I am appalled at the assertion by a recent letter writer that the Colorado cake baker “has every right . . . to run his small business as he feels appropriate” (“Commentary on wedding cake case ignores religious and individual freedom”). Actually, that is not true.
The right of religious freedom, as asserted by the cake baker as a basis for denying a wedding cake to a same-sex couple, is not absolute, as wrongly suggested by the letter writer, but in fact limited by the Federal Civil Rights Act when the so-called religious right is exercised as an excuse to discriminate against another because of race, gender, religion or nationality.
Many states, including Colorado, have extended the anti-discrimination protections of the Civil Rights Act to gays and lesbians. The Colorado cake baker’s refusal to bake a wedding cake for the gay couple based on his personal religious beliefs amounts to a direct violation of Colorado law prohibiting such discrimination. Even the late, arch-conservative Justice Antonin Scalia, in a 1990 case, wrote in a majority opinion that a religious belief does not excuse a person from complying with an otherwise valid law.
In addition to being wrong in her defense of the cake baker, the letter writer insults the gay couple’s motivation in seeking justice in the courts as “harassment” of the cake baker. Indeed, rather than the Daily Pilot, it is in fact the letter writer who should be ashamed of herself for defending such bigotry.
Upcoming Laguna meeting important for residents
Please attend the Laguna Beach City Council meeting about the historical preservation ordinance on 9 a.m. Saturday. The Planning Commission ordinance revisions expand the definition of “historical resource” under the California Environmental Quality Act law. Hundreds of homes Laguna will become subject to time-consuming historical reviews at your expense.
The proposed revisions build on a flawed 1981 survey. Using the drive-by opinion of a paid consultant, the list is now about 1,018 and each is “recoded.” This list includes 298 homes now on the old “registry.” This means about 720 homes will be “un-registered” but designated a historic resource against your will.
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