I have heard much recently about a controversial bill recently passed by Republicans in the Arizona State House and submitted to the states Republican governor for approval. The bill would allow business owners to refuse service to people based on sexual orientation, if their religious beliefs justify or demand such discrimination. For those in interested this controversial “License to discriminate bill” is HB 2153. I actually have very mixed feelings about this bill. I completely oppose discriminating against people for things like sexual orientation, and religion, but at the same time I would not want to do business with people who would discriminate in such a way.
I tend to think forcing people to do business with people they otherwise do not want to, does a lot to legitimize the already persistent victim-hood complexes that these bigoted assholes already have. Rather I think we should fight bigotry and discrimination through non-coercive means such as boycotts, and spreading negative publicity about the offenders. Perhaps I am missing something, but it seems doubtful to me that most restaurant owners are going to be surveying their customers about sexual orientations anyway, also open discrimination and bigotry in this day in age, I would think would be generally bad for business. Most businesses try to avoid creating openly hostile situations for customers and turning away people wishing to hand you their money is generally a bad business strategy. Frankly, if this law were to make anti-gay bigots more readily identifiable, I would have to view that as a positive thing, so I would know that I could avoid giving them my money.
That said, I do tend to be against exemptions from laws on religious grounds, especially for laws that actually make sense, but I have to say that I find this law problematic where it applies to regular businesses such as restaurant owners and what have you. That said, though I am completely against the law where it would allow people like pharmacists or health care professionals, whose government licenses essentially give them a monopoly on the services they provide. Simply put the government requires anyone seeking to buy prescription drugs, or get a wide range of health care services, to visit someone with the appropriate state given license, and pay the heightened cost that come with this.
As such people who are part of a government granted licensing monopoly should not be allowed to discriminate against anyone. I see no problem with the government restricting the ability of a monopoly it has created, from abusing its position of power. Of course, I would ideally prefer governments not be creating monopolies, in the first place. So, it is for this I am forced to oppose this bill, that I would otherwise not have much problem with.