The Instigator
Pro (for)
4 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
2 Points

Businesses Should Be Able To Deny Service To Anyone They See Fit

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/22/2014 Category: Politics
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,043 times Debate No: 53113
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (0)
Votes (1)




I saw this in the polls section and in my quest to try and bring the mundane and useless polls and opinions section to debate I figured I would debate the topic with someone who responded to the poll in the opposing point.

Businesses - privately owned institutions that sell goods and services (i.e. no publicly traded companies)

Deny service - refuse to sell or deal with an individual

As they see fit - owners discretion

First Round - acceptance, clarification
Second Round - Arguments
Third Round - Rebuttals, conclusion

I hope my opponent takes this debate!


I accept the debate.
( Polls are not useless! )

Not much I need to clear. But if someone doesn't understand a word, they can look it up.
We shall begin.
Debate Round No. 1


I. Private Institutions and Freedom of Association

Imagine this, someone comes up to me and asks if we can hang out and be friends. I look this person over and for personal and private reasons deny the person their request. I do not wish to associate, give my time or energy to such a relationship at the moment. That is perfectly within my right to do because I am a private citizen with a right to associate with whoever I want.

Imagine this also, I am selling my car. I have a For Sale sign on my car the car is in my driveway. Someone comes up to my door and offers to buy the car. I politely say no for my own private and personal reasons. The man is disappointed and leaves. I am fully within my right to sell my car to who I see fit.

Now, for some reason when people start private businesses these rights are presumed to be dissolved. Why? All a business is, is a permanent place where someone participates in freedom of association and freedom of sale. There is nothing that can be evoked to force a private citizen, selling private goods to relent their rights.

In short, people have the freedom, yes, to discriminate if they wish. While you may disagree, if people are to truly be free and have a free exchange of goods and services this right must be upheld. If this freedom is taken away, then you are denying people the right to their own beliefs, practices, thoughts etc.

If private citizens have the freedom to associate with who they wish and the freedom to sell their things as they see fit then the same private citizens should have the same rights even if they're sitting behind a desk with a sign over their heads. Slapping a name and the title of "business" should not and does not constitute the destruction of private rights.

A. Private Institutions Have This Right Already

Boy Scouts do not have to admit women into their organization if they don't want to.
Private clubs, organizations and institutions can deny membership or more clearly sale of membership, to whoever they want.
Country clubs, car clubs, ethnic organizations all deny service to people who do not fit their profile for membership.

These things are allowed and tolerated because of the right of private institutions to deny service to those they see fit. It is tolerated because they are private institutions that can deny their services to whoever.

II. Difference Between Public and Private

Public institutions such as government run facilities, publicly owned companies and public goods should not discriminate against anyone because they are public. They are owned by a large group of people or were created to service the general public as a whole. I agree that these companies and organizations should not be allowed to discriminate due to their public nature. Be sure to keep that in mind for the duration of the debate.

However, if an institution is private then they still hold the rights that private institutions should have to deny service to whomever they see fit.


If a business is private, it should retain the rights and freedoms to associate and deal with whoever it wants to. A private business is nothing more than a mechanism to better help facilitate the actions and wills of private individuals. These mechanisms should be given the same freedoms as the founder as they are merely acting in the will of a private individual.


Imagine this, an entire Corporation now has the ability to turn away Homosexuals because " It is against my Religious Practice " of the owner of the company.

Another Imagine.
There is a open homosexual in a small town, a rather religious homophobic town as well. Now he can't shop at any of the town stores since they can turn him away, and stores that do sell to him within this small town receive feed back from the homophobic population. Now he is forced to drive out of town to buy stuff, and possibly be turned away, or to move. ( Or they find out, or blamed as such. )

This is what this is, Legal private discrimination.

This does not come down to what color people's shoes are.

This gives businesses the Ability to refuse selling to anyone they do not like.
This can include.
- Homosexuals
- The Jewish
- People of different Back round
- People of different wealth, such as poor to Rich
- People with Different Political Standings.
- People with different ethnicity
- Disabled
The List can go on.

Civil Rights act of 1964
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII), which prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin;

Discriminatory practices under these laws also include:

harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, genetic information, or age;
retaliation against an individual for filing a charge of discrimination, participating in an investigation, or opposing discriminatory practices;
employment decisions based on stereotypes or assumptions about the abilities, traits, or performance of individuals of a certain sex, race, age, religion, or ethnic group, or individuals with disabilities, or based on myths or assumptions about an individual's genetic information; and
denying employment opportunities to a person because of marriage to, or association with, an individual of a particular race, religion, national origin, or an individual with a disability. Title VII also prohibits discrimination because of participation in schools or places of worship associated with a particular racial, ethnic, or religious group.


