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Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Was "Sweet Cakes By Melissa" really gagged by a judge?

Posted by Scott Tibbs at 4:00 AM (#)

If you've followed the conservative Internet, or seen conservative friends post about this on social media, you have probably seen the allegation that Sweet Cakes By Melissa was forbidden from speaking about their case. (This is the business that refused to bake a cake for a homosexual wedding and was then punished by the government.)

But here's the deal. They were not actually gagged. You can see this article for more, but the order was also quoted by Todd Starnes at Fox News. Specifically, the owners were ordered to:

Cease and desist from publishing, circulating, issuing or displaying, or causing to be published, circulated, issued or displayed, any communication, notice, advertisement or sign of any kind to the effect that any of the accommodations, advantages, facilities, services or privileges of a place of public accommodation will be refused, withheld from or denied to, or that any discrimination will be made against, any person on account of sexual orientation.

See pages 42-43 of the order.

Basically, it comes down to this: The Kleins may continue to publicly speak about the case, and why they believe it is wrong. They may continue to advocate for changing the law, and publicly explain that their rights were violated. What they are forbidden from doing is publicly stating that the business will not provide a cake (or any other service the business normally provides) for a same-sex wedding.

I've blogged at length about why I believe that business owners should be allowed to serve or not serve whoever they please. The point is not to go over that ground again. The point is that when we criticize the Left, bad policy, or government overreach we need to be accurate and truthful in what we say. I found the idea that the Kleins were banned from speaking about the case to be questionable, if plausible. (After all, similar gag orders do exist.) But now that we know what the facts are, we need to stick to those facts.

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