Colorado Judge Rules Against Bakery Owner Who Refused Gay Wedding Cake Because Of Jesus

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Yesterday we brought you up to speed on a court case out of Colorado that was essentially asking whether a cake-making shop can refuse service to same-sex couples because of the shop owner's religious beliefs. The answer, according to a Colorado judge, was a resounding "no."

The judge ruled that the Lakewood bakery in question "unlawfully discriminated against a gay couple by refusing to sell them a wedding cake."

David Mullins and Charlie Craig who in July 2012 went to Denver's Masterpiece Cake Shop, owned by Jack Phillips,  looking for a cake to celebrate the couple's upcoming nuptials. 

From the ACLU:

"Being denied service by Masterpiece Cakeshop was offensive and dehumanizing especially in the midst of arranging what should be a joyful family celebration," said Mullins. "No one should fear being turned away from a public business because of who they are. We are grateful to have the support of our community and our state, and we hope that today's decision will help ensure that no one else will experience this kind of discrimination again in Colorado."

"While we all agree that religious freedom is important, no one's religious beliefs make it acceptable to break the law by discriminating against prospective customers," said Amanda C. Goad, staff attorney with the ACLU Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender Project. "No one is asking Masterpiece's owner to change his beliefs, but treating gay people differently because of who they are is discrimination plain and simple."

Phillips admitted he had turned away other same-sex couples as a matter of policy. The Colorado Civil Rights Division's [CCRD's] decision noted evidence in the record that Phillips had expressed willingness to take a cake order for the "marriage" of two dogs, but not for the commitment ceremony of two women, and that he would not make a cake for a same-sex couple's wedding celebration "just as he would not be willing to make a pedophile cake."

No word on whether Phillips will keep his pledge to close his cake shop if forced to bake a gay wedding cake. 

Comments

  1. Curtis says

    I’m gay, but I don’t think this guy should have to make the stupid cake it he doesn’t want to. If I were a member of that couple, I wouldn’t want a cake for my wedding made by somebody who hated me and/or making my wedding cake anyway. It makes me think they sought him out just to force this issue.

  2. Oliver says

    Here’s a win for civil rights! You can’t refuse someone’s business because of the color of their skin, age, or if they have a disability. So why should their sexual orientation be a matter of refusal of business?

  3. anon says

    Was the reception put on hold until all of this was over?

    Denver law is very clear about protecting gay rights. The bakery owner would need to locate to, say, Wyoming, which does not protect gay rights.

  4. David From Canada says

    The caption is misleading: the owner of the bakery refused to make the gay couples’ wedding cake because of his too strict religious beliefs, not Jesus, who stood for love and compassion and mercy, not sacrifice.

  5. Scooter says

    These types of businesses who wish for an excemption from non-discrimination laws based on their own religious beliefs should be driven into the sea, and consigned to extinction like the neandethals they are. The world is evolving. Either get with the program or move your bigoted asses to Russia!

  6. Oncemorewithfeeling says

    The problem was solved: it was solved in the courts, which is the system we have to solve our problems.

    Nobody’s forcing the bigot baker to do anything other than follow the law, exactly the way everybody else has to. If he doesn’t want to, he can break the law and pay the price or find a job governed by laws he can bring himself to obey.

    Christers don’t want to play by the rules, they want to rule us. They don’t get to do that. That’s a good thing for everybody, even the crazy Christers who are too crazy with hate to understand how badly they’d screw everything up for everyone if they ever overthrew this country and got the power they want.

  7. Rob says

    For the life of me I can’t understand why anyone would want to do business with a homophobic business owner. What gay person would want to pay someone like this to bake a cake for them knowing his beliefs? I’d say something like, “thanks for letting me know.” Then I’d find a bakery that wanted my business.

  8. jarago says

    I agree that it makes more sense to spend our money in a gay friendly business- but at the same time these religious bigots have to understand that they can not used their religion as an excuse to discriminate.

  9. Ong says

    @ JARGO The couple didn’t go to a judge and say, ‘Please make this baker bake me a wedding cake.’
    They sued because they were denied service. I’m sure they did find another business to accomodate their needs.

  10. adamth says

    You cannot use religion as an excuse to break the law. The shop owner should get a rainbow flag, put a red circle and cross bar on top of it and put it in his window. That would not exempt him from following the law, but LGBT customers would avoid his business completely. But of course he would also be publically stating he’s a bigot.

  11. kdknyc says

    If the law allowed the religious exemption for this, then it would be a matter of time before it would be argued that something else was against the business owner’s first amendment rights–say, to deny contraception and health care to employees.

    That’s what the Supreme Court is looking at now. It’s a slippery slope, and one these christers think is OK, because they couldn’t imagine any other brand of religion but their own being enforced. They would howl like stuck pigs, though, if a cake shop run by satanists was allowed to refuse service to them, or otherwise allowed to use their religious beliefs as exemption to civil law.

  12. BB says

    ADAMTH, Putting a sign like that in the window might be against the law in some places. In some places, it is not legal to put up “no gays” or “Straights only”, or “whites only”, or “no non-whites”, or “Christians only” or other signs like that.

  13. Michaelandfred says

    For those of you who don’t get it….they didn’t seek out some business who said “No gays allowed,” then demand a cake. While making plans for their wedding, like millions do a year, they went to a local bakery who does amazing cakes, excited to have one done for the most important day of their lives. They got there, hopes and dreams in hand, and were told to their face “we don’t serve your kind here,” or however he phrased it.

    The day my husband and I got our civil union in Germany, the man who was supposed to perform the ceremony, walked in, saw that it was us, standing with our family and friends, and walked out, refusing to perform the ceremony. They had to find another, and while it it still one of the best days of my life, I will never forget that insulting, embarrassing, humiliating, illegal few minutes of “I won’t serve your kind.”

    This is what anti discrimination laws are there to protect.

  14. FFS says

    When you’re a virulently anti-gay, middle-aged man with Anne Hathaway’s haircut who makes frou frou cakes for a living, you probably need to look up the words “denial” and “overcompensating” in the dictionary.

  15. AdamTh says

    BB, The modified rainbow flag would just be saying he does not WANT to do business with LGBT customers – it would not be saying he would refuse do business with LGBT customers.

    Or maybe he should just put up a sign saying “I don’t want to serve Gays & Lesbians, but I will if I have to follow the law.” Personally I would not want to do business with him, I’d find some other bakery that wants & appreciates my business.

  16. Bill says

    @Curtis: he doesn’t have to make a cake if he doesn’t want to, but his only option under Colorado law is to either serve all customers equally or not make cakes in a bakery that takes paying customers.

    He can always set himself up as a “cake consultant” and only advertise his services to churches, but if he accepts business from the general public, he can’t exclude people based on his personal prejudices.

    The law does not require him to like gays. It simply requires businesses to not discriminate. If he can’t run a business that complies with state law for whatever reason, he shouldn’t try to start such a business.

