The Colorado Cake Baker v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission

Discussion in 'West Mall' started by Clean, Dec 6, 2017.

  1. Clean

    Clean 5,000+ Posts

    This SC case (Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission) is an interesting and important case. At issue is religious freedom and freedom of speech. Do those fundamental rights trump the rights of gays to compel a "cake artist" to design them a custom cake for a same-sex wedding, which the cake baker says violates his religious beliefs.

    In 2012, custom cake baker, Jack Phillips, told two gay men; "Sorry, guys, I don’t make cakes for same-sex weddings.” Phillips was willing to sell them cookies or cupcakes, but he wasn't willing to bake them one of his custom cakes.

    Federal law does not forbid discriminating against people because of the sexual orientation, but the state of Colorado (and 20 other states) have adopted anti-gay discrimination laws. Colorado has barred Phillips from making custom wedding cakes for anybody because of his refusal. His business has dropped by 40 percent.

    The U.S. Dept of Justice, among others, is supporting Phillips, but the other side is equally well represented. The case is expected to come down to Justice Anthony Kennedy, as usual.
     
  2. ProdigalHorn

    ProdigalHorn 10,000+ Posts

    It's worth noting that Phillips also refused to make Halloween-themed cakes as well as cakes for divorce parties.
     
  3. n64ra

    n64ra 500+ Posts

    When will Colorado bar him from making Christmas cakes since he won't make Halloween cakes?
     
  4. ShAArk92

    ShAArk92 1,000+ Posts

  5. Seattle Husker

    Seattle Husker 5,000+ Posts

    Extra rights? It seems to me they simply don't want to be discriminated against in the same vein as an African American might have been told that a baker wouldn't bake them a cake in Mobile, AL in 1960. In the end, they simply want a wedding cake and were within their legal right to ask for it in the State of Colorado. I get it...some people want their right to discriminate protected and codified (i.e. Kentucky clerk). Simple solution, choose a profession that is not public facing.
     
  6. ProdigalHorn

    ProdigalHorn 10,000+ Posts

    This is pure garbage and has been shown to be so multiple times. Not to mention that the state of Colorado didn't recognize gay marriage when this took place. So they didn't have the legal right to go to the courthouse and get married, but they had the legal right to force someone to bake a cake celebrating the ritual they couldn't legally perform?

    Don't want to create t-shirts for the Klan rally? Tough. Pick another job.

    Don't want to do a marketing campaign for a white supremacist rally? Too bad. Try sales.

    Don't want to change your church's teachings on homsexuality? Welp... religion is a public facing service, too, so sorry! Pick a better religion. Yes... that's coming. You're lying to yourself if you think otherwise.
     
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  7. Statalyzer

    Statalyzer 10,000+ Posts

    I see a lot of problems here.

    One is the term "religious freedoms". Religion should grant any extra freedoms nor take any way. The right wants "religious" freedoms and the left wants "social" justice, and people talk about "civil" liberties. How about just freedom, rights, and liberties, with no qualifiers?

    One is the misunderstanding of what rights are. Nobody has the right to demand someone custom-design something for them. The law shouldn't force you to have commissioned a painting that you don't want to paint, for example. Rights are only "negative", not "positive" - we have rights that people not do certain things to us, but we do not have rights that people do certain things for us, except perhaps in the case of compensating a victim for a wrong.

    One is the clear agendas in trying to interpret the government's role. Nearly everyone who thinks these people ought to design a cake, thinks the government ought to force them to design a cake. Philips has the right not to design something, but I wish he wouldn't use that right here. He's no hero. In fact, if the basis for his choice is that he's following Jesus, he should have read Jesus' "Sermon on the Mount" and then made two cakes instead of one.
     
  8. ProdigalHorn

    ProdigalHorn 10,000+ Posts

    That's really not what that teaching means. By your application, he should also not only let someone sleep with his wife, but sleep with their wife as well. Or if someone wants him to drive the getaway car at a robbery, he should also bring a gun and shoot the cop who's chasing them.

    He would be following Jesus' teachings in the SOM by not counter-suing, or not speaking evil of the people who are trying to destroy his life rather than walking down the street to another baker who would be more than happy to accommodate them.
     
