Sweet Cakes and Sour Lies
Bakery ordered to pay $135,000 to homosexuals for “emotional suffering”; plaintiff and defendants should be reversed
by David Sims
I WANT YOU all to see the kind of devilish cleverness the Left can employ when hoaxing up a convenient justification. In this instance, a deceptive comparison was used by the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI) to justify their ruling in favor of a pair of homosexual plaintiffs against the Sweet Cakes bakery.
“The BOLI Final Order awards $60,000 in damages to Laurel Bowman-Cryer and $75,000 in damages to Rachel Bowman-Cryer for emotional suffering stemming directly from unlawful discrimination. The amounts are damages related to the harm suffered by the Complainants, not fines or civil penalties which are punitive in nature. The Final Order notes that the non-economic damages are consistent with the agency’s previous orders, such as an earlier ruling against a Bend dentist In the Matter of Andrew W. Engle. In that case, BOLI awarded a Christian employee $325,000 in damages for physical, mental and emotional suffering due to religious discrimination and harassment.”
First, let me point out that the only damages that anyone has alleged plaintiffs Bowman-Cryer to have suffered is emotional distress. They got their feelings hurt. So therefore the people who were rude to them must pay them as much money as a common working man earns in four years. That in itself is ridiculous in the disparity between the offense and the restitution, and that means that the restitution really isn’t the result of the offense. It’s the result of whom got offended: homosexuals. If a Christian were to sue a homosexual baker for “emotional distress” after the baker refused to bake a cake with the Christian opinion of homosexuality written in the icing, the court wouldn’t award the Christians any comparably large sum for damages.
Second, and more to the point, Andrew W. Engle was a Scientologist dentist working in Bend, Oregon, who tried to pressure a Christian dental assistant, Susan Muhleman, into attending a three-day conference on Scientologist beliefs. Muhleman refused because of her opinion that attendance would conflict with her Christian beliefs. Engle threatened to fire Muhleman unless she attended the conference. Muhleman sued Engle and was awarded $325,000 in damages.
The Oregon BOLI used the latter case to justify its decision in the case against Sweet Cakes bakery. But the justification doesn’t work. Why not?
Because in the case of Engle v. Muhleman, it was Muhleman whose right of free association was being threatened by Engle, who tried to use his leverage as Muhleman’s employer to make Muhleman do something that she did not want to do.
If Engle had simply not wanted Muhleman as his employee any longer, then he could have fired her (as it is his right of free association to do) and suffered no penalty. But Engle tried to use his position to breach another person’s right of free association, and the “damage” that Muhleman suffered was damage to her right of free association. That’s significant damage — far more serious than mere hurt feelings — though I question whether it was as significant as the size of the award makes it seem.
In contrast, in the case of Bowman-Cryer v. Sweet Cakes, it was the Sweet Cakes owners, Aaron and Melissa Klein, whose rights of free association were threatened when the plaintiffs took advantage of a corruption of law (the Civil Rights Act of 1964) to pressure the Kleins into doing something that they did not want to do.
See the difference? In case you do not, I’ll go over it again.
Case 1. Engle v. Muhleman.
Engle tried to coerce Muhleman into an association with Scientology. Muhleman refused. Engle applied economic pressure by threatening to fire Muhleman. Muhleman (the victim) sued Engle (the transgressor) and won an award for damages.
Case 2. Bowman-Cryer v. Sweet Cakes.
Lesbians Laurel and Rachel Bowman-Cryer tried to coerce Sweet Cakes owners Aaron and Melissa Klein into an association with themselves. The Kleins refused. The Bowman-Cryers (the transgressors) sued the Kleins (the victims) and won an award for damages.
In both cases, the transgression was seeking to abrogate the freedom of association guaranteed by the US Constitution to the victim.
The Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries represented a prior case as being consistent in its moral and legal principles with a later case, although, instead, the two cases are based on opposite moral and legal reasoning.
You can’t trust anything those sneaky bastards say. You must think carefully about every word. You must check the facts behind all of their references. If you don’t do those things, then their words can appear to take on a superficially plausible correctness.
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Source: David Sims