Author Topic: In Colorado, The Cake is in the Supreme Court oven  (Read 21771 times)

James_Gale

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Re: In Colorado, The Cake is in the Supreme Court oven
« Reply #30 on: December 11, 2017, 05:54:02 AM »
At some Dairy Queen franchises, you can buy an ice cream cake and have words put on it. I don't see anything wrong with a franchise owner saying "we do not ask our staff to write certain words." But to say one can't buy the cake if you are going to use it at a same sex wedding is discrimination.


Of course it’s discrimination. So is a refusal to sell alcohol to minors. As the couple in this case argued, most discrimination is constitutionally protected.  The question therefore isn’t whether the baker exercised discrimination. The question is whether something about this particular category of discrimination falls outside constitutional protection. Your post therefore is lacking substance except to the extent that it tells us your rooting interest in the outcome.

John_Hannah

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Re: In Colorado, The Cake is in the Supreme Court oven
« Reply #31 on: December 11, 2017, 07:56:54 AM »
https://www.supremecourt.gov/oral_arguments/argument_transcripts/2017/16-111_f314.pdf
I'm reading it now.

Peace,
Michael

IMO, it would be better if the courts stayed out of this area altogether. If a baker refuses to make a cake for a LBGTetc. couple that requests such a cake, let the LBGTetc. couple go to a more hospitable and/or accommodating baker--or bake the cake themselves or have a sympathetic, competent individual do so. The couple should then make known far and wide that the previous baker would not serve them for whatever reason(s) he/she gave them. Call for a local boycott, as necessary. Let the local social dynamics run their course. Let the chips fall where they will. Let the change bubble up from below.

It may be that anti-LBGTetc. Christians, Muslims, Jews and others should get out of the wedding cake/bakery business altogether, as should other such businesses that regularly cater to LBGTetc. individuals and couples who might raise a very public complaint if improperly served.

Matt Becker


MATT

That reminds me of David Brooks last week:

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/04/opinion/gay-marriage-cake-case.html?rref=collection%2Fcolumn%2Fdavid-brooks&action=click&contentCollection=opinion&region=stream&module=stream_unit&version=latest&contentPlacement=1&pgtype=collection&_r=0

Peace, JOHN

JOHN:

I did read that editorial last week--as well as the letters to the editor in today's edition--all critical of Brooks (with whom I generally agree 80% of the time--and not merely because he and I share the same alma mater).

In light of the many good points raised in these letters, I see more clearly the deficiencies in Brooks' argument.

While I think that other fruitful actions could have been taken by the couple in question, short of litigation, I do favor their side in this case.

Matt Becker

Yes, but it is hard to imagine that the decision (whatever it becomes) will seriously resolve the issue. There are too many variables in our modern pursuit of commerce.

Peace, JOHN
Pr. JOHN HANNAH, STS

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Re: In Colorado, The Cake is in the Supreme Court oven
« Reply #32 on: December 11, 2017, 09:15:55 AM »
It may be that anti-LBGTetc. Christians, Muslims, Jews and others should get out of the wedding cake/bakery business altogether, as should other such businesses that regularly cater to LBGTetc. individuals and couples who might raise a very public complaint if improperly served.
Self-ghettoization as a solution? Did you begin to consider the path such nonsense leads down? Those looking to exterminate a viewpoint surely wouldn't catch on and use manufactured interactions to further marginalize those who hold it. This suggestion is, at best, half-baked, with all the resulting physical effects of eating such product that follow.

Either the baker in question should do a better job of serving his customers--all of them--or face the fact that people will complain about his terrible service, as they should, and likely avoid supporting his business.

The viewpoint of the baker in this case, as I understand it, is one that should be criticized.

Matt Becker
An interesting step-down, this. I'm not quite sure what to make of the move from "those who have a particular position should exclude themselves from their chosen profession (and, by implication, interaction with society at large)" to "those with a particular position should either shut up and do what they're told or they'll get bad Yelp ratings." This is poorly-worked-out partisanship, not a position.
« Last Edit: December 11, 2017, 10:13:12 AM by WJV »

Mbecker

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Re: In Colorado, The Cake is in the Supreme Court oven
« Reply #33 on: December 11, 2017, 10:37:18 AM »
It may be that anti-LBGTetc. Christians, Muslims, Jews and others should get out of the wedding cake/bakery business altogether, as should other such businesses that regularly cater to LBGTetc. individuals and couples who might raise a very public complaint if improperly served.
Self-ghettoization as a solution? Did you begin to consider the path such nonsense leads down? Those looking to exterminate a viewpoint surely wouldn't catch on and use manufactured interactions to further marginalize those who hold it. This suggestion is, at best, half-baked, with all the resulting physical effects of eating such product that follow.

