If We Don’t Have The Right To Refuse Service, Aren’t We All Slaves?

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In New Mexico, the state supreme court has ruled that a photography company violated state law by refusing to take photos at a gay wedding:

The court found that Elane Photography’s refusal to serve Vanessa Willock violated the act, which “prohibits a public accommodation from refusing to offer its services to a person based on that person’s sexual orientation,” according to the ruling.

Justice Richard C. Bosson, writing in concurrence, said that the case “provokes reflection on what this nation is all about, its promise of fairness, liberty, equality of opportunity, and justice.” In addition, the case “teaches that at some point in our lives all of us must compromise, if only a little, to accommodate the contrasting values of others. A multicultural, pluralistic society, one of our nation’s strengths, demands no less.”

We’ve all seen those signs in restaurants and stores. “We reserve the right to refuse service.” But clearly, that’s not a right the courts are recognizing, and that’s interesting in its implications.

There are a lot of reasons to refuse service. Most of us would agree that refusing to serve an unruly or rude customer is ok. Laws actually provide criminal consequences for establishments who continue to serve alcohol to people who are inebriated.

But refusing service to someone because of their skin color? Or religion? Or sexual orientation? Most of us would object to those sort of policies.

Here’s the question, though: Regardless of whether or not we agree with the reason for refusing service, should a business or individual be required to provide that service if they don’t want to?

I if the law mandates that one person use their skills or labor in service in another even in instances where that person refuses, is that not a form of slavery?

I’m afraid that it is, and I’m worried what this precedent portends for future legal questions.  Are banks to be required to give loans even when the borrower doesn’t qualify? Some might argue we’ve done something similar in the areas of student loans and mortgages.

This reminds me of comments Senator Rand Paul made back in 2011 about the supposed “right” to health care.

“With regard to the idea whether or not you have a right to health care you have to realize what that implies,” he said. “I am a physician. You have a right to come to my house and conscript me. It means you believe in slavery. You are going to enslave not only me but the janitor at my hospital, the person who cleans my office, the assistants, the nurses. … You are basically saying you believe in slavery.”

I don’t think anyone has the right to demand the unwilling services of someone else, even when that unwillingness is born of attitudes or beliefs we find objectionable.

I would criticize those refusing service because of reasons like sexual orientation or skin color. I would deny them my business, and implore others to do likewise. But use the law to compel their unwilling service?

That’s a sin against liberty worse than any sort of bigotry.

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Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com. In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters. He writes a weekly column for several North Dakota newspapers, and also serves as a policy fellow for the North Dakota Policy Council.

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  • Simon

    There is very likely more than one photographer in New Mexico. The gay couple was not denied the privilege (not a right) to have their pictures taken. They could have hired someone else. This is not about discrimination or equality or justice, it’s about shoving a lifestyle that many find objectionable in someone’s face and down their throat just to flex some muscle. The NM Supreme Court is supremely screwed up for making this kind of ruling against a private business owner.

    • Neiman

      It is a decision against the 1st Amendment

      • PK

        To the 2 idiots who voted Neiman down, the 1st Amendment says, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;” The law is prohibiting the business owner from freely exercising their religious beliefs in everyday life. There’s more to being a Christian than just going to church on the sabbath and the 1st Amendment protects more than just going to church.

        • Russell Hayes

          Personally I think the photography firm were idiots for refusing and they definitely do not understand the bible.

          • two_amber_lamps

            Good for ya. Now that we know Russ’s belief on the subject…

            Thank you for clearing up the other question since you’ve just tacitly agreed to the fact that you personally have no understanding of the Constitution.

          • Russell Hayes

            Be “IN” the world, not “OF” the world.

          • PK

            Well ok, sure, that’s your opinion, which is protected by the 1st Amendment, just like the company owner’s opinion should be. If someone wants to sacrifice hogs to idols, that’s their right to do it, no matter how stupid it may seem to me. I don’t have to associate with them or eat their meat. Can Jews, or some Christians who observe unclean meat laws, sue a restaurant because they serve pork and shellfish, because according to the Law of Moses, unclean meat being in the same area makes even clean meat common and not good for food?

