Monday, July 3, 2017
Wedding Cakes & Matters of Principle
Ideally, or even normally, gay people wouldn't want their cake made by someone who didn't want to do it, someone whose religion says that their union is illegitimate. I mean who would want to hang out with someone who feels that way? And ideally, or even normally, a baker who is unsure about gay weddings might seize the opportunity to learn more, expand their horizons, and make some new friends. Yet, there are principles involved for both sides. So, where most people would choose to go with the flow, and not try to make a big deal out of a wedding cake, there are those who want to argue their point in court, since they believe that the principle behind their position is important for society as a whole -- religious rights on the one side and equality of civil standing on the other. And, indeed, we are a nation of laws, and laws operate according to principles. I've seen articles saying that civil rights law could make small-scale exemptions for "non-essential" services such as the religiously-motivated baker. That sounds reasonable. However, those diner-restaurants with segregated lunch counters back in the 50s and 60s were involved in non-essential services, yet it was rightly held that segregation can't be upheld as a matter of legal principle. So, we'll see how the most recent case plays out.