What’s Wrong with the World

The men signed of the cross of Christ go gaily in the dark.


What’s Wrong with the World is dedicated to the defense of what remains of Christendom, the civilization made by the men of the Cross of Christ. Athwart two hostile Powers we stand: the Jihad and Liberalism...read more

Aaand, here we go

It sometimes is difficult to keep up with all of the wedding business people who are in trouble and whose cases are wending their ways through the courts. But here is one that is noteworthy, because the Phoenix ordinance in question evidently contains a provision for jail time as a primary punishment for the "offense" of discriminating by refusing to cater to a homosexual "wedding." The fine, unlike others we've seen, is relatively light for each offense (or each day that one continues to "discriminate," however that is calculated): $2500. But six months in prison is another story.

If the Kleins of Sweet Cakes By Melissa had refused to pay their 6-figure fine, they presumably could have gone to prison. Or maybe their bank account would just have been ransacked directly. I honestly don't know how the courts would have worked that. But so far nobody has actually gone to prison as a direct punishment for "discriminating" against sodomite "marriage."

The offenders (or potential offenders--see below) in this case are calligraphists Joanna Duka and Breanna Koski. They are represented by (who else?) the Alliance Defending Freedom. (I keep saying: If you really want to do something effective to fight the culture wars and defend the innocent, how about this? Instead of becoming a despicable troll and hating conservatives like David French, support the ADF. For which French has worked. End of digression.)

Now, there's one oddity about this case, and I hope to make this clearer eventually. Some versions of the story say that Joanna and Breanna actually have refused to create invitations for a homosexual "wedding" and are now "facing" the penalties of the ordinance. But a search of the ADF web site gives the impression, rather, that they are going out and taking the fight to the City of Phoenix, filing a state pre-enforcement challenge to the ordinance on First Amendment grounds. If so, that's quite brave, because most wedding vendors just hope quietly to fly under the radar. Instead, these two ladies are willing to make theirs a test case and thus make themselves sitting ducks for the malice of the shrieking harpies of tolerance.

It's interesting to reflect on the question: How many state and local anti-discrimination ordinances have jail time as a possibility? And will we ever see that aspect enforced against Christians just for refusing to enslave themselves to the homosexual agenda? If you didn't think that Kenneth Miller counts as a prisoner of conscience in the U.S. (though he is), perhaps the next chapter is just around the corner.

Comments (21)

Colorado's strict law had jailtime when first passed in the mid-2000s but was amended in the legislature to prevent Jack Phillips from being jailed.

"The punishment for refusing to make a special cake for a gay wedding was $500 and one year in prison per charge"


Many ordinances are based on model legislation from national advocacy groups. Which activist groups were pushing criminal penalties? Or is the root in original civil rights-era legislation?

Ah, thanks for the info.

I'm waiting to see if Jack Philips will be able to keep his business going without baking wedding cakes for *anybody*. I gather that's the direction he is going, but it didn't sound like too sanguine an economic prospect.

As to your last question, I don't know the answer, but I wouldn't be terribly surprised if it went back to civil rights era legislation, at least at the state and local level.

Were criminal penalties such as jail time part of civil rights era legislation? As for Breanna and Joanna, I have only read about them seeking a pre-enforcement challenge. I have not heard about any refusals to make invitations from them. Maybe someone made an inquiry after they made their challenge public? Seeing as we are going to have endure Trump either way; hopefully we will at least get judges that will put a halt to the worst of these things happening.

My apologies if this is too far off topic, but the flap over the church that Chip and Joanna are part of sure is interesting. At the moment, it looks like the voices that this was unseemly on the part of the buzzfeed reporter are, for lack of a better way to put it, winning. Although, I understand they plan to keep tabs on Fixer Upper and plan to pressure them to feature a homosexual couple. I assume they will not accept anything short of Chip and Jo speaking and acting as if this hypothetical homosexual couple really are "married" to each other either. It is far from over, but perhaps the shrieking harpies of tolerances have finally gone after a target they can't convince even the majority of their own side are actually hateful, bigoted people. Maybe this is a shark jumping moment and people will be more apt to question whether that person being cast as bigots, such as Breanna and Joanna in Phoenix or Jack Philips in Colorado, really are. Between this and the new reality that that future court decisions in these areas are no longer so certain things are looking brighter.

