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A victory for free speech for everyone

Discussion in 'Speaker's Corner' started by Faustus, Oct 10, 2018.

  1. angel102

    Gangster

    Joined: Feb 1, 2013

    Posts: 300

    out of curioisty, just what do "gay cakes" tastes like? Are they different to straight cakes? Can you get vegan gay cakes as well? Gluten Free?

    Standing up for their rights is nothing to do with being intolerant when historically gay people have always experienced discrimination, physical and verbal attacks, being arrested even killed simply for being a little bit different to the rest of the people around them and for the heinous crime of loving someone else who happens to be the same sex as them, even heroes of this country like Alan Turing, maybe you should do some research on him.

    It's no different when men decide they get to dictate what women can and can't do with their bodies, when racists decide it's illegal for interracial couples to get married or for black people to vote, and countless other examples.

    Just because it's legal doesn't mean it isn't bigotry.
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2018
  2. kindai

    Soldato

    Joined: Aug 9, 2013

    Posts: 5,622

    Location: Bromsgrove

    If you want to go down the route of snarky comments like this, it is a debate you will lose, heavily. Some of my closest friends are gay and bi. Being part of a minority or oppressed group does not give you carte blanche to force your own ideologies and views on others or be free from criticism.

    Everyone has the right to live their life as they please free from harm or fear, and that right extends to both sides of the argument. You have the right to be gay or bi, identify as a waffle iron if you so please. The right that allows you to do that is the same right that allows someone else to take offense or object to how you live your life.

    Do I think the bakers are backwards thinking bigots? Yes, but I will stand up for their right to have that view and that is why this ruling is so important.
     
  3. dowie

    Caporegime

    Joined: Jan 29, 2008

    Posts: 36,485

    Why are you dodging previous responses and then churning out another rather dubious post?

    People don't have a "right" to whatever custom cake design they'd like. It still isn't clear what your argument/position is here - could you clarify it?
     
  4. GordyR

    Mobster

    Joined: Dec 1, 2003

    Posts: 4,146

    Location: Essex

    Everyone here seems to be missing why this was even a case in the first place.

    1. A business has the right to refuse a customer for any reason they see fit.
    2. People have the right not to be discriminated against based upon their sexuality.

    The problem was that in this instance, those two rights clashed, and a decision had to be made as to which one should take precedence.

    Trying to make this out to be nothing but a free speech issue and attempting to portray the result as a win for 'common-sense', is astonishingly intellectually lazy.

    It was nothing of the sort. The arguments were good on both sides and it really could have gone either way.

    In fact, given that homosexuality is not a choice, yet religion technically is, I would have expected it to be more likely that the ruling would favour the homosexual couple. Usually, when determining which right takes precedent in such a clash, the factor of choice is a heavy weight.

    But having said that, the fact that the issue was more to do with what the shop owners were being asked to write, rather than with the selling of the cake to homosexuals themselves (please correct me if I’m wrong), I expect that’s what swung it in the other direction.

    I wonder though. How do people feel when a Muslim checkout girl in Tesco refuses to serve alcohol on the grounds of her religion?

    Or if we want to make it a little more analogous to this specific case:

    How would people feel if a Muslim checkout girl in Tesco refused to sell to a Jewish customer, for no other reason than they were culturally Jewish by descent.

    Neither analogy is particularly good, but hopefully they serve to illustrate my point, which is that this case is nowhere near as simple or as easily determined as a lot of you here are making it out to be.
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2018
  5. SPG

    Mobster

    Joined: Jul 28, 2010

    Posts: 4,708

    That is extremely bad hiring policy, and take her off the tills to stack some cakes, and get a non Jewish hating cashier to do it........... problem resolved without conflict. I would then proceed to fire said Muslim girl on the grounds of not being able to do a job she was meant to do in the first place.....
     
  6. Meridian

    Man of Honour

    Joined: Oct 18, 2002

    Posts: 11,704

    Location: Vvardenfell

    In my experience the kind of people who use the expression "victory for common sense/free speech" tend to have views that can politely be described as "old-fashioned" and they trot these expessions out when the law steps backwards.

    But you are correct that in this case both had a point, and I'd argue both were also a fair bit wrong. I'll also go out on a limb and guess that the papers only reported about 10% of what actually happened. Yes, shops have a right to refuse to serve. But they do not have the right to descriminate. You can't refuse to serve (say) clothing to obviously gay people in a clothing store, so why should cakes get exempted? But also why should you be forced to write a message that you disagree with. At first glance the verdict looks a bit reactionary, but not unreasonable. The danger here is that bigots with far less reasonable arguments will use this as an excuse to descriminate more.
     
