Gay Marriage

Whether a Wedding Cake Is a Right Under Review in Colorado

Can a baker discriminate against gay weddings?

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An adorable cabin in the woods for the reception is also not a right. But man, it's adorable!
Credit: vtrrbear / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND

The Supreme Court has not yet decided whether it will take up the case of Elane Photography v. Willock, which asks whether a wedding photographer's personal religious opposition to recognizing same-sex marriage can be used to deny her services to a gay couple.

In the meantime, a similar case has reached the courts in Colorado. An owner of a bakery in Lakewood appeared before a judge, accused of discriminating against a gay couple for refusing to bake them a wedding cake. KDVR in Denver interviewed both sides of the case. Dave Mullins and Charlie Craig, who got legally married in New York, wanted Jack Phillips to make a wedding cake for them in Colorado. Phillips said no:

"Being discriminated against is a form of personal invalidation. It's being degraded and put on a lower level than other people in society," says Mullins about how humiliated he and Craig felt on July 19, 2012, when Phillips of Masterpiece Cakeshop told them his business doesn't make cakes for gay weddings. Phillips says Colorado doesn't recognize same-sex marriages. And also that they're (gay relationships) against his religious beliefs.

"I am a follower of Jesus Christ. So you could say it's a religious belief. I believe the Bible teaches it's not an OK thing," is what Phillips told us last July.

The American Civil Liberties Union says it's illegal for a private retail business open to the public to exclude customers–only private religious groups, like churches, have this right.

"It happened with race discrimination back in the day. It happened with sex discrimination. Over and over the courts say, 'No, your religious beliefs, while important, do not trump discrimination laws," says ACLU attorney Amanda Goad, who flew in from NYC to represent the couple.

But Phillips' lawyer says creating cakes for gays not only violates his freedom of religion, but his freedom of speech.

"Everyone can agree weddings carry a certain message: spiritual, cultural, symbolic … and because it carries a message, under the First Amendment he (Phillips) has the right to say it or not say it," says attorney Nicolle Martin.

Both Jacob Sullum and I have written about these kinds of cases previously. Sullum expressed his disappointment in November that the ACLU has set aside its mission by supporting discrimination laws that actually violate Constitutional protections.

Put me on the record arguing that nobody has a right to force a privately-run bakery to make them a cake, regardless of what the cake says (and, I guess, regardless of what the law says). However, I'm not sure it's a compelling argument that passing along somebody else's speech by writing it on a cake in frosting counts as an endorsement and therefore can violate somebody's free speech rights. There are, though, plenty of cases where a printer has declined to publish magazines or pamphlets or other writings or images that offended them or they found disagreeable.

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  1. It happened with race discrimination back in the day.

    Ignore the fact that race discrimination was mandated by law. Sheesh.

  2. “…which asks whether a wedding photographer’s personal religious opposition to recognizing same-sex marriage can be used to deny her services to a gay couple.”

    I would say it asks whether someone’s First Amendment right to free exercise still exists–even if it doesn’t serve the best interests of gay people.

    1. Only popular speech is covered by the 1st. You just have to be able to read the reasonable clause written in invisible ink towards the end of it.

    2. The right of someone to force you to labor on their behalf is settled law, and the NAP is stupid because of the Social Contract!
      /Tony

    3. I would have thought a free associatiion argument would be first in line.

      Who cares why you don’t want to do X in your private life?

      You aren’t free unless you are free to be wrong.

      1. “I would have thought a free associatiion argument would be first in line.”

        That principle has already been skewered in regards to civil rights, hasn’t it?

        Hasn’t the Court already decided that, no, landlords do not have the right to refuse to rent to whomever they want on whatever basis they like?

      2. “You aren’t free unless you are free to be wrong.”

        No, free to decide for yourself what is right or wrong. That is based on the idea that someone else gets to decide for you what is right and what is wrong and set your moral values. The freedom to choose what you believe to be right and wrong is a right. This is nothing more than someone trying to force their values on someone else, even though they have no moral principle behind their moral choices. I thought the left was against bullying.

