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Washington Supreme Court Rules Against Florist Who Refused Service To Same-Sex Wedding

church-state-street-signs

Late last week, the Supreme Court of Washington ruled unanimously against the owner of a flower shop who refused to provide flowers for a same-sex wedding, an action that it found violated the state’s law barring discrimination in public accommodations and providing goods and services to the public:

SEATTLE — A florist who refused to sell flowers for a same-sex wedding cannot claim religious belief as a defense under the state’s anti-discrimination laws, Washington’s high court said Thursday, in a case that has been watched around the nation by religious and civil rights groups.

The unanimous ruling by the nine-member state Supreme Court, which a lawyer for the florist said would be appealed to the United States Supreme Court, addressed sweeping questions about public accommodation, artistic expression and free speech.

But at its heart was a very human story about Arlene’s Flowers in the small city of Richland, in southeast Washington, and what happened there in 2013 when Robert Ingersoll and Curt Freed started planning their wedding. The shop’s owner, Barronelle Stutzman, knew that Mr. Ingersoll and Mr. Freed were gay and had sold them flowers for years, but then refused to provide flowers for their wedding. Her Christian faith, which defined marriage as between a man and a woman, created a line, she said, that she could not cross.

But in affirming a lower court’s finding, the Supreme Court said flatly that it agreed with the couple — flowers were not really the point.

The case, the court said in its 59-page decision, “is no more about access to flowers than civil rights cases in the 1960s were about access to sandwiches.” And laws, the decision said, can have legitimate social goals. “Public accommodations laws do not simply guarantee access to goods or services,” it said. “Instead, they serve a broader societal purpose: eradicating barriers to the equal treatment of all citizens.”

National gay rights groups hailed the decision as another plank of protection for same-sex couples and marriage equality.

“People should also never use their personal religious beliefs as a free pass to violate the law or the basic civil rights of others,” Sarah Warbelow, the legal director at the Human Rights Campaign, which advocates for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer civil rights, said in a statement.

A legal expert at the University of Washington said the legal framework of the decision was not particularly new or novel, with many precedents about interracial couples, business law and free expression. But extending that logic, with unanimous court agreement, to a full affirmation that those rights extend to same-sex couples establishes firmly the idea of a fully protected class, said Hugh Spitzer, a professor of law at the University of Washington.

“It’s a kind of case that hasn’t come up before,” said Professor Spitzer, who teaches constitutional law. “But the principles are not new.”

A lawyer for Ms. Stutzman, Kristen Waggoner, said the court had erred both in interpreting the law and in the specifics of the case. The same-sex couple were not refused service because they were gay, Ms. Waggoner said, but only turned away for a specific ceremony that Ms. Stutzman could not abide because of the dictates of her conscience. Voters in Washington approved a same-sex marriage law in 2012.

Because a flower arrangement is an artistic expression, Ms. Waggoner said, the court effectively ruled that the state could regulate, with punitive government authority, what artists may sell.

“All creative professional expression is at risk,” Ms. Waggoner said in a telephone call with reporters.

Ms. Stutzman and her lawyers, using dictionary definitions of “art” as well as expert testimony regarding her creativity and expressive style, argued for a broad reading of protected speech that encompassed her “unique expression,” crafted in “petal, leaf and loam.”

The justices rejected that argument. In looking at what sorts of conduct or service constitute free speech, protected under the Constitution, they found that even if Ms. Stutzman was artistic in her flower arrangements, the statements she made in selling the arrangements were not protected free speech, as defined by the United States Supreme Court.

Ms. Stutzman herself, the court said, contradicted the argument that wedding flowers were a statement when she said in a deposition that providing flowers for a wedding between Muslims would not necessarily constitute an endorsement of Islam, nor would providing flowers for an atheist couple endorse atheism.

It would also have been interesting if Ms. Sturzman had been asked if her religious beliefs would have required her to refuse to do provide flowers to two people who she knew had begun their relationship as an adulterous affair when one or both of the parties were married to other people, or if it would require her to refuse service to people who had been divorced. As with her answer to the question about whether she believed providing flowers for the wedding of Muslims or atheists would not constitute an endorsement of Islam or atheism, I suspect that her answer would be that she would not consider her religion to require denying service in any of those cases. Given that, the fact that she raises it with respect to providing services to a same-sex couple for use at their wedding is quite telling and makes her claim that her religious liberty is being violated far less credible.

This isn’t the first case of its type we’ve run across, of course. During the years that the issue of marriage equality was making its way through the course and the state legislatures, there were several reports about various businesses involved in providing services to weddings or wedding receptions who refused to provide services to same-sex couples, citing religious objections to the idea of same-sex marriage as the reason. In several cases, such as this case from Washington and the case of a wedding photographer in New Mexico, those cases ended up in the Courts due to the fact that the businesses were located in the relatively small handful of states and localities that forbid discrimination based on sexual orientation. In each of those cases, the Defendants raised as a defense the claim that they should be exempted from the law based on the fact that applying the law to them would be a restriction on the free exercise of their religious beliefs. In all of those cases, the Courts rejected the argument on the ground that whatever religious liberty claim was being validly raised was outweighed by the government’s more compelling interest in enforcing laws against public discrimination.

In this respect, this case is identical to a nearly twenty-seven-year-old Supreme Court precedent that even Justice Scalia joined at the time. In Employment Division v. Smiththe Court ruled that the First Amendment’s free exercise clause did not create an exemption to an otherwise generally applicable law and that the government’s interest in enforcing that law outweighed the claim of the Appellant that his religious liberties were being violated. In that case, Smith had been fired after a positive drug test and argued that he was entitled to unemployment benefits under the law because his dismissal had been due to testing positive for peyote, which is used in Native American religious ceremonies. The relevant state agencies had ruled that he was not entitled to benefits due to the fact that state law prohibited granting benefits in cases where the party’s dismissal from employment was based on illegal activity. While these are obviously a different state of facts than what is at issue in the Washington State case, the legal principles are the same. In both cases, the party making the religious liberty claim is arguing that their right to freely exercise their religion should provide an exemption to a generally applicable law. In Smith, the Supreme Court rejected that claim, finding that the state’s interest in enforcing the law outweighed the assertion that the defendant’s religious liberty was being violated. The Washington Supreme Court reached essentially the same conclusion in this case, finding that the state’s interest in enforcing laws against public discrimination outweighed the business owner’s religious liberty laws.

Because of her assertion of a First Amendment defense in the courts below, the defendant does have the option of appealing this case to the United States Supreme Court. However, I suspect that she will most likely find this to be fruitless. First of all, the Court has rejected previous opportunities to review cases of this type, most recently with respect to a photographer in New Mexico who refused to provide services to a same-sex couple and was charged with a violation of an anti-discrimination ordinance as a result. There seems to me to be no reason that we won’t see the same thing happen in this case, a sentiment with which Eugene Volokh agrees:

As to the future of this particular case, I doubt the U.S. Supreme Court will review the case further: It could only review the First Amendment issue (since the state supreme court is the final decision-maker on the state constitutional issue), and the compelled speech case here is weaker than in the New Mexico wedding photographer case, which the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear. The other First Amendment arguments in the case also seem unlikely to interest that court.

