I want you all to imagine a scenario. Lets say there was a gay man who owned a bakery. One day, a group of conservative Christians came in and demanded that he bake them a cake with a “Support traditional marriage” message, written on it in icing. The gay baker has no problem serving them because of their religious views, but he doesn’t feel comfortable baking a cake with that particular message because in doing so, he is being asked to participate in something that doesn’t match his own values.
He politely declines and suggests instead that the customers go to another bakery, and even recommends one that will have no problem fulfilling their request. Instead of taking their business elsewhere like normal adults, the Christians decide to sue the gay baker for discriminating against their religion, and destroy his livelihood. They do this because they specifically chose this baker knowing that he was gay, and knowing he wouldn’t be willing to make such a cake. It was never about the cake. It was about bullying the gay baker into doing something he wasn’t comfortable with, under threat of the loss of his livelihood. Does this sound morally justifiable to you? If your answer is no, then why is it morally acceptable when the reverse happens?
Well we’ve had plenty of cases of the reverse happen over the years. In fact, one of my very first posts on this blog was in relation to a similar situation that took place in Northern Ireland. However, today’s story is in relation to a case that occurred in America.
A baker was sued by a gay couple for refusing to bake a gay wedding cake, and after years in the legal system, the supreme court ruled in favour of the baker.
The US Supreme Court has ruled in favor of a Christian baker who refused to make a wedding cake for a gay couple, saying the decision was unlikely to have a sweeping legal impact.
The nation’s highest court said the baker’s religious rights were violated when a state Civil Rights Commission decided he had broken Colorado’s anti-discrimination law.
Like it or not, religious freedom is under the same legal protection as sexuality is. There was absolutely no need for this case to ever go as far as it did. It was obvious that they were just “butthurt” (and not in the way they like), that this man didn’t fawn all over them.
The refusal by baker Jack Phillips in 2012 to make a cake for David Mullins and Charlie Craig became a cultural flashpoint, seen as part of a conservative Christian backlash to the Supreme Court’s ruling allowing gay marriage.
It probably was, but it changes nothing. There was no need to sue over this. The free market would have sorted this problem out quite easily. If he wasn’t interested in the potentially lucrative money that could have come from baking gay wedding cakes, then some other baker would have taken the business instead. The gay couples still get their wedding cakes, the Christian bakers get to live in their little niche, and a business opportunity opens up for other bakers, who aren’t devout Christians. Everybody would have won.
But of course, it was never about this. The cake wasn’t what they wanted. Forcing the baker to do what they wanted was the real motivation. If we look at the history of the gay rights movement, it has followed a particular path. In more homophobic times, all they wanted was tolerance. They just wanted to be left to live their lives in peace, free from persecution, and most reasonable people thought this was fair enough, and tolerance was extended.
After tolerance, came the desire to be accepted. They didn’t just want to be tolerated. They wanted to be accepted as equal members of society who didn’t have to hide away from the rest of us, and once again, most reasonable people had no problem with this. What’s the harm in accepting them as equals? If things had stopped right here most people, both gay and straight would have been perfectly happy, because fairness had finally been achieved.
But there were a few who wanted more than this. It wasn’t enough for these ones to simply be equal. They wanted to be pandered to, treated as special beings, and to have the rest of society participate in their lifestyle with them. And if the rest of society refused to participate in their lifestyle with them, they would use the power of the state to force them to do so.
President Donald Trump’s administration intervened in support of the baker.
But the Supreme Court ruling did not address broader questions of religious exemptions from anti-discrimination laws or whether baking a cake is protected as free speech under the U.S. Constitution, experts said.
So we’ll be seeing more of these cases in the future then it seems. It isn’t over yet.
“The broad rule that the bakery was looking for here was that it had a license to discriminate,” said James Essex, an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).
“They most emphatically did not get that ruling from this court today.”
If he was still willing to sell them things despite knowing they were gay, then how exactly was he looking to discriminate? He just wasn’t willing to bake a cake for a specific event that his religious views made him uncomfortable with. Would you say the same thing to a Muslim baker who refused to do the same thing?
The decision made it clear that even if the court ultimately rules in a future case that bakers or other businesses that sell creative products such as florists and wedding photographers can avoid punishment under anti-discrimination laws, most businesses open to the public would have no such defense.
Because there is a difference between refusing to serve someone because of their sexuality, and refusing to use your labour to participate in something that you have religious objections to. The baker didn’t refuse to serve them because they were gay, so this comparison is meaningless.
Nonetheless, the couple, Mullins and Craig, said they were disappointed.
“No one should have to face the shame, embarrassment and humiliation of being told ‘we don’t serve your kind here’ that we faced,” they said on an ACLU conference call with reporters.
HE WAS WILLING TO SERVE “YOUR KIND”, YOU FUCKING WHINER!!!!
He just wasn’t willing to participate in an an event that contradicted his religious views. You were perfectly free to buy a product from the store. He just wasn’t willing to bake a specific cake for you. You want to talk about the mental harm you experienced? What about the mental harm the baker experienced by being caught between his desire not to “sin” in the eyes of his God, and his desire to make a living, when you could have just had the maturity to take your business elsewhere?
Annise Parker, head of the LGBTQ Victory Institute, expressed concern it could “open the floodgates” to discrimination.
“Homophobic forces will purposefully over-interpret the ruling and challenge existing non-discrimination laws by refusing service to LGBTQ people … denying them dinner at a restaurant, lodging at a hotel, or renting an apartment,” Parker said in a statement.
Funny isn’t it how the “slippery slope” suddenly isn’t a logical fallacy anymore?
The Human Rights Coalition echoed the view that the ruling “did not change our nation’s fundamental civil rights laws.”
“Regardless of today’s decision, the fact remains that LGBTQ people face alarming levels of discrimination all across the country,” the civil rights group said.
There’s few countries on the planet right now, were “LGBTQ” people face less discrimination, than in the United States. In a country were this is acceptable (warning, NSFW), you can hardly claim to be discriminated against. This reaction is completely hysterical.
Essex added that the issue is “not about cakes.”
Which as I’ve stated above, I agree with.
“It is about access to health care.
It’s about access to education.
It’s about employment.
It’s about people being fired from jobs because their employer has a religious objection to who they are,” he said. The ACLU represented the gay couple.
People being fired from their jobs because their employer has a religious objection to who they are? What about people like this baker potentially being forced out of his job, because you have an objection to his religious views?
“There is an intentional campaign out there of people who are opposed to LGBT rights but also to equality more broadly,” he said. “I’m sure they are out there saying this is a broad victory.”
Colorado Christian University President Donald Sweeting called it “an enormous milestone victory” for “religious freedom and freedom of conscience.”
“We are grateful that the court upheld these today,” he said in a statement.
They’re so used to getting their own way in everything that they do, that they have zero ability to self-reflect, and assume that the only people who could possibly be glad about this result are homophobes, who don’t want them to have any rights. They are incapable of understanding how obnoxious they themselves have become, and to reconsider their own behaviour.
And for that reason, you can be sure that this issue is not going to die anytime soon.