Monday, November 2, 2015

Destructive gays and lesbians

BMP T-Shirts doing business with the LGBT community
The headline for the story on American Family Association's “news” blog reads “LGBT backs Christian for not making 'Gay Pride' shirts.” According to AFA (a certified anti-gay hate group):
Members of the LGBT community, along with law firms and scholars, are giving some major support to a Christian business owner in Lexington, Kentucky, over his decision to decline a request to print T-shirts for a “Gay Pride” event.
That LGBT backing seems to be one uninformed and misguided business owner:

Not agreeing with the uproar stirred by much of the LGBT community opposing Adamson’s refusal to print the Gay Pride shirts, a number of businesses—including BMP T-Shirts—that are owned by LGBT members have publicly declared their support to Adamson over his decision to exercise his free speech rights in the matter.

"No one should be forced to do something against what they believe in,” proclaimed Diane DiGerloromo, one of the lesbian owners of BMP T-Shirts. “If we were approached by an organization, such as the Westboro Baptist Church, I highly doubt we would be doing business with them, and we would be very angry if we were forced to print anti-gay T-shirts."
“No one should be forced to do something against what they believe in.” Seriously? What is the difference between refusing to print a T-shirt and refusing to seat a gay couple in a restaurant or refusing them at the front desk of a hotel? Are they going to claim that it is compelled speech? Probably (and I have not read ADF's briefs in the matter) but it is a losing argument. In making the shirts the printer isn't endorsing anything or appearing to endorse a message.

It's really the same losing argument that that florist and a couple of bakers have made. We live in a diverse and largely secular society. Serving everyone is the very essence of non-discrimination laws. And, yes, that includes WBC notwithstanding how profoundly odious they are. I would make their shirts and donate the profits to the local LGBT advocacy group — making sure that WBC was aware of that fact. Thank you very much!

Perhaps the best explanation comes from a unanimous decision by New Mexico's supreme court in Elane Photography v. Willock. This was the photographer who refused to take pictures for a lesbian commitment ceremony in violation of the New Mexico Human Rights Act (NMHRA). In part the court held:
The purpose of the NMHRA is to ensure that businesses offering services to the general public do not discriminate against protected classes of people, and the United States Supreme Court has made it clear that the First Amendment permits such regulation by state. Businesses that choose to be public accommodations must comply with the NMHRA, although such businesses retain their First Amendment rights to express their religious or political beliefs. They may, for example, post a disclaimer on their website or in their studio advertising that they oppose same-sex marriage but that they comply with applicable anti-discrimination laws.
As for Ms. DiGerloromo I suspect that she is trying to gain some personal attention. If their website is any indication their business depends upon the LGBT community which she is a member of. She clearly hasn't thought through the ramifications of her public statement.

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