Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The politically correct approval of perversion

In an example of the sort of clash we can expect to see more frequently now that New York has joined the gay "marriage" brigade, a Catholic innkeeper in Vermont is being sued for refusing to host a lesbian pair's "wedding" reception:

Kate Baker and Ming Linsley filed the suit on Tuesday in Vermont Superior Court, accusing the Wildflower Inn of Lyndonville of abruptly turning them away after learning they are lesbians.

They claim the inn violated Vermont’s Fair Housing and Public Accommodations Act, which prohibits inns, hotels, motels and other establishments with five or more rooms from turning away patrons based on sexual orientation. The law makes an exemption for religious organizations.

But the Catholic owners don't violate the law, they say:

The inn's owners, Jim and Mary O'Reilly, issued a statement saying they are devout Catholics who believe in the sanctity of marriage between one man and one woman.

"We have never refused rooms or dining or employment to gays or lesbians," they wrote. "Many of our guests have been same-sex couples. We welcome and treat all people with respect and dignity. We do not however, feel that we can offer our personal services wholeheartedly to celebrate the marriage between same-sex couples because it goes against everything that we as Catholics believe in."

In other words, the lesbians wouldn't have been refused ordinary accommodation. They wanted something special--a "wedding" reception. The Catholic inn owners do not appear to believe that a wedding can consist of anything other than a bride and a groom. They do not appear to believe that two women pledging to live together and perform various sex acts on each other is a marriage; as a Catholic, I agree, by the way. And they should not be forced by any court to have to pretend that they do.

But, as Mark Shea usually puts it, tolerance is not enough--you must approve. The innkeepers are being sued, essentially, for not approving of homosexual perversion and not being willing to celebrate it at their family-friendly inn.

As I've said before: we can have religious freedom in this country, or we can have state-sanctioned sexual perversion. We can't have both, and it's clear that what the state wishes to make disappear is religious freedom, which stands as too great a check against totalitarianism to be tolerated in a nation which is rapidly becoming a kakistocracy. Religious believers may have been useful in building a government of the people, by the people, and for the people, but they are very much an obstacle to the next level, a government of the wealthy for the powerful by the connected. Branding religious believers as "bigots" and punishing them legally and financially for refusing to applaud and cheer for the "celebration" of two lesbians committing themselves to a life of mutual grave sin is only the first step in achieving this goal.

It will soon be illegal to act as though you actually believe that same-sex pairs are not the moral equivalent of a heterosexual couple raising their own biological children, even if our free speech laws make it impossible to outlaw saying so--for now, anyway. Remember that the next time a gay rights advocate starts asking vehement questions about how his gay "marriage" will hurt you. If you are a religious believer who does not believe that homosexual perversion and real, heterosexual marriage are the same thing in the eyes of God or of decent people, it will probably hurt you very much when the courts force the politically correct approval of perversion on the rest of us.

92 comments:

Siarlys Jenkins said...

"we can have religious freedom in this country, or we can have state-sanctioned sexual perversion"

That's not quite true. What the owners of this inn want is precisely to have their religious freedom (not host a "wedding" they believe to be not a wedding), albeit the state sanctions what they consider to be sexual perversion.

That is about the right place to strike a balance. Hopefully they will be able to continue arguing their case as clearly as they appear to be doing in the quotes given here.

There will, obviously, be some shrill voices demanding to be not only left alone, but loved and honored, but they don't have a constitutional leg to stand on. It will take some time to make that clear. If thousands of people can continue to believe that Barack Obama's birth certificate is somehow not really his, no doubt thousands of people will fail get it through their skulls without prolonged litigation that nobody has a constitutional obligation to love them.

Charlotte said...

I read on another blog that these B&B owners have a Catholic chapel on their property and are also well known for hosting Catholic events ala Knights of Columbus, etc. So I think they were targeted by this lesbian couple right from the start.

So much wasted energy on the part of these homosexuals. I wish they could see how un-special and how un-extraordinary they really are in the big picture. It's all about narcissism. I'm very sure I know what I'm talking about.

John E. said...

But, as Mark Shea usually puts it, tolerance is not enough--you must approve. The innkeepers are being sued, essentially, for not approving of homosexual perversion and not being willing to celebrate it at their family-friendly inn.

The innkeepers weren't asked to celebrate or even approve of anything - they were asked to make their public accommodations available to members of the public.

The Catholic inn owners do not appear to believe that a wedding can consist of anything other than a bride and a groom. They do not appear to believe that two women pledging to live together and perform various sex acts on each other is a marriage; as a Catholic, I agree, by the way. And they should not be forced by any court to have to pretend that they do.

Again - no court is asking them to pretend anything of the sort.

They are simply being required to comply with laws regarding Public Accommodation.

John E. said...

...no doubt thousands of people will fail get it through their skulls without prolonged litigation that nobody has a constitutional obligation to love them.

Very true, but businesses that are regulated under various Housing and Public Accommodation laws have a legal obligation to comply with those laws.

I really don't see why this is difficult to understand.

No one is asking these business owners to love them, approve of them, raise a toast or join them out on the dance floor.

They are simply requiring that these business owners not discriminate against them on the basis of their sexual orientation.

Which is what Vermont law requires of these business owners.

John E. said...

So much wasted energy on the part of these homosexuals. I wish they could see how un-special and how un-extraordinary they really are in the big picture. It's all about narcissism. I'm very sure I know what I'm talking about.

Seems to me that they were simply asking to be treated like everyone else. That is sort of the definition of being un-special and un-extraordinary.

Anonymous said...

Very true, but businesses that are regulated under various Housing and Public Accommodation laws have a legal obligation to comply with those laws.

John E, the innkeepers complied with those laws. They stated that they were perfectly willing to accommodate gay and lesbian guests, just not host their wedding.

Think of it this way: a restaurant may say that children are welcome. They may also host parties. If they refuse to host a children's birthday party, would you sue them on basis of age discrimination?

Seems to me that they were simply asking to be treated like everyone else. That is sort of the definition of being un-special and un-extraordinary.

If suing people for refusing to give you what you want, exactly when you want it even though equal or better measures can or will be obtained, is the behavior for "everyone else" then the human race is a lot more spiteful and vengeful than I realized.

John E said...

Anon - if you had read the linked articles, you would have seen that a representative of the facility had agreed to make the facility available for hosting the wedding, but the owners backed out after learning that was a same sex wedding.

So the guys at the following link shouldn't have made a big fuss about not being served?

http://www.learnnc.org/lp/multimedia/13824

by anon's logic, those fellows were just being spiteful by demanding to be served - they could have gone to plenty of other establishments where their sort were welcome.

Charlotte said...

John E,
You think all this gay marriage stuff isn't about "look at me!" "accept me!" and the inherent narcissism that characterizes the gay community, then I have some swamp land to sell you.

Again, I was deep in the trenches with these people for many years. I know exactly what they're thinking.

BTW - I don't see you addressing the allegation that this inn was targeted specifically because they were Catholic.

John E said...

BTW - I don't see you addressing the allegation that this inn was targeted specifically because they were Catholic.

If you had read the links to the original story, you would have seen that the people having the wedding had put out a request for bids to multiple facilities in Vermont.

Here is the relevant portion from the link:
----------------
Channie Peters, Linsley's mother, was making arrangements for the wedding when she contacted the Vermont Convention Bureau in November for help booking a venue for the reception to follow the couple's Buddhist wedding ceremony.

The bureau sent out a request for proposals, and the Wildflower Inn — whose website advertises "Four Seasons for Everyone!" — was one of about 10 to respond, saying it would be "the perfect location" for the 120-guest affair.
----------------



A representative of that facility agreed to host the event, then the offer was withdrawn.

How could the facility have been targeted when a representative of the facility initiated the offer in response to a general request for bids to provide the service?

The allegation is illogical and not supported by the facts reported in the story.

Do you now feel that I have sufficiently addressed the allegation?

Anonymous said...

Things may not always be what they seem.

Eddie Murphy used to do a routine in whiteface as an "undercover white person" where he was surprised to find, as a white person, that merchants refused to charge him as a fellow whitey for merchandise he bought right after charging a black man ahead of him in line for similar purchases.

I think if we, like Eddie Murphy, went undercover as lesbians and pierced the veil, instead of the reality that everyone else sees involving bids and offers we would uncover a whole different truth that pretty much proves our point that there's a whole secret lesbian conspiracy seeking only to target and stigmatize innocent Catholics who just want to be left alone.

jason

Anonymous said...

