The Supreme Court, along with reality show star Neil Gorsuch, announced that it will hear the case of the Colorado baker who refused to make a wedding cake for a gay couple. The baker claims that same-sex marriage contradicts his religious values.
Whatever its decision, the Supreme Court should specify if the ruling applies only to cake. What about same-sex wedding doughnuts? Besides, this is Colorado; pot is legal. You’d think the big money would be in brownies.
I understand the libertarian perspective. It’s a private business. A store owner shouldn’t be forced to serve customers he doesn’t want to serve. If I owned a bakery, I certainly wouldn’t serve Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson ― not because of his race, but because of that “Baywatch” movie. And should I really be obligated to serve people I went to high school with? Heck, I won’t even accept their Facebook friend requests.
And within that same philosophy of free enterprise, it’s unfair to demand that a business owner create a product he doesn’t want to create. It’s like the time I went to Arby’s and insisted, “Give me something that won’t cause heart disease.” Instead, they served me the fried chicken bacon sandwich. I’m pretty sure the bun was just a Twinkie cut in half.
What’s annoying about this case, though, is the way the term “religious freedom” gets thrown around. For years this has been the go-to justification for racism and misogyny and anti-Semitism and homophobia, and I swear that my own personal religion commands that I barf on Newt Gingrich’s shoes should I ever run into him in person. It’s in our literature.
I’ve read many a religious scripture ― the Bible, the Torah, the Quran, Gwyneth Paltrow’s cookbook ― and nowhere does it say anything about gay wedding cakes. Now, in Leviticus 19:27 of the Old Testament, it clearly forbids one to clip off the edges of one’s beard. Hence, if I asked the Colorado baker to make me a cake in celebration of my new Bic disposable razors, he’d have a legitimate complaint.
To be clear, a wedding cake is not legally binding. To bake a same-sex wedding cake is not to officiate, legalize, celebrate, or even condone same-sex marriage. They bring out the cake after the ceremony already happens. You’ll never hear a minister say, “Do you take this man to be your… but first try a piece of the lemon meringue.”
Here are some facts about wedding cake…
Even if the couple doesn’t end up getting married, you can still eat the cake afterward. But I’m taking back my present.
During weddings, not everyone attending the ceremony eats the cake. This has no bearing on the legal unification of a couple. In fact, some of the weddings guests will have already left the reception before the cake is even brought out. Which brings me to a more important issue… why does it take them so long to bring out the desserts? I’m supposed to listen to all these crappy speeches without pastries on my plate? I’m taking back my present.
By definition, any cake served at a wedding is a wedding cake. If I buy a pair of shoes for my friend Barry and Mike’s wedding, then these are now my wedding shoes. But it’s not the shoe store’s religious right (or even its business) to forbid me from purchasing them.
During one wedding, I ate three pieces of cake. I wasn’t three times more supportive of the couple’s right to get married. Rather, I was just really hungry.
The Colorado case has nothing to do with marriage. It’s about proving that “gay people aren’t allowed to eat sweets” is a legitimate form of religious expression. It’s not.
No baker should ever be legally forced to officiate a gay wedding. No store owner should ever be legally required to bake gay wedding vows. And no American should ever ever read Gwyneth Paltrow’s cookbook. Oops. I meant to write “legally forced to read…” My bad. But bakers of the world- get over yourselves. We love you, bakers. We love what you do. But your overindulgent sense of self-importance is illogical. The cake has nothing to do with the marriage. And none of this has anything to do with religion.
To be honest, I don’t know what constitutes a gay wedding cake, anyway. Do they use a different kind of frosting?
It can’t be the names on the cake. Congratulations Bob & Alex? I don’t know if Bob is marrying Alexander or Alexandria. Congratulations Wendy and Chris? I don’t know if Wendy is marrying Christopher or Christina. All I know is it’ll last longer than the Kardashians’ next marriage.
Is it the wedding cake topper? I’m pretty sure no couple has ever requested a plastic model wedding cake topper that shows them engaged in graphic sex. Well, maybe when Pamela Anderson married Kid Rock. Most wedding cake toppers are of the couple simply being in love. Is there a religion that prevents two people from simple being in love? Okay, maybe Scientology.
Nevertheless, bakers bake. Sculptors makes the wedding cake topper.
So here’s a compromise. Bake the stupid cake. Then have someone else put on the topper. It’ll only take a few seconds.
Yeah, I get the legal significance of the case. Building up a successful bakery takes time and effort. I don’t want to see anyone’s business go under because they don’t want to bake your wedding cake. I’m sure you can find another baker who’ll take the job. And besides, wouldn’t you rather hire a person who shares your enthusiasm for the task? I don’t want to ingest food prepared by people who hate me. That’s why I stopped eating at Jared Kushner’s café.
But in the meantime, things would be a lot easier if we maintained the separation of church and bake. Wedding cakes are not about religious expression. Rather, they’re for trashy newlyweds to smash into each other’s faces.