It has come to my attention today that the powers that be in the Mississippi Legislature are currently looking into a law that will prevent restaurants from serving food to overweight people. This is so incredibly outrageous and shocking that I had to write about it here. It is pure and simple discrimination and I am amazed that anyone would even consider something like this. What goes through the minds of these people as they are sitting there drafting a potential law like this?Â
Here's a little glimpse for you:
2008 Regular Session
To: Public Health and Human Services; Judiciary B
By: Representative Mayhall, Read, Shows
House Bill 282
(1) The provisions of this section shall apply to any food establishment that is required to obtain a permit from the State Department of Health under Section 41-3-15(4)(f), that operates primarily in an enclosed facility and that has five (5) or more seats for customers.
(2) Any food establishment to which this section applies shall not be allowed to serve food to any person who is obese, based on criteria prescribed by the State Department of Health after consultation with the Mississippi Council on Obesity Prevention and Management established under Section 41-101-1 or its successor. The State Department of Health shall prepare written materials that describe and explain the criteria for determining whether a person is obese, and shall provide those materials to all food establishments to which this section applies. A food establishment shall be entitled to rely on the criteria for obesity in those written materials when determining whether or not it is allowed to serve food to any person.
(3) The State Department of Health shall monitor the food establishments to which this section applies for compliance with the provisions of this section, and may revoke the permit of any food establishment that repeatedly violates the provisions of this section.
SECTION 2. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2008
I have not as yet been able to determine WHY this angers me as much as it does - because as an overweight person this is a law that has the potential, if accepted in one place, to spread across North America and affect so many people or because I feel awful for the people it will affect, though I know none of them or because I cannot imagine what employee in a restaurant (fast food joint or otherwise) would want to look someone in the eye and say "I'm sorry but we cannot serve you - you're fat".Â
I have seen many ridiculous things come out of politics in countries the world over. I have also seen many good things. But this, well this just takes the cake (no pun intended) for the most idiotic, bigoted thing that I have seen come out of the United States in a very long time.
With every fiber in my being, I hope that this law never passes.
Friday, February 15, 2008