          • Russell Hayes

            Mercy & Grace we’ve been shown while we were yet sinners. I’m not disputing the rights of the business owners rights to refuse business to whom they want. I’m saying they are setting an example or rejection, so what if they don’t believe in their lifestyle! The truth is they ALWAYS have a chance to accept the faith or not while they are still ALIVE. Which witness is better, rejection, shunning, and judgement or love, mercy, and grace.

          • PK

            Well reinforcing their lifestyle by accepting their “marriage” and taking pictures may not be the best thing for a Christian to do. I don’t know for sure what i would do in that situation but i’m not going to sit here and cast stones at either of them.

          • two_amber_lamps
        • Question

          Interesting. And where do we draw the line with this? You mention in another post how someone can slaughter animals if they want… but why stop there? What is to stop anyone from doing anything in the name of religion?
          Let’s remember, during the Civil War, some people cited the Bible as a validity for slavery. Did we violate their 1st Amendment rights too?

  • zipity

    This is just the tip of the coming iceberg. I personally don’t care if gays can get married. I just don’t want to see churches sued out of existence if they refuse to perform gay marriages.
    And that will happen, and soon. I guarantee it.

    • Simon

      We’ll find out if the first amendment holds up. The courts interpret it to “protect” people from religion. It should also protect people who choose to express their religious beliefs, especially in the private sector.

    • two_amber_lamps

      If that’s what it takes to forward the agenda of the left, the eradication of churches is of no consequence to them. Onward to liberal totalitarianism….

  • Neiman

    This story was posted by Last Best Hope and myself, please do not forget to comment there as well.

  • Thresherman

    “In addition, the case “teaches that at some point in our lives all of us
    must compromise, if only a little, to accommodate the contrasting
    values of others. A multicultural, pluralistic society, one of our
    nation’s strengths, demands no less.”

    So why was it not asked of the Gay couple to compromise and seek a different photographer? Because “compromise” is defined by liberals as forcing others to agree with them.

  • Say It

    The cheerleaders for the homosexual agenda, try to say we need to be “tolerant”.
    The real truth is, is that they want to force us to accept their lifestyle. This photographer incident surely proves that you WILL accept their behavior, whether you want to or not.

  • Matthew Hawkins

    It is offensive to call this slavery. They are being paid fair market value for their service.

    • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

      Maybe. If we called it indentured servitude, would that be more palatable?

      Whatever term you want to use, the practice is what’s truly offensive.

      • Rick Olson

        Given North Dakota’s Right to Work and Employment at Will laws; I would daresay that most workers in this state would fall under the category of indentured servitude. Employees have few if any rights of redress against their employers in an employee-employer dispute; and much of the relevant case law in North Dakota sides with the employer in such dispute.

        • Guest

          Employees retain the right to stop working for employer A and go to work for employer B, where business owners don’t (in all cases) retain the right to stop providing service for customer A and still provide service to customer B. So, in relation to this article, your comment is very out of place.

          • Rick Olson

            I was referring to Rob’s comment. I wasn’t referring to the article. Thank you for playing.

          • Guest

            And yet, Rob’s comment was referring to the article, so how can you refer to one without referring to the other? Oh yeah, you were “playing” I’ll just throw out an insult when I don’t have a logical response.

          • Rick Olson

            People insult me all the time…so take a number.

          • Guest

            Your own comment insulted you enough. No reason for anyone else to join in.

        • tony_o2

          You’re going to have to get creative in explaining how the ability to leave your job at will fits the definition of indentured servitude.

          Our labor laws don’t force anyone to do anything they don’t want to. You can still join unions, hire union labor, and sign legally binding labor contracts. The beauty of it is that nobody is forced to join a union, nobody is forced to hire union labor, and nobody is forced to sign a contract that they don’t like.

          • Rick Olson

            Thus, the Right to Work laws of North Dakota and some 23 other Right to Work states. A right to work law means that an employee who works in a unionized business cannot be forced to join the union as a condition of their employment with the business, nor have union dues involuntarily withheld from his or her paycheck. I think most folks get Right to Work and Employment at Will confused. Employment at Will means that an employee who does not enter into a specific written employment contract with his or her employer is treated as an at will employee. In general, employment at will means an employer may fire an employee at any time for any reason or for no reason at all, and with or without advance notice to the employee. On the other hand, an employee may quit their job at any time and is under no legal obligation to give their employer, for example, the customary two weeks notice of their intention to resign; nor does an employee have to give their employer a reason for their decision to resign.

