Something recently happened in England that warrants revisiting Rachel Maddow’s (in?)famous 2010 interview with Rand Paul concerning the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

In April of this year, Rachel Maddow also revisited that interview, following Rand’s visit to Howard University, during which he answers a question from a student with the sentence: “I do question some of the ramifactions and extensions, and I have never come out in opposition to the Civil Rights Act … I have never questioned the Civil Rights Act”.

Rachel shows a clip of Rand’s giving that answer and then repeats, out of context, “I have never questioned the Civil Rights Act”. The context is important because it includes his explicit qualification that he does question the ramifications of the act beyond race.

Nevertheless, Rachel accuses Rand of “flat-out lying”, and to prove her point, she runs another interview that Rand had given in 2010 with the Louisville Courier Journal News paper, which went as follows.

LCJ: “Would you have voted for the Civil Rights of 1964?”
RP: I like the Civil Rights Act in the sense that it ended discrimination in all public domains. I am all in favor of that.”
LCJ: “But?”
RP: [Laughs] “You had to ask me the “but”. I don’t like the idea of telling private business owners – I abhor racism; I think it’s a bad business decision to ever exclude anybody from your restaurant – but at the same time I do believe in private ownership.”

Cutting back to Rachel in the studio, “That is Rand Paul, questioning the Civil Rights Act”.

She accuses Rand of having a sketchy record on racial discrimination and civil rights law, and of being condescending in thinking he can get away with his lie. She even displays this headline in the New Yorker: “Rand Paul, at Howard University, Pretends He Favored the Civil Rights Act”, to reinforce visually the idea that Rand is a) dishonest and b) disfavors the Civil Rights Act.

That was itself dishonest, and as someone who likes Maddow (and even has a signed copy of her book on my shelf), I am disappointed that Rachel didn’t think so. In her interview with Rand from 2010, Rand was clear:

“There are ten different titles to the Civil Rights Act and nine out of ten deal with public institutions and I am absolutely in favor of [them]. One deals with private institutions, and had I been around, I would have tried to modify that. But the other thing about legislation – and this is why it is a little hard to say where you are sometimes – is that when you support nine out of ten things in a good piece of legislation, do you vote for it or against it?”

They are not the words of a man who disfavors the Civil Rights Act, or is trying to be dishonest about his views of it. They are the words of a man who favors nine tenths of it and, because of his concern for civil rights, is worried about the gutting of one principle critical to everyone’s enjoyment of liberty – private property – to help extend the reach of another (anti-discrimination).

… Which brings me to the recent event in England that raises serious questions for Americans, and I think puts Rand’s interview in an altogether more positive light.

In the U.K., an elderly Christian couple, Mr and Mrs Bull, who used to run a guesthouse, refused to offer rooms to unmarried couples – whether gay or straight. Some time ago, a gay couple, who fell afoul of their “no unwed couples” policy, sued them for discrimination. Britain’s Supreme Court agreed with the offended party and fined the hoteliers thousands of pounds, which, along with the legal fees, and the elimination of their right to rent their rooms to whomever they wish, caused them to sell their business.

As a non-religionist, I completely disagree with the guesthouse-owners view of sexuality and, dare I say, love. But I am very disturbed by the use of law to punish them for following their conscience with their own property in a way that neither did, nor intended to do, active harm to anyone.

This incident raises a complicated moral and societal question about which well-meaning and intelligent people can disagree. To find answers to such questions, I often ask simply, “What would Love do?”. And I have to say that if I were denied entry to this business (as I would be if I were with a partner as I am not married), I would probably pity this couple for their views, and I might even tell them so, but Love would require me to respect where they are on their spiritual journey, and know that they were not seeking to hurt me. I wouldn’t feel that I had a right to use the force of the state against them, nor would I want to.

As I read this sad tale, Rand’s interview with Rachel Maddow came immediately to mind. For what happened to Mr and Mrs Bull is the very consequence of the concession of the principle of private property that Rand was so concerned about.

