Who’s harmed by the same-sex marriage ruling?

Who benefits from Friday’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling that grants the equal rights and benefits of marriage to all couples, whether gay or straight? Pretty easy question, no? Gay and lesbian couples who want to get married but live in states that outlawed such marriage.

Who is harmed by the new ruling? Maybe it’s my lack of imagination, but I can’t think of anyone.

Writing for Slate in a regular column titled “Supreme Court Breakfast Table,” U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Richard Posner raises the question above and answers it pretty much as I have above. Then suggests:

“Unless it can be shown that same-sex marriage harms people who are not gay (or who are gay but don’t want to marry), there is no compelling reason for state intervention, and specifically for banning same-sex marriage. The dissenters in Obergefell [that’s the same-sex marriage case decided last week] missed this rather obvious point.”

You can also learn about all our free newsletter options.

Comments (66)

  1. Submitted by Peder DeFor on 06/29/2015 - 09:19 am.


    And no, not in the sense that they’ve lost a court case. Already, people are talking about stripping them of their traditional tax exemptions, which will kill a number of them. And it’s only a matter of time before those same people start trying to brand them as ‘hate organizations’. All for holding the same opinion that Obama held as recently as a few years ago.
    Look, I’m in favor of SSM. I couldn’t be happier for the people that can now be married. I’m glad that more and more people are perfectly fine with gay couples. Probably the best route to end discrimination is full normalization and acceptance.
    Let the churches be. Give them a decade or two to quietly accept the new realities. That’s the best way forward.

    • Submitted by Pat Berg on 06/29/2015 - 09:59 am.


      Besides the hysteria-mongers, who in any position of authority or with any real power to make something like this happen is suggesting that churches will be coerced in some way to perform same-sex marriages?

      All the other questions about religiously-affiliated organizations and employment and such are out there and being discussed, but I have not heard anyone credible say that churches will be forced to perform same sex marriages (because they won’t).

      • Submitted by DENNIS SCHMINKE on 06/29/2015 - 10:04 pm.


        Religious organizations are under assault from many directions.

        Already, Catholic Charities have been banned from offering adoption services in a number of jurisdictions.

        In my hometown, a Catholic Community Center, which was booked for a wedding nearly every weekend is ‘out of the market’. They are not going to risk being sued.

        Do we need to talk about religious organizations and the whole healthcare-benefit brouhaha?

        This is not a live-and-let-live opposition. They will not rest until tax-exempt status is withdrawn. They mean to grind the boot of the state in the face of every trace of opposition.

        • Submitted by Pat Berg on 06/30/2015 - 07:53 am.

          Attempts to diffuse

          It’s an easy tactic to try and diffuse an argument by constantly changing direction on what is being discussed.

          Eric’s article was on whether anyone was harmed by the ruling on same sex marriage. So let’s try to keep this discussion focused on that and avoid bringing in a bunch of other subjects, shall we?

          With that in mind, the only item on your list relating to same sex marriage is your complaint that your local Catholic Community Center is now “out of the market” for weddings due to fear of lawsuits (presumably because they would refuse to allow same sex weddings there).

          Was this facility offered only for Catholics who are members of the church, or was it offered to the public for a fee?

          If the first, then they could certainly restrict weddings in any way their religion dictates with no fear of lawsuits.

          If the latter, however, then I assume they are accepting a fee for service and this would seem to put them into the realm of becoming a public accommodation. In that case, they certainly do risk being sued if they discriminate in who they will sell their services to, and that is as it should be.

          If they don’t want to play by the same rules as other public businesses, then it is well and good that they have withdrawn from offering business accommodations to the public.

          • Submitted by DENNIS SCHMINKE on 06/30/2015 - 07:47 pm.

            The point is this…

            …that this is NOT just about gay marriage–this is about the greater aggressive gay agenda–that every last vestige of anti-gay sentiment in the US must be snuffed out. I just don’t happen to believe that it is a perfect fit. Slavery was not involved, no one was depriving gays of the vote, etc., etc.

