Airlines Choose To Discriminate Against Trophy Hunters

According to the New York Times, Delta Airlines has chosen to implement a policy discriminating against trophy hunters.

“Its announcement came as a group of airlines including Air France, KLM, Iberia, IAG Cargo, Singapore Airlines and Qantas signaled last week they would ban the transport of trophy-hunting kills, according to Paul Ferris, the campaign director at SumOfUs.org, a consumer-based petition agency in Brooklyn, which has pressed for changing cargo policies,” the paper reports.

“Airlines and other large travel corporations would be foolish to ignore the public reaction to the killing of Cecil the lion, and growing concern about the plight of endangered species,” Ferris told the Times.

[mks_pullquote align=”right” width=”300″ size=”24″ bg_color=”#ffffff” txt_color=”#000000″]Why is it ok for these airline companies to discriminate, based on their sincerely held held convictions about trophy hunting, but not ok for a wedding photographer to refuse to work at a wedding between homosexuals because of similar convictions?[/mks_pullquote]

This seems more than a little reactionary to me. Protecting endangered animals is one thing, but Delta  (and I’m assuming the other airlines) already had a ban on shipping illegally-hunted trophy kills. Though I’m not a fan of trophy hunting myself, that prior policy seemed sufficient to me. If trophy hunting is so bad, then ban it. Otherwise, let’s not go after companies for serving customers who haven’t broken the law.

But whatever. Delta and other airlines are private companies and can certainly decide for themselves what sort of cargo and clientele they wish to associate themselves with. I’m fine with with them making the decision, even if I don’t necessarily agree with it.

Here’s a question, though: Why is it ok for these airline companies to discriminate, based on their sincerely held held convictions about trophy hunting, but not ok for a wedding photographer to refuse to work at a wedding between homosexuals because of similar convictions?

To be clear, I’m not a fan of businesses discriminating against homosexuals. In fact, I find it offensive. But I respect the right of private business owners to make their own decisions about who they will and will not transact business with.

There are others who disagree, saying that discrimination cannot be allowed.

Yet, that’s clearly not the case. I suspect that there is a lot of overlap between people who agree with Delta’s stance on transporting trophy kills and people who think homosexuals can conscript the unwilling services of photographers and cake bakers, but what consistent logic is there in that?

Are they saying that discrimination is ok as long as they find the motivations agreeable?

That seems completely arbitrary to me, based more on the perceptions of those being discriminated against than any sort of articulated principles. Homosexuals, as a group, are far more likable than well-monied trophy hunters who kill elephants and lions.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com, a columnist for the Forum News Service, and host of the Plain Talk Podcast which you can subscribe to by clicking here.

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