The senate in the state of Washington today passed a legislation that clears the way for gay marriages in the state. This makes WA the seventh state in the United States to legalize gay marriage. While there is no doubt that the legislation is progressive and necessary, it is also a time to reflect on building a society that is inclusive of people of different beliefs.
The people supporting legalization of gay marriages call themselves “pro-choice”. The argument being that each person has the right to choose their partner. In the same vein, it is important that the law makers be pro-choice to people who do not believe in gay marriages.
A service provider should be able to lawfully refuse service to some with different beliefs.
This opens up a can of worms, but it is a can that should be opened when time is on our side instead of waiting for it to explode in our faces. In a free economy, everything balances itself out. The success or failure of a service provider depends on the customers. So if a service provider, say a photographer, refuses to provide services to a gay marriage, he is basically refusing business. But he should have that choice.
You cannot give one set of people the choice to get married to a partner of their choice, but take away from another set of people their right to choice.
A person should be able to, for instance:
- Refuse services to gays
- Refuse to work in a company that includes gays
- Refuse to share an apartment with gays
The flip side being, if he does interact with gays, he should treat them equally. He cannot take up a job in a company that also hires gays and there discriminate against them.
Many people are trying to equate this issue with the issue of color-discrimination. The fact is that it is far from similar. A person does not choose his color. He is born with it and can do nothing about it. To discriminate against a person based on something he has no choice over is wrong. But a gay person chooses a lifestyle and if he has the right to choice, so does his neighbor.