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Why Would a Gay Person Want a Cake Baked by Bigots?

03/31/2015 07:08 pm ET | Updated Feb 02, 2016

Why would a gay couple want a wedding cake baked by homophobes? Who would want hate vibes in their cream cheese frosting? Malevolence in their marzipan? In January, Ben Carson said that this is "really not all that smart because they might put poison in that cake." He then further reasoned, "What I have a problem with is when people try to force people to act against their beliefs because they say, 'They're discriminating against me. They can go right down the street and buy a cake, but no, let's bring a suit against this person because I want them to make my cake even though they don't believe in it."

That sentiment certainly stems from a presumption that all gays are looking for every opportunity to shove it into the face of the unwilling. What it misses completely is that gays are actually real people (well, most of us) with real feelings (well, some of us) who would like to shop for things like wedding cakes and flowers without humiliation.

Why would a gay person want a wedding cake baked by bigots? I don't think any of us would. I certainly wouldn't. But if it's legal for a business owner to discriminate, like it currently is in Indiana, then wedding cake shoppers have to be on the defense. Before they darken the doorstep of the dessert dealer, they must first do a little research to ensure they don't inadvertently stumble into a bigot bakery while planning their happy day.

This is in itself humiliation.

"Hi, I was just calling to see if you would be willing to make a really super fabulous wedding cake... if you get my drift. Like, maybe rainbow colored. With Lady Gaga lyrics. No? Oh ok. Thanks for sparing us the embarrassment."

When I first moved to Nashville 15 years ago, I remember telling a friend I didn't know what it felt like to hold hands romantically in public without anxiety. I couldn't have fathomed in just a few years, gay marriage would be inevitable, same sex couples would display PDA all over Nashville, and I'd be fronting an openly gay country band that is almost embraced by the industry. Almost. Like... "side-hug" embraced.

It's not a matter of gays simply choosing to go only where they are welcome, it's a matter of just being welcome. Most of us aren't looking for a fight; if we must fight it isn't for the sake of fighting. It's for the sake of actual, honest-to-goodness American equality.

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