Astonishment does not begin to describe my reaction to Jon Alexander's column, “The Right to be Awful.” For an editor in this day and age to encourage the Supreme Court to defend the right of a business to discriminate against certain customers on the basis of sexual orientation is nothing short of a call for a national return to the days when it was common practice in certain areas of our country to have “Whites Only” restaurants, hotels, hospitals, neighborhoods and clubs.
Some of us are old enough to remember what it was like before civil rights legislation. Those were shameful days for our nation. Every morning, school children would recite the Pledge of Allegiance, proclaiming America to stand for “liberty and justice for all” while that very pledge was being denied on the streets of so many towns across the land. Do we really want to see signs posted on storefronts, reading “Heterosexuals Only” just as once there were signs that read “Whites Only”?
Mr. Alexander says that law is not the answer but rather free enterprise and boycott. But the protection of the rights of all citizens must not be left to personal opinion or majority rule. If it were, there would still be segregation in the South and restricted neighborhoods and jobs in the North. Endorsing prejudice against one group is permitting prejudice against all groups. America is better than that, or at least it should be.
Rabbi Henry Jay Karp
Editor's note: Karp is a member of One Human Family QCA.