Sunday, January 17, 2021

The Courts

There is a Supreme Court case coming up that can have profound impact on us, voiding all the non-discrimination laws in the country.

The case is called Fulton v. City of Philadelphia and it involves the Catholic Church, they want to refuse LGBTQ people from adopting children from their agency. The city says when the adoption agency took the public funding they signed a contract saying that they would not discriminate.
Faith, LGBTQ Rights Collide At Supreme Court
By Nina Totenberg
November 4, 2020

Elections come and go, but Supreme Court decisions can last forever. One of those potentially pivotal cases is before the court Wednesday. A case both poignant and profound, it pits the rights of a city to enforce its anti-discrimination policies in contracting against the rights of religious groups.

On one side is the City of Philadelphia, which contracts with private foster care agencies, and as part of the contract requires that those agencies abide by the city's ban on discriminating against LGBTQ couples. On the other side is Catholic Social Services, which contends that complying with the city's requirement would violate its constitutional right to the free exercise of religion.

Okay, here is the thing… you and I paid for those services through our taxes and this agency that is taking our tax dollars and refusing to allow us access to those services.

When the Catholic Social Services signed the contract with the city for the funding…
That said, however, the city has refused to renew the $2.9 million contract for future home foster care placements by CSS. As the city sees it, CSS has violated the terms of its contract by its policy of refusing to consider same-sex married couples for placement.

"You can't on Monday sign a contract that says we won't discriminate and on Tuesday go ahead and discriminate," says Katyal. And he notes that the Supreme Court has long said governments are at the apex of their power in contracting for goods and services.
Isn’t there a commandment “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor?”

This issue before the court is not the first time a case where someone said a law violated their “Religious Freedom” back in 1990 the article goes on to say,
In 1990, the Supreme Court ruled that when the government has a "generally applicable" law or regulation and enforces that law neutrally, the government's action is presumptively legitimate even if it has some "incidental" adverse impact on some citizens.

The court said that an individual's religious beliefs do not excuse him from compliance with an otherwise valid law prohibiting conduct that government is free to regulate. Allowing exceptions to every state law or regulation affecting religion, the court said, "would open the prospect of constitutionally required exemptions from civic obligations of almost every conceivable kind," from compulsory military service to vaccination requirements, and child-neglect laws.

The author of that opinion was the late Justice Antonin Scalia, a conservative icon and a devout Catholic...
Now they are trying to reverse Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.
Several of the Supreme Court's most conservative justices have in fact urged revisiting Justice Scalia's 1990 decision. And the Court's newest Justice, Amy Coney Barrett, served on the board of her children's private religious school, which, according to the Associated Press, did not admit the children of same-sex couples.

Consider substituting another protected class for LGBTQ discrimination…

If the adoption agency said that they would not allow Black people to adopt do you think that would have been allowed?

Or suppose that the Catholic Social Services said that they will not let disabled persons in wheelchairs adopt because they cannot care for a child properly how do you that would fly?

There would be a great outcry if the Catholic Social Services banned any of those protected classes because it would violate their religious beliefs.

To justify racial discrimination in the South back when the Civil Rights Act of 1963 was being passed there were some Congresspeople who said it would be against their religious values.
On the morning of 10 June 1964, Senator Robert C. Byrd, a former Kleagle of the West Virginia Ku Klux Klan, was concluding a fourteen-hour and thirteen-minute monologue on the floor of the United States Senate. His speech was part of a two-week-long filibuster of the United States Civil Rights Act…

...To Byrd, Genesis9 meant that God had endorsed racial separation and discrimination. In
using Genesis 9 to support segregation and the continuance of Jim Crow, Byrd was relying upon the so-called “Curse of Ham.” According to the mythology that developed around this story, Noah cursed his son Ham to perpetual slavery. Ham, according to Genesis 10, was the founding father of Africa. Thus, Africans are an accursed race predestined by God to inferiority and slavery.
So would the Supreme Court allow someone to use “Religious Freedom” to allow segregation or slavery? Or would the court only allow “Religious Freedom” against LGBTQ people?

Wouldn’t that in itself be discriminatory? That of all the protected classes that only discrimination LGBTQ people could claim “Religious Freedom?” I think that would violate the Fourteenth Amendment.

This court case has far reaching impact and every law written where someone can ignore a law because it violates their religious belief. All one would have to do to ignore a law just declare that the law violates their religious beliefs.

Religious Freedom has already been used in the defense of a group of people who left water in the desert for undocumented immigrants.
Judge Reverses Convictions of Activists Who Left Water for Migrants
A federal judge found that four volunteers with the group “No More Deaths” were acting on their religious beliefs when they left food and water for migrants in the desert.
New York Times
By Maria Cramer
February 5, 2020

Four women who drove into a forbidding desert and left food and water for migrants crossing illegally into the United States were following their religious beliefs, not violating federal laws, a federal judge has ruled, reversing their criminal convictions.

Judge Rosemary Márquez of the United District Court in Arizona decided last week in favor of the women, members of the organization No More Deaths, a faith-based group in Tucson that aims to alleviate suffering at the border.

“The depth, importance and centrality of these beliefs caused defendants to restructure their lives to engage in this volunteer work,” Judge Márquez said in a 22-page ruling that was released on Monday.
Judge Márquez, who was appointed by President Barack Obama, agreed that “the prosecution of defendants for these actions substantially burdens their religious exercise.”

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