So I’m sure most of you have seen the story about the homosexual couple who were denied their wedding cake by a baker who claimed it was against his beliefs to support their marriage by making them a cake. The baker was then sued by the couple, who won the case in court, and now the baker doesn’t have a choice but to make the couple a cake.
Well, according to Fox News, the result of this lawsuit is “The Death of Free Enterprise.”
Now let me start this by being devil’s advocate, shall I? Because in my view, everyone involved in this situation is a jerk. A massive jerk. The homosexual couple in this story have gone on record to say that they have been customers of this baker before. They have gotten birthday cakes, family cupcakes, what-have-you. They have also gone on record to say that they knew BEFORE THEY WENT TO ASK FOR THE WEDDING CAKE, that the baker did not personally approve of homosexual marriage. So what do they decide to do? Go right to him and try to order a wedding cake from him. They specifically put this man in the situation to go against his personal beliefs and support their marriage by making them a cake. He’s not the only baker in town, guys, it was not necessary to ask him specifically to make the cake. It was also not necessary to file a civil lawsuit against him for not making the cake. They could easily have said, “We don’t agree with your discriminatory attitude, and we will file criminal charges against your establishment to prevent you from denying other customers, but we personally will take our money elsewhere.”
This does NOT, however, dismiss the actual discrimination by the baker against this couple. Legally, he does not have the right to deny service to a collective group of people because of a specific quality they share. To deny these men his service as a baker strictly because they are gay is discrimination, no question. If gay were replaced with any other collective group term, the country would be in uproar. What if he were old-fashioned and didn’t approve of interracial couples? If he had a black man and a white woman come in and ask for a cake and he denied them, people would have a fit! But that’s not the case, now is it? The guy claims religious backing to his discriminatory attitude, and all of a sudden it’s a denial of his rights, not the rights of the men he refused to serve. This is no different from a person at a retail store refusing to assist a disabled customer, or a cashier at a grocery store refusing to check out or bag items for a Hispanic person because they don’t speak English. In the end, BOTH the baker and the couple were wrong. BOTH the homosexual couple judged the baker for being discriminatory in his personal beliefs, AND the baker judged the homosexuals according to his personal beliefs and had his actions follow that judgment.
Basically, in this story, everyone loses. The baker is not disgruntled and crying about his rights being impeded upon, the couple who started it have to pay the man for a cake he doesn’t want to make, and everyone looks like a self-centered, arrogant asshole. So the question remains: how do we avoid discrimination against sexual orientation while still allowing people to live and conduct their lives under their personal beliefs?
For me, the answer is not a win-win for everyone. People need to come to the realization that, in this country, the societal rule overpowers personal belief. The human right of every man is upheld above all things, and in this, personal views on the rights of specific kinds of men must be left out of society. Unless anti-homosexual advocates make a successful argument to the government of this country to consider homosexuals as sub-human, and therefore not worthy of the rights of other humans, then they’re going to have to treat these men and women equal to any other person that walks in their door. Now, it would be a common courtesy that if the personal discriminatory beliefs of an individual were known to everyone (i.e. if the baker’s issue was known by the homosexual couple), then those of the group that person believes against would make it a point either to avoid the topic or at least treat any interaction about that topic respectfully (i.e. the homosexual couple, in knowing the baker wasn’t comfortable with homosexual marriage, not go to that particular baker to make the wedding cake). In a perfect world, here’s how it would go down. A homosexual couple who knows the baker and his personal beliefs goes to the baker for other services, but goes elsewhere for the wedding cake. A homosexual couple who does not know the baker, and whom the baker has never met before, comes to the baker with a request of a wedding cake, and the baker, realizing it is not the fault of the couple for asking him to go against his beliefs, respectfully addresses his beliefs to the couple, and asks if the couple is comfortable with someone of his beliefs to make their cake. If they say yes, he makes it without complaint, and if they are concerned about his feelings in the matter, they respectfully leave.
Unfortunately, there’s no win-win here. Either someone is forced to do something against their personal beliefs or someone is unfairly discriminated against because of someone’s personal beliefs being above the law of human equality. But no matter how you look at it, human rights should come before personal beliefs. In our society, we are founded on the (however vague and changing) line of human equality which is determined by majority and law. To allow individuals to dismiss this societal line for their own personal interests, no matter what those interests are founded on, will always lead to a breakdown in society itself.
The bottom line is that everyone in this particular situation is at fault, and until we address BOTH sides of the issue. No more making one side the victim and the other side automatically the villain. They are BOTH villains, and they are BOTH victims. Once we see things for every aspect of what they are and not just categorize these kind of situations into one specific category of problem, we can finally make progress on the issues of our society.
My answer to how we do this? Simply put: