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Heads LGBTs Win, Tails Christians Lose

So, a Canadian Christian jeweler custom-made a pair of engagement rings for a lesbian couple, Nicole White and Pam Renouf, at their request. Later, when they found out that the jeweler personally opposes same-sex marriage, they went to pieces [1] and demanded their money back. From the CBC’s report:

“They were great to work with. They seemed to have no issues. They knew the two of us were a same-sex couple,” White said.

“I referred some of my friends to them, just because I did get some good customer service and they had good prices.”

That was before one friend went in to purchase a ring for his girlfriend — and instead found a distressing sign.

It reads: “The sanctity of marriage is under attack. Let’s keep marriage between a man and a woman.”

The couple now believes the rings they ordered will have been tainted by having been fashioned by jeweler Esau Jardon’s hands, given what impure thoughts he holds in his mind. More:

Jardon said he won’t apologize for his beliefs.

“I feel really bad that [White] feels that we would in any way try to hurt or discriminate against her, but we will not retract from what we believe. I cannot say, ‘Well because you feel bad, I will stop believing what I believe,'” he said.

“When I walk on Church Street in Toronto, where I am right now, and I see [LGBT rainbow flags], and I see a lot of signs and a lot of things on public property, I don’t have a problem with them. I accept it. I chose to come to Canada… and we accept the whole package… I don’t discriminate against that, nor do I come and tell them to take them down. For the same reason, I ask to have the same respect in return, especially when it’s in my own business.”

But, after dealing with online bullying and threats, Jardon decided this week to refund the deposit to the couple [2]:

“One of the reasons my family chose to move to Canada was the rights that it offered, the freedom of religion and freedom of speech, both of which at the time seemed to be very limited in Mexico,” he said.

“However, due to posting our religious beliefs, many people in Newfoundland want us to shut down business — that’s what they’ve been telling us.”

He said some threats came with names and others were anonymous.

“One of them states that ‘you better give them the money back or you will be very, very sorry,’” he said.

Let’s understand what happened here. This Christian jeweler agreed to custom-make engagement rings for a lesbian couple, knowing that they were a couple, and treated them politely. But when they found out what he really believed about same-sex marriage, even though the man gave them polite service, and agreed to sell them what they asked for, the lesbian couple balked, and demanded their money back — and the mob threatened the business if they didn’t yield. Which, of course, he did.

You understand, of course, that this is not about getting equal treatment. The lesbian couple received that. This is about demonizing a point of view, and driving those who hold it out of the public square. Just so we’re clear about that.

I bought some olive oil not long ago at a tiny grocery store owned by an Arab Muslim immigrant. If I find out that the merchant supports ISIS, am I entitled to declare my jug of olive oil tainted, and demand a refund? Is a fundamentalist Christian permitted to send her osso buco back to the kitchen if she discovers that homosexual hands cooked it? Of course not. Some delicate snowflakes are more delicate than others.

I’m sorry that Esau Jardon gave in to this intimidation, but I suppose if you are a small businessman, you have no choice once the mob turns on you. It does indicate, though, the next phase in the March of Progress. You must not only bake the cake, or arrange the flowers, or make the ring, you must hold the correct opinion when you do it.

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196 Comments To "Heads LGBTs Win, Tails Christians Lose"

#1 Comment By FrancisonOsorio On May 23, 2015 @ 8:29 am

Well I guess it’s up me to intrude the Nazi analogy into this debate.

A pair of lapsed Jewish Lesbians go to a Jeweler to have custom made rings by a celebrated jeweler, a German jeweler.

They love the rings and bring them home.

While surfing the web that evening they runs across a site selling Nazi paraphernalia, books, artwork, clothing which once belonged to hitler and his henchmen. The site evinces a warm regard for these monsters and their artifacts.

In a special area of the cite there are rings, exact replicas of rings worn by the most prominent players in that dark drama, They were fashioned by a celebratrted goldsmith, who was German.. The same guy who made their wedding rings.

Now the couple have only a vague connection to atrocities that were visited upon their relatives in Germany and Poland.

Yet,Is it conceivable that the history of those rings and their creator can fail to routinely intrude into the thoughts of the wearers.

Being a reasonable person she returns to the store and says this.

Dear sir, you made me a pair of beautiful rings and I appreciate your skill and design.

However, i’ve learned that you also have a business selling Nazi memorabilia. And appear to be sympathetic to that whole crowd.

“Obviously I cannot question your choice of business, your choice of collectables or who you like or dislike. However, neither can i ever get it off my mind that this ring, which represents the most important relationship in my life was made by someone whose views are repellant to me at the deepest level.

I turned down my mother’s and grandmother’s rings because they carried with them the story of that unspeakable time. Because those rings carried meaning, very strong meaning, that was unrelated to the Love that our rings will represent.

I ask that you only give me back the amount you think the rings worth.

The jeweler gives her back what it cost him to make the ring. And then changed his name on his internet store…..

#2 Comment By Turmarion On May 23, 2015 @ 9:30 am

+100, Scotty!

