A baker in Colorado is so homophobic that he refuses to take money from gay couples. He was sued by a couple after refusing to bake them a cake, citing his religious beliefs as justification for denying their business. The couple sued over the discrimination. The state’s civil rights commission ruled against the baker.
The baker, supported by conservative religious fundamentalists and fellow homophobes, took the case all the way to the Supreme Court. The Supremes narrowly ruled in the baker’s favor. Narrowly, as in, they left a lot of questions to be answered.
The Court said the cake man was a victim of religious bias by the civil rights commission. So, the baker can’t be a victim of bias but the gay couple can?
The court said it wasn’t changing laws and this doesn’t open the door for future discrimination, just that this one baker had the right to discriminate in this case because they didn’t like the way the commission treated him. But, conservatives are rejoicing and will use this for future discrimination.
Conservatives are not good with facts and will skip the court’s statement, “these disputes must be resolved with tolerance, without undue disrespect to sincere religious beliefs, and without subjecting gay persons to indignities when they seek goods and services in an open market.” That sounds less like a legal ruling and more like “I hope you kids play nice. Good luck out there.” Have the Supremes never watched a political debate on Facebook?
I like to start these arguments with; why do you care what’s on the cake? You make cakes for a living. Someone orders a cake. You make them a cake. They pay for the cake. You take money for the cake. Everyone wins. Who cares if the writing on top reads, “congrats, Jack and Diane,” or “congrats, Chuck and Larry?”
I was married once. There was a wedding. We even had a cake. It never did occur to me that we needed the baker’s approval of our nuptials. What if the baker thought my spouse could do a lot better than me? He could have thought, “that guy’s a shiftless cartoonist, plus, he’s kinda goofy looking. And, on your wedding night, he’s going to insist on watching Harry and the Hendersons.” I wouldn’t have lost any sleep over that, and it was 1988 and Harry and the Hendersons weren’t on HBO every night.
But, the baker has his own issues for why he won’t make the cake. What’s important to him isn’t important to me. That brings us to the legal arguments. Can someone refuse service, whether it’s a cake, flowers, or photography if it’s a mixed-race couple? Can Wal-Mart start refusing to allow certain couples from entering their stores their relationship violates their religious beliefs?
I respect religious beliefs and freedom. You can be in your forties and still believe in Santa for all I care. But I do not respect using your beliefs to discriminate. Everyone deserves the same treatment. You’re not being victimized by providing the same service equally. Can you be a Santa believer and refuse service to Jews despite the fact you still carry latkes in your store?
How is a gay cake different from a straight cake? Can’t you just bake a cake and don’t ask if it is gay or not? Can the cake stay in the closet of your mind until the wedding? Are the figurines the problem? How do you know both figurines are gay and that one isn’t being forced into a shotgun-gay-figurine wedding? How do you know the figurines even like each other? Or, is it the idea that the cake is going to be consumed at a celebration for gay people? Aren’t all weddings kinda gay anyway? Will making a gay cake tempt you to be gay? What if someone has some leftover gay wedding cake, and they don’t discover it’s gay until later? If you’re against gay marriage, would you make a cake celebrating a gay divorce? Are you afraid of taking gay money? Are you afraid the gayness will rub off the money while it’s in your wallet near your butt? Are these questions stupid? Because I tend to pose stupid questions to stupid people.
If I was in the marriage business, I would have been ecstatic about gay marriage becoming legal. Who doesn’t want more business? But, maybe the homophobic baker has the legal right to be a dumbass. He could always make the cake and do what Chick-fil-A does, give the money to a hate group.
The one good thing is as customers, we still have the freedom of choosing where we want to shop. This baker will soon discover that a lot of people have strongly held beliefs against doing business with an asshole.
Watch me draw.
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