Gay Marriage

The Beginning of the End of Religious Freedom

Compelling bakers to bake cakes part of a broader drive to limit faith-based decisions by private businesses.

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Just in case you need a refresher: Back in 2012, a baker in the Denver suburb of Lakewood was asked by a gay couple to make them a wedding cake—two years before gay marriage was even legalized in Colorado. The owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop, Jack Phillips, declined to participate in Charlie Craig and David Mullins' celebration because such an event conflicted with his Christian faith.

Here are a few things Phillips didn't do: He didn't query consumers about their sexual preferences. He didn't bar same-sex couples from purchasing a cake at a place of public accommodation. He didn't ask consumers traveling in same-sex pairs to leave his shop. He didn't hang a "No Gays Allowed" sign in his window.

What he could never have known when he first opened his shop was that celebrating gay marriages would be a precondition for making a living. And when you consider that there are at least a few dozen other bakeries within a short drive from Masterpiece Cakeshop that could have accommodated the couple's celebratory pastry needs, why would he?

Yet instead of exhibiting a basic level of tolerance (or dignity), two priggish bullies decided to call the authorities when Phillips refused to bake them a cake. And the cultural commissars at the Colorado Civil Rights Commission soon ruled that he had discriminated against the couple.

The shop was not only ordered to alter store policy and start baking cakes for gay weddings—or else face debilitating fines, a consequence often reported on by the media—but also forced to provide comprehensive staff training, ensure compliance and then file quarterly obedience reports with the government for two years. In these reports, Phillips has to describe exactly which remedial measures the shop has taken to conform and document the reasons any other patrons were denied service.

So, you know, I'm sure this is exactly how Thomas Jefferson imagined America would turn out when he was writing the Declaration of Independence.

Phillips appealed the decision, and a three-panel Colorado Court of Appeals unanimously decided that Masterpiece Cakeshop's policy against creating wedding cakes for same-sex couples was a "discriminatory and unfair practice," further ruling that the shop must continue to answer to the Colorado Civil Rights Commission or else be run out of business.

Incredibly, the court acknowledged in its decision that it would have looked at the First Amendment arguments more closely had the gay couple ordered a cake with some explicit messaging that advocated gay marriage. In other words, the Colorado Court of Appeals believes that the threshold for denying religious liberty is the presence of advocacy. The court has effectively tasked itself with determining for you when religion should matter.

If nothing else, it's comforting to know that Colorado can force an orthodox Muslim butcher to make sausages for a polyamorous, bisexual bachelor/bachelorette party, as long as no one asks the butcher to outwardly promote swine and free love.

In any event, I'm sure there will be an appeal. But seeing as most Americans are fine with gay marriage and simultaneously put off by unpleasant (though deceptive, in this case) words such as "discrimination" and "prejudice," the courts—nearly always driven by the vagaries of public opinion—will find a way to force all to comply. This will go for any other businesses even tangentially related to weddings, such as food catering, music and so on. And the crusade will accelerate until the legal lynch mob gets to religious institutions. No doubt advocates will work backward to come up with a great legal rationalization for all of it.

All of this is not to say that in American life, the minority should never be compelled to surrender to some form of majoritarianism, judicial force or government. In this case, though, the minority does not have the ability to compromise without abandoning its faith. The other side refuses to compromise precisely because of this reality. And courts and commissions around the country are willing to destroy businesses—businesses that sometimes took a large part of a lifetime to build—by ignoring one of the most vital functions of the First Amendment.

The position of these businesspeople, unlike Southern racists decades ago, in no way undermines the newfound right of gay Americans to marry, nor does it inhibit them from enjoying freedom or finding happiness. In this case, only one side is attempting to legislate morality.

If you admit—and many rational people do, even those who quarrel with the reasoning behind religious obstinacy—that millions of Christians hold some form of a genuine, long-standing religious conviction that prohibits them from celebrating gay marriages but you still support state coercion against them, then you might as well just concede that religious freedom isn't compatible with your conception of a contemporary society.

Whereas at one time the state wouldn't substantially burden religious exercise and would use the least restrictive means to further "compelling interests," the state today is inclined to substantially burden a Christian by the mere fact that someone's feelings are hurt.

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  1. Yet instead of exhibiting a basic level of tolerance (or dignity), two priggish bullies decided to call the authorities when Phillips refused to bake them a cake.

    And this is the problem with marriage as a form of activism. This couple is making certain the war will continue. The Christian right may have railed against same-sex marriage but could show no real damage because of it. Here, they can. The existence of same-sex marriage does in no way diminish traditional marriage and we all know it. They know it, but it’s all they had. But when its official recognition leads to situations where it actually bump up against the rights of the religious, Christians can show a real negative consequence. It’s counterproductive to the cause to use public accommodation laws as a weapon in this war.

    As for the owners of Masterpiece Cakeshop, if you want to use religion as a defense against partaking in same-sex marriage, I suggest converting to Islam.

    1. eh the problem’s deeper than that. granting “religious” exceptions to laws puts the govt in the position of having to be like “well, you seem sincere in your faith, but this guy over here is clearly just faking it to get something”, which doesn’t really seem to me to be a decision the government can or should be making. also, why do your convictions carry more weight if you dress them up in theistic language? federally, someone who says their god tells them to smoke weed can smoke weed but if you want to because you have experience with it and you know it relieves your symptoms you’re outta luck. we have to keep in mind how prevalent religion was when “freedom of religion” was put forward as such an important right. it essentially means “freedom of thought”

      1. You’re exactly right. Not baking someone a cake for any reason when you’re in the baking business is dumb, but the government shouldn’t have any say in it. Let the market deal with it instead.

        1. There should be no excemption, let them accommodate however they can. “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s’.
          Let them foist a Biblical tract on the public with each purchase. There. Magic.
          Who cares? God doesn’t. It’s like paying taxes.

          1. There should be no need for an exemption. The government shouldn’t be deciding who may or may not do business with someone else, and what reasons are appropriate for declining someone’s money for a product or service.

            1. Where it gets nasty is when does offering a public accommodation to all comers constitute “compelled speech” and thus a 1A violation? Why does Walmart have the right to not sell a cake with a Rebel flag on it? A generic wedding cake would be a mere public accommodation, but putting rainbow flags and two grooms/brides and “Congrats Bill and Steve” would be considered compelled speech.

        2. but the government shouldn’t have any say in it.

          But the government does have a say in it. And it has constructed a legal framework for why it has a say in it. And religions are a special class under that framework and they are not clamoring to end that special status. Given that background, what is the justification for granting religions that special status but denying it to other classes of people?

          1. You do know that you’re on a libertarian site, right? From a libertarian perspective, no one, religious or not, should have a special exemption from the law–but all these laws that establish what are the appropriate reasons when one may or may not discriminate should also go away. For a libertarian, the answer to “Why didn’t you bake that nice gay couple a cake?” when asked by a government stooge should be “None of your business.” And that would be the end of it. No need to pull out a Bible and explain yourself. You get to do business, or not, with whoever you want. If you’re foolish enough to discriminate against your customers, you will be punished by the market, not by the same government that was also discriminating against gays by not letting them get married.

            Yes, we are aware of what the law is. I’m pretty sure we could agree all day long that the law has gone from mandating discrimination (Jim Crow) to banning it if it is based on certain things. There’s no dispute about what the law is. The discussion is about what it should be.

            1. There’s no dispute about what the law is. The discussion is about what it should be.

              Yes, and many people, in particular Christian conservatives, argue effectively that the law should be that Christians remain a protected class under non-discrimination and public accommodations laws, while homosexuals should be denied that status. I’m pointing out that that position is bullshit: it is neither libertarian nor just.

              1. You’ll get no argument from me there!

          2. Uh…I seem to recall a document called the Bill of Rights appended to the Constitution.

      2. No, historically “freedom of religion” did not boil down to “freedom of thought”. The reason is that thoughts were usu. private, while religions organized publicly.

    2. They know it, but it’s all they had. But when its official recognition leads to situations

      Official recognition of gay marriage had nothing to do with this case.

      It’s counterproductive to the cause to use public accommodation laws as a weapon in this war.

