Question of the Day

If I own a business, can I legally refuse to serve known adulterers, or is this discrimination based on a lifestyle choice?

  1. Illiniguy

    Adultery is not a “lifestyle choice”, but unfortunately it’s no longer a crime nor even generally accepted as a moral failing. You’d probably be branded as being judgmental (which there’s far too little of these days), but I’d say you were within your rights to refuse service to those whose actions you disapprove.

  2. raycon and lindacon

    Passive-Aggressive.  

    Discriminate to your hearts content.  Don’t like adulterers, fornicators, red heads, homosexuals, liars, blacks, gun owners, non-gun owners, hispanics?  Do whatever you please.

    Just don’t make a lot of noise about it.  We are in a highly politicized country, and political correctness is the state’s tool to destroy it’s enemies.  

    Every person who exercises judgement in his choices is a target.

  3. Valiuth

    Raycon is right. Don’t advertise your biases. If you do people will say your are judging them. If you treat them poorly they will just think you are a jerk. 

  4. Pseudodionysius

    Bill Clinton is a lousy tipper, too.

  5. Randy Weivoda

    The law is going to vary from location to location but ideally, you should be able to refuse anybody you want.  If customers can boycott a business, a business ought to be able to boycott a customer.  It’s a risky game, though.  If I find out a business is refusing service to a group of people and I find that criteria to be objectionable, I won’t want to do business there even if I’m not a member of the group being excluded.  A society where a lot of places have a sign with a list of the types of people they don’t want to deal with would be a rather unwelcoming one, I think.

  6. Despair Troll

    Do said adulterers have the words, “Patriot,” or “Conservative” in their names? 

  7. raycon and lindacon

    From the above comments, too many on Ricochet are willing to let the zeitgeist determine their morality.  Why do you care if the law does or does not protect gays, blacks, Democrats or whatever.  Do you not have the freedom to determine who or who not to associate with.  Sorry if this simple Constitutional principle conflicts with the ‘powers’ that are running things now.  Where is your ability to make independent decisions.

    As stated earlier, passive-aggressive.  Do what you damn well please.  It is called freedom.  

    Just don’t let the crowd make your decisions for you.

  8. raycon and lindacon

    Mr. Bumble is not an admirable character.  He does, however, offer a salient comment; “The law is a ass.  The law is a bachelor”.

  9. Mothership_Greg
    Randy Weivoda: The law is going to vary from location to location but ideally, you should be able to refuse anybody you want.  If customers can boycott a business, a business ought to be able to boycott a customer.  It’s a risky game, though.  If I find out a business is refusing service to a group of people and I find that criteria to be objectionable, I won’t want to do business there even if I’m not a member of the group being excluded.  A society where a lot of places have a sign with a list of the types of people they don’t want to deal with would be a rather unwelcoming one, I think. · 15 hours ago

    To be clear, in the hypothetical above, I am proposing refusing service to an individual adulterer, not proposing display of signage that says something like “No adulterers allowed” (although I’m sure there are plenty of hipsters who would love to display such a sign at their establishment).   Rejecting adulterers as a group would currently be difficult, since there are not databases listing them.  Let us amend the question from “adulterers” to “sex offenders”.

  10. Randy Weivoda
    Mothership_Greg

    To be clear, in the hypothetical above, I am proposing refusing service to an individual adulterer, not proposing display of signage that says something like “No adulterers allowed” (although I’m sure there are plenty of hipsters who would love to display such a sign at their establishment).   Rejecting adulterers as a group would currently be difficult, since there are not databases listing them.  Let us amend the question from “adulterers” to “sex offenders”. · 0 minutes ago

    I was wondering how you would know if someone was an adulterer or not, but you’re talking about a particular person that you know to be an adulterer.  There certainly are cases where a business tells a particular customer that they won’t do business with them, although it’s usually because they have been a terrible customer in the past (not paying their bill, etc.)

  11. Mark Gillett

    If you are in California, then you cannot discriminate against people on the basis of their “marital status.”  This means you cannot treat them differently based on whether they are married to one another or not married to one another.  For example, you cannot refuse to rent to an unmarried couple.  I believe about half the states have similar laws.

  12. MJBubba
    raycon and lindacon [#2]: Passive-Aggressive.  

    Discriminate to your hearts content.  Don’t like adulterers, fornicators, red heads, homosexuals, liars, blacks, gun owners, non-gun owners, hispanics?  Do whatever you please.

    Just don’t make a lot of noise about it.  …

    Mark Gillett is right.  From the groups you list, Blacks and Hispanics are a protected class in all states.   Homosexuals are a protected class in at least 20 states, plus lots of cities in the other states.  Adulterers and fornicators are protected in a half-dozen states and dozens of cities.  If you refuse service to a liar, be ready to defend a slander suit.

    I believe that in most states you would be safe to discriminate against red heads, gun owners and non-gun-owners, but check with your lawyer first.  Your right to free association has been thoroughly trampled;  be very careful who you offend.  

  13. Joseph Paquette

    First, how do you know they are an adulterer?  If someone is separated from their spouse, pending a divorce, but now living with someone else, are you against them entering your business?  I know many, many people who have gone through similar situations.  Divorce is a legal process that can take years, are you to remain celibate during that time? 

    I hope your question was rhetorical, it does provide food for thought. 

  14. Mothership_Greg
    Joseph Paquette: First, how do you know they are an adulterer?  If someone is separated from their spouse, pending a divorce, but now living with someone else, are you against them entering your business?  I know many, many people who have gone through similar situations.  Divorce is a legal process that can take years, are you to remain celibate during that time? 

    I hope your question was rhetorical, it does provide food for thought.  · 0 minutes ago

    The question I am getting at is where do we draw the line about forcing businesses to serve individuals (and also, what criteria are businesses not allowed to use in hiring practices).  The hypothetical above is “I know an individual who is cheating on his wife; can I legally refuse service to him?”  To the best of my knowledge, there are no laws preventing such discrimination, but it would not surprise me if such discrimination becomes legally prohibited in the future.  Surely, preventing businesses from using criminal history to screen out job applicants is a step down the path of tyranny.

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