September 16, 2017

"Cake Is His ‘Art.’ So Can He Deny One to a Gay Couple?"

A fair presentation by Adam Liptak in the NYT of what's at stake in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission.
Jack Phillips bakes beautiful cakes, and it is not a stretch to call him an artist.... “It’s more than just a cake,” he said at his bakery one recent morning. “It’s a piece of art in so many ways.”

The couple he refused to serve, David Mullins and Charlie Craig, filed civil rights charges. They said they had been demeaned and humiliated as they sought to celebrate their union. “We asked for a cake,” Mr. Craig said. “We didn’t ask for a piece of art or for him to make a statement for us. He simply turned us away because of who we are.”
What is art? Why does it matter? Does artier artisan work get counted as speech?
“Because of my faith, I believe the Bible teaches clearly that it’s a man and a woman,” [said Mr. Phillips]. Making a cake to celebrate something different, he said, “causes me to use the talents that I have to create an artistic expression that violates that faith.”...

“Our story is about us being turned away and discriminated against by a public business,” said Mr. Mullins, 33, an office manager, poet, musician and photographer.

221 comments:

1 – 200 of 221   Newer›   Newest»
Ken B said...

They are lying, right? He was willing to bake them a cake, just not a wedding cake because he objects to their actions in wedding. So it's not what they are it's what they are doing.

Gahrie said...

Just out of curiosity..how come this cases always deal with Christian bakers, and never Muslim bakers?

These couples are really lucky they never came to me...if they insisted on a cake after I first refused, I'd bake the worst tasting cake in the history of the world.

Ann Althouse said...

When you need a wedding cake, a non-wedding cake isn't a substitute. They couldn't buy the product they came into the store to buy. Within their framing of the issue — their "story" — they're not lying. That doesn't mean they should win, just that there are different ways of looking at this truly difficult problem.

Ann Althouse said...

"Just out of curiosity..how come this cases always deal with Christian bakers, and never Muslim bakers?"

I'm sure the hypothetical will be raised in the arguments to the Court.

I suspect that gay couples don't feel like going to Muslim bakeries and don't want to get into discord with Muslims. Also, there are probably not many Muslim bakeries out there.

Ken B said...

Couldn't we imagine someone like Andrea Dworkin or Catherine McKinnon refusing to participate in a straight marriage, because they see straight sex as rape, but being willing to participate in a gay marriage? (Or a lesbian one, I think they see male gay sex as a rape of the "one playing the female role" to try to quote them).

Ken B said...

The reason they go to Christian bakers is to score off Christians. The reason they don't go to Muslim bakers is that they don't want to score off Muslims.

ALP said...

I'd like to see an example of gay owned bakery refusing to bake a cake for devout Christians who wish to put: "Marriage is the union of man and woman only" on their wedding cake. Is there such a case out there? That would be interesting.

George Grady said...

Could a cake artist have a rule something like this:

"The cakes I make make statements, and the statements they make are the ones that I want to make. You can make suggestions, and I may or may not take them into account. When you purchase a cake from me, you are contracting to accept what I make."

Then, if a gay couple insists on a wedding cake from such a baker, they'll get a statement they may not like.

David said...

"there are different ways of looking at this truly difficult problem."

I know that it true, but it's hard for me to avoid thinking that just moving on to the next cake store would be the gracious and sensible thing to do. We don't have a bunch of Jim Cake laws that prohibit access to the service across the board.

I have been married three times now, and my children and stepchildren as a group more times than that. It's clear to me that one of the keys to a successful wedding is to make it as easy for everyone as one can.

Turning your wedding into an even for a cause is not the lower stress path. But to each their own, I guess.

buwaya said...

This seems no different from all those singers and such who refused to perform at Trumps inauguration.

Religion, politics, whats the diff?

DrSquid said...

What if the baker had just baked them the cake as they wanted, then presented to them and stated that he believes their marriage is an abomination. That's speech for sure. Could they sue him then? would they accept the cake?

The abomination thing is not my opinion BTW, it's my opinion people should be able to do pretty much what ever they like, including bake (or not bake)_a cake.

buwaya said...

Imagine a painter being sued because he refuses a commission because he has a political difference of opinion vs his subject.

buwaya said...

And it is an abomination.
In a traditional sense, which is the only sound one, it is bizarre and absurd.

Narayanan Subramanian said...

Are there no gay bakers they know about and like?
What if they had just asked for a cake without mentioning their nuptials?

rcocean said...

I always thought you had the right to do business with who you want unless you're a restaurant/hotel turning away people because of their race.

I guess not.

rcocean said...

I would have agreed to bake the cake, then not delivered on time, and refunded their money.

Mary Beth said...

They said they had been demeaned and humiliated as they sought to celebrate their union.

Being told "no" is demeaning and humiliating? Life must be very difficult for them.

Gahrie said...

I suspect that gay couples don't feel like going to Muslim bakeries and don't want to get into discord with Muslims.

But they're looking to start trouble with Christians......

Also, there are probably not many Muslim bakeries out there.

I think you'd be surprised.

Narayanan Subramanian said...

Does Colorado allow bakers to charge any price they want? Price the cake $100,000 and outsource the production.

Gordon said...

I'm constantly amazed that people don't understand this. Participating in a marriage lends your approval and support. It's one reason weddings are public celebrations. The community is promising to help the couple.

For a Christian, this is anathema. One does not lend your support and energy to something you abhor. This is why they will sell you a cake, but not a wedding cake. An ordinary cake does not imply approval.

Of course, the couple in this case isn't heartbroken, ashamed, anguished or anything else. They knew perfectly well they could get a cake elsewhere, and chose this baker in order to attack Christianity, with the power of the state behind them. Remember when gay marriage was just about love? Yeah, me neither.

They don't sue Muslim bakeries, of which there are many, because Muslims cut your head off for shit like that. Christians won't.

Gahrie said...

Most gay people don't seem to be very happy people....one might say that they are constantly butt hurt.

tim in vermont said...

He should add "sewer" to his c.v.

etbass said...

It would have been a good idea to bake the cake much like the pies made in "The Help."

Big Mike said...

I'd have made them the damned cake, but loaded it with syrup of ipecac.

Breezy said...

Why must we insist others be like us, agree with us,and want to do all we want to do? Can't we allow for differing viewpoints and roll with it? We seem so lost in these types of debates.

Let's allow individuals to be who they are. And if a clash, thoughts don't align, then seek others who agree and who don't clash. Life is so short.

Sebastian said...

"Within their framing of the issue — their "story" — they're not lying." The "framing" itself is a lie.

"this truly difficult problem." It isn't.

Of course, we are dealing here with American law, so anything is possible, anything can be rationalized by some creative judge or law professor.

Big Mike said...

Naw, I wouldn't have loaded it with ipecac. But it's a thought.

Ray said...

I view this as indentured servitude / slavery. New Mexico with the photographer, Oregon with another bakery, and this.

Louder with Chowder did go to a bunch of Moslem bakeries asking for a cake for a gay wedding:
https://www.louderwithcrowder.com/hidden-camera-gay-wedding-cake-at-muslim-bakery/

It's a messy issue because you could claim your religion requires discrimination against females. Where to draw the line?

john mosby said...

The plaintiff is a poet, musician, and photographer. So someone needs to commission him to compose a song with lyrics to the effect of 'gays will all burn in hell,' and photograph himself performing it. Then when he refuses the commission, sue him....

JSM

n.n said...

Transgender couplets.

Political congruence or "=" under the State-established Pro-Choice Church progresses at the twilight fringe to select its favored inclusions/exclusions.

CWJ said...

"...this truly difficult problem." Oh please. If this is a problem, it's because people such as the plaintiffs have made it one. If it is truly difficult, it's because they have involved the law and the power of the state to attempt to grant them extraordinary status with which to pursue a personal vendetta. Rosa Parks these people are not.

Gahrie said...

Rosa Parks these people are not.

Actually...Rosa Parks wasn't Rosa Parks either....

n.n said...

"=" or political congruence, not equality. That's one baby step forward. One giant leap backward. Progress.

FullMoon said...

Must wonder how many bakeries agreed to make their cake before they reached this guy.

Ralph L said...

As a rule, don't piss off the people who you want to sell you food. Likewise, don't piss off potential customers, because word gets around (my ex-boss was good at this, often unintentionally).

A lawsuit over a cake makes the plaintiff look like a real jerk.

MikeD said...

FullMoon for the win!

Quaestor said...

Our story is about us being turned away and discriminated against by a public business,” said Mr. Mullins, 33, an office manager, poet, musician and photographer.

Crikey, another C.V. inflator. Translation follows:

Office manager — warms a chair with his butt, but has no marketable skills.
Poet — owns a rhyming dictionary.
Musician — gawd, we've quite enough of those.
Photographer — who the fuck isn't?

I'd like to meet one of these "polymaths" with a worthwhile accomplishment, plumbing for example.

Real American said...

They are demanding this man provide goods and services for a religious or quasi-religious ceremony. He has free speech and free religious rights to say no thanks. People cannot be forced to provide services for events they find repugnant. It's the nature of the event, not the identity of the participants that determines the outcome here.

Ralph L said...

OTOH, bake them a frosted cake in a plain brown wrapper, and let them pick it up and decorate it to suit with sugar phalli parachuting under condoms. They're not asking you to get in the receiving line and kiss the bride.

Diogenes of Sinope said...

Jack Phillips bake was ordered by the Colorado Civil Rights Commission to bake wedding cakes for same-sex couples or else cease baking wedding cakes all together. So what is to happen if he bakes a wedding cake? Prison?

Lock him up throw away the key.

Bix Cvvv said...

When they sued Picasso for refusing to paint what they demanded he paint, he laughed. Nasty little man, of course, and the Platonic ideal of someone with talent and no heart: but he was right to laugh, and he won. I would be absolutely ashamed of a fellow pro-lifer who sued a cake baker for refusing to bake a cake celebrating the life and death of an aborted fetus. It is not often one thinks of Picasso as a hero - he was a nasty little man, and had be been born female, would have been a nasty little female - but it is heroic to stand up for the rights of artists.