    4. A wedding cake is only a right if you buy the ingredients and make it yourself, or find someone willing to do it for you.

      Slavery was also banned, so no one should be compelled to work for another.

      1. If I was forced to bake for someone, they’d get a Limburger cake with Sriracha frosting.

  3. Whether a Wedding Cake Is a Right Under Review in Colorado

    Perhaps we should start reframing these types of issues, since the average American seems to have no clue of what the implications of a “right” are. Here we go:

    Whether conscripting people to bake you a cake is a right under review in Colorado.

    1. Somehow, they never describe it as a First Amendment right to free exercise.

      But, really, it isn’t about a right to force someone else to back you a cake; it’s about whether a baker has First Amendment rights.

      1. Right to association.

        If you are forced to associate with someone, it isn’t a right.

        1. First Amendment, the right to free exercise.

          We’re so used to hearing about establishment rights, that sometimes we forget that free exercise is in the First Amendment, too.

  4. suing to force someone who does not want to bake you a case into baking you a cake. This is where the SSM folks lose me. This couple chose to play the victim card rather than accept that not everyone agrees with their view on the issue and find a cake shop more than happy to have their business.

    1. Why would you even want to force someone to make your wedding cake against their will? There’s a reason you don’t piss off people who are making/serving your food.

      1. Because you are an asshole.

      2. “Never force anyone to take your money” has always been a rule of mine

        1. This is the other part of it. Transactions, when voluntary, help both parties. Why not help someone who supports you?

          1. That’s not exactly true. It’s that both parties think the transaction will help them.

          2. Why not help someone who supports you?

            CONTROL
            CONTROL
            FUCK YOU THAT’S WHY
            CONTROL.

            If I can’t break you to my will, I’ll destroy you.

          3. Because they don’t really want a cake. They want all bakers to have to bake cakes for couples like them.

      3. I’ve said it before and I’ve said it again. It’s entirely possible that in our legal system you can force me to bake you cake in exchange for $.

        However there’s no possible way you can force me to make it taste good.

        Oh, I’m so sorry that your wedding cake tasted like a mixture of rotten eggs and dog shit. What an unfortunate mistake that is….

        1. Or bake them a vagina cake like this one:
          http://bbsimg.ngfiles.com/13/2…..8274cc.jpg

          1. Aaaaand now you’re guilty of a hate crime too.

      4. The spit is my favorite part of the frosting.

    2. Well, part of the problem is your conflation of everyone who supports SSM with the subset of those people who would sue bakeries and photographers.

      SLD’s apply.

      1. no conflation going on, just a recognition of this case which is hardly the only one. I would rather spend money with someone who wants my business.

        1. Then this phrase wouldn’t make sense, no?

          This is where the SSM folks lose me.

          1. Jordan, fair enough. This is where “some” of the SSM folks lose me.

            1. Unfortunately, the hardcore activists effectively convert the moderates into useful idiots/fellow travellers.

              What you don’t see is SSM activists (people who actually push for SSM) who have repudiated this kind of coercion. Leaving me with little choice but to conclude that SSM activists are in favor of this kind of coercion.

              1. Same concept at work when those 99% good cops don’t do anything about the 1% bad apples. Or the majority moderate Muslims don’t renounce the terrorists.

              2. What you don’t see is SSM activists (people who actually push for SSM) who have repudiated this kind of coercion. Leaving me with little choice but to conclude that SSM activists are in favor of this kind of coercion.

                And no amount of all the gays (except Tony) who post here decrying coercion will change your mind.

                1. Was I talking about website commenters?

                  No, I was talking about, and I quote “SSM activists (people who actually push for SSM).”

                  1. And of course the, and I quote “useful idiots/fellow travellers”

                  2. To expand a trifle:

                    Good leaders understand that silence is acquiescence; when one of your people does something and you say nothing, you are acquiescing, and hence supporting, what they’ve done.

                    It gets a little messier outside of an organizational setting, but the same principle applies. If you’re a high-profile gay marriage supporter, and you don’t repudiate this kind of coercion, you are acquiescing, and hence, supporting, this kind of coercion.

