There's been a wave of so-called 'Religious Liberty Laws' sweeping the United States; their stated purpose is to protect private business owners from facing litigation should they refuse service on the grounds of religious belief.

 

Many are against these laws, some call for boycotts of entire states because they don’t agree with the premiss, but the real problem with these laws is that they’re too restrictive. The laws themselves should be opened to include all business owners from litigation should they refuse service for any reason.

 

Yes, this advocates for discrimination. The old adage, 'No shirt, no shoes, no service' is discriminatory against those who may not have a shirt or shoes, but it was accepted that this was a standard a business owner was allowed to set & enforce.

 

Common sense tells us that we should be able to choose who we associate with. It doesn't matter how we choose, it is up to us. However that basic knowledge has been challenged recently as certain groups of people face the reality that not all choose to accept their lifestyles.

 

Instead of moving their money to another vendor it has become common for people to bring charges against private businesses for refusing service. Court rulings differ, but in some cases business owners have been forced to go against their personal beliefs and cater to someone who they do not wish to affiliate themselves with.

 

This is clearly wrong & seems regulated to only a select group, yet the Religious Liberty Laws have missed the mark. Lawmakers should revise these rules, open them to include all forms of discrimination, and leave the challenge of dealing with the choices of private business owners to the free market.

 

It may be that someone really dislikes the color pink & refuses to allow anyone wearing it into their shop. A Muslim business owner may not want to serve Jews or vice versa. A recent trend has seen restaurants refusing service to people with children in tow.

 

The point is that it should be up to the owner’s discretion to choose who they will & will not serve. The reasoning may be the end of their business or a boon, but they should have the ability to make those decisions without fear of litigation looming in the distance.

 

Discrimination is part of life, all of humanity engages in it when deciding who to be friendly with, who to invite out, who to trust their children with, and this same natural law should be extended to business owners.

 

There is no right to be catered to, but freedom of association is written into our code.

Published by Orietta Rose