Rod, Scotty is perhaps being a bit harsh, but dang if that isn’t exactly how you come off sounding–and your response is a tu quoque, which is not a valid argument. I think Scotty has actually said he’d be OK with accommodations for bakers and such. Even if you want to argue that he’s being inconsistent, though, that still doesn’t explain your seeming lack of comprehension as to why the couple might have been upset. Not justification of their response, but of how they felt.

I mean, Jairus said that investing meaning in objects, including icons, does nothing for him; but he understands in principle how it would for some. In other words, X might not make him mad, but he gets why it would make someone else mad. You, of all people, as a sacramentalist, ought to understand quite well that the rings were not just hunks of metal with pieces of carbon, how the context and meaning would result in the couple’s feelings of hurt and betrayal. Even if you don’t agree. I mean, gee, whatever happened to sympathetic understanding of the complexity of people, which you’re always talking about? Does it not apply to teh gayz?

#3 Comment By Turmarion On May 23, 2015 @ 9:44 am

I hadn’t seen this yet when I posted:

Look, I understand why these women would feel uncomfortable with a man who opposes gay marriage making their wedding rings.

Thank you! But geez, the time it took to get you to acknowledge that!

[H]ow would you feel about it if a Christian couple staged a drama demanding their money back if they found out that the jeweler making their rings (or the pastry chef baking their wedding cake) was gay, or otherwise supported same-sex marriage.

Exactly the same way. It’s the drama that’s the issue, not the transaction. I completely support the lesbian couple returning the rings, full stop. The classy thing to have done would been to have just written off the deposit and gone somewhere else, and not to make a social media sh*tstorm of it.

Likewise, I’d support the hypothetical Christian couple returning their rings; and likewise, the classy thing for them to do would be just write off the deposit and go somewhere else and not make a social media sh*tstorm out of it.

It’s quite possible to decry the actions–social media sh*tstorm that leads to threats and general nastiness–and completely affirm the principle–something like a wedding ring is, gee, deeply meaningful, and the beliefs of the jeweler, even if he makes the rings can indeed taint (no scare quotes!)them, and this ought not to be hard to understand.

#4 Comment By Janet Goodell On May 23, 2015 @ 9:49 am

Just to be clear, while I do not approve what happened, not all Christians believe what you do. In my point of view, tolerance lost, but Christians Dr not. Maybe Jesus weeps for both sides’ lack of tolerance and love.

#5 Comment By Glen On May 23, 2015 @ 10:02 am

You people truly are unbelievably dense.

Do you not get that gay couples (and their family, friends, and fellow decent fellow American citizens) do NOT want your bigot products and services. We (all the above mentioned) don’t want to give you one dime. Period.

That is not the point.

The point is, that neither will we allow gay people to be refused service in a business that is wholly made possible by the society that business exists in. A business that is licensed to do business within a community wherein they agree to abide by ALL the laws, rules, and regulations no matter how those laws, rules, and regulations disagree with their “beliefs”.

It is the customer’s prerogative to decide if they wish to conduct business with any particular public accommodation. It’s not the business owners prerogative to decide they will not provide goods or services to an entire class of citizens. There may be good reasons why a gay couple (or black person or other minority) NEEDS or wants to use the services of a bigoted business.

So it’s perfectly reasonable for a gay couple to bring the law down upon the heads of those businesses which refuse to provide them the same goods and services they sell to anyone else, even while deciding that they don’t want to do business with those bigots and give them a thin red cent.

What exactly don’t you GET about this?

So… put out your signs “We disapprove of gay people. We strongly disagree with their ability to get married, and we regularly contribute to efforts to prevent them from getting married so as to bring real tangible harm to them and their families so that our religious sensibilities aren’t hurt. However as per the law and the agreement we signed when we applied for a business license we are required to provide gay people the same goods and services we would provide anyone else. So while you are not truly welcome… Welcome.”

Then watch as you’ve made your beliefs and feelings perfectly well known how your business crumbles, as not only gay people but a large swath of customers choose not to do business with those they know to be bigoted and engaged in efforts to harm their gay friends, family, and neighbors.

#6 Comment By Hersh On May 23, 2015 @ 10:44 am

@Eamus Catuli

Of course, they’re intolerant and tyrannical. Look at those statistics on the news stories: only 9% opposed gay marriage. I’m a pretty honest person and my take is that an honest person wouldn’t do that, even if he has the power to do that. You are dealing with unscrupulous people, the people furthering the gay agenda. Some of it is for purposes of distracting people from the horrors of our wars the last 20 odd years, of course. That bothers me a lot, that the “great civil rights issue” of our times is gay marriage and not the US forcing people in other lands to live under the terror of bombs their entire lives.

Regarding the survey and common sense. Did this academic in charge, Mr. Green, not bother to imagine that “conversation” between a gay marriage advocate and a gay marriage opponent? Of course, those conversations didn’t really happen. We used to see plenty of the behavior of gay marriage advocates on TV back when there actually was some debate allowed and opponents got a little time: Immediately calling the opponents “bigots.” Gay marriage advocates are not going to listen to gay marriage opponents so why would a gay marriage opponent bother talking to one?

Putting a veneer of “science” over something ridiculous and another set of “scientists” trying to “replicate” the ridiculous seems like a whole lot of ridiculous, sorry to say.
Theres an Emperors new clothes quality to it as there is about so much going on.

