Well, I have good news for Grandpa Joe: We...are not a country where people get thrown out of restaurants just for being gay. That's not a thing. We are a country, however, where people get thrown out of restaurants just for being Republicans -- and lots of people cheer. 'Bad' denial of service based on identity-driven bigotry is vanishingly rare, to the point of extinction; 'good' denial of service is all the rage, so long as the correct sorts of people are the ones getting denied.
I'm not sure what country the president is describing here, but it sure as hell ain't the United States of America:
Biden: "When a person can be married in the morning and thrown out of a restaurant for being gay in the afternoon, this is still wrong."pic.twitter.com/oF2DtveW6P— Daily Wire (@realDailyWire) December 13, 2022
On a day like yesterday, you'd think the president might just take the bipartisan win (in support of which I wrote this commentary), rather than inventing fake grievances that bear no resemblance to reality. I understand that it's a requirement on the Left to never even hint at the march of progress being anywhere close to over. There's always more "work" to do -- always. Incidentally, in making this critique of endless mission creep, I'm not claiming that everything is perfect, and anti-LGBT attitudes or bigotries are a thing of the past. But we now have a standing Supreme Court precedent that established national same-sex marriage, with a (likely superfluous) legislative backstop now in place to boot, which would only take practical effect in the (highly unlikely) event of SCOTUS reversing itself. And if Biden wanted to signal to the crowd gathered on the South Lawn that there are still obstacles to overcome, and wrongs to right, he could have at least cited something that's arguably legitimate. Instead, he offered this bizarre fable about gay people getting tossed out of a restaurant, right after their morning same-sex wedding, or whatever. As he's fond of saying, c'mon man.
I suspect this demagoguery is a preview of how Democrats plan to demagogue a forthcoming Supreme Court ruling involving a website designer who wishes not to be coerced into creating wedding websites for unions that violate her religious faith. This case raises First Amendment and conscience rights questions. Can people of faith freely exercise their religious beliefs while also taking part in commerce? Do free speech rights protect against compelled speech? I've long argued that in a pluralistic society that respects the rights of a broad array of citizens, same-sex marriage should be legal, and same-sex marriage dissenters shouldn't be bullied into compliance. It should not be permissible to discriminate against LGBT people seeking goods and services as a matter of course, but religious institutions must be given wide latitude to practice their beliefs as they see fit -- and there ought to be 'opt out' carve-outs for small businesses in the weddings business, specifically. That's what sustainable and authentic coexistence looks like.
If the Court rules in favor of the website designer, which I think they will and should, Biden et al may try to frame the ruling as open season on gay people, who can suddenly be ejected from restaurants over their sexuality, which just isn't happening. Indeed, this Court expanded anti-discrimination protections for LGBT people in its 2020 Bostock decision, authored by conservative Justice Neil Gorsuch. But fear-based grievance politics, which isn't limited to either side of the aisle, involves keeping people perpetually angry and worried, even when the fears are baseless or distorted. From the Left, we see it here, and we see it on 'voter suppression,' too. I'll leave you with Biden gratuitously injecting his party's abortion fanaticism into the 'Respect for Marriage Act' signing ceremony. Quite a few conservatives, including approximately five dozen Congressional Republicans, supported this bill, but absolutely do not share Biden's unrelated and gruesome vision for unlimited taxpayer-funded abortion-on-demand. President Unity is incapable of unifying, even when the moment presents itself:
Biden says the Respect for Marriage Act is tied to the Dobbs decision.— Diana Glebova (@DianaGlebova) December 13, 2022
"Congress is acting because of an extreme Supreme Court has stripped away" the federal right to abortion, Biden said.