Central PA's LGBT News Source
By Frank Pizzoli
When the anti-LGBT backlash began with President Donald Trump’s campaign and eventual swearing in, I pitched to a friend what I called ‘a politically incorrect’ proposal.
We alternately laughed and noted the seriousness of what we were discussing. (Anyone feeling oppressed who does not have a sense of humor won’t be able to create change. Only complain.)
Here it is –
I propose that any business in the US is free to select its customers.
When applying for a local or state or Federal business license, all businesses are required to list any and all individuals, groups, demographics, races, religions, sexual orientations who are NOT welcome. A clear statement of whose dollars they do not want.
Because their religious and/or political values would be violated if they were compelled to provide services.
Further, on the front door of the establishment, on web sites, billboards, anywhere the business advertises, they are required to publish the list of customers not wanted.
Potential customers can then make an informed decision. Business owners can ‘own’ their preferences and values. It’s a Win-Win. No customer has to feel dehumanized by being refused services. Business owners can stick to their values. Let the dollars fall where they may. Let the Marketplace sort it out.
Everyone gets what they want and need. (Ok, let’s get the freshman Philosophy Class example, known as the Island Example, out of the way: What if a person on the list has only one choice of cake baker or florist? Try the next town down the road. Shop online.)
No one is allowed to sue because they must provide services to someone who violates their values. No one is allowed to sue because they were refused services. The sign is on the front door.
One must have lots of faith in Humanity for such a proposal to work. I do.
I trust that folks not on the ‘do not want’ list of a business would also not enrich such a business owner. In effect, the business loses dollars from more than the undesirables.
Why make such a proposal?
When I saw that Knoxville, Tenn. hardware store owner Jeff Amyx, who in 2015 put up a ‘No Gays Allowed’ because he said same-sex marriage is against his Christian beliefs, I thought it was time.
Amyx first put the sign up on his store back in 2015 after a Supreme Court ruling legalized same-sex marriage nationwide. Amyx, who is also a Baptist minister, said gay and lesbian couples are against his religion.
Fine. Just be sure your sign is up – and includes anyone else whose money you do not want because they offend you or your religion.
We also have Republican South Dakota Representative Michael Clark who believes that businesses should have the right to turn away customers solely because of their race.
Clark expressed his beliefs in a Facebook discussion of the Masterpiece Cakeshop case, in which an anti-gay baker argued that his religious beliefs required him to discriminate against LGBT people.
“He should have the opportunity to run his business the way he wants,” Clark wrote.
“If he wants to turn away people of color, then that(‘s) his choice.” Clark said that the Supreme Court decision in favor of the anti-gay baker was a “win for freedom of speech and freedom of religion.”
Clark later wrote online: “The comments I made were very racist. I would like to apologize for those comments. Businesses should not be able to discriminate solely based on race, sex, national origin, age, or handicap,” he said, not including sexual orientation or gender identity in his list.
I’m certain if Clark owned a business and put up such a sign, he’d lose all sorts of folks who wouldn’t want to enrich him. That’s how the market works.