Monday, July 6, 2015

Of Wedding Cakes and Puritanical Collectivism (UPDATE, July 10)

Thought criminals: Melissa and Aaron Klein (center) with their children.


Yes, the Kleins were fined -- or, if you prefer, hit with a "civil penalty," which is the same thing -- for not baking a cake, the tortured sophistries of collectivist spin-control specialists to the contrary notwithstanding. Go here for the relevant details.

By declining to make a wedding cake for Rachel Cryer and Laurel Bowman, Aaron Klein and his wife Melissa saved the lesbian couple roughly $350. This is a case in which discrimination on the part of a business materially benefited the supposed victims – even before a Soviet-grade “civil rights” bureaucrat in Oregon ordered the business owners to pay $135,000 to the aggrieved couple.
In January 2013, the Kleins, who operated a bakery called “Sweetcakes by Melissa,” turned down the couple’s business proposal. Within a few days, the would-be customers contracted with another bakery called Pastry Girl. The second vendor charged $250 to create the celebratory confection, a rather garish artifact “with three tiers that had a peacock’s body on top and the peacock’s tail feathers trailing down over tiers to the cake plate,” as described in the Final Ruling by the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI).    

 Had they accepted the job, the Kleins “would have charged $600 for making and delivering the same cake.”Rachel Cryer offered her business to Sweetcakes because two years earlier the Kleins had designed and produced a wedding cake for her mother. If the Kleins had acted out of mercenary motivations rather than being governed by their religious convictions, Rachel and Laurel most likely would have settled for their first choice, rather than testing the market and quickly finding another vendor who produced the desired cake at less than half the price. 

By forgoing the transaction, the Kleins paid a fairly sizeable “opportunity cost” in the service of their beliefs while inflicting no injury on Rachel and Laurel. In fact, they actually did the couple a considerable favor in light of the fact that they wanted a ceremony “as `big and grand as they could afford,’” according to the BOLI’s account. The hundreds of dollars saved on a cake were thus available to be spent on other facets of the event. 

By declining to participate, however, the Kleins had hurt the couple’s feelings. As members of an officially recognized victim group in the People’s Republic of Oregon, Rachel and Laurel had the ability to summon official retaliation against someone whose opinions offended them. This also provided an opportunity for Rachel’s mother, Cheryl McPherson, a recovering “homophobe,” to display her righteousness. 

After the awkward conversation in which Aaron Klein had explained that he and his wife had religious scruples against involvement in a same-sex wedding ceremony, Cheryl paid a second visit for the apparent purpose of persuading Klein to change his mind. She described to the BOLI how she told Aaron that “she used to think like him, but her `truth had changed’ as a result of having `two gay children.’” In reiterating his decision, Klein – who from all accounts was polite and otherwise deferential – reportedly referred to the proscription against homosexual conduct found in the Old Testament book of Leviticus. 

When she returned to the car where Rachel was waiting, Cheryl told her tearful daughter that Klein “had called her `an abomination.’” This was untrue: Cheryl’s sworn testimony made it plain that Klein had referred to an act, not to an individual, as an “abomination.” It was also counterproductive, assuming that the intent had been to console her daughter, rather than to exacerbate her sorrow and amplify her sense of outrage.

Cheryl drove Rachel back to the apartment she shared with Laurel and repeated the claim that Klein had described them as “abominations.” Laurel interpreted the act of refusing to make the cake as a statement that she was “a creature not created by God, not created with a soul,” that she and Rachael were “unworthy of holy love [and] not worthy of life” – conclusions based entirely on her own perceptions, rather than anything Klein had said or done. She was also concerned that exposure to Klein’s religious views “might negatively impact [Cheryl’s] acceptance of [her daughter’s] sexual orientation.”

That concern proved to be unfounded. Cheryl, filled with the zeal of a recent convert, was not about to apostatize, and she was eager to punish Klein for turning down an invitation to repent. 