#7 Comment By Hamous On May 23, 2015 @ 10:54 am

FrancisonOsorio – are you seriously comparing the deaths of six million human beings and the attempted extermination of an entire group of people with a sign acknowledging a millennia-held belief in the sanctity of marriage?

#8 Comment By Glen On May 23, 2015 @ 10:58 am

Speaking of business owners doing well to keep their opinions to themselves (if they want to do well in business).

A while back I walked into a little hole in the wall eatery. After perusing the menu I decided to order a burger, fries, and a milkshake. I’m waiting at the counter and the proprietor seeing me says “I’ll be with you in a minute.”

As I’m waiting there, looking around, I see an anti-Obama sign he’s posted. This is at least a 50% Democratic town I’m in. At any rate, being an Obama supporter who even worked on his campaign, I decided to walk out even as he approached the counter to take my order.

As I’m getting in my car to leave I decided I ought to inform him as to why I was no longer interested in doing business with him. So I went back in there and told him and advised him that if he might want to remove his anti-Obama sign. He just looked dumbfounded and I left.

Ultimately I was doing the guy a favor by informing him of why I was taking my business elsewhere and suggesting he might want to remove his offensive sign. I really would have liked to have had my burger fries and shake and been none the wiser as to the business owners anti-Obama beliefs. But as the cat was out of the bag, it would have left a bitter taste in my mouth to eat my lunch with that sign fresh in my mind.

If I were a business owner, unless I specifically didn’t want to serve Obama supporters and wanted to turn them away, I would not put up such a sign in my place of business.

#9 Comment By Eamus Catuli On May 23, 2015 @ 12:15 pm

Second, how would you feel about it if [etc.] …I think the only principle at work in the reaction of many of you is that whatever advantages LGBTs and disadvantages religious conservatives is good, and vice versa. — RD]

Allow me just to clarify (since this note was appended to my comment) that I took no position in The Case of the Tainted Rings. I just thought that in fairness to Scotty, we shouldn’t overlook an obvious difference between makers and recipients. Up in Newfoundland, it sounds like, somebody behaved rudely to somebody, which is shocking mainly because, you know, it’s Canada… eh? But on a large continent, there are instances of rudeness popping up somewhere several times each minute. Sometimes tales of social etiquette can be instructive little case studies, but I’m generally much less interested in them than I am in issues that implicate public policy.

#10 Comment By JoeThePimpernel On May 23, 2015 @ 12:41 pm

Gender Derangement Disorder uber alles.

#11 Comment By Ruth Walker On May 23, 2015 @ 2:05 pm

The lesbian couple seem reasonable. (Apparently the business is upset because they quit sending him additional business and the backlash on social media hasn’t been fun.)

Watch them yourself:

[1]

#12 Comment By ed On May 23, 2015 @ 2:38 pm

Whenever the counterarguments have to rely on parallels that aren’t remotely parallel, you know the authors can’t make a strong case.

#13 Comment By ed On May 23, 2015 @ 2:41 pm

Also, the markup on jewelry is astronomical and the materials are easily repurposed, so giving back the deposit isn’t the hardship some claim.

And, on the bright side for the jeweler, he’s now made his opposition to SSM loud and clear to a much larger audience than his little sign could possibly have.

A win for him, no?

#14 Comment By Erin Manning On May 23, 2015 @ 2:56 pm

Glen, if I ran a business in your town, I’d be tempted to post a sign saying, “We serve anybody. Except Glen. Because he’s a […].” Sheesh.

So, you want Christian business owners forced to violate their consciences to participate in the legal fiction of gay “marriage,” but you’d allow them to post signs saying they don’t agree with SSM so that gay people can choose to go elsewhere AND stir up the mob to destroy the business? Why, how big of you.

As for the rest supporting the lesbians here, I think I’m starting to get it. What is holy and sacred is MONEY, the customer’s money. The customer gets to force the business owner to violate his conscience, but then if the customer decides he’s an icky heteronormative type who ruined her special day of specialness, she can cancel her contract, refuse the “tainted” cake or rings or catering or flowers, and stick it to the bigot, laughing all the way to the bank. So of COURSE the business owner doesn’t have any rights, because the sacred MONEY belongs to his customers unless they willingly choose to share it with him by forcing him to violate his conscience…

Some of you people really do live in la-la land, don’t you?

#15 Comment By Eamus Catuli On May 23, 2015 @ 3:25 pm

@Hersh:

You are dealing with unscrupulous people, the people furthering the gay agenda.

And the unscrupulous research assistant in this case was exposed, because other people in the same scientific community had scruples. Pretty weak tyranny if it couldn’t prevent that.

#16 Comment By EngineerScotty On May 23, 2015 @ 4:06 pm

To further my remarks.

I was, perhaps, being a bit harsh to Rod–though quite a few of his commentariat seem to truly and deeply believe the caricature of liberals that I presented.

Eamus is spot on with regards to the asymmetry–fair or not–between customer and merchant: Customers can go wherever they like, but merchants are expected to offer fair service to everyone (and customers may not demand that a given business refuse to serve some other group as the condition of their patronage–a state of affairs that long sustained Jim Crow).

