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Colorado Bakery Won't Make Wedding Cakes for Gay Couples

Masterpiece Bakery and its owner Jack Phillips in Lakewood, CO (just west of Denver) are engulfed in a storm of controversy after Phillips told a gay couple picking out their wedding cake he wouldn't make one for them because he doesn't support gay marriage.

Philips claims he isn't discriminating against gays, he will make them birthday cakes or cakes for any other occasion besides a marriage.

Phillips is taking a beating on Facebook and even on Yelp. A large protest is scheduled for next Saturday. Phillips doesn't seem to be fazed.

We would close down that bakery before we closed our beliefs, so that may be what it comes to … we’ll see,” Phillips said.

There are plenty of other bakeries in Lakewood. Elegant Bakeries has won lots of awards for its wedding cakes and is family owned and operated. There's also Et Cetera Gourmet and Cakes by Karen. Masterpiece's discrimination is unacceptable. [More...]

It seems to me if Masterpiece operates under a retail business license issued by Lakewood or Jefferson County, and is open to the public, it should be have to sell to all of the public. Stupid decision by Phillips.

Update: It seems Masterpiece is violating Colorado law which prohibits retail businesses from discriminating against people because of sexual orientation or marital status, among other reasons.

The Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act provides:

Places of public accommodation may not deny any person participation, entry, or services based upon the personís sexual orientation, including transgender status.

... A public accommodation is any place of business engaged in offering sales or services of any kind to the public, as well as any place offering facilities, privileges, advantages or other accommodations to the public. Typical examples of public accommodations include, but are not limited to, hotels, restaurants, stores, hospitals, clinics, and health clubs.

Here's the statute.

"place of public accommodation" means any place of business engaged in any sales to the public and any place offering services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations to the public, including but not limited to any business offering wholesale or retail sales to the public;

...(2) It is a discriminatory practice and unlawful for a person, directly or indirectly, to refuse, withhold from, or deny to an individual or a group, because of disability, race, creed, color, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, or ancestry, the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations of a place of public accommodation or, directly or indirectly, to publish, circulate, issue, display, post, or mail any written, electronic, or printed communication, notice, or advertisement that indicates that the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations of a place of public accommodation will be refused, withheld from, or denied an individual or that an individual's patronage or presence at a place of public accommodation is unwelcome, objectionable, unacceptable, or undesirable because of disability, race, creed, color, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, or ancestry.

The penalty:

1) Any person who violates section 24-34-601 shall be fined not less than fifty dollars nor more than five hundred dollars for each violation. A person aggrieved by the violation of section 24-34-601 shall bring an action in any court of competent jurisdiction in the county where the violation occurred. Upon finding a violation, the court shall order the defendant to pay the fine to the aggrieved party.

(2) For each violation of section 24-34-601, the person is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by a fine of not less than ten dollars nor more than three hundred dollars, or by imprisonment in the county jail for not more than one year, or by both such fine and imprisonment.

I wonder what happens if multiple gay couples now request wedding cakes from Masterpiece, are denied, and each files a complaint.

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  • Display: Sort:
    It must be a lot easier to run a business (5.00 / 3) (#30)
    by ruffian on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 09:44:05 AM EST
    than I thought if they have time to compare the characteristics of their customers to themselves and figure out who deserves cake. In my workjplace we would need a work instruction and a charge number for that process.

    If we could harness all the metal and emotional energy expended on meaningless crap maybe we could actually make some progress in this country.

    Amen (none / 0) (#65)
    by Lora on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 01:05:40 PM EST
    Too Funny... (5.00 / 1) (#32)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 09:47:41 AM EST
    ...who knew there were straight men running cake shops and that one of them would actually have a problem with gay marriage.

    But seriously, he is in the wrong line of business, this is one instance in which the market will surely have the desired effect on a bad business owner.  The people who support this man surely aren't buying cakes, and the people buying cakes, for the most part, are sympathetic to gay marriage.

    That being said, the lawyers need to get involved because there are businesses in which it's customers can support this discrimination.  Before you know it these aholes will be posting signs, 'straights only'.

    Scott, please (none / 0) (#39)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 10:18:56 AM EST
    who knew there were straight men running cake shops

    Do you really wanna do that??

    Parent

    You might want to rethink that statement (none / 0) (#63)
    by Aunt Polgara on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 12:44:09 PM EST
    The people who support this man surely aren't buying cakes, and the people buying cakes, for the most part, are sympathetic to gay marriage.

    Chick-Fil-A seems to be doing a booming business this week.

    Parent

    Obviously.... (5.00 / 1) (#37)
    by kdog on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 10:09:30 AM EST
    repugnant, but I have an ear for the devil's advocate in cases like this cuz I love freedom so much, even the freedom to be a bigoted doucheb*g.

    I know the law and agree with the spirit of it...but otoh it is kinda tyrannical to force a person to do work for a person they despise, for no reason or good reason.

    Not for nothing, if I was that engaged gay couple I wouldn't buy a cake from that f8ck if he was the last baker on earth...I'd serve Twinkies first.  

    Yep (none / 0) (#46)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 10:48:47 AM EST
    Agree with you, as almost always.  And a couple of issues.

    1.  Why would you want to force someone who hates you to make you an edible item?  That would never go weil.

    2.  Why would you want to give them money.

    In this day and age when most businesses do not act like soda shops in the south once did, the power is in information.  And these people used their power, else we would't know about it.  Now everyone who agrees can withdraw any dollars they once spent at this business.

    Something that nobody has brought up....the irony that the state can regulate  business practices toward Gay couples when the state itself won't allow them to marry, which IMHO is the biggest discriminatory travesty of all.

    Parent

    *well (none / 0) (#47)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 10:49:21 AM EST
    I can't type nor see.

    Parent
    I always wonder (none / 0) (#48)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 10:56:33 AM EST
     
    Why would you want to force someone who hates you to make you an edible item?  That would never go weil.

    If people who are rude to wait persons understand that the wait person can be alone/unobserved with their food?

    Parent

    As a navy vet (none / 0) (#185)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Tue Jul 31, 2012 at 10:11:53 AM EST

    Are you familiar with the admonition to cheese whip the coffee cup before you fill it?

    Parent
    Seriously... (none / 0) (#66)
    by kdog on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 01:06:57 PM EST
    State of Colorado prohibits discrimination against gays by shopkeepers, while discriminating against gays in a far more harmful way, denying them marriage rights...too rich! Well said.

    Equality under the law is a must, but I think an individual has an inalienable right to be prejudiced, and owes his/her labor to no one.  As long as bigotry isn't institutionalized and codified into law, like the segregated south back in the day, or marriage law today, I think the free market can handle things like the hater-baker problem without action by the state, as long as the equality under the law framework is in place...which of course, it is not. Free market solutions being boycotts, picket lines, shopping elsewhere, etc.  

    Parent

    "Equality under the law" (none / 0) (#84)
    by shoephone on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 02:14:23 PM EST
    isn't just a theoretical concept. It means that anti-discrimination laws must actually be followed. And if there is to be equality under the law, then this statement:

    "...I think the free market can handle things like the hater-baker problem without action by the state..."

    doesn't make a lot of sense, and is in contradiction to equality under the law. There are consequences for not following the law.

    I understand your libertarian viewpoint, Kdog, but you can't have it both ways on this one.

    Parent

    "Equality under the law" (none / 0) (#85)
    by shoephone on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 02:14:39 PM EST
    isn't just a theoretical concept. It means that anti-discrimination laws must actually be followed. And if there is to be equality under the law, then this statement:

    "...I think the free market can handle things like the hater-baker problem without action by the state..."

    doesn't make a lot of sense, and is in contradiction to equality under the law. There are consequences for not following the law.

    I understand your libertarian viewpoint, Kdog, but you can't have it both ways on this one.

    Parent

    By equality under the law... (none / 0) (#93)
    by kdog on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 02:37:34 PM EST
    I mean we must be equal when it comes to the law, the state, and public business.  The courthouse can't refuse you a marriage licence because you're gay and give one to the straight couple, for example.  (Oops!;)

    If the law said private business owners can refuse service to anyone for any reason, we'd be equal under the law...no?  Equal right to refuse private service.  That's what I'm getting at, in my usual poorly worded way.  

    Under current law, we have "protected" classes that are more equal than others.  Which I'm not saying I mind in practice, as these protected classes are minority groups of people who have historically suffered greatly at the hands of the majority...but in theory, is it not kinda troubling that a baker can be forced to bake for somebody he/she rather not bake for, or be forbidden from baking for a living.  It may be necessary here in the land of the rising hate, but I don't know if it's just.  

    Sh*t if I owned a donut shop I might wanna refuse service to cops, just to be a d*ck...


    Parent

    I disagree that minorities (5.00 / 1) (#98)
    by shoephone on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 02:53:33 PM EST
    --because they have previously suffered under laws allowing discrimination--have more protection under the law now. But that's a much longer discussion for another thread...

    As you stated in your earlier comment, we can't control what other people think and believe. But that's not what the law is for; the law doesn't mandate certain thoughts and beliefs, it mandates behaviors. Anti-discrimination as law means those who fall under its jurisdiction are subject to punitive measures for violating, ie., behaving contrary to, the law. In the case of the bakery owner, if he is violating Colorado law, then he should be held accountable, regardless of personal beliefs one way or the other. If Colorado citizens think the law is wrong, they can lobby their legislators to change it (an attempt which, I think, would fail).

    Parent

    I'm questioning the righteousness... (none / 0) (#102)
    by kdog on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 03:10:20 PM EST
    of the law, is it ok in the name of fighting discrimination to force a free human being to serve somebody he/she does not wish to serve or be punished by the state?  It's a pretty awesome power.  Of course, it is the law and if caught breaking the law you are subject to punishment...but that alone don't make it right.  Legal/Illegal, Right/Wrong are very different arguments.

    As for more protections, where's the protection for the homeless person who can't afford a pair of shoes?  They can be denied service anywhere and everywhere, legally.  Therefore, those who own and wear shoes are more equal than the barefooted.  That's what I was on about...not affirmitive action.


    Parent

    I suppose they could be more honest (5.00 / 2) (#107)
    by ZtoA on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 03:47:28 PM EST
    in their advertising.

    We offer cakes!  Wedding (except for GLBT who we do not approve of), Birthday (except for Muslims who we think should not have been born), Retirement (except for women who we think should not work outside the home), Any Special Occasion (except to immigrants who we think should not be having any special occasions). We have other baked goods too: Muffins (not available for Jews), Cookies (not to Catholics), and delicious Breads (except to cat owners because we prefer dogs).

    Parent

    ROTFLMAO (none / 0) (#196)
    by gyrfalcon on Tue Jul 31, 2012 at 01:00:11 PM EST
    Thanks!

    Parent
    But if you operate a business ... (none / 0) (#78)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 01:52:50 PM EST
    ... that opens its doors to the general public, it's tyrannical on your part to openly discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, gender, religion, age, physical disability and sexual orientation against whomever might happen to walk (or roll, as the case may be) through those doors, seeking to do business with you.

    Parent
    That's not tyranny Donald... (none / 0) (#82)
    by kdog on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 01:59:51 PM EST
    that's being an assh*le.  A private baker owes no one his labor imo, though I know the law says otherwise.

    Now if the DMV does it, that's tyranny.

    Parent

    As a consultant, I contract my services. (none / 0) (#99)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 02:55:55 PM EST
    I can and do choose both my hours of business and my clientele. My office in downtown Honolulu is not open to the general public, and I meet with prospective clients by appointment only, after they are referred to me.