Before the day was out, Cheryl posted an online review of Sweetcakes advising gay couples to avoid the business “because they discriminate against gay people.” This was an entirely appropriate gesture by an unsatisfied consumer. A short time later Laurel filed a two-page complaint with the Oregon Department of Justice, which was an invitation for state-inflicted punishment of a heretic. 

After being asked to create the cake for a lesbian couple, the owner “proceeded to say we were abominations unto the lord [sic] and refused to make [a] cake for us despite … having done business with us in the past,” Laurel claimed, retailing a version of the story that was both hearsay and untruthful. “We were then informed that our money was not equal, [and] my fianc√© [was] reduced to tears. This is absolutely unacceptable.” 

Although this was described as a “consumer complaint,” it contained no allegation that the Kleins had defrauded them or failed to carry out the terms of a contract. After the DOJ informed them of the complaint, the Kleins posted a terse note on their Facebook page describing what had happened to them. Predictably, this triggered media interest in the story, which in turn led Rachel and Laurel to fear that the foster children each of them was raising “would be taken away from them by the state of Oregon’s foster care system,” relates the BOLI ruling. 

Once again, those fears were not provoked by anything the Kleins had done, or refused to do, but rather by the prospect of dealing with a capricious state bureaucracy. 

This underscores a fact that has been largely ignored by coverage of this case: At the time Rachel and her mother approached the Kleins to make a wedding cake, the State of Oregon did not validate same-sex marriages. 

No property rights for you! Commissar Avakian.
In response to the couple’s complaint, Brad Avakian, Commissar of the Bureau of Labor and Industry, promised a “fair and thorough investigation to determine whether there’s substantial evidence of unlawful discrimination.” (Emphasis added.) 

Note Avakian’s use of the qualifier “unlawful.” If the Kleins had said that they wouldn’t participate in a ceremony not legally recognized by the state, this would have been an act of responsible citizenship, rather than invidious discrimination. The Kleins were targeted by Oregon’s apparatus of coercive attitude adjustment because of Aaron’s candid expression of their religious commitment, which is based on an allegiance to a Higher Authority than the political government. 

This meant that the Kleins had compounded their sin against Tolerance with blasphemy against the State. The consequences were entirely predictable. 

Avakian is not a judicial official. He is an elected functionary who received substantial contributions during the 2012 campaign from a pressure group called Basic Rights Oregon, with whom he remained in contact as the case against the Kleins proceeded. As a state senator he had supported the Oregon Equality Act, a measure passed in 2007 that outlaws anti-gay discrimination in “public accommodations.” As Commissar of the BOLI, he would be the “final arbiter” of any case involving alleged discrimination. 

The “fair and thorough investigation” by the BOLI was a pseudo-judicial proceeding in which the agency itself was the plaintiff. The agency was represented by prosecutors Jenn Gaddis and Cristin Casey, both of whom it employs. And although Administrative Law Judge Alan McCullough presided over the hearings, the final ruling was issued by Commissar Avakian. If he were a judge, Avakian would have had to recuse himself owing to his ongoing collaboration with Basic Rights Oregon. As the commissar of Oregon’s anti-discrimination soviet, Avakian faces no accountability for such unethical behavior.

The role of the “victims” in this case was to itemize the various ways in which they had experienced “emotional and mental suffering” as a result of exposure to religious views they found offensive. Every fleeting tremor of frustration, anger, self-pity, or hostility on their part was used as evidence against the Kleins, and assigned a cash value. Without the benefit of an examination by a medical professional or other competent clinician, Avakian concluded that Rachel and Laurel were entitled to $135,000 as compensation for injuries visible only to anointed oracles of social justice.

Already facing financial ruin, the Kleins have been forced to shut down their store, and now operate a home-based business that cannot be categorized as a “public accommodation. Nonetheless, they have been ordered not to publicize their intention to refrain from making wedding cakes for same-sex couples in the future, or to express support for such “discriminatory” practices. This is tantamount to a gag order, given that they would face prosecution for defending their right to refuse business to potential customers. 

