Michigan Auto Shop Owner Denies Service to Openly Gay Customers, Provides Discount to Gun Owners

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Michigan Auto Shop Owner Denies Service to Openly Gay Customers, Provides Discount to Gun Owners

Postby RoosterOnAStick » Tue Apr 21, 2015 9:21 am

As a follow up to the previous thread, this is apparently happening in other states already regarding non-wedding related businesses. I was afraid that this is what would happen as a result of vague laws (if they even exist) and poorly defined concepts such as "substantial burden". Not only is a service that has nothing to do with gay marriage at all being denied to gay people but blatant favoritism is being given to gun owners?

My take on this is quite frankly, this is just flat out wrong, constitutes discrimination, and should not be allowed. Fixing a car has nothing to do with gay marriage at all as there is no way that providing auto services supports gay marriage in any way. I see no way how this man can use his religious beliefs as a defense in this case cause it has nothing to do with the matter at all.

Here are a few links to the story:

http://www.mediaite.com/tv/michigan-aut ... un-owners/

http://nation.foxnews.com/2015/04/17/mi ... gun-owners

http://www.cnn.com/2015/04/17/us/michig ... ay-people/
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Re: Michigan Auto Shop Owner Denies Service to Openly Gay Customers, Provides Discount to Gun Owners

Postby ccgr » Tue Apr 21, 2015 9:55 am

I can understand objecting to certain things for religious reasons, a Jewish deli not working with pork etc but this is just plain wrong. While it is the business owner's right to run his business as he chooses, this could very well put him out of business and I won't feel sorry for him when it happens.

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Re: Michigan Auto Shop Owner Denies Service to Openly Gay Customers, Provides Discount to Gun Owners

Postby ArcticFox » Tue Apr 21, 2015 1:27 pm

Not only is a service that has nothing to do with gay marriage at all being denied to gay people but blatant favoritism is being given to gun owners?
Well, I agree that it's unethical to refuse service to someone just for being gay, but I don't understand why it's a bad thing if he wants to offer a discount to gun owners.
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Re: Michigan Auto Shop Owner Denies Service to Openly Gay Customers, Provides Discount to Gun Owners

Postby Sstavix » Tue Apr 21, 2015 2:25 pm

While it may be ethically and morally wrong, I would argue (unsurprisingly) that it is still within his legal and Constitutional right to do so. His business, his rules. If you don't like it, don't shop there. If enough of the community took that stance, he might change his own policies....

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Re: Michigan Auto Shop Owner Denies Service to Openly Gay Customers, Provides Discount to Gun Owners

Postby RoosterOnAStick » Tue Apr 21, 2015 2:27 pm


but I don't understand why it's a bad thing if he wants to offer a discount to gun owners.
Well in itself it's not worth making a fuss about. It only becomes a problem when taken in the context of the whole situation.

It's the fact that the owner is the denying service to one demographic while granting perks to a different demographic which makes it favoritism. It would be the same issue if he gave the same perks to gun control advocates instead.
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Re: Michigan Auto Shop Owner Denies Service to Openly Gay Customers, Provides Discount to Gun Owners

Postby ArcticFox » Tue Apr 21, 2015 2:37 pm

To me that's two utterly unrelated matters. It seems more like people are trying to escalate the criticism of the refusal to serve gays by stacking the gun owner discount on top of it.
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Re: Michigan Auto Shop Owner Denies Service to Openly Gay Customers, Provides Discount to Gun Owners

Postby RoosterOnAStick » Tue Apr 21, 2015 2:49 pm

To me that's two utterly unrelated matters. It seems more like people are trying to escalate the criticism of the refusal to serve gays by stacking the gun owner discount on top of it.
It's possible, maybe to say he likes to serve conservative gun owners since he considers them "on his side". Probably sensationalist hype I would imagine.

it is still within his legal and Constitutional right to do so. His business, his rules.
Naturally, my response to this of course is that in this case it isn't. There are rules, both moral and legal, which exist independently of his business that govern what he can and cannot do with it. Blatant discrimination of this sort is not a right in any meaningful sense and this kind of behavior does violate rights and liberties of others. My understanding of American-style Libertarianism was that people had the right to do what they want as long as they don't interfere with another's rights and liberties. Am I correct in this?