Just as Mr and Mrs. Bull had a right to discriminate (but a moral obligation not to do so), any group of aggrieved customers – such as gay people or unmarried persons who are sexually active – have all the right in the world to publicize this couple’s views in a bid to persuade others not to frequent their establishment (easier today than it has ever been). In this way, no one has to act out of force or violate the one right that exists almost exclusively to facilitate the exercise of all other fundamental (natural) rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness – which is the right to earn and deploy property to your benefit as long as doing so harms no one else.

In the case of Mr and Mrs Bull, the force of a British law that is equivalent to the one tenth of the Civil Rights Act about which Rand Paul is rightfully concerned, was used to deprive someone of something as punishment for an act that was not intended to harm, was in line with sincerely held religious belief, and materially deprived no one of anything.

Logically, Mr and Mrs Bull can only have committed a crime if the couple they turned away had an actual right to be served by them. Yet, the Bulls are not compelled to offer their service to anyone. So how can it be that party A’s (the Bulls) making a free choice to transact with party B (a married couple) creates a new right for party C (unmarried couple)? What kind of right would that be? It is not a simple question.

To get to its answer, Rachel had pressed Rand on this altogether more concrete question.

“Do you believe that private business people should be able to decide whether they want to serve black people, gays or any other minority group?”

The most important thing about this question is that it is utterly different from the following one.

“Do you believe that private business people should serve black people, gays or any other minority group?”

Those two questions are very different indeed; they rest on very different moral and even metaphysical principles and both consistently can, and perhaps, should, be answered with a “yes”.

It is far from obvious, for example, that we should use law to punish a person who follows his conscience and does not harm another individual (such as Mr. Bull), but not a person who goes against his conscience and betrays another, such as by telling a lie to cover adultery. Typically, we make the leap from “an action is wrong” to “an action should be punishable by law” only in the very rare cases that an individual is in fact harmed or put at great risk of harm (murder, robbery, intention to do either, reckless driving, etc.).

In contrast, anti-discrimination laws in the private sphere almost uniquely work by the threat of harm (or in Mr and Mrs Bull’s case, doing actual harm) against individuals who have neither done, nor intended to do, active harm against anyone else. This is extremely serious because it is exactly by prohibiting the state from harming those who have not done harm to others that discrimination against any group in the public sphere is prevented. In other words, anti-discriminatory laws in the private sphere are always in danger of undermining the very principle they purport to defend. Typically, that doesn’t matter practically in the short-run, but it can do huge harm in the long-term.

What, after all, was the evil of slavery, from which modern discrimination in large part follows so darkly? It was not the evil of slavers’ refusing to let their slaves buy services, analogous to the refusal of Mr and Mrs Bull to offer a room for their unmarried but sexually active clients. Rather, it was the legally sanctioned, complete abuse of the property rights of the slaves by the slavers – the refusal to let them earn property in exchange for their labor, the refusal to let them keep property with which they could have bought themselves out of their slavery, the refusal to allow them to decide what to do with anything they did in any loose sense own, and even, (by the definition of property favored by many who understand its importance to providing all individuals the means of defending their liberty against any impingement,) the denial of the slaves’ exclusive property in their own beings and bodies.

This is extremely important. Property rights matter because property is the only secure means by which people can exercise their liberty over time and defend it when it is under attack.

Understanding why the two questions above can both be answered affirmatively is critical not only to understanding Freedom, but also to our ability as a nation to preserve it. We might even go a step further and say that it is the difference between those two questions that defines Freedom.

That Rand Paul cares about all of that is a credit to him. The story of Mr and Mrs Bull does not in itself prove that either Rand or Rachel is right on that one tenth of the Civil Rights Act that deals with private institutions, but it does (as sure as slavery is evil) prove that intelligent people can disagree about it. And it proves beyond doubt that impugning the intent of a politician who has sufficient integrity and, frankly, courage, to grapple so publicly with the fundamental principles of liberty is not only unfair to him, but also a disservice to us all.

