by Mark Angelides
Once again the story about the baker who refused to bake a cake for a gay couple is in the ages of our newspapers. We are being asked to look at it as though the baker, Masterpiece Cakeshop, was asking for “the right to discriminate” (LA Times) and that their refusal is akin to a sign saying “No blacks.” But their argument is not only flawed, it is disingenuous and moral cowardice.
You see this is not about refusal of service, in fact, Masterpiece did offer the couple, David Mullins and Charlie Craig service, just not the service they asked for. Those who support the couple suing the bakery are missing a major point…Whether it is a religious objection, an ethical objection, or any other kind of objection, the creation for something should not be compelled under law.
If the bakery had refused to sell them an existing cake, then they should be shut down immediately, because this really is discrimination, but they were asking for a unique creation that was not being “offered.”
The simplest way to argue this is to carry on the line of thinking. Can you go to a Halal butchers and demand that they sell you meat that has not been killed in the Halal method (assuming they do their slaughter on site)? Of course not! But neither can they refuse to sell you meat that that they have already prepared Halal if you ask for it. If you asked for them to do that, to not slaughter in a their regular method, they would be well within their rights to refuse.
Another example. If you go to an artist who happens to be gay, and his main income source is painting commissioned portraits or artistic posters, and you ask him for a sign that ahs a biblical passage regarding “the sin of homosexuality,” would anyone expect him to actually paint it?
And it is not a question of “protected status” (although the ruling in the case might have been), it is a question of freedom. The freedom to NOT be compelled to create or work towards something with which you disagree. It is the same reason that conscientious objectors are no longer thrown in prison. In a free society, no one should be compelled to deface or devalue their beliefs.
I feel for the people who wanted the cake. It is sad for everyone when your way of life is looked upon as “less” than another’s. But they were NOT refused service, and this was NOT an argument “for discrimination.”
by Mark Angelides