Carl and Angel Larsen

The Larsens remain defiant and plan to appeal the decision. Meanwhile, an upcoming Supreme Court ruling could prove consequential.


A Minnesota couple who refused to do videography work for gay weddings was dealt a serious blow last week when a judge threw out their lawsuit. Carl and Angel Larsen, the owners of Telescope Media Group, were seeking to overturn a state law outlawing discrimination based on sexual orientation.

The devoutly Christian couple says they are fundamentally opposed to same-sex marriage, insisting that it violates their deeply held religious beliefs. In order to stay true to this conviction, the Larsens decided to reject any requests for gay weddings. When Minnesota state officials pointed out this was illegal, they took their case to court.

That was roughly a year ago. Last week, a District Court judge dismissed the case, ruling that the Larsens’ decision to refuse same-sex clients was “conduct akin to a ‘White Applicants Only’ sign”.

A rainbow flagArtistic Expression or Discrimination?

The ruling was a major setback for the Larsens, who were relying on two main arguments to justify their conduct. The first point was simple: providing services for gay weddings would violate their religious belief that marriage should be restricted to heterosexual relationships.

“As followers of Jesus,” the Larsens explain, “we believe marriage is a sacred covenant, instituted by God, exclusively between a man and woman. Ultimately, we believe marriage exists to put God’s goodness on full display to the world.”

Their second argument was more nuanced, and centered around the right to artistic expression. The Larsens claimed that their videography work constitutes a form of art, and thus they should be free to express themselves artistically in whatever manner they choose – even if that means leaving gay couples out of their videos.

Making Their Case

Carl Larsen wrote an Op-Ed piece for a local newspaper, arguing that Minnesota’s laws are overbearing and inherently unfair to artists:

“Imagine, if you can, government officials sitting down with Alfred Hitchcock back in the day, to tell him that, despite his commitment to making great films of suspense, political correctness demanded that he start making musicals, too. Or else. Or maybe they’d crack down on Steven Spielberg. If he’s going to make a monster hit about a shark, he’s going to have to do films about dolphins, too. Again, or else. Absurd, right? Unfortunately, it’s happening in Minnesota.”

He acknowledges the good intentions behind the anti-discrimination laws, but insists that they cross a constitutional boundary by forcing individuals to violate their deeply held beliefs:

Is the state also going to start requiring Muslim singers to perform Christian hymns? Democratic speechwriters to work up talking points for Republican candidates? Or creatives who script Planned Parenthood ads to make “equal time” commercials for the March for Life?”

Appeal Inbound

Despite the setback, the Larsens remain defiant and plan to appeal the decision. “Creative professionals don’t surrender their freedom of speech and freedom from coercion when they choose to make a living with their art”, the couple told reporters.

The Supreme Court building

As it turns out, the Larsens have some powerful allies – they’ve received legal backing from The Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), a national Christian rights legal advocacy group with millions of dollars in funding. Only time will tell if their alliance pays off.

Upcoming Supreme Court Ruling

While this particular case may fizzle out in court, the issue of denying services to gay couples is very much up in the air. Our readers may remember the story of a Colorado baker who refused to bake a cake for a gay wedding. His case has now made it all the way to the Supreme Court.

The heavily-anticipated decision stands to be a landmark ruling that may decide once and for all whether businesses can deny services to people based on religious beliefs.

Where do you stand?

 

108 comments

  1. ronald Wolfe says:

    My personal belief is that legally anyone who operates a business should be able to decide who they want to serve, unless they reiceve government funds to operate that business. Otherwise if they choose not to serve gay couples due to theri beliefs let the public decide if they want to support that business. If word gets out that they have discrimintitory practices against Gays theri businesss will probably suffer, thus taking care of the problem. I dont think the governmetn should be able to force any business that is not supported by the govrernment to offer their services to anyone they dont want to. I dont believe in discrimintation but I do believe a business owner should be able to decide who they want for customers, it will be their loss of income, let the gay couple go to another buisess and let that business profit. The government has to much control over our lives now.

    1. Chris Waters says:

      I can understand this argument, but how do you defend business that say whites only? Well, as public opinion changes their sales will go down and that will be that? Yes, business can specialize in certain criteria, but does that also mean the stores have to have a list on their front doors stating what types of people they are willing to do business with? this was tried in our south after the civil war. This was done in Germany before the Second World War as well. I don’t think either of those situations worked themselves out very well. Can we name an instance that this has worked?

      1. Todd says:

        Same way black Americans are holding no whites meetings gays are holding no one but lgbtqxyz parades and meetings . The street goes both ways. What I tried to point out why would you want to go to a person who you know does not espouse your ideas. I won’t go to a Muslim cafe and demand bacon on my sandwich nor would I expect them too run out and get some. Why would I go there except to cause trouble.

        1. Denise says:

          Gays do not hold only gay parades and meetings . Now if you get ignorant and or abusive in a meeting or parade you’ll be asked to leave .
          If I went somewhere and had no idea that they were biased against gays .
          I would not insist on their services .
          But I would make widely known about their biases.
          Because while one person may be gay their extended family and friends would want to know where not to go do business. I would want to know who I am dealing with . Love is love

        2. chris Wates says:

          What black meeting says no whites allowed? What LGBGT parade or meeting does not allow straight people? Seriously, you are saying there are parades that are invite only? That has no logic what so ever. You said why would I want to go to a person who does not espouse my ideas? So people should research the policies and philosophies of every company they want to do business with? Or maybe they should actually advertise who they want to discriminate against. You can’t say “I am open for business to the public. But just the kind of people I am OK with.” Or maybe they should?

          1. Todd says:

            Please read the news. Do a Google search. Philadelphia bla held black only meetings same with a few others. Gay parade didn’t want straight people to attend. Feminists didn’t want other feminists who didn’t believe abortion was their right. The left is full of hateful peop me who only want what they want bit yell and scream when it is done to them

      2. Rev. T. Lightning Bolt says:

        Simple… just say, “Bigots only”!

        Christians are anything but “christian”!

        No wonder Jesus wasn’t Christian!

