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  1. Michelangelo Signorile | April 07 2015 4:00 AM ET
    "Such stories of people turned away from businesses seem to be reported at least every week, and those are only the ones we know about, the ones in which the individuals come forward or the stories are reported in the media. Each time I have reported them on my radio program, not only do calls come in from gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender listeners, or their friends and family, telling similar stories, but I also hear from straight, gay-supportive people who express shock that such discrimination is happening and cannot believe that it is often legal and that there are no federal protections against it." -- advocate.com

    Book Excerpt: The 'Inappropriate Behavior' Double Standard
    _______________________________________________

    While shop owners and businesses should have the right to refuse service, that refusal should be based on anything but bigotry and religion-fueled bigotry. Note Signorile's comment, "some callers have been honest enough to say, alarmingly, that they believe even laws banning racial discrimination are unconstitutional and that they should be able to turn away anyone they want. Comments like these underscore the vital need for this legislation."*

    That he has callers who actually believe it's unconstitutional that they cannot discriminate when it comes to race, is unfortunately why we must label some groups as "protected classes," and all the more reason why sexual orientation and gender identity need to be added to that list of protected classes.

    It's easy to say, "I'll just take my business elsewhere," but if everyone who was treated badly or was refused service because of what they are, eventually there would be people once again being forced to live without things they need, and forced into a less than favourable existence. And as far as that goes, there are TGLB (and especially the T) people living less than favourable lives right now. Some of these laws that have been enacted, those that are being created, and the lack of protections, do not affect just us - such discriminatory laws can eventually unravel the previous advancements of various groups, and affect a large variety of people.

    Man has not evolved to the point where all people actually are equal and treated thusly without grudge - the proof is that there are still human beings who must be protected by law, and others for whom laws must remain in place.

    -Michael

    *I underlined the word "anyone" to emphasis that the denial of service by those who feel they should be able to do so, could extend, literally, to anyone. Where's the incentive for someone who feels they should have the right to discriminate against any group, to stop with just one group of people?