Letter: Mr. Baker, bake the cake

Return To Article
Add a comment
  • Laura Bilington Maple Valley, WA
    Oct. 23, 2017 1:54 p.m.

    @2Bits wrote,

    "Originally you said if he makes cakes he has to make any cake requested. It's your job, you have no right to refuse.

    Now you pretend you only said if you make cakes you must make them for every customer (can't leave anybody out).

    A baker makes things our of cake. A carpenter makes things out of wood. If a carpenter is asked to do something he finds offensive he can refuse. Same for the baker."

    Let me clear this up for you.

    If a baker makes custom tiered cakes with frosting swirled into decorative shapes--i.e. wedding cakes--and sells them to straight couples--which Phillips did--then he must make them for gay couples as well. The product is the same (Phillips even had a binder full of pictures of cakes he had already made; couples could pick one of these or design their own). The event is the same. Only the customer is different.

    If the baker never makes cakes with a particular design for anybody--e.g. Halloween, Nazi symbols, anti-abortion slogans--then you can't force him to make that design for you. This covers your gallows example.

  • rdean92 Los Angeles, CA
    Oct. 23, 2017 1:47 p.m.

    So you start down the path to allow people to decline services that are against their religion, then ultimately it will open the door for anyone to use the same angle to discriminate against anyone for religious reasons. The public accommodation law is in place for a reason. The Courts will not change this. If your public business has a menu, you must sell those goods to anyone who comes through your door. Using a religious reason to not provide a service is disingenuous and fake. If we go down this path, chaos will be the result.

  • Vanceone Provo, UT
    Oct. 23, 2017 1:25 p.m.

    13th amendment: no person can be compelled to labor for another person, except prisoners.

    The left was the champion of slavery back in the day. This is just another form of slavery: you work? Then you must do what the LGBT person says. Period. If you don't like it, you can always starve.....

    Just like the black slave. He worked or, well, he starved. If a slave said "No" he was beaten and lost all his few rights. The left says if you say "no" to a LGBT person, you get stripped of all your rights and belongings. Heck, even if it's only a hypothetical question, the left still strips all your rights if you answer "wrongly".

    Once that gay walks through the business door, you are a slave to whatever they demand. Or else the government takes away your entire life work and seizes your home and business. And nowadays, in Illinois they are even trying to take away your children if you disagree with the left.

    For all of those referring to business licenses--there is no spot on the business license saying "You agree to forfeit all Constitutional Rights and become a slave to the state." Despite what you leftists claim, it's not there.

  • Daedalus, Stephen ARVADA, CO
    Oct. 23, 2017 9:30 a.m.

    @Karen: "Am I right that ..."

    Other bit. I am puzzled by the decision by SCOTUS to hear this case, and would not be surprised if there is an unexpected boomerang that expands LGBT rights.

    It is unlikely that SCOTUS will overturn established precedent under Employ. Div. v Smith, as that would create a massive loophole that would effectively eliminate 100+ year old state-level public accommodations laws for -all- protected classes.

    But Masterpiece's argument for an exception to Emply Div. due to free expression clause of the 1st A is undermined by the "bad fact" that the baker refused service prior to any discussion of design/decoration...in short, no expression was requested.

    We do not know which 4 Justices signed off to hear the Masterpiece case, but the presumption is that they are sympathetic to the baker. That is not necessarily so.

    Given the glaring bad fact, it seems baker-sympathetic Justices would want to decline to hear this particular case, and instead wait for a better fact pattern to bubble up. In other words, more liberal Justices may see a chance to simply spike the idea that bakers, florists and photogs "participate" in a marriage ceremony.

  • Daedalus, Stephen ARVADA, CO
    Oct. 23, 2017 9:28 a.m.

    @Karen: "Am I right that ..."

    Other bit. I am puzzled by the decision by SCOTUS to hear this case, and would not be surprised if there is an unexpected boomerang that expands LGBT rights.

    It is unlikely that SCOTUS will overturn established precedent under Employ. Div. v Smith, as that would create a massive loophole that would effectively eliminate 100+ year old state-level public accommodations laws for -all- protected classes.

    But Masterpiece's argument for an exception to Emply Div. due to free expression clause of the 1st A is undermined by the "bad fact" that the baker refused service prior to any discussion of design/decoration...in short, no expression was requested.

    We do not know which 4 Justices signed off to hear the Masterpiece case, but the presumption is that they are sympathetic to the baker. That is not necessarily so.

    Given the glaring bad fact, it seems baker-sympathetic Justices would want to decline to hear this particular case, and instead wait for a better fact pattern to bubble up. In other words, more liberal Justices may see a chance to simply spike the idea that bakers, florists and photogs "participate" in a marriage ceremony.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Oct. 23, 2017 8:51 a.m.

    @Ranch 8:38
    RE: "Barfy's point (and yours) is a strawman"...
    ---
    Yes. Both of us made it clear it was a hypothetical, not a real situation. A situation to illustrate a point.

    Originally you said if he makes cakes he has to make any cake requested. It's your job, you have no right to refuse.

    Now you pretend you only said if you make cakes you must make them for every customer (can't leave anybody out).

    A baker makes things our of cake. A carpenter makes things out of wood. If a carpenter is asked to do something he finds offensive he can refuse. Same for the baker.

