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zompist bboard • View topic - Discrimination (from garden path thread and elsewhere)

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PostPosted: Sat May 21, 2016 11:02 am 
Smeric
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Out of interest, what's the amendment?


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PostPosted: Sat May 21, 2016 11:55 pm 
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I haven't been keeping up with the news much, but the only thing I recall hearing the phrasing in that headline for is a legal attempt by some people here to protect business owners that refuse to serve gay/LGBTQ...customers. (As I understand it, the argument that's used in favor of that is that since they're Christian, requiring them to serve these customers would be infringing on their freedom to practice their religion).


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PostPosted: Sun May 22, 2016 5:58 am 
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Ah, I thought it might've been something along those lines. Le sigh.


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PostPosted: Sun May 22, 2016 6:22 am 
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PostPosted: Sun May 22, 2016 7:33 am 
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PostPosted: Sun May 22, 2016 12:23 pm 
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Sal, no one ever complains that they can't kick people out of their place of business because they are black, or women. Why is this different?

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PostPosted: Sun May 22, 2016 12:40 pm 
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I think there is a very important difference between asking businessmen to provide personalized services catering to customers with different tastes and asking businessmen to provide exactly the same service to customers with different tastes when the tastes in question do not affect the service being provided. I could hear out someone who said they don't want to provide cakes with certain decorations, but in the past, Americans have been denied service for belonging to groups that businessmen did not approve of when membership in that group did not affect the service being provided. That seems unwarranted and dangerous to me, as it could lead to segregation if allowed to progress unchecked.

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PostPosted: Sun May 22, 2016 2:09 pm 
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PostPosted: Sun May 22, 2016 2:35 pm 
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It's all very well to say "vote with your wallet" or whatever the buzzword is. but it could be that that bakery is the only convenient one, or the only one that makes certain types of cakes, or the only one you like... and realistically, if you adopt that policy, enough bakeries will have discriminatory practices that some people just can't get cakes anywhere. If every bakery refused to make cakes for gay people, would you still consider it a valid choice on the part of each individual bakery, or would you have some contingency for that situation? When does that contingency apply? Etc. Laws exist to avoid tragedy of the commons situations, not enable them.

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PostPosted: Sun May 22, 2016 2:47 pm 
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Any bakery refusing to sell cakes which they would sell to non-gay people to gay people is a huge problem and the business should be shut down if necessary. So gay people can still buy some other cake from any bakery, or a generic cake and have someone else do the decoration or do it themselves, etc, hoping more gay-friendly bakeries would open business near them in the future.

However, if bakeries refuse to make certain decorations requested by gay people and gay people only, then I personally would not do business with that bakery, but should the government force them to sell specific services that they don't want to sell? I don't know if I'm comfortable with governments becoming guardians of our values to that extent. Seems a bit hypocritical when that's what I accuse right-wing governments of doing.

That's what I'm on the fence about.

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PostPosted: Sun May 22, 2016 3:44 pm 
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No one's saying the government should force anyone to sell specific services. I'm not sure why you think we should jump straight to shut the business down for a first infraction of something that's so easily fixable, either. If it was a safety issue that couldn't be fixed in a timely manner, then sure, shut it down while they fix it, but this is just a simple matter of not being an asshole. There's plenty of ways to make business owners hurt for being discriminatory asshats than just blindly shutting down their business and making them into a martyr.

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PostPosted: Sun May 22, 2016 3:51 pm 
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PostPosted: Sun May 22, 2016 4:03 pm 
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PostPosted: Sun May 22, 2016 4:07 pm 
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Ah, the power of framing. Those poor bakers, forced to create sculptures of graphic gay sex by an unfeeling government!

Here is where that technique from the Hitchhiker's Guide TV show should be used: a big flashing warning should appear on your screen saying THIS NEVER HAPPENS.