On the chance the Court dic accept the case for appeal, though, my guess is that the Court would be far more likely to rule against the florist than rule in her favor. While we don’t know how a future Justice Gorsuch might rule in this case, it seems likely that Justice Kennedy would rule consistently with his position in Smith, in which case we’d have a 5-4 majority in favor of sustaining the ruling of the Washington Supreme Court. As I stated, though, the most likely outcome is that the Court will simply decline to hear the case and this ruling will stand.

Here’s the opinion:

Washington Et Al v. Arlene’s Flowers Et Al by Doug Mataconis on Scribd

Related Posts:

About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. CSK says:

    I’ve always wondered if, before she refused to sell them the wedding flowers, Stutzman also treated Ingersoll and Freed to a dandy little lecture on the evil of their ways.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  2. Pch101 says:

    It goes to show you that the right-wing use of the term “religious freedom” is just a euphemism for the “freedom” to discriminate against minorities. (This is the right wing’s version of political correctness.)

    This is a basic issue of public accommodation. We’re back to fighting over the right to sit at lunch counters or to ride at the front of the bus. The “religious liberty” crowd wants Jim Crow 2.0, no doubt about it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 3

  3. Daryl's other brother Darryl says:

    in which case we’d have a 5-4 majority in favor of sustaining the ruling

    Trump only needs one more justice…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  4. gVOR08 says:

    It would also have been interesting if Ms. Sturzman had been asked if her religious beliefs would have required her to refuse to do provide flowers to two people who she knew had begun their relationship as an adulterous affair when one or both of the parties were married to other people, or if it would require her to refuse service to people who had been divorced.

    Don’t be silly. Ms. Stutzman and the Alliance Defending Freedom (sic) can’t fund raise off adultery and divorce.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 20 Thumb down 1

  5. barbintheboonies says:

    I believe this will only open up a can of worms with bad consequences. Both sides lose. How I heard the story was this. She did not want to enter the church and display the flowers where she would have to be in attendance. I wonder if the supreme court will be as hard on other faiths. Muslims are suing a company for not providing a prayer room for them. How will this play out? In my opinion it should not be an issue. She refuses, and loses money and reputation. They go elsewhere and give business to another more deserving. End of story.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 6 Thumb down 15

  6. MarkedMan says:

    It comes down to the long standing question: When can a public accommodation such as a florist, baker, doctor’s practice, etc refuse to serve a customer. It seems to me that we as a nation have decided that behavior, speech and dress can only be a basis for discrimination when it takes place on the premises, and beliefs can never be a basis for discrimination. So you could refuse service to an unruly patron, or on wearing an offensive T-Shirt, or one using obscenities. But you can’t refuse service because of what someone does off-premises. Fifty years ago people tried to say they didn’t have to serve people because of the color of their skin, often citing religious reasons for their refusal (ex: the state judge who initially ruled against the Lovings extensively cited his interpretation of the bible for reasons that interracial marriage was criminal.)

    Non-public entities can discriminate much more freely, but once they start accepting tax dollars, that can change. After all, it is one thing for a private individual to discriminate against, say, Republicans, but it is quite another to use the Republicans’ very own tax dollars to implement that discrimination.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  7. Daryl's other brother Darryl says:

    @barbintheboonies:
    So you are perfectly OK with discrimination? Different restrooms and lunch counters for people who aren’t lily-white? Hell…women have only been allowed to vote for around 50 years…lets go back on that too. You’d be OK with that, right?
    Your idea that the market will eliminate racism and bigotry is not borne out by…you know…actual history.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 19 Thumb down 1

  8. Eric Florack says:

    So, if a Muslim florist won’t handle a same sex wedding….What would the left’s position be, I wonder?

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 21

  9. Pch101 says:

    @Eric Florack:

    Kim Davis was a Democrat.

    No noteworthy Democrats defended her.

    Davis responded in a predictable fashion: She became a Republican. The GOP is a safe space for bigots.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 31 Thumb down 2

  10. barbintheboonies says:

    @Daryl’s other brother Darryl: You added quite a list none that had the business owner to go and attend an event that they did not agree with. If she was asked to attend a strip club which would offend others would they be sited as bigots too.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 13

  11. KM says:

    @barbintheboonies:

    She did not want to enter the church and display the flowers where she would have to be in attendance.

    If that’s true, then it’s her own fault she lost the case. Why didn’t she hire someone to enter the building and arrange the flowers for her? $50 to the usher or altar boys and this whole thing could have been avoided. Accommodations work both ways – her religious objection was entering the holy space for this purpose so get someone else to enter it for her. Problem solved.

    Instead of compromising and trying to serve her customer and her God, she told the customer to F-off because of God. That’s a no-no, especially since religious folks are trying to carve out exceptions wherever they can under the logic that faith and work are intertwined. It’s up to her as an employer, business owner and person of faith to come up with the solution that doesn’t violate her customers’ rights. If that means dropping a few bucks to temporarily engage the services of someone without her objections, then do it. You get the sale and your soul.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 18 Thumb down 0

  12. Argon says:

    @barbintheboonies:

    Muslims are suing a company for not providing a prayer room for them.

    I think that relates to ‘reasonable accommodation’ clauses regarding religious discrimination in the workplace.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 0

  13. Bob@Youngstown says:

    @barbintheboonies:

    How I heard the story was this. She did not want to enter the church and display the flowers where she would have to be in attendance.

    Regardless of how you heard the story…. did she assert this aversion to “enter” the church? And did she assert that she would be required to attend the service?

    She refuses, and loses money and reputation.

    It might be that simple were it not for a law that addresses discrimination in places for public accommodation.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  14. KM says:

    @Bob@Youngstown:

    And did she assert that she would be required to attend the service?

    Seriously, these “artists” are getting quite the egos now, asserting they are part of the service because they did peripheral work. Who in the hell invites the florist to the wedding?! If she was there, it would be as a family friend and not in a professional capacity.

    Any florist still diddling with the plants during the actual service is a crappy florist indeed….

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 23 Thumb down 0

  15. Paul L. says:

    MILO returning UC Berkeley
    “Bake me a fucking cake, bigot!”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 13

  16. Janis Gore says:

    Here is a story from the Christian Science Monitor that lays out the case pretty clearly and thoroughly:

    http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Justice/2016/0712/A-florist-caught-between-faith-and-financial-ruin

    She doesn’t say anything about entering a church in this story.

