Let Them Eat Cake! (Unless They Are Gay)

An artist cannot be forced to paint, a musician cannot be forced to play, and a poet cannot be forced to write – Solicitor General Jeffrey Wall, September 2017


The story went largely unnoticed, falling in the shadows of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, relegated to not only below the fold, but five scrolls down.

cake-1The year was 2012.  Charlie Craig and David Mullins were planning their wedding in the State of Colorado.  They went to order their wedding cake from Jack Phillips, a baker.  Bakers … bake … cakes, right?  Phillips said he doesn’t create wedding cakes for same-sex couples because it would violate his religious beliefs.

The government agreed with Phillips that his cakes are a form of expression, and he cannot be compelled to use his talents for something in which he does not believe.  It’s a bloomin’ cake … not the Mona Lisa!!!

jack-phillips.jpg

Jack Phillips

“Forcing Phillips to create expression for and participate in a ceremony that violates his sincerely held religious beliefs invades his First Amendment rights,” Acting Solicitor General Jeffrey B. Wall wrote in the brief. Let me briefly comment on the quote at the beginning of this post.  The true artists that Mr. Wall says cannot be forced to paint, play or write, are not doing so for profit, they are doing so for personal satisfaction first.  They are artists.  Mr. Phillips is a businessman.  The difference is that of night and day and Mr. Wall’s comparison fails the test of logic.

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Charlie Craig & David Mullins

 

Y’know … let me pause here for a moment of introspection and personal comment.  I am a halfway decent cook/baker, and every year around the holidays, my daughter’s various co-workers send special requests … one begs a pound or two of my world famous peanut butter fudge, another my rich caramel apple pie, and still others a hodge-podge of cookies, homemade yeast breads, etc. I go on record here as saying that I always, if I am feeling up to it and time permits, provide these goodies free of charge, AND … I have never once asked any of the requestor’s sexual preference, religion, or ethnicity.  I just felt a need to make that statement … I am an equal opportunity giver.

Those who would say providing services to same-sex weddings would violate their religious beliefs, have really crappy religious beliefs, beliefs that have nothing to do with God, Allah or any other deity, but merely about the greed and bigotry of man.  These are some of the same people who condemn Muslims, saying that theirs is an evil religion.  Well let me tell you something, folks.  The Muslims I know personally are less judgmental, more kind and caring, than Mssr. Jack Phillips and others who have refused to perform the very services they advertise, as they judge the would-be consumers of those services.

Last year, after the shooting at the Pulse night club in Orlando, Florida, candidate Donald Trump vowed to protect the LGBT community, tweeting, “I will fight for you.” Since taking the oath of office, however, he has done the exact opposite, revoking Obama-era guidance for schools on bathroom and locker room access for transgender students, arguing that current anti-discrimination laws do not protect people on the basis of their sexual orientation in the workplace, and finally banning transgender people from serving in the military.  Wow … what a guy … what a show of support, eh?

In the case of Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, the Colorado Court of Appeals has already ruled in favor of the couple, Craig and Mullins. The Supreme Court is set to hear the case during the 2017 term.  Last year, I would have bet on the outcome, but with the addition of Neil Gorsuch who Trump nominated to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia, I am not so sure.

If I open a business making cute little origami swans and other animals, I have no right to ask my customers about their religion, ethnicity, gender identification, or how many times a day they brush their teeth.  If a customer walks through the door and wishes to purchase a product, he is not a Muslim, not a gay person, not an African-American … he is a customer.  Period.  I have no right to ask questions, nor do I care to.  My only concern is to serve that customer to the best of my ability and then charge him a fair price for the goods or services I provided.  If I am troubled by his religion or sexuality, then I have no right to be in the business of serving the public and should go to work in a factory.

Why is this so hard to understand?  Why is “all men are created equal” a difficult concept?  As one of my former bosses would say, “which word don’t you understand?”