Ralph L said...

I forgot--the whole point of guys getting married is to dispense with the condoms.

Jason said...

Also, there are probably not many Muslim bakeries out there.

I swear... every time the topic turns to gays, Ann's IQ drops fifty fucking points.

Fritz said...

They didn't want the cake, they wanted an example.

Quaestor said...

Naw, I wouldn't have loaded it with ipecac. But it's a thought.

Phenolphthalein would have been interesting. Would have ruined the wedding night.

Or enhanced it.

rhhardin said...

There's no out that makes sense because the mistake is in the civil rights law, which does not tie unfreedom of association to monopoly markets.

You can discriminate to your heart's content except in monopoly markets, ought to be the civil rights law. Then there's no gay wedding cake problem. Solve it right.

You can get monopoly markets in addition to natural monopolies by state or private threats of violence (nice business you have here too bad if you serve blacks).

Tank said...

Jason said...

Also, there are probably not many Muslim bakeries out there.

I swear... every time the topic turns to gays, Ann's IQ drops fifty fucking points.


Winner.

Bob Boyd said...

If gay is treated the same as race for purposes of discrimination and civil rights, then it follows that the law assumes gays are born that way or at least aren't choosing to be gay. It isn't simply a behavior or a lifestyle choice. As far as I know, this isn't settled science yet.

Anyway, it's interesting that many of the same people making this case also argue that gender is a social construct and individuals can identify (choose) if they are a man, a woman or somewhere on a spectrum in between.

rhhardin said...

The same screwup in the civil rights law is argued as a religious exemption and an art exemption and every other kind of exemption that's lying around, when all that's needed is freedom of association to solve everything.

Jason said...

We had it about right... at the federal level, the laws only applied to public accommodations. When it came to restaurants, it only applied to venues that specifically served food to be consumed ON THE PREMISES. It excluded private catering arrangements, which are CONTRACTS.

The happy-face fascists that Althouse has shamefully chosen to back want quite literally to make it illegal for a wedding vendor to refuse to enter into a CONTRACT they object to. It's a direct frontal assault on liberty, and should have been laughed out of court by all right-thinking people.

This is why those assholes got Trump. I trace it back to Memories Pizza. That was the day Democrats lost the election. Trump appointing Pence his VP could not have put a finer point on it.

Fuck these people.

Jason said...

Congress wrote RFRA, and lots of states wrote and enacted parallel statutes for a reason.

Libtards sure abandoned those principles fast, eh?

Then again, they always do.

Mr. Majestyk said...

"Discord with muslims": the mother of all euphemisms.

Diogenes of Sinope said...

"Today's decree says that my Ruler, and the Ruler of 320 million Americans coast-to-coast, is a majority of the nine lawyers on the Supreme Court. The opinion in these cases is the furthest extension in fact— and the furthest extension one can even imagine—of the Court's claimed power to create 'liberties' that the Constitution and its Amendments neglect to mention. This practice of constitutional revision by an unelected committee of nine, always accompanied (as it is today) by extravagant praise of liberty, robs the People of the most important liberty they asserted in the Declaration of Independence and won in the Revolution of 1776: the freedom to govern themselves." Justice Scalia The courts are the tyrants we were warned about. There is no crueler tyranny than that which is perpetuated under the shield of law and in the name of justice. Charles de Montesquieu

Charlotte Allen said...

Lotsa Muslim bakeries in Denver:

https://www.google.com/search?q=muslim+bakeries+denver&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8

The Azucar seems to be the premier bakery.

CStanley said...

I suspect that gay couples don't feel like going to Muslim bakeries and don't want to get into discord with Muslims.

But they feel like going to bakeries run by orthodox* Christians?

*small "o", meaning that these are Christians who believe that marriage is a sacramental union between a man and a woman

Charlotte Allen said...

Sweets seem to have an honored place in Muslim countries. The pastries in Egypt are superb.

Diogenes of Sinope said...

I think these men sought out a Christian baker to make their point. With the internet it's easy to do or to avoid.

FullMoon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Marcus said...

Don't understand why Ann doesn't realize it is just showboating. The 50 point drop in IQ is right on. If I ran a landscape business, I wouldn't cut the lawn of an abortion clinic. Bake their own effing cake.

urbane legend said...

Gordon said...
I'm constantly amazed that people don't understand this. Participating in a marriage lends your approval and support. It's one reason weddings are public celebrations. The community is promising to help the couple.

The baker is not participating in the wedding, merely providing a service for the event. If a facility is rented for the event, is the owner of the facility participating? No. The official conducting the service, the groomsmen/bridesmaids, in a conventional wedding anyway, the guests; these are participating. I have never attended a public wedding; they have all been by invitation, which I don't believe is the same thing.

That said, I understand the baker's stance.

Michael said...

I bought the argument that gay marriage would be the end of it. I have many gay friends and I thought it was only right that they enjoy legal marriage. I was told that churches would never ever be compelled to marry gays. I believed it. Normally a cynical person I was gulled in the worst way. Bake the fucking cake!! Indeed.

The guy should have baked them a cake from Kroger.

grimson said...

The case, Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, No. 16-111, will be argued in the late fall and is likely to turn on the vote of Justice Anthony M. Kennedy. . .

Well, that's that.

Ken B said...

Thanks to those who, with facts, exploded Ann's "no Muslim bakers" twaddle. Unless you are willing to honestly confront this question you have no right to declare it a "difficult problem".

The Godfather said...

This problem stems from our practice of using laws against racial discrimination as the model for laws against other kinds of discrimination. Jim Crow laws in the South and Border States REQUIRED that businesses discriminate against Blacks, which reinforced very strong social sanctions that encouraged such discrimination. The Black customer who was turned away from one lunch counter, or motel, or whatever, didn't have the option of going down the street to an estabslishment that did not discriminate; there were none.

That situation does not exist today for Gays. There are plenty of bakers, photographers, dress designers, etc. who would be as happy to take a Gay couple's money as a straight couple's. My Gay friends tell me they think it's an insult and disrespectful for a baker to refuse to do business with them. I'm sure they are right. On the other hand, it's an insult and disrespectful to the baker for a Gay couple to demand that he/she violate his/her personal values to accommodate them. As long as there's not some monopolistic League of Anti-Gay Bakers that makes it impossible for a Gay couple to buy a wedding cake, the law ought to leave this issue alone.

Skyler said...

From the article: "“To this day, we still question whether talking about our relationship when we go in somewhere, we could be discriminated against again."

Yeah, being such pathetically weak people is why they are in the situation they're in.

Homosexuals in a free country have a right to be homosexual and not be thrown in jail for it, or otherwise assaulted. But as we are in a free country, we also have the right to state the obvious that homosexuals are by definition perverts. I'm tired of being lectured to about this.

You want a cake? Go bake it yourself.

Michael K said...

Within their framing of the issue — their "story" — they're not lying.

Bullshit. Talk to me after they go to a Muslim baker.

NorthOfTheOneOhOne said...

But on to the really important question; did they have any trouble when whichever one went to be fitted for the gown? Are they going to sue the bridal shop owner?

gspencer said...

"They said they had been demeaned and humiliated as they sought to celebrate their union."

I'd tell them to go to CVS and get some KY jelly for the celebration of their "union."

etbass said...

It is not enough that gay perversion be permitted; it must be celebrated by all, especially the Christian church. For they know the Christian faith condemns homosexuality and their own consciences do too. They hate this feeling of guilt and want to escape it by forcing the church to celebrate their perversion.

Fritz said...

Gay Wedding Cake at Muslim Bakery?

tcrosse said...

Presumably they wanted a cake with fudge packed into it.

Alex said...

I thought we decided in the 1960s that 'freedom of association' aint a thing.

Ken B said...

Althouse blogs, for money. She gets money through the portal, from Amazon. Can I demand a blogpost on the topic of my choosing if I use that portal? Can Jeff Bezos?

retail lawyer said...

"I suspect that gay couples don't feel like going to Muslim bakeries and don't want to get into discord with Muslims. Also, there are probably not many Muslim bakeries out there."

Well, there was the Black Muslim Bakery in Oakland, but they flamed out a few years ago with charges of child abuse and murder.

R.J. Chatt said...

Muslim bakeries are absolved because generally LGBTQI's are completely ignorant about Islamic doctrine and believe that Muslims are an oppressed minority in the US, and therefore are allies. It's Christianity that's the enemy.

I don't know about calling a cake a "work of art" or a baker an "artist" but anyone who creates work requiring a high degree of personal skill and commitment deserves respect. This lawsuit is more like you don't respect us so we won't respect you. Because of this kind of willful stupidity I side with the baker, even though I am completely in support of marriage equality.

It's called having common sense. If a straight couple came into the Christian bakery and tried to order a wedding cake for their gay friends' wedding the order would be declined because of the opposition to homosexuality not to the customer. You don't go to a kosher restaurant or a vegetarian restaurant and demand they make you a cheeseburger with bacon, and then sue them for discrimination against Christians or carnivores when you are declined. You don't hire a rock band and demand they play show tunes for a senior citizens' center and then sue them for age discrimination when they decline.

I want to help out the gay couple but I don't see their complaint is rational. What the court decides will be interesting.

SweatBee said...

When you need a wedding cake, a non-wedding cake isn't a substitute. They couldn't buy the product they came into the store to buy

The product they came into the store to buy is a product the baker does not stock--a sku for the purpose of proclaiming normalization of homosexual unions.

When we bought our wedding cake, the baker had a whole list of things she wouldn't do because they offended her artistic sensibilities and she didn't want her business associated with things she didn't like. Too bad at the time I didn't know you could fine and sue for such a refusal of accommodation.

The point you bring up about a non-wedding cake not being a substitute for wedding cake is an interesting one because wedding cake and non-wedding cake are made from the same recipe. They're both cake. The difference in wedding cake and non-wedding cake is the artistic expression and the symbolism attached to the wedding cake. The symbolism is the source of the baker's reason to balk. Symbolism that dates back a couple thousand years: virginal brides, male headship, fertility from the union, you know--symbolism gay couples probably don't identify with in the first place.

