Columns Law & Court Mark Silk: Spiritual Politics Opinion

The end of the Masterpiece Cakeshop case comes with a whimper

Baker Jack Phillips, owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop in Lakewood, Colo., manages his shop after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in his favor June 4, 2018, in a case over his refusal to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

(RNS) — Last week, to little notice, the Masterpiece Cakeshop case ended with a whimper. Nine months after the Supreme Court found that the Colorado Civil Rights Commission had acted prejudicially in upholding the complaint of a gay couple who were refused a wedding cake by baker Jack Phillips, the two sides agreed to stop fighting.

Specifically, the commission withdrew its proceedings against Phillips for discrimination and Phillips withdrew his case against the commission for harassment. Which is to say that Phillips can keep refusing to customize cakes that, as he put it, “celebrate events or express messages that conflict with my religious beliefs.”

As you’ll recall, the justices didn’t decide that Phillips has the right to say no. Writing for a 7-2 majority, Justice Anthony Kennedy declared that while “the religious and philosophical objections to gay marriage are protected views and in some instances protected forms of expression,” nevertheless “such objections do not allow business owners and other actors in the economy and in society to deny protected persons equal access to goods and services under a neutral and generally applicable public accommodations law.”


RELATED: The lessons of the Masterpiece Cakeshop case


In other words, Kennedy, who delivered the country’s landmark decisions on gay rights (e.g., Lawrence v. TexasObergefell v. Hodges), left the door open to a decision that would have told Phillips to provide cakes to those celebrating same-sex nuptials if he wanted to stay in business.

Now, with Kennedy replaced on the bench by Brett Kavanaugh, a finding that Phillips unlawfully discriminated seems considerably more remote. It’s no surprise that the commission decided that the better course of valor was to fold its tent.

There can be little doubt, however, that the court will have to deliver itself of a decision on the merits of such a case. Soon enough, the justices will be considering the situation not only of bakers but also of photographers, florists, musicians and those in who knows what other lines of work with religious objections to whatever activity someone would hire them for.

A reasonable argument can be made that it’s appropriate to recognize a right of refusal on the part of those who provide services that involve clear speech acts or levels of artistic expression. Custom bakers yes, the guys setting up the chairs and pouring the drinks not so much. Photographers and florists maybe, maybe not.

Our religious jurisprudence has long been subject to discerning fine lines. Religious displays on public land are sometimes allowed, sometimes not. Public funds can be used to provide certain kinds of aid to religious schools, other kinds not.

Then there’s the issue of just whom anti-discrimination legislation has been passed to protect. Few would want to require a Jewish baker to decorate a cake for a Nazi wedding, but we do not designate Nazis as a class of people in need of anti-discrimination protection. African-Americans are so designated and so, increasingly, are people who identify as LGBTQ.

Anyone who thinks that religious liberty protections should trump anti-discrimination law in Phillips’ case should therefore recognize that this will also enable a baker who believes that God forbids race-mixing to refuse to bake a cake for the wedding of a mixed-race couple. Under the Constitution, the courts only get to decide whether a particular religious belief is sincerely held, not whether one is more legitimate — and thus more deserving of protection — than another.

What we know, however, is that since the Supreme Court declared laws against mixed-race marriage unconstitutional half a century ago, opposition to it in American society has become inconsequential. Since Obergefell did the same for same-sex marriage, two-thirds of Americans support it, 4 out of 5 below the age of 30.

We can hope that, within a few years, opposition to same-sex marriage will go the way of opposition to mixed-race marriage, and the amount of discriminatory behavior like Phillips’ will become vanishingly small.

About the author

Mark Silk

Mark Silk is Professor of Religion in Public Life at Trinity College and director of the college's Leonard E. Greenberg Center for the Study of Religion in Public Life. He is a Contributing Editor of the Religion News Service

267 Comments

Click here to post a comment

  • The problem with cases like this is that they open up a veritable Pandora’s Box of litigation that risk clogging up the courts. These days people can claim that just about anything is a religion which can be used to justify just about anything. The law should make it abundantly clear that if you do business in the public realm you must serve the entire public, meaning everyone, not just those you like or those of whose life choices you approve. The abolition of Jim Crow laws should have ended this debate a long time ago. Sadly, human prejudice is a thing that will never go away.

  • “Anyone who thinks that religious liberty protections should trump anti-discrimination law in Jack Phillips’ case should therefore recognize that this will also enable a baker who believes that God forbids race-mixing to refuse to bake a cake for the wedding of a mixed-race couple.”

    Which appears to be just what the First Amendment intended.

  • “Anyone who thinks that religious liberty protections should trump anti-discrimination law in Jack Phillips’ case should therefore recognize that this will also enable a baker who believes that God forbids race-mixing to refuse to bake a cake for the wedding of a mixed-race couple.”

    That is true. It will also allow a Jewish restaurateur to refuse to cater a meeting of the KKK. It is called freedom.

  • Actually, Jack Phillips provided an excellent, heroic example. As did the 70+ year-old Christian florist Baronelle Stutzmann, and Christian individuals and families in 10 or 12 other states who just didn’t have the time or resources for a protracted legal fight. They did the right thing.

  • “Religious liberty™” continues to evolve with the misadventures of pro-bono legal groups like Liberty Counsel and Alliance Defending Freedom (both designated as hate groups by the SPLC).

    In 1879 a ruling in United States v. Reynolds clearly established the fact that belief was sacrosanct but that the state could regulate conduct. More recently, Justice Scalia was unambiguous in Employment Division v. Smith that there are no religious exceptions to otherwise valid laws. About eight years ago the Court refused to hear an almost identical case to Masterpiece (Elane Photography v. Willock). My I also mention that, in his opinion, Kennedy mentioned the applicability of Piggie Park Enterprises, 1968. The court, in a summary ruling, determined that a restaurant could not racially discriminate because of religious beliefs.

    Meanwhile, Arlene’s Flowers and Gifts (Barronelle Stutzman) is moving towards the Supreme Court and there will be others. There is ample precedent to sustain state and local laws barring discrimination. Thanks to a lazy electorate we got Agent Orange and thanks to him we got Gorsuch and Kavanaugh.

  • People (like Floyd Lee and Mark below) forget that having the right to do something doesn’t mean it is the right thing to do.

  • And soon they will join the heroic, saintly ranks of bakers and florists who oppose race mixing and refuse cakes and flowers for couples based on skin color.

  • Boy, is this article’s headline misleading! The Masterpiece Cakeshop has NOT ended, just the legal case. The business still has its doors open, and they are still making cakes for people.

    I predict that same-sex marriage will ALWAYS have a strong base of religious opponents, since major religious texts prohibit same-sex activity but do not prohibit interracial unions. The opposition to interracial marriage that was present several decades ago was never actually based on any tenets of Judeo-Christian values; rather, it stemmed from Darwinian notions of racial superiority.

  • “When the police came, I had the RIGHT to remain silent…I just didn’t have..the ABILITY” Comedian Ron White

  • So you believe that some pigs are more equal than others? That LGBTQ people are worthy of legal protection that members of the KKK aren’t? On what grounds?

  • From the way Colorado dropped this case, I’d guess that the politicians in that state think that isn’t a good trade-off.

  • Yes, one cannot violate the law in the name of religious freedom. But Jack Phillips did not violate the law. He did not deny service because the customers were gay. All we know is that the customers were gay, they were getting married, and that Jack Phillips refused to make a cake celebrating same sex marriage. There is no evidence that their sexual orientation was a factor in his decision.

  • True. But using the exact same logic that the Colorado Court of Appeals used in its 2015 ruling, Denial of service to the KKK would have been ruled discrimination against whites.

    “But for their sexual orientation, Craig and Mullins would not have sought to enter into a same-sex marriage, and but for their intent to do so, Masterpiece would not have denied them its services.” (paragraph 34)

    So let’s see how that very same “logic” would apply to a baker who refused the KKK.

    “But for their race, Bubba and Goober would not be hosting a KKK meeting, and but for their intent to do so, the merchant would not have denied them its services.”

  • Exactly. Which is why protestations that such business “have to serve the entire public” (see below for an example) may be disregarded as hypocritical.

  • For a couple of years now I have been asking for this so-called biblical case against miscegenation and racial integration. And all I ever get is an occasional reference to the “curse of Ham” (which is nowhere to be found in the Bible) and Leon Bazile’s personal musings about races and continents. Nothing from scripture at all.

