Fast Focus ' Should business owners be allowed to discriminate?' Civil disobedience

March 17, 2013 

The Tri-City Herald Editorial Board failed in its flawed analysis and condemnation of the Arlene's Flowers owner's refusal to support a gay marriage (Our Voice, March 10). The board was curiously deaf to cries of past courageous stands by Martin Luther King, Gandhi and other heroes throughout history echoed by this clear act of civil disobedience. Possibly, the board would have maligned Rosa Parks as well.

The board ignored the fact that the owner opposed the marriage, not the person, with whom the business serviced over the past nine years. Indeed, refusing to do business with individuals for superficial and baseless reasons; such as prejudice, appearances or assumptions about private conduct; screams of injustice. However, equally unjust are laws that force individuals to act against their conscience. The appropriate response; as encouraged by philosophers, theologians, and ethicists for millennia and demonstrated by countless martyrs; is to oppose such laws.

Yes, editorial board, injustice happens right here in Benton County, though political bias may distort the view. In fact, your bias oddly contradicts the opinion of a clear majority of regional voters, and likely TCH readers.

Thankfully, Benton County has its heroes. I laud Barronelle Stutzman, owner of Arlene's Flowers, for her courage.

-- DANIEL R. SISK, Richland

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