An idea that might help restore Christian bakers’ freedom of conscience:
The law in many states now requires that persons who deal in the wedding business extend their services to same-sex couples. I’m not aware, however, of any laws that require a store create and sell product that’s not in their inventory.
So I wonder whether a baker in Oregon (for example) could prepare a defined catalog of cakes she will offer to prepare for weddings. She produces only these design. She will sell these cakes to any customer who requests one. She will sell nothing that is not in her catalog. All of the cakes in her catalog are decorated prominently with the words, “Congratulations, Husband and Wife!”
If a gay or lesbian couple wanted to buy one of her cakes, they could do that. She would accommodate them freely and gladly, but she would offer them exactly the same selection of cakes she offers every other wedding customer.
I don’t know if there’s an analogous approach that florists or photographers could take, but I suspect that Christian bakers, at least, might be able to stay in business while expressing their freedom of conscience through this approach. There would be some loss of customers due to the lack of customization options, but some customers might be glad to work with bakers who had found a way to stand for conscience.
It’s an idea. I posed it to an attorney a while back. He had no definitive answer, but he said it might be work. It would need someone smarter than me in both business and law, however, to determine whether how viable it really is.
If it works—Happy Independence Day!