I do have some sympathy for creative professionals doing creative/expressive work that might offend them; the “printer’s veto” has long been an established part of free speech rights in this country (a print shop is allowed to refuse to publish speech the management disapproves of); restricted by the concept of common carrier status (the phone company cannot censor private conversations carried over its wires).

But my sympathy doesn’t extend to vendors selling commodities over the counter, or to tradespeople providing essential services, or even to craftsmen making commodity artifacts. (Were the proprietor of a diner to try and claim that his very soul is offended by the prospect of having a hamburger from his grill being eaten by a gay person–I’d consider that claim to be highly dubious. And pretentious in the extreme…)

#17 Comment By Matt On May 23, 2015 @ 4:25 pm

@Glen – regarding your last comments – do you have any friends who hold a different view point than you do? What do you do if you disagree?

#18 Comment By MentalRose On May 23, 2015 @ 5:03 pm

What bothers me about this situation isn’t that the jeweler felt the need to post his beliefs, even though I don’t agree with them. Nor is it necessarily that the couple felt the need to try and get their deposit back. Personally, it wouldn’t have been my reaction but they have that right.

No, the problem here is that a huge number of people apparently felt that this situation required their personal attention even though it’s literally a difference of opinion between three people who are supposedly adult and can handle their lives all by themselves, it’s none of their business, and that the attention people felt this required was THREATS ON THE MAN’S LIFE AND BUSINESS. Really? The man gave them polite and thorough service, to the point where they were happy to recommend him to others, he didn’t discriminate in ANY way, literally all he did was state a different opinion.

For the record, I’m not straight either. I have the right to think what I think and feel what I feel, but so do the people who disagree with me. They have the right to feel it and say it, as long as they’re not discriminating. In turn, their customers and clients certainly have the right to take their business elsewhere. But NO ONE has the right to put anyone through that kind of hell over an opinion, and when you do, you are no better than the people you claim to be fighting.

#19 Comment By a.mcewen On May 23, 2015 @ 5:31 pm

Mr. Dreher, you really should stop misrepresenting the situation. As I read it, BOTH parties were cordial to each other and there was no “freak out.”

#20 Comment By Tim kearney On May 23, 2015 @ 6:49 pm

Glen. Quite a hysterical response

#21 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On May 23, 2015 @ 10:42 pm

Glen, apparently you want to have your cake and refuse it also.

It is physically impossible to both demand service and boycott the product at the same time.

Imagine if during the glorious days of the first UFW grape boycott, I had told a store manager “I want all those non-union grapes taken off the shelves, and you’d better be ready to sell them to me anytime I want them.”

#22 Comment By Airquote Sarctag On May 24, 2015 @ 2:51 am

“If I were a business owner, unless I specifically didn’t want to serve Obama supporters and wanted to turn them away, I would not put up such a sign in my place of business.”

In the entertainment biz, they say that when you go political, you lose half your audience. Maybe this businessman actually did not want rabid Obama supporters as his customers and wasn’t afraid to make those feelings known. Maybe he actually believes in free speech. Why do you hate free speech?

#23 Comment By Glen On May 24, 2015 @ 12:09 pm

Erin do you have ANY idea how many laws (rules and regulations) one is agreeing to when they apply for and sign on the dotted line for a business license in order to conduct business with the general public?

Any single one of those might ‘violate someone’s conscious’ or their religious beliefs. And yet they agree to abide by them in order to get their business license as well as any new rules and regulations passed by the jurisdiction in which the business resides.

Often these rules include non-discrimination ordinances which forbid discriminating against members of the general public on the basis of things like race, religion, disability, political affiliation, and more frequently now sexual-orientation (which includes a gay run business being forbidden from discriminating against straight people).

Back during the black civil rights era, it was very common for people to proclaim religious beliefs were their motivation for discriminating. The Bible can be used to justify this belief along with any variety of personal biases. So are you willing to say “The customer gets to force the business owner to violate his conscience…” when laws dictate that a business of public accommodation must serve black people or interracial couples equally?

Now I know what you’re going to say… but one’s race or skin color is genetically determined! There’s no evidence sexual orientation is genetically determined. Though this is not entirely correct, and furthermore an innate inborn unchangeable characteristic of a person need not be genetically determined. Your fingerprints are set in stone. They aren’t changing. And yet genetically identical twins have different fingerprints. The brain is far more complex than fingerprints.

Nevertheless, like race/skin-color one’s gender (or genitalia) is genetically determined, you would agree. Why should only a woman be able to marry a man?

And we could take your argument that “nobody is born attracted to the same gender” and say “nobody is born attracted to those of a different race/skin-color/ethnicity”.

Nobody is born of a certain religion, this is unequivocally a choice, and yet we have laws which protect against businesses discriminating against people on the basis of religion.

So, the bottom line is, if you want to go into business to advertise to and serve the general public, the laws demand that you must serve all the public equally without regard to a variety of characteristics that someone might decide they want to discriminate against. If someone doesn’t like those laws, or has religious objections, they can get out of business or they can try to have those laws changed.