            We can’t just agree to disagree…live and let live…believe what we want, and be OK with the guy who disagrees. That is a shame, as it is a BETTER WAY to a civil society.

            They gay movement has been very clever in their adoption of the ‘civil-rights’ model. However, it’s just that they want to conveniently ignore some other basic civil rights, to wit: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; ”

            Whether you like it or not, there are several thousand years of clear scriptural teaching about the issue that bind the true believers in Christianity or Judaism. It really puts the believers in a bind.

            PS–Please don’t try to tell me “Yes, but the Bible endorsed slavery, as well…and we had to overcome that.” To that I would say “no”. You have to really bend it to say that. Closer to the truth would be that it ACCEPTS slavery as ‘the way the world was’ in that day.

            • Submitted by Karen Sandness on 07/01/2015 - 03:54 pm.

              Right, it’s not like slavery

              It’s more like interracial marriage.

              Now here’s my suggestion for you if you don’t believe in same-sex marriage. If you are currently married to a woman, stay that way. If you are unmarried, make sure you choose a woman as your spouse. Society will consider this completely unremarkable, and no one will object.

              I’d say something similar to opponents of interracial marriage. If you are currently married to someone of your own race, stay that way. If you are unmarried, make sure that you choose a spouse of your own race. Society will consider this completely unremarkable, and no one will object.

              When it comes to other people’s relationships, they’re none of your business.

              Whatever you believe your religions teaches, you do not have the right to insist that people who do not follow your religion follow its teachings. This is not medieval Europe.

            • Submitted by Pat Berg on 07/01/2015 - 05:27 pm.

              Pray tell . . . .

              Just where in the Bible does it say “Thou shalt not sell a wedding cake to a same sex couple”?

        • Submitted by Karen Sandness on 07/01/2015 - 03:57 pm.

          Public accommodation laws

          If the Catholic Community Center rents only to people who are current members of a Catholic church, then it is not subject to the public accommodation laws. In terms of the law, it’s like a private club.

          If it rents to people who are not Catholic, then it is a public accommodation and must serve everyone.

          That is not persecution, no matter how the hysterics spin it.

    • Submitted by Paul Brandon on 06/29/2015 - 10:13 am.

      Most people

      are talking at most about revoking some of the tax advantages that churches get for running businesses; not for religious practice.

    • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 06/29/2015 - 11:06 am.

      “Only a matter of time”

      I don’t see what that has to do with anything. Any denomination is free to preach whatever doctrine it likes, and if they are that hypersensitive about the public reaction, that shows the weakness of their faith. It’s not a concern for the rest of us. Otherwise, sticks and stones.

      There are many religions that could be called “hate organizations,” but that does not tell me we all need to be solicitous of their opinions. Let’s elave Westboro Church aside for a moment. How many out there–and not just outliers–would brand Islam a “religion of hate?” There are Lutheran denominations that teach the Pope is the antichrist (a certain former member of Congress was part of such a denomination, until it got in the way of her Presidential delusions). That sounds “hateful” to me, but no one is stopping them. Try reading the “Left Behind” series, if you think you can stomach it. If those books were published by anyone other than evangelical Christians, they would be branded as “hate” literature. All of these groups, all of these beliefs, are not just allowed, but they are allowed to try to convince others. No one seriously intends to take that away from them.

      “Let the churches be. Give them a decade or two to quietly accept the new realities.” They can take all the time they want, even 359 years or more. They may never accept it. Let them. On the other hand, I don’t want to hear any whining about being called a “hate group” if someone accurately describes their teaching.

    • Submitted by Rachel Kahler on 06/30/2015 - 12:55 pm.


      I’m for stripping churches of their “traditional tax exemptions.” But then, I always have–it’s got nothing to do with marriage, gay or otherwise.

