Betty Greene Salwak

"Cupcakegate" Debate Video

Filed By Betty Greene Salwak | October 05, 2010 1:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Politics
Tags: cupcakegate, Fox News, gay cupcakes, Just Cookies, Micah Clark

Opposing written opinions can be found on the Fox News site. If you elect to leave a comment on the news website, I would ask that you consider speaking to those readers who can be swayed. It won't be Mr. Clark or his supporters you are addressing; we cannot change their opinions.

Some people might visit the site to inflame the situation further. Forget them. Continue the discussion, not the fight. Tell your stories to those who read to learn more, and show them the people who are harmed by this sort of discrimination. This is a teaching moment. Let's use it well.


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"The question is should the government force someone to be a part of a political event and the answer is no."

I attended a meeting a few months ago where a City-County council representative provided those in the meeting with food and drinks from Panera Bread. Panera had their logo on the boxes, and probably the napkins as well. However, the simple fact of a politician purchasing food does not mean Panera endorses the councilor's political believes, or was sponsoring the meeting in any way, shape, or form.

I guess when you can't win the debate with the question at hand, you just change the subject!

Wolfgang E. B. Wolfgang E. B. | October 5, 2010 9:55 PM

Unfortunately, the Fox website has a 300 character limit on comments, but this is what I wanted to post there:

Micah Clark wrote, "Why? It is not because they refused to serve or sell cookies off the shelf to a homosexual at the counter. It is for refusing a special order of uniquely designed cupcakes, which they would have to make for the HRC backed "National Coming Out Day" at IUPUI."

Mr. Clark has a point here. Why should a business person be forced create something he finds offensive? If I were a baker and a fundamentalist Christian customer asked me to bake a cake and quote Lev. 18:22 in the frosting, I should have the right to refuse.

Now I'm also asking myself, if I were the customer wanting these cupcakes, would I want someone with a strong bias against me making them for me? No. I fact, I would rather that anti-gay bigots put a sign on their door saying that they don't serve gay people than wind up doing business with such a person unknowingly.

So, when Mr. Clark writes, "The Constitution protects Americans from being forced to promote messages and ideas against their will," I agree. Unfortunately, he damages the credibility of his message by perpetuating anti-gay myths and stereotypes.

Micah Clark wrote, "Surely, something as controversial and particularly, as medically, spiritually and psychologically dubious as the homosexual lifestyle is one of those moral matters upon which the right of conscience should be respected and protected."

Homosexuality is not a lifestyle, it is a sexual orientation. A gay man is sexually attracted to men--not all men, of course, any more than a straight man is attracted to all women. To put it more accurately, all of the people a gay man is attracted to are male, since sexual attraction is a statistically uncommon occurrence for most people, both gay and straight.
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Micah Clark wrote, "Indianapolis is still one of only a handful of Indiana cities which equate homosexual behaviors with the benign genetic and immutable traits of race or skin color."

This is nothing more than thinly disguised anti-gay hate. "...homosexual...[as opposed to]...benign..." Homosexuality, in and of itself, is not a behavior. It is merely an orientation. A young man who is not yet sexually active may still be gay because he is attracted to other men. Sexual orientation is an immutable trait, every bit as much as skin color.

?Micah Clark wrote, "The owners of Just Cookies should have the right to say 'no thanks' to being part of a homosexual recruitment event on the campus of IUPUI."

More lies. "Recruitment?" Teaching people self-acceptance is not recruitment.

Micah Clark wrote, "This may explain why a similar "discrimination" ordinance in the city of Philadelphia was later used in an effort to evict the Boy Scouts from a building they had occupied for over 100 years."

This is a completely different issue. It is my understanding that the building was supplied at taxpayer expense. Gay people pay taxes too. Tax money shouldn't be allotted to organizations that discriminate against some of the taxpayers. On that note, we need to take a serious look at the constitutionality of tax exemptions granted to religious institutions in light of the establishment clause.

That aside, let's return to the current topic. ?
Micah Clark wrote, "If a Muslim-owned business were approached by a Jew and asked to make cookies in the shape of the Star of David, would the city have this same loud controversy when they said 'no'? I doubt it."

Really? With all the anti-Muslim sentiment in this country, there probably would be a loud controversy. And should the Muslim business owner be allowed to refuse the order? Once again, yes. And why would the Jewish customer want to do business with someone who hates him anyway?

However, business owners who are prejudiced against certain groups are not (and should not be) entitled to insulation against criticism. Such people need to be called out on their bigotry and boycotted, and/or whatever other legal forms of protest are appropriate.

Thank you, Wolfgang. You have offered a great deal to think about. You said:

"Mr. Clark has a point here. Why should a business person be forced to create something he finds offensive? If I were a baker and a fundamentalist Christian customer asked me to bake a cake and quote Lev. 18:22 in the frosting, I should have the right to refuse."

If you have a business in the United States, you do NOT have the right to refuse services to someone based solely on their religion, even if you find aspects of it offensive—just as Mr. Stockton cannot refuse on the basis of sexual orientation due to the ordinance for the city of Indianapolis. It's the law. Only when the expression of that religion or orientation causes harm does it become a matter for the courts, such as requesting swastikas on the icing, and probably quoting Leviticus as well.

Wolfgang E. B. Wolfgang E. B. | October 6, 2010 4:02 PM

You wrote, "Only when the expression of that religion or orientation causes harm does it become a matter for the courts, such as requesting swastikas on the icing, and probably quoting Leviticus as well."

Good point. This is complex issue. I'll have to think about it some more.

Yes, this is an issue more complex than it might seem on the surface. I am not at all sure that rainbow cupcakes and swastika cupcakes, or a large cake with a Leviticus verse on it, can be put into different categories via unbiased legal reasoning.

You did a great job, Betty. You stayed calm and stuck with your talking points. Not too shabby for your first time doing media.

When we get you fully media trained, you'll be a force to be reckoned with in Indiana - and not so nervous. :)

Thanks for doing this on behalf of Bilerico and GLAAD.

A boxing ring? Every now and then I forget what TV is like but then it comes and slaps me in the face.

Yeah, they have an entire studio dedicated to this setup. I suppose it gives the viewer a bit more than talking heads.

A big THANK YOU to all that stepped up to help this rookie. I could not have done it without you.