    2. Nii Lante Lamptey says:

      You have said it all because my business is mine and I have the right to serve whom I think will not give me any problems, and it is never by force,

    3. Dorothy Howard says:

      I agree Ronald! I am Gay and more than likely would not want the services of an Anti Gay business owner! Plenty of others that would like my money! It’s business and they have a right to decide. However, I don’t get a business doing this to me or discriminating against anyone walking in with money!

  2. Todd says:

    So why don’t we hear of them going to a Muslim bakery or photographer? How about a Asian taking pics at a Kkk wedding ? Why would you want someone to take pics or bake a cake that tells you they don’t believe in your cause, etc? Are they just doing it to persecute Christians? That is my bet

    1. Anita Rogers says:

      Probably because they didn’t ask for a cake from a Muslim bakery. There actually has been some action against photographers. Christians are not being persecuted over cake. Discrimination is not acceptable, right?? If you didn’t bake a cake because they were black there would be the same issue. How can you discriminate against something they can not control? Blacks can’t control being blacks. Gays can’t control being gay either. It’s a matter of biology. There is actual scientific evidence supporting the facts that being gay is biological.

      It is more anti-Christian not to bake the cake. Jesus didn’t say one word against being gay. You have to decide you are either going to follow every old testament rule or accept Jesus saying love one another. Are you for Christ or Peter?? Peter was just a man that was so focused on raising a church that he was against homosexuality. Without procreation the church would die.

      There is nothing biblical about running people away from Christ.

      1. Todd says:

        Jesus did say follow the rules. The disciples did say it was am abomination. Who am I to change what was taught by them.

      2. Jojo Benson says:

        According to the old testament man lying with man (i .e. Homosexuality) is not a sin. It is an abomination. That is the word used in the bible. Abomination. If you are a Christian and worship the GOD of the Holy Bible, you would know this. It has nothing to do with discrimination or hate, just religious belief.

        1. Ryan says:

          Leviticus 18:22 my friend but then you must follow all the rules of the old testament only wearing one clothes leviticus 19:19. You also cultivate your crops 3 times and on the 4th time give them to God and on the 5th year you may eat its fruit leviticus 19:23. All i’m saying is he who be pure cast the first stone

        2. Mark A. White says:

          I’d like to see what that judge’s actual personal belief is. He was making a ruling based on law,not personal belief. That makes him a legalized hypocrite.

        3. Todd says:

          Omg what is a an abomination? It is wrong in the eyes of God. Why make something right when Christian, Jewish, Muslim and Hindu all say it is wrong. Do what you want I am not judging you but be aware when you meet your maker

          1. Ken Dixon says:

            Try doing a little research. There are some elements of all four faiths you mention that declare it “wrong”, but there are many that do not. It’s not nearly as cut and dried as you indicate.

        4. lee conner says:

          The holy bible is not the only words written in inspiration of God in the world…so therefore it is not the true words of God, but words written in inspiration of God. However, I would also like to point this out, seeing how it is not the words of God himself…meaning, he, she, it did not actually write the book…some of the words in the book can be marked as bigoted, prejudiced, and racist. After all…originally, if you were not a Jew…the old testament did not apply to you and you were considered to be heading to hell anyway. Besides that…Jesus was laid to rest in Shingo, Japan and his brother who the bible does not speak of or even let you know that he took Jesus’s place on the cross in his stead…well…he was laid to rest in Kashmir, India..both studied Buddhism and Hinduism as well as their ancestral Judaism, but that was left out of the bible too.

          There are over 2000 religions in the world other than Christianity. Why would God leave us so in the dark…as to mean, why did he leave us fighting over who is right and wrong instead of fixing this problem itself and leaving us to sort it out? Spiritual texts, including the bible are not spiritual truths…they are spiritual fiction created to keep hate and bigotry alive. Throw the book down and see the love God wrote on your heart…not the anger and bigotry that we create by continuously fighting over what we perceive as right or wrong.

    2. Teddy says:

      Persecute Christians? Not all Christians are anti-lgbtq marriage. I am a devout Christian and gay.

      1. Todd says:

        Hah can’t be both my friend. If you forbid yourself from your urges then you may still have a place in God’s kingdom.

  3. Zea Weis says:

    Christians look at this as persuection..I wonder how they would feel if the tables were turn. I don’t beleive in Christian values..so how about I don’t service them because they don’t have the same values as me..Its funny to me that religion will find away to whine. Actions speak louder than words..Its hateful.

    1. Todd says:

      They already are. However most people fail to realize it. What I have a problem with is that people knowing the professional is a Christian and them trying to trap them. Would you want a baker baking your cake if they disapproved of your lifestyle, looks etc? Maybe they have a problem with people over 6 foot tall. And you knew it would you still go there? How about if you knew they were closet racists and hated blonde haired people, would you go there if you were blonde?

      1. Zea Weis says:

        Where I used to work I had a gal that called me an Atheist and told other Christians that they should not be speaking to me. So what you are telling me I should quit!! Hell no..Hate is hate and I’m not moving.

        1. Robin says:

          Hate is hate, right. What the gal at work did was hateful. Having your own belief system is your right to have and should never be judged by anyone, unless of course, your beliefs provide you with ‘reasoning’ to harm or oppress. Then, your belief system is problematic. Then you’re infringing upon another’s right to live freely as they see fit. The post above regarding the Christian’s loss of business when others find out they’re not baking for gay weddings is good because people are necessarily born with the freedom of choice. So others can choose to do business with the Christian or not, but it is not right to shut them down or force them into going against their belief system in order to enhance someone else’s — people wanting power over and above others have been doing this since day 1 and no matter what ’cause’ you attach to it, it’s the same ironically discriminatory agenda and it’s flat out hypocritical. Thanks.

          1. James Macklin says:

            There is NEVER any good reason to harm or oppress anyone. As I do feel that ALL couples should have the same rights, I have often thought of the same issues that some others here have posted. If you know that a particular business does not agree with or support your particular cause or views, then DO NOT even attempt to use their services. I personally would not trust that if they were forced to provide such services that they would do so with dignity, professionalism, and safety in mind. Now, in my opinion, the proper way to deal with these businesses, would be to advertise their views to the community, in a proper and decent manner, to educate the public on their views. As long as you keep all information truthful, then there would be no recourse to releasing this information to the public. Let the community decide whether to support them or not.