      Religion is a special, protected class under public accommodation laws, and lots of other groups want the same status. If there is a “war”, it is about religions defending special privileges relative to other forms of private association.

      What the “war” should be about is restoring everybody’s liberties, that is, abolishing public accommodation laws. But that is not something that either churches, conservatives, or LGBT activists are doing.

      1. Totally agree. Businesses are people too. Why can a white renter refuse to rent from a black person, but a white landlord can’t refuse to rent to a black renter. What’s the difference? The difference is the even greater bigotry that so many in this country hold against businessmen. Just try to think of all the laws that are in place to protect employees from employers. There are entire agencies of government dedicated to it. Now, think of all the laws in place to protect employers from employees. Basically, there are none.

        “Oh, but those rich greedy businessmen don’t need any protection”, you say. If that is, indeed what you say, then you are a bigot.

    3. Ezekiel 4:15.

      Then he said unto me, Lo, I have given thee cow’s dung for man’s dung, and thou shalt prepare thy bread therewith.

      When that bakery starts baking their bread with cow shit, then I will let them claim religious exemption when refusing products to homosexuals for the use in a wedding. Otherwise, they can shut up and bake their cakes.

    4. Ezekiel 4:15.

      Then he said unto me, Lo, I have given thee cow’s dung for man’s dung, and thou shalt prepare thy bread therewith.

      When that bakery starts baking their bread with cow shit, then I will let them claim religious exemption when refusing products to homosexuals for the use in a wedding. Otherwise, they can shut up and bake their cakes.

      1. Yay freedom.

  2. Light the John Signal.

    Of all the things that libertarians favor, the most logical and reasonable (drink!) is the least likely to ever happen: the elimination of public accommodation laws and restoration of freedom of association.

    1. Too many people will agree with him for the threads to grow to 500 comments. But that won’t stop him from claiming that this is exactly what libertarians wanted all along since we are assholes that hate religious people.

      1. If you saw this coming (and you’d have to be a certified moron not to) then you either wanted it to happen or didn’t care.

        1. Maybe I’m a moron then, because I honestly thought the 1A would be enough to shut this shit down.

          1. As soon as marriage started being argued as a civil right, I knew that the purpose was to sue anyone who disagrees. I was soundly mocked and derided for saying that, and guess what? I was right.

          2. Never, ever, underestimate the ability of progressives to hold and nurture a grudge, then use the government to apply it to people they feel think bad thoughts. This is exactly the reason that my cousin John, who has been with his partner for longer than my parents have been together (we’re talking 40+ years now) never wanted same sex marriage, just the ability to write his partner in for medical and financial decisions in case of incapacitation or death.

            1. then use the government to apply it to people they feel think bad thoughts

              You mean kind of like blasphemy laws?

              1. You mean kind of like blasphemy laws?

                Yes. Exactly like blasphemy laws. Only in this case the religion is statism, and political incorrectness is the new blasphemy.

                1. Good, so you recognize that this is a case of the pot calling the kettle black. In fact, religious conservatives still want blasphemy laws.

          3. That’s because you have an overly expansive interpretation of the First Amendment.

          4. This is not a first amendment issue — it’s a discrimination issue. The baker broke the law.

            1. There were people who disobeyed the Fugitive Slave Act, too, by failing to return escaped slaves to their masters. Believe it or not, the law isn’t the be-all and end-all when it comes to what is moral. Some of us believe that the government shouldn’t compel someone to do anything except to stop harming or defrauding someone else. And no, making them walk all the way to the bakery on the next block does not constitute harm. It just constitutes a stupid business decision, and bad theology if you’re doing it for religious reasons.

              1. Some of us believe that the government shouldn’t compel someone to do anything except to stop harming or defrauding someone else.

                And people who have held that principled belief had fifty years to campaign actively against religion being a special class under civil rights laws. Have they done so? No. Quite the opposite: conservative Christians overwhelmingly claim and demand that status.

                The obvious conclusion is that by and large, conservative Christians are not principled crusaders against government coercion. What they seem to generally advocate is a society in which they can use government coercion against others while not being subjected to it themselves.

                1. “The obvious conclusion is that by and large, conservative Christians are not principled crusaders against government coercion.”

                  No, they are not. But that does not mean that I, or others here who believe that government has no business either prohibiting gay marriage or forcing people to provide services for gay marriage, are not arguing from a principled position. And it doesn’t make sense to say that since some who are arguing for a certain position are unprincipled, the position itself is wrong.

                  1. are not arguing from a principled position

                    You’re not making a consistent argument at all. All you are saying is that in an ideal libertarian society, there shouldn’t be public accommodation laws at all. That’s correct.

                    Beyond that, you are simply making the vague implication that somehow it advances the cause of liberty and libertarianism if conservative Christians are exempted from, or refuse to, comply with public accommodation laws, but you fail to come up with any principled argument supporting that position.

                    1. No, I didn’t say that at all. My position is that no one should be subject to such laws. if someone is not punished under an unreasonable law for the wrong reasons, that is less troublesome than someone being punished under an unreasonable law, or the existence of the unreasonable law itself.

                      The War on Drugs should end, and the laws that undergird it should be repealed. That doesn’t mean I should be angry when someone avoids punishment for a drug law violation because of jury nullification instead of the laws being repealed.

                      But beyond that, I have not, once, argued in favor of a religious exemption to these laws. I have argued against the forced association and involuntary servitude that the laws/policies create, not in favor of exempting certain people from them because of their beliefs. In fact, I would go so far as to say that if we make it about their beliefs, that would put the government in the position of evaluating the worthiness of the bakers’ theological arguments, which would certainly be offensive to the 1st Amendment. And, in my view, on those grounds, the bakers would lose.

                2. And people who have held that principled belief had fifty years to campaign actively against religion being a special class under civil rights laws. Have they done so? No. Quite the opposite: conservative Christians overwhelmingly claim and demand that status.

                  1. “people who have held that principled belief” are not “conservative Christians.”
                  2. “campaign(ing) actively against religion being a special class under civil rights laws” (or, more accurately, including everyone else in the special class) is something we have done. Getting enough votes to enact it is a bit more difficult.

              2. What if it were the only business that conducted the service? Bakeries are ubiquitous, but what if another provider is not accessible?

            2. Breaking the law just like cannabis smokers do? Like laws that enforced slavery? A bad law is a bad law! It looks like the law is being used, like a club, to beat the Christians into submission!

              They should claim a disability related to the, severe, psychiatric trauma, go bankrupt, shut down the business, and go on disability. Problem solved! No business expense. No worrying about being forced by the government to do something they feel that should not! Then, they could only bake, for church bake sales, or other Christians, at home! Government would not have to know about that, would they?! It would be just as profitable if they did not have to pay all of those pesky business and personal taxes!

              Is it not discriminatory to sue people, of certain religious beliefs, that won’t participate in what they see as wrong? Would it apply to Muslim restaurants or bakeries? Sue because they won’t cook or serve pork?! Or, even better, asking to bake a cake in the shape and image of Muhammad?! They believe in killing gays! Would that make a difference? Instead of refusing a cake, they could send a stoning hit squad to the gay wedding. Now that would be discrimination! But, who would even threaten suits against the poor Muslims?!

          5. because unlike other laws, civil rights laws usually only require the plaintiff to be merely offended, not actually harmed, in order to file and win their suit.

            In most cases they couldn’t prove harm, as there is no substantial burden to them finding SOMEONE who will accommodate them. Instead, they use the law to bully all dissenters, in an attempt to assure 100% accommodation

  3. Did someone leave the cake out in the rain?

    1. Yes

      And I’ll never have that recipe again, oh noooooo

      1. “Dammitall! Again?!”

        /MacArthur Park Bakery

      2. OH NO!!!

    2. I don’t think that I can take it because it took so long to bake it

    3. I don’t think I can take it…

  4. Based on my understanding of Christianity, denying someone a service or product is about the dumbest way I can think of to share your faith. Jesus told his followers to visit people in prison (Matthew 25); he didn’t say “but just the innocent ones!” He told them that, as was the law during the Roman occupation, a soldier ordered someone to carry his gear for him for a mile (that was the legally mandated maximum distance), he should carry it two miles (see the “Bake For Them Two” article applying this principle from Matthew 5:41 to government-mandated gay wedding cakes).

