Author Topic: Big 1st amendment win - Court rules for baker in gay wedding case.  (Read 4036 times)

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Re: Big 1st amendment win - Court rules for baker in gay wedding case.
« Reply #15 on: June 04, 2018, 05:53:23 PM »

Offline Bucketgetter

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Bummed for the Americans who were denied service for no good reason.

In other words, nobody.

As for the Americans who were denied service for a good reason, it's because Americans have a right to free exercise of religion.  Whether somebody disagrees or not, the religious texts followed by Jews, Muslims and Christians are at least in part hostile to homosexuality.  That makes it a complicated issue:  an explicit Constitutional right (free exercise) versus another Constitutional right (equal protection based upon orientation).  One doesn't -- and shouldn't -- automatically outweigh  the other.

As for the ruling itself, it's a fairly narrow one.  Rather than saying that religion trumps, or that free speech carries the day, it simply finds that Colorado's decision in this case showed open hostility to a religious defense, which the government is not allowed to do.  Kagan / Breyer wrote a concurrence in which they indicated their belief that a fairer process without such hostility may have resulted in the same decision (i.e., that the baker had violated the law).  The majority opinion is silent on that point.

But, there are all kinds of implications for cases like this, and I intend to agree with JSD:  business owners shouldn't be required to violate their religion.  Should Muslim caterers be required to service pig roasts?  Could a devout Mormon wedding singer refuse to perform at a drag wedding?

I think, too, there's a difference between providing a service available to everyone -- selling a cake in the display case -- and requiring somebody to provide custom services, such as designing a cake for a gay wedding and personally inscribing the cake.  The latter covers the situation in this ruling.  Requiring somebody to participate in a practice that violates their religion just seems wrong.
The massive problem with that is it allows anyone to blame whatever they want on their religion. If you deny services to black people because you're racist, you can just reference some obscure religion that is "in part hostile to" black people as your own religion. There are endless religions out there that you can practice. That doesn't make denying services to someone ok because you are a bigot but want to get away with under your so called religion.

Except these aren't obscure religions.  Judaism, Islam and Christianity predate our country by thousands of years.  This isn't a pretext to justify hate.  Rather, it's a long-held religious tenant of religions that billions of people practice. 

"Free exercise" has to have some meaning.
Doesn't matter. Size of religion would have no difference in a case like this. All religions would supposedly be protected, regardless of whether or not this is "a pretext to justify hate", which many think it is.

It matters in determining the legitimacy of the religious objection.

Somebody claiming a religious exception based on a religion followed by 12 people started last year is a lot more suspect than somebody who is a member of a 2000 year old religion with a billion followers.

I think itís bad business to turn away customers, but people should have that right. 

Me, Iím happy to have all the gay divorces I can get. If my more devout Catholic colleague feels differently ó and legitimately believes heís contributing to a modern day Sodom and Gomorrah ó he should have the right to turn down that client.
You realize why that makes absolutely no sense in terms of the law, right? There is no arbitrary cut off point for followers needed to be protected by this. All religions would be protected, and there is no way for a court to decide which religions count and which don't.
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Re: Big 1st amendment win - Court rules for baker in gay wedding case.
« Reply #16 on: June 04, 2018, 05:55:19 PM »

Offline Roy H.

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Bummed for the Americans who were denied service for no good reason.

In other words, nobody.

As for the Americans who were denied service for a good reason, it's because Americans have a right to free exercise of religion.  Whether somebody disagrees or not, the religious texts followed by Jews, Muslims and Christians are at least in part hostile to homosexuality.  That makes it a complicated issue:  an explicit Constitutional right (free exercise) versus another Constitutional right (equal protection based upon orientation).  One doesn't -- and shouldn't -- automatically outweigh  the other.

As for the ruling itself, it's a fairly narrow one.  Rather than saying that religion trumps, or that free speech carries the day, it simply finds that Colorado's decision in this case showed open hostility to a religious defense, which the government is not allowed to do.  Kagan / Breyer wrote a concurrence in which they indicated their belief that a fairer process without such hostility may have resulted in the same decision (i.e., that the baker had violated the law).  The majority opinion is silent on that point.

