Submitted by David Sabghir (United States), Oct 11, 2006 at 14:22
In a message dated 10/10/2006 1:48:35 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time, UncleDovid writes:
I read about this problem and gave it some thought. It is not a constitutional issue to discriminate on the basis of whether or not someone drinks alcohol, but it is a first amendment problem is someone fails to pick up a passenger based on sex, religion, creed, etc. Thus, in New York City, theoretically, if a cab driver was cited for failing to pick up a fare due to the color of his skin, he would be (and it has happened many times), severely fined.
Now, I will give you a real life example of how far this can go, as follows. Last week, I was called in to one of the most prestigious law firms to work as a proofreader. At the firm, I was assigned to work with a young Muslim attorney. I am a visibly religious Jew. Yet, I sat there for hours with no assignment. Finally, the head of word processing informs me that I am somehow not expertise in whatever work this Muslim needed. I strongly suspect that this was his way of being prejudiced against a Jew.
I often ride in the cars of Muslim limousine drivers. I think that if they assigned the driving jobs by philosophy, it would become a total disaster.
Once a scheme is created to allow a passenger to determine the "philosophy" of the driver of the cab, there is created a pandora's box of discrimination. Simply stated, once someone has a publicly-issued license, they have an obligation to carry any fare, as long as that fare is not doing something unlawful according to the law of Minnesota and the United States of America, e.g. smoking a cigarette or marijuana, etc. etc. If the cabdrivers cannot comply with that law, then they should be advised to seek other employment.
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