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Author Topic: Gen Con is threatening to leave Indiana over a religious "protection" law.  (Read 4103 times)

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Offline KujeTopic starter

Gen Con had a talk with the governor and sent a new letter to him after the discussion, which can be found here:

http://files.gencon.com/Gen_Con_Anti-Discrimination.30_Mar_2015.pdf

Offline Cycle

-- Cycle I'm just going to note for Consortium's sake that you did start using words like 'myopic' fairly early in the conversation.

I did.  This was his statement (emphasis added).

The RFRA was signed as a response to the war on drugs and weak sacred land rights; the cases that kicked it into action and brought support from groups as diverse as the ACLU and the Traditional Values Coalition were one of two Native Americans who were fired from their jobs and denied unemployment benefits because they tested positive for mescaline/peyote and one consisting of a road being built across land sacred to Native Americans. I'm unaware of there being a change in social attitudes being more negative about drug use or more hostile to Native American/First Peoples rights.

I'll leave it up to the readers to decide if these statements are myopic.


Offline Blythe

Best to just agree to disagree and move on, please.




Offline DarknessBorne

I think the law may have been well-intentioned, but it's turned into another "this is why we can't have nice things" scenario.  Most would use it responsibly, some even to laudably advance the cause of religious freedom.  Unfortunately, a few will abuse it and give it a bad name.

Offline Avis habilis

Unfortunately, a few will abuse it and give it a bad name.

It won't be abuse. Providing a fig leaf for discrimination is the intentional purpose of the law.

Offline Joel

I just wanna take a step back here and address the big picture issue.  First off, I think (maybe) we can agree that the legal argument has some basis because of the RFRA and similar laws already passed in other states.  The addition of individuals versus individuals in the Indiana law doesn't feel like such a stretch of the RFRA since the American ethos has always been very self-determinalistic (e.g., The Frontier Thesis, Frederic Jackson Turner), and government intervention into personal liberties is decidedly un-American.  But that's precisely the problem, because even Turner writing about the West as critical to the formulation of the American psyche, postulated this at the close of the frontier.  And he was also arguing against what was at the time a very cosmopolitan, Eastern seaboard view of American culture based around industry and the building of more complex, socially ordered systems.  (I mean the Federal government did win the Civil War after all).  Point being, that there has always been two sides to the American psyche.  There is the industrialist hegemony (made legitimate by the American Dream) and the Frontier.  The divide cannot be any more stark than Urban versus Rural.  The tinman versus the scarecrow and poor ol' Dorothy finds them both equally hopeless when faced with disorienting calamity of the Dust Bowl.

Does this sound familiar?

The hand lead the heart or the heart lead the hand.  I feel like Americans have been struggling with how to integrate these two sides of our culture forever.  And ultimately what makes the Indiana law so frustrating is not that it is going to do any great harm on it's own... but that it, in its intention, spits in the face of social cohesion.  It's a quixotic campaign no different than the desperate fight of Cliven Bundy who has no idea that the America he's fighting for has been gone for over a hundred years. 

Turner's assertion is that we are informed by our history.  I don't think him or any other historian after argued that we should regress back to the Frontier.  Besides, the reality is that it's impossible.  The Jeffersonian dream is not the America we've built.

We are all tinmen now in an industrialized America.  We can't pretend to be brainless strawmen no more.  But what we do need to do is find our hearts again.   
« Last Edit: March 31, 2015, 02:32:42 PM by Joel »

Offline kylie

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      Well, the rabbit hole gets busier.  There are touches of lots of things in this article about the history argued both ways, and federal and local.  But focusing more on recent news:

       Indiana has added language to the bill, perhaps even going beyond its prior laws, to specify flat out that business service cannot be denied to customers under this law.

Quote

Indiana’s governor has approved the state legislature’s changes to a controversial religious freedom law to clarify that businesses are not authorized to discriminate against gays and lesbians [among others]   

...

