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Tags gay rights issues , religious rights issues , supreme court cases

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Old 12th July 2017, 02:25 PM   #321
Beelzebuddy
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Originally Posted by Newtons Bit View Post
********. ponderingturtle has already done this multiple times in this thread. He wants to play the bickering game. I choose not to.
So then you think he does read for comprehension, he does understand you, and you're accusing him of being disingenuous and deliberately obtuse. Come on, man, spit it out and take your yellow cards as they come.

Myself, I dunno, I think he's referring to this:
Originally Posted by Newtons Bit
Still not seeing any confirmation about whether this was for an already produced item or a custom item.
...which is a false dichotomy. "Custom" items typically involve some degree of, well, customization. Messages, symbols, that sort of thing. Something can be made to order using a design picked from a flipbook of available cakes and still not be considered a custom order, much the way a pulled pork sandwich (see what I did there?) would not be.

Last edited by Beelzebuddy; 12th July 2017 at 02:26 PM.
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Old 12th July 2017, 02:38 PM   #322
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This baker refuses on the sole basis that the wedding participants are gay. Gays are a protected class in Colorado. Ergo, baker cannot discriminate for this reason.

I think the Supreme Court will have a very tough time delivering any decision that upends the rights of Colorado and go against previous SCOTUS opinions in other cases.

I don't see that new-guy Gorsuch will side with the baker here. There is no 'moral culpability' like the Hobby Lobby case as a cake doesn't prevent or cause gay marriage to happen.
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Old 12th July 2017, 03:53 PM   #323
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Originally Posted by Sherkeu View Post
This baker refuses on the sole basis that the wedding participants are gay. Gays are a protected class in Colorado. Ergo, baker cannot discriminate for this reason.

I think the Supreme Court will have a very tough time delivering any decision that upends the rights of Colorado and go against previous SCOTUS opinions in other cases.

I don't see that new-guy Gorsuch will side with the baker here. There is no 'moral culpability' like the Hobby Lobby case as a cake doesn't prevent or cause gay marriage to happen.
Previous cases (and my memory of media from this one, in the past) have argued that providing a service for a gay wedding is technically participating in it. The objection to the law is that they are being forced to participate in something they find morally objectionable.

Basically, they're seeking a ruling that either there can be religious (or maybe general secular conscientious objections), or perhaps even ask for the Act to be scrapped as an unfair burden on businesses.

I should introduce the number one argument I've heard about this for years here in BC. "Will antidiscrimination laws force pastors to perform gay weddings or face prison sentences?" It's an fear right up there with Black Helicopters.
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Old 12th July 2017, 04:07 PM   #324
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Originally Posted by Newtons Bit View Post
I don't think it will be that hard. All they will do is state that a custom crafted cake is a piece of art, and as such, the standard rules / case law on public accommodations. They'll likely follow the same general ideas as in the Hobby Lobby case: a closely held company can't be forced to do something against the owners religious beliefs unless there is a compelling reason to do so.

I can't think of any compelling reason why a baker should be forced to create whatever custom cake his/her customers want, while also offering to sell any standard cake on display or in the catalog, can you?
I think that's where they will want to go, but when exactly does a cake cease being a commodity, and start being an expression? What counts as "customization"? If it is sitting on a shelf and someone walks in and purchases it, that's clearly not custom. After that, you get into a lot of incremental steps. You have one ready, and deliver it to the wedding. You make one just like the last one, but only when it is ordered? You keep all the decorations the same, but you write names on the cake? You let the customer design the cake using standard elements, and you implement their design? You work with them on a brand new, never before seen sort of cake?

It's difficult to draw a precise line and say that everything on this side is custom, and the other side is not.

And then apply the same rules to bands/performers. Does it depend who chooses the songs to sing?

I think these are the issues that Justice Kennedy will struggle with. I think the other eight have already made up their minds.
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Old 12th July 2017, 04:13 PM   #325
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Originally Posted by JoeBentley View Post
I still don't get what makes decorating a cake "expression" to a degree beyond any other service job.

The "Sandwich artist" at Subway can't refuse to my my 6" cold cut trio with mayo because he doesn't agree with the flavor profile that would make.

Just because there's a visual artistic expression to decorating cake doesn't make it special. It's still just a service that is being paid for by a customer.
Originally Posted by JoeBentley View Post
Alright the Elephant in the room just cleared his throat.

Here's the thing. Nothing in the letter or spirit of either the broad legal concept of religious freedom or any specific implementation of it equates to this "It's the government duty to make sure nothing in my job and my religion ever come into conflict" stance.

If you decide to go into the cake decorating business where "wedding cakes" are a significant portion of that an a portion of those wedding cakes are from non-traditional marriages and your religious beliefs are against non-traditional weddings than maybe cake designer isn't the job for you.

If you have a problem handing out a specific medication, don't become a pharmacist.

If you have a problem handling booze or pork, don't become a grocery cashier.

Jobs are voluntary. This isn't a dystopian sci-fi future where you are just randomly assigned a job when you reach adulthood.

If a common part of the job you choose to be employed under comes into conflict with the religious beliefs you choose to follow... what do you expect the rest of the world to do?
It seems like you might be confusing the rights of employees with the rights of owners. The Subway employee has to answer to his boss if he decides not to make a particular sandwich, but the law is blithely unconcerned.

