Televangelist Pat Robertson defended Arizona and Kansas, which want to legalize anti-gay discrimination, today on "The 700 Club."
According to RightWingWatch.org, Robertson claimed that it is a "basic fundamental right" for businesses to be allowed to discriminate against gay people (video below).
“What we’re looking at here is a basic fundamental right of American people to conduct their business in ways they want to as long as it doesn’t hurt somebody else,” claimed Robertson. “There’s something un-American about forcing a bakery to bake a wedding cake for a couple they don’t like. If they don’t like the people, that’s the way it is ... This is ridiculous.”
Robertson's defense of businesses' having the right to discriminate against gays is similar to the argument used to discriminate against black people during the Jim Crow era.
"After the Civil Rights Act of 1964, segregationists in the South could and did argue that their constitutional right to associate should permit them to refuse to serve blacks in their businesses," Noah Feldman, a Harvard Law School professor, wrote in Bloomberg News. "Personal discrimination is a protected constitutional right. If I only want to marry a person of my own religion, that may be morally right or morally wrong, but it is my fundamental right to choose ... The same is not true of whom I serve at my lunch counter -- a public accommodation. Even if I may make friends with my customers, I am in it to make money, not to form close personal bonds."