You know, it’s illustrative to reverse the roles here. Imagine an LGBTQX baker that refused to make a custom cake for a traditional heterosexual couple’s wedding. Would the state of Colorado descend on them with the same fury they have visited on Phillips? Of course not! And in that case, as opposed to Mr. Phillips’ case, the state would be correct; it is a clear violation of freedom of association to force a private business to enter into an agreement that violates their personal sense of ethics.
It doesn’t matter what their ethics system is based on: The Bible, the Kama Sutra, the Books of Bokonon or the rantings of a street-corner drunk. The state only has two legitimate purposes: To protect the safety and the liberty of the citizen. In this case, nobody’s safety or liberty was threatened by being denied a custom cake – except, of course, the liberty of Mr. Phillips, in the sense that the state attempted to deny him freedom of association.
“But Animal,” you might ask, “where do we draw the line? Should a baker be allowed to refuse to provide a custom cake to a mixed-race couple, because he’s a (actual, as opposed to the usual, modern definition) racist?
“Yes,” I would reply, “…because bigoted pricks still have freedom of association. No victim, no crime. I may join you in a protest in front of that guy’s shop to deprive the bigoted prick of customers, but I’ll never say he isn’t within his rights to refuse – and there are plenty more bakers in Denver.”
The entire discussion should stop right there. No victim, no crime.
I will note that I have heard two people, just two make these points. One is Animal, and the other me. Have you ever heard talk of freedom of association on this anywhere? Ever heard any of the talking heads on news shows make these very simple arguments? Arguments that, by the way, make absolute sense by following simple truths? Some people confuse wisdom with education. And, of course many educated people are wise. But the two are not the same. So few people today possess wisdom. And that is a major problem for our nation. God bless Animal and those others who can say more in just a few sentences than most talking heads can say in a year’s worth of talking points.