PS It is still troubling how much power the courts have over these issues regardless of the decisions they come to.

The court power arises from two things: First, the connection to "non-discrimination" law, which in turn connects any enforcement to various *state* guarantees of freedom of speech and freedom of religion. Second, the incorporation doctrine, which means that state laws are not supposed to violate the First Amendment of the *federal* constitution.

In a sense, you can think of the power that the courts have as arising from the *defenders* (the good guys). What I mean by that is this: If nobody ever challenged these draconian laws, they would just chug along and persecute people at the local and state level. Oregon punishes Sweet Cakes by Melissa. Colorado drives Jack Philips out of business. Phoenix could (if it arises) throw Breanna and Joanna into prison. And so forth. The only courts that would rule on the matter would be a) the local courts that try them and/or b) the administrative law officials who decide on their sentence.

The higher courts derive their relevance from the plausible First Amendment case *against* these laws (and similar cases against them from First Amendment clones in state constitutions) and by its being pressed by ADF and other lawyers for the persecuted businesses.


etween this and the new reality that that future court decisions in these areas are no longer so certain things are looking brighter.

I hate to be too pessimistic, but these "future court decisions" may take a long time to get here. First of all, Trump has to get his judges seated. I accept that he is likely to get a pick for the SC seated relatively quickly: I suspect that even Dems have little stomach for a fight that would have to pitch them as standing athwart the presidential power to pick an SC judge "with the advise and consent of the Senate" without ever even allowing the Senate to advise or consent for FOUR FULL YEARS.

But that's because the SC is much in the limelight. They may well feel free to block votes on any or all lower court picks.

Secondly, even if Trump gets SOME lower court nominees, he may not be able to make that much of a difference, unless or until he can appoint judges that can tip the balance of power on, say, 2 different appeals courts. It takes time for a case to wend its way through lower courts to the Appeals courts, and then up to the SC. Typical time period is often 5 years, sometimes longer.

If Bannon is so enamored of "wrecking everything", maybe he can be prevailed upon to push Trump (and Congress) to simply eradicate the 9th Circuit. This would not only remove some of the worst offenders from the federal courts, but would also have the added benefit of removing all the precedents of that court from the system. Each circuit has a body of precedents that all of the lower courts in that circuit feel bound to follow as mandatory, and eradicating the 9th organizationally (putting those states into other circuits) would annihilate the precedents as mandates.

Plus, it would be fun to watch the fireworks as those judges tried to sue (in federal courts) for their "rights". The constitution demands that they cannot have their pay diminished, it does not require that they be kept on a bench. They can be "judges without portfolio".

If the 9th circuit rules badly, the SCOTUS can overrule. If they rule well (by accident?), the SCOTUS can also overrule. I don't see that abolishing the 9th circuit is going to help all that much, except insofar as (I suppose) the SCOTUS is sometimes too lazy to take up a case from them, one way or another, and just leaves it as they have ruled. Meanwhile, abolishing one whole circuit is going to slow down all of these cases, which kind of need to wend their way up to the SCOTUS eventually, as it's pretty much certain that both sides will keep appealing if things don't go their way at some lower level.

That's not to say that only SCOTUS matters, ever. But I just don't see much value in abolishing the 9th circuit per se.

Frankly, I don't think future court decisions were previously certain in a bad direction, nor do I think they are currently leaning in a particularly good direction. We are in a radically uncertain situation as we have been for some time, as I indicated in my "whither the first amendment" post earlier. The precedents *ought* to be clear, some ruled on *by* liberal judges, and hence even *for* liberal judges. But we can't count on that. Conversely, we really can't count too heavily even on a "conservative" judge, as sometimes they want to avoid overruling or messing with local and state laws, lest they be criticized for "activism." Or I suppose in an extreme instance we could get an originalist justice who denied the incorporation doctrine altogether and hence refused to strike down or require the modification of any state or local law on first amendment grounds!

Or I suppose in an extreme instance we could get an originalist justice who denied the incorporation doctrine altogether and hence refused to strike down or require the modification of any state or local law on first amendment grounds!

