She Said – She Said
‘Let them eat cake!’
By Kerlande Patterson & Nicole Nutting
Kerlande: Hey Nicole, I’m going to turn to you for some wisdom on why this is an issue. The Supreme Court is set to decide whether a baker can refuse to bake a wedding cake for a gay wedding, based on his religious convictions. The question is, shouldn’t a person’s labor be theirs to decide with whom they want to share it?
Nicole: We should remember that discrimination against the LGBTQ community is the last frontier in the battle for Civil Rights, and there is no Federal protection yet. Public merchants, no matter how they feel in private, don’t get to cherry-pick their customers! A cake is just a cake, not an endorsement of any particular lifestyle. The couple could buy this cake un-adorned. Most of the gay guys I know are FABULOUS decorators! Boom, issue solved!
Kerlande: In this case, a cake is not just a cake. The same-sex couple wanted the cake specifically for their wedding. For many Christians, baking a cake specifically for a union in which they do not believe, would feel like a tacit endorsement of something that violates their conscience. Are the rights of gay people more important than Christians? Imagine a gay artist not being able to refuse to create a homophobic painting commissioned by a Christian. Should a gay artist not be able to refuse?
Nicole: An artist without a “Public Storefront” can choose what he wants to paint. However, the rights of gays are as important as anyone else’s. When you open a “Public Storefront” then fairly the bar rises. What next? Separate drinking fountains labelled “Homo” and “Hetero”. Does that jog your memory a bit?
Kerlande: You make a good point. To be fair, in the ‘60s, White business owners made similar arguments against Federal laws mandating they give equal service to Black people. The courts did not side with the business owners. Thankfully so, because I enjoy walking into the front door of my favorite burger joint and being served. While I do believe in freedom of religion, I am not an absolutist. What’s good for me has to be good for everyone.
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