Judge orders Colorado baker to serve gay couples

15 posts / 0 new
Last post
Offline
Since
Thu, 2/11/10
Posts: 2188
Judge orders Colorado baker to serve gay couples

Tags: 

Offline
Since
Thu, 6/4/09
Posts: 335
interesting ruling

interesting ruling (can only find this copy at the aclu). it's based on colorado's public accommodation law and finding that it impinged on neither the free speech nor free exercise of religion aspects of the first amendment.

At first blush, it may seem reasonable that a private business should be able to refuse service to anyone it chooses. This view, however, fails to take into account the cost to society and the hurt caused to persons who are denied service simply because of who they are. Thus, for well over 100 years, Colorado has prohibited discrimination by businesses that offer goods and services to the public. The most recent version of the public accommodation law, which was amended in 2008 to add sexual orientation as a protected class, reads in pertinent part:
“It is a discriminatory practice and unlawful for a person, directly or indirectly, to refuse, withhold from, or deny to an individual or a group, because of …sexual orientation… the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations of a place of public accommodation.”

BJU even gets a mention:

If Respondents’ argument was correct, it would allow a business that served all races to nonetheless refuse to serve an
interracial couple because of the business owner’s bias against interracial marriage. That argument, however, was rejected 30 years ago in Bob Jones Univ. v. U.S., 461 U.S. 574 (1983). In Bob Jones, the Supreme Court held that the IRS properly revoked the university’s tax-exempt status because the university denied admission to interracial couples even though it otherwise admitted all races. According to the Court, its prior decisions “firmly establish that discrimination on the basis of racial affiliation and association is a form of racial discrimination.”

Offline
Since
Tue, 6/30/09
Posts: 475
Insidious

Now we have a Christian photographer in New Mexico being forced or fined in regard to a gay marriage, a Christian florist in Washington State forced or fined in regard to a gay marriage, and now this Christian baker in Colorado.  Seems a like an effective strategy by the left.  Homosexuality, unlike race or gender, is not "who you are"; rather it is "what you do". Could you imagine a pedophile in NAMBLA trying to argue for his rights by saying, "That's just who I am" or "You are not allowing me to be the person God made me to be".  It's ludicrous and insidious, just as the reasoing behind this ruling.  The left is doing everything it can to destroy any semblance of Christian morality and it is using the iron arm of Government to impose its will on godly Christian people. 

Pastor Mike Harding

Offline
Since
Tue, 6/30/09
Posts: 475
duplicate of comment above

duplicate of comment above

Pastor Mike Harding

Offline
Since
Tue, 7/31/12
Posts: 155
Good post Mr. Harding.

One particular part I'd like to comment on...

 

Mike Harding wrote:

The left is doing everything it can to destroy any semblance of Christian morality and it is using the iron arm of Government to impose its will on godly Christian people. 

 

Agreed...but:

With respect, it's not "the left" that is the problem...it's getting worse, and IMO will only continue to get worse. There is no end in sight, sir. We are in the very last days. Matthew 24:9-31, Mark 13:5-33

" But as the days of Noe ( Noah ) were..."

 

Right and wrong are now a matter of what's convenient, or what's "relative"...the "left", that is, unrepentant mankind, are waxing worse and worse. Soon it will be a crime to quote the Bible in public, never mind preaching the Gospel. All courtesy of your local, "concerned" Security State. I don't think the Nazis had a candle to shine against the coming Anti-Christ or even the New World Order that will precede him.

 

I'll give this world another 50 years, tops. I honestly thought ( and still do ) that I would see the Tribulation start before the end of my life...as a teen-ager, I was convinced I would see it begin within 50 years...and that was 30 years ago. I think I'm off a bit, but things are rolling right along...just slower than I figured. One thing I keep having to do as I age, is "raise the bar" as far as number of years goes. It's really on God's timetable, but I see the signs all around me.

 

Even so Lord Jesus, come quickly. Smile

 

EDIT: The "Left" = Unrepentant mankind

         The "Right" = Religious mankind ----------> IMO

Which leaves believers out in the cold, as far as this world is concerned.

