I understand the desire of gay people to be accepted. Everybody wants to be accepted. But it seems to me that we’re on a slippery slope. Let me explain.
At first, gay people just wanted to be left alone. Society said, “If you think homosexuality is ok, there’s something wrong with you, and you should be punished.” Homosexuality was illegal. It was punishable by prison time, monetary fines, and other penalties. But then the view of society started to shift. We heard things like, “what is done in the privacy of the home is nobody’s business.” Movies promoted the idea that, well, gay people might be a little off, but they are kind of funny, and well, it isn’t really our place to say they can’t do whatever they want. End result: society said, “We will ignore homosexuality.”
Then people started to put forth the idea that homosexuality wasn’t bad, it was just “different.” We were told that gay people were just like us, and that there was nothing wrong with homosexuality. Once again, Hollywood promoted the idea that gay was ok. End result: society said, “We will accept homosexuality.”
At some point in the past ten years, there has been a decided shift from merely “accepting” homosexuality, to actively promoting it. Watching certain TV shows, reading certain books gives one the idea that not only are gay people “ok,” they are “better” than their straight counterparts. All of a sudden, people started thinking that being gay was not only “not bad” or “neutral” but that being gay was actually a good thing. End result: society said, “We should approve of homosexuality.”
And now that homosexuality is promoted as a good thing, those of us who still believe that the words in the Bible actually mean what they say when they say God says homosexuality is sin are being castigated. We are getting the message, “how dare you say that homosexuality is wrong!” End result: society is coming full circle, and is now starting to say “If you think homosexuality is wrong, there’s something wrong with you, and you should be punished.” We have reached the point where people are being punished for disagreeing with homosexuality. I have two examples of this.
Example number 1: Just Cookies. This is a bakery. They make cookies. It is a family operation. In 2010 a local college (IUPUI) was planning a celebration for “National Coming-Out Day.” The college decided to call Just Cookies and special-order some cookies with rainbows on them. The owner refused the order since he is a Bible-believing Christian, and he does not agree with homosexuality. He (rightly) believed that if people saw his cookies with a pro-gay message, they would think that he approved of homosexuality. The gay rights lobby told the city they needed to investigate this breach of the city’s “anti-discrimination” policy. Never mind that they were asking the bakery to make something they don’t make. They wanted this business shut down. They wanted the business to be kicked out of their lease on city property. Thankfully the city backed down and this man was allowed to continue to run his business with his values intact.
Example number 2: Aloha Bed and Breakfast. In 2007 a lesbian couple tried to book a room at this bed and breakfast. When the owner of the bed and breakfast clarified that they were a gay couple who wanted a room with one bed, she told them she was uncomfortable having lesbians in her house because of her religious views. The couple sued her for discrimination. Yesterday, April 15th, 2013, the first circuit court judge of Hawaii ruled in favor of the couple. The court has informed the owner of this bed and breakfast that she must allow gay couples to stay at her establishment. She now has two options: operate her business against her religious views, or close her business.
Many Christians, including myself, foresee a time in the near future when, like this lesbian couple in Hawaii, gay couples will come to our churches and demand that the church marry them. When the church refuses, there will be fines, prison time, or even closing the church down. That’s when the real persecution will start.
Advocates for gay rights don’t see why this is exactly the same as what our society used to do: they forced people to comply with their point of view on the subject. Is this the way we should behave in a free society?
Tolerance isn’t tolerance if you don’t allow people to disagree with you.
If a Jewish or Muslim couple came into your B&B and you turned him away because Judaism goes against your religious beliefs, you’d be illegally discriminating against them under title VII of the civil rights act of 1964. Why do Christians only desire to discriminate against gays? I have never, ever heard a complaint about title VII except from hardcore libertarians.
Full disclosure, I actually agree with you that in some ways we have gone “full circle” and that some people do show unjust bigotry towards those with traditional religious beliefs. I just also believe that you shouldn’t be able to discriminate against people in the public square. That means no gay-owned businesses kicking out Christians and no Christian-owned businesses kicking out gays.
I would agree with you that you shouldn’t be able to discriminate against SOME people in the public square. I wholeheartedly approve of discrimination against crack smokers being hired as school bus drivers. I could list other examples, but suffice it to say that discrimination isn’t always a bad thing.
As far as your last comment is concerned, I think there’s a difference between “kicking out gays” and the two examples I posted. With the bakery, the gay rights people were asking for a product that the bakery doesn’t normally make for the specific purpose of advancing gay rights.
Let me explain it thusly: let’s say I own a pizzeria. If a flamboyantly gay couple came in, I would seat them, serve them, and thank them for their business. I would have no problem with them, unless they started acting out and being obscene, but my treatment of them would be no different than it would if a man and woman were doing the same thing in my restaurant. I would say, “Please stop making out. People are trying to eat. If you continue to act inappropriately, I will have to ask you to leave”
If, however, this gay couple came in and asked me to make a big banner so they could carry it in their pride parade advertising that I support gay rights, I would decline. That is, in effect, what the people at Just Cookies did.
As far as your comment applies to the Bed & Breakfast, it’s a fine line. I think if you are running a hotel, you can’t really enforce a “no-gays” policy, because how do they know the difference between my best friend and I sharing a room for a fishing trip, and a gay couple? But a B&B is a more intimate setting. Many of these B&B’s are the person’s home. I would agree with those who say that if these B&B’s are not allowing gay couples to stay, they should also not allow unmarried couples to stay. That being said, I think that you should have the right to refuse service to anybody to come into your home business, gays included.
You can’t possibly compare the two. This is like people comparing Homosexuality as a status related to race. “Black people should be treated just like everybody else” is NOT the same as “Gay people should be treated just like everybody else.” One is a state of being determined by genetics, and the other is either a choice or a lifestyle, depending on who you talk to.
There’s a big difference between refusing to serve someone because of their behavior and refusing to serve someone because of their religion. The freedom of religion is guaranteed in the first amendment. The last time I read the constitution, it didn’t mention homosexuals (or sex, even).
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