    Technically the SCOTUS is not supposed to pass upon the legitimacy of religious belief, only on the sincerity of it — but make no mistake that they do. The much-touted Piggie Park case did not actually prioritize anti-discrimination laws over religious belief but dismissed the religious belief claim altogether as frivolous. Which it was — it was supported by absolutely nothing in either scripture or church tradition.

    Opposition to same-sex practice is an entirely different matter. The SCOTUS in Obergefell itself has already acknowledged its legitimate and historical religious foundations.

  • Opposition to interracial marriage had the same religious fervor and legal arguments as opposition to marriage equality. In most cases the opponents to both are the same people. They both sought the same ends and used the same methods. They are identical in their malice and dishonesty.

    There is no such thing as “Judeo Christian” teaching. It is simply a term used to pretend that Christian fundamentalist views represent the entirety of Christian and Jewish belief.

  • Yes, we already know that the Left intentionally set up anti-discrimination laws in a manner that would allow them to continue to refuse service to folks that they object to on moral grounds. Christians would like to enjoy the exact same right.

  • No, it is a reason why crappy analogy is a lousy argument to support your position.

    There is nothing in common between refusing to serve a class of customer and an inherently outrageous request for a product or service

  • Growing up Mormon, my socially liberal dad encouraged me to have diverse friendships, but still suggested that I avoid interracial dating specifically because of criticism at Church. He told me that it was my choice, as always, but that if I dated and married a girl of color, we would never hear the end of it in the Mormon Church. I remember that even decades after the 1978 so-called “Priesthood Revelation,” the Mormons were still discouraging interracial marriage. They did not drop that rusty ax until the possibility of legal same-sex marriage gave them a new boogeyman to rage against.

  • Yes he did. He violated the state anti discrimination laws. Hence the fine. You dishonest bigots cant even get the basic facts straight.

    “Refusing to bake a cake celebrating gay marriage” is functionally identical to refusing to bake a wedding cake for a gay couple.

    Rephrasing doesn’t change its nature or offense. The only difference between a gay wedding and any other wedding he catered to were the people involved are gay.

    You are admitting there was discrimination against gays here but just want to pretend it had an excuse.

  • Leon Bazile quoted Acts when he denied the Lovings the right to marry. Any Christian Identity site will give you a plethora of biblical citations on the subject.

    You are both a liar and willfully avoiding any education in the subject. Typical Shawnie.

  • “Saintly” is not in the Bible, it’s in an English dictionary.
    saint·ly
    /ˈsāntlē/
    adjective
    very holy or virtuous.
    “a truly saintly woman”
    synonyms: holy, godly, pious, God-fearing, religious, devout, spiritual, prayerful, blessed; More
    relating to a saint.
    “a crypt for some saintly relic”

  • Discrimination law is based on intent – not “functionality”. It is not against the law to deny service to a gay person. It is only against the law to deny him service because he is gay.

  • Let me see – the site is called “Religious News Service”.
    Someone comes along talking about saints, but we are not to think of Christian saints as the person would rather appear worldly.
    Cite your scripture.

  • You are still trying to make your own facts up here. No it isn’t.

    The only excuse for discrimination is that it wasn’t discrimination.

    You are admitting it was, but think rephrasing the action changed it. The intention was to deny a wedding cake, normally sold to the general public, in the ordinary course of business, to a couple getting married, because they were gay.

    The celebrating argument is boneheaded and half baked.

    It intentionality omits the only difference between this wedding and any other he allegedly “participated or endorsed”, is the couple involved are gay. So he refused to sell the cake because they were gay.

    Btw the “they found buy stuff off he shelf” argument only reinforced discriminatory intent. Gay couples are the only people restricted from access to all wares sold and only because they are fat.

  • That isn’t true. Race has been a legally accepted protected class for over half a century. The government has an established motive to override religious conscience in that matter.

    The SCOTUS has yet to recognize similar classification to the LGBTQIA community. But the slippery slope argument remains a fallacy for a reason.

  • Your charge that I make up fact is baseless. Every fact that I stated comes directly from the undisputed statement of facts as found in the official Colorado court rulings. What is not a fact is your made up claim that ” he refused to sell the cake because they were gay.”

  • “Leon Bazile quoted Acts” How would you know? You don’t read.

    Here is the much-bandied-about quote: “Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, malay and red, and he placed them on separate continents. And but for the interference with his arrangement there would be no cause for such marriages. The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix.”

    That’s it. Nothing from scripture, nothing from church tradition. Nothing but Bazile’s personal opinions and inferences.

    Much like your posts.

  • Not much of a response. Nor a denial of your omissions. It doesn’t matter if you didn’t think it was a proper use of scripture. It was used as such regardless.

    It was used like every other bigot who claims Gods word absolves them if treating people as human beings.
    Just
    Like
    You

  • “Proper” does not enter into it. It was no use of scripture at all, proper or otherwise. Which you’d know if you had ever opened a bible on your own.

  • You are deliberately avoiding the logical conclusion of your argument because of its scripted nature.

    You are lying nonetheless. The triers if fact already proved discrimination happened. Phillips did not dispute it. His argument was that it was somehow excusable because it was “compelled speech”. Those arguments were never heard or evaluated.

    He refused to bake a cake for a couple, for their wedding, because they were gay. That’s all it was. You have no argument. Your attempt to rephrase it dies not refute the actions here.
    You have nothing here.

  • Spuddie, I’m gonna assume that when you go out in public, you don’t spend hours trying to find people you can vehemently disagree with, but that seems to be the entire mission of your online involvement. Almost every comment you post seems to be soaked in contempt for others who have different viewpoints than you do. You can’t hate people into agreeing with you, dude, nor can you loathe them out of existence. Maybe it’s time to try a new approach?

  • Cyber-belligerence is a frequent outlet for real-life frustrations and disappointment. Take it with the grain of salt it deserves.

  • What “triers of fact”? The bigoted Commissioners of the Colorado Civil Rights Commission?

    Yes, Phillips did dispute it. He has said all along that he did not deny them service because they were gay.

  • So you are left with condescending poo flinging.

    I can’t help it if you give us scripted revisionist nonsense.

    But there you are.

    The religious right are literally the descendants of segregationists. Both historically and politically.

  • Have you talked to Bob Jones, Sr?😀

    You are trying to deny Christians used scripture to support racism. There is literally centuries of history to the contrary. This is another one of those things where you feel like flat out lying about in order to preserve a perceived reputation of Christendom. Not the first. Will not be the last.

  • …other then the example used in the analogy. It has already been tried in the courts.

    The bigots lost because the vendors were still willing to provide the service and let the customer put whatever offensive speech they wanted, to customize it.

  • Yeah, Joseph Smith (in his written works such as the Book of Mormon and The Pearl of Great Price) strongly connected one’s skin color to one’s moral/spiritual standing. Definitely not a biblical idea, but a view given a lot of credence by some folks during the period when Smith was writing.

  • The outcome of this case is that I generally avoid any small business that puts religiosity out there as part of their business model. I am not going to vote for bigots with my consumer dollars.

  • That is a gross oversimplification and it is 1878.

    Reynolds v. United States, 98 U.S. 145 (1878), was a Supreme Court of the United States case that held that religious duty was not a defense to a criminal indictment, specifically dealing with polygamists in Utah.

    Masterpiece Cakeshop was not indicated for a criminal act.

  • Joseph Smith actually ordained men of color to his Mormon priesthood. Mormon racism actually began with Brigham Young who told black priesthood holders that they could not use their priesthood authority and then banned ordaining anyone else of African descent from the Mormon priesthood. That’s why the 1978 “Priesthood Revelation” is such a farce to Jack Mormons like me, it’s really a “revelation” to retire the bigotry of Brigham Young without owning up to it.

  • The federal district court as well. You are trying to make up facts which were not there.

    He did deny them service because they were gay. He just thought he had an excuse. Hence the compelled speech and custom goods argument. He thought it was an exception. Not truly open commerce.

    Refusing to sell a cake for a gay wedding is identical to refusing a cake to a couples wedding because they were gay.

  • What with all these “centuries of history” to the contrary you’d think someone could come up with something, no matter how small, from scripture to support it. But, nothing.

    You have no more idea what the “scriptural case” for miscegenation laws consists of than what the “scriptural case” for same-sex marriage is. You appear to be sure that they exist, however, if someone would just pleeeease tell you what they are.

    The answer is, neither one exists.

  • That’s why I just simply boycott any small business that uses their religiosity as a feature of their business model. I don’t wait for them to discriminate. I just don’t do business there. I grew up Mormon in an era when the holy hypocrites hated Mormons as much as people of color. My mother-in-law had a whole side business of doing custom wedding cakes for Mormons because most private bakeries in that era would discriminate against Mormon wedding cake requests. So, I have never been a fan of businesses that literally wear their religiosity on their sleeves as part of doing business. And my dad helped shaped my view.