Most of my acquaintances who are pro- "bake that cake" do so on the basis of the cake being "just food" and the claim is that the difference between religious bakers refusing to provide services for a gay wedding ceremony (which often involves not just baking the cake at their store, but also set up and related activities that require attending the function itself) and the baker who refused to write a Bible verse on a wedding cake was that the latter involved "a message" whereas a wedding cake is "just a cake." But if it is truly just a cake, then any old style of cake ought to do. But if they're insisting on having the thing that used to be called the "bride cake" rather than just "some dessert to serve at a party" then it's hard to successfully argue there's no messaging involved in creating one.

Jack Wayne said...

It comes down to saying that a buyer has more rights than a seller. Althouse is in that camp.

PeterK said...

in all of these stories about this, i've yet to see any reporter asking the couple why they chose this shop

SweatBee said...

*Bible verse on a sheet cake.

Jim S. said...

The underlying issue is whether making a wedding cake is just a service or whether it is a participation in the wedding. If it's a service then you can't deny it to someone just because they're gay or whatever, anymore than a restaurant could refuse to serve someone who was gay. If it's a participation in a ceremony that violates their conscience, then they should not be forced to do so. But it's never really been clear to me why it's a participation. If I go into a restaurant and ask them to prepare something for me to take somewhere else and eat, they can't refuse because they think I'm gay. Isn't this similar to what you ask a baker to do for a wedding cake?

Jesus ate with prostitutes and sinners. For all we know, he may have cooked for them. He never offered any kind of approval for their sin, however. After convincing the crowd not to stone the adulteress, he didn't tell her, "Hey, if it makes you happy." He said, "Go and sin no more."

Gahrie said...

Jesus ate with prostitutes and sinners. For all we know, he may have cooked for them. He never offered any kind of approval for their sin

You're missing the point..perhaps on purpose.

Christian bakers are perfectly willing to bake generic cakes, birthday cakes or what ever type of cake. The only cake they are unwilling to bake are wedding cakes for gay weddings.

Gahrie said...

And the reason why Christian bakers are unwilling to bake wedding cakes for gay weddings is precisely because it would indicate approval of the gay wedding.

Jim S. said...

I don't see that it indicates approval. Could a restauranteur deny service to a gay couple on a date because serving them indicates approval of their dating and relationship? I don't think so. That's why I think it comes down to whether baking a wedding cake is merely a service (like the restauranteur) or participation in the wedding itself.

I'm genuinely not sure about this issue, I'm very open to being convinced.

Gahrie said...

Could a restauranteur deny service to a gay couple on a date because serving them indicates approval of their dating and relationship? I don't think so.

I don;t either. I do think he could refuse to cater their wedding however.

Jim S. said...

Well, it sounds like you think catering the wedding is to participate in the ceremony and isn't just offering a service. It certainly seems to me like a step above just serving a customer. But I'm not sure it means one is participating in the ceremony, or that it indicates approval.

Gahrie said...

But I'm not sure it means one is participating in the ceremony, or that it indicates approval.

So maybe we leave that determination up to the baker, or photographer or restaurant owner?

Jim S. said...

Dude, I just said that to my wife. You don't get to decide whether something violates someone else's conscience. But then, couldn't the restauranteur say that he thinks serving a gay couple on a date is to offer tacit approval of their relationship, and we should leave it up to him whether or not it violates his conscience? Bleh.

walter said...

From splash page:
"Custom designs are his specialty: If you can think it up, Jack can make it into a cake!"
clicking into wedding section:
"Masterpiece Cakeshop is not currently accepting requests to create custom wedding cakes. Please check back in the future."
FWIW, the wedding cakes auto scrolling by don't seem to show figures..all abstract
http://masterpiececakes.com/wedding-cakes/
So..was it the specifics of the cake design or just who was ordering it?

walter said...

"If you can think it up, Jack can make it into a cake"
Give him a ring Laslo and report back..

Michael K said...

Tell me about the Muslim baker or STFU.

Jim S. said...

Should a Jewish baker have to cater a Nazi convention? No.

Should a Jehovah's Witness baker have to bake a birthday cake (they don't celebrate birthdays)? Well . . . he shouldn't have to bake a cake and write "Happy Birthday" on it, but what if someone asks for a custom cake for a birthday party, but tells the JW baker that they'll write "Happy Birthday" on it themselves? Is it still OK for him to refuse since he knows it will be used for something he disapproves of? Does it matter if he has to deliver it to the party or whether someone else picks it up?

Should a vegan baker be forced to bake a wedding cake for a pagan wedding that culminates with the sacrifice of a goat? I don't know.

walter said...

Michael K said...Tell me about the Muslim baker or STFU.
--
Nice.
I do see certain businesses that find a way to pre-announce their religious inclinations/affiliations. For example, Kosher etc.
Masterpiece Cake offers nothing other than "If you can think it up, Jack can make it into a cake!"

Jim S. said...

Blogger Michael K said...
Tell me about the Muslim baker or STFU.


Well, yeah, obviously Muslim bakers would be under the same rule. I guess that has to be made explicit, but it's kind of sad that it does. Didn't Crowder do a video where he went into Muslim bakeries, acting flamboyantly gay, and asked them to bake a wedding cake for them?

walter said...

There is a home builder in Wisco that always tags their ads with "A Christian based company" Tag line is delivered in a lower profile manner relative to rest of ad..but it's still a bit/maybe more-so odd to hear.

Etienne said...

The problem is discrimination. The city has a right to license a public business, and it has the power to force compliance.

The legislatures, and the courts have legalized homosexuality, such that people practicing it, have all the rights given other citizens.

You can't have a public business licence that provides for service only to one race, sex, or creed.

You can't hang a sign that says "we reserve the right to serve any customer." There is no public business license class that sanctions such an exception.

The solution, is to move your business outside the city, where licensing isn't a problem, and you can run a private business or a cooperative.

Gahrie said...

Didn't Crowder do a video where he went into Muslim bakeries, acting flamboyantly gay, and asked them to bake a wedding cake for them?

There's a link to it above.

Jim S. said...

Etienne, I disagree. I think the problem is whether people should be forced to participate in events that require them to deny their religious beliefs. The First Amendment answers that with a no. That's why I think the issue boils down to whether baking a wedding cake is offering a service to a customer or participating in the ceremony.

Etienne said...

Jack Wayne said...It comes down to saying that a buyer has more rights than a seller.

It comes down to who issues the licence, and the laws that must be followed in order to receive, and maintain one.

I would think a customer would have a high hurdle to convince a jury that the discrimination would cause any pain and suffering, but it should certainly be in the courts interest and power to revoke a city license, if the city requires non-discrimination.

Howard said...

The problem is that you cucks think that if you don't hate the gay, you will turn gay. That why it called homophobia. Chillax either G_d made you gay or a trannie or not or somewhere in between along the speculum. Since G_d is prefect, you should love and respect all his creation like Jesus tapping that Mary Magdalene strange. Sinners and stones.

walter said...

" I think the issue boils down to whether baking a wedding cake is offering a service to a customer or participating in the ceremony."
Look at the examples said bakery puts on its site.

Etienne said...

Americans are guaranteed by their Constitution a secular government. The government can't issue licenses that support one religion over another, or no religion at all.

The government can not let Jews, Christians, Moslems, or any other religion, to take over a city.

Putting the 10 Commandments on the lawn of the Capital, is like planting an ISIS flag in that same lawn.

Americans were given the Second Amendment for exactly this reason: to kill terrorists as they pop-up. To shoot the fuckers dead, or run them out of town.

Jim S. said...

Howard, you realize that theists say that God is perfect, not that the universe is perfect, right? There were plenty of lepers in Jesus' time, but I don't recall anyone saying that since they were created by God, leprosy wasn't anything other than a horrible disease. But I suspect you just don't care. You thought about the issue for three seconds several years ago, and you're not about to reopen that wound.

Jim S. said...

Americans are guaranteed by their Constitution a secular government. The government can't issue licenses that support one religion over another, or no religion at all.

Well, the First Amendment says that government cannot enact laws that prevent the free exercise of one's religion. If someone believes participating in a gay wedding would require them to go against their religion, then to enact laws requiring them to do so would violate the First Amendment.

The government can not let Jews, Christians, Moslems, or any other religion, to take over a city.

Can the government allow them to take over a neighborhood? Because that happens all the time.

Putting the 10 Commandments on the lawn of the Capital, is like planting an ISIS flag in that same lawn.

Do you really think that? You think those two things are on the same moral level? Really?

Americans were given the Second Amendment for exactly this reason: to kill terrorists as they pop-up. To shoot the fuckers dead, or run them out of town.

I thought the Second Amendment was about allowing the people to revolt against their political leaders.

Etienne said...

New York Bakery Business License Type:

Check below the type of city business license you are requesting.

[ ] A full hard-on discrimination license ($2500.00).
[ ] A semi-rigid discrimination license ($2000.00).
[ ] A limp discrimination license ($1995.00).
[ ] A no discrimination license ($50).

Bring your completed form to the clerk at window 8.

walter said...

"But I suspect you just don't care. You thought about the issue for three seconds several years ago, and you're not about to reopen that wound."
Judge ye ..blah, blah, blah..WWJS.

Jim S. said...

Meh. If someone is trying to be offensive I reserve the right to be snippy.

Etienne said...

Suppose a bunch of ISIS Moslems roll into town and start enforcing Islam. Suppose they kill or chase the infidels out of the city.

Now replace ISIS above, with Crusaders, or maybe Native Indians, or Cattle Ranchers.

You can easily see where societies can no longer function like that. We have become civilized, with millions of laws.

The law gives you a right to any religion you want. But when you raise religion as the basis for your standing in society, or rights that trump others, then you have become a terrorist.

