So, it was okay two years ago for a gay hairdresser to refuse service to the governor of New Mexico for her views on traditional marriage, but now it’s illegal for a business owner to refuse to make a wedding cake for a gay couple based on religious beliefs. The following story has resurfaced just to highlight the hypocrisy.
A strange thing recently happened. New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez has to shop around for a new hairdresser because the one she used the last three times is gay and doesn’t agree with the governor’s view that marriage is the union of one man and one woman.
Her stylist of late, Antonio Darden, confirmed that that’s it — he won’t cut the governor’s hair as long as she holds her traditional views on marriage, according to the New York Daily News.
“The governor’s aides called not too long ago, wanting another appointment to come in,” he told KOB-TV. “Because of her stances and her views on this, I told her aides no. They called the next day, asking if I’d changed my mind about taking the governor in and I said no.”
Darden was described by the Daily News as a popular Santa Fe hairstylist who has been with his gay partner for 15 years.
“It’s just equality, dignity for everyone,” he said. “Everybody should be allowed the right to be together.”
Wait a minute and let’s back up here a moment. State courts recently held that bakers and photographers have to accommodate gay and lesbian weddings, even if doing so violates their personal religious beliefs.
The court’s reasoning in a nutshell in each of these cases is that a business is supposed to serve the public. Therefore, it cannot discriminate any segment of the public by refusing service.
Yet that’s precisely what Martinez’s former hairdresser did — he refused service because of the governor’s views.
Conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh addressed the issue Monday, and brought up Arizona’s attempt to allow businesses to discriminate rather than violate their religious beliefs. He put a slightly different twist on it, though.
“Now, imagine if she, already opposed to gay marriage, finds out her hairdresser is gay and refuses, can you imagine the absolute hell that would break out over that?” he said. “If this were in Arizona, the way this would work out is that the gay couple would walk out of the bakery when they learned that the baker would not bake ‘em a cake, instead of what happened there. But it’s perfectly fine for this guy to refuse to continue doing her hair because she’s obviously a bigot and a homophobe, and all that.”
However one chooses to look at it, the result’s the same. The Santa Fe hairdresser, who has a public business, refuses to serve one segment of the public because of his personal views. That’s discriminatory, and he should be sued.
Or better yet, if a business owner holds an opinion — especially one based on religious belief — so near and dear to his heart that he finds it difficult to serve a particular segment of the public, the courts shouldn’t force him to. To do so results in hurt feelings, and bad hair cuts.
Editor’s note: Please note that the original story was published in February 2012.