The Supreme Court has told us that corporations are people. If corporations are people can wedding cakes be people? Corporations are assembled by putting papers together and cakes are assembled by putting ingredients together. You don’t eat corporations even though some of the big corporations eat up smaller corporations. You do eat cakes. I suppose if we said wedding cakes were persons then those who ate them would be accused of being cannibals. Perhaps that is the best argument not to have cakes considered persons.
The Supreme Court has also told us that money is speech. If money is speech can frosting be speech? One baker says the frosting on his cake is his speech. Even though money and frosting may be speech none of them speak themselves. You can’t ask them questions and expect an answer. If they give one it is so faint you cannot hear it.
But if things were different and I could ask a wedding cake a question and hear its answer I’d ask it if it was bothered by being present at a same-sex wedding ceremony. Its answer would have saved us a day of argument at the Supreme Court and countless hours of others telling that court in fillings what it would expect the wedding cake to answer
You see the Supreme Court the other day had to decide whether a baker who made wedding cakes could refuse to make one for two men who planned to get married. He said he refused because his religion is against same-sex weddings and also because he speaks through the design in the frosting on the cake. Making him make the cake would be forcing him to speak in a certain way in which he did not want to speak.
That’s the argument used by the people who ran the South Boston St. Patrick’s day parade when they excluded gays from marching in that parade. They said they owned the forum and it was up to them to decide what speech would be presented there. The Supreme Court agreed.
I can see that but a wedding cake? What is the cake at wedding saying about any issue? Does it in any way suggest that the baker by putting it there is in favor of this wedding?
All of us who have been to weddings, same-sex or otherwise, have seen the wedding cakes. Did it ever occur to you to ask the cake any questions? Or did you assume that because a certain baker made the cake he or she was giving approval to the couple being married. You know how in the movies and perhaps in real life the person performing the marriage ceremony asks if any persons object to the couple being joined in marriage and admonishing them to speak up now or forever hold their peace. If someone spoke up could the cake be brought in to show that the person who baked it had no objection?
In truth, unless we want to become silly which we often do, the wedding cake says nothing about the newlyweds other than whether they broke the bank on it. Suggesting it is a form of endorsement of the couple by the baker who made it is really nonsense. If anything it is non speech. It is a wedding cake that says no more than the sidewalk outside the wedding hall. There is really no First Amendment issue here anymore than there is when I put out the trash barrels to be picked up even if I spent time designing the trash barrel in a particularly artistic manner.
As for the religion argument there are some religions that oppose same-sex marriages believing they are sinful and others that won’t perform same-sex marriage ceremonies. There are some religions that consider divorce sinful and won’t perform marriage ceremonies for divorced people. My take on them is they expect their follower hold the same beliefs and conduct themselves in accordance with these beliefs. But as far as I know the religions don’t teach that you shun or otherwise have nothing to do with those who believe differently.
The baker is not being asked to perform the wedding or participate it in any way other than baking a cake for it. As noted earlier no one looks upon a wedding case as an endorsement by the baker of the wedding any more than they look upon the maker of the dress as having endorsed the wedding. But who am I to tell the baker that making the cake does not violate his religion if that’s what he wants to believe his religion teaches. But then again I would never tell one of those Southerners who would not let blacks sit at their lunch counter that they should not do it. Like with them I’ll wait for the government to tell the baker he must treat all customers equally if he wants to have a business open to the public.