Standing On Principle In Oregon

Whether you agree with his position or not, I respect that he is standing on principle. He has a long held religious belief, and he’s teaching his children that you don’t throw your faith out the window for a dollar. The man’s quote at the bottom knocks it outta the park!


The Oregon Department of Justice is looking into a complaint that a Gresham bakery refused to make a wedding cake for a same sex marriage.

It started on Jan. 17 when a mother and daughter showed up at Sweet Cakes by Melissa looking for the perfect wedding cake.

“My first question is what’s the wedding date,” said owner Aaron Klein.  “My next question is bride and groom’s name … the girl giggled a little bit and said it’s two brides.”

Klein apologized to the women and told them he and his wife do not make cakes for same-sex marriages.  Klein said the women were disgusted and walked out.

“I believe that marriage is a religious institution ordained by God,” said Klein.  “A man should leave his mother and father and cling to his wife … that to me is the beginning of marriage.”[…]

What Klein wants to make clear is that he and his wife do not hate homosexuals.

“They can buy my stuff,” said Klein.  “I’ll sell them stuff … I’ll talk to them, it’s fine.”

What is not fine, according to Klein, is a marriage between people of the same sex.  He will always stand by that conviction.

“I’d rather have my kids see their dad stand up for what he believes in then to see him bow down because one person complained.”

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103 Responses to Standing On Principle In Oregon

  1. xenicalman says:

    Legitimate dissent.
    Evidently tired of having of having alternative life styles legitimized by having it crammed down our throats.
    But watch some “degenerate legislate from the bench progressive” judge allow a suit to proceed naming the baker as a defendant who violated the lesbos supposed civil rights.
    I do not have a problem with fudge packers or carpet munchers. Do what you want with who or what you want-just do it behind your bedroom door and don’t force your perverted lifestyles on the majority who just happen to be traditionally minded and morally adjusted people.
    My hat is being doffed in honor of the bakers’ stand on his values.
    Nuff said !

  2. EastBayLarry says:

    I hope his business skyrockets when Conservatives hear about this. I know I’d make a special trip there if I was within 50 miles.

  3. Jim22 says:

    “The Oregon Department of Justice is looking into a complaint that a Gresham bakery refused to make a wedding cake for a same sex marriage.”

    Does the Oregon Department of Justice presume to have the power to force a businessman to do something – anything – that he decides to not do? Where does that authority come from? What ever happened to the ‘We reserve the right to refuse to do business with anyone’ that American business has lived by for as long as I have lived?

    It’s the follow-up to this story that I will find interesting.

  4. R.D. Walker says:

    Bullshit. If there was some special cake that was needed for a lesbian wedding and he said he didn’t make those kinds of cakes, he would have 100% support from me.

    If all they wanted was one of his standard cakes, he seems hateful to me. “We don’t serve your kind here!”

    What? Is he going ask for notarized affidavits that his cakes will only be used for purposes for which he approves?

    Look, you open your doors for business, as a general rule you shouldn’t refuse service to civil, paying customers for ideological reasons. You can’t say, “I don’t serve Negroes” for damned good reasons.

    This guy would have sold her a cake if it was a straight wedding and he should sell it to her for a lesbian wedding. He should sell it to her if she is going to feed it to stray dogs. He is in the business of selling cakes and he should sell her the damned cake.

    The more I think about it, the more it pisses me off. If some Jew refused to sell be some damned deli meats because I don’t celebrate Passover, I would be pissed! That sort of thing is bullshit.

    I suppose he was within his rights to be an asshole, but this thing cannot be allowed to propagate or we just end up with a new and equally crapulent version of Jim Crow where a whole class of people is denied access to a huge segment of the economy. It ain’t right…

    • Uke says:


      Respecting someone that stands up for their principles is not necessarily justified; it depends what those principles are.

      Would his actions have been commendable if just a slight change to the story were made: say if he didn’t approve of interracial marriages, and an interracial couple came to him looking for a cake.

      Or more glaring: There are folks out there whose principles include despising blacks, Jews and Catholics. I don’t precisely commend these folks for “standing on principle.”

      (Then again, my position on gay marriage is that two people should readily be able to enter into a legal contract with one other–recognized by the state–and thereafter have to find a church that will marry them if they want to be “actually married.”)

  5. Rich says:

    Sounding like quite the leftist there RD ascribing someone’s religious beliefs as hate and using the blacks as an educational example of how to act.

    Discrimination against blacks due to their skin color is wrong because that characteristic cannot be changed by anything known to man under the sun. It is immutable.

    Homosexuality is not immutable. The fact that there are plenty of people that have come out of that lifestyle CHOICE with the benefit of counseling, both religous and secular, or by God’s grace, is all the proof needed to show that such lifestyle is objectively a CHOICE regardless of how a particular individual might feel.

    This businessman has every right to not sell wedding cakes to homosexual couples as so not to be involved in any fashion with homosexual marriage. In fairness, I would urge them to prominately display that policy with a sign.

    • R.D. Walker says:

      Nonsense. What if he didn’t approve of Catholicism – or Mormonism or whatever – so wouldn’t sell a cake for a Catholic wedding? After all, you don’t have to be a Catholic. You can change.

      I have my doubts that homosexuals can change anyway. No amount of counseling is going to make me switch teams in that regard and I have no reason to believe it should be any different for them.

      In any case, what I sound like is a libertarian with a belief in equal protection under the law. Of course that is what I have always sounded like. Nothing new there…

    • R.D. Walker says:

      By the way, my religious beliefs don’t include gay marriage either. The thing is, for the same reasons I don’t want to be subjected to Sharia law, I don’t try to impose Leviticus on others.

