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Freely choosing not to cut a gay marriage opponent’s hair

Blog reader and corespondent sonicfrog e-mailed me this story which helps elucidate what it means to be free.  Blogress diva Ann Althouse had linked a report that a gay hair stylist had droped New Mexico governor as client because she opposes same-sex marriage”:

Martinez was recently dropped by her hair stylist, Antonio Darden, who is gay.

Darden told a local news station that he cut the governor’s hair three times, but won’t do it again as long as she continues to oppose gay marriage.

“The governor’s aides called not too long ago, wanting another appointment to come in,” he told KOB-TV. “Because of her stances and her views on this, I told her aides no. They called the next day, asking if I’d changed my mind about taking the governor in and I said no.”

This man has every right to select his own clientele. Too bad he is depriving himself of the opportunity to engage the good governor in a conversation about marriage. Perhaps, while he cut her hair, he could persuade of the merits of state recognition of same-sex unions.

It’s his salon.  They are his services.  He may lose a buck or two.  But that’s his choice.

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34 Comments

  1. I admire him for making a strong statement but your point is well made. He was in a position to have an impact on the governors views. And who knows how many openly gay people get that chance with her. I’m guessing none.

    Comment by Eddie — February 23, 2012 @ 3:30 pm - February 23, 2012

  2. Tempest in a teapot.

    Does anyone wonder if the governor was wise to attempt to have her hair styled by a person who sincerely does not want to be her stylist?

    Comment by Heliotrope — February 23, 2012 @ 3:41 pm - February 23, 2012

  3. On the one hand, the hairstylist has the right to drop a client for what ever reason, within reason, of course. But, for this? Now, if the roles were reversed, and the hair stylist was straight and opposed same sex marriage, and the client was gay and was for it….. Yes, I know I’m in alternate universe territory here in so many ways…… Well, I don’t have to tell you what kind of hell there would be.

    Comment by sonicfrog — February 23, 2012 @ 3:53 pm - February 23, 2012

  4. I assume you’re using “alternate universe” sarcastically, sonicfrog. Wasn’t there a case a few years back of a wedding photographer who refused to work gay weddings? If I recall, the wrath of the gay left came down mightily upon them for their “bigotry”.

    Comment by Draybee — February 23, 2012 @ 3:59 pm - February 23, 2012

  5. Indeed there was, Draybee — and ironically in the same state.

    So what we have here is a case of gays and lesbians screaming that they have the right to refuse service to anyone they want, but that anyone who refuses service to them for whatever reason is discriminating and should be punished by law.

    That’s my answer. New Mexico law says you have to accomodate everyone. Therefore, Antonio Darden should be hauled before the state Human Rights Commission, then taken to court, and forced to pay a massive fine for discriminating.

    And if not, then no gay or lesbian person should ever be allowed to whine about “equal protection” again, because it’s clearly a lie on their part.

    I think the position around here is very straightforward: discrimination is a dumb business decision, but the law doesn’t prohibit that. The entertaining part has been watching all the gay bigot sites turning themselves into pretzels to explain why gays and lesbians should be allowed to discriminate at will.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — February 23, 2012 @ 4:15 pm - February 23, 2012

  6. Personally? I think a better analogy would be to have the feds force him to cut the Governour’s hair. 😉

    Comment by The_Livewire — February 23, 2012 @ 5:39 pm - February 23, 2012

  7. NDT, I think this is a better link from Volokh on the New Mexico photographer case.

    Comment by sonicfrog — February 23, 2012 @ 5:49 pm - February 23, 2012

  8. After reviewing the Elane Photography v Willock case, I think the Governor could have a case, if she wanted to proceed with it, barring of course any stipulation that a person in her position as an elected official could sue a private citizen, which I suspect is the case. I wonder if she could sue after she’s out of office?

    Comment by sonicfrog — February 23, 2012 @ 5:54 pm - February 23, 2012

  9. I suppose he fancies himself the new Harvey Milk or something.

    Comment by TGC — February 23, 2012 @ 5:56 pm - February 23, 2012

  10. If he doesn’t want to cut someone’s hair, he shouldn’t (have to) cut their hair. Yes, that’s freedom.

    He was in a position to have an impact on the governors views.

