Here we go again.
In the small Columbus suburb of Bexley, Ohio, lesbian couple Jenna Moffitt and Jerra Kincely were told by a wedding videographer that they did not provide services for same-sex weddings. The couple, naturally, is fit to be tied. They have reached out to CNN, the Bexley Chamber of Commerce, and even the town’s mayor to try and get satisfaction.
“I couldn’t believe it,” Moffitt told CNN. “It is a small business, and I thought this was a tight knit community. We wanted to support local commerce and to get that kind of response was astounding.”
The videography business in question, Next Door Stories, has yet to comment publicly on the matter.
Strangely enough, Ohio is one of 13 remaining states with a ban on same-sex marriage, though that ban is unlikely to last past this spring when the Supreme Court finally addresses the constitutionality of these bans. CNN did not choose to explore how Moffitt and Kincely were to be married in a state where such a marriage is illegal. Nor did they point out how odd it would be for a business to participate in an illegal wedding.
Instead, the focus is on the outpouring of support the couple has experienced from the community. On social media, LGBT activists, the Chamber of Commerce, and even the mayor have come out to denounce the discrimination. Though most of them admit there’s little they can do to force Next Door Stories to change their policy.
But if this case turns out anything like similar ones we’ve seen, that will change. City and state prosecutors have found extraordinary ways to bend anti-discrimination laws in an attempt to force businesses to provide services for gay weddings. And while several states have drawn up religious freedom laws protecting the right of business owners to claim protection for their conscientious beliefs, Ohio is not one of them.
It has yet to be satisfactorily explained how refusing to provide service to a gay wedding is discrimination. Even if we concede that sexual preference is not a choice and even if we concede that gay people should be protected from discrimination, it’s a significant leap to say that business owners are practicing discrimination when they refuse gay weddings. Especially when gay weddings are not even legal!
As it stands, though, Moffitt and Kincely are within their rights to bring public pressure against Next Door Stories. I have no problem with that, besides the fact that I happen to disagree. If the majority of Bexley residents decide they want nothing to do with “bigotry,” they can choose to take their business elsewhere. Problem solved. We don’t need more laws. Let people make their own decisions. Let business owners deal with the free market consequences of their choices. That’s the way it should be. They get to hold true to their beliefs and the community gets to hold true to theirs. That’s what capitalism and democracy are all about.