Monday, March 05, 2018

In Of All Places

Out in California a judge made a terrible decision that is more indicative of the deep south than the west coast.
A California Judge Allows a Baker to Discriminate Against a Lesbian Couple Who Wanted a Wedding Cake
ACLU
By Rose Saxe
February 7, 2018

On Monday, a trial court in California’s Central Valley blamed a lesbian couple for the discrimination they experienced when they tried to buy a wedding cake. That twisted reasoning ignores the very real harms that occur when people are denied the freedom to participate in public life.

Eileen and Mireya Rodriguez-Del Rio tried to buy a cake from the bakery Tastries, but the owner Cathy Miller turned them away when they arrived for their scheduled cake tasting on Aug. 26, 2017, based on her religious objections to same-sex marriage. Miller instead referred them to a different bakery, even though Tastries regularly sells wedding cakes to heterosexual couples.

The court found that the Constitution creates a right to discriminate, in part by grossly minimizing the harm that the couple experienced when they were rejected. In ruling for the bakery, Kern County Superior Court Judge David Lampe said:
If anything, the harm to [the bakery owner] is the greater harm, because it carries significant economic consequences. When one feels injured, insulted or angered by the words or expressive conduct of others, the harm is many times self-inflicted.
Blaming Eileen and Mireya for the discrimination they experienced that day at the bakery is outrageous. It’s hard to fault people who experience injury when told they are not good enough to be served because of who they are. But the court didn’t stop there.

According to the judge, “the fact that Rodriguez-Del Rios feel they will suffer indignity from Miller’s choice is not sufficient to deny constitutional protection.” Judge Lampe went on to say that an "interest in preventing dignitary harms . . . is not a compelling basis for infringing free speech.”  That is just not true. Putting aside the bakery’s contention that freedom of speech creates a right to refuse equal service, the Supreme Court has long recognized that preventing harm to personal dignity that occurs with discrimination is one of the core purposes of our anti-discrimination laws.
Can you believe that judge!

So because the couple got mad at being discriminated against by the bakers the judge found them at fault. I guess the judge think we should kowtow to discrimination.
In a challenge to the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of federal public accommodations law to ensure human dignity. Justice Arthur Goldberg, in a concurring opinion, wrote: “Discrimination is not simply dollars and cents, hamburgers and movies; it is the humiliation, frustration, and embarrassment that a person must surely feel when he is told that he is unacceptable as a member of the public.”

And in Roberts v. Jaycees, the Supreme Court recognized that discrimination — in that case, turning women away from membership in an organization — “deprives persons of their individual dignity and denies society the benefits of wide participation in political, economic, and cultural life.”
But I guess the judge does feel he has to follow the Supreme Court, that he can set his own judicial precedent.



I imagine most of you watched the Oscars…
Oscar winner 'A Fantastic Woman' draws attention to transgender rights
LA Times
By Jeffrey Fleishman
March 4, 2018

There is a moment in the Chilean film "A Fantastic Woman" when a transgender singer stands onstage and lifts her voice, an unwavering mezzo-soprano that rises above the cruelties and prejudices she's encountered in a country that has scorned her identity, ridiculed her love and chipped away at her pride.

Sebastián Lelio's story, which won the Academy Award for foreign-language film, is an unrepentant fable in a time when transgender people and others in the LGBTQ community are demanding wider rights in countries, including Chile, that have treated them as deviants and curiosities. The film follows Marina (played by transgender actress Daniela Vega) in a quiet rebellion for dignity against condescension and relentless humiliation.

"I'm on Jupiter. I can't believe that this happened," Lelio said of his Oscar. "It is a film that has managed to contribute to a necessary and urgent conversation."

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