Michael Gaynor
Gay wedding danger: bullying victims becoming bullies
By Michael Gaynor
April 8, 2015

Gay activists who bully bakers and wedding planners should think about the involuntary servitude they are trying to force.

Gay activists who bully bakers and wedding planners for their religious beliefs should stop.

The courts should stop them if they don't stop themselves.

Mike Adams is right: " One would never argue that a black baker should have to serve food at a Klan rally. Learning that a few of the Klansmen were not ordinary whites – but also homosexuals – would not change the equation one iota. The issue is still involuntary servitude." (http://townhall.com/columnists/mikeadams/2015/04/07/involuntary-servitude-n1981532/page/full).

Mr. Adams not only supports Indiana's Religious Freedom Restoration Act as originally enacted, but explained why in readily understandable terms:

"If you are unsure of where you stand on the RFRA controversy, please allow me to share a story that will help clarify the issue. At the end of the story, I'm going to ask you a very simple question. If your answer to that question is 'yes.' then you are opposed to the Indiana RFRA law. If your answer to that question is 'no,' then you support it.

"A few years ago, I declined a wedding invitation from a friend. His wife is an alcoholic and he joked about how she would probably stumble her way down the aisle adding that he hoped she wouldn't fall on the way to the front of the church. I decided I didn't want to be a part of a ceremony that would mock the institution of marriage. Now imagine I were still playing guitar at weddings for a living – as I once did before I took a pay cut and became a professor. Would anyone seriously assert that I should be forced to play at the wedding I would not even want to attend?"

I agree that Mr. Adams has a right to refuse a wedding invitation and to entertain or not entertain at a gay wedding as he chooses. His friend has the right to invite him to attend "a ceremony that would mock the institution of marriage," but that friend does not have the right to force him to choose between playing guitar at a wedding or going out of the business of playing guitar at weddings.

Neither the God-given inalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness nor the law against discrimination in the United States mandate involuntary servitude and the cost of doing business in the United States should not include having to violate one's religious beliefs at the behest of anyone asking for the business's products and/or services.

Discrimination is a word that has come to have a negative connotation, but it refers to making distinctions or distinctions and that's what freedom of choice is about.

Anti-discrimination law are supposed to prohibit discrimination against specified classes of persons, not activity, and respecting the tenets of one's religion is not discriminating against persons.

The First Freedom in the Firsst Amendment to the United States Constitution is freedom of religion.

It involves more than freedom of worship.

It protects the right to practice one's religion in public as well as in private, or not to practice any religion.

That's what freedom of choice is about.

As explained in FindLaw (http://civilrights.findlaw.com/civil-rights-overview/what-is-discrimination.html):

"In plain English, to 'discriminate' means to distinguish, single out, or make a distinction. In everyday life, when faced with more than one option, we discriminate in arriving at almost every decision we make. But in the context of civil rights law, unlawful discrimination refers to unfair or unequal treatment of an individual (or group) based on certain characteristics, including:
  • Age

  • Disability

  • Ethnicity

  • Gender

  • Marital status

  • National origin

  • Race,

  • Religion, and

  • Sexual orientation."
The addition of sexual orientation to the list apparently brought a number of persons "out of the closet," but it did not repeal the First Amendment and it was not intended to force involuntary servitude or unemployment on persons who believe so-called same-sex marriage is not only not marriage, but the mocking of marriage in violation of their religious beliefs.

When my daughter was baptized in a local Catholic Church in 1980, persons of various religious beliefs were present. In addition to Catholics, there were Protestants, Orthodox Jews, unorthodox Jews and a Buddhist. A priest born in India asked one of my Orthodox Jewish friends to hold a candle.

To my Orthodox Jewish friend, holding that candle during a Catholic baptism would have been a breach of his duties as an Orthodox Jew.

When he recovered from the shock of having been asked, he earnestly said to the priest, "I'm sorry," and backed away slowly.

There was no problem.

No one present expected him to do something that HE considered wrong.

All agreed that it was HIS call.

No one wanted to shun or punish him.

The priest then asked the Buddhist if he would hold the candle and he said "Sure."

The Orthodox Jewish man stayed as an invited observer who did not participate in a religious ceremony in a way he thought God would disapprove.

Gay activists who bully bakers and wedding planners should think about the involuntary servitude they are trying to force.

Bullying is wrong, regardless of the sexual orientation of the person bullied.

Bullying is wrong. Period.

If a victim of bullying becomes a bully, it may be understandable, but it's still wrong.

Civil rights laws are supposed to be shields to protect persons trying to exercise their rights, not swords to compel other persons to do what they believe in wrong.

© Michael Gaynor


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
(See RenewAmerica's publishing standards.)

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Michael Gaynor

Michael J. Gaynor has been practicing law in New York since 1973. A former partner at Fulton, Duncombe & Rowe and Gaynor & Bass, he is a solo practitioner admitted to practice in New York state and federal courts and an Association of the Bar of the City of New York member... (more)


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