More Fun and Games from Bigots
Bill Quick

Articles: Does the Constitution Force Bakers to Bake?

If Walmart, Sears, or any other retailer denied a gay couple the ability to purchase something that had been mass-produced, even if it was to be used for a wedding, nearly all Americans would agree that such a denial would be discriminatory.  

On the other hand, the cases that have gone to trial, and have had a judge find in favor of the plaintiffs, have been based on a refusal by the defendant, not to sell a mass-produced product, but rather to perform a personal service.  The baker would have to personally bake and decorate a cake.  The florist would personally have to arrange flowers.  The photographer would personally have to take the photographs of the plaintiffs’ wedding and possibly reception. 

 In all three cases, the labor would have to be performed personally by the defendants against their clearly stated will.

I love watching the tendentious contortions of the gay-haters as they try to somehow carve a religious “We hate gays” exception out of the relevant statutes.

This one is really funny.  Businesses that sell goods to the general public are not allowed to discriminate,  but those that sell services to the public are.  Because selling services is different than selling goods.  

How and why are they different?  Because they are services, see.  Don’t you get it?  You don’t?

Shut up, then.

These loons love to tell me that my atheism is somehow a religion.  That’s ridiculous.  If atheism is a religion, then bald is a hair color.  But stipulate that they are correct.  Would they then support my “right” to demand that a public business not display religious symbolism in their places of business because I personally find such displays “offensive to my religion?”

Yet they support the “rights” of businesses to illegally refuse to serve customers whom they find offensive to their religious beliefs.

It’s all bullshit, of course.  They just want to enlist the power of the state in enforcing their own religious beliefs on everybody else.

Would the same justifications fly if we were talking about baking a cake for a mixed-race wedding?

Posted in Bigots permalink
Bill Quick

About Bill Quick

I am a small-l libertarian. My primary concern is to increase individual liberty as much as possible in the face of statist efforts to restrict it from both the right and the left. If I had to sum up my beliefs as concisely as possible, I would say, "Stay out of my wallet and my bedroom," "your liberty stops at my nose," and "don't tread on me." I will believe that things are taking a turn for the better in America when married gays are able to, and do, maintain large arsenals of automatic weapons, and tax collectors are, and do, not.


More Fun and Games from Bigots — 27 Comments

  1. I’ll stack my commitment to atheism against yours any day, Bill, but my sympathies lie with the defendants here. I’m opposed to forced association, period. It is not a violation of rights to refuse to do business with someone, regardless of how irrational or disgusting the reason. Forcing people to associate, on the other hand, is a rights violation.

    That said, you are correct that the forced-association-by-race and forced-association-by-sexual-orientation cases are exactly parallel. If you support the right to refuse to do business with anyone for any reason then you need to be willing to apply the principle across the board. The principle the religionists are appealing to is correct but they aren’t willing to abide by it in all cases, so they’re obvious hypocrites. No surprise there.

    Since our legal system has long declined to enforce freedom of association when invoked by people for reasons deemed socially undesirable, the increasing cultural rejection of anti-gay bigotry will find its expression in law. It’s still rights violating.

  2. One has to wonder then: What would happen if somebody starts a bakery and hangs out a sign saying “I Love Gay People, If you’re gay you must buy your cake here”.

    Myself, I don’t think any one should have to work for anyone they don”t want to work for and I also don’t think anyone should have to hire anyone they don’t care to hire. THAT sounds like liberty to me.

    • OG, one of the problems is trying to figure out where libertarianism crosses the line into anarchy. I know that we do have some more or less anarchists around here, but we are founded on the notion that our unalienable rights include the pursuit of happiness. I’m not sure how that works with a de facto situation in which sizeable segments of the population can’t even pursue a job because of the color of their skin, let alone happiness.

      I’ve said for years that I understood the argument for perfect free association, but that I rejected it if it meant a nation in which millions were second class citizens.

  3. I’ve said for years that I understood the argument for perfect free association, but that I rejected it if it meant a nation in which millions were second class citizens.

    My gripe with this is that historically the cure has proven to be worse than the disease. Producing the exact opposite effect to what was desired. I am not sure what the answer is but it appears to me that what we are doing isn’t working.

    • I’m old enough to have personally been in public places with “black only” sections, water fountains, bathrooms, etc., and job ads and signs with “No Negroes Need Apply.” If you think what we have now is worse than that, you’re not really thinking it through.

      Most of the problems blacks (and the rest of us) face today come from the welfare state, not from the gains made by the civil rights movements.

      • How much of that was supported or mandated by state law? The whole ‘separate but equal’ thing was set up by racist state governments violating the property rights of businesses. The plaintiff in Plessy v. Ferguson was a business trying to get a segregation law struck down as a violation of their rights to property and free association. If the Supreme Court had agreed with them the entire legal edifice of racial segregation would have been cut off at the knees.