    I don’t think so. If he tried to engage her in a discussion, she would probably have asked him to stop, and then dropped him. Anyway, it’s not his problem. The Governor is responsible for doing her own research on life and correcting her own views (where they may be mistaken).

    New Mexico law says you have to accomodate everyone. Therefore, Antonio Darden should be hauled before the state Human Rights Commission, then taken to court, and forced to pay a massive fine for discriminating.

    On a consistency basis, yes… but not on a basis of “how things should be.” Any business owner should be able to refuse service to any customer, for any reason. Otherwise, they are in a kind of slavery.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — February 23, 2012 @ 6:09 pm - February 23, 2012

  11. As I note over at my place, the reverse would produce all sorts of awful ramifications for the business owner — including death threats like a 14-year-old girl who testified against SSM in Maryland has received.

    Interestingly enough, the legal disparity some of you noted above also points to the problem of applying civil rights laws to private entities. . .

    http://rhymeswithright.mu.nu/archives/326938.php

    Comment by Rhymes With Right — February 23, 2012 @ 6:14 pm - February 23, 2012

  12. I guess Darden would refuse to cut Obama’s hair as well.

    Comment by Pat — February 23, 2012 @ 6:20 pm - February 23, 2012

  13. Number 12. Excellent point. He gets excused.

    Number 10, ILC has a very good point. One of the tactics of the Western Left is not to actually nationalize property but to regulate it so closely that you can only own your property or your labor on their terms, all local deities have to bow down to the Great God NonDiscriminatus. It becomes increasingly a kind of slavery.

    Were it not for that annoying First Amendment, they’d have Hate Speech laws claiming ownership of our voices as soon as we stepped out of the houses that we don’t have the right to refuse to sell to anyone.

    I remember that case in NM. It’s one of the loathsome attitudes that the victimist LGBT crowd use to justify what, if turned around on them, would be tyranny.

    Comment by EssEm — February 23, 2012 @ 7:02 pm - February 23, 2012

  14. According to the Gov, Darden is not her regular stylist.

    Darden was called upon to help out styling the good Governor on 3 occasions, with the last appointment 10 months ago. Seems like the Governor got the message from Mr Hands on Hips Darden : his unwillingness to provide services even though he wasn’t the Gov’s primary stylist.

    Darden’s action wasn’t so much an act of discrimination but a very well played drama tha has left more folk talking about SSM. Seems like he got what he wanted, a little attention and more folk with their hands on their hips.

    Comment by rusty — February 23, 2012 @ 7:21 pm - February 23, 2012

  15. And with hands placed on my hips, it is fun to see Maryland just a signature away from granting SSM.

    Comment by rusty — February 23, 2012 @ 7:25 pm - February 23, 2012

  16. I am a straingt retired DDS who enjoys this site. As a Hispanic minority myself I have never refused treatment to anyone, even HIV positive patients.

    My question is “if I had refused to treat a gay patient because he is gay and I was against the gay lifestyle would any of your thoughts on the subject matter be different?
    Tony

    Comment by Tony — February 23, 2012 @ 7:41 pm - February 23, 2012

  17. Tony,

    I think the key is whether we believe you should be able to, not so much approve.

    You *should* have the right to refuse service to anyone you choose, for whatever reason. Likewise if you, for example, chose not to treat left handed people, I have the right to tell others, advise them to go to other dentists etc.

    That’s what we’ve lost in the desire to be ‘tolerant’ Too many people only ‘tolerate’ those who agree with them.

    Comment by The_Livewire — February 23, 2012 @ 8:23 pm - February 23, 2012

  18. I wouldn’t think so Tony. I know I would respect your right to have an opinion and conduct your business as you saw fit. Many years ago I discovered the dentist I used was ardently opposed to the gay “lifestyle” owing to the religious beliefs he had come to embrace. While he knew me to be gay, he didn’t treat me any differently. I did ultimately seek a new dentist because he had affiliated himself with a ministry whose raison My own husband is a doctor in private practice and although he has “divorced” some patients, he has never refused to see anyone one the basis of anything (other than inability to pay). My own belief is that if you don’t receive government funding, then you should be able to choose who you to wish to trade with. I know there are situations where you can get your ass in a sling if you are not careful

    Comment by David in N.O. — February 23, 2012 @ 8:37 pm - February 23, 2012

  19. Well my iPad completely screwed up the above post s/b …….raison d’être was haranguing gays. In my husband’s case I imagine there are those who would not see him professionally because he is gay. No problem. It’s their loss, because he is a good doctor. I guarantee there no sleep lost over it. The photographer or innkeeper or cake baker who don’t want gay business? Fine. Why in the world would someone try to make someone take their money if they don’t want it? This has never made sense to me. I would much rather prefer spend my money with someone who is eager for my business.

