Wednesday, December 10, 2014


Some folks are under the impression that a store owner can just refuse service to anyone for any reason. That that is what America and the First Amendment is all about.
But that’s not true. What America is all about is exactly the opposite.
You have the right to purchase goods and services from anyone, anywhere, no matter who you are and the accident of your birth.
That was the purpose of the Civil Rights Amendment back in 1964.
That no one could be told where to sit on a bus, or which water fountain to drink from, which restroom to use.
That no man be denied buying lunch, having his car repaired, or lodging for he and his pregnant wife at a hotel, based on his skin color, or his religion, or lack of one.

There was a court case up in Oregon where a Biker was suing because he was refused service for being biker. But that’s not why he was being refused service. He was being refused service for being loud and obnoxious. That’s what the court ruled.

Lately, many states have expanded those rights to guarantee service regardless of race, creed or color to include Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender. It seems like the only people that are really against this are Christian. They tend to see this as an attack on their Religion.
I’ll go along with that when I hear about a Gay Florist refusing service to a Methodist.

The fact is....

They wonder aloud “Whatever happened to the right to refuse service”?
But they themselves have never been refused service.
I've never been refused service. Tell me how that works, because I might be a tad miffed if I went to a service station with a flat tire and was refused service because I was a woman, or black, or Muslim or was not a Christian, or FOR ANY REASON. Or because I was Gay.

There was a case in Colorado, where a Bakery denied service to a Gay couple who wanted a wedding cake from his shop. The Baker, a Christian of course, says it offends his religion to have to bake a cake for a Gay Wedding. I’ve got friends that agree, that think he has a right to refuse service on these grounds.
“Why can’t they just go somewhere else for a cake?” they ask, those who have never been denied service.
Those who have never been in a minority.

Lets say I’ve been talking with my boyfriend, and we’re gonna get married. And for the last few months we’ve been to several weddings, and the cakes were GORGEOUS. They were made by the Finest Cake Shop in Denver. So we go online and look at their cakes, we're almost giddy, and one day we go down to the Finest Cake Shop in Denver to order our cake. But the big poo-poo behind the counter says :
“You boys look gay to me”
“Yes we are”
“ I refuse to make a cake for you”
Well, me and my beloved are shattered. We really liked the big poo-poo’s cakes, and what started out as joyous occasion has turned into a bag over the head punch in the face. Yes, we will go get a cake somewhere else, but we will also file a complaint against the big poo-poo.

The good thing is the courts see it this way too. The court in Colorado ruled that anyone who denies service based on sexual orientation will be fined.
We are all, as Americans, guaranteed a right to service regardless of race creed or color, and in many states regardless of our sexual orientation.
The tide, I think, has turned.

It is sometimes argued that if a Christian cake baker is compelled to bake a gay wedding cake, what would prevent a black cake baker from having to make a cake for an Aryan Nation Wedding with Swastka's on it.
Well, the judge in this case ruled on that as well. Click here and see pages 8 and 9.

As much as I admire the outcome of these cases, I especially enjoy the logic and language employed in the rulings:

"Finally, Respondents argue that if they are compelled to make a cake for a
same-sex wedding, then a black baker could not refuse to make a cake bearing a white-supremacist message for a member of the Aryan Nation; and an Islamic baker could not refuse to make a cake denigrating the Koran for the Westboro Baptist Church.
However, neither of these fanciful hypothetical situations proves Respondents’ point. In both cases, it is the explicit, unmistakable, offensive message that the bakers are asked to put on the cake that gives rise to the bakers’ free speech right to refuse. That, however, is not the case here, where Respondents refused to bake any cake for Complainants regardless of what was written on it or what it looked like. Respondents have no free speech right to refuse because they were only asked to bake a cake, not make a speech."


Anonymous said...

Another great read. Thanks Bullets. I'm not gay, by the way. Not that it matters. They can't denied me reading privileges either! Well, true if you're outside of China.

Bulletholes said...

I'm not either. But if I wanted to be, I would be, and if I was I cant imagine being considered unworthy of all the rights granted to anyone.

LowRider said...

For sure. What a crazy "true" country we live in. If it's victim-less, it should be legal, in a true free country.

soubriquet said...

I agree that you shouldn't be discriminated against, but... I also think you should have the right to refuse service... If you come in and are obnoxious, why can't I say...."Go away. I don't like you and you are not welcome here!".
Regardles of race, colour, creed, and sexual orientation.

Bulletholes said...

You can Souby,, you can refuse service to people that are being belligerent, rude or obnoxious.
But you cannot refuse service based on creed, color or religion.
Many states are including LGBT to the race creed or color...and the courts are upholding those laws.
The argument seems to be that a gay couple ordering a wedding cake from a christian cake baker is infringing on his freedom of religion. Its not a very good arguement, but religious folks are trying to make it.

soubriquet said...

Yes, I know i'm entitled to refuse service.... Just as long as the person refused doesn't accuse me of discrimination.
I was told, when I had my own business, that if I advertised for an employee, that there were all manner of people I couldn't discriminate against... Lets say you are a retaraunt owner needing a chef, and a blind black gay guy in a wheelchair turns up.... And, since that big electric shock when he bit a power cord.... He has no taste buds....
So, on the grounds that he can't taste what he's cooking... you decline and hire the other guy..... Good luck when he sues you.

bulletholes said...

I actually hired a blind dishwasher a long time ago. One of the best Dishmen I ever had.

bulletholes said...

thats a really fantastic hypothetical you have offered up Soub. The judge in the Coloradfo case had to deal with some hypotheticals too. I've added an addendum to my post, with a link to the brief and ruling.

SL said...

It is easy to see how lawyers fall in love with the law, that boiling down of the extraneous that people try to bring into their interpretations. Love the way this judge did just that.

Bulletholes said...

Yeah, if you follow the link to his ruling, he takes every arguemnet offered and just bioils it down to its esssence, and finally says:
"Respondents have no free speech right to refuse because they were only asked to bake a cake, not make a speech."

And he actually suggests that had the baker waited long enough to get a description of the cake they wanted before refusing, he might have ruled FOR them. But they refused outright, based solely on the customers gender identification.
I could fall in love with it too.