Several months before the case reached its preordained conclusion, Avakian explained that his objective had been to “rehabilitate” the Kleins. The use of that expression is telling: Rehabilitation is the process of repairing an injury. If Rachel Cryer and Laurel Bowman were the injured parties, why were Aaron and Melissa Klein forced to undergo “rehabilitation”? 

In a celebratory press release, Commissar Avakian pretends that the Kleins had somehow infringed Rachel and Laurel’s “ability to enter public places, to shop, to dine, to move about unfettered by bigotry.” Nothing the Kleins did or refused to do fettered that couple in any way – unless we are to assume that the knowledge that some people didn’t approve of their union was an unacceptable burden to them.

Mencken famously described Puritanism as “the haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy.” Commissar Avakian and his comrades are similarly haunted by the thought that someone, somewhere within their jurisdiction harbors unacceptable opinions– and as their treatment of Aaron and Melissa Klein demonstrates, they are possessed of a puritanical zeal to bludgeon the “bigotry” out of less enlightened souls.

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Dum spiro, pugno!


Anonymous said...

The great French philosopher Michel Foucault pointed out that political control does not gradually lead to a more civilized society. On the contrary political control lurches from one domination to the next. In the case of homosexuality until very recently the political class used its legal system to attack, arrest, and incarcerate homosexuals. In the famous and just Stonewall Inn rebellion, gays spontaneously resisted such assault one night in 1969 making clear to the New York City political elite that if they continued to use their armed enforcement caste to harass and attack gays, gays would keep the spontaneous open rebellion in the streets going indefinitely. Seeing that gays meant business, the New York political elite caved. In the intervening time gays have organized politically and have arrogated political power to themselves to the extent that there has now occurred the very inversion of power Foucault described. The persecuted have become the persecutors. The persecutors have become the persecuted. Though the great Foucault was himself gay, he was a libertarian and one of the first political philosophers to praise Ludwig von Mises and denounce Marxism. And he would have seen in the present climate of 'gay liberation' exactly the stumbling from one domination to its inverse as inevitably happens under political control.

All Wrong said...

It never ceases to amaze me how few people understand that the Freedom of Association includes the freedom to not associate. Nothing the Kleins did broke the law. Nothing the Kleins did imfringed on the rights of anybody. Nothing the Kleins did harmed anyone in any way. Hurt feelings do not count as harm.

On the opposite side of the fence, this couple, the mother, and the State of Oregon caused Sweetcakes by Melissa to go out of business, forced the Kleins to more than pay for a wedding they wanted nothing to do with and infringed on their Freedom of Speech, their Freedom of Religion, and their Freedom of Association.

To re-iterate, they broke no laws. This was all over hurt feelings.

Anonymous said...

This matter was a simple business transaction that didn't happen. Could the homosexual woman have had a birthday cake made by this bakery? Without question the answer is yes. Which clearly makes the case there is and never was any anti-homosexual conduct, actions or feelings directed at the two homosexual woman. Let's take a look at history and honest and real truth in this matter. When Stalin ran out the hardline Marxist and they fled to Poland and Germany, they went over where the Marxist dream failed in Russia. These think tanks collectivity decided that the failure of that Marxist dream was because, the Marxist failed to, "get the workers off of God's law onto man' law". Christians are a huge threat to power and total controlling governments of any government. That my friends is what in truthfulness this matter is really all about.

ProvidenceMine said...

I am the kind of person that doesn't go anywhere I'm not wanted. If people express a dislike towards me for reason that only they understand, then I simply avoid that individual at all costs, and it is of no personal loss to me.

I personally think that posting a consumer complaint warning the LGBT community about this particularly business was the right way to handle the situation. I think that bringing The Big Guns into it was overkill!

How this lesbian couple can get $135,000 for pain and suffering is beyond me! I've never understood the whole concept of 'pain and suffering' to begin with. It always seemed like such compensations were pulled out of the ether to me.

While I myself am not a homophobe, I do think that the LGBT activists can be a merciless lot. They will drag you through the coals if you even look at them funny. They are not people that you want to mess with by any stretch!