    So on theological grounds, the whole refusal-to-bake-a-cake thing is utterly stupid. But you know what? You STILL have the right to exercise your faith as you fail to understand it. Or, for that matter, your biases. You have the right to be completely wrong, as long as you’re not hurting other people, by, say, holding a government office and refusing to allow people to get married if you don’t like the color of their skin or the orientation of their sex. It’s not about religion, it’s about allowing people to be free to make choices we disagree with. Because if you are only free to do what “society” says is okay, then you’re not free at all, are you?

    1. Your understanding of Christianity is then shallow. I can’t bear to have to say what so many have already said but just a reminder that Jesus said ” Go and sin no more “.

      But of course that’s irrelevant to the issue at hand. They should be able to bake for whatever they want and for whomever they want. As you say “it’s about allowing people to be free to make choices we disagree with”

      1. They should be able to bake for whatever they want and for whomever they want.

        Everybody should be able to bake for whatever they want. Granting that right only based on someones claim to what their faith is is absurd. It’s even more absurd given that the people who don’t want to be coerced that way want to continue to be able to have the state coerce others to accommodate them.

      2. I’m not Jesus. You might want to check your drivers’ license, and if you’re not either, then at least we have that in common!

        So Jesus said “Go and sin no more.” He said that to the woman caught in adultery. He didn’t say it to her bloodied, unmoving body lying under the rocks she’d been pelted with after he was asked what they should do with her, and he said, “Let ’em fly, boys!” Rather, he said it after he very creatively pointed out the hypocrisy of the crowd (if neither you nor I has “Jesus” on our driver’s license, then both of us are sinners, too) and saved her from what was seen as the legitimate penalty for her sin: death. And he didn’t ask her before providing this “service” if she would sin no more, and he didn’t make providing that “service” contingent on her agreeing to no longer sin.

        1. Yep. I don’t disagree with any of that.
          Here’s the latest from one of those despicable, hate-filled bakers
          “Oregon Christian bakers fined $135k respond by sending home-baked cakes to LGBT activists” (can’t include link but you can find the article)

          1. Here ’tis:
            http://dailysignal.com/2015/08…..on-bakers/

            And yes, that’s exactly the right thing to do.

            1. Was that before or after they doxxed and publicized the lesbian couple’s information leading to death threats and the possibility of losing their adopted child because of safety concerns? That’s a part of the story I also read about.

              1. Was that before or after they doxxed and publicized the lesbian couple’s information leading to death threats and the possibility of losing their adopted child because of safety concerns?

                Why would they have to dox/publicize it? People aren’t and shouldn’t be able to bring the state hammer to bear in complete anonymity.

                1. The above commentators made a point of how gentlemanly the bakers have been behaving. Publicizing the home address, phone number, and email of a person who filed a complaint against you, however, is not gentlemanly.

                  1. OK, now read what I wrote.

                    You didn’t present any suggestion that the baker’s themselves publicly disclosed it and the notion that they did is nonsense since the complaint was filed with a State Regulatory Agency and is, de facto, public information to begin with. Even if the baker did disclose the information (in addition to public records), it’s not as if this were a secret wedding and it’s not as if the baker didn’t receive similar threats to life and livelihood.

                    Not saying I agree that everyone’s acted to the top of their abilities, but you’re on a libertarian forum pointing to the people being given the government rod and saying, “They aren’t very gentlemanly either!”.

                    Seriously, I’m trying to interpret your statements with the best of intentions, but a rather obvious reading (that I hope you’ve just missed) is that to want to throw out other large parts of the Const. (not just the 1st but Due Process as well) in order to make sure the State of Oregon can punish these baker’s “equally”.

                    1. You’ve made a lot of assumptions and have tried to change the topic to try and win something. The comments I responded to presented the bakers in question as acting very civil and gentlemanly on the issue. However, they publicized the personal information (home address, phone, and email) of the couple that filed the complaint. That shows that the bakers have not been perfect gentlemen and ladies in this case.

                      That’s all that I said.

                      Now, if you’re curious, I’m not defending public accommodation laws. Read my other comments on this page. I made my post because I don’t want people to think that the bakers in the case only acted saintly and virtuous, which was the impression given by the comments I responded to. The bakers could have drawn attention to their cause and their arguments without publicizing the personal information of the couple that filed the complaint. The fact that they did shows that bakers in these situations can also be vindictive. I’m not interested in the narrative that saintly Christian bakers are righteous and virtuous if that isn’t the case. Facts are facts.

              2. I am referring only to the one act cited in the link. Denying them service in the first place was dumb–though they were certainly within their rights to do so–and I’m not defending their releasing information about the couple…although the responsibility for death threats falls squarely on the hypocritical lunatics who made them.

                1. I wouldn’t fault you for anything. That was the information you had.

      3. Understanding, or lack thereof should not even be a concern here. You either respect the right of others to practice their religion as they see fit, or you do not.

        Going out of your way to compel action from another – against their expressed – belief simply does not comport with the NAP.

        1. Going out of your way to compel action from another – against their expressed – belief simply does not comport with the NAP.

          First of all, you’re misapplying the NAP. A gay customer suing a fundamentalist baker doesn’t violate the NAP, any more than a fundamentalist customer suing a gay baker. What violates the NAP is the actual enforcement by the state of non-discrimination and public accommodation laws. So, it is these non-discrimination laws and public accommodation laws themselves and their enforcement that are incompatible with libertarian principles.

          But these laws exist, and religion is already a “protected class” under pretty much all of them, and the religious have been using these laws for half a century to compel action from others. It is absurd when the religious now object that they may be compelled in the same way that they have been compelling others for a long time.

          1. The gun did’t kill him, the bullet did. They are simply using the government as their istrument of destruction. Would it be an NAP violation of they confiscated the bakers’ property themselves? This is no different.

            1. Would it be an NAP violation of they confiscated the bakers’ property themselves?

              Yes.

              This is no different.

              This is quite different. First of all, the government isn’t a passive object, it is composed of people with agency and free will. More importantly, though, religious groups have no objection to this use of government coercion against others, they simply dislike it when it is applied to them.

              I’d also point out that you probably harbor some illusions about what libertarianism means with respect to public accommodations. While under a libertarian government, the government can’t force you to bake cakes for people you don’t like, the HOA, private road owner, private business association, financial institution, etc. that you do business with very much can do just that. Even under libertarian government, most businesses would likely end up being subject to the same kinds of public accommodation rules as we have now, just implemented through private contracts and covenants.

        2. I think the blatant misunderstanding of religious freedom is the application of “their beliefs as they see fit.”

          That isn’t religious freedom. That’s just freedom. And freedom does have limitations when it begins to infringe upon the rights of others.

          1. The right to cake?

            1. I have heard it referred to as the “we don’t serve your kind” case I understand that they are in the business of baking cakes, and the do this for those who come in and ask for one. If they refused to make a cake for Blacks (mark of Cain) or Jews(Christ killers), I think this would have a completely different tone. Plenty of people hold those views, and take them seriously. Others are comparing this to forcing a Kosher or Halal butcher to serve pork. But that is completely different. They were asked to sell the same thing they sell to anyone else, but refused because these customers are cursed sodomites. It sounds to me that both sides of this issue are rude extremists.

    2. But you know what? You STILL have the right to exercise your faith as you fail to understand it. Or, for that matter, your biases.

      No, you don’t have that right. You should, but the reality is different than that and always will be.

      1. Sorry, as much as I like candy, I have to disagree with you in principle. I’m going to go with the notion that rights are inherent, and that the problem is that government fails to recognize that right.

        Unfortunately, in practical terms, that and a quarter won’t even buy me a cup of coffee anymore.

        1. You actually haven’t disagreed with me. We both agree that you SHOULD have that right, and we both agree that, de facto, you don’t.

          So where’s the disagreement?

          1. But I want so much to disagree! I think it was more a matter of me saying that the right still “exists”, hiding inside us, waiting to pop out and not get curb-stomped by the government.

