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

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

Postby RoosterOnAStick » Thu Apr 23, 2015 12:52 pm

Now that I have made my main point, I'd like to take a quick aside and address this...

When all the screaming about Chik-fil-a was at its peak, there were two schools of thought. One was a statist approach; that the Government should impose some sort of sanctions on the company, while others wanted to take the market solution approach and have a massive boycott to punish it.

Chik-fil-a's sales skyrocketed.

This, of course, angered the left because their efforts to shame Chik-fil-a backfired.
The Chik-fil-a situation was quite different in that the fuss was over what the owner was donating money towards. The issue was whether his donations were from his own money or the corporation's money and whether or not this actually reflected on Chik-fil-a as a whole. Honestly I thought the whole issue was silly provided that he was using personal funds and not corporate funds to donate to anti-gay groups. The company itself wasn't discriminating based on sexual orientation in their hiring practices or who they served food to so I really didn't care.
So no, voting with your wallet means you control your own decisions, and that's not good for the statist philosophy. They'd rather have the Government, in its wisdom, decide for you.
Interestingly, I remember quite clearly how the right was angry about people protesting Firefox due to the then CEO's views on gay marriage. Even though the protests were similar in nature, I distinctly recall how the right was saying that the people had "no right" to "pressure" the company through protest and that their actions constituted a violation of "free speech". In reality they were doing the same thing that is being advocated here in this thread, but it seems that since the right didn't get the result they wanted, it went back to the tired old argument of the CEO's "rights" are being violated and that they should be protected by the government. The protests were not seen as valid by the right even though it was peaceful protest.

I wager that the reason the right didn't say this for the Chik-fil-a situation was because they staged a counter-protest to the boycott and happened to "win" in that case. I'm willing to bet that had Chik-fil-a sales plummeted and the boycott was successful I'd be hearing the left saying that the people have spoken with their wallets and the right would be arguing along similar statist lines like they did with the Firefox case.

In my mind, this goes to show that for both sides, it seems that only when the people decide in their favor was it considered valid.
“If the history of the 20th Century proved anything, it proved that however bad things were, human ingenuity could usually find a way to make them worse.” - Theodore Dalrymple

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

Postby Deepfreeze32 » Thu Apr 23, 2015 1:15 pm


When all the screaming about Chik-fil-a was at its peak, there were two schools of thought. One was a statist approach; that the Government should impose some sort of sanctions on the company, while others wanted to take the market solution approach and have a massive boycott to punish it.

Chik-fil-a's sales skyrocketed.

This, of course, angered the left because their efforts to shame Chik-fil-a backfired.
The Chik-fil-a situation was quite different in that the fuss was over what the owner was donating money towards. The issue was whether his donations were from his own money or the corporation's money and whether or not this actually reflected on Chik-fil-a as a whole. Honestly I thought the whole issue was silly provided that he was using personal funds and not corporate funds to donate to anti-gay groups. The company itself wasn't discriminating based on sexual orientation in their hiring practices or who they served food to so I really didn't care.
This, I agree with. I also want to point out that even though I very much disagree with their CEO's actions, I didn't stop eating there. Because of that, partly, but also because Chik-Fil-A is friggin delicious.

I don't really have an issue with corporate executives making statements I disagree with. If that were the case, I would have totally ditched Microsoft during the Ballmer era (Developers, Developers, Developers, anyone?). I'm ok with making statements like "I disagree with <opinion here>.". But I do think the issue becomes a lot less clear-cut when it comes to actions involving their business. For instance, I sure wouldn't go to the shop in question after the owner openly denies service to gay customers. Because I don't think Freedom of Speech is the same thing as freedom of action.

It's lunch time, and I can't really make any other point than this, but there you have it.

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

Postby Sstavix » Thu Apr 23, 2015 1:45 pm

So sure businesses can discriminate with hiring practices if and only if that hardship can be demonstrated. Without that, legally they cannot and people have various options for seeking recourse if unjust discrimination is happening.
So Hooter's can't reject me unless they can prove that hiring me creates an undue hardship? Woo hoo! I'll apply right now!

This will be the first step in my dreams to be a Victoria's Secret model.... If I get rejected, can I call on you to represent me in court?

;)

Actually, a couple of things came to mind while reading your rebuttal.

