Gay Marriage

Arizona Calligraphers Sue to Keep from Having to Write Gay Wedding Invitations

It's speech-but is it 'expressive' speech?

|

Invitation
Madina Asileva / Dreamstime.com

An interesting religious freedom and public accommodations case out of Phoenix is worth keeping an eye on for trends in this fight over who may be required to serve same-sex weddings.

The owners of art and calligraphy shop Brush & Nib Studio are suing the City of Phoenix to attempt to block in advance the use of its antidiscrimination ordinances against them. Breanna Koski and Joanna Duka are evangelical Christians. They don't support same-sex marriages. They want to put a statement up on their website that says, while they won't refuse to sell pre-made goods to anybody regardless of their sexual orientation, they would not be willing to produce custom art or calligraphy work that would be part of a same-sex wedding—invitations, thank you notes, et cetera.

Of note: Nobody has actually asked them to, yet. But Phoenix's ordinance clearly requires them to serve same-sex couples, and they said they've received two online forms for same-sex couples looking for information about their work. The studio says they haven't responded to them yet because they fear they'll be prosecuted if they refuse to do the work. They've sought representation by Alliance Defending Freedom, a Christian conservative legal organization who has been active in finding cases like this to represent (in pretty much the same way the American Civil Liberties Union has been active in finding cases to prosecute for the other side).

The City of Phoenix asked for the case to be dismissed for lack of standing. The studio is currently under no threat of prosecution. Judge Karen Mullins refused the request to dismiss this week, noting that the threat of prosecution is real and that the city had investigated other similar claims of discrimination. The studio asked for an injunction to stop the city from enforcing the law as the case moved forward. The judge rejected that as well. She doesn't think the studio has much of a case, based on current legal precedents.

Here's the part of the ruling worth paying attention to. Examining previous court precedents establishing when the government may and may not compel speech, Mullins determined that even though what the calligraphers are doing is obviously "speech," it wasn't "expressive speech" to produce wedding invitations and notes. They're just doing a gig. Mullins did not see anything resembling the projection of an opinion in what the women would be asked to do:

Here, there is nothing about custom wedding invitations made for same-sex couples that is expressive. The purpose of a wedding invitation is simply to convey the details of the date, time, and place of the wedding and to identify the persons getting married. The printing of the names of a same-sex couple on an invitation or thank you note does not compel Plaintiffs to convey a government mandated message, such as an endorsement or pledge in favor of same-sex marriages, nor does it convey any message concerning same-sex marriage. Indeed any conceivable endorsement of same-sex marriage that might be conveyed would be conveyed by the act of the marriage itself, and not by the creator or printer of the physical invitation itself. It is absurd to think that the fabricator of a wedding invitation for a same-sex couple has endorsed same-sex marriage merely by creating or printing that invitation. Moreover, there is nothing about the creative process itself, such as a flower or vine or the choice of a particular font or color, that conveys any pledge, endorsement, celebration, or other substantive mandated message by Plaintiffs in regard to same-sex marriage. Thus, the creation of custom lettering or artwork displayed on Plaintiffs wedding invitations and related wedding products does not constitute expressive speech.

Well then … why do so many Christian-owned businesses insist that it does? I realize we're well down the slippery slope of what happens when courts decide what does and doesn't count as "speech" and have been for a long time. It's an unavoidable result of having such an expansive First Amendment that is to our nation's credit. But when people like these women or other businesses say "This feels like an endorsement to us," is it really the government's place to say that it's not?

For that matter, let's extend the logic of this opinion. I doubt any reasonable person would think that a calligrapher or T-shirt maker or printer necessarily agrees with the messages they're hired to produce for customers. Therefore a reasonable person probably wouldn't conclude that any message Brush & Nub Studio produces for a paying client counts as an endorsement. Doesn't the logic of this justification suggest that there really isn't such a thing as "compelled speech" in this arena of business? If nobody actually believes the baker is a Nazi, then shouldn't he just make the Nazi cake?

No, he shouldn't, and the courts have generally agreed that private businesses can't be forced to express messages they find offensive. But the courts are also ruling on what counts as a message and, as a side effect, telling people whether or not what they're doing counts as an "endorsement" while completely ignoring how these people themselves see it.

Read the judge's ruling here. Alliance Defending Freedom has filed an appeal to a higher court to try again to get an injunction to keep Phoenix from enforcing the law.

NEXT: Welcome To The 21st Century, St. Louis Taxi Companies

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

    1. something something they’re just stupid sky-daddy believers something something equality over liberty something something /usual suspects

      1. Nah. Just because you despise those who believe does not make your argument resound with Liberty.
        This is about power. Whether you have the power to choose what you feel violates your conscience and whether the state can decide that for you. You chose your GOV.

    2. Anybody can earn 450$+ daily… You can earn from 9000-14000 a month or even more if you work as a full time job…It’s easy, just follow instructions on this page, read it carefully from start to finish… It’s a flexible job but a good eaning opportunity.. go to this site home tab for more detail… http://goo.gl/jPtLqx

    3. Be careful not to overapply that maxim.

      When you deem a hill not worth fighting for, you’re not giving up just that one hill. You’re giving up every similar hill that your opponent will now attack because they know they can get it without a fight. Before long you’re going to run out of hills.

  1. Calligraphy is already the third gayest thing ever.

    1. #2 is the pistol stabilizing brace for don’t-call-it-an-SBR.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FoTHRWsCz64

      1. What’s up with the “let me stabilize this gun with my face” technique?

        1. ATF says if you “shoulder” an AR pistol, then you’ve broken the law.

          1. Of course they do

      2. Yeah, totally gay. (NTTAWWT) I’ve fired a Glock 18 with a shoulder stock, and the damn thing was still pretty much uncontrollable.

      3. So . . . they’re selling stocks?

        1. They’re selling ready made excuses for the ATF to bust down your door for creating an unregistered short-barreled rifle.

    2. What are one & two?

      1. #1 is two men riding on a moped together.

          1. No, that’s just gay. I’m talking about “the gayest.”

            I honestly believe, and jesse agrees with me, that two men on a moped together is gayer than those same two men having sex with each other.

            1. It’s also gayer if they’re wearing bicycle helmets while on the moped than if they’re helmetless.

              1. Dear God, that’s so gay it’s turning my monitor gay just reading it on the screen.

            2. Finally, an excuse to write this is so gay.

            3. “…and jesse agrees with me,”

              SugarFree, you are better than such blatant appeals to authority.

              1. I have a lot of gay friends. [throws arm around jesse, jesse smiles awkwardly]

                1. jesse smiles awkwardly

                  Perfect distillation of how I’d respond.

                  Bravo!

      2. #1 Skinny hiphugger jeans for men

      3. 2.) Critiquing Matt Welch’s television outfits.

        1.) Being a fan of the Underworld film series.

      4. Two men sharing an umbrella.

      5. The gayest thing ever was the lumbersexuals.

        http://thefashiontag.com/2015/…..t-go-away/

        Gayest. Thing. Ever.

    3. I can’t wait until gay folks are forced to do calligraphy because of accommodation rulings.

  2. Brush & Nub Studio

    This may be the gayest name for a business since Gayman went to Gaytown.

    1. “Neil and Bob’s calligraphy studio.”

    2. It really is an honest mistake on the gay couple’s part.

      1. Seriously, they may as well have called it Big Gay Al’s Big Gay Calligraphy Studio.

        1. “Because my dad was named Albert and he was happy all the time! Jesus!”

    3. Yes, as soon as I read the name of the business, I thought, “They apparently aren’t serious about not trying to attract the sort of clientele they claim to what to avoid working for.”

    4. Nib. Brush and Nib. A nib is the tip of a pen.

  3. When do I get notified by the government that the person I refused to do with business with because of bad credit is actually a banned form of discrimination?

    1. blech, horrible grammar, but you get the point

    2. Elizabeth Warren is working on it.

    3. When you refuse to rent an apartment to one of the Sacred Fuliginous.

    4. Once you refuse someone with bad credit who is a member of a protected group, then you will be accused of “redlining”.

      1. ooooooooooo…. new word

  4. They want to put a statement up on their website that says, while they won’t refuse to sell pre-made goods to anybody regardless of their sexual orientation, they would not be willing to produce custom art or calligraphy work that would be part of a same-sex wedding…

    Guaranteeing every couple whose marriage is built on a solid foundation of activism will gravitate to their business and thus breathe a few more months into their already waning commitment.

  5. I wish all the progressives who claim First Amendment protection for Muslim immigrants would all line up in a row and denigrate these Evangelicals’ First Amendment rights–so we can make fun of how stupid and pathetic progressives are.

    All us libertarians who oppose the government violating anybody’s First Amendment rights could use a few laughs.

  6. Why do people continue to live in that fantasy world where freedom of association exists?

    1. Because the alternative is a nightmare.

    2. It exists whether the government acknowledges it or not.

    3. Well, nobody’s making these Evangelicals get gay married, so there’s your freedom of association.

      Now move along before I have you arrested for incitement to riot for your unprotected hate speech.

      1. You’re violating my 13th amendment rights against involuntary servitude, Kenny.

        What part of no didn’t you understand?