But, there are all kinds of implications for cases like this, and I intend to agree with JSD:  business owners shouldn't be required to violate their religion.  Should Muslim caterers be required to service pig roasts?  Could a devout Mormon wedding singer refuse to perform at a drag wedding?

I think, too, there's a difference between providing a service available to everyone -- selling a cake in the display case -- and requiring somebody to provide custom services, such as designing a cake for a gay wedding and personally inscribing the cake.  The latter covers the situation in this ruling.  Requiring somebody to participate in a practice that violates their religion just seems wrong.
The massive problem with that is it allows anyone to blame whatever they want on their religion. If you deny services to black people because you're racist, you can just reference some obscure religion that is "in part hostile to" black people as your own religion. There are endless religions out there that you can practice. That doesn't make denying services to someone ok because you are a bigot but want to get away with under your so called religion.

Except these aren't obscure religions.  Judaism, Islam and Christianity predate our country by thousands of years.  This isn't a pretext to justify hate.  Rather, it's a long-held religious tenant of religions that billions of people practice. 

"Free exercise" has to have some meaning.
Doesn't matter. Size of religion would have no difference in a case like this. All religions would supposedly be protected, regardless of whether or not this is "a pretext to justify hate", which many think it is.

It matters in determining the legitimacy of the religious objection.

Somebody claiming a religious exception based on a religion followed by 12 people started last year is a lot more suspect than somebody who is a member of a 2000 year old religion with a billion followers.

I think itís bad business to turn away customers, but people should have that right. 

Me, Iím happy to have all the gay divorces I can get. If my more devout Catholic colleague feels differently ó and legitimately believes heís contributing to a modern day Sodom and Gomorrah ó he should have the right to turn down that client.
You realize why that makes absolutely no sense in terms of the law, right? There is no arbitrary cut off point for followers needed to be protected by this. All religions would be protected, and there is no way for a court to decide which religions count and which don't.

Courts determine pretexts all the time. In doing so, they look at the totality of circumstances.


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Re: Big 1st amendment win - Court rules for baker in gay wedding case.
« Reply #17 on: June 04, 2018, 05:59:08 PM »

Offline TheisTheisBaby

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Here's why I don't know why people are p---ed.  Capitalism is racially color blind.  Capitalism doesn't discriminate and the only color that matters is green.  If this baker doesn't want to make the cake for the gay couple because of religious beliefs then fine, now the gay couple can go to a bakery that WILL make their cake.  Then word of mouth helps Bakery B get more publicity than Bakery A and Bakery A loses $.  Do I agree with what Bakery A did?  No because I support gay marriage.  But it's their right to refuse service also. 

Re: Big 1st amendment win - Court rules for baker in gay wedding case.
« Reply #18 on: June 04, 2018, 06:07:58 PM »

Offline Roy H.

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Here's why I don't know why people are p---ed.  Capitalism is racially color blind.  Capitalism doesn't discriminate and the only color that matters is green.  If this baker doesn't want to make the cake for the gay couple because of religious beliefs then fine, now the gay couple can go to a bakery that WILL make their cake.  Then word of mouth helps Bakery B get more publicity than Bakery A and Bakery A loses $.  Do I agree with what Bakery A did?  No because I support gay marriage.  But it's their right to refuse service also.

I think the concern comes from our past.  Many racist establishments barred blacks. The result wasnít capitalism winning the day. Rather, it resulted in segregation and blacks being barred from many restaurants, hotels, etc.

I think that such a result is exceedingly unlikely, especially in a place like Colorado. But, I understand the concern.


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Re: Big 1st amendment win - Court rules for baker in gay wedding case.
« Reply #19 on: June 04, 2018, 06:23:16 PM »

Offline Neurotic Guy

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I don't know what is right or wrong in this case, I just believe that American stands for multiple values -- freedom being only one of them.   The beauty of America's system is that it continuously works to find some homeostasis or balance (or at least some respect) when we have 2 important values (in this case, freedom v. non-discrimination) that seem to have some coexistance challenges.



