Monday, January 27, 2014

Should Catholics patronize gay wedding planners/florists/decorators/bakers? How about the price of those wedding kecks, huh?

LarryD is back:


I sugjoost that we select a keck furst!


  1. If you like your keck, you can keep your keck. If you like your gay wedding planner, you can keep your gay wedding planner. Unless he's planning a gay wedding for you. Oh, was that sexist?

  2. Haha! No - it was genderless.

    This post has no purpose other than to link to Larry's post.

    You can't have your keck and eat it too.

  3. I'll go where the keck and price are the best. If I don't approve of homosexuals boycotting and suing Christian bakers, then the option is not open to me.

    Nan is right...


  4. I'm against it too.

    Oh - and Nan is always right.

  5. Thanks for the link, dahling!

    Oh, and I came back in, and now I'm back out.

  6. This is a very delicate area with a very fine line.

    If the Supreme Court is sane, they will ultimately rule something like this: when a service is reasonably construable as an act of expression, then freedom of expression will allow the "artist" to deny service, because no one can force another person to express something they don't want to express.

    However, while I think this will probably mean, say, that photographers and live musicians do not have to participate in gay weddings, I don't think bakers will get an exemption. It would be one thing to require a baker to decorate a cake in a specifically "gay" way; this would be an act of artistry or expression of specific and special support for the wedding, and as such would seem a violation to require it. However, if bakers have a catalogue of cakes they offer to the public, and one of them just happens to be a "white tiered cake"...there is no real justification, under the principles of public accommodation, for refusing sale.

    Products offered for sale to the public generally, that do not require any sort of "special order" of NEW expressiveness in support of something...are offered "don't ask, don't tell." They are offered to the public and once they leave the store, its no longer the seller's "business" in any sense.

    Otherwise the slope is very slippery. Stores could refuse to rent tuxedos for weddings they disagreed with. Stores could refuse to sell plates and napkins. They could decide to start being a busibody about how you're going to use any product and why you want it.

    The only reasonable option is a sort of "don't ask, don't tell" (or if you find out, pretend you didn't). If one can sell a product to someone IN IGNORANCE, then basically you are required to sell it to them period. If the baker would be willing to sell the same cake to someone who said "I just want it, I'm hungry, and I'm willing to pay"...then they have to sell it to a gay wedding because there is no substantial difference. If you're willing to sell it to someone who "keeps quiet" about the purpose ("no questions asked")...then you have to be willing to sell it to anyone for any purpose.

    Only when a service constitutes a clear act of art or expression (that, presumably, then, you wouldn't be willing to make for ANYONE) is there really legal grounds for denying service. Unless we want a society where sellers start to inquire nosily into how we're planning to use this or that, where they can "excommunicate" people they disagree with from service, or where selling is made a discriminatory bludgeon of punishing people who disagree with you.

    The article you post considers one interesting proposal that bakers are certainly free to follow through on. But consider this: if your principle stands, grocery stores should then be allowed to refuse to sell ingredients to the baker if they believe it violates their conscience to participate in discrimination. Is that dynamic of mutual economic boycott of everyone by everyone else really the slippery road we want to go down?

    1. You are taking me much too seriously here. I have no interest in the issue. Just linking to my friend's post.

  7. But you should have an interest. An interest against a society where pluralism becomes impossible and people start trying to treat others as if they are "vitandi." It wasn't so long ago that this issue was not just about weddings, but about whether innkeepers could refuse rooms to gay couples period. Heck, if someone's religion was against interracial mingling, should his florist shop or jeweller's shop be able to ask every person who comes in: "Is this for a significant other? What race are they?" and then be able to deny service based on whether they like the answers to those questions? If you support a CIVIL society, you should stand against notions of capricious and punitive exclusions in the realm of public accommodations. Otherwise tomorrow it will be the Adventist radical refusing to make a dress for a Catholic bride because "I don't want to 'participate' in a ceremony where they worship the pope" merely because the dress will be worn at the wedding Mass. Some may find that absurd, but it's just about as remote in terms of cooperation as selling a cake (it's not like the gay couple is going to be having sex on the cake; they're going to eat it with their guests which is hardly controversial.)

    1. Oh. That. Well I do have an interest on the actual story. I believe the baker has a civil right to refuse goods and services which violate his conscience. The baker obviously believes same sex marriage is immoral, and he considers his goods and services would be supporting something he considered intrinsically disordered and evil, therefore in conscience he refuses to provide the goods and services. It's all about religious freedom.

      The gay couple can go elsewhere, order something online, or have someone else bake the cake.

      The Catholic Church would surely refuse to perform a ceremony or provide a hall for the couple for the same reasons - the baker has every right to refuse the couple, just as the Church does.

      If the baker is fined, put out of business, it is a violation of his civil rights and freedom of religion - it is immoral.

    2. No that's not how public accommodations work. The baker doesn't have to participate in the market at all, but if he is offering goods for sale, they have to be offered to everyone. He's not "supporting" a gay wedding under any reasonable standard of moral cooperation. He's selling a cake to someone, and they'll use it (this applies to any product) in whatever context they wish. Once something leaves the store, it's no longer the business's business how it is used. It is MINE at that point, not the shopkeeper's. If I go to a store and buy a computer, the seller has no right to expect, say, that I sign a contract promising not to use it for porn, or to write certain political opinions he disagrees with, or even to buy a cake online for a gay wedding (which is where your slippery slope leads).

      In our market, products are offered for sale period. Unless it is an expressive artistic commission tailored to a specific message (I'd argue a generic cake is not)...sellers do not get to make decisions based on "what's going to happen with that product once it leaves the store??" All that encourages is a culture of lying about the answer.

      Rather, products offered for sale to the public-at-large are alienated from the moral sphere of the seller's agency already. It's almost like they've been put in a vending machine for anyone to come along and insert cash to buy. The seller is no longer "responsible" for them.

    3. Works for me.

      But I don't think that is how the baker saw it.

      So I guess the baker will be fined or put out of business unless he is willing to go to gay re-education camp or something. You vill learn to obey!

    4. "How the baker saw it" only matters to a point. If someone says their religion forbids them from dealing with this or that sort of person according to the "blind" terms that our market prescribes...then they shouldn't be a proprietor in said market. Then they should work for wages at a business they find non-controversial, or get a job through their church or something. You don't run a public accommodation if you are not, in fact, willing to make your goods available to the public "no questions asked." There are benefits to incorporation or to being allowed to set up a stall, as it were, in the public square. Those benefits come with responsibilities or tacit agreement to the rules of civil society. One of those rules that has developed is that goods offered to sale to the public are no longer your business once they leave the store.


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