Friday, June 30, 2023

When The Truth Doesn't Work… Lie.

How many times have we seen the conservatives twist the truth or ignore it all together?
Lorie Smith has never made wedding websites, but she claims she was asked to by a gay couple. New reporting suggests the request was bogus.
By Susan Rinkunas
June 28, 2023

The Supreme Court is set to deliver a ruling Friday—the final day of the term—about whether state anti-discrimination laws violate the First Amendment right to free speech. The decision could be a civil rights nightmare by allowing businesses open to the public to refuse to serve people based on their race, religion, or sexual orientation. The case at issue was already shady, but new reporting suggests it’s even more questionable than we knew.

Lorie Smith is a Colorado website designer who, importantly, has never made wedding websites. However, she filed a lawsuit claiming that she wants to, but, because she opposes marriage equality, she disagrees with a state law that would make her accept gay clients. To be clear: This means Smith had not gotten in trouble with the state, she merely feared potential consequences down the line. She should not have standing to sue, but here we are. The court isn’t hearing the case on religious grounds, rather on free speech grounds, specifically whether state laws “compel an artist to speak or stay silent.” (Smith’s business name is 303 Creative; the case is 303 Creative v. Elenis.)
However a minor detail that was left out… it never happened!
In legal filings, Smith claimed that a man named Stewart contacted her on September 21, 2016, to do some wedding design work for him and his fiancé, Mike. On Thursday, the New Republic reported that the request was bogus—they contacted Stewart and he said he is straight, married to a woman (and was even in 2016), and never contacted Smith. And the timing is also suspect: Stewart’s purported request came in less than 24 hours after Smith first filed her lawsuit in state court.


In fact, her lawyers did not mention “Stewart’s” request until months later. It first came up in February 2017, when her lawyers wrote in response to defense motions, “Notably, any claim that Lorie will never receive a request to create a custom website celebrating a same-sex ceremony is no longer legitimate because Lorie has received such a request.” Smith said in a sworn statement that “Stewart” made a request through the contact form on her site.


There’s a bigger problem here. Since Smith has never designed a wedding website, and has thereby never actually turned away an LGBTQ couple, that means the court and the public only heard her views, not those of the people she wants to discriminate against. In previous cases like 2018's Masterpiece Cakeshop, there were two parties: the business owner (Jack Phillips, also represented by ADF) and the people denied service (Charlie Craig and David Mullin). Craig and Mullin spoke to reporters who shared their story with the country. For Smith, it’s certainly convenient to file a preemptive lawsuit so people really only get to hear one side.
Um… Um… Isn’t that called perjury?

Today should be interesting to see what the court will do
THE COURT HAS RULED! And it is not good, see this morning post.

Mom’s For Liberty used a quote from the Nazis that showed their true colors,
Five presidential candidates will appear at the group’s national convention in Philadelphia this week, after a local group provoked outrage for quoting Hitler.
New York Times
By Jonathan Weisman
June 29, 2023

Before the Hamilton County, Ind., chapter of Moms for Liberty achieved national notoriety this month for quoting Adolf Hitler in its newsletter, it was already at war over education in the schools of Indianapolis’s suburbs.

School board meetings blew up over “critical race theory” and “social emotional learning.” A slate of conservative school board candidates endorsed by Moms for Liberty faced off last year against a slate opposed to the group’s efforts to commandeer the school system. The diversity, equity and inclusion coordinator of Carmel Clay Schools was under attack. Transgender students, or the theoretical threat such students could pose, were suddenly front and center.


After initially defending the quote, the chapter was forced to apologize.

“We condemn Adolf Hitler’s actions and his dark place in human history,” Paige Miller, the chapter’s chairwoman, said in a statement. “We should not have quoted him in our newsletter and express our deepest apology.”
I got this from a tip from a friend who pointed this from The Mary Sue,
By Julia Glassman
June 28, 2023

Last week, Matt Walsh posted a particularly disgusting Twitter thread, claiming that “the trans agenda” was invented by “pedophilic psychologists, degenerate quacks, lunatic sexologists, literal Nazi scientists, and other assorted deviants.” He lists five researchers from the 20th century, some of them good people with problematic traits, and some of them thoroughly bad. He then props them up as the five men supposedly responsible for the creation of trans people. The thread is an extremely dishonest rhetorical tactic, similar to attempts to “prove” that Jews secretly run the world by naming five random Jewish leaders. This kind of rhetoric is designed to delegitimize trans people, erase their ancient global history, and whip up hate against them.

It’s also, infuriatingly, the latest example of bigots using the Holocaust to mean whatever they want it to mean.

A quick history lesson: 6 million Jews were murdered in the Holocaust, along with up to 15,000 gay men, up to 500,000 Roma people, and hundreds of thousands of others. The inclusion of gay men in the Holocaust is a detail that modern-day homophobes and transphobes like to gloss over—especially because queer communities were one of Nazism’s main targets.


This is precisely how people like Walsh can claim that trans people are some new, completely unheard-of phenomenon, instead of a population that’s been part of human culture throughout recorded history. It’s also how right-wing bigots can use the Holocaust as an empty signifier. When your audience has no conception of Holocaust history, they won’t notice how absurd it is when you imply that Magnus Herschfeld aided the Nazis. Then there’s Walsh’s use of Nazi terms like “degenerates” and “deviants” in an ostensibly anti-Nazi thread. None of it makes sense; none of it is coherent; it’s just a giant hate-filled word salad.
Most people know what the Nazis did to the Jews but they don’t know about the Roma people, the disabled, those with Down Syndrome and other generic defects, and also us. Trans people gays and lesbians.

1 comment:

  1. A long ago it was reported in the press Lorie Smith never operated a business. It had me wondering whether or not this was a ploy by anti-LGBTQ forces to initiate a court case when there was not an actual case to test the law. There is still an open case in Washington State that had been sent back from SCOTUS on the same issue; just plain commercial discrimination. I suspect the Washington State Supreme Court will have to "fall-in line."