In the United States, fundamentalist Christian bakers sometimes demand the right to refuse to sell cakes to people they suspect are gay. I would like to examine the arguments for and against letting them do this:
Pro (according to Christians)
- Gay people are wicked according to the bible, so Christians should have the right to punish them by withholding cakes.
- Selling a cake to a gay person encourages immorality. Christians should not be forced to commit indecent acts.
- It is slavery to be forced to sell a cake to someone you do not like.
- Cakes, wedding or other, do not promote promiscuity, just obesity. Weddings discourage promiscuity.
- In American states where gay weddings are accepted, teen suicides are 7% lower.
- Christians are only guessing about who is gay and who is sexually active. They are punishing some innocent people.
- In the USA, the constitution guarantees freedom of religion. This means Christians are not permitted to administer vigilante Christian justice on others for refusing to bow to Christian dogma.
- The Christian bible commands the death of hundreds of categories of people. For some reason, Christians ignore all these commandments but one, the commandment to kill gays.
- Anybody who walks into a bake shop can buy a cake, be they black, Muslim, female, disabled… They will automatically be served, regardless of the prejudices of the proprietor. If somebody were filthy, you might deny them entrance to the shop, but not for irrelevant reasons such as the thought crime of finding the same sex gender appealing which has no bearing on the sale.
- In Canada, the charter of rights and freedoms denies sexuality as grounds to discriminate.
- The baker probably dislikes half the people coming into his shop, but he sells them cakes anyway. That is how he earns his living. Just because he does not like a customer out of ignorance and prejudice is not sufficient excuse to deny service. The baker has no right to insult and inconvenience his customers just out of spite.
One way to decide this issue is to attempt to treat both sides equally, to share the pain and joy as fairly as possible.
If the Baker Got His Way
- The baker would lose a sale.
- The baker would have enjoyed some spite by denying the cake. Spite is not something we normally want to encourage.
- The buyer would be deprived of a cake, as would the people at the party/wedding.
If the Buyer Got His Way
- The baker would gain a sale.
- The baker would have been denied expressing some spite.
- The buyer would be able to serve the cake to his guests at the party/wedding.
- The baker might imagine he had committed some sin by failing to harass a possibly gay buyer.
If you look at everyone involved, including the party guests, it works out best for everyone if the buyer gets his way.~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)