Printers have now been dragged into the same-sex war. Similar to photographers and cake decorators, Christian printers have now been targeted by homosexuals who want to prevent them from refusing services to homosexuals against their religious faith.
A Superior Court judge in Arizona has adopted the position that “gay” rights outweigh the First Amendment’s protection for the “free exercise of religion.” The case could add printers and a wide range of other service providers to the list that already includes bakers, photographers and venues being ordered by courts to provide homosexual wedding services even though doing so would violate their owners’ faith.
A Phoenix ordinance specifies that businesses cannot make decisions based on their Christian faith when it comes to homosexual wedding services. The judge refused to order a preliminary injunction against enforcement by the city of Phoenix, in which two artists, at Brush & Nib Studio, are challenging a Phoenix ordinance mandating their participation artistically in “gay” weddings.
In fact, the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights wants to take the matter to a whole new level. A new report from the Commission says that state and federal laws should be changed to provide that “gay” rights “trump the religious rights protected in the Constitution. It even pointed out that the Constitution was hindering what the government wants to impose on religious people.”
The Commission wrote to Barack Obama and said, “Religious exemptions to the protections of civil rights based upon classifications such as race, color, national origin, sex, disability status, sexual orientation, and gender identity, when they are permissible, significantly infringe upon these civil rights.”
It is essentially saying the fault lies with the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause. The Commission believes “overly-broad religious exemptions unduly burden nondiscrimination laws and policies.” It also says that “Federal and state courts, lawmakers, and policy-makers at every level must tailor religious exceptions to civil liberties and civil rights protections as narrowly as applicable law requires.”
Jonathan Scruggs, of the Alliance Defending Freedom, representing the artists, said, “Artists shouldn’t be threatened with jail time and other penalties simply for making art that is consistent with their beliefs. That’s why we asked the court to suspend enforcement of the Phoenix ordinance against our clients while their case goes forward. Because the city must allow artists the freedom to make personal decisions about what art they will and will not create, and because the ordinance’s additional requirement that artists stay quiet about their views is clearly unjust and unlawful, we intend to appeal the court’s decision.”
“The commission’s report is a shameful anti-American and anti-God document that trashes religious freedom,” said Mat Staver, founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel. Staver said the commission’s chairman, Democrat Martin Castro, is “out of touch with reality and with our Constitution… He and the other members of the commission who agree with him want to throw out the First Amendment and trash religious freedom whenever faith and practice collides with an intolerant LGBT agenda,” Staver added. “The report is a declaration of war against religious freedom.”
Commissioner Kirsanow, its only Republican said, “The tension between nondiscrimination and religious liberty is based on the assumption that the rights in conflict are of equal weight, or even that nondiscrimination is of greater weight,” he said. “This assumption is erroneous. Religious liberty is an undisputed constitutional right.”
There have been many instances over the last three years of courts ordering various businesses and religious organizations to provide services for homosexual couples in spite of their religious convictions and in violation of their religious freedom.
Any person of faith knows that religious exercise is about a lot more than freedom of worship. “It’s about the right to dress according to one’s religious dictates, to preach openly, to evangelize, to engage in the public square. Everyone knows that religious Jews keep kosher, religious Quakers don’t go to war, and religious Muslim women wear headscarves – yet ‘freedom of worship’ would protect none of these acts of faith,” said Catholic Online.
“Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot.” Luke 17:28.