Bakery That Refused to Make Gay Wedding Cake Shuts Doors

Bake what you're told!Credit: Forever88 | Dreamstime.comLabor Day Weekend marked the end of Sweet Cakes by Melissa, a bakery in Gresham, Ore., that made national news in February for refusing to make a wedding cake for a lesbian couple. They’ve shut their storefront and are going to be moving the bakery in-home. Portland station KOIN visited the store location to verify Sunday:

A note on the shop’s Gresham door Sunday said the following:

“This fight is not over. We will continue to stand strong. Your Religious Freedom is becoming not Free anymore. This is ridiculous that we can not practice our faith. The LORD is good and we will continue to serve Him with all our heart. ♥”

The bakery is under investigation by the state’s Bureau of Labor and Industries to determine whether the shop’s refusal to provide service violates the state’s public accommodations non-discrimination laws, which include sexual orientation.

Other media reports make note of the bakery’s Facebook page and various comments in support or opposition. Williamette Week has been reporting about the shop’s closure and tracking its Facebook page. But the link provided to their page doesn’t work and a search for Sweet Cakes by Melissa comes up empty on Facebook. Here’s their Web page, which still lists a physical location for their shop.

Williamette Week also played gotcha with the bakery, getting them to give them quotes for cakes to celebrate unwed pregnant mothers, divorces, and human stem cell research, among other things. Presumably this is intended to mean that the bakery’s owners, Melissa and Aaron Klein, were not consistent in applying their religious beliefs to their cake-baking practices. But the Kleins are under no obligation to anybody but themselves (and to whatever higher power they choose to answer to) to maintain any sort of particular consistency with their Christian beliefs. If, in fact, it turned out that the only thing in the entire Bible that the Kleins believed was that gay marriage is wrong, that’s their right. Certainly their inconsistencies could make them subject to criticism, but the inconsistencies are not actually relevant to the concepts of freedom of conscience of freedom of association.

 The closing of the store does not affect the state’s investigation of Sweet Cakes’ refusal to provide a wedding cake for a gay marriage. KOIN has some very interesting information about the number of discrimination claims under the 2007 law in Oregon that added sexual orientation to its list of forbidden reasons to deny customers service:

Since 2007, Oregonians have filed 11 complaints of unlawful discrimination in public places under the 2007 equality law. BOLI found no substantial evidence in five of those complaints but parties negotiated settlements in three other cases, including one this past week where a bar was fined $400K for keeping transgenders away.

So in five years there have been 11 complaints, five of which were not substantiated. This is not a sign of a widespread issue of public accommodations discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.

In August, I wrote about New Mexico’s ruling that obligated photographers to accept gigs to shoot gay weddings, regardless of what their beliefs told them. I suggested then that perhaps it’s time to reconsider the idea of what counts as a “public accommodation” and also questioned whether we actually even need the government to resolve all cases of business bigotry.  

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  • robc||

    I suggested then that perhaps it’s time to reconsider the idea of what counts as a “public accommodation”

    How about ending the entire bullshit concept altogether?

  • SugarFree||

    Rethugulians want to bring back segregated drinking fountains!

  • robc||

    Actually, drinking fountains are public, not "public accommodation", so nothing would change.

    And, yes, I know you were being sarcastic.

    I was in Bowling Green on Sunday. They hadnt burned the town down. Did Lexington survive?

  • SugarFree||

    Just barely. Since I finished my undergrad at WKU, my loyalties were divided.

    Stoops did just about everything he could to downplay expectations and people are still baying for his blood. Personally, I'm just keeping my head down until basketball season.

  • robc||

    Basketball season started Sunday, right?

  • SugarFree||

    Yes, but football moaning will predominate until Midnight Madness at least.

  • Libertymike||

    Yeay Bobbby Petrino?

  • JohnD||

    SugarFree, Your ignorance is astonishing. What a fool. Maybe you should change your name to BrainFree.

  • JW||

    Did you remove your sarcasm chip again?

  • sarcasmic||

    You should recalibrate your sarcasm detector.

  • SugarFree||

    Ah, duh. Derp derpity derp. Uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

  • Lord Humungus||

    Derp the Musical!

    Doctor what is wrong with me?
    Why Son you need a derpindectomy

  • SugarFree||

    I love every Derp I see,
    From Derpy-Derp-A to Derpy-Hep-C

  • Tonio||

    JohnD - that handle is new here. Sug is a regular. Some of us regulars employee sarcasm.

  • Zeb||

    He's not all that new. Just extra derpy, I guess.

  • Zombie Jimbo||

    Employee sarcasm? Are the Koch brothers paying commenters now? How do I get in on this?

  • Almanian!||

    JINX!

  • Almanian!||

    employee sarcasm

    Now sure how long sarc will remain an "employee", what with his sharp tongue and all.

  • JW||

    The real JohnD is going to be very upset to learn that some mouthbreather is using his handle.

  • ||

    Oh, dear. JohnD, you should probably retire this handle, lurk for a while, and then come back with a new name once you understand this horrible place a little more.

  • AlexInCT||

    That bitchslap left a mark man....

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    What about Muslims and Jews suing Sam's Pork Shoppe for only selling bacon, sausage and ham, rather than halal and kosher meat? Is that discrimination?

  • ||

    That's not really a good analogy. The discrimination under examination is based on customer identity, not product offering.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    That's a fine line.

    The Sam's Pork Shoppe example is even more egregious than the bakery at issue here, because Sam in effect won't serve pious Muslims and Jews at all. Whereas this bakery will sell cakes to gays so long as they don't specifically order an SSM wedding cake.

  • ||

    won't serve pious Muslims and Jews at all

    That's not true. They just don't have any products that Muslims and Jews are interested in. Your argument is like saying that every grocery store needs to stock everything to cater to everybody. That's ridiculous.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    That's ridiculous.

    So were the arguments that they would eventually try to outlaw salt and sodas back in the 80's. Give them a chance.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    These bakers aren't refusing to serve gays, they're simply refusing to sell a product that certain gay people are interested in. Does every bakery need to cater to everybody?

  • ||

    "they're simply refusing to sell a product that certain gay people are interested in"

    It's a product they sell. So they are denying the sale of a product they make simply on the basis of sexual orientation. That's entirely different than failing to carry a product for sale that happens to cater to a particular race/orientation/religion.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    How is that different from Sam selling BLT sandwiches but not chicken sandwiches? Sandwiches are "a product they sell," right?

  • ||

    It's entirely different. They are setting up a set of products they offer and all are welcome to buy. If their menu doesn't have a Chicken Sandwich on it, and you want a Chicken Sandwich, then too bad for you.

  • robc||

    Im sure a gay guy can walk in and get a "just married" cake off the shelf just fine.

  • ||

    Im sure a gay guy can walk in and get a "just married" cake off the shelf just fine.

    Why are you sure? Aren't you projecting a bit? I would bet that he could only do this if he hid TEH GAY.

  • robc||

    How would anyone know? Gays are just like other people, there are no mannerisms or other ways to identify them.

  • Tonio||

    So the actual issue is that the store refuses to sell wedding cakes bearing two (traditionally) same-gender names. GO: John and Mary, Sean and Jean. NO-GO: Adam and Steve, Mary and Sue.

  • Dan||

    There is nothing to hide. Unless you go out of your way to inform people then there is no way for them to know you're gay.

  • Dan||

    Your arguments are nonsense. The baker does not sell cakes for same sex marriages. If you want one of those they have to custom make one for you. Just like the sandwich shop has to custom make your sandwich.

    They aren't refusing to sell you a cake, they are refusing to customize it with messages and imagery that mock their own religious beliefs. That isn't something they keep stocked on their shelves and are just refusing to sell it to a specific person. These people were more than free to buy a normal wedding cake which is what the bakery does.

  • JW||

    Appropos...the deli near the Saudi embassy uses nothing but Halal meats where it matters, even down to the pepperoni on the pizza. Shudder

    But, they're not idiots. They will also make you a ham sandwich.

  • Azathoth!!||

    They sell opposite sex wedding cakes--with a little guy and girl on top. They don't sell same sex wedding cakes.

    The product--a same sex wedding cake--is not on their menu.

  • JohnD||

    Only if the customer is a fa99ot.

  • Tonio||

    Merkin, is that you?

    Also, if you're going to use slurs, at least have the courage to spell them out.

  • Almanian!||

    Yeah - what a faggot JohnD 'murcan is.

  • robc||

    And the Kleins dont stock cakes with two grooms on top.

  • WTF||

    Your argument is like saying that every grocery store needs to stock everything to cater to everybody. That's ridiculous.

    Didn't the government force eHarmony to start providing matching services for same sex couples? Maybe I am mis-remembering.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    You are correct.

  • ||

    Yes. And that's ridiculous too. What's your point?

  • WTF||

    My point is that it's not a ridiculous argument to say that the government will force businesses to provide something they never previously provided or stocked just because some 'victim' group demands it.

  • ||

    it's not a ridiculous argument to say that the government will force businesses to provide something they never previously provided

    I never said that. I said the premise was ridiculous. That some bunch of NJ judges bought into this level of stupid is of no surprise to anyone who knows anything about NJ.

  • WTF||

    Ah, okay, I misinterpreted your point then. Apologies.

  • Gorilla tactics||

    it's the new "Civil Right" don't you see? All private establishments have to accomodate everyone and have no say whatsoever on who or what to serve. If you disagree with me, you want black babies to be hung from oak trees.

    Seriously though, Rand Paul should have doubled down on his position about certain clauses of the 64 act. Yes I've said it before, but this whole "anti discrimination" bullshit has cost the private sector billions in bullshit lawsuits and companies are not operating at their potential with that act in place.

  • JohnD||

    WTF, No you're not.

  • Rhywun||

    At least eHarmony was up-front about their exclusions. If this bakery and other businesses would simply post a sign out front saying "we don't serve gays" - end of problem. ... Right?

  • robc||

    e-harmony served gays before the change. They just didnt give them same sex matches.

  • Rhywun||

    e-harmony served gays before the change. They just didnt give them same sex matches.

    You'll be here all week?

  • robc||

    You'll be here all week?

    I usually am.

  • Matrix||

    so perhaps Christian, Muslim, and Jewish dating sites should be forced to provide the same thing?

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Yeah, where's the class-action suit by infidels against the Muslim marriage brokers?

  • Tonio||

    Not going to happen in the real world, would only happen if ginned-up by grievance lawyers.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    So...yes?

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Suppose a bakery which baked Christmas cakes, but not Kwaanza cakes?

    (nb - I know that only a minority of black people celebrate Kwaanza, but then, only a minority of gay people get same-sex married)

  • Tonio||

    That could also be seen as religious discrimination. Yep.

  • Gorilla tactics||

    RACIST!

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    Only if they're willing to sue over it.

  • Heroic Mulatto||



    A note on the shop’s Gresham door Sunday said the following:

    “This fight is not over. We will continue to stand strong. Your Religious Freedom is becoming not Free anymore. This is ridiculous that we can not practice our faith. The LORD is good and we will continue to serve Him with all our heart. ♥”

    I believe in freedom of association, but fuck the Kleins. Their "Religious Freedom [sic]" was not threatened and their claim of martyrdom is obnoxious. Nowhere in the Bible does it state "Thou shall not bake cakes for customers whose political and religious views you disagree with."

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    You mean you disagree with their religious views? How does it follow that "Their "Religious Freedom [sic]" was not threatened"? What kind of beliefs do you have to have in order to benefit from religious freedom?

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    You mean you disagree with their religious views?

    Firstly, I disagree with calling whatever their views are "Christianity".

    Secondly, religious freedom is the freedom to worship (or not) in the manner you see fit and belong to the religious community of your choice. The Kleins are purposely confusing freedom of association with religious freedom in order to claim (an imagined) moral higher ground. Don't make the same mistake, Eduard; you're better than that.

  • SugarFree||

    Eduard; you're better than that.

    [citation needed]

  • JW||

    The Kleins are purposely confusing freedom of association with religious freedom in order to claim (an imagined) moral higher ground.

    Does it really matter? They DO have the higher moral ground.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Under your definition, religious freedom would *not* include the rights of religious conscientious objectors to military service, the right of doctors not to perform abortions, etc. Yet these have all been recognized as instances of religious freedom. And the Religious Freedom restoration Acts on the federal and state level also recognize a religious-freedom right to engage in conduct which isn't clearly against the public interest.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Under your definition, religious freedom would *not* include the rights of religious conscientious objectors to military service, the right of doctors not to perform abortions, etc.

    No, that is incorrect. In all of those instances, believers base their actions on deeply held religious beliefs based on the doctrines of their religion. Indeed, before one can apply for conscientious objector status, one has to undergo an interview in which one is forced to justify their objector status by fully explicating their objection to military service through the teachings of their religion.

    I sincerely doubt the Kleins could explicate their refusing to bake a cake to such detail that would satisfy the standards of conscientious objection.

    Again, I believe the Kleins have every right to bake or not bake for customers of their choosing. Just don't call it Christianity.

  • robc||

    Ive found the militarys conscientious objector standard to be bullshit.

    Hypothetically, a baptist could have PERSONAL beliefs that qualify, but cant because baptists havent historically objected.

  • robc||

    Just don't call it Christianity.

    There are lots of weird details that different sects of Christianity have added on.

    I know nothing about their beliefs, but if they believe the stuff I consider to be "core" then their addition beliefs dont make them not christian.

  • SugarFree||

    While I understand and support freedom of religion, using religion as legal defense (to even bullshit laws) does mean that the courts are going to have to define "religion" and rule if a particular belief falls under that definition. This seems to me far more threatening to me than wedding cake controversy that should fall under freedom of association in the first place.

  • robc||

    Why define "religion"? If someone claims a religious belief, just believe them.

    In other words, basically, it always falls back to freedom of association anyway.

  • Zeb||

    Why define "religion"? If someone claims a religious belief, just believe them.

    I think that is the only proper way to protect religious freedom. The state deciding what is or is not religion is antithetical to religious freedom. Religious freedom is part of the general freedom that everyone, regardless of religion should have. If you carve out special religious exceptions, you are just creating another special victim class and limiting other people's freedom just because of their beliefs or lack thereof.

  • SugarFree||

    Why define "religion"? If someone claims a religious belief, just believe them.

    Because that's not how it has worked out. Religious arguments against the draft really didn't hold water until after WW1 (and even until the draft was abolished, some CO claims were rejected out of hand); religious exemptions to excessive taxation has had a shoddy record, as have medical care suits against faith healing and blood transfusions. Peyote use by native American groups was a long fight and no one can "join" the religion.

    The courts do define what is and isn't a valid religious belief all the time.

  • robc||

    Because that's not how it has worked out.

    How does the fact that the courts have been doing it wrong for centuries change my argument about the way they should be doing it?

  • SugarFree||

    How does the fact that the courts have been doing it wrong for centuries change my argument about the way they should be doing it?

    It doesn't, but in this case it's going to matter because it will be their defense.

