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December 05, 2017

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Gay Wedding cakes just aren’t really important cases therefore if someone (no matter how idiotically) is strongly opposed to making them we shouldn’t make it illegal for them to bow out.

no, cakes aren't important.

how about, instead of "baker", "cardiologist" ?

Gay Wedding cakes just aren’t really important cases therefore if someone (no matter how idiotically) is strongly opposed to making them we shouldn’t make it illegal for them to bow out.

Just to expand on what cleek said, are we going to create a list of what is "important" (at least, important enough)? Because there is no way to say that getting service at a lunch counter makes the cut. Just to take an example from the Civil Rights era.

I think cardiologist is important. Pretending that we can’t distinguish between cardiologist and wedding cake baker is just pretending.

Pretending that we can’t distinguish between cardiologist and wedding cake baker is just pretending.

no, it's illustrating the fact that you now need a line somewhere (like wj said).

how about dentist?

teeth are important. living with a broken tooth is agony. could an orthodox Jewish dentist refuse to work on the teeth of someone who was going to use them to chew pork, no matter how much agony the patient was in?

if you open a public business, serve the public. period. no other scheme works. everything else leads to discrimination, arbitrary line-drawing, people trying to skirt the rules, and potential hazards.

could an orthodox Jewish dentist refuse to work on the teeth of someone who was going to use them to chew pork, no matter how much agony the patient was in?

For that matter, could he refuse on the grounds that they had been (or even just might have been) used to chew pork? Which religious restriction's might be reasonable, and which are not? For that matter, how do you tell if someone's "religion" is real, as opposed to having a "theology" crafted for no other purpose than to enable legal bigotry?

Clearly the line has to get drawn somewhere. We can thrash out some general position. Or we can just keep making ad hoc decisions and end up with a total kludge -- which provides full employment for lawyers (because nobody else can keep track of what the exact rules are), but is otherwise useless.

Its a bit cheesy, but I don't want the last comment on the other page getting lost so I'm repeating it:

Similarly if a gay wedding cake maker doesn’t want to make one for a Dominionist wedding, I’m fine with that *even though religion is a protected class*. If a black photographer doesn’t want to shoot for a white power rally he should be able to say no *even though race is a protected class*.

And to make the analogy with the black photographer clearer in case people don’t know the facts of the case, the cake maker makes birthday cakes for gay people. It isn’t that he won’t work with gay people. He won’t work with gay weddings.

Wj "Clearly the line has to get drawn somewhere. We can thrash out some general position."

Exactly. But that doesn't mean the general position has to be "everyone has to pretend that every possible service is vital enough to force them to do it in situations that violate their principles". There are lots of other general positions we could take.


"Or we can just keep making ad hoc decisions and end up with a total kludge -- which provides full employment for lawyers (because nobody else can keep track of what the exact rules are), but is otherwise useless."

This is of course the problem with taking everything to court instead of hashing out fair exemptions in the legislature. If the legislature had done that, we still might be litigating the edge cases of whatever the exemptions looked like, but the court wouldn't be faced with cases on the "obviously trivial and I can't believe we've made a federal case out of this services" side of the spectrum and then forced to come up with some kludge to cover it.

The black cakemaker shouldn't have to do Klan weddings. They just shouldn't have to. But a black surgeon should have to patch up the Grand Wizard having a heart attack. Because surgery is important and wedding cakes aren't. We are capable of distinguishing between those two ideas.

We are also capable of distinguishing off the shelf goods and custom made goods. Just exchanging stuff that you bought from a wholesaler for money is different than contracting to work with someone on something. We are capable of distinguishing between those two ideas.

If you are a gay couple who gets turned down by a wedding cake guy, by all means tell your friends. Then, find someone who will put love into your cake and around your wedding instead of turning it into a discrimination suit. We really could live in a society like that. It would be better than this one.

JanieM: Religion should not be privileged over lack religion.

Amen.

And double for Christianity being privileged over Other religions.

And triple for the sort of Christianity which ignores the teachings of its "Savior" in favor of the naughty bits in Leviticus, and reads the Old Testament as a land deed.

The sort of Christianity which thinks The Flintstones were a documentary it is not even worth arguing about.

--TP

It's really easy to distinguish between heart surgery and wedding cakes. It gets less easy to distinguish between overnight accommodation and dinner. And it gets less easy to distinguish between hospitals and other public accommodations that have religious affiliations and those that don't.