Most pizza places put pepperoni on a pizza, but Jerusalem Pizza won't do it, and they don't have to. They didn't "get a job", they started a business, and their business doesn't include pepperoni, even if that is common part of pizza making.
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Old 12th July 2017, 04:28 PM   #326
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Originally Posted by Hlafordlaes View Post
Indeed I can. Civil law is supreme in civil society, at least, it was, until Hobby Lobby. It was the basis, for example, for outlawing polygamy, essentially overruling a religious practice. Google and wiki lead to other cases. If civil law is not supreme, then what you have is no law. Consider the effect of one simply founding religions to make any given law(s) inapplicable, or of contradictory teachings (silent contemplation vs "you and your damn church bells/loudspeakers"). Keywords: arbitrary and capricious. They are also the terms historians will use for US social and political thought in the early 21st.
This "compelling interest" phrase isn't just some random phrase that we pulled out of our hats. It's the language the Supreme Court uses when reviewing statutes for constitutionality, if those statutes interfere with a protected right.

You can't say that the statute serves a compelling interest because there's a statute. That's circular reasoning. You have to actually be able to describe a specific interest that the statute serves, and then convince judges that it really is compelling. You also have to convince them that there is no lesser restriction on rights that would serve the same compelling interest.

Of course, what counts as a "compelling interest" is pretty arbitrary. It's all in the judgment of the judges deciding a case. We still have laws outlawing polygamy because judges, presented with the argument that outlawing polygamy interferes with their religious beliefs, will decide that there is a compelling interest in keeping marriages to two people. Until recently, that meant two opposite sex people, but then the court decided that there was no compelling interest in prohibiting gay marriage, and that marriage was a fundamental, even if not explicitly stated, right.
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Old 12th July 2017, 04:34 PM   #327
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Originally Posted by blutoski View Post
Previous cases (and my memory of media from this one, in the past) have argued that providing a service for a gay wedding is technically participating in it.
I don't know if such a case has gone to court. I am pretty sure it hasn't gone to the Supreme Court. However, that is indeed one of the arguments.

While a cake baker/decorator might have a hard time with that argument, I cannot understand how anyone could argue that a photographer could take pictures, or a singer could perform, or a DJ could entertain, without participating in the event.
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Old 12th July 2017, 06:43 PM   #328
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Originally Posted by Sherkeu View Post
A baker can already refuse to make a cake that is x-rated, or has some lewd messaging, just like any photographer or a pool designer can.

But if the cake is the same type of expression, in line with other cakes, then the only difference is that it goes to the gay wedding.

What if I order a fun wedding cake for a gay friend's birthday? Will the baker have to make it?
If a gay man orders a wedding style cake for a 'surprise' wedding and the baker finds out later, could he legally sue?
Does a 'commitment ceremony' count too?
How about a gay engagement party?
If I say it is for Chris and Pat, would a baker have a right to ask the genders? What if I lie?
Will there be laws that customers must truthfully disclose the purpose of any wedding cakes?

It's just ridiculous to fathom all the stupid things that go along with letting the baker discriminate this way with any legal standing.

A baker can restrict what 'type' of cakes they are willing to make (No fondant! Nothing over 4 feet! Glitter is an abomination to my senses!) but I don't think they should be able to dictate how their cake is used.

They shouldn't have a right to know the cake I just ordered is really for the Youtube wedding of my cat to a portrait of David Hasselhoff.
I wonder if the trial will drift in that direction. That was the direction of my thinking.

The issue of the cake as itself being inherently expressive seems like a dead end. For all the baker knew, the couple may have been to a wedding reception with a cake provided by Masterpiece and they liked it so much they were going to order the exact same cake. Or let’s say a wedding planner goes into the cake shop and orders two identical cakes to be picked up at the same time on the same day. One is for an opposite sex wedding and the other for a same sex wedding. When the baker makes the cakes, he doesn’t know which cake will be delivered to which wedding. Does he find making one cake objectionable and against his beliefs and not the other? If so, which one? That certainly seems to make the act of creating the cakes a form of conduct, not speech.

But then we get back into the issue of context and the question of whether a business can refuse to sell goods or services if the business knows they will be used for an objectionable purpose.

A gun shop may refuse to sell a gun to someone who says there are going to shoot their neighbor. A pharmacy may refuse to sell drugs to someone if they believe the person is going to abuse them (shopping doctors for opiates) or use them to make meth.

The owner of a song may refuse to license the song for use in a movie they don’t like or that they feel poorly reflects the song. The Beatles would not license their songs for commercials. Musicians have obtained injunctions to stop politicians from using a song campaign rallies. Author may license a book for one project but not another.

That gets back to the issue I raised earlier about refusing to make a cake (or provide other goods or services) for a white supremacist rally or feminist rally. Those involve protected classes of race and sex. Essentially only white people hold white supremacist rallies and only women hold feminist rallies (ok, there are exceptions).

Masterpiece is making the same argument. Just as a black baker may make cakes for white people but refuse to make one for a white supremacist rally, he makes cakes for gay people but not for a gay marriage celebration. As sphenisc pointed out in post 82, the issue become that such a baker may provide cakes for other white events or women’s events. But what about other gay events? Are there any events that are essentially exclusive to gays that Masterpiece would make a cake for? It seems most such events would be based around gay marriage. Would Masterpiece make a cake for a gay engagement party, bachelor party, wedding reception, anniversary, adoption ceremony?

Of course we don’t actually know the answer to that (although it seems quite obvious) so the Colorado court did not go there. The Colorado court instead relied on other precedents. The court has ruled that discrimination occurs if the person would have provided the service “but for” the person’s membership in an enumerated class. Masterpiece claims the refusal was not because of the couple’s sexual orientation, but because of the couple’s intent to use the cake to celebrate a gay marriage. The court relied on several Supreme Court cases that found that in some cases conduct cannot be divorced from status when conduct is closely related to the status. The case of Elaine Photography was even simpler because New Mexico antidiscrimination law specifically protects “conduct that is inextricably tied to sexual orientation.”