      I know of no religion that requires that a baker, as a condition of sale, impose a list of restrictions on the use of cakes he sells.

    • R.D. Walker says:

      By the way, I think there is a point at which we would all agree that religious beliefs cross the line into hate. Is there anyone here willing to argue that the religious beliefs of the Westboro Baptist Church aren’t hateful?

  6. Rich says:

    I realize that religion is the sore spot in my argument.

    I am an advocate for freedom of association – both privately and in business. Honestly, I have no issue with a business choosing not to serve Jews, or Muslims, or …. etc. Obviously as business decision such is nuts. And I expect that both I and many others would not shop at such business.

    However, in years and decades past such practices did occur in this nation. Over time Jews, Italians, Catholics, Chinese, … etc., have been unwelcome in shops, lodgings and more.

    Things changed for the above such groups over time as society changed. And that is the best way for social change to occur as it leaves behind the least lingering resentments and is more sound a change.

    When change comes from the government (or courts), by force, then that is when resentments build and change is fragile. You have only to look to Roe v. Wade to see such.

    The real problem for this poor baker is that the government decided to change, by force, the fundamental notion that marriage is between a man and a woman. So this baker now has to decide how to deal with situations in his business that he never contemplated dealing with before.

    This baker is not the first to have to deal with this issue and he won’t be the last. But the saddest thing is that, excepting for liberal government and/or leftist activist judges, he never ought to have had to do so in the first place.

    The simple fact is that by stroke of the pen of governance this baker has been reduced to a hater and has had his livelihood put at risk by virtue off his religious beliefs which, for sake of argument, probably have not changed one iota during all this. In this regard it is the government that is the genuine hater in this matter. And that such is true is manifest by the fact that there is no blanket conscience clause protection for people with religous objections to homosexual marriage.

    • R.D. Walker says:

      Look, he could have sold the cake without violating any Christian tenant I am familiar with. It is a cake. Nothing more.

      We get into real trouble when we start excluding people from actively participating in the economy. In the Jim Crow South blacks couldn’t even travel because of the difficulties associated with finding food and lodging. If you can’t take part in the economy to the point you can’t even travel, then by no means do you have equal protection under the law. That means that, for the most part, businesses have to serve paying customers when they open to the public. If you serve the public, you should serve all of the public.

      He could have told them that he didn’t approve. He could have just acted disgusted. He could have asked them to take their business elsewhere. When he refused to even deal with her, however, he crossed a line that shouldn’t be crossed by businesses that are open to the public.

      • notamobster says:

        He could have asked them to take their business elsewhere. When he refused to even deal with her, however, he crossed a line that shouldn’t be crossed by businesses that are open to the public.

        He didn’t refuse to deal with her, RD. He said he WOULD sell them other products, but that he wouldn’t sell them a wedding cake.

        Uke – I respect someone standing on principle, even when I don’t support the principle they are standing on.

        • R.D. Walker says:

          Ah. The details of this particular case aside, I believe that equal protection of the law requires that businesses open to the public serve all of the public. If you don’t want to deal with some subset of the public, start a private club… I dunno.

          It is, however, not a good argument to say that free association precludes you from being forced to serve lesbians, Muslims, Mormons… whatever. Again, if you don’t want to serve the public, don’t start a businesses open to the public.

          • notamobster says:

            D.A. here:

            What if you are the Jewish owner of a meat shop and I come in and ask for bacon? Is it not your right to refuse to sell me bacon? Or put another way, if I own a butcher shop and a Muslim requests that I sell him halal meat… is it not my right to say that I don’t make or sell halal meats, because the process violates my religious belief?

            If so, why would it be wrong for a Christian to say that they don’t make or sell same-sex wedding cakes?

            What if NAMBLA comes in and requests a cake? Would you sell it to them? They are a segment of the population.

            • R.D. Walker says:

              If you go back to my first comment, I said I would support him 100% if she was asking for a special lesbian cake that he didn’t sell. If what she wanted was a “wedding cake”, however, and he refused because he didn’t want to sell a cake to be used in a lesbian wedding, he was wrong.

              A Jewish deli owner doesn’t have to sell me bacon but he can’t opt out of selling Christians the same liverwurst he sells his Jewish customers.

  7. notamobster says:

    A Jewish deli owner doesn’t have to sell me bacon but he can’t opt out of selling Christians the same liverwurst he sells his Jewish customers.

    That I agree with 100%!

    Still, NAMBLA ain’t getting a damned thing from me! Call me a bigot. I don’t give a fluke! 🙂

    • Uke says:

      I think there’s some grounds in that though, no? I mean, pedophilia–or at least the act thereof–is forbidden by law.

    • R.D. Walker says:

      A big part of standing on principle is not whining “that’s not fair” like a pussy when there are consequences of doing so. I bet you wouldn’t. 🙂

  8. John B. says:

    If the guy makes the wedding cake it would be perceived by some as implied consent. Mabye he should use the Homer Simpson plan, take the money and do a really crappy job. Seems more honest to just politely refuse.

  9. Jim22 says:

    The cramp I have with this is the state looking into how they can force the baker to serve someone he doesn’t want to serve.

    This discussion has gotten into whether he should or should not have served them and ignored the more serious concern: the interference of the state.

    As has been plainly shown, good men and women can disagree about whether he should have refused. That’s OK and as it should be.

    The state has overstepped its authority in a million tyrannical and other ways. If they try to force this man to do something he does not want to do they are wrong again.