  17. BB says

    @ ADAMTH The circle with a diagonal bar though it is the symbolic equivalent of “No” when superimposed over something.
    Like the “No smoking” sign, or a “no mobile devices” sign in hospitals, or “no bare feet” or “no shirtlessness” signs when entering some shopping malls or restaurants.

    The modified rainbow flag would NOT just be saying he does not want to do business with LGBT customers, as you say. You’re imposing your own interpretation of the circle-&-diagonal-bar and it wouldn’t work.

  18. Bill says

    “No one is asking Masterpiece’s owner to change his beliefs, but treating gay people differently because of who they are is discrimination plain and simple.” Read em and weep ya big homophobe Jack Phillips. I’ve been paying school taxes for over 40 years to put your hetero offspring (illegitimate, non-native, whatever the category – I PAY!) through the public schools and I’ve never said one word about any of it despite the fact that I have no kids, no spouse and no say whatsoever in the matter. It just happens to be the law, Phillips- so go do all your hating in church and make the fricking cake already!

  19. BB says

    @ ADAMTH Another example would be the “no dogs” sign; a circle with a diagonal bar though it superimposed over the picture of a dog.
    A circle with a diagonal bar through it superimposed over the rainbow flag would mean, “No LGBTs”. Nothing less.

  20. Jim says

    Seems to me that this case was brought solely as a ‘test case’. SURELY there were other bakeries in the town but they chose THIS one in all probability because OTHER same sex couples had been turned away (and no doubt found other bakeries willing to make a wedding cake for them) so they decided to ‘make a statement’ and create a problem. THIS is the reason hetros are so against us. It would have been better for this couple to have gone to another bakery for their cake; a bakery where gays and lesbians were welcomed. Looks to me like they turned what should have been a joyous occasion into a platform for petty politics.

  21. StranglerFig says

    @ JIM How did the couple know that the bakery was anti-gay in advance? How would that work? Also, how would the couple know that other gay couples had been turned away? Also, why would they be trying to “make a statement”, “test”, or “create a problem” when they’re planning what should be the happiest day of their lives? Do you believe in ‘the gay agenda’, and that gays are like The Borg on star treck? Couple 671953 will now test bakery… resistance if futile. Also, why are you posturing as gay? Why do you think any self respecting gay person would be ok with being turned down and asked to go away? How do you know there are other gay friendly bakeries in their area? ALso, how would they know it? Looks to me like you’re just a troll trying to create discord/process loss on a gay blog; and doing a lousy job at it too. You think we haven’t seen the likes of you countless times before?
    Go back and read MichaelAndFred’s comment.

  22. Steve says

    Judge, you are ruling against a basic right to choose. The ACLU sometimes forgets the basic freedoms of Americans, to be able to choose their beliefs, not to have someone tell them what to believe and to do or else.

  23. Scott Mcg says

    I went by this store this summer and from the flies streaming thru the open door in the heat I wouldn’t make my dog eat anything from there. Please do Denver a favor and close before you make someone sick with your lack of sanitation.

  24. Bill says

    @adamth: what’s really funny is that these “Christians” have not even read their own Bible. When asked (by people supposedly trying to trap him) about paying some tax or something, Jesus supposedly asked whose picture was on the coin. They replied, “Caesar’s”. Then Jesus replied, “So give unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and unto God the things that are God’s. The idea is that a god, who supposedly created a universe whose visible size is now about 13 billion light years in every direction from Earth, isn’t going to care about a coin a centimeter or two in diameter. Nor what someone does with a cake after baking it.

    The reality: for a good long time, various tribes in the area were fighting among themselves. Sometimes the Jewish tribes were the top dogs and sometimes not. When they were behind, the “prophets” (crazy people before meds were invented) would blame their fellow citizens’ sinful ways, and when they were on top, they would attribute it to “God”. That kind of worked until the 800 lb gorilla (the Romans) showed up. So “God” moved to a higher plane of existence where mere earthly concerns were inconsequential, hence Christianity (and probably all sorts of sects we never hear of) came along to explain why “God” was no longer fighting for “the chosen people”. Since there were a lot of people who felt that the Romans were oppressing them, Christianity spread like wildfire. Psychologically they needed some place where they would come out on top, and it wasn’t going to be in this world.

    But don’t tell the Christians. They’ll get upset.

  25. David C says

    Oliver: “Here’s a win for civil rights!”

    NO. It’s a LOSS for freedom of speech.

    What’s next? Telling atheists they have to produce religious icons? You have to stand up for the free speech rights of everyone, not just those with whom you agree. Gay Incorporated has forgotten this basic notion.

  26. FFS says

    One of those stupid Jesus fish symbols prominently displayed in the window of his shop should do the trick. I always pass over dealing with a-holes with those things, whenever possible.

    No one can make him take that down.

  27. David C says

    DAVID FROM CANADA: “The caption is misleading: the owner of the bakery refused to make the gay couples’ wedding cake because of his too strict religious beliefs”

    In a free country — one that respects freedom of religion — whether a person’s religious beliefs are too strict are that person’s business, not the government’s.

  28. David C says

    BILL: “he doesn’t have to make a cake if he doesn’t want to, but his only option under Colorado law is to either serve all customers equally or not make cakes in a bakery that takes paying customers.”

    You misconstrue the situation entirely, Bill. (As apparently did the judge.) The baker does not refuse to bake cakes for homosexuals. He refuses to make same-sex wedding cakes. That is a matter of his freedom of speech — his artistic freedom, if you will.

    Liberals are supposed to support such things as freedom of speech, but the crowd here’s obsession with homosexuality keeps it from seeing this as anything but a pro-gay versus anti-gay matter. This is shameful.

  29. David C says

    MICHAELANDFRED: “they didn’t seek out some business who said “No gays allowed,” then demand a cake. While making plans for their wedding, like millions do a year, they went to a local bakery who does amazing cakes, excited to have one done for the most important day of their lives. They got there, hopes and dreams in hand, and were told to their face “we don’t serve your kind here,”

    With all due respect, you haven’t a clue what you’re talking about!

    The men went into a bakery and asked for a cake for their same-sex wedding and were told the bakery doesn’t make same-sex wedding cakes.

    That isn’t a refusal to serve ‘their kind.’ It’s a refusal to produce a particular kind of product. If you didn’t realize that is what happened then fair enough. That doesn’t excuse the idiot judge from being unable to tell the difference between these two different kinds of acts.

  30. David C says

    MICHAELANDFRED: “The day my husband and I got our civil union in Germany, the man who was supposed to perform the ceremony, walked in, saw that it was us, standing with our family and friends, and walked out, refusing to perform the ceremony. They had to find another, and while it it still one of the best days of my life, I will never forget that insulting, embarrassing, humiliating, illegal few minutes of “I won’t serve your kind.”

