‘Old fashioned’ no excuse for bigotry

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Zonia Dedloff of Starbuck asks for a pass on her bigotry because she’s “old fashioned.” Reminds me of the same people who called themselves “old fashioned” when they stood up for racism and inequality and protested interracial marriage and integration only a few decades ago.

How did that end up working out?

Perhaps she and Sens. Mike Hewitt and Sharon Brown would be wise to reconsider their position on the wrong side of history and end the campaign for their discriminatory and bigoted law.

Refusing service based on your antiquated prejudices is not a right — it is unlawful, wrong and un-Christian.

Chandler Briggs

Walla Walla

Comments

namvet60 10 months, 4 weeks ago

WOW - speaking of bigoted - check your letter mister. I guess everyone is to just throw out your values, morals, family traditions and open the door to what ever wants in! Also speaking of un-christian!

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PearlY 10 months, 4 weeks ago

Chandler, you can overcome and defeat bigotry by persuasion, appeal to others' higher nature, logic, example, among others. You can submerge it by economic sanctions like boycotts. What you cannot do is change it by forcing people to live against their convictions in order to peaceably live their lives.

A quick Internet search tells me you are or recently have been working at Welcome Table Farms, which I think sells produce to consumers and restaurants. Imagine if a restaurant was owned by a white supremacist and was a local hangout for the KKK or some similar group. Should your Farm be required by law to serve them, even if doing so offends your conscience? If one of your CSA customers comes to pick up her produce in a car loaded with stickers for the NRA, Mitt Romney, and Pro-Life, should you be allowed to strike her off your list or should the law force you to provide her the same service as anyone else?

Do you believe the people who own your business abandoned their rights to a conscience when they took out a business license? Or is your conscience at the disposal of a majority vote: whomever the majority despises, you'll spit on, and whomever the majority approves of, you'll demand be respected?

People on the wrong side of history will lose in the long run, whether they're right or wrong. In the meantime, let them live their lives in peace. You aren't entitled to remake them in your own image, no matter how superior you believe that to be.

A florist who refuses to arrange the flowers for a gay wedding is not depriving anyone of anything they have a right to demand. She's not their slave or their indentured servant. She was fine providing them flowers, until they asked her to help them do something she disapproves of - get married. What if she disapproved of marriage altogether, and refused to arrange for ANY wedding? Should she be forced to?

The intolerance and rage on the Left against anyone who disagrees with them is a sight to behold. One can almost understand how things like gulags, purges and killing fields develop when Leftists become too frustrated. Anyone who disagrees with them doesn't even rate as human, in their eyes. Chandler, get a grip before that happens to you.

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Kevconpat 10 months, 3 weeks ago

I too have old fashioned values. I treat people fairly and equally; heck even with a smile! I practice this daily at work. I don't have a litmus test to sense out, nor do I care- if they're from a certain political persuasion, religion or heavens forbid-sexual orientation! My old fashioned values flow forth from my upbringing and my life's experiences... I just hope to make a persons experience with me positive, whether it be at Macy's where I work or when they walk by our yard as I tend to my garden or construct my fence. It is quite likely I have assisted and helped people that write in letters to the editor. Maybe even you, or Zonia. Perhaps even Chandler. My parents instilled into me and my siblings to treat others as we wished to be treated; teaching through example. Beyond this I fully understand and accept some people will have differences about others they don't understand - even fear. Look, I'm 'Kevin'. Mark is my trusted and loved companion'. We are married. We're trying to get through life together-responsibly. Before all else we are American citizens deserving equality... nothing more. If this puts us and say- Chandler Briggs in your category of Intolerant Raging Leftists, then so be it. This is your opinion. I am Christian and I respectfully disagree with your assessment. Get to know me, you might just be surprised how much we have in common. Being 'gay' is my orientation, being Kevin and an involved citizen of Walla Walla and the human community is who I am.

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PearlY 10 months, 3 weeks ago

Kevin, we have far more in common than you think. For one thing, we both are quite comfortable with the idea of gay people getting married.

Where we disagree is on whether people who don't feel the same way as we do should be forced to either violate their consciences by participating in the celebration of a gay marriage or give up their livelihoods. You think the law should compel that choice; I don't.

