February 1, 2016

"Like most gay and equality campaigners, I initially condemned the Christian-run Ashers Bakery in Belfast over its refusal to produce a cake..."

"... with a pro-gay marriage slogan for a gay customer, Gareth Lee. I supported his legal claim against Ashers and the subsequent verdict – the bakery was found guilty of discrimination last year. Now, two days before the case goes to appeal, I have changed my mind. Much as I wish to defend the gay community, I also want to defend freedom of conscience, expression and religion... In my view, it is an infringement of freedom to require businesses to aid the promotion of ideas to which they conscientiously object. Discrimination against people should be unlawful, but not against ideas."

Writes Peter Tatchell in The Guardian.

112 comments:

themightypuck said...

Could the worm be turning?

Terry said...

SSM's most important purpose is to force people to act contrary to their conscience.
Ditto Obamacare's birth control mandate.

Jason said...

The last of the actual liberals.

The rest of them are fascists.

J. Farmer said...

This is true of the entire civil rights paradigm that the various identity politics interest groups have adopted. Once you permit that the state can intrude into private property or private consensual commercial transactions to prevent discrimination on the basis of race, then you open the flood gate to legally barring discrimination against people for a host of social identity traits (e.g. sex, gender, nationality, religion, ethnicity, etc. etc. etc.).

I suppose I could see gay rights advocates saying if it is okay to make it illegal to refuse to sell a cake to a black person, why is it okay to refuse to sell it to a gay person or a disabled person? If a Muslim couple owned a bed and breakfast but refused to rent rooms to unmarried couples, is that a violation of civil rights actionable by law? In many states, yes.

Frankly, I just find it a little hard to get worked up over the absurd notion that a gay couple would have a difficult time finding a sympathetic baker or florist around town.

34a1de4a-c91e-11e5-9277-bfd7e597ed53 said...

"Don't make a federal case out of it.", used to be a call to solve things amoungst our selves. But now too many want the gov't to be their cudgel. They want submission.

Original Mike said...

"Frankly, I just find it a little hard to get worked up over the absurd notion that a gay couple would have a difficult time finding a sympathetic baker or florist around town."

It is so absurd, I don't think anyone resorts to it (do they?). It's all about a requirement to think as I think. It's about submission.

Fernandinande said...

34a1de4a-c91e-11e5-9277-bfd7e597ed53 said...
They want submission.


When they say "tolerance" they mean "deference", not just submission, but "respectful submission or yielding to the judgment, opinion, will, etc., of another".

eric said...

There was a time when the federal government mandated discrimination. Then came the time the federal government mandated non-discrimination.

I hope to see a time where the people force the federal government to say, choose for yourselves.

Henry said...

The distinction made by Mr. Tatchell between Ashers refusing to serve a customer outright and Ashers refusing to write a specific message on a cake seems viable, but it's hardly a universal. What if Ashers was a neon sign company? In that case refusing to create a specific message is the same thing as refusing to serve the customer. At a certain point, public accommodation does mean providing your company's services without bias to every customer.

The thing that really caught my notice in that article is that the state that convicted Ashers of discrimination is far more discriminatory that the gormless bakers. Tatchell writes: "in Northern Ireland ... same-sex marriage and gay blood donors remain banned."

In short, a baker that refuses to decorate a "legalize same-sex marriage" cake will be prosecuted by the state that refuses to legalize same-sex marriage.

n.n said...

The conventional standard is based on reasonable accommodation. The bakery was targeted for persecution by the congruence movement in order to regulate individual rights. However, since the congruence movement is clearly selective (i.e. pro-choice), this approach cannot withstand even casual scrutiny. The rush to normalization, and tactical persecution, was a betrayal of ulterior motives, and overlooked progressive corruption realized through a failure to discover a solution that is internally, externally, and mutually consistent.

Chuck said...

To be correct, the author's complaint should really be with the anti-discrimination law in question. But he doesn't seem to say that. Like any ordinary newspaperman, and unlike a judge, he just goes to the merits of what he personally likes or dislikes about the claim.

I sort of think that the case represents the law working just as its proponents intended. And that no one is free to "discriminate" in any way against any person on the basis of sexual orientation.

This has a real bearing on the several states of the United States of America, where many of them are now considering such laws. In my state of Michigan, they just gave up on a ballot-initiative drive to put such a provision into the state constitution. It was led by one of the attorneys in the DeBoer v Snyder case (which was joined for hearing at the Supreme Court with Obergefell). They bailed, because of a deep division over strategy and tactics within the LGBTQ advocacy alliance.

It might sound good to some folks in the first instance, to enact anything sounding like or calling itself an 'equal rights' law. But as we've seen, when voters are confronted with cases like this one before an election on something like this, they have a hard time passing. I suspect, without knowing, that the Northern Ireland law in question was a parliamentary/administrative initiative and not a popular vote. Anybody know?

n.n said...

eric:

The government continues to discriminate against individuals, selectively. Liberals have a progressive problem of selective, arbitrary, and class discrimination based on opportunity (i.e. reactive). They need to reject their quasi-religious pro-choice doctrine, and discover a religious/moral philosophy that consistently establishes what should be normalized, can be tolerated, and must be rejected. Their piecemeal approach leaves a lot to be desired and leaves a trail of broken hearts, minds, and bodies.

Brando said...

"Frankly, I just find it a little hard to get worked up over the absurd notion that a gay couple would have a difficult time finding a sympathetic baker or florist around town."

I think that's the answer. Fifty years ago, if someone said "why don't blacks simply go to the restaurants that will serve them" or "maybe blacks should just apply where someone will hire them" the answer would be that in most cases the discrimination was so widespread that there really was no other choice--in some towns, no restaurant would serve blacks, no bank would lend to them, and the only jobs available were at the low end.

