The Problem with Trolling as the Future of Culture Wars

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  1. Avatar Stillwater
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    says:

    Man is this case right in Burt’s wheelhouse or what?

    Saul,

    Interesting stuff in there. First off, I like the distinction between refraining from selling to a customer vs. refraining selling something with certain types of words to a customer. So the cases do seem dissimilar on that score. Which leads to more directly to a speech issue: is the owner restricting the speech rights of a customer by refraining from writing those particular words on a cake? Seems to me the answer is no. So the case probably fails on those grounds as well.

    But you’re the lawyer. What do you think?Report

  2. Avatar greginak
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    says:

    I don’t really see this as trolling. What you do when you are on the losing end of fight but are sure your cause is righteous and true is to keep fighting any way you can. Bill Jack, or Jack Bill who really knows, is going for the “some conservatives are the ones being discriminated against because we can’t discriminate against others” move. Yeah that seems silly, rightfully so, to many of us. But he isn’t the first to try that nor will he be the last.Report

  3. Avatar zic
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    I woulda made the cake, and taken photos of it, and put it on my website, with something like, “Look at what jerks and bigots some people can be,” and I’d have done my best to make sure the people on it looked as much like the man purchasing it as possible.

    I’d have charged an extra $35 for the cake, which I’d use to file the artwork with the US copyright office. Upon delivery of that cake, I’d have made it clear: the image on this cake is a copyrighted work of art, and I will sue you if you distribute this work of art. No photos, no internet pics, no nothing. You own the cake, I own the image, and the right to distribute that image.Report

    • Avatar Burt Likko in reply to zic
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      I understand the impulse, but that’s probably losing strategy. Since you were hired to make the cake, the artwork is a work for hire, and therefore the copyright is presumptively the property of the person who wrote the check.Report

      • Avatar zic in reply to Burt Likko
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        I don’t think that’s how copyright law works, Bert. Separability is the key issue here; the artwork is separable from the cake; it can be produced and distributed in other ways. You can buy one of my photographs, I still own the copyright to it; same with a painting. Selling the object does not necessarily grant the copyright with the object.Report

      • Avatar Burt Likko in reply to Burt Likko
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        Respectfully, @zic , I think you need to look closer at the doctrine of “work for hire.”

        If you took the photograph of Fort Point on spec, and then I saw it and said I wanted a print of it, you would sell me a print of the photograph and retain ownership of the copyright, maybe to sell other prints to other people.

        That’s different than if I say “Zic, here’s $500, now please go take a photograph of Fort Point and give me a frameable print of that photograph.” In that second case, I own the copyright, because I commissioned the photograph. Implied into the transaction is your assignment of your authorship to me, since for this photograph, I am not just your customer but rather your employer.Report

      • Avatar zic in reply to Burt Likko
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        @burt-likko that really depends on how the contract is written. Remember, I did a lot of this kind of work, both writing and photography. In this case, a simple clause, “Maker of cake retains all rights to separable art,” would suffice in the contract.

        More importantly, work-for-hire does not automatically grant IP rights to the person paying for the work; every work-for-hire contract I signed claimed those rights, and without that claim, when the rights are not specified, work that meets the low bar of originality does remain with the creator. This is why the folks who write such contracts are so careful about specifying that the rights transfer to the person offering the contract. (Most of my journalism is not available on-line because of this. Some, because there was never a contract, so I own all rights except to the original distribution the work was offered for; others because the contracts signed did not include digital distribution.)

        But with cakes, it’s still going to go back to separability; because the maker-of-cakes would be unable to create a second cake with the same design if the rights transferred with the cake; and this isn’t the case. The artwork is owned by the creator, and each new cake is a distribution of that artwork. The cake itself is the work-for-hire; the artwork is separable. (This is a very big deal in fashion design; btw. It’s why nearly all clothing has some sort of mark, be it the Nike swish, a nipple-biting dinosaur, or entwined chains in an overpriced purse. The clothing itself isn’t protected under copyright; like the cake, it’s a useful object, and not subject to copyright. But separable art is copyrighted.)Report

      • Avatar Burt Likko in reply to Burt Likko
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        Well, I agree that we can contract around the work for hire doctrine, noting that we must do so explicitly. I suspect that most bakers do not include such a clause in their cake orders.Report

      • Avatar zic in reply to Burt Likko
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        If they request was for a standard cake design out of the baker’s catalog (and I’m presuming it was,) with the addition of the ‘do not’ red line, the work-for-hire is still the cake, and each cake includes a derivative of the baker’s original work, the separable art. The baker can re-use the same separable art on any numbers of cakes because the baker owns the rights to the art.

        If, as you’re suggesting, the copyright to the art transferred as work-for-hire, the baker couldn’t make a second cake of the same design; and that’s certainly not how the cake-baking business functions.Report

      • Avatar zic in reply to Burt Likko
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        @burt-likko the work-for-hire has to be contracted in, not out. That’s how it becomes work-for-hire. Without the contract, rights automatically reside with the creator.Report

      • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Burt Likko
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        OT, but sorta along Burt’s line of argument here, the photographer who took the picture of Michael Jordon doing the splits while dunking which Nike used to make the now trademarked logo is suing Nike. He just recently copywrit the photo, which was taken for a Life Magazine shoot, and apparently everyone agrees that Nike used the picture as the basis for its design. Monies were swapped back in the day without any contracts being signed and now he wants a cut of the subsequent action. Could get very exciting!Report

      • Avatar Tod Kelly in reply to Burt Likko
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        Nice to see that he jumped on that right away.Report

      • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Burt Likko
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        Maybe it’s a bucket-list sorta thing. See the parthenon. Sky-dive. Sue Nike for back rent.Report

      • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Burt Likko
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        @burt-likko

        When we got our wedding pics done, I’m pretty sure we ended up with zero rights to the images.Report

      • Avatar zic in reply to Burt Likko
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        says:

        @tod-kelly He may have jumped on it as soon as he was able; often, work like that has a number of years of ‘exclusive use’ for the person purchasing the work, and rights revert to the creator after that time. I don’t know if that’s the case here, but it’s a pretty common contractual arrangement. On many of the photo streams I watch, you’ll see pro photographers adding old images they’ve taken to their catalogs after the rights revert back to them.Report

  4. Avatar Mike Schilling
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    says:

    Stern:

    They are so inane that they make me want to quit my job and become a bricklayer in a faraway country with no Internet connection.

    That is, he’s so upset he would be willing to give up his job as someone who types opinions into a computer and actually work with his hands and make something. If you want to talk about snobbery, there’s a perfect example.Report

  5. Avatar Jaybird
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    Oh my gosh. I know Bill Jack.

    The Caleb Campaign is the organization that was teaching me the YEC stuff way back when I was witnessing to complete strangers at the beach.

    This is, truly, a crazy world.Report

    • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Jaybird
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      I can’t imagine that witnessing works very well at the Beach.Report

    • Avatar Burt Likko in reply to Jaybird
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      says:

      Is he really a troll? Is he willing to do a stunt like this and go to bat in court for several years, tilting against this particular windmill? If so, he’s part of a long tradition of people who think that they have good test cases. sometimes they are right, sometimes they aren’t. I see some similarities here to the Scopes monkey trial. Although, I confess I’m a lot more personally sympathetic to someone trying to teach evolution in a science class than to someone who wants to howl at the moon in opposition to same-sex marriage.Report

    • Avatar James Hanley in reply to Jaybird
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      witnessing to complete strangers at the beach.

      What was your E/I orientation again? I always suspected that kind of thing was driven by Es who had no conception of how agonizing it would be for Is just to talk to complete strangers about how pretty the ocean is.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to James Hanley
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        Very strongly introverted. When I complained, the usual litany of “we’re trying to save souls here” was brought up. “Think you’re uncomfortable? Imagine how uncomfortable Hell would be for the people you’re not witnessing to!”Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to James Hanley
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        says:

        “Hi there! Do you have a few minutes to talk about how Jesus loves you but that bathing suit puts you at risk of eternal torment?”Report

      • Avatar James Hanley in reply to James Hanley
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        “Hi there! Do you have a few minutes to talk about how Jesus loves you but that bathing suit puts you me at risk of eternal torment?”

        FTFY.Report

      • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to James Hanley
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        says:

        @james-hanley

        Derailing my own post but I largely don’t see how witnessing is supposed to work at all. I guess I am wrong because there are people who convert to Evangelical Christianity including from Judaism but I just can’t beyond the overwhelming offensive nature of the act. It is at least overwhelmingly offensive to me. “Excuse me, you are going to me that Jesus is filled with such overwhelming love but he is going to damn me to an eternity of pain and suffering because I don’t believe he is the Messiah. Where is the love in that?”Report

      • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to James Hanley
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        A few months ago, I was on the subway going to dance and minding my business when a young man turns to me and starts asking me if I accepted Jesus as my savior. It was the weirdest thing I ever experienced.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to James Hanley
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        Does Judaism still hold that animals need to be sacrificed to G-d in the Temple or is that one of those embarrassing things in the Torah that serious people don’t pay attention to anymore?Report

      • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to James Hanley
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        says:

        @saul-degraw, you never heard of tough love?Report

      • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to James Hanley
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        @jaybird, the answer depends on what Jew your talking to. Most Orthodox Jews officially hold that one day the Temple will be rebuilt and that the sacrifices will resume. A few radical Orthodox Jews believe that even without the Temple, its permissible for Jews to resume sacrifices on the Temple Mount. There has always been at least a small number of Jews that would dearly love to resume the sacrifices. Non-Orthodox Jews tend to believe that the sacrifices will not resume at anytime.Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to James Hanley
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        It’s been a moot point for about 2000 years, and will remain so unless the Temple is ever rebuilt.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to James Hanley
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        Well, keeping in mind that Christianity’s idea of itself is something like “Judaism Fully Realized”, the whole idea is that Jesus was the Last Sacrifice to G-d and He doesn’t need sacrifices to have sins atoned for anymore. Now, why did G-d need sins atoned for in the first place? I dunno. People were crazy back then. Anyway, after the whole “afterlife” thing took off, there needed to be a Heaven for the faithful and, after the whole “Christians and Lions” thing, a Hell for the bad people. Hell has evolved since the whole “outer darkness” thing and there are now Purgatorial Hells in addition to the whole “Lake Of Fire” thing.Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to James Hanley
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        And, as you’d expect, we hardly ever kill Christian children for their blood anymore.Report

      • Avatar James Hanley in reply to James Hanley
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        Once you discovered that WASPs were essentially bloodless.Report

  6. Avatar Burt Likko
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    says:

    A commonsense approach to this issue is precisely as suggested in the OP: they requested message here is political, rather than religious. The inclusion of God in the message is a mere pastiche and not a bona fide religious practice.

