Cake

With gay marriage comes the need for gay-themed cakes. Simple, right? Sadly, no. First there were stories of bakers denying cakes on religious grounds in Denver, and now we have a similar story in Oregon. The bakers who are refusing to bake cakes for gay couples seem to be fighting an uphill battle, but should the government be in the business of telling companies who they must cater to?

CBS Seattle reports:

ORTLAND, Ore. (CBS Seattle/AP) — An Oregon bakery stands by its decision to deny a cake for a same-sex wedding.

The owners of Sweet Cakes by Melissa tell KATU-TV that their religious beliefs have not changed after Oregon’s Bureau of Labor and Industries determined the Portland-area bakery violated the civil rights of a same-sex couple. Owner Aaron Klein says it almost seems as if the state is hostile toward Christian businesses.

“We still stand by what we believe from the beginning,” Klein told KATU-TV. …

Lewis & Clark law professor Jim Oleske says Oregon is one of 21 states that protect against discrimination based on sexual orientation.

“Based on cases in every other state that has confronted this so far, this business is likely to lose on its claim that it can be exempt from an anti-discrimination law,” Oleske told KATU.

If I owned a bakery and I had a competitor who didn’t like gay people, minorities, Muslims, Asians, white peopleany group that has a population of cake eaters among its ranks — I would make a lot of cash. I would serve all of those groups tasty cakes like they’ve never tasted before and they would return to ‘Dough Ernst’s’ for all their confectionery needs. And then I would say: “God bless the free market!”

If my wife and I walked into a bakery and the owner said, “Sorry, we don’t serve interracial couples,” I’d say, “Awesome. Thanks, jerk.” I’d walk out the door, find another bakery, and then I’d spread the word that ‘Bakery X’ doesn’t take kindly to our willingness to “dilute” our races (or whatever it is that a bigot baker would say).

The free market punishes racism and bigotry, and if the cost of upsetting large swathes of the community is worth it for a company, in most instances they should be able to do that.

Exhibit A, the Bank of Italy:

In the early 1900s, Italian immigrants were denied loans because … they were Italian. A guy named Amadeo Giannini started the Bank of Italy in San Francisco. Without getting into the history of Bank of Italy, let’s just say that in 1930 the bank was renamed Bank of America. The point is, the Bank of Italy — and all the success that followed for Mr. Giannini — would not have unfolded the way it did if other bankers simply loaned money to Italian immigrants. Given a chance to work, the free market will punish bigotry.

Once the government gets its hands in an industry, however, it’s generally a recipe for disaster. Expect all sorts of strange and bizarre lawsuits in the years ahead as a result of the gay wedding cake conflicts. The end result will be a myriad of rules and regulations heaped upon an existing mountain of them.

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About the Author Douglas Ernst

I'm a former Army guy who believes success comes through hard work, honesty, optimism, and perseverance. I believe seeing yourself as a victim creates a self-fulfilling prophecy. I believe in God. I'm a USC Trojan with an MA in Political Science from American University.

43 comments

  1. Unrelated to cake, but a UKIP member blamed legalised gay marriage in the UK for recent rain and floods. Makes not being sold cake quite a minor thing

    1. I’m against gay “marriage” and I’m for civil unions, but if I were a business owner I would not deny them- or anyone- service simply because of who they were. I’m not the type would blame them for something like weather, either. That said, I don’t think the government should get involved in this sort of thing, because it opens the doors for more frivolous lawsuits, regulations and rules that we don’t need.

      What’s the UKIP?

    1. Thanks for the clarification. I don’t think I’ve ever heard of them before; I have heard of the Conservatives/Tories, Labour and the Liberal Party, though.

  2. Indeed, that’s the beauty of the free market. If you don’t like a business, you can go elsewhere and start up your own. It punishes bigotry.

    1. Hey Carl, as a man of color, as well as a self professed believer in Christ like you…quit buying into the narrative that we self professed believers in Christ are bigots for refusing to serve cake at a function that contradicts a tenant of our theology.

