Says thought is free, commerce regulated


It is sad that your reader of April 22 thinks she cannot believe as she wishes. Let me reassure her that she can believe in any philosophy or belief, courtesy of the U.S. constitution. However, if she owns a business or provides services to the general public, she does not have the right to discriminate in the selling of products or services based on race, sex, sexual orientation, ethnic group or religion. So, the nice Richland florist is perfectly free to believe that gay marriage is evil. But, if she's going to sell flowers to the public, including the gay couple against whom she discriminated, but, earlier, to whom she had had made a bundle selling flowers, (apparently without any conscience pinpricks) she can't discriminate based on the categories above. I understand that she abhors gay marriage, but, what if her religious views led her to abhor interracial marriage or people of a race or religion other than her own? Would the writer of the April 22 letter espouse the flower shop owner's legal right not to sell flowers/provide services to people because they were African American, or Jewish or in an interracial relationship? If the writer wants to live in a theocracy, where the government officially discriminates against people of other religions or races or sexual orientations, she ought to move to Saudi Arabia, the very model of a modern theocracy.

Laura Livingston


Bellingham Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service