    Why doesn’t serving a gay wedding fall under the “pay unto Caesar” exception if it’s a condition of obeying civil law?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

  17. Gromitt Gunn says:

    These types of cases just drive me batty (similarly – pharmacists with birth control exemptions).

    I teach at an open admissions college. If you have a high school diploma, or a GED, and if you are cleared out of developmental math and English, and you pay your tuition bill, I will teach you sophomore-level accounting. That’s my job.

    If you bring me an accomodation letter for a recognized disability, I will honor the reasonable accomodations that the college has specified. That’s my job.

    If you provide me with advance notice of a religious observance or provide me with a duty roster for your military service, I will work with you to figure out how to keep you caught up in my course. That’s my job.

    If you aren’t willing to do the job, don’t take up the profession.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 24 Thumb down 0

  18. Slugger says:

    The court decided 9-0. The U W legal guy says the decision is not a novel finding. Case closed, right? I don’t know for sure, but I bet the Washington State constitution is amendable. If you don’t like the decision, work to change the constitution.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  19. KM says:

    @Gromitt Gunn :

    If you aren’t willing to do the job, don’t take up the profession.

    Quite a few of them would say they took up the profession and then the profession changed. That being said, your point is correct: if you cannot do the job, don’t do the job. If you cannot understand that job requirements and conditions change, don’t do the job. If you cannot or will not do whatever the job requires because you’re holding onto an idealized or historical perceptive of what it used to be, don’t do the job.

    The world is not static. It constantly baffles me how people get stuck on their hiring date and think this is how life will be forever and ever. That which does not grow, dies.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  20. Daryl's other brother Darryl says:

    @Eric Florack:
    Florack is a pathetic old racist.
    Everyone should go to his website and search the “N” word and see how many entries you get.
    Calling Florack deplorable would be an insult to deplorable people.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  21. al-Ameda says:

    @Eric Florack:

    So, if a Muslim florist won’t handle a same sex wedding….What would the left’s position be, I wonder?

    That’s a complex issue to be sure, many possibilities and options come to mind:

    (A) Sue under Public Accommodation laws.
    (B) Ask President Trump to deport the florist.
    (C) Accuse the florist of collaborating with Milo Yiannopoulos to run a child sex slave operation from the family pizzeria next door.
    (D) Have the Russians hack the florist’s business computer, steal credit card payment information, then crash the system

    Personally, I’d guess (A), but I’m pretty sure most on the right would go with (B).

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 0

  22. barbintheboonies says:

    @Argon: He was told to go to his car and pray, but it was not good enough for him. They said he could go to the warehouse that was too far to get in the time allotted for break and he would be docked time from his check, that also was not good enough for him. How far should businesses go to accommodate everyone. Every job I ever worked spelled out what they offer and what they expected of me. It`s a quid pro quo take it or leave it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 14

  23. Daryl's other brother Darryl says:

    @barbintheboonies:
    A strip club??? That’s apples and oranges. People of all colors and creeds go to strip joints. That’s like no shirt, no shoes, no service.
    Your comment is endorsing rank discrimination against an entire group of people based solely on who they choose to love. The same as not allowing people to eat lunch at the same counter just because they are black. Or not allowing people to vote because of their gender.
    It’s just not OK.
    However, I do fear it will be the new normal here in Trumpistan.

    .

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  24. Pch101 says:

    @barbintheboonies:

    You should contact the Trump administration for a job. You would be a great Secretary of Bad Analogies.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1

  25. barbintheboonies says:

    @al-Ameda: I`m telling ya it`s opening up too many cans of worms. Lawyers are eating it up for sure.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 8

  26. CSK says:

    @KM:

    Actually, the florist does show up in the church (or wherever) to arrange the flowers, and to provide whatever bouquets and boutonnieres are necessary, and at the reception to arrange the centerpieces and whatever there.

    But–how does entering a church in order to place flowers on and around the altar constitute endorsing the church or any rite it performs?

    Why do I keep having the feeling this woman just wanted to be a self-righteous pain in the ass?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  27. MarkedMan says:

    @barbintheboonies:

    How far should businesses go to accommodate everyone

    It never ceases to amaze me just how oblivious people on the right are to just how much is done to accommodate Christians, which causes them to get their panties in a twist when another religion asks for a little accommodation. Churches don’t pay taxes. In some states they can literally put a tax free mega church in a residential neighborhood and then sue the community for not building adequate roads (case actually happened when I lived in Georgia in the 90’s). There is a whole county in NJ, with one of the biggest shopping malls in the US, that doesn’t allow shopping on Sundays.

    I actually would be in favor of no accommodations for religious grounds, but it should apply universally. No tax exemptions, no school vouchers, no blue laws, no nothing.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 0

  28. al-Ameda says:

    @barbintheboonies:

    @al-Ameda: I`m telling ya it`s opening up too many cans of worms. Lawyers are eating it up for sure.

    ‘barb’, these days everything opens up cans of worms. Just look at the ‘transgender use of public bathrooms issue’ – conservatives came unhinged over that one, telling us it would result in guys cross-dressing order to commit sex crimes in women’s restrooms.

    America had a nice run: for about 240 years (with duly noted exceptions for a minor Civil War, segregation, denial of equal rights for blacks and women) things worked out. But now we are concerned about which restroom that Caitlin Jenner will use. It’s over. Send in the comet, I suggest Mar-a-Lago.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  29. KM says:

    @CSK:
    And in the spirit of accommodation, why can’t she make a video for someone to follow her directions? I get that we’re running with barb’s iffy speculation of what went down but just for the hell of it, why in the world couldn’t she sketch out the locations and layouts for others to follow? Could she not have scouted the location ahead of time, took pics and left detailed instructions based on those for others to follow in her stead? Maybe somebody set up a webcam so she could direct offsite? I understand it’s a lot of time and extra effort on her part but if an employer must accommodate their employees needs so, then she must give her customers the same benefit.

    My ultimate point is their favored weasel method (ie get someone else to do my job for me) could easily have been applied here so there’s no wiggle room left. It’s getting to the point where its a circular firing squad – their own “logic” is taking them out. By insisting on having their way in the workplace, they’ve essentially shot themselves in the foot on other fronts.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  30. Gromitt Gunn says:

    @barbintheboonies: Neither thing you cite would be a reasonable accomodation. If you understood Muslim prayers at all, you would get why telling someone to go pray in their car isn’t feasible. And neither is expecting someone to take unpaid time for a routine, scheduled accomodation.

    Accommodating a Muslim employee’s prayer needs takes about as much finesse as accommodating a woman who needs to bre ast feed: a small private space and a willingness to adjust that person’s break schedule around the need being accomodated.

    The accounting firm I worked for several years ago took up four floors in an office building. On every other floor, they cut a small conference room in half. They converted one half into a meditation room with enough floor space for a prayer rug or yoga mat and the other half into a room with a comfy chair, some gentle lighting, and a fridge and a sink.

