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Conservatives brace for `marriage revolution'
Conservative Christians say their churches have been unprepared for cultural shifts on same-sex marriage.
June 28th, 2013
06:19 PM ET

Conservatives brace for `marriage revolution'

By Daniel Burke, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

(CNN) - With its ivy-covered entrance and Teddy Bear bouquets, Arlene’s Flowers seems an unlikely spot to trigger a culture-war skirmish.

Until recently, the Richland, Washington, shop was better known for its artistic arrangements than its stance on same-sex marriage.

But in March, Barronelle Stutzman, the shop’s 68-year-old proprietress, refused to provide wedding flowers for a longtime customer who was marrying his partner. Washington state legalized same-sex marriage in December.

An ardent evangelical, Stutzman said she agonized over the decision but couldn’t support a wedding that her faith forbids.

“I was not discriminating at all,” she said. “I never told him he couldn’t get married. I gave him recommendations for other flower shops.”

Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson disagreed, and filed a consumer protection lawsuit against Arlene’s Flowers. The ACLU also sued on behalf of the customer, Robert Ingersoll, who has said Stutzman’s refusal “really hurt, because it was someone I knew.”

Among conservative Christians, Stutzman has become a byword - part cautionary tale and part cause celebre.

Websites call her a freedom fighter. Tributes fill Arlene’s Facebook page. Donations to her legal defense fund pour in from as far away as Texas and Arkansas.

“For some reason, her case has made a lot of people of faith worry,” said Stutzman’s lawyer, Dale Schowengerdt of the Alliance Defending Freedom, a conservative legal group.

Those anxieties have only increased, conservative Christians say, since the Supreme Court struck down part of the Defense of Marriage Act and opened the door to gay marriage in California.

Taking a line from Justice Antonin Scalia's sharp dissent, Southern Baptist scholar Albert Mohler said it’s only a matter of time "before the other shoe drops" – and the high court legalizes same-sex marriage from coast to coast.

“Christians will have to think hard — and fast — about these issues and our proper response,” Mohler wrote on Wednesday.

“We will have to learn an entire new set of missional skills as we seek to remain faithful to Christ in this fast-changing culture.”

His fellow Southern Baptist Russell Moore put the matter more succinctly.

“Same-sex marriage is coming to your community.”

`The debate is over'

Well before the Supreme Court’s rulings, many conservative Christians said they saw the writing - or the poll numbers - on the wall.

Survey after survey shows increasing support for same-sex marriage, especially among young Americans. That includes many religious believers.

Most Catholics and mainline Protestants, not to mention many Jews, support same-sex relationships, according to surveys. The bells of Washington National Cathedral pealed in celebration on Thursday.

Even among those who oppose gay marriage, many think it’s a losing battle.

Seventy percent of white evangelicals believe that legal recognition for gay nuptials is inevitable, according to a June poll by the Pew Research Center, though just 22 percent favor it.

“The gay marriage debate is over,” said Jonathan Merritt, an evangelical writer on faith and culture. “Statistically, all the numbers move in one direction.”

Young Christians have grown up in a far more diverse culture than their forebears, Merritt noted, and many have befriended gays and lesbians.

Pew found that more than 90 percent of Americans overall personally know someone who is gay or lesbian, a 30 percent increase since 1993.

“It’s far easier to wage war against an agenda than it is to battle a friend,” Merritt said.

At the same time, many conservative young Christians say they’re weary of the culture wars, and of seeing their communities labeled “judgmental.”

When Christian researchers at the Barna Group asked Americans aged 16-29 what words best describe Christianity, the top response was “anti-homosexual.” That was true of more than 90 percent of non-Christians and 80 percent of churchgoers, according to Barna.

Tired of being told the country is slouching toward Gomorrah, many young Christians have simply tuned out the angry prophets of earlier generations, evangelical leaders say.

“The shrill angry voices of retrenchment are no longer getting a broad hearing either in the culture at large or in the evangelical community,” Merritt said.

But the battle over same-sex marriage is far from over, said Brian Brown, president of the National Organization for Marriage.

“I don’t believe most Christians are going to give up the fight,” said Brown, who is Catholic. He said his movement includes many young evangelical and Orthodox Christians.

“And they are more energized than ever.”

Love thy gay neighbors

Energized or not, conservative Christians must prepare for the moral dilemmas posed by the country’s growing acceptance of same-sex marriage, said Moore, the new president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission.

“Is Your Church Ready for the Marriage Revolution?” Moore asked, while promoting a special session on homosexuality at the Southern Baptist Convention’s annual meeting in Houston in June.

Many evangelical pastors have seen homosexuality as a distant culture-war battle that’s fought far from the doors of the churches, Moore said.

Now, it’s as close as their front pews.

“I think it’s not so much that churches haven’t wanted to talk about it,” he said, “but they haven’t recognized how much the culture has changed around them.”

The first step, said Moore, is learning to defend traditional marriage without demonizing gays and lesbians.

Walking through Washington’s Union Station last Thursday, Moore said he saw several lesbian couples kissing in celebration of the Supreme Court rulings.

“If we can’t empathize with what’s going on in their hearts and minds, we’re not going to be able to love and respect them.”

Then come a host of secondary questions: How should conservative pastors minister to same-sex couples? Should Christians attend same-sex weddings? Should florists like Barronelle Stutzman's agree to work with gay couples?

`Don't give in' 

Florist Barronelle Stutzman.

In the 17 years she’s owned Arlene’s Flowers, Stutzman said, she’s worked with a number of gay colleagues.

“It really didn’t matter if they were gay, or blue or green, if they were creative and could do the job,” she said.

Stutzman suspects that some of her eight children privately don’t agree with her on homosexuality, even as they publicly support her decision.

Online, Stutzman has been called a bigot, and worse.

She said she’s lost at least two weddings because of her refusal to provide services for the same-sex marriage.

Conservative activists say her case is the first of what will surely be many more, as gay marriage spreads across the country.

As she gets ready to face a judge, the silver-haired florist offered some advice for fellow evangelicals.

“Don’t give in. If you have to go down for Christ, what better person to go down for?”

- CNN Religion Editor

Filed under: Baptist • Belief • Christianity • Church • Culture wars • Discrimination • Faith • Gay marriage • Gay rights • Homosexuality • Politics • Religious liberty • Same-sex marriage

soundoff (5,210 Responses)
  1. Atheist Hunter

    They wave their rainbow flags in ignorance. The rainbow is a promise by God to never destroy the earth for the same type of behaviour they now celebrate by flood. BY FLOOD PEOPLE! You are celebrating and waving the banner of your own demise and wickedness. God will not be mocked! He will take the rainbow back! It is a Christian symbol that you wave, a promise from the creator who despises your ho mo sin. Go figure???

    July 1, 2013 at 12:36 pm |
    • Observer

      ATheist Hunter,

      Skip the HYPOCRISY. Why aren't you trashing the MUCH GREATER number of Christian ADULTERERS?

      It's all HYPOCRISY.

      July 1, 2013 at 12:39 pm |
    • Akira

      I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself?

      July 1, 2013 at 12:40 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      wrong. read your bible.

      god put a rainbow in the sky after he drowned everyone in his great flood. he put there because he promised never to do it again. the rainbow was a reminder of that promise.

      the christian god is a monster unworthy of worship.

      July 1, 2013 at 12:41 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      Or the 700,000+ believers that get an abortion each year in the USA?

      July 1, 2013 at 12:41 pm |
    • AE

      Booty, you wouldn't be here today if it wasn't for that flood.

      July 1, 2013 at 12:42 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      the rainbow is a christian symbol? lol! no, you don't get the rainbow. you didn't invent them, they've been around since the dawn of time, long before christianity was just a fart in the wind.

      July 1, 2013 at 12:43 pm |
    • Just the Facts Ma'am...

      Sooo, I take it light refraction didn't exist pre-flood? Or did it just never rain pre-flood? Really? God invented the prism of a water droplet in the last 10,000 years? Really?

      July 1, 2013 at 12:43 pm |
    • ME II

      @Atheist Hunter,
      What were the Laws for Optics before your supposed God flooded the world, did light not refract through water droplets?

      July 1, 2013 at 12:43 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      @AE
      how do you figure that?

      July 1, 2013 at 12:44 pm |
    • AE

      Bootyfunk
      The wicked people killed in the flood were going to destroy the entire world. Without God intervening mankind would have ended.

      July 1, 2013 at 12:48 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      AH
      The rainbow is an effect when wavelengths of light are seperated when passed through an opaque substance , in this case water. There is no reason to believe any gods have anything to do with it.
      The rainbow is now used as a symbol for acceptance of different people.
      Do you honestly think your god has a problem with people accepting others? If he allegedly is responsible for all people, why would you have a problem with accepting all of the people that he allegedly made?

      July 1, 2013 at 12:50 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      Pointless discussion – there is no god, there is no such thing as 'sin,' there was no flood, and rainbows are merely light refracting through water droplets...

      July 1, 2013 at 12:51 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      Sorry to burst your bubble AE, but The Babble is just fiction – the flood story is just that, a story with no basis in fact. Unless of course you have some factual, independent, verifiable and objective evidence to the contrary.

      July 1, 2013 at 12:51 pm |
    • Keeping It Real

      AE,
      "The wicked people killed in the flood were going to destroy the entire world. Without God intervening mankind would have ended."

      "He" could have "softened their hearts" with a twitch of his nose... IF 'he' existed, that is, and were fair, just and loving.

      July 1, 2013 at 12:52 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      yes, god drowned lots of "wicked" babies in his flood. also the "wicked" elderly and the "wicked" mentally and physically challenged. god is a monster that murdered millions. how can someone fill the lungs of a child with water and call it divine justice? your christian god is unworthy of worship. you'd see that if you weren't in the cult.

      July 1, 2013 at 12:54 pm |
    • AE

      @ HotAirAce

      In Genesis, there are good stories that teach about truth of human beings. I try to approach it with an open mind, and try to think what God might be trying to communicate to us.

      @ Keeping It Real

      – "He" could have "softened their hearts" with a twitch of his nose... "

      Force them to be good and loving?

      July 1, 2013 at 12:57 pm |
    • ReligionIsBS

      Your god is an idiot.

      See, I just mocked him. No flood over here. Is it flooding over there? How about in flood-proned areas? Yep, so he must be real! LOL.

      July 1, 2013 at 12:58 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      AE
      All the wicked people? so all but the handful of people that were spared were in some way wicked?
      Science shows that we did not come from such a small genetic pool, and the evidence also shows that at no time was there a global flood, encompasssing the entire world. If things had happened the way the bible says, the earth would have been completely uninhabitable, forever. All of the normal processes that the earth needs to support life would have ended, and no life would be able to re-start. All evidence we have shows that the whole story is just a story, and it clearly never happened. Only someone that does ot understand ANY science would still believe ( with no reason or logic) that Genesis is a real story.

