Rob Tisinai

January 25th, 2012

Same-sex marriage is legal in New Hamshire, but state Rep. Frank Sapareto is sponsoring HR 1264, a bill to protect religious freedom. It allows businesses and employees to refuse service to anyone if it involves “solemnization, celebration, or promotion of a marriage” in “violation of the person’s conscience or religious faith.”

The bill is extraordinary in scope. I’ve written a little skit showing what could happen if the bill passes. Imagine you’re the owner of a charming New Hampshire bed and breakfast…

Owner [walking into kitchen]: Margaret, you’ll need to fix a honeymoon dinner for Room 202.

Cook: Nope.

Owner: What?

Cook: Same-sex couple. I don’t have to help them celebrate their “marriage.”

Owner: You can’t just refuse.

Cook: HB 1264.

Owner: I’ll fire you.

Cook: HB 1264.

Owner: Dock your pay.

Cook: HB 1264.

[Bellhop enters]

Bellhop: Room 203 wants a cheese platter.

Cook: Nope. Interracial couple. Nasty.

Owner: That’s not even a religious belief!

Cook: Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, malay and red, and he placed them on separate continents. The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix.

Owner [to Bellhop]: Did you take up Room 201’s luggage?

Bellhop: Nope. Saw birth control pills in her bag. Not a real marriage.

Owner: What the –

Bellhop: HB 1264.

Owner: Room 205’s stuff?

Bellhop: Catholic and a Baptist, married by a judge. HB 1264.

[Maid enters]

Owner: Valorie, thank god! Everyone’s gone nuts. I’ll need you to –

Maid: Nope.

Owner: You don’t even know what it is!

Maid: I’m a Shaker. We don’t believe in marriage.

Owner: We specialize in honeymoons and anniversaries — that’s all we do!

Maid [kicking off shoes and picking up magazine]: Guess I’ll have lots of down time.

Owner [red-faced]: I’ll –

Maid: HB 1264.

Owner: This is crazy!

Bellhop: HB 1264.

Owner: You’re all –

Cook: HB 1264.

Owner: I’m paying you people!!

Cook, maid, and bellhop: HB 1264!

David Roberts

January 25th, 2012

Great illustration of a very bad idea.


January 25th, 2012

I have a conscience. The behavior and lifestyle of right wing religious extremists is very offensive to my conscience. I believe every state should have legislation permitting the denial of services, benefits, fishing licenses, paychecks, and flu shots to these nuts….at the very least.


January 25th, 2012

Yet they’d go nuts if someone sponsored a bill that would deny anything whatsoever to Fundamentalist Christians even though that’s getting to be a demographic that REALLY does engage in a lot of just plain bad behavior and then hides behind its religion to avoid consequences, which really ought to be socially unacceptable.


January 25th, 2012

You’ve perfectly captured the absurdity of permitting ideological concerns to trump equality. At any time any person could say they adhere to any belief in order to justify their discrimination. It didn’t work for the Catholic church in Quebec and it shouldn’t work in New Hampshire.


January 25th, 2012


(Except, of course, that when an innkeeper tells everyone around him they’re crazy, he has to get hit in the head with a golf ball.)


January 25th, 2012

If I was the owner, I would send them home for the rest of their shift as there was no work that had to be done. The next day shortly after they arrived and they refused to work, I would once again send them home. Maybe after a few days they would realize that they need to get a new job where their religious convictions didn’t affect their performance. They didn’t get fired, they left on their own because of a desire to get more than a five hour check for the week.


January 25th, 2012

Among the many issues with the concept and the language is the mixing up of “marriage” with “wedding.”

The intention is to get people off the hook with respects to gay weddings – florists, rental halls, photographers, and so on – under the cover of making sure that pastors and churches don’t get forced to hold weddings.

But what is involved in “celebrating a marriage?” What is and isn’t “promoting a marriage?”

Isn’t selling someone a house or renting them a home together “promoting” their marriage? What about printing their Christmas photos? Since the raising of kids is a “central” part of “true” marriage, isn’t anything that involves recognizing that two people of the same sex are both legal parents of a child “promoting” a gay marriage – so refusing to let them into the PTA, barring hospital visitation, and so on would count.

Family gym memberships. Hell, isn’t granting insurance benefits to someone’s spouse “promoting” that marriage?

And history has shown us that what people say they mean when they write a law is meaningless once that law is passed.

Even limiting this to weddings and wedding ceremonies is bad enough, but the opportunities for abuse with adding the marriage language are staggering.

And as you’ve said, it applies not just to same-sex couples, but to anyone that someone can manufacture a religious objection to.


January 25th, 2012

If this goes through, you know that the next thing will be the demand to refuse to legally recognize same-sex marriage. Like the ridiculous exemptions Rhode Island has with their Civil Unions (and one big reason why nobody wants them)


January 25th, 2012

Have churches ever been forced to hold weddings? Can someone demand a catholic wedding if they don’t meet that church’s requirements? Can people demand a wedding in a synagogue with a rabbi even if they don’t belong to that religion? No. No church is ever forced to do ceremonies that aren’t part of their religion. This is a crazy red herring, isn’t it?


January 25th, 2012

I am having a flashback to the old Bob Newhart sitcom about a Bed and Breakfast Inn. Too bad the sitcom is not still being filmed.


January 25th, 2012

Unfortunately, I’m sure if this is pointed out, they’ll just change the wording of the bill so that if someone has a religious objection to specifically gay marriage or gay couples only, they will have special rights to refuse services. (and not deny services to others) The good news is, they appear to be having trouble overriding the Governor’s veto to repeal gay marriage, it’s unlikely they would have the override votes for this piece of legislation.


January 25th, 2012

The vatican inserting itself to legislate morality to Americans.

Do we not agree that killing an American for the reward of 72 virgins is exactly the same as what the Government of the Vatican is urging its American Followers to do?

This is serious Domestic Subterfuge with a Foreign leader at its roots. WTF

Eastside Jim

January 25th, 2012

To continue the story, 3 days later the B&B closes due to lack of business because there is no bellhops carrying luggage, to room service, no maids to clean the rooms… and all the people quoting HB 1264 are out of jobs because there is no longer a business to employ them. (I can dream can’t I?)


January 26th, 2012

Thanks to John Cleese, I think I saw this episode of Fawlty Towers once.

Regan DuCasse

January 26th, 2012

I wonder if anyone refused Newt Gingrich and his third wife and former mistress Callista a wedding ceremony, or a license of if they’d be refused service on a moral religious objection to THEIR lifestyle choice?

I wonder if any of these businesses have already given services to hetero couples they SHOULD have objected to if their going to be consistent in their religious consciousness based discrimination.

What we have here people, is a serious contradiction in terms. Either they’re going to have to discriminate as equally as they are supposedly compelled to serve the public equally.

Otherwise they are hypocrites, liars, cheats and cafeteria Christians.


January 26th, 2012

As I recall, the NH marriage equality law already includes a religious exemption related to clergy and religious organizations.

But, really, talk about a government intrusion into a business’s operation!

Would it allow a business owner to ask an applicant what his/her position is about same-sex marriage, then protect the owner from a lawsuit for choosing not to hire the person?

I thought Republicans were opposed to more government regulations.

Reed Boyer

January 26th, 2012

FROM: Boyer, Supermegacolossal Pictures

TO: Writers

RE: Tisinai B & B pilot sketch

Excellent. Four people, one location – and “three times = funny.” Classic formula.

Tisinai will be head writer on this one. Inform the rest of the scribes in the gulag.

Green-light this one – and have your people talk to my people.

Unless they’re Jews.

HR 1264, don’tcha know.

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