Americans will form a militia and wax your ass. ...or maybe not. A lot of American history is based on tribes just moving along farther west.

It wasn't until we ran out of latitude and longitude, that you have no choice but to stand your ground. The only thing left is the altitude of your statutes of law.

Jim S. said...

"Enforcing Islam" would violate the law. You seem to be thinking that the government either has to refrain from establishing a religion OR prohibit the free exercise thereof. But the First Amendment makes them two sides of the same coin. No government establishment of religion AND no prohibiting the free exercise thereof. There's no conflict between those two sides, or at least there doesn't need to be one. The law of the land includes the law that no law shall be made that prevents the free exercise of religion. Forcing people to act contrary to their religious beliefs would prevent their free exercise of their religion.

I just checked out your website. Are you still in Portland? And what service were you in?

bgates said...

It's a very subtle area of law.

When a gay couple wants to force a Christian small business owner to serve them, it's an equal-protection case, and the rights of the customer to be free from discrimination override the right of the business owner to operate as the owner would choose.

When a giant corporation wants to shut down a Nazi website (or a Nazi-adjacent one, like one that says nice things about Robert E Lee, or about Dwight Eisenhower who said nice things about Robert E Lee), that's a freedom of association case, and the management of the giant corporation can choose who it does business with, because that's how the free market works.

If your views on homosexuality fall within a range of positions advocated by important figures in the Judeo-Christian tradition, such as that ascribed to Moses in the book of Leviticus, or the writings of St Paul, or the words spoken by Barack Obama when he lied through his teeth on the subject in 2008, that's fine, so long as you don't try to impose your views on other people by refusing their demands that you celebrate something you find morally abhorrent, because as the ACLU's gay rights director James Esseks says, "when businesses are open to the public, they’re supposed to be open to everyone".

On the other hand, if you're a progressive billionaire and you want to use your business to pressure a state to change its laws to match your views, that's fine, because as the ACLU's gay rights director James Esseks says, "Being stigmatized for expressing unpopular views is part of being in a free society. There’s nothing wrong with that."

Really, it all comes down to fairness, because if equal protection means anything, it means the law should favor the little guy. Or gay. For example, a Christian baker in Colorado is an oppressive hegemonic force because the Christian church had enormous cultural power and influence in America as recently as the late 1950s. On the other hand, gay people were marginalized as recently as the 1980s, and even today continue to suffer, with household incomes barely one and a half times that of heterosexual couples, and no institutional support outside of Hollywood, Silicon Valley, the federal government, most state governments, almost all judges, any media outlet with an audience of more than about 10,000, and virtually every single school and university in the country. And most businesses. Though apparently not anybody in the wedding support sector.

Etienne said...

Jim S. said......No government establishment of religion AND no prohibiting the free exercise thereof.

I hear what you are saying. You are not understanding my logic though. My logic goes: you have a right to any religion. We can both agree on that.

You don't have a right to force your religion on others (such as a religious monument on government property).

By the same token, you can't get a license to operate a business in a city and ignore certain clauses that are part of the secular nature of that license within the city limits.

I don't think any city issues licenses today, that sanctions discrimination. I think those days are over. I haven't seen separate water fountains or water closets for different classes of society since the early 70's.

Those days are gone. For those who miss those days, you can move to Honduras and relive the experience.

Jim S. said...

When a gay couple wants to force a Christian small business owner to serve them, it's an equal-protection case, and the rights of the customer to be free from discrimination override the right of the business owner to operate as the owner would choose.

But is it just a customer issue? The bakers and photographers and facility-owners think it's more than that, they think they are participating in the ceremony. If the ceremony in question goes against their religion (as they understand it), that's a problem. I'm not convinced they are participating in the ceremony, but I'd like it explained why or why not.

that's fine, so long as you don't try to impose your views on other people by refusing their demands that you celebrate something you find morally abhorrent,

That really doesn't strike me as imposing your views on other people. In fact, it seems to me that it's the other people trying to impose their views on you. They're trying to force you to act contrary to your conscience. If they can force you to act contrary to your conscience, why can't you force them to act contrary to their conscience (by affirming your religious beliefs, say). I think neither side should get to force the other to act that way.

Jim S. said...

You don't have a right to force your religion on others (such as a religious monument on government property).

I'm not really too enthused about putting religious monuments on government property, but I'm not sure doing so would amount to a government establishment of religion or the forcing of that religion on others. I'd be happy if all voices (yes, including Satanism) could express themselves freely on government property. But that's probably because I like talking about that kind of stuff already.

By the same token, you can't get a license to operate a business in a city and ignore certain clauses that are part of the secular nature of that license within the city limits.

Well, if the license requires someone to violate their religion then I think it would contradict the First Amendment. Probably, part of my problem here is I just don't think homosexuality and race are on the same level, since race does not inherently issue in action, and that makes a difference. That's probably opening up a can of worms though.

eric said...

This is all about forcing people to do what you want them to do regardless of their beliefs.

It's not about being demeaned, it's about making a political statement and sticking it to Christians.

I keep posting this warning but no one is listening; This isn't going to end well. Not for any of us.

Etienne said...

Jim S. said...Well, if the license requires someone to violate their religion then I think it would contradict the First Amendment.

The license may in fact, due to its secular nature, require you to violate your religion, and your manly-hood.

Most business owners have ways of letting customers know they don't want their money. Discrimination exists, but you can't be overt about it. You don't want to be video taped doing it.

Probably, part of my problem here is I just don't think homosexuality and race are on the same level...

That's pretty natural. Majority rule is not a religious concept.

Etienne said...

eric said......it's about making a political statement and sticking it to Christians. I keep posting this warning but no one is listening...

No one is listening because the logic doesn't follow.

The Christians, and by that you probably mean Protestants, aren't getting stuck with anything.

It's a secular license. To put religion in a secular license is like requiring people to wear two left shoes. Okay, my humour doesn't work well after the sun sets...

Annie said...

So requiring people to get a 'secular' license violates a person's First Amendment rights if it forces them to violate their religious beliefs. Especially if the state says we won't issue you that license if you don't follow our secular beliefs and keep yours at home.

Etienne said...

Annie said...So requiring people to get a 'secular' license violates a person's First Amendment rights if it forces them to violate their religious beliefs.

The First Amendment's Establishment Clause prohibits the government from making any law “respecting an establishment of religion.”

The first amendment requires that all laws have no religious component.

By saying that Protestants can discriminate, such laws would not be secular, and would establish a religious right to some Americans. Americans then, would not be equal. You would not have equal rights.

It seems logical that a secular society would fight to the death any Protestant, Catholic, or Moslem privileges to parts of society.

Bruce Hayden said...

I am bothered by it for a number of reasons. First and foremost, the whole thing was an obvious setup. They picked the cake maker because they believed that they would be refused. There are plenty of wedding cake makers around them who would have been just fine with baking them a wedding cake. And this is esp true since there are a lot of gays and lesbians in the business. According to my partner, whose first husband had been an executive chef at a well known venue, pastry chefs tend to be more likely gay than other types of chefs, and by far, the most artistic. She has pictures of the cake baked for her wedding to him by the executive pastry chef at his previous venue, and it was beautiful. And she still tells of the pastries baked for and brought home for her during her pregnancies. Sure, low end baking, the sort of thing that you find at restaurants and buffets are pretty routine, but baking wedding cakes is the height of their craft. That is why a formally trained French pastry chef was the executive pastry chef at his last venue. Who did many of the wedding cakes, instead of the pastry chefs working for him, and all the big ones. Not the baking, per se, of course, but the design, and much of the final decorating.

I will admit to her biases., her having been married to someone in that business, socializing primarily with other chefs and their spouses, etc. To me, food is food, but to her, food is art. Partially, it is the smells and the flavor. Which is why she struggles to teach me to appreciate them, to little avail, given my poor palate. But partly, it is the presentation. The artistry, through the various senses. Which is why she has me first appreciate one of her creations visually for awhile, then the smells, and then the taste (when quizzed, I try to sneak in tactile, but, apparently,k I am too old to play with my food). She is very visual, very creative there, which is why she was a floral designer (specializing, of course in weddings and holidays) and interior designer. Currently, we live mostly on salads in the evenings, big ones that take us a couple days to eat, and has recently had me taking pictures of her artwork. Heck, even her plates from the a salad bar are artistically arranged (mine tend to be lettuce, dressing, and toppings, dumped on there - food is food for me). She has said on numerous occasions that she maybe missed her calling by not going into that business. But if she had, she would have been a pastry chef, because of the artistry. (I remind her that my cousin is a female pastry chef, and it is a lot of hard work, at least until you get to the top). Funny thing is that she doesn't like to eat cake and the other normal things that pastry chefs make (except for when she was pregnant, which is why her husband brought home so many special creations during that time). I think that it the simple sugars. Never has been able to tolerate them very well. But has always loved baking. Just won't eat more than a bite of most of what she bakes.

Which gets me to my expertise - intellectual property. The funny thing here to me is that most of the culinary arts are not subject to patent protection. But copyright is a different thing. And, probably nowhere more than in pastries, and esp design, creation, and decoration of fancy cakes, like wedding cakes. Not always, of course, maybe not when you merely add script to a stock cake. But the Supreme Court has set the bar quite low - essentially a scintilla of original expression. Which is why, I think, that if I were making the arguments in front of them, I would ask why the Christian baker was being forced to create a work protected by copyright, based on their very own precedent. Expression is the core of both the First Amdt and the (Patent and) Copyright clause of the Constitution. Forced speech and forced artist expression are two sides of the same coin, and should probably be treated under the same standards.

James K said...

By saying that Protestants can discriminate, such laws would not be secular, and would establish a religious right to some Americans. Americans then, would not be equal.

Of course they wouldn't say anything that. They would merely confirm the right of all individuals to freedom of religion, and allow them to follow the dictates or guidance of their religion in their business practices. That's not establishment of any particular religion.

Bob said...

What is the old saying? Hard cases make bad law.

Nothing good will come od this.

Freder Frederson said...

