Saturday, April 9, 2016

Bigger Fish

Once again conservatives are putting themselves on the wrong-side of an issue that should not even be an issue, Religious Freedom. I’m conservative on a lot of issues, but this is one where I have to side with the progressives. I understand the conservative position on this issue. I can see where a fundamentalist Christian caterer might not want to work a same-sex wedding. And the idea of sharing toilets with a transgender person is creepy for sure. But the truth is public toilets are creepy no matter who’s using them. If you really thought about the people who’ve been sitting on that toilet seat, you might just take a walk in the woods. And if you’re going to be consistent with your religious purity when it comes to weddings, best not work one where the bride and groom have been test driving the each other’s genitals before marriage. Once you open the “religion” door it’s tough to close. Where do you draw the line between belief and bias?

I also understand how a business owner needs to protect their business. Is it ok for a restaurant to have a dress-code? Should a search firm be required to recruit people for a company that’s known for being a terrible place to work? If I’m a hotel owner can I refuse to hire someone with Tourette’s Syndrome as my concierge. The hypothetical scenarios can go on and on. Some are legitimate questions and some become ridiculous. Franklin Graham wants to protect women and children from sexual predators using public restrooms. It’s more likely that a child will be molested in church by a priest or a youth minister than in a public restroom by a drag queen. So I don’t worry much about that, nor should the right Reverend Graham.

Recently there was a situation in one of our local restaurants. Three lesbians were refused service. I’m not sure how they were identified and I’ll refrain from the usual jokes about softball, Birkenstocks and K.D. Lang. The restaurant owner’s defense was that “these people” made the “regulars” uncomfortable. Screaming kids or old people who slurp their coffee out of a saucer make me uncomfortable. Let’s give them the boot, how about that?

It’s time that conservatives move on and get over it. We may not agree with a customer’s lifestyle choices, appearance or attitude; but within reason (whatever that is by today’s standards) serve them with a smile and take their money. There are more important things in life than worrying about who’s sleeping with who or who was the last person to sit on that toilet seat.

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