I see this as the most worrisome for any new judges appointed by Trump. When you are fully within the "rule of law", you want originalist judges ruling like this. But when you have departed from federalism as the rule of law for some time, and have had judges usurp powers and legislatures go off the rails for several decades, it is no longer black and white about whether the common good is better served by a strict attention to (as you point to here) the original sense of the separation of federal from state powers, or by some de-facto recognition that after so many years of wacky jurisprudence, "you can't get there from here" by simply ruling as WOULD have been appropriate 60 years ago. Which is just what non-incendiary judges will sometimes argue in upholding bad precedent just because it is standing precedent.

except insofar as (I suppose) the SCOTUS is sometimes too lazy to take up a case from them, one way or another, and just leaves it as they have ruled.

If only it were that simple. The SC only takes something like 130 cases a year, out of 7000 submitted. And even more would be submitted if more had a chance to be taken. If even a one of the conservative judges doesn't feel that a case like the Kleins has an insufficiently clear fact pattern, or feels that the only way to get an OK result is to simply go back to Obergefell and overturn it lock, stock and barrel - but doesn't have the stomach for that kind of fight (or deems it imprudent until Trump gets a second appointment) - you might not get the case heard. There can be a LOT of reasons we won't get successful results on this issue from the SC even after a good new justice is appointed (assuming that's what happens).

Actually overturning Obergefell wouldn't help the Kleins. If I recall correctly their case was going through long before. And in any event it's based upon state anti-discrimination law. (Indeed, the photographer case in New Mexico went through *purely* on state anti-discrimination law even before New Mexico recognized civil unions, much less homosexual "marriage.") How the judges rule will depend chiefly upon their interpretation of the first amendment and how it applies in this case.

It looks like Joanna and Breanna lost their test case and are currently appealing the decision. In the mean time, it appears like they are still in business so they presumably could face the full penalty of that "anti discrimination law" if they would refuse to make "wedding" invitations for just two men or women who happen to engage in homosexual conduct together. I would assume they remain free to refuse if it is more than two men or women and/or if those men or women do not identify with or engage in homosexual conduct. I have not come across anything concrete that indicates they have been approached by just two men or women who happen to be engage in homosexual conduct together and have refused to make them "wedding" invitations. If my understanding is correct, it appears they are sitting ducks so long as they continue to act freely and operate their business. Is there any chance that their appeal could protect them from being fined or jailed? Either way, short of a Supreme Court decision in favor of one these wedding vendors, it looks to me like the possibility of someone being jailed is around the corner.

What these "anti discrimination" laws indicate to me is that the people who support them are unable to share the same society with people who do not believe two men can marry each other. They quite literally support people who believe marriage is a man/woman union being removed from society and locked in a cage because of their belief. That's quite disturbing, and I am not sure I would trust them to not keep trying to get more laws passed that could get more people locked up. On the flip side, Breanna, Joanna and other wedding vendors are not at all stopping two or more men from having a "wedding" nor is there any broad support to have men who "marry" each other locked in cages.

Your last paragraph, DR84, and a "what the heck" feeling I happen to have this morning, leads me to make a rather controversial comment:

The homosexual activists want to make an analogy here to race and to interracial marriage. They are completely wrong, and that is disgustingly insulting to people of a variety of races, including those who are married to each other. Moreover, anyone who had such a hang-up about racial issues that he would refuse to do a wedding cake, calligraphic invitations, flowers, etc., for an interracial marriage would be showing evidence of an unpleasantly messed-up mind.

But, I'm going to go way out on a limb and say that sane and balanced people shouldn't want the racist florist or calligraphist or baker jailed or ruined either. We shouldn't say that that guy should be locked up, should have his entire livelihood stripped, should be fined out of business until he apologizes and begs for mercy, etc.

That kind of draconian approach even to _real_ wrong ideas such as, "Interracial marriage is wrong," and yes, even to those who discriminate on their basis, is _itself_ wrong. It's (wrongfully) intolerant in precisely the sense that "tolerance" is supposed to mean that to some degree and in some ways we try to live and let live even with people who themselves are seriously wrong.

And what we are up against in the homosexual agenda is not merely the disgusting analogy between sodomy and race. What we are also up against is something like sixty years during which the citizens of the United States have gotten this ingrained idea that "discrimination" is this absolutely horrible crime, so horrible that anyone who engages in it really *deserves* to be hounded totally out of business, totally out of all polite society, and maybe even jailed.

