The many shades of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act


hc-religion-same-sex-discrimination-connecticut-indiana-20150330by Matt Williams

One of yesterday’s national news headlines read “UConn president tells coach Kevin Ollie he can’t travel to Indy meeting” and the story that followed the headline detailed how University of Connecticut (UConn) men’s basketball coach Kevin Ollie and his staff will not travel to the NCAA basketball tournament’s Final Four in Indianapolis this week.

The reason for the Ollie decision is that Connecticut Governor Dan Malloy issued a formal executive order banning state-sponsored and state-funded travel to Indiana … due to new legislation signed into law by Indiana Governor Mike Pence last week, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which could potentially be used to discriminate against gay people. When he signed the order, Malloy stated, “The idea that somebody from Connecticut who complies with the law here can go to another state and be discriminated against is abhorrent, cannot be tolerated, and quite frankly, we can’t witness it without raising our voice.”


The Indiana law prohibits state and local governments from impeding a person or business’ ability to exercise their religious beliefs. Opponents of the law argue it could be abused discriminate against members of the LGBT community.

UConn President Susan Herbst in support of Governor Malloy’s travel ban, stated in her decision regarding Ollie’s travel, “In support of Governor Malloy’s travel ban to the state of Indiana, Kevin Ollie and other members of the UConn men’s basketball staff will not travel to Indianapolis for the NCAA Final Four and events surrounding it. UConn is a community that values all of our members and treats each person with the same degree of respect, regardless of their background and beliefs and we will not tolerate any other behavior.”

12018604One of the many threads of this story is that the NCAA’s Women’s Final Four Championship is scheduled for Indianapolis in 2016 (it is in Tampa this year), and the UConn Women’s team has qualified for the Women’s Final Four for 8 consecutive years and 13 of the last 16 years.  It is reasonable to predict that they will be going to Indianapolis in 12 months.

Another of the threads is that UConn’s Men’s team qualified for last year’s Final Four.

Imagine if we were to time shift events forward or backward one year, do you think Governor Malloy would follow Jimmy Carter’s example from the Moscow Olympic Games and forbid either the UConn Men’s or Women’s basketball teams from playing in Indianapolis this week?

Or, to add a little local flavor … imagine that this season’s UCD record setting Men’s basketball season had continued on into the NCAA Tournament and qualified for the Final Four, do you think Chancellor Katehi and Governor Brown would forbid the UCD team from playing in Indianapolis this week?


About The Author

Matt Williams has been a resident of Davis/El Macero since 1998. Matt is a past member of the City's Utilities Commission, as well as a former Chair of the Finance and Budget Commission (FBC), former member of the Downtown Plan Advisory Committee (DPAC), former member of the Broadband Advisory Task Force (BATF), as well as Treasurer of Davis Community Network (DCN). He is a past Treasurer of the Senior Citizens of Davis, and past member of the Finance Committee of the Davis Art Center, the Editorial Board of the Davis Vanguard, Yolo County's South Davis General Plan Citizens Advisory Committee, the Davis School District's 7-11 Committee for Nugget Fields, the Yolo County Health Council and the City of Davis Water Advisory Committee and Natural Resources Commission. His undergraduate degree is from Cornell University and his MBA is from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He spent over 30 years planning, developing, delivering and leading bottom-line focused strategies in the management of healthcare practice, healthcare finance, and healthcare technology, as well municipal finance.

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93 thoughts on “The many shades of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act”

  1. hpierce

    If I read between ‘your lines’ correctly, Matt…  UConn ‘didn’t show up to play’, so the UConn president got a “two-fer”… made a ‘cool’ political statement, and punished the Coach for not having the UConn team in play.  Nice.  Particularly since (and I read it) the law doesn’t say what those who are already incensed say it does, and there is already clarifying language on the Governor’s desk.  Want to see the President of UConn’s ‘bracket picks’ before I comment further!

    Hope you have a good week, Matt… coffee?

    1. Don Shor

      I think the real story is how much attitudes have changed, and some political leaders are getting left behind. Look at any polling data. Young Republicans mirror the rest of the country, but the old guard — which includes a number of governors, apparently — still hasn’t changed. The impact on college basketball is a pretty trivial sideshow, in my opinion, but perhaps others care more about that.

  2. Barack Palin

    Over hype by the left trying to make political points against a Republican Governor.  If I’ve heard it right 19 states already have a similar law and Obama voted for something close to this when he was an Illinois Senator and it all falls in line with President Bill Clinton’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) that he signed into law in 1993.

    Imagine if we were to time shift events forward or backward one year, do you think Governor Malloy would follow Jimmy Carter’s example from the Moscow Olympic Games and forbid either the UConn Men’s or Women’s basketball teams from playing in Indianapolis this week?
    Or, to add a little local flavor … imagine that this season’s UCD record setting Men’s basketball season had continued on into the NCAA Tournament and qualified for the Final Four, do you think Chancellor Katehi and Governor Brown would forbid the UCD team from playing in Indianapolis this week?