    But in today’s legal environment of the super-Sherbert standard for claims made it with respect to individual religious practice and belief, it appears that we are instructed to give maximum deference to the claimant saying this is my religious belief, this is my religious practice. Then, we are to give minimum difference, and engage in a searching inquiry into justifications for state regulations.

    In the Hobby Lobby case, the Supremes made it a point to say that they are holding would not interrupt the effect of anti-discrimination laws. But based on the reasoning in that case, there is no principled way to reach that result, at least as I see it. In the more recent case, of which I wrote earlier this week, we saw that standard applied in a very different context then the examination of Obamacare.

    So the way to distinguish this, it seems to me, is that the claimant is requesting great difference to a facially implausible claim to religious practice, but now, rather then demanding an exception to a law of General applicability, the way that the claimants did in the Hobby Lobby and Holt cases, The claimant is demanding enforcement of a law of general applicability, in order to fulfill the putatively religious practice.

    So three responses seem plausible:

    A) You are making a political statement, Mr. Plaintiff, not engaging in a bona fide religious practice. Consequently, no religious discrimination is taking place here. Case dismissed. I wish that this was a less dangerous path for a court to go down, because I think eventually this will need to be fleshed out.but, from a legal perspective, this is the path of greatest resistance.

    B) “Okay, Mr. Plaintiff, let’s concede for a moment that you have stated a claim of religious discrimination. That does not mean that that is the only issue at play: the Baker has a first amendment right of freedom of expression.enforcement of the antidiscrimination law in this case would compel the Baker to engage in speech antithetical to the bakers beliefs. The court must balance these two liberty considerations against one another, and does so in favor of the Baker. Because it is a private party who must act in order for a different private party to engage in a religious practice, which is different than a private party interacting with the government. Case dismissed.” Libertarians would like this very much, because this argument challenges both the moral and legal ability of the state to engage in enforcement of anti-discrimination legislation in the first place. So I would predict that a court would shy away from this as well. After a few moments reflection on the issue, and notwithstanding my continued contra-libertarian support of public accommodation laws, I think that I like this line of thought best from a legal reasoning perspective.

    C) “The Supreme Court has said that claims of religious discrimination do not trump antidiscrimination laws. Whether that exception is principled or arbitrary, it is an exception. Therefore, whether or not you have stated a valid claim of obstruction of a religious practice, you may not invoke a claim of religious discrimination under these facts. Case dismissed.” this is the path of least resistance, so this is probably what a court will do.Report

    • Avatar Jim Heffman in reply to Burt Likko
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      “A) You are making a political statement, Mr. Plaintiff, not engaging in a bona fide religious practice.”

      “Whether you actually believe it or not” was an extensive topic of discussion in Hobby Lobby–in the commentator space, not in the actual Supreme Court. And I agree with their attitude that reintroducing the concept of putting people to the question in order to test the depths of their religious devotion was…not really in keeping with modern American culture. (As I said, it’s like, they’re going to create some kind of Totally Objective Religious Quotient Measurement, Assessment, and Determination Agenda — TORQMADA for short.)

      Mostly, I think, because it opens up all sorts of nasty holes in protected rights. “Sir, you claim an honest belief that being compelled to testify in your own criminal trial would be problematic, but we feel that is not an honest belief because you’re obviously guilty as hell, now get up on the stand and tell us about what you did.”

      B) “the Baker has a first amendment right of freedom of expression.enforcement of the antidiscrimination law in this case would compel the Baker to engage in speech antithetical to the bakers beliefs. ”

      Ho, ho, ho. It’s well established that service providers can be compelled to engage in speech antithetical to their beliefs. That’s why this is happening at all.

      And saying “they were being required by the customer to commit an act they believed was criminal” is only a valid defense if the act was indeed criminal. “We’ll get sued under Title VII if we do that so we won’t do it” is not actually a defense either (see Ricci v. DeStefano).

      C) “The Supreme Court has said that claims of religious discrimination do not trump antidiscrimination laws.”

      Who, exactly, was being discriminated against here? “All The Gay People” is not a valid plaintiff. The various Westover Baptist Church cases have established that there’s no absolute Right To Not See Stuff I Don’t Like. The speech was being performed by two private parties with, as far as we know, no gay people present (otherwise there’d be a civil suit by the baker against Bill Jack.) If he went on to display the cake he’d be speaking on his own behalf, and would be subject to civil or criminal penalties if he displayed it outside of very specific conditions (again, see how careful WBC is with what they do.) And presumably if he tried to use the bakery’s name then they could sue him for defamation (or at least trademark violation.)Report

      • Avatar Kimmi in reply to Jim Heffman
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        Jim,
        “whether or not you actually believe it” comes up a whole hell of a lot, though. Church Of Music (otherwise known as “tax shelter for rock concerts”) isn’t the only example. Either we’re going to say “you can say/do anything as a religious observance” or we say “but you have to have documentation!… or something”Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Jim Heffman
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        (As I said, it’s like, they’re going to create some kind of Totally Objective Religious Quotient Measurement, Assessment, and Determination Agenda — TORQMADA for short.)

        This is actually pretty not bad.Report

  7. Avatar Chris
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    Oh man, you clearly never paid attention to earlier culture wars, like say creationism vs. evolution in schools. This is just the way culture warriors roll.Report

    • Avatar Kimmi in reply to Chris
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      says:

      Except THIS time they’re paying their own lawsuit, not impoverishing a school district that they just airdropped into. (winning schoolboard elections is like winning union elections – easy to rig).Report

  8. Avatar Roger
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    It is like demanding someone produce something which says the producer is a jerk.

    I think Billy Jack (Tin Soldier?) was trying to make a point on consistency and failed in the attempt.

    I do agree that rules need to be unbiased, and that if straights can’t refuse to sell to gays, that the same should be true in reverse. But as the post explains, this was a total fail.Report

  9. Avatar Tod Kelly
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    As to the question of trolling (as opposed to the various legal questions)…

    To my mind, the “other-side-of-the-aisle” case that most immediately comes to mind is the Satanist monument that was going to be put up in a park in Oklahoma. I’m curious if people thought that was trolling or not. (My memory is that it was generally cheered in the circles in which I run, but it was a small enough story that I don’t know that the people I’m thinking of are necessarily representative.)Report

    • Avatar Burt Likko in reply to Tod Kelly
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      Of course it was trolling. I don’t think the so-called Satanists would have made any bones about that. At least, other than in that their official application for the permit to place their highly amusing statue. Sometimes trolling reveals an actual problem, and pointed out in a dramatic way. Sometimes, it just demonstrates generalized assholery.Report

      • Avatar Kimmi in reply to Burt Likko
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        Asking to put up another monument isn’t trolling.
        I think they were pretty earnest.

        Now, I wonder just how far one can push the whole “religious freedom” thing, when it comes to actual “Satanic Death Cults” (the putzes who break into rural churches and do the desecration thing…). Would it be possible for them to actually worship at a “church for hire” (that does multiple churches in one building)? How do you reconcile “we need to defile actual church objects” with the religious freedom of “don’t desecrate our objects”? Is it okay if they buy the objects first?Report

    • Avatar Tod Kelly in reply to Tod Kelly
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      I would also say this about the trolling:

      It does seem to me that we are in living a unique time, in as much as Billy Jack’s ability to use the lawsuit to promote himself into celebrity, perhaps with money attached. I don’t know if he’s the type of guy that would do so, but I could see someone using a stunt like this to springboard themselves into a 15-munites that could make them a household name — a la Joe the Plumber or James O’Keefe.

      Which is to say that although politics may not be any more antagonistic than it was in previous eras, I do think we are living in a time where it is easier (and even encouraged) to monetize extremely trollish behavior.Report

      • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to Tod Kelly
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        I blame the Internet, no really. The Internet makes what would be very local and not very important news into international events that people talk about. Without the Internet, Bill Jack’s story would have been covered in a local paper and thats about it. The Internet publishes these types of political trolling to a wider officer than previously occurred because of greater broadcast power. Now everybody wants to pounce on the trolling of their enemies.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Tod Kelly
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        I don’t know if he’s the type of guy that would do so, but I could see someone using a stunt like this to springboard themselves into a 15-munites that could make them a household name — a la Joe the Plumber or James O’Keefe.

        If he hasn’t changed much in the last few decades, then he’s not the kind of guy to do this in order to give himself 15 minutes. He cares very deeply about the underlying issues in the culture war and he’d be doing this to make a point about forcing people to do stuff that they find personally distasteful. While he probably is delighted about the publicity, he’s delighted about the publicity of the *ISSUE*. If he wants publicity for himself, it’d be because he’d be able to get the debate out into the wider culture. It’s not about him. It’s about the war.

