May 15, 2017

"Kentucky court rejects government attempt to punish printer for refusing to print ‘Lexington [Gay] Pride Festival’ T-shirt."

Eugene Volokh — who worked on an amicus brief in the case — explains the opinions.
First, the panel split on whether the refusal to print a gay pride message was sexual orientation discrimination against particular individuals.... The majority said no....
So they didn't have to reach the question whether there was a free-speech right that supersedes the statute. (Volokh had argued in an amicus brief that there is: "The government may not require Americans to help distribute speech of which they disapprove.")
[The concurring judge] also reasoned that the ordinance was preempted by the Kentucky Religious Freedom Restoration Statute.... He concluded that the ordinance, as interpreted by the commission, burdened the [Hands On Originals] owners’ religious practice, and thus the owners were entitled to an exemption unless denying the exemption was the least restrictive means of serving a compelling interests — a showing the government could not make....

86 comments:

Jason said...

The majority and main dissenting opinions are both demented. Only Lambert and Volokh understand liberty.

Owen said...

In this day and age, when I can go to Staples and print stuff all kinds of ways, what possible case do I have against a particular vendor who decides my message is just ucky?

Some of these cases really do read like law school hypotheticals; with overpaid superannuated Alinskyite clinical professors just champing at the bit to bring the perfect litigation.

IMSHO (in my super-humble opinion) I think the hate speech troublemakers should lose pretty much every time.

n.n said...

Freedom of speech/expression is a mutual right. The transgender pride festival may have a case if the printer's operation was a monopoly or there was no reasonable accessible/available alternative.

Next on the agenda: reconciling rights of mother, father, and baby.

Bay Area Guy said...

It may not be a good idea to refuse to print "Lexington Gay Pride" on a t-shirt. You may lose money, you may alienate potential customers.

But, it's not illegal.

Why can't the Left understand this?

The easy solution -- without court intervention -- is to find t-shirt companies who will print these and send them your business.

Owen said...

n.n. --what you said.

Dave from Minnesota said...

One difference between this and forcing bakers/photographers to participate in homosexual wedding ceremonies......do we know that it is gay people who came in and asked for him to do the contract work? It could be social liberals who want to celebrate the diversity of the season.

Dave from Minnesota said...

To complete my thought....he didn't ask the people in the store if they like gay sex or not. He said he didn't like the message they wanted him to create. It has nothing to do with the people in the store.

Mike said...

I agree with Volokh's statement. How is forcing a baker or a wedding planner to serve at gay weddings not forcing speech on people? There is a coming Free Association vs. Free Speech battle coming. The fallout may disturb some civil rights organizations because of the implications. But then the trend for blacks to self-segregate, or schools to hold "Muslim-only graduations" and have "Blacks-only dorms" looks on its face like discrimination to me. Either we can ALL enjoy free association or not.

This could be a topic I'd be interested in hearing Chuck's take on. (I haven't read above yet.)

Owen said...

Dave from Minnesota: "...do we know that it is gay people who came in and asked for him to do the contract work?"

I don't know but it's a good question. The affidavits may play a big role here. But again IMSHO I don't much care about how hurt their feelings are, by my refusal to do as they request for money. The real question for me is, can they walk down the street and get the job done on pretty much equivalent terms, without having to fuck me up. Because we all know that is what they really came in here to do: was fuck me up.

Excuse the rude language.

Lewis Wetzel said...

It has been observed that "LGBT rights" allows very wealthy, successful white people to claim all the benefits of a protected social class, and that they can move into and out of that protected as they wish.

Rocketeer said...

Dave from Minnesota: "...do we know that it is gay people who came in and asked for him to do the contract work?"

Read the article, people. It's right in there.

Jason said...

The majority opinion notes that the customer did not inform HOO that he was gay (he wasn't, in any event). What kind of garbage line of reasoning is that? How does that have any bearing on the case when the vendor is objecting to the message to begin with? So a t-shirt printer has a right not to print a given message, but as soon as a customer says he's gay, then the vendor's first amendment rights magically vanish in a puff of smoke?

Stupid on stilts.

mockturtle said...

So a t-shirt printer has a right not to print a given message, but as soon as a customer says he's gay, then the vendor's first amendment rights magically vanish in a puff of smoke?

Insanity in the courts. I think it's time to start over from scratch.

Dave from Minnesota said...

