Lawsplainer: What Does That Controversial Mississippi Law Do, Anyway?

I have a question.

Of course you do.

Don't be rude. You've abandoned this site for weeks.  What's your issue?

I was in trial.  I apologize for not entertaining you.  What's your question?

That new law in Mississippi.  The one people call a "religious liberty" bill, either with our without scare quotes.  Does it really allow people in Mississippi to refuse to serve gay people who come into their stores?

Yes with an if, or no with a but.

That's not helpful.  So does it just let people refuse to serve customers if something about the customers offends their religious sensibilities?  

Only if their religious sensibilities arise from three narrowly defined beliefs identified in the bill.

Wait.  What?

This bill doesn't protect all religious beliefs from government intrusion.  It just protects three that the legislators like.

Which ones?

Read the bill, would you?  It's right here. Or here, if you want a pdf.

SECTION 2. The sincerely held religious beliefs or moral convictions protected by this act are the belief or conviction that:
(a) Marriage is or should be recognized as the union of one man and one woman;
(b) Sexual relations are properly reserved to such a marriage; and
(c) Male (man) or female (woman) refer to an individual's immutable biological sex as objectively determined by anatomy and genetics at time of birth.

Does the bible say something about immutable biological sex?

It may. I drifted off during Leviticus to be honest.

Wait a minute. Can the government decide to give extra protection to some religious beliefs but not others? Does that violate the Establishment Clause or the Equal Protection Clause?

As we speak, lawyers are thinking about how to argue that.

That's a copout answer.

I'm waiting for smarter people to answer it first.

So now anyone in Mississippi can refuse to serve a customer on any of those bases?

No. It's narrower than that.

How?

Well, first of all, the bill cannot and does not purport to change federal law, so to the extent something is prohibited by federal law, it's not protected from federal intervention by this bill. The bill only protects people in Mississippi from intervention by the state of Mississippi or its cities.

Second, the bill's protections are limited to a fairly narrow range of people and activities.

Like what?

Well, Section 3(1) prohibits the state government from taking "discriminatory action" against religious organizations for doing certain things:

28 (a) Solemnizes or declines to solemnize any marriage,
29 or provides or declines to provide services, accommodations,
30 facilities, goods or privileges for a purpose related to the
31 solemnization, formation, celebration or recognition of any
32 marriage, based upon or in a manner consistent with a sincerely
33 held religious belief or moral conviction described in Section 2
34 of this act;
35 (b) Makes any employment-related decision including,
36 but not limited to, the decision whether or not to hire, terminate
37 or discipline an individual whose conduct or religious beliefs are
38 inconsistent with those of the religious organization, based upon
39 or in a manner consistent with a sincerely held religious belief
40 or moral conviction described in Section 2 of this act; or
41 (c) Makes any decision concerning the sale, rental,
42 occupancy of, or terms and conditions of occupying a dwelling or
43 other housing under its control, based upon or in a manner
44 consistent with a sincerely held religious belief or moral
45 conviction described in Section 2 of this act.

Wait. Was Mississippi trying to force priests to conduct gay weddings before?

No. Of course not. That would violate the First Amendment.

But people say that the Supreme Court decides all sorts of crazy things and that it COULD happen.

And monkeys might fly out of my butt. But there's no plausible indication that even an activist Supreme Court will apply anti-discrimination laws to religious sacraments. To the contrary, in 2012 the Supreme Court unanimously found that a "ministerial exception" prohibited a former church employee from bringing a discrimination suit against the church.

So why was the "Mississippi can't force you to perform a gay wedding" clause necessary?

To convey that gays are mean and scary, I imagine.

Is any of Section 3(1) really necessary?

Well, Section 3(1)(b) allows religious organizations to discriminate in hiring based on the three protected beliefs. That's probably a bit broader than First Amendment protections, which would only protect that choice for "ministerial" employees. So, basically, the First Amendment wouldn't allow Mississippi to fine a church for refusing to hire a gay pastor, but Mississippi could constitutionally fine a church for refusing to hire a gay custodian or receptionist. I mean, if Mississippi were ever inclined to do such a thing, which I doubt.

Also, churches that rent out their facilities to the general public could plausibly be penalized even under the First Amendment if they do so in a discriminatory manner — if they offer them to everyone except gays, for instance. So before this bill Mississippi could have punished that.

Was there a danger Mississippi was going to do that?

Of course not. But I guess maybe a town or two in Mississippi might. A lot of these state-level "religious liberty" statutes are a struggle between more conservative state-level power and more liberal local power — state legislators quashing local ordinances.

I thought conservatives liked local control?

I'm the snide one. Step back.

Okay. What else does the bill do?

Section 3(2) prohibits the Mississippi state government from taking action against religious organizations that facilitate foster care or adoption only according to the three specified beliefs. Section 3(3) says the state can't punish a foster or adoptive parent for teaching the specified religious beliefs. Section 3(4) says Mississippi can't punish people for not participating in the provision of treatments or counseling that contradict the specified beliefs.

So Mississippi is saying that the state can't punish you for refusing to help a gay couple conceive through IVF or surrogacy, for instance?

Right. In addition, Section 3(5) lets you refuse to provide a wide range of services in connection with a marriage if that marriage is against one of the specified religious beliefs:

73The state government shall not take any discriminatory
74 action against a person wholly or partially on the basis that the
75 person has provided or declined to provide the following services,
76 accommodations, facilities, goods, or privileges for a purpose
77 related to the solemnization, formation, celebration, or
78 recognition of any marriage, based upon or in a manner consistent
79 with a sincerely held religious belief or moral conviction
80 described in Section 2 of this act:
81 (a) Photography, poetry, videography, disc-jockey
82 services, wedding planning, printing, publishing or similar
83 marriage-related goods or services; or
84 (b) Floral arrangements, dress making, cake or pastry
85 artistry, assembly-hall or other wedding-venue rentals, limousine
86 or other car-service rentals, jewelry sales and services, or
87 similar marriage-related services, accommodations, facilities or
88 goods.

So. If I read that right, I can't refuse to let a gay person stay at my hotel in general, or refuse to sell a lesbian a cake in general, but I can refuse to let gays honeymoon at my hotel or sell a wedding cake for a lesbian wedding?

Right, that's what the statute purports to protect.

What if I don't want to provide a cake to a wedding reception because it's a divorced Catholic getting remarried, or because it's an interfaith wedding, and those things violate my religious beliefs?

This bill doesn't protect you, then. The Mississippi only singled out three preferred religious beliefs for protection.

Doesn't that violate the . . . .

WAITING. FOR SMARTER. PEOPLE.

FINE. Anything else in the bill?

Yes. Section 3(6) lets people establish gender-restricted restrooms. Section 3(7) lets public employees express the specified religious beliefs if it follows the employer's rules for expression in general or is outside of work.

Wait a minute. Don't public employees already have that right?

Why yes! I'm glad you asked. [talks for three hours.] In short, for speech on matters of public concern, a state employer can discipline public employees for speech if a balancing test finds that the employer's interest in an "orderly and efficient workplace" outweighs the employee's speech rights. Mississippi's bill arguably gives public employees broader free speech rights by allowing them to speak on these specified subjects without engaging in a balancing test about whether any disruptive effects outweigh the employee's speech rights.

So the state of Mississippi chose three specific religious doctrines, and announced a special right for public employees to articulate those specific doctrines that is broader than the right to articulate other religious doctrines and ideas?

Yes.

What the fucking fuck?

Forget it Jake. It's Mississippi.

Anything else? Please say no.

Section 3(8) lets government employees opt out of issuing marriage licenses or solemnizing marriages if it offends their religious beliefs. Sections 5 and 6 lets aggrieved people sue for injunctive relief if they think that Mississippi or its localities are violating this bill.

How would you summarize this?

Mississippi's bill does not "allow anyone to discriminate against anyone," as it's been inaccurately described in the media. For the most part it only says that, if Mississippi or its cities ever had any laws protecting gays from discrimination, religious organizations and wedding vendors in Mississippi wouldn't have to follow them.

However, the spectacle of a state law that chooses very specific religious doctrines and elevates them above other doctrines and beliefs is very disturbing. As I read it, in Mississippi, a public employee could be fired for saying "discriminating against gay marriage is a sin against God, who wants us to love one another," if the disruptive effect of saying that outweighed the employee's speech. But the same public employee could not be fired for saying "gay marriage is a sin against God," even if the same balancing test showed that its disruptive impact outweighed the employee's speech rights. That's just freakish. It's not the rule of law.

Last 5 posts by Ken White

Comments

  1. Alex Godofsky says

    Ken, how would you feel about this law if it didn't single out particular religious beliefs?

  2. ElSuerte says

    Some thoughts

    First, the extant religious freedom laws already privilege some religious beliefs (that meet the test) over others (that don't).

    Second, since purveyors in the matrimonial industry have been having their religious freedom specifically targeted, wouldn't it make sense to tailor a religious freedom law to that issue? Like the various laws that explicitly permit the use of peyote?

    Third, what should I make of the laws like the American Indian Religious Freedom Act? Is it some how illegitimate because it only protects Native American religious beliefs?

  3. Michael 2 says

    I sense a misrepresentation of Republican government ideals (just in case such a thing actually exists). I believe an optimum distribution of government exists; neither one-size-fits-all central management of Just About Everything (Democrats) versus I Will Decide For Me libertarianism. Do I really want such a divided government that my next door neighbor decides the law that is imposed on me? Not really.

    State level legislation seems about the most workable compromise between a federal tyrant and a community tyrant.

    There's been some absurd applications of the 14th amendment recently, like since the day of its ratification. Shall all states be forced to go with Oregon's legalization of marijuana just because it is legal there? Well, it could happen, or it could go the other way — it is not clear to me why the 14th amendment is used only to compel states in ways the Left prefers.

    I sense a bit of confirmation bias: It is easy to remember that federal law supersedes state and local law when you prefer the federal law, but when you prefer the local or state law perhaps there's no mention of the contravening federal law. As in the case of my daughter asserting that marijuana is legal in Oregon. No, it is still illegal, its just that Oregon state won't prosecute but there's no guarantee that the feds won't prosecute.

    If it was up to me I would restore many liberties to small businesses. I will choose who I want to photograph and for what reason; it is a contract between you and me and particularly with regard to wedding photography requires a bit of invasion of the client's privacy but that works both ways. The photographer must feel the situation to get the best results; if he is repulsed by two men kissing his work is almost certainly going to reflect it. The men should prefer to avoid having such a photographer as much as he wishes not to photograph their PDA's (public displays of affection).

    In other words, it is good for everyone if the photographer's preferences are legally permitted to be advertised so that neither he nor the clients have to deal with conflict. That would be true also for wedding cake bakers. If you forced a baker to make your cake, would you seriously consider eating it?.

    I had considered photography as a second career after retirement but now I think I'll skip it if the government is going to tell me what and who I must photograph. Government already tells me what I cannot photograph. So long as it is a hobby I can be as choosy as I like.

  4. MS says

    @Michael 2

    A couple of things:

    1. What do you mean when you say other states have to "go along" with Oregon's legalization regime? Oregon's decision to legalize has no legislative or constitutional effect on other states' ability to keep banning marijuana.

    2. The 14th amendment can only be used to force states to comply with rights guaranteed by the federal constitution. It can't be used to force states to comply with whatever legislative preferences Congress has. So unless you associate "rights guaranteed by the federal constitution" with "the Left", its simply not true to say that the 14th amendment is only used for things the left likes. (Also, you may want to google Printz v. US, where the Supreme Court struck down a law that required local police officers to enforce certain federal gun control laws)

    3. The first half of your comment totally clashes with the second. You spend time talking about how governing is best at the state level, and then discuss why you don't like certain anti-discriminatory laws that only exist at the state level (at least with regards to LGBT discrimination). And when people challenge these laws, they do so based on rights guaranteed by the federal constitution. Kind of a terrible example for your point.

    4. Tyrants can appear at any level. You can prefer one to another if you want, or you can go with what we have now, under which each level provides some protection against the others. Right now, if the state or local government is violating your rights, the federal government can step in. But if the state feels that the level of protection provided by the federal government is too low, it is free to raise it. And if the federal government's laws are too burdensome on citizens, the states are free to tell the feds that they won't help, that the feds are on their own with regards to enforcement. But generally, I can assure you that you would not find state government nearly as pleasant if the feds weren't around to give states a slap now and again for overstepping their bounds.

  5. joshuaism says

    @Michael 2

    If you forced a baker to make your cake, would you seriously consider eating it?

    How has this been handled at restaurants since desegregation? Did black people still have use for The Negro Motorist Green Book since nothing about the public accommodation law protected them from asshole proprietors fowling up their food?