There is a book called Outlander by Diana Gabaldon that has an evil, sadistic character named Black Jack Randall who the author had even described in one YouTube Video as 'a bisexual pervert.' It was always understood that this man was not heterosexual. However, she has changed her tune recently by saying that BJR's sexuality is neither gay nor bisexual. His sexuality is simply sadism. Clearly, since this old bestseller from 1991 became a hit show on cable, gay fans have been putting much pressure on this author. While this example may not be as extreme as the case written about in this article, I think that the picture is clear.

FrozenPatriot said...

Brad Avakian
Election/Office: 2014 Primary Election Commissioner of the Bureau of Labor and Industries

Candidate Address:
17915 NW Lonerock Dr
Portland, OR 97229
Work Phone: (971)673-0781
Home Phone: (503)430-5588

Dana said...

How come no open outrage from the people of Oregon?

Paul Bonneau said...

Political overreach is somewhat understandable. Repression does not bring out the best in people, and gays have been repressed in this country for a long time. However, I hope for their sakes they get over their current puritanical rage quickly. This country is cruising toward internal war, and when such is going on, old accounts tend to be settled. It's very unwise for a minority to rub the nose of a majority in the dirt.

Oh well, they make their bed, they will have to sleep in it. I've just about lost any empathy I formerly had with them. I won't be participating in any lynch mobs, but I won't be trying to stop them either. Actions have consequences - even understandable ones.

Anonymous said...

"Avakian explained that his objective had been to “rehabilitate” the Kleins" ...philosophically, how is this different than sending them to a reeducation camp because they have differing opinions with the "State"? What has become of Freedom??

Anonymous said...

The support for the Kleins is admirable, but will not change anything without action. Until good people get off their tail ends and "do something" instead of just yakking,, nothing will change. There should have been hundreds if not thousands of good honest moral people gathering at the store, standing arm in arm, buying cakes and cookies and defying the statists, daring them to arrest them and shut down the bakery. That is why the leftist perverts have been so successful. They have put action to their beliefs. Talk without action is worthless.

The Confederate Celt said...

As a Calvinist Presbyterian, it is disturbing to see my Puritan cousins constantly run down as being evil busy bodies and petty tyrants. The Puritans didn't have a damn thing to do with this.

The Confederate Celt said...

"…the typical Puritans were not wild men, fierce and freaky, religious fanatics and social extremists, but sober, conscientious, and cultured citizens, persons of principle, determined and disciplined excelling in the domestic virtues, and with no obvious shortcomings save a tendency to run to words when saying anything important, whether to God or to a man." -J.I. Packer, Regent College

Jack Slater said...

Romans 12:14-21

Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Matthew 22:34-39

But when the Pharisees heard that He had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. And one of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question to test Him. “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And He said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”

Mr. and Mrs. Klein,

You were not forced to close your bakery. You chose to do so based upon an Old Testament scripture verse issued to Hebrew exiles - who were living in a wilderness having recently fled bondage in Egypt. If you truly wish to abide by the verse declaring homosexuality an abomination, you must also adhere to doling out the punishment for this act as dictated in Leviticus 20:13 - "If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall surely be put to death; their blood is upon them." - James 2:8-10 If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing well. But if you show partiality, you are committing sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors. For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become accountable for all of it.

By taking the stance you have chosen, you have forever closed off any future opportunities to present yourselves as ambassadors of Christ to those who engage in same sex relationships. As Romans 12 clearly states, responsibility for punishment lies with God.

Romans 2 tells us that God's patience is designed to lead to repentance. How does refusing to sell a cake demonstrate the patience of God? Your responsibility is to show love and mercy. Creating and selling a cake to two lesbians does not by any measure reflect your endorsement of homosexuality. Additionally, why not take their money and put it toward caring for your children and raising your family according to Godly love and wisdom?