    That said, I don't have the right to discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, gender, etc., against people or organizations who would otherwise have the ability to pay for my services. The only time I can decline such a prospective client would be if my service to them would prove an undue hardship upon me, i.e., it is beyond my physical capacity to take on another client whose locale is off-island, or if I have an obvious conflict of interest, i.e., I'm already contracted for work with a competing organization.

    Parent

    But you're free... (none / 0) (#104)
    by kdog on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 03:31:25 PM EST
    to be selective with your labor based on any other criteria except race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or disability. You can't refuse to work for Herman Cain because he is black, but you could refuse because you don't like his politics...right?

    I see the need for anti-discrimination laws, a sordid history of discrimination, sometimes state sanctioned...though I would hope we will evolve past the need for such laws.  otoh I have trouble wrapping my head around how can you force somebody in good conscience to work for somebody they don't want to work for?  It's like indentured servitude in a sense. Theoretically speaking...

    Parent

    KDog thats the solution. (none / 0) (#133)
    by lousy1 on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 08:50:58 PM EST
    The sales was not aborted because of the sexual identities of the clients. I bet the shop has a history of selling to gay clients both knowingly and unknowingly. I don't think they would have tuned down a request for a traditional cake from anyone.

    The didn't like the prospective clients politics. Perfectly legal.

    Parent

    It's funny (5.00 / 1) (#77)
    by Yman on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 01:52:28 PM EST
    You would think that making the "decision" to be gay or heterosexual would be a heee-YOOOOGE moment in someone's life ... probably the biggest decision they would ever make.  Yet none of the people who claim it's a choice seem to remember when they chose to be heterosexual.

    Didn't see where... (none / 0) (#157)
    by Gandydancer on Tue Jul 31, 2012 at 03:27:17 AM EST
    ...Mr. Phillips said his decision on whether to manufacture a cake with two grooms or two brides would be based on a gene test.

    Parent
    Probably because ... (none / 0) (#167)
    by Yman on Tue Jul 31, 2012 at 06:54:56 AM EST
    ... no one actually said that ....

    Parent
    No one said anything... (1.00 / 1) (#174)
    by Gandydancer on Tue Jul 31, 2012 at 08:35:45 AM EST
    .,..that what you wrote was relevant to. Mr. Phillips didn't seem to opine on whether homosexuality was a choice. That was my point. Sorry it went over your head. Next time you brainfart I'll point it out less obliquely.

    Parent
    Speaking of "less obliquely" (none / 0) (#181)
    by Yman on Tue Jul 31, 2012 at 09:45:38 AM EST
    ... the comment I made was in response to another comment by Anne which has since been deleted.

    Happy to help explain the source of your confusion.

    Parent

    please stay on topic (5.00 / 1) (#91)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 02:35:37 PM EST
    of the bakery refusing to bake a cake for a gay couple's wedding.

    It's not about being gay or straight or anything to do with guns.

    first amendment for colorado bakery (2.00 / 1) (#109)
    by speaknj on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 04:10:40 PM EST
    The first amendment gives citizens freedom of religion.  If a person's religion dictates that marriage is between a man and woman, then government should not interfere.  If the first amendment protect porn, then it should protect religion

    No one is talking about his religious freedom (5.00 / 4) (#110)
    by ruffian on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 04:17:16 PM EST
    or freedom of speech. His state sanctioned public business is not a church.

    I have a little bit of doubt in my mind as to whether what he is doing is against the law - it is a good point that he is not refusing to serve gays, which is clearly illegal, but instead limiting his service to particular products. In any case, no one is limiting his freedom of religion.

    Parent

    A Jewish butcher... (1.00 / 1) (#158)
    by Gandydancer on Tue Jul 31, 2012 at 03:31:34 AM EST
    ...should be required to sell pork?

    He doesn't want to sell cakes with two grooms on top because he finds the product offensive for religious reasons. Good enough for me.

    Parent

    No, but (5.00 / 1) (#203)
    by Lora on Tue Jul 31, 2012 at 01:53:19 PM EST
    He should be required to sell Kosher meat to a woman in a burqa if she comes in to buy it.

    Parent
    answer this please (1.00 / 1) (#205)
    by Palli on Tue Jul 31, 2012 at 02:05:45 PM EST
    How is making a wedding cake political?  

    Oy (5.00 / 2) (#212)
    by sj on Tue Jul 31, 2012 at 04:28:52 PM EST
    It might be interesting... (none / 0) (#1)
    by unitron on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 02:18:41 AM EST
    ...to do away with all of these laws that prohibit businesses from discriminating and see just what would happen if it were all left up to "the invisible hand of the all-knowing market".

    That's businesses, mind, not government.

    I suspect there would be a number of surprises all around in both directions, and at least we'd all know where we stood.

    For instance, if I were a bakery more interested in making money than imposing my religion on everyone else, "Wedding Cakes for Same-Sex Couples, 10% Discount" might be a profitable experiment in snaking the competition.

    It's a tough one (none / 0) (#49)
    by Slado on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 11:01:40 AM EST
    Both sides hate legislated morality.

    It is too bad that people let their religious beliefs spill over into their business practices.  While I understand the need for such laws because such actions are completely ridiculous it reminds me of the school playground.  

    We only give the popular kids power when we raise a fuss.   Don't want my money?  Fine I'll take it elsewhere.

    This is one of those situations where no one is going to win.

    Move on with your life and marriage and don't let some stick in the mud ruin your ceremony.

    Parent

    Just because people do... (1.00 / 1) (#159)
    by Gandydancer on Tue Jul 31, 2012 at 03:35:52 AM EST
    ...ridiculous things doesn't mean you "need" a law to stop it. It's a free country. Or should be. Leave 'em alone.

    Parent
    So white and black lunch counters etc (5.00 / 2) (#201)
    by jondee on Tue Jul 31, 2012 at 01:38:32 PM EST
    were o.k because they were an expression of "freedom"..

    Your "freedom" is just a bullsh*t gloss on the value-free rule of private property, which morphs gradually into our current rule-of-the-1% arrangement..

    Let freedom and Social Darwinism ring..

     

    Parent

    If they were an expression of... (1.00 / 1) (#215)
    by Gandydancer on Tue Jul 31, 2012 at 08:48:55 PM EST
    ...freedom it would have been ok by me. But actually they were an expression of government and mob coercion.

    Parent
    my guess: (none / 0) (#2)
    by cpinva on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 02:49:36 AM EST
    I wonder what happens if multiple gay couples now request wedding cakes from Masterpiece, are denied, and each files a complaint.

    assuming they retained competent counsel, they would claim their religious rights, under the first amendment, were being violated by the state. the question then becomes, who's rights supersede who's? technically, they're not causing financial or physical harm to the plaintiffs, unless it can be proven that it would somehow cost more for them to get their cake elsewhere.

    of course, i seem to recall a case involving a small motel, who's owner refused to rent a room to an unmarried (male/female) couple, citing his religious beliefs as the basis for his refusal. i seem to recall he lost the case. but, that was many years ago, in a much different political and judicial environment.

    it seems to me, if your "deeply held personal beliefs" conflict with the law, you have two stark choices:

    1. don't enter that particular business.
    2. separate your "deeply held personal beliefs" from your business practices.

    what this bakery owner (and lots of pharmacists) want is to have their personal religious beliefs outweigh the right of the general public to be treated equally. i believe that's commonly known as hubris.

    Actually it known as freedom... (1.00 / 1) (#3)
    by Gandydancer on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 05:09:31 AM EST
    ...of association. It's the idea that you have the right to force someone to make wedding cakes for you that's hubris. As is the idea that a government's ability to require business licences gives it proper authority to butt in.

    Parent
    So, the bakery, as well as any other (5.00 / 3) (#5)
    by Anne on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 06:46:18 AM EST
    place of business, also should be able to, in your opinion, refuse service to people of color, or to people for whom English is not their primary language, right?  Could refuse service to someone just because they didn't look "American."

    And notwithstanding the law that prohibits that very thing.  

    How is what the bakery is refusing to do not discrimination?  It's not like we're talking about a religious institution - it's not being asked to perform a wedding - just make a cake that could just as easily say "Happy Birthday" or "Congratulations" or "Welcome Home."  

    I don't know that the bakery will be swamped with orders to make wedding cakes for gay couples, rather, I think the bakery will find itself doing a lot less business, as gay couples, as well as those who find discrimination unacceptable, take their business elsewhere.  

    Parent

    Yes. It's a private business. (1.00 / 1) (#160)
    by Gandydancer on Tue Jul 31, 2012 at 03:40:46 AM EST
    Mr. Phillips should have the right to do business, or not do business, with ho ever he want. I didn't say it wasn't discrimination. I'm saying he has the right to discriminate. It's not like he's a public employee, supported by money taken from everyone at the point of a gun.

    Parent
    ...whoever he wants... (none / 0) (#161)
    by Gandydancer on Tue Jul 31, 2012 at 03:41:43 AM EST
    Should proofread.

    Parent
    Should also review (5.00 / 1) (#208)
    by sj on Tue Jul 31, 2012 at 04:01:44 PM EST
    the Civil Rights Act.  Although it appears you are not accord with that.

    Parent
    Not all of it. (none / 0) (#218)
    by Gandydancer on Tue Jul 31, 2012 at 09:27:14 PM EST
    Your shibboleth, not mine.

    Parent
    Back to the 60's in NJ (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by Lora on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 08:51:32 AM EST
    ...where we marched for the right of Black people to have their hair cut in a barbershop.  (White barbershop owners were refusing, saying they didn't have the proper tools.)  I would HOPE we've come a long way from then, but sadly it seems we've a long way to go.

    Parent
    If you're open (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by cal1942 on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 09:04:42 AM EST
    to the public you're open to ALL of the public.

    PERIOD.

    The 1964 Civil Rights Act made that clear, it made clear that treatment of all Americans must be consistent throughout the United States.

    Parent

    "No shoes, no shirt, no service." (none / 0) (#94)
    by oculus on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 02:37:52 PM EST
    "We refuse the right to serve anyone."  

    Parent
    That's not a conflict (5.00 / 1) (#111)
    by sj on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 04:25:57 PM EST
    The phrase doesn't specify a particular group that must meet those standards.  All groups must have shoes and shirts and then have the right to expect service.  As for this:
    So Are "We Reserve the Right to Refuse Service to Anyone" Signs in Restaurants Legal?
    Yes, however they still do not give a restaurant the power to refuse service on the basis of race, color, religion, or natural origin.  These signs also do not preclude a court from finding other arbitrary refusals of service to be discriminatory.  Simply put, restaurants that carry a "Right to Refuse Service" sign are subject to the same laws as restaurants without one
    link
    Sounds about right to me.

    Parent
    My credit union used to have a sign stating (none / 0) (#127)
    by oculus on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 06:59:03 PM EST
    "no animals inside" or something to that effect.  But they changed it to permit service dogs.  Wise decision.  

    Parent
    Actually (none / 0) (#155)
    by cal1942 on Tue Jul 31, 2012 at 12:23:28 AM EST
    Since you're an attorney I thought you'd jump on me for using the 1964 public accommodations act as a response since the act didn't include sexual orientation.

    I would have responded that I was only citing the principle that public means public.

    'No shirt, no shoes, no service' is completely different since it's applied without regard to race, etc. Like restaurants and nightspots that required men wear a tie. I know, a blast from the past, but it wasn't about race.

    Parent

    apparently, you don't actually know (5.00 / 3) (#88)
    by cpinva on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 02:30:55 PM EST
    the meaning of the term "hubris". if you do, and you still posted that, you are clearly not very bright, or think the rest of us aren't.

    your "right to associate" is limited, when you put yourself out in the public square, as a public entity. the presumtion being (and a reasonable one, i think) that you are there to serve anyone with the right color of paper, that would be green. since you are availing yourself of publicly paid for infrastructure, you get to abide by the same rules as everyone else does, you don't get to pick and choose. now, if this bakery would like to pick and choose, it can become a private, "member's only" entity, like burning tree country club did many years ago, so it could legally discriminate against women.

    i, as a potential customer, shouldn't have to guess which type of customers you've decided to serve on any particular day, it should be (as i noted above), anyone with money.


