Oregon bakery closes doors after state investigates over refusal to cater same-sex wedding

posted at 7:21 pm on September 3, 2013 by Allahpundit

A follow-up to the story of the New Mexico photographer who lost her court battle after refusing to take a job at a gay wedding. Different state and a different trade this time but a similar result potentially: The business owners in this case said no when a lesbian couple came into the shop looking for a wedding cake. The latter filed a complaint with the state under the relevant antidiscrimination law and an investigation, which could have taken up to a year, was launched. The bakers, having already been targeted for a boycott by opponents and likely fearing the expense and aggravation of a long court battle themselves, decided to close the shop and move operations into their home, which presumably renders the business “distinctly private” and therefore beyond the reach of the state’s public accommodations law. (Does it?)

Watch the extended interview with them about what they’ve gone through, paying special attention to the bit in the middle about “mafia tactics” by some gay-rights supporters. Two interesting wrinkles to this case vis-a-vis the New Mexico one. First, remember that Dale Carpenter and Eugene Volokh argued on the photographer’s behalf that, because photography is an art and inherently expressive, forcing her to cover an event to which she’s morally opposed necessarily violates her right of free expression. The same isn’t true, wrote Carpenter, of “more mundane and generic services (like cake-baking).” Presumably he’d agree with the gay couple, then, that the bakers have no right to refuse service. I’m not sure I grasp the distinction, though: In both cases, the business owners are being asked to celebrate an act to which they conscientiously object by producing a beautiful product in its honor. What’s more expressive, framing a shot of a married couple posing or crafting an elaborate cake to glorify the occasion? I’m not sure that there’s more artistry in photography in this case.

Second, note what the guy says in the clip about how they’ve made cakes for this couple before. They don’t refuse to serve gay customers, they refuse to serve gay weddings specifically. The same is true, I assume, of the New Mexico photographer. That’s a potential line of attack for social-conservative pols as they start to push back against cases like this — this isn’t a categorical refusal to serve a minority group, it’s a religious objection to serving at one particular type of event in which that group participates. That may not help them legally but it’ll help in the court of public opinion, where the majority in support of religious exemptions in situations like this is already overwhelming. I’d be surprised if we don’t start seeing legislative hearings about it, whether in Congress or at the state level, sometime next year.


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Anyone who is defending the bakery should take a look at this first:

http://i.imgur.com/5Sb69Yk.jpg

It was posted in February and then quickly scrubbed. No one was able to prove that it was Aaron Klein who posted it, so he was never held accountable.

ZachV on September 4, 2013 at 10:58 AM

Notice how ZachV posted this unsourced, unreferenced link.

Notice how ZachV clearly stated that Aaron Klein must be punished for making this statement.

ZachV has deliberately posted a statement that ZachV acknowledges cannot be proven to have been made by Aaron Klein, but then demands that Aaron Klein be “held accountable” for making it.

This is a malicious lie and libel of Aaron Klein.

ZachV is using Hot Air to libel Aaron Klein.

ZachV should be banned for making a deliberate libel of Aaron Klein.

northdallasthirty on September 4, 2013 at 1:48 PM

Second, note what the guy says in the clip about how they’ve made cakes for this couple before. They don’t refuse to serve gay customers, they refuse to serve gay weddings specifically.

That’s an interesting point. I’ve been wondering about the implications of this for awhile. I remember hearing complaints a few years ago about Muslim cab drivers who wouldn’t pick up people who were carrying alcohol, and I never thought that was right. But in that case, the Muslim isn’t being asked to participate in the act of drinking, nor was he serving the person alcohol.

Maybe it doesn’t make a legal difference, but I can see an argument being made that it should.

In the case with the photographer, she’d have to attend the event for the entire duration, whereas the baker at least is done with the event as soon as the cake is picked up.

Idk. It would seem to me that we have the freedom of association and therefore should be able to avoid jobs we might be morally opposed to, especially if the job in question requires your active participation.

Plus, if these businesses are required to do business for gay weddings, why wouldn’t this logic also apply to churches? Presumably a church can’t turn away a mixed race couple solely based on that reason (maybe churches require counseling before hand and may reject a couple based on that), and if homosexual marriages are being treated the same way, where’s the argument for saying ministers can discriminate against gay couples?

I honestly don’t know.

Esthier on September 4, 2013 at 3:18 PM

Presumably a church can’t turn away a mixed race couple solely based on that reason (maybe churches require counseling before hand and may reject a couple based on that), and if homosexual marriages are being treated the same way, where’s the argument for saying ministers can discriminate against gay couples?

I honestly don’t know.

Esthier on September 4, 2013 at 3:18 PM

Once again, homosexuality is not a race. It is a behavior.