ROBIN KOERNER
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whbarr3
Guest
2 years 9 months ago

As with other human rights such as free speech, people fail to make a distinction between the right and some action under that right. I condemn the person’s comment ” kill all the white devils” but I respect his right of free speech. I might not respect a persons use of their property rights but I respect the right.

William Barr, Author “Possible: A Guide for Innovation”

Dorian de Wind, Military Affairs Columnist
Member

Interesting, Robin, and I may have some comments later.

I just wonder as to why you twice mentioned the “sexually active” part of the “gay people or unmarried persons” seeking accommodations at the Bull’s guesthouse.

Would the owners have been generous enough to let unmarried or gay couples stay at their guesthouse if they promised not to be “sexually active?”

I just don’t understand the germaneness of this aspect of a committed relationship in this case. Was it part of the legal proceedings? Just curious. Thanks.

DaGoat
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DaGoat
2 years 9 months ago

Excellent essay, Robin (OK now I feel like Batman). Thanks for posting it.

sheknows
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sheknows
2 years 9 months ago

Rand Paul has a valid point. No shirt…no shoes…no service is still a right of ownership. This is similar.
Like Dorian, I am not sure why that activity aspect was emphasized, but I still think the Bulls have a right to allow or disallow anyone they want. The only harm they cause is to themselves, both by reputation and by business.
Perhaps they should advertise their establishment differently to ward off all those discrimination claims. “we run a Bed and Breakfast designed for heterosexual married couples only.”

ELIJAH SWEETE
Member
2 years 9 months ago
At the risk of being contrary, and as one with profound respect for Robin’s writing, I must disagree. Society routinely intrudes on property and business “rights” for the greater social good. Zoning laws (an intrusion on property rights)prevent smokestack industries from locating in residential neighborhoods. Restrictions on traffic prevent heavy trucks (private property) from traversing certain streets and roadways. To avoid distraction and visual pollution restrictions are placed on the erection of billboards and roadside signs. Environmental laws regularly restrict business activity by, for example, preventing the discharge of waste into the air and nearby water sources. Private business is… Read more »
Zzzzz
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Zzzzz
2 years 9 months ago
This really isn’t a simple issue. It is easy to sympathize with Mr. and Mrs. Bull in the case presented. However, I am quite confident that the provision of the Civil Rights law you are discussing would not have been passed if Jim Crow was just being applied by a few businesses here and there. Instead, it was a nearly universal policy. White businesses would not sell food to black travelers, so they went hungry. White hotels would not let black people stay in them, so they slept outside or in jail due to curfew laws. White people used their… Read more »
Dorian de Wind, Military Affairs Columnist
Member

Added:

Waiting for your reply, Robin.

But in the meantime I checked your source and other sources on the case and found no reference to the “sexually active” bit –just something about “sharing a double bed”.

Just wonder why the emphasis on this aspect of a couple’s love and relationship.

Thanks

Rambie
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Rambie
2 years 9 months ago

I’m with Elijah and Zzzzz above.

StockBoyLA
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StockBoyLA
2 years 9 months ago
When someone says they have a “private” business, let’s just be clear that in most cases they’ve applied and been granted various licenses or permits, etc. to operate a business and open their doors TO THE PUBLIC. They have not been granted a license to discriminate against certain members of the public. Any business owner should have the right to refuse service to anyone posing a risk (health code violations, screaming, bothering customers, etc.) And if I wanted to open a religious organization or private, members’ only club, then I need only accept people who pass the religious “sniff test”… Read more »
The_Ohioan
Guest
The_Ohioan
2 years 9 months ago
Stockboy has it exactly right. If you are not willing to serve all the public, you need to close your business. Further, Sen. Paul believes that private clubs may discriminate in any way they choose. The Civil Rights Act states that private clubs may stay private but have to be formed on the basis of something other than race, gender, etc. etc. You can form a camera club, but you can’t form a black camera club and refuse membership to someone of another race (in this country; I don’t know about Britain). A former co-worker’s mom owned a campground that… Read more »
Dorian de Wind, Military Affairs Columnist
Member

Perhaps germane to the article, perhaps not — or at least as germane as the “sexual active” bit — it seems that, while Britain has caught up to the 21st century when it comes to human rights and freedom, India may be going back to the 1860s: “In a shocking legal misadventure, India’s Supreme Court upheld a Victorian British law criminalizing homosexuality, a bizarre, shameful ruling against freedom—and judicial sense.”

