Discriminate to Eliminate

Photo Credit: Arizona Daily Star

Photo Credit: Arizona Daily Star

Jeremy Lim, Staff Writer / Photographer

   Small businesses often display the sign, “We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone.” However, with the implementation of bill SB 1062 in Arizona, business owners may have to point at the sign more often.

   The state of Arizona implemented laws that allow businesses to refuse service specifically, to homosexual customers. For example, restaurants will be given the right to deny serving food to a customer simply because of his or her sexual orientation. Some students claimed this bill unjust. Timothy Ryan (11) thought, “Refusing service to someone just because they are gay is discrimination.” The Economist reported, “Although the law made no mention of sexuality it was widely, and correctly, interpreted as a license for business owners or their employees to deny service to homosexual customers.” Businesses have the right to conduct their own judgment. The Fifth Amendment, which protects individuals’ rights to privacy, applies to private businesses that are not corporately owned.  With a law in place, businesses will not get sued.

   In The New York Times, Republican State Senator Steve Yarbrough stated in a debate, “Supporters [of the bill] said the bill was needed to allow people to live and work by their religious beliefs. ‘This bill is not about allowing discrimination.’” Standing for what you believe in is the original American mentality. Many Arizona citizens simply want to act on what they strongly believe. People have mixed views on the matter of refusal to LGBT individuals. One West High student, Termain Thomas (10) believes, “It’s wrong to refuse service, they are still human beings. In a restaurant for example, the person just wants a meal, not anything provocative.”

   Business owners in Arizona should have the right to reject homosexual customers based on their opinions on different sexual orientations. The Preamble of the American Constitution protects individual’s right to pursue happiness. In this case, business owners can also claim their own rights to pursuit of happiness with this new bill, SB 1062.