In Oregon, a state where officials can lay six-figure fines on your bakery if you refuse to make gay wedding cakes, it is apparently okay to fire an employee for no other reason than their opposition to abortion. At least, that’s the only conclusion we can draw from the cautionary tale of Harmony Daws. After Daws was appointed the president of Oregon Right to Life, her employer – Sparkling Palaces, a cleaning company – decided she was no longer fit to work there.
According to Daws, her boss grew “cold and distant” to her after learning about her activism. Shortly afterward, she was fired. Her boss claimed that her pro-life beliefs were leading her to discriminate against customers, an accusation Daws vehemently denied. “Cleaning is the most neutral thing there is,” Daws said. “You can do it with anybody for anybody.”
In a written statement issued through her activist organization, Daws said that Sparkling Palaces were the ones engaging in discrimination. “Firing someone based on their religious or political beliefs is a civil rights violation,” she wrote. “I’m a libertarian and I support my former employer’s right to hire and fire as she chooses. However, she could have asked for a resignation over our difference of beliefs. To have been mistreated as I was by being fired, after my exemplary record as an employee, was unconscionable.”
Daws, perhaps because she supports employer freedom, is actually soft-pedaling this. Unconscionable doesn’t even begin to say it. What her boss did was illegal, and if Daws doesn’t sue the hell out of them, a religious group should do it on her behalf. If Oregon courts find for her former employer, then it will demonstrate more clearly than ever that this state is entirely driven by liberal ideology and has no foothold in the actual laws of the United States.
To see how clearly insane this is, you only have to turn the scenario upside-down. If Daws had been fired for joining a pro-choice organization, this story would be on the front page of every newspaper in the country. As a matter of fact, the same could be said for the sad case of Sweet Cakes – the bakery that was fined more than $100,000 for opting not to bake a cake for a lesbian wedding. If that bakery had been fined for refusing to bake a cake for, say, a pro-life rally, the Obama administration would have launched a federal investigation. The double-standard is almost stunning in its audacity.
Anyway, if you live in Portland, find some other cleaning business to support. At this point, the power of the purse is the best weapon we have.