Religious freedom used as excuse for bigotry and prejudice

OK, so the SC will hear from the HoPho A-hole baker who refused to make a wedding cake for these guys, one of whom looks homeless and the other of whom looks like Penn Jillette on Atkins.

This is becoming more and more popular in many States.

For the moment, set aside from the obvious bullshittery of hiding behind Freedom of Religion, which kind of goes without saying.
It’s interesting, to me, at least, how measures like:

Colorado’s public accommodations law, which prohibits refusing service to customers based on factors such as race, sex, marital status or sexual orientation.

which I fully support (and anyone who doesn’t is an Aryan Brotherhood Nazi Klansman asswipe), play out in real time.

Off the top of my head, on first reading about guys like this shitheel baker, or the nutsack photog who wouldn’t shoot the same-gender nuptials, I kind of go, OK, fine, you just fucked yourself out of a paycheque, and the couples are free to spend their dough elsewhere, everyone’s happy.

HOWEVER, if the owner of a diner or restaurant, or hotel/motel, turns a family away, refusing them service or lodging because they’re black or Muslim, one looks forward to the pig fucking owner getting their $2 ass litigated into the middle of the next decade.

But they’re essentially the same deal, right?

This is a tricky one, as I do support the idea that a business has the right to refuse service to anyone. But on the other hand, how do we make sure and decide under which circumstances that they can and can not do that?

Surprisingly, this:

a business has the right to refuse service to anyone

isn’t as universally guaranteed as one might think.

At the heart of the debate is a system of anti-discrimination laws enacted by federal, state and local governments. The entire United States is covered by the Federal Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination by privately owned places of public accommodation on the basis of race, color, religion or national origin. Places of “public accommodation” include hotels, restaurants, theaters, banks, health clubs and stores. Nonprofit organizations such as churches are generally exempt from the law.

The right of public accommodation is also guaranteed to disabled citizens under the Americans with Disabilities Act, which prohibits discrimination by private businesses based on disability.

The federal law does not prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation, so gays are not a protected group under the federal law. However, about 20 states, including New York and California, have enacted laws that prohibit discrimination in public accommodations based on sexual orientation. In California, you also can’t discriminate based on someone’s unconventional dress. In some states, like Arizona, there’s no state law banning discrimination against gays, but there are local laws in some cities that prohibit sexual orientation discrimination.

So, no matter where you live, you cannot deny service to someone because of his or her race, color, religion, national origin or disability. In some states and cities, you also cannot discriminate against people because of their sexual orientation. If there is no state, federal or local law prohibiting discrimination in public accommodations against a particular group of people, then you can legally refuse to serve that group of people.

In other words, it looks like in most places the business would need to prove that they refused service based on parameters or conditions other than those listed in the relevant legislation.

Pretty sure they will lose. You need to follow the law of the land, no matter the law itself is unfair or the the punishments unjustified. We just had this discussion with someone who ended up dead after stealing a poster in North Korea (allegedly stole, I will add for the nit pickers).

Some of the laws in the middle east regarding gay people make me want to puke. I can choose not to go there, if fact i was quite glad Taiwan is moving towards legalizing gay marriage.

Pretty sure the Supreme court will say, if the law says no discrimination and you do just that because you are a Christian, a Jew, a Muslim or believe in the flying spaghetti monster or even something more hair brained like Scientology, expect to be prosecuted for discrimination.

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I don’t really support business rights to refuse service to people. It’s no different than in the old days of hanging a sign saying no blacks allowed or even today Japanese or Korean restaurants posting notices no foreigners allowed.

Now no wild critters allowed sign, I can get behind. No one likes them scratching around while I’m trying to eat.

If I was the baker, I couldn’t care less who the cake is for, money is money and giving them service doesn’t condone their actions if you disagree with them, that’s up to them. They ask you to make a cake for their wedding… done. what they do with it is their right.


Seems a well worn path…

Fascinating, with a couple of different wrinkles.
One wonders, then, could the owners of The Glen Road Bakery be taken to court for refusing to craft a Twelfth of July cake???