    2. Jojo Benson says:

      You don’t believe in Christian values? So you believe it is o.k. to lie, commit murder, and commit adultery. That explains a few things.

      1. Norma Battes says:

        Jojo Benson
        October 4, 2017 at 12:09 pm
        ” You don’t believe in Christian values? So you believe it is o.k. to lie, commit murder, and commit adultery. That explains a few things. ”

        Ouch! I don’t think that’s what was meant. Try to stay centered – swinging the pendulum too far disturbs the equilibrium. Personally I lean Buddhist, which I interpret as do the right thing.

      2. Carl Elfstrom says:

        Not all Christians value the same things. That’s why there are so many different Christian denominations ( sects ). Some believe in the old and new testaments, others only in the new testament, and some only in the teachings of Jesus. There are gay Christian ministers and priests ( and most of them are’nt pedophiles). There i s even a gay Christian denomination called MCCR. So nobody can honestly say that anything gay is against Christianity as a whole. It can only be the particular point of view of some Christians who don’t have the right to call such a thing an absolute Christian belief, as if it applied to all Christians and Christianity as a whole.

  4. Reverend Krystina S. says:

    This is illegal discrimination, plain and simple. In the United States, if you offer a Public Service, you offer it to THE PUBLIC. If you own a restaurant, you are obligated to serve THE PUBLIC. You don’t have the right to kick out people who are blind because “God disfavored them,” or people who come in who are of a “questionable” racial component because you “don’t believe in race mixing.” How the Hell do you know for sure? When my mother arrived as a Greek refugee after WWII/Greek Civil War, she was very dark-skinned and did not speak English. She did not understand why people pushed her, spit on her, yelled at her. Did you know that to be “Mixed Race” was even worse in the Deep South in the 1940s? She inadvertently sat in the wrong seat, drank from the wrong fountain, and stared at the wrong people. She experienced Segregation–though she was “white!!” That’s what’s wrong with this whole thing. What If: There is a COUPLE: a Man and a Woman, who want to be married. What if they agree to be the videographers “because God said they could.” What if THEN they found that ONE of these people was transgendered? Do the happy couple have to divulge their entire personal history, to find out who will provide videography services? NO!!! Because it doesn’t matter! If the videographers found out LATER, AFTER the wedding that one was transgendered, could they then refuse to release the videos that had been paid for “because God hates Trans People?” Or do they not have a problem with Trans people, since OBVIOUSLY they are not a GAY couple??? It is unfair, cruel, disgusting. What If they are unsure about whether one of the couple “SEEMS masculine/feminine” or “SEEMS Trans” or “SEEMS to be crossdressing?” Do they have the right to confront the couple and make them go naked to prove something? Are the couple qualified to identify gender characteristics in a person who is born a hermaphrodite? It becomes stupid and arbitrary. Provide your services to the public, period. You don’t have the right to inject your personal “beliefs” into commerce. Jesus said there are only TWO Commandments: Love God and Love your Neighbor. So the only Commandment is to LOVE. For God gave his only begotten Son ….. to redeem ALL of us imperfect human beings. “Judge not, lest ye be judged.” Can I get an AMEN!

    1. revconner says:

      Amen. I’m a hermaphrodite. My mother chose my gender for me. People really freak out when I’m around beause according to their religious books god made man and woman. Hermaphrodites are not mentioned. I’m a freak in everyone’s eyes…even scientists and doctors eyes sometimes. But I love being a freak that reminds us that man wrote the religious texts, not God or Goddess even though the book may say it is the word of God…the true word of God comes from the heart…from love. This fight over who should we be able to serve and not serve is actually a fight to say we have the right to be prejudiced and bigoted. It is a fight over the right to be able to be hateful and fearful of others.

      1. JOHN MAHER says:

        REVCONNER the CORRECT ANALYSIS is I G N O R A N C E, or ORANGUtRUMP SYNDROME !!!

        1. Alicia says:

          John Maher…..Congratulations. You are the only one who found a way to bring your anti-Trump agenda into a conversation that has nothing to do with Trump. At least we all know where your obsessions lie.

      2. Robin says:

        Yes, the true word of God comes from the heart, as you say. I think the problem is not nearly enough of us live from within that word that is written in our hearts, instead we let others hurt us emotionally and then we yell and fight and do destructive things, rather than forgive, seek peace and find understanding.

        Having a business is a personal choice and if we were to all go by this idea that we have to do what ‘the public’ says when we run our business, then why bother? Diversity is realistic, not oppressive conformity. Let’s be more honest about how we have to improve upon being true to ourselves before we react with our weakness by wanting to take away someone else’s truth.

        Thanks,
        Robin

      3. Anita Rogers says:

        Revconner, I am sorry for your pain. May God give you the companionship of those with compassionate hearts.

    2. Todd says:

      The whole point is that in this case and others the business was targeted because of their beliefs. I would like to see these activists go to a Muslim baker or photographer. See how discriminated they can be. I have been around the world there is no comparison to the amount of true discrimination am American or Christian can feel . Unlike the perceived discrimination here

      1. Zea Weis says:

        Todd…I was raised is a CHristian family and I’m not a Christian anymore. Christians and alot of religions have took gods words as their own and used and abused it. As far as I’m concerned..God has no religion and god only means good orderly direction. Stop playing the victim.

      2. Anita Rogers says:

        They are not the victim here. They are not following the words of Christ to love one another. Shame on you!

        1. Katie L Conner says:

          they are following a book that says it is God’s and Christ’s words. Prove it without using the book…because the book itself is proof of nothing. It is a compilation of words from maybe scribes and such writers. Even Homer kept sonnets of the Greek Gods. I don’t see anyone other than a few witches and Wiccans bowing to them. The graves of their heroes are still there. The proof of their deeds are not. There are two graves for Christ. That isn’t including the tomb in Jerusalem where his body rose from supposedly.

