Hendricks County Flyer, Avon, IN

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March 12, 2014

Giving businesses choice is not legalizing discrimination

(Continued)

The National Football League threatened to change the location of next year’s Super Bowl, scheduled for the University of Phoenix Stadium.

The Hispanic National Bar Association announced it would not hold its 40th annual convention, scheduled for September 2015, in Phoenix.

Multiple business leaders wrote frantic letters to Brewer, begging her to veto the bill so the state’s economy wouldn’t crash.

All because of a proposal that would allow every business owner the freedom to do what David Cooley is doing.

The same sort of dangerous absurdity is on display in Colorado, where a baker faces imprisonment because he declined to bake a wedding cake for a gay couple, in a state where gay marriage isn’t even legal.

Obviously, Jack Phillips is not the only baker in Colorado. The couple could easily have gotten a cake from another vendor. Given the reach of today’s social media, they could have hurt Phillips economically by going on a site like Yelp and giving his bakery a scathing review. That’s the way the market is supposed to work.

But, instead, a judge has ordered Phillips to provide a service the couple could easily obtain elsewhere. Understand, this is not institutional discrimination. It has no connection — none — to shameful acts like requiring blacks to ride in the back of municipal buses.

I recall, not long ago, when my gay and lesbian friends were arguing for “tolerance.” Now, the demand is for endorsement.

Instead of gays being in the closet, those who disagree with them are being forced into the closet, lest they face economic damage or even prison.

Is that really what the gay rights movement wants to be about?

— Taylor Armerding is an independent columnist. Contact him at t.armerding@verizon.net.

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