, TableTopJoe said...
I believe your understanding of history and government-compelled service is misguided.
Going back nearly a thousand years, businesses were classified as either traditional or "common carriers." A traditional business, say a barber, has the right to refuse service to anyone for any reason. Such right was memorialized in the U.S. Constitution under the "free association" clause.
However, the U.S. Constitution also grafted itself on top of the common law, which stated that a common carrier could not refuse service except for specific circumstances approved by the sovereign. Thus, a hotelier could not refuse service to someone based simply on his nationality, or a restaurateur could not refuse service to someone simply due to his skin color. Similarly, a gas station owner cannot refuse to sell gasoline to someone based on his skin color or sexual preferences.
These issues were dealt with in the 1960s with the passage and implementation of the Civil Rights Act. To my understanding, there is no push to force anyone to do business with homosexuals who isn't already obligated, per the common law rules pertaining to common carriers, to provide their service in an indiscriminate manner.
To your point as to "Christians who own a for-profit business" having "fewer rights under our Constitution than Christians in a ministerial position," you miss an important distinction: when someone incorporates, the corporation becomes a legally separate and distinct being. "Corporations are people, my friend." That sword has blades on both edges.
You remain free to hold your bigoted views of homosexuality. You can fly a "God Hates F**s" flag for all I care. However, you can't simply re-write a thousand years of common law jurisprudence to fit your preferred worldview, especially on the justification of "homosexuals are yucky."
You assert that there will be plenty of business owners willing to rent a room to a homosexual couple, yet provide very little evidence of such. Further, you fail to draw your lines clearly. Should a gas station owner be allowed to refuse service to a homosexual customer who is nearly out of gas in the middle of nowhere, with the next gas station 100 miles away? What about a hotel owner at 11 P.M. with the next hotel more than 100 miles away, and no guarantee that that hotel will serve homosexuals?
I think I've made my point.
, Mike Newton said...
There is not now, never has been, and never will be any real-world "clash" between freedom of religion and marriage equality. No church or "pastor" can be forced to perform gay weddings, period. This fevered fantasy is one more manifestation of the "religious right's" raving bigotry, eventually destined for the scrap head of history--and the sooner the better.
, Scott Tibbs said...
Ministers have not been forced to perform homosexual weddings (yet) but Christian business owners have been forced to participate in them. That's a violation of religious freedom.
The common law is subservient to the First Amendment.