      Notice that the owners of those shops didn’t refuse services to the rainbow crowd. They just wouldn’t provide a WEDDING cake for ’em.

    2. I’m never said you were a bigot, dude. I’m a Christian conservative as well. I don’t believe that one who is against gay “marriage” (like I am, as I’ve mentioned many times; did you miss that?) is bigoted.

    3. Do I believe that a business has the right to refuse people? Well… the beauty of the free market is that people can go elsewhere if need be. I personally wouldn’t refuse anyone.

    4. So yes, I agree with you that a business has the right to refuse something that contradicts their beliefs. Like I said, the beauty of the free market is that these people can go elsewhere to a different business that will cater to them. I should’ve worded my response differently.

    5. Another beauty of the free market is that, say, if the owner of a place says he doesn’t support rainbow brigade marriage and people try to boycott it that even more people will come to it and keep it afloat and make even more money like with Chic-Fil-A.

    6. True. I supported chick-fil-a during that “controversy” and I support them now. Businesses are entitled to support whatever causes they want. I enjoyed Chick-Fil-A when they opened up in MN and would definitely go there again.

  3. There was also the New Mexico case in which a photographer got sued for refusing to photograph a gay commitment ceremony, and a case in England in which a gay couple sued a church for refusing to perform their wedding. The New Mexico Supreme Court ruled in favor of the plaintiff, saying, “At some point, we must all compromise to accommodate the contrasting views of others.” Which means, evidently, that Christians can be forced to violate the tenets of their religion, but gay people can’t suffer the inconvenience of having to shop around for a different provider of a non-essential service. And in the British case, the couple could have been married in a civil ceremony, but the plaintiff whined, “I still didn’t get what I wanted.” Great. Now, whenever you don’t get what you want, your rights have been violated. Maybe I will go to a Muslim restaurant, order pork chops or a ham sandwich, then sue them because they don’t serve pig meat. Same principle.

    1. Maybe I will go to a Muslim restaurant, order pork chops or a ham sandwich, then sue them because they don’t serve pig meat. Same principle.

      As you point out, once you go down this path it opens up all sorts of weird legal possibilities. To me, a businessman should be able to refuse service to anyone he wants. If you don’t give me good service (or any service) I’ll respond by writing bad reviews on the appropriate sites, telling my friends, tweeting, blogging, etc. … and then moving on.

      When I was in Greece years ago I tried to get into a restaurant and the owner said, “We don’t serve Americans,” and then told me to leave. I thought he was a jerk, I found someplace else to go with my friends and I haven’t returned to Greece since. Case closed.

    2. They told you that they wouldn’t “serve Americans?” Yeesh. I wouldn’t go back if they were like that, either. I’ve never experienced anything like that before.

    3. Yep. We were in Thessaloniki for a night for some reason. We were a bit off the beaten path, but that’s not even the worst story. On one of the islands there was a restaurant that had all these flags from around the world, and it had the American flag upside down. My friend asked the owner multiple times to fix it. Eventually he started mocking us so we made sure to pull some “black ops” … went back at night, climbed up on the roof, and took it back. The flag wouldn’t come off the post..so I just broke it off. My buddy then ran down the street screaming “Viva America!” while waving the flag. He disappeared into the night and I didn’t see him until the next afternoon. We still joke about it to this day.

    4. LOL. I’m glad you got back at them for that. Seems to me that there was somewhat of an anti-American sentiment among some Greeks when you were there.

    5. Yes. If you left the tourist areas it was more noticeable. I just chalked it up to another country with a rich history that … went down the tubes while America gained superpower status. Regardless, the U.S. now has some tough choices to make or it to will join Greece on the list of also-rans.