#24 Comment By Glen On May 24, 2015 @ 12:24 pm

@Siarlys

“It is physically impossible to both demand service and boycott the product at the same time.”

Except these are not being done at the same time.

We can demand that businesses of public accommodation not discriminate against any class of citizens, but also have customers choose to take their business wherever they want.

How would this come into play? Say there are 4 florists in a town and a gay couple is getting married in two weeks and need/desire flower arrangements for their wedding. Three of those florists are pro-gay or non-discriminatory, however they are booked solid. The forth is available but is anti-gay and very much would LIKE to refuse service to gay people, let alone gay couples.

The couple may therefore very much wish to avoid giving business to this anti-gay florist, however they have no other choice but to do so. Or… even if the other 3 florists aren’t booked, perhaps the florist they desire is the only one with a particular flower they want or makes the most beautiful arrangements or has the lowest prices and they can’t afford the others.

#25 Comment By Glen On May 24, 2015 @ 12:29 pm

@Airquote

“Why do you hate free speech?”

Why do you not comprehend what ‘free speech’ means?

It’s rather amazing that people think that ‘free speech’ means ‘consequence free speech’.

Free speech means you can say what you want. It doesn’t mean you can say what you want and expect that people should not respond to your speech, not excoriate or denounce your speech, or should continue to do business with you regardless of your speech.

#26 Comment By Matt On May 24, 2015 @ 2:13 pm

Critics of Rod and the Jeweler correct me if I’m wrong:

It is appropriate for an individual to demand the return of a legally contracted financial deposit for goods/services if that individual discovers the business owner disapproves of his/her actions.

Is this really the argument is support of these women getting their deposit back? If not, someone please explain why they’re entitled to their deposit?

[NFR: Because the jeweler is a bigot. There are no other relevant facts. — RD]

#27 Comment By Roda On May 24, 2015 @ 3:25 pm

Well, I guess if knowing all the personal beliefs and opinions about who makes your rings, cake, or other items is important to you, then you should set up an interview prior to using them. Better yet, send out a questionnaire. That will whittle down the selection process in one quick step.

If you actually get a response, you may find that soul mate ring maker you’ve been dreaming of. Otherwise, become the ultimate do it yourselfer because you are gonna be doing a lot of your own stuff.

I like the survey idea. Heaven forbid that someone who voted down the last school millage should bag your groceries.

You think it’s only big issues? Well, yeah, for now. If you think that once someone gets a taste of that kind of manipulation and control will quit, you need to think again.

#28 Comment By EngineerScotty On May 24, 2015 @ 6:04 pm

It seems a few people not involved in small business don’t know what a “business license” is, or what it’s all about.

In most jurisdictions, a business license is simply a registration of the business –including the name of the owner(s), the name of the business (particularly if other than “John Doe Enterprises”), the principal address, the square footage of the business. Oh, and a fee.

A business license is not something that must be “earned” (as opposed to occupational or professional licenses for certain jobs/careers, which are a separate matter), nor, in most jurisdictions, do government officials “revoke” business licenses (thus requiring immediate cessaton of the business), either for misconduct or other causes of displeasure.

At least where I live, (Beaverton, OR) the business license application ( [3]) requires applicants to agree not to obstruct the public right-of-way (without permits) and/or deface public property with advertisements. But it says nothing about civil rights laws, which are binding on businesses whether or not they apply for a license or not.

In many jurisdictions, a “business license” is little more than a tax and a registration formality. That’s it.

#29 Comment By Dominick On May 24, 2015 @ 9:21 pm

Apparently EVIL is now Good [and ] GOOD is Evil!

#30 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On May 24, 2015 @ 10:06 pm

Glen you shot yourself in the foot. “Oh my Lord, I want so much to deny my business to that bigoted florist but the businesses I approve of are booked solid and wouldn’t make room for me even though I much prefer to give my money to them so I just HAVE to force that evil bigoted florist to take my money.”

Not at the same time… so if I picketed the grocery store for selling non-union grapes in June, then demanded he have them in stock for me in July, there would be no hypocrisy? “Oh, that was then, and this is now.”

Do you really take yourself seriously? You remind me of the old phrase “In the summer I’m a nudist, in the winter I’m a Buddhist.”

Scotty is absolutely correct. Most ordinances establishing business licenses explicitly state that this is a revenue measure. Obtaining a license is a matter of showing you have paid the proper fees contributing to the over-all revenue of the licensing jurisdiction.

Maybe this businessman actually did not want rabid Obama supporters as his customers and wasn’t afraid to make those feelings known.

More likely, he was a good ol’ boy who assumed that anyone who walked into his business would agree with the sign and appreciate it, and thought nothing of it. I believe the customer who posted here reported the owner looked surprised when the customer stated his objections. It sounded like “What, someone who likes my burger and fries actually favors Obama?”

It doesn’t mean you can say what you want and expect that people should not respond to your speech, not excoriate or denounce your speech, or should continue to do business with you regardless of your speech.

This is true. Justice Scalia has pointed out that exercising free speech requires a bit of backbone, and readiness to stand in the light of day in front of both those who agree and those who do not.

But there are limits to the excoriation… you cannot pull out a gun and shoot the speaker because their speech angers you so. You cannot even follow their children to school shouting about what a stupid queer-loving (or bigoted) SOB their father is.

