Letters to the Editor

Peter Aitken: Discrimination licenses

The April 9 opinion piece “Governors stand up to corporations” by Ryan T. Anderson defending our own HB2 and Mississippi’s “religious freedom” law was incomplete and seriously misguided.

The piece never mentions the most odious aspects of HB2: excluding gays and transgenders from state discrimination protection, preventing local governments from enacting their own anti-discrimination laws in accord with the wishes of their residents and disallowing discrimination lawsuits in state courts. It’s these indefensible provisions that are behind most of the protests, not the transgender bathroom issue.

As for the Mississippi law, it has nothing to do with “religious freedom” but is just a license to discriminate. No bakers or florists have ever been penalized for their religious beliefs; they have been penalized for breaking the law. And it’s quite telling than none of these people has ever mentioned refusing service to divorced people or to unmarried couples who are cohabiting – both against Christian doctrine.

No, there is some special animus toward gays and lesbians at work here. That is why it is correctly termed bigotry. If someone doesn’t want to serve gays and lesbians, there’s a simple solution: Find another line of work.

Peter Aitken

Chapel Hill