Sincere question about "Religious Freedom" legislation
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11-04-2015, 07:16 AM
RE: Sincere question about "Religious Freedom" legislation
(09-04-2015 06:06 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  If I'm in business to SERVE THE PUBLIC then I serve the public. Or I get out of business. If the public demands that I go to a church. And I'm getting compensated for my time...fuck ya.

That's certainly my basic opinion as well; a caterer doesn't have to offer every possible service but any service they do offer should be available to any customer that requests it.

I've been considering other scenarios and am wondering if there are limits...
- a musician asked to play or sing at an event (singing at a gay wedding or singing at a KKK rally)
- a print shop asked to print flyers for a gay pride parade vs one asked to print flyers for an anti-gay rally
- an actor hired to be in a commercial for a pro- or anti-gay position or even a pro- or anti-climate change position that he doesn't agree with; does he have the right to refuse the job? Does he have the right to do it badly? Big Grin
- a company that produces audio books being commissioned to produce one that promotes views the owner does not support? How about the voice performer?

My impulse is to say that if you offer a service for general hire then you should take any customer that wants to hire you but I know that I'd personally find some situations difficult to accept. Are there definable conditions where customers can reasonably be turned away because of a conflict in beliefs or goals?

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11-04-2015, 09:00 AM
RE: Sincere question about "Religious Freedom" legislation
This is why people in the hospitality and service industry have these neat things called contracts. During the contract negotiation phase, party A "the buyer" lets party B "the seller" know what they want. Party B lets party A know what they are willing to do and not do. If at any time during the negotiation phase Party A doesn't like the offer from Party B, there is nothing stopping them from going elsewhere to get their needs met. Simply put - you don't sign a contract until both sides are satisfied and the services provided are spelled out exactly. This is with ANY contract.
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11-04-2015, 09:15 AM
RE: Sincere question about "Religious Freedom" legislation
(11-04-2015 09:00 AM)Judi Lynn Wrote:  This is why people in the hospitality and service industry have these neat things called contracts. During the contract negotiation phase, party A "the buyer" lets party B "the seller" know what they want. Party B lets party A know what they are willing to do and not do. If at any time during the negotiation phase Party A doesn't like the offer from Party B, there is nothing stopping them from going elsewhere to get their needs met. Simply put - you don't sign a contract until both sides are satisfied and the services provided are spelled out exactly. This is with ANY contract.

Understood, but I'm not talking about special or extra services, just refusing to contract at all with somebody based on their beliefs or actions.

Is it OK for a contractor to refuse to deal with a group promoting scatology or BDSM because the contractor personally finds those practices disgusting? Is that different from refusing to deal with a group promoting sharia law because it includes practices that the contractor considers to be unjust? How about a contractor refusing to cater/photograph/promote/whatever a rap or hip-hop event because they just hate the music?

As I said, my basic principle is that if you offer a service then you offer it to all customers. I'm just questioning myself to see if I can find a justifiable reason to draw a line somewhere else such that somebody can say "I offer service X, but not to you".

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11-04-2015, 10:08 AM
RE: Sincere question about "Religious Freedom" legislation
(11-04-2015 09:15 AM)unfogged Wrote:  
(11-04-2015 09:00 AM)Judi Lynn Wrote:  This is why people in the hospitality and service industry have these neat things called contracts. During the contract negotiation phase, party A "the buyer" lets party B "the seller" know what they want. Party B lets party A know what they are willing to do and not do. If at any time during the negotiation phase Party A doesn't like the offer from Party B, there is nothing stopping them from going elsewhere to get their needs met. Simply put - you don't sign a contract until both sides are satisfied and the services provided are spelled out exactly. This is with ANY contract.

Understood, but I'm not talking about special or extra services, just refusing to contract at all with somebody based on their beliefs or actions.

Is it OK for a contractor to refuse to deal with a group promoting scatology or BDSM because the contractor personally finds those practices disgusting? Is that different from refusing to deal with a group promoting sharia law because it includes practices that the contractor considers to be unjust? How about a contractor refusing to cater/photograph/promote/whatever a rap or hip-hop event because they just hate the music?

As I said, my basic principle is that if you offer a service then you offer it to all customers. I'm just questioning myself to see if I can find a justifiable reason to draw a line somewhere else such that somebody can say "I offer service X, but not to you".

I suppose it would depend on the laws in one's state and whether or not they trump federal laws. I suppose it would also depend on what type of service is being provided. Some like to live by the phrase "the customer is always right" but at what point do they actually become a customer and no longer a person who is "window shopping" for the best deal?
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11-04-2015, 10:37 AM (This post was last modified: 11-04-2015 10:40 AM by Thumpalumpacus.)
RE: Sincere question about "Religious Freedom" legislation
The law only protects protected classes in public places of accommodation. IANAL, but I don't think a private event qualifies as such.

Right or wrong? I personally think that's right. As a musician, I'd hate to have to be forced to play a gig at a KKK rally simply because some asshole in a white sheet called me up and offered money. As a writer, I'd hate to have to accept a commission to script an anti-choice television ad simply because they offered me money. If you owned a catering service and the Westboro Baptist Church wanted you to cater their annual "God Hates Fags" rally, would you not want the right to refuse such an odious job?