The issue is whether the couple would have gotten a cake if they were not gay. Masterpiece claims their being gay was not the basis for refusal. But a gay couple can’t get request a cake to celebrate their marriage without it celebrating a same-sex marriage. The conduct of a same-sex marriage is essentially inextricably connected to the status of the couple’s sexual orientation. As such, the court found that discrimination based on that conduct is the same as discrimination based on their status.

Of course Masterpiece is petitioning the Supreme Court just on the First Amendment issue. But I think that case is weak and wonder whether it will drift back to this issue denying the cake based on conduct versus status.
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Old 12th July 2017, 07:17 PM   #329
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Originally Posted by Meadmaker View Post
We really don't know exactly what he will or will not make, because the conversation that started this litigation was literally only a few seconds long. His lawyers have subsequently said that he would be willing to make an "off the shelf", i.e. non-custom, cake for use at a gay wedding. It was only a custom wedding cake that he refused to do.
The baker said he would not “make” a cake for a gay wedding. His lawyers have said that he would “sell” any “pre-made” cake for a gay wedding (or more specifically, they said he would sell a pre-made cake to anyone for any purpose).

Of course wedding cakes are essentially never pre-made. Maybe in Vegas.
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Old 12th July 2017, 07:34 PM   #330
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Originally Posted by DevilsAdvocate View Post
The baker said he would not “make” a cake for a gay wedding. His lawyers have said that he would “sell” any “pre-made” cake for a gay wedding (or more specifically, they said he would sell a pre-made cake to anyone for any purpose).

Of course wedding cakes are essentially never pre-made. Maybe in Vegas.
I know that Supreme Court cases are supposed to be decided based on the facts of that particular case, but I wonder how that will play out here in this case. Things that people have posted here have suggested that he just wasn't going to sell anything to gay folks getting married, although his lawyers have subsequently said he would have sold them one, but wouldn't make one.

Does the Supreme Court weigh in on findings of fact from the lower court, or just the law. I think the Colorado Supreme Court said that he wouldn't sell them anything. Can SCOTUS reject that finding?

We know that this case is about more than just one wedding cake in Colorado. At the very least, it is about lots of different providers of wedding services (and goods?) all over the country. How do they work in the exact contents of a conversation that occurred in one Colorado bakeshop? I don't think they are supposed to say, "In this case the baker said ..... so we are ruling against him, but if he had said ............. we would be ruling for him, so the Colorado civil rights statute is held to be unenforceable under certain circumstances, which were not present here."
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Old 12th July 2017, 11:41 PM   #331
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Originally Posted by DevilsAdvocate View Post

The issue is whether the couple would have gotten a cake if they were not gay. Masterpiece claims their being gay was not the basis for refusal. But a gay couple can’t get request a cake to celebrate their marriage without it celebrating a same-sex marriage. The conduct of a same-sex marriage is essentially inextricably connected to the status of the couple’s sexual orientation. As such, the court found that discrimination based on that conduct is the same as discrimination based on their status.

Of course Masterpiece is petitioning the Supreme Court just on the First Amendment issue. But I think that case is weak and wonder whether it will drift back to this issue denying the cake based on conduct versus status.
I read the bakers response to the respondent brief. It seems it isn't exactly 'making' the cake that is the main problem. It boils down to a claim that all his designs are infused with a considerably skillful artistic expression honoring a man/woman marriage. I guess his cupcakes are not.
The brief states that ALL of his wedding cakes express:
Quote:
"“that a wedding has occurred, a marriage has
begun, and the couple should be celebrated,” Phillips tailors that message to each “specific couple” through an artistic design process that includes an in-depth “consultation with the customer(s) in order to get to know their desires, their personalities, their personal preferences and learn
about their wedding ceremony and celebration.” Only then is he able to “sketch out the cake on paper,” “bake a sheet cake and then sculpt the
desired shape or design,” mix “the desired colors for frosting and decorations,” “actually create the cake itself and decorate it” through painting and other artistry, and then determine which “symbolic items”
to place “on the top.”
I can almost see his point here except that it's only gay people that offend the use of his art. Do all the hetero customers (and dogs too!) meet some basic moral standard to where he would honor their marriage with his expressive designs? Goldiggers? Addicts? Porn stars? Pregnant teens? 3rd or 4th marriages? Cherished pets?!
It seems the bar is set very low for everyone except "the gays".
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Old 13th July 2017, 01:30 AM   #332
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Originally Posted by Meadmaker View Post
I know that Supreme Court cases are supposed to be decided based on the facts of that particular case, but I wonder how that will play out here in this case. Things that people have posted here have suggested that he just wasn't going to sell anything to gay folks getting married, although his lawyers have subsequently said he would have sold them one, but wouldn't make one.
The Colorado court documents acknowledge that Phillips said he “does not create wedding cakes for same-sex weddings” but that “he would be happy to make and sell them any other baked goods.” Masterpiece also argued that “it would design and create any other bakery product for them, just not a wedding cake.”

The determination by the Civil Rights Division states that “the Respondent contends that in those situations, he advised potential customers that he could not create a cake for a same-sex wedding ceremony or reception based on his religious beliefs. Respondent owner Phillips adds that he told the Charging Party and his partner that he could create birthday cakes, shower cakes, or any other cakes for them.”