    I'm fine with the courts believing all religious claims unless a violation of self-ownership is involved. But it would lead to a anarcho-topia, so it will never be allowed.

  • Zeb||

    Yeah, what SF said. Freedom of religion shouldn't give anyone special rights. And no court should be defining what a religion is and what does or does not constitute a religious belief. These people shouldn't have to provide a cake to anyone if they don't want to. But making it about religion and not free association is going to be more damaging to freedom generally and would probably lead to religion becoming another protected class. If people have a right to do something because of religion, then everyone has the right to do that thing, regardless of their religious beliefs.

  • Duke||

    I know nothing about their beliefs...

    Stop right there. That is the most prevailing problem of commentors on this board who criticize the teachings of the bible and of Jesus of Nazareth, who is also called the “Christ.”

    Futhermore, can you claim to hold consistent libertarian views while simultaneously backing a law which requires under criminal penalty someone to do work for another person when he doesn’t want to? So you are in favor of forced servitude?

    This is the pendulum swung too far the other way. Treating gays as a protected class subject to strict scrutiny will turn out to be a giant mistake as it seems many people are finding out.

  • Zeb||

    Dude, no one here (except probably Tony) is arguing that they should be required to make gay wedding cakes. Just that it should not be a specifically religion based thing. Some completely non-religious person who hates fags should have the same right for the same reasons.

  • Duke||

    It’s not a religious thing? Then you must really hate the Jews:

    Leviticus 18:22
    "Do not practice homosexuality, having sex with another man as with a woman. It is a detestable sin."

    Leviticus 20:13
    "If a man practices homosexuality, having sex with another man as with a woman, both men have committed a detestable act. They must both be put to death, for they are guilty of a capital offense."

    So the baker’s refusal to participate in what they perceive as a grievous sin does indeed make it a religious issue.

  • ||

    You are aware that "detestable act" often translated abomination is the same word the author of Leviticus used for eating shrimp, no? Levitical prohibitions on homosexuality are weak evidence when Christianity has traditionally used Leviticus as a reference point, but not binding law.

    1 Corinthians 6:12

    All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.
  • Duke||

    Jesse.in.mb -

    You are aware that the prohibition of eating unclean things was a ceremonial law and not subject to the penalty of death?

    Try again.

  • Duke||

    Romans 1:26-27, the Apostle Paul:

    "For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:

    And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet."

    Again, those here who routinely criticize the bible’s teachings, don’t actually know what they are.

  • ||

    I'm very familiar with what the scriptures contain, thankyouverymuch. I find the references to the OT obnoxious when Christians largely ignore them in their daily lives but hold others to them. Thank you for quoting from the salient Testament.

  • Duke||

    Jesse - how could you possibly know that “christians largely ignore them in their daily lives and hold others to them?” You know all christians that well?

    No. But it’s way easier to go with the Official Kultural Bromides about christianity. Point in fact, there are christians in the Middle East and in Asia right now who are either in jail facing execution for standing by their faith in Jesus or have already been executed for their faith in Jesus.

    Maybe American christianity has lost it’s way, can’t disagree with that. But just because some followers worship money and power more than God, doesn’t mean that God is at fault.

  • ||

    Umm, I grew up in an evangelical home, I'm still close with the evangelical friends I grew up with and have sat under pastors of various denominations. I was raised in a very Christian milieu and I deeply respect the faiths of others even if I don't share them. Hopefully we aren't going to go down the "if you don't agree with every aspect of my faith you don't respect me" vortex that I go through with my mother every now and again, because that's pretty tiresome.

  • Guy LaGuy||

    It's simpler than that

    Mat 5:27 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’[e] 28 But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

    and 1Cor 7
    Now to the unmarried[a] and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I do. 9 But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion.
  • robc||

    Christianity has traditionally

    He specifically referred to Jews, not Christians.

  • ||

    He specifically referred to Jews, not Christians.

    Fair point, but he did go directly on to reference the bakers, who are Christians.

  • Zeb||

    It doesn't say anything about making cakes for people who sin. And what is the ancient Hebrew word for "homosexuality".

    You miss my point in any case. Sure, for these people it is about religion (if we take what they say in good faith). But the legal question should have nothing to do with religion. Everyone should have freedom of association and freedom to do business with who they want to, not just people with obnoxious religious views.

  • Duke||

    But that’s not the law Zeb. You are not free to deny renting a hotel room to black people because they are black. But you would be free to deny them accommodation if they were rowdy or could not pay, for example. Race is considered a suspect class subject to strict scrutiny of the Equal Protection clause.

    The bible explicitly states that homosexuality is sinful. Period. End of story. It also condemns sexual immorality. And in this country, unwed boys and girls have been denied apartment accommodations because they were not married.

    The baker’s case would not withstand constitutional scrutiny if, for example, they had refused to serve someone because they were black and then based that objection on religious grounds.

    "Do you have a legal right, as an unmarried couple, to rent a place? Not under federal law. The Federal Fair Housing Acts (42 U.S. Code §§ 3601–3619) prohibit discrimination on the basis of race or color, religion, national origin, gender, familial status (having children and pregnancy), and physical or mental disability. Marital status is not one of the protected categories under federal law. (Public housing is an exception. Several courts have interpreted federal law to protect unmarried couples from discrimination there.)"

  • robc||

    Maybe in their weird religion, selling cake is a religious ceremony.

    Check and mate.

  • Heroic Mulatto||



    Maybe in their weird religion, selling cake is a religious ceremony.

    Check and mate.

    Well, that would be an interesting strategy to avoid taxes, I'll give them that. But it doesn't change the fact that Kleinism is not Christianity, which is all my observation entails.

  • robc||

    You covered that in "firstly". "Secondly" was a much bigger section.

  • Steve G||

    Concur, I can't stand it when religious people twist the definition of religious freedom to mean their right to shove it down my throat.

  • robc||

    You have a problem with freedom of speech?

  • Steve G||

    No, like I said, I have a problem when the religious right will claim religious freedom is "under attack" when, for example, an atheist gets their panties in a wad about a prayer before a city council mtg. That's all.
    I AM NOT saying the state is right in forcing this company to sell their cake to lesbians.

  • robc||

    ???

    I wasnt talking about cakes.

  • Steve G||

    okay...?

  • robc||

    I was responding to you talking about religious people prosletizing.

    Which is a freedom of speech issue.

  • Steve G||

    I'm not opposed to prosletizing as that is their right. I'm merely criticizing their description of this and other situations as "attacks" on their freedom of religion. If it weren't for stupid govt intervention in this case, they'd be no less free than anyone else to practice their religion.

  • robc||

    If it weren't for stupid govt intervention in this case

    In other words, attacks.

    "They shouldnt call it an attack on their freedom of religion when government intervention attacks their freedom of religion." -- Steve G

    Did I get that right?

  • Steve G||

    No, the govt is not attacking their freedom of religion. The govt is telling them to do business with someone they don't want to. Why they don't want to do business with that entity is beside the point.

  • robc||

    Why they don't want to do business with that entity is beside the point.

    It isnt beside the point TO THEM.

    And that is all that matters.

    Yes, its a freedom of association matter, but TO THEM its a freedom of religion matter because their beliefs tell them not to associate.

    And that still doesnt have anything to do with the subthread where you oppose religious people prosletizing.

  • Steve G||

    You're the one who steered this away from my original post down the freedom of speech rabbit hole!
    My point was not about prosletizing, it was about the religious right's tendency to always turn secular-driven attempts to get freedom FROM religion into an attack on their freedom OF religion.
    Just because I don't want to see the 10 commandments in my local court house DOES NOT attack their freedom of religion.

  • robc||

    You're the one who steered this away from my original post down the freedom of speech rabbit hole!

    Your were the first one to bring up speech.

    I quote: "I can't stand it when religious people twist the definition of religious freedom to mean their right to shove it down my throat."

    You dont have to listen. It cant be shoved down your throat if you walk away from their prosletization.

    it was about the religious right's tendency to always turn secular-driven attempts to get freedom FROM religion into an attack on their freedom OF religion.
    Just because I don't want to see the 10 commandments in my local court house DOES NOT attack their freedom of religion.

    None of that has anything to do with what you said above.

  • Steve G||

    You're f'in dense. One more time: it was not about the prosletization--I know I can walk away--it was about the twisting of the definition. And it has everything to do with what my original comment above. Criticizing what people say does not mean I'm attacking their freedom of speech; I'm merely calling them out on their BS logic.

    Spare yourself the keystrokes and don't bother with another rebuttal that misses the point.

  • Mickey Rat||

    How does their "twisting the definition" possibly amount to shoving their religion down your throat?

    That's the problem, you describe what the Kleins did as an imposition on you, and that does not make any sense.

  • Steve G||

    My comment was not about the Kleins specifically, but of religious groups in general. They see attempt to get freedom from religion as attacks on their freedom of religion. That's it. I was not talking about their cakes, but of their stupid sign on the door referring to religious freedom not being free anymore.

  • JW||

    Religious deep throating?! Outrageous!

  • anon||

    Religious deep throating?!

    Hey, leave the Roman Catholic Schoolgirls alone!

  • ||

    Hey, leave the Roman Catholic Schoolgirls alone!

    Altar boys anon, altar boys.

  • Guy LaGuy||

    Because every altar boy in history was abused by his priest.

  • ||

    Because every altar boy in history was abused by his priest.

    Sensitive about the issue much? It's a recognizable cultural trope that is more on topic than a slutty Catholic schoolgirls reference. Nothing in my statement implied that every altar boy ever was abused by his priest. You should probably work on your reductio ad absurdum attacks because that one was weak sauce. I believe in you Guy, you can do better!

    And I'll make sure I include a trigger warning for you next time I make a priest abuse reference ;)

  • Guy LaGuy||

    But why is it a cultural trope?

  • ||

    Still not doing better, Guy. I trust you can read a newspaper article and see understand why a millenia old institution to which children are frequently entrusted having a few bad apples who were never really punished for abusing children would enter the public consciousness in a mean way.

    Why don't you start with Cardinal Dolan moving around church funds to protect it from lawsuits from the abused.

  • SugarFree||

    But why is it a cultural trope?

    Because a lot of priests molested children. And the Church covered it up for a very long time. And Shitbag Timothy Dolan hid money that was supposed to go to the victims. And Dolan called gay marriage "a tragedy."

  • ||

    SF continues to preach the word more eloquently than I.

  • Guy LaGuy||

    But that doesn't presume that all priests molested all altar boys.
    That doesn't presume that if someone happened to be an altar boy that they were automatically molested.

  • SugarFree||

    *gasp* Stereotypes aren't 100% accurate *gasp*

  • Guy LaGuy||

    but it's still worth joking about.

  • SugarFree||

    Best way to not have jokes made about you with respect to fucking little kids? Stop fucking little kids.

  • T||

    But fuck one sheep...

  • ||

    How is not selling a cake to someone "shoving their religion down your throat"?

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    How is not selling a cake to someone "shoving their religion down your throat"?

    In the same sense not buying insurance is taxable.

  • Almanian!||

    It's a penalty. Except when it's a tax.

    And you'll do what we damned well tell you, including making and selling a cake to teh gaiz or anyone else you don't like.

    The Management

  • Steve G||

    It's not, as I stated above, I take issue not with this specific cake selling farce, but with their statement about religious freedom "becoming not free".
    IMO this case has fuck all to do w/ religious freedom.

  • ||

    Except where their religious convictions (however fucking retarded) tell them that gay marriage is wrong and so decided it would not be in keeping with their religious beliefs to sell a gay couple a wedding cake. Thus leading to the state telling them they HAVE to sell the gay couple the cake because "PUBLIC ACCOMODATIONS!".

    How do you not see the unfreeness of that?

  • John||

    Freedom of religion necessarily includes the freedom to associate. Is there no form of authoritarianism you guys won't embrace in the name of the KULTURE WAR?

  • Tony||

    Their business is not a church.

  • Doctor Whom||

    Therefore...?

  • John||

    It is their life you half wit. If you were not such an authoritarian thug, you would get that. But your default position is that people get freedom where the government allows it.

    Their freedom to have a religion doesn't end when they decide to make a living. It does in your view, but that is because at heart you hate freedom.

  • Tony||

    You're welcome to argue that businesses should be allowed to discriminate against people, but it is not legitimate to say they can't against blacks but can against gays, because religion.

  • KPres||

    Who said anything about race? Anyway, it's not clear that sexuality is a physical trait the way skin color is.

  • Tony||

    Yes it is.

  • Gorilla tactics||

    you can spot a black dude immediately, there aren't any defining physical feautures that make someone gay. You can clearly see when someone is black, but not when someone is gay.

  • Free Society||

    You're welcome to argue that businesses should be allowed to discriminate against people, but it is not legitimate to say they can't against blacks but can against gays, because religion.

    Anyone should be allowed to discriminate against other people as much as they want, as long as you aren't violating the rights of others. And since no one has a right to your goods and services, no crime, that is unless you believe in the existence of thought-crime.

  • wwhorton||

    No, but it is their business, in that it belongs to them. If they decided that the Lord Almighty decreed to them that it is forbidden to have the name Jeff, then they should have the right to deny service to people named Jeff until they repudiate their iniquity and change their names to Fred or Sam.

  • Zeb||

    Um, I don't think anyone here is saying that these people should be forced to sell cake to gay couples. Just that making it about religion is bullshit. It is a right everyone should have, not just people who apparently think that baking a cake for sinners is forbidden somehow by their religion.

  • Zeb||

    Well, except Tony.

  • Finrod||

    Is there no form of authoritarianism you guys won't embrace in the name of the KULTURE WAR?

    Thank you. What you said, every word.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    You commented on Christianity, so I will make a comment on Buddhism - I understand that's your religious orientation.

    According to Wikipedia ("Noble Eightfold Path" article), the pathway to enlightenment includes "right livelihood," which precludes working in the following occupations:

    "Business in weapons: trading in all kinds of weapons and instruments for killing.

    "Business in human beings: slave trading, prostitution, or the buying and selling of children or adults.

    "Business in meat: "meat" refers to the bodies of beings after they are killed. This includes breeding animals for slaughter.

    "Business in intoxicants: manufacturing or selling intoxicating drinks or addictive drugs.

    "Business in poison: producing or trading in any kind of poison or a toxic product designed to kill."

    So I suppose it would *not* be a violation of religious freedom to require a Buddhist businessperson to deal in meat or booze? After all, he's still free to worship as he sees fit and join the religious community of his choice, and isn't that the only thing that matters?

  • Plopper||

    Hey Eduard,

    I was just wondering, do you have a real argument against the points Betsy Karasik made, or are you only capable of making fun of her art while making other ad hominem attacks.

    Is this the "Christian" thing to do?

    Hmm...

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Are you talking about her Abelard-and-Heloise fantasies, or about her "art"?

    And why are you hijacking a perfectly good gay-rights thread?

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    And how can I make an ad hominem attack if she isn't a man?

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    The semantic field of the Latin word "homo" always included what we, in English, refer to as "human. In Latin, the words that are restricted by gender are vir and femina, respectively.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    I was familiar with that concept, but I was trying to bait another poster.