        2. Experimental results disprove the existence of that right.

    3. I don’t think Jesus would have catered a Taxpayer and Hooker Appreciation Day.

      But He *did* eat with taxpayers and hookers, in their capacity as human beings with immortal souls.

      I think that’s a distinction which can be grasped.

    4. Jesus dined with tax collectors and hookers and other sinners, in their capacity as human beings with immortal souls.

      He did not cater a Tax-Collector Appreciation Day or a Jerusalem Gentlemen’s Club Discount Saturday.

      I think there’s a distinction.

      When Jesus helped cater a wedding (at Cana) the Church cites this to show He supported marriage (though He wasn’t married Himself). Had He catered a Hooker Appreciation Dinner at the gentleman’s club, this would have been evidence that he was for prostitution.

    5. Wedding cakes and photos are more than selling an item over the counter – it requires to providers to be at the wedding. Very few if any of these businesses cited have refused to sell over the counter

  5. The Beginning of the End of Religious Freedom

    Foreseeable consequences something something unintended.

  6. IDK why would you buy from a place that feels that way? I guess some would have no choice and some would just delight in the angst it causes, but I don’t want any particular animosity between me and a food prep person.
    Although I have a general distaste for organized religion, and a particular distaste for the one causing the most problems in the US, I can see some of their point. It’s not as big a point as the civil rights side, but I see it.
    How about they just hand them a biblical tract with every purchase and count it as fishing for souls?
    Didn’t Jesus conduct his affairs with people that others said he should shun? I’m paraphrasing, no bible at hand.

    1. IDK why would you buy from a place that feels that way?

      To make a point, perhaps to win a suit, and to bathe in the warm waters of righteous indignation.

    2. Although I have a general distaste for organized religion, and a particular distaste for the one causing the most problems in the US, I can see some of their point.

      One organised religion causing the most problems in the US? You mean statism, right?

      Personally, I can see how an acceptance of Civil Rights (esp. as they exist today) with a simultaneous distaste for religion could be *the* underlying cause of many of these problems as well.

  7. So a self-identified, bi-racial, bi-sexual, transgender, transvestite, who happens to be a white supremacist, walks into a vegan bakery and says:

    Bake me a white cake with lots of butter, milk, and whipped cream. It’s for my gay white power wedding.

    1. I think that’s an easier one. “I don’t use those ingredients and we don’t have them in stock.” It’s like demanding a motorcycle from a car dealer.

      But the baker had better be prepared to supply vegan cake (which is the product offered to the public) to the gay white power wedding.

    2. Bake me a white cake with lots of butter, milk, and whipped cream. It’s for my gay white power wedding.

      Not a whipped chocolate buttercream frosting? Huh.

    3. There should be bacon.

  8. that millions of Christians hold some form of a genuine, long-standing religious conviction

    So you are advocating that the measure of whether someone can get out of complying with government coercion should be whether their convictions are “genuine, long-standing [and] religious”? What if I object to something merely on moral grounds, not on religious grounds? Does it make a difference if I converted 10 years ago or just yesterday? Who decides what grounds are “religious” and what ground are not?

    The idea that “faith-based” justifications should have any special legal status is absurd. In fact, granting them that legal status means that government gets into the business of deciding which beliefs are religious in nature and which ones aren’t, effectively an establishment of religion.

    Government shouldn’t force any business to bake cakes for anybody. But as long as it forces businesses to bake cakes under existing laws, those laws should apply to everybody.

    then you might as well just concede that religious freedom isn’t compatible with your conception of a contemporary society.

    No, I simply assert that your understanding of “religious freedom” is wrong.

    1. I simply assert that your understanding of “religious freedom” is wrong.

      Well, that is it then…

      The idea that “faith-based” justifications should have any special legal status is absurd.

      You might need to trim a few words out of Amendment I.

      1. It would at first appear that way, but I’m not sure that’s the case. What might really be needed is a good pruning of the laws that have grown up around, and often in spite of, the Constitution. The First Amendment doesn’t really grant exemptions to law if there’s a religious justification; it simply says that we shouldn’t have laws that restrict or privilege certain religious beliefs.

        The sort of laws that most libertarians would approve of don’t run much risk of impinging on religious freedom unless, say, human sacrifice is an important part of your faith. It’s when we start having laws that interfere with free association or even create “thought crimes” that we begin to have First Amendment problems.

      2. You might need to trim a few words out of Amendment I.

        The First Amendment doesn’t grant any special rights to religions, it simply clarifies rights people already have. In fact, giving special legal status to religious justifications itself contravenes the “establishment of religion” prohibition, because it places courts into the position of deciding which objections to laws are based on valid religions and which ones are not.

        In addition, the First Amendment was clearly intended as a limitation on “Congress”, not the states (since the states violated those terms at the time), and it clearly refers to “exercise of religion” (i.e., religious services) and “establishment of religion” (i.e., state recognition of religion).

        Extending this (as we have done in the past) to mean “no government at any level in the US shall make any laws that inconvenience people of particular faiths in any way” or “you can claim an exemption from any law you don’t like by claiming that it contravenes your faith” is absurd, and it’s time to reverse that absurdity and return to some sense of constitutional sanity.

        1. Agreed–and I should have been consistent with my post above and said “recognizes” in regards to rights rather than “grants”. I still maintain that the laws which require people to make pleadings about their special rights under the First Amendment are often laws that are overreaching in the first place.

        2. And the most obvious way to reverse it is to expand the number of protected classes and expand the state nvolvement in marriage, right?

          We like incrementalism in certain directions but not others.

          1. And the most obvious way to reverse it is to expand the number of protected classes and expand the state nvolvement in marriage, right?

            The only way to get rid of these laws is to abolish them. As long as we have them, we should use these laws in a way most consistent with equal protection and equality under the law.

            We like incrementalism in certain directions but not others.

            Correct. Incrementalism in some directions works, but often it doesn’t.

            For example, free markets are the economically best choice. Regulated markets with high taxation are not as good. But you don’t make progress towards a free market by exempting a few favorite companies from regulation and taxation in such a regulated and highly taxed market; such exemptions are the essence of rent seeking, political corruption, and crony capitalism.

            Incrementalism that results in special privileges and rights available to powerful, wealthy groups ideologically fundamentally opposed to libertarianism is a bad idea. It’s also not consistent with libertarian principles, because it’s really the social equivalent of rent seeking and crony capitalism.

            1. But exemptions for companies is propaganda by deed. People will see how well those exemptions work for them, & want exemptions for themselves too. That’s how legal gambling is spreading.

  9. The big lie from the “lgbt” crowd has always been: Just leave us alone. We want to live our lives in peace.

    Bull. It’s always been about non-conformity and social exhibitionism. You WILL notice them, celebrate them and march in their parades.

    If tomorrow, heterosexuality was deemed to be an abnormal minority, today’s “lgbt” person would all of a sudden be as straight as can be.

    And if/when a gay gene is discovered, you’ll suddenly find the “lgbt” crowd more pro life than Falwell and Robertson combined. Their TV show will be The LGBTPTL Club.

    1. The big lie from the “lgbt” crowd has always been: Just leave us alone. We want to live our lives in peace. Bull. It’s always been about non-conformity and social exhibitionism. You WILL notice them, celebrate them and march in their parades.

      So you are saying that people who have been clear about being in your face for decades simultaneously lied to you about just wanting to be left alone? That’s insane.

      LGBT organizations have been clear about demanding equality. Since there are numerous non-discrimination laws creating special classes based on religion, that naturally includes a demand for equality in that area as well.

      And if/when a gay gene is discovered, you’ll suddenly find the “lgbt” crowd more pro life than Falwell and Robertson combined. Their TV show will be The LGBTPTL Club.

      I’m sure lots of LGBT folks would lobby for prohibitions on prenatal testing for homosexuality if it became possible. What is your point?

      1. LGBT organizations have been clear about demanding equality.

        Then maybe they should read the 14th amendment.

        1. Well, why don’t you read it. And then explain to me how “equal protection” applies when Christians currently can legally discriminate against homosexuals, but homosexuals can’t legally discriminate against Christians? Legally, sexual orientation should be treated just like religion.

          In fact, the simplest legal way of getting this issue off the table is to create a “Church of Homosexuality” and then apply the regular religious non-discrimination and public accommodation laws.

