At a first glance, the Supreme Court ruling involving Jack Phillips might not seem like a big deal. After all, marriage equality wasn’t eliminated and remains intact. Also, as many news shows have mentioned, the semantics of the case is narrow. But to think the ruling doesn’t matter is a mistake.
One problem with the ruling is that Jack Phillips’ bakery is a public business, not a private organization. And in the United States, there’s something called a separation of church and state. That means Jack Phillips is free to have his religious beliefs. But he doesn’t get to peddle those beliefs onto anyone else. Let’s consider a scenario for a second. Imagine there’s an African American or Jewish patient at a hospital in need of medical attention. Although the doctor is racist or anti-Semitic and doesn’t want to treat the patient. The situation might be hypothetical. However, it is not unrealistic for something like that to happen. Even a small ruling such as the recent Supreme Court ruling has consequences. Other discrimination could happen, and it doesn’t take a lawyer to realize more litigation is inevitable. One only needs to look at Tennessee where a hardware store recently put up a sign that said “No Gays Allowed.” Also, anyone who uses Christianity (or any religion) to discriminate fails to see the point of religion. Because guess what? Some of the conservatives and Republicans criticizing Muslim countries for being theocracies are hypocrites. They’d love the same thing for the United States if given the chance. Except substitute Islam with Christianity.
Another problem with the ruling is that Republicans and conservatives have to stop framing themselves as victims. They control all three branches of government—so they have no reason to think they’re oppressed. If someone wants to call out Republicans or conservatives for their bigotry that’s not being intolerant, that’s telling the truth. Some issues are right or wrong, and there’s nothing bad with someone’s “free thinking” not including intolerance, racism, or bigotry.
The ruling also ignores America’s history of Otherism. Whether it is against the Irish, African Americans, Jews, the Chinese people, or against Mexicans, Muslims, and other immigrants right now. And that isn’t okay There is no place for hate, bigotry, and intolerance. The goal for any society should be to have as many productive members as possible. And that won’t happen if gay people and the rest of the LGBTQ+ community get pushed into the shadows.
Also, Jedediah Bila (a former co-host for The View) made a good point this time last year on The View. Technically, Jack Phillips also doesn’t do “adult” themed cakes, Halloween cakes, or anti-American cakes. However, Jedediah pointed out how Jack Phillips should ask Christian couples if they engage in premarital sex, have a child out of wedlock, or are living in “sin.” Phillips’ defense was that he doesn’t judge anyone. Well, he is judging, but he doesn’t want to say so.
Furthermore, Jack Phillips misses the point. Apparently, he had no problem selling another cake to the couple. Well, same problem; different item. Separate isn’t equal. When the Supreme Court first agreed to hear the case this time last year, Jedediah (of The View) made another good point. She mentioned how baking the cake doesn’t mean Jack Phillips was endorsing, officiating the wedding or even had to attend the ceremony. He just had to make the cake.
There’s also a third group of people that aren’t fully discussed. There’s a gray area between being tolerant and being bigoted. And that is not necessarily helpful. It all goes back to the saying about Nazi Germany regarding the list of people the Nazis came for. The point is, apathy is dangerous. God forbid someone who is neutral about the cake issue finds himself or herself in a moment of need and nobody else is there/cares enough to speak up. Ultimately, if someone is privileged, then he or she might receive less flack for speaking up.
The Supreme Court ruling also points to the issue of how gays (and the rest of the LGBTQ+ community) are not really a protected class in the same way that women and people of color are. Marriage equality might be law, but there isn’t adequate legal protection when it comes to housing and employment in some states. Just look at Noah and Luke from the former CBS soap opera As The World Turns. The example is fictional, yet alludes to their not being full equal protection under the law. Noah and Luke were discriminated denied a lease by a landlord after he suspected they were a gay couple.
Finally, the cake issue points to the larger problem of how Trump is a threat to the LGBTQ+ community. Twice now, Trump has tried to implement the transgender troop ban in addition to how Vice President Mike Pence is an example of a Christian peddling his or her beliefs by being against gay marriage. Sorry. But someone who calls their wife, “mother” loses the right to judge others. That’s a little too close to Norman Bates territory.
Also, as Whoopi Goldberg says, “If you don’t like gay marriage, don’t marry a gay person.” And sorry, not sorry. Until the Republican Party changes its platform, someone cannot be a Republican and call themselves an LGBTQ+ ally. Because the narrative that someone can’t care about the economy and social issues is rubbish. They aren’t mutually exclusive. And let’s not forget this October is only the 20-year anniversary of the Matthew Shepard case. His two killers pretended to be gay to entice him, pistol-whipped him, tied him to a fence, and set him on fire, leaving him to die. If you want to read more about the Matthew Shepard case you can read about it here.
So, yeah. The Supreme Court ruling encompasses more than a cake.