Legally Sanctioned Discrimination: Be Careful What You Wish For

So the internet is all a flutter with the news of Arizona’s right to refuse service law being vetoed. Oklahoma has one in the works to which is being re-worked in light of the activities in Arizona.

In the interest of full disclosure, I am just going to go ahead and tell you that I’ve not read either bill. All I have seen is the reaction to it on both sides. And really, I sympathize with those celebrating the veto. I have no tolerance for bigotry*. Sympathize, but don’t agree.

For the record, I’m using the Merriam-Webster definition of bigot

:  a person who is obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices; especially:  one who regards or treats the members of a group (as a racial or ethnic group) with hatred and intolerance

So now the Christian screen-printer has to print up flyers for the gay rally. Their money is good, right? It’s a business offering a service for hire to the public. Don’t hate. Don’t discriminate. So what if the screen-printers happen to be black? Do they also have to print flyers for next week’s Klan rally? Their money spends the same, right? They are participating in a completely legal activity even if you do find them reprehensible.

The Christian bakery has to make big gay wedding cakes. And they’ll be fabulous, I’m sure. Going to have the Halal deli cater the reception? Huh. That’s funny. That wasn’t the conflict that sent anyone running to the ACLU.

Let me introduce you to Gary James, proprietor of Gary’s Chicaro’s in Enid, Ok.

Charming, isn’t he?

Love the shirt, by the way. I wish all the bigoted assholes in the world would label themselves so obviously. It should be absolutely legal for them to do so.

Just as legal as making sure that Gary’s Chicaro’s gains the reputation of being the best little gay bar in Oklahoma. Or setting up on the public street out front with a camera**. I do so love the idea of handling bigots with the ridicule and shame they deserve. Let the market do its justice.

The freedom of speech is not there to protect pretty speech. It is specifically designed to protect speech that makes people uncomfortable. The kind of thing that starts revolutions. Freedom of association has no clause stating as long as your associating with the ‘right’ people. It also allows you not to associate with those you choose not to associate with. It’s set up that way on purpose.

Think long and hard before deciding ‘there outta be a law.’ They all have consequences, and one day, it won’t be your side deciding how to enforce it.

*I suppose that means I am bigoted against bigots

**From a reasonable distance, wouldn’t want to be harassing anyone. Know your rights as a photographer. Not that I’m suggesting anything. Wouldn’t want to give anyone any ideas.

10 thoughts on “Legally Sanctioned Discrimination: Be Careful What You Wish For”

  1. And as a person whose deeply held religious beliefs oppose gay unions as well as other sinful behaviors, I politely request that you study our theology before calling us bigots. Because that’s a real easy word to use against anyone you disagree with.

    1. Hatred and intolerance have no place in Christianity. Not baking a cake isn’t hateful and therefore not bigoted. Gary James, however, bigot.
      Jesus instructed his followers to walk the extra mile and died on the cross for the very people that put him there.

    2. Hating a person is bigotry, hating sin is not. If you think I called you a bigot, well then I hope you missed my point and I’m sorry I wasn’t clearer. If you are using your faith to hate the very sinners Jesus came to save, then you might need to study your theology again.

      1. I don’t hate anybody. I just get really tired of being called a bigot, racist, etc etc etc because I disagree with a position. I did interpret your comment as blanket and not just directed at James – sorry.

  2. Let the marketplace sort it out.
    You have a business, and don’t want to serve Blacks, gays, women, short people, Republicans, sci-fi fans, coffee drinkers, etc. so be it.

    Watch your business dry up.

    But when the gov’t sticks it’s nose even further up you-know-where, you no longer have any rights.

    gfa
    guffaw1952´s last blog post ..WHY Do They Do THIS?

  3. I feel for both sides, but it’s amazing to me how many people have made a judgment call for or against the bill without having read it.

    My Better Half was debating it on the Book of Face with her family, and to gain context, she actually took the time to read the bill and found she agreed with it. When she posted to that effect, her family attempted to take her to task about it (politically, they’re polar opposite), while admitting they hadn’t read it and couldn’t explain exactly what it would do.

    For the record, here’s my understand: The Cliff’s Notes version of the AZ bill is that businesses would be legally protected if they denied services for events (that’s a critical piece) that the owners disagree with on fundamental religious grounds. Not people – EVENTS.

    The bakery couldn’t refuse gay customers for being gay, but they can refuse to bake for gay weddings. A Muslim caterer couldn’t refuse to serve Jews in general, but could refuse to cater a bar mitzvah. The screen printer couldn’t refuse normal requests from gay customers, but could refuse to make t-shirts for the gay pride parade.

    Gov. Brewer vetoed it, saying it was too vague. That’s fine; that’s her opinion and she’s entitled to it. But both sides need to debate it for what it is, and a reasonable reading would not classify it as specifically homophobic (or anti-Semitic, anti-Muslim, anti-black, etc.).

    My take – not on the bill, but on the argument/rhetoric – is that if either side that admits they haven’t read the bill, the ONLY acceptable response should be, “Stop. You have no credible position. Read it, understand it, and then we can talk.”

    (BTW, love your last sentence. It used to be a good bit of lawmaking advice. “Write your law as if your opponent will be enforcing it.” But then someone discovered you could write in specific exemptions….)

    1. Archer, I agree. read it first. Then open your yap. Too many ways things can be phrased and abused to not be on top of what is actual.

  4. I am aware of no law which requires people to engage with commerce. I think it comes under the “we reserve the right to refuse service to anyone”. What Arizona law requires private businesses (besides health care providers and healthcare insurance companies) to do business with any group or individual for an event?

    Seemed like a bunch of hooey. A tempest in a teapot.

    Let the businesses act like jerks to people if they want. As their businesses become marginalized (through people voting with their money), they will either abandon the notion that selling things to people does not indicate support of that organization.

    As a for instance, I will admit that I watch far too much PBS for my own good. I was watching a show called History Detectives where the hosts research various artifacts. One was a record of Klan songs. Turns out, they used a record pressing business that the owners believed that any money was good money. One of the owners was black. The other was Jewish.

    As I expected, the pot stirrers on the left and right used this poorly written legislation to fundraise.

  5. Fu*k gays. If you want to delete this go ahead. I will say a man was meant for a women , Not men and men. I have the right to free speech or speach, i am drinkling wine so don’t know if I spelled that right? What is all this sh*t . You know whats right in your heart.

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