I would be willing to wager that should you choose to reopen your bakery and conduct your business according to New Testament precepts (many of which I have omitted for the sake of brevity), you will receive an unholy backlash from many of those evangelical Christian organizations which have rallied to your cause to fight. They are not interested in demonstrating Christ's love toward all. They are interested in furthering their political agenda of forcing their perceived value system upon the entire populace of this nation and yes, the the world. They are also interested in financial gain. They are wrong and they are not Christlike.

ps: I attempted to email the Klein's personally, requesting to correspond with them in a similar fashion to what is written here. Their email account now has an auto responder, listing where to send donations and committing to further their fight. This is sad.

William N. Grigg said...

Mr. Slater, you've written an elegant mini-essay that is founded upon a factual claim that probably isn't reliable -- namely, that Aaron Klein had invoked the passage in Leviticus and denounced the couple as an "abomination." That claim was made on the record by the mother of one of the young women.

As far as I can tell, the Kleins -- who would have been deeply involved in the ceremony, rather than simply making a cake -- politely declined to participate, forgoing a very profitable opportunity out of a sense of religious duty.

It's one thing to say that believers are free to eat meats sacrificed to idols, as Paul taught. It's quite another for a Christian butcher to sell meats that would be offered on such altars, or to make and market the idols themselves. The Kleins, on my reading, believed that the latter description more accurately applied to what they had been asked to do. If they had been motivated by a desire for financial gain -- as you strongly insinuate -- they wouldn't be facing their current predicament.

Your characterization of the "Christian Right" strikes me as accurate. They are, for the most part, cynical and avaricious people more interested in power than love or liberty, and I think it's reasonable to say that they are eagerly exploiting the Kleins.

Jack Slater said...

Mr. Grigg,

Thank you for your reply. Contrary to your assertion, my mini-essay is founded upon Aaron Klein's quoting of Leviticus 18:22 to Ms. Cheryl McPherson per page 6 lines 9 & 10 of the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI) Final Order. According to the order, Aaron Klein quoted Leviticus 18:22 to Cheryl McPherson after she returned to the Klein's bakery in order to further converse with Mr. Klein. This conversation was prompted by Mr. Klein's earlier courteous refusal per page 5 lines 21 - 23 of the BOLI Order; "At that point, AK stated that he was sorry, but that Sweetcakes did not make wedding cakes for same-sex ceremonies because of AK's and MK's religious convictions."

Mr. Klein not directly labeling Rachel Bowman-Cryer and Laurel Bowman-Cryer as 'abominations' is not a point of argument, yet indicating what two people are doing vs. labeling two people as committing the same act is really just minutiae in the greater context of why Aaron Klein said what he said. This is also beside my point, which is a response based upon Aaron Klein directly quoting scripture as the basis for his denial of commercial service to the two ladies (two very hyperbolical ladies based on my reading).

Mr. Klein's statement that Sweetcakes 'did not make wedding cakes for same-sex ceremonies' does not indicate deep involvement in a wedding ceremony. Based upon the depositions given in the Final Order, the Klein's declined to sell a cake to the ladies due to their religious conviction. I believe they are free to do so however I believe they are missing the true intention of being salt and light.

There was no 'strong insinuation' to sell the cake for financial gain, quite simply engaging in the act of commerce and gracious behavior simply allows both financial gain and possible future opportunities for interaction whereby Christ's love may be shared. Refusing service based upon some ancient Hebrew text closes all such doors as well as subjecting the Kleins to punitive actions imposed by the offended party via the State.

As it stands, this entire episode only serves to solidify the division in society where Christians are easily labeled 'bigots' and non-Christians are seen as enemies to be fought and conquered.

Matthew 5:38-48 - "You have heard that it was enacted, Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth. But I tell you, Do not contend with the wicked; but whoever strikes you upon your right cheek, then turn the other to him as well. And whoever drags you to law, and takes your vest, let him have your cloak as well. And whoever forces you to go with him one mile, then go two. Give to the man who begs from you; and do not turn away from the one wishing to borrow from you. You have heard it was commanded that you should love your neighbor and hate your enemy. But I tell you to love your enemies; bless those who curse you; act generously to those who hate you; and pray for those who ill-use and persecute you; then you will become the sons of your Father Who is in heaven; for He raises His sun over both bad and good, and rains upon both just and unjust. For if you should merely be friendly iwth your friends, what reward have you? Is not the same thing done even by the extortioners? And if you salute your associates only, is that anything to be proud of? For is not that done even by the extortioners? You, however, should be perfect, as your Father in heaven is perfect."

