This is a serious question. I’m not trying to denigrate anybody or making fun of people.
I’ve had several discussions on this forum with people from the US where freedom of speech and other similar rights granted by the US constitution were at the centre of sometimes heated discussions. And, just for the record, I don’t hate the US (not even jokingly, spatterson ;-))
I have realized that most US Americans I have met so far have a different understanding of what people should be “free to do and/or to say”.
This morning I read an article in an Austrian paper which seemed so unbelievable that I thought it was a joke. So I googled the headline and, unfortunately, it seems to be true.
You can replace the word “gay” here with women, divorced people, Jews, Christians, Muslims, whatever.
I don’t intend to discuss homosexuality per se here.
I just wonder what makes people think that it is their constitutional right to refuse service to others based on their colour of skin, origin, etc. (as I said, just replace the word “gay” with any of the afore-mentioned words, because the line of argumentation brought forward by the supporters of that bill could easily be applied to any other group of people).
I don’t know the US constitution but could such a law really be constitutional?
Based on this article I wonder if it would be legal for business owners in the US to deny service to immigrants, women etc.
I thought there were anti-discrimination laws in the US but obviously I am wrong.
If a school is run as a private school, thus basically operating as a private business, would it be possible in the US for a school to say that it does not allow any Jews or Muslims?
People might say, if a business does not want your money, just go somewhere else, where is the problem?
I understand that you can’t make people like or even accept others, but I wonder to what extent a society should legally support discrimination. Besides, you might actually end up trying to buy medication from someone who refuses to sell it to you and I’m not sure if drug stores/pharmacies abound in rural areas in Arizona.
It’s different from just being denied a slice of pizza (the attitude is the same but the outcome is a different one).
I know for certain that a similarly discriminatory law “based on religious beliefs” would never hold up in Austria, but I wonder if there are other countries, except for the US, where such a law would actually stand a chance of being passed.
If we allow such things in our societies, the question is how different we are from countries that deny women the right to drive a car based on religious dogmas.
Are we observing an increasing divide in our societies, is this a bigger trend or just the occasional attempt of some radical splinter group to turn back the wheel of time?