    6. 1. My 19 year old self was a lot different than the “Doug” you’re familiar with today.
      2. I didn’t tell the whole story, but that guy deserved to get punched in the face.
      3. I’m not going to stand by as some fat Greek bastard openly displays the American flag incorrectly and laughs about it when asked to respectfully fix it. It would be interesting to see how I would have reacted to those Occupy types a couple years ago who stomped on the flag, burned it, etc. …

    7. The British case shouldn’t worry the US too much (although there are some SCOTUS members who are keen on looking at international examples for our own laws … ugh). However, tom’s point about a Muslim restaurant is a good one — if a Christian photographer is forced to photograph a gay wedding, then why not mandate that Muslim eateries serve pork products?

    8. Ruth Bader Ginsburg once said that she liked the South African constitution better than ours, if I remember correctly. Yeesh.

  4. The answer’s simple: make the cake but make the cake suck. The word will spread throughout the gay community that your product sucks and they’ll not be patronizing your establishment. Case closed.

  5. Quite frankly I don’t care who someone chooses to sleep with (as long as they are consenting adults) and as far as gay marriage is concerned it seems like an incredibly small problem compared to those of people in other “majority world” countries.

    With the bakers refusing to make the cake, do the gay community really believe that whining and bitching and taking legal action is going to make them more acceptable to people who think its wrong.

    The classier thin to do would be to say “screw you” and boycott them. it would be more mature and is really the “long con” approach to the situation.

    You can’t change someones beliefs just by creating a new law.

    Not sure if the film Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa made it to the US. Its about a radio presenter and this part made me laugh because its all too true:

    “Never criticise Muslims. Only Christians, and Jews a little bit”

    1. Ultimately I don’t care who someone sleeps with either and I do think there are more important problems, such as the sinking economy and the disaster that is Obamacare.

      “The classier thin to do would be to say “screw you” and boycott them. it would be more mature and is really the “long con” approach to the situation.”

      It seems that these people are incapable of acting mature and would rather destroy those with whom they disagree. Look at how the lunatic left treated Phil Robertson, Dan Cathy and Orson Scott Card, to name three examples.

      I seem to remember watching Alan Partridge on BBC America thirteen years ago (or maybe it was PBS?) but I don’t know if the movie ever was released here. At any rate, that quote is spot-on. It really describes the PC left and how they operate.

  6. I believe a business should be able to do what they want they will either make it or fail based on those decisions. Once the government gets involved it almost always leads to more issues that it helps solve.

  7. Yes, it is a free market. Yes, Christiandom treats gay marriage as a one-way ticket to hell. Do most Christians take the initiative in business and refuse service to those who break Biblical law? Most of the time, no. It’s just the obvious ones, like a gay couple getting married. It’s Hypocrisy 101. By that standard, Catholics who divorce and remarry shouldn’t get a cake either. Or my neighbor, because he cheated on his wife. Or the guy who broke into a car and stole it. All those defy Biblical law. Either you stand up for ALL the laws, or you stand for none.

    1. Yes, Christiandom treats gay marriage as a one-way ticket to hell.

      Only God knows who is going to hell. Just off the top of my head I would note the “Thief on the Cross” as an example of God’s love and mercy.

    2. Hey Rouge, all they did was refuse to sell a cake for a wedding. They happily served the couple before but would not for their so called wedding.

      Also, how the balls does someone know if a wedding cake is for someone who has divorced or remarried or if their neighbor did in fact cheat on his wife or know that a customer broke into a car and stole it, whatever ‘it’ is? That’s not exactly stuff that you can tell right away and may actually never come up in casual conversation. Now, if it somehow DOES and the owners didn’t refuse, then your case would be made, but you’d have to give specific examples of what you were listing to enforce it.

  8. “i need a sight that supports sacntity of marriage without a large amount of religios or political ties…”

    Hey Douglas, a friend of mine at a University has a problem.

    Basically, he has to write an essay for an ethics class on gay ‘marriage,’ and the parameters are:

    “i need a sight that supports sacntity of marriage without a large amount of religios or political ties…”

    I think this is supposed to be a trap against classical American cons, which he is, but it kind of backfires when one realizes that even those sites on the other side of the fence have a large amount of religious (athiest and secular humanist) and political (democrat party) ties….so…how the heck is he supposed to finish this assignment and do it in a way that both allows him to get his opinion on paper and to meet the parameters of the assignment.