Either the baker in question should do a better job of serving his customers--all of them--or face the fact that people will complain about his terrible service, as they should, and likely avoid supporting his business.

The viewpoint of the baker in this case, as I understand it, is one that should be criticized.

Matt Becker
An interesting step-down, this. I'm not quite sure what to make of the move from "those who have a particular position should exclude themselves from their chosen profession (and, by implication, interaction with society at large)" to "those with a particular position should either shut up and do what they're told or they'll get bad Yelp ratings." This is poorly-worked-out partisanship, not a position.

No step-down here, WJV.

I stand by all of my assertions in this thread.

If a Christian baker holds an anti-gay position that leads him/her to refuse a basic service to gay people (a service that he/she provides everyone else as a part of his/her public business), he/she should get out of the business (since civil law requires that the baker not discriminate against people on the basis of their sexual orientation) OR he/she should keep quiet about his/her anti-gay views while he/she does his/her level best to serve all clients equally well. If the baker wants to buck the system for the sake of making a religiously-based case for discrimination against gay people, he/she should then be prepared to face the music (including criticism from his/her fellow Christians) and a potential lawsuit for violating civil laws against such discrimination.

Matt Becker

MaddogLutheran

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Re: In Colorado, The Cake is in the Supreme Court oven
« Reply #34 on: December 11, 2017, 10:46:18 AM »
Either the baker in question should do a better job of serving his customers--all of them--or face the fact that people will complain about his terrible service, as they should, and likely avoid supporting his business.

The market would take care of that. If more people hate the baker than like the baker, the baker would probably go out of business.

Would you support forcing the baker to include an array of penises or a little tableau of anal sex in the cake decoration?  (People do make cakes like that, you know.  Yes, it's an edge case, but that's kind of the whole point here.)

As I understand the facts in this case, the couple did not ask him to do anything special with the cake. No wording or images were discussed. The baker simply refused to sell the couple any kind of wedding cake.

If said couple had asked the baker to bake a cake like you describe, he could have said, "Making such a cake would involve me in the creation of what I consider to be pornographic images. I'm happy to sell you a cake, but you will need to find someone else to decorate it."

Selling a cake is one thing; decorating it is quite another. The couple never got around to discussing the decoration in this case, since the baker refused outright to sell them a cake of any kind. At least this is what the lawyer for the couple has alleged in the lawsuit.

Matt Becker
If the facts were as you describe them, I would agree with you.  Unfortunately I understand them to be otherwise.  From the certiorari petition of the defendent, describing one of the facts of the case:

Jack Phillips is a cake artist. The Colorado Civil Rights  Commission  ruled  that  he  engaged  in  sexual  orientation  discrimination  under  the  Colorado  Anti-Discrimination  Act  (“CADA”)  when  he  declined  to  design  and  create  a  custom cake  honoring  a  same-sex  marriage  because  doing  so conflicts  with  his  sincerely held religious beliefs.
...
Jack Phillips   is   an   artist.      He   has   created   elaborate custom cakes  for  over  two  decades.    His cakes    communicate    the    important    celebratory   themes      of      birthday      parties,      anniversaries,      graduations, and weddings.  His faith teaches him to serve and love everyone and he does.  It also compels him   to   use   his   artistic   talents   to   promote   only messages that align with his religious beliefs.  Thus, he  declines  lucrative  business  by  not  creating  goods that  contain  alcohol  or  cakes  celebrating  Halloween and  other messages  his faith  prohibits,  such  as racism,  atheism, and  any  marriage  not  between  one  man and one woman.  But Colorado  has  ordered  him  to  create  custom  wedding  cakes  celebrating  same-sex  wedding ceremonies.

While advocates certainly shade the facts in court filings, submitting something untrue, especially before the U.S. Supreme Court, can result in sanctions, not to mention just outright losing, so I have no reason to doubt the veracity of this description.

I have read elsewhere that the defendant did not object to the plaintiffs buying anything off-the-shelf, but in my quick review of the filings I can't find mention of that one way or the other.  What the quotation does show is that the defendant is not a one-trick pony with his religious objections.  It is not something he just invented to avoid working with the plaintiffs.  And indeed, when the incident occurred, same-sex marriage was not (yet) legal in Colorado.

