Have a snowy barn owl, just because.
I didn't click the link, but I did read the quote in your post. The baker is entitled to his views and while I don’t necessarily agree with him, I can somewhat understand where he’s coming from. That said, if you ask me, a cake is a cake whether you’re designing it or selling it and if you’re comfortable with offering one service then there’s no reason why shouldn’t be comfortable offering another service.
All of that aside, what sometimes seems to get lost in this conversations is that while not codified into law, public perception and public practice can become kind of laws in and of themselves. That very fact is part of the reason why our government has so many laws trying to protect our rights and why our courts often have hearings centered around our rights. Religious freedom, right to own property, right to vote, right to a fair hearing, on and on and on. These conversations are ever constant and ideas and arguments are introduced and dropped with changing perceptions all the time that without that government protection, conditions for minorities could change very rapidly. Heck, it’s fair to argue that even with government protection sometimes minorities get the shaft. For example, in regards to religions, there are countries out there where social perception to religious minorities has allowed governments to codify into law practices that severely restrict religious practices if not outright penalize people of religious minorities for no other reason that they’re a religious minority.
I’m having a hard time saying what I’m trying to say because I can’t find the words to say it, but I think what I’m trying to say is that it’s important to recognize that all parties in this court case feel very strongly about their viewpoints and their rights. That’s a good thing. It’s important to have convictions. What I think is more important to recognize though is that this court case is another facet of what should be a never ending discussion in how we can ensure we all live in a just society and that that should be a goal we should all strive for, because the alternative isn’t pretty.
As an aside, I went to the bookstore this week to pick up a study Quran to replace the one I gave out so many years ago. The fact that I was able to do that without any concern or obstacle involved really did remind me of how important tolerance and freedom and protection of the laws are, both for me as an individual and for society as a whole. I’m just one man and it’s just one book (a very important though) but it goes to show that these conversations we have do impact us in ways both big and small.