So, it's not always quite so obvious. We therefore end up having to draw lines.

And different jurisdictions draw different lines. In general, the law requires folks who offer public accommodations to not discriminate. At least against protected classes of people. But the federal definition of a public accommodation doesn't always or even often match that of individual states or other municipalities.

So, even when we have lines, the lines are not consistent or clear cut.

I am, personally, not hostile to religion. By "not hostile" I mean I actively participate in a religious community, and a fair amount of my personal attention and resources are directed to that.

I am also not hostile to public institutions respecting the unique needs and requirements of individual faith and conscience, whether religiously inspired or not. By "not hostile", I mean I consider those things bedrock reality, more so than national or political affiliation.

However I am also suspicious of cases where people's religious convictions end up limiting the life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness of *other people*. It seems to me that the burden of accommodating your own personal conscience properly belongs to *you*, the owner of the conscience, and not to everyone else in the world who may or may not share your convictions.

And I'm also suspicious of cases where "religious conviction" expands into spheres like adherence or non-adherence to laws about what an employee's compensation must include, or spheres like the creative prerogatives of cake baking for hire. The "exercise of religion" is normally not construed to include contributing to employee health insurance, or icing cakes.

The RFRA was originally passed to protect the rights of native Americans to consume peyote as a sacrament. Peyote is a controlled substance, and its use is against the law. But taking peyote is also an ancient religious practice, going back hundreds or thousands of years.

Eating peyote to stimulate religious ecstasy is actually a sacramental religious practice. It's part of the exercise of a native American religion.

Baking cakes is not.

I'm fine with gay people who are refused service just shrugging it off and getting on with their lives, if that's what they want to do. I'm also fine with them making a stink about it, if that's what they want to do, because unless somebody does that nothing ever changes.

And, in fact, the same request could be made of the religious people. Why not just bake the freaking cake and move on?

It's hard for me to see why one side's needs should outweigh another's.

There isn't an easy answer here, but I don't think that just blowing it off is a great approach either.

cake isn't the issue. the principle of allowing discrimination is the issue.

any pathway that allows discrimination will be abused for racist, sexist, political, economic, etc. ends. once you make the hole, people will get through it.

don't forget: money is speech and corporations are people.

"In general, the law requires folks who offer public accommodations to not discriminate. At least against protected classes of people. But the federal definition of a public accommodation doesn't always or even often match that of individual states or other municipalities."

Yes but the FEDERAL definition of public accommodations (and common carriers) is essentially the definition I'm using that you seem to think is totally unworkable. I mean it isn't perfect, but this cake case and the photographer case *wouldn't exist under the federal rules*.

I'm ok with broader state rules, but then they have to face up to broader problems with constitutional rights (both expression and religion). They COULD deal with that by really wrestling with how to navigate those things, but in practical reality they haven't bothered. They just say "everything is a public accommodation". The problem with that is that the Supreme Court identified all sorts of reasons why actual limited understandings of public accommodations were strong enough to defeat pretty much any expression or religious 1st amendment objection. That reasoning doesn't apply to "everything with a storefront".

And I don't see this as a strictly religious thing at all. "Religious Objections" are a subset of "Strongly Held Objections" which are protected under freedom of expression. That is why I use examples that don't have a religious objection (i.e. black photographer/Klan rally).

I think there is a world where you would not write code for a KKK leader. Period. You write code, his beliefs are so abhorrent you would not lend your efforts to that. How do you refuse that?

Baking cakes is not any different than writing code. It's not a public accommodation. Nor is taking pictures. Nor is doing flowers arrangements. Just because I have an office doesn't mean I have to work for you, for any reason I choose.

The big lines are easy restaurants, bars, taxis, trains, buses, planes, actual public accommodations. You are not asking the owner to create anything, you order off the menu, buy a ticket, give them the address, your holding yourself out to provide a public service. Not offering to do specialised work for hire.

None of this is complex except people disagree wwith other people's beliefs, and now we believe all those disagreements are court worthy. They are not IMO.

I'm fact, this case isn't even close. I'll bake you a cake but I won't create a wedding cake. Those are really different activities. My father was a baker who specialized in fancy cakes working weekends for a local bakery. He eventually would only make wedding cakes for his closest friends and family because of the time and effort it took to do it well.