While I understand the plaintiffs' and their supporters' desire to make this about the sexual orientation of the customer, the facts point in another direction.  There is no evidence that the defendant ever denied his services to gay people for any other reason other than a wedding cake.


UPDATE:
If a Christian baker holds an anti-gay position that leads him/her to refuse a basic service to gay people (a service that he/she provides everyone else as a part of his/her public business), he/she should get out of the business (since civil law requires that the baker not discriminate against people on the basis of their sexual orientation) OR he/she should keep quiet about his/her anti-gay views while he/she does his/her level best to serve all clients equally well.
I'm not sure what an anti-gay position is, but the totality of your statement is begging the question.  How far we have traveled from "if you don't want a gay marriage, don't enter one."  I wasn't aware the First Amendment allowed the government to quash commercial speech that has a religious basis.  The Hobby Lobby decision said otherwise.

UPDATE2:  Found something reading the petition more closely.  According to the defendant:

The  First  Amendment  prohibits  the  government  from  telling  private  citizens  “what  they  must  say.” Agency  for  Int’l  Dev.  v.  Alliance  for  Open  Soc.  Int’l,  Inc.,  133  S.  Ct.  2321,  2327  (2013).   It  is  undisputed  that the   Colorado   Civil   Rights   Commission   the “Commission”)  does  not  apply  CADA to  ban  (1) an African-American cake artist from refusing to create a  cake  promoting  white-supremacism for  the  Aryan  Nation,  (2) an  Islamic  cake  artist  from refusing to create   a   cake   denigrating   the   Quran   for   the  Westboro Baptist Church, and (3) three secular cake artists from refusing to create cakes opposing same-sex marriage for a Christian patron. 

Neither  should  CADA  ban  Jack  Phillips’  polite  declining   to   create  a   cake   celebrating  same-sex marriage  on  religious  grounds  when  he  is  happy  to  create  other  items  for  gay  and  lesbian  clients.


This still doesn't rule out refusing to sell an off-the-shelf wedding cake...but I don't know whether he makes any such thing.  Perhaps all his wedding cakes are custom.

Sterling Spatz
« Last Edit: December 11, 2017, 11:47:04 AM by MaddogLutheran »
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Donald_Kirchner

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Re: In Colorado, The Cake is in the Supreme Court oven
« Reply #35 on: December 11, 2017, 11:15:57 AM »
... since civil law requires that the baker not discriminate against people on the basis of their sexual orientation...

Really?! Did the Supremes rule while I was asleep?!
Don Kirchner

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Harry Edmon

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Re: In Colorado, The Cake is in the Supreme Court oven
« Reply #36 on: December 11, 2017, 11:39:34 AM »
Note that the baker in this case did offer to sell them anything that was already in the store.   He only refused to make them a custom cake.
Harry Edmon, Ph.D., LCMS Layman

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Re: In Colorado, The Cake is in the Supreme Court oven
« Reply #37 on: December 11, 2017, 11:44:07 AM »

The viewpoint of the baker in this case, as I understand it, is one that should be criticized.


Same-sex sexual behavior is sinful, contrary to biblical teaching and natural law. It carries the grave danger of unrepentant sin. Therefore my neighbor and community are best served by calling those in same-sex sexual relationships to repentance for that behavior and to a chaste lifestyle.

Pax et bonum,
Steven+

Steven,
Are you suggesting that Christian bakers should call their customers to repentance as a part of their basic service to all customers? Should Christian bakers call all of their customers to repentance (since all of them commit sins, even so-called "public" sins, and fall short of the glory of God)? Or should these bakers give a shout out only to those customers that they suspect are engaging in sexual behaviors that they deem to be sinful? Should such "calling out" only apply to those who appear to be lesbian/bisexual/gay/trans/etc., or does it also apply to those who appear to be heterosexual? Should these Christian bakers only be concerned with the sinful behaviors of the apparent gay customer but not those of the apparent heterosexual customer? (Who knows what sins the latter has been up to?) And how will the Christian bakers even know about these behaviors they deem to be sinful, given that they are taking place beyond the confines of the bakery (one would hope, in any case), unless the bakers first ask their customers about them or rely on the hearsay/accusations of others? Are you suggesting that Christian bakers should first do some investigative work about the behaviors of their customers before agreeing to sell them a cake? And if the Christian bakers should uncover customer behaviors that are sinful, should the bakers then refuse to sell the customers a cake and instead publicly call them to repentance? Or is a suspicion about the sinful behaviors of customers sufficient to warrant a public rebuke and a call to repentance? If Christian bakers are only to call out those they accuse of sinning in this particular way (again, the suspected behaviors occur beyond the confines of the bakery), why only this one set of suspected sinful behaviors and not all suspected sins?