In terms of one of the examples given in this thread, perhaps it is true that a Muslim who practices strict food rules should not be required to provide pig offerings in his/her catering menu.   I suppose pigs or devout pig-eaters might complain -- but my guess is that the only legitimate  complaint would occur if that Muslim business decided to only cater affairs to certain religions, specific gender, or specific sexual orientation.  If they don't serve pig to anyone, that is their right; if they pick and choose who they will consent to serve based on race, religion, etc. perhaps that is discrimination. 


Isn't there ALWAYS a flip-side to freedom that occurs when the exercise of your freedom inhibits (in some way) the freedom of others?  Additionally, isn't there something to be said for how our legal decisions and ineterpretations should reflect the values that are at the core of our constitution (isn't that why we call it a "constitution")? 

I get that we should never deny freedom lightly.  But we should also not condone discrimination lightly.  I don't like denying the baker his freedom to exercise his religious beliefs.  I also don't like saying to the baker that you don't have to bake for gay people.  In my opinion, not an easy decision -- 2 big values in conflict.  My only hope is that no one takes these decisions lightly and considers both sides carefully and respectfully.
 


Re: Big 1st amendment win - Court rules for baker in gay wedding case.
« Reply #20 on: June 04, 2018, 06:27:42 PM »

Offline KGs Knee

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This was the outcome I expected. You cannot force someone to use their artistic talents if they don't want to provide them.

The only thing that I was surprised by was the SCOTUS scolding Colorado's state commission. That's not common.

Re: Big 1st amendment win - Court rules for baker in gay wedding case.
« Reply #21 on: June 05, 2018, 08:10:38 AM »

Offline Moranis

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Bummed for the Americans who were denied service for no good reason.

In other words, nobody.

As for the Americans who were denied service for a good reason, it's because Americans have a right to free exercise of religion.  Whether somebody disagrees or not, the religious texts followed by Jews, Muslims and Christians are at least in part hostile to homosexuality.  That makes it a complicated issue:  an explicit Constitutional right (free exercise) versus another Constitutional right (equal protection based upon orientation).  One doesn't -- and shouldn't -- automatically outweigh  the other.

As for the ruling itself, it's a fairly narrow one.  Rather than saying that religion trumps, or that free speech carries the day, it simply finds that Colorado's decision in this case showed open hostility to a religious defense, which the government is not allowed to do.  Kagan / Breyer wrote a concurrence in which they indicated their belief that a fairer process without such hostility may have resulted in the same decision (i.e., that the baker had violated the law).  The majority opinion is silent on that point.

But, there are all kinds of implications for cases like this, and I intend to agree with JSD:  business owners shouldn't be required to violate their religion.  Should Muslim caterers be required to service pig roasts?  Could a devout Mormon wedding singer refuse to perform at a drag wedding?

I think, too, there's a difference between providing a service available to everyone -- selling a cake in the display case -- and requiring somebody to provide custom services, such as designing a cake for a gay wedding and personally inscribing the cake.  The latter covers the situation in this ruling.  Requiring somebody to participate in a practice that violates their religion just seems wrong.
The massive problem with that is it allows anyone to blame whatever they want on their religion. If you deny services to black people because you're racist, you can just reference some obscure religion that is "in part hostile to" black people as your own religion. There are endless religions out there that you can practice. That doesn't make denying services to someone ok because you are a bigot but want to get away with under your so called religion.

Except these aren't obscure religions.  Judaism, Islam and Christianity predate our country by thousands of years.  This isn't a pretext to justify hate.  Rather, it's a long-held religious tenant of religions that billions of people practice. 

"Free exercise" has to have some meaning.
As a Jew, I have a very hard time with anyone in modern society relying on often mistranslated texts from 2500 years ago to support their bigotry, especially when those same people ignore all of the other teachings from those same texts.  You can't pick and choose what you want to believe and practice just to support your own bigotry.  That isn't religion, it is using religion to support your own hatred.  It was what we as a society did to find support for slavery, or to keep women at a lesser level then men, or the countless other bigotries that have existed because of religion.

Some people are like that.  Other people are devout.  Why lump them in all together?

What you view as bigotry many people legitimately believe is an edict from God.  They're not making it up; people have been reading the same passages from the same book for centuries. 

