The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear oral argument in the famed Masterpiece Cakeshop case, on Tuesday. The case is a seminal one for religious liberty because it pits the ability of local and state governments to enforce “anti-discrimination law” against religious practice rights for business owners; it essentially decides whether or not religious people can practice their religion in their business.
The case revolves around a man named Jack Phillips, who works at a bakery. Jack has a rule that he will sell to anybody that walks through the door, gay, straight, black, white, as a Christian, he won’t however, make a cake for any event.
This means that he sees it as sinful participation to make a custom cake celebrating a same-sex wedding. So he’ll make a cake for a same-sex wedding, but he won’t decorate it as such (no groom-groom wedding toppers, for example). He also refuses to make cakes that push anti-gay messages, anti-American messages, and adult-themed messages.
This is Jack’s constitutional right, but apparently, liberals in Colorado’s Civil Rights Commission don’t think so. They believe Jack has to go against his religion, and make cakes for any situation, or no situation. As a result of their ruling, Jack lost 40% of his business and more than half of his employees because he wants to do what was right by his religion.
This is obviously fascistic stuff. But the LGBT advocacy Left believes that religious freedom is a true threat to LGBT rights — that we all have a right to one another’s services. Thus, Sarah Jones writes in New Republic:
Why should the law obligate a calligrapher or a photographer or baker to take a specific order? But on closer review, the ADF’s argument breaks down. Wedding vendors don’t run ministries. They run businesses that are open to the public. And while business owners do have some legal flexibility over who they do or do not serve, this isn’t a matter of no shoes, no shirt, no service. The action Jack Phillips wants to take is morally equivalent to rejecting a customer because they’re blind or female or black. It doesn’t mean very much if Phillips allows a queer person to buy a birthday cake; the queer person has to hide any public evidence of his queerness in order to receive service. What Phillips wants is for the law to weight his personal beliefs about a person’s intrinsic identity above that person’s right to access a business.
Nobody should be forced to do anything that contradicts their religion within reason. If Jack not wanting to make a gay couple a cake because of his religion bothers that many people, go to a different bakery.