Thursday, April 10, 2008

The End of Freedom

I mentioned yesterday Elaine Huguenin's $6600 fine for not approving of gay marriage. It occurs to me that if a photographer can't refuse a job like this, then almost anyone else in the business of providing a service is in danger. Can a New Mexico newspaper refuse an ad from Rev. Fred "God Hates Fag" Phelps? Why? Can a gay newspaper refuse an ad offering reparative therapy, to help homosexuals become straight?

We are in grave danger of losing our freedom to disagree or disapprove to America's loudest and most boorish minority group.

UPDATE: There's also a 13th Amendment question here. Elaine Huguenin has been effectively enslaved. She made no contract with the lesbian couple; indeed, she explicitly refused to make a contract. Yet she has been ordered to make payment because she refused to work against her will for another person, and without being convicted of any crime. Unlike jury duty or military service, this is for a private person--not the government, and not an activity for the common good.

Even the abusive system of the postbellum South, where convicts were "farmed out" to private employers to pay off their fines, at least involved people convicted of crimes (even if the crimes were somewhat made up for the purpose, and the justice system wasn't fair). The lesbian masters, in this case, made a demand for Elaine Huguenin's services without her being convicted of any crime--and now she is forced to make a payment to them for her refusal to be enslaved.

UPDATE 2: Hans Bader at Competitive Enterprise Institute's blog has some comments as well.

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