  • Plopper||

    It just seems like to me you and some other "conservatarians" enjoy bashing on people's taste and personality instead of going after their actual argument because you have no real counter points to their argument that aren't non-sequiturs and question begging.

    But I guess when you get destroyed like you did by Fluffy the other day you've got to vent some right? And feel good by having a nice circle jerk with your friends.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Thank you, I will.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    You're missing the point, Ed. Perhaps I haven't explained myself clearly enough. I disagree with the government requiring the Kleins, or anyone else, to do anything. However, the difference between the Kleins and the example you provide is that the concept of Right Livelihood is clearly explicated in Buddhist religious texts. So, said Buddhist has a well-supported argument against engaging in such behavior based on their religious beliefs. However, no one has yet to show me the "Thou shall not bake cakes..." clause of the Bible, so the Kleins claim of religious persecution is nowhere as supported as the example you give.

    Again, I fully believe the Kleins should have the right to refuse to bake a cake based on whatever interpretation of Christianity they hold, just as I have the right to criticize their interpretation.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Would a Buddhist baker be somewhat inauthentic if he refused to bake a cake for a Chinese Embassy party celebrating the conquest of Tibet? What if the Chinese wanted the baker to decorate the cake with the phrase "All praise to the glorious People's Republic for the victory of atheism over Buddhist superstition!"

    After all, AFAIK there's no "cake-baking" clause in Buddhist scripture.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    (Yes, I am aware of the argument that Buddhists are atheists, but what of the word "superstition"?)

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    While the baker might find the cake to be personally distasteful, there is nothing in Buddhist doctrine* that prohibits him from baking the cake, if he so chooses.

    In my opinion, the baker would have every right to tell the Chinese to go screw, if he so wished. But if he attempted to claim he did so because of his Buddhist beliefs, I would criticism him as much as I would the Kleins.

    (*Complicating this is the Buddhist belief that Buddhism as a religion will only exist on Earth for a few thousand years based on a prophecy by the Buddha. So a Buddhist would consider the recent history of Tibet as fitting in with this prophecy. More info here if you're interested)

  • Guy LaGuy||

    so now you're the arbiter of what each religion actually believes?

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    So Christianity means whatever people want it to believe now?

  • Guy LaGuy||

    Apparently it only can mean what you think it means

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Then support your interpretation with citations to the relevant religious texts and commentary.

  • Guy LaGuy||

    And then if you disagree with their interpretation we're right back to your claim that you are the arbiter of the TRUE definition.

  • Artifex||

    So Christianity means whatever people want it to believe now?

    So your point is that I need to go to more effort to reinterpret Christianity ? That's not what the plates of gold that I dug up in my backyard said. They clearly said "Rule 2: No cakes for gay guys."

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    "But if he attempted to claim he did so because of his Buddhist beliefs, I would criticism him as much as I would the Kleins."

    That *is* interesting.

  • wwhorton||

    But if their religious beliefs preclude certain practices as sinful, then I'd assume that they might have a religious objection to people who practice those, well, practices. It's a sin to do X, right? So, if I believe that, then I would probably believe that selling a good or service to someone that would assist them in doing X would make me at least in part complicit in the sin. A cake is part of the wedding ceremony, so selling a wedding cake supports the wedding.

    It's a bit devil's advocate, but hey.

  • wwhorton||

    Although, to be technical, is same-sex marriage a sin, per se? I thought it was just fraternizin' with the same sex that was the problem. Like, technically, it's only the naughty bits that the church has a problem with, so if you married another man (or woman as the case may be) you'd be totally fine with Jesus so long as you never touched parts, right?

  • Zeb||

    "fraternizin'"

    That means buttsex, right?

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Hey, Jesus had no problem supplying wine for the wedding at Cana, which technically wasn't a "Christian" wedding considering the wedding was the site of his first public miracle. His debut, if you will.

  • Mickey Rat||

    What was there about providing wine or the wedding at Cana itself that Jesus should have found morally objectionable?

    And as the gospel had it, Jesus did it under protest as a favor to Mary. He did not think it was the proper time or reason to be doing a miracle.

  • Tonio||

    HM, you're on shaky ground. Sure, your interpretation of Christianity might have no trouble with selling cakes for ceremonies which your faith might not allow, but there are a gazillion different denominations of christianity out there, and they have ocassionally killed each other over what an outsider would see as trivial doctrinal differences.

  • Almanian!||

    Hey, hey! Christianity is the religion of PEACE!

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    So again Tonio, what doctrine has the "Thou shall not bake cakes..." clause? Until this can be identified, we have to assume the Kleins are purposely confusing their personal bigotry with Christian doctrine as a whole and making a false claim of religious martyrdom, of which they should be criticized, as it obscures the true issue, which is freedom of association.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    What about the Chinese Embassy cake example (above)?

  • Tonio||

    My point, Heroic, was that you don't need doctrinal support. The same christian sects which get exercised about the sodomy thing blythely ignor biblical prohibitions against eating pork and shrimp. They don't have to be consistent. Also, a religion that someone made up five minutes ago is just as valid as a religion with a history, established doctrine, etc. FOR is ultimately Freedom of Belief.

  • ||

    Christians get a pass on pork thanks to explicit teaching. Had we not had a ham for Easter brunch and bacon for Sunday breakfast I probably would've checked out of my religious upbringing much faster.

    [Peter] saw heaven opened and something like a large sheet being let down to earth by its four corners. It contained all kinds of four-footed animals, as well as reptiles and birds. Then a voice told him, “Get up, Peter. Kill and eat.”

    “Surely not, Lord!” Peter replied. “I have never eaten anything impure or unclean.”

    The voice spoke to him a second time, “Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.”
  • ||

    Actually 1 Corinthians 8 could be used to support either position. The first half is instructions that foods defiled by worldly problems are not that big of a deal and Christians can freely partake in them (in this case food that had been sacrificed to idols), but then in the second half:

    1 Cor 9-13: Be careful, however, that the exercise of your rights does not become a stumbling block to the weak. For if someone with a weak conscience sees you, with all your knowledge, eating in an idol’s temple, won’t that person be emboldened to eat what is sacrificed to idols? So this weak brother or sister, for whom Christ died, is destroyed by your knowledge. When you sin against them in this way and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ. Therefore, if what I eat causes my brother or sister to fall into sin, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause them to fall.

  • Mickey Rat||

    I don't think the Kleins are claiming that there is something that specific. They are acting under the general injunction against one encouraging or celebrating a sinful act.

  • robc||

    Who says they are basing it off the bible?

    I think that was Shackford's point: the basis of their religious beliefs doesnt matter. Or even the consistency of said beliefs.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Who says they are basing it off the bible?

    They are, unless these soi-disant Christians are claiming another source for religious authority.

    I think that was Shackford's point: the basis of their religious beliefs doesnt matter. Or even the consistency of said beliefs.

    He's right and I'm not denying that. But the issue is freedom of association not religious freedom.

  • robc||

    See above.

  • WTF||

    I don't know, if the government is trying to force them to do something that they believe violates their religious beliefs, I don't think their argument is unreasonable.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    I think their argument is specious, unless someone can find for me the "Thou shall not bake cakes..." clause of the Bible.

    I'd have much more respect for them if they framed their argument in freedom of association as opposed to their hyper-ventilating about religious persecution. Let them open their "Christian" bakery in Malaysia or Pakistan to get a real taste of what religious persecution is like.

  • SugarFree||

    It seems that they were forced to claim a Religious Exemption because their right of free association was violated and then ignored when they tried to defend themselves.

    All they need is the RoA, but have to fall back to religion to get any traction.

  • Pro Libertate||

    I think it's kind of silly to refuse to do business on these grounds, but I find it sickening that people feel they have the right to force them to do so. What value is freedom or property rights when there's always someone else who can trump them?

  • SugarFree||

    The whole case is a shitty cake of nonsense.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Let them bake cake.

  • Tonio||

    No, you really don't want the courts deciding what is a valid religious belief and what isn't. Freedom of religion is ultimately freedom of concience. And that includes the right to hold unorthodox and generally annoying beliefs.

  • Zeb||

    you really don't want the courts deciding what is a valid religious belief

    Can't speak for HM, but I think that is the point. Making this case about freedom of religion will force the courts to do exactly that. They shouldn't say anything about whether that is Christianity. What they should say is that everyone has the right to refuse to do business with anyone for any reason. Making this a religious freedom issue will only damage freedom of religion and further entrench the anti-free-association laws, on;y potentially with some carve-outs for approved religions.

  • ||

    I'm not sure I concur. They are specifically being persecuted (forced to run their business in a different manner) because they operate their business in a way that conforms to their religious beliefs.

    That does not imply that religious beliefs should trump all laws. But it does still mean they are less free regarding their beliefs due to state interference.

  • JW||

    I don't give a shit whether their religious belies are genuine or a smoke screen. It's time to bury the idea that if you open a retail business that you have to sell anything to anyone at any time and that they have a legal say in how you run things.

    It's a stupid business decision to turn away good money, but that's the beauty of being free: you're free to fuck yourself in any way as you see fit.

  • SugarFree||

    the beauty of being free: you're free to fuck yourself in any way as you see fit.

    Agreed. The idea of a public accommodation tortured logic in the first place; to grant someone the ability to sue because someone else doesn't want to do business with them is idiotic. The market will either punish them or it won't.

  • robc||

    Yep.

    Honestly this thread didnt need ANYTHING other that my first comment.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    Isn't it law that you are required to make public accomodations for diabetic librarians in all restroom facilities now (donuts, insulin, and a copy of the OED)?

  • SugarFree||

    Actually, I've been picketing to get the donuts out of the toilet. No one listens. [shakes head ruefully]

  • Tonio||

    The whole public accommodation thing was originally to prevent discrimination based on race. Many people here see that as a valid exercise for that purpose at that time. I can see that, but ultimately it's unlibertarian.

  • robc||

    Many people here see that as a valid exercise for that purpose at that time.

    Really? It seems to be a rare view here.

  • Pro Libertate||

    I agree.

  • R C Dean||

    I think they've got a legitimate freedom of religion claim, here. For (some? truly?) religious people, religion doesn't stop at the church door. For religious reasons, they are opposed to gay marriage. Because they strive to live every aspect of their life in accordance with their religion, they refuse to support gay marriage by selling gay wedding cakes.

    I bet they'll sell anything but a wedding cake to a gay person. I don't think you can disentangle their refusal to sell gay wedding cakes from their religion. Ergo, the state is forcing them to violate their religious precepts.

  • JohnD||

    Mulatto, your argument is specious at best. Good luck with your sick perversion.

  • paranoid android||

    Yeah, while I'm uneasy about the fact that their decision to close their shop was predicated on the threat of likely state action, even if there had been no investigation, I'd want them to go out of business anyway for being bigots and assholes.

  • ||

    Why? It's not like their being bigots and assholes would affect you in any way.

  • ant1sthenes||

    There's a difference between baking a cake and being involved in a ceremony. I guess the question is whether they would bake a cake for, say, a Hindu wedding or something.

  • ||

    You know the couple involved could have just ordered a regular wedding cake and then bought a $2 bride from the Dollar store and replaced the groom with it. The baker would have been none the wiser.

  • ||

    It's really not your business to decide how other people should interpret their religious faith.

    How they interpret it is how they interpret it. It's not your job or the state's job to tell them they don't understand their own religion. They are entitled to interpret it however they want, and to act upon those beliefs.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    It is illegal to make bad business decisions citizen.

  • Finrod||

    Unless you're going against Obamacare, in which case it's mandatory.

  • WTF||

    This is not a sign of a widespread issue of public accommodations discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.


    parties negotiated settlements in three other cases, including one this past week where a bar was fined $400K for keeping transgenders away.

    I believe this is known as chilling effect, aka intimidation.

  • Tony||

    You're right, turning away transgendered people is rather chilling and intimidating.

  • WTF||

    Woosh
    Not that I expect any better from such an idiot as Tony.

  • JohnD||

    I expected that kind of crap from Tony. What a fool.

  • sarcasmic||

    Nothing is more chilling and intimidating than saying "No."

  • Gorilla tactics||

    Krystalnacht is always around the corner if we dont have these intrusive government laws to promote acceptance and tolerance.

  • ||

    Businesses shouldn't be allowed to turn away anybody and should be severely punished if they try to do so. Preferably by bitch-slapping with the giant cock of Obama's Justice Department.

    /Tony

  • sarcasmic||

    But the Kleins are under no obligation to anybody but themselves (and to whatever higher power they choose to answer to) to maintain any sort of particular consistency with their Christian beliefs.

    Nuh uh! If they claim to base their beliefs on Christianity then they must adhere to even the most obscure and ridiculous passages of Leviticus! Tony said so!

  • Tony||

    I would say who gives a fuck what aspects of stupid fairy tales adult people believe in, it's still an embarrassment to reason and sanity.

  • sarcasmic||

    ... still an embarrassment to reason and sanity.

    Yes, Tony. Yes you are. Still.

  • ||

    still an embarrassment to reason and sanity

    So now "embarrassment" is your threshold for a boot to the neck? Wonderful.

  • Jordan||

    He's a proglodyte. He has no threshold for a boot to the neck.

  • KPres||

    Yeah because nothing says reason like attraction to the wrong gender. Pot, meet kettle.

  • Tony||

    So when did you reason yourself into heterosexuality?

    Are you perhaps admitting too much?

  • Doctor Whom||

    Do we actually even need the government to resolve any cases of business bigotry? As I've pointed out before, the market has a bias against bigotry; we even studied that at the lefty law school that I attended.

    In the case of wedding cakes, just go to another bakery already. I've never understood why I should want to give my money to those who make a point of not taking it. I've taken some flack on my view from my orthodox LGBT friends, but what else is new?

    If, in fact, it turned out that the only thing in the entire Bible that the Kleins believed was that gay marriage is wrong, that’s their right.

    And that's a good thing for religious freedom, since that appears to be the only thing in the entire Bible that many Christians believe.

  • WTF||

    Because as John has pointed out, the left tends to be totalitarian. Everyone must conform to their beliefs, and non-conformists will not be tolerated.

  • sarcasmic||

    Tolerance means not tolerating anyone who disagrees with you.

    Inclusiveness means excluding anyone who disagrees with you.

    Equality means you are superior to anyone who disagrees with you.

    The left is all about tolerance, inclusiveness and equality.

  • Tony||

    You need to figure out how to separate tolerance of people despite biological differences and tolerance for different opinions, which is conditional on the quality of the opinions.

  • sarcasmic||

    Thoughtcrime is death.

  • Tony||

    Nobody is forcing these people to believe anything.

  • sarcasmic||

    You want people to be punished for their beliefs. You hate freedom so much you want to punish people if you don't like their thoughts.

  • anon||

    How dare you impose your liberty on me!

  • Tony||

    No I don't.

  • WTF||

    Nobody is forcing these people to believe anything.

    They will just be punished by the state for holding the wrong beliefs.

