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Government United States Politics

Apple's Tim Cook Calls Out "Religious Freedom" Laws As Discriminatory 1168

An anonymous reader writes It will come as no surprise that Apple's CEO Tim Cook doesn't agree with so-called religious freedom laws. Cook says, "[they] rationalize injustice by pretending to defend something many of us hold dear," and has penned an op-ed piece for The Washington Post which reads in part: "A wave of legislation, introduced in more than two dozen states, would allow people to discriminate against their neighbors. Some, such as the bill enacted in Indiana last week that drew a national outcry and one passed in Arkansas, say individuals can cite their personal religious beliefs to refuse service to a customer or resist a state nondiscrimination law. Others are more transparent in their effort to discriminate. Legislation being considered in Texas would strip the salaries and pensions of clerks who issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples — even if the Supreme Court strikes down Texas' marriage ban later this year. In total, there are nearly 100 bills designed to enshrine discrimination in state law. These bills rationalize injustice by pretending to defend something many of us hold dear. They go against the very principles our nation was founded on, and they have the potential to undo decades of progress toward greater equality."
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Apple's Tim Cook Calls Out "Religious Freedom" Laws As Discriminatory

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  • Christian Theocracy (Score:4, Interesting)

    by ohnocitizen ( 1951674 ) on Monday March 30, 2015 @11:48AM (#49370865)
    This is another power grab by the religious right. It is connected to their efforts to restrict sex (through access to contraception, sex education, abortion, etc) and control the lives of Americans in the bedroom. But you know what? Every article, every boycott and every protest is pushing them back. Similar bills are stalling or failing. The outrage at actions like these are causing more and more Americans to leave their religion in disgust. The more we drag this bullshit into the light, the more the theocrats feel the heat.
    • WWJD? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by jd2112 ( 1535857 ) on Monday March 30, 2015 @11:53AM (#49370905)
      Probably strongly and vocally oppose this bill.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Bill Clinton Passed the original as did all the Democrats at the time

        • Re:WWJD? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Jhon ( 241832 ) on Monday March 30, 2015 @01:04PM (#49371937) Homepage Journal

          "[they] rationalize injustice by pretending to defend something many of us hold dear,"

          Couldn't that be said by BOTH sides of this issue? Wouldn't it be injustice to force a private citizen to enter a private business contract/engagement with another private citizen against their will and against their beliefs?

          I believe It's discrimination to not hire/or fire based on sexual orientation. I do not believe that it is discrimination to refuse to take the money and provide services to someone who wants to you to make a cake for their same-sex wedding. Trust me -- the small business bakery market will weed out those who want to miss great business opportunities and/or sales just because they don't want both figures on a cake wearing pants.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Anonymous Coward

            "I believe It's discrimination to not hire/or fire based on skin color. I do not believe that it is discrimination to refuse to take the money and provide services to N*** who wants you to make a cake for their mix-race wedding. Trust me -- the small business bakery market will weed out those who want to miss great business opportunities and/or sales just because they want both figures on a cake being same color."

            Like those many business that gone bankrupt in the south during Jim Crow era, let see in this n

            • Re:WWJD? (Score:5, Insightful)

              by ShanghaiBill ( 739463 ) on Monday March 30, 2015 @02:52PM (#49373091)

              Trust me -- the small business bakery market will weed out those who want to miss great business opportunities

              You could say the same thing about businesses that refused to sell to blacks ... except they didn't go bankrupt, and racist business practices continued for a century after the civil war, until they were finally outlawed. The "free market" did not, and does not, fix discrimination.

        • The federal bill at least had some motivation behind it that wasn't a specific attempt to trample on minority rights—in fact the opposite. It it intended to prevent the federal government from building on native american sacred lands, or otherwise restricting the access of those who follow indigenous religions to their sacred sites and practices. It applies only to carve out exemptions of federal law.

          On the other hand, in Indiana, this bill explicitly allows private business to act as religious organi

      • Re:WWJD? (Score:5, Informative)

        by physicsphairy ( 720718 ) on Monday March 30, 2015 @12:27PM (#49371423) Homepage

        Jesus, the guy who would always do what you would do.

        Despite an oppressive Roman occupation, Jesus never had much to say about the Romans. He outmaneuvered questions designed to embroil him in the local politics. He refused efforts to crown him as king. He refused to defend himself when he stood accused before them.

