Well, where do you draw the line at who is serving the public and must not discriminate, and who can't be stopped? For example, I've done work as a roving tech doing on-site service at people's houses. Granted it isn't likely, but things do happen. Do I not, for my own safety, have to be able to reject any potential client I don't feel comfortable working for? Here I'm actually on the receiving end of racial prejudice. Don't I still have that right, even though that means I'm significantly more likely to reject working for people of some skin colours?PDXFashionPioneer wrote:Because you see Tor, the anti-discrimination laws apply to small businesses and large alike. As well they should; either you're in business to serve the public or you're not.
I've also had reason to do work on commission. Why should I not have the right to reject a customer who I feel, rationally or irrationally, is likely to be more trouble than they are worth, or if for any other reason I'd rather not deal with them? Some people are great to work with, while a few are never satisfied, demanding endless changes. It seems to me the person who is going complain about being discriminated against is much more likely to end up in the category of "more trouble than they are worth," even aside from discrimination laws.
And what has been the real result of that? People have fewer choices in where to get baked goods. Any jobs that they'd created were destroyed, and the couple themselves may now end up looking for jobs where before they were creating jobs. And for what? So someone doesn't get their feelings hurt because someone chooses to make their opinions known and risk the repercussions of acting on them? While at the same time sending the message that certain views are forbidden to make known and must be locked down to fester until they boil over?The Oregon Department of Labor levied a significant fine against the mom & pop bakery shop in a small town that refused to bake a wedding cake for a lesbian couple. Even though the shop owners have appealed their fines to several layers of the judiciary and become a cause celebre amongst the religious right in this neck of the woods, the state Secretary of Labor's finding still stands and their bakery is still shuttered.
Furthermore, the problem cases I've always heard are cases of custom special pieces requesting work to be done in the future, never anyone being refused sales of already made goods. Would you complain about a cake shop refusing to make a cake that read "$CAKESHOP Sucks!". I've heard of of a cakeshop refusing to bake a cake for young Master Adolf Hitler, and not heard that they got slapped with a similar fine. Especially in the latter case, I haven't figured out what the difference between that and refusing to bake a cake for a gay wedding is.
In the case of a request to make a special piece, my understanding is there is no agreement until both parties together agree upon what is to be done, a price, and a timeline for completion. In the case of a random walking into a cakeshop for a custom cake there may be agreement on price based on the billboard in the shop stating a price, but neither of the other essential parts of the agreement exist until after the shopkeeper and customer discuss the matter, and I have never heard anyone make an argument that there are no requests for a custom cake that the cakeshop owner may refuse. And it is right that the shopkeep may refuse requests, for otherwise he (or she) is in a way an indentured servant to anyone who walks through that door requesting a custom cake. Last I checked there are various laws that prohibit that.