    In the hypothetical gallows case, the carpenter makes things out of wood. That's his profession. He can refuse a job, for any reason (even religious concerns). It's his decision. His right to decline the job.

    Same for the cake maker.

    That's the point I was trying to illustrate with the hypothetical situation. That the person doing the job can refuse.

    And it's pretty much up to him to decide what he finds offensive.

    I would not refuse. I don't think any baker in Utah has refused. But they do have the right to refuse to do things they think conflict with their personal religious beliefs. Don't they?

  • Finn11 Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 23, 2017 8:34 a.m.

    @ Stephen Daedalus

    Okay. I now understand why the couple doesn't have to make this argument, but does the court have to consider it as a possible consequence? To this layperson's eyes, it's inherent in the matter because it forms part of the rationale for the anti-discrimination statute and it would be violated as a consequence of allowing a baker to refuse to make wedding cake "art" only for a certain class of people.

    The case law quoted in the law review article that spoke most strongly to me about this was from City of Cleburne v. Cleburn Living Center: "Private biases may be outside the reach of the law, but the law cannot, directly or indirectly, give them effect."

    Does this case law or line of thinking apply?

  • Daedalus, Stephen ARVADA, CO
    Oct. 23, 2017 7:21 a.m.

    @Karen R: "Am I right that the baker also has to get past the Equal Protection Clause ..."

    If I understand your question, I do not think the Equal Protection Clause will apply in the Masterpiece case. The Oleske law review article argues for a possible avenue for LGBT couples to seek redress for discrimination in public accommodations within states that did -not- add LGBT as a protected class, by arguing that the state's -inaction- in not adding LGBT to the statute is a violation of their rights under the14th Amend/Equal Protection Clause.

    The Masterpiece case is simpler (I think!?). It is a private actor and so there is no constitutional issue that the LGBT couple could raise against them...only the statutory remedy by filing a complaint with CO Civil Rights Commission.

    So it is Masterpiece claiming the constitutional violation -- that the CO law and the Commission's actions -- improperly infringe upon his (its?) free exercise of religion. And since CO did not pass a mini-RFRA, Employ. Div. v. Smith (494 U.S. 872) controls. Thus the need for Masterpiece to also prevail on their claim of infringement of free-expression (cake as art).

  • Misty Mountain Kent, WA
    Oct. 22, 2017 9:06 p.m.

    @NoNamesAccepted - St. George, UT
    Oct. 21, 2017 8:19 a.m.

    wrote,

    "For the left, this has nothing to do with artistic freedom and everything to do with trying to force social acceptance of so-called homosexual "marriages".

    Dear Moderators..These are not "so-called homosexual marriages". They are marriages. Please review this letter and consider if it meets your standards for respectful discussion.

  • Finn11 Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 22, 2017 8:20 p.m.

    @ Stephen Daedalus

    Karen R. here. Am I right that the baker also has to get past the Equal Protection Clause (because he WILL sell wedding cakes to some)? I was just reading an analysis of public accommodations law written a few years prior to Obergefell and it cited a lot of precedent that looks tough to overcome.

    One non-case law example reminded me of the recent DN op-ed suggesting that gay couples should agree to find another wedding vendor because this amounted to little more than an inconvenience to them. The author of the accommodations law analysis (James Oleske) wrote, "[T]he hardship Jackie Robinson suffered when on the road with the Dodgers was not an inability to find some hotel that would have him; it was the indignity of not being allowed to stay in the same hotel as his white teammates."

    I don't see how the baker overcomes this inequity. He certainly hasn't argued a remedy that does and wouldn't he if he had one?

  • Daedalus, Stephen ARVADA, CO
    Oct. 22, 2017 2:21 p.m.

    @metisophia: "...so many comments about religious freedom, yet the case... is about freedom of speech. Did the lawyers recognize that an argument about religion wouldn't win?"

    Sorta.

    The "religious freedom" chatter is just that -- an inaccurate simplification, but one that plays well to persecution crowd.

    The reason for the legal question re: the freedom of speech prong of the 1st A. is due to existing SCOTUS precedent in Emply. Div. v. Smith.

    That case controls in Colorado and if Masterpiece relies solely on the "free exercise [of religion]" prong of the 1st A. it loses since the CO anti-discrimination law is a "neutral law of general applicability".

    However, if a separate right is also implicated then SCOTUS may find an exception.

    Thus Masterpiece asserts freedom of speech as that other right, in the hopes of getting exempted from Emply.Div.

    But they cannot escape one big bad fact.

    Masterpiece refused service before -any- discussion of design or decoration.

    So even if some of their cake designs qualify as "art" no one can ever know what sort of wedding cake this specific customer would have requested if given the chance.

  • No One Of Consequence West Jordan, UT
    Oct. 22, 2017 12:51 a.m.

    @metisophia: "It's been interesting reading so many comments about religious freedom, yet the case before the Supreme Court is about freedom of speech."

    There is a reason why freedom of religion and freedom of speech share the first amendment with several other freedoms of conscience. If you deny a person the right to speak their mind or to peaceably assemble you have also stifled their right to practice religion. Freedom of speech, which has been deemed to include non-verbal and artistic forms of expression, is at the core of religious practice. Even a vow of silence for religious purpose is a form of "speech," speaking one's beliefs without words.

