Hypocrites invoking libertarian arguments are still hypocrites
The “victimized” Christian bigots are of course not making a thorough, comprehensive (i.e., truly libertarian) demand for full entrepreneurial freedom of contract — and its reciprocal “right to refuse service to anyone.” All they want to do is discriminate against gays. Not “anyone and everyone.” Just gays.
Which is precisely why they should not be allowed to do so. As I have blogged previously: Whether or not you approve of bans on private discrimination is not the point — we are not debating the creation of Libertopia.
The point is instead whether, given that we already have such laws, are we going to craft and apply those laws consistently, logically and equitably — or are we going to short-circuit the entire raison d’être of such laws by allowing the majoritarian mob to fashion carve-outs for the very same insular minorities who are most in need of such laws?
If the religious bigots really want to invoke libertarian arguments to legitimize their bigotry, then they better be prepared to be judged by real libertarians about the entire spectrum of libertarian issues — including separation of church and state.
Think they’ll go for it?
This reminds me of a little story…
It was religious organizations that pushed for the passage of the Equal Access Act so religious organizations could access public school facilities (generally high schools) under the framework of a “limited public forum”. As I also am not advocating for the creation of Libertopia, I see nothing wrong with this arrangement nor do I find it offensive to the First Amendment. It is an “all or nothing” proposition in the sense that they are not obligated to provide facilities, but if they do, it must provide them to all groups and not engage in viewpoint discrimination. To the extent the arrangement exists, it is applied consistently, logically and equitably.
To no one’s surprise, there have been outcries from certain groups, mostly of the religious and conservative variety, raising objections about gay high school students suing the Equal Access Act in order to establish a Gay-Straight Alliance in a local school district (i.e. Okeechobee, FL). Now, people have a right to their own viewpoints, but are we to believe that the parents and school administrators seeking (unsuccessfully) to keep these groups out of their schools are doing so in the spirit of a logical, consistent and equitable application of the Equal Access Act?
I think we know the answer to this one.