      That being said, all this hysteria about ZOMG! WHAT ABOUT THE CHURCHES?! CHRISTIANS WILL BE IN EXILE stuff is pure poppycock. They can suck it up just like they did when some crazy justices decided that variably pigmented couples can marry. If it takes time, fine. No one actually expects any church to do the ceremonies. If there are such people who want to force churches to perform ceremonies they don’t agree with, shame on them. That’s what the 1st Amendment is for.

  2. Submitted by John Appelen on 06/29/2015 - 09:24 am.

    Short or Long Term

    Short Term: I don’t think anyone will be harmed by the marriages, they are just a business contract.

    Now the idea that the Justices removed the ability for the citizens within States to determine what was moral and acceptable behavior within their societies may do some damage to people’s faith in the system. Not sure where that may lead.

    Long Term: If the far right anti-LGBT folks are correct that this is sign of moral decay, we may be smelling a lot of fire and brim stone in the future.

    • Submitted by Paul Brandon on 06/29/2015 - 10:15 am.

      Last I heard

      we were a nation, not just a loose confederation of sovereign states.
      We settled that question with the Civil War.

      • Submitted by John Appelen on 06/29/2015 - 10:53 am.

        No States

        Then let’s save some money and get rid of all the local and state offices.

        The reality is that we are not a National Democracy for good reason, allowing different regions to self rule does wonders for keeping the peace.

      • Submitted by Peder DeFor on 06/29/2015 - 12:33 pm.


        No, we’re not a ‘loose confederation’ but states still have roles to play. There is still great benefit to having ‘laboratories of democracy’. (For instance, we have a patchwork of laws regarding divorce and it’s been workable.)
        Also, that’s not quite the question that was settled by the Civil War.

        • Submitted by Paul Brandon on 06/29/2015 - 01:54 pm.

          The states in the Confederacy

          held that they were individually sovereign and thus had the legal right to secede from the United States.
          That’s one of the reasons for the label ‘Confederacy’.
          The Federal government under Lincoln took the position that they did not have that legal authority, and thus that the issue was rebellion, not secession.
          Certainly the states have important roles to play, but ultimately legal power rests with the Federal government. That’s why the Supreme Court is a Federal court appointed by the President, not a group of state justices appointed by the states (an earlier proposal).

          • Submitted by Peder DeFor on 06/29/2015 - 04:39 pm.


            But the Civil War wasn’t a simple fight over the limits of state power. It was a fight over slavery. If the southern states had decided that they needed a different tax structure or some such, there wouldn’t have been armies fighting against each other. Yes, yes, federal rulings are supreme. But that doesn’t mean that there isn’t still something to the notion of federalism.

            • Submitted by Paul Brandon on 06/29/2015 - 10:02 pm.

              You’re right

              that slavery was a major part of the equation.
              A major reason why the southern states wanted to maintain their sovereignty was so that they could maintain the institution of slavery (in turn for economic reasons).
              There were slaves in the north as well, but they also had a cheap labor supply of (Irish and Italian) immigrants, so the northern economy wasn’t dependent upon slavery.

  3. Submitted by Beth-Ann Bloom on 06/29/2015 - 10:05 am.

    Let’s be clear

    The only folks talking about stripping churches of tax exemptions because of the Obergefel decision are conservatives who are trying to generate fear. While the rabid political activism and partisanship of some churches may bring this issue into focus, there is no movement on the part of marriage supporters to change churches. It is well understood that the court’s ruling affects only the issuance of marriage licenses by the state,

    • Submitted by Peder DeFor on 06/29/2015 - 12:30 pm.


      Here is a non-conservative (maybe even anti-conservative) call for it: http://time.com/3939143/nows-the-time-to-end-tax-exemptions-for-religious-institutions/

      It would please me greatly to hear folks from the left say that there is no worry and that they would oppose changing the situation. But I don’t expect it.

      • Submitted by Paul Brandon on 06/29/2015 - 01:32 pm.


        The article is more nuanced than that.
        A brief quote:
        “It’s time to abolish, or greatly diminish, their tax-exempt statuses.”
        He makes it clear that he is not calling for a total elimination of all tax exemptions/benefits for religious and educational institutions, but that the system needs a radical overhaul.
        I’ve certainly heard conservatives call for the same.

      • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 06/29/2015 - 03:36 pm.

        Your Article

        The article calls for ending the tax exemption for all non-profits, not just churches. Although the gay marriage issue seems to have been the catalyst for his opinion, the author bases his argument on the administrative difficulties presented by the exemption.

    • Submitted by Karen Sandness on 07/01/2015 - 04:02 pm.

      Under current law, people who have only a religious ceremony

      with no state license have no legal standing. As far as the law is concerned, they’re just roommates.

      The U.S. is unusual in allowing people to get married with only a religious ceremony. In much of the world, in both Europe and Asia, a civil ceremony is required for the marriage to be legal, and the religious ceremony is optional.

      The idea that “the government should get out of marriage” seems to be an end run by conservatives who want to preserve their definition of marriage. That would actually be a reversion to the Middle Ages.

  4. Submitted by Tim Milner on 06/29/2015 - 10:18 am.

    Not harmed, just concerned

    It has been my personal belief that marriage is a religious institution fist and foremost that government chose to use as a vehicle to bestow civil benefits.

    Because of the religious implications, I have been a strong proponent that government should be completely out of the marriage business. Instead, anyone (religious, non religious, straight, gay, whatever) who the government wants to bestow benefits to should be granted a civil union.

    Marriage = religious ceremony or sacrament
    Civil Union = civil rights and benefits

    So if I wanted to be married in the Catholic church, and get government benefits, I would need to do both. A simple solution that never gained any traction with the extremists on either side.

    But it seems that in the name of civil rights, government is getting more proactive in setting laws and making rulings that run counter to beliefs and practices held by many religions. I don’t see this as a good direction – which is why while I do not feel harmed in any way, I remained concerned by the Supreme Court ruling.

    • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 06/29/2015 - 10:38 am.

      “Counter to beliefs and practices . . .”

      That argument has validity only if religious institutions would have no discretion in deciding whom they may marry. A Catholic church may still refuse to marry divorced people who wish to remarry, Orthodox churches may continue to refuse marriage to those not baptized in their faith, and any church may require a statement that any children will be raised according to that church. All of these constitute “discrimination” of a sort, but no one is suggesting that this type of discrimination be outlawed.

    • Submitted by John Appelen on 06/29/2015 - 10:57 am.

      Well said

      That was very well said.

    • Submitted by Peder DeFor on 06/29/2015 - 12:37 pm.

      Civil Contracts?

      Maybe this argument had some weight ten years ago but that horse has long been out of the barn. Maybe churches could develop some kind of internal marriage document that they would give to those that are married there but that won’t work for the secular public. It’s probably time to simply make peace with the new situation and try to get along with it as best possible.

      • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 06/29/2015 - 01:49 pm.

        Civil contracts

        Interestingly, France–a country with a majority Roman Catholic population–has such a system (or had, last time I looked into it). Religious marriage ceremonies have no legal weight. A couple is first married by the civil authorities, and then, if they choose, they may have a religious ceremony. A couple will still be legally married if they forego the religious part.

        • Submitted by Paul Brandon on 06/29/2015 - 01:55 pm.

          Makes sense to me!

          How much of the old Napoleonic code (with its presumption of guilt) is still left?

        • Submitted by Peder DeFor on 06/29/2015 - 04:41 pm.

          Civil Contracts

          I would have been fine with this. Still would be. Who else do you think would go for it though? Would the happy gay couples that have gotten married over the past few years be thrilled if there was a sudden change in definition? Color me skeptical…

          • Submitted by Joel Fischer on 06/30/2015 - 09:01 am.

            There are many, including myself…

            who have advocated this very thing. As long as the contract and benefits are the same for everyone, it doesn’t matter what you call it. The push for civil unions years ago was a different matter because it was an attempt to create a separate class of contract from marriage.

            Certain people have a difficult time understanding that we have for a long time had two separate things:

            Civil Marriage
            Religious Marriage

            That has not changed.

