It’s Never Been About a Wedding Cake16 min read

Jun 5, 2018 | In the News | 0 comments

It’s never been about a wedding cake.

  So as you may or may not have heard, the Supreme Court found in a 7-2 split ruling that the baker who refused to make a wedding cake for a gay couple was unfairly criticized by a state agency for his values as a Christian, and as such, they ruled in his favor. I’ve read and heard all the sides of this: conservative Christians rejoice at the fact that a conservative Christian “won his right” to discriminate; legal scholars say that this case does almost nothing to address this issue as the ruling was incredibly narrow and didn’t set any real precedent; and even some queer people have said, “well I wouldn’t want to be forced to do something in service of the Trump campaign… so maybe I agree with this in a way.” All of these points are valid, and this case can be dissected a million different ways to say whatever the pundit wants. One thing is absolute through all of it: queer people exist, so just stop it.

“Do you remember slavery? Yeah… the Bible “condones” slavery.”

   I come from a conservative Christian community. I spent many of my Sundays in church growing up (and Wednesdays and Thursdays and Saturday mornings), so I know well the tether that people have to their Bible-supported beliefs. This is not one of them. There is no verse in the Bible regarding a wedding cake. There is no verse in the bible saying that making a cake for something is condoning the act. This is discrimination. And it has happened before.

   Do you remember slavery? Yeah… the Bible “condones” slavery. Guess who said that… the conservative Baptist ministers of the South. A few verses were heavily leaned upon: “slaves, obey your earthly masters with fear and trembling” in Ephesians 6:5, and “tell slaves to be submissive to their masters and to give satisfaction in every respect” in Titus 2:9. So, why don’t we have slaves anymore in America? (unless you want to talk about the prison industrial complex… I would love to) Well, we don’t have slaves anymore because enough people in power, the White men, realized that owning, beating, and raping people, only to pull their children from their arms and sell them like property wasn’t really the nicest thing to do. In fact, it’s a crime against humanity at large.

The above image is from a book that was published in 1851 and is literally titled, Bible defence of slavery : or, The origin, history, and fortunes of the Negro race, as deduced from history, both sacred and profane, their natural relations–moral, mental, and physical–to the other races of mankind, compared and illustrated–their future destiny predicted, etc. Seriously… that is the real title… Click on the image to see the original. It’s been digitized into an archive, and legitimately makes claims for the sanctity of owning Black people because they didn’t exist until long after White people existed, who were obviously direct sons of Adam and Eve. Now, I first want to say, I’m not in any way comparing the atrocity of the Black race being owned as a slave community and having someone refuse to make you a wedding cake. What I am trying to point out however, is that at some point in time, people were SO desperate to dehumanize someone else that they used their religion to make it okay. And right now we live in a very divided America, where many are so emboldened by the text of the Bible, and their own interpretation of it, to subjugate a whole population with ease, and call that their freedom to exercise.

   So now here we are, a Christian man stating that he would sell anything to a gay couple, just not a wedding cake because his religion doesn’t support gay marriage. Again, we can get bogged down with the dogma of it all, but the bottom line is, queer people are humans in love. They are a part of the fabric of every single community, and someone’s closely held belief is not argument enough to subjugate them. We, as a nation, have got to come to that conclusion. What’s more, the people in power (straight, cisgender, White men) have to agree. Until they do, queer people will continue to hang in the balance of these decisions.

   At some point, much like the South’s use of scripture to support slavery, our nation has to tell them to stop it. Just stop it. Like, if someone told me today that daughters can be sold for a dowry I would say, “stop it. Don’t do that. We all know that is a crime against her humanity.”
“But but… this book says…”
“Again. Stop it.”
“Okay well, at the very least women are to be subservient to their husb…”
“Nope. Stop it. You cannot use your beliefs, your text, your religion to tell women everywhere to be subservient to their husbands. Stop it.”

“…then consider all queer people a religious entity, and our faith is called, “Stop it.”

   In turn, I challenge you today to tell these people to stop it. Really, if you truly believe they have religious liberty to discriminate, then consider all queer people a religious entity, and our faith is called, “Stop it.” And under Stop it, we believe that all people who own publicly operated businesses are required to serve their customers equally and without concern to the individual’s  identity or affiliation. Because that is how we treat fellow humans over here at Stop it.

   Once we espouse discrimination under any veil, be it religion or culture, we change the fabric of our very of our culture. We’ve decided that some people’s right to simply exist is less salient than other people’s right to discriminate. We are literally upholding and sanctifying blatant discrimination. So please stop with the semantics of the ruling and just step back to look at the bigger picture: Do you believe that anyone, anywhere, should ever have the right to refuse someone else service because their religion says that they can? Are you willing to live in that society, raise your kids in those communities, break bread with those who shun others? If you are, you squarely shoulder the blame for this movement to stifle queer existence, and share the stage with Christians of yesteryear who felt God had promised them slaves.

It’s never been about a wedding cake.

  So as you may or may not have heard, the Supreme Court found in a 7-2 split ruling that the baker who refused to make a wedding cake for a gay couple was unfairly criticized by a state agency for his values as a Christian, and as such, they ruled in his favor. I’ve read and heard all the sides of this: conservative Christians rejoice at the fact that a conservative Christian “won his right” to discriminate; legal scholars say that this case does almost nothing to address this issue as the ruling was incredibly narrow and didn’t set any real precedent; and even some queer people have said, “well I wouldn’t want to be forced to do something in service of the Trump campaign… so maybe I agree with this in a way.” All of these points are valid, and this case can be dissected a million different ways to say whatever the pundit wants. One thing is absolute through all of it: queer people exist, so just stop it.

