During oral arguments before the Supreme Court yesterday about a homophobic baker in Colorado and the wedding cake he refused to sell to a gay couple there—a case that could gut civil rights protections for LGBT people (things don't look good, says Mark Joseph Stern at
Slate)—a Trump administration lawyer argued that bakers should be legally allowed put signs in their windows saying that they don't make cakes for gay weddings. White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was asked if Trump supported that:
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President Trump's press secretary said her boss would have no problem with businesses hanging antigay signs that explicitly state they don't serve LGBT customers.... "The president certainly supports religious liberty and that's something he talked about during the campaign and has upheld since taking office," Sanders replied. When pressed on whether that included support for signs that deny service to gay people, Sanders responded: "I believe that would include that."
There is no federal civil rights law that protects LGBT people from discrimination in employment, housing, or services; LGBT aren't covered by existing civil rights laws in many states. (Colorado not being one of them.) So there's nothing to stop bakers in states where business owners can legally discriminate against gay people right now from putting those signs up right fucking now. But they don't. I gamed out why they don't in a blog post about an anti-gay baker in Arizona a few years back...
But here's a suggestion for all the hatey, butt-sore, anti-gay bakers in Arizona: start an organization—The Arizona Association of Homophobic Bakers—and publicly identify yourselves as homophobic bakers. Put up a website with a list of bakeries that don't want to do business with LGBT people. Put signs in your windows that clearly state that gay and lesbian customers are not welcome and will be turned away....
The homophobic bakers of Arizona will do no such thing of course. Because hater bakers know that putting "We Don't Serve Gay People" signs in their windows will not only cost them our business—business they don't want—but also the business of our straight friends, family members, and neighbors. Business they do want. And they'll also lose the business of fair-minded straight people who think discrimination is wrong. And they'll lose the business of straight people who worry about where this kind of selective, hypocritical, faith-rationalized discrimination could ultimately lead... That's not the way homophobic bakers want it to work. Or homophobic florists or photographers or caterers for that matter. They want to quietly and discreetly refuse to serve individual customers who happen to be gay without their other customers finding out. They wanna hate on the down low because they know that customers who may not be gay themselves—people who know and love LGBT people, customers who don't approve of discrimination on principal, other minorities who worry that they could be next—will take their business elsewhere.