Under the existing law, the state cannot create legislation that infringes on a person’s religious beliefs – with the definition of person extended to include businesses, associations and other organizations. Because the state does not consider the LGBT community a protected class, the bill was interpreted as a way for businesses and organizations to legally discriminate   

...

The amendment clarifies that RFRA does not “authorize a provider to refuse to offer or provide services, facilities, use of public accommodations, goods, employment, or housing to any member or members of the general public on the basis of race, color, religion, ancestry, age, national origin, disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or United States military service.

LGBT rights group Freedom Indiana, which has been fighting for RFRA reform, applauded the announcement in a statement.

“While there is still more work to do to ensure that Indiana state law explicitly protects gay and transgender Hoosiers from discrimination, this announcement is progress we couldn’t have imagined just a week ago when Gov Pence signed the law and created immediate national backlash,” Freedom Indiana said.

Former Indianapolis mayor Bart Peterson said that if the amendment is passed, as expected, it would be the first time that “the words sexual orientation and gender identity appear in an Indiana statute” in the context of non-discrimination.

But Bill Oesterle, CEO of local business review website Angie’s List, said in a statement on Thursday morning that the change was “insufficient”, because it did not fully repeal RFRA.

“Employers in most of the state of Indiana can fire a person simply for being lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or questioning,” Oesterle said. “That’s just not right and that’s the real issue here. Our employees deserve to live, work and travel with open accommodations in any part of the state.”

...

Conservative activist group Advance America, a key proponent of the bill, said that the amendment proposed on Thursday would “destroy” RFRA.

“Among the things that will happen, Christian bakers, florists and photographers would now be forced by the government to participate in a homosexual wedding or else they would be punished by the government! That’s not right,” the group said in a statement.

« Last Edit: April 02, 2015, 09:59:51 PM by kylie »

Offline consortium11

I think two of the quotes there may well mis-state what the RFRA actually does and how it will work (even with the amendment)

Quote
But Bill Oesterle, CEO of local business review website Angie’s List, said in a statement on Thursday morning that the change was “insufficient”, because it did not fully repeal RFRA.

“Employers in most of the state of Indiana can fire a person simply for being lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or questioning,” Oesterle said. “That’s just not right and that’s the real issue here. Our employees deserve to live, work and travel with open accommodations in any part of the state.”

The RFRA doesn't allow an employer to fire someone on the basis of their sexuality. It means that if they do fire someone on the basis of their sexuality they can raise it as a defence against any anti-discrimination laws or charges that are brought against them. Without those anti-discrimination laws in place to begin with the RFRA makes no difference. Outside of the counties and cities which have such laws on their local books the RFRA makes little to no difference; if there's no possibility of someone bringing a case to begin with then having a defence against such a ase doesn't matter.

Quote
Conservative activist group Advance America, a key proponent of the bill, said that the amendment proposed on Thursday would “destroy” RFRA.

“Among the things that will happen, Christian bakers, florists and photographers would now be forced by the government to participate in a homosexual wedding or else they would be punished by the government! That’s not right,” the group said in a statement.

This is analogous to the case in Northern Ireland with the gay wedding cake (which for those interested is still going on... judgement is likely to be either later today or early next week) and it's far from clear whether it would apply in these situations; it largely depends on what one views as forming discrimination.

The amendment says that the RFRA does not "“authorize a provider to refuse to offer or provide services, facilities, use of public accommodations, goods, employment, or housing to any member or members of the general public on the basis of race, color, religion, ancestry, age, national origin, disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or United States military service.” So if a bakery refused to serve an LGBT person because they were LGBT they would clearly fall foul of it.

But a wedding cake for a gay wedding? That's more tricky.

The bakery would argue that they're not refusing service to the member of the general public on the basis that they're LGBT; they would also refuse to serve a cis-straight person in the same circumstances (i.e. asking for a wedding cake for a same-sex wedding). The question is whether refusing to create a wedding cake for a same-sex wedding constitutes discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation regardless of the sexual orientation of the person actually ordering it? One could reasonably argue both ways on that; as above, one could argue that the sexual orientation of the person ordering doesn't matter and as such it's not discriminating on that basis but one could also argue that the bakery offers to serve wedding cakes and saying no same-sex wedding cakes is refusing that service on the basis of the sexual orientation of the couple.

