Social Question

Rarebear's avatar

What do you call it when you force someone to do something against their will?

Asked by Rarebear (25162points) December 16th, 2013

It’s called baking a cake

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

37 Answers

Katniss's avatar

Well isn’t he an asshole! He’ll bake a cake for dogs, but not a same sex couple?
His choice I guess, but I still think he’s an asshole.

LuckyGuy's avatar

What if the judge had ruled in his favor thereby allowing him to not bake? Would the response be the same if he said he did not want to bake a wedding cake for Asians, or Blacks, or Jews, or Irish, or Doctors? Where is the discrimination line drawn? The judge decided it is drawn to include everyone – even dogs. But not cats! Please, not cats! Just kidding… I really mean no gerbils.

My guess is that the couple went there to have the cake made and were shocked and repulsed by his stance. They most likely did not start out to make a federal case of it. They just wanted a cake.

glacial's avatar

You mean the way this website forces you to answer a survey in order to read the article? I call that rude.

Katniss's avatar

I didn’t have to answer a survey….. Whatchootalkinbout @glacial.

Rarebear's avatar

@glacial I didn’t have to answer a survey either. Maybe you need to run a malware screen on your PC?

glacial's avatar

@Rarebear No, it’s just a standard Google survey. I’m fine, thanks.

Juels's avatar

He may be forced to bake cakes for gays now, but I doubt any of them will use his services. I wouldn’t eat it! Then again, if I had money to waste, I’d order cakes from him and then throw them out. It would be worth it just to force him to make them.

Rarebear's avatar

@Juels Well, as the author of the article said, there is all kinds of ways to protest this. Pickets, signs, Yelp reviews, etc.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

I call it working for a living.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Jesus, as a carpenter, most likely did business with lots of folk that didn’t live like he did. In fact, most of his associations were with a segment of culture looked down upon by the general society at large.

If this man is a Christian, then he should consider modeling his life on Christ… That whole good Samaritan thang.

OTOH… as the article states, forcing someone to do something is not what our society was founded upon. I fear that sometimes these cases are setup specifically to create the chaos. The mechanic down the street doesn’t work on foreign cars. He doesn’t like them. His parking lot has a sign that says “Foreign cars will be towed at owners expense”.

I go somewhere else without complaint.

Rarebear's avatar

I wonder if the judge is forcing him to make a cake that tastes good.

bolwerk's avatar

Randoids make dumb arguments even when they could have a case. If the nobody is forcing me to do it argument is operative here, we could easily say nobody forced this guy to run a bakery that is open to the public and presumably consumes some public services.

I don’t think he should be forced to bake the cake, or see why a homosexual couple would want a cake from him, but Libertardian stay off my lawn ideology is just bullshit here.

LuckyGuy's avatar

This reminds me of the pharmacists who refused to fill women’s prescriptions for birth control pills. Where does it stop? What if a Doc prescribes an antibiotic, calls it in to a pharmacy, and the pharmacist decides he will not serve Cat owning, Black Asian Lesbians with MD degrees? Is that his right? Do we want it to be?
Apparently there are numerous court cases going on as we speak.

If he makes the cake, I wouldn’t eat it. I’m straight and not in the market for a wedding cake but if I had it, I would do everything in my power to make it a symbol of his bigotry and resistance. I might have a big party and donate it to a homeless shelter. If any of them get sick is would be even more bad press for him.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Well, it’s his business. I think the judge was wrong. Sure, the guy is an A-hole, but what did the gay couple hope to accomplish by suing him? Get attention? Are they seriously going to accept the cake from him now? Who would want a wedding cake that’s hatefully and grudgingly made?

Rarebear's avatar

@bolwerk You sure like calling people names when you don’t agree with them. Exactly what part of the article offended you? The fact that it was written by a libertarian? If, say, a liberal had written the article, would you have been so condescending?

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

A lot of wedding photographers are getting sued for refusing to photograph gay ceremonies. The photo forums are pretty heated about it, on both sides of the argument.

On one side, equal rights to services.

On the other, self employment prerogative, and personal conviction.

As a photographer, I can see both sides. I’ve been requested to shoot many nudes in my time. I don’t do them. Can’t imagine if a judge ordered me to do nude photography, or arial photography (afraid of planes). I’d like to think my personal self employment career is secure in pursuing my own style, and only the subjects that I wish to collaborate with.

But as a fashion photographer, I deal with numerous homosexual models, and stylists too. I don’t really care what orientation my subject is. Often the homosexuals are more adept at their clothing styling, or hair/makeup. They can be better, more refined. Sometimes…

Rarebear's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies The situation is obviously exactly analogous, and I couldn’t agree with you more. As the article said, the judge was likely forced to rule in the gay couple’s behavior because of the laws in Colorado. But it’s a good question as to whether or not the courts are the right place to do this. Should this be litigated in the courtroom or by the court of public opinion?

ucme's avatar


RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Court of public opinion for me.

