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Students at Biola support the idea that religious business owners should be able to refuse service to certain individuals, such as homosexuals.


Infographic shows Biola student’s opinions regarding the right to refuse service to same-sex couples. | Infographic by Angelica Abalos/THE CHIMES

Vivian Torres, Writer

The majority of Biola students believe that businesses should retain the right to refuse services to clients based on religious beliefs.

A survey of 200 students found that 62 percent maintain the opinion that business owners should hold the final decision on which clients they choose to serve. This data differs from the majority of Americans, as 49 percent say everyone should have the right to the same service and 47 percent say businesses should refuse, according to Pew Research data. Additionally, the majority of students agree that state governments should not have the right to mandate businesses and how they serve clientele.

Thomas Wilson, professor of law, ethics and human resource management, was unsurprised by students responses. Students in business classes have asked questions regarding the recent trend in states supporting gay marriage — a trend yet to be defined, Wilson said.

“I think the trend is moving towards more and more cracking down on what the government believes to be discrimination in this area,” Wilson said. “More and more states are lining up supporting gay marriage, so that’s definitely the trend right now.”

The gay community feels hate from the Christians because of their lifestyle, Wilson said. However, while Christians should show love and respect towards homosexuals, they should not accept actions that the Bible does not support, Wilson said.

“I think its important to grant them human dignity as people made in God’s image. However, when you get up to certain acts that the Bible specifically prohibits, I don’t believe we have any right to say that’s okay,” Wilson said.

Though the majority of students’ responses said businesses should be able to refuse services to homosexuals based on religious-affiliation, others students said that all citizens should be granted equal service.

Lauren Hall, sophomore journalism major, expressed her opinion regarding the line between state and business. If a homosexual customer requested flowers at a flower shop, the owner should serve the client, Hall said. However, if a homosexual customer asked a pastor to ordain their marriage, the pastor should reserve the right to decline, Hall said.

“A church is more of a personal thing, but like selling flowers to someone isn’t something that should convict your beliefs. We should all be granted the same services,” Hall said.

Mark Stacy, junior sociology major, believes that the government should not make decisions regarding businesses, churches and institutions. Business owners should retain the right to run their businesses at their leisure, Stacy said.

A distinguishing factor in determining the relationship between state and businesses lies in whether the business in question has religious-affiliation, said Josiah Lai, freshman sociology major.

“If the owners are Christians and they don’t want to serve homosexuals, then they don’t have too. Like if a gay couple goes to a pastor and says if he can marry them, the pastor should have the right to refuse,” Lai said.

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