The fact is that that is out of whack and has always been out of whack. It's a failure of perspective. It's a failure to have an accurate perspective on levels of evil, on deserved punishment, and on wise and prudent public policy.

The homosexual lobby is taking that lack of prudence, that extremeness, and weaponizing it for their own culture-transforming ends. And I wonder to what extent we can respond in terms of arguments and ideas to that weaponizing without criticizing the underlying extremeness of the anti-discrimination ideology itself. But that is at the risk of a) sounding like a wild-eyed libertarian and b) being portrayed falsely by the left as a racist, even when one definitely and explicitly is not. To make more of a mess, nowadays, the alt-right is always hanging around the fringe to seize upon a comment like this one of mine and try to make it sound like I'm somehow "saying what they are saying," which isn't true either.

I think many people have just lost all perspective here. The wedding vendors are not involved in any kind of life or death business. No one needs a special cake made for them or flowers arranged for them. Concerns about racist discrimination with regards to lodging, food, and basic retail are much more valid, the possibility of wedding vendor racism does not even compare. In another variation of the racial analogy, some are now raising the "horror" of a Christian baker refusing to make a cake for the wedding of a Christian and Jew, which of course, is "anti-semitic". I would assume a refusal for a Christian-Muslim wedding would be deemed "Islamophobic" as well. It really is amazing how they just pile it on and get away with. I am not sure how this can be navigated without accepting that you will be deemed a homophobic, racist, anti-semitic, islamophobic bigot. This really is becoming a package deal, if you are guilty of one, you are guilty of all.

Here is an interesting question:

Why has no legislative body ever, in the history of the West (I think this is true), that legislates on discrimination, attempted to make a distinction between different kinds of public accommodation?

For example, no legislation that I am aware of has ever restricted itself to "essential services," with an attempted definition thereof, such as you just gave. None has ever attempted to, on the other side, expressly state that it does *not* apply to "expressive services" such as appear to endorse a ceremony (wedding vendors and wedding services, photography, music at ceremonies, etc., and *certainly* anything involving art, writing messages, printing, etc.). Or in housing, none has ever attempted to restrict itself only to outlawing housing discrimination in, say, housing complexes or conglomerates of x units or more (as opposed to a person who owns only one house as a rental property).

On the contrary, the entire question is just whether the person is offering a "public accommodation" for money, and that's it. Everybody is included, from the grocery store to the person who makes custom-designed wedding invitations. I mean, c'mon. Surely this is rather crude law-making.

It seems obvious to me there is a difference between having a baker tell you that they won't make you that special cake you want for whatever reason and a motel operator manager telling you that they don't have a room for you. That motel operator actually could put someone's life in jeopardy by not letting someone have a room based on some arbitrary reason or dislike. Perhaps that person they turned away dies en route to another motel because they are just too tired to drive or dies overnight in their car because of the weather conditions. Something like that is a real problem. A person saying they will not go to your "wedding" and take photos who has done so at other weddings is just not comparable. How this is not obvious and how an effort to address it legislatively has not even been made is beyond me at the moment, I am actually surprised to hear that may be the case. It seems to me a distinction could be made around an act of discrimination that could endanger someone and/or limit their freedom. Not being able to reliably eat or find accommodations; for example, puts a damper on one's freedom to travel. Again, this stuff seems like common sense to me. Given how things have gone, I am guessing I am among the odd one's out here. You would think there are mass casualties every time a wedding vendor says they will not help make a same sex "wedding" happen based on LGBT activist histrionics.

Also, we are still facing the reality that even churches and other non-profits are being declared places of public accommodation. So even just making money is not a bright line. It is looking more like the line is, having a building that anyone off the street can enter and/or a business, profit or non-profit, that anyone can deal with. Which makes just about everything that is not a private residence potentially a place of public accommodation. Which; for all I know, is not necessarily the case if a homeowner wants to rent a room out.

So the law is crude and over broad, and now, who benefits from this? I don't think people are that dumb.