    • R.D. Walker says:

      I agree with you on that. Still, I support laws that prohibit “white only” diners and lodging for reasons I stated above.

      I think the general rule needs to be that, if you open a business to the public, you have to serve the whole public under equal terms. If you don’t wish to serve the whole public, you should probably get into a different line of work.

      Again, that doesn’t mean a Jewish deli has to sell bacon. It means a Jewish deli has to sell brisket to Jew and Gentile under equal terms.

      About 99% of our daily interactions are in the private sector. If segments of our population are restricted, excluded or prohibited from equal access to the 99% of our interactivity, the concept of equal protection under the law is non-existent.

      That doesn’t mean that business can’t cater to certain groups. It is unlikely that the Lutheran Ladies Knitting Club is going to want to meet at a biker bar or a strip club. It is also unlikely that Hell’s Angels is going to start hanging out at Miss Lillian’s Tea Shop.

      I reiterate, the baker should not be required to make special cakes designed for lesbian weddings. If, however, he refused to sell a standard wedding cake because he didn’t want to sell it to lesbians, the situation was appropriate for government action. Bakers who have opened a business to the public should be required to serve all of the public.

      • Jim22 says:

        ” Bakers who have opened a business to the public should be required to serve all of the public.”

        Nope. That’s too black and white. What about the grey areas in between?

        Shades of grey occur when someone who operates a business makes a decision. In this case the decision was a reasonable one, reinforced by his desire to use the instance to try to pass along his values to his kids.

        I used to see signs in business establishments that stated, “We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone”. Business managers empowered themselves to decide who they would not serve. If they broke a law in doing that they would be called to task by the legal system. That discouraged them from making unlawful decisions. They could, however, refuse to serve someone who was drunk, disorderly, naked – or partly so, or obnoxious – or refused to follow posted rules.

        So far it has not been demonstrated that this case was a breach of law. However the state is looking into whether the business owner can be charged – or otherwise harassed. Until someone can show me that this business owner did anything illegal I will support his right to run his business as he sees fit, including, as so many do, running it into the ground.

        • R.D. Walker says:

          “We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone”.

          Does that include, “We reserve the right to reserve service to colored people”? If so, then Jim Crow lives and restaurants can put up their “White Only” signs if they so desire.

          Hell of a way to run a country.

          • Jim22 says:

            That would be against the law.

            • R.D. Walker says:

              Exactly. I don’t see how refusing to sell a cake to a lesbian is any different.

            • slinger says:

              R.D. By your logic, would it be illegal for a church to refuse to marry a lesbian couple? It would certainly be illegal for a church to marry based on race.

              This is a very slippery slope.

              • R.D. Walker says:

                My logic doesn’t apply to churches or private clubs. Businesses open to the public are different.

  10. Jim22 says:

    The man in the post did not refuse to sell a cake to lesbians. He refused to do a special cake for them. He plainly said he would do business with them, “They can buy my stuff,” said Klein. “I’ll sell them stuff … I’ll talk to them, it’s fine.”

    I don’t see how refusing to make a special cake for them is against the law. There is no parallel between this and a merchant violating discrimination laws.

    • R.D. Walker says:

      In at least three places in this thread I have said he shouldn’t be required to make a special cake. If, however, he wouldn’t sell a standard wedding cake because it was to be used in a lesbian wedding, he is wrong. I think that principle fits well within the principle s of liberty and equal protection under the law we support here.

      • John B. says:

        “sell a standard wedding cake ”
        My wife does cakes. Most wedding cakes are very personalized and involve a lot of back-and-forth between the baker and the bride. Just saying that this isn’t as simple as you might think.

        • R.D. Walker says:

          C’mon. Unless there is special requirements for lesbian cakes, that is irrelevant. He sells wedding cakes. There is a certain amount of effort associated with selling wedding cakes.

  11. rj says:

    what about a gun shop owner refused to sell to a tatted up white power nazi wannabe who had no convictions and passed a background check yet the shop owner refused to sell based on principle, I say let the free market decide,

    they want to sue civilly, boycott, protest on the sidewalks more power too em.

    he wants to set extravigant price, or refuse to sell more power too him.

    not taking sides, but I dont think it is a civil right violation.

    • R.D. Walker says:

      Look, if you don’t sell guns to a Nazi, as a practical matter, it isn’t going anywhere. That isn’t what we are talking about here.

      This idea that a public business can refuse to serve whomever they want for whatever reason they want has been tried before. It was called Jim Crow. “Whites Only” was the result and it absolutely, positively denied people equal protection under the law. It ain’t right.


  12. R.D. Walker says:

    By the way, y’all might recall that I was and am an enthusiastic supporter of Chick-Fil-A. Big difference there. They support the Biblical definition of marriage but they’ll sell a sandwich to any paying customer and don’t discriminate against anyone. Good for Chick-Fil-A.

    • notamobster says:

      But… they are well within their rights to refuse to make a penis-shaped sandwich just because someone requested it. So long as they don’t refuse service that person based upon their request.


      “I’m sorry, I don’t make penis-shaped sandwiches. Can I interest you in any of our other products?”

      • R.D. Walker says:

        Yep, but not to refuse to sell a bunch of sandwiches because they were going to be served at an Oscar party at a bathhouse.

      • R.D. Walker says:

        I have yet to see in the article where the lesbian asked for a cake with pictures of women in flannel shirts and Doc Martins or some kind of a carpet munching theme. She just wanted a wedding cake. Just a standard wedding cake. Selling her a wedding cake would have been the equivalent of CFA selling her a basic chicken sandwich.