    As a kid seeing the business district of Salt Lake City for the first time, my dad told us, “These stores all used to be owned and operated by Jews and Catholics. Do you kids know why? Because even back then, everyone knew better than to do business with the Mormons.”

    And if you can’t trust Mormons in business, you sure as heck can’t trust most openly religious business owners.

  • First, time doesn’t mean anything or Plessy would still be the law of the land—as it was for sixty years. Second, the 14th Amendment wasn’t intended to apply to private businesses, as a simple reading makes clear. Third, the point of the 14th Amendment was to require the state governments to treat those of differing races THE SAME as everyone else, not differently. So if the baker is required to provide a custom cake to a same-sex wedding, then the Jewish restaurateur is required to cater a KKK meeting.

  • There has never been a test case in which the government tried to trump the First Amendment with the Civil Rights Act.

    The classification of race is totally based on that Act, and the Federal government only has the jurisdiction to accomplish it because of the Interstate Commerce Clause, which does NOT pertain to professional services.

  • Exactly.

    Folks go on about these matters as though they actually understood the laws and the Constitution, and they do not.

  • Part of the consideration of the Masterpiece case was that the Colorado Civil Rights Commission pretty much did that – the Commission knew what it liked, what it didn’t like, and rather skipped the little details about things like law.

  • LOL! I love the passive aggressive “Sorry you felt that way” nonpology. It puts a cute spin on what amounted to trying to save face with an argument.

    Much like “I will pray for you ”

    🙂

  • I hear ya. I just keep holding out hope for those elusive friendly disagreements in which people walk away from a discussion with slightly more respect for one another than when they started. I may not always start things out on the right foot as far as that goes, but it’d sure be nice if more people could at least try to keep things civil.

  • Actually it IS in the Bible.

    For example, in the Revised Standard Version 4 Maccabees 9:25 reads:

    “When he had said this, the saintly youth broke the thread of life.”

  • Ah yes, Bray v Alexandria ….. Where SCOTUS said that generally you cannot prove animus (intent) just because a targeted activity is “engaged in exclusively or predominantly by a particular class of people.” The yarmulke example was presented as a special case where one could infer intent. Let’s look at what Scalia actually said:

    “Some activities may be such an irrational object of disfavor that, if they are targeted, and if they also happen to be engaged in exclusively or predominantly by a particular class of people, an intent to disfavor that class can readily be presumed. A tax on wearing yarmulkes is a tax on Jews.”

    Note that the reasoning behind the yarmulke example entails 3 conditions:
    1) An activity is targeted
    2) That activity is “engaged in exclusively or predominantly by a particular class of people”.
    3) It is so irrational to disfavor that activity that “an intent to disfavor that class can readily be presumed.”

    The yarmulke example is fairly direct: 1) A tax on wearing yarmulkes targets the wearing of yarmulkes. 2) Wearing yarmulkes is an activity “engaged in exclusively or predominantly” by Jews. 3) A tax on the wearing of a yarmulke is so irrational that “an intent to disfavor [Jews] can readily be presumed.”

    Not so for the Masterpiece case. In fact, basic analysis shows that only one of the conditions is met:
    1) Yes, an activity is targeted. So, the first condition is satisfied. But let’s be clear about what that activity is. It’s not the marriage itself (which the baker has nothing to do with). It’s the celebration of the marriage. In particular, it’s the ceremonial festivities that revolve around the wedding cake. The activity the baker targets is the festivities, not the marriage itself.
    2) The festivities that accompany same sex marriage are not “engaged in exclusively or predominantly” by gays, but rather by a diverse group of people – family and friends, gay and straight alike. So, condition 2 is not met.
    3) It is no more irrational to disfavor the festivities that accompany same sex marriage than it is to disfavor any other festivities one disagrees with. Some people disagree with Christmas festivities. Some disagree with 4th of July festivities, or Columbus Day festivities etc., etc. If you disagree with a festivity, there is nothing irrational about refusing to create any symbolism in support of it.

    So only one of the three conditions is met, while three out of three are required. In the actual Bray’s case (blocking of abortion clinics) conditions 1 and 2 were met, but not condition 3.

  • Odd, then, the the owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop not only had served this gay couple a number of times before, he employed gay employees.

  • Time means something, because it lends strength to a precedent.

    Whatever the 14th amendment originally intended, regulation of the private sector to guarantee access to protected classes has long been an inferred part of its meaning, especially since the Civil Rights Act’s passage.

    The KKK is not a race or protected class.

  • Here is a little test for you: what Federal District Court heard the Masterpiece Cakeshop case before the SCOTUS?

  • A request to cater a KKK meeting is an “inherently outragous request?” What is inherently outrageous about roast beef sliders and cheesecake bites?

  • If he refused to bake a cake for a couple because they were gay, how do you explain the fact that the record showed that he had baked cakes for THE VERY SAME COUPLE IN THE PAST and only drew the line when they requested a wedding cake?

  • Plenty of other examples of people finding Biblical authority to condemn interracial marriage
    https://www.splcenter.org/hatewatch/2014/02/19/tennessee-pastor-rails-against-interracial-marriage

    Biblical passages used to condemn interracial marriage:
    http://www.religioustolerance.org/marracbib.htm

    Lets not forget we have entire sects who were formed just to enforce racism as God’s Word such as the Southern Baptists.

    Christian Conservatives became a recognized political force from their support of racial segregation. So it is not surprising they want to revive a new form of segregation now.
    https://slate.com/human-interest/2014/05/the-religious-right-formed-around-support-for-segregation-not-against-abortion.html

    https://www.christiancentury.org/blog-post/liberty-university-your-roots-are-showing
    “We might think that the conservative movement formed to fight feminism and same-sex love, but it actually came into being with segregation and Civil Rights. “

  • You win. I just edited my comment.
    And soon they will join the heroic ranks of bakers and florists who oppose race mixing and refuse cakes and flowers for couples based on skin color.

  • “Whatever the 14th Amendment originally intended” is the voice of the people and the supreme law of the land in a constitutional federal republic. It can not be airily dismissed simply because our government has lost sight of that fact for some years.

  • Then you’ll be pleased to know that I am not sorry that you felt that way and I won’t be praying for you.

  • “Opposition to interracial marriage had the same religious fervor and legal arguments as opposition to marriage equality.”

    You have never been able to support this with anything other than some general allegations.

  • According to your analogy. But of course you always ignore the legal distinctions between protected groups and the subjects of your examples.

    Hence you spend more time trying to defend an analogy than provide a coherent position. Which is fine when one’s position is inherently indefensible as yours is here.

  • So the language of a law passed decades or a century ago is the voice of the people and the supreme law of the land, but the actual way that the people and their current law makers understand it has no bearing?

    Either the voice of the people means something, or you want the voice of dead people to have greater weight than the living. You can’t really have it both ways.

  • There is an excellent “scriptural case” for same-sex marriage. There is proof, in accordance with traditional principles of scriptural interpretation, that the Bible reveals God’s will in favor of same-sex marriage by the Church — that God wills the Church marry homosexuals just as it marries heterosexuals. The affirmative proof, together with corrections of the several confusions and fallacies that conservatives offer, is stated in my essay, which has been critiqued by many mature and learned conservative Christians, including seminary professors, but not refuted in any significant part. For that proof, ask for a copy of my essay by email: [email protected]

  • Well, Spud, I don’t feel like I can apologize for something I didn’t do (act condescending towards you), but I can apologize for the unintended consequences (your miffed perceptions) of my words. No aggressiveness intended, passive or otherwise.

  • Don’t particularly care here. If you want to see plenty of examples of Christians using the Bible to support racism, you can see a post downthread that I gave to Shawnie.

    It took two generations for conservative Christians to abandon racism as their theological default. Only because it became politically, financially and legally inconvenient to maintain it. Now you guys try to tramp stamp the Civil Rights movement in the name of Christianity in its entirety. In about the same time people like yourself will be trying to take credit for gay rights in the same way.

  • Your first cite provided no scripture. It presented someone’s opinion that Eve mated with Satan to produce Cain who produced the black race, an idea nowhere to be found in scripture. Genesis clearly states that Adam mated with Eve, his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain.