    Simple answer, not a chance.

    1. Don Shor

      If I’ve heard it right 19 states already have a similar law and Obama voted for something close to this when he was an Illinois Senator and it all falls in line with President Bill Clinton’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) that he signed into law in 1993.

      But Hobby Lobby changed all that. It isn’t the same thing at all any more.

    2. Davis Progressive

      i think it goes way beyond the “left” trying make political points against a governor.  i don’t see it as a partisan thing so much as a shot across the bow about the political muscle of the gay lobby.

        1. Davis Progressive

          correct the gay lobby is trying to use their muscle to dissuade others from trying to push such legislation in the future.  and they’ve done a good job of it.

          1. Don Shor

            DP, what is this “gay lobby” you have now referred to three times? The GOP legislature passed the bill. The GOP governor actively promoted and signed it. They’re responsible for the response.
            What’s “done a good job” of dissuading others should be that the law is unnecessary, divisive, and probably has unintended consequences.

        2. Davis Progressive

          i’m using it as a term to refer to a network of activists that will blast anti-gay legislation.  i actually don’t mean it in a derogatory way (as opposed to the right’s reference to the “homosexual lobby”).

          “What’s “done a good job” of dissuading others should be that the law is unnecessary, divisive, and probably has unintended consequences.”

          but they’ve turned it into a cause celeb.

        3. TrueBlueDevil

          I guess the “gay lobby”, or friends of the gay lobby, called in the death threats to the family with the pizza joint? So evolved, so enlightened.

          1. Don Shor

            You have no idea who called in death threats. I could point to examples of egregiously bad behavior on all sides of any cultural issue. I still have no idea what you or DP mean by the “gay lobby.”

  3. Frankly

    Dan Malloy is the Democrat political hack here.  The Indiana legislation is needed, like in Florida, because there are many cases where people acting on their religious beliefs have been destroyed by the government. The law is necessary if we TRULY believe in equality and civil rights and freedom… where government has to have a level of burden to be able to establish that there’s been some kind of discrimination.

    The test for discrimination should be, IMO, focused on harm done to people because of who they are, but because of what they do or what choices they make… especially when reasonable alternatives exist.  A business that refuses to make cakes for gay weddings does not pass the test.  And the harm in retribution exceeds by orders of magnitude any done to the customer not provide a service they demand.

    Just as expected, gays and gay rights activists continue their march of slashing and burning society and freedoms of others to selfishly attain something irrational… a remedy for their personal insecurity and feelings of not being accepted which is largely manufactured in their own minds.

    We don’t have to agree with how people chose to live their lives, but we need to be respectful.  There is a disturbing and ugly lack of respect toward religious people coming from the political left and the gay rights activists.  It is major hypocrisy given the emotional gay rights narrative of caring, equal rights and respect.   Gays seems to want their cake and eat it too.

    1. Don Shor

      Your usual pseudo-psychoanalysis (you seem remarkably able to diagnose insecurity in people you don’t know). Here’s a better, more balanced analysis.
      A couple of simple fixes could make these laws less likely to result in overt discrimination. But the real “lobby” that is involved is the conservative religious “lobby” that wants to push back against gay marriage in any manner possible. Hobby Lobby changed everything, and they know it. That’s why over a dozen red states have these laws pending.
      The “disturbing and ugly disrespect” is those who wish to actively discriminate against their fellow gay citizens. If you want to protect religious liberties, you also need to protect civil liberties. These things were balanced. Until Hobby Lobby. You have no idea what a radical ruling that was by the Roberts Court.

    2. Tia Will


      A business that refuses to make cakes for gay weddings does not pass the test.”

      Maybe….or maybe not. What if the town is small and this is the only bakery ? No harm done ? What if there is no public or private venue that will rent the couple space for their reception ? Still no material harm ? What if no one will cater , or provide flowers, or music , or photographs ?  Too bad ?

      I see these actions as potentially causing very material harm since a great deal of our social interactions are based on these kinds of activities.

      I am curious as how you see this as being any different from refusing to let some one come in through the front door or sit at a counter because they have a different skin tone from the owner if the owner claims that white supremacist belief is her “religion” and that she truly believes that it is wrong for different races to “come in contact” with each other. Is this ok as long as she can demonstrate it is her true “religious belief”. After all, Holly Lobby proved that the beliefs do not have to have any basis in fact, they just have to be believed.

      1. tribeUSA

        Its a good business opportunity–one of the positive things about a free market is that the business owner that does cater to gays and others thus has an added element of competitive advantage over those buinesses that discriminate.