  13. Locke n Load says:

    Look, this is really pretty simple and everyone keeps getting sidetracked by Jim Crow and Gay rights. Frankly, there aren’t that many correllations today and you guys know it. Jim Crow was BS because it was based on the isea that blacks weren’t equal, therefore didn’t require equal protection. There is NOTHING like this implied in gay rights arguments unless you begin asking for govt protection. As an owner of a home in an elderly neighborhood I could reasonably demand that my tenants be of a certain age. No civil violation of right of accomodation, right? If I own a 5 flat in Chicago and only rent to, and demand marrieds with children move out, we’re dealing with contract law. Is that a civil violation? Hardly.
    Ahh, but if I sell wedding cakes, and I disapprove of the wedding so I won’t make the cake, well then… Thats illegal!
    Actually, I would mostly disagree. See, the cake maker isn’t acting on govt mandate, but is publicly licensed, and therefore is acting as a public accomodation. And I HATE that.
    No cake maker should be forced to license up. And he should be allowed to sell to whomever he wishes and DENY service to whomever he wishes, for whatever reason. We can refuse sales to people for any number of reasons. Bad attitude, bad breath, bad MANNERS for cryin out loud. Its not like there is any shortage of places to turn to as options. Besides, just because someone opens as business doesn’t mean, absolutely, they HAVE to serve everyone. That isn’t a faith based argument, thats a personal liberty one. Whether the results are pleasing to an observer is irrelevant, they are the choices of the purveyor of the business. What defined the civil rights push and abolition of Jim Crow wasn’t simply public accomodation, but HUMAN accomodation. Gays aren’t denied civil rights. They’re denied civil PEOPLE generally, and thats just horrifically sad. And I say that as a good friend of several gay men and women. But would they demand the baker close? Hell no, they’d just make sure none of their friends went. Should the baker refuse them service? Of course not. Just make the cake and let them buy figurines. But is he breaking the law? Well, only if he’s licensed, and then only because the law is friggin stupid. Being black and living in Jim Crow is NOT the same as being gay, sorry. Nobody is denying you food, housing, or money. They might just ask you respect their religion tho.

    Agreed, its absolutely a STUPID decision to not sell wedding cakes to whoever wants them. he could simply sell the figurines as side items. but to blast him for sticking to his guns isn’t appropriate. he taught the kid at least one valuable lesson even if it was misdirected. yeah, its better to stick to your guns than to submit to one bitching pain in the ass.
    Better yet, he should evaluate his practices.

    • R.D. Walker says:

      First off, there are good reasons why there are apartments for the elderly that don’t accept children and that is part of their charter. Children create externalities that effect the ability of the other tenants to use the product.

      As for the baker, it would be perfectly fine to say that he doesn’t create wedding cakes decorated with strap-ons and double barreled dildos.

      He didn’t do that, however. He started out to make the cake and then refused to make it when he found out how they were going to use it. That is bullshit. Unmitigated bullshit. He is in the business of selling cakes to the public and he should sell the fucking cake. To do what he did is EXACTLY the same as Jim Crow.

      The religious argument is bullshit. There are plenty of people who are willing to say their religion prohibits interracial marriage. You think it would be cool to hear from some baker that he can’t sell you a damned cake – or rent you a hotel room or serve you in his restaurant – because you are sinning by marrying a Chinese woman?

      Fuck the government. Hell, I don’t encounter the government much. More than 99% of what I have, the house I live in, the food I eat, the transportation I use… my fucking hair cuts! are in the private sector. More than 99% of my public life is through interactions with private sector businesses. I am stunned that so many here are willing to subordinate practical applications of individual liberty to serve bigotry. Take away the access people have to the private economy and they have NOTHING. They are reduced to animals.

      Not making a dildo cake is the exercise of religious freedom. Not selling a standard cake to a lesbian because of what she is going to do with it is bigotry.

      Hey, my religion allows me gun down lesbians in the street. Are you going to deny me my religious freedom?

      • notamobster says:

        Not selling cakes is now equated with gunning down lesbians in the street? Why don’t we discuss how all of us bigots hate children & old people, too?

        You know, because we support a guy’s right to operate his business as he sees fit.

        • R.D. Walker says:

          The point of that comment was that religious freedom doesn’t give you a blanket right to do whatever the hell you want. That has been established again and again in the courts. There are all kinds of tests associated with whether you can claim a religious exemption. If that wasn’t the case, the rule of law would be meaningless because you could violate any law by claiming to obey it was against your religion.

          I can tell you unequivocally there is no religious right to “run your business as you see fit”. There never has been and there never will be nor should there be.

          Furthermore, there is no common Christian tenant that says you can only sell a cake if you approve of the conditions under which it will be consumed. That is made-up bullshit.

          I don’t give a flying fuck about one baker who is confused as shit about Christianity or one dike who has to go elsewhere for her wedding cake. I care about the concept of equal protection under the law.

          In order to have even a minimal standard of living in our society, you have to have access to trade and commerce. When you start making up rights of business owners to deny people access to trade and commerce you start down a path that is absolutely, positively identical to Jim Crow in every way.

          We weigh rights here all the time. A business owner open to the public has certain rights. The rights of people to have full access to trade and commerce far outweigh some made-up religious belief that Jesus doesn’t want us to sell cakes unless we can verify their proper disposition and use.

        • notamobster says:


          What if NARAL came in requesting a cake for the opening of a new planned parenthood office? Would the same rules apply if he refused to make the cake?

          He’s not saying that he won’t sell you a cake, or a bagel, or anything else you want – just not the abortion cake, because he doesn’t support abortion.

