Thread: Supreme Court & the case of the SSM wedding cake Board: Dead Horses / Ship of Fools.


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Posted by Golden Key (# 1468) on :
 
Tomorrow (Tues.), oral arguments start in this case.

" Here’s What’s At Stake In The Supreme Court’s Gay Wedding Cake Case The baker says it’s about free speech, but the same-sex couple says it’s purely discrimination." (HuffPost)

I think this is one of the cases we've discussed. (And the article mentions another relevant case.)

If you can, check out some of the coverage of these new Supreme Court arguments, and let us know what you think.
 
Posted by Crœsos (# 238) on :
 
I'm skeptical of the appeal to "artistic expression". It seems like a post facto rationalization for prejudice. Typically a baker provides a cake designated by the customer, not the a cake he thinks best artistically suits his æsthetic interpretation of the customer.

Baker: Here's a delicious chocolate hazelnut tort.

Customer: But I ordered a lemon chiffon cake!

Baker: Yes, but clearly the tort goes better with your overall æsthetic. Trust me, I'm a professional!

Customer: But I'm allergic to nuts! And chocolate makes my girlfriend nauseous.

Baker: Hey, sometimes you have to suffer for the demands of true art.

I'm not sure we'd ever expect to see a scene like the one above play out in real life.
 
Posted by Pigwidgeon (# 10192) on :
 
I was very proud to have our Cathedral Dean, Troy Mendez, being one of the co-authors and signers of this editorial in this morning's Arizona Republic.
[Overused]

[ 05. December 2017, 15:21: Message edited by: Pigwidgeon ]
 
Posted by Anglican_Brat (# 12349) on :
 
Religious freedom is about the freedom to worship, and to live one's life in accordance to one's values, provided it does not impinge or harm another person.

Businesses that are available to the public, do not have religious freedom. When you establish a business that is public, you don't determine which members of the public to serve and not serve. You are also expected to serve everyone who walks through your door with equal generosity and care.

The baker is in the wrong. If he doesn't want to serve the public, then he shouldn't advertise to the public, nor should he be afforded the same privileges that the government would grant to businesses with the stipulation that they serve the public.
 
Posted by John3000 (# 18786) on :
 
It's no different to a wedding photographer saying "oh, you're black. I can hire you a Polaroid camera for the day"

I'm pretty sure that's literally what will happen if this case succeeds.
 
Posted by Anglican_Brat (# 12349) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by John3000:
It's no different to a wedding photographer saying "oh, you're black. I can hire you a Polaroid camera for the day"

I'm pretty sure that's literally what will happen if this case succeeds.

I'm sure some evangelical Christians will get a rude shock when atheist Coffee Baristas refuse to serve them when they come in wearing "Jesus is Great" shirts.
 
Posted by Crœsos (# 238) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Anglican_Brat:
quote:
Originally posted by John3000:
It's no different to a wedding photographer saying "oh, you're black. I can hire you a Polaroid camera for the day"

I'm pretty sure that's literally what will happen if this case succeeds.

I'm sure some evangelical Christians will get a rude shock when atheist Coffee Baristas refuse to serve them when they come in wearing "Jesus is Great" shirts.
Well, the interesting thing about the proposed standard is that it depends entirely on the perception of the discriminating party. It's just as likely that an atheist Coffee Barista decides to get creative and tells the folks in the "Jesus is Great" shirts that he won't serve them because they're gay. There's no way to prove they aren't, and the ACB isn't under any obligation to take their word for it.
 
Posted by Crœsos (# 238) on :
 
For those who are interested the U.S. Supreme Court has a transcript of today's oral arguments [PDF] at their website.
 
Posted by Anglican_Brat (# 12349) on :
 
If we set aside the LGBT issue, how would this scenario work out:

Suppose an atheist walked into a baker shop and asked the baker to bake a cake with the words "Jesus is not the Son of God" and the baker is a Christian. Would the law be on the baker's side for refusing to bake the cake?
 
Posted by Crœsos (# 238) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Anglican_Brat:
If we set aside the LGBT issue, how would this scenario work out:

Suppose an atheist walked into a baker shop and asked the baker to bake a cake with the words "Jesus is not the Son of God" and the baker is a Christian. Would the law be on the baker's side for refusing to bake the cake?

One of the key facts of Masterpiece Cake case is that explicit text was not involved at all.

quote:
Charlie Craig and David Mullins visited the Masterpiece bakery and looked through a photo album of custom-designed cakes. When the owner, Jack Phillips, greeted them, they told him (according to his own testimony) that they “wanted a wedding cake for ‘our wedding.’” Phillips told them that he did not create wedding cakes for same-sex weddings. They left immediately without discussing any details of their proposed wedding cake.
It seems like the "photo album of custom-designed cakes" exists so would-be customers can say "make me one like this", so it's pretty clearly case of a merchant refusing to sell someone the same product he sells to other people, in this case because of the would-be clients' sexual orientation. Arguments about artistic expression are just a post facto search for a more legally palatable justification.

[ 05. December 2017, 20:59: Message edited by: Crœsos ]
 
Posted by Leorning Cniht (# 17564) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:

I'm not sure we'd ever expect to see a scene like the one above play out in real life.

I think your argument is rather weak. There are a large number of cases where some creative artist is offered work within certain parameters. If he comes back with something completely different, he's not going to find a happy customer.

"Please paint me a picture of this coastline for my living room" is a reasonable request, and I don't think you'd deny that the resulting painting was the creative work of the artist.

If the artist came back with a picture of a mountain or a trio of nude dancing girls, because he doesn't like the sea, you wouldn't be happy.
 
Posted by Crœsos (# 238) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Leorning Cniht:
quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:

I'm not sure we'd ever expect to see a scene like the one above play out in real life.

I think your argument is rather weak. There are a large number of cases where some creative artist is offered work within certain parameters. If he comes back with something completely different, he's not going to find a happy customer.

"Please paint me a picture of this coastline for my living room" is a reasonable request, and I don't think you'd deny that the resulting painting was the creative work of the artist.

If the artist came back with a picture of a mountain or a trio of nude dancing girls, because he doesn't like the sea, you wouldn't be happy.

And yet we typically don't see that kind of thing associated with most foodstuffs. Most bakeries, restaurants, and other similar establishments typically treat it as a problem or mistake when they bring you something other than what you've ordered, rather than a high-minded exercise of artistic virtue, free speech, or religious values.
 
Posted by mousethief (# 953) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Anglican_Brat:
If we set aside the LGBT issue, how would this scenario work out:

Suppose an atheist walked into a baker shop and asked the baker to bake a cake with the words "Jesus is not the Son of God" and the baker is a Christian. Would the law be on the baker's side for refusing to bake the cake?

I hope not. As a Christian. If Christians can't be in business and serve the general public, they should get out of business and do something else. Mow lawns or something.
 
Posted by Golden Key (# 1468) on :
 
I noticed the baker is at least consistent, and not just refusing to do SSM cakes. He also refuses bachelor/ette party cakes, and Halloween items. (Some Christians have major problems with Halloween.)
 
Posted by Anglican_Brat (# 12349) on :
 
Permit me to use a trivial example:

Last January, I decided to celebrate Blue Monday, (the worst day of the year), by going to my local store and having the baker inscribed "Happy Blue Monday" on a cake.