The history of the use of the concept of "natural law" demonstrates how people use that concept to justify positions they have reached by other means, e.g., a very specific religious tradition. (M. Marty makes this point in his afterword to my book on fundamental theology). "Does not nature itself teach you that if a man wears long hair, it is degrading to him, but if a woman has long hair, it is her glory. For her hair is given to her for a covering...." No, Paul, "nature" does not teach us this. I will refrain from mentioning what the study of "nature" does teach us about the prevalence of same-sex sexual behavior across all animal species.

Matt Becker

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Re: In Colorado, The Cake is in the Supreme Court oven
« Reply #38 on: December 11, 2017, 11:49:50 AM »
... since civil law requires that the baker not discriminate against people on the basis of their sexual orientation...

Really?! Did the Supremes rule while I was asleep?!

Yes, really. Check out Colorado's civil laws regulating how businesses that are open to the public cannot deny equal service to customers because of their race, religion, nationality or sexual orientation.

Matt Becker

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Re: In Colorado, The Cake is in the Supreme Court oven
« Reply #39 on: December 11, 2017, 11:54:27 AM »
... since civil law requires that the baker not discriminate against people on the basis of their sexual orientation...

Really?! Did the Supremes rule while I was asleep?!

Yes, really. Check out Colorado's civil laws regulating how businesses that are open to the public cannot deny equal service to customers because of their race, religion, nationality or sexual orientation.

Matt Becker
In light of recent Supreme Court precedent, what does one's sexual orientation have to do with who one marries?
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Mbecker

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Re: In Colorado, The Cake is in the Supreme Court oven
« Reply #40 on: December 11, 2017, 12:03:11 PM »
If the facts were as you describe them, I would agree with you.  Unfortunately I understand them to be otherwise.
Sterling Spatz

Sterling,
You are citing only how the baker's attorney has defended the baker's actions.

According to the lawyer for the gay couple, the dispute did not involve words or speech. "The only thing the baker knew about these customers was that they were gay," he said. "There was no request for a design. There was no request for message. He refused to sell any wedding cake. And that's identity-based discrimination."

That's what this attorney argued before the Supreme Court.

The baker himself has been quoted as recalling the incident this way: “Our conversation was just about 20 seconds long. ‘Sorry guys, I don’t make cakes for same-sex weddings.’”

Matt Becker

JEdwards

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Re: In Colorado, The Cake is in the Supreme Court oven
« Reply #41 on: December 11, 2017, 12:21:16 PM »
As usual, Ross Douthat offers an insightful perspective on some of the sociopolitical considerations surrounding this case:

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/09/opinion/masterpiece-cakeshop-supreme-court.html

Peace,
Jon

Voelker

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Re: In Colorado, The Cake is in the Supreme Court oven
« Reply #42 on: December 11, 2017, 12:38:34 PM »
It may be that anti-LBGTetc. Christians, Muslims, Jews and others should get out of the wedding cake/bakery business altogether, as should other such businesses that regularly cater to LBGTetc. individuals and couples who might raise a very public complaint if improperly served.
Self-ghettoization as a solution? Did you begin to consider the path such nonsense leads down? Those looking to exterminate a viewpoint surely wouldn't catch on and use manufactured interactions to further marginalize those who hold it. This suggestion is, at best, half-baked, with all the resulting physical effects of eating such product that follow.

Either the baker in question should do a better job of serving his customers--all of them--or face the fact that people will complain about his terrible service, as they should, and likely avoid supporting his business.

The viewpoint of the baker in this case, as I understand it, is one that should be criticized.

Matt Becker
An interesting step-down, this. I'm not quite sure what to make of the move from "those who have a particular position should exclude themselves from their chosen profession (and, by implication, interaction with society at large)" to "those with a particular position should either shut up and do what they're told or they'll get bad Yelp ratings." This is poorly-worked-out partisanship, not a position.

No step-down here, WJV.

I stand by all of my assertions in this thread.