My point is that is what these vendors and professionals have been saying all along. They aren't discriminating against homosexuals, they are refusing to perform their art due to the message. If a gay guy marries a woman, they have no problem with providing these services. If two straight people get married, they will decline to participate.

If a non-gay person comes into a shop and wants pro-gay marriage messages printed, he will decline.

Unknown said...

Jason: You ask a good question.

I've long maintained that these issues are really just asking whether gays can enslave a Christian. If I'm a, say, Christian book store owner and a gay person enters the store, do I have any rights? No matter what the gay person asks/demands, if I refuse isn't it because of "animus" and thus the state will destroy me? Thus, I have no rights left.

--Vance

Dave from Minnesota said...

mockturtle, I got in a discussion with a couple of lefties a while back. I gave them a dozen examples where businesses owners can and have declined work. They agreed that the government should not force them in each case. Example, a carpenter can decline a contract without having to give a reason. Until we got to Christians (never mind Muslims) and gay wedding ceremonies. AA lives in Madison. Its even less about gay rights and more about anti-Christian bigotry.

Todd said...

Bay Area Guy said...
It may not be a good idea to refuse to print "Lexington Gay Pride" on a t-shirt. You may lose money, you may alienate potential customers.

But, it's not illegal.

Why can't the Left understand this?

The easy solution -- without court intervention -- is to find t-shirt companies who will print these and send them your business.

5/15/17, 11:39 AM


Wait? What? But, but, but that would mean that I don't get to properly punish a business owner for wrong-think! How could I possibly sleep at night knowing that somewhere "I" go is not 100% on-board with the leftist agenda? Don't you know that a business owner loses ALL rights once they open a business (unless it is a lefty business of course)! Rats. Well I will just have to settle for publicly humiliating the business owner and business and hopefully some other lefties will work themselves up to such a fever pitch that they will vandalize it / boycott it out of existence. Barring that, maybe we can all just frequent the business and request stuff we know they won't do and then lawfare them out of business. Someone dial up Soros, I am sure he will bankroll us.

Dave from Minnesota said...

Unknown, that is an example I have used. Can a book store owner be forced to carry books that she disagrees with? Can an outdoors store run by a liberal be forced to carry firearms? Most liberals will say "of course not". But when it gets to contract work by a Christian.....

Dave from Minnesota said...

The 72 year old great grandmother in Washington state received a very large number of death threats.

Unknown said...

It's not just carrying a book that you disagree with.

What if the gay person demands a discount on a title? Dare you refuse? Or demands that you give them the book, or this entire series? After all, you are a Christian and thus "charitable" and therefore the only reason you wouldn't give them your stock is anti-gay bias..... Or what if they demand a job--can you say no? Without being sued into oblivion by the Oregon human rights commission, of course? What if they demand that you publish their book that they have in manuscript right there? For free of course.

What's the difference between this and slavery, really? Especially in Oregon or Washington or San Francisco?

--Vance

n.n said...

The transgender rights enterprise fails to meet the civil rights standard, where the former is arguing to rights for an elective expression of an orientation and the latter was an argument to oppose discrimination based on intrinsic traits (e.g. epidermal shading, genetic sex, hairy chroma especially blonde). The transgender spectrum, including homosexuals, should argue that their orientation does not represent a progressive condition, thereby its dysfunctional nature does not pose a threat to the viability of community, society, and humanity, and is a behavior that can be reasonably tolerated.

Titus said...

There is a gay pride in lexington, KY? How weird.

Titus said...

Big city gays think gays in small towns in red states are odd.

Dave from Minnesota said...

"There is a gay pride in lexington, KY? How weird." And it was FABULOUS!!!!

To expand on the above, with the possible exception of the clerk in Kentucky, gays aren't being refused service. Its the act that is being refused. I would never think of not serving blacks. Why would I? But if BLM wanted me to make a sign that says "Pigs in a blanket, fry them like bacon", I would refuse.

EDH said...

This puts into sharper relief the compelled speech argument I made with the hypothetical of offering to sell a "You're going to burn in Hell" cake for same sex marriages.

The cake service is offered by the business, just not the message asked for.

Issue presented: Whether the government can compel that speech?

Renee said...

"It has been observed that "LGBT rights" allows very wealthy, successful white people to claim all the benefits of a protected social class, and that they can move into and out of that protected as they wish."