    Your second link provides a laundry list of biblical exhortations to the Israelites not to intermarry with Canaanites, which are irrelevant because the Canaanites were not black — although they WERE idol-worshippers and practitioners of human sacrifice, particularly child-sacrifice, which God quite understandably did not want among His people. Also a few scriptures about mixing species of plants or animals, which are likewise irrelevant because blacks are obviously not a different species.

    Your third and fourth links provided no scripture at all but were merely opinion pieces about the religious right. Not interested.

    You get an F.

  • The language of a law duly ratified (not “passed,” because we’re not talking ordinary law here but the Constitution) is the law until it is just as duly amended by the people themselves, not by nine (and often as few as five) oligarchs in black robes.

    That is why our Constitution is written and not made up as we go along as in the UK.

  • Mark, this was a clear violation of the civil rights act of 1964, which forbids discrimination on the basis of religious belief in public accommodations. It was a clear violation of the laws of the state of Colorado, which for bids discrimination on the basis of religious belief and on the basis of sexual orientation in public accommodations.

    Either we are going to allow such discrimination, or we are not. There is no middle ground as far as I can see. If it is allowed for fundamentalist Christians to discriminate against gay people by claiming that it’s all about the religious beliefs, then there is no limit to what can be claimed as a right of conscience and religious belief. But of course, they don’t really believe anything about this right of conscience nonsense, as they continue to try to forbid women to have the right of conscience about abortion or birth control.

    My own opinion is that the government Should not be in the business of supporting or subsidizing religious discrimination and religious intolerance. Finding exceptions to these laws simply underlines why we have them in the first place.

  • You do not want to go through the links. So much work to do. Again, I couldn’t care less what you think of the Bible quotes used by racists here. Your take on such things is immaterial. The fact remains it has been used in such a way. They were Christians, they used the Bible for the same purposes as anti-gay bigots use it now.

    One of the joys of Christian fundamentalism is to pretend to be the sole voice of Jesus Christ on Earth and the official interpreter of the Bible. You make that quite clear. 🙂

    I can understand the need of conservative Christians to cover up their segregationist roots. It doesn’t look good nowadays. But it is not something people have to play along with.

  • Our Constitution is written giving the courts a place in interpreting the law. Their opinion is more authoritative than a layman’s.

  • Interpreting it, yes, but making it up out of thin air, no.

    Excuse me if I am under-impressed with the opinions of “authority” figures — we repudiated both monarchy and oligarchy some time ago. SCOTUS justices are human beings with biases exactly like any other appointed public figure. That is why we have checks and balances, with the supreme power residing in the people.

  • Implication is not “making it up out of thin air.”

    The people put the judges in their seats through their elected officials. If they do not have power, then the people do not have power.

  • I went through the links, Einstein. They were garbage, as I clearly demonstrated.

    The people to whom you refer “used the Bible” to support miscegenation law in exactly the same sense as one might “interpret” the verse “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want” to mean “The rain in Spain falls mainly on the plain” and offer it to support a rainy weather forecast.

    But we can all understand how you “couldn’t care less” about facts that wipe out your arguments. What else is new?

  • I don’t dispute that plenty of self-identifying Christians in history, both conservative and liberal, have tried to use the Bible to support their own preconceptions. It’s a shame, I agree. On the other hand, many devout Christians were also key figures in the abolition of slavery and during the Civil Rights movement. Would you agree?

  • http://www.religioustolerance.org/marracbib.htm

    Anti-miscegenationists — persons opposed to interracial marriage — come in a variety of types:.. Many use verses and phrases from the Hebrew and Christian scriptures (Old and New Testaments) to justify their ban on interracial marriage. In contrast, most theologians have given these same passages a non-racial interpretation.

    Some of the passages are:

    Genesis 28:1: “And Isaac called Jacob, and blessed him, and charged him, and said unto him, Thou shalt not take a wife of the daughters of Canaan.”

    Anti-miscegenationists typically interpret this verse after assuming that the Hebrews and Canaanites were of different races. Thus inter-marriage was forbidden on racial grounds.

    Leviticus 19:19: “Ye shall keep my statutes. Thou shalt not let thy cattle gender with a diverse kind …”
    “Gender” is translated as “mate” or “breed” in other English translations of the Bible. The term “kind” in the Bible can refer to a species of animal. However, creationists sometimes define “kind” as one created species (e.g. a proto-horse) from which many types of closely related animals (e.g. horse, zebra, donkey, perhaps even deer) developed.

    In this passage, the term “diverse kind” probably refers to different breeds of cattle. Today, this passage might refer to interbreeding of Holsteins and Guernsey’s. This verse is part of the Holiness Code that was intended to keep behaviors of the Hebrews’ different from that of the surrounding cultures. Most Jewish and Christian theologians believe that the Code does not apply to non-Jews.

    Deuteronomy 7:2-3: “And when the LORD thy God shall deliver them before thee; thou shalt smite them, and utterly destroy them; thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor shew mercy unto them: Neither shalt thou make marriages with them; thy daughter thou shalt not give unto his son, nor his daughter shalt thou take unto thy son.

    This is one of the passages in the Pentateuch — the first five books in the Bible — in which God orders the ancient Hebrews to engage in genocide against other tribes. They were to kill every elder, adult, youth, child, infant and newborn from among the Amorites, Canaanites, Girgashites, Hittites, Hivites, Jebusites, and Perizzites without mercy.

    Anti-miscegenationists typically regard this as racially-based. However, a near consensus of Christian theologians regard this as religiously-based. God’s concern appears to be that the Hebrews would marry Pagan polytheists, adopt the religions of the neighboring tribes, abandon worship of Yahweh, and become polytheistic.

    Deuteronomy 22:9: “Thou shalt not sow thy vineyard with divers seeds: lest the fruit of thy seed which thou hast sown, and the fruit of thy vineyard, be defiled.”

    The meaning of this verse is obscure in the King James Version. However, the New Living Translation describes this prohibiting the sowing another species of plant between the rows of grape bushes in a vineyard. If a farmer did this, he was forbidden to make use of either crop. If this verse is to be interpreted in terms of human mating, it would appear to refer to bestiality — sexual behavior between a human and an animal. It appears to be unrelated to interracial marriage.

    Deuteronomy 23:2: “A bastard shall not enter into the congregation of the LORD; even to his tenth generation shall he not enter into the congregation of the LORD.”

    This verse is sometimes interpreted by anti-miscegenationists as implying that the children of a mixed-race couple, and their grandchildren etc., even onto the tenth generation, could not enter the temple. There is a general consensus among theologians that this passage refers to a child born outside of a marriage relationship, regardless of the race(s) of its parents.

    Jeremiah 13:23: “Can an Ethiopian change the color of his skin? Can a leopard take away its spots? Neither can you start doing good, for you have always done evil.”

    At least one white supremacist group interprets this passage as implying that one cannot start with a Black-White interracial couple and produce White offspring. 2 However the clear sense of the verse appears to be that if a person has habitually committed evil deeds, it is almost impossible for them to change completely and start going only good.
    Sponsored link:

    Acts 17:24-26: “God … hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation …”

    Because of their conservative Christian faith, essentially all anti-miscegenationists believe that every human is a descendent of Adam and Eve. However, they believe that at some point in history, God intentionally separated people into different races, each in a different area of the world.

  • Businesses exist and operate solely at the discretion of government and are subject to whatever non-discrimination rules the government sets down for them in dealing with the public. A lot of business owners seem to have a problem with that, but that’s their problem. Businesses are not private citizens and do not enjoy the same freedoms that individuals do.

  • Oh, then explain to me how a constitutional amendment whose own text uses explicitly GENDER-LIMITING language can be understood to “imply” the requirement of gender equality in laws.

    Explain how the constitution gives the federal government a say in abortion, which is mentioned nowhere in the constitution, when the 10th Amendment clearly states that any matter not expressly delegated to the federal government is reserved to the states.

  • So you are now revising your prior position of:
    “The opposition to interracial marriage that was present several decades ago was never actually based on any tenets of Judeo-Christian teaching”

    The problem you have is you think issues of civil liberties, discrimination and bigotry should be discussed in a polite genteel fashion. They don’t. One does not make efforts to make bigotry civil and polite. Doing so is immoral and unethical.

  • I read that one, too. As I stated before, those verses fall into two categories. One against species-mixing, which is inapplicable because black and white are not different species, and second against intermarrying with Canaanites, which is also inapplicable because Canaanites were not black. You still fail — and you usually will when you have zero first-hand knowledge of the topic but must scour Google for all your answers.

  • Don’t waste your time.
    Spuddie’s the type of guy that can witness the most beautiful sunrise imaginable; and still complain that the sun is in his eyes….
    Then call you a m0r0n just for wishing him a good morning…

  • Masculine language has been used as the default neuter pronoun in English for centuries.