    Fuck off, you mendacious twat.

  • Tony||

    No they won't. For unlawfully discriminating at their place of business. They are allowed to believe whatever stupid bullshit they want. They aren't allowed to conduct business in any stupid bullshit way they want, however, as has long been the practice in this country.

  • sarcasmic||

    They aren't allowed to conduct business in any stupid bullshit way they want, however, as has long been the practice in this country.

    Appeal to authority. Appeal to tradition.

    You sure like your fallacies, don't you.

    Here's the deal. If someone owns their business, then they should be free to choose who they do business with. For example if the black owner of a nightclub wants to exclude white people, he should be free to do so. Oh, wait. You'd celebrate that as tolerance, wouldn't you.

  • WTF||

    They aren't allowed to conduct business in any stupid bullshit way they want, however, as has long been the practice in this country.

    Tony actually believes this is a good thing.

    Fuck off, slaver.

  • Tony||

    You shouldn't be able to conduct business in a way that threatens the health and safety of patrons or workers. Arguably you shouldn't be able to conduct business while discriminating against people based on race, sex, or sexual orientation.

    The freedom to do business is not an unconditional one, nor should it be.

  • sarcasmic||

    Arguably you shouldn't be able to conduct business while discriminating against people based on race, sex, or sexual orientation.

    Except if the person doing the discriminating is a member of one of those protected classes. Then it's OK. So the objection is not rooted in principle or it would apply both ways.

  • ||

    No, it's not arguable at all.

  • Troglodyte Rex||

    Arguably you shouldn't be able to conduct business while discriminating against people based on race, sex, or sexual orientation.

    So if I go into a clothing store and find that they only cater to people of the opposite sex...is that discriminatory since it is based on my sex?

  • KPres||

    "They aren't allowed to conduct business in any stupid bullshit way they want, however, as has long been the practice in this country."

    So, not only is Tony a statist piece of shit, but apparently a blind reactionary defending the status quo for it's own sake.

  • ||

    So, not only is Tony a statist piece of shit, but apparently a blind reactionary defending the status quo for it's own sake.

    In other headlines, water is wet, sun rises in the east, dog bites man.

  • Free Society||

    No they won't. For unlawfully discriminating at their place of business. They are allowed to believe whatever stupid bullshit they want. They aren't allowed to conduct business in any stupid bullshit way they want, however, as has long been the practice in this country.

    You aren't punishing discrimination, you are punishing the motive for discrimination. Thus you support the existence of thought-crime. It's simple stuff that gives you the hardest time isn't it Tony?

  • Rich||

    Cake, or death.

  • WTF||

    Yes, idiot, we already know you are all in favor of the application of force against opinions you disagree with.

    Fuck off, slaver.

  • Doctor Whom||

    tolerance for different opinions, which is conditional on the quality of the opinions.

    Then Tony's opinions deserve no tolerance whatsoever.

  • sarcasmic||

    You don't understand! Tony watches the Daily Show! And polls have shown that the Daily Show's audience is really smart! So if Tony watches the Daily Show, then he must be really smart! See? So if his opinions agree with that of the Daily Show, then Tony must be really really smart! See how smart he is?

  • KPres||

    "You need to figure out how to separate tolerance of people despite biological differences and tolerance for different opinions"

    There's as much evidence that religion is biologically hardwired as there is that sexuality or gender identity is biologically hardwired. That is to say, some reasonable speculations, but very little evidence.

  • Tony||

    Religiosity perhaps, but no particular doctrine, of course. Surely religiosity can be channeled in more positive ways than hating gays.

  • Mickey Rat||

    Yes, the couple who sued the Kleins were incredibly intolerant of opinions that differ from theirs.

  • Gorilla tactics||

    What's amazing about all these asswipes clutching their pearls about "discrimination" is that instead of seeing a hate crime, the more rational free marketer would see a business waiting to get started. Make a bakery that caters EXCLUSIVELY to the LGBT crowd and start cashing in.

    Samething with smoking bans, when you think of all the effort these activists put in in getting it banned, they could have spent a fraction of their energy, time and resources and opened a chain of non smoking bars and make a killing.

    Funny how all these business oppourtunities seem to come out of nowhere when people start thinking about free markets instead of using state coercion isn't it?

  • sarcasmic||

    It's not about wedding cakes. It's about punishing intolerance. You see, tolerant people do not tolerant intolerance. The less tolerant you are of intolerance, the more tolerant you are. A truly tolerant person would walk into the bakery and kill the both of them for daring to act on their religious principles. That's what it is to be tolerant.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    The reality is that they can punish intolerance quite easily. They can protest outside their shop, they can start a social media campaign, they can do any number of things that will draw attention to their stupid business choices. But that is not good enough for them, they want to the state to do their bidding. They don't want to risk themselves in the process. They're want everyone to be mandated to agree with them, no chance of argument.

  • ||

    It's not that it's not good enough. It's that protesting and media campaigns are HARD and take time. It's far easier to just get the government to deal with those big 'ol meanie heads.

  • ||

    Actually there was a case in Washington (iirc) where the people involved mentioned it on facebook, and it became a big deal. They refused to file a lawsuit because they had a long-standing relationship with the business owner* and the state AG filed suit instead. Unfortunately with these laws, taking a social media route (I think people should leave a pointed but polite yelp review should they get turned away from a business and spend their money someplace else) can end up becoming a legal issue for these businesses. It's terrible and sucks the air out of civil discourse.

    *Someone got to them and convinced them it would be 'good for the cause' and they ended up threatening to file suit later in the case, which pissed me off.

  • Gorilla tactics||

    total bliss is just one more regulation away.

  • JW||

    I've never understood why I should want to give my money to those who make a point of not taking it.

    CONTROL. There's no other reason. You *will* comply.

  • wareagle||

    because this isn't really about a wedding cake. It's about using the power of a state to force a belief system on everyone.

    No one stops to ask why this couple would waste its time with a businesses that does not want their money when other bakeries do. They don't ask because the question is rhetorical; it has nothing to do with actual discrimination and everything to do with thought police.

  • Rhywun||

    In the case of wedding cakes, just go to another bakery already.

    I completely agree.

    OTOH, I have been gay-bashed out of a taxicab before. Since there is no "other" taxicab company in my city - although there are independent fleets and operators, yellow cabs are all subject to the exact same rules - what is one supposed to do in that case?

  • datcv||

    I don't think it is unfair to say that if you accept government regulations and privileges, you have to comply with their non discrimination rules. So a city-granted monopoly on taxi services should have to agree to not discriminate.

    I've never been kicked out but I did have to listen to some muslim nut complain about two men kissing in front of Dulles before. I just rolled my eyes and reduced his tip. It was too early in the morning for a moral crusade.

  • Tonio||

    Most people here are opposed to government-granted monopolies such as taxicabs, so...

  • datcv||

    Myself included -- but since there is no healthy competition for cabs, I think it's fair to say that the one company operating isn't allowed to discriminate!

  • Gorilla tactics||

    regulation begets more regulation. But the effort should be on breaking up cab monopolies instead of forcing them. But given your condition, there really is no option on your part.

  • ||

    Unfortunately there's not much you can do, unless you can get the government to stop "licensing" taxi cab companies and then start up your own competing company that doesn't allow gay-bashing.

  • Gorilla tactics||

    How bullshit are cab licenses anyway? Doesn't everyone already have? You know like a car license? What on earth does a cabby have to be "licensed" to do? drive?

  • ||

    Wasn't this more about a single driver? Couldn't you call them and ask for another taxi?

  • Rhywun||

    I'm not sure that's analogous to calling another bakery, because you can't call a cab in NYC. I guess one could call a limo at about 3x the price. Again, if there was a sign on the cab saying "no gays", I would respect that and give my money to the next one that came along.

  • Rhywun||

    OTOH, the taxi industry in NYC is all but an arm of the government anyway, so in that sense I tend to feel they should be forced to comply with gub'mint rules.

  • ||

    I guess I don't understand the point, why not just hail the next cab that came along. Wasn't this about one asshole driver?

  • ||

    Okay, I didn't see you followup. As a gov sponsored monopoly they ought to comply with gov rules, yes.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    "Williamette Week also played gotcha with the bakery, getting them to give them quotes for cakes to celebrate unwed pregnant mothers, divorces, and human stem cell research, among other things."

    Yeah, I wonder why they'd do that? I mean, it's not like they'd run the risk of some kind of lawsuit if they didn't.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    I mean, in their situation, if some smart-ass called and said "huh huh, how much is an-out-of-wedlock pregnancy cake," I'd quote a price to shut them up, assuming that they wouldn't be calling back. And I'd be right.

  • R C Dean||

    I see no necessary contradiction there, myself.

    Makes me wish I subscribed to Williamette Week, just so I could cancel my subscription.

  • Tonio||

    Well, an excellent punking on the part of WW. But having said that, their faith doesn't have to be consistent with WW's reading of the bible.

  • Acosmist||

    Yeah, that's not a gotcha at all. People have weird ideas of what gotchas are.

  • Kurbster||

    This is what happens when libertarians team up with liberals

    The libertarian position should ONLY be to get government out of marriage

  • David Emami||

    Exactly. Their conflation of "Congress shall make no law doing X" with "businesses shall make no decision doing X" turns freedom into a zero-sum game.

    And besides, why you would want to patronize a business who dislikes you is completely beyond me. This strikes me as strictly an ego trip -- someone is getting off on forcing other people to do something they don't want to do.

  • anon||

    The libertarian position should ONLY be to get government out of marriage

    You'd think the standard progressive would go along with that, since their immediate thought would be "Woo! No marriage at all!"

  • Tony||

    Your standard progressive lives in the real world.

  • KPres||

    What's your excuse, then?

  • ||

    Hahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

  • Finrod||

    MTV's Real World, to be precise.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    So in five years there have been 11 complaints, five of which were not substantiated.

    That's proof the system works.

    Also, what better way to win hearts and minds than by swinging that giant club of government?

  • Archduke Trousersenthusiast||

    What if it wasn't something passive as baking a cake, but more active such as photography?

  • SugarFree||

    You me'd the link, citizen.

  • Archduke Trousersenthusiast||

  • Calidissident||

    Here's the thing - how was this couple violating the rights of gays any more when they had a business but refused to bake a cake for them, compared to now when they have no business at all? The effect on gay people is the same - they can't get a cake from them (at least for a wedding). Not that I personally agree with the Klein's views, because I don't at all, but I fail to see how they don't have the right to do what they did

  • Archduke Trousersenthusiast||

    but now they aren't not-making cakes for gays anymore.
    VICTORY!

  • R C Dean||

    And so the mask slips: its not getting cakes to gay weddings that's the real goal here, its punishing the untermensch for their unenlightened views.

    Eventually, if you beat them long enough and hard enough, they will come to love Big Brother.

  • John||

    That is the goal RC. They want publicly unacceptable and impossible to object to homosexuality. Anyone who does will be run out of business or harassed into mouthing the PC view.

    I wish Libertarians would get over the culture war and realize how nasty this is. It won't stop with just picking on a few fundies. They keep trying to do the same with gun owners. They just can't get the public tide to go with them. But the day they do, it will be impossible to publicly own a gun or support gun rights and operate a business in this country.

    Maybe it would be in Libertarian's interests to get politics out of commerce altogether and end this bullshit of boycotting everyone whose politics or religion we don't like. The less political society we have, the more free society we will have.

  • datcv||

    AS a gay male, the thing I find sickening is that they are essentially using the same awful tactics the religious used when they had the power:

    Using the force of government to shove their moral views down the throats of everyone. This guy now doesn't even have the right to run his own business and choose his own customers if his views go against the mainstream. He committed a terrible thought crime and has been punished for it.

  • John||

    That is the thing. If they can run this guy out of business for this, what else can you be run out of business for? And if the tide ever goes the other way, what is to stop people from running people out of business for serving gays? This is basically how it worked for most of the country's history. People stayed in the closet not just because being gay was illegal but because many employers' customers wouldn't do business with them if they knew one of the employees was gay. Gays should be the first people who want to end this kind of nonsense.

  • WTF||

    Gays should be the first people who want to end this kind of nonsense.

    Proglodytes never imagine that someday the jack boot might be on the other foot.

  • Tonio||

    Uh, the gays have certainly been stomped on by the jackboot of statism, and within living memory.

  • WTF||

    And oddly enough, they seem to think that the pendulum will never swing back. Otherwise they wouldn't be so enthusiastic about using the force of government to force people like these bakers to bend to their desires.

  • ||

    Maybe it's because we see that the problem isn't gay marriage it's bullshit "public accommodation" laws?

  • anon||

    Like I said below, they moved the window from "freedom of association" (which is an easily winnable argument) to "TEH GAYZ!"

    Same appeal to emotion, different day.

  • Tony||

    Association is more convincing than religious liberty. But whatever rules apply to the treatment of racial minorities should apply to the gays. Bigotry against gays is not more legitimate because it is backed by Jesus.

  • ||

    Bigotry by private actors is fucking horrible and stupid but it shouldn't be punished by the loving fist of the government.

    (If I were a baker or photographer or some architect decided he didn't want to design a gay couple's home I'd be more than happy to take that business.)

  • anon||

    Don't bother responding to it; he can't comprehend the whole concept of people offering services without the government forcing them to.

    OT though: The state of NC in the triangle area can't find anyone to work on cars through its welfare program because they take forever to pay, and nobody wants the hassle of doing the work. I find that quite hilarious.

  • Libertymike||

    Agreed.

    We need to remember there is no cosmo in libertarian.

  • anon||

    We need to remember there is no cosmo in libertarian.

    Well, usually. Sometimes I'll drink one.

  • DJF||

    The whole purpose of laws is to force people to do what they would not normally do. That is why personnel arrangements should not be done via laws but contracts

  • db||

    I can't wait until the KKL sues a gay photographer who refuses to be hired to document one of their rallies.

  • db||

    KKL being, of course, a franchise white supremacist computer network consultant.

  • sarcasmic||

    What do you mean? That is an act of tolerance!

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    I'm waiting for the revelation that bad financial decisions and propensity for theft are genetically caused. All business owners will be required to issue credit to known thieves.

  • R C Dean||

    You don't even need genetics, since as far as anyone (and particularly the courts) knows, there isn't a genetic basis for gayitude.

    I thought it was a lifestyle choice,* just like stealing and stiffing creditors. If we can't discriminate based on lifestyle choice, then, yes, mandatory credit for known thieves seems a logical next step.

    *Although the genetics v. lifestyle debate seems remarkably susceptible to switching sides based on the political convenience of the moment.

  • sarcasmic||

    *Although the genetics v. lifestyle debate seems remarkably susceptible to switching sides based on the political convenience of the moment.

    You mean leftists are disingenuous and incapable of an intellectually honest argument?

    I'm shocked! Shocked I tell you!

  • John||

    Yes they are. Back in the day nothing would get you called a homophobe quicker than saying being gay was genetically based. That was the same thing as calling gays freaks. Then someone figured out that claiming otherwise could be used as a case for making being gay a special class under the civil rights laws and the PC position flipped.