    Done.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 0

  31. Gustopher says:

    I think this all goes back to Jim Crow, and the lunchcounters.

    People have a right to decide who they associate with. It’s right there in the constitution. But there is also a right for equal protection under the laws. The rights are in conflict, and the court has to balance the conflict.

    Had the racists in the South actually implemented Separate-But-Equal to be actually equal, rather that Separate-And-Substandard, we probably would have found a different balance between those rights.

    So, when Bigot Florists want to complain that they have to serve the community as a whole, rather than excluding those icky gays, and maybe the Puerto Ricans too, they have no one to blame but the bigots down south.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  32. Matt says:

    @KM: Frankly the florist could of just quoted the couple an unreasonable price and then moved on to the next customer…

    I just can’t help but feel the florist wanted in on some of that OMG PERSECUTED CHRSTIAN DONATE TO MY GOFUNDME cashcow while getting that 15 minutes of fame.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

  33. barbintheboonies says:

    @Matt: I agree that`s is what I thought when I first heard it. People who get all indignant over BS make me sick. I would not even give her the attention. Nor would I think this should be a federal case.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  34. Pch101 says:

    @Daryl’s other brother Darryl:

    I see that on Florack’s website that there is a habit of referring to Barack Obama as a “house ni**er” (without my editing.)

    This guy Florack is a real dirtbag. (No need to edit that.)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  35. barbintheboonies says:

    @Gustopher: Bigotry has been everywhere since the dawn of time. We will never stop it completely all we can do is be as good a person as we can and hope it catches on. You never can shove your beliefs on anyone it only works against you. Things are going backwards now because of it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

  36. Argon says:

    @barbintheboonies:

    How far should businesses go to accommodate everyone.

    They are expected to make reasonable accommodations. They to not have to make unreasonable ones. This isn’t rocket science. This is nothing new. There are enough legal cases and guidelines out there to inform reasonable people as to what constitutes a ‘reasonable accommodation’. HR personnel and employment lawyers should also have plenty of training on just this subject.

    In fact, here are a couple links (1 2) to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission describing workplace religious accommodation. Here’s a page specifically devoted to the concerns of Muslims.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 1

  37. barbintheboonies says:

    @Gromitt Gunn: Not on company hours. If you wish to pray on your time go ahead. Find a job run by Muslims and maybe they will be more accommodating. If every company had to make everyone happy at all times they would go out of business. Not all companies allow women to have their babies at work either. This is why many people including Democrats are getting fed up. We are teetering on ridiculous.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 17

  38. barbintheboonies says:

    @Argon: The public schools only allow ten minutes of quiet time to pray or just to think. This was so no one was offended. Like the people who do not believe in God. It just gets worse. We go to school to learn XYZ and go to work to work period. Leave your religion at the door.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 10

  39. KM says:

    @barbintheboonies:

    Not on company hours. If you wish to pray on your time go ahead. Find a job run by Muslims and maybe they will be more accommodating.

    Then all Christians better knock off this objections crap on company hours. Go hand out that contraceptive, go talk about abortion in sex ed, go make some gays some cakes and flowers for the wedding.

    If no one else can bring their religion to work, neither can you. And before you say go find a Christian-run company, please know that this Christian and millions more like me aren’t going to tolerate that crap in our workplace. Our faith is not so weak that we can’t do what we’re paid to do. Now stop embarrassing Jesus and get back to work.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 0

  40. Just 'nutha ign'int cracker says:

    @barbintheboonies: I’m not following her objection as you portray the original story. Does she always attend the weddings to which she brings flowers (I know, for example, that I didn’t invite the florist or the supermarket staff that catered our reception and baked our cake–we were married in a very small town) or is she not wanting to provide flowers to a wedding at the church she attends (in which case, she should be changing churches as well as not bringing the flowers)?

    Or as an alternative, are all wedding venues equally holy to her. Does she believe that she is always entering the presence of God when she’s bringing flowers to a wedding? At a mosque? At the Elks’ lodge? A country club? A Vegas wedding chapel? A casino? A Scientology center?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  41. Mr. Bluster says:

    @barbintheboonies:..Nor would I think this should be a federal case.

    This case was ruled on by the Washington STATE Supreme Court.
    Not the Supreme Court of the United States in Washington DC.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  42. Davebo says:

    @barbintheboonies:

    How I heard the story was this.

    Yeah, President Trump had the same problem with electoral college results and Norwegian immigration.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  43. MarkedMan says:

    @barbintheboonies:

    You never can shove your beliefs on anyone it only works against you.

    Again, Christians in the US are all about imposing their views on everyone else. How many of those bible belt public schools would be insisting on school prayer if it meant they would have to allow a Muslim or Jewish prayer? How many anti-abortion laws would be if it weren’t for religious objections? How would Fox get those three extra rating points in Nov/Dec if they couldn’t whine incessantly about the “War on Christmas” because non-Christians say “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas”. Catholic Hospitals refuse abortions to women even when the fetus has no chance of survival and the women will die without it. (And if you say, ‘Well, they can go to another hospital”, be aware that hospitals serve as semi-public operations and it is not unusual for public hospitals to close and a Catholic hospital to be expanded as part of public policy. Meaning- there may be no other hospital nearby, even if the frantic husband thought to ask the question before bringing his hemorrhaging wife to the ER).

    This isn’t unique to Christians. Whatever the majority religion is in any country tends to impose their beliefs on everyone else. It is the nature of people. That doesn’t mean we can’t call it out when it happens.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  44. anjin-san says:

    @Paul L.:

    MILO returning UC Berkeley

    Really? Will he be speaking about the joys of paedophilia?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  45. Daryl's other brother Darryl says:

    @barbintheboonies:

    Leave your religion at the door.

    Tell that to Hobby Lobby.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  46. Just 'nutha ign'int cracker says:

    @CSK: Gee, I can’t imagine why we’re both thinking that.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  47. Argon says:

    @barbintheboonies:

    We go to school to learn XYZ and go to work to work period. Leave your religion at the door.

    While I’m sympathetic to that opinion, I recognize that we live in a society with people of many faiths. However, you started in this thread with: “I wonder if the supreme court will be as hard on other faiths. Muslims are suing a company for not providing a prayer room for them.”

    The Supreme Court is neither more nor less hard on other faiths (except for Native American peyote use?). Christians and Jews can expect reasonable religious accommodation as well. Whether an employee may be required to work on their religious Sabbaths has substantial case law and established guidelines. Pharmacists and medical professionals can obtain reasonable accommodations.

