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I’m still frantically knitting and trying to get my project completed. I read this small article online and the thoughts were distracting me from concentrating on my knitting. Whatever it’s worth, or whatever you think it’s worth, this issue is out of my system for now.

Two years ago, a young gay couple entered a bakery in Lakewood, Colo. The men wanted to order a wedding cake. When he realised whose wedding it was, Jack Phillips refused the commission. Phillips doesn’t recognise same sex marriage; he feels that a wedding cake is an ‘iconic symbol of marriage’. And his attorney pointed out that Colorado, where Phillips lives doesn’t recognise same sex marriage either. The couple took him to court. Phillips is appealing a judge’s order that he stops what the court sees as a discriminatory practice. Phillips intends to fight it, but I think he hasn’t got a chance. And even if he did have a chance I don’t think that legislation is the point that should be considered here.

I’m not selective about who should have rights and who should not, so my first thought, therefore, was that whatever my personal opinions were the rights lie with Phillips who has the right not to recognize same sex marriage.

The conclusion I came to when I had a chance to rethink this issue was – oh my, it’s like refusing to serve black people or not allowing Jews to join clubs or not wanting to live next door to Muslims or anyone else who differs from what some in society feels is the conventional norm (fill in the blanks for yourself). I say some in society because I strongly believe that most of us are past that sort of thinking or behaviour. I have hopes that if someone explained it to the Jack Phillips’ of this world, they might have a change of heart.

I’m glad that the government can’t yet regulate what people think or feel. I’m sure that if they could, they would. As a civilian, Jack Phillips should be free to have his own personal opinions, but he doesn’t have the right to put a sign up that says ‘gays not welcome or served here’.

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6 thoughts on “It’s like refusing to serve…fill in the blanks

  1. You certainly like throwing out some twisty ones Mary.
    A person, such as Phillips, can’t be made to feel differently; and that might be even if he wants too. It will be up to him whether life changes his views I guess. As you say, It would be difficult in a service industry, as everyone who enters the door is a customer.
    He might have to change careers, although he is only prolonging the inevitable next meeting anyway.
    I wonder what the outcome will be?

    • Bruce, no one can be made (as in forced, nor should they) to feel differently about any issue. Human nature being what it is, you’re never going to get everyone to think the same way, but in my lifetime I’ve watched the impossible happen. I’ve seen a major shift in the way Gay people are viewed. If you’re looking for perfect, forget it, but it’s not too bad considering that had you asked me 40 years ago, I would have said that opinions were too strong and too widespread to ever change.

  2. As you say, this man is absolutely free to hold his own personal if ignorant views on the subject but if he in the service business then he has to keep his homophobic ideals at home. As a civilisation we have come a long long way when it comes to discrimination, thank goodness. Mind you, I would be worried at what went into the cake at that bakery…ugh!!!

    • I hadn’t thought of that last part. But if we believe that it’s possible to come a long way, then it’s only a matter of time before we will be a lot further along. 🙂

  3. It seems like a sign such as that could be an insult to people, and I think it best that we make an effort not to insult someone we don’t even know. On the other hand, I respect the choice of the private individual, even if he’s an idiot or a racist. I’m against forcing people to work with people they don’t like or doing work they don’t like. Even if they can’t stand Jews, and I’m Jewish, I respect their right of choice.

    • A sign like that definitely was an insult to people, Shimon. In the US signs told black people where they could sit on a bus; signs stopped them from being served in restaurants, drink from public fountains and signs told them they couldn’t use public facilities. Like you, I respect the personal opinions of a private individual whatever I thought about them or their opinion, but choosing not to work with someone because you don’t approve of their beliefs or their race or colour is wrong and usually leads to worse. I could never respect that sort of thing or accept it.

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