  • Tony||

    There is clearly a biological basis for homosexuality just as there is for heterosexuality. Science is not optional either for liberals or you idiots.

  • WTF||

    Really idiot? They've identified a gay gene? Where is this amazing discovery published?

  • Tony||

    I said biological basis, not necessarily a single gene.

  • Almanian!||

    Annnnnnd...[citation]?

  • Numeromancer||

    Have pity for Tony. He is lost---lost deep in the mist of his foggy notions.

  • KPres||

    "I said biological basis, not necessarily a single gene."

    Ahem...

    http://www.newscientist.com/ar.....ation.html

  • Zeb||

    Biological basis doesn't necessarily mean it is genetic or purely genetic. Could be developmental in some way. My hunch is that there is probably some genetic basis, perhaps only to a pre-disposition toward gayness. But there are certainly other possibilities besides it being purely genetic or purely a lifestyle choice. But people get confused when there are more than two possible answers.

  • WTF||

    I also think that there is likely a biological pre-disposition, but whether it is expressed or how strongly it is manifested likely depends on the environment the individual is exposed to.

  • Tony||

    Trust me, it is just as innate and unchangeable as heterosexuality.

  • Tony||

    If not more so, if my college years count as evidence.

  • KPres||

    My college years reveal the opposite. I had a fling with a girl who was, up to that point, an exclusive lesbian in college, who admitted to me that she "was just playing around while she was young", and that she knew she'd settle down with a man one day. That doesn't sound very innate or unchangeable to me.

  • Tony||

    That was a girl.

  • ||

    Gayness only having a biological basis in boys, you see.

  • Ymmarta||

    Was Jim McGreevey gay when he had sexual relations with his ex-wife? A simple yes or no will do.

  • ||

    Damn, I must have missed that headline that they had decoded the human genome and indeed found a gay and straight gene.

    What's that? That never happened? Oh then I guess the science isn't settled yet.

  • anon||

    Say what you want, there are definitely gay and straight jeans.

  • ||

    I lol'd.

  • Tony||

    The point is people are born that way (I said biological basis), and at any rate have no choice in the matter. It is not relevant what form the biological basis takes.

  • sarcasmic||

  • WTF||

    It is relevant that there is no scientific proof of a biological coding for gayness, however.

  • sarcasmic||

    Tony asserted it so it must be true!

  • KPres||

    Tony asserted it so it must be true!

    He's scientific, dontcha know?

  • Tony||

    The only relevant factor is that it's not a choice. Unlike religion.

  • KPres||

    I've heard a lot of stories from gays that said they "discovered" they were gay later in life. I'll grant, there's almost certainly some biological inclinations going on here (maybe stronger in some than others), but that's true of just about everything, including religion/ethics/political affiliation/etc.

  • Tonio||

    since as far as anyone (and particularly the courts) knows, there isn't a genetic basis for gayitude

    It would be more intellectually honest to state that the basis for homosexuality is unknown.

    About that political convenience thing: again, the basis is unknown.

    For me, it doesn't matter. It's about the freedom of adults to enter into whatever consensual relationships they wish.

    But if it does turn out to be genetic, then you have a bona fide discrimination situation and a whole other kettle of fish.

  • Mickey Rat||

    "It would be more intellectually honest to state that the basis for homosexuality is unknown."

    Perhaps, but if that is admitted then whether it is innate is also unknown. There is scientific truth and there is legal and political gamesmanship, they don't lead to the same conclusions.

  • Rich||

    Another aspect of this stuff is "potential activity". Since everyone is a potential terrorist, everyone (well, almost) gets checked by the TSA. Since everyone -- including known thieves -- is a potential upstanding citizen, evseryone should be issued credit.

  • Knarf Yenrab (prev. An0nB0t)||

    Is freedom of association such a dirty concept that we can't invoke it instead of this nebulous freedom of religion that we hear so much about?

    Or maybe Americans are just so divorced from politics that 30% of them can't name the vice president and 40% can't identify the function of the Bill of Rights, so it should come as no surprise that they don't have a clue what the right to choose your trade and social partners entails.

  • Mickey Rat||

    Freedom of association has been compromised since the civil rights movement led to notion of protected classes. As a practical legal tactic, freedom of religion may be firmer ground to stand on.

  • datcv||

    This problem did not need government intervention and could have been easily solved entirely by voluntary cooperation. Don't want to take my business? There are hundreds of others who will.

    Should the government stop discrimination by the government and essential services such as education and healthcare? Yeah, there is probably a good role for it there. I would even say that if you are a large public corporation, you should also be forced to follow by the rules, given your granted limited liability. But a private individual's private business? This is just too far. What if a Satanist wanted a satanic wedding cake? Or if the couple wanted a giant penis cake that offended them?

    Ultimately the story is this: someone is suing someone else who wouldn't bake them a cake. Where is John Stossel? Give me a fuckin' break.

  • Eric||

    Glad they went out of business personally...fucking bigots. But it grates on me that liberals would see the owners persecution by the government as a good thing. Because the next jewish-owned bakery that refuses to make a nazi themed cake will fall under the same level of examination as this one. Another painful case of short sighted liberal intervention blowback.

  • John||

    Basically you think that a bigot should no be allowed to own a business? What should they be allowed to do in your view? If you are happy they went out of business, is there anything they could do that you would not be unhappy with? Should their boss at their new job fire them? If not, why not? If they shouldn't be allowed to own a business, they should they be allowed to work at one?

    And don't tell me, you wouldn't force the boss to fire them. That is not the question. The question is should the boss fire them? And if firing them would make you happy, doesn't that mean you think he should? You are happy to see them go bankrupt, I would think you would be equally happy to see them be unemployed.

  • Eric||

    Where did I say any of this John? My personal opinion != a preference for government intervention.
    I dislike holy roller christians with a passion and revel in thier misfortune (especially when self inflicted). That said, they have the right to be bigots and the gubmt shouldn't force them to associate with anyone.

  • Tonio||

    Welcome to the world of John, Eric.

  • Duke||

    I dislike holy roller christians with a passion and revel in thier misfortune (especially when self inflicted).

    "Those who mock the poor insult their Maker; those who rejoice at the misfortune of others will be punished.” Proverbs 17:5

  • Eric||

    Well...

    I guess I've been put in my place by the resident schoolmarm.

  • Rich||

    the next jewish-owned bakery that refuses to make a nazi themed cake will fall under the same level of examination

    I'll take that bet.

  • ||

    Yeah, Nazis aren't a protected class.

  • ||

    Well, the counter-argument is that being a Nazi is a choice.

  • Matrix||

    Nearly everything is a choice. Being gay is not a choice, but having a gay wedding is.

    Being born to a Jewish family is not a choice, but practicing Judaism is a choice.

  • datcv||

    If they went out of business because everyone boycotted them, that would be fine. They don't have a right to customers, and customers don't have a right to their labor.

    I'm not surprised that liberals disagree because otherwise they would have an inconsistency in their world view, which is why they mention black civil rights and segregation. They are being logically consistent, I just don't happen to agree that the government should force every private citizen to serve everyone else equally.

  • ||

    Do you realize that your view of these people is itself bigoted?

  • anon||

    Fucking bigots, all the way down!

  • Eric||

    DesigNate. Absolutely. I am 100% bigoted against holier than thou Christian douchebags. But if I owned a business, I would cater to them, take their money, and STFU about my beliefs.

  • wareagle||

    and since they don't do as you would, you wish them ill. Which makes you a worse version of what you accuse them of being.

  • Almanian!||

    You know who else was worse than those he accused of being...whatever....

  • Tonio||

    you wish them ill

    So, PeaceChicken is now the Grand Scrutinizer of Thoughts. Good to know.

  • ||

    I don't think one need be a Grand Scrutinizer of Thoughts to parse

    I dislike holy roller christians with a passion and revel in thier misfortune

    As "wishing them ill"

    I have a feeling you'd probably see the issue with your own Grand Scrutinizing clarity if we substituted "whining faggots" for "holy roller christians" in that construction.

  • KPres||

    "DesigNate. Absolutely. I am 100% bigoted against holier than thou Christian douchebags."

    Then you're a hypocrite.

    Look, just say "I like gay people and I don't like Christians". That's what it is, really, so just own it for Christ's sake. Don't pretend that it has anything to do with supposedly high-minded objections to "bigotry", because all those claims to that effect that people make are nothing but pretentious, self-righteous moral grandiosity and delusion. People are animals, not angels. Accept it and move on.

  • wareagle||

    your second sentence is at odds with the first. Seems you're okay with their persecutionn, too.

  • Eric||

    Persecution by the market != persecution by the government. The first I'm OK with, the second I'm not.

  • Finrod||

    Ok, I guess you lose all rights to complain about getting death threats then, since you're A-OK with these people you don't like getting them.

    Fuck off, hater.

  • Tonio||

    Also, boycotting isn't persecution; at least not in a traditional libertarian sense. Persecution is traditionally using the governments power against a hated group: denying voting rights.

  • anon||

    I think it's funny that they've moved the window from freedom of association to a debate on religion.

    Hint: When it's a debate on religion, everyone loses. The only debate to have here is that I'm free to sell (or not sell) whatever I want to whoever I want for any reason whatsoever. Whether it's legal or not is pretty much irrelevant, as no law or enforcement mechanism can stop such from happening.

  • ||

    It may have something to do with freedom of association being a non-starter in many cases because "Civil Rights!".

  • anon||

    It may have something to do with freedom of association being a non-starter in many cases because "Civil Rights!".

    I want to know how "civil rights" somehow means I'm forced to do shit I may not want to do.

    Where're my civil rights, fuckers?

    Yeah, guess that ship sailed a long time ago.

  • John||

    First, freedom of association is necessary for freedom of religion. Without the freedom to associate with those you wish, you can't practice your religion anywhere outside of your head.

    Second, the mob can take your freedom just as easily and in some cases more easily than the government. You think it is great now because the boycott is working in your favor. What happens when a critical mass of people decide to do this for other reasons?

  • anon||

    You think it is great now because the boycott is working in your favor. What happens when a critical mass of people decide to do this for other reasons?

    I kind of can't wait for that day to happen just so I can laugh at the jackasses that are cheering against this bakery.

  • datcv||

    Agreed.

  • Knarf Yenrab (prev. An0nB0t)||

    What happens when a critical mass of people decide to do this for other reasons?

    Oh, come on. When has the centralization of power in blind support of a limited political ideology within a nation defined by an ever-fluid flow of elected, increasingly powerful political leaders ever harmed anyone?

  • WTF||

    You know who else experienced the centralization of power in blind support of a limited political ideology within a nation defined by an ever-fluid flow of elected, increasingly powerful political leaders?

  • sarcasmic||

    Every major power the world has ever known?

  • WTF||

    Sadly, yes.

  • Zeb||

    If you have freedom of association and freedom of speech, then freedom of religion is built in. There should be no need for a special religious freedom. It is built into the general freedom that everyone should be allowed to enjoy.

  • ||

    If you have freedom of association and freedom of speech, then freedom of religion is built in.

    Yes and no. Remember, religious freedom was built into the bill of rights primarily to protect religious institutions from meddling or ownership by the state. Your freedom of association and speech, broadly defined, can be left intact despite the fact that, say, your tax dollars are being funneled to the state church.

    Also, as a matter of practicality, your "if" doesn't apply, so fleeing to the legal shelter of religious freedom may be a viable option when others aren't (savvy businesspeople might be wise to start exploiting that loophole more vigorously, in fact).

  • eyeroller||

    I'm just wondering -- when these bakers applied for their business permit(s), is it possible they signed something saying they would comply with non-discrimination rules?

    (If not, then here's the rule: customers have the right to choose who they buy from, for any reason, and vendors have the right to choose who they sell to, for any reason.)

  • ||

    when these bakers applied for their business permit(s)

    Just think about all that's wrong in that question...

  • sarcasmic||

    Freedom means asking permission and taking orders.

    Here in the Land of the Free you are free to ask permission to have a business, and once in business you are free to take orders. That's what freedom is.

  • Jordan||

    I'm just wondering -- when these bakers applied for their business permit(s), is it possible they signed something saying they would comply with non-discrimination rules?

    Business permits shouldn't exist.

  • anon||

    Business permits shouldn't exist.

    They frequently don't on small scale operations (landscaping, etc). That's a good thing.

  • Guy LaGuy||

    of course they should.
    What if I hire a contractor but it turns out he lied about his credentials and his references were just covering for him?
    I need the stamp from the government to prevent me from being defrauded.

  • anon||

    I need the stamp from the government to prevent me from being defrauded.

    And here I thought that government stamp was to inform you that you were being robbed.

  • Jordan||

    Obvious troll is obvious.

  • Live Free or Diet||

    Gay people's money is just as green as anyone else's to me, but...

    If I were a baker forced to work for people I object to, the cake I'd deliver to them would have no trace of vanilla anywhere in it.

    If I were a photographer forced to work for people I object to, the photos would all be underexposed three stops.

    And so on.

  • ||

    Then they'd sue you for discrimination in not performing to the best of your abilities because you hate TEH GAYZ!

  • WTF||

    Well, the stress of being forced to perform against my will and beliefs obviously had a negative impact on my performance, resulting in sub-par results.

  • ||

    The beatings will continue until morale improves.

  • OldMexican||

    "This fight is not over. We will continue to stand strong. Your Religious Freedom is becoming not Free anymore. This is ridiculous that we can not practice our faith. The LORD is good and we will continue to serve Him with all our heart."


    Da State: What part of "you belong to us" don't you understand?

  • Live Free or Diet||

    Soviet Russians said, "As long as they pretend to pay us, we pretend to work." "Pretending" need not include any exercise of expertise.

  • Lord Humungus||

    OT: Boehner: 'I'm Going to Support the President's Call for Action' in Syria
    http://www.weeklystandard.com/.....52675.html

    Evidence that 'pubs don't do politics well.

  • SugarFree||

    The Bipartisan WarBoehner, now with salty tears of righteousness.

  • JW||

    The Bipartisan WarBoehner, now with salty tears of righteousness

    Order in the next 15 minutes and receive a free spray-on TANNING BONUR!

  • SugarFree||

    You laugh now, but no one--NO ONE--will cry harder for the shattered bodies of Syria's children than John Boehner. Every spiraled burn scar, every pulped limb, every blinded eye and torn-away jaw will be lovingly poured over in lurid color by John Boehner and he will cry for everyone of them. Everyone of them will get a full measure of tears. Tears, but not regret. Because they had to die for freedom.

  • JW||

    It takes a destroyed village.

  • Jordan||

    And the Orange Pussy channels the Cleveland Browns.

  • Almanian!||

    I'd like Boehner to be one of my pall bearers...

  • anon||

    At least someone will cry at your funeral!

    ok that was a bit mean.

  • Almanian!||

    "that was a bit mean"

    DUH! This is HyR - I come here for the humor and witty banter...but I STAY for the abuse!