          • tony_o2

            How does any of that make it indentured servitude?

        • JoeMN

          There are laws mandating a minimum wage.
          Laws against workplace discrimination.
          Laws RE: workplace injury
          Laws protecting the right to organize
          OSHA
          Ect. ect.ect.

          • Rick Olson

            Few rights of redress when it comes to things like suing their employer or having their unemployment compensation claim challenged by an unscrupulous employer who knows how to work the system to their advantage. All an employer has to do is prove that an employee was discharged for reasons constituting misconduct, and thus they can stop their unemployment claim cold. The word “Misconduct” is left open to rather wide interpretation. In North Dakota at least, because the laws and regulations that are on the books generally side with the employer in such disputes, and relevant case law from previous court cases have generally sided with the employer in such disputes. If an employer doesn’t want to pay an unemployment claim or a worker’s compensation (WSI) claim; there are generally ways that an employer can work the system to their advantage. File appeal after appeal, etc.

          • JoeMN

            All an employer has to do is prove that an employee was discharged for
            reasons constituting misconduct, and thus they can stop their
            unemployment claim cold
            ______
            As it should be.
            Unemployment insurance compensation is not an entitlement.
            One reason few employee disputes ever make it to court is that employers have the process for terminating a rogue employee down cold

            Document document, document.
            And for those cases that may see a courtroom it’s much cheaper to settle
            As for the lawyers, they would rather go where the big money is.

      • silverstreak

        When I was a contractor,if I didn’t want to work for someone for whatever reason I would simply jack the price up. Nobody was going to tell me what I could charge and that includes the government.
        On the other hand…over the years I worked for many types of people including gays.
        I do not care for their lifestyle but their money was just as green as anyone elses.
        Neither was I harmed in any way by doing the work.
        Now…just how far should a business be allowed to go in refusing service?
        Should druggist be able to refuse service to openly gay people?
        How about EMTs and doctors?
        My Wife’s Oncologists is as queer as a 3 dollar bill but he saved her life.
        Do you think we give a flying rat’s a$$ who he sleeps with? lol
        Should he be able to limit his practice to only gay people if he chooses to do so?
        Be careful what you wish for,you just might get it.
        I doubt if an overweight person would be very happy if they were refused service at a resturant and the manager told them they should be on a diet.

      • Thresherman

        Interestingly this case has been singled out as having freedom of expression/1st Amendment issues. Had they sought an injunction against a landlord or some such issue of property, the case might have been over. But a photographer is considered an artist and their work considered works of art. Therefore it is being put forth that forcing a photographer to produce works of art against his or her will, then that is a violation of freedom of expression as well as the 1st Amendment.

        I think that it is fair to say that no supporters of Mapplethorpe’s “Piss Christ” will be rushing to defend this photographer’s rights, but don’t you dare refer to them as hypocrites, they have reputations to think of.

    • dilettante

      Is it that much of a stretch to go from ‘you must provide this service’ to ‘you must provide this service at this price’? Who determines fair market value? The plaintiff’s counsel? Are there punitive damages? In any case, it’s their service that they are being forced into, which is slavery. Whether or not they receive compensation is beside the point. Slaves in the antebellum South were compensated, after all, if in no other way than in the form of food and shelter. Yet they had no choice but to serve – and neither do photographers in New Mexico, apparently.

    • OldConserv2011

      Interesting point. If I were that photographer and I’m being told that I must take these people’s business, then I might just have to jack up my prices a bit. Oh, about 400% sounds good to me. If they want my services badly enough, then they’ll pay a premium price! If I’m going to be a slave, then I’ll be a well paid slave.

      • Andrea Toman

        Good luck with that.

      • Dakotacyr

        It would still be considered discrimination. But then again you wouldn’t get that either.

      • Simon

        There are other ways to handle this kind of situation. Maybe the photographers should have said they were already booked for that date. If the date passes and they don’t have a booking, they can say their party cancelled. By that time, the couple in question would have found someone else. Or the photographers could have said they had vacation plans and would not be available. Then get out of town on the date of the event. They didn’t have to blurt out the way they did.

    • dilettante

      And, you’re also saying in essence that it’s perfectly OK to put a gun to someone’s head to force them to perform a task you want them to, *as long as you pay them fair market value*. This is your argument?