    “This is what anti discrimination laws are there to protect.”

    i have no knowledge, of course, of what happened on your wedding day beyond what you report. However, your statement doesn’t provide enough information for us to determine if the officiant refused to serve “your kind” on principle, or refused to perform a same-sex wedding on principle. Again, these are two different things.

    Yes, I know you will object that the result for you is the same, but that isn’t the point. Refusing to serve homosexuals on principle means refusing to do anything for them at all, not simply refusing to do something that homosexuals want.

    As for nondiscrimination laws, if the officiant was to perform a religious ceremony, there would be no freedom of religion if his refusal were as such illegal. With regared to the selling of cakes to people, the application of nondiscrimination laws to the provision of a luxury like cakes is an unnecessary, hence improper, use of governmental authority. We don’t have laws to protect peoples’ overly fragile feelings.

  31. Lexis says

    The main issue with these type of people is that they want to be a Christian first and a citizen in an “All Men Are Created Equal” country second. They really should consider moving to a theocracy, ‘cuz they just don’t get where their freedom of religion comes from.

  32. emjayay says

    Of course David, Jesus would be OK with it. He never said anything about men lying with men or anything like that. “Because Jesus” is of course a satirical phrase used to refer to beliefs of Christianists, who actually much prefer picking bits out of the Old Testament or Paul’s reactionary epistles than following the guy they profess to be so enamored with.

  33. step out says

    “Towleroad, a site with homosexual tendencies.” Trolls, why do you bother? There are so many hateful sites where you fit right in. You are not important to us, and never will be.

  34. IWillBeWhatIWillBe says

    @ David C Youve over-extended freedom of speech laws.

    If the owner of a public bookstore happens to be atheist, they can not refuse to special-order a religious themed book if a customer asks; because that is their job and they are open to the public.
    If the owner of a business that sells statues/icons to the public happens to be atheist, they would have to try to help a customer asking for a religious icon. Because that is their job; to sell statues/icons to the public.

    There is no such thing as “Gay Inc.” That lingo belongs in the lexicon that uses “Gay Agenda” and other nonsense.

    Also, you would do well to remember that freedom from religion also means freedom from religion. So don’t tell us that a bakery open to the public, subject to the laws of the land there, can cram their religion down a customer’s throat by refusing them service.

  35. sjaeger says

    Sorry David C, this is not artistic freedom, that was tried in the case of the photographer who refused service. In a place of public accommodation (i.e. business) there are laws the company has to abide by to maintain it’s business license. Health and safely, OSHA, and non-discrimination are all examples. IF HE HAS A LICENSE TO BE A BUSINESS that is the law. This is not the same (as in the case of the photographer of a person taking pictures and selling them. He’s not baking cakes and selling them as pieces of his free expression. He is contracting as a business to provide a product or service. Granted these is some art involved but it is in response to a contract (agreeing to make the cake) there is no ‘freedom of expression’ in question here. The law says he cannot discriminate when he makes the contract, whether it is for a same sex wedding cake or a same sex birthday cake (to my husband from his husband), even if it was a simple sheet cake with chocolate icing like Mom would make or the most elaborate 5 tier cake with cherubs, roses and cream. THAT IS THE CONTRACT. If he wants to make cakes for his friends in his jeezus crowd out of his good will that is different, but once he applies for and has a business license to provide a product he cannot discriminate. (Granted I would leave because I wouldn’t trust anything he would make under duress) but he has to follow the law against not discriminating just like he has to follow the law and pay minimum wage, and keeping the place clean, keeping a safe workplace. THOSE are requirements of a business no matter how much ‘artistic expression’ is involved. He has absolute freedom of speech to deny service, but then he has to suffer the consequences of saying he won’t serve blacks, or Jews, or Women, or gays. He will get sued and probably lose his business license for not following the law. David C you had to pay attention to the question of law, not what he’s doing. HE did not follow the law of the state of Colorado. PERIOD. EXCLAMATION POINT. UNDERLINED.

  36. David C says

    KDKNYC: “If the law allowed the religious exemption for this, then it would be a matter of time before it would be argued that something else was against the business owner’s first amendment rights–say, to deny contraception and health care to employees.

    “… It’s a slippery slope, and one these christers think is OK, because they couldn’t imagine any other brand of religion but their own being enforced.”

    I’ve already mentioned how forcing a cake maker to produce cake he doesn’t want to produce violates his freedom of speech. Of course if said speech violates his religious beliefs it also violates his freedom of religion.

    As for this business of denying contraception and health care to employees, that is sheer nonsense! Employers aren’t in a positin to deny their employees anything of the kind. The matter before the Court is the government FORCING employers to buy their employees contraception. If that purchase violates the religion of the employer, of course the employer’s freedom of religion is violated!

    It isn’t the “christers” who are trying to control anyone here. It’s the secular progressive like yourself, kdknyc, who are trying to control everyone else.

    And don’t accuse me of saying this just because I’m a conservative Christian. I’m no Christian at all. I don’t believe in dieties and don’t need to to recognize left-wing authoritarianism.

  37. emjayay says

    David C: You’re wrong, and courts in various states and also because of similar statutes in the UK have come to the same conclusion and will no doubt continue to in the future.

  38. Rich says

    @FFS One of the local ambulance chasers has advertisements on bus benches including the phrase “In God we trust”. If I were willing to trust that Divine Providence would compensate me for my injuries, why would I want to hire a lawyer? and if I wanted a lawyer to protect my interests, why would I select one who is willing to put the outcome of my lawsuit in the lap of the gods?

    Public accommodation laws create the interesting situation where I can refuse to do business with businesses that display religiosity, but they can’t refuse to do business with me because I’m gay. I understand that this is the law, but it doesn’t strike me as just.

  39. David C says

    ONCEMOREWITHFEELING: “Nobody’s forcing the bigot baker to do anything other than follow the law, exactly the way everybody else has to. If he doesn’t want to, he can break the law and pay the price or find a job governed by laws he can bring himself to obey.

    “Christers don’t want to play by the rules, they want to rule us.”

    Your point that the baker is only being asked to obey the law is a scoundrel’s point: It is exactly the law that is being objected to. Forcing someone to create what they don’t wish to is a violation of freedom of speech.

    As for your attack on ‘christers’ see my comment to kdknyc. It is a perfect answer to you as well.

  40. David C says

    STEVE: “Judge, you are ruling against a basic right to choose. The ACLU sometimes forgets the basic freedoms of Americans, to be able to choose their beliefs, not to have someone tell them what to believe and to do or else.”

    Well said, Steve.

    It is nice to know that other people of sense do also occasionally read this site. 😉

  41. Polkadot says

    @ David C; The baker was actually stifling the couple’s freedom of speech that he was supposed to facilitate by doing his job and making the cake like they wanted it.

  42. David C says

    EMJAYAY: ” You’re wrong, and courts in various states and also because of similar statutes in the UK have come to the same conclusion and will no doubt continue to in the future.”