        If I may be so bold as to guess, I would say no, Jesus would not vocally oppose this bill. Nor would he endorse it. Jesus did not see government as a means to achieve his objectives. He taught in the synagogues. He clashed with religious leaders. He went to the oppressed and ministered to them directly. He would not be interested in your politics (or mine). But he would be strongly interested in affecting the compassion, selflessness, humility, and general godliness of the people involved.

        • Not so. (Score:5, Informative)

          by emil ( 695 ) on Monday March 30, 2015 @01:23PM (#49372193)

          I just finished Reza Aslan's "Jesus the Zealot," and much was said about the Roman occupation, and the Levite collaborators, even in the sanitized gospels that were whitewashed for a Roman audience.

          "Give to Caesar that which is Caesar's, and give to God what is God's," is actually a direct challenge to throw the Romans out of Judea, a statement made within the Court of the Gentiles on the temple grounds. Tearing down and rebuilding the temple in three days, as a challenge to the high priest Caiaphas, also directly threatened the Roman order.

          The Roman governors of Judea were alternately viciously efficient or incompetent, and a spirit of rebellion reached a crescendo after the crucifixion, when Judea was free from Roman rule for four years, then crushed by the armies of Vespasian and his son Titus, who utterly destroyed Jerusalem.

      • Re:WWJD? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by tnk1 ( 899206 ) on Monday March 30, 2015 @12:36PM (#49371521)

        Honestly? Jesus would probably ignore this law, and simply expect people to do unto others.... Effectively attempting to get Jesus to talk about politics is what the Pharisees tried to get him to do, and he wasn't having it.

        Which is to say, he'd expect the people who had the right to treat other people poorly to not use their legal right. You can cast stones, which is your right under the law, but you know why you shouldn't. You can close your doors to people you consider sinners, but you know why you should not.

        Still, if he really did believe that homosexuality was a sin, he would not have minced words about it. There are no direct quotes on that, so we don't know his actual opinion. It may have differed, or it may have been the same as conventional views of that time.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Coren22 ( 1625475 )

          Jesus may have said nothing, but the old testament has a pretty clear lesson on it:

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S... [wikipedia.org]

          I personally have very little issue with homosexuals. I have a serious problem with gay marriage, as marriage is a religious ceremony, so the state should stay out of it. Civil union is the state sponsored joining, and should be the proper avenue for the state to allow something that religion indicates is wrong. If someone feels that a homosexual couple should share in the benefits a hetero

          • Re:WWJD? (Score:5, Insightful)

            by Changa_MC ( 827317 ) on Monday March 30, 2015 @01:44PM (#49372419) Homepage Journal

            If you think marriage is a religious ceremony, then you have a very poor grasp of human history.

            Every culture has marriage ceremonies, because every culture benefits when 2 people come together and raise their children as a family. Some southern African countries allowed lesbian marriage, some south American countries allowed male homosexual marriage, some south Asian cultures allowed atheist marriage... The only thing all marriages have in common is the bonding of 2 or more people for the sake of bonding their families. Sometimes this is done to provide offspring, sometimes to make peace between warring tribes, and sometimes simply out of love.

            As to your further implication that adopted children are inferior to your own genetic seed, that's pretty much rejected by everyone and you won't find it useful in pushing through any laws. Adoption by homosexuals is hardly something today's foster children fear, rather for many it is their best hope.

          • Re:WWJD? (Score:5, Insightful)

            by ultranova ( 717540 ) on Monday March 30, 2015 @02:37PM (#49372955)

            I have a serious problem with gay marriage, as marriage is a religious ceremony, so the state should stay out of it. Civil union is the state sponsored joining, and should be the proper avenue for the state to allow something that religion indicates is wrong.

            The problem is, the state can't recognize marraige without defining it. If you agree that the religious ceremony has no legal significance (that is, married couples also need to get a civil union if they want the state to respect their union), then fine; but if you want your marriage ot mean anything to the state itself, the state can't avoid deciding what it considers a valid marriage - and then carrying the moral and legal responsibility for that decision, if it would happen to put citizens into different categories based on religious beliefs. Indeed, it would be forced to recognize an official religion that gets to choose.

            So, the only way to get the state out of marriage is to go pure civil union route and ignore whatever religious or other ceremony anyone feels fit to add on their own time.

      • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) *

        Yep, especially since he was probably bisexual or just gay. The bible even says so, describing how he hung out with naked young men and lived with his BF for a while. I wish someone could invent a time machine just so we could get pictures of Jesus kissing another guy and force all the extremists to confront it.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      You mean like the 19 other states that already have similar laws? http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/wp/2015/03/27/19-states-that-have-religious-freedom-laws-like-indianas-that-no-one-is-boycotting/

      Or maybe you're referring to the lead theocratic, Bill Clinton, who signed a federal RFRA law back in 1993?

