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New Mexico Gov Responds to Gay Hairstylist’s Snub

New Mexico Gov Responds to Gay Hairstylist’s Snub

 

A spokesperson for New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez has responded to the media attention surrounding a hairstylist refusing Martinez as a client over her views against marriage equality, saying that while Martinez doesn’t support same-sex marriage, she doesn’t support discrimination either.

This example of double think via On Top Magazine:

Martinez Spokesman Greg Blair told the Los Angeles Times that while Martinez does not support marriage equality, she is also opposed to discrimination.

“The governor has been very clear that she does not support gay marriage,” Blair said, “but does believe that all people should be judged on their merits and not discriminated against.”

Martinez, a Republican, is not only opposed to giving gay and lesbian couples the right to marry, she has also said she would not sign legislation recognizing gay couples with a domestic partnership.

“I would not sign the domestic partnership bill,” Martinez said during her 2010 campaign. “It is unnecessary and ill-advised, as most of the rights can be attained through contracts and by power of attorney.”

Stylist Antonio Darden of Antonio’s Hair Studio in Santa Fe, New Mexico, who had cut Martinez’s hair on three previous occasions, declined cutting the governor’s hair a fourth time when her aides called to book her another appointment. Darden told reporters that, after finding out about the governor’s stance on gay marriage, he felt it necessary to refuse her business.

He added: “I think it’s just equality, dignity for everyone. I think everybody should be allowed the right to be together. My partner and I have been together for 15 years.”

 

Related Reading:

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$2M National Study on ‘Making it Better’ for Canadian LGBTQ Youth

 

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Image used under the MorgueFile User License, with thanks to†dieraecherin.

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9:22AM PDT on Mar 23, 2013

(Part 3--and I promise it's the last)
Back to Elane's: if Elaine and her hubby, even though the owners, had themselves refused to photograph the commitment ceremony but assigned or allowed one of their employees to the job, there *probably* would be no case, because the couple were not refused service at the business--only refused by the two people. Conversely, if it were an employee who refused, but the owners provided the service, the business itself is in the clear legally; it would have been up to the owners to deal with their employee as they see fit.
So If Antonio barred his door to governor, he's as guilty as Elane's (much as we might applaud his principles); but if he made the personal decision, yet allowed another employee to serve her, then it's not the same. The case is much murkier in the instances of pharmacists refusing to fill particular prescriptions, because the prescription is a necessary, even life-sustaining, thing. Not so here, but still a violation of at least 2 laws (14th Amendment applying more to the State--the government--than to individuals.)

Legal treatise over for the day... But I hope this adds something to this discussion.

9:17AM PDT on Mar 23, 2013

(Part 2--sorry for length)
The gay couple sued, citing an entire legal pedigree of civil rights precedents, including the 14th Amendment, the 1964 Civil Rights Act, and NM's own anti-discrimination law. (Google "Elane Photography Albuquerque" and go to the abqjournal entry for a detailed history). At each step of the way--lower court, appeals, etc--the ruling favored the plaintiffs (lesbian couple), reasoning that while a private club/organization (Boy Scouts) is allowed to discriminate on the basis of belief, a PUBLIC business--any organization open to the general public, doing business with the public, serving the public--CANNOT discriminate against anyone who walks through their doors simply because of who they are (gay; Asian; female; foreign-born; etc. Recall the lunch-counter demonstrations in 1960's South). It is widely expected that the NM Supremes will uphold the lower court decisions against Elane's.

My point being: this hair stylist did what he would have objected to, had he walked into Elane's and been given the same treatment. The difference, as I see it, is that unless this hairstylist was the sole practitioner--that is, if there were no other choices of stylists at his business, and/or if he had directed all his employees to deny Martínez service--he would have exactly "pulled an Elane". However, from what I can tell, Martínez had other choices at this business; she was not out-and-out denied service, period.
Back to Elane's: if Elaine and

9:13AM PDT on Mar 23, 2013

I'm a New Mexican. Anglo, straight-but-not-narrow, NOT-Republican, Progressive feminist. (FIRST a couple of personal responses: Glenna: Having had personal one-on-one encounters w King Bill (Richardson) i can assure you that he definitely WAS, prolly still is, a major sexist, lying, crooked, arrogant, opportunistic, big-bully, blowhard DOOFUS--worse, actually...)
(Myron: though we wryly and jokingly call our state "The Land of Entrapment" (referring to the State Police, as well as Susana's district while she was DA in southern NM), we really do remain one of the more progressive states regarding civil rights--for instance, the first to ratify the ERA in the early 70s, and having an ENFORCED anti LGBTQ anti-discrimination law. Yeah, sometimes we call ourselves the Land of Dis-Enchantment, but we're not so bad--especially when you consider we have AZ/Jan Brewer to our West, and TX/Rick Perry to our East. Both of which, I add, have wonderful hard-working progressives trying to save their states from their own versions of Susana Martinez.)

Ok, I sure did get yakking there. Sorry.
I do want to set the table with some food for thought here. At this moment, a case is before the NM Supreme Court dealing with this very issue. An Albuquerque business called (don't laugh!) Elane Photography (the wife is named Elaine) refused to photograph a lesbian couple's commitment ceremony on the grounds that such things go against their devout Christian beliefs. The gay couple sued, citing

1:13PM PDT on Jun 4, 2012

How do you know when politicians are lying?
Their lips are moving.

7:13PM PST on Mar 7, 2012

"“The governor has been very clear that she does not support gay marriage,” Blair said, “but does believe that all people should be judged on their merits and not discriminated against.”

The governor has certainly mastered Newspeak, as to discriminate is to distinguish between two or more things based on the finding that one or more characteristics of those things are NOT EQUAL.

12:05AM PST on Mar 3, 2012

Discrimination is discrimination....

10:15AM PST on Mar 1, 2012

This Governor deserves am A+ in double-triple talk.

6:58AM PST on Mar 1, 2012

gay is good

1:15AM PST on Mar 1, 2012

A class in RESPECT AND RESPONSIBILITY should be taught from Grade one to graduation, children should be taught that anything is permissible as long as it does not hurt themselves or anybody else. Common sense would dictate that if children are taught at a very early age that every child has their own strengths and weaknesses and that they should use their strengths to help not tease or bully others. It should not matter if a child comes from a FAMILY of a mother and father, 2 mothers or 2 fathers as long as they are loved.
Sex Education should be taught from LGBT, Contraceptives, Masturbation and all forms of sex. Let us face it whether we like it or not children are curious and are having sex earlier and earlier. Children should be taught the joys and the consequences of having sex ( Pregnancy,STD, AIDS ) But you say when will this be taught. Cut out Geography or History early on then put it back in and remove Geometry and Algebra. They can learn this in college if need be. I believe this is a solution. Nipping it in the Bud so that Bullying, Sexual Assault, and many others will be greatly diminished if not eradicated. It is my belief that when children graduate with these principals where they are taught RESPECT for themselves and others and to take RESPONSIBILITY for their actions. If children grow up with these principals I believe business and government would benefit greatly. Within a few generations this world would be a much better place to live in.

9:58PM PST on Feb 29, 2012

OK, since some/many pharmacists are allowed to not honor contraceptive prescriptions, then turnabout is fair play! Game on.

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