    Sorry, Emjayay, but the UK situation is entirely irrelevant here. The US is a nation with WRITTEN CONSTITUTIONS. Constitutional protections — at both state and federal level — for freedom of speech trump ALL statutes.

    It is true that in the UK if Parliament says such laws are okay then all I can do is make a moral argument against them. That is not how the US works. Learn the differences between political systems before making more comments.

  43. David C says

    SJAEGER: “Sorry David C, this is not artistic freedom, that was tried in the case of the photographer who refused service.”

    NO. Freedom of speech is protected by our Federal Constitution, as well as by all of our state constitutions to my knowledge. Freedom of speech is what it is, not what courts mangle it into with their deliberate misapplications.

    Argument from authority is invalid. The case with the photographer was decided wrongly. Her freedom of speech was violated by New Mexico. To refute me morally you must argue from the meaning of freedom of speech. To refute me legally you must argue from the US Constitution: its actual text and history and not just its willful misuse by courts in cases you happen to like.

  44. David C says

    SJEAGER: “David C you had to pay attention to the question of law, not what he’s doing. HE did not follow the law of the state of Colorado. PERIOD. EXCLAMATION POINT. UNDERLINED.”

    No, SJeager. You have to pay attention to the question of CONSTITUTIONAL LAW and HOW THAT RELATES to what he’s doing. The judgment against the baker does not follow the Constitution. PERIOD. EXCLAMATION POINT. UNDERLINED.

    I try to be nice in commenting here, SJeager, but your comment was an exercise in totalitarianism. Freedom of speech applies at all times — including in the contracting of services.

    Imagine: I want to contract you to paint something for me. It will be a sign that says “Homosexuals are doomed to Hell.” You refuse. Under your logic I can sue you for discriminating against my religious beliefs and the government can take your business licence too.

    How wonderful it is that this country expended so much blood and treasure fighting the Nazis and Bolshevics just so their totalitarian views could win out here.

  45. David C says

    IWILLBEWHATIWILLBE: “David C Youve over-extended freedom of speech laws.

    “If the owner of a public bookstore happens to be atheist, they can not refuse to special-order a religious themed book if a customer asks; because that is their job and they are open to the public.”

    Actually, Iwillbe, yes the owner of said bookstore can refuse to sell anything he wants. Being open to the public doesn’t make his private business into a public entity (one owned by the citizenry). You, like most here, view things with an authoritarian eye. Implicit in your reasoning is the assumption that the government has a right to exercise a kind of emininent domain over a business just because it serves the public at large rather than a more select group. That makes all such businesses into government property. And yet you probably consider yourself a liberal. Go figure.

    As for “overextending freedom of speech laws,” you forget (I can only assume willfully) that free speech protections are CONSTITUTIONAL PROTECTIONS. They overide any potentially conflicting statutory concerns.

  46. CPT_Doom says

    Had the baker refused to make a bar mitzvah cake – not refused all Jews mind you, but just a cake for that ceremony, he would have been in violation of the same state & also federal laws, which don’t protect LGBT citizens. As Scalia himself noted in one decision “a tax on yarmulkes is a tax on Jews,” and a refusal to make a bar mitzvah cake is a refusal to serve Jews. The same rule applies here.

    As for test cases, so was Rosa Parks. She was not the first African-American to violate the Jim Crow laws, she was simply the case chosen to fight the laws. In that case, of course, there was only one bus service from which to choose, but the principle still applies. After all would anyone be OK with a bank defrauding people because there was an honest bank in town from which to choose?

    These kinds of cases have real impacts. In DC about 12 years ago paramedics stopped life-saving services for a trans woman after they discovered she hadn’t had bottom surgery. She died as a result. That’s the slippery slope we’re fighting.

  47. ReligiousMakeoutSession says

    Anyone arguing about ‘freedom of speech’ is really stretching it. You know, most wedding cakes I see typically don’t have words on it. It’s just a cake. It’s not like a birthday cake, “Happy Birthday!”. It’s not like we see “Happy Wedding” or anything, lol.
    And comparing a wordless cake to a painted hate-speech message; a little too much chlorine in that gene pool.

  48. David C says

    STEP OUT: “”Towleroad, a site with homosexual tendencies.” Trolls, why do you bother? There are so many hateful sites where you fit right in. You are not important to us, and never will be.”

    This somewhat enigmatic comment has to be the most precious of the lot. Just who is this comment directed at Step Out? The majority who loves the judge’s anti-free speech action, or the minority who hates it?

    One would tend to assume the latter since you direct yourself at website “trolls,” but you cloud the issue by stating “There are so many hateful sites where you fit right in.”

    Those who side with the judge against the baker are the ones showing the hatred here. And that fits in with Andy Towle’s secularist progressive attitude perfectly. Perhaps the problem, Step Out, is that you are engaged in psychological projection: projecting your own faults onto the so-called trolls. Something that leftist progressives do all the time.

  49. David C says

    POLKADOT: “The baker was actually stifling the couple’s freedom of speech that he was supposed to facilitate by doing his job and making the cake like they wanted it.”

    WOW! I must give you credit, polkadot. While you get an F in civics, you get an A+ in sophistry.

  50. David C says

    RELIGIOUSMAKEOUTSESSION: “Anyone arguing about ‘freedom of speech’ is really stretching it. You know, most wedding cakes I see typically don’t have words on it.”

    So then, when people burn the US flag they’re not engaging in speech? When people perform a dance, or paint a picture, they’re not engaging in speech?

    Whose really “stretching it” here?

  51. religiousmakeoutsession says

    DAVID C
    You’re so infected with anti-gay memes. How unfortunate for you. You should watch “Invasion of the Brain Snatchers” Nature of Things special. Anti-gays belong on that program.

  52. David C says

    CPT DOOM: “Had the baker refused to make a bar mitzvah cake – not refused all Jews mind you, but just a cake for that ceremony, he would have been in violation of the same state & also federal laws, which don’t protect LGBT citizens. As Scalia himself noted in one decision “a tax on yarmulkes is a tax on Jews,” and a refusal to make a bar mitzvah cake is a refusal to serve Jews. The same rule applies here.”

    Now I really will give you credit here, Cpt. Doom, because you at least are trying to think things through. However you make a huge error: You compare apples to pineapples.

    The bakery is not a government singling out particular religious garbs for taxation. Such amounts to a tax on the religion — which was Scalia’s point in the quote you make.

    Refusing to make a religious cake is not a blanket refusal to serve those who practice said religion.

    Of course, as I noted before, from where comes the moral basis for coercing the providers of luxury items like cakes to serve anyone? It is simply assumed here like the blue of the sky.

    It is best to remember Jefferson: The best government is the one that governs the least.

  53. David C says

    GEORGE: “Please go away. You’re not going to convince anyone of anything here. We can see through your rhetoric.”

