Business owners, licensed by state and local governments, have no rights to discriminate under normal circumstances as a matter of religious consciousness or otherwise.
The recent overt discrimination incident at a Richland Flower Shop shows the difficulty of subordinating one's religious beliefs to the laws of the land. Holding true to her religious teachings, the owner's refusal to do business with gay patrons (a legally protected group) was her non-violent protest against the legality of gay marriages.
This incident was not a matter of poor services that can be remedied by not patronizing that business. Rather, her refusing service was a clear violation of anti-discrimination law that's known to authorities. As such, this is not a case that is resolved by simply leaving the merits of the violation to the collective consciousness of an observing public. It also requires an appropriate legal remedy, perhaps a citation, license suspension or fine.
A monitory fine alone will not deter religious and other kinds of bigotry, but education might. However, some teachers' religious biases are reflected in their teachings. Similarly, some business people cannot leave their bigotry out of their business dealings. In all such cases and in this case, the contents of the victims' character made little or no difference whatsoever and should have.
-- DALLAS BARNES, Pasco