                    If anyone has any links to leaders in the gay rights movement repudiating this case, I’d like to see them. In the absence of such links, I can only conclude that the gay rights movement supports coercing people into supporting gay marriage.

                    1. If anyone has any links to leaders in the gay rights movement repudiating this case, I’d like to see them. In the absence of such links, I can only conclude that the gay rights movement supports coercing people into supporting gay marriage.

                      I suppose Jonathan Rauch who has been pushing gay marriage longer and harder than anyone won’t count because he’s doing it from the conservative side.

                    2. I guess the fact that your have example, a conservative, is proof of how rare it is.

                      And as an aside, what do people like you get from totally ignoring the context of the discussion you’re having?

                      Doy you think that being hypertechnical, and pretending ignorance of the actual topic being discussied, somehow elevates you?

                      I don’t get it. You just come off looking like an argumentative asshole who is being intentionally obtuse. It’s a fucking epidemic around here, and it’s sad that you engage in it.

                    3. Er, OK. What part of the context am I missing here? The board has had a long standing discussion about the relationship of activists to common people and the relationship of coercion/non-discrimination ordinances to SSM on this topic. I think RC is focusing on activists because it better suits his dislike of SSM and I’m going to focus on general people wanting to have access to the legal structures of marriage but otherwise be left alone.

                      We both agree that the plaintiffs in this case are dicks, but he extrapolates that they speak for enough people to discredit SSM and I contend they don’t.

                      Did I miss something there?

                      As far as context is concerned you seem to be missing that Rauch is one of the oldest and most consistent “SSM activists (people who actually push for SSM)” and I was being snarky by joking he probably doesn’t count.

                      PS are you a regular commenter who changed his or her name recently or did you just sign up so you could call me sad and obtuse? Because if it’s the latter that’s just a smidge sad.

              3. I have, publicly, several times.

                But no one wants to give any air time to “the kook who thinks discrimination is ok”. Especially when that message is so cross-threaded with the common perception. Most people can’t distinguish between “discrimination by the government” (which is why I’m an SSM advocate) and “discrimination by private business” (which is why I’m a “repeal the CRA” advocate).

                I’m just sayin’. As ever, it’s the assholes who get the publicity.

    3. Because the left must force everyone into conformance with their views. They cannot tolerate dissent.

      1. I wouldn’t know about that. I don’t consider myself to be of the left. I certainly don’t take orders from them. Sure, I’ll grant that many, perhaps most, SSM supporters are leftists, but certainly not all.

        1. Fair enough, but I would be willing to bet the couple in question are pretty hard left.

    4. they must be the only cake makers in the entire state, no?

  5. The simply solution would be to turn the couple down “because I can’t fit you into the schedule” or “because I don’t work in that area”. You shouldn’t have to lie about why you’re refusing to work for someone, but it’s an easy way around any anti-discrimination law. The very fact that anti-discrimination laws can be so easily circumvented is one of many reasons these laws are dumb when applied to private associations.

    1. Even better: “I’ll call you back”. Then don’t call back.

      The problem in these cases is that there are assholes on both sides. On the one side, there’s some asshole gay person who wants to force some homophobe to perform some service, and on the other side there’s some homophobic asshole business owner who can’t help but to take the bait. I disagree with the spirit of anti-discrimination laws, but I don’t feel any sympathy in cases like these, because both of these people would run to the government in a second to try and jam their agenda down the other one’s throat.

      If you hate gay people, then just don’t engage with them.

      1. If you hate gay people, then just don’t engage with them.

        I think the issue here is that the bakers are being forced to engage with them.

        1. No. They aren’t. As I said above: “I’ll call you back”. Then don’t call back.

          Try and take that to court against somebody and you’ll lose.

          Every single one of these cases involves people willfully engaging with each other.

          1. As I said above: “I’ll call you back”. Then don’t call back.

            Do you really think the gay couple in question would have left it at that? Maybe, but I’m skeptical based on their actions.