      July 1, 2013 at 12:58 pm |
    • Atheist Hunter

      Observer.......adultery is also a sin that will send you to hell if unrepentant, just like ho mo.

      July 1, 2013 at 12:58 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      @AE
      or god could have revealed himself so there is no doubt of his existence - then he'd be taken more seriously instead of being just another invisible sky fairy that doesn't exist.

      July 1, 2013 at 12:58 pm |
    • Vic

      I believe God used the rainbow as a skymark, you know, like in landmark, to remind people of His promise that He will not flood drown earth again. That does not mean the Laws of Physics for Light Refraction were not created yet. Just like the moon, God instructed the Jews to use the lunar cycle. That does not mean the moon was not created before Judaism!

      July 1, 2013 at 12:58 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      also, there is a finite amount of water on earth, changed very very slightly by comets/asteroids that still hit the planet. the entire planet could NOT have been covered in water. there isn't enough water on the planet. where did all that extra water go when the it receded? lol.

      July 1, 2013 at 1:00 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      Only a christard can imagine that god has an infinite number of ways to fix a problem but that "kill 'em all" is the best one that is perfect for his overall design.

      July 1, 2013 at 1:00 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      but it does mean the jews dont' get to own the moon as their very own symbol that no one else can use.

      July 1, 2013 at 1:01 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      Continuing AE's education, if The Babble is fiction, most likely (high probability) "God" is just a character in the stories and is not trying to teach you anything.

      July 1, 2013 at 1:02 pm |
    • Atheist Hunter

      Bootyfunk...........that's what I said. BY FLOOD! He won't destroy the whole earth by flood because of ho mo immorality, but it will be punished.

      July 1, 2013 at 1:02 pm |
    • Bob

      Vic, refraction and other properties of light existed long before your religion existed and long before humans created your god. We know this from basic measurements of the speed of light and other observables.

      Believe what you will, but as science progresses, the support for your bizarre sky fairy stories gets ever weaker.

      July 1, 2013 at 1:05 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      except he drowned babies. read that again: BABIES. how can you justify murdering children? your god is a monster.

      July 1, 2013 at 1:05 pm |
    • Keeping It Real

      AE,
      "Force them to be good and loving?"

      Well, as your stories go, 'he' "forced" Pharaoh to be cruel and unyielding. 'He' forced/forces others by sending "strong delusions". Good thing 'he' doesn't exist.

      July 1, 2013 at 1:05 pm |
    • AE

      @ Bootyfunk

      “And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.”

      July 1, 2013 at 1:05 pm |
    • AE

      Sorry, Booty. No innocent people died in the flood.

      July 1, 2013 at 1:06 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      I'm curious to know how a bunch of sheep sodomizing bronze-age people 'almost destroyed the Earth.' I would have thought your all powerful god would know Hiroshima/Nagasaki, Cuban Missile Crisis and my favorite (since I was intimately involved) the Libya bombing were agruably the closest times humanity EVER came to ACTUALLY destroying this planet. Why did you god not forsee these events and cause a flood to prevent any of these QACTUAL events?

      July 1, 2013 at 1:07 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      so the new born babies were evil sinners worthy of being put to death? you are seriously justifying infanticide?

      July 1, 2013 at 1:07 pm |
    • AE

      Where does it say he drowned babies? These people were evil. How do you know the people hadn't already killed all their babies?

      Do you understand just how wicked these people were?

      Why do you want to defend the wicked???

      July 1, 2013 at 1:08 pm |
    • Akira

      AH:
      Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Lev. 19:27. How should they die?

      July 1, 2013 at 1:08 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      God and his sidekick jesus have had 2,000+ years to get humanity to quit sinning. They're not very effective teachers or disciplinarians, but I expect the delusionals, sorry, believers, will blame the students. . .

      July 1, 2013 at 1:08 pm |
    • Just the Facts Ma'am...

      "No innocent people died in the flood."

      Apparently the flood happened at just the right time where no babies existed anywhere...

      July 1, 2013 at 1:10 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      AE
      You are correct that no innocents were killed in the flood, but only in the fact that there was no world encompassing flood. There would be evidence of it, and the evidence shows that it never happened.

      July 1, 2013 at 1:10 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      god drowned everyone on earth but one family. safe to say some of the people on earth were babies. some were elderly. some were physically challenged. some were mentally challenged. and god drowned them all.

      "Do you understand just how wicked these people were?"
      babies can't be wicked. don't be silly.

      you're making excuses for the disgusting and terrible acts of a non-caring god.

      July 1, 2013 at 1:10 pm |
    • Just the Facts Ma'am...

      No one is defending the wicked, we are attacking the wicked. The wicked bigots of the bible and their murdering God.

      July 1, 2013 at 1:11 pm |
    • ME II

      @Vic,
      "I believe God used the rainbow as a skymark, you know, like in landmark, to remind people of His promise that He will not flood drown earth again. "

      Then it is not a Christian symbol as Atheist Hunter claimed, correct?

      July 1, 2013 at 1:12 pm |
    • Vic

      No, not correct. God (Father, Son (Lord Jesus Christ) and Holy Spirit is the same all along. Only time dispensations change, by God!

      July 1, 2013 at 1:19 pm |
    • Vic

      No, not correct. God (Father, Son (Lord Jesus Christ) and Holy Spirit) is the same all along. Only time dispensations change, by God! Christianity continued on, so the rainbow is a Christian symbol!

      July 1, 2013 at 1:21 pm |
    • Just the Facts Ma'am...

      I think only one thing is for sure... Atheist Hunter and Vic are "Deluginal"...

      July 1, 2013 at 1:26 pm |
    • AE

      "babies can't be wicked. don't be silly."

      The babies were dead. The people ate them all.

      And aborted the unborn ones.

      They were 100% wicked.

      July 1, 2013 at 1:27 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      AE, Firstly do you have evidence to show that the children were all dead? Secondly if a god can flood the earth why couldn't it target the evil ones and only kill them without kiling all the animals, fish, and plants?

      July 1, 2013 at 1:33 pm |
    • Candiano

      Chapter and verse where they ate and aborted ALL the babies. You're reaching. Justifying homicide. Stop it, AE.
      If you don't follow ALL of the laws in the OT, you shouldn't follow ANY. The hypocrisy stinks.
      Isn't it like 6 admonishments to gay people, and over 400 to heteros? Gay people aren't the problem. People like YOU are.

      July 1, 2013 at 1:36 pm |
    • AE

      "AE, Firstly do you have evidence to show that the children were all dead? "

      No. It doesn't say that in the story. It says all were wicked.

      "Secondly if a god can flood the earth why couldn't it target the evil ones and only kill them without kiling all the animals, fish, and plants?"

      I don't know. It seems like he wanted to use the Earth to end their wickedness.

      July 1, 2013 at 1:41 pm |
    • Akira

      AE:
      Chapter and verse where it says the ALL of the babies were eaten or aborted, please.
      This is as ludicrous as the person who said God sealed all of the women's wombs so they wouldn't have babies for a number of years before the flood supposedly happened. Long range planner, He.

      July 1, 2013 at 1:44 pm |
    • AE

      Ok, I should have said "maybe". A big maybe.

      The point is, in the story, it says all were guilty. But Bootyfunk said all were not guilty.

      I'm trying to show how all could have been guilty.

      July 1, 2013 at 1:53 pm |
    • Just the Facts Ma'am...

      "I don't know. It seems like he wanted to use the Earth to end their wickedness."

      I think a far more plausible occurence was a catastrophic regional flood in the middle east where all sorts of babies and children and animals were killed and the survivors rationalized that they survived due to some divine intervention thus all those not saved must have been evil. It's quite natural for humans to behave this way, to just assume they were chosen and those who die suddenly must have deserved it somehow. It keeps them from ever accepting the fact that they are just as vulnerable to time and unforseen occurrence as the rest of us.

      July 1, 2013 at 1:57 pm |
    • My Dog is a Jealous Dog

      @Vic

      So by the same logic that makes the star of David a Christian symbol, also?

      July 1, 2013 at 1:59 pm |
    • God

      I will mot be bocked.

      The proscription against same-se'x behavior was a culturally relative law, written into the Bible because it existed already in the culture.

      It was the lowest form of "offensive thing", (mistranslated as "abomination"). It was equivalent to eating with an Egyptian, or wearing certain colored clothing, or eating shell-fish. Do you rail against shell-fish eaters ? Do you wear colored shirts ?
      How ignorant these fundie idiots are about their own Babble.

      July 1, 2013 at 1:59 pm |
    • Doobs

      @ AE

      Force them to be good and loving?

      That's what your god does anyway. It forces behavior on you under the threat of eternal punishment.

      Spin, spin, spin.

      July 1, 2013 at 2:04 pm |
    • Akira

      Babies are not born deserving to die. Period.

      July 1, 2013 at 2:06 pm |
    • Observer

      Atheist Hunter,

      There are FAR FAR MORE Christians that are bound for hell for ADULTERY than there are total number of gays.

      Why all the HYPOCRISY? Don't you care at all about your fellow Christians?

      July 1, 2013 at 2:08 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      AE, I think Bootyfunk's point was – what could the children have done to make them evil enough to be murdered by god? And I was questioning why an ominipotent god couldn't be more discerning?

      July 1, 2013 at 2:18 pm |
    • John Stemberger

      AE

      "babies can't be wicked. don't be silly."

      The babies were dead. The people ate them all.

      And aborted the unborn ones.

      They were 100% wicked.
      ----------–

      AE, keep using as sumption to fill the cracks of your illogical thinking. Can you even hear or see yourself?????

      July 1, 2013 at 2:22 pm |
    • John Stemberger

      Akira

      Babies are not born deserving to die. Period.
      ---------

      Um yes they are in gods eyes. He has many times killed or ordered the death of children

      July 1, 2013 at 2:26 pm |
    • AE

      What is important in the story?

      God uses a flood to wipe out wickedness and clean the Earth.

      When a Christian is baptized, they are emerged in water and their soul is cleansed.

      It shows how God works.

      July 1, 2013 at 2:34 pm |
    • Observer

      AE,

      Please supply EXACT quotes from the Bible talking about people eating their babies before the flood.

      July 1, 2013 at 2:39 pm |
    • Akira

      John Stemberger:
      Which is why I was pointing out the absolute absurdity of the flood: because babies aren't born deserving to die.
      The "people ate the babies", or the "wombs of women were sealed for years before hand" explanations are reaching.
      Babies are not born wicked. That is patently absurd.

      AE:
      Stretching the limits of believability is one reason many people cannot take the OT seriously.

      July 1, 2013 at 3:24 pm |
    • AE

      Maybe, probably not.

      July 1, 2013 at 3:28 pm |
    • AE

      "Stretching the limits of believability is one reason many people cannot take the OT seriously."