    Parent

    Clearly you're not as bright... (1.00 / 3) (#156)
    by Gandydancer on Tue Jul 31, 2012 at 03:21:07 AM EST
    ...as you think you are. That overestimation of yourself is the definition of hubris, btw.

    A private business is not a public entity. That's why its called "private". Duh.

    The fact that taxes pay for some infrastructure doesn't give the government the right to micromanage everyone's life. See "freedom", above.

    That "the same rules as everyone else" means you're compelled to do business you don't want to engage in with people you don't want to do business with assumes the truth of what I've denied. If your IQ were a few points higher maybe you wouldn't make an embarassing gaffe like that.

    And no one is forcing you to guess what customers Mr. Phillips will serve. If your reading comprehension were up to snuff you would have noticed that he'll sell to anyone. (Not that he shouldn't be FREE not to do business with anyone.) It's if you tell him you want him to manufacture a wedding cake with two grooms on top that he'll tell you no. And he's not keeping this a secret.

    Parent

    Did you actually read the statutes that (5.00 / 3) (#165)
    by Anne on Tue Jul 31, 2012 at 06:37:22 AM EST
    Jeralyn posted?  Because I think your public/private argument fails when looked at alongside the law:

    The Anti-Discrimination statute defines "public accommodation" as:

    ... any place of business engaged in offering sales or services of any kind to the public, as well as any place offering facilities, privileges, advantages or other accommodations to the public. Typical examples of public accommodations include, but are not limited to, hotels, restaurants, stores, hospitals, clinics, and health clubs.

    And the statute says:

    "place of public accommodation" means any place of business engaged in any sales to the public and any place offering services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations to the public, including but not limited to any business offering wholesale or retail sales to the public;

    ...(2) It is a discriminatory practice and unlawful for a person, directly or indirectly, to refuse, withhold from, or deny to an individual or a group, because of disability, race, creed, color, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, or ancestry, the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations of a place of public accommodation or, directly or indirectly, to publish, circulate, issue, display, post, or mail any written, electronic, or printed communication, notice, or advertisement that indicates that the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations of a place of public accommodation will be refused, withheld from, or denied an individual or that an individual's patronage or presence at a place of public accommodation is unwelcome, objectionable, unacceptable, or undesirable because of disability, race, creed, color, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, or ancestry.

    Now, I think, in light of what the Act and the statute provide, you might want to reel back in the aspersions you've so freely cast at others' intelligence; but maybe not.  Maybe you'd like to explain to all of us how the definitions and parameters noted do not apply to Mr. Phillips.

    You say that Mr. Phillips will sell to anyone, but he will not sell - to anyone - the products the customer wants: he decides what the customer can purchase, based on which ones he deems consistent with his own beliefs.  The wedding cake in the case that appears to be for sale to anyone is actually not.

    Now, you used in another comment the example of whether a Jewish butcher should be forced to sell pork; that's not the right way to frame the issue.  To make it comparable to the bakery, what you'd need to do is ask whether a butcher can refuse to sell pork to someone who identifies him- or herself as Jewish, or whom he believes is Jewish; that he will sell them beef, chicken, veal or lamb doesn't matter if he won't sell the customer what the customer wants, the same product that is available to other customers who aren't Jewish.

    If he doesn't want to sell wedding cakes to gay couples, or for gay weddings, he should get out of the wedding cake business and limit his offerings to every other pastry, pie, cookie, brownie or other baked confection that his beliefs allow him to sell to anyone.

    Parent

    I didn't cast aspersions on... (1.00 / 1) (#170)
    by Gandydancer on Tue Jul 31, 2012 at 07:36:56 AM EST
    ...some random collection of "others'" intelligences. It's cpinva (who had taken it upon himself to assert that I didn't know what "hubris" meant and that I was "clearly not very bright") that I pointed out had, on the evidence, no business engaging in a battle of wits.

    As to the law, kdog points out downthread that Mr. Phillips has an argument that his objection is not to the sexual identity of the customer but to the politics of homosexual marriage. But the question I actually spoke to was not whether what he did was legal but whether Mr. Phillips had a human right not to have his commercial services compelled by the state. I am insufficiently familiar with the provisions of the Colorado constitution to know whether Mr. Phillips rights are protected there, but he has those rights whether they are protected by the law or not. E.g., the existance of Jim Crow laws didn't deprive black citizens of their right to equal treatment by the state. And no law can deprive Mr. Phillips of his right to chose whom to do business with. Or not.

    Unless the wedding cake is sold without figurines or inscription the prodict is not the same for homosexual and heterosexual marriages. For Mr. Phillips the former is objectionable and the latter not - the former is "pork" and the latter kosher, and I stand by my example as written.

    And, of course, the butcher ought to be able to sell pork only to gentiles if he wishes.

    Now, if he advertises the sale of pork without stating his reservations and then refuses to sell to potential customers who have relied on his representations... well, I would not be opposed to the law recognizing a tort. But that's a different issue.


    Parent

    You're familiar with the law - you just (5.00 / 2) (#175)
    by Anne on Tue Jul 31, 2012 at 08:36:21 AM EST
    don't want to talk about it, or you choose to ignore it.  Last week it was someone believing his human right to defend himself justified his carrying a gun into a gun-free movie theater - now it's someone who believes there is a basic right to discriminate, exclude and repress that trumps laws that say otherwise.

    Not exactly my definition of "human rights."

    You can split hairs, ignore the law and contort yourself into seemingly impossible anatomical positions to defend these "human rights" all you want, but for the most part you're making them to people who are more evolved, which is why you're not likely to win any of us over.

    Now, in the case of Chik-Fil-A, my feeling is that, as odious as its CEO's opinions are to me, if its franchisees are, in fact, serving everyone, not engaging in any discriminatory behavior with respect to any of its patrons, the company should not be prohibited from opening anywhere, as long as they are in compliance with state and local laws and ordinances.  Doesn't stop people from choosing not to patronize the place, doesn't deny those who want to eat there the right to do that.


    Parent

    You may have "evolved"... (1.33 / 3) (#183)
    by Gandydancer on Tue Jul 31, 2012 at 09:55:05 AM EST
    ...to the point where you don't value the freedom to transact business with whom you want, but you're wrong to be proud of it.

    I thought I said quite clearly that if the law means Mr. Phillips is to be punished for doing what is his right that the law is tyranny. I don't understand what you think I've omitted.

    Btw, if the theatre weren't gun-free Holmes might not have been able to kill so many. It's news to me that he brought his guns there in order to "defend himself", but it's not a story that I'm much interested in. Nor does it seen to have any relevance to our discussion.

    Parent

    It wasn't Holmes who professed to have (5.00 / 1) (#186)
    by Anne on Tue Jul 31, 2012 at 10:13:02 AM EST
    a basic human right to defend himself, it was commenter "redwolf," on this blog, who advised that he carries his weapon into weapon-free zones.

    He believes he has that right - which is contrary to the theater-owner's right to how he or she wants to conduct business, isn't it?  Funny how that happens, I guess.

    You, likewise, believe Phillips has the right to observe only his own beliefs, in opposition to the laws on the books.  The law is tyranny to you, but what do we call is when people don't feel obligated to follow the law?  Anarchy, I think.

    Oh, you're okay with him being punished if found in violation, but you're essentially of the better-to-ask-forgiveness-than-permission school, I guess.

    If Mr. Phillips wants the freedom to do business with whomever he wants, the freedom to refuse to do business with those he doesn't, he needs to operate as a private club, not as an establishment that is open to the public.  But, golly - there are no doubt aspects of those rules that won't meet with his approval, either.

    Parent

    No, I'm not OK with... (1.00 / 2) (#189)
    by Gandydancer on Tue Jul 31, 2012 at 11:33:07 AM EST
    ...Phillips being punished. Tyrranical laws should neither be obeyed or enforced. When people don't feel obligated to follow the law it's mostly because there are too many bad laws giving law a bad name, not because they're anarchists.

    No need for Phillips to operate a "private club", whatever that might mean in this context. Big Brother just need to butt out, or be rendered toothless.

    And redwolf has no right to carry a gun on private property if the owner makes him not doing so a condition of accepting his business. If it's really the government forcing the policy on the owner through, e.g., abusive licencing, the story becomes more complicated.


    Parent

    Who decides what is tyrannical and what (5.00 / 1) (#195)
    by Anne on Tue Jul 31, 2012 at 12:16:47 PM EST
    isn't?  Is this a matter of to each his own?  Or is tyranny just the latest buzz word for when you don't want to have to observe some law?

    To a certain extent, we all make choices about obeying the law every day - we drive over the speed limit, we have a couple drinks before we get in the car, we litter, we "forget" to report income we collected under the table.  People break the rules every day, even the ones that don't just affect them.  You know, the guy with 25 items in the express line, the person who drives up the shoulder rather than wait in traffic - the special people who only care about themselves.

    And, yeah, we do have a lot of laws, probably too many.  But I've not heard of anyone successfully defending breaking them on that basis.

    Frankly, I get kind of weary of conservatives making these great stands for their own personal freedom while at the same time using government as a cudgel to control the freedoms of others.  Gun control is bad, but reproductive control is good.  Regulation of business is bad, but regulating marriage is wonderful.  Taxes are bad, but you're the first to complain when the infrastructure breaks down.  Immigration is bad, but cheap labor is good.

    And on and on it goes.  A veritable symphony of contradiction.

    Parent

    Who decides? Reality decides. (1.00 / 2) (#197)
    by Gandydancer on Tue Jul 31, 2012 at 01:10:50 PM EST
    The government forcing Mr. Phillips to manufacture cakes for homosexual weddings is tyrranical. That's my opinion and my opinion is that I'm right. Why should I doubt it? It accords with the reality I see.

    And...

    The whole point of a Constitution is to resist change. If you don't like the 2nd amendment you need to amend it, not illegally eviscerate it.

    Not sure what "reproductive control" is, but we have too dam* many people in this country, so it sounds like it might be a good idea.

    Taxes don't go to necessary infrastructure all that much. Nor is spending all that tightly connected to revenues. As long as there's too much government raising taxes doesn't appeal.

    Not redefining marriage in particular ways isn't tyranny. Marriage is and has always been mostly about reproduction, and it needs less accretions, not more, to work better.

    Cheap labor is not good for the laborers. And laborers are citizens too. The conservatives who dislike immigration aren't the same ones who who like cheap labor.

    Symphony? I don't see a note of contradiction in any of the above.

    Parent

    This is one of the biggest lies (5.00 / 4) (#209)
    by sj on Tue Jul 31, 2012 at 04:13:09 PM EST
    that come from your side of the fence:
    Marriage is and has always been mostly about reproduction
    If that were true, then there would be no tradition of marriage amongst the elderly.  or the sterlized.  or the sterile.  A fertility test would be commonplace before marriage.  That is just such a huge lie.

    Actually, historically marriage has been about assets and acquisition.

    Parent

    You're absurdly wrong. (1.00 / 1) (#216)
    by Gandydancer on Tue Jul 31, 2012 at 09:09:28 PM EST
    Marriages can also be formed for dynastic and other property reasons. I did say "mostly". And the contract and benefits and form have seondary uses for the elderly and known sterile. A lot of this is because fertility was usually an unknown and inquiry into the question offensively invasive and there is in any case misuse and misapplication. (I am personally provisionally in favor of civil marriage having more explicitly two states, pre- and post-offspring.) But denying that marriage is fundamentally about dealing with the consequences of heterosexual sex is just silly.

