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Can a Christian file a countersuit against someone who threatens their business for social reasons?

1 Answers. Asked on Sep 03rd, 2013 on Business Law - Oregon
More details to this question:
Have read a recent news article of a Christian baker in Oregon who refused to bake a wedding cake for a lesbian couple based on their religious beliefs. The lesbian couple then started a campaign against the bakery which has now resulted in the bakery closing their doors because of threats from the gay/lesbian community toward both the bakery as well as any business that deals with the bakery. What recourse does the baker have when they have to close their business because their beliefs are being used against them? Could the religious baker counter sue for religious persecution? This is a trend that seems to be spreading throughout the United States - Christian business people refusing to honor a request for someone based on the requestors social agenda.
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Answered on Sep 03rd, 2013 at 1:04 PM

It does not seem to me that the baker has any basis for a suit.  Potential customers have the right not to patronize businesses for any reason, including that they do not like the business owner's position on political issues, regardless of the motivation for that political position, whether it be religious or otherwise.  Thus, for example, the bakery owner has the right not to patronize a business which provides benefits to same sex couples even though same sex marriage is not recognized in their particular state.  The bakery owner could even try to organize a boycott of that business.  

People have the right to exercise their religious beliefs and the Constitution prohibits governmental sanctions against that religious practice (except where it conflicts with law, such as where someone practices a religion which believes in human sacrifice, or the use of illegal hallucinogenic drugs), but the Constitution does not prohibit individuals from "voting with their pocketbooks" when they disagree.  Thus, for example, a business may decide not to open on Sunday for religious reasons, but it has to acceept that it may lose business, or even be forced out of business, if all of its competitors offer convenient Sunday hours.

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