Staver Can’t Explain Differences in Discrimination


Mat Staver, the dumbest lawyer in America not named Larry Klayman, testified before a House committee about anti-discrimination law and same-sex marriage and was questioned by Rep. Jerrold Nadler about the difference between a religious objection to serving a same-sex wedding vs serving an interracial or interreligious wedding.

Interestingly, when asked if it would be a violation of someone’s freedom of religion if the federal government said a restaurant can’t discriminate against gay people, he said no, it would not be. He seems to be making this strange distinction between a business discriminating against gay people in general and discriminating against a gay wedding specifically because that’s a “celebration” and somehow that makes it a violation of their religious freedom. But he doesn’t think it would violate the religious freedom of a person who opposes interracial or interreligious weddings if the government says they can’t discriminate against such weddings.

This is always the problem with such reasoning. Unless you’re willing to overturn all of the anti-discrimination laws, which Staver says he is not willing to do, you’re left with special pleading. If person A thinks gay marriage is terrible and immoral and therefore they refuse to offer their services to such weddings, that’s an outrageous violation of their religious freedom. If person B believes that interracial or interreligious marriage is terrible and immoral, it’s magically not a violation of their religious freedom to force them to offer their services to such a wedding. And the only difference between them is that Staver agrees with person A but not with person B.

Comments

  1. says

    If person A thinks gay marriage is terrible and immoral and therefore they refuse to offer their services to such weddings, that’s an outrageous violation of their religious freedom. If person B believes that interracial or interreligious marriage is terrible and immoral, it’s magically not a violation of their religious freedom to force them to offer their services to such a wedding. And the only difference between them is that Staver agrees with person A but not with person B.

    Some call it “the golden rule” and others call it “moral relativism” Ed

  2. Artor says

    I’ll bet you cash on the barrel that if you went back closer to Virginia vs Loving, Staver would have been in full agreement with person B too.

  3. John Pieret says

    The distinction they try to claim is that the wedding cake baker and the photographer are being forced to use their “artistic” talents and, therefore, are being forced to “participate” in the offending ceremony. There is a modicum of truth to the claim that the wedding photographer “participates” in that s/he has to be there throughout the ceremony and beyond and must interact with the couple being married. But the baker just has to bake the cake and, perhaps, put a couple of figurines on it before delivering it. How is that worse than a chef at a restaurant having to exercise his “art” and then deliver it to the table where a couple of gay people are holding hands? In any event, Staver couldn’t explain why you can be forced to “participate” in a Jewish wedding (Nadler didn’t actually use the interracial marriage example) even though it is against your religion but not to “participate” in a gay wedding.

  4. Chiroptera says

    Well, this is the sort of thing you get from people who don’t really get morality and ethics, who can’t really understand why some things are right and some things are wrong beyond someone just told them what is right and what is wrong.

  5. Chris J says

    What if a gay couple wants to celebrate their marriage or anniversary by going out to dinner at a restaurant? Would it then become ok in Staver’s mind to refuse service?

  6. Michael Heath says

    Chris J writes:

    What if a gay couple wants to celebrate their marriage or anniversary by going out to dinner at a restaurant? Would it then become ok in Staver’s mind to refuse service?

    It’s been my experience that conservative Christians, when confronted by someone who can easily dismantle their arguments, will frequently concede that’s it not OK to refuse service or whatever the argument is with few exceptions, just like Staver did at the end of this video. However, it’s also been my experience those people almost always continue to promote and vote for the very positions they can’t defend against a credible rebuttal. This is why avoidance and denialism is an attribute amongst the conservative Christian population.

    Here is a prime example of these people’s hatred, cynicism, cowardice, lack of principles, bigotry, inability to think critically, and lack of integrity.

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