Why would this place gladly host homosexuals on a nightly basis, but not a wedding? Presumably, at least I'm sure to Red, they would waste no time in getting on to their perversions once in a B&B if only staying for the night. If Catholics don't recognize this as a marriage, then why have such a problem? Don't recognize it! It's not a marriage to you anyway, so just leave them alone. You won't stop homosexuality from existing. I find it interesting that Red seems to always be skeptical that a true loving relationship can exist between two people of the same gender. She always jumps to the sexual side and the perversions. What if they live together and don't have sex? I happen to be in a mostly celibate catholic marriage. I say mostly because we have had sex and we do have children, but it has been years, and we are only nearing 40. We have an amazing marriage and a very intimate relationship. All without sex. I know you'll say that gay people are against the bible, and blah blah blah....a lot of things are. I just wonder why this is such a hot button? Seems to me that these devout people need to get into a line of business where they can follow the law.

G.

Anonymous said...

Anon - if you had read the linked articles, you would have seen that a representative of the facility had agreed to make the facility available for hosting the wedding, but the owners backed out after learning that was a same sex wedding.

John E, I did indeed read the following article and I am quite aware that the inn responded to bids for the wedding then cancelled when they found it was a gay wedding.

I also read your link and I'm not impressed. My logic is that a business is not allowed to actively bar people of a certain age/color/sexuality from the premises, but are not entitled to tailor their services for them either. A better analogy would be that these young men announced that they wanted food, a waiter came to serve them at the diner and they demanded Chinese food.

Waiter: We don't serve Chinese food
Customers: But you serve food, don't you? You said that you'd feed us.
Waiter: We don't have Chinese food.
Customers: You have all the ingredients for it. Make it for us.
Waiter: If you want Chinese food, go to the restaurant at the end of the block.
John E: RACIST!!!!

Peter said...

Anon: Close, but no cigar. Your analogy is off - a more appropriate analogy would be if the waiter said to the black customers, we DO serve Chinese food, however, we serve Chinsses food only to our white customers, because we believe that black people shouldnt be eating Chinese food. You're welcomed to our restaurant and to purchase SOME of our products, but we reserve some products for our white customers.

Anonymous said...

Peter: My analogy stands unless you want to argue that 2 lesbian woman = 2gay man = 1 straight woman and 1 straight man. Both homosexual and heterosexual people may take umbrage at that. The 2 women asked for a customized service and then got upset when they found that the inn didn't offer it.

Siarly Jenkins summed it up neatly in an earlier post: selling a ham sandwich is selling a ham sandwich whether the person is gay, straight, black, white, male or female. However, asking them to actively participate in and make allowances for a ritual they are actively against is a different kettle of fish.

Plus I don't know if you are a minority or not, but several ethnic stores and restaurants will keep exclusive products or services that they only sell to certain ethnicities or people who speak the language.

Jenny

John E said...

Peter, thank you for that answer to Anon/Jenny. You phrased it much better than I would have.

The 2 women asked for a customized service and then got upset when they found that the inn didn't offer it.

No Jenny, they asked for a wedding reception - a service that the inn was in the business of providing.

You might believe that innkeepers should be able to refuse that service to people they don't approve of.

The law says otherwise.

Jason - the folks who ran Southern lunch counters only wanted to be left alone also.

Business owners who offer services to the public don't get to pick and choose their customers.

Charlotte said...

Know what, John? Some of us don't give a rat's ass about what the law says because the law is WRONG and the law was instituted because of a handful of cry-baby whiners in a society that is overly-concerned with so-called rights that aren't even properly called rights or constitutional.

Yes, I can hear myself and yes I believe what I just said.

Every time a city passes a no-smoking law to be instituted in ALL businesses, I cringe, because that law just took away the absolute right of a business owner to run their business any damn way they please.

The people who run that inn have a RIGHT to not have a reputation for "gay wedding receptions" attached to their business, which they OWN. They have a RIGHT to not want to run their business in a way where they have to plaster on fake smiles everytime some homosexual walks in and wants services. They have a RIGHT to want to not have dirty money be the basis of their profits. (And yeah, it could be seen as "dirty money" if it's seen as money spent on immoral and unnatural activity, which is what a gay wedding is.)

When 2 people check into an inn like this, it IS wrong to assume they are homosexual. Two friends could be traveling together - the innkeepers don't know that later they had gay sex together in the room. OK, fine. When heterosexual couples check in, they might not know that the couple is filming a porno in there after the door is closed. All regrettable, but all part of the notion of privacy.

But KNOWING ahead of time that it's a gay wedding is an entirely different matter. It's not a private affair behind a closed door. People not staying at the inn are showing up - people in the community are aware of the affair because of florists, musicians, and cake bakers, etc. Other guests staying at the inn might walk past the facilities in which the event is being held and see what's going on and then rumors get spread around town that the inn is hospitable to gay weddings, and then owner's good judgement as Catholic members of the community gets questioned.

Where is there any consideration for any of these concerns? Oh wait, there is none, because these are RELIGIOUS considerations. Right? A person's business reputation can get trashed because a couple of lesbians can't respect the fact they they aren't wanted? Boo hoo.

These cases keep coming up. It's not about discrimination. It's about homosexuals purposely targeting businesses that they know will give them a hard time. It's a waste of time and energy and betrays a total lack of self-esteem. Like the other guy said, if I don't like shrimp, I don't eat at a restaurant where they serve shrimp.

You can say they didn't know. You can link to that article. I don't believe it. Not for one second.

Peter said...

Jenny, you cannot shorthand an intellectual discussion like this with broad and confusing statements like "2 lesbian woman = 2gay man = 1 straight woman." That's not a sensible argument. In fact, I don't even know what it means. If you believe you have a clear, cogent argument to make as to WHY some people should be treated differenly from other people in a public accommodation, share it.

And the practice you describe in your last paragraph is illegal.

Charlotte said...

Sorry, Erin. Sometimes I just can't hold back.

John E said...

Know what, John? Some of us don't give a rat's ass about what the law says because the law is WRONG and the law was instituted because of a handful of cry-baby whiners in a society that is overly-concerned with so-called rights that aren't even properly called rights or constitutional.

Well Charlotte, it is your prerogative to hold that belief, as it is the prerogative of the innkeepers.

However, when you or they act on that belief and deny service to a member of the public in contravention of that law, you or the innkeepers are subject to civil penalties.

because that law just took away the absolute right of a business owner to run their business any damn way they please.

That right was lost a long time ago. Business owners don't get to pick and choose who they serve.

The people who run that inn have a RIGHT to not have a reputation for "gay wedding receptions" attached to their business, which they OWN.

No, they don't. The law is clear on that point.

You can link to that article. I don't believe it. Not for one second.

Okay, if you prefer your imagined version of events over the reported version of events, you can do that. It makes it hard to take your arguments seriously, but okay.

Anonymous said...

John E: they asked for a wedding reception - a service that the inn was in the business of providing.

They asked for a gay wedding. The wedding didn't hit a snag until the inn asked about bride/groom accommodations and found out that it would be bride/bride.

You might believe that innkeepers should be able to refuse that service to people they don't approve of.

The law says otherwise.


Sweeping and incorrect. Someone wants to smoke in a non-smoking inn. I bring in my dog to a pet friendly inn when it has a case of fleas. A family brings children in to an adults only bed and breakfast. In all these cases, the innkeeper has a perfect right to discriminate and refuse service.

Business owners who offer services to the public don't get to pick and choose their customers.

A hospital is a business. Yet hospitals offer infant circumcision to males only. Clear sex discrimination. Yet the ACLU has not sued surgeons refusing to perform female circumcisions. Quite the opposite.



J

Anonymous said...

@John E.

But, see, this whole idea that the homosexuals who tricked the innkeepers into "submitting bids" were neutrals just innocently looking to hold a wedding reception is just an illusion like in the Eddie Murphy sketch. The truth once you can pierce that illusion is far more sinister and the gay agenda is as obvious as the white agenda to charge black people but not white people for stuff that Eddie Murphy exposed.

I'm not fooled by the illusion you linked to any more than Charlotte and the others are.


jason

Peter said...

Cahrlotte: I may regret rattling your cage, as you are clearly on a bit of a tear, ranting against law and man and the written word, but i can't resist pointing out that all marriages are unnatural, in a sense. Gay or staright, they do not arise from or out of nature. Confirmation is not natural. Baptism is not natural. Death is natural, but a funeral mass is not. Get it? Thanks for indulging me in a pet peeve.

Red Cardigan said...

Charlotte, don't apologize. We're on the same page, and your passion for this issue does you credit, considering that you've said you were at one time more sympathetic to the "gay rights" side than I have ever been.

And you're right. The inn can't question every two men or two women who want a room to find out if they are gay and are planning to engage in sexual perversion. The inn *shouldn't* be forced to *celebrate* sexual perversion. I'm amazed that people can't see the difference.

Charlotte said...

Listen,
If we all piled in together to make a list of the things business are allowed to dictate to customers/clients, the list would not only be endless, but it would fill numerous law books, which it already does.