    Translation: Whaaa! Whaaa! The big bad man is hurting my feelings. Whaaa!

    I know how difficult it is to change the thinking of ideologues. As Andy Towle is a leftist/progressive ideologue it is to be expected that the majority of his site visitors will be also.

    I’m commenting as a counter balance — to set the record straight. To light a candle of truth in a sea of darkness.

    Your complaint, like that of Step Out, only encourages me. Thanks.

  54. David C says

    ABE: “David C’s verbal diarrhea. A case study in vested interests, slanting, and projection.”

    The verbal diarrhea I’ll cop to, Abe. I’ve already given my reasons to George: I’m providing needed counterbalance.

    As to the “vested interests, slanting, and projection,” that would be the pot calling the kettle black.

    It is amusing — and telling — for me how the accusation leveled at me never have any backup.

  55. David C says

    RELIGIOUSMAKEOUTSESSION: “You’re so infected with anti-gay memes.”

    That strikes me as an odd accusation from someone whose moniker reads like an attack on religiousity.

    Regardless, I notice that you fail to provide even ONE example of an anti-gay meme from anything I’ve said here. Back up your assertion or withdraw it. Or haven’t you the guts for that?

  56. says

    You can have your own interpretation of the constitution when you’re the judge of a case, because only then would your interpretation matters. Meanwhile, find a paper bag, breath into it, cry a little or a lot if you have to and then chill the fouck out. Religious liberty, my ass.

  57. andrew says

    As a gay person I would never buy a cake or anything else from their shop. They are bible believers and as you may know the bible calls for the execution of homos. Who knows what these bible thumpers might put in a wedding cake for gays. On a pure economic level what self respecting LGBT person would contribute to the profits of such bigots.

  58. says

    Public accommodations laws really aren’t that difficult to understand. You can’t target a group for exclusion because you don’t like them. Why you don’t like them makes no difference, and religious beliefs give you no special right to discriminate. In this case, the baker will make wedding cakes for straight couples but not for gay couples. That’s discrimination. Would be the same if he said he’ll make birthday cakes for white people but not for black people. It’s not a freedom of speech case. He can say whatever he wants. He can’t discriminate.

    And, of course, a couple would want another baker to make their cake. Not the point! Non-discrimination laws are in place for a reason. Businesses who break the law because they’re incapable of treating all customers with respect need to go out of business or take their business to some place that allows them to discriminate.

    The only reason to take the baker’s side in this is if you believe non-discrimination laws shouldn’t exist (targeting a group for exclusion from a public business for any reason is acceptable to you), in which case you should be fighting to repeal such laws, or you believe the religious should get a special exemption to discriminate against gay people. If you believe the latter, you also believe you are lesser-than other people.

    Read the ACLU statement. It’s exactly right. If this were a free-speech case, they wouldn’t take it.

  59. woody says

    bakeries are people, my friend, and they have religious rights. i saw a lovely strawberry shortcake sitting in the pew across from me just last week. sweet and tempting…

  60. jjose712 says

    woody: They have religious rights, but your religious rights are not above the law. It’s as simple as that.

    And David C, please, you can troll whatever you want, but at least don’t fake being gay, it’s quite pathetic

  61. JohnAGJ says

    Still uncomfortable with this and see a difference between this case and say if a gay couple were refused service at a restaurant, hotel or B&B. Yet the photographer case is more disturbing to me as it requires their participation at an event they object to ( unlike say just developing prints if anyone still does that nowadays). I suppose I could accept this particular ruling if it remains limited but certainly would never buy a cake from them. That would just be stupid as I wouldn’t trust the finished product.

  62. John B. says

    I’m with those who don’t want to give our money to these bigots in the first place. These businesses could, quite legally, put up signs or symbols like “we don’t support same-sex marriage” or a rainbow flag with a red bar across it: perfectly legal (as long as they are not refusing service to anybody) and it would guarantee they would get exactly the business they want (and deserve). So why don’t they do this? Because they KNOW it would be bad for business, and they won’t own up to their own bigoted beliefs until somebody backs them into a corner with them.

  63. Oncemorewithfeeling says

    Oh, did this thread become about the trolls, too? That’s interesting. Oh, wait — no, it isn’t.

    To anyone who thinks the best way to punish the bigot baker is financially, you’re absolutely correct. And the best way to do that is through a sanction by the courts.

    Gosh, it’s almost as if letting anti-discrimination law do what it’s supposed to do is always the answer. Funny how that works out.

    Seriously, to the non-trolls: what’s wrong with some of you?

  64. johnny says

    I think it’s important to remember that the cake is not “gay”.

    It’s just cake.

    The man would not be making a “gay cake”, he would simply make a cake.

    The argument that the law is forcing him to make something he doesn’t want to make is idiotic. He makes cakes all day. One cake is just like another cake, except the decorating.

    It’s about WHO he refused business to, not the cake itself.

    But if they start making “Gay Cakes” I’d like to feed some to some of these trolls the hard way.

  65. Reality 2.0 says

    I am surprised at the amount of people here who are basically saying that it’s perfectly fine for a business in America to turn me away for being black or gay. Or a woman. Or disabled. Because of their religious beliefs.

    ARE YOU EFFIN SERIOUS?

  66. Reality 2.0 says

    HEY IDIOTS. STOP FOR A MOMENT AND PRETEND THAT A BUSINESS, SAY A LARGE ONE LIKE APPLE, DECIDED TO DENY SERVICE TO LATINOS BECAUSE OF RELIGIOUS BELIEFS WOULD THAT BE OK?

    DUMB IDIOTS!

  67. Reality 2.0 says

    HEY IDIOTS. STOP FOR A MOMENT AND PRETEND THAT A BUSINESS, SAY A LARGE ONE LIKE APPLE, DECIDED TO DENY SERVICE TO LATINOS BECAUSE OF RELIGIOUS BELIEFS WOULD THAT BE OK?

    DUMB IDIOTS!

  68. DAVID C says

    I am so full of crap. And I keep changing my argument each time someone pokes a hole in iit.

    What I don’t know…and it’s obvious to all…is that the IS Supreme court has ALREADY RULED on issues like this.

    In America, you CANNOT PUT UP A SIGN SAYING “WHITE FOLKS DRINKING FOUNTAIN ONLY”

    Do I get ths notion?

    No. Because I am a moron.

  69. DannyEastVillage says

    his pedophile comparison and willingness to make a cake for dogs sort of supports what i’ve long said about “christians”: they’re the biggest sh/t-a&&es in the country.

  70. m says

    the business might not be able to get away with discrimination. but did it change the owner? did he learn anything? is it worth reaching out to someone like this? i think community service would help more than a fine. unless he somehow has an experience that challenges his beliefs nothing will change. yeah its important to enforce laws protecting rights but its also important to remember that you can’t legislate individual thought or belief.

