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MY CAKE TASTES FUNNY: Why Making People Who Don’t Like You Serve You Is a Bad Idea

Why don’t gay couples just order a cake from someone who agrees with them instead of forcing someone who doesn’t to make one? It might be a better idea for everyone.

By J.D. Tuccille, Reason

I doctored a few drinks myself in my ill-spent youth—just spit in ’em—when I tended bar and people pissed me off. But maybe I’m mean. I’ve been told that I am, and I don’t doubt it. But I’m willing to guess that a fair sampling of overt bigots are meaner than I am, when push comes to shove.

The thing is, freedom of association—and disassociation—aren’t just abstract individual rights dreamed up as intellectual games. They’re practical knife fight-preventatives. If people can’t play nice, you want to keep them separated. If they’re willing to separate themselves, so much the better. Shaming people who refuse to associate with others for contemptible reasons is a perfectly legitimate response. But forcing them into proximity may not produce ideal results.

Even if people aren’t overtly malicious when forced to serve people they don’t like, just how enthusiastic is their work going to be? Do you really want somebody who hates you to photograph your special occasion? Or care for your child? Or serve you food of any sort at any place or time? There’s a good chance you’re just not going to get best efforts.

Read more: Reason