Then, sensible and reasonable people curb their exercise of even non-prohibited excoriation. If you literally try to boycott everyone who disagrees with you on anything, you might starve to death.

#31 Comment By Lorin Partain On May 25, 2015 @ 12:52 am

“It’s not the business owners prerogative to decide they will not provide goods or services to an entire class of citizens.” This is where you are wrong. Wrong to the Nth degree. Clearly you are not in business. The issue of the most paramount importance is not the customers ability to choose, although I grant that is important, but secondary to the right of the service provider to refuse their service, or to choose who they will or will not do business with. Slavery can be thought of as a customer and provider relationship where the provider of the service is not given a choice but to provide the service by force. This is not merely an analogy it is the heart of the issue.

#32 Comment By Glen On May 25, 2015 @ 2:57 pm

@Siarlys

I’m not getting this analogy of boycotting a business for not carrying union-grapes in June and then demanding that they carry them in July. The customer can’t demand that a business carry anything. All the customer can do is choose to or refuse to shop with them. And spread the word to others who may want to decide if they should or shouldn’t shop there.

The point I was making was that gay people and their friends, family, and supporters may not want to shop at some anti-gay bigot’s store and might otherwise choose to avoid them if they know of that business owner’s feelings (and more importantly their actions – like voting against gay rights). But in the event that they have no other choice to (or for some other reason want to) shop with them, then that is the customer’s prerogative.

That said a business owner can refuse to serve specific individuals for reasons specific to that individual. Like they aren’t wearing a shirt, or it’s their neighbor who they are having a feud with, etc… They can’t however decide they will not sell a product or service to entire classes of individuals (given certain laws in certain jurisdictions), regardless of what their ‘beliefs’ are about that class of people.

Now most people are not really going to care what a business owner’s personal beliefs are. So long as those beliefs are not being shoved in the customer’s face when they go to shop there, and so long as those beliefs are not representative of actions that are taken against certain people.

For instance, most people will not care if a business owner personally believes that marriage is between a man and a woman. However, if they advertise that fact and give the impression that they are one for advocating gay couples not have the legal right to be married, then many people will not want to give that shop their business. Just like few Obama supporters will care if the business owner hates Obama and voted against him, but will walk out if they are confronted with an anti-Obama sign in the store.

As for a business license, it doesn’t entitle a person to open up a business (of public accommodation) and run it in whatever way they please. It comes with an agreement to abide by a variety of laws related to running such a business. Should those laws be violated, the business owner is subject to fines and even having their license revoked, at which point it would be illegal for them to operate said business.

It’s very much like driving. Anyone has a right to apply for and receive a driver’s license, so long as they demonstrate they can drive and know the rules. However driving (on public roads) is a privilege, not a right. A privilege that can be taken away if one fails to abide by the rules of driving.

#33 Comment By Glen On May 25, 2015 @ 3:11 pm

@Lorin

Actually it is you who are wrong to the Nth degree.

Just about every jurisdiction in America has laws which prohibit businesses of public accommodation from discriminating against customers on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, religion, disability, etc… (unless there is a valid justification for it. Such as not letting a blind person use the go-karts.)

Many (and a growing number) of jurisdictions are including sexual-orientation among those classifications. And numerous jurisdictions have very broad non-discrimination ordinances that forbid discrimination against any customer for any reason that doesn’t have a valid reasonable and rational justification.

I imagine like many you’ve seen those signs “We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone”, and think they hold legal weight. You’ll notice those signs NEVER cite any legal statute giving them this broad right. However, a business can refuse service to individuals for individualized reasons that might apply to anyone (such as they are being disruptive, they have bad hygiene, they are violating a dress code, or the business owner simply has a problem with THAT specific individual.)

And finally, it’s truly laughable to compare a business of public accommodation (which nobody is required to operate) having to serve all customers equally regardless of various characteristics, wherein they are getting paid for their products and services and making a profit, to slavery. Few if any will find that argument persuasive.

#34 Comment By Cranios On May 25, 2015 @ 9:44 pm

Glen
If you were a jeweler and a hetero couple came in requesting you make some rings for them, but mentioned that they think SSM is a sham and a sin, would you make the rings for them.

#35 Comment By Matt On May 25, 2015 @ 10:43 pm

No critics of Rod and the Jeweler have answered my question. So, I’ll keep asking it:

It is appropriate for an individual to demand the return of a legally contracted financial deposit for goods/services if that individual discovers the business owner disapproves of his/her actions.

Is this really the argument is support of these women getting their deposit back? If not, someone please explain why they’re entitled to their deposit?

Please, at least one person on the opposite side of Rod and the Jeweler address this. Otherwise, I’ll have to resort to antagonists to get a response.

#36 Comment By EngineerScotty On May 26, 2015 @ 1:54 am

Glen,

In what city (or county/parish, if you don’t live within a city, town, township, etc.) do you live? Go to that municipality’s website, and type in “business license”.

Unless your home municipality is highly unusual, you’ll find out that the only requirements for getting a “business license” are a) filling out a form and b) paying a fee. Judges don’t revoke them. And while you may be asked to affirm various laws on the application–affirmative consent on the business license is not required for the law to be binding on a tradesperson.