Tell me about the Muslim baker or STFU.

Find me this hypothetical Muslim baker that specializes in wedding cakes or STFU. Wedding cakes are a western European, and primarily Anglo, tradition.

You can't go into a halal or kosher butcher shop and sue them because they don't sell pork chops. You can't sue a Muslim baker if he doesn't sell wedding cakes.

Rusty said...

"You don't have a right to force your religion on others (such as a religious monument on government property)."

And you have no right to force me to go against my beliefs.
("In God We Trust" . Not to mention all those crosses at Arlington National Cemetary.)

"It's a secular license."

Yes it is. It is for the purposes of taxation and safety. Who I chose to do business with, for whatever reason, should be my own.







Anonymous said...

It's a damned cake.

When you do something that requires being married, such as filing a joint tax return, no business or bureaucrat is going to say, "I'm sorry, you didn't have a wedding cake, so you're not legally married." Or even "Pix or it didn't happen." None of this paraphernalia is part of what's legally required to enter into a contract of marriage. So no actual rights are being denied.

What is being denied is the ability to purchase one of the customary appurtenances of marriage ceremonies. And yes, people get involved in that sort of thing. But there isn't a legal right to have all your fantasies gratified. For one thing, a lot of those appurtenances involve spending a lot of money! When C and I got married, we had a budget of well under $1000 for the whole thing; what mattered to us was establishing the legal relationship of mutual support, and having people we cared about there. Should we have demanded that some government agency give us five or ten thousand dollars to spend on a bigger, fancier ceremony? (And at that, we weren't at the low end; when we were waiting to apply for the license, two young women were walking into the adjacent room to have a civil ceremony at the county clerk's office.) Were our rights being denied by our limited budget? We did end up with the legal relationship, and with a lot of people really happy for us.

Certainly, if people have more money, and want to spend it on their version of a big occasion, they have every right to. But a lot of this sort of thing seems to be a case of "I want to have exactly the expensive thing I had my heart set on buying, and I don't feel properly married if I can't get that." And I can't see that. If you can't get what you want at one place, go someplace else; if you can't find a suitable service for hire, get help from your friends. You won't end up any less married. Everyone has the right to marry, but no one has the right to instant gratification of their fantasies.

TwoAndAHalfCents said...

Going back to The Godfather's comment above: 'The League of Anti-Gay Bakers' would make a great name for a band.

Quaestor said...

Americans were given the Second Amendment for exactly this reason: to kill terrorists as they pop-up. To shoot the fuckers dead, or run them out of town.

Absurd.

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

Fritz 9:47 - Crowder makes it real. MSM not interested.

Chuck said...

Etienne said...
Annie said...So requiring people to get a 'secular' license violates a person's First Amendment rights if it forces them to violate their religious beliefs.

The First Amendment's Establishment Clause prohibits the government from making any law “respecting an establishment of religion.”

The first amendment requires that all laws have no religious component.

By saying that Protestants can discriminate, such laws would not be secular, and would establish a religious right to some Americans. Americans then, would not be equal. You would not have equal rights.

It seems logical that a secular society would fight to the death any Protestant, Catholic, or Moslem privileges to parts of society.

Are you saying that it is a requested "privilege" to not want to make a gay wedding cake? You seem to be making an argument (which I can understand, even if I don't accept it) that the owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop wants to be "privileged" from having to comply with Colorado's Civil Rights Commission under that state's laws.

So I get it, and it raises an interesting federalism problem; does the state law preempt someone's right to not engage in speech that they find offensive? The state law says that no one may engage in discrimination in public accommodations based on sexual orientation. And the U.S. Constitution (your argument goes) should not confer any "privileges" to allow avoidance of that state law by persons who don't want to engage in gay-supportive speech, even if it is a pure speech issue.

That's an odd argument in the case of Justice Anthony Kennedy, in the Lawrence and Obergefell cases. Because in both cases, he was the deciding vote and the majority opinion writer who laid waste to state laws that had been duly and legally enacted by broad majorities of state governments. Kennedy judicially imposed "privileges" for homosexual sodomy and homosexual marriage in the face of state laws to the contrary.

Marcus said...

Back to my comment about me having a landscape company and refusing to mow abortion clinic lawns: if the baker had wedding cakes in a display counter and refused to merely sell one to the gay couple, I would think that would fall under the discrimination umbrella. But to "create" one specifically? Many businesses get to choose to accept doing business with prospective clients. They accept and refuse for a variety of reasons. I believe lawyers (ahem) are not bound to represent anyone who walks through their door.

Mr. Majestyk said...

@Freder

Why would it matter whether a Muslim bakery "specializes" in wedding cakes? As long as they make custom cakes, their refusl to make a custom cake for a gay wedding on religious grounds would be comparable to what ocurred here. Yet gay couples never seem to ask Muslim bakers to design them a wedding cake. If only we could figure out why. I guess it's just one of the sweet mysteries of life . . . .

Jason said...

"Public business."

Jesus, people are stupid.

Jason said...

Find me this hypothetical Muslim baker that specializes in wedding cakes or STFU.

After similar cases have already occurred regarding catering, photography and floral services, you have to be pretty intellectually dishonest or dense to think that this issue is limited specifically to wedding cakes.

You think Muslim businesses never cater? Nobody takes photos?

STFU

J. Farmer said...

I find it hard to get worked up too much one way or the other on cases like these. Ultimately, I am opposed to civil rights law with respect to private establishments. I believe private businesses should be free to discriminate however they wish. That said, laws such as these have been around for decades, even if sexual orientation has only more recently been added as a protected class. A baker refusing to provide a cake for an interracial marriage or to a black couple would also run afoul of the law. The notion that these civil rights laws will destroy liberty is a bit hysterical. The Americans with Disabilities Act or the Family Medical Leave Act place far more restrictions on what business owners are able to do than civil rights laws.

As for the case, I would have to be on the side of the baker. And I think it is very counterproductive for gay couples to bring these kinds of lawsuits. But I also think refusing to provide a cake for a gay marriage is pretty absurd, and I don't find the religious liberty argument terribly persuasive.

J. Farmer said...

Mr. Majestyk:

Yet gay couples never seem to ask Muslim bakers to design them a wedding cake. If only we could figure out why. I guess it's just one of the sweet mysteries of life . . . .

Well, one possible answer is that there is a very small amount of Muslims living in the United States. They are a little less than 1% of the total US population. But I still take the point that a lot of gay activism is anti-Christian, because it is the primary cultural milieu in which they have lived. And since Christians and Muslims claim to have knowledge of the creator of the universe's mind and opinion about homosexuality, it seems perfectly fine to me for gays to say they believe Christianity and Islam is a load of bull.

But again, let's not overstate the problem. There have only been a handful of these cases in a country of over 320 million people.

Meade said...

"Back to my comment about me having a landscape company and refusing to mow abortion clinic lawns: "

I'll take that contract. But if the client comes out while I'm mowing and asks to borrow my pruning shears, I'm going to have say sorry, no way -- not in our contract, bro.

cornroaster said...

If he can't deny them a wedding cake because he is a public business, how can Facebook and Twitter deny access because of their customers' political views?

Unknown said...

I for one look forward to the day when there is no longer a shortage of bakeries offering to make cakes, for weddings and all other occasions.

-sw

Chuck said...

J. Farmer said...
I find it hard to get worked up too much one way or the other on cases like these. Ultimately, I am opposed to civil rights law with respect to private establishments. I believe private businesses should be free to discriminate however they wish. That said, laws such as these have been around for decades, even if sexual orientation has only more recently been added as a protected class. A baker refusing to provide a cake for an interracial marriage or to a black couple would also run afoul of the law. The notion that these civil rights laws will destroy liberty is a bit hysterical. The Americans with Disabilities Act or the Family Medical Leave Act place far more restrictions on what business owners are able to do than civil rights laws.

I took the liberty of adding emphasis to a portion of J. Farmer's quote that isn't quite right.

We do indeed have federal laws that prohibit racial discrimination based on race in public accommodations. Before those federal laws, there had been some limited case law based on the civil rights amendments and particularly including the Fourteenth Amendment. We also have certain federal laws that prohibit some gender discrimination, in things like pay equity and higher education.

But we do not have any federal laws that prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation. Not one single amendment to the constitution was adopted when there was any notion of legalized homosexual sodomy or legalized same-sex marriage.

To the extent that some state laws are extending those protections, that is something that I think Justices Scalia, Thomas, Alito and Roberts could readily accept. How many times did they all say the essentially same thing; that they would no more say that the Constitution requires the acceptance of same-sex marriage than they would say that the Constitution prohibits same-sex marriage.

Anyway, if there are any laws that require the acceptance of same-sex business accommodations, they are state and local laws. The kinds of laws that Justice Anthony Kennedy's "constitution" stepped all over, in Lawrence and Obergefell.

stlcdr said...

The problem with this is that it paints gay people as a whole as obnoxious anti societal people. It conditions gay people to be more than just having a different outlook on sexual orientation - which the vast majority of people just don't care.

Now, however, pushing your sexual orientation into every part of society. Just as we have now, the solution to solving racial workplace discrimination is to not hire black people. If there's any hint that gay people will use the argument that 'it's because they are gay' then the solution is to not hire gay people. Oof course, this is a trickier situation, but just like political viewpoints, but certain people - and organizations - seem to find it acceptable to discriminate because of politics.

stlcdr said...

Oh, and...

"Here's that cake you forced me to bake. Go ahead. Eat it. Please."

Meade said...

"Presumably they wanted a cake with fudge packed into it."

What was that movie called? Ah, yes -- The Help (2011).

Laslo Spatula said...

12 Noted Artists Refuse To Paint Donald Trump’s Official Presidential Portrait

I am Laslo.

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

The Cake guy was targeted. Cake guy will lose and be forced out of business.
Waiting for gays and the D-hack press to flush out the anti-gay bigotry in the Muslim community - here and abroad.

*chirp*

Chuck said...