          1. Katie L Conner says:

            and should bigotry & prejudiced be legal? let’s just be afraid because a book based on fiction says to be. the man may have existed, but prove without the book through science it happened

    3. Nix says:

      Your opinion though you are free to have, but apparently doesn’t take into account the major deciding factor in all of this: THE LAW! The artistic expression here and is being used in the baker case that will play out in the Supreme Court is agreed upon by many many legal scholars is a weak argument. Be that as it may, they lost because the broke the law. It and is illegal to refuse goods and services even “private businesses” in Minnesota. That is why they lost their case.
      Furthermore they are sounding like complete hypocrites, as a follower of Christ, there is the Golden Rule. They are not following the Golden Rule, Matthew 7:12 never says “do onto others…EXCEPT gay people.
      You can refer to the old law given to Moses if you’d like but it was given to the Hebrews only and was fulfilled with Christ. Nowhere in the Bible does it ever say Gentile Christian must follow the old law. You can check Hebrews 8:13 with regards to old vs. new.

      1. Todd says:

        Actually Jesus DID say follow the laws handed down. And the disciples made it clear. While I do not condone gay marriage or changing gender, I do believe that it those right to repent to Christ when the time comes. You must also remember the stories about Sodom and Gomorrah. God is not always loving and he(using the masculine adjective) can be quite vengeful and angry. Most of the major religion(think Buddhism is silent) do not condone same sex. You using the old work out theme Jesus loves all so should you, don’t judge. No one judged except you and a few others here. We do not condone. That is not judging. Musli.s are Way worse than any Christian. Go wear a cross or carry a bible in public in Saudi Arabia see how far you get maybe say things about how Jesus will save them. You will be discrimi ated against very badly. Again it was and is a setup. Why would you go to a Christian baker when you know they do not condone your lifestyle. Same reason I do not go to a Muslim baker and get a cross with scripture on a cake

        1. Zea Weis says:

          Buddhist are silent the god..not an argument there. We don’t beleive in a creator.. But what we do beleive in is not causing suffering. So being dened a cake because of what you are causes suffering..its a no no to a Buddhist..So any religion that causes pain to others just because what they choose to beleive that is such a selfish act.

          1. Michael Grace says:

            ” But what we do believe in is not causing suffering. ”
            So it causes a gay couple suffering to have to go to another cake place, but does not cause the bakers any suffering to force them to go against what they believe will possibly send them to hell?

        2. Carl Elfstrom says:

          And then there are the boogers and dingleberries a baker who does’nt like you might put in the cake. Why can’t people just go to a store and buy a cake without saying what it’s for. You could even buy a plain cake and squirt the icing on it yourself. It’s really not that hard. And have you heard of cake mix … It sure would stop a lot of needless bickering.

    4. Kate says:

      Amen. May Awen continue to flow through you and your ministry.

      1. Kate says:

        My post was for your Rev. Krystina S.

        1. Reverend Krystina S. says:

          Thank you, Kate. As a wise Druid said: “Spirit energy in flow is the essence of life.” Peace to you.

    5. Zea Weis says:

      I don’t say amen but I will give you a Namaste..

      1. Reverend Krystina S. says:

        Namaste- The divine spark within me also acknowledges the divine spark within you.

    6. Zea Weis says:

      I put this in the wrong spot..I don’t say amen..but ill give you a Namaste..

    7. Anita Rogers says:

      Amen Krystina!!

    8. Jeri says:

      AMEN! And this is an Amen coming from a Wiccan Minister! AMEN!

  5. James says:

    My skills, my right to provide them to whom I choose. Yes, that’s my right.

    1. Todd says:

      I think I will walk barefoot and shirtless in an establishment and when they kick me out I will say they discriminated against me beca use that is how I feel. 😁.

      1. Reverend Krystina S. says:

        Todd: Health code applies to all equally. It is not discrimination, and your argument is not applicable. James, NO, It is NOT your right to discriminate when providing services to the general public. Because we live in the U.S. of A., where it is NOT our right to discriminate, it is our RIGHT to NOT BE DISCRIMINATED AGAINST. I’m sorry you have it backwards.

        1. Dawn Pisturino says:

          That is your opinion.

  6. ronald Wolfe says:

    yes you do have the right to be prejudied and bigoted ad hateful and fearful of others you have that right, you will not be a happy person or a much liked person but you have that right, no one has the right to take that away from you unless you act to hurt someone else

    1. Reverend Krystina S. says:

      Ronald, you have it right (sort of): UNLESS YOU ACT TO HURT SOMEONE ELSE. Thus, you do NOT have the right to discriminate against others in providing services. You DO have the first amendment right to say bigoted things, in certain contexts. But not in EVERY situation.

      1. ronald Wolfe says:

        actually legally it is not clear yet as long as you dont recieve govt.. funds you should be allowed to serve who you want and deny serving who you dont want even if it is found legally to uphold that they must serve them it is still not right for government to decide that if if were me and i felt as they do ( and i dont by the way) i would just close the shop then no one would get my cakes

  7. Rev. Brien D. says:

    Well, it has been awhile since I posted a response so I will make up for that now. It seems to me that this is a non issue. I will first quote from a response above, and then hopefully create a response that will make you think first.
    “This is illegal discrimination, plain and simple. In the United States, if you offer a Public Service, you offer it to THE PUBLIC. If you own a restaurant, you are obligated to serve THE PUBLIC.” Quote from Reverend Krystina S.
    First, a true “public service” is owned by….THE PUBLIC. That means tax dollars fund its’ existence. As such, NO public service may discriminate against any taxpayer for any number of reasons. But we are not talking about a public service. We are talking about a private business. Restaurants do reserve the right to refuse service, they are a private business. There are PLENTY of businesses that will happily take money from anyone and provide services needed, i.e. wedding cake, photography, video, design, decorate, trip planners, ect. Now it seems to me that if you go to a place of business and are treated with poor respect, you would simply SPEND YOUR DAMN MONEY ELSEWHERE. Really people? Should this even be a discussion? I am so sick of the flag wavers, you know, the ones that go around thinking society owes them. Society owes you NOTHING. Get over it. Instead of wasting time on a business that obviously does not and will not fit your needs, why not simply spend your money with one that does, hmmm? Why is it necessary to generate a mountain out of a mole hill? And please, before you even think about responding with ANYTHING to do with someones’ religious beliefs, ALL OF THIS BULLFLOP IS FROM MAN< NOT GOD. God does not give a damn about the whiny little arguments that mankind has. God wants you to get over it too. And God does NOT care whether you believe or not. This entire debate is a complete waste of time.