Just a thought here, but another distinction that is obvious to me is one based on speech or conduct that indicates affirmation of a same sex "marriage". As in, in some sense those words or those actions treat such a relationship as if it were a marriage. Could it help if someone or some group that has some authority, even if just informally, tried to make a more specific list of what that speech and conduct is? Making a "wedding" cake is an obvious example, but how about a builder/contractor who cannot in good conscience make two men a master bedroom? Something like that would probably involve meeting with both of them and in some way acting like they should have a bedroom together. (This is a Fixer Upper inspired example, they typically do make an effort to fix up the master bedroom of the couple's house they are working on).

Just a thought here, but another distinction that is obvious to me is one based on speech or conduct that indicates affirmation of a same sex "marriage".

I think it ought to be possible make a distinction even in law between expressive conduct that one is "selling" and non-expressive conduct. Anything involving participation in a celebratory or symbolic occasion, for example, could be defined "in." Anything involving the use of one's artistic gifts in such a way as to send a message (baking a cake, etc.), should *already* be covered by existing first amendment precedents on coerced speech but could also easily be protected in statutory law. (That is, one's right not to do so.)

Your "fixer upper" example is more difficult, because arguably building something isn't artistic expression and providing a house isn't participating in a celebratory occasion.

That example takes us into the further issue of "hostile environment" regulations as a natural outgrowth of non-discrimination legislation.

Let's take your example of providing a hotel room for bona fide travelers. Suppose that is defined as an essential service, for the reason you have given. Now suppose that an interracial couple asks for a room at a racist's hotel. The racist rents the room, as (let's say) required by law, but is rude. For example, maybe he insists on referring to the wife as "your girlfriend" in speaking to the husband, because he doesn't deem them to be married. Now, okay, at this point to the extent that the hotel room was really important for them (so they could get some sleep before continuing their journey safely, say), they got the room. But obviously they are being deliberately discouraged from coming back there again by the rudeness. Or maybe he deliberately gives them a lousy room that he has around for that purpose.

So it's from that sort of scenario that all the stuff flows about not making potential customers of the protected class feel unwelcome, etc.

This is why, if a contractor/home builder is covered by some given public accommodations law, he's not allowed to do things that fall into that grey area that "creates a hostile environment." Hence, let's say the Gaineses were ordinary contractors (rather than doing this for charity) and were deemed to be offering a public accommodation, and say that homosexuals are treated as a protected class. Then it *automatically* follows that, for the contractors to refuse to build and design a master bedroom for them is making the feel unwelcome as customers for their possession of the protected class characteristics, and hence it's illegal.

Notice that I've introduced the term "protected class." Now let's go back to your example of renting a hotel room to a weary traveler. Suppose that one refuses to rent the room to a traveler because he is more than six feet tall. (One has an aversion to tall people.) As things presently stand, *that* refusal is perfectly legal, because people over six feet tall do not have "protected class status" in any non-discrimination law (that I'm aware of). So the tall traveler could be put at risk of getting into an accident for lack of sleep.

But do we really *want* public accommodations laws to be so sweeping and micromanaging that they cover all possible prejudices and sources of discrimination, even for "essential services"? What if the person looks super-dirty and has terrible b.o., so that the hotel room is going to stink for days? This seems like a far more legit. reason for refusing to rent him the room.

I would argue that we don't want the government micromanaging every one of those decisions. But that means that, if there is going to be non-discrimination law at all, there has to be a _given set_ of characteristics that one isn't allowed to "discriminate" on the basis of, for whatever accommodations (including "essential services") we're going to apply the law to.

Which means that some are more equal than others.

I'll be quite honest and say that it isn't clear to me that, "Being a sodomite couple" is any _more_ worthy of being specially protected from discrimination in the rental of a hotel room than "being over six feet tall." If we can only pick a limited number of groups, qua groups, to which to give this special protection, I really do not think that the embracing of sexual perversion ought to be one of those singled-out groups.

I would quite openly oppose any special inclusion of sodomy as creating protected class status in non-discrimination law for any services whatsoever, including those that are plausibly deemed essential. Yes, that would mean that *in theory* an open, out-of-the-closet sodomite or (especially) sodomite couple might find it difficult to find places to purchase essential services. That places them in, *in theory*, exactly the same position as a person with a Republican bumper sticker on his car, who (currently) could *in theory* be drummed out of town by the fact that nobody will rent him an apartment. Because "having a Republican bumper sticker on your car" (or even "political affiliation") is not a protected class in most non-discrimination public accommodations and housing law.