Although I'm an atheist myself and no theologian, your position seems the less Christian of the two and very intolerant. You may believe that you treat people fairly and equally, but in fact, what you want the law to do to Arlene (the florist) is not fair at all, and shows that you have put her in a "lesser human" category for no other reason than that she has expressed disapproval of your chosen marital situation .

I don't have to agree with Arlene, or with Zonia, about gay marriage to respect that they have a right to their own beliefs about it, and they have a right to act on those beliefs within their own lives, including their businesses. Because I respect that those are THEIR lives and THEIR businesses.

May I humbly suggest that the real difference between you and me rests there: You don't share that respect for them as human beings who, just like you, should be able to live their lives without being forced to submerge who they really are and what they really believe. You want that for yourself and Mark, but not for Arlene and Zonia. I want it for all of you. That's the difference between us.

(By the way, I don't put you in the category of raging leftist, like Chandler. Intolerant, though, unfortunately, yes. But maybe because you really haven't thought it through I can hope!)

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Kevconpat 10 months, 3 weeks ago

PearlY, Guess we'll agree and disagree. EVERYONE has the right to their core beliefs, religious based or not. - A law was passed through legislative process and approved through referendum by a vote of the public. There starts this collision of conscious. I can feel the frustration in the heart of the florist. She believes her core religious belief is being trampled on. The gay couple believe their civil rights are violated. Now what? In my opinion I believe the couples civil rights are being violated since the florist refused them service which would not have been the case had they been heterosexual. So now, is the civil rights of the florist being denigrated by-law? Perhaps........' All of our beliefs and opinions aside......... this will be settled once again in a court action. Finally, get this please! She has her right to her beliefs! My belief happens to be opposite hers; concerning public accommodation. This is where we differ. As for Zonia, She has expressed her opinion and I feel she is bigoted. By the way I have no problem with anyone being a non Christian or even atheist.

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PearlY 10 months, 3 weeks ago

I understand where you're coming from, but how is it a civil right to have your wedding flowers arranged by one particular florist who doesn't want to do it? And how do you know she would not also have refused to participate in some heterosexual marriages, such as a polygamous one or one where she knew one participant was a serial abuser, or where the bride was being coerced by an authoritarian cult, for instance? Do you contend she shouldn't have a right to refuse service under those circumstances?

Only by the most remote stretch of the imagination could her actions interfere with interstate commerce so forcefully as to deprive that gay couple of meaningful participation in society.

I agree Zonia is bigoted, but pretty much anyone who holds to a particular religious belief is going to fit that definition; as a Christian, I assume you hold to the pronouncements of Jesus Christ, which are reported to include this statement: "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."

That's a pretty exclusionary statement and if someone repeated that to me whom I did not believe to be divine or if I was a believer of a different faith, I would frankly consider it pretty bigoted, if I went in for judging people that way. So what? You're obviously bigoted against people who disapprove of gay marriage. That doesn't make you a bad person, just an opinionated and stubborn one. (So am I.) It certainly doesn't mean you should be sued or deprived of your livelihood.

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barracuda 10 months, 3 weeks ago

We have this way of doing business on national levels, too.... How can a very large Bank chain disqualify people from doing business with them because they don't like their way of life? It is called choices! If you don't like a TV channel, stop watching that channel, don't sue to make the channel show programs that YOU want to see. If you don't like a car dealer, buy elsewhere. If you don't like the Catholic Church's teachings, find a Church that is comfortable for you. If your job is not what you want, look for a new one, and leave! If your gas station attendant is not doing his job, go somewhere else to buy gas. If a local diner/watering hole is serving young, noisy and loud teenagers, and it's not right for you, do you come back again, I am guessing not, next time, you are going to eat somewhere else.
.

My point is this.... If enough people quit shopping at this flower shop, she will close, (although rumors have it she got a boost in customers). She relies on customers and their money. Her "blood, sweat and tears" are in this shop, she has a right to operate it accordingly. Just like Chase Bank is needing customers money, but disqualifying people for their job and it income is they're right! Just pull your money out and change Banks! (Google... Chase Bank and Porn stars). And I bet there is some very heavy weight "leagle Eagles" trying to find out how the stop Chase Banks from doing this practice, but so far, the Chase is winning the battle!

