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Jeb Bush: Florists Must Sell Flowers To Gay Couples, Unless They’re Wedding Flowers

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Jeb Bush is wading into the wedding flowers and cakes wars, trying to appease all, and failing.

Back in April, during the middle of Indiana Governor Mike Pence’s self-created implosion over a discriminatory “religious freedom” law designed to marginalize LGBT people, Jeb Bush headed to California to try to woo high-value Silicon Valley donors. It didn’t end well, after Bush offered support for Pence’s anti-gay discrimination.

Salon’s Joan Walsh had written it was “all such bad timing – as he headed to Silicon Valley to raise megabucks for his Right to Rise PAC. Bay Area businesses like Twitter, Yelp and Salesforce, plus valley titan Apple, had all blasted the law.”

Campaigning in San Francisco on Thursday, Jeb Bush’s timing also could not have been worse.

The Republican presidential candidate, second now to Donald Trump, made a big media deal of stepping into an Uber car Thursday morning, which turned out to be the same day a judge ruled Uber should be forced to pay the State of California $7.3 million for its failure to follow state regulations.

Riding “shotgun,” Bush pulled up to a San Francisco startup, Thumbtack, where he shared his views on the third rail of politics – not “entitlements,” although he spoke to those too – but whether or not a Christian florist should have to sell flowers to a same-sex couple for their wedding, along with other wage discrimination and LGBT civil rights issues.

TIME reports that a Thumbtack employee “who identified himself to Bush as being gay asked about Bush’s position on legislation to ban discrimination of LGBT Americans. ‘I don’t think you should be discriminated because of your sexual orientation. Period. Over and out,’ he replied.”

“The fact that there wasn’t a law doesn’t necessarily mean you would have been discriminated against,” Bush told the gay employee. Small comfort to the millions of LGBT Americans who have been discriminated against, no doubt, and ignoring the fact that in more than half the states across the nation, LGBT employees have had access to no legal protections and have been fired just for being LGBT.

Bush “added that in the wake of the Supreme Court decision to legalize same-sex marriage nationwide, the country must work to carefully balance the rights of those seeking to marry and the religious beliefs of those who oppose those unions.”

Citing the frequently-used example by religious freedom advocates, Bush said that in the case of a florist approached by a gay couple, “you should be obligated to sell them flowers, doing otherwise would be discriminatory.” But he said that the objecting florist should not be required to participate in the wedding, a fine line that he hopes will appeal to all sides of the debate.

In other words, a florist, Bush believes, cannot discriminate against gay people for being gay, but they can if the very same gay people are getting married. 

CBS News quoted Bush’s comment a bit more fully:

“If you’re a florist and you have that deeply felt belief, you should if a gay couple comes in and says I want to buy flowers you should be obligated to sell them flowers. Doing otherwise would be discrimination. But if that couple asks you to participate in the wedding, and you said, based on my conscience I shouldn’t or I won’t, you should not be fined, you should not have to close your business down.”

The religious right over the past year or more has been using the phrase “participate in” to include even the act of, say, merely arranging flowers or baking a cake for the wedding of a same-sex couple.

And Bush’s words are wholly consistent with what he told Pat Robertson’s CBN News in May, telling reporter David Brody that he supports the concept that wedding-related vendors – bakers, florists, photographers – should be given the legal right to discriminate against same-sex couples getting married, based on their professed religious or moral beliefs.

Brody asked the former Florida governor if he is “OK” if wedding vendors don’t provide their services to same-sex couples.

“Yes, absolutely if it’s based on a religious belief,” Bush had responded.

TIME goes on to note that when the gay employee “followed up to ask specifically whether he would support anti-discrimination laws for LGBT Americans for their housing and employment—the next target for gay rights marriage advocates—Bush said he would at the state level.”

“I think this should be done state-by-state, I totally agree with that,” Bush said.

Again, timing is everything.

Later in the day yesterday, the EEOC released an historic and groundbreaking ruling, stating that gay, lesbian, and bisexual employees are covered by and included in the Civil Rights Act of 1964 when it comes to employment discrimination. In other words, at the federal level, nationally, not “state-by-state,” as Bush prefers.

Bush also agreed that wages should be equal between men and women, but insisted “there are laws to make it so, and they should be enforced,” not added to.

As for “entitlements,” what many Americans call government programs like Social Security and Medicare, CNN’s Ashley Killough tweeted what Bush had to say:

So how did Bush fare at the six-year old San Francisco startup?

