Thursday, February 14, 2013

Misery Hates…Discrimination under the guise of piety

In honor of Valentine's Day, here's an issue that's close to my heart.  Coincidentally it's also my first Misery Hates... post. 

Religion and intolerance are strange bedfellows.  On one hand, religion is supposed to promote virtues: love, loyalty, and plenty of shalt nots; while on the other, it's used as an excuse for the mentality of it’s-different-kill-it-with-sticks

There have been quite a few of these stories on the news recently, but as this was on the local news, I feel the need to say a few words.  A bakery in Oregon turned away a customer because they wanted a wedding cake for eek! two brides.  I’m not going to give the bakery any sort of advertisement here, so if you’re interested in boycotting them (or you’re the exact type of person I’m writing this entry about and want to send them fan mail) you can google it yourself.  

The proprietor claimed that same-sex weddings are against his religion, which is fine.  However, he felt within his right, in a public business, to not only discriminate against these women but to force the fiancée to tears by calling the couple “abominations unto the Lord.” 

Now, gay marriage is not legal in Oregon, unfortunately.  However, domestic partnerships are.  So if the owner of this business were to say, “I’m sorry ladies, but I’m not able to do a wedding cake for two brides, but I can do a domestic partnership cake.”  Then there wouldn’t really be a problem.  After all, a domestic partnership cake would have all the same rights as a marriage (except that if your partner were to die, you wouldn’t be allowed to eat what was left of their portion of the cake like you would with a traditional wedding cake.)  The problem is that on the basis of his moral high ground, the owner turned away a customer with legal tender from his public business. 

Let’s consider this for a moment.  Whether you believe that homosexuality is borne of nature or nurture, the fact remains: they’re here, they’re queer, get used to it.  You can hate it as much as you want, but the closet is open.  Waa. 

Here are some examples.  We’ll see if you can spot the differences.

I own a business (I don’t actually own a business.)  A customer comes in with legal tender and wants to buy a product I sell.  But the flying spaghetti monster I believe in tells me that tattoos are an abomination.  Tattoos are a choice.  Am I allowed to turn this customer away from my public business because of my religious beliefs regarding their skin art?  NO.

How about this: A different customer comes in, and they happen to have natural red hair (for argument’s sake, let’s pretend there’s no such thing as hair dye and therefore I would have no reason to question whether the carpet matches the drapes.)  Well, the good old flying spaghetti monster thinks gingers are an abomination.  So, am I allowed to turn away this customer based on their natural hair color?  NO.


And yet, the proprietor of this bakery feels not only that he’s well within his rights as a business owner, but should be applauded for discriminating against a couple (or as he calls it: standing up for what he believes in.) 

There is a happy ending to this story.  Duff Goldman, from the Food Network show “Ace of Cakes,” offered to bake their cake for them free of charge, and even mail it to Oregon.  Isn’t that sweet?  Sorry, I had to. 

This is Duff:

Misery loves Duff.  If you’ve seen what he can do with cake, you probably love him too.  The couple had already ordered their cake through Pastrygirl in Portland, but Duff is sending them a second bride’s cake.  Let them eat cake!

To wrap it up, I have to admit that I love sweets.  My name is Nicole, and I’m an addict.  If you put sugar on the top of just about anything, I would eat it.  I don’t even like apple pie, but if you presented me with one, I would consume it in a manner which left you fleeing for your life as I licked the defenseless morsels from my lips. 

Now that I’ve given my two cents about the situation, I’d like to firmly state that two cents is more than I’d be willing to pay if the bible baker of Gresham, Oregon had the last cake for sale in the country. 

And to the happy couple: Congratulations!  I hope this man’s intolerance hasn’t made your special day any less sweet.  Sorry about the puns.     

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