            One thing that I think needs to happen is that clergy should not be acting as agents of the State in regards to Marriage Certificates.

          • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 06/30/2015 - 09:23 am.

            Would gay couples favor it?

            I don’t see why not. Over the years, there have been many religious denominations and congregations that have celebrated marriage-like rites that had spiritual and personal meaning, but no legal effect. The fight for marriage equality has always been about giving the unions of two consenting adults legal effect.

            There seems to be a notion afoot that the gay agenda includes forcing churches to perform same-sex marriages against their wills. That notion is the cheapest kind of scare tactic.

    • Submitted by Rachel Kahler on 06/30/2015 - 01:07 pm.

      Words words words

      This is the way it already works. Except, instead of the words “civil union” the words “legal marriage” were adopted. Just because some people want to own the words doesn’t make the reality any less real. Maybe the answer to all the Henny Penny panic is to push for a word change in the state laws. Of course, that means that there will have to be lots of laws considered, but maybe it won’t be that hard if there’s a law that simply says “for any previous use of the word ‘marriage’ in this state’s statutes, the term ‘civil union’ shall be assumed.” If successful, you’ll find that nothing has changed.

  5. Submitted by Ron Gotzman on 06/29/2015 - 01:16 pm.

    Who is harmed?

    Whoever the “crusading” political left decide to target.

    • Submitted by Paul Brandon on 06/29/2015 - 01:33 pm.


      is hard to answer.

      • Submitted by Pat Berg on 06/29/2015 - 03:25 pm.

        Comment of the Day

        Nailed it!

      • Submitted by Ron Gotzman on 06/29/2015 - 09:08 pm.


        Let’s see – you probably also believe no one was harmed by Roe V. Wade.

        • Submitted by Paul Brandon on 06/30/2015 - 07:38 am.

          More -people-

          benefited from Roe v. Wade than were harmed by it.
          To believe that -no one- was harmed would be asking to prove a negative; a logical fallacy.

          • Submitted by Ron Gotzman on 06/30/2015 - 09:32 am.

            Your right

            those harmed cannot be heard.

            • Submitted by Paul Brandon on 06/30/2015 - 01:21 pm.


              contrary to established scientific, medical, legal, and most religious belief, you choose to regard a fetus as a person.
              You have a right to that belief, but it is not a compelling argument for most of us who accept that personhood begins at quickening.

              • Submitted by Richard O'Neil on 06/30/2015 - 04:59 pm.

                Ok, you have me stumped and please excuse my ignorance, but what exactly is “quickening.”

                • Submitted by Paul Brandon on 06/30/2015 - 08:22 pm.

                  My mistake

                  I had thought that the term referred to the first independent breaths of a newborn baby.
                  I fact it refers to the first felt movements of an in utero fetus, which is not what I had in mind, since most legal, medical and scientific sources do not qualify an 18 week old fetus as a person.
                  Legally, in the United States, personhood begins at birth.

                  The complexity of the issue is illustrated by this quote from the Ethics Center at the University of Missouri:
                  “The same questions arise when we consider the ordinary development of human beings from conception through infancy and into adulthood. At what point does an individual become a person, metaphysically and morally? Some would say at conception, some would say while an embryo or fetus, others would say at birth or shortly before, while still others would say during infancy or as the infant becomes a young child. But it might be difficult to point to one moment in time when an individual went from nonperson to person, and perhaps there is room here for the concept of partial personhood. ”

              • Submitted by Tom Anderson on 06/30/2015 - 08:40 pm.

                And don’t forget

                Gender isn’t decided for years after quickening.

                I would like to see a list of religions with the actual dates that each believes personhood begins. I am particularly interested in those that recognize that a fetus has Down Syndrome, which (physical) sex it is, it’s blood type, etc. all without having even a stitch of personhood.

              • Submitted by John Appelen on 06/30/2015 - 11:07 pm.

                Hearts Stopped

                I am more interested in the number of human hearts that have been stopped since Roe V Wade. Though it may have been for the best of the child and society since the woman did not want the child, I think harm is still committed.


                • Submitted by Paul Brandon on 07/01/2015 - 09:50 am.

                  Hearts stop for many reasons

                  I assume that you’re asking how many third term abortions have taken place since Roe v Wade.
                  Most estimates are that the actual number of abortions have not increased — they simply take place in clinics where they are recorded rather than in back alleys where they kill the mother as well (do you think that that’s an improvement? It is the likely effect of appealing Roe v Wade).
                  From the (conservative) Washington Times:
                  “This population is small — about 15,000 abortions, or about 1.5 percent of the annual U.S. number, are performed after 20 weeks, wrote Diana Greene Foster and Katrina Kimport, authors of the study in Guttmacher Institute’s new Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health.”

                  Welcome to the real world.

                • Submitted by Paul Brandon on 07/01/2015 - 12:50 pm.

                  And there would be far fewer abortions

                  if the same people who oppose abortion did not also oppose birth control.

                  • Submitted by John Appelen on 07/01/2015 - 10:48 pm.

                    Kind of

                    Though I somewhat agree with you, I think responsible people who choose to be sexually active can buy their own condoms, pill, etc.

                    • Submitted by Paul Brandon on 07/02/2015 - 09:52 am.

                      In theory

                      I fact, some knowledge also helps.
                      And these same people also oppose sex education in public schools.
                      If sexually active people (many of whom are under 18 believe it or not) attend Catholic schools, they are taught ‘Vatican roulette’.
                      You might be shocked at the level of ignorance of many 14-16 year olds.
                      We’re talking about the real world here, not some ideal world of knowledge and rational behavior (read Cass Sunstein).

  6. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 07/02/2015 - 10:45 am.

    No one is harmed… period

    These hysterical cries about religious freedom are simply obtuse. Ironically the religious right that’s now worried about losing their tax exempt status created the dilemma themselves by virtue of having no coherent concept of faith or religion. The fact that these so-called religious people keep describing things like Atheism and Science as “religions” betrays their utter inability to discern their religion from secular or rational enterprises. Their confusion regarding the nature of religion has led them into the secular and political waters as if being a republican or a conservative is part of their religion. It’s their partisan political ambitions and activities, not their actual religious practice that’s got people questioning their tax exempt status. The lack of any coherent concept of religion or faith makes it impossible for such people to distinguish between religion and political ideology. Whatever. We’ll see what happens. I doubt that churches will actually lose tax exempt status, more likely the rules granting tax exempt status will just be clarified at most.

    Meanwhile this idea that living with people who don’t share your beliefs makes one a victim of some kind of “attack”, or converts Christians into an oppressed minority, is simply ridiculous. Every time we extend liberty, freedom, or tolerance to people previously denied we hear the same hysterical cries that someone or another is now under “attack”. You can believe what you want to believe, and you can practice that belief in your church (as long as your not harming anyone else), you just can’t expect that the State will make everyone else submit to your religious beliefs… we separate church and state in this country.

    Finally, see that having lost the marriage debate some are trying to drag us into the abortion debate but the fact is you’re going to lose that debate as well. The idea that a fertilized human egg is a “person” is an absurdity that would make every womb in the country property of the State and obliterate any coherent concept of privacy. When people see this argument and it’s consequences for what it really is, and they see that it’s more about turning women into second class citizens rather than protecting “life”, they reject it every time in favor of the status quo.

  7. Submitted by John Appelen on 07/04/2015 - 10:36 am.

    Another open minded and tolerant statement from the Left.

    “No one is harmed… period “

    • Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 07/05/2015 - 08:39 am.


      Yet another problem in some quarters is lack of any coherent concept of “tolerance”. As with “religion” and “liberty” a failure to posses a coherent concept simply leads to confused and reactionary responses to imagined insults and assaults.

