You’ve undoubtedly heard about Aaron and Melissa Klein, the Christian bakers in Oregon who were fined $135,000 for refusing to violate their conscience and bake a cake for a lesbian couple’s wedding. Religious freedom isn’t so free anymore.
As others have done who’ve experienced similar discrimination, Aaron and Melissa set up a GoFundMe account to help defray the costs of this violation of their rights. A short while – and $100,000 + later – GoFundMe blocked their fundraiser.
Several days after blocking the Klein’s fundraiser, GoFundMe discreetly changed their terms of service. Check it out:
GoFundMe’s terms used to read, “campaigns in defense of formal charges of heinous crimes, including violent, hateful, or sexual acts.” It’s been updated to ban “campaigns in defense of formal charges or claims of heinous crimes, violent, hateful, sexual or discriminatory acts.”
Let’s think about this for a minute.
GoFundMe refused service to individuals who were raising money because they refused service to someone else. So…
A baker doesn’t have the right to refuse to service, but GoFundMe does.
Hypocrisy much? When I tweeted the above, an individual whose bio reads, “Lawyer, music business. Manifesto Records. Rum collector. Cat enthusiast. Strong supporter of
#BarackObama and #HillaryClinton” sent me the following response:
— Evan S. Cohen (@evan_manifesto) April 27, 2015
Did you catch that? SOME BUSINESSES do not get to choose customers. That is exactly the point conservatives should be making right now.
Does anyone, ever, at any time have the right to refuse to serve someone, or not? Is it okay for a Muslim bakery not to bake a cake for a gay wedding? Is it okay for a Jewish restaurant to refuse to cater on the Sabbath? Is it okay for a t-shirt printer to refuse to print racial slurs on his products? Is it okay for GoFundMe to refuse to allow someone to fundraise using its services?
If we say yes to these questions, then how can it not be okay for someone to refuse to bake a cake for religious reasons? Gosh. How is this so hard to understand? It’s like the First Amendment doesn’t even exist anymore!
Either businesses can reserve the right to refuse service, or they cannot. Make up your mind, America. Do you believe in freedom, or not?
by Krystal Heath, follow her on Twitter!
PS – if you’d like to contribute to help the Kleins, you can do so via a fund set up by Samaritan’s Purse.