          1. How is it “discrimination” to refuse to bake a cake? There is no right violated there, just hurt feelings.

            1. How is it “discrimination” to refuse to bake a cake?

              It’s “discrimination” in the legal sense (well, and technically also in the linguistic sense). That is, you are not supposed to distinguish (“discriminate”) between customers based on an irrelevant attribute.

              There is no right violated there, just hurt feelings.

              There obviously is a legal right violated here under Oregon law. If you say that that legal right shouldn’t exist, I fully agree. But that legal right currently exists both for Christians and for homosexuals, so if you are going to abolish it, you should abolish it for both.

          2. Go back to magical fairy land and ride your unicorn.

          3. Its not that Christians should be able to discriminate against homosexuals, its that no one should be forced to do business with anyone else. Businesses should have the right to refuse to do business with anyone for any reason. That’s basically the definition of voluntary exchange.

            1. I fully agree. But Christian conservatives are effectively arguing that Christians should have the right to coerce others to serve them, while denying that right to others. All I’m saying is that, until we get rid of these coercive laws altogether, Christians should be exempted from them.

              1. I may have missed it somewhere in this thread, but where are Christians coercing others to serve them?

                1. The same law under which the gay couple forced the conservative Christian bakers to serve them allows conservative Christians to force others to serve them.

                  Christian conservatives are generally arguing for special religious exemptions so that they don’t have to comply with these laws (e.g., “religious freedom restoration acts”), while still being able to force others to comply. What they usually aren’t arguing for is abolishing public accommodation laws.

                  Public accommodation laws, for example, force both home owners associations and towns not to place religious restrictions on rental of facilities. That is, a town or HOA cannot say that they don’t make available their facilities for, say, Bible study or a Christian Bingo night.

            2. I always found this argument to be interesting. It’s not that one group should able to discriminate, but that no one should be forced not to discriminate. Just changing “not being forced to do business with anyone” you doesn’t make it “non discrimination.” It in and of itself discrimination. The right of association means, by definition, you have the right to discriminate. Which is the way it should be, and society, not gov’t, should hold you accountable.

          4. Homosexuals should be allowed to discriminate against Christians, and people with brown hair should be able to discriminate against people with red hair, and people with tattoos should be able to discriminate against people without them, and vice versa. None of it should be the government’s business. It’s unethical, rude and ultimately foolish to do so, but it shouldn’t be illegal.

            1. None of it should be the government’s business.

              I agree. But the political argument Christian conservatives are implicitly making is that Christians should be allowed to discriminate against whoever they want on the base of faith, while maintaining non-discrimination status for themselves. And then they have the gall to claim that this is “more libertarian” because fewer people are subject to government coercion.

              Either get rid of restrictions on freedom of association or apply them equally. Giving special exemptions just to religions is worse than either choice.

              1. I agree! The real right being attacked here is freedom of association. It should not be framed as a religious freedom issue at all. I should have just as much right to refuse service to someone who’s gay because I believe that being gay is “icky” as I should if I believe that God is gonna lightning bolt me if I hang out with “those people”. My stupidity should not require a permission slip from Jesus. I should be allowed to be a jerk for any reason whatsoever.

      2. Oh, the Larry Kramers have certainly been in our faces for years. They always have, and they always will be. Because that’s what it’s all about: Notice me…notice me.

        What’s so juicy about the “lgbt” crowd becoming rabidly…and it will be rabidly…pro-life is that the absolute bulk of that bunch now is rabidly pro-choice. Here comes the New Moral Minority.

    2. I want “GLBT” back. I can pronounce that. Too many vowel insertions required for “LGBT”.

  10. I’ve always believed that our best way out of this mess was to simply drop the word “marriage” from the law. Let the states give out civil union licenses/certificates to any couple that wants them, and the couples can choose to celebrate these in whatever manner they see fit.

    It’s been pretty clear to me from the get-go that, generally, the churchy set merely wants to protect marriage as a religious ceremony, along with the ability to define it how their church sees fit (though if the government’s attitude on the issue reflects their teachings, all the better). Meanwhile, the rest of us just think the gay couples should be treated the same by the government as straight ones.

    Moving to CUs-for-all accomplishes both of these goals without leaving the gay political movement (not to be confused with gays or SSM supporters as a whole) a cudgel with which to exact some revenge on their long-time oppressors. It’s a win for everyone except the activists on both sides, but since the activists deliver votes such a compromise was doomed from the start.

    1. That doesn’t get you out of this mess any more than abolition of wedding cakes would. What if it’d been a gay bar mitzvah? Same issue could’ve come up.

      1. “This mess” as in the general nexus of gay and religious rights, not these poor slobs being forced to bake a cake that offends their god.

  11. And so the oppressed become the oppressors. It’s a shame that many (most?) people aren’t against oppression, per se, they’re against their own oppression. If it happens to someone else, oh well. If it happens to someone they don’t like, break out the champagne.

    1. Somewhat ironically, many people who support this type of lawsuit would say the lawsuit is to stop oppression of people who are gay. They would see discrimination and denial of service as a form of oppression and (coerced) equal service as the removal of oppression. I don’t agree with public accommodation laws forcing penalties and association on business owners, but this is likely how someone who disagrees with you on the issue would think.

      1. You’re not truly free unless you can force someone who doesn’t like you to do something for you against their will.

        1. Yep. I’d say that’s largely the idea, and most people agree with it (to keep things clear–I don’t). Heck, I’m sure the vast majority of the population supports people being able to sue businesses if they were denied something based on race. If a baker were sued for refusing to bake a cake for an interracial marriage, there would probably be a lot of public support for the couple suing.

        2. That sounds sooooo familiar, but I can’t recall ever seeing it set forth with such clarity.

  12. Please. He’s not celebrating gay marriage. He’s baking a cake and selling it. He’s engaging in commerce in America, he isn’t celebrating anything. No more than he celebrated gay marriage when he paid taxes to build those roads gay people used to get to the wedding. And it’s the END of religious freedom? Just another doom and gloomer who Bailey derides.

    1. “13 Now the Passover of the Jews was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 14 And He found in the temple those who sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the money changers doing business. 15 When He had made a whip of cords, He drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and the oxen, and poured out the changers’ money and overturned the tables. 16 And He said to those who sold doves, “Take these things away! Do not make My Father’s house a house of merchandise!”

      Clearly, Jesus wants people to do conference in accordance to Gods will. And he’s willing to whip people over it. So, obviously Jesus would want us to show no mercy and not make gay wedding cakes for gay marriages (a metaphor for Christ’s relstionship to the church). This is why I endorse theocracy.

      What do you think me means by “whip”?

      1. And what do you think he meant by “house,” and selling merchandise in that house? Is that the same as any adornment at a wedding reception? Surely you can find a better biblical passage than that, Brian. You can do better.

        1. I can do no better than the word of God, in true Christain humility.

          You realize the world was created in 7 days, right?

          This passage makes it clear that God wants evil doers and people who defile his institutions (ie, his “house”) to be driven away. Marriage is an institution, too.

          I think the Christain cake bakers are showing the true sprit of compromise and mercy by only refusing to bake the gay wedding cake, and what thanks so they get?

          Don’t worry: we’ll solve this with the coming theocracy. After all, using the government to force compliance with what you think is best is truly awesome. As is convenient scripture interpretation.

          1. The institutions are the “house,” eh? Use of “convenient biblical interpretation” thy name is Brian. And gays are what, evil doers? Good to know you have never done any evil, Brian. You’re quite the guy. Don’t throw your arm out casting that first stone!

            1. Really, it’s not my fault that you’re a bad, ignorant Christain.

              1. Indeed, it’s not.

    2. Fuck off slaver

  13. And the crusade will accelerate until the legal lynch mob gets to religious institutions.

    I believe a handful of churches still deny performing interracial marriages. If they have been able to do that with 87% of the population supporting interracial marriage (and also a large percentage supporting public accommodation laws), then they’ll likely be able to keep denying performing same-sex marriages. Have there been successful lawsuits with churches that denied performing interracial marriages?