    Comment by David in N.O. — February 23, 2012 @ 8:49 pm - February 23, 2012

  20. I guess what I really can’t stand is all the whining and all the damn victims.

    Comment by David in N.O. — February 23, 2012 @ 8:54 pm - February 23, 2012

  21. Tony,

    You can refuse to treat a gay patient who opposes gay marriage. But you can not refuse to treat a gay patient who favors gay marriage.

    The point is entirely one of political correctness. The stylist who turned down the governor’s request for a style based his action on the governor’s political incorrectness. The fact that the issue was gay marriage and the stylist happens to be gay is of little consequence.

    The inescapable conclusion is that when you are fighting in a culture war, you must never show any sense of humanity toward your identified enemy. You have the right of being a victim on your side. Or something.

    Anyway, any hissy fit in a storm, even if you have to create the storm yourself.

    Comment by Heliotrope — February 23, 2012 @ 8:59 pm - February 23, 2012

  22. Seems like he got what he wanted, a little attention and more folk with their hands on their hips

    That’s a big assumption about what Darden wanted, rusty. How about this: maybe Darden wanted to just not cut her hair, or to just not have her in his salon. Maybe he got what he wanted, just on that level.

    My question is “if I had refused to treat a gay patient because he is gay and I was against the gay lifestyle would any of your thoughts on the subject matter be different?

    For my part, Tony: No, my thoughts would be no different. When I said what I said at #10, I meant it. (EssEm, thanks for the shout 😉 )

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — February 23, 2012 @ 9:58 pm - February 23, 2012

  23. iLC. Certainly an assumption,but the Gov’s last appointment was 10 months ago.darden took it upon himself to leave a message that he should no longer be considered a stylist for the Gov. Seems like Mr. Darden is now a topic for his community and news outlets and blogs.

    Comment by rusty — February 23, 2012 @ 10:44 pm - February 23, 2012

  24. the homosexual menace

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yhaXh1UY7-4&sns=fb

    Comment by rusty — February 23, 2012 @ 11:01 pm - February 23, 2012

  25. Antonio Darden has staged the kind of protest only a man with scissors can.

    At least three times, the gay salon owner has cut the hair of New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez, who sports wispy bangs and a highlighted, layered bob. But Martinez, a Republican, opposes gay marriage, an issue that has made all sorts of headlines lately.

    Seven states and the District of Columbia recognize gay marriage. New Mexico is not among them. Martinez has indicated that she wouldn’t support a domestic partnership law either, although the state provides domestic partner benefits to its employees.

    So Darden decided to use the only sway he had.

    “The governor’s aides called not too long ago, wanting another appointment to come in,” he told KOB-TV. “Because of her stances and her views on this, I told her aides no. They called the next day, asking if I’d changed my mind about taking the governor in, and I said no again.”

    Darden, who runs Antonio’s Hair Studio in Santa Fe, has been with his partner for 15 years.

    “I think it’s just equality, dignity for everyone,” he told the TV station. “I think everybody should be allowed the right to be together.”

    my error, didn’t realize the Gov’s aides had made inquiries with Darden about another appointment. according to this article
    http://www.latimes.com/news/nation/nationnow/la-na-nn-susana-martinez-gay-marriage-20120222,0,4764369.story

    Comment by rusty — February 23, 2012 @ 11:07 pm - February 23, 2012

  26. the phone call Darden to the Gov’s office

    http://www.latimes.com/la-susana-martinez-antonio-darden-mp3-20120223,0,2666297.mp3file

    So Martinez’s office spent Thursday fighting back.

    A few months ago, Martinez needed a haircut on short notice, spokesman Greg Blair told The Times in an email. One of her staffers called about half a dozen hair stylists, including Darden, before finding one who could fit her in. At the time, Darden didn’t utter a word about gay marriage, Blair said.