Just learned from PJ Media about another pre-enforcement challenge filed by the ADF, this one in St. Cloud, MN.



The ADF is obviously really,really wanting a test case to go to the SCOTUS. I hope when it finally happens they get a good ruling. Notice how cleverly they are choosing their clients for these preemptive enforcement challenges. For example, choosing videographers and calligraphists rather than caterers. This way they can push the idea that they are being forced to engage in coerced speech and use those precedents.

God bless the ADF.

I believe the ADF is still hopeful to get Jack Philips, the Denver baker, case to the Supreme Court. I think they are open to getting any wedding vendor involved in expressive conduct in front of the court. As it stands, I would not be overly optimistic that Kennedy would be willing to throw away his gay "rights" legacy and become the ultimate traitor to that cause by siding with the vendors.

What is particularly frustrating is that our side has so many legit arguments based around basic freedoms of speech, association, and religion, all of which are explicitly Constitutional. What do they have? Their only "argument" is that the law calls a relationship between two people of the same sex who are involved in sodomy or some other homosexual conduct together a "marriage". It is not as if they are arguing that these vendors must be willing to provide their expressive services to any event some customer calls a "wedding" even if that event is say...a literal satanic worship service or some other event even they would not recognize as a "wedding". They are typically not that relativistic. So their argument really is just a "because we say so" thing, and that is not really an argument but instead an assertion of power.

Their only "argument" is that the law calls a relationship between two people of the same sex who are involved in sodomy or some other homosexual conduct together a "marriage".

It's definitely "because we say so," but actually in the history of these cases, that isn't quite it. The Elane Photography case was carried out in a state (New Mexico) that at the time did not even recognize civil unions in law. It's a bit difficult to really get that to sink in. The ceremony she refused to photograph had *no* legal standing *whatsoever*. It was entirely a private commitment ceremony between two lesbians.

If I recall correctly, there are a couple of other similar cases (at least similar to some extent) where the people in question were, say, having a homosexual "wedding" that was legally recognized in another state but came across state lines and ordered a cake or some other service in a state where that "marriage" was not recognized, but where there were non-discrimination laws that included "sexual orientation."

So what the argument has been, pre-Obergefell, is that these ceremonies, whether legally sanctioned or not, constitute conduct that "naturally arises from" the "orientation" of homosexuality. Then the problem is that the orientation has been given protected class status under the statutory law at that location (see my comments above on protected class status). Therefore, so goes the argument, one must endorse the ceremonies or else one is violating the non-discrimination law concerning "sexual orientation."

Many people thought that they could make a distinction there. The vendors tried to say that they were not discriminating against homosexual *people* but only refusing to endorse homosexual *ceremonies*. But the administrative law judges have not allowed this. They have said that one must endorse the ceremonies in order not to make the people feel unwelcome as customers, etc.

It's as though going through such a ceremony is literally an essential part of being homosexual, which is about as laughable as it can be, considering the many homosexuals who have *no interest* in even *pretending* to commit themselves to a single other person!

The reasoning of those judges that a same sex "wedding" naturally arises from a "homosexual orientation" is simply incompetent. So much so that it is hard to believe they don't have an agenda other than making than seeking to impartially, as they best they can, the correct understanding of the law. It really does look like they believe they have a moral duty to enforce their moral orthodoxy that supersedes their duty to come to impartial rulings based on the laws as they are. I was speaking about the types of arguments you will see made in the media and by the types that comment and argue on the internet. I have not even noticed that they are typically even aware of the "natural arising/inherent" argument the judges have used. I see the "because the law says they are married" argument most of often. This gets back to government micromanaging businesses, they just accept that of course the government should be micromanaging and regulating businesses even as inconsequential as wedding vendors. As extensive as they want "anti-discrimination" law to be, it appears to me that if they get what they want, that it would amount to the state taking de facto ownership of people's businesses. If the state can tell the girls in Phoenix or that couple in Minnesota that they must act like two men can marry each other, then the state is their boss.

"It's as though going through such a ceremony is literally an essential part of being homosexual, which is about as laughable as it can be, considering the many homosexuals who have *no interest* in even *pretending* to commit themselves to a single other person!"