    As for photography as a second career, I am very curious (worried?) about what you want to photograph that the government doesn't want you to. And have you considered that you could forgo wedding photography altogether and still be legit?

  6. Michael 2 says

    joshuaism writes (RE: If you forced a baker to make your cake, would you seriously consider eating it?)

    "How has this been handled at restaurants since desegregation?"

    I have no idea. Where I lived in Seattle segregation and de-segregation weren't all that important. To be sure, some individuals don't like others for various reasons and that hasn't changed and probably never will.

    "Did black people still have use for The Negro Motorist Green Book"

    I have no idea; I have not heard of such a thing. However I see possibilities here with "new media" and iPhone apps: The {Jew, Mormon, Gay, Negro, Hispanic, Muslim, WASP} Motorist Green Book.

    "since nothing about the public accommodation law protected them from asshole proprietors fowling up their food?"

    Precisely. So you have sites such as "Yelp" and google reviews that describe these venues for the benefit of others.

    I don't mind fowled food such as chicken and turkey, provided of course that I asked for fowled food.

  7. En Passant says

    Section 3(8) lets government employees opt out of issuing marriage licenses or solemnizing marriages if it offends their religious beliefs.

    Hmm. So, let's say I are the county clerk down in Yoknapatawpha County.

    Joe Christmas and Lena Grove apply for a marriage license, and Lena looks a mite great with child.

    I profess the sincere belief enumerated in Section 2(b) that sexual relations are properly reserved to a marriage that is the union of one man and one woman.

    Joe and Lena came for a marriage license, so they ain't already married. But it sure looks like Lena's been foolin' around with Joe or somebody or other, else she wouldn't be great with child.

    So, at least one of 'em has been busy offendin' my sincerely held religious beliefs.

    Can I lawfully refuse to issue a marriage license to Joe and Lena?

    Maybe I'd better ask Gavin Stevens.

  8. Michael 2 says

    En Passant "Can I lawfully refuse to issue a marriage license to Joe and Lena?"

    In my perfect world there would be no marriage "license". It just isn't government business. Government started getting involved as a way to stamp out Mormonism (see Edmunds-Tucker act).

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edmunds%E2%80%93Tucker_Act

    "Required civil marriage licenses (to aid in the prosecution of polygamy)."

    Up until then, marriage was a church function, perhaps in some places civil; but certainly not federal and the Constitution says nothing about it.

  9. Alex Godofsky says

    I wonder: could a wedding planner be compelled to plan a gay wedding?

    What if a wedding planner specialized in a particular type of wedding, like traditional Jewish or Indian weddings? Would the planner be allowed to refuse to help a Catholic wedding?

    What if the planner is affiliated with (not necessarily employed by) a particular church or diocese, and coordinates weddings held in that church or the churches of the diocese?

    Getting away from the planner for a second, what if some other vendor, like a caterer, is secular but has a longstanding relationship with a set of venues that are religious (and don't accept gay weddings, or weddings for people of other religions) and won't serve other venues. What if the caterer will serve other venues, but at increased cost?

  10. joshuaism says

    @ElSuerte
    Some thoughts

    First, care to explain which religious beliefs meet/don't meet the existing test? Are there any cases that you believe have been decided unfairly based on the existing test?

    Second, have you ever heard the maxim "hard cases make bad law"?

    Third, should I really be bothered that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act pretty much makes the American Indian Religious Freedom Act redundant?

  11. Alex Godofsky says

    I hit submit and then thought of another hypothetical that's more similar to the photography case (if you view photography as speech):

    What if a DJ or, especially, a band is a Christian band and will only play / perform Christian songs? (Possibly even just songs that specifically mention marriage as between a man and a woman, although the more general case is still a problem for a Jewish wedding.)

    Presumably at the very least an actual band has an absolute First Amendment right to refuse to perform certain songs.

  12. Michael 2 says

    "Presumably at the very least an actual band has an absolute First Amendment right to refuse to perform certain songs."

    This is similar to the Boy Scouts of America case that pitted First Amendment rights of expression and association against non-discrimination. Non discrimination is not a constitutional right; it is one of many small abuses of the 14th amendment equality of laws provision and doubtless other things. If you cannot justify it anywhere, try the Commerce Clause.

    The narrowness of the Supreme Court decision is cause for pause.

  13. John Thacker says

    Certainly seems that one precise reason why the bill is limited to those three things is exactly the overheated rhetoric about "allow[ing] anyone to discriminate against anyone," that has been deployed against more general RFRAs (as in Indiana and Georgia.) By spelling out exactly what is protected, they do avoid the reality of that particular charge, at the cost of protecting more disfavored minority beliefs.

    That said, sure, I wouldn't be surprised at Mississippi wanting to adopt a law that only protects certain Christian beliefs; a desire to avoid protecting minority beliefs is why they didn't adopt an RFRA 15 or 20 years ago when many liberal states were doing so.

  14. Mason R says

    I am not a lawyer, but my two cents:

    It is my understanding that, under anti-discrimination law, you are forbidden from refusing to provide services to a protected class that you would provide to a someone who is not a member of the protected class.

    So:

    A wedding planner could be punished (fined) for refusing to plan a gay wedding. Note that they would not be obliged to actually plan the wedding, they would merely be required to pay a fine if they choose not to.

    A wedding planner who only handles a certain type of wedding that doesn't necessarily discriminate against a protected class may refuse to provide services without penalty. Evidence that the purpose of the restriction is to discriminate against a protected class would be admissible, however. Note that the courts have ruled in the past (in the context of discrimination against blacks) that sincerely held religious beliefs are not sufficient to override anti-discrimination laws when speaking to services nominally available to the general public. Thus, "I only plan weddings held at these Christian churches (who happen to not do LGBT weddings)" is on very shaky ground.

    The cater is almost certainly fine (the venues may not be, however). This is more obvious if you consider a more extreme case: a black couple in New York City can't insist that a baker in Atlanta, Georgia bake a cake for their wedding, unless that baker provides service to other, non-black, couples who live in NYC.

    The DJ would could be punished for failing to perform at all — however, they would only have to play the songs that they would play for any other wedding. Assuming that they allow other clients to specify a playlist for songs (from a set list of "these are the songs that we offer"), that same privilege would need to be offered to a member of the protected class — so, no playing a theoretical "God hates blacks" song at the wedding of a black couple.

  15. Trent says

    I thought conservatives liked local control?

    It's been my experience that both sides of the isle want federal or local control depending on the issue. The right is no more for local control than the liberal democrats of New York when it comes to these "cherished" issues.

    I see it as part of the same cancer that is the safe spaces movement. This all hinges on the idea that you can have free speech to say things without any sorts of social consequences no matter what the content is. Both the left and right pursue these goals and I've seen people like gamers-gaters argue in one breath that proposed speech restrictions for misogyny are bad but at the same time demand their own protection from consequences for their own views.

    No ideological base has claim to defending free speech. The ACLU does great work defending speech and religion and is hated by right wing conservatives because they defend religions and views the right views as bad. The ACLU is constantly suing my "Red" state because of all the religious and speech restrictions that are passed by local and state agencies.

  16. SlimTim says

    Personally I would support getting rid of all anti-discrimination laws for non-government entities. They do more harm than good.

    If a business owner wants to be a racist, etc customers can take their business elsewhere and inform the public about what occurred.

  17. Moebius Street says

    It seems that some types of discrimination involving gay marriage is still protected – businesses aren't required to serve people who want to protest it. I have trouble seeing the distinction between the two cases [1]:

    Baker refuses to bake a cake to celebrate a gay wedding: EVIL
    Baker refuses to bake a cake with message opposing gay marriage: OK

    It seems that freedom for the Left is only with respect to the things they believe in. (I'm sure the same criticism applies to the Right with their own sacred cows)

    [1] See article here: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp/2015/04/07/legal-for-colorado-bakery-to-refuse-to-write-anti-gay-inscription-on-cake/

  18. Michael 2 says

    MS says "1. What do you mean when you say other states have to go along with Oregon's legalization regime? Oregon's decision to legalize has no legislative or constitutional effect on other states' ability to keep banning marijuana."

    And yet, other states are required to honor Oregon marriages. That's the "full faith and credit" clause. What ANY state enacts is supposed to be honored by all other states.

    My comment was to the peculiar tail-wags-dog nature of it. Shall a single state that allows same-sex marriage compel itself on the other 49 (tail wags dog), or shall the laws of the other 49 prevail upon Oregon (dog wags tail)? We have the answer already and it depends on a single person, a judge. Legislature? Who needs it!

    What exactly prevents other states from being compelled by Oregon's marijuana decision?

    "2. The 14th amendment can only be used to force states to comply with rights guaranteed by the federal constitution."

    That was perhaps its intention, but is clearly not how it is being used. The full faith and credit clause is a wedge depriving states of their individuality.

    But not everything is imposed on the states:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Incorporation_of_the_Bill_of_Rights

    "3. The first half of your comment totally clashes with the second."

    Except where it doesn't. When my words seem to clash I suggest you are interpreting them in a way I did not when I wrote.

    "You spend time talking about how governing is best at the state level"

    'Least bad' would be a better portrayal. A federal government of a large nation simply cannot effectively govern but it would solve the problem of diversity of laws.

    Conversely, town councils tend to be elected from citizens that really have little or no knowledge of law although I'm not sure congress understands law. But since they make it I suppose they don't actually need to understand it.

    "and then discuss why you don't like certain anti-discriminatory laws that only exist at the state level"

    I am philosophically libertarian (small-L) and tend to be opposed to all anti-discrimination laws that necessarily discriminate even while pretending not to. The very words "protected class" ought to be anathema to Americans.

    "And when people challenge these laws, they do so based on rights guaranteed by the federal constitution."

    So they say. I tend to disagree, even without a specific test case in mind.

    You create a right the moment you think of it; bringing into existence ex nihilo, from nothing. Your task is to persuade other people that this right exists.

    For instance, the Constitution has no "right of privacy". It's not there. It created no rights; acknowledges a few already existing. It is not a right, it is a social contract. Your right of property isn't really a right; it is an agreement by society that you will have exclusive use of your property. Society can change its mind and does so rather frequently.

    20 years ago sodomy was illegal but bestiality was legal in all 50 states if I remember right. Now, sodomy is implicitly legal and you can be fined or fired for expressing disapproval.

    Meanwhile bestiality is rapidly becoming illegal (Washington State comes to mind, some guy discovered horse parts are too big, duh, but it ought to be a "private" affair!).

    Flip flop, flip flop. I can practically hear the sound of flipflops in the halls of governments.

    "4. Tyrants can appear at any level."

    Indeed, and they always start small around 8 pounds.

    "You can prefer one to another if you want"

    That is certainly gracious of you!

    "or you can go with what we have now, under which each level provides some protection against the others."

    Well yes, pit tyrant against tyrant. That's how I got through public education.

    "Right now, if the state or local government is violating your rights, the federal government can step in."

    The challenge being to persuade anyone that you have a right that is being violated. That means finding a judge that believes you have a right that is being violated, and a government willing to bow down to that judge.

  19. joshuaism says

    @SlimTim
    Anti-discrimination laws were passed for a reason, opposing them is as dumb as opposing compulsory vaccination. It is only because you have been shielded from the problem of discrimination that you have come to believe the laws are unnecessary.

  20. Michael 2 says

    joshuaism writes: "Anti-discrimination laws were passed for a reason"

    Obvious statement of the day. All laws are passed for reasons.

    "opposing them is as dumb as opposing compulsory vaccination."

    It is not clear in what way discrimination is anything like vaccination or why anything should be compulsory in the land of the free. (I can make arguments for it; I wonder if you can?)

    "It is only because you have been shielded from the problem of discrimination that you have come to believe the laws are unnecessary."

    Likely so. But these laws nevertheless apply in some places where they are not needed, and thus do more harm than good in such places, and some harm everywhere. Suppose I wanted to rent my basement but felt it appropriate to be choosy? Well, if I am not permitted to be choosy then I simply won't rent my basement out to a student or young couple just starting out on life.

    This entire argument revolves around choice. Why should your choice supersede mine? There is no reason beyond force of arms. Your choice will supersede mine if you are strong enough to compel it (hence your language about compulsory vaccination).

    I concede the badness of some kinds of discrimination; but I discriminate every day and if you are a functioning adult so do you.

    Adding more and more protected classes is meaningless unless there's a class that is not protected, and it is by now rather a minority, the WASP male. That creates discrimination against WASPs.