      • Dakotacyr

        No, but they are offering a service to the public, and the public came and said, I’d like to have you take our pictures, and the owners said no, you’re not the public we are seeking. that’s the problem.

        • JoeMN

          So what if a couple entered the establishment and demanded the photographers services at their nudist wedding ?

          According to the court, the photographer is still bound to serve them.
          And if the pedophile demands employment at your child’s daycare ?
          Or the convicted felon want’s a firearm ?
          Is it only constitutional when the state says it is ?

          • Dakotacyr

            Nudists aren’t covered under the discrimination statute.
            Pedophiles are covered under the discrimination statute.
            Convicted felons aren’t covered under the discrimination statute.

            Next dumbass question?

          • JoeMN

            Why not ?
            Why ?
            Why not ?
            Are you starting to see the ridiculousness of discrimination statutes ?

          • Clint F

            Oh no, it’s already begun. Pedophiles want the same rights as homosexuals. They claim they’re “minor-attracted adults” or something, which is an “orientation” – thereby granting them protection.

            http://www.greeleygazette.com/press/?p=11517

            And those of us who saw this coming were told we were crazy extremists, of course.

          • Neiman

            But Clint – weren’t they born that way, isn’t it normal like homosexuality? :)

          • Dakotacyr

            You are a crazy extremist. Gay people do not have an “orientation”. Pedophiles are committing crimes. Not the same thing. The law doesn’t protect them.

          • JoeMN

            Yet gays are awarded these special protections in New Mexico based on their “sexual orientation” , are they not ?
            Pedophiles could in theory make this same sexual orientation claim.
            They would still be breaking the law, but so would the business owner who refused them service.

          • Simon

            That’s the point. Pedophiles want their behavior decriminalized so it’s no longer a crime. They see gays as brothers and sisters in spirit who have paved the way for them to be free, accepted, and so forth.

          • 2hotel9

            And yet pedophiles ARE before the Federal Judiciary demanding that their “sexual orientation” be treated under the law the same as homosexuality.

            Wow, after all these months it still sucks to be you.

          • two_amber_lamps

            And I’m sure ellinas1 is following that story very closely, so he can finally let his skeletons out of his closet…. or should we say 10 year old boys out of his basement.

  • WOOF

    This is about commerce and public accommodation New Mexico law says the photographer can not discriminate based on sexual orientation.
    Case closed.

    If Rand Paul has an MD shingle hanging in front of his house, bang on his door and demand service.

    “bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution.” Thomas Jefferson

    • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

      This is about commerce and public accommodation New Mexico law says the photographer can not discriminate based on sexual orientation.Case closed.

      And what if the law said vegetarian restaurants have to serve people who want hamburgers?

      There’s no getting around it, this is a problem for those interested in liberty. Which I know you’re not.

      • WOOF

        That’s a straw-man.
        The photographers take pictures the vegetarian restaurant doesn’t serve beef or eye surgery.
        Perhaps a soyburger ?

        • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

          Ok, so how about if you demand that a nature photographer shoot your wedding?

          Is that kosher, or are you done splitting hairs?

          • Dakotacyr

            No, you are just being ridiculous. they offered a service to the public. the pubilc asked for the service and were denied because of their sexual orientation.
            show me the law that says a nature photographer must shoot a wedding and the law that is being violated based on sexual orientation. the nature photographer is offering to take pics of a wedding.
            You are just being silly.

          • Matthew Hawkins

            This is just another strawman, nature photographers don’t offer the service of shooting weddings.

        • alanstorm

          “That’s a straw-man.”

          No, it’s not. He is comparing two types of businesses that are generally open to the public.

          Here’s a better comparison, since the decision stomps all over freedom of religion in particular: Can a kosher deli now be forced to sell bacon? According to the NMSC and you, yes.

          • Dakotacyr

            totally different. One business takes wedding pics, the other doesn’t. they were denied based on their sexual orientation but if you weren’t gay then they would take your business. the nature photographer would not take pics of non gays or gays. No discrimination. get it now.
            You are all just being silly.

          • JoeMN

            One business takes pictures of hetero weddings.
            Is the hair dresser now obligated to do cornrows ?
            Are street vendors of magazines now obligated to sell porn ?

          • Dakotacyr

            No, cornrows aren’t covered under the discrimination statute.