I don't think in this day and age gays are being denied essentials (jobs, credit, housing) on such a scale that antidiscrimination laws are necessary. We hear every now and again about a bakery or caterer refusing to do gay weddings, but these sound like more the exception than the rule.

SteveR said...

Gee, we are free to think how we want? Since when?

Shouting Thomas said...

People should be able to discriminate in any way they choose.

They should be able to hire and fire as they choose without government interference.

They should also be able to choose to serve or not serve any customer or client based solely on their own preferences.

mccullough said...

This will end in the US when lawsuits are filed against Muslims for discriminating against gays and women.

Shouting Thomas said...

I've changed my mind over the course of 50 years from being entirely in favor of the endless civil rights campaign for a simple reason.

It long ago became clear that the purpose of that campaign is just to create guaranteed carve outs for special interest groups. Liberals have effectively blacklisted non-liberals out of academia. Blacks have turned government jobs into a quota sinecure. Women have demanded and received a plethora of make work social service jobs in government and non-profits.

I thought the goal was equal access, but that turned out to be bullshit. The goal was just a power grab for the various Democratic Party identity groups. Once those groups got their hands on power, they used their power to exclude anybody but their comrades from jobs.

Gays have been, perhaps, the worst in this regard. I worked for decades in advertising, publishing and the commercial arts in NYC. While gays were demanding access to every shop, they maintained entire shops as gay only provinces where a straight man simply was never hired.

Bob Ellison said...

Shouting Thomas, you are wrong. That way lies real racism and segregation. Not the stupid kind people call it now.

People sometimes must be forced not to discriminate, not to hire and fire as they choose, and not to serve/not-serve according to preference. Take India, China, or just about any other crappy non-Western nation for an example of how segregation works in the modern world.

We don't want to go back to 1950.

This is not a problem today, right now, in America. Americans now discriminate in favor of women and minorities, for the most part. Certainly college admissions offices discriminate in all kinds of ways. That ain't right, right? No, it ain't.

Saying that kind of behavior is just all right with me doesn't make it all right.

eric said...

I think that's the answer. Fifty years ago, if someone said "why don't blacks simply go to the restaurants that will serve them" or "maybe blacks should just apply where someone will hire them" the answer would be that in most cases the discrimination was so widespread that there really was no other choice--in some towns, no restaurant would serve blacks, no bank would lend to them, and the only jobs available were at the low end.

50 years ago the civil rights act had been passed already.

You forget, people didn't have the choice. They were forced to discriminate based on the law, according to the supreme Court.

We reversed that terribleness with equal terribleness. We went from forcing businesses to discriminate to forcing them not to. And this has caused no end of trouble.

Just stay out of it. Let people decide for themselves.

rhhardin said...

People know the answer but not the reason.

The reason is that free association should rule except in cases of monopoly markets or private or government force, in which case service on nondiscrimatory terms should prevail.

The bakery is the former, not the latter, as common sense easily determines.

The civil rights laws got it wrong as to what as the basic freedom. That's screwed up everything ever since.

Dude1394 said...

My don't-give-a-**** meter about gay, black, hispanic, female, palestinian civil rights is about pegged.

Bob Ellison said...

And yes, of course you're right on identity politics.

But people should not be allowed to punish minority groups systematically, when that's a systemic problem. It's not a systemic problem in America today, unless you're a Jewish Chinese female-who-identifies-as-male or something like that.

rhhardin said...

The position of the bakery is not the gay slogan but that they enjoy making wedding cakes and participating in that, and gay marriage isn't marriage so it isn't a wedding, and so we don't do that.

The courts redefined the word on them and they're not going along, seeing plainly that it's not what the word means.

eric said...

Blogger Bob Ellison said...
Shouting Thomas, you are wrong. That way lies real racism and segregation. Not the stupid kind people call it now.

People sometimes must be forced not to discriminate, not to hire and fire as they choose, and not to serve/not-serve according to preference. Take India, China, or just about any other crappy non-Western nation for an example of how segregation works in the modern world.

We don't want to go back to 1950.


You act as though people had a choice in the 1950s. We passed a civil rights law in the 1880s for crying out loud. The Supreme Court shot it down as unconstitutional. Forcing people to discriminate. Forcing them. Get it? The government made businesses discriminate.

You say lets not go back to the 1950s. I agree. Let's stop forcing people, one way, or the other.

Sebastian said...

All very nice and high-minded of Mr. Tatchell, but the point of Prog movements and Prog laws is not freedom or equality or tolerance, but control.

n.n said...

Something else that is not discussed is the difference between an orientation and behavior. The latter is a realization of the former's bias. We do not discriminate based on orientation or internal bias (e.g. pedophilia), but on its realization or expression (e.g. child exploitation). We do not discriminate against individuals, but against classes (e.g. couplets - marginally, polygamy, chauvinists, corporations, etc.).

The congruence movement has done a disservice by shifting discussion of the relevant issues on their merits; on documented, reproducible, consistent principles. The underling quasi-religious pro-choice doctrine has been a failure in its diverse realizations.

Kristian Holvoet said...

So it was just peachy to make Christians produce objectionable (to them) products, but we cant' be making Muslims do the same. We're doomed.

jimbino said...

Discrimination against people should be unlawful, but not against ideas.

That's nuts. If your religion prohibits cohabitation without marriage, would your refusal to rent a room in your motel to gays or an unmarried couple be "against people" or "against ideas."

Renee said...

