Archives December 2012

Good On Ya for Standing Up for Your Principles. Now Go Away.

A business owner in Annapolis has found that his deeply-held convictions are about to come into conflict with the law, and rather than give up his principles, he’s going to, if not close up shop, then at least scale back shop:

An Annapolis company whose old-fashioned trolleys are iconic in the city’s wedding scene has abandoned the nuptial industry rather than serve same-sex couples.

The owner of Discover Annapolis Tours said he decided to walk away from $50,000 in annual revenue instead of compromising his Christian convictions when same-sex marriages become legal in Maryland in less than a week. And he has urged prospective clients to lobby state lawmakers for a religious exemption for wedding vendors.

(Source: Washington Post.)

This seems as clear a case I can imagine of a business owner having to choose between money and bigotry. He chose bigotry. I wish him the best of luck in not getting hit in the ass by the door on the way out.

As far as can make out, he’s not actually shutting down his business. He’s just pulling his business out (heh-heh) of the wedding business.

In case anyone’s wondering why he can’t just pick and choose his customers:

“If they’re providing services to the public, they can’t discriminate who they provide their services to,” said Glendora Hughes, general counsel for the Maryland Commission on Civil Rights. The commission enforces public accommodation laws that prohibit businesses from discriminating on the basis of race, sexual orientation and other characteristics.

If your business is open to the public, it’s open to the public, not just to those parts of the public that you approve of. If a state passes a law saying “Jews and black people can shop anywhere that gentiles and white people can”, that’s great, but if you then add “unless the shop owner doesn’t feel like it”, that makes the law meaningless.

Predictably, the owner of Discover Annapolis Tours, Matt Grubbs, has his defenders:

Frank Schubert, the political strategist who ran campaigns against same-sex marriage in Maryland and three other states this year, said opponents predicted collateral damage from legalizing same-sex unions.

“This is exactly what happens,” Schubert said, adding that religious liberty is “right in the crosshairs of this debate. . . . The law doesn’t protect people of faith. It simply doesn’t.”

The first thing I note is that “religious liberty” here is used the same way as “states’ rights” in discussing the US Civil War: then, the states’ right in question was the right to own slaves. Here, the religious liberty at issue is the right to discriminate against gay people.

The second thing I note is the phrase “people of faith”. There’s just so much unthinking privilege packed into those three words. There’s the assumption that faith is a Good Thing; that believing things just ‘cos is something worth defending. And then there’s the assumption that all “people of faith” must agree with his views. I can name any number of self-professed “people of faith” who’d disagree with him.

Still, I suppose it could’ve been worse. At least Grubbs is complying with the law, rather than, say, suing for the right to discriminate. All the same: buh-bye.

Religious Righties Have Trouble With the Irony. And the Facebook. And the Truth.

(Via Right Wing Watch.)

This post at pro-life site highlights this video:

The video shows a woman with bruises and cuts on her face. She shows how to use makeup and accessories to cover up the fact that she was beaten. The video ends by saying “65% of women who suffer domestic violence keep it hidden. Don’t cover it up.”

The video, which uses the irony that kids today seem to appreciate, is by the British anti-domestic-violence organization Refuge. Planned Parenthood has nothing to do with it, as far as I know. They just chose to link to it on their Planned Parenthood for Teens Facebook page.

So far, so good. even says as much. Where Life News’s article goes off the rails, is

The video is from a legitimate organization in the UK that fights domestic violence. But the way Planned Parenthood headlines it—with “How to look your best the morning after,” teens are mislead by Planned Parenthood into the cover up mentality. On the anti-domestic violence site, the video is introduced with the headline: “Don’t cover it up.” That headline makes a world of difference to young teens who run across the video.

(emphasis added.)

Ah, so maybe Planned Parenthood didn’t watch the video to the end, didn’t realize that it was ironic, and thought that their readers would really and sincerely appreciate some advice on how to cover up their beatings, rather than doing something to stop them. So what did Planned Parenthood for Teens write about the video?

A recent study showed that almost 1 in 10 high school students has been hit, slapped or physically hurt on purpose by a boyfriend or girlfriend in the last 12 months. Watch this video and tell us in the comments what you would do if Lauren was your best friend.

Below that are the things you normally get when you link to a YouTube video from Facebook: the title and description as they appear on YouTube. The title “How to look your best the morning after” was chosen by the uploader, not by Planned Parenthood.

But I guess it’s too much to expect Life News to understand that, or to accuse Planned Parenthood of a position that no one in the history of compassion has ever adopted. It would apparently also be too much to expect Life News to link to the actual post so that people could see for themselves (perhaps they realize that doing so would undermine their point).

And given how Life News didn’t exactly go out of its way—or even get up off the metaphorical sofa—to make this easy to find, perhaps its readers can be forgiven for just believing the article and launching accusations against Planned Parenthood without checking them out:

Perhaps. But perhaps not.

See also Twitchy’s article. I don’t know enough about Twitchy to know whether this is serious, sarcastic, or merely unfiltered, but they do have links to lots of tweets by people who didn’t stop to get basic facts first. Actually, I’m leaning toward right-wing nutbaggery, because the Sarcasm-O-Meter isn’t twitching, and because of passages like:

But the way Planned Parenthood framed it, the message is just the opposite: “You probably had it coming, girls. May as well try to doll yourselves up afterward.” Appalling.

At the bottom of the page, the author of the piece is outraged—outraged, I tell you!—that PP would dare to tell teenaged girls that yes, their labia are normal.

It’s too bad that whichever edition of the Bible these people are using doesn’t seem to have anything about “do not bear false witness against your neighbor”.