For me the second view does lead to some problematic situations though. Let's say there's a law which says one cannot discriminate of the basis of religion when offering a service (so a shop can't refuse to serve Muslims etc etc). If a Christian went into a bakery or a t-shirt printing company or approached a designer to create something with a message like "Gay Marriage is an Abomination" or "All Gays go to Hell" under the second view the shop would be forced to accept it. And that strikes me as profoundly awkward.

Offline Cassandra LeMay

For me the second view does lead to some problematic situations though. Let's say there's a law which says one cannot discriminate of the basis of religion when offering a service (so a shop can't refuse to serve Muslims etc etc). If a Christian went into a bakery or a t-shirt printing company or approached a designer to create something with a message like "Gay Marriage is an Abomination" or "All Gays go to Hell" under the second view the shop would be forced to accept it. And that strikes me as profoundly awkward.
I emphasized a part of this quote here, because I wonder if there was actually any offering of a service. My understanding (which, I will admit, may be off the mark) is that what is offered by opening a shop or putting a "we create cakes with your text on it" sign in the window of a bakery is not a service - it is the offer of negotiating a contract to provide such services, an invitation to treat/bargain. There is no contract agreed on yet, so there is no refusal of a service. There is a refusal to enter into a contract negotiation.

It may sound a bit odd and a little counter-intuitive outside contract law, but my understanding of contract law is that a customer walking into a shop and proclaiming he wants to buy such-and-such item does not conclude a contract that began with an offer by the store to sell, but rather starts the contract negotiation that concludes when the store owner hands over the item and accepts the customer's money. So how can anyone who refuses to deal with a black, gay, elderly, disabled person actually refuse them a service - as far as contract law is concerned? Wouldn't they actually be refusing to negotiate the provision of a certain service, and not withhold the actual service itself?

Offline Kythia

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Yeah, advertisements are what's called an "invitation to treat", in UK law at least.  To consortium11 up for a moment, the case is Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain v Boots Cash Chemists (1953) - Derren Brown taught me that and for some reason its always stuck with me.  Likely witchcraft

Whether refusing to invite people to enter a negotiation is discrimination, though, I don't know.

Offline Valerian

It's apparently fundamentally the same law in the U.S., except it's called an "invitation to bargain".  If, for example, a store mistakenly displays a $100 item with a sign reading "$10", this law means that the store isn't forced to sell the item at that price.  No binding offer has been made yet, it's only that the store has indicated a willingness to proceed with a negotiation / sale.

But yeah, whether it's discrimination or not is another question... and then there's the question as to whether or not that sort of misleading phrasing might be used as a clever loophole in such laws.  <.<

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As I understand it, the thing that caused the infamous 'cake fiasco' in the first place was that the couple placed an order for the cake, and the cake designer didn't initially say 'no'.  When the refusal finally did come through, the couple was left having to scramble to get a cake for their wedding.  If you take the RFRA bit out of it, it comes down to

Couple wants cake for event.
Couple consults with cake designer and places the order.
Some time later, cake designer backs out.
Couple now has substantially less time to get cake ordered before event.

As someone who went through planning my own wedding and all the chaos inherent to that, any excuse short of 'my bakery got shut down' or 'major family catastrophe' would have made me livid.  Something as small as 'I dun wanna because reasons.' - not going to cut it.

Now, if I were a cake designer, and had already taken an order for a cake that I found I was unable or even just unwilling to do, I think the 'right thing to do' would be to find another designer who would, and basically sub-contract it out to them.  Virtually transparent to the customer (although I'm sure that as long as they got their cake, all would be well).

Offline Top Cat

Keeping it simple for the moment.