So unfortunately for him, his business has to play by the rules just like everyone else. There is nothing in his line of work that would merit an exemption from this.

If enough of the community took that stance, he might change his own policies....
I hope he does, though he doesn't seem to be budging despite the protests of the local community.
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Re: Michigan Auto Shop Owner Denies Service to Openly Gay Customers, Provides Discount to Gun Owners

Postby ArcticFox » Tue Apr 21, 2015 3:22 pm

My understanding of American-style Libertarianism was that people had the right to do what they want as long as they don't interfere with another's rights and liberties. Am I correct in this?
Yes, but don't fall into the trap of thinking that anyone has a "right" to patronize a particular business if the owner doesn't want them. Private property is private property. Business owners have rights too.
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Re: Michigan Auto Shop Owner Denies Service to Openly Gay Customers, Provides Discount to Gun Owners

Postby Sstavix » Tue Apr 21, 2015 3:35 pm


it is still within his legal and Constitutional right to do so. His business, his rules.
Naturally, my response to this of course is that in this case it isn't. There are rules, both moral and legal, which exist independently of his business that govern what he can and cannot do with it. Blatant discrimination of this sort is not a right in any meaningful sense and this kind of behavior does violate rights and liberties of others.
Actually, the United States has a Constitutional right of "free association" that has been upheld by the Supreme Court in the past (I can look up examples later, if you'd like). What this means is that individuals do have a legal, Constitutionally-protected right to discriminate against anyone for whatever reason they choose.

Now, we could debate whether or not this is morally correct (and you'll probably find that I tend to agree with you in that discrimination of this sort is morally wrong), but from a legal standpoint, the auto shop owner is within his rights to do this.
My understanding of American-style Libertarianism was that people had the right to do what they want as long as they don't interfere with another's rights and liberties.
Correct. So where is this violated here? There is nothing that this man is doing to prevent gay people from visiting other auto shops. In fact, I'd like to see a competing auto shop set up a sign saying "gay people welcome here" - or even go as far as giving same-sex couples a discount - and let the free market ultimately determine who the winner is in this battle.
So unfortunately for him, his business has to play by the rules just like everyone else. There is nothing in his line of work that would merit an exemption from this.
Except, of course, his Constitutional, God-given right to discriminate how he wishes. You know, except for free will, he has to obey the rules. ;)
Yes, but don't fall into the trap of thinking that anyone has a "right" to patronize a particular business if the owner doesn't want them. Private property is private property. Business owners have rights too.
Exactly what I'm saying. :)

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Re: Michigan Auto Shop Owner Denies Service to Openly Gay Customers, Provides Discount to Gun Owners

Postby ArcticFox » Tue Apr 21, 2015 5:24 pm

What we're seeing here is, again, people who think that a private business should be under government control. Did you notice the very first sentence of the second paragraph in the OP? It questioned whether this should "be allowed." Allowed by whom? By the Government, of course. One of the hallmarks of statism is the tendency to look to the Government as the first, last and only, mechanism for dealing with things statists don't like.

Am I calling Rooster a statist? No, I don't mean it that way, but that is an example of statist thinking.

Let's put it another way. A Statist thinks that a private business, paid for by the private owner(s), maintained by the private owner(s), licensed to the private owner(s) and managed by the private owner(s) should be ultimately ruled by the state as if the state had a hand in setting up the business in the first place.

So while, as I said, I agree that it's unethical to refuse service to someone in a case like this, to go any further would be an effort to impose my own morality upon the owner of a business I had no part of creating. How is that fair?
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Re: Michigan Auto Shop Owner Denies Service to Openly Gay Customers, Provides Discount to Gun Owners

Postby Chachi » Tue Apr 21, 2015 6:57 pm

I have been fuming over this for the past couple of days. I do believe that that man has every right to serve who he wants when he wants. The thing that kills me is attaching "I'm a Christian" and I live by a higher set of moral values. I think all Christians need pray for this man and get him to realize that by discriminating against a person for their sins is not Christ like at all. I'm sure Jesus would fix their car, I'm sure he would also find time to take a minute to share the good news and Love them just as he loves me.

