Every few months it seems a story pops up where a bakery has refused to bake a cake for a gay wedding, and is sued as a result. Such cases have sparked a large debate on religious freedom, eventually leading to one state (Indiana) passing the Religious Freedom Restoration Act to allow religion to be used as a defense in court against discrimination claims (but it doesn’t grant carte blanche to discriminate like the Act’s critics charge; it’s up to the judge’s discretion depending on the individual facts of the case). By the way, another Religious Freedom Restoration Act was passed by the Federal government back in 1993 – which was signed into law by Bill Clinton mainly to protect the religious freedoms of Native Americans.
Overall, the political split on the issue has been conservatives favoring the right to discriminate on religious grounds, while liberals have opposed such a justification. There are serious questions both sides have to face. Do you think liberals would have a different tone if it was a Muslim bakery that would have to bake a cake for a gay couple? What if a Jewish bakery had to bake a Nazi-themed cake? And lastly, what if one of their fellow liberals had to bake a cake honoring Donald J. Trump?
Via KSLA News,A Facebook post shared by a Bossier Parish teen is getting a lot of attention.
It reads, “Just left Albertsons. The woman behind the cake counter just refused to make me a birthday cake because I wanted Trump 2016 on it. Did that really just happen.”
The cake is for the Benton girl’s 18th birthday party, and the post has been shared now more than 150 times.“I was just venting on Facebook when I made the status that I made, I didn’t think I was going to get as much attention as it did,” explained 17-year-old, McKenzie Gill.
Gill’s excited about voting in her first Presidential election. Not only does she want to share that excitement with her friends, Trump 2016, is the theme for her upcoming party.“Trump is just someone I really look up to,” said Gill.
When she and her Mom went to order her cake at Albertson’s on East Texas Street in Bossier City, they weren’t expecting the reaction they got.
“We just need an American flag cake with Trump 2016 on it, and right when I said Trump the lady just (makes face) kinda Trump? And she was like I can make you a flag cake but I’m not going to write Trump on it,” explained Gill.
After this hit the news, the grocer issued a public apology, with a spokesperson stating “We apologize to our customer in Bossier City for the situation regarding the cake that was requested. Our Bakery staff member misunderstood the training provided regarding copyrighted phrases, and incorrectly informed the customer we could not fulfill her request. We would be happy to provide the cake as the customer requested.”
But suppose they didn’t apologize – should there be a right to refuse service for political reasons too? I say why not? I wouldn’t want someone who’d refuse to serve me based on my political beliefs to have a dime of my money, and the teen in this story responded by simply taking her business elsewhere: no discrimination lawsuit necessary.
[Note: This post was written by The Analytical Economist]