    1. Instead of a website, why doesn’t he turn to philosophers? Thomas Aquinas would work. Could any professor deny that he was a giant of philosophical thought? Who cares if he was a priest if he’s using logic and reason to support his claims.

      That makes no sense to tell someone they can defend the “sanctity of marriage” … provided the intellectual arguments they come from don’t originate from a man of faith. Huh? Tell your friend to drop out of college and spend his money somewhere else. Right now he’s wasting it, if that’s the sort of education he’s getting.

    2. That professor sounds like a real piece of work. It doesn’t make any sense that he’d assign your friend to defend the sanctity of marriage but not quote any religious figures.

      Stuff like this just shows you how irrelevant and useless higher education has become.

    3. Wait…what did Thomas Aquinas say about ‘gay marriage.’

      Also, do you know of any such websites like the ones he has to find?

    4. I don’t know off the top of my head, but if you’re going to defend the “sanctity” of marriage, it would be a good idea to steep your brain in his intellectual tea. The assignment doesn’t even make any sense to begin with, though… I’d call the professor out on the stupidity of what he’s asking and get that resolved, or drop the course.

    5. Ryan Anderson works for Heritage. Heritage falls under 501c3 status. It can not be political because it would have its tax exempt status revoked. And if you don’t think the Obama administration has audited them since 2008, you’ll have to tell me what drugs you’re on. Mr. Anderson was on Piers Morgan and gave a good defense of marriage. Notice how Piers positioned Ryan beneath him? Interesting…

    6. I’d tell your friend to drop out, too. He shouldn’t have to put up with thuggish professors like that. I wouldn’t waste my money. I dropped out of college for similar reasons; why should I waste my hard-earned money on classes that are taught by progressive punks who hold my views in contempt? Also, why should I spend my money on classes that have nothing to do with irrelevant to what I want to do but are required because some educrats decided they knew what was best for me (Algebra, which I already did in high school, Sociology)?

  9. Is it ‘Heritage’ or ‘The Heritage Institute?’

    Also, yeah, the professor’s you’re typical lefty.

    Here’s some more info my friend, who I’ll call Gabe because his name is Gabriel and I don’t wanna have to keep typing out ‘my friend’ and like Gabe because it’s short, sent me:

    “While freedom to marry is a useful starting place, your task is to broaden the discussion to include the legal and social status of our LGBTQQIAAP brothers and sisters around the US and world in such a way as to advance the debate between Gallagher and Koppelman. So do a web search and when you’ve found something relevant to their debate, post the url and explain the specific relevance you see there. Don’t worry if the site reflects your particular bias along the conservative-to-liberal continuum, as I suppose this one does mine, but it should be a credible source of relevant information. As each of your classmates must provide a substantive comment on some of your sites, don’t make them wait too long to be able to do so.”

    At least he recognizes that, whether a person is ‘trans-sexual’ or not, that they’re still whatever sex they were born with.

    1. Yes, that is Heritage’s blog. If you google ‘The Heritage Foundation’ you will find the main site, which includes and ‘about’ section. That describes exactly what they do as a conservative non-profit falling under 501c3 status.

  10. Hey Doug, have you ever heard of the Pink Swastika?

    From it, I learned that the term, ‘Homofascist’ is apt considering that, if it wasn’t for homosexuals, the Nazi party wouldn’t have risen.

    Editor’s Note:
    WOOT Warning. Link removed. If you want to know what “Pink Swastika” is, then Google it. I’m sure you’ll find it.

    1. The full PDF book can be found here:

      Editor’s Note:
      WOOT Warning. Link removed. If you want to read it, then search “Defend the Family + Pink Swastika.”

    2. Emmanuel, I have absolutely no desire to discuss that statement. I’m not even going there. If you want to have that conversation, please take it someplace else.

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