        1. Nobody’s making you do calligraphy.

          1. But people want to force people to do calligraphy.

            1. You are such a homophobe.

              1. Actually, I am such a homo-sapien… but thanks for being such a homosapienphobe.

                  1. omg, someone remembers this song besides me

                    1. Do you remember the Pansy Division cover? If you say “yes” you’re gayer than two dudes on a moped.

                  2. There is a lot of Thelema imagery in that song.

                1. “Actually, I am such a homo-sapien”.

                  I hope you appreciate that I was being sarcastic.

              2. Fuck off, slaver. I ain’t writing your invitations.

  7. ey said they’ve received two online forms for same-sex couples looking for information about their work

    Psst: next time, consider the three S’s: shoot it, shovel it, and shut up.

    1. these euphemisms are getting violent

      1. But accurate.

    2. There have been reports of the frequently illegal triple-step procedure being used to dispatch mischievous pets, endangered species, and even sick livestock.

      Wow, where are our grammar Nazis? Because Wikipedia’s sure are laying down on the job. Suddenly shooting sick livestock or destructive pets is ‘frequently illegal’.

  8. Sounds like an opportunity for a competing calligrapher to say – “we customize anything for anyone at any event at any time”.

    Really – I’ve just solved the problem.

    1. Not really. The activists will flock to the ones who don’t want to do it. Just to prove a point. Because we all know the point is more important than the wedding itself.

      1. Don’t rain on my libertarian gay parade, Lee

      2. This is presumably what the Evangelicals want.

        They want to be martyrs to the aggressive gay menace.

        Doesn’t make them wrong on principle, but they’re posturing.

        1. Either that or they’re extremely naive. I consider either to be a distinct possibility.

        2. Funny how libertarians were quick to buddy-up with their lefty cousins on same-sex marriage and how reluctant they are for anyone else..

          Except for Scott.

          1. Scott is a bit like an African-American opposing the Civil Rights Act on principle.

            He’s certainly like an African-American who can see someone oppose the Civil Rights Act on principle and not dismiss his principles as merely a convenient cover for racism.

            You can’t tell where Scott’s bias lies on the issue–which shows you how fair he is when he writes these pieces. For all I know, Scott thinks there’s a libertarian argument against association, and if he does, he’s so fair on the issue and respectful of principle, I got no problem with that.

            Robby, on the other hand, isn’t like that on any issue–not even free speech. Robby looks for his favorite sad, big-eyed bunny, first, and then he decides where he stands on the issue (for the day) and condemns the enemies of sad. big-eyed bunnies everywhere.

            Afterwards, Robby’s like a toddler wanting to be congratulated every time he gets a turd into the toilet. But if he scores, it wasn’t on purpose. Robby may have been shooting for the other team’s basket.

            1. I am learning so much.

              *Burns Soavatarian fan club membership card*

            2. Also he nailed today’s alt-text.

              1. Good to see he has his eye on the prize…

          2. Libertarians (classic liberals) were here first before the socialists/progressives/liberals/lefties, so- BOOM!

      3. There’s got to be at least one of these that’s just a business fallen on hard times using this as a trick to bring in customers.

        1. True. They might be soliciting donations of support as well.

          1. Or, maybe they want to stave off more government interference in living their lives and running their business.

        2. That was my first thought when I saw this.

      4. SJWs never miss a chance to sic the government on somebody to fuck with their life and livelihood.

    2. “we customize anything for anyone at any event at any time”.

      But we don’t want the Irish.

      1. They can’t read anyway so I doubt if is a problem.

        1. They can actually read simple words like “pub” “bar” “booze” and “potato”.

          1. Yeah, but that’s about it, Paddy.

    3. Even custom calligraphy for a Nazi-themed wedding?

      1. Why not? I’m a businesswoman and an opportunist.

        I’m no dummy.

  9. It’s speech?but is it ‘expressive’ speech?

    So it gets to the point where people are now inventing new modalities of speech in order to circumvent individual rights.

    No, he shouldn’t, and the courts have generally agreed that private businesses can’t be forced to express messages they find offensive.

    Indeed but that does not mean the fact can be obviated that by managing a business they become virtual slaves because of the “public accommodation” canard. The issue here is not speech but PRIVATE PROPERTY RIGHTS.

    Like I said above, now we’re discussing if there are modalities of speech and whether one modality is protected while another is not, rather than looking at how the property owners are made to turn their property over to certain protected groups through the threat of force and violence.

    1. Property rights in business is a dead letter. The feds are now making their way around the battlefield shooting the maimed.

      1. Except that this case concerns a municipal ordinance, not federal law. That’s why the lawsuit is against the City of Phoenix.

        1. So the City of Phoenix doesn’t need to abide by the US Constitution?

          That’s new news.

    2. They are casting it as a free speech issue, but I think that’s because the ordinance and the courts have already thrown the other arguments out the window.

      According to the ordinance and the courts:

      Asserting your property rights has already been proven insufficient to refuse gay customers.

      Asserting your religious rights has already been proven insufficient to refuse gay customers.

      Asserting your association rights has already been proven insufficient to refuse gay customers.

      So, now they’re going to try free speech.

      1. How about bad Yelp reviews?

        1. Yelp’s whole business model is like a protection racket.

            1. Better a bad Yelp review than a government gun to your head.

      2. Do libertarians support allowing businesses to decide who they want to serve and who they don’t?

        1. If they’re consistent, they do 100% of the time.

          1. If they are libertarians, they do 100% of the time.

            If they aren’t libertarians, they only do so when it’s convenient. Also, cocktail parties.

        2. Re: Homple,

          What kind of question is that? The fact is it is not up to anybody to allow businesses anything. People are born free. A business IS free to choose who they want to serve.

          The question should be: Do people have the right to impose their values, by force, on business owners, despite the fact they do not own shares on those businesses?

          1. How DARE you want freedom for individuals and their businesses!

            -Government entity

        3. Re: Homple,

          What kind of question is that? The fact is it is not up to anybody to allow businesses anything. People are born free. A business IS free to choose who they want to serve.

          The question should be: Do people have the right to impose their values, by force, on business owners, despite the fact they do not own shares on those businesses?

          1. Like the squirrelz imposing theirs?

        4. Yes. I wasn’t saying that’s my position. I said that’s the position of the ordinances and the courts.

          “They are casting it as a free speech issue, but I think that’s because the ordinance and the courts have already thrown the other arguments out the window.

          According to the ordinance and the courts:”

          1)

          2)

          3)

          Now they’re gonna try 4.

          I happen to think that Goldwater’s position on the CRA was both correct on principle and a foolish strategic blunder.

          Regardless, property rights, religious rights, and association rights have all been found to be inadequate to withstand the question of equal protection.

          Just because I don’t like the way things are doesn’t mean I have to pretend things are some other way.

          1. Just for the record, I also don’t like Wickard vs. Filburn, the Kelo decision, the penaltax associated with the ACA, and a bunch of other decisions the courts got wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong.

            But just because the courts got it wrong doesn’t mean they didn’t reach the conclusions they did.

            I’m certainly not about to pretend that Filburn isn’t a precedent just because it makes me feel nauseated every time I think about it.

        5. I would say “yes”. But see robc’s laws of libertarianism.

          1. I also say yes, and no need to see my laws.

            *Disagreeing on the latter to make sure the laws hold up.

      3. They explicitly aren’t refusing to serve gay customers. They’re refusing to serve gay weddings. See:

        They want to put a statement up on their website that says, while they won’t refuse to sell pre-made goods to anybody regardless of their sexual orientation, they would not be willing to produce custom art or calligraphy work that would be part of a same-sex wedding

        1. How DARE you keep the riotous narrative within the facts!

  10. Doesn’t the logic of this justification suggest that there really isn’t such a thing as “compelled speech” in this arena of business?

    Simple test: is there a penalty if they refuse to associate themselves with someone asking them to work? If the answer is yes, then it’s compelled speech. Period, full fucking stop.

    Jesus Christ. It’s pretty fucking simple. If the state forces you to do something or subjects you to a penalty, that action is compelled. There are no accommodation laws that supersede the absolute right to not do work for someone else. How fucking hard is this concept to grasp, Scott?

    1. Furthermore, your analogy is idiotic. I don’t think a printer is a Nazi because they printed a Nazi flyer for someone. I don’t really care if they are or aren’t a fucking Nazi. What i do care about is the government being able to stick a gun in someone’s face and force them to work for another person against their will regardless of whether or not the general public is likely to consider their actions an endorsement of the party they are printing something for.

      Furthermore, let’s use the same retarded as fuck technique the trans-supporters are using on bathrooms: if the printer feels like printing these for gays is an endorsement of gay marriage, shouldn’t we allow them to not print them? After all, feelings matter more than anything else nowadays when it comes to public accommodation forced acceptance laws.

      1. I don’t think a printer is a Nazi because they printed a Nazi flyer for someone. I don’t really care if they are or aren’t a fucking Nazi.
        Which is to your credit. But there are a lot of people who do both of those things.

        1. But there are a lot of people who do both of those things.

          Tough fucking shit. It’s not up to me to make anyone less of an idiot….

          1. I said it was?

            The point is that there are people in the world besides you and me and Sloopy who might read the article.

