In the ongoing controversy between Arlene’s Flowers owners and the state Attorney General’s Office, the state is on the right side of the issues.
The owners’ position is that they have a “natural right” to not provide services to law-abiding customers based upon their religious principles and personal objections to the rights of gay couples to marry.
Certainly, the owners are free to have their own religious beliefs and opinions. But, they have no legal rights (which are granted and/or taken by governments) to violate the legal rights of others in accordance with their own religious indoctrination.
In past articles in the TCH, Kennewick councilman John Trumbo and Pasco councilman Bob Hoffman are supportive of the owners and appear to promote politicizing the issues.
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They suggest that it’s the owners’ not legal, but natural or unalienable rights that give their chosen religious beliefs authority over the laws of our “one nation, under God …” to which we, the people, pledge allegiance.
We do not pledge our allegiance to every individual’s chosen religious faith whether they are Christian, Muslim, Mormon, Jewish, etc.
To do so would undermine the stability of any free society that is organized around shared values, laws and justice.