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Of guns, gays and wedding cakes: Left’s hypocrisy reveals itself again

By   /   August 30, 2013  /   15 Comments

AP file photo

DENY ENTRY: Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn wants businesses to deny entry to those who carry guns.

By Dustin Hurst | Watchdog.org

When is it perfectly acceptable for a business to deny service to potential customers based on moral grounds?

Answer: It just might depend on who’s running your city or state.

Earlier this month, Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn announced the start of a campaign that would encourage local businesses to sign up to go gun-free. The city does not require businesses to join the program, but interested companies can place a gun-free sticker in their front windows, a message that gun-carriers just aren’t welcome.

“Businesses have the right to establish condition of entry, including prohibiting guns,” the sticker reads.

It’s much like the dress-code requirement convenience stores post on entry doors: No shirt, no shoes, no service.

“We are here to support businesses that do not wish to have guns on their premises,” McGinn said Aug. 19.

In summary, businesses that morally object to guns have the right to deny service to carriers? Got it.

Except, that’s not always the case.

Drop one state to the south and the left’s hypocrisy on rights and moral objections reveals itself.

The Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries announced just two weeks ago it was launching an investigation into Sweet Cakes by Melissa, a Gresham bakery that refused to prepare a wedding cake for a lesbian couple.

The bakery’s owner, Melissa Klein, said she turned away the couple on moral and religious grounds.

“It’s definitely not discrimination at all. We don’t have anything against lesbians or homosexuals,” she told Oregon Live. “It has to do with our morals and beliefs.”

Unfortunately for Klein, she doesn’t have a city official or other bureaucrats encouraging her to stand by her values. In fact, Oregon has a law, passed in 2007 by a Democrat-controlled Assembly, that prevents businesses from turning away customers based on several factors, including sexual orientation.

Standing by her principles could cost Klein: Under the 2007 law, if the state department finds merit in the case, a judge could force the bakery to pay civil damages.

Dave Rowland, a policy analyst at the Seattle-based Freedom Foundation, told Watchdog.org on Friday the contradiction exists among the left, and forcing businesses to accept customers comes close to the ideas of “forced labor” and “involuntary servitude.”

“Why should they be required to provide those services?” Rowland asked.

Rowland’s intellectually honest on the issue, admitting that he’d have a problem with an ordinance forcing owners to allow customers to carry guns in businesses.

The American Family Association rushed to the bakery’s aid, arguing the company is protected under the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Update: Over the weekend, Sweet Cakes by Melissa announced that it had closed its doors and is moving its operation in-home. Though the business reported an uptick in sales after the initial incident, business declined in the months following. Here’s a link to the story. 

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Dustin is the Social Media Coordinator for Watchdog.org and a staff writer for Northwest Watchdog. He specializes in finding government waste, reporting on elections and innovating new media strategies.

  • threebarrs

    I believe that a person or persons who have taken the time and money (usually their own) to start a business and work longs hours at making it a success, HAS THE RIGHT TO REFUSE SERVICE TO ANYONE, ON ANY GROUNDS. That Oregon law seems like the government infringing on the rights of business owners, but then for several years many local, state and of course, the federal government have all felt that we need more laws since we are incapable of taking care of ourselves any more. I suggest that those people who don’t want to be responsible for themselves, all get together and start their own community/country and let THEIR government take care of them and leave the rest of us alone. I don’t want to keep supporting (using my tax money) those people who don’t want anything other than to be taken care of in every aspect of their existence and further, for them thrive on it!

  • jneider

    So you would be OK with a shopkeeper refusing to serve African-Americans, or Latinos, or Jews, or Muslims? What about a shopkeeper in a minority neighborhood who refuses to serve non-minority folks? Would it be OK for a shopkeeper to refuse service to those with blue eyes? How about refusing service to everyone who wasn’t blonde-haired, blue-eyed with a German name? What about refusing service to people who are married to individuals with a different racial appearance? Just trying to assess how much bigotry and segregation you’ll tolerate.

  • Michael M.

    Of course, guns pose a safety risk that business owners may want to avoid. I doubt a gay couple’s wedding cake has ever killed anyone …

    That being said, as a gay man, I find the lawsuits over wedding cakes and photos to be a stupid fight to pick. Just take your money to a gay friendly business and let economics sort it out.

