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02-06-2017, 01:50 PM   #61
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QuoteOriginally posted by ffking Quote
well, religion motivates a lot of people to do a lot of good things - it's when it motivates them to tell other people how to live their lives it becomes a problem - but that's a problem that's not unique to religion
Do religious people that do good things stop doing those good things when they lose their religion?

02-06-2017, 01:53 PM   #62
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Adult only apartments.

My friend got evicted because she got pregnant.


As a business they stated they don't allow youth, so is that not age discrimination?
02-06-2017, 02:00 PM   #63
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QuoteOriginally posted by lithedreamer Quote
Do religious people that do good things stop doing those good things when they lose their religion?
not necessarily, no, but they lose one of their motivations. I'm certainly not saying that religious people have a monopoly on doing good - far from it - and many do harm -I'm just talking about motivations - maybe one of which is being art of a community which expects a certain standard of behaviour, maybe it's about a belief tat a god is watching you - now I don't necessarily think they are best reasons to do good in the world, but they are motivators.
02-06-2017, 02:07 PM - 3 Likes   #64
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QuoteOriginally posted by CarlJF Quote
But a "business" isn't a person and thus doesn't have any religious rights. Here, the couple weren't dealing with a person, they were dealing with a business. If the belief of an employee isn't compatible with its business, he's free to work elsewhere, in a business more in line with its religion.
This is a key component: A person can have religious beliefs. A business does not. In this particular case, it is a photography firm with multiple photographers and offices.

This is truly a fine-line topic, but one that is necessary to understand. As you go about your personal life, you are free to hold whatever beliefs (positive and negative) you wish to hold. You may even express them to the extent that you realize other people may have a reaction to your beliefs (positive and negative).

But when you open a business, you are offering a service to the public. And the public has a right to expect that if they ask for what your business offers, whether it is pork loin sandwiches or wedding photographs, that you will not discriminate in public against a person's identity.

If you are offering your services as a friend, as a skilled photographer, but nonetheless not in business open to the public, you may pick and chose among your friends, family, and acquaintances deciding which weddings to photography. There is complete freedom there, except perhaps a mother-in-law's wrath or other social hazards.
~ ~

A block from my house sits the ruin of a motor hotel from the 1930s. Currently it is used for storage of construction equipment, but it is sure to be demolished soon as the entire area is gentrifying me out of affordability.

At any rate, the Green Acres Motel was a Black person's hotel. It was listed in (actual name from history) "The Negro Motorist Green Book" as a safe place for accommodation in the Jim Crow south. The Green Book was published and sold across the USA from 1936 to 1966. The reason for it is that Black people had a need to travel, but no idea where they could find any accommodations along the way, from restaurants, to pharmacies, to taxis, to hotels, to barber shops. Entering the wrong establishment meant everything from ridicule and public shaming to physical harm or death.

This sounds like an extreme parallel to draw, except that my point is that the belief system which made The Green Book necessary was often couched in "my religious beliefs." Slavery, Jim Crow, rigid segregation, and more were previously justified by "religious beliefs." Somehow today, religious beliefs from Jim Crow days are no longer backed by social mores or government laws.

While some people may hold onto those personal/religious beliefs from 1960, those personal feelings, comfort zones, and religious beliefs are all illegal today if practiced as a filter for business: you simply cannot have a business open to the public and discriminate against others based on their race.

To me, this is the same principle: A photography business is open to the public. If they offer wedding photography, they should offer the same service to anyone who comes in the door and not discriminate based on identity.

The example given by Wired is a good one to draw fine lines in the discussion: Say he runs a wedding photography business and someone wants a photo shoot of a four-day wedding, with activities lasting from morning to dark at various locations. The answer for someone in that business, yet inexperienced in that particular type of wedding is something along the lines of: "Our standard package consists of 4 hours of afternoon/evening shooting, consisting of the bride and groom, the wedding ceremony and the reception/dinner, if any. We deliver a wedding book and 100-200 edited shots for you to choose from. We don't have the manpower or knowledge necessary to shoot a four-day wedding."

It is not a denial based on the religion or race of the customer, but based on the services you offer to anyone. You'd be more than happy to shoot for four hours worth of familiar ceremonies. You have no idea what sort of images would be expected from a days-long ceremony nor the people necessary to make it happen.

That's the (rough) equivalent of selling hamburgers to everyone who walks in the door: "Step up to the counter and order your burger. I'm sorry, but we cannot accommodate an order for four days worth of burgers served from dawn to dusk to the exclusion of everyone else." (well, an imperfect analogy, but ...)