A memory of mine from June 2014,

"Your mother and your father matter, how they parent together matters. #March4Marriage in our homes and community, not just media." I tweeted this today using my real name. NOM retweeted.... And boom! Check out @reneeaste's Tweet: https://twitter.com/reneeaste/status/479655642722861056

Too angry at the crap wrongly spewed at me today. Overwhelmed by the powerful lobby and their media. "

Again two different universes, one of SJW that can at time inflict harm at other then a very real reality that the Boston Globe recently reported that our Probate & Family Courts are bogged down with divorce and custody disputes it doesn't have the mens to address child abuse/neglect.


From the article

"The Massachusetts Probate and Family Court was once focused primarily on the administration of wills and other touchy but routine civil matters. But as divorces became more common, the courts began to hear thousands of them annually. The cases run the gamut, from ordinary splits to families torn apart by drugs to hotly contested disputes between parents who sometimes barely know one another. Between 50 and 75 percent of probate and family court litigants don’t have attorneys, and many come to court without documentation to back up the claims they make. Some skip drug tests. Some beg. Some lie."

This Boston Globe article is the reason why I never changed my views on family and public policy. It isn't a religious issue, despite why the corporate/media/lobby propaganda machine feeds everyone.

Brando said...

"Discrimination against people should be unlawful, but not against ideas."

Even the slightest amount of thought (and that much I am capable of!) reveals this sentence to be nonsense. How do you distinguish between discriminating against a person or an idea? What if your "idea" is that some "persons" should be discriminated against? Is the "discrimination against people" that we want to prevent only the sort of discrimination that is so mindless that it cannot be connected to an idea?

jimbino said...

The gummint should be held to even higher standards. Not only should it be prohibited from discrimination against people of color, which it does in spades in admission to all of our public parks, forests and other lands, and discrimination on the basis of religion in military, hospital and university chaplain corps, it should be prohibited from offensive speech deriding minorities, as it does ubiquitously with "In God We Trust" on all our currency, and in several state constitutions that require belief in a Supreme Being in order to serve on a jury or judicial bench or to practice law. The appearance of "In God We Trust" on all our bills, which are used internationally, makes a mockery of "religious freedom" in this country. Amerika is nothing if not saturated by official and welcome bigotry.

sezneg said...

@Brando:

In this case the distinction is easy.

1. The cake was not a wedding cake. Gay marriage is currently illegal in Ireland.
2. The cake was actually a political message for a political group to enjoy during a politcal event.

Thus, in this case, this is entirely about discrimination against and idea or political message. In fact, were this exact case to happen in America I am confident it would be a slam dunk for the bakers.

gadfly said...

"Discrimination against people should be unlawful, but not against ideas."

As the song goes: "You can't tell one without the other." Discrimination is not a crime - it is necessary in the art of choosing and freedom without choice is not freedom.

Thud said...

Tatchell in many ways was before his time in being a crazed fighter for gay'rights' but he does have courage....Mugabe fled from him on one of his kleptocratic binges in London.

Hyphenated American said...

"Discrimination against people should be unlawful"

So, the government can decide if your choice of friends is "diverse" enough?
The whole idea that the government can regulate your personal choice (and yes, private businesses are that, private choice, not government) is totalitarian. You have no say in whether other people decide to trade with your or not. It's called "personal freedom".

Bob Ellison said...

eric, I'm trying and failing to understand your point about the 1950s v. the 1880s and the SCOTUS. Can you elucidate?

Shouting Thomas said...

Somewhere around the 25th to 30th comment to any weblog posting, everything just goes nuts, as it has now with jimbino's comment. From here on in, abandon all hope.

The timeline is even shorter in a Facebook posting. By the 10th comment, all hope for sanity has ended and only nuttiness will ensue.

Alexander said...

Heh. Even at the end, his concern is that it could encourage 'right-wingers' to demand cakes with MeanNastyEvilHate messages. I support protests against a baker having his own opinion on gay marriage, but not to the point where it might also require a Muslim baker to experience badfeels!


What a little shit. It just drives him absolutely nuts that his side can't just openly claim all wrongthoughts verboten and still have to deal with laws that nominally have to treat everyone the same. He's not for freedom of thought at all: if he could find a way to force a pro-gay marriage cake while simultaneously banning a Mohammad cake, he'd be on it in a heartbeat.

Lyle Smith said...

Good for Peter Tatchell.

CWJ said...

Alway click through. Tatchell's article has a sidebar link taking you to someone else declaring the verdict to be a victory for equality. But clicking through to that person, there's no corresponding link taking someone to Tatchell's article. So links may be an editorial blind alley where the reader ends up at the "correct" opinion.

Tom said...

Agree

CWJ said...

Lyle Smith,

Yes. Now that Ashers bakery has to fight uphill, Peter Tatchell has the sads.

Better late than never, but I'd wait to see if he sticks with his new found convictions the next time they're tested before offering congratulations.

J. Farmer said...

@Henry:

"In short, a baker that refuses to decorate a "legalize same-sex marriage" cake will be prosecuted by the state that refuses to legalize same-sex marriage."

This was the point I was trying to get across during the same-sex marriage debate. Anti discrimination laws are completely separate from marriage laws. You can have anti-discrimination laws for gays without gay marriage, and you can have gay marriage without anti discrimination laws. Even if there was no gay marriage in the US, bakers and florists could still be sued under state anti discrimination laws.

jr565 said...

" Now, two days before the case goes to appeal, I have changed my mind. Much as I wish to defend the gay community, I also want to defend freedom of conscience, expression and religion... In my view, it is an infringement of freedom to require businesses to aid the promotion of ideas to which they conscientiously object. Discrimination against people should be unlawful, but not against ideas."

NOW you tell us? Isn't it a bit too late?

jr565 said...