But in an affidavit to the Civil Rights Division, another couple said Masterpiece refused to place an order for cupcakes for a same-sex commitment ceremony (gay marriage was not legal in the state at that time) because “the Respondent had a policy of not selling baked goods to same-sex couples for this type of event.”

That leaves some grey area, but it seems to boil down to Masterpiece having a policy of refusing to make (or even sell) any baked goods for a same-sex marriage event. The statements made by Masterpiece’s lawyers about selling pre-made goods somewhat contradicts that claim about selling (although the statement is that Masterpiece “will” sell, not that it always would have sold) but by excluding non-pre-made goods seems to reinforce the idea that Masterpiece would not “make” any goods for a same-sex marriage event.

Originally Posted by Meadmaker View Post
Does the Supreme Court weigh in on findings of fact from the lower court, or just the law. I think the Colorado Supreme Court said that he wouldn't sell them anything. Can SCOTUS reject that finding?
The Supreme Court can weigh in on findings of fact. As the highest court, it is a sort of catch-all and wears some slightly different hats. Sometimes the Supreme Court hears a case that has not been reviewed by another court (usually a dispute between States), or it may make a ruling on a case heard in a lower court, or it may remand a case back to a lower court. In this case I expect the court to make a final ruling. If evidence is presented that shows that evidence considered by the Colorado court was false, the Supreme Court will base its ruling on the evidence that it accepts.

The Colorado Supreme Court said “Phillips refused to serve them, explaining that the Company had a policy of refusing to sell baked goods for weddings of same-sex couples.” That is based on the cupcake affidavit. But that court also acknowledged (as quoted above) that Masterpiece would make and sell them other baked goods.

In the petitions and responses this has already turned into ridiculous bickering about “but he didn’t offer a pre-made cake” and “he didn’t not offer a pre-made cake because they stormed out before he had the chance.” The court isn’t going to quibble over the precise wording of the conversation or what “pre-made” means or what he may or may not have done or will do or exactly what “other baked goods” he may have been willing to make.

The cupcakes may make an appearance because it undermines the claim that it is about the expression embodying within a customized cake, but the cupcakes were refused by an employee rather than Phillips, so it could be dismissed as an employee’s misunderstanding of the company policy. The Colorado hardly touched it, and I wouldn’t expect any more interest from the Supreme Court.

Originally Posted by Meadmaker View Post
We know that this case is about more than just one wedding cake in Colorado. At the very least, it is about lots of different providers of wedding services (and goods?) all over the country. How do they work in the exact contents of a conversation that occurred in one Colorado bakeshop? I don't think they are supposed to say, "In this case the baker said ..... so we are ruling against him, but if he had said ............. we would be ruling for him, so the Colorado civil rights statute is held to be unenforceable under certain circumstances, which were not present here."
The Supreme Court can only act within the context of this case. But virtually every Supreme Court case carries implication beyond the specific case. Plus, the court writes an opinion explaining the reason for the ruling. Those reasons may address hypothetical situations. Lower courts will apply the line of reasoning established by the Supreme Court to other cases. OF course that can end up with disputes like this where Masterpiece claims the Colorado court relied too much on Spence-Johnson and not enough on Hurley. Although the court’s ruling only applies to a specific case, the opinion will guide lower courts to make decisions based on the idea that the Supreme Court would apply the same line of reasoning in similar cases.
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Old 13th July 2017, 02:59 AM   #333
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Originally Posted by Newtons Bit View Post
It's the one where you try to read things for comprehension and not try to form straw men.
And you clearly agree now that any made to order cake would be right out so they have to choose from the standard pre baked selections. That just contradicts what you said earlier. Maybe you should work on being at all consistent.
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Old 13th July 2017, 03:03 AM   #334
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Originally Posted by Meadmaker View Post
It seems like you might be confusing the rights of employees with the rights of owners. The Subway employee has to answer to his boss if he decides not to make a particular sandwich, but the law is blithely unconcerned.

Most pizza places put pepperoni on a pizza, but Jerusalem Pizza won't do it, and they don't have to. They didn't "get a job", they started a business, and their business doesn't include pepperoni, even if that is common part of pizza making.
And like all such places they can choose which customers they will let order a unique work of art like a Pizza. They can also totally ban gays from ordering a pizza.
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Old 13th July 2017, 03:17 AM   #335
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Originally Posted by DevilsAdvocate View Post
The Colorado Supreme Court said “Phillips refused to serve them, explaining that the Company had a policy of refusing to sell baked goods for weddings of same-sex couples.” That is based on the cupcake affidavit. But that court also acknowledged (as quoted above) that Masterpiece would make and sell them other baked goods.
It was his wife and co-owner. I quoted the bit from the brief last page.
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Old 13th July 2017, 03:31 AM   #336
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Originally Posted by DevilsAdvocate View Post
The cupcakes may make an appearance because it undermines the claim that it is about the expression embodying within a customized cake, but the cupcakes were refused by an employee rather than Phillips, so it could be dismissed as an employee’s misunderstanding of the company policy.
From the brief linked earlier in this thread (pgs 5a -6a):
Quote:
In an affidavit provided by the Charging Party during the Division’s investigation, Stephanie Schmalz (‘‘S. Schmalz”) states that on January 16, 2012, she and her partner Jeanine Schmalz (“J. Schmalz”) visited the Respondent’s place of business to purchase cupcakes for their family commitment ceremony. S. Schmalz states that when she confirmed that the cupcakes were to be part of a celebration for her and her partner, the Respondent’s female representative stated that she would not be able to place the order because “the Respondent had a policy of not selling baked goods to same-sex couples for this type of event.” Following her departure from the Respondent’s place of business, S. Schmalz telephoned the Respondent to clarify its policies. During this telephone conversation, S. Schmalz learned that the female representative was an owner of the business and that it was the Respondent’s stated policy not to provide cakes or other baked goods to same-sex couples for wedding type celebrations.
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Old 13th July 2017, 04:20 AM   #337
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Originally Posted by Sherkeu View Post
I read the bakers response to the respondent brief. It seems it isn't exactly 'making' the cake that is the main problem. It boils down to a claim that all his designs are infused with a considerably skillful artistic expression honoring a man/woman marriage. I guess his cupcakes are not.
The brief states that ALL of his wedding cakes express:


I can almost see his point here except that it's only gay people that offend the use of his art. Do all the hetero customers (and dogs too!) meet some basic moral standard to where he would honor their marriage with his expressive designs? Goldiggers? Addicts? Porn stars? Pregnant teens? 3rd or 4th marriages? Cherished pets?!
It seems the bar is set very low for everyone except "the gays".
Surely this isn't all that hard to understand, is it? Sometimes it is very difficult to see others' perspectives, but this one just seems obvious to me. Maybe it's because I grew up Christian and haven't forgotten the perspective.

So the difference is that this is not about sinful people getting married. A golddigger or a porn star might be a bad person with moral failings, but it's ok for immoral people to get married. In the case of gay people getting married to each other, from his perspective, the very act is sinful. It's not just that these people are likely to do sinful things, or that they already have done them, the act itself is blasphemy.

In the case of a 3rd or 4th marriage, Christian denominations that reject divorce have still accommodated our modern life and no fault divorce system, sometimes employing some sort of weasel words to say that those first three marriages were invalid, but this one is, or at least from a baker's perspective, could be, a completely valid marriage. There's no way a marriage between two men could possibly be a valid marriage, from a traditional Christian perspective, and the very suggestion of it is mockery of the divine will.

And family pets? I would love to hear the baker's response, but my guess is that it would be something along the lines of no one taking the idea seriously enough to get worried about.

Is there a lot of hypocrisy in a stance like that? Sure. It's not terribly consistent. The dude isn't some theologian publishing a dissertation on the interaction of secular and sacred worlds, determining whether or not participation in worldly activities, like business, must be influenced by sacred concerns, like marriage. He's a bloody cake decorator running a bake shop. Do we want a court trying to determine the degree of consistency or sincerity of his beliefs and his business practices?

And that last sentence drives an awful lot of my feelings about cases like this. The dude doesn't want to bake a cake. Ok. Whatever. Do I or my fellow citizens need to live in fear of homophobic cake bakers, such that we must ask the government to step in and destroy the businesses of bakers and photographers whose religious beliefs lead them to turn down certain business, forcing would-be patrons to find another baker or photographer? In those cases where we are specifically dealing with religiously connected issues like marriage, is it necessary for the government to intervene and compel people to do things which, in their minds, violate their principles? In other words, does the government have a compelling interest in forcing the production of cake or the taking of pictures?

Sometimes I think that, for an awful lot of people, the "compelling interest" of government in such cases is to punish people who have impure thoughts.
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Old 13th July 2017, 04:50 AM   #338
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Originally Posted by Meadmaker View Post
Do I or my fellow citizens need to live in fear of homophobic cake bakers, such that we must ask the government to step in and destroy the businesses of bakers and photographers whose religious beliefs lead them to turn down certain business, forcing would-be patrons to find another baker or photographer?
Are any of your fellow citizens gay? They've needed to live in exactly that fear within living memory. It ends in legal persecution and social ostracization, but it starts with homophobic cake bakers and nosy neighbors passing moral judgment.
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Old 13th July 2017, 08:18 AM   #339
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Originally Posted by Meadmaker View Post
Surely this isn't all that hard to understand, is it? Sometimes it is very difficult to see others' perspectives, but this one just seems obvious to me. Maybe it's because I grew up Christian and haven't forgotten the perspective.

So the difference is that this is not about sinful people getting married. A golddigger or a porn star might be a bad person with moral failings, but it's ok for immoral people to get married. In the case of gay people getting married to each other, from his perspective, the very act is sinful. It's not just that these people are likely to do sinful things, or that they already have done them, the act itself is blasphemy.

In the case of a 3rd or 4th marriage, Christian denominations that reject divorce have still accommodated our modern life and no fault divorce system, sometimes employing some sort of weasel words to say that those first three marriages were invalid, but this one is, or at least from a baker's perspective, could be, a completely valid marriage. There's no way a marriage between two men could possibly be a valid marriage, from a traditional Christian perspective, and the very suggestion of it is mockery of the divine will.

And family pets? I would love to hear the baker's response, but my guess is that it would be something along the lines of no one taking the idea seriously enough to get worried about.

Is there a lot of hypocrisy in a stance like that? Sure. It's not terribly consistent. The dude isn't some theologian publishing a dissertation on the interaction of secular and sacred worlds, determining whether or not participation in worldly activities, like business, must be influenced by sacred concerns, like marriage. He's a bloody cake decorator running a bake shop. Do we want a court trying to determine the degree of consistency or sincerity of his beliefs and his business practices?

And that last sentence drives an awful lot of my feelings about cases like this. The dude doesn't want to bake a cake. Ok. Whatever. Do I or my fellow citizens need to live in fear of homophobic cake bakers, such that we must ask the government to step in and destroy the businesses of bakers and photographers whose religious beliefs lead them to turn down certain business, forcing would-be patrons to find another baker or photographer? In those cases where we are specifically dealing with religiously connected issues like marriage, is it necessary for the government to intervene and compel people to do things which, in their minds, violate their principles? In other words, does the government have a compelling interest in forcing the production of cake or the taking of pictures?

