Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Freedom or Unity

VT B&B settles discrimination suit. Story goes like this: the owners of a quaint Vermont bed and breakfast object to same sex marriage. They refused to rent their place out for the wedding of two women. They were sued on the grounds of Vermont's Fair Housing and Public Accommodations Act.

Whenever the boundaries of conventional ownership are shifted, there will be disruptions, even when the change is just. It's up to careful analysis to determine appropriate actions. To me, this case exposes injustice in the VT statute that holds property owners to popularly-determined moral standards. Yes, all competent adults should have the right to marry, but all competent property owners should also have the right to decide to whom to provide their services. Coercion is a thick club. We must use caution when swinging it.

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Do you have suggestions on where we could find more examples of this phenomenon?