Monday, June 04, 2018

Supreme Court Backs Baker Who Refused to Make Cake for Same-Sex Couple


From HERE.

Ever since Mitch McConnell stole the Supreme Court for the Republican Party I have been dreading June’s flurry of rulings. And today’s big “gay cake” decision shows I was right, when the court ruled 7-2 in favor of anti-gay baker Jack Phillips in Masterpiece Cakeshop vs. Colorado Civil Rights Commission. 

The ACLU and others have tried to put a positive spin on it by saying the court "reaffirmed the core principle that businesses open to the public must be open to all," noting that it did not accept arguments that would have turned back the clock on equality by making our basic civil rights protections unenforceable." The court reversed this case "based on concerns specific to the facts here," which is a reference to Justice Anthony Kennedy writing in the court’s opinion that “consideration” of Phillips’s case was compromised by the Civil Rights Commission “which showed elements of a clear and impermissible hostility toward the sincere religious beliefs motivating his objection.”

Still, others familiar with the law -- and its application in a right-leaning court moving forward -- were not so upbeat. 

Activist Andy Humm writes:
It could be argued that it is a "narrow" decision -- turning for Justice Kennedy on what he called an "intolerant" remark by someone on the Colorado Human Rights Commission re religion. But these judges have opened the door for anyone citing their First Amendment rights to discriminate against anyone they want. Virtually EVERY service provider can cite "creativity" in their work. However carefully this was worded, the fabric of America has been further torn.
The idea that this is really about the commission's so-called unnecessary hostility toward the baker's religious views falls flat with Humm:
The case was decided on free expression -- of religious bigotry in the public sphere. While THIS court may had added some caveats to that, the floodgates can now open -- especially after Kennedy leaves. This couple WAS subjected to an indignity. The couple was NOT asking the baker to "change his view" on same-sex marriage. They were asking him to sell them a cake -- with no message on it. And we will now have situations where gay people NEED services in isolated areas and won't be able to get them. [The right's] ultimate goal is re-establishing the United States as a white Christian supremacist nation -- the way we were founded. It is going to take ALL of our energies to prevent that. [This ruling] DOES invalidate the [application of sexual-orientation] laws. Human-rights laws have narrow religious exemptions for specifically religious organizations. Now individuals providing secular services are asserting THEIR rights to a religious exemption -- and they just won. It is a disaster. Talk about a slippery slope.
A sad day for America -- and further proof that people like my mom were wrong when they tried to console me about Trump by saying "one person can't do that much damage." Yes one can when one gets to name people to lifetime appointments on the Supreme Court.

(BTW: You're on my list, Kagan.)

Further reading from Lambda Legal:
Religious freedom under our Constitution has always meant the right to believe whatever you wish but not to act on your beliefs in ways that harm others. The Court today alarmingly fails to heed that distinction.
Read HERE.

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