Sometimes I think that, for an awful lot of people, the "compelling interest" of government in such cases is to punish people who have impure thoughts.
Sometimes the government does force the accommodation of protected classes even when it violates principles. Sometimes the injury to the protected class outweighs the right of the business owner to discriminate- even if it is a sincerely held belief.

On the other hand, forcing an artist to create and then 'hang' his expressive art in places where he believes it is mocked or devalued doesnt seem fair either. This seems against artistic freedom.

No doubt that a cake can be expressive art. But does it qualify as "compelled speech"? How does the baker offer his service to the public in a way that protects both parties from injury?

I'm trying to view both sides but I keep inserting other protected classes into this scenario and it seems very wrong- even for the sincerest of beliefs. SCOTUS could essentially 'unprotect' one specific class that Colorado decided it wanted to 'protect'.
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Old 13th July 2017, 09:33 AM   #340
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Originally Posted by Meadmaker View Post
Surely this isn't all that hard to understand, is it? Sometimes it is very difficult to see others' perspectives, but this one just seems obvious to me. Maybe it's because I grew up Christian and haven't forgotten the perspective.

So the difference is that this is not about sinful people getting married. A golddigger or a porn star might be a bad person with moral failings, but it's ok for immoral people to get married. In the case of gay people getting married to each other, from his perspective, the very act is sinful. It's not just that these people are likely to do sinful things, or that they already have done them, the act itself is blasphemy.

In the case of a 3rd or 4th marriage, Christian denominations that reject divorce have still accommodated our modern life and no fault divorce system, sometimes employing some sort of weasel words to say that those first three marriages were invalid, but this one is, or at least from a baker's perspective, could be, a completely valid marriage. There's no way a marriage between two men could possibly be a valid marriage, from a traditional Christian perspective, and the very suggestion of it is mockery of the divine will.

And family pets? I would love to hear the baker's response, but my guess is that it would be something along the lines of no one taking the idea seriously enough to get worried about.

Is there a lot of hypocrisy in a stance like that? Sure. It's not terribly consistent. The dude isn't some theologian publishing a dissertation on the interaction of secular and sacred worlds, determining whether or not participation in worldly activities, like business, must be influenced by sacred concerns, like marriage. He's a bloody cake decorator running a bake shop. Do we want a court trying to determine the degree of consistency or sincerity of his beliefs and his business practices?

And that last sentence drives an awful lot of my feelings about cases like this. The dude doesn't want to bake a cake. Ok. Whatever. Do I or my fellow citizens need to live in fear of homophobic cake bakers, such that we must ask the government to step in and destroy the businesses of bakers and photographers whose religious beliefs lead them to turn down certain business, forcing would-be patrons to find another baker or photographer? In those cases where we are specifically dealing with religiously connected issues like marriage, is it necessary for the government to intervene and compel people to do things which, in their minds, violate their principles? In other words, does the government have a compelling interest in forcing the production of cake or the taking of pictures?

Sometimes I think that, for an awful lot of people, the "compelling interest" of government in such cases is to punish people who have impure thoughts.
I think it's also that the majority of us on the list are Atheists, and concerned about this expanding into our own lives. Religious overrides to permit refusal of service to Atheists is a very possible outcome, should their case succeed.

So the concern is with the expansion from precedent. This is not about a cake. It's about racist landlords being able to legally evict blacks, for example, by playing the "It's my sincere religious belief that negroes need to live in a segregated part of town" card.
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Old 13th July 2017, 11:23 AM   #341
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Originally Posted by blutoski View Post
I think it's also that the majority of us on the list are Atheists, and concerned about this expanding into our own lives. Religious overrides to permit refusal of service to Atheists is a very possible outcome, should their case succeed.

So the concern is with the expansion from precedent. This is not about a cake. It's about racist landlords being able to legally evict blacks, for example, by playing the "It's my sincere religious belief that negroes need to live in a segregated part of town" card.
If the baker wins the case, landlords will be able to evict black people.
If the baker loses, ministers and priests will be forced to perform gay weddings.


Really? Those things will happen? Or even could happen? As a result of this case?

I do worry about exactly what could happen if this case goes this way or that way, and I generally think gays have more to fear, just because it reaches so far into their lives. And then I read about a story like this one...

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/...armers-market/

For those who don't want to click the link, a Michigan family operated apple farm that operates in Charlotte, Michigan, is being denied access to an East Lansing, Michigan farmer's market because, on his Facebook page, the owner was asked if he would host gay weddings at his farm, and he said no. (I assume that the farm does allow rental of space. Michigan apple orchards frequently have space available. Going out for apple cider in the fall is a Michigan thing, and farms/mills usually have pavilions with lots of seating to accommodate the crowds. It's a bit odd, but that's what we do. I assume they rent those building out if people want to use them during other parts of the year.)

In the case of the Colorado baker, I can look and see that there is a law that most reasonable people would say he violated, but that's not the case here in Michigan. We don't have a statewide non-discrimination statute that covers sexual orientation. Our civil rights laws do bar discrimination based on weight, so if he refused to marry fat people, those laws would come into play, but we don't have anything for this case.......which is a hypothetical, anyway. No one actually attempted to rent the place for an actual event. All they did was ask on Facebook if he would.

