In celebration of 4 July 2013, the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) posted on their Facebook Page that “In stark contrast to yesterday’s celebration of our freedom as Americans, Minnesota bakers, wedding planners, and caterers are now being told that they can no longer do business in accordance to their faith beliefs.”
John Milton wrote many a century ago that “None can love freedom heartily, but good men; the rest love not freedom, but licence.”
However, it was Terry Pratchett who wrote something a little, perhaps, better. In his novel “Going Postal”, he wrote “No practical definition of freedom would be complete without the freedom to take the consequences. Indeed, it is the freedom upon which all the others are based.”
The problem with the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) is that they do not love freedom, but licence, and wish to protect those who hate from the consequences of their actions.
Jeremy Hooper at Good As You does a fair job of countering NOM’s statement by saying that:
Okay, let’s break this down. When NOM talks about these wedding-centered businesses doing “business in accordance with their faith beliefs,” what they are really talking about is the supposed right of these shops to arbitrarily pick and choose which kinds of customers meet their morality tests. NOM and its supporters are seeking the freedom to determine that a gay customer and his or her same-sex wedding are too unbiblical for commerce. This is not an overstatement—it is, by their own admission, what they want. They want the freedom to flout nondiscrimination laws (which are independent from marriage) when those laws apply to LGBT citizens and our legal unions/ceremonies.
In truth, what these people want is not just the freedom to ignore the nondiscrimination laws, but rather the freedom to be bigots without taking any consequences. They do not value freedom. They value the ability to hurt other people without consequence for their actions.
Statements like these have been part of the attempt by NOM and others in the Right Wing to try and derail same-sex marriage. They want to keep adding in exemptions to the nondiscrimination laws so that they can continue to be anti-gay even if they are the minority. It would be akin to someone who is anti-Semitic demanding that nondiscrimination laws be written to allow them to use their belief that Jews killed Christ to discriminate against Jews.
NOM will continue this push, and we must counter them when they make them.