Anti-gay organizations realize that they are on the verge of losing their unholy war against LGBT people. There has been a dramatic change in public opinion, with the majority of Americans supporting marriage equality. It seems that each month, the courts are striking down unconstitutional bans on same-sex marriage. The writing is on the wall, so religious extremists are trying to rewrite the rules so they can continue to discriminate without consequence.
These homophobic activists are cynically claiming that their religious liberty is being violated unless they can persecute LGBT people in the workplace and deny them basic services — such as dining at a restaurant or baking a cake for a same-sex wedding. Although these business owners have opened their doors to the general public, they feel that it violates their conscience if they can’t run their operation like a private country club, picking and choosing whom they work with and serve. They firmly believe their narrow worldview exempts them from obeying civil rights laws that were written to ban discrimination.
However, this radical viewpoint creates a dangerous slippery slope that will tear apart the fabric of society. Once we allow conservative Christians to refuse service to gays – it will only be a matter of time before bigots of all stripes decide their beliefs trump the rights of minorities to receive equal access to public accommodations.
If it is legal to deny baking a cake for a gay wedding based on religious conscience, how could it not also be legal for Christian Identity bakers, who believe God made white people superior, to refuse baking a cake for an African American wedding? How could it not be legal for a restaurant to refuse hosting bar mitzvahs because Jews don’t believe in Jesus? Or, maybe service is refused for unmarried couples that are deemed to be “living in sin.”
When a business is open to the public it is open to everyone. Once you violate this core American principle, you are headed in an unfortunate direction. You simply cannot use prejudice to carve out a gay exception to the law – without returning America to a regrettable time when people used religious beliefs to decline serving minorities.
This video is a dramatization of what might happen if we allow prejudice disguised as religious conviction to trump laws that protect minorities from discrimination. We believe that America should be a nation where businesses are open to all people – regardless of who they are. America is better than the scene we spotlight at the “Religious Freedom Café.”