 

 

Offline
Since
Wed, 5/6/09
Posts: 779
Another Lawsuit in Upstate NY

http://wnyt.com/article/stories/s3210645.shtmlThe activists are targeting a Christian couple here in our area of Upstate for wanting to uphold their convictions on this matter -

Offline
Since
Thu, 6/4/09
Posts: 335
Couldn't you just be a better

Couldn't you just be a better witness by following the law that's been in place for 5 years and giving every customer the gospel (even in tract form) whether it's a hetero couple marrying someone new after a quickie divorce or whether it's a gay couple just planning a commitment ceremony? John didn't tell the tax collectors and soldiers to stop supporting the evil Roman regime that was oppressing God's people, but to do their job honestly (Luke 3:12-14). Just because you bake someone a cake doesn't mean you agree with all their life choices.

Offline
Since
Tue, 6/2/09
Posts: 1032
Free Exercise of Religion

I'm working through whether this is a legitimate issue of free exercise of religion. I'm not very informed about American jurisprudence, so I don't know exactly how the concept is construed. I imagine that the chief though not exclusive right secured by it is worship. It seems reasonable to extend that to an individual's right, in general, to shape his or her life according to the norms of his or her religion. However, this broader sense usually gets invoked as a sort of special dispensation, a way of allowing a religious person to do something or not do something that is other than what society would expect of someone not following this religion. When free exercise of religion is invoked this way, as a sort of request for special treatment, the burden of proof may well end up being placed on the person requesting his or her right be acknowledged. In this case, some reference to well-established norms or demonstrable longstanding precedent may be required. If I'm not mistaken, those applying for conscientious objector status on religious grounds need to demonstrate their membership in an acknowledged pacifist religious group, such as the Quakers. Otherwise, one can imagine a slew of people who find it religiously objectionable to pay taxes or other such nonsense.

That being said, the burden of proof may be on the baker to demonstrate that fidelity to his religion (rather than personal distaste) actually demands that he bake cakes for certain people and not for others. Even if one can cite longstanding Christian precedent prohibiting homosexual marriage, that does not automatically translate into an established religious duty to avoid all commercial interactions connected with a homosexual marriage. That would be a tall order, and one that would perhaps carry with it disturbingly far-reaching consequences.

My Blog: www.sacredpage.wordpress.com

Cor meum tibi offero Domine prompte et sincere. ~ John Calvin

Chip Van Emmerik's picture
Offline
Since
Thu, 6/4/09
Posts: 1595
Charlie,

Charlie,

You make some very important points. I do think the baker (and others) have put themselves in a somewhat better stead by openly declaring their willingness to provide all other services to gays as well as heterosexuals, just not the wedding cakes. The baker has said he will bake other goods for and sell to gays, however, he seems to be making a pretty strong case that his work is molded by his beliefs in all areas since his conscience prohibits him from other baking opportunities as well, such as the refusal to bake any Halloween related goods.

Why is it that my voice always seems to be loudest when I am saying the dumbest things?

Offline
Since
Tue, 6/30/09
Posts: 475
Charlie,

Charlie,

 

The case in New Mexico is more definitive than Colorado.  The Christian photographer provides a service for weddings that literally tells the story of the couple, the wedding, and the happy state of their marriage.  The photographer is doing more than simply taking pictures. In fact, the photographer  in question has done portraits and the like for homosexuals in the past.  To this believer, the issue was homosexual marriage which is an affront to marriage, God, the Bible, and decent society.  I am sure the baker thinks the same way as the Christian photographer.  These issues for Christians are matters of Christian conscience---a right guaranteed to Christians in the first amendment of the US Constitution.  Paul invoked his Roman Citizenship when his rights were being completely ignored.  Christians have the right to invoke their religious freedom rights to practice their faith in their daily lives.  Those who advocate homosexual marriage (which is a contradiction in terms) can find plenty of photographers, bakers, etc. who will enthusiastically participate in their wedding.  The Christian, however, is given no choice and is being forced by the power of a godless government to violate their sincere religious conscience.  Religious freedom is being assaulted on many fronts in this country.  This is just one more beachhead.

