Monday, July 11, 2011

Gay capitalism, part II

As you've seen on these pages before, I have been all-too-happy to champion the acknowledgement of gay marriage in New York State.

This weekend, we ran two stories talking about gay marriage in Niagara County. One dealing with its effect in Niagara Falls and one dealing with its effect outside of the Cataract City.

It appears from those stories that the new nuptials will provide somewhat of an economic boon on the west end of Niagara County, while having little-to-no effect in the rest of the county.

I was happy to see city leaders in Niagara Falls push to make the most out of the new possibilities, something I advocated for in a previous column. There is money to be had here.

The thought of a mass gay marriage in the Falls gives me warm fuzzies. It's always nice to see your point of view validated.

The second story that ran, however, noted that not only is gay marriage not a big deal in the rest of the county, there are at least two businesses that say they will chose to not cater to gay couples in the businesses.
While I find this disappointing, after much reflection, I actually don't have a problem with it.

I'd like to make a disclaimer here that both of the business owners are people I know … and consider friends. But I think I'd feel the same no matter who they were.

Now, don't get me wrong, I think they're decisions are wrong. But they're their decisions to make, even though they're breaking the law.

I've said 1,000 times that I'm more interested in what's right than what's legal. And I have my own code of ethics. Frankly, there are a lot of bad laws out there. And although I don't think the acknowledgement of gay marriage is one of them, I can appreciate those who stand by their convictions in their belief that it is.

There are higher powers to answer to than the state of New York. And if some people feel those higher powers would want them to discriminate against gay couples then so be it.

Personally, I have more respect for someone who disagrees with me out of principle than someone who agrees with me and doesn't know why.

There will be some who will want to challenge non-compliant business owners in court. I, personally, think that's silly. Why would anyone want to give money to a place they're not wanted.

I have – from time to time – been known to make a few enemies. There are certain business owners, for example, that have made it all to clear to me that they'd prefer I stop talking altogether.

Well, considering money talks, I don't say a word to those businesses. I prefer to spend my money at places that more readily accept it. And that's exactly what gay couples will do.

The free market will take care of itself, allowing like-minded people to do business together. Nobody has to do business with someone they find distasteful and everyone thrives.

As I've said before, I don't think the state should be in the business of deciding who can get married. But I think it's perfectly acceptable for business owners to decide whose money they want to take.

Funny thing about that money, though. It's kind of the great equalizer. Most people will take anyone's.