Thursday, February 27, 2014

Discrimination Means Freedom.

By Laurence M. Vance
The governor of Arizona has vetoed SB1062, which supposedly allows businesses to refuse to serve gays. The bill is actually an amendment to an existing law, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) of 1999. It has to do with claiming religion as a defense in discrimination lawsuits and proving that one’s religious practice is genuine. Here is everything you wanted to know about the bill, but didn’t bother to ask.
But let’s just suppose for a minute that the bill actually states something like: “Any business owner can refuse to provide a good or service to gays.” As you can see in all my writings on discrimination, I believe that anyone should be able to discriminate against anyone else for any reason and on any basis. If you want to discriminate against me because I am “a pro-life, Christian, culturally conservative libertarian,” then go right ahead. But do Christians have to refuse service to gays? No they don’t. As I said in my most recent article on discrimination: “A Christian’s acceptance of the Bible’s negative assessment of homosexuality does not necessarily preclude him from providing certain ‘services, accommodations, advantages, facilities, goods, or privileges; provide counseling, adoption, foster care and other social services” or providing “employment or employment benefits’ to gays or ‘other perverts.’” For example, a Christian landlord might refuse to rent an apartment to a gay couple (just like he might refuse to rent to an unmarried straight couple) and at the same time sell a broom to a gay couple at the hardware store he owns.
Discrimination means freedom. Without it there could be no Heinz 57 varieties. Try picking a spouse without being able to discriminate against every other woman in the world.
The above originally appeared at

1 comment:

  1. -- Try picking a spouse without being able to discriminate against every other woman in the world. --

    Anti-freedom zealots will retort with the point-missing "it is not the same thing, you know!" Indeed, it is not the same to discriminate from a pool of women when choosing your mate than it is to decide not to trade with certain people because of the color of their skin.

    But there lies the problem: How can you tell when a person discriminated against another person sorely because of the color of that person's skin? Only if that person clearly stated this as his reason, but why would that matter? A person is free to choose whether he will trade with someone else or not, as what he can freely trade is his own property and only his property. I don't have to justify my decision not to engage in trade or ask permission to withdraw from trading, but even if I state my reasons for not engaging in trade, that would only mean I am a rude person, certainly not someone you would want to trade with anyway. The status quo ante remains, which means nobody is made worse off by my refusal to engage in trade.

    Anti-discrimination laws, instead, are based on the presumption that any person that requests trade is entitled to what is being traded as a matter of principle and not as a matter of voluntary action, or in other words: anti-discrimination laws are based on the assumption that your property is not really yours and that you have no right to refuse to trade. This is nothing less than legalized chattel. Where discrimination is NOT harmful (and I clarify that I am talking about discrimination by free individuals towards free individuals and not by government) as the two parties are not worse off compared to the status quo ante, anti-discrimination laws and regulations ARE VERY HARMFUL to the party that is accused of engaging in discrimination and certainly made worse off after persecution by the state.