          • Matthew Hawkins

            No statute is telling anybody they have to offer a certain product.
            The statute says that when offering a public accommodation you can’t discriminate based on certain categories, which sexual orientation is one.

          • Neiman

            They are violating the Bill of Rights. Anyone, show me where in the command that Congress shall make no laws against freedom of religion, it says those beliefs must stop at the front door of their homes and that they cannot follow their faith even in operating a business.

          • JoeMN

            This goes beyond freedom of religion.
            Non religious people should also be allowed freedom of association.

          • Neiman

            That is quite true, thanks for reminding me of the broadest application. Scrolling through your responses under this thread, they are all quite excellent.

          • Dakotacyr

            They are allowed the freedom of association, but when they offer a service to the public, then they have to comply with the laws, including the anti-discrimination laws.

          • JoeMN

            But you can discriminate against cornrows ?

            The point is people discriminate every day.

            Do you not discriminate when choosing your friends ?

            Your mate ?

            Anti discrimination laws in the private sector are a feeble attempt to regulate human behavior.

            In this case the behavior of an individual running a business.

            Yet the market had already offered the disgruntled gay couple in question a remedy.

            Government, on the other hand needs to be regulated.

            Using Dakotacyr’s analogy of “for the people by the people” government discrimination must be reigned in.

          • Matthew Hawkins

            You can try to overturn the Civil Rights statutes, but they have been around for over 50 years and you will lose.
            Congress and in general most of the country have decided that certain types of discrimination are illegal.
            Nobody has said who your mate can be, in fact the civil rights statutes specifically addressed miscegenation.
            The problem is not when you discriminate, it is when you illegally discriminate.

          • JoeMN

            Who said anything about overturning the Civil Rights Act ?
            Much of it was sorely needed to keep the racists within the Democrat party from using government to discriminate.

            The question is now whether an individuals right to freedom of association means anything now that the state of New Mexico has mandated who they must associate with.

          • Dakotacyr

            And those racist democrats were promptly thrown out and hoofed it right over to the republicans where they were gladly accepted and happily reside today.

          • JoeMN

            Excuse me. Democrats never stopped using big government to impose their will on others.

          • Dakotacyr

            YOu just can’t seem to stay on topic.

          • Dakotacyr

            You are using the generic definition of discrimination not the legal definition of discrimination.
            But then again you knew that.

          • Matthew Hawkins

            This is a bad analogy. Nobody is forcing anybody to offer a product they don’t want to offer. What they are saying is if you offer a product to the public you cannot discriminate based on who the public is.

          • Neiman

            What they are saying is that a Christian MUST disobey God and deny their faith if they want to earn a living by a job or owning a business; which is exactly what we found in Nazi Germany, the Soviet Union, the PRC, Cuba and other totalitarian states – they must make the Christian faith a crime against the State.

            A homosexual can go next door and get pictures taken of their perversion of marriage, so they are denied nothing.

          • MrSkeptic

            Yes, what they are saying is that you must disobey your imaginary friend and live by US law. I imagine that’s a real dilemma! Not.

          • Neiman

            So, being a liberal, you have no problem with their violating the Bill of Rights? That precious document says there shall be NO laws that infringe of religious worship, this decision is a law against the First Amendment and is unconstitutional.

            Let me warn you that if you do not defend the Bill of Rights against ALL breaches, then you do not deserve liberty at all and you will lose ALL of your rights one day.

            The Founding Fathers did not think Jesus to be imaginary, nor have most of the greatest scientific minds in all human history; it is you secular liberals that, like your Soviet and other Communists brothers must kill Christ and all His followers, because He speaks against you and your sexual immorality and idolatry.

          • JoeMN

            Neiman is right MrSkeptic.

            His freedom of religion is directly linked to your freedom to not worship.

          • Drain52

            Can you explain why not?

      • Dakotacyr

        This isn’t about liberty. It is about operating a public business within the law set by the state of New Mexico.

        • JoeMN

          This is exactly about liberty.

          Being free means tolerating the freedom of others.
          Since when is opening a business mean the surrendering of your constitutional rights ?

          • Dakotacyr

            they are operating a business, States and the Congress can set reasonable laws and regulations with regard to the operation of businesses. Hence, zoning regulations, health care regulations for restaurants, etc.

            next question, dumbass?

