Discrimination? Free Market or Government Regulations?

Share Your Opinion Tennessee!

Discrimination?  Yes or No?  

Let the Free Market Rule or Let the Government Regulate?

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The Bill that Caused the Question:

Bill_MC900339256HB 2467 by *Dunn (SB 2566 by *Bell, Summerville, Bowling)

Religion and Religious Organizations – As introduced, permits persons and religious or denominational organizations, based on sincere religious belief, to refuse to provide services or goods in furtherance of a civil union, domestic partnership, or marriage not recognized by the Tennessee . – Amends TCA Title 4 and Title 36.

Fiscal Summary

NOT SIGNIFICANT

Bill Summary

This bill specifies that no person or religious or denominational organization will be required to perform any of the following actions related to, or related to the celebration of, any civil union, domestic partnership, or marriage not recognized by this state, if doing so would violate the sincerely held religious beliefs of the person or religious or denominational organization regarding sex or gender:

(A) Provide any services, accommodations, advantages, facilities, goods, or privileges;
(B) Provide counseling, adoption, foster care, or other social services;
(C) Provide employment or employment benefits; or
(D) Solemnize a civil union, domestic partnership, or marriage not recognized by this state.

If a person is employed by another person and the employer requires performance of an action under (A)-(D) as a condition of employment, then the above provision will not apply to the employee.

A refusal under the above provisions by a person or a religious or denominational organization will not give rise to:

(1) A civil claim or cause of action under state or local law challenging the refusal; or
(2) An action by the state or a local government to penalize, withhold benefits from, or discriminate against any person or religious or denominational organization.

Under this bill, if this state, any local government, or any person asserts a claim or cause of action or takes adverse action against a person or a religious or denominational organization in violation of this bill, the person or religious or denominational organization will be entitled to recover all reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs.


How the Conversation Started:

Screen Shot 2014-03-01 at 1.19.21 PMThis bill sparked a lot of attention in Shelby County, which includes original drafter, Senator Brian Kelsey’s District 31 and the story was covered by numerous local media outlets, including:

That’s not to say that the bill and subsequent outrage didn’t get it’s fair share of state and national coverage as well, with mentions from:

A Facebook Page was created, press reached Europe with an article in Bazaar Daily, and even Perez Hilton chimed in.

Screen Shot 2014-03-01 at 12.44.25 PMHowever, the most press circled around the story of how Memphis Restaurateur and Chef, Kelly English of Restaurant Iris and his The Second Line took to social media to voice his opinion and place money where his mouth was.  In a Facebook Status, he offered to host a fundraiser at his incredibly successful restaurants (over a 2 hour wait for dinner each night if you don’t have a reservation) for any person willing to become a candidate and run against Brian Kelsey in District 31.  The Memphis Flyer’s Bianca Phillips was the first to break the story to those who didn’t witness the “event” live.  You can read her article here.  Tim Sampson, also of the Memphis Flyer, picked up the story a couple of days later in The Rant.

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You can read the ABC News article to hear more from Chef Kelly English and why he took to Facebook to voice his outrage.


Robin Spielberger, founder of tn liberty begins the discussion:

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Robin Spielberger, founder of tn liberty, posted the following quick thought on her Facebook Wall in response to the outrage over Brian Kelsey (who has since removed his name from the bill) and the so-called “Turn the Gays Away” Bill ( the Religious Freedom Act )that hit the Tennessee General Assembly in early February 2014.

The Free Market, People!  The Free Market!

by: Robin SpielbergerFounder of tn liberty & Facebook’s Tennessee and Mississippi Leadership 

 

Well…here’s my thing. It’s obviously morally wrong to want to turn someone away because they are gay or black or purple.  However, in a country with a supposedly free market and a Bill of Screen Shot 2014-03-01 at 1.07.11 PMRights, which includes private property rights, it is up to the owner of said business who he wants to sell his goods and services to.

Any new regulations would just violate the Constitution and the Bill of Rights more than the existing regulations already do. The free market allows people to be as ignorant and bigoted as they want to be – it also allows for the rest of us to not purchase said bigot’s goods or services!  The free market will always work things out if you just leave it alone.

This Tennessee State bill, introduced by Senator Brian Kelsey (who I am not a fan of, in case anyone is wondering), is actually concurrent with the law of the US (the Constitution and the Bill of Rights ), making it redundant if we actually followed the law of the land.