            1. Can you state with any certainty that they wouldn’t? If they were anything like the other couples (all opposite-sex) I know who have gotten married, they chose the vendors who were most eager for their business and offered the best customer service.

              1. they chose the vendors who were most eager for their business and offered the best customer service.

                And if the gay couple in question thought this way, they would have gone elsewhere instead of suing to force the bakers to serve them unwillingly.

            2. Do you really think the gay couple in question would have left it at that? Maybe, but I’m skeptical based on their actions.

              What could they have done? Called the business owner back? Caller ID would probably prevent any issues, but you could always say, “so sorry, just forgot, but I’m driving right this second, I’ll have to call you back tonight.”

              The gay person probably would eventually realize they are being discriminated against, but they wouldn’t have anyway to prove it. These suits pop up when both sides put everything on the table.

            3. Why should we reward passive aggressive behavior instead of forthright behavior. Are we really better off that way?

              1. It’s not passive aggressive to avoid engaging somebody who is baiting you.

      2. I have been trying to explain this to my fellow gays, that using the force of law to coerce someone to do something they don’t believe in is the same tactics the religious right has been using against you.

        If this were a government service, or maybe even healthcare, it might be different. But it’s a FUCKING cake. Do you know how many gays can make you a fabulously gay wedding cake? GIVE THEM YOUR BUSINESS. Don’t ruin the lives of these people just because they are close minded. Don’t be the gay Jerry Falwell.

      3. So they shouldn’t have to lie about their reasons, but they’re tyrannical assholes for not lying about their reasons?

    2. IANAL, but I would suspect that once you’ve learned that the potential customer is a member of a protected class* that it becomes more risky to back away.

      *SLD’s, of course.

      1. IANAL

        You don’t say 😉

        1. What you did there, I think I see it…

    3. I would think that lying probably also offends the values of this baker.

      1. I guess then you could just say “I don’t want to make you a cake and I don’t want to tell you why I came to that decision.” The point is to not have the reason for your discrimination on record.

        1. I guess then you could just say “I don’t want to make you a cake and I don’t want to tell you why I came to that decision.” The point is to not have the reason for your discrimination on record.

          Or don’t even tell them you don’t want to make them a cake.

      2. You would think that, but since christians can’t even agree about trivial things like sprinkling versus dunking, and when to celebrate their holidays, it’s a bit much to expect any sort of consistency from them.

        1. What does that have to do with what he said?

  6. “Being discriminated against is a form of personal invalidation. It’s being degraded and put on a lower level than other people in society”

    Using the government to force other people to violate their own religious convictions, however, makes Mullins feel liberated and important.

    1. He hurt my feelings–therefore he has no First Amendment rights!

    2. One of the many factors used to select my spouse (wife) was sexual discrimination. Does that mean I degraded and put all men on a lower level?

      1. You evil bastard!

      2. Does that mean I degraded and put all men on a lower level?

        No, because patriarchy.

  7. The SCOTUS has held that free speech includes the right not to be forced to carry someone else’s message. No one has explained to me why there is a right to force bakers to carry a message, aside from painful-to-read misquotes of the Constitution and “You’re a Nazi.”

    1. The difference is that the intelligentsia still sees free speech as a legitimate right–and religious freedom as an illegitimate right since religion is stupid.

      Also, they see the fight for gay rights as being a continuation of the same logic they used in breaking down segregation and Jim Crow.

      If landlords can’t discriminate against people for being a certain race, then why should bakers get to discriminate against gay couples? Besides, using the government to violate people’s individual rights for the greater good is the whole purpose of progressivism.

      1. Religious freedom is freedom of thought. And yes, freedom of thought is considered to be stupid. Any deviation from groupthink is, well, criminal.

        1. No, they think religion is stupid becasue there is no God.

          Freedom of speech is different because it really exists.

          We live in an era of utilitarianism, too, in which the only things that need really be protected are the ones that benefit the most and harm the least.

          The era of utilitarianism stinks since, you know, neither I nor my rights exist for everyone else’s benefit.

          1. They hate religious people because religious people are intolerant. Religious people hold incorrect thoughts. In the name of tolerance, inclusiveness and equality, inferior religious people must be shunned and treated with contempt. That’s what tolerant people do.

