With almost every big conservative entity — Republican senators, big business groups, even lawmakers who voted for it — abandoning Arizona’s anti-gay bill, the Heritage Foundation is holding out in support of the bill.
Ryan T. Anderson, the William E. Simon Fellow in Religion and a Free Society at Heritage, penned a blog post this week blasting a New York Times editorial that criticized the bill and praising the legislation’s virtues as a vehicle for liberty.
“What the Times dubs ‘discrimination’ is in actuality simply liberty. Liberty isn’t about acting only in ways that the New York Times approves of,” Anderson wrote on the Heritage blog. “Liberty protects the rights of citizens even to do things we might personally disagree with.”
“While the government must treat everyone equally, private actors are left free to make reasonable judgments and distinctions — including reasonable moral judgments and distinctions — in their economic activities,” he continued. “Not every florist need provide wedding arrangements for every ceremony. Not every photographer need capture every first kiss.”
“Competitive markets can best harmonize a range of values that citizens hold. And there is no need for government to try to force every photographer and every florist to service every marriage-related event.”