The U.S. Supreme Court soon will rule on the narrowly argued case Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission. The high court must weigh the religious liberty of Christian baker Jack Phillips against the equal-treatment claims of Charlie Craig and David Mullins — a gay couple.
The Court also should decide whether this pair’s demand that Phillips produce their gay-wedding cake also vanquishes his First Amendment rights to freedom of association and creative expression. The seldom-seen 13th Amendment ought to make an appearance, too.
Liberals have cheered as local and state officials have used wedding cakes to tame "backward, savage Christians" and drag them from the Dark Ages into the 21st century.
But how would Democrats treat a Shariah-compliant Muslim baker who told two gay men that crafting their wedding cake violated the Koran? Which aspect of diversity would a certified leftist celebrate — gay marriage or fundamentalist Islam?
Regardless, why are religious bakers seemingly the only ones who may declare their independence from a heavy-handed and intrusive state?
What about the 25 percent of Americans without faith?
Why is their freedom of association not protected, or at least asserted?
Must an atheist who opposes gay marriage bake for such occasions?
Wedding-cake litigation is analogous to D-Day. When valiant Allied forces attacked France’s Normandy coast on June 6, 1944, they stormed five beaches code-named Omaha, Utah, Juno, Sword, and Gold. Limiting wedding-cake lawsuits to religious-liberty arguments is like dispatching all the troops to Omaha while ignoring the other four beaches.
Freedom of association should be one such landing spot, yet it barely gets mentioned.
Every American’s right to associate privately with whom she wishes, is sacred. But so is the reverse: Every citizen’s right not to associate with those he prefers to avoid should be preserved, protected, and defended. A vegan photographer’s refusal to shoot a celebrity pig roast deserves equal protection.
Another such beach should be the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, "Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude . . . shall exist within the United States . . . "
If government forces a baker to spend three or four hours artistically baking and decorating a cake that he does not want to create, this is involuntary servitude. Obviously, this is not picking cotton beneath the 90-degree Alabama sunshine. Still, this negates human liberty.
Ultimately, those who resist the state face arrest and incarceration.
Democrats and liberals — who loudly insist that Christian bakers produce gay-wedding cakes — proudly refuse to serve supporters of President Donald J. Trump.
Greg Piatek of Philadelphia walked into a Manhattan bar called The Happiest Hour in January 2017. His red hat read, "Make America Great Again." A bartender barked at Piatek, "Anyone who supports Trump — or believes in what you believe — is not welcome here! And you need to leave right now because we won’t serve you!"
Piatek sued. And, on April 25, he lost. "Here the claim that plaintiff was not served and eventually escorted out of the bar because of his perceived support for President Trump is not outrageous conduct," ruled Gotham Judge David Cohen, and rightly so. As a private establishment on private property, Happiest Hour was free to eject someone in a pro-Trump hat.
But how might Judge Cohen have ruled if someone were booted from a bar for wearing a T-shirt that read, "I’m with her!"? A single standard, that supports the rights of both bars to refuse service to those with whom they disagree, would be fair. Tough, but fair.
Similarly, several top designers have announced that they will not make garments for nor otherwise adorn Melania and Ivanka Trump. As designer Joseph Altazzura declared, "I don’t want to dress people I disagree with."
As the justices decide this case, they should ask themselves this question: If it’s fashionable to refuse to style a gown for someone with whom one disagrees, why is it evil to refuse to bake a cake for someone with whom he disagrees?
Deroy Murdock is a Manhattan-based Fox News contributor and a contributing editor with National Review Online. He has been a media fellow with the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace at Stanford University. Read more opinions from Deroy Murdock — Click Here Now.
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