U.S. Constitution does not apply in Oregon?

There is a situation in Oregon.  A lesbian couple went to a baker to get a cake for their “wedding” and the baker declined due to their religious belief that “marriage” between two women was contrary to God’s desires.

Oregon claims that to refuse to participate in a gay wedding is “illegal” and has required the baker to pay a “fine” to the lesbian couple for their “emotional damages”.  The person in the Oregon government who seems to be leading this is a real piece of work.

Oregon Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian’s order requires the couple to use “personal property” rather than only business assets to pay the vast sum ($135,000) and that it “has the potential to financially ruin” the family of five. Avakian “knew that full well going into this,” said Klein.  Plus, since when is a “fine” paid to individuals rather than to the government?  It kind of sounds like Oregon is awarding “damages” without benefit of a trial.

Furthermore, Avakian has issued an order “The Commissioner of the Bureau of Labor and Industries hereby orders [Aaron and Melissa Klein] to cease and desist from publishing, circulating, issuing or displaying, or causing to be published … any communication to the effect that any of the accommodations … will be refused, withheld from or denied to, or that any discrimination be made against, any person on account of their sexual orientation.”

Wow.  So Oregon (or at least Brad Avakian) is of the opinion that a person of Christian faith has no standing, and that a person who chooses to be gay has unassailable standing.  That people who disagrees with the government need to be financially ruined.  Worse, that a person who degrees with the government does not have the right to explain their difference of opinion.  Really?  Is that not the absolute basis of the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, which last I heard, Oregon was still a part of?

I don’t know what options the Kleins have, but it seems to me that they have options.  Or should have.

Ok, let us talk about discrimination.  In our history, we have had unfortunate instances where people were discriminated against, refused necessary services or mistreated because of their race or where they were born or their sex.  Things which they could not help and for which there is no indication that such refusal would be justified.  But that is not the case here.  This couple decided to against the natural order.  Fine, their choice.  They decided to get married.  Ok, legally they are allowed and culturally, they are tolerated.  The bakers decided to be Christian, and as such, they believe that the gay couple, if married, would likely be doomed to eternal torment.  As such, if they supported the union, they would be partially responsible for the torment, and they certainly did not want to help them be so punished.  So, not a necessary service, and in their minds, the refusal was not only justified, but necessary.  Does such torment actually await?  Maybe, maybe not.  But the Kleins are certain it does, and behave accordingly.  This does not appear to be “discrimination”.

But what about the poor lesbians?  Don’t they deserve to compensated for their emotional damage?  What emotional damage?  A sane couple would have realized that the bakers were doing them a great favor.  Making wedding cakes is an art form, and what artist can excel if they are not “in tune with” the artistic task?  If the Kleins had agreed to make a wedding cake which their God opposed, then what are the odds that the cake would have been up to exceptional standards?  Would not a sub-standard cake have been more “emotionally damaging” than being politely declined?  What, there are no other bakers in town?  Or no non-Christian ones?

In order to suffer real “emotional damage”, the lesbians would have to have something wrong with them.  Disappointment is part of life, and anyone who suffers “emotional damage” from being denied an artistic service on religious grounds would seem to have emotional problems.  Actually, I’ll bet the couple were very happy to be rejected by this bakery.  It gave them the opportunity to “stick it to” some of those Christians.  And, extort money from them.  This sort of behavior would not seem to endear the gay population to the majority.

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2 thoughts on “U.S. Constitution does not apply in Oregon?

  1. http://www.patheos.com/blogs/lovejoyfeminism/2015/07/sweet-cakes-by-melissa-didnt-just-deny-a-lesbian-couple-service-they-also-doxxed-them-and-their-kids.html

    The main point raised by this article is not that the couple had just been discriminated against (which they had, and which was illegal in Oregon) but that the Kleins had then embarked on an aggressive media campaign against the couple and published their names and address on Facebook, presumably to encourage others to harass them. The couple apparently refused all publicity and tried avoid media attention. The Kleins deliberately used the media to attack the couple. That is why their penalty was so high, and also why, presumably, they were ordered to stop their attacks.

    So, this is not, as you characterise, as case of a lesbian couple trying to “stick it” to the Christians, rather, them simply and legitimately complaining about discrimination, then themselves being victimised by the Christians.

    • That could be an entirely different situation then. If the Kleins were “vicious” to the couple and/or exposed them to danger, then damage worthy of compensation might well have been done, and requirement to stop further damage, necessary. Was it? I don’t know. If the article is correct and not excessively slanted, then it sure sounds like it. The article sounds authoritative, but in that case, the behavior of the Kleins does not seem to be as approved by Christ. Do some Christians fail to live up to their required behavior? Certainly. Do most of them, or all of them most of the time? I think and hope not.

      It is undeniable that it is against the law in Oregon to “discriminate” against people because of their sexual orientation. Is what happened, “discrimination” though? Discrimination was originally conceived of to protect people from unreasonable and damaging treatment based on things they had no control whatsoever over – race, country of origin, gender. It has been extended to cover sexual orientation, and to the degree that orientation is not a factor, that is quite reasonable. It has also been extended to cover “being offended”, which is stupid. The human animal has an infinite capability of being offended, and trying to legislate offense is a losing proposition.

      People who choose to engage in homosexual activities are still people and must be treated as such. People who think that homosexual people are less than people are wrong, and if they act on or preach that belief, they should be corrected. On the other hand, people who think that the action of homosexuality is wrong are also still people, and as long as they don’t cause damage, they must also be treated as people. After all, no matter how unlikely, it is possible they are right.

      If the couple had walked in to buy bread and been told “Get out, we don’t serve your kind here”, then that could be considered discrimination. If they went in to buy a “gay” wedding cake, and they were told “I’m really sorry, but we cannot be involved in a ceremony which we believe to be invalid and wrong”, I don’t see that as discrimination; I see that as a reasonable compromise between conflicting positions. Everybody was offended, nobody was hurt. Since we have similar circumstances, but different evaluations, there has to be a “line” somewhere, And that line, in my opinion, is “real damage which has nothing to do with the element of discrimination”. In the cases above, “bread” is a requirement of life, and there is no possible reason why a place which sells bread should not sell it to a gay couple, thus it is discrimination, pure and simple. On the other hand, “wedding cake” is not a requirement, and if Christians are right and homosexuality is a sin which if not repented leads to punishment, then the bakery would be damaged by participating. Besides, making an exceptional wedding cake is an art form, and could the artist do an creditable job if he was not in favor of the union?

      So the question becomes, how vicious was the refusal? If it was as reported in the mainstream media, who are not particularly friendly to Christians, then it might not really have been discrimination, while if it was as reported in the link above, an apparently gay-friendly source, it could have tipped over the line into discrimination. Whether or not there were excessive actions by the Kleins seems inconclusive so far. If the complaint and report on the complaint are accurate, it would seem so. If the complaint or report were “enhanced”, then maybe or maybe not.

      The article indicates that the $135,000 is not a fine, but a payment to the lesbian couple for damages which the article claims was done to them. Here is a question. Let us agree that if one person causes another person damage, deliberately or through gross negligence, than the damaged person is justified in bringing a civil suit and if the trial is decided in their favor, being awarded damages. In this case, did the Kleins get an actual trial? Or did some bureaucrat pull that award out of thin air?

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