Let's start with "No shoes, no shirt, no business."

Let's even bring into question conference facility contracts (I have ALOT of experience with these, by the way.) The fine print in these contracts dictating what brides/grooms and professional societies and other organizations may and may not do in their facilites is staggering. Often, people are very put off by these rules because they seem stifling. So yeah, business CAN and DO continue to run their business everywhere and anywhere any damn way they please.

My own wedding reception, we were not allowed to bring in a caterer. We had to use the in-house one. What if that stipulation had interfered with my desire for a wedding cake shaped like a cat or something else equally ridiculous? They don't provide cat-shaped cakes and won't. Using your logic, they've lost the right to deny me my cat-shaped cake.

So I guess I'm supposed to sue them now, right? They discriminated against my desire for a cat-shaped cake. (BTW, I didn't have or want a cat-shaped cake.)

And if marriage is so unnatural, why are the gays on a campaign to have it? Because they know better than anyone that cheating reigns supreme in that culture. Check out a gay newspaper, magazine, or website some time and do the math. (And I don't have to do the math, I was right there with them for many years.)

Peter said...

LOL!!

Anonymous said...

Jenny, you cannot shorthand an intellectual discussion like this with broad and confusing statements like "2 lesbian woman = 2gay man = 1 straight woman." That's not a sensible argument.

Peter, I am pointing out to you that your argument has a very large flaw. You are arguing that the wedding service that the women requested does not amount to a special request, therefore the innkeepers had no right to refuse it.

I pointed out that this is not true. Even if the trappings are superficially the same, 2 women marrying is different from a man and a woman marrying. And that difference is important. Providing people that you don't approve of with a service is different from being asked to actively participate in promoting the people that you disapprove of. As I pointed out earlier, hotels have been known to revoke parties because the guests are younger than 18. The Westboro Baptist church has been refused service at numerous businesses even though their money is as good as anyone else's. There are age limits in businesses and women/men only gyms or spas. The Utopian "everyone is permitted, no customer is denied" practice that you suggest does not exist.

And the practice you describe in your last paragraph is illegal.

If you would like to report such businesses to the police, a quick Google search should turn up results in your area. I'm sure that the hardworking immigrant families there would love to have a white male come by and lambaste them about their failure to treat all people equally.

Anonymous said...

@John E,

Look, its pretty obvious you've never heard of the seperation of Church and State. Something may be the law in Vermont, but that doesn't force people to obey it if it goes against their religious beliefs. Separation of Church and State means they can follow their Church instead and don't have to endorse sinful perversions like gay "weddings".

jason

JohnE said...

Jason - it is not the case that claiming a law violates ones religious beliefs excuses that person from obeying the law.

Regarding your belief that they were targeted - if you choose to believe the scenario you've imagined rather than what was reported, that is your choice.

Regarding the cat shaped cake - again, your analogy is flawed. A better analogy would be if a business sold cat shaped cakes to white people but not to black people.

Anonymous said...

I recognize the name John E from Crossroads of Aleksandria,. He has 3 interests: dissing conservatives, trolling Erin and cats. He routinely copies posts here to his own blog, where he makes fun of everyone here. Small wonder he won't consider anyone else's arguments when he's made his contempt for all the people here abundantly clear. Erin, you may want to ban this poster.

Charlotte said...

NO!!!!!

The SERVICE provided was the gay wedding reception. It is OPTIONAL. It is not a compulsory service that they have to provide to anyone.

The inn doesn't have to provide a reception to anyone if they don't want to, don't feel like it, don't have the staff to accomodate it, don't have the money to pull it off, or have scheduled a vacation, or don't want to pay the extra costs for having to run air conditioning or pay a wait staff, etc.

My husband and I go to a B&B for our anniversary every year. We know they will not rent out the 2 guesthhouses on their property those weeks because they have family come out of town to visit who stay in those guesthouses. It's their choice not to rent them. Should I sue them because they refused to rent to me during that same time period?

What's missing in this whole thing-IF you want to stick with your naiive belief that these lesbians didn't target this place from the start - is common sense. Owners of an inn get a bid opportunity for a wedding reception. They respond to it because they ASSUME that it's a wedding - a wedding, you know, that thing with a man and a woman. I mean, come on, give these people a break. I'm sure they were shocked to find out the truth and didn't even think they'd ever have to conceive of the idea of providing a reception for homosexuals. TRUE authenticity, TRUE concern for tolerance of others, TRUE charity would equate to the lesbians, after being told that the inn didn't want to hold their recption, backing away and gracefully exiting the situation. I don't go where I'm not wanted because I have some self-respect and dignity and a basic level of appropriate social decorum. Why would a person WILLINGLY spoil and soil their happy period of engagement getting involved in contentious lawsuits, anyway? Normal people don't do that. Since they supposedly sent proposals to other avenues, it can be assumed that there were other facilities they found desirable for their reception.

A question: Do they have the right to refuse rental of their facility to a KKK group? How about the white supremacy skinheads? Or a ponzi scheme seminar? Is that outlawed too? What about a polygamous wedding - I just saw that on the Sister Wives reality TV show. The husband took his fourth wife. Smartly, he booked a place HE ALREADY KNEW WAS SYMPATHETIC TO POLYGAMY.

You're arguing for turning a blind eye to the rights, desires, and privacy of others. You're arguing against having common sense. You're arguing against manners, decorum, self-control and dignity.

c matt said...

Seems to me that these devout people need to get into a line of business where they can follow the law.

Well, see, the thing about it is when they got into the business they were following the law, but then the law changed on them. Sort of like entering a chess game then the opponent changing the rules as you are playing.

Anonymous said...

@John E,

Look, its obvious you still don't get it. Just because it writes a law, Vermont can't make something unnatural into something natural. Just because it writes a law, Vermont can't make two homosexuals "married" any more than it can repeal the Law of Gravity or make black people the same as white people. Gullible people might THINK so and step off the top of a tall building thinking the natural law is now different, but they'll be real surprised, just as these lesbians were to find out they weren't really going to be "married" at the inn. Do you get it now?

jason

c matt said...

it is not the case that claiming a law violates ones religious beliefs excuses that person from obeying the law.

Not always, but it can be the case - far too sweeping of a statement. That's precisely why the First Amd exists - so you can disobey (with eventual, if not immediate) impunity a law that violates one's religious beliefs.

c matt said...

I do have to disagree on the racial analogies - that is, it is not like refusing someone service of a good based upon their race. Presumably, if each the lesbians were marrying a man, they could have gotten the reception booked. So it is not they who were being refused (a lesbian marrying a man), but the particular service they were requesting that was being refused (a gay wedding). It would be more akin to not allowing a black person to record gangsta "rap" music at your recording studio b/c you are morally opposed to it, but you are more than happy for him to record gospel music.

Anonymous said...

Charlotte has it right

"Owners of an inn get a bid opportunity for a wedding reception. They respond to it because they ASSUME that it's a wedding - a wedding, you know, that thing with a man and a woman. I mean, come on, give these people a break. I'm sure they were shocked to find out the truth and didn't even think they'd ever have to conceive of the idea of providing a reception for homosexuals."

Regardless of what Vermont law wants to think it is, its not a wedding and the inn is under no legal obligation to hold lesbian celebrations, only weddings.

jason

John E said...

anon @2:32:

Erin knows me from Rod Dreher's old blog. She is also quite capable of deciding who to ban.

Jason: Look, its obvious you still don't get it. Just because it writes a law, Vermont can't make something unnatural into something natural.

But Vermont can pass a law that innkeepers may not deny service on the basis of sexual orientation.

Which Vermont did. And which the innkeepers violated.

Don't take my word for it - here's a quote from the guy who has the job of enforcing those sorts of things:

"Sending an e-mail saying 'We don't serve gay couples' would seem to run directly afoul of the state's public accommodations act."

The SERVICE provided was the gay wedding reception. It is OPTIONAL. It is not a compulsory service that they have to provide to anyone.

Of course they don't have to provide it to anyone - but if they do provide it to anyone, they have to provide it everyone as per Vermont laws and regulations.

It would be more akin to not allowing a black person to record gangsta "rap" music at your recording studio b/c you are morally opposed to it, but you are more than happy for him to record gospel music.

Which might be the case - except for that State law that specifically says that an innkeeper cannot discriminate in providing services on the basis of sexual orientation.

Well, see, the thing about it is when they got into the business they were following the law, but then the law changed on them.

Southern lunch counters...

John E said...

TRUE authenticity, TRUE concern for tolerance of others, TRUE charity would equate to the lesbians, after being told that the inn didn't want to hold their recption, backing away and gracefully exiting the situation.