    The kind of discrimination that I suppose is pretty bad was common in the deep south; when I was in Biloxi in the 1980's some of the buildings still had faded signs indicating movie theater entrances for colored people, separate drinking fountains, things like that. I found it impossible to absorb the implications; it was surreal, unreal, like I was in an episode of Twilight Zone. There is nothing like that out west although some prejudice exists against various native tribes, but then, the Paiutes were disrespected by the Shoshone and it seems the Lakota and Pawnee were enemies.

    I recognize that some institutional countermeasures, bad as they are, may be necessary or expedient to counter the effects of institutionalized discrimination; but ought to be narrowly targeted to actual victims and the present problem to be solved. Barack Obama, for instance, is not descended from an American slave and yet he gets the privileges accorded to the descendants of American slaves but it is not clear to my why only Africans get those benefits and not Irish, Swedes, Italians, Greeks, Chinese and so on seem not to enjoy or even seek all of those benefits and privileges. Chinese laborers working on the railroads had it pretty bad but I don't see them demanding "safe spaces" in American colleges.

  21. SlimTim says

    @joshuaism
    I guess it depends on how much you value individual liberties. Personally, I don't want the government forcing anyone to sign a contract against their will.

    If some business owners decide to discriminate, I'd rather they be punished via bad PR and loss of customers than via government action.

  22. Daniel Weber says

    The "local control" thing got me as well, for North Carolina. For contentious issues, they should be handled locally. So Charlotte could have one law, and Raleigh could have another.

    But just recently the state (governed by a former Charlotte mayor) overruled that and decided that Charlotte couldn't make laws that Raleigh didn't like.

  23. Castaigne says

    @SlimTim:

    If a business owner wants to be a racist, etc customers can take their business elsewhere and inform the public about what occurred.

    Except if you have a business that is offering a product at a certain price, and the racist business is offering it at a lesser price, logic and economics dictate that the rational decision is to patronize the racist business.

    I mean, let's be real. None of us are idealists when it comes to money.

    ===

    @Michael2:

    What ANY state enacts is supposed to be honored by all other states.

    False premise. To quote: "According to the Supreme Court, there is a difference between the credit owed to laws (i.e. legislative measures and common law) as compared to the credit owed to judgments. Judgments are generally entitled to greater respect than laws, in other states."

  24. Tim! says

    @SlimTim:

    If a business owner wants to be a racist, etc customers can take their business elsewhere and inform the public about what occurred.

    That doesn't work when every business in town has a racist owner.

  25. SlimTim says

    @Castaigne @Tim!
    From a practical perspective, in today's world if a business is known to discriminate they will alienate some of their customers. It may not drive them all away, but it will make a dent in the business's profits. Most businesses don't have that large of a profit margin, especially those competing with online realtors.

    Keep in mind that even with the current anti-discrimination laws it is still legal for business owners to utilize the 1st amendment and state who their undesired customers are. That is not very common because most business owners are ether not raciest, or keeping quiet about their racism because it is extremely bad PR.

  26. Total says

    I have no idea; I have not heard of such a thing. However I see possibilities here with "new media" and iPhone apps: The {Jew, Mormon, Gay, Negro, Hispanic, Muslim, WASP} Motorist Green Book.

    Your woeful ignorance about the history of your own country is actually a useful data point in favor of taking control of education away from the states. Entertaining: your very existence undercuts your arguments.

    If a business owner wants to be a racist, etc customers can take their business elsewhere and inform the public about what occurred.

    How very Marxist of you to think that people privilege economic motivations above all else.

    So, Fidel, what happens when the people informing the public get lynched and buried in a shallow grave? How's the "free market" working at that point?

    but it will make a dent in the business's profits

    How very optimistic of you. You're sure all the other racists won't flock to the business?

    God, it's like Ayn Rand Old Home Week in this thread.

  27. Michael 2 says

    Total "Your woeful ignorance about the history of your own country is actually a useful data point in favor of taking control of education away from the states."

    Your handle is well chosen, Total(itarian).

    "So, Fidel, what happens when the people informing the public get lynched and buried in a shallow grave?"

    Not much.

    "How’s the free market working at that point?"

    Evolution. Survival of the fittest. It is how you came to be sitting at your computer right now. Your ancestors survived. Others did not.

    "God, it’s like Ayn Rand Old Home Week in this thread."

    What, from me? You embarrass me with praise.

  28. BruceB says

    I have a question.

    How does the Mississippi law compare to the one in North Carolina?

    Regarding local control, the NC legislature has a long tradition of smacking down uppity cities. See municipal broadband for a another recent example. Although the Repubs are currently enamored with it, it has a bipartisan tradition.

  29. Michael 2 says

    Christophe wrote "I would suggest a teeny-tiny bit of reading about segregation before you continue along this path."

    So what is preventing you from making that suggestion?

    Anyway, as I've lived in both Seattle and the Washington DC metro area I don't need teeny-tiny bits. Still, it might be amusing so I'll go take a look. I've been trying to understand the left for many years and don't seem any closer to it.

  30. Quiet Lurcker says

    In light of the supreme court ruling, I think Mississippi has come up with a good law.

    In their decree commanding "equal" protection for the LGBTQ crowd, the supremes (not the musical group) in their (decidedly finite) wisdom to declared open season on certain other religious practices and belief systems, and never mind that pesky first amendment thing.

    To hear news reports, Mississippi has said otherwise, North Carolina was headed that direction until the law was stricken, ditto Indiana (or was it Ohio?) and Georgia was at last report headed that direction.

    Thank Deity for federalism, this time around.

  31. Ellie says

    The state government shall not take any discriminatory action against a person wholly or partially on the basis that the person declines to participate in the provision of treatments, counseling, or surgeries related to sex reassignment or gender identity transitioning or declines to participate in the provision of psychological, counseling, or fertility services based upon a sincerely held religious belief or moral conviction described in Section 3 of this act.

    LGBTQ people face suicide rates up to 20 times higher than the general population. A psychologist or therapist refusing to treat a person could result in their death. Perhaps not an issue for a wealthier patient in a larger city, but a suicidal patient with limited means in a town with very few options could die from lack of treatment.

  32. says

    I have trouble seeing the distinction between the two cases [1]:

    Baker refuses to bake a cake to celebrate a gay wedding: EVIL
    Baker refuses to bake a cake with message opposing gay marriage: OK

    They only look the same if you blind yourself to the practical realities faced by the people who might want to buy such cakes.

    Both buyers are seeking to exercise a constitutional right. In the first case, the buyer wants to exercise their Obergefell right to same-sex marriage. In the second the buyer wants to exercise their First-Amendment right to engage in speech. The difference is that numerous parties, both private and state, are doing their best to prevent the first buyer from exercising their constitutional right, to the point, in some States, where exercising that right becomes a practical impossibility. On the other side, the second buyer can easily exercise their constitutional right to express that message in a great many ways, most of them far more effective that having the message baked into a cake.

    So yes, I think the first baker's refusal is evil and the second's is OK. As a private citizen, I'm allowed to make that judgement. As a civil libertarian, I would oppose any law that would compel either baker (who I assume are private, not state actors) to bake the cake, because I don't agree that the government should restrict the freedoms of private actors (the bakers in this case) absent a compelling reason, which I don't see in this case.

    The situation would be different if the bakers were employees of a government bakery. In this situation, while the government should not be allowed to discriminate against (potential) employees based upon creed, colour, sexual-orientation, mariatal states, etc. I should be allowed to discriminate against employees who refuse to do their jobs, even if the refusal is based upon a sincerely-held religious belief. Where such refusal results in the violation of the civil rights of private citizens, (for example under the due process or equal protection clauses), then the government should be required to discriminate against those employees, if that's what it takes to preserve those civil rights.

  33. says

    A few clarifications:

    As a civil libertarian, I would oppose any law that would compel either baker (who I assume are private, not state actors) to bake the cake

    The operative definition of "compel" here is "either give this customer what he wants, or stop serving the general public altogether". Nobody is being forced to bake cakes at gunpoint. There are some laws I support which might in some circumstances have the practical effect of compelling (in that sense) bakers to bake cakes, for example laws which allow private employers to fire employees who refuse do their jobs.

    To summarise both private and government employers should be allowed, (and in certain (hypothetical) circumstances, the government should be required) to compel bakers they employ to bake the cakes at issue. The government should not compel private employers of bakers (including self-employed bakers) to bake either of the cakes.

    I do, in general, support laws which oblige private businesses who sell goods and services to the general public, not to discriminate against customers based upon creed, colour, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, etc. I think there is a compelling reason why the government should exact appropriate laws in this respect. This does not apply to the matter at hand because these bakers wanted to discriminate based upon the characteristics of the cake, not the characteristics of the buyer.

    I should be allowed to discriminate against employees who refuse to do their jobs,…

    Typo: That should have read "It (i.e., the government) should be allowed…."

  34. Michael 2 says

    Daran wrote "not to discriminate against customers based upon creed, colour, (*) gender, sexual orientation (**), marital status, etc."

    The devil is in the details. Your "etc" seems to grow like a weed.

    I am considerably more libertarian with regard to non-essential professions. You can do what you want and not do what you don't want. If you can earn a dollar (or whatever is your local currency) doing what you and your client agree ought to be done, that's commerce and everyone is happy. Why do you not want everyone to be happy?

    * I presume you are not an American as otherwise you would have written "color".

    ** I wonder how exactly I am to avoid accusations of this when sexual orientation is not usually obvious. I suppose if everyone were required to wear wristbands identifying all of these attributes it would look a bit like a resistor color code, maybe six colored bands. Government inspectors would arrive at a company, whip out a bar code scanner and scan everyone's wrist bands and compare to community statistics to make sure you had the proper number of each protected class.

  35. says

    Praise Jesus that Mississippi had the courage to make bigotry its number one legislative priority. Let those liberal media brainwashed folks on the left coast squander their state resources on better education, healthcare and other socialist-gay agendas like traffic safety and infrastructure maintenance.

  36. Michael 2 says

    Mark Wing wrote "Let those liberal media brainwashed folks on the left coast squander their state resources (*) on better education, healthcare and other socialist-gay agendas like traffic safety and infrastructure."

    That's the spirit! The American way; the citizens of each state deciding for each state. It creates a smorgasbord of opportunity; you choose a state that conforms to your way of thinking. Unless of course you wish to be the tail that wags the dog, and compel all citizens of all states to your way of thinking.

    But if it was possible to do that, it would be my way of thinking and not yours.

    * I ought to mention that no such thing exists as "state resources", as being independent from the resources of its citizens extracted therefrom.

  37. says

    My non-lawyerly opinion: The bill has nothing to do with protecting religious freedom and everything to do with violating the civil rights of LGBT people. In particular, it is transparently an end-run around Obergefell, since the intention and effect will be to get marriage registrars to refuse to issue licences. There isn't a judge in the land who wouldn't be able to see this, so it's only a matter of time before the law gets struck down under any or all of the establishment, due process, and equal protection clauses.

    "Matter of time" unfortunately means a long time. If the Mississippi judiciary has as much commitment to upholding the constitution as does its legislature, then this won't happen until it reaches at least appellate level, which could take years. In the mean time, LGBT people in Mississippi are screwed. Then the legislature finds a different way to enact a law to the same effect. Rinse and repeat. So I guess from their point of view, this would be mission accomplished.

    If the Mississippi government were to put as much effort into solving the real problems faced by its citizens as it does into finding new and innovative ways to violate the constitution rights of LGBT people, Mississippi wouldn't be the shithole state that it is.

  38. CJColucci says

    If I remember correctly, Mississippi didn't and doesn't have any laws forbidding discrimination based on sexual orientation. So what does this new law empower bigoted hotel owners, et al. to do that they couldn't do before?

  39. Rich Rostrom says

    But there's no plausible indication that even an activist Supreme Court will apply anti-discrimination laws to religious sacraments.

    I think the whole thing is a fake controversy. It's not as though there is any chance of same-sex marriage being established in Mississippi.

    Why, less than six years, ago, Elena Kagan, former Dean of Harvard Law, U.S. Solicitor General, and now Justice of the Supreme Court, said there was no Constitutional right to same-sex marriage.

  40. Michael 2 says

    Rich Rostrom writes "Elena Kagan, former Dean of Harvard Law, U.S. Solicitor General, and now Justice of the Supreme Court, said there was no Constitutional right to same-sex marriage."

    That's because there's no Constitutional right of marriage for anyone. The Constitution of the United States does not deal with marriage and a million other things not relevant to forming a republican form of government.

  41. says

    If I remember correctly, Mississippi didn't and doesn't have any laws forbidding discrimination based on sexual orientation. So what does this new law empower bigoted hotel owners, et al. to do that they couldn't do before?

    The law grants bigoted hotel owners, et al. impunity in respect of local ordinances forbidding discrimination based on sexual orientation.

