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Is what’s good for the goose good for the gander?

Is what’s good for the goose good for the gander? The old saying notes ‘˜what is good for the goose is good for the gander’. I have no idea from which barnyard this came from or what practice it was used to justify but it certainly does not apply to politics and media coverage in this country. Barronelle Stutzman is a longtime florist in Washington who has served and employed people of all backgrounds during her long career that has spanned over 30 years. Those customers and employees have included gay individuals. One of those customers was Robert Ingersoll who Stutzman said she had great affection for and had worked with many times. Stutzman knew Ingersoll was gay. Ingersoll knew Stutzman was a Christian. When Ingersoll decided to marry another man, Curt Freed, Stutzman declined to design flowers for the wedding. Ingersoll and Freed sued. Washington’s attorney general and the ACLU took their side. They basically want to ruin Stutzman and take everything she owns for standing up for her religious beliefs. That case is now before the Washington Supreme Court. Stutzman’s life savings and life’s work hang in the balance. Gay marriage is now legal in the United States and I have no problem with it. However, in this instance, the gay couple were deified and Stutzman was pilloried. Both parties were within their rights but only one, Ms. Stutzman, was penalized for standing up for hers. The story of Oregon bakers Aaron and Melissa Klein is similar. They refused to bake a wedding cake for a lesbian couple. They also cited their Christian faith and beliefs. The State of Oregon sued them, banned them from talking about their desire to work according to their faith and claimed they ‘˜needed rehabilitation’. Note, the state government did this. The Kleins paid nearly $137,000 on a judgment but have appealed. The national furor, fueled in large part by the media, forced them to close their family bakery. Aaron Klein took a job as a sanitation worker to put groceries on the table for their five children while they hope for the best from the appeals process. These are two heinous cases but there are plenty of others that have not garnered the headlines. Hopefully, for the sakes of Stutzman and the Kleins, a judge or judges somewhere will see the light and make these small businesspeople whole again. Their beliefs should carry the exact same weight as those of the gay couples that they offended. Fast forward to the days immediately after Donald Trump’s victory over media darling Hillary Clinton. Fashion designers Sophie Theallet and Tom Ford have gone on record as saying they will not ‘˜dress’ future first lady Melania Trump. Theallet has ‘˜dressed’ Michelle Obama who is black but will not ‘˜dress’ Trump who is white and an immigrant. Trump is a former supermodel and wears clothes pretty well from what I have seen. The media and the ACLU, as un-American an organization as exists in this country, have not leaped to the defense of Mrs. Trump. Apparently, in their eyes, the goose and the gander are not deserving of the same treatment. It will be interesting to see if there are ramifications. Walter Geiger is editor and publisher of The Herald Gazette and the Pike County Journal Reporter.

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