            1. Well, in this case at least, I think all the religious people want is to be shunned by the plaintiffs.

        2. Religious freedom is freedom of thought.

          Yes. But don’t try to get that past some of the constitutional literalists, here.

          1. Or on the courts.

      2. Gee, we will start deciding which parts of the BOR matter by what rights are fashionable with the intelligentsia. That should end well.

        1. Gee, we will continue the long-standing practice of deciding which parts of the BOR matter by what rights are fashionable with the intelligentsia.

          FTFY.

        2. Gee, we will start deciding which parts of the BOR matter by what rights are fashionable with the intelligentsia.

          Exactly.

          But, just for the record, I’m not saying that’s the way it should be. I’m saying that’s the way it is.

          They don’t think our rights should be protected if they think our beliefs are stupid.

          As I intimated below, I don’t think religious beliefs are stupid. I know it isn’t fashionable to say so, even here at Hit & Run, but I see a lot of libertarian undercurrents in religious belief generally.

          If only for the fact that devoutly religious people have primary allegiances that are above and apart from the state, then that alone would mean that religion carries some inherent benefits to the libertarian cause.

          1. As I intimated below, I don’t think religious beliefs are stupid. I know it isn’t fashionable to say so, even here at Hit & Run, but I see a lot of libertarian undercurrents in religious belief generally.

            If only for the fact that devoutly religious people have primary allegiances that are above and apart from the state, then that alone would mean that religion carries some inherent benefits to the libertarian cause.

            The problem is that people are fighting through a veil of instilled faux patriotism. So many religious types, if presented their religious texts in a vacuum, would be much less statist than they are now. However, we have over a century of the state being the primary moral agent in the US (and centuries more elsewhere), so people take off their thinking caps and accept the soft (and hardening) tyranny in the name of being a “moral nation”, whatever that means.

            1. “So many religious types, if presented their religious texts in a vacuum, would be much less statist than they are now.”

              Sounds like we libertarians might be making a mistake by shying away from religion, then.

              If what you’re saying in that statement is true, then phony fundamentalists are vulnerable to real fundamentalism.

            2. “However, we have over a century of the state being the primary moral agent in the US”

              I’d take it a bit further, myself. I’d say that the state is actively corrosive of morality. Even when, perhaps especially when, it tries to act as a moral agent. When morality becomes a matter of legality, it becomes something to get around, something to comply with the letter of and leave otherwise alone. And when morality becomes a matter of prosecution, the zealousness of the prosecutor, rather than the rightness of one’s actions becomes the standard of judgement.

          2. “They don’t think our rights should be protected if they think our beliefs are stupid.”

            I think you may be right about their opinions. And I’ll add that I don’t think they’ve the matter through very much. As John suggests, that doesn’t play out well. Fashionable beliefs are, well, subject to the dictates of fashion. Right now, it’s the

            1. Geh! Accidentally hit submit.

              I was going to say, “Right now, its their enemies. Can they be so sure that it won’t be themselves tomorrow?”

        3. To be fair, I think we’ve already essentially written out the 9th and 10th as nekulturny as this trend got estabished in the 1930s.

  8. Being discriminated against is a form of personal invalidation.

    If I ever had a business, I’d make damn sure to put a giant sign up: We reserve the right to personally invalidate you, motherfuckers.

    1. A “no fags served” sign would probably be more efficient.

      1. And you could always claim it meant you didn’t sell cigarettes.

      2. That’s hugely offensive, Rhywun. Supporting your right to be so, of course, and applauding Reason giving your a forum to be so. (Sic, Iohannes, Sic)

        1. You with this word again. Can we have a list of approved speech for future postings, please?

          1. No.

            If commenters are allowed to be offensive, then commenters are also allowed to be offended and to express their discontent in a straightforward and constructive fashion. Right, Naz?

            1. To the hilt, but it’s kinda old now.

            2. You know Rhywun is a gay man, right?

              1. Uh, no, I didn’t. I don’t keep track of the personal lives of everyone on here. And while I think quite highly of many people on here I have honestly never been that good with remembering things like that.