The person who is now apologizing isnt' even getting the facts right. They didn't discriminate against a gay person. They said they werent' going t"He had wanted them to make a cake that included a slogan that said "support gay marriage" along with a picture of Bert and Ernie from Sesame Street, and the logo of the Queerspace organisation. and it was for a gay pride event.
In other words, it was political speach. Now, apparently because of gay marriage, if you do not agree to bake cakes for events that have actual speech on them you can be held to be discriminating against gay individuals.
Would it work the same way if it was a pro life org and demanded they make a cake Choose Life - Not death.? Of course not

coupe said...

Government should not issue business licenses to people who have religious or political requirements for their customers.

Even if you are a Catholic charity, if you discriminate against cannibals with a bone in their nose, you should have your license revoked.

It's all about capitalism, not about anyone's salvation in the spirit world.

jr565 said...

coupe wrote:
Government should not issue business licenses to people who have religious or political requirements for their customers.

Even if you are a Catholic charity, if you discriminate against cannibals with a bone in their nose, you should have your license revoked.

It's all about capitalism, not about anyone's salvation in the spirit world.

they didnt want to bake a cake with a specific message on it. They are not required to. if someone went to a baker and wanted a cake that said GOd Hates Fags, the baker would not have to bake that cake. Even if that person is a religious person and thus a protected class.

jr565 said...

since when Coupe, is it a requirement that you have to bake a cake for an organization that has a specific slogan on the cake? The person making the request may not have even been a gay person. It doesnt matter though.
Granted, this is Ireland. Not the US. so perhaps they have different laws. But in this country no one is required to make a cake for political group espousing political slogan.

Hyphenated American said...

"It's all about capitalism, not about anyone's salvation in the spirit world."

Capitalism means freedom of trade. The government should not be about "anyone's salvation in the spirit world", if I don't want to sell something to you - it's my freedom to choose, and it's not government's problem if your "spirit world" is offended by this.

"Government should not issue business licenses to people who have religious or political requirements for their customers"

Why? Because it puts your "salvation in the spirit world" in danger? Hey, you yourself said it should not matter.

jr565 said...

This cake was NOT a cake for a gay marriage. This was a cake that had the express slogan "support gay marriage" on it. It is compelling speech at the barrel of a gun.

eric said...

Blogger coupe said...
Government should not issue business licenses to people who have religious or political requirements for their customers.

Even if you are a Catholic charity, if you discriminate against cannibals with a bone in their nose, you should have your license revoked.

It's all about capitalism, not about anyone's salvation in the spirit world.


You're confused about what capitalism is.

Capitalism is business controlled by private owners. Not by the state. Here you're saying the state should step in and force a business to act as it wills, or refuse them the ability to participate.

Doesn't work under the definition of capitalism.

jr565 said...

""Government should not issue business licenses to people who have religious or political requirements for their customers"

Should govt take away someone's license becaues of political requirements? Isnt that what happened here?

Hyphenated American said...

Eric, the problem is that some liberals believe their "spirit world" is in danger if they don't force people to behave in a certain manner. I don't know why they call it "capitalism".

eric said...

Blogger Bob Ellison said...
eric, I'm trying and failing to understand your point about the 1950s v. the 1880s and the SCOTUS. Can you elucidate?


Discrimination was mandatory under the law. According to the Supreme Court. Even though the people passed legislation to reduce discrimination all the way back in the 1880s, it remained compulsory.

Saying if we give people the freedom to choose would look like the 1950s is wrong. They didn't have such freedom.

Hyphenated American said...

Coupe, why do you need a government license to make and sell cakes? Can you explain? I am sure you won't say mention homosexual marriage as the reason.

eric said...

They are entitled to their opinion, HA, but they aren't entitled to their own definitions.

Bob Ellison said...

eric, can you cite some things?

jimbino said...

None of the rights enumerated in the Bill of Rights is absolute. Not Freedom of Speech, not Freedom of Religion. All must be squared with other rights.

That's the idea behind limiting a "right" because of a "compelling state interest."

According to the Fifth Amendment, there is a right to property, whether they be Black African Slaves, your Woolworths that won't serve Blacks or your bakery that bans gay cake decorations. But your property can be "liberated" from you by appeal to a "compelling state interest," whether it be in the form of liberty of other persons, their privacy, or their right to travel.

This country is schizophrenic, however, in that SCOTUS approves of "God" polluting our currency. This represents a clear violation of the First Amendment Religion and Speech clauses, with no plausible "compelling state interest." Maybe it has more to do with religious faith that pervades SCOTUS, currently made up of 6 Roman Catholics and 3 Jews, for 100% religious bias. They all need to recuse themselves in any case involving the Bible, whether dealing with God or the Ten Commandments. Amerika is nothing if not bigoted through and through.

Static Ping said...

I must give Mr. Tatchell props for admitting he was wrong.

Sadly, it is apparent that he did not think through the issue originally before commenting on it, which is not commendable. Still better later than never. He probably rates higher than everyone else in his newsroom in that regard.

eric said...

Bob, read this
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civil_Rights_Cases

And Jim Crow Laws
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jim_Crow_laws

Guildofcannonballs said...

Like most would initially make average a story.

Bob Ellison said...

Rights do appear to conflict sometimes. Most times, the conflict is not between rights, but between definitions of rights between the opposing sides.

coupe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
James Pawlak said...

When the camel lovers finish taking over the UK that problem will be ended as all "those people" will be killed.

The Godfather said...

I don't know about the UK, but here in the US we have problems because we are using anti-Jim Crow laws as models for dealing with different issues and conflicts.

By the 1960's, in the South, Jim Crow was not just an established anti-Black attitude of the White folks: That prejudice was in most places enforced or reinforced by the Law. If I owned a soda fountain, the Law said I was forbidden to seat Black customers next to White customers, even if I wanted to (which I probably didn't want to do anyway, because what would my friends and neighbors -- who obeyed the Law -- say?) And this structure had been in place, enforced, and internalized by a lot of Southerners (not all of them White) for the better part of a century. Libertarians who argued that discrimination would end if you just let the free market work its magic weren't wrong, but they were naive: To break down the Jim Crow structure that way would have taken decades. So the bludgeon of anti-discrimination laws was required to break down the Jim Crow structure in a relatively short time.

