The Colorado Civil Rights Commission has ordered a suburban Denver baker named Jack Phillips to make wedding cakes for same-sex couples, finding that his religious objections do not supersede the state’s anti-discrimination statutes. Because if the Constitution should be subordinate to anything, it’s the local thought police, hurt feelings, and nuptial pastries.
Raju Jaram, one of the reprehensible unelected commissioners—whose contact information is nowhere to be found on Colorado’s government site—apparently had this to say about the case: “I can believe anything I want, but if I’m going to do business here, I’d ought to not discriminate against people.”
No, you can’t. Because Phillips isn’t discriminating against gay Coloradans. Gay customers, as far as all the news stories have suggested, are free to shop in the bakery and purchase (at the same price) any of the cakes, cookies, and pastries they like, without ever being asked by anyone whom they love or what the gender equation is in their sex life. Public accommodations, fine. But the fact is that Phillips does not want to participate in a very specific ceremony, because he holds authentic, well-documented, age-old religious objections to such an event—in the same way that a Hasidic Jew or an orthodox Muslim might not want to participate in a ceremony that proclaims that Jesus is our Lord and savior. Maybe if we begin forcing atheists to party plan baptisms, the point would become clearer. Actually, maybe if we begin forcing Orthodox rabbis and imams to perform gay weddings, the point would be even clearer.