  42. SlimTim says

    @Daran

    I do, in general, support laws which oblige private businesses who sell goods and services to the general public, not to discriminate against customers based upon creed, colour, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, etc. I think there is a compelling reason why the government should exact appropriate laws in this respect.

    What is the "compelling reason"? I can understand the moral objection, but I don't see the need for government action.

  43. says

    In light of the supreme court ruling, I think Mississippi has come up with a good law.

    In their decree commanding "equal" protection for the LGBTQ crowd, the supremes (not the musical group) in their (decidedly finite) wisdom to declared open season on certain other religious practices and belief systems,

    Bullshit. Nobody's religious practices and belief systems are being unfavorably treated by the Supremes. Rather it is the Mississippi legislature that is granting favourable status to certain religious beliefs over others.

    and never mind that pesky first amendment thing.

    What part of the pesky first amendment are you talking about? Surely not the pesky establishment clause which prohibits the government from favouring certain religious views over others, and this bill does. At a guess, you're referring to the free exercise clause and perhaps also the free speech clause, which I'll address in a moment.

    The right to free exercise of religion does not and never has meant that you can do what you like without restriction or consequence, so long as it is religiously motivated. You have the constitutional right to prostate yourself before the Lord, but you don't have the right to do so in the middle of the public highway where it blocks traffic. You have the right to avoid contact with unclean animals, but if you do, then can't be employed as a vet. You have the right not to issue marriage licenses, but you don't have a constitutional right to be employed as a marriage registrar.

    Similar considerations apply to the free speech clause. You cannot be lawfully compelled to say "Twinkies taste great!", but if you don't then you can't expect to be employed as an actor in a twinky commercial. You have the constitutional right not to advocate on behalf of Joe Sixpack, but you waive that right when you agree to be Sixpack's court attorney. You have the constitutional right to refuse to say "You are hearby registered as married" but you don't have a right to be employed in a job that requires you to say that, if you refuse to do so.

    So I guess it is a good law, if you ignore the pesky establishment clause, and the pesky due process clauses, and the pesky equal protection clause, and if you believe people with certain religious beliefs to be special snowflakes to be pampered and privileged and exempted from the let's-all-try-to-get-along rules that govern the rest of us.

  44. Michael 2 says

    Daran writes "You have the right to avoid contact with unclean animals, but if you do, then can’t be employed as a vet."

    WHY? Your thinking is far-left weird. If I want to be a "horse only" vet, and I have little doubt such things exist, then I am not a pig vet. If I wanted to be a black stallion only vet, what is that to you? Why does your preferences outweigh mine?

    There is no reason. It's just your wish against my wish. That's pretty much all it is. what would be proper in such cases for the benefit of society that such limitations on your skill and willingness be clear so as to avoid conflicts.

  45. Nobody says

    First amendment protects five rights, not two. He was likely referring to the pesky Free Association clause.

  46. Will says

    And I see it does not allow people to "refuse medical treatment to gays", as the "liberal" noise machine keeps claiming (and which I have never heard of any instance of someone trying to do, or of any religion which forbids it), or give blanket permission to "refuse service to gays", as the noise machine also keeps claiming.

  47. says

    @Daran

    I do, in general, support laws which oblige private businesses who sell goods and services to the general public, not to discriminate against customers based upon creed, colour, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, etc. I think there is a compelling reason why the government should exact appropriate laws in this respect.

    That should have read "enact", not "exact".

    What is the "compelling reason"? I can understand the moral objection, but I don't see the need for government action.

    I guess it comes down to my agreement with the US DoI that life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are three of the rights of man that governments are created to protect. A person refusing to bake you a cake, because they don't like its message is an annoyance, but it doesn't remotely begin to abridge those rights. But if the baker refuses to serve you at all, and so does the butcher, and so does the candlestick maker, and so does every other merchant, and if all these people refuse to employ you in positions for which you are qualified, then you are effectively excluded from society in a way that does infringe upon those rights.

    The government has been created to protect those rights. Moreover the ubiquity of bigotry throughout society is a compelling reason for it to act.

  48. says

    First amendment protects five rights, not two. He was likely referring to the pesky Free Association clause.

    In truth, I don't know what he was referring to, nor can I see how the free assembly clause has any bearing upon the matter, one way or another, but please, feel free to enlighten me.

  49. Krychek_2 says

    But what if two ponies want to get married, so they can have more little ponies? How would this law impact on them? I'm thinking of writing a guest post about it for popehat.

  50. Michael 2 says

    Krychek_2 wrote "But what if two ponies want to get married, so they can have more little ponies?"

    I do not understand "what if" questions.

    Marriage used to be society's permission for a man and woman to produce children; a procedure that had gone unlicensed for millions of years. Thomas More' in "Utopia" reveals that the ideal way for governments to establish control and obtain revenue is to license ordinary behaviors.

    Now, marriage is a way to tap into government benefits.

  51. SlimTim says

    @Daran

    I guess it comes down to my agreement with the US DoI that life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are three of the rights of man that governments are created to protect. A person refusing to bake you a cake, because they don't like its message is an annoyance, but it doesn't remotely begin to abridge those rights. But if the baker refuses to serve you at all, and so does the butcher, and so does the candlestick maker, and so does every other merchant, and if all these people refuse to employ you in positions for which you are qualified, then you are effectively excluded from society in a way that does infringe upon those rights.

    How does some privately-owned stores refusing to sell their products to an individual infringe on that individual's rights of "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness"? If the stores closed their doors and didn't sell their products to anyone would the stores be infringing the entire community's rights of "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness"?

    From a practical perspective, given the law of supply and demand, I doubt that the discriminated individuals would be unable to obtain the products. Also, the discriminatory behavior of the store owners would eliminate one group of potential customers and alienate more. This would likely put a dent in the their profits and could quite possibly put them out of business.

  52. C. S. P. Schofield says

    The way Imse it, the State should get out of the business of hunting down and punishing 'racism' and other forms of prejudice,mat least for a while. Say, ten years. This would either

    A) expose just how racist/sexist/homophobic/etc the society is, giving us a basis from which to work or

    B) expose just how racist/etc/etc society ISN'T, possibly forcing the likes of Al Sharpton to seek honest work for the first time in far too long.

  53. Total says

    From a practical perspective, given the law of supply and demand, I doubt that the discriminated individuals would be unable to obtain the products. Also, the discriminatory behavior of the store owners would eliminate one group of potential customers and alienate more. This would likely put a dent in the their profits and could quite possibly put them out of business.

    You can doubt all you want, Karl — the entirety of human history is against you in terms of economic motivations being the only thing that drives people. Do you somehow think that "whites only" businesses never existed? That redlining didn't? In what imaginary world do you think that the rest of society somehow knows that a business is discriminating against a particular group and bands together to stop it?

    You're not even Karl Marx, because Karl was actually working, if wrongly, from the real world.

  54. Sparkles says

    @Micheal 2 @Slim Tim

    Your arguments for choice are interesting but I have some questions.
    You say that in order to counteract the "business choices" of some business to refuse services to certain clients the market would provide new businesses that market to those clients.
    How does that scale?
    What if there are only 100 of "those people" in a town of 10,000 (1% of the population)? How does any business stay open while serving so few customers? Where do "those people" go to get service?

    How does a business that serves "those people" start? From whom do they get a business loan if the local bank won't do business with businesses that serve "those people?" (of course they get it from the non-"those peopleist" bank in the next town/county/state/country) If the local realtor/landlords also don't like "those people" from whom do they rent store space or buy property from which to operate? From whom do they buy goods to sell or, especially, alcohol if the local distributor won't deal with businesses that support "those people?"

  55. Michael 2 says

    Sparkles asks "You say that in order to counteract the business choices of some business to refuse services to certain clients the market would provide new businesses that market to those clients. How does that scale?"

    The word for today is opportunity. If you are an entrepreneur, you seek opportunities, an unfilled need.

    "What if there are only 100 of those people in a town of 10,000"?

    I do not understand "what if" questions. In my town the proprietor of the comic book store would be thrilled to have 100 customers. Likewise the camera store owner.

    But let us seriously explore your question and its implications. How many bakers exist in Nome, Alaska? Wedding photographers?

    It may well be in a small town there is NO wedding photographer for anyone! What then shall the government do; mandate the existence of a wedding photographer? Exactly how different is it to two women that want to be married to each other, to choose from no photographer because there isn't one, to no photographer because the only one in town refuses? Well just order up a photographer from Craig's list. Unless you are in Nome, your fearful problem just isn't much of a problem.

    "How does any business stay open while serving so few customers?"

    That is not your problem nor mine. As a suggestion for anyone considering it, make it your side job — bicycle repair and gay wedding photographer for the once-a-year assignment. You can refuse to photograph "breeder" weddings.

    "Where do those people go to get service?"

    San Francisco comes to mind; plus it has some really great settings for wedding photographs.

    "How does a business that serves those people start?"

    It starts with an idea and an opportunity. Allowing professionals (such as bakers and photographers) to choose their clients, as clients already choose their professionals, would create new opportunity.

    "From whom do they get a business loan if the local bank won’t do business with businesses that serve those people?”

    Online banking. Small Business Administration. The problem is no different than if you live in a town that simply does not have a bank.

    "of course they get it from the non-those peopleist bank in the next town/county/state/country"

    Yes. Such a thing would doubtless come into existence.

    "or especially alcohol if the local distributor won’t deal with businesses that support those people?”

    That problem is no different than is faced by citizens of any "dry" city or county, or any person under age. You go where the getting is good for the things you want (duh). But you seem to be lazy. You want these services to come to you.

  56. Trent says

    How does some privately-owned stores refusing to sell their products to an individual infringe on that individual's rights of "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness"?

    Though the founders gave voice to those "god given" values as the supreme purpose of government (using the inspiration of the day) they acknowledged the real purpose of government. Governments most important role and the highest priority of it is to resolve conflict in society. It's there to keep people from killing each other and resorting to lawlessness to settle differences, even irreconcilable ones.

    Government has a compelling interest in the marketplace preventing discrimination because it can, does and will lead to violence and other severely harming behaviors between individuals. No one should be compelled to provide goods or services to someone they don't want to, except where those reasons are beyond the control (as recognized by the public) of the people involved. You can't choose your race, your sex, your national origin and many other things. As a result government should have the power to say that if you want to refuse to service these people from your business you cannot participate as a open provider in that market. It should still be perfectly legal for you to open a private members only business that is not open publicly, though such businesses rarely succeed due to the highly restricted clientele.

    Government has a primary role to prevent and resolve society disrupting conflict and preventing discrimination in the open market falls under that role.

  57. says

    You can't choose your race, your sex, your national origin and many other things.

    But you can choose your creed, political affiliation, gender-presentation, sexual practices, marital status, and many other things. Should all such characteristics be excluded from antidiscrimination law?

  58. says

    Slimtim

    I don't have anything substantive to add to Total's and Trent's responses. I will say, however that my reply wasn't intended to persuade you to agree with my position – I doubt either of us could ever persuade the other – but to explain why I take that position, which I think was the question you asked.

  59. Dictatortot says

    You can doubt all you want, Karl — the entirety of human history is against you in terms of economic motivations being the only thing that drives people. Do you somehow think that "whites only" businesses never existed? That redlining didn't? In what imaginary world do you think that the rest of society somehow knows that a business is discriminating against a particular group and bands together to stop it?

    You're not even Karl Marx, because Karl was actually working, if wrongly, from the real world.

    So, you are against the free market and freedom of association in this case because they might not impose the sorts of results that you would like to see imposed upon the hypothetical businesses? Long as we're being principled about all this, one supposes.

  60. Tim! says

    @Dictatortot:

    Freedom of association does not apply when you are providing a public accommodation, e.g. a storefront. As Trent explained, if you wish to run a business and preserve your individual freedom of (non-)association, you can run a members-only private venue instead.

  61. ChrisH says

    @Michael 2

    I do not understand "what if" questions. In my town the proprietor of the comic book store would be thrilled to have 100 customers. Likewise the camera store owner.

    The problems start where the businesses get 10,000 additional customers by visibly refusing to serve the 100. In a village/town/city/state/country with, in this case, a sort of "I am more Christian* than you" attitude then folks who aren't on that bus are screwed.

    Leaving minority rights up to the free market isn't always the best way to go, because in a lot of cases there are few-to-no alternatives. Also see potential for religiously-run hospitals refusing medical treatment (it already happens).

    * The Leviticus-loving fire-from-the-sky-because-the-gays sort.

  62. Michael 2 says

    ChrisH wrote "The problems start where the businesses get 10,000 additional customers by visibly refusing to serve the 100. In a village/town/city/state/country with, in this case, a sort of I am more Christian than you attitude then folks who aren’t on that bus are screwed."

