I appreciate Lloyd Harsch’s May 1 letter supporting House Bill 707, because it allows me to address misconceptions those supporting such legislation seem fond of repeating. So, rather than resorting to using inflammatory phrases as he did, I will simply outline why his “analogies” fail.
First, Harsch supposes that a Christian-owned bakery selling a wedding cake to a gay couple is like a kosher deli being forced to sell pork. This analogy fails because kosher delis never sell pork to anyone. Most bakeries do, in fact, sell wedding cakes to people all the time. Gay couples are not asking for a product bakeries do not sell; they are buying a product bakeries already sell (a wedding cake).
Second, Harsch suggests a gay couple buying a cake for a wedding reception from a Christian-owned bakery is akin to having the KKK contract art from an African-American artist. While it bends credulity to suggest the KKK would, in fact, do business with an African-American artist, there remains a distinct difference in the situation — the KKK has actively murdered African-Americans and currently calls for their removal from our society. LGBTQ people are not working for the extermination of Christians, nor is there a history of LGBTQ violence toward Christians (sadly, the opposite is true). Actually, many LGBTQ individuals are Christians. The situations are simply not comparable.
I can present an analogous situation for Harsch, but I am not sure he will like the implications.
Let us suppose there is a Christian-owned and operated fitness supply store where the woman who owns the store weaves by hand yoga mats she sells for $35. Now, let us further suppose that a man comes in and orders 50 of these yoga mats for $1,750. Certainly, the business owner would be elated at making such a large sale.
If she asked the man if he were opening a yoga studio, and the man said, “No, I’m opening a Mosque. We will pray on these mats to Allah,” the Christian woman would not then be able to deny the sale simply because the way the mats would be used was against her religious beliefs. To do so would be discrimination. Just like not selling a wedding cake to a gay couple is discrimination.
Bills like this are attempts by those facing the impending nationwide legalization of marriage equality to kick sand in the face of the LGBTQ community. These bills are spiteful and they are wrong. It is a shame our Legislature wastes time on this mean-spirited nonsense when we have crumbling infrastructures, huge budget deficits and impending bankruptcy of the LSU system.