  7. kedge

    Mobster

    Joined: Sep 5, 2010

    Posts: 3,641

    That's your opinion many would disagree. If the situation was switched and the bakery was owned and run by members of the lgbt community and I wanted the slogan "Do not support same sex marriage" would they have provided that service?
     
  8. SPG

    Mobster

    Joined: Jul 28, 2010

    Posts: 4,708

    Yes, along with "Extras in the cake"
     
  9. GordyR

    Mobster

    Joined: Dec 1, 2003

    Posts: 4,146

    Location: Essex

    No, it's not my opinion. It's the consensus of the scientific community after decades of research. There's quite a difference.

    My opinions on the matter are completely irrelevant. All that matters is whats demonstrable.

    Personally I have no interest in doing so, but if you want to have a debate regarding the choice/innate nature of homosexuality, then I would recommend that you take it up with a geneticist who specialises in sexuality, as I'm not adequately qualified to argue for or against it.

    But then of of course, I suspect neither is anyone else here.

    I have no idea, you'd have to ask your hypothetical gay couple. But there's a false equivalence in your analogy.

    If they refused, then you would not be being discriminated against because of your sexuality, and therefore there would be no contradiction or clash of rights.

    So the way the law would see the two scenarios is extremely different, even if you can't see that difference yourself.

    Like I said, it's not really a case about free speech, and trying to make it so completely misses the whole reason as to why this was a case at all. Namely, two contradicting rights.
     
  10. GordyR

    Mobster

    Joined: Dec 1, 2003

    Posts: 4,146

    Location: Essex

    I don't think I would disagree with any of those actions.

    - If a hypothetical Muslim girl invoked her religion as a reason to avoid serving a Jewish customer, for whom she held bigoted views against, I would find that unacceptable.
    - If a hypothetical Christian couple invoked their religion as a reason to avoid serving a homosexual customer, for whom they held bigoted views against, i would find that unacceptable.

    What i'm interested in, and the reasons I made the analogy, is whether or not the people calling it a victory for common sense and free speech, would be claiming the same rights for a Muslims girl who refused a Jewish customer.

    I suspect not.

    In fairness, like I said, the analogies aren't quite equivalent as the actual case in question included the whole grey area around the message on the cake, as opposed to actually refusing to serve the homosexual customers at all.

    Which for what it's worth, would probably mean I too would take a purely legal approach and side with the bakers.

    But my point is, if people want to reduce this right down to merely a "freedom of speech" issue, which I don't believe it is, then up pop all these prickly areas where a huge amount of hypocrisy begins to become evident.
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2018
  11. SPG

    Mobster

    Joined: Jul 28, 2010

    Posts: 4,708

    Free speech..... is such a bad idea, what would be a better method is curtailed speech :)
     
  12. kindai

    Soldato

    Joined: Aug 9, 2013

    Posts: 5,622

    Location: Bromsgrove

    I'll make it easier.

    A straight couple walk in and order a cake with a swastica and heil hitler iced on it.

    The bakery turns the cake down because of the message that they disagree with.

    I dont think anyone would disagree with the bakery turning this down at this point?

    A neo-nazi walks in and asks for the same. They turn it down for the same reason, can the neo-nazi claim discrimination?
     
  13. GordyR

    Mobster

    Joined: Dec 1, 2003

    Posts: 4,146

    Location: Essex

    The bakers can turn them down in both instances, should they choose to, as is their right under law.

    But the difference is, by refusing them, neither the straight couple or the Neo-Nazi can claim to be being discriminated against based on something that is covered under law (in this case, their sexuality).

    There is no legal framework that covers the discrimination by a private company, against Neo-Nazi's. But when it comes to sexuality, there is.

    Like I said, the trickiness of this only rears it's head once we have a situation where one right (under law) can be claimed to contradict another.
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2018
  14. kindai

    Soldato

    Joined: Aug 9, 2013

    Posts: 5,622

    Location: Bromsgrove

    See this is where youre confusing the 2 issues by mixing in irrelevant information.

    It does not matter if the person ordering the "gay cake" was gay themselves or not. If a straight person had ordered the cake it would be been cut and dry.

    It is only because the person ordering it was gay, and believed he had been discriminated against. But if you remove the gay person and the conclusion is still the same, then the result is obvious.

