The Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal published an article on July 29, titled, “Websites seek to reward, punish businesses in same-sex marriage fight,” that mentioned TheColu.mn’s Buy Equality project that spotlight’s businesses that gave to the anti-gay marriage amendment. The purpose of that project is not to punish businesses, but instead to educate same-sex couples and the community about businesses that might be willing to deny services.

There’s no call for a boycott or punishment, public shaming or protest, and our stance is not that any of those are warranted. We are simply providing information about businesses and business owners that have taken a financial stance on the issue of marriage equality, and that those businesses are more likely to be engaged in the kind of lawsuit provoking behavior that the religious right has engaged in other states.

The pride of the United States is virtually unfettered free speech and right to believe in whatever you want. We respect those business’ right to oppose same-sex marriage. However, they do not have a right under Minnesota law to discriminate against same-sex couples in the marketplace and these businesses have not done so to our knowledge.

However, by providing information about those donations, we can educate same-sex couples who are preparing for one of the most important days of their lives about businesses that might turn them away or create unneeded hassles or misunderstandings. And, possible legal battles. We encourage same-sex couples and other members of the community to do thorough research on where they plan to spend money, and we hope the Buy Equality project can be a part of that research.

The Column is a community-supported non-profit news, arts, and media organization. We depend on community support to continue the work of solid LGBT-centric journalism. If you like this article, consider visiting Give MN to make a contribution today.

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