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.