On December 5, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on the Masterpiece Cakeshop case. To recap, two gay men came into this very small bakery in Colorado and inquired about buying a wedding cake. The owner, Jack Phillips, told them “I don’t make cakes for same-sex weddings, but I’ll make you birthday cakes, shower cakes, or sell you cookies and brownies.” The men left the shop with the entire incident lasting 30 seconds or less.
How would the Founding Fathers dealt with this? I suspect they would have had a hearty laugh and suggested dueling pistols. But here we are with what could be a landmark case before the Supreme Court.
In Colorado, we have something called “Public Accommodations Discrimination” which essentially gives protected classes additional rights.
Places of public accommodation include a restaurant, hospital, hotel, retail store and public transportation, among others.
Prohibited discriminatory practices in places of public accommodation must be based on certain protected classes and include these adverse actions: denial of service, terms and conditions, unequal treatment, failure to accommodate and retaliation.
Protected classes for places of public accommodation are: Race, Color, Disability, Sex, Sexual Orientation (including transgender status), National Origin/Ancestry, Creed, Marital Status and Retaliation
Legally, a charge of discrimination must be filed within sixty days of an adverse action in public accommodations claims.
Jake Phillips’ argument is that “the freedoms we are talking about are already guaranteed to every American. If basic rights like free speech and freedom of religion aren’t protected for him, what stops the government from taking them away from you?”
The counter arguments involve writing a lot of words. The Washington Blade (a LGBT news source) summarized it as:
The Masterpiece Cakeshop case is not about religious freedom.
It is about using religion to justify discrimination. It is about privileging religion over the law of the land. That law says the Cakeshop is free to sell whatever it wants. It is not free to decide who to sell it to.
Sanctioning LGBT discrimination would of course set back years of progress for civil rights. If the court recognizes a constitutional right to discriminate, businesses can turn away people of color, single mothers, unmarried cohabitants, Muslims, Jews, interfaith couples and a host of others.
There’s a bit of hyperbole here that cuts nicely to the heart of the matter.
- “It is about privileging religion over the law of the land.” I’m sorry? What? Did I misread the First Amendment: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” In other words, that’s exactly what the First Amendment does!
- “That law says the Cakeshop is free to sell whatever it wants. It is not free to decide who to sell it to.” First, there isn’t a “law of the land” that covers LGBT discrimination as these folks well know. The law we’re talking about is a Colorado statute that grants extra rights to protected classes. Actually, the Cakeshop can say “I’m sorry but we don’t sell cakes to bald white guys” and be perfectly within the law since I’m not a protected class.
- The last paragraph is where we get to the creating mass fear part that’s always a part of the left’s agenda of continuing to push the boundaries of what is acceptable in society and to place more restrictions from the Federal Government on what we can and cannot do. In this instance, the LGBT community is hoping it can have its cake and eat it too — and we’ll all lose a bit more of our freedom in the process.
I believe if I still owned a retail shop, I’d develop a form asking customers to identify whether they belonged to a protected class and, if so, to state the accommodation they are requesting. Before completing the transaction, I’d have everyone sign the document certifying that they received the accommodation they requested. Otherwise, how do you know if you’ve failed to accommodate someone for something?
Of course, if they want to set you up, you’re still hosed. For instance, if a single mother brought an infant into a restaurant, requested a child’s seat, and was told “we don’t have children’s seats,” they’re potentially guilty of discrimination rather than bad service.
Let me go on record that if I owned a bakery, I would have made the cake. I also believe this whole concept of additional rights or “accommodations” for protected classes of people is unconstitutional because it necessarily impinges on the rights of someone else. It’s also just a really bad idea like so much of the good intentions of the left to make everything ‘fair.’
If you’re inclined to donate money to Jake Phillips, you can do so at https://www.continuetogive.com/supportjackphillips