William N. Grigg said...

Mr. Slater, the difference between describing an act as an "abomination" and using that term with reference to a human being is not a trivial one.

Nothing in the Kleins' behavior in this case has been hateful, spiteful, vengeful, or anything other than respectful. The same cannot be said for the aggressors in this matter, the couple and the mother of one plaintiff, all of whom invoke New Testament language throughout their testimony and in their complaints. Since they likewise claim to be Christians of some variety, aren't they, too, required to love and bless those whom they consider "enemies"?

The Kleins have sought to conduct themselves according to Christian standards as they have been given the wisdom to understand them,

Their motivations are made explicit in the Final Order, page 69 lines 20-25, and page 70, lines 1-3:

"Before and throughout the operation of Sweetcakes, Respondents ... have been jointly committed to live their lives and operate their business according to Christian religious convictions. Based on specific passages of the Bible, they have a sincerely held belief that God `uniquely and purposefully designed the institution of marriage exclusively as the union of one man and one woman' and that `the Bible forbids us from proclaiming messages or participating in activities contrary to Biblical principles, including celebrations or ceremonies for uniting same-sex coiples.' (Affidavits of A. Klein, M. Klein)."

Aaron Klein did not rebuke, condemn, or judge the couple; he exercised judgement regarding his own conduct, and that of his wife, according to their shared commitment. If mother, a professed Christian of a Southern Baptist background, had accepted Klein's decision, and parted amicably -- as the New Testament dictates (Romans 12:18), all of these problems could have been avoided.

Instead, she was party to a lawsuit against a fellow believer, contrary to the clear teaching of scripture (1 Cor. 6:1-6)and is now party to a precedent-setting legal action that does nothing less than criminalize opinions and destroy property rights.

Anonymous said...

Brad Avakian is a political dirtbag from way back:
see this 2011 retrospective.

Anonymous said...

Thus no more blue bars.

Anonymous said...

Problem is people are pack animals and they attack in packs those they consider to be weaker than they are.

Unknown said...

William N. Grigg said...

The blog post cited by Raw Story is an exercise in collectivist spin control.

From the Raw Story essay:

"[Laurel Bowman-Cryer] filed her complaint by smartphone, which prevented her from seeing a disclaimer notifying her that her full name and address would be sent to the bakery owners – and Aaron Klein shared that information, along with the complaint, on his personal Facebook page."

Klein had no legal obligation to withhold that information, which was publicly available in any case. If there was a delinquency here it was on the part of the Oregon DOJ -- which, we should recall, still legally discriminated against same-sex couples at the time the Kleins turned down the business proposal.Facing the prospect of an expensive and time-consuming legal battle, the Kleins had every right to publicize their predicament and seek support.

The text of the Final Order itself made it explicit and undeniable that the Kleins were being punished solely because of their refusal to provide the "service" sought by the same-sex couple (see page 41, lines 8-10):

"In this case, the ALJ [Administrative Law Judge] proposed that $75,000 and $60,000 are appropriate awards to compensate Complainants RBS and LBS, respectively, for the emotional suffering they experienced from Respondents' denial of service."

Anonymous said...

Thank you Confederate Celt. I have previously objected, here, to Will's misuse of the word "Puritan." And Menken is not someone who is qualified to advise anyone on the Puritans.

All Wrong said...

Mr. Anonymous and Confederate Celt, Will used the word Puritanical, which according to multiple dictionaries means:

1. very strict in moral or religious matters, often excessively so; rigidly austere.
2. (sometimes initial capital letter) of, relating to, or characteristic of Puritans or Puritanism.

While the word does mean something relating to the Puritans, it also carries the first meaning with it. This meaning fits quite nicely with the way Will used it. You are, essentially, objecting to the proper use of English.

