Gay Rights

Gays + Government = Anti-Religious Bullying

Fr. Greg Shaffer, the head chaplain of the Newman Center at The George Washington University, is currently being persecuted for teaching doctrine “consistent with that of the Catholic Church.” Two students are upset by his stance on homosexual acts and gay marriage, so they want him removed from the university and the GW Catholics’ Club funding reduced. I guess if you don’t support homosexuality 100%, you just don’t deserve access to the student association funds that part of your tuition goes toward.

This is wrong, as Catholics shouldn’t be persecuted by gays for their beliefs. I preach against bullying no matter the target. Catholics shouldn’t bully gays and gays should ignore the Catholic Church if they don’t like its teachings. But at least this is just two individuals seeking to get a priest fired. What if the state started cracking down on priests? Well, that day isn’t far off.

The Boy Scouts of America may very well fall victim to the gay agenda in California. Senate Bill 323, a bill that would cause the Boy Scouts to lose their tax-exempt status, moved quickly through the state senate last week. The Boy Scouts proposed lifting the ban on gay youth shortly afterwards. The bill seeks to revoke the Boy Scouts tax-exempt status by denying the status to any nonprofit youth group that discriminates based on gender, sexual orientation, race, nationality, or religion. That’s going to affect a lot of groups, since many nonprofits target certain ethnic or religious groups, but I’m sure Sen. Ricardo Lara (D-Long Beach) – the man who introduced the bill – didn’t think of that. He believes that the state should only reward organizations with tax exemptions if they are supported by the majority of Californians. Ironically, the majority passed Prop 8, so I don’t know why he thinks SB 323 is something the majority would want. I think it is what he wants, because even though the Supreme Court upheld the right of the Boy Scouts to exclude homosexuals from their organization, he is seeking to punish the organization via the government.

This is becoming and issue in other states, too. Aloha Bed & Breakfast in Hawaii is being sued for discrimination stemming from a refusal to provide services to a lesbian couple in 2011. The owner said she was uncomfortable having a lesbian couple stay in her house, since she is very religious. However, a public accommodations law seems to violate her First Amendment rights by forcing her to provide rooms in her house to anybody who wants one. If she doesn’t appreciate that person’s actions or views, then that’s just too bad, because apparently her house isn’t hers anymore.

Actually, the entire West Coast is being plagued by a spate of lawsuits challenging shopkeepers’ rights to do business with who they please. Barronelle Stutzman, the owner of Arlene’s Flowers and Gifts, is currently being sued by both the Washington Attorney General and the ACLU for refusing to supply flowers for a gay wedding. Robert Ingersoll and his partner Curt Freed had wanted to purchase Stutzman’s arrangements for their wedding, but she refused to help them with their wedding arrangements. Despite being loyal customers, Freed said he felt Stutzman “discriminated against us as a result of our sexual orientation.”  Attorney General Bob Ferguson took the case stating, “Under the Consumer Protection Act, it is unlawful to discriminate against customers on the basis of sexual orientation.” However, both of these men are missing the point. She had served Freed and Ingersoll, and presumably other gay people, in the past, knowing that they were gay. Thus, it wasn’t because of their sexual orientation, but because she would be servicing a gay wedding, that Stutzman turned the couple down. This is well within the bounds of the law and also her First Amendment rights.

In Oregon, a lesbian couple is suing a baker for refusing to provide them with a cake for their wedding. Just like in the previous case, they had purchased cakes from him in the past, but apparently they still feel that he is anti-gay and is breaking the law. The law in question in the Oregon Equality Act of 2007, which prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation. Again, the baker in this case is not against selling cakes to homosexuals – he just doesn’t want to have anything to do with their wedding. The baker, whose name is Aaron Klein, provided this statement: “I’d rather have my kids see their dad stand up for what he believes in than to see him bow down because one person complained.” I appreciate this attitude, so anyone in the area reading this, please go to Sweet Cakes Bakery next time you need a cake and give this guy some business.

As this article has shown, Attorney Generals on the West Coast are extremely bored or bad at prioritizing. They are wasting taxpayers’ money persecuting, or prosecuting (I can never remember which it is nowadays), religious shopkeepers for their refusal to partake in something they view as sinful. Why do they want these shopkeepers to violate their pact with God? What right does the state have to force anyone to provide services to an event they deem unworthy? The entire West Coast is plagued by lawmakers and government attorneys who are apparently blind. The “criminals” in question serve gays all the time, just not gay weddings, which means that they aren’t discriminating based on sexual orientation. That doesn’t matter to liberals, though, who have decided to bully organizations like the Boy Scouts of America and individuals like Barronelle Stutzman for exercising the right to freedom of association and religious freedom.


Adam Ondo | University of Rochester | @JoplinMaverick

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