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View Diary: Republicans squirm over Arizona anti-gay bill (117 comments)

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  •  Honestly, I think discriminating against customers (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Laughing Vergil, Devolved, ngh

    is actually more morally defensible than withholding earned benefits from your employees because you don't like what they'll do with them.

    You can always argue the right of the individual to refuse to do business with other individuals, for any reason or no reason.  No such right obtains, even in theory, in the context of an employer-employee relationship.

    •  You said, (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AJayne, dotdash2u, jessiej, VPofKarma

      "No such right obtains, even in theory, in the context of an employer-employee relationship."

      Not where I live.

      People can only be fired for cause, not at-will.

      Let me ask, since you believe discriminating against customers can be morally defensible - if a police officer believes in the misogyny of his religious conviction that requires women to be modest, can he refuse to investigate a robbery/mugging/murder at a lingerie shop?

      Similarly, can a fireman refuse to stop a fire at a liquor store because it violates their Mormon morals?

      There is nothing defensible about refusing service to someone based on your moral beliefs if you are willing to provide the service at all.

      If a business want access to public roads, wants access to firemen should an emergency arise, etc., those things are all provided for the common good and by the common person.  A gay person, for instance, paid for those common things and deserves to utilize public places - like the lunch counter at the Woolworths or the water fountain in the park, or the seat on the bus.

      These battles are long since fought.

      •  I should have clarified (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        that I don't think that argument (that a business should be able to refuse service to a customer on so-called moral grounds) is a good one or a sound one.

        It's just not as utterly baseless as the argument that an employer should be able to withhold earned benefits from an employee on the same so-called moral grounds.

        •  I accept your opinion, but I am not certain (0+ / 0-)

          I accept your opinion, but I am not certain that I agree.

          While there is a legal relationship between employer and employee, the civil rights movement also taught us that there is a legal relationship between businesses open to the public and the public.

          I agree that an argument can be made about the differences of the distinction, but I am not certain that there really is a difference.

          Protected classes of people are protected from discrimination at public places (businesses included) and at the workplace.  There is no difference determining discrimination at the workplace or at a place of business.

          A business owner is not allowed to discriminate against a person of color or a religious minority just because they feel like it.

          Unfortunately, LGBT are not a protected class.  However, federal court after federal court is effectively saying these people are being discriminated against and that the Constitution should protect them.

          Just to simplify, I offer the quote from the judge striking down the Texas ban on same-sex marriage:

          “Today’s court decision is not made in defiance of the great people of Texas or the Texas Legislature, but in compliance with the U.S. Constitution and Supreme Court precedent,” he said in his order. “Without a rational relation to a legitimate governmental purpose, state-imposed inequality can find no refuge in our U.S. Constitution.”

          Religion-based exemptions do not trump the Constitution, no matter the minute distinction that you find to exist.

    •  This is the heart of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (6+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      a2nite, Eyesbright, Sue B, Matt Z, msdrown, schumann

      Basically, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 made it illegal to deny service to people you didn't like because they were not to your personal liking.  As Kennedy said in his justification for the law:

      The bill was called for by President John F. Kennedy in his civil rights speech of June 11, 1963,[6] in which he asked for legislation "giving all Americans the right to be served in facilities which are open to the public—hotels, restaurants, theaters, retail stores, and similar establishments"

      It is shameful for Americans to not be equally free to go into a bakery or shop just because they are not of a group you are comfortable with.  You should have the right to refuse service to people who don't follow a dress code ("jacket and tie required"), but you shouldn't have the right to refuse service because they are following the dress code while gay or while black.

      I believe people are born with their sexual orientation and that it is not a preference.  That being the case, it is just as obscene to refuse service to someone who is born with dark skin or a big nose or almond shaped eyes as it is to someone who is born homosexual.  

      Mmmmm. Sprinkles. - H.J. Simpson.

      by ten canvassers on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 12:45:20 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I agree completely. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Cassandra Waites

        Mind you, I think it's wrong to refuse people service based on sexual orientation regardless of whether it's an inborn trait or a chosen preference.

        As I said above, I ought to have been more clear that I was trying to make a point about a position I do not share in the slightest.

    •  You cannot make discrimination morally defensible (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      It is not remotely morally defensible to allow businesses to discriminate among customer base.  All businesses use legal tender of the United States.  They use heavily regulated public utilities, they transport stuff on public infrastructure to which folks contribute with taxes.
      Moreover, to allow any business to pick and choose customers on basis of race, gender, religion, color, who you love, how many children you have, where you pray or if you pray, balkanizes the nation and destroys the social fabric of community.  There is nothing morally defensible about that.  
      I suggest you read Warmth of Other Suns, a fabulous book about African American migration from the South in the 20th century, for what it was like for African Americans to try to drive around the country when hotels, restaurants, etc were allowed to refuse services to them and then tell me that is morally defensible.
      I hate to use Nazi comparisons but this is how it started, little by little government decrees to eliminate Jews from public life.

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