          To say that the religion argument is BS is incredibly intolerant of you. Why do you hate people of faith? (gratuitous straw man)

          There are a great many people who believe that homosexuality is wrong as a matter of faith. That you have a more liberal view, or just that you disagree with them doesn’t make you right. It means you disagree.

          Add to this, the fact that destroying the family and all things traditional is a tenet of the Marxist cultural revolution and there are many reasons to not support gay marriage.

          • R.D. Walker says:

            I don’t see that in the article. I see him calling off the sale as soon as he found out it was for a lesbian wedding.

          • R.D. Walker says:

            Most Christians see homosexuality as a sin. There is no mainline, well established Christian principal that I am aware of that says you can’t sell product to a sinner. In fact, that is more likely to be a sin itself in any faith principal I am aware of.

            • notamobster says:

              Many Christians believe that alcohol consumption is a sin. Selling alcohol, to facilitate or enable “sinful behavior” is not done, as a matter of conscience.

              Just because your conscience doesn’t dictate the same, doesn’t make you any more right.

              I’ve known store owners (Muslims) who didn’t sell pork, alcohol, or lottery tickets. They chose not to sell those (completely legal) products because doing so violated their conscience.

            • R.D. Walker says:

              We have been through this. I don’t see anywhere in the article that it says he was being asked to produce some kind of a special lesbian cake. Just a wedding cake to be used in a lesbian wedding.

          • R.D. Walker says:

            “That you have a more liberal view…”

            Fuck that shit Nota. This doesn’t have a damned thing to do with my views of lesbians or my own personal faith.

            This is about making sure we live in a society in which people are afforded equal protection under the law.

            This is about making sure we live in a society where people have equal access to trade and commerce.

            This is about living in a society in which people don’t get to decide to exclude other people who are living within the law and within their rights.

            This about acknowledging that fundamental rights outweigh tertiary rights.

            Nobody on this god damned forum can call me liberal. My bonafides as a conservative/libertarian are rock solid.

            I have well established that I am STRONGLY willing to protect the rights of people to live lives that I find abhorrent in exchange for their support of my right to live my life… which many might find abhorrent.

            I am not defending lesbianism here. I am defending a principal that says you cannot discriminate against people who are engaging in behavior that is within their rights to engage in.

            I am not the one in this debate who has deviated from the principals of individual liberty and the idea that we weigh fundamental rights more heavily than tertiary rights. I am right in the Real Revo Zone I have always been in.

            • notamobster says:

              “Liberal – favoring or permitting freedom of action, especially with respect to matters of personal belief or expression…”

              Don’t get your panties in a wad. I wasn’t calling you a liberal. You should know better, after all these years.

              I used the apolitical “liberal” in that reference. I have very liberal views on many things.

              I support those same rights to live as one sees fit. To me, that includes not making or selling certain products which violate the manufacturer or sellers conscience.

        • R.D. Walker says:

          We have been down that “it’s my business and I can run it as I see fit” before. It was resolved.


          • notamobster says:

            “They can buy my stuff,” said Klein. “I’ll sell them stuff … I’ll talk to them, it’s fine.” That they immediately walked out is on them.

            You are deliberately conflating behavior and evolution. While folks can argue the veracity of claims that gayness is an innate quality (I won’t because I don’t know either way), there is absolutely zero chance that a person can choose their skin color.

            Two. Completely. Different. Animals.

            I don’t like the idea of marginalizing the free exercise of religious conviction and matters-of-conscience to suit some modern idea of equality.

            There is apparently some genetic indication that pedophilia is an innate quality (I’m not saying I agree, but the studies are out there), too.

            Should a business owner be forced to make a NAMBLA cake, next week, if society decides to abandon thousands of years of social norms and find the behavior no longer deviant?

            • R.D. Walker says:

              1) He will sell them anything except a wedding cake.

              2) Being a lesbian is legal. It should be legal. If you don’t think so, you better be prepared to have some of what you are made illegal.

              3) Being a Catholic or a Mormon isn’t genetic either. It is a hell of a lot more likely being gay is genetic than being Catholic. Can businesses refuse to sell to Catholics if they so choose?

              4) You shouldn’t be allowed to deny access to trade to someone who is doing nothing illegal.

            • R.D. Walker says:

              The most fundamental right is to do whatever the hell you want. With that right comes the most basic responsibility: to accept the consequences of your actions.

              There are circumstances in which I would refuse to do something as a business owner that the law says I have to do. I would make that decision knowing that there will be consequences. I would accept those consequences stoically.

              If someone said I had to sell forceps to abortionists, I would stop selling forceps to everyone or I would get out of the surgical tool business.

              You can’t make a big frickin’ deal out of being a hero for standing on principal if you aren’t willing to accept the consequences of standing on principal.

      • Locke n Load says:

        Wait a sec, why would it be OK for him to refuse a cake with Dildo decorations and not a gay couple figurine? I’m missing this as we’re talking about add-ons. Now, had he been asked to make a cake in the SHAPE of a dildo, ok, fair enough. He doesn’t do cakes like that. But what if he was asked to pipe pink coochies all around the tiers of the cake? Isn’t that the same as what you say as the ‘penis cake’?
        Personally, I find his decision absurd and offensively bigoted. I think his business decision was outright stupid as he could have offered a cake with figurines to be placed later. My bakery would be in the business of trying to accomdate any customer. But then I’m not down with biblical definitions dictating my life. And as far as I know, some folks read gay marriage as strictly prohibited in the good book. I’m not aware of anything in there saying blacks shouldn’t have the same rights as whites, or asians, etc though. And I lean toward Uke’s idea of marriage here. I don’t see wtf the State has to do with sanctifying the arrangement other than legal protections for partners, gay or straight. As such they don’t so much ‘marry’ people as recognise a legal partnership, a civil union. I’ve always thought marriage was the agreement made with and before your God. I therefore have no problem with civial unions but allow for Churches to do as they believe.

        you’d make a hell of an atty RD, but I’m not sure as a man on the jury I’d be swayed to your side on this. If the bakers church said gay marriages were an abomination then I’d say he has a decent reason, as awful as that decision may be, to not provide the couple his labor.

