As a legal battle ended in favor of a bakery that refused to create a cake promoting same-sex marriage, there was an interesting twist.
What’s good for the goose is said to be good for the gander. The case of a bakery that refused to make a cake that had a message in favor of same-sex marriage took an intriguing turn along those very lines.
I never realized how involved bakeries believe they need to be when it comes to the events for which they produce their treats.
Never once have I attended a birthday party where a cake was involved and assumed that the maker of the cake knew the birthday boy or girl personally and was attempting to join the celebration. Not once have I attended a sports party and assumed that the baker of a cake wishing luck to a certain team actually pulled for that team. And never have I attended a traditional marriage and thought the baker must be vouching for the couple’s Biblical qualifications to actually wed.
But when it comes to the subject of same-sex marriage, there have been several bakeries that have refused to produce cakes on religious and/or moral grounds.
Most of the cases involve cakes intended for an actual same-sex ceremony. This particular case, however, is a bit different.
Baker sued for discrimination wins case
The latest such case wrapped up recently in Ireland where a Belfast bakery had been sued. The New York Times reported that Britain’s Supreme Court supported “the right of a Belfast bakery to refuse to bake a cake with a message supporting same-sex marriage.” Its Christian owners couldn’t be forced to “reproduce a message contrary to their beliefs,” it said.
The customer, a gay rights activist, sued the company for discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and political beliefs.
The court ruled the baker’s refusal wasn’t based on the sexual orientation of the customer. Instead, the refusal was based on the business owner’s own personal religious views.
The cake, according to reports, wasn’t specifically for a gay wedding. Instead, it was intended to be decorated with the message, “Support Gay Marriage.” The cake was also supposed to feature the Sesame Street characters of Ernie and Bert, which have been at the center of a controversy about whether they are supposed to be a gay couple. (The owners of the show say they aren’t, but a writer who wrote scripts involving the characters claimed he always wrote as if they were.)
Still, since the baker’s Protestant beliefs were not in line with such a message, they refused the service.
“It is deeply humiliating, and an affront to human dignity, to deny someone a service because of that person’s race, gender, disability, sexual orientation, religion or belief,” Supreme Court President Lady Brenda Hale wrote. “But that is not what happened in this case.”
Enter the big twist!
What happened next was one of those bizarre plot twists no one saw coming.
Photographers hired for the bakery to document the trial suddenly decided to withhold their photos.
“A photographer was reserved using the booking site
The photographic agency said when the photographer realized the nature of the event, the agency realized it was a perfect opportunity to demonstrate a “tit for tat” situation.
The owner of the photographic agency said this:
“Division is being felt everywhere, and I’d sooner we all appreciated each other regardless of our differences. Our knowingly tit-for-tat stance is purely intended to highlight what this kind of judgment opens the door to.”
There are some in the religious community who will surely claim the agency’s stance is a perfect example of people urging tolerance being intolerant.
Others, however, may well believe it’s a necessary stand to demonstrate what intolerance actually looks like.
What’s your take?
Would you ever assume that the baker of a cake at a same-sex marriage is setting out to endorse same-sex marriage rather than simply filling an order?