First up: Oral arguments in Bostic v. Schaefer before the Fourth District Court of Appeals are scheduled for May 13. The court will be hearing the appeal of Judge Arenda Wright Allen’s ruling that struck down Virginia’s anti-marriage Marshall-Newman amendment.
The Virginia “Family” (not yours) Foundation, in anticipation, is holding a 40 day “fast.” Don’t be alarmed, though. They won’t starve, or even lose any weight. The word “fast,” according to the clarification that appears on their website, and contrary to its common meaning, “does not translate” to “hunger strike.” It only means temporarily giving up something you kind of enjoy, like Diet Coke. Yes, Diet Coke is actually the example they cite. This word salad, apparently intended to explain the aforementioned desperate action, also appears:
Our state and nation are mired in a morass of confusion and post-modern thinking that does not believe in absolutes nor that any truth can even be known..
Huh? A bizarre statement, until you realize that it perfectly describes their own post-modern thinking. Martyrdom is just not what it used to be.
Next, from the Magnolia State: As you might imagine, Mississippi, like Virginia, has no civil rights provisions protecting LGBTI people from discrimination. Unlike, for example, in New Mexico, it is perfectly legal for the proprietor of a Mississippi business or public accommodation to refuse service to someone on the basis of their actual or perceived gender presentation or sexual orientation. It’s also perfectly legal to fire someone, deny them housing, deny them a bank loan, or any other form of discrimination that would be prohibited if it were on the basis of race, nationality, or religion.
That wasn’t enough for those in the state who see imaginary violations of their constitutionally protected religious freedom in every shadow, however. Earlier this month, the state legislature passed a bill, similar to the one famously vetoed by Arizona Governor Jan Brewer, that reiterates the “right” to discriminate that anti-gay bigots in Mississippi already enjoy, and effectively expands their “right” to discriminate against anyone else they dislike as long as they claim the discrimination is motivated by a “sincerely held religious belief.”
In response to this irresponsible outburst by the legislature, and governor who actually signed the abomination into law, Equality Mississippi is distributing the stickers shown above to businesses across the state. While it would be preferable, and more efficient, for those business owners who wish to turn away customers to make their intent known, such business owners don’t seem to want to advertise that they discriminate. In the absence of any way to identify these businesses so that they can be avoided, the stickers at least allow customers to select those who advertise that all customers are welcome.
Can you guess how anti-gay bigots have reacted? I bet you can.
The “American Family Association” (a hate group based in Tupelo) is now hilariously claiming that businesses displaying their intent to not discriminate against anyone are “bullying” those who (presumably) do intend to discriminate. An AFA spokesman, Buddy Smith, had this to say:
If you do that, you are agreeing with these businesses that Christians no longer have the freedom to live out the dictates of their Christian faith and conscience.
It’s not really a buying campaign, but it’s a bully campaign, and it’s being carried out by radical homosexual activists who intend to trample the freedom of Christians to live according to the dictates of scripture.
Buddy doesn’t help us much in understanding how the freedom of business owners who don’t display a sticker to “live according to the dictates of scripture” is “trampled” by business owners who do. Or how the display of a sticker by another business interferes with the freedom of Christians in general “to live out the dictates of their Christian faith and conscience.” Do the dictates of scripture require “Christian” business owners to assert control over the practices of their competitors, in contravention of these competitors’ First Amendment rights and the operation of a free market? It’s perplexing. Maybe it’s this: These pro-discrimination business owners are afraid they would lose business if they publicly advertised their intent to discriminate, and they believe that everyone else should be quiet so they can both discriminate AND not have to be burdened with any consequences.
As one perceptive commenter noted, this “is like the old Yiddish definition of Chutzpah: The kid who kills his parents, then throws himself on the mercy of the court on account of being an orphan.”
And it’s only Wednesday…