“The goal is to rehabilitate,” said the bureaucrat about a Christian-owned bakery that refused to bake a cake for a lesbian wedding. The man who uttered that phrase was Oregon labor commissioner Brad Avakian, and he’s obviously come to bear the secular man’s burden. He insists he doesn’t want to put the bakery, Sweet Cakes by Melissa, out of business. He just wants owner Aaron Klein and his wife Melissa to think doubleplusgood thoughts. But now the Kleins have in fact shuttered their doors in deference to their principles and a local community that has all the wrong ones.
Unfortunately, such stories are becoming more common. Just yesterday, in fact, the San Antonio City Council passed an ordinance prohibiting business owners with faith-based policies against homosexuality and “transgenderism” from engaging in commerce in the city. It’s the realization of a prediction homosexual activists made in the 1989 book After the Ball. To wit: Once they could “produce a major realignment solidly in favour of gay rights, the intransigents (like the racists of twenty years ago) will eventually be effectively silenced by both law and polite society.” And this is where I’d normally start writing about freedom of association, but today I want to address something else first: a novel way to fight back against the statist equality jackboots.
The 1964 Civil Rights Act’s declaration that privately owned businesses are “public accommodations” (poof! Voilá!) robbed Americans of the right to run their businesses in accordance with their consciences’ dictates. Private organizations and clubs, however, can discriminate as they see fit; this is why the Boy Scouts can exclude girls and homosexual scoutmasters and Augusta National Golf Club was free to have a men-only membership. So here’s the idea: Whatever your business, why not just declare it a private club? A restaurant could be a dining club, a building a living-community club, and a bakery a baking club. Poof! Voilá!
How it would work is simple. The facade of the business would look the same, but upon entering customers would politely be told that to patronize the “club” they’d have to become a member. The fee?
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