        If, of course, he hasn’t changed.Report

      • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Tod Kelly
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        I think I’m with @leeesq . Isn’t the Flying Spaghetti Monster trolling?

        If this case doesn’t get very far — which I don’t think it will — the only reason we’ll know about it is because of how quickly/easily things spread nowadays.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Tod Kelly
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        says:

        (And I don’t think Joe The Plumber is a great example. He wasn’t trying to thrust himself into the national spotlight. He was just asking a question of one of his betters and the news media doxxed him. At *THAT* point, he became someone who might make a great example… but, originally, he was just a citizen who asked Obama a question.)Report

    • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Tod Kelly
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      Sure it was trolling. (Or not. Why does anyone care about trolling qua trolling, anyway?) But the challenge presented in that case was strictly analogous to the situation it was objecting to: gummint support of religious institutions. This case doesn’t seem strictly analogous, tho, for the reasons mentioned in the OP. To me anyway.Report

      • Avatar Tod Kelly in reply to Stillwater
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        I tend to agree.

        My initial response was similar to Sterns, though the way I framed it in my head was more like, “We would allow a baker to refuse to bake a cake that said, “God hates n**gers!;” that does not mean, however, that we would allow a baker to refuse to serve someone who was black because he was black.”

        The difference between the two examples, of course, is that discrimination against blacks is prohibited by the Constitution in a far more direct fashion is with discrimination against sexual orientation, if in fact that it is indirectly prohibited at all.

        This, for me, brings up an interesting question about the spirit of the law vs. the letter of the law: Is having a “whites only” section of a restaurant wrong because it is against the law, or is it wrong for other fundamental moral reasons? I think much of the debate I hear by the two sides on the sexual orientation issue seems to me to be one or letter vs. spirit.Report

  10. Avatar trizzlor
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    says:

    Hypothetically, would the right case have been one where Billy Jack is refused a blank cake because he wants to use it for some kind of religious anti-gay celebration?

    I guess this kind of individual level trolling doesn’t really bother me. James O’Keef, Max Blumenthal, et alia are frustrating because they make people weary of information that doesn’t come from a friendly source. But I don’t see them as a growing cultural phenomena any more than the usual Long Tail/Big Sort symptoms that come with greater interconnectedness. Where I see trolling as problematic is when the trolls start getting elected, and are motivated by their troll-stituency to pursue knowingly failed policies just to embarrass or confound the opposition, and gum up the works for everyone in the process. Obviously the Ted Cruz shenanigans come to mind, but the recent feud over “global warming is real” amendments shows Democrats are happy to put on the troll cologne too. It’s bad for Democracy and all of that, but mostly it pisses me off because HEY, I’M PAYING YOUR DAMN SALARY SO STOP SCREWING AROUND.Report

  11. Avatar Pinky
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    One man’s troll…Report

  12. Avatar James Hanley
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    God Hates Gays

    Customer: “Hey, you wrote God Hates Guys!”

    Baker: “Bummer, dude. Enjoy your cake.”Report

  13. Avatar LWA
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    pfft.
    I was a child in the 1960’s, old enough to remember the bitterness of the Vietnam War, not the actual one, but the version that was fought around every family’s dinner table, along with the Women’s Libbers, the Panthers, the Hippies, Kent State, and all the rest.

    A guy trolling a bakery? Not even in the same league of anger and vitriol as went on then.

    In 1968, every single church leader bellowed from the pulpit about the moral scourge that was “Living In Sin”; Yet within a decade, most of those churches quietly accepted the practice, and never mention it anymore.
    I I predict within 10 years most evangelical megachurches will gladly embrace same sex marriages.Report

    • Avatar Zac in reply to LWA
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      I strongly suspect that by the time I’m an old man, conservatives will have done a total reversal on gays. They’ll claim they were always pro-gay rights, how *dare* you accuse them otherwise? Everyone knows liberals were the *real* homophobes!Report

      • Avatar Kimmi in reply to Zac
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        Of course the Republicans were always pro-gay — who do you think runs their fucking PR shops?Report

      • Avatar Kolohe in reply to Zac
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        30-something year old women with communications degrees from SEC & B1G universities?Report

      • Avatar j r in reply to Zac
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        And with whom do you think those 30-something women go to brunch?

        Can’t you see that @kimmi is playing chess, not checkers?Report

      • Avatar Kimmi in reply to Zac
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        says:

        k,
        http://www.cato.org/people/policy-scholars
        I can count. I advise you do similarly.
        (and yes, there are tons of gay (sometimes closeted) people running Republican PR shops).Report

      • Avatar Kolohe in reply to Zac
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        (against my better judgement)

        1) Cato ain’t Republicans (though they sometimes play them on TV)

        2) Policy wonks and/or rainmakers (which is what that list consists of) ain’t PR flaks.

        Now, it’s definitely true that the only tentpole in the Republican coalition that really cares about gays is the Socon pole – the defense hawks* and the deregulators for the most part don’t care and mostly hire staff members irrespective of sexual orientation. And, as I frequently say, everyone likes tax cuts, plus the modal gay/lesbian couple are disproportionally harmed by the current tax code with its 1950s sensibilities when it comes to family tax units.

        But “Republicans were always pro-gay” is at severe odds with how Republicans have actually governed when they were and are in power**, as well as the crap they spew when trying to re-take power.

        * in the civilian run policy shops. the ‘defense hawks’ that are former military and like to publish and comments on blogs are often barely disguised theocons.

        ** e.g. the vote tally of the DADT repealReport

      • Avatar Kimmi in reply to Zac
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        says:

        K,
        Yeah, they’re about as Republican as the Tea Party. Perhaps I should have just said Right? Only pulled them because it was quick and easy (That and Jason used to post here). You can pull the same with most of the actual PR agencies, though and results are similar.

        I consider PR and Policy Wonks to be pretty damn similar, because Policy Wonks write what the papers publish, even if they don’t get the bylines. Hell, Saul’s linked about some of the PR that a Policy Wonk friend of mine got published (Saul, being hilariously nearsighted, decided to make the whole “running off this piece” about San Francisco, which was totally not the point of the actual article).

        Gays have always walked the hallways of Republican (and Right) power. I’m not trying to say that Republicans are “pro-gay” — that’s just silly. They sure do love to hire them, though (again, some are still “in the closet”).Report

      • Avatar Kolohe in reply to Zac
        Ignored
        says:

        “I’m not trying to say that Republicans are “pro-gay” — that’s just silly.”

        Of course the Republicans were always pro-gay

        Kimmi, you indeed are the sweaty tooth madman with a stare that pounds my brain.Report

      • Avatar Kimmi in reply to Zac
        Ignored
        says:

        K,
        yeah, that’s called you missed my sarcasm tag. (speaking of which, do I really need one?)

        Oh, well, I don’t get $40,000 for my sarcasm (Unlike SOME people). Provided Free of Charge!

        “Where do we put unexpected windfalls? Into the Legal Defense Fund, of course. Law of Conservation of Trouble — if there’s not enough trouble now, there will be!”Report

    • Avatar Damon in reply to LWA
      Ignored
      says:

      If “the gays” donate lots of money, you can be damn sure of it.Report

      • Avatar zic in reply to Damon
        Ignored
        says:

        But that’s an expression of free speech rights, isn’t it? Citizens United?Report

      • Avatar Damon in reply to Damon
        Ignored
        says:

        @zic
        Yes it is, but the key point is that mega churches, being essentially fundraising schemes, will embrace the gay community, probably after one church does it first. It’s a source of donations that needs to be tapped to “do god’s work” and fund the lifestyle of the pastors…natch.Report

  14. Avatar Damon
    Ignored
    says:

    Did I miss it, but was the OP question ever answered? Skimming through I didn’t see it……Report

  15. Avatar James Pearce
    Ignored
    says:

    When I first heard about this story, I thought I’d see something on OT about it. I didn’t expect the “trolling” angle, though.Report

  16. Avatar aaron david
    Ignored
    says:

    I far as I can see, the real issue here is that while the left has won the legal war regarding SSM (as well they should,) they haven’t won the cultural war on SSM yet.Report

    • Avatar Chris in reply to aaron david
      Ignored
      says:

      I think we may have reached the point at which the numbers of the recalcitrant, strongly anti-gay sorts, are reduced only through attrition.Report

      • Avatar James Hanley in reply to Chris
        Ignored
        says:

        It’s been amazing to date the extent to which the numbers have been reduced by actual changing of minds. While support for SSM obviously has a strong generational component, there have also been substantial gains in support within generational cohorts. It’s an unusual and gratifying occurrence, but it surely has its limits, so if we have reached them, and all that remains is attrition, it wouldn’t be surprising.Report

      • Avatar Will Truman in reply to Chris
        Ignored
        says:

        My father-in-law is probably about 5-10 years of from changing his mind. I think there is soothe group of Just Damn Stubborns.Report

      • Avatar Chris in reply to Chris
        Ignored
        says:

        My parents, unfortunately, have gone backwards. In the 90s, before they went from Catholic to the Acts 29 network, their views of gay people and gay marriage were about on par with today’s consensus.

        Evangelicalism took them backwards a decade or two, and on more than one issue.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chris
        Ignored
        says:

        In my little evangelical corner, the gay marriage thing is considered worth splitting the church over.

        Is that a victory because both sides consider it worth splitting the church over?

        I am sure that if someone charged Bill Jack with being homophobic, he’d be taken aback and assure you that he has nothing but compassion for homosexuals and he’d want to point out that he doesn’t feel those things, he just wanted to make a point about the cake thing…

        But, more and more, there are a ton of people out there who see Bill Jack’s stunt and, even as they agree with the point he was almost trying to make, think “that’s really mean spirited” and, despite his assurances of how much compassion he has, they’ll still think “that’s really mean spirited”.

