A series of discussions over on Leif Welhaven’s wall got me thinking. He posted about the latest vote against the NDO, which you can read about below.
I say it’s long past time that our citizens and city sat down and had a discussion that speaks to the heart of the opposition. I hear and read a lot support for the NDO, but when it comes time to get the necessary votes, the measure falls flat. The only way to get to the truth is to ask hard questions, demand honest answers and address the many reasons behind the opposition, whether those reasons are palatable or not. It will be tough, raw and very, very uncomfortable. It should be.
These three scenarios I’ve listed below represent a pretty wide section of the larger discussion I’m seeing about the NDO situation.
For or against, how would you approach these situations? What is your understanding and basis for your stance? How do you reconcile these scenarios against the history of our Country? The Civil Rights Act, the entire Constitution complete w/Amendments, the concept of personal freedom vs the Social Contract inherent in our Republic?
And, if I’ve missed a concern somehow related to one of the 3 scenarios, feel free to chime in. There are several issues that reach beyond the NDO itself, that strike at the heart of the ideals of our Country. We say we have the freedom to be virtually anything we want to be as long as it doesn’t harm others, but that isn’t true. We say we can love others even as we hate their personal choices. That has demonstrably and historically not been true. We demand personal freedom but are quick to oppose the consequences or responsibilities inherent with that freedom.
1) You operate a private business or service that caters to the public. Due to your stated religious beliefs you refuse service to the LGBQT community. Doesn’t matter what your service is, only that due to your stated beliefs, these people absolutely must not be served. You do not advertise openly and consistently that you refuse service to this group. In fact, the only way to find this out as a walk-in customer is to attempt to order your services and get turned away once you understand who is making the request.
You are concerned that the NDO will allow people to discriminate against you or possibly even sue you because of your beliefs. You may also feel that big government is forcing you to provide service to people you don’t want to.
2) You operate a wedding related business. Bakery, photography, East European Dub Step, the usual. Due to your personal religious beliefs, you refuse to serve the LGBQT community. Your beliefs outline quite clearly that marriage is between man and woman only, and they must adhere to that standard set forth in your religious writings. You do not advertise this openly, on signage, online or otherwise to the public. The only way to discover this is to be turned away as a potential customer. You also do not apply a rigorous qualifying test to couples looking to purchase your service. You have no exam, no list of pre-requisites that must be met in order to qualify as a marriage ordained by your God. Your only actual (unofficial)test is – Are you a member of the LGBQT community? Check Yes or No.
You are concerned that the passage of this NDO will open you up to lawsuits, accusations of discrimination and may hurt your business, livelihood and otherwise compromise your very strongly held religious beliefs. In addition, you may feel like the government and/or people are telling you what you’re allowed to believe.
3) You don’t operate a business or otherwise advertise for one. You don’t personally have a stake in the LGBQT discussion, “Live and Let Live,” you say. But you do have a problem when it comes to other people attempting to force their beliefs upon you, especially if they use the government to do so. You dislike most laws and the last thing you want to do is see another forced upon you, especially if it’s all just activist crap. If this were such a big issue anyways, why don’t people just go to a different location to buy what they want? After all, everybody is entitled to personal freedom.