Cake discrimination is still discrimination

Regarding the article, “Kennedy sends mixed signals in Supreme Court gay-wedding cake case” (Dec. 5), if the Supreme Court were to rule in favor of the baker — his adamancy not to make a wedding cake for the same-sex couple — it would risk spurring copycat claims. The public accommodations laws require businesses not to discriminate on the basis of race, gender, religion, and (in almost half of the states, including Colorado) sexual orientation. The First Amendment rights regarding free speech and the exercise of religion, though fundamental to our constitutional republic, do not abrogate these laws — the baker’s sincere religious faith notwithstanding.

The notion reported to be advanced by the baker’s lawyer, which distinguished between the baker’s highly stylized, sculpted creations and the services provided by other professions that she said were “not speech,” is spurious. What’s next? Will calligraphers, florists, photographers, chefs, musicians — whose artistic contributions to weddings are also stylized and creative — feel emboldened to follow the baker’s lead, if like-minded regarding same-sex weddings? How about risks to groups, like races or religious faiths, beyond the LGBTQ community?

The Supreme Court has an opportunity to set an unequivocal anti-discrimination standard for the nation by upholding Colorado’s public accommodations law.

Keith Tidman, Bethesda

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