I will accept these stories as true. I have no doubt many people have been fired because they are gay. THAT is not the real point here and you conveniently skipped over my larger point just so you can tell me how easy it is to find stories about gay people being fired for being gay on Google.
I specifically mentioned freedom of association, so now, I will explain this to you in the context of this current argument, but first, we need to step away from the whole LGBTQ thing for some perspective.
Freedom does not mean you get to do whatever you want. Freedom doesn’t guarantee you a job, or money, or happiness, or friends, or true love. Freedom simply means you are free to pursue these things. In our efforts to pursue things like a job, happiness, money, etc… we occasionally need to form alliances. I am not a farmer, but I know a farmer who would take my cash for his cabbage. Thus, an alliance, albeit temporary, is formed. If I want to, I could talk to the farmer about a more permanent alliance. I will open a grocery store, and I will pay you to supply my produce. Now, this alliance has benefits to both parties. If, for some reason the farmer doesn’t like me, he is free to say no to that deal, and I will call him a stupid idiot, because I own the only grocery store in this one horse town. But fine. Let the idiot be an idiot and move on. The farmer is free. He has exercised his liberty by deciding not to ally with me. He doesnt like that I dont go to church on Sunday, so I just cant be a part of his business. Fine. Freedom of association. Get it?
I like to hang out with some people, because they are fun. I hate hanging out with others, because they are dull. I wont answer the phone if someone dull calls. Freedom of association in action. If I am at a party with people I think are cool and some I just dont know, and the ones I dont know start making fun of me because I hate sports, I dont want to be around them. Maybe they kick me out for not rooting for the right team. Fine. Freedom of association.
Why does anyone want to work for a bigot? Find someplace else to work. The vast MAJORITY of employers are relatively open minded folks that don’t care if you are gay or whatever. THE VAST MAJORITY of employers want someone who will get the job done efficiently and effectively, because their boss is basic economics, not irrational fears of the gays. That all said, if they dont want to work with gay people for some weird reason, that should be their right.
Let me be clear. The ONLY, and I mean absolutely the ONLY way you can get someone who would prefer to fire a gay person, to NOT fire them is to FORCE them to do so. So, lets examine the use of force here as it would apply practically speaking.
Lets say, you own a bakery. You are a devout christian and your special book says the gays are bad, so you have a deep need to avoid any association with them. I think thats dumb, but I am not you. You hire a guy and find out lo-and-behold he’s as queer as a pink rocket ship, so you fire him and yell, “we dont work with queers here” as he is running out the door. Someone recorded that exchange and gave it to the authorities. Now, the law (read law as FORCE) says that you cannot fire someone based on sexual orientation. So, the lawman comes and says that you have to re-hire the guy or face a stiff penalty. You tell the law that you will not rehire the guy. Two weeks later, a letter arrives from the state. It is a fine of $20,000 for violating equal employment laws (force). You decide to write “fuck you asshole” on the letter and proceed to send it back to the state. They put a tax levy on you, but you managed to hide your cash. They come after you for that fine and they keep adding interest to it. Finally, after several failed collection attempts, the cops come, break your door down and put a gun to your head. You are going to prison, where, you will no doubt get raped by gay men. FORCE is not justified here. Making someone associate with a person they do not wish to associate with is WRONG.
Lets look at it from another angle. When you get the notice regarding the $20,000 fine, you simply pay it and move on with life. No force there. Wrong. You worked for that 20k. NO, you worked hard to earn that 20k. Someone (the government) extracted from you the fruits of your labor in order to coerce you into associating with people you would rather not associate with.
Now, take those two stories and replace gay with any number of people YOU would prefer to not work with. I don’t want to apply for a job at the National Black Panthers Party, but lets say I just happen to feel like joining them because I need the money. I get there, white as a lily and begin working and some of the Panthers decide, hey, we dont want no honkeys working in our Black Panther Party, so they fire me. Should the government FORCE the Black Panthers to re-hire me? Should they be coerced into hiring white people?
Or, lets say that you run a LGBT friendly night club and some skinheads want to work security. You hire them not knowing they are skinheads, because they look like really strong bouncers who will take care of shit when shit goes down. Then, one day, you see your bouncers marching in a Hitler parade down town, so the next day, you fire them and yell, “There’s no room for skinheads in our club!” and they record it and put it on youtube. Should the government be able to FORCE you to re-hire them? Should the government COERCE you into hiring skinheads by threatening huge fines? I say no, but obviously you think differently.
How about if you owned a cake shop and those skinheads came in and said, I want a wedding cake with nazi flags on it. Should you be forced to bake that cake? Lets tone it down a bit. Lets say, a bunch of christians came in and wanted you to bake a cake with the bible verse that says homosexuality is wrong (assuming such a thing exists and it can fit on a cake… big assumption, I know…) would you be able to reject that customer, or should the state come in and FORCE you to bake them that cake?
Freedom does not make you entitled to the things you want, it makes you free to try your best to obtain them. Freedom doesnt mean everyone on the planet owes you a job, or money, or happiness or anything at all, it simply means that you are free to try and get those things. Freedom cannot exist if someone else has to surrender their freedom for yours. No business has an obligation to even exist, but if you run a business, it is yours to run the way you want to run it as long as you are not causing physical harm to others or violating their private property. If I set up a lemonade stand, you cannot demand a job at it. Go make your own goddamn lemonade stand.