Late night host Jimmy Kimmel tried to mock a court ruling protecting the free speech rights of bakers but instead only revealed that he has no idea what he’s talking about.
A California judge ruled on Monday that the state can’t force Tastries Bakery owner Cathy Miller to bake a wedding cake for a same-sex wedding. Miller has stated that participating in same-sex weddings would violate her religious beliefs. Designing and baking a custom wedding cake, the judge ruled, is a form of protected artistic expression under the First Amendment
“A wedding cake is not just a cake in a Free Speech analysis. It is an artistic expression by the person making it that is to be used traditionally as a centerpiece in the celebration of a marriage,” judge David Lampe noted. Lampe’s ruling noted that because the cake “is not yet baked,” the state would be forcing Miller to express beliefs with which she doesn’t agree.
Forcing Miller to design and bake the custom cake for the event, Lampe noted, would be compelled speech similar to forcing schoolchildren to salute the American flag, which the Supreme Court ruled in 1943 was unconstitutional.
Kimmel absolutely butchered that ruling Thursday night. The liberal comedian acted out a skit in which a restaurant declines to serve gay people and Jewish people certain dishes because of various employees’ religious beliefs. In one instance, the “waiter” (Kimmel) explains that the gay customer can order a salad the chef made yesterday but not a salad not yet made, because the chef doesn’t want to serve gay people.
Let gay people have their cake and eat it too… pic.twitter.com/mXsx8M9pTT
— Jimmy Kimmel (@jimmykimmel) February 9, 2018
Kimmel’s scaremongering misses the entire point of the judge’s ruling.
A chef making a salad listed on the menu for a customer who happens to be gay is not at all the same thing as an artist making a custom message for a specific event. In the first instance, the chef is simply denying service on account of the customer being gay. In the latter example, the artist is being asked to express something about the event. Miller didn’t object to serving gay customers; she objected to participating in a gay wedding.
The judge made clear that his ruling would not protect the type of discrimination acted out in Kimmel’s skit.
“No vendor may refuse to sell their public goods, or services (not fundamentally founded upon free speech) based upon the perception of the gender identification of their customer, even upon religious grounds.” A retail tire shop, for example, “may not refuse to sell a tire because the owner does not want to sell tires to same sex couples.”
Kimmel, who just last week mocked conservatives for being dumb, either didn’t understand that distinction or willfully ignored it.
The Supreme Court is currently considering a similar case involving Denver bakery Masterpiece Cakeshop, but has not yet issued a ruling.