  • anon||

    and this is why there are no female libertarians...

  • db||

    They can't be seen as OBSTRUCTIONIST, now, can they?

  • Jordan||

    Another win for bipartisanship! It should feel right at home along with the PATRIOT Act and the AUMF Iraq.

  • anon||

    Should just call it the BOHICA act.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    John Boehner is the leader the GOP deserves, but not the one it needs.

  • Libertymike||

    The guess here is that the Matthew Shepard Foundation does not include the Kleins on its honor roll of donors.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    So in five years there have been 11 complaints, five of which were not substantiated.

    This obviously proves the effectiveness of the law.

    YAY, law!

    Now make poverty illegal.

  • sarcasmic||

    Now make poverty illegal.

    What do you think laws against vagrancy and panhandling are?

  • Anonymous Coward||

  • Gorilla tactics||

    The sad part is that lefties wouldn't detect your sarcasm-they really have an out of sight out of mind mentality when it comes to shit like this.

  • Gorilla tactics||

    It's amazing how the gov hasn't figured out how to make poverty illegal.

    Or make it illegal for the sun to burn so bright so as to stop global warming.

    or stop how discriminatory gravity is to sherpas by banning it.

  • Hawk Spitui||

    Foseti on gay marriage: I was wrong.

  • AlmightyJB||

    At some point this will go to scotus on first amendment grounds.

  • JW||

    Great. Now we'll get penalcakes.

  • Cyto||

    I found the case of the bar owner asking transgendered customers to stay away in fear of being labeled a "gay bar" interesting. When my brother was in law school he went barhopping with a few buddies and accidentally ended up in a lesbian bar. Imagine, if you will, a handful of 22 year old single men in a bar full of women.

    Yeah, that's how it went... So, about 3 (failed) attempted pickups later the bar owner comes over and offers to comp them their tab if they will leave. They negotiated the full tab plus $20 to leave. Not exactly the government-ordered $400,000. Maybe those guys weren't as crafty a bunch of future attorneys as I had always believed.

  • sarcasmic||

    Discrimination against a protected class is wrong, but discrimination by a protected class is a celebration of diversity.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Yeah, I worked in a basically all black neighborhoodfor a time. This would have been probably 25 years ago or so. A few of us went to the bar next door after work a few fridays to shoot pool and have a few. The bar owner was cool with it up until the time he started getting customers in and then we had to leave. We understood why he did it and did not have any problem with it.

  • Gorilla tactics||

    it goes like this:

    Diversity: Demographic composition that pleases liberals.

    Gentrification: Demographic composition that doesn't please liberals.

    Settled science: All scientific discoveries that imply more government control.

    Junk Science: All scientific discoveries that suggest less government control

    The Rich: Someone who has more money than you.

    Working class: Noble though simple beings that progs will always speak on behalf of, but will get insulted if they are associated with.

    Disparate Impact: ACTUAL diversity

    You gotta get your definitions straight.

  • Invisible Finger||

    Freedom of association by definition includes freedom FROM association.

    Party A did not harm Party B by not making a cake for them. They just didn't make a cake for them.

    Party A could have made Party B a cake with poison in it. THEN Party B would have been harmed.

    The whole intent of these laws is so that Party B can harm Party A if Party A chooses not to associate with Party B.

  • sarcasmic||

    With party B being a member of a protected class. Make the same logical argument with party A being a member of a protected class and it no longer holds.

  • Yerkov Markakis||

    Bigot: a person who is obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices; especially : one who regards or treats the members of a group (as a racial or ethnic group) with hatred and intolerance.

    It's pretty plain to see that most of the presumed "libertarians" who are frequenting this article's comments section are incredibly bigoted against Christians and Christianity.

    You get into these social issues and there becomes a very, very fine line that separates "conscientious" libertarians and their tyrannical progressive counterparts who share the same social goals, i.e. legalizing gay marriage, etc.

    The point is that today's libertarians have no clue what freedom really is anymore; they really don't care if tyranny is put upon American citizens by revenge-minded big government progressives so long as their pet social issue goals are achieved.

    Issues like this illustrate what a joke libertarianism has become. The punch line of the libertarian joke is: pot, homosexuality and hookers because those are the only issues that libertarians allow themselves to be defined by anymore.

    Libertarianism is no longer about small government. It's more about joining progressives in waging a big government war and where bigoted anti-religious attitudes are prominently and proudly displayed.

  • sarcasmic||

    The derp is strong in this one.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    Can you point to one self-identified libertarian in this column or its comment section that supports the government enforcing this law?

    No? Then please shut the fuck up.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Copy/Paste doesn't work as well when you don't read the article or comments.

  • sarcasmic||

    Come on! He's got the straw man on the ropes!

  • Yerkov Markakis||

    Such vitriol! Truth hurts, huh? Deep down inside you guys know what the libertarian ideology is becoming and it's pretty much all your fault.

    You drone on and on and one with the posted articles on your Facebook pages about gay marriage, the war on drugs and prostitution. Blah, blah, blah!

    The UK Guardian seems to identify the "straw man" pretty well. In this article, what are the top three things they understand libertarianism to champion?

    Or better yet, let Nick Gillespie tell you...

    http://reason.com/blog/2013/08.....-for-drugs

  • Yerkov Markakis||

    Admit it also...

    You might decry some government intervention on the part of these so-called "aggrieved minorities" but you love the fact that these Christians are now out of business.

    If the Boy Scouts didn't change their policies towards gay scout leaders and they ended up defunct, you'd applaud their demise because deep down inside you loathe Christianity.

    I've talked with and seen enough libertarians talking to know how hateful they are in their own right.

    Don't get mad just because I'm pointing out libertarian bigotry that exists and is alive and well.

    Flying Spaghetti Monster, anyone? You are bigoted in your own way--especially you Neoliberal. Deal with it.

  • ||

    Yes, let your butt-hurt consume you.

  • ||

    I hate to alarm you, but your strawman is on fire and headed for your house.

  • Finrod||

    Bwha. Best response to the dumbest comment so far this thread.

  • Charles.H.Anziulewicz@wv.||

    As far as churches are concerned, I wouldn't worry. Churches, synagogues, mosques, and other houses of worship in the U.S. have always been free to conduct their own affairs as they see fit.

    As for businesses that exist to turn a profit, that's a different story. All the bakeries and florists and caterers and photographers that people are wailing and gnashing their teeth about? They aren't in the business of enforcing moral codes or providing spiritual guidance, they exist to MAKE MONEY. And as such they are obligated to comply with civil rights laws, whether those civil rights law protect people based on race, religion, ethnicity, or sexual orientation.

    Perhaps Christians who believe that existing civil rights laws are too burdensome should file suit to have those laws overturned. Who knows, maybe they’ll be successful! Maybe the Supreme Court will determine that civil rights laws interfere with religious freedom and freedom of association. Then we can go back to the days when landlords could refuse to rent to Muslims, and restaurants could turn away Blacks. No doubt that would make a lot of White supremacists happy.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    They aren't in the business of enforcing moral codes or providing spiritual guidance, they exist to MAKE MONEY. And as such they are obligated to comply with civil rights laws

    Uh, why? How does "making money" suddenly strip away their freedom of association rights?

  • Tony||

    It doesn't follow necessarily, but there is a legal tradition in this country of limiting freedom of association when it comes to discrimination in the provision of services. It is not however a limitation on freedom of speech or thought. You can believe or express any opinion you want, you just can't discriminate in the provision of your business's service. The argument behind such laws is that allowing discrimination would lead to a regression to increase prejudice in society.

    And the more minorities are discriminated against in their ability to engage in commerce, the less right you have to blame them for their economic circumstances. And then what would you spend your time doing?

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Tony,

    It doesn't follow necessarily, but there is a legal tradition in this country of limiting freedom of association when it comes to discrimination in the provision of services


    There used to be a tradition of burning witches. Why are you even making such an argument?

    The argument behind such laws is that allowing discrimination would lead to a regression to increase prejudice in society.


    That's circular thinking, Tony. You're saying that the laws against discrimination exist so that there's no discrimination in society.

  • Tony||

    I get that nondiscrimination laws are a particular obsession of libertarians, and I won't begrudge you for it. There are coherent cases to be made on both sides. It just depends on whose right is more valued: the absolute right of the business owner to associate, or the right of people not to be discriminated against when participating in commerce.

    You're saying that the laws against discrimination exist so that there's no discrimination in society.

    Laws against something are meant to prevent that thing? What madness is that?

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Tony,

    I get that nondiscrimination laws are a particular obsession of libertarians,


    Meaningless platitude.

    There are coherent cases to be made on both sides.


    No, there can only be one truth, Tony. Either a thing IS, or it is NOT. Either discrimination is moral or it is not. If it is NOT, then ANY FORM of discrimination (NO exceptions) must be immoral. Consider the implications of that proposition before you start with your usual special pleadings.

    It just depends on whose right is more valued


    Valued by whom?

  • Tony||

    there can only be one truth

    Your problem is your black/white mindset. It's probably biological, and nothing can be done about it. Oh well. That sucks.

    There certainly are ambiguities and complexities in civil rights; specifically, rights conflict, so choices have to be made. Who makes the choice? Governments acting on behalf of the people. Who else? You?

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Tony,

    Your problem is your black/white mindset.


    Why is that a problem, Tony? Are you telling me that you go around in life not having a clear concept of the world around you - like an animal?

    There certainly are ambiguities and complexities in civil rights;


    That should tell you that the concept of civil rights is just pure bullshit, subject to the whims of whoever has power.

    Who makes the choice? Governments acting on behalf of the people.


    Governments do not act on behalf of the people. That's absurd. Governments are populated with individuals that are just as self-interested as the rest of us.

    Who else? You?


    When it comes to my life and property, YES. So do you, when it comes to YOUR life and YOUR property - not me.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Tony,

    Laws against something are meant to prevent that thing? What madness is that?


    You seem to be especially dense this hour of the day. I mean that you're engaging in a meaningless tautology. Of COURSE laws are meant to discourage a certain behavior - that in itself does NOT give validity to a particular law.

    You can argue that laws against discrimination are written because discrimination is evil, or immoral, or a violation of a persons's rights. All of those things are debatable, but you seem not to want to engage in that debate and instead focus on the existence of anti-discrimination laws as evidende itself of the evils of discrimination, possibly because you don't really have a good argument against discrimination, as any such argument is subject to immediate reductio ad absurdum, like I explained above.

  • Tony||

    I made the argument for laws against discrimination: that discrimination fosters an environment of prejudice and harm for minorities. Of course, I didn't say I endorsed the argument.

  • sarcasmic||

    Forced discrimination fosters an environment of prejudice and harm for minorities. You know? Like Jim Crow laws and such? When people discriminated because that government you worship told them to.

    Allowing discrimination lets people identify themselves for social ridicule.

  • Tony||

    Jim Crow laws were not primarily about forcing white people to discriminate against their will, but enforcing white people's preference for a segregated society.

    There's always going to be a government. Because I understand that obvious truth doesn't mean I endorse everything all governments ever do. But sometimes I really think you are dumb enough to think like that.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Tony,

    I made the argument for laws against discrimination: that discrimination fosters an environment of prejudice and harm for minorities.


    That's an entirely different argument than the one you posited as justifications for those laws: "The argument behind such laws is that allowing discrimination would lead to a regression to increase prejudice in society."

    Even so, the new argument is still logically flawed, because it begs the question: what is a minority, if not a group of people that would be subjected to discrimination? If not the case, then why bother with putting individuals in groups?

  • Tony||

    They're the same arguments stated using slightly different words, but whatever. You're not making sense to me. A minority is a minority; a protected class is one historically prone to being subjected to discrimination.

    Why don't you admit something that seems to be inevitably true? Given your preferred policies, it's possible that outright de facto apartheid could exist and nothing could be done about it, right? I'm not talking about discriminatory laws, but a society full of bigots acting privately to discriminate. Whether you see that as a problem or not, you really don't have a way to fix it, do you?

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Tony,

    They're the same arguments stated using slightly different words,


    They're completely different, but if you want to argue that you were equivocating, so be it.

    A minority is a minority;


    Another meaningless tautology. If you want to argue this to the extreme, all individuals belong to a minority of one.

    a protected class is one historically prone to being subjected to discrimination.


    You mean like nerds? Geeks? Your concept is a very fuzzy one, Tony.

    Why don't you admit something that seems to be inevitably true?


    "Why don't you shut up?"

    Given your preferred policies, it's possible that outright de facto apartheid could exist


    As I remember it, Apartheid was a government policy of exclusion of a MAJORITY to protect a MINORITY.

    Why do you keep undermining your own arguments, Tony?

  • Finrod||

    In other words, you're just spewing bullshit.

  • Finrod||

    Since threading is broken this far in, I was responding to Tony's immensely dumb line: "Of course, I didn't say I endorsed the argument."

  • ||

    It just depends on whose right is more valued: the absolute right of the business owner to associate, or the right of people not to be discriminated against when participating in commerce.

    The problem is that one of these is an actual right, and one of them is not. Positive rights are bullshit.

  • Free Society||

    It doesn't follow necessarily, but there is a legal tradition in this country of limiting freedom of association when it comes to discrimination in the provision of services. It is not however a limitation on freedom of speech or thought.

    It is a limitation in fact. You are not punishing for discrimination, you are punishing for the motive of discrimination. That's a thought-crime.

    It just depends on whose right is more valued: the absolute right of the business owner to associate, or the right of people not to be discriminated against when participating in commerce.

    Business owners don't have rights, and neither do customers. Individuals have rights and those rights end where another individual's rights begin. There is no value judgement, no ones right supersedes anyone else's and there is absolutely no right "to not be discriminated against". If that were true, there would be no legal market in existence.

  • sarcasmic||

    Your objection is not rooted in principle. If it was then you would be outraged if blacks refused to serve whites or gays refused to serve breeders. Because we all know that in such a situation any outrage you expressed would be feigned.

  • Tony||

    I absolutely believe nondiscrimination rules should apply to everyone.

  • sarcasmic||

    Sure you do, Tony. Sure you do.

  • ant1sthenes||

    So, insofar as religion is a protected class, a gay baker should be legally required to treat a couple from WBC like anyone else and take a cake to their wedding ceremony?

  • Tony||

    Religion is covered under the CRA, so I guess they would be.

  • ||

    Ok, then Catholic hospitals should be forced to perform abortions.

    Why is religion special?

  • sarcasmic||

    Freedom of religion is freedom of thought. That's why the left hates it so much. Because they want to criminalize thought that they don't like.

  • Tony||

    The "left" are the only rational people in American political discourse these days. You just don't like it that your beliefs fail all tests of evidence and reason. Then you whine that the people who have them on their side are trying to oppress you by having different opinions.

    Nobody is coming for your thoughts you paranoid little baby.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Tony,

    The "left" are the only rational people in American political discourse these days.


    If your fallacious arguments, bromides and prevarications are representative of what the Left believes, then your assertion cannot be taken seriously.

    My own experience has been that the Left is populated by the envious and the petty.