Now, depending on what a business is–it may come with other restrictions or licenses necessary for its operation. Restaurants and other food-service enterprises (including bakeries) need to satisfy the local health inspector. Doctors, accounts, lawyers, and realtors all need professional licenses from appropriate licensing boards (and some of these boards do incorporate civil rights laws into the relevant codes of professional ethics, and can/will revoke those licenses for violations). If you operate a vehicle for a living (or drive a big truck for any reason), you’ll almost certainly need a commercial drivers’ license. Hairstylists and barbers need licenses in many places. And so forth.

OTOH, if you’re selling junk over the counter that isn’t food, medicine, weapons, or other materials that could pose a public health/safety risk if handled improperly–chances are that you don’t need any other license than a generic business license–and that this license will be available to you so long as you are willing to fill out the form and pay the fee.

#37 Comment By EngineerScotty On May 26, 2015 @ 1:58 am

“It’s not the business owners prerogative to decide they will not provide goods or services to an entire class of citizens.” This is where you are wrong. Wrong to the Nth degree. Clearly you are not in business. The issue of the most paramount importance is not the customers ability to choose, although I grant that is important, but secondary to the right of the service provider to refuse their service, or to choose who they will or will not do business with. Slavery can be thought of as a customer and provider relationship where the provider of the service is not given a choice but to provide the service by force. This is not merely an analogy it is the heart of the issue.

And to think it’s been a while since I’ve seen an honest-to-goodness, taxation-is-theft-and-regulation-is-slavery loonytarian around these parts. You forgot to mention that public accommodations law is Just Like Slavery in that if you fail to follow it (and escalate things sufficiently), then eventually Men With Guns™ will come looking for you.

#38 Comment By Delirium On May 26, 2015 @ 5:16 am

@Glen

It does not speaks well of your grasp of reality if you believe that “sexual orientstion”, A FEELING, even exists in the public space, let alone is discriminated on in this or any other case.

Add to this the fact that you feel entitled to decide how someone else is running their business “rationally” and forcing them under the law to obey you, and you get a textbook fascist.

Dissent is bigotry, hmm?

#39 Comment By Mikhail On May 26, 2015 @ 6:31 am

@Glen

You keep using that word, “bigot.” I don’t think it means what you think it means. In this situation the men you called “bigot” calmly expresses his views in his own place. The real bigots here are this gay couple and their avid supporters: they’re ready to soft-lynch the man for his views.

Also, you make a distinction between “free speech” and “consequences-free speech”, that is you believe that a person is entitled to expressing their opinions but you are also free to retaliate with any means. Here the last part is wrong; you cannot. You can answer, of course, but only with the same weapon: speech. Let’s conclude a mental experiment: I’ll hold a gun to the head of someone you love and invite you to express your opinion making it clear that if I hear things I don’t like — I’ll outline what they are — I’ll shoot the person. Would you consider yourself free to speak your mind in such a situation? No. And why not? I’m not against it. I just threat you with consequences, right? If so, how it’s different from where you stand? The idea of free speech is that there must be no consequences other than a spoken answer. No lost lives, no lost jobs, no lost business, no boycott, nothing of that sort; just a spoken answer. That’s free speech.

#40 Comment By Richard Odgaard On May 26, 2015 @ 12:22 pm

Welcome to the growing list of persecuted business owners. Please read our story and how we are responding at [4].

#41 Comment By Elaine On May 30, 2015 @ 10:32 am

“The couple may therefore very much wish to avoid giving business to this anti-gay florist, however they have no other choice but to do so.”

Glen, they do have another choice, which is, don’t buy any flowers from them. This isn’t a Hobson’s choice and they aren’t compelled to buy flowers.

#42 Comment By Elaine On May 30, 2015 @ 10:42 am

“something like a wedding ring is, gee, deeply meaningful, and the beliefs of the jeweler, even if he makes the rings can indeed taint (no scare quotes!)them, and this ought not to be hard to understand.”

Turmarion, the jeweler’s beliefs may taint the wearers memory association of the rings, but the rings remain the same inert pieces of metal.

The rings themselves are surprisingly meaningless. They are a symbol, nothing more, of being married. I.e. it lets others know you are married. Some people may choose to attaching meaning to the rings, but marriage transcends material items.

#43 Comment By Pat On June 1, 2015 @ 9:28 pm

If Jardon had rejected and treated them impolitely, they would have said its discrimination, Now that they were politely served, how can it be an issue again!!! what are you up to??? stop fooling the world.

#44 Comment By Josh On June 5, 2015 @ 9:04 pm

Something that is being excluded in this same-sex marriage discussion is the primary disagreement between supporters and opponents which is that most LGBTQ people maintain that being LGBTQ is normal human behavior and opponents believe it is not. LGBTQ people equate their behavior with non-behavioral dynamics such as race. Nobody chooses their race, but everyone chooses who they marry. Science and God’s word, clearly disagree with the LGBTQ belief which is clear both physiologically and morally. The urge and immorality to be intimate with your same sex is no different than the urge for a married person to be intimate outside their marriage. The decision to do so is the immorality. The audacity of the LGBTQ community to disregard the science and morality of their behavior and demonize the rest of us is disrespectful to those of us who disagree with their behavior. One last thought. If it is simply a matter of love, then direct your love toward the physiologically and morally correct gender. I’ve intentionally omitted God’s specific Bible verses in which He clearly condemns this behavior. Christians are to love everyone, even those that clearly disobey God’s will for their life, but hate the disobedience.

