Refusal of Service?

“We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone.”

Not a sign of the times.

Businesses, in these United States, may not discriminate against people on the basis of race, religion . . . and now, in nearly half of the states, because of sexual orientation.

This came up in New Mexico, recently. Elane Photography had refused to visually record the civil union ceremonies of a gay couple. The couple sued, and a court ruled in their favor: “[A] commercial photography business that offers its services to the public, thereby increasing its visibility to potential clients, is subject to the anti-discrimination provisions” of New Mexico’s Human Rights Act, and “must serve same-sex couples on the same basis that it serves opposite-sex couples.”

The old idea was that governments were not to discriminate against this person or that, because all are owed justice. But businesses do not sell justice, and, since no one is owed a particular service, private persons and groups, including businesses, were allowed to discriminate in ways forbidden to governments.

This changed with 1964’s Civil Rights Act. Not only did it repeal the evil Jim Crow era public mandates for discrimination (further enforced by organized private violence), but the Act forbade private business discrimination, enforcing open access . . . leaving us with what B.K. Marcus calls “the right to say ‘I do’” but without any “right to say ‘I don’t.’”

The case will be appealed. “We believe that the First Amendment protects the right of people not to communicate messages that they disagree with,” say the photographers’ lawyers.

The ACLU declares this notion “frighteningly far-reaching.”

Well, yes. Justice is supposed to be that. Far-reaching.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.

6 Comments so far ↓

  1. Sep
    6
    9:20
    AM
    JFB

    The only moral commercial transaction is a mutually voluntary one.
    Under this precedent any member of any “protected”, actually privileged, group will be able to compel the services of anyone, regardless of the abhorrence of the action by the service provider. This misguided ruling could compel all medical practitioners to deliver abortion on demand, or, more likely, artificial insemination to same sex couples regardless of the practitioner’s personal moral compass.
    The penalty for not accepting an offer to contract should be the loss of the potential benefit to the rejecting party. That some may choose to refuse is part of their personal freedom, and their right to (not) contract. In a free society other’s will be available to accept the offer.
    This precedent is actually a mandating involuntary servitude, and total tyranny. It is an abomination and goes much, much too far.

  2. Sep
    6
    10:17
    AM
    Brian Wright

    And this is the sort of issue where the ACLU is guilty of mixed premises, why leftists make lousy libertarians. They have no compassion for the individual if the individual refuses to be PC.

  3. Sep
    6
    3:24
    PM
    Mark Read Pickens

    Business owners have a right to be bigots, just as I have a right to be offended by bigotry and refuse to patronize their establishments.

  4. Sep
    7
    11:21
    AM
    Jay

    Does the business refuse police or fire protection BECAUSE A PORTION OF THEIR MONEY COMES FORM TAXRES PAID BY SAME SEX COUPLES? (And, or perhaps, or, would they refuse a per-centage of the polcie or fire protection for that reason?)

    I am not in favor (nort am I opposed, I just do not care either way) regarding same sex marriage.

    But, if one expects all to pay their fair share of taxes ( except Federal if they are big donors) then one should be willing to accept clients.

    I think the idea of doctors performing abortions is a bad example. There are enough palces that do so willingly, for one not to have to sue.

    And, in reality, the same is (in most places, i would think) the same of photographers.

    As to the CRA- re: discrimination–same arguement (actually was made)-regarding police and fire protection. BUT, WHY WOULD ANY PERSON WANT TO PATRONIZE A BUSINESS THAT DOESN’T WANT THEIR BUSINERSS?

  5. Sep
    7
    4:00
    PM
    Lynn A. Bloxham

    Excellent comments tho would disagree with the police and fire example. the error in the Civil Rights Act was that because a person opened their business to “the public” the owner somehow lost the rights that any private property owner should retain.

  6. Sep
    8
    12:39
    PM
    Karen

    Interesting debate on this topic. I couldn’t care less what someone does in the privacy of their own home. Also do not care if gay couples choose to marry. That doesn’t mean I want to witness & record their union. If you have ever been to a gay pride parade you’d understand that notion. I don’t choose to see it. I think the photographer has the right to decline shooting what he or she finds distasteful without being sued. Why would this couple pursue her to begin with, if not to make some sort of legal point? Was she the only photographer in New MX? Doubtful! There are others who would gladly take the work & some even specialize in organizing & catering to the gay community. What troubles me is that this woman lost her rights to decline a project because of perceived bias. This is just too PC, punishing, ridiculous & downright unfair.

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