        And thus will the church continue to split.Report

      • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Chris
        Ignored
        says:

        James,

        I suspect, more than anything, it’s the fact that gay people are everywhere in equal proportions. Bigot or saint, you’ve got roughly the same chance of having a friend or relative that’s gay.

        It’s easy to demonize something you don’t really interact with. There’s nothing to challenge the stereotypes in your head, no real example to ground the issue down into something personal.

        It’s one thing to be against gay marriage (or gays in general) in a vacuum. But when it’s your nephew, the one you’ve always looked forward to seeing at Christmas….

        Too many people coming out of the closet. It’s not impossible to stay bigoted when you’ve known the person for ages, but it’s certainly a lot harder.

        That may cut both ways, though. If you know your Uncle Jack is a real homophobe, hard-core about it — well, maybe you and your family just don’t tell Uncle Jack. What’s the point, right? Everyone else knows, but Jack stays oblivious.

        And so Jack, because he’s increasingly out of step with the majority, is less and less likely to have those personal experiences that’ll change his mind. Instead he’ll just see the tide turning against him, which tends to make people double down.Report

      • Avatar James Hanley in reply to Chris
        Ignored
        says:

        Morat,

        I think that’s probably all correct.Report

    • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to aaron david
      Ignored
      says:

      @aaron-david

      I largely agree with Chris and James. Many people have changed their minds on SSM since 2004 when it was a viable wedge issue for Bush II’s reelection campaign. There are some die hards and late bloomers though.Report

      • Avatar aaron david in reply to Saul Degraw
        Ignored
        says:

        @saul-degraw
        I mostly agree with you, but I do think it runs deeper in some corners of the country than the left really wants to admit, and super deep outside the western world (in other words, many of the immigrant groups coming to the states.) Right now, I think we are at the point of semi acceptance. “Let the two [insert slur here] marry.” Its a step in the right direction, but there still is a long way to go.Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Saul Degraw
        Ignored
        says:

        Also, the way it was used as a wedge issue, It was possible before that to believe, say, that there should be a legal status that gave all the protections of marriage without being called that, as a compromise with people who objected to the word “marriage” being used for same-sex unions. When in some states Rove’s get-out-the-vote measures went as far as overturning existing domestic partnership legislation, it because clear that no compromise was feasible.Report

  17. Avatar Jim Heffman
    Ignored
    says:

    Or maybe Colorado could have ruled otherwise in Craig and Mullins and we wouldn’t be having to worry about this now.

    It’s funny to see people sniffing about the Obvious Unintended Consequences of Hobby Lobby, and somehow not recognizing that this case is an Obvious Unintended Consequence of saying that the government has the authority to compel speech.Report

  18. Avatar DavidTC
    Ignored
    says:

    Two thoughts:

    a) The lawsuit is factually baseless.

    Anti-discrimination laws in the marketplace are about withholding services to specific classes of people, not withholding *specific* services to every person. Would this baker have written ‘God hates gays’ on a car for an atheist? A Jew? A Catholic?

    Oh, the baker wouldn’t have written it on a cake for *anyone*? Then the baker didn’t just discriminate on basis of religion, duh. (BTW, does this baker have a name, or at least a gender? Seriously. Something besides ‘the baker’ would be nice.)

    Now, anti-discrimination laws in the *workplace* are a bit different, and employers can get in trouble barring ‘everyone’ from doing something only people in a certain religion want to do, or requiring everyone to do something that only members of a certain religious object to. Aka, my ‘requiring gas station employees to eat a piece of ham for no reason’ hypothetical example.

    But that sort of thing doesn’t apply to *goods sold*. Restaurants aren’t required to provide kosher food, Walmart isn’t required to sell prayer mats, etc. And bakeries aren’t required to provide anti-gay cakes…or pro-gay cakes, for that matter.

    But they are required to sell their random mats to Muslims who might use them to pray on. Or (in states with laws against anti-gay discrimination) their wedding cakes to gay people who might use them for same-sex weddings.

    b) And, meanwhile, the customer is an idiot. If the customer was trying to make a point, the only point he’s *actually* made is that personal anti-religious discrimination laws are a bit broad, and probably need an exception for forcing people to create creative works.

    Has he noticed that, based on *his* logic, the baker could have just as easily been required to write ‘Allah is the one true god’ on a cake? I wonder how *that* lawsuit would have been framed in this right-wing nonsense that’s eating this up?Report

    • Avatar Jim Heffman in reply to DavidTC
      Ignored
      says:

      ” And bakeries aren’t required to provide anti-gay cakes…or pro-gay cakes, for that matter.”

      uh

      Craig v. Masterpiece Cakeshop, dude. It’s even referenced in the OP.Report

      • Avatar DavidTC in reply to Jim Heffman
        Ignored
        says:

        In what way were they asking for a ‘pro-gay’ cake?

        They were asking for a wedding cake, period, of the type that was sold to everyone else.Report

      • Avatar Jim Heffman in reply to Jim Heffman
        Ignored
        says:

        In what way is writing “god hates fags” on a cake supporting homophobia?Report

      • Avatar DavidTC in reply to Jim Heffman
        Ignored
        says:

        Who said anything about ‘supporting homophobia’? I’m pretty certain no one even *used* that word except you.

        A cake shop, like any business, can make *any* rules about what it sells.

        It’s not going to sell bleach. It’s not going to sell timber. It might, or might not, sell bread. It might even choose to produce only horseradish-and-spam flavored cakes.

        And it can do the same with how it decorated them. It might only sell cakes that include swastikas on them, it might require all words written be spelled with pointless Ys and extra umlauts, it might only write messages in ancient Akkadian, it might require all cakes refer to God, or no cakes refer to God, or every devil cake have blasphemy written on it and every angel food cake have scripture.

        It can make *any damn rules it wants*. It’s the free market, it is in charge of what it is selling. (Barring specific consumer protection stuff, obviously. Probably can’t sell razor-blade cake.)

        And then it *has to sell those cakes equally to everyone that walks in the door*, or at least not discriminate against a protected class of people.Report

      • Avatar Jim Heffman in reply to Jim Heffman
        Ignored
        says:

        “Who said anything about ‘supporting homophobia’?”

        The bakery that refused to serve Billy Jack is certainly saying it.

        ****

        “A cake shop, like any business, can make *any* rules about what it sells…and then it *has to sell those cakes equally to everyone that walks in the door*…”

        Congratulations, you’ve proved that they have to write what Billy Jack wants.

        Oh, they’re allowed to have one of their rules be “we won’t serve neo-Nazis”? Sounds OK to me, but then why can’t another bake shop have a rule that says “we won’t serve same-sex couples”? Ah-ha, because there are special laws that give same-sex couples protections and allowances that the rest of us don’t get? Sort of a privilege thing?

        Which is what this is actually all about. It doesn’t matter if Billy Jack wins the case; it actually doesn’t even matter if it goes to court, because the whole point is to show how dumb it was to set a legal precedent that service providers can be forced into contracts against their wishes.Report

      • Avatar DavidTC in reply to Jim Heffman
        Ignored
        says:

        The bakery that refused to serve Billy Jack is certainly saying it.

        And what the hell does that have to do with anything? They are free to refuse to write specific messages on a cake *for any reason they want*. They could have refused it because they thought it was homophobic, they could have refused it because they thought it was blasphemous, they could have refused it because they thought it was bad grammar.

        Business can refuse to provide specific goods and services *to everyone* for any reason they want. Anti-discrimination laws are about them refusing to provide services to *specific people*.

        Are you even trying to make any coherent argument here?

        Congratulations, you’ve proved that they have to write what Billy Jack wants.

        You know, you can’t actually just quote what I said, and state a conclusion, and be done.

        What I have actually said is that they don’t have to write *anything* they don’t want to. They are entirely in charge of *what* they sell.

        What they cannot do is choose, based on a protected class, *who to sell to*.

        And you have completely and utterly failed to grasp this point, apparently.

        Oh, they’re allowed to have one of their rules be “we won’t serve neo-Nazis”? Sounds OK to me, but then why can’t another bake shop have a rule that says “we won’t serve same-sex couples”? Ah-ha, because there are special laws that give same-sex couples protections and allowances that the rest of us don’t get? Sort of a privilege thing?

        Uh, yes, because there *are* such laws. The answer to your question is, quite literally yes, and we all know that. Colorado law forbids discrimination based on sexual orientation. The actual law actually forbids that. (Although opposite-sex couples are just as protected as same-sex couples…what’s protected is discriminating based on sexual orientation, which applies in *any* direction.)

        Is your complaint that Colorado forbids discrimination based on sexual orientation?

        You can certainly complain about that if you want, but that’s not the discussion anyone else here is having.

        Which is what this is actually all about. It doesn’t matter if Billy Jack wins the case; it actually doesn’t even matter if it goes to court, because the whole point is to show how dumb it was to set a legal precedent that service providers can be forced into contracts against their wishes.

        Aka, the ‘My private school is required to accept black people’ and ‘My golf course is required to let in Jews’ outrage.

        Jim Heffman, everyone.Report

      • Avatar Jim Heffman in reply to Jim Heffman
        Ignored
        says:

        I keep hoping that you’ll have some argument for me beyond a tautology. “Businesses can refuse service to anybody! Except for the people they can’t refuse service to!”. I’m hoping that you’ve got something beyond The Law It’s Not Allowed To Do That, because that’s how this mess got started in the first place, by someone putting together all the things the law says it’s not allowed to do.