My belief is that religion (or lack thereof) is a personal thing. You can share it with other people, but you fundamentally cannot force others to believe the same way you do. Attempting to force other people to abide by your own religion (or how you see the religion, anyway) is immoral; even if they follow the same religion, it's not your place to steer their morality, to make them obey god. That's something only they can do - or not do, as they see fit. It doesn't matter if you're a priest, a Pope, a saint, a sinner, or just an ordinary lay person - someone else's sins are their burden to carry, not yours. You can give them guidance if they ask for it; attempting to force them to act and atone in the way you think they should is not your job. This is doubly so (or cubed!) if they don't follow your religion.

If there is a god, everyone will have to answer to him/her when they die, and it will be their job, and theirs alone, to answer for their sins.

Laws like this are attempting to force people to obey God's will... or, at least, one particular religion's perception of God's will. They're trying to force people to not sin by making the sins illegal, as well as against the religion. One way of looking at this is that they're attempting to do God's work for him... which is misguided, to say the least.

Offline kylie

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Quote from: Top Cat

Laws like this are attempting to force people to obey God's will... or, at least, one particular religion's perception of God's will. They're trying to force people to not sin by making the sins illegal, as well as against the religion. One way of looking at this is that they're attempting to do God's work for him... which is misguided, to say the least.
     This might fit if you think the intent of the law was to somehow change people's orientation or behavior by shunning them publicly...  But as far as I've heard, the only expressed purpose of this Indiana bill was to exempt people who said it was against their religious beliefs, from dealing with whatever or whoever they didn't wish to.  Check it again. 

      Now the death penalty proposal in California, that would be another can of worms.  Perhaps you're thinking more of that one??

Offline Top Cat

I was mostly speaking generally, not specifically about the RFRA, but  the ideas behind the RFRAs is the latest in a long, LONG war against "people the church doesn't like" (in this case, gays). I find the idea of a company refusing a specific part of health insurance because their religion believes it to be sinful just as reprehensible as refusing to engage in the business of your company to people who you believe to be sinful. In both cases, they're attempting to use their religion's authority and influence to take control of someone else's life (to a greater or lesser degree). If the RFRA was simply, "I can say whatever I want," great, that's already covered by the 1st Amendment. But that's not what it's about... it's about trying to "hold the line" against what they view as encroaching godless behavior.

They'd succeeded for generations - sodomy laws were on the books pretty much everywhere in the States (and still are, in some places, but no longer enforced). When those became socially untenable, the "line in the sand" moved to "they can't be married." Now that even that is crumbling, the line is moved to "we won't do anything that could be construed as supporting those weddings."

But the problem here is that baking a cake for a wedding - or being the caterer - isn't supporting the wedding in any appreciable manner. My bakery certainly didn't start asking my fiancee and me questions about our religion (or lack thereof) when we scheduled for a Pi Day wedding cake. We could be heinous sinners (and, by some narrow viewpoints, our participating in a site like Elliquiy probably does make us sinners), and they just don't care. As a company, they're providing a service, and it's really not their business to be making moral judgments on their customers (which, when you get down to it, this is what they're doing).

And, as I said, they're entitled to hold those views for themselves, personally. I believe that attempting to apply those views to others, and require others to follow one's own path, is immoral.

As far as the California proposal, it got far more news than it deserved. There's zero chance it'll make it on the ballot. I don't think there's enough people West of the Mississippi who think that being given open season for killing gays is a good idea for a law to get enough signatures to get it on the ballot, much less within California. While there's still a significant portion of the California populace who think that gays are sinful and shouldn't be tolerated, there's a huge step from "don't want to let them marry" to "we should just kill them all." And even among people who would like to go kill some gays, there's probably a significant percentage of them who have enough brains not to sign on a public document supporting that...

To say nothing about the enormous cognitive dissonance involved in the very idea of murdering the sinners. I distinctly remember murder being one of the BIG sins, from the Ten Commandments, while gay sex is mentioned elsewhere, in passing...