In places of public accommodation, such preferential treatment is indeed wrong. But the matter under consideration was a hypothetical private affair.

(11-04-2015 10:08 AM)Judi Lynn Wrote:  I suppose it would depend on the laws in one's state and whether or not they trump federal laws.

No state law trumps federal law.
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11-04-2015, 12:12 PM
RE: Sincere question about "Religious Freedom" legislation
There are, I think, a couple of aspects to this.

First, switch the question around a little bit. Suppose instead of refusing to cater a gay wedding, the refusal was to cater a wedding between people of two races and the objection was based on religion. Is that ok under religious freedom? What about the refusal to cater a Jewish wedding? Is that ok under religious freedom? I feel pretty confident that if someone tried to argue they didn't have to cater the wedding between a black man and a white woman because their reading of the bible said it was immoral, there wouldn't be a national debate about what was right and wrong and where to draw the legal lines. There was at one time, but we had this debate in the 1960s and the courts and the US Congress both decided that a private business was not allowed to pick and choose what race and religion it would do business with based on their religious interpretations. Why this is factually different is a mystery to me.

It is, unfortunately, legally different. As of the moment I'm writing this, homosexuals are not a recognized protected class under the US Constitution or under US discrimination laws. The government itself has policies on non-discrimination but they have not yet extended federal anti-discrimination laws to gays and lesbians. I think that will come, and I also think we are going to see limited Constitutional protections extended in the upcoming gay marriage rulings, but I don't personally envision either the Supreme Court or the US Congress extended full protection across the land to gays and lesbians. Hell, they haven't even done that for women yet.

That said, if you find that discrimination is unlawful, then no one is going to start splitting hairs over selling pizzas vs. catering an event. If you open a business to the public, you are supposed to open it to all the public. You generally can't start singling out classes of people you are not going to serve. Gays seem to be the one exception to that rule, but you can't refuse to cater a mixed race wedding because of your religious beliefs. If you feel a Jewish wedding violated the new testament because they don't honor Christ -- tough noogies. You can't turn that job down for that reason. Now, you can refuse to cater a KKK party or an S&M party because you don't want that business. But, that is not rejecting classes of people, that is rejecting individuals for specifics to those people. It's not the same thing.

The people fighting this "religious freedom" bullshit are, once again, on the wrong side of history. The law will soon change and evolve. It will take some time but we are trending the right direction. And, if it seriously pisses off the Jesus freaks along the way, all the better.

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11-04-2015, 04:22 PM
RE: Sincere question about "Religious Freedom" legislation
(11-04-2015 10:08 AM)Judi Lynn Wrote:  I suppose it would depend on the laws in one's state...

I wasn't thinking about what is legal now, more about what is morally justifiable whether it is legal or not.

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11-04-2015, 06:36 PM
Sincere question about "Religious Freedom" legislation
[Image: 10f3a04452011a9ae83c7be75ca615db.jpg]

It's interesting how one complaint can set off a firestorm of bigotry and hate for anyone with religious beliefs.

[Image: 0f76abe1b600e51282d0a4b97fc5ee34.jpg]

The left and atheists want to be respected for there beliefs or lack there of, but when it comes to others beliefs, sue, sue, sue.

[Image: 58b1f3591d41cb2572086049c18aae8f.jpg]

I mean we have to respect each other's beliefs. Even if you don't agree with them.

[Image: 9e9ab1876d219b5ae48690df9e28f9cb.jpg]

[Image: c476c780335308d877c8d5b1f2d1ae35.jpg]
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11-04-2015, 06:44 PM
RE: Sincere question about "Religious Freedom" legislation
(11-04-2015 06:36 PM)JFish123 Wrote:  [Image: 10f3a04452011a9ae83c7be75ca615db.jpg]

It's interesting how one complaint can set off a firestorm of bigotry and hate for anyone with religious beliefs.

[Image: 0f76abe1b600e51282d0a4b97fc5ee34.jpg]

The left and atheists want to be respected for there beliefs or lack there of, but when it comes to others beliefs, sue, sue, sue.

[Image: 58b1f3591d41cb2572086049c18aae8f.jpg]

I mean we have to respect each other's beliefs. Even if you don't agree with them.

[Image: 9e9ab1876d219b5ae48690df9e28f9cb.jpg]

[Image: c476c780335308d877c8d5b1f2d1ae35.jpg]

^^^^^ That ladies and gentlemen is someone who does not understand the legalities of the situation or the differences.

(31-07-2014 04:37 PM)Luminon Wrote:  America is full of guns, but they're useless, because nobody has the courage to shoot an IRS agent in self-defense
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11-04-2015, 10:30 PM
RE: Sincere question about "Religious Freedom" legislation
(11-04-2015 12:12 PM)BnW Wrote:  It is, unfortunately, legally different. As of the moment I'm writing this, homosexuals are not a recognized protected class under the US Constitution or under US discrimination laws.

Now, you're a lawyer and I'm not, so I'm treading carefully and with due respect for your experience in your profession -- but given that the affair is a private affair and not held in a place of public accommodation, does it matter whether or not those subjected to bigotry are in a protected class or not?
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