By Michael d’Oliveira
The Supreme Court’s ruling yesterday regarding the case of the Colorado baker who refused to bake a cake for a gay couple in 2012 is the latest fight over how the LGBT community is treated in this country.
In her dissent, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg wrote that the baker clearly discriminated against the gay couple. “What matters is that Jack Phillips [the baker] would not provide a good or service to a same-sex couple that he would provide to a heterosexual couple. In contrast, the other bakeries’ sale of other goods to Christian customers was relevant: It shows that there were no goods the bakeries would sell to a non-Christian customer that they would refuse to sell to a Christian customer.”
Supporters of the baker cite his freedom of religion. They don’t believe anyone should be compelled to violate their religious faith.
Phillips told the New York Times in 2014, “When I decorate a cake, I feel like I’m participating in the event. I believe the Bible teaches that homosexuality is wrong. And to participate in a sin is wrong for me.”
Phillips and others are certainly free to think homosexuality is a sin. Just as I’m free to believe that homosexuality is part of the normal human experience and that there’s nothing sinful about consensual sex between two adults in the privacy of their own home.
But it seems as though it’s the only “sin” that is used as a reason to deny someone service.
Why aren’t adulterers being denied service?
Why are devout Catholic bakers still making wedding cakes for people who have already had at least one divorce?
Why aren’t people who worship “false gods” being denied service?
Why aren’t people who take the lord’s name in vein being denied service?
And it’s not just confined to wedding cakes and other types of private business transactions.
The LGBT community is virtually the only group that has to actively fight against legislation that either aims to restrict its rights or prevent it from becoming more equal with heterosexual individuals.
Not everyone who is against gay marriage or gay adoption is a bigot. But the movements aligned against the expansion or preservation of gay rights are fueled by a lot of bigotry. There are a lot of people who say “love the sinner, hate the sin.” But there are also a lot of people who actively seek to demonize and dehumanize homosexuals. They often get compared to animals and are treated as less than normal human beings.
This is part of the underlying reason why the LGBT community is targeted so often when other “sinners” seem to not get any attention at all.
People don’t like adulterers and idolaters, but the “sin” of homosexuality seems to elicit a special kind of hatred. It could be partly a visceral reaction because many people are uncomfortable with the physical act of two men or two women having sex. Whatever the cause, it’s clear there’s a lot of hatred. Again, not everyone against gay rights hates homosexuals. But there’s no denying the ones who do are a big reason the LGBT community faces the obstacles it does.