I thought SCOTUS drew the line in employment division vs. smith:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Employment_Division_v._Smith

"a "neutral law of general applicability""

Employment discrimination has a harder rule than commerce. (There are a lot of things you can't do to employees that you can do in other contexts.)

Yes but the FEDERAL definition of public accommodations (and common carriers) is essentially the definition I'm using that you seem to think is totally unworkable

What I think is, not totally unworkable, but intensely problematic, is not so much drawing a bright line, but the number of bright lines needed.

Which kinds of businesses or services are allowed to discriminate, which are not. What is the basis for deciding which are allowed and which are not. Why is one basis more compelling or legitimate than another.

Which are legitimate reasons for discriminating, which are not. What is the basis for deciding which are legitimate and which are not.

Etc etc etc.

The fundamental problem is not that one party has rights and the other doesn't. The problem is that both do, and they conflict.

So, lawsuits. That's how we do stuff like that. It's better than shooting at each other. But it is complex, and litigious, and adversarial, and divisive, and expensive, and difficult.

I guess we could work around it by having folks who are discriminated against just let it go. But then they would continue to be discriminated against.

So, unworkable. At least for any acceptable result.

Mostly, I feel like the cake baker is making a Great Big Point. So is the gay couple, but I guess I personally find their point more compelling.

They are asking to be included in public life, at the most basic and fundamental level.

The baker's issue seems, to me, considerably more attenuated. He's not being asked to marry a man, he's not being asked to approve of two men (or women) who want to marry, he's not being asked to attend the wedding. He's being asked to make a cake, the same cake he makes for anyone else who asks.

So, to me, the couple's argument is more compelling.

Frankly, if I was half of the gay couple, I'd probably just say screw it, let's just get another baker. Who needs the heartburn.

But they're not me.

The big lines are easy restaurants, bars, taxis, trains, buses, planes, actual public accommodations

Agreed, the big lines are easy. If it was all big lines, no problem.

" the Court had held that religious beliefs did not excuse people from complying with laws forbidding polygamy, child labor laws, Sunday closing laws, laws requiring citizens to register for Selective Service, and laws requiring the payment of Social Security taxes."

Out of curiosity, I'm trying to figure out if federal law prohibits discrimination based on sexual identity - gay or straight or other - in housing.

I'm not sure it does.

So, maybe big lines, not always easy.

Is it plausible to argue that the black photographer can refuse the KKK business not because he doesn't share their beliefs, but because those beliefs are actively hostile to the photographer - even to the point that there is some non-negligible physical danger?

I don't like the whole religious beliefs excuse, because I don't know where it ends, if it does. Could a devout Christian baker refuse to bake a cake for a civil or Jewish heterosexual wedding, because of a belief that only Christian marriages are legitimate?

What we learned from the Hobby Lobby case is that the official religious position is that an "undue burden" is whatever the believer says it is. That doesn't seem sensible to me.

I'm potentially available as a contractor in my area of technical expertise. I think I should be allowed to accept or decline an offer for any reason or none, and I should be allowed to vary my rates as I choose.

Meanwhile I'm developing a website which may at some future time require payment for access to some new material. I think I should not be allowed to refuse custom from any particular person for any reason other than misuse of the website.

In general, I think one should be allowed to discriminate as one pleases when providing a bespoke service. But not when one is selling essentially the same thing to many customers.

So a baker should be obliged to sell an off-the-shelf wedding cake to any (reasonably behaved) customer who asks for it. But he should be able to decide for himself what bespoke cakes he makes.

In this context, hotels provide an off-the-shelf service. Medical care is in its own category.

byomtov: Is it plausible to argue that the black photographer can refuse the KKK business not because he doesn't share their beliefs, but because those beliefs are actively hostile to the photographer - even to the point that there is some non-negligible physical danger?

I would like clarification here. My understanding is Sebastian is arguing that the black photographer can't refuse the KKK business on the grounds that the KKK is white, because race (whiteness as much as blackness) is a protected class.

But I would like to hear the legal reason why the black photographer can't refuse to do business with the KKK because she finds their political views to be deplorable. Believing in white supremacy is not the same as being white. Refusing to have anything to do with assholes (who happen to be white) is not the same as refusing because they're white.