Offline Cassandra LeMay

I find the idea of a company refusing a specific part of health insurance because their religion believes it to be sinful just as reprehensible as refusing to engage in the business of your company to people who you believe to be sinful. In both cases, they're attempting to use their religion's authority and influence to take control of someone else's life (to a greater or lesser degree).
...
And, as I said, they're entitled to hold those views for themselves, personally. I believe that attempting to apply those views to others, and require others to follow one's own path, is immoral.
I'd say the important question here is one of motivation. It is quite possible to follow one's believes not with the intend to harm others, even if that may lead to harm or hindrance to someone else. There is a big difference between saying "I won't bake this cake for you because I think doing so would be bad for my soul" and saying "I will not bake this cake for you unless you stop being gay and start attending church every Sunday". The end result will be the same, if viewed from the point of the person wanting the cake, but the question of intent should not be ignored or it be just assumed that anyone who acts based on religious convictions intends to push their views on others.

Offline kylie

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I was mostly speaking generally, not specifically about the RFRA, but  the ideas behind the RFRAs is the latest in a long, LONG war against "people the church doesn't like" (in this case, gays).
     Yeah, articles about those laws seem to keep catching up too...  Lately, I'm reading that there was a fair bit of concern about general job discrimination more key to passing the earlier (Clinton era, national) RFRA discussion.  But it's been more swinging into a lever used by the Christian right when it comes to state bills these last few years.  The twist is that the state proponents claim to the general public (and whoever will buy it) that they're "just mirroring the national law" yada yada --- but at the same time, some are also telling the religious lobby that it's really to resist gay marriage as a part of public culture. 

Quote
...
To say nothing about the enormous cognitive dissonance involved in the very idea of murdering the sinners. I distinctly remember murder being one of the BIG sins, from the Ten Commandments, while gay sex is mentioned elsewhere, in passing...
     Bit tangential but...  I think this is probably one of those cases of one law for the Jews (aka the "chosen people") and something else goes for anyone else.  Kind of the Biblical culture variation of "If you're not with us, you're against us" also heard these days among Isis and other violent Muslim outfits.  Among others who I suppose, aren't always quite so graphically punitive about it.  So while you're arguably right, there are still people who have found ways to reason around that.  I'm not sure it's "dissonance" if one is operating in another set of principles to begin with.  Though it's easy to find claims of internal conflict when a group is new, has many recruits who came from places where other rules applied for much of their lives, etc...  Maybe not the same thing.

« Last Edit: April 07, 2015, 01:42:44 PM by kylie »

Offline Kythia

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To say nothing about the enormous cognitive dissonance involved in the very idea of murdering the sinners. I distinctly remember murder being one of the BIG sins, from the Ten Commandments, while gay sex is mentioned elsewhere, in passing...

Yeah, Kylie's point is spot on there.  Plus, of course, if the legal penalty for performing an act is death then you're not actually murdering them.  Murder is, by definition, an illegal act.  Not that I'm arguing in favour of the death penalty, there's a can of worms that this thread doesn't need.  Just being specific in word usage.

Offline Callie Del Noire

You know.. I've kept quiet on this subject..because I don't think either side is totally right or wrong.

I watched and listened to the argument on how religious views aren't as potent or important as other reasons for refusing service to a customer.
I noted how rabidly agressive the social campaign was against the folks at the one pizza place went. The owners said they would serve every but couldn't, in their conscience, serve a gay wedding.

I've seen how rabidly nasty the counter response has been in the conservative corners.

Neither side seems to really consider the validity of the other sides view.

I have a friend who is currently transitioning.. she's had a pretty nasty time.. but then this is the south.

My take: People need to stop being hurt at every statement and understand that some folks will take more time to consider the issues and changing. You can work to change, by actions, their attitudes.. forcing my outlook down their throat..not going to do it.

I've already told three of my buds in the Navy to start considering an exit plan if the election goes the way I fear it will next year. Cruz and some of the other GoP candidates will ruin their lives for their lifestyle, despite the fact that most of them were grade A sailors.