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  9. ShAArk92

    ShAArk92 1,000+ Posts


    Yesssir ... did you read the Matt Walsh article? I'm not gonna retype the entire deal and plus/minus a couple of info bits like "it was illegal when they did this" and his nomenclature about the homosexuals ... Walsh pretty well echoes what I've thought. It's not about grasping with my cold dead hands the right to discriminate (though I'm quite sure you'll never accept that) ... it's about freedom PERIOD. Government having TOO much authority.

    The application is fairly universal even if I cannot make the personal connection to what it is you do.

    I have a responsibility to the public, but don't make a political issue of expecting me to provide you carriage. You will lose. I'll have to write a report and be rested for the next leg.

    These two people sought to make a political point. Not that the oxymoron legalization of homosexual marriage has now transpired ... but that point of illegality while trying to use the legal system to compel unwanted action is seriously ironic.
     
  10. huisache

    huisache 2,500+ Posts

    I would have no problem baking a cake for a gay wedding. But what if somebody came in wanting to bake a cake to celebrate their upcoming abortion? I am a tepid pro choice person but would probably tell then to eff off on that one.
     
  11. ShAArk92

    ShAArk92 1,000+ Posts

    and you shouldn't be compelled to do so. It's called private business.

    Now, as has otherwise been suggested, if your Yelp review results in a significant decline in business ... that's just the breaks. Can't go suing a Yelp review/former customer unless it's actual libel.

    I reserve the right to refuse service/sales of Longhorns to any one I choose, too.
     
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  12. Htown77

    Htown77 2,500+ Posts

    The problem here is an over extension of the point of the Civil Rights Act. That really existed to break up an established system of segregation that existed prior to the 1960s targeting one race. A massive system of segregation simply does not exist for homosexuals in the US in 2017. All you have are a few odd bakers here and there that dont want to bake particular cakes. If the left truly believes the country is moving in favor of acceptance homosexual lifestyles, then they should not be threatened by a few bakers. The left’s goal is not the protecton of unthreatened civil rights in this case. Their goal is thought conformity. There are plentiful and likely better cake options for that gay couple. Their liberties are not being taken away. The only liberties being threatened here are the liberties of the cake baker.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2017
  13. nashhorn

    nashhorn 1,000+ Posts

    And that's the truth!
     
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  14. iatrogenic

    iatrogenic 1,000+ Posts

    This isn’t the first time the Democrats have supported slavery.
     
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  15. HornHuskerDad

    HornHuskerDad 2,500+ Posts

    Hit the nail squarely on the head with that observation! :bow:
     
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  16. OUBubba

    OUBubba 1,000+ Posts

    I agree with you right wing nutjobs here. I mean, I'd think cake decorators would be a field where finding one who supports gay marriage would be kind of simple. :)
     
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  17. OUBubba

    OUBubba 1,000+ Posts

    I listened to one of the gay participants in the trial. I found his embarrassment and hurt feelings un moving. I support gay marriage completely. That said, it's a cake.
     
  18. ShAArk92

    ShAArk92 1,000+ Posts

    I don't think you're listening clearly. It's not about the cake.

    It's about a private business owner's being compelled by government to engage in commerce he would otherwise decline. It's about the reality of the first amendment.

    Does one really have freedom of religion?

    Does one need freedom of religion when it's being practiced in an "approved" area but abstains from such practice elsewhere?

    It's not about the cake.

    It's about the process of petitioning a government to impose your will against someone else and whether we are going to have the right of freedom or not.

    It's not about the cake.

    It's about whether we are going to allow the government to decide winners and losers in business based upon specific demographics. It's about whether we are going to afford some demographics "extra" rights or whether they are entitled to the same rights as everyone else.

    It's not about the cake.
     
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  19. OUBubba

    OUBubba 1,000+ Posts

    It's not about religious rights. That's the folly. And, sexual orientation does not a protectected class make, correct?

    To me it's about respect. We should respect the baker's right to be discriminate. It could impact his business either positively or negatively but that's his decision to make. Now, if he declines to make the cake of a person of color or some other protected class it's different.
     
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  20. ShAArk92

    ShAArk92 1,000+ Posts

    How can it not be about religious freedom when the basis for the refusal to custom decorate a cake in such a way that violated this person's religious principles?