IOW, if the black photographer works with white people on a regular basis, but refuses to work with people (of whatever color) who think she should be lunched, is the latter legally defensible?

lunched -> lynched

sheesh

Being made into lunch -- at least as problematic as being lynched. ;-)

In general, I think one should be allowed to discriminate as one pleases when providing a bespoke service. But not when one is selling essentially the same thing to many customers.

I think this constitutes a reasonable standard.

I would note that, because he rejected their business before even finding out if they wanted any customization (if I have the facts of the case straight), the baker in this case would be out of luck.

That is, he can refuse to write God bless this gay wedding" on a cake. But just refusing to sell them, or even discuss selling them, a generic cake? Since it doesn't require him to do anything special, he's out of luck on that.

IOW, if the black photographer works with white people on a regular basis, but refuses to work with people (of whatever color) who think she should be lunched, is the latter legally defensible?

I would say no. Insofar as the business is open to the public and takes advantage of the amenities (public safety, rule of law) provided by said public and incentives (cf limited liability), then they should serve all who walk thru the door, even those whom you find to be reprehensible.

On the other hand, if said customers were a threat to public health or safety....well, all bets are off.

Being made into lunch...

Now there's a standard I could chew on.

like I said - lots and lots of lines.

not "totally unworkable", but problematic. difficult.

the way we make it "work" is litigation. or, blowing it off and just moving on when somebody discriminates against you.

bobbyp, I'm specifically asking about the law, and I'm not clear whether your answer addresses that. You say what you think "should" happen; I want to know what would happen legally, from someone who knows the legal ins and outs better than I do. Are you a lawyer? Not being snarky, just trying to clarify where your reply is coming from – whether it’s an opinion based on legal knowledge or not.

First of all, right now, legally (and the lawyers can correct me if this is wrong), I believe that you can actually refuse to serve anyone you please as long as it’s not on the basis of the person belonging to a protected category. I’m pretty sure that if I had a restaurant, I could refuse to serve Red Sox fans. Let’s just say. ;-)

Whether that’s what I *think* I should be allowed to do, I’m pretty sure that’s what I *am* allowed to do.

But given your reply, here’s a bit of further nuance/speculation.

A photographer falls into the category that people are talking about where there's a "bespoke" service being provided. A photographer (ditto a baker of specially designed cakes) is quite possibly in the position of turning away clients all the time for the simple reason that you can only do so many photographic shoots in a given day/week/etc., and so you have to pick and choose whom you want to work with.

I'm not positing a situation where the photographer has a shop where anyone can walk in off the street and buy something off the shelf. In that situation I think you should have to serve all peaceful comers, although I think I’d still make an exception for people who come in and are offensive assholes.

I'm also not positing a situation where the photographer has said, "I won't work with white people." That clearly violates the "race is a protected class" feature of the law. I guess I might be saying that if the photographer just keeps her mouth shut, who can say why she takes some clients and not others?

In general, I think one should be allowed to discriminate as one pleases when providing a bespoke service. But not when one is selling essentially the same thing to many customers.

trains and buses and planes provide the same thing to many customers: fixed endpoints, on a schedule, to a group of people. but a taxi driver is providing a completely bespoke service: every ride is custom. the fares are set, but the endpoints are unique and the routes are (generally) completely up to the driver.

why shouldn't taxis be allowed to discriminate?

In general, I think one should be allowed to discriminate as one pleases when providing a bespoke service. But not when one is selling essentially the same thing to many customers.

I'm not sure this works. Suppose I want to hire an interior designer. That's bespoke, isn't it?

And cleek is correct that a cab ride is a very customized service.

What about custom-made clothing? How do you distinguish between that and routine alterations on off-the-rack clothing?

What if the gay groom-to-be wants his tux let out for the wedding, having put on a few pounds since the last time he wore it?

Those of us who live in biggish towns and major cities can often count on The Free Market to furnish non-bigot competitors to bigoted vendors. The hard case, to me, is the small town -- the kind where Real Murkins come from.

I don't know how to help a poor Kleagle of the KKK who has the misfortune to live in a town where the only barber is a Black Panther, or an openly gay homeowner whose only local plumber is a Christianist homophobe.

"Just move to another town," may be practical advice but it feels like a surrender to the forces driving The Great Sort.

Constructing national anti-bigot policies is evidently difficult. Enforcing them, especially in the small towns where they are most needed, seems really difficult.

