Anti-LGBTQ legislation holds outdated beliefs

Fabienne Fleurantin/ Staff Writer

The LGBTQA community is on the verge of facing another injustice by their state government. A state representative is trying to propose legislation in Florida that gives businesses the opportunity to discriminate against LGBTQ people.

Rep. Jay Fant, R-Jacksonville, filed the “Free Enterprise Protection Act” that would allow business owners to refuse service to LGTBQ individuals without legal consequence.

Inspired by the Supreme Court case “Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission,” according to South Florida Gay News, which involved a Colorado baker’s refusal to sell a wedding cake to a same-sex couple, House Bill 871 was written with the First Amendment Defense Act in mind, which prohibits the government from taking any “discriminatory action” against a business because of its “personnel and employee benefit policies,” according to Orlando Weekly.  

In a tweet on Dec. 6, 2017, Fant wrote, “In Florida, we’re not gonna sit around and leave liberty up to dispute. I filed HB 871, the Free Enterprise Protection Act, so business owners don’t live in fear of social justice zealots.”

Fant’s intention, he claims, is to protect businesses from tax punishments, the loss of contracts and being excluded from speech forums.

What Fant doesn’t realize though, is that no matter what, these things will occur. In his mind, the loss of contract will occur with businesses who do not support gay marriages. What he doesn’t realize is that those businesses who do support the LGBTQ community will refuse to have any relations with any establishments against gay marriage.

The same goes with being excluded from speech forums. If you spew hate speech about how much gay marriage is against your religion and you refuse to serve anyone who identifies as LGBTQ, that is grounds to be excluded from speaking at universities, social events and many gatherings that are pro same-sex businesses.

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission states that “the law forbids discrimination when it comes to any aspect of employment, including hiring, firing, pay, job assignments, promotions, layoff, training, fringe benefits, and any other term or condition of employment.”

In Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, it is illegal to prohibit employment based on sex. However, there is a flip side to this.

Although people are not allowed to discriminate against who they can hire, they are allowed to discriminate against people they wish to serve. An example of this is refusing service to someone who is LGBTQ in a restaurant.

What I don’t understand is what someone’s sexuality has to do with ordering something to eat. A gay person is still a person.

The business is making profit either way and it benefits both parties in the end. And this also begs the question, how did the owner find out about the person’s sexuality in the first place? It is not something that is explicitly written out or shown and it would be dumb to presume.

Denying service to some who is gay is the same thing as refusing to give a black person service.



The opinions presented within this page do not represent the views of Panther Press Editorial Board. These views are separate from editorials and reflect individual perspectives of contributing writers and/or members of the University community.


Photo by Peter Hershey on Unsplash.

Be the first to comment on "Anti-LGBTQ legislation holds outdated beliefs"

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.