International Business Times reports that the “gay employee” who asked Bush about discrimination is Jake Poses, Thumbtack’s vice president of product. 

“I appreciate him saying I shouldn’t be discriminated against, but I do believe that if he had more conviction about it, he should [handle it at the federal level],” Poses told IBTimes.

“I give him credit for understanding that startups in San Francisco are having a real and measurable impact on the lives of many Americans,” Poses said. “I probably will not vote for him, but that is because I put a premium on views on social issues. I think that actually is the pervailing view of most people in the Silicon Valley community. That’s part of the ethos of what’s out here.” 

Not the first time Bush has failed when visiting Silicon Valley. 

All in all, not a great day, some might think.

 

Front page image by  via Twitter
Top image by  via Twitter

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OPINION

‘This Is for the People to Decide’: Jaw-Dropping CNN Supercut Lays Bare the GOP’s Stunning Hypocrisy on SCOTUS

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As the battle over replacing Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg — who died Friday from complications of pancreatic cancer — takes shape in Washington, D.C., Republican senators who previously refused to hold a vote on former President Barack Obama’s Supreme Court pick are now having their words thrown in their faces.

CNN anchor Anderson Cooper on Saturday played a devastating supercut that features Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) explaining why they would not vote on Obama’s nominee to replace Justice Antonin Scalia in 2016.

“I want you to use my words against me,” Graham said in 2016 — laying out what Cooper described as an “eerily similar” situation as the one currently playing out in Congress. “If there’s a Republican president in 2016 and a vacancy occurs in the last year of the first term, you can say, ‘Lindsey Graham said let’s let the next president, whoever it might be, make that nomination,’ and you could use my words against me and you would be absolutely right.”

“We’re setting a precedent here today, Republicans are, that in the last year, at least of a lame duck eight-year term, I would say it’s going to be a four-year term, that you’re not going to fill a vacancy of the Supreme Court based on what we’re doing here today,” he added. “That’s going to be the new rule.”

In his own floor speech on the matter in 2016, McConnell likewise urged Congress to give the American people a say in the Supreme Court pick.

“The next justice could fundamentally alter the direction of the Supreme Court and have a profound impact on our country. So, of course, of course the American people should have a say in the court’s direction,” McConnell said.

Cruz — who was shortlisted by Trump as a potential SCOTUS pick earlier this month — also insisted in 2016 that Congress should not move to replace Scalia until after the election.

“I don’t think we should be moving forward on a nominee in the last year of this president’s term, Cruz said. “I would say that if it was a republican president.”

“President Obama is eager to appoint Justice Scalia’s replacement this year,” he continued. “But do you know in the last 80 years we have not once has the Senate confirmed a nomination made in an election year and now is no year to start. This is for the people to decide. I intend to make 2016 a referendum on the U.S. Supreme Court.”

Of course, all three men have now signaled they’re much more likely in 2020 to jam a conservative Supreme Court justice down voters’ throats on the eve of an election. After President Donald Trump on Saturday tweeted that the Senate has an “obligation” select a replacement for Ginsburg, Graham said he “fully” understands where the president is coming from.

In case that statement seems vague, the Senate Judiciary Committee chairman added: ”I will support President [Trump] in any effort to move forward regarding the recent vacancy created by the passing of Justice Ginsburg.”

And McConnell has also insisted “President Trump’s nominee will receive a vote on the floor of the United States Senate.”

And in perhaps the least surprising flip-flop of all, Cruz on Saturday wrote an opinion piece for Fox News that outlined 3 reasons why the Senate must confirm Ginsburg’s replacement before election day. In it, he touted Trump’s “list of extremely qualified, principled constitutionalists who could serve on the Supreme Court” — which, of course, included himself — and argued that going into an election with an 8 person bench could trigger a constitutional crisis in the event of a contested election.

Amazing how now of the senators were concerned with such a problem when Obama appointed his nominee.

Watch the video below to see the blatant hypocrisy for yourself:

 

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISTS

‘You Don’t See Any Hypocrisy?’ Chris Wallace Filets Tom Cotton by Replaying His Merrick Garland Speech

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Fox News host Chris Wallace accused Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) of hypocrisy on Sunday after he vowed to push forward with a vote to replace Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in an election year.

“Why the rush to judgement?” Wallace asked Cotton after the senator promised a swift vote on President Donald Trump’s eventual nominee.

“We’re not going to rush,” Cotton insisted. “We not going to skip steps. We’re going to move forward without delay.