    The Federal Government was delegated authority in the power of the judicial branch. It has valid authority to decide that the 14th amendment’s guarantee of rights extends to privacy, and privacy extends to a person’s body.

    And you want that. Otherwise, the Constitution gives no guarantee that you own your own organs, or that you have a right not to be secretly video taped in your own home, etc.

  • Further uhm, Bob Jones University v. United States, 461 U.S. 574 (1983) was not a First Amendment case.

  • How/where did I revise my statement?

    Sure, in general I think matters of social change should be discussed with civility and kindness. I guess when it comes to discussing these issues, I prefer a “Martin Luther King, Jr.” approach to your “Malcolm X” style.

  • The default neuter pronoun is not what I’m talking about. The 14th Amendment explicitly states that “when the right to vote at any election…is denied to any of the MALE inhabitants of such State, being twenty-one years of age, and citizens of the United States, or in any way abridged, except for participation in rebellion, or other crime, the basis of representation therein shall be reduced in the proportion which the number of such male citizens shall bear to the whole number of MALE citizens twenty-one years of age in such State.”

    An amendment adopted presupposing gender inequality in federal elections can hardly be legitimately interpreted to require gender equality. The rules of statutory construction do not allow laws to be interpreted in such a way as to nullify themselves — unless one is an unelected oligarch, I suppose.

    There is no right to privacy in the constitution. There is a prohibition upon unwarranted searches and seizures but abortion does not involve either.

  • “plenty of self-identifying Christians in history, both conservative and liberal, have tried to use the Bible to support their own preconceptions”

    Refutes

    “The opposition to interracial marriage that was present several decades ago was never actually based on any tenets of Judeo-Christian teaching”

    Unless you want to give me the standard excuse that they weren’t “real” Christians for some self-serving self-defined reasons. 🙂

  • Prior service is irrelevant and the proprietor has no way of knowing if he has served gay people in the past. It is an assumption. I can be served countless times knowing that I am Jewish but if the same owner refuses to make a bar mitzvah cake for my nephew it is unquestionably an act of anti-Semitism and a violation of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

  • Tell it to current Rep Steven King and the neo-nazi organization which does campaign work for him

  • But it doesn’t count because you don’t agree with the writer’s interpretation. Being the self-styled sole voice of Jesus Christ on Earth. 🙂

  • The vote was extended to women by the 21st amendment, so the 14th’s meaning is changed in respect to the later amendment.

    There is no explicit right to privacy in the constitution. But it is implicit to protection from quartering soldiers, self-incrimination, and unwarranted searches.

  • Their gayness, and the gayness of his employees, and his awareness of both was part of the record of the case.

    Also part of the record of the case was that he had refused to bake such things as Halloween cakes because he believed it to be a pagan celebration.

    As to a bar mitzvah cake, it would depend on why he would not design and bake one as to whether you had legal recourse.

  • The KKK are not worthy of legal protection because there is no law that I know of in any locale that would make them members of a protected class. If you know differently …

  • What Masterpiece Cake Shop means is that Phillips’ supporters are Trump supporters. What that means is that some totally irrelevant cake shop guy leveraged the United States of America to today announce, through Pompeo, that this government will disregard the human rights records of countries all over the world if Donald Trump thinks it advantageous in some manner to do so.

  • “What Masterpiece Cake Shop means is that Phillips’ supporters are” supporters of the First Amendment.

  • No, each of those protections is very clear and explicit – no “penumbras” in any of them.

  • Correct. They cannot be discriminated against for membership in any protected class established by applicable law. However, they can be discriminated against for membership in the KKK. It is perfectly legal.

    In Alabama it is illegal to discriminate against me because I am Jewish. However, it is perfectly legal to refuse service to me and my boyfriend because I am gay — regardless of my religion.

  • Being part of the record only means that the argument was posited. The ruling makes no mention. The refusal to bake Halloween cakes is irrelevant because people who want those are not members of a protected class due to their consumption of the cakes.

    Reasons for not baking the cake other than anti-Semitism would be an affirmative defense to a charge of discrimination. However, the logical conclusion is to the contrary which would render the complaint relevant.

  • Yeah, I said the opposition that was present (meaning among the general population, both Christians and non-Christians) had no basis in Judeo-Christian teaching (which is founded upon the Bible). No revisions/refutations whatsoever in saying that some people try to use the Bible for their own purposes.

  • Consider also that a ruling against people like Philips would potentially require an advocate for gay rights to create a commissioned work for a protest by the Westboro Baptist Church. After all, religion is a protected class. I don’t see how a refusal to make a work for a same-sex wedding is more or less related to their membership in a protected class than is refusal to make a work for the exercise of religious activity.

  • The meaning of the 14th Amendment, what it was ratified in order to accomplish, was not changed by any subsequent developments in election law. It can only be changed by another amendment. The 14th was not ratified for the purpose of gender equality. The people never voted for that. When the people were given the opportunity to vote for it back in the 70s it was declined.

    No, in a government based on enumerated powers the right to privacy is not “implied” from any specified rights. The Ninth Amendment according to Madison was put in place to keep the federal government from exceeding its boundaries by means of such broad interpretations of the constitution.

  • ” had no basis in Judeo-Christian teaching (which is founded upon the Bible). No revisions/refutations whatsoever in saying that some people try to use the Bible for their own purposes.”

    An entirely self-defined nonsense argument to mean anything you disagree with at the moment.

    Somehow those Christians are only “self-defining” Christians. Because you say so. And their beliefs, despite being founded upon the Bible and using the same kind of proof texting arguments as you would use, don’t really count. Again, because you say so.

    1) The racists were Christians who believed the Bible supported their position and were willing to quote and interpret scripture in service of their position.

    2) The anti-gay bigots are Christians who believe the Bible supports their position and are willing to quote and interpret scripture in service of their positions.

    Identical in how they considered themselves and how they believed God’s word supported their position and how they presented their positions. They are even identical in their motivation. Religious excuses for malice, prejudice and discrimination.

    But I am supposed to believe there is some mythical distinction that one was really Christian and based on “Judeo-Christian teaching” (an entirely fictional designation anyway) and the other was not.

    I can’t even pretend that was meant as a serious argument on your part.

  • I mentioned this in a separate comment, but I want to direct this at your particular line of reasoning. Let’s say members of the Westboro Baptist Church walk into the print shop of a gay rights activist and request a large banner with a typical WBC slogan. Is the print shop owner discriminating against the WBC members because of their religion? Their religious identity and the message are tightly tied up together. Maybe not, since there is an actual message on the banner. Maybe that’s where we draw the line.

    But suppose instead of asking for a banner with a specific message, instead they ask for a custom design that will accompany and serve as a background for signs that the WBC members will make themselves. The design features colors and symbols important to the WBC, but nothing that could be considered an overt message. If the printer refuses, is that discrimination? The only difference between that custom design and any other is the religious purpose that it will be used for.

    If you’re ok with forcing the printer in that case to print the banner, I disagree, but you’re being consistent. If not, I think it’s hypocrisy.

  • And for sixty years, it was inferred that “Separate But Equal” was not prohibited by the 14th Amendment. So please explain how an amendment intended to see to it that all races would be treated the same by state governments now requires special protections for some not available to others in a matter of private business.

  • “According to your analogy.” No, according to your wildly irrelevant response. Only you brought up some nonexistent “inherently outrageous request.”

    “But of course you always ignore the legal distinctions between protected groups and the subjects of your examples.” The whole point of my comment was the “legal distinctions” between protected and unprotected. It makes a mockery of the claim that a business has to “serve the entire public.”

  • So please explain how an amendment intended to require state governments to treat all races the same now grants special protections to some that aren’t available to all.

  • That’s easy. Because of judicial activism and the blatant repudiation of the 9th and 10th Amendments.

  • I can’t help it if you base arguments on intentional omission of legal issues and facts. But that is the problem with using analogy in lieu of a supportable argument.

  • The Canaanites were not black. That is an anthropologically verifiable fact.

    Black and white are not separate species. That is also an anthropologically verifiable fact.

    If you know something to the contrary feel free to share.

  • You can’t help much of anything, can you Tater?

    It was not even my analogy. It was Doug’s. My point was ABOUT those supposedly omitted issues and facts and the hypocrisy that results from them. Work on your reading comprehension.

  • Separate by equal was based upon the assumption that such a policy could be carried out. Reality showed that there was no equality in the actual practice. The later end to Plessy was just a natural recognition of its logic: since “separate by equal” is unrealistic, separate and unequal is unacceptable.

