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  #1  
Old 02 February 2013, 07:27 PM
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Default Same-sex couple files complaint against bakery that refused to make wedding cake

Title was to long so had to shorten it by removing city name from title.
http://www.oregonlive.com/gresham/in..._most-comments

Quote:
The state attorney general’s office is investigating a complaint against a Gresham bakery after a Portland woman said the business refused to make a cake for her wedding to another woman.

Laurel Bowman said her fiancée and her fiancée’s mother went to Sweet Cakes by Melissa, 44 N.E. Division St., for a cake testing on Jan. 17. When the owner discovered the cake was for a same-sex marriage, he called the couple “abominations unto the lord,” according to the consumer complaint filed the next day.


The response on yelp is interesting. http://www.yelp.com/biz/sweet-cakes-by-melissa-gresham

ETA: For those that don't know Gresham is part of the Portland area.
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  #2  
Old 02 February 2013, 08:32 PM
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Yea given the degree of same-sex acceptance in Portland (though I suppose out in Gresham things may be different) I'm surprised.

I'm always a little two-sided on the 'yelp bombing' type responses to things like this.. On one hand I figure why shouldn't people be aware of the owners views, particularly when it's a small business? I don't want to (if I can avoid it) give my money to people who are openly bigots. On the other hand Yelp (and sites like it) are for reviews, so 'reviewing' something you've never experienced just cause you read something you didn't like about it somehow seems like a misuse. On a third hand, and this gets more complex, where is the line? I mean overt bigotry is one thing but what if this person served everybody but donated money to anti-gay charities? What about charities that were anti-gay but indirectly (like the Salvation Army)? What if they just voted for an anti-gay candidate?
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Old 02 February 2013, 09:09 PM
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But unless you proudly tell the world about those things (in which case now you are being overtly bigoted), how would anyone find out about them?
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  #4  
Old 02 February 2013, 09:41 PM
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I have wondered at times if it is right to only punish places that are overt about their opinions.

I mean if I go to the 7/11 and buy a Coke I don't grill the guy behind the counter on his opinions about abortion, gun control, the death penalty, gay marriage, a Palestinian state, independence for Quebec, and whether or not he recycles before deciding whether or not to do business with them. It's only when the business puts their opinions out there that it becomes an issues.
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Old 02 February 2013, 09:52 PM
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The difference with your example is that in the OP it was the owner who made the comments and refused to serve the customer. The unspoken feelings of a person who's beliefs do not involve the business' operations don't mean much.

The OP bakery owner not only represents the business (he is the business) his beliefs impact the way his business is operated and it's interactions with customers since he actively is discriminating against people.
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Old 02 February 2013, 10:01 PM
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Well okay but my point still stands. Replace 7/11 with any "Mom and Pop" business.
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Old 02 February 2013, 10:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeBentley View Post
Well okay but my point still stands. Replace 7/11 with any "Mom and Pop" business.
If a business owner (and it has to be someone who directly represents the companies interests) doesn't make his feelings known and keeps them to himself, how are we to know if that person is a bigot? I don't think interrogating them is a good thing to do - it is rather impolite to ask such a thing. And really the only times a persons personal feelings are important is if they make them known. And if they do that, they should be called on it. I don't think it's appropriate to interrogate the owner though - odds are it won't get you accurate information - they will likely lie.
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  #8  
Old 02 February 2013, 10:16 PM
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Well that's sorta the point. We all have to understand on an intellectual level we all constantly "do business" with people that we disagree with, often on our most basic and cherished opinions, we just sorta agree not to talk about it. The whole "Don't discuss religion or politics" thing.

But from a certain POV doesn't that just punish people that aren't shy about their opinions? Is that a good thing?

I've always been of the opinion that I don't want the people I disagree with to just shut up and drop it. I want their opinions out there in the battlefield of ideas, I don't want them to fester in some dark corner and brood and grow.

I don't want to live in a world where the people that oppose gay marriage just shut up and sulk about it... I want to live in a world where less people oppose gay marriage.
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Old 02 February 2013, 10:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeBentley View Post
But from a certain POV doesn't that just punish people that aren't shy about their opinions? Is that a good thing?
It only punishes them in that they make a poor business decision. I look it from the perspective is that they have every right to open their mouths and deal with the consequences. However if a person wants to keep quiet, that is their choice too. Freedom of speech cuts both ways in my book. I don't judge people unless they provide me a reason to judge me. Until then, a persons feelings is none of my business.
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  #10  
Old 02 February 2013, 10:28 PM
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I understand that, but I also don't want to do business with people who express bigoted opinions, and I don't think I'm doing anything wrong by not doing so. That the people who are shy about their opinions get away with it isn't my fault. Life's not fair. The reality is., you if you put your opinions -- whatever they are -- out there in front of people, there are consequences.
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  #11  
Old 02 February 2013, 10:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeBentley View Post
I don't want to live in a world where the people that oppose gay marriage just shut up and sulk about it... I want to live in a world where less people oppose gay marriage.
I'd like to live in that world too, Joe, but I'm also in favor of one--for now--where people don't act on their hateful opinions. It isn't just about whether they can talk about it or should keep it to themselves. It's about them actively a) discriminating against a person as part of their business practices, and 2) saying hateful things to someone who came in wanting to simply conduct a business transaction.