Free exercise is at the center of our country.  You can't ignore it just because you disagree with it.  "Live and let live" is such an interesting concept.  Generally, it's interpreted as "Let me live the way I want, while I impose my views on you".
I have absolutely no problem with someone that practices everything.  I have a great deal of respect for the Amish, Hassidic Jews, etc. that live fully by the teachings and don't pick and choose what they want to believe and what they want to follow.  My issue is with those that claim homosexuality is a sin (by relying on ancient texts), but they do all sorts of other sins from the exact same texts because well, just because.  I mean, should we put adulterers to death as Leviticus commands.  Should we put those to death that curse their mother and father.  Should we cast out those that have sex with a women on her period.  I mean those are some of the many teachings of Leviticus in the same book as one of the widely reported bans on homosexuality.  Picking and choosing what you want to believe to support your own bigotry is hypocritical, and frankly should be against the law, when that bigotry is also protected by the law.  Using Religion as a shield to be an awful person was never the intent of the Constitution. 

Re: Big 1st amendment win - Court rules for baker in gay wedding case.
« Reply #22 on: June 05, 2018, 08:14:49 AM »

Offline gouki88

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Good result

Re: Big 1st amendment win - Court rules for baker in gay wedding case.
« Reply #23 on: June 05, 2018, 08:31:04 AM »

Offline Roy H.

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Bummed for the Americans who were denied service for no good reason.

In other words, nobody.

As for the Americans who were denied service for a good reason, it's because Americans have a right to free exercise of religion.  Whether somebody disagrees or not, the religious texts followed by Jews, Muslims and Christians are at least in part hostile to homosexuality.  That makes it a complicated issue:  an explicit Constitutional right (free exercise) versus another Constitutional right (equal protection based upon orientation).  One doesn't -- and shouldn't -- automatically outweigh  the other.

As for the ruling itself, it's a fairly narrow one.  Rather than saying that religion trumps, or that free speech carries the day, it simply finds that Colorado's decision in this case showed open hostility to a religious defense, which the government is not allowed to do.  Kagan / Breyer wrote a concurrence in which they indicated their belief that a fairer process without such hostility may have resulted in the same decision (i.e., that the baker had violated the law).  The majority opinion is silent on that point.

But, there are all kinds of implications for cases like this, and I intend to agree with JSD:  business owners shouldn't be required to violate their religion.  Should Muslim caterers be required to service pig roasts?  Could a devout Mormon wedding singer refuse to perform at a drag wedding?

I think, too, there's a difference between providing a service available to everyone -- selling a cake in the display case -- and requiring somebody to provide custom services, such as designing a cake for a gay wedding and personally inscribing the cake.  The latter covers the situation in this ruling.  Requiring somebody to participate in a practice that violates their religion just seems wrong.
The massive problem with that is it allows anyone to blame whatever they want on their religion. If you deny services to black people because you're racist, you can just reference some obscure religion that is "in part hostile to" black people as your own religion. There are endless religions out there that you can practice. That doesn't make denying services to someone ok because you are a bigot but want to get away with under your so called religion.

Except these aren't obscure religions.  Judaism, Islam and Christianity predate our country by thousands of years.  This isn't a pretext to justify hate.  Rather, it's a long-held religious tenant of religions that billions of people practice. 

"Free exercise" has to have some meaning.
As a Jew, I have a very hard time with anyone in modern society relying on often mistranslated texts from 2500 years ago to support their bigotry, especially when those same people ignore all of the other teachings from those same texts.  You can't pick and choose what you want to believe and practice just to support your own bigotry.  That isn't religion, it is using religion to support your own hatred.  It was what we as a society did to find support for slavery, or to keep women at a lesser level then men, or the countless other bigotries that have existed because of religion.

Some people are like that.  Other people are devout.  Why lump them in all together?

What you view as bigotry many people legitimately believe is an edict from God.  They're not making it up; people have been reading the same passages from the same book for centuries. 