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        Go look how many times this claim has been made, how many times it has been refuted (including a good refutation in the VERY STORY you post here), and then tell me that the pro-RFRA folks are being intellectual honest.

        Never mind, by even parroting this claim you have proven you have not trouble with lying at all.

        • by macs4all ( 973270 ) on Monday March 30, 2015 @12:46PM (#49371661)

          Go look how many times this claim has been made, how many times it has been refuted (including a good refutation in the VERY STORY you post here), and then tell me that the pro-RFRA folks are being intellectual honest.

          Never mind, by even parroting this claim you have proven you have not trouble with lying at all.

          No. The Pro-RFRA people, including Gov. Pence, are the ones who are being dishonest.

          The IRFRA differs from the Federal RFRA [joshblackman.com] on several key points. This is where the "there" is.

          The Indiana Law is NOT "The same as what Obama Signed". Not even close. For one thing, the Federal RFRA had Bipartisan support. The Indiana RFRA was voted STRICTLY on Party Lines (guess which Party?). But the pro-RFRA crowd never mentions THAT, do they? they just keep talking about a Law that isn't THIS law.

          Just like Mike Pence going on This Week yesterday and lying his ASS off REPEATEDLY by stating that this was ONLY restricting actions by the GOVERNMENT. That is only true if you count COURT ORDERS as an "Action by the Government". If you read the analysis of the Federal RFRA and Indiana RFRA linked above, you'll see that I am correct.

          • by OhPlz ( 168413 )

            The AHA didn't have bipartisan support, but now we're supposed to accept it as the law of the land and not attempt to modify it.

      • by macs4all ( 973270 ) on Monday March 30, 2015 @12:39PM (#49371563)

        You mean like the 19 other states that already have similar laws? http://www.washingtonpost.com/... [washingtonpost.com]

        Or maybe you're referring to the lead theocratic, Bill Clinton, who signed a federal RFRA law back in 1993?

        Ya know; it's time this particular rubric is laid to rest.

        The Indiana RFRA (IRIFRA) is NOT, as Gov. Pence would have you believe, simply a Copypasta of the Federal RFRA; and as usual, the Devil's in the Details [joshblackman.com]. Here's a couple of differences:

        1. The Federal RFRA Restricts its application to suits involving the Government or its employees and agents. The IRFRA specifically states that the Government does NOT have to be a Party to the Action; and furthermore, that the Government may INTERVENE in any action on the RFRA issues.

        2. The Federal RFRA does NOT preclude lawsuits regarding RFRA issues; the IRFRA specifically states that the RFRA can be used as an "Affirmative Defense" in lawsuits. An "Affirmative Defense" is just one step from immunitization. For example, a Statute of Limitations is an Affirmative Defense. It does NOT hinge on the Merits of the case; but rather what amounts to a Jurisdictional issue.

        Those two things alone make the IRFRA nothing like the Federal RFRA.

        And as proof of the fact that this is nothing more, and nothing less, than an end-run against the LGBT community, you need look no farther than the picture of Gov. Pence at the PRIVATE (that is, by INVITATION-ONLY) signing of the IRFRA Bill into Law. The people who are standing CLOSEST to Pence [thenewcivi...vement.com] (again, no accident) for the Photo-Op, just HAPPEN to be the same 3 or 4 people who have been the MOST vocal opponents to Gay Marriage in the State. By the way, the Press (let alone the Public) wasn't invited.

        BTW, I live in Indiana, where a LOT more information regarding this has been presented than leaks out into the National/International news.

    • by TheGratefulNet ( 143330 ) on Monday March 30, 2015 @12:13PM (#49371177)

      actually, the laws and bills have not gone far enough.

      some kind of visual indication should be included, so you know who the enemy is. maybe an armband. it could be phrased as a 'fashion statement'.

      what could possibly go wrong with that? sounds pretty christian to me!

    • by Dracos ( 107777 ) on Monday March 30, 2015 @12:14PM (#49371189)

      These laws won't last long after one brave business in each of these states puts up a simple sign: "No Christians."

      • by MightyMartian ( 840721 ) on Monday March 30, 2015 @12:40PM (#49371573) Journal

        One brave and short-lived business. That's the problem with these laws; essentially they allow the majority to persecute the minority, under the cover of "religious freedoms". It strikes me as being no different than the same disingenuous arguments used to justify Segregation.

