Wednesday, November 29, 2017

A 'license to discriminate' shouldn't be excused by false religious arguments

In a few days, the United States Supreme Court will be hearing the case of a Colorado baker who claims that his religious beliefs should allow him not to serve a gay couple. On it's face - and in the hands of the anti-LGBTQ industry - it is a simple case about a baker supposedly having the right to choose his customers.

But it's so much more:

The bakery’s claims are constitutional ones (free speech, freedom of religion), meaning if they win, they will gain a constitutional right to discriminate that can’t be undone with a legislative fix.
A win for the bakery could extend to any kind of business with a creative or custom element—hair salons, restaurants, florists, uber drivers, school counsellors, etc. So it won’t just be that refrain we sometimes hear about “why don’t they go to another bakery?” it will be that throughout people’s lives, they will have to live in fear of discrimination and humiliation, across a whole range of circumstances, and we won’t be able to pass laws to stop it because this will be legal even when nondiscrimination laws are in place. 
A win for the bakery could allow for discrimination against many types of people, not just LGBT people but people of color, religious minorities, women, etc. Many assume that existing legal protections against racial discrimination and other forms of discrimination won’t or can’t change. But think about the fact that we are in a country considering a wall, a Muslim ban, where the Supreme Court gutted part of the Voting Rights Act, where white supremacists kill protestors and the protestors are blamed, etc. Once we start chipping away at the foundations of nondiscrimination laws, we are in danger. If a bakery can refuse a gay couple, what’s to stop a florist refusing service to an interracial couple celebrating a wedding anniversary? 
We know people support freedom of religion, so that makes them conflicted. But that freedom doesn’t give any of us the right to impose our religious views on others, to harm people, or to discriminate. The bakery owner is still free to believe what he believes and go to the church he goes to. 
. . . if the bakery loses, this does NOT mean a Jewish bakery would need to make a swastika cake (or similar examples). Businesses can decide WHAT to sell (wedding cakes but not swastika cakes) but once they sell something (e.g., wedding cakes) they can’t refuse to serve certain kinds of customers in violation of nondiscrimination laws.

In the context of a nation rocked by racial discrimination at levels unseen in decades, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on December 5th in a case that could gut not only state nondiscrimination laws but also erode the Civil Rights Act—and turn back the clock to a time when businesses could tell people, “we don’t serve your kind here.”

In response, a broad coalition of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT), civil rights, racial justice and allied organizations have launched Open to All, a national campaign to focus attention on the far-reaching, dangerous risks of the Masterpiece Cakeshop vs. Colorado Civil Rights Commission case.

'Hate group working to rig the federal court against the LGBTQ community' & other Wed midday news briefs

'In the name of God,' the Alliance Defending Freedom is attempting to create a federal court with an anti-LGBTQ bias.

The Christian Legal Army Behind ‘Masterpiece Cakeshop’ - By far the scariest article about the anti-LGBTQ industry I've ever read. While we are busy mocking the 'Fred Phelps' gang or laughing at people like 'Porno' Pete LaBarbera, a hate group of lawyers have quietly trying to rig our court system against the LGBTQ community by instilling themselves in state attorney general offices and becoming federal justices. And with the Trump, they just got a shot in the arm. The Alliance Defending Freedom is truly the most dangerous group we ever faced because the effects of its acts is like a nuclear cloud - highly destructive and lingering for decades. These are some points you need to remember:  
 Trump's solicitor general "one of its allied attorneys in an establishment-clause case that Francisco helped ADF litigate in 2016"-- a fact he neglected to list on the Senate questionnaire he filled out for his confirmation hearing.   
 "At the state level, at least 18 ADF-affiliated lawyers now work in 10 attorney-general offices; all of them were appointed or elected in the past five years." "in just one year, 
Trump has nominated at least four federal judges who have ties to ADF—Amy Coney Barrett, recently confirmed to the Seventh Circuit; Kyle Duncan, nominated to the Fifth Circuit; and Jeff Mateer and Michael Joseph Juneau, both nominated to district courts."

The Movement To Remake ‘Religious Liberty’ Is Taking The Courts - Speaking of which, one of the hearings is today.

At rally against Roy Moore, fears about future of LGBT rights - Moore possibly being the US Senator from Alabama was always a huge reality. However while his side will celebrate should he win, we should be planning. His unearned Christian image has been knocked down a peg and the LGBTQ can attach his "fall from grace" as an albatross around his neck.

Australian Senate Passes Same-Sex Marriage Bill In Historic Vote - THIS happened in Australia and the chance of the bill becoming law looks very good right now.

Trump saying 'Merry Christmas' does not make him a better president than Obama - Reposting my piece from last night cause some Trump lovers have been trying - but not succeeding - in giving me grief over it. It just shows how the anti-LGBTQ industry will abandon their values to kiss the behind of a known liar if he can give them a little power.