      Sure. Parts in the OT are difficult to understand. Even in the NT.

      July 1, 2013 at 3:30 pm |
    • derp

      "Booty, you wouldn't be here today if it wasn't for that flood"

      The only possible way to believe in that flood myth, is to suspend all understanding of geology, biology and physics.

      Oh wait, you are christian, never mind.

      July 1, 2013 at 3:37 pm |
    • AE

      There is more to the world than meets the eye. This is hard for materialistic Americans like me to understand sometimes.

      July 1, 2013 at 3:41 pm |
    • Akira

      Not impossible to understand, AE, impossible to have happened as written. There's that whale of a tale, for example.

      July 1, 2013 at 4:08 pm |
    • TC

      God slaughtered the human race, down to the last screamong toddler and innocent baby, because more people wanted to legally marry? Really?

      July 1, 2013 at 5:26 pm |
    • Arthur Bryant

      For god to "take the rainbow back", there would have to be some major changes to the laws of physics that would affect a lot more than just the pretty colors in the sky.
      Most tribal people have myths about the origin of the rainbow. Yours isn't particularly special or original.

      July 2, 2013 at 2:04 pm |
  2. Atheist Hunter

    She pays the taxes, she should be allowed to operate her business as she pleases in accordance with her freedom of religion rights. Go somewhere else and quit whinning. Always got to make such a fuss.

    July 1, 2013 at 12:33 pm |
    • Saraswati

      If she is rushed to the nearest hospital and the privately practicing ER doctor doesn't like serving right wing Christians is that OK too?

      July 1, 2013 at 12:36 pm |
    • Akira

      Would you feel the same if someone refused you service because you were a Christian?

      July 1, 2013 at 12:38 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      And it would be OK if I refused to sell you something, or serve you, because I don't like your specific cult? It would be OK for me to ask every customer which cult they belong to before I quote a price and to adjust my price according to how crazy or sick I think the cult is?

      July 1, 2013 at 12:40 pm |
    • AE

      I would appreciate her honesty if she refused service to me because I am a Christian.

      July 1, 2013 at 12:41 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      AE, what if it was the ER doctor refusing to save your life? Would you be okay with dying for his convictions?

      July 1, 2013 at 12:43 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      @AE
      no you wouldn't. you would complain that christians are being discriminated against.

      July 1, 2013 at 12:45 pm |
    • Akira

      Appreciate her honesty? Really? So you applaud breaking civil law just to justify your own prejudices. Fantastic. Discrimination is wrong, no matter who the individual is.

      July 1, 2013 at 12:46 pm |
    • AE

      @ Cpt. Obvious
      "ER doctor refusing to save your life"
      Providing flowers and refusing medical treatment are 2 different things. If it was in American, the doctor has taken an oath to treat me.

      @ Booty
      "no you wouldn't. you would complain that christians are being discriminated against."
      Hu?

      @ Akira
      "So you applaud breaking civil law just to justify your own prejudices. Fantastic. Discrimination is wrong, no matter who the individual is."

      I think a gay business owner should have the right to refuse service to a Southern Baptist Church.
      Nobody should be forced to work for someone else.

      July 1, 2013 at 12:53 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      AE, you either respect a person for refusing service in deference to their morals or you don't. Which is it? You shouldn't accept hypocrisy from yourself.

      July 1, 2013 at 12:55 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      you would not be okay with people not selling to you because of your religion. lies.

      July 1, 2013 at 12:56 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      What's more important, taking the Hippocratic oath or following your cult's beliefs?

      July 1, 2013 at 12:56 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      AE says nobody should be forced to work for someone else unless it's a doctor that doesn't want to work for Christians, then it's the opposite of what he says.

      July 1, 2013 at 12:58 pm |
    • Saraswati

      AE, so a doctor has to provide service but not a florist. How about

      a drug store owner?
      a supermarket owner?
      a private waste removal firm?
      a realtor?
      the owner of an apartment complex?
      a lumbar supplier when you are trying to start up a new business?
      the only supplier of the newly pattented widget required to keep your technology current?

      Who decides which is essential and which is not? Who maintainst the list and how many more lawyers do we need...and why do you think we already have more per captia than any other country in the world?

      July 1, 2013 at 1:05 pm |
    • AE

      So what do we do with a gay florist the refuses to provide flowers for a Southern Baptist couple's wedding?

      Fines? Jail time? Force him to provide flowers at gunpoint?

      July 1, 2013 at 1:21 pm |
    • My Dog is a Jealous Dog

      @AH

      No – she has to abide by the laws of the USA – which says that she may not discriminate on the basis of race, gender, religion, or orientation (along with other protected classes). If you do not like this – then leave, because you are never going to be able to vote that away.

      July 1, 2013 at 1:22 pm |
    • Saraswati

      @My Dog, It's not US law but Washington State law. You might be disappointed to check the US law.

      July 1, 2013 at 1:28 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      AE
      First , when did this happen?
      If the florest refuses to sell based on a protected status such as religion, they would be subject to the same laws.

      July 1, 2013 at 1:31 pm |
    • AE

      @ Richard

      Hypothetical.

      Somebody brought up a hypothetical scenario where a Christian is refused service.

      July 1, 2013 at 1:37 pm |
    • ME II

      Technically orientation is not a protected class, according to the EEO, http://www.archives.gov/eeo/terminology.html.

      "The groups protected from the employment discrimination by law. These groups include men and women on the basis of se[]x; any group which shares a common race, religion, color, or national origin; people over 40; and people with physical or mental handicaps. "

      July 1, 2013 at 1:42 pm |
    • Saraswati

      Richard,

      "If the florest refuses to sell based on a protected status such as religion, they would be subject to the same laws."

      No it wouldn't ... the laws are very specific. It's not a free for all or people could just declare themsleves of a religion that doesn't pay taxes. You can't randomly break laws based on your religion.

      July 1, 2013 at 1:44 pm |
    • Saraswati

      @ME II, Right, that's why it's an issue of state law.

      July 1, 2013 at 1:45 pm |
    • ME II

      @Saraswati,
      Again, you are correct.

      “As Attorney General, it is my job to enforce the laws of the state of Washington,” said Ferguson. “Under the Consumer Protection Act [,a state law], it is unlawful to discriminate against customers based on se[]xual orientation. If a business provides a product or service to opposite-se[]x couples for their weddings, then it must provide same se[]x couples the same product or service.”
      (http://blog.seattlepi.com/seattlepolitics/2013/04/09/ag-sues-florist-who-refused-flowers-to-gay-wedding/)

      July 1, 2013 at 1:52 pm |
    • Akira

      AE, if the gay person refused to provide flowers for a SB wedding, he should be prosecuted for breaking the same laws that this florist did. Equal MEANS equal.

      July 1, 2013 at 1:52 pm |
    • Saraswati

      @Akira, technically the analogy here would be a gay person refusing to provide flowers for a straight wedding since that is the same part of the law. But both Washington and the US govt also provide religion protections. We don't protect everything right now...for instance people who don't like to bath and are smelly may in some places be asked to leave private businesses as may people who are loud and disturbing. There are probably beliefs and activities not covered too. Rather than covering everyone and making exceptions, we explicitly list what is protected.

      July 1, 2013 at 2:13 pm |
    • derp

      I don't want to serve food at my restaurant to blacks, hispanics, or jews.

      I'm glad you guys support my right to not serve whoever I don't want to.

      July 1, 2013 at 3:42 pm |
  3. Honey Badger Don't Care

    Why is Barronelle Stutzman not kiIIing her customer who is gay as her religious book commands? She must not be a very good xtiain.

    July 1, 2013 at 12:06 pm |
    • Russell

      why do you keep posting this stupid drivel?
      It is as bad as posting bible quotes over and over and over and .....

      July 1, 2013 at 12:14 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      Good question, Honey Badger. I hope that sentiments like yours (and the thing about shellfish and wearing two different fabrics together and bible heroes having slaves and multiple, incestuous wives) were more known. I hope that soon the reporters of these stories will go ahead and ask a question like yours. Can you imagine? When I see a reporter follow up with a question like one of the ones above, it will be a happy day.

      July 1, 2013 at 12:18 pm |
    • Just the Facts Ma'am...

      I think Honey Badgers point is that they say they should be able to discriminate against gays because of the bible, but then they don't actually listen to the bible when it says to kill those practicing these abominations. If any religious group followed the letter of the law in Leviticus they would be considered far more violent and evil then Islam is considered for some of it's extreme elements. Either say "I believe it all and damn the consequences" or admit "the book is flawed so we should not kill others just because they are gay or are disobedient children".

      July 1, 2013 at 12:28 pm |
    • AE

      "He who is without sin can cast the first stone".

      A commandment from Jesus Christ for Jesus. We don't murder a man or woman for sinning.

      July 1, 2013 at 12:39 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      Jesus also commanded Christians to "do good to (their) enemies" but she ain't following that commandment or she'd sell them flowers.

      July 1, 2013 at 12:42 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      Jesus is a she and sells flowers? Interesting!

      July 1, 2013 at 12:53 pm |
  4. ME II

    Although to be fair, what if this florist refused to provide flowers for a KKK ceremony?

    July 1, 2013 at 11:37 am |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      Hypocrites would continue to feel justified in their prejudice.

      July 1, 2013 at 11:42 am |
    • AverageJoe76

      VERY GOOD QUESTION –

      So would if a black florist refused the business of a known KKK member? Hmmmmmm.

      July 1, 2013 at 11:44 am |
    • Akira

      She shouldn't be in a retail business if she is unwilling to serve all of the puclic, good, bad, or odious.

      July 1, 2013 at 11:47 am |
    • AE

      What if a g@y florist refused to provide flowers for a Southern Baptist wedding?

      July 1, 2013 at 11:50 am |
    • Keeping It Real

      I suppose she could quit doing weddings altogether... and only do funerals, get-wells, Mother's Day, or other festive occasions.

      July 1, 2013 at 11:50 am |
    • Saraswati

      She should still be required to. However, if anything in the environment she was forced to work (as.suming they did set up) discriminated against her or her employees or offered a hostile environment she'd have a case against them...and I'm betting it would. So it would be in the interest of the KKK (not big in Washington, btw) to hire carefully

      July 1, 2013 at 11:53 am |
    • EnjaySea

      Refusing to provide flowers to a KKK ceremony is morally sound, because the KKK are racists. A gay couple is just two people in love that want to get married. The florist in this story is on the KKK side of the issue, not the other way around.

      She's the one discriminating against someone because of her disgust and hatred for homosexuals.

      July 1, 2013 at 11:56 am |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      @enjaycee

      But now you are just playing the same moral game she is when refusing to provide service to people she finds morally reprehensible. If that's your measuring stick, then she's using it properly when she makes her decision.