  14. Finally. Reason comes out with an article clearly stating how messed up this is.
    OK, second and more important. this is not about religious liberty versus discrimination. This is about government determining what is public accommodation and if it can regulate a buisness. There is a big difference between weights and measures and false labels and compelling a business to do something. To wit; Jim crow was states compelling businesses to behave not like bigots, but the Civil rights Acts (parts of them) was the federal government compelling business to not behave like bigots. Until we get rid of those sections of the CRA and recognize everyone has the right to be a saint or a bigot.

    1. this is not about religious liberty versus discrimination. This is about government determining what is public accommodation and if it can regulate a buisness. There is a big difference between weights and measures and false labels and compelling a business to do something.

      Thank. Fucking. God. Someone else gets this.

      The Gay Rights movement has been compelling people to make obnoxiously ‘non-accommodation’ accommodations left and right with the fist of government (or other angry self-righteous mob) without regard for religion. Religious people happen to be the only ones with the ability to say, “But… the 1st Am.” and have anyone respond in any real manner.

      1. The Gay Rights movement has been compelling people to make obnoxiously ‘non-accommodation’ accommodations left and right with the fist of government

        So have Christians. What’s your point?

    2. The question is whose government? It is never what is government and what is such a thing good (as opposed to bad) for?
      And Thor forbid we ever distinguish right from wrong by some standard. Clearly the new Positive Christianity defines blowing up brown mohammedan children AND forcing Americans to reproduce at gunpoint as “THE GOOD.” Getting high, choosing what work to do, keeping your earnings are ALL defined as SATANIC EVIL by fiscal conservatives. By fiscal they mean AML rules, forcing banks to snitch your every move, confiscating your home over hemp seeds, defining anyone the IRS decides is being slow to pay as Financing Terrism, using the communist income tax of 1848 to again enforce teetotalitarianism, and getting the Bush Dynasty to destroy the financial system, execute potheads, bait gays and bomb, destabilize and invade foreign countries. Have I missed anything?

  15. I think this really comes from misunderstanding equal treatment. It’s government that is purposed to treat all citizens equally, not citizens. Too many Americans think government has a duty to treat some people special, we’ve developed a system where we can actually vote for special treatment whether it’s tax treatment or legal treatment or subsidization and government largess, and we believe that it’s the duty of government to force each citizen to treat all other citizens as if they were actually all equal, which they are not. Essentially we’ve reversed the roles of government and citizen, it’s been a bi-partisan venture, and our power, liberties and freedoms of course are diminished while those of government are increased.

    1. This is what happens when you replace enumerated powers and unenumerated rights with unlimited power and enumerated rights.

      1. Actually we’ve already traded constitutionally enumerated, guaranteed and protected rights for privileges. Government can now decide which citizens get which rights.

  16. Oh, please. I could easily claim as a “Christian” that Jehovah doesn’t accept mixed marriages and refuse to bake a cake for such couples. This is the same, tired argument I grew up with in the South. “My religion doesn’t allow me to serve ____. I can refuse service to whomever I please.” Fill in with blacks, hispanics, gays, whatever.

    Just get over it and bake the damn cake–or don’t and get out. No one has a gun to your head, forcing you to be a baker.

    1. Fuck yeah! Fuck freedom of association! Fuck the freedom to say “No”! Saying “No” isn’t fair! It’s not fair not fair not fair! Can’t allow things that are not fair! Not fair not fair not fair!

      1. This whole thing was primarily about getting goodies and forcing accommodation. It’s amusing that all those shouting TWO SEPARATE THINGS are unwilling to apply that logic to the few negative rights impacted by this, e.g. power of attorney and adoption. Pass a law that fixes these issues and the semantics of what constitutes a marriage are irrelevant, right? Right?

      2. Fuck yeah! Fuck freedom of association!

        Churches and religions are one of the primary culprits in “fucking freedom of association”, appearing as a protected class in pretty much every state and federal non-discrimination and public accommodations law.

        Can’t allow things that are not fair! Not fair not fair not fair!

        Fairness has nothing to do with it. If we want freedom of association back, we have to go after the groups primarily responsible for destroying it, and churches and religions are at the top of the list.

        1. We must destroy freedom of association in order to save it

        2. If we want freedom of association back, we have to go after the groups primarily responsible for destroying it, and churches and religions are at the top of the list.

          So people who support the traditional definition of marriage should punish gays for government’s changing it?

          I assume your answer is no.

          Then why should churches and religions be punished for government’s creation of non-discrimination and public accommodation laws?

          1. Then why should churches and religions be punished for government’s creation of non-discrimination and public accommodation laws?

            How are they being “punished”? This is simply about subjecting churches and religions to the same form of government coercion that they have been advocating and using against others for a long time.

            So people who support the traditional definition of marriage should punish gays for government’s changing it?

            Of course they should, in your sense of “punishment”: homosexuals should be forced to accept, and treat as equal, Christian marriages, just like Christians are now forced to accept, and treat as equal, homosexual marriages.

            1. When you say “go after” I assume that means to punish with malice.

              1. No, it means what I said it means: treat churches and religion like any other private association, removing their special status and privileges.

                But you’re right: churches do try to misrepresent such treatment as being “punished with malice”.

            2. You mean taxation? I could live with taxing churches instead of individuals. Not being mormon I am not at all concerned with corporate rights–only individual rights. I recall the argument that “we” oppose taxing churches for the same reason “we” oppose taxing all else. That went out the window when the smug, exempt bigots ordered their infiltrators in Congress to attack the one outfit preserving humanity from biological disaster: Planned Parenthood. Mystics want mass death, war and starvation, Armageddon, Rapture, Antichrist, Crusades, Torture, Inquisition, Burnings, Mark of the Beast, der Krieg oder Bolshievismus! So since they worship death, let them eat taxes!

              1. You mean taxation?

                In the context of this discussion, I simply mean that non-discrimination and public accommodation laws should be enforceable against churches and Christians, just like they are enforceable against anybody else.

        3. Do you really believe that Christians were demanding laws to protect them from discrimination? Because I missed the part where Christians were being discriminated against in the U.S. If you could point me to where that happened, I’d be grateful for the education.

          1. Because I missed the part where Christians were being discriminated against in the U.S.

            Really? Didn’t you pay attention in history class? Catholics were widely discriminated against until the 1960’s. The turning point was probably Kennedy. Religion was likely included in civil rights legislation against that background.

            1. That’s fair; I was thinking more in terms of the evangelicals who tend to be more vocal about this stuff today, and looking back toward the Protestants who tended to be the dominant brand of Christianity back then.

              1. I’m pretty sure Bear means the Klan.

                1. Dislike of Catholicism was far much more widespread than just the Klan.

                  You’re also missing the point behind such laws. They are not about making the nice elderly Italian grandma from down the street cry by refusing to sell her cannoli.

                  But nobody should be forced to accommodate or do business with a jerk like Bill Donohue; yet, because opposition to him would be based on his nominally Catholic views, he is protected by civil rights legislation.

      3. Can we use this argument next time a woman says no and then claims rape? Well, that’s not fair! Your discriminating against that poor man who wants to have sex with you. His feelings are hurt! You bigot! You must let him have sex with you, discrimination and all…

        1. Same logic.

        2. Probably so in the case of prostitution.

      4. To looters, saying no to the taxman is grounds for justified shooting and “sharing” your estate. So, to be fair and consistent, they ought to force you to obey some additional politically connected interests, right? Fair is fair, right? Nobody ever says free is free, right?

    2. [No one has a gun to your head]

      Yes, ultimately they do indeed.

    3. So you’re saying my constitutionally enumerated and guaranteed right to freedom of association is trumped by your constitutionally enumerated and guaranteed right to force me to bake and sell you a cake? I can easily point out my right in the constitution, can I get a link to where you got your right?

      1. Force one, get one free!
        now…
        One of these cakes is poisoned. God will tell you which, I’m sure of it.

  17. would they require a jewish deli to make non kosher meat, never it is about attacking christianity.

    1. actually its about making people subserviant to the collective there shall be no independent thought.