        “Jim Heffman, everyone.”

        welp. I guess “believing in freedom of contracts is actually racist homophobia” is another argument, so hooray? Sort of?Report

      • Avatar James Hanley in reply to Jim Heffman
        Ignored
        says:

        Aka, the ‘My private school is required to accept black people’ and ‘My golf course is required to let in Jews’ outrage

        Heffman’s far from my favorite guy here, but this kind of crap is a good example of why if I faced a real life trolley problem where I had to choose between him and DavidTC, Heff’d be safe as a baby in a correctly installed car seat in the back of a Subaru. Heff’s argument is, as far as I can see, “be careful what you wish for because it might come back to bite you in the ass.” I think he’s incorrect, as far as the law goes here, but to paint him as making a racist argument is cheap rhetorical bullshit designed to smear, rather than rebut.Report

      • Avatar Jim Heffman in reply to Jim Heffman
        Ignored
        says:

        ” Heff’s argument is, as far as I can see, “be careful what you wish for because it might come back to bite you in the ass.” ”

        Yes. And the fact that this case even got started is the ass-biting in question.Report

      • Avatar James Hanley in reply to Jim Heffman
        Ignored
        says:

        Jim,

        I’m not sure I’d agree the mere existence of the case arises to the level of ass-biting, just a mosquito bite; irritating, not painful. To me Jack would need to win the case for it to count as ass-biting, and I don’t expect he’ll win.

        I guess it all depends on one’s definition of an ass-bite.

        But I’m glad I interpreted you correctly.Report

      • Avatar DavidTC in reply to Jim Heffman
        Ignored
        says:

        @jim-heffman
        Businesses can refuse service to anybody! Except for the people they can’t refuse service to!

        No one is refusing service to Bill Jack. They are refusing to sell a certain decorations of cake to *everyone*. Bill Jack’s just the specific guy who demanded one of them.

        That said, of course businesses can indeed do anything they want, except the things they can’t do. That’s how laws work in general.

        because that’s how this mess got started in the first place, by someone putting together all the things the law says it’s not allowed to do.

        Nope. That’s what Bill Jack *thinks* he’s doing, but he’s factually wrong.

        Azucar bakery is not operating a business selling cakes with anti-gay messages on them. That is not a service that is provided.

        Masterpiece Cakeshop, meanwhile, *was* selling wedding cakes. You’re about to say they were ‘selling wedding cakes to straight couples’, but you’ll notice the word ‘to’ did not actually appear in my previous sentence. What sort of customers a business can restrict themselves is, indeed, something laid out via law.

        Businesses do not have unrestricted powers to decide with whom they will do business with. That is the *entire premise* of anti-discrimination laws.

        @james-hanley
        I think he’s incorrect, as far as the law goes here, but to paint him as making a racist argument is cheap rhetorical bullshit designed to smear, rather than rebut.

        What are you talking about? I didn’t say his arguments were racist. Here, for the record: Jim has, at no point in this conversation, said anything even slightly racist that I have noticed.

        What I did was point out the sort of outrage that Bill Jack and him were showing was *exactly the same outrage as racists*, being outraged at businesses being ‘forced into contracts’ with people they didn’t approve of. If Jim doesn’t want people pointing out he’s making the same sort of complaints that racists made, he shouldn’t make that sort of complaints, or at least come up with some way to *differentiate* his complaints!

        And he probably should ditch the ‘special laws about [discriminating against] gay people’ complaint while he’s at it. Which is, uh, exactly another thing racists say about black people. Like, word for word, except swapping out ‘gay’.

        Jim is not racist. He is not talking about race at all. However, he *is* making arguments that, if I were to find myself in 1964, I *literally* could use to argue in favor of racial discrimination if I swapped out a few words.

        It’s really weird. It’s like Jim has never heard anyone try to justify bigotry before. Please note I am not calling him a bigot, I’m pointing out that he is making no effort to *not* sound exactly like one.Report

      • Avatar James Pearce in reply to Jim Heffman
        Ignored
        says:

        @james-hanley

        “if I faced a real life trolley problem where I had to choose between him and DavidTC, Heff’d be safe as a baby in a correctly installed car seat in the back of a Subaru.”

        Ah, James, I so missed your sharp little mind. Why, yes, lumping all prejudices into the same category is more offensive than indulging in anti-gay prejudice. Good catch.Report

      • Avatar James Hanley in reply to Jim Heffman
        Ignored
        says:

        James Pearce,

        Sorry, I’m afraid I’m not following what that has to do with what I said.Report

      • Avatar James Pearce in reply to Jim Heffman
        Ignored
        says:

        @james-hanley “Sorry, I’m afraid I’m not following what that has to do with what I said.”

        That’s…unsurprising.Report

      • Avatar James Hanley in reply to Jim Heffman
        Ignored
        says:

        @james-pearce

        That’s…unsurprising.

        No doubt! 😉Report

      • Avatar Jim Heffman in reply to Jim Heffman
        Ignored
        says:

        “If Jim doesn’t want people pointing out he’s making the same sort of complaints that racists made, he shouldn’t make that sort of complaints, or at least come up with some way to *differentiate* his complaints!”

        So racists use certain language and use certain concepts to support their odious beliefs, and therefore none of the rest of us can use that language or those concepts to support other beliefs?

        Note that my philosophy would allow a cake baker to refuse service to Bill Jack just because they wanted to. You have to resort to legal hair-splitting to show why the laws compelling a cake baker to provide service to a same-sex couple do not also compel them to provide service to Bill Jack.Report

  19. Avatar Mad Rocket Scientist
    Ignored
    says:

    So in short, the hinge this all rests on is whether or not a particular good includes an overt message?

    The production of a plain wedding cake is a public good, but a wedding cake with the words “Congratulations Chuck & Larry on your Nuptials” is not because it compels speech on the part of the cake maker? Because that is what it seems is being argued hereabouts, that the case in question has no merits because it includes an overt message against homosexuals & the baker has the right to refuse to be compelled to produce that speech?Report

      • Avatar Jim Heffman in reply to Mad Rocket Scientist
        Ignored
        says:

        Volokh is doing a wonderful job of making Bill Jack’s argument for him.Report

      • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Mad Rocket Scientist
        Ignored
        says:

        @burt-likko @saul-degraw and any other lawyers here about.

        Volokh says:
        “A store can refuse to sell to someone because he’s a Nazi, or a Communist, or pro-life, or pro-choice, or pro-gay-rights, or anti-gay-rights.”

        Is that true? Can a baker say, “I saw you at last week’s pro-life rally so, no, you can’t have a cookie?” I find that highly problematic.

        We get into some gray areas when the lines between speech and ideology and action get blurred. I would not object to a baker refusing to serve someone in a “God hates fags” or “Jesus sucked cock” t-shirt. But that is an act. If the baker would serve that person were they to change their shirt or wear it inside out, than it is not the ideology itself being singled out but the act of promoting the ideology within the baker’s shop.

        At least, that is how I see it.Report

      • Avatar DavidTC in reply to Mad Rocket Scientist
        Ignored
        says:

        Volokh *almost* gets it right, and then misses at the end.

        He says: I suspect that if the message had read “Gay is unnatural” or “Gay is disgusting” — with no reference to religion — Azucar would have refused to write that message, too. To win on a religious discrimination claim, Jack would have to prove that he would have been served based on his religion, and he can’t do that if the Azucar people credibly testify that they would have rejected such an anti-gay message regardless of whether or not it was religious.

        And what he *actually* should have said ‘To win on a religious discrimination claim, Jack would have to prove that he would have been served based on his religion, and he can’t do that if the Azucar people credibly testify that they would have rejected such an anti-gay message regardless of whether or not *Jack* was religious.’

        That baker will not print anti-gay messages on their cakes, regardless of who orders them. Anti-gay messages is not a service anyone can get from them. And, thus, they are not discriminating against Jack’s religious beliefs.

        Whether or not the *message* is religious or not is meaningless. It is perfectly reasonable to not sell religious messages. (In fact, that’s a *really damn odd precedent* for a Christian to claim to want.)Report

    • Avatar DavidTC in reply to Mad Rocket Scientist
      Ignored
      says:

      Yes, basically.

      But it makes more sense to say ‘a bakery has the right to choose to not produce *anything it wants*, including specific types of messages, at all’.

      But, *if it makes such things*, it has to sell to everyone equally.

      A bakery can, if it chooses, only sell pro-Christian cakes. Or anti-black cakes. Or pro-terrorism cakes. Or whatever. It is in total control of the goods and services it provides, and that includes the sort of messages it writes on cakes.

      But it has to *sell them* to atheists and black people. (Such people would probably not want to purchase such a cake, but whatever.)

      Now, we run into sorta a gray area when they would write a message on a cake for one set of people, but choose not to write literally the same message on another cake for a different group of people. Ie, just writing ‘Congratulations on your Nuptials’ on one cake, and not on the other.

      So, to dodge this gray area, I can get behind the idea that writing messages is such a customized service that we shouldn’t treat any ‘writing a message’ as identical. Messages have context, and even if the message is literally identical, the context is not. I’m not *entirely* sold on this exception, but it’s such a trivial problem I don’t care, so let’s go with it.

      But you sell a decorated wedding cake without any message? Then you sell it to any person that walks in the door, or at least don’t discriminate based on something it’s illegal to discriminate based on.Report

      • Avatar Kazzy in reply to DavidTC
        Ignored
        says:

        @davidtc

        This is how I understand it. I can’t sue a pizza shop for refusing to sell me sushi. I can sue a pizza shop if they refuse to sell me pizza that they sell to people who are not-me.Report

      • Avatar Mad Rocket Scientist in reply to DavidTC
        Ignored
        says:

        Ok, between Volokh and this, I grok it.

