Gay bakers missed the point in Sweetcakes case

Marriage equality extends beyond the ceremony: it means same-sex couples must be treated equally in all public businesses and institutions, too. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)
Marriage equality extends beyond the ceremony: it means same-sex couples must be treated equally in all public businesses and institutions, too. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

(Updated with missing paragraph 3 re-inserted)

Would you press the issue if a bakery refused to make a wedding cake for you because you are marrying a same-sex partner?

Probably not, right? You’d probably find another bakery.

But you shouldn’t have to do that, courts have ruled in the United States and other countries.

As everybody has heard by now, a couple of Christian bakers in Oregon — owners of Sweetcakes by Melissa — have been fined $135,000 because they refused to bake a cake for a lesbian couple.

Now a couple of gay bakers are showing support for the Christian bakers and chastising the gay and lesbian community, “labeling those individuals and activists who are trying to force (the Christian bakers to make the cake) as “Nazis” who are using “bullying” tactics,” The Blaze is reporting.

The Blaze quotes one of the gay bakers, Jesse Bartholomew, saying this: “There’s no other bakers out there?” he rhetorically asked. “It’s plain and simple: you are bullying someone, you are forcing someone, you are being a Nazi and forcing someone to bake a damn wedding cake for you when there are hundreds of other gays and lesbians that would gladly have your business. Shame on you.”

In other words, bring your business to us, though I don’t think his motivation for expressing his opinion is strictly about increasing his profits.

He is entitled to his views, of course, and he shouldn’t be condemned by the LGBT community for them.

But he is missing a point: public businesses simply cannot discriminate against anyone. It is such a simple principle that it hardly needs further explanation.

Jesse is saying that Christians should be allowed to discriminate against gay and lesbian people. Should another baker, say, an atheist, be allowed to turn away Christians? You get the point: where would you draw the line?

Businesspeople who feel, on religious or moral grounds, that they can’t serve segments of the population should find another way to earn their livings, or hire staff who have no qualms about serving everyone.

— Jillian Page, LGBT Perspectives editor

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“Let harmlessness be the keynote of your life.” — Alice Bailey

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3 thoughts on “Gay bakers missed the point in Sweetcakes case”

  1. They miss the point of anti-discrimination policies. Back in the 1960’s, we needed anti-discrimination laws to force businesses to serve blacks and whites equally. The reason is that while in enlightened places, such laws are not needed or that “there will always be businesses willing to serve”, that is /NOT/ the case precisely in locations where anti-discrimination policies are most needed.

    In those places, unspoken but rampant forms of discrimination can tear the society apart and severely damage vulnerable populations who find that indeed, there is no-one willing to serve them.

    If you want to open a business, you have to play by the rules. Don’t like the rules? Then don’t open a business.

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  2. If such discrimination is allowed, then they should be obligated to *own* that by making a public posting to that effect: “LGBT People NOT Welcomed” …

    …I have noticed that some businesses post a sign saying they reserve the right to refuse *anyone* service. (Of course, I don’t know that such a blanket declaration would hold-up to legal scrutiny – but don’t you feel for the person who’s hairstyle sets-off the sales clerk in such a place?

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