The ‘Zion Curtain’

When did the rights of children become more important than the rights of a responsible voting adult? Apparently, Utah has classified the rights of business owners and legally aged, responsible adults as less important than those of minors when Sen. John Valentine proposed a bill dubbed, “The Zion Curtain.”

“The bill would require restaurants to prepare drinks in a back room or behind a 10-foot-high wall,” reported Robert Gehrke of the Salt Lake Tribune.

The bill’s goal is to keep young diners from seeing drinks being poured or mixed – but is this really the best solution to keep young people from drinking? Moreover, what happens when the child becomes an adult and has to have a business meeting over drinks; how will they be able to adapt to a society if they are sheltered from the reality that some adults drink?

I respect the fact that parents want to protect their kids, but I deplore the fact that some individuals feel their moral concerns are more important than my legal rights. Moreover, it is not a business’ responsibility to prevent children from moral dilemmas. If Sen. John Valentine is so concerned about the moral issues facing minors, he should look to their parents, not to businesses for the answers.

Additionally, if Sen. John Valentine and concerned parents do not agree on how an establishment runs their business, they can simply decide not to become a patron.

Whether you drink or not, Sen. John Valentine’s bill will affect you. Business owners have to pay for the new construction to met standards described in the bill, and several businesses simply don’t have the money to comply. One business owner testified in Gehrke’s piece that if he were required to meet the costs of reconstruction, some of his other restaurants would have to close. What does that mean to the rest of us? Simply put, it means that we would have job losses in an already declining economy, and we cannot afford job losses.

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