Sorry if I wasn't clear. The problem with your approach, versus supporting anti-discrimination laws, is that it doesn't take a majority of the population to choose to discriminate for it to have a serious effect on economic access for the disfavored group. Even if only 25% discriminate, that is 25% of the economy the group is shut out of. Thus I find the prospect of voter-sanctioned discrimination to be less-problematic than that of widespread individual discrimination, because while it would be widespread, it is significantly harder to achieve in our republican system. The balance shifts even further when talking about small communities, where there are few enough providers that it doesn't take "widespread" discrimination to severely harm another person's economic access. The word "right" is used both to describe innate human rights and legal rights. For instance, in some countries, new mothers have a "right" to 12 months of paid parental leave. Is that an "innate" right? Of course not. Don't be argumentative about stuff we agree on. What are constitutions but a collection of laws, approved by majority vote? They are not some magical self-enforcing document. And constitutions can be changed by, yes, democratic means. That's what amendments are. We could pass an amendment repealing the First Amendment, as long as large enough majorities agree to do so. I'll deal with the business owner bit lower down. Just want to make clear the point here, which you have helped prove with your own examples: the idea of innate rights is a fine PHILOSOPHICAL principle, one with which I agree. But as a PRACTICAL matter, rights do not exist unless secured by law. If the majority is enlightened enough to make it very hard for certain legal rights to be taken away, great! That is awesome. But they can STILL be taken away. And even rights that still exist on paper can fail to exist in practice if a sufficiently large majority is willing to ignore the paper. For example, you should read the old Soviet constitution someday. It is an AWESOME document. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1977_Soviet_Constitution Freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of assembly, freedom of religion, a right to privacy ... the works. Remember how free the Soviet Union was? Me neither. Because the Constitution was meaningless, because the people in power could and did ignore it. Yep. That's a great philosophical argument. Yes, you do. See above. Nonsense. If there were no laws, you're rights would be just as meaningless as if a law took them away. You would be living in the state of nature, where might makes right. You need laws to secure and enforce your rights. Unless you are willing to simply ignore human nature, and pretend that everyone would be nice and respectful of your rights absent legal protection. Wow, you are pulling out all the stale libertarian slogans. Tell me, if there were no laws, and you started mouthing off, and a guy who was bigger than you beat you to a pulp until you shut up, would you say your rights were violated by a LAW? I agree that is a general right. But I would make two arguments, which I will deal with separately. In a free-market economy, access to the economy is also a right, being a prerequisite for survival. When you have two rights in conflict, compromises have to be made. While there is an innate right to engage in business, there is no innate right to engage in business within a given society (i.e., a polity ruled by a particular government). If you wish to open a business within a particular society, you agree to abide by that society's rules. There is nothing "violent" about that; it is a voluntary arrangement. If that society decides (via law) that you cannot discriminate, then you have a choice: don't discriminate, or don't open a business within that society. Find another society that is more to your liking. What you have just done there, besides destroyed the very idea of society, is said that one person has the right to kill another by withholding commerce. I disagree; that is murder, however indirectly achieved. When rights conflict, there must necessarily be compromise. That may be distasteful, and we may wish it wasn't so, but it is simply the reality. I agree in principle. The issue here is not that what you describe is not a reasonable right. It is that it conflicts with another right. And that the storeowner voluntarily gave it up in exchange for the right to open a business in this society. And if the shopkeeper decided to kill you by withholding medical care, or food? Did you agree to that? From an individual perspective, perhaps. From a societal perspective, no. And if you wish to avail yourself of the benefits of society -- say, a set of laws and protections that allows you to open a shop and peaceably conduct commerce -- then it is reasonable for society to make sure you are serving society's interests to some extent. Before they even got to that point, they made the choice to open a business in the society they lived in, and take advantage of the protections and benefits that society provides, knowing that the society requires something in return in order to ensure that ALL members of society are served. Not at all. I want them to abide by the terms they VOLUNTARILY agreed to when they decided to open a business. See above. Society has the right to set some rules to ensure that ALL members of society have equal access to economic necessities. When opening a business, storeowners agree to those rules. This is a VOLUNTARY transaction: nobody is forcing the person to open a business. Now, if there were other ways to ensure access to economic necessities while still allowing shopkeepers to discriminate, that might remove the objection. So maybe a "discrimination tax", whereby if you wish to exclude people from your store, you pay a surcharge so that the government can either provide the economic access itself, or help fund competitors or alternatives that will. But I suspect you will consider such a tax to be "violence" as well.