That situation simply does not apply to issues of discrimination against Gays (or Women) today. In the 1960's, a Black family traveling through North Carolina would not have been able to find a bed for the night except at a "Colored" motel. A Gay couple looking to buy a wedding cake in North Carolina today would have plenty of options without having to get the Government to violate the conscience of a "Christian" baker. There's simply no need to force small businesses to toe the line in order to ensure that Gays can get the products and services they want. (Just to be clear: My Christian faith leads me to support and applaude the Gay couple that is making a life-time commitment to each other. If your faith leads you to a different conclusion, I think you are wrong. But you ought to have the right to follow your conclusion regardless of my opinion.)

Titus said...

I agree.

Fags can't find gay friendly bakers or B&B owners?

Please.

tits.

Renee said...

@TheGodFather

"Just to be clear: My Christian faith leads me to support and applaude the Gay couple that is making a life-time commitment to each other. "

That's fine, and as a Christian I would agree, except it's not marriage. It's something different. Ivreally never had any issues with gay people. Just don't demand that a relationship is exactly the same as a heterosexual relationship.

If diversity and difference are really good, why can't we even identify those differences by name.

The gay lobby doesn't want me to accept gay relationships, they want me to deny the purpose and function of marriage. See the Boston Globe article that outlines the brokenness of marriage & family,

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Bit late for all that, Petey. I mean, nice of you to reconsider, and all, but that ship has sailed my friend.
Sue 'em back to the stone age, shut 'em down, jail 'em if they won't comply, that's the order of the day.
Comply, comply, comply. The power of the State can be used to enforce what were once voluntary transactions--that's been true for a while, of course, now we're just haggling over the price (so to speak).
Freedom of association ain't worth a warm bucket of spit, Petey, and if the pupported association has a commercial angle, well, forget about it--there's no end to what the State can make you do.
It's about being made to comply, Petey, being forced to do and say the right things. Some types of people are too important, and some types of expression are just too dangerous, to be left alone--liberty isn't absolute, after all, so it's only right that the State should set a few boundaries. "Shall make no law" is just a phrase, you know, no one thinks that means anything important.
The really fun part, of course, is when the State gets after these types of people (backwards, atavistic types, bitter clingers, you know) in a big way and then accuses those very people of engaging in a "culture war!" It's their fault, you see, and we get to both grind 'em down AND blame them for the cultural conflict!

Changed your mind, Petey? Much, much too late for that.

coupe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
DanTheMan said...

Does a Muslim baker have a right to refuse to make a cake with an image of Mohammed?

J. Farmer said...

@coupe:

"When I see the amount of money that branches of government spend on these cheap licenses, which all citizens must pay for (court buildings, law administration, lawyers, judges, home for abandoned children, etc.), I just want to shake my fist at society."

What do you mean "must" pay for? Nobody is compelled to register their relationship with the state.

J. Farmer said...

@DanTheMan:

"Does a Muslim baker have a right to refuse to make a cake with an image of Mohammed?"

So long as we're playing the game, does a Jehovah's Witness have a right to refuse to write "Happy Birthday" on cakes?

Michael K said...

News from the schadenfreude front: Brendan Eich has a new browser coming out that blocks ads.

I wonder how Google will like that ? And Mozilla. it sounds like a category killer app.

Eich is now launching a new startup, called Brave, that aims to "fix" a problem with the modern internet — adverts.

Advertising is sick, Eich says. It's intrusive, tracking users with "cookies, tracker pixels, fingerprinting, everything," and slowing the internet down to boot — and as a result, users are increasingly turning to ad blocking software to eliminate them altogether.

Eich's solution: A new web browser that blocks all adverts by default — and then replaces them with new ones.


It sounds like the nw ones will be less intrusive.

Mary said...

Having a slight bit of familiarity with Tatchell from a series of articles dealing with his attacks against Anglicans in the UK from back in 2009, my two cents says, I wouldn't buy into his line about supporting freedom of religion, he's up to something.

Hyphenated American said...

"I mean, if we're going to discriminate against the gays, why not against the blacks, Jews, women and marriage failures? They've got it coming too...

Majority rules.
Don't like it?
Boo hoo. Don't be a minority."

So, if the people who refuse to bake the cakes for all these people are a tiny minority, then it's okay, right?

Hyphenated American said...

"Germany wasn't against Jewish people.
They just were against the idea that Jewish people should have any rights in their nation."

I am curious if you comprehend that it's stupid to equate the actions of the government and of an individual?

Anyway, if someone dates only blonde girls - isn't this discrimination? If you are right, it's almost as bad as Holocaust. Right?

J. Farmer said...

@Hyphenated American:

"If you are right, it's almost as bad as Holocaust. Right?"

Ha.I think we need an addendum to Godwin's Law: the speed in which one makes a comparison to Nazi Germany is inversely related to that person's actual historical knowledge of 1930s Germany.

Michael K said...

"Ironically, my first thought upon seeing Eich's photo was, "Hmm...he looks kinda gay."

Do you know he isn't ? I wonder if you remember a great talk radio guy named Al Rantel. I was a fan. He was against gay marriage for reasons he really didn't explain. I think it is a fad that grew out of the AIDS epidemic and was a way to try to change the promiscuity that was killing gays.

Anyway, the gay movement may rue the day they alienated the rest of us when the Muslims come for them. There was no need for the nonsense that went on with bakeries and flower shops and wedding photographers. Libertarians would see that as a business opportunity, not a chance to punish who don't agree with you.