    The freedoms of conscience listed in the First Amendment all stand together, and all are under assault today. Some want government to establish anti-religion as the state religion, prohibiting a person from simultaneously following their conscience and earning a living. Some call for censorship, considering opposing views to be hate-speech. People peaceably assembling to hear a speaker are subjected to hecklers and rioters. Now a citizen petitions for redress of grievance and his case is assailed by freedom-deniers.

  • metisophia Ogden, UT
    Oct. 21, 2017 10:44 p.m.

    It's been interesting reading so many comments about religious freedom, yet the case before the Supreme Court is about freedom of speech. Did the lawyers recognize that an argument about religion wouldn't win? Will an argument about speech have better traction? We'll see.

  • Ranch Here, UT
    Oct. 21, 2017 8:38 p.m.

    @2bits;

    Barfy's point (and yours) is a strawman; if a carpenter does not make gallows for any customers already, he's not required to make one on demand for any customers. The point here is that the baker bakes wedding cakes for all STRAIGHT customers but has refused to bake them for GAY customers; that is discrimination, THAT is the point here; he ALREADY makes wedding cakes as his business.

  • 1covey Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 21, 2017 8:10 p.m.

    Christ did not encourage sin; His interest was to lift us out of sin. To refer to the parable of the good Samaritan is comparing apples to turnips. If the baker baked the requested cake, would that have helped lift anybody to what the baker seriously, according to his religious, believes is a higher plane ? The same-sex couple don' believe in that higher plane.

  • L White Springville, UT
    Oct. 21, 2017 6:18 p.m.

    No government agency on any level, local, county, state, or federal can issue a religious test to anyone seeking a license (public trust). No government agency on any level can make a person forfeit his 1st Amendment rights before obtaining a business license. Our freedom to speak, to worship and to practice our religion are not dependent on any person's or any group's opinion. They are guaranteed by the Constitution. They should NOT need to be guaranteed. Government only has authority in a very small sphere of influence. Unless the people have ceded their freedom to live their own lives without government forcing them to worship at someone else's alter, that right remains with the person. It's a good thing that it is guaranteed. With the extreme over-reach from the left, all of our freedoms would be in peril.

  • Furry1993 Ogden, UT
    Oct. 21, 2017 1:40 p.m.

    It's very simple. When a person chooses to go into business, either as a DBA or using a personal name, that person has to obtain a business license. In order to obtain that license, the person or business entity (documents executed by the personal owner) voluntarily has to agree to obey all the laws, rules and regulations pertaining to business entities and operations at all times in existence during which the business operates and as they change over time. If the person doesn't want to obey those laws, s/he has the option of finding another line of work.

    Specifically, for this issue, if Masterpiece for any reason didn't want to provide a certain type of cake to some people, it had the option of not providing that type of cake to anyone. It didn't have the option of providing the same type of cake to some people but refusing it (practicing selective discrimination) against others. Masterpiece is just being held accountable for breaking an anti-discrimination law. Masterpiece doesn't want to feed sinners? Religion doesn't enter the equation since Masterpiece could have refused the type of cake to all sinners. Nothing more, nothing less. Rightly so.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Oct. 21, 2017 1:24 p.m.

    @Frozen Fractals and Ranch,
    Barf has a good point. What if somebody asks a black carpenter to make a mock gallows with a black man hanging from it in their yard for Halloween? The carpenter has every right to refuse.

    You've been saying they don't have the right to refuse to do anything a customer requests. Surely you would not force the carpenter to follow through on the customer's request and build the gallows for them.

    If a business has no right to refuse any request for any reason, even if what's requested is personally offensive to the proprietor... then he would have to build the gallows. I think he can refuse. Do you agree?

    If you stick with your rhetoric on the cake... the carpenter has no choice, he must make the gallows for them, even if he finds in offensive.

    Obviously people in business can refuse to do something they find offensive.

    You may not agree with the proprietor's reason for being offended... but that doesn't mean it doesn't offend him. And it doesn't mean you can force him to do something he finds offensive (build the gallows).

    Good point barfolomew

  • Karen R. Houston, TX
    Oct. 21, 2017 12:11 p.m.

    @ NoNamesAccepted

    "For the left, this has nothing to do with artistic freedom..."

    Like it's about artistic freedom for your side. Please. The only reason we're now debating whether bakers are "wedding artists" is because this is the legal argument that was manufactured in an attempt to get around an anti-discrimination law. If they had come up with something else, those on the baker's side would be all about that. We saw this with the SSM debate. It's no different now.

    So, yes, let's drop the pretense. IMO, for your side this is about feeling forced to accept something you genuinely don't believe in. For my side this is about people being treated equally in the marketplace and believing that discrimination is lousy, dehumanizing, and that we should aspire to be better than that.

    So it wouldn't matter if the underlying belief on your side wasn't religious in nature. I'd still want it to lose. For me, equality is paramount because it seems to me that all of our other rights/protections are all relative to that status.

  • J Thompson SPRINGVILLE, UT
    Oct. 21, 2017 9:21 a.m.

