Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Surprising LA Times Verdict: "Expressive" Businesses Should Not Be Forced to Serve Gays

Los Angeles is a hub of diversity, which is perhaps why the L.A. Times showed such a deep understanding of individual liberty in Thursday’s editorial. The team tackled the gay rights question, “can discrimination be legal?”

Not only did they urge the United States Supreme Court to acknowledge discrimination as legal in certain cases, they came to their conclusion via the United States Constitution (emphasis added):

 “Elaine Huguenin, a wedding photographer, has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn a ruling by New Mexico's highest court that she was required by a state public-accommodations law to take pictures of a female couple's "commitment ceremony." Last week, a judge in Colorado ruled against a baker who had refused to supply a gay couple with a cake for their wedding reception.

Although religious scruples were at issue in both cases, the issue is primarily one of free speech. The 1st Amendment protects not only the right to express one's own views but also a right not to be compelled to convey someone else's.

In her petition to the Supreme Court, Huguenin warns that the decision against her threatens other "expressive professions" including "marketers, advertisers, publicists and website designers."

Much as we support same-sex marriage and oppose discrimination, we do see a distinction between businesses that provide the same product or service to all comers and those that collaborate in the creation of a personalized message. We acknowledge that drawing that line will sometimes be difficult.”

This form of understanding is coming from a paper in a city with a huge gay community.



Anonymous said...

No private business should be forced to serve (anyone) they choose not to serve.

Anonymous said...

I cannot help but think that a partial motive for this piece is to justify progressive business not serving religious or conservative customers. That most of these customers just find someone who will serve them instead of making it a media event must be galling to those who want the satisfaction of publically turning them away.


Anonymous said...

How pathetic. Do businesses want to make money serving the public at large, or do they want to limit their business and profits just to customers they like or who share similar prejudices? Whatever the case, they shouldn't make a case of being martyrs!