    Parent
    The libertarians decide, silly. :) (none / 0) (#199)
    by Leopold on Tue Jul 31, 2012 at 01:23:00 PM EST
    Who decides what is tyrannical and what (none / 0) (#195)
    by Anne on Tue Jul 31, 2012 at 12:16:47 PM EST
    isn't?  Is this a matter of to each his own?  Or is tyranny just the latest buzz word for when you don't want to have to observe some law?

    Of course, their constant cry of 'tyranny' has long been exposed as childish, hypocritical, and context-dependent. So many examples, i.e., gun laws are tyrannical but it's not tyrannical to endanger others with guns; smoking bans are tyrannical but it's not tyrannical to cause cancer in passive smokers; the list goes on and on.

    "Rights" and "tyranny" are complex subjects, where one individual's stops and another's begins. Libertarianism takes a complicated issue full of nuance that has been debated for centuries and turns it into a childish farce.

    Parent

    Leopold takes... (none / 0) (#217)
    by Gandydancer on Tue Jul 31, 2012 at 09:21:25 PM EST
    ...the form of argument and turns it into childish farce.

    Of course blowing smoke in someone's face isn't tyranny. It's assault. Tyranny is a government coercing Mr. Phillips.

    Parent

    Lots of complexities here, maybe. (none / 0) (#4)
    by EL seattle on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 05:46:10 AM EST
    Where the U.S. Constitution may or may not support the specific local rules.

    Creed vs. Sexual Orientation. Both seem to be protected in this statute, but they might actually conflict sometims in everyday practice.

    For instance, if someone goes to a print shop and wants to order 5,000 copies of a pamphlet for the "Church of God Hates Gays(tm)", I wonder if the same statute applies, and the print shop has to accept the order.

    Since that pahmplet... (none / 0) (#42)
    by Dadler on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 10:25:20 AM EST
    ...would be making an utterly irrational and discriminatory claim in itself, I would say no, it wouldn't be protected.  Gay people actually exist and have rights as flesh and blood human beings in this physical world we inhabit. "God," and whatever she/he might believe about gay people, is nothing more than fantastical wishing and hoping.

    Parent
    dadler, i would say you are wrong. (5.00 / 1) (#92)
    by cpinva on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 02:37:25 PM EST
    again, absent some extraordinary circumstances, a business, holding themselves out as serving the general public, doesn't get to decide which laws they'll follow, on any given day, they have to follow all of them.

    no, this isn't a first amendment issue, since that solely deals with censorship by the state. this falls under the general business statutes. again, i shouldn't have to guess what customers a business has decided meet their strict guidelines for serving that day.

    Parent

    with all due respect (none / 0) (#115)
    by Dadler on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 05:13:05 PM EST
    i will disagree. what that cake would say is OBVIOUSLY defamatory, and in a manner not even marginally factual. No way it's protected. I should say it IS protected in the sense that a company CAN make up that cake if they want to and can't be stopped by the gov't from doing so, but the gov't can't compel a company to produce an item that is INTENDED to defame (since the people who want it made cannot, in ANY way, say they are speaking for said "God." If you are right, then a cake company would also HAVE to put a swastika on a cake if the customer wanted it. Not a chance that would stand, and i doubt seriously that this is different legally or rationally.

    Parent
    Saying "God hates gays"... (2.00 / 1) (#162)
    by Gandydancer on Tue Jul 31, 2012 at 03:52:59 AM EST
    ...isn't defamatory. It's an expression of opinion, and whether "even marginally factual" isn't remotely relevant to whether the cakemaker should be compelled to manufacture a cake with such an inscription.

    Parent
    I have (none / 0) (#6)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 06:49:45 AM EST
    less of a problem with this than I do the Chick Fil A thing. If the people had rather go out of business than bake a wedding cake for a gay couple so be it. Too bad for them that they don't see that everybody's money is the same color--green.

    How so? (none / 0) (#50)
    by Slado on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 11:08:22 AM EST
    Chick FilA's founder just stated his personal religious views.

    To my knowledge other than not being open on Sunday he's never denied anyone access to chicken.

    I have a real problem with government enforcing morality for PC reasons.

    If he denied services or wouldn't hire gays that'd be one thing but he isn't allowed to state his political beliefs?

    Be careful what you wish for.

    Parent

    It's not (5.00 / 1) (#52)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 11:19:13 AM EST
    that he held certain beliefs which is his right. It's that he donated money to virulently anti-gay groups that actual work against gays by lobbying the states and the US government to pass anti-gay laws. That's a whole 'nother ball game in my book. If these groups were not behind forcing everyone to believe what they believe, then it might not matter. I mean I'm sure he's donated money to the GOP which is fine but these groups are particularly nasty.

    The irony is that Cathey wants the government to enforce morality. I guess you're okay with the government doing it as long as you agree with what they are doing?

    Parent

    Nope (none / 0) (#53)
    by Slado on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 11:25:39 AM EST
    I'm a libertarian.

    I almost never support the government doing anything, let alone enforcing morality.

    While I'm for equal protection I'm also leery of unintended consequences that naturally evolve from giving government too much power.

    It is too bad the Chick Fil A guy can't find better things to do with his fortune.   If you object to his views then you are well within your rights to not buy his chicken, start your own website to tell other not too etc...

    However the cities of Chicago and Boston have ZERO right to deny a legal operation from providing jobs and chicken to their constituents.

    Government should not be allowed to single out businesses because they don't conform to a set morality.

    That is a slippery slope we all should be scared of.

    Parent

    Actually (none / 0) (#54)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 11:32:42 AM EST
    the cities are well within their rights to deny him a franchise in their cities. They can deny anyone a license to do business if they so wish. You just don't happen to like the reasons that they are doing it for.

    I happen to think that they should let him open a business and then when nobody eats there, let him suffer the consequences.

    Parent

    Nope (none / 0) (#61)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 12:25:42 PM EST
    The cities are doing so because of his religious beliefs which he has stated publicly.

    Appears to be a clear violation of the First.

    Parent

    No, it's (5.00 / 2) (#68)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 01:16:03 PM EST
    not because of his religious beliefs. His religious beliefs have been long known. It's because he is now promoting hatred towards a group of citizens of this country. These organizations are more akin to the KKK and the Nazis.

    Parent
    Ironic. (1.00 / 2) (#72)
    by redwolf on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 01:39:39 PM EST
    " It's because he is now promoting hatred towards a group of citizens of this country. These organizations are more akin to the KKK and the Nazis. "

    And yet you want the American brown shirts(the police) to use violence in order to take away someone's freedom of choice in how they run their business.  You may want to rethink who's the Nazi here.

    Parent

    If he was promoting the (none / 0) (#73)
    by Slado on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 01:39:55 PM EST
    KKK or the Nazi's it'd be just as illegal.

    What he does in his private life with his privately earned fortune is none of the cities business.

    I don't believe private business totally unrelated to public business is a reason a city can deny permits.   Sure they can do it and make up a reason but they'll have to make up a reason because the law won't let them do it out of spite.

    You seem fine with the fact that no matter if it's leagal or not you are OK with sending a message.   That's an opinion and you're welcome to it but that message won't be heard by the person who spoke it because he's way to far up the food chain.

    Instead the local franchiser, the possibly employees and the little kids who want good chicken will be the losers of your vendetta against personal beliefs.

    Such are the unintended consequences when politicians use the power of the state to gain political favor and make a certain set of voters feel better about themselves.

    The public at large loses and the actual perpetrator is rarely affected.

    Parent

    Don't forget the puppies! (none / 0) (#75)
    by Yman on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 01:48:45 PM EST
    Instead the local franchiser, the possibly employees and the little kids who want good chicken will be the losers of your vendetta against personal beliefs.

    Surely some of those "little kids who want good chicken" must be taking doggy bags home to their little puppies!

    BTW - For the record, I don't think the mayor/alderman have a legal basis for denying a business license based on Cathy's statements or donations.  OTOH, I would also support anyone who wants to boycott businesses who's CEOs support discrimination against homosexuals, and would never personally patronize these businesses.

    Parent

    Once (none / 0) (#114)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 04:55:30 PM EST
    again what the neck are you talking about? I don't have a "vendetta". The one who appears to have a vendetta is Cathey. If he wants to donate to those organizations that is his prerogative but there are also consequences to doing so.

    And actually his food was rated the worst food for kids out of all the fast food chains. So it's not "good" food for kids.

    Apparently you did not read the part of post above where I said they should let him open the restaurant and then when nobody eats there suffer the consequences of going out of business.

    Parent

    Really??? (1.50 / 2) (#116)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 05:32:33 PM EST
    You don't have a vendetta???

    Thanks for my late afternoon laugh.

    And try reading what you wrote.

    Parent

    So you (none / 0) (#125)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 06:40:53 PM EST
    agree with the government enforcing morality? Vendetta? LOL. I said they should be allowed to build a restaurant did I not? Apparently you are confusing me with somebody else.

    Perhaps you should read this: Rachel Evans

    Parent

    Don't twist my words (1.00 / 1) (#147)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 10:02:09 PM EST
    You wrote:

    It's because he is now promoting hatred towards a group of citizens of this country. These organizations are more akin to the KKK and the Nazis.

    Your vendetta is towards the man. You make claims and you never provide any proof.

    Parent

    These (5.00 / 1) (#169)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Jul 31, 2012 at 07:33:31 AM EST
    groups are disgusting. Just because you are so knee jerk defensive of anything a conservative does, it makes me think that you agree with these bozos. Have you read about what these groups actually say and do?

    Parent
    For the issue at hand... (1.00 / 1) (#171)
    by Gandydancer on Tue Jul 31, 2012 at 07:58:08 AM EST
    ...I don't care how disgusting they are. I don't want some bozo of an alderman or mayor pulling a political test for issuing a licence or permit out of his a$$. Period.

    Parent
    GA (1.00 / 2) (#210)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Jul 31, 2012 at 04:14:10 PM EST
    Why don't you provide some proof???

    Parent
    Family Research Council (5.00 / 1) (#213)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Jul 31, 2012 at 07:49:06 PM EST
    has been listed as a hate group along with the KKK, Nation of Islam, and the neonazis for spreading misinformation and lies about people.
    hate group designation

    Parent
    And if the Southern Policy Law Center.... (1.00 / 4) (#219)
    by Gandydancer on Tue Jul 31, 2012 at 09:34:24 PM EST
    ...says the Family Research Council is a hate group, that proves it. Takes one to know one, I guess.

    Parent
    What Ga6thDem wrote was... (1.00 / 1) (#163)
    by Gandydancer on Tue Jul 31, 2012 at 04:04:33 AM EST
    Actually the cities are well within their rights to deny him a franchise in their cities. They can deny anyone a license to do business if they so wish.

    So denying someone a business licence because they're a Communist is OK too? Or, maybe, because they're a Democrat?

    Parent
    Apparently, (none / 0) (#145)
    by NYShooter on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 09:54:42 PM EST
     the Chick-Fil-A Brouhaha has gone viral. I caught a segment on the radio this afternoon where the Right wing host (is there any other kind?) was describing, and promoting, a petition honoring the schmuck who owns the chain. They claim to have a half million signatories and are proclaiming next Wednesday to be "Chick-fil-A day, or something like that. They're asking that everyone go eat in one of their dumps on that day. History has shown us that when the Limbaugh/Beck/Palin types call for a crowd, they can be quite successful.

    This story has legs, I'm afraid.

    Parent

    Lord of the Fly (none / 0) (#7)
    by koshembos on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 07:45:09 AM EST
    The invented supposedly religious prohibition of gay marriage follows the prohibition of women as religious congregation leaders. It's all power plays and bakers are not exempt.