She looked at me for a moment, like I was crazy, but she went ahead and did it anyway, and I bought it, and all was well.

No one observing this situation, would have said that the baker "endorsed" Blue Monday. She simply did what her customer asked her to. In short, she did her job.

I don't see why the baker in the wedding case, couldn't have just seen it as just a job he did. He in no way, "endorsed" gay marriage, than the baker in my case, 'endorsed' Blue Monday.
 
Posted by no prophet's flag is set so... (# 15560) on :
 
But Blue Monday is not mentioned in the bible. (Neither is Breakfast of Champions°° which helpfully contains a helpful picture of an asshole).

[tangent]
Come to think of it there are quite a few assholes in the bible. Judas comes to mind, but maybe he's a pawn in a glorious grand plot. David was sometimes an asshole, considering Bathsheba. Joshua had his moments. God wasn't particularly decent when he killed children in Egypt in the Moses story.

So maybe cake people are just following a particular set of bad biblical examples with a long assholy pedigree.
[/tangent]


°°Full title: "Breakfast of Champions, or Goodbye Blue Monday" (worth the read even 35 years after it was written)
 
Posted by Golden Key (# 1468) on :
 
I'm skimming the transcript at the link Croesos kindly provided.

I'm not sure I ever want to hear about free speech again! [Biased]

One of the team on the baker's side is General Francisco. Just going by the text, I think he's more comfortable with the male justices than female. He speaks more clearly and thoroughly. Seems to get tongue-tied or reticent when interacting with a female justice.

Also interesting to see the justices vie to speak.
 
Posted by stonespring (# 15530) on :
 
In the oral arguments, lawyer supporting the baker (I don't remember if they were his lawyers or the Trump administration's lawyers) said that chefs of other wedding food and that makeup artists for people getting married are not exercising artistic expression and cannot discriminate against same-sex couples, but bakers making custom cakes (rather than selling pre-made cakes) are because a wedding cake is like a temporary sculpture.

A Trump administration lawyer argued that a baker of custom cakes cannot make an artistic expression/religious freedom argument to deny service based on race, but that s/he can do so based on sexual orientation if it conflicts with his/her religious principles. This lawyer also said that such a baker should be able to put a sign up saying s/he will not make custom cakes for same sex couples.

I am surprised none of the justices asked the lawyers whether a baker should be able to deny service based on the couple's religion - such as a Christian marrying a non Christian, a Jewish person marrying a non-Jewish person (if the baker is Jewish), etc.

I would not be surprised if the Satanist Temple (which exists solely to test conservative arguments for religious freedom) would, after a court ruling in the baker's favor, have an opposite-sex couple come into a shop and say, "We are a Satanist couple getting married and intend to raise our children as Satanists. We just want an ordinary white wedding cake with no special writing or decorations. Can you custom-bake one for us?"

Would/should the legality of a baker's religious-objection-to-bake in the above case I just mentioned hinge on whether the wedding itself was Satanist or not?
 
Posted by Crœsos (# 238) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Golden Key:
I noticed the baker is at least consistent, and not just refusing to do SSM cakes. He also refuses bachelor/ette party cakes, and Halloween items. (Some Christians have major problems with Halloween.)

I'm not sure we know enough about Mr. Phillips and his beliefs to say he's "consistent". He certainly has more than just being anti-gay going on, but whether this represents internal consistency or just the ability to be judgmental about more than one thing at a time is unclear, at least to me.

quote:
Originally posted by stonespring:
In the oral arguments, lawyer supporting the baker (I don't remember if they were his lawyers or the Trump administration's lawyers) said that chefs of other wedding food and that makeup artists for people getting married are not exercising artistic expression and cannot discriminate against same-sex couples, but bakers making custom cakes (rather than selling pre-made cakes) are because a wedding cake is like a temporary sculpture.

That was Ms. Waggoner of the Alliance Defending Freedom (a far-right Christianist legal organization and SPLC-listed hate group), who represented Mr. Phillips as a private individual. She seemed to have a hard time parsing out where the lines were between what does and doesn't constitute "speech".

Solicitor General Francisco represented the U.S. government in support of Mr. Phillips in this case.
 
Posted by Amanda B. Reckondwythe (# 5521) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
quote:
Originally posted by Anglican_Brat:
If we set aside the LGBT issue, how would this scenario work out:

Suppose an atheist walked into a baker shop and asked the baker to bake a cake with the words "Jesus is not the Son of God" and the baker is a Christian. Would the law be on the baker's side for refusing to bake the cake?

I hope not. As a Christian. If Christians can't be in business and serve the general public, they should get out of business and do something else. Mow lawns or something.
But would they mow lawns of gay married couples?

Re Anglican_Brat's question: Wouldn't have to be an atheist. Could be a Jew or a member of a Center for Spiritual Living.
 
Posted by Anglican_Brat (# 12349) on :
 
I think the case would be interesting if it involves a baker baking a cake featuring a bride and groom, and serving it either to a heterosexual or a gay couple.

As in the gay couple receives the same cake as a heterosexual couple.
 
Posted by Crœsos (# 238) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Anglican_Brat:
I think the case would be interesting if it involves a baker baking a cake featuring a bride and groom, and serving it either to a heterosexual or a gay couple.

As in the gay couple receives the same cake as a heterosexual couple.

I remember reading about a baker who only offered mixed-gendered wedding cake toppers. Not because of any objection to same-sex unions but because the only toppers he stocked were mixed gendered couples who were conjoined at the base. (It's possible that these were the only toppers commercially manufactured at the time, this being a while back.) It was impossible to cut them apart without potentially damaging the statuettes, and being a baker and not a tile cutter he had no tools with which to do so anyway. I believe the lesbian couple who inquired eventually opted for a floral cake topper, which he gladly arranged for.
 
Posted by Palimpsest (# 16772) on :
 
when ever I see this argument I wonder if the Baker gets to not collect state and city sales tax because that would impose on his religious freedom.
 
Posted by Crœsos (# 238) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Palimpsest:
when ever I see this argument I wonder if the Baker gets to not collect state and city sales tax because that would impose on his religious freedom.

Well, that's kind of at the root of most of these cases; does religious objection count as a valid defense against obeying otherwise generally applicable laws? As Ms. Waggoner accidentally demonstrated in her oral arguments it's very hard to draw a line around which laws you get to ignore because of your religious beliefs and which are truly applicable to everyone.
 
Posted by Anglican_Brat (# 12349) on :
 
I wonder if this issue ever applies to overweight people, as in bakers don't want to make wedding cakes for fear of endorsing the sin of gluttony.

Why is it that LGBT persons are being kicked in the shin, whatever have this couple done to this baker to deserve this unprofessional and frankly unChristian response?

This baker knows nothing about Jesus. Jesus would have told him, to quit his whining and bake the cake for the couple. As I recall, "mercy trumps sacrifice", which means that IMHO, acts of love and kindness takes precedence over religious observance and dogma.
 
Posted by Crœsos (# 238) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Anglican_Brat:
I wonder if this issue ever applies to overweight people, as in bakers don't want to make wedding cakes for fear of endorsing the sin of gluttony.

Most non-discrimination laws don't forbid discriminating by body weight. It might be covered under disabilities, but only if obesity is legally considered to be a disability.
 
Posted by bib (# 13074) on :
 
But should a Jewish baker be obligated to sell ham sandwiches?
 
