From my Gazette blog . . .
It seems absurd that the question of whether religious people should be allowed to discriminate against gay people would be left to one person to decide. But that is the situation Arizona governor Jan Brewer finds herself faced with this week as she decides whether to veto an anti-gay bill that would allow business owners to refuse to serve gay people. (See Globe and Mail report.)
If she signs the bill into law, it is state-sanctioned homophobic discrimination, and Ms. Brewer will find herself lumped in with the likes of Uganda’s president and Nigeria’s president, and the state will undoubtedly face economic boycotts by companies and individuals.
You would think this would be a no-brainer for the Arizona governor, and that she won’t get her back up like aforementioned African presidents did, saying they didn’t want outsiders pushing them around, and that they’d show us. You would think Ms. Brewer will veto the ugly legislation.
But for those who might be struggling with the issue, who think that maybe business owners should be able to pick and choose their customers and turn away gay clients, I’d suggest turning the question around.
Should business owners who might be atheists have the right to deny services to religious customers? After all, there is not a shred of scientific evidence to support the existence of God and all the superstition accompanying religions. Religions are an affront to the intelligence of many people.
The answer, of course, is that business owners who sell to the public have to treat everybody equally, and the customers’ currency be it cash or credit is non-denominational and exempt from petty class distinctions.
If business owners feel they can’t in good/bad conscience serve gay people, then they should find another line of work.
I’m sure the issue is a huge embarrassment to many people in Arizona. The world is watching.