    Agreed. I wish it was possible for people not to be screwed.

    "Leaving minority rights up to the free market isn’t always the best way to go"

    Minority rights do not exist. Neither, for that matter, do majority rights. It's just a word people use to excuse their preferred behaviors.

    "Also see potential for religiously-run hospitals refusing medical treatment"

    Whereas by trying to compel a religious hospital to perform services anathema to itself you could end up with no medical treatments of any kind. Consider the doctor's oath, "do no harm", and yet essentially all abortions are exactly that, depending on one's point of view. It is certainly easy to decide not to license a doctor that refuses abortions; but is that wise? I think not.

    In a large multicultural nation the only way forward *is* multicultural — secular alongside religious service providers. Muslims will not eat pork. Mormons don't need doctors and nurses making rude comments about underwear. Why should everyone be forced into the same mold?

    Well the answer is because people are sheep, most of them, and WANT everyone in the same mold, and the same color, and now the new thing, the same gender.

  63. Dictatortot says

    Tim!:

    Total wasn't addressing the "freedom of association" angle. He was rejecting SlimTim's theory that the market would end up punishing stores that refused to serve customers for the wrong reasons. Unless I'm misreading Total (and I apologize if so), he's objecting to letting the market have its way because he worries that the local consumer choices wouldn't generate the punitive outcome that he thinks deserves imposing. My point is that such outcome-based criteria for deciding whether something is okay are deeply unprincipled.

    Now, the "public accommodation" argument you raise is a whole other issue, and far more solidly founded (though I'm increasingly not sure it's worth the trade-offs). If Total had responded with that, it'd be a different matter.

  64. Michael 2 says

    Dictatortot writes: "he worries that the local consumer choices wouldn’t generate the punitive outcome that he thinks deserves imposing."

    Yes, that is the tyranny of the majority. The alternative seems to be a tyranny of the minority.

    Libertarian would be all around better but most humans are herd animals.

  65. Debb B says

    But you can choose your creed, political affiliation, gender-presentation, sexual practices, marital status, and many other things. Should all such characteristics be excluded from antidiscrimination law?

    The "choice" that I made re: gender presentation was a choice between presenting as the woman I wish I'd been born as, or killing myself. Not really much of a choice at all.

    I don't intend to set foot in Mississippi ever again, but if I wanted to, I'd be all but guaranteed to get in trouble for trying to use the bathroom I belong in… at least that's how I am interpreting this bill.

  66. Michael 2 says

    Debb B writes "The choice that I made re: gender presentation was a choice between presenting as the woman I wish I’d been born as, or killing myself. Not really much of a choice at all."

    What is a "woman" that you wish to be one? It is imaginary, a social construction. To be sure at its root it is simply your reproductive role, your chromosomes. I doubt there's room here for a believable and meaningful discussion of the topic but I've been through the drama and trauma of women's lib. For an entire generation women tried to wipe out that the word "woman" meant anything! Yet it seems to mean something to you. How can you know that you have arrived? What makes a person a "woman"?

    "I don’t intend to set foot in Mississippi ever again, but if I wanted to, I’d be all but guaranteed to get in trouble for trying to use the bathroom I belong in"

    Likely so, and a piece of paper (legislation) did not create this problem neither will it resolve this problem. I did not invent gender segregated bathrooms but there it is. Neither, for that matter, is using the wrong bathroom the worst you face in Mississippi.

  67. echo says

    So this boils down to transparent signalling to social conservative voters rather than anything useful, because of course it does. Same thing as when the county next to mine banned nuclear weapons, or Manhatten banned "manspreading".
    Do democracies just turn every contentious issue into kabuki theater, thanks to voters' rational ignorance?

  68. Dictatortot says

    Echo, check the post directly above you. In matters pissoir-related, at least, it seems there's indisputably a concrete point to the legislation.

  69. Total says

    Unless I'm misreading Total (and I apologize if so)

    I'll have that apology, Vladimir, then, thanks.

    he's objecting to letting the market have its way because he worries that the local consumer choices wouldn't generate the punitive outcome that he thinks deserves imposing. My point is that such outcome-based criteria for deciding whether something is okay are deeply unprincipled.

    I'm objecting to the idea that the free market will miraculously create the outcomes society wants when essentially the entirety of human history shows that doesn't happen. In the case where society hopes that store owners won't refuse people business because of their race the historical evidence is overwhelming that the free market fails to punish racist store owners. Racist store owners don't get punished by the free market because either no one notices or people are actively in favor of the racism. Racist store owners don't get punished by the free market because all the stores around them are similarly racist. Racist store owners don't get punished by the free market because there's an extralegal but tolerated group (like the KKK) lynches people who object.. The Miracle of Economic Motivation Is The Only Motivation, common to both Bolshevik and Libertarian nerf-brains, simply does work in the real world.

    What I want to happen is irrelevant to this analysis — I was simply responding to SlimTim's quite stupid idea that the free market would handle a particular behavior.

  70. Michael 2 says

    Total writes: "I’m objecting to the idea that the free market will miraculously create the outcomes society wants…"

    You do not speak for society. The person to whom you are responding wrote: …wouldn’t generate the punitive outcome that he thinks deserves imposing.

    Whether society actually has prejudices is easily determined by inspection. Of course there's also the problem of what is "society". Do you imagine the United States, or any nation, consists of a homogenous opinion, everyone, except those nasty racist store owners, have the same opinion? The United States consists of many, maybe dozens of societies that do not mix well nor play well together. Who exactly is it that wishes everything smashed and blended together?

    Your concept of free market is slightly skewed. In a free market any particular commodity will be dominated by a single producer eventually. It does not, and never did mean, everyone gets to sit at the table.

    "In the case where society hopes that store owners won’t refuse people business because of their race the historical evidence is overwhelming that the free market fails to punish racist store owners."

    Why do you persist in imagining that "society" is different than the people that live in it?

    But you are right about one thing for sure: "Free markets" do not exist to punish racist store owners (duh). Free markets exist solely to convey products from producers to consumers, with cutthroat competition among producers but also competition among consumers.

    "Racist store owners don’t get punished by the free market because either no one notices or people are actively in favor of the racism."

    By jove, I think you almost have it! Society is what people are and do.

    "The Miracle of Economic Motivation Is The Only Motivation, common to both Bolshevik and Libertarian nerf-brains, simply does work in the real world."

    I am probably one of those libertarian nerf brains. What you believe does not work in the real world *is* the real world. All humans are motivated by survival and reproduction. Economics is the art of how to get what you want by giving something of value to get something of value, and more particularly, measuring the value. I'll admit that socialists lean heavily on the "get" side and are a bit weak on the "give" side so for them (you) the study of Economics is probably a mystery. There is only what you want and anyone that won't give it to you is a racist. That might even be true. Good luck with your economic theories.

    "What I want to happen is irrelevant to this analysis"

    It bleeds from nearly every sentence: Punish racist store owners.

  71. Michael 2 says

    Total, because of your fascination with racism and an unstated assumption of your own superiority in that regard (you haven't actually said whether you are racist, just that others are, which is undoubtedly true).

    Where are the Neanderthals? Gone, extinct! I can easily imagine a Cro-magnan store owner refusing service to Neanderthals, and no doubt Neanderthals felt similarly about weak skinny Cro-magnan. As the ice ages settled in for a long cold spell (of about 100,000 years), the slender Cro-magnan survived because they don't need to eat as much. I have a doubt that they tried very hard to share everything with Neanderthals.

    In more plentiful times the Neanderthals probably had the advantage because of their sturdy builds. They might even have been civilized socialists, sharing everything equally so that they all died together. It makes a good story anyway.

    So when the Norwegians came to America, where did they go? Minnesota, mostly. Italians? Jews? Germans? Is there any place that is "blended"? I think not.

    Consider Canada — two official languages and an eternal tension between flying apart into at least two nation-states versus trying to continue to pretend to be one nation.

    Subjugating everyone else is a common theme — I faced it frequently in my school years. It is why you exist; your ancestors survived when others died.

    You have failed, here anyway, to provide the more compelling arguments about relative burden. My choice to not smoke imposes no burden on anyone, but your choice to smoke imposes burden on everyone around you.

    Society is burdened if an entire hospital refuses to perform essential services, and from that burden I can see and justify some compulsion. but society is NOT burdened if Joe the Photographer is choosy about what kinds of weddings he photographs, and quite frankly they ought to be choosy and specialize in certain kinds of photography.

    If I'm out photographing ducks, it is appealing to see drake and hen and chicks swimming across a small lake in Minnesota. It is much less appealing to see two drakes especially one trying to mount the other. It just isn't the same thing and a photographer ought to be free to choose one and not the other. I won't compel you to photograph breeding pairs and you won't compel me to photograph non-breeding pairs, or presume you have a right to license my activity.

  72. echo says

    @Dictatortot, good point that signalling can have real-world value. Building a reputation is certainly much cheaper than building a wall, and they keep themselves out!

  73. Tim! says

    @Dictatortot

    There is a concrete point to the legislation. That point is based on an unsubstantiated and incorrect fear that all transgendered people are perverts intent on exposing their genitalia to all and sundry.

  74. Michael 2 says

    Tim! wrote: "…based on an unsubstantiated and incorrect fear that all transgendered people are perverts intent on exposing their genitalia to all and sundry."

    It is unsubstantiated that none have this desire.

  75. Total says

    It is unsubstantiated that none have this desire

    Given who is passing the law, it's pretty clear who needs to substantiate their fears.

    ("Oh my God, some transgender person somewhere might be a flasher! Let's pass a law!" is good for morons, but not, you know, for actual policy)

  76. Michael 2 says

    Total writes "Given who is passing the law, it’s pretty clear who needs to substantiate their fears."

    Now there's an idea that ought to be applied to Global Warming schemes!

    But lets see. Substantiate fears. Okay. I wonder how many links I get?

    Well there's the butcher, the baker and the candlestick maker — or was that a wedding photographer and a wedding cake baker? So yeah, fears substantiated!

    Your turn.

  77. John Wesley says

    but Mississippi could constitutionally fine a church for refusing to hire a gay custodian or receptionist. I mean, if Mississippi were ever inclined to do such a thing, which I doubt.

    Famous Last Words

  78. Dictatortot says

    Well, Tim, it's possible that men-only and women-only toilets are inherently discriminatory and ought to be proscribed by some enterprising future jurists. I hadn't really given it much thought. However, if a state IS to be permitted men-only and women-only restrooms, it seems only right that enforcing the distinction should also be that state's prerogative. And if a certain number of addled fantasists can't be counted on to honor such a distinction, it becomes the grown-ups' job to see that they must.

  79. says

    I'm always amazed at how ignorant of history people are, that they'd somehow try to argue that discrimination definitely couldn't happen on any large scale when it was rampant 50 years ago. Like…are you that foolish, or are you just being dishonest because supporting libertarianism is that important? Because…it's straight-up foolish not to recognize that. It's likewise foolish to pretend that there aren't already exactly what the libertarians want in place: Private members-only clubs can be as discriminatory as they want.

    It's just really weird to see libertarians defending what is essentially fraud on "liberty" grounds. If you're open to the public, you're open to the public. Granted, what that means can change, but it means a thing (usually, that you can't discriminate based on innate characteristics, but you CAN discriminate based on things like "ability to pay" or "behavior during transaction", etc., with those things understood culturally because all things are understood culturally).

    You don't get to pretend to be open to the public, and then not actually be open to the public, because that's fraud. If you're not open to the public, then be a private club. The "Douche Cakes Klub" can be as discriminatory as it wants. The freedom route is available, so pretending it isn't is nonsense. The problem of discrimination is real, and pretending it isn't is nonsense. What we have in place (public accommodation laws) is a happy balance between the two, allowing exactly what libertarian-minded individuals claim to want, while at the same time making, generally, public accommodations actually serve a public good.

  80. PhoenicianRomans says

    Wait…

    SECTION 2. The sincerely held religious beliefs or moral convictions protected by this act are the belief or conviction that:
    (a) Marriage is or should be recognized as the union of one man and one woman;

    ONE man and ONE woman – doesn't that preclude divorce? Couldn't someone point at this law and use it to justify discrimination against divorced people, such as remarriages? Indeed, couldn't a government employee use the law to refuse to recognize divorce proceedings?

  81. Total says

    Okay. I wonder how many links I get?

    Of transgender flashers? At a higher rate than any other group are flashers? Please — let's see the links.

  82. says

    But you can choose your creed, political affiliation, gender-presentation, sexual practices, marital status, and many other things. Should all such characteristics be excluded from antidiscrimination law?