    Race is a specified protected class. Political opinion is not.

  • What do you think the yarmulke example means? You need to read the whole thing in context (It’s from Bray v Alexandria Women’s Health Clinic . I tried to quote the entire paragraph, but that caused my post to be detected as spam. I’ve sent the moderator a notice that it’s not spam, so maybe it will get posted later. Meanwhile please look it up yourself. I think yo will find that it does not say what you think.

  • Yes. I have read the rulings several times each. And the arguments used by the judges to justify the rulings against Phillips are so poor that it looks like they had already decided the verdict ahead of time and just needed to come up with ways to rationalize it.

  • See my prior comment. Your take on the Bible verses and interpretations means zilch here. Only that Christians used scripture to justify their positions.

    They used the same form of proof-texting and self serving interpretations as you do.

    Go figure.

    Methodologies don’t change one bit, only the people on the receiving end of Bible thumping malice.

  • More damning was the anti-religious outbursts of the Civil Rights Commission’s commissioners.

  • “The ruling makes no mention.” of the couple being denied a custom cake because they were gay.

    The refusal to bake Halloween cakes was considered because it established that he consistently observed his religious beliefs in his business and what he would and would not do.

  • Its not like you are ignorant of why your analogies are terrible. You know better but choose to repeat the false argument.

  • I really hope that I misunderstand your argument. Are you suggesting that Jack Phillips discriminated against the couple because of the couple’s religious beliefs? If so, what’s the evidence that he even knew their religion, much less discriminated against that basis.

    The stunningly ignorant argument that you appear to be making is that Phillips discriminated on the basis of Phillips’ religious belief, which would be a totally off-the-wall interpretation of the Civil Rights Act that has no foundation in the text of the statute or the subsequent case law interpreting the statute. Were that the case, Phillips would have been violating the Civil Rights Act by refusing to make a Halloween cake.

    I think everyone is in agreement that freedom of conscience doesn’t permit someone to do whatever they want. You mentioned abortion, which has as much to do with freedom of conscience as infanticide has to do with freedom of conscience.

    And the main argument that Phillips has advanced (and was advanced in the amicus briefs in his case before the supreme court) was not arguing for an exception, but rather that refusal to engage in expressive conduct that a person disagrees with is not discrimination based on a protected class, but is an exercise of the right to refrain from engaging in compelled speech. There are all sorts of good arguments about where to draw the line on what constitutes speech, whether a commissioned work constitutes speech of the one creating the work, and a host of other issues. But it’s worth framing the argument right to begin with.

  • The attempts to “falsely equate interracial marriage and gay ‘marriage'” are part of the overall very professionally crafted and expensively executed propaganda to equate racial discrimination with the LGBT agenda.

  • The owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop did what he did because he believed it to be the right thing to do.

  • No, he discriminated against them because of his. does it make a difference? Not to the law.
    It’s a cake. He sells cakes. If he had to write a message on the cake, you and I would be in agreement. Instead, he is claiming that having to make the cake means that he is participating in a wedding. He is not. His opinion is not being asked, he is not being told to say anything. He is making a cake.
    Infanticide is the killing of an infant., I see no infant, I see a mother making a difficult choice, a choice about her own body, as a matter of conscience. Her conscience tells her she is not murdering anyone. if she thought she was murdering someone, she probably would not do it. you simply want the right to make her decisions ofconscience based upon your conscience, not hers.

  • “No, he discriminated against them because of his” Care to complete that thought?

    Replace the word “cake” with “sculpture” in your argument and see if you still agree. Or better yet, see above where I presented a hypothetical to Spuddie, and see if you still agree.

    From the moment of conception, an embryo/fetus is a unique and distinct organism from the mother. So to say an infant has rights but a fetus doesn’t only kicks the can down the road. Why does an infant have rights but a fetus not? I’m not saying that there aren’t valid arguments that a distinct human organism does not have a fundamental right to life prior to birth (although I think those arguments are ultimately unpersuasive). What I’m saying is that whether it is a matter of conscience depends on the assumptions you begin with. Surely you wouldn’t make the same argument in defense of a mother who gives birth to a healthy baby and immediately kills the baby. I’m certain you wouldn’t say that someone wishing to punish that kind of behavior is seeking the right to make her decision based on their own conscience.

  • Businesses exist and operate at the discretion of government? Where on Earth did you get that from in a free society? The man wasn’t refusing regular service to these people, only special services. There were many other places today could have gone to to get what they wanted or they could have baked it themselves.

  • False. He wasn’t refusing them service for regular cakes, only custom cakes that violated his religious beliefs. He won’t bake cakes for Halloween either for the same reason. Move on to another baker who will. That’s the beauty of the free market.

  • The only terrible analogy in your world is one that doesn’t work for you.

    Back under your rock.

  • “From the moment of conception, an embryo/fetus is a unique and distinct organism from the mother.”
    Tell that to the supreme court. When I see that unique and distinct organism, outside of the mother and not dependent on the mother for its existence, you may be ablew to convince me.

  • “Tell that to the supreme court.” Please. You’re better than this argument. Think carbon dioxide is a pollutant? Tell that to the Supreme Court! Think corporations and unions should be limited in how much they spend in political campaigns? Tell that to the Supreme Court! Think the Constitution prohibits sending public funds to religious organizations for non-religious programs? Tell that to the Supreme Court!

    “When I see that unique and distinct organism, [sic] outside of the mother and not dependent on the mother for its existence, you may be ablew [sic] to convince me.” Why is this the line that we should draw? This is the kind of dogma unsupported by reason that you say you despise from religious people. By the way, an infant is also totally dependent on others for its existence, more or less to the same extent that a viable fetus is dependent. The difference between the two is about two inches of skin, muscle, and other tissue.

  • Yes, Moses’ first wife actually WAS a black woman, an Ethiopian. Josephus identifies her by name as Thaurbis.

    I loved the way Cecil B. DeMille sneaked her into “The Ten Commandments” without being too overt, conscious of the mores of the times. The same way he quietly smoothed over Ramses and Nefertiri being siblings.

  • “The law should make it abundantly clear that if you do business in the public realm you must serve the entire public, meaning everyone, not just those you like or those of whose life choices you approve.”

    Of course that would not have affected the Masterpiece Cakeshop case at all.

  • “Businesses exist and operate solely at the discretion of government” comes from an alternate reality.

    According to the Supreme Court in the Hobby Lobby case businesses can enjoy the same freedoms that individuals do.

  • A quick look at what the SPLC classifies as hate groups makes clear that the SPLC is a hate group.

    All of your case cites hinge on defense based on religious grounds.

    Masterpiece hinged on Free Speech.

  • “The only excuse for discrimination is that it wasn’t discrimination.”

    Not at all.

    Also, the Masterpiece Cakeshop case did NOT deal with denial of a wedding cake sold to the general public.

    It dealt with a refusal to design a custom cake for a particular purpose.

    That is not ordinary business commerce selling identical cakes in a row on a shelf.

  • I hesitate to point out that she just demonstrated that “Only that Christians used scripture to justify their positions.” is untenable.

    They make things up to justify their positions that have no basis at all in Scriptures.

  • Exactly like the so-called case for same-sex marriage.

    It’s taking what you want and trying to jam it into scripture and make it fit. Not starting from scripture and then adapting your wants and actions accordingly.

    This is how easy divorce and remarriage infected the Church, as well. And we’re all paying the price for it.

  • LOL! Republicans literally run on racism as a party platform and they think they can shame others on the subject?

  • So he discriminated between his gay customers and everyone else by refusing to sell wares he normally sold in the course of business and available to all customers. The only difference between those couples he normally made wedding cakes for and this one, were the fact that this couple was gay.

    It doesn’t matter if he claimed it violated his religious beliefs. If he was so deranged by religious based malice and incivility, he should not have a store open to the general public. Your religious beliefs are no excuse for attacking others. Discrimination is an attack on customers in open commerce. He broke the anti-discrimination laws of the state. He did so intentionally.

    “He won’t bake cakes for Halloween either for the same reason”

    Now you are making up your own facts.

  • Too bad a moral, dedicated, hard working, highly in demand baker doesn’t deserve to own a business here in America in your opinion. Maybe you would be happier living on the moon

  • You do realize that the Democrats are the racist party right? The KKK were Democrats. It was the Democrats that prevented blacks from voting the Republicans gave blacks the right to vote it was Republicans that gave women the right to vote. Republicans are for personal Liberty and responsibility Democrats are for control and suppression.