    That changed in recent weeks, when Darden left a voice mail that the governor’s office released to reporters Thursday. In it, Darden appears to have recently learned that Martinez opposed gay marriage, and said he was “upset and distraught” over her stance.

    Comment by rusty — February 23, 2012 @ 11:10 pm - February 23, 2012

  27. You can refuse to treat a gay patient who opposes gay marriage. But you can not refuse to treat a gay patient who favors gay marriage.

    The point is entirely one of political correctness.

    About political correctness… it is apparently not politically incorrect to be homophobic towards gay conservatives; racist towards black, hispanic, or Asian conservatives or conservatives of other racial minorities; or misogynist towards female conservatives. And it of course not politically incorrect to be bigoted towards Christians. Or antisemitic when the antisemitism is incorporated into some sort of leftist nonsense. In fact, bigotry is perfectly politically correct as long as the target is a conservative, Christian, or Jew.

    As you can plainly see, political correctness is pure bullsh*t that the left has constructed to justify its fascism.

    Comment by Rattlesnake — February 23, 2012 @ 11:22 pm - February 23, 2012

  28. Antonio’s Hair Studio in Santa Fe, has been with his partner for 15 years.

    “I think it’s just equality, dignity for everyone,” he told the TV station. “I think everybody should be allowed the right to be together.

    Apparently, no one is stopping them from being together, so I don’t see what he’s bitching about.

    Comment by V the K — February 23, 2012 @ 11:23 pm - February 23, 2012

  29. Apparently, no one is stopping them from being together, so I don’t see what he’s bitching about.

    So if a Christian photographer refuses to photograph a same-sex wedding…

    Comment by Michael Ejercito — February 24, 2012 @ 12:14 am - February 24, 2012

  30. So if a Christian photographer refuses to photograph a same-sex wedding…

    That is his right, or at least it should be. The well mannered would just walk away and simply find a photographer who is gay friendly. Lord a mercy, surely there must be at least one out there! Indeed, I would hazard a guess that gay owned/gay friendly wedding/commitment planning and other ancillary business are cropping up everywhere. I took my aunt to martha’s vineyard a few years ago and was surprised at the number of business that have sprung up as well as the existing businesses branching out to capture their share of the potential SSM market.

    Threatening action in order to force a vendor to do what he or she does not want to do, especially if their decisions are informed by their faith, is tantamount to rubbing their faces in “it”. It is offensive and does the rest of us no favors.

    Now getting back to “Antonio’s Curl Up and Dye”, he has made a decision he has the right to make. Good or bad, I could not care less. As heliotrope so sagely said earlier, tempest in a teapot.

    Comment by David in N.O. — February 24, 2012 @ 1:35 am - February 24, 2012

  31. So if a Christian photographer refuses to photograph a same-sex wedding…

    he deprives

    himself of the opportunity to engage

    the wedding party

    in a conversation about marriage.

    Comment by Cinesnatch — February 24, 2012 @ 3:30 am - February 24, 2012

  32. That is his right, or at least it should be. The well mannered would just walk away and simply find a photographer who is gay friendly.

    And if there’s no one who will do it professionally, then there’s a market to be filled.

    Aside, my ex and I had a friend’s partner do the photography for the wedding. They, like us, have since seperated, but she did good work.

    Comment by The Livewire — February 24, 2012 @ 8:01 am - February 24, 2012

  33. sure he had the freedom to do that, but would we defend and cheer a hair dresser that refused to do someone’s hair because they ARE pro-gay marriage? Just playing devil’s advocate… its ok to admire someone for their stand, but what happens when the shoe is on the other foot?

    Comment by Mark — February 24, 2012 @ 10:25 am - February 24, 2012

  34. Just to be clear, I am not cheering anyone here. Antonio has the right to express his opinion as would the hair dresser in your example.

    This day and age, with social media and the internet being what it is, the best course of action IMHO, is to conduct your business fairly, honestly and professionally. If someones want to take a stand on a political or social issue, then they need to be ready,willing and able to take responsibility for the results. Anyway, I don’t think the majority of people don’t really care very much about this stuff. The fact that boycotts seldom work is, I think, proof.

    Comment by David in N.O. — February 24, 2012 @ 11:13 am - February 24, 2012

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