Tuesday, January 21, 2014

The Gay Thing: Oregon Rules Against Homophobic Bakery

The case of the Oregon baker (along with other bakers, reception hall renters, florists, photographers, etc.) who refused service for a gay couple has been a favorite topic for anti-marriage equality types. They're amazingly wrong in most of their arguments, and not just subjectively, but empirically. They are--typically--knee-jerk reactionaries, and under the illusion that their "religious liberty" is somehow threatened by cases such as this, and that Christians in America are some kind of persecuted minority. It's ten kinds of stupid.

But let me just address this particular case with some quick points that these folks gloss over or flatly refuse to discuss:
  • Oregon--though it now recognizes same-sex marriages from out of state--did not at the time either perform or recognize such marriages. So this case is not about "gay marriage" at all, because there wasn't a legal one in the first place.
Does this guy own just one t-shirt? Image from source, Joe.My.God.

  • Wedding cakes, the product in question, are not used in wedding ceremonies anyway, they're used in receptions, the party after the wedding. Receptions are almost never religious in nature.
  • Civil marriage isn't holy matrimony. It's not religious at all unless the participants wish to include religion in it. It is a legal contract, and is usually quite serious to the spouses and families, but it is not sacred. Sacred is a religious term, not a legal one.
  • Many businesses sell or rent their products and services for weddings and receptions. Bakers are not materially different from tuxedo renters or dress sellers. The suggestion that a cake baker is "participating in" or "celebrating" or has "anything whatsoever to do with" the events the cakes are for is as insane as a tuxedo renter worrying about how his customers are going to party in their tuxes.
  • A business is not a person, and has no "religious beliefs" or "religious freedoms."
  • Public accommodations laws apply to many classes of people, in some areas, gays included. You don't get to say "whites only," and you don't get to say "no gays."
  • A person working in the wedding/formal event industry is 100% likely to have his or her products and services used in some event or activity that isn't in line with their own beliefs. This is truly a case of "if you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen."

There are more bullet points I could list. Lots more. And while cake is a fairly frivolous thing to get all agitated about, this one really fires me up, because of the lengthy list of either untrue or just stupid arguments from the other side. Think, people!


Sweet Cakes by Melissa violated same-sex couple's civil rights when it refused to make wedding cake, state finds

State labor investigators have determined a Gresham bakery violated the civil rights of a same-sex couple when it refused to make a cake for the women's wedding. The Bureau of Labor and Industries said Friday that it has wrapped up its investigation into Sweet Cakes by Melissa. . .

Read more at: Joe.My.God.

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