      July 1, 2013 at 12:00 pm |
    • AE

      What if it was a g@y florist refusing service to a Southern Baptist wedding?

      July 1, 2013 at 12:06 pm |
    • Russell

      No one is born KKK. It is a decision you make to support a group.
      Not the same as being born black, white, or gay.
      A tougher question would be does she have to supply flowers for a Democratic convention?

      July 1, 2013 at 12:08 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      Me II is bringing up the issue of moral repugnancy. She is making a decision based on what she finds morally repugnant, and Me II is simply reminding many of us that we might agree with her actions if we found the same thing to be morally repugnant as she does.

      This thought experiment is the sort of thing that redeems the value of these forums, and we should be doing this sort of thing more often-–finding the places in our own philosophy where we are inconsistent. This is the sort of question that the writers of CNN Belief Blog should be using in their reporting, here.

      July 1, 2013 at 12:14 pm |
    • Saraswati

      @Russell, If you allow restriction of sales to a party, it is possible to drive peole out of the political arena because no one will give the air time etc.. But you should have to ensure a completely non-hostile environment at conditions which guarantee that no mistake is made in people perceiving that the employed contractor supports your position.

      July 1, 2013 at 12:15 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      IF you're raised in a KKK household, I don't think you have much of a choice in the matter.

      July 1, 2013 at 12:19 pm |
    • ME II

      Some really excellent responses. Thanks everyone.

      While I like the @EnjaySea's and @Russell's thoughts, I also feel it would be hard to justify ultimately, similar to @Cpt. Obvious. @Saraswati may hold a key... if there is a "legitimate business reason" for refusing service, then it might be legally and, perhaps, morally acceptable.

      July 1, 2013 at 12:26 pm |
    • EnjaySea

      I do understand the thought experiment Cpt Obvious, and it's very interesting. So I'll pose another one then. Is it valid for a KKK florist to refuse supplying flowers to a black or interracial marriage?

      Although they certainly have a right to, that doesn't change the fact that they're showing their racism. The florist in the story, and the KKK florist in my example, are showing discrimination towards people who were born a certain way, and that happens to be the worst kind of discrimination, no matter how you frame it.

      July 1, 2013 at 12:27 pm |
    • Akira

      What possible legitimate business reason would there be to deny service to gay people, black people, religious people, bigoted racist people, etc? Is there one?
      I mean, I can certainly see why a bartender would withhold another drink from a person who is clearly inebriated. Liability, and all. But for withholding flowers?

      July 1, 2013 at 12:34 pm |
    • ME II

      @Akira,
      Extreme example, if someone wanted to send flowers with a death threat written on the card, I would think the florist would be well within their rights to refuse.
      While I'm not sure if similar rationale could be carried to a KKK meeting/ceremony, there may exist a legitimate reason.

      July 1, 2013 at 12:37 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      @enjaysea

      Actually, I'm in favor of allowing businesses to discriminate as they will and let the public decide who to go to. The question for me is much harder because I'd have to decide which businesses provide services that equate to a "right" held by a citizen. So, is a small private clinic under obligation to provide services to people that they find morally repugnant? Why or why not?

      However, in this country we have decided that discrimination is not allowed when it comes to race and capability. Many years ago I ran a business whose license was withheld until the company refitted doors and flooring and shelving. We also knocked down two walls and completely rebuilt a stockroom and bathroom-–all to comply with the laws concerning service to the handicapped. (The cost turned out to be about $17,000 dollars). Although the business was set up to service handicapped persons, in very rare cases, persons with certain handicaps may not have been able to access one of the restrooms as readily as after the modifications.

      So what is the deciding factor, here? To what group of people can a business owner refuse service and why? We are saying that moral repugnance is not a good deciding factor in our judgment of the florist, here, so what is a good deciding factor?

      July 1, 2013 at 12:37 pm |
    • Saraswati

      Cpt. Obvious,

      In many places the only substantial hospital is a Catholic or other private hospital. If the administrators decide they only want to serve whites or Muslims or whatever in that ER is that OK?

      If you live in a town where garbage collection is private and run by one company who decides they don't like your religion and won't serve you, are you OK with that? You are 80 and don't drive.

      If you have a small business cleaning hotels and the local hotels are bought up by a conglomerate that doesn't like your race and won't hire you anymore, driving you out of business, are you OK with that?

      July 1, 2013 at 12:46 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      Re: being raised in a KKK home, I and many others were raised to be christians but we managed to escape those cults. Religion is a choice – s3xual orientation is not.

      July 1, 2013 at 12:46 pm |
    • Akira

      MEII: I suppose. Although the simplest way would be to be to tell the customer it is against the law to send death threats, and did he want to continue with the purchase knowing the vendor wouldn't send the threat...I dunno. Food for thought.
      That's not exactly discrimination as much as not being a party to an illegal act. But I suppose anything can be taken too far in the litigation world.

      July 1, 2013 at 12:55 pm |
    • EnjaySea

      @Cpt Obvious

      I actually haven't been speaking to whether a business should be allowed to refuse service. I agree with you that this should be up to the business. My point isn't about the practicality, or legality, or consequences of refusing service to a group of people. I'm pointing out that the refusal exposes the prejudice of the refuser.

      And in my standard of measurement, it's more acceptable to feel moral repugnance towards KKK members, and completely unjustified to feel repugnance towards people who were born a certain way.

      July 1, 2013 at 12:56 pm |
    • Saraswati

      Just an aside gys: If you see someone trying to send a death threat, you call the cops.

      July 1, 2013 at 1:09 pm |
    • Saraswati

      "guys"

      July 1, 2013 at 1:12 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      AH, Don't you just love moral relativism?

      July 1, 2013 at 1:33 pm |
    • Saraswati

      @Bill, as far as I can see everyone here is arguing a moral position based on rules. Just because someone else's rules don't match yours doesn't make them relativists.

      July 1, 2013 at 1:41 pm |
    • Rory

      I wonder, in a KKK marriage ceremony, how do you tell the groom from the bride? They're both wearing white gowns, after all?

      July 1, 2013 at 1:41 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      @Saraswati

      I'm not king and it makes little difference what "i'm okay with." I explained in my post that I was in the middle of the process of trying to find a mechanism by which to make a seemingly correct decision every time it is raised. I do not feel that a private club serving private members of its own choosing should have to go against their charter and accept just anyone for fear of being sued for discrimination. (For instance, I think boy scouts should be for boys only; no girls allowed). Should a soul food restaurant be forced to serve KKK members?

      I'm the one struggling to find a suitable mechanism. Do you have any ideas?

      July 1, 2013 at 1:47 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      @Enjay Sea

      I guess I'd rather business owners keep their opinions to themselves and serve their customers. If they don't like their clientele, then they've got some tough choices to make. Business owners tend to be savvy when it comes to accepting payment and promotion of their business/services--even from those who they consider "evil" and would not normally associate with.

      July 1, 2013 at 1:51 pm |
    • Saraswati

      Cpt. Obvious,

      I think it's better to start with an assumption that you serve everyone. If some exceptions are needed they should be made as exceptions, rather than the other way around. But all I'm really uncomfortable with here is the number of people who seem to think we don't need any regulation at all. This is frighteningly naive and makes me worry that a generation that grew up under illusions created by the protections we now have might actually remove them without realizing the likely consequences.

      July 1, 2013 at 2:08 pm |
    • Akira

      AE:
      Then the gay florist should be prosecuted, also. As I said above, equal MEANS equal.

      July 1, 2013 at 2:15 pm |
  5. { ! }

    About 50 years ago, a generation of kids rose up and said 'down with the establishment we can think for ourselves'. Next, a few bold children said of a marriage license, "its only a piece of paper. We'll just shack up". Then, many of thousands of others said "we can think for ourselves too", ( read that "everyone's doing it"). From giants of mental illumination to sheep in a few years. And so, two generations of americans have been making marriage unnecessary, burdensome, irrelevant. Anyway, "its only a piece of paper."

    Now we have gay marriage. Who were the biggest supporters? The "its only a piece of paper" crowd, of course.

    So, gay people, your marriages are already unnecessary, irrelevant. They might even be burdensome. Who says so?
    The "its only a piece of paper" crowd.

    July 1, 2013 at 11:23 am |
    • ME II

      @{ ! },
      I see no contradiction. Those who wish to get the "piece of paper" should be allowed to. Those who don't want/need one don't need to get one.
      What's the problem?

      July 1, 2013 at 11:26 am |
    • Randy

      {!} Good point.

      July 1, 2013 at 11:30 am |
    • Stupidhurts

      So what if gay people want a "piece of paper?" That's not your business if you're not gay.

      July 1, 2013 at 11:30 am |
    • Doobs

      That "piece of paper" provides a couple with legal rights and benefits. If you choose not to get one, fine. If you choose to get the "piece of paper", you should be able to get it. What's your point?

      July 1, 2013 at 11:31 am |
    • Richard Cranium

      To some , it is just a paper, to others not. Where is the research you have done to show the two are the same...it sounds like you jumped to an unjustified conclusion based on nothing more than your opinion

      July 1, 2013 at 11:37 am |
    • Saraswati

      It's only apiece of paper as long as you and you and your children don't need the legal protections it provides. It is one thing for childless 25 year olds with negligible estates and both US citizens to consider it just paper. For them it is. But for most people it offers estate, legal protection, immigration, custody and financial protections that may be very important.

      July 1, 2013 at 11:43 am |
    • Arthur Bryant

      Perhaps with age and time the "it's only a piece of paper" crowd came to understand that it's a *legal* piece of paper; one that bestows certain rights and privileges on those who hold it. It's those rights and privileges that are now available to all consenting adults, regardless of gender.

      July 2, 2013 at 2:10 pm |
  6. JRR

    Yes Mrs Stutzman, this is clearly what Jesus would want you to spend your time, energy and freedom fighting against. It should be obvious to anyone that something Jesus never said a word about is the most important subject of our times, while all the matters that he DID discuss can be ignored.

    Clearly.

    July 1, 2013 at 10:59 am |
  7. hee hee

    @Tiredetc.:

    your post demonstrates no comprehension of mine. I mention nothing about slippery slopes. I was just pointing out a logical fallacy in action.

    Keep working on the reading comprehension. You'll get there someday!

    July 1, 2013 at 10:58 am |
    • Akira

      Gee, must have missed the root post. What did you say in the first place?

      July 1, 2013 at 11:07 am |
  8. AverageJoe76

    And this florist makes no sense; she says she's worked with them (gay people in her shop), but she won't do a wedding for a gay couple??
    So gay people can work UNDER you, but God forbids you to serve them? Moral Of The Story; She's a choosey Bigot. Because if it was SUCH a sin, then you shouldn't be around them, period. Or want their talent. Or have them serve customers. Or want to hear their gay lil' voices..... or whatever else it is. "Faithfuls Are Funny" [new t-shirt]

    July 1, 2013 at 10:54 am |
    • William Demuth

      Be careful what you wish for

      If conservatives learn from the civil rights movement, they would start considering boycotts

      Simply make it financial. Business caters to cash, and would throw ANYONE, gay, black, or quadriplegic eskimos under the bus for a profit.