When the folks in East Lansing got wind of his Facebook post, they refused to allow him access to the farmer's market.

So let's review. A man made a post on Facebook, in which he said he would use his own property the way he wanted to, and in a manner that would not violate any laws, and he is prohibited from doing business in a different city.

Talk about a chilling effect on free speech and freedom of religion. It's kind of scary.

ETA: I went to the farm's web page, and they do rentals for weddings and parties.
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Old 13th July 2017, 11:31 AM   #342
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Originally Posted by Meadmaker View Post
Talk about a chilling effect on free speech and freedom of religion. It's kind of scary.
Just like Piggy Park. They destroyed peoples religious freedom. They had to hide their religious beliefs about the proper role of the white race. And this was in the era that had Mormons saying black people could not go to heaven.
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Old 13th July 2017, 12:18 PM   #343
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Originally Posted by Meadmaker View Post
So let's review. A man made a post on Facebook, in which he said he would use his own property the way he wanted to, and in a manner that would not violate any laws, and he is prohibited from doing business in a different city.

Talk about a chilling effect on free speech and freedom of religion. It's kind of scary.
-Farmer says he will refuse access to his farm for gay weddings due to religious beliefs.
-Farmers Market refuses access to farmer for violating their anti-discrimination policy.

Why should the Farmers Market have less freedom to enforce their civil rights policies for businesses than the farmer who enforces his policy of "no gay weddings" on his property?

If the business discriminates, the city should not have to condone it by allowing them into the market. They should not be forced to say "We approve of this business." Is it not also their right to refuse?

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Old 13th July 2017, 12:19 PM   #344
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Originally Posted by Sherkeu View Post
-Farmer says he will refuse access to his farm for gay weddings due to religious beliefs.
-Farmers Market refuses access to farmer for violating their anti-discrimination policy.

Why should the Farmers Market have less freedom to enforce their civil rights policies for businesses than the farmer has to refuse gay weddings on his property?

If the business discriminates, the city should not have to condone it by allowing them into the market. They should not be forced to say "We approve of this business." Is it not also their right to refuse?
Because hating gays is a christian thing to do and we are a christian nation. That is what the election proved.
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Old 13th July 2017, 12:30 PM   #345
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Originally Posted by Sherkeu View Post
-Farmer says he will refuse access to his farm for gay weddings due to religious beliefs.
-Farmers Market refuses access to farmer for violating their anti-discrimination policy.

Why should the Farmers Market have less freedom to enforce their civil rights policies for businesses than the farmer who enforces his policy of "no gay weddings" on his property?

If the business discriminates, the city should not have to condone it by allowing them into the market. They should not be forced to say "We approve of this business." Is it not also their right to refuse?
The farmer's market is a government entity. Are you seriously advocating that the government should refuse to allow someone to do business in their city because that person exercised his rights of free speech and freedom of religion, on their own property, in a different city, in violation of no laws?
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Old 13th July 2017, 12:33 PM   #346
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Originally Posted by Meadmaker View Post
The farmer's market is a government entity. Are you seriously advocating that the government should refuse to allow someone to do business in their city because that person exercised his rights of free speech and freedom of religion, on their own property, in a different city, in violation of no laws?
I see you are against any municipalities enacting any form of civil rights protections beyond that of the state.
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Old 13th July 2017, 01:17 PM   #347
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Originally Posted by Meadmaker View Post
The farmer's market is a government entity. Are you seriously advocating that the government should refuse to allow someone to do business in their city because that person exercised his rights of free speech and freedom of religion, on their own property, in a different city, in violation of no laws?
Yes. I am.

Business practices are part of the business. The city changed the policy to clarify that the discrimination practice is not confined to their local area. (They also have the right to change policies to close loopholes that undermine the intent of the policy.)

Right or wrong, the city has every right to do it. The farmer has a right to then complain and sue. It's downright American.
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Old 13th July 2017, 02:04 PM   #348
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Originally Posted by Sherkeu View Post
-Farmer says he will refuse access to his farm for gay weddings due to religious beliefs.
-Farmers Market refuses access to farmer for violating their anti-discrimination policy.

Why should the Farmers Market have less freedom to enforce their civil rights policies for businesses than the farmer who enforces his policy of "no gay weddings" on his property?

If the business discriminates, the city should not have to condone it by allowing them into the market. They should not be forced to say "We approve of this business." Is it not also their right to refuse?
This.

The farmer can go sell his apples at another market, in another city. Or sell them directly to the customer. Just like those gay non-customers of Masterpiece Cakes can go to another baker.
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Old 13th July 2017, 02:26 PM   #349
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Originally Posted by Meadmaker View Post
If the baker wins the case, landlords will be able to evict black people.
If the baker loses, ministers and priests will be forced to perform gay weddings.


Really? Those things will happen? Or even could happen? As a result of this case?
No, the thing about priests will never happen, it's an irrational non sequitur that does not follow from a negative ruling.

Landlords being allowed to evict tenants, on the other hand, could follow from a positive ruling, yes. Thus my concern.
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Old 13th July 2017, 05:03 PM   #350
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Originally Posted by ddt View Post
This.

The farmer can go sell his apples at another market, in another city. Or sell them directly to the customer. Just like those gay non-customers of Masterpiece Cakes can go to another baker.
And then Colorado can tell Masterpiece to comply or do business in some other state. And then SCOTUS can tell Colorado...... ??

