I am all for preserving freedom — the freedom to be who we are; the freedom to be free of discrimination; the freedom to have the Establishment Clause mean precisely what it says. I also believe that we should reject coercion. In particular I reject the coercion of conservative Christians to be slaves to ancient chronicles of dubious provenance and who seek to impose their theology on everyone else through public policy. Needless to say, that is not exactly what these theocrats have in mind:
As Americans, we cherish the freedom to peacefully express and live by our religious, philosophical, and political beliefs—not merely to hold them privately. We write on behalf of millions of Americans who are concerned about laws that undermine the public good and diminish this freedom for individuals and organizations alike.I would like these folks to live peacefully by their religion. That does not require anyone to undermine nondiscrimination laws. LGBT people also have the right to live peacefully and should have the expectation of being served in public accommodations. Serving people does not constitute endorsement or approval of something that they do not like and clearly do not understand. To wit:
We affirm that every individual is created in the image of God and as such should be treated with love, compassion, and respect. We also affirm that people are created male and female, that this complementarity is the basis for the family centered on the marital union of a man and a woman, and that the family is the wellspring of human flourishing. We believe that it is imperative that our nation preserve the freedoms to speak, teach, and live out these truths in public life without fear of lawsuits or government censorship.Now that is a crock of crap. They cannot claim to treat people with love and respect and at the same time dismiss their sexual orientation or gender identity while discriminating against them. Where is the love in telling people that they are “gender confused” simply to torture real life into something conforming to scripture written before people knew anything about gender identity or sexual orientation?
Furthermore “these truths” are their truths based upon religious doctrine. They are not scientific truths anymore than creationism is scientific truth. Moreover, no one is censoring these people. They are free to say and think whatever they want — no matter how idiotic. Their idea of “living out” their religion is an exemption to nondiscrimination laws because they deserve special rights.
In recent years, there have been efforts to add sexual orientation and gender identity as protected classifications in the law—either legislatively or through executive action. These unnecessary proposals, often referred to as SOGI policies, threaten basic freedoms of religion, conscience, speech, and association; violate privacy rights; and expose citizens to significant legal and financial liability for practicing their beliefs in the public square. In recent years, we have seen in particular how these laws are used by the government in an attempt to compel citizens to sacrifice their deepest convictions on marriage and what it means to be male and female—people who serve everyone, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, but who cannot promote messages, engage in expression, or participate in events that contradict their beliefs or their organization’s guiding values.Nondiscrimination laws are entirely necessary. These people made them entirely necessary and they threaten no one's basic freedoms. The absence of such laws threatens the basic freedoms of LGBT people. Religious people do not get to express their disapproval (neatly cloaked in scripture) by refusing service. Robby George, or whoever actually write this nonsense, is expressing the losing arguments wherever these cases have come before the law. It is all based on their own idea of self-importance. Serving a gay couple or transgender people is a “sacrifice” because these self-righteous, holier-than-thou fools believe that they are so fucking important. LGBT people pay taxes too. We pay for roads, infrastructure, protection services and the municipal governance that make operating a public accommodation possible in the first place.
Creative professionals, wedding chapels, non-profit organizations, ministries serving the needy, adoption agencies, businesses, schools, religious colleges, and even churches have faced threats and legal action under such laws for declining to participate in a same-sex wedding ceremony; for maintaining policies consistent with their guiding principles; and for seeking to protect privacy by ensuring persons of the opposite sex do not share showers, locker rooms, restrooms, and other intimate facilities. Under SOGI laws, people of good will can face personal and professional ruin, fines, and even jail time, and organizations face the loss of accreditation, licensing, grants, contracts, and tax-exemption.Oh, poor them. They are required to serve those undesirable LGBT people. Again, the whiff of self-importance when they describe selling goods or services to be consumed or used as a same-sex wedding as “participation.” I have no patience for their transphobia. Their solution is to pretend that trans people do not exist. That solves everything — except for logic, common sense and the decency we expect (and expect to be expected) in a civil society.
SOGI laws empower the government to use the force of law to silence or punish Americans who seek to exercise their God-given liberty to peacefully live and work consistent with their convictions. They also create special preference in law for categories based on morally significant choices that profoundly affect human relations and treat reasonable religious and philosophical beliefs as discriminatory. We therefore believe that proposed SOGI laws, including those narrowly crafted, threaten fundamental freedoms, and any ostensible protections for religious liberty appended to such laws are inherently inadequate and unstable.As public policy these laws create an expectation that everyone will be served equally in public accommodations. You can see just how intellectually corrupt these people are by referring to gender identity and sexual orientation as “morally significant choices.” They are knowingly promoting a falsehood which (I always thought) is immoral. The sexual orientation or gender identity of some people has no effect on anyone else unless others are inextricably wed to the notion that their approval (which they wish to withhold) is solicited and required. It is not.
SOGI laws in all these forms, at the federal, state, and local levels, should be rejected. We join together in signing this letter because of the serious threat that SOGI laws pose to fundamental freedoms guaranteed to every person.Hypocrites framing their imposition of their religion on everyone else as some sort of freedom or liberty. We are a diverse society and what makes America great is the embrace of that diversity. These are the second-rate thinkers and would-be mullahs of a society that looks more like Iran than the United States of America.
America has stood as a beacon of liberty to the world because our Constitution protects people’s freedom to peacefully—and publicly—work and live according to their convictions. We represent diverse efforts to contribute to the flourishing of our neighbors, communities, nation, and world. We remain committed to preserving in law and stewarding in action the foundational freedoms that make possible service of the common good, social harmony, and the flourishing of all.