Dumb People

GOP lawmaker says businesses should have a right to deny service to people of color

In the comment thread of a Facebook post, a South Dakota state lawmaker argued that businesses should be able to turn away people of color if they so desire.

After the Supreme Court ruled in favor of a Colorado baker who refused to make a wedding cake for a gay couple because of his religious beliefs, Rep. Michael Clark posted on Facebook praising the decision as a “win for freedom of speech and freedom of religion,” according to the Argus Leader.

When some commenters on the post challenged his position, Clark responded to one comment, saying, “It is his business.”

“He should have the opportunity to run his business the way he wants,” Clark continued. “If he wants to turn away people of color, then [that’s] his choice.”

This Tuesday, Clark deleted the post, saying that he had “jumped in on it a little bit too fast.”

In an email later that day to a reporter from the Argus Leader, Clark issued an apology.

“I am apologizing for some of my Facebook comments,” he wrote. “I would never advocate discriminating against people based on their color or race.”

Screenshot via Argus Leader

From the Argus Leader:

In an interview with the Argus Leader, Clark said that business owners with strongly-held beliefs should be able to turn away customers.

“If it’s truly his strongly based belief, he should be able to turn them away,” Clark said. “People shouldn’t be able to use their minority status to bully a business.”

And if the community doesn’t support a store or restaurant that bars customers for that reason or others, it will put them out of business.

“The vote of the dollar is very strong,” he said.

According to the Civil Rights Act of 1964, discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex or national origin is expressly prohibited.

Featured image via Facebook

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