    Maudine,
    If you've ever owned a business (DBA), you already know the answers to the questions that you asked Mike Richards. Bankruptcy law governs what can be taken from a person who is "doing business as". We ALL have some protection under bankruptcy law, including those who are "doing business as". No special protections are given to DBAs. In any bankruptcy, the person or business who loaned the money understands the risks of loaning that money. If he does due diligence he will normally receive what he is due. Honest people don't use bankruptcy to escape their obligations. An uncle repaid everything he owed to his creditors when a bad business deal caused his bankruptcy. It took thirty years, but he paid everyone every cent that he owed. A brother-in-law did the same. Bankruptcy gave them time to repay.

    A person who "does business as" can be sued and all of his assets seized. That is why corporations exist. Their liability is normally limited to the corporations assets.

    Neither a corporation nor a DBA forfeits 1st Amendment rights by owning a business.

  • NoNamesAccepted St. George, UT
    Oct. 21, 2017 8:19 a.m.

    The baker is merely "taking a knee" on this one. Funny how limited the left's support for freedom of speech is.

    When actors are required to take rolls they dont like, when painters and sculptors are required to accept any commission offered regardless of content, we can then discuss pressing wedding artists into work.

    For the left, this has nothing to do with artistic freedom and everything to do with trying to force social acceptance of so-called homosexual "marriages". They'd do the same for elective abortions of conveniemce if they could.

    The court gave you marriage benefits for homosexual relationships. Now, live and live. Accept that there are those who will respect your legal rights but who will never agree with you nor join in the lie that such relationships are not sinful.

  • Maudine SLC, UT
    Oct. 21, 2017 7:22 a.m.

    @ Mike Richards: You claim to have owned several businesses, so tell me -

    If those businesses had to declare bankruptcy, would your creditors have been able to take your home or your car?

    If someone sued one of those businesses, would they have been able to take your home, your car, or your personal savings?

    If not, why not? Could it perhaps be because your businesses were separate from your personal? If your personal assets are separate from your business assets, doesn’t logic follow your personal beliefs would also be separate?

  • Karen R. Houston, TX
    Oct. 20, 2017 8:08 p.m.

    @ jsf

    "Here we have the case of the state prosecuting an individual because of his religious conscientious objection."

    I think you're mixing two terms. Conscientious objection applies only under military law. Phillips was pursued due to violation of Colorado's anti-discrimination statute. He's now arguing that the statute compels him to "create expression" that violates his religious beliefs.

    @ barfolomew

    Refusing to serve the proxy for a same-sex (or interracial) couple:

    I don't see how this changes anything. The reason for the refusal remains the event and the courts have consistently ruled that this is a distinction without a difference. The only thing that makes 1) a wedding "same-sex" is gender; 2) a wedding "gay" - sexual orientation; and 3) a wedding "interracial" - race. It's one of these features that triggers the objection, not the event. The baker has no objection to weddings.

  • L White Springville, UT
    Oct. 20, 2017 6:41 p.m.

    I think that those who try to redefine the conversation have lost any argument that they may have had.

    First of all, no State can pass a law that contradicts the Constitution (supremacy clause) The Constitution forbids a religious test. The Constitution also protects everyones' right to practice religion. No one can be forced to do anything that violates his religion. That includes the State of Colorado and anyone who thinks that Colorado has supremacy over our Constitution.

    Those who are trying to defend the overthrow of religious freedom have tried everything. They've tried discrimination when it is they who discriminate against the religious. They've tried to use race when race was not mentioned in the lawsuit. They've tried to use civil rights when they are violating the civil rights of the baker.

    We have a rule book that tells us how to proceed. That rule book is the Constitution. Unfortunately only the baker is following the rules.

  • unrepentant progressive Bozeman, MT
    Oct. 20, 2017 5:59 p.m.

    Dear opinionated

    You said, "A business has every right to decide whom they will do business with and whom they won't. They also exercise discrimination on whom they will hire."

    We don't do things that way. A business may not discriminate on many grounds in hiring or the delivering of goods and services, public accommodation, etc. Colorado has added the LGBT community to its list of those whom businesses may not discriminate against (women, minorities, elderly, handicapped, etc). The cake maker discriminated, and did so against the law. Period.

    Now your little listing of other organizations that may discrminate (I chose not to waste time on this effort) is interesting. But the He Did It Too is just too juvenile to use in debate. Wrong is wrong. Even if your little brother took an extra cookies or snitched a buck out of grandma's purse, you don't get permission for same.

    Is that so hard?

  • Opinionated Sandy, UT
    Oct. 20, 2017 5:03 p.m.

    RE: unrepentant progressive
    "your fellow travelers in the anti-LGBT". Really? You drew that conclusion from what I wrote? I don't see how. You are dead wrong. Sorry. Nice try at stirring the pot, though.

    Do you think discrimination is not alive and well? It's everywhere. What about the LPGA, just to name one of thousands. To extend the golf analogy, why are women's tees so much closer to the hole then men's? Is someone actually acknowledging a difference between men and women? How dare they?

  • L White Springville, UT
    Oct. 20, 2017 4:37 p.m.

    Frozen Fractals ,

    Was it your wording or was it your "implying" that is at fault? Why would you say that someone who stands up for the 1st Amendment is guilty of racial discrimination? Where are the facts? They don't exisit except in the mind of those who are looking for something that doesn't exist.

    The 1st Amendment is not about race, as you imply. It is about our freedom to worship God as we wish without government or any other entity telling us how we must worship.

