Why a Bar Can Boot Trump Supporters, But a Bakery Cannot Deny Gay Customers

The New York Post reports that a US Federal Judge hasruled that a bar was well within its right to kick out Trump supporters. People who have in the past called me homophobic for my defence of bakers with strongly Christian views who have refused to bake cakes bearing slogans supporting same sex marriage will probably think this news will horrify me.

If they do it will only show how stupid, narrow minded and illiberal they are. I would never expect a socialist to understand what being liberal entails, socialism is an authoritarian political philosophy but those who dub thmselves liberal ought to have some clue.

I bear no animosity towards either gays or Trump supporters (both should have the same opportunities to drink liquor or east cake that other supporters government oppression) enjoy.

My happiness at this judgement has nothing to do with Trump supporters being kicked out of a bar, I would have been just as happy had gays, blacks, Hillary fans or Freemasons been kicked out of a bar or restaurant or bakery. It’s not about animosity to those groups, if I owned a business I certainly wouldn’t refuse to serve any of them, their money is as good as anyone else’s.

What made me happy when I read of this judgement is that it represents a triumph for personal freedom. I have read many articles and comments, mainly on the gay cake issue, which wrongly explain that bakers or other business owners are providing a public service and as such are government by anti – discrimination laws. Well as I mentioned above these ‘liberals’ do not understand what it is to be liberal.

If a business is contracted by a government agency a town council or an organisation in any other layer of government or public service, then yes they are bound by anti – discrimination laws, they must provide the contracted service to all. Morally a private business is different. As I argued over a gay cake controversy in Ireland, while European Union laws (similar to discrimination laws in the USA) compelled a baker to make a cake bearing a slogan supporting same sex marriage, if my wife and I asked a baker to make a cake for our daughter’s fortieth birthday, they are perfectly within their rights to refuse simply because they don’t like the look of us. And we would have had to accept that.

It is particularly important that bar owners should have the right to refuse any customers they don’t like the look of, be they Trump supporters, Anti – gun activists, Heavy Metal fans or evangelical Christians taking a day off from being righteousness. The owner might be indulging personal prejudice, but the case may be that he knows his regular clientele.

All interactions should be consensual. Obviously, we understand this concept when it comes to relationships and sex. But for some reason, fewer people hold consent as so important when it comes to business transactions.

You don’t have to go to a bar, and a bar doesn’t have to serve you. A gay couple went to a bakery in Belfast(Northern Ireland) and found that a baker does have to fulfill that request, even though the shop was happy to serve gay customers and it was only the message on the cake they had a problem with.

But this does seem like quite the contradiction compared to courts forcing bakers to bake cakes for gay couples. What was particularly disturbing in that case was as the court hearing went on it became obvious that the bakery in question had been targeted by gay activists, when if fact there were several other bakers nearby that would have been happy to fill the order. It was not done as part of the struggle for gay rights but as an attack on Christian’s rights.

The distinction, in the case of the Trump supporters and their drinks, is that the bar did not deny service based on religious beliefs but political persuasion. Political discrimination is allowed, although political differences are more likely to lead to punch ups than theological disputes.

Some people (liberals) are apparently labouring under the misapprehension that when a business opens their doors, they are waiving their right to deny service to any peaceful customer willing to pay the price for a product on offer.

But imagine extreme examples where the store owner should absolutely be able to deny a customer. A Jewish-owned bagel shop advertises that they will make your bagels into any shape you want. Can they deny a Neo-Nazi who wants a dozen swastika bagels? Would that denial be religious or political?

Should a Muslim owned caterer be able to turn away an order which specifies among other snacks, angels on horseback (chicken wrapped in bacon,) or an Hindu restaurant be able to refuse to cook beefsteak for a customer?

Can a gay baker deny an Evangelist Christian who wants his cake to say, “Pray to uphold marriage between a man and a woman?”

It was inevitable following a spate of same sex wedding cake cases, in the USA, Britain, Netherlands, Sweden, that pro-traditional marriage activists have asked gay-friendly bakeries to bake just such cakes.

In all these cases I would support the right of business owners to refuse to do what is offensive to them, no matter who they are. These are not public servants, they are private individuals. It is completely unfair and unjust for the owners of the bakeries who get dragged into the gay rights debate with the most unreasonable, implacable and authoritarian lobby group ever, to be made an example of. They are just trying to run a business and make a living. Yet because the political winds leave religious folks feeling oppressed, they feel the need to fight back and demonstrate the very real double standard.

It is easy to imagine that the people who are now seething at my ‘homophobic, Islamophobic, anti – science, young earth creationist world view (yeah, I’ve had all those, mostly used out of context and therefore irrationally,) were delighted to learn of Trump supporters being barred from a bar.

The point is, just as a Democrat bar owner should have the right to deny Trump supporters and a gay-friendly bakery should absolutely be able to say, “No, we will not bake you a cake with an anti-gay old testament verse on it,” so a Trump supporting bar owner should have the right to refuse service to a crowd of people wearing pink pussy hats and a Christian baker should be able to say no to someone asking for a cake expressing support for same sex marriage.

In all these cases, what is happening may seem irrational to you and I, “It’s only an effing cake,” we might say; “It’s only a few drinks”; or “Its only a verse from an ancient text.”Tolerance is a two-way street however. Forcing people to interact with you only creates conflict. If you are going to force your opinions on others, be prepared to have their forced on you.

Just for the record, I find the whole gay marriage debate absurd. In my view the French system is better, all marriages are civil marriages solemnised and made legal in the offices of the Mayor, with the option of going to church and having the union blessed by a clergyman aviable to those who observe religion. A lot of the problems surrounding same sex marriage arise from governments giving special privileges and incentives to married couples. The church should be excluded from involvement in the legal side of marriage. Then the spiritual side is under the complete control of the participants and their church.

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