We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Samizdata quote of the day

O’Doherty unintentionally summed up the real problem with this judgement. That is, that private businesses should never have to offer ‘justification’ for discriminating – not to the state, the Equality Commission, or anyone else. Just because you run a bakery, that doesn’t mean the state gets to intervene in your matters of conscience. What’s more, this case is not clear-cut. While Lee claimed he was discriminated against on the basis of his sexual orientation, McArthur insists that Ashers refused to make the cake because of the message on it, not the sexual preference of the customer.

Now, many people said that Ashers should have made the cake because it offers a public service. But this simply isn’t true. It is a private business. There is an enormous difference between discrimination by public services, which are run by the state, and private businesses, which are run by individuals. Public services must be freely accessible to all. But private individuals must be free to run their businesses according to their own moral judgement.

Luke Gittos

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on TumblrShare on RedditShare on Google+Share on VKEmail this to someone

17 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • The Jannie

    I saw this, like the case of the B&B refusing some time ago to admit homosexuals, as a malicious complaint because a shrinking flower either sought publicity or was put up to it.

  • Lee Moore

    This, from the judgement, makes it clear that the assault on liberty is much more comprehensive than Gittos explains :

    We do not accept this. The benefit from the message or slogan on the cake could only accrue to gay or bisexual people. The appellants would not have objected to a cake carrying the message “Support Heterosexual Marriage” or indeed “Support Marriage”. We accept that it was the use of the word “Gay” in the context of the message which prevented the order from being fulfilled. The reason that the order was cancelled was that the appellants would not provide a cake with a message supporting a right to marry for those of a particular sexual orientation. This was a case of association with the gay and bisexual community and the protected personal characteristic was the sexual orientation of that community. Accordingly this was direct discrimination.

    The key words are “This was a case of association with the gay and bisexual community” – ie the folk “harmed” by the discrimination are….any gay people at all. It turns out to be irrelevant that the customer himself was gay. The unlawful discrimination consists in refusing to bake a cake with a pro-gay message, whoever the customer is. Hence, it is not possible to avoid the problem by sticking to baking cakes, but not baking wedding cakes. If you’re willing to put any words on a cake at all, you’re caught.

    This neatly summarises the totalitarian substance (and intent) of the law – there is to be no escape.

  • Mr Ed

    No one seems to have taken as a point in this case the possibility that the act of requesting the cake with slogan was an act of harassment, and in particular, in these terms, an act of harassment on the basis of religion or belief, as it might be asking a devout, observant Jewish shop keeper to sell you bacon which he does not stock.

    From there, ex turpi causa non oritur acto.

  • Now, many people said that Ashers should have made the cake because it offers a public service.

    I wonder if this applies to prostitutes? Must they accept a female customer even though they are not themselves gay?

  • Alisa

    There is an enormous difference between discrimination by public services, which are run by the state, and private businesses, which are run by individuals.

    No, there is not – there should be, but there no longer is. All the ostensibly private businesses are run by private individuals, but at the will and discretion of the State – which effectively means that they are no longer private.

    McArthur insists that Ashers refused to make the cake because of the message on it, not the sexual preference of the customer

    But Ashers should be able to refuse to make the cake because of the sexual preference of the customer, or for any other reason, for that matter – if it were a truly private business. Which it is not – see above.

  • NickM

    Mr Ed gets it spot on. I very much doubt the state would get their knickers twisted over, for example, someone demanding their right to a T-bone steak in a vegetarian restaurant.

  • These bakers and other merchants being harassed by SJWs are simply too honest.

    Bake the damn cake. Salt and sugar look very similar; one might easily confuse them. There certainly is no law against making an innocent mistake.

  • Nicholas (Unlicensed Joker!) Gray

    Ferox, how many times can you claim it was an innocent mistake?
    Our objections should be more forthright. Perhaps we should start a home-castle movement, as in Mill’s observation that a man’s home is a castle. The weather can come in, but the king should not be able to enter unless invited.

  • There are a million ways to (incorrectly) bake a cake, I would presume.

    I think forthrightness is fine, but in the meantime SJWs are literally robbing those who do not wish to do business with them, as happened in Oregon. There, a Christian couple was forced to pay $250,000 to some SJW thieves who chose them specifically for the purpose of robbing them via the legal system.

    There is no moral obligation to be honest to bandits who are holding you at gunpoint.

  • Yesterday (30th October 2016) I was shopping in a store of a major UK chain of supermarkets. They had up a notice, claiming it to be put up in conjunction with the Thames Valley Police, in which they gave notice that they would refuse to sell certain foodstuffs to certain people. Included in this was their declaration of a blanket ban on selling alcoholic drinks to anyone under the age of 21 – where UK law only prohibits the sale to anyone under the age of 18.

    This strikes me as, in law, similar in many ways to the cake-wording issue. Is that supermarket chain discriminating against the many decent young adults aged 18, 19 and 20 who shop in that town. Is the local police force inciting or encouraging age discrimination?

    Best regards

  • Clovis Sangrail

    I am in agreement with all the objections above but what I would add is that the judgement seems to enforce propagandising for something which is currently illegal – gay marriage in NI.

    Am I mistaken or is this an enormous overreach?

  • NickM

    This might seem OT but aren’t the issues that Nigel and Clovis bring up not dissimilar to the active attempt by many of the broadly left to make tax avoidance the same as tax evasion? Despite the fact they are completely different things.

  • Mr Ed, October 30, 2016 at 8:38 pm: “No one seems to have taken as a point in this case the possibility that the act of requesting the cake with slogan was an act of harassment”

    I’m pretty sure that a large number of ordinary people, hearing the news, immediately recognised that this was a case of harassing bakers for fun and profit.

  • Mr Ed

    Niall,

    I was referring to the legal case, it is plain as a pikestaff to me that it was using the legal system as a sword, not a shield, which is essentially what ‘the law’ has become.

  • Paul Marks

    The Emperor Diocletian – the idea that because a business is “open to the public” it is a “public” as in STATE matter.

    I am not a fan of the Emperor Diocletian.

  • Derek Buxtont

    I fear that the action in Northern Ireland was clearly wrong. There was no justice there at all. The Bakers owned the premises and did the work, and we still believe in “property rights”, do we not? The owners rights were ignored in total, that is the point!

  • Julie near Chicago

    We most emphatically do NOT believe in so-called “property rights.”

    Property rights exist only because people are so selfish that they refuse to share voluntarily whatever they “have” (whatever that means).

    So, necessarily, the PTB (usually but not always the “State”–whatever that is) sets the rules by which people will be allowed to “have” and to use “their property.” These rules include what can be somehow classed as “property,” hence subject to rules of use; and the rules of use themselves, such as that one’s “property right” in what is called one’s “(private) business” does not extend to providing a good or service to a prospective customer based on some personal judgment about the customer.

    Or — another example — one’s “property right” in one’s homesite does not extend to allowing “weeds” to grow there. The PTB will tell you what is or isn’t a “weed,” and under what circumstances you will be allowed to allow any given plant to grow on “your” homesite.

    From this it is perfectly clear that all that one does is done only at the pleasure of the PTB.

    Self-determination and the making of one’s own choices (discrimination-based, as they must be) and acting upon them are thus out of the question.

    No man lives nor may be allowed to live at his own pleasure.

    “It takes a village to give a man the right to live.”

    –Hillary Clinton and the Gang