Sure, this has most often been framed as whether or not particular class of person's, "homosexuals", will be allowed the right to marry. For the most part, I think even people on our side typically accept this framing to some extent even. It is simply wrong; though. The "same sex marriage" issue is and has always been about making a lifelong, faithful commitment optional to marriage. I will even go a step further and say it is; if anything, more about *discouraging* people...including men and women...from committing to lifelong, monogamous, exclusive, faithful unions. Of course, the reality of marriage cannot be changed, but what people perceive and believe can be. People can be brought up to believe that such commitments are oppressive, even immoral and perverse. Could this be an example of the zero sum game? If homosexuality is accepted as "morally right" then what is most opposite of homosexuality will be considered a "moral wrong".

Et, à peu près au même moment (fin novembre), en France, dans la (petite) patrie (autoproclamée) des «droits de l'homme», les députés socialistes liberticides examinent une proposition de loi visant à «pénaliser les sites internet qui cherchent à dissuader les femmes de pratiquer une IVG (Interruption volontaire de Grossesse». Ils inventent le «délit d'entrave à l'avortement» !

At the same time, the socialist deputies in France, the (self-proclaimed) "fatherland" of "human rights", examine at the end of November a bill to "penalize websites that seek to discourage women from IVG (voluntary termination of pregnancy)".
They invent the "offense of hindrance to abortion"!


I'm coming late to this discussion (what can I say -- I've been busy at a new job) but did want to comment in general that what you and DR84 say about restricting discrimination laws to apply in limited cases is very wise. As good conservatives we should want to encourage people, in one sense, to always be discriminating (in the sense that they use their tastes and manners to discriminate against bad behavior and or in favor of high standards and truth, beauty and goodness!) But in another sense, we can applaud the good intentions of certain civil rights laws to help black folks participate fully in the civic public life as equals with whites. The problem is that the laws were written too broadly so that they led to stuff like quotas and they have been modified to include all sorts of other protected victim classes.

One point of clarification about current laws -- you ask

"Or in housing, none has ever attempted to restrict itself only to outlawing housing discrimination in, say, housing complexes or conglomerates of x units or more (as opposed to a person who owns only one house as a rental property)."

Federal law does indeed distinguish between owner-occupied and multi-unit rental (got to love the "unfortunately" in the description I found!):

Property Exempt from Federal Antidiscrimination Laws

Unfortunately, not every rental is covered by the federal fair housing laws. The following types of property are exempt:

-owner-occupied buildings with four or fewer rental units

-single-family housing rented without the use of advertising or without a real estate broker, as long as the landlord owns no more than three such homes at any one time

-certain types of housing operated by religious organizations and private clubs that limit occupancy to their own members, and

-with respect to age discrimination only, housing reserved exclusively for senior citizens. There are two kinds of senior citizen housing exempted: communities where every tenant is 62 years of age or older, or “55 and older” communities in which at least 80% of the occupied units must be occupied by at least one person 55 years or older. 

Fortunately for some tenants, however, many state fair housing laws cover properties or situations that are exempt under federal law. For example, owner-occupied buildings with four or fewer rental units are exempt under federal law but are protected under California law.

I was thinking of the multi-unit vs. owning a single dwelling that one rents, not so much owner-occupied. (I know there is often an exemption for owner-occupied.) I stand corrected there vis a vis federal law. Notice that the rules here on single-family housing preclude the use of any advertising or a real estate agent. That's fairly restrictive. Apparently word-of-mouth advertising only.

My strong impression from having worked against our local homosexual rights ordinance in 2009 is that the local ordinance makes no such exemption even for word-of-mouth advertisements, though it may have exempted owner-occupied rentals. And California (I see) is actually *proud* of forcing you to *live with* people under your own roof with whom you don't want to live, if you choose to rent a room.

Post a comment

Bold Italic Underline Quote

Note: In order to limit duplicate comments, please submit a comment only once. A comment may take a few minutes to appear beneath the article.

Although this site does not actively hold comments for moderation, some comments are automatically held by the blog system. For best results, limit the number of links (including links in your signature line to your own website) to under 3 per comment as all comments with a large number of links will be automatically held. If your comment is held for any reason, please be patient and an author or administrator will approve it. Do not resubmit the same comment as subsequent submissions of the same comment will be held as well.