  • Finrod||

    I have yet to see anything from asshat Tony that should be taken seriously.

  • Free Society||

    What evidence are YOU of all people referring to?

  • ||

    And the more minorities are discriminated against in their ability to engage in commerce, the less right you have to blame them for their economic circumstances.

    So we're going to remedy the inability of some minorities to engage in commerce, by restricting the ability of other minorities to engage in commerce.

    Yay!

  • Tony||

    How are the Christians being restricted? They're restricting themselves by rejecting customers, but nobody's telling them they can't sell cake. If they don't want to sell cake in an environment where gays buy cakes, then that is their idiotic choice.

  • ||

    Yes they are. They're saying "You're only allowed to sell cake if you violate your religious beliefs. Here, sell cake, go ahead!"

    That's like telling a Muslim "You can only be an engineer if you eat pork. See, nobody's stopping you from being an engineer. You just gotta eat pork. No problem."

  • Tony||

    Pork is a food, not a class of human beings. Pork does not have rights.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Charles H Anziulewicz,

    They aren't in the business of enforcing moral codes or providing spiritual guidance, they exist to MAKE MONEY. And as such they are obligated to comply with civil rights laws,


    You're begging the question, Chuck. You're assuming what you're trying to prove: that making money makes civil right laws relevant.

    The question here is if a person's property still belongs to that person o to whoever has the most political clout. Turning a person's labor or property to someone else by virtue of belonging to a "protected group" is no different than thievery, even if you think or believe that the person is fairly "compensated."

    Perhaps Christians who believe that existing civil rights laws are too burdensome should file suit to have those laws overturned


    If the concept of discrimination is completely based on what some laws say, then it means that discrimination as immoral act is based on pure sophistry.

  • ||

    Fuck off slaver.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Tony,

    They are allowed to believe whatever stupid bullshit they want. They aren't allowed to conduct business in any stupid bullshit way they want,


    Which ipso facto means that they're not really allowed to believe anything they want, considering that how a person conducts business is a reflection of his or her own beliefs.

    The question is not if the person is free to believe in anything he or she wants but if that person owns his or her property to do as he or she wishes with it. In this case, the threat of violence from the State is only justified by laws and not by the morality of the act of not trading. If the only reason why the act itself of avoiding trade is immoral is because it is codified in law, then the whole concept of discrimination itself is based on pure sophistry, as it would lead to the conclusion that if you do not willingly provide a person of a protected group your property gratis, then it must have been because of discrimination against that group.

  • Tony||

    I don't see anything in the constitution about a right to sell cakes or anything else.

    Even those rights that are explicitly protected in the constitution are not absolute, at least according to case law.

    Rights conflict. Life is a balance. Learn to deal with it.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Tony,

    I don't see anything in the constitution about a right to sell cakes or anything else


    It's in the 9th Amendment.

    Even those rights that are explicitly protected in the constitution are not absolute


    Would you be willing to entertain such a notion if it came from the person who is attempting to kill you?

  • Tony||

    Is the person acting in self defense or lethally injecting me after due process? Oh look, exceptions to the right not to be killed.

    The only problem here is your inability to see the world in its true complexity.

  • sarcasmic||

    Yeah. Like when libertarians reject central planning because we recognize that markets are so complex and knowledge is so dispersed that no central planner can allocate goods better than the price system.
    Or when some of us reject the idea of using computer programs to model the climate because it is too complex.
    Yeah. Libertarians are sooooo unable to recognize complexity.
    derp

  • KPres||

    The only reason Tony appeals to complexity is because it gives cover to all of his self-conflicting rationalizations.

  • Tony||

    A short list of principles is very likely to be inadequate to the task of figuring out how humans should live. The worst places have always operated according to little books of principles. The best places have always preferred pragmatism and flexibility with respect to principles.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Tony,

    A short list of principles is very likely to be inadequate to the task of figuring out how humans should live.


    Compared to how humans WANT to live.

    I totally agree with you. A short book of principles is not conducive to an enslaved society.

    The worst places have always operated according to little books of principles.


    I would argue that the worst places operate with whatever principles the overlords choose for that day.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Tony,

    Is the person acting in self defense


    If the person is taking his time to explain to you why he or she feels justified to kill you, then that person is NOT acting in self-defense. You should be more careful when reading the scenario that has been posited to you, lest you want to run the risk of looking more foolish than you are.

    or lethally injecting me after due process?


    It's still your life, Tony. Why would it matter to you that a "legal" comedy was played for fools and knaves to justify your murder?

  • ||

    run the risk of looking more foolish than you are.

    I don't think that's actually possible.

  • ||

    I don't see anything in the constitution about a right to sell cakes or anything else.

    Forget the constitution.

    Is it morally right to forbid certian people from entering certian professions because of their religious beliefs?

    Is making entery into a certain professiond conditional upon one's not exercising one's deeply held convictions any different than making being a boyscout leader conditional on not being openly gay?

  • Tony||

    Making entry into certain professions is and always has been conditional on many things. I'm not saying your argument is without merit or that I even disagree with it, I'm just making the other case.

    It's not clear that absolute freedom of association should win out over the freedom to participate equally in the commerce of your society. But it is clear that there is a tension here when discrimination exists.

    My feeling is that nondiscrimination laws are necessary when there is a significant problem of discrimination in a community. I could go either way on this specific case, but in this case there is a law on the books and it is pretty clear.

  • ||

    This debate isn't about what the law is. It's about what the law should be.

    As I'm sure you're aware, libertarians oppose occupational licensing. But let's just take this example of the baker and the photographer. There's no occupational licensing for photographers and bakers (AFAIK). Being a photographer, you may not even have a storefront. You could be a self-employed freelancer. In general, most of us would have a problem with saying you can only take pictures of things if you agree to do something that you consider humiliating. Being forced to do something that violates your conscience is degreading and humiliating. It's really not the different from (say) forcing gay men to make statements denouncing homosexuality (or get examined by a therapist in case they might be pedophiles or any number of other things) if they want to be grade school teachers.

    I doubt that you would say that if any of those requirements were conditions of becoming a grade school teacher, you would consider that anti-gay discrimination. So how is it not anti-Christian-conservative discrimination to require that they do things that violate their beliefs as a condition of being a baker or a photographer?

  • Tony||

    I think the specifics matter. You are entitled to conscientiously object to war and receive certain protections in certain circumstances for that opinion. You are not as entitled to conscientiously object to a minority class having equal rights and dignity. The actions and social consequences of that opinion are ones the state should actively discourage, and if you ask me it should actively discourage the opinion itself as a part of public school curricula.

    I'm a pragmatist. I believe that occasionally social questions get answered.

  • ||

    The actions and social consequences of that opinion are ones the state should actively discourage, and if you ask me it should actively discourage the opinion itself as a part of public school curricula.

    So you're arguing that the government should actively preach against certain relgiious views. I.e. it should make it a matter of offocial policy that being anti-gay is immoral, and it should institutionalize that policy and discriminate against those who believe otherwise.

    That's institutional discrimination.

    In another era, (and indeed in other cuntries), the very same arguments and powers are used for the government to actively preacyh that homosexuality is immoral and gays should be punished.

    Again. I fail to see the distinction. You want to punish and exclude conservative Christians from society for their religious views.

    How is that not discriminatory?

  • Tony||

    What if your religion promotes the killing and eating of babies? Should government stay out of the matter because someone claims it to be a religious position? Of course government can and should occasionally express a preference for such things and even legislate when appropriate.

  • Mickey Rat||

    Killing and eating a baby violates the baby's right to life. What right did the Kleins violate in not making a cake?

  • ||

    Killing and eating a baby violates the baby's right to life.

    Depends on its proximity to a uterus and the structural integrity of the umbilical cord around these parts (Tony is nothing if not ironic).

    That aside, the government should punish the actual killing and eating of babies. But even in the case of a death cult, it shouldn't punish thoughtcrime.

    What right did the Kleins violate in not making a cake?

    The right to not be offended. You see, Tony believes in positive rights, and puts them on equal footing with negative rights. Your right to swing your fist doesn't end at Tony's nose. It ends at Tony's right to feel safe and his right not to have to watch a crazy man swing his fists.

  • Tony||

    The right of people not to be discriminated against.

  • nova3930||

    You might can force me to bake you a cake but you can't force me to make it taste good. Hope you're ok with it tasting like a mixture of rotten eggs and dog turds....

  • sarcasmic||

    They don't want to force anyone to make a cake. They want to punish people for the heinous crime of saying "No."

  • OldMexican||

    Re: nova3930,

    You might can force me to bake you a cake but you can't force me to make it taste good.


    The Tonys of the world would say that laws agaist discrimination do not consider the lack of quality as evidence of discrimination, but that would only mean that the concept itself is fuzzy and subjective. If Discrimination is immoral, then ALL of its manifestations must be immoral, not just a few. If you make a tastier cake for your Christian brethren, then ipso facto you must be engaging in discrimination against non-Christians. As always, leftists are unwilling to accept the implications of what they argue, e.g. one can argue that if you are unwilling to trade at zero return with someone of a so-called "protected group" you can still be accused of discrimination, as by law the member of the protected group has instant ownership of your property by virtue of belonging to that group. This is true regardless of how a judge wishes to interpret the law; the fact that the determination is subject to the whims of a judge is proof that the law is based on pure sophistry.

  • ||

    Tony: You need to figure out how to separate tolerance of people despite biological differences and tolerance for different opinions, which is conditional on the quality of the opinions.

    You need to separate tolerance of people by the state from tolerance of people by other people.

    The state has an obligation to treat everyone equally, whether they are gay, racist, religious or lunatics. Your right to pursue an occupation should not be considtional on the state's (or the majority's) opinion of the "quality" of your religious opinions.

    Private individuals, however, should be allowed to disctiminate in whatever way they want based on their opinions about the quality of other people's religious views, lifestyles, sexual preferences, races, or hairstyle.

    How is barring an individual from being a photographer or a baker on account of his distasteful views any different than forbidding a man from marrying another man because you find the idea of gay sex gross?

  • sarcasmic||

    You're talking about principles. Tony doesn't understand the concept. He just knows what he likes and how he feels, and he figures that everyone else operates in the same manner.

    He opposes discrimination because he doesn't like how it feels. Just as he supports socialized medicine because he likes how it feels. There are no principles involved. Nothing rational. Just feelings.

    So if you defend someone's right to discriminate in principle, he feels that you must like discrimination and for that you are a bad person.
    Or if you oppose socialized medicine in principle, he feels that you must hate sick people and for that you are a bad person.

  • ||

    What I'm trying to get at is that what he's advocating isn't, in fact, a system where nobody gets discriminated against.

    What he's advocating is institutional discrimination against conservative Christians.

    In order to enforce a law that says that nobody can privately discriminate, even on the basis of religious beliefs, you MUST institutionally discriminate against people whose religious faith requires them to discriminate.

    If we passed a law saying that all gynecologists must perform abortions, we would be effectively discriminating against Catholic doctors. Those people would be forced to stop being doctors.

    You hear anti-gay groups make arguments like "Gay people DO have the right to marry, they just can't marry another person of the same sex."
    Which is fundamentally no different from saying "Christians do have the right to be photographers/bakers they just don't have the right to be a photographer/baker and not serve gay weddings."

    Making entry into an occupation conditional upon violating a religious belief is institutional discrimination.

    Our society institutionally discriminates against white racists. Let's admit it. A white racist cannot exercise his beliefs and also freely engage in his choice of career and occupation.

    I want Tony to say that he is in favor of creating laws that discriminate against conservative Christians, not just laws that forbid discrimination against gays.

  • Tony||

    The way this works is that discrimination is a harm, and that matter has been settled. There is no open debate about whether bigoted discrimination is of value to society. So to the extent that not having nondiscrimination rules encourages an atmosphere of discrimination, then society has an interest in preventing it actively.

    You can't run a business or even follow a religion with absolute liberty. If your business or religion harms people, your freedom stops at that point. So you just have to agree that discrimination is a harm, but I'm not requiring you to.

    Calling it discrimination against Christians is completely ridiculous. It is not reverse bigotry to pass laws that provide equal rights (and equal access to commerce) to gays because Christians hate gays. They are entitled to hate gays all the live long day, but they are not entitled to act on it in an antisocial way.

  • ||

    Aren't Christian conservative HARMED by being forbidden from being photographers and bakers unless they agree to serve gay couples?

    How is being forbidden from engaging in a choice of career not a harm if not being served a cake is a harm?

  • Tony||

    They can't choose any career with the intention of unlawfully discriminating against people. If that's harming them in some way, then that has been weighed against the harm of discrimination, and the latter has been found to be worse, which makes sense.

    I don't consider religion to be a special class of motivation, even if the constitution does single it out. Being bigoted because of your religion is no different from being bigoted for any other reason, if you ask me. Of course you are free to be a bigot, but you're not free to discriminate. Running a business is part right, part privilege, and is not unconditional.

  • ||

    So, in your mind, not being served cake is WORSE than not being allowed to enter the profession of bakery chef?

    SERIOUSLY?

  • ||

    You're talking about someones ENTIRE FUTURE LIFE, versus, a gay person's not being insulted for five minutes.

  • Tony||

    You're exaggerating and you know it. They can't enter that profession or any other with the intent to discriminate against gay people.

    They could try not being ignorant bigots. That's always an option.

  • ||

    And gay people can enter marriage as long as they marry someone of the opposite sex.

    I fail to see the difference.

  • ||

    Also gay people can try not being gay.

  • Tony||

    You should have stopped when you were only slightly behind. Now you're stretching.

    I get that someone may have a passion for making wedding cakes and also be a bigoted Christian, and hence antidiscrimination laws would be a barrier to them. But that's just tough titties because there is a more pressing right for gay people not to be discriminated against in their community.

  • ||

    Again, you insist that having a particular baker serve you cake is a greater right than the right to exercise one's faith and choose one's own profession simultaneously.

    I find this odd, to say the least.

  • ||

    I find this odd, to say the least.

    It's not so much "odd" as it is deeply and profoundly sick and totalitarian. Which makes it conspicuously not odd for Tony. His entire worldview is basically the Stanford prison experiment in action.

  • Tony||

    All I'm saying is there is a rights conflict. Stop undermining your argument by throwing words like "totalitarian" out there. I swear you guys are the most excitable, delicate people ever.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Tony,

    The way this works is that discrimination is a harm, and that matter has been settled.


    This is not an argument, but an assertion. Saying that the matter is settled is nothing more than a childish cop out.

    Discrimination is not a "harm"; it is the act of choosing one from many. You're equivocating.

    There is no open debate about whether bigoted discrimination is of value to society.


    That's only because the whole notion is absurd. There is no such thing as society; "society" can't value things, only individuals do. And discrimination
    is a choice, an action, not an economic good.

    So to the extent that not having nondiscrimination rules encourages an atmosphere of discrimination,


    Again with the tautology. By the way, your reasoning is flawed; do you really want to argue that sans laws, people would sin always?