Should a comedian, or musician, or any artist, be forced to play at a venue they don’t appreciate? What if they don’t like strip clubs? Could a judge force a comedian to perform at a strip club?

Confessing here, I photographed a gay man a few years back, for his portfolio. He approached me later with news that a gay magazine wanted to run the photo on the cover. I declined permission for the photo to be used specifically because the association would have overturned decades of reputation building within my market. I didn’t decline because it was a gay magazine. I declined because it was a nasty magazine. Some of my long time paying clients would definitely question using me again if I associated with such a rag. I cannot risk my livelihood on such a thing. Associations are everything.

But getting out of it requires tact. The word “nasty” is subjective. So instead of arguing about it I just raised the price to a level that was unattractive to the prospective buyer.

I have no doubt the baker questioned how many conservative heterosexual customers might be lost if he had a reputation for serving homosexuals? A terrible question to ask one’s self. But how can a self employed person not at least wonder about it.

I don’t photograph drag queens playing with their favorite dildos. I have reasons for this. Somebody going to sue me for that?

Rarebear's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies And I’d be willing to bet that had you photographed a woman in a sexy outfit, and she approached you to see if she could put it on the cover of Hustler, you would have declined also, but if it were the cover of Cosmopolitan, you probably would have accepted.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Oh no doubt. My reputation does not service that market. Doing so would kill my reputation.

Rarebear's avatar

(before you answer, note that I edited it)

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Cosmo, sure! Who do I have to blow?

bolwerk's avatar

@Rarebear: Who said I was offended? It was written by a liberal. Randroids are liberals. They are not libertarians, despite how the call themselves that “name.”

poisonedantidote's avatar

You know, I am all in favor of gay marriage and equal rights, but in this case here, I think they should have ruled in favor of the baker guy.

I should add, that I think the gay couple did the right thing, and that it was necessary to sue the guy and have some light brought on this kind of behaviour.

However, I think, if you set up any business, you personally work, save money, or get a loan or whatever, and you set up your business investing 1000’s and 1000’s of bucks, then your rights always come before the rights of the customers, in terms of who you are willing to serve.

Yes, it is horrible of him to treat customers like that just because they are gay, but take a moment to think how horrible it is for him. He is a small minded bigot, and seeing a picture of two gay men kissing would probably freak him out and ruin his day. I almost feel sorry for the owner, like I would feel sorry for a retarded child that gets bullied by a bigger kid.

We have to respect the right of gay people to get married, but we also have to respect the rights of others, and if a close minded awkward-thoguhts-about-men-kissing-baker wants to work really hard to get his own little corner of the world, so he can close himself of from all the “horrible gay things” in the world, then you know what, I am kind of in favor with him.

Let him lock himself up with his cakes and sprinkles, so he can prance around his bakery in a pinny, safe in knowing he is not doing anything remotely gay.

bolwerk's avatar

@poisonedantidote: the homosexuals he says no to are still paying taxes to support the public services like roads, water, and sewers he consumes. They have the right to pay fair market price for a service offered to the general public.

Dutchess_III's avatar

There are signs that say “We have the right to refuse service to anyone.” The baker had the right to refuse service to the customer.

LuckyGuy's avatar

@Dutchess_III Does he have the right to refuse service because the customer is Black? or Female?
Just askin’.

poisonedantidote's avatar

@bolwerk I agree, they do have a right to this service, but he also has a right to say no. He has all his life invested in the business, and the couple have other places to buy cake from.

Their tax money for the roads does not go in to the bakers pokets, it is his business.

How would you feel, if you owned a cake shop, and you were proud to serve everyone, but the government told you that you can’t serve cripples anymore.

If it is a public company, with share holders and many minds, it is different, but if it is a small private company owned by some guy, I will always vote for the rights of the guy, versus the power of the government. I say, he should get to run his business however he likes.

And lets face it, he is running his business directly in to the ground anyway. He is in the wedding cake business, his target demographic has just increased at least 100% overnight, and he is too dumb to cash in on it. He will get out competed in no time.

What kind of gay couple would want a bigot to bake cakes for them anyway. This will just turn in to some poor cruel punishment for the guy, as gays line up around the block, waiting to buy cake from him just to piss him off.

I feel like the owner, should be able to avoid baking cake for gay people, on the grounds of mental health issues. Imagine how much of an emotional and mental pressure it must be for him, to actually refuse to serve them.

