This is very fun, very fun indeed:
Australia\’s hotel industry has been rocked by a court\’s ruling that a prostitute was illegally discriminated against by a motel owner who refused to rent her a room to work from.
Prostitution is legal. Further:
Prostitution is legal in Queensland, and discrimination based on lawful sexual activity is outlawed.
We ourselves have had a similar (no, not the same, but similar) case: a B&B owner, however Christian, cannot refuse to let a room with a double bed to Teh Gayers.
Discrimination on the basis of lawful sexual activity is illegal.
Myself I\’ve always taken the view that we\’ve a little problem in English given that we use the word discrimination to cover two different things. Taste discrimination, the racism, sexism, etc etc etc stuff, and rational discrimination, perhaps we don\’t want johns wandering through the hotel hallways at 3 am, maybe hiring that just married woman desperate for kids might not be the wisest decision given the maternity leave laws.
I\’m absolutely against the law embracing taste discrimination, being based upon it. But I\’m much more relaxed about the law allowing taste discrimination. Partly because blanket bans on discrimination leave no room for that rational type. But also because I do think that people should have the freedom and liberty to taste discriminate if that\’s what they want to do.
Yes, this does mean that I believe that people should be free to be racist, sexist and all the rest. I don\’t think there would be very much of it, given the way that societal attitudes have changed in recent decades (and I really do think that it is attitudes which have changed, not the law that has driven the behaviour change). A pub that announced it was banning blacks and Irish would be empty within 30 minutes. A pub that bans prostitutes picking up the punters inside is a highly desirable thing: as the pub down the road from me actually does. The tarts from the town brothel (yes, this is Portugal) are entirely welcome as customers. But not when they\’re looking for customers.