I posted a while ago about non-discrimination laws being incompatible with freedom of conscience.
Today let’s look at how they’re incompatible with freedom of association.
Though, frankly, this should be obvious.
Freedom of association requires that the State not be allowed to tell you who you must (or must not) associate with.
Non-discrimination laws mandate that you must associate, in particular ways, with members of protected classes.
So, kinda contradictory.
This is not surprising, since the concept of association as a fundamental freedom derives from freedom of conscience.
This only applies to individuals, of course; the State itself and collective entities chartered by the State should have an obligation to treat all citizens equally, regardless of the personal beliefs of the individuals involved. So if you’re acting on behalf of a State-derived entity, you also have that obligation to associate with everyone equally. And if you can’t, you should be removed from any position where that’s an issue.
But individuals have to be free to make these decisions for themselves.
Or you have to abandon freedom of association, but that way lies authoritarianism and none of us want that.
Well, sadly no.
Since non-discrimination laws offer a seemingly easy way to force a national population to treat historically-discriminated-against people better than they otherwise might, these laws are actually quite popular.
This also ties in to yesterday’s post about utilitarianism, because that’s very much how this is rationalized: people will treat each other more like how the lawmakers want them to, so these laws are justified regardless of what principles they conflict with.
Which is utilitarianism.
Never mind that these laws compromise on what should be a fundamental freedom, they’re useful so they get passed and the weakening of the State’s commitment to its principles gets eroded further.
And the especially galling thing about this is that it’s completely unnecessary.
You could achieve almost exactly the same thing by limiting the non-discrimination laws to State-derived entities, to prevent the State from intruding on what should be personal decisions.
And that would be truly non-discriminatory.