      If conservatives can hurt the bottom line of supporters, you will find less supporters

      That is the next battlefield.

      July 1, 2013 at 11:01 am |
    • Keeping It Real

      AverageJoe,

      I think she's out of line too, but to be fair, she has served this customer often before (and knew he was gay). It was just the marriage part that her "faith" in her church caused her scruples here.

      July 1, 2013 at 11:23 am |
    • Just the Facts Ma'am...

      "If conservatives learn from the civil rights movement, they would start considering boycotts" To bad for the conservatives that the money is on the side of catering to all, not discriminating against large groups of people based on their s e xual preference.

      There will be a time coming soon where a business can reserve the right to refuse service to anyone not wearing shoes or shirt but they will be sued in civil court if they refuse service based on skin color or se xual orientation.

      Bigots are now going to be the minority in America and experience some of the discrimination they so enjoyed dealing out. I for one have not been back to a Hobby Lobby or Chick-fil-A since they went public with their discriminatory practices. The businesses will follow the almighty dollar, and it's going in the direction of freedom, not more discrimination.

      July 1, 2013 at 11:25 am |
    • Saraswati

      It's OK to support decorating his house when he's living in unmarried sin, but not the celebration of the legal status that will allow his estate to be protected when he dies. Charming.

      July 1, 2013 at 1:50 pm |
  9. Russell

    To get back to the article –
    This woman refuses to provide services to gay couples getting married due to her religious beliefs.
    I would support this IF, and only if, she refused services to all marriages that did not go against the teachings of her church. That would mean:
    No divorced people getting married again
    No shellfish at the reception
    Virgin brides only
    No cotten blends in any of the wedding party outfits
    Bride and groom must share her interpretation of the bible. aka no pagans or heathens

    July 1, 2013 at 10:50 am |
    • Observer

      Amen.

      July 1, 2013 at 10:52 am |
    • Bob

      Good, Russell. Trapped in their own hate literature.

      July 1, 2013 at 10:53 am |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      I would think that if we study the situation enough and the bible enough, we could find a reason for her to not serve any customers at all according to her biblical morals. Something tells me she worships her true god (money) a bit more than the one she professes to play the bigot, now.

      July 1, 2013 at 10:55 am |
    • Observer

      Asking the brides if they are virgins would be a good start.

      July 1, 2013 at 10:56 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      How about this idea "No one should be forced into commerce against their will"

      July 1, 2013 at 10:58 am |
    • AverageJoe76

      AND.... why is she using their talent? She said, “It really didn’t matter if they were gay, or blue or green, if they were creative and could do the job...”

      You can't serve them, but they can serve you. You'll employ gays, but will not cater to them.

      July 1, 2013 at 10:59 am |
    • Observer

      Bill Deacon

      "How about this idea "No one should be forced into commerce against their will"

      If people are clueless about the laws concerning the business they are running, they shouldn't be in business. Discrimination is not allowed under U.S. laws.

      July 1, 2013 at 11:03 am |
    • AverageJoe76

      @Bill Deacon – Then black people would still be barred from certain businesses. And the surrounding community would support them [to keep it tight]. I think if you're a business, you cannot BE in business in these 'free' United States of America if you want to discriminate against another 'free' citizen of the U.S.

      Bill, you know how slippery a slope that is once you give a business the right to discriminate like that?

      July 1, 2013 at 11:03 am |
    • My Dog is a Jealous Dog

      @BD

      That is one of the most un-American statements you have ever made. I'm sure there are plenty of businesses in the south that would be happy not having to serve black people.

      July 1, 2013 at 11:04 am |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      You know what would be really great. If people came in and said, "I want to buy these flowers. Please deliver them to this location at this time and in this manner." And then she said, "Ok, no problem. Here's the bill." And nobody talks about being gay or a virgin or wearing a cloth made of two different yarn types.

      July 1, 2013 at 11:09 am |
    • Saraswati

      @Bill,

      'How about this idea "No one should be forced into commerce against their will"'

      You realize there are small towns in the south were using a single realtor could essentially block anyone of another race from moving in? And services? What would you include? Can your drug store discriminate? The supermarket? A major supplier that's the only place to buy a given widget? Realtors? Apartment complexes?

      Do you actually think these things through at all?

      July 1, 2013 at 11:10 am |
    • Just the Facts Ma'am...

      I think the big difference between gays and blacks in BD's mind is that blacks are no longer considered the cursed sons of Cain that can be relegated to second class citizens, but gay's still are.

      July 1, 2013 at 11:16 am |
    • Saraswati

      @Just,

      I think that when Bill says stuff like

      'How about this idea "No one should be forced into commerce against their will"'

      He really hasn't thought through what he's saying...and certainly hasn't presented a clear position unless we take it literally in which case it's absurd to the point I can't believe it's possible he believes that. He'd need to answer?

      Who can we discriminate against in doing commerce? Anyone we don't like? People whose believe we don't like? People whose actions we don't like?

      Can any business do this discrimination? A private hospital? A drug store? Supermarket? Apartment complex? Realtor?

      If not any discrimination, then who decides which is OK?

      If not any business, then who decides that?

      July 1, 2013 at 11:24 am |
    • Just the Facts Ma'am...

      I have no problem with private groups keeping whatever discriminatory practices they want. I live near a private golf course that does not allow black or female members. I think it's a shame but that's a private club so it's their choice. Now if was a public golf course open to all EXCEPT women and blacks then we have a problem. No one is forcing any private group to admit gays except for the pressure that public opinion wields like it did in my area when it was made public that the golf course still would not admit black members, however, the club is so exclusive and their members so wealthy and anonymous that the story blew over and no one seems to even notice after a few months.

      July 1, 2013 at 11:36 am |
    • Saraswati

      @Just, again this assumes these issues are as trivial as golf and flowers. How about food and medicine and clothing and housing and the resources needed to set up a business? How about a small unpopular minority in an area where no one will sell to them? I'm afraid yours is a fantasy world derived from growing up in a time and place which offered enough legal protections that you don't really understand what legal discrimination can do.

      July 1, 2013 at 11:47 am |
    • Just the Facts Ma'am...

      I can see your point. If the cure for cancer was found by a private company that then denied it to a certain group, i.e blacks or gays, that would put the issue front and center instead of something we can half ignore like a racist gold club.

      July 1, 2013 at 12:01 pm |
    • Just the Facts Ma'am...

      er, golf club... but gold club works as well I guess 🙂

      July 1, 2013 at 12:01 pm |
  10. AverageJoe76

    Ahhh..... martyrdom at it's best:

    “Don’t give in. If you have to go down for Christ, what better person to go down for?”

    Ummm, Mohammed? Maybe? (at this that's the growing perception of the suicide-bombers)

    July 1, 2013 at 10:43 am |
    • AverageJoe76

      Sorry, pressed POST to fast. I meant to say:

      "at least that's the perception of a suicide-bomber"

      July 1, 2013 at 10:45 am |
  11. William Demuth

    What stunned me the most by this article is the idea that somewhere in the US is a florist who is straight!!

    Never, ever, ever in my 50 plus years have I met a straight florist.

    July 1, 2013 at 10:29 am |
    • Gay Fish

      Right! And where's the story of the hairstylist who wouldn't do the hair for a gay wedding?

      July 1, 2013 at 10:56 am |
    • derp

      My florist is straight, and married with three daughters.

      July 1, 2013 at 10:58 am |
    • William Demuth

      Does he live in a closet?

      July 1, 2013 at 11:03 am |
    • derp

      Nope.

      He is a family friend. Studied horticulture, worked in greenhouse industry for years. Decided he wanted to start his own small business. When his daughters were younger they all worked there. He is an old school cigar smoking whiskey drinking man's man.

      He just owns a flower shop.

      July 1, 2013 at 11:35 am |
  12. Stein

    gaywedding.com should most likely have recommendations for florists. move on.

    July 1, 2013 at 10:18 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      You're right Stein. The problem ensues when the offended party uses the leverage of government to force the other party into contracts. If two parties cannot strike a deal, find another provider. I have a feeling the lady could not care less whether the marriage takes place, she just doesn't want to service it. Once the legal process is invoked, we're into "forced acceptance" territory.

      July 1, 2013 at 10:30 am |
    • ME II

      I think such situations, much like the segregated lunch counters in the 60s, a store that offers products and/or services to the public is not allowed to discriminate. If they sell to the public they must sell to all of the public.

      July 1, 2013 at 10:45 am |
    • Richard Cranium

      Bill Deacon
      So what you are saying that we should not allow forced acceptance...like of blacks, latinos, chinamen, old people..etc, etc.

      So I should be able to open a restaurant that is white only or have segregated sections? There are reasons that certain things, including $exual orientation are matters of civil rights.
      You continue to prove that you are part of what is wrong in this country.

      July 1, 2013 at 10:49 am |
    • Bob

      Even some basic reading on certain topics in science might be of help to Vic.

      Vic, you could start here. Pretty respected source:
      http://www.nas.edu/

      July 1, 2013 at 10:49 am |
    • Akira

      Give me a break. If she discriminated against Christians, you'd be having kittens.
      Maybe she should start a website of her own: nogayflowers.com.

      July 1, 2013 at 10:50 am |
    • Saraswati

      @ME II, Agreed. Otherwise we run the very real risk of members of unpopular small minorities, of any kind, being unable to get vital services anywhere. Some people are too young, too poorly educated or not well enough travelled to realize these are real possibilities and that people have died when medical services were not provided due to discrimination, and been driven out or forced to live in squalor for lack of housing. The example of a florist in a large diverse area trivializes the harsh realities here which could not only leave you sick, hungry or homeless but very realistically would provide barriers to minorities trying to set up businesses when suppliers chose not to work with them.

      July 1, 2013 at 10:51 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      So what you're telling me is that when people complain that gays are forcing acceptance of their lifestyle on others, they are accurate in that claim? You are actually forcing acceptance onto others. Good to know that totalitarianism is alive and well. You should pray the political tide remains in your favor.

      July 1, 2013 at 10:55 am |
    • Just the Facts Ma'am...

      "So what you're telling me is that when people complain that blacks are forcing acceptance on others, they are accurate in that claim? You are actually forcing acceptance onto others. Good to know that totalitarianism is alive and well. You should pray the political tide remains in your favor."

      I just want you to see how bigoted you sound Bill.

      July 1, 2013 at 11:00 am |
    • derp

      If she refused to serve catholics you'd be whining about christian persecution.