To me? Live and let live.. I realize that change doesn't come without pushing.. but you can nudge as well as shove. I have seen too much shoving of late.

Offline kylie

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      Well, it does strike me as a touch 'pushy' to have to tell businesspeople it's not okay to keep some people from transactions.  But then, it felt pushy to many people in the South through the end of racial Segregation too.  If it takes help from the National Guard to get people to share in the market (education what have you), maybe there are some corners that aren't going to change very easily anyway.  What if today, also, quite a few people aren't really intent upon changing at all?  We have plenty of gated communities catering to various demographics.  This would be more the local "one door or window or license plate, one special exception based on conscience" -- not all that great a feeling to begin with -- and in some regions they would add up to a lot of obstruction. 

       And I have to feel worried for those people who live in a smaller community with only a few businesses -- what are they supposed to do while people take however long to 'sort stuff out' (or some don't but it's a handy excuse for them too)?  Should they just up and leave?  What if they can't afford to?  Should they travel hours for florists or photography services?  And who knows what else.

         I guess I don't see a perfectly "happy" solution either way.  I do think it at least might have helped if in the test cases, people said up front they didn't think they could do a good job or be comfortable there.  And perhaps if they could recommend someone else.  But when you get people (service providers, employers) who in conscience can't appear to have any association whatsoever, at some level -- if it happens often enough at least -- that is disruptive to people's reasonable livelihood and more incidentally to the national economy. 
 
« Last Edit: April 07, 2015, 10:17:12 PM by kylie »

Offline Callie Del Noire

I agree Kylie.. but when prodding changes to shoving it down a person's throat, how many are going to consider your rights and point of view when you're not willing to talk to them. When a woman gently and politely says she will serve LGBT folks but not cater a wedding suggests a possible willingness to discuss things.. when you see their yelp and facebook page hours later being trolled with death threats and other things.. by people not from that town and not involved in the discourse.. what do you think she is going to consider first. The nice lesbian couple two towns over who apologized for it and emphasized with their beliefs guiding their their business or the huge epicly nasty line of sewage that destroyed their social media?

You win support and respect by calm and polite discourse.. not by virtually burning down the business.

It's like the same sort of thing that I've been seeing with the SJW and Sad Puppy folks over the Hugo awards for fiction. Honest discourse vanishes behind .. hate.

I have seen less and less discourse over the years as Political Correctness has grown. Neither side wants to step out and offer there hand and say 'howdy'. And the whole thing with the pizza place? I find myself wondering how many store fronts did that station shop through before getting someone doing what that poor woman did.

Offline Caehlim

This isn't about you personally, this is just conveying my emotional state in general.

I agree Kylie.. but when prodding changes to shoving it down a person's throat, how many are going to consider your rights and point of view when you're not willing to talk to them. When a woman gently and politely says she will serve LGBT folks but not cater a wedding suggests a possible willingness to discuss things.. when you see their yelp and facebook page hours later being trolled with death threats and other things.. by people not from that town and not involved in the discourse.. what do you think she is going to consider first. The nice lesbian couple two towns over who apologized for it and emphasized with their beliefs guiding their their business or the huge epicly nasty line of sewage that destroyed their social media?

So she gets to live a life and I get to live... what, a strategy? A planned political discourse? Set up my existence as the "model home" for everyone to come tour and get a positive impression? How is that fair?

What am I meant to tell this woman, "Come see the gays, it's alright we don't bite. Oh by the way can we pretty please have the rights you all take for granted? No, well thanks for being polite about it while making the celebration of our love and life together another reminder of us being unwanted and despised. I really respect the point of view that I'm an abomination. Basically I'm just grateful that finally the state has stopped murdering my kind and it's just done randomly now by strangers or people just wait for us to do it to ourselves."

Arrg! Do you have any idea at all how frustrating that is? Constantly, day in and day out. I want to be a nice guy, I hate being uncivil to anyone for any reason. But it's just getting really exhausting and I don't think you appreciate the difficulty of offering that "howdy" you're asking for while begging for my right to exist.