Posted by Leorning Cniht (# 17564) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
And yet we typically don't see that kind of thing associated with most foodstuffs. Most bakeries, restaurants, and other similar establishments typically treat it as a problem or mistake when they bring you something other than what you've ordered, rather than a high-minded exercise of artistic virtue, free speech, or religious values.

...and nobody considers it a "high-minded exercise of artistic virtue" if I ask for a painting of a seascape and get nude dancing girls, either. It depends what you're actually ordering.

Most bakery products, restaurant meals, and so on are selling reproductions of things they have previously made. There is, I suppose, artistry involved in the creation of a particular recipe, but reproducing that recipe for a particular customer is craft.

I could, I suppose, buy the argument that a custom one-off cake design was artistry in the way that baking a #27 and icing the couple's names on it wasn't.

But I'm really nor sure that the "artistry" question is at all relevant.
 
Posted by Golden Key (# 1468) on :
 
If it's the baker's own store/cafe, then they can simply not have ham on the menu.

If the baker works at someone else's store/cafe, it's more complicated. And some Jews might be at least mildly ok with *making and serving* a ham sandwich to someone else.
 
Posted by Anglican_Brat (# 12349) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by bib:
But should a Jewish baker be obligated to sell ham sandwiches?

No, but they are obligated to sell to anyone who enters their doors if they serve the public.

A Jewish bakery can only provide Kosher food, but they cannot deny service to Gentiles.
 
Posted by Amanda B. Reckondwythe (# 5521) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Golden Key:
And some Jews might be at least mildly ok with *making and serving* a ham sandwich to someone else.

As they are with "Shabbas goys" -- people employed to work on Saturdays because devout Jews can't.
 
Posted by Golden Key (# 1468) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Anglican_Brat:
quote:
Originally posted by bib:
But should a Jewish baker be obligated to sell ham sandwiches?

No, but they are obligated to sell to anyone who enters their doors if they serve the public.

A Jewish bakery can only provide Kosher food, but they cannot deny service to Gentiles.

What if the bakery is in an Orthodox/Hassidic-only neighborhood?

What if a known white Supremacist comes in?
 
Posted by Leorning Cniht (# 17564) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by bib:
But should a Jewish baker be obligated to sell ham sandwiches?

This is a different question. A "Gay Wedding Cake" is not different from a "Straight Wedding Cake". The argument that a cake made for a gay couple is materially different from one made for a straight couple is a non-starter. It's the same cake.

Not even the arguments about being "compelled" to "participate in" a same-sex marriage rely on the cake being somehow different when it's made for a gay couple.
 
Posted by Golden Key (# 1468) on :
 
...unless some SSM couple wants something that expresses very clearly that they are a same-sex couple--people figures, names, rainbow-flag colors, etc.

Not pushing one way or another, just thinking through.
 
Posted by Crœsos (# 238) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Golden Key:
What if the bakery is in an Orthodox/Hassidic-only neighborhood?

What if a known white Supremacist comes in?

Most non-discrimination laws that apply to the private sector do not forbid discrimination based on political positions.
 
Posted by Anglican_Brat (# 12349) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Golden Key:
...unless some SSM couple wants something that expresses very clearly that they are a same-sex couple--people figures, names, rainbow-flag colors, etc.

Not pushing one way or another, just thinking through.

Well, the traditional wedding cake for example is not necessarily "heterosexual", there are some weddings of two women where one woman wears a wedding dress and another woman wears a black tuxedo so a wedding cake with a groom and bride figurine would not necessarily be inappropriate.

Thinking this way, there are no gay cakes or straight cakes. What is required is equal and fair treatment of customers provided by a business available to the public.

If the said baker wanted to only provide wedding cakes to straight couples, he should have conducted those in private, say in his household, and stated that for his business available to the public that he would not provide wedding cakes to anyone.

If you advertise and are open to the public, then you are obligated to serve the public.
 
Posted by Gee D (# 13815) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by bib:
But should a Jewish baker be obligated to sell ham sandwiches?

No, the baker is not. But the obligation is to sell any of the products on sale to anyone who walks in the door, asks for one and is able to pay for it. To get back to the wedding cake, if a baker does not have a little figurine of a same-sex couple for sale, he's not obliged to acquire one. Just as if I go into a shoe shop and ask for a pair of tan shoes with pink shoelaces. If none is in stock, I can't insist that the store owner order one for me (unless there's a sign saying that an order will be placed for anything not in stock).
 
Posted by orfeo (# 13878) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by bib:
But should a Jewish baker be obligated to sell ham sandwiches?

I don't understand why people constantly confuse the question of "being obliged to sell a thing" with "being obliged to sell to a customer".

They are so clearly different, and yet this comes up again and again.

People seem to believe that there is such a thing as a gay wedding cake. There isn't. The ingredients of a "gay wedding cake" are exactly the same as the ingredients of a "straight wedding cake". The same kinds of eggs, flour and so on.

No-one is asking for businesses to be forced to sell something that they don't already sell.
 
Posted by Soror Magna (# 9881) on :
 
I've only read a few bits of the oral argument linked to above, but they did get bogged down in whether a wedding cake is a unique expression of the baker's artistic speech or just a food item. And whether or not a makeup artist is an artist. [Roll Eyes]

I can't believe SCOTUS is wasting time on this, but in a country where corporations have religious beliefs, maybe cakes can talk. Or perhaps it is the first step in a sustained campaign to exempt anybody and everybody from pretty much any sort of legislation, as long as they can find a religious argument for it.
 
Posted by Golden Key (# 1468) on :
 
Miss Amanda--

quote:
Originally posted by Amanda B. Reckondwythe:
quote:
Originally posted by Golden Key:
And some Jews might be at least mildly ok with *making and serving* a ham sandwich to someone else.

As they are with "Shabbas goys" -- people employed to work on Saturdays because devout Jews can't.
I've heard of that.

Slightly tangential: in the 60s, there was a TV movie about Jews and Christians in NYC. They normally didn't have much to do with each other. Then the winter holidays came along, and both parties were trying to figure out what work days they could take off for holy days. They wound up trading with each other: Christians filled in for Jews during Hannukah, and Jews for Christians on Christmas.
[Smile]

This made a big impression on me at the time. Possibly because I lived in a very vanilla place, with very few Jews.

Anyway, another way to work with/around rules!
 
Posted by Golden Key (# 1468) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
quote:
Originally posted by Golden Key:
What if the bakery is in an Orthodox/Hassidic-only neighborhood?

What if a known white Supremacist comes in?

Most non-discrimination laws that apply to the private sector do not forbid discrimination based on political positions.
Some white supremacists use a religious framework, like the Aryan Nations Church.
 
Posted by Golden Key (# 1468) on :
 
(Missed the edit window.)


So let's say someone wearing a noticeable Nazi symbol comes into the bakery, and orders a cake that says "Aryan Nations Church Rocks!" Does the baker have to do it? (Legally and/or ethically.) If they agreed to make the frosted cake, and told the customer where they could get letters to put on top, would that be enough?

