The whole flap over the gay marriage cake was not about discrimination, but forcing one's beliefs on another.
The Supreme Court ruled this week in favor of a Colorado cake baker, siding with the baker who refused to prepare a wedding cake for a gay couple to celebrate their upcoming marriage. But the Court didn’t rule in support of the baker’s right to refuse them, but because the Colorado Civil Rights Commission unjustly punished the baker for not baking the cake.
Those on both sides of the debate are claiming some sort of victory, but largely the Court ruled in just this individual case and did not want to set any kind of precedent for upcoming cases of discrimination. So, the question on everybody’s mind in the first place is still unanswered, does the individual’s beliefs allow them to refuse service to someone who has different beliefs?
But, as I have written earlier, this case was never about the wedding cake the couple so desperately wanted this particular bake to make for them or even really about discrimination. It was always about trying to force the baker, and everyone else, to accept and condone of the couple’s own beliefs about gay marriage. And they employed the use of a government agency, the Colorado Civil Rights Commission, to further their attempt.
And that’s where the Supreme Court thought the line was crossed. They ruled the Commission ironically trampled all over the baker’s civil rights while trying to protect the civil rights of the couple wanting to get married.
The sad part is this whole complicated mess was completely avoidable. The couple could have simply gone to another baker in town and gotten exactly what they wanted, but what they wanted wasn’t the cake as much as it was compelling the baker to agree with their lifestyle, or to be punished for not doing so.
The baker had sold cakes to gays in the past, and had no problem doing so, so it wasn’t about discrimination against gays. He simply felt his religious upbringing did not allow him to participate in a gay marriage, even doing something as little as baking a cake in celebration.
Yet, our society feels that if something doesn’t go our way, or if someone’s words or deeds go against what we feel is the correct idea, they must be punished. And we call loudly for them to be fired from their jobs, or have their businesses shuttered, and we attempt to run them out of town on a social media rail.
Just in the past few weeks, we have seen Roseanne Barr tweet a racist joke, that resulted in her highly-rated television show being cancelled. Soon after, Samantha Bee made some crude remarks on her television show that offended many, and people were calling for her head. Social media called for boycotts of both show’s sponsors, without regard to the many ordinary people who worked behind the stars who may lose their own livelihoods because of the boycotts.
If you don’t like what Roseanne Barr said, just change the channel and don’t watch her show. If you were offended by what Samantha Bee said, just change the channel and don’t watch her show. If a majority of people agree with you and stop watching either show, neither will be on the air for long. Getting Roseanne or Samantha fired will not change who they are, and likely won’t change their opinions with which you disagree.
It’s the same with the cake in Colorado. If the baker didn’t want to bake the cake you wanted, all you had to do was change the channel, and find another bakery. The baker won his case, but lost a great deal in terms of lost sales, time, and attorney fees. The couple are now happily married anyway, and say they were disappointed with the Court’s decision, but happy they raised awareness about LGBTQ discrimination.
But then again, it never was really about discrimination or the cake, was it?