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The business impact of homophobia

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The business impact of homophobia

Old 03-26-15, 08:43 AM
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The business impact of homophobia

This is near & dear ot my heart since I live in Indianapolis and love going to GenCon.

IndyStar Article on the bill/signing

In the last couple of days the Indiana legislature just passed one of those "You don't have to serve gay people" bills, and the governor is expected to sign it today. It's one of those "the feds are forcing us not be bigots so we're going to find a way anyway" butt-hurt bills.

What I find interesting here is the pushback from the companies. Indianapolis is a MAJOR convention town and one of the largest, GenCon, sent Indiana a letter expressing their concern. Other "unnamed" conventions appear to have brought up the issue, as well as several conventions that have not signed yet.

In addition the NCAA (headquartered in Indianapolis and usually running many March games in town) has expressed concern and Salesforce has questioned their proposed expansion in Indianapolis.


This is a very red state with a very blue capitol, Indianapolis. The (presumed) values of Indianapolis get overrided by the red majority in the rest of the state and the blue-dwellers feel the (disproportionate?) economic impact of the bigotry engaged in by the rest of the state.


Is there any evidence that this of "business boycott" has any impact on the political leadership? Christie did the (pig? Chicken?) cage sellout in Jersey to appeal to the Iowa voters, but that seems more "political power" related than this, which seems more religious/ideology related. [Which makes the assumption that Governor Pence is not doing this to position himself for a future national political race. I've not gotten the "pandering to the voters" vibe from Pence previously."]
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Old 03-26-15, 10:30 AM
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Re: The business impact of homophobia

You'll have pushback from companies not because it's the right thing to do...but due to the typical situation where some reporter will discover a certain company is NOT publicly admitting this is "wrong", and they'll get cornered from the press if they don't speak up. So, I think it's not really a matter of morality these days, as it's more of a "We Better Do It Like Everyone Else Or We'll Be Accused Of Being Anti-Gay" things.
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Old 03-26-15, 10:41 AM
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Re: The business impact of homophobia

I'd like to see some group still hold a convention in Indianapolis, but make the destruction of a Bible a condition of admission.
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Old 03-26-15, 11:44 AM
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Re: The business impact of homophobia

Originally Posted by DVD Polizei View Post
You'll have pushback from companies not because it's the right thing to do...but due to the typical situation where some reporter will discover a certain company is NOT publicly admitting this is "wrong", and they'll get cornered from the press if they don't speak up. So, I think it's not really a matter of morality these days, as it's more of a "We Better Do It Like Everyone Else Or We'll Be Accused Of Being Anti-Gay" things.
When you are holding a convention that's bringing in people from all over the country/world, why would you choose to hold it in a place where businesses are refusing to serve a percentage of your convention-goers? Do you think that leaves a positive impression of the event?

I used to work for a company that did the staging and video work for large conventions and the venue is extremely important.
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Old 03-26-15, 12:20 PM
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Re: The business impact of homophobia

I seriously don't understand these laws. How can it be read as anything other than government sanctioned bigotry.

I 100% agree that a person has the individual power, belief and right to not serve someone. They have a choice. No one should hold a gun to the head of a store owner and force them to do anything they don't want to.

However, there should be no law protecting them from refusal of service. If what they did was in that individual case, the correct action, a jury of their peers (presumably a civil jury/judge) will let them know if they are sued.

The whole thing is stupid anyway....I mean if any owner is saying they feel cannot serve same sex couples, because they are not moral they are essentially saying all opposite sex couple are moral. Did they do a background check to ensure that or are they making that decision solely based on the number of penii or lack of in the relationship?

Saw this thought it made a good point about the issue (paraphrasing this made up example)

Dude runs a florist shop, first guy walks in to get flowers for his wife. Florist ask if it is a special occasion and he says "oh, I went to the strip club last night, drank to much, got home and wanted sex with my wife who said no. I screamed at her, got mad and slapped her. So I need to get some flowers to say I'm sorry". Florist shows him some $100 arrangements and the dude says "Oh I don't want to spend that much, it is partly her fault for saying no".

I doubt there would be any florist who would refuse service to the wife beater.

Second dude comes into florist saying he needs to buy some flowers. Florist ask if there is a special occasion and dude says, yes, my husband and I are celebrating 10 wonderful years of marriage.