Can’t it just be, that you have a nice big city, where you can buy everything you want, but there is also that one shop with a crazy guy who wont serve gay people.

I just think, that the owner should have more rights than the government, over his own business. I think, he should bake a cake for them, but only out of free will.

Because, we could also argue the oposite, and you would agree with me.

What if he had a bakery, and prided himself on serving everyone, but the government in the area got all fundamentalist one day, and they banned him from baking cakes for gay people.

I just think, it should always be up to the owner (note i said owner, not owners, none of this applies to massive companies). If the owner wants a smoking area, then he has one, if he does not want one, he does not have one, and so on.

CWOTUS's avatar

Personally, I don’t agree with the baker, either, but I stand by his decision to decide who he wants to do business with. Even if it comes down to discriminating against left-handed blondes, @LuckyGuy. Even if it comes to that. I believe that anti-discrimination law has gone entirely too far in this country. As far as government and other obviously public services that we all pay for, there should be zero discrimination, and laws that prohibit that cannot be strong enough. But when it comes to private parties and businesses, I think that many of those affected by these laws to associate with people with whom they would rather not associate – for whatever reason, and they can be as public or private as they want with their reasoning – will drive discrimination underground and make the problems worse than the problems we’re trying to “fix”. Government is not the answer, once again.

This has been happening with private rentals for years, where landlords can no longer advertise for “Christian” tenants, and owners of duplex housing cannot discriminate against the people who will live in the other half of their own home, for example, on any grounds. I think this is wrong. (I think that both sides in a dispute like that are “wrong”, but I think that suing to force specific performance from an owner who has signed no contract is more wrong.)

I hope that the bakery owner appeals the decision and in the meantime secures an injunction against execution of the court’s decision. Knowing how the appeals court docket is backed up, I expect that the hearing on this case won’t occur until after the divorce, anyway.

glacial's avatar

@Dutchess_III The fact that someone makes signs that say “We have the right to refuse service to anyone” doesn’t automatically grant anyone that right. Imagine the power that signmaker would have if it did!

I’d order a sign saying “Everyone who reads this sign must give its owner $100”.

bolwerk's avatar

@poisonedantidote: that cripples example doesn’t even make sense. The government isn’t forcing him to discriminate against anyone. It’s forcing him not to discriminate against anyone. Maybe I agree that, as practical matter, it’s better to just let this go as long as the discrimination is not systemic (e.g., gays really can get their cakes elsewhere), but the people pretending this is just a private matter are full of shit.

@glacial: @Dutchess_III is half right. They probably have a right to discriminate, as long as it’s not against a protected class. Evidently Colorado sees gays as a protected class.

glacial's avatar

@bolwerk My point is that the existence of the sign does not prove either way whether they have that right.

Dutchess_III's avatar

If it is a privately owned business I think they do have the right to refuse service. It may make them an asshat, but I think they have that right. But…I assume the judge knows better than I.

bolwerk's avatar

@glacial: but it might give them some legal maneuvering in exercising it against a non-protected class (e.g., Nazis or something).

Kropotkin's avatar

The cake maker works with various raw ingredients such as flour, sugar, various fruits, colouring agents, etc At no stage does this Christian cake maker himself extract, pick or manufacture these ingredients. Yet, he is completely dependent on their production and distribution for the functioning of his business, and for the making of cakes at all.

He’s obtaining things which other people have through their own labour produced, and I would wager that the people picking the fruits, picking the wheat, milling the flour, picking the sugar canes, and processing the sugar—none of them get to say to whom their product should be sold, none of them get to say who can or can’t consume their sugar.

Christian workers on a sugar plantation don’t get to add some condition that the product of their labour should not go toward the manufacture of confectioneries to celebrate events which offend their religious sensibilities, or anything else.

The Christian cake maker likely didn’t build the premises of his business. The brick layers and builders and the architect who were responsible for the construction of the building, which now houses his cake making business, didn’t get to have a say in how that building was to be used. They didn’t get to say that only anti-gay business owners would be able to operate there, or that if there were to be a cake maker there, it would be a cake maker unable to make cakes for gay weddings.

The people who deliver the ingredients to the cake maker don’t get to question his beliefs and motives, delivering the ingredients in vehicles built by people who didn’t get to have a say in who gets to drive them and for what purpose, along the roads built by road builders who didn’t get to decide who can use them or not.

What I’m getting at is this Christian is just one person in a long interconnected chain of economic activities, and I do not see why he should be imbued with some extra privilege of excluding people from his product based on his religious whims, when at no point could anyone deny their products that this Christian uses on the grounds that he’s a religious bigot with anachronistic views going against a shifting tide in social norms.

If he doesn’t want to make wedding cakes for gay couples, he shouldn’t be running a business at all.

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