Discrimination by private businesses
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29-06-2015, 10:16 AM
Discrimination by private businesses
I'm still not sure exactly where I stand on requiring private businesses to not be allowed to discriminate so I'm interested in hearing points of view on it.

My main question is businesses that provide a more personal service like photographers, singers, voice artists, actors, etc. These people would be much more personally involved in the event than your average service provider. Should a voice artist be able to refuse to record an ad for a political candidate he/she does not support? Is that different than a singer refusing to perform at a gay wedding?

I lean towards the idea that if they are offering a service for a fee then the answer is easy - it is a business transaction and they should take the job under the same conditions they would any other job. On the other hand, I sympathize with somebody not wanting their name, face, and/or voice associated with something that they do not support. There's a difference between this sort of service and a bakery or a print shop that muddies the water for me.

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29-06-2015, 10:20 AM (This post was last modified: 29-06-2015 10:32 AM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: Discrimination by private businesses
(29-06-2015 10:16 AM)unfogged Wrote:  I'm still not sure exactly where I stand on requiring private businesses to not be allowed to discriminate so I'm interested in hearing points of view on it.

My main question is businesses that provide a more personal service like photographers, singers, voice artists, actors, etc. These people would be much more personally involved in the event than your average service provider. Should a voice artist be able to refuse to record an ad for a political candidate he/she does not support? Is that different than a singer refusing to perform at a gay wedding?

I lean towards the idea that if they are offering a service for a fee then the answer is easy - it is a business transaction and they should take the job under the same conditions they would any other job. On the other hand, I sympathize with somebody not wanting their name, face, and/or voice associated with something that they do not support. There's a difference between this sort of service and a bakery or a print shop that muddies the water for me.

I get that it makes people mad. I could care less. I would rather patronize a business that is non-discriminatory, so if one would refuse to make (for example) a wedding cake, I'd just say "Thanks for letting me know you're a bigot, I'll take my business to someone who isn't" and hang up. People who, (on the other hand) are in public business and accept public money such as Medicare funds, ... that's an entirely different matter.

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29-06-2015, 10:28 AM
RE: Discrimination by private businesses
I think such person should be able to refuse as I can't imagine being forced to help politician whose view I abhor. Also I don't see diference between this and singer refusing to perform on same sex wedding - I might think such person bigoted and stupid but I have no right to force said person to performing.

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29-06-2015, 11:14 AM
RE: Discrimination by private businesses
We have to objectively define discrimination first, and then we have to create a method that can objectively prove when someone is doing something on the basis of discrimination. Both these things are impossible.

However there are things to look out for:

Cases in which the only objective difference is not in the service, but in the customer.

The only reason to refuse someone in this case owes its cause to discrimination.

Cases in which the service provider would have to leave their business establishment in order to fulfill the proposed service.
In this scenario the service provider has (should have, anyway) a right to say no, without it being called discrimination.
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29-06-2015, 11:32 AM
RE: Discrimination by private businesses
(29-06-2015 10:16 AM)unfogged Wrote:  I'm still not sure exactly where I stand on requiring private businesses to not be allowed to discriminate so I'm interested in hearing points of view on it.

My main question is businesses that provide a more personal service like photographers, singers, voice artists, actors, etc. These people would be much more personally involved in the event than your average service provider. Should a voice artist be able to refuse to record an ad for a political candidate he/she does not support? Is that different than a singer refusing to perform at a gay wedding?

I lean towards the idea that if they are offering a service for a fee then the answer is easy - it is a business transaction and they should take the job under the same conditions they would any other job. On the other hand, I sympathize with somebody not wanting their name, face, and/or voice associated with something that they do not support. There's a difference between this sort of service and a bakery or a print shop that muddies the water for me.

It seems to me that if you have a 'store front' type of business your only limits should be "No Shirt, No Shoes, No Service". If you are putting yourself out there in the public realm offering a service or product then you don't really have the right to start sorting out who you will and will not deal with. Of course then you get to the signs that used to be all over that said "We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone." You don't see those much any more. I don't expect a business to tolerate someone who is disruptive. They do have some rights within their four walls to protect themselves and other customers.

As for the services you mention, I do think there is a bit of a difference. A band doesn't have to accept requests to play at an event, a photographer doesn't have to schlep out to some outside location, and I really don't think they need give a reason - a simple, I am sorry I won't be able to accommodate your request is sufficient. Hell, they can say there is a scheduling conflict if they want to.

Like Bucky, I would happily take my business elsewhere if someone who provides a service isn't interested in my business. I would rather deal with someone who is happy with the transaction as I think they would do a better job.

My dad was a large animal veterinarian, he traveled from farm to work working mostly out of his truck. There were people he stopped taking calls from for various reasons...often because they didn't like to pay their bill but sometimes just because the person was someone he couldn't get along with. It's not like they didn't have other vets around as options. He wasn't denying a service to anyone - he wasn't the only game in town.

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30-06-2015, 11:29 AM
RE: Discrimination by private businesses
Thanks for the opinions, they've given me more to think about. I do agree that taking your business elsewhere is the best method of ending discriminatory practices whenever that is possible.

I'm still not comfortable that I understand why I consider some things morally acceptable and others not. The level of personal involvement involved is something I'm having a hard time pinning down.

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30-06-2015, 04:11 PM
RE: Discrimination by private businesses
(29-06-2015 11:32 AM)Anjele Wrote:  I really don't think they need give a reason - a simple, I am sorry I won't be able to accommodate your request is sufficient.

Aye, there's the rub. For some strange reason they feel compelled to give you a reason. A simple "No" does not discriminate. Say no more.

#sigh
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30-06-2015, 04:14 PM
RE: Discrimination by private businesses
(30-06-2015 04:11 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  
(29-06-2015 11:32 AM)Anjele Wrote:  I really don't think they need give a reason - a simple, I am sorry I won't be able to accommodate your request is sufficient.

Aye, there's the rub. For some strange reason they feel compelled to give you a reason. A simple "No" does not discriminate. Say no more.

For a one-off case, that is true. Over time the pattern of who gets rejected can reveal underlying discrimination.

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30-06-2015, 04:22 PM
RE: Discrimination by private businesses
(30-06-2015 04:14 PM)unfogged Wrote:  
(30-06-2015 04:11 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  Aye, there's the rub. For some strange reason they feel compelled to give you a reason. A simple "No" does not discriminate. Say no more.

For a one-off case, that is true. Over time the pattern of who gets rejected can reveal underlying discrimination.

I'm no lawyer but I don't think that's enough to prevail in a lawsuit. It may suggest discrimination but I don't think it necessarily reveals intent. On the other hand, if a major corporation lays off people they better be damn sure to run the numbers because in that case I think the pattern is enough to prevail.

#sigh
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30-06-2015, 05:16 PM
RE: Discrimination by private businesses
Most of the time a business won't know who's in a same-sex marriage and who isn't. Like if you have a restaurant, is the manager going to be looking out for anyone who looks like they might be gayly married? Do you ask for their marriage license to make sure and then kick them out of the establishment?

One of the few places that will know is a wedding bakery. Most other places will be clueless.

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He is deformed, crooked, old, and sere,
Ill-fac’d, worse bodied, shapeless every where;
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