    It's in our not so nice nature. I have several suggestions: do we really need a wedding cake? Can you bake one yourself? Rename the bakery to Materpiss Bakery. Bake hundreds of cakes and deliver them to the jerk at the bakery.

    My religion prohibits flying kites.

    So lets play "what if" (none / 0) (#8)
    by leftwig on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 08:21:20 AM EST
    There is a bakery owned by a gay man and someone comes in and says they want a cake made for a gathering of individuals that support a ban on gay marriage and they want the cake to have something on it relating to that message.  Should the gay owner of the bakery be forced to make their cake?

    The pretzel shape that you're (5.00 / 2) (#9)
    by sj on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 08:39:10 AM EST
    you're assuming can't be all that comfortable.  There is a place for theory, but you know sometimes there is the simple matter of humanity, and the struggle between love and hate, acceptance and rejection, in addition to the legal implications.

    Sounds like you're drawing down not on the side of love.

    Parent

    Price of tea in China? (none / 0) (#10)
    by leftwig on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 08:45:21 AM EST
    Does the law require owners of businesses to give up their individual rights and force them to comply with any customer request?

    Parent
    They have the right (5.00 / 4) (#12)
    by Lora on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 08:52:50 AM EST
    ..to obey the laws of running a business, or get into another line of work.

    Parent
    wev (none / 0) (#25)
    by sj on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 09:29:32 AM EST
    "Against gay marriage" is not a (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by caseyOR on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 08:56:54 AM EST
    protected class under the anti-discrimination laws. If you read the sections of the Colorado law that Jeralyn quoted you will find the list of protected classes, among them  race, creed, sexual orientation, marital status and sex.

    So, the answer is yes, the gay bakery owner could legally refuse to make that cake.

    Parent

    But sexual orientation is a protected (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by Anne on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 09:16:01 AM EST
    class, and I would assume that the gay bakery owner would be prohibited by law from discriminating against the straight customer, no?  

    In the instant case, you have a straight bakery owner who is refusing to provide a product based on what it's for, as opposed to who is paying for it, because he's said he will happily sell cakes for other occasions to gay people.

    If that owner can be in violation of the law on that basis, then why can't a gay owner be in violation of it for refusing to sell a product to a straight person on the basis of what it's for?

    Seems to me these are exactly the same thing, and neither should be allowable under the law.

    Parent

    The bakery owner serves gay customers (none / 0) (#21)
    by leftwig on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 09:17:32 AM EST
    Just won't make them a wedding cake.

    Parent
    And the Greensboro Woolworth's ... (5.00 / 4) (#24)
    by Yman on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 09:20:40 AM EST
    ... would serve African American customers, just not at the whites-only counter.

    Parent
    Stretching it much, no? (none / 0) (#14)
    by Lora on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 08:58:06 AM EST
    Don't think so.

    Parent
    just so I got it right (none / 0) (#16)
    by NYShooter on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 09:05:59 AM EST
    you're saying I, as the deli owner, can refuse to serve someone because they have brown hair?

    Parent
    IS having brown hair a choice? (1.00 / 2) (#20)
    by leftwig on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 09:16:29 AM EST
    Having brown hair (5.00 / 2) (#44)
    by KeysDan on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 10:31:46 AM EST
    could be a choice (cf. L'Oreal, Warm Brown).  Being gay could be a choice, also, if your master is likes of Marcus Bachman.  Entering into a relationship, also, is a choice--although in some societies, it may be the choice of the parents or an important old uncle.

    Now, about the price of tea in China: since Colorado does not permit same sex marriages, the wedding cake requested would likely be for a  symbolic Colorado same sex wedding or civil union--a nice party celebrating the couple's love.  The baker should just go ahead and make the party cake--maybe alter the design a little or forget to include any writings on it.  

    However, the way I see it,  the baker would  be within his religious/business right to refuse to make a cake shaped like a wedding cake if the confection is for transport to a state that actually permits marriage for this couple--the closest by ground transportation would be the state of Iowa, and, if traveling by air to a state on the east coast, it would not be a good idea to check the cake.  In that case I  would recommend that the baker suggest that the couple secure a cake upon arrival at their marriage destination.   I hope my position is as clear as the baker's is transparent.

    Parent

    Is being gay a choice? n/t (none / 0) (#22)
    by Yman on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 09:18:16 AM EST
    Entering in to any relationship is a choice (1.00 / 1) (#26)
    by leftwig on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 09:30:44 AM EST
    "Entering in to any relationship" ... (5.00 / 3) (#29)
    by Yman on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 09:39:25 AM EST
    ... is not remotely the same thing as being gay.

    You cannot, under Colorado law, discriminate against someone because (among other things) they are gay.  You could try to defend the bakery owner on the theory that they are discriminating against someone because of their choice to get married, but the bakery owner isn't discriminating against other who choose to get married - only homosexuals.

    Parent

    I didn't say being gay and being in a (1.00 / 1) (#33)
    by leftwig on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 09:49:59 AM EST
    in a gay relationship are the same thing and in actuality I am pointing out there is a distinction and its one this particular baker is drawing.  He isn't refusing to serve gays, he's refusing to make a wedding cake for a gay couple.

    Business owners may refuse service for things they find morally objectionable.  A black maker wouldn't legally be force to make a cake for a KKK rally even if he were open to making one for the NAACP.

    Parent

    Unlike sexual orientation, ... (5.00 / 1) (#43)
    by Yman on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 10:27:47 AM EST
    ... the KKK is not a protected class under Colorado law.

    Parent
    Good point (none / 0) (#51)
    by Slado on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 11:12:03 AM EST
    The owner is refusing to make a specific type of cake.

    Not cakes in general.

    To me he has an interesting argument.

    For the record a baker in Nashville, TN refused to my wife and I a cake for our wedding because of my fussy mother in law.  I could choose my wife but not my mother in law.


    Parent

    A question of law (none / 0) (#17)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 09:09:08 AM EST
    and before I ask, remember I have stated time and again I am for gay marriage...

    If I understand this correctly:

    Since 2006, the Constitution of Colorado was amended to limit recognition of same-sex unions by banning same-sex marriage and common law marriages between same-sex partners. Civil unions are not explicitly banned by the state constitution under Amendment 43, although they are not currently offered in state law.

    Link

    Then the couple involved cannot legally marry.

    Now, if they cannot legally marry, then how can it be a crime to not bake them a cake for something they cannot legally do?

    The crime is in refusing them service. (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by caseyOR on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 09:13:02 AM EST
    Since an actual same-sex marriage is illegal in Colorado, it seems safe to assume that this couple wanted a cake for their non-legally binding "wedding."

    The important part of all this is that this couple was refused service at this bakery, and the reason was their sexual orientation.


    Parent

    To be clear (1.00 / 1) (#23)
    by leftwig on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 09:19:12 AM EST
    The service refused was for a specific item, not that he wouldn't do business with gay customers.  Can a black bakery owner refuse to serve white customers?  Can a black bakery owner refuse to make a cake for a KKK rally?

    Parent
    What ? (none / 0) (#34)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 09:51:28 AM EST
    So we are to imagine the KKK needs a wedding cake, really ?  And that their choice is a cake shop owned by black people ?  Suuuuuuuure...

    Seems like you are grasping at straws that cannot exist,because not only is this not about race, your example is simply, never going to happen.

    Parent

    The baker does more than wedding cakes (1.00 / 1) (#35)
    by leftwig on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 09:59:28 AM EST
    So the example is relevant to the law.  IF you own a business, you may not discriminate based on race.  A black baker could not refuse to make a cake for a white person, but he could refuse to make a cake for a KKK party.  

    This particular baker is not serving the couple because they are gay (which would be illegal), he is refusing to make a cake for an occasion which he finds morally/religiously objectionable.  Like the black baker refusing to make a cake for a KKK party (a legal gathering), I believe the law provides the baker with this protection.  

    Parent

    So based on that logic, ... (5.00 / 2) (#45)
    by Yman on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 10:36:42 AM EST
    ... a bakery owner who believed that interracial marriage was immoral would be entitled to refuse to make a wedding cake for an interracial couple based on the theory that it was their marriage that he objected to, not discrimination based on race.

    Good luck with that argument.

    Parent

    Your scenario would change the dynamics of (1.00 / 1) (#59)
    by leftwig on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 12:05:44 PM EST
    this particular case (since inter-racial marriages are legal) and while I certainly would be open to discussing what I believe the law provides, its probably better to keep to the particular subject at hand in this thread.

    The law quoted says you may not discriminate based on race or sexual orientation.  Can a business owner refuse service to someone just because of their race or sexual orientation?  No, if a white/black, gay/straight person wants to come in and buy a dozen cupcakes, he must serve those cupcakes to all customers.  Can a business owner refuse to provide a particular service request based on a moral objection?  Yes, if he doesn't want to make a "white supremacy cake" or a wedding cake with two grooms, he may refuse to do that.

    I believe the law is on this bakery owner's side.

    Parent

    So after you "changed the dynamics" ... (5.00 / 5) (#64)
    by Yman on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 12:50:08 PM EST
    ... to a scenario involving a black bakery owner refusing to make a cake for a KKK party, you now want to "keep to the particular subject at hand in this thread"?  Of course, you then immediately go back to your analogy of a bakery owner not wanting to make a KKK/white supremacy cake, completely ignoring the fact that the KKK/white supremacists are not a protected class under Colorado law.

    Of course you believe the law is on the bakery owner's side.  I believe you are twisting to find a legal justification for this bakery owner's discriminatory/illegal actions.

    BTW - The bakery owner in this case is discriminating against the customers because of their sexual orientation.  He has no problem making wedding cakes for heterosexual couples.  The very reason he refuses to make a wedding cake for this couple is because they are homosexual.

    Parent

    You Are Trying to Create... (5.00 / 1) (#56)
    by ScottW714 on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 11:46:12 AM EST
    ...a equivalency, which in this case is a false equivalency, then basing your reasoning on it.  Forget the term for it, but it's non-sense.

    The only equivalency would be a gay baker refusing to make a wedding cake for a straight couple.  Quit trying to inject race into it, especially trying to act like the KKK would ever buy a cake from a black baker, or even buy one.

    Parent

    Read the law above (1.00 / 3) (#58)
    by leftwig on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 11:57:10 AM EST
    Race and sexual choice (orientation = choice, not genetic trait as far as the law is concerned) are equivalent in regards to the law:

    "It is a discriminatory practice and unlawful for a person, directly or indirectly, to refuse, withhold from, or deny to an individual or a group, because of disability, race, creed, color, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, or ancestry".

    The baker cannot refuse to serve whites or homosexuals.  He may refuse to provide them with a service he deems morally,religiously objectionable.

    Parent

    I think you have found the escape (5.00 / 3) (#100)
    by KeysDan on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 03:02:43 PM EST
    hatch for the applicable statute:  It cleverly hinges on the difference between refusing to serve a protected group (not allowed), and refusing to provide service to a protected group (is allowed).  That analysis takes the cake.

    Parent
    error in previous post (none / 0) (#36)
    by leftwig on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 10:00:53 AM EST
    Should say "the baker is not refusing service because they are gay".


    Parent
    Could they refuse to bake a one husband (1.00 / 1) (#128)
    by lousy1 on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 08:35:00 PM EST
    four wife cake for a Muslim? What if the wifes are twelve years old?
    Certainly practioners of a religion are a protected group even the the actual marrage  is not legal in the United States.

    It's seems rather silly. If someone does not want to meet my requests for goods I simply take my money elsewhere. Certainly options exist.

    IMHO Gays should not be a protected class in regards to commerce because there is not a blatant pattern of discriminatory practices.