Business owners should have (and do have, based on the Constitution and the Bill of Rights ) the right to do as they please – after all, it is their – they own it.  I don’t want the government telling me what I can or cannot do with my OWN business.

That being said, if I chose to be ignorant or just a jerk and discriminate against groups of people, then word will spread (especially with today’s vast social media presence).  People would then stop frequenting my business and that would cause me to either close my doors or to rethink my business plan.  This applies in all discriminatory situations.

If you think about it, the same applies for the business owner.  In businesses where the owner is gay or black or purple – they can choose to not sell their goods or services to straight people, white people, or green people.  The Constitution and the Bill of Rights protect ALL people equally.  Any regulations placed on the citizens of this country actually CAUSE discrimination.

Screen Shot 2014-03-01 at 1.04.56 PMIf the lawmakers in this country didn’t fancy themselves smarter than the Founders and had just left the Constitution and the Bill of Rights as the number 1 law of the land, they wouldn’t feel the need to impose all these regulations upon the American.  There would be no need for regulations.  Bills like this one wouldn’t have to be written at all and stores with discriminatory policies would simply cease to exist!

The free market people. The FREE MARKET!


Zach Dean from The Liberty Review Weighs in:

Screen Shot 2014-02-21 at 1.40.38 PMZach is the former VP of Students for Liberty at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville.

He is now working as the Executive Assistant at the Tennessee General Assembly.  Being active with Student Liberty in Tennessee, does pay off!

Discrimination? Let the Free Market Decide

by: Zach Dean at The Liberty Review

 

A large number of people are outraged at the recent laws proposed in multiple states that would allow business owners to deny service to anyone that they had a deeply religious difference with. This, of course, means homosexual couples or individuals could be denied service by a business owner on the basis of religious belief.

This raises a crucial question – especially when it comes to individual liberty:

Should business owners be allowed to discriminate? 

I say absolutely. Hear me out…

Screen Shot 2014-03-01 at 1.03.49 PMSay you live in a community that is comprised of small businesses. Individuals in the community know these business owners well and do business with them daily. One day, a local shop puts up a sign that reads “We refuse service to ______” (Insert any class or trait here – homo/heterosexual, African American, Caucasian, Hispanic, Asian, children etc).

In 2014, this level of open discrimination would not be a good business practice. I’m willing to bet that people in that community take notice of this, and decide they would rather not support that business. In the age of the internet and social media, word of an openly discriminatory business would spread like wildfire. The business will begin to lose customers, which means loss of revenue, and eventually dwindle down to going out of business. OR the owner may change the discriminatory policy all together.

Either way, there is a key component at work – change is made through an individuals actions, not government action.

The beauty of economic and personal liberty is that individuals can shape society through the power of voluntary cooperation and decision making, such as refusing to do business with a racist or bigoted business.  It makes little sense to me as to why individuals being discriminated against would want the government to FORCE that business to take their money.

In a free market of businesses, if one establishment goes under due to discriminatory policies, another will have their doors open and willing to serve people of any class or race. In other words, where there is demand, there is supply.

A friend of mine made the statement that there should be no federal requirement to be moral, and I wholeheartedly agree. I don’t think it is OK to discriminate against others, but I also understand and accept that laws cannot force people to be moral, and that a free market empowered by individual liberty is a much better tool to clear communities of discrimination and hate.

I want to leave you with a fantastic video that lays out the liberty based argument for handling discrimination…

For more, you should check out Julie Borowski’s YouTube channel and subscribe, or follow her on Facebook!

Please support the liberty-minded in Tennessee – follow Zach Dean at The Liberty Review


It’s now your turn to let us know how you feel!

Share your opinion by hitting reply below.

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The Liberty Review

A large number of people are outraged at the recent laws proposed in multiple states that would allow business owners to deny service to anyone that they had a deeply religious difference with. This, of course, means homosexual couples or individuals could be denied service by a business owner on the basis of religious belief.

This raises a crucial question – especially when it comes to individual liberty:

Should private business owners be allowed to discriminate? 

I say absolutely. Hear me out…

Say you live in a community that is comprised of small businesses. Individuals in the community know these business owners well and do business with them daily. One day, a local shop puts up a sign that reads “We refuse service to ______” (Insert any class or trait here – homo/heterosexual, African American, Caucasian, Hispanic, Asian, children etc).

In 2014, this level of open discrimination would not be…

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