And if they took the order, and had a kabbalistic rabbi quietly come into the kitchen and do heavy-duty blessings and prayers over everything to do with the cake--not telling the customer--would that be wrong?
[Biased]
 
Posted by Gee D (# 13815) on :
 
How many more weird and wonderful (to say nothing of fanciful) possibilities can people think of! Legally, the answer is that that depends upon the anti-discrimination laws in your part of the world. There's nothing in the NSW Anti-Discrimination Act which outlaws discrimination on the ground of religious belief (or disbelief for that matter) and I can't quickly see anything in Commonwealth legislation which does either. Orfeo would know better about that than I.

Then your addition of the rabbi's carrying out a blessing, even more fanciful. How could that be unlawfully discriminatory?
 
Posted by Golden Key (# 1468) on :
 
Gee D--

The bit about the rabbi's blessing was mostly meant as humor, which is why I put a winkie.
[Smile]

With all the different cases of "I can't do this bit of my job because it's against my faith", I've wondered if they'd considered doing it and inwardly praying for the person. "Bless them, show them Your way, save them", etc.

And in the example someone gave where a kosher deli would have to serve Gentiles, I wondered about a white supremacist showing up.

So I got to thinking "Ok, if the law requires you to serve this creep, and everything about him triggers horrible thoughts of Nazis and the Holocaust, what to do?"

So, going with the praying option, I figured it might be a relief to have a rabbi bless the cake, hopefully driving off any evil influence from the customer, and possibly helping the customer be better. Do it quietly, out of sight, and don't tell the customer.

I confess I love that idea, and it's what I'd want to do.
[Smile]

Someone might find that objectionable, if they found out, and try to make a discrimination argument. ("You're saying the customer is so evil that you have to purge and bless the place???")
 
Posted by Steve Langton (# 17601) on :
 
by orfeo
quote:
The ingredients of a "gay wedding cake" are exactly the same as the ingredients of a "straight wedding cake".
The physical ingredients of editions of 'Mein Kampf' and 'The Communist Manifesto' are 'exactly the same' - the verbal content, though arguably abstract, very different and not unimportant.

Current discrimination law makes somewhat questionable comparisons between issues of 'sexuality' and of race. Like it or not, "I am white, he is black" is not quite the same kind of issue as "he feels an urge to do sex up another man's shithole". 'Urges to do' are in a different moral ball-park to issues of simply being... and require different approaches to what is 'discrimination'.
 
Posted by Amanda B. Reckondwythe (# 5521) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Steve Langton:
Like it or not, "I am white, he is black" is not quite the same kind of issue as "he feels an urge to do sex up another man's shithole".

False characterization!

"I am white; he is black" is **EXACTLY** the same as "I am by nature sexually attracted to women; he is by nature sexually attracted to men." Where he prefers to stick his prong is another matter entirely.

[ 09. December 2017, 12:19: Message edited by: Amanda B. Reckondwythe ]
 
Posted by Curiosity killed ... (# 11770) on :
 
As there is no way to answer you politely Steve, so I've resurrected your very own Hell thread.
 
Posted by Amanda B. Reckondwythe (# 5521) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Golden Key:
So let's say someone wearing a noticeable Nazi symbol comes into the bakery, and orders a cake that says "Aryan Nations Church Rocks!" Does the baker have to do it?

In Mormon Utah years ago (I think it's different now), you could order an alcoholic beverage in a restaurant but the restaurant could not ask you if you'd like one or even advertise that they were available. And the mixer and alcohol would be brought to the table in separate containers for the patron to mix.

So what about the baker handing the customer a pastry tube and saying, "Here, write your own [something inaudible muttered under the breath] slogan on it."
 
Posted by Crœsos (# 238) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Steve Langton:
Current discrimination law makes somewhat questionable comparisons between issues of 'sexuality' and of race.

Would you prefer to consider parallels between religion (another protected category in most anti-discrimination laws) and sexual orientation? Religion seems to be even more malleable than sexual orientation (it seems easier to switch religions than it does to switch orientations), and yet very few people complain how it's questionable to "compare" religion to race in anti-discrimination law.
 
Posted by orfeo (# 13878) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Steve Langton:
by orfeo
quote:
The ingredients of a "gay wedding cake" are exactly the same as the ingredients of a "straight wedding cake".
The physical ingredients of editions of 'Mein Kampf' and 'The Communist Manifesto' are 'exactly the same' - the verbal content, though arguably abstract, very different and not unimportant.

Current discrimination law makes somewhat questionable comparisons between issues of 'sexuality' and of race. Like it or not, "I am white, he is black" is not quite the same kind of issue as "he feels an urge to do sex up another man's shithole". 'Urges to do' are in a different moral ball-park to issues of simply being... and require different approaches to what is 'discrimination'.

“Like it or not” is your code for “I have a fixed opinion on this and no amount of evidence will ever get me to change my mind, so I’m going to demand that you change YOUR mind”.

The law doesn’t agree with you, as you’ve noticed. This is because a heck of a lot of people don’t agree with you. A lot of scientists don’t agree with you. A lot of Christians don’t agree with you.

So no, I don’t feel compelled to agree with you. In fact, I’ve reached the point where simply ignoring your idiosyncratic views is the best strategy. It’s clear that no amount of conversation will ever get you even to the point of acknowledging that maybe you’re wrong and all those other people and the law have a legitimate point of view. So it’s best to just ignore you and stay happy and comfortable with the fact that the law does indeed accept the comparison, and that this is far more useful to me than the opinion of one bloke on the internet who keeps preaching the same old dreck.
 
Posted by orfeo (# 13878) on :
 
You're also completely wrong on the part of your post that is actually germane to the discussion.

Because here in the real world, if a customer of a bookshop ordered "Mein Kampf" and was instead sold "The Communist Manifesto", the bookseller's claim that this was the exact same thing the customer had ordered would not wash.

You seem to be yet another person who can't grasp the difference between "what I sell" and "who I sell it to". There simply is no such thing as a gay wedding cake. It's a wedding cake. The process of making it is utterly unchanged. The only thing that has changed is the customer. Trying to compare that to two books with different titles and different texts is just woolly thinking.
 
Posted by Steve Langton (# 17601) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
quote:
Originally posted by Steve Langton:
Current discrimination law makes somewhat questionable comparisons between issues of 'sexuality' and of race.

Would you prefer to consider parallels between religion (another protected category in most anti-discrimination laws) and sexual orientation? Religion seems to be even more malleable than sexual orientation (it seems easier to switch religions than it does to switch orientations), and yet very few people complain how it's questionable to "compare" religion to race in anti-discrimination law.
Actually religion presents considerable difficulties to anti-discrimination law. Most of the world's religions have been of a broadly 'established/national' variety which is not easy to offer toleration to. Look at the obvious problems of 'tolerating' bodies like IS, or the RCC with its Inquisitions, or the Anglicans who used to persecute Baptists and other Christians.

Anabaptists kinda expect persecution and difficulties; by the fact that we don't want to be the government as other religions do we are in many ways easier to tolerate; but we aren't exactly demanding tolerance as a right. More a case of we will obey God rather than man and if you don't like that at least we submit to martyrdom rather than raise an army and fight you....

And of course we aren't in the business of persecuting those who do 'gay sex'. But yeah, we think we have a right to disagree with them and they don't have any right to be put somehow beyond criticism.
 
