Washington Lawmaker’s Office: If Gay People Face Discrimination, They ‘Can Just Grow Their Own Food’

Last week, a bill introduced in Washington state  would allow people to use their “sincerely held religious beliefs” to justify discrimination against people based on their sexual orientation. Washington State activist, Jay Castro called state senator Mike Hewitt’s (R-Walla Walla) office to ask about Senator Hewitt’s co-sponsorship of SB 5927.

During the phone call, Castro said he asked staffers some variation of the question “What are rural gays supposed to do if the only gas station or grocery store for miles won’t sell them gas and food?”

One answer he got from Hewitt’s office shocked him with “Well gay people can just grow their own food.” The staffer allegedly refused to identify himself and asked Castro not to call the office again.

According to Think Progress:

The question is a perfectly valid one. Conservatives often argue that if a florist, photographer, baker, or other business refuses service to a same-sex couples, there are plenty of others champing at the bit to support marriage equality. In urban areas, this may generally be true — but it’s not an argument that justifies discrimination. In rural areas, it may very well not be true. What if there is no local alternative? What if the only alternative is more expensive, of a lesser quality, or further away? The proposed bill doesn’t merely exempt those who provide services that might be related to weddings; it exempts all businesses. So it’s quite possible that a rural grocery store might be Christian-owned and attempt to refuse service to a same-sex family, and were this bill to become law, that would be perfectly legal.

What do you think about the staffer’s response?


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  • O’Phylia

    What the ever loving what?
    What business owner is going to stop and ask their customer, “Excuse me, are you gay?” How can they even tell?
    And why would you deny someone GAS, a freakin’ necessity, because that person does what you don’t want them to do?!
    I’m a Christian, and I’m saying this is idiotic beyond words.

    • Yaenelle

      It’s not that idiotic when you research cases of businesses refusing to provide goods or services to LGBT people. it’s entirely plausible that an LGBT person or family that are open about their life maybe refused service in a rural area that provides limited options. What if they are the only pharmacy/ vet/ auto garage/ dentist for miles and they refuse to have you and your family as a customer? It sounds similar to doctors who refuse to issue birth control because it’s against their religion but they’re the only doctor in town/ for miles. What do women do in that situation?

      I think it’s valid to challenge the premise of the bill and examine it’s possible repercussions.

  • Lisss

    Not only is it idotic but it is also certain media outlets who choose to only report the most idotic things from the anti-gay marriage camp. Because anybody with a dollop of common sense would know that point of view is not the concensus.

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