Charlotte, so in your view, should the Negros who defied the color bar at lunch counters have backed away and exited gracefully when they were told that only white people were served there?

Charlotte said...

Should blacks have backed away gracefully from the lunch counter?

Yes. Because in doing so, they would be proving that they were smart, reasonable people who didn't want to throw a fit in a public setting. Because back then, if they had caused a ruckus, believe me, it would have been used against them as a strike against their race.

And thus we have Martin Luther King - who championed the cause of the blacks in a peaceful manner. You leave the lunch counter in a peaceful manner out of respect for the white people there that you claim equality with, and then you organize a boycott or a march or whatever. Or today, you demand a million dollars in a law suit.

But again, it's not the same. Racism was rampant and the norm. There weren't any options. With the homosexuals, that's not the case. They aren't universally discriminated against. There are thousands of B&B's and inns that make their bread and butter off of gay tourism. There are thousands of hotels, that because they are large publiclly-owned corporations, could care less who rents out their ballroom for a reception. So again, why are we wasting time, energy, and a sense of peace over a secluded place in Vermont - which is, by the way, a WELL KNOWN vacation destination for gays.

Red Cardigan said...

I just have to jump in here a second and say that I think it's really, really insulting to African-Americans to compare their being denied service based solely on race and skin color with the idea of denying someone service because you don't wish to celebrate their sexual perversion, which is a behavior.

If a lunch counter wishes to deny service to an African-American person who comes into the restaurant blasting gansta music from a portable music player, they are not being racist; they are banning the behavior. Similarly, if a Catholic innkeeper refuses to celebrate the fake wedding of a couple whose whole relationship is based on the grave sin of sexual perversion, he should have the right to do so.

If, on the other hand, a shoe store owner refuses to sell shoes to a person who identifies himself as gay, the shoe store would be practicing unjust discrimination, as the wearing of shoes is not a sinful behavior regardless of the person wearing them. Of course, that doesn't mean that the shoe store owner must be required by law to carry spangled stiletto heels in men's sizes in order not to be discriminatory.

Charlotte said...

No, just because they provided to one, doesn't mean they have to provide to everyone.

AGAIN,

-We're on vacation that week
-We have another event that is willing to pay more that day
-We don't have handicap accomodations for your 3 friends in wheelchairs (many of these old inns don't)
-We don't have suitable wait staff available that weekend
-They don't have the money capital to make it work because they're in the red
-They just don't feel like working that weekend and want to take it easy with as little as work as possible

You think these excuses aren't given all the time, whether legitimatey or not? Quite frankly, I wish this Catholic couple had lied about their reasons for turning the lesbians away. Is that discrimination? Yes. Businesses do it all the time for a variety of reasons and have the saavy to find a legal way to cover their ass when they do. It's unfortunate that this couple didn't consult a lawyer first.

Skin color is NOT the same as sexual orientation. I can CHOOSE to not have sex, masturbate, get engaged, or get married. I can't choose the color of my skin. And until they find absolute, definitive scientific proof that homosexuality is inborn, it's always gonna be that way. Gays will claim this evidence exists, but if it really did, it would be broadcast on every TV channel on the planet. But even then, just because you're born that way, it wouldn't mean you have a RIGHT to get married anywhere you want.

Even if homosexuality was inborn, it still doesn't negate the religious rights of Americans.

JohnE said...

Well Erin, the problem with your argument is that in Vermont, sexual orientation is a protected status under the law, just as is race.

So while you might not like the comparison, it is the basis of that State's law.

As for example based on actions, let's look at this comparison.

A white person sitting quietly at a lunch counter and a black person sitting at a lunch counter. The black person is asked to leave because the owners don't like the idea of black people eating there.

Illegal discrimination.

A heterosexual couple trying to book a wedding celebration at the inn and a lesbian couple trying to book a wedding celebration at the inn. The lesbians are refused because the owners don't like the idea of lesbians celebrating their wedding there. Note that lesbian weddings are recognized in Vermont.

Illegal discrimination.


Skin color is NOT the same as sexual orientation.

No, but they are both conditions that are protected under the relevant State regulations.

Charlotte said...

Actually,
I'd like to point out that even if the couple who denied this lesbian couple is found "guilty" - even if they have to pay a fine, or even do jail time, do you really think they will ever change their mind about the teachings of the Catholic Church as concerns homosexuality?

Highly unlikely. And the gays know it. They would rather cause strife and destruction than assent to the manifestly obvious reality that these exercizes in asserting their so-called rights only serve to win very small battles where the religiously-minded people are concerned, never the war. They may win the war on a societal level, but it's a bad win when people are forced into behaviors that they really don't agree with or believe.

John E said...

do you really think they will ever change their mind about the teachings of the Catholic Church as concerns homosexuality?

I rather think the point in question is more likely to be whether or not they change their mind about refusing service to homosexuals.

Charlotte said...

John E,
Are you unaware of where you're having this discussion?

Most of the people who are reading this blog don't care about your "It's the law! It's the law!" argument.

Do you not understand that the conservative Catholics who populate this blog subscribe to a higher law than the government of Vermont? No one is disagreeing with you that according to the laws in Vermont what happened might be construed as discrimination.

And in some sense, no one cares either. As you can see, some here have questioned the validity of these laws. Some have questioned the prudence or common sense of these laws.

The overall point of Erin's post, at least as I took it, is questioning why the rights of one party should be interpreted to trump the rights of another. As in gay rights versus religious rights. You would be much more respected if you turned this conversation toward evaluating and considering which right trumps the other. That would be interesting and fruitful.

Although the way I see it, at least on a national level, this country has a constitution/bill of rights that is REALLY OLD which guarantees freedom of religion and freedom to practice it without interference. The anti-gay discrimination laws are really new, and also they don't represent a foundational concern of the people who formed and fought for the United States of America.

If you think religious rights and freedom don't affect you, personally, think again. If the gays succeed in destroying religous freedom in this country, it will come back to bite them in the ass.

Charlotte said...

No, they'll just find a clever way to refuse them in the future. Which again, is regrettable that they didn't in the first place. I love them for their innocence and purity, but I wish that they had not brought this upon themselves.

How one inn located in Vermont is going to make a big difference in a culture (and state) that is in the hyper throes of celebrating diversity and rolling out the red carpet for homosexuals, I don't know. In the big picture, it's a drop in the bucket. Again, prudent people who care about the quality and dignity of ALL people involved would be able to tell the difference.

These lesbians did it on purpose. Watch and see.

Kimberly Margosein said...

"Do you not understand that the conservative Catholics who populate this blog subscribe to a higher law than the government of Vermont"

This isn't medieval Europe. I find it ironic that conservative Catholics are refusing service to homosexuals due to a "higher law", and also protecting priests who rape boys and cover up their crimes do to this same "higher law".

John E said...

Well Charlotte, how about looking at this question then - say you have two innkeepers.

One of them doesn't want to rent out his hall for lesbian wedding ceremonies because he claims to hold a deeply felt conviction that such ceremonies are against his religion.

And the other one doesn't want to rent out his hall for lesbian wedding ceremonies because he claims to hold a deeply felt conviction that lesbians are icky.

Which of these has a stronger argument for why they shouldn't have to comply with the State's anti-discrimination law?

Why should "I won't do this because of religion," have any more standing than "I won't do this because I don't want to"?

I don't really see why the words, "this is against my religion" gives someone who runs a business open to the public any more standing to discriminate in providing service than the words, "We don't serve Irish here."

As for the following:

which guarantees freedom of religion and freedom to practice it without interference.

No, it doesn't. Human sacrifice, for example, is not allowed. Ritual use of marijuana is not allowed. Use of peyote is allowed for some, but not others.

Furthermore, how does practicing ones religion justify discriminating against lesbian wedding ceremonies? No one is asking the innkeepers to believe they are 'really' married. They are just asking them to rent the space and provide cake.

Whatever reasons you give, how would it not also apply to an innkeeper who wants to justify discriminating against renting his facility to a mixed-race heterosexual couple on the grounds that he is a member of the First Church of Racial Purity and they teach that race mixing in an abomination before God?

Charlotte said...

You are delving into the absurd now.

You are now trying to argue that all religion is merely based on emotion, feeling, fantasy and legend. You want to equate feelings/thoughts of "ickiness" with regognized religions that are thousands and thousands of years old and are the foundational units of many societies?

Nah, you're not for the destruction of religious freedom. I can't detect that at all. You're only interested in discrimination. I can tell. It's so very obvious now.

Your examples are equally absurd. Name an extant religion in western society that performs human sacrifice. And if you can come up with one, let me know the official address of their headquarters so that I can contact their legal counsel for protection when I decided to barbeque my neighbor. (Doesn't exist. REAL organized religions have offices and hierarchies and media spokespeople and lawyers, etc.)