      • by jythie ( 914043 ) on Monday March 30, 2015 @12:42PM (#49371609)
        This highlights why a supposedly neutral law is de facto discriminatory.

        If a business excludes gays, or atheists, or muslims, they lose some business and maybe get a bit of outrage if it gets enough attention, but chances are the effect on their bottom line will be minimal.

        If a business excludes Christians, they go out of business.

        So while in theory it is religion neutral, in practice, some types of exclusion can be practiced with minimal negative consequences while others are simply not an option for reasons outside the actual words of the law.
    • by catchblue22 ( 1004569 ) on Monday March 30, 2015 @04:39PM (#49374141) Homepage

      But you know what? Every article, every boycott and every protest is pushing them back. Similar bills are stalling or failing. The outrage at actions like these are causing more and more Americans to leave their religion in disgust. The more we drag this bullshit into the light, the more the theocrats feel the heat.

      Fair enough, but what scares me is how many extremists are already in power, in Congress and in the Senate. And on the road to the White House. We as a society really do need to take a close look at what is known as the "christian dominionist movement". This movement seeks to establish an American theocracy with the rule of law given by the bible. We should think about what these people are actually proposing: the death penalty for abortion, both for doctor and mother. The death penalty for homosexuality. Here is an article [publiceye.org] to give you an idea of what I am talking about. A very good read on this subject is American Fascists [goodreads.com].

      It is easy to dismiss these people as being a crazy fringe. Indeed every society has its own lunatics. What is concerning is how this extreme form of christianity has infiltrated the main stream of christianity and what we commonly know as the christian right. What is extremely concerning is how many mainstream politicians share similar modes of thought to this movement. When I hear about laws such as what Tim Cook is writing about, I hear the clicking of a ratchet, bringing us a small step towards an American version of the taliban government.

      Those of us with a sense of what is actually going on must work towards steering our society away from this cliff. Above all, we should promote the idea that although we live in a tolerant nation, we should never tolerate intolerance. The bastards who bring in laws like this should be run out of town.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 30, 2015 @11:51AM (#49370879)

    "Religious freedom" in all its guises empowers and gives "freedom" to religious assholes and oppressors to take away the freedom of others.

    Religion is a Trojan Horse for other backwards notions, like giving superstitious and ignorant people the right to silence speech they deem "offensive". The most fucked-up countries are the ones where somebody can use take arbitrary "offence", and use that office to attack somebody. E.g. the offence of "insulting a Muslim" in most Islamic countries.

    Anybody propagating the idea that it should be illegal to "give offence" should be stabbed in the head, imnsho.

    • by Grishnakh ( 216268 ) on Monday March 30, 2015 @12:07PM (#49371095)

      Unfortunately, it's not just the right that wants to silence "offensive" speech; the left wants to as well: the SCOTUS refused to hear a case [theweek.com] about high school students who wore t-shirts with the American flag to school on Cinco de Mayo and got in trouble because the school said this could "incite violence" among Hispanic students who apparently are offended by the US flag. This case was even supported by the students who had worn black armbands back in the 60s to protest the Vietnam war, and won the SCOTUS case, the decision of which said that free speech rights do not end at the schoolhouse door (these former students supported the flag-wearing teenagers' right to free speech).

      It's weird how some on the left are so eager to push "diversity" that they'll compromise our own liberal western values in the process of pandering to people who do not share these values. These values are under assault from both sides: the wacky Christian religionists on the right, and the leftists who denounce right-wing Christians (for good reason) and then back up people with the same or worse values just because they're non-Western.

      • It's weird how some on the left are so eager to push "diversity" that they'll compromise our own liberal western values in the process of pandering to people who do not share these values.

        Fair enough. Explain to us then the rational opposing position then. Explain to us the pro-discrimination position whereby we should be permitted to discrimination on the basis of race, gender, age, or even sexual orientation when none of those things should matter. Explain how these laws trying to push laws purporting to support "religious freedom" are actually anything other than an attempt by bigoted people to discriminate against others.

        It sounds to me like you have an ideological issue with "some of

        • 50 years ago those laws were called Jim Crow laws. This is just a later day version of separate but equal.

          I've been thinking these new laws should be called Jim Queer laws, whaddaya think?

    • by Jason Levine ( 196982 ) on Monday March 30, 2015 @12:20PM (#49371301)

      Don't confuse actual religious freedom with the idiocy that politicians in Indiana are pushing. Real religious freedom is important. Real religious freedom states that nobody should force you to violate your religious beliefs (or lack thereof) because that other person has a different religious view. Without religious freedom, the Christian majority could vote and decide that all Jews, Muslims, Atheists, etc were required to worship Jesus.

