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The Porn Defense

Beating the Bogus Same-Sex Discrimination Charge

I recently got into a lively discussion regarding same-sex “marriage” and during its course, I mentioned how a Methodist church was being sued for not renting a facility it owns to a couple who wanted to use it for a same-sex civil union in New Jersey (same-sex “marriage” is not legal in NJ, yet; Dana Loesch mentioned the suit here; more information is here and here). During the discussion, the other person mentioned how it was wrong for the Methodists to discriminate against a gay couple. I responded that the Methodists didn’t deny a gay couple from renting the facility, but that the denial was based on what the facility was going to be used for and that it could be done since the facility was going to be used to celebrate sinful behavior, mentioning the denial was within the owner’s civil rights under the Free Exercise Clause. We went back and forth on this for a short time.

Then it hit me. There is a line of defense that could be used in court by the Methodists and anyone else who finds themselves in a similar predicament. See what you think.

JUDGE: Counsel, call your next witness.

DEFENSE ATTORNEY: I call the defendant to the stand.

[Preliminary process goes on]

Did you refuse to rent out your facility to a same-sex couple wanting to use it for a civil union ceremony?

DEFENDANT: Yes.

DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Have you rented out your facility for weddings?

DEFENDANT: Yes.

DEFENSE ATTORNEY: So why did you deny the couple the use of your facility?

DEFENDANT: Because the civil union ceremony goes against our religious beliefs.

DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Please elaborate.

DEFENDANT: Sex between two people of the same gender is sinful and a civil union ceremony is a celebration of this sin.

DEFENSE ATTORNEY: But would you rent out the facility to a gay couple if they were to use it for some other purpose, a purpose that wouldn’t go against the Methodists’ religious beliefs?

PLAINTIFF ATTORNEY: I object. This line of questioning is not relevant to the facts of this case.

DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Your honor, I wish to show the court that the defendant is not denying renting the facility based on someone’s sexual orientation, but because the defendant does not want the facility used for certain events that violate the defendant’s religious principles.

JUDGE: I’ll allow it, but only on those grounds and only within the protocol of this court. Objection overruled. Restate your question.

DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Thank you, your honor. [To defendant] Hypothetically speaking, would you rent out the facility to a gay couple if they were to use it for a purpose that wouldn’t be for what you call a celebration of sinful behavior?

DEFENDANT: Yes.

DEFENSE ATTORNEY: So it isn’t as if you would deny renting the facility out to someone or some people who are gay?

DEFENDANT: That is correct.

DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Is there any other kind of sex-related behavior that the Methodists find sinful?

DEFENDANT: Yes. Sex outside of marriage is considered sinful.

DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Even if the couple is a man and a woman?

DEFENDANT: Yes.

DEFENSE ATTORNEY: You’ve rented out the facility to hold wedding ceremonies, even those Methodists didn’t preside over, correct?

DEFENDANT: That is correct.

DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Hypothetically speaking, if the law were to be changed to extend the institution of marriage to same-sex couples, would you rent your facility to be used for a same-sex wedding ceremony, and why or why not?

DEFENDANT: No, and for the same reasons we don’t rent the facility for a same-sex civil union.

DEFENSE ATTORNEY: But it’s not as if anyone is demanding you preside over the ceremony and marry the couple.

DEFENDANT: That doesn’t matter. For Methodists, the ceremony celebrates and encourages an act of sin.

DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Now, hypothetically speaking, would you rent out your facility to a group who wanted to use it for a party to celebrate the premiere of a pornographic film?

PLAINTIFF ATTORNEY: I object. Counsel is attempting to equate a same-sex civil union with pornography.

DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Your honor, it is not my position to equate a same-sex civil union with pornography, but to show the court the defendant does not restrict the use of its facility to only same-sex celebrations, but to any event that celebrates any sin related to sex.

JUDGE: Objection overruled. Please answer the question.

DEFENDANT: No, we would not rent out the facility to a group holding a premiere party celebrating the release of a pornographic film.

DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Why?

DEFENDANT: Because it celebrates sinful behavior.

DEFENSE ATTORNEY: What if, hypothetically speaking again, the film showed a loving and married husband and wife having sex?

DEFENDANT: The fact that the film is showing the act of sex being performed is what is objectionable and sinful.

DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Even if the couple in the pornographic film were an actual husband and wife?

DEFENDANT: Yes.

DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Your honor, the defense rests.

The person I was debating claimed this scenario was an extreme example as he would think it highly unlikely that such a group would hold their event in a church-owned facility. But because the event is unlikely doesn’t negate the fact that a group could attempt to rent out the facility for such a purpose since the facility is rented out for other purposes. And that’s where we left our conversation.

I’m interested if a similar line of questioning could be used in a court to defend any organization being charged with discrimination if said people in the organization, on religious grounds, did not want to be associated with the celebration of sin. Also, if any legal eagles would happen to find my scenario accurate or completely off-base.

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