            1. Agreed — not towards you Zeb, I mean for those who can’t think critically or any deeper than their kiddies’ wading pool; tough shit for them. Sometimes we have to accept that fools will be fools….

            2. pfft, reading articles is for noobs.

    2. Don’t be John. Read the next paragraph.

      1. I just pictured one of those stupid stick figure memes and had to laugh.

      2. Every string of text, regardless of the context, must be ideologically pure on its own.

      3. I did, but it’s still an absolutely idiotic point to bring up.

        Also (in the next paragraph): But the courts are also ruling on what counts as a message and, as a side effect, telling people whether or not what they’re doing counts as an “endorsement” while completely ignoring how these people themselves see it.

        That had as much to do with my original post as the single sentence I quoted.

        1. That’s Scott endorsing it?

          1. I guess I would have just expected a rather forceful condemnation from a libertarian writer. It’s absence is noted.

            1. He’s just describing the state of play, not making a normative statement.

              1. Listen, if you’re not prepared to thwart the Gay Menace at every turn you hate liberty. Even if you’re stating the conditions on the ground, make sure it’s good and clear that you don’t approve with every turn of phrase. If you’re explaining someone else’s theory, or a court decision, no need to use neutral language.

        2. I did, but it’s still an absolutely idiotic point to bring up.

          How so? Seems kind of central to the point of the article to look into the legal reasoning that gets us to this stupid situation and the consequences that follow.

          1. Yeah, but virtually every article on here has the writers opinion attached to it. His lack of condemnation of the idiotic path we are going down gives me pause. Especially in light of the squishy stance the overwhelming majority of writers here have taken of late IRT public accommodation.

            1. I think Scot has made it pretty clear in the past that he is not in favor of laws forcing businesses to do business with anyone.

              Maybe, given people’s propensity to jump to conclusions about people’s motivations (and I’m not picking on you here, everyone does it) he should state it explicitly more often.

              I tend to read things pretty charitably, so my assumption is that he is just analyzing things in a practical way, but not necessarily accepting any of it as they way things should be.

              1. Maybe, given people’s propensity to jump to conclusions about people’s motivations (and I’m not picking on you here, everyone does it)

                I DON’T – YOU PEOPLE ARE ALWAYS LIKE THIS! YOU WANT EVERYONE TO….

                hang on…

                *runs from room*

    3. Did you hear the one about Christian Mingle?

      1. They too must be forced to accommodate gays. Surprised it hasn’t happened yet.

          1. Exactly what I was thinking of.

            1. What about J-date?

                1. But do they have a shiksa section?

                  Asking for a friend.

                  1. Non-Jews are welcome on J-date, but they do ask (not require) that you disclose your religious status as many people on J-Date are looking to date other Jewish people exclusively.

                    1. This is why I stick with Craigslist’s “Casual Encounters”.

                2. What a nice bunch of people!

                  1. It’s worth noting that ChristianMingle and J-Date are operated by the same company.
                    And just out of curiosity, does ChristianMingle have an LGBT section? If not, why not?

                    1. They did not until they were sued like eHarmony.

                      Which is extra insane, because if there is anything less necessary in a Maslow sense than dating sites in public accommodation, I’m hard pressed to think of it. And there are so many other businesses competing in the gay dating market.

                    2. Does Grindr have a Christian section?

                      Asking for a friend

                    3. There’s only so much gay dating site research I should do at work considering I’m a bear.

                    4. Figured you were more of a Twonk.

                    5. An America in which gay evangelicals can’t meet other gay evangelicals exclusively on ChristianMingle in not the America Harambe gave his life for.

  11. If Gary would reverse his stance on this issue I would consider voting for him.

    Jill Stein approves this message knowing that will never happen.

    1. “Pay attention to meee!” the troll explained.

  12. This is so fucking stupid. Ten bucks is ten bucks.

    And- it will piss me off to my dying day that some people believe there is some sort of legitimate distinction between “I just don’t feel like it” and “God told me not to”.

    1. The state forced people to declare why they are opposed to doing something. These people have no choice but to declare their beliefs in order to not perform forced labor. I hardly blame them by wanting to play by the rules laid out by the people holding the guns and keys to the cells.

      1. DO they force them to declare, or just assume what their motivations are?

        I suppose the result is the same.

        1. IMO, they’re forcing them to declare by saying “the only people we will exempt from these forced accommodations are people that declare ‘X’ due to their religions beliefs.

          1. OK, that makes sense.

    2. “I don’t feel like it” is a legitimate reason for a business owner to deny service, just as it is legitimate for me to have the same reason for not working for Pizza Hut.

      People should not have to work for a particular group or individual under compulsion. That is the essence of slavery.

      1. That is the essence of government. To compel you to do things you don’t want to do.

        1. And to steal your shit. That’s the main thing. All the extortion, kidnapping, killing, control and theft is all done in order to steal your shit. They’re really good at it.

          1. Occasionally government kidnaps people and forces them to kill people so that it can steal foreigners’ shit.

            The end of the draft is the #1 accomplishment of libertarian movement. Regrettably, that was was the movement’s most recent major accomplishment. Weed liberalization doesn’t come close, but if it results in ending the drug war, it will eventually rank as a major accomplishment.

            1. 10 Samuel told all the words of the Lord to the people who were asking him for a king. 11 He said, “This is what the king who will reign over you will claim as his rights: He will take your sons and make them serve with his chariots and horses, and they will run in front of his chariots. 12 Some he will assign to be commanders of thousands and commanders of fifties, and others to plow his ground and reap his harvest, and still others to make weapons of war and equipment for his chariots. 13 He will take your daughters to be perfumers and cooks and bakers. 14 He will take the best of your fields and vineyards and olive groves and give them to his attendants. 15 He will take a tenth of your grain and of your vintage and give it to his officials and attendants. 16 Your male and female servants and the best of your cattle[c] and donkeys he will take for his own use. 17 He will take a tenth of your flocks, and you yourselves will become his slaves. 18 When that day comes, you will cry out for relief from the king you have chosen, but the Lord will not answer you in that day.” – 1 Samuel 8:10-18

              1. A tenth of my flock? Fuck, if only I could be so lucky. Too bad biblical writers couldn’t envision a form of government where they could take many times more than a tenth and the people would be thankful because they think they’re only taxing themselves.

                1. They were only a few generations descended from nomads. Any higher tax rate and they would have just walked back into the desert.

                  1. Fuck, as late as the 1700’s, a few percent tax increase above 3% would start a shooting war almost without question.

    3. And- it will piss me off to my dying day that some people believe there is some sort of legitimate distinction between “I just don’t feel like it” and “God told me not to”.

      Legally, there is such a distinction, to some extent. That’s why people are running it up the flagpole in court.

  13. This whole thing is mostly people trying to solve problems that don’t really exist. There is no shortage of people willing to provide services and goods for gay weddings. And there aren’t many who give a crap if some conservative Christians don’t want to do gay weddings. It’s some activists (mostly on the anti-free association side) driving the whole thing.

    If people would accept that you aren’t going to make everyone into “right thinkers” overnight, there would be no issue.

    1. There is no right to being left alone if you want to run a business!

      1. There is no right to being left alone. if you want to run a business!

    2. This whole thing is mostly people trying to solve problems that don’t really exist.

      It’s not about solving problems at all. It’s about using government to mess with people SJWs don’t like.

      1. Which is how SJWs attempt to solve what they perceive to be problems. The existence of people with beliefs they don’t like is a problem for them.

  14. I’m just amazed that there are no gay calligraphers willing to take on this business.

    1. No, the amazing part is that there are straight calligraphers.

      1. Do we know this for a fact? I’m thinking there might be more to Breanna and Joanna than meets the eye…

        1. God told them not to make invitations for gay weddings but didn’t tell them to keep out of each other’s laps?

          Way to send mixed signals, Jehovah!

            1. It’s Adam and Steve, not Brenda and Eve!

                1. Right? There’s more to this story.

                  1. I hope so, because I have one of my fleshlights all warmed up and ready to go.

                    1. Is it the one in the front yard, or the one on the roof? ‘Cause i thought you said your roof fleshlight had chipmunks nesting in it.

                    2. He lured them into it, Mr. Vanilla.

                    3. No. It’s an indoor fleshlight named Barbra Streisand The Seventh.

      2. Especially since there are no straight lines in calligraphy. At all. I mean every fucking line has a tail, curve or twist.

    2. Now you’re thinking logically, which doesn’t work well in the victim environment of today.

  15. So, we were told that making gay wedding cakes is different from making Nazi cakes because the cake is just a cake, it doesn’t have words and doesn’t express any point of view. Now we’re being told that expressing a point of view on a cake isn’t really expressing a point of view, because it’s just a job.

    Looks like gay marriage pretty much just finished off a good chunk of freedom of speech and association. Woo hoo! Libertarian victory.

    1. Its OK, though. It was an unintended consequence.

  16. Theoretical homos are the worst kind.

    1. I never like Alan Turing either.

  17. Here, there is nothing about custom wedding invitations made for same-sex couples that is expressive.

    Oh, well, that fucking settles it then. I guess I missed the “or abridging the freedom of expressive speech, or of the press” part of the First Amendment.

