GLBT agenda in schools is not going to resolve this issue. It will most likely reinforce the problem at home when the parent learns what their child is being taught and the parent reacts.
A parent should not have to undo teaching a child received at school. It is a parents right to protect a child from teachings they disagree with (on moral and religious grounds) until that child reaches an appropriate age as determined by the parent. It is the responsibility of the parent to teach their children to treat other people with respect, not the school.
It appears you did not read the last link I posted. I will post an excerpt here from:
"Another example of this is when Catholic Charities was sued for not allowing gay and lesbian couples to adopt children from their agency. Instead of complying with state law requiring them to adopt children to same-sex couples, they chose to stop adopting children to any couple, abandoning their founding mission. The difficult thing with this case is that they were performing a public service in finding children homes. Because they felt so strongly about their faith, they chose to stop altogether. They had been in the adoption business for over 100 years."
In this example gay marriage laws were used to actually shut down a ministry.
Here is another excerpt:
"A University of Toledo associate vice president who was fired for writing a column called “Gay rights and wrongs: another perspective.”
Hmmmm....loss of Freedom of speech rights due to a disagreement with gay rights laws.
An excerpt from the final paragraph of the article:
"The end result here is that when same-sex marriage is legalized, the state has a duty to enforce it, which strips away rights of those who disagree with it. So for those who say that there are no ramifications for those who disagree with it, they are clearly wrong. And as same-sex marriage becomes legalized in more states, we will read even more accounts of people being punished for their religious beliefs."
Allison Rose Warn
I have discussed some situations where gay marriage has infringed upon religious freedom. I am not going to take the time to produce a list for you to dismiss them out of hand because you have judged them as unimportant. They are important to many people. Instead here is a short article that has some examples in it. I am sure you will dismiss these also.
I am not casting stones. I do not show hate or disrespect toward gay people if they respect me. I actually started this discussion more open minded than I am at this point. The more I read about the subject and what is happening in states that have legalized gay marriage the more I believe you are wrong. Not from the position of providing civil rights, but that religious freedoms are being eroded in states that have legalized gay marriage.
I have avoided quoting scripture here. But since you started here is one for you.
Leviticus 18:22 You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination.
Since you claim to be a Christian you should pray about that verse before continuing to defend your position.
At this point we are probably at an impasse. I see no way around the points we disagree on. I also have not heard any convincing argument that shows me gay marriage does not erode religious freedom. I have found evidence that satisfies me it does. I also see you are too narrow minded to watch 24 minutes of video (I suggested you skip the first 6 minutes in my earlier post) to help see where I am coming from. I have worked 12 hours shifts before so I don't take that as a valid argument. I am sure anyone who is open minded that finds this thread will do enough research to make their own educated decision.
Churches and religious groups will be required to provide benefits to people who live a lifestyle in opposition to their beliefs (the organizations required to provide the benefits). Prayer has been taken out of school, yet other belief systems are forced upon people who do not believe in them. Yet you believe you are right and others are wrong. You need to look in the mirror before accusing other people of things you do yourself. Freedom of religion in this country provides freedom to all religions. It does not exclude one specific religion as it seems you want to do. No, this issue is not directly a freedom of religion issue. It's a civil right issue. Unfortunately these civil rights are being used to impinge upon religious freedom. I am not eager to violate anyone's rights. However, I will not stand idly by while laws are passed that will be used to extend far beyond providing basic rights to a very small minority while limiting the vast majority. To quote philosopher Jeremy Bentham: "It is the greatest good to the greatest number of people which is the measure of right and wrong."
God created man and woman who all humanity descended from. God did not create Adam and Edward. He did not create Eve and Anna. The natural structure of a family is a man and a woman. Change the names to suit your religion or belief system. Call God, Creator or any other name you like. The details don't matter. The human race descended from a man and a woman. That is the natural order of things.
In Massachusetts, the first state to legalize gay marriage, freedom of religion has been infringed upon by the legalization of gay marriage. When it is proven that gay marriage can exist WITHOUT infringing upon religious freedom you will begin to see less resistance.
I agree that at least some of the secular benefits you have listed should be available to LGBT people. However, as long as any proposed solution infringes upon religious freedom it will meet resistance.
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