Links and Comments: Republican analogies; Hugo Awards trolling; Religious freedom laws

I’m way behind with day to day links and comments, so let me spend an hour catching up, if with minimal commentary or alignment into general issues.

First, one of many examples of Republicans unclear on the concept of analogies (are they just not very smart?): Ted Cruz Wrongly Believes Preventing Anti-Gay Discrimination is Like Forcing Rabbis to Eat Pork

No, preventing anti-gay discrimination would be like forcing Rabbis, if they are operating a public market, to sell pork to those who want to buy it.

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Even the science fiction community has its share of reactionaries and right-wing trolls: Salon’s Arthur Chu: Sci-fi’s right-wing backlash: Never doubt that a small group of deranged trolls can ruin anything (even the Hugo Awards)

This issue has gotten much coverage, from Slate and Salon to The Atlantic. Mike Glyer at File 770 has compiled many, many responses about this from various SF blogs including those of George R.R. Martin, Adam Roberts, Peter Watts, Elizabeth Bear, Scott Edelman, John Scalzi, David Gerrold. The issue is mostly about right-wing white males upset that their privilege has been undermined by writers who are not white and male and who have won Hugo Awards in recent years — but there’s also (surprise!) a religious component. Charles Stross quotes one of the Sad Puppies’ core members, Vox Day (aka Theodore Beale):

It’s time for the church leaders and the heads of Christian families to start learning from #GamerGate, to start learning from Sad Puppies, and start leading. Start banding together and stop accommodating the secular world in any way. Don’t hire those who hate you. Don’t buy from those who wish to destroy you. Don’t work with those who denigrate your faith, your traditions, your morals, and your God. Don’t tolerate or respect what passes for their morals and values.

Always beware those whose religious faith would determine the way everyone else should live their lives.

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On the whole “religious freedom” laws issue, while it’s obvious that the motivation for these laws is to permit discrimination against gays, there’s also a counter-argument that, well, gays could just go to some *other* florist or cakemaker. There are a couple problems with this: first, there are many small towns across America in which there might well be only one florist or cakemaker, leaving a hypothetical gay couple trying to be married without a nearby resource. And second, these laws might well allow even *government officials* in any sized city the license to refuse service to gay couples. This point is made by a gay couple, Rock and Ledge, who have four children (!), whose blog I follow:

Keep Your Cake and Flowers

I’m not worried about cake and flowers. I will happily go elsewhere and do business with better people that are more receptive to my family. What troubles me is how these laws are so broadly worded that they may allow for government employees to refuse service. If a county clerk has a problem with me when I apply for a marriage license or refuses to process my homestead tax exemption because they don’t agree with my family structure, that is a problem that is not as easily remedied with going somewhere else. I feel that government officials, law enforcement officers, and healthcare professionals have a duty to serve the public, and if they can’t handle working with certain minorities, then they should resign and find another more insular line of work.

This reflects my own thoughts: Florists and cakemakers should be willing to serve the entire public, not just those whose religious scruples match their own. If they cannot do that, they should find another line of work.

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More tomorrow.

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