                So, yes, I may have overreacted. But I didn’t call down a reign of fire on him.

                1. I don’t keep notes, but after 7 years hanging out here, you remember things about other long-time posters because they’ve come up a few times.

                  I forget how long you’ve been here. If you stay, you’ll see it happen.

                2. Or a rain of fire. Ugh.

            3. BTW, where I was hanging out last night before the club.

              1. Not clicking that. Assume it’s a gay bar. OK…

                1. Here in NYC, Scandals is a female strip joint. I am not clicking on that either.

                  1. Portland OR, and it’s basically SFW so long as you don’t go too far down the rabbit hole.

              2. I clicked. The site is tame.

            4. Tonio, you have the right to be offended by anything you wish. Hell, if you want, you can be offended by the words “bunnies, butterflies or flowers” and it’s no skin off my ass. I am not affected in the least.

              Telling me I can’t/shouldn’t use them, because you’re offended by them does.

              Perhaps, just perhaps, you should consider not allowing your feelings to be held hostage by a word?

        2. Um… I am a fag. So I can say it.

          My point was, if a business doesn’t want to serve gays, it would be prudent to say so openly.

          1. Um… I am a fag. So I can say it.

            Kind of like how only cheap people can say niggard?

            1. I laughed.

          2. Of course you can say it. And under contemporary etiquette I’m supposed to give you a pass on that because you’re gay. I avoid using that term myself, and wish more people would do so, but whatever.

            Second paragraph: Absolutely. But you also know that they can’t do that under CO law, at least.

            1. What do you have against cigarettes, Tonio?

          3. Rhywun, are you suggesting that homos are the only ones eligible to use the word ‘fag?’

            1. Hey, he didn’t get bleeped, did he.

        3. Perhaps rather than saying “That’s offensive” you could try saying “I’m offended at that.”

          1. An excellent point. But please do note that I didn’t characterize him as a bad person, or a hater or anything. But I’ve also taken others to task here for claiming to be arbiters of things like that, so your point is very well taken.

            1. Oh, hell no. Really, go for it, honey. It’s like Richard Pryor v Bill Cosby. Both sides are right, it’s more a matter of personal taste. If it really bothers you just give it the mental main finger and move on. Stress is a killer.

      3. Not considering how badly that overlaps with “people who want personal validation from me.”

          1. My issue is that complaining about being “personally invalidated” is not all that compelling. I’m sure that I would feel “personally invalidated” if I tried to talk to 99% of people about anything political, and cared to feel something as absurd as “personally invalidated.” Don’t go to a bakery looking for love and hugs.

            1. Oh, OK, I wasn’t sure who was supposed to be seeking validation, and from who.

              Happy Friday, Nikki.

              1. You too, Tonio.

      4. Is the baker’s policy to not serve gays, or to not tacitly support the controversial issue that a homosexual couple can be married? Because those are not quite the same thing.

    2. We reserve the right to personally invalidate you, motherfuckers.

      On that note… it is really easy to find “gay-friendly” businesses, at least in any major city. This case and similar recent cases smack of just looking for a fight – which is not my style.

    3. Taco del Mar posts a sign stating they refuse service to Ho-dads. Fortunately for them, the Ho-dad lobby isn’t very powerful.

      1. I hate to ask… WTF is a “Ho-dad”?

        1. I’m familiar with the term “Bubba Ho-Tep”.

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bubba_Ho-Tep_(film)

  9. I just had a great idea for a lawsuit-free wedding cake business. You can have a wedding cake covered in Bible verses or a wedding cake with a picture of a sad Jesus. Christian principles intact!

  10. My grandmother lived deep into her 90s, and in her 90s, she was just as sharp as anyone. Still drove herself everywhere, and she was hard to keep up with walking down the mall, too! She still conducted all of her own affairs,

    She was also profoundly religious, and she had a rental property. One time she agreed to rent a house to a couple of guys she thought were a couple of students at the local college. Before they gave her the deposit and she’d given them the keys, it became clear to her that those two guys were more than just friends…

    She went to where they lived, with her bible in hand, and showed each of them in the bible where it said that what they were doing was wrong. She also showed them what was going to happen to them if they didn’t stop what they were doing. And then she explained that she was probably close to the end of her life, and that if she rented them her house, God would hold her responsible for contributing to what they were doing.

