ESPN host on Arizona’s religious freedom bill: What’s next, gays wearing yellow stars?

posted at 2:41 pm on February 27, 2014 by Allahpundit

Via NRO, a video exclamation point on the self-congratulatory hysteria that characterized the latest panic. Ace once described behavior like this as “moral peacocking”; by going Godwin so quickly, Tony K wants to be sure you know that he’s got bigger, brighter feathers than you. I don’t watch “Pardon the Interruption” so I can only imagine the heights of indignation that he reaches when the subject of “Redskins” comes up — although, in that case, at least he was ahead of the curve. For others, the transition from not regarding a particular practice as unjust to acknowledging that it’s unjust to ostentatiously quaking with rage at a mere accusation of related injustice seems to get shorter all the time.

David Harsanyi sums up where I am on all this:

Now, it’s not my business — or his — to parse the beliefs of people or bore into their souls, any more than it’s the business of believers to explain how my atheism works. (Though, I should mention, that most e-mails reacting to my non-belief from social conservatives over the years have only gently attempted to persuade me that God loves me, while most e-mails reacting to my defense of religious freedom have speculated on my furtive bigotry and intolerance.) What the media should have been parsing was the bill itself – a bill that I suspect Fournier and others in the negligent media didn’t take the time to read…

I’ve been writing pro-gay marriage posts since I became a columnist at the Denver Post a decade ago. And though I don’t believe any of those columns or interviews with many gay Coloradans made much of a difference in the world, I do realize I was exceedingly gullible in believing that any group would be content simply being “left alone.” It’s clear that coexisting doesn’t only mean having the freedom to take part in the civil institution of marriage, but it also means compelling others into participation and acceptance.

Ilya Shapiro, another libertarian who supports legal gay marriage, did in fact read the bill. It’s essentially the same bill as the one that the federal government, under Bill Clinton, adopted 20 years ago, except this one would apply to private lawsuits too:

SB 1062 does nothing more than align state law with the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act (which passed the House unanimously, the Senate 97-3, and was signed by President Clinton in 1993). That is, no government action can “substantially burden” religious exercise unless the government uses “the least restrictive means” to further a “compelling interest.” This doesn’t mean that people can “do whatever they want” – laws against murder would still trump religious human sacrifice – but it would prevent the government from forcing people to violate their religion if that can at all be avoided. Moreover, there’s no mention of sexual orientation (or any other class or category)…

This isn’t the Jim Crow South; there are plenty of wedding photographers – over 100 in Albuquerque – and bakeries who would be willing to do business regardless of sexual orientation, and no state is enforcing segregation laws. I bet plenty of Arizona businesses would and do see more customers if they advertised that they welcomed the LGBT community.

I bet so too. Nearly every harangue about Arizona in this debate, Kornheiser’s included, claims the state is notoriously stubborn in resisting social change, but that’s contradicted by the polling. According to the Arizona Republic last year, a clear majority of 55 percent support legalizing gay marriage. Dozens of states, not just Arizona, include no provision for gays in their public accommodation laws. And yet here’s Kornheiser stammering about the prospect of Michael Sam not being able to buy a ticket to the Super Bowl in a case where the NFL intervened heavily to kill Arizona’s bill. That’s the point — market forces are already on the side of gay rights, so the risk of gays not getting served absent a new law is already minimal. Frankly, if, like me, Harsanyi, and Shapiro, you support gay marriage and want to make it easier for opponents to accept it, the worst thing you can do is pick a needless fight over religious liberty at an instant when the momentum’s entirely on your side. Let the believers refuse service if they want; some of them will serve you anyway in the interest of their bottom line and others who refuse service now will come around in time. The less people have to fear from gay marriage becoming legal, the easier it’ll be to make it happen — if, that is, that’s the goal. If this is really about some sort of cultural revenge on people who are anti-gay, then I’ve been as gullible as Harsanyi.

By the way, before you watch the clip, read this post by Jon Swerens on the media’s “ooooopsi” approach to moral panics and try to identify which phase Kornheiser’s at. He’s the fifth “O,” right?

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Bmore on February 28, 2014 at 9:17 AM

I wish the sports guys would stick to talking about sports. Their moral indignation is boring. I don’t care if one of them who lives in AZ talks about moving somewhere else because of all the perceived discrimination in state where he lives. We’ll see how long it takes for the moving van to be packed up. The regime won’t leave us one small place to be free of the political agenda it seems.

Kissmygrits on February 28, 2014 at 9:19 AM

Kornheiser merely confirmed what many have long suspected.

tommyboy on February 28, 2014 at 9:22 AM

We understand that identical twins are identical genetically. Thus if one twin engages in homosexuality and the other does not, the origin of the behavior cannot be genetic.

So simple, even a liberal can understand it.