    Your post implies that if we don't accept the view from those who support same-sex unions, that we must be racist. That statement is racist. We have the right to worship God without being labeled "racists" by those who disagree with the doctrine that we choose to follow.

  • barfolomew Tooele, UT
    Oct. 20, 2017 4:28 p.m.

    @ Frozen Fractals

    "There were plenty of people in the past, and some still today, that base their opposition to interracial marriage on religious doctrines they believe."

    "Would it help if I say it's an interracial marriage cake (technically what I meant in my first comment)?"

    No, it wouldn't. Let me go back to my earlier question with a slight change:

    What if this interracial couple had sent a white couple to the bakery to purchase the cake for them? He tells the baker it's for his friends' interracial wedding and the baker refuses to bake it. Now, what is the liberal/progressive verdict here? Is the baker guilty of discrimination? After all, the customers were a white couple. He certainly isn't being discriminatory to them, is he?

    Another thing: you folks never turn the scenario around. Why is that? Suppose a black baker refused to bake a wedding cake for an interracial couple? Would that be on the 6:00 news, too?

  • Frozen Fractals Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 20, 2017 3:00 p.m.

    @Mike Richards
    Okay, I am very sorry, I typed that last comment too fast and mixed it up with my other comment that mentioned interracial marriage and only saw that I had the wrong word when I clicked submit. I meant to say you supported a ban on same-sex marriage and possibly still do (which makes me question how you can accuse the left of imposing their religion). I have no reason to believe you currently or ever opposed interracial marriage.

  • Frozen Fractals Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 20, 2017 2:59 p.m.

    @Mike Richards
    "The Left may try to force us to worship as they do,"

    You supported (maybe still do) a ban on interracial marriage.

  • Frozen Fractals Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 20, 2017 2:55 p.m.

    @barfolomew
    "The baker did not refuse to bake them a cake because they were homosexual. I'm sure that baker made other cakes for other homosexuals. He would have baked them any other kind of cake, I'm sure. He did not refuse to serve them. He refused to serve them that particular cake celebrating something he is against. "

    There were plenty of people in the past, and some still today, that base their opposition to interracial marriage on religious doctrines they believe (you know, all that stuff that churches in modern days condemn the past interpretations of). Would it help if I say it's an interracial marriage cake (technically what I meant in my first comment)?

    " Is the baker guilty of discrimination? After all, the customer was straight.

    What say you?"

    In a court of law, I'm not sure. Personally, I still consider it discrimination even if it's a loophole.

  • barfolomew Tooele, UT
    Oct. 20, 2017 2:46 p.m.

    @ Ranch

    "The baker DID refuse to bake the cake BECAUSE they were gay, if they had been straight he would have baked the cake without question."

    That is not correct. He did not refuse to bake a cake for them because they were homosexuals. He refused to bake the cake because it was for a homosexual wedding.

    I asked a couple of simple questions earlier to anyone who would answer. Now I'll ask them specifically to you.

    What if this couple had sent a heterosexual person to the bakery to purchase the cake for them? He tells the baker it's for his friends' homosexual wedding and the baker refuses to bake it. Now, what is the liberal/progressive verdict here? Is the baker guilty of discrimination? After all, the customer was straight.

    The other question I asked is:

    Let's say that a carpenter is asked to build a mock gallows for Halloween and refuses to build it because he is against the death penalty and anything associated with it. Sure, he says, I'll build you a deck or a shed or anything else. Is that "discrimination?"

    And I do expect an answer from you.

  • jsf Centerville, UT
    Oct. 20, 2017 2:38 p.m.

    @ranch

    I guess the "business" can bake the cake if the employees and the owners leave.

    The "business" does not bake the cakes. The "business" does not order the supplies to bake the cakes. The "business" must rely on real people to bake a cake. And if real people refuse to bake a cake, then the business is just out of luck.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Oct. 20, 2017 2:36 p.m.

    @LDS Liberal
    RE: "Mr. Philips can expect a HUGE spike in business for Gay couple cakes"...
    ===
    Ever wondered if that was his plan?

    But seriously... who goes around shopping for bakers that won't bake you a cake because you are gay?

    That could get very expensive. Because you would probably buy about 100 cakes before you found one that wouldn't make you one.

    It's not against our religion (if you are LDS). So you would probably find lots of people happy to bake you a cake (here in Utah).

    I'll bet most bakers in Utah would just bake your cake and take your money. You would have to try REAL hard to find one that would turn down business. I mean how does a baker even know you are gay... so they can refuse you a cake because you are gay. Is it that obvious?

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    Oct. 20, 2017 2:24 p.m.

    Ranch,
    What do you really understand about business law? I've owned several businesses in my life. Each time I was issued a license that clearly stated my name, "doing business as", my company name. "I" am that business, whether you like it or not. "I" am protected from anyone who tries to infringe on "my" right to practice "my" religion, whether that practice is "me" or me "doing business as" my company.

  • jsf Centerville, UT
    Oct. 20, 2017 2:11 p.m.

    Your point is right "Because he made the accommodation on his own." However I don't see that he was forced by the courts to go or to give up his conscientious objector status. I don't think his was an "accommodation" for anyone but himself.

    If he had maintained his conscientious objector status, he would not have been prosecuted by his state, or country.

    Here we have the case of the state prosecuting an individual because of his religious conscientious objection.

