Nashville Shop Refuses Service to Republican Event
- A flower shop in Nashville refused to provide decorations for an RNC fundraiser.
- The owners of the flower shop urged other businesses in the Nashville event industry to refuse any business or money from the Republican Party until they begin to make changes to gun laws that most Americans are calling for.
- The owners cited the recent shooting at the Christian Covenant School and the RNC’s role in creating such tragedies as the reason for their refusal.
A flower shop in Nashville that refused to provide decorations for a Republican National Committee (RNC) fundraiser. The owners of FLWR Shop, Alex Vaughn and Quinn Kiesow, stated that they declined to provide their services and urged other businesses in the Nashville event industry to refuse any business or money from the Republican Party until they begin to make changes to gun laws.
The question of whether businesses have the right to refuse service to certain customers is not a new one. We saw a similar debate in the case of a Colorado baker who refused to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple. In that case, the Supreme Court ultimately ruled in favor of the baker’s right to refuse service based on his religious beliefs.
The FLWR Shop owners, in this case, made their decision based on their personal beliefs and discomfort with the political affiliation of the event’s speakers. While some may disagree with their stance, it is their right as business owners to choose who they work with. This is a fundamental aspect of our free market system and is essential to protecting the rights of business owners.
In the case of FLWR Shop, their decision to refuse service to the RNC fundraiser may have alienated some potential customers and damaged their reputation. But ultimately, it is up to each individual business owner to decide what they are comfortable with and who they choose to serve.
In conclusion, while the decision of FLWR Shop to refuse service to the RNC fundraiser has sparked controversy, it ultimately comes down to the fundamental right of businesses to choose who they work with. While there are certainly potential consequences to refusing service, it is ultimately up to each individual business owner to make that decision based on their personal beliefs and comfort level.
In 2012, a same-sex couple in Colorado, Charlie Craig and David Mullins, visited Masterpiece Cakeshop, a bakery owned by Jack Phillips, to order a wedding cake for their upcoming wedding ceremony. However, Phillips refused to make the cake, citing his religious beliefs that marriage is between a man and a woman.
Craig and Mullins filed a complaint with the Colorado Civil Rights Commission, claiming that Phillips violated Colorado’s Anti-Discrimination Act, which prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation. The commission ruled in favor of the couple, stating that Phillips’ refusal to make the cake constituted discrimination.
Phillips appealed the decision, arguing that he had a right to free speech and artistic expression under the First Amendment of the US Constitution. He also argued that the commission’s decision violated his right to freedom of religion.
The case eventually made its way to the Supreme Court of the United States, which heard oral arguments in December 2017. In June 2018, the Court ruled in a 7-2 decision that the commission’s decision against Phillips violated his First Amendment rights. The Court did not address the larger issue of whether businesses can discriminate against LGBTQ+ customers based on religious beliefs, instead focusing on the specific circumstances of the case.
The majority opinion, written by Justice Anthony Kennedy, stated that the commission’s decision showed hostility towards Phillips’ religious beliefs and violated his right to free speech. Kennedy also noted that the Court’s decision did not give businesses a blank check to discriminate against LGBTQ+ customers, stating that “gay persons and gay couples cannot be treated as social outcasts or as inferior in dignity and worth.”
The decision was met with mixed reactions. Supporters of Phillips argued that the decision upheld the rights of religious individuals to freely express their beliefs without fear of discrimination. LGBTQ+ advocates criticized the decision, stating that it could open the door to further discrimination against the community.
Since the Masterpiece Cakeshop decision, similar cases have emerged across the country, including a case involving a florist in Washington state who refused to provide flowers for a same-sex wedding.
Similarly, in the case of the flower shop in Nashville, there is a question of whether the owners have the right to refuse service to the Republican Party based on their personal beliefs about gun laws and political affiliations. While businesses are generally allowed to refuse service to individuals for certain reasons (such as dress code violations), it becomes more complicated when the refusal is based on personal beliefs or values that could be seen as discriminatory.
In both cases, there are arguments on both sides. Some argue that businesses have the right to refuse service to anyone for any reason, as long as it does not violate any laws. Others argue that businesses should not be allowed to discriminate based on personal beliefs or values, as this can lead to a slippery slope of discrimination against certain groups.
Overall, both cases highlight the complex legal and ethical questions surrounding the right of businesses to refuse service based on personal beliefs or values. It remains to be seen how these issues will be resolved in the future, and what the implications will be for businesses and individuals alike.