Sunday, October 18, 2015

Commercial services and expression

CM: First, who wants to give a business, carrying out a commercial transaction, authority of approval? Should fat people not be allowed to buy iPhones because they make the technology look unattractive? Should book stores refuse to sell to people who wear crosses around their necks because the bookseller doesn't approve of religious garb? 

VR: The answer to this involves a distinction between commercial services that provide expression, or speech, on behalf of gay weddings, and those that don't. For the former, I there is a problem with a business putting a sign up in their hardware store that says "no gays." (So if a gay person needs a screw, they have to get it somewhere else). However, businesses that provide celebratory expression should be able, if this is a stated policy, to provide that expression only if that is what they support. If you are a professional speechwriter, should you be accused of discrimination if you will only provide your services for Republican candidates and not Democratic candidates?

Apologies for the bad pun. 

8 comments:

Crude said...

Let me add: these businesses already have it 'authority of approval' in other, very comparable contexts.

The iOS App Store purged all presence of the confederate flag from any application in said store. They also denied the Manhattan Declaration group the ability to publish an app because they disagreed with that group's views.

To the cheers of the same people who now consider it an act of fascist savagery that a pizzeria parlor may, while servicing gay people, not want to service a same-sex wedding.

If businesses cannot refuse the business of anyone whose aims or goals they disagree with, then let's make that total. Twitter and Facebook can no longer censor speech they find offensive, the app stores for Google and Apple must stock any game or app no matter how offensive they find it, and more.

I would find that a very acceptable compromise, and believe me - I'd have a field day in that environment, as would many others.

planks length said...

Oh, Crude. Don't tell me you actually expect a level paying field?

Crude said...

Oh, Crude. Don't tell me you actually expect a level paying field?

I'm not that naive, but I'll never get tired of pointing out the obvious.

That said, there's a stronger case to force the hands of Apple and Google than there is for Memories Pizza. Apple and Google basically have a near-monopoly on the mobile app market. Memories Pizza has far more competition.

Gyan said...

The seller should have a complete freedom of contract, expression or no expression.

Dave Duffy said...

From your post: A baker must bake a cake (no expression) for a gay wedding, but have the right to be able to refuse to decorate the cake (artistic expression).

Personally, I don't know how to resolve this. But, I think it's a good start on thinking about it.

Ilíon said...

D.D.: "Personally, I don't know how to resolve this. But, I think it's a good start on thinking about it."

The way to resolve it -- the *only* way to resolve it -- is to stop trying to use State violence to infringe upon others' inherent human right of freedom of association when they use that freedom in ways of which one disapproves.

Ilíon said...

... For, after all, if you and I may band together to use the violence of the State to infringe upon that fellow's rights, then he and those other two fellows surely may band together to use the violence of the State to infringe upon *our* rights.

Human beings, made in the image of God, are created possessing a multitude of God-given rights ... and freedoms. And among those freedoms is the freedom to misuse any freedom or right. Gather a number human beings together and it's guaranteed that some of them are going to misuse their freedoms and rights, and no doubt egregiously.

We are *all* damaged, we are *all* perverse: we should be very cautious about resorting to violence, whether personal or State, to compel others to use their freedoms as we think they ought.

Ilíon said...

VR:The answer to this involves a distinction between commercial services that provide expression, or speech, on behalf of gay weddings, and those that don't. For the former, I there is a problem with a business putting a sign up in their hardware store that says "no gays." (So if a gay person needs a screw, they have to get it somewhere else). However, businesses that provide celebratory expression should be able, if this is a stated policy, to provide that expression only if that is what they support. If you are a professional speechwriter, should you be accused of discrimination if you will only provide your services for Republican candidates and not Democratic candidates?

Your problem (and the problem America as a whole has had since the ‘50s) is that you’re trying to square the circle, you’re trying to say ‘A!’ and ‘not-A!’ simultaneously, you’re trying to eat your cake and have it too.

And as *you* ought to know, that can’t be done.