    I believe somewhere early in the trial it was established this person had purchased numerous cakes from the the shop before, so its not like they have refused to serve him. It's only when he asked for a message to be put on the cake they disagreed with.
     
  15. GordyR

    Mobster

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    Location: Essex

    I actually edited that part out because I felt it obfuscated my point.

    In this specific case, it's pretty much the only thing that matters.

    If they weren't gay, there would have been no case as the bakery could have refused the order without 'potentially' infringing on anyone's rights.

    But that's just the point, the law covers that, and that's why it becomes complex and not merely about freedom of speech.

    Because they were homosexual, a legal case can be made that their rights were infringed. And we have a situation where two sets of laws are in direct contradiction with one another.

    I believe I've pointed that out myself on several occasions have I not?

    Regardless, I think you're missing the point I've been trying to make. It's probably my own fault for not articulating it well enough.

    I'm not making any sort of point around who I think was right, or who I think should have won the case. I'm explaining why, from a legal standpoint at least, this case goes way beyond a simple matter of "common sense" or "freedom of speech", as the OP and many others have suggested.

    It's a case that's actually quite complex and delves right into clashing rights laws for which until now, we have had no historic precedent with which to draw upon.

    EDIT: Although I probably shouldn't have, admittedly I did point out that if push came to shove, and even though I think that the refusal is one of the daftest things I have ever heard, I probably would have sided with the bakers in a court of law, because it was the message that was refused and not the individuals themselves.

    But that's entirely superfluous to the point I've raised and I would prefer to separate the two. They really are two very different discussions.
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2018
  16. Avenged7Fold

    Capodecina

    Joined: Sep 12, 2012

    Posts: 11,407

    Location: Surrey

    It was the order that the baker felt like he couldn't fulfill, not because of the customer but because he would feel like by creating it he would be going against his beliefs.

    I couldn't expect them to make the cake with the gay slogan no more than I could expect them to make a cake that said 'god is a lie' on it. To the baker it is the same thing, the issue is with his own beliefs not with the customer.
     
  17. D.P.

    Caporegime

    Joined: Oct 18, 2002

    Posts: 28,935


    Creating a slogan shouldn't be against his beliefs. Supporting the slogan, or being forced to create a banner in his shop or such, sure, but he has serious issues is coudln't simply put text on a bit of icing and get on with his life.
     
  18. Avenged7Fold

    Capodecina

    Joined: Sep 12, 2012

    Posts: 11,407

    Location: Surrey

    I get what your saying and agree it was silly but peoples beliefs can vary and though to you and me fulfilling an order does not mean supporting it, to others it may do and may make them feel guilty about it.

    I am sure you have met vegetarians that are veggie because they don't want to support the meat industry or animal cruelty . Some will refuse to eat vegetarian stuff from a bbq that has meat on it, even though it does not effect the meat industry.

    I think both the baker and the customer was silly for taking it that far. Do i think there should be legal consequences for the baker? Not at all beyond
     
  19. dowie

    Caporegime

    Joined: Jan 29, 2008

    Posts: 36,485

    They weren't discriminated against based on their sexuality, people seem to miss that point and did so when the story originally broke 4 years aog. They could have bought a cake without a political message on it if they'd wanted to. Gay marriage isn't universally supported by all gay people, it is a political position based on personal beliefs. I personally support gay marriage but it isn't currently allowed in Northern Ireland and it is a legitimate political position for someone to define marriage as being between man and woman and to oppose it. Likewise some people would prefer marriage to allow for more than two people to get married, that is again a political position.

    That was the issue! The shop owners have been clear from the start that they'd be happy to sell the customer a cake, the issue is simply the slogan they were asked to produce for it.

    As you said it isn't a good analogy, the muslim checkout girl is aware that the business sells alcohol when taking the job. A muslim shop owner is perfectly free to chose not to sell alcohol. In the case of the employee then the business could work with them to accommodate their beliefs but at the end of the day it is part of the job. The alcohol is a standard item that is already sold in the shop not a custom item that the employee could be asked to create.

    What do you think of the catholic/protestant baker scenarios? Or the Jesus and Mo cake and a muslim baker who doesn't want to draw an image of the prophet?
     
  20. dowie

    Caporegime

    Joined: Jan 29, 2008

    Posts: 36,485

    Yes he should probably get a life, but the choice is still his to make.

    What about a Muslim baker and a Mohammed cake?