The First Amendment Is More Important Than Wedding Cake

  • Gabrielle Seunagal
  • Sep 11, 2017 4:07PM

As the political climate intensifies in America, so do individuals and events. Many Americans are aware of Masterpiece Bakeshop owner, Jack Phillips who wound up in a legal dispute with David Mullins and Charlie Craig after refusing to bake a wedding cake for them. As reported by Politico, the battle went to the Justice Department who ruled in favor of Phillips. Naturally, many people were displeased.

Like many hot button American issues, there is no simple, comfortable answer that will satisfy everyone. There will always be those who agree with the Justice Department’s ruling in favor of Phillips, while other will say Mullins and Craig were unjustly discriminated against. However, there is a solution which avoids lengthy legal battles while simultaneously ensuring that everyone gets what they want. That solution is for the couple to simply go to another place of business.

Interestingly enough, acting Solicitor General Jeff Wall gave the following statement about Phillips’ refusal to bake a wedding cake for Craig and Mullins:

Forcing Phillips to create expression for and participate in a ceremony that violates his sincerely held religious beliefs invades his First Amendment rights.

As a free citizen, Phillips should not be forced to bake a cake if he truly does not want to. With that said, if choosing not to bake a cake for a gay couple hurts Phillip’s business, that will be his burden to bear. Capitalism and the free market allow business owners to run their businesses the way they want to, consequences and all.                                                                                                     

Moreover, Mullins and Craig would have saved themselves a lot of stress, anguish, and attorney fees by simply going to another bakery. If Phillips was vehemently opposed to baking a cake for a gay couple, why try to force him? There are plenty of other places of business that would have happily baked their wedding cake. Furthermore, since the Justice Department ruled in favor of Phillips anyway, Mullins and Craig will have to go to another baker in the end if they still want a cake. Sometimes people can save themselves a lot of grief by simply moving forward and looking elsewhere. The beauty of America and the private sector is the availability of many options.

Official statements from the Justice Department are as follows:

The Department filed an amicus brief in this case today because the First Amendment protects the right of free expression for all Americans. Although public-accommodations laws serve important purposes, they—like other laws—must yield to the individual freedoms that the First Amendment guarantees. That includes the freedom not to create expression for ceremonies that violate one’s religious beliefs.

As unfair as some people might believe the above text to be, it is the accurate law of the land. By law, no business owner is required bake cakes for gay couples if it clashes with their religious beliefs.

Many liberals view the refusal to bake a cake for a gay couple as discrimination. Technically, they are correct, but in this particular circumstance, business owners have the right to discriminate. It’s not the most politically correct thing to admit or do; one could even argue that it’s morally wrong, however, under the Constitution, business owners are allowed to pursue this course of action. In many cases, cutting one’s losses and simply moving forward is preferable to relentlessly beating a dead horse.

At the end of the day, not everyone will have the same values. Not everyone will support what certain individuals do or believe in, and as long as no laws are being breached, dissenting opinions are okay. Forced conversion is rarely a successful endeavor, and for the few instances where it works, anger and bitterness are always ugly after-effects.

Many LGBT advocates and supporters have asserted that President Trump’s administration is against gay people and that this case is merely a manifestation of animosity and homophobia. Of course, such a claim is ridiculous beyond belief. The Trump administration is not actively targeting LGBT people or seeking to take away their livelihood.

The rights of LGBT people are important and should be upheld, as should the rights of other Americans, including religious ones. If one business owner refuses to bake a cake for a gay couple, the world will not end. They can simply visit another bakery, order the cake they need, and the previous business owner will not feel as though his or her rights were infringed upon.

Accepting that nobody will get their way 100% of the time is paramount to thriving in a free and open society. Just as many religious people were displeased when gay marriage was legalized, members of the LGBT community will have to accept that not everyone is willing to bake their wedding cakes.