Wednesday, October 2, 2013

How government licensing protects the LGBT community

... or, rather, protects people's delicate sensibilities from the LGBT community. From the Southern Poverty Law Center:
The SPLC filed a federal lawsuit today against the town of Shannon, Miss., its mayor and its aldermen for unjustly denying a business license to a bar catering to the LGBT community.

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The mayor asked [Pat Newton, the applicant for the business license] to justify why she should be permitted to open the bar. After stating her reasons, the mayor asked the aldermen and citizens to raise their concerns. Newton was confronted with questions laced with insults from citizens and aldermen. One resident asked how Newton could call herself a Christian. Another asked whether she would let her daughter go into “a bar like that.”

At the end of the hearing, an adviser to the town informed the board that Newton had met all the requirements for her application but that the application could be denied on public health and safety concerns. The board denied the application by a 4-to-1 vote – even though no legitimate evidence regarding public health and safety was presented.

If the burden is on a person who just wants to engage in voluntary commerce "to justify why she should be permitted" to do so, we can expect precisely that result.

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