    Calling it discrimination against Christians is completely ridiculous.


    There goes the idea that discrimination is a "harm." Looks like it is only a harm for those instances that Tony says.

  • Tony||

    Discrimination is not a "harm"; it is the act of choosing one from many.

    I can't decide if you're annoying or cute with this semantic bullshit.

    Yes, it is settled truth by all reasonable people that discriminating against people because of how they were born for no reason other than bigotry is bad, and bad for society if widespread.

    There is no such thing as society; "society" can't value things, only individuals do.

    Fine, I value your property. Give it to me. There's no legitimacy to the concept of private property being a socially valuable thing, so it's all a matter of individual preference. So give it to me. I want it. It's my preference. (Oh, my gun is much bigger than yours.) More fun with semantic bullshit! It's like 9th grade all over again.

    do you really want to argue that sans laws, people would sin always?

    They'd sin more. The South had to be dragged kicking and screaming out of its apartheid regime, and remnants remain.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Tony,

    I can't decide if you're annoying or cute with this semantic bullshit.


    The pot calling the kettle black.

    It has been you the one with the penchant for fuzzy definitions, Tony. "Discriminate" means choosing one from many, not "harm." What you are doing is redefining "harm" to fit your argument

    Yes, it is settled truth by all reasonable people


    An argument from popularity? How quaint.

    Fine, I value your property. Give it to me


    Come and take it, if you dare.

    They'd sin more.


    How do you know this?

    The South had to be dragged kicking and screaming out of its apartheid regime,


    As far as I remember it, that policy was instituted by government, despite what people who wanted to freely trade wanted. Discrimination laws and anti-discrimination laws are the same thing, and have the same effects: pitting one person against another because of arbitrary groupings.

  • Tony||

    "Discriminate" means choosing one from many, not "harm." What you are doing is redefining "harm" to fit your argument

    I can understand your confusion on this issue if you are not yet aware that everyone here is referring to a specific definition of discrimination that has nothing to do with picking out a certain type of pebble on a beach. We're talking about refusing service to people based on their sexual orientation (or race, etc.). Are you less confused now?

    An argument from popularity?

    Not every answer to every question can be solved as a math problem. Whether discrimination is good or bad really does depend on who you ask, especially if one of them is a klansman.


    Come and take it, if you dare.

    Assume I am nearly 100% certain to be able to take it from you. Is that legitimate? Or do you want government goons to come protect your right because property rights are of value to society?

    despite what people who wanted to freely trade wanted

    Oh yes the South was positively teeming with racial progressives who were just being oppressed by their racist governments that they voted for.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Tony,

    I can understand your confusion on this issue


    I am not confused, you bloviating buffoon.

    if you are not yet aware that everyone here is referring to a specific definition of discrimination


    I am referring to "discrimination". YOU are the one thinking that discrimination automatically means discriminating on the basis of race, sexual orientation or creed.

    We're talking about refusing service to people based on their sexual orientation (or race, etc.). Are you less confused now?


    Like I said: I am not the one confused. You are the one who keeps equivocating. Discrimination itself is NOT a harm because by discriminating you are not depriving a person of life or property. Harmful acts are those that directly affect a person's life, liberty or property. Hurting someone's feelings because that person felt discriminated against is NOT a "harm."

  • Tony||

    It is if you include "being treated as an equally dignified member of society and being able to participate fully in your community" as being part of the definition of "liberty." But you're a rights minimalist, so.

  • ||

    But Tony, you want to purposely exclude certain Christian conservatives from full participation in society on the basis of their religious views.

    Shouldn't Christian conservatives be able to exercise their religious faith while fully participating in commerce and society like everyone else?

  • Tony||

    Not if the exercise of that faith undermines the rights of others. Gay wedding cake vendors can't discriminate either, you know.

  • ||

    It is if you include "being treated as an equally dignified member of society and being able to participate fully in your community"

    Define "dignified" "community" "participate" and "fully". Actually, don't bother, because it would still be utter and complete bullshit. Were you coerced or defrauded? No? Great. Take a number in the "fuck off" line and you will be called shortly.

  • ||

    There a plenty of examples where a person's conscience can interfere with his willingness to participate in an activity that isn't a direct exercise of religion.

    For instance, a pacifist might have a really hard time working on advertisements for a military contractor. Should the ad agency be forced to serve the military if the majority of the staff think that war is morally wrong and don't want to do it?

    Maybe you're in an acting troupe and some hardcore Catholic group wants you to perform a 'Passion Play' complete with all the jew-hating. Do you not have a right to refuse? Or maybe you're black and you're asked to portray some racist stereotype. Should you not be allowed to turn down the job?

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Tony,

    A minority is a minority;


    Another meaningless tautology. If you want to argue this to the extreme, all individuals belong to a minority of one, thus should be protected all the time.

    a protected class is one historically prone to being subjected to discrimination.


    You mean like nerds? Geeks? Your concept is a very fuzzy one, Tony. Who is to say what "historically prone" means? The Chinese in Malaysia have been subjected to discriminatory actions by the government, yet they still remain the richest and more prosperous minority in that country. What does that tell you about anti-discrimination laws?

    Why don't you admit something that seems to be inevitably true?


    "Why don't you shut up?"

    Given your preferred policies, it's possible that outright de facto apartheid could exist


    As I remember it, Apartheid was a government policy of exclusion of a MAJORITY to protect a MINORITY.

    Why do you keep undermining your own arguments, Tony?

  • Tony||

    Why don't you read my arguments in full. I said de facto. You should answer this question before we move on. Suppose no discriminatory legal regime was in place, but widespread private discrimination existed to the extent that a particular minority was significantly excluded from participation in society and commerce.

    You have to just let it go on, right? Hope it gets better is the best you can offer, right?

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Tony,

    Why don't you read my arguments in full. I said de facto.


    Where did you say "de facto"? And don't bring me something you wrote to someone else. I am addressing your comments to ME or to everybody in general, not your replies to someone else.

    Suppose no discriminatory legal regime was in place, but widespread private discrimination existed to the extent that a particular minority was significantly excluded from participation in society and commerce.


    There's already something like that in Malaysia, and I already posited to you that the Chinese (the excluded minority) are still the richest and more prosperous of people in that country.

    You are arguing from emotion. You think that people who discriminate are icky and thus justify the undermining of fundamental human rights - like Freedom to Assemble - just so you feel better about the world.

  • Tony||

    Dodge. The excluded minority is usually not more prosperous than the general population.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Tony,

    Dodge. The excluded minority is usually not more prosperous than the general population.


    Honestly, Tony? How about the Jews in Europe? Historically discriminated against, yet richer.

  • Tony||

    The excluded minority is usually not more prosperous than the general population, and that goes for blacks and gays in this country, the most relevant groups. You are being completely ridiculous.

  • ||

    Gays are actually statistically more likely to be better educated and to make more money, as you are fond of gleefully pointing out.

    But even if you could somehow, for once in your disgusting existence, keep your own logic straight for 5 minutes; even if that weren't the case, and if gays, blacks, short people, ugly people, or whatever arbitrary category we wish to invent, were being harmed by discrimination in the private market, there would be no excuse for government involvement. The government has an obligation to treat everyone equally before the law. It has no obligation to define social mores. Please take a long goosestep off a short pier.

  • Tony||

    Gays are actually statistically more likely to be better educated and to make more money, as you are fond of gleefully pointing out.

    This is actually a myth (which I used to believe).

    The government has an obligation to treat everyone equally before the law. It has no obligation to define social mores.

    I presume you mean you don't think government should implement any antidiscrimination laws, and that private business catering to the public should be able to discriminate against anyone it wants. That's the standard libertarian position and I won't go after it here.

    But it remains problematic that you guys are not treating gay people as people but as objects of Christian moral fixation. Christians' right to hate gays is trumped by gays' rights to full personhood. I don't think this should be a controversial balance of the rights conflict among libertarians.

  • ||

    Suppose no discriminatory legal regime was in place, but widespread private discrimination existed to the extent that a particular minority was significantly excluded from participation in society and commerce.

    I'm sure you owuld be perfectly fine with this situation if it involved widespread discrimination against conservative Christians with anti-gay beliefs. You would have NO PROBLEM with them being excluded from participation in society and commerce on the basis of their religious views. In fact, you would say "Hey, there's a perfect free-market solution to the problem of anti-gay bias! Isn't it wonderful?"
    And, frankly, I would agree.

    But I would also have to say that if you believe that and you think it is moral and just than you can hardly object to widespread private discrimination against gays, and would be morally bound to adhere to completely private means to dissuade people from such discrimination. Which is precisely what I would do.

  • Tony||

    Uh, no I wouldn't be perfectly fine with that. But I don't consider it legitimate to exempt people from laws just because they claim their motivation is religious, except in certain very narrow circumstances. Like, you have to be Amish and really dedicated, not just some bigot using Jesus as an excuse.

    Saying "use private means" is not an answer, but another dodge. What private means? The slow, painful work of convincing your bigoted peers that they're wrong? Unfortunately that clearly hasn't been enough in this country, and for all we know schools and lunch counters in certain parts of the country would still be segregated if not for government activism.

    There is a competition of rights here, and the right of a business owner to discriminate against protected classes is trumped by the right of people to participate in their society with equal dignity.

  • ||

    You wouldn't be perfectly fine with mass public boycotting of anti-gay business owners?

    Really? How do you feel about the Stoli boycott?

    What private means? The slow, painful work of convincing your bigoted peers that they're wrong?

    Yes, that's exactly what I mean. Using force is emotionally satisfying but not only that, it's not even likely to work. If institutional discrimination against people on the basis of their beliefs was an effective way of changing their minds, Judaism would have been extinct centuries ago.

    Nevermind that Christianity has a built-in 2000 year old persecution complex.


    There is a competition of rights here, and the right of a business owner to discriminate against protected classes is trumped by the right of people to participate in their society with equal dignity.

    The right of a gay person not to be momentarily annoyed by having to find a different baker, is trumped by the right of people of all religious faiths (no matter how abhorrent) to determine their own futures, choose their own careers, and fully participate in society like everyone else. If you don't like bigoted wedding cake makers, don't buy a wedding cake from them.

    I find it strange that you think there would be something wrong with massive boycotts of bigoted Christians, but yet you think the government should impose a rule saying they have to do things that violate their beliefs to participate in commerce like a normal person.

  • ||

    I find it strange that you think there would be something wrong with massive boycotts of bigoted Christians, but yet you think the government should impose a rule saying they have to do things that violate their beliefs to participate in commerce like a normal person.

    You wouldn't if you knew Tony better. For Tony, the lack of government coercion is enough to submarine any idea, no matter how meritorious. If you can accomplish something one of two ways, and one of the ways involves submitting to abuse by government, that's the solution Tony will pick. It is as much a part of his ethical framework as non-aggression is a part of libertarianism.

  • Tony||

    I've expressed ambivalence throughout this debate. But there are clear lines: if the Christian bakers can discriminate against gays, they have to be allowed to discriminate against blacks too. If they can't discriminate against blacks, then they can't discriminate against gays. Religious belief is irrelevant. It is not an excuse for breaking the law.

    If all you're saying is there should be no antidiscrimination laws, that's fine, that's your prerogative as a libertarian. But you can't single out gays as being OK to discriminate against because there exists alleged religious objection to them. If anything that makes them more of a suspect class, does it not?

  • Harvard||

    Away for the weekend. What is obvious after a tedious read of over 500 posts is: the Tony's of this world remain as the most significant threat to individual liberties that we face; most libertarians know far less about what the Bible says than they can possibly imagine; Tony totally defines himself with his queerness, to the absence of almost any other factor and remains infuriated by the God he professes not to believe exists; Duke shows a courage normally not seen here and; the elderly Mexican so owns Tony that it's almost painfully embarrassing.

  • Tony||

    If my tone with respect to deities is anything other than mocking and dismissive, then pardon me for not getting it across. The year is 2013. Adults living in the civilized, educated world having imaginary friends is just about the most absurd thing I can think of. Right up there with anyone taking OM's arguments seriously.

  • Free Society||

    Here I was thinking that pursuing thought-crime policy was the most absurd thing. Better yet predicating one's beliefs on imaginary rights like "the right to not be discriminated against".

    People discriminate all the time for all sorts of reasons. You, prefer to criminalize reasons you disagree with.

  • Tony||

    No just the action.

  • Free Society||

    If I refuse to sell you something because you're rude, that's discrimination. If I refuse to sell you something because you're gay, that's discrimination.

    The only difference between legal discrimination and illegal discrimination is motive. That's a thought crime.

  • Free Society||

    Tony you suck. what a waste of time it is conversing with you.

  • Tony||

    If your goal in life is to do nothing but confirm and reinforce your preconceived bullshit dogma, that is probably the case. But that's a stupid goal to have.

  • Free Society||

    Only Tony has arrived at his conclusions with reasoned analysis. This is fascinating news.

  • Free Society||

    Tony comes to Reason boards to challenge and scrutinize his own irreproachable views against "preconceived bullshit dogma". Such intellectual honesty and objectivity contained in that statement.

  • timb||

    Nice work, Tony

    As a bunch of philosophizers and opponents of 50 years of settled law should realize, businesses create a contract with the State (guarantee Sweet Treats is an LLC or LLP). Since the state agrees to limit their liability, they agree to abide by the laws and regulations of the State: fire codes, health codes, zoning, taxes, and non-discrimination laws. One wonders what the high school theorizers on this page imagines liberty: the liberty to receive the benefits of state sanction without any cost to the business?

    What a bunch of unrepentant bullies -- whining about laws which helped individuals desegregate the South -- because of FRFRRREEEEEEDDDDOOOOMMMM. Why Libertarians always take the side of the private powerful against the individual and then whine about state action is weird.

    Oh, and stop calling things "slavery," you freaking neo-feudal goons.

    PS Sugarfree, you are the biggest derp I have read on the Internet and that includes reading the posts of other unicorn believing libertarians (otherwise known as the Republican base) on Volokh. Just an embarrassing speculate you created for yourself here

  • Free Society||

    (guarantee Sweet Treats is an LLC or LLP). Since the state agrees to limit their liability, they agree to abide by the laws and regulations of the State: fire codes, health codes, zoning, taxes, and non-discrimination laws. One wonders what the high school theorizers on this page imagines liberty: the liberty to receive the benefits of state sanction without any cost to the business?


    One wonders where in all of this we're talking about corporate charters and social contracts?

    There's plenty of libertarians bitching about that. Don't blame libertarians that you haven't taken off the blinders. If you had, you'd know that the most coherent arguments against corporatism and cronyism have come out of libertarian camps. (corporatism is plank of the progressive platform, lest you forget)

    Libertarians always take the side of the private powerful against the individual and then whine about state action is weird.


    That's a false characterization and private interests never have the legal power to coerce or monopolize without government assistance.

    Oh, and stop calling things "slavery," you freaking neo-feudal goons.


    Well then stop insisting that I owe you my goods and services. Stop insisting that I MUST associate with you, then we can stop calling it slavery.

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