    It’s messy at times but it is an attempt to balance religious liberty with the demands of a secular workplace. And seriously, do you really think allowing a few of Muslim employees access to a conference room, basement or whatever constitutes an outrageous burden on the employer? Do you recognize if this takes time from the employees’ workday that the employer can expect the time to be made up later?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  48. Tyrell says:

    @KM: Attendance: that is the same question I have. How can she feel like she is in attendance ? Usually the florist, baker, and custodians are not in attendance. The photographer is not in attendance during the actual ceremony.
    The actual ceremony itself is entirely up to the approval if the church leadership. They can disapprove a wedding for any number of reasons, including no reason. Most church organists/pianist have a first refusal policy: they have to be given the choice of playing the wedding or not. So the church officials and employees can legally pick and choose which weddings they service.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  49. Just 'nutha ign'int cracker says:

    While I am being philosophical, which of these two actions seems to be the bigger sin: saying, “I wish I could help you, but I’m too booked up to do this” or causing your “friend who you love dearly” (IIRC her words to Mr. Ingersol according to CSM)) to become fearful that his happy day will be ruined because all florists in the area might be equally unwilling to help (Mr. Ingersol’s stated fear from the same source)?

    For those who will say she didn’t intend to cause that hurt, first, we really don’t know that because we can’t look into her heart (it’s nice of you to give the benefit of the doubt), and second, her intent doesn’t matter in Christian theology, the injury creates the sin (and she may have been having doubts about talking to him as she noted that the conversation was going to be hard, again according to the CSM).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  50. barbintheboonies says:

    @Argon: I sympathies with them, but I also understand the companies’ that have a job to do also. These companies hire all people from different cultures. Why should they have to hire anyone who needs to make things harder for them. When they are applying do they make these demands or do they wait until they get hired. I have been told by employers not to wear loose fitting clothes because it was dangerous around the machinery, would a woman wearing a burka get a pass. So who is being unreasonable? Rules are set for all, you can go elsewhere for work.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

  51. barbintheboonies says:

    @Just ‘nutha ign’int cracker: Believe me there are many florist that would love the business, most want the money and could care less who they sell to. Also they can give her bad feed back and she will be hurt that way too.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

  52. KM says:

    @barbintheboonies :

    I have been told by employers not to wear loose fitting clothes because it was dangerous around the machinery, would a woman wearing a burka get a pass. So who is being unreasonable? Rules are set for all, you can go elsewhere for work.

    I once worked in a kitchen where a *very* devout Baptist girl got to wear a flowing, floor-length skirt in violation of company policy because sinful pants showed off a woman’s legs. It was unsafe as hell and yes, she did end up hurting herself because of it. She sued and the fact that her skirt was allowed (at her request!!) as a religious accommodation didn’t save the company for a hefty penalty. Later found out the girl took the money, ran off to be a “missionary” in the Caribbean till it ran out, then came back and tried the same stunt again in the same little town. Thank god the second place was smart enough to tell her hell no. She screamed religious persecution but was kept far far away from evil, prying eyes in her sinful pants…. and open flames.

    You’d be surprised how often safety regulations get bypassed because someone’s religion gets in the way.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  53. gVOR08 says:

    @Davebo:

    Yeah, President Trump had the same problem with electoral college results and Norwegian immigration.

    Swedish. I’m of Norwegian descent and I feel I should honor the age of Trump and go all delicate snowflake on this.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  54. Pch101 says:

    @barbintheboonies:

    1. Go type “lunch counter demonstrations” into your favorite search engine.

    2. Feel embarrassed. (If you don’t have a sense of shame, then feel free to skip this step.)

    For bonus points, type “Pregnancy Discrimination Act” into a search engine if you are under the impression that employers can discriminate against pregnant women.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  55. Davebo says:

    @gVOR08:

    Shh…

    My Saab will never forgive me.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  56. barbintheboonies says:

    @Argon: I said they were allowing him to pray, but he would be docked time. He did not like that. If this shift work It is not possible to make up becase the next shift comes in to take your place. He would have hated one place I worked. I worked in a company owned and ran by Japanese everyone worked together and took breaks and lunch together. If you had to use the bathroom on company time it was frowned upon, and you had to raise your hand to get a supervisor to take your place while you were gone. I only lasted one week, but many had been working there for ten years or better. That was their rules sucky as they were, and you either take it or leave it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 4

  57. barbintheboonies says:

    @Pch101: No, and I don`t like all your attitude. I am sick of your pretentious crap. If you ask me you are the biggest raciest on this thread. I said some companies do not allow babies, not pregnant women. What an angry person you are.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 7

  58. barbintheboonies says:

    @KM: My point exactly leave your religion at home, or get a job that works for you.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  59. barbintheboonies says:

    @MarkedMan: Believe me hate their crap too.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  60. barbintheboonies says:

    @Mr. Bluster: I know, but where will it go from there. It`s all BS we have so many other things that need to be addressed while we are bogged down with crap.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

  61. barbintheboonies says:

    @Just ‘nutha ign’int cracker: I don`t really know or care. She told someone she would sell them flowers but not bring them to the place to arrange them. I do not totally get what she means by attending the ceremony She`s a wack job, who really wants her to be successful anyway. Go some place else and give them your money.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 4

  62. CSK says:

    Question: If the two guys getting hitched had told her it was going to be a civil ceremony, conducted by a justice of the peace in a nice private room in a very good restaurant or hotel, with no mention of God, would she still have refused them her services?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  63. Pch101 says:

    @barbintheboonies:

    If you want to address an attitude problem, then start with your desire to turn back the clock to the 1950s.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  64. Janis Gore says:

    According to Russell Moore who is an ethics muckety-muck at the Southern Baptist Convention, no.

    https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/should-a-christian-photographer-work-at-a-same-sex-wedding-ceremony/

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  65. Argon says:

    @barbintheboonies:

    I have been told by employers not to wear loose fitting clothes because it was dangerous around the machinery, would a woman wearing a burka get a pass. So who is being unreasonable? Rules are set for all, you can go elsewhere for work.

    One typically doesn’t get a pass if it truly impacts workplace safety. I’ve worked in places where jewelry, including crosses and engagement rings had to be removed. The same with loose clothing that could be pulled into machines. This falls under workplace safety rules and once again, that has substantial case law and well established guidelines for accommodation.

    Previously, I’ve posted links to what the legal and employment agencies consider reasonable accommodations. Anyone can Google this and read further. You may wish to read cases and examples in detail to get a better picture of what is considered reasonable and what isn’t.

    While I’m sympathetic to the needs of employers and companies to not face undue burdens, I don’t for a moment believe they can or should get to set any rules they choose. That is, I believe employees have a reasonable expectation (or rights) to certain employment conditions as well. As a nation/society, we’ve chosen to carve out reasonable accommodations for race, religion, sex and disability status. I’ve written many job descriptions for hiring over the years. The key is determining what is the essential nature of the job and what actual actions must candidates be cable of performing. That establishes what sort of accommodation may be possible. Read the EEOC sites I referenced.