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I’m sure they could make a cake, I don’t think they’d dare to eat it though. :slight_smile:

Yeah, that’s one of the first things I thought of, do you really want to be celebrating with a cake that was baked under duress???

Even if you managed to get away with not cutting into it and finding a dog turd or Coney Island Whitefish, there’s still an excellent chance that the entire bakery crew did a Tyler Durden and supplemented the creme filling, if you know what I mean…

I predict that within the next 3 years most states in the U.S. will pass laws basically allowing discrimination (based on religious freedom rationale). The trend is there and the Supreme Court’s new members will support.

I sympathize with business owners, however, if you are providing services to the public you cannot pick and choose your customers. If that is your business model then you should not be allowed to open a store front but instead only take special orders from people you know.

Living in a society exposes us to all people within that society. If you do not want that exposure then live in a remote area and avoid the public per your discretion.

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I wonder if this makes a difference. But the bakers had to make a custom cake for the gay couple correct? So can say a Christian family owned business upfront say this goes against our values and we refuse to make the cake? Is this discrimination when I refuse to make a cake for something that goes against my values vs I refuse to sell you a cake because you are gay?
I mean it is their business right?

Does what I’m saying make sense in the difference I’m trying to make. Like if a wedding planing company outright says they are a Christian operated business and they don’t believe that a wedding can happen between 2 same sex couples in the eyes of God or something. Is that discrimination?

Yeah, I think you may have isolated the difference there. Like I said, the Belfast case was different in that the bakers refused to make a cake that said "Support Gay Marriage"
In theory, I kind of don’t have a problem with this.

The Colorado bozos (is that redundant?) just plain up and said they basically wouldn’t “make a cake for a couple of fags”.
This is much closer to some pig fucker refusing to sell a Baby Ruth to a lady in a hijab.

If you own a private club with membership selected by you then you can pick and choose which member gets what level of service. But when you open your doors to the public you cannot choose to refuse service due to race, religion, etc. Religious freedom’s focus should be to allow individuals to practice their religion without impacting others in society.

If serving the general public causes someone to not be able to practice their religion as they wish…then choose employment and living situation which isolates you from the issues which need to be avoided.

Well that is different.

Are these actual laws, or is this your opinion?

So I can have a country club and only allow white men as a rule?

How about this, some businesses specialize in certain things that may exclude people for various reasons. If I’m a Jewish wedding company with the Jewish faith, and I make it clear I do Jewish weddings. Can i refuse to do a wedding that marries a Jewish man and a non jewish girl because this does not align with my beliefs in what my business stands for or my personal beliefs? (I think this is frowned upon in some Jewish communities, correct me if i’m wrong)

Or lets say I’m vegan, can I refuse to serve a person who want to come inside my restaurant with a bucket of chicken, even though he wants to order my vegan food?

maybe these types of business’s should have a sign out the front saying they are a christian business or something. gays could avoid them. this situation could be avoided. also anyone not keen on supporting religious bigots could shop elsewhere allowing non bigoted business’s to pick up some dosh.

This whole controversy shows lack of imagination. Where are all the religious-freedom lawsuits over the right to go naked, or smoke pot?

Wasn’t that the origin of the Spaghetti Monster Church?

I think there are religions that allow for weed smoking.

And other things, here and there. A certain American Indian tribe comes to mind. And in Iran, recognized religious minorities (such as Christians) are allowed to use alcohol for religious purposes.

So I can have a country club and only allow white men as a rule?

In Hong Kong, apparently this is still permitted under the newish anti-discrimination law, but only if it’s part of the purpose of the organization, e.g. “the _______ Country Club of HK” can limit membership to a certain ethnic group, but “the Super Awesome Country Club of HK” can’t. They based it on the equivalent UK law from the 1970’s instead of the newer one. (I’m just going by what was reported in HK media.)

@BHL4life the problem with hanging a religious sign in the window would be (legal questions aside) lack of clarity. Some Christian churches have gay weddings, so advertising that you are or aren’t Christian doesn’t really solve anything.

When private businesses are no longer free to choose their clients, expect a lot of passive aggressive revenge. It’s not that hard to bake a bad cake.

(This, by the way, is why socialism fails so badly.)

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