Laws are already against Discrimination. So how about we don't legalize it under the title of " Freedom " when it is the Freedom to take away the Freedom of others.

common sense
Debate Round No. 2


First I would like to point out that my opponent did not actually rebut any of my points but merely espoused his own short and rather flimsy position.

I. Rebuttals

1. "how about we don't legalize it under the title of " Freedom " when it is the Freedom to take away the Freedom of others."

My opponent is claiming that being able to deny service to people is the "freedom to take away the freedom of others" but there are a few problems with this line of reasoning. First, people do not have a blanket right or freedom that says "person x is allowed to shop/deal with/buy whatever they want from whatever store they wish" it simply does not exist. What does exist is a person's right and freedom to associate and deal with who they want.

My opponent's sentence can be flipped around on itself to show how the reverse is also limiting in people's freedoms.

Again, let's go back to my original hypothetical about selling the car. Say my friend wants to buy the car under the sticker price, I say sure I can sell you the car for that price if you get over here right now. In the interim, a black man comes up and offers to buy the car at sticker price. I say no for personal and private reasons, concerning my friend, yet the man misinterprets and thinks I am denying him based on his race. In my opponent's world I would be forced to sell this man the car as soon as he cried "race!" which is an undeniable violation of my freedoms.

In this case, this man would have the freedom to deny me my freedom.

It comes down to which freedom is more desirable. The freedom to make choices as an individual on an individual basis or the freedom to demand service from people who may or may not be willing to give it.

2. His Example and the Civil Rights Act

First of all, of course my opponent jumps on the homosexual wagon because they're the most popular victims right now to exploit for emotional gain during debates.

Let's take a different example. Say a religious man is hosting an anti-gay rally in town. Let us even say its the same town my opponent described in his example. This man goes to the local catering shop, which is owned and run by a gay couple, and wants them to cater his anti-gay rally. Does the couple not have the freedom to deny catering service to this man? My opponent would have his gay victim from his example cater a gay rally. Is this really what he wants?

Secondly, he misquotes the Civil Rights Act (CRA) because he quotes the bit about employment. We are not talking about employment at all in this debate so the passage quoted is useless in the context of this discourse.

II. A Final Clarification

I want to point out that the denial of service I am suggesting is on an individual, case by case basis. The owner does not have to tell the person why they are denying service and it is not a blanket denial of service. I could be denied service for the simple reason that the owner of the shop is not feeling well that day and turned me away.

It would be a private decision by a private individual concerning the service to another individual. I am not saying we should be able to put signs outside our shops that say "gays shop elsewhere", far from it. I am saying that private businesses should have the freedom and discretion to service people when they want and how they want. This is a freedom and a right that individuals have.

Private businesses are just mechanisms of individuals. If the individuals have the rights of association and freedom of sale then so should their private institutions.

The issue here is very specific and very insular. Public businesses, institutions and government functions should all be disqualified from this discussion. This debate is about private businesses dealing with private individuals.

I think that the resolution has been firmly defended with little resistance.

Please vote Pro.


Part 2
( This is here so I can keep track where I am. )

Reason I didn't go for your argument is because

Second Round - Arguments

Moving on
The reason it takes away freedoms of others is simple.
- This law could be used as a blank card for Discrimination. How so? It gives people the right to deny people service due to " Personal Reasons ". Whether its hate against people of different Ethnic back round, sexuality, gender, etc. Denying someone the ability to shop is denying happiness and income.

The car : You have already closed a deal, you can let him know instead of forcing yourself to sell him the car. If he demands proof, your friend is coming to your location.

I would rather not be able to shop somewhere due to who I am or personal reasons then denying someone else the ability to shop/ be happy.

Yes, I jumped onto the Homosexual wagon, but it can easily be placed with Blacks, Jewish, and other " Undesirables/ Minorities ".

Are you generalizing that all Religious men are against Homosexuality? Unless you are Referring to west baptist church. Which do not have much popularity in the first place. I suggest them to cook, since the west baptist church are more likely to help approve Gay Marriage then to do anything against it.
Final Statement

This is just a step towards apartheid. Giving individuals the ability to turn people away for Personal Reasons is likely to be abused, and bad for business. Since getting Labeled Racist and such is not good when you do turn people away, but they misunderstood it.

Lets not take a step towards apartheid.

Vote con?

Side note : Anyone know how to bold letters, underline, etc?
New to this.
Debate Round No. 3
No comments have been posted on this debate.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by TN05 7 years ago
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:42 
Reasons for voting decision: Conduct is tied as both sides were fairly even in that regard. S&G goes to Pro, as he had a superior format and writing style, as compared to Con's sloppy and poorly-formatted writing. Arguments go to Pro as he made a solid case and refuted everything Con said, while Con failed to effectively refute any of Pro's points and I found his argument to be fairly unconvincing. Sources go to Con as Con was the only participant to use a source.

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