Just like being called a racist or being accused of having a social privilege is every bit as bad as experiencing racism, being legally barred from discriminating against a group of people is just another form of oppression.
At least, that’s what Focus on the Family is trying to convince anyone who might still be paying attention to them.
In a new video, CitizenLink host Stuart Shepard claims that in the case of a “tie,” a conflict between two legally protected classes—such as religion and sexual orientation—the Christians inevitably “lose.”
The example given, of course, is the owners of the bakery in Oregon; Shepard says in the video, “Here’s a cake baker in Oregon. Two women asked them to make a cake for their wedding. The Christian owners said they could not use their artistic ability to make a one-of-a-kind cake to celebrate something they do not support. The state pointed to the civil rights law that was amendment a few years ago to include orientation and said the Christians lose…The Oregon civil rights law also lists religion as a protected class, but activists are leveraging those laws to push Christians right out of business. When it’s a tie, the Christians lose.”
Okay, legal clarification 101 time. Oregon’s nondiscrimination law, 659A.403, states:
all persons within the jurisdiction of this state are entitled to the full and equal accommodations, advantages, facilities and privileges of any place of public accommodation, without any distinction, discrimination or restriction on account of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, marital status or age if the individual is 18 years of age or older…
It is an unlawful practice for any person to deny full and equal accommodations, advantages, facilities and privileges of any place of public accommodation in violation of this section.
“Place of public accommodation” is the key there; businesses that cater to the general public are classified under such, making it illegal to provide their services to certain groups but not others. If a Jewish bakery, for example, refused to provide a wedding cake to a Christian couple, said couple would be protected by the same law as the lesbian couple was—meaning, this isn’t some attempt to discriminate Christians or anyone else. In fact, as the title “Discrimination in place of public accommodation prohibited” implies, the law is intended to prevent discrimination.
Ironically, it just so happens that Focus on the Family started a campaign recently to prove they ttly don’t h8 gays u guyz; the new site Imago Dei declares, “For the image of God exists in all human beings: black and white; rich and poor; straight and gay; conservative and liberal; victim and perpetrator; citizen and undocumented; believer and unbeliever,” and therefore all people are worthy of respect.
It’s a great message, sure, but it rings a little hollow coming from an organization that still considers homosexuality a “particularly evil lie of Satan,” and therefore still opposes granting the LGBT community equal rights in marriage—or anything else.