    The "choice" that I made re: gender presentation was a choice between presenting as the woman I wish I'd been born as, or killing myself. Not really much of a choice at all.,

    No it was not, nor was the choice I made between rejecting a particular creed, or killing myself. My words were directed at an earlier commenter who implied, perhaps unintentionally, that only attributes "beyond the control (as recognized by the public) of the people involved" be protected by antidiscrimination law. I doubt that would be sufficient to protect you.

    To be clear, I do support broader criteria for antidiscrimination law, to include creed, and gender identity.

  83. ... But I Play One On TV... says

    Awesome. Thanks Ken. Laughed my ass off. Welcome back!

    What were you trying? I'm curious.

  84. SlimTim says

    @Daran
    Can you please clarify one of your arguments for me? You stated that allowing privately owned stores to discriminate endangers interferes with an individual's rights to "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness". I still do not see how it would interfere with any of those rights. My best guess from your context is that you were using that phrase to say that you believe everyone has a right to be fully included in society (and the government should protect that right). Is that correct?

  85. SlimTim says

    @Trent
    I fully agree that the government has a role other than protecting an individual's rights to "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness". My earlier comment was in response to Daren who stated that allowing privately owned stores to discriminate interfered with those rights.

    Regarding your statement:

    Government has a compelling interest in the marketplace preventing discrimination because it can, does and will lead to violence and other severely harming behaviors between individuals.

    It has also been argued that hate speech "can, does and will lead to violence and other severely harming behaviors between individuals". Despite this, I do not think hate speech should be banned. The best way to deal with hate speech is more speech and likewise the best way to deal with discriminatory stores is more stores.

  86. says

    @SlimTim:

    You do, of course, realize that that is an atrocious analogy, right?

    One is, for example, explicitly listed in the constitution. The other is not. One is recognized universally (that is, I believe e'ryone here's going to agree it's valid), the other not-so-much.

    Speech does not equate to setting up and running a business, nor is it reasonable to expect a person who is unable to function within society because of the intolerance present to just set up every kind of business themselves (particularly when, as has been previously noted, financial institutions are often just as limiting when given the ability to). Nor is having the right to speak the same as having the right to engage in public commerce.

  87. SlimTim says

    @Grifter
    Part of the reason why segregation was so rampant 50 years ago is because the state governments mandated it via Jim Crow laws.

    The way I view the libertarian perspective is that business owners should have the freedom to run their businesses as they see fit. They also have to deal with the consequences of their decisions.

    Regarding your point about fraud, if a store puts up a sign or something that says says that they serve everyone and they discriminate that that would be fraud. However, if they are silent on the topic it's not fraud.

    Keep in mind that in today's world with twitter, facebook, etc it would be very hard for a store to conceal discriminatory business practices.

  88. says

    @SlimTim, I said everyone here would likely recognize it as valid, but I see how my use of "universal" was less clear than it might have been. What I meant was that it's a point no one's really likely to argue with you about here, whilst the other is something that people who come here often may still be likely to disagree on.

    I've heard that "It was Jim Crow's fault" argument before. Unfortunately, it's a terrible argument born of ignorance of history. Don't get me wrong, Jim Crow existed, and was terrible, but ignoring the fact that businesses absolutely segregated without being compelled by law is just…well, it's either ignorant or dishonest.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greensboro_sit-ins (This is the second time in a short period of time I've had to send that link to someone…was it removed from high-school curriculums at some point?) Jim Crow AND businesses were a problem. We've worked hard on the laws, and on the businesses, but you're advocating that the businesses be given free reign on the grounds that the laws were the problem…they weren't the only problem, and that's not a valid argument.

    The business owners are not the ones who have consequences when you have a minority that the majority is just fine with them not getting served at all by anybody.

    The silence point is just nonsense, as well. All transactions (all interactions) rely on social expectations. I, for example, can confidently expect that I generally won't be mugged, and that if I am mugged, the police will look into it and, if they find the person, will arrest them. Those are all social expectations. Likewise, I can expect to go into a store and receive service. If I were a disliked minority, however, in your view of the world I would walk into a store that I would have full expectation of being served at, and not be served. And I'd have no way of knowing in advance, even though the store's open to the public.

    Now, the sign thing does deal with the "fraud" issue. But, see, there's already a method equivalent to the sign thing, it's called being a private club. So, again, the freedom you're advocating for is already present. The only circumstance it's not present is where a business is pretending to be open to the public at large, but ACTUALLY wants to be a private club. Which is dishonest (fraud has a technical definition that isn't appropriate. But dishonest I'd stand by).

    My point was that your analogy was terrible, and invalid for the purposes you were trying to use it.

    You may as well say "Well, you're in favor of banning bleach sold as medicine (which is a real thing that happened, BTW, because people are terrible) because it can kill people. So can giving them too much morphine, therefore the logic is the same!" If the two things you're analogizing are vastly different, the analogy no longer holds.

  89. says

    My best guess from your context is that you were using that phrase to say that you believe everyone has a right to be fully included in society (and the government should protect that right). Is that correct?

    Well yes, more-or-less, though I think we need to look a little more closely at that pesky word "right", which we all use – myself included – as though it was a well-defined concept and we all mean the same thing by it.

    In the context in which I used it, I mean something like "basic principle which I think ought to be regarded as universal". I do not believe that rights are creator-bestowed because I don't believe in a creator, and even if there is one, I see not the slightest indication that it bestowed any. Nor do I believe that rights are self-evident in any sense, and you'll notice that I didn't mention those attributes when I paraphrased the DoI.

    In the context of the constitution and the law, "right" has a different meaning. Your legal/constitutional rights are whatever the most senior court to rule on the matter says they are.

  90. says

    Part of the reason why segregation was so rampant 50 years ago is because the state governments mandated it via Jim Crow laws.

    You have that backwards. Society isn't bigoted because governments enact bigoted laws. Governments enact bigoted laws because the society they represent is bigoted.

  91. says

    It has also been argued that hate speech "can, does and will lead to violence and other severely harming behaviors between individuals". Despite this, I do not think hate speech should be banned. The best way to deal with hate speech is more speech and likewise the best way to deal with discriminatory stores is more stores.

    I'll go with whatever works. Hate speech generally can be and is countered by more speech, though immediate, credible threats and incitement require a government response. On the other hand, more shops cannot be counted to appear where there are none, or where the ones that are there, won't serve you.

  92. Debb B says

    Michael 2 said:

    What is a "woman" that you wish to be one? It is imaginary, a social construction. To be sure at its root it is simply your reproductive role, your chromosomes. I doubt there's room here for a believable and meaningful discussion of the topic but I've been through the drama and trauma of women's lib. For an entire generation women tried to wipe out that the word "woman" meant anything! Yet it seems to mean something to you. How can you know that you have arrived? What makes a person a "woman"?

    "I don’t intend to set foot in Mississippi ever again, but if I wanted to, I’d be all but guaranteed to get in trouble for trying to use the bathroom I belong in"

    Likely so, and a piece of paper (legislation) did not create this problem neither will it resolve this problem. I did not invent gender segregated bathrooms but there it is. Neither, for that matter, is using the wrong bathroom the worst you face in Mississippi.

    I will likely never be able to convince you of this since you clearly have not experienced it, but here goes: My mental expectations, from ever since I can remember, have been that I am a girl. The mirror, my genetics, and my body tell me differently. This mismatch has caused distress to varying degrees throughout my life. Finally at age 50+, I have chosen to take steps to get my body to match my inner concept of self as closely as possible, knowing full well that it cannot entirely match. I can't be an actual "woman", but my appearance is pretty close, and that'll have to be good enough.

    I might simply ask, "what makes you a man"?

    I agree that the bathroom issue is but a small problem of the myriad that I would face should I choose to go to Mississippi, or many other places for that matter. I spoke only of legalities here, and not of avoiding a beating or death at the hands of .. you guessed it .. men. That is entirely another issue.

  93. Michael 2 says

    Debb B asks "I can’t be an actual woman, but my appearance is pretty close, and that’ll have to be good enough."

    Well there it is — appearance, a social construction. How many modern women still look like women (whatever a woman is supposed to look like, anyway). It is a thing that changes. I would be thrilled for my daughter to look more like what I imagine how a woman ought to appear.

    "I might simply ask, what makes you a man?”

    In the version I didn't send yesterday, I asked that of myself and answered it: Penis and testicles. That's ultimately what it is; my reproductive role. At the conclusion of my reproductive role then perhaps it means less.

    Society has many answers for "what is a man" and those social answers change and thus are unreliable but are loosely based on some heritable traits which I didn't exactly inherit (territoriality, combativeness) and a few that it seems I did inherit: Excellent spatial awareness (skill with video games), geographic awareness, navigation. Among Norwegians it appears to be women that are more territorial and combative.

    Also in the version I didn't send yesterday was a story of my Norwegian cousin that wants to appear as a woman (or girl, to be precise, he was only five years old or so), and while slightly odd nobody pretended he was a girl; rather, he is a boy that likes to appear as a girl. If more people would simply do that, much argumentation and conflict would disappear.

    I am pedantic. I don't choose to be pedantic. When people claim to actually be things they most certainly are not, it rubs my fur the wrong way. It's like scratching fingernails on a chalkboard.

  94. Nat Gertler says

    "How many bakers exist in Nome, Alaska? Wedding photographers? It may well be in a small town there is NO wedding photographer for anyone!" It may well be in the general case, but in Nome, you'll find the Pingo Bakery and Esther Pederson Photography, at the very least.

  95. Total says

    Michael 2, you were going to provide me with links showing that transgender folks were perverts? At a higher rate than anyone else?

    Any time is fine.

  96. Michael 2 says

    Total "Michael 2, you were going to provide me with links showing that transgender folks were perverts? At a higher rate than anyone else?"

    No. Providing more than one or two links will cause a comment to go into moderation if not outright rejected. As to pervert, the word is poorly defined and can mean anything you wish it to mean which also means you can deny it for anything. I will suggest a more accurate word is "confusion", trying to be something other than what one is.

    You seem to be responding, after moving the goal posts of course, to a denial that any evidence exists by which persons ought to be concerned about the consequences of a lack of protection for religious freedom. I have suggested to you and others ordinary words by which you can google the appropriate stories; in the unlikely event that anyone here is not already familiar with those stories.

    It need not be strictly religious freedom either. Perhaps I just don't want to take pictures of you defecating or rimming as an example of something I might want to leave to others.

  97. SlimTim says

    @Grifter

    The silence point is just nonsense, as well. All transactions (all interactions) rely on social expectations. I, for example, can confidently expect that I generally won't be mugged, and that if I am mugged, the police will look into it and, if they find the person, will arrest them. Those are all social expectations. Likewise, I can expect to go into a store and receive service. If I were a disliked minority, however, in your view of the world I would walk into a store that I would have full expectation of being served at, and not be served. And I'd have no way of knowing in advance, even though the store's open to the public.

    First of all the reason why mugging is illegal is not because because people don't expect to be mugged. Even if you are mugged in a neighborhood that you could confidently expect that you would be mugged, mugging is still doing violence against you and the mugger will be arrested if caught by the police.

    Regarding the reasonable expectation of service, I can go into a bakery with the reasonable expectation of being able to buy white bread. However, the bakery still well within its rights to not sell white bread and instead sell wheat bread, sourdough bread, etc. The bakery doesn't have to put up a sign saying "We don't sell white bread".

    Now, the sign thing does deal with the "fraud" issue. But, see, there's already a method equivalent to the sign thing, it's called being a private club. So, again, the freedom you're advocating for is already present. The only circumstance it's not present is where a business is pretending to be open to the public at large, but ACTUALLY wants to be a private club. Which is dishonest (fraud has a technical definition that isn't appropriate. But dishonest I'd stand by).

    Private clubs don't work the way you are implying. A businesses can't simply put up a sign saying "This is a private XXX-only store. Non-XXX customers will not be served." and refuse to serve non-XXX customers.

  98. SlimTim says

    @daran

    You have that backwards. Society isn't bigoted because governments enact bigoted laws. Governments enact bigoted laws because the society they represent is bigoted.

    I have a quibble with this. The laws were passed because those currently in power were bigoted and wanted to prevent change. This doesn't necessarily mean that most of society was bigoted. The Jim Crow laws prevented non-discriminating businesses from opening, which kept the status quo. If non-discriminating businesses opened, they would compete with the existing discriminating-businesses and could quite possibly have eventually driven them out of business.

    I'll go with whatever works. Hate speech generally can be and is countered by more speech, though immediate, credible threats and incitement require a government response. On the other hand, more shops cannot be counted to appear where there are none, or where the ones that are there, won't serve you.

    I disagree with your assertion that "more shops cannot be counted to appear where there are none" new businesses pop up all the time, especially when there is an opening in the market. If the only store is discriminating there likely is a market opportunity for a non-discriminating competing business.