    1. JOHN MAHER says:

      RIGHT on REV. BRIEN D, a SCHMUCK like this so called BAKER NEEDS a LESSON in the POWER of the PEOPLE, LIKE NO BUSINESS !!!

    2. Reverend Krystina S. says:

      I am glad that you were never oppressed or suffered discrimination. You are incorrect. “Public” in this context means providing services or selling to “The Public.” Not “A Government-Funded Service.” I suppose I did not make that clear. Private businesses do NOT have the right to discriminate. For example: they can refuse to serve alcohol to an intoxicated person, “the right to refuse service.” But they cannot refuse to serve people they imagine to be of Asian descent, or they think might be African-American, or who they believe speak with an Accent, or who wear a headscarf (babushka or otherwise) or sport a moustache. Society DOES owe us equal treatment in the U. S. One of the greatest reasons to form a government is to protect the minority/weak from oppression. Otherwise, any old Warlord or Despot would suffice. It is not true that “pure capitalism” will just fix everything: it is either an excuse for greed, or a misunderstanding, as “spending habits” are not the principles upon which to found a society, but an imperfect economic model. The reason this debate is important is because of precisely your post: incoherence and confusion.

      1. Jim says:

        Krystina, that’s not exactly true. According to the Civil Rights Act of 1964, a federal anti-discrimination law, a private business can refuse service to any person for any reason, unless the refusal of service is based on discriminating against race or color, religion or creed, national origin or citizenship status, sex, age, disability, pregnancy, or veteran status. At the federal level, that’s it. Some states, such as California, add more protected classes, including sexual orientation. This story is about a private business in Minnesota, which does not provide “protected class” status based on sexual orientation.

  8. gerrydiamond says:

    Hi we had a similar case in Belfast Northern Ireland, when bakers refused to provide a wedding cake for two gay guys due to the bakers religious beliefs. The bakers were fined for discrimination against the gay male couple and rightly so. I think this a very sad and similar case and as Christians they should not judge others so harshly, these gay couples have love and where love is God is there too. x

    1. Reverend Krystina S. says:

      That is a correct decision against discrimination, in any country.

  9. Nix says:

    Christianity is the most prominent religion in this country, yet they love to feel persecuted

    1. Reverend Krystina S. says:

      There is a ChristoFascist Persecution Complex in the U.S. I am an interfaith minister, using the Christian paradigm most often because it is well-understood, and because I believe that it is righteous to follow The Jesus Way. I simply cannot understand why majorities– Christians, Caucasians– feel this way. I believe it is because they are used to being at the top, unquestioned and unquestionably dominant. But when their dominance is in any way threatened, they fall into the “poor us, so persecuted” trope. This old trope rings hollow, for sure! I also think that there are certain–extreme to my mind– sects of Christianity which are intolerant, and which are also militant in their provocation of society.

  10. BethK says:

    This is not an issue of public service – as provided by the government. These are private businesses, with tax ID numbers, business licenses, business use licenses, and so forth. They are thus able to use the public services – e.g., connect to the public water supply, use the public roads, obtain fire protection for their business from the public fire department, have their business patrolled by publicly-funded police departments. They fall under the public accommodations laws. If you go into business making your services for sale to anyone, you do not get to pick and choose who your customers will be. There is a LOT of case law about the signs, “We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone”. Yes, you can refuse to serve people who have not paid you in the past, or who have caused trouble in your business. You cannot refuse to serve someone on the basis of race, color, national origin, family status, age (except as otherwise provided by law), disability, and on and on.

    If you are not in the business of providing some sort of service – no one has a right that you provide that service. Although I bake cakes for myself, family, friends, and take them to potlucks, no one has a right to demand that I bake them a wedding cake. I’m not a business. However, a business, which is using the other public services of the area, can have someone demand that they provide them with their product or service.

    1. Mark A. White says:

      I am ordained by the Universal Life Church. I don’t believe in the gay lifestyle,but I would have no problem performing a ceremony for a gay couple.

  11. Miranda Allison Young says:

    It is illegal to discriminate in every way.

  12. Zea Weis says:

    Christains are not being persecuted..They are persecuting themselves. Religion is just someone’s idea…and a lot of those ideas are just plain selfish.

    1. Ken Dixon says:

      I was watching a report on the Hubble telescope, complete with remarkable photos of the countless other galaxies and planets that comprise the known universe,

      And I thought of the popular (in some circles) image of a vengeful, bearded man on a throne who is laser-focused upon issues such as who is marrying whom here on this insignificant sphere we call home and condemning those who break his rules to eternal punishment.

      To each his or her own. I’d rather admit that there’s a great deal I will never know or understand than make up fanciful stories to explain it all. And, to me, using those stories against others not like you, in an attempt to demean them and/or control their lives, is reprehensible.

  13. Minister Dave says:

    This begs the question of why after seeing this couples’ reaction would any gay couple want to patronize this establishment’s services?

  14. Richard Stone says:

    There is a misunderstanding of freedom of religion. There is no right to do anything you want that you believe in.

    The First Amendment guarantees that Congress won’t prevent anyone from establishing a religion. Jefferson’s papers clarifies that the government can control what people do, but not what they believe.

    For example, no-one can stop me from believing that you can kill children under 5. And no-one can stop me from forming a religion that believes that. However, I can’t actually kill children. There, the government can step in because, in Jefferson’s words, it deals with actions not beliefs.

    Similarly, the government CAN’T stop me from believing that gays can’t get married. They CAN’T prevent me from having this as part of my religion. However, they CAN prevent me from taking action based on it.