        I’m a bit of a radical on the freedom of small to medium size businesses (though not when they get to the scales of oligopolies; and not of course by government offices) to discriminate in any way they want. If the proprieter doesn’t like the way you look when you enter their shop, restaurant, etc. they should be free to deny you entry. Of course, the business that disciminates will suffer some loss in business and give an advantage to their competitors.

        My dream of opening a nightclub exclusive to big-nosed people wearing bow-ties and cowboy boots, and dresses only for women (and only for women) may someday be realized….

        I do agree that this can be a problem in small towns–though there is some potential profit in broadening your small business to selling wedding cakes (at least special-ordering them) when the only other business in town currently selling these cakes discriminates against gays.

  4. Barack Palin

    So what happens if white supremacists want pizzas delivered to a KKK rally from a restaurant owned by blacks and they refuse to deliver?  Are they liable to a lawsuit?  How far does not discriminating go if one is uncomfortable with the situation or the cause?


        1. Davis Progressive

          the problem is once you allow the black restaurant owner to discriminate, you allow the white to discriminate and you end up right back where we were 50 years ago.

        2. Barack Palin

          So you see where this is going.  Personally I have no problem with the black restaurant owner not delivering those pizzas because of their beliefs, just as I have no problem with someone not wanting to photograph a gay wedding because of their religious beliefs.  This opens up a whole can of worms which I’m sure is going to get tested both ways.

          1. Don Shor

            Personally I have no problem with the black restaurant owner not delivering those pizzas because of their beliefs, just as I have no problem with someone not wanting to photograph a gay wedding because of their religious beliefs.

            Do you consider those equivalent?

        3. Barack Palin

          No, where did I say that?  I put in a specific situation where the KKK was involved and said I felt the black restaurant owner would be justified not delivering to them.  Nice try with the roundabout way of making a bullshit accusation that you’re trying to cowardly insinuate.  Correct?

        4. Davis Progressive

          you didn’t say it – that’s the implication of your comment.  otherwise how and where do you draw the line as to what is permissible discrimination?

        5. Davis Progressive

          it did.  you said that a black person could refuse to serve a kkk person, by extension a kkk person would have the right to refuse to serve a black person.  if not, again, explain how and where do you draw the line as to what is permissible discrimination?

      1. Frankly

        That is different.  A business not servicing gay weddings is not the same as a business refusing service to an individual because of his/her race.  As I understand, the business was willing to provide the customer with a standard wedding cake and the customer refused.

        Here is an example of the slippery-slope of this type of argument…

        1. Davis Progressive

          you don’t see a fundamental difference between refusing to service gay weddings and refusing to put a message of hate on a cake?

        2. Frankly

          you don’t see a fundamental difference between refusing to service gay weddings and refusing to put a message of hate on a cake?

          “message of hate” is subjective and frankly (because I am) a term that you should not use unless you can demonstrate the capacity to apply it in all circumstances.   Otherwise you, yourself, are guilty of projecting hate. With the cakegate events, there is MUCH, MUCH, MUCH more hate being demonstrated toward the religious bakers than for any customer refused.

          Cake bakers are artists and any artist should be provided the right to refuse what art they will be responsible for creating or not creating.  The point is… if one baker is going to be forced to create art that demonstrates support for homosexual marriage, then it stands to reason that another baker can be forced to make art that demonstrates opposition to homosexual marriage.


        3. Davis Progressive

          anti-gay messages are messages of hate.  there is a huge difference between putting a message of hate on a cake and supplying a cake for a gay wedding.  huge difference. would it be problematic to refuse to do a jewish wedding? would it be problematic to refuse to put an anti-jewish statement on a cake, in your opinion?

        4. Davis Progressive

          no, i said, “you don’t see a fundamental difference between refusing to service gay weddings and refusing to put a message of hate on a cake?” because frankly argued there was a slippery slope.

        5. Frankly

          anti-gay messages are messages of hate.

          Anti-gay marriage was the message the baker refused.

          I have been anti-gay marriage, so are you going to make the case that I am hateful?

          Like I said, you should not carry a loaded word gun unless you really understand how to use it correctly.

        6. tribeUSA

          DP–two lines to demarcate–

          –what kind of message is or is not deemed ‘anti-gay’ , and who decides which category a particular message falls into?

          –does a message that is defined as anti-gay also automatically also fall into the category of hate-speech? If so, how does this affect the definition of an ‘anti-gay’ message?

          On what side of the line should these statements fall

          “Gay sex seems icky to me”

          “Why do so many gays act so funny”

          “That’s so gay”

          “what a gay weirdo”

          “I like some gay people, but would hate to be gay myself”

          “I’m so glad I’m not gay on this my wedding day”

          (last one could be dumb joke message on joke wedding cake)

          I’ve used examples from juvenile speech–such statements may certainly appear to be somewhat prejudicial against gays; are they also “anti-gay” and “hateful”? Should the business be shut down?