1) I noticed that the Title VII of the Civil Rights Act specifically prohibited any businesses with fewer than 15 employees. I would presume that this would be the case with the auto body shop (most small-business mechanics that I've seen has very few workers - 1 to 5 at the most, with the owner being one of those mechanics. We're not talking Jiffy Lube here...). So it's possible that the Civil Rights Act doesn't even apply in this specific case because the small business is too small.

2) Most of these focus on hiring practices. I didn't see anything in there in regards to discrimination against customers, unless it could be classified as some sort of "public accommodation." But you touched on that.

In addition, I do think some aspects of the Civil Rights Act may, actually, be un-Constitutional (especially with some interpretations leading to things like racial quotas in hiring practices) but that's getting outside the realm of this topic.
So now in light of what the actual laws allow for and what they do not, from a legal standpoint this is the only relevant question:

Does an auto repair shop fall under the category of public accommodations or not? If it does, then not only is this guy legally in the wrong but he should consider himself fortunate that no one has brought a lawsuit against the business yet. If not, then we can resume talking about whether or not it should be legal.
That raises another question - if the owner of the shop is actually violating the law, why hasn't he been arrested or fined yet? The case has received enough attention for national publicity, after all. If he's breaking the law, why hasn't he been charged with a crime?

My guess is because there isn't any law in place for him to break in this instance. He's within his rights as a small business owner, and as morally abhorrent as we may view his practices, legally he's still within his rights.
Interestingly, I remember quite clearly how the right was angry about people protesting Firefox due to the then CEO's views on gay marriage. Even though the protests were similar in nature, I distinctly recall how the right was saying that the people had "no right" to "pressure" the company through protest and that their actions constituted a violation of "free speech". In reality they were doing the same thing that is being advocated here in this thread, but it seems that since the right didn't get the result they wanted, it went back to the tired old argument of the CEO's "rights" are being violated and that they should be protected by the government. The protests were not seen as valid by the right even though it was peaceful protest.
Since the issue was with a CEO being forced to resign (note that he wasn't fired) because of his stance on gay marriage, I don't see how the "right" - often seen as an opponent of gay marriage - would act in favor of the company. In fact, most of the "right" probably were part of the protests (including this Web site, actually ;) )

However, a boycott is greatly different from demanding that the government intervene. I do recall seeing many people say that we should stop using Firefox because of their stance on gay marriage. I don't recall reading anywhere - especially on "right-wing" news or blog sites - where people demanded the government come in to shut down the Mozilla corporation or arrest its managing members.

A boycott is something in the power of the consumers and the individual. We are free to go along with it, or to ignore it. Government force doesn't give you that choice - either you comply, or your assets gets seized and you go to jail... if you're lucky. You seem to be arguing that the government seizure is a good thing. I think it should be avoided at all costs, and should only be exercised in extreme cases (for example, if the auto shop owner began shooting at gay people, then the government should probably step in at that point).

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

Postby ArcticFox » Thu Apr 23, 2015 1:56 pm

Since the issue was with a CEO being forced to resign (note that he wasn't fired) because of his stance on gay marriage, I don't see how the "right" - often seen as an opponent of gay marriage - would act in favor of the company. In fact, most of the "right" probably were part of the protests (including this Web site, actually ;) )
Just to clear the record on that... As it turns out, he wasn't forced to resign either. In fact, the higher-ups at Mozilla tried to talk him into staying but he felt that all the negative publicity was bad for the company, so he left on his own.
However, a boycott is greatly different from demanding that the government intervene. I do recall seeing many people say that we should stop using Firefox because of their stance on gay marriage. I don't recall reading anywhere - especially on "right-wing" news or blog sites - where people demanded the government come in to shut down the Mozilla corporation or arrest its managing members.
Yeah this is the point I was going to make. Boycotting is what you do to make a statement on what you believe and, if enough people feel the same, get something to change. That's the opposite of statism, which is all about exerting force using Government power.
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Re: Michigan Auto Shop Owner Denies Service to Openly Gay Customers, Provides Discount to Gun Owners

Postby RoosterOnAStick » Thu Apr 23, 2015 2:19 pm

So Hooter's can't reject me unless they can prove that hiring me creates an undue hardship? Woo hoo! I'll apply right now!

