Cakes for gays of top-tier im­por­tance

Weekend Herald - - Lizzie Marvelly -

Ithink we might’ve hit peak Amer­ica. In a coun­try where chil­dren are be­ing slaugh­tered in their schools, the Supreme Court is rul­ing on wed­ding cakes. While ba­bies are be­ing sep­a­rated from their par­ents un­der the guise of im­mi­gra­tion law, pro­tect­ing the right of big­ots to not have to bake cakes for gay cou­ples is high on the agenda. So high that it made it to the most pow­er­ful court in the land.

This week the US Supreme Court handed down a judg­ment that backed a Colorado baker who had re­fused to bake a wed­ding cake for a gay cou­ple.

While the case stopped short of set­ting a firm prece­dent al­low­ing any­one to refuse goods and ser­vices to LGBTQ+ peo­ple on the grounds of re­li­gious be­liefs, it nev­er­the­less fur­ther chips away at the sense the rain­bow com­mu­nity may have had that in 2018 we were mov­ing to­wards a time when we would all be viewed as equally de­serv­ing of hu­man dig­nity and rights.

Such a rad­i­cal idea.

But no, clearly cakes for gays are a se­ri­ous con­cern. I mean, imag­ine if gay peo­ple got it into their heads that their love was as de­serv­ing as straight love of lus­cious, vel­vety, sweet, cakey con­fec­tions. What an enor­mous im­pact it would have on the mar­riages of straight peo­ple, hav­ing gay peo­ple serve cake at their wed­dings. What a dis­as­ter that would be.

No, the SCOTUS was right to wade into this one. Oth­er­wise, what would pre­vent LGBTQ+ peo­ple from try­ing to spend their rain­bow dol­lars in places where rain­bow dol­lars weren’t wel­come? I can’t imag­ine what would hap­pen if an Amer­i­can baker set up shop here. Splay a $5, a $10, a $20, a $50 and a $100 note side by side and they make — gasp — a rain­bow. What does it all mean?

What I most want to know is where the gay cake dan­ger ends? Could a gro­cer seeing a gay cou­ple buy­ing cake in­gre­di­ents refuse to sell them flour and eggs just in case they were buy­ing them to make a wed­ding cake? Should all other flour-and-egg con­coc­tions be banned to be ex­tra safe? Good­bye pan­cakes. Au revoir crepes.

What hap­pens if a Chris­tian baker is asked to bake a cake by some­one who works on the Sab­bath? Should they bake the cake be­fore or af­ter they put the cus­tomer to death, as pre­scribed in Ex­o­dus 35:2? What about a cus­tomer who has cursed his or her mother or father? Should they be ac­cepted or ex­e­cuted, as Leviti­cus 20:9 in­structs?

What about tat­tooed cus­tomers? Cus­tomers with short hair? Cus­tomers who eat shell­fish and/or pork? Cus­tomers wear­ing clothes made of two or more dif­fer­ent threads? Should they be served, stoned or re­fused?

What if only one per­son comes in to or­der the wed­ding cake? Should each wed­ding cake cus­tomer be quizzed about their sex life be­fore hand­ing over their Eft­pos card?

Should all big­oted bak­ers em­ploy pri­vate de­tec­tives to en­sure that cakes are used for the pur­pose they’re or­dered for? Be­cause let’s be hon­est, I wouldn’t put it past one of us to ad­vance the so-called “rain­bow agenda” through fab­u­lously sneaky means. Why yes, I’ll have a three­tiered, elab­o­rate, white birth­day cake, please . . . don’t bother with the can­dles . . . I’ll add them at home . . . Oh, what a co­in­ci­dence! It looks like a wed­ding cake!

I bet you didn’t see that one com­ing.

In se­ri­ous­ness, the judg­ment is both dis­ap­point­ing and dis­heart­en­ing. It likely wouldn’t hold wa­ter the other way around.

What if a gay baker de­cided not to sell a cake to some­one be­cause they be­lieved that per­son to be a bigot and they had deeply and sin­cerely held views about big­otry? Would the law sim­i­larly pro­tect a mem­ber of the LGBTQ+ com­mu­nity if they de­clined to do busi­ness with a per­son whose re­li­gious “life­style choice” to fol­low the Bi­ble they dis­ap­proved of ?

I don’t mean to of­fend the re­li­gious com­mu­nity, I know that there are many won­der­ful peo­ple from var­i­ous faiths who be­lieve that LGBTQ+ peo­ple are de­serv­ing of love, dig­nity and all of the same rights as ev­ery­one else, and I’d like noth­ing more than for all of us to live and let live.

But why is it that dis­crim­i­na­tion sud­denly be­comes okay when it’s per­pe­trated by peo­ple of faith?

The crux of the judg­ment in this par­tic­u­lar case came down to com­ments made by two mem­bers of the Colorado Civil Rights Com­mis­sion that re­li­gion had been used to jus­tify slav­ery and the Holo­caust. Those com­ments were seen to be hos­tile to­wards peo­ple of faith. Those com­ments also hap­pen to be truth­ful. Re­li­gion was used to jus­tify slav­ery and the Holo­caust, as dis­taste­ful as it may be to men­tion them.

While it all may seem like a storm in a glit­tery teacup, the wed­ding cake fi­asco re­ally boils down to a case of right and wrong. Is it right to refuse to sell some­one some­thing be­cause of their sex­ual ori­en­ta­tion? Would it be right to refuse to sell some­one some­thing be­cause of the colour of their skin? Or the God they wor­shipped? In all of these cases, the an­swer is no.

But then, I sup­pose you get what you voted for. And maybe we shouldn’t ex­pect any­thing less from a coun­try that’s cur­rently a few raisins short of a fruit­cake.

Photo / AP

Char­lie Craig wipes away a tear af­ter the US Supreme Court ruled in favour of a baker who re­fused to make a cake for his and part­ner Dave Mullins’ (left) wed­ding.

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