Read more here

adelinesdad
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adelinesdad
2 years 9 months ago
I appreciate the thought put into this post and I think I am in agreement, especially since you included the last paragraph to say that it doesn’t prove the Rand is right in his criticism. I’m sympathetic to the libertarian argument and I agree that there is a strong right to private property. But of course no right is absolute. I agree with Elijah that society can impose certain obligations on property owners. I believe this stems from the fact that property owners take up space, physically and economically, that could be used by others. Therefore, in exchange for the… Read more »
adelinesdad
Guest
adelinesdad
2 years 9 months ago
StockBoyLA, I think your argument is circular. The argument is that we can impose legal obligation on business owners (like requiring that they not exclude anyone that doesn’t pose a risk) because they really aren’t private, they are public, by virtue of the fact that we’ve imposed legal obligations on them (requiring them to get a permit). I view the relationship between a business and a customer as a private relationship. The public (government) is involved only so far as is necessary according to my argument in my comment above, which is similar to what is required of its involvement… Read more »
The_Ohioan
Guest
The_Ohioan
2 years 9 months ago

ad

I guess I view the only private relationship between a business and a customer as one in which you pays your money and you takes your chances. Like transactions with your bookie, or your mistress, or your friendly local gun dealer.

I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t want to buy a car, or a ride on an airplane, or contract any business that is advertising its services without having the government involved in guaranteeing my safety or freedom from fraud.

StockBoyLA
Guest
StockBoyLA
2 years 9 months ago
AD: then what about the government regulation of businesses? Everything from minimum was laws to OSHA, to handicapped access for the members of the public with disabilities, etc.? I don’t think my argument is circular because “private” and “public” means certain things and sometimes those meanings overlap. I agree with you that the relationship between a business and a customer is private. However it is a public business…. it’s on the street with its doors open for just anyone to walk into. However anyone (non-business) can sell something to a friend, relative, neighbor, etc. and not need a store front.… Read more »
adelinesdad
Guest
adelinesdad
2 years 9 months ago
TO, I didn’t say I’m opposed to safety regulations, fraud protections, or permitting. I said that because there are some legitimate roles for government to play in private transactions doesn’t mean the business is not principally a private matter, and doesn’t mean that the government should be able to dictate whatever it wants for that business. StockBoy, My opinion is that we can’t draw such a fine line between two acquaintances exchanging goods or services for money and a business with a store-front. The B&B illustrates this, since most B&Bs I’ve come across in the UK are on the same… Read more »
roro80
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roro80
2 years 9 months ago

Arguments of the sort presented by both RP and by Robin just reinforces the commonly help notion that libertarians tend to be not only very privileged, but also tend to have difficulty imagining the world from any perspective other than their own.

