In the latest Libertarian Enterprise, L. Neil Smith talks about a case in Colorado where a judge has decided that the rights of a gay couple are superior to the rights of a baker who refused to create a wedding cake for them:
They picked the wrong baker — although a local radio talk show host contends that they deliberately shopped around for a baker who would react this way — a Christian who believes that homosexuality is immoral. He told them he would be happy to sell them any other bakery goods. But he refused to create a wedding cake with two guys on the top.
Keep a mental eye on that word “create”; we’ll get back to it.
To make a short story shorter, the matter (it can’t properly be called a “dispute”, since nobody has a right to dispute another person’s private convictions before the law — that’s what America is supposed to be about) was taken before this streetcorner judge, who ruled that the baker would damned well make the cake, as specificed, or suffer fines and jail. Henceforward, the bakery would be monitored to make sure that it humbly and abjectly serves the newly-privileged class.
Now here’s where the wires begin to get crossed. This publication, and its publisher, have never been particularly fond of Christianity. Without going too deeply into it, I think it has a stultifying effect on the human mind, and has been the cause of millions of unnecessary and cruel deaths over twenty centuries. I know that other folks hold otherwise, but I have never found it to be a true friend of individual liberty.
On the other hand, The Libertarian Enterprise and I have always championed gay marriage, or at least legal equality where marriage is concerned. Taking it to the most basic level, the taxes of gay people pay for the courthouse as surely as the taxes of those who are not gay.
On the third hand (as a science fiction writer, I can do that), if we live in any kind of decent culture at all — something that seems in greater doubt with every passing day — individuals have a right to their opinions, no matter how stupid they may be, to express them freely, and act on them as long as it doesn’t physically harm anybody else.
Equally, no right exists, on the part of any individual or of the government, to compel anyone to have a different opinion (although the technical means to do that are right around the corner — science fiction writer, remember?), or to express it or act on it against his will,
And here’s where that word “create” comes in.