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GOP lawmaker: Businesses should be able to deny service to blacks

A Republican lawmaker from South Dakota doesn’t think there’s any need for the government to interfere with who you associate with, even if that means allowing a business to deny service to blacks.

Phil Jensen, a state senator representing District 33, has some strong views which have consistently drawn heat from his colleagues. And his latest comments in an interview with the Rapid City Journal are sure to do the same.

Jensen had previously sponsored Senate Bill 128, which would have made it legal for businesses do deny services to people based on their sexual orientation. The bill was killed in committee. He says bills like these are all about protecting one’s “constitutional right to free association”

Jensen goes so far as to say that businesses should have the right to deny service based on a customer’s race or religion – whether that’s right or wrong, he says, can be fairly addressed by the free market, not the government.

“If someone was a member of the Ku Klux Klan, and they were running a little bakery for instance, the majority of us would find it detestable that they refuse to serve blacks, and guess what? In a matter of weeks or so that business would shut down because no one is going to patronize them,” he said.

Jensen has sponsored a number of other bills, including one so that “parents may direct the rearing of their children without undue governmental infringement” and one that would allow citizens to carry guns in the state Capitol.

Via Rapid City Journal