          • JoeMN

            Workers are free to associate with labor unions.
            Politicians are free to associate with their chosen party
            Yet choose to open a business, and you instantly loose your freedom of association.
            Nice

          • Dakotacyr

            They are still free to associate but if they are going to offer a product to the public, then the laws apply to them.

          • Dakotacyr

            We are not free to do anything anytime we want. We live in a civilzed society where there are rules and laws that we live by.

          • JoeMN

            A majority in this “civilized society” has already rejected discrimination
            We don’t need potentates in New Mexico restricting our freedom of association.
            Yet we do need a constitution to restrict those potentates

        • Drain52

          So as long as it’s lawful, it’s good. You just justified Kristallnacht.

    • kevindf

      Where’s the legal proof of “orientation?”

      • Dakotacyr

        Duh!

      • WOOF

        The proof is in the photographers self professed defense.

    • alanstorm

      So, are you unwilling, or unable to answer the question posed?

      • Dakotacyr

        No, a kosher deli cannot be forced to sell bacon. Bacon is not covered by the anti-discrimination statutes.

        • Drain52

          Bacon may not be, but not serving the gentile public is discrimination.

    • JoeMN

      “In questions of power…let no more be heard of confidence in
      man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the
      Constitution.” –Thomas Jefferson: Kentucky Resolutions, 1798.
      _______
      Quite a different outcome when the quote is taken in full.
      In it’s full context, the “mischief” is created by those tyrants who would press Rand Paul into servitude

  • JD

    Ok – so this is about LGBT “rights”. Got it. Now let’s see someone do the exact same thing to a photographer, wedding cake designer, etc that is a practicing Muslim. Come on – I double dog dare ya!

  • Dakotacyr

    No, we aren’t all slaves. But the country has laws against discrimination and states have laws against discrimination. And if you are going to offer a business service to the public, then you must follow those laws. Plain and simple, that’s why the decision was unanimous.

    • JoeMN

      So you are saying those discrimination laws trump freedom of association.

      • Dakotacyr

        The owners still have their freedom of association, but they started a business that serves the public and certain laws and regs are applicable. One of those since it is a business open to the public is to follow the laws of pubic accommodation.

        • JoeMN

          Thanks for the confirmation

          • two_amber_lamps

            That’s Dakotacritter for you…. illogical liberal fascist.

  • Geoff Bosse

    And if I’m a plumber who was hired to provide a service but they can’t prove to me that they can pay me when I’m done. Can I refuse to do the work, or would that be considered income discrimination?

    • Dakotacyr

      Geoff, Geoff, Geoff, read the statute, no it wouldn’t be considered income discrimination. It’s not in the statute.

    • Matthew Hawkins

      Require up front payment. Nobody is stopping you.

  • LastBestHope

    “Judge Bosson insists that the Huguenins must take the business of a gay couple as part of the price of citizenship.

    Well, what if the situation was reversed? What if it was the gay couple that refused to hire the Huguenins? .. Suppose the gay couple made the utterly reasonable decision not to hire a wedding photographer who passionately rejects the whole idea of gay marriage? Should a judge march in and tell the gay couple you’ve got to give these people money to photograph a ceremony that disgusts them?

    There is one reason why a gay couple would want to force a photographer to shoot their wedding: The progressive idea that you must care, you must celebrate, you must comply.”

    Jonah Goldberg

    • JoeMN

      A “price of citizenship” denotes indentured servitude.

    • NoDakNative

      Someone needs to start a wedding catering service owned by a Catholic family, then have them advertise toward the gay community. Then sue gay couples when nobody hires them.

      PROFIT!!!

      • JoeMN

        No, that wouldn’t be discrimination because the gay community still enjoys freedom of association
        But what would happen if a catering service operated by a gay person refused service to a gay couple ?

  • HG

    “That’s a sin against liberty worse than any sort of bigotry.”
    And yet you mocked the slippery slope arguments warning of the very “sin against liberty” that would inevitably follow redefining marriage. If it is worse than supporting marriage (what you call bigotry), than you should have left marriage alone.

