Discrimination in place of public accommodation prohibited
(1) Except as provided in subsection (2) of this section, all persons within the jurisdiction of this state are entitled to the full and equal accommodations, advantages, facilities and privileges of any place of public accommodation, without any distinction, discrimination or restriction on account of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, marital status or age if the individual is 18 years of age or older.
(2) Subsection (1) of this section does not prohibit:
(a) The enforcement of laws governing the consumption of alcoholic beverages by minors and the frequenting by minors of places of public accommodation where alcoholic beverages are served; or (b) The offering of special rates or services to persons 50 years of age or older.
(3) It is an unlawful practice for any person to deny full and equal accommodations, advantages, facilities and privileges of any place of public accommodation in violation of this section.Emphasis added. I picked the Oregon public accommodation statute for its recent relevance, but pretty much any state would do. Furthermore, I highlighted "sexual orientation" for the purposes of illustration, but you might imagine that there are edge cases for the other protected classes.
Before I pose my question, a quick review of etymology for those who may have forgotten:
Pederasty is an act. It is the sexual congress of an adult and a minor. In Anglophone jurisdictions, it is malum in se crime, an act of violence against an innocent. Coercion is assumed, with the possible exception of Romeo and Juliet laws where applicable. Conviction of this offense is typically accompanied by registration with the state and subsequent housing location restrictions after prison release.
Pedophilia is an orientation. It is the sexual attraction of an adult towards minors. Without an accompanying act, such as the possession of child pornography or the sexual assault of a minor, it is not a crime.
Pederasts do not constitute a protected class. Felons may be turned down for work simply because they are felons, no other reason given. They do not enjoy non-discrimination protections for equal housing. Sex offender registrees have it even worse (in some jurisdictions): even if a landlord is willing to rent or sell, proximity to schools or churches may statutorily prohibit the transaction.
Pedophiles are part of a protected class, at least in 21 or so states, depending on the specific language of the state statutes. The same goes for—again, according to the black letter of the statute—bigamists, ISIS members, former Nazis, or flatulent televangelists (curiously, veteran status is not listed in the Oregon statute). Running a business statutorily obviates conscience of association in commerce, both for good and for bad.
Exchange is lovely, doubly so if it's euvoluntary. Both parties are better off (or at least no worse off) for conducting a transaction of their own free and clear will. Under public accommodation statutes like the one above, it is sufficient that merely one party to the exchange is better off. Sellers are permitted neither the luxury nor the exercise of their conscience. Usually, most people will happily approve of the proposal that vendors aren't granted the liberty of indulging a rotten conscience: denying same sex (or mixed-race, or Irish, &al) couples access to market goods is a barbarism the silent majority of us have moved beyond. But the price of forcing this conversion with the hammer of the state is that there may remain some conscience violations many of us are not prepared to accept yet.
And so when the local kiddie pervo saunters into the Circle K to pick up a tub of hand lotion and a box of tissues from you, you are legally obliged to complete the transaction. The alternative social institutions is to allow rhetoric and persuasion to change merchants' minds on the sort of clients they're willing to serve. Perhaps rhetoric and persuasion aren't as powerful or swift as we might like.