--TP

"Just move to another town," may be practical advice but it feels like a surrender to the forces driving The Great Sort.

Very true; and yet I'd have very little problem telling Mr. Bigot D Baker to do exactly that (or find a different line of work) if the people in his current neighborhood are ones that he does not wish to serve.

But that's because I am, at root, a very BAD person, who would just love to face-cake Mr. Bigot D Baker with a cake lovingly filled with The Gey. Not pie, though. Pie is for eating.

"Hard cases make bad law".

That reasoning doesn't apply to "everything with a storefront".

I guess I disagree with this. Not just disagree, but IMO this is actually exactly where the bright line is.

To me, having a storefront implies that you are open to all custom. I.e., anyone can walk in. Again, to me, if anyone can walk in, than anyone should be able to assume they will be served.

It's the basic idea of participating in a *public* space.

Bespoke services generally don't operate on that basis. People don't walk in to an attorney's office, or an interior designer's workspace, or a bespoke clothier's atelier, and expect that they will necessarily be served. They might not. The proprietor might not have time, or what they are asking for might not be in the proprietor's normal range of offerings. The proprietor might simply not like them and not want to have them as a client.

If your door is open to anyone and everyone, there is a different assumption. And it is, again IMO, harmful to basic public life for people to be denied service for some personal quality or other.

I'm not talking about rules like "you have to wear a shirt". We all know the category of things I'm talking about.

IMO, if the bakery sold cakes to anyone who walked in the door, they can't say they don't want to sell a cake to gay people. If they sell wedding cakes to anyone who walks in, they can't not sell a wedding cake to a couple because they're gay.

Because it's not freaking fair to say you're open to all custom, if you're not.

If the wedding cake business was a custom order thing, then probably a different story. Not clear to me which scenario applies here.

But to my eye, the storefront - the door that is open to one and all, with the expectation that anyone can walk in and be served - is exactly the bright line.

Maybe a simple way to articulate the line is if a contract is involved. No contract required, you're open to general public custom. No discrimination based on the personal qualities of the customer. If a contract is required for rendering services, the seller can decline, for whatever reason they like.

Snarki knows everything, just sayin'.

if a contract is involved.

Basic contract law: a contract is always involved when there's buying and selling.

There are a few rules with regard to some contracts. Common carriers, civil rights act, anything Congress passes before a contract is actually entered into ...

So, you walk into Walmart, there's an implied contract when you buy something there. It really doesn't matter how generic it is.

Cake makng art? It depends. If every cake is different, okay. If there are a set of 'artistic cake products', not so much. If the client (not customer) has this "vision" and commissions the cake artist to realize it in the icing, okay.

I went to a wedding once where an artist (who mostly does noncake art) actually produced an artistic icing thing. The artist in question was doing this for his daughter's wedding - so yeah - it's possible!


The artist in question was doing this for his daughter's wedding - so yeah - it's possible!The artist in question was doing this for his daughter's wedding - so yeah - it's possible!

PS to this story: The artist didn't bake the cake - a beloved local baker did - but did work on / supervise the icing. Not sure how much light that sheds on the issue.

Basic contract law: a contract is always involved when there's buying and selling

I guess I mean a contract that both parties explicitly sign.

JanieM,

No, I am not a lawyer. My post was my thoughts on what should be the case.

As I understand it, antidiscrimination law covers protected classes, as defined by the EEO, from discrimination wrt to housing and employment. White people are not a protected class. The KKK is not a protected class. Red Sox fans are, thank god almighty, not a protected class.

To my way of thinking, the same framework should apply throughout the public square, including 'bespoke' services. It may not do so in current federal law, but this does not appear to similarly restrict state laws which expand the applicability of discrimination law to other realms.

Consequently I view the baker/florist (or similar professional services) defense of discrimination on religious freedom or freedom of speech grounds to be utterly spurious....as a matter of law.

One may argue that such a standard pushes the limit of applicability beyond that which is reasonably effective or enforceable (Tony P abv.).

To which I reply, "Sucks to be you."


bobbyp: White people are not a protected class.

Neither are black people, as such. It's "race" that's the protected class, not "blackness" or "Asian-ness" or whatever. White people are protected against discrimination on the basis of their being white just as much as black people are protected etc. White people just don't usually need it. (I find this use of the word "class" to be weird and misleading, but that's another conversation.)

