For those of you who haven’t been keeping up with the news from America, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer has decided to veto legislation that would allow businesses to discriminate against the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community based on “religious freedom,” Needless to say, his decision hasn’t gone down well, with many leading conservative pundits up in arms.
One particular pundit, Fox News contributor George Will made some claims about the LGBT community’s response to Arizona’s anti-gay legislation, including that forcing businesses to serve homosexuals was “not neighborly.” Will stated
“It’s a funny kind of sore winner in the gay rights movement that would say, ‘A photographer doesn’t want to photograph my wedding — I’ve got lots of other photographers I could go to, but I’m going to use the hammer of government to force them to do this.’… It’s not neighborly and it’s not nice. The gay rights movement is winning. They should be, as I say, not sore winners.”
This is an interesting one. Should, if there are other options, one company be forced to perform a service? Is freedom of expression a two way street, or should the government be getting involved in every instance?
There are deeply held beliefs on both sides. The religious people will say that freedom of expression is only being given to the LGBT community, and that their firmly held beliefs are being given no regard whatsoever. Is freedom only for those with ‘trendy, modern views?’
LGBT campaigners will say that they have the right to use any business they want, and if peoples prejudices become involved, then they will need government help to sort it out.
I know many people who visit these pages will have strong opinions one way or another. What do you think? Let us know in the comments section below.