    There is a big “however”. However, to prevent me, it has to be a law. You can do anything if there isn’t a law to prevent it.

    So, the summary is that the question on firing fays or not serving gays has nothing at all to do with beliefs or religion. It’s strictly does the law prevent it.

  15. June says:

    There are too many rules and people that think their ways are the right way to do anything. We the people have a right to love any one we went to, Jesus did not right any thing down himself.The bible was written by man century’s after his death. There are to many christain that play the game of a believer just to push their agenda on others. Maybe we need to rethink what this god really wants because he is not involved today with his children.

  16. Duckin Acup says:

    Jesus never said a word about gays so could not have spoken out for, or against, gay marriage. Filming a gay marriage does not prevent such people from believing anything they want. Their statement concerning God’s love for the world is nonsensical as long as they continue to hide behind their bigotry. And if they are such devout and rule following christians why aren’t they out there stoning adulterers. Sorry, doesn’t wash.

    The First Amendment is about freedom from religion, not forcing yours on others.

    Finally, will someone tell me what gay marriage takes from them?

    1. Dawn Pisturino says:

      Excuse me, but Jesus clearly said that marriage is between a man and a woman. Apart from that, I view same-sex attraction as biologically abnormal. The government may pass a law, but that does not change my view or the words of Jesus.

  17. Bill says:

    The individual or business has the right to choose who and who they will not do business with, just like you have the right to choose who you will and will not do business with, we have become way too soft as a society, way too much drama in everything today I will choose who I will and who I will not perform a ceremony for has nothing to do with their lifestyle has everything to do with how they answered questions in the interview that I conduct before every ceremony, some people are ready for marriage and others clearly are not they are doing it purely to make a political statement and I refuse to perform those ceremonies. by the way I did just perform a ceremony last weekend for a lesbian couple that have been friends of mine for years and I know them quite well and know that they truly are in love with each other and that this was not just a political statement.

  18. Jeff says:

    I disagree with the Judge. The business owner has a private business, unless the Govt is providing the majority of its funds, then they can maintain their business as they see fit. This couple had the right to go someplace else and do business with a gay friendly business. This is an example of vengeance. In a world full of bigotry and hate, do we need to contribute to it by creating more. Why not go someplace else and do business with someone that cares about the product. Does this couple think by forcing the videographer to film the wedding the a mind will be changed, NO. I have a feeling that when the Supreme Court rules the answer will be, that since they are a private business they have a right to practice their religion beliefs. It is a religious right protected by the First Amendment. A recent example is the recent victory of students being able to pray in public schools, carry a Bible and witness to others. The Supreme Court ruled that it was part of their faith and they can exercise that right. Its up to other people to decide to be Christians or not.

  19. Sam says:

    Those of you who agree with the business are on the side of hate. You hide behind your hypocritical beliefs. You breed hate and not love. Your God will not save you. You would be up in arms if a black business said no whites or if a business said no trump signs.
    I truly for sorry for all you self righteous sinners who hide behind a bible.
    Like I always say, if you can’t love yourself you can’t love others.
    Your son is gay and is afraid to tell you. Live with that

    1. Robin says:

      Sam,

      Are you saying that if you thought what somebody was doing was wrong and you didn’t want to support that person (in doing what you thought was wrong), you’re being hateful?

      By the way, the Eastern Orthodox Bible is my favorite book, something I would want to have with me if I could only have one book – I do not hide behind it and hate hypocrites a lot.

      We are born with freedom of choice. When people want others to believe what they do, to not just accept their set of values, but force them into abiding by them by making them do things they believe are wrong either by law or worse, that’s being totally nuts. Everybody has the right and personal responsibility (it’s not the government’s or church’s or any other authority, it’s yours and mine alone) to make up their own mind and act accordingly. Yelling and screaming at an addict to quit using won’t work – it’s up to the person to quit, it’s their choice — nothing good gets done when somebody else forces a person into believing what they’re doing is wrong — forget about it. We have to come to believe in ourselves first, like you said, you have to love yourself before you can love others!

      Too many people in our country are emotionally immature, yelling and screaming like victimized babies, hanging in mobs and gangs — acting very violent and destructive — that is not how you get others to respect you, let alone accept your different beliefs.

      Thanks,
      Robin

    2. Dawn Pisturino says:

      Give me a break. just because you don’t get the answer you want, it’s suddenly “hate.” I don’t hate anybody. But some things are just plain wrong, and I am not obligated to accept them.

  20. ronald Wolfe says:

    i agree with you jeff 100% why would anyone give there money to someone who does not like them or belivee in what they repreesent, i would be concerned they would do a aterrible job if i were to force them to give service to me against their will or belief, just go someehre else, Government should not be able to force a business owner who does not recieve government funds for their buinseess to serve someone they dont want to serve, we neeed LESS government control not more.

  21. Herb Meister says:

    Same gender marriage is expressly prohibited in both testaments. Anyone of that persuasion who wishes to be married has a right to do so as per the Supreme Court. However, they have no right to demand that I compromise my beliefs and participate in the ceremony. That’s not being bigoted or hateful. That’s simply obeying the word of God.

  22. Leigh Anne P says:

    I think most Conservative Christians want THEIR traditional values placed into government. Now, NOT the values and teachings of Jesus, those are TOTALLY different, just THEIR conservative values.

    Jesus spoke about traditional marriage, but what JESUS spoke about was the lusty men who lusted after women who were not their wives and then divorced their wives to marry someone new. Jesus was VERY adamant that this was evil adultery…even the lust was adultery in ones heart. But they NEVER discuss this….why? They would lose money and followers in a heartbeat!!! Texas leads the red pack in divorce with a divorce rate 30% ABOVE the national average. But these hypocrites would rather cast stones at the sins of others…not their own sins.

    Thus their religious grounds are to me….groundless.

  23. Pastor Poppy says:

    It has not yet been proven that humans are homosexual at birth, as the LGBTQ argument would have it, in equating discrimination on the basis of sexuality with discrimination on the basis of race, and which has now somehow become the common and prevailing assumption-so much so that the argument alone now suffices to determine rulings in courts of law, and which is openly cited as the determining factor, by these courts, in their so ruling. It has been proven that humans are born of their race, at birth, however.

