In America they have a right to free speech, and they apply it very broadly. In Australia we don’t, and we have more anti-discrimination laws because of that.
The question we ask ourselves when making policy is “SHOULD” there be anti-discrimination laws in Australia and to what extent, not necessarily applying to to the reality that there currently are.
Lets look at the examples and then ask ourselves some questions
If there was a BAKER refusing to bake a cake for a gay couple on the grounds that they are a Christian. Is that a Baker who bakes items for exclusive use to the Christian faith because the baking recipes they use have religious significance, or would they usually bake a cake for anyone who pays the usual price for it?
If there was a FASHION DESIGNER, do they specifically make fashion for a certain political group which this group owns the rights to that style of design, or do they usually design for anyone who pays the usual rate for it?
And lets say that it is discrimination pure and simple. No actual religious justification for it. Should that be allowed?
The line we draw on Civil Liberties tend to draw is when it causes harm to others in the community.
What kind of harm should that be? Physical? Emotional? Inciting others to be violent?
We believe in both Civil Liberties AND Equality, so what do we do when both are conflict? Which one takes preference.
The community expectation tends to lean towards equality, and inequality/discrimination can cause long term harm which is not immediately obvious.
There are other ways to maintain Civil Liberties like being able to express your feelings without Discriminating.
Would it be right to punch a gay person in the face because they are gay? Or is that harmful to the community to have people hurting each other because they don’t like them. Would your parents tolerate people brawling in the streets?
Would it be right to contribute towards a gay person stewing over their sexuality which they can’t help but feel which leads to outcomes at least as bad as being punched in the face? (i.e. Suicide/Suicide Attempts). Why should discrimination be any different to other community harms?
On the other hand, if it is a religious practice which a non-religious person is trying to shoehorn themselves into even though they don’t belong, that causes harm to the community (of religious people) as well.
I think that people should be able to do or say what they want as long as they are not harming anyone else, equally for religious and nonreligious people. If it goes against a religious value not to do something, they shouldn’t have to do it, but at the same time they shouldn’t put themselves in a position where someone which is not part of their religion could reasonably expect to use their service.
It wouldn’t be fair for a non-religious person to demand a tailor to make them a Cassock (Christian Clerical Clothing) when the point of the tailor’s business is to supply the Christian clergy.
if it’s a general business , at least have the decency to put up a big sign which says “WHITE PEOPLE ONLY” if you feel that way, you know? Then everyone who doesn’t agree with that can avoid you. I personally don’t have a problem with that, the damage to their reputation would be enough and at least people who don’t agree with those views would know instead of accidently supporting them.