    I think the primary disagreement between us is how we approach the issue. You seem to be viewing the issue through social engineering (government trying to mold society to not discriminate, etc) and I am looking at it from a perspective of individual liberties (shop owners should the freedom to be able to sell or not sell to whoever they want). I do believe that due to supply and demand (and absent government-mandated discrimination) minority populations will be able to purchase the goods and services they require. This is especially true in today's world where being openly raciest is extremely poor PR.

  99. Total says

    No.

    Ah…I see. So you're perfectly happy to randomly assert things, but actual evidence is a bridge too far. I'm not here to hold your hand while you tremblingly try to make Google work for you.

    You seem to be responding, after moving the goal posts of course, to a denial that any evidence exists by which persons ought to be concerned about the consequences of a lack of protection for religious freedom.

    No, I'm trying to get you to substantiate your assertion that people's fears about transgender folks are based in anything but blind prejudice. You've already told me you're not going to do it, which makes you about as credible (and fossilized) as the Piltdown Man.

    As to all the answers of yours that seem to have been retroactively liberated from the moderation queue, they're fascinating in your inability to realize that the free market is actually about as far from survival of the fittest and social darwinism as you can imagine. Hint: the free market is dependent on the rule of law, something that highly antithetical to Darwinian natural selection.

    Do try not to make the cognitive dissonance so blindingly obvious next time.

  100. Michael 2 says

    Total wrote "So you’re perfectly happy to randomly assert things, but actual evidence is a bridge too far."

    Yes, that is the nature of blogs. You, me, everyone not-quite-randomly assert things. "Actual evidence" is not here; neither for that matter am I.

    I do not need to convince you. It is better for me if you remain exactly as you are so I can craft my random comments in a way that produces expected results.

    I do not need to defend or attack Mississippi. I am not threatened by these particular events in Mississippi and in fact find it wonderful that a state is trying to preserve just a little bit of liberty and choice in this land of the free and home of the brave.

  101. Tim! says

    in today's world where being openly [racist] is extremely poor PR.

    I'm not so sure. The baker and photographer referenced earlier lost some business and gained lots more. Chik-Fil-A had lines around the block after their corporate political leanings were exposed; protesters one day and record breaking sales the next.

    Ask the folks at Trump rallies how they'd feel about a business that refused to serve Muslims or homosexuals.

  102. Murder Hobo says

    @Michael 2:

    WHY? Your thinking is far-left weird. If I want to be a "horse only" vet, and I have little doubt such things exist, then I am not a pig vet. If I wanted to be a black stallion only vet, what is that to you? Why does your preferences outweigh mine?"

    Your thinking is far-right Fox News willfully ignorant of facts, Captain Strawman.

    First, it was obvious by Daran's numerous other examples that he wasn't expressing the belief that his preferences outweigh everyone else's. He was conveying the idea that you're free to follow you're religious beliefs, but those beliefs don't grant you any special protection if following those beliefs leads to negative consequences–such as inability to perform duties in a job, or violation of a law of general applicability. While it's possible that you're legitimately that obtuse, your ability to zero in on one example and twist his words enough to set up your strawman argument would imply you're not that much of a moron, and that your tactics are an act of deliberate intellectual dishonesty, and not a sign of intellectual deficit. Shame on you.

    Second, your response seems untrue in light of actual circumstances. While you certainly have a right to be a horse only vet, it would be very hard to get there without first touching an unclean pig. The vet schools I'm familiar tend to force you to work with a number of animals–I don't believe it would be possible to graduate and become qualified for large animal practice without having dealt with a few pigs. While it is certainly possible that some schools out there might make specific accommodations for Muslims or Jews, or other religions with "unclean" animal restrictions, the bigger ones don't seem to, and unlike say law schools, there are actually a pretty small number of vet schools out there.

  103. Total says

    Yes, that is the nature of blogs. You, me, everyone not-quite-randomly assert things. "Actual evidence" is not here; neither for that matter am I.

    Oh, please. "It's just the way the world works" is a sad defense when you're a teenager. It's just pathetic now.

    The rest of your post works better edited and extended into a series of haikus:

    I do not need to
    Convince you. Better for me.
    You remain exactly.

    I craft my random
    Comments producing expected
    Results. Mississippi!

    How about a Trumpian style Attack Haiku?

    Not threatened by events in Mississippi. Wonderful state trying to preserve liberty and choice in this land of the free. Superb!

    or, the above as a regular haiku, but using your words to get to your subtext:

    Do not need everyone.
    I am not threatened, exactly.
    Just a little bit brave.

    If you're going to spout gibberish, I may as well put it in entertaining form.

  104. Michael 2 says

    "Do not need everyone.
    I am not threatened, exactly.
    Just a little bit brave."

    That's remarkably good; a talent I lack so I salute yours.

  105. Tim! says

    I do not believe that "enforce my unsubstantiated fears and prejudices on others through force of law" is a valid expression of liberty or choice. Especially when the law in question is so obviously in violation of the Establishment clause, as detailed in the article we're commenting on.

  106. Michael 2 says

    Tim! "Especially when the law in question is so obviously in violation of the Establishment clause, as detailed in the article we’re commenting on."

    The problem is lack of a "dis-establishment" clause; the government is also prohibited from interfering in the free expression of religion.

    Our discussion appears to pivot on which takes precedence and that will naturally fall along your own religious views.

    The goverment cannot establish a religion, but it also cannot forbid a religion, and in a democracy, all law is ultimately the "will of the people" and if the people say "thou shalt not kill", then that's the law, even though it is also one of the 10 (or so) commandments of Judaism.

    Furthermore, the government is carefully limited in how extensively it can burden religion or "prior restraint" on any of the First Amendment. Its laws must be very carefully tailored to solve a specific problem and, at the same time, NOT establish just another religion called "atheism".

    I accept that some intrusion into the First Amendment is expedient. Not "right", merely expedient.

  107. SlimTim says

    @Tim!

    I do not believe that "enforce my unsubstantiated fears and prejudices on others through force of law" is a valid expression of liberty or choice. Especially when the law in question is so obviously in violation of the Establishment clause, as detailed in the article we're commenting on.

    I wouldn't call preventing government officials from compelling private actions as "enforcing" anything.

  108. Tim! says

    @SlimTim

    They are enforcing that a particular set of religious opinions hold a privileged position and preferred status. When acted upon, these particular religious beliefs impact a non-preferred person's ability to live, work, shop, eat, and eliminate waste without penalty or obstruction.

  109. Total says

    I think Michael 2 is one of this season's better new characters.

    Michael 1 was the original, flawed operating system. Michael 2 is the revamp that's going to surreptitiously take over the spaceship and murder the astronauts.

    Or is it a different kind of TV show altogether?

  110. Michael 2 says

    Total "Michael 2 is the revamp that’s going to surreptitiously take over the spaceship and murder the astronauts."

    All blogs need lively commentary to stay alive; a few need only sheep (Huffpo). Many blogs do not allow anything resembling meaningful controversy even if they claim it. Blogs develop a cohort, a natural gang, with a remarkably consistent distribution of roles at almost any blog community.

    There's the front-man that imagines he's the alpha and tells everyone else what to do, sometimes imagining he is a moderator when he isn't. There's the shadow leader, the actual leader that puts someone else in the line of fire but it is the shadow leader that decides the front man. You will have an "omega", someone to relieve the group tension. He accepts ridicule because it is his role and someone's got to do it. You'll have a "sage", the intellectual person that steps in occasionally to offer advice. You also from time to time have a devil's advocate, someone that is just plain contrarian. He instinctively spots the weaknesses of your arguments. But it is like a vaccination; there's a bit of a sting in the process of becoming more healthy, and many blogs decide that swirling down the toilet bowl of groupthink is still better than having meaningful challenges of your ideas.

  111. Trent says

    I'm not so sure. The baker and photographer referenced earlier lost some business and gained lots more. Chik-Fil-A had lines around the block after their corporate political leanings were exposed; protesters one day and record breaking sales the next.

    As is typical you didn't follow it beyond the few weeks of boosted sales. According to the head of Chik-Fil-A they had an overall long term drop in sales of 10% related to his actions. He publicly apologized and said he made a mistake of conflating his religious views and the needs of his business.

    http://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2014/03/18/Chick-fil-A-CEO-admits-it-was-a-mistake-to-oppose-same-sex-marriage/6421395174118/

  112. Michael 2 says

    Trent wrote "Chik-Fil-A had an overall long term drop in sales of 10% related to his actions."

    If I remember right, people have long memories for offense and short memory for pleasure. There's a few companies I won't buy from to this very day, Levi Strauss and its subsidiaries for instance, because of their hostility to the Boy Scouts. I wasn't even involved in Boy Scouts at the time, it just seemed like a mean thing to do; ungraceful, bad to mix business and politics for any reason.

  113. SlimTim says

    @Tim!

    They are enforcing that a particular set of religious opinions hold a privileged position and preferred status. When acted upon, these particular religious beliefs impact a non-preferred person's ability to live, work, shop, eat, and eliminate waste without penalty or obstruction.

    If the law said that it was illegal to provide goods and services for a SSM that would be "enforcing" the privileged position. Allowing private individuals and organizations to make their own decisions is freedom.

    From a practical perspective, it's not like there is a shortage of venders who are willing to provide goods/services for a SSM.

  114. says

    No. Providing more than one or two links will cause a comment to go into moderation if not outright rejected.

    Yes, Poochy, if you post "links" pointing to "evidence" that are inf act links to something horrid like say some absurd Nazi Eugenicist we will nuke your post . If you post ridiculous links we will ridicule you. If you post reasonable links people will discuss them.

    Either way, fight your own battles and don't try to hide behind your mother and I you dissembling clapper-clawed pumpion.

  115. Michael 2 says

    Grandy wrote "Either way, fight your own battles (1) and don’t try to hide behind your mother (2) and I you dissembling clapper-clawed pumpion. (3)"

    1. It appears that most people here are fighting someone else's battles, a battle that impacts relatively few people in Mississippi and none anywhere else. Because of that I don't really need to defend, or attack, Mississippi.

    2. Mom's dead and spread. No possibility exists of hiding behind her.

    3. Please do not disrespect or discriminate against dissembling clapper-clawed pumpions.

  116. David Schwartz says

    "When acted upon, these particular religious beliefs impact a non-preferred person's ability to live, work, shop, eat, and eliminate waste without penalty or obstruction."

    It's the nature of freedom that some people will be free to do things that hurt others for bad reasons. I can refuse to work for any company that has a female CEO if I want to. I can quit because I don't like my boss' shoe color. If I don't go to Burger King because I don't like businesses with royal titles in their names, that hurts their employees.

    If you want to elucidate a bright line for where I should have freedom and where I shouldn't be able to impact others, you'll find that it's very, very difficult.

  117. says

    "I might simply ask, what makes you a man?”

    In the version I didn't send yesterday, I asked that of myself and answered it: Penis and testicles.

    Is it? So Lance Armstrong is no longer a man, because he no longer has testicles in the plural? What of ovaries and vagina? Do these make a woman? What about people who have complete sets of genitalia of both sexes? Are they both men and women? What about people who have some (but not all the usual complement) of the one sex and also some of the other? What of people with two penises and three testicles?

    Do surgically constructed genitalia count? What about surgically reconstructed genitalia?

    And does this mean that, every time you meet a clothed person, you mentally categorize them as "sex undetermined", at least until you get an opportunity to examine their genitals?

    That's ultimately what it is; my reproductive role. At the conclusion of my reproductive role then perhaps it means less.

    Oh, so it's about roles, now, is it? I thought it was about genitals. Or is it chromosomes?

    Roles according to whom, anyway?

    I am pedantic. I don't choose to be pedantic. When people claim to actually be things they most certainly are not, it rubs my fur the wrong way. It's like scratching fingernails on a chalkboard.

    So if Debb B were to claim to be a woman, or not to be a man, this would rub your fur the wrong way, because you're certain she's claiming to be something she's not, even though you've never met her, you don't know what genitals she has, and you you can't give a coherent, non-arbitrary definition of what is to be either.

    Debb B has told us – and I see no reason to doubt her – that for her the choice is between being a woman, as best she can, and suicide. Those are the stakes for her. For you, the stakes are that you do, or you don't get your fur rubbed up the wrong way. Now I'm a socially-conscious kind of a guy, but your feels in this matter don't amount to so much as a twitch on my concern-o-meter.

    Here's my take on the issue: I don't know what it is to be a man or a woman, to be male or female. I don't have a coherent definition either. But whatever Debb B says about herself, I'll roll with it. And I honestly don't see any good reason why you, anyone she should meet in the bathroom of her choice, and the Mississippi legislature shouldn't do the same.