        I’m open to convincing otherwise, but I still don’t see how this parses down into a Jim Crow thing. I don’t see a personalized cake as a civil right.

        • Locke n Load says:

          Well no wonder my comment took so long to post. You were typing 5 times faster than me and updating with multiple comments. The above retort referenced WAY back up there,lol

        • R.D. Walker says:

          The dude doesn’t have to sell a damned thing that isn’t in his inventory. If the lesbian asked for a standard cake from his book of options and he refused because he didn’t approve of how she would legally use it after she paid for it and it became her property, he was wrong. Her right to trade outweighs his right to define how others legally use their own property that he happened to sell them.

  14. notamobster says:

    I’ll concede on the Catholic/Mormon point. Touche.

    Again, he did not deny access to trade or commerce to these people. He simply refused to make a very specific product which violates his conscience.

    • R.D. Walker says:

      Slippery slope. What next? I don’t sell wedding cakes for use in interracial weddings? Secular weddings? Jewish weddings? There are all kinds of people who would claim these religious exemptions. Am I going to have to go store to store to find a store owner who’s religious conviction allows him to serve a Lutheran/Libertarian/Caucasian/Veteran/Gun Owner? That’s a hell of a way to run a country.

      • notamobster says:

        We’re not talking about centralized control of a nation. We’re talking about the right of an individual to not support behavior which violates his or her conscience.

        Do you think anyone would give two shits if “The Snatch Factory”, whose owners catered to gay & lesbian community, said “we don’t make hetero cakes, but you can buy a product we do make…”?

        Yes, those offended would care. I would say that it’s dumb to refuse to sell a customer what they want, but it is their choice. I would then tell the offended party to suck it up and buy their cake elsewhere.

        I would PREFER TO KNOW the politics of a person I’m giving my money to.

        • R.D. Walker says:

          Excuse me ma’am, before I sell you this cake I need to know how you will use it. Yes, it will be your property that you bought and paid for. I still need to know.

          No ma’am, it isn’t enough for me to be told that it will be used for legal purposes. No, I need to know the exact circumstances under which it will be used. If I am anywhere in the supply chain, I reserve the right to define how the products I sell are used, even if they are used legally and are no longer my property.

          Sorry ma’am, I can’t accept your word alone. I am going to need notarized affidavits from three witnesses that you don’t use your property in a manner that I don’t approve of.

          • notamobster says:

            If I own a building and a renter comes along, seeking to put a liquor store in one of my storefronts, but I believe alcohol consumption to be a sin, I should always maintain the right to refuse to condone or enable such behavior as a matter of conscience.

            Sure, his behavior is completely legal, but it violates my right to free exercise of my conscience. Don’t like guns? You should have the ability to refuse to rent or sell your property to a gun store. Sorry, you’ll just have to shop around.

  15. Bman says:

    I bartend part-time. If a pregnant woman came into the bar, ordered a drink for herself, I would refuse to sell it to her. I would be discriminating based on my own morals. I would be fine with my decision. Just thinking out loud.

    • R.D. Walker says:

      The libertarian argument there is easy. You won’t be a part of harming a child. The right of the child to avoid injury outweighs Bad Mom’s right to get a drink. You also would know that your risk in refusing to sell whiskey to a pregnant woman is pretty small.

      • notamobster says:

        Decisions made as a matter of conscience don’t always consider the risk. Sometimes the conviction outweighs the risk. I support a person’s right to make that call.

        He didn’t deny them access to commerce. He merely took the risk of refusing to make a specialized product for a lifestyle choice he doesn’t support. No different than saying I don’t make cakes which celebrate abortion, gun control, etc…

        • R.D. Walker says:

          Are you playing devil’s advocate here or have you forgotten the whole argument that the life of the unborn outweighs tertiary rights of the mother?

  16. BigJimTX says:

    This is an intriguing discussion. Does a business owner have the right to serve who, when, and what he wants? I would have sold them a cake. I’d have made them whatever damn cake they wanted as long as it wasn’t visually offensive. But do I have the right to decide with whom I do business? Do I have the right to refuse service based upon my beliefs? It would mean potential backlash from the community (assuming the govt stays out of it) and potential loss of revenue, but wouldn’t that be my right as a business owner? I understand that the rights of consumers must be protected, but what about the rights of the business owner?

    USAA is a public company. They provide insurance for veterans. I can bank with them, but I cannot get insurance from them, as I am not a veteran. What is the difference?

    Sorry I’m late to the horse flogging.

  17. BigJimTX says:

    Many companies have stopped doing business with the firearms industry recently. Isn’t it well within their right to do so?

    • R.D. Walker says:

      Nobody has to engage in any business. I would say that if you refused to sell lumber and sheet rock to a guy who wanted to build and open a gun store, you would fine, unless… You sold lumber and sheet rock to someone who was opening a drug store. Then all of my arguments apply.