Last edited by yucatanPentax; 02-06-2017 at 02:22 PM.
02-06-2017, 02:08 PM - 1 Like   #65
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QuoteOriginally posted by ffking Quote
well, religion motivates a lot of people to do a lot of good things
With or without religion you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion.

Paraphrased quote from Steven Weinberg.
02-06-2017, 02:14 PM   #66
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QuoteOriginally posted by bar_foo Quote
No one has an unfettered right to refuse to provide a service. Legally it will vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, but in many places it is illegal to refuse service to people in a discriminatory way. Imagine if the one hotel in a small town refused to let gay couples stay there, or all the restaurants refused to let them eat there, or landlords refused to rent to them. Imagine that it wasn't gay couples but interracial couples, or Jews, or anyone who doesn't follow exactly the same religion as you. It would essentially mean that anyone different was ostracized, or essentially banished from a community.

As I see it, by offering a service to the public, and getting a business license, you are committing to offer your services to everyone equally. You can refuse jobs on certain grounds--it's too big, too far away, conflicts with my schedule, etc.--but not others. You can refuse service to individuals if they are problematic clients--someone who hasn't paid their bills in the past would be a good example, or someone who comes into your store drunk--but not to entire groups of people.

That said, I think the photographer in a case like this has the right to say that he or she does not like gay marriage. Heck, the photographer could say, "Okay, I'll shoot your wedding, but all the proceeds will go to an organization that opposes gay marriage." That's their right. And the client would probably change their mind. But to refuse service outright is discriminatory.

I guess you're right about the jurisdiction. However, as I feel it, as long as we talk about PRIVATE business (i.e. not public services, health care or education), the owner should have the right to decide who will be his customer.

The pub owner should decide if smoking will be allowed. And if I get another drink, or not

The flat owner should decide to whom he will rent it.

Etc., etc.

It's illusory to think that by rolling up some regulations the world could become better place.
02-06-2017, 02:16 PM   #67
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QuoteOriginally posted by johnyates Quote
With or without religion you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion.
Now you're just taking pot shots at religion.
02-06-2017, 02:16 PM   #68
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
...if the photographer met with the couple and said that he didn't feel that his style of photography...
I believe this addresses the heart of the matter. Whereas many people seem caught up in service models that fall short of the photographer's right to choose. I'm thinking this comes down to how a photographer presents his or her services and /or whether their job selections leave the client feeling discriminated against or not.

ie, I've never shot male models and have no intentions of doing so. Though I could just as easily refer a potential customer to someone who was proficient in such areas should they ask type thing. No harm done, and everyone is happy

02-06-2017, 02:21 PM - 2 Likes   #69
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QuoteOriginally posted by zzeitg Quote
as long as we talk about PRIVATE business
We are talking about a business that advertises its services to the public at large. It is subject to public accommodation laws. It is not allowed to pick and chose its customers according to who they are, or who they love, or what religion they belong to. That's the law.

People don't choose their sexuality. They do however choose to be religious (or not). And sometimes they use their religious beliefs to justify their bigotry. Sad!

---------- Post added 6th Feb 2017 at 03:23 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by DougieD Quote
Now you're just taking pot shots at religion.
Yep! The photographer in the news story seems to think it makes a difference.

---------- Post added 6th Feb 2017 at 03:26 PM ----------

And I think I should, from here on in, limit my participation in this thread to "read only" so as not to have it locked.
02-06-2017, 02:31 PM - 1 Like   #70
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The photographer says they couldn't do it for religious reasons. I find there is ambiguity around whether or not the Bible prohibits homosexuality, and my interpretation is that not being comfortable with this type of thing is a cultural reason, not a religious one.

But in any event, there is absolutely no religious prohibition against *photographing* a gay wedding.

---------- Post added 02-06-17 at 02:34 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by johnyates Quote
Legal => "I don't want to work with you guys because you're a**holes".
Not Legal => "I don't want to work with you guys because you're gay".
The difference is that in one case, the person is being evaluated as an individual, and in the other case, they are being evaluated as a class.


I don't believe that there is any federal legal restriction against not providing service to gay people in the U.S. The main repercussion is that they can lose business from customers who don't like that attitude.

Last edited by leekil; 02-06-2017 at 02:42 PM. Reason: clarification
02-06-2017, 02:40 PM   #71
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QuoteOriginally posted by johnyates Quote
We are talking about a business that advertises its services to the public at large. It is subject to public accommodation laws. It is not allowed to pick and chose its customers according to who they are, or who they love, or what religion they belong to. That's the law.

People don't choose their sexuality. They do however choose to be religious (or not). And sometimes they use their religious beliefs to justify their bigotry. Sad!