        Now, of course, I’m trying to come up with an actual valid test case that BillyJack (or JackieBill) could have brought, like being refused after mentioning that the cake was in celebration of Chuck accepting that it was a mortal sin to love Larry.Report

      • Avatar Jim Heffman in reply to DavidTC
        Ignored
        says:

        “So, to dodge this gray area, I can get behind the idea that writing messages is such a customized service that we shouldn’t treat any ‘writing a message’ as identical. ”

        😐

        The whole rest of the cake is customized as well. That’s kind of the whole point.Report

      • Avatar DavidTC in reply to DavidTC
        Ignored
        says:

        @jim-heffman
        The whole rest of the cake is customized as well. That’s kind of the whole point.

        As I said, I actually don’t believe in the exception I said. There should be exception for *creative* work, but only where actual principles get espoused. Like hiring someone to write an article.

        There are creative aspects of cake decorating, but they have *nothing* to do with any sort of principles at all. They are, almost entirely, geometric shapes. By the same logic, we would let people discriminate in *car sales*. (This car is pleasing the eye, and your skin color is displeasing to the eye, so I will not sell it to you!)

        That said, you sorta have a point, that my exception is rather bogus, but sadly I think you misunderstood which side I came down on.

        I don’t think *actually writing down words* n a cake is creative, either. It’s frickin transcription, not a creative work. No one assumes the cake-maker *agrees* with those words…that’s completely nonsense. (They’ve probably never even *met* Jimmy, much less want him to have a Happy Birthday.)

        There is basically no part of cake-making that I think has any freedom of speech (freedom of press?) implications.

        However, poorly for your point: That is irrelevant. It is *perfectly legal* for a cake-maker to have rules about what cakes they will provide. They don’t have a ‘right’ not to put certain things on a cake *because* of some first amendment amendment argument. They have that ‘right’ because *it is, in no way, controlled by law*, and, as a business, they can sell whatever the hell products they want.

        Meanwhile, it is *not* legal for a cake-maker to decide to not provide any cake they sell to a black person. And in states like Colorado with anti-gay discrimination laws, refuse a cake to a gay person. Because there *are* actual laws about that behavior.Report

      • Avatar DavidTC in reply to DavidTC
        Ignored
        says:

        @mad-rocket-scientist
        Now, of course, I’m trying to come up with an actual valid test case that BillyJack (or JackieBill) could have brought, like being refused after mentioning that the cake was in celebration of Chuck accepting that it was a mortal sin to love Larry.

        That would be closer, at least. I’m not sure it’s quite there, but closer. (And it confuses the issue a bit by bring the religion of *Chuck* into this, who isn’t ever there.)

        How about ‘This cake is for my church, which we will eat after celebrating how Chuck has stopped his wicked lifestyle of gayness.’.

        That is something that would appear to be a violation of the law if service was refused.

        The problem is…I rather suspect the bakery would not actually care about that, and sell them the cake.Report

      • Avatar Mad Rocket Scientist in reply to DavidTC
        Ignored
        says:

        @davidtc

        The problem is…I rather suspect the bakery would not actually care about that, and sell them the cake.

        That is the rub, finding a baker with such easily damaged sensibilities. I mean, this case is a trolling specifically because BillyJack seems to have taken a page from Westboro and gone for the high offense message.Report

      • Avatar Jim Heffman in reply to DavidTC
        Ignored
        says:

        “Meanwhile, it is *not* legal for a cake-maker to decide to not provide any cake they sell to a black person. And in states like Colorado with anti-gay discrimination laws, refuse a cake to a gay person. Because there *are* actual laws about that behavior.”

        So it really is, in the end, just a matter of there being special laws about gay people.

        Bill Jack thanks you for your cooperation.Report

      • Avatar Kazzy in reply to DavidTC
        Ignored
        says:

        @jim-heffman

        It is not a special law about gay people. It is a law that protects people regardless of their sexual orientation. Bakeries in Colorado that make wedding cakes must make wedding cakes for all comers, gay or straight.Report

      • Avatar James Hanley in reply to DavidTC
        Ignored
        says:

        all comers, gay or straight.

        Well, that’s one way to decorate the cake.Report

      • Avatar Kolohe in reply to DavidTC
        Ignored
        says:

        It would certainly make all stare at the cook at Masterpiece Cakes.Report

  20. Avatar ScarletNumbers
    Ignored
    says:

    I think there will always be a percentage of the population that is homophobic and unaccepting of Same-Sex Marriage.

    It is worth pointing out that one can be unaccepting of same-sex marriage without being homophobic.Report

    • Avatar zic in reply to ScarletNumbers
      Ignored
      says:

      Yes, there are clear degrees of bigotry here.

      I saw that the Pope met with a transgender man and his fiance on Saturday. Perhaps there is hope that the lesser bigotry that’s not fear and hatred will become unfashionable and recognized as unchristian.Report

    • Avatar j r in reply to ScarletNumbers
      Ignored
      says:

      I don’t know. Yes, there are degrees, but being unaccepting of same-sex marriage and not homophobic sounds like supporting segregation and not being racist. There were a lot of people who told themselves that’s what they were, but I’m not buying it.

      If you have a problem treating a same-sex relationship with the same level of respect that you would treat an opposite sex one, you’re probably a bit homophobic.Report

    • Avatar Chris in reply to ScarletNumbers
      Ignored
      says:

      “I don’t think less of you than I do straight people, I just don’t think you should have the same rights that straight people do” is the sort of construction that negates itself.Report

      • Avatar James Hanley in reply to Chris
        Ignored
        says:

        Gay people have exactly the same right to marry someone of the opposite sex, and straight people are equally banned from marrying someone of the same sex.

        Obviously that’s not my position, but that’s the story they’ll tell themselves to avoid recognizing the logical conflict you point out.Report

  21. Avatar LWA
    Ignored
    says:

    I actually have a certain degree of, maybe not sympathy, but understanding of the fear and alarm that the opponents of same sex marriage have here.

    This is an example of what I was referring to in the Legal Creep post, where the moral norms that we choose to enforce have changed so rapidly as to leave people bewildered.

    Some norms, like the divine right of kings and women’s suffrage changed log ago, and we are all steeped in the current norms. They have become the water in which we swim, invisible and self-evident.

    Why did we suddenly (over a period of a few decades) change? What objective empirical facts changed between say, 1970 and 2010 to make same sex marriage not a bizarre perversion, but a celebrated wholesome part of our culture?

    Not a damn thing of course- we just changed our minds, thats all. Gay people convinced of that this was morally correct. And so we went from giving heterosexual relationships a privileged status, to placing homosexual norms on equal footing.

    But of course, this still leaves other forms of human relationships on an unequal footing- polygamy and incest for example.
    Why don’t we place them on equal footing?

    Because they are still a minority, and the majority hasn’t been convinced that it would be morally correct or wise to do so.

    I only bring this all up as a way of asserting that perfect neutrality by the state is only possible within a certain range- once you get out to the margins of minority opinion, the ability-(or willingness)- of the state to be neutral fades away.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird in reply to LWA
      Ignored
      says:

      What objective empirical facts changed between say, 1970 and 2010 to make same sex marriage not a bizarre perversion, but a celebrated wholesome part of our culture?

      It was about a decade prior. When the birth control pill was okayed, it divorced (HA!) procreation from sex and, thus, changed marriage from the paradigm of “something that a man and a woman did to start a family” into something more like “something that a man and woman who love each other do (starting a family optional)”.

      When that happened, evolution into “something that two people who love each other do” was predictable, if not inevitable.Report

      • Avatar zic in reply to Jaybird
        Ignored
        says:

        Maybe, but a big part of it (and the part that gay couples want) is also about inheritance laws, tax law, medical-decision making laws, etc.

        My brother has aids; and there were times he’d been hospitalized early on when I could visit him (family) but his husband could not; I could make medical decisions about his care, but his husband could not. You’ve read what the Good Doctor Russell has had to say about adoption and children.

        So while the cultural shift in general might have been some sort of recognition that being happy in one’s marriage, having love in one’s marriage, is a good thing, and marriage isn’t just about procreation, but also love, all that other stuff — your partner getting your stuff without legal complication if you die, the right to make medical decisions, etc., seem to loom pretty significantly in this discussion. Recognition of that importance is why civil unions seemed such a good answer to so many people who were against SSM, and that presents a whole host of ‘same but different’ issues that point quite squarely to riding the back of the bus.Report

      • Avatar Kimmi in reply to Jaybird
        Ignored
        says:

        Jay,
        women’s lib more generally, actually. when a woman could earn her own living without a man, she didn’t need one to have kids.Report

      • Avatar Will Truman in reply to Jaybird
        Ignored
        says:

        Zic, I think it is true that the benefits were a big part of the equation, but the (righteous) refusal of SSM advocates to accept legal equality suggests that was only a component. Even if civil unions were drafted in a way to be entirely equal to marriage, that wasn’t enough.Report

      • Avatar Kolohe in reply to Jaybird
        Ignored
        says:

        Legal same sex marriage in this country is younger than either the Afghanistan or Iraq wars. The cultural tipping point for same sex marriage is younger than this blog. As recently as 2008, you could have a Democratic wave *and* a successful anti-SSM plebiscite in the same election.Report

      • Avatar zic in reply to Jaybird
        Ignored
        says:

        @will-truman I agree, but civil unions create a separate class, and aren’t that much different from segregated water fountains.