    As for whether individuals may sue their employers for not making certain accommodations… Well, that’s the nature of the legal system. One may sue for any number of things, many of which are ridiculous. But suing someone doesn’t mean you’ll win.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  66. Argon says:

    @KM:

    It was unsafe as hell and yes, she did end up hurting herself because of it. She sued and the fact that her skirt was allowed (at her request!!) as a religious accommodation didn’t save the company for a hefty penalty. Later found out the girl took the money, ran off to be a “missionary” in the Caribbean till it ran out, then came back and tried the same stunt again in the same little town. Thank god the second place was smart enough to tell her hell no. She screamed religious persecution but was kept far far away from evil, prying eyes in her sinful pants…. and open flames.

    Yes, religious accommodation doesn’t trump workplace safety. That’s probably why the first company lost the suit. They were perfectly within their rights to not accommodate unsafe clothing and in fact should have prevented that risk. The manager in the second company was not an idiot. Religious garb can be a disqualifier for accommodation in cases where it significantly impacts the work (including safety requirements).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  67. Tyrell says:

    @Janis Gore: That seems like a thoughtful, appropriate, and fair article from Moore.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  68. barbintheboonies says:

    @Pch101: I do not wish to turn back time, but I would like to see more common sense. We have evolved into nutsville. You argue over anything even it is absurd. Please tell us your perfect world vision. That makes us all happy.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 5

  69. Mr. Bluster says:

    @barbintheboonies:..Muslims are suing a company for not providing a prayer room for them.

    Please provide the names of the parties and the jurisdiction where this case has been filed.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  70. Pch101 says:

    @barbintheboonies:

    You aren’t exactly the poster child for “common sense.”

    You don’t even know what a “racist” is, so your opinions about discrimination aren’t that useful.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 3

  71. Gromitt Gunn says:

    @Mr. Bluster: it’s been a while, but if I remember correctly there was a case between a group of Somali or Sudanese refugees and a manufacturing facility (I want to say a chicken rendering plant) in Kansas or Nebraska. It was long enough ago that I don’t recall the specifics.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  72. Janis Gore says:

    @Tyrell: But he says right there that a same sex marriage is not a real marriage. So what’s the problem?

    There’s nothing sacred about a cake or a flower arrangement or a photo. He says right there that a photojournalist wouldn’t need to feel conflicted by the event. Why create a third category at all? It’s nothing but business.

    I wonder if there are any cases of jewelers out there.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  73. Gromitt Gunn says:

    @barbintheboonies: Why should they have to hire anyone who needs to make things harder for them. When they are applying do they make these demands or do they wait until they get hired. ”

    The “why” is because religion, like race, gender, and disability are protected classes under Federal employment law.

    What you are calling “demands” may qualify as reasonable accomodations under the body of employment law. If they fall under the definition of a reasonable accomodation, then they can be requested at any time, and the employer has a legal obligation to implement an accomodation within a reasonable time frame, or face litigation if the parties can not agree on an accomodation.

    None of this is new in the U.S. There are decades of legislation, administrative law, and case law around what is reasonable and what is not. Any employer that has more than a small number of employees has a responsibility to understand employment law or have an attorney on retainer who does.

    Final note regarding bre ast feeding: women who are feeding generally need to pump every few hours. No working women expect to be able to bring their infants to work as a general rule. But they are required to have a private place to pump.

    If a middle aged gay man without kids knows that, an adult woman of any age certainly should. Don’t you think, “Barb?”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  74. Tyrell says:

    @Janis Gore: Caterers ? Dress makers ? Printers ?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  75. An Interested Party says:

    @Janice Gore: Of course, this is nothing more than discrimination cloaked in religion…I especially like when Moore advises the photographer not to be mean…”Hey, I can’t photograph your “wedding” because I think you are fornicating sinners who are going to burn in hell, but I’m going to refuse as nicely as possible.” Also, when Moore writes:

    There’s a real question as to whether the civil state will penalize this person’s conscientious objection, at least in some parts of the country. And a state that will do that has over-stepped its authority.

    …this same logic can be (and was) used to discriminate against people of a different ethnic background than the person providing the service…seems to me that these people using religion to justify their bigotry are the ones who are over-stepping…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  76. Janis Gore says:

    @An Interested Party: All in the context of an all-knowing, all-loving, all-forgiving god.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  77. Pch101 says:

    @Janis Gore:

    There is no substantive difference between “We do not serve African-Americans here, so please leave our restaurant, sir” and “Move yer ass, boy — we don’t serve coloreds here.” The former is obviously more polite, but both statements leave us in the same nasty place.

    Of course, Barb thinks that it would be “common sense” to return to the good ol’ days when there was a market for the Green Book, which was a travel guide for blacks during Jim Crow. As many restaurants, hotels and gas stations would not accommodate them, they had to plan their travel carefully.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

  78. barbintheboonies says:

    @Gromitt Gunn: I cannot argue with you, because you believe everyone should think as you do. Everyone who does not is an evil bigot. God help America.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 7

  79. barbintheboonies says:

    @Mr. Bluster: I think it was a mailing facility. I heard it on the radio last week

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 4

  80. Janis Gore says:

    All that said, I would much prefer for vendors at any wedding of mine to be enthusiastic about their work. According to another article in the Christian Science Monitor series, in some locations where anti-discrimination laws are not in force, businesses are putting messages in their windows that they accept all comers:

    http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Justice/2016/0717/A-push-to-help-gay-couples-find-wedding-joy-without-rejection

    I’d prefer to do business with one of those.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  81. Michael says:

    Correct decision. If you choose to enter the commercial marketplace, you must accept all customers no matter your religious beliefs.

    However, I do believe there is a possible resolution. As I am sure you know, federal funds are not to be used for abortion services.

    I believe a similar policy can be made applicable to those who run businesses but do not want to cater to gay and lesbian couples due to religious beliefs. In such circumstances, these operators would be allowed to discriminate as they wish, but US bankruptcy laws would not apply if their business went under. Their debts would not be dischargeable in bankruptcy and they would be personally liable. Similarly, if they run their businesses through an LLC, corp, or partnership, the tax and liability advantages of such entities would not apply.

    Just as the religious are morally opposed to abortion and don’t want their tax monies used to pay for it, the non-bigoted should have the right to pull the legal rug from under these individuals.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  82. MarkedMan says:

    @barbintheboonies:

    I have been told by employers not to wear loose fitting clothes because it was dangerous around the machinery, would a woman wearing a burka get a pass.

    No. It is not a reasonable accommodation. Safety trumps the wearing of loose fitting clothes. Orthodox Jews cannot wear unbound tzitzis, Men or women cannot have long hair unless it is tied up. Men cannot have long beards unless they wear a beard guard. Managers cannot wear ties, kerchiefs or ribbons around their neck.