  • Do you know if those bigots got fired from their positions? Or were they just told to conceal their bigotry, and pretend to be fair and unbiased next time they want to railroad someone?

  • When the ’64 Civil Rights Act came into force there were business owners who refused to comply. Many cited their religious faith as the reason, and they swore they would never give in. Well, time and the law eventually took care of them. This nation’s progress on civil rights for many people groups has always been a case of “two steps forward, one step back”. So it will be (and has been) for LGBT people. Time is on the side of advancement though. Today’s kids will some day find it incredulous that any business would refuse to serve gay people.

  • Not if he is going to be a raging bigot and fail to treat customers with the bare minimum level of civility society and the law requires. People like him are scum. Hateful, dishonest, malicious scum. There was nothing moral in what he did.

  • LOL! Does anyone not call you an id1ot when you trot that out in response?

    Being a lying sack of crap troll, you fail to acknowledge those Democrats left the party in the late 1960’s and became the rank and file Republicans. Christian conservatives came from segregationists. They are your crowd. Stop being so ashamed of your history. I am sure plenty of people have reminded you of this already. Lying trolls love to congregate among Republicans I guess.

    David Duke and the entire Klan leadership don’t currently endorse any Democrats. They throw their support to the white supremacist Chief Executive and the Republican party. What did the Neo-Nazis chant? Unite the RIGHT

  • Yup and for a long time they were using it to support slavery, segregation and oppose interracial marriage.

  • I have not bothered to look into it.

    The fact they were appointed in the first place and unmonitored told me that no one is home in Colorado.

  • It definitely would have affected the case! The owner is a Christian and God says “Men shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination.”. So if the owner were to make the homosexual couple a wedding cake, he would be supporting what they are doing and therefore he would be supporting sin. Which is 100% against what God wants from us. Yes, we will fall short, but he forgives, but if you know something is a sin and do it anyway it’s direct disobedience. Which God does not frown upon.

  • Funny how “god” never bothered to get off his lazy ass and tell anyone that. US law ALLOWS for whatever “discrimination” you want to employ in a NON-PROFIT capacity. HOWEVER, when you’ve voluntarily entered into a business partnership with the City, County, State and Federal government to serve as a deputized IRS tax collector for them, you SURRENDERED your “religious convictions” the moment you decided to chase after worldly comforts and greed. BOTTOM LINE.

    Anyone ignoring EVERYTHING taught by “Christianity”, “except” to disparage homosexuality is a lying piece of shit.

  • Absolutely not. Private companies should have the right to act however they see fit. There is no reason to get government involved as it is NOT public property but intellectual/private property of the owner. Adding more legal requirements just opens up a huge can of worms in the form of red tape that could seriously hurt small businesses. Plus, if someone wants to take the added liability by denying service to one group or another then that should just be their discretion anyway. General rule of thumb of a capitalist nation is that you would want to maximize profit and therefore the target market (which would minimize instances such as this on their own). There’s no reason to complicate these things by getting big government involved.

  • Not really. Apples and Oranges. Mr. Phillips is required to provide the “full and equal enjoyment” of all his services. Ruling against him means that he would have to provide the “full and equal enjoyment” to gay weddings. So, if he’d make a cake decorated a certain way for straight people, then he also would have to make a cake decorated that way for gay people, plain and simple. He cannot just refuse to sell gay people all wedding cakes, and cupcakes, or anything that would be used in a wedding.

    The Supreme Court even said that someone could not put up a sign and say, “No goods and services will be sold if they are to be used in gay weddings.”

  • How is that different from the WBC example? If someone would make the same thing for anyone else, wouldn’t the same rule apply? Otherwise, it would be discrimination based in religion.

    The point is that part of a work of art is the context it’s placed in. The little girl statue on Wall Street would mean something entirely different somewhere else.

  • It’s not a vital service that you are obligated by law to provide.
    He offered the cake but not the customization (artistic freedom)
    Imagine if you sue a Muslim to paint an Muhammad portrait, same here: you violate his freedom to act, artistic freedom & religious freedom.

    It’s because the hostility & bad faith. From lower courts (no equal fair trial) & the couple that target him (I’m sure they would never go to a Muslim Baker through 3 states distance) so they could blackmail him (He spent 200,000 which recovered from funding). Otherwise they would have gone to other baker. Live & Let live?

  • So you are the arbiter of religious freedom. In the name of intelligence or the lack there of, more correctly, you should have your right to free speech taken from you until your dreamed intelligent enough to speak.
    God is NOT PC . He has spoken with a clear voice homosexuality is an “abomination” – sin to you. He has also sad that the faithful should not interact with sinners who are unrepentant lest the faithful become corrupted by the sinner unless the faithfuls’ intent is to bring the sinner to salvation. He also said if you support the sin you are guilty of the same sin and need to ask for forgiveness and repent for the sin – no longer support it. He also said to love the sinner and hate the sin. The baker did exactly as God has commanded. If you had read the Bible which is “breathed ” of God you wouldn’t have made such ignorant statements. Fortunately for you ignorance is not a sin only a bad idea.

  • You have missed the most important point. Homosexuals have been attempting to mainstream their abomination to be able to say they are no different than heterosexuals and they have been working at it since the 1950’s. If homosexuals are the same as heterosexuals why can’t procreate through normal sexual intercourse as heterosexuals do? Sex is about procreation not love . Love is the underpinning procreation to attempt ensure the best possible outcome – a stable family unit consisting of a husband, female wife, and their offspring raised to adulthood.

  • God also said “Give into Caesar that which is Caesar’s and into God that which is God’s. He also said obey the laws of as long they are contrary to the laws of God which supporting sin is. God also knew you would be as ignorant and without understanding as you are before you were born.

  • Actually the Bible is silent on mixed race marriage and says only that you should not be “unevenly yoked” – which for you means marry outside your own faith as it will become a source of strife.

  • Christians are not to sue other believers, which doesn’t apply to pagan sodomites or secular states.

  • This argument begins on a horribly faulty premise. There is absolutely nothing wrong with exercising discrimination (that used to be a virtuous act) with what one owns. The ability to discriminate is the guts of liberty. Actually, we all do it every day; we must to survive in many instances.

    The state taking sides on what categories merit limiting this freedom is pernicious to the principles this nation was founded upon.

  • You sound like a comrade from North Korea. How about getting the hell out of our free nation and returning home?

  • That’s the way it should work. But you really don’t mean that. You want to use the power of the state to attack such businesses.

  • What a deceptive article, beginning with the false title.

    No journalistic integrity here at this “fake news” site.

  • “The law should make it abundantly clear that if you do business in the public realm you must serve the entire public, meaning everyone.”

    I can expose your rank hypocrisy on this issue in a few seconds. What about the homosexual coffee house owner in Seattle who obscenely ejected the Christian group peacefully enjoying coffee in his shop? Or the hair stylist who wouldn’t cut NM Governor Martinez’ hair because of her beliefs about marriage? Or the photo studio which wouldn’t provide Christmas photos for Alan Sears and his family because of his Christian beliefs and stances?

  • You mean a SPECIAL class. Special classes are inimicable to the concept of equal protection.

  • I am simply giving the full view and implication of your own statement. You were not taking them to their logical conclusions.

  • Mr. Phillips was refusing to provide the same service to gay couples that he was providing to straight couples on nothing more than the fact that they were a same-sex gay couple. That is discrimination, plain and simple. As the Supreme Court put it, one cannot just put a sign outside and say, “no goods or services will be sold if they are to be used in gay weddings.”

    Just as someone cannot say, “I don’t do black weddings”, or “I don’t do Muslim weddings”, they also cannot say “I don’t do gay weddings.”

    Now, that being said, if they would not decorate a cake in a certain way for a straight couple, then they don’t have to decorate it in a certain way for a gay couple. However, blatently refusing to sell gay people your goods and services just because they were going to be used in gay weddings is redicilous.

    Also, where do you draw the line? Would you say that a tax preparer who refuses to serve a gay couple because checking a box saying that they are married is against her religion? Does she have a legitimate claim to avoid dealing with gay married couples? This actually happened in Indiana (where by the way it is legal to discriminate against gay people).

    What about a coffin? Is that artistic enough for you to refuse to sell it to gay people (again legal, because it happened in Mississippi)?

    What about a motel? Can a motel refuse to rent a room to a gay couple (happened in Hawaii).

    What about apartments? Should Apartments be able to be refused to gay people?

    You’re wanting to draw a squishy line on what is determined to be “artistic enough” to be immune from anti-discrimination laws. I frankly don’t.