  5. Frankly

    The Oregon case…

    The Kleins’ troubles started in January 2013 when they turned away that lesbian couple. The bakers were relentlessly pummeled in the media. LGBT activists launched protests and boycotts. They tell me their small children even received death threats — simply because they chose to follow the teachings of their faith.

    At some point the activists threatened to launch boycotts against any wedding vendor that did business with the Kleins. That turned out to be the death blow to their retail shop. Today, Melissa bakes cakes out of the family’s home.

    The question now is how much — if anything — the Kleins will be forced to pay. Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian will decide, and history proves he’s no friend of the Christian bakers.

    In 2013, Avakian told The Oregonian that it is the government’s desire was to rehabilitate businesses like the one owned by the Kleins.

    “Everybody is entitled to their own beliefs, but that doesn’t mean that folks have the right to discriminate,” he told the newspaper. “The goal is never to shut down a business. The goal is to rehabilitate.”

    Rehabilitate? He wants to ship the Christians off to a government-sanctioned re-education camp?

    Aaron Klein told me there will be no reconciliation and there will be no rehabilitation. He and his wife will not back down from their Christian beliefs.

    “There’s nothing wrong with what we believe,” he said. “It’s a biblical point of view. It’s my faith. It’s my religion.”

    Klein said the ruling, which he called “absolutely absurd,” does not surprise him.

    “I’ve never seen a government entity use a law to come after somebody because they have a religious view,” he said. “I truly believe Brad Avakian is trying to send a message. I don’t think the constitution of the state of Oregon means anything to these people.”

    So it is clear… the war that is being waged by the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transvestite activists and their political pals is one against religious people.  We are aghast that a religious family will attempt to deprogram their child to standard heterosexual orientation (even though science can’t even confirm that the cause of homosexuality is not learned or temporary or psychological, etc.) , but it is fine that all powerful government officials pursue deprogramming of religious people.

    There is a cultural war underway and it is going to get very ugly thanks to the lack of restraint from those on the left.

  6. Davis Progressive

    “There is a cultural war underway and it is going to get very ugly thanks to the lack of restraint from those on the left.”

    as usual frankly is letting his partisan lenses get in the way of his clearer head.  what’s happened here is that the right is attempting their same tactics they’ve tried on these issues for the last twenty or thirty years, the problem is that they are dealing with a force far stronger than they have ever encountered and so – yes, it’s a bit ugly but most the ugliness is the right taking one in the jaw they weren’t expecting because they’ve gotten away with this stuff for so long.

    1. Frankly

      I think you are underestimating the mistake being made here.  It is overreach.  When the government punishes good people for following their religious beliefs, then the bully perspective changes.  And guess who is in bed with him?  The LGBT community that has previously benefited from the victim label.

      The bully has shifted, and that will undermine the cause… but not before it gets very ugly.

      I have talked to a lot of people that supported gay marriage and now are clearly unhappy with this type of thing and opining that “gays are going too far”.

      It is exactly what reasonable people were saying would happen with the crusade for gay marriage.  Because the separate by equal solution was rejected by the gay crusade, it was clear that they were just out for blood… punishing a society that made them feel marginalized in the least… even if they could not discern between true actions against them or only the voice of insecurity in their own head.

      I am of the mind that gays are mean bullies and Christians are the victims.  That narrative is growing.

      1. Davis Progressive

        “When the government punishes good people for following their religious beliefs”

        that’s a subjective assessment.  i would argue in this case the christians are attempting to be able to have the right to discriminate against a group of people and the gays are fighting back.  that puts the christians as the bullies who are whining because their victims have grown strong enough to kick their asses.

        1. tribeUSA

          No need to confine the discussion to Christians–perhaps you can force these laws on Muslim american communities and other faith communities in the USA, and see the delight with which they embrace the always more enlightened and tolerant progressive views.

      2. Don Shor

        I am of the mind that gays are mean bullies and Christians are the victims.

        There are lots of Christians who don’t support these forms of discrimination. Or so I’ve read.

        1. Frankly

          Just as there are a lot of gays that don’t support the gay-rights march to persecute Christians by exploiting gay rights progress.

          And refusing to make a gay wedding cake is not discrimination. It is freedom to express.

        2. Frankly

          Well there is that liberal-inconvenient Bill of Rights… which also covers the freedom to practice religion.

          And then there is…

          According to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, freedom of expression is the right of every individual to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

          Cake makers are cake artists.  Are you telling me that you support forcing a cake artist to make any cake you should demand?  Of only if you are part of some protected victim group?

