Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Boycotting LGBT Hurts Feelings, Business Income, And Tarnishes State's Reputation


First, the bakeries refused to make cakes for same-sex weddings. The florists reneged on doing the flowers for gay weddings. The hotels were all set to have weddings for couples until they found out they were lesbians. The judges in the marriage bureaus closed their doors; they’d rather not do any weddings than have to perform gay wedding ceremonies.

Under the same guise, more recently, a Christian College Andrews University in Berrien Springs, MI canceled a bake sale for gay youth. The bake sale was intended to help Fierce Chicago, a non-profit that helps homeless LGBT youth.

The university’s unofficial gay-straight alliance, AULL4ONE, organized the sale. While Andrews has no problem helping homeless youth, they do have a problem helping gay youth or “being served by an organization that doesn’t take a proactive stance against “the LGBT issue.”

Who Has The Last Laugh?

To circumvent the university’s administration, Andrews University’s students created an IndieGoGo page to send donations to Fierce Chicago.  They surpassed the amount they were hoping to raise!
Possible Supreme Court Decision for Nationwide Rt. to Gay Marriage Worries Business
Christian universities are not the only ones exercising their religious convictions. If the Supreme Court makes same-sex marriage legal in all 50 states after it takes up the matter on April 28th, businesses and individuals will opt out of serving gay couples on religious grounds.

If establishments shut their doors to the gay population, they will lose valuable income and their state’s image could be tarnished. The Georgia Senate has already approved a version of the religious freedom legislation by a vote of 37 to 15.  Similar bills have been introduced in Colorado, Hawaii, Indiana, Michigan, Utah, West Virginia and Wyoming, according to the Human Rights Campaign, which claims that the current bills would empower “any individual to sue the government to attempt to end the enforcement of a non-discrimination law.”

Gay Rights Groups Say It’s Discrimination

If a business can rationalize its conscience with religion, what is to prevent a business from not serving a Muslim, a Jew, an African-American, or a gay person?  Recently, Rep. Randy Forbes (R-VA) and Sen. James Lankford (R-OK) stated in an op-ed at The Washington Examiner that “if Chipotle Mexican Grill can choose its meat, so we can discriminate against gays.” In other words, because Chipotle has a choice in the types of sustainable pork it serves, religious-run businesses should have a choice in the types of customers they serve.  Freedom of religion is explicitly protected by the First Amendment.”

In Indiana, on March 23, the House passed a bill to protect business owners who do not want to provide services for same-sex couples. Bakers and florists and other people will not be forced to act contrary to their religious beliefs.  Governor Mike Pence has indicated he will support the bill that, in another version, was passed by the Republican-controlled Senate.

Is it discrimination or First Amendment Constitutional Protection?  I’d like to know your answer.