Tag Archives: cake

That isn’t what artistic expression means

A fancy wedding cake.
Can you tell from the artistic expression in this cake what the baker’s religious beliefs are?
I have a lot of friends who are artists. And several of them have, at one time or another, sold sketches at sci fi/fantasy/comic/furry/et cetera conventions. And I’ve heard horror stories from them of people asking them to draw disturbing or offensive things. Usually they’ll say, “No, I won’t do that” or “I can’t draw that,” and then offer to draw something else instead. And I support their right to do that.

But the people who are trying to claim that a bakery refusing to make a cake for a gay couple’s wedding or a reception is the same sort of refusal are being more than a bit disingenuous. The judge in the Colorado case does a great job of explaining why this argument (and others) don’t hold up. I’ll quote the most salient part:

The undisputed evidence is that Phillips categorically refused to prepare a cake for Complainants’ same-sex wedding before there was any discussion about what the cake would look like. Phillips was not asked to apply any message or symbol to the cake, or to construct the cake in any fashion that could be reasonably understood as advocating same-sex marriage. After being refused, Complainants immediately left the shop. For all Phillips knew at the time, Complainants might have wanted a nondescript cake that would have been suitable for consumption at any wedding. Therefore, Respondents’ claim that they refused to provide a cake because it would convey a message supporting same-sex marriage is specious. —Administrative Law Judge Robert Spencer

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