The big news in the world of discrimination is Indiana’s “Religious Freedom” bill. The gist of it is that private business owners can decline to do business with a client if that client somehow runs afoul of whatever the proprietor feels their religion tells them is wrong.
The bill is a continued use of religion to dress up something much more simple. These people don’t like gay people. Pretending that it’s some big deal in the front part of the Bible doesn’t change bigotry.
I’ve gone back and forth on this a bit. Initially, my boss, GenCon, and many others took a public stance on how this was an all around Bad Thing and I was opposed to that opposition. Why in the world would a free market not allow someone in the business of making money to not make money from whoever they didn’t want to make money from? They don’t want my white dollars, my male dollars, my Christian dollars, or my 25 and up or 65 and under dollars, why not let them discriminate against me? They’re self selecting to be scrubbed out of capitalism’s survival of the fittest.
But, I began doubting myself. The argument that I had in my mind is this: it’s 2015, small businesses will be murdered by social media. Better still, imagine letting those businesses discriminate and require them to announce that gays, minorities, or long haired freaky people aren’t welcome in their store and all of the decent people who are aligned with them will just run them out of business. Right?
I think that I’d been a bit naive. Legally permissible discrimination by businesses against black people following Emancipation particularly, but not entirely, in the South happened and was a real thing. Believing that only a couple generations away from that means that it cannot happen again on a scale that businesses run by people who hate a certain group could survive being boycotted by the few who cared about those that were being declined as customers is just not a safe thing to believe. Imagine if a large swath of the country (or federally) it was legal to discriminate following 9/11? I think that this would have given intolerance a much larger hold on society at large if brown people with a head scarf or a beard were turned away at the door and no one could do anything about it.
Well, people are going to start being known as bigots for not putting two grooms on a wedding cake, or a black groom and a white bride, and then those business owners are going to find red bricks through their front windows in Indiana and any other state that permits legal discrimination.
In the unlikely event that you’re an Indiana business owner who is reading this and has read this far and is planning on discriminating against any group, don’t hide behind the fraud you’ve fabricated from cherry picked Bible verses, just accept that you hate a certain group, and subtly decline their business with a referral somewhere else claiming your, oh, let’s say “too busy for new clients”. This allows you to continue being hateful and keeps you from aligning yourself Christians who are trying to not alienate everyone else in the country from the church.
Also, please go out of business until you get your act together.