  18. All this goes to show that the worshippers of a bureaucratic looter State are exactly the same as the worshippers of imaginary devils and gods. They may be inconsistent compared to more committed totalitarians–some willing to overlook dating a lockermate or rolling a joint, others turning a blind eye to napalming a few non-Christian village “terrists”, but both want as much coercion as they can possibly get away with and still keep a hand in the till. Calling them mystics of mind and muscle was too abstract an analogy, but the fact it sought to illustrate is still true. Conservatives are in favor of coercion, murder and torture and consider that the “free exercise” of religion. Secular looters, convinced “property is theft”, pander to parasites and dishonesty in general. Both rationalize they are simply retaliating against persecution by the other, and are united in hatred of anything voluntary. Voting for either is a sin against life, for the LP lets us vote against both.

  19. I shared this Colorado story w/ my gf who is a Democrat. She said all she could think of when she read the article was the civil rights era and she then used one of MY points against me that “if we allow any discrimination then won’t that eventually lead to unlimited discrimination?” (I had made that argument to her regarding limiting “offensive” free speech) I sent some accompanying rhetorical questions for her to think about while reading the article such as “What are rights? Where do they come from? Positive or negative? etc.”

    She missed my entire point: the gay couple does not have a right to a cake. If no right is violated, then there is no discrimination.

    /sigh

    1. “if we allow any discrimination then won’t that eventually lead to unlimited discrimination?”

      I would have countered that with – we DO allow discrimination. Businesses discriminate all the time, the most common ways are through price and location. So why is it fair to say some discrimination is ok but not others?

      1. It really shows that this is only about punishing certain people. It’s not about stopping discrimination because arguably that’s impossible. Doesn’t a consumer engage in discrimination when they choose not to do business with any number of stores? So a gay couple who targets a bakery who won’t do business with them, and ignores the bakeries who would, are actually discriminating against the latter in favor of punishing the former.

        1. Both great points. At that point I just decided the convo was over. Not sense arguing with a brick wall, especially when that brick wall can withhold sex if I hurt its feelings. lol

    2. I have an answer to that. It’s government that is not allowed to discriminate, it’s supposed to treat everyone equally. Citizens can treat other citizens like crap if they so desire. She’s confusing the requirement that government treat all equally with the government should create special rules for favored groups while forcing all citizens to treat each other equally. She has the constitution both backwards and upside down.

    3. I worry about government discrimination at gunpoint. I like it when I am simply refused service or whatever. It saves me the trouble of making identifications when people are forthcoming about being jerks, bigots, assholes, morons and fools because I proceed to revel in having nothing to do with them.

  20. The court rulings were bad enough, but this is worse:

    T”he shop was not only ordered to alter store policy and start baking cakes for gay weddings — or else face debilitating fines, a consequence often reported on by the media — but also forced to provide comprehensive staff training, ensure compliance and then file quarterly obedience reports with the government for two years. In these reports, Phillips has to describe exactly which remedial measures the shop has taken to conform and document the reasons any other patrons were denied service.”

    Staff training? Quarterly *Obedience* reports?

    This is nonsense piled on top of nonsense.

    1. So is Reason making all this up as a Big Lie or is the political state forcing the bakers to lick the blacking off or positive christian jackboots? Which is the nonsense part?

  21. “But seeing as most Americans are fine with gay marriage and simultaneously put off by unpleasant (though deceptive, in this case) words such as “discrimination” and “prejudice,” the courts?nearly always driven by the vagaries of public opinion?will find a way to force all to comply.”

    Ah, finally a Reason contributor gets it.

    And with all due respect, other Reason contributors have shown they *don’t* get it – by running article about the wickedness of those horrible, horrible people who think marriage means 1 man + 1 woman, a view which is Just Like Racism, these contributors have contributed to the climate of hate which Harsanyi deplores.

    And even if belief in true marriage was Just Like Racism, that doesn’t deal with the fact that under Jim Crow, we actually had black families sleeping in cars because no inn would rent rooms to them. And I’m not aware of similar situations with gays and cakes* – and since laws are supposed to be passed to deal with real problems, and since there’s no evidence of a gay cake shortage, therefore the law isn’t necessary, and persecuting religious bakers is hardly the least restrictive means of achieving a compelling government interest.

    *I know that NYC persecuted gay bars, forcing many gays into the crappy Stonewall club, but that was a question of government action.

    1. It was up to Reason, Cato, and the other libertarian groups to map out a specific plan to enact their government-recognition policy *without* leading to the result every sensible person was fortelling (and every activist was cheering) – coercion of private business.

      Reason and Cato fell down on the job. They simply joined the gay-rights mob and now express shock that the movement they support has gotten away from them.

      1. Being free means you do not get to roll queers or hold up a devil-fearing bakery with coercive demands. Its about neither coercing nor being coerced. We use rights to mean something other than what people wish the world owed them.

    2. by running article about the wickedness of those horrible, horrible people who think marriage means 1 man + 1 woman

      The “wickedness” of Christian conservatives is that ideologically, they are opportunists, slavers and statists who are trying to pervert libertarian arguments to preserve their special privileges and regain political power. And the correct libertarian response is to tell them to get lost.

      As far as public accommodation laws go, the libertarian position is that they should get abolished altogether. Arguing that Christian conservatives should be selectively exempt from them is not libertarian, it’s bullshit.

  22. “If nothing else, it’s comforting to know that Colorado can force an orthodox Muslim butcher to make sausages for a polyamorous, bisexual bachelor/bachelorette party, as long as no one asks the butcher to outwardly promote swine and free love.”

    No, nothing about this case suggests this. Only of the Muslim butcher was already making sausages for other parties would this be true. If the butcher is not in the business of making sausage, he can’t be compelled to make sausage.

    Anytime one is tempted to claim that complying with nondiscrimination laws regarding gay marriage is a repression of religious practice, consider if the law was about miscegenation. If your argument still holds water, it might be worth making.

    1. “If the butcher is not in the business of making sausage, he can’t be compelled to make sausage.”

      I might have thought that if a baker wasn’t in the business of catering same-sex ceremonies, he couldn’t be compelled to do so. But apparently not.

      It’s not about logic or carefully-reasoned legal principles, its about promoting the in-groups and sticking it to the out-groups.

      If anti-Muslim and/or anti-Jewish prejudice gets strong enough, yes, they could be forced to serve country ham at the Pig-Picking Festival, or be fined for committing anti-Gentile prejudice.

      1. Would you make this argument if the question was catering a mixed-race wedding?

        1. I would. Under current law, that would be illegal. To any sane, decent person, it would be immoral. But I think government has the responsibility to treat all people equally, but that it should not have the authority to force everyone else to treat everyone equally. Again, I don’t approve of discrimination, but I approve even less of the government forcing people to do business with one another against the will of at least one party to the transaction.

  23. If ‘religious freedom’ is the freedom to discriminate against a class of people, it can’t end soon enough.

    1. Just plain freedom includes the right to discriminate against whoever you want to. You might be bigoted, evil, or just plain mistaken, but if you don’t have the right to do something that the majority, or the loudest members of the society, disagree with, then you don’t actually have freedom at all.

    2. Religious people do not mean “freedom” to mean “freedom from coercion.” Having rejected reason for superstition, coercion is the only option left on the table, so it becomes a matter of choosing victims. Altruism comes to the rescue, so that the victim simply has to be someone else. Immanuel Kant and the Bauble can justify this to their satisfaction.

      1. I agree with alot of your positions. That said, I wonder about your understanding of what Christ (supposedly) preached. While I now identify as agnostic-leaning-towards-atheist, I was raised Evangelical, and studied the bible and my church’s position on what it says. I’ve also thumbed through a history book or two.
        My take on Christianity is that it helped civilize the world, gave voice to separation of civic vs religious duties, was the direct predecessor of the NAP, and possibly set the stage for the scientific method. But your mileage may vary.

    3. Forcing someone to violate their conscience because others disagreement with their conscience? How do you think that will end?

  24. ” declined to participate in Charlie Craig and David Mullins’ celebration”
    “celebrating gay marriages would be a precondition for making a living.”

    That is not what was being asked of them.

  25. Well this is a disturbing trend.

    And that’s what these two dopes are: Bullies.

    Hope the baker can get someone in his corner.