But no one should get death threats. That's definitely crossing a line regardless of provocation.

Offline Joel

Arrg! Do you have any idea at all how frustrating that is? Constantly, day in and day out. I want to be a nice guy, I hate being uncivil to anyone for any reason. But it's just getting really exhausting and I don't think you appreciate the difficulty of offering that "howdy" you're asking for while begging for my right to exist.

But no one should get death threats. That's definitely crossing a line regardless of provocation.

I have seen less and less discourse over the years as Political Correctness has grown. Neither side wants to step out and offer there hand and say 'howdy'.

We know we live in a polarized society, and I think everyone accepts that this is the new norm.  I mean we certainly are going through tremendous social and economic changes that sure... were long happening, but it has come to a head now with: a demographic shift towards minorities, the weakening of the middle class, the focus on intellectual property and finance as dominant industries, the waning of American world dominance, oh and climate change and ecological clusterf*k everywhere...  This certainly isn't the America that was promised in the 1950s, and so I get why conservatives are upset.   

Back to the point here.  I say when conservatives are upset about "religious freedoms" or gay rights (however you want to spin it), I think it's best to look at it in context of all the other things that conservatives are upset about.  People are probably in a bit of shell shock.  And yeah I agree, you can't force people to think differently when they are in that mindset.

All that said... I am also a gay guy and a minority to boot, who's so, so very accustomed to being the brunt of everything.  I absolutely empathize with Caehlim sentiment.  It is very hard to bottle up that indignation especially when you know you are (legally and) morally right.  Now that I'm older and also feeling empowered, I know I can tear into people if I wanted to, but that won't accomplish anything and I know that.  What has been hugely beneficial I think?  Is just being steadfast and present.  Simply exposing people to the fact that yes, I exist and I'm married to another man and you know, it's okay... That's so much more effective than saying anything at all.  I just pretend like it's a complete non-issue.  I mean I've had people go off on homophobic rants on me before (not realizing I'm gay, and this is in the Badlands mind you) and then I just drop the "Oh me and my husband..." and just continue with the conversation while their brains explode.  In fact, when I got married I didn't even come out to my very homophobic extended family until I brought my fiancee to a get together and was like.  Oh by the way I'm gay and here's my fiancee.  Also here's some wedding invitations and some more booze.

Whew sorry I'm totally rambling.  My point is that there's two fronts to this War.  The personal one, which we seriously don't need to win every single battle on.  And the societal one where we HAVE to continue making progress with inclusiveness such that more people feel comfortable coming out of the closet.

So yeah.  The oppressed have always had to be stronger than the majority.  It isn't fair, but that's the reality of it.

Offline kylie

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Quote from: Callie Del Noire
I agree Kylie.. but when prodding changes to shoving it down a person's throat, how many are going to consider your rights and point of view when you're not willing to talk to them.
      I suppose it depends to what degree you think rights are something that must exist by consensus.  While I suppose that certain things just might not happen, and some may even be less likely to pass the higher courts, without some degree of popular consensus...  I also think there are many places where some people are going to be obstinate, and a fair few where they may be physically dangerous about opposing the idea to boot.  Rights are also about a discussion of more or less fundamental principles, so the argument doesn't have to be entirely about convincing "enough people."  It can also be about convincing the people who serve as the gatekeepers of the system, the people who are charged with upholding a certain consistency of ideas as well as a certain sense of what works in the present.  Granted some people may not agree on things like how the notions of "equality" written in the Constitution (or even in the 14th Amendment, ugh) should be interpreted today, but at least there is some institutional basis there to argue about consistency of principles and hopefully some empirical evidence. 

     The state is certainly not a perfect forum for anything and it can be misused too (quite often has) -- but it's sometimes equally or more useful than waiting for a certain popular percentage.  Particularly if there are likely to be some especially nasty abuses of people in the meantime, or if the people you're waiting for happen to be the particularly vocal and reluctant (even some, nasty!) holdouts in a time of otherwise more positive change.   