    • Simon

      Speaking of the slippery slope, the pedophiles have been emboldened by the SCOTUS decision on DOMA, which is generally seen as a victory for gays. The pedophiles say their desires come from an orientation, just like the gays, and they want recognition and acceptance. And some people insist homosexuality and pedophilia are not related.

      http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/pedophile-support-group-seeks-truth-and-dignity-want-same-rights-as-homosex/

      Similar stories were printed in several publication, including the Huffington Post, which is hardly a bastion of conservatism.

      This was not hard to predict, just too difficult for some to accept.

      • sbark

        ….good thing there is no radical element in the gay community huh….

      • HG

        Well some wanted to argue equality so bad that they had to overlook the inequality of discriminating against the vast majority of the religious, the obvious differences between men and women, and the rich history, tradition, religion, etc. of marriage.

  • JoeMN

    What these liberal tyrants will never understand is that the free market already takes care of these things.

    If one business chooses to discriminate out of racism, bigotry, or whatever, it provides an opening for a competitor

    For those who would suggest that ALL photographers may discriminate, there was a time in our nations history when this occurred.
    It was when Democrats in GOVERNMENT mandated it through Jim Crow laws.

    • Dakotacyr

      No the free market does not. Our government is for the people, by the people, of the people. and free market does not take the place of laws and regulations.

      • JoeMN

        Taken in that context, even North Korea’s government can be considered “for the people and by the people”.

      • NoDakNative

        Yes the free market does take care of this.

        If I need to have my roof fixed, one roofer charges $1000, the other $950, and the third $750 and all do the same quality, which should I chose?

        Now, lets say that the one charging $750 is black, gay or whatever and I don’t want to use them. What is my fine for discrimination? It is $200-$250 in the form of the higher cost I must pay for a roofer. Even more important, the fine is automatic and in proportion to the degree of discrimination.

        • JoeMN

          You are still free to associate with whom you choose, (unless of course you apply for a business license in the state of New Mexico).

  • Rick Olson

    This has been a cardinal rule in business for a long time. Ever since I was a kid anyway and that was in the 1960s. The meaning of the sign means the establishment reserves the right to refuse service to anyone. It doesn’t mean that the establishment will actually do so. I realize that service cannot be denied to someone on the basis of their color, race, religion or national origin. I think what this is saying that if someone were to come into the business who obviously would be a threat to the safety and well being of the customers and employees of a store, then in that case, I do believe the establishment has the right to tell someone to get lost.

    It should also be noted that there is a common misconception out there that a business, such as a retail store, is public property. That actually is not the case in the legal sense. While a business is a place of public enjoyment, it is not public property. The building and property that the business sits on s indeed private property. This means the management may refuse to serve anyone, and there is a fine line between when someone is a customer and when someone becomes a trespasser. This means someone who is causing trouble in a store, is being disorderly, etc. can be subject to arrest at the management’s discretion if the person causing the commotion doesn’t voluntarily leave on their own.

    • Guest

      So is it possible to run a business that isn’t open yo the public? If so, what would be the distinction.

      I have been aware of this concept for years and believe it applies to those who rent apartments, even if it is a portion of the home they live in. If the publicly advertise the apartment, then they can be held to this law. Can anyone comment if this is true?

      • Rick Olson

        Yes, it is possible. Membership only clubs come to mind. Be it a fraternal organization’s meeting place, also to a certain extent businesses like Costco and Sam’s Club would come to mind as well. While members of the general public are invited to come in, they cannot shop without paying an annual membership fee for the privilege of shopping there.

        Therefore in every day business practice, those places are not open to the general public, unless they first become members. Perfectly legal.

    • JoeMN

      The “problem” of discrimination arises in the context of human
      association. We believe in freedom of association — it’s implicit in the
      First Amendment, in fact — but that freedom entails not only the right
      to associate with those willing to associate with us but the right not
      to associate — the right to discriminate, on any ground, good or bad, or
      no ground at all. Absent that, freedom of association is compromised.
      It means that others choose the grounds for us. Others tell us which
      grounds are and are not acceptable. That’s not freedom.

      http://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/crucial-line-between-public-private-discrimination-missing-law

      • Neiman

        Excellent response.

  • mickey_moussaoui

    sounds like obamacare to me

  • mickey_moussaoui

    There is no law that dictates that a photographer must charge the same rate for all customers. So if the photographers post a price list up front that charges 5000% more for gay
    weddings, he/she can guarantee they won’t be bothered. And if some gay wants to
    prove a point and hire them anyway, well, take their money and laugh all the
    way to the bank. You don’t have to justify your rates in a market based economy. If a lawyer sticks his nose in the issue just tell them you have a hard time keeping focus from retching when you do gay weddings and that is why it costs more. Problem solved.