"I won't do this because of religion" has more standing because religious belief is protected in this country. Period. (Kind of like your cry of "It's against the law in Vermont. Period.")

Furthermore, any religion that is invoked in these kinds of "discrimination" lawsuits is almost ALWAYS a religion where the offending practice being contested can be documented many, many times over within its religious texts, commentary, and practices over a span of, usually centuries. A Catholic can point to the Cathiolic catechism, the magisterium, and various papal encyclicals, as well as the writings of the saints, etc., as to the absolute historicity of a belief about homosexuality. And then you can pile on commentary, analysis, and critiques of these rock-solid beliefs by centuries of church fathers, scholars, theologians, and teachers. So, in sum, no one can accuse these inn keepers of just invoking the "I don't believe in gay marriage" card based on emotion or personal malice.

If you can provide centuries of teachings and commentary on the theology of ickiness, well then, go for it. Good luck with that.

You're asking Catholics not to be Catholic. In a Catholic forum. Again, I'm asking if you understand where you are?

Practicing one's religion isn't practicing discrimination. Hey, if the inn owners said "We don't rent to gays" and then had no defense to back up that assertion, then I agree that it's discrimination.

But like I mentioned before, that's not a problem these days. These inn owners are in a super-minority (contrary to what you liberals believe) in having an actual conscientious objection. Almost 100% of people these days will let the money talk and do business with these lesbians or whoever. So why this place in Vermont matters so much to you and the gays, I don't understand.

It's almost like you all thrive on the abuse you bring upon yourselves. I could expand on that topic, given what I've personally seen and experienced in the gay community, but I won't because Erin won't want it.

Anonymous said...

From Jenny:

The thread has really taken off since my last post! I'm going to try to address specific points instead of creating monster reply.

John E: I notice a common thread in all your replies and that is an emphasis on legality and the law as the standard. However, the law changed only recently. All those civil rights protesters that you cited were violating the law at the time, so by your logic, right would be on the businesses discriminating against them, not the demonstrators. They continued to protest because they felt compelled by a higher law, one motivated in large part by religion. The same religious motivation that you view with skepticism.

Whatever reasons you give, how would it not also apply to an innkeeper who wants to justify discriminating against renting his facility to a mixed-race heterosexual couple on the grounds that he is a member of the First Church of Racial Purity and they teach that race mixing in an abomination before God?

Let's turn that around. Say that a well known White supremacist group wants to use a Jewish or a black church for a reception. Does the synagogue have the right to refuse the location to them due to a higher principle?

J

John E said...

Well Charlotte, I'm sorry you choose not to address my questions because I think they are important - specifically, why should Catholic religious objections be treated more seriously than those of the Church of Racial Purity.

It's almost like you all thrive on the abuse you bring upon yourselves.

Don't know who this 'you' is that you are talking about. As a white, heterosexual male, I can rent a room anytime I like and nobody hassles me.

I just happen to think that everyone should be as fortunate as I am in that regard.

Jenny:
All those civil rights protesters that you cited were violating the law at the time, so by your logic, right would be on the businesses discriminating against them, not the demonstrators.

WRONG! - all of those discriminatory laws and customs were in violation of the Equal Protection clause of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution.

So the protestors were demanding their Constitutional rights - not appealing to religion.

All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

Let's turn that around. Say that a well known White supremacist group wants to use a Jewish or a black church for a reception. Does the synagogue have the right to refuse the location to them due to a higher principle?

The Accommodation laws apply to businesses, not to churches, so the answer to your question is 'yes, they do have that right'.

Churches are not in the business of providing services to the public in the way that innkeepers are.

Charlotte said...

Like I said - but apparently need to micro-personalize to every idea you bring up - get me the address of the Church of Racial Purity, alongside the name of their legal counselor, and we're in business. That way, I can find my way to their headquarters where thousands of years of documents affirming the widely-held belief in racial purity can be produced as evidence for my strongly-held convictions. Good luck with that.

You assume that because someone claims a "belief" that it's the same thing as "relgion." I can't answer for the complete legality of that in terms of definitions, but what I'm talking about here AGAIN is common sense and precedence. It's pretty obvious that the inn owners in Vermont - who a Catholic chapel on the grounds and have a history of hosting Catholic groups and events - are Catholic and believe the teachings of the Catholic Church. And it's pretty obvious that about 1/4 or more of the ENTIRE PLANET joins them. It's the Catholic Church, for crying out loud!!!!!!

Who is going to have a better shot in a lawsuit over discrimination where religious belief is invoked? A Christian/Catholic who can cite THE BIBLE (located in every hotel room in the world) and the Catholic Church - or - Joe Whack-Job who's running a kool-aid drinking compound in Utah? The law may not necessarily automatically fall on the side of the Catholic on principle, but let's face it - a Catholic can back up his beliefs with AGAIN thousands of years of documents, analysis, and commentary. From a legal perspective, it's a no-brainer. The Catholic claiming he doesn't believe in gay marriage isn't coming from just anywhere - he isn't coming from emotion or malice or even fear. He's coming from actual stated doctrine and teaching.

The Church of Racial Purity would be coming from a few books and essays written by minority, marginalized writers. (Because if racial purity were so popular, then their religion would be more well-known and adhered to, yes?)

The fact of the matter is that any Catholic who espouses the Church's teachings on homosexuality is not necessarily a brain-washed sucker. Do you really think that millions upon millions of people living through the millenia would stand for teaching that they found at complete odds with nature and human experience? Do really think that every pope, bishop, priest, lay person, nun, and brother in the history of the church was a beaten into submission over Church teachings?

No. Because the Church's teaching on homosexual acts, etc., is sound and logical even without a supernatural/faith element to it. That is why it's better/more important than the fictional Church of Racial Purity. It can stand the test of time. All beliefs are not equal. You can tell me that a couch from Ikea is just as much a couch as a couch from Ethan Allen, but in the end analysis, the couch from Ikea is a piece of crap that's not gonna last.

Kimberly Margosein said...

'Churches are not in the business of providing services to the public in the way that innkeepers are."

IIRC, if the church rents its facilities out to the general public, for instance, if it advertises its hall in the Yellow Pages as a business, then it will be considered a public accommodation.

Speaking of innkeepers, wasn't there something in the Bible about an innkeeper kicking some people out? Probably a couple of dykes.

Charlotte said...

I recognize that you are on a train wreck ride where you will continue to split hairs to even more absurd levels. So I'm not sure how much more time I have to waste on this anymore. As it stands, I've spent a huge portion of the day sparring with you, which I'm sort of embarassed to admit.

You can argue here until the cows come home about legality, lunch counters, fake churches, weighing ickiness against age-old beliefs, etc. But at the end of today and every day, the author of this blog and most of her followers believe that the Catholic Church holds the supreme truth for mankind and would go to extremes you couldn't even begin to understand in order to defend those beliefs. As will, likely, the owners of that inn in Vermont.

You're barking up the wrong tree here.

We aren't bigots and we don't hate gay people. But we do believe that gay marriage is wrong, unnatural, and destructive to religious freedom and the foundation of family life. If you think you can talk us down from a a couple thousand years of Church teaching, go ahead and give it a shot. But you'd be better off just getting on with your night and your life.

There are many, many people who see this issue the way you do. They are willling to organize and rally, etc. Have at it.

Charlotte said...

Kimberly,

Well I should hope so! I would hope that in the Bible the inn-keeper kicked out the dykes!

Pul-leez. How sophisticated of you.

Well, anyway, now the "Yellow Pages" is the measure of how "public" a privately-owned business is? Ooooo, maybe if they have a website, too, that will be the nail in the coffin of their public-ness.

John E said...

Kimberly - I don't know about Vermont, but New York specifically gave protection to the sort of halls-owned-by-a-Church.

Charlotte - the government does not discriminate between Churches on the basis of how long they've been around.

The Church of Scientology is just as protected as the Catholic Church.

Do you really think that millions upon millions of people living through the millenia would stand for teaching that they found at complete odds with nature and human experience?

It depends on what the alternative was. I'm quite happy that I live in an age and country where the Catholic Church has very little effective political power to punish heretics.

Do really think that every pope, bishop, priest, lay person, nun, and brother in the history of the church was a beaten into submission over Church teachings?

Well, you might ask Flavian or Nestorius about that.

Charlotte said...

The Church of Scientology has an established "canon" of beliefs and practices (which are arguably vague and wishy-washy, for the record.) The Church of the Racially Pure does not because it doesn't exist and you want to turn this into a discussion that says any belief held by anyone is akin to religion, which it's not.

You misunderstand my thoughts on how long the Catholic Church has been around. It is brought up only to illustrate that there are literally thousands of commentaties and analyses of Church teaching because of the age of the Church.