StockBoyLA
Guest
StockBoyLA
2 years 9 months ago
AD: But in a free society there’s a whole lot in between that just ought to be left up to people’s conscience. Tolerance goes both ways. I think the law should be followed. But if you think people should do whatever they want according to their conscience, then I interpret that to mean you’re for changing the law to allow discrimination. Any business owner can refuse to provide goods or services to anyone. And quite frankly their seems to be very little conscience in America these days. Let’s take an easy example… WalMart and their low pay. How can anyone… Read more »
adelinesdad
Guest
adelinesdad
2 years 9 months ago
StockBoyLA, I think I’ve made it pretty clear, a couple times now, that I support imposing certain requirements on businesses, including forbidding discrimination based on race. And I certainly didn’t ever suggest that anyone should break the law. My argument, again, is that such cases are an exception to the rule that in general business transactions are a private matter and deference should be given to the business and customer to do as they please so long as there is not a clear and significant detriment to society. If you disagree with that and believe that businesses should be required… Read more »
Dorian de Wind, Military Affairs Columnist
Member
Thank you, Robin. I do appreciate your response. I am fascinated by this case and would like to pursue the legal proceedings further. I have only been able to find general articles on it that do not mention the “sexually active” or the “fornication” aspects. Could you provide sources? The question begs of this very religious/moral couple (the Bulls), as to whether they, for example, object to anal sex — or other so-called “unnatural sex” by “normal” married couples (sorry for being so graphic) and, if so, whether they would first inquire of their prospective married guests whether they would… Read more »
DaGoat
Guest
DaGoat
2 years 9 months ago
DDW I can’t speak for Robin but it seems to me your question is interesting but not relevant to the legal case. The way I interpret this case in my inexpert mind is that the Bulls have decided not to provide their private services to those who do not have the legal designation of marriage. Public law specifies certain situations where the Bulls cannot refuse to provide service – discrimination on the basis of religion, race, etc. I haven’t read much about the court’s reasoning but it seems to me the Bull’s decision is within the specified parameters of British… Read more »
Dorian de Wind, Military Affairs Columnist
Member
” it seems to me the Bull’s decision is within the specified parameters of British law…” Oh, but the Bulls discrimination was not within “the specified parameters of British law,” so ruled the British Supreme Court: “The Supreme Court deputy president, Lady Hale, said the Bulls are free to ‘manifest their religion. but by refusing to allow homosexual men to share a double bed in their establishment, they were breaking the law.” Moreover, “Judge Andrew Rutherford declared in the Bristol Crown Court ruling that in law there is no discernable difference between civil partnership and marriage, a ruling which later… Read more »
roro80
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roro80
2 years 9 months ago
It looks like the judges whose job it is to interpret British law disagree, and as such their private business decision is not legal. Isn’t it just a bit disingenuous to say that they’re not discriminating against gay people, just unmarried people, when gay couples can’t legally marry in England? I think the salient question here is whether or not the law should allow businesses to discriminate against a class of people given that this will result in a lack of access to services for that class of people, which it will. Yes, there is a tension between the rights… Read more »
DaGoat
Guest
DaGoat
2 years 9 months ago
Oh, but the Bulls discrimination was not within “the specified parameters of British law,” so ruled the British Supreme Court: I thought it was pretty clear I am disagreeing with the court, just as we all disagree with courts sometimes. If the UK feels marriage and civil partnership are the same thing then why do they give them separate designations? It looks like they are changing their law to make them the same but that law has not yet taken effect. I also disagree with the importance of their motives. It’s not illegal to be racist or homophobic as long… Read more »
roro80
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roro80
2 years 9 months ago

Ah Dorian, you beat me to it :)

SteveK
Guest
SteveK
2 years 9 months ago

Yeah but… Yeah but… Yeah but… Dorian.

The “Yeah buts”, no matter the cause, no matter the reason, will never accept anything that goes against their narrow-minded POV and bigotry.

roro80
Guest
roro80
2 years 9 months ago
“Running a business is tough enough without being forced to do things that are against your personal beliefs.” They rent rooms to the public. Rooms have beds in them. Renting rooms with beds in them might be the wrong calling for people whose personal beliefs are so set against the very normal, natural, legal, old-as-time things that happen between two adults who rent rooms with beds in them. This couple is not owed a place in the room-renting market; if they wanted to follow the law and not moralize against their own would-be customers, there would be no problem here.
Dorian de Wind, Military Affairs Columnist
Member

I thought it was pretty clear I am disagreeing with the court, just as we all disagree with courts sometimes.

Sorry, I misunderstood you.