Posted by Steve Langton (# 17601) on :
 
by orfeo
quote:
Trying to compare that to two books with different titles and different texts is just woolly thinking.
Actually quite a few of the cakes asked for have had thoroughly propagandist slogans which make them not quite your standard wedding cake. Yet the physical ingredients were the same. If you recognise that the text of a book makes a difference despite the common physical ingredients of paper, ink, etc., then so too can the 'text' of a cake or the distinctive decorations that might be asked for in a 'gay' wedding cake.

Note that I don't see a problem in men loving men or women loving women; even when it is to the point of two men having a love 'greater than the love of women - see, eg., David and Jonathan. And hey, we are physical beings, there will be physical attraction and some physical expression of the relationship

On the other hand, as Jesus reminded us in Mark 10, God made humans male and female and that's what Christian marriage is about. And male with female can become 'one flesh' as a couple through complementary anatomy and also through procreation. Male with male and female with female simply cannot do sex as God intended - and shouldn't try to do what is in effect, simply a parody.

May I remind you that despite lots of sneering an ally of yours on a previous thread STILL hasn't come up with a credible 'other interpretation' of Jesus' words there; and indeed was apparently forced instead to say Jesus was 'mistaken'. Which means that (a) it looks like she had to accept that I interpreted Jesus' words correctly, and (b) she clearly very much thinks she knows better than Jesus and is an arrogant....
 
Posted by orfeo (# 13878) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Steve Langton:
by orfeo
quote:
Trying to compare that to two books with different titles and different texts is just woolly thinking.
Actually quite a few of the cakes asked for have had thoroughly propagandist slogans which make them not quite your standard wedding cake.
Actually does that have anything to do with what I said?

Let me supply the answer. No.

I am perfectly happy for people to have a debate about whether slogans across cakes make a difference. But I'm quite clear in my own mind that what I'm interested in is perfectly ordinary wedding cakes, birthday cakes, whatever kind of cake it is it is exactly the same kind of cake that a heterosexual would order.

As far as I'm concerned, raising cakes with unusual slogans on them is a deliberate attempt, made with great frequency, to muddy the waters and distract away from the great majority of cases. Because right now LGBT people are still having to fight to get that kind of ordinary cake served to them. We can worry about militant propagandist cakes after we've FINALLY dealt with mundane, live in the suburbs, do the grocery shopping with everybody else, not trying to make a fuss just wanting to be treated the same way as everybody else cakes.
 
Posted by orfeo (# 13878) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Steve Langton:
an ally of yours

1. I don't know what the hell that means. I don't have allies on here. I don't go around planning what to say on the Ship in concert with other people.

2. No, you may not remind me, because I've made clear I'm really not interested in discussing the theology of sexuality with you. You have your view. It will never change. There is no point in further discussion on this point, so please stop trying to engage me in further discussion. I honestly did not read the rest of your paragraphs on this. After the first paragraph on cakes I scanned only just enough to see that the next several paragraphs were about the topic I said I wasn't going to bother with. But the idea that I had an "ally" jumped out.

[ 10. December 2017, 00:03: Message edited by: orfeo ]
 
Posted by lilBuddha (# 14333) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Steve Langton:

On the other hand, as Jesus reminded us in Mark 10,

Mark 10 is about divorce. Only the homophobic looking for an excuse believe otherwise. And those Christians who wish to ignore Jesus' prohibition against divorce.
 
Posted by Gee D (# 13815) on :
 
Golden Key, your posts show no sign that you've read what Orfeo and I have been saying. A shopkeeper can decide what will be sold in that shop and what won't be sold. What the shopkeeper cannot decide is to whom the goods on offer to one will not be sold to another. if the refusal amounts to what is banned discrimination. So a baker who sells cakes with slogans iced onto it must be prepared to sell such a cake to a person who walks in the door if the basis of the refusal is a contravention of the local anti-discrimination law. If a baker does not sell iced slogan cakes to anyone, the law would not require a sale of an iced slogan cake to the aryan supremacist you have invented. It may not be a contravention if the refusal is because the slogan is one offensive to the baker and the basis of that is not a breach of local laws (I doubt it would be here for example). What would be wrong would be if the basis of the refusal were that the aryan supremacist was gay, that discrimination being contrary to the law.

BTW, the aryan supremacist example strikes me as being close to counting the number of angels dancing on a needle point.
 
Posted by Golden Key (# 1468) on :
 
Miss Amanda-

quote:
Originally posted by Amanda B. Reckondwythe:
quote:
Originally posted by Golden Key:
So let's say someone wearing a noticeable Nazi symbol comes into the bakery, and orders a cake that says "Aryan Nations Church Rocks!" Does the baker have to do it?

In Mormon Utah years ago (I think it's different now), you could order an alcoholic beverage in a restaurant but the restaurant could not ask you if you'd like one or even advertise that they were available. And the mixer and alcohol would be brought to the table in separate containers for the patron to mix.

So what about the baker handing the customer a pastry tube and saying, "Here, write your own [something inaudible muttered under the breath] slogan on it."

Yup. Or IMHO a simpler way, because a lot of people would have trouble writing frosting with a tube and having it look nice: sell those pakaged, pre-made cake-top letters. Have both individual letters and whole alphabets. The customer can put those on the cake at home. And the bakery staff don't have to know what the cake ultimately says.

Or find a separate store that sells baking supplies, like cake letters, refer the customer there, and act like you're imparting special knowledge. "Listen: I don't carry letter kits here; but if you go to the Cook's Club store, two blocks over, they have professional supplies. Just what your cake needs."

Alternatively, ask if they've got 3-D printer that can handle frosting. [Smile] Some people do use them for food products.

Interesting drinks in Utah. Did they get away with it? I wonder if they had to have an alcohol license, or if Utah has them?
 
Posted by Golden Key (# 1468) on :
 
Gee D--

But we're also working out possibilities and exceptions, which people do in deciding what they think of a law.

The Aryan example was very specifically the "Aryan Nations Church", which does exist. (And there's more than one.) Because that puts it within a religious framework, which is probably what they intend, because it gives them some protection.

So would it be religious discrimination if the Jewish baker refused to make a cake for them? Or agreed to make a cake, but refused to put the slogan on it?

For me, this process is like examining a car you might buy. Accidents? Check CarFax. Look for body filler. Brakes? Decent? Quality paint? Engine in good shape?

Or the way some luggage companies test their products--e.g., dropping them from a great height.

Plus...I don't usually think seriously about creating a law to handle something, or invoking a law to handle something. If I wanted some kind of special cake, like the Ship's logo and "SOF"; and "SOF" meant something deeply offensive in the baker's first language and religion; and therefore the baker considered me a horrible person; and the baker wouldn't believe me, and kicked me out of the store...I *personally* would go somewhere else for the cake, ask a friend to make it, or make it myself. (Likely muttering about the baker.) Then think about starting a cake business specifically for Shipmates.

And I hate people-messes. I want everyone to get along as well as possible. So I'm trying to figure out if there's a way to do that here, particularly in this SSM cake case. Is there a way for the same-sex couple to have the beautiful cake they want; for the baker to take little offense at doing something s/he believes will violate their faith; and for everyone to retain their dignity?
 
Posted by orfeo (# 13878) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Golden Key:
And I hate people-messes.

That's fine, but we wouldn't actually need a legal system if people-messes didn't exist.
 
Posted by Crœsos (# 238) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Steve Langton:
Actually quite a few of the cakes asked for have had thoroughly propagandist slogans which make them not quite your standard wedding cake. Yet the physical ingredients were the same.