    If the state had tried to make her rent it to them anyway, they’d have had to send the cops in and drag her away in handcuffs–and keep her imprisoned until the end of the lease.

    1. God would hold her responsible for contributing to what they were doing.

      God’s a dick like that, ya know

      1. To her, I think God was a radical libertarian, as far as things go here on earth. God sometimes doesn’t punish murderers and rapists and gay people, during their lifetimes.

        And since God generally doesn’t interfere directly, in that way, it’s incumbent on her–personally–to be an instrument of God’s will. Most of the time, that’s about doing charity work and doing unto other as…

        But sometimes spreading the gospel was about telling people that what they were doing was wrong. Mind you, she was against the government prohibiting abortion–since the government has no business legislating religion. That just invited the Anti-Christ.

        But she’s not the government, and if the government wanted to stop her from doing what she thought was right, they would have had to lock up a 95 year old woman for exercising her First Amendment rights.

        It’s an interesting question–if this baker loses the case and still refuses to bake cakes for gay people, what is the government going to do? Are they going to throw these bakers in a federal prison?

        1. Are they going to throw these bakers in a federal prison?

          Probably, if they don’t pay up, and if they try to escape they’ll be executed. Land of the Free and all.

          1. That would put some tremendous political pressure on our politicians.

            If they had thrown my 95 year old grandmother in jail for exercising her First Amendment rights, it would have been a political disaster for anybody that had the discretion to let her go and decided to keep her.

            And I think it’s going to be that way in practice for doing this to other people, too. From a libertarian strategy perspective, maybe politically unenforceable decisions are a good outcome. As the government’s rulings become increasingly unenforceable, shouldn’t the government become increasingly illegitimate?

            1. As the government’s rulings become increasingly unenforceable, shouldn’t the government become increasingly illegitimate?

              You’d like to think, but group coordination is still fairly hard-wired into the human brain so this shit could (will) probably get a lot worse before it gets better.

        2. Mind you, she was against the government prohibiting abortion–since the government has no business legislating religion. That just invited the Anti-Christ.

          By this logic, wouldn’t it be wrong for the government to prohibit murder?

          1. I think my grandmother’s idea was that government was inherently corrupt, but that there were some things that it had to do–and that was one of the reasons why it was inherently corrupt.

            Heaven is a place where free people don’t need laws anymore–they treat each other fairly of their own free will. You can’t get into heaven unless you’ve reached that state.

            She also believed that, let’s fact it, a reinvigorated Catholic church would someday take over the government and persecute true Christians. And that anyone who puts their faith in government is being fooled by the devil.

            Hard to believe I ended up libertarian, ain’t it!

            She also believed in things like turning the other cheek, that if you’re drafted into the military that you should be a conscientious objector, she was devoutly religious–and, yeah, it permeated everything about her. She, really, believed in turning the other cheek. She wouldn’t even sue anybody.

    2. I wonder how she thought her god would treat her for failure to do due diligence?

      1. And for breaking promises (lying, basically).

        1. “Before they gave her the deposit and she’d given them the keys, it became clear to her that those two guys were more than just friends…

          Not clear to me that any promises were broken; if she’d signed a lease, I suspect she might have lived with it–and refused to renew when the lease was up.

          In the meantime, I bet she’d have pestered them to go move somewhere else and would have offered to make what accommodation was necessary for them to leave.

          Anyway, I don’t see anything in the First Amendment that says people’s free exercise rights are only protected if there isn’t any hint of hypocrisy. Grandma was the most stridently unhypocritical Christian I ever knew–but the First Amendment is there to protect hypocritical people, too.

  11. I want to get mad over the forced cake labor and then I remember everyone who pays taxes is a slave the state and despair instead.