I thought you said,

“I haven’t read much about the court’s reasoning but it seems to me the Bull’s decision is within the specified parameters of British law”

Merry Christmas

DaGoat
Guest
DaGoat
2 years 9 months ago
I did indeed say that DDW, maybe I’m saying it in a confusing way. If the Bulls had discriminated because the couple was black or Muslim, the decision on that would be very clear because the law is clearly spelled out. In this case the law was previously silent on this issue and the court had to make a judgment, one I don’t agree with. To me the Bulls had a reasonable expectation that they were acting within the law at the time they denied the gay couple a room. My guess is they had run their business for years… Read more »
SteveK
Guest
SteveK
2 years 9 months ago

If the Bulls had discriminated because the couple was black or Muslim, the decision on that would be very clear because the law is clearly spelled out.

But ‘the gays’ is a different kind of discrimination? A different story?

But hey I’m probably just saying that to hide my narrow-minded POV and bigotry.

If the shoe fits…

Happy Holidays!

DaGoat
Guest
DaGoat
2 years 9 months ago

OK Steve, you win man, I’m out of here.

ELIJAH SWEETE
Member
2 years 9 months ago
Well, I was really enjoying following this thread and the multiplicity of views and nuances being expressed…until it got personal. We truly need to stop this and stick to the topic. ‘Nuf said on that. On topic, I disagree with DaGoat on substance, but think his views have been well expressed and should not be mistaken for bigotry. As a business owner myself, I understand the frustration that attends legal compliance, but I also found myself in agreement when Roro suggested that people whose religious biases are such as the Bulls’ should not be in the public accommodations biz. On… Read more »
yoopermoose
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yoopermoose
2 years 9 months ago
Very good discussion. I just want to make a comment on this from adelinesdad: “We can all agree with Christian fundamentalists that “thou shalt not kill” and “thou shalt not steal” should be enshrined in law. We can agree with left-wing civil rights advocates that businesses shouldn’t be allowed to discriminate based on race. But in a free society there’s a whole lot in between that just ought to be left up to people’s conscience. Tolerance goes both ways.” First, as a liberal, I don’t think not killing and not stealing are things only “Christian fundamentalist” believe should be enshrined… Read more »
sheknows
Guest
sheknows
2 years 9 months ago

Well, I feel I must raise this issue. If the Bulls were to advertise in the manner in which I stated, that their establishment was for heterosexual married couples only, would it still be considered a problem? Hardly.

They can offer services to any subset pf people they desire without fear of legal retribution. For instance…suppose they allow only nudists, or clean shaven people or blondes…whatever. They are under no obligation to conform in anyway beyond that just so long as they are not practicing racial, ethnic or religious discrimination as defined by law.

roro80
Guest
roro80
2 years 9 months ago
sheknows, yes, yes it would still be considered a problem. No, they can’t just offer services to hetersexual people, or just nudists, or just clean shaven people, or just blondes. They are obligated to conform to non-discrimination laws, in countries with anti-discrimination laws like the US and England. You wouldn’t say that only serving blonde people would be practicing racial discrimination? Only serving clean-shaven people wouldn’t be religious discrimination against those whose religion dictates not shaving? And while there are kind of fuzzy laws around discriminating against gay people here in the US, in England they’re considered a protected class,… Read more »
adelinesdad
Guest
adelinesdad
2 years 9 months ago
There’s a lot to respond to since I last commented, but I only have time to address one that requires immediate clarification. yoopermoose, I am not intending to say that liberals want murder to be legal, of course. Not to single you out, but speaking of grating, it seems there is quite a bit of misinterpretation of my comments on this thread. Partly I may be being unclear (though I’ve never been criticized for being too terse), but also partly I think it’s a symptom of the fact that so much of our political discourse involves people saying absurd things,… Read more »
roro80
Guest
roro80
2 years 9 months ago
“We can agree with left-wing civil rights advocates that businesses shouldn’t be allowed to discriminate based on race.” AD, honest question here, but who is “we” in this sentence? I ask because it’s quite clear that Rand Paul does not agree that businesses shouldn’t be allowed to discriminate based on race. He is in explicit disagreement with that part of the law. That is the 1 of 10 things in the Civil Rights Act that he says he would have fought against, even if he would eventually vote for it anyway. Robin explicitly says Rand Paul is right on that… Read more »
roro80
Guest
roro80
2 years 9 months ago

On my last comment, Robin, if I am misrepresenting your views, by all means please make the correction and accept my apologies.