    1. It’s all based on the FYTW clause.

      1. It’s all about Castro. He said he’s coming after the private sector.

  18. custom calligraphy for a Nazi-themed wedding?

    The comic sans swastika qualifies as a war crime, in and of itself.

    1. I think it’s cute.

  19. Courts shouldn’t be deciding what counts as expressive speech any more than they should be deciding what counts as sincere religious belief. But as Scott points out, that ship has sailed, unfortunately.

    1. So, Scott is a faux-libertarian.

      1. Acknowledging the situation as it exists makes it so?

        1. Okay. Carry on, captain

        2. A libertarian would only comment on how things ought to be, in the libertarian paradise.

          Unless it’s about immigration.

      2. Yes.

        1. What’s your evidence? He believes that Barack Obama is the president of the United States?

          1. He probably thinks black people can read or some such nonsense.

            1. You interpreted that “yes” as communication as opposed to a stimulus-response?

              1. I’m doing a callback to an earlier comment, a practice which has a long and celebrated use in comedy.

            2. He probably thinks black people can read or some such nonsense.

              When I was in jail for a year at 15, the most “illiterate” person I knew was “Frankie”- a white dude from Dayton. We ended up as friends because I was in the cell next door for my 3 day “quarantine” upon entry, and he was straight- jacketed to his bed and rocking out on the phenobarb injection.

              I got to read him the letters his girlfriend wrote him every week- and she wasn’t much more literate than he was- think of Doc Hollywood reading the redneck letters to the pregnant couple… (I love that movie!- funny as hell and Julie Warner is F-I-N-E fine, too)

              Meanwhile, in the 90’s, when my town had a black mayor, a black police chief, a black fire Captain, 5 of 7 black school board members, and 4 of 7 black city council members- we had 15 Elementary schools where 99% of 4th graders could not actually read at a 4th grade level. I’ll leave it to you to determine the demographics of those schools.

  20. This may seem like a real quandary to some people whether or not it’s a matter of free speech or maybe free expression but neither is the case. This is a matter of free association so there’s no moral debate on the matter. The calligrapher has an absolute right to not do these wedding invitations, since he’s not a fucking slave.

    1. since he’s not a fucking slave.

      Assumes facts not in evidence. This remains to be determined.

      1. Yup. We have for the courts to decide.

        If this wasn’t so fucking terrifying, I would laugh.

        1. We have to wait for the courts to decide.

    2. According to the Left, you gave up your 13th amendment rights when you got your business license.

      Although you can’t open your business unless you have a business license.

      So, it’s like a Catch-22.

      Resistance is indeed futile.

      1. Indeed, I got my permission slip. But since a coercive contract is an invalid contract, I’m not morally bound to follow it. Legally, different matter.

        1. You just need a couple of bad Yelp reviews and – voila!

          You’ll be left alone.

          Again, the free market is wonderful.

      2. “Whatever happened to “Hey, I have some apples, would you like to buy them?” “Yes, thank you!” That’s as complicated as it should be to open a business in this country.”

        1. Too many bad apples is why we can’t have nice things in this country.

        2. Hows aboutta these apples, wise guy. *rude gesture*

    3. Strictly speaking, he can freely refuse to do the work, so long as he then completely retires from business forever. So, not a slave.

      1. “Never have to work again a day in your life…”

  21. It seems to me that this law goes beyond what Gary Johnson would support.

    Here’s what he said about cakes: “”In the case of the bakers, the bakers have to sell the cake but the baker doesn’t have to decorate the cake,” Johnson said. “That’s the First Amendment that comes to play. You don’t have to decorate the cake but you are in business so you got to sell that cake.””

    So I suppose calligraphers can be compelled to sell their brushes/pens and their ink, but can’t be compelled to use their brushes/pens to write “You are cordially invited to Adam and Steve’s wedding.”

    Isn’t it time GJ came out and said exactly this?

    1. “”In the case of the bakers, the bakers have to sell the cake but the baker doesn’t have to decorate the cake,”

      If he’s making an argument about what ought to be, then he’s completely and totally wrong. I shouldn’t have to sell anything to anyone that I don’t consent to do so. Because I have property rights and I’m no one’s slave.

      1. It’s a chance for him to turn around and court some of the voters he’s been pissing on.

        1. Which ones would that be? Non-Democrats?

          1. Classic liberals.

            1. Classic(al) liberals (currently living) don’t believe in forced association or slavery either. So I don’t see how “sell but not decorate” is an argument that’s going to win over many of those hearts.

              1. I mean religious conservatives, especially those who have been turned off by Trump when he insulted their candidate (Cruz).

                1. The religious conservatives are only useful at dying on pointless hills and dragging the rest of the right along with them for the ride. Nobody needs ’em. They’re on the way out anyways, let them die on their last pointless hill and the refugees can move their support into other camps on the right not so concerned with making sure the ten commandments stay up in some court house.

                  1. Yes, religion is dying out, we’ve been hearing that since Freud. But there are those who are skeptical.

                    Anyway, seeking their votes doesn’t mean being infected with their Sky Daddy cooties, it simply means saying you’ll protect their rights.

                    1. I’m not talking about their religion dying or rising from the ashes like a Hebrew phoenix. I’m talking about their political bloc, the evangelical conservatives. They were once upon a time, the bedrock of the conservative coalition, which sort of makes it hard to defend and conserve liberty with one hand while you fend off the rebuttals of the stupid-as-fuck political positions and comments made by the evangelical wing of the conservative tent with your other hand.

                      A great example of this is the great leftist talking point: “the Republicans want to ban birth control!OMG”, which is completely untrue but because some late 80’s to early 90’s evangelical talking heads were actually fighting battles on that hill, the meme stuck and is still used to discredit right wing politics to this very day.

                    2. “I’d appeal to alienated Cruz voters by speaking up for religious freedom, but then some people did stuff in the 80s and 90s and blah blah icky.”

                    3. “I’d appeal to alienated Cruz voters by speaking up for religious freedom, but then some people did stuff in the 80s and 90s and blah blah icky.”

                      “I’d appeal to alienated Cruz voters by speaking up for the concept that you need to be religious and have a religious rationale to have your right to free association respected.”

                      yeah, fuck that.

                    4. You religious types need to give up the special privileges you enjoy under your so-called First Amendment, or else fuck off.”

                    5. You religious types need to give up the special privileges you enjoy under your so-called First Amendment, or else fuck off.”

                      Uhhhh what? You get more hyperbolic each time you post. I must have really hurt your little feelings.

                      I shouldn’t have to have the same religious rationale as a Christian baker to have the right to decide who I do business with. It’s really that simple. Gary Johnson acting as the de facto ambassador of libertarianism really has no business reinforcing a dumbfuck concept so full of dumbfuckery as “religion is the only excuse to have free association”.

                    6. He can do both. He can defend the First Amendment and the freedom under the 14th Amendment to make and enforce contracts (see below).

                      Sometimes – many times – a law violates freedom in multiple respects. Why just focus on one?

                    7. Sometimes – many times – a law violates freedom in multiple respects. Why just focus on one?

                      I don’t know, that’s what I’d like to ask the opponents of and activists against these public accommodation laws. Aside from here at Reason and from libertarians in general, I hear no one objecting to the public accommodation rules on the basis of free association. That’s a profound mistake and means this will be yet another issue that conservatism utterly fails to conserve something.

                    8. That’s a profound mistake and means this will be yet another issue that conservatism utterly fails to conserve something.

                      Agreed, but most conservatives are arguing on the Kulturkampf level rather than the principled level. Nobody said that the Left had a monopoly on useful idiots.

                    9. According to this, some conservatives are waking up to the fact that Lochner v. New York was an OK decision.

                      While waiting for everyone to get on board, let’s not get rid of the First Amendment.

                  2. The religious conservatives are only useful at dying on pointless hills and dragging the rest of the right along with them for the ride.

                    Yeah, Rand Paul, Mike Lee, Justin Amash… those Church-y right-wingers have done nothing but drag the GOP to its death. Once the GOP finally dies and the libertarian party gets a majority of the vote, we’ll have real libertarians like Gary Johnson to run the show!

                    Preach on to the Libertarian Rapture, FS.

                    1. I don’t think “religious conservatives” was meant to refer to all people who are both religious and conservative, but to people whose conservatism is of a specifically religious character.

                    2. I don’t think “religious conservatives” was meant to refer to all people who are both religious and conservative, but to people whose conservatism is of a specifically religious character.

                      Exactly.

                    3. Yeah, Rand Paul, Mike Lee, Justin Amash… those Church-y right-wingers have done nothing but drag the GOP to its death

                      Those aren’t evangelical conservatives, they may get support from them but you just rattled off a list of libertarian-ish politicians that have conservative social views that they don’t exactly demand be transformed into actual policies. That last distinction is pretty damn important.

                    4. So any evangelical conservative who advocates a freedom philosophy suddenly stops being an evangelical conservative.

                      Therefore, evangelical conservatives are useless to libertarians.

                      QED.

                      So Rand Paul, with his Life at Conception Act, doesn’t really count.

