The Supreme Court is set to tackle a case involving cake bakers refusing to make a custom cake for a gay wedding. At hand is the question of whether the cake bakers should be forced to service the gay couple? To many casual observers, it appears to be a clear case of discrimination. Should discrimination be legal?
The implications of the case run much deeper than simply being forced to bake a cake for a marriage one may fundamentally disagree with. It’s a question of personal principles and morals. If one does not agree with homosexuality, should they be servicing homosexual events?
Liberals generally state they have no right to deny the request of the gay couple. The line of logic subscribes to the premise that anything otherwise would be legalized discrimination and thus un-American. Conservatives and libertarians disagree, stating this is an issue of private property and personal freedom.
The right to enter into private contracts for services should be a private matter. This means that terms are negotiated and mutually agreed upon by consenting adults without duress. This also means that adults negotiating a service or product have a right to refuse consent.
If a white supremacist bearing swastikas on their clothing demanded a Jewish baker work for them, should they be forced to do so? If refusing to bake the cake is discrimination, the Jewish baker must bake the cake for the white supremacist as well. The same argument could be substituted for any minority.
Of course, many would argue against anyone having to do business with a Nazi. Because of this, many people who were identified as attending the disastrous ‘Unite The Right’ rally in Charlottesville were fired from their jobs. It’s contrary to the principles of many people to associate with groups they fundamentally disagree with.
What happens when we require cakes to be made, websites to perform services, or other types of workers to work against their will, is we create an atmosphere that is contrary to freedom. Freedom to associate means the freedom to deny. It’s also an issue of free speech.
Consumers speak a lot with their business. If someone refuses to bake you a cake because of your personal beliefs, they’re communicating their opposition to your ideal. Similarly, you have a right to take your business elsewhere and even voice your displeasure. Why even attempt to do business with a company that doesn’t want your business?
Ultimately, the Supreme Court is faced with an issue of freedom. The issue at hand involves freedom of speech and association. This isn’t an issue of homophobia or discrimination against the LGBT community. One can still support the LGBT agenda while endorsing an individual’s ability to refuse servicing beliefs contrary to their principles.
Do we have a right to associate with those who we wish? Or are we faced with having to do as we’re told by government? Similarly, do we have a right to free speech? The lines between tolerance and consent seem to be blurred by those who fail to recognize the possible implications of this case.