Freedom: religion vs. sexuality

Susan and Les Molnar are in trouble with the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal.

Last year, Shaun Eadie called the Molnars to reserve a room at their bed and breakfast. Susan took the reservation. Shaun and another man would be staying in a room with one bed. Susan told her husband and he immediately called Shaun, asking if they are a gay couple. When Eadie said that they were, Molnar cancelled their reservation.

Shaun Eadie and his partner Brian Thomas filed a complain with the tribunal.

The Molnars applied to have the complaint dismissed, saying, “to allow a gay couple to share a bed in my Christian home would violate my Christian beliefs and would cause me and my wife great distress.” The Tribunal denied the application and the case begins today.

The real kicker for me is this sentence from the CBC posting, “Rights hearing pits gay couple vs. B&B.”

The Molnars also argued in their response that their charter rights to freedom of religion and association protected their decision not to do business with the gay couple.

The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms states simply:

2. Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms:

(a) freedom of conscience and religion;

(b) freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication;

(c) freedom of peaceful assembly; and

(d) freedom of association.

Freedom of religion is clearly not applicable here. I fully support anyone’s right to worship whichever god they choose, but their right ends when my rights would suffer for it. They opened a public business and it strikes me as desperation to claim that their freedom of religion would be infringed by their not being allowed to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation.

Of course they want to win their case, but have they really thought this through? Their strategy seems to show that they believe their freedom of religion allows them to treat others according to their beliefs, even of the others in question do not share their beliefs. Is this what they really want?

The bible seems to have no qualms with slavery. The Qur’an describes amputation of a thief’s hands as one suitable punishment for theft in certain circumstances. Do we really want to go down this road?

I understand the Molnars have their own beliefs and opinions. That’s what freedom of conscience is and they’re certainly entitled to think as they please. They can abhor homosexuality all they like. However, freedom of association doesn’t allow them to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation and completely insulate themselves from homosexuals, particularly when they invite contact with the general public … as they did when they opened a business.

The Molnars are going to lose in what I expect will be a unanimous decision.

One thought to “Freedom: religion vs. sexuality”

  1. I love it! I do hope they lose. This is indeed not a gay rights issue. It is an issue with them forcing their beliefs on someone else and that pisses me off big time. I am a big supporter of ‘don’t force your religion on me buddy’.

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