     To flip it around: People don't all agree that they should pay taxes, or pay taxes for all the things they do...  But the government doesn't grant them "rights" to refuse based on that. It says we've looked at the situation, we tried this another way that let you all run loose before (and wow that really had a lot of problems), and now this is what we're gonna go ahead and do.

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When a woman gently and politely says she will serve LGBT folks but not cater a wedding suggests a possible willingness to discuss things.. when you see their yelp and facebook page hours later being trolled with death threats and other things..
     Eh.  There are ways to talk back to death threats, whether brusquely, through hard logic and philosophy, even snidely, or more in the mode of litigation.  But I don't know of any rampant, overall trend where either 1) anyone has installed requirements that actually positively help anyone who would make serious death threats avoid a negative response or 2) that in fact, those are particularly common coming from the pro-/LGBT side.   

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You win support and respect by calm and polite discourse.. not by virtually burning down the business.
      It's a hunch -- but something about how you're framing all this still feels far-fetched or out of context to me.  I do suppose some people are getting over the top on the response as well as on trying to shut people out.  But I don't have enough info to see that it's somehow all so frequently pervasively unreasonable, or actually violent or terroristic, if you will, in a way that I'm sensing from the hints here?  Or maybe we're thinking of different things.  Maybe I could use a link or few that shows where or how many people you're talking about and some hint how we know what they really intend by the rhetoric (if you can find so many direct supposed death threats). 

...  Whereas if a business says they will not serve LGBT, it's pretty clear I think what they mean to try and do by that. 

      Anyway, I don't think saying you don't support a business that won't support your people - or that one won't look kindly upon them for discriminating on these grounds, whoever you may be - is being unreasonable either.  And if others agree, that's a person's right - no?  I guess this sort of reasoning fails if you start with the premise that a right to deny anyone might be as good "self-expression" as a right to include (this is pretty much where Elaine Photography ended up in some desperation), but they don't really serve the same function for consumers if you apply that kind of logic here.   

       
« Last Edit: April 09, 2015, 08:13:16 AM by kylie »

Offline Callie Del Noire


...  Whereas if a business says they will not serve LGBT, it's pretty clear I think what they mean to try and do by that.     

They (the pizzeria) didn't say that. Essential what they said was they would serve LGBT but in good conscience with their beliefs they wouldn't cater a wedding. That is the example I'm using..though both the florist and baker said similar things.

I have been told, personally, that I would not be served at a store. Once in California because I was clearly a military member (this was pre-9/11) and three times overseas (Once for being white, and twice for being American).

There is a difference from totally turning a customer away and saying 'I can't do that particular service'. Destroying a persons livelihood in court isn't winning any support among some folks.

Where does your rights and another person's religious rights meet and how do they balance out? It's a delicate dance.

Like I said before.. I'm for full service, but I'm also thinking there has to be a better way that utterly destroying people in courts and the media and mandating by law. Both sides have issues that have valid concerns.. if you can't accept that folks on the other side of the divide have both valid and invalid concerns.. mediation is impossible. And if it's impossible, the discourse that can settle this in a civilized manner.

I'd use an example but if I do.. odds are I would piss off a lot of folks. But consider this.. radical change can take heavy heavy tolls on the society. So, I've said my say. I am not supporting the laws, I think it's badly thought out, poorly written, and ill considered that will open the door for MASSIVE abuse. Of course half the tech laws I've seen in the last 2 decades are similarly ill thought out.

I've had my say.. I realize that as a moderate non-socially conservative RHINO that my thoughts that discourse, debate and discussion should consider both sides of the event are in a minority and considered irrelevant. Which is why I'm backing out of the discussion again.

Just one last thing.. not every religious dissenter of Gay marriage is a frothing at the brain westboro baptist church member. I know several who are truly working through this issue.. but feel that their concerns and religious faith is used to destroy them.
 
« Last Edit: April 09, 2015, 05:10:39 PM by Callie Del Noire »