Dear Governor Deal:
I read the following in a report about the religious liberty issue in Georgia and the political pressure that’s being put on you and business interests in the state. You are reported to have said the following:
“I do not want us to do anything that will be perceived as allowing discrimination in the state of Georgia. That is not who we are as a people. And I don’t think we have to do that in order to give the security that the faith-based community thinks we need. I want to make sure we don’t go out of balance.”
It’s shocking to think that anti-discrimination laws are being implemented to protect what type of sex some people engage in. Laws against racial discrimination are not based on a person’s behavior. There are those in the African American community who are incensed that their struggle to abolish discrimination based on race is being compared to a certain type of sexual behavior. Have we gone insane?
See related article: “Georgia’s SunTrust Banks Go Gay and Against Religious Liberty.”
We are not interested in what the officials of SunTrust believe, but we are interested in what the company promotes, and it is promoting discrimination against people like me who own several businesses. A spokesperson for Salesforce wrote, “Salesforce believes in equality for all.” Does it believe in equality for business owners that oppose same-sex marriage? Apparently not.
Businesses like Salesforce admit they make business decisions based on what other people believe. Why is it OK for them to do this but not a printer, baker, photographer, caterer, or church?
Read related article: “Black Judge Refuses to Marry Same-Sex Couple.”
You and corporate interests are afraid that Georgia will lose business over a decision that will anger the same-sex marriage pressure groups. This shows their hypocrisy. They are promoting viewpoint discrimination but want to deny it to others. There is no law that would force any of these businesses not to accept people who engage in same-sex sexuality. In the vast majority of national cases, the issue is singular – not supporting same-sex marriage.
The folks at DragonCon state that it has a “long history of accepting all fans.” What does that have to do with a religious liberty bill? Do people walk into a business and say, “I’m gay.” They do not. Is there a box to check on a signup form to get into DragonCon that identifies someone’s sexual choices? Of course not.
I’ll bet you if a group of participants dressed up as members of the KKK that DragonCon would turn them away. It would be the message that was offensive, and DrgonCon would have every right to exclude them.
There are millions of people who are opposed to having same-sex marriage shoved down their throats and threatened with legal action if they express their beliefs in their businesses.
Who’s really being discriminated against? If you study this issue nationally, it’s obvious that people who hold personal religious convictions are the ones being discriminated against. Let me say, however, that it is not solely a religious issue. It’s a liberty issue. Every person and business should be afforded the right to run their business as they see fit.
Bakery owners in Oregon have been fined $135,000 for not baking a cake for a same-sex wedding. I know, we’ll be told, “That will never happen here.” Once a law is put on the books, you never know who will sue and how some judge might rule.
Read related article: “‘Cruel and Unusual Punishment’: $135,000 Fine for Not Baking a Cake.”
A same-sex couple in Texas recently went to a bakery to have a cake made for their wedding. The owners didn’t refuse to make a cake; they refused to make a cake for a particular event. It was the message, not the cake. The two men are now threatening a lawsuit. Real discrimination is taking place. Any compromise on this issue will only bring more of it to Georgia.
Read related article: “‘Gay’ Fascists Strike Again.”
There is a long list of such discrimination cases against people who acted on their deeply held personal convictions. People have lost their businesses over the issue of liberty not to participate in a lifestyle they disagree with.
It’s common for businesses not to do business with people or organizations with whom they disagree on policy, product, or lifestyle. As a business owner, I would not hire someone who was cheating on his wife. I should have the liberty to make that hiring decision, not the government.
A print shop that is owned by a black family should have the liberty to refuse business from someone who wants fliers printed for a KKK rally. I suspect that nearly everyone would agree even if the pro-KKK customers are being “discriminated” against.
A Jewish baker should not be forced to make a cake for a Nazi-themed wedding. Again, who would disagree?
A printer who opposes abortion and same-sex marriage should not be forced to print campaign literature for a candidate who supports abortion and same-sex marriage. In the case of abortion, an anti-discrimination law would not apply, but if the refusal was solely based on opposition to same-sex marriage, the printer would be cited for discrimination and have to face legal sanctions.
The way these supposed anti-discrimination laws are written, only some behaviors, practices, and political positions are protected. A business owned by lesbians could legally refuse to print t-shirts for an anti-same-sex marriage rally, while another printer could be fined for refusing to print t-shirts for a same-sex parade. This happened in Kentucky. Ironically, a lesbian-owned business supported the printer because they did not believe they should be forced to print t-shirts for an anti-homosexual opinion.
We don’t need any new laws. Businesses should be at liberty to refuse service on viewpoints they disagree with. All the companies supporting Georgia Prospers are doing just that. Anti-discrimination seems to be a one-way street.