Hutchinson, Kansas has just approved an ordinance which, primarily, bars churches and other facilities which rent out their facilities from discriminating against gay couples. That is, if the First Church of the Pot Bellied Pig rents out its auditorium or other facility to the public, they could not choose not to rent it out to a gay couple.
Now, I could make a "Church and State" argument here, but I'm not going to. That is for two reasons: one, it's too obvious, and anything I said would simply belabor the point. Two: there's a bigger issue here, and that is one of private property. If I, or my company, or my organization, own an asset which we rent or lease out to others, should we have the right to refuse to rent or lease that asset?
I'm making an assumption here, but I'm guessing the good people of Hutchinson would object if I rented out my meeting hall to the Kansas Branch of Al Qaida (assuming such a thing existed). Even if such group had never been shown to engage in any actual terrorism, simply their name would be enough to cause outrage if I entered into a business arrangement in which they paid me to use my facilities. Rightly so. But if I have the right to refuse that group, why don't I have the right to refuse anyone I want?
The Government seems to believe that the people- the same ones who elected them- are so bigoted, that, absent Government action, they would still be discriminating against blacks, or women's groups, or whatever other victim group shows up asking to rent a building. And they apparently believe that about all of their constituents all the time. That is, for this position to make any sense, they must believe that no one in town would allow, in this case, a gay couple to rent their parish hall.
How condescending can they be? At the vary least, the Presbyterian and Methodist churches in town would probably allow it without the ordinance; why should the Catholics be forced to do the same? Why should the Baptists? For that matter, why should the Lion's Club, or the Elk's Lodge, or Bob's Wedding Mart? If I wish not to do business with someone, I should have that right. It's my asset; my property. I should have control over how it is used, and with whom I do business, not the Government.
That also brings us to the question of why this even came up before the city council. Exactly how many homosexual couples are trying to rent facilities from the Catholic Church, or the Baptists, or the Lion's Club, or the Elk's Lodge, and being denied? Because, you see, I doubt the number is very high, and I further suspect that anyone it did happen to was specifically looking for such trouble, just so they could go to the city council and cry about how "unfair" it was. Seriously, if you are homosexual, why would you even ask the Catholic Church (whose views on gays are quite well known) if you could rent their building? Would a chapter of the KKK ask the NBPP if they could use their office space?
When Government reacts to non-issues in such a way as to limit my rights as regards my own property, there is always a reason. What was the Hutchinson City Council's?