Oregon State authorities are investigating a Christian wedding cake baker (Aaron Klein Sweet Cakes by Melissa) for refusing to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple. He declined the work, and has in the past, saying it was in conflict with his conscience and religious beliefs which are plainly on show in his private business.
The gay couple have complained and the State Department of Justice is investigating (Civil Enforcement Division), exactly as happened to the couple who own Elane Photography in New Mexico who were actually fined (heavily) for declining to accept a photography job for a gay wedding which are not even legal in that State. (Update: Gay-Marriage vs Freedom of Faith, Elane Photography v. Willock (NM Supreme Court). Like Elane this case will test religious freedom and the right of State or Federal law to compel religious freedom.
I have to ask the question. In championing “rights” and “freedoms” for gay couples to get “married,” are we with the other hand going to deny or trample the “rights” of people of conscience or compel them by Federal law to do things that are in conflict with their religious beliefs?
Watch the video and see what you think? If we pass the Redefinition of Marriage Bill in New Zealand, cases like this are enviable in New Zealand, despite claims to the contrary from the pro-Wall bill advocates. Influential liberals in NZ, in getting Civil Unions passed, promised the public there was no need for later gay marriage. Rt Hon. Helen Clark, Hon. Chris Carter and many other leaders were adamant about that. Yeah Right!
This Oregon bakery issue (Sweet Cakes by Melissa) and Elane Photography in New Mexico, cuts to the core of the matter for me. If we pass the bill, there will be different tiers of “marriage” acknowledged and not acknowledged as valid, in our society regardless of the law. The law will be an ass. Muslims and Sikhs – as they have already indicated in NZ – will seek exemptions. Christian ministers will be given exemptions. Churches, we are told, will not be forced to hire out their halls or facilities for same-sex weddings if they feel uncomfortable, etc. But you can bet, they will be pressured.
In a post on 27 July last year, I said this,
- “4. The bill will create different tiers of understanding, and confusion, about a basic social, historic and cultural enterprise, “holy matrimony” as churches, religions, and various cultural groups will have to be free to opt out and not recognize same-sex marriages which violates their religious convictions (and human rights?). Different tiers of legitimacy will play havoc with social cohesion, and law, in NZ.”
Read the full piece here and tell me what you think (Two Left Shoes: same sex marriage bill NZ).
Chicks on the Right in America ask regarding Sweet Cakes by Melissa,
“This case is fascinating, because…the Constitution are going to go head to head on this issue. …I’ve got mixed feelings about it, frankly. I mean, you have the right to freely practice your religion, of course. But if you choose to establish a business in a state that requires you to provide equal services to everyone regardless of their sexual orientation, then you kinda own that decision, right? The question is, just how far does that state statute go? Are churches required to perform gay wedding ceremonies? Because if that’s the case, there’s a huge problem with the statute itself. Which is why this case is really fascinating.
From a business perspective, denying service to a gay couple is a really easy way to miss out on the couple hundred bucks you’d have otherwise made, and that’s kinda dumb. But from a personal perspective, why shouldn’t the baker have the right to choose who he does and doesn’t serve? Shouldn’t the free market sort out that problem? If people get pissed off that he doesn’t make cakes for gay weddings, then they’ll get their gay wedding cakes elsewhere.”