From the EEO website (my emphasis):

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employers with at least 15 employees from discriminating in employment based on race, color, religion, sex, and national origin. It also prohibits retaliation against persons who complain of discrimination or participate in an EEOC investigation. Everyone is protected from race and color discrimination Whites, Blacks, Asians, Latinos, Arabs, American Indians, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, Pacific Islanders, persons of more than one race, and all other persons, whatever their race, color, or ethnicity.

What I was trying to clarify was Sebastian's assertion that the black photographer couldn't refuse a commission from the KKK because the KKK is white and that would be discriminating on the basis of race.

My question/speculation/assertion is: The black photographer can refuse the commission on other grounds, i.e. that the KKK is a bunch of violent discriminatory shitheads. IOW, I don't think this example does what Sebastian wants it to do in relation to the cake case. Viewpoint is not a protected class for purposes of Civil Rights law.

Viewpoint is not a protected class for purposes of Civil Rights law.

So a baker could refuse to bake a cake for The Mystical Order of Anti-Baking Zealots?

Yup. My distinct impression is that usually it takes more that a single incident to demonstrate (illegal) discrimination. It takes a pattern of behavior.


Except when, as in this case, the individual stands up and says, explicitly that he is acting (more usually, refusing to act) on an illegal basis. If the baker had just said No, without giving a reason, he would have been fine -- at least for the moment.

wj: it looks very much like the baker(+outside parties) trying to gin up a fight, vs the couple (+outside parties) trying to punch back.

Yeah, show me a typical baker or newlywed couple with the resources to take their problems to the USSC. If it were just the people who were involved at the beginning, I'm sure that some reasonable accommodation would be reached; but now, they have to drag the entire country into their fight.

ONE cake in the face could solve this whole thing, just saying. And it's not as if newlyweds don't normally "cake-face" each other after the ceremony. So, love all 'round, amirite?

Snarki, what I find impressive is how beautifully the two sides seem to have coordinated their efforts. Anything less wouldn't have gotten near the Supreme Court.

Raising the obvious, just-for-conspiracy-theory-true-believers, question: which side is the shill?

What, you don't think the national organizations keep an eye out for an appropriate case to test this kind of thing? I don't actually know, but I wouldn't be surprised if either the baker or the newlyweds or both aren't paying a cent for their legal representation.

I'm only skimming around, but it looks like one side has the Alliance Defending Freedom (love the name) and the other the ACLU, never mind the 100 amicus briefs Wikipedia mentions.

Weirdly enough, being both a gay person and a homeschooling parent, I used to get mail from both sides of this divide. I got on various gay-related mailing lists by my own choice, and on right-wing religious nutcase mailing lists by virtue of my info being sold by homeschooling outfits.

Strange experience. There were times when the letters could have been interchangeable except for a few nouns and pronouns ("Those bad people are going to hurt you unless you give us money!!") (Have I mentioned that I'm the tiniest tad cynical about non-profit fundraising?)

I'm aware that groups keep an eye peeled for good test cases. What I find novel here is that it looks like both sides see it as a good test case for them.

"My question/speculation/assertion is: The black photographer can refuse the commission on other grounds, i.e. that the KKK is a bunch of violent discriminatory shitheads."

The problem is that when you choose "other grounds" you better be damn sure it doesn't touch on race or else it is going to seem pretextual (and you still are going to get in trouble).

The counter example focuses on the fact that expression really is involved, and that it doesn't have to have anything to do with religion.

I also note that this particular cake maker won't make cakes for second weddings (not a fan of divorce), which makes me think it really is a limited idea of marriage thing not an I hate gays things.

I also note that this particular cake maker won't make cakes for second weddings (not a fan of divorce), which makes me think it really is a limited idea of marriage thing not an I hate gays things.

Interesting. Does anyone happen to know whether this "policy" (not making cakes for second wedding) was known and/or on record prior to the gay wedding controversy? Or is there a chance it arose (or at least was articulated) post facto?

I also note that this particular cake maker won't make cakes for second weddings (not a fan of divorce), which makes me think it really is a limited idea of marriage thing not an I hate gays things.

This sounds kind of like the Civil War being about states' rights rather than slavery, as though the two things are mutually exclusive, rather than being tangled up with each other.

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