Florist says; "I'm sorry can't help you. Your are not living a moral lifestyle".

It is such a crock....you open a public business....run the freaking business. It is not that hard. And actually, running a business is hard. Very hard. Why make it harder with this nonsense?
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Old 03-26-15, 12:34 PM
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Re: The business impact of homophobia

Every person should be hooked to lie detector machine before they can swipe their creit card.
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Old 03-26-15, 12:38 PM
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Re: The business impact of homophobia

Originally Posted by Sdallnct View Post

Saw this thought it made a good point about the issue (paraphrasing this made up example)

Dude runs a florist shop, first guy walks in to get flowers for his wife. Florist ask if it is a special occasion and he says "oh, I went to the strip club last night, drank to much, got home and wanted sex with my wife who said no. I screamed at her, got mad and slapped her. So I need to get some flowers to say I'm sorry". Florist shows him some $100 arrangements and the dude says "Oh I don't want to spend that much, it is partly her fault for saying no".

I doubt there would be any florist who would refuse service to the wife beater.

Second dude comes into florist saying he needs to buy some flowers. Florist ask if there is a special occasion and dude says, yes, my husband and I are celebrating 10 wonderful years of marriage.

Florist says; "I'm sorry can't help you. Your are not living a moral lifestyle".
Eh, I've seen better strawmen in my time.
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Old 03-26-15, 12:43 PM
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Re: The business impact of homophobia

Good for GenCon.

As for this law, it should have a rider that if you do refuse services to certain groups you have to post a sign on the front door explicitly saying so. Shouldn't be a problem, right? Right?
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Old 03-26-15, 01:01 PM
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Re: The business impact of homophobia

"No Shoes/Shirt No Service"

"No Pets Allowed"

"No Homos Allowed"

"No Non-Whitey People Allowed"

I wonder how long until they got a brick through their front window?
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Old 03-26-15, 01:05 PM
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Re: The business impact of homophobia

Originally Posted by Groucho View Post
Good for GenCon.

As for this law, it should have a rider that if you do refuse services to certain groups you have to post a sign on the front door explicitly saying so. Shouldn't be a problem, right? Right?
The converse is already happening voluntarily. Several groups of businesses have formed that are putting up signs stating they'll serve everyone. Likewise, there are initial efforts to put into place directory sites to publicly list those businesses who choose to discriminate. I can't speak to reception in the rest of the state, but the opinion of this nonsense in Indy seems to be almost entirely negative. I have a feeling it'll bite some politicians in the ass next election.
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Old 03-26-15, 01:13 PM
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Re: The business impact of homophobia

Originally Posted by Sdallnct View Post
I 100% agree that a person has the individual power, belief and right to not serve someone. They have a choice. No one should hold a gun to the head of a store owner and force them to do anything they don't want to.

However, there should be no law protecting them from refusal of service. If what they did was in that individual case, the correct action, a jury of their peers (presumably a civil jury/judge) will let them know if they are sued.
So you support government sponsored coercion, just not summary execution of those refusing service. I guess that's a compromise of sorts.
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Old 03-26-15, 01:38 PM
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Re: The business impact of homophobia

Assuming my understanding of this kind of bill is correct, I think that it's an inappropriate solution to a somewhat challenging problem for the government.

I admit this idea isn't fully-formed, but I think if a for-profit business wants to limit service based on religious conviction, they should have to register for a specific type of business license that identifies their religious affiliation and specifies the associated limitations of their service. It should also require that they promote themselves openly as a limited service business based on religious affiliation and they should be subject to government audits accordingly.

For example, if a Catholic wedding photographer intended to limit service based on religious conviction, they would be required to register for a limited business license that specifies they will only shoot weddings that have been sanctioned by the Catholic church. They would only be allowed to market as a Catholic wedding photographer and if audited, the burden would be on the business owner to produce records showing they've only shot weddings sanctioned by the Catholic church.

