"Anti-gay" or "religious freedom"?

I’m against all forms of marriage.

is that state even allow gay marriage (i honestly don’t know).

in most case scenarios, doctors don’t know their patient’s sexual orientation.

again, lawyer as well, and i highly doubt lawyer would turn ANY client down.

same with real estate agent… if they refuse to take commission because of religious beliefs, i actually applaud them for that!

I don’t see why religion should be a basis for laws on running a business. Maybe I will join a religion tomorrow that has mandatory three hour lunch breaks. If employers do not hire me because of this, can I sue them for discrimination against my religion?

With that being said, I believe business owners should be able to do business, or not do business, with whoever they want. Business owners do not provide a public service; they voluntarily enter into agreements to exchange goods or services for money. Why should I be able to tell them to choose customer A over customer B for any reason?

Choosing to not do business with gay people is morally wrong by my standards. It would also be poor business in many cases (particularly since gay people tend to have lots of disposable income). However, part of concept of the US is that people have the freedom to be assholes or do stupid things. If we could go around and force everyone to not smoke, say stupid or hateful things, or drink 64 oz soda until they are obese and diabetic, we would solve many problems in the US, but that’s not how the country works.

I agree Ohai, businesses should be free to deal with who they please. But this law seems to specifically target a minority group, I’d even say it incites hate. That’s not American.

The other question of course is access to services, as mentioned previously. If a gay guy is in a small town, he could be run right out of town by merchants unwilling to provide goods and services. That’s a problem as well. Americans have a right to peacefully live anywhere they can afford to as well.

I had to laugh at the thought of a real estate agent leaving money on the table.

In order to be fair–I grew up in a tiny town in rural Texas. There were a couple of (closted) gay men in the community. I never once heard of them getting disparate treatment from anybody.

Now I live in a deeply conversative (but not tiny) town in rural Texas. While people here are adamantly steadfast against gay marriage, I’m not sure that anybody (except for those specifically in religious capacities, like a minister) would refuse service to a gay person.

or used car salesman

You don’t think it interferes with a gay person’s freedom if businesses do not serve him? So doctors will not treat him, restaurants won’t serve him, stores won’t allow him to shop there. That’s not a curtailing of freedom?

Reminds me of this. I guess you’re ok with this too.


I don’t think businesses should have the same freedom as individuals.

If you decided to open a business, you deliberately chose to be bound by a definite set of rules. You chose to pay a bunch of specific taxes and follow minimum safety standards, among other things. Freedom of speech or religion can’t get you out of that. You could use your religious freedom to become a postman or antu-gay activist instead of opening that laundry.

I think it is fair to deny business discrimination of any kind (bar different levels of service for customers that bring different levels of profitability or sales).

As for consequences, imagine if the only 24 hour pharmacy or the emergency ward of a hospital in a small town decides to deny services to gays, blacks, jews or kids wearing green. Those people would have a lot of trouble and the invisble hand would probanly not help them, since they may be too small of a market to invite competition.

That’s an extreme example, but blacks on the old south or jews in Nazi germany can certainly attest to how hurtful it is to be denied service in a multitude of establishments.

I like to think that, in the long run, hateful behavior will be punished by the market and lunatics of any kind will be out of business. Unfortunately that’s utopic - lunatics all kinds run million and billion dollar business all the time.

I read a good commentary that said Jesus probably would have baked the cake but not officiated at the ceremony. He was inclusive, yet still took strong moral stands (e.g. he didn’t slam the woman at the well, but at the end he did tell her to “go and sin no more”, which seems to indicate that he didn’t approve of her actions)

This case is a troublesome one, since it trades off right of free association against discrimination. And depending on how you value those two principles, you can come down on either side of the issue.

I just discussed this with our law prof at my school. It’s a state law, but on a federal level, the question hinges on the idea that a business is a “public accomodation” - they provide services to the public (as opposed to a private club). So, they can’t discriminate against a given class of people without getting hammered in court.

Like any law, it can have perverse results. In this case, a Muslim can’t discriminate against Jews. But an African American seamstress also can’t refuse to repair the robe of a Klansman. But that’s the problem with any law - something that MAY be good for the community can also end up creating what seems to be an injustice to some individuals.

Also, the external/informational costs of this kind of behavior can get pretty huge. Extending on Palantir’s example, imagine if a significant number of cab drivers stop picking up passengers that don’t share their religion. Or if some restaurants stop serving fat people, skinny people, women, Yankee fans or whatever. Although it is idiotic in a business sense, every step in that direction makes our daily chores slightly more annoying, to say the least.

Not serving Yankee fans was pretty common in my uncle’s bar. Made a lot of sense, too.

I rare time a disagree with you. If I run a bar, for example, I’m already allowed to refuse service for people that aren’t dressed appropriately - let’s say everyone has to be wearing assless chaps. That’s completely legal. If I don’t want neo-nazis as patrons, it’s completely within my rights to refuse them service as well. If I don’t want two middle-aged white Outback driving hipsters, I can deny them too. It’s my bar and I can allow whomever I want into it.

That’s already the law by the way. You can’t force a private establishment to service anyone and everyone. Thing is, we never needed a law to specifically tell us this until 2014 apparently. What should be done, is if you don’t want certain people to patronize your store, you should list the folks that aren’t allowed in. If the local hardware store doesn’t allow gays then they should have to put up a sign stating it. That way us rational people can take our business to a less asshole hardware store.

Yankee fans aren’t a protected class, so they can be discriminated against. Indeed, they should be discriminated against.

Aren’t all chaps assless?

The whole “protected status” thing is the big issue. Right now you can’t refuse service based on country of origin, race, color, or religion. I guess adding gay to the list is the sticking point. That’s odd because I’d think the Christians would be more worried about not being able to refuse service to muslims than two Christian gays.

Same thing could easily be said about the vaGiants.

^ Were I not a Giants fan, it could.

Sexual orientation was made a protected class in the Supreme Court’s ruling in the DOMA case.

“The enemy of my enemy is my friend?”