Earlier today, Red State reported that a gay coffee shop owner in Seattle forcible removed a group of pro-life customers who distributed anti-LGBT brochures. As I read the piece, I had a few thoughts I wanted to share.
Business owners should (and in most places do) have the right to refuse service to anyone for any reason. Christian bakers who oppose gay marriage should not be legally forced to bake cakes for gay couples. Christian photographers, similarly, should not be coerced by the courts to take a gay couple’s engagement or wedding photos.
We as conservatives and libertarians can all agree on that much, right?
But, if we’re being honest with ourselves, shouldn’t the same rule we apply for Christian business owners also be applied for gay business owners? Aren’t conservatives and libertarians, generally, in favor of everyone living equally under the law. So, what happened to this shared principle in this particular case?
Could it be, perhaps, that gay business owners are not the right’s base, generally speaking, whereas, generally speaking, Christians tend to lean more conservative? It shouldn’t matter which political side a group of people take, broadly speaking. The concern we as Americans should have is ensuring that everyone is treated equally.
That’s not the reality if we are fighting for the rights of Christian business owners to refuse service while simultaneously fighting against the rights of gay business owners to do the same. Now, I acknowledge that the religious freedom element is present within the Christian business owner argument. I get that, and in no way am I advocating for those business owners to be forced to do anything that they feel goes against their faith.
I’m simply saying that if we want to be perceived as consistent in our principles, forcing gay business owners to serve customers who handed out anti-LGBT brochures probably isn’t a hill worth dying on, politically.
Just something to think about.