If you run a bakery should you have to do business with everybody? If you are in any kind of business should you be forced to do business with everybody in spite of your reasons for refusing that business?
This seems to be the basic issue with the recent gay marriage couple suing a bakery for refusing to furnish a wedding cake to their recently legalized union. The bakery in Lakewood, Colorado was determined to have unlawfully refused to do business with the gay couple.
What a mess!
First of all, I would like to temporarily remove the notions of race, gender, or sexual orientation from the basic issue. The issue is fundamental to our rights in this country. One of our coveted rights is our ability to buy whatever we want from any merchant we choose. Once again, this is fundamental.
For the same reason, don’t you think there is a similar freedom for merchants to be able to choose those to whom they will market their goods?
Discrimination, you say? Of course it is discrimination. Having the latitude to discriminate about your decisions encompasses the whole definition of freedom, and therefore is the basis of our Constitution.
So, here we go. Why should not the bakery not be able to choose the people with whom they do business? Certainly, their proposed gay customers had the choice of dozens of bakeries to do their wedding cake. Why is one side of the transaction process handcuffed by law, and the other not have similar restrictions?
My answer is that the bakery had to have a local business license to do business with the general public. That’s the rub right there. A license to do business with the general public necessitates the condition that you must do business with the whole of that public, and you cannot discriminate in which customers to serve.
The basic question is this. If you are in a business that sells to the general public should you be forced into doing business with that entire public? Is the notion of “No Shirt – No Shoes – No Service” a constitutionally legal position? The ideas are related.
Why do we not have the right to discriminate among those with whom we do business? What do you think?