I will say, that the arguments that Chief Justice Roberts made in his Obergefell dissent, could easily be read to support the enforcement of Colorado law in this case. But if you accept Roberts' argument, you cannot accept the federal courts' judicial imposition of same-sex marriage on the United States.

This was one of my favorite bits of Roberts' writing. I commend the entire dissent to everyone:

https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/576/14-556/dissent4.html

Roberts:
Petitioners make strong arguments rooted in social policy and considerations of fairness. They contend that same-sex couples should be allowed to affirm their love and commitment through marriage, just like opposite-sex couples. That position has undeniable appeal; over the past six years, voters and legislators in eleven States and the District of Columbia have revised their laws to allow marriage between two people of the same sex.

But this Court is not a legislature. Whether same-sex marriage is a good idea should be of no concern to us. Under the Constitution, judges have power to say what the law is, not what it should be. The people who ratified the Constitution authorized courts to exercise “neither force nor will but merely judgment.” The Federalist No. 78, p. 465 (C. Rossiter ed. 1961) (A. Hamilton) (capitalization altered).
...
Perhaps the most discouraging aspect of today’s decision is the extent to which the majority feels compelled to sully those on the other side of the debate. The majority offers a cursory assurance that it does not intend to disparage people who, as a matter of conscience, cannot accept same-sex marriage. Ante, at 19. That disclaimer is hard to square with the very next sentence, in which the majority explains that “the necessary consequence” of laws codifying the traditional definition of marriage is to “demea[n] or stigmatiz[e]” same-sex couples. Ante, at 19. The majority reiterates such characterizations over and over. By the majority’s account, Americans who did nothing more than follow the understanding of marriage that has existed for our entire history—in particular, the tens of millions of people who voted to reaffirm their States’ enduring definition of marriage—have acted to “lock . . . out,” “disparage,” “disrespect and subordinate,” and inflict “[d]ignitary wounds” upon their gay and lesbian neighbors. Ante, at 17, 19, 22, 25. These apparent assaults on the character of fairminded people will have an effect, in society and in court. See post, at 6–7 (Alito, J., dissenting). Moreover, they are entirely gratuitous. It is one thing for the majority to conclude that the Constitution protects a right to same-sex marriage; it is something else to portray everyone who does not share the majority’s “better informed understanding” as bigoted. Ante, at 19.
...
If you are among the many Americans—of whatever sexual orientation—who favor expanding same-sex marriage, by all means celebrate today’s decision. Celebrate the achievement of a desired goal. Celebrate the opportunity for a new expression of commitment to a partner. Celebrate the availability of new benefits. But do not celebrate the Constitution. It had nothing to do with it.

I respectfully dissent.

Laslo Spatula said...

If you work in a porn shop you're probably going to be selling things to some people you don't approve of.

I am Laslo.

Laslo Spatula said...

At the porn shop can you refuse to sell the gay man some gay porn?

Or do you have the right to sell gay porn only to straight men?

I am Laslo.

Laslo Spatula said...

The gay porn is intended as a wedding gift.

I am Laslo.

Laslo Spatula said...

I will sell you this gay porn if you promise not to anally ravage a man after watching it.

I am Laslo.

Fritz said...

cornroaster said...
If he can't deny them a wedding cake because he is a public business, how can Facebook and Twitter deny access because of their customers' political views?


Gays are a protected class; conservatives are not.

n.n said...

Two is a lonely number. Also, in an age of polygamy without commitment (i.e. friendship with benefits), progressive tax schemes, and clean, green, recycled human life, what does sex have to do with secular marriage?

Gahrie said...

There have only been a handful of these cases in a country of over 320 million people.

I bet there are more Christian bakers than there are true transgendered.

n.n said...

Celebrate the availability of new benefits. But do not celebrate the Constitution. It had nothing to do with it.

Another liberal judgment informed by emanations from the twilight fringe and spread through the Pro-Choice Church, unprincipled, selective, and opportunistic. A first-order forcing of progressive corruption.

J. Farmer said...

@Chuck:

I took the liberty of adding emphasis to a portion of J. Farmer's quote that isn't quite right.

I never said they were federal laws. I said "laws such as these." I have said numerous times in the comments section when this topic comes up that these cases have little to do with "gay marriage" and have to do with state laws that prohibit discrimination based on certain protected classes. I never claimed that the Constitution had anything to do with this. My point was that laws that regulate how people who engage in commerce must act have been around for many years, and nobody has acted like they were the harbinger of death for individual liberty in the country. And as I further said, I am on the baker's side in this case, but I think the reaction is a bit hysterical.

n.n said...

more Christian bakers than there are true transgendered.

More than mental transgendered (e.g. homosexuals, bisexuals). Certainly more than physical transgendered.

Roughcoat said...

Sometimes I really hate gay.

Well, I'm ALWAYS repulsed by man-on-man gay sex, the very idea of it. But that's because, you know, I'm straight. So sue me.

Epic Beard said...

I find this whole discussion fascinating, especially when put in conjunction with app stores getting applauded (by some on the left) for denying service, not to speech, but to speakers (yes, white nationalists will probably have racist speech, but they're not even waiting to deny service on the speech). This is another one of those areas where, for some, the feelings about 1st amendment rights are based on who is trying to speak. If this were not a baker of cakes, but a sign-maker, could he be forced to write a message with which he disapproves? For the record, I come down on the side that gay people ought to have the same rights of marriage as anyone else, and that people should not be forced to create, or sell, a product, or engage in speech with which they disagree. I would also be in favor of a couple (gay, straight, or otherwise) using their 1st amendment rights to shame someone for not selling them a wedding cake, t-shirt, or sign.

Mr. Majestyk said...

If you type in "muslim wedding cake" on YouTube, you can find a video of a Turkish groom slapping his bride's arm away after she teased him with a forkful of wedding cake. In another, lower-resolution video, the Muslim groom slaps his bride in the face while they're eating wedding cake. The reason for the slap was unclear. Must be one of those sweet mysteries of life Justice Kennedy was talking about in Obergefell.

J. Farmer said...

@Gahrie:

I bet there are more Christian bakers than there are true transgendered.

That is undoubtedly true. Around 70% of the US population identifies as Christian. The transgendered make up about one-third of one percent of the population.

CStanley said...

Someone upthread made the distinction between a business providing a service to the general public (like a restaurant, or bakery offering stock items) and a contract. This seems very correct and relevant to me.

Custom items are made on contract, and people ought to have the right to refuse contracts that violate their conscience. The customization part indicates a level of participation great enough to demand that the person providing the product or service should decide whether or not the participation violates his conscience.

Like others here I find it strains credulity to think these people happened into this by chance, or that they were surprised that the baker had religious objections. And even if so, why on earth should this cause humiliation? Again, it's hard to believe that the mother of one of the men had never before encountered anyone who disagreed that gay marriage is the same as heterosexual marriage. Do people really live in such bubbles, or is this all just feigned?

MaxedOutMama said...

Well - I don't agree with the framing of the gay couple at all, so I can't grant Ann's point. A cake purpose-designed for an occasion (as wedding cakes are) does express a message, and it is settled law that businesses do not have to express any particular message.

Wedding cakes have an extra symbolism (every one eats the cake as a way of participating in the fruitfulness of the marriage - all those who attend are participating in a group ritual and recognizing and agreeing to support the couple). The cutting or smushing of the cake by the groom in the bride's face is symbolic of the loss of virginity; the eating of it is a fertility ritual. It goes WAY back.

My very angry personal reaction to those on this thread who write that they would agree to make the cake and then sabotage it confirms me in my perspective. That would be a terrible thing to do. Just terrible. Not to agree with what the couple are doing is one thing - sabotaging it is a very different thing. To me this turns on the idea that the cake and the ceremony are a deeply meaningful thing - and to say that the baker should be forced to participate seems founded on the idea that it is not a meaningful occasion. Therefore I don't perceive that the couple here has any standing whatsoever, legally or ethically. Any way in which I can frame it translates to "this cake and this ceremony means nothing", which I don't grant.

We are going to have to coexist. You are not going to get your ham sandwich from the kosher bakery. There will be people who do not agree with same-sex marriages and who will refuse to participate. There will be plenty who will.

CStanley said...

Agree with Maxedoutmama, especially about the need to coexist.

I agree too that it would be wrong for Christian bakers to react by sabotaging a cake.

I can't help but wonder though if wedding industry providers could affirm their participation in only heterosexual marriages if they also required that it be a religious ceremony and a first marriage, for instance (thus affirming the sacramental view of marriage, not discriminating strictly on the basis of homosexuality.) I've even wondered if a venue or provider could specialize in only Catholic weddings, for instance.

Would that be looked on differently, somewhat like the situation of a Kosher deli? No one is being told they cannot contract your services, but the services are based on a particular set of circumstances which you either desire or don't.

MaxedOutMama said...

J. Farmer - the reaction is not in any way hysterical, because these laws are being used to put people who do not agree with gay marriage flat out of business. There's a big purposeful lobby behind it. Now countered by a big purposeful opposition, of which I am a part.

This is just stupid and insane. Marriage, and the cultural rites surrounding it, have a very old provenance. It's entirely true that individuals have different conceptions of marriage. That has been and will be true. It is not the case that a florist or a baker or a photographer or a wedding manager should have to participate in any single marriage.

Although I thought Obergefell was legal garbage, I do support the idea that same-sex couples should have the right to civil marriage under the laws of the United States. That doesn't translate to the idea that such couples have the right to legally force others who disagree to participate.

No one has the right to refuse other individuals life necessities just because they don't agree with those individuals. That includes jobs, shelter, groceries and all the commodities that we humans need to live. But special purpose ceremonies fall under a different ethical category.

It would be terribly wrong for a charity to refuse assistance (food, shelter, money, etc) to an individual based on sexual orientation. But it is not wrong to refuse participation in a special occasion such as a marriage ceremony.

Gahrie said...

My very angry personal reaction to those on this thread who write that they would agree to make the cake and then sabotage it confirms me in my perspective. That would be a terrible thing to do. Just terrible.

