Many retail businesses have a small paper sign hanging on the wall, usually near the cash register that says something like “We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone.” or “No shirt, no shoes, no service” This is called Denial of Service. So where do we draw the line when it is ok and when it is not?

A couple are denied service by a cater some say becasue of “Christian beliefs” some say because they are gay. This is Denial of Service.

A photographer who identifies as homosexual refusing to photograph an event celebrating a churchs hateful ideas. This is Denial of Service.

A photographer refusing to photograph a lesbian couple’s wedding. This is Denial of Service.

A Jewish printer declining to promote a conference criticizing Israel. This is Denial of Service.

A pacifist not wanting to paint pro-war posters for a rally. This is Denial of Service.

A fashion designer refusing to design a dress for a political party leaders wife. This is Denial of Service.

A cater refusing to cater a gay wedding or celebrations. This is Denial of Service.

A baker refusing to bake a cake with anti-gay Bible verses on it. This is Denial of Service.

A artist refusing to design same-sex wedding Invitations. This is Denial of Service.

A florist refusing to work gay wedding. This is Denial of Service.

A business refusing to do business with anyone who voted for Donald Trump. This is Denial of Service.

These are actual news stories lately.  Where do you stand on these stories?  Did you know that you can refuse to serve someone even if they’re in a protected group, but the refusal can’t be arbitrary and you can’t apply it to just one group of people.  To avoid being arbitrary, there must be a reason for refusing service and it must be consistent. There could be a dress code to maintain a sense of decorum, or fire code restrictions on how many people can be in your place of business at one time, or a policy related to the health and safety of your customers and employees. But you can’t just randomly refuse service to someone because you don’t like the way they look or dress.  Second, the policy must apply to everyone. For example, it can’t turn away a black person who’s not wearing a tie and then let in a tieless white man. You also can’t have a policy that sounds like it applies to everyone but really just excludes one particular group of people. So, for example, a policy against wearing headscarves in a restaurant could be discriminatory against Muslims.

So did you noticed this one in the list above?First Lady Melania Trump - Denial of Service

A fashion designer refusing to design a dress for a political party leaders wife.  If you agreee with all the rest being one way or the other, you have to agree that this is the same as the rest.  The fashion designer did not refuse to design a dress for the “OTHER” political party leaders wife.


As a Website Designer I can honestly say the only people I would refuse to work for it ones that don’t want to pay me for the work.  I can’t say I would be inspired with all types of work people could ask me for, but I would not refuse work.


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