Paul Bonneau said...

"a precedent-setting legal action that does nothing less than criminalize opinions and destroy property rights"

Actually the problem was when the law was enacted, although it does not become obvious until it is actually enforced against an individual. The law states:

"...all persons within the jurisdiction of this state are entitled to the full and equal accommodations, advantages, facilities and privileges of any place of public accommodation, without any distinction, discrimination or restriction on account of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation..."

Note, the law made an exception for the government's enforcement of no liquor for teenagers, and special bennies for old farts, but finds no reason to make an exception for religious opinion, although that (unlike the others) is mandated by the state constitution.

No doubt the people who created this and voted for it in the legislature, had pictures in their heads of Jackie Robinson not allowed to stay in a "white" hotel when the Yankees were on the road. But it indeed does criminalize opinion and destroy property right. The government compounded this by subsequently attacking free speech. All anti-discrimination statutes do the same thing. This is now so embedded in America that it can't be backed out politically. It will become one of the flash points of the coming war.

pensword said...

Until last summer, I was a pro se litigant in a religious liberty action in Washington State, seeking extraordinary relief against a small town's threats to evict me from a cottage in which the State, according to its own statutory law, allows me to live on a temporary basis. (The town didn't see it this way. They simply wanted to enforce building codes that didn't concern life, health or safety.) Because the shelter is owned by a religious organization, the exercise of providing housing for indigent persons is protected under State and federal law.

Long story short, we settled the case out of court. It certainly wasn't the result for which I had hoped, but it was, among other things, thoroughly educational in that I became much more aware of current cases pertaining to the issue of religious liberty.

First of all, the Kleins should contact the Becket Fund. They are the premier organization at the forefront of litigating religious liberty actions and I'm certain they'll be interested in this action.

Second, Obergefell is not a death blow for the Kleins. Hobby Lobby is a much larger corporation than "Sweetcakes" and if HL earned exemption from subsidizing their employees' purchase of abortofacient medication, then a smaller corporation's religiously predicated objection to facilitating a same-sex marriage should be no less sacrosanct in the eyes of the Supreme Court majority sympathetic to religious liberty proponents.

I understand how daunting it can be to engage a battle like this, but if I had thrown in the towel early on, I'd be looking at an outcome far worse than the settlement at which we arrived.

The Kleins should take this bull by the proverbial horns. They've got more than a fighting chance of coming out on top ~ Obergefell be damned ~ and their liberty is no less sacred than everybody else's.

Factotum said...

Did this sanctimonious EVER EVER refuse to make a cake for a divorced individual who was getting married again? This of course would be against the teachings of Jesus who said that such a person would be committing adultery. I find nothing to indicate that Jesus ever said anything about homosexual behavior.

Of course the best thing to do is to live as a eunuch
Mathew 19

since as the bible makes pretty clear --- SEX IS DIRTY!!!

When a man has sexual relations with a woman and there is an emission of semen, both of them must bathe with water, and they will be unclean till evening.

William N. Grigg said...

The Kleins have not -- to the best of my knowledge -- provided a detailed accounting regarding previous potential clients whose money they declined.

Once it's understood that they, like all other business owners, have a plenary right to refuse service on any basis they find suitable, that question is moot.

I the People said...

It seems to me that the gay couple never read the Bible. If you believe the words written in the Bible, as Christians apparently do, then that woman bore false witness against the bakers. GOD does not have to be fair. HE'S GOD. If the words in the Bible are true, God does find same sex sins a bit more offensive than other sex sins such as premarital sex and adultery. (It doesn't say gays are damned to Hell any more than the man who divorces his wife then remarries), As for baking a wedding cake for people who've been divorced, the baker couldn't and shouldn't have that knowledge. a baker shouldn't have to do background checks for divorces to conduct business. The same sex wedding is a visible sin. (no offense) It was in their face. I would have baked the cake warning them first that they'd have to supply their own wording and couple.

matrimony said...

thanx for sharing