Sterling Holobyte on September 4, 2013 at 3:43 PM

northdallasthirty on September 4, 2013 at 1:48 PM

That is a common tactic of zachv, squad leader in the Sodomite Brotherhood.

Murphy9 on September 4, 2013 at 3:58 PM

Esthier on September 4, 2013 at 3:18 PM

We need to get back to the idea that private people can discriminate. I’m not saying that because discrimination is good, or that I want a return to segregation.

But, the ability to discriminate – to chose who you associate with, work with, hang out with, buy things from, sell things to, hire, let in your club or group – should be left entirely up to the individual(s) and they should be able to use whatever criteria they want.

Obviously, the same cannot be true for govt institutions b/c the gov’t is obligated to treat everyone the same.

But private individuals, in a free society, should have the right to refuse service to whoever they want. The market will adjust. there will always be people to fill niches left by those who don’t want to sell to a homosexual, Asian, Jew, Caucasian, or whatever.

Anti-discrimination laws, as I have said before, were probably a necessary evil because there was so much injustice and the markets were not as open and accessible as they are now. But in today’s world, if Bakery “A” won’t sell to a gay couple than Bakeries B, C and D will. And it is highly unlikely that any big retailer is going to decide to not sell to or service any race/ethnicity – after all, a customer is a customer and a lot of their shareholders may be that race/ethnicity.

The gov’t has far too much power when it is deciding who you have to hire, who you have to let join your club, who you have to serve, etc. The idea that you can sue me because I won’t bake you a cake is absurd. You have no right to my labor.

And, the other problem with these laws is that they will always continue to grow. the defined protected classes will always increase, making it more and more difficult for individuals to make free choices about anything.

Not only does it diminish freedom, it places a large economic burden on Americans, as everyone has to worry about lawsuits and/or doesn’t fire an unproductive employee because of fear of lawsuits.

Yes, a lot of discrimination makes no sense. Refusing to sell a product to someone else because they are black is ridiculous. but, every American should have the freedom to make choices. If you want to forgo market share because of your racism, so be it. If you don’t want to sell your services for a gay wedding because of your religion, that is your right.

Monkeytoe on September 4, 2013 at 4:01 PM

I think it’s different if someone is receiving one of a limited number of regulated taxi medallions. It doesn’t seem unreasonable to require medallion recipients to be ok transporting passengers that have alcohol in their possession.

Likewise if a town issued a limited number of wedding cake medallions, then bakers that receive such medallions could be forced to bake cakes for any type of affair.

blink on September 4, 2013 at 5:10 PM

OR, just spit ballin here, taxis could not be restricted by the number of medallions given out.

cptacek on September 4, 2013 at 5:37 PM

Once again, homosexuality is not a race. It is a behavior.

Sterling Holobyte on September 4, 2013 at 3:43 PM

Completely outside of my point. Legally, homosexuals are a protected class.

Besides, races aren’t the only groups that are protected. It’s also illegal to discriminate based on age, gender, religion, etc.

Esthier on September 4, 2013 at 5:39 PM

Once again, homosexuality is not a race. It is a behavior.

Sterling Holobyte on September 4, 2013 at 3:43 PM

Completely outside of my point. Legally, homosexuals are a protected class.

Besides, races aren’t the only groups that are protected. It’s also illegal to discriminate based on age, gender, religion, etc.

Esthier on September 4, 2013 at 5:39 PM

No, it is not. Natural endowments and fixed attributes like age, race, gender are deemed to be protected because they are precisely as describe: natural endowments and fixed attributes outside of an individual’s control or choice.

Religion is a behavior and a choice, but it is a specifically enumerated right protected in the U.S. Constitution – as is speech, weapons, etc.

There is NO RIGHT to sodomy or other perverse behavior, and in fact, many behaviors deemed unacceptable are routinely regulated or even outright banned.

locomotivebreath1901 on September 4, 2013 at 5:53 PM

locomotivebreath1901 on September 4, 2013 at 5:53 PM

I’m not talking about whether or not it should be protected. The simple fact is that it is. Otherwise the bakery wouldn’t have had to close.

Esthier on September 4, 2013 at 6:14 PM

Can we just start the Second Civil War already? It’s what the Left is wanting in the end.

Eastwood Ravine on September 4, 2013 at 7:46 PM

Anyone who is defending the bakery should take a look at this first:

http://i.imgur.com/5Sb69Yk.jpg

It was posted in February and then quickly scrubbed. No one was able to prove that it was Aaron Klein who posted it, so he was never held accountable.

