Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Win or lose at the Supreme Court we have work to do

American Family Association pitched a fit when a local equality organization started to provide these stickers to fair-minded Mississippi businesses.
At Think Progress Ian Millhiser writes: “LGBTQ rights just had a horrible day in the Supreme Court — There are almost certainly five votes for the anti-gay cake baker Jack Phillips.”

The transcript of oral arguments is here. You can judge for yourself. I am far more optimistic than Ian but let us assume, for the moment, that we lose this case. What do we do?

Consider this: In all of these cases none of the proprietors made any effort to convey their policy to the public in advance. Even a carefully worded sign indicating religious preferences, while guaranteeing nondiscriminatory service, could be a violation of applicable laws. However, I doubt that they are drawing that conclusion.

These folks were all willing to undeniably violate the law by denying service but there is no record of anyone attempting to avoid a future confrontation through some form of notice. They do not want to risk alienating their customer base. Most people are opposed to anti-gay discrimination. Indeed, two-thirds of our citizens support same-sex marriage. I also think that some of these bigots actually want a confrontation so that they can express their Christian disapproval.

We have more inherent power than any court can provide

We can take away any power that the bigots have while making discrimination expensive. This can be accomplished through community-based activism. State and national organizations remain important in order to affect legislation but community activists have a different kind of power. We have the power to inform the general public of which businesses are discriminatory and which businesses welcome everyone.

As volunteers visit local businesses (which sounds like fun to me), I think we are going to realize that the overwhelming majority of sane business owners do not turn away business. People like Jack Phillips are at the lunatic fringe. We just need to find out who they are — and we can.

I do not think that the Supreme Court is going to do something that could invalidate every nondiscrimination law in the United States but if they do something adverse to our interests, it's not the end of the world.

Shifting the power paradigm in practice:

With respect to that sticker (shown above), that was the product of a Mississippi equality campaign. American Family Association came unhinged. It was something special to behold:
In response to passage of that bill, owners who want the business of homosexuals are now posting blue, circular window stickers that incorporate the rainbow colors typically associated with homosexual activism.
AFA VP Buddy Smith weighed in further:
"It's not really a buying campaign, but it's a bully campaign," he says, "and it's being carried out by radical homosexual activists who intend to trample the freedom of Christians to live according to the dictates of scripture.

"They don't want to hear that homosexuality is sinful behavior – and they wish to silence Christians and the church who dare to believe this truth."

Smith offers a word of caution for those who do business with facilities posting the decal supporting homosexual activism. "If you do that, you are agreeing with these businesses that Christians no longer have the freedom to live out the dictates of their Christian faith and conscience," he tells OneNewsNow.
Based on AFA's reaction, who has the power? Us or them?

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