Welp, gay people can’t have cake any more; the Supreme Court said so. It is now the law of the land that cake is intended only for one man and one woman to eat between just the two of them forever and ever. Heterosexuals — and this is the part not being reported by the media — are no longer permitted to eat any other food. It’s cake only. The catch, however, is that only married straights can have cake. Everyone else gets no cake.
Some are worrying that preventing single men and women, not to mention children, from eating cake will lead to fraudulent marriages where people only say “I do” for the cake, not for the Lord. It is also feared that gays and lesbians will pose as straight and marry under false pretenses to obtain cake.
Had I realized that I could never have cake again, I would have eaten an entire cake all by myself the day before this ruling came down.
It is, to be sure, a caketastrophe.
Or is it? Well, let’s be clear, it would have been nice to get a ruling from the Supreme Court that made clear that discrimination against LGBTQ people is wrong, full stop, forever and ever amen.
But that’s not what happened. Instead, the court issued a narrow ruling in favor of Masterpiece Cakeshop owner Jack Phillips, who had been penalized for refusing to make a cake for a gay couple’s wedding.
It is important to remember that the Alliance for Defending Freedom is behind this whole thing to begin with. ADF may have an innocuous sounding name, but they are anything but. They have been named a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center and have a long history of trying to do really terrible things to hurt LGBTQ people.
Late last year, The Nation described the group’s reach: “ADF… has trained thousands of lawyers, many of whom have gone on to government service at the federal, state, and local levels. The organization has helped shape ‘religious freedom’ legislation; provides grants to other Christian-right organizations, and presses school districts to adopt its model policies on issues like transgender facility access.
The Masterpiece ruling was 7–2, which has led plenty of people to determine that calling the ruling “narrow” was part of a liberal conspiracy to minimize the decision.
But those people are dumb. As the New Civil Rights Movement puts it, “The Court’s ruling is being characterized as ‘narrow’ because it applies to only that one baker. It sets no precedents, changes no laws, and basically has zero impact on anyone’s rights.”
But to hear ADF tell it, the Supreme Court just ruled that anyone can discriminate against LGBTQ people for any reason at any time, so help them god.
That is, well, inaccurate.
“Anti-LGBTQ extremists did not win the sweeping ‘license to discriminate’ they have been hoping for,” Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin told USA Today. “And today’s ruling does not change our nation’s longstanding civil rights laws.”
In fact, HRC pointed out in a tweet that in the Masterpiece Cakeshop ruling, “SCOTUS acknowledged that LGBTQ people are equal and have a right to be free from the indignity of discrimination.” Which is good news.
However, what will likely happen now is that other suits challenging the civil rights of LGBTQ people will gain traction.
We’re in for an ugly ride and this should worry you. Short of getting yourself appointed to the Supreme Court, an important thing you can do is vote. Donald Trump is reshaping the judiciary by appointing judges completely hostile to LGBTQ people, not to mention to people of color and women. So, basically, judges who are hostile to the majority of America. He must be stopped. The only way to do that is to elect a Democratic majority in Congress.
Oh, and happy Pride Month! It turns out that the pot at the end of the rainbow is filled not with gold coins, but with cake. And by “cake” I mean civil rights since this whole thing is about much more than cake. It’s about whether LGBTQ people are equal citizens under the law. So vote for people who will make laws that protect us all.
And, yeah, feel free to sneak in some bites of illicit cake. You deserve it.