Republican Congressmen Rep. Randy Forbes (R-VA) and Sen. James Lankford (R-OK) in an op-ed published yesterday by the Washington Times argued that since Chipotle can choose to only buy humanely-raised pork, businesses can choose to discriminate against gays and only serve heterosexuals.
It is crucial that the same freedom of conscience enjoyed by the leadership of Chipotle remain equally available to business owners of faith. Indeed, much more so, as freedom of religion is explicitly protected by the First Amendment. We cannot simultaneously laud the leaders of a business motivated by a commitment to environmental sustainability and discriminate against the leaders of a business motivated by religious belief. If a decision based on moral convictions is celebrated, shouldn’t a decision based on the free exercise of religion – a right guaranteed in the Constitution – be even more so? To be sure, religious freedom is not just a choice of convenience – it is a fundamental right given to all Americans by the Constitution. As we recognize Chipotle’s decision, let’s remember that a clear constitutionally-supported civil right of religious freedom should be cherished and respected in every corner of this nation.
Choosing the quality of a product is one thing. Choosing the sexuality of the consumer is another.