Only of my teenage children has a classmate, that goes on and on about being a minority because she identifies being gay. To be honest, I think this classmate is 'faking gay' for attention. I know I should judge a 15 year old, but that's all this privileged girl has.

My child knows not to engage (don't roll your eyes, nothing), just stay quiet and complain when she gets home.

eric said...

It's never been about gay sex. People will do what they're going to do no matter the law.

It's always been about destroying Christians and Christianity.

tcrosse said...

Big city gays think gays in small towns in red states are odd.

Everybody else thinks big city gays are odd.

William said...

Would any part of this case be applicable to a store owner who declined to print out "I ❤️ Jeff Davis" t shirts?

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Would any part of this case be applicable to a store owner who declined to print out "I ❤️ Jeff Davis" t shirts?

I would think so. Even if this is not a religious sentiment, the right to not be forced to make speech that you find offensive or with which you disagree still stands.

Can you make a Jewish owner print Nazi or Anti Semitic T-Shirts? No. Can he refuse to sell you blank t shirts that you plan to have printed elsewhere with offensive slogans? No. What YOU do with his product after he buys it is none of his business.

The bakery cake issue is the same. The bakery must sell its generic buttercream cakes to anyone who wants to buy one, assuming that the cakes are on the menu that day and the cakes are available. What you plan to do with the cake later is immaterial and NOYB.

The baker who is also a Cake Decorator (Artist) has the right to refuse to be forced to "decorate" the cake for a ceremony that he/she is religiously opposed to or to put slogans on it that support Satan. Cake decorating is an Art Form....you try to do it sometime. As an art form, it is defacto speech. Baking a generic cake is not necessarily an art form or speech.

Big Mike said...

Has the push-back against PC run amok finally begun? Overdue if you ask me!

Dave from Minnesota said...

"Has the push-back against PC run amok finally begun? Overdue if you ask me!"

See President Donald Trump. Also see the backlash against St Olaf College.

Owen said...

I am no psychologist but I do think that once people take a position (e.g. I am transgender) they double-down to protect their original decision. Or just to be PITAs and see what happens --can they get their peers it or parents to blow up or lose their s**t? An inverse power trip or something.

Lewis Wetzel said...

"Blogger eric said...
It's never been about gay sex. People will do what they're going to do no matter the law.

It's always been about destroying Christians and Christianity.

5/15/17, 12:39 PM"



You might think that Bevin’s stroke of the pen—honoring the Christian faith of Davis and two other Kentucky county clerks who had taken similar ­stances (neither was subjected to litigation), while allowing same-sex couples to proceed to their wedding ceremonies—would have ended the matter in an amicable compromise. It did not. The ACLU continued to press forward against Davis, contending that a Kentucky statute required that Davis’s signature and title appear on the licenses, and it was a statute that could not be nullified by a governor’s executive order. This was certainly a valid legal point, except that the ACLU’s way of making it was to request Bunning to issue a second contempt order that would send Davis back to jail for failing to comply with his original September 3 injunction. The ACLU made much of the altered license form that Davis had authorized (it had the word “clerk” systematically crossed out) and was still seeking to have her re-incarcerated even as the Kentucky Senate was moving along a bill in early 2016 that would amend Kentucky law along the lines of Bevin’s executive order (and thus render the ACLU’s argument moot), and as the Sixth Circuit was reading briefs and hearing arguments in Davis’s appeal.

https://www.firstthings.com/article/2016/06/punching-down

James Pawlak said...

Requiring free citizens to "serve"other is "involuntary servitude" (SLAVERY).

Forcing a Muslim florist to provide flowers for a Jewish wedding OR a Black organization to rent ins hall for a KKK meeting OR Ex-Mayor Bloomberg to host a NRA meeting OR a strict Christian baker to provide the product of her/his hands-and- mind to a homosexual "marriage" are all examples of such slavery.

wwww said...

The bakery cake issue is the same. The bakery must sell its generic buttercream cakes to anyone who wants to buy one, assuming that the cakes are on the menu that day and the cakes are available. What you plan to do with the cake later is immaterial and NOYB.



Yes -- I never understood why this was a thing. People don't decorate wedding cakes as if they are kid birthday cakes. They've got some generic flowers on them.

Sell flowers and generic cakes. It's not necessary to know that a cake is for a wedding or another function. Same with flowers. Even a bouquet could be used for something other then a wedding.

wwww said...