    I know the answer to that question, but evidently the SCOTUS of '15 didn't. That so-called same sex marriage was about protecting a class/demographic.

    I agree ... but that this has gone to the SCOTUS tells me there is a significant part of our society, including a lot of judges/juries which disagree and that they FEEL or believe the government has a responsibility to compel people to act against their own will.

    Yes, if there are enough confused people in that market which would materially destroy this bakers business, that's a different and proper method. Having government direct business is a faulty reference point. Thanks.
     
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  21. ProdigalHorn

    ProdigalHorn 10,000+ Posts

    But here's the problem - you've basically made free speech subjective. Not making a cake for a gay wedding is a little icky, but not making a cake for a black person is REALLY icky, so that we won't allow.

    Having said that, you're conflating some issues here. It's not about baking a cake. It's about baking cake in support of an idea, principle, or event which offends the baker. This isn't a gay couple walking in and saying "i want to buy that cake" and the guy saying "nope, I only sell to straight people." This is where I depart from some of the more severe libertarians. If you're selling something to the public, it has to be sold to all the public. But he doesn't have a cake that says "I heart gay weddings" and saying "only straight people can buy this."
     
  22. Mr. Deez

    Mr. Deez 5,000+ Posts

    And like I said in the other thread, this is where things get dicey. If the Colorado nondiscrimination act is unconstitutional in this context (as is being argued), is the Civil Rights Act similar unconstitutional if applied under similar facts but with a black or interracial couple? If you're being consistent, that's an easy question to answer, but if you're apply modern political standards, it's not.
     
  23. OUBubba

    OUBubba 1,000+ Posts

    Good point. I heart gay weddings. Well played.

    Maybe, the gay community should sell their impact on property values to the GOP. :)
     
  24. mchammer

    mchammer 2,500+ Posts

    Let’s look at this from a different angle. I understand that sexual harassment is only possible (legally) if the harasser has some role in the advancement of the harassed. If you harass someone from another department (particularly if you are at the same level or below), then that is an HR issue, not a legal issue. Companies want to avoid all of this lest they get charged with condoning a hostile work environment, which is admissible if there is a real legal harassment issue. So, what does this have to do with a cake? Well the civil rights act has more to do with discrimination at work, in voting, etc. Not sure it applies to buying cakes.
     
  25. Mr. Deez

    Mr. Deez 5,000+ Posts

    You're only considering Title VII, which applies to the employer-employee relationship. There's also Title II, which applies to public accommodations. In addition, numerous state laws (such as the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act that's at issue in the Masterpiece Cakeshop Case) also apply to race discrimination. In fact, far more apply to that than to sexual orientation.
     
  26. Crockett

    Crockett 5,000+ Posts

    I thought the Civil Rights legislation of the 1960s because discrimination was so rampant that black people had trouble finding lodging and places to eat ... horrific discrimination. Two guys getting married want a cake artist to commemorate their wedding ... come on man ... find vendors excited about your wedding. Hell if I want someone forced into baking a cake for me.
     
  27. iatrogenic

    iatrogenic 1,000+ Posts

    Good point; who knows what they would put in that cake. Probably not going to be their best tasting creation.
     
  28. OUBubba

    OUBubba 1,000+ Posts

    Could be like that pie on The Help.
     
  29. ShAArk92

    ShAArk92 1,000+ Posts

    (@Crockett too)

    It's not about the cake.

    It's about forcing/compelling the acceptance of "normal" that which is perversion. it's about having a skin on the wall in triumphant victory over the "old ways." Tolerance is a one-way street for these folks who "feel" more than they "think." They are vested in the agenda and that's simply that. All who not only oppose, but fail to support, must be crushed. It's very islam-like, actually.
     
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  30. Mr. Deez

    Mr. Deez 5,000+ Posts

    That's why it's never smart to be rude to a fast food worker. He's going to handle your food when you can't see it, and if you piss him off, he can make sure you get the "special burger." Ditto with a baker.

    My guess is that if the Commission had actually been able to force the guy to bake the cake for them, they would have tossed it in the trash and gotten one from somewhere else. They may have initially gone in his shop to get a cake, but once he resisted them, this stopped being about getting a cake and became about sticking it to him.
     
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