Pastor Mike Harding

Offline
Since
Wed, 5/6/09
Posts: 779
Agree with Mike

I agree with Mike,  The couple under fire here in upstate NY has had homosexual employees and they have demonstrated no animosity towards homosexuals  In spite of this, they are being targeted.

Jim's picture
Offline
Since
Wed, 5/6/09
Posts: 6244
The butcher, the baker, the candlestick maker

Or the plumber (our plumber in Plymouth is a Christian - Weld and Sons

There’s a company that makes trailer hitches - I forgot the name but I think it is “Draw-Tite”. I understand they include a Gospel tract in with their installation instructions. 

My point is that, in commerce - by providing an excellent product or service with a gospel testimony - the great commission may be advanced. I think so with the photographer or the baker.

Chip Van Emmerik's picture
Offline
Since
Thu, 6/4/09
Posts: 1595
This quote comes from the

This quote comes from the Mohler article on this story.

Phillips told the court that making a wedding cake was an artistic endeavor that was expressive in nature, communicating approval and celebration of the same-sex union. 

As I read this, I am left wondering how the courts will distinguish between this "discrimination" and that of a painter who picks and chooses his subject matter. For that matter, when I used to lay floors, I would "discriminate" on the jobs I would take for various reasons - outside my skill set, too much effort required, didn't get a good vibe from the customer and was afraid I might not get paid, etc. At what point do we lose all right to discriminate and simply become minions of the state?

Why is it that my voice always seems to be loudest when I am saying the dumbest things?

Offline
Since
Thu, 6/4/09
Posts: 335
people really should read the

people really should read the court decision. a lot of people including mohler are recirculating the arguments the baker made without checking the ruling to see whether they were considered (they were) and whether the judge ruled against them (he did). Here are a few quotes from the ruling:

  • “There is no doubt that decorating a wedding cake involves considerable skill and artistry. However, the finished product does not necessarily qualify as ‘speech,’ as would saluting a flag, marching in a parade, or displaying a motto.” p.7
  • “The undisputed evidence is that Phillips categorically refused to prepare a cake for Complainants’ same-sex wedding before there was any discussion about what that cake would look like. Phillips was not asked to apply any message or symbol to the cake, or to construct the cake in any fashion that could be reasonably understood as advocating same-sex marriage. After being refused, Complainants immediately left the shop. For all Phillips knew at the time, Complainants might have wanted a nondescript cake that would have been suitable for consumption at any wedding.” p.7
  • “Furthermore, even if Respondents could make a legitimate claim that § 24-34-601(2) impacts their right to free speech, such impact is plainly incidental to the state’s legitimate regulation of discriminatory conduct and thus is permissible. Similarly, compelling a bakery that sells wedding cakes to heterosexual couples to also sell wedding cakes to same-sex couples is incidental to the state’s right to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, and is not the same as forcing a person to pledge allegiance to the government or to display a motto with which they disagree. To say otherwise trivializes the right to free speech.” p.8
  • “Finally, Respondents argue that if they are compelled to make a cake for a same-sex wedding, then a black baker could not refuse to make a cake bearing a white-supremacist message for a member of the Aryan Nation; and an Islamic baker could not refuse to make a cake denigrating the Koran for the Westboro Baptist Church. However, neither of these fanciful hypothetical situations proves Respondents’ point. In both cases, it is the explicit, unmistakable, offensive message that the bakers are asked to put on the cake that gives rise to the bakers’ free speech right to refuse. That, however, is not the case here, where Respondents refused to bake any cake for Complainants regardless of what was written on it or what it looked like. Respondents have no free speech right to refuse because they were only asked to bake a cake, not make a speech.” pp.8–9
Offline
Since
Tue, 6/2/09
Posts: 1032
Thanks Chris

Thanks for posting the court decision. I found that the section on free exercise of religion dealt pretty adequately with my concerns. 

My Blog: www.sacredpage.wordpress.com

Cor meum tibi offero Domine prompte et sincere. ~ John Calvin