  • Shoot

    I’m sure some Gun Nuts will sue whomever bans guns from their business. And then some Gun Nuts will ban people who don’t carry guns inside their business. And then someone will accidentally shoot a coworker. Hey, shoot happens!

  • Shoot

    The gay wedding cake buyers should’ve just become straight and then they could’ve gotten a cake. And the gun nuts will just have to become anti-gun activists to go into a gun-free business. No big deal!

  • Katherine

    Thank you Dustin for laying out the problem with the left, clear and simple.
    A 6th grader would get it. Well, that would depend on what OR school district he/she was in.

  • SixSixSix

    Ok. So I can discriminate against you because of something you are. I hate Christians, so I don’t let them in. Probably I can shoot missionaries if they come on my property after I post a sign saying NO CHRISTIANS PERMITTED. If they order a cake with a cross on it. Wow, I am home free and they aren’t.

    But if I discriminate against you because of something you chose to carry that is a threat to the life of myself, my family, my friend, my colleagues and employees, customers, and and members of the general public, well then I can’t discriminate. You can walk in with Samaria swords, huge jungle knives, and 50 caliber weapons, rocket launchers, toxic chemicals, militarized chain saws, flame throwers. Wow, I am so glad that Fascists understand the real meaning of FREEDOM. Just like Hitler who relax gun laws too. And he was a vegetarians so he must have been a nice buy personally.

    Not that it could have anything to do with your right to vote, your right not to have the government force you to breed against your wishes, your physical health, your mental health, or prevent you from marrying who you love because their religious intolerance is more important than your beliefs, your race, your religion (which they get to judge), your national origin, your citizenship (which they want to keep in a permanent underclass). No, those aren’t freedoms you need. Right Wing Big Brother knows better. Total complete hypocrites.

  • SixSixSix

    I believe the customer should have shot the owner. That way freedom would be served Zimmerman style.

  • threebarrs

    It should be up to the business owner to serve whom he wishes to serve. It is too bad that you think all of us are bigots, but that was not the intent of my comment. However, maybe you are right; maybe most people are bigots now – when I was raised 70 years ago in a family who made their living from running a business, we didn’t have to deal with people making polital statements by stating they were gay, or Muslim, or blue eyed or anything of the sort. Even a few years ago, [eople didn’t try to bait others or cause another person pain and suffering by announcing their sexual preference or religious preferences or even their political preferences when they were shopping. I’m sorry you took the comment in the context you did.

  • threebarrs

    I couldn’t agree with you more Michael M. I’m not gay, but I won’t shop where I am not wanted. I will seek out a business that will provide me what I want/need and is happy to take my money in exchange.

  • jneider

    My choice of words was poor, and I apologize. I had just watched a video about Martin Luther King, and thoughts of Southern segregation were fresh. I see discrimination against gays and lesbians to be the same as discrimination against other minority groups. And the couple didn’t “announce their sexual preference”, they simply came in for a cake for their wedding. Many Muslim or Jewish folks don’t “announce” their religion, they just wear clothing required by their religious beliefs. But you are absolutely right, calling names and being snippy in posts is just wrong. Its not something I normally do, and I’m sorry.

  • Sliops

    They didn’t announce their sexual preference while shopping. They were purchasing a cake and asked for their names on it. Nothing out of the ordinary.

  • Angie Nenneman

    I wonder why the lesbian couple felt the need to even mention to the bakery owner that they were gay? I certainly did not mention to the person that made my wedding cake that I was marrying a member of the opposite sex. What the heck?

  • jneider

    Many couples go together to place the order for their cake. We bought our (34 years ago) at Hy-Vee in Grinnell and did so. I’m pretty sure nobody at the Hy-Vee there would bat an eye if two women or two men walked in to place an order for their cake…

  • Frances

    What does this story have to do with the mission of Watchdog???? Is there any fraud or abuse of government programs? This looks like the ramblings of a religious bigot who can’t figure out that he’s writing for the wrong group. Pat Robertson is calling your name Dustin, and you can join his wacko theories about liberals. YOUR RELIGIOUS AGENDA IS NOT THE POINT OF THIS GROUP.