By Arcus1 195 Comments
There's been several cases of bakeries refusing to prepare cakes for gay weddings that have made the news in the past year or so, and I never thought it was a huge issue, but now with all the controversy over North Carolina's religious freedom act, I thought I'd weigh in on the issue and see what everyone else thought too.
It seems to me that there's some valid points to be made on both sides of the issue. I don't have a full understanding of what all the North Carolina law entails, so I don't want to say whether I agree or disagree with that yet, but when it comes to the issue of the bakers, I think I might lean more towards supporting the bakers' case, assuming I understand the situation correctly.
Now, it's my understanding that, in these cases, the bakers are not refusing service to the people just because they're gay. In some instances, I've heard at least, the couple was a customer at the bakery before the wedding issue with no problem. The problem is the wedding: the bakers do not want to be forced to participate in something they believe is morally wrong. It's not that they're discriminating against gay people, it's that they don't want to be forced to support a gay wedding. That's something that doesn't seem to be accurately conveyed in the media. However, if I'm mistaken, please let me know.
Now, let's imagine a different scenario. Let's say the KKK is having an event. They want a restaurant to cater it, but the restaurant refuses because they don't want to support the KKK. Let's say the owners of this restaurant are white Protestants, people the KKK wouldn't have a particular problem with. Does the restaurant have to cater the event? Or we can take it even further. Should a black baker be forced to cater a KKK gathering? Should a homosexual cook be forced to help at a Westboro Baptist Church rally?
I'm not saying all of those examples are the same as the cases with the bakers. However, the same principle applies.
Another factor to consider is the fact that, in the case of the wedding cakes, there's no shortage of bakers. There's no reason, as far as I know, that they couldn't have gone to another bakery. This is not institutionalized discrimination where every business discriminates against homosexuals. At the end of the day, the only financial loss is on the part of the bakery for losing a customer.
Now, to be very clear, I'm in no way supporting discrimination against homosexuals simply for being gay. That would be wrong, and if there's something in North Carolina's new law that allows for that, it should be corrected. However, the owners of a business have rights too, and they should not be obligated to participate in something they disagree with.
I don't want to make it sound like I think this is a simple issue, because it's not. I don't have a solid answer as to how to tell the difference between religious freedom and discrimination. Your thoughts, and more information, are welcome