Fargo’s St. Mark’s Lutheran Church – a gay-friendly congregation – asked a local business called Custom Graphics Inc., to design a new logo for them.
The owner of that business initially worked with them, but after finding out that the design would include rainbow themes which are representative of the homosexual rights movement, he decided he wasn’t comfortable making the logo.
“The business was declined respectfully,” Manager Zach Paxton said. “I didn’t mean any offense by it or anything like that.”
“If they would come with something to be manufactured or such, no problem,” he added. “But this is trying to come up with a logo and help them come up with ways to promote their agenda.”
Paxton does not own the business, and according to the article the owner does not agree with his decision.
But in America in 2016 you don’t get to just respectfully decline to do business like that. State Rep. Josh Boschee, who is in the middle of a re-election campaign in Fargo’s District 44, has pounced saying there ought to be a law to force Paxton to design a logo:
Boschee said this case is an example of why North Dakota needs a law banning discrimination based on sexual orientation.
“We don’t allow businesses to say that they’re not going to design a graphic for someone who is Muslim or someone who is disabled or someone that’s a single parent because we recognize that that’s just a form of discrimination that’s not a North Dakota value,” he said.
Boschee, the state’s first openly-gay lawmaker, was a sponsor of a bill, defeated last session, that would have outlawed sexual orientation discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodations such as businesses.
I do not understand why Paxton would decline. Business is business, after all, and businesses in the habit of giving up jobs to their competition typically don’t stay in business long. Also, a decision like this will likely inspire other people to choose a less judgmental business to do their graphic work.
But I also don’t have any moral objections to homosexuality. Clearly Paxton does. I think he ought to have the right to conduct his business in accordance with his conscience (whatever differences he may have with his boss on this front they can work out on their own).
Just as Target should be free to set their own transgender-friendly bathroom policy, graphic design companies should be allowed to decline work they disapprove of.
It’s not like there are no other graphic design companies in the Fargo area which would gladly do this work. But that’s irrelevant, I suppose.
The stance of an increasingly radicalized gay rights movement is that you must be made to care.
I suspect Rep. Boschee would not want a law forcing a given business to work with a group opposed to homosexuality. So how can he countenance the reverse situation without being a hypocrite?
I wish business people like Mr. Paxton had more tolerance for views divergent from his own. But then, I wish the same for Rep. Boschee.