By Trudy Ring
Originally published on Advocate.com January 24 2014 3:50 PM ET
Right-wing groups are continuing to trot out the tired and erroneous argument that laws protecting LGBT people against discrimination are actually discriminatory toward Christians. The latest case in point: a video from CitizenLink, Focus on the Family’s political action affiliate, objecting to the discrimination claim against an Oregon bakery whose owners refused to provide a cake for a same-sex 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,” Stuart Shepard, CitizenLink’s senior director of media, says in the video. “The state pointed to the civil rights law that was amended 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.”
CitizenLink is making “a false comparison,” ThinkProgress points out. As the watchdog site explains, “Oregon’s law applies only in specific contexts, such as employment, housing, and public accommodations — the latter being the relevant one to the bakery. A public store-front business is a public accommodation, and so it is illegal to provide wedding cakes to straight couples and not to gay couples. Similarly, it would be illegal to provide wedding cakes to Jewish couples and not Christian couples, and in such a case, the Christian couple would be protected by the same law. Therefore, both classes are protected equally.”
“What organizations like Focus on the Family actually seem to want is not a game where the rules are fair, but one in which they always get their way,” ThinkProgress concludes. Watch the video below.