Rethinking about that wedding cake

Maybe the solution should be that you must post, in all advertising, signage and on storefront your chosen ‘won’t do’. So the rest of the population can decide to patronize your business or not.

So, the baker gets a sign on the door saying ‘we do not participate in gay events’, the pharmacist gets a sign saying, ‘we do not provide Day After Contraception’, etc, etc. On the front door. Persons finding that unwelcoming can then choose knowingly.

If they’re going to be that way, they should be forced to be open and upfront about it, no surprises. Let the free market do its job!

Sure, there will be communities that endorse it, maybe, but I don’t think they’ll survive for long. You want to play that game, you should have to be public about it, I think.

The hypothetical Jewish caterers are willing to cater for non-Jewish parties and Bar Mitzvah parties for Jews. However, they’re not willing to cater for Bar Mitzvah style parties for non-Jews. They’re willing to offer a service to people of one religion, but not people of a different religion.

The Muslim angle occurred to me as well, but I thought it was less ambiguous. If a company is willing to cater for a non-religious party, but unwilling to cater for a Muslim party, then that seems to be a clear-cut case of religious discrimination. That’s even less ambiguous than the gay wedding cake scenario.

As for being able to deny service under the ‘“don’t be a jerk” rule’, that seems like a pretty big loophole. In most contexts, demanding service from someone who doesn’t want to serve you is jerkish behaviour. Asserting one’s civil rights justifies the insistence to be served in most cases in my opinion. But going back to the gay wedding cake bakers, some people would view the gay couple as jerks for not simply going to another baker. If someone can refuse to serve someone for being jerkish, and they’re allowed to decide what jerkish behaviour is, then they can simply decide that coming into their shop while gay is jerkish behaviour. There needs to be another element to the justification such as cultural appropriation.

So you’ll bring back segregation, and this time the free market will defeat it, even though historically it took multiple laws, court cases, and deploying federal law enforcement? I’m not sure what benefit allowing “No Chinese or dogs” signs or “Black at the back” rules for busses brings to us as a society, and I can certainly see the drawbacks.

That wouldn’t be so bad in cities with plenty of options, but if you have a choice of Bob’s homophobic bakery or driving 20 miles to the next nearest baker, I’d expect an awful lot of people would get their cakes from Bob, even if they really would rather not support his views. The power of convenience is pretty strong, and most people really don’t care that much about things that don’t cause them a problem. And well, I’m only buying a cake, it’s not like I’m actually harming a gay person, right?

It’d be even worse for a pharmacy; you don’t need a cake, but you may well need medicine, and transport to the next closest pharmacy may not be available for everyone in small towns.

Like a “Whites Only” sign.

Frankly, the solution is to bake the fucking cake. If your religion means you can’t provide service to gay people, don’t select a career in service.

Ref @Cheesesteak just above … Or better yet, choose a less assholic religion. Which was pretty much the consensus of the original thread (now with 200 posts) this one spun off of:

Ref this:

See my post in that other thread:

I think you’re ignoring that time has moved on! This is no longer the ‘50’s or ‘60’s. A sign saying No Blacks, No Mexicans, whatever would have exactly the opposite effect as it did then.

Even if you agree with the baker’s view, if you’re running a car dealership in town, do really want to be seen patronizing that shop? I don’t think so.

I think the market would correct for this. And yes, there are spots where it might attract the like minded or garner high fives. But those places are backwaters and those businesses and towns deserve to reap the rewards of no new businesses moving in, no new people wanting to buy houses, and real estate taking a down turn.

Times HAVE changed. All the proof you need is to imagine how vehemently bakers and pharmacies would bitch if this was required.

That was then, this is NOW!

Right, but the deli wouldn’t be providing the ritual, just the food.

I am assuming that the deli in question has a Bar Mitzvah catering package. Otherwise, the hypothetical given makes no sense whatsoever.

So, yeah, if someone was worried about keeping Halal, then Kosher would be acceptable, even if it did not have all the same dishes.

And I would say that that would be religious discrimination, and not be allowed.


