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April 12, 2015



         It appears to be against our many laws to refuse to provide your business's services to certain classes of people irrespective of your reason. Your religious beliefs are no protection. I'm unaware of a case where a person declines the business to an LGBT type because of personal dislike. Were a woman florist to decline providing flowers for her former husband's wedding, could she be hauled into court by some preening prosecutor or politically ambitious state attorney general? Probably not as straight men are not a protected class.


          But, if the woman was white and her ex black, would that change things? Blacks, after all, are protected by the government as they are legally deemed unable to fend for themselves and find another florist.


         Another case showed up in New York where two lesbians, making out in the back seat of his cab, were told by their Muslim taxi driver to stop that behavior. He was eventually fined $15,000 as the judge deemed his taxi to be a public accommodation. I wonder what the result would be if a hetero couple were similarly engaged in the lobby of a public accommodation such as the lobby of the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel or the lobby of The New York Times? While the facts seem more than similar, I think the result would be different.


         As a lawyer and a Catholic, does my Church's teachings provide me legal protection from declining to represent Catholics seeking a divorce lawyer? It seems similar to the case concerning the distribution of condoms but who knows? There is a myriad of knotty hypotheticals out there but those we hear about are limited to a handful of types. Most people just don't care one way or the other. Common sense tells you that forcing a florist, pizza business or lawyer to serve you is not for redressing any wrong. It's to bend those people to the will of the minority. After all, in this country, there is always another florist, pizza shop or lawyer around the corner. It's only the government that has a monopoly.

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jim sweeney

Jim Sweeney




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