    1. Hey! There’s a chance for some “anarcho-capitalist” to make a buck enforcing the baker’s right to be left alone. If those “former” socialists gave a damn about anything other than costing us votes, they’d step up to the plate and make this interesting.

  26. “If nothing else, it’s comforting to know that Colorado can force an orthodox Muslim butcher to make sausages for a polyamorous, bisexual bachelor/bachelorette party, as long as no one asks the butcher to outwardly promote swine and free love.”

    Only if the Muslim butcher makes sausages for others. The overwrought histrionics really doesn’t help your case.

    Colorado has a business anti-discrimination law. It does not have a RFRA-type law. The baker had little chance of winning at the state level. It will be interesting to see if a first amendment challenge works at the federal level.

    1. “Only if the Muslim butcher makes sausages for others. The overwrought histrionics really doesn’t help your case.”

      You’re thinking in terms of principle – as if this were about applying a principled legal interpretation rather than simply sticking it to unpopular groups on behalf of popular groups.

      So if Jews and Muslims become sufficiently unpopular, then they can be forced to serve ham sandwiches and pork loins and barbecue at the pig-pickin’ festival, or be penalized for discriminating against Gentiles.

      1. Seriously, suppose that a couple decades ago, some rabbi said that Europe would be seriously considering banning circumcision.

        “Oh, no, rabbi, you’re so paranoid, the Europeans learned their lesson about anti-Semitism, they’ll never do something like that, you’re not helping your cause with these histrionics.”

  27. Big Brother is regulating energy to save the planet. Well, actually he’s regulating energy because it gives them total control over American industry. If Big brother can’t directly nationalize all industry, he can effectively do the same thing by totally controlling energy in the name of “saving the planet.”

    What has this got to do with wedding cakes? The same people who want to control all commerce certainly aren’t going to leave religion and personal belief alone. But that pesky Constitution is pretty clear about government control of religion. No problem. If you can’t regulate the actual churches, regulate the church goers. And all in the name of Constitutionality.

    Clever. And disgusting. We have given Big Brother the power to do as he pleases. If what he’s doing right now isn’t affecting you, just wait. You’re next…….

    1. Do you reject the argument that government does have a responsibility to neutralize externalities in economic activities?

      1. I reject it. I’ve never seen it as an argument, only as an announcement of revealed faith, hence the voice of idiocy.

    2. I wish that didn’t sound so true, or that I could point to something that contradicts it. But I do beg leave to question the use of the collective noun “we,” paleface. I vote libertarian.

  28. If you, as a business owner, are not allowed to refuse business from a customer whose request you disagree with–

    Then I want to see the KKK or some Nazi group go into a Kosher Bakery and order a themed cake.
    Or Maybe a NAMBLA themed cake.

    I am sure society would be outraged, and stand with the baker who refuses to make a cake promoting an ideology he disagrees with.

    Please understand I am in NO WAY equating gay rights with either movement— but there is a parallel in requiring a business to promote an idea they find offensive.

  29. I as a business owner refuse to have anything to do with all manner of jerks. Some people are forced at gunpoint to use some of my services, while taxpayers are forced at gunpoint to pay for them, but I do not advocate any of this. Instead I act to defend the rights of individuals every chance I get and vote the straight LP ticket. The perk is that I am let off of jury duty.

  30. the REAL question is;does a person have any right to the labors or property of another person or business if that other party doesn’t freely consent to it? No.
    Does a person lose their Constitutional rights (First,5th,and 13th amendments) when they open a business? No.
    If one goes by the Constitution,”public accommodation” laws are unconstitutional,they force people into slavery,indentured servitude.
    It’s anti-freedom. it’s Fascism.
    Private property rights should always trump your feelings being hurt or your desire to do business somewhere.

    note that in today’s Internet world,people who were refused service have the ability to wield great power against such a business,by spreading the news,inciting a boycott. (or to support a business in peril from a boycott,via fund-raising sites like GoFundMe.)
    That power did not exist in Jim Crow days or earlier.
    these days,it’s very easy to drive a business out of business through social media. In essence,that is allowing the people to DIRECTLY “vote” their support or displeasure at discriminatory people/businesses.
    It’s TREMENDOUS power. It outweighs or negates any need for “anti-discrimination” or “public accommodation” laws. People now have the power to fight back on their own,no need for government to become involved.
    That’s FREEDOM,for -both- sides.

  31. “priggish bullies” I don’t understand, is that code for dikes?

    “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech…”

    I don’t understand what the problem is, this is pretty clear unless it gets in your way.

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  34. The author’s entire argument, while interesting, is completely invalid.

    Let me say that again. IT IS ENTIRELY INVALID.

    Any place of business open to the public must operate on what is called the “golden rule,” which is to say you don’t behave toward your customers in a way that you, as a customer, would not want to be treated. The owner of that shop would not expect to be treated like shit if he went into a “gay bakery” or whatever and ordered a wedding cake for him and his fiance. He would not expect to be told “we serve gays only” or “what the fuck is wrong with you, you straight pig,” and he would NOT expect to be refused service.

    THAT, my friends, is how free trade and Capitalism work.

    There _should_ be legal recourse to action when people treat you like shit in their places of business. And if you, as a businessperson, cannot understand this simple concept, you have NO BUSINESS DOING BUSINESS.

    1. (GREAT, NO EDITING OF COMMENTS PREVIOUSLY POSTED, THEREFORE: CORRECTION)

      “THAT – the operation of the ‘Golden Rule’ – my friends, is how free trade and Capitalism work.”

      There, fixed it.

      1. Er.

        No.

      2. Successful capitalism. If one decides to only cater to blonde haired, blue eyed arians then they can’t complain that their business is short lived. Free market capitalism will drive those who limit their customers to a small group out of business. We don’t need gov’t to screw things up.

  35. Google pay 97$ per hour my last pay check was $8500 working 1o hours a week online. My younger brother friend has been averaging 12k for months now and he works about 22 hours a week. I cant believe how easy it was once I tried it out.
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  36. I wonder if someone went into a gay owned bakery and ordered a custom cake honoring Westboro Baptist Church’s Fred Phelps, how would they be received?

    I wonder what business the gay couple to be married are in– Suppose it was real estate— Walk into their office and tell them you are buying a vacation home for members of the WBC to visit from time to time. What reaction would they receive?

    I am certain there would be a similar reaction– the personal beliefs of those business owners would come into play– and some would refuse to do business with the bigots. There is no question that turn about would not be seen as fair play.

  37. and there is this…..

    http://www.thedenverchannel.co…..i-gay-cake

  38. Who needs religious freedom, when we have the benevolent Messiah right here in the WH?

  39. Start working at home with Google! It’s by-far the best job I’ve had. Last Wednesday I got a brand new BMW since getting a check for $6474 this – 4 weeks past. I began this 8-months ago and immediately was bringing home at least $77 per hour. I work through this link, go? to tech tab for work detail,,,,,,,

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  40. Why don’t they ever go after Muslim bakeries?

    I’m serious.

    1. That would be racist.

  41. Google pay 97$ per hour my last pay check was $8500 working 1o hours a week online. My younger brother friend has been averaging 12k for months now and he works about 22 hours a week. I cant believe how easy it was once I tried it out.
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  42. Someone please answer this for me. Lets drop the Christian refusal to bake cake for gay marriage issue for argument’s sake. Say a corporation XYZ that makes pornography walks into the place-of-business of ANY caterer. This corporation demands that the caterer be the official caterer of XYZ productions and sign a contract to cater on EVERY film set. Under the potential extension of the gay marriage law, the corporation can use the law to compel the caterer to serve food to the famished “actors” and crew because XYZ is not demanding that the caterer participate in the filming, “acting”, or distribution of the pornography. How they feel about the distribution of porn, viewing of porn, or the social destruction that porn allegedly causes is irrelevant. Caterers typically hang around at the events they are catering to protect their capital investment, so they are put in the position of forced association and visualization of a business that they want no part of. You don’t have to be religious in any way to understand the quandary that the caterer is being forced into. The only way for the caterer to not participate is to close shop or pay the fine. Where is the line of association? The line will become completely arbitrary. Is this the America that Libertarians visualize?

  43. That wouldn’t be a problem unless it was gay porn, then it would be a hate crime.

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