  • Hahaha…. it’s not your country, it’s mine. America has always been the rightful property of liberals; we only let conservatives live here for the entertainment value.

  • Your comments don’t bear in any way to the Masterpiece Cakeshop case.

    The constitutional issue in that case was compelled speech, not religious faith directly.

    The very same right that permits a student to refuse to say the Pledge of Allegiance permits a cake designer to refuse to design and bake a cake contrary to deeply held beliefs.

    The JoeMyGod crowd simply disregards that since it is an Inconvenient Truth.

  • “Mr. Phillips was refusing to provide the same service to gay couples
    that he was providing to straight couples on nothing more than the fact
    that they were a same-sex gay couple.”

    He provided cakes to this same sex couple in the past.

    That was NOT the reason he refused to bake this cake.

  • The notion that provision of “‘full and equal enjoyment’ of all his services” is part of any law that can override the right to refrain from making communications contrary to personal belief is completely unsupported.

  • The phrase “we only let conservatives live here” certainly demonstrates that inside every Liberal there’s a Fascist Screaming to Get Out.

  • When you become a god you can get off your lazy ass and say whatever you want.

    Until then …. the First Amendment protects the right to make or refrain from speech.

  • The issue in Masterpiece Cakeshop was the attempt by the State of Colorado to compel speech in violation of the First Amendment.

    That the “owner is a Christian” was relevant only in that it provided his reason for engaging in this particular speech.

  • Or, that far-right wingnuts have no sense of humor. But then, that was pretty obvious already.

  • Uh, the obvious solution is to have an employee that is sane and can make cakes that your imaginary friend disapproves of, that way you follow the law the way the bible says to and not habe to make anything for anyone.

  • Easy, they were kicked out for distribution of hate speech, that is not a protected class.

  • The problem that won’t go away is the Lord of the Manor, upon which the United States was established and written in the Constitution. When the rudder of a ship is broken and the ship can only go around in circles, the ship will be easily sunk. It is the history of eschatology that put the words , all men are created equal, in motion.

  • Like slavery, segregation, and Catholics go home. Your freedom isn’t being limited, but your freedom to make the lives of other people difficult is. Government has no business subsidizing bigotry-x religious, racial, or any other kind..

  • AND it was the wrong thing to do and his Bible tells him so.”Judge not that ye be not judged”!

  • You didn’t address my actual point. After you address the WBC example, I’ll speak to your other points.

  • All of you are missing what actually happened.
    No one said it was okay to refuse to provide services for any customer.
    What happened is the ‘Civil rights Commission’ discriminated against the baker because of his religion.
    That is why the baker won in the Supreme court.
    The ‘Civil rights Commission’ said it was OKAY for bakers refuse services to religious people but it was NOT OKAY to refuse services to gay people.
    The baker had many cases where the ‘Civil rights Commission’ had done that.
    So, the ‘Civil rights Commission’ was being discriminatory and got caught.
    If the ‘Civil rights Commission’ would have been doing it’s job the “right” way then none of us would know anything about this baker….

  • Actually the baker offered to make any of his cakes and anything else on his menu for the couple. The couple refused to accept that…. They only wanted the “ART” cake that only he could make. So, the other cakes were already available for the couple.

  • Can the author really not see the difference between mixed-race marriages and same-sex “marriage,” or is he just being deliberately obtuse? Does he think his readers are so intellectually lazy that we won’t notice the absurdity of his false analogy?

  • Actually that changes nothing at all, all the law requires is for the business to not discriminate based on sexual orientation or sex, so nothing in the law says he had to make anything.

  • The SCOTUS decision was a win for all Americans. Eventually the idiots who filed the suit will have something that is the opposite. The pendulum always swings back

  • Problem is the left wants all to join hands and sing kumbaya. Why should we be forced to like someone we don’t. As long as were not overtly hurting them, we should judge people by their character not anything else. Just because someone’s gay straight, black, white, shouldntshmean we HAVE to like them. We should just go by the old rules of liking those that act socially responsible and not liking those that dont

  • The propagandists count on several tragic facts:
    • American education no longer teaches students the skill of critical thinking;
    • most of us are immersed in mass media all day every day;
    • most people value fitting into the crowd of their peers more than almost anything else, and have a deathly fear of rocking the boat;
    • most people don’t study history, don’t recognize how totalitarianism begins, and haven’t read Vaclav Havel, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, or any others who survived regimes that enforced “political correctness” at the end of a gun;
    • many Christians don’t have a deep biblical or theological understanding, and think “being Christian” and “not judging” means accepting that 2 plus 2 equals 5 if their nice neighbors down the street say so.

  • Only force people with the least popular views to violate their conscience unless they meet your level of “artistic expression.” What a great legal test.

  • While I agree that someone shouldn’t be required to violate their religious beliefs while operating their business, I believe the issue is much simpler than that. A business should be allowed to refuse service to anyone for any reason.

  • So you’re willing to stand by and let a fellow human being be murdered as long as the murderer doesn’t BELIEVE they’re committing murder? That’s kind of like all those white people who stood around taking pictures and drinking beer while some of their buddies hanged black people. Those buddies didn’t BELIEVE in their own minds that it was murder, so… presto magico, abracadabra, it wasn’t really murder after all!! Pretty cold damn comfort to the victims….

  • Yeah, right, because the Supreme Court is so omniscient. That would be the same institution that declared that Dred Scott, a black man, had “no rights that the white man is bound [obligated] to respect,” because for all of American history to that point, the law had affirmed that OBVIOUSLY black people were inferior beings. Yup, ya just gotta bow down to whatever that wise old Supreme Court says! They’re like… God or something! What would we do without them? And to think, here we rubes have all been thinking that 2+2=4, but, man, were we ever wrong! The almighty Supreme Court of the United States just declared that 2+2=5, so, by golly, it must be so!

  • I understand that you hate the constitution and the democratic process, however flawed it may be. But that is not my problem, but yours.

  • You believe a clump of cells is a person. You believe it is murder. Other people do not. You also believe that you should have dominion over the lives of women, that they are to be the chattels of the state, all the while you proclaim that this clump of cells has full rights of personhood.
    The Supreme Court, the majority of the population, and the laws of this country disagree with you.
    too bad.

  • If so, then there should be absolutely no public funds to support local businesses in any way, shape or form. Why should my tax dollars be utilized to support local businesses who will discriminate against me?

  • I assume you believe that gay people do not “act socially responsible”? In my view, discriminating against others for no good reason is acting socially irresponsible.

    No one is asking you to “like” anyone. You just don’t get it.

  • In the eyes of the law, there is no difference. What you happen to find “absurd” is not shared by all. That is merely your opinion, and it’s based on bigotry.

  • I was replying to your “obvious solution is to have an employee that is sane…” comment.
    I never said it was okay not to provide services for everyone.
    I was just saying your “solution” would not have worked for this situation.

  • You have not read my essay, so you have no respectable basis for your opinion. But such an unfounded opinion seems typical of conservative Christians who are neither mature nor learned. And I doubt that you will test your opinion; conservative Christians who are neither mature nor learned tend to fear interpretation of Scripture.

  • Bob Jones University v. U.S., for one. In this case, the IRS denied the tax exempt status of Bob Jones University because of their history of discrimination against black people, and finally because of their not allowing interracial relationships (literally, students could be expelled by Bob Jones University due to dating someone of the opposite race). The Supreme Court acknowledged that Bob Jones University did have a religious belief about this, but also said that it didn’t matter, the IRS was within its right to revoke the tax exempt status of the University.

    Newman v. Piggie Park Enterprises is another one. In Newman v. Piggie Park Enterprises, the Supreme Court called the argument that because Mr. Bessinger had a religious belief, that allowed him to get around the anti-discrimination laws as “patently frivolous”.

    You might also want to check out Christian Legal Society v. Martinez.

  • That is false. Read the Joint Appendix, page 59-60. There was no offer to make any of his cakes or anything else on his menu. He said, “I don’t do gay weddings” and that was it. All they asked for was a cake for their wedding.

    There was no discussion of the “artwork” portion of it. In fact, Mr. Phillips said the entire incident lasted no more than 20 seconds.

    On January 16, 2012, about 6 months before the incident that spawned this case, the same baker (Mr. Phillips) refused to do cupcakes that were to be used at the reception of a Lesbian Commitment Ceremony.

  • It would work if he had someone sane to cover this situation, if he chose to be the only one who could provide accommodation it was his fault, not thr courts or the customers, noone else should be punished for this bigots failures.

ADVERTISEMENTs