By now I’m sure you’ve heard about the happenings in the state of Indiana.
In case you haven’t heard yet, the state legislature of Indiana passed a bill stating business owners have the right to refuse service to individuals based on religious beliefs, or more specifically, refuse service to homosexual customers.
The aftermath has created outrage and has spawned campaigns to “Boycott Indiana.” The campaign has been spreading like wildfire over social media.
I support the state of Indiana on this legislation.
At around the same time Indiana created the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, a florist in the state of Washington faced a lawsuit after she refused to provide flower arrangements for a gay wedding.
According to ABC News, Barronelle Stutzman was fined $1001.00 by the state of Washington for $1,001 after a judge ruled she violated the state’s Consumer Protection Act which protects the consumer against acts of discrimination by businesses, after declining to provide flowers for a gay wedding. Stutzman was then ordered that her shop, Arlene’s Flowers and Gifts, will sell flowers to all homosexual weddings despite her religious beliefs and choice.
I’m one to respect the law, but doesn’t that seem a little unfair? How is it just to infringe on one person’s right to choose what they do with their business, but fight for the other side of an argument for “equal rights” and “social justice”?
Also according to ABC News, Stutzman knew the couple she refused service to and after she respectfully declined the service referred the couple to another florist to fill their order. But because she declined to provide a service based on the fact the customers were homosexual and the order was for their wedding, Stutzman was hit with a big fine and was forced against her will to do what she didn’t want to do.
What I am asking now is to take the blinders off and understand this law in Indiana doesn’t mean all members of the LGBT community aren’t allowed in the state. This law does not spread hate. Instead, it protects the business owners’ right to choose and a person’s right to practice what they believe in – which is the foundation of this nation.
A smart business owner won’t refuse business from anyone because at the end of the day, a profit is a profit. However, should they choose to refuse service to a certain party based on it being against the business’ beliefs and morals, then it should be their right to do so at their own risk.
After all, no one is forcing the consumer to go to one particular business. If you don’t like one restaurant, go to another and move on. It is as simple as that.
Equal rights mean rights for all people, not just one group of people who gain popularity based on a hot-button topic.