A bakery in Oregon owned by a devoutly religious couple is under fire from local consumers for refusing service to another couple in that state. One of the owners justified her bias with this painfully clueless statement:
HuffPo — “We don’t have anything against lesbians or homosexuals,” she said in August. “It has to do with our morals and beliefs. It’s so frustrating because we went through all of this in January, when it all came out.”
Her remarks echoed sentiments her husband Aaron shared with NBC earlier this year. “I think [the state labor commissioner] is going to have decide what’s more important: The Oregon State Constitution, or the statute that was passed in 2007,” he said at the time. “They dropped the ball by not putting in any exemption for religious beliefs.”
Now substitute ‘blacks or Jews” in there for “lesbians or homosexuals” and this becomes much clearer to anyone outside the rational-verse: it is against the law to refuse service based on race, religion, or sexual orientation in Oregon and in a growing number of other states. As a result of breaking that law this couple has two big problems. One, the local community has voted with their pocketbooks to not shop at their bakery forcing them to scale back their business, and two, having gleefully confessed to practicing discrimination and therefore violating the law, they are being investigated by the state’s enforcement division.
You are free to believe with all your heart that black, or white, or lesbian customers are evil, for any reason, doesn’t matter if the reason is religious or pseudo-scientific or out of pure spite. You are not free to deny them service based on that belief.
There is no religious “exemption” to break that law, anymore than a motorist is exempted from speed limits in a school zone because they believe God thinks it shouldn’t apply to them. There is no exemption giving these business owners in Oregon the “right” to refuse service to blacks or Jews, or Muslims, or gay and lesbian Americans, or people with red hair. And there is certainly no law that says local consumers have to buy from these guys if they choose to refuse service based on unlawful criteria. It really is that simple.