WorldNetDaily's Bob Unruh does have a thing for reporting the right-wing side -- and only the right-wing side -- of a legal action. He displays it again in a Nov. 14 article in which he's the willing stenographer for right-wing legal organization Alliance Defending Freedom, which is defending a woman being sued for refusing to make floral decorations for a gay wedding.
Unruh made it clear which side he's on. He declared that the woman, Barronelle Stutzman, "was penalized by the state for declining to promote a homosexual wedding through her floral artistry." He went on to rant that "The Obama administration has been forcing religious believers to violate their beliefs to accommodate 'nondiscrimination' laws that give special privileges to homosexuals and transgendered persons," but he does not explain how prohibiting discrimination against someone is granting them "special privileges."
Unruh uncritically quotes the ADF asserting that longstanding public accomodation laws created in the civil rights ear "endangers everyone" because there is no free-speech exception.
Unruh can't be bothered to tell the other side of the story in an objective and truthful manner; indeed, he makes no effort to contact anyone who doesn't agree with his right-wing view for a response to the ADF. Thus, we must call on a real news operation -- in this case, the Christian Science Monitor -- to provide the context Unruh and WND won't.
The Monitor explains that a Washington state court pointed out in rulling against Stutzman that "the state judge drew a distinction between a citizen’s freedom to believe, which he said was absolute, and a citizen’s freedom to act in public on those beliefs, which he said can be regulated by the government. In effect, the judge said that belief is personal, but if individuals seek to express those beliefs in action, the antidiscrimination law would trump any claim for a religious exemption."
The Monitor also did what Unruh couldn't be bothered to do, talk to a representative of the American Civil Liberties Union, which has filed a lawsuit against Stutzman:
[ACLU of Washington legal director Emily] Chiang says religion has nothing to do with the lawsuit against Arlene’s Flowers and Stutzman.
“The ACLU is not an organization that is hostile to religion or to faith,” she says. “You have your freedom of conscience – that is your personal, private relationship with your faith – but when you decide to open a place of business, other rules apply.”
“Those rules require that you serve everyone who comes through your door, assuming they have the money to pay for it,” she adds.
Chiang says it is irrelevant that Stutzman sold flowers for nine years to Ingersoll knowing he was a gay man. It is also not relevant that the Southern Baptist Church prohibits her personal involvement in a same-sex wedding, she says.
The only relevant conduct, Chiang says, is that Stutzman refused to provide floral services to Ingersoll because he was marrying a man instead of a woman. That, she says, is a form of invidious discrimination.
Having only partial public accommodations would put the law on a slippery slope that could empower a grocery store clerk to refuse to sell milk to someone because of religious objections, Chiang says. “It sounds crazy but I think that’s where the logic takes you.”
Unruh and WND simply ha ve no interest in reporting fairly on issues that, when told in a biased way, advance their right-wing Christian agenda.