By Trudy Ring
Originally published on Advocate.com February 22 2014 3:47 PM ET
Right-wing pundit Erick Erickson is defending legislation that would allow businesses to deny services to LGBT people on religious grounds, saying such measures would keep these businesses from “aiding and abetting” sin.
Erickson, a Fox News contributor, made the comment in a tweet criticizing Fox colleague Kirsten Powers, Media Matters reports. In a USA Today column this week, Powers denounced these bills, proposed in several states, as “homosexual Jim Crow laws.”
Powers’s column, published Wednesday, focused on a bill that has been passed by the Kansas House of Representatives but was considered dead on arrival in the State Senate. However, in Arizona, both chambers of the legislature this week approved a similar bill, and it awaits a sign-or-veto decision from Gov. Jan Brewer.
Powers noted that these bills have been motivated by concerns about legal action against businesses that refuse goods or services for same-sex weddings or commitment ceremonies. “It’s not clear why some Christian vendors are so confused about their role here,” she wrote. “Whether Christians have the legal right to discriminate should be a moot point because Christianity doesn’t prohibit serving a gay couple getting married. Jesus calls his followers to be servants to all. Nor does the Bible call service to another an affirmation.” She also noted, “Christians serve unrepentant murderers through prison ministry. So why can’t they provide a service for a same-sex marriage?”
In a Twitter exchange with Erickson, posted by Media Matters, Powers said, “Work is a form of ministry,” and Erickson replied that he agrees with that, but added, “If one sees a gay wedding as a sin, why do they want their ministry to aid it?” In another tweet, he said, “I also disagree with your prison ministry line. That ministry comes after the sin, not aiding and abetting it.”