Arizona has been debating a new law that would allow business owners to refuse service to gay people. This is another case of a law being inflicted because of a misguided past law.
Does a business owner already have the right to refuse service to anyone for any reason? Yes. No matter what any law to the contrary might say, anti-discrimination laws are all violations of the right of association.
Even though discrimination based on most criteria isn’t nice, no law has the authority to force people to do business with anyone.
It cuts both ways. I am also free to refuse to patronize a business because of those they refuse, and free to tell everyone why I won’t do business there. I don’t like bigotry, no matter the excuses.
Will their business thrive, or will it die, due to their choices? Let the chips fall where they may.
But what if the business’ product or service is critical to life and limb? Like housing, food, or energy?
It’s amazing to me that anyone would believe the type of business matters in this question. Why would I ever choose to open a type of business anyone believes requires the state telling me how to run?
Those who advocate this are endorsing fascism. That’s the economic system in which businesses are “owned” privately, but must be operated by the state’s laws, which also demand a cut of the money (taxes).
Fascism is here — thus all the permits, licenses, taxes, zoning, regulations, etc. controlling businesses. It’s also why corporations have found ways to pull the strings of government.
If you own a business I think is “too important” to deny services to someone, I could open the same kind of business and cater to the people you refuse to serve. Maybe we will both stay in business, serving different groups of people. Where’s the “loser” in that?
If it is my business I have the inalienable human right to serve — or not — anyone I choose.
Laws that seek to violate that right are wrong.
My reasons may be stupid, bigoted, or absurd, but no one has the legitimate authority to violate that right.
Be that as it may, I would shun any business (and its owner) that refuses service to people who aren’t physically attacking the innocent or stealing from them. I would also reward with my patronage any business I discovered refusing service to people who made a habit of using aggression against the innocent, or of committing theft in any way.
This is just a basic human right — the right of association. Respect it or violate it. Your choice.
Farwell’s Kent McManigal champions liberty. Contact him at: