In an recent opinion piece in the Washington Examiner, two Republican Congressmen stated their belief that business owners' decisions motivated by faith are guaranteed by the First Amendment, using the seemingly poor analogy of Chipotle's recent decision to stop serving pork in some of its restaurants based on concerns about humane animal treatment.
While the two men, U.S. Senator James Lankford (R-OK) and U.S. Representative Randy Forbes (R-VA), did not explicitly mention LGBT rights, their motivation is thinly veiled given the context. Across the United States (e.g. here, here, and here), laws are being proposed and some passed in statehouses that would permit businesses and other organizations to discriminate against LGBT people based on the principle of freedom of religion.
The two Republican Congressmen said, "It is crucial that the same freedom of conscience enjoyed by the leadership of Chipotle remain equally available to business owners of faith." They seem to believe that a business's decision, based on faith, to refuse service to LGBT people should be celebrated even more than the pork decision, based on a moral conviction in human animal treatment, made by Chipotle's leaders.
This author believe the two Republicans are gravely mistaken. For one thing, similar arguments about businesses choosing to refuse service to minorities based on their faith and freedom of religion were used by
plenty of people in the South in support of segregation.
What do you think of their argument? Let us know in the comments.