I don’t see it as a loophole at all. If someone is an asshole, you don’t have to serve them.

If someone just comes into the deli asking for a Bar Mitzvah style catering package, then they should be accommodated, regardless of their actual beliefs of heritage. If they say that it is to mock those of Jewish faith, then they don’t need to be.

For instance, I had a while back, someone bring in a Golden Retriever that they wanted shaved down. I generally try to talk people out of shaving double coats unless there is a medical reason, so I will ask them what the reason is. If they say it is because of shedding, then I tell them that shaving it won’t do much good, and they’d be better off with a bath and brush package. If they say it is because the dog is hot, then I will explain how the coat actually works to keep them cool. But, in the end if they insist, then I’ll go along with it.

So, when I inquired as to why they want this dog shaved, they said that they were watching it for their roommate, and thought it would be a funny prank for when they got back from their vacation.

I refused, because that’s being a jerk. Do you think that that was some sort of illegal discrimination? Is that a loophole?

Except they can’t, because being gay is not being a jerk. If someone thinks that, then they are being a bigot. They may choose to think that, but they are the ones that are in the wrong.

If a gay couple comes in, and demands giant penis decorations on their cake, then they are being a jerk. If they ask for the same thing that any other happy couple asks for, they are not.

I don’t think that cultural appropriation is a good justification. Otherwise, I’d never be able to eat at half of my favorite restaurants anymore.

You’re referring to the places that elect 75% of the federal House and a similar portion of the Senate. Economically they’re doomed backwaters. Politically they’re powerhouses. Substantially all the present ructions in our nation are about this dichotomy.

I think you’re ignoring WHY it moved on. It moved on because people demanded equality. It wasn’t terribly long ago that laws were passed to deny same sex marriages. To specifically reach out and take away the possibility of gay Americans becoming married.

Don’t kid yourself that these people don’t exist anymore.

There are places where you wouldn’t want to be seen patronizing a shop that caters to those people.

Yes, and that makes them even more resentful and hateful. And, as @LSLGuy points out, they still have quite a bit of political power.

All due respect … I don’t think I’ve seen a post on this forum with which I’ve disagreed more.

What do you base all of this optimism on? The President of the US just refused to condemn white supremacy in a speech, and instead called on a white supremacist organization to ‘stand by’ for him. The Colorado baker featured in the lawsuit that keeps getting referenced, according to you, should be completely devastated by the free market by now, but is actually still in business. This all seems to be baseless assertion that directly contradicts a mountain of real world experience.

My partner went to a grocery store that was kind of near a large college town but not in it. Because she was dressed pretty butch at the time, two guys in a pickup truck got out and told her that a “Dyke bitch” coming around here ought to be dragged to death behind their truck. So no, I don’t have your boundless optimism in the goodness of man, and frankly think it’s rather suspect to want to remove laws who’s only actual effect is to prevent discrimination against minorities with the justification that the magic of the free market will protect them, when it has consistently failed to do so in the past.

Very much this.

And the next closest pharmacy might have the same sign.

And in the meantime all those living there who are in a discriminated-against class just get screwed?

Ah yes, the ‘all bigotry has gone away now, we don’t have to worry about it any more’ argument.

If that were even halfway true, we wouldn’t be having this discussion. And when did you last read a news site? Or do you have yours carefully tailored to only show you the sports page – no, that wouldn’t work either, would it?

If all the people were doing was ordering chopped liver and bagels, then of course they’d be served.

And if they wanted the chopped liver and bagels for a genuine coming-of-age ceremony for a religion other than Judaism, or for a secular coming-of-age ceremony (maybe a graduation or sweet sixteen party), of course they also ought to be served.

I took the hypothetical to mean that the caterers would be present and serving at the party (which is very common) and had been told that the party would be in the form of a mock religious ceremony. If the caterers took “mock” in the sense of “mockery”, even if the would-be customers didn’t think they meant it that way, I can easily see them not wanting anything to do with it. But the problem in that case wouldn’t be that the would-be customers were Muslim, or for that matter Christian or Hindu or animists or secular or even non-practicing Jews; the problem would be that they were being asked to countenance a mockery of Judaism. So long as they’d be happy to cater a Muslim ritual, I don’t see that as bigotry.