  71. Vegas Dave says

    In the 19th Century, taverns in NYC used to have signs in the front windows that read “No Dogs or Irishmen.” We can look at the South last century for “Whites Only.”

    “Gay” is the new flavor of discrimination. There seems to be a certain percentage of the population that just has to have someone to hate and the demand to be able to do so openly.

    Personally, I prefer to spend my dollars on Gay friendly businesses instead of with those who hate me.

  72. jjose712 says

    m : Who cares about the owner. A lot of people continue to be racist, but at least afroamericans have the same rights now.
    Some people simply need someone to hate, it’s a very easy way to blame others of your problems, but that doesn’t mean that laws must allow that people to openly hate.

    The baker has a business and he has to obey the law. He could simply say to the couple that he was a christian and it would be uncomfortable for him to do the job (without refusing to do it). If he said something like that and be polite, i’m pretty sure the couple would simply look for for a gay friendly bakery without suing him.
    But no, he has to do the great proclamation of his christianity (bigotry is a better term to describe it) and he got what he deserved

  73. Liberty2 says

    Colorado judge Robert Spencer’s ruling that government can force Masterpiece Cakeshop owner Jack Phillips to bake a gay wedding cake is a monstrous injustice — even for those of us who are gay or lesbian and disagree with Mr. Phillips. It attacks you as well as him.

    This ruling threatens your own fundamental liberties to freely exercise your political and religious beliefs, be free from forced labor, and be free from selective prosecution.

    This ruling is a sure sign of an emerging totalitarian government, as evil as any fascist or communist regime. If the government can force Jack Phillips to work for anyone against his core political and religious beliefs, it can force you to do so too.

    Under our fundamental social contract, the Constitution, everyone must be free to act on his or her own political and religious opinions, however unpopular (free speech and free exercise of religious beliefs are protected by the First Amendment). Yet Jack Phillips has been muzzled from acting upon his beliefs. All he did was decline to celebrate something he doesn’t believe in, while offering to bake anything else the customer wanted.

    Also under the Constitution, every person is free to refuse to perform personal services for someone else (forced labor is called slavery, or involuntary servitude, and it is banned by the Thirteenth Amendment). Yet Jack Phillips is now being forced to use his artistic talents for others against his will, a grotesque case of involuntary servitude.

    Finally, under the Constitution, every person must be free from selective prosecution for crimes not charged against other persons (for example, the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments require the government to follow due process of law). Yet under a gross double standard, the government charges only Phillips, a conservative religious person, for violating an obligation to serve others, while ignoring left-wingers who do the same.

    For example, in New Mexico, hairstylist Antonio Darden has been praised by media for dropping Governor Susana Martinez as a client because Martinez opposes same-sex marriage. Darden and Phillips do the same thing, yet only Phillips is prosecuted.

    Let’s wake up to the dangers of government intrusions on our rights and resist them.

  74. Lymis says

    As always, this sort of discussion devolves into discussions of cake, and why anyone would want a bigot to bake them one.

    As such, it completely misses the point. There is not a law that says “bakers have to bake for everyone” and a different law that says “restaurants have to serve everyone” and a different one that says “hospitals have to treat everyone” and a different one that says “hotels have to serve everyone” and so on.

    When you argue that a bigoted baker should be allowed to refuse to serve someone they don’t like, you’re saying that ALL the public accommodation laws should have that exception, because the law doesn’t treat them differently.

    I don’t think wedding cakes are that big a deal. But I don’t think we need to go back to the days of people being able to refuse food, lodging, medical care, and the necessities of life because they don’t like you, either. Don’t like it? Move out of town, because we don’t want your kind here.

    Let’s fight this when it’s just about cakes.

  75. jamal49 says

    The question still unanswered is why didn’t the couple take their business somewhere else? Why give the bigot their money? Go somewhere else, then flame the bigot’s business on the internet with as much negative criticism as possible. Put him out of business the good old-fashioned way.

  76. says

    @Liberty2 (new name, David C?): No, everyone is not “free to act on his religious opinions.” That would be a theocracy. We don’t live in one. You misunderstand the First Amendment–and many other things–in your comments.

    @JJOSE712: Agreed. Reaching out to businesses who have no desire to mend their ways and obey the law is futile–it’s their responsibility to change or seek other ways of making a living. I don’t know why business owners who have prejudices of whatever kind don’t think of saying, “My business is open to everyone, but I may not be the best person for this job … ” But some combination of ignorance and arrogance that they deserve a special pass to exclude gay people (when even the stupidest racist business owners probably know not to discriminate on the basis of race) seems to make religious business owners dig in their bigoted heels.

  77. ThomT says

    It’s not the cake that is the real issue here it is one of equal (and legal) treatment. Open your door for business and you treat every customer equally – plain and simple. Sure, it would be easy to choose a gay, or gay friendly, bakery but you don’t have to do that. You have the right to choose, for whatever reason, the bakery you desire. If a bakery is allowed to pick and choose who they will serve then why not a movie theater, a diner, a taxi cab, or any every other type of business? Equal means equal – you don’t have the right to deny service because of your personal, or religious, beliefs. Having allowed this man to get away with this blatant display of bigotry and prejudice would have results in businesses all over Colorado posting signs in the windows listing the ‘undesirable’ customers they would not provide service to in their stores.

  78. m says

    jjose712:

    he is also a human being. he’s f’d up and i’m not excusing him. but, if the hate is going to end hate then we kind of have to deal with the human beings doing the hating. the laws are a start but they don’t change the hating behavior.

  79. anon says

    Wow. Well, the discussion here on constitutional law covered a lot of ground.

    For those of you arguing that the duty of the cake shop was to obey the law, that’s a bit pedantic because there used to be laws against sodomy that had to be overturned in the courts. Technically, yes, you could not have sex with another guy legally, but challenging the laws in court is perfectly legal. You also can’t challenge a law on a whim, you actually need standing to go to court, so this was the only way the law could be challenged in this case or any case. Secondly, the law wasn’t entirely unambiguous, though the claims made were a bit specious.

    First amendment cases do tend to get quite nasty when tangling with anti-discrimination laws. For example, it’s perfectly legal to write a book or op-ed or make a movie or “documentary” or TV show that says all sorts of horrible things about gays, and all the horrible things you’d like to do to them. This is prejudice, not discrimination. Prejudice is perfectly legal and protected under the first amendment. In the UK, prejudice is NOT protected, and this is true in several other countries around the world, including in part, Canada.

    Now, under various state laws, are you required to sell your horrible books or newspapers to gays, or accept classified ads or advertising from them? The law is unclear, but in general, yes, you can refuse to sell books or newspaper to the LGBT community, refuse advertising and/or classified ads as well because the business is a first amendment vehicle. For example, Andy can refuse to have advertisements on TR from the Family Research Council. In some cases here on TR, comments have complained about the content of various ads asking to have them removed.

