Monday, February 11, 2019

And So It Begins… (Part 4)

This four part series I feel is important because even with all the non-discrimination laws on the books around the country the Republicans in their hate of all things LGBTQ+ have done an end-around to circumvent the laws with the courts.
Can Businesses Turn Away LGBT Customers? Court Battles Bubbling Back Up
NPR   All Things Considered
By Allison Sherry
February 10, 2019

The original story behind the Masterpiece Cakeshop case is both undisputed and well known: a gay couple in Colorado walked into the bakery in 2012 and asked for wedding cake. The owner and master baker Jack Phillips declined to make a custom cake for their party because he said their union violated his religious beliefs.
Last summer, the court narrowly sided with Phillips — and admonished the state's commission for showing animus against religion.

But because it didn't settle the looming question on whether the First Amendment guarantees of religious freedom are more important than a state or city's anti-discrimination laws, similar cases are again simmering in lower courts — including Arizona and Colorado.

Contrary to popular belief the Masterpiece Cakeshop didn’t settle the question if a person or business can use “religious freedom” to circumvent the Colorado non-discrimination law, the Supreme Court ruled that the Colorado civil rights commission used religion in their decision. What still has to be settled is…
"The main question is do you get to object to that kind of anti-discrimination law because it's forcing you to convey a message?" said Ilya Shapiro with the Cato Institute, a conservative think tank that has supported some businesses that have turned customers away.

"Only two justices would have held that the baking of a custom wedding cake is protected as speech by the First Amendment," said Kaipo Matsumura, who teaches law at Arizona State University."The other justices refrained from commenting on the issue and just reserved that question for future decisions in other cases."
But that still isn’t the main questions which doesn’t include the First Amendment but just the basic question which is “can a person or business turn you away just because you are trans or LGBTQ+?

In Arizona Phoenix passed a LGBTQ+ non-discrimination ordinance,
The owners are asking the Arizona Supreme Court to excuse them from the city's anti-discrimination law. Those who break it face thousands of dollars in penalties — and even possible jail time.

Last year, the Arizona Court of Appeals ruled against the duo, which is represented by the Scottsdale-based Alliance Defending Freedom.

The influential Christian law firm also has offices in Washington, D.C. and has become nationally known for challenging nondiscrimination protections. The Alliance has logged nine high court wins in just seven years.

They also represent Colorado's baker Jack Phillips, who is again suing Colorado's commission on civil rights for harassment.
All of the cases have been around LGBTQ+ issues involving gays being turned away by a store and it has invoked “religious freedom” claiming Bible passages that they cite are the bases to discriminate against us.

But one thing everyone has lost sight on is if some claims that they do not want to serve a black or Muslin because it violates their religious tenets would the courts upon their discrimination on religious grounds or will the courts fine that “religious freedom” can only be used against us?

If the courts uphold a narrow view that “religious freedom” only applies LGBTQ+ discrimination then that in itself probably violates the Fourteenth Amendment or if they take a broader view that “religious freedom” can be used against any law than that will wipe out all of the civil rights laws including the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

We have already seen a narrow interpretation of “religious freedom” when the Supreme Court refused the request of a Muslim for an imam during his execution and possible in the case where a religious group of people were arrested for leaving water in the desert for undocumented immigrants crossing the border.

My hope lies in of all people the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court John Roberts. I think he has started to fill-in for the court’s social moderate with Justice’s Kennedy departure. Maybe it is wishful thinking but to me it appears that he was the swing vote in some of the issues of the day.
"Equality for all is something that we here in Colorado are committed to, the laws will be enforced," Weiser said. "We will just have to play a few more innings before we win this game."
The packing of our courts with Christian extremists will probably shape our generation more than anything else, it will even dwarf Trump.

And So It Begins…
Religious discrimination sanctioned by the courts
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

No comments:

Post a Comment