      3. Tia Will


        I am of the mind that gays are mean bullies and Christians are the victims”

        I am of the opinion that self proclaimed Christians have used bullying techniques up to and including the death of gays ( Mattehew Sheppard) for many, many years and are now upset when strong tactics are being used against them. I do not approve of bullying regardless of who does it. I am however very much in favor of companies that are going to discriminate on the basis of “group association” being required to label their intentions clearly on their window or door in a prominent place so that those who are members of the targeted group, or those who do not like this form of discrimination do not waste their time ( or money ) going in.  I would consider it just like the “no shirt, no shoes, no serviced announcement that many establishments choose to post. Basically a public announcement that let’s everyone know their position of which they are supposedly proud.

        Would you have any problem with this proposition ?  If so, why ?

        1. hpierce

          Wow… two ‘weirdos’… there are gay Christians (they may not be ‘in good standing’ with others of their faith, but they still believe in Christ and his message of love and redemption)… and then there are those who do not believe there is a God/Supreme being, who equate those who believe in God, and his Son, with homophobia/discrimination.  Those two are “stupid”/ignorant.  Christians would be hard put to find any direct text attributed to Jesus that would justify discrimination (except in one’s own behaviors).  And the atheists/agnostics would have the same problem.  Grow up.  Get real.

    2. Don Shor

      Honestly, this whole Indiana law situation is one of the stupidest things I’ve seen in quite a while. The governor would have done well to get outside advice from constitutional scholars (and maybe some pollsters). The other governors are getting the message: if you pass an RFRA bill, you also need to add LGBT to anti-discrimination laws that are on the books (or pass one). There is a balance of competing rights here.
      Frankly is only seeing one side of this issue. If he prefaced his statements about those poor bakers in Oregon, or various other states, with the observation that their views are, in fact, discriminatory, I’d see that maybe he had the balance he demands from others. But he doesn’t do that. The only victims he sees are the religious business owners who want to discriminate, a right he feels should be legally protected.

  7. Frankly


    Would the baker have refused business to the gay customer wanting to purchase a cake for her nephew’s birthday party?

    I am guessing that the answer is no.

    The baker was not refusing to make a cake for the customer.  The baker was refusing to make a cake for a specific event.

    If a white supremacist came in and demanded a cake to celebrate Hitler’s birthday, wouldn’t the baker have the right to refuse to make the cake?

  8. Frankly

    This says it all…

    The Indiana law is a version of the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) that passed 97-3 in the Senate and that Bill Clinton signed in 1993. Both the federal and Indiana laws require courts to administer a balancing test when reviewing cases that implicate the free exercise of religion.

    Liberals used to understand that RFRA, with its balancing test, was a good-faith effort to help society compromise on contentious moral disputes. That liberals are renouncing it 20 years after celebrating it says more about their new intolerance than about anyone in Indiana.

    The paradox is that even as America has become more tolerant of gays, many activists and liberals have become ever-more intolerant of anyone who might hold more traditional cultural or religious views.

    Part of the new liberal intolerance is rooted in the identity politics that dominates today’s Democratic Party. That’s the only way to explain the born-again opportunism of Hillary Clinton, who tweeted: “Sad this new Indiana law can happen in America today. We shouldn’t discriminate against ppl bc of who they love.”

    By that standard, Mrs. Clinton discriminated against gays because she opposed gay marriage until March 2013. But now she wants to be seen as leading the new culture war against the intolerant right whose views she recently held.

    The same reversal of tolerance applies to religious liberty. When RFRA passed in 1993, liberal outfits like the ACLU were joined at the hip with the Christian Coalition. But now the ACLU is denouncing Indiana’s law because it wants even the most devoutly held religious values to bow to its cultural agenda on gay marriage and abortion rights.

    So yes, Gays have power now and they are the new bully in town.  Bend down to them and recognize their superior power or prepare to be destroyed.

    I for one think we need to rid ourselves of the term Gay and change it to Cheerless.

    1. Don Shor

      The Indiana law is a version of the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) that passed 97-3 in the Senate and that Bill Clinton signed in 1993.

      Hobby Lobby changed all that.

  9. hpierce

    There is a sign, in many establishments, including a taqueria in Woodland, stating, “We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone”.  Guess that is the most hateful sign of all.

    1. Davis Progressive

      “We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone”

      they do have those signs.  but is it true?  answer is no.  under the civil rights act of 1964, restaurants are not allowed to refuse service based on race, color, religion, or natural origin.  there is also caselaw that prohibits restaurants from refusing service based on arbitrary conditions.  the signs do not prevent courts from ruling that such refusal is discriminatory.  

      1. TrueBlueDevil

        So was I discriminated against because a Hasidic woman wouldn’t shake my hand? (I guess I am unclean.)

        Are Hasidic Jews guilty of sex discrimination when they refuse to do business transactions with an American business woman?