    The fact that what is in truth no more than a demand made by a group in the interest of forwarding a political/social agenda, if made loudly and often enough, could somehow result in the acceptance of that argument as a fact by the general public, to the point that there now even exists a widespread fear of even bringing up this glaring incongruity, in realistic expectation that one would be attacked for even suggesting as much, should not only terrify us, but serve as a wake up call as to the degree to which our culture has fallen victim to what can only be described as a mass hysteria that is as much a sign of the oppression of thought as the final absurdity which can be expected in a tyrannical control which has reached such an extent as to dictate our very reality. Orwell used “2+2=5”, as part of the Newspeak which the oppressed must recite, to demonstrate the complete mind control of the oppressive state to illustrate the ultimate end of thought control if allowed to progress to its final goal of total brainwashing of a population to the extent that their reality was dictated by the oppressors. But isn’t having something forced on one, as a fact, out of fear of resistance, the same thing, is whatever form it takes? We have now become terrified to simply state the truth-that what has been proposed as a fact, simply is not.
    Does it matter that those in charge of making the demand drape themselves in a flag representing freedom? Have we really reached the point that we’re unable to tell the difference? Being afraid to even state a fact, is the same, no matter how convincingly its portrayed as duty. Oppression has always been portrayed as duty, initially. That’s the appeal that allows it to gain a foothold. And however sincerely it is believed by those in charge of doing so, it is still the same. It is an insistence that what is not a reality, be adopted as the new reality, unquestioningly, out of fear.

    What has happened to us, that we’ve become so terrified of even pointing out a fact? That what is claimed to be a proven fact, is not a proven fact? How does no one else see this? Does it matter that the deadly label is now “bigot”, instead of “Jew”, of “commie”? It’s always proposed as an automatic cause for attack, whenever the same thing has been done in the past, as it has many times. And it seems to be human nature to fall for it over and over. Only now we simultaneously pat ourselves on the back for being more evolved that the offender, when doing it. But then again…that’s always been the justification before, too. I miss the old hypocrites. At least they didn’t go around crowing about how much better they were, in their open-mindedness, while doing it.

  24. Jeff Smith says:

    Romans 13:1
    Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.

    Basically, the bible actually says follow the laws, and the laws say a business cannot discriminate against people based on personal beliefs, like racists have to serve non whites, and businesses cannot turn away same sex couple.

    You have been book, chapter and versed.

    Don’t agree with me? Book, chapter and verse me.

    Don’t just tell me the Bible says you can, show me where it says it.

  25. Bill Fox says:

    Everyone wants to be accepted. Today, LGBT can ask and have less fear of being tarred and feathered, or worse. It hasn’t always been that way. If history can be trusted, it doesn’t stay that way either.

  26. James says:

    Comparing the wedding cake & photo work situations to a “white only” is like saying ~We are gay “do business with us”~. Or ~ no shoes, no shirt-no service~. Or ~ A black tie affair in restaurants letting in street bums~. Or ~ or age discrimination if under 18. Oops or is it 21 (or could it be 25). Where does it stop? Discrimination is all over. Some are acceptable, some not. How about gays sighing contracts? The Government denied LBG’s the right to sign legal binding contracts. (YES, to the gov, a marriage / union is only a contract). Government has no “right” to give the rights to sign. It should have never been denied in the 1st place. Speaking of discrimination? its all over the place. Be careful, the next person (that’s not your type) who asks you out on a date will sued for discrimination & the laws / gov will MAKE you interact with them. Personal or business, if one elects to avoid interaction with given ppl or person, that’s their call.

  27. Steve says:

    I wouldn’t have a problem with making people who are opposed to it cater to Gay weddings if only the reverse were true. The unspoken hypocrisy is overwhelming when we see Gays bashing Christians and Gays refusing service to Christians. No one bats an eye when that happens, but if Gays are “discriminated against” everyone loses their minds. If we are to fight for equality then it should be equality for ALL, not just those with the loudest temper tantrum when they don’t get their way.

    1. JOHN MAHER says:

      THESE are the BEST BLOG POSTINGS I have READ in a LONG, LONG WHILE, QUITE INTELLIGENT !!! 09/30 — 10/04/17

  28. Bro. James the Apostate, OSHSF says:

    Just from one perspective, these “look-at-me-Christians™” missed the entire message of The Christ the moment they made it about themselves. But then again, they’re probably attending some impressive mega-church where they go to for the intense emotional high experience and production every Sunday, which makes them feel better about themselves on a weekly basis because they simply are not doing any good for any others but themselves.

    Also, they are entitled to their firmly held beliefs and religion of choice. However, providing wedding services for someone else who might believe something different is not forcing them to believe or do anything outside of their own (chosen) convictions. (Yet, just looking at this guy, my gaydar is going haywire!)

    Anyway, if I were the judge, with my humble understanding of the laws and scriptures they are referring to in their refusal to provide their wedding services to the same-sex couple(s), I would ask if they have ever provided services for a wedding for a divorcee who remarried a second, or third spouse. If so, knowing they are willing to provide their services for other abominations (to-evah/to-evat) and adulterers/adulteresses, I would have to throw out the case.

  29. Leslie Gray says:

    A lot of people are making a big deal out of their desire to remain faithful to their sincerely held beliefs, which is all well and good. It is however essential that the faithful ‘make sure’ that they are doing the right thing.

    If a state has a law on its books that prohibit discrimination at a privately owned business, otherwise known as a public accommodation, the proprietor is bound by law to adhere to the letter of the law or suffer the consequences. Colorado has such a law. Therefore the owner of said business is bound by the l;aw of the land to adhere to said law. There’s even scripture to back up the fact that a Christian is bound to adhere to the law of the land.

    The passage in the book of Matthew is not restricted to merely the governments power to levy taxes and enforce their collection. By saying “render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s” Jesus was instructing everyone to follow the laws of the land as a part of their faith.

