I Am Not Sure This Accomodation Law Needle Can Be Threaded
July 1, 2019, 8:32 am
The Washington Post and New York Times have recently opened up their platforms to Op-Eds defending, justifying and promoting abhorrent behavior committed against conservatives. Calling them out is the Washington Examiner‘s Byron York, who notes that “the toxicity of the resistance to President Trump has risen in recent days,” with both papers “publishing rationalizations for denying Trump supporters public accommodation and for doxxing career federal employees.”
First up, Stephanie Wilkinson, the owner of the infamous Red Hen restaurant in Lexington, Virginia. Wilkinson unapologetically boo
ted White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sandersand her family last June. Wilkinson told the Washington Post at the time that her gay employees were too triggered by Sanders to serve her due to the Trump administration’s transgender military ban.
It is going to be fascinating to see how these folks on the Left thread the Constitutional needle to make it illegal to refuse to bake cakes for gay weddings but legal to refuse service to Republicans. My prediction is that someone on the Left is soon going to try and I am sure the New York Times will gladly give them editorial space to do so. My guess is that any such theory will take advantage of the popular but bogus “hate speech is not free speech” idea.
I don’t really get worked up about accomodation law too much one way or another. I know our company benefits from being open to all. We get calls all the time from customers who have been turned away because they have kids or have an older RV and we are happy to have their business. It’s not as true today but 15 years ago we gained a lot of good workers by hiring gay campground managers when many campgrounds thought it was “unsafe” to employ gay people around kids in campgrounds. On the other hand, I read the First Amendment right of association as the right not to associate as well, so if folks want to turn away business it does not wildly bother me. I personally wouldn’t bake a cake for, say, the local Nazi party rally or Che Guevara birthday party.
My public policy rule of thumb is to allow folks to refuse accommodation as long as they represent a small percentage of the supply in a market.