    Parent

    Huh? (5.00 / 3) (#130)
    by shoephone on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 08:41:21 PM EST
    "IMHO Gays should not be a protected class in regards to commerce because there is not a blatant pattern of discriminatory practices."

    Have fun in your alternate universe.

    Parent

    Are you saying that there is a pattern of (1.00 / 1) (#134)
    by lousy1 on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 08:53:15 PM EST
    commercial discrimnation aganst gays? Where?


    Parent
    Jeebus, does nobody read anymore? (5.00 / 1) (#211)
    by sj on Tue Jul 31, 2012 at 04:18:28 PM EST
    I dunno, assume is a big word (none / 0) (#28)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 09:36:15 AM EST
    If the gay person identified his request was for him to commit a proscribed act, should the owner be required to assist him??

    What if a gay couple wanted a minister in a church that opposed gay marriage to marry them in the church and the minister refused?

    Parent

    Let me answer that with another question. (5.00 / 3) (#89)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 02:31:09 PM EST
    Does the law compel the Roman Catholic Church to marry people who've been divorced?

    Therein lies your answer, Jim.

    Parent

    Well, the law is (none / 0) (#118)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 05:39:28 PM EST
    now compelling them to provide contraception so don't put too much faith in the right to practice your religion.

    Parent
    No, Jim. Rather, the law compels ... (5.00 / 1) (#131)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 08:42:56 PM EST
    ... insurance companies that cover employees of Catholic-owned and -run institutions, such as universities and hospitals, to provide contraceptive coverage for those employees requesting such coverage, at no cost whatsoever to the Catholic employer.

    Given the costs of providing coverage for the alternative, i.e., unplanned pregnancies and the attendant neonatal care for the patient, those carriers consider it a bargain, and will provide this sort of coverage at no additional cost to the employee, as well.

    As for the Catholic employer, as I said above, they're not being required to pay for any sort of contraceptive coverage out of pocket against their will and / or religious tenets. Rather, the decision making is left to the carrier and the employee, and the Catholic employer is simply and neatly excised from the equation.

    But more to the point, Jim, we've had this sort of law in place in Hawaii for years, since May 1999, and it works. In fact, I should disclose that the initial draft of the implementing legislation was prepared under my direction for my bosses in the State House, prior to its consideration by the state legislature.

    So, I speak from a position of direct knowledge regarding how the law actually works. Our statute (Act 267, Session Laws of Hawaii 1999) provided the model for President Obama's executive order, which put the policy into effect on the federal level earlier this year.

    I would also note that our State Insurance Commissioner's office, in its 2001 report to the state legislature on the implementation and impact of our law mandating contraceptive coverage, pointed out that it actually saved employers $97 per year per employee to offer a comprehensive contraceptive benefit.

    Finally, it should be noted that we worked directly with attorneys from both the Catholic Diocese of Honolulu and the Archdiocese of San Francisco (which oversees the Honolulu diocese) in the winter of 1999 to draft this compromise legislation.

    So really, the time for the U.S. Catholic Church to have raised any objections to this policy was back then, and not well after the fact 13 years later. From a legal perspective, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops are behaving in a most hypocritical manner, because their arguments are groundless, both morally or legally.

    Quite simply, the men in the golden miters, white robes and ruby slippers have decided -- for whatever their reasons -- to play politics with the issue. And thus, they provide people like me with another excuse to call upon the IRS to revoke the Holy Mother Church's 501(c)(3) nonprofit status, if these old queens continue to play in places where they clearly don't belong.

    Aloha.

    Parent

    Of course the law is always correct (1.00 / 1) (#138)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 09:23:07 PM EST
    as long as it on our side... right??

    Never changes?

    I seem to remember that Roe v Wade and Brown v BoE reversed a whole bunch of things.

    BTW - Do you base your religious beliefs on saving money??

    BTW - For what it's worth I think the church is wrong, but their position is right.

    For what it's worth, the Church of Christ, a mostly southern and western church you may have never heard of, forbids musical instruments in its services.

    Since creating demand for a few thousand pianos, etc, would obviously boost the economy, maybe we should demand they change their belief and buy the instruments.

    Parent

    Not what he was saying (5.00 / 1) (#140)
    by Yman on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 09:26:58 PM EST
    He was correcting your misstatement of the law, as well as pointing out the benefits of Hawaii's similar law.

    Parent
    The idea that the contraceptive... (1.00 / 1) (#164)
    by Gandydancer on Tue Jul 31, 2012 at 04:38:01 AM EST
    ...services are being provided to the employees at no cost to the employer is nonsense.

    Parent
    A mandate that SAVES ... (5.00 / 1) (#168)
    by Yman on Tue Jul 31, 2012 at 07:07:15 AM EST
    ... $97 annually per employee actually costs the employee money?

    Love to see some actual evidence, rather than just opinion ...

    Parent

    The employee gets... (1.00 / 1) (#173)
    by Gandydancer on Tue Jul 31, 2012 at 08:26:19 AM EST
    ...the contraceptives because the employer buys the insurance which pays for the contraceptives. The employer naturally pays for everything the plan pays for. The employer not buying the plan means the plan doesn't pay for the contraceptives. Opinion isn't involved, that's simple fact.

    The assertion that the insurer would charge the employer $97 less per employee for a plan which which provides contraceptives than for one which doesn't is a completely weightless assertion, certainly too un-credible and speculative to substitute for the ordinary understanding of "purchase" in legal analysis.

    Parent

    And if the insurer SAVES ... (5.00 / 1) (#182)
    by Yman on Tue Jul 31, 2012 at 09:54:43 AM EST
    ... $97 per insured by including contraceptive coverage (as compared to no contraceptive coverage), there's no additional cost to pass along.

    The assertion that the insurer would charge the employer $97 less per employee for a plan which which provides contraceptives than for one which doesn't is a completely weightless assertion, certainly too un-credible and speculative to substitute for the ordinary understanding of "purchase" in legal analysis.

    Well, good thing no one is actually making such a claim.  Your argument is that the cost of contraceptive coverage increases the insurers cost, who then passes the increased cost along to the insured.  My point is that, since providing contraceptive coverage actually costs less than not providing contraceptive coverage, there is no increased cost to pass along.

    Of course, if you have any actual evidence to back up your "completely weightless assertion" (that the insurers are charging more for this contraceptive coverage despite the fact that it saves them money), it'd be nice to see it.

    Parent

    It would help if you had some clue... (1.00 / 1) (#187)
    by Gandydancer on Tue Jul 31, 2012 at 10:50:35 AM EST
    ...as to what arguments I'm actually making.

    You will search my posts in vain for any appearance of the phrase "passed along". In general markets don't work that way.

    I've denied that there's any actual evidence that insurance plans that pay for contraception thereby save $97 per insured. Apparently there was some bogus study produced to push the Hawaiian law by the same sort of folks who tell us that building municipal sports stadiums pays for itself many times over. In other words, un-credible hogwash.

    To repeat and further clarify what I actually said: If employers pay for a plan with benefits then every benefit is something they're paying for. If the employers don't write the specs to include contraceptives but the government requires that the insurer pay for contraceptives then the plan includes contraceptives and the employer will be paying for contraceptives. The idea that there is some micro-accounting whereby some benefits save the insurer money and are therefor "free" to the employer is an invented fantasy with no demonstrable basis in reality. Where are the insurers offering free contraceptives to members of plans that don't provide for it? If providing free contraceptives saved insurers money you wouldn't have to pass a law requiring them to do it at no charge.

    Parent

    Ahhhhhh, .... (5.00 / 3) (#191)
    by Yman on Tue Jul 31, 2012 at 11:43:24 AM EST
    ... so your point is that you don't like the numerous studies that have shown that the cost of providing contraceptive coverage is zero/negative (i.e. savings), so you dismiss them as "uncredible hogwash" and "completely bogus" (with absolutely no evidence) and substitute your own baseless, unsubstantiated, evidence-free opinion, because you can't provide any evidence to back up your opinion.

    Got it.

    Parent

    No. You're still just... (1.00 / 2) (#193)
    by Gandydancer on Tue Jul 31, 2012 at 11:49:35 AM EST
    ...willfully obtuse.

    Parent
    You keep insisting that it has to cost (5.00 / 1) (#184)
    by Anne on Tue Jul 31, 2012 at 10:01:04 AM EST
    something to cover contraception, but there are numerous studies which dispute that opinion.

    Here is a footnoted Issue Brief, for example, from HHS; here are the highlights:

    Evidence from well-documented prior expansions of contraceptive coverage indicates that the cost to issuers of including coverage for all FDA-approved contraceptive methods in insurance offered to an employed population is zero.

    [snip]

    The direct costs of providing contraception as part of a health insurance plan are very low and do not add more than approximately 0.5% to the premium costs per adult enrollee.[6]  Studies from three actuarial firms, Buck Consultants, PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC), and the Actuarial Research Corporation (ARC) have estimated the direct costs of providing contraception coverage.  In 1998, Buck Consultants estimated that the direct cost of providing contraceptive benefits averaged $21 per enrollee per year.[7]  PwC actuaries completed an analysis using more recent, 2003 data from MedStat for the National Business Group on Health, and determined that a broader range of services (contraceptive services, plus lab and counseling services) would cost approximately $41 per year.[8]  The most recent actuarial analysis, completed by the Actuarial Research Corporation in July 2011, using data from 2010, estimated a cost of about $26 per year per enrolled female.[9]

    However, as indicated by the empirical evidence described above, these direct estimated costs overstate the total premium cost of providing contraceptive coverage.  When medical costs associated with unintended pregnancies are taken into account, including costs of prenatal care, pregnancy complications, and deliveries, the net effect on premiums is close to zero.[10],[11] One study author concluded, "The message is simple: regardless of payment mechanism or contraceptive method, contraception saves money."[12]

    When indirect costs such as time away from work and productivity loss are considered, they further reduce the total cost to an employer.  Global Health Outcomes developed a model that incorporates costs of contraception, costs of unintended pregnancy, and indirect costs.  They find that it saves employers $97 per year per employee to offer a comprehensive contraceptive benefit.[13]  Similarly, the PwC actuaries state that after all effects are taken into account, providing contraceptive services is "cost-saving."[14]

    Now, perhaps you could provide some support for your contrary opinion.


    Parent

    You're missing my point. (1.00 / 1) (#188)
    by Gandydancer on Tue Jul 31, 2012 at 11:11:00 AM EST
    I noted in passing that policy-pushing "studies" have zero credibility. The statement you quote has all the earmarks of why. It starts off with its desired conclusion, saying there is no cost (obviously bogus -- nothing ever totals to zero), and then it admits there are costs, and ends up pointing to claims that there is a net benefit. Total. Nonsense. Brought to you by the same kind of folks who claim Social Security is solvent, and that Obamacare will "bend the cost curve" despite adding beneficiaries and having no effective cost controls.

    But it's not that conceptually complicated. If the employer pays for a plan and the plan includes contraceptives then the employer is paying for contraceptives. If the employer doesn't buy the plan the plan doesn't buy the contraceptives. The purported accuracy of some politicized net cost of benefit allocation wouldn't change that simple reality even if it weren't completely bogus. Which it is.

    Parent

    Where I work, the employer pays only a (none / 0) (#176)
    by Anne on Tue Jul 31, 2012 at 08:44:46 AM EST
    portion of the premium; the employee pays the majority of it.

    I don't know of many companies that foot the entire cost of health insurance, so how do you address the issue when employees are contributing to the cost of their coverage?

    As I understand it, coverage for contraceptives is supposed to be included as part of basic coverage, at no additional cost.  And, yes - I'm aware that insurance companies have all kinds of ways to get around that - they always find a way to make money.