    Matthew 22:19-21 19 Show Me the coin used for the tax.” And they brought Him a denarius. 20“Whose likeness is this,” He asked, “and whose inscription? 21“Caesar’s,” they answered. So Jesus told them, “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.”

    The following passage in the book of Romans was written by the Apostle Paul to the Romans at a time when they guidance in their dealings with the demands of the secular government of the Roman Empire, primarily on the demand for payment of taxes and the burning of incense in front of a likeness of the Emperor.

    Romans 13:1 – 2 1 Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. 2 Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. Paul’s warning of consequences for disobedience was very clear. And, the consequences of disobedience of Roman law was equal to the warning.

    In light of these passages, I would not be so hasty as to demand the right to deny business to anyone based on their beliefs. The business owner could be opening themselves up for some serious trouble with the laws of Caesar.

    Then, there is the whole problem of the fact that the words homosexual and homosexuality could not possibly be in the bible, since neither of those terms existed at the time of the writing of scripture.

  30. wokepersonleviticusleviticus says:

    you guys are WOKEEEEEE

  31. mynamjeff says:

    trump is the new jesus
    we should write the bible all over again with trump as jesus’s twin brother

  32. ronald Wolfe says:

    what are you taliing about?? trying to bring trump into this is insane it has nothing to do with trump. try to stop the hatred dont add to it i guess you still havent gotten over the fact you lost

    1. mynamjeff says:

      All Star
      Smash Mouth
      Somebody once told me the world is gonna roll me
      I ain’t the sharpest tool in the shed
      She was looking kind of dumb with her finger and her thumb
      In the shape of an “L” on her forehead
      Well the years start coming and they don’t stop coming
      Fed to the rules and I hit the ground running
      Didn’t make sense not to live for fun
      Your brain gets smart but your head gets dumb
      So much to do, so much to see
      So what’s wrong with taking the back streets?
      You’ll never know if you don’t go
      You’ll never shine if you don’t glow
      Hey now, you’re an all-star, get your game on, go play
      Hey now, you’re a rock star, get the show on, get paid
      And all that glitters is gold
      Only shooting stars break the mold
      It’s a cool place and they say it gets colder
      You’re bundled up now, wait till you get older
      But the meteor men beg to differ
      Judging by the hole in the satellite picture
      The ice we skate is getting pretty thin
      The water’s getting warm so you might as well swim
      My world’s on fire, how about yours?
      That’s the way I like it and I never get bored
      Hey now, you’re an all-star, get your game on, go play
      Hey now, you’re a rock star, get the show on, get paid
      All that glitters is gold
      Only shooting stars break the mold
      Hey now, you’re an all-star, get your game on, go play
      Hey now, you’re a rock star, get the show, on get paid
      And all that glitters is gold
      Only shooting stars
      Somebody once asked could I spare some change for gas?
      I need to get myself away from this place
      I said yep what a concept
      I could use a little fuel myself
      And we could all use a little change
      Well, the years start coming and they don’t stop coming
      Fed to the rules and I hit the ground running
      Didn’t make sense not to live for fun
      Your brain gets smart but your head gets dumb
      So much to do, so much to see
      So what’s wrong with taking the back streets?
      You’ll never know if you don’t go (go!)
      You’ll never shine if you don’t glow
      Hey now, you’re an all-star, get your game on, go play
      Hey now, you’re a rock star, get the show on, get paid
      And all that glitters is gold
      Only shooting stars break the mold
      And all that glitters is gold

  33. ronald Wolfe says:

    yea ok you go with that whooooooo!

    1. mynamjeff says:

      dude you get that I’m just bored and trolling people right ?

  34. Debra says:

    These are some hateful people. HOW DARE CALL THEMSELVES christian. May God take a lashing to them. GOD TELLS US TO LOVE EVERYONE!!!!! IT IS OBVIOUS THEY DON’T KNOW GOD WORD. THEY MUST HAVE MADE THEIR OWN bible.

    1. Dawn Pisturino says:

      Give me a break. Just because some people want to live a certain way does not make them right.

  35. PATRICK ONEAL says:

    I live in Florida. It must be a crazy state because a business can choose not to do business with anyone. A restauran manager doesnt like you, out you go. Its like that with many businesses. I totally agree with it too.
    Ok

  36. Dawn Pisturino says:

    I do not believe in same-sex marriage. That’s why I will probably never perform a wedding. it’s not worth the hassle. If LGBTQ were smart, they would stop hassling people and find like-minded businesses and ministers to do their weddings. All they do is turn people against them.

  37. Mamie Lightford says:

    Wow it certainly is a bunch of prejudice Christians on this post!!! God made everyone. So you are saying God made millions of mistakes??? I think not!!! Granted there are things we are not suppose to do however He also said it is not for us to judge!!! We are to love our neighbor as ourselves. It’s funny how people only pick certain things from the Bible to suit there negativity…. and everything else falls by the way side! Have you really read the WHOLE bible! It said “deviant” behavior. Love, pure love is not deviant! LGBTQ are human beings the exact same as us (and I use that term lightly considering your remarks!) so as a Christian, a child of God, and as a person who believes in equality and love, I would be more than honored to officiate an LGBTQ wedding if I were asked. If I am wrong God will let me know when I get there!!!

  38. Mark A. White says:

    The judge is an IDIOT.

  39. copy1487 says:

    What’s odd to me is that so many people describe gay and lesbian individuals as if the gender they’re attracted to defines their entire being. And what exactly is the “gay lifestyle”? I’ve known two gay couples for several years who are in long-term, happy relationships, have built and operated successful businesses together, own houses much nicer than mine and are among the kindest, most caring friends I have. Whether or not they’re “gay” never comes up in conversation. It’s only a small part of who they are. I have to wonder if those who focus so intently upon what gay people may be doing behind closed doors also describe their straight friends entirely in terms of their presumed private sexual activities.

  40. Minister Timothy Calrstead says:

    These people have the right to refuse because we are in AMERICA! Everyone has right and Refusing Service is a RIGHT!!!They have the right to choose and they chose not too. We choose what to eat and what to wear we don’t have some appointed official (Supreme Court Judge) tell us what to wear we have the right to choose and that’s what they did.

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