This kind of approach would inevitably add some government bureaucracy, but it would prevent business owners from refusing service to individuals based on arbitrary and inconsistent application of religious convictions. The determination of the limitations of service would really be with the affiliated religious organization. It would offer legal protection for those business owners whose faith was strong enough to want to deal with the added bureaucracy in order to limit service based on their religious beliefs. I'm sure there are holes in this idea, but it seems more appropriate than the type of bill identified in the OP's article.
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Old 03-26-15, 01:57 PM
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Re: The business impact of homophobia

Originally Posted by kefrank View Post
Assuming my understanding of this kind of bill is correct, I think that it's an inappropriate solution to a somewhat challenging problem for the government.

I admit this idea isn't fully-formed, but I think if a for-profit business wants to limit service based on religious conviction, they should have to register for a specific type of business license that identifies their religious affiliation and specifies the associated limitations of their service. It should also require that they promote themselves openly as a limited service business based on religious affiliation and they should be subject to government audits accordingly.

For example, if a Catholic wedding photographer intended to limit service based on religious conviction, they would be required to register for a limited business license that specifies they will only shoot weddings that have been sanctioned by the Catholic church. They would only be allowed to market as a Catholic wedding photographer and if audited, the burden would be on the business owner to produce records showing they've only shot weddings sanctioned by the Catholic church.

This kind of approach would inevitably add some government bureaucracy, but it would prevent business owners from refusing service to individuals based on arbitrary and inconsistent application of religious convictions. The determination of the limitations of service would really be with the affiliated religious organization. It would offer legal protection for those business owners whose faith was strong enough to want to deal with the added bureaucracy in order to limit service based on their religious beliefs. I'm sure there are holes in this idea, but it seems more appropriate than the type of bill identified in the OP's article.
While I appreciate you thinking it out, how is that any different from refusing service based on race? You could legitimately not want to serve black people, but we shouldn't be creating an avenue for that to happen.

If your religious convictions (something you've chosen to believe in, by the way) prevent you from serving members of the public, then you shouldn't have that business (which you've also chosen to open).
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Old 03-26-15, 02:07 PM
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Re: The business impact of homophobia

Originally Posted by Draven View Post
While I appreciate you thinking it out, how is that any different from refusing service based on race? You could legitimately not want to serve black people, but we shouldn't be creating an avenue for that to happen.

If your religious convictions (something you've chosen to believe in, by the way) prevent you from serving members of the public, then you shouldn't have that business (which you've also chosen to open).
Agreed. I can understand the argument that we shouldn't have protected classes at all. I can understand the arguments over what classes should be protected. I can't understand the argument that classes should be protected except from those who really, really believe they're wrong.
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Old 03-26-15, 02:24 PM
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Re: The business impact of homophobia

Originally Posted by Draven View Post
While I appreciate you thinking it out, how is that any different from refusing service based on race? You could legitimately not want to serve black people, but we shouldn't be creating an avenue for that to happen.

If your religious convictions (something you've chosen to believe in, by the way) prevent you from serving members of the public, then you shouldn't have that business (which you've also chosen to open).
About a month ago, a Krispy Kreme store in the United Kingdom was advertising a special club, a "Krispy Kreme Klub." Wednesdays were KKK Wednesdays. (http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandst...days-promotion)

Krispy Kreme realized the mistake (I guess the letters KKK aren't as powerful in Europe as they are here in the USA) and ended the promotion. If this happened in the United States, and if the store didn't correct the situation itself, should the government have stepped in.

Does a store in the United States have the right to run a "KKK Wednesday" promotion? That's not exactly the same thing as specifically refusing to do business with a specific race, but if a specific race is discouraged from patronizing that store, is it essentially the same thing?
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Old 03-26-15, 02:39 PM
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Re: The business impact of homophobia

I believe a store in the US would have that right. It might be a stupid decision, but just because those three letters have a specific connotation to many doesn't mean that's the only use that they have.

But that doesn't really factor into this decision. It's not like legislators in Indiana are accidentally throwing together letters to form hateful legislation.
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Old 03-26-15, 02:40 PM
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Re: The business impact of homophobia

Originally Posted by RoyalTea View Post
About a month ago, a Krispy Kreme store in the United Kingdom was advertising a special club, a "Krispy Kreme Klub." Wednesdays were KKK Wednesdays. (http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandst...days-promotion)

Krispy Kreme realized the mistake (I guess the letters KKK aren't as powerful in Europe as they are here in the USA) and ended the promotion. If this happened in the United States, and if the store didn't correct the situation itself, should the government have stepped in.

