"Administrative law judge Robert N. Spence found Friday that Jack Phillips of Masterpiece Cakeshop in Denver, Colo. violated the law when he turned away David Mullins, 29, and Charlie Craig, 33, from his shop last year. In his written decision, Spence ordered that Phillips "cease and desist from discriminating" against gay couples, or face financial penalties, and cited Colorado state law that prohibits businesses from refusing service based on race, sex, marital status or sexual orientation. [...]
"According to the complaint, Phillips told the couple that the store policy was to deny service to customers who wished to order baked goods for a same-sex wedding, based on his religious beliefs. Phillips told the men, "I'll make you birthday cakes, shower cakes, sell you cookies and brownies, I just don't make cakes for same-sex weddings.
"The judge's decision states in its Finding of Facts that Phillips believes creating same-sex wedding cakes would be "displeasing God and acting contrary to the teachings of the Bible. In concluding that Masterpiece Cakeshop acted unlawfully, a CCRC investigation also showed evidence that Phillips was willing to bake a cake for the "marriage" of a pair of dogs, but not for two women. [...]
"Nicolle Martin, an attorney for Masterpiece Cakeshop, told The Associated Press that the judge's decision was "reprehensible" and "antithetical to everything America stands for. He can't violate his conscience in order to collect a paycheck," Martin said. "If Jack can't make wedding cakes, he can't continue to support his family. And in order to make wedding cakes, Jack must violate his belief system. [...] Philips is currently considering an appeal of the judge's order."
So, a cake for hetero dog marriage is no problem. But a cake for homosexual human marriage is an outrage before God and America; one that is holding poor Philip hostage for a paycheck.
Well, the solution is simple and obvious. Now that marriage equality has made the cake business so clearly against Philip's religion, it's time to either switch religions or get out of the cake business.
Well, once again we're back to the FACT that I don't think we need a law that can be applied this way, OR the FACT that my opinion is that we don't need officials who interpret the law as applicable in a situation like not being able to buy a cake. That may honor the letter of the law but not, I wager, the intent of the law, in terms of intended consequences.
(Opinions aren't facts, but expressions of opinions ARE facts, assuming they accurately reflect those opinions.)
And actually you did write that merchants had agreed to sell to the public when you wrote (several pages back) "He is simply being asked to provide a service which he has agreed to provide to the public." Or are you splitting hairs?
I am not disputing what you think or do not think, but the gay couple lives in reality, not your head. you need to accept limitations to the value of your thoughts when you make silly characterizations of how this couple acted based on how you think things should be rather than how they are.
I'm not here to deny legal reality, but to talk about what that legal reality OUGHT to be.
The characterizations aren't silly. It's the actions of the couple and the governmental response which are silly in terms of proportion of the offense. They weren't lynched. Some joker wouldn't make them a cake because (as is his Constitutional right) he doesn't like gays.
Being unable to get a merchant to change his mind about baking a cake for oneself should never rise to the level of even a tort much less a Federal case. This is a de facto abuse of process even it isn't a de jure abuse of process, and maximum punishment doesn't leave much room for far more egregious offenses.
It's the cake aspect which makes it silly. It would be an important case if the service not provided was something quite a bit more essential to life, like being denied an emergency medical service or not being allowed to use public transportation resulting in being unable to earn a living. It doesn't even meet the definition of harassment, which would imply they were subjected to a situation which was pervasive and/or continual. This was a one off. .
There's no injury here because there's no harm.
The difference between us seems to boil down to you believing the government has the right to micro-manage trivial interactions. I think that is intrusive and unnecessary.
I believe that the law is a reasonable recourse where undue discrimination excludes or creates unwarranted inequalities in ordinary participation in public life.
Your Canadian ways of thinking mystify. Define "due discrimination" for me. And who or what agency is it that undertakes to warrant inequalities?
So let me see here.
One of the arguments made against gay marriage is that if you open the door to changing it from simply one man, one woman, where does it end?!?! The next thing you know, polygamy, marrying animals, marrying children (and consummating it--why not if Mohammed did)....
Picture someone running around with red hair, red because it's on fire.
And this place was willing to make a wedding cake for animals. Why deal with actually sliding down a slippery slope when you can just move like a chess knight, magically to a point halfway down?
Now I do think that marriage should be limited to consenting adults. Anything else is either meaningless (like this pet wedding) or exploitative.
I, too, am getting tired of us repeating ourselves. I'm aware of what the law is and don't need to have responses padded with recitations of common knowledge.
I do marvel that you take the 2/3 pro-gay marriage and equal rights for gays stats as somehow showing that a majority of Americans are anti-gay.
I don't think we need laws taking away the rights of merchants to refuse to serve a customer absent a pervasive (or even common) problem. At best, situations like the one this case is about are so rare as to be, well, news.
The government has better things to do than to try to provide a simulation of good will that isn't there.
As a minority, gays do not have serious problems overall in the economic sphere. A far bigger problem (and a real one) is gay bashing where gays minding their own business are set upon by gangs.
But economically, gays are not an underclass by any means. Cases like the one this discussion revolves around are more noteworthy for their being so uncommon rather than the opposite.
Forcing people to play nice where there is no serious overriding problem to fix will just increase anti-gay resentment and give the anti-gays more to talk about.
"A report by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Policy Institute, including an analysis of 21 different local surveys between 1980 and 1991, found widespread discrimination across the country against gay men and lesbians. According to the report, as many as 44 percent of respondents in some cities reported employment discrimination as a result of their sexual orientation. Thirty-two percent reported discrimination in renting a housing unit. The study also said that gay men and lesbians reported discrimination in public restaurants and in receiving health services, obtaining insurance and in education."
THOSE are the sorts of cases government prosecutors should be working on. Cases where the ability to earn a living, get ESSENTIAL services, obtain accommodations, etc., are worthy of bringing the force of government to bear. Pastrry disputes, instances where a guy wouldn't sell a gay a pack of gum, etc., should be left to the people involved to settle.
Since you won't be replying to this (unless you're a liar), I'll take the opportunity to tell ya, it's been nice.