Friday, May 27, 2011

Jim Daly's Arguments Just Don't Make Sense Part 2

        The other day, I wrote a piece detailing how the first part of Jim Daly's argument on marriage equality was illogical and misleading. Today, I am going to finish up that critique, by addressing Daly's arguments about religious freedom and gay marriage. He first states,

Those committed to this form of radicalism have systematically broken down the cultural barrier to same sex marriage by desensitizing people on the issue, stigmatizing those who oppose the movement and potentially criminalizing anyone who stands in opposition to them. 
     Actually Jim, the LGBT movement has not made such progress because we have "desensitized" people about the issue. I would say the opposite is true. Desensitization connotes ambivalence toward an unacceptable act. But the opposite is true, in fact, by coming out we have instead shown that the rhetoric that emits from your side is damaging and has real world effects. That is not desensitization, instead that is honesty about our families and our relationships.

        He then states that we stigmatize those who oppose the movement for marriage equality. On the surface things such as boycotts, protests, etc. can be seen as stigmatization, but they are actually an acceptable medium of personal protest and activism. I would actually say that organizations like Focus are the ones doing the stigmatizing through the deliberate lies and "research" that they peddle about our community. But anyway, moving on to criminalization. For Daly to assert criminalization because of a differing viewpoint, shows a lack of understanding of American government. Just this past year, for example, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that the religiously motivated speech directed at the LGBT community by the Westboro Baptist Church, was protected by the U.S. Constitution. The Government potentially criminalizing people for their views on marriage equality? Current jurisprudence dictates that this will probably not happen.

      He then states that there are numerous examples of religious liberty being threatened by same sex marriage. He cites a specific case out of New Mexico, and then some vague case of an unnamed "Christian organization". As the latter is not backed up with any evidence or sources, and is instead extremely vague, I will refrain from addressing it; the first case on the other hand, I can address. Specifically Daly states,

Consider the case of a New Mexico couple who own and operate a photography business. When they kindly refused to shoot a lesbian “marriage” ceremony, they were summarily brought up on human rights violations by the New Mexico Human Rights Commission. They were fined for not accepting the job.
        As much as I might sympathize with this photography studio, this organization was not fined because it did not accept the job per say, it was fined because of the reason for not accepting a job. Businesses do not accept jobs all the time, they are finite entities which cannot do everything. But that was not the point. As a business who operates in the public sphere - not the religious sphere - you must offer your services equally to everybody, regardless of race, religion, gender, and in New Mexico - sexual orientation. This company that operated in the public sphere, openly discriminated against a customer based upon sexual orientation; it was not a "business decision" based upon the finite resources of the photography studio, but was instead based purely on a non-business rational. In a secular society, you can hold religious beliefs; but if you choose to operate a public business, said business must be open for all regardless about how you feel about your customers.

    Daly goes on to state one more thing,

If religious liberty is lost in America, we will cease to be the nation our Founders intended us to be. Our rights will no longer be derived from God but from man, and therefore, dangerously beholden to political despots.
       All I can say is, LGBT individuals do not want a loss of religious liberty in any way shape or form. In fact, we are the first in line to voraciously defend the religious liberty of others. All we want is to be equally protected by law, nothing more nothing less. But for Daly, this equal protection of the law cannot and should not happen, because if it does, the United States will radically restrict religious liberties and will turn into a political despotism. It is a sad day when the head of a major organization like Focus on the Family asserts that they are victims because other people are granted civil equality.

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