So A Guy Goes Into A Bakery And Wants A Cake That Says “God Hates Gays.” The Baker Says, “I Won’t Do It: You’re A Bigot,” And The Guy Says, “I Want A Second Opinion: I’m Filing A Discrimination Complaint.” The Baker Says, “Here’s A Second Opinion…You’re An Idiot!”

cake2

And indeed he is.

We don’t know the name of this sad, fearful, obsessed fool that thinks he is making a grand point by harassing the Azucar Bakery in Denver. [ Update 1: His name is Bill Jack.] We do know that he understands neither law, ethics, common sense nor analogies, and that any lawyer who assists him will have some explaining to do, because if ever there was a frivolous discrimination claim, this is it.

Obviously less interested in a cake than in making a point,  the unnamed meathead demanded that the bakery provide a cake decorated with anti-gay sentiments, making the lame analogy between the baker’s refusal to do that and the various bakeries, including one last year in Colorado, held to be unlawfully discriminating when they refused to bake wedding cakes for same-sex  couples.

“We never refused service. We only refused to write and draw what we felt was discriminatory against gays. In the same manner we would not … make a discriminatory cake against Christians, we will not make one that discriminates against gays,” said Marjorie Silva, owner of Azucar Bakery, in a statement submitted to the state’s Department of Regulatory Agencies in response to the complaint.

The bakery reportedly even offered to sell the cake without the anti-LGBT decoration and to sell the customer the supplies to add the text himself. That wasn’t good enough, either: this customer didn’t want a cake, he wanted a fight, with publicity on the side. But while refusing to bake a gay couple’s wedding cake is indeed discriminating in a public accommodation on the basis of sexual orientation, refusing to write an offensive (to the baker) message on a cake cannot by any stretch of the term be called religious discrimination as the complaint filed with the  Colorado’s Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA) reportedly alleges. It’s  not discrimination, and religion appears to have nothing to do with it. A bakery could not be forced to make a bad tasting cake, either. No accommodation can be forced to sell a product that would reasonably harm its reputation and business among its customers.

As always, the news media is muddling the issues, with incompetent headlines like this one from “Out Front”: Pro-LGBT Colorado baker slapped with religious discrimination complaint. There is nothing in the facts as we know them to suggest that the bakery is “pro-LGTB,” just as there is nothing to suggest it is anti-religion.

DORA has requested a final letter from Marjorie explaining her side of the incident, and  says they’ll make a decision 30 days from receipt of it. There is no chance the complaint will prevail, though there is always a chance that it will survive long enough to seriously inconvenience an innocent and reasonable baker who has been made the gratuitous target of a hateful jerk.

Update 2: Prof. Volokh explains why Mr. Jack doesn’t have a legal leg to stand on.

____________________

Sources: The Advocate 1, 2; Out Front

Graphic: The Back Lot

25 thoughts on “So A Guy Goes Into A Bakery And Wants A Cake That Says “God Hates Gays.” The Baker Says, “I Won’t Do It: You’re A Bigot,” And The Guy Says, “I Want A Second Opinion: I’m Filing A Discrimination Complaint.” The Baker Says, “Here’s A Second Opinion…You’re An Idiot!”

  1. Are we not on planet earth ? sharing the same space with everyone , regardless of their sexual orientation ? .. this guy who asked for the cake…. must be castrated…

  2. Let’s take this in a different direction than you might think. The above article posits that it’s OK for a baker to refuse to write a message he finds offensibe on a cake, and it’s pretty obvious this person was looking for trouble, not a cake to celebrate a legitimate occasion. When does the baker’s offense no longer become a legitimate reason to say no?

    By way of example, let’s say my nephew is graduating the police academy and I decide I want a cake with a simple badge and the words “to protect and serve, congratulations Officer Joe.” If the baker dislikes police is it OK for him to say “sorry, I don’t do cakes for guys who hassle ordinary citizens and kill young black men?”. How about if my cousin is coming home from Afghanistan and we want one with a flag and “welcome home Sgt. Sam, thanks for your service?” Can the baker say “sorry, I’m a pacifist, and I don’t do pro-war stuff?”

    Change it up a little and say the local chapter of some peace group is having a celebration and wants a cake with a dove and an olive branch and the message “Peace, salaam, shalom.”. Can the baker say ” take your hippy-dippy nonsense elsewhere, we’re Americans here?”. How about the most obvious, where there has just been an election and someone wants a cake saying “congratulations, Congressman Mike” to the winner, but the baker supported the other candidate, can he turn the winner down?