Trying to ruin someone's life or business because they won't endorse your behavior is pretty terrible too.


Fernandinande said...

J. Farmer said...
@Gahrie: I bet there are more Christian bakers than there are true transgendered.

That is undoubtedly true. Around 70% of the US population identifies as Christian. The transgendered make up about one-third of one percent of the population.


SO about 960,000 trans and 129,710 Christian bakers = 7.4 times as many trans.

CStanley said...

@MaxedOutMama

Regarding the symbolism which you described, do you give any truck to the argument that Christians by and large allowed the symbolism to continue even when the social norms changed, as long as the two people were still opposite sex? Meaning, no one objected to baking the cake that symbolized bridal virginity even long past the time when premarital sex became widely accepted.

I can see an opening for a rebuttal to your viewpoint because it seems that homosexuality suddenly violated norms that were already being violated.

From the Catholic perspective, there's a bit more consistency and there's also the notion of scandal. When a man and woman marry, even if they don't follow the rules, there isn't the same open flouting of the rules (for example, children who attend such weddings are still seeing a man and woman marry, which fits with what they're taught in catechism.)

Unknown said...

Homophobia is very evident in this thread today. Oh well, same old, same old. Such discussions would be interesting if half of Althouse readers were to magically be less bigoted.

J. Farmer said...

@MaxedOutMama:

J. Farmer - the reaction is not in any way hysterical, because these laws are being used to put people who do not agree with gay marriage flat out of business.

It really does not have anything to do with gay marriage. These state antidiscrimination laws existed for the most part before gay marriage was even legal in most jurisdictions. And besides sexual orientation, people can be put out of business for refusing services to people based on factors like race and national origin. And that's been the case for many decades now. Now I am opposed to all of this, but I do think I can correctly describe the reaction as hysterical. For one, I don't even find the notion that providing a cake to a gay wedding is in any way an endorsement of gay marriage anymore than baking a cake for a woman celebrating her divorce is an endorsement of divorce. Good business sense would suggest that the baker bake a cake for anyone who has the means to pay. But again, I think bringing a lawsuit against someone who will not bake you a cake is patently absurd. So, yes, I think there is enough absurdity to go around, though, as I have already said, ultimately I am on the baker's side. And would be if they refused to bake a cake for any reason they chose.

J. Farmer said...

Fernandinande:

SO about 960,000 trans and 129,710 Christian bakers = 7.4 times as many trans.

I was actually surprised that the number of bakers was that low. Although, according to the American Bakers Associations, there are 633,000 bakers. So perhaps there are some differences of definitions and counting; I don't know.

CWJ said...

Unspecified "homophobia" casually invoked. As the commenter said, same old same old.

Etienne said...

Quaestor said...Absurd.

Well, it's the only "good" use of a Militia, in my opinion.

CWJ said...

unknown must not have read the thread. I'd say there were at least a half dozen different commenters who were intelligently attempting to discuss the issues involved without reference to any bigoted personal beliefs concerning homosexuality. Perhaps "more interesting" means a uniform chorus of comments in agreement with unknown.

Fernandinande said...

J. Farmer said...
Although, according to the American Bakers Associations, there are 633,000 bakers.


That number is here and refers to people employed in the industry, including non-bakers like accountants and truck drivers.

Though 2.5 non-bakers per baker in the baking industry sounds pretty high...lawyers, maybe?

MaxedOutMama said...

CStanley - well, how serious everyone who marries in a church is about their Christianity is open to question. Not to mention all those of no religion or different religions who marry civilly or religiously. It's like Christmas trees, isn't it? There is both a cultural form and the meanings behind the form - neither you nor I can easily tell what the form means to any individual personally.

I would help a Jewish person put up a Christmas tree (even though to me it is a religious ritual and it would not be to them). If they wanted to express happiness and fellow feeling, that would not be contradictory to my beliefs. I would not help a white supremacist group put up a Christmas tree, because to me doing so would utterly contradict the meaning of the symbol. Can you understand why that is important to me? I think that I have a constitutional right to make these distinctions, and I don't lose that right even if I have a decorating business. If I had a catering business, I couldn't cater for a KKK dinner. I would consider myself ethically obligated to sell groceries to a KKK grand wizard. One is necessary for life, one is not.

The fertility/communion connotations of the cake/bread thing way predate Christianity. As did Christmas trees. I'm not blind to that. Symbols that have deep meaning to human beings are generally not confined to one religious/cultural tradition - they pop up in various forms and in various ways throughout a range of cultures with different formal beliefs. I don't want to dictate to other people their understanding of their symbols or rituals, but I do think I retain the right as an individual to maintain my own understanding and to follow it in my own life - as do others. Inevitably we will not all agree. I can't expect a Vegan to serve steak at her wedding dinner.

J. Farmer said...

Fernandinande:

That number is here and refers to people employed in the industry, including non-bakers like accountants and truck drivers.

Though 2.5 non-bakers per baker in the baking industry sounds pretty high...lawyers, maybe?


I really have no idea. It is irrelevant to the argument I was trying to make, and I probably should have refrained from replying to Gahrie's comment, especially since I do not get exactly what point he was trying to make and as it turns out, I was a probably wrong anyway.

hombre said...

Blogger Unknown said...
"Homophobia is very evident in this thread today. Oh well, same old, same old. Such discussions would be interesting if half of Althouse readers were to magically be less bigoted."

Yes, and "racism, sexism, misogyny and all that." Unknown looses the defamatory discussion killer "homophobia" in the name of more interesting discussion. Same old, same old.

Etienne said...

Rusty said...Who I chose to do business with, for whatever reason, should be my own.

That right has never been available as an option in any society. Since Roman times, the individual serves society at the pleasure of the state.

Hornberger said Libertarians look at society totally differently. We believe that every person has the right to live his life the way he wants, so long as his conduct is peaceful.

You exist for your own sake and for the sake of your own happiness, as you yourself perceive it. Thus, so long as a person doesn’t initiate force or fraud against others, he is free to make whatever choices he wants as he proceeds from birth to death, even if those choices meet with the disapproval of everyone else in society. For us, that’s what freedom is all about.


This Libertarian concept is complete anarchy. Why form a society of people who hate society. What good would come of it. Freedom and liberty are fine concepts until someone pulls out their revolver, and the libertarians all run to their closets, as forming a defense group is antithetical to their concept of freedom.

CStanley said...

Thanks for the response, MaxedOutMama. I see it pretty much the same way but f d it hard to express and I'm still trying to figure out where I draw the lines and whether they are justifiable or not.

I remember, for instance, putting up a comment a while back (probably after Obergefell) stating my opinion that all civil marriages should have been renamed as civil unions and that legal case strict should be open to all (I even like the idea that this could be a nonsexual union for legal purpose of building a household.) That seems to me a very logical and correct way for the government of a pluralistic society to handle the issue.

But Prof Althouse, IIRC, objected on the grounds that no one had pushed for this before gays started petitioning for the right to marry, and that made it a de facto discriminatory position. I think that's balderdash, but I guess seeing that argument makes me feel that those of us who oppose the mandatory participation in gay wedding celebrations might need to consider that line of thinking. If we object on the grounds that there's a contradiction between gay marriage and traditional marriage than I can at least understand the argument that these other contradictions have already been baked in.

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

The gay marriage argument is confused, because many people combine two concepts.

For example, a religious marriage, and a state marriage.

The state has no right, or even the will, to define what a marriage is to the religions who perform such ceremonies. (number of wives, and genetics being an exception)

Where the state defines marriage, is with a simple contract between individuals.

The best thing for society would be to get the states out of the "marriage" business. Then there would be no venue for gay marriages. I don't think there is any religion that sanctions sodomy (I may be wrong).

A state marriage is nothing but a tax gimmick. It's as obscene as not requiring stock investors to pay a property tax. Thus, it allows financial gain for no benefit to society.

As a matter of fact, state marriages are taxation without representation for single people. Why should single people have to pay for court houses, and all that entails. They are being raped by "society".

Jupiter said...

J. Farmer said...

"My point was that laws that regulate how people who engage in commerce must act have been around for many years, and nobody has acted like they were the harbinger of death for individual liberty in the country."

Just for the record, there are actually a fair number of us who have been pointing out for years that the CRA, supposedly enacted to protect the civil rights of blacks, was actually an immense seizure by the federal government of all property used in commerce.

J. Farmer said...

@Jupiter:

Just for the record, there are actually a fair number of us who have been pointing out for years that the CRA, supposedly enacted to protect the civil rights of blacks, was actually an immense seizure by the federal government of all property used in commerce.

I am familiar with that argument, and though I do not frame it in those terms, I largely agree with the position. That said, states have broad authority under their police power to regulate commercial activity even if the federal government has far less such power (as originally devised).

Personally, I think the gay marriage question is a fantastic distraction from much more important topics. It is an immensely trivial issue. There are perhaps 500,000 gay marriages in the US compared to about 60,000,000 straight marriages.

Matthew Blaine said...

This is not just a religious issue, this is an issue of compelled speech. Can Westboro Baptist Church compel the New York Times to accept an op-ed or advertisement?

Etienne said...

J. Farmer said...There are perhaps 500,000 gay marriages in the US compared to about 60,000,000 straight marriages.

But this .8 % of state marriages forced on society, has a non-trivial cost.

Whereas the forefathers were concerned about health, over which they had no controls, other than to ban such acts, made laws against sodomy; the scientists and entrepreneurs have produced drugs and paraphernalia to lower the risk of sodomy related diseases. Such that society isn't overwhelmed by loss of life, or large pools of terminally ill patients.

These costs are distributed across society to pay in full.

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

J. Farmer said...
"Personally, I think the gay marriage question is a fantastic distraction from much more important topics."

