U.S. SUPREME COURT RULES IN FAVOR OF THE BAKER, BUT…
June 4, 2018 at 4:05 pm #9526
This was not a case of much constitutional import.
And the reason I say that is (from this article) “Two of the court’s four liberals, Stephen Breyer and Elena Kagan, joined the five conservative justices in the ruling authored by Justice Anthony Kennedy.”
The ruling was about process, about the way the Colorado Civil Rights Commission handled the case, not about the facts surrounding the refusal of the baker to create a pro-gay cake, which the Court refused to touch. The Commission ridiculed the baker making comparisons with, for example, Holocaust deniers. They essentially ruled that a citizen has a right to have his/her religious views taken seriously.
As the court put it in its decision:
“The commission’s hostility was inconsistent with the First Amendment’s guarantee that our laws be applied in a manner that is neutral toward religion,” Kennedy wrote, referring to the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
“The outcome of cases like this in other circumstances must await further elaboration in the courts, all in the context of recognizing that 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…”
CNN legal commentator Jeffrey Tubin, who not only read the ruling but heard the oral arguments before the justices, said that the issues are widely misunderstood by the public. It was because the gay couple was demanding a CUSTOM cake, thus forcing the baker to use his creative abilities, that the baker had a serious, but as yet untested, legal defense. That question was left out of today’s decision.
Tubin used the metaphor, could a gay couple demand that a writer write them a pro-gay novel that ran against his religious beliefs?
Chances are, the Supremes would say that the gay couple would have a right to buy a standard ready-made cake out of the baker’s display case, but not to demand a custom cake that violated the baker’s religious views.
Some business owners may misinterpret the case and deny standard services to gays, and this ruling doesn’t cover that at all, and we may go through a sorting-out period leading to a more definitive case before the Court someday, but Tubin made it clear that to deny a gay couple a hotel room or to refuse to sell them a hammer based on this ruling would likely turn out to be a big legal mistake.June 4, 2018 at 6:18 pm #9531
At least the court proposed that standard services must be made available to customers regardless of their sexual orientation (or race, and gender I would assume). As for customizing a cake? They should provide an unburdomsome alternative, like subcontracting out another person to put male figures on the top and write out any text. But to refuse to make anything for a gay client when you accept most straight clients, in a shop which is open to the public, is outright gross discrimination. It is no different than offering ones services to the general public except for colored people or except for people with a certain disability.June 5, 2018 at 1:15 am #9538
The U.S. Constitution offers a lot of protection to religious belief. Not religion, but religious belief, including nonbelief. In fact, the so-called “establishment clause” forbids the establishment of anything like an official religion. That’s right: The U.S. is officially UN-religious. That which protects the religious baker protects me, too.
Your subcontracting remedy won’t work because the customers wanted a cake that required the artistic talent of the baker. They wanted a cake by HIM. Let’s take the example Jeffrey Toobin gave (sorry, I misspelled it “Tubin” in the original post): “I like your writing style Mister Goldstein (a Jew). I’d like you to write a novel about how the Holocaust was a Zionist hoax.” He should just subcontract the job to another writer? Really?June 6, 2018 at 1:58 am #9583
It’s against my religious beliefs to pay taxes.June 6, 2018 at 9:11 am #9584
Reg the Fronkey FarmerModerator
It would be interesting if someone from the ACLU or just a member of the public were to take a case against a fishmonger in the same town. I mean anyone selling creatures from the sea that are without fins or scales is just detestable to me. I detest their dead bodies being on sale in public. This is because I got this particular religious belief from the same Book of Leviticus that the baker got his.
You shall regard them as detestable; you shall not eat any of their flesh, and you shall detest their carcasses. Everything in the waters that has not fins and scales is detestable to you.June 6, 2018 at 10:52 am #9586
I wonder if that guy would bake me a Muhammad cake? How about a lobster and shrimp cake. Yum.June 6, 2018 at 12:54 pm #9589
Reg the Fronkey FarmerModerator
I was giving a few English and American friends a tour of Dublin recently. It was one of the first “t-shirt” days of summer and the city was chilled out. We had some food and coffee in a park where they commented that the police has turned a blind eye (nose) to the young tourists smoking weed (as discretely as they could). Later they were very happy to see 2 men holding hands. After walking for another hour or so it had become so routine to see LGBT couples arm in arm, some with children, that 2 of my tour decided to do the same. They were so happy that they are now actively seeking to relocate their jobs from the US (I.T. Multinational). They can have any cake they want and eat it too. That evening I overheard some old Irish guy claiming that according to the last census that Ireland is still over 80% Catholic. Yeah, sure it is man, sure it is.
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