Forcing a Muslim florist to provide flowers for a Jewish wedding OR a Black organization to rent ins hall for a KKK meeting OR Ex-Mayor Bloomberg to host a NRA meeting OR a strict Christian baker to provide the product of her/his hands-and- mind to a homosexual "marriage" are all examples of such slavery.


But it's none of the vendor's business to know what the flowers are for -- not unless you're spelling words out with flowers or something.

For our wedding we went to a Dahlia farm and picked our own flowers. Also bought some at an outside market. We didn't feel the need to chat with the vendor about why we needed the flowers. Ordered some corsages and a bouquet, but we didn't talk about _why_ we needed the flowers, we just asked for type of flowers and size of bouquet and told them when we'd pick the flowers up.

Unknown said...

But WWWW, that's the thing: These people aren't ordering a flower or a cake because they want to celebrate their wedding. If they actually wanted a flower or a cake, they'd go to a gay friendly person.

Instead, they are in this to punish and harm people.

--Vance

Titus said...

What must it be like to be a Kentucky gay? A chilling thought.

tits

Dave from Minnesota said...

What the fascist left is doing is not just going into a business and making a purchase from the display case. They are demanding that the Christian accept contract work to participate in the homosexual wedding ceremony.

In the case of the baker in Cleveland (this was one of the first ones a few years ago) and the florist in Washington state, both said they will gladly sell them anything in their stores. But the gays wanted special work done. In the Cleveland case, the baker said she doesn't do special orders for anyone. Just makes cupcakes and puts them in a display case.

Lets use the blacks vs KKK argument. A KKKer (if they still exist) walks into a black owned wood shop to buy some lumber. The owner has to sell ol' David Duke some wood. But if the KKKer says he wants the black owner to deliver the lumber to his property, and then build him a cross and stick it in the ground so he can burn it, that is different.

DanTheMan said...

This nonsense is going to continue until the right stops playing defense. When we haul others into court and make them pay for not printing or baking what we want, it will stop.

Play not to lose, and lose anyway. Play to win.

wwww said...



No one should have to make speech they don't want to make. But I don't get how a generic cake or generic flowers are speech, or could be construed as support.

I can't see the sale of something as a gift. A vendor only supports if they donate supplies or services, or volunteers to sell something under market value. I do not believe vendors are making any pledges or promises, or participating in the religious ceremony.

I can't see that a manufacturer's or vendor's religious beliefs would matter unless we're talking about a religious item, like a huppa.

I've supported weddings through my witness. I've pledged to support those marriage to help couples avoid divorce. But vendors of the celebration -- after the marriage -- wasn't a guest or a witness to it. They are vendors, not guests or witnesses. They are not participants.

John said...

BAG said: "The easy solution -- without court intervention -- is to find t-shirt companies who will print these and send them your business."

Yelp has the Top 10 screen printers in Louisville - and this guy isn't even one of them. Hmmm? They wouldn't have targeted him would they?

Larry J said...

Bay Area Guy said...
It may not be a good idea to refuse to print "Lexington Gay Pride" on a t-shirt. You may lose money, you may alienate potential customers.

But, it's not illegal.

Why can't the Left understand this?

The easy solution -- without court intervention -- is to find t-shirt companies who will print these and send them your business.


That just makes too much sense to be allowed to stand. No, we must have the government force people to do things even when they approve. After all, “Government is simply the name we give to the things we choose to do together.” (attributed to Barney Frank).

Dave from Minnesota said...

John, 2nd hand story (hey, its on the internet) is that there is a web site out there for gay activists to list Christian bakers, photographers, florists, caterers, etc and then try to find someone to go in and demand they participate in a gay wedding. Basically a set up.
If they refuse, then its gay jihad on the business owner/artist.

Unknown said...

Several have asked about why a cake would offend a baker. Perhaps the cake had two statues of men on top. Perhaps it has sexual symbols. Maybe it said "Susie & Jane" in frosting.
For flower shops, sometimes people want them to come do the arrangements at the wedding venue.
If the buyers wanted not to offend the baker or florist it would be easy. But if you go in and ask for stuff for a gay wedding, you have alerted the store owner as to your purpose, intentionally to start a fight.

Mark Jones said...

