I’ve been seeing a ton of memes on Facebook the last few days about how “Springsteen and PayPal can boycott NC but it’s illegal for Christians to not serve gays”
A lot of them have been tagged “Liberal Logic”. It is liberal logic, and the counter argument is a logical fallacy. Let me break it down…
Bruce Springsteen and PayPal et al are declining to engage in business in an entire jurisdiction–in this case, my beloved state of North Carolina. This is an important point so I’m gonna restate it: They are refraining from doing business AT ALL in North Carolina. By doing so they are one, treating all North Carolinians equally. Two, not subjecting themselves to the applicable laws. And three, accepting the consequences of their choice that include not benefitting from the trade that would be otherwise engaged in.
When a person or organization engages in business in a jurisdiction, it is presumed that they will abide by the secular laws of that jurisdiction. So if you bake cakes, you’ll bake cakes for everyone and not refuse to bake cakes for people that are members of a protected class based on the fact they they are indeed members of that protected class.
Now here’s the trick, you can refuse to do business with anybody. Really, you can. You just can’t say “well, you’re a black guy, and I don’t like black guys, so go get your cake somewhere else”. That’s illegal discrimination. But if you don’t like people that wear yellow hats, don’t do business with people that wear yellow hats! You can refuse to do business with the wearers of yellow hats, those jerks that wear yellow hats aren’t a protected class! I’ve heard that wedding photographers don’t like doing business with lawyers. So a lot of them don’t do business with lawyers. Lawyers aren’t a protected class (they’re not even at risk judging by how fast they’re multiplying, but that’s beside the point) so wedding photographers can discriminate against lawyers at will.
So how is Bob the Baker different than Bruce Springsteen? Bob’s trying to engage in business in the jurisdiction AND pick and choose who he serves contrary to the law. You can’t have it both ways, that’s just logic. The law is the law and ignorance of the law isn’t a defense (and never has been as far as I know).
So enough with the trying to have your cake and eat it, too.