    Now, does a cake shop have the same protections as a newspaper? The current legal theory says no, but several legal scholars point to a lot of contradictions this can produce, particularly because of the Internet, so this aspect of the law might change over the coming years.

  80. redgreen says

    about David C & company… “I’m commenting as a counter balance — to set the record straight. To light a candle of truth in a sea of darkness.” These anti-gays seem to see themselves as the misunderstood heroes of their own narratives. But they’re just losers.

    1 We don’t need our lives counterbalanced by those who would rather we were dead.
    2 Anti-gays have no truth to share, only lies and slanting.
    3 Anti-gays project onto us their own evil, and appropriate our semantics to lend themselves humanity.
    4 Their assertions (non-arguments) persuade no one. In fact they only amplify the resolve of gays. Go ahead, tell us that boycotting and suing doesn’t work; you’re only telling us that we’re doing something right!
    5 Anti-gays don’t shed light, but when you shed light on them, watch their discourse dissolve. They can keep telling lies; it only encourages us to educate ourselves and increase our own power.

  81. Bakery Spirit says

    Any gesture or action can be reinterpreted or framed as a non-verbal speech act. That doesn’t mean anything anybody does (or doesn’t do) is protected by the first amendment.

    Also, freedom of religion also means freedom from religion too. Abrahamic sects can’t just oppress because their favorite pet book tells them it’s ok.

  82. FFS says

    Wow, David C. You have an extraordinarily romanticized view of cake baking.

    You wouldn’t happen to be one of those people who likes to spend “naked alone time” with pastries, would you?

  83. says

    @Anon: A newspaper is not a public accommodation. It is a publication. There is no reason for cake shops and newspapers to have the same rules because they aren’t at all the same thing and never will be.

    Of course people can challenge the constitutionality of non-discrimination laws in general, but typically that’s not what these business owners want: they want to be allowed a special right to discriminate against gay people and gay people only based on their religious beliefs and that is almost certainly unconstitutional. That’s why these people aren’t prevailing in courts.

  84. Liberty2 says

    Ernie: Regarding your suggestions that I am ignorant of the First Amendment and that freely exercising one’s religious opinions would establish a theocracy, no, I am a lawyer and familiar with the First Amendment, and the United States for is not a theocracy just because it has recognized for over 200 years the rights of all persons (including you) to freely exercise their religious and political beliefs. All that baker Jack Phillips did in the Masterpice Cakeshop case was decline to celebrate something he doesn’t believe in, while offering to bake anything else the customer wanted. Wouldn’t you want the same freedom to decline to participate in some ceremony you didn’t believe in, and not to use your labor and talents to serve some purpose you disagree with? If you say no, are you serious? Oh, and you didn’t even respond to my other Constitutional concerns about political opinions, involuntary servitude, and selective prosecution. Oh, and here are a few other questions for you to meditate on:
    Should a Muslim-run or Jewish-run privately-owned deli or bakery be required to sell pork products?
    Should an atheist-run, privately-owned deli or bakery be required to put Bible verses on their products?
    Should a gay-run, privately-owned deli or bakery be required to cater an anti-gay political meeting?
    Should a non-smoking liquor store owner be required to sell tobacco products?
    Should a non-gambler who owns a convenience store be required to sell lotto tickets?
    Should a Baptist be required to sell booze?
    Should a commie Hollywood producer be required to make a film that glorifies the Religious Right?
    Should a black deli owner be required to cater a KKK meeting?
    Why do so many people want the courts to dictate what other people’s conscience must be?
    Thanks for considering the issues a little more carefully.

  85. Volunteer says

    @LIBERTY2 “I’m a lawyer”, yeah sure. Prove it.
    “…while offering to bake anything else the customer wanted.” Prove that too please.
    I’m calling out all your “Should a…” questions as false analogies. Please prove how P and Q are similar in respect to properties a, b, c, etc. in each instance.
    You read like a professional sophist; you do realize the Stephen Colbert persona and some of what The Onion does are parodies and satire of your sort? Drole.

  86. Francis says

    There is a difference between “discrimination” based on content and discrimination based on identity. People have the right to associate with who they want and promote their business as they see fit. If a company wants to align itself with the “traditional values” types, they can do just that. But those beliefs cannot cross into discrimination based on identity.

    Who you are vs what you do. Gay is who people are. KKK isn’t an identity. Anti-gay politics does not=identity. There is no argument to be had here.

    One can make a statement, take a stand and say, no, we are not going to be pushed around and we will fight back, without actually giving business to the haters who discriminated.

  87. Liberty2 says

    Volunteer: I live in Denver, and have heard Jack Phillips speak about the facts and reviewed his testimony. He did offer to bake any other baked goods the customers desired, and to find another baker to make a gay wedding cake for them if desired. All the analogies I made above are right on target, despite your apparent discomfort with them and lack of any substantive response to each. Oh, and here’s another precisely parallel case for you to reflect on: in New Mexico, hairstylist Antonio Darden has been praised by media for dropping Governor Susana Martinez as a client because Martinez opposes same-sex marriage. Darden and Phillips do the same thing, yet only Phillips is prosecuted. This is wrong, and such abuses of governmental authority will eventually backfire and target you. You may like the result today, but you won’t like it so much in a case against you some day. And by the way, as a lawyer, I won’t indulge in name calling or ridicule, but will stick to the issues.

  88. Volunteer says

    @LIBERTY2 No I’m looking for the information that you would put on a business card, not “I live in Denver”. That doesn’t prove anything or answer my question.
    Saying you “…have heard…” doesn’t prove anything either. I’m looking for citations, quotes, links, etc.
    The burden of proof is on you, not me, to add substance to your “Should a…” questions. You have to justify them, and you haven’t, have not answered my question. Making more assertions that they are on point doesn’t make it so…
    How can you expect others to answer your questions when you won’t justify yourself and answer theirs?
    What makes you think, by the way, that Martinez couldn’t try suing? She could try too, there’s nothing stopping her.
    Bottom line; the bakery owner lost. And obviously you won’t find any sympathy if you choose to gripe here.

  89. Liberty2 says

    Volunteer: I’ve been a lawyer in government, law firm, and business for 32 years. Thanks at least for acknowledging that the Darden case is parallel to the Phillips case. I don’t think either business owner should be subject to a lawsuit — much less a government prosecution — for following their own beliefs about what services they perform. If someone doesn’t like a business owner’s limits on what services he chooses to offer — whether it’s “no shoes, no shirt, no service” or “no drunks” or any other policy – then boycott the business, but there’s no justification for government action. If we want to protect our liberty from government intrusion in our private affairs, we need to accept others’ private decisions we may not always like. I’ll get off the podium now, thanks.

