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02/13/2014

Audio: OR cake baker continues to let political movement's bad advice ruin his pastry business

by Jeremy Hooper

Aaron Klein, the Oregon cake baker who tried to discriminate against a lesbian couple on the basis of their sexual orientation, still doesn't get it, and folks like Family Research Council president Tony Perkins are determined to feed his misinformation stream. On his radio show yesterday, Tony tried to suggest that Oregon's non-allowance of same-sex marriage somehow trumps the state's nondiscrimination laws, while Aaron pretended that Christians have some sort of a super pass that lets them say "oh, but my faith" whenever they want to turn away a customer. Listen in:

Let me say it again: A wedding cake *never* has anything to do with the legalization of marriage. A cake is featured at a wedding reception, and both the confection and the party are optional components of the licensing and solemnization. That is why these matters crop up in a states where marriage equality is not a legal reality: because these situations have absolutely nothing to do with the tiers, decorations, or topper placed on the cake. This would go without saying, if not for the anti-gay crowd's continued attempts to conflate pastry with policy.

And as for conscience rights, there is no "right" to flout the law simply because of your personally-held faith. Talk about a slippery slope! Opening that door would literally open up limitless possibilities in terms of business discrimination. If it's okay for a person to say they are a Christian whenever they want to turn away a gay customer, then basically anyone has the right to cite personal conviction whenever they want to turn away any customer for any reason. The special exception that the anti-gay Christians are seeking would take all teeth out of the fairly enacted nondiscrimination laws that most of us view as proper and sensible.

Mr. Klein says he was surprised that the government would apply the law the way it did. But why? Why does he think he gets some sort of special carve out? Why does he believe that his faith, no matter how strongly held and no matter how strongly people (self include) respect his right to hold it, allows him to operate his business differently from the way others operate? Why does he get to apply his personal reads on what constitutes sin to gay people and not to all the other kinds of customers who would surely fall under his "sinner" umbrella? Why does he get a moral pedestal that puts his anti-gay beliefs above a customer's simple request for him to perform the job that he and his wife hung a shingle so that they could perform for the paying public?

Answer: Because a deceptive movement keeps feeding him lies. If he's smart, he will stop listening to folks who are using him for their own fundraising.

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