"No one should have to make speech they don't want to make. But I don't get how a generic cake or generic flowers are speech, or could be construed as support."

It's not about free speech. Or it shouldn't be. It should be about freedom of association, another right clearly deliniated in the Bill of Rights. The right to freely associate with whomever you like must necessarily include the right NOT to associate with someone. If you don't want to take someone's money for a product or service you provide, you shouldn't have to--and you shouldn't have to provide a "good" reason or ANY reason. There might be a compelling government interest in requiring a hotel or restaurant to serve anyone who asks for a room or a meal (assuming they can pay); but most private businesses should be free to choose whom they'll do business with without restriction.

If denied service you are free to make a stink, to publicize your mistreatment, try to organize a boycott--whatever. What you should NOT be able to do is employ the government to strongarm people into doing your bidding against their will.

Peter said...

And yet, print and broadcast media have reserved the right to reject ads for any reason or no reason and as far as I know courts have never challenged this right.

Of course, it's true that a print ad becomes part of the editorial-content package that the reader buys, just as a broadcast ad comes with the show that's broadcast around it.

Yet print media go to some lengths to be sure readers don't confuse advertising with editorial content, sometimes by putting the bolded word "Advertising" above the ad content, and no one would expect either the performers on a show or a station's management endorse a political candidate just because they broadcast a political ad (if for no other reason than because broadcasters often accept ads from politicians who are running against one another).

Print media (and by extension broadcasters) receive deference where cake decorators and t-shirt printers don't, yet no one requires these to prove they are "artists." Of course, a publication or broadcaster wouldn't be able to refuse ads based on the race, creed, etc. of the person who submitted the ad but, that's not what these bakers, wedding photographers, and t-shirt printers are attempting to do, is it?

John said...

Dave from MN: "2nd hand story (hey, its on the internet) is that there is a web site out there for gay activists..."

Could probably replace 'gay' with 'any' activist.

Is it me or does it seem like the left - who once demanded Diversity! - have turned 180 and are now the intolerant? I realize this is a rhetorical question...

Rocketeer said...
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Rocketeer said...
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Rocketeer said...
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Rocketeer said...

Big city gays think gays in small towns in red states are odd.

Lexington may not be a big city, but it is most certainly not a small town.

What must it be like to be a Kentucky gay? A chilling thought.

In Kentucky, being gay is not a liability or handicap. But being a Democrat is.

Rocketeer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rocketeer said...

Yelp has the Top 10 screen printers in Louisville - and this guy isn't even one of them. Hmmm? They wouldn't have targeted him would they?

Why would a Lexington printer be one of the top 10 printers in Louisville?

Titus said...

Lexington is considered small compared with fab, expensive, large coastie cities.

Go Phantom Regiment!

Unknown said...

People like to compare the cake business to segregation. The important thing to note is that until the government got involved, people were not that into segregation. Many neighborhoods were mixed, blacks were becoming middle class by opening shops and becoming tradesmen, etc. Then, the government (local AND federal) got involved in making it all official, with the Jim Crow laws. Initially only in the South, these were later extended nationwide and the feds got involved in the housing market as well with red-lining. That is, the danger was never discrimination by all businesses because many were happy to take anyone's money. It was government power that enforced it. Thus allowing the rare bakery to not bake someone a cake is NOT the same as Jim Crow laws which were enforced by the government.

John said...

@Rocketeer - my bad, wrong city. Same Yelp results though?

The point is, we live in a world with many options. One option is: you don't have to buy from businesses you don't agree with.

Jack Wayne said...

These are not prog-think laws. The government has been very clear for a long time that buyers have more rigts than sellers. These laws are just a "logical" extension of red-lining and anti-gouging laws. I suspect Althouse is OK with red-lining laws. And so we get this outcome. I believe it has already been established that the government can coerce sellers. I expect SCOTUS will affirm the "principle".

Rocketeer said...

Small city, yes. Small town, no.

Nevertheless - SUTA!

Dust Bunny Queen said...

.www said: But I don't get how a generic cake or generic flowers are speech, or could be construed as support.

They don't. The bakery and the florist shop gladly sold their wares: cakes, cupcakes, flowers to any and all including the butthurt gay people. They often sold to those people without any instance or without compunction.

They balked at being asked to make a NON generic custom designed wedding cake (have you ever tried to design and decorate one of those?) or to craft and assemble custom floral arrangements for the gay wedding. Those are not generic. Those are custom designed works of art.