    @barfolomew - the UN, a bastion of liberal progressive thought, reference is simply a position the UN recognizes as a basic human right. Not a rule we have to obey. Our First Amendment is the question of the day.

    @Liberallds, are you claiming the LDS church is a bigoted organization because they state marriage is between a man and a woman?

  • Ranch Here, UT
    Oct. 20, 2017 2:01 p.m.

    @Mike Richards;

    When the Masterpiece Cakeshop take the Oath of Citizenship? (Hint: Never).

    Masterpiece Cakeshop is not a citizen of this country. Masterpiece Cakeshop is not a person. Masterpiece Cakeshop is a business; a business that is a SEPARATE entity from the owner of the business. It, the business, is not protected by the Constitution it is governed by LAWS.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    Oct. 20, 2017 1:46 p.m.

    LDS Liberal is wrong. It is not the duty of the government to "support" any religion. Just the opposite is required. The government must respect a citizen's right to worship the way he pleases without telling him that, even though his religion abhors same-sex unions, he must bake a cake to help celebrate same-sex unions. The Constitution clarifies any ambiguity that exists by stating that EACH of us can individually choose for ourselves, without the aid if government, how WE will honor God and how WE will practice OUR religion.

    The Left may try to force us to worship as they do, but the Constitution prohibits them from carrying out their plan.

  • Ranch Here, UT
    Oct. 20, 2017 1:37 p.m.

    For those of you who support the baker, the customer came in to contract with the BUSINESS, not the owner, for a wedding cake.

    The BUSINESS is separate from the owner and it has NO religious beliefs to violate. Businesses are not human being and do not have a Constitutional right to "religious freedom" as a result of having no beliefs (of any sort) to begin with.

    It amazes me that those who will never face this sort of bigotry and discrimination seem to think it is okay.

    JT says:

    "The Constitution clearly guarantees each citizen the right to practice his religion, "

    --- When was this business baptized into any religion? The constitution grants PEOPLE rights, not businesses.

    @barfolomew;

    The fact that the business sells "other products" to a customer does not mean they weren't denied service, the business REFUSED to sell to this customer a product it sells to EVERYONE else - that IS denial of service. The baker DID refuse to bake the cake BECAUSE they were gay, if they had been straight he would have baked the cake without question.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Oct. 20, 2017 1:34 p.m.

    One thing is clear....

    After losing this case in court --
    Mr. Philips can expect a HUGE spike in business for Gay couple cakes as a sort of 'neener, neener, neener' response....

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Oct. 20, 2017 1:23 p.m.

    J Thompson does not support the Constitution nor "Freedom of Religion".

    In this case - he says the baker bigotry protected under "freedom of Religion",
    That the Government can not, under any reason,
    restrict free expression of 'religion'.

    BUT
    He J then does a complete 180, and will not recognized the 8,203 religions in America that support, sanction and perform same-sex marriages,
    nor the FLDS and their plural marriages.

    Freedom and justice - for ALL...no restrictions -- isn't that right?

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Oct. 20, 2017 1:21 p.m.

    Oh my gosh... not the cake argument again. We have been over this same lame stuff 100 times. We know where everybody stands. We're not changing any minds by bickering over this crazy cake thing for the 100th time.

    I agree... just bake the cake even if you find it offensive... take their money and send them on their way. Cakes are not a religious thing, it's your job. Don't let it offend you. Just do your job (bake the cake).

    And if you are the buyer... if he says "no"... just walk out and walk to the baker next door and buy a cake from him. It's not rocket science.

    Don't know why this keeps coming up.

    You can't force him to make your cake any more than he can force you to buy a cake from him.

    If he doesn't want to sell you a cake move on. And if you are in the business of making cakes... just do it. It's not your religion, it's your job. I seriously don't see some try to make this into such a big deal.

  • No One Of Consequence West Jordan, UT
    Oct. 20, 2017 1:09 p.m.

    False narrative. The problem is not in baking the cake but in decorating it as an artistic contribution to a celebration that conflicts with the artist's beliefs. It is not goods and services, it is Constitutionally-protected artistic expression at the center of this argument. To say otherwise is to say that there is no difference between painting a mural depicting a particular moral/religious/philosophical belief and simply rolling a coat of latex paint onto a wall.

    The goal of this absurd attack on Constitutionally guaranteed freedom of religion and speech (artistic expression) is to drive religious behaviors from the public square.

  • Kally Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 20, 2017 1:07 p.m.

    @ J Thompson: Once again you use selective reading to make a misleading claim.

    1) Obama had nothing to do with it.

    2) The company admitted liability. They often allowed drivers to switch loads for whatever reason but refused to let these drivers switch for religious reasons.

    3) If the switch would have caused a hardship for the company and if they had not made a regular practice of allowing drivers to switch loads, the company would have won.

    4) The company was being asked to treat these drivers the same way they treated all other drivers and was penalized for a refusal to do so.

    This case actually supports the concept of the baker needing to treat all customers the same.

  • Karen R. Houston, TX
    Oct. 20, 2017 12:55 p.m.

    @ jsf

    "Not forced to go to combat against his religious beliefs."

    Exactly. Because he made the accommodation on his own. HE was in control of how to view the issue. The baker is arguing that he isn't; that he can approach the making of a wedding cake in just one way - as an act of celebration. York's example proves him wrong and on something far more consequential than cakes.

