Premiere Imagined Injury Firm

I was going to write about all the people wailing about the harm that marriage equality is causing the world, such as an email from the National Organization for Marriage which asked for donations eight times. Eight pleas (each with a link to the donate button back on their web page!) in a single email message!

But then Mark Fiore posted this funny video that says it better than I could:

And while I’m linking, PolitiFact takes a look at the other claim being thrown around by the anti-gay folks: Wedding vendors have been forced to participate in same-sex marriages under threat or even jail, Family Research Council president says.

The concept of businesses as public accommodations which cannot discriminate against customers has been around for a lot longer than the gay marriage debate—the 1964 Civil Rights Act, for instance. If you are open to the public and offering goods and services for sale, you can’t discriminate. To a lot of people this sounds odd, until you frame it this way:

Imagine a grocery store owner in a small rural community, it’s the only grocery store for miles. Should that grocery store owner be able to refuse to sell food to someone because of his personal beliefs? “No Lutherans Allowed,” for instance?

You buy a business license, you hang your sign out, you open your doors (accessed by public roads and public sidewalks), and you say, “Come in and buy!” Then you have to open those doors to everyone who will pay, behave civilly, and so on. It doesn’t matter if you’re a grocery store, or a restaurant, or a bakery, or a flower shop. You have offered your merchandise to the general public, you have to allow the general public to buy them.

It’s really that simple.

2 thoughts on “Premiere Imagined Injury Firm

  1. The video’s fabulous!

    “You have offered your merchandise to the general public, you have to allow the general public to buy them.”
    I appreciated the excellent point made during my training at HBP by one of the managers: “This is a business, not a ‘**** I like’ store. Yes, you still have to stock the shelves even with the books that you don’t like, since the paying customer does want them.”

    It strikes me as very similar (simple) logic about your paying audience: if you want to stay in business and take their money, then you have to serve them.

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