                    5. So any evangelical conservative who advocates a freedom philosophy suddenly stops being an evangelical conservative.

                      Therefore, evangelical conservatives are useless to libertarians.

                      Well, he’s not legislating the Bible…so no. That person would functionally remain in the liberty camp.

                      So Rand Paul, with his Life at Conception Act, doesn’t really count.

                      Actually no, not really. It’s possible to agree with that position with nothing but secular philosphy, like I do. I oppose abortion and I don’t need the Bible or the Koran to arrive at that position.

                    6. I think you’re beginning to get it.

                      Just because religious types want to legislate against abortion, feed the poor, etc., doesn’t mean that non-religious people must reflexively want to legalize abortion and let the poor starve.

                      The same thing goes for defending marriage. You don’t need to be a tub-thumping end-times preacher with a REPENT placard to think that marriage unites one man with one woman.

                      In fact, until recently, if you accused a nonreligious person of having some other definition of marriage, he’d call you a liar.

                    7. Utah is a remarkably free state in all sorts of ways–more so than California.

                      And I don’t think that’s in spite of the state being 60% Mormon. I think it’s because of it.

                      It makes people feel like they need to respect other people’s freedom to make choices for themselves–when they don’t want their freedom subjected to popularity contests.

                      No doubt, they’ll be among the last to legalize recreational marijuana, and they’ll never be enthusiastic about their love for gay marriage.

                      But if you want to buy a gun, don’t want to wear a motorcycle helmet, etc., etc., they’ll respect your freedom to do that.

                      They’re certainly more of a freer state in all sorts of important ways than those atheist geniuses in California.

                    8. Plus, Salt Lake City has a gay mayor. A gay, Roman Catholic mayor. A Democrat, a gay and a Roman Catholic mayor. In Salt Lake City.

                      So, I guess all Democrats aren’t tyrants.

                    9. Brigham Young hated the federal government. He prayed for its demise.

                      It took libertarians 100 years to catch up.

                    10. I don’t know what I’m “beginning to get” because I haven’t wavered on my position here even slightly. Conservatives who are evangelical are, all else being equal, fine allies. Evangelical conservatives who think everyone’s policy positions should revolve around their particular species of Biblical interpretation are counterproductive allies to have. They pick stupid fights and then we all win stupid prizes, our prize being that the left advances their cause a few more steps.

                      There’s a difference between your religious views informing your political views, and having your political views mirror your religious ones.

                    11. There’s a difference between your religious views informing your political views, and having your political views mirror set the basis for your religious ones.

                      FIFY. Nothing irritates me more than conservative “christians” whose religious views have nothing to do with the Bible and everything to do with a warped cultural view of what the 1950s was like.

                    12. They pick stupid fights and then we all win stupid prizes, our prize being that the left advances their cause a few more steps.

                      So, would you rather have Ted Cruz and no Gary Johnson (i.e. McAffee or the other guy) or Trump and Gary Johnson?

                      My point wasn’t that Paul/Amash/Lee/etc. are/aren’t libertarians/evangelicals as much as we’re talking politics; it’s stupid fights on hills you shouldn’t have to fight on for stupid prizes all the way down. It’s the fucking LP and our candidate will garner less than 3% of the vote while waffling on gun rights and welfare reform for christsakes. It makes shutting down Congress in opposition to the ACA seem like a heroic Crucifixion rather than simply dying on a hill.

                    13. So, would you rather have Ted Cruz and no Gary Johnson (i.e. McAffee or the other guy) or Trump and Gary Johnson?

                      Not sure exactly. I’m not particularly fond of any of them for a number of reasons, and mostly nothing to do with matters of religion.

                      It’s the fucking LP and our candidate will garner less than 3% of the vote while waffling on gun rights and welfare reform for christsakes.

                      Yes. I’ve had bones to pick with the LP long before this election cycle. To have the VP stand up and say that “handguns are a real problem” really takes the wind of the campaign’s libertarian sails. Of all things to be squishy about in order to win over moderates, guns are absolutely the worst one to pick.

                      I don’t disagree that stupid fights are happening all around with pretty much all camps. It’s just that a particular faction under the conservative banner has an unparalleled skill at picking the worst possible hills to die on with the most grievous consequences to the rest of us.

                    14. You don’t need to be a tub-thumping end-times preacher with a REPENT placard to think that marriage unites one man with one woman.

                      I would hope that said preacher would have read enough of the bible to realize that it doesnt mean that.

                      Its a 1 to N relationship. Where N is preferably 1, but not always.

                    15. Its a 1 to N relationship. Where N is preferably 1, but not always.

                      Just because the Bible describes polygamous relationships doesn’t mean the the Bible prescribes said relationship.

                      The Bible also describes a king having a soldier killed so that the soldier’s wife could have the king’s baby without the soldier finding out.

                    16. Let me see what my Catechism has to say:

                      “1610 Moral conscience concerning the unity and indissolubility of marriage developed under the pedagogy of the old law. In the Old Testament the polygamy of patriarchs and kings is not yet explicitly rejected. Nevertheless, the law given to Moses aims at protecting the wife from arbitrary domination by the husband, even though according to the Lord’s words it still carries traces of man’s “hardness of heart” which was the reason Moses permitted men to divorce their wives….

                      “1645 “The unity of marriage, distinctly recognized by our Lord, is made clear in the equal personal dignity which must be accorded to man and wife in mutual and unreserved affection.” Polygamy is contrary to conjugal love which is undivided and exclusive….

                      “1664…Polygamy is incompatible with the unity of marriage…”

                      So while divorce and polygamy are contrary to the laws of nature and of nature’s God, the Lord gave a dispensation in the Old Testament era – so the people who want divorce or polygamy need to claim they have a similar dispensation.

                    17. Brigham Young and everyone else

                    18. The Bible also describes a king having a soldier killed so that the soldier’s wife could have the king’s baby without the soldier finding out.

                      It also describes Yahweh commanding his peeps to slaughter some neighboring tribes, kill their men, rape their women and enslave their children, and from time to time to kill the children too. But Christians generally have been pretty good about not living out that moral postulate so I won’t hold their feet to the fire over it.

    2. He shouldn’t. He should say “no person should be forced to associate, whether personally or professionally, with any other person in a free society.”

      Pretty simple.

    3. Oh, you’re funny.

  22. I’m against forcing people to do stuff they don’t want to do. But I’d be willing to use force to stop people from forcing other people to do stuff they don’t want to do. That’s legitimate.

    1. initiating force against the initiation of force shows great initiative.

  23. I though libertarians have already sold out on this issue. They sold out on religious freedom and now on speech. Hell, ‘libertarian’ is just a byword for ‘coward’.

    1. Fuck off, troll.

    2. It’s the religious freedom that some libertarians seem to struggle with. I guess they can’t get passed their childhood trauma of being forced to attend Sunday school.

      1. Libertarians are the worst, which is why I’m glad they’re no longer in power.

        1. Me too, me too, Comrade.

      2. More like fear of progressives taunting them for having Christ cooties.

        1. “Sooner or later, you must make peace with the faith you were brought up in.” – pearls of wisdom to my fellow libertarians.

          1. There is no God. Or maybe there is but you won’t know until you meet her.
            -pearls of wisdom

            1. You need to capitalize that ‘h’ if you know what is good for you, Pilgrim.

      3. Yes, we don’t think people get extra freedoms because they believe in the supernatural.

    3. Re: Just Say’n,

      I though libertarians have already sold out on this issue.

      You thought wrong.

      1. There’s not much evidence of thought happening at all.

    4. Gary Johnson doesn’t speak for libertarians.

      Each of us speak for ourselves individually.

      1. You don’t get to speak for who speaks for me, shitlord!

        1. Okay, Gary Johnson speaks for Derp-o-Matic 5000 . . . or not.

          It just depends on what Derp-o-Matic 5000 wants or doesn’t want .

          . . . unless Derp-o-Matic 5000 says otherwise.

      2. Another way of wording my second law.

        1. No it’s not.

  24. Of note: Nobody has actually asked them to, yet.

    I’m going to order a wall scroll of the phrase “God Is a Boob Man!” in 18th Century round hand.

    1. Class. that’s how you do it.

  25. My complaint is that I want to refuse a voluntary business opportunity with a XXX and YYY and ZZZ just for the perverse pleasure of it – when I am myself in fact at least XXX all the time and sometimes YYY too, and I occasionally experiment with ZZZ (but there’s that hygiene issue).

    But nooooo – wanting to lose money because of the pleasure of non-conformity and being a curmudgeon is scorned and prohibited.

    Now some superstitious bozos claim that they want the same opportunity to lose business, but they claim the protection of the stupidities of divine revelation – and they get at least a hearing and sometimes court protection. What? Why should ancient, supernatural mumbo jumbo get a pass, while good, old-fashioned perversity is punished?

    No more special pleading for the religious. Everybody should get cattle-prodded into state-coerced conformity equally.

    1. Sounds like a perfect ending of your 1984 dream fantasy.

      1. But it was all right, everything was all right, the struggle was finished. He had won the victory over himself. He loved Big Gay Brother.

    2. Well, most of us here would argue that you should be allowed to refuse business with anyone for any reason or no reason.