  18. R.D. Walker says:

    One more comment…

    This is a common situation in which rights must be placed in the balance. Almost every one of our rights contradict the rights of someone else. I may have the right to use my property as I see fit. That doesn’t mean I can have a hog confinement facility in a suburban neighborhood. The rights of my neighbors to the intended use of their property outweigh my right to do whatever I want with my property.

    There is no easy formula for working these conflicts out. You just have to take them one at a time. It is one of the challenges of civilization.

    In this situation, there are two sets of rights at play: The right of the business owner to run his business as he desires and the right of the citizenry to engage in trade. The disagreement in this thread regards the balance of those conflicting rights.

    Frankly, if I knew it was just one baker, I’d say let him run his business that way. The market will correct it. Who cares?

    The problem is, that if you let him, you have to let everyone.

    The next thing you know, you have the Association of Oregon Wedding Bakers colluding to refuse to sell to a minority group that is engaging in legal activities. Now you have excluded them from a portion of the marketplace. If allowed to continue, it might spread to lodging and restaurants and other places of business. That is apartheid and it is something I strongly oppose.

    So we balance. My strong opinion is that by opening a business to the public, you enter a social contract in which you agree to sell to all of the public. I believe that is the best way to balance rights and the best way to organize trade and commerce. It is the basis of my arguments above.

  19. rj says:

    Shoulda stuck around last night the
    issue of DOJ complainant sticks in my craw, the only issue that would be investigating is civil rights or criminal violation , neither are evident thus the free market decides.

    The USA is way beyond Jim crow and could never go back any argument that it would is not real.

    Typing on phone sucks or I’d add more

    • R.D. Walker says:

      Nothing in my comments above should be construed to imply that I support the jackbooted practices common to the DOJ and EEOC.

  20. notamobster says:

    My strong opinion is that by opening a business to the public, you enter a social contract in which you agree to sell to all of the public, but reserve the right to refuse commerce which violates your conscience. I believe that is the best way to balance rights though maybe-not the best way to organize trade and commerce. It is the basis of my arguments above. Well, that & a strong desire to argue today. 😉

    • Bman says:

      Nota has ODD today (Oppositional Defiant Disorder) PBR will help calm your nerves 🙂 It’s a cure for it.

      • notamobster says:

        My Dad used to tell me “you have a spirit of adversity”. Translation: You’re a defiant, pig-headed, little prick.

        My teachers said I had issues with authority. The military said I had issues with conformity. I say ‘I just like to argue sometimes’.

    • R.D. Walker says:

      “…but reserve the right to refuse commerce which violates your conscience.”

      You have a lot of faith in the crapulent, bigoted, nasty, corrupt consciences of your fellow man.

      • notamobster says:

        No, I don’t, but I recognize that between Joe Blow’s conscience and mine – we don’t have to agree.

        Liberals try to curb my right to self-defense because of the actions of others. I won’t do the same to other folks, just because I disagree with them.

        • RJ says:

          Agree, don’t tread on me and I wont bite the shit outta your legs and poison your sorry ass.

        • R.D. Walker says:

          “I won’t do the same to other folks…”

          Of course you will. You are here. There is no way to resolve this situation of conflicting rights without curbing the liberties of somebody. You are willing to curb to the liberties of tens of millions of people to equal access to the economy so business owners can let their own conscience decide.

          Don’t imagine you can take a position here and not limit the rights of others. It can’t be done.

          It is my position that the right of the people of to equal access to trade and commerce far outweigh the rights of business owners to pick and choose who they will serve and who they will not.

          You feel that the rights of business owners outweigh the rights of the citizenry to equal access.

          Don’t, however, pretend that you can take a position in this situation and not limit the rights of someone. You can’t swim in this wallow and not get muddy.

          • RJ says:

            Ok, although I was replying specifically to Nota’s Liberals try to curb my right to self defense … specifically If they leave my right of self defense alone I won’t attempt to curb the rights of others just because I disagree with them. IE although they dont belive that anyone needs a gun I wont force my notion that everyone should have one on them at the threat and force of law.

            As to the cake issue, personally I’d sold the damn cake at top dollar, put a sign in the window that proclaimed I catered to all weddings and reaped the profits of all the new age.

            Ultimately they used the same argument to outlaw public smoking, or smoking in bars, they will use or attempt the same argument to outlaw anything they don’t agree with. That is what they do, use force of government to do what they want done if the free market does not win for them.

            The issue is return of allowances I make, when I get no return of allowance for individuality in return I then start to get less tolerant of theirs.

  21. notamobster says:

    A cake is not a right! Requesting that someone make you something they have a fundamental disagreement with – is NOT A RIGHT!

    Where in Locke’s discourses on the natural rights of man are self-defense and gay marriage equated? I could easily make the case that control of one’s labor is absolutely a natural right. As you have said that a business owner should be able to fire an employee for any reason they see fit (which doesn’t violate the law, of course) – I say that a business owner should be able to choose which products he will make and sell for any reason he sees fit. Especially, if it is a matter of conscience.

    • R.D. Walker says:

      That argument works just as well with “whites only” and it ain’t right.

      • notamobster says:

        Behavior vs evolution.

        Yep. We’re chasing each other’s tails here. It was fun, anyway.

        • R.D. Walker says:

          I don’t begrudge you your opinion. It isn’t true, however, that you are unambiguously on the side of liberty here. You are not. You are subordinating all of our liberty to engage in free trade to a business owners right to shut certain people out. You seem to agree they don’t have the right to shut out blacks or Catholics so you obviously don’t believe that right is absolute. Evidently you have arbitrarily drawn the line somewhere north of lesbians. I don’t get it, but I don’t have to get it

          • notamobster says:

            Again, you’re conflating the issues. This comes down to primacy. The owner’s right to dispose of his labor as he sees fit, has absolute primacy over a person’s ability to force him to make a product for a cause he disagree’s with.