Citing two characters in the whole history of the Church - among the billions and billions of Catholics who lived on this earth at one time or another isn't all that convincing. Can I get credit for having the gay agenda beaten over my head every time I turn on the TV or read the paper?

What I'm looking for is a time when *I* won't be punished for the "heresy" of believing in my soul and intellect that gay marriage is unnatural and immoral. Trying to prevent that from happening.

John E said...

What I'm looking for is a time when *I* won't be punished for the "heresy" of believing in my soul and intellect that gay marriage is unnatural and immoral.

Well, that time would be now.

You - and the innkeepers - aren't punished for your beliefs, or even for your speech.

You may be punished for various actions, such as discriminating on the basis of sexual preference.

The Church of the Racially Pure does not because it doesn't exist...

Well, how about Church of Jesus Christ–Christian//Aryan Nations? They are close enough - and sound like they are very sincere:

We believe that there are literal children of Satan in the world today. These children are the descendants of Cain, who was a result of Eve's original sin, her physical seduction by Satan. We know that because of this sin there is a battle and a natural enmity between the children of Satan and the children of The Most High God. We believe that the Cananite Jew is the natural enemy of our Aryan (White) Race. This is attested by Scripture and all secular history.

Should they be allowed to discriminate against Jews because of their religious beliefs?

Yes, yes, I'll agree that Catholics aren't mean and nasty like those guys, but both groups are making the same appeal to their religion to justify their actions.

How is their appeal-to-religion different from the Catholic's appeal-to-religion?

Red Cardigan said...

Now, wait a minute, John. The decision not to allow a fake lesbian "wedding" is an *action* which may be punished, but the lesbian "wedding" itself is a universal human right that the innkeepers must be forced by law to host?

This is the height of hypocrisy.

Anonymous said...

What Charlotte said. All of it.

Peter said...

Red,

Talk about insulting! Referring to a wedding celebration as a "celebration of sexual perversion," is just wrong. I'm sorry that you don't accept modern science, but homosexuality is not a peversion. You just refsue to accept modern thought on this and are clinging to your outdated views. You should feel free to apply them in the pews, but not on the streets.

Does it inform your views to know that for thousands of years "female hysteria" was a recognized, diagnosed and (painfully) treated disorder, but science caught up with itself. Female hysteria is no longer considered a disorder by medicine or by civil authorities and our laws reflect that. Of course, a particular church can still hold outdated beliefs about female hysteria, but that would be beside the point in enforcing the State's laws and, for example, protecting Vermont women from forced treatment.

Civil authority's understanding of human sexuality has advanced; quicker than the Roman church's understanding of it. And our laws reflect that advanced knowledge.

Also, your later references to "grave sin" (twice) are telling. Legal concepts are being discussed in Vermont, NOT religious concepts. Sin is a religious concept that has no place in this discussion. And thank goodness! The world's largest church holds that it is a grave sin for you to vote or drive a car.

Peter said...

And let me say this, Red, because I've been holding back and you really have my Irish up. Why do you call it a fake wedding? Answer: Because you just refuse to accept civil authority here. You know for that matter, please feel free to refer to my adopted son as a "fake child" as may hold similarly warped view of State adoption laws as you do the State marriage laws. What else is "fake" in your little make-pretend State?
right because drinking booze

Red Cardigan said...

Sorry, Peter. Homosexual sex acts are perversion. Empirical science can't speak to the nature and purpose of sex outside of reproduction, and while psychiatric "science" (which is not empirical) decided that the physical practice of homosexual sex acts no longer denoted anything wrong in a psychological sphere, it's interesting that medical science keeps having to deal with the fallout of the health consequences of various gay sex acts--medicine being slightly less susceptible than psychiatry to being rewritten for political correctness.

Modern thought is not based on science at all, but on feelings. People "feel" that there's nothing wrong with homosexual sex acts, and thus nothing wrong with two people deciding to base a relationship upon those acts. People "feel" that marriage has nothing to do with reproduction and that children don't need stable parents anyway--that individual adult happiness, facilitated by contraception, abortion, frequent divorce and partner-swapping, ought to be good for kids because we say so. Since people now "feel" that marriage is nothing but a public declaration of love that comes with some tax goodies and inheritance rights, the kind of sex acts at the heart of the relationship are "felt" to have nothing whatsoever to do with marriage.

The thing is, the Vermont Catholic innkeepers don't share these feelings, which are not based upon science, logic, the enduring definition of marriage, the history of family law in this nation, or anything else other than syrupy and ephemeral emotion. Thus, they must be punished not only for wrongthink, but for wrongfeel. Society thinks that all beliefs, of whatever basis and whatever length of existence, are just another subset of "feelings," and thus there can be no right or wrong except in making someone else "feel" bad about their consumer choices (which is all a lesbian "wedding" really is, boiled down to the bare bones).

Red Cardigan said...

Sorry for the double posting; I went ahead and deleted the "extra" one.

Red Cardigan said...

Oh, and Peter: if the State of Vermont defined all squares as circles and decreed that they be measured using pi, I would not hesitate to call the squares "fake circles" and go on measuring them without considering pi at all. For which I'd likely be labeled a "math bigot" by people who think that definitions don't matter as much as the feelings of the poor squares.

Peter said...

Where to begin?

1. "science can't speak to the nature and purpose of sex"

-Of course it can.

2. "rewritten for political correctness."

-Is that a reference to the shopworn belief that scientists have determied that homosexuality ios not a disorder b/c of "politics" 30 years ago? that's just silly. And I rebut it with 2 points: A. the thousands of medical prodessionals who are members of the AMA, etc. since then continue to uphold those findings. B. maybe we should revisit female hsyteria as a disorder also.

3. "Modern thought is not based on science at all, but on feelings."

- Oh, come on! You are insulting every student, every teacher, scholar, every law professor, every physician, every astronomer, every lingiost . . . Good grief!

4. "the enduring definition of marriage,"

- is a fallacy. The definition and meaning of marriage has changed throughout the centuries. Now you're not holding onto outdated beliefs, now you are holding onto what you WISH was historically true.

5. "and thus there can be no right or wrong except in making someone else "feel" bad about their consumer choices".

- Now you know that's not true. Why are you typing this? It is wrong to steal: we have laws based on that. It is wrong to break a promise; and we have laws based on that. It is wrong to punch someone: We have laws based on that. You are being - what's the word I want, hyperbolic? Ridiculous? Seriously, you are above such ludicrous claims. They don't advance your argument - they are so much screaming in the dark.

Red Cardigan said...

Okay, Peter. I'm calling your bluff. I want to see peer-reviewed scientific articles describing the nature and purpose of human sex acts. Remember, you can't talk about procreation at all--you have to demonstrate that science has deduced from empirical evidence that the nature and purpose of human sex acts is not about procreation.

As for the list of exceptions to the "modern thought/feelings" structure: I'm willing to stipulate that empirical science is not concerned with feelings, and any of those professions which are empirical are exceptions. Otherwise, my statement stands.

The "enduring definition of marriage" means that marriage has always been a union based on male/female couplings, physical and otherwise. Show me a major society any time in the last two thousand years prior to the last fifty years which was organized around the principle that marriage meant a sexual partnership of same-gender couples or groups, and I will remove the word "enduring." You can't do it, though.

It is only wrong to steal if you do so illegally; it is not wrong to steal if you do it legally (see: government bailouts). It is only wrong to punch people if the punching is non-consensual (see: boxing or S&M sex practices). All standards of right and wrong in 21st century America are totally arbitrary and based on feelings, and you can't prove otherwise. They certainly aren't based on either religion or philosophy, because those are mere "beliefs" that individuals hold and that other individuals can't be held to. Autonomy is everything.

John E said...

Now, wait a minute, John. The decision not to allow a fake lesbian "wedding" is an *action* which may be punished, but the lesbian "wedding" itself is a universal human right that the innkeepers must be forced by law to host?

Yes - businesses don't get to discriminate on the basis of various qualities, including sexual orientation.

Red, should an innkeeper who is a member of Church of Jesus Christ–Christian/Aryan Nations be allowed to refuse services to Jews?

Charlotte said...

Peter,

Red is supposed to "keep religion in the pew" and "not take it to the street"?

Seriously, are you on drugs? What is the purpose of religion, then? It's a system of beliefs that is supposed to inform and guide your life.

Maybe YOU should lock up your sexuality in the bedroom and not take it to the streets, yourself.

What nonsense!

This all boils down to the thing about how you all want us to be tolerant of you, but you won't be tolerant of us. Like I have been saying here over and over: True tolerance would entail the 2 lesbians, after being told that they aren't wanted at that inn, backing away out of respect for the inn owner's beliefs and finding a different venue. And then having their wedding at the too-numerous-to-count other venues that don't mind the lesbian thing, where they are respected.