“Do you remember slavery? Yeah… the Bible “condones” slavery.”

   I come from a conservative Christian community. I spent many of my Sundays in church growing up (and Wednesdays and Thursdays and Saturday mornings), so I know well the tether that people have to their Bible-supported beliefs. This is not one of them. There is no verse in the Bible regarding a wedding cake. There is no verse in the bible saying that making a cake for something is condoning the act. This is discrimination. And it has happened before.

   Do you remember slavery? Yeah… the Bible “condones” slavery. Guess who said that… the conservative Baptist ministers of the South. A few verses were heavily leaned upon: “slaves, obey your earthly masters with fear and trembling” in Ephesians 6:5, and “tell slaves to be submissive to their masters and to give satisfaction in every respect” in Titus 2:9. So, why don’t we have slaves anymore in America? (unless you want to talk about the prison industrial complex… I would love to) Well, we don’t have slaves anymore because enough people in power, the White men, realized that owning, beating, and raping people, only to pull their children from their arms and sell them like property wasn’t really the nicest thing to do. In fact, it’s a crime against humanity at large.

The above image is from a book that was published in 1851 and is literally titled, Bible defence of slavery : or, The origin, history, and fortunes of the Negro race, as deduced from history, both sacred and profane, their natural relations–moral, mental, and physical–to the other races of mankind, compared and illustrated–their future destiny predicted, etc. Seriously… that is the real title… Click on the image to see the original. It’s been digitized into an archive, and legitimately makes claims for the sanctity of owning Black people because they didn’t exist until long after White people existed, who were obviously direct sons of Adam and Eve. Now, I first want to say, I’m not in any way comparing the atrocity of the Black race being owned as a slave community and having someone refuse to make you a wedding cake. What I am trying to point out however, is that at some point in time, people were SO desperate to dehumanize someone else that they used their religion to make it okay. And right now we live in a very divided America, where many are so emboldened by the text of the Bible, and their own interpretation of it, to subjugate a whole population with ease, and call that their freedom to exercise.

   So now here we are, a Christian man stating that he would sell anything to a gay couple, just not a wedding cake because his religion doesn’t support gay marriage. Again, we can get bogged down with the dogma of it all, but the bottom line is, queer people are humans in love. They are a part of the fabric of every single community, and someone’s closely held belief is not argument enough to subjugate them. We, as a nation, have got to come to that conclusion. What’s more, the people in power (straight, cisgender, White men) have to agree. Until they do, queer people will continue to hang in the balance of these decisions.

   At some point, much like the South’s use of scripture to support slavery, our nation has to tell them to stop it. Just stop it. Like, if someone told me today that daughters can be sold for a dowry I would say, “stop it. Don’t do that. We all know that is a crime against her humanity.”
“But but… this book says…”
“Again. Stop it.”
“Okay well, at the very least women are to be subservient to their husb…”
“Nope. Stop it. You cannot use your beliefs, your text, your religion to tell women everywhere to be subservient to their husbands. Stop it.”

“…then consider all queer people a religious entity, and our faith is called, “Stop it.”

In turn, I challenge you today to tell these people to stop it. Really, if you truly believe they have religious liberty to discriminate, then consider all queer people a religious entity, and our faith is called, “Stop it.” And under Stop it. we believe that all people who own publicly operated businesses are required to serve their customers equally and without concern to the individual’s  identity or affiliation. Because that is how we treat fellow humans over here at Stop it.

Once we espouse discrimination under any veil, be it religion or culture, we change the fabric of our very of our culture. We’ve decided that some people’s right to simply exist is less salient than other people’s right to discriminate. We are literally upholding and sanctifying blatant discrimination. So please stop with the semantics of the ruling and just step back to look at the bigger picture: Do you believe that anyone, anywhere, should ever have the right to refuse someone else service because their religion says that they can? Are you willing to live in that society, raise your kids in those communities, break bread with those who shun others? If you are, you squarely shoulder the blame for this movement to stifle queer existence, and share the stage with Christians of yesteryear who felt God had promised them slaves.

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Nathaniel Gray

Nathaniel Gray

Founder, Writer, and LGBTQ+ Empathy Mentor

Nathaniel is a social worker, mentor for parents of LGBTQ+ youth, and facilitator/empathy mentor. He started out in NYC as a singer/dancer/actor from the heartland (O-H-I-O) getting his BFA in Musical Theater from Pace University. After years of performance, Nathaniel turned to working with youth, as an educator and administrator at Fusion Academy. Since then he has completed his Master’s in Social Work at Fordham University and started The Proud Path, as well as worked with the Ali Forney Center and the Hetrick-Martin Institute, agencies addressing LGBTQ+ youth homelessness. His mission is to learn everything he can about the coming out process to assist others through it, and develop empathy within those who never have to.

Nathaniel Gray

Nathaniel Gray

Founder, Writer, and LGBTQ+ Empathy Mentor

Nathaniel is a social worker, mentor for parents of LGBTQ+ youth, and facilitator/empathy mentor. He started out in NYC as a singer/dancer/actor from the heartland (O-H-I-O) getting his BFA in Musical Theater from Pace University. After years of performance, Nathaniel turned to working with youth, as an educator and administrator at Fusion Academy. Since then he has completed his Master’s in Social Work at Fordham University and started The Proud Path, as well as worked with the Ali Forney Center and the Hetrick-Martin Institute, agencies addressing LGBTQ+ youth homelessness. His mission is to learn everything he can about the coming out process to assist others through it, and develop empathy within those who never have to.

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