Fast Focus ' Should business owners be allowed to discriminate?' No exemptions

March 17, 2013 

Does any situation exist that should allow for discrimination? Of course not. We foolishly made an exemption for religious organizations, now religionists believe their religious "relationship" trumps law and their civil responsibility. If Americans want to maintain our liberty, everyone must participate. That means Christians have no more right to discriminate against gays in any situation than Catholics against Protestants, Muslims against Jews, race against race, etc. The list is as long as the labels we create.

There is no room in a business plan for personal approval of one's clientele, nor should there be. The Tri-Cities has a recent local example of disgusting discrimination. If the issue was really her religious "relationship," the owner wouldn't have sold flowers to a gay couple during their nine-year romance. Obviously it isn't about her religion or their sexual orientation. The issue is about her discriminatory business practices.

The right to deny service to anyone is not a loophole for discrimination. If we say businesses have a right to discriminate, then we are taking a huge step backward. Of course, the root problem here is that we've gone from the idea that people are entitled to their personal beliefs -- however repugnant -- to encouraging people to respect bigoted beliefs. The thought police will never eradicate bigotry, but we don't need to enshrine it in our society nor in our business practices.

-- MIKE WILSON, Richland

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