On June 4, the U.S. Supreme Court reversed the decision of the Colorado Civil Rights Commission that Masterpiece Cakeshop had violated the rights of a customer who asked Masterpiece Cakeshop to bake a special cake for a same-sex marriage. The Supreme Court’s decision was narrow. The Court held that the Colorado had violated the rights of Jack Phillips, the owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop, under the Free Exercise clause of the First Amendment, by the way it treated him and his claim of religious belief for what he did. The Court specifically did not say whether, in a proper case, where the state was not hostile to a business owner’s religious beliefs, it might not hold that a business owner could be forced to bake such a cake.
Guess what. That case might be coming to the Supreme Court. Because on June 28, just three-and-one-half weeks after the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision, the Colorado Civil Rights Commission found probable cause that Mr. Phillips had unlawfully discriminated in another case, this time by refusing to bake a custom cake (blue on the outside, pink on the inside) to celebrate the seventh anniversary of Autumn Scardina’s transition from a man to a woman. (Also, here.) Set-up, anybody?
“During the bail hearing for the (alleged) killer, Nadine Collier, whose 70-year old mother was killed, said, ‘I forgive you. You took something very precious away from me…. You hurt me. You hurt a lot of people. But if God forgives you, I forgive you.’ Alana Simmons, whose grandfather, Rev. Daniel Lee Simmons Sr. was killed, said, ‘We are here to combat hate-filled actions with love-filled actions. And that is what we want to get out to the world.’”
In my post, I suggested that “[i]t would be better if those in favor in same-sex marriage could be magnanimous in victory. [I]f … having won, they could afford to allow their former opponents to disagree.”
It would appear that the supporters of marriage equality, etc., or at lest many of them, are not following my suggestion. Which I can understand. It’s tough to ask somebody who feels that their rights have been denied for decades and that they have been harassed and disrespected, to forgive and forget. You can’t criticize them for reacting as so many of us would.
Which doesn’t mean, however, that this second case against Masterpiece Cakeshop is not a set-up. Going to a baker who has refused to bake a special cake for a same-sex marriage and asking him to bake a cake, blue on the outside and pink on the inside, to celebrate a transgender transition? I think we can all pretty much see what is going on here. The “customer” here wasn’t looking for a cake. They were looking for a lawsuit.
When cases were brought against lunch counters in the south because they wouldn’t serve black customers, we were talking about real discrimination. Blacks couldn’t travel because they couldn’t find places to eat on their trip. But this isn’t a real case. Does anybody really think the customer here couldn’t find another baker to make the cake they wanted – or even tried?
In the lunch counter cases, one’s sympathies were with the blacks who couldn’t find a place to eat. In the new Masterpiece Cakeshop case, many people might sympathize with Mr. Phillips and his right to believe as he wants to believe. And wonder what good is being done by bringing yet another case against him.