  • barfolomew Tooele, UT
    Oct. 20, 2017 12:31 p.m.

    @ Frozen Fractals

    "Roughly 15% of Americans still oppose interracial marriage. Should a baker be allowed to refuse to bake a cake for an interracial couple?"

    Inaccurate analogy, Froze.

    Yes, it would be wrong to refuse to bake a cake for an interracial couple based solely on the fact that they're interracial. Same goes for the homosexual couple.

    The baker did not refuse to bake them a cake because they were homosexual. I'm sure that baker made other cakes for other homosexuals. He would have baked them any other kind of cake, I'm sure. He did not refuse to serve them. He refused to serve them that particular cake celebrating something he is against.

    Look, what if this couple had sent a heterosexual person to the bakery to purchase the cake for them? He says it's for his friends' homosexual wedding and the baker refuses to bake it. Now, what is the liberal/progressive verdict here? Is the baker guilty of discrimination? After all, the customer was straight.

    What say you?

  • silo Sandy, UT
    Oct. 20, 2017 12:13 p.m.

    "No religious objection of allowing abortions or of objecting to the death penalty can be allowed."

    Why is this concept so difficult to understand that irrelevant comparisons keep popping up.

    A doctor who refuses to perform abortions for anyone is exercising his religious beliefs and is not remotely at risk of losing that right. However, a doctor who normally performs abortions, yet refuses to perform one for a jewish patient is discriminating based on religion and violating rights of others.

    A politician who opposes the death penalty for anyone is exercising his religious beliefs adn is not remotely at risk of losing that right. However, a politician who opposes the death penalty except when the criminal is hispanic is discriminating based on race, and violating rights of others.

    This baker will bake a cake for anyone except Gays, claiming his act of baking a cake is religiously protected. It's not. He cannot use his religion, and his false claim that baking a cake equates to participation in a gay wedding, as a means to discriminate against a protected class.

  • barfolomew Tooele, UT
    Oct. 20, 2017 11:57 a.m.

    This whole argument is moot.

    The homosexual couple was not refused service. The baker would have been happy to bake them a birthday cake or anything else. He did not refuse to serve them. He refused to serve them that particular item.

    Let's say that a carpenter is asked to build a mock gallows for Halloween and refuses to build it because he is against the death penalty and anything associated with it. Sure, he says, I'll build you a deck or a shed or anything else. Is that "discrimination?"

    @ jsf

    Whether or not that UN "rule" is revoked is simply irrelevant. We are not governed by the UN.

  • Frozen Fractals Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 20, 2017 11:32 a.m.

    Roughly 15% of Americans still oppose interracial marriage. Should a baker be allowed to refuse to bake a cake for an interracial couple?

  • jsf Centerville, UT
    Oct. 20, 2017 11:16 a.m.

    "In 1948, the issue of the right to "conscience" was dealt with by the United Nations General Assembly in Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It reads:

    Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance."

    And the LGBTQ and supporters want this right removed.

  • jsf Centerville, UT
    Oct. 20, 2017 10:53 a.m.

    @Karen brings up a great point, and she missed the point. "The conscientious objector Sgt. Alvin York, who worked through his religious objections to violence and chose to serve in combat."

    He initially claimed conscientious objector status on the grounds that his denomination forbade violence. Granted a 10-day leave to visit home, he returned convinced that God meant for him to fight and would keep him safe, as committed to his new mission.

    No longer a conscientious objector.

    Not forced to go to combat against his religious beliefs.

    The concept of conscientious objector, still remains today, it hasn't changed. York changed not the conscientious objector status.

    But what liberal progressives here propose is that if a baker must be forced to go against their beliefs, then too, a true religious conscientious objector must be forced to go to war.

    Because no religious position must be allowed by the government.

    No religious objection of allowing abortions or of objecting to the death penalty can be allowed.

    In other words, government is the only true religion and it's laws are its scriptures. The first amendment is dead.

  • J Thompson SPRINGVILLE, UT
    Oct. 20, 2017 10:31 a.m.

    There is only one question before us: Is the Constitution the Supreme Law of the Land?

    The Left tells us that situational ethics are the new Supreme Law of the Land. They are trying to convince us that the Constitution was somehow abolished and that THEY were put in power to force us to do their will.

    Nothing has changed. The Left is 100% wrong on this issue. Their arguments are nonsense. Their examples are nonsense. The Constitution clearly guarantees each citizen the right to practice his religion, regardless of place or time of day without government forcing its religion or lack of religion on citizens.

    There is nothing else pertinent to the conversation. The baker has just as much right to practice his religion as you or I. He is right. Those who oppose him are wrong. Check you copy of the Constitution.

  • unrepentant progressive Bozeman, MT
    Oct. 20, 2017 9:33 a.m.

    Opinionated

    Indeed you are that, but undoubtedly wrong. Same with your fellow travelers in the anti-LGBT crowd. Also the anti-discrimination crowd.

    It is just this simple. If you go into business offered to the public, it is established law that you must serve all the public, not just your favored. Same with hiring. We decided long ago as a country that this value is more important than your alleged right to discriminate.

    The alternative for the baker is simple. Bake the cake.

  • Moderate Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 20, 2017 9:01 a.m.

