I think we might've hit peak America. In a country where children are being slaughtered in their schools, the Supreme Court is ruling on wedding cakes. While babies are being separated from their parents under the guise of immigration law, protecting the right of bigots to not have to bake cakes for gay couples is high on the agenda. So high that it made it to the most powerful court in the land.
This week the US Supreme Court handed down a judgment that backed a Colorado baker who had refused to bake a wedding cake for a gay couple.
While the case stopped short of setting a firm precedent allowing anyone to refuse goods and services to LGBTQ+ people on the grounds of religious beliefs, it nevertheless further chips away at the sense the rainbow community may have had that in 2018 we were moving towards a time when we would all be viewed as equally deserving of human dignity and rights.
Such a radical idea.
But no, clearly cakes for gays are a serious concern. I mean, imagine if gay people got it into their heads that their love was as deserving as straight love of luscious, velvety, sweet, cakey confections. What an enormous impact it would have on the marriages of straight people, having gay people serve cake at their weddings. What a disaster that would be.
No, the SCOTUS was right to wade into this one. Otherwise, what would prevent LGBTQ+ people from trying to spend their rainbow dollars in places where rainbow dollars weren't welcome? I can't imagine what would happen if an American baker set up shop here. Splay a $5, a $10, a $20, a $50 and a $100 note side by side and they make – gasp – a rainbow.
What does it all mean?
What I most want to know is where the gay cake danger ends? Could a grocer seeing a gay couple buying cake ingredients refuse to sell them flour and eggs just in case they were buying them to make a wedding cake? Should all other flour-and-egg concoctions be banned to be extra safe? Goodbye pancakes. Au revoir crepes.
What happens if a Christian baker is asked to bake a cake by someone who works on the Sabbath? Should they bake the cake before or after they put the customer to death, as prescribed in Exodus 35:2? What about a customer who has cursed his or her mother or father? Should they be accepted or executed, as Leviticus 20:9 instructs?
What about tattooed customers? Customers with short hair? Customers who eat shellfish and/or pork? Customers wearing clothes made of two or more different threads? Should they be served, stoned or refused?
What if only one person comes in to order the wedding cake? Should each wedding cake customer be quizzed about their sex life before handing over their Eftpos card?
Should all bigoted bakers employ private detectives to ensure that cakes are used for the purpose they're ordered for? Because let's be honest, I wouldn't put it past one of us to advance the so-called "rainbow agenda" through fabulously sneaky means. Why yes, I'll have a three-tiered, elaborate, white birthday cake, please… don't bother with the candles… I'll add them at home… Oh, what a coincidence! It looks like a wedding cake!
I bet you didn't see that one coming.
In seriousness, the judgment is both disappointing and disheartening. It likely wouldn't hold water the other way around.
What if a gay baker decided not to sell a cake to someone because they believed that person to be a bigot and they had deeply and sincerely held views about bigotry? Would the law similarly protect a member of the LGBTQ+ community if they declined to do business with a person whose religious "lifestyle choice" to follow the Bible they disapproved of?
I don't mean to offend the religious community, I know that there are many wonderful people from various faiths who believe that LGBTQ+ people are deserving of love, dignity and all of the same rights as everyone else, and I'd like nothing more than for all of us to live and let live.
But why is it that discrimination suddenly becomes okay when it's perpetrated by people of faith?
The crux of the judgment in this particular case came down to comments made by two members of the Colorado Civil Rights Commission that religion had been used to justify slavery and the Holocaust. Those comments were seen to be hostile towards people of faith. Those comments also happen to be truthful. Religion was used to justify slavery and the Holocaust, as distasteful as it may be to mention them.
While it all may seem like a storm in a glittery teacup, the wedding cake fiasco really boils down to a case of right and wrong. Is it right to refuse to sell someone something because of their sexual orientation? Would it be right to refuse to sell someone something because of the colour of their skin? Or the God they worshipped? In all of these cases, the answer is no.
But then, I suppose you get what you voted for. And maybe we shouldn't expect anything less from a country that's currently a few raisins short of a fruitcake.