Why does the right to purchase a good or service trump freedom of association?

Pedro de San Patricio

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Feb 14, 2015
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I never could understand this and the Christian florist crisis thread brought it to mind again. I understand that refusing service for certain customers is illegal as discrimination. I also understand that it's legal for a business to reserve the right to refuse service to any particular customer for any reason. I'm not sure if the latter is actually enforceable, but I do know that you can have your business shut down if successfully sued for the former. I just don't really see how that's not a violation of one's right to associate with whom they choose or run their business as they wish. Exactly why doesn't a Christian florist have the right to refuse to participate in preparations for a wedding ceremony her religion doesn't condone? Exactly why doesn't a store owner have the right to refuse me service on the basis of my skin color? In either case it's their store, their property until bought by a customer, and my right to choose a different vendor to patronize.

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