Monday, July 18, 2011

How Do We Reconcile This As A Society?

From the New York Post:
Now, Bronx disc jockey Clifton McLaughlin, a born-again Christian, says he'll refuse, if asked, to work at gay weddings.

"This is based on God's law," McLaughlin told me. "There is no way man can come with his own law."

Could he be punished? Well, yes! A gay couple denied service by a DJ, not to mention a florist or wedding band, has grounds to sue in Civil Court, a Cuomo spokesman told me.

I don't want to go back to a society wherein a business can post a "no coloreds allowed" sign on the door. Why is gayness any different?

On the other hand, businesses (like DJs and florists) don't have to accept every job offer that comes their way, either. There are many reasons why they might not do a job.

So how do we reconcile these two diverging thoughts?


Anonymous said...

As an independent contractor, the DJ MUST be allowed to pick and choose which jobs he'll accept. I play in a band, and I've turned down some jobs due to who wanted to hire us. I won't let my band play for ANY political functions, not wanting to tick off any part of our potential audience, for example. While we have played some fundraisers for free, that also depends on what the funds are being raised for.

If I were the DJ, I would countersue, not to mention would carry on a vendetta against the politicians who passed such "laws." Maybe would even write a song or two to mock them, and maybe would be forced to start singing about politics at gigs.


Darren said...

I get that. On the other hand, what if you didn't want to play for blacks?

KauaiMark said...

I guess it comes down to the "born that way" reasoning. Politicians aren't born politicians.

KauaiMark said... least I hope not

Darren said...

I accept that Target can't post a "no coloreds" sign at its stores. I have a vague belief as to why florists and DJs might be different from Target, but I need that thought fleshed out.

What types of businesses should be allowed to discriminate (DJs and florists) and what types should not (Target)? And why?

Rhymes With Right said...

On the other hand, Daren, there is an interesting flip side to this over at GayPatriot that you might find interesting -- arguing that the non-discrimination laws themselves are authoritarian and limit freedom.

Darren said...

I agree that they are somewhat authoritarian and do somewhat limit freedom, but are they so much so that we should give them up? Do you *really* want even to *see* signs that say "no coloreds allowed"? Hey, let's not be PC here; maybe we can see signs that say "no niggers or faggots allowed".

Because that's really what we're talking about.

Rhymes With Right said...

Do I "want" to see such signs? Not really. But should I have to accept their presence, even if they offend me? Why not? After all, I get pretty offended every time I see a sign that says "mosque" on it...

And therein is the issue -- where do we come down on things. Do we allow the business owner make bad choices on who to do business with, or do we limit the fundamental right not to associate with others in the interest of protecting this or that favored group?

And that also ignores one other aspect that folks don't think about -- if some idiot wants to proclaim a segregationist policy, I'd like to know so that I spend my dollars elsewhere. If my best friend -- a gay man -- isn't welcome at a certain establishment, I don't want to spend my money there.

Besides -- is such a policy any more offensive than the women only policy at Curves? From my vantage point, they are morally equivalent.

Joshua Sasmor said...

I suppose the idea comes from the legal definition of a "public accommodation". The store is a public venue and cannot prohibit entrance to anyone wishing to be a customer while the DJ is an independent contractor and has (or should have) the legal right to refuse a contract. A flower shop cannot bar customers from entering and making purchases at the shop, but a contract-only florist (say someone who only does weddings) should be allowed to refuse a contract.

I agree with "Rhymes With Right": I want to know who these idiots are, so I can avoid their shops. I also think that the DJ, if threatened with a lawsuit, should move to a state that does not recognize gay marriage so that he can continue to work in accordance with his beliefs and refuse to take any jobs in any states that do. (I personally think he's wrong about gay marriage, but that's not the point). However, it is important to note that I am NOT a lawyer (nor have I played one on TV), I am a math teacher :)

W.R. Chandler said...

As much as it would pain me to see "no coloreds allowed" signs on store windows, or "no whites allowed" signs for that matter, I am fundamentally opposed to government laws that stop private business owners from deciding who can patronize their business. Barry Goldwater lost the 1964 election largely over this issue - he did not support the 1964 Civil Rights Act - but that did not mean he was incorrect on the issue.

Keep in mind, much of the segregation that existed in the southern states was not at the behest of private business owners; it was largely laws passed by state legislators who did not have to feel the financial effects of the laws they passed.

In a free market in this day and age, a business owner who would racially discriminate against his customers - without any segregation laws to back him up - would do so at his financial peril.

If people didn't like the business owner's policies, then that is what boycotts are for. Look what happened to Dr. Laura when she tried to start a TV show.

Darren said...

I have some libertarian impulses, but that one seems to me to be a bridge too far.