UPDATE at bottom of post.
One of the reasons I love being an Arizonan, a native at that, is that politics is never boring here.
Regarding the AZ Bill 1062, I wonder what the outcry would be if this all started with a Muslim baker/caterer/photographer instead of a Christian. Let’s insert Muslim, Islam and Muhammad in every instance where Christian, Christianity and Jesus Christ is mentioned with regards to this bill.
Try it. Now what do you think?
If everyone took the same approach as Andrew Sullivan (wow, yes Andreww Sullivan!) there wouldn’t be a need (real or perceived) for this bill at all:
I would never want to coerce any fundamentalist to provide services for my wedding – or anything else for that matter – if it made them in any way uncomfortable. The idea of suing these businesses to force them to provide services they are clearly uncomfortable providing is anathema to me. I think it should be repellent to the gay rights movement as well.
The truth is: we’re winning this argument. We’ve made the compelling moral case that gay citizens should be treated no differently by their government than straight citizens. And the world has shifted dramatically in our direction. Inevitably, many fundamentalist Christians and Orthodox Jews and many Muslims feel threatened and bewildered by such change and feel that it inchoately affects their religious convictions. I think they’re mistaken – but we’re not talking logic here. We’re talking religious conviction. My view is that in a free and live-and-let-live society, we should give them space. As long as our government is not discriminating against us, we should be tolerant of prejudice as long as it does not truly hurt us. And finding another florist may be a bother, and even upsetting, as one reader expressed so well. But we can surely handle it. And should.
Leave the fundamentalists and bigots alone. In any marketplace in a diverse society, they will suffer economically by refusing and alienating some customers, their families and their friends. By all means stop patronizing them in both senses of the word. Let them embrace discrimination and lose revenue. Let us let them be in the name of their freedom – and ours’.
That is the definition of tolerance — not enforced participation, but allowing people to make their own personal choices free of government-imposed mandates of acceptance and participation.