As noted earlier, Mr. Craig and Mr. Mullins weren't looking for "quite a few . . . cakes", they only wanted one. No design details were discussed. Mr. Phillips simply issued a blanket refusal to provide any cake for a same-sex marriage celebration. It's almost the Platonic ideal of the gay wedding cake issue, since there were no explicitly homosexual cake design elements discussed, only the identities of the purchasers.

quote:
Originally posted by Steve Langton:
If you recognise that the text of a book makes a difference despite the common physical ingredients of paper, ink, etc., then so too can the 'text' of a cake or the distinctive decorations that might be asked for in a 'gay' wedding cake.

So if the couple had selected an image from Mr. Phillips' "photo album of custom-designed cakes" and said "make us one like that", what would have made the cake 'gay', as opposed to the original cake pictured in the album which was supposedly 'straight'?

quote:
Originally posted by Steve Langton:
May I remind you that despite lots of sneering an ally of yours on a previous thread STILL hasn't come up with a credible 'other interpretation' of Jesus' words there; and indeed was apparently forced instead to say Jesus was 'mistaken'. Which means that (a) it looks like she had to accept that I interpreted Jesus' words correctly, and (b) she clearly very much thinks she knows better than Jesus and is an arrogant....

Why is the U.S. Supreme Court obligated to read your interpretation of Jesus' words into American law?
 
Posted by Gee D (# 13815) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Golden Key:

So would it be religious discrimination if the Jewish baker refused to make a cake for them? Or agreed to make a cake, but refused to put the slogan on it?
products--e.g., dropping them from a great height.

And I hate people-messes. I want everyone to get along as well as possible. So I'm trying to figure out if there's a way to do that here, particularly in this SSM cake case. Is there a way for the same-sex couple to have the beautiful cake they want; for the baker to take little offense at doing something s/he believes will violate their faith; and for everyone to retain their dignity?

As to the first paragraph above, I suspect that a court would find that their so-called religion was simply an attempt to take advantage of the anti-discrimination law applicable there and that there was no real religious discrimination.

The second paragraph I've set out: the way for the baker to take little offense is to accept that the customers are entitled to the slogan on their cake, slogan-icing being a product he sells. Otherwise I don't really understand it.

And like Orfeo, I do have a pretty good idea how laws are formed.

[ 10. December 2017, 10:15: Message edited by: Gee D ]
 
Posted by RooK (# 1852) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Steve Langton:
May I remind you that despite lots of sneering an ally of yours...

May I remind you of which board you are on? It's not Hell. Therefore Commandment 3 is in full effect - even when you try to smear somebody without naming names. Especially when you try to wield the ad-hominem as part of a larger logical fallacy.

Incidentally, he's a brief list of fallacies for you to review should you consider yourself interested in continued participation in the logic-requiring boards of the Ship.

-RooK
Vaguely Host-like Marshmallowy Authority Figure
 
Posted by Steve Langton (# 17601) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
quote:
Originally posted by Steve Langton:
Actually quite a few of the cakes asked for have had thoroughly propagandist slogans which make them not quite your standard wedding cake. Yet the physical ingredients were the same.

As noted earlier, Mr. Craig and Mr. Mullins weren't looking for "quite a few . . . cakes", they only wanted one. No design details were discussed. Mr. Phillips simply issued a blanket refusal to provide any cake for a same-sex marriage celebration. It's almost the Platonic ideal of the gay wedding cake issue, since there were no explicitly homosexual cake design elements discussed, only the identities of the purchasers.
In this case I was dealing with orfeo's oversimplified view that there is 'no difference' between a 'gay' wedding cake and a 'straight' wedding cake because 'the ingredients' are the same - and making the point that as the 'text' makes a difference to a book despite identical ingredients, the 'text' of a cake could also make a difference.

quote:
Originally posted by Steve Langton:
If you recognise that the text of a book makes a difference despite the common physical ingredients of paper, ink, etc., then so too can the 'text' of a cake or the distinctive decorations that might be asked for in a 'gay' wedding cake.

So if the couple had selected an image from Mr. Phillips' "photo album of custom-designed cakes" and said "make us one like that", what would have made the cake 'gay', as opposed to the original cake pictured in the album which was supposedly 'straight'?[/QUOTE]

Possibly nothing - as I said, I was responding there to orfeo and not to that wider issue.

quote:
Originally posted by Steve Langton:
May I remind you that despite lots of sneering an ally of yours on a previous thread STILL hasn't come up with a credible 'other interpretation' of Jesus' words there; and indeed was apparently forced instead to say Jesus was 'mistaken'. Which means that (a) it looks like she had to accept that I interpreted Jesus' words correctly, and (b) she clearly very much thinks she knows better than Jesus and is an arrogant....

Why is the U.S. Supreme Court obligated to read your interpretation of Jesus' words into American law? [/QUOTE]

The US Supreme court is not obligated to read my interpretation of Jesus' words into American law. But orfeo should perhaps note that when this issue was previously raised my interpretation eventually went unchallenged by one of the Ship's more vehement pro-gay persons, who was unable to provide 'other interpretations'.
 
Posted by mousethief (# 953) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:
quote:
Originally posted by Golden Key:
And I hate people-messes.

That's fine, but we wouldn't actually need a legal system if people-messes didn't exist.
In short, lawyers are a result of the Fall.
 
Posted by Nicolemr (# 28) on :
 
Real life example, happened just a few days ago to me.

I am a librarian. A patron asked for a hold (meaning, to get the book from another branch of the library for him because we dn't have it) on Mein Kampf.

As someone who, although not Jewish, did lose family in the Holocaust, and who has, due to my Jewish-sounding last name, experienced a fair amount of anti-semiteism in my life, do I have the right to refuse to place the hold for him?

Clearly not. I placed the hold, and further more, by coincidence, I was the staff member who checked it out to him when it came in. Much to my disgust, but I did it.
 
Posted by Steve Langton (# 17601) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:
quote:
Originally posted by Steve Langton:
an ally of yours

1. I don't know what the hell that means. I don't have allies on here. I don't go around planning what to say on the Ship in concert with other people.
(snip)

But the idea that I had an "ally" jumped out.

Sorry, I guess 'co-belligerent', a person independently fighting the same cause, might have been a better choice of words. But you and person in question did a pretty good impression of 'double-teaming' at the time....
 
Posted by Steve Langton (# 17601) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
quote:
Originally posted by Steve Langton:

On the other hand, as Jesus reminded us in Mark 10,

Mark 10 is about divorce. Only the homophobic looking for an excuse believe otherwise. And those Christians who wish to ignore Jesus' prohibition against divorce.
Yes, Jesus' words in Mark 10 were triggered by a question about divorce. But it is pretty clear that he chose to answer the question about divorce by going a step back along the 'logic of the situation' and answering in terms of "What is marriage about?" And the very first thing he says is that God made humans 'male and female' for a relationship of becoming 'one flesh' in a way that only male with female actually can, because male with male and female with female don't have the complementary anatomy.

Putting it that way is a pretty emphatic statement that sex and marriage are for male and female.

I get why you want to restrict the issue to divorce only - but to do so is to ignore the basic structure and logic of Jesus' argument.
 