      The key, though, is that real religious freedom has its limits and the people pushing these laws aren't respecting those limits. I have the freedom to not eat pork since I'm Jewish. Someone who is Christian can't make eating pork a condition of citizenship. However, I also can't use my religious beliefs to ban all pork products. Like all other rights, my rights end when others' begin. Sadly, the people pushing these laws think their religious views should trump all other rights. Of course, if someone denied them services because they worshiped Jesus instead of being Muslim/Atheist/etc, they would cry foul.

      I completely agree with the "no right to be free of offense", though. If someone wants to criticize my religious beliefs, they can go right ahead. It's their right. It won't change my beliefs (especially if they are jerks about it) and I might try to offer counter-arguments, but I won't demand that they be silenced for criticizing what I believe in*.

      * If their "criticism" calls for hurting/killing people who believe X, though, all bets are off. Threats do not equal discussion.

    • With laws like these I find the best approach is to abstract them and ask the simple question of: should it be legal for to people to be complete raging assholes to each other while not committing any other offense against each other? To this question I would have to answer yes so supporting a law like the Indiana one makes sense as all it seems to be doing is codifying that being an asshole is not a crime. This same logic also works well in you example of insulting Muslims in an Islamic country, and in thi
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 30, 2015 @11:51AM (#49370885)
    I just don't buy iPhones because I don't agree with the poor working conditions in Apple factories. See how that works Tim?
    • by mean pun ( 717227 ) on Monday March 30, 2015 @12:01PM (#49371009)

      I just don't buy iPhones because I don't agree with the poor working conditions in Apple factories.

      Very principled of you, AC! So which brand of phone do you buy then?

      • So I have a question. If I wanted to buy a smartphone that wasn't made by teenagers handling dangerous chemicals on 16 hour shifts for pennies an hour, what brand phone would I buy, and how much could I expect to pay for it?

        Does there even exist such a smartphone?

  • by AntronArgaiv ( 4043705 ) on Monday March 30, 2015 @11:51AM (#49370891)
    "Thou shalt not use your religious beliefs as an excuse to be a dick to others."

    Either that, or "Treat others like you would like to be treated."

    Honestly, the self-righteousness of the "religious" is getting to be annoying.

  • by gstoddart ( 321705 ) on Monday March 30, 2015 @11:53AM (#49370903) Homepage

    If you and your religion wish to be able to discriminate against someone on the basis of your religion, then you and your religion should correspondingly lose the legal protection of being discriminated against.

    If you are such a whiny idiot that you think it should be OK to say "we don't serve your kind here", then you should have no legal or moral basis to claim that someone shouldn't be able to do the same to you.

    This is giving religion an extra special place in law ... protected from being discriminated against, while getting a special exemption to discriminate against someone else.

    So either shut up, and accept that you have no other ways you're legally allowed to discriminate against someone ... or accept that it should also be someone else's right to refuse you because of your religion.

    There is no in between, and any claims your religion is so precious as to require you receive rights nobody else has is complete crap.

    Sorry, but the Taliban, Al Qaeda, and ISIL want to have a society based on religious exceptionalism.

    Which makes people who want to have religion be a special thing in law are full of shit, self entitled people, and are actually the enemies of a free and open society.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by funwithBSD ( 245349 )

      These laws don't give you the right to say "We don't serve your kind here." at a public accommodation. That would be a violation of the law. You are not exempt from complying with laws where the government has a compelling interest.

      What is somewhat amusing is that when the Federal law that provides the same protection as these State laws was passed under Clinton, it was to allow the use of ceremonial drugs in Native American rituals and the Amish to avoid some building codes.

      • These laws don't give you the right to say "We don't serve your kind here." at a public accommodation. That would be a violation of the law. You are not exempt from complying with laws where the government has a compelling interest.

        Actually, this one does. And it keeps you from suing (successfully) against it. And it allows the State Government to step in (Intervene) (at Taxpayer Expense!) to enforce your "right" to Discriminate.

        Even when there is an express local ordinance forbidding it.