And...art as everyone knows is a representation of speech, an insight into the artists creative mind etc etc etc.....yada yada yada. You can't have it both ways. We must all admire the crucifix in a bottle of urine....Piss Christ because it is "art", but screw you Christian artists.

wwww said...

The right to freely associate with whomever you like must necessarily include the right NOT to associate with someone.


I guess I see association as social acquaintances or friends, or at least members of a common group, such as a church. I usually see going to the market as interacting with strangers.

Personally, I'd simply bring business elsewhere if someone decided they didn't want to sell to me for whatever reason.

I don't understand the theological argument that selling a generic cake or flowers could risk the state of one's soul.

I see interacting at the market as outside of the bounds of friendship, and I do not know what a vendor may or may not be doing with his life. For example, I don't consider myself sinning if I purchase from a vendor who, say, has committed adultery or gotten a divorce. But I do NOT support the divorce or the adultery.

I may solicit from vendors who I know contribute to charity. But if I need to purchase paper from Costco, and if I disagree with how someone from Costco has acted in their personal lives, I would not consider my purchase sin. Likewise, I don't think Costco should consider it a sin if someone who committed adultery, or who had gotten a divorce, purchases an item from their store.

Ultimately, because vendors are not the friends of the buyers, they cannot be expected to be participating in the event. (Or even know what the generic cake or flowers are going to be used for.) As a result, would someone need to go to confession to confess the sin of selling flowers to a stranger?

It doesn't compute for me that this could be considered a sin, or risk the state of one's soul.

wwww said...

They balked at being asked to make a NON generic custom designed wedding cake (have you ever tried to design and decorate one of those?) or to craft and assemble custom floral arrangements for the gay wedding. Those are not generic. Those are custom designed works of art.



I don't think people should have to create a customized order, unless it's somehow regularized in the business. (ie - ordering shades customized for unusual windows.)

The theological perspective that it risks one's soul to sell flowers or cake to a stranger confuses me. But to each their own.

Was married decades ago, but our parents arranged and ordered in advance the corsages & bouquet flowers and cake. We were out of town at school. I would be shocked if the vendors knew the names of who was getting married, or anything personal about us at all.



Dust Bunny Queen said...

@ www

When you go into a bakery and they have a display case of goods, you buy from the vendor and pay the going price. This is open market selling. The baker cannot refuse to sell you his wares if he has them available and you have the money to purchase because it is a public place of business. This is an implied contract.

However, when you ask the baker to design and make you a custom cake...you are entering into an contract. This is an expressed contract or can be more formal than that with written estimates and signed agreements. Both parties have to agree to the terms and conditions of the contract. You are not forced to enter into a contract with anyone.

A contract is a voluntary arrangement between two or more parties that is enforceable at law as a binding legal agreement.

Voluntary.

You can be sued for breach of contract. So far we haven't been able to force people to UNvoluntarily be contracted to do work for someone else. That is literally SLAVERY.

Well...with the exception of Christians being forced to perform labor against their will. Do you even see the hypocrisy? Even?????

Jupiter said...

Renee said...

"My child knows not to engage (don't roll your eyes, nothing), just stay quiet and complain when she gets home."

In The Bridge At Andau, Michener describes the difficult decision parents had to make in Soviet-era Hungary; "When do we let our children in on the fact that the government is the Enemy? If we tell them too soon, they may say things at school that will get us in trouble. If we wait too long, they may report us."

When I first read that, back in the 70's, it did not occur to me that it could ever happen in America. But it has.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Seriously....as a business person and inf a baker....if you force me to bake you a custom cake you are probably going to get some extra ingredients in it that you may not like.

Here...you can have your cake and EAT IT too

Or....here is a sheet cake and a Wilton decorating book. Have at it :-)

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Gah...IF I were a professional baker....

Proofreading a lost art.

wwww said...

A contract is a voluntary arrangement between two or more parties that is enforceable at law as a binding legal agreement.
Voluntary.
You can be sued for breach of contract. So far we haven't been able to force people to UNvoluntarily be contracted to do work for someone else. That is literally SLAVERY.
Well...with the exception of Christians being forced to perform labor against their will. Do you even see the hypocrisy? Even?????