            The freedom of religion is guaranteed in my argument, without establishing religion. In your’s the only thing guaranteed is the lesbian’s access to cake, considering he didn’t shut her out of commerce. He is willing to conduct trade with her.

            He’s just not selling her a product, which he would have to make with his time & energy, to facilitate behavior he has a moral objection to.

            YES – I am subordinating your ‘ability’ to conduct trade to his RIGHT to maintain his religious or moral objection.

            The person who doesn’t like his objection, is completely free to go elsewhere.

            • R.D. Walker says:

              One wonders why freedom of religion would never be sufficient cause to deny service to Mormons or blacks but it is fine in this case.

              An arbitrary line. Nothing more.

              • notamobster says:


                • R.D. Walker says:

                  A specific product he makes for straight couples. Again, I didn’t see anything in the article that indicated a request for a special dike cake.

            • R.D. Walker says:

              I have this restaurant and, since I control my own labor, I cannot be forced to serve niggers, kikes or mackerel snappers. After all, it’s my labor.

              If you don’t like my objection, you are free to go elsewhere. Let freedom ring.

              • notamobster says:

                Yep, you got me. That’s what I’m saying. No blacks, no jews, no gays, no old people – that’s the ticket. No one but good old fashioned Christian white folks! Seig heil!

                Now that we’ve gotten th, emotional appeals or of the way, I am ending with this. That’s not what he did. I am perfectly willing to reexamine my positions and willing to change them, if I’m wrong. I will not budge on this.we agree to disagree.

                • R.D. Walker says:

                  You can call it an appeal to emotion, but as soon as you say that you can deny service to people based on your religion, there will be people who say their deeply held religious convictions prevent them from serving Jews, Mormons, blacks and anyone else they just prefer not to serve.

      • slinger says:

        Any ANY business that even tried that would be out of business TOMORROW. Problem solved.

  22. slinger says:

    I go out of my way to support businesses that agree with my beliefs and morals. I actively seek out Christian-owned businesses. I eat at Chik-Fil-A every chance I get. I vote with my dollars … that’s the way this country works.

    We don’t need the government to tell us who we have to sell to. Businesses succeed and fail every day because of the decisions they make. The government does not need to be involved.

    What about this scenario … had the lesbian kept her yapper shut, she could have gotten a wedding cake. As it stands, she said something that “offended” the baker. I don’t know about you, but I will not do business with anyone that offends me. Does the lesbian really want to do business with someone that does not approve of her lifestyle? I certainly wouldn’t.

    WTF does this always have to turn into a “civil rights” issue involving government interference?

  23. vanagram says:

    Vanagram to the rescue:

    It’s simple. You open a private bakery. One that is open only to members. The owner becomes the Membership Committee and decides who can and cannot join. Private clubs are constitutional, and can determine membership on any criteria they choose INCLUDING race, religion, gender, sexual orientation — whatever.

    Now then, Mr. Baker sells his memberships for $1.00 which is conveniently added to the first purchase made by any customer/soon-to-be member. If Mr. Baker believes the member has violated any terms of the membership agreement (which state Mr. Baker can revoke membership status for any reason at any time) then –poof– you are no longer a member and cannot buy your fucking cake anymore.

    Now it is out of civil rights law and squarely in contract law.

    • vanagram says:

      For a more realistic view of this approach, go to certain parts of Texas and try to buy a drink without first “joining” the establishments private club (for $5-10 membership fee). Its how they get around ‘dry’ county requirements that prohibit the sale of alcohol to “the public”

  24. Bman says:

    The Boy Scouts are a private group. They do not allow homo’s into it. Are they practicing Jim Crow Laws?

    How is the cake maker, denying the gay couple a specialty cake for their gay little party any different from the BSA not allowing gays into their organization?

    Not sure if anyone has touched on this yet.

    • notamobster says:

      You answered the question yourself. They are a private organization. That is the difference. No one (of libertarian bent) argues that a private organization cannot exclude people for whatever reason.

      Van-a-gram addressed it.

  25. Ben says:

    So if I open a Grass cutting business and choose to only cut flat lawns your saying the government has the right to force me to cut steep hill lots of land?

    What makes that different?

    the difference with Jim Crow Laws was that they were legally forced segregation not an individual business making a choice of customers but a government forcing separation.

    I have been in black barbershops that have refused to cut white guys hair when I was in the army. I should have sued them I guess.

    One is an individual exercising his right to choose which business he wants or needs. Most bakeries are so busy they need to turn away customers anyway. Jim crow is the government telling business they cant serve the group together even if they wanted to.

  26. R.D. Walker says:

    “So if I open a Grass cutting business and choose to only cut flat lawns your saying the government has the right to force me to cut steep hill lots of land?”

    Nope, I am saying that if you cut the grass of the steep land of the breeders you are going to have to cut the steep grass of the dikes.

    We went over this. A kosher deli doesn’t have to sell ham but it has to sell the same liverwurst to gentiles as it does Jews.

    “the difference with Jim Crow Laws was that they were legally forced segregation not an individual business making a choice of customers but a government forcing separation.”

    Not true. Any cafe could serve black people under Jim Crow. They could also refuse service. It is morally identical to refusing service to gays.

    • R.D. Walker says:

      I really don’t want to plow the same ground twice. All of these arguments were worked over hard in the above 100+ comments.