Opinion: LGBT protections force businesses to choose between the law and their beliefs

With regard to LGBT proposals being considered by the city of Scottsdale, what should one say to a family of Orthodox (Hassidic) Jews from Los Angeles who are considering moving to Scottsdale and opening a strictly Kosher delicatessen and catering business, but are now concerned as to how they might operate such a business without harassment and/or litigation, should such a proposal be enacted?

In the event they are asked to undertake the catering of a homosexual wedding, would they be forced to choose between what they consider to be sinful behavior, or suffer consequences for their violation of a city statute?

Lest you think this is pure conjecture, please be apprised of the fact that it is not. To wit, a Christian couple in Gresham, Ore. (Aaron and Melissa Klein), declined, on religious grounds, a request to bake a cake for a wedding of two lesbians.

The Kleins have been ordered by Oregon Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian to compensate the couple, in the amount of $135,000, for emotional and mental suffering that the lesbians purportedly suffered as a result of the denial of service.

Furthermore, Oregon Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian invoked a gag order on the Kleins, who owned the Sweet Cakes by Melissa bakery: “The Commissioner of the Bureau of Labor and Industries hereby orders (Aaron and Melissa Klein) to cease and desist from publishing, circulating, issuing or displaying, or causing to be published … any communication to the effect that any of the accommodations … will be refused, withheld from or denied to, or that any discrimination be made against, any person on account of their sexual orientation,” Mr. Avakian wrote.

Now, I’m no Constitutional lawyer, only a simple retired university academician. Nevertheless, the last time I checked, there was no provision in either the Constitution of the United States or the Bill of Rights protecting citizens from being offended or emotionally distraught.

However, I did spot something in the First Amendment stating there shall be “no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press.”

Editor’s note: Dr. Sandy Kramer is a resident of Scottsdale.

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