The Arkansas legislature is determined to be solidly the last rank of states in moving to equality for sexual minorities. Here comes chaplain Rep. Kim Hammer to give “freedom of choice” to businesses that provide services for weddings.
When a marriage violates the religious beliefs of a private business, a person authorized to solemnize marriages, or a religious institution, the person, business, or institution may choose to not provide services to the couple.
Call it the No Cakes for Queers Act.
True that it might not apply only for sexual discrimination. A rigid Catholic could, for example, deny a cake for nuptials of divorced people.
Really true believers might refuse to rent tuxes or tents to couples who marry who are unable to procreate because, as many lawsuits against gay marriage argue, marriage is all about the children.
And, of course, some people still believe mixed marriages aren’t sanctioned in their holy guidebooks. This bill couldn’t override federal law on race discrimination. Well, it couldn’t if you recognize the ultimate authority of federal courts. But with Alabama as a guide, Hammer might have different thoughts on that, too.
UPDATE: A reader notes that a business that disapproves of a wedding may refuse services — period — not merely wedding-related services. Say you’re a lesbian couple and hotel rooms are full in a town, if you owned a stable, you could deny a bed on your hay among the livestock if you disapproved of their marriage. No Creche for Queers Act, too, in other words.