I believe all purchases are informal legal contracts? One does not need a written contract to create a informal legal contractual situation for which one can be sued in a market. I can informally arrange to purchase the services of a high schooler to mow my lawn, and that is a legal contract.

Legal slavery was the purchase of bodies. Slaveowners literally owned the bodies of slaves. Rape is not legally possible and the babies were the possession of slaveholders.

But those are different issues from the right to refuse service. It seems to me there are multiple questions that are possibly being conflated here.

1) Is selling a generic cake to a gay wedding a sin if the vendors are not acquainted with the participants of the wedding? Would a vendor need to go to confession?

2) Should it be legal for a vendor to refuse service?

It seems you're interested in the second argument. For me -- it depends whom is being refused service and in what context.

Personally, I would advise people to simply avoid vendors who do not wish to give service. There are plenty of people in the marketplace who will sell cake or flowers.

I'm interested in the first argument. I do not understand the theological argument that selling food or flowers to a stranger places one's soul at risk.

I would understand if the vendor was a guest at the wedding. Or if the vendor was personally acquainted and known to the participants -- if the relationship is not merely one of the market, but is personal. But selling food to strangers? I don't get how it could be a sin.





Unknown said...

Is selling a fast car to someone you know is a thief a sin? How about selling a gun to a man who is vowing to kill someone? Being an accessory to grave sin is in itself sinful sometimes especially when you know you are facilitating something bad.

More bluntly, she metimes we are called to warn our neighbor. To stand as a light to the world. And not to participate in something sinful. I would say that sellout my a guy a ladder while he is boasting about using it to climb into the neighbors window a la Don Juan would be contributing to a sin too.

--Vance

Paco Wové said...

"Is selling a generic cake to a gay wedding a sin"

Why do you keep throwing the superfluous "generic" in there? I don't think these conflicts were about "generic cakes".

Gahrie said...

I don't understand the theological argument that selling a generic cake or flowers could risk the state of one's soul.

Few people do. The bakery in the original case knew the customers were gay, and yet had sold them baked goods before. It was only when they asked for a wedding cake for a gay wedding that the bakery said no. The bakers got sued and put out of business anyway.

wwww said...

Why do you keep throwing the superfluous "generic" in there? I don't think these conflicts were about "generic cakes".


I'm differentiating between language-based information on a cake, versus a cake with flowers. Or a layered cake with decorations that are not language based.

Basically I don't get why people think it's a sin to sell a generic cake or flowers. Parents often purchase cakes for the wedding, so the primary couple isn't even involved. There's no reason a vendor would even know who is getting married.

Or do people not consider it a sin, but they are refusing to accept money for services for other reasons?

wwww said...

Is selling a fast car to someone you know is a thief a sin? How about selling a gun to a man who is vowing to kill someone? Being an accessory to grave sin is in itself sinful sometimes especially when you know you are facilitating something bad.


But these items are necessary for the sin to occur or succeed. That's why I would differentiate someone who is making a Huppa. Someone cannot be required to perform or participate in a religious sacrament.

The religious sacrament occurs with or without a cake/flowers/food. The reception isn't the wedding.

I wonder if the fad of the "big" expensive wedding has caused people to forget what is sacred about marriage. It's not about the cake or the flowers. That's not the wedding. That's the reception.

David said...

Titus does not seem to know much about Lexington. In addition to your normal everyday gays, there is a wild gay scene swirling around the horse and polo cultures. Lex calls itself "The Horse Capitol of the World." Those in the know realize that the description is not just for equine creatures. If it's fab enough for Queen Elizabeth II, Titus, (and it was until her ability to travel got restricted), it without doubt fab enough for you.

Michael K said...

This nonsense is going to continue until the right stops playing defense. When we haul others into court and make them pay for not printing or baking what we want, it will stop.

Yes. It is way past overdue.

Chuck said...

Mike said...
I agree with Volokh's statement. How is forcing a baker or a wedding planner to serve at gay weddings not forcing speech on people? There is a coming Free Association vs. Free Speech battle coming. The fallout may disturb some civil rights organizations because of the implications. But then the trend for blacks to self-segregate, or schools to hold "Muslim-only graduations" and have "Blacks-only dorms" looks on its face like discrimination to me. Either we can ALL enjoy free association or not.

This could be a topic I'd be interested in hearing Chuck's take on. (I haven't read above yet.)


