Pizza Store Owner Accused of Discrimination but Does He?

To find discrimination against homosexuals we need proof that he has turned away a homosexual from his business for being homosexual.

When I first wrote about Indiana last month, I prefaced my remarks with the following statement:

Just to be clear, I am opposed to any law that singles out practicing homosexuals for special exclusions in business service, but I think it is a fundamental human right to refuse to associate with anyone on any grounds. Everyone should have the right to refuse any customer.

People act like the world would come to an end leaving people to starve in the streets. That is ridiculous. Businesses remain in existence by serving customers in exchange for money. They can’t afford to exclude customers because these customers are vitally important to what they have to do: make money.

So the idea that there are lots of businesses just waiting to cut down the number of customers that they serve is ludicrous. Anyone who refuses customers is basically giving those customers to a competing business. They lose money and other businesses gain that money.

According to Reason.com there is a business in Indiana that has said that it would “discriminate.”

Before I talk about the charge against this business, owned by the O’Connor family, let me first point out that the business has been thoroughly harassed and hurt because of what it did.

People certainly have the right to post those reviews (and Yelp has the right to remove them, leave them be, or do anything else with them). In fact, supporters of gay equality can do anything they want (short of violence) to combat the views of the O’Connors.

Because I want to engage—and perhaps alter—people’s anti-gay views, I would question whether hurling gross insults at the misinformed is a good way to change their minds. Those who care more about dancing on the graves of their enemies will reach a different conclusion, I’m sure.

Regardless, here we have a clear case of a business expressing a reprehensible view and being swiftly, severely punished for it. Why then is it necessary to also compel this business to engage in commercial activity it opposes? Is it really not enough for thousands of people to verbally attack the business, ruin its reputation, and flood its Yelp page with dirty pictures? Is it absolutely vital that the government also become involved?

See? The market works. People can boycott businesses they don’t like. Society can combat social problems without resorting to unconstitutional political solutions.

[Addendum: Or it could work. But it seems that people who want government force to back them up are also inclined to threaten their own violence. Allegedly, the business may close due to death threats.]

The State has a vested interest in spreading the idea that all injustice is beyond fixing unless the State is allowed to fix it. The idea that people can’t fix problems through cooperation is assumed by the State and its apologists.

But let’s go back to this claim about how this business is discriminatory.

Memories Pizza is a small pizza joint in Walkerton, Indiana. Its owners, the O’Connor family, are devout Christians. Their religious identity is so fundamental to the business they run that it requires them to decline commercial engagement with practices that violate their deeply-held beliefs. And so, when asked by local reporters whether they would cater a gay wedding, owner Kevin O’Connor’s answer was no.

I’m sorry, why is this called discrimination? If Kevin O’Connor was asked to cater a Klan rally, would he really be engaged in “discrimination” to refuse such an engagement? But that is all O’Connor says here, however clumsily he may have said it. He doesn’t say he has refused homosexuals when they want to buy Pizza. No one claims he has ever done such a thing or has plans to do such things. No, in all likelihood, O’Connor has served homosexual customers with a smile, wished them a nice day, and invited them to come back to eat again.

[Note: the report I linked above indicates it is a local TV station that has gone out of its way to pretend that opposition to homosexual “marriage” is the same as hating all homosexuals and wanting them driven out of the community. Of course, I have to admit that I don’t want people who make death threats against me for my political views anywhere near me, either.]

Consider those thirteen bakers who refused to bake a cake that stated that homosexual marriage is wrong. Does anyone really think these people never make cakes for Christians? Of course not. They weren’t refusing the customer. They were refusing the message.

Nazi Cake

So my point remains. No one is really discriminating or refusing services to customers based on their morality. Rather, they are refusing to participate in blasphemous or mock ceremonies.