        But the point to Jaybird was that marriage was never just about reproduction, and those non-reproduction parts of marriage (inheritance, tax, medical decision, etc.) have always been part of the culture of family. I’d also point out that civil unions were a legal nightmare to set up in many states; they cost thousands in legal fees, money that a visit to the JP’s office never required, to establish familial rights; so there was some significant financial discrimination going on. Also, gay =/= childless, so there were all sorts of discrimination against children of gay parents, schools could discuss only certain styles off family in the classroom (else there wouldn’t have been such a brohaha over some books that featured gay families or Rosy O’Donnell’s TV shows). Do you think that if some state or school district passed a law that no material about single-parent households could be discussed in a class that it would pass legal muster?Report

    • Avatar DavidTC in reply to LWA
      Ignored
      says:

      What objective empirical facts changed between say, 1970 and 2010 to make same sex marriage not a bizarre perversion, but a celebrated wholesome part of our culture?

      You’re making the assumption that anti-gay vitriol has only gone in a downward direction. That’s the way a lot of people simplify the issue, often including me…but it’s not *quite* true.

      The late 90s and the 00s were full of the ‘religious’ right ramping up the anti-gay rhetoric, eventually reaching amazing heights.

      Before that…well, gay marriage wasn’t really on the table, but society had somewhat accepted the *concept* of gay people just living their lives. (Seinfeld’s ‘The Outing’, the ‘Not that there’s anything wrong with that’ episode, aired in 1993.)

      Then the right needed a weapon to attack Clinton with, so decided to pretend that people gaying it up in the military was a problem that we need a law about. It’s interesting to look at some of the anti-gay rhetoric during the passage of DADT. It’s not actually worse than present day. In fact, you’ll notice a lot less religious overtones and talking about morality. (And a lot more *factual* incorrectness, but I suspect that’s because people were *actually ignorant*, not malicious.)

      A lot of the more subtle success of the conservative wedge issues is the way they’ve convinced people that they’re trying to *stop* societal change, when in actuality they are often a response *to a societal change that already happened*, and they’re dragging institutions and people to *more conservative* position than they’ve ever held.

      For example, the Southern Baptists *used* to not be against abortion. I am not kidding.Report

      • Avatar James Hanley in reply to DavidTC
        Ignored
        says:

        Then the right needed a weapon to attack Clinton with, so decided to pretend that people gaying it up in the military was a problem that we need a law about.

        That’s an interesting alt history story.Report

      • Avatar DavidTC in reply to DavidTC
        Ignored
        says:

        Yes, James, that is an *extreme* over-simplification on my part, because we’re not actually talking about DADT here. You want to have a discussion about DADT, go ahead and start one.

        But, then again, you have, of course, failed to state *your actual* complaint with what I said, so, as pursuant to my new policy of ignoring your bullcrap non-specific complaints, I will assume you’re objecting to whatever fact I’ve decided you’re objecting to:

        Bill Clinton was president in *real* history. Not just in alt histories. Elected in 1992, served from 1993 to 2001. You can call the White House switchboard at 202-456-1414 and verify it. I have no idea why you think he wasn’t.Report

      • Avatar Kolohe in reply to DavidTC
        Ignored
        says:

        DADT *was* the comprimise. Prior to DADT, being gay was treated like being a Communist or a terrorist – as in “Are you or have you even been a Communist/terrorist/homosexual?” were each questions on actual enlistment forms from the 50s to the 80s. The conservative reactionary stand in the DADT debate was just that, a reaction to a Clinton administration initiative.Report

      • Avatar DavidTC in reply to DavidTC
        Ignored
        says:

        Erm, wait. Is that what James was talking about? Did people misread that? Rereading it, I can see how that’s confusing.

        I *know* DADT was the compromise. I said the religious right wanted ‘a law’ not ‘the DADT’.

        And, yes, I know DADT was also ‘a law’, but if I had meant DADT, I would have *said* ‘the religious right wanted DADT’.

        In fact, DADT is essentially *what the regulations already were*, or at least the ‘don’t tell’ part. And then, suddenly, Republicans decided needed some sort of law to deal with teh gays, so we ended up in a big fight over it, very few people take the Republican’s side, and so we got DADT out of it, something that was somewhat progressive at the time (And slightly better than current military rules.), but it sadly hardcoded into law the regulations that had been slowly changing until that point.

        I just called that other law, the law trying to completely ban gays from the military, ‘a law’ because I couldn’t be arsed to go look up the name of a stupid law from two decades ago. And still can’t.

        I didn’t look it up because the history of DADT is not actually relevant here. My actual point was: Go look at the rhetoric while DADT was passed. We haven’t had two decades of that cooling off, despite how people try to frame the issue. In fact, we’ve had two decades of one side steadily fanning the flames more and more. The rhetoric back them, minus a few *actual misconceptions* about gay people, seems downright hospitable compares to what shows up on TV nowadays.Report

      • Avatar Will Truman in reply to DavidTC
        Ignored
        says:

        You seem to be remembering history differently than everyone else here, man.Report

      • Avatar DavidTC in reply to DavidTC
        Ignored
        says:

        @will-truman
        You seem to be remembering history differently than everyone else here, man.

        Perhaps.

        Let me say it this way: Two decades ago, there was sort of a low-level discomfort with gay people. And *that* was where the objection to gay rights was in the media, and it was often ‘they can do whatever they want, as long as they leave us alone’. As has been pointed out, civil unions were fairly well accepted.

        Over the decades, as most people who thought that became more accepting of gays, the remaining holdouts seems to solidify into, well, outright hatred. Now, it’s hypothetically possible some of those people existed the entire time, but they were *kept out of the discourse* back then, but now they are presented as the opponents now, because it’s the only opponents anyone can find. That seems to be the general assumption.

        But I don’t think that’s the entire story. There also are new people like that, people carefully created via decades of anti-gay propaganda, people who didn’t actually care much two decades ago, but now *really* care, for some reason. This isn’t just ‘failure to change position’. It’s actual movement.

        Like I said, it’s a pattern that happens over and over. A social change will start happening, and people will be somewhat moderately comfortable with it…and then suddenly, bam, it’s an issue *on the right*, violating some sort of hardline rule that violating will DESTROY THE REPUBLIC, and the right will spend years very carefully making sure everyone understands that. (Despite the amount of times this has made them look absurdly hypocritical by having half the party instantly change position.)

        The same sort of thing has been happening recently with *contraceptives*. Contraceptives, which have been well-accepted by society for decades, are suddenly becoming an issue. In twenty years, assuming no Republican melt-down, I suspect we’ll have anti-contraceptive statements in the Republican platform, and everyone will all be pretending they were against them this entire time, ignoring the forty years where Republicans seemed to have no problem with them.

        Hell, It’s not just social issues, it’s all sorts of things. They’ve managed to turn the mere existence of taxes into one. The mere idea we should try to stop pollution.

        So, yes, maybe I’m remember things different from other people…but I think really I’m just a little tired of that sort of things being presented as conservationism, like it’s lack of movement. No, it’s reactionary-ism. It’s movement. It’s just movement in the opposite direction of society.Report

      • Avatar James Hanley in reply to DavidTC
        Ignored
        says:

        DavidTC,

        you have, of course, failed to state *your actual* complaint with what I said,

        My actual complaint is that you are falsifying history.

        The religious right wanted a law not because they “needed a weapon to attack Clinton with,” but because Clinton explicitly said in his campaign that he wanted to end the ban on gays in the military, and then tried to make that one of his first actions in office.

        The religious right’s position was not a made-up non-issue response to the man, but a response to a policy the man proposed and tried to implement.

        The religious right had in fact been on an anti-gay bandwagon for a couple of decades, going back at least as far as Anita Bryant’s mid-1970s Save Our Children campaign. They didn’t “make up an issue” out of convenience in the mid-90s. Gay rights had been growing as an issue over those two decades, which is precisely why Clinton made allowing gay people to serve openly in the military an issue in his campaign. The religious right correctly saw that as antithetical to their anti-gay position and fought back.

        I don’t know about you, but I grew up in the religious right. I remember hearing about Anita Bryant and the threat of homosexuality as a teen in the ’70s. I remember being warned not to watch “Soap” (which ran from ’77-81) because it had a gay character. This was not some new issue of convenience just because they hated Clinton issue.

        I can’t believe I’m actually in the position of defending the religious right, but facts are facts.Report

      • Avatar DavidTC in reply to DavidTC
        Ignored
        says:

        @james-hanley

        You’ve conflated the ‘religious right’ with the right. They weren’t the same thing back then.

        Here is the sequence of events:

        pre-90s: The *religious* right was against gays. But the religious right had *nowhere near* the level of influence in actual politics that it does now. Please notice there is no anti-gay plank in the Republican platform before 92, at least none I’m aware of.

        80s, early 90s: gays started becoming accepted-ish.

        88: The religious right becomes a real external political force with Pat Robertson. Still not part of the GOP.

        92: Clinton runs on allowing gays in the military. (Or, rather, allowing them openly, but whatever.) This was a perfectly sound policy position that people supported, even back then. (Clinton was nothing if not a moderate.)

        also 92: The right, needing a way to attack Clinton, teams up with the religious right to put anti-gay plank in their platform, and attacks him on teh gays in the military.

        This turned into an epically stupid battle, because it turns out society didn’t actually care (Like Clinton thought), and in the end all it actually did was codify what was sorta the existing military policy of ‘Don’t make an issue of your sexual orientation, and we’ll ignore it’ into actual law.

        94: However, teaming up with the religious right arguably does get Republicans elected in 94, so no reason for them to stop.

        mid-90s and onward: After their merger, the religious right, no longer being this weird outside group that few people took seriously, but inside and making actual policy, is able to ramp up anti-gay stuff to amazing levels.

        Now, it is possible my *motivational* claims are wrong. It’s possible that 92 would be better described as the religious right *hijacking* the Republican party, instead of the Republican party inviting them in. The religious right did have a lot of people in state positions by 1992. I won’t disagree with that interpretation of events.

