Well, there are other types of consequences, such as socio-economic ones, not just the government. Economically, who knows since people can boycott them and just not shop there for cakes, which is well within the peoples' right to do. It may be that the people will try to request them or pressure them (assuming non-violent protest here of course) to reconsider, which again, peaceful protest is within their right to do. If the business does not they could just wind up losing their business by going under.
I quite agree with this. Because, at this point, it is still confined to the position of the individual. People can go ahead and protest the decisions of others however they want, as long as it isn't violent or destructive. (I'd be willing to include harassment in this as well - for example it makes no sense to me why union thugs would protest in front of Scott Walker's parents house
. They're old and had nothing to do with their son's decisions as governor - leave them alone, you morons!
But I want to focus more on the government's role in decisions like this. In my opinion, the government needs to be "color-blind," for lack of a better term. People are allowed to discriminate. The government is not.
And that's where I draw the line. The government should NOT have the ability or "right" to force people to associate with people - customers, organizations, faiths, whatever - that they don't want to.
When you say that, what exactly do you mean? What constitutes association in this context? In the case of gay marriage, are we talking about things like having clergy perform gay marriage ceremonies, making people go to gay weddings against their will or conscience, having people join or profess a belief that homosexual activity is ok from a Biblical standpoint, or just having any sort of relation or interaction of any kind such as a service provider/consumer relation? All these different types of associations imply very different types of interactions and thus affect how I would respond to this.
Free association means that you can associate with whoever you want, or not associate with whoever you want. So all of the above.
Well, I guess it comes down ultimately to my original quote of whether someone has a right to refuse a product that has no explicit message or requirement for direct participation in whatever the product may be used for? Is it a right in all cases? Is it never a right? Is it a right in some cases but not others? That is the question to ask ourselves.
I would argue that it is a right in all cases. People have a fundamental, unalienable right to be a jerk to whoever they want, for whatever reason they want. However, they will have to deal with the repercussions of their stances as well. I'm of the mindset that the government should not interfere with this right. Yes, that does mean that some people and businesses can - and will - discriminate against Christians. But that is their choice
My answer is still that, regarding wedding cakes specifically, people do not have the right to refuse to make a plain old wedding cake to anyone regardless of who they are.
So do you believe the government should have the power to shut down and/or imprison people who refuse to provide service based on their beliefs?
The Federal Civil Rights Act guarantees all people the right to "full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, and accommodations of any place of public accommodation, without discrimination or segregation on the ground of race, color, religion, or national origin."
And I would argue that this would only apply to public services and facilities. The government is not allowed to discriminate. Public schools, for example, must accept all students regardless of their gender, race, ethnicity or religion.
facilities, property and privately-owned businesses are another factor entirely. They are not public entities or utilities, and they are not arms of the government. Some lawyers may disagree with me, but I believe that this is Constutionally protected under the First Amendment. And if it isn't, then it should be.
Or did I miss the Bible verse that says "thou shalt participate in the heathens and pagans wedding rituals, but flee from the gay wedding, for those who bake cakes for gays shall surely burn in hell."?
I almost hate to ask because I'm sure the answer will literally blow my mind at how obvious it was.
I'm only focused on the legal implications of the matters at hand. Any spiritual ramifications or justifications for discrimination I will leave to the individual and their god(s).