Bake Me a Cake, Redux

The Colorado civil rights commissioners and LGBT activists share a set of core beliefs on what is acceptable as religious dissent—and the extent of state power in compelling artistic expression that violates the religious beliefs of a provider of creative services. Meanwhile, conservative Christian artisans have a different set of core beliefs at odds with the progressives. Consider, however, who is supporting cultural diversity here and who supports state-imposed uniformity.

Religious Animus Revisited

The Washington Blade reports that Sen. Krysten Sinema (D-Ariz.)

…the first openly bisexual person elected to the U.S. Senate, didn’t place her left hand on a bible as per tradition. Instead, she used a book obtained from the Library of Congress which includes both the U.S. and Arizona constitutions.

The Pew Research Center for Religion & Public Life states that Sinema is the only member of Congress that identifies as “religiously unaffiliated.”



Progressives in general are increasingly showing their animus.

Florist Case Sent Back for Rehearing


More. Tyler O’Neil at PJ Media writes:

It appears Stutzman will have to show what Phillips showed — that anti-Christian bias was fundamental to the original ruling against her. This will prove more difficult than in Phillips’ case, and the odds are good that the Washington Supreme Court will reissue its old ruling, again prompting a Supreme Court appeal.

Perhaps in 2020 or 2021, the Supreme Court will finally defend free speech and religious freedom, explaining that a Christian florist’s decision to opt out of serving a same-sex wedding is fundamentally different from refusing to serve all LGBT people. Only at that point will justice truly have been served.

Compromise Can Be the Best Way

A compromise on LGBT nondiscriminination rights and religious liberty rights requires that both sides recognize that the other also has rights, and that sometimes these rights conflict and reasonable and workable compromises must be sought.

I’m more partial toward recognizing the right not to be forced to engage in activities that violate religious conscience in the private sector, and in particular the rights of small business owners not to be forced by the state to engage in expressive activities that violate their beliefs. But it seems like the outcome of this North Carolina case regarding a public official is fair to both sides—the individual magistrate does not have to officiate at the same-sex wedding ceremony as long as someone is on hand to provide these services.

This, by the way, differs from the situation in 2015 involving County Clerk Kim Davis in Kentucky, where she would not allow anyone in her office to issue same-sex marriage certificates, including clerks who had no issues with doing so.

A different compromise was reached in that case: Gov. Matt Bevin issued an executive order that removed the names of all county clerks from marriage licenses issued in Kentucky. I wrote at the time:

Government officials are responsible for following the law of the land, even when doing so is at odds with their own religious beliefs. They are public servants, not private, self-employed service providers.

But it’s for the good if a small, symbolic action can defuse a contentious “culture war” face off and serve civility without diminishing individual rights, and I tend to see that happening here.

Allowing individual magistrates to opt out as long as no couple is denied a prompt marriage takes things a bit further, but if no couple is harmed I don’t see a problem. It’s akin to not making religiously observant employees work on the sabbath.

Tolerance Is Not a One-Way Street

A word of caution from Andrew Sullivan, an early, forceful advocate of marriage equality and supporter of Barack Obama:

The freedom of any baker to express himself is, in this respect, indistinguishable from that of any gay person to do so — a truth that our current tribalism blinds so many to. I hope, in other words, that the baker prevails — but that the Supreme Court decision doesn’t turn on religious so much as artistic freedom.

More. The response from many on the LGBTQ+ progressive left has been fear-mongering, with little to no empathy for religiously conservative small business owners and often dismissive of religious liberty itself and the right not to be coerced by the state, on pain of losing one’s livelihood (or worse), to engage in expressive activity that violates deeply held religious belief.
Slate: How Clueless Straight White Guys Excuse Religious Homophobia.

What the left keeps getting wrong:

Not Just Off the Shelf


The Wall Street Journal opines:

At issue is whether baker Jack Phillips, who opposes same-sex marriage out of sincere religious beliefs, can be compelled to custom design a cake for a gay nuptial. …

While some on the left liken Mr. Phillips to hotel owners in the Jim Crow era, there’s no evidence of invidious discrimination. Mr. Phillips and others who have denied wedding services to same-sex nuptials have consistently served gays in other contexts. Mr. Phillips said he would sell the gay couple other baked goods—simply not a custom wedding cake.

As the editorial notes, the issue pits the government’s interest in social equality against an individual’s constitutional right to express his beliefs.

Islamaphobia?


Meanwhile: Advocates protest anti-LGBT violence, Islamophobia in Dupont Circle.

There seems to be a fair amount of confusion over whether criticism of Islamic homophobia is Islamaphobia. But try this: would these advocates rally in defense of the rights of Christian fundamentalists? Alternatively, would they ever demand that a halal bakery create desserts for a same-sex wedding?

More. Chris Barron, in a blurb for the satirical Social Justice Warrior Handbook, says it’s invaluable for “the modern LGBTQIA activist desperate to fight the oppression of pronouns and gender specific bathrooms all while ignoring the barbaric treatment of LGBT people in the Islamic world.”