I may try Eich's browser and get rid of my ad blocker.

Hyphenated American said...

Farmer, I think the reason why people like Mary jump into this comparison is because she intuitively understands that the whole case about the cake is silly. Someone refused to make someone a cake - Whoop Dee Doo. Free people have free tongues, as the Greeks used to say. And yes, free people can refuse to make you a cake... It's not the end of the world, really, and this is what freedom is all about - to allow people to do things you don't like.... Or not to make you things you want. Pretty straightforward.

And this how she is forced to jump to Holocaust - so that we forgot how stupid this whole case is. She needs the moral high ground, and simply presenting herself as a "cake Nazi" (an inversion of the original meaning) is not enough. I am sure she knows deep down in her skull that Nazi exterminated 6 million people, which at least on the face of it is more dramatic than a lonely baker refusing to make a cake to a customer. But she just cannot help herself - she needs some arguments, and this is the best she can do.

Or maybe she really thinks that the worst thing Hitler did to the Jews is to refuse to personally make them a cake. Let's ask her.... ;)

Hyphenated American said...

"Why can't a motel/hotel owner decide he doesn't want blacks, Jews, unmarried or divorced people staying? Why can't he, as a businessman, be like the baker and decide what customers and messages he endorses (come formicate in my inn) and which he doesn't (I don't serve your type here not because I don't like you personally but I don't like your ideas.)"

Oh, I believe in a free country, people would be allowed to discriminate against anyone. That's the whole idea of freedom - it's your property, you are free to sell it to whoever you want (excluding minors and alcohol, and stuff)...

"Why draw the line w/gays?
Why not be braver with all the minorities?"

I don't see how this has to do with courage. I believe people should be free to discriminate as they please. Because freedom. I am not your slave, and you don't control me. If I run a business and refuse a service to you for whatever stupid reason I choose - it is my choice.

"(You brought Hitler and the Nazis into it, not me. I just mentioned a minority religion that is identifiable physically."

Wait, you wrote this, right? "Germany wasn't against Jewish people.
They just were against the idea that Jewish people should have any rights in their nation." Were you talking about the Nazis, right? Who were led by Hitler, right?

"You got a problem with people who discriminate against Jews because they don't share their ideas?)""

I do. But that does not mean I believe I have the right to use the power of the government (i.e. violence) to force them to serve the Jews. And yes, I am Jewish myself.

You see, I deeply believe in freedom. And yes, freedom means people will be doing things you don't like. You have no right to force people to work for you, or to sell you things. It's a fundamental thing, non-negotiable.

Michael K said...

"decide he doesn't want blacks, Jews, unmarried or divorced people staying?"

There is considerable difference between providing a public service like food or lodging and the creating of an individualized item like a wedding cake or a wedding album of photographs. You may not recall that the Oregon bakers who were driven to bankruptcy by an administrator, not a judge, had already provided services to the gay couple. Their only objection was to providing a personalized service that violated their own religious beliefs.

It was the wedding cake, not cakes in general, that was the objection and for which they were savaged by the administrative tyrant. The same principal applies to wedding albums and wedding flower arrangements. The nonspecific products were NOT being withheld.

You could come up with a better analogy if the divorced people required the use of the owners' own bedroom rather than a room offered for rent. The same applies to your other examples.

Hyphenated American said...

"There is considerable difference between providing a public service like food or lodging and the creating of an individualized item like a wedding cake or a wedding album of photographs."

No difference, since there is no such thing as "public service". This is private business, not "public", i.e. governmental. And private businesses are not " providing a public service like food or lodging" - they are making you food or renting out a room. It's their human right to refuse their labor to anyone. Too bad it's not recognized as such.

Matt said...

Hey, even the British can be wrong some of the time. Look, you have a business that sells wedding cakes. End of story. You sell wedding cakes to everyone who can LEGALLY marry or no one. You can't say you only sell to white couples or Irish couples or couples who are both left handed. Your freedom of religion ends at discrimination. Period.

Jupiter said...

"Discrimination against people should be unlawful, but not against ideas."

Of course, he doesn't really mean that all discrimination against people should be unlawful. He means that discrimination against people should be unlawful when it is based upon ideas he dislikes.

J. Farmer said...

@Michael K:

I wonder if you remember a great talk radio guy named Al Rantel. I was a fan. He was against gay marriage for reasons he really didn't explain. I think it is a fad that grew out of the AIDS epidemic and was a way to try to change the promiscuity that was killing gays."

I've heard the name only because of the whole "gay conservative" moniker, but I never listened to him. I actually do not listen to political talk radio. My father may have burned me out on it, as he always had the station tuned to Tampa Bay's 970 WFLA station. That's the market that gave Glenn Beck his first job in talk radio. You're welcome, America.

Gay marriage as a solvent to gay promiscuity was an early argument Andrew Sullivan used to make. I actually don't think there is much to the whole "gay promiscuity" thing. What's called gay promiscuity is basically just male sexuality without the constrains of women, though in the larger metropolitan areas where gays used to tend to cloister, there was certainly behavior engaged in by individuals that could most politely be described as decadent. There are many gay men who do not engage in the specific sexual practice that is so dangerous for HIV's transmission.

Oddly, even though I tend to agree with gay conservatives on more issues than gay liberals, the former still tend to annoy me more than the latter. I think because in the media it's usually a gimmick. I remember reading about Tammy Bruce's conversion because she was a lesbian and had been president of a state NOW chapter. I tried listening to her a couple of times but found her insufferable.

Michael K said...

" It's their human right to refuse their labor to anyone. Too bad it's not recognized as such."

No, I differ here. The private business rule was abused in segregation and I agree that, if you are open for business to the public, you should serve anyone. I don't think private clubs are included but they must be really private with significant dues and not just a dodge.