As a practical matter, that is certainly true. But it is one more stone in the Wall, and the stones all look alike; "We the government, must protect the right of (victim-of-the-week) to (absurd-right-of-the-week). Therefore, more in sorrow than in anger, we must seize your property, destroy your livelihood, and inflict fines upon you." This is not about the legitimization of homosexual marriage. It is about the destruction of resistance, wherever resistance is encountered. It is about seeking out resistance, so that the resistance can be destroyed, and an example given, to others that might think to resist. There must always be a rotting skull on the pike in the public square.

Mac McConnell said...

Matthew Blaine said...
"This is not just a religious issue, this is an issue of compelled speech. Can Westboro Baptist Church compel the New York Times to accept an op-ed or advertisement?"

Why not, both are Democrat run institutions.

J. Farmer said...

@Etienne:

But this .8 % of state marriages forced on society, has a non-trivial cost.

Whereas the forefathers were concerned about health, over which they had no controls, other than to ban such acts, made laws against sodomy; the scientists and entrepreneurs have produced drugs and paraphernalia to lower the risk of sodomy related diseases. Such that society isn't overwhelmed by loss of life, or large pools of terminally ill patients.

These costs are distributed across society to pay in full.


I am not sure which "costs" you are referring to. If it is "sodomy related diseases," I don't think gay marriage is going to have any detectable impact. You certainly don't need marriage to engage in oral or anal sex, and I don't there is any good argument that gay marriage will lead to more people being gay. If anything, it could work in the opposite direction by promoting a more monogamous lifestyle.

J. Farmer said...

@Jupiter:

But it is one more stone in the Wall

I understand this as the slipper slope argument, and I don't think the gay marriage issue is significant enough to really affect the slope one way or the other. Even the worst examples of bakers or florists have been extremely small in number. Enough to count one hand, if I'm not mistaken. Compare that to the effect of, say, disparate impact.

MaxedOutMama said...


Jupiter - I don't think that this aspect of the gay marriage question is any sort of distraction from important topics. What's really at stake here is the right of the general population to have popular conceptions of marriage as an aspirational standard.

One only has to look at the social statistics about the children of married couples versus the children of non-married couples to realize that the traditional concept of marriage has massive positive benefits for the children of those marriages. This, of course, wars against our rhetoric about finding yourself, being true to yourself, etc, etc ad nauseam, but the children of that culture have different aspirations for their own lives (and more conservative attitudes about abortion) than the older generation precisely because they have experienced the fruits of that attitude.

The begetting and rearing of the next generation is never in any way an insignificant matter. The government cannot enforce anything except the avoidance of the gross errors; the popular aspirations probably provide the most benefit combined with the least harm.

This isn't just about same-sex marriage. It's about fidelity and the avoidance of just sleeping around. Marriage may be confining and boring, but it leads to healthier married people (much less in the way of disease), more prosperous and stable family units, and much more successful children of those marriages.

Would the baker in question be allowed not to bake a cake for a triple marriage/open marriage? That is sometimes a religious question. I would suggest that the baker in question has a similar right not to participate in celebrating such a union. The only reason this is even in question with relation to same-sex marriages is that courts (and yes, it is the courts and not the people) have created a quasi-protected status for the social behavior of those with same-sex attractions that they never bothered to implement for heterosexuals. You can take Kennedy's Obergefell opinion or the Mass SC's opinion and change a few words and derive an equivalent right for one man to marry several women or one woman to marry several men when it comes to the situation of the children, can't you?

We are an un-serious society that brings to bear a superficial analysis on many social and ethical questions, and this has been a glaring example.

The government should not be enforcing fidelity in marriage, or chastity outside marriage - but keeping it largely zipped is a very important social issue. It's better to let people look at what works and encourage healthy social behaviors through aspirational standards.

This Pew study about marriage (2011) has the top three priorities for both males and females as being a good mother or father, being caring and compassionate and placing the interests of the family above anything else.
http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2011/03/09/iii-millennials-attitudes-about-marriage/

To most people, marriage and sexual ethics is mostly about children. It always has been, and it always will be.

J. Farmer said...

@MaxedOutMama:

What's really at stake here is the right of the general population to have popular conceptions of marriage as an aspirational standard.

How is that at stake? Heterosexual marriage is the overwhelming norm. To the tune of about 99% of all marriages.

One only has to look at the social statistics about the children of married couples versus the children of non-married couples to realize that the traditional concept of marriage has massive positive benefits for the children of those marriages.

I agree completely with that. The collapse of the married family has had disastrous social consequences for the world. But the causes are much more macro, and the force of gay marriage is simply too small to move the needle in any meaningful direction. The advent of pharmaceutical birth control and no-fault divorces are much more to blame.

To most people, marriage and sexual ethics is mostly about children. It always has been, and it always will be.

Precisely why a legal policy of recognizing a tiny fraction of marriages' is not likely to cause people to abandon their ethics about sex, children, or family.

Dave Hunter said...

This is what happens when you export so many Californians to the other western states. The mere existence of the Colorado Human Rights Commission guaranteed that some gay couple would go around looking for this particular baker so they could make an example of him.

Stick a fork in America, we'll be Great Britain in 5 years.

Rusty said...


That right has never been available as an option in any society.

Of course it is.

Jupiter said...

Dave Hunter said...
"The mere existence of the Colorado Human Rights Commission guaranteed that some gay couple would go around looking for this particular baker so they could make an example of him."

Here in Oregon, an ambitious Labor Commissioner named Brad Avakian ginned up a case so he could destroy the lives of a Christian couple. He expected to ride the resulting publicity into the Governor's office. But he actually was unable to get elected Secretary of State. His opponent was the only Republican to win a state-wide election in Oregon. Hopefully, this will dog him for the rest of his worthless life.

Jupiter said...

J. Farmer said...
"I understand this as the slippery slope argument, and I don't think the gay marriage issue is significant enough to really affect the slope one way or the other."

When I was a lad, they called it the "slippery slope fallacy", and claimed it was an error of logic like begging the question. As we now hurtle down that slope, and indeed, the edge of the abyss comes into view, it appears more like simple prudence. The camel doesn't stick his nose under the tent because his nose is cold.

And no, homosexual marriage is not significant in the least, which is why those of us who think marriage *is* significant opposed, and continue to oppose, its extension to merely sexual unions. If someone sincerely wants to marry his dog, it can be argued that it is cruel not to let him. But this overlooks the damage done when the State establishes as legal fact, and further requires me to publicly attest, that my relation to my wife is the same as his relation to his dog.

CStanley said...


@MaxedOutMama:

What's really at stake here is the right of the general population to have popular conceptions of marriage as an aspirational standard.

I Farmer:

How is that at stake? Heterosexual marriage is the overwhelming norm. To the tune of about 99% of all marriages.



I think those of you who don't have children who are teenagers right now have no clue how much our kids are being inundated with the message that heterosexual marriage is not the norm, and that people who believe that are hateful bigots. It's a very hostile environment for Christians trying to teach traditional values to our kids.

The current ratio of gay couples to heterosexual ones has nothing to do with it. The reason that court's decision (and MOM is right to stress that it was a judicial decision, not legislative) is important is that it gave credence to the idea that any moral opposition to gay marriage is rooted in bigotry.

CStanley said...

Also, to Maxed Out Mom's point about the aspirational standard, in my view the problem is that Obergefell cast a fatal blow to the concept that the state's interest in marriage is primarily for the purpose of rearing children.

RigelDog said...

IMO the constitutional protection at issue is the protection against compelled speech/artistic expression. I had a long contentious online debate with a young woman who could not conceive that a person had a right not to bake a cake or arrange flowers for a ceremony which was at odds with their sincerely held, deep religious convictions. She also could not conceive of a reason for a person to feel that way unless they were essentially twisted bigots. However, I did come up with two examples that gave her pause. The first hypothetical was a T-shirt maker being forced to accept a contract from a Christian sect to create anti-Hermione shirts that cited the biblical admonition "thou shalt not suffer a witch to live"(she was Wiccan). The second hypothetical concerned wedding photography. Imagine being approached to photograph a wedding celebration for some creepy Christian cult that believed women should be married at the earliest possible legal age and that women should be completely obedient to their husbands. The photographer will be expected to create her usual beautiful photographs of their traditional ceremony and customs, including the Bridal Belly-crawl to the Altar and the Bridal Belly-crawl On Leash back down the aisle at the conclusion of the ceremony. You will be shut down by the government and sued into penury if you refuse this request made by a member of a protected class (religious)---and those photos had better be as flattering and lovely as those you have created for every other wedding you've photographed.
She got it. She didn't want to get it, but she got it.

CStanley said...

@RigelDog-
I think your anecdote illustrates that it's easier to get someone to see that they too might object to being compelled to participate in expression of ideas that they abhor than it is to help them see that religious people have objections to homosexual marriage that are not hateful. I'm convinced this is largely because religious poeple allowed their own standards about marriage to erode so that the objections now do not seem justified. Of course this does not mean that the standards are not sincerely held by many people, but the hypocrisy of many Christians on issues of sexual morality is harmful to our case.

Gospace said...

Ann Althouse said...
When you need a wedding cake, a non-wedding cake isn't a substitute. They couldn't buy the product they came into the store to buy. Within their framing of the issue — their "story" — they're not lying. That doesn't mean they should win, just that there are different ways of looking at this truly difficult problem.


And then there are the vast majority of us who don't see any truly difficult problem. Find another decorator for your fake but yet state sanctioned wedding, or decorate it yourself. Problem solved.

RigelDog said...

CStanley: I totally agree, my hypos only highlight the horror of government having the power to compel your speech and creative expression. They don't explore the reality that there are non-hateful objections to SSM, both based on religion and based on secular concerns. My tentative objection to "marriage" as opposed to "civil union" was based entirely on secular concerns that the free exercise of the First Amendment would suffer. And that's exactly what is happening. I see the newest battlefront as having moved on from bake-the-cake to a growing number of litmus-tests that must be passed in order to obtain or maintain employment---try being a social worker, teacher, college administrator, etc. who does think for whatever reason that marriage should be between one man and one woman. I'm sensing that the issue is being pushed, and people in all kinds of employment will be more and more expected to loudly proclaim their support.

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