The Gross National Debt

Monday, January 9, 2012

Discrimination NOW!

As always, copy at the end of the dots.
.
.
.
.
.
‘.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
‘.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
‘.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
‘.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
Is discrimination wrong?
Uhhh, you are then discriminating against me.

Ooo. Talk about a loaded question. Let’s narrow this a bit and not get caught in a tautology as I suggest at right.

You own a business. Do you have the right to run your business as you see fit?

Well, no. You do have to pay taxes. You can't sell low grade nuclear waste to the public, etc., etc.

Narrow the question. You own a business. Do you have the right to decide who you will take a customer? In other words, can you say “I do not want to do business with this person” and that be ok?

Shorter version: Can you discriminate?

Before I tackle that question, lemme come at it from two different directions.

I run a newspaper. Do I have to accept advertising from anyone? Do I have to publish letters to the editor or other opinion pieces from people I disagree with? Do I have to print something just because someone tells me they want it printed?
The truth.

With less than 5 VERY well defined exceptions, the answer to all that is no. If you need to know more, contact me.

The First Amendment guarantees me the right to publish and print what I want without interference from government mandates.

Lemme swap hats. As an ordained minister, can I be forced to officiate a service which I do not agree with?

Again, the answer is no. The First Amendment guarantees that.

Let me link all three of these things together.

As a newspaper editor I regularly publish engagement announcements and stories covering the marriage of the two people. As a minister I occasionally officiate marriage ceremonies.

Suppose two people of the same gender bring me an engagement announcement and ask me to officiate the wedding. Am I required to print their notice and conduct the wedding?

No. Would I? On the first, probably. Setting a precedent, we run obituary notices and other such items for people in same-gender relationships. On the second, no. The First Amendment protects me.

The First Amendment doesn’t protect you, unless you fall into one of those categories if you run a business. In other words, if your religion and its requirements state you cannot be involved in providing service to a same-gender union, tough. You’re gonna have to do it.

Several courts have already ruled on this one.

New Mexico, which has a Human Rights Commission (which may or may not be similar to the same board in Canada) also decided you can either provide the service or pay a fine. This link drops a PDF of the HRC decision to your computer.

Here’s part of it:
Elane Photography refused to offer its photographic services to her because of her sexual orientation, in violation of Section 28-1-7(F) of the NMHRA. (New Mexico Human Rights Atc)

4. Section 28-1-7(F) of the NMHRA provides, in applicable part, that it is an unlawful discriminatory practice for: "any person in any public accommodation to make a distinction, directly or indirectly, in offering or refusing to offer its services, facilities, accommodations or goods to any person because of ... sexual orientation...." NMSA 1978, § 28-1-7(F).

5. Section 28-1-2(P) of the NMHRA defines "sexual orientation" to mean: "heterosexuality, homosexuality or bisexuality, whether actual or perceived...." NMSA 1978, § 28-1-2(P).

6. Section 28-1-2(H) of the NMHRA defines "public accommodation" to mean: "any establishment that provides or offers its services, facilities, accommodations or goods to the public, but does not include a bona fide private club or other place or establishment that is by its nature and use distinctly private...." NMSA 1978, § 28-1-2(H).


Elane Photography was fined around $6,000 for not photographing the wedding. Not to get tautological on you, but who's rights are more important here? Is the right of the couple to hire any photographer more important than the right of the photographer to decide which assignments he will take?

I ask you again, is discrimination wrong?

If you say yes, then you are saying government can force you to run your business against your wishes. If you say yes, you are saying government can overrule the First Amendment.

If you say no, then you are saying there are very real differences in people. If you say no, you are saying treating people differently is acceptable.

Myself, I prefer to use market forces to make changes in business rather than government fiat. In other words, if you don't like the way a business is run, don't go to that business and encourage everyone you know to also avoid that business.

That is discrimination. It is discrimination that preserves your rights and my rights and keeps government out of it.

And in case you wonder, I am in favor of discrimination.

There is nothing so unequal as the equal treatment of unequal people. - Thomas Jefferson

2 comments:

  1. Here's my take for what it is worth. Every person who lives in the US should have equal rights under the law. IE The right to wed, adopt and even be recognized in times of sorrow (Death of a loved one, being at a dying loved one's bedside etc.) Now these are extremely basic rights and, in a national sense, cover a very narrow area. On the other hand, I also believe that in the wider spectra, people should have the right to refuse service to whomever they choose. Clergy should be able to refuse services to groups they morally oppose, businesses should have the right to refuse service. (Already do, try not wearing shirts or shoes. Surprised someone hasn't sued over that yet.) Discrimination is wrong, but we are never going to legislate it away, it has to die out slowly and naturally like it has been doing for decades.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Can't agree with you all the way Rebel. I agree with tha vast majority. A child molester should not be allowed to adopt kids and so forth in that vein. Splitting hares? Yep. I do it so well. (pun intended)

    Which reminds me, I need s'more rabbit in the freezer...

    ReplyDelete