      Is it okay if my flower show refuses to serve blacks, or Italians, or Jews?

      July 1, 2013 at 11:00 am |
    • Russell

      @Bill Deacon
      What do you mean when you say 'gays are forcing acceptance of their lifestyle on others'?
      How is that different from black or jewish people from forcing their lifestyle on others?

      July 1, 2013 at 11:02 am |
    • ME II

      @Bill Deacon,
      "You are actually forcing acceptance onto others. "

      Not sure who you were responding to, but no one is forcing "acceptance", just not allowing a public business to discriminate without a "legitimate business reason", I think is the term.

      July 1, 2013 at 11:05 am |
    • Saraswati

      @Bill, You are using the word "acceptance" like this is a simple term on which we all agree with a single meaning and reference. What do we mean when we "accept" someone of a different race or religion or se.xual orientation or political view?

      We don't spit on them on the street?
      We allow them to marry?
      We allow them to marry our children?
      We agree to share our educational facilities?
      We agree to sell them flowers?
      We agree to provide them medical care?
      We agree to allow them to move into our neighborhood?
      We agree not to use slurs against them?
      We agree never to criticize them?
      We agree to provide firefighters when their home is burning?
      We agree to provide them a forum for expssing their views?
      We agree to defend them legally when needed?

      These are all different questions and in different contexts people will have different opinions. I suspect for gay couples you "accept" some of these and not others...so please don't try to play games with semantics here.

      July 1, 2013 at 11:06 am |
    • Stein

      BD-Right!
      The courts might have endorsed the right of this union, does not mean individuals should be forced to endorse this union by being required to be part of it.
      Ultimately, the florist was willing to bear the loss of a lost order. This couple had million other options to source the flowers for their wedding.

      July 1, 2013 at 11:16 am |
    • ME II

      I'm curious if the shop owner provides flowers for bar/bat mitvahs, jewish weddings/funerals, muslim weddings/funerals, someone sending flowers to their adulterous mistress (mister? what's the name for "the other man"?)

      July 1, 2013 at 11:22 am |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      @Stein

      So my business can refuse to serve handicapped and blacks? Oh, and selling a product to someone does not mean that you are involved or that you endorse what the product will be used for. Should the Amish blame themselves if someone uses a table leg as a d!ldo?

      July 1, 2013 at 11:22 am |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      @Bill Deacon

      What exactly are h.o.mos3xu.als fo.r.cing on others?

      July 1, 2013 at 11:25 am |
    • Richard Cranium

      No Bill Deacon
      Again...no one is forciing you to accept their orientation (it is not a lifestyle, any more than being straight is a lifestyle).
      You are supposed to TREAT them the same as you should treat all people. If you own and run a shop, or engage in commerce, you are to treat all customers the same , by law. The other option is to shut down and do not engage in commerce.

      July 1, 2013 at 11:25 am |
    • Joey

      It's not forcing, it is more like shaming them. If you come out and say that you don't want to do business with gay people then others will rightly call you a bigot.

      July 1, 2013 at 12:42 pm |
  13. Russell

    It amazes me that so many people who will not be affected are making such a big deal out of this.
    Gay people have been living together all along. More people are not going to magically become gay. The 'lifestyle' that has so many bible thumpers so worried will not change and no one is going to change the way they live because of the recent court rulings. This just gives equal rights to a minority.

    July 1, 2013 at 9:53 am |
    • Just the Facts Ma'am...

      This just allows them to be more visible which the conservative bigots don't want to see. They "know" it's there they just don't want to have to see it, so this is really a selfish issue where one group denies another group the same rights they are enjoying just so the one group already enjoying it can imagine the other people don't exist.

      July 1, 2013 at 10:08 am |
    • Saraswati

      I suspect it does a couple of things the fundamentalists don't like. First, many groups in the US believe this country was founded by god as a leading light to become a great Christian nation. Whenever they are faced with movements they think are contrary to their belief that this is God's Country, it challenges their worldview in painful ways.

      Second, for those that think ho.mose.xuality is a choice, making it look acceptable is something they fear will make their own kids more likely to "choose" it, and therefore end up in hell.

      July 1, 2013 at 10:56 am |
  14. palintwit

    Historians now agree that the south lost the civil war because generations of inbreeding resulted in an abnormally high number of mentally challenged soldiers in the confederate army. Also, physical deformaties such as webbed feet prevented the confederates from running from the northern army, thus insuring their capture and defeat. One has only to take a casual drive south of the Mason-Dixon line to see the descendants of the confederate forces, easily recognizable by their lack of teeth, sloping foreheads and propensity to eat at Chick-fil-A.

    July 1, 2013 at 9:51 am |
    • Just the Facts Ma'am...

      It's not so much Chick-fil-A that they love, it's just anything deep fried... Deep fried butter to a southerner is an actual food item...

      July 1, 2013 at 10:04 am |
  15. William Demuth

    Does anyone get the sense we are inching closer to Civil War 2 by the second?

    If we don't share a common culture, it's going to be difficult to stay one country much longer.

    The divisions between us are festering, and we seem to be going on an inexorable march towards violence

    July 1, 2013 at 9:08 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      There's no well-defined geographic separation. A second civil war would be a nasty thing indeed.

      July 1, 2013 at 9:13 am |
    • Richard Cranium

      I would be much more likely to march toward violins... I am a musician and a pacifist. The first one to use vilolence is the first to run out of ideas.

      July 1, 2013 at 9:13 am |
    • William Demuth

      Yes Richard, but the first to use violence is alas often the only one to survive.

      As far as geographic distribution, just point the warheads due south.

      July 1, 2013 at 9:23 am |
    • Vic

      God Forbid!

      July 1, 2013 at 9:23 am |
    • Damocles

      CW2? I don't think so. I tend to think that the vast majority of everyday people find common ground struggling with the same things like work, raising a family, etc etc. and realizing that the stupid people are, well, stupid.

      Having said that, I can see a possible revolution down the road because the government is, well, stupid.

      July 1, 2013 at 9:36 am |
    • Vic

      I believe what ignites trouble is not what things s u c c u m b to but how they are settled! A lot of people can not come to terms with courts overturning people's votes to decide the issues! A prime example is California's Proposition 8.

      July 1, 2013 at 9:50 am |
    • tallulah13

      I think that there are some people who would very much like another civil war. Quite a few of them, it seems, are still upset that they lost the last one.

      It's almost inevitable. Nations of this size, with such a disparate populations, are ponderous beasts. They aren't built to last. Empires rise and fall and almost 250 years is a pretty good lifespan. I don't wish to see this country fail, but with so many people, many of them in power, working against it, survival is going to be a tough battle. Sadly, I don't think enough Americans really love their country enough to fight that battle.

      July 1, 2013 at 9:57 am |
    • Russell

      I really hope william demuth also posts as vic.
      I don't want to believe there are really 2 people that stupid.
      If it were up to people like you, science books would be edited by the church, women would not be voting and anyone with African heritage would be segragated from anglo saxons.
      Get a life and stop interfering with others living theirs!

      July 1, 2013 at 9:57 am |
    • Akira

      People can vote for anything they want; if it's unconstitutional, it will be overturned.

      If people voted to ban religion, would you take that sitting down, Vic? Of course not. Because it's unconstitutional. And then, there is the issue that it was legal, and they took away a right that was previously given.

      July 1, 2013 at 9:58 am |
    • tallulah13

      There's the problem, Vic. Prop 8 is unConstitutional. The Constitution is the final arbiter in this country. This country could not stand if it had no ultimate criterion for legality.

      July 1, 2013 at 10:02 am |
    • Just the Facts Ma'am...

      Does anyone get the sense we are inching closer to Cry Baby War 2 by the second? Waa Waa, I don't like gays, waa waa!

      July 1, 2013 at 10:02 am |
    • lol??

      Everybody to college!! The Frankfurt School will fix ya right up. Bloom and the other classifiers are in control already. Just take the velvet gloves off.

      July 1, 2013 at 10:03 am |
    • Damocles

      @just the facts

      Right, I really think that's what it all boils down to. If you don't like gays, great, you have that right. If you don't want to be gay, then don't be gay. If, for some reason, you are afraid that one of those marriages you crash is going to be gay, then stop crashing weddings.

      Two guys or two women getting married in no way, shape, or form affect you in any way that you choose to not allow it to.

      July 1, 2013 at 10:08 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      To be accurate Tallulah, the court didn't decide Prop 8 was unconstiitutional. They decided the plaintiffs had no legal standing.

      July 1, 2013 at 10:16 am |
    • Akira

      Yes, Bill, they kicked it back to the state courts when nobody stood up to defend Prop 8. When the state appellate court found it unconstitutional, I believe...

      July 1, 2013 at 10:21 am |
    • Vic

      Keep in mind that the Legislator (US CONGRESS) is composed of elected officials of the people, by the people, for the people, and that deciding the issues is a voting process amongst members of Congress, which is in turn people's votes. Therefore, such issues could still be resolved by voting! Unfortunately, the Justices of SCOTUS are not elected officials nor shall they legislate!

      Now, the vast majority of people in the United States REJECT discrimination of any sort and vote accordingly!

      July 1, 2013 at 10:21 am |
    • ME II

      @Bill Deacon,
      Correct, it was the US District court in CA that ruled it unconsti.tutional.

      July 1, 2013 at 10:24 am |
    • William Demuth

      Rus

      Just me, the same guy who has posted over 20,000 times

      Never had another name, never will.

      I argue for freedom, common sense and secular values, and if you have an issue with that, just come at me bro!

      July 1, 2013 at 10:25 am |
    • Vic

      Keep in mind that the Legislator (US CONGRESS) is composed of elected officials of the people, by the people, for the people, and that deciding the issues is a voting process amongst members of Congress, which is in turn people's votes. Therefore, such issues could still be resolved by voting! Unfortunately, the Justices of SCOTUS are not elected officials nor shall they legislate!

      Now, the vast majority of people in the United States REJECT discrimination of any sort and vote accordingly!

      Sorry about the lousy formatting!

      July 1, 2013 at 10:29 am |
    • ME II

      @William Demuth,
      I don't think another civil war is even remotely possible in the near future, ~50 years or so. As much disagreement on social issues as there is, the economic systems are pretty much consistent across the country.

      July 1, 2013 at 10:30 am |
    • Richard Cranium

      Vic
      You clearly do not undertand how our democracy works. The people can vote, but it is not always majority rule. If the majority ruled and sid that christianity is now going to be the national religion, that would directly violate the const!tution., even if the majority of the people voted for it.
      Voting is only one small part of the process.

      July 1, 2013 at 10:34 am |
    • Just the Facts Ma'am...

