Assume for a moment that I owned a second hand bookstore. It provides a decent living, but only because I put so much time into it.
One day a new customer walks in. He wants to order ten copies of The Turner Diaries. I politely tell him I don’t carry those books and that’s he’s welcome to find something else on the shelves. He snarls at me and leaves.
Within a week he’s filed a lawsuit against me for discrimination.
Let’s make it a little more complicated.
I go to the Christian bookstore across town. I ask for Adler’s Drawing Down the Moon. I know they should carry it, the chapter on Isaac Bonewits Cult Danger Evaluation Frame would be invaluable to ministers and pastors and church leaders. But since it’s a Pagan book, they don’t carry it and won’t order it.
Should I snarl and leave?
Should I sue?
Say I am hiring someone for my bookstore. It comes down to two candidates, a young man who is a little too interested in World of Warcraft and a young lady who doesn’t seem to have learned to cover her nether regions well. If everything else is equal between them, I know I’m going to get and keep more customers with the guy than with the girl.
They may come in to gawk at the gal, but they won’t buy stuff from her. Now if she was dressed neatly and showed respect for herself and the people around her, chances are she could outsell the guy. But if she’s the spectacle and the reason people come in to the store, customers won’t care about the stock.
Should she sue to get a job from me?
We discriminate all the time. We pick that Thai place over the one that’s closer because the food is better. We pick the mattress that works for both sleep and sex. We put our favorite song as a ringtone on our phone.
These are matters of individual choice and they should remain so.
If my neighbor is gay, should he only be allowed to date women? Isn’t he discriminating?
If I buy hamburger, should the National Egg Board sue me so I buy eggs instead?
If I turn left when I come home from the post office, should the merchants on the right side demand that I shop with them?
We can’t let society draw those lines for us.
Personal choice. Personal responsibility. Otherwise it’s slavery by another name.