A privately owned business should be able to do whatever they want, as long as it's not against the law. If they choose not to hire a certain group of people, that's their prerogative.
Now, I don't agree with discriminating against a certain group of people, but as long as it's not a government-owned business, it should be fine.
It is my belief that from all legal stand points a private business should be permitted to choose who it serves by any criteria they see fit weather that be racially motivated, religiously motivated, or any other personal belief. For example say for some reason IHOP no longer wants to serve asians then they can do this with no legal actions against them. Now let me be clear I do not support this behavior and should IHOP make this decision then I even though I am not Asian will no longer go to IHOP. This is how the free market works once the public learns that a business discriminates against a group of people the public will begin to no longer use said business forcing the discriminatory business to close. I support a businesses right to deny service legally not ethically.
If they put the effort into a business, they deserve to make the rules of how they treat customers. Ex: If a man makes a cake shop for weddings, he should be allowed to deny service to people if it goes against his religious views. I believe this mainly because I also believe that government should stay out of the way of the private sector.
As a owner of a store I say no, there are to no backpacks, if you bring one in you leave it up front, same with a purse, there are to be no baggy clothes, so if you wear anything baggy you well be escorted out, we have coat racks for coats and hats, and no sunglasses, when you deal with a business in a less than ideal location, armed guards and these precautions become necessary. And I believe it is up to the owner.
If something is within the customers control that offends the business, the business should be able to deny service to the customer based on it.
I work at a retail store and we get a wide range of customers. I treat all customers the same and I think my co-workers do too. I really don't care if your black, white, male, female, Christian, atheist, or whatever. What I do care about is how they act. We have a good share of seniors and kids so I don't put up with customers who curse a lot. Of course if a customer is doing something that could danger themselves or others, we don't put up with that either. The same goes for the people that work there. Of course there is the good old shirt and shoes requirement.
Not that my store has these rules but I can see how some places have other valid reasons to refuse service. For instance, some restaurants have a jacket policy. Obviously this is something that the customer can control. There are also other factors that deal with morality. For instance, a bake shop owned/ran by people that have strict moral standards can refuse to make a lewd cake for a bachelor party. The same for people with religious concerns like the typical case of a Christian baker refusing to bake a wedding cake for a gay couple. Their belief that homosexual behavior is evil so aiding in a gay wedding would be asking them to help others do evil. Again, this is a tricky area. Many gay people say that they were born gay, so nothing they can control. Thing is, even if being gay was a birth factor, acting on that is a controllable action. For instance, if someone was born to be attracted to minors, if they never acted on that impulse, they are not breaking the law. Of course if they do, we see them as evil. That being the case, would a baker be wrong if they made a wedding cake for an adult and child wedding? Of course as it condones an evil action.
As a note: I am atheist.
In the issue of servicing LGBT couples I don't care but the business should be prepared for the backlash that they get. But based on any criteria is stretching it a little bit too far. The US should be long past this nonsense by now but we keep lingering on it.
It's like saying that hospitals, which are privately owned, could deny to treat people just because of one small detail.
A gay person could be denied treatment for his or her disease until it's too late. This is unacceptable, especially in the 21st century. We all deserve equal rights regardless of what people think of us. There is no place for bigotry in America, or any country for that matter.
In the US currently, privately owned businesses are allowed to deny service with sound, non-arbitrary reasoning that is consistent. They may not deny service based on race, color or national origin. These laws protect people from discrimination. They also allow a business to remove people who are acting in a dangerous/rude/unacceptable manner, who they have violent history with or whatever other valid, non-bigoted reason they need to ask an individual to leave. So, I say no because the moral indications of this lie between the two sides: any criteria or no criteria.