        I figured freedom of religion was one of our highest virtues and rights.

        1. Miwok

          I am entertained by the fact the LGBT crowd and Lawyers seem to want their cause be celebrated now as a “religion”.

          Since when is anyone who is LGBT NOT a man, woman, Black. Hispanic, White? There are laws supporting serving anyone.

          The cake maker refusing to write something hateful seems to me to be wanting the business to have a good reputation, not as an “anything goes” cake artist. Then you get the cakes made up like body parts, offensive symbols, and they cannot refuse?

          I know as a photographer I was asked to do a charity shoot locally, and was excited about it, until I found who they “partnered with”. I do not support National Charities, only local ones. So I opted out, but are people trying to say I would be obligated in spite of my beliefs? I would not have done a good job in that situation.

      2. Clem Kadiddlehopper

         I am curious, if NAMBLA decided to purchase a building in downtown Davis and started a campaign effort to recruit new members would the community accept them with open arms?
         What if they promoted an Easter egg hunt at one of our local parks? Would the citizens of Davis accept this??
         What if ISIS members decided to move to Davis and hold weekly meetings at the public library and they wanted their meetings catered by a local restaurant? Do you think any local restaurants would refuse service??  
        Do any of the above scenarios constitute discrimination?

        1. Tia Will


          I will take a stab at answering your questions.

          1) Does NAMBLA have the right to do this. Yes  Would the community welcome them with open arms. It depends entirely on what you mean with “open arms”. Is anyone going to be putting up welcome NAMBLA signs. Doubtful. Would you find people who would defend their right to promote their message including myself. Yes. Our constitution support their right to self promote. It also supports my right to oppose them in my own messaging which I also would do vigorously.

          2) If they promoted an Easter egg hunt at a local park would the citizens of Davis accept this. If they were acting legally, yes, they would as NAMBLA members have as much right to the use of a public park as any other citizen. I suspect the turn out would be very, very low as those of us who do not approve of their message could vote with our absence.

          3) If ISIS wants to hold weekly catered meetings, they should certainly be allowed to as long as all they are doing is speaking. However, as a terrorist organization, I am sure that there are probably laws against them recruiting and other laws against nationally recognized terrorist organizations certainly might apply. This is an apples to oranges comparison as I strongly doubt that any LGBT organization has been designated as terrorist.

          As to your question regarding discrimination, I would certainly agree that all of the examples that you gave would certainly be discriminatory, but not necessarily illegal as others have pointed out that for the law to apply, the discrimination must be against a protected group, not of the “no shoes, no shirt, no service” type of discrimination which targets individual appearance and behavior, not a specific protected group.

  10. TrueBlueDevil

    Looks like a female teacher in Indiana threatened to burn down the pizzeria. She must have watched Do The Right Thing.

    “On the heels of the news from the pizza shop, coach [Jess] Dooley allegedly took to Twitter to say, “Who’s going to Walkerton, IN to burn down #memoriespizza w me? Agree with #FreedomofReligion bill? “That’s a lifestyle they CHOOSE” Ignorant.” ”

    Wasn’t our nation founded on religious liberty? So now some liberal lawyers set up a small Christian pizzeria in a town of 2,000. Sad.

    1. Don Shor

      Do I need to post examples of religious fanatics acting hateful toward gays? I’m sure in a nanosecond you could find examples on the internet. Hint: Westboro.

    2. Don Shor

      Wasn’t our nation founded on religious liberty?

      There were a few other values as well. Like equal protection under the law, things like that.

  11. Tia Will


    Weren’t some of you objecting to the very thought of Sharia law being active on the UCD campus ?  Or does religious freedom and rights only apply to the Christian religion ?

      1. Don Shor

        So gay weddings have now been compared to the KKK, ISIS, NAMBLA, Hitler birthday celebrations, white supremacists, hate crimes, Hasidic Jews (?!), and gays and their mysterious “lobby” are bullies, crusaders who are slashing and burning society, selfish, suffer from personal insecurity, and are “going too far.”
        But other than that, a respectful and civil discussion.

        1. Frankly

          They you go.  Attack the messenger for being (insert negative label) instead of responding to the points.  The common tactic of those that feel they are losing the debate.

          1. Don Shor

            And now they’re a lynch mob. I responded to the points a long time ago. The people losing the debate and losing the culture war are on your side of the line — and you drew that line.

        2. TrueBlueDevil

          What other term do you use to describe a group that viciously attacks a humble Christian family that says they pray for people every day, serves gay customers, would serve gay customers, but just wouldn’t cater a gay wedding because it violates their religious beliefs?

          These same individuals took to social media an asked to have others help them burn down their family business!

      2. Frankly

        So will liberals and the CLBT lynch mob complain about the Muslim bakery refusing to make a cake for a gay wedding?  My guess is that they would just never ask out of respect.