ZachV on September 4, 2013 at 10:58 AM

Way too easily faked. Go to a web page, save it to disk, open it in an HTML editor, or in Notepad, for that matter, and adjust a comment to say whatever you want.

Shame on you for quoting it as some kind of proof.

There Goes the Neighborhood on September 4, 2013 at 9:39 PM

Idk. It would seem to me that we have the freedom of association and therefore should be able to avoid jobs we might be morally opposed to, especially if the job in question requires your active participation.

Plus, if these businesses are required to do business for gay weddings, why wouldn’t this logic also apply to churches? Presumably a church can’t turn away a mixed race couple solely based on that reason (maybe churches require counseling before hand and may reject a couple based on that), and if homosexual marriages are being treated the same way, where’s the argument for saying ministers can discriminate against gay couples?

I honestly don’t know.

Esthier on September 4, 2013 at 3:18 PM

There’s a big difference between discriminating against a homosexual who wants to get married, and refusing to condone same-sex marriages.

The gay mafia wants to claim that hatred of homosexuals is the only reason to reject an unnatural and unscriptural marriage.

There Goes the Neighborhood on September 4, 2013 at 9:43 PM

http://www.citizenlink.com/2013/09/04/lawsuits-test-the-constitutionality-of-marriage-laws/

At least 27 lawsuits have been filed against state marriage amendments, many of them just in the two months since the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its historic ruling on marriage earlier this summer….

States facing challenges to their marriage amendments include: Arkansas, Hawaii, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Utah and Virginia.

Combining that list with the information here:
http://www.frcblog.com/2012/05/clarifying-the-count-of-marriage-amendments-and-referenda/

These states have a state constitution that prevents legal recognition of same-sex marriages, civil unions, or domestic partnerships:

Arkansas 2004
Kentucky 2004
Louisiana 2004
Michigan 2004
North Carolina 2012
Ohio 2004
Oklahoma 2004
South Carolina 2006
Utah 2004
Virginia 2006

These states have a state constitution that defines civil marriage as the union of one man and one woman: 30

Missouri 2004
Nevada 2002

Hawaii has an amendment (1998) reserving the definition of marriage to the legislature.

As for Illinois, New Jersey, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, I assume they fall under the category of those states that grant marriage licenses only for unions of one man and one woman.

INC on September 4, 2013 at 9:52 PM

There’s a big difference between discriminating against a homosexual who wants to get married, and refusing to condone same-sex marriages.

There Goes the Neighborhood on September 4, 2013 at 9:43 PM

It’s not discrimination. The gay activists want to redefine marriage.

INC on September 4, 2013 at 9:53 PM

2. What was the outcome of the case?

The parents dropped the suit after the school district agreed to adopt a policy wherein the name “Jesus Christ” is forbidden to be mentioned at any future graduation exercises…..

As usual, the 1% dictates policy for the other 99%….Is this a great country or what?

repvoter on September 3, 2013 at 9:12 PM

If they’re so offended by hearing “Jesus Christ”, what do they do when they go see an R rated movie?

Nutstuyu on September 4, 2013 at 11:13 PM

I suddenly feel the need to order a cake.
I’m going contact these people and order the most extra agent anniversary cake I can afford
Every heterosexual couples in the Portland metro area want to follow my lead?

portlandon on September 5, 2013 at 1:08 AM

OR, just spit ballin here, taxis could not be restricted by the number of medallions given out.

cptacek on September 4, 2013 at 5:37 PM

Bingo. This is only a problem because government is involved. Dis-involve government and take away it’s powers in these affairs and the point is moot.

I suddenly feel the need to order a cake.
I’m going contact these people and order the most extra agent anniversary cake I can afford
Every heterosexual couples in the Portland metro area want to follow my lead?

portlandon on September 5, 2013 at 1:08 AM

You cannot support the opposition unless you actually support the opposition. Your suggestion is well thought. Now see to it that it’s well done.

I would join you but I’m in Utah.

Chaz706 on September 5, 2013 at 3:19 AM

There’s a big difference between discriminating against a homosexual who wants to get married, and refusing to condone same-sex marriages.

There Goes the Neighborhood on September 4, 2013 at 9:43 PM

Why? What about the landlord who thinks homosexuality is a sin and doesn’t want to rent to homosexuals because he would be condoning the sin (under the assumption that the homosexual would have sex in the rented apartment)?

This is the point I am getting at. We are trying to make too many distinctions in all of this. We need to get back to the correct position – that private individuals (regardless of how we feel about it) are allowed to discriminate based on whatever they want. That is freedom of association, freedom of speech, and freedom of religion are all about. Freedom of religion isn’t just the freedom to go to whatever church you want. It is also the freedom to live your life according to your religious values.