  90. Volunteer says

    @LIBERTY2
    “I’ve been a lawyer in government, law firm, and business for 32 years.” is still not an answer to my question. I even specified info that goes on a business card. That doesn’t go on a business card.
    I did NOT acknowledge any parallels; I merely said that that woman could sue if she wanted. You’re slanting and overextending again.
    Thank you for getting off your soap-box. I will in turn do the same.

  91. Lexis says

    @LIBERTY2

    – Should a Muslim-run or Jewish-run privately-owned deli or bakery be required to sell pork products? NO. Because if they don’t carry pork, then they’re not selling it to ANYONE, so they’re not discriminating.

    – Should an atheist-run, privately-owned deli or bakery be required to put Bible verses on their products? NO. Because if they don’t put Bible verses on ANYONE’s products, then they’re not discriminating.

    – Should a gay-run, privately-owned deli or bakery be required to cater an anti-gay political meeting? YES. And actually, it sounds like a great way for the gays to show some homophobes how absolutely fabulous they are.

    – Should a non-smoking liquor store owner be required to sell tobacco products? NO. Because, if they’re not selling tobacco products to ANYONE, then they’re not discriminating.

    – Should a non-gambler who owns a convenience store be required to sell lotto tickets? NO. Because if they’re not selling lotto tickets to ANYONE, then they’re not discriminating.

    – Should a Baptist be required to sell booze? NO. Because if they’re not selling booze to ANYONE, then they’re not discriminating.

    – Should a commie Hollywood producer be required to make a film that glorifies the Religious Right? PROBABLY NOT. A Hollywood producer typically chooses what films he will produce with his money. No one requires him or her to produce anything. The producer is not “open to the public.” Now, if he has entered into some kind of talent contract with a studio, then the contract terms, which he previously agreed to, would decide what he is required to do.

    – Should a black deli owner be required to cater a KKK meeting? Probably, but how would the black deli owner know that he was catering a KKK meeting? Isn’t it still a secret organization? Would they have their hoods on when they came into the deli? He might be able to report them to the police first or at least gather names while at the event.

    And for the record, the baker doesn’t have to go out of business. All he has to do is stop making wedding cakes for ANYONE.

  92. Don Draper says

    To CHRIS C’s credit, he is correct that the baker offered to make anything else for the couple besides a wedding cake.

    Here’s a link to a copy of the judge’s summary judgment which outlines all of the facts of the case: https://www.aclu.org/sites/default/files/assets/initial_decision_case_no._cr_2013-0008.pdf

    However, that seems to be the only thing that CHRIS C got right. I suggest he reads the summary judgment so he will see how the court logically examines and rejects all of his arguments one by one.

  93. alaskan1st says

    I know a bar owner that immediately rejects any customer that he finds out is religious. He says he doesn’t have to serve hypocrites. I also know a restaurant owner that will only serve salads to fat people. She says she doesn’t have to enable obesity. The restaurant owner, I agree with. The bartender, I don’t.

  94. says

    @Liberty2Etc: You may be a lawyer, who knows, but you don’t understand the First Amendment and your analogies show you don’t understand non-discrimination laws. @Lexis patiently goes through all your examples and gives the right answers. Consider a refresher law course! The ACLU, and a number of commenters here, would eat you for dinner if you faced off on this case. If you want to make a case against the constitutionality of non-discrimination laws, at least use consistent reasoning and appropriate analogies.

  95. says

    Thanks, @DonDraper, for the PDF link. There are some really choice–and entertaining, even for a non-lawyer like myself–bits in there, including some of the footnotes! I wish more people would actually read the arguments before weighing in on these cases …

  96. abden says

    @David C and your freedom of speech concern:

    The judge discusses the “freedom of speech” aspect of this matter:

    Cakes Do Not Constitute “Speech”

    Though the judge was sympathetic that cakes require artistry, he dismissed the idea that they constituted speech. In this case, the bakery refused to provide the cake before the couple could even specify what would or would not be on the cake, thus there is not even any speech to consider:

    The ALJ, however, rejects Respondents’ argument that preparing a wedding cake is necessarily a medium of expression amounting to protected “speech,” or that compelling Respondents to treat same-sex and heterosexual couples equally is the equivalent of forcing Respondents to adhere to “an ideological point of view.” There is no doubt that decorating a wedding cake involves considerable skill and artistry. However, the finished product does not necessarily qualify as “speech,” as would saluting a flag, marching in a parade, or displaying a motto.

    The undisputed evidence is that Phillips categorically refused to prepare a cake for Complainants’ same-sex wedding before there was any discussion about what the cake would look like. Phillips was not asked to apply any message or symbol to the cake, or to construct the cake in any fashion that could be reasonably understood as advocating same-sex marriage. After being refused, Complainants immediately left the shop. For all Phillips knew at the time, Complainants might have wanted a nondescript cake that would have been suitable for consumption at any wedding. Therefore, Respondents’ claim that they refused to provide a cake because it would convey a message supporting same-sex marriage is specious. The act of preparing a cake is simply not “speech” warranting First Amendment protection.Cakes Do Not Constitute “Speech”

    Though the judge was sympathetic that cakes require artistry, he dismissed the idea that they constituted speech. In this case, the bakery refused to provide the cake before the couple could even specify what would or would not be on the cake, thus there is not even any speech to consider:

    The ALJ, however, rejects Respondents’ argument that preparing a wedding cake is necessarily a medium of expression amounting to protected “speech,” or that compelling Respondents to treat same-sex and heterosexual couples equally is the equivalent of forcing Respondents to adhere to “an ideological point of view.” There is no doubt that decorating a wedding cake involves considerable skill and artistry. However, the finished product does not necessarily qualify as “speech,” as would saluting a flag, marching in a parade, or displaying a motto.

    The undisputed evidence is that Phillips categorically refused to prepare a cake for Complainants’ same-sex wedding before there was any discussion about what the cake would look like. Phillips was not asked to apply any message or symbol to the cake, or to construct the cake in any fashion that could be reasonably understood as advocating same-sex marriage. After being refused, Complainants immediately left the shop. For all Phillips knew at the time, Complainants might have wanted a nondescript cake that would have been suitable for consumption at any wedding. Therefore, Respondents’ claim that they refused to provide a cake because it would convey a message supporting same-sex marriage is specious. The act of preparing a cake is simply not “speech” warranting First Amendment protection.

    http://thinkprogress.org/lgbt/2013/12/06/3035121/colorado-bakery-broke-law/

  97. Peater says

    He is not saying he refuses to make wedding cakes for sinners or that he’ll only make wedding cakes for saints. So what makes these sinners different from the other sinners for whom he makes wedding cakes? Discrimination.

  98. says

    Discrimination is wrong for anyone, or business entity. Christianity is based on God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, So that whosoever would believe on Him, should not perish, but have everlasting life. God included everyone in the plan of salvation, and He expects us to love everyone, as well as serve everyone. Jesus said the greatest among us, will be a servant of all. I hope such people who claim to be following Jesus will repent of their sin, and start serving everyone.

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