Earlier this week, I wrote about Pam Regentin, a baker in Oregon who blatantly violated state nondiscrimination law by refusing to serve two female customers on the basis of their sexual orientation. Ms. Regentin essentially claimed that her personal beliefs should trump the law, telling a reporter, "I believe I have the liberty to live by my principles."
My op-ed read, in part:
Actually, you don't... your religious beliefs do not entitle you to a special exemption from the law, nor do your "principles" give you the "liberty" to pick and choose which members of the public to serve or which laws you wish to obey.
As private individuals, you can believe whatever bigoted garbage you want in the privacy of your own heart and your own home. You can even pass that toxic hatred along to your children if you so choose. But if you choose to enter the public square, you have to play by the same rules as the rest of us.
Pretty simple, right? It seems so to me, anyway. But I was dismayed to see how many people -- even members of the LGBT community -- disagreed. (Stockholm syndrome, anyone?)
"Maybe my religion isn't a reason for me to deny service to someone," one commenter wrote, "but the fact that it's MY [expletive] BUSINESS does. I have the right to refuse service to anyone, for any reason. Maybe it'll drive business away, maybe it won't. But as a business owner, IT'S MY [expletive] DECISION."
Said another, "Actually, as a lesbian who was legally married in California... and as an armed forces veteran and an American who strongly believes in the First Amendment, I don't have a problem with this business owner denying service to same-sex couples. It's the business owner's right -- if not legal, then moral -- to exercise her religious beliefs. If she thinks LGBT money isn't as good as heterosexual money, fine. The answer to this is very simple: BOYCOTT her business."
Hearing fellow members of the LGBT community stick up for bigoted business owners and provide excuses for our oppressors -- even those who break the law -- absolutely sickens me, and it should sicken you too.