The Colorado Civil Rights Commission says “the state’s Anti-Discrimination Act means artists must endorse all views”. That goes for bakeries and cake artists too. A bakery owner has been fighting, what seems to be a losing battle, for his religious freedoms. He’s a Christian. He doesn’t want to be forced to create wedding cakes for gay ceremonies. It violates his religious beliefs. He’s now appealing the ruling against him.
To date, he is required to “re-educate” his staff and to accommodate anyone’s wedding cake request. The ruling also requires him to file quarterly compliance reports for 2 years. Reports must include the number of patrons that Phillips declines to serve, along with the reason.
Notice it “must endorse all views” – what happened to free speech? Isn’t artwork covered by the 1st Amendment? I guess an artist can no longer decline to create a particular piece of artwork. There’s no room for personal expression (isn’t that what artwork is?) or deeply held beliefs. If you have a talent, you must use it for whatever anyone is willing to pay you to do with it. At least that’s the way they appear to be interpreting this law.
The only way to combat this is for conservative, right-wing folks to commission progressive, liberal artists to create artwork completely outside their comfort zone. And if they refuse, there will, out of necessity, be a lawsuit. Do you think the guy who created the Jesus-on-a-cross-in-a-jar-of-urine is willing to do a replica of the Sistine Chapel? Doubtful. Will he also have to submit and “endorse all views”?
If this ruling is allowed to stand, can re-education camps be far behind?
Photo credit MS Office ClipArt