This will be the first step in my dreams to be a Victoria's Secret model.... If I get rejected, can I call on you to represent me in court?

;)
If I were a lawyer, you could call me and ask me to represent you. You will then hear me ask "how much will you pay me?" ;)

You will need to pay me a premium to represent something like this, possibly more than what you'll actually get out of the lawsuit. Still wanna call on me? :twisted:
1) I noticed that the Title VII of the Civil Rights Act specifically prohibited any businesses with fewer than 15 employees. I would presume that this would be the case with the auto body shop (most small-business mechanics that I've seen has very few workers - 1 to 5 at the most, with the owner being one of those mechanics. We're not talking Jiffy Lube here...). So it's possible that the Civil Rights Act doesn't even apply in this specific case because the small business is too small.
Good question, didn't catch that part.
2) Most of these focus on hiring practices. I didn't see anything in there in regards to discrimination against customers, unless it could be classified as some sort of "public accommodation." But you touched on that.
That's why I included the DOJ link too. There is also this:

https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/42/2000a

This is the Federal Non-Discrimination laws for public accommodations, which defines the term public accommodations for most cases (disabilities are actually covered elsewhere and the definition is even broader in that case).

States have their own laws as well, most of which expand on the Federal one. Here is Michigan's law and definition of Public Accommodations:

https://www.legislature.mi.gov/(S(p3aia ... cl-37-2302

https://www.legislature.mi.gov/(S(p3aia ... cl-37-2301

So with all of this, I would be very shocked if an auto repair shop wasn't ruled as a public accommodation. It certainly fits the criteria in both federal and state statutes as far as I can tell.
That raises another question - if the owner of the shop is actually violating the law, why hasn't he been arrested or fined yet? The case has received enough attention for national publicity, after all. If he's breaking the law, why hasn't he been charged with a crime?

My guess is because there isn't any law in place for him to break in this instance. He's within his rights as a small business owner, and as morally abhorrent as we may view his practices, legally he's still within his rights.
Or perhaps it is simply because no one has decided to bring up those charges yet? The legal penalties for things like this are handled in civil court, not criminal court. We may see either an individual lawsuit or the Civil Rights Division of either the State or Federal government launch an investigation at some point, who knows. Having presented all the laws surrounding public accommodations, it is pretty clear that he does not have a legal right to deny service to gay people. All we can do now is wait and see if someone does decide to take legal action or not. If anyone was thinking of doing that they are well within their legal right to do so.
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Re: Michigan Auto Shop Owner Denies Service to Openly Gay Customers, Provides Discount to Gun Owners

Postby Sstavix » Thu Apr 23, 2015 2:34 pm

That raises another question - if the owner of the shop is actually violating the law, why hasn't he been arrested or fined yet? The case has received enough attention for national publicity, after all. If he's breaking the law, why hasn't he been charged with a crime?

My guess is because there isn't any law in place for him to break in this instance. He's within his rights as a small business owner, and as morally abhorrent as we may view his practices, legally he's still within his rights.
Or perhaps it is simply because no one has decided to bring up those charges yet? The legal penalties for things like this are handled in civil court, not criminal court. We may see either an individual lawsuit or the Civil Rights Division of either the State or Federal government launch an investigation at some point, who knows. Having presented all the laws surrounding public accommodations, it is pretty clear that he does not have a legal right to deny service to gay people. All we can do now is wait and see if someone does decide to take legal action or not. If anyone was thinking of doing that they are well within their legal right to do so.
Most definitely, only I'd argue that he does have the legal right to discriminate against his clientele. If it does end up going to court - especially if it goes all the way to the Supremes - I'll be interested in seeing the outcome as well.

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

Postby ArcticFox » Thu Apr 23, 2015 3:03 pm

Given the political makeup of SCOTUS, we already know what the outcome will be.
"He who takes offense when no offense is intended is a fool, and he who takes offense when offense is intended is a greater fool."
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Re: Michigan Auto Shop Owner Denies Service to Openly Gay Customers, Provides Discount to Gun Owners

Postby Bruce_Campbell » Thu Apr 23, 2015 5:00 pm

Aside from the glacial rate of our judicial system, this may actually be perfectly legal where this guy is. More places than not still don't have laws that protect LGBT folks from discrimination the way racial and religious minorities do.
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