In April 2013 our host published an article featuring Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson had sued Barronelle Stutzman, the owner of Arlene’s Flowers and Gifts after she had refused to provide flowers for a gay wedding.
Washington’s consumer protection act bars discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation AG Ferguson sought a $2000 penalty for each violation and to end the business’ allegedly discriminatory practices. The case garnered considerable attention in both the state and nationally in which the religious rights of business owners do not necessarily comport in some cases with antidiscrimination statutes which require equal services be provided for all customers.
A legal analysis in Canada of their anti-discrimination laws indicates that discrimination might occur if women are to wear revealing clothing and men are not similarly attired.
The British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal held that a dress code requiring a waitress to wear a bikini top during a nightclub’s Hawai’ian themed event was discriminatory because men were not required to wear a male specific analog of her clothing.
While many, primarily Islamic, countries have received much press regarding flagrant abuses of religious and non-religious persons or views, seven of which have death penalty offenses for crimes such as apostasy, the true impact for most of the worlds citizens are not as stark but can be often a suffer a form of punishment, repression and imprisonment of some kind for their beliefs.
We’ve been following the discrimination suit brought by an employee of restaurants owned by food maven Paula Deen. Lisa Jackson, who is Caucasian, claimed that she was subjected to a racially hostile work environment at Deen’s Uncle Bubba’s and The Lady and Sons restaurants. Jackson alleged that Paula Deen’s brother, Bubba, routinely used derogatory racial epithets and sexually suggestive comments during her working hours as a manager at the restaurant. She also alleged that Deen acquiesced in the treatment and used racist comments herself. A firestorm of negative publicity formed after Deen’s deposition transcript was leaked to the media in which she admitted using the term “nigger” many years ago. Deem lost two national cable television shows and a host of endorsements following the story. Her two video apologies did little to assuage the sentiment that she was a racist.