My objection is with demanding private services beyond what is offered to the general public., That is where the gay marriage fails my test and I hope the USSC eventually rules on it.

Unknown said...

Agreed. Forcing a baker to create something promoting ideas that he/she does not hold is a very fascist idea.

Renee said...

I don't want to feed the troll, but clarification for the blog owner I will say this.

I'm not pinpointing on anyone's past marriage/relationship, it's a collective problem. I'm not suggesting that every marriage or mother and father MUST stay together, there will always be circumstances that people should separate. It's the rate, that this is occurring. The rate!

I'm at the tipping point where I know more couples separated and children with parents that are not together, then families that are.

Marriage is already dead to many people, they have little trust. We really do not have gay marriage, if marriage is dead/unattainable to so many young adults.

Big Mike said...

I've longed believed that "live and let live" should be the way for us straights to deal with gays. But since gays don't believe in "live and let live" for us straights, I have to rethink my position. Perhaps Peter Tatchell feels the same way? Or perhaps it's just that he is that rare thing, a lawyer with a conscience.


(Snarky joke about him obviously not going to an American law school deleted in deference to Professor Althouse.)

Terry said...

Michael K wrote:
". . .if you are open for business to the public, you should serve anyone."
How does that square with freedom of association?
The reason Jim Crow was written into law was to stop people from breaking Jim Crow. It is a detriment to business to limit your customer base.
If we assume that the majority of the residents of some state are being unjust in writing some law, what guarantee is there that the majority of the people of the US are just in overriding local democratic process?
Many, many people -- about half of voters, I think -- do not believe that the federal government should override local laws against abortion.
If you believe the federal government is justly enforcing anti-discrimination law in certain states, how does that government become unjust when it forces states to follow federal abortion law?

J. Farmer said...

@Renee:

Gay marriage has always been a sideshow and a distraction. Today there are probably around 400,000 married gay couples in America. That's about 2/3 of 1% of the total number of married couples.

The collapse of the two-parent family has been detrimental to society, though artists were already describing the pathologies in the suburbs in the 1950s. Nuclear families are themselves pretty new constructs in terms of human history; life on the farm with the extended family all nearby was probably healthier of all. But we can't put that genie back in the box. And similarly, I think a lot of the collapse has to do with much broader technological and economic changes than with loose morals or anything a Moral Majority could do much about.

Dr Weevil said...

I can see one big advantage to a total abolition of discrimination laws: if you're running a small business - cake shop, print shop, motel, restaurant, whatever - and a certain soon-to-be-deleted troll comes into your establishment, you could say "Hey, are you the [troll-name omitted] who always makes dozens of comments at Althouse whenever moderation is turned off, that disappear as soon as AA notices them? If your customer says "Yes, that's me" you could tell her to get the Hell out of your place of business without having to worry about being sued for discrimination against women, or bigots, or the mentally and/or morally handicapped, or procto-Americans.

Renee said...

There is a lost of trust in other institutions(govt and employment), not just the family.

We put a lot of trust in our parents to be there, whether they are a couple or not.

J. Farmer said...

@Renee:

On the other hand, as science progresses, it will probably turn out that beyond genes, malnutrition, and absent any severe abuse, there isn't much impact parents have on children. What they see as the result of their molding could just as likely be the expression of genetic forces outside of anyone's control.

Michael K said...

If you believe the federal government is justly enforcing anti-discrimination law in certain states, how does that government become unjust when it forces states to follow federal abortion law?

First, I am pro-choice. I have posted that here before.

Second, I don't think the federal government has a role here. States are closer to the people and the people may vary from state to state.

Third, I have already posted that I think anti-discrimination should be restricted to services otherwise available to all.

rcommal said...

Well. How 'bout that.

Mark said...

A little late now isn't it Mr. Tatchell?

PianoLessons said...

I so admire the fact that this author and MANY other gay voices understand the totalitarianism, fascist underpinnings of their gay mafia efforts to engage us all into acceptance (or obedience???) with the notion of gay marriage. It's not engaging - it's bullying. Poor bakers. Why pick on them? Simply awful strategy with tons of backlash,

Thanks a million for sharing this piece - happy to see the paradox isn't just USA gays against American bakers.

And I anxiously await the first legal case of the Muslim bakers refusing to bake wedding cakes in Dearborn Michigan.

http://louderwithcrowder.com/hidden-camera-gay-wedding-cake-at-muslim-bakery/

What a Supreme Court Decision THIS might be. I dream.




Mark said...

When the Government makes you say or do something you don't want to do, that's wrong. The Government (may) have a legitimate interest in preventing you from saying or creating something harmful, but if it can tell you to bake and decorate a cake you don't want to make then really it can force you to do or make anything it wants you to.

This isn't about protecting anyone. It's about enforcing a philosophy with the power of the State. It is the exact opposite of the ideal of a tolerant State.

rcommal said...

All of sudden there's a realization about the implications, not to mention about the unintended consequences, of ill-thought-out attacks/approaches. **Just like that or sump'n!**

I am unsympathetic, on account of that I recall things, and--make no mistake about it--I am fully confident about where I have stood on a array of things for at least 35-40 years.

And that, as they say, is that.

PianoLessons said...

Mark - it's all about that tricky State telling us what we can and can't do. Man - Orwell warned us all folks - who knew some of the Big Brother Fascists would be Gay Mafia PR firms?

It is absolutely absurd that the State is punishing (truly harming financially) Christian bakers who won't bake Gay Wedding Cakes when there are many Muslim bakeries in the United States that refuse to .

