House Republican Robert Pittenger (R-NC) apparently holds a view that is very similar to Rand Paul in that he believes businesses should be allowed to discriminate or ignore federal law as they see fit.
“You need to respect the autonomy of somebody running their business,” he said. “It’s like smoking bans. Do you ban smoking or do people have the right to private property? I think people have the right to private property. In public spaces, absolutely, we can have smoking bans. But we don’t want to micromanage people’s lives and businesses. If you have a business, do you want the government to come in and tell you you need to hire somebody? Why should government be there to impose on the freedoms we enjoy?”
Though North Carolina is one of 29 states where bosses can still fire someone for being LGBT or merely perceived as such, Pittenger asserted: “I believe people are already protected.”
As far as loaded questions go, to ask why the government should be allowed to “impose on the freedoms we enjoy” is a step above the competition.
To say that businesses should be allowed to discriminate, and then in the next breath decry big government for imposing on our freedoms, is an amazing contradiction.
The obvious implication is that not everyone deserves or should be allowed to “enjoy” our freedoms. Because if you say that businesses should be free to discrimination, aren’t you imposing on the freedoms of those who are suffer from that discrimination?
Freedom for me, not for thee. Do as I say, not as I do.
I compare this position to Rand Paul’s position because Rand believes the Civil Rights Act was an overreach that unduly prevents private businesses from exercising their rights. And if you make it legal to discriminate against one group of people, you open a legal doorway for others to discriminate against anyone of their choosing. This is why “religious liberty” laws are heresy of the worst sort. They’re open to undefinable interpretation and iteration.
Pettinger opposes the Employee Non-discrimination Act (ENDA) for the same reasons he likely would have opposed the Civil Rights Act. He opposes it for the same reasons Rand Paul does.
I’m sure Pettinger would disagree with that statement, but maybe he should ask himself why anyone would make the comparison.