      But to answer your question about “special pleading for the religious,” as you call it. See, there’s this thing call the Constitution, which has been amended on a few occasions…

      1. So I just have to be religious to have my rights? Sounds easy enough.

      2. The first amendment doesn’t justify special pleading for the religious. It says that no law that impinges on free religious practice should exist at all. It shouldn’t matter whether any person actually engages in particular religious practices, any law that can violate free exercise should be gone.
        Courts need to grow some balls. If a law violates the whole constitution, the whole thing needs to go. Let the legislature try again to get it right.

    3. “What? Why should ancient, supernatural mumbo jumbo get a pass, while good, old-fashioned perversity is punished?”

      It isn’t just that way with religion. It’s that way with free speech, too.

      The First Amendment doesn’t just protect smart speech. It also protects stupid speech.

      The idea that other people should only be free to do things that are smart or benefit others is incompatible with freedom.

      Other people do not exist for your benefit–and neither do their rights.

      Your rights exist for your benefit, and you should be free to exercise them as you see fit–even if doing so harms other people. That is, you should be free to exercise your rights so long as you don’t violate someone else’s rights.

      But a truly free society is predicated on people being free to say stupid things and believe stupid things that might be harmful to you.

      Get over it.

    4. Now some superstitious bozos claim that they want the same opportunity to lose business, but they claim the protection of the stupidities of divine revelation – and they get at least a hearing and sometimes court protection. What? Why should ancient, supernatural mumbo jumbo get a pass, while good, old-fashioned perversity is punished?

      You can thank the super-erudite and totes-smart atheists of the Progressive Era for gutting the freedom of association and the atheistic Progressive Left of the Civil Rights Era for finally killing the freedom of association. If that portion of the 1st Amendment hadn’t been retconned out of the Constitution, we wouldn’t be forced to rely on a not-very-apt religious freedom clause instead.

      1. “we wouldn’t be forced to rely on a not-very-apt religious freedom clause instead” – that’s my take too. Given how things have evolved, special pleading based on religion might be the only way to block off “constitutionally” some commercial space free of state-coerced conformity. My prediction, however, is that without a more general appreciation of freedoms of association and speech – of which religious matters are only a subset – trying to carve out a special commercial niche using religion would be unsustainable in the longer term. It will always be subject to the accurate charge of special pleading without some more coherent general basis.

        As for the implied contention that atheistic progressives – with an emphasis on atheism – were to blame for the gutting of the freedom of association, the weight of evidence likely would not support it. Taking everything together – blue laws, prohibitions against homosexuals, alcohol prohibitions and restrictions, anti-miscegenation laws and so on – the tools of state coercion to violate freedom of association – not only commercially but in the privacy of the home – were forged by do-gooders and buttinskies excusing their bullying based on religion. That progressives – religious or not – simply reoriented these tools of violence for conformity to other moralistic ends, often antithetical to old-time superstitions, is one of those bitter twists of history.

  26. What city is about to force churches to let people they don’t want in to spaghetti dinners?

    And what is that city’s laws on Ladies Nights?

    Just curious.

    1. I think it was the entire state of Massachusetts.

      And Google says…I remembered correctly.

  27. Still waiting for some SJWs to attempt a stunt like this with a Muslim-owned business…

    1. Good luck, given that Muslims now reside at the very top of the SJW Pyramid of Victimhood, above the gays.

      1. And all they had to do was shoot some gays here, and toss them off buildings and rape them to death in the Middle East. Those atrocities triggered the “Not All Muslims” gland that resides inside of every leftist, which releases a tidal wave of endorphins when they get to lecture people about how all terrorists are really fake Muslims.

        1. An unwarranted sense of moral superiority is a hell of a drug.

          1. Probably the most dangerous addiction facing humanity.

        2. And bring up the Crusades

          1. Which they’ll assure you there’s no context in which to think of the Crusades other than “western imperialism and hatred of brown people”.

            1. Yeah – innocent Muslims were peacefully strolling through the French countryside and Charles Martel jumped them for NO REASON

              1. So there were these Muslims, invading Christian kingdoms and taking millions of slaves out of Europe, you know, just minding their own business, when suddenly the Pope decided to be superduper mean to them. Not okay.

    2. Nah. They have Halal.

  28. Look, Johnson would actually have the Constitution on his side if he defended free association.

    Problem is, it would be the Constitution as written, and as understood at the time it was ratified, not the Constitution as creatively amended by courts and other branches of government,

    The 14th Amendment protects the privileges and immunities of U.S. citizens against state infringement.

    These privileges and immunities were recognized at the time as including the right “to make and enforce contracts” (to quote the Civil Rights Act of 1866, which was contemporaneous with the 14th Amendment – although the Act said nonwhites would have the same freedom of contract as whites, the 14th Amendment went further and protected privileges and immunities in an absolute sense, not simply an antidiscrimination sense – it was the Equal Protection Clause which banned discrimination).

    The Supreme Court (using the Due Process clause since they’d gutted the privileges and immunities clause) admitted that there was a constitutional freedom of contract, though they said that right could be limited for health, safety and morals reasons, especially in businesses “affected with a public interest.” But that’s sure better than not having freedom of contract at all.

    (cont)

    1. There were common-law rules and statues aimed at innkeepers, requiring them to serve all well-behaved and paying patrons, but this came from a period where the weary traveller could either stop at the only in for miles or sleep in the rain and have highwaymen stab them to death.

      Charles Sumner’s Civil Rights Act, unfortunately, extended this principle to theaters in banning racial discrimination against customers. But his Civil Rights Act of 1875 was struck down on 10th Amendment grounds.

      The Supreme Court recognized a right not to hire union workers, but the New Deal put paid to that version of free association.

      And the feds said that a barbecue joint couldn’t choose its customers based on race, because interstate commerce.

      So there we are.

      It would be nice for a libertarian candidate to get down to first principles and restore the right to make and enforce contracts.

      1. And take note of the concern which initially led to protecting freedom of contract – the Black Codes of the post Civil War south which (among other things) limited the right of black people to enter certain contracts.

        So this wasn’t the Fat Cat Moustache-twirling lobby at work.

        And violation of freedom of contract came up in the Montgomery Bus Boycott – a state law in Alabama said you couldn’t organize a boycott of certain services (like buses). This was used to prosecute the black people who were using proto-Uber drivers to get to work rather than use segregated city buses.

        1. the Black Codes of the post Civil War south

          Those were more commonly called Jim Crow laws, Eddie.

          BTW, does anyone know what the proper term is for using an individual name (fictional or not) as a shorthand for an entire group – John Bull (England), Johnny Reb (confederate soldier), Thomas/Tommy Atkins (british soldier), etc?

          1. It’s a form of metonymy, particularly synecdoche. This argues the phenomenon is termed “archetypal name”, but I’ve never come across that phrase before.

            1. Thanks, I was aware of synecdoche’s but the definition seemed to go the other way (using a group term to refer to an individual).

              1. You’re right that “Archetypal name” in the example is whole to part, but it seems to be the umbrella things like national personification is placed under. I’m sure there is an exact name, but I can’t think of it now.

                1. Thanks again, HM. Semi-Relevant: One of my neighbors grew up in South Africa under Apartheid; his racial designation was “Colored” which was a catchall term for anyone not fitting into the other categories: Black, White and Indian (as in, from India!).

          2. It’s a “generic name.” They are a subset of “placeholder names.”

            Placeholder names are words that can refer to objects or people whose names are temporarily forgotten, irrelevant, or unknown in the context in which they are being discussed.

          3. “Those were more commonly called Jim Crow laws, Eddie.”

            No, they most certainly were not.

            Here, take a look.

            “The Strange Career of Jim Crow…convincingly shows that, even under slavery, the two races had not been divided as they were under the Jim Crow laws of the 1890s. In fact, during Reconstruction, there was considerable economic and political mixing of the races. The segregating of the races was a relative newcomer to the region.”

            1. The Black Codes were passed in 1865 and 1866, not the 1890s.

              1. Oops, you are correct. Different things. Black codes were reconstruction era (1865-1890), Jim Crow laws/era was after that (1890-1965).

                Mea culpa.

            2. Eddie, I grew up in the South (note capitalization) during segregation, though obviously not as far back as the 1890s.

              You originally wrote: the Black Codes of the post Civil War south, then moved the goalposts to even under slavery….

              And a better example of freedom to contract would be the right of black people to marry white people, and vice versa, which was explicitly prohibited by law where I lived. Of course, they could have gotten secretly married by a willing preacher, but could not have gotten that marriage recognized by government of larger society.

              1. Get bent, Tonio, the Black Codes were 1865-1866, Jim Crow started in the fucking 1890s.

                Both postwar, numbnuts.

                1. I’m going to guess you haven’t actually read Woodward’s book.

                  1. Stop sulking. I apologized.

                    1. Weirdest apology I ever saw.

                      You said I moved the goalposts. No, you had reading comprehension skills.

                      The Black Codes existed in 1865 and 1866. Congress got rid of them. In the 1890s we got Jim Crow. Congress did little or nothing about it for several decades, though the 14th Amendment seemed to require action.

                      Why on earth are you banging your head against this wall of logic? I was even trying to help you out with your freedom of association arguments.

