Rod Dreher's hosting a good discussion of the issue here.
On Jan. 26 Bishop Conley spoke to hundreds of young adults at the bar, which is less than five blocks from Denver’s Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception. His topic was “Atheocracy and the Battle for Religious Liberty in America.”
Shortly after the talk, however, organizers were told to find a different location for the program because of its “controversial” content and the fact that that some of the bar staff said they would refuse to work the event again.
“It’s ironic that the talk itself pertains so well to what happened,” said Chris Stefanick, director of the archdiocese’s office for youth, young adults and campus ministry who helps run the event.
My first comment at Rod's, which I'll share here because I've had a vicious migraine all day and am thus too lazy to come up with something different, is as follows:
You know, Rod, I think people are totally missing the point of this story.
The bishop and his group were told they’re not welcome to come back. Okay, they said. The bar has the right to exclude us, they said, and we have the right to go to other bars. We’ll be at Katie Mullen’s Irish Restaurant and Pub on the evening of Feb. 15 (today!) for our next talk.
You don’t see sanity and good manners like this when a gay couple is told that a wedding photographer or inn or florist or baker doesn’t want to accommodate them. You don’t see sanity and good manners like this when some member of a professionally aggrieved grievance professional group gets told to take his or her grievance elsewhere. No, you see lawsuits and public hissy fits and media blitzes about how awful the business in question was for refusing service.
The Catholic group will probably have more fun at an Irish pub anyway.
A commenter over there who also reads this blog on occasion challenged me to come up with links to the above examples--insinuating that I'm just making that stuff up. I was in the process of doing so when I realized that I hadn't blogged here, so I figured I'd kill two birds, etc. So, without further ado, here are some of the examples incidents in which the gay rights community has failed to act with the sanity and good manners demonstrated by the bishop and his group:
1. By suing a wedding photographer for refusing to photograph their "gay wedding." Elaine Huguenin of New Mexico refused to photograph a lesbian commitment ceremony, was sued by the lesbians, and had to pay $6,000 because the state's Human Rights Commission found her guilty of discrimination. Nobody said that the lesbians should just have gone and found a gay-friendly photographer, though everyone seems to think the bishop and the Catholic group should simply move to a different bar.
2. By suing inns, wedding venues, and others for refusing to host their "gay wedding." Sued thus far include a Methodist group who owned an open-air pavilion, the Timber Creek Bed & Breakfast in Illinois, and the Wildflower Inn in Vermont. Only in the first case could any claim that the pavilion was quasi-public property be made (though the church disputed this); the second and third are no different from a bar deciding it doesn't want to host a Catholic group. Right? (Not according to gay activists, who only seem to recognize discrimination when it involves them.)
3. By threatening, boycotting, and harassing an Iowa baker and a Canadian florist for refusing to provide a wedding cake and flowers, respectively, for two different "gay weddings." Lawsuits were mentioned as possibilities, as were complaints to civil rights commissions, but apparently these have not yet materialized.
So the bottom line is this: a bishop gets thrown out of a bar, refuses to make a fuss and simply goes elsewhere; and we can all see the double standard at work.
UPDATE: Welcome, New Advent readers (and thank you again, Kevin Knight, for the link)! I've been a bit slow approving comments today--your patience has been appreciated.