Gay Rights vs Property Rights

It’s things like this that cause me to regret supporting same sex marriage:

A B.C. lesbian couple, who accuse a Catholic men’s group of discriminating against them by refusing to rent them a hall for their wedding reception, took their case to a human rights tribunal Monday.

Deborah Chymyshyn and Tracey Smith rented a Knights of Columbus hall in Port Coquitlam for their wedding reception back in 2003.

They allege the group cancelled the booking after finding out it was for a same-sex couple.

The women claim it’s discriminatory to offer a facility to the public and then say a particular group can’t use it.

C’mon ladies, cut the Knights of Columbus some slack here. It’s their property, and while you may not respect their beliefs, at least try to respect their property rights and hold your wedding elsewhere.

It would be the classy thing to do.

Just because you disagree with someone’s opinion, that doesn’t give you the right to force your own upon them by using the state as a proxy bully.

Gays need to remember that they ARE a minority. While they may have the sympathy of a goodly number of straight Canadians, pulling crap like this is not going to maintain that goodwill. It will be a cold day in Hell before I put gay rights before property rights and the citizen’s right of non-interference by the state (good little devotee of Ayn Rand that I am). Thus, my advice to gays is this:

Don’t make me choose.

8 thoughts on “Gay Rights vs Property Rights

  1. Agreed. Not only are the property rights key, but also the philosophy behind the SSM legislation that religious institutions – Catholic and all other – will not be forced into doing anything that goes against their doctrine. I know that applies to the performance of actual marriage ceremonies, but it reaches beyond that.

    I know what people are like: If they give them the hall just to quell the bitching, the debate will carry on. On one side – “You let us rent the hall, why won’t you marry us?” On the other – “You’ve rented them the hall, what’s next? Renting to polygamists?”

    And on and on it goes..

  2. I’m a gay guy that has been crossing my fingers for months now on gay marriage. But I agree with you on this topic — the women probably should have just gone elsewhere to hold their reception.

    But I’m also a bit torn. Say it was a native man and woman or a black couple and they were told, “Sorry, it goes against our religion to rent out our buildings to natives/blacks.” Or… “No, we don’t allow disabled people to use the facility because it’s against our religion.” It feels more thorny to me and so that’s why I still have a problem with this case.

  3. The only thing that I would argue differently is that I believe it would be appropriate for the Knights of Columbus to provide some renumeration to the couple for some of the costs associated with moving the ceremony location after the invites had gone out.

    Otherwise, I agree wholeheartedly.

    1. Todd:

      It makes me squeamish too, but I feel that any party should be able to refuse services to another party for any reason they feel like (unless a contract has been signed, at which point it should be honored or penalties paid if it is not). The only exceptions to this would be matters where one’s health and safety are involved (e.g. medical services), or when the person offering the service holds a monopoly on it (e.g. post office).

      This has an ugly downside as some businesses will refuse to serve visible minorities. However, I’m betting that the backlash they suffer will be enough to shut them down when over 90% of their customer base goes elsewhere.

      For example, I support the right of printer Scott Brockie to refuse to print materials that he finds offensive. That being said, I would never give the man my business and would encourage others I know not to do the same.


      Agreed, the KoC entered into an agreement and if they break it, they should provide renumeration to offset the costs of printing new materials.

  4. Has anyone considered that this couple chose the Knights of Columbus Hall on purpose just to make a statement??
    It appears that many gays test the traditions in place to draw attention to themselves. There are much better ways for this minority to obtain visibility/or their rights, without challenging the rights and traditions of these long standing institutions.
    However they seem to relish doing just that!

    1. I don’t doubt for a moment that the Silly Sisters did this intentionally. For this I say ‘shame on them’.


      If the owners of the hall don’t want it being used for certain types of activities, or by certain groups, they should bloody well ask before signing the contract. If they don’t, my feeling is they should live up to the contract or pay a reasonable penalty for breaking it.

      I’m still taking the side of the KoC on this one.

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