Now on the subject of the man running is business the way he wants to it is true to a point but he still must do it with in the confines of the Law. I bet is Yelp reviews are blowing up though. Also if I'm not mistake the state has some control over his business already right taxes, licenses, OSHA or does he get to take a pass on that to. What about signs that say no shirt no shoes no service isn't that a form of discrimination. So what about gays people that aren't open about it suddenly it becomes ok to him and how does he. Does he have gay-dar that is so finely tuned that he is never wrong about a persons sexual orientation. Lets get back to this openly part Jesus teaches us "Anyone who hates another brother or sister is really a murderer at heart. And you know that murderers don't have eternal life within them." 1 John 3:15 So if you are Gay in your heart then you are still Gay so openly vs closeted makes no differences to God it's what is in your heart. And unless this dude is Jesus then how does he know what is in another persons heart. Also I wish he would define openly does he mean a butch looking female or an effeminate male maybe it's a public display of affection maybe just put up a sign for everyone no shoes no shirt no smooching while I fix your car. Anyways I've been holding that in for awhile. I still love him though and I still would not get my car fixed as his place of business.

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Re: Michigan Auto Shop Owner Denies Service to Openly Gay Customers, Provides Discount to Gun Owners

Postby RoosterOnAStick » Wed Apr 22, 2015 12:23 am

I have been fuming over this for the past couple of days. I do believe that that man has every right to serve who he wants when he wants. The thing that kills me is attaching "I'm a Christian" and I live by a higher set of moral values. I think all Christians need pray for this man and get him to realize that by discriminating against a person for their sins is not Christ like at all. I'm sure Jesus would fix their car, I'm sure he would also find time to take a minute to share the good news and Love them just as he loves me.
This.
Now on the subject of the man running is business the way he wants to it is true to a point but he still must do it with in the confines of the Law. I bet is Yelp reviews are blowing up though. Also if I'm not mistake the state has some control over his business already right taxes, licenses, OSHA or does he get to take a pass on that to.
You beat me to it, although I do have more to add to this. Yes, there are laws and regulations concerning how one can conduct their business. The people don't "own" the business in the same regard that one owns a house. Since businesses are in the realm of commerce, the government, specifically Congress, has the Constitutional power to regulate it. These regulations have to guarantee equal protection for all people under the law, as per the 14th Amendment.

As I said in the OP, fixing a gay person's car does not in any way constitute a participation in or approval of a gay lifestyle. Thus the right to equality under the law and not being deprived of privileges and immunities guaranteed by the 14th amendment regardless of who you are is being violated. Congress has been given the explicit power to legislate regarding this matter as well, also as per the 14th amendment.

What about signs that say no shirt no shoes no service isn't that a form of discrimination. So what about gays people that aren't open about it suddenly it becomes ok to him and how does he. Does he have gay-dar that is so finely tuned that he is never wrong about a persons sexual orientation. Lets get back to this openly part Jesus teaches us "Anyone who hates another brother or sister is really a murderer at heart. And you know that murderers don't have eternal life within them." 1 John 3:15 So if you are Gay in your heart then you are still Gay so openly vs closeted makes no differences to God it's what is in your heart. And unless this dude is Jesus then how does he know what is in another persons heart. Also I wish he would define openly does he mean a butch looking female or an effeminate male maybe it's a public display of affection maybe just put up a sign for everyone no shoes no shirt no smooching while I fix your car. Anyways I've been holding that in for awhile. I still love him though and I still would not get my car fixed as his place of business.
Well said.
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Re: Michigan Auto Shop Owner Denies Service to Openly Gay Customers, Provides Discount to Gun Owners

Postby RoosterOnAStick » Wed Apr 22, 2015 1:08 am

I do want to clarify something real quick as I think my views have been gravely misunderstood...

To say that the government should be regulating something that they do have the Constitutional power and duty to regulate is not in itself Statist thinking. Assuming this doesn't really help with discussion all that much. Respecting a legitimate governing authority and asking said authority to do its job does not imply that said authority should be the first, last, and only resort so to speak. I think equating the two right off the bat is more of a stereotype and a rather unhelpful one at that.

