Bakers' Dilemma

Australian politics digs down each day, infatuated by how deep is possible.

Throsby likes to “have his cake and eat his cake” (as Howard actually told Cromwell) so his pointy little ears pricked up when a government zealot waxed despondent that Australians had approved same-sex marriage.

Kevin Andrews, our zealot on this occasion and worthy successor to the charismatic Philip Ruddock, sent the Twittersphere into paroxysms of mirth by trying to explain, with a bakers’ analogy, how the chamber of wedding cake manufactures might be protected from a tsunami of lascivious cake ordering by sinners.

He wants to protect bakers’ right to discriminate.

In a Sky interview, Kevin proposed Islamic bakers could deny cakes to Jews and vice-versa, but only for weddings.

If that individual wants to be able to do that, I don’t have a problem,” he said.

But nor do I have a problem the other way around. Don’t have a problem if there was a gay baker who said ‘I don’t want to bake a cake for a heterosexual wedding, or I don’t want to bake a cake for a Christian, or an Islamic celebration, whatever it might be’.”

At this point the drafters of commonwealth legislation became distraught – and Throsby’s thoughts became problematic as delusions of gay gateaux danced before his eyes.


Are “cake” and “baker” metaphors for something that devoutly religious folk are afraid to say by name? Bible scholars are furiously revisiting their work.

Perhaps a Wikipedia page could explain the “Bakers’ Dilemma” as it does Prisoner’s Dilemma.

Legal advice for purple Teletubbies: it might violate terms of use to buy a straight wedding cake and then substitute the adorning figurines with a matched pair.

This is an issue that could tie up the courts for decades and engage legal scholars for centuries.

And if your having trouble grasping the zealot side of the argument, perhaps this tangential anecdote will set you straight.

Many decades ago, a devout Christian and I came inadvertently upon a Kiss pop clip playing on the telly, their long tongues a-waving. My puritan colleague solemnly intoned that Kiss were clearly engaged in devil worship.

Throsby pursed his lips, deciding it futile to explain that it was simply very bad music.

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