Let’s understand what happened here. This Christian jeweler agreed to custom-make engagement rings for a lesbian couple, knowing that they were a couple, and treated them politely. But when they found out what he really believed about same-sex marriage, even though the man gave them polite service, and agreed to sell them what they asked for, the lesbian couple balked, and demanded their money back — and the mob threatened the business if they didn’t yield. Which, of course, he did.Of course he did. That's why Christians consistently lose and will continue to lose the culture wars. I'm not a great legal mind or a great mind at all for that matter. I'm sure there are all kinds of reasons why this wouldn't be feasible. But if I were in his place, this is how I'd have handled it:
"You must agree to X!"
"Then we'll see you in court!"
"I will not submit. Ever. If you sue me, I won't appear in court. If I'm convicted of badthink in absentia, I will not pay any fines nor will I cooperate with any judicial rulings against me in this matter. This is only going to end in one of two ways: either you back down and apologize for threatening my livelihood, or you send the cops to drag me off to jail. I'd prefer the former but I'll cheerfully accept the latter if I must. So go ahead: make me famous. You'll see me in court? I'll see you on all the cable networks."
I know, it's easy to talk tough on the internet. I have dealt with these people in real life and from firsthand experience I can tell you that 9 times out of 10 they'll back down and go searching for more timid targets. Remember, they're not after goods and services. They don't want your tolerance. They want your full-throated, rip-roaring approval. They're not interested in your apologies. They want complete submission. They only want apologies as a public confession with which to beat you over the head.
Be prudent. Don't go out of your way to pick a fight. Don't go actively seeking martyrdom on that hill, especially if you have young children to feed. But if you take Christianity the least bit seriously, sooner or later they'll come after you. When they do, don't back down one inch or else they won't stop until you're completely ruined anyway. They may take your livelihood but don't let them rob you of your dignity and your convictions too.
h/t: Donal Graeme