Religious discrimination by commercial business
dcruz at LAW.USC.EDU
Thu Aug 27 11:28:42 PDT 1998
On Thu, 27 Aug 1998, richard duncan wrote:
> There is much to what Gene says here. But in terms of "rights"--a term
> that is very slippery and means many different things--it is perhaps
> best to look at antidiscrimination laws as the use of coercion to
> *redistribute* rights from the owners of property and businesses to
> would-be tenants and employees. In effect, a political majority has
> given A a "right" with respect to the property of B. What had been a
> fundamental component of B's property (the right of exclusive
> possession, for example, in the case of Mrs. Smith) has been taken
> from her (without compensation) and transferred to a larger class of
> people (and a class with greater political power). [snip]
While Rick certainly has a point here, I think it's overstated. Mrs.
Smith still has her right to exclusive possession. The state of
California has not told her that she must open her premises to others.
(She is legally free not to rent her property to anyone.) It has,
however, restricted the ways in which she might choose to share possession
for monetary compensation.
> [snip] Antidiscrimination laws are like
> sodomy and fornication laws--they use the coercive power of the state
> to outlaw a way of life and to codify a particular code of morality.
It's not clear to me whether this is simply meant to be a descriptive
claim, or whether Rick is implicitly condemning all such laws. If so, is
it the conjunction of the two features that he sees as objectionable?
After all, criminal robbery laws outlaw what would have been Robin Hood's
way of life, and mixed-sex only marriage laws codify a particular code of
morality. Also, Rick, again I apologize for demanding more analytic
rigor out of what seem to be in part rhetorical stylings, but could you be
a bit more precise about the particular "way of life" that California is
supposed to have outlawed? Thanks.
-David Cruz, USC Law (Cal.)
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