Joanna Duka and Breanna Koski thought they lived in a free countrydeadpans Benny Huang.
The two Arizona small business owners make custom artwork for hire. They are also devout Christians. After hearing about nondiscrimination laws in other locales being used as weapons against people of faith, they began to realize how vulnerable they are. Their city, Phoenix, has a private sector nondiscrimination law covering “sexual orientation,” which is coded language for sexual conduct. Seeing that it was only a matter of time before the LGBT community decided to ambush them in the same way it did Colorado baker Jack Phillips, they decided to file suit against the city. The Arizona Supreme Court will hear their case in January.
As crazy as it sounds, violations of this law are punishable by hard time. That’s right — not making custom artwork for sham same-sex weddings is a crime so heinous that it can result in actual confinement. Every day that a violator persists in her violation carries a penalty of six months in prison.
I can just imagine these two ladies in a rough prison block filled with beefy, tattooed lesbians, who I am sure will be kind to them for what they have done for the “LGBT community.” The conversations would be comical. “What are you in for?” “Not making wedding invitations.” “No, seriously. All joking aside, what are you in for?”
The law in question runs roughshod over at least three provisions of the U.S. Constitution — free speech, free exercise of religion, and the prohibition on involuntary servitude — not to mention Arizona’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Come January, it ought to be eviscerated. Time will tell.
Duka and Koski seem to be hanging their hats on a free speech argument. For some reason, courts seem more sympathetic to those pleas, despite free speech and free exercise of religion having apparent equal footing in the Constitution. The women claim that they serve all customers but won’t use their talents to make artwork for all events.
Not that it matters to me. Their argument is sound, but a broader argument against all private sector nondiscrimination would be equally sound. Such laws are brutal, un-American, and unconstitutional.
Private sector nondiscrimination laws have an ugly history. No, there was never a time when they were “needed,” not even in the 1960s. Such laws were unconstitutional then, are now, and will be until such time as the Left repeals the amendments that they fervently despise.
Examples abound. …
… I’ve always wondered what the point of these laws is, besides aggressive thought reform. If a person doesn’t want to live with, say, a Lithuanian-American, why would a Lithuanian-American want to live with someone who hates him? I’ve never received a satisfactory answer to that question.
… Even Jack Phillips, the Colorado baker who won a Supreme Court case against homosexual bullies, isn’t immune from these kind of harassment lawsuits. Soon after his case was taken up, a transgender “woman” sued him for refusing to make a “gender transition” cake for his big revelation. In Phillips’s previous case, he was accused of discriminating because he willingly made wedding cakes for opposite-sex couples but not for same-sex couples. That’s blatant discrimination, right?
No. But even if it were, I wouldn’t care.
Phillips argued that he made cakes for all customers but not all occasions. But where is the parallel to transgenders? Was he willing to make cakes for “gender staying-the-same” parties but unwilling to make cakes for “gender transition parties?” This is insane.
… Private sector nondiscrimination laws are anathema to our way of life. They do not enhance freedom in any sense of the word. They limit agency, property rights, and our constitutional protections. They are the weapons of bullies, and frankly, I don’t want bullies to have weapons. Tear them all down.