24 thoughts on “Let Them Eat Cake! (Unless They Are Gay)

    • Ah, Jack … I fully believe in freedom of expression … but … if you own a business and you refuse to serve customers who are of a certain religion, ethnicity, or gender, that is discrimination. And I don’t believe discrimination synonymous with free expression. It’s kind of like, I support your right to swing a club around … UNTIL you hit me in the head with it, then you lose your club-swinging license. 🤓 But this is one of those few things that you and I shall just have to agree to disagree on … at least we have more common ground than not, and we can disagree respectfully.

      Hugs ‘n love! ❤

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  1. My religion is my own and not shared by others. Maybe a few others? I don’t know? If I was in business, as a baker? I might not be turning away any business because it offended my religious belief. For it’s economy based, not belief system based. Having written that? I too, can bake a pretty mean cake. Why can’t Craig or Mullins? Are they so inept? Too much in this world is deemed mysterious. So therefore we cannot do? Like “gravy”. It comes in a packet or can, now. It’s not rocket science, or brain surgery. We can do it. I would not be launching law suits. Life is unfair … get over it!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, like you, my religion is my own. Actually, I ascribe to no religion, for religion is man-made, rites and rituals made by man to manipulate/control its followers. Yes, I am a cynic. But, to your point, yes … if one is in business, one opens their doors to all paying customers. Period. I mean, I am personally offended by bigots, but if I had a business selling, say coffee, and I refused to serve bigots, I would have only a handful of customers and would be bankrupt within a week, yes?

      As for the lawsuits … well, I hear you , but sometimes, in this country, it is the only way to make one’s voice heard. I suspect that the lawsuit is more about establishing LGBT rights than about their own cake or lack of.

      Cheers!!!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Establishing rights? I am not sure about that? When I was in my 20’s I worked in fashion selling shoes, for a few months. All the other men were homos, that’s what they were called then. The women also, lesbian. Why? No idea? Yet we socialized and had some fun. The subject of sex and rights, seldom came up, if at all? It just was. It seemed we accepted each other for what we were. My floor manager was hetro, One day I got to serve Joan Collins. She was not wearing any panties and made sure I knew. The floor manager hustled me out the way and served her personally. Of course he kept the commission. … Maybe I should have sued?

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  2. You have said it all Jill. If you are going to start vetting who to sell to, you are of no service to a customer. It is like the old saying for cooks; ‘If you find the kitchen too hot, get out of the kitchen! The courts of justice have become ridiculous!

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    • Excellent analogy!!! Discrimination has no place in this world, period. Not in schools, not in government, not in the workplace or housing, and for sure not in business. People apparently aren’t kept busy enough tending their own business, they have to try to control others’ too. 😠

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  3. Not to mention, if providing a cake constitutes “participating in the ceremony”, then this could also apply to the manufacturer of the tables and chairs, the members of the band, the DJ, the florist, Meat Loaf (because, of course, Paradise By the Dashboard Light will be played at the reception), the tuxedo maker, and the guy who poured the pavement upon which the wedding party will walk. Logic no longer has any bearing on the “religious freedom” laws various courts keep vomiting out.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I’m afraid you’re not the only ones with bigots Jill. A couple of years ago a male couple were refused a room at a guest house because the owners don’t believe in same sex couples. I’m glad to say they lost the case. When will everyone understand that people are just people whatever their sexual preference.
    It’s a long slow process of getting some people to show a little more understanding and in most cases they say it’s because of their religious teachings.. I’m sure they’d be nicer people if they gave up their religion and just concentrated on compassion for everyone.
    xxx Cwtch xxx

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    • Sigh. I know, my friend, I know. It seems that far too many of the wars and conflicts on this globe have been because of religion and intolerance. Most, perhaps all, of the worlds major religions call for love, tolerance for all, taking care of others, etc., yet few seem to heed that call. It is part of the reason I have no use for religion. If people only worried about seeing to their own business, making sure they are doing the right thing, and paid less attention to what others believe, we might just manage to all live together on this globe in relative peace and harmony. But … it has never been so, and I do not imagine it ever will. Sigh.

      xxx Cwtch Mawr xxx

      Liked by 1 person

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