                    2. Oh, shit, I missed this comment:

                      “Tonio|9.21.16 @ 2:47PM|#

                      “Oops, you are correct. Different things. Black codes were reconstruction era (1865-1890), Jim Crow laws/era was after that (1890-1965).

                      “Mea culpa.”

                      Wow, *mea* culpa. Sorry, dude.

                    3. PS – there was a confused interval between the end of the Black Codes in 1867 and Jim Crow in the 1890s. It wasn’t an egalitarian era, but the legal formalities of a racial caste system were only specifically spelled out when the Jim Crow laws were passed in the Gay Nineties.

                    4. “Gay Nineties”

                      You trolling me, bro?

                    5. It was also called the Naughty Nineties in Britain.

                    6. Look, “Gay Nineties” didn’t have the meaning then that we would think.

                      It was the decade of Oscar Wilde, of the final edition of Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass…OK, wrong examples.

                    7. *applause*

        2. There is no “free association”. It never existed.

          Get over your white privilege.

  29. Well, it says right there in the 1A: Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of expressive speech . . .”

    The only reason to introduce this distinction into the law is to erode the First Amendment. Glad to see Shackford land on the right side of this one.

    1. I think that the point of the “expressive speech” thing is not whether or not an activity counts as speech at all. Making a cake or doing calligraphy is not literally speech. So the question is whether such activities should be considered speech at all when speech is considered a broader category than just literal speaking.

      I think that any expressive activity should be considered protected by the first amendment. But here I think the only thing that matters is the right of business owners to freely associate or not with whomever they choose, so the speech question is academic.

      1. Even if calligraphy isnt “speech” it is still “press” which is covered by the same amendment.

      2. You can argue about the cake, but calligraphy tends to involve writing words. I don’t see how that can not be speech.

        1. Because speech is speaking, not writing.

          Yes, I’m being excessively literal. It should be understood to mean any kind of communication.

          1. Otherwise those restricted to signlanguage would be pretty fucked, huh.

  30. The judge expressly distinguished the content on a wedding invitation from “a message,” as might be put on a cake.

    But when people like these women or other businesses say “This feels like an endorsement to us,” is it really the government’s place to say that it’s not?

    The Christians are the ones who lawyered up first, so it would seem they think government should decide. There is a statute in play, after all.

    A proper nondiscrimination law simply requires businesses to treat gay people the same as they do straight people, or black people the same as white people. Is it debatable whether such laws should exist at all? I guess, but nobody can claim some parade of horribles has resulted from them, while the pro-discrimination regimes that existed prior to such laws left lots of social injustice in their wakes.

    1. What is the difference between regular ole injustice and social injustice?

      1. The latter term exists to annoy libertarians, MRAs, and other easily butthurt types.

        1. Right, so it’s another piece of useless bullshit that you present like it’s a refined concept. You being the human embodiment of all the worst features of the left, I’m not surprised in the slightest by your answer.

          1. justice, noun, the administration of fairness in a society

            social justice, noun, justice in terms of the distribution of wealth, opportunities, and privileges within a society

            1. Whatever “social justice” may be, it must be subservient to actual justice, or it cannot exist in it’s own right. There’s a reason it would be unjust to rob the guy next to you in line because he has more money in his pocket than you. And since “social justice” theory seeks to merely relabel that theft as a just action, it’s not a species of justice at all but can only be described as advocating “injustice”.

              1. I get that you are rights minimalists and look for every opportunity you can to trim stray branches off the tree of liberty, but “justice” is not exactly a concretely defined concept. Those of us who endorse expanding individual freedom, on the other hand, have found it useful to use the term “social justice” to describe circumstances of justice beyond normal law and order. It is not just if a person is denied due process. It is also, arguably, not just if a person is destined to a life of second-class status because of the skin color he was born with. Libertarians have never figured out a way to fix that problem beyond hoping it goes away naturally. You’ll forgive those of us who aren’t freedom minimalists for actually caring and trying.

                1. I get that you are rights minimalists and look for every opportunity you can to trim stray branches off the tree of liberty

                  No just the internally inconsistent ones that can’t possibly be rights. I get that you’re a rights positivist, and you want to make quite nearly every necessity and luxury imaginable into an inalienable human right, but just because you desire something or even need something, doesn’t mean it’s a right that allows you to enslave others to your desire so they’d be forced to produce it for you.

                  You’ll forgive those of us who aren’t freedom minimalists for actually caring and trying.

                  I won’t, because your “caring and trying” means you direct some goons with guns to force me to provide you with resources on penalty of arrest, detention or even death. But since you view taxes as voluntary, astoundingly enough, I’m sure none of this makes any sense to you.

                  1. If one right is enslavement then they all are. The freedom to discriminate, for example, necessarily comes with the right to employ taxpayer-funded goons to drag customers out of your establishment if you see fit. Are cops slaves? Are they in bondage when they are enforcing your property rights? Are you going to slip out of this very obvious problem with libertarianism by pretending for a moment that you’re actually an anarchist, who is at least consistent on this point?

                    1. If one right is enslavement then they all are.

                      No the only purported rights that work that way are “positive rights”.

                      The freedom to discriminate, for example, necessarily comes with the right to employ taxpayer-funded goons to drag customers out of your establishment if you see fit.

                      The use of tax payer anything is not a right. I’d prefer not to have tax financed police, in small part because people like you erroneously use the existence of such a monopoly that I’m forced to rely upon as proof that positive rights are legitimate.

                      Are cops slaves?

                      Employees of a monopoly.

                      Are they in bondage when they are enforcing your property rights?

                      Bound by employment contract.

                      Are you going to slip out of this very obvious problem with libertarianism by pretending for a moment that you’re actually an anarchist, who is at least consistent on this point?

                      Perhaps you can tell me where *I* “slipped out of this problem” while you assert that by enforcing private property rights I’m enslaving a police officer in the exact way that a Christian baker is enslaved to bake a cake.

                    2. This is very simple. If you don’t think government should have a monopoly on legitimate force, i.e., that it should exist, then property rights are whatever the person with the most guns says they are. You can be an anarchist. I will thus direct you to the nearest padded room or child’s playpen where you can be one with your bullshit.

                      If you are not an anarchist, then you are OK with a government monopoly on force being employed to drag people from lunch counters, as strikingly true-to-life an exercise of ugly government force as can be imagined. That is not inconsistent with anything. You’ve simply chosen property rights and association over the right to be free from discrimination in commerce. Civilized society chose differently out of necessity, but whatever.

                      What you don’t get to say is that this is a negative right as opposed to other rights that require employing government force.

                    3. then property rights are whatever the person with the most guns says they are.

                      No, you’re describing the status quo. That’s your non-factual to debate, not mine.

                      What you don’t get to say is that this is a negative right as opposed to other rights that require employing government force.

                      If the government monopolizes all food production, and I need food to live, it doesn’t follow that I express my support for the government program to monopolize all food production because I eat some of it.

                      The depths of your stupid have yet to reach a limit.

                    4. you’re describing the status quo.

                      Correct; it’s an inescapable fact of the universe: whoever has the most guns decides who gets what property. The best system is when a democratically accountable government gets the most guns rather than roving rape gangs.

                      If the government monopolizes all food production, and I need food to live, it doesn’t follow that I express my support for the government program to monopolize all food production because I eat some of it.

                      So you do endorse anarchy? Can I get you an ice cream pop and a valium?

        2. You know more about butthurt than I will ever know.

    2. And suppose that business DOES discriminate against gay people – your solution is to use force and coercion?

      (1) Actual Crucifixion – pull a Roman, pick one and make an example of one malcontent. The rest will meekly fall in line
      (2) Threat of crucifixion – just be a Roman. Your Legions are legion and your resources are endless and you are feared.

      You really think the ends justify the means, Tony? It’s a very simple question.

      1. But if businesses are free to discriminate, that means state force and coercion must necessarily be employed to drag unwanted customers out of them. This is no hypothetical scenario either–it’s the very circumstance the laws in question were written to abolish, because it was a regime of horror.

        Even if we accept that antidiscrimination laws are a restriction on people’s freedoms, which I think is true, then we are left with a competition of freedoms. Civilized society and I come down on the side of protecting people from a Jim Crow?like environment rather than enforcing it.

        1. But if businesses are free to discriminate, that means state force and coercion must necessarily be employed to drag unwanted customers out of them.

          Those are called “trespassers” if they don’t leave when asked and I’d be happy to contact my private security firm to have them removed, but the government maintains a monopoly of law execution.

          Civilized society and I come down on the side of protecting people from a Jim Crow?like environment rather than enforcing it.

          A “Jim Crow like environment” categorically means government laws shoving segregation down people’s throat whether they want to or not.

          1. “private security firm”

            AKA the anarchist argument escape hatch. Do you or do you not endorse the use of government goons to enforce your property rights? If so, you don’t get to tell me that my policy priorities are beyond the pale. You endorse the most literally violent of all government duties–then bitch that taxation to pay for healthcare or what have you is force.

            If you don’t think it’s proper for government to enforce property rights, then fine, give me all your shit, as I have a bigger arsenal than you.

