Discrimination and Hypocrisy


Another take:

10 Comments for “Discrimination and Hypocrisy”

  1. posted by Tom Scharbach on

    He should have to serve them coffee but shouldn’t have to do so with a message supporting their views.

    I’m not quite sure how the owner would serve them coffee with a message supporting their views, coffee being coffee.

    A conservative Christian baker should have to serve an off-the-shelf cake to a gay couple but should not have to decorate it to celebrate their same-sex marriage. A conservative Christian baker should have to serve an off-the-shelf cake to a gay couple but should not have to decorate it to celebrate their same-sex marriage.

    Well, that’s an argument, I suppose. We’ll see how the Court decides. Orals are set for December 5, so we can expect a decision this Term.

    A question, though, Stephen: Few bakeries keep wedding cakes “on the shelf”. Most bake wedding cakes to order, working with the customer to choose from the available more-or-less standard options (size, design, flavor, filling, frosting) . Is that what you mean by “off the shelf”?

    When does “off the shelf” morph into “decorating it for a same-sex wedding”? Is it when words (e.g. “Adam and Steve” are added) or figurines (e.g. two women atop the cake) or symbols (e.g. rainbow frosting)? Or is it the act of working with the customer to choose from the available options?

    There’s very little discussion of that question in the CATO and/or DOJ briefs. Both briefs slide over the issue, in my opinion. Yet the line between the two situations is important if a business owner is to be able to conform to the law.

    But in any event, the gay coffee shop owner is unlikely to be fined out of business by the Seattle city government, which is another difference.

    Have the complaining Christians (1) filed a charge under Seattle Municipal Code 14.06.50 and/or (2) commenced a civil action under Seattle Municipal Code 14.06.040? If not, the complaining Christians should probably contact a conservative Christian legal aid group for legal assistance.

    I assume that you will follow up on the matter and let us know the outcome, Stephen.

    Reply
  2. posted by Jorge on

    Well, it seems to me that if a gay coffee brewer can kick Christians out of his store for engaging in political activity on the street, then it stands to reason that a Christian can refuse to bake a cake for gays for engaging in a political ceremony on the street, too.

    Really, though, this just sounds like trash arguing with trash.

    Reply
    • posted by Tom Scharbach on

      Really, though, this just sounds like trash arguing with trash.

      Agreed. Assholes being assholes.

      I’ll be real curious to see if a complaint is actually filed.

      Reply
  3. posted by JohnInCA on

    “He should have to serve them coffee but shouldn’t have to do so with a message supporting their views.”
    In the context of the “wedding cake” controversies, that’s a bit disenguous as the argument of the bakers/florists/venues/pizza parlors/auto mechanics/pediatricians is that the service itself is “a message supporting their views”.

    That said, the question here appears to be “how do you parse this”? Was it an act of discrimination against a religion, or was it an act of discrimination against political activity. One of those is protected under state and federal law, the other is not protected under federal law, and protected in only a few states.

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    • posted by JohnInCA on

      Well, looky-here. Was reading elsewhere, and happened on an article that actually includes the fliers that the “Christians” were passing out. Link.

      And suddenly, the reason why this has been so strangely low-key† becomes clear.
      _______
      †Seriously, gay coffee shop owner kicks out Christians? When I first heard about this I thought “that’s going to be everywhere”. But then… it wasn’t. Coverage has been surprisingly lax given how easily it fit into the “the real discrimination is against Christians” narrative.

      Reply
  4. posted by Tom Scharbach on

    JohninCA, thanks for the link to the pamphlet that the Christians were handing out.

    Seeing the content of the pamphlets (Jack Chick redux) goes a long way toward explaining (1) why the business owner went nuclear on them, (2) why purveyors of the “outrage” and “hypocrisy” have carefully parsed their accounts of the incident to ignore the facts, and (3) why the usual conservative Christian ambulance chasers haven’t leapt in to file a complaint.

    As I noted earlier, I hope that Stephen “will follow up on the matter and let us know the outcome”. A simple, immediate step in that regard would be for Stephen to add a “More” to this post linking to the pamphlets, or perhaps posting the actual contents.

    Reply
    • posted by Jorge on

      I agree.

      I still think the coffee shop owner acted inappropriately.

      Reply
    • posted by Tom Scharbach on

      I still think the coffee shop owner acted inappropriately.

      Well, of course he did. He lost it and acted like an asshole.

      We’ve all been there and done that from time to time.

      More important, though, the legal question is this: Were his actions a violation under Seattle Municipal Code 14.06?

      At this point, that question is unanswered (except by Stephen, who has already convicted the business owner and decided that the penalty imposed, whatever it is, won’t be sufficient), and will remain unanswered until the complaining Christians file a charge under Seattle Municipal Code 14.06.50 and/or commence a civil action under Seattle Municipal Code 14.06.040 and the matter is adjudicated.

      Reply
    • posted by Throbert McGee on

      For once, I agree with Tom! The pamphlets were extremely provocative (and, I might add, an insult to pro-life LGBT people). The appropriate analogy might be asking a Christian cake-decorator to make a cake with the words “Jesus approves of same-sex marriage” written in frosting.

      Reply
  5. posted by Lori Heine on

    Straights really do tend to think that it only works one way.

    I had a major go-round with my publisher over this. He kept considering fundamentalist Christians (I don’t know where he finds these people) to illustrate my children’s book. I kept telling him to find out how they felt about gays, because I didn’t want to work with a bigot.

    “But they shouldn’t care,” he kept saying.

    I finally had to spell it out for him, at top volume, on the phone:

    I. WILL. NOT. WORK. WITH. BIGOTS.

    It was about what I wanted, not about what the illustrator wanted. It’s my book.

    That was a genuine surprise to him: “Oh! You mean, you have an opinion, too!”

    Reply

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