This country was the way it used to be in the past because people had self-respect and were taught to respect others. You all want to equate discrimination with a lack of respect - but it's not the same thing. Respect - FULL respect - entails being honest that you can't provide services to someone with whom you disagree and wanting those people with whom you disagree to get that full respect (somewhere else) to that they can be happy, themselves.

How hard is this to understand?

Charlotte said...

Yes,

ABSOLUTELY the Church of Racial Aryan Purity should be able to refuse to host an event organized by Jews.

But your logic here is flawed, because one has to sit and argue about whether Jewish is a race or a religion. It's actually, usually both since most Jews' conception of their religion is the same as race. Most Jews in America are "cultural" Jews and barely religious. So that's a bad example/analogy.

Rather, here's a better one: We have a MASSIVE mega-church in the Milwaukee area (Protestant) that is so big they rent out the place to big-time national acts and shows. For example, at Christmas, they hosted the Charlie Daniels band and they routinely book national theater productions. Because they did this, should they be forced to host Lady Gaga? Or a gangsta rapper? Absolutely not!!! They have the right to determine that certain entertainers don't meet their moral/deceny standards within their facility - they still have a church to run. What would it say about church leadership if they are acting out of accord with standard Christian principles? It would mean they are hypocrites. They OWN that church and they have a right to book whatever group they want there. Because they booked in a benign country band doesn't mean they have to book in a filthy-mouther rapper who grabs his crotch a hundred times during a performance.

This whole conversation is becoming pointless because you all refuse to accept our belief that acting out your sexuality is a choice. It really is. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO HAVE SEX! No one does! YOU DO NOT HAVE TO GET MARRIED! No one does! You can actually lie in a bed with another human being and not become intimate, just as you can choose to walk into the kitchen and decide or not decide to have a snack. You can be really, really hungry and fall into a heap with desire to have that snack, but still, you don't HAVE to have that snack.

And yes, it IS a fake wedding according to people who believe the Catholic Church. You can believe all you want that it's real and get all offended at this notion. But we, likewise, can believe all we want that it's fake. So again, like I said, self-respect and TRUE tolerance for others would indicate that we are stalled at an impass, which means EVERYONE involved is honest about what they can and can not do. The inn keepers are saying they cannot host this gay wedding. In response, the lesbians should say, "Thank you for being honest. We'll try and find a different location."

Charlotte said...

Red,
As is crystal clear here, they are only interested in religious discrimination and the dismantling of religious protections in America. Which is, as you said in the original blog post, the point.

They are godless. And they will be offended that I said this, because they think "God" is all about feeling special and happy all time - about how they FEEL (as you also pointed out.) They don't FEEL godless because they celebrate Christmas and get all teary-eyed when they go to church on Christmas Eve (the only day they go) when the choir sings Silent Night. They don't FEEL godless because they feel some kinship with the easier teachings of Jesus, such as the golden rule, which is akin to practicing the most basic kindergarten-level command of Christ, and which also exists separate from Christianity because it's within the realm of common sense. They have no idea of what religion means and no respect for it whatsoever.

They are lost - I've been saying that for years now and I stand by it. I don't think homosexuals should be discriminated against ever. But because they are so lost in themselves, that cannot understand or see that there is a difference between discriminating against them as people, versus discriminating against what they are DOING as people. They can not seperate themselves from their actions.

I wouldn't expect and demand a Jewish inn owner to host my Catholic wedding. I wouldn't expect and demand a Muslim inn owner to host my Catholic wedding. I wouldn't expect and demand my satanist inn owner to host my Catholic wedding. I wouldn't expect and demand that a gay inn owner would want to host my Catholic wedding.

And if they didn't want to? Oh well, live and let live. There are other places to go. But it's not live and let live with them. It's, screw you and I'm suing you.

How hard is this to understand? Obviously, very.

They also don't understand that because a law exists does not mean that it's a good thing, wise, or even practical. To assume that because we have a law about something means there was an inherent good behind the law is to ignore logic, history, and common sense.

They want respect from me, but in turn won't return it. So I'm outta here.

Peter said...

Red,

Am I supposed to answer each of your questions while you pick and choose mine? Is that the blogger/commenter contract? Let's go back, before we go forward: I didn't ask you about circles and squares - a feeble attempt on your part to soften your extremely harsh words.

We are talking about human relations, not geometry. So do you tell the neighbors' adopted children that they are "fake?" Do you say it right to their little faces, or just behind their backs?

romishgraffiti said...

Getting back to Ireland's attempt to fix an economy in the toilet...err...I mean attempts to criminalize Catholicism, here is Canon lawyer Ed Peter's commentary:

Concerning recent Irish and Australian proposals to require priests who, through their ministry in sacramental confession, learn the identity of child sexual abusers (or of any other malefactors, for that matter), to disclose such information to civil authorities, I have little to say because, well, because there is little to say, canonically, at any rate. Such proposals, even if they become law, will have absolutely no effect on a priest’s obligation to preserve the seal of confession. Absolutely none.


The seal of confession is a not creature of civil law, rather, it rests on divine law and is articulated by canon law (see cc. 983 and 1388). Because the state has no authority over the seal of confession, it can exercise no authority over the seal by way imposing, regulating, or revoking it, in whole or even in part.

What states can do, and indeed what enlightened states in fact do, is to accommodate the seal of confession within theirs laws (typically, in their laws of criminal evidence procedure). The benefits to states making such accommodations are many, and the “benefits” of disregarding the seal can be shown, upon a few moments’ consideration, to be nugatory, but such prudential points are better made by others. I speak only as a canonist, and I write only to say that any civil laws attempting to break the seal of confession would have no force whatsoever against the sanctity of the seal of confession.

eulogos said...

When the laws were passed protecting discrimination based on race, there were serious and decent people who opposed these laws based on freedom of association and the freedom of people to use their own property and run their businesses as they choose. One such person was Senator Sam Erwin, now deceased, whom we remember for having presided at the Watergate hearings with such aplomb and dignity.

I think he was correct. The racism which led people to want to refuse service to blacks was deplorable and the immediate results of the law were beneficial, but as this case shows,a long term erosion of private freedom was also the result of this law. I am not sure now whether it was worth it, as protected categories multiply. Which of us could have imagined, when the Civil Rights Act passed, that this would be the result? It would have been unthinkable.

I think, unfortunately, that these people have broken the law as the law stands. They will have to get out of the business of hosting receptions, and as a result they may not be able to stay in business. Which is too bad.

Susan Peterson

Anonymous said...

What Charlotte said. Again. All of it.

JohnE, Peter, looky here, boys - you're not an ethnic minority. Stop pretending.

You run under an assumed cloak of science, I can see your lab coats are gleaming - only to have Biology give you your first lesson. Two swords with no sheath to place them in, now that's sad science. (But it will never be marriage.)

You boys have lost this one. All the good arguments are on the side of those who respect nature and her scientific arrangement of man/woman. The more you argue, the more you do show your ignorance.

Ignorant too, to defend an unjust law designed to bust apart religion. Gig's up.

c matt said...

Which might be the case - except for that State law that specifically says that an innkeeper cannot discriminate in providing services on the basis of sexual orientation.

well that's the whole point - they really are not discriminating based upon sexual orientation. They are refusing to provide a service they don't want to provide to anyone, regardles of orientation - a straight couple couldn't get a SSM reception there, a gay couple can't get a SSM reception there; a straight couple can get a hetero wedding reception there, a gay couple can get a hetero wedding reception there. Both the gay couple and the straight couple can get the same service.

Anonymous said...

marriage for the state is a social contract. copulation leading to a child is only between a man and a woman, that is scientific, but also scientific is a woman becoming pregnant without copulation. I'm not sure how science is getting into this conversation. Unless it is to say that 'homosexual' animals occur in nature in many species.... Yes, it's outlier behavior, but it is real. If Gay people want to have protection under the law to be the legal next of kin and to form a validated family, I'm all for it. I'm not sure why we are spewing all of this venom. If hard core catholics don't want to call it "Marriage", then don't. The government in certain states is allowing it because while the church remains resolute, social norms do not. All this hand wringing is so silly. In every age, conservative old timers have been griping that society is going to the pits. now is no exception. I don't know why any self respecting gays or lesbians would go to an orthodox catholic for anything, let alone a wedding reception.

Karen

Anonymous said...

Well I have to agree with your last point only Karen. Very sensible.

c matt said...

You - and the innkeepers - aren't punished for your beliefs, or even for your speech.

Of COURSE They are being punished PRECISELY because of their beliefs. That's the whole point.

If they refused the couple because the innkeepers didn't feel like working that weekend, under the wording of the law, no discrimination.