Free exercise is at the center of our country.  You can't ignore it just because you disagree with it.  "Live and let live" is such an interesting concept.  Generally, it's interpreted as "Let me live the way I want, while I impose my views on you".
I have absolutely no problem with someone that practices everything.  I have a great deal of respect for the Amish, Hassidic Jews, etc. that live fully by the teachings and don't pick and choose what they want to believe and what they want to follow.  My issue is with those that claim homosexuality is a sin (by relying on ancient texts), but they do all sorts of other sins from the exact same texts because well, just because.  I mean, should we put adulterers to death as Leviticus commands.  Should we put those to death that curse their mother and father.  Should we cast out those that have sex with a women on her period.  I mean those are some of the many teachings of Leviticus in the same book as one of the widely reported bans on homosexuality.  Picking and choosing what you want to believe to support your own bigotry is hypocritical, and frankly should be against the law, when that bigotry is also protected by the law.  Using Religion as a shield to be an awful person was never the intent of the Constitution.

In general, yes.  The baker in this case seems to practice a fairly orthodox Christian lifestyle, though.  For instance, he refuses to sell Halloween cakes due to his faith.  He doesn't seem to be the type of person who is using religion as a pretext.


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Re: Big 1st amendment win - Court rules for baker in gay wedding case.
« Reply #24 on: June 05, 2018, 08:49:40 AM »

Offline indeedproceed

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Here's why I don't know why people are p---ed.  Capitalism is racially color blind.  Capitalism doesn't discriminate and the only color that matters is green.  If this baker doesn't want to make the cake for the gay couple because of religious beliefs then fine, now the gay couple can go to a bakery that WILL make their cake.  Then word of mouth helps Bakery B get more publicity than Bakery A and Bakery A loses $.  Do I agree with what Bakery A did?  No because I support gay marriage.  But it's their right to refuse service also. 

Capitalism might be color blind but people aren't. And if one group of people have an overwhelming amount of power and wealth comparatively, they historically oppress the minority, and they often use commerce as a cudgel.

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Re: Big 1st amendment win - Court rules for baker in gay wedding case.
« Reply #25 on: June 05, 2018, 09:15:32 AM »

Offline Cman

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I get that this is a narrow "free speech" vs "freedom of religion" case, and so it is unique.

But, an open question for legal scholars out there: any implications for athletes exercising their right to free speech by kneeling during an anthem? Especially in light of the government (ie President Trump) pressuring the NFL to put in place a rule restricting the kneeling?


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Re: Big 1st amendment win - Court rules for baker in gay wedding case.
« Reply #26 on: June 05, 2018, 09:23:32 AM »

Offline Roy H.

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I get that this is a narrow "free speech" vs "freedom of religion" case, and so it is unique.

But, an open question for legal scholars out there: any implications for athletes exercising their right to free speech by kneeling during an anthem? Especially in light of the government (ie President Trump) pressuring the NFL to put in place a rule restricting the kneeling?

I don't think this ruling creates any precedent that will be helpful to either the NFL or the players.


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Re: Big 1st amendment win - Court rules for baker in gay wedding case.
« Reply #27 on: June 05, 2018, 10:24:15 AM »

Offline feckless

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Re: Big 1st amendment win - Court rules for baker in gay wedding case.
« Reply #28 on: June 05, 2018, 10:33:37 AM »

Offline kozlodoev

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Re: Big 1st amendment win - Court rules for baker in gay wedding case.
« Reply #29 on: June 05, 2018, 02:37:20 PM »

Offline Roy H.

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ThinkProgress took a stab at it, by the way.

https://thinkprogress.org/masterpiece-cakeshop-cakes-art-scotus-66f8d6bde9da/

They're right that "7-2" in an illusion.  Kagan and Breyer make it pretty clear that if Colorado hadn't viewed the baker's beliefs in an openly hostile way, they probably would have decided this case another way.

That said, I'm not sure which way the tea leaves point for the next similar case.  I think the majority leans toward religious freedom, but Kennedy is always torn, and Roberts may side with Kennedy to prevent yet another 5-4 decision on a major case.  Of course, if Kennedy retires, it makes future cases even more volatile.  Much like with the Obamacare situation, Roberts may temper any future decisions to preserve the perceived moderateness of the court.


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