Mike, I have shockingly little to say about this. Because like you I agree with Eugene Volokh. I am a huge admirer of his writing. And it was painful, to read the dissenting judge's opinion (Kentucky Court of Appeals Judge Jeff S. Taylor).

I was at the University of Michigan Law School graduation recently; my best friend was the commencement speaker. And almost all of the black graduates had a different, added, Kente cloth stole. It seemed so weird. I was later at an Ohio State B-school graduation; and I saw some of the same (although not as militant/uniform). The notion of "separate but equal" graduation ceremonies at some liberal colleges amazes me as it does you.

Gahrie said...

Basically I don't get why people think it's a sin to sell a generic cake or flowers.

OK..let's try this...

Exactly who has said it is a sin to sell generic cakes or flowers?

wwww said...


Exactly who has said it is a sin to sell generic cakes or flowers?


That's what I'm trying to figure out.

Do people not want to sell cakes/flowers because they think it's sinful to do so? Do they think it involves them in a sinful act as a participant?

Or do they not want to sell cakes/flowers because they find the people involved dis-tasteful and/or want to show their disapproval of a social act?

That's why I'm asking about generic cakes with standard flowers or a standard flower bouquet.

Years ago our parents ordered our cake. The vendors did not know who the principles were in the marriage, and I'm sure they could care less. btw- it was a delicious cake.

I never thought of the vendors as participating in my wedding. The cake was good, but it was just a cake. Flour butter milk sugar chocolate some fruit filling. But they weren't invited.

Our guests witnessed the wedding. Their participation was a symbol that they would support our marital bond. When I attend other people's weddings, I see myself as a witness, and if ever called to do so, will do what I can to support the marriage.

I'm kind of interested in theology, witnesses & witnessing and religious pledges -- although I'm no expert. I guess I'm curious about the religious understanding that is underlying this. Or maybe it's an excuse to remember my wedding, which I remember fondly.


Gahrie said...

Do people not want to sell cakes/flowers because they think it's sinful to do so?

Bakers and florists do not want to create wedding cakes and floral arrangements for gay weddings because they do not wish to participate in gay weddings.

I never thought of the vendors as participating in my wedding

I bet they did.

Annie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Annie said...

wwww, as mentioned above, the Christian bakers and florists didn't have a problem selling 'generic' goods to anyone who walked in the door. Not a sin.

When the gay person/s wanted to contract their services for a custom cake for their wedding, the vendors balked because to many Christians, marriage is a sacrament between man and woman and they didn't want to spend the time discussing in length/planning/executing something they believe is invalid, against God's Law, thus want no part of. They knew the customers asking were gay because the gays told them they were gay and it was to be for their gay wedding.

With cake decorating, there are price sheets, actual contracts with signatures, drawings, meetings with the client, bridezillas, talent, and many hours involved in the production of said work. And once it's all done, there is delivery, set up at the venue, and in some cases, the dismantling of it later in the evening unless the caterer offers to do that. (I know this because I used to be a cake decorator). I imagine it's much the same with florists regarding time and talent involved.

As artists, they put a little of themselves in each creation. Being deeply religious, they don't want to participate in - yes, all of that time/talent/set-up is participating in the event - or give acknowledgment to something that is outside Biblical marriage. And they shouldn't be forced to do so. Force will not motivate the artist to do their best work. Who wants to taint what should be a happy occasion with bad juju?

Tolerance should not be a one-way street.

Virtually Unknown said...

Tolerance should not be a one-way street.

Try to keep up. Supermarkets will be required to slaughter live goats soon enough.

Titus said...

I have been to Lexington. I took my parents there for a long weekend because my dad loves horse raising. We went to Keenland and some horse hall of fame, did a tour of the farms, and went to some place where previous horse winners fuck each other. Sorry, it is Kentucky. Those of us fab coastie fags have no room in our travel schedule for flyover states. Strictly the coasts and Europe for us.

Jason said...

Score another point for the Heartland, then.

JAORE said...

"Titus does not seem to know much about...." ... anything not contained in the tiny bubbles world contained in those fab, large coastal cities.

I've been to your "fab" cities, far more often than you (apparently) have been to fly-over country. I can see advantages to both. I choose fly-over.

Sorry for your myopia.

ceowens said...

Danger, Thread Hijack Ahead.

An FFL can refuse to sell anyone a gun for any reason or no reason.