The View From Here – July 2017

On June 26th, the New York Times reported that “the Supreme Court… agreed to hear an appeal from a Colorado baker with religious objections to same-sex marriage who had lost a discrimination case for refusing to create a cake to celebrate such a union.

The case will be a major test of a clash between laws that bar businesses open to the public from discriminating based on sexual orientation and claims of religious freedom. Around the nation, businesses like bakeries, florists and photography studios have said…that forcing them to serve gay couples violates their constitutional rights.”

I am thinking of these two young men I have the pleasure of ministering to, as they prepare for their wedding later this summer.  One is becoming a doctor and one is a teacher.  They are moving back to Boston soon and their wedding ceremony will take place there. They are adorable, thoughtful and kind. The idea of these wonderful young men being denied anything as they gear up for their special day makes my heart hurt.  Our faith tells us that everyone has inherent value and worth.  Shouldn’t everyone’s rights be the same?

How do I reconcile my belief in equal rights and justice, with freedom of religious belief?  Our faith began as heresy and we UU’s take our religious freedom seriously. Can you imagine living in a place where our right to worship as we wish was denied?

Can I respect the baker’s right to have strong feelings against same sex marriage? How can we promote justice and equity in all areas of life when it clashes with religious freedom?  The baker in question will bake all kinds of other cakes for homosexuals, just not wedding cakes. His religious beliefs prevent him from making Halloween cakes as well.

Does the fact that the baker is willing to make other kinds of cakes for his same sex clients make his refusal to bake a wedding cake for these same couples more reasonable?

How about the fact that these same sex couples can find a wedding cake at another bakery in Colorado?

I await the Supreme Court decision with interest.  What are your thoughts?

See you at 4 Cleaves Street!
Rev Susan