Ruth Institute: Photographing Gay Weddings Like Tattooing a Swastika
By Tim Peacock
The Ruth Institute seems to be doing a take-two in their “how can we best use social media to disenfranchise the LGBT community” effort. Rather than post a picture with blatantly misspelled words making scientifically questionable arguments, they’re now conflating public accommodation laws protecting LGBT people to being forced to “condone” Nazism.
According to the new ominously-shaded picture, “A tattoo artist should not be forced to put a swastika on an Aryan Nation guy. A Christian photographer should not be forced to photograph a same sex marriage.”
Conservative anti-gay organizations seem to love making LGBT-Nazi comparisons but are wont to avoid making more common public accommodation comparisons that truly stack up. For instance, would the Ruth Institute fight for a business owner’s right not to tattoo a black person or a disabled person? Public accommodation laws protect traditionally disenfranchised minority groups in the public square – not ideologies particular groups may have (such as the desire to be a Nazi).
I mention race in the context of the conversation since Jim Crow laws were formerly the focus of similar conservative efforts not so long ago using identically-phrased arguments. In fact, the Ruth Institute even went so far as to make comparisons between slavery and LGBT rights recently.
The fact is this: if you operate a for-profit business open to the public square, you must offer the same services to all customers without regard to protected minority status. If you offer wedding photography, for instance, you have to offer it to everyone that legally marries – not a select group of people. Just as you cannot deny services because of someone’s race, in many places (that now include LGBT status in their public accommodation laws) you cannot deny based on sexual orientation either.
Stay classy, Ruth Institute.
[H/T Good As You]