    If it’s not OK for a baker to say no based on personal views to any of the above, then why is it OK for the instant baker to do so? If it is OK, then why is it OK to force gay wedding cakes? To me it appears inconsistent. Either coercion is OK in business or it’s not.

    • All legit: you can’t force an American to say something they don’t want to say, just like you can’t make them NOT say it.

      The public accommodation laws require you to provide the public service equally to all, without discrimination on the basis or race, religion, etc. No law says you have to attach your establishment to expressions and sentiments you object to, and make statements required by others. This bakery wa obviously willing to serve and be accommodating. No law can require it to serve an asshole, either.

      The bakery, like the similar cases with florists, are close cases in the gy marriage cases: a strong argument can be made that both are artistic expression, and thus speech whether there is something written involved of not. But we don’t have to get into that, because no religion requires cakes to say anything. All the examples you give are written expression discrimination, and that is something we have a right to engage in.

      The best analogy on Ethics Alarms was the for-profit chapel that was sued to force it to perform a gay wedding.

        • Not write anything on it that he wouldn’t write on anyone else’s. You can’t refuse to write “Happy Birthday” on a black family’s cake, I would say, because that’s a generic cake that you woukld sell to anyone else if you weren’t a screaming bigot. But that one might still get to the Supreme Court.

      • The problem, of course, is that, IMO, the LGBT community has brought this on themselves.

        The sheer vindictiveness aimed at those who wish to not photograph, provide cakes or floral arrangements to same-sex weddings – not to mention the fact that the LGBT community as a whole seems to be okay with using the government to coerce what many Christians are viewing as expressions of approval of same-sex marriage.

        A lot of what is happening now is not homophobia… it’s Christians standing up for their rights.

  3. If X advertises to the market that all they create are penis shaped cakes, then Manhatey McFeminazi DOESN’T get to complain when X refuses to make a vagina shaped cake.

    If X advertises to the market that all they create are cross shaped cakes, then Throatcutty McMecca DOESN’T get to complain when X refuses to make a moon-shaped or woman-stoning-shaped cake.

    If X advertises to the market that all they create are cakes, then Johnny Homosexual DOES get to complain when X refuses to make a cake.

    If X advertises to the market that all they create are cakes for Christian weddings, then Johnny Homosexual DOESN’T get to complain when X refuses to make a cake for his wedding…BUT he DOES get to complain when it turns out X has been making cakes for more than what’s been advertised.

    That really should simplify this discussion.

    • With the reasonable caveat that X doesn’t have to make a requested cake (within their advertised limits) that ruin all reasonable efforts to market to the rest of the community.

      • Let’s say there’s a baker, a Muslim – Sharif Walid bin Dirka – who advertises that he makes any cake. In comes Charlie, who wants a cake that looks like Mohammad.

        How does this work out?

          • My guess is that it’s the same as this case. The state can’t force teh baker to violate his religion. Making the image of the Prophet does that. Making a cake for a gay couple does not. The line is there.

            • God Knows I tried to avoid commenting here! It’s been a long day, and I am just not about to get any further into this.

              All I am going to say for now is that if Jack does not think that for some cake-bakers, being expected to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple is not the same as expecting a Muslim cake-baker to make a Mohammed cake or expecting a cake-baker to make a cake that the baker is offended by, then I am just grateful to know in advance that it won’t be my cognitive dissonance, or my confirmation bias, or my homophobia, or my sense of feeling offended, or my attitude toward any law or ethics, that will ever be at play anytime I bake a cake for anyone or any occasion.

            • That doesn’t seem right. Your store by saying you make all and any custom cakes has already put your baker on the hook. He should have said, “some custom cakes are available but see fine print.” In this case, you are now obligated to make the Mohammed cake (or pay the penalty). You were not coerced by the state into making a cake. You had an open ended offer, which was accepted. If you are refusing to make the cake because you are a Muslim, that is the same as refusing to make a cake because the customer does not believe in the divinity of Muhammed or the prohibition on images. You are refusing him service based on his creed (or lack thereof). Not okay. And again, my contract is not with Ali the Baker, its with the bakery he works at. His bakery has no beliefs, it exists to make money. If it was intended to have a religious purpose, he should have created a different kind of business entity – a registered Mosque can also bake cakes.

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