James Leroy Wilson's blog

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

The perniciousness of anti-discrimination laws

It's remarkable how this isn't obvious to everyone:

As Ms. Borowski writes on her Facebook page, "I don't want a gay business owner to be forced to provide a service for a Westboro Baptist Church leader."

I suspect anti-discrimination laws imposed on private property aren't really about "protecting" or even "helping" gays or other minorities.

Rather, they're another flank in the Statist war on the free market, particularly...
  • Freedom of thought and expression
  • Freedom of contract
  • Freedom of association
  • Property rights
In short, such laws, and others like them (such as smoking bans), are expressions of the State's assertion that you don't possess these rights at all, and that your thoughts and behavior on your own property is to be regulated and punished.

As these "rights" to force others to serve you mount up, the number of regulations and lawsuits multiply. These, in turn, empower the State as well the lawyers and bureaucrats who live off of it.

Where will discrimination laws be headed?

A business owner has a job opening. The lone applicant wears a Westboro Baptist t-shirt or a White Power t-shirt. Should the owner be forced to hire him?

Or, the business owner sees customers wearing the same shirts. Shouldn't he be free to ask them to leave the premises, or be forced to serve them?

Now let's turn the tables. The business owner himself wears a Westoboro or White Power shirt. Offended applicants and customers are certainly free to reject the job or boycott the premises.

But inevitably, the store owner will be sued for harassment. That's the next step. That's where the laws and lawsuits are headed.

If a business owner doesn't want to serve any customer or reject any applicant for any reason, that should be his prerogative. He'll lose the revenue, or lose the best potential employee.

If the customer is free to reject a business, why can't the business be free to reject the customer?

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