    Parent

    If the employees pay... (1.00 / 1) (#178)
    by Gandydancer on Tue Jul 31, 2012 at 09:05:20 AM EST
    ...60% and the employer pays 40% then the employer is paying for 40% of the contraceptives too. And if the employer has a philosophical or religious objection to paying for contraceptives, the fact that the percentage he pays is less than 100% doesn't obviate the injury to him.

    That contraceptives can be purchased at "no additional cost" is a fantasy. (Actually, a falsehood.) If they were free the plan wouldn't have to pay for them.

    Parent

    *All* of the services... (none / 0) (#177)
    by unitron on Tue Jul 31, 2012 at 09:04:23 AM EST
    ...are being provided to the employees at no cost to the employer.

    It's not the employer's money.

    It's part of the employee's overall compensation package, therefore the employee earned it, therefore it is the employee's money paying for it.

    If the church can tell the employee what kind of insurance they may or may not get with their (the employee's) money, then what's to stop them from dictating any other way in which the employee's money is spent.

    Would you want your employer to be able to control what books you buy?

    How about if they came to you and said "We've decided red really isn't your color, so we're forbidding you to buy that sweater, and while we're on the subject, that sports car you're thinking about?  Maybe you should consider British Racing Green instead."

    Parent

    Your compensation... (1.00 / 1) (#179)
    by Gandydancer on Tue Jul 31, 2012 at 09:18:15 AM EST
    ...becomes yours when you earn it, but it's not "at no cost to the employer" and it's certainly "the employer's money" until he spends it on your services. At the point when you're negotiating the health plan you will receive it's definately still the employer's money. If you want to get a annual sweater as part of your compendation the employer has every right to insist on it being not red, or bear the company logo. If you don't like it, negotiate for cash instead.

    Parent
    Reminding everyone that I think (1.00 / 1) (#180)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Jul 31, 2012 at 09:24:48 AM EST
    the Church's position is wrong but their right.

    The insurer is not dealing with the employee.

    The insurer is dealing with the employer and is charging less than it would an employee direct. This fact will be made brutally clear to millions as employers drop out of Obamacare due increased premiums.

    And the terms of employment are not "We will provide you the insurance you want."

    The terms are, "This is the insurance we will provide you. Don't like it? There's the door and have a nice life."

    Parent

    Do they make all their customers (none / 0) (#31)
    by ruffian on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 09:46:42 AM EST
    show a valid marriage license before taking delivery of a wedding cake? Cuz that would just be silly.

    Parent
    How to order "the cake": (none / 0) (#95)
    by oculus on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 02:42:24 PM EST
    Don't put any little people on top.  We'll take care of that.  

    Parent
    They're not asking the owner to ... (none / 0) (#74)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 01:45:27 PM EST
    ... preside over thier marriage in the bakery foyer, Jim. All the couple wanted to do was to contract with the bakery to make them a wedding cake.

    If you're the owner of a business in Colorado that serves the general public, and unless it involves a potential violation of the public health code -- i.e., a restaurant or bar can refuse to serve people who are barefoot or shirtless -- it is against state law to discriminate against someone on the basis of sexual orientation and to deny them service, regardless of your reason or rationale for doing so.

    It would be like you walking into Jeralyn's office in Denver and plunking down a $10,000 retainer for her to represent you on a DUI charge, and she refuses to do so because you're a white male. By discriminating against you on acount of your gender and race, she'd be in clear violation of state law.

    There's no difference.

    Parent

    No one has answered my question, Donald (1.50 / 2) (#119)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 05:42:21 PM EST
    If the customer declares he will use the product in an illegal act, does the business have to enable that act?

    Parent
    Because it's a silly question (5.00 / 4) (#121)
    by Yman on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 05:48:28 PM EST
    The gay couple wasn't doing anything illegal.

    Parent
    A lawyer is not obligated (none / 0) (#129)
    by lousy1 on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 08:37:30 PM EST
    to accept any client. Evidently cake is more critical.

    Parent
    And your point is ... (none / 0) (#132)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 08:46:11 PM EST
    ... what, exactly?

    Parent
    You would understand (1.00 / 1) (#135)
    by lousy1 on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 08:56:15 PM EST
    if Scooter Libbey(for example)  came out of the closet and you were obligated to represent hum.


    Parent
    Not really (none / 0) (#139)
    by Yman on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 09:23:49 PM EST
    If such a law applied to lawyers, they could still turn down clients for many reasons, just not because they're gay.

    Parent
    Exactly the point (1.00 / 1) (#141)
    by lousy1 on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 09:38:51 PM EST
    And evidently the bakers turned down the requests for a gay marriage cake not because the requests were submitted by gays but because these perspective clients politics and values clashed with their own.

    That seems to be a perfectly legally defensible  position for either a baker or a lawyer.


    Parent

    They're "values" clashed? (5.00 / 1) (#142)
    by Yman on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 09:43:19 PM EST
    They don't want to sell wedding cakes to people getting married?  Oh, wait, ...

    ... they don't want to sell wedding cakes to gay people getting married.

    Heh.

    Parent

    No (1.00 / 1) (#144)
    by lousy1 on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 09:48:00 PM EST
    I see no indication that gay people can't purchase products including traditional marriage cakes from the baker.

    The baker is not going to produce product with a political and moral message that he finds distasteful regardless of the client.

    Just like Donald will not represent Scooter.


    Parent

    Some people "don't see" ... (none / 0) (#149)
    by Yman on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 10:06:50 PM EST
    Thanks for the brilliant analysis. (1.00 / 1) (#150)
    by lousy1 on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 10:15:17 PM EST
    Some people resort to farce when they find themselves painted into a corner by their own careless rhetoric.

    Parent
    You're more than welcome (none / 0) (#151)
    by Yman on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 10:25:35 PM EST
    BTW - Not farce, ... just fact.

    It's always a red flag when someone starts their statements with "I don't see ..."

    The simple fact is that the cake shop owner discriminated against them by refusing to sell them a wedding cake because they were gay.

    Parent

    You have proof (1.00 / 1) (#152)
    by lousy1 on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 10:37:40 PM EST
    that the owners never sold a wedding cake to a gay person?

    Gay people do buy cakes for straight marriages.

    What other prepositions require your snark?


    Parent

    Not the issue (5.00 / 2) (#153)
    by Yman on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 10:53:07 PM EST
    You have proof that the owners never sold a wedding cake to a gay person?

    No idea, although that measure of "proof" is a ridiculous standard.  Someone can comply with a law a million times, but if they break it on the 1,000,001st time, they're still in violation of the law.

    If they were a heterosexual couple shopping for a wedding cake, there wouldn't have been an issue.  He refused to sell it to them because they were gay.

    Parent

    If they were anyone (none / 0) (#154)
    by lousy1 on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 11:00:51 PM EST
    including a hetrosexual couple attempting to buy a cake for a homosexual marriage don't you think that person would have been refused?


    Parent
    No idea (none / 0) (#166)
    by Yman on Tue Jul 31, 2012 at 06:53:20 AM EST
    If they were a heterosexual couple buying a cake for their own wedding, do you think they would have been refused?

    Parent
    Um, are you sure? If a hetero couple (none / 0) (#190)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Tue Jul 31, 2012 at 11:40:58 AM EST
    was buying, for want of a better term, a gay wedding cake, you think Phillips would have happily made it for them? But if a gay couple were buying a gay wedding cake that's when he would refuse?

    Parent
    It's because the marrying couple is gay (5.00 / 1) (#192)
    by Yman on Tue Jul 31, 2012 at 11:49:12 AM EST
    If Phillip's was objecting to interrracial marriage and refused to provide a cake for an interracial wedding, it's because of their race, regardless of whether a white couple was shopping for the cake.  Same with a gay marrying couple and a heterosexual couple doing the shopping.

    But I'd love for his attorney to try that argument in court ...

    Parent

    this statement is patently false:
    The simple fact is that the cake shop owner discriminated against them by refusing to sell them a wedding cake because they were gay.
    So the question now becomes: is Phillips forced by law to make a cake for a customer which expresses a viewpoint that Phillips disagrees with?

    ia-clearly-nal, but it doesn't seem right to me that he should be forced to do so.

    Parent

    You can't separate the two (5.00 / 1) (#198)
    by Yman on Tue Jul 31, 2012 at 01:16:07 PM EST
    That statement is not "patently false".  He's refusing to sell them a cake for their wedding because they are gay.  If a man and a woman came into his store to order a cake for their own wedding, he would sell it to them.  the difference here is that the two people  getting married are gay.  Try as you might to justify it by splitting hairs and claiming it's their marriage he objects to (rather than the mere fact that they're gay), he's still refusing to provide a service because they are gay.

    BTW - People are regularly required to do things that they disagree with.  People are required to pay taxes to support political positions (even wars) that they disagree with.  People are required to do things (or refrain from doing things) that run contrary to their religious beliefs.  Quakers have to pay taxes for wars that are contrary to their beliefs.  Christian Scientists and Jehovah's Witnesses are required to provide medical care for their children contrary to their beliefs.  Rastafarians can't smoke marijuana in accordance with their beliefs (at least not in the U.S.).   Chrisian fundamentalists who believe abortion is murder are not permitted to prevent abortions.  Etc. etc., etc.

    BTW - That statement is not patently fa

    Parent

    This statement is patently false: (1.00 / 1) (#202)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Tue Jul 31, 2012 at 01:43:20 PM EST
    He's refusing to sell them a cake for their wedding because they are gay.
    False. As we've already demonstrated above he would not make a customized cake requested by a customer which would have promoted a viewpoint with which he disagreed. iow, he will not make such a cake for any customer regardless of their sexual orientation.

    Parent
    Nope (5.00 / 1) (#204)
    by Yman on Tue Jul 31, 2012 at 01:54:54 PM EST
    Just like a hotel owner who refuses to rent a room to an interracial couple for their honeymoon because he disagrees with interracial marriage.  You can't ignore the fact that it's due to their race(s), just as you can't ignore the fact that the very reason he refused to make a wedding cake for this couple was because they were gay.

    Parent
    Nope. The very reason he refused to make (1.00 / 1) (#206)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Tue Jul 31, 2012 at 02:14:23 PM EST
    a customized cake that promoted a viewpoint that he disagreed with is because the customized cake promoted a viewpoint that he disagreed with, regardless of the sexual orientation of the purchaser requesting the customized cake, as has been discussed.

    Unless there's something we haven't already beaten a dead horse over, we should probably let this one go...

    Parent

    Yep (5.00 / 1) (#207)
    by Yman on Tue Jul 31, 2012 at 02:18:22 PM EST
    The very reason he refused to make a customized cake that promoted a viewpoint that he disagreed with is because the customized cake promoted a viewpoint that he disagreed with.

    Yep.  They wanted a cake to celebrate their marriage like the many other couples he sold wedding cakes to, ...

    ... except they were gay.

    Parent

    Ha! (none / 0) (#146)
    by ZtoA on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 09:58:12 PM EST
    They don't want to sell wedding cakes to people getting married?

    Great business plan for the future.... target selling to aging people who are extremely prejudiced with prejudices that following generations will care nothing about.


    Parent

    It may not be a smart marketing plan (1.00 / 1) (#148)
    by lousy1 on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 10:05:18 PM EST
    but is it a crime? Lots of people will suffer monetary loss rather than compromise core ethical beliefs.

    Regardless of my values I tend to cut them some slack.

    This seems to be a first amendment issue.

    Parent

    Why are we asking all these questions?? (none / 0) (#27)
    by NYShooter on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 09:33:35 AM EST
    Where are the Lawyers???

    religious freedom (none / 0) (#55)
    by zaitztheunconvicted on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 11:43:23 AM EST
    Jeralyn

    we have the freedoms we have today, partly because, 2000 years ago, there were a lot of Christians who held to their convictions and did not burn incense or sacrifice to Caesar, and for that, they were burned, crucified, fed to lions and beasts.  They were run through with swords and boiled in oil and tortured in ways such as being forced to sit in scalding, heated metal chairs.