      On the Civil War 2 issue, I think one side will have the advantage, the side that doesn't have over 30% of their States population clinically obese. If they were able to make it up the hill the North wouldn't have much trouble hitting them... doesn't really matter how many guns and how much ammo you have if you can't run more than 30 feet at a time... look up the too 10 fattest states to see who will lose the war (here's a hint, they keep having to re-size their bible belt...)

      July 1, 2013 at 10:39 am |
    • Vic

      Nice discussion! I like civility & objectiveness! Much better than badgering, name calling, etc.!

      July 1, 2013 at 10:40 am |
    • Vic

      Nice discussion! I like civility & objectiveness! Much better than badgering, name calling, etc.!

      July 1, 2013 at 10:42 am |
    • Saraswati

      @Just, That would likely be a fair outcome if the war were fought now and between states. However a civil war would not necessarily be on geographic lines and the weight by party affiliation doesn't cut quite the same way.

      July 1, 2013 at 10:44 am |
    • Saraswati

      Also, fortunately, I believe the hormones involved in appeti.te stimulation and suppression are simple enough that within 50 years this problem will be better managed. Also obesity is greatly influenced by genetics and the obese have far lower fertility.

      July 1, 2013 at 10:45 am |
    • Just the Facts Ma'am...

      Two points. I was obviously being facetious when talking about Civil War 2 and fat people. I was trying to get some south of the border to reconsider what is really dangerous to them, because it sure isn't the gay guys getting married that is putting them in early graves, it's all the greasy fast fried food they are addicted too.

      July 1, 2013 at 10:51 am |
    • Just the Facts Ma'am...

      2nd point, often I hear that marriage is for procreation and I was just saying how if they don't want gays getting married because they can't have kids then maybe fat people and barren people should be banned as well. I'm just trying to get some to expand their mind's a bit and think outside the happy meal box.

      July 1, 2013 at 10:53 am |
    • Vic

      I guess I forgot to clear it up a little bit more!

      I meant to point out that the Legislator UPHOLDS the US C o n s t i t u t i o n when voting on the issues!

      July 1, 2013 at 10:54 am |
    • pete

      Vic, in my opinion the fact that the let people vote on what rights other people can have is wrong. What if the country voted and decided that you couldn't get married for some reason? Would you be o.k. with other people voting on what rights you have?

      July 1, 2013 at 10:58 am |
    • Saraswati

      @Just, I agree that the obesity epidemic would be a much better focus for their attention.

      July 1, 2013 at 10:58 am |
    • pete

      They could always use the obese people to make some kind of human wall.

      July 1, 2013 at 11:03 am |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      Interesting thread; nice read. Maybe a civil war should be an economic war. Or maybe people should be able to opt out?

      July 1, 2013 at 11:04 am |
    • Saraswati

      Maybe we'd be better off avoiding civil war. There aren't usually "opt out" boxes you can check so you and your family will be left alone...war doesn't work that way, especially civil war.

      July 1, 2013 at 11:39 am |
  16. Mirosal

    let's see here ... the article says that websites call her a freedom fighter.. ok then, if fire fighters fight fires, and crime fighters fight crime, what exactly do freedom fighters fight?? Think about that for a second and get back to me.

    July 1, 2013 at 7:30 am |
    • Saraswati

      If it is decided that people can discriminate against whoever they want, a lot more people are likely to find this woman's actions offensive. When her suppliers stop selling to her I wonder how she'd feel about this type of commerce.

      July 1, 2013 at 7:49 am |
    • lol??

      You brought up the manic PUblic Servants. Waiver mania goes a long way in their compensation packages.

      July 1, 2013 at 8:01 am |
    • lol??

      Overpaid servants can get uppity. Look what happened to SCOTUS.

      July 1, 2013 at 8:09 am |
    • Akira

      Letting the inmates run the asylum is clearly not the answer either, lol??. If you detest this country so much, and it shines through with every post you publish, what on earth are you doing living here, still?

      July 1, 2013 at 10:03 am |
    • lol??

      Mob power is mob power, akira, no matter how you dress em up or what religious garb the law wears.

      July 1, 2013 at 10:21 am |
    • Akira

      Clearly letting religion run the country is a bad idea, lol??; we've seen what people do in the name of religion. Our Republic is far superior to any theocracy/dictatorship out there.
      So yes. Voting counts. If you don't vote, don't complain about the state of our country.

      July 1, 2013 at 11:03 am |
  17. Bootyfunk

    g.ay marriage will be very good for the economy. all vendors that make money through weddings will see more business: florists, tux rentals, dress makers, wedding venues, cover bands, caterers, etc.

    July 1, 2013 at 4:04 am |
    • Reality

      Not so fast:

      Only for the new members of this blog:

      Yes indeed, rational thinking on the part of the majority of heterose-xuals won but:

      Revolution? The gay population in the USA is estimated to be 4%. As-suming 50% of these are in the unionization age, that is 2 % of the population. So "riddle me this" where is the revolution?

      And considering that many of these unions are already established, where is the revolution in weddings, markets etc.?

      ("The Williams Inst-itute at UCLA School of Law, a gay and lesbian think tank, released a study in April 2011[24] estimating based on its research that just 1.7 percent of Americans between 18 and 44 identify as gay or lesbian, while another 1.8 percent – predominantly women – identify as bise-xual. Far from underestimating the ranks of gay people because of h-om-ophobia, these figures included a substantial number of people who remained deeply closeted, such as a quarter of the bise-xuals. A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention survey of women between 22 and 44 that questioned more than 13,500 respondents between 2006 and 2008 found very similar numbers: Only 1 percent of the women identified themselves as gay, while 4 percent identified as bis[exual.)
      ================================================================================

      July 1, 2013 at 7:19 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      Legalized heroin would be very good for the economy too. Pharmacists would see an uptick, especially if it could be mandated by Obamacare, syringe manufactures as well as other "hardware" manufactures. Then there's the whole medical and psychological industry to think about.

      July 1, 2013 at 9:06 am |
    • midwest rail

      Yeah, two adults professing their love is SO much like heroin addiction – I can't imagine why I didn't see the connection before.

      July 1, 2013 at 9:11 am |
    • William Demuth

      Reality

      Back in the 70's they estimated 4 percent of people were Atheist

      Now we estimate at least three fold are.

      This is not because more have been created, but because it is easier for someone to admit that they are.

      Gays are probably closer to 16 or 18 percent

      July 1, 2013 at 9:11 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      MW, I'm not making a connection between same seex marriage and heroin use. I'm saying that a perceived economic boon is not a valid reason to make a thing public policy.

      July 1, 2013 at 9:48 am |
    • Damocles

      Holy crap! I actually agree with Bill. If ever there was a sign of some sort of end of days scenario.....

      July 1, 2013 at 9:56 am |
    • Akira

      I agree with Bill also; that being said, I have yet to see a valid reason that SS marriage should be denied.

      July 1, 2013 at 10:10 am |
    • Happy Atheist

      "Legalized heroin would be very good for the economy too. Pharmacists would see an uptick, especially if it could be mandated by Obamacare, syringe manufactures as well as other "hardware" manufactures."

      To bad you don't know what you are talking about Bill.

      "The Cato paper reports that between 2001 and 2006 in Portugal, rates of lifetime use of any illegal drug among seventh through ninth graders fell from 14.1% to 10.6%; drug use in older teens also declined. Lifetime heroin use among 16-to-18-year-olds fell from 2.5% to 1.8%. New HIV infections in drug users fell by 17% between 1999 and 2003, and deaths related to heroin and similar drugs were cut by more than half. In addition, the number of people on methadone and buprenorphine treatment for drug addiction rose to 14,877 from 6,040, after decriminalization, and money saved on enforcement allowed for increased funding of drug-free treatment as well." – http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1893946,00.html

      Bill, I thought you had more sense than to make a moronic statement and to show your bigoted anti-Obama rhetoric all in one post.

      July 1, 2013 at 10:14 am |
    • Just the Facts Ma'am...

      Just how many people do you know Bill that would be out the day heroine is legalized and be trying it out for the first time? You maybe? Legalize it and it get's rid of the underground sales market and those already addicted have the opportunity to seek help instead of being stuck on a downward spiral. Portugal legalized virtually all recreational drugs and drug use went down. So much for your argument.

      As for SS marriage, there will not be any real $ effect, the numbers are just too small. In time it may give a tiny boost to the economy, a little .5% boost to the wedding business, but not much.

      Maybe if we took the right to marry away from some people they might appreciate it more, like obese people. Can they really procreate without being able to see their junk? To bad the top 10 fattest states are almost all exclusively "Red" states...

      July 1, 2013 at 10:23 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      It seems to me the last statement in you paragraph supports my premise

      "after decriminalization, and money saved on enforcement allowed for increased funding of drug-free treatment as well."

      So legalization created an increase in available funds for treatment, just as I proposed. I still maintain that that is not justification for the legalization of heroin use, and therefore not a good criteria for public policy decisions. There are more things to consider than economic impact.

      As to labeling me a racist, it doesn't hold water. I don't oppose Obama because of his heritage. I oppose him because of his politics and his methods

      July 1, 2013 at 10:24 am |
    • William Demuth

      Deacon

      You are full of it.

      You are indoctrinated, and oppose that which you are told to oppose by the cretin that interpret your imaginary God.

      You are incapable of independent thought.

      July 1, 2013 at 10:27 am |
    • Just the Facts Ma'am...

      "So legalization created an increase in available funds for treatment, just as I proposed."

      If you did your research you would see that the amount saved far outweighed the amount now spent on treatment, so again, you are wrong. Total cost and number of users went down by legalizing heroine. Just admit that you harbor a flawed uninformed perspective on drug legalization.

      July 1, 2013 at 10:32 am |
    • Saraswati

      @Just,

      Portugal, I believe, did not legalize these drugs but decriminalized them. From what I can see harm (as with HIV) and teen use went down, but overall ever-tried rates went slightly up. Those lifetime rates, however, were likely largely dure to death among the elderly so don't say much.

      @Bill,

      "There are more things to consider than economic impact."

      You stated this despite Just's (partially accurate) claim about the benefits in Portugal. Let's say that, hypothetically, death and disease spread and workdays missed we all expected to go down if a certain drug were legalized or decriminalized. Would you support it then?

      July 1, 2013 at 10:35 am |
    • Just the Facts Ma'am...

      The only drug that went up slightly was marijuana so I do not consider that to be true to say "drug use went up" when every other hard drug that was "decriminalized" like heroine went down. Marijuana should be legal everywhere and would likely help many in the US get off harder drugs like alcohol if it were which would save lives and improve the quality of life for millions addicted to alcohol.

      July 1, 2013 at 10:48 am |
    • Saraswati

      @Just,
      It depends on the data you look at, but the reality is notclear cut.

