Here's the problem with supporting liberty and freedom... You have to support peoples liberty and freedom to be assholes and idiots.
I think discriminating against gays or blacks or anyone else for some arbitrary characteristic that doesn't harm you is fucking idiotic, and proof that you are a total asshole.
However, I think you should be free to associate with, or exclude, anyone you want to from your private property, or private business.
Because that's what freedom of conscience, and true property rights are.
The right to associate with those you wish, and not associate with those you do not, is inherent to freedom of conscience.
The right of exclusion IS one of the three fundamental rights of private property (the others being the rights to use and dispose of the property as you see fit, and the right to the outputs, proceeds, and benefits accrued on or by the property).
Arbitrary discrimination by private businesses is wrong, stupid, offensive, and just bad business.
But it shouldn't be illegal.
Note: At least not for truly private businesses.
There is an argument to be made that public corporations, because of the legal protections they receive from the government, and their "public ownership" through equities; should not be allowed to discriminate. Some even argue that by obtaining a business license, a business can be prohibited from discrimination.
Unless such prohibition is written into the laws for licensure of these businesses, or for the foundation and governance of corporations, I disagree with this argument (and I have issues with the concept of making anti-discrimination part of the law, again on the grounds above), but there is at least a basis for it.Oh and for those of you who think this is just about gays... it applies equally to guns. I think that businesses that exclude lawful bearers of arms from their premises are idiots, and that it's bad business... but its THEIR property, and they have the right to exclude me if they want to.
The GOVERNMENT should NEVER be allowed to discriminate, nor should any public utility, or any organization with a lawful monopoly. Any organization with which interaction is mandatory, or their power over you is involuntary, can never be allowed to discriminate.
Private individuals, and their private property though, can never be prohibited from doing so... at least if we value and wish to preserve freedom and liberty (and in this country, frequently and unfortunately, we do not).
Freedom of conscience though, is a wonderful thing... They get to discriminate. Guess what, so do you. You can choose not to patronize their business. You can organize all your friends... and the entire world if everyone else is so inclined... to not patronize that business.
That's freedom for ya...
Oh and by the by, these laws currently proceeding in several states explicitly legally authorizing business to refuse to serve people on the basis of their sexual orientation, are part of the blowback I predicted would result from the current strategy many in the gay rights movement have of "suing our way to normalcy"...
"Dammit, if they don't want to make my same sex wedding cake, I'll SUE".
Or worse "We'll get married in Massachusetts, and then move to Kansas and sue for them to recognize our marriage".
Many lied saying that would never happen. Many more well intentioned supporters honestly believed the lie, and repeated it.
When I raise this issue with my liberal friends, they often say that I am being ridiculous.
It HAS been happening, from the first legally recognized same sex marriages in this country.
It's a bad strategy, and it has and will continue to backfire.