As for how I personally view all of these things. I think we understand things like Freedom of Association, the Social Contract, and what rights apply to private property very differently. American Libertarians understand them one way but that is not the only way, or possibly even the correct one.

As far as Social Contract and the interaction between Government and The People are concerned I am starting to lean more toward Thomas Hobbes in that regard. He was certainly one of the first thinkers on the subject, but not the only one. It seems that with all the emphasis on unlimited absolute rights, especially with the emphasis on property, my guess (and I need to look more into this to confirm) is that American Libertarianism leans more towards a sort of John Locke interpretation.

Whether it does or not, the biggest problem I have with this idea of "unlimited" liberty is that it assumes way too much about human nature. It assumes that while not perfect, man's natural inclination is towards altruism, compassion, self-motivation, and the preservation of society and all those around themselves. It is the same issue that I find with anarchism, nihilism, and Marxism. Given a completely stateless society or one with a very small government, everyone will simply come together and just make it work despite some bad apples.

Well, a number of Enlightenment thinkers thought otherwise and I agree with them. Humans are more inclined towards self-preservation and advancement over anything else. I think human nature has the capacity for the above things, but its inclination towards sin is what will take over for society at large if there is no governing force to keep it in check. This is part of Hobbes' foundation for his version of the Social Contract. Unlimited liberty to do anything will result in selfishness, barbarism, and basically all around chaos. As part of the Social Contract, the Government must agree to protect important rights of the people and give them equal freedoms. However, the people's part is that they must come together and agree that not all rights are truly "unlimited" and that a truly free society can't have unlimited freedoms for everyone because of the issue mentioned earlier. They must agree to have limitations on various freedoms and liberties, and both sides need to be in agreement as to what those limitations should be. The people then agree to give that over to the Government to arbitrate as an external authority (or as Hobbes put it a "coercive power"). Without said body that can adequately enforce these things and arbitrate disputes on these matters, and if the people do not respect the power that the authority has to do what it is meant to do in its part of the social contract, it all falls apart. Our responsibility is to come to an agreement on how we should limit ourselves and to agree that the government has the authority to act as a mediator and of course a coercive power to ensure that the limitations to liberties that we might simply like to have but are either not fundamental rights or will cause society as a whole to fall apart if we allowed them free reign. Individual liberty tempered by personal responsibility is the end of the bargain the People must hold up. If they do not, it is up to the Government to step in regarding those situations if they would cause too much disruption to society as a whole or violate fundamental rights.

This ultimately is what informs other things like how Freedom of Association works (and how different it is for private personal property and property marked for public commerce). For me it is always a balancing act between the authority and the eople, and it is never perfect but both sides must try their best to keep their end of the bargain. There are times when the government is wrong and we must stand up for that, but having said that we do not throw the baby out with the bath water and just reject government authority as a whole. I feel American Libertarianism does just that. It seems to seek absolute unlimited liberty as much as possible without stepping on other's rights, regardless of whether or not it would actually preserve a democracy or preserve liberties and the well being of society at large. I cannot and will not subscribe to such an idea and I do not see how that could possibly be a good thing.

I know this is somewhat off topic but I do feel the need to clear this up, lest I keep hearing arguments that don't address my actual positions on these matters.
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Re: Michigan Auto Shop Owner Denies Service to Openly Gay Customers, Provides Discount to Gun Owners