SteveK
Guest
SteveK
2 years 9 months ago
… until it got personal. We truly need to stop this and stick to the topic. ‘Nuf said on that. I agree completely. I posted a comment to express my opinion and that is: Anyone who discriminates for any reason other than the basic ‘no shoes, no shirts, no service’ health and safety concerns is either narrow-minded or bigoted or both. My remark was not personal nor was it directed at any specific case or person though I do believe it to be so in the Bull’s case. A reply to my comment tried to make it personal but that… Read more »
adelinesdad
Guest
adelinesdad
2 years 9 months ago

roro: “Isn’t it just a bit disingenuous to say that they’re not discriminating against gay people, just unmarried people, when gay couples can’t legally marry in England?”

I think it’s contradictory for the government to say that the business owner’s policy to not accommodate unmarried couples illegally discriminates against gay couples on account of the fact that they can’t get married on account of the fact that the government won’t let them.

roro80
Guest
roro80
2 years 9 months ago

No argument from me on that, ad.

sheknows
Guest
sheknows
2 years 9 months ago
This has nothing to do with discrimination in my opinion. See, Lets look at this another way. Suppose you opened a bed and breakfast FOR WOMEN ONLY. Should then men be allowed to file a lawsuit claiming gender discrimination? and yet, we have had women’s and men’s clubs in existence forever. Perfectly legal. So my point is this. As long as an owner ( who is under NO obligation to offer services to everybody) lets people know that they are specific in their requirements, it is not a problem. It only BECOMES a problem when unsuspecting people try to gain… Read more »
sheknows
Guest
sheknows
2 years 9 months ago

Who says they can’t just offer services to heterosexuals, or nudists, or blondes? What laws say that? A privately owned business cannot determine who it chooses to have? Since when? Well, we better storm the Mens’ clubs in New York and LA. Also, what about financial discrimination. Don’t make $500k a year..you can’t join this club. Oh…but it is a PRIVATE club. Just like a men’s or women’s club. Is it always just about race and sex or should we as a society start looking at all forms of discrimination?

adelinesdad
Guest
adelinesdad
2 years 9 months ago
roro, I’m glad we agree on that. Leaving that aside, if gay marriage were made legal in the UK, I don’t know if the Bulls would have sought to exclude gay married couples. But, hypothetically, if they did, I agree with you that this is the central question: “I think the salient question here is whether or not the law should allow businesses to discriminate against a class of people given that this will result in a lack of access to services for that class of people, which it will.” If enough businesses exclude the same class of people, it… Read more »
adelinesdad
Guest
adelinesdad
2 years 9 months ago

roro, the “we” in my sentence was basically everyone in this discussion on this thread. Robin says at the end that Rand Paul is not necessarily right, only that the issue is complicated, and I agree with that. The examples I chose could have been better, though. I didn’t mean to imply that there is as much consensus around the fact that it should be illegal to discriminate based on race as there is consensus that murder should be illegal.

adelinesdad
Guest
adelinesdad
2 years 9 months ago
roro and Elijah, The argument that people who have certain moral views and consider themselves to have a moral obligation to act on them should avoid certain lines of work bothers me. In some of my comments on this thread I tried to make the argument that tolerance goes both ways. From that perspective, I don’t see that argument as much different than saying that gay couples should just be forbidden from using B&Bs altogether. As long as there are plenty of other comparable B&Bs to go to that are willing to provide the desired service, I don’t see a… Read more »
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