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Homosexual marriage threatens religious freedom

By Scott Tibbs, December 16, 2013

The most worrying aspect of state recognition of homosexual marriage is one that few people discuss - the loss of religious liberty that is inevitable from it. Once the civil magistrate recognizes homosexual unions as a "marriage" we will see more anti-discrimination lawsuits and complaints to government agencies when homosexual couples are refused service by Christian business owners based on their Biblical commitments.

We have seen this in Colorado and New Mexico, where Christian business owners face punishment by state government for refusing to provide flowers or a wedding cake for a homosexual couple. We have seen this in the United Kingdom, where Christian owners of a bed and breakfast have been punished by the state for refusing to rent a room to a homosexual couple based on their Biblical commitments.

In a free society, business should be able to choose who they serve and customers should be able to choose which business they patronize. Freedom of association necessarily includes the freedom not to associate, and it is not the role of government to mandate business serve anyone or that customers patronize certain businesses. If anyone is forcing morality on others, it is militant homosexuals who demand government force Christian business owners to participate in the sin of homosexuality.

Some people who are ignorant of history claim this is identical to "Jim Crow" laws of the Old South. That is not the case, because this is exactly the opposite of "Jim Crow" laws. Those laws enforced racial segregation, restricting the liberty of both white and black citizens alike, though they were specifically designed to oppress blacks. Allowing people to patronize what business they choose and allowing business to serve what customers they choose is the essence of liberty.

For those unhappy with the choices businesses make, the free market provides a remedy. Customers refused by one business can patronize and give money to a different one. Word of mouth (more powerful than ever today because of social media) can publicized a business' decisions and allow people to make their own decisions. Business owners will stay in business or not depending on the choices they make.

What makes this critical is that religious freedom is also at stake. No business owner should be forced by government to choose between his faith and his livelihood. This nation was a sanctuary for oppressed Christians fleeing persecution by the state, and we should not turn our back on that heritage in order to bow to the false god of Political Correctness.