Liberty and Justice For All

Liberty and Justice For All

An opinion piece I wrote after attending a town meeting where we discussed a proposed ordinance that would force Christian Bridal Store owners to participate in same-sex unions.

-Tara Beth

Liberty and Justice for All

The Bloomsburg Town Council held a public meeting last Tuesday to discuss the discrimination case between the Miller’s Bridal Shop and the anonymous lesbian couple who was refused service. The result of this was a civil battle, between Christians and gay-supporters, over an ordinance that would force Christians to participate in a same-sex union. It was apparent that not everyone in the room was aware that both parties have been discriminated against, but only one is being dragged into court, enduring death threats, even threats of sexual assault, and is being used as an example to have a town ordinance that would force other Christians against their beliefs. Those who were supportive of the ordinance didn’t seem to even acknowledge that the Millers were the real victims of “hate” in this case.

When the Miller’s Pastor spoke, he informed the group that the Millers don’t hate gays, that they’ve given them equal service for proms, wedding party fittings, etc. over the years, but when it came to participating in a same-sex union, they were compelled by their faith to refuse business. Instead of mulling over the fact that “hate” is not the intention, the gay-supporters automatically flew to the notion that gays are a victim class that must be saved, and anyone who would dare to refuse service is a “bigot”, a “hater” and should not operate a business in the public no matter the reason. They completely disregarded the real intentions, the rights, and religious struggle of the store owners, condemning them as “hatred” so, to the gays, no God or book on earth should be able to stop the government from enforcing the Miller’s to against their faith.

After the Miller’s attorney spoke about how important it is that liberty be for all, there was a gay man who gave his theatrical, victim speech which brought people back to the idea that the Miller’s right to freedom of religious practice is not as important as the right of a gay person to have the ability to force a Christian to go against their faith. It was then when I realized that those against the Millers were not in this for justice, equality or for tolerance, they were in this to grant gay rights over Christians rights. This thought was confirmed when their comments were seemingly in sync with the idea that the Millers have no business being in the “public sphere” if they refuse to participate in a same sex union.

Over the course of the two hour discussion, many of the gay-supporters were commenting about how gays are persecuted in our community. Claims were made that gays have lost their jobs and homes just because of their lifestyle choice, and that is why the ordinance (which has nothing to do with that) must be passed according to them. By this reasoning, it’s ok to put a Christian out of business and home for their lifestyle choice, but it’s wrong when it’s done to them.

The Europeans fled from religious persecution and founded this nation on the foundation of religious liberty. Our founders didn’t fight the crown so that the minority classes could claim a victim status to trample the rights of the Christian European descendants underfoot. Fear of discrimination and people’s feelings do not trump the rights handed down to us by our founders. That is what it comes down to. To pass this ordinance is to go against the American Bill Of Rights. Anyone who is daring enough to be part of passing such a law is guilty of treason.

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