        Instead, the court decided it was OK to violate the rights of property and association in the name of a socially-desirable outcome. The result was millions of citizens legally forced into second-class status for seven decades. I doubt we’ll get better results today by applying the same reasoning to a different kind of socially-desirable outcome.

        • The result was millions of citizens legally forced into second-class status for seven decades.

          No, millions of citizens were forced into second-class status by millions and millions of first class citizens who wanted to keep them that way.

          The first is not like the second, no matter how much libertarian ideologues wish to pretend that it is.

          • I’m not a libertarian ideologue, I’m an Objectivist ideologue. :-)

            “Forced” how, exactly? Directly by law? Indirectly enabled by government refusal to fairly and consistently enforce the law? Or by a simple choice to leave them alone? The difference is absolutely relevant.

            • Okay, fine, you’re an Objectivist ideologue. That said, you leave out the actual reality: Forced by white public preference and opinion. Yes, there were Jim Crow laws, but they were created at the behest of the white majority who supported the notion, who were already treating blacks as second class citizens, and who would have continued to do so even if Jim Crow laws weren’t on the books.

              You’re extremely naive if you think absolute free association would have changed that one bit. Here’s a dirty little secret, Kyle: Most whites don’t feel comfortable around most blacks (and vice versa) but that discomfort should not be all it takes to relegate Blacks to second class status. However, that’s how it works out in the real world, as opposed to an Objectivist utopia.

      • My age puts me in the same position as you, and no I do not think it is worse now, I know it is worse now. During the time we are talking about blacks were not killing each other wholesale as they are now.

          • Further, if you think that mandating that businesses open to the public to serve all of the public has made the situation of Blacks worse than when Jim Crow was the standard approach, well, I’m not sure how to argue against a position that is so self-evidently wrong.

          • Exactly.

            Just about every problem in the black community can be traced to the welfare state. The war on drugs just adds to the problems created by welfare. Take away the welfare and even the drug problem would be diminished.

          • You keep bringing these up as if they are separate issues they aren’t they are different sides of the same coin. Bill I really am not trying to bust your chops over this. Like you my take on this has evolved over decades of watching this nightmare unfold. With human nature being what it is I’ve come to the conclusion that trying to legislate equality/morality is bound to produce disastrous results. There is so much more but my typing ability is limited. As I said earlier I am not sure what the answer is.

            • Well, I think you’re wrong, and I think the weight of the evidence is on my side.

              The welfare state is not the other side of the coin of the civil rights movement. The welfare state has caused great damage, but the civil rights movement has not, that I can see.

              I’d be curious to see your specifics on the damaged caused by civil rights. I’d further like to understand the logic chain by which you arrive at the conclusion that civil rights and the welfare state are two sides of the same coin.

              Keep in mind that correlation does not equal causation, although correlation can point in a direction of a testable hypothesis.

  4. The problem is, when we say you must not discriminate by race, gender, etc. then whenever someone from one of the protected groups has a problem it becomes about race or gender, etc. When in reality the reason he/she wasn’t hired/associated with was because he was a dickhead, unqualified, whatever. It’s pretty hard to defend against a discrimination charge no matter how pure your motives may have been. These people (and their lawyers) all know that and play it to the hilt.

    Legislating morality doesn’t work well and never has.

        • Oh, horseshit. If by “liberty” you mean the right to deny liberty to others, then you don’t share the same understanding of liberty that I do.

          You also live in a utopia where human beings are considerably more perfect than they actually are.

          Here’s a mind game for your perfect Objective universe: In it, all white people don’t wish to offer goods or services to black people. Moreover, most of the goods and services are owned and controlled by white people. No laws exist to force (yes, I’ll go there) them not to discriminate, and so black people end up living miserable, poverty stricken lives because they can’t work and can’t buy the necessities of survival.

          Is that your “free association” utopia? You can have it. But I hope that if you do have it, you have it as a black person.

        • “in that they force people to associate in defiance of their will”

          Actually, they don’t “force” anyone. They require that if you wish to do business with the public you cannot discriminate. You are not forced to own a bakery, etc.

          I’m not sure where you’re going with this. If for example I offer my house/car/etc. for sale, do you believe I have the right to deny the sale to anyone based upon their color?

          • Yes, of course he does, Barry. Hardcore Objectivists can be as unflinching as any hardcore Communist. Of course, neither pure Communism nor pure Objectivism has ever worked in the real world, because both Utopian visions collapse in the face of the reality of human nature.

            I’m an Objectivist, but I try to keep in mind that Ayn Rand said that you have to deal with reality, (A-A, Existence exists) and on occasion I find the reality of human nature renders Objectivist dogma unsupportable in the real world.

      • So, do you suppose being we’re having all this equality, if I (being white) go to a black business owner for a job and he doesn’t hire me even though I’m qualified, that I’ll be able to press charges of discrimination?

        Or, do you think I’d just be ignored?

        • Of course you’re qualified to press charges. The civil rights laws require that you not be discriminated against on the basis of race. And there are some landmark court decisions making quite clear that such applies to discrimination against whites, too.