Sunday, April 19, 2009

Don't Tread On The Libertarians

Libertarian blogger KipEsquire resents those who use libertarian arguments to justify refusing to provide services to gays and lesbians (such as a photographer who wouldn't work at a lesbian couple's commitment ceremony and a psychologist who wouldn't counsel a lesbian about her relationship). He wonders what they would expect if they were dealing with blacks (a Feb. 4 reflection of mine on this argument is here) or older people:
The “victimized” Christian bigots are of course not making a thorough, comprehensive (i.e., truly libertarian) demand for full entrepreneurial freedom of contract — and its reciprocal “right to refuse service to anyone.” All they want to do is discriminate against gays. Not “anyone and everyone.” Just gays.

Which is precisely why they should not be allowed to do so. As I have blogged previously: Whether or not you approve of bans on private discrimination is not the point — we are not debating the creation of Libertopia.

The point is instead whether, given that we already have such laws, are we going to craft and apply those laws consistently, logically and equitably — or are we going to short-circuit the entire raison d’ĂȘtre of such laws by allowing the majoritarian mob to fashion carve-outs for the very same insular minorities who are most in need of such laws?

If the religious bigots really want to invoke libertarian arguments to legitimize their bigotry, then they better be prepared to be judged by real libertarians about the entire spectrum of libertarian issues — including separation of church and state.

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