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namvet60 10 months, 3 weeks ago

I will state this again (although I know PearlY doesn't agree) but the flower shop gal should bring suit against the state for there lawsuit because according to federal law there's not discrimination involved it is only right to refuse service. Same-sex marriage is not legal under federal laws so that would nullify the lawsuit by the state. As I have stated in the past federal law supersedes state law.

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PearlY 10 months, 3 weeks ago

The federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) doesn't say what you think it says. It doesn't ban same-sex marriages, it just says the federal government agencies won't recognize them, and that one state need not recognize a same-sex marriage entered into in another state. It completely allows individual states to approve same-sex marriages, and that fact was explicitly stated by its sponsors in Congress. Any competent lawyer would tell Arlene not to waste her money suing on those grounds. There might be other valid grounds to sue, but not that one.

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namvet60 10 months, 3 weeks ago

Thank you - I stand corrected.

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loplover 10 months, 3 weeks ago

This is an area where state law trumps federal law. States are not compelled by federal law to include gender orientation as a protected class, and some don't. Washington, in my opinion fortunately, has made that decision, and while I do have some mixed feelings about a florist and a wedding not being the same as a lunch counter, I agree with the law.

I think the person who called Hewitt's office had a very good question: What about rural areas where, without a law requiring service to gays and lesbians, there quite literally might not be anywhere they could eat, shop, rent an apartment, buy a home, or get a job? Walla Walla's not quite that intolerant, but I've lived in slightly more rural parts of eastern Washington, and most of northern Idaho, where that is absolutely a possibility. In very small towns, like perhaps Pomeroy and places north of Clarkston, all community life revolves around the churches, most of which are extremely fundamentalist. Even if people wanted to say, offer a job to someone openly gay---or just that they perceived as gay---the rest of the community would approach that person or business and tell them something to the effect: "We really don't want "those people" here, and if you give them a job, let them open a bank account, (fill in the blank) then they might stay. So better just not to." Usually part of the spiel includes "I'm not prejudiced but..." and then the name of jay-sus is brought into the picture as well as a warning that allowing "one of them" will open the floodgates to an uncontrollable horde.

For those of you who didn't live in this area a generation ago, or haven't had to cod freeze-out that a rural area can give to a person who belongs to a "group" they don't like, this was quite common that long ago, not just to gays and lesbians, but to non-whites, non-Anglos, and non-christians. Would that all have changed without the discrimination laws? Maybe eventually, but it would have taken much longer, and there would still be little towns in parts of the state where gay people feared for their life, as they still do in many parts of the south, Texas, and other places where religion is used to justify far worse things than refusing to do flowers for a gay wedding.

It's the camel and tent phenomenon: Giving someone permission to refuse to do business with a selected group, especially adding religiosity into the mix is the camel's nose, and hanging people on fences to die is his tail.

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namvet60 10 months, 3 weeks ago

This sounds like a rather bigoted post? As if all discrimination is against non-white individuals? If you lived in a state that passed same-sex marriage laws would you move to a state that did not recognize that status? Are the standard answers that Whites are the only bigoted people? Are Christians the only bigots?

Get a life!

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PearlY 10 months, 3 weeks ago

Yes, it is problematic that in smaller communities, bigotry could make normal life very difficult for openly gay people, at least in theory. There's no question that racial discrimination in the South before the 1960s, and especially before WWII, was horrendous.

But surely there are people in your life you don't like, for whatever reason. Not because of their group identity, perhaps, but because of their politics, their personalities, their habits, whatever. Surely that doesn't mean you want to see them hung on fences to die, much less that you will go out and do it yourself.

"Giving someone permission" to do business with whomever they choose is not an incitement to murder; if it were, why do we not require permission for choosing your friends? In a free country, permission from the government is not required to choose your friends, nor should it be required to choose your business associates. Yes, that will give some people the freedom to demonstrate that they are moral jackasses, but I just don't see it as a civil right to be protected from the knowledge that moral jackassery exists.

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Kevconpat 10 months, 2 weeks ago

Yes 'jackassery' surely does exist, and on this I totally agree. Ignore the bastards or at least do not elevate them to 'stardom'.

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barracuda 10 months, 2 weeks ago

A lot of attitude in here...........

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