Over the past few weeks, two states have decided to act in the best interest of its citizens and legislatures, who realize that they answer to their constituents and not a socio-political lobby. Mississippi and North Carolina both dug deep ditches to attempt to stop the steamroller of fascist-style LGBT tactics that have been working their way across the country.
First, there are terms which need to be defined. Terms that are bandied about but left open to ambiguous interpretation. One such term is discrimination.
Webster’s defines discrimination as,
a : the act of discriminating
b : the process by which two stimuli differing in some aspect are responded to differently
the quality or power of finely distinguishing
And lastly as,
a : the act, practice, or an instance of discriminating categorically rather than individually
b : prejudiced or prejudicial outlook, action, or treatment <racial discrimination>
Now, when the term is used, it is most often used to reflect the final definition. The question then becomes how is it that discrimination can come to be used as a straw man? Simply by forgetting the other definitions and failing to properly define categories. Essentially, it becomes a tremendous equivocation.
So, exactly how are these straw men being perpetuated? For that, we need to look at the text of the laws.
In Mississippi, HB 1523, whose official title is, “PROTECTING FREEDOM OF CONSCIENCE FROM GOVERNMENT DISCRIMINATION ACT“, is in response to issues, such as baker’s, such as the Kleins, who have been run out of business for declining to bake a cake for a gay wedding, Baronelle Stutzman, a florist who was run out of business for declining to provide flowers for a gay wedding, and at least two couples who are facing ridiculous fines and loss of their businesses for declining to host gay weddings (here’s an update on one). While there were plenty of other venues and service providers who would have been more than happy to provide their services, these people have become victims of viewpoint discrimination.
The fifth section of the law, the section that defines the extent of the law, and causes the most consternation states,
The state government shall not take any discriminatory action against a person wholly or partially on the basis that the person has provided or declined to provide the following services, accommodations, facilities, goods, or privileges for a purpose related to the solemnization, formation, celebration, or recognition of any marriage, based upon or in a manner consistent with a sincerely held religious belief or moral conviction[…]
And goes on in subsections to include those who engage in,
Photography, poetry, videography, disc-jockey services, wedding planning, printing, publishing or similar marriage-related goods or services;[…]
As well as,
Floral arrangements, dress making, cake or pastry artistry, assembly-hall or other wedding-venue rentals, limousine or other car-service rentals, jewelry sales and services, or similar marriage-related services, accommodations, facilities or goods.
So, whether or not the person “solemnizes or declined to solemnize (section 3)”, the state government will not get involved. It limits the extent of application of the coercive power of government to force association of either those who choose to interact and those who choose not to interact. Those who stand for liberty and limited government. And it’s that fact alone frustrates the totalitarian intentions of the LGBT lobby and their leftist allies.
Okay, so where’s the “straw man” in this?
Simply, it is that the law is characterized as being an enshrinement of discrimination, without clarifying exactly what discrimination is being allowed.
For example, in this story, the owners of a coffee shop are either ignorant of what the law says or are deliberately misrepresenting what it says, as it reads,
Everyone is welcome at The Greenhouse on Porter in Ocean Springs, and owners Jessie Zenor and Kait Sukiennik want people to know where else they are welcome.
“We are selling stickers that say ‘Everyone’ on them,” Zenor said. “They are little stickers than can be placed on the doors of businesses or in the windows to let people know that everyone is welcome in their places of business or they can be placed on cars if individuals want to show their support.”
Zenor said the Everyone Mississippi campaign is a reaction to HB 1523, the “Religious Liberty Accommodation Act” that was signed into law Tuesday by Gov. Phil Bryant.
Notice that they didn’t even get the name of the law correct in regards to what the law actually states. The law speaks to a specific set of service providers and their conscientious objections.
This story, at least summarizes the language correctly, saying,
[T]the language of the bill specifically gives any restaurant, hotel, caterer, wedding venue and all other applicable companies the legal right to turn LGBT couples away for any pre, during or post-wedding related celebrations or events, including anniversaries.
However, what they fail to mention is that the law does not prevent such venues from engaging in those activities either, and that is what is relevant because it leaves it up to the owner. They do continue with their straw man in that the law allows for equal discrimination, saying,
[I]f a landlord believes that premarital sex is a sin, they have the right to refuse to rent an apartment to an unmarried couple of any sexuality.
That’s simply FALSE, because the language of the law does not go into those issues, but even if it did, that would still be a legal discrimination because it does so on the basis of behavior, not on identity.
Let’s get our facts straight, read and understand the law.