Friday, October 13, 2017

More on the Colorado Baker

CONTINUED From My Last Post,  RE: The 2013 case of a Colorado baker who refused to make a cake for the wedding of a same-sex couple, the New Jersey Star-Ledger editorial titled Bigotry motivated by religion is still bigotry, and my response to selected rebuttals to my comments.

Exit2.5 commented:

Your comments are so wrong for so many legal reasons its not worth saying more than this

Businesses cannot simply refuse whomever it wants for any reason. That's why there is a civil rights act federally and nondiscrimination laws in states. Do some mental exercises before you go on a tirade to embarrass yourself... [sic]

I usually don’t reply to these types of comments, which rely on unsupported authoritarian assertions and ad hominem without actually refuting a single one of my points. But the implication is that I don’t understand the full implications of my case. So I thought it good to be very clear on where I stand. I left this reply:

Something isn’t right simply because it’s “legal.” Slavery was once legal. Legally enforced separate-but-equal discrimination [segregation] was once the law.  I’m well aware of the anti-discrimination laws, and I have disagreements. Anti-discrimination statutes are valid only when applied to government. Anti-discrimination laws targeted at the private sector are generally not. I’m fully aware of the broader implications of my argument, and I stand by them. The question you evade is still: What right does the government have to force that baker to serve a product that violates his conscience?

Exit2.5 came back with:

Separate but equal is exactly what exactly you are advocating yet you can't see it...telling this gay couple to go to another bakery that won't turn them away based on sexual orientation is akin to telling blacks to use another water might not like this example but it is the same. That's why the federal government has to pass civil rights act...the civil rights amendments were not enough...

If I refuse to provide a service to an interracial heterosexual couple because I don't believe in their marriage, am I within my conscienable right to do so? Yes...but the government has every right to press legal action against me....that's not even a question. I haven't evaded the just can't understand the answer. [sic]

My reply:

“Separate but equal is exactly what you are advocating. . .”

Absolutely not!! You must distinguish between government and private action. Government is force. Private is voluntary. The distinction is as stark as night and day—and the difference between tyranny and freedom. Separate but equal is a legal doctrine established by court order and enforced by government across the board by law (and was rightly abolished). A private entity—a bakery, for example—cannot enforce its standards beyond its own business. The government did enforce its segregation edicts across all of society. A gay couple can go elsewhere for their cake, and the baker can do nothing about it. Under separate-but-equal, the government can and did forcibly segregate blacks and whites, whether private individuals/businesses agreed or not, under threat of throwing anyone who disobeyed into a cage.

A baker that refuses to serve a customer is not a threat. A government that can enforce obedience to its edicts is—which is why we need constitutional protections limiting government power. We do not need protection from that baker. [I addressed the issue in There is No Parallel Between the Private Right to Discriminate Against Gays and Jim Crow Laws.]

By the way, I’m not against civil rights laws, so long as they are designed to protect individual rights—which means to protect us against force, fraud, and the like. There is no right to material goods that others must be forced to provide. There is no right to enslave, on any level.

Related Reading:

Court Violates Cake Baker’s Right Not to Serve Gay Weddings—Ari Armstrong for The Objective Standard


Steve Jackson said...

Do you thnk the boy scouts should allow girls?

D you think laws against consensual incest should be repealed?

Michael A. LaFerrara said...

I don't know why the boy scouts would admit girls. But it's up that organization.

I haven't given any thought to the incest issue as it relates to law. And I don't care to spend any time considering it.