So, Rebar, what age were you when you chose to be straight?

everdiso on February 28, 2014 at 11:19 AM

So, Rebar, what age were you when you chose to be straight normal?

everdiso on February 28, 2014 at 11:19 AM

tommyboy on February 28, 2014 at 12:18 PM

So, Rebar, what age were you when you chose to be straight?

everdiso on February 28, 2014 at 11:19 AM

Why don’t you ask one of your fellow Obama Party puppets?

Prior to meeting Mr. de Blasio, Ms. McCray identified as a lesbian and had several long-term relationships with other women. In a seven-page essay she wrote for the September 1979 issue of Essence magazine entitled “I am a Lesbian” she frankly discussed her sexuality and expressed gratitude that she came to terms with her preference for women before marrying a man.

“I survived the tears, the isolation and the feeling that something was terribly wrong with me for loving another woman” Ms. McCray wrote. “Coming to terms with my life as a lesbian has been easier for me than it has been for many. Since I don’t look or dress like the typical bulldagger, I have a choice as to whether my sexual preference is known.”

She added, “I have also been fortunate because I discovered my preference for women early, before getting locked into a traditional marriage and having children.”

northdallasthirty on February 28, 2014 at 1:20 PM

Apropos of nothing, perhaps…

About a year ago, while still living in Chicago, I had occasion to fly out here to Los Angeles on business. While a guest at a hotel near LAX, I decided against paying the exorbitant mini bar prices, and set off for the cab stand, in hopes of finding a nearby liquor store.

Having informed the first cabbie of my mission, he informed me in no uncertain terms that his religion forbade him from transporting alcohol.

This was repeated no less than three more times before I finally found a fellow infidel willing to assist me in my quest for a reasonably priced bottle of Stoli and a pack of Newports.

As a rational thinking being, I was not the least bit offended, nor even the slightest bit perturbed, realizing, as most rational thinking people do, that it was their cab, and as such their prerogative to pass on not only the fare, but the $20 gratuity I paid on top of that for being driven a grand total of six miles.

God bless America. And capitalism.

Vote Republican, because broke, outraged and stupid is no way to go through life.

Eric in Hollywood on February 28, 2014 at 2:24 PM

For the most part, I agree with you, but if there are a limited number of medallions, then it might make sense for medallion granters to favor people who aren’t predisposed to restricting passengers’ travels. That being said, I’m certainly willing to discuss issues surrounding the issue of medallion regulations.

Bakers and florists certainly aren’t limited by government backed medallions.

That really does have f*ck-all to do with anything.

A few cabbies elect to deny me a ride because they say their religious principles forbid them from transporting alcohol, and I’m totally cool with it. If you’re going to try to ignore the inherent simplicity and beauty of that exchange, well, that’s also your prerogative.

But at least try to make sense. That’s just common decency.

Eric in Hollywood on February 28, 2014 at 4:59 PM

I’m certainly willing to discuss issues surrounding the issue of medallion regulations.

blink on February 28, 2014 at 3:07 PM

Well, how nice for you.

I’m not, as I thought you would have gathered from my post.

Eric in Hollywood on February 28, 2014 at 5:00 PM

People still listen to this guy?

Monday Night Football with Tony. Epic fail.

NoPain on February 28, 2014 at 6:00 PM

blink on February 28, 2014 at 6:07 PM

It doesn’t make sense to me what medallion regulations in the city of Los Angeles have to do with whether or not a cabbie chooses to drive me to a liquor store, and how that is any different than a baker choosing not to bake a cake for a gay wedding.

Eric in Hollywood on February 28, 2014 at 6:14 PM

Hate Speech by Anti-Gay Bigot
By Senator Ted Kennedy

Editor’s Note: This is the text of Senator Ted Kennedy’s opening statement before the Committee on the Judiciary at the hearing on the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, September 18, 1992, the model for the Arizona law which has been so controversial.

The Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which Senator Hatch and I, and 23 other Senators have introduced, would restore the compelling interest test for evaluating free exercise claims. It would do so by establishing a statutory right that adopts the stand­ards previously, used by the Supreme Court. In essence, the act codifies the requirement for the Government to demonstrate that any law burdening the free exercise of religion is essential to fur­thering a compelling governmental interest and is the least restric­tive means of achieving that interest.

INC on February 28, 2014 at 6:47 PM

Sports broadcasting has become the equivalent of a sort of universal PMSNBC, with sissy commentators taking the place of preening liberal women. Rick Telander at the Chicago Sun-Times jerked himself all over the pages of their worthless tabloid rag over the Arizona story; what do these sissies think they get out of this circle jerk?

Jaibones on February 28, 2014 at 10:10 PM


“The less people have to fear from gay marriage becoming legal, the easier it’ll be to make it happen”

Social cons are not opposed to Same sex marriage because we are afraid of it becoming legal. We just believe that it will be bad for society and culture by redefining what marriage means.

wakey74 on March 2, 2014 at 9:23 PM

For the history deficient, including the author: In Nazi Germany, homosexuals were forced to wear pink triangles.

RobBert on March 2, 2014 at 9:24 PM

Kornheiser or cornholio?

potvin on March 3, 2014 at 11:25 AM