        Read. [joshblackman.com]

    • by rwv ( 1636355 ) on Monday March 30, 2015 @12:18PM (#49371257) Homepage Journal
      One example I heard about on NPR was a bakery that made fancy cakes somewhere in Colorado. The baker formerly made wedding cakes in addition to regular cakes for things like birthdays and such. The baker currently does not offer the wedding cake service any longer because if he can't turn down people with a particular sexual orientation he is legally bound to turn down everybody. It ultimately hurts choice. It is bigotry and shame on the business owner for not being comfortable enough as a person to tolerate all sorts of different sexual orientations, but is this really the arena that people of that particular sexual orientation should be taking a stand with respect to their rights? The "denied access to see their partner in the hospital" circumstance tugs on more heart strings than "no wedding cakes for anybody until we can get this mess sorted out".
      • by Hevel-Varik ( 2700923 ) on Monday March 30, 2015 @12:32PM (#49371479)
        No it is not a shame on the business owner for not being comfortable enough to tolerate all sorts of... I imagine he tolerates just fine. What he doesn't want to do is be party to the issue, because he believes in something super-wordly which establishes a system of right and wrong.(Only in modern times has believing in nothing become the height of intellectual attainment but throught human history and still today if you can look beyond the press that belief has gone hand in hand with worldly knowledge. And the business owner is willing to forgo business to accomodate his beliefs. It is a shame on you that you are too small to relate to something like that.
    • "we don't serve your kind here"

      "Huh?"

      "Your druids. They'll have to wait outside."

    • Yeah, I just *hate* haters, don't you? /irony.

      You might want to review http://www.cracked.com/blog/5-... [cracked.com]

      But here's the key: When a Scientologist (or Muslim, or Christian, or yoga enthusiast) says it works for them, this is what they're talking about. The mythology isn't important -- if these rituals have saved your life and later on a teacher says, "Yeah, this technique works because of the ancient thetans that live in your *******," you're going to shrug and say, "Sure, sounds good." If you tell the lady

    • by jdavidb ( 449077 )

      If you are such a whiny idiot that you think it should be OK to say "we don't serve your kind here", then you should have no legal or moral basis to claim that someone shouldn't be able to do the same to you.

      Yes, I agree. People should be able to refuse to do business with someone for any reason whatsoever, and vice versa. Religious conviction shouldn't have any special status in law above any other type of preference or desire.

      So either shut up, and accept that you have no other ways you're legally allowed to discriminate against someone ... or accept that it should also be someone else's right to refuse you because of your religion.

      I agree and accept this.

  • Blow back (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Hevel-Varik ( 2700923 ) on Monday March 30, 2015 @11:54AM (#49370925)
    This is blow back for overreach. When we as a society conluded that we cannot employ common sense to indentify and negotiate grey areas (BECAUSE THERE ARE NO GREY AREAS!!!) like the difference between a religious wedding service provider declining to service to same-sex 'marriages' and a coffee shop refusing service to a same-sex 'couple,' people decided to legislately protect their human agency, and we may well wind up the worse for it.
  • by headhot ( 137860 ) on Monday March 30, 2015 @11:55AM (#49370931) Homepage

    A free market solution never worked in the Jim Crow south and it wont work now. Sure if you live in a big city or town, if one shop refuses to serve you, you can go to another, but what happens to a person who is in the minority who lives or visits a small town that is predominantly made up of religious bigots? There may be one gas station, one food market, one diner? Should the minority have to leave town to protect the rights of the bigoted religious majority?

    Also, will the religious rights head explode when Muslims try to use their faith in the same way the Christians are trying too?

    • by Jason Levine ( 196982 ) on Monday March 30, 2015 @12:27PM (#49371413)

      Also, will the religious rights head explode when Muslims try to use their faith in the same way the Christians are trying too?

      Already happened. Awhile back, some state legislature passed a law allowing discussion of religion in public schools as a means of promoting Christianity (though they didn't come out and say that). They then were shocked, SHOCKED that this law was used to allow discussion of Islam. HOW HORRIBLE!!!!

  • by trout007 ( 975317 ) on Monday March 30, 2015 @11:55AM (#49370941)

    I choose who I do business with or have over my home all of the time. It's not based on religion I just don't do business with people I think are jerks.

  • a question (Score:4, Insightful)

    by steak ( 145650 ) on Monday March 30, 2015 @11:58AM (#49370983) Homepage Journal

    if the government can compel companies to do business with people they don't want to, how long will it be before the people are compelled to do business with companies they don't want to?

  • Nonsense (Score:3, Insightful)

    by clonehappy ( 655530 ) on Monday March 30, 2015 @12:00PM (#49371001)

    This is all just a distraction and pandering to a political base. No business that likes money and wants to continue making money will be discriminating against anyone. Big corporations surely don't care who or what you sleep with in bed at night if you want to give them money. Small businesses can't afford to lose a sale. And if a small business decides to put their own religious beliefs in front of making money, then so be it if they go under.

