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Conor Friedersdorf has a long piece challenging Same-Sex Marriage proponents to answer whether they think the uproar over Memories Pizza is justified:
The question I’d ask those who want to use non-state means to punish mom-and-pop businesses that decline to cater gay weddings is what, exactly, their notion of a fair punishment is.. If their Yelp rating goes down by a star does the punishment fit the “crime”? Is there a financial loss at which social pressure goes from appropriate to too much? How about putting them out of business? Digital mobs insulting them and their children? Email and phone threats from anonymous Internet users? If you think that any of those go too far have you spoken up against the people using those tactics?
He adds this zinger at the end:
I’d be fascinated to how many grandparents of mob participants oppose gay marriage and what degree of social stigma they would want directed toward them.
A functioning small-l liberal society requires both that people have a bit of a thick skin, and that they generally offer their fellow citizens some grace and decency when they disagree; life-ruining social remonstrance and disgrace of the kind we’ve seen in the last week should be reserved only for the most reprobate and hateful behavior.
No matter one’s opinion on SSM, declining to cater a hypothetical gay wedding — but not gay people otherwise — does not rise to that level; dare I say, it cannot be rationally defended. No one was harmed by their answer and, even if the hypothetical had been real, the harm would still have been minuscule.
I’d like to encourage everyone to post the piece on Facebook and to — politely — ask their liberal friends for their response. If you get anything good, let us know about it.