Does a store in the United States have the right to run a "KKK Wednesday" promotion? That's not exactly the same thing as specifically refusing to do business with a specific race, but if a specific race is discouraged from patronizing that store, is it essentially the same thing?
I honestly don't know the rules with regards to advertising something like that. I would think it would self-correct so quickly that it wouldn't be an issue.

But these Indiana rules are the equivalent of "No Coloreds Allowed". Homosexuality is just the current thing the straight white people are afraid of.
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Old 03-26-15, 02:49 PM
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Re: The business impact of homophobia

Originally Posted by Draven View Post
While I appreciate you thinking it out, how is that any different from refusing service based on race? You could legitimately not want to serve black people, but we shouldn't be creating an avenue for that to happen.
I see it as different, because the limitation of service cannot be directly based on any single discriminatory principle (such as, "I won't serve black people."). Also, one important thing I left out is that the limited business license would only be possible for businesses whose services are directly related to religious ceremonies or services. So, you couldn't get a limited license for a "Catholic candy store" that only serves candy to Catholics who have been through confirmation, because there's no direct association between candy and Catholic ceremonies or services. You could get a business license for wedding photography affiliated with a religious organization that (for example) doesn't sanction weddings for mixed couples, but you would be subject to all the other limitations of the organization on sanctioned weddings as well. Additionally, the affiliation along with its limitations would have to be publicly promoted, so market forces would come to bear.

If your religious convictions (something you've chosen to believe in, by the way) prevent you from serving members of the public, then you shouldn't have that business (which you've also chosen to open).
I'm actually on board with some form of this notion, but I don't necessarily think it's entirely that black and white. And my reasoning goes along with the notion I originally left out - some legitimate for-profit businesses provide services that inherently have some level of affiliation with religious ceremonies or services. Businesses associated with weddings (photographers, bakeries, etc) are the obvious and often-brought-up example. I think if a potential business owner's religious convictions are strong enough to want to limit who they will serve in such a business, they should be able to do so with certain protections, recognizing that the government will actually enforce the consistent application of that religious affiliation and it will create more work and likely cost for the business owner. The potential business owner has to weigh whether their religious convictions are so strong that they are willing to take that on and live with the resulting market forces as well.

Edited to add: I'm not entirely convinced by my own arguments above and am still considering all the issues here.
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Old 03-26-15, 02:56 PM
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Re: The business impact of homophobia

Originally Posted by wmansir View Post
So you support government sponsored coercion, just not summary execution of those refusing service. I guess that's a compromise of sorts.
And you apparently support government hand-holding of all civil issues? Like it was said, let the public decide the business fate. Is it wrong to let a society think for itself.

Before somebody chimes in with lynchings and mass murders of gay people, we're talking about business practices which are not life threatening and the consumer is not in criminal danger.
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Old 03-26-15, 03:02 PM
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Re: The business impact of homophobia

Businesses and individuals should just keep doing what they have done years. It's not hard to walk into many family owned businesses and know exactly who they are looking to serve and not. Same for individuals and the excuses they will make to avoid the jobs they don't to do. These things usually work themselves out without the need for government intervention.

Given the amount of data available these days, it's pretty hard for a business to hide their intentions for very long.
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Old 03-26-15, 03:03 PM
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Re: The business impact of homophobia

Originally Posted by RoyalTea View Post
About a month ago, a Krispy Kreme store in the United Kingdom was advertising a special club, a "Krispy Kreme Klub." Wednesdays were KKK Wednesdays. (http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandst...days-promotion)

Krispy Kreme realized the mistake (I guess the letters KKK aren't as powerful in Europe as they are here in the USA) and ended the promotion. If this happened in the United States, and if the store didn't correct the situation itself, should the government have stepped in.

Does a store in the United States have the right to run a "KKK Wednesday" promotion? That's not exactly the same thing as specifically refusing to do business with a specific race, but if a specific race is discouraged from patronizing that store, is it essentially the same thing?
I don't see how that is at all comparable. Krispy Kreme accidentally referenced the KKK. When they realized their mistake, they corrected it.

