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The Right to Choose Your Customers

July 25, 2018

Wednesday Wisdom, Inspiration and Success Strategies for Women Entrepreneurs and Female Business Owners

As an American woman entrepreneur, I have carefully selected my clients and members for two decades. My company which caters specifically to women – and women only – has never been forced to accept men into our midst although some have showed up at events.

In a couple cases when men have shown up at one of a Women TIES event, they left after introducing themselves to the audience feeling peculiar that women were wondering why they were there. They know my brand very well! A few men were brazen enough to stay and network even though they clearly understood the mission. I never found them brave enough to stay all the way through an event, just emboldened enough to make their presence felt. One actually made me frustrated enough with his presence handing out business cards, I left the room walking outside to cool off and give myself a talk about being Catholic first and a feminist second!

Colorado A.G. Cynthia H. Coffman

So when I heard about the Supreme Court setting aside a Colorado court ruling against the owner of a Colorado Cake Shop who cited religious freedom and wouldn’t make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple, I contemplated the situation and rulings as an entrepreneur first since I could easily face a similar situation one day not allowing men at my events. As an entrepreneur, I feel I have the right to choose who my customers are especially since my business plan, mission and purpose has nothing to do with men.

This court case received national attention when the Supreme Court got involved pitting the cake shop owners’ first amendment claims of artistic freedom against the anti-discrimination arguments of the Colorado Civil Rights Commission and turning away the gay couple in 2012. The Denver-area baker cited his Christian faith in refusing to make a cake for their wedding celebration. The baker argued he’s an artist who should not be compelled to create a cake that contradicts his religious views. The Supreme Court decided in his favor 7-2.

Entrepreneurs may or may not have worries about this story, but legal situations like this might arise as our country becomes more polarized in its beliefs, policies and actions. I hope today’s Wednesday Wisdom inspires you to spend time researching and contemplating your personal and business policies, legal rights and actions, before a situation like this occurs in your establishment. Consult a trusted attorney or business adviser if you have questions or concerns.

I will continue to serve only women until a day I am presented with a reason that I am breaking the law by doing so. #women

NOTE: If you would like to meet A.G Coffman or hear more about this case, attend the Seneca Falls Revisited Conference on August 23, 2018. Click here for details.

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