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MD Lawmaker Rips Conservative Lawyer for Arguing Businesses Should Get to Discriminate Against Gay Couples: AUDIO


Yesterday I posted a repulsive bit of testimony from a 14-year-old girl who asked the Maryland Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee to vote down the marriage equality bill for her birthday.

Here's a very satisfying snippet of testimony pulled by Think Progress LGBT in which Democratic Maryland Senator Jamie Raskin rips Brian Raum of the conservative Alliance Defense Fund's irrational argument that businesses should be allowed to discriminate against married same-sex couples.

Asks Raskin to a stammering Raum: "You testified that hotels, motels, and restaurants should be required to serve gay individuals, but you think we should write into the law they should not be required to serve gay married individuals?"


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  1. yes. you can serve the gay individual - but not the gay couple who has done something that makes you unjustifiably angry.

    i'm reminded of a quote from one of my favourite authors, Ethan Mordden.

    "That's just it-what you are is what they see. The sneaks will be spared. They will. Because it isn't homosexuals the straights hate. It's gays. They don't mind if you have a secret. They don't have to deal with secrets. Secrets aren't there. It's the hammering home of the truth that enrages them, the exploding of the secrets."
    - Ethan Mordden, Everybody Loves You

    Yep, tolerate the gays as long as they've been suppressed by your bigoted limits on liberty. Discriminate against them if they dare to defy you.

    Homey don't play dat.

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Feb 1, 2012 10:59:06 AM

  2. I am so tired of this incessant Republican need to make sure the "small business owner" isn't inconvenienced in the least: not through taxes, not through fair employment practices, not through fair wages, and definitely not through having to treat their customers fairly. That includes the God-given right to gouge their customers, swindle them blind in boiler plate contracts with 4 point type, sky high fees. No, not one thing in the Republican mind should ever "burden" their "small business" friends - of course, their idea of "small business" is something the size of Exxon. Enough all ready.

    Posted by: CraigC | Feb 1, 2012 11:23:54 AM

  3. @little kiwi

    I almost always agree with you, so may I ask: how, if not through their bigotry, will you know who to give your business to? You could be blindly giving money to hateful individuals rather than loving, fair individuals without allowing them to be discriminating?

    I am always so torn on this. I believe everyone should be served and treated fairly, but I also don't like rewarding bad people or giving them money.


    that's lip service. TPTB use small businesses as excuses for tax increases and fair wages when really they are lobbying for their bigger fat cat friends. It just sounds better saying why should that small mom and pop go out of business than say Microsoft.

    Posted by: Rin | Feb 1, 2012 11:36:35 AM

  4. The marriages that predate government were women being sold against their will by their fathers for live stock. Oh and a man could have as many wives as he could afford.... Men could cheat but, the woman if caught would be stoned... it is the U. S. government sponsorship of only heterosexual marriage that is wrong. Who cares what a church you do not belong to thinks. That should not matter.. All tax paying citizens should have the same rights.

    Posted by: Tom in long beach | Feb 1, 2012 11:48:23 AM

  5. the reality, RIN, is this: those that try to find ways to "not" serve us should utterly be boycotted. i agree.

    there are no religious texts that back up any sort of this discrimination - those who seek to find an excuse, however, should be called out on it, and yes boycotted.

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Feb 1, 2012 12:02:22 PM

  6. Dan Savage suggested something interesting yesterday. A "No Wedding Registry" where businesses that are opposed to marriage equality can register themselves (like people can sign up at wedding registries). So gay people and their allies (the most recent poll showed over 70% of the people in the most marriageable age group support marriage equality) can find out what businesses to avoid when planning a wedding.

    Posted by: Charlie | Feb 1, 2012 12:02:34 PM

  7. Much as I love Jamie Raskin (and I do, he's awesome), he's not really getting the point here--in part because his interlocutor is so incompetent.

    The distinction people like Raum want to draw is not between serving married gay couples and serving gay individuals, but rather between serving gay people in a context that doesn't involve recognizing their relationship (like letting them eat in your restaurant) and facilitating an act you think is immoral (like allowing a couple to host their same-sex wedding in your building.) Neither the bill nor existing public accommodations law makes that distinction; Raum is right that, say, a person who rents a building to the public for use at weddings would not be protected from suit if he or she declined to rent the building to a same-sex couple.

    Whether it is a distinction that actually makes a difference is, of course, another question. I'm inclined to think it doesn't. Sexual orientation discrimination is sexual orientation discrimination regardless of its motives.

    Posted by: Fodolodo | Feb 1, 2012 12:17:56 PM

  8. And when the "small business owner" discriminates against an interracial couple claiming interracial marriage is against their religion, or refuses to serve someone because they're wearing the Star of David, again citing religious reasons, you've opened the door to discrimiation across the board.

    Discriminate against one, you discriminate against many. Religion should never be used as a weapon or an excuse. Following any religion is a choice. And personal choices should never dictate public policy.

    Haven't we learned anything?

    Posted by: Bart | Feb 1, 2012 12:30:29 PM

  9. Maybe I'm not getting this, but how would this work? Didn't we already have this debate with the morning after pill & the decison was an individual pharmacist, despite his religious beliefs, has to fulfill the prescription.

    I see lawsuits ahead. The 14th amendment & the civil rights acts currently doesn't include sexual orientation under it's protection. But gender & people with disabilities were added years after it passed. A lawsuit would bring this challenge to the courts which would be forced to make a decision on sexual orientation. I think that's why they desperately want to add the proviso that the couples discriminated against wouldn't be ble to sue.

    Posted by: sara | Feb 1, 2012 2:50:12 PM

  10. The obvious comparison is mixed-race marriage. Some people don't want to "facilitate" the mixing of the races, so they, like this guy, would serve individuals regardless of race but not serve couples who "violated" some bizarre idea of facilitation.

    Note to bigots: the sin you find in the Bible is about actual sex, not providing flowers or a hotel room.

    Posted by: BobN | Feb 1, 2012 3:29:26 PM

  11. "I can't sell you these flowers because I can tell you that eat pork" - said no Jews, at any point.

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Feb 1, 2012 3:39:35 PM

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