If a Christian baker holds an anti-gay position that leads him/her to refuse a basic service to gay people (a service that he/she provides everyone else as a part of his/her public business), he/she should get out of the business (since civil law requires that the baker not discriminate against people on the basis of their sexual orientation) OR he/she should keep quiet about his/her anti-gay views while he/she does his/her level best to serve all clients equally well. If the baker wants to buck the system for the sake of making a religiously-based case for discrimination against gay people, he/she should then be prepared to face the music (including criticism from his/her fellow Christians) and a potential lawsuit for violating civil laws against such discrimination.

Matt Becker
By gravely repeating "it is the civil law" (as if something's having been made a law (or at least a law you like) means it is good, right, salutary, or even settled), while also couching disagreement with it as beyond the pale, you hope to write out any possibility of escape for those whose position you despise. Such is rhetoric. But in following this course, you make clear that you are in favor of both:

1. Compelled speech, and
2. Silencing speech
   a. through shaming tactics, and
   b. via lawsuits.

And that's fine. Argue for what you will. But don't pretend that this matter is about "the law", or "letting the market decide" (in your scheme the market isn't allowed a choice in the first place). You have an end in mind, one that precludes liberty for the sake of that end. Own up to it.

Here we see one major location in which the "protected class" silliness hits the oil slick — rather than protecting anyone, it becomes a stick used to goad society in a particular direction. The proliferation of protected groups is encouraged by the desire to bend society one way or another, and through their enshrinement in law the marginalization of those who have reason to disagree (good or bad, justified or not) is hastened. When that happens, we see justice displaced by power in disguise.

MaddogLutheran

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Re: In Colorado, The Cake is in the Supreme Court oven
« Reply #43 on: December 11, 2017, 12:48:05 PM »
If the facts were as you describe them, I would agree with you.  Unfortunately I understand them to be otherwise.
Sterling Spatz

Sterling,
You are citing only how the baker's attorney has defended the baker's actions.

According to the lawyer for the gay couple, the dispute did not involve words or speech. "The only thing the baker knew about these customers was that they were gay," he said. "There was no request for a design. There was no request for message. He refused to sell any wedding cake. And that's identity-based discrimination."

That's what this attorney argued before the Supreme Court.

The baker himself has been quoted as recalling the incident this way: “Our conversation was just about 20 seconds long. ‘Sorry guys, I don’t make cakes for same-sex weddings.’”

Matt Becker

So you're suggesting that the same-sex couple might have been ordering a wedding cake for someone other than themselves?  From the plaintiffs' petition...

Mullins  and  Craig  expressed  interest  in buying a cake for “our  wedding.”  Pet.  App.  64a.  Phillips  refused  to  serve  them,  explaining  that  the Company had a policy of refusing to sell baked goods for  weddings  of  same-sex  couples. Pet.  App.  65a.  Phillips  did  not  ask  for,  and  Mullins  and Craig  did not  offer,  any  details  about  the  design  of  the  cake.  Phillips  was  unwilling  to  make  any  cake  for  the wedding  because  they  were  a  same-sex  couple,  and therefore  any  further  discussion  would  have  been fruitless. 

Given that, what you describe as the baker's response seems reasonable, given his beliefs and stated policy.

While advocates certainly shade the facts in court filings, submitting something untrue, especially before the U.S. Supreme Court, can result in sanctions, not to mention just outright losing, so I have no reason to doubt the veracity of this description.

This still doesn't rule out refusing to sell an off-the-shelf wedding cake...but I don't know whether he makes any such thing.  Perhaps all his wedding cakes are custom.

« Last Edit: December 11, 2017, 12:59:32 PM by MaddogLutheran »
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MaddogLutheran

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Re: In Colorado, The Cake is in the Supreme Court oven
« Reply #44 on: December 11, 2017, 01:09:19 PM »
Here we see one major location in which the "protected class" silliness hits the oil slick — rather than protecting anyone, it becomes a stick used to goad society in a particular direction.

Thanks for offering this.  If I didn't know any better, I'd think that Dr. Becker was an internet bot.  "Protective class!  Case decided!"

The very thing at issue here is weighing the competing rights.  Something which people like Dr. Becker (and the plaintiffs) are not interested in investigating, secure in their identity politics.  What should be important in a case like this, and subject to a balancing test, is whether other suppliers are reasonably available.

Sterling Spatz
« Last Edit: December 11, 2017, 01:37:02 PM by MaddogLutheran »
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