Article submitted by guest contributor Ezra Van Auken.
Many have called gay oppression of state-enforced marriage contracts and other perks of government’s plunder, that homosexuals haven’t been able to receive, the “war on homosexuality”. However, the story out of Colorado could be otherwise known as the “war on private business”, business that feels uncomfortable with providing service to homosexuals. In this case, it’s the gay community looking to impose themselves on the owner of a small bakery.
Despite the traditional approach of conducting business with whom you see fit, Denver’s ruling on “Masterpiece Cakeshop” shows quite the opposite. Jack Phillips, the owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop, was ordered on December 6th to serve customers who are homosexual, despite Phillips’s beliefs and desire for how to run a business. The ruling by judge Robert Spencer came after Phillips disallowed a homosexual couple.
Charlie Craig and David Mullins, a legally married couple from Massachusetts, decided in 2012 that their wedding cake of choice would come from Masterpiece Cakeshop, but that desire soon hit a brick wall. When Phillips realized Mullins and Craig were homosexual partners, he refused to honor their request for a wedding cake. The move came because of Phillips’s belief in Christianity, which according to him, says homosexuality is not “OK”.
Although judge Spencer didn’t push for assigned damages, the ruling certainly gave Phillips reason to become disgruntled with how he’s being forced to serve certain customers. The bakery owner said, “So you could say it’s a religious belief. I believe the Bible teaches [same-sex marriage is] not an OK thing.” If anything, the nexus of societal issues here, the intersection of homosexuality and business ownership, is like a deer in the headlights of an oncoming car.
For his ruling, I think you could see judge Spencer as the deer, moving neither away from the road nor toward the car, just standing in the road; neither private property nor ownership was awarded.
Instead of dropping the ruling, which would allow the cake baker to own his business and his choices, the judge forced the cake baker to give service to customers whose business he doesn’t want. And, as opposed to the anti-homosexual individual using the government arm to impede on someone else’s choice, a pro-homosexual individual used the government arm to impede on Phillip’s choice.
If a homosexual cake baker only wants to give service to the homosexual community, then would an anti-homosexual customer have the privilege of impinging on the owner’s life and choices? In the end, by allowing such government abuse and perversion to dictate who can eat what, who must sell to “X” and who can’t sell to “X”, the market itself is incapable of responding to the natural demands of individuals.
As much as judge Spencer tried to make something equal, the Colorado judge, in effect, destroyed the true freedom of the market, which is based on the rights of an individual to do business with whomever he chooses, whether he’s the owner of a cake shop or a potential customer. Both parties in the exchange have a choice to make, and neither should be able to force the other to comply.
Moreover, if the individual, who happens to be an owner, can’t actually decide his own choices based on the belief system prescribed, then how is anything equal to begin with? Phillips’s attorney, Nicolle Martin, used this narrative when she told reporters that the judge’s decision was “reprehensible” and “antithetical to everything America stands for” and offered an explanation of Phillips’s situation.
Describing the effect on Phillips, Martin noted, “If Jack can’t make wedding cakes, he can’t continue to support his family. And in order to make wedding cakes, Jack must violate his belief system.”
Ironically, in the words of the turned-down homosexual, David Mullins said “No one should fear being turned away from a public business because of who they are.” Unfortunately for him, the cake shop run by Phillips is not a public business and happens to be privately owned, which is has been since 1993
Since the ruling, which would penalize any business that doesn’t serve homosexuals with a fine, Phillips declared he would rather spend time in jail than serve customers he doesn’t choose to serve. The baker told Fox News that giving up his religious beliefs is not a reasonable answer for him, especially after what happened. Phillips felt his duty to the wedding ceremony wouldn’t be the same if his company were forced to comply with government standards.
Julie Borowski, political columnist and FreedomWorks employee, objected to the judge’s ruling, saying, “I personally don’t have a beef with gay people, but nobody should be forced to provide a service for another person.”
And while beliefs, opinions and debates fuel the comment sections of dozens of media reports, blog posts and other discussions of this case, just remember: doing business with someone who doesn’t like you anyway doesn’t seem like much of a fun tradeoff, especially when the relationship is forced. Besides, on a day of love and commitment between two individuals, the last thing on your mind is digging into a piece of cake that’s been baked by a man who disapproves of the commitment and love taking place.