    This isn’t hard. Allowing, for example, women to tie up their long hair is a reasonable accommodation. If the woman refuses, she can be fired.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  83. DrDaveT says:

    @barbintheboonies:

    I cannot argue with you, because you believe everyone should think as you do.

    Actually, you cannot argue with him because you have no case. You simultaneously want to grant Christians a special exemption from public accommodation law, yet deny Muslims even the basic accommodation the law requires. You base this on (it would appear) an unquestioned assumption that Christianity is the ‘default’, and everything else is weird, along with a complete ignorance of the law of the land.

    If you want to try to argue that refusing to provide flowers for gays is different from refusing to serve sandwiches to blacks, go right ahead — I’m sure it will be entertaining. Legally, depending on the state, you might actually be able to make a case. Morally… not so much. For bonus points, try to make an argument that was not historically used to argue that blacks and women should not have equal rights.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 2

  84. panda says:

    @DrDaveT:

    If you want to try to argue that refusing to provide flowers for gays is different from refusing to serve sandwiches to blacks, go right ahead — I’m sure it will be entertaining.

    Pretty much the only argument the so-cons make is that a wedding is a uniquely symbolic event, and thus there should be special rules surrounding it. I am skeptical of it, but in the interests of pluralism I’d be open to some exemptions to some types of wedding vendors. Problem is, what the socons want is to use florists to create a breach in civil rights laws (and nuns to bring back Lochner-style labor law, but that’s another topic).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  85. Eric Florack says:

    @Pch101: you use that word so often that I begin to wonder if you know what it means anymore. Apparently bigot to you is anyone who stands for anything.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 8

  86. gVOR08 says:

    @panda:

    Problem is, what the socons want is to use florists to create a breach in civil rights laws (and nuns to bring back Lochner-style labor law, but that’s another topic).

    Thank you. Let’s not continue the pretense that this is about one poor, put upon delicate flower florist. There is a large, well funded conservative infrastructure behind this, shopping for poor delicate flowers willing to go to court.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  87. Eric Florack says:

    So, would a Jewish deli be forced out of business for not serving you a ham on rye?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 9

  88. Eric Florack says:

    Would an atheist Baker be run out of business by the government for providing a Christmas themed cake?

    Would Muslims be run out of business for not serving the pork producers convention?

    What you think it’s okay for Christians to have their religious rights trampled on. You have an interesting perception of what constitutes equal rights

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 12

  89. Pch101 says:

    @Eric Florack:

    So you think that homophobia = “standing for something.”

    We’re back to what I said before: The right-wing regards “religious freedom” as a license to discriminate against minorities.

    You think that Jesus wants you to hate people who never did anything to you. Pathetic.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  90. al-Alameda says:

    @Eric Florack:

    So, would a Jewish deli be forced out of business for not serving you a ham on rye?

    Wow, that is a lame hypothetical, even by contemporary conservative standards.

    If that item was on the menu and they refused to make one and serve it to you, then, yeah, they might be in trouble.

    However, if it’s not on their menu, and you demand that they make one for you or you’ll sue them, then clearly you need psychiatric help for your anger management problem.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  91. gVOR08 says:

    @Eric Florack: @Eric Florack:
    No, they’re not in the business of selling ham. DFTFT. Downvote and move on.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  92. Kylopod says:

    @Eric Florack: What’s weirdest about these bad analogies to kashrut, halal, etc. is the presumption that you even need to reach for an analogy. Proscriptions against homosexuality also exist within Islam and Judaism. Did it ever occur to you that these laws about baking a cake, etc. for a same-sex couple apply equally to Muslims and Orthodox Jews, some of whom may well have the same objections to doing so as some Christians do? Christians aren’t being singled out, it’s just that Muslims and Jews in this country tend to focus on other matters because they have, shall we say, a lot more on their plate.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

  93. Pch101 says:

    @Eric Florack:

    You and Barb are both strong contenders for that Secretary of Bad Analogies gig.

    Actually, you have Barb beat. If your analogy made zero sense, it would be an improvement.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2

  94. Janis Gore says:

    Here is Russell Moore on the Washington court decision:

    http://erlc.com/resource-library/press-releases/russell-moore-criticizes-washington-supreme-court-ruling-in-case-involving-barronelle-stutzman-and-religious-liberty

    Why they persist is saying that creating flower arrangements for a paying customer is an endorsement of the customer’s activity is beyond me. No one would consider pouring a slab for a house an endorsement of the buyer’s lifestyle.

    I happen to know a Christian-owned cement company in town. I don’t think they would think twice about the business, whether the buyers were gay, brothel keepers, meth heads or Muslims. It’s a damn foundation.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  95. Janis Gore says:

    Baronelle Stutzman in the Seattle Times:

    http://www.seattletimes.com/opinion/why-a-good-friend-is-suing-me-the-arlenes-flowers-story/

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  96. JKB says:

    @al-Alameda:

    I’ve actually been at a table in a Kosher deli where a diner was first refused cheese on his hamburger and then refused milk with the hamburger.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 5

  97. Monala says:

    @JKB: That situation would only be analogous if the kosher diner was willing to serve dairy with meat for some customers, but not others.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  98. Kylopod says:

    @JKB:

    I’ve actually been at a table in a Kosher deli where a diner was first refused cheese on his hamburger and then refused milk with the hamburger.

    I work in a kosher establishment, so I know a thing or two about this. In any kosher establishment, meat and dairy cannot be mixed at all. In point of fact, you probably won’t see a kosher restaurant that serves both meat and dairy, unless the restaurant is strictly separated into two sections that function essentially as two separate restaurants, with their own kitchens, tables, and menus. I’d be curious to know what diner you were attending that included both meat and dairy products on the same menu. If the customer was asking for something not on the menu, what’s your point? No one is saying businesses must sell a product they don’t have.

    Of course there are all-kosher groceries that serve both meat and dairy packaged products, and there’s nothing stopping someone from buying both and mixing them together as soon as he gets home. Food establishments get to determine how the food is handled while in the establishment; they don’t have any say in what you do with your purchases after leaving the place, and I know of no rabbi or lawyer anywhere who has challenged this basic principle.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  99. al-Alameda says:

    @JKB:

    I’ve actually been at a table in a Kosher deli where a diner was first refused cheese on his hamburger and then refused milk with the hamburger.

    Not sure where you live, but I have to say the situation you described is, to me, a complete anomaly.

    I’m Catholic and I’ve been going to a couple of kosher deli’s occasionally for years here in San Francisco. One in particular was run a by a woman who was a holocaust survivor, and I’ve never once been refused or denied service for ordering something that is on their menu.