If they refuse because they believe SSM is a sham, then they are being punished because of that belief. Who do you think you are kidding?

It just so happens that in Vermont, at this time, there exists a sufficient number of people with sufficient power to meet out said punishment.

By the way, organizations such as the AMA and APA are far more political than scientific. In fact, their main purposes are lobbying on behalf of their respective disciplines.

Anonymous said...

Adoption isn't an inherently disordered or unnatural state of life or decision. So no, adopted kids aren't fake.

But gay marriage IS unnatural and disordered. Precisely, because - HA! - you can't fit a sqaure peg into a round hole. (Well, you can try if you want to, but it's not gonna turn out well.)

So there you, go, Peter. Red's analogy now fits your question.

Kimberly Margosein said...

The "enduring definition of marriage" means that marriage has always been a union based on male/female couplings, physical and otherwise. Show me a major society any time in the last two thousand years prior to the last fifty years which was organized around the principle that marriage meant a sexual partnership of same-gender couples or groups"

How may wives did Solomon have?

Red Cardigan said...

Kimberly, did you read the bit you quoted? The real question is: how many "husbands" did Solomon have? Answer: zero. By definition.

Kimberly Margosein said...

Naw, I was just getting into print fast. So polygyny is OK?

eulogos said...

It isn't OK, but it is closer to normal than same sex relationships. The acts committed are physically normal, procreative or possibly procreative acts. Polygyny is a possible way that society can structure itself so that the paternity of children is known and acknowledged and children are raised in a stable situation. It isn't, of course, Christian marriage. It doesn't mirror the relationship of Christ and the Church, and there are certainly personalistic values that it lacks.
Susan Peterson

Anonymous said...

Susan,
Kimberly doesn't care if marriage mirrors a relationship between Christ and the Church.

You are right, though. Polygamy assumes natural sexual relations. Although it's occurred to me that some homosexuals might want to go in for their own version of same-sex polygamy. Although in the gay community, I thought that was called promiscuity.

For the record, most references in the Bible to multiple wives aren't framed in the most positive light.

Siarlys Jenkins said...

I'm rather amazed that anyone thinks this subject worth so much attention. Last night, when Google ate my comment, there were 50. Now, when I come back to try again, there are over 80. Does it really matter that much?

I think the couple running the B&B have a sound basis to say "We don't discriminate against gay people. If two heterosexual men wanted to pay us to host their wedding, we would turn them down too, or two heterosexual women. We don't care what your orientation is, we simply don't recognize anything as a wedding that isn't uniting a man and a woman."

The "biology is not destiny" characters can cry all they want, but it is an obvious biological fact that sexuality exists because of a specific relation between male and female. Yes, human beings have found other ways to apply these emotions, it seems in each generation there are a minority strongly drawn to these other ways, but that doesn't mean everyone has to recognize it as a marriage.

This couple DID put themselves out on a limb by responding to a request for bids. They should have done their homework first. But I think the analogy "this isn't a Chinese restaurant" was a good one. A business owner can still define WHAT services they offer. Then, whatever those services are, they offer them to all comers. If a gay man and a lesbian woman want a wedding reception, they can't be turned away because they are gay.

Kimberly Margosein said...

Red Cardigan- I am too lazy to go through all the posts. Is this a wedding Ceremony or wedding Reception? Both have been mentioned here. BTW, is there some way for people to use nom de plumes? We seem to have two Anonymous's with differing opinions and it is a bit disconcerting.

Anonymous said...

How deep is the duty of RC innkeepers to investigate the lifestyles of all potential wedding parties? Is it enough that people are heterosexuals to maintain the purity of conscience of the faithful? What about renting out space for a wedding reception of a hetero-couple who have been living together for years or have children out of wedlock or make their living by running a criminal enterprise that steals, murders, maims, promotes prostitution, drug use and general mayhem?

The innkeepers in question have no problem renting bedrooms to gay couples, where one would think the most unthinkable sins are occurring. So why a wedding reception - note, not the wedding ceremony itself? Erins quotes the innkeepers as saying that a same-sex marriage "goes against everything that we as Catholics believe in."

So that's what Catholics believe in. Heterosexual marriage. That's the whole of it. Who knew?

elizabeth

eulogos said...

I suppose you could amend their statement to "which goes against everything we as Catholics believe about marriage." But in a larger way, the idea that two men or two women goes against the anthropology of Catholicism, that is, what it says about what a human being is, what a man is, and what a woman is. It goes against what Catholicism says not only about the purpose of marriage, but ultimately, about the purpose of life, which involves living according to God's will and trying to please Him.
Now of course other couples might also be doing that in one way or another. But that isn't easy to know. I would hope they would refuse open Mafiosi. But then the Mafiosi are not violating God's law IN getting married, but in other aspects of their lives. One can question whether hosting their reception is showing support for their immoral lifestyle of killing their rivals and earning money from gambling, drugs, and prostitution. I would tend to say it would be better not to host them. But perhaps the inn wouldn't even know they were Mafiosi. There might be others getting married who engage in shady business practices, or who are slum landlords who overcharge the poor and don't fulfill their responsibility to keep up basic services in the apartments. But would the inn owners know that? As for people who were living together or had children together before marriage, they are now doing something to remedy that, and we don't know that they have not gone to confession. But two men or two women getting married-they aren't remedying anything, and they certainly haven't gone to confession! They are proclaiming by what they are purporting to do, that they revere neither nature nor nature's God.

Now in saying this that I know that there are some personalistic values which can exist in such unions. I don't think they are ALL about sex, or that God despises the values of friendship and fidelity, where those exist in such unions. Having seen gay men tend their sick partners, I know that at least friendship and devotion can exist in such situations. And the subjective responsibility of any particular people for not understanding "nature and nature's God" in an era which believes in neither, may not be great and is certainly not for me to judge.

But the thing itself does violate some very basic principles.
Susan Peterson

eulogos said...

Charlotte,

I wonder if you aren't putting the government and the courts in the position of deciding what is a legitimate religion. You do cite good reasons why Catholicism should be considered a legitimate religion and the Church of Racial Purity should not. But do you want the Supreme Court of Vermont and ultimately the US Supreme Court to be in the position of deciding that?

I think they did decide that in the past when they outlawed polygamy among the Mormons. At that time I believe they really did so based on a general public consensus for the dominant Protestant Christianity and its values, which happened to coincide with Catholic beliefs on that point. But I doubt that you could show by any reasonable criteria that Mormonism isn't a "legitimate religion."

If we let the government decide that, it would have to have explicit criteria such as years of existence, numbers of adherents, ....and what else would you suggest? Can't you think of some very unpleasant unintended consequences of such criteria?

Personally, I would rather ditch the whole structure of antidiscrimination law out the window and let the owners of businesses determine with whom they want to do business.
I think the laws have outlived their purpose in terms of race, and we had that protected class because of the mental residue of slavery. I don't think we need protected classes anymore. Away with protected classes! Fie on them. Women still experience some discrimination in certain settings, but I think we can deal.

Susan Peterson

Siarlys Jenkins said...

I think it is long past time to do away with protected classes, per se, as the basis of civil rights laws, but we do still need civil rights laws.

For example, anyone offering a public accommodation must admit any willing buyer to whatever services the business offers, unless the customer's actions pose a threat to the peaceful enjoyment or safety of other customers. "No shoes, no shirt, no service" could still be applied.

Of course the government cannot be entrusted with the power to determine what is a legitimate religion. The government already has the power to pass laws of general application, which nobody can claim exemption from merely because, e.g., my religion calls for human sacrifice, so I have a RIGHT to sacrifice some human...

Generally, the First Amendment works best if the government makes prohibitive laws of general application, but does not impose affirmative duties without religious exemption. You can't break the law because your religion tells you to, but the law will generally not MAKE you perform some act your religion prohibits.

DonJ said...

It is hard to read all of this and not think of those defending "separate but equal" facilities in the 50's.

eulogos said...

Don-that isn't an appropriate analogy at all.

Black people wanted to do the same things in schools and other facilities that white people did.

In this case, people who are putting themselves in an artificial class called "homosexuals" do not want to enter into the institution commonly called marriage, which is a lifelong relationship between a man and a woman primarily for the begetting and raising of children, with a mutuality of life which benefits both the man and woman and the children, and which society and governments privilege because it is of such benefit to society that children be raised in such situations.

What they want to do is to enter into a totally different kind of promised relationship, for totally different purposes, but call it by the same name.

I am sure this facility would not discriminate against a formerly homosexual man who wanted to marry a formerly lesbian woman, even though they are the same people now, and even if they still chose to dress and present themselves in their former styles. So the discrimination is NOT against the person, but against the action, against the meaning of the cermony they will be engaged in, and against the dishonesty of calling it marriage.

Susan Peterson