        1. TrueBlueDevil

          They go after this family, and at the same time their official leader, Barack Obama, bends over for Iran and kisses their feet … a nation which throws gay people off of rooftops! Iran, the puppet master of a region on fire.

          How asinine and ludicrous is this all?

          1. Don Shor

            a nation which throws gay people off of rooftops!

            You have your Mideast people mixed up. But I’m not surprised.

        2. Frankly

          Come on Don, so ISIS or ISIL are Sunni Muslims and they are throwing gays off roof tops to kill them.  But Iran are mostly Shia Muslim and they have a habit of persecuting gays too.  I think TBD makes a good point.  The Obama administration is strongly supported by his political party and it is that same party that is supposedly still so concerned about gay rights in this county that they demand we persecute cake artists for not making cakes for gay weddings… but support the President for strengthening relations with Iran.  Persecute Christians in the US, but reach out to Muslims in Iran…  and you can’t see anything wrong with this?

          1. Don Shor

            You can’t possibly mean any of this as any sort of actual analysis or criticism, can you?

        3. TrueBlueDevil

          I guess Frankly’s end of the pool is too deep for you.

          An Execution Wave Against LGBT Iranians

          “President Barack Obama has long depicted himself as a defender of women’s and LGBT rights not only in the United States but across the world as well. Yet, where is his voice when it comes to the growing number of executions and the persecution of the gay and lesbian community as well as the repression of women in the Islamic Republic of Iran? In addition, why has the LGBT movement not criticized the Obama administration or made a movement over these injustices, egregious actions, and human rights violations committed in the Islamic Republic against the gays and lesbians?…

          “…Two weeks ago, two Iranian men, Abdulla Ghavami Chahzanjiru and Salman Ghanbari Chahzanjiri, were executed in the southern part of the Islamic Republic for reasons that included “consensual sodomy.”  According to the Daily Beast, “Their deaths are part of a wave of executions in Iran, with more than 400 in the first half of 2014 alone, according to the NGO Iran Human Rights.” One of the Iranian sourcespointed out that Chahzanjiru and Chahzanjiri were executed in order to “promote community safety” as well as to “reduce the suffering of the victims.” ”


          1. Don Shor

            Aside from the fact that you obviously confused ISIS and Iran, what does all of this have to do with the law in Indiana? Did President Obama write it, vote for it, or sign it? Or is this just part of your usual mishmash of hostility to the president and everything left of you?

        4. TrueBlueDevil

          Don, I think you’re mixing people up. I didn’t refer to ISIS, I refereed to the nutbags in Iran who throw gay folks off of rooftops, yet our Savior in Chief doesn’t say a word. Why is that?

          On a scale of 1 to 10, a young person (teenager?) telling a liberal TV hack that they do serve gay clients but wouldn’t cater a gay wedding doesn’t even register a “1”, whereas murdering over 400 gay individuals in just half a year is a “10” in importance. But that’s just my value system.

          1. Don Shor

            Perhaps it’s because there were no nut bags in Iran who threw anyone off rooftops? That was ISIS. In Syria. Do you need us to post a map?
            You know that this Vanguard post has nothing to do with Iran, Islam, or President Obama? Yet you’ve managed, once again, to derail it with your extreme hostility to this president.

    1. Barack Palin

      Weren’t some of you objecting to the very thought of Sharia law being active on the UCD campus ?  Or does religious freedom and rights only apply to the Christian religion ?

      Sharia Law isn’t too accommodating to homosexuals.  Check out this story, you talk about a conundrum.  Now as the story points out a white Christian male is the lowest on the totem pole.  But who trumps who, the Muslim barber or the lesbian who wants a businessman’s haircut when the barber refuses to cut her hair?

  12. Dave Hart

    Dear Don, David, Tia, and those who do not hide behind a pseudonym, up to this point 71 comments and the minority try to hold thoughtful dialogue with “people” who are are neither thoughtful or well-informed.  How many more months or years can you continue to make intelligent comments against this grinding wheel of closed mindedness?  No valuable dialogue is emerging, no opinions are being changed, and fewer people have the time or energy to wade through it all hoping to gain a new insight.  Please reconsider the anonymity policy.

    1. Tia Will

      Hi Dave,

      How many more months or years can you continue to make intelligent comments against this grinding wheel of closed mindedness?”

      I had to smile a little when I read your post. I am not under the delusion that I will ever make a difference in the thinking of those who are ideologically driven. I do not hold to any given ideology which is why I get the occasional comment of surprise about a position that I may hold or a comment that my views are ” absurd” or “ridiculous”. I am a dreamer and an  outlier and I am well aware of it.

