Sunday, September 15, 2013

My 14th Amendment Rights Trump Your 1st Amendment Rights

Social conservatives are taking a new tack in their never-ending quest to deny people of same-sex orientation their rights under the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment. You know, the one that says that we can't deny someone of their rights to equal protection of the law? The one that says that homosexual marriage cannot be denied to people because of all the legal benefits that marriage brings to people?
They have decided to use their right to the right of free speech as a wedge.
It devolves from a case that was decided in the New Mexico Supreme Court, where a gay couple was denied photographic services at their wedding because the photographer they asked opposed the very idea of same-sex marriage. They eventually found a photographer with a more tolerant point of view, but they took it to court anyway, charging that Elane Photography had violated a New Mexico state law banning discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. The Supreme Court agreed that they had been discriminated against and found for the plaintiffs.
Elane Photography are trying to take it to the US Supreme Court on appeal.
Their argument?
"...forcing them to take pictures of same-sex ceremonies violates their First Amendment rights by compelling them to engage in speech they don’t believe in."
That's a bit of a reach. Free speech violation? How is that a violation of free speech. How indeed, since they are being paid for their services?
Besides that, it really opens up a can of worms. What if I did not believe in stopping at signaled intersections? Does requiring me to do so violate my right to free speech? Or even better, what if I did not believe in evolution by means of natural selection? Does requiring me to teach it to eager young minds violate my right to free speech?
I think we all know where this is going. It's all about religious intolerance, isn't it? This aversion to all things gay is not about personal free speech, it's about retaining one's persecution rights on religious grounds.
And that won't work either.
What if, for instance, I was an evangelical Christian who believed that the Mark of Cain was clearly indicated on the skin color of African-Americans? That being the case, the descendants of Cain, that fratricidal sociopath, deserve to be persecuted. This reasoning on the part of the photographers would allow me to legally discriminate on account of race.
Indeed, this very reasoning pervades among some few religious bigots to this day.
Nope. That's a dog that won't hunt. But it is amazing to what lengths that these homophobes will go to in order to persist in their intolerant beliefs and actions. Even to the extent that it perverts the rule of law.
So who, in the end is the pervert? 

No comments: