Ellen Page and Ted Cruz

ellen-page-ted-cruzI love Ellen Page and despise Ted Cruz, but neither came off very well in their recent exchange. Page generally has the right ideas but is prone to false equivalences. Cruz’s idea of religious liberty ignores the way liberty discriminates when unchecked.

On the example of florists and wedding-cakes, Page is right. When it comes to commerce, business owners should have the right to refuse services which offend them only if the principle is applied with equity. If bakers are in the service of wedding cakes, then it has to be wedding cakes for everyone. If they refuse to supply specific decorations on the cakes (for example pornography), fine, but that principle has to be applied to couples of all orientations. When you’re in business, you are subject to discrimination laws — and what your business provides doesn’t imply endorsement of what the customers are doing on their side anyway. Common sense, if you ask me.

The issue of having “the right to be married in the church of one’s choice” is different altogether, and on this point Page is wrong and Ted Cruz is right. Pastors, rabbis, and clergy-people are under no obligation to conduct a marriage that goes against their creed. Nor should they be. That’s more than just religious freedom; that’s a pastor’s First Amendment right. If you want to get married, find either a church that will marry you, or a legal representative. The Supreme Court has guaranteed your right with the latter.

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