Let Bigots Expose Themselves
So instead of having government force businesses to serve anyone, I want it to let them discriminate in the open. This way, I know exactly where not to do business.
Because even if I were heterosexual, I would very likely boycott businesses that discriminate on arbitrary traits like sexual orientation or skin color. It’s not a crime – no one’s life or property is endangered by this refusal of doing business – but it goes against my moral standards of treating every human being as an equal.
It worked wonders in the 1970s when LGBT groups and businesses boycotted Coors for its hostility towards them. Seeing that their anti-LGBT policies caused a slump in their revenues, Coors had no choice but to backtrack. “It’s basic good business practice,” famously said CEO Peter Coors when Republicans decried the company’s gay-friendly policies in 2004.
Now, imagine how easy it would be to organize such massive boycotts thanks to the Internet and social media. Any business, big and small, that shows hostility towards LGBT or any easily identifiable group would promptly see a decrease in its revenues when more and more people learn that it discriminates based on arbitrary traits. Neighboring business would happily get on board, maybe by putting signs that everyone is welcomed as long as they are peaceful. This would leave two choices to the discriminating business: either it backtracks or it will likely face bankruptcy. Or the “fabulous wrath” of trolls.
Of course, it could go both ways; learning that their favorite business is boycotted because it discriminates against certain people, patrons who are also hostile towards the same group(s) of people will increase their business. Chick-fil-A is a good example; after left-wing groups called for a boycott of the fast-food chain in 2012 because of its funding of “hate” groups, conservatives struck back and actually helped the business gain popularity.
Liberals Already Boycott Conservatives
In short, the government has no business deciding who private citizens, by themselves or when they sell products or services, can and cannot serve as long as they don’t voluntarily endanger people’s lives or property. The obligation not to discriminate only applies to governments, not private citizens.
The obligation not to discriminate only applies to governments, who are bounded by the Constitution and laws, not private citizens.
Besides, the very same people who decry Philipps’ discrimination toward gays are usually prompt to call for a boycott of businesses and states that discriminate. When North Carolina passed its infamous bathroom bill, Michael Moore was celebrated when he asked his distributor to not distribute his movie in the state. Similarly, California has restricted publicly-funded trips to states like Texas since they have policies considered discriminatory towards LGBT people. Hell, even the local LGBT center in San Jose, CA, has a sign stating, “We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone.”
If liberals themselves show that it’s possible to peacefully boycott places that act (in their view) in a reprehensible way, why won’t they let conservatives do the same, as seemingly bigoted as it makes them look like? In the end, a business person refusing to do business is the one worse off.
Pierre-Guy Veer is a Canadian-born libertarian now living in the US.
This article was originally published on FEE.org. Read the original article.