      When I say: “No one is harmed (by gay marriage)… period” tolerance or lack thereof isn’t actually an issue. This is free country and I’m not the boss of everyone so it goes without saying that you can disagree. My statement may be right or wrong, it may be arrogant or excessive, but it’s not oppressive to anyone in any way, it’s simply a strong and unambiguous response to people making the false claim that gay marriage is “harmful” to someone. I’m not prohibiting anyone from making false statements, I’m just responding to false statements.

      The fact that you live in a country where people have a right to respond to your false claims doesn’t make you a victim of intolerance. The fact that people making such victimhood claims are the most frequent complainers of the culture of “victimhood” is simply an expression of hypocrisy. These “victim” claims also indicate that along with incoherent concepts of religion, liberty, and tolerance, we can add “victim” to the list as well.

      This failure of coherent principles if you will leads to the bizarre conclusion that anyone who responds to intolerance, bigotry, or prejudice with anything other than indifference or acceptance, is oppressing the intolerant, racists, and prejudice’d with intolerance. Presumably we should just just shut up and follow the rules other people make up lest we be accused of “intolerance”.

      • Submitted by John Appelen on 07/05/2015 - 02:53 pm.

        I think that is what the hardware store guy was saying.

        “Presumably we should just just shut up and follow the rules other people make up lest we be accused of “intolerance”.” Paul said…

        “They gladly stand for what they believe in, why can’t I? They believe their way is right, I believe it’s wrong. But yet I’m going to take more persecution than them because I’m standing for what I believe in,” Amyx said.

        Please feel free to resume throwing rocks at each other’s glass house.

        • Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 07/05/2015 - 09:09 pm.

          The hardware store guy?

          Thanks for the example Mr. Appelen. Indeed, here we have a guy who thinks he’s a victim of persecution simply because other people “stand” for THEY believe in. Oh the tyranny of living in a country where people are free to disagree!

          What’s even funnier is when people like this stand in front of cameras, microphones, and journalists and broadcast to the entire nation… their complaint that they’re not being allowed to speak freely!

          So in addition to having no coherent sense of religion, liberty, and intolerance… they have no coherent concept of oppression.

          • Submitted by John Appelen on 07/06/2015 - 12:09 am.

            Irony Wasted

            You say almost the exact same thing as him and then make fun of him.

            It seems you would advise him that he “should just just shut up and follow the rules other people make up lest he be accused of “intolerance”. “

            • Submitted by Matt Haas on 07/06/2015 - 07:10 am.


              He’s telling him to go ahead and say whatever he likes, as he is doing, but quit mislabeling the completely predictable blowback as oppression and intolerance. Freedom of speech protects one from government persecution, not from being labeled a bigot and and a crackpot by your fellow citizens. Its possible that the hardware store owner’s skin is so thin that these accusations wound him emotionally. Its also possible that his hardware store’s margins are such that the negative publicity evoked by his stance could put his livlelihood at peril. These are both really good reasons for him to keep his opinion to himself, but in neither case result from “intolerance” toward, or suppression of, his free speech rights. They are simply the logical consequences of his chosen course of action, as other potential customers and citizens are free to hold their own views and spend their money as they see fit. The choice to offend them is one the hardware store owner freely makes, and one for which he should be expected to suffer the consequences of.

              • Submitted by John Appelen on 07/06/2015 - 03:09 pm.


                I think he would be happy to share his beliefs with his customers and take his chances. It is the mob of LGBT supporters that have their pitchforkers in hand and are storming his castle to destroy the monster that frustrates him.

                The LGBT supporters are angry when homophobes gang up on LGBT folks, yet they are happy to do the reverse. It is interesting.

                • Submitted by Matt Haas on 07/06/2015 - 03:24 pm.

                  Ganging up?

                  By what decree is anyone forced to make peace with anyone with whom they might disagree? The gentleman made a conscious decision to broadcast his bigotry into the public square. Why should I, you, or anyone else feel compelled to hold our tongue, or hold back from any punitive measures deemed necessary to respond to his views. He has no protections from me or anyone else from any non criminal actions that might cause him to reconsider his postion. After all, that’s the implied purpose of his action, to bring about a reversal in opinion towards what he perceives as “immoral” behavior. Why would anyone else’s response to his behavior, deemed no less “immoral” by many, be any less valid.

