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Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission

Does a baker have the right to deny making a gay couple a cake?

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Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission

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YES

You are the owner of a popular cake shop in a small town. One day you are asked to bake a cake for a KKK rally. The group requests flaming crosses and racist messages against certain minority groups.

   Would you bake the cake?

   This same moral argument has recently been brought into question. In Colorado, a cake shop owner, Jack Phillips, refused to make a wedding cake for a gay couple as it violates his religion and intrudes upon his artistic expression.

    According to the Constitution, restaurants do not have the power to refuse service based on race, color, religion, or national origin. The Constitution also spells out religious rights in the First Amendment.

   While America is built upon the idea of equality, Phillips’ own rights should not be neglected. He has the First Amendment right to freedom of speech and can choose to not misrepresent his beliefs.

   This is not a question of homophobia. It is a matter of Phillips misrepresenting his religious beliefs by designing a cake that expresses support of gay marriage.

   Not only is this a religious argument, but an artistic argument, as America protects the right of expression.

   If Phillips made the cake, he would be indirectly claiming that he supports gay couples, something his religion prohibits. For example, there is a multitude of anti-Trump artistic protests ranging from satirical comics to SNL skits. Artists reserve the right to control their art, even if held offensive by others.

   Though the Constitution spells out non-discriminatory laws, we cannot choose specific groups that should be protected and which groups should not. If you were asked to bake a cake for the KKK, you would not want the government to compel you into potentially distorting his religious values.

   Until there are specific laws protecting multiple groups, it is in the hands of the public to decide who they will serve.

 

NO

The Constitution definitively expresses that second class citizenship may not be prescribed in America. However, the Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission poses the possibility for the LGBTQ community to be seen as just this. The case will determine whether or not this couple will be alloted a staple of American culture — a wedding cake, but moreover, equality.

     America is built on an ideal for equality, but the justly named “cake case” has the potential to strip several citizens of their civil rights, leaving them naked in the hostile environment of America. The precedent of which this case may become, if the verdict of the case falls in favor of the baker, will hold radical ramifications for LGBTQ indviduals. If a cake is the first commodity refused, who is to say that this case may not serve as a justification for the harmful refusal of nearly all products and services, such as college admission?

     Additionally, previously decided cases have set clear boundaries for the balance between first amendment’s freedom of religion and the fourteenth amendment’s equal protections under the law. Newman v. Piggie Park Enterprises, Inc. of 1968, developed a precedent of which stated that consumers may not be refused based upon the producer’s religious perspectives towards different races.

     Alongside this, the offering of a life free from the binds of persecution is one of the prevalent foundations of the United States. America should offer itself as a sanctuary and safe place for all — whether war-fleeing refugees, poverty stricken children, or LGBTQ individuals.

     The case is much more than cake. It is about America’s value of prosperity and blessings of liberty. It is about freedom, equality, and fairness. It is about sweet justice for the LGBTQ community.

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Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission