I rarely talk about certain hot button issues on my blog because I never know what kind of backlash I'm gonna get. But last week, I read an update about a bakery in Oregon that has me seriously reconsidering my viewpoint about gay rights and the gay community.
To briefly summarize the story, earlier in the year a bakery in the backward state of Oregon chose not to accept a cake order from a lesbian couple because it went against their religious beliefs. And as some gay couples on the left coast are want to do, they filed a discrimination complaint with the state of Oregon.
The state of Oregon, as most intolerant states are want to do, passed a discrimination law based on orientation that exempts religious organizations and schools, but strangely enough not businesses, which is about par for the course for so-called "tolerant" states.
The state responded by saying they would investigate and issue fines if needed (really?).
Fast forward to last week.
The bakery in question has been harassed, stalked, boycotted, death threats issued against them, and had other vendors they work with threatened.
Even their jackass of a commissioner, Brad Avakian weighed in on this. Avakian, who believes that the 1st amendment doesn't really apply to the state of Oregon, has stated that "Everyone is entitled to their own beliefs, but that doesn't meant that folks have the right to discriminate."
The family has been harassed and boycotted so bad that the owner has had to take a full time job just to make ends meet. Since when is it right for you to dictate another person's life simply because they don't agree with your lifestyle choice?
The owner of the bakery has said that they'll probably close down should the case go against them (and sadly, it probably will), because they can't afford the $50K fine for standing up for their religious beliefs.
'Course, that hasn't stopped Avakian from throwing a Big Brother/1984/Cool Hand Luke-ism into the mix. He said that the goal is to never shut down a business, the goal is to rehabilitate, because we want them to learn from that experience and have a good successful business in Oregon.
Since when does a state law triumph the 1st amendment rights of the individual to practice and follow his religious beliefs? Furthermore, how is it right to threaten the lives of a family business because they don't approve of your lifestyle?
I'm sorry but forcing someone to compromise their beliefs and shut down their business when they don't smacks of gross intolerance. Why should I be tolerant of your lifestyle and your wants and needs when you don't even have the common courtesy to tolerate mine?
For those shallow and holier-than-thou members of the gay community, I say, learn to suck it up and move on. By attempting to destroy another person's livelihood and threatening them, their spouse and children, you practice what you claim to hate: bigotry, intolerance and hatred.
Furthermore, you risk alienating those who might be open to accepting your viewpoint, your lifestyle and your rights.
I'm one of those older and relatively open minded individuals who over the years has changed his viewpoint about certain topics/issues. But this kind of stuff forces me to take a closer and harder look at those change viewpoints, and ask myself, "Why should I change my viewpoint when stuff like this merely reinforces the double standard that is pervasive in today's America?"
The answer may surprise you, and it'll most definitely surprise me.
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