On Monday June 4th, the Supreme Court issued a win for the First Amendment. Sort of, kind of. The Court ruled in a 7-2 decision that Colorado’s civil rights commission was unjustly hostile to baker Jack Phillips and even exhibited “religious hostility” towards him when he refused to bake a cake for a same-sex wedding. The Court did not rule on the question as to whether Phillips had the right to deny service to the same-sex couple. That decision could come soon as the Justices recently scheduled a similar case involving a Washingtonian florist for their consideration.
With the florist, the Justices will decide whether to acknowledge the First Amendment’s existence.
Supporters of same-sex marriage won the popular argument on the idea that what two consenting adults do is none of anybody else’s business. They laughed at anybody who cited religion as a reason why same-sex marriage should not be legal. They said that your religion and your heterosexual marriage would not be affected by a same-sex wedding, and they conjured up images of the dreaded sex police. They claimed that gays and lesbians are the latest group to have their civil rights movement.
Then the Supreme Court, complete with poetic ramblings from Anthony Kennedy, ruled in their favor. By their own words, that should have been the end of it, but it was not.
It’s Never Enough
In the same way that you should not have the government going between a woman, her doctor, and her health care choices, you should also subsidize abortion, birth control, and probably support single payer healthcare. The goalposts have moved.
Almost immediately, same-sex couples started suing religious bakers, florists, photographers, and videographers who cited their religious beliefs as the reason they could not service their wedding. The movement that won by arguing that their same-sex marriage would not affect your life is now threatening to make your life miserable if you do not actively participate.
If the Supreme Court rules in favor of the bakers and the florists, it would be a win for religious liberty and the First Amendment. But, the Court should rule that way even if they are members of the Richard Dawkins fan club. An atheist photographer who is also a hard-left radical feminist and who believes marriage is a patriarchal institution meant to enslave and oppress women also has the right to not take photos at a heterosexual wedding.
What Exactly Is A Wedding?
This is because a wedding is a private event, not a public accommodation. When you get married, you hire different people to do various things so you do not have to do them yourself. For example, you are not buying a camera from the photographer, you are hiring the photographer because of their abilities to take professional, high quality photos. They are essentially contractors, and in the United States, which is a free country, where you cannot force somebody into a contract.
The narrative about cases currently in front of the Supreme Court has been one about religious liberty. This is surely important. If the Court rules against religious liberty, it would do great damage to those who wish to practice their religion in public- that is outside of their homes and churches. But, the freedom of association has been overlooked. In the United States you should not have to be conscripted into participating in things that you, for whatever reason, do not support.