#45 Comment By cecilhenry On July 17, 2015 @ 9:36 pm

The First rule of ‘Diversity’: Diversity means everyone MUST think alike about ‘Diversity’.

The Second Rule of ‘Diversity’: Nobody must EVER point out the First Rule of ‘Diversity’

Diversity: Don’t ever be the first to stop applauding

[5]

The same spirit, the same motives, and the same agenda that turned Russians into KULAKs brings you this menace.

All of this, ALL of it is completely analogous to the terror and insanity of the
USSR. Social justice not ‘working’, equality not ‘achieved’, outcomes not equitable??? The cause is obvious: WRECKERS.

Those evil wreckers. Just like the show trials of the 1930’s. Can’t draw money from a stone, or move 10 million tons of earth/day with a pickup truck. The cause???
Of course, all those BAD attitudes of WRECKERS (or racists, sexists, homophobes, capitalists…)!!! And the SJW elite are so smug. They are just a re-run, derivative imitation of the evil, bullying Soviets in new uniforms!!

#46 Comment By James C. Jones On May 30, 2016 @ 12:25 pm

A House Built On A Lie

“There is no such thing as a gay gene, and they know this. Gay activists know this. They know that their house has been built on a lie.”
[Reference: Ex-Lesbian Charlene Cothran Tells AFTAH Banquet that ‘Born Gay’ Claim Is ‘Vicious Lie’ – Americans for Truth]

Ffighting for gay marriage generally involves lying about what we’re going to do with marriage when we get there.” – Masha Gessen, prominent LGBTQ activist
[Reference: “Why Get Married When You Can Be Happy?” – Sydney Writer’s Festival, May 19, 2012] 

Homosexual Journalist Admits “Gay Lifestyle is a Sewer of Degrading Sex, Misery”
[Reference: Free Republic News – post #2138940]

Homosexual Group Admits Health Risks of Homosexual Behavior (Dakota Voice)
[Reference: LGBTQ Publication, The Daily Extra]

“Homosexual sex is purely ‘lust-based’, meaning it can never fully satisfy. It’s a neurotic process rather than a natural, normal one. Normal is normal – and has been called normal for a reason.” – Michael Glatze, former editor of the homosexual magazine “Young Gay America”
[Reference: ‘Gay’- rights leader quits homosexuality — WND 07/03/2007]

“Let me simply say that I have no moral objection to promiscuity, provided it doesn’t lead to massive epidemics of fatal diseases. I enjoyed the ’70’s, I didn’t think there was anything morally wrong with the lifestyle of the baths. I believe that for many people, promiscuity can be meaningful, liberating and fun.” — Gabriel Rotello, a homosexual and writer.
[Reference: ”This is Sexual Ecology,” by Gabriel Rotello, The Gay and Lesbian Review, Spring 1998, Volume Five, No. 2, p. 24]

“HIV is a Gay Disease. Own it. End it.” – Lorri Jean, CEO of the Los Angeles-based Gay and Lesbian Center
[Reference: Miami Herald – Steve Rathaus’ Gay South Florida]

“I Have Come to Indoctrinate Your Children” – March 14, 2015 – LGBTQ Activist Sason Bear Bergma (formerly Sharon Jill)
[Reference: [6]

Alfred Kinsey (1894 – 1956) was a sex researcher who waged a private war against conservative morality. He has been described as having an influence on modern society greater than almost anybody else.

Kinsey, the father of sex research, which helped launch the sexual revolution, was exposed in Dr. Judith Reisman’s and Edward Eichel’s 1990 book Kinsey, Sex and Fraud: The Indoctrination of a People (Huntington House-Lochinvar). The British medical journal Lancet said the authors “demolish the two Kinsey reports.”

Kinsey would seek out convicted sex offenders and represent their behavior as that of typical American males. He was quoted as saying that adult-child sex was “harmless.”

Kinsey falsely claimed that 10% of American men were homosexual, when in fact the actual percentage is closer to only 2%. He used faulty statistical sampling methods to baffle the unsophisticated and gullible. Kinsey’s percentage was seized upon by Harry Hay, the father of the homosexual “civil rights” movement, when Hay formed the Mattachine Society, urging that homosexuality be seen no longer as an act of sodomy but as a 10% minority class.

Dr. Reisman also exposed Kinsey as a homosexual sadomasochist who aided and abetted the molestation of hundreds of children in order to obtain data on “child sexuality.” Kinsey pretended to be a conservative family man, when in fact, he seduced his male students and forced his wife and associates to perform in homemade pornographic films to prove that children have legitimate sexual needs. Kinsey and his fellow pedophiles either abused 2,000 infants and children.

[Reference: Judith Reisman, Kinsey: Crimes and Consequences, 1998, p.312]