Timothy Sandefur, author of Frederick Douglass: Self-Made Man, discusses Douglass’s life, political philosophy, and influence in his day and up to the present. This is the Self in Society Podcast #19. This episode also is available via iTunes.
According to a report from the Heritage Foundation, on August 8 the New York State Division of Human Rights “fined Cynthia and Robert Gifford $13,000 for acting on their belief that marriage is the union of a man and woman and thus declining to rent out their family farm for a same-sex wedding celebration.” What about the human rights of property ownership and freedom of association? Those are to be trampled in the name of pretend “rights” to force others to provide you with goods and services.
Is it immoral to refuse service to a couple because they’re gay? Yes. Should it be illegal to do so? No. The fact that so few people today can see the difference between morality and law is an indicator of how far our nation has fallen from the Founding principle of individual rights.
According to the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies, Denver Wrangler, a gay bar, illegally “discriminated against a man when a bouncer denied him entry last year because he was dressed in drag,” the Associated Press reports. “[R]egulators determined the bar illegally discriminates against effeminate men because its dress code bars high heels, wigs, ‘appearance-altering makeup’ and strong perfume,” the AP reports.
Although it seems odd to me that a gay bar would deny entry to men dressed in drag, and although that may be cause for some people to complain or even boycott the bar, certainly the bar’s owners have a moral right to determine dress and behavior codes within their own establishment, and government has no legitimate business intervening. For more on this idea, see my article for the Objective Standard, “On the Right Not to Bake a Cake.”