    Not serving an African American in a restaurant is not a part of anyone's religious beliefs.  Not celebrating homosexual marriage is . . . and I am telling you these things as someone who supports homosexual marriage, but also believes in religious liberty.

    Actually (5.00 / 2) (#57)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 11:46:40 AM EST
    at one time not serving African Americans was the religious belief of many Southern Baptists. The belief was based on the bible verse about slaves obeying their masters or some such.

    Parent
    Did I miss something here, or ... (5.00 / 1) (#80)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 01:57:37 PM EST
    ... were the owners of the bakery invited to the wedding?

    Look, if you don't want to serve homosexuals for whatever your reason, fine. Then don't operate a business in Colorado, California, Hawaii, etc., that's otherwise open to the general public, because you'll be in violation of those states' public accommodations laws. It's really as simple as that.

    Parent

    then he shouldn't operate (5.00 / 1) (#90)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 02:31:20 PM EST
    a public business. The law prevents businesses from discriminating according to marital status and sexual orientation.

    It may not even be a religious belief. He's against gay marriage, did he say why? I don't think it matters.


    Parent

    And so the oppressed becomes the oppressor (none / 0) (#112)
    by sj on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 04:39:08 PM EST
    Hardly a new story.  Puritans did the same thing.

    Parent
    fwiw, what really happened was the couple (none / 0) (#60)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 12:22:48 PM EST
    arrived at the bake shop sans shoes, and the shop's policy is "no shirt, no shoes, no service."

    Kidding.

    Seems to me that a bake shop should not be forced to write stuff on a cake that they don't want to write. iow, if they don't want to write two guy's or two girl's names on a wedding/commitment/whatever cake, they shouldn't have to do it.

    Should the bake shop be forced to write "Masterpiece Bakery Sux" on a cake for a customer?

    According to another article (none / 0) (#67)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 01:11:53 PM EST
    the bakery refused to do decorate a cake with a Tarot card for a customer...

    Damn... (3.00 / 0) (#69)
    by kdog on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 01:19:36 PM EST
    his conscience is strict!

    I guess ya can forget about a t*ts or c&ck shaped cake for bachelor or bachelorette parties from that guy.

    Parent

    Dunno, maybe so. (none / 0) (#71)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 01:32:09 PM EST
    Several news outlets are reporting that when they called Phillips for comments, he just replies "No comment, just make something up."

    Parent
    "Just make something up" (5.00 / 1) (#87)
    by KeysDan on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 02:29:08 PM EST
    OK:   I heard Masterpiece Bakery will not make a cake for anyone who may use contraceptives--families must consist of at least a baker's dozen;  I heard Masterpiece Bakery will not  slice bread for married couples who split;  I heard Masterpiece Bakery stopped baking Danish, ever since Denmark  approved same sex marriage.

    Parent
    LOL... (none / 0) (#97)
    by kdog on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 02:51:11 PM EST
    Couldn't a masterpiece of a cake be considered a false idol?

    Parent
    You have a future (none / 0) (#122)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 06:00:46 PM EST
    in TV news.

    Parent
    And anything French (none / 0) (#124)
    by jondee on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 06:24:55 PM EST
    is probably right out, considering how much non-procreative time they're reputed to spend 'down there'..  

    Parent
    "Just make something up"... (none / 0) (#79)
    by kdog on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 01:57:26 PM EST
    gotta admit, that's a great line.

    Parent
    We are discussing the law, not (none / 0) (#101)
    by leftwig on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 03:03:35 PM EST
    whether its a choice or not to "be gay".  The law says "sexual orientation", so there is no need to distinguish between a gay person who says they were born that way and a gay person who chooses that relationship (and yes I believe there are gays of both varieties).  The law treats those two individuals the same, so instead of throwing a political fit over whether its a choice or not, its best to just stick to what the law says.

    I believe a private business should be able to refuse service to anyone they choose regardless of race, color or creed.  The Constitution does not say you can't be a racist.  Now the '64 Civil Rights act does outlaw any business involved in interstate commerce from discriminating, and Colorado law establishes some level of law regarding discrimination for businesses.  The CO law seems clear to me.  You cannot deny someone access to your business because of your sexual orientation, but thats not to say the business cannot chose to offer a service they find objectionable.  The business owner cannot deny selling cupcakes to gays, racists or anyone else.  They can decide not to provide a service request based on moral objections.  

    I predict the baker will be fined, but will win in court should he choose to fight the fine.  I believe those that don't like his policy should boycott his business and even speak out against it, but I do not believe an owner of a private business should be forced to provide a service he finds objectionable.  

    So I could google the bakery (none / 0) (#103)
    by ZtoA on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 03:29:40 PM EST
    and look at their delicious offerings - special occasions, weddings, office parties, etc. Or I could go in to the bakery and flip thru a beautiful binder of what they offer and the cakes they have already made. Yum. "Loot at that one they did for so and so's wedding." But they will not make me a wedding cake, which they offer to others in my community, and state the reason that I am gay?

    I think the couple should go to another bakery and the bakery should pay the fine and rethink their business.

    Bakery's custom prepare and bake cakes (none / 0) (#108)
    by gadfly on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 03:58:32 PM EST
     - so I am sure that I wouldn't want to eat a cake prepared by someone who disagrees with my sexual orientation.

    This issue is as stupid as the Chick-Fil-A kerfuffle.  Whatever happened to the way we used to settle dissatisfaction with merchants?  Remember how  we simply quit buying from them?

    I am simply amazed, with all that transpires every 24 hours, that a wedding cake or a CEO's opinion can rise to the top of the pile.

    silent majority (none / 0) (#136)
    by diogenes on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 09:02:19 PM EST
    Wanna bet that this bakery gets a lot MORE business from the majority of Colorado residents who at least to date have not passed a law legalizing gay marriage?

    They're "silent" because ... (5.00 / 1) (#137)
    by Yman on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 09:17:31 PM EST
    ... they're dying off.  In another 10-20 years, people will find it hard to believe this was even an issue.

    Progress.

    BTW - I'd take that bet in a heartbeat:

    A majority of Coloradans support legalizing gay marriage, and only 22% feel there should be no legal recognition at all of same sex couples, a new poll from Public Policy Polling finds. 53% of Colorado voters say same sex marriage should be legal and 40% say it should be illegal. Voters also say they would support the Colorado legislature passing a bill that would let same-sex couples form civil unions by a 62-32 margin. When asked whether they support gay marriage, civil unions but not gay marriage, or no legal recognition at all of same sex couples, 47% choose legal gay marriage, 28% say civil unions and just 22% say there should be no legal recognition whatsoever of gay couples.

    "Colorado is another in a growing number of states where polls show voters are rapidly shifting towards supporting legal gay marriage," said Dean Debnam, President of Public Policy Polling.



    Parent
    Yes, Yman (none / 0) (#143)
    by ZtoA on Mon Jul 30, 2012 at 09:47:21 PM EST
    seriously....

    I could, personally, as a producer of 'goods' say to anyone who approaches me for a sale say "I will not sell to you, nor do any commissions for you because you are an Irish Catholic "(or whatever the bad guy of the moment is). But the outlets which sell my goods to the public cannot say that. Nor can they say "I will not sell to you because you do not have the status necessary" (this is a controversy in my world), or "I will not sell to you because I consider you an a$$hole horrid representative of a religion who corrupts that religion" or "I will not sell to you because you are not like me". I am never forced to labor, but if I opened a shop to the public I would inherently agree to sell (and thus produce goods) to that very public.

    Parent

    majority will come across as asinine (5.00 / 1) (#200)
    by glanton on Tue Jul 31, 2012 at 01:23:43 PM EST
    if what you say is true.  funny how "silent majority" is so often code for the very worst in us, though.

    Parent
    Maybe we at TL (none / 0) (#172)
    by fishcamp on Tue Jul 31, 2012 at 08:00:56 AM EST
    should chip in, order a cake from Masterpiece Bakery with two same sex lawyers on top and have it delivered to jeralyn's office.

    Never read Atlas Shrugged (none / 0) (#214)
    by diogenes on Tue Jul 31, 2012 at 08:10:27 PM EST
    The court can make the bakery bake a gay wedding cake.  The court can't make the bakery bake a GOOD gay wedding cake.  

    The claimed savings to... (none / 0) (#220)
    by Gandydancer on Fri Aug 03, 2012 at 06:38:04 AM EST
    ...the employer of mandating contraceptive coverage was introduced on this page in post#131 by Donald from Hawaii as follows:
    I would also note that our State Insurance Commissioner's office, in its 2001 report to the state legislature on the implementation and impact of our law mandating contraceptive coverage, pointed out that it actually saved employers $97 per year per employee to offer a comprehensive contraceptive benefit.

    In actual fact the blue-linked report makes no mention of the $97 figure.

    Yaman nonetheless took the $97 figure and ran with it(bolding added):

    ...if the insurer SAVES $97 per insured by including contraceptive coverage (as compared to no contraceptive coverage), there's no additional cost to pass along.
    [snip]
    Your argument is that the cost of contraceptive coverage increases the insurers cost, who then passes the increased cost along to the insured.  My point is that, since providing contraceptive coverage actually costs less than not providing contraceptive coverage, there is no increased cost to pass along.

    I also had understood Donald's claim this way, as Obama's demand that insurers provide contraceptives at no charge to recipient or contracting employer surely depended for what little plausibility it possesses on such provision being at least costless to the insurance company. I thought the asserted proof of the assertion (dubious politically motivated "studies") obviously too speculative and unreliable to be the basis of redefining the ordinary understanding of "purchase" in legal or Constitutional analysis, but I assumed, as Yman did, that the $97 savings was substantially in reduced medical costs.

    Anne, however supplied the actual source of the $97 figure, quoting HHS as (bolding added) follows:

    Evidence from well-documented prior expansions of contraceptive coverage indicates that the cost to issuers of including coverage for all FDA-approved contraceptive methods in insurance offered to an employed population is zero.
    [snip]
    ... When medical costs associated with unintended pregnancies are taken into account, including costs of prenatal care, pregnancy complications, and deliveries, the net effect on premiums is close to zero.[10],[11]...

    When indirect costs such as time away from work and productivity loss are considered, they further reduce the total cost to an employer.  Global Health Outcomes developed a model that incorporates costs of contraception, costs of unintended pregnancy, and indirect costs.  They find that it saves employers $97 per year per employee to offer a comprehensive contraceptive benefit.[13]  Similarly, the PwC actuaries state that after all effects are taken into account, providing contraceptive services is "cost-saving."[14]

    So in the insurance transaction the direct cost of adding contraception is asserted by HHS to be "zero" (highly unlikely - complex addition problems total to actual zero with essentially zero probability) or "close to zero" (which even if true wouldn't close enough to "free" for the intended justification argument, never mind that the biases of the source indicate that a substantial cost is more likely than not). All or virtually all the claimed savings are "indirect" and not a consideration for the insurance company.

    So the argument is actually that you can force an employer to buy an inurance plan with contraception because savings in its operations will render its net costs zero or better, called "free" by the State.

    What's next? If the government has a study claiming that buying new computers each year will have a net positive effect on a business' bottom line, it can therefor order a business to buy new computers each year on the grounds that all those new computers are "free", and the requirement is therefor not an imposition?

    I say it's broccoli again. No discernable limits to a nonsensical argument. The fact that it's even advanced (I won't add "seriously" - it's not) is a sign of the degraded state into which the simple expectation of freedom in this nation has collapsed.