Now this is the core point. If a private business is obliged to provide the service to everybody. Honestly, I don't think so. And as long as there's competition, I see no risk or harm in service refusal.


(You can label these guys as bigots (and that's what they are in a certain way), but even the bigots have the right to their bigotry. As long as they don't seriously maltreat anybody.)
02-06-2017, 02:52 PM - 2 Likes   #72
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QuoteOriginally posted by luftfluss Quote
In my own one-man business, I've turned away potential clients because after meeting with them I thought they would be difficult to work with. I'm discriminating based solely on an individual's personality. Am I wrong to do so?
It becomes illegal when applied to a class of people. For example: if there were a pattern of these "difficult" clients being black, or Catholic, or disabled, or gay, then you would be in the wrong.
02-06-2017, 02:54 PM - 1 Like   #73
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QuoteOriginally posted by zzeitg Quote
Well, I'm not a lawyer. And if you say there's such law, I won't argue. My argumentation is more about common sense. And if I would be a gay and a photographer would figure that he does not feel comfortable about it, I'd simply accept it. Because we are both equal. My rights should not oppress his right to refuse to provide this service.
Your rights to discriminate (in the part of the world referenced in the article) ends the moment you enter the market of wedding photography. You can keep your rights, but you can't be a wedding photographer. That's having it both ways. You have to pick one. There's a difference between accepting that there are people who discriminate against you based on your orientation and then running into it in a business scenario where it is illegal.
02-06-2017, 02:54 PM - 1 Like   #74
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QuoteOriginally posted by johnyates Quote
No you don't. You need to be a professional. Do your job.
I went to a wedding last year that happened to be at a orthodox Jewish summer camp for senior citizens, during the off-season. The wedding events took place over a weekend, and they booked this camp so it would be a place that everyone could stay, right where the festivities were happening. The couple getting married were not orthodox Jews, they chose the place because it was the only venue like that that they could locate that was handicap-accessible -- all the cabins and other buildings had wheelchair ramps. Th orthodox aspect meant that there were some food restrictions like no bacon at breakfast and (I think) maybe even no milk, either.

Most of the staff was Jewish, but they also had non-Jewish staff who could do things on Saturday, when you can't work if you are obeying the Sabbath. But at one point on Saturday, during the reception, I realized that the woman who was in charge of running the camp was there running the operation. I asked her how it was that she was working on Saturday. She said, "Well, I'm not really trying to do that much actual work, but I need to be here." As she said this, she was taking out the garbage, which would qualify as "work". "But if there's something that needs to be done, you have to do your job."
02-06-2017, 02:57 PM - 1 Like   #75
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wired Quote
I support the photographer in the sense that his religious beliefs matter. Just as much as the rights of the same sexy couple matter.

I do not doubt that the couple has felt insulted and shamed. At the same time does that give them the right to shame the photographer?

To me the question becomes: Do religious rights and freedoms outweigh those of a minority, in this case the LGBQT.



Now here is a situation that reflects me: I have not been asked to shoot what my friend calls a "brown" wedding. I'm not sure which Eastern religion he practices, so I apologize if my summary comes off wrong, I lack education on the matter. The two of us have talked about the ritual and how it's a 4 day party. He has shown me images from other weddings of the same kind and they are very beautiful. In fact it looks amazing! It would be an honor to shoot it. On the flip side, I have no idea what it takes to shoot one of these weddings, it sounds like a crazy, insane amount of work that frankly is overwhelming. As a photographer who has only worked with "traditional western" weddings (see weddings as they take place on TV in western dramas for example like Grey's Anatomy) I would decline taking on a wedding like this because... frankly, it scares me and makes me uncomfortable. Not religion, not the culture... the sheer size of it scares me. I would second shoot one in a heartbeat, in fact I'd do the second shoot at a reduced rate because of the amount I would learn about these events. But I would not take one on solo.

So, if I did get an inquiry to shoot one of these 4 day events....and I respectfully declined stating that I believe a cultural wedding such as this is outside of my comfort zone for skill and experience.... could that be turned around on me to mark me as an insensitive biggot? When in reality, it's just outside of my skill and comfort level at this time in my career?
It is about intent, I think. Your intent is can be summed up as 'This job is beyond the scope of what I am capable of taking on' - it's not because it is any specific culture that you don't want to do it. If the same sex wedding took place in the middle of an NFL game and they wanted close up shots of the ceremony while you had to dodge linebackers you could make the same argument. It's wouldn't be the same sex aspect that matters.

The religious rights of the photographer matter, sure, but they cease when they result in discrimination in a business context. He can have those beliefs, but to go in to business is a voluntary decision and as such comes with some sacrifices, like the right to discriminate.
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