                  • Submitted by John Appelen on 07/06/2015 - 04:44 pm.


                    “After all, that’s the implied purpose of his action, to bring about a reversal in opinion towards what he perceives as “immoral” behavior.”

                    Actually I think he just wants the freedom to disagree and live by his beliefs, no different than what the same sex couples want.

                    “Why should I, you, or anyone else feel compelled to hold our tongue, or hold back from any punitive measures deemed necessary to respond to his views.”

                    That is likely the same question the LGBT haters ask themselves before they verbally or physical attack some harmless LGBT individual or couple.

                    • Submitted by Matt Haas on 07/06/2015 - 05:30 pm.

                      Live by his beliefs

                      He is free to do so, so long as his actions impact no one but himself. That’s the rub, these folks just can’t seem to understand that the right to their belief ends once they infringe upon someone else’s. If opponents can find an example of how serving glbt folks, in any capacity, has any TANGIBLE, deleterious effect on their person (as opposed to subjective metaphysical ones) they might have a leg to stand on. As it stands the only party being harmed in interactions between the two groups are the ones who just had a portion of that harm rectified. They can shout from the rooftops about how their god requires such and such response, unless their god is the god of both parties involved it’s dictates should have no bearing on the interaction.

                    • Submitted by John Appelen on 07/07/2015 - 08:12 am.


                      Like going to a different baker to buy a cake harms the LGBT couple…

                      You have to be kidding…

                    • Submitted by Pat Berg on 07/07/2015 - 09:47 am.

                      I’m sure you’re capable . . . .

                      of thinking of things in a broader scale.

                      One business deciding not to bake a cake for one couple – yeah, pretty minor.

                      But start multiplying that over a population, and that changes things.

                    • Submitted by John Appelen on 07/07/2015 - 01:44 pm.

                      Majority Matters

                      Now the LGBT supporters keep saying that the majority of citizens support LGBT rights.

                      If this is true what are the odds that the couple can not find a place to buy a nice wedding cake.

                      It is maybe <5% of business owners that would risk alienating the LGBT Supporters. That means >95% are open for business.

                    • Submitted by jason myron on 07/06/2015 - 05:58 pm.

                      No…what he wants

                      is a religious exemption from discrimination laws. He thinks gays are icky and wants to hide behind scripture to keep them away.

  8. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 07/06/2015 - 08:57 am.

    It’s not “conservative” it’s simply daft

    In my defense I’ll point out that I don’t think we’ve drifted off topic with my observations about the incoherent principles of modern American conservatism. I think the heart of Posner’s question to the Supreme Court dissent is the observation that absent demonstrable “harm” to fellow citizens, there’s no coherent constitutional grounds for denying a right to get married. Basically he’s pointing out the fact that while Scalia and Thomas may write a long winded dissent, it’s ultimately incoherent from a Constitutional perspective.

    This brings us to the points I’ve been making in the last few comments, basically the problem isn’t “conservatism” per se. The problem is that modern American conservatives have twisted conservative principles into unrecognizable mumbo jumbo. From “Original Intent” to “Liberty” we have a miasma of rhetorical wreckage. This really isn’t about “conservatives”, it’s simply daft. When the Paul’s, who are supposed to be “Libertarian’s”… i.e. champions of individual liberties; condemn the Civil Rights Act as an assault on liberty, they’re not being conservative, they’re just being daft. The idea that property rights supersede human rights isn’t really a conservative principle, it’s just goofy.

    I think as a nation we need to realize that on a basic level we’re not really dealing with liberal’s vs. conservative’s, we’re dealing with daft, and there’s no working with daft. We need to find a way to get past this and start working with coherent principles again. Of course the conservative delusion that THEY are the only ones with “principles” is simply the icing on this cake of daft absurdity

Leave a Reply