Now, if Krispy Kreme had deliberately put up signs for the "Krispy Kreme Club" and intended it to be a connection to the Klu Klux Klan, I would say that is their right, and then refuse to ever purchase or eat another Krispy Kreme donut ever again, while telling everyone I know not to either.

But even if Krispy Kreme did deliberately advertise a connection to the KKK, they'd still have no legal right to deny service to protected classes.
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Old 03-26-15, 03:04 PM
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Re: The business impact of homophobia

Originally Posted by kefrank View Post
I see it as different, because the limitation of service cannot be directly based on any single discriminatory principle (such as, "I won't serve black people."). Also, one important thing I left out is that the limited business license would only be possible for businesses whose services are directly related to religious ceremonies or services. So, you couldn't get a limited license for a "Catholic candy store" that only serves candy to Catholics who have been through confirmation, because there's no direct association between candy and Catholic ceremonies or services. You could get a business license for wedding photography affiliated with a religious organization that (for example) doesn't sanction weddings for mixed couples, but you would be subject to all the other limitations of the organization on sanctioned weddings as well. Additionally, the affiliation along with its limitations would have to be publicly promoted, so market forces would come to bear.
Couldn't a wedding-based business refuse to provide services for a wedding between an interracial couple? No black people at all are allowed to come in and sample cakes? You're not going to provide flowers to any Hispanics? Where does it end?

I'm actually on board with some form of this notion, but I don't necessarily think it's entirely that black and white. And my reasoning goes along with the notion I originally left out - some legitimate for-profit businesses provide services that inherently have some level of affiliation with religious ceremonies or services. Businesses associated with weddings (photographers, bakeries, etc) are the obvious and often-brought-up example. I think if a potential business owner's religious convictions are strong enough to want to limit who they will serve in such a business, they should be able to do so with certain protections, recognizing that the government will actually enforce the consistent application of that religious affiliation and it will create more work and likely cost for the business owner. The potential business owner has to weigh whether their religious convictions are so strong that they are willing to take that on and live with the resulting market forces as well.

Edited to add: I'm not entirely convinced by my own arguments above and am still considering all the issues here.
Per your edit: fair enough, I understand it's tricky.

Again, if you are going to be a wedding photographer, then your business is to take pictures of weddings. Why should tax dollars go to support a business that won't take pictures of black couples or interracial couples? And if you don't want to take pictures of weddings, then find another business to run.
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Old 03-26-15, 03:07 PM
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Re: The business impact of homophobia

Originally Posted by majorjoe23 View Post
I believe a store in the US would have that right. It might be a stupid decision, but just because those three letters have a specific connotation to many doesn't mean that's the only use that they have.

But that doesn't really factor into this decision. It's not like legislators in Indiana are accidentally throwing together letters to form hateful legislation.
I guess I'm asking if there is a difference (or should be a difference) between a business explicitly having a "NO __________ Allowed" policy and a store in some way just hinting that there is a type of customer they'd prefer not to deal with.

While I don't want to see a cross become a symbol of hate, if a store prominently displayed a cross in their window a customer might infer that they probably should shop elsewhere without there being an explicit stated policy.
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Old 03-26-15, 03:09 PM
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Re: The business impact of homophobia

Originally Posted by Supermallet View Post
I don't see how that is at all comparable. Krispy Kreme accidentally referenced the KKK. When they realized their mistake, they corrected it.

Now, if Krispy Kreme had deliberately put up signs for the "Krispy Kreme Club" and intended it to be a connection to the Klu Klux Klan, I would say that is their right, and then refuse to ever purchase or eat another Krispy Kreme donut ever again, while telling everyone I know not to either.

But even if Krispy Kreme did deliberately advertise a connection to the KKK, they'd still have no legal right to deny service to protected classes.
I know it was an accident. I'm saying what if it wasn't. And what if it happened in the United States.

A coffee shop incorporating KKK imagery may not have to actively have a "no blacks allowed" policy, but the KKK imagery may discourage black customers from ever finding out if the policy is explicit or implicit.
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Old 03-26-15, 03:13 PM
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Re: The business impact of homophobia

Again, any business is free to use whatever (non-copyrighted/trademarked) imagery they like, but if they have discriminatory business practices, that's illegal.

I'm sure you can find tons of businesses in the south that prominently display the Confederate flag and KKK imagery. You don't see the government busting their doors down.
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