So where is the State bias? it's not hard to know. Watch a video of someone trying to get Dearborn Michigan (we all know as Islam Sharia Central Town) bakers to bake a Gay Wedding cake. Sorry - you have to copy and paste the link I offer into your browser URL bar.

http://louderwithcrowder.com/hidden-camera-gay-wedding-cake-at-muslim-bakery/

If you and all readers don't think there is a Supreme Court level challenge here - you must not be lawyerly at all.

Dems ALWAYS get their Supreme Court cases in line (uhm - Griswold vs Connecticut) to properly "set the stage" - shamefully BTW)

Why can't conservatives stage and lay out scenarios effectively in the courts as the Dems do?

Ugh.

rcommal said...

Go chase your tails, say I, to unthinking activists of all stripes who tend toward the "YOU must THINK like ME" lanes of politics/life.

^ That's me, being nice about it, by the way. ; )

cubanbob said...

Why waste time with the courts? A President Cruz and a Republican Congress can simply legislate that the bakers can bring an action against the local politicians and elected officials in federal court and have them be held personally liable and subject to paying the plaintiffs fees and costs if the plaintiff prevails.

PianoLessons said...

Final comment - Dems know way more than GOP the value of the courts.
Dems know way more than the GOP the value of the Supreme Court.
Dems know way more than the GOP the value of creating scenarios and setting the stage to prepare their lawyer advocates to argue successful

Clarence Thomas Senate Hearings - Anita Hill - Public radio Nina Totenberg - Illinois Senator Paul Simon's Wife...Collusion at the Midnight Hour ....

We know what happened. Thank God they failed to prevent Clarence Thomas from residing in that spot but it gripped the nation as they tried to ruin his reputation.

Dems pulled out every dirty trick in the books to prevent Clarence Thomas from residing and they were only the wife of a US Senator and a NPR Reporter.

The GOP needs to learn how to play as dirty as these two women played as they almost succeeded in voting down Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court.

The next POTUS may actually appoint FOUR justices. I heard a rumor Hillary thought Obama would be a good choice which made me laugh out loud.

Obama wants to be SO much more important than a member of SCOTUS. Just watch.

PianoLessons said...

cubanbob - You certainly have no clue how the court system works (not really connected to Congress - you know - that three distinct parts of government thing we have in USA via the Constitution) but I am totally rooting for your efforts to get a class action suit going so Christian bakers can somehow be compensated for the grievous court fines levied against them by the State for not wanting to bake a gay couple a wedding cake.

I'm on your side - cheering you on. Hope Springs Eternal.

cyrus83 said...

The idea isn't expressed as clearly as it might be. What Tatchell seems to be getting at is that there should be the right to decline to do business based on the purpose of the customer rather than whom the customer is.

To use the cake example, keep everything the same except that instead the people who came to buy the cake were a mother and father of one of the participants. Here, the cake isn't being denied based on the sexuality of the customers, it's being denied based on what the customers intend to do with the cake - which is the same reason for the denial as it actually happened.

The principle of denying business based on the customer's intent happens all the time. Some stores have a policy of refusing to sell to someone who intends to resell the product, to use one example. Lawyers and CPAs decline clients if they suspect something shady is afoot. Artists decline commissions when they don't agree with the customer's vision. Printers with Democratic leanings likely don't make Republican posters and vice versa.

TreeJoe said...

This is why the Supreme Court is supposed to use extreme examples,because the ( Best? )rebuttal here is this:

- We can coerce the bakers to either close up shop or make the cake to your specifications but then
- Every gay baker, tailor, printers etc. must make cakes or sew lo that promote anti-gay expressions - no matter how vulgar. Or else they too must close shop.

The civic response to this entire mess was to turn the situation about and see if the response remained the same. If so, great, force the courts to force the bakers to make whatever cake a client demands. If not, then sue the gay businesses which refuse to make vulgar anti-gay products and see how the cases move forward.

But alas, no such strategery (yes, strategery!) was pursued.

Hyphenated American said...

"Third, I have already posted that I think anti-discrimination should be restricted to services otherwise available to all."

Say, I own a small store, and I tell you that I serve only the people I like. What right do you have to force me to serve people I don't like? Are you my master? It's my property, my labor. It belongs to me, no one else.

This is a fundamental question of individual liberty. Who does my labor belong to?

Hyphenated American said...

TreeJoe, the first thing would be to "ask" moslem bakers to make cakes with faces of mohammed. After all, blasphemy is as legal as homosexual marriage.

n.n said...

The congruence movement ("="), like the female chauvinist party, like the anti-native factions, have a problem with their pro-choice doctrine.

jr565 said...

"". . .if you are open for business to the public, you should serve anyone."

But that's not what happened here. It wasnt' about serving a cake for a gay wedding. It was a demand for a promotion of the slogan "support gay marriage" for a gay rights advocacy group. They even asked to have the logo on the cake. Its not that he was refused service. We don't even know for sure if the person who asked for the cake was even gay. And he wasn't denied service for a gay marriage (while the same bakery did bake no gay wedding cakes". No marriage ceremony was involved here.
What was involved was an organization demanding that a baker bake a cake with a message on it for an event that was promoting gay marriage as an idea.

So, first, how are you discriminating against a person if you don't bake a cake that has words on it you don't like. Its discrimination against promotion of an idea, not a person. You could easily see how people on the pro gay marriage side would fall if you simply reversed it. A man walks into a bakery run by gay baker and says he wants a cake for his anti gay marriage organization which is Christian. He wants the baker to bake a cake that says "marriage is one man one woman only". If the baker refused to make that cake is he discriminating against the person? discriminating against a religious person? (and you can't discriminate based on religion, mind you). Or does he have a right to say "no thanks". Last I heard you had a right to refuse an assignment.

Gusty Winds said...

If I knew you were cumming I'd have baked a cake, baked a cake, baked a cake...