      The point of my comment is that when I write, I am not writing to those who already are firmly committed to their ideologic positions. I am writing for those who may be open to another idea or a different way of seeing the world that they may not have considered. During the time that I have been aware of the Vanguard and become progressively more involved, we have seen our number of “lurkers” increase as well as new people commenting and writing on a broader number of issues. That alone is worth it to me to keep writing and commenting.

    2. tribeUSA

      Just skip them! You’re under no obligation to pay attention to any poster!

      I think most of the Vanguard readers can handle this, not sure why you have such little faith in people’s ability to handle this. Unlike a sequence of oral presentations where you have to wait; here you can just skip over!

      I find a comparable % of posters that use their own names to be as interesting as those who use monikers.

      There does seem to be a clear bias of those who are more politically correct to post their own names; for obvious reasons of job security, those who make statements that might be deemed as politically incorrect or branded “hateful’ or “closed-minded” (?why, because their viewpoint doesn’t swing around to yours–though it is entirely your perogative to rate your viewpoint as superior!) may prefer to remain anonymous if they are still in the job market. Heck, Sam Clemens requested that his autobiography not be published for 100 years after his death, because he understood that there are some topics or opinions that it is impossible to talk about openly without the passage of either time or anonymity (remember Mark Twain)–would you also classify “Twain”or others who publish under pseudonyms as trolls or lurking cowards?

      I think we get a broader spectrum of responses by allowing for anonymous posters; and it makes the point-counterpoint more interesting in my view.

      Meanwhile everyone has absolute freedom to skip over anyone elses comments–perhaps you underestimate the ease with which others on the forum (such as myself) can do so; influence on steering the forum is not monopolized by anyone or any restricted spectrum of viewpoints!

      1. Barack Palin

        ?why, because their viewpoint doesn’t swing around to yours–though it is entirely your perogative to rate your viewpoint as superior!)

        Bingo, you hit the nail on the head tribeUSA.  One must be “neither thoughtful or well-informed” if you have a different opinion than what some posters think is the correct way to think.  

        How many more months or years can you continue to make intelligent comments against this grinding wheel of closed mindedness?

        Yes, if you don’t agree with them then you must be close minded.  Not a chance that others that don’t agree with you are the ones who are close minded.

         no opinions are being changed

        True, but that goes both ways.

    3. TrueBlueDevil

      Dave Hart, you never know when you might run into someone from an “opposite camp” who might actually hold unexpected views, or who is open minded in some area.

      Take for instance, my pot smoking, Deadhead uber-liberal friend. I recently found out he considers nuclear power a no brainer, and thinks we should have invested more in it, and should invest more in it. He’s actually more educated than most on the topic, and even he jokes about the lunacy of comparing US nuclear power to what happened at Chernobyl. So metaphorically speaking, we were able to smoke the peace pipe on that topic. He also agrees that we need to build more water storage in California. No belly aching, no waffling.

      I don’t have my panties in a bunch over this MRAP topic, but I do wonder why Obama is purging our military of valuable, costly armaments. Probably more of his strategy to reduce and weaken our military … all while he paves a path to nuclear weapons for a despotic regime.

    4. tribeUSA

      DH–in thinking about your request some more, perhaps you are correct from an operational standpoint, if this forum was a formal policy-informing body for political and legislative changes. For example, I agree that the recent requests that Mayor Wolk received re: issues in Davis that could use attention, should more appropriately be signed, and not sent in anonymously (I would not personally send in such a request without putting my name on it, as well as contact info.). However, there need be a floor zero on any matter involving politics and public policy; where floor zero is a free-wheeling exchange of opinions, where people can state their opinions freely without the need to worry about negative repercussions on their work place (or employability) or even their family (if a spouse or other family member is embarassed about his/her partners political/policy viewpoints). I’m happy with this forum being a ground zero, and hope it stays that way. Yes, lots of muck, but now and then maybe a pearl. I think there are other tamer forums that can be perused with a cup of tea and chat with like-minded individuals–I relish the diversity myself, all kinds of critters in the muck!

      On a related note, most of my viewpoints fall somewhere between the progressive and traditional views expressed on this forum; however I find myself defending the traditionalists for several reasons, among them: (1) some sentimentality for our disappearing cultural traditions and my aversion to the emergence of the global techno-corporatist materialist culture, which benefits from atomizing individuals away from ties to their fellow humans (with identity politics, whether of race, sex, sexual preference, etc. being one of the main tools in accomplishing this) and molding into a ‘human resource’ to be used and discarded, rewarding an ever more hyped-up structured culture of competition (2) sympathy for the underdog, who currently are the traditionalists (3) the rhetorical tactics of some of the progressives, which often contain wafts of the noxious fumes steaming off the brew of modern corporate marketing–condescending, placating, disingenuous, and often just plain nasty with implied threats of label-branding (though the contributors on this forum have had the decency to stop short of that).

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