If I am forced to serve you, sell to you, rent to you, hire you despite my own beliefs, I have little freedom. Yes, people are going to do ugly stupid things with that freedom, like refuse to serve black people, or refuse to rent to homosexuals, or refuse to hire Asians. but freedom is messy. the market will take care of those issues. If a Muslim cabby doesn’t want to drive someone with liquor, the cab-company owners can hire other cabbies or you find another cab, or keep your liquor hidden.

By giving the gov’t the power to decide what is and isn’t a bona-fide religious expression gives the gov’t far too much power. “It’s ok to refuse to attend the gay wedding but not ok to refuse to sell flowers to be used there”. Those are exactly the kinds of decisions gov’ts should not be making.

Again, the caveat is that govts and gov’t agencies can never be allowed to discriminate.

Monkeytoe on September 5, 2013 at 8:37 AM

INC on September 4, 2013 at 9:52 PM

Pennsylvania does not recognize same sex marriage. In fact, the State has just filed a lawsuit against the Montgomery County’s Register of Wills because he started issuing same-sex couple marriage licenses which goes against state law. This all started after the States AG refuse to uphold and defend the state law that same-sex marriage is illegal because she is morally opposed to that law. Rather than go through the legal challenges to get the law changed both have just taken it on themselves to not follow the law.

TturnP on September 5, 2013 at 10:16 AM

TturnP on September 5, 2013 at 10:16 AM

Thank you. I had read about the guy illegally issuing licenses and the State AG shenanigans, but I forgot to include that. I wasn’t aware that PA is suing the Register. Good for the state.

INC on September 5, 2013 at 1:07 PM

That’s an interesting point. I’ve been wondering about the implications of this for awhile. I remember hearing complaints a few years ago about Muslim cab drivers who wouldn’t pick up people who were carrying alcohol, and I never thought that was right. But in that case, the Muslim isn’t being asked to participate in the act of drinking, nor was he serving the person alcohol.

Totally respect that point of view. Here’s the thing: You go into business, you have to accept the business that comes your way. You can’t play the “I don’t serve blacks” or “I don’t cater to females” line of operation. If something doesn’t bow to your religious or political sensibilities, then tuff titties for you, peanut. Business is business. You turn away someone because you don’t approve of their lifestyle, then you’re a bigot and you should be prosecuted.

If those hillbillies on Duck Dynasty refused to sell a duck call to a homo, then they should be prosecuted.

This is America, not Saudi Arabia. You want to wave the flag and scream how patriotic you are? Then muscle up and do it.

thejackal on September 5, 2013 at 2:11 PM

Hilarious bs from the Homo Taliban.

Murphy9 on September 5, 2013 at 2:14 PM

Here’s the thing: You go into business, you have to accept the business that comes your way. You can’t play the “I don’t serve blacks” or “I don’t cater to females” line of operation. If something doesn’t bow to your religious or political sensibilities, then tuff titties for you, peanut. Business is business. You turn away someone because you don’t approve of their lifestyle, then you’re a bigot and you should be prosecuted.

thejackal on September 5, 2013 at 2:11 PM

What? So, if you open a business you no longer have any say in anything? And prosecuted? you mean criminally?

How far to the left are you?

What happened to freedom? To believing people can do things even if they are unpopular or unsavory?

Good lord. If this is what passes for thinking on the right, we are doomed.

Monkeytoe on September 5, 2013 at 2:19 PM

If something doesn’t bow to your religious or political sensibilities, then tuff titties for you, peanut.

So, no religious freedom for anyone? Or, religious freedom – just meted out when you authorize it – when it suits your sensibilities?

Monkeytoe on September 5, 2013 at 2:21 PM

thejackal on September 5, 2013 at 2:11 PM

Because, after all, you didn’t build that.

Black is not a choice, but blwoing guys in restrooms is. And if you want to marry the guy you met in the restroom, I have a right to disapprove, not recognize you as married, call you perverts, mock you in any way I see fit, even making moos antlers at you, and pass on photographing or catering your homemade porn. You get that, right?

Even if you can force a tyrannical govt to block my freedom to exercise these rights, I still have them, because they are unalienable.

Akzed on September 5, 2013 at 3:11 PM

This is America, not Saudi Arabia. You want to wave the flag and scream how patriotic you are? Then muscle up and do it.

thejackal on September 5, 2013 at 2:11 PM

If this is America and not Saudi Arabia, why is it that only protected classes may assert their morality and demands on the rest of us? Christians and Jews are not allowed to demand a behavior trait of their faiths be recognized and respected as equal or superior to societal norms.

Gays are.

smoothsailing on September 7, 2013 at 7:12 AM

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