I agree that people who have these opinions have the right to express them, and that good can come of engaging them in discussion, etc. But individuals who are not attempting to engage someone in a discussion about whether they are "abominations" should not have to bear the brunt of an interaction like the one in the OP.

I accept that people I do business with may despise me and all I stand for. I would prefer to support places that I, well, want to support, but if I'm treated with courtesy and professionalism then I have no need to seek out their views on anything. Once a business owner takes a public position though, then they are choosing to make that a consideration for customers. Obviously, sometimes it will benefit them, and sometimes it won't, and I don't fault people for wanting to make their business conform to their values--but I don't think they should escape the consequences of that, either.

ETA: And the way to make your business conform to your values would be to put those values up front, not spring a hateful diatribe on someone who is just trying to engage in a business transaction.

FETA: This doesn't mean that I'm in favor of people engaging in illegal discrimination if those are their "values." I was thinking of businesses that want to embrace green values, or express that they are Christian, or even the Chik-fil-A example, I guess. As long as they aren't actually discriminating, then they have a right to express their views, and people have the opportunity to choose whether to support them or not once the views are known.

Last edited by erwins; 02 February 2013 at 10:42 PM.
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Old 02 February 2013, 11:06 PM
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My thought is that if they (meaning the business owners) keep their religion/politics/philosophy separate from their business, I will too. If a business owner chooses to mingle those two aspects of their life, I have to consider that when doing business with them.
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  #13  
Old 02 February 2013, 11:13 PM
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Yep, I think it is important that people do have an inherent right to privacy. If they wish to make their beliefs known, that's their issue and it probably will be something I need to consider. Otherwise, we should respect their privacy.
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  #14  
Old 03 February 2013, 12:21 AM
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Joe, it sounds like you're defending discrimination as a form of free speech.
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  #15  
Old 03 February 2013, 12:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arriah View Post
My thought is that if they (meaning the business owners) keep their religion/politics/philosophy separate from their business, I will too. If a business owner chooses to mingle those two aspects of their life, I have to consider that when doing business with them.
This is how I view it. If a business owner want to vote against gay marriage, I may disagree with them, but that is their right. If they tell me they won't make a cake for two men or two women getting married, then I won't want to give them my business either.
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  #16  
Old 03 February 2013, 12:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ganzfeld View Post
Joe, it sounds like you're defending discrimination as a form of free speech.
Except it is sorta a legit thing to defend. But as we all do know, freedom of speech is not freedom from consequences. I don't think Joe is factoring that in. Lack of speaking out is a form of speech. It's just that it's pretty hard to read it unless the silenced person gives us a reason.
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  #17  
Old 03 February 2013, 01:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beachlife! View Post
If a business owner want to vote against gay marriage, I may disagree with them, but that is their right. If they tell me they won't make a cake for two men or two women getting married, then I won't want to give them my business either.
But what about the middle ground -- the business owner who doesn't refuse to serve gays, but who makes a point of expressing his (unbidden) opinion that gays shouldn't be allowed to marry?
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  #18  
Old 03 February 2013, 01:15 AM
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I probably wouldn't give them my business either. I don't care for people with vocal opinions, especially vocal opinions that I disagree with.
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  #19  
Old 03 February 2013, 01:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by diddy View Post
Except it is sorta a legit thing to defend.
Oh really? Is that why bus companies are still allowed to make black folk sit at the back? Free speech? Interesting.
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  #20  
Old 03 February 2013, 01:58 AM
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What? I said that speech has consequences. I never said that such things should go unchecked. I don't know how you could think I condone racist things. I support the right to say them while noting that speech has consequences. I don't think in any way Joe or I support or endorse the bakers actions. I am shocked that you you think that I would agree with that idea.

I support the right for people to do and say idiotic things. I also think we should hold them to the fire whe they do say these things.

I defend a very specific aspect of free speech. That doesn't mean that I endorse that speech.

Last edited by diddy; 03 February 2013 at 02:06 AM.
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