    This is another "look over here; be outraged!" political move by the establishment to make sure no one is looking at any of the important issues facing us on the world stage while at the same time furthering the "left/right" political divide and causing more animosity amongst the LGBT community that the "straights" are trying to oppress them (even though no one, straight, republican, or otherwise actually supports legalized discrimination).

    • by sjbe ( 173966 ) on Monday March 30, 2015 @01:35PM (#49372327)

      This is all just a distraction and pandering to a political base.

      No it is not. It is an attempt to enshrine bigoted ideology into law against a group of people who have done them no harm. Just because it is pandering does not mean it will not do real harm.

      No business that likes money and wants to continue making money will be discriminating against anyone.

      BULLSHIT. Plenty of racist homophobes actually support this nonsense. This is legislation that specifically targets minority groups that by definition do not have the population to fight back directly. "Ohh, 1% of our customer base is angry with us, whatever will we do..."

      Big corporations surely don't care who or what you sleep with in bed at night if you want to give them money.

      Do you seriously think that the owners of Chick-Fil-A or Hobby Lobby wouldn't force their religion on others if given the chance? Companies are guided by people and people have biases. It's not even remotely difficult to find examples of companies discriminating against entire classes of people including women, blacks, hispanics, asians etc even when doing so is explicitly against the law. Ask women how that equal pay thing is going these day.

      And if a small business decides to put their own religious beliefs in front of making money, then so be it if they go under.

      If it were a fair world I would agree with you but reality frequently doesn't work that way.

  • by DoofusOfDeath ( 636671 ) on Monday March 30, 2015 @12:04PM (#49371035)

    I think something irreligious non-libertarians miss in these discussions is the notion of harm.

    I'm guessing that they see clear harm to a gay person in having a business refuse to perform a particular service for them.

    But they see no harm in forcing a religious person to choose between being faithful to God and making their living.

    In reality, gay people can usually find another place to get a cake decorated, and religious people can actually write the requested message on a cake. But irreligious people are making the value judgment that the former is less tolerable than the latter.

    As far as I can tell, that prioritization is itself a religious judgment. It's saying that it's more wrong to refuse to blaspheme, than to blaspheme. That strikes me as very much an Enlightenment era notion of morality.

  • by Moof123 ( 1292134 ) on Monday March 30, 2015 @12:11PM (#49371149)

    So does this mean that as an anti-theist I can refuse service to those who practice religion?

    As a Pastafarian can I refuse to serve noodles to those not wearing a colander?

    As a Dude-ist can I refuse service to those that don't abide?

    Seriously, I am curious to know how much these wingnuts have thought about the possibility that non-Christians might use this crap against them. Imagine the uproar is a Halal butcher turned away some Catholics, or a Jewish deli turned away some Baptists on religious grounds. Faux News would have an outrage-gasm.

  • Read The Bill (Score:5, Informative)

    by Sigmon ( 323109 ) on Monday March 30, 2015 @12:24PM (#49371379) Homepage
    As I live in Arkansas I actually got around to reading the bill (HB 1228) [state.ar.us] this morning. Everything people are complaining about is complete FUD. It's really quite mundane... and LOTS of other states already have similar laws on the books. It _basically_ instructs the courts to take into consideration sincerely-held religious convictions in discrimination cases except where there is an impracticality in enforcing the laws without the state encroaching on them.

    This does NOT mean that teh gheys will be denied service at restaurants.
    It DOES mean that I may be spared legal consequences if I decline to build a gay porn website for somebody and am sued for discrimination.
  • by kindbud ( 90044 ) on Monday March 30, 2015 @12:49PM (#49371711) Homepage

    How to Determine if Your Religious Liberty Is Being Threatened in Just 10 Quick Questions.
      Just pick "A" or "B" for each question.

      My religious liberty is at risk because:
    A) I am not allowed to go to a religious service of my own choosing.
    B) Others are allowed to go to religious services of their own choosing.

    2. My religious liberty is at risk because:
    A) I am not allowed to marry the person I love legally, even though my religious community blesses my marriage.
    B) Some states refuse to enforce my own particular religious beliefs on marriage on those two guys in line down at the courthouse.

    3. My religious liberty is at risk because:
    A) I am being forced to use birth control.
    B) I am unable to force others to not use birth control.

    4. My religious liberty is at risk because:
    A) I am not allowed to pray privately.
    B) I am not allowed to force others to pray the prayers of my faith publicly.

    5. My religious liberty is at risk because:
    A) Being a member of my faith means that I can be bullied without legal recourse.
    B) I am no longer allowed to use my faith to bully gay kids with impunity.

