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Nothing wrong for Mississippi businesses to be inclusive to gays and lesbians

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If you have been following the news at all, you know there was a bill, vetoed, that would have given the right to businesses to discriminate, based on religious reasons, against gays, lesbians, Jews, African Americans, Latinos, Catholics and Baptists in the state of Arizona.

Of course the writers of that bill did not intend for that bill to discriminate against anyone but gays and lesbians, but that is how it was written. Well almost the same exact bill was signed in Mississippi and became law.

Mississippi, of course, doesn't have the best history, unfortunately, when it comes to discrimination against disliked groups. U.S. history books show examples of that.

Now, a group of business owners who aren't hostile to the idea of selling a hamburger or a bathtub to those who are gay, or who they think are gay, are putting up signs in their windows. The signs read simply, "We don't discriminate, if you are buying, we're selling."

But to a group on the far religious right-wing, the American Family Association, that is bullying. In fact, they state that it is carried out by "radical homosexual activists" who want to "trample on the freedom of Christians to live according to the dictates of scripture."

Frankly, I don't think the majority of business owners putting up these signs are gay themselves, let along "radical" activists. Whatever that means, exactly.

The group also warns those who buy from these businesses that don't discriminate, that they are agreeing "Christians no longer have the freedom to live out the dictates of their Christian faith and conscience."

What a load of drivel. Even if one agrees with the ability to discriminate against gays by businesses, don't other businesses have the right to sell to gays? Is this group actually arguing there should not be a right to sell to someone who is gay? A ban on Ellen DeGeneres in the stores of Mississippi?

If you sell to someone who is gay, or thought to be gay, you should go to jail?

There is no right to mandate that others detest or dislike gays and lesbians. Selling to gays and lesbian couples does not threaten the dictates of someone else's faith or beliefs. The very idea is absurd. Anyone making such an argument should be embarrassed. Their family should be embarrassed. Frankly, it embarrasses the English language and human reason.

Mississippi is making progress. More and more of the people of Mississippi do not believe that gays and lesbians are some kind of threat. They don't believe that gays should be denied the right to marry. Too bad some are an embarrassment to the rest.

By the way, groups like the Human Rights Campaign fight for acceptance of gays and lesbians in society and for the right and ability of them to marry. Please check them out.

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