When it comes to the debate over Christian wedding venders’ rights versus the civil rights of same-sex couples, which side should win?
This was the topic of conversation on a recent episode of “Pure Talk,” an online culture and entertainment show brought to you by Pure Flix and Faithwire, with the show’s panelists discussing the ongoing dispute over First Amendment rights versus the equal protection measures enshrined in the Fourteenth Amendment.
With a variety of high-profile cases — including a scenario involving an Oregon couple named Aaron and Melissa Klein, who were forced to pay $135,000 after declining to make a wedding cake for a lesbian couple — the “Pure Talk” panel focused on how much an individual should be allowed to integrate his or her personal faith into business practices.
“I think it’s a very troubling trend anytime a government … steps in and says, ‘No, you absolutely have to use your abilities, your creativity, your speech to promote or advance something that goes completely contrary to your values and beliefs,'” panelist Ruth Malhotra said. “I mean, where is it going to end?”
Malhotra also drew a distinction, noting that these Christian-owned wedding businesses generally have no problem serving people with whom they disagree and explained that opposition is more about not wanting to be forced to participate in same-sex nuptials.
“It’s compelling you under force of law,” she said of the fines that some have incurred as a result of their refusals.
And Lauren McAfee, corporate ambassador at craft store chain Hobby Lobby, also spoke about her family’s own Supreme Court battle over the Obama administration’s contraceptive mandate; in the end, Hobby Lobby won the case, with the high court finding that some businesses cannot be compelled to offer certain forms of birth control that conflict with owners’ religious beliefs.
“It was a difficult situation, but we knew our faith had to go first,” McAfee explained. “It was our first freedom.”
Watch the segment below:
Critics argue that allowing Christian businesses to opt out of same-sex weddings would unduly burden gay couples.
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