In my original draft of a post on the Indiana and Arkansas religious freedom/anti-gay laws I had written a sentence that said the courts have ruled against discrimination against homosexuals. Got to thinking about that, did some quick research (as I had time on breaks from my real job) and decided to yank that sentence. It would be more accurate to say the law seems unsettled on all of this. The Supreme Court of the United States I believe it is correct to say has not tackled this issue head on. It has in one or two cases (or more?) let stand lower court decisions against such discrimination.
But it seems it depends on where you are whether a business can simply refuse service to someone because they are homosexual — I mean we’re talking about performing a service, such as decorating a wedding cake or taking photos at a gay wedding. In at least two cases, I believe, lower courts have held refusing service based on one’s sexual orientation is a denial of constitutional rights.
For now, I’ll just say the law is unsettled.
As far as day-to-day commerce goes, I can’t see any room for discrimination. But I do kind of see the point of someone not wanting to basically take part in something they don’t believe in or are uncomfortable with, such as a photographer being asked to record a same-sex marriage. And I did not suggest whether that is right or wrong. People have their own beliefs and feelings.
But on regular day-to-day commerce society would break down quickly if we only dealt with those who thought and acted just like ourselves.
My original post follows except for that one sentence I deleted and replaced with all the above:
The governor of Indiana said it was all a misunderstanding and misreporting by the “media”, that the law his legislature just passed was not intended to allow discrimination against homosexuals. After an immediate backlash from homosexuals and businesses eager for their dollars (it all spends the same no matter what a person’s sexual orientation), he even offered or called for an amendment to the law to make sure it would not allow discrimination against homosexuals.
Faced with a similar new law in Arkansas — they’re called “religious freedom acts” or some other such euphemism — the governor there, facing the same backlash, called for the repeal of the law or at least an amendment.
I think anyone who follows current events knows that the laws were intended to allow businesses to refuse service to homosexuals. What else could they be for? Has anyone said?
It seems to me that we don’t need religious freedom acts.We have the First Amendment which specifies that we have freedom of religion.
Now I will allow that there could be some instance where a business might be run by someone of a particular religion and that someone might be asked to do something that seems counter to his or her religion. I would suppose all this might have to be on a case-by-case basis. I mean there might be some rare exception where said person would not have to perform a certain service — I don’t know about this one.
But the reality here is that so far the main targets are people who do not want to serve homosexuals and in the instance of the National Health Care Act or Obamacare there was the notion that religious institutions should not be subject to requirements to provide health coverage that included birth control or abortions.
In the so-called Hobby Lobby case, the U.S. Supreme Court did hand down a majority opinion that sided with religious institutions not wanting to be under a mandate to provide health care coverage for birth control. But the ruling was said to be a narrow one, only applying the certain situations — like I said up top, the law seems unsettled. I’m sure the reasoning in Hobby Lobby could be used in cases against serving gays. I don’t mean it would be right, just used.
But the current fuss is over the former, serving gays.
I would say that if you put yourself out there to serve the public in this free and democratic country, then you just have to serve everyone equally.
What if the heathens took over and owned most of the businesses and refused to serve religious folks?
This religious anti-gay thing the Republican Party has used to whip up frenzy and gain political points for so long has finally come back to bite it in the rear end.
Like I said before, gay dollars spend as well as straight dollars — any good Republican knows that.
I usually do not use the term “gay” in place of homosexual. I lament that the original meaning of such a good word, “gay”, has been lost. It happened sometime I think after my teenagehood. Back then local newspapers still ran headlines about everyone having a “gay” time. The meaning would be misconstrued now.