    Opinionated - "A business has every right to decide".
    Incorrect. A business has a permit (not a right) to do business and must abide by the constraints of the permit.

  • Opinionated Sandy, UT
    Oct. 20, 2017 8:34 a.m.

    A business has every right to decide whom they will do business with and whom they won't. They also exercise discrimination on whom they will hire. Let's consider a few. The LPGA only allows women to play in their tournaments. Real Salt Lake only allows men to play. Even the state of Utah contract bid application asks if the bidding business is owned by a minority or a women--why do they want to know that info if they don't plan on discriminating? We make judgments every day of whom we trust and whom we want to do business with. Who would want to be forced (for example) to do business with a dishonest person. I'm certainly not going to make those calls for a business and I don' appreciate someone else doing it for others. Yes, if the business is receiving government monies, then the business has to play by the unfair rules required of government purse strings. But others business should not have that requirement.

  • Karen R. Houston, TX
    Oct. 20, 2017 7:55 a.m.

    Recently I was reminded of the example of conscientious objector Sgt. Alvin York, who worked through his religious objections to violence and chose to serve in combat during WWI. He came to see his service as an act of saving, rather than taking lives.

    Compare this to the objection of cake baker, Jack Phillips, who is claiming that compelling him to bake a cake for a same-sex couple is a serious imposition on his conscience rights in that it would be forcing him to celebrate their marriage.

    Killing people versus baking a cake.

    Somehow, Mr. Phillips, I think your conscience can take it (and Sgt. York showed you how).

  • HSTucker Holladay, UT
    Oct. 20, 2017 7:43 a.m.

    Is this "Come on, bake the cake please?" or is this "Bake the cake or else!"

    There's a big difference. The left seems to prefer compulsion over persuasion.

  • Prometheus Platypus Orem, UT
    Oct. 20, 2017 7:04 a.m.

    The same folks who claim that Sharia Law is coming to America, constantly try and force their own version of Sharia Law on the populous, but don't even have scriptures to back up their supposed, Christian Law/Belief/Standard.

    If one could just show me where it says that Christian's don't serve or help sinners/outsiders in anyway, I would appreciate it.

    I do remember the story of the good samaritan, where the priests, men of God past by a man in need, perhaps you are getting the wrong message from this story?

  • J Thompson SPRINGVILLE, UT
    Oct. 20, 2017 6:39 a.m.

    There is no law that REQUIRES a baker to bake and ice a custom cake that will be used to celebrate a "marriage" when that marriage celebrates a union that is opposite to what that baker's religion defines as marriage. There IS a law that protects the baker. That Supreme Law of the Land squashes anyone's demand that the baker be required to violate his 1st Amendment right to PRACTICE his religion in order to be allowed to have a business license.

  • SMcloud Sandy, UT
    Oct. 20, 2017 12:47 a.m.

    Discrimination is wrong.

    Freedom of religion stops at the end of your fingertips. If you don't like gay marriage, don't get gay married.

  • Flying Scotsman Cedar Hills, UT
    Oct. 19, 2017 11:17 p.m.

    Nope, it is not established law which is why it is currently before the Supreme Court. Nope, just because someone does not agree with you does not automatically make it discrimination.

    Speaking of secular laws here is one that comes to mind:

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech...

    The Colorado Court of Appeals in past cases has already allowed an African-American cake artist to refuse a white supremacist cake request, an Islamic cake artist to refuse a Baptist church requesting to design a cake denigrating the Quran, and three separate secular cake artists from refusing to make cakes opposing same-sex marriage.

    This Baker is not refusing to serve same-sex individuals. Like the examples above, he is refusing to participate in a specific event that violates his convictions. The first amendment adds specific, extra protection for the free exercise of religion, not less.

    I believe the Supreme Court will see this and reverse the Colorado appellant decision.

  • J Thompson SPRINGVILLE, UT
    Oct. 19, 2017 7:39 p.m.

    Obama agreed that Muslims should be protected from being required to drive beer trucks, even though the drivers didn't consume the beer. Was Obama wrong? The drivers won the lawsuit. The court agreed that their religious practices were being violated. The drivers were awarded $240,000. Google it: "Jury Awards $240,000 to Muslim Truck Drivers In EEOC Religious Discrimination Suit".

    So what's the difference? Why should a Christian baker forfeit his religious rights to NOT bake a cake when the ceremony at which the cake would be used violated his religion while Muslim drivers received $240,000 because their right to NOT drive a beer truck (which they were hired to drive) had been violated?

    It looks like those on left who demand that the christian baker be prosecuted are not necessarily anti-religion; they're just anti-christian.

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    Oct. 19, 2017 6:53 p.m.

    Mr. Baker, bake the cake...it's the law.

  • Utefan60 Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 19, 2017 6:47 p.m.

    This letter writer hit the nail on the head. If this baker provides a product to the general public under the business laws and secular laws that he operates his business under then he needs to follow the law. Period.

    His beliefs do not supersede other's rights and allow him to discriminate against any population that he serves. He is under secular laws. Now, just bake the cake, get paid, and do what your business license allows you to do under the secular laws that govern any business.

    Discrimination under any guise is not "religious freedom" and this argument has already been answered over the years for women, blacks, minorities and even Mormons who were discriminated against. It is unrighteous behavior what this baker is doing. Plain and simple.