    6. My religious liberty is at risk because:
    A) I am not allowed to purchase, read or possess religious books or material.
    B) Others are allowed to have access books, movies and websites that I do not like.

    7. My religious liberty is at risk because:
    A) My religious group is not allowed equal protection under the establishment clause.
    B) My religious group is not allowed to use public funds, buildings and resources as we would like, for whatever purposes we might like.

    8. My religious liberty is at risk because:
    A) Another religious group has been declared the official faith of my country.
    B) My own religious group is not given status as the official faith of my country.

    9. My religious liberty is at risk because:
    A) My religious community is not allowed to build a house of worship in my community.
    B) A religious community I do not like wants to build a house of worship in my community.

    10. My religious liberty is at risk because:
    A) I am not allowed to teach my children the creation stories of our faith at home.
    B) Public school science classes are teaching science.

    If you answered "A" to any question, then perhaps your religious liberty is indeed at stake. You and your faith group have every right to now advocate for equal protection under the law.

    If you answered "B" to any question, then not only is your religious liberty not at stake, but there is a strong chance that you are oppressing the religious liberties of others.

  • by Jarwulf ( 530523 ) on Monday March 30, 2015 @01:14PM (#49372061)
    I can't believe how many people are can't wrap their heads around businesses being able to choose their own customers. Being a 'jerk' is a moral offense and should not a legal one on par with robbery or murder. People already are allowed to be jerks for a million other reasons, why is orientation so special? If the government needs to go after bakers not baking a cake for someone why not also jail and fines for adultery or cutting in line?
  • by iamacat ( 583406 ) on Monday March 30, 2015 @01:29PM (#49372261)

    ...after what happened to Mozilla CEO. I wholeheartedly support same sex marriage and plural marriage. I especially support alternative lifestyles entered by choice rather than because you were "born this way", because this country is about freedom of choice. I personally enjoy my choices and would hate to deny this to others. If an adult gay man wants to try conversion therapy to marry a woman he is not attracted to, it's no more our business than a woman who marries a rich guy she is not attracted to.

    What I can not support is this notion that the only way you can be free is if nobody else is free. Brendan Eich was bullied out of his job just because he, as a private citizen, made a legal donation to a political campaign that most CA residents supported at the time. This is as reprehensible is a female CEO getting sacked because she had an abortion, and yet not a single gay rights organization came out against this. So despite donating money to oppose Prop 8, I will never again financially support these causes. I just can not be sure than my contributions will be used to promote equality rather than discrimination.

    So I see how folks in Indiana would feel they need the law to make sure all personal beliefs are equally respected, not only most politically correct ones of the day. If I run a family IT shop and a bunch of Republicans show up wanting help with their campaign website, I don't want to serve them. How can I deny the same freedoms to a florist next door who doesn't want to participate in a same sex wedding?

  • by BenJeremy ( 181303 ) on Monday March 30, 2015 @01:55PM (#49372527)

    I will start a new religion, where upon "dark" and "light" days will alternate. As a member, you will be obliged only to serve somebody of darker skin or lighter skin, depending on the day, all others will be turned away.

    For example, If Tuesday is a "dark" day, you only are allowed to do business with or assist people with darker skin. The next day, you will only do business with those of a lighter skin shade.

    Those without skin, or matching your own skin color are not to be dealt with, ever, as it is sinful.

    Religious freedom!

  • by dskoll ( 99328 ) on Monday March 30, 2015 @02:13PM (#49372715) Homepage

    Religious Freedom, or Freedom of Conscience, originally meant that the government wouldn't try to impose a particular brand of religion on the people.

    The concept has been abused and mutilated until now it's interpreted as "My religion gives me freedom to trample all over your civil rights".

  • by thetoadwarrior ( 1268702 ) on Monday March 30, 2015 @05:27PM (#49374557) Homepage
    Surely the fair thing to do is to let every other bigoted group ban who they want.
  • by Livius ( 318358 ) on Monday March 30, 2015 @05:59PM (#49374819)

    In funny a way it's a good thing the society has reached a point where people have completely, absolutely, totally forgotten what religious freedom fundamentally means and why it's important.

    Three or four hundred years ago, expressing your personal religious belief in the privacy of your own home could lead to soldiers dragging you off to prison and all of your wealth being confiscated by the state.

    Religious freedom is the absence of that happening.

"The Avis WIZARD decides if you get to drive a car. Your head won't touch the pillow of a Sheraton unless their computer says it's okay." -- Arthur Miller

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