Gays in the US strike another blow against religious liberty
Christian conservatives are wailing and gnashing their teeth over a recent court decision against a faith-based dating site, ChristianMingle.com.
Writing for Red State, Brandon Morse said:
As we’ve experienced in the past with LGBT activism, leaving well enough alone isn’t the point. All must submit and conform. Christian bakers must bake the cake. Christian t-shirt makers must make the shirt. Christian websites must include homosexual relationships.
While I realize there are LGBT Christians out there, it ceases being Christianity when the activism comes before faith. A Christian business that holds Christian values should not be forced to ditch those values, and punished financially on top of that, just like an LGBT business shouldn’t be forced to provide products that go against its message.
Morse expressed his anger after Spark Networks, which owns ChristianMingle and other dating sites, was sued by two gay men who noticed that new members could only search for dates of the opposite sex.
In filing a class-action lawsuit, the men alleged that Spark was breaking California anti-discrimination laws by making it impossible for members of the LGBT community to use its services. Same-sex Christian couples couldn’t be matched through ChristianMingle because members couldn’t register as gay in the first place.
Their lawsuit stated:
Spark has engaged in a systemic and intentional pattern and practice of arbitrary discrimination against gays and lesbians throughout California by denying them full and equal services, accommodations, advantages and privileges in connection with many of its commercial dating services.
California state law known as the Unruh Civil Rights Act mandates that “all business establishments of every kind whatsoever” treat every person within the jurisdiction as free and equal regardless of sex, race, religion, marital status and sexual orientation, among other things.
The suit against Spark stated that, at the time of its filing in 2013, individuals wishing to use the Spark dating sites for Christians, Catholics, Mormons, Seventh-day Adventists, military singles and black singles could only choose from two options on the home screens of these services: “a man seeking a woman” or “a woman seeking a man.”
Last week, approximately 2½ years after the lawsuit was originally filed, Judge Jane L Johnson of the Superior Court of California in Los Angeles County approved a settlement agreement in which Spark agreed to modify its site and search features to include LGBT singles within two years.
The company did not admit to any wrongdoing, but it did agree to pay each plaintiff $9,000 and cover the $450,000 they had accumulated together in legal fees.
Another conservative, Sheila Gunn Reid of The Rebel, equated the judge’s decision with “slavery”.
This is an assault on religious liberty. It’s the same as forcing a Christian baker to bake a cake for a gay wedding.
It’s also an assault on free enterprise. The government sets a dangerous precedent when it forces a private company to contract with another individual against their will for whatever reason.
But it’s also just a regular old attack on Christians complete with the usual media double standard. The media treats Christian dating websites as places rife with lonely weirdos living double lives.
Yet, Muslim-targeted dating websites are treated as an innovative way for young Muslims to live their truth in the new millennium.
No activists are suing the Muslim websites to allow same sex matches. The activists’ fight is not about ending discrimination. It never was. It’s an attack on Christians and their businesses.
Meanwhile, we learned earlier this month that a new dating service has been launched for atheists, Singles2Match … and it does not bar people seeking companions of the same same sex.
According to its website:
We are a social dating website dedicated to fun, smart, open-minded freethinking singles like you. Freethinkers include atheists, agnostics, humanists, naturalists, rationalists, skeptics, secularists, brights, non-theists etc.
We don’t post bogus profiles to lure in users. What we care most is real users having a good time online and offline. Tell your friends to join and grow this amazing, vibrant community together. Our goal is to broaden your social horizons, and our belief is that by meeting a variety of like-minded people, you will find that special someone while socializing with friends.
Hat tip Trevor Blake and BarrieJohn (ChristianMingle report).