      "According to statistics compiled by the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) between 2001-07, after decriminalisation, more people took cannabis, cocaine, amphetamines, ecstasy, and LSD – but decreased in neighbouring Spain between 2003-2008.

      http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/12/10/portugal-decriminalisation-drugs-britain_n_2270789.html

      http://www.emcdda.europa.eu/publications/country-overviews/pt

      Note, btw, I specifically referenced lifetime use.

      What data are you using?

      July 1, 2013 at 11:35 am |
    • Just the Facts Ma'am...

      "By any metric, Portugal’s drug-decriminalization scheme has been a resounding success. Drug usage in many categories has decreased in absolute terms, including for key demographic groups, like 15-to-19-year-olds. Where usage rates have increased, the increases have been modest — far less than in most other European Union nations, which continue to use a criminalization approach. Portugal, whose drug problems were among the worst in Europe, now has the lowest usage rate for marijuana and one of the lowest for cocaine. Drug-related pathologies, including HIV transmission, hepati tis transmission and drug-related deaths, have declined significantly." http://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/drug-decriminalization-policy-pays

      July 1, 2013 at 11:49 am |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      Legalizing drugs makes sense economically and socially but law enforcement gets too much cash from the current process. Our system needs a lot of criminals to run smoothly, and the drug laws make that happen.

      July 1, 2013 at 11:57 am |
    • Saraswati

      @Just, You said: "The only drug that went up slightly was marijuana..." I don't see that in your source, but only a va.gue comparison less growth than in "most other european nations" – where the comparison to Spain would seem to be the most important. I believe the second link I posted is the root source.

      Anyway, I don't mean to nitpick this, but only to pointout that it isn't simple. The drop in youth rates and new HIV infections are great, and the latter is at least likely related.

      July 1, 2013 at 12:28 pm |
    • Just the Facts Ma'am...

      The answer is simple, decriminalize drugs. The implementation is less easy as it takes real world policies and people being involved at every level from the new legal dispensaries to the clinics for rehabilitation. But you cannot argue that the major problems associated with drug use of crime and violence and disease transmission are severely reduced. This to me is the only issue the public should be concerened with, any moral issues are up to the individuals and their familys and their doctors.

      July 1, 2013 at 1:06 pm |
    • Saraswati

      I think there's a good likelihood that crime, violence and disease transmission are reduced. But that is one small country with a particular drug mix which still does have some restrictions. However, I disagree that those are the only things that matter. We care about use rates because need to look at the work readiness of the citizens (are people able to work) and whether parenting is impacted. We need to look at life expectancy and any impacts on the age of onset for dementia. If China's opium problems taught us anything, we need too to consider the impact changes can have on military readiness...especially when a new and unexpected drug appears. Additionally, drug addictions have a large genetic component (varies by drug) and looking at one small country which isn't particularly globally representative doesn't tell us a lot about what might happen in either other cultural or racial groups.

      I'm playing a bit of devils advocate here. The first vote I ever cast back in the 80s was for legalization of majuana. Don't think I'm arguing against liberalization of the laws. But I am arguing that we don't know everything and shouldn't expect the answers to be easy.

      July 1, 2013 at 1:39 pm |
  18. Bootyfunk

    jesus...
    great tan, six pack abs, long hair, never got with a woman, hung out with 12 dudes...

    yeah, jesus would be pro-g.ay marriage. very pro...

    July 1, 2013 at 1:55 am |
  19. Observer

    lionlylamb,

    At this very moment gay soldiers, firemen, policemen, emergency workers, etc. are risking their lives for you and all of us. Many have died.

    While you sit in the safety that these heroes provide for you, please tell us why these heroes are not worthy of the same rights you have. Let's see an answer that doesn't show you to be an INGRATE.

    July 1, 2013 at 12:53 am |
    • lionlylamb

      Observer,

      Good for them finding a worthwhile trade! May Christ Jesus grant them a joyous afterlife when the time nears! A new world all full up with homosexuals will not become long standing but will become as a desolation after they die off within said new world. For even in the heavens death is an absolute and one's life within the hereafter is numbered and all will die to become reborn as Christ Jesus sees fit. All are sinners; even God. Only via continual reincarnation does all of Life remain a continuation.

      July 1, 2013 at 1:17 am |
    • Observer

      lionlylamb,

      Strange that you would respond and yet completely miss the original statement.

      Here's what you missed:

      At this very moment gay soldiers, firemen, policemen, emergency workers, etc. are risking their lives for you and all of us. Many have died.

      While you sit in the safety that these heroes provide for you, please tell us why these heroes are not worthy of the same rights you have. Let's see an answer that doesn't show you to be an INGRATE.

      July 1, 2013 at 1:20 am |
    • lionlylamb

      Observer,

      Don't try being so condescending in matters of gay people doing good works. At this very moment gay and straight soldiers, firemen, policemen, emergency workers, etc. are risking their lives for you and all of us. Many of these trade workers do their jobs needing little self pride for; they do their works humbly and yes we should all show them how proud we are of their works in troubling times. Your lopsided perspectives toward backing the gay prides should include in your vernacular all the straight prides as well whenever you try to equate the issues of social welfares.

      July 1, 2013 at 1:45 am |
    • Filthy Hind I love to Mithrism lick and talk Islam bunk

      No Lionly. Your perfect god keeps creating more of those mistakes. They are not dying off.
      So sad, too bad.

      July 1, 2013 at 1:47 am |
    • Observer

      lionlylamb,

      WOW! Still STUMPED.

      With your extensive vocabulary, you should be able to understand this request. What is your problem with a simple request?

      At this very moment gay soldiers, firemen, policemen, emergency workers, etc. are risking their lives for you and all of us. Many have died.

      While you sit in the safety that these heroes provide for you, please tell us why these heroes are not worthy of the same rights you have. Let's see an answer that doesn't show you to be an INGRATE.

      July 1, 2013 at 1:49 am |
    • Filthy Hind I love to Mithrism lick and talk Islam bunk

      Lion-who-does-the-sheeps
      Jebus was gay. He hung around twelve guys.
      The Gospel of Thomas said they would change Mary Magdalene into a guy so she could "participate fully" in the *Mysteries*.
      Some mysteries. Huh ? 🙂

      July 1, 2013 at 1:52 am |
    • Observer

      lionlylamb,

      I asked you about this more than an hour ago and you are still TOTALLY STUMPED.

      Think about it tonight and I'll check back at a later date.

      Good luck. I sure hope you're not a thoughtless INGRATE.

      July 1, 2013 at 2:01 am |
    • lionlylamb

      Observer,

      At this very moment straight soldiers, firemen, policemen, emergency workers, etc. are risking their lives for you and all of us. Many have died. While you sit in the safety that these heroes provide for you, please tell us why these heroes are not worthy of the same rights you have. "Let's see an answer that doesn't show you to be an INGRATE.

      July 1, 2013 at 2:01 am |
    • tallulah13

      I think what LL is saying is that he can't answer the question you actually posed without sounding like a complete ingrate, so he gives an answer that has absolutely no bearing on the question but pretends at gratitude.

      July 1, 2013 at 2:15 am |
    • lionlylamb

      Observer wrote and I overlooked, "While you sit in the safety that these heroes provide for you, please tell us why these heroes are not worthy of the same rights you have."

      My bad Observer. :-(:

      You have made me finally realize that people of all sexual preferences should be given equal civil rights.

      Your inabilities to include the straight prides in your Word was where I had contention with. It is late and I should force myself to go to sleep before I make as usual, an utter asshole of myself! Good night Observer! :mrgreen:

      July 1, 2013 at 2:23 am |
    • William Demuth

      Guys you do know Lionly is messing with you, don't you?

      Like how long can you keep an old lady on the phone games?

      Sheesh! He is pulling your leg

      July 1, 2013 at 9:21 am |
  20. lionlylamb

    Maybe all this and other florists and whichever should do is take a tip from liquor establishments and post a sign saying, "We retain to rights to refuse service to anyone".

    June 30, 2013 at 11:41 pm |
    • Observer

      The sign is pretty meaningless. That doesn't allow for discrimination based on s3x, religion, etc.

      Try again.

      June 30, 2013 at 11:44 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Right you are, lionlylamb. No shoes no shirt no service.

      June 30, 2013 at 11:45 pm |
    • Bostontola

      Lionly,
      That sign allows the seller to not sell for cause (like a drunk disorderly person). If a good person is refused, the liquor store would be in trouble.

      June 30, 2013 at 11:46 pm |
    • Akira

      No shirt, no shoes, no service is usually a health code thing.

      June 30, 2013 at 11:50 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      My Bad! The sign said, "We reserve to right to refuse service to anyone!"

      June 30, 2013 at 11:57 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence in society.
      –Mark Twain

      July 1, 2013 at 12:01 am |
    • lionlylamb

      Boston to LA,

      Reserving the rights to refuse servicing one's clientele is a traditional sign in my neck of the woods. Is a liquor establishment whose bartenders serve too many drinks to any of its customers; is such an establishment to be found legally responsible should said customer get into their truck and winds up crashing into another and kills someone?

      Such an issue as this florist may find themselves morally responsible for gays to be married and said florist knowing full well that gay marriages can only mean to her that such married gays will go to hell with no chances of spiritual rewards. This florist knows full well that gay marriages are abominations in the eyes of God, and she wants no part of such abominations. Should she be cited for being uncivil based upon her religious convictions?

      July 1, 2013 at 12:18 am |
    • Observer

      lionlylamb,

      Does she refuse flowers for Christians who have divorced and are getting remarried, making them ADULTERERS according to the Bible?

      Skip the hypocrisy.

      July 1, 2013 at 12:21 am |
    • Bostontola

      Lionly,
      I'm not a lawyer. She may try that. I think she's will lose, but won't see jail.

      July 1, 2013 at 12:22 am |
    • lionlylamb

      Observer,

      The gay man who had social relations with this florist was not a commoner who comes in and buys flowers. Your catch 22 is a bogus euphemism. Seldom does a florist know many customers' life yet this florist knew this gay man's life and in knowing she forbade him to sell flowers if they were going to be for a gay marriage. I may be off course in my Word and yet might not.

      July 1, 2013 at 12:37 am |
    • Observer

      lionlylamb

      "The gay man who had social relations with this florist was not a commoner who comes in and buys flowers"

      "Commoner"? That's classic. He's just like everyone else who has physical desires, which come in a wide range of activities. When there are NO heteros-xuals who do not engage in "uncommon" activities in the bedroom, then you will have some credibility.

      July 1, 2013 at 12:43 am |
    • lionlylamb

      Observer,

      Commoner? I should have written; "common customer" My Bad! 👿

      July 1, 2013 at 12:50 am |
    • tallulah13

      Hanging a sign in no way changes the fact that there are laws that prevent businesses from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation. That is why the woman in this story is being prosecuted. She willfully broke a law.

      Why do christians think that they only have to obey the laws they like? Why do they think that they are above the law of the land?

      July 1, 2013 at 2:18 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.