    • Dakotacyr

      Yes, you would run into trouble as you would be considered discriminating against gay couples by charging them more for the same service a heterosexual couple would pay.

      That would indeed be discrimination under the statute.

  • tony_o2

    Are they breaking the letter of the law? The court says they are. Does that mean that all laws are just and we can’t complain about them? Laws are passed, changed, and repealed all the time when people don’t like the current laws. “It’s the law” is not a an adequate response in the discussion of whether a law should even exist.

    What if a general photographer was approached to photograph a party. Something they do all the time. Would the photographer be obligated to photograph an orgy? The behavior is legal, and it’s also a sexual “orientation”. Could the photographer object because they would be uncomfortable, or would discrimination suits force them to offer their “public service”?

    How about someone being asked to photograph a Pagan ceremony? Would it be religious discrimination if they refused to participate in something they find offensive and contradictory to their beliefs?

    What about Priests that offer their services to “the public”. Should they face discrimination suits if they refuse to perform a marriage ceremony for a couple that believes in a different religion?

    • Rick Olson

      Members of the clergy, pastors, priests, rabbis, etc., are generally exempt from such claims. A member of the clergy generally cannot be prosecuted or be sued because they refuse to perform a marriage ceremony; because in many cases, a member of the clergy can face disciplinary actions up to and including being defrocked (losing their credentials as a minister) for performing an act that is not permitted by their respective denomination.

      • JoeMN

        But the law only recognizes discrimination.
        It rejects the notion that freedom of association applies to business owners in NM

        So who is to say it won’t eventually reject freedom of religion as well ?

  • awfulorv

    Faced with having to do something against my wishes I’d simply retire. Until next morning, that is, then I’d have a change of heart…

  • Bisley

    “Public accommodation” laws, many “civil rights” laws, labor laws, the Americans With Disabilities Act, and numerous other laws of this sort are patently unconstitutional. It doesn’t matter a damn that corrupt, ignorant, self-serving politicians have passed these laws, or that moron, political hack judges have affirmed their legality, the Constitution does not give government the power to force any individual, or business to accommodate anyone.

    While government may not discriminate between its citizens without good and real cause, any individual, property owner, or business owner has, as a matter of property rights and freedom of association, the inherent right to do as they please in their own sphere; they may choose whether, or not they wish to do business with anyone, or to hire, or fire anyone they please, for any reason, or no reason. This is what freedom and property are all about; no one has the right to force another to serve him, do business with him, hire him, or refrain from firing him (or to have government force anyone to comply with his wishes). Why would anyone, in their right mind, want to do business with, or work for anyone who despises them, or for whatever reason just doesn’t want them around? There are always other options that would be agreeable to all concerned. This isn’t about protecting anyone’s rights, it’s about forcing people, against their will, to give up their rights to the politically favored.

    The problem here is a lawless, out of control government; they threw the Constitution away a hundred years ago and since then have done whatever they thought they could get by with, each branch affirming (or at least not contesting) the right of the others to do it. Unless the power of the political parties is broken, so that many more honest, decent people can be elected to office and reverse this century of unconstitutional rule, this country is finished. What we have now is a low-grade tyranny, but everything is already in place (or in the works) to expand it into a full-blown absolute control of everyone and everything.

  • 2hotel9

    Right to refuse service. You are not required to explain WHY, all you have to do is say no.

    • two_amber_lamps

      Giving leftists any more information is just giving them nails to crucify you with.

  • schreib

    This goes even further into a persons right of conscience. Will they force nurses or doctors to participate in abortion or in caring for someone when the family refuses food or water? Our country is becoming a police and totolitarian state. Former communist countries are better than us now.

  • Paul

    Go read the 13th amendment more carefully. Its use of the word “except” means that only the government has the prerogative of slavery and involuntary servitude. In other words, the 13th amendment proclaims a governmental monopoly upon slavery and involuntary servitude.
    That’s a gutsy way to criminalize a particular type of public-private partnerships, huh?
    Now, which party has more of its fingerprints all over the 13th am? Could it be the GOP. Again?

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