  118. Dragoness Eclectic says

    @every libertarian in this thread, as represented by SlimTim here:

    Personally I would support getting rid of all anti-discrimination laws for non-government entities. They do more harm than good.

    If a business owner wants to be a racist, etc customers can take their business elsewhere and inform the public about what occurred.

    When I was young, white, middle-class and stupid, I was that naïve. I'm still white and middle-class, but I'm older and hopefully less stupid, and definitely not that naïve. Libertarianism is, fundamentally, a love of the "tyranny of the majority" by people who assume they'll be among the tyrants, and not their victims.

    People have tried to explain the history that necessitated anti-discrimination laws to you lot, and you airily wave it away with invocations of "nowadays it's bad PR" and "but the internet".

    Newsflash: Donald Trump's popularity and the passage of laws like this one in various states are vivid evidence that it's not 'bad PR' in many circles. It's not history, it's reality still in many places–do you know why gay people pushed so hard for same-sex marriage? Because marriage carries with it a bundle of legal rights and privileges that are either legally/financially exhausting to enact in their entirety between non-married people, or outright ignored by people who don't approve of you (visitation rights by same-sex partners in hospitals being a notorious example–technically, the partner was 'not a relative', so hostile hospital staff could exclude them). Realtors will still quietly not mention houses in 'white' neighborhoods to black clients, and vice versa–I have experienced that myself, as recently as the 1990s. It may be considered gauche to be openly, howlingly racist as a public figure, but people still think that way, and quietly disapprove of "those people" acting like they're just as important as they are.

    If you elevate "freedom of choice" over all other considerations, you're saying you approve of mob rule and all that it implies. Thanks, but no thanks–I prefer a rule of law that protects the minority, the unpopular, and strives for justice for all.

  119. Michael 2 says

    Dragoness Eclectic wrote "Libertarianism is, fundamentally, a love of the tyranny of the majority by people who assume they’ll be among the tyrants, and not their victims."

    No. Libertarianism is simply I choose for me, you choose for you. The concept of "majority" does not exist in libertarianism; it serves no purpose.

    Libertarians recognize that choice is maximized not only for self but for others when social boundaries exist so that my choices do not intrude upon your choices, more than is minimally necessary anyway. Religion is one of several social forces that help establish those boundaries and reduce conflict.

    What you have described is a nearly perfect description of the liberal left; people that consider groups very important and imagine themselves to be in the majority or at least in control of society, smart and wise. If you happen to be a minority then suddenly your focus is on "minority rights". Either way it boils down to "what's in it for me".

    "People have tried to explain the history that necessitated anti-discrimination laws to you lot, and you airily wave it away."

    Well, like you said, it's history. I do not accept guilt on behalf of my ancestors. Your mileage probably varies. I have little or no complaint about non-discrimination per se, my complaint arises when I am compelled to prove non-discrimination. That was in the past relatively easy to prove by simply having an appropriate quota of black. Everyone else was white. Proving non-discrimination with regard to non-visible attributes is nearly impossible. Suppose I fire someone for being an idiot and he suddenly announces he's really a woman and claims I fired him for that. It is costly, and with adequate documentation I might prevail, but that creates a hostile workplace with the employer being the presumed enemy as it is in essentially all leftist nations.

    South Africa is a suitable example. It is nearly impossible to fire someone, the result being that very few job offers are extended." Firing is such a costly headache that many prefer not to hire in the first place." http://www.economist.com/node/4010812

    "Newsflash: Donald Trump’s popularity and the passage of laws like this one in various states are vivid evidence that it’s not ‘bad PR’ in many circles."

    It's theater. On Huffington Post the commenters with the rudest comments earn the highest fan counts. On television the rudest, crudest entertainment becomes most popular. Unfortunately that could produce the rudest, crudest President this nation has ever had and the disease is found in both major parties.

    "do you know why gay people pushed so hard for same-sex marriage? Because marriage carries with it a bundle of legal rights and privileges"

    Yes, of course. It's about money.

    Old school: My wife did a meaningful job for society by bearing and raising our children. It's a lot of hard work and society recognizes that by granting her social security based on my income.

    New school: Adam and Steve live together. Steve doesn't intend to work but plays X-box every day. But society will grant him a pension for doing absolutely nothing to earn it. All he needs is a ticket with "Married" printed on it. Viola! Instant acceptance into insurance and retirement benefits worth hundreds of thousands of dollars and you don't have to do anything for it.

    "If you elevate freedom of choice over all other considerations, you’re saying you approve of mob rule and all that it implies. Thanks, but no thanks–I prefer a rule of law that protects the minority, the unpopular, and strives for justice for all."

    If you do NOT elevate choice (which women have advocated all these years!) over every other thing, then it means something else supersedes your choice and you probably won't like it very much.

    If you are a member of that minority well then of course you will prefer minority rights. If you are a member of the majority, it sucks. But the majority always wins, and it was the majority that created minority rights but only as convenient for the majority.

    The Declaration of Independence is about choice and yes, this nation elevated choice above everything else: "Give me liberty or give me death!" But I shorten it to "Give me liberty."

    Liberty requires law. There's a lot of blooming idiots out there that think liberty is anarchy. But anyone with two I.Q. points to rub together ought to be able to see clearly that liberty is freedom — from what? From your neighbor's violence and trespass, among other things, and how shall you be free from that? Because he also is libertarian and respects your boundaries just as you respect his, and the rule of law establishes those boundaries so everyone knows what they are.

  120. SlimTim says

    @Dragoness Eclectic
    Do you honestly believe that absent government-enforced anti-discrimination laws minority individuals will be unable to purchase the goods and services they require? Do you believe that the housing market is healthy enough that all realtors in a community will be turning away minority buyers?

    As for mob rule, nobody here is suggesting that we remove laws against assault, etc. The libertarian perspective is that a business owner should be able to do business with whoever they choose.

  121. Tim! says

    @SlimTim

    Do you honestly believe that absent government-enforced anti-discrimination laws minority individuals will be unable to purchase the goods and services they require?

    YES. That is why these laws were passed in the first place. Our culture has not changed in the last 60 years as significantly as you seem to believe.

  122. SlimTim says

    @Tim!
    Culture change helps, but is not required. Supply and demand dictates that if there is a demand a supplier will emerge.

    Can you name any goods or services that will likely be unavailable for Mississippi SSM ceremonies now that the bill has passed?

  123. Tim! says

    @SlimTim

    Supply and demand dictates that if there is a demand a supplier will emerge.

    Tell that to a lunch counter in 1960. Tell that to the Jackson Women's Health Organization today.

    Supply and demand assumes Homo Economicus, who does not actually exist in the real world. Economics is a statistical study operating on populations; the role of these laws is to ensure that individuals are not steamrolled into the long tail and out of fair & just treatment.

    I think it is likely that zero goods and services for SSM ceremonies will be available in towns with populations less than 10,000.

    The transgender bathroom issue is far more absurd and more directly the target of my dissent. I can't imagine that these legislators actually expect a trans man to walk into the ladies room sporting a full beard on his face; that would obviously be way more disruptive than a trans man walking into the mens room sporting a vagina under his trousers.

  124. Murder Hobo says

    @Tim!

    YES. That is why these laws were passed in the first place. Our culture has not changed in the last 60 years as significantly as you seem to believe.

    But it's changed significantly enough. When civil rights legislation was passed, there were towns where literally 100% of the businesses in certain sectors valued their racism more than the profit they would make selling to blacks. Personally, I would have preferred a solution along the lines of "victor in a war the loser started gets to annex massive amounts of the loser's land" but I can see why massive business regulation seemed like a preferable solution at the time.

    While racism still exists, it's not as socially acceptable. Moreover, the composition of the nation has changed. The post-Civil War Confederacy was a large, comparatively homogeneous group of whites, and a bunch of recently freed blacks with minimal skills and assets. In contrast, while disparities remain between blacks and white on aggregate, there's far more variation within the group–there are substantial numbers of black professionals and black-owned assets now. Plus, there are numerous ethnic groups beyond black and white. Combine that with comparative ease of travel, and it becomes far less likely that any group will be able to control an entire market in order to deny goods and services to a target group.

    Our current circumstances will tolerate discrimination in the market, probably more discrimination that most of us are comfortable with. But it probably won't bear the extreme situation where racist whites could easily collude to literally starve blacks out of an area. Absent the extreme dangers of the 60's, I don't think we should keep the extreme measures first passed around then.

  125. andrews says

    Hint: the free market is dependent on the rule of law,

    No, the free market is essentially the absence of law. The rule of law, or to use the more modern term, oppressive regulation, is the opposite of a free market.

    A free market allows a vendor to short weights on goods. Oppressive regulation checks the scales periodically. A free market allows bleaching and sale of tainted meat. Oppressive regulation may even discourage contact with feces.

    A free market allows the power plant to dump its coal ash and nuclear waste on the street, its sulphur and mercury in the air where other people must breathe them. Oppressive regulation tries to contain these externalities.

  126. Michael 2 says

    andrews writes "No, the free market is essentially the absence of law."

    No. The absence of laws is called anarchy.

    Free market is where buyers and sellers are free to negotiate the price. Free markets can exist with or without regulation but some regulation improves the free market.

    Anarchy tends to dissolve the market since buyers cannot trust the quality or quantity of their purchases, and sellers cannot trust the quantity or quality of money or barter offered.

    So long as y'all have your very own definitions for things "anything can be anything". What I note is a strong and reliable tendency for leftwingers to say good (liberty) is bad.

  127. Tim! says

    @Michael 2:

    Liberty is great. Preferring the liberty of a business owner at the expense of the liberty of a consumer is bad. By compelling the providers of a a public accommodation to serve the entire public, government can address the power imbalance that arises since the average business owner has access to more information, more money, and more resources than the average consumer.

    Free market theories assume perfect access to information by all parties. Such does not exist in the real world.

    @Murder Hobo: How much discrimination is acceptable? It sounds to me like your relative security has blinded you to real events happening today. "Far less likely" is not sufficient.

  128. Michael 2 says

    Tim! wrote "Free market theories assume perfect access to information by all parties. Such does not exist in the real world."

    Neither does a free market. It is theoretical in nature. It is also on a continuum from government setting production quotas and prices to buyers and sellers agreeing on a price for each individual sale (an ordeal I would rather not face).

    "Liberty is great. Preferring the liberty of a business owner at the expense of the liberty of a consumer is bad. By compelling the providers of a a public accommodation to serve the entire public, government can address the power imbalance that arises since the average business owner has access to more information, more money, and more resources than the average consumer."

    Your comment illustrates why a free market cannot exist except trivially such as at a swap meet: Lack of equality in the negotiation.

    Your approach suggests treating business as the enemy in a power struggle. Obviously the Occupy Wall Street teenagers saw it that way, while comically still using iPads and iPhones.

    I enjoy discussing these things but establishing the meaning of words is an ordeal. A free market does not exist and probably cannot in any modern nation; unfree markets of the Soviet style certainly exist but are extremely inefficient. So it is a struggle trading a bit of liberty for a bit of security. When I buy an automobile, I know there's a "lemon law" at my disposal. When I rent an apartment I know that tenant-landlord laws exist primarily intended to protect the tenant, but some of those laws protect the landlord or apartments would not exist.

    In my opinion therefore the correct role of government is to level the negotiating field with that leveling as the goal rather than empowering consumers at the expense of business, because when that is the approach, there's less business.

  129. SlimTim says

    @Tim!

    I think it is likely that zero goods and services for SSM ceremonies will be available in towns with populations less than 10,000.

    I decided to test this via looking for a DJ that is willing to perform at a SSM in the first-in-alphabetical-order city in Mississippi with a population of less than 10,000. The city turned out to be Abbeville with a population of 419 as of the 2010 census.

    A WeDJ Search for Abbeville, MS reveals the company "The Music Biz" whose profile specifically says that they will do LGBT events.

  130. SlimTim says

    @Tim!
    More like a concrete example of the free market in action. This example provides some evidence that minority individuals will still be able to purchase goods and services without anti-discrimination laws.

    Do you have any evidence/examples for your assertion that goods are services will be unavailable for some SSM ceremonies under the new Mississippi law? With the current backlash against the law, I imagine if it does occur it will make the news.

  131. says

    This was fun:
    – Tim! claims that no one will provide SSM services in small-town Mississippi without government-mandated punishments for dissenters.
    – SlimTim provides easily-available proof that the free market is already providing these services — and at a far lower population threshold than Tim! specified, to boot.
    – Tim! gives a snarky, irrelevant response and retreats from the thread to lick his wounds.

    It's a perfect summary of the leftist arguments on this issue.

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