Posted by Steve Langton (# 17601) on :
 
by Rook
quote:
May I remind you of which board you are on? It's not Hell.
Sorry. Maybe I've been confused by the number of times - well, let's say I thought I was being quite gentle compared to some of the sheer nastiness that has been thrown at me in Purg and DH with no Hostly intervention to moderate it....
 
Posted by Doc Tor (# 9748) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Steve Langton:
Putting it that way is a pretty emphatic statement that sex and marriage are for male and female.

Yes, your opinion is an emphatic statement that sex and marriage are for male and female.

But that's not what the Bible says. You're reading things into the text that you want to be there, and you're over-reaching.

Certainly, Jesus was addressing marriage (and specifically divorce), but in the context of heterosexual marriage. If you want to take it further than that, then you're going to have look elsewhere.
 
Posted by lilBuddha (# 14333) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Steve Langton:

Putting it that way is a pretty emphatic statement that sex and marriage are for male and female.

Funny how some Christians switch their approach to Biblical justification to whatever mode suits them most for each argument. It is equally logical to justify homosexual sex and marriage because Jesus didn't specifically argue against them.

quote:
Originally posted by Steve Langton:
Sorry. Maybe I've been confused by the number of times - well, let's say I thought I was being quite gentle compared to some of the sheer nastiness that has been thrown at me in Purg and DH with no Hostly intervention to moderate it....

You position has been addressed, though I would say with no more nastiness than it represents.
 
Posted by Steve Langton (# 17601) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Amanda B. Reckondwythe:
quote:
Originally posted by Steve Langton:
Like it or not, "I am white, he is black" is not quite the same kind of issue as "he feels an urge to do sex up another man's shithole".

False characterization!

"I am white; he is black" is **EXACTLY** the same as "I am by nature sexually attracted to women; he is by nature sexually attracted to men." Where he prefers to stick his prong is another matter entirely.

"I am white; he is black" is EXACTLY the same as "I have blue eyes and my friend here has brown eyes" - that is, a simple statement of fact with no moral implication either in terms of fault for being that way or of that fact leading to people with such differences doing different things.

When you start talking about 'sexual attraction' it's pretty clear you're talking about something that isn't just a fact but leads to specific behaviour - in this case men doing sex together or women doing sex together. And that raises the thought that you left out a third option in your alternatives...
quote:
"I am by nature sexually attracted to women; he is by nature sexually attracted to men; and this third guy is by nature sexually attracted to children (indeed if the third man is one Ian Brady, sexually attracted to torturing and killing children."
Are you sure that once sexual attraction is mentioned it is really 'exactly the same'??
 
Posted by mousethief (# 953) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Steve Langton:
quote:
"I am by nature sexually attracted to women; he is by nature sexually attracted to men; and this third guy is by nature sexually attracted to children (indeed if the third man is one Ian Brady, sexually attracted to torturing and killing children."
Are you sure that once sexual attraction is mentioned it is really 'exactly the same'??
And we have a winner of the "How long will it take until someone compares homosexuality to pedophelia?" contest! And what prizes do we have for our winning contestant, Ed?
 
Posted by lilBuddha (# 14333) on :
 
And he wonders why his posts do not attract sweetness and light... [Roll Eyes]
 
Posted by RooK (# 1852) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Steve Langton:
Sorry, I guess 'co-belligerent'

quote:
Originally posted by Steve Langton:
Sorry. Maybe I've been confused by the number of times - well, let's say I thought I was being quite gentle compared to some of the sheer nastiness that has been thrown at me in Purg and DH with no Hostly intervention to moderate it....

Steve, it is clear that you have strong opinions about this. And when strongly-held opinions are challenged, it can feel personal. It is the risk of vigorous debate, and the reason why we are so overt about signaling caution in that realm with our house rules.

However, people's feelings are not something we can moderate - we only moderate what people actually post. What you actually posted was a violation of a Commandment AFTER it was pointed out to you by a motherfucking¹ ADMIN.

As to the weak-ass attempt to justify yourself with the "eye-for-an-eye" they-did-it-first, I should point out that our Commandments also do not rely on interpretive appeals to arbitrary religious authorities. If you actually do have a concrete example of you being personally attacked, please let me know.

Except you'll have to do it by email, for at least the next couple weeks. Because you are suspended.

-RooK
ADMIN

¹ This is literally as well as metaphorically true, and all biblically sanctioned to the best of my knowledge.
 
Posted by Golden Key (# 1468) on :
 
Nicolemr--

Well done. [Cool] Perhaps he'll get bored, or decide the author was a very sick man.
 
Posted by Planeta Plicata (# 17543) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
quote:
Originally posted by Steve Langton:
Actually quite a few of the cakes asked for have had thoroughly propagandist slogans which make them not quite your standard wedding cake. Yet the physical ingredients were the same.

As noted earlier, Mr. Craig and Mr. Mullins weren't looking for "quite a few . . . cakes", they only wanted one. No design details were discussed. Mr. Phillips simply issued a blanket refusal to provide any cake for a same-sex marriage celebration. It's almost the Platonic ideal of the gay wedding cake issue, since there were no explicitly homosexual cake design elements discussed, only the identities of the purchasers.
During the last election, I went to a Bernie Sanders campaign rally at which Vampire Weekend performed. Everything on the setlist had been previously released; there weren't any custom songs or messages. Was their decision to play at that campaign rally "speech" in the First Amendment sense?

(To forestall a potential objection, I'm not asking whether their decision to perform was a violation of any anti-discrimination laws or suggesting that supporters of a particular politician constitute a protected class. I'm asking whether their performance was speech in the first place, despite the lack of custom content.)

[ 11. December 2017, 04:06: Message edited by: Planeta Plicata ]
 
Posted by Arabella Purity Winterbottom (# 3434) on :
 
I worked as a family therapist with very challenging young people and their families for nine years. I am a lesbian, although not many people guess it to look at me. During that time I had a number of cases where the parents were card-carrying anti-gay fundamentalist Christians. I did not routinely come out to my families, preferring them not to be distracted by my life rather than focussing on theirs.

The memory that sticks in my mind was turning up to visit a family in the evening. Mum answered the door, but Dad was nowhere to be seen. Mum said, "Oh he'll be here in a minute, he's just making sure he's recording a programme on praying the gays away." She said this blithely, without realising that I was wishing I could run for the hills and vomit. I worked with that family for another 12 weeks - it eventually came to an end because good Christian Dad was seen beating his 3-year-old daughter by the care and protection social worker.

If I can stick out intense 2 hour family therapy sessions 3 times a week with people who really truly hate gay people, then I would have to call those who can't bring themselves to bake a cake "snowflakes". You do the job you are paid to do. You don't pick and choose.
 
Posted by Gee D (# 13815) on :
 
Nicolemr, I agree that as a librarian you had no choice but to obtain the book. How are you to know why he wants it? He could easily have needed it as he'd been assigned an essay which involved reading just as much as for more sinister reasons..
 
Posted by Erroneous Monk (# 10858) on :
 
As I understand it, in the UK the law is this:

If I'm a baker with a book of photos of cakes, one of which has 3 tiers, is white and says "David and Joanne" on top, if someone comes in and says "Please can I order the three tier white one but with "David and Joseph" on top?", I can say:

"I don't personally believe that David and Joseph can be married. However, I am happy to make that cake with that inscription for you" - and then make and sell the cake. Being able to express my view politely is freedom of speech; agreeing to sell an effectively identical product to someone regardless of their sexuality is a requirement of the law.