Postby Chozon1 » Wed Apr 22, 2015 3:34 am

Well, a number of Enlightenment thinkers thought otherwise and I agree with them. Humans are more inclined towards self-preservation and advancement over anything else. I think human nature has the capacity for the above things, but its inclination towards sin is what will take over for society at large if there is no governing force to keep it in check. This is part of Hobbes' foundation for his version of the Social Contract. Unlimited liberty to do anything will result in selfishness, barbarism, and basically all around chaos. As part of the Social Contract, the Government must agree to protect important rights of the people and give them equal freedoms. However, the people's part is that they must come together and agree that not all rights are truly "unlimited" and that a truly free society can't have unlimited freedoms for everyone because of the issue mentioned earlier. They must agree to have limitations on various freedoms and liberties, and both sides need to be in agreement as to what those limitations should be. The people then agree to give that over to the Government to arbitrate as an external authority (or as Hobbes put it a "coercive power"). Without said body that can adequately enforce these things and arbitrate disputes on these matters, and if the people do not respect the power that the authority has to do what it is meant to do in its part of the social contract, it all falls apart. Our responsibility is to come to an agreement on how we should limit ourselves and to agree that the government has the authority to act as a mediator and of course a coercive power to ensure that the limitations to liberties that we might simply like to have but are either not fundamental rights or will cause society as a whole to fall apart if we allowed them free reign. Individual liberty tempered by personal responsibility is the end of the bargain the People must hold up. If they do not, it is up to the Government to step in regarding those situations if they would cause too much disruption to society as a whole or violate fundamental rights.
'Cause you can't have freedom without chains, right? :wink:

You're treating people as though they need a leash...Fair enough. I agree. Everyone does when put to it, even if they'll say otherwise. It's funny, I just finished watching episode III, and I rolled my eyes when Obi-Wan says "only a Sith deals in absolutes", which is itself an absolute. It's same when people say we need freedom without limits. If you say "What about murdering someone", you'll get "Well, no. That's wrong". Unless the other person has mental issues, or is just plain evil/Sith. In which case you should back away slowly.

Problem is, you're handing the other end of the leash to other people, and seem to have no issues with that.

Succinctly, for myself I don't think the government, made up of humans, rife with corruption, and capricious as the seven winds, should get to be the moral authority of America. Nor the media, nor the pundits, ETC.

I do have an issue with equating discrimination as equal to murder, or theft, but I won't get into that.

What I don't get is...if I drove up to an auto shop that said "No Christians, discounts to liberal atheists!" I'd simply drive across the street to another auto shop and get on with my life. I would not cry "discrimination", I would not immediately report a heinous crime to the media so that everyone and their grandpa might join me in hating them, and I would not launch a crusade against them.

Because, hey, they have a right to be a jerk. This is America, not the middle east. You're not going to, or at least you shouldn't, get persecuted for your beliefs. Even if I don't like them. As long as you aren't hurting someone (and it is not my belief that bruised feelings count), I won't try and stop you. I won't pay for your life, but I won't go out of my way to try and harm you either.

And as I don't know them personally, or heck, know them from Adam, I'd reaaaaaaally have to try to care less about their opinion.

Like sit down, and really think about it, and come to the decision that I cared a little less about their opinion than five minutes ago.

I might get my feelings hurt if I walked by a business that said "Christians are idiots, haters welcome!" but, you know, I'd go buy some chicken nuggets, or maybe a Coke, and get over it. I might mention it in conversation at family gatherings, that we might all commiserate and then collectively get over it.

When I worked at The mart of Wal, the one time I ate in the lunch room (having promised a co-worker I'd meet him for a game of Smash Bros), the topic of said lunch period was, ironically, how judgmental Christians were, and how such jerks they could be. :D

It went on to how pastors were hypocrites, and got paid too much. The coworker I had met for lunch joined in, and said he'd broken friendships with people because they planned to be pastors. Even one of my bosses joined in, and said people couldn't tell someone how to believe in God.

And...I went on with my life and my job. Made friends (even with said boss), played Smash and in general shared in the bad time that is being part of the untrained labor force. :P I never even considered reporting "discriminatory attitudes", because people should be allowed to have their opinion. Even a hurtful one. I did, however, take to eating lunch in my car. Which sort of illustrates my point.
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Re: Michigan Auto Shop Owner Denies Service to Openly Gay Customers, Provides Discount to Gun Owners

Postby ArcticFox » Wed Apr 22, 2015 7:49 am

Humans are more inclined towards self-preservation and advancement over anything else. I think human nature has the capacity for the above things, but its inclination towards sin is what will take over for society at large if there is no governing force to keep it in check
You realize, don't you, that a government not kept in check will do the exact same thing, because the humans who run any government have the same human nature as the governed. This is the reason for preferring limited government... it's to keep it in check precisely because of the human nature being used to justify statism.
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