I believe that is where it ends until the next case, a revolution, or apocalyptic events that make us long for the days when party cakes made people angry.
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Old 14th July 2017, 05:12 AM   #351
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Originally Posted by Meadmaker View Post
The farmer's market is a government entity. Are you seriously advocating that the government should refuse to allow someone to do business in their city because that person exercised his rights of free speech and freedom of religion, on their own property, in a different city, in violation of no laws?
Freedom of speech =/= freedom of consequences from said speech

Farmer's Market says "Businesses that discriminate don't get to use our space."
Farmer says "I will discriminate against this class of people."
Farmer's Market says, "Farmer, since you have said that you will discriminate, you may no longer use our space."

Failing to see how this is even an issue.
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Old 14th July 2017, 03:11 PM   #352
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Originally Posted by blutoski View Post
No, the thing about priests will never happen, it's an irrational non sequitur that does not follow from a negative ruling.

Landlords being allowed to evict tenants, on the other hand, could follow from a positive ruling, yes. Thus my concern.
I think that Justice Kennedy will see a shorter path to the former than to the latter.

The more I think about it, the more I think the baker will win the case.
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Old 14th July 2017, 04:57 PM   #353
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Originally Posted by Meadmaker View Post
I think that Justice Kennedy will see a shorter path to the former than to the latter.

The more I think about it, the more I think the baker will win the case.
I think so too.

(thus the concern - I'm in a mixed race marriage, which was still illegal within my lifetime, 'for religious reasons')
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Old 14th July 2017, 06:11 PM   #354
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Originally Posted by blutoski View Post
I think so too.

(thus the concern - I'm in a mixed race marriage, which was still illegal within my lifetime, 'for religious reasons')
The thing is, for that to get back to the way it was, several different Supreme Court precedents would have to be overturned. A ruling for the baker is no way going to go so far as to allow housing discrimination for a family like yours.

It is conceivable that it might threaten something like getting a wedding cake, which you presumably do not need, or, maybe but far less likely, an anniversary cake. I seriously doubt the ruling would be broad enough to allow that sort of discrimination, but it could.

On the other hand, if we consider the nightmare scenario for the other side, i.e. the ministers being required to perform same sex marriages, there are no Supreme Court precedents that would have to be overturned to get from where we are today, to where that is. Moreover, there are people lobbying to get us there already. People, including people in power, are demanding that churches be treated as public accommodation spaces, subject to civil rights laws. That dude in Couer d'Alene was willing to let the gay couple use his facilities, and he would provide all the services that he normally provides for people getting married. The only thing he would not do was perform the wedding himself. For this, he was determined, by some, to be in violation of civil rights laws. Is it really so difficult to imagine that churches would lose their ability to limit activities at their churches, or by paid employees (i.e. ministers) if they refuse to conform to civil rights laws?

Kennedy knows that in order to avoid that nightmare scenario, there has to be a line in the sand that says government interference cannot go beyond a certain point. I think he's going to draw it in this case.
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Old 17th July 2017, 03:02 AM   #355
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Originally Posted by blutoski View Post
No, the thing about priests will never happen, it's an irrational non sequitur that does not follow from a negative ruling.

Landlords being allowed to evict tenants, on the other hand, could follow from a positive ruling, yes. Thus my concern.
In much of the country they still have that right to evict tenants for being gay. Just like businesses have the right to fire them for being gay.
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Old 17th July 2017, 03:04 AM   #356
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Originally Posted by Border Reiver View Post
Freedom of speech =/= freedom of consequences from said speech

Farmer's Market says "Businesses that discriminate don't get to use our space."
Farmer says "I will discriminate against this class of people."
Farmer's Market says, "Farmer, since you have said that you will discriminate, you may no longer use our space."

Failing to see how this is even an issue.
A christian had consequences for their bigotry. That is the worst kind of discrimination, the kind against white straight christian males.
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Old 17th July 2017, 03:05 AM   #357
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Originally Posted by Meadmaker View Post
I think that Justice Kennedy will see a shorter path to the former than to the latter.

The more I think about it, the more I think the baker will win the case.
And we can finally get rid of states that have sexuality as a protected class. It will become pointless to make sexuality a protected class because the right to ignore it will be constitutionally protected.
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Old 17th July 2017, 03:07 AM   #358
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Originally Posted by Meadmaker View Post
The thing is, for that to get back to the way it was, several different Supreme Court precedents would have to be overturned. A ruling for the baker is no way going to go so far as to allow housing discrimination for a family like yours.
But they could well overturn Piggy park, so they could be refused service in a restaurant.

Quote:
On the other hand, if we consider the nightmare scenario for the other side, i.e. the ministers being required to perform same sex marriages, there are no Supreme Court precedents that would have to be overturned to get from where we are today, to where that is. Moreover, there are people lobbying to get us there already. People, including people in power, are demanding that churches be treated as public accommodation spaces, subject to civil rights laws. That dude in Couer d'Alene was willing to let the gay couple use his facilities, and he would provide all the services that he normally provides for people getting married. The only thing he would not do was perform the wedding himself. For this, he was determined, by some, to be in violation of civil rights laws. Is it really so difficult to imagine that churches would lose their ability to limit activities at their churches, or by paid employees (i.e. ministers) if they refuse to conform to civil rights laws?
Sucks being a for profit religion. Fortunately for them most religions managed to scam their way out of being for profit.
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Old 17th July 2017, 11:28 AM   #359
ahhell
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Join Date: Feb 2017
Posts: 619
Originally Posted by ponderingturtle View Post
In much of the country they still have that right to evict tenants for being gay. Just like businesses have the right to fire them for being gay.
They still have that right everywhere*, they just have to hide it.

*Except maybe San Francisco where its practically impossible to evict someone.
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