I think this is right (I also think that it would be really sad if a baker did feel the need to express their opinion to someone like that).

Supposing one of the pictures in the book is of a baptism cake - white, with a baby figure on, and the caption "Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you" A customer comes in and says "Can I have the one with the baby on, but can you pipe the message "You were not a person until you stuck your head out from between my legs"."

In that scenario, I think I could say I don't want to make the cake - I would not be discriminating on grounds of any protected characteristic. But.... should I grit my teeth and do it, as nicolemr did when ordering and selling Mein Kampf?

I don't think it would have any effect on my immortal soul, but OTOH, I wouldn't enjoy doing it, or be proud of the finished cake.
 
Posted by Jane R (# 331) on :
 
Most people do not enjoy their jobs all of the time. See Arabella's post, above. Enjoying your job is not a requirement: producing a cake to the same high standard as you would normally do, is.

(btw [Overused] to Arabella for a fine example of professionalism)
 
Posted by Erroneous Monk (# 10858) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Jane R:
Most people do not enjoy their jobs all of the time. See Arabella's post, above. Enjoying your job is not a requirement: producing a cake to the same high standard as you would normally do, is.

(btw [Overused] to Arabella for a fine example of professionalism)

Agreed.
 
Posted by lilBuddha (# 14333) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Planeta Plicata:
I'm asking whether their performance was speech in the first place, despite the lack of custom content.)

They likely viewed their choice to perform as speech. But it is not inherent in the act of being a band for hire.
The claim of the baker to be an artist is irrelevant. He is providing a service that does not require art. That is less than secondary to the purpose of what he has chosen to do, regardless of his view of it.
 
Posted by Tubbs (# 440) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Gee D:
Nicolemr, I agree that as a librarian you had no choice but to obtain the book. How are you to know why he wants it? He could easily have needed it as he'd been assigned an essay which involved reading just as much as for more sinister reasons..

I studied WW2 for exams and Mein Kampf was on the recommended reading list. It's a historical document relevant to the period.

None of the class made it to the end. I gave up around page 20.

Tubbs
 
Posted by jbohn (# 8753) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Tubbs:


None of the class made it to the end. I gave up around page 20.

Even if one could stomach the content, the amazingly bad writing is enough to put you off slogging through...
 
Posted by Jane R (# 331) on :
 
Oh, I dunno - people bought 'Fifty Shades of Grey'. Not that I've read it, just seen quotes from it.

I had to catalogue a copy of 'Protocols of the Elders of Zion' once. Mercifully this only involved reading the title page, but I still felt like I should have been handling it with tongs... and as with 'Mein Kampf' it is a historical document, there are good reasons for it to be in a library collection.
 
Posted by orfeo (# 13878) on :
 
The relationship between merit and success is, at best, vague.
 
Posted by Amanda B. Reckondwythe (# 5521) on :
 
One for the SOF quotes file! [Overused]
 
Posted by Golden Key (# 1468) on :
 
lB--

quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
quote:
Originally posted by Planeta Plicata:
I'm asking whether their performance was speech in the first place, despite the lack of custom content.)

They likely viewed their choice to perform as speech. But it is not inherent in the act of being a band for hire.
The claim of the baker to be an artist is irrelevant. He is providing a service that does not require art. That is less than secondary to the purpose of what he has chosen to do, regardless of his view of it.

...except for that tricky First Amendment thing we have over here, about free speech. It's often appealed to, in order to protect artistic expression. That's what the baker's advocates are doing before the Supremes. (The first day, at least. Haven't read a transcript since then.)

I don't know if it's been used before to keep the artist from doing something they don't want to do, as opposed to not having to take down art they've already made.

The law is usually used to prevent censorship, and this is about allowing *self*-censorship.
 
Posted by orfeo (# 13878) on :
 
The whole notion that there's any speech of the baker involved is something I've previously expressed my disbelief in.

If I order a cake saying "Happy Birthday Mum", clearly this is my wish for my mother. The baker has probably never met my mother.

But what do I know. I don't practise my analysis in a courtroom.
 
Posted by Leorning Cniht (# 17564) on :
 
Yeah - the bakers (also florists, photographers etc.) are arguing that it is their "speech" so they can try to import freedom of speech protections, but I agree that there's no sense in which me icing the words that you dictate becomes my "speech".

If I went into a baker's shop and tried to order a cake reading "orfeo is a massive $offensive_epithet and I hope he $bad_outcome" then I think we'd agree that the baker is free to refuse to do that. Not because it is his "speech" but because it's patently offensive and he can refuse to have any part of it. Similarly, bakers are free to refuse to ice Nazi flags on cakes, and probably most would.

That is the standard that the bakers want to apply to making cakes for gay couples. It really has nothing to do with speech per se at all - it's that they don't want to have any part in a same-sex marriage. And the law says that they may not choose to do that - they are free to discriminate against arseholes and Nazis, but are explicitly not free to discriminate against gay people, and if a gay man wants to buy a cake for his wedding, there are good odds that it will be a wedding to another man.
 
Posted by Crœsos (# 238) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Leorning Cniht:
And the law says that they may not choose to do that - they are free to discriminate against arseholes and Nazis, but are explicitly not free to discriminate against gay people, and if a gay man wants to buy a cake for his wedding, there are good odds that it will be a wedding to another man.

That depends on the jurisdiction. There's no federal statute forbidding discrimination based on sexual orientation. There's one in Colorado, where Masterpiece Cakes is based. One could, theoretically, start the Arizona Association of Homophobic Bakers and have all your members put up "No Fags" signs. Most bakers who live in jurisdictions where this would be legally permissible do not do this, even though we know that a good number of them have this policy. It seems like they want to do their hating "on the down-low", banning gay customers (whose business they don't want) from their shops but not losing the patronage of gay-friendly straight customers (whose business they do want) who would be offended by that policy if they knew it existed.
 
Posted by Golden Key (# 1468) on :
 
Gee D--

Sorry for the delay. I had a response ready a few days ago; but I've been sick for several days, and realized the response was a mess. I'm trying again.

Respectfully, I think wires somehow got crossed.

--That seemed to start here, continuing a discussion someone started about a Jewish baker. I raised some questions that you seemed to see as solely frivolous. They weren't, and I explained why.

-- You said I seemed not to be listening to you or orfeo. I may have been focused on on other ideas from others' posts, but there was no insult intended.

--I explained what I and IMHO other posters were doing--basically, testing out the possible law. I said that because you seemed to be against it.

--But you informed me that both you and orfeo know how laws are made. TBH, I have trouble keeping track of Shipmates' personal info. I know orfeo's work is connected to the Australian legislature. Maybe you're a lawyer?

In any case, my posts weren't about either of you or your stated ideas, except where I answered you. Other people raised some ideas that interested me, and I went with them.

--You said you didn't understand what I was getting at with concern for the baker feeling offended, and that would be solved by the baker simply accepting the law. (Paraphrase.) Actually, I explained in the post you were answering that I basically wanted everything to work out ok for everyone. I think you're going with "if there's a law, you follow it".

If the baker feels hard done by, emotional pressure will build up, and possibly spread to others. If the baker feels respected (if disappointed), that pressure may be defused, which is good for everyone involved *and* the community.

I'm feeling worse, so I'm going to sign off.
 


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