I Oppose Gay Marriage. Should I Still Be Able to Get a Job?
by Katrina Trinko, Heritage Foundation Daily Signal, April 2, 2015
Amid the uproar over the state’s religious freedom law, Crystal O’Connor, owner of Memories Pizza in Walkerton, Ind., told a local ABC News affiliate, “If a gay couple came in and wanted us to provide pizzas for their wedding, we would have to say no.”
The owners were clear they serve LGBT customers outside of a gay wedding. “If a gay couple or a couple belonging to another religion came in to the restaurant to eat, they would never deny them service,” reported the ABC affiliate.
But that’s not good enough.
“Oh, and if you believe this review isn’t a review because I’ve never been to this pizzeria, I have been. We’ve all been. It was called Auschwitz,” wrote Lenore C. on Yelp.
“Die in a pizza fire, haters! If you’re going to hate, you don’t deserve love in any form. No love from your neighbors, your “god”, or my wallet. You don’t deserve to live in the united states, and you most certainly don’t deserve to own a business!” wrote A.R., also on Yelp.
Is this the path Americans—whether for or against legalizing gay marriage—want to go down?
Memories Pizza isn’t an isolated incident. Last year, Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich was forced to step down, after a heated campaign against him because he had donated in support of California’s Proposition 8, which held that marriage was between a man and a woman. In January, Atlanta Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran was fired after an uproar over passages in his self-published book that denounced homosexual actions.
Neither Eich or Cochran was accused of discrimination against LGBT Americans. “I never saw any kind of behavior or attitude from him that was not in line with Mozilla’s values of inclusiveness,” said Mozilla executive chairwoman Mitchell Baker of Eich in 2014. Cochran told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution “city officials told him that their investigation showed ‘zero’ instances where he had discriminated against anybody as chief.”
But this isn’t about actual discrimination, apparently. It’s about demanding all Americans support gay marriage.
Yes, polling shows increased support for gay marriage in recent years. (Converts include President Obama. Why was it not bigoted to vote for him in 2008, again?) But polling also shows a significant chunk of Americans remain opposed. An NBC/Wall Street Journal poll released earlier this month showed about a third of Americans oppose gay marriage.
But this isn’t about the numbers. It’s about whether we want to exclude from jobs Americans—including yes, myself—who don’t support same-sex marriage. It’s about whether we want to force businesses to either support same-sex marriage or potentially face fines and/or being forced to shut down
According to a February poll, that’s not what most Americans want. Fifty-seven percent of Americans thought wedding-related businesses with religious concerns should be allowed to refuse providing service to same-sex couples, while 39 percent thought they shouldn’t.
Of course, Americans should be able to choose which businesses they patronize—and which they don’t. But do we really want to make supporting gay marriage a litmus test for every business owner and employee?
Do we really want to make Americans afraid to say they oppose same-sex marriage for fear it will lead to being fired or threatened?
The likely closing of Memories Pizza—although the over $150K raised for the O’Connors in fundraising site GoFundMe from supporters suggests they will have financial support for what they do next—isn’t a win for gay marriage advocates (some of whom believe in religious freedom for all Americans, including those who oppose same-sex marriage.) It’s a win for bullies—and for those who seek to impose their own beliefs on everyone else. And it’s a loss for the rest of us.