I don’t think eating in an ethnic restaurant or cooking a different ethnicity’s food is cultural appropriation. I think wearing another ethnicity’s traditional clothing is cultural appropriation, but I don’t have any problem with someone who does so. In general, I don’t think cultural appropriation isolated from intent is a bad thing. However, religion is an area where I recognise that people can be very sensitive, and where they should be allowed to decide if they want to cooperate in the cultural appropriation or not, even if it means religious discrimination. I wouldn’t be in favour of legally banning non-Jewish Bar Mitzvah style coming-of-age ceremonies. But if a Jewish caterer refused to cater such an event, I do think they should be legally entitled to do so.

Relative to your example, you made a judgement call that your customers were being jerks and decided not to serve them. I’m sure the Colorado cake baker felt the gay wedding couple were being jerks when he said he said he didn’t want to serve them and then they sued him. But suppose he had said that to them up front. For example, if he stated “I think you’re being jerks by asking me to bake a gay wedding cake and therefore I’m not going to serve you”, would that have been sufficient to justify discriminating against them? I don’t think a business should be required to judge customers’ intents before deciding whether or not to serve them. Equally, I don’t think “jerkiness” should be allowed as an automatic excuse for discrimination. Having said that, if a customer is being disruptive, it’s not discrimination to ask them to leave.

Actually, it’s not that, either. It’s a person. When a boy turns 13, he becomes bar mitzvah. He has a bar mitzvah service, and afterward, usually a bar mitzvah celebration.

People will say “There’s a bar mitzvah at shul this Shabbes,” for short, leaving off the word “service,” but some people more correctly say “We’re welcoming a bar mitzvah at shul this Shabbes.”

A girl becomes bat mitzvah.

Band name!

I don’t mean to undermine you, 'cause I usually appreciate your good arguments in most threads.
But example this is sounding like some kind of picnic, not a grand ball, wedding, or even a business banquet.
It seems to me that kind of fare could be served on paper plates – or plastic dishes if the customer wanted something fancy.
Then that could all be thrown away after the event. Reusable dishes would not be spoiled that way.
[I would personally object to some of the ecological matters, but it would solve the kosher problem.]

Indeed, and in the Colorado case I still feel that, if the bakery was recommended or reputed for its quality (or pricing, or whatever) and the customers wanted that bakery’s product the bakery management shouldn’t be protected in saying, “Sorry, but I just don’t like your kind. Go somewhere else (with lower quality, worse pricing, whatever).” Nobody was asking the bakery management to put together ingredients in an unusual way or do artwork they don’t normally do or write in Cyrillic or Sanskrit or Arabic or Chinese or use colors they can’t create. They were asking for a particular message using words that weren’t even forbidden on television. :wink: Then again, it also seems to me they could have easily had the (now infamous) bakery’s wedding cake made for its ingredients and delivered to the venue, then had someone else write the message and add whatever topper they desired. But these details are still not the issue. The issue is that a business owner refused to provide his normal business services/product to a customer for bigoted reasons and bigotry is not (and should not be) protected. In the Colorado case, if the courts allowed that bakery to refuse service based on its religious convictions, it would have essentialy been favoring that religion (over the customers’ religion or lack thereof) and that’s something the State cannot do.


Yeah-- I kind of meant that answer as a joke. My point was that if you go to a kosher caterer, you do so because you want kosher food. Insisting that you be served something not kosher defeats the point of going to a kosher caterer, and might get you a smart-ass response.

You don’t go to a Japanese caterer, and ask for cheeseburgers there, either.

Similarly, if Bob’s homophobic bakery doesn’t make vegan cakes, you don’t go there, ask for a vegan cake for your same-sex wedding, and when you are refused, claim you were refused because you are gay.

If the only reason he thinks they’re being jerks is because they’re asking for a cake for a gay wedding, then no, of course that’s not enough to justify it.