16.5.13

Note To Bakers: Stop Being Awful to People

Just to be clear, this is a cake topper.
No one knows why, but bakers across the western United States are getting pissed. They're pissed at customers and gay people and Gordon Ramsay and Yelp and Reddit. They have toiled ceaselessly, preparing treats to make us smile, but we are frowning, and they have had it up to HERE.

First, Amy Bouzaglo of Amy's Baking Company in Scottsdale, Arizona (because of course it's Scottsdale) stole the season finale of Kitchen Nightmares by making Gordon Ramsay seem more mild-mannered than a Canadian accountant, then proceeded to drape the internet with a fondant crafted from pure refined wrath. I'm not going to explain anymore. Just go here and read everything, then watch the embedded videos. I promise: you will be deeply entertained.

But more to the interests of this blog are the actions taken by Pam Regentin of Fleur Cakes in Hood River, Oregon...

Some context: back in February, Sweet Cakes bakery in Gresham, Oregon (the most widely mocked of the Portland suburbs), refused to bake a wedding cake for a gay couple. It was national news. Now the bakery is under investigation for violating the Oregon Equality Act of 2007, which "prohibits discrimination against people based on their sexual orientation and gender identity."

Then, the other day, Pam Regentin found out the couple who was coming in to taste cake samples was lesbian. She then refused to bake their cake, which was mighty presumptuous considering they hadn't even had samples yet. When informed she was violating Oregon law, Regentin replied "I believe I have the liberty to live by my principles." And a bunch of people who don't like dark skin are all like, "Why didn't I think of that excuse?"

Look, bakers, I get it. You believe homosexuality is wrong, and you have Bible verses to back that up. That's fine. I'm not asking you to reject those beliefs.

But this is stupid. You aren't joining gay people in marital union. You are making a cake that will look pretty on a table and then be devoured by a host of gluttonous liars, coveters, and adulterers. Their bodies will comb the digested cake for sparse nutritional value, and the cake will be shit out and flushed into Hood River's sewer system.

If your aim is to change marriage laws to closer reflect your view of Christianity, you are hurting your cause. If you are so bereaved at providing dessert for a same-sex couple, why not take the money they pay and donate it to some anti-gay marriage group? Because, again, you are not being asked to condone homosexuality. You are being asked to mix flour and egg and sugar together, then heat it to the point it becomes DELICIOUS.

(Note: There are exceptions. If, say, a gay person asks you to place a plastic figurine of Jesus at the top of their cake, and then they tell you to rig it with natural gas so everyone can watch your Lord and Savior burn during the best man's [?] speech, and they ask you to recite a full renunciation of your faith during the wedding ceremony, you are perfectly welcome to politely reject their patronage.)

I mean, do you really, REALLY think this is how Jesus would respond? You think he made customers at his carpentry shop repent before he would build them an end table? Let me put it this way: do you refuse cakes to divorced couples? Do you ask them how their previous marriages ended, and only agree to make the cake if the cause for divorce was adultery? No, of course you don't, because that would be incredibly rude, because YOU ARE NOT MARRYING THAT COUPLE. YOU ARE BAKING A CAKE.

Thanks for your time.

4 comments:

  1. I don't disagree. The bakers are in the wrong, being unkind, overthinking it, and all that.

    But those wielding laws against them are making a mistake. So far as i can tell, they refused to bake a cake for a gay wedding, not a gay person. I suspect they'd not refuse service to a gay customer purchasing a cake for a straight wedding, and might very well refuse a straight person requesting a cake for a gay wedding.

    You see, those discrimination laws are there to keep people from discriminating against you on the basis of who you are, not to prevent them from discriminating on the basis of what you do or, particularly, what you plan to do with their product. It's actually a big difference, once you think on it.

    The bakers are jerks. I agree that they should just make the damn cake and not make a fuss. But there is no way that we should be using force to make them bake it.

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    1. I actually agree, Nate. The Oregon law part of this was the only thing that bugs me. I'm comfortable with these places being called out in the public square, but prosecuting them is over the top.

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    2. Yep. And honestly, calling them out in the public square has slightly better odds of changing hearts and minds (theirs and onlookers) than laws do.

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  2. Actually, Oregon law states that it is illegal for businesses offering the public any accommodations, advantages, facilities or privileges, whether in the nature of goods, services, lodging, amusements or otherwise, to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation. Both of these bakeries are businesses licensed by the state. If they had gone to the owners as private citizens and asked them to make their wedding cake, they could absolutely refuse. But the didn't. They went to their business. Making wedding cakes is part of the public accommodation they offer as a business. It is a service the provide. And the law says that as a business, they must provide that service equally without regard to race, gender, religion, national origin, physical or mental disability, age, gender identity, or sexual orientation. These bakers both claim that they do not discriminate against gay "people" because, as Pam Regintin, owner of Fleur Cakes put it, "I offered to make them a birthday cake." Well, that's like a restaurant owner saying, "I didn't discriminate against those black people! I offered make them fried chicken but they wanted fillet mignon and well, that's just for white folks." It is not an equal accommodation, and that is a crime.

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