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  Reply # 2054379 11-Jul-2018 14:54
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Ah - I was unaware of the Australian law change.

 

Interesting example with the alcohol though.   We're not talking about banning anything here - the example might be better described as a particular shopkeeper choosing to only sell alcohol to patrons over the age of 21.

 

Even more interesting is the "intended use" aspect in the case of alcohol.  There have been recent examples of it being perfectly legal to refuse the sale of alcohol to people over the age of 18 on the basis that they may share it with underage companions.  (Even though it is legal for parents/guardians to do exactly that).

 

 


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  Reply # 2054391 11-Jul-2018 15:30
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Off topic - but alcohol (and tobacco) laws are kind of tricky that way IMO.  Especially so as despite some retailers who'd no doubt abuse laws if they could get away with it, generally responsible (ie most) retailers and employees face very harsh penalties if they get caught making a simple mistake. 
I do know from talking to local supermarket checkout operators when you're left waiting for the (licensed?) staff member to check off alcohol purchase, asking why they don't have the license themselves.  The answer wasn't what I expected - but "oh - it's easy to get the license, but you only get paid $xx.xx more an hour and it's easy to make a mistake especially when the supermarket is busy. That could cost me a big fine and my job which I need - so it's not worth the risk for the few extra dollars a week".




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  Reply # 2054392 11-Jul-2018 15:34
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Relevant information from the Human Rights Commission (for context)

 

 

A celebrant who is a minister of a religious body or a celebrant who is nominated by an approved organisation is not obliged to marry a couple if it contravenes the religious beliefs or philosophical or humanitarian convictions of the religious body or approved organisation (s29(2) of the Marriage Act 1955).

 

A list of religious bodies is set out in Schedule 1 of the Marriage Act 1955 and approved organisations are listed here.

 

 

The law is very clear for Ministers/Celebrants.

 

The question (in a nutshell) is do the same arguments/protections apply to other individuals or companies who are asked to participate in the marriage in a commercial context.  (Venues, caterers, photographers, etc.)

 

And if not, should they apply?  (Or a corollary - Should "religion" continue to get "special" treatment?)


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  Reply # 2054404 11-Jul-2018 16:03
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"Religious grounds"... Pfffft. Jesus would've baked the cake:

 

 

Jesus was an activist (still is, some might add). Wherever he went he caused trouble. Jesus refused to participate in systems designed to dehumanize or discriminate against minority groups. Everything Jesus did was a form of resistance.

 

In fact, he went out of his way to show that all were included in the whanau of God. It didn’t matter someone’s gender identity, sexual orientation or ethnicity.

 

When Jesus walked the earth, he lived in a time where minority groups were brutally oppressed. Human rights weren’t a thing, or at least not in the way they are now. The powerful ruled the weak. It was the way of the world.

 

But, Jesus resisted this way of doing things.

 

When patriarchal systems told women that they were less than men. Jesus treated them as equals. When systems of racial segregation and oppression sought to dehumanize and divide, Jesus reached across the lines and said “this is my sister, this is my brother!” Whenever, and wherever the powerful sought to oppress the weak and the vulnerable, Jesus was there, standing up for their rights. Fighting for their freedom.

 

 

Reality is that Jesus would've been sent to prison in our days because whatever he said goes against most of the things these people do.





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  Reply # 2054413 11-Jul-2018 16:19
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6FIEND:

 

And if not, should they apply?  (Or a corollary - Should "religion" continue to get "special" treatment?)

 

 

I think I have already made my views on this clear. Religion should not get any special treatment. Marriage celebrants should be civil servants, without any religious connection at all. If they refuse to marry someone, they are refusing to do their job and should  be sacked. This is how it is done in Holland, by the way, and it works fine there. Marriage is purely a civil function. If people want a religious ceremony, and some do, that is separate and has no special legal status.

 

Caterers and others who do wedding stuff ought to be able to choose who they work for unless this creates serious injustice for certain groups. In practice, it shouldn't be a problem. In our society there will be plenty of people happy to serve anyone willing to pay.

 

 





I reject your reality and substitute my own. - Adam Savage
 




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  Reply # 2054415 11-Jul-2018 16:22
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By the way, this has been a great discussion :-)

 

Thank you all for indulging me in this "thinking out loud" exercise.

 

I do wonder if we have allowed the religious aspect to overshadow things somewhat...  Religion was never raised or put forward as justification by the baker for her decision.  (though I concede that it is more likely the case than not)

 

However, one can hold "traditionalist" or "conservative" viewpoints without necessarily being an adherent to any religion.  An entirely secular person may hold the belief that "marriage" is, by definition, the legal coupling of a man and a woman.  (As it has been for millennia)  They may struggle to come to grips with changes that have been implemented only very recently and may not wish to be a part of or encourage that change.

 

I don't know if that makes them necessarily bigoted.  Or homophobic.

 

Thanks again.


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  Reply # 2054448 11-Jul-2018 16:24
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Religion shouldn't have to come into it.. You should be able to discriminate on honest opinion, and any law that prevents people from refusing service on their genuinely held belief or opinion is contemptible and wrong. There's a well known Auckland restaurant owner who's been in the papers for refusing service to celebrities with political views not compatible with his.. It's daft that by the letter of the law he'd be forced to serve people he can't stand in his restaurant. You might not agree with this lady, but she was polite and respectful, and she should be able to make that refusal.

 

My 2 cents.





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  Reply # 2054455 11-Jul-2018 16:33
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6FIEND:

 

However, one can hold "traditionalist" or "conservative" viewpoints without necessarily being an adherent to any religion. 

 

 

You could, but the history of "the institution" of marriage and religion are deeply intertwined.

 

 


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  Reply # 2054494 11-Jul-2018 18:30
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6FIEND:

 

freitasm:

 

The couple should just go and find a less bigoted business to make their cake. I'm sure there'll be plenty others that will take their money. That'd be the end of story. Why extend it? If someone doesn't want to do business with you because of what they think, so be it.

 

 

Well, yes.  I think that most people would agree that that would be the most sensible course of action.

 

However, in this case the couple concerned have made a conscious choice to turn an entirely private (and earnestly polite) matter and taken it to the media for widespread coverage and consideration.  On one hand, it would be interesting to explore what may have motivated them to do so?

 

Another angle to the story is the application of discrimination law in New Zealand, with at least one lawyer suggesting that the baker has broken the law by refusing to serve this couple.

 

"Section 44 expressly states that it will be unlawful to 'refuse or fail on demand to provide any other person' with goods, facilities, or services by reason of any of the prohibited grounds of discrimination," Chen said.

 

This raises the more challenging issue of "compulsion".

 

Should the baker be compelled by the state to perform a service that contravenes her religious beliefs?

 

 

 

 

According to our law, yes. Discrimination doesnt include a moral out


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  Reply # 2054495 11-Jul-2018 18:34
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6FIEND:

 

freitasm:

 

In the cake case the religion doesn't prohibit someone from making a cake or touching the ingredients. The person doesn't want to do it because of discrimination.

 

 

Also a good point.

 

But if we take the Halal eatery example and change it slightly so that it's not about "handling prohibited foods"...

 

Perhaps consider a printing company owned and operated by a devout Muslim.  Should we compel that person to print copies of the notorious "Allah is Gay" pamphlets?

 

If not, would we compel a devout Christian printer to print an equivalent "God is gay" pamphlet?

 

Apologies - we're well on our way down a rabbit hole now...

 

 

Yep! :-)

 

If I ran a vege store, I cant be touched as I didnt sell meat, vice versa. But I can be done for deciding not to sell my produce to anyone on the basis of discrimination. 

 

 


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  Reply # 2054496 11-Jul-2018 18:35
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tdgeek:

 

According to our law, yes. Discrimination doesnt include a moral out

 

 

How could it?  Bigotry and morality seem to be mutually exclusive, surely.


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  Reply # 2054497 11-Jul-2018 18:36
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davidcole:

 

I'm not against the ladies wanting their cake for their wedding at all, it doesn't offend me in the slightest, I'm not religious, and I think I'm pretty open.  But here goes for a discussion.

 

I thought any shop was in their rights to refuse a sale?  Isn't buying something an offer to buy, that the shopkeeper is allowed to accept or not? I didn't think they had to give a reason.   Just because.  If I have this wrong, them my whole discussion point is mute.  But that's how I understood the law.

 

Now because the shopkeeper has, in this case, given a reason, that is covered by the human rights commission (I think refusal because of sexual orientation/race) then it becomes an issue. 

 

Is this right?  I mean if the cake maker had just said, no I can't make it.  With no explanation, a, would that be legal, and b, would we even know about this?

 

Even though I don't agree with the cake maker at all, shouldn't they get to decide, generally, who they want to serve....and if they have outdated, bigoted ideas, then it will only hurt their business but no-one else?

 

 

 

I'm trying to chose language and points here to avoid offending anyone, so if I have, just let me know.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

I believe that is correct. But not based on statute based law.


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  Reply # 2054498 11-Jul-2018 18:39
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Fred99:

 

tdgeek:

 

According to our law, yes. Discrimination doesnt include a moral out

 

 

How could it?  Bigotry and morality seem to be mutually exclusive, surely.

 

 

I think the US has that in its Constitution, a case was allowed, IIRc it was referred to in one of the articles. In NZ, a moral out is not an option as our law states the definition of discrimination. Beliefs here dont matter, which is how it should be. 


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  Reply # 2054499 11-Jul-2018 18:44
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Lias:

 

Religion shouldn't have to come into it.. You should be able to discriminate on honest opinion, and any law that prevents people from refusing service on their genuinely held belief or opinion is contemptible and wrong. There's a well known Auckland restaurant owner who's been in the papers for refusing service to celebrities with political views not compatible with his.. It's daft that by the letter of the law he'd be forced to serve people he can't stand in his restaurant. You might not agree with this lady, but she was polite and respectful, and she should be able to make that refusal.

 

My 2 cents.

 

 

Its the law. Or I could withhold service as I hate males, or Maoris, or coloured people, or old people, or young people, and so on. The basis is everyone is equal, race, creed and so on should not come into it. Go to bus drivers, can they choose? The guy at PBTech? City Council?  


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  Reply # 2054507 11-Jul-2018 19:01
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tdgeek:


Go to bus drivers, can they choose? The guy at PBTech? City Council?  



Or the Halal “home kill” butcher who arrives at a client and is asked to butcher a pig instead of a sheep?

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