Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Unforced Errors

Sally Kohn at TPM explains why the government isn’t “forcing” anyone to sell pizza to a gay wedding when it outlaws discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.

… somehow a fringe set of rightwing conservatives want us all to believe that hapless business owners are somehow being forced, against their will, to serve pizza to gay people. Nothing could be further from the truth. If you don’t want to serve pizza to gay people, by all means, don’t—which, by the way, is legal in Indiana and 28 other states, but even where it is illegal, you’re still free to do so and deal with the consequences of breaking the law. That, pizza shop owner, is your choice. And if you don’t want to deal with those consequences, well, no one is forcing you to be in the pizza business. You’re free to do something else.


In the United States, private businesses get all kinds of government support—a functional monetary system, police that safeguard private property, roads that help deliver customers and goods, public schools that educate workers, telecommunications infrastructure, legal protections against copyright and patent infringement, tax benefits for business expenses and employee health care, legal shields for owners and more. No one is forcing businesses to take advantage of all those benefits, nor forcing you to start a business to begin with nor forcing you to do so in a state with non-discrimination laws or in the United States to begin with.

Don’t like following the laws that apply to businesses—including serving all customers equally? Then don’t start a business. That’s your choice.

And yet being forced to comply with messed-up Christian beliefs that it’s okay to demonize your fellow human being because of an obsession with their sex lives is “freedom.”

4 barks and woofs on “Unforced Errors

  1. I keep asking myself, do they really serve pizza at weddings? I haven’t been to a wedding in nearly 30 yrs., so, maybe things have changed.

    • I keep hearing rumours of pizza being ordered toward the end of a reception so guests can soak up (some of) the alcohol they’ve been consuming. Haven’t seen it myself, though.

  2. I DO love how they’ll happily have LGBT patrons, just so long as those customers don’t get to remind the business that they’re actual real people and not some entertaining underclass.

  3. The article at TPM makes a good point but I don’t think it closes the deal. I have often wondered about this with regards to civil right. Libertarians claim that people that own private business are entitled to serve who they want. That doesn’t make sense to me. The gay wedding pizza example is a bit silly but what about a gas station opened late? Or the old “last gas for 50 miles? Can they decide who they are going to sell gas to?

    From my point of view, I need food to survive. And there is food right now behind my house in the form of deer. However the State will not let me shoot them out of season. The reason why there are licenses, seasons and so forth is because society has divided up the land to benefit private individuals. It seems to me the state is depriving me of my right to substance to benefit others. If I agree to go along with the system and hike into town for a pizza it seems to me they damn sure better serve me one or the whole deal is off.

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