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Old 06-06-2018, 02:31 PM   #5 (permalink)
Lord of the Cock Rings
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There's a lot of misunderstanding about what the Supreme Court ruling on this Colorado cake case really means. It's not a crushing blow for same sex couples or an endorsement of religious bigotry as it's being portrayed. It's totally understandable why there is confusion because the press reports of it don't really clarify what the ruling MEANS.

The SC made a very specific ruling about the procedure used by the civil rights council (or whatever) in Colorado. SCOTUS did NOT strike down the law that was used to punish the baker. Basically they said that the council didn't follow the law as it was written and that the case against the baker has to be reheard. They just kicked the issue back down a step.

It's all pretty technical legal shit which is why regular people (and reporters without any legal training) don't really understand the meat of the issue.

"The Supreme Court acknowledged that LGBTQ people are equal and have a right to live free from the indignity of discrimination," said Chad Griffin, president of the Human Rights Campaign. "Anti-LGBTQ extremists did not win the sweeping 'license to discriminate' they have been hoping for."

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) noted in a statement that the court's decision was based on "concerns unique in the case" and that it "reaffirmed its longstanding rule that states can prevent the harms of discrimination in the marketplace," in the words of ACLU Deputy Legal Director Louise Melling.

The unique issue in the Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission case concerned statements made by commissioners about Phillips' assertion of a right to freely exercise his religious faith in accordance with his beliefs.

Writing for the court majority, Justice Anthony Kennedy said some commissioners "disparaged Phillips' faith as despicable and characterized it as merely rhetorical, and compared his invocation of his sincerely held religious beliefs to defenses of slavery and the Holocaust."

Such statements, Kennedy wrote, indicated "clear and impermissible hostility" toward his religious beliefs...

In the Colorado case, Kennedy noted that other bakers in the state were not punished for refusing to make cakes with messages condemning homosexuality and same-sex marriage.

"The state can't play favorites," said ADF Senior Counsel Waggoner, speaking on a conference call with reporters. "I think that's what the court said loud and clear today. Because it did play favorites, because it expressed hostility towards [Phillips], that's why the case was reversed."

Unresolved in the Supreme Court decision was whether disputes over same-sex weddings and religious freedom objections might be seen differently if they were handled by civil rights commissions in a more neutral manner.

"There is no helpful national standard," says John Inazu, a professor of law at Washington University Law School who specializes in religious freedom claims. "The court's jurisprudence means that we're going to have state-by-state norms that vary quite a bit ... about what counts as protections for religious freedom."
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