BY JESSICA JASPERSON
Unfortunately, I think Isaiah Nielson zoomed in on a small part of my article,
“Americans forgo equality for ‘religious rights,” to the point where he lost focus of what my article states.
Yes, individuals and businesses should not have the right to refuse services to customers who are gay. To back up my
assertion, I’ll repeat one of the questions posed in the article. How does one know if someone is gay without discriminating from looks or speech?
I’ll answer the question directly this time: A person does not know if someone is gay unless he or she hears it from that person’s mouth. Therefore, anti-gay segregation bills are built on pure assumption rather than facts.
Let’s imagine every individual and business owner in America has the right to refuse service to people who are gay, black, white, bisexual, Hispanic, disabled, have curly hair, have freckles, have green eyes, own a scooter or play soccer without fear of a lawsuit.
Where do we draw a line between the ‘right to refuse service’ and the right to spread hatred and discrimination?
There was a reason for the civil rights movement. There was a reason why Americans did not want segregated
restaurants, movie theaters, schools and water fountains. This type of thinking only grows hatred for people who are not like the individual or business refusing service.
I find it hard to believe a person welcomes discrimination with open arms if that person has been discriminated against before. Tell me you have been refused service before because of the way you looked or because of something you couldn’t change about yourself; then tell me you welcome discrimination against you.
To be refused service based on the color of one’s skin or the person one loves is not acceptable in our society, no matter what the definition of freedom is.
I do respect the freedom of those who have entirely opposite agendas than I do. However, I will not accept their opposite agendas, because once you start accepting something that is wrong, that’s when you stop fighting for others’ rights.
Yes, if I found out an individual or business now refuses service to gay people, I would not support their business. However, this does not make what they’re doing right. An anti-gay segregation law tells gay people that they are different, wrong, weird, the minority and further cast them away from society.
Creating an anti-gay segregation law only points out to the child sitting in an elementary school, in a middle school, in a high school, ‘Hey, you’re different. If you tell people you’re gay you may not be able to eat at certain places, shop at certain places, build relationships at certain places or work at certain places, so it would be best to not tell anyone ever.’
Nielson states, “Whether or not you or I agree on anything, we can at least agree that we have the right to live this life how we choose, without somebody forcing us to live within the mold of their ideal society.” Here is where he has it wrong.
Gay people do not choose to be gay just as much as people do not choose the color of their skin. Supporting or remaining neutral for anti-gay segregation bills and any other segregation bill forces those who cannot choose, ‘to live within the mold of their ideal society’ to live outside of our current society.
Tell me now what freedom and equality really mean, because it does not mean segregation, bigotry, assumption, homophobia or racism.