Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Pants-on-fire from Liberty Counsel


The headline reads Liberty Counsel Successfully Defends Christian Business Owner over Same-Sex Wedding. Not exactly. The first sentence reads “Liberty Counsel has successfully defended a Pennsylvania banquet hall that refused to host a same-sex wedding because of the owner’s Christian beliefs.” Again, not exactly.

You would think that they won some sort of  license-to-discriminate suit. Liberty Counsel knows that folks who follow their antics are not terribly curious. Critical thinking skills? Well … who am I to judge? Will these folks read the piece in its entirety and understand it? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?

This had nothing to do with same-sex marriage. After The Inne of the Abingtons (in Abington, PA) refused to host a same-sex wedding a heterosexual couple canceled their wedding on principle and demanded their deposit back. The Inne refused, the couple sued, the couple withdrew their lawsuit, Liberty Counsel claims victory:
" A Christian business owner should not have his contracts dishonored or be hauled into court because he operates his business according to conscience, " said Roger Gannam, Senior Litigation Counsel at Liberty Counsel. "This is a victory for religious liberty, " concluded Gannam. Liberty Counsel was assisted in the case by Pennsylvania local counsel James Clymer and Rick Hecker of Clymer, Musser & Conrad, P.C., Lancaster.
No it's not (a victory for religious liberty). Is LC that desperate to remain relevant in a changing world?
"We are happy to host dinners, birthday parties, or just about any other kind of event regardless of a client 's sexual orientation, but not a same-sex wedding," said John Antolick, the owner of the Inne. 
Something tells me that Mr. Antolick won't have much opportunity to discriminate against his LGBT neighbors in the future. Our community has a long memory when we are told “we don't serve your kind here.” That community, as Mr. Antolick will learn, includes friends and family.

The sad thing is that, unlike many other states, Pennsylvania does not have sexual orientation included in its non-discrimination laws. That needs to change.

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