Author Archives: Michelle Stansbury

Hit Show Ignores Bakery’s Right to Refuse Lesbians

The ABC hit show, What Would You Do, specializes in manufacturing awkward situations to see how the average person will react. Friday’s episode was no exception.

The first situation involved a bakery owner publicly turning away a lesbian couple wanting a wedding cake. He told them in no uncertain terms that he wouldn’t serve them on the ground that they were lesbians. You can watch the clip here.

Multiple bystanders supported the lesbians. Some going so far as to say that if the owner wouldn’t serve the lesbians, the bakery wouldn’t get their business either. The few customers that sided with the bakery owner chose not to have their faces shown on television.

While watching, not once did I see the actor playing the role of a bakery owner politely refuse away the couple. Instead he loudly used words such as “disgusting” and “appalling” to describe the lesbians and their behavior.

This prompted my tweet to host John Quinones:

tweet to john on what would you do

I fully understand that advocates of gay marriage may consider my comparison of same sex couples to shoes insensitive. That is not my intention. My point is that stores have a long precedent that permits them to turn those away who do not fit their internal values.

But it goes further: Businesses have been sued and threatened to be fined for refusing to serve same sex couples. You can check out one of those instances here.

This kind of punishment brazenly violates business owners’ right to freedom of speech.

If you choose to exercise a gay lifestyle, that is in your constitutional rights to do so. Just as it is in a bakery’s constitutional right to turn you away because your lifestyle isn’t supported by their value system.

Finally, businesses who do turn customers away should do so respectfully, quietly, and delicately. I suspect that if the actor on “What Would You Do” had done the same we would have seen a different reaction from spectators.

Are there any points I missed? What advice do you have for business owners facing legal action as a result of exercising their freedom of speech?

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Michelle Stansbury is a member of the marketing consulting firm, Boxxbury Marketing, that services small businesses in the United States and United Kingdom. If your small business needs marketing help you can learn more about Boxxbury Marketing by contacting Michelle here. You can follow her on Twitter: @mbstansbury

 

Calling Ceasefire on the Boehner Bashing

120712_boehner_crying_reu_328_605After the deal on the fiscal crisis passed, disappointed Republicans began a rallying cry resembling those of medieval times yelling, “Off with his head!”. Except instead of Boehner’s head, Republicans want his gavel. Historically, the problem isn’t Boehner, it’s tired Republican strategy.

Republicans, for decades, have been sucked in by the Democrat Party’s last-minute engineered emergencies like the “fiscal cliff”. This crisis is manufactured under the transparent drive to increase taxes. Republicans walk into negotiations demanding spending cuts and come out with tails between their legs and higher taxes. Frankly, it’s as ancient a story as The Three Little Pigs.

Almost everyone knows the story of Ronald Reagan. He thought he went for a deal that raised one dollar in taxes for every three dollars in spending cuts. Unfortunately, the majority of those cuts never came. While the Washington Post refutes the claim, there is still strong evidence to suggest that this is what Reagan believed when signing the deal.

Continuing on, let’s not forget President George H.W. Bush who, in 1990, was promised two dollars in spending cuts for every one dollar in tax hikes. Sadly the story ended with a 137 billion dollar tax increase and an additional 22 billion dollars in spending.

Following suit yet again, Boehner and a host of Republicans believed that they could negotiate their way to a compromise with a party who simply wasn’t interested in a win-win scenario.

These examples aren’t meant to make Republicans out as martyrs. We are all big boys and girls with our own separate philosophies and motivations. The Democrat’s strategy works every time because Republicans refuse to learn their lesson every time.

But here is where the ball game changes: After all these years of misled Republicans, Speaker Boehner has made it clear that he will no longer negotiate with President Obama. Boehner has learned the lesson Republicans should have learned decades ago: Negotiating reasonably with Democrats is the way one loses to Democrats. Which is exactly why, moving forward, we need John Boehner as Speaker.

 

Michelle Stansbury

Michelle Stansbury

Michelle Stansbury has nearly a decade of experience in political strategy and has recently opened a consulting firm targeted at helping businesses and campaigns flip their marketing and public relations strategies through new media. Michelle is also a weekly commentator on the Hayden Collins Radio Program and a national speaker. To book Michelle for an event or inquire about her professional consulting services click here. To get more updates, follow Michelle on Twitter or Subscribe on Facebook

 

What Makes Free Birth Control Expensive

Michelle Stansbury

Initially, when my local pharmacy informed me that the nine dollar co-pay on my birth control was now waived, I was surprised. When they went on to ask for my grocery card to give me gas points on the birth control I didn’t pay for, I was appalled. Free birth control and gas points sound picture-perfect, if you ignore the long term ripple effect.

Memorably, Milton Friedman said it best, “There is no such thing as a free lunch.”  If insurance companies are mandated to provide free services at the pharmacy or doctor’s office, they have to bill the recipient later through higher premiums to compensate for the added expense. Sky-high premiums are already expected to take effect for many starting next year; the plan my family and I are on will see a dismal increase of 27 percent.

If you aren’t already seeing a frustrating shade of blue, there are also twenty new tax hikes on families and small businesses scheduled in 2013 and onward courtesy of Obamacare.

Simply put, through increased insurance premiums and taxes, I’ll be paying for my birth control and for those around me several times over when I could have paid a measly nine dollars a month. My budget will tighten because our government and the Sandra Flukes of the world refuse to heed a basic life principal: Nothing is free; no matter how many times the government mandates otherwise.

Michelle Stansbury is a political consultant, paid speaker, and Fox Radio Political Commentator. You can follow her on Twitter: @MBStansbury and Subscribe on Facebook here.

Benghazi: It All Trickles Down to Leadership

Michelle Stansbury

In the past few weeks, our government has melted the Benghazi ordeal into a murky puddle, clouded with games of “Not It” and garbled story lines.

Many throughout the ranks such as CIA Director David Petraeus have made it clear that, “No one at any level in the CIA told anybody not to help those in need; claims to the contrary are simply inaccurate”. It is obvious not one person is willing to take the fall, leaving President Barack Obama the only man left standing to provide an answer; as it should be. Because it doesn’t matter who is to blame quite as much as it matters who should take the blame for lack of prevention in a tragedy that resulted in the brutal death of 4 Americans.

The CIA, Hillary Clinton, and others have all been blamed because President Obama lacks the leadership and humility to apologize to America, grieve with the families who lost their loved ones, and find a solution to be sure American blood is not unnecessarily wasted again.

The office of the President of the United States is easy when you are campaigning with celebrities, chatting it up on late night talk shows, playing golf, or receiving the Nobel Prize. Unfortunately, the presidency is not a Miss America press tour. It consists of real-life, real-time decisions that require leadership, focus, and determination.

Not everyone has what it takes to be president. As we have seen with Benghazi, President Obama has not fulfilled his role as Commander in Chief. Simultaneously, he has failed to be solution-oriented, resulting in higher unemployment, gas prices, credit downgrades, six trillion dollars more in debt, and record number of Americans claiming disability. Success in a leadership position requires leadership skills, something President Obama has repeatedly promised but has proven unable to deliver.

Michelle Stansbury is a political consultant, paid speaker, and Fox Radio Political Commentator. You can follow her on Twitter: @MBStansbury and Subscribe on Facebook here.