Let's frame it the other way, by looking at actual history. A couple generations ago, it was accepted practice that all businesses could keep black people out. If you were black, you could not go to a restaurant, you could not stay in a hotel, you could not join a club, you could not get a loan, you could not rent or buy a house, you could not go to a public school, you could not go to college, you could not go to a church, unless those institutions were in black neighborhoods. This was not a policy of one or two obscure, cranky yet otherwise lovable shop owners. This was everyone. It was literally possible to go to a city and not find a place to spend the night.

How far can the majority go to harass and obstruct a hated minority? Is Sal OK with every hotel in town having a policy that excludes blacks? Please don't say "Oh, the market will provide a black-friendly hotel." It didn't. Please don't say "They can go to a black-owned hotel." Blacks could be denied the right to run a hotel even if they had the money to do so; this happened even in the North.

Is the case of gays different because of religion? People in those times thought that religion barred "miscegenation".

People have a right to whatever hatreds they care to harbor; they don't have a right to create a universal hostile environment for groups they dislike.

In a big city, discrimination against gays/lesbians is not going to be a huge issue. In a small town, it makes a big difference if there are only three bakeries, and three of them choose to discriminate. The "right to association" comes down to believing that it's OK if gays and lesbians are treated as invisible pariahs in small towns.

Finally, if appeals to morality don't work, perhaps I could invoke a sense of the ridiculous? Are shopowners really entitled to query their customers about what they do in bed? If a baker is asked to make a wedding cake for "Sam & Chris", is their precious freedom violated if they do not know if Chris is male or not? OK, the name on the order is Christopher, so their precious religious freedom kicks in and they refuse Sam & Chris's business. Poor luck for his fiancée Samantha.

Edit: to try to make it clearer: it's highly misleading to paint these situations as the majority trying to oppress minority Christians. It's a Christian majority trying to oppress sexual minorities. The whole reason the issue is visible is because state legislatures are able to easily pass pro-discrimination laws. (In one case, the state did so in order to overturn a city's anti-discrimination law.) When the majority are in favor of discrimination, taking their side means affirming that the minority has no right to services at all.


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PostPosted: Sun May 22, 2016 4:13 pm 
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PostPosted: Sun May 22, 2016 4:15 pm 
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PostPosted: Sun May 22, 2016 4:20 pm 
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PostPosted: Sun May 22, 2016 4:28 pm 
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If I said that was an argument against something that doesn't happen put forward as an argument against something real, would that clear it up for you?

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PostPosted: Sun May 22, 2016 5:46 pm 
Avisaru
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I'm sorry, as someone who live in the UK, where (in most places) being gay is a non-issue and such incidences are unusual occurences, I clearly have failed to grasp the reality of the US situation. For me I would think nothing of going along to another town if my local bakery objected to something I had ordered. I realise that this is nit necessaruly the case in the United States and I therefore apologise for any confusion I may have caused by my previous comments.

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PostPosted: Sun May 22, 2016 8:04 pm 
Avisaru
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From what I gather, towns are much closer together over there. Where I grew up, it wouldn't be reasonable to go to a different town for something like a cake, although that's different now that I'm in New England (or at least, this part of New England), and obviously it'd be different in a big city, like Zompist said. But really, the point is that even if it isn't the case now that e.g. gay people are systematically shut out of bakeries, history has shown that that's what happens if you don't have laws like that.

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PostPosted: Mon May 23, 2016 12:31 am 
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PostPosted: Mon May 23, 2016 1:29 am 
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PostPosted: Mon May 23, 2016 2:09 am 
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PostPosted: Mon May 23, 2016 6:39 am 
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PostPosted: Mon May 23, 2016 8:38 am 
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Not taking any sides here, just stating my understanding of the situation:
The only way to get artisans who are against homosexuality to serve is to force them by legislation or create a market pressure. However, you can't create an effective boycott against a bakery in Smallvillage, Socialconservativania, where enough customers will support the baker(s)'s decision that they will not go out of business.

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