Tony Perkins, the president of the hate-group Family Research Council, said on CBS’ Face the Nation a few days after the SCOTUS rulings on marriage equality that wedding vendors have already been “forced” to serve same-sex couples.
“We’re already seeing bakers and florists and photographers forced to participate in same-sex marriages under the threat of law and in some cases even jail. I can’t think of anything that’s more un-American than that. … “
Host Bob Schieffer responded: “How is it that bakers and florists are being forced to participate in this? I’m not sure I understand what you’re saying here.”
So the fact-checking website PolitiFact did some research to see how many vendors have actually gone to jail for not “participating in same-sex marriages.” The answer will probably NOT surprise you:
After the Supreme Court rulings about gay marriage, Perkins said, “We’re already seeing bakers and florists and photographers forced to participate in same-sex marriages under the threat of law and in some cases even jail.”
We didn’t find cases where people were forced to participate against their will. However, if vendors refuse service, there are consequences. There are 21 states that forbid discrimination based on sexual orientation. Vendors who refuse service there could face legal actions and fines.
The “jail” part of Perkins’ claim is an exaggeration. We couldn’t find any evidence that a vendor had been sent to jail or that any legal authority had threatened jail time. In some states, if a business owner loses an anti-discrimination case and refuses to comply with an order, the owner could face jail, but we found no evidence of that ever happening. One state, Colorado, specifically took action to remove the threat of jail.
Read the whole report at PolitiFact