    1. Taxes is one thing…

      But there are certain things people will not compromise on, and trying to force them to compromise on those things only leads to disaster. Our forefathers, with an eye to the Reformation, etc., wisely recognized that religion is one of those things.

      The abortion debate is only a small taste of that kind of thing. In most people’s minds, the government isn’t really forcing anyone to participate in an abortion. They’re merely asking you to tolerate what other people are doing.

      But once the government starts mandating that people actually violate their own religious convictions–rather than merely asking them to tolerate the behavior of others or to let their pooled taxes do something? Then you’re in big danger of a backlash.

      1. The abortion debate

        Doesn’t start until Saturday morning, plz.

  12. Could a bakery be forced to make one of these cakes for a gay wedding?

    1. Not clicking the link, but may I assume it’s a poorly crafted dick cake?

      1. +1 Patrick Stewart SNL skit.

  13. ‘No, your religious beliefs, while important, do not trump discrimination laws,” says ACLU attorney Amanda Goad

    Fuck the ACLU.

    1. Fuck the ACLU.

      This.

    2. Be careful what you wish for SIV. I know you SOCONZ get a major case of the redass about some positions the ACLU takes, but they are responsible for miranda rights and a lot of free speech, which innures to your benefit.

      1. If someone stops kicking me in the arm I do not have to stop protesting them also breaking my arms. The ACLU is the matrix. One more level of control.

        1. OK, then… [backs away slowly]

      2. But they have a long standing policy that having a right to do something is equivalent to having a right for it to be paid for by money extracted from others by force- assuming that this accords with leftist desires. If memory serves, they have also come down firmly on the side of mandated discrimination in college admissions and hiring. So… fuck ’em.

    3. and the mask slips – your first amendment rights are trumped, according to the ACLU, by the state’s power to force you into doing business with people whose money you do not want.

      1. Yes, ‘beliefs’ can and will be outlawed. Thoughtcrime will be punished.

    4. ACLU attorney Amanda Goad

      Apparently, SIV was the man she goaded.

    5. No, your religious beliefs Constitutional rights, while important, do not trump discrimination laws legislation,” says ACLU attorney Amanda Goad

      This is supposed to be an attorney?

      1. I’ve seen political advocacy masquerading as scholarship, but this is one form of political advocacy masquerading as another.

        If the Constitution gets in the way of furthering this cause, apparently, the ACLU is against the Constitution.

        1. Duh. This is not news. Their page on the subject explicitly says that not only do they think that the Second Amendment doesn’t protect an individual right, but that they think the Supreme Court got it wrong in Heller.

  14. Apparently, you don’t exist unless the government says you do.

  15. You can believe what you want, just as long as you don’t hurt the feelings of someone in a protected class.

    1. I this case, it’s okay to believe what you want–just so long as your actions aren’t in harmony with your beliefs.

      1. What’s the point of freedom of religion if acting upon your religious beliefs is criminal?

        1. There isn’t one, that’s the point.

  16. your first amendment rights are trumped, according to the ACLU, by the state’s power to force you into doing business with people whose money you do not want.

    Yes, exactly. If the ACLU had not completely destroyed their credibility on actual civil liberties, I might give a fuck what they say.

    1. Man, those “green” companies must have filled his coffers something fierce.

  17. If you don’t have the freedom to discriminate, then you don’t have freedom.

    Only the government should be prohibited from discrimination (and that would be really easy if the government operated within the limits of its powers).

  18. It’s only a matter of time before sexual orientation is going to become a federally protected legal class; that’s clearly what all this is inevitably headed towards. And anyone who doesn’t like it is simply going to have to take it in the rear, so to speak.

    1. Yep. Next SCOTUS case on gay marriage will go there. Guaranteed.

  19. “Being discriminated against is a form of personal invalidation. It’s being degraded and put on a lower level than other people in society”

    Why did you choose that baker? Aren’t you discriminating against the other bakers, especially the ones who will happily meet your needs? Aren’t you discriminating against someone who doesn’t share your values?

    Why no, you aren’t forcing this issue at all.

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