    What I’m saying is, if you go to a kosher food-service/restaurant establishment you have to understand the menu and the potential limitations.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  100. Matt says:

    @Eric Florack: Christmas isn’t even a real Christian holiday. Yule log/tide, the tree, and more all came from non-Christian religions/beliefs. The date itself isn’t even close to the real birthday of Jesus. December was the time of Saturnalia which is why the Christians in Roman times chose that month for Christmas. Then there’s Santa and all that other jazz…

    BTW Delis set their own menu and if it’s not on the menu you can always go somewhere else.

    Seriously your arguments are incredibly weak.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2

  101. Neil Hudelson says:

    @Eric Florack:

    Apparently bigot to you is anyone who stands for anything.

    Nah, dude. It’s because for the entirety of Obama’s presidency, you referred to him as the “House Ni**a.”

    It’s cute that you think we have other reasons for calling you a bigot. But let me just restate this: we are calling you a bigot because you are a flamingly racist POS.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 2

  102. Neil Hudelson says:

    @Kylopod:

    I always love when people have an anecdote that happens to exactly match the conversation at hand, and yet somehow also is anamolous to how said-situation works anywhere else. If I remember correctly, Drew/Guarneri once claimed that every month he can go down to his grocery and see for himself people (you know…the dark skinned type) who are trading in their food stamps for beer and cigarettes. Five stamps for every pack of cigarettes! And if that doesn’t work, they just sell those stamps for cash!

    Of course it was pointed out to him that every single state has long ago transitioned to a debit card system, that there were no such thing as “stamps,” and that cigarettes and alcohol are denied at the point of sale.

    His response “Well I saw it.”

    I’m guessing JKB “witnessed” this cheeseburger/milk brouhaha about as much as Drew “witnessed” someone selling their food stamps.

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  103. Kylopod says:

    @Neil Hudelson: Well, Al Franken observed in 1996:

    Republicans have a very annoying habit of proving political points by telling horror stories that aren’t even true to begin with. You know, things like “we should abolish seat belts because I know someone who got strangled by one once.”

    The master of the apocryphal story was Ronald Reagan, the most successful Republican politician of the last thirty years. Remember Reagan’s welfare queen in Chicago? She had bilked the government for $150,000 by applying for benefits using eighty different names, thirty addresses, a dozen social security cards, and four fictional dead husbands.

    Attempts to confirm the story yielded only one woman who received $8,000 by using two false names.

    [Franken goes on to document several more examples of GOP politicians using anecdotes that turned out to be false or distorted to prove political points.]

    Ever since I started posting on Internet discussion boards in the 1990s I’ve run across commenters who invoke completely unverifiable anecdotes about themselves to support the points they make. They could just be making it all up, for all I know. But one thing I’ve noticed over the years is that there are an alarmingly large number of people who manage to convince themselves that some urban legend they heard (something which minority religions like Judaism are particularly vulnerable to) is something they personally witnessed. You’d be surprised how common this is; there must be psychology papers on the phenomenon. It’s probably one of the reasons why people are so set in their mindsets, impossible to persuade no matter how much evidence you present them with.

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  104. Blue Galangal says:

    @JKB: No, you haven’t.

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  105. Eric Florack says:

    @Neil Hudelson: lol really?
    Document that

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  106. Eric Florack says:

    @Kylopod: no, what’s really interesting about those analogies is the people trying to defend against them, cannot. Apparently the only people in the universe that it is okay to discriminate against are white Christian males. Go ahead. Disprove that

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  107. Kylopod says:

    @Eric Florack:

    no, what’s really interesting about those analogies is the people trying to defend against them, cannot. Apparently the only people in the universe that it is okay to discriminate against are white Christian males. Go ahead. Disprove that

    No, I’ll tell you what’s “interesting.” What’s interesting is that you just had your argument smashed to smithereens several different ways, and your only response is to assert how bad we are at defending our arguments. I just pointed out exactly how your allegation of a double standard between Christians and other groups is bogus, and your only response is simply to deny I did such a thing.

    You know, this place has been called a circle jerk, and there’s some validity to that criticism, but let me tell you something: at least most of us here make some effort to engage the other side’s arguments. Most “conservatives” who come here don’t even bother. The usual pattern, which I’ve seen over and over and over and over, is that some righty comes here stating something usually outright inflammatory and false, the regulars here explain in detail why it’s bogus, they bring evidence and rational arguments to bear on the subject–and then the original commenter just am-scrays from the discussion. You’re actually an improvement over these hit-and-run trolls. You at least come back to us–but then you say absolutely nothing of substance to rebut our arguments, just a lame “nyah nyah, you’re wrong.”

    The weird thing is that I get the feeling you’re sincere and not an intentional troll. It’s just you’re in your own little world and are so utterly certain of your views that you’re literally incapable of comprehending challenges to them, so it always looks to you as if we’ve never said anything at all. Pardon me if I find the psychology of this fascinating.

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  108. Pch101 says:

    @Eric Florack:

    Your analogies literally make no sense. There are kids in grade school who have better logical reasoning skills than do you.

    In a kosher restaurant, nobody gets a ham sandwich. There is no discrimination because they don’t offer the product to anyone. There is no comparison between that and a florist who sells flowers to heterosexuals but refuses the sale to homosexuals simply because they are homosexuals.

    As I keep noting, conservatism has become a social club for stupid people. It’s a shame, because a democracy would benefit from having two legitimate opposing sides that can go at it and produce some sort of result that extracts the best of both sides.

    But your brand of politics has no best side, it’s just dumb. You’re a dim bulb who sheds light on nothing except for the fact that even dumb people have opinions.

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  109. Neil Hudelson says:

    @Eric Florack:

    Really? Really?

    Ok. Here’s an article from your blog titled “Barack Obama: House Ni**er” It’s the fooking title dude.

    http://bitsblog.theconservativereader.com/2008/10/barack-obama-house-nigger/

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  110. george says:

    On the other hand, there were a number of fashion designers who made a point of not making a dress for Trump’s wife (who knows if they were asked), and were praised for it.

    The difference of course is that political affiliation is not a protected class in most places; I wonder if it will become one. I read that Iowa Republicans want to make affirmative action for conservatives in their universities – maybe given how divided people are politically it won’t be long until discriminating on political grounds becomes illegal as well.

    It sounds silly, but if things become polarized enough it might be necessary just to keep society functioning peacefully.

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  111. Neil Hudelson says:

    Please spring me from moderation. I was flagged because I provided a link from Eric Florack’s blog. And since it’s Florack’s blog, of course it had the word “ni**er” in the address.

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  112. Pch101 says:

    @Neil Hudelson:

    Please don’t link to Florack’s blog and that other crap. Posted links improve Google rankings.

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  113. An Interested Party says:

    Apparently the only people in the universe that it is okay to discriminate against are white Christian males.

    Oh you poor poor victim…surely there is a support group for people like you….Stormfront, perhaps…

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