        But before 92, for whatever reason, the religious right was a *separate* entity from the GOP. The religious right was always anti-gay. The national Republican party…not so much. Rather apathetic, in fact. After 92, the religious right was part of the GOP, and still is.

        Incidentally, someone who grew up in the religious right would, quite understandable, believe they had a greater influence on Republicans than they did pre-90s.Report

      • Avatar DavidTC in reply to DavidTC
        Ignored
        says:

        Oh, and incidentally, watching the Republican party merge with the (obvious hypocrites) religious right happening during my formative political youth has probably influenced my thoughts on both politics *and* religion. To give an age, I was in debate the first half of my freshmen year of high school. What was the debate topic that semester? It was 93, and we were debating *Hillarycare*. (Oddly enough, I now remember nothing about how Hillarycare was supposed to work.)

        It has also given me an undying hatred of Ralph Reed, that smarmy lying bastard.Report

      • Avatar James Hanley in reply to DavidTC
        Ignored
        says:

        David,

        My previous attempt at a response seems not to have published. If it appears and I seem to have responded twice, that is why.

        In brief, you still have the history wrong. First let me note that you are approximately 15 years younger than me and attempting to lecture me on a history I lived, which is most amusing. Second, let me point out some errors.

        The religious right started becoming an influence in response to Roe v. Wade. Their primary issue in general was abortion, pornography tended toward number two, and homosexuality behind that. The reason for that ordering had to do with the political reality of each issue: abortion had been declared a constitutional right and pornography was protected by the First Amendment. Homosexuality was a developing issue, but gays had not won significant political battles yet–attention is generally not drawn to events that are not yet happening when there are other events that are happening.

        But because of abortion, the power of the religious right grew through the ’70s and ’80s. The Christian Voice was founded in 1978, the Moral Majority in 1979, the Religious Round Table around the same time, and the Family Research Council in 1981. The influential religious conservative Francis Schaeffer published his A Christian Manifesto in 1981, after having gotten involved in the abortion issue some years before. (The Christian Voice grew out of a combination of anti-gay and anti-pornography groups in California.) The Washington for Jesus rally happened in 1980, and two of the top issues addressed were abortion and homosexuality.

        The religious right was influential in Reagan’s 1980 electoral victory over Carter. Carter had won much of the religious vote with his “Baptist Sunday School Teacher” persona, but that bloc began to swing toward Reagan in 1980, as he won 63% of White Protestants (a 5 percentage point increase over Ford) and 56% of Born-again evangelicals (no data on Ford’s take of that group). In 1984 Reagan’s share of White Prots increased to 72% and his share of Born-again evangelicals to 69%. In 1988, Bush pere, despite not being very evangelical or overly conservative himself (a New England Episcopal, eh?), still took 66% of White Prots and upped the share of Born-agains to 74% (even though they began to realize that Reagan himself gave them a lot of lip service and didn’t push their issues as hard as they wanted). (Neither of those groups is precisely synonymous with the religious right, but they are the best proxy in the polling data.)

        Those numbers actually dropped in ’92, to 47% and 56%. The Dems picked up 6 percentage points worth of born-agains, but made no gains on White Prots (presumably a bunch went to Perot). So it’s a bit hard to sell the idea that suddenly in ’92 the religious right had extra influence in the GOP. Everybody understood in the ’80s, when you were not yet even in high school, that the religious right was increasing its influence in the Republican Party.

        So why no mention of gays in pre-’92 GOP platforms? For one, a predominant focus on abortion. For two, gays hadn’t actually won any significant victories yet–there was no real political platform because they were seen primarily as a social/cultural problem, not yet a policy problem. For three, there was a battle in the GOP, between its northern moderate wing and its conservative wing, but it was primarily the moderates who were opposed to letting the religious right have too much influence, not the conservatives. The moderates still had a lot of influence–not only was Reagan not as conservative as advertised (and not anti-gay, having publicly opposed California’s Prop 6, which would have banned gays and lesbians from teaching in public schools), but they forced him to accept the moderate G. W. Bush as his veep candidate. But nobody could ignore the religious right by that time, and Reagan had to court them. In addition to his opposition to godless communism he opposed abortion and the teaching of evolution, and at the first National Affairs Briefing of the Religious Round Table, with an estimated 15,000 Christian conservatives in attendance, Reagan gave a speech in which he said “Religious America is awakening, perhaps just in time for our country’s sake.”

        The idea that the right suddenly needed an issue against Clinton, so they suddenly let the conservative Christians in seems to forget the plethora of issues they had against Clinton. They were worried he’d raise taxes, they were worried about his planned socialist health care policy, and they had Whitewater and his female accusers. They weren’t lacking issues. But Clinton made gays in the military an issue, and conservatives, at the urging of a group whose vote they had come to rely on, responded.

        The issue is not of a group that was held out in the cold until suddenly they were needed, but of a group that was latent until mobilized by a set of political entrepreneurs in the 1970s, began to flex its political muscle in the early ’80s, and by 1990the late ’80s were a power player in the GOPReport

      • Avatar James Pearce in reply to DavidTC
        Ignored
        says:

        @james-hanley “I can’t believe I’m actually in the position of defending the religious right”

        It’s not so hard to believe actually.Report

      • Avatar DavidTC in reply to DavidTC
        Ignored
        says:

        @james-hanley
        The religious right started becoming an influence in response to Roe v. Wade.

        No. The religious right was, in theory, *founded* because of Roe v. Wade. (Although this a rather revisionist history, but let’s just go with it for now. *cough*segregatedprivateschools*cough*) They didn’t become an actual influence until later.

        (And if you want to argue that there have been precursors to the ‘Roe .v Wade religious right’, whatever. That’s not really the same group, but if that’s a point of contention, I don’t really care.)

        But because of abortion, the power of the religious right grew through the ’70s and ’80s.

        Not really. The start of the religious right’s real influence *in politics* is usually considered to be 1979.

        (Neither of those groups is precisely synonymous with the religious right, but they are the best proxy in the polling data.)

        Okay, this statement gives me a clue where some of the confusion comes from. When I say ‘religious right’, I am not talking about *voters*. I am talking about organizations.

        I am not, in any way, suggesting that Republicans did not have the majority of white, Christian voters before 92.

        Nor am I suggesting that the religious right didn’t *exist* in 1980. Or that it had *no* influence on politics before 92…as you said, that started, really with Reagan.

        The religious right *being created* (1972-ish. Roughly Roe v. Wade), the religious right *starting to exert a force on politics* (1979-ish. Basically Reagan), and the religious right *becoming a branch of the GOP* (1993-ish, Clinton fight.), are all separate things, which happened at separate times.

        The idea that the right suddenly needed an issue against Clinton, so they suddenly let the conservative Christians in seems to forget the plethora of issues they had against Clinton. They were worried he’d raise taxes, they were worried about his planned socialist health care policy, and they had Whitewater and his female accusers. They weren’t lacking issues. But Clinton made gays in the military an issue, and conservatives, at the urging of a group whose vote they had come to rely on, responded.

        I don’t even understand your point anymore. Are you having some sort of problem with my claim that Republicans ‘needed a weapon’ to attack Clinton with? You seem to be under the very strange idea that I don’t know the Republicans attacked Clinton for every single thing possible, despite the fact I literally just told you my age. My statement that they ‘needed a weapon’ is what us human beings call ‘under-exaggeration for comic effect’. They used an entire damn arsenal, and gays in the military was a weapon in that arsenal.

        Meanwhile, Bill Clinton did not, in actuality, decide to make gays in the military an issue. That was a fairly big issue at the time, with studies being done and lawsuits being filed, and congressional action already happening in the previous Congress.

        And *all* candidates for the Democratic nomination supported ending the ban, and from what I remember, Bush I took no position, *despite* it being a party plank. (And then he lost. The Republicans noticed that.)

        And, yes, the GOP started listening to the urging of a group whose vote they had come to rely on. And roughly at that point, as I said, *that group took a place in the party*, which they did not have before. The party decided it needed them inside. (Whether or not it really did, or if that was a good decision, are different questions.)

        Before that point, the religious right’s only hypothetical victory was, in theory, getting pro-life Reagan elected…except that wasn’t anything to do with them, and Reagan was genuinely pro-life to start with, it’s not like they convinced him to change positions. But *after* 92, they could force Republican candidates to be pro-life (And anti-gay), or get rid of them, and many Republicans changed positions.Report

      • Avatar James Hanley in reply to DavidTC
        Ignored
        says:

        DavidTC–As far as I can tell you’ve agreed with nearly everything I said. For example I listed all those organizations and their ca. 1979-81 start date, which you’re suddenly claiming you were talking about all along (and maybe you were, but that’s still quite a while before ’92). The only point of dispute seems to be this weird thing about the conservatives suddenly incorporating the religious right because of some need for an issue on which to criticize Clinton, which makes no sense at all, and which you’ve only asserted without providing any evidence. I’ll leave it at that. I doubt there’s anything to be gained by further discussion.

        James Pearce–Do you have some suspicion that I’m actually sympathetic to the policy goals of the religious right? Or are you just making noises to try to get my goat?Report

      • Avatar Murali in reply to DavidTC
        Ignored
        says:

        @james-hanley

        You’ve got a goat? that’s awesome! SO here goes:

        You’re a religious right wing sympathiser.

        Report

      • Avatar James Hanley in reply to DavidTC
        Ignored
        says:

        @Murali,

        Yes, you can have it. You have to pay shipping, though.Report

  22. Avatar LWA
    Ignored
    says:

    @davidtc
    I think that’s a good observation, that oftentimes conservative objection is not to change that is proposed, but change that has already happened, and just needs to be acknowledged.
    And as part of the objection, a history is constructed which is modified to fit the preferred outcome.Report

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