            A “Jim Crow like environment” categorically means government laws shoving segregation down people’s throat whether they want to or not.

            It also means enforcing racist business owners’ desires to have people dragged from the premises. If there weren’t an epidemic of actual real-people racism going on, we wouldn’t have needed in the first place to invent these laws that so egregiously trample on rights. Blame the bigots for creating the rights conflict.

            And it’s not as if Southern local governments were acting against the will of majority nonracist white electorates. Governments tend to do what the people want them to do. Or at least the ones who have given themselves permission to vote.

            1. AKA the anarchist argument escape hatch.

              You keep saying this but you’ve yet to make a coherent argument as to how that’s the case.

              Do you or do you not endorse the use of government goons to enforce your property rights?

              Yes because what’s the alternative? Did the Germans owe fealty and allegiance to Hitler because they drove on the autobahn that he built with funds forcibly seized from the population?

              You endorse the most literally violent of all government duties–then bitch that taxation to pay for healthcare or what have you is force.

              How is it not force? If I don’t pay, I get forcibly hauled off to jail or forcibly killed if I resist enough.

              If you don’t think it’s proper for government to enforce property rights, then fine, give me all your shit, as I have a bigger arsenal than you.

              If you don’t think it’s proper for me to kidnap you and hold you against your will, then why do consume the water and food I provide to you? HYPOCRITE!

              Or at least the ones who have given themselves permission to vote.

              Like you?

              1. Yes because what’s the alternative?

                If something is necessary, it has to be good. Libertarianism must be pretty weak stuff if it only begrudgingly accepts basic realities of the universe. My levitation experiment would have worked perfectly if not for that pesky gravity!

                So my argument follows. You are not against government goons forcing people to do what they don’t want to do. You aren’t against taxation. You simply have a very slim policy agenda. Its moral worth is thus to be decided by its practical utility as compared to other systems. In my humble opinion it comes up woefully short.

                1. Okay, so Tony I’m going to find you, kidnap you, torture you and keep you in my dungeon for the rest of your life. And because you eat and drink food that I provide for you, you clearly consent. Makes sense.

                  1. Well, Tony was born so obviously he consented.

                    If he didn’t want to bear the responsibility of citizenship, he should have never been born.

                  2. Are you flirting with me?

                2. “If something is necessary, it has to be good.” Seriously?

                  You flunk Logic & Reasoning 101.

            2. “Blame the bigots for creating the rights conflict.”

              You don’t want me, you’re mean to me and it’s all your fault.

  31. Wasn’t there some court ruling that said bakers have to bake cakes, but they don’t have to decorate them with written messages that they find offensive? Because first amendment?

    Under that logic, it seems that the calligraphers would be home free. Assuming, of course, that the courts see fit to apply that logic.

    1. Ah, but this isn’t a message, because it’s on an invitation, not on a cake. Duh, obviously.

      1. Seems like you need more a message on an invitation than you do on a cake.

  32. Well, it’s a refreshing change from cakes, I guess….

  33. It’s incredibly not tricky. Freedom of association.

    1. I would say the right to make and enforce contracts, because that’s, after all, a right with textual support in the history of the era in which the Fourteenth Amendment, with its references to the privileges and immunities of citizens, was adopted. So it reflects the original understanding.

      And it gets the c-word right out into the open where the snowflakes and lefty law professors can freak out.

      Remember that various provisions of the constitution, protecting various forms of privacy, combine to create “penumbras and emanations” which generate a right of privacy.

      But don’t even think of applying that same logic to the numerous provision in the constitution which protect aspects of property rights.

      1. (not that I endorse the penumbras and emanations approach, because it’s intrinsically arbitrary)

  34. I doubt any reasonable person would think that a calligrapher or T-shirt maker or printer necessarily agrees with the messages they’re hired to produce for customers.

    I would strongly disagree. In some sense making the product is an endorsement. Is it a strong endorsement? No. But it is an endorsement. If it is not, then the people who made money supplying the holocaust bear no moral responsibility. All they did was sell some chemicals to the government. That is hardly endorsing what the government did, right? That is an extreme example of course but the principle is the same in both cases. Either providing the materials necessary for something to occur means accepting the moral responsibility of that occurring or it doesn’t.

    Scott doesn’t grasp that because he is incapable of comprehending that someone could have a serious moral objection to the sacred gay marriage. So he doesn’t treat these moral objections the way he would moral objections in other cases. What if a linen store refused to sell to the KKK? Would Scott not understand that selling the sheets to them is in a sense being a part of what they are doing? I bet he would.

    1. Unless Scott is a Vulcan. You do know if you stand too close to Vulcans, they will firmly grasp you between their green-blooded talons and read your mind?

      Maybe that’s what Scott does.

      On his days off.

    2. I don’t know what fucking problem you have with Scott, other than he is gay and not part of team Yokel. The first half of the article is purely descriptive. It is reciting the facts and arguments.

      Everything after “Well then ? ” is opinion, and there’s no way to read his opinion other than that he opposes the idea that someone could be compelled to write speech they disagree with. The part you quote is set up so as to take down the notion that the problem with compelling speech is that it might be construed as endorsement, and not that it offends the conscience of the person doing the speaking.

      1. Now who’s reading minds?

    3. I can’t remember the last time I was interrogated about my private life and moral uprightness while buying sheets or other things. Does this happen to you often?

      And comparing gays to Nazis and the KKK–stay classy John.

      1. That’s because no one wants to marry you, Tony. You stink and you’re broke. You’re Reason’s Unabomber.

        1. John said every commercial transaction is an implicit moral judgment, and I’m the crazy guy in the cabin?

          1. You really want us to answer that question, crazy-stinky-cabin BOY?

          2. I’m surprised you didn’t make a gun manufacturer/seller remark.

            If you know what someone is going to do with the product then you might be considered to be endorsing said activity if you voluntarily provided it. But if you don’t know then how the hell can you be at all morally culpable?

            If a chemical producer won a contract to sell the government chlorine gas and did not know what they were doing with it, they aren’t the least bit culpable. If they know that the government is using it to kill people, then and they still voluntarily sell it to them then practically they’re endorsing the killing.

            So if someone sells you sheets and you don’t tell them that you’re going home to hang yourself with them then they are in no way responsible for your death.

            1. That’s fine but John didn’t make that distinction. He very much did put “being gay” in a category with “being a Nazi,” and you with “committing suicide.”

    4. I think what the court is saying is that calligraphers just write what their customers tell them to write, and the public understands that, so there is no expression attributed to the calligraphers.

      Of course, taken to its logical end, this would lead to some horrible conclusions. For example, that interpretation of 1A would mean it would be OK for the government to pass a law requiring every radio station in the country to read a one minute message from the President every hour, in the voice of the radio host. As long as the audience would realize it wasn’t the radio host’s actual opinion, he or she could be forced to read something they completely disagree with or go to jail.

      1. They have another option, you know: they could find work outside the radio business.

        /progspawn

  35. Have you noticed that all this anti-discrimination crap is highly discrimnatory? Only business people are held to any of these standards. Employees and customers can hate on their boss or on a store owner to their heart’s content. “Sorry, I don’t want anything to do with your kind,” is highly illegal if you are an employer or business owner. But it’s entirely acceptable if you are an employee or customer. Where in the Constitution does it make any such distinction? It doesn’t. We’re not talking social justice, here. We’re talking politics.

  36. Here, there is nothing about custom wedding invitations made for same-sex couples that is expressive. The purpose of a wedding invitation is simply to convey the details of the date, time, and place of the wedding and to identify the persons getting married.

    If that’s the case, why does the couple need a calligrapher?

    Indeed, can’t the calligrapher refuse to do anything other than write the date, time, place, and names of the couple in block letters on the cards? Since that’s all a wedding invitation does.

  37. Help me out here. How is it if I run a business I can’t walk into your home and force you to buy my product or service but you can walk onto my property and demand I sell it to you? At what point did we lose the concept that any transaction in a modern society is a free exchange of goods or services between two consenting parties?

  38. Help me out here. How is it if I run a business I can’t walk into your home and force you to buy my product or service but you can walk onto my property and demand I sell it to you? At what point did we lose the concept that any transaction in a modern society is a free exchange of goods or services between two consenting parties?

    1. Let me try again…
      I have said before that Christians should specialize in providing goods and services to same-sex couples, since it would be a ministry opportunity.

      Requiring that they do so by threat of law hurts everyone.

      As an aside, I wonder how the law would treat these ladies’ refusal to provide invitations for a wedding between previously divorced people, on religious grounds.

  39. konstruksi baja jasa konstruksi
    konstruksi bangunan jasa konstruksi besi baja
    konstruksi jembatan jasa konstruksi gudang
    jasa konstruksi i http://www.fabrikasikonstruksi.com/

  40. Lowongan Kerja Terbaru Tahun 2017
    Lowongan Kerja Terbaru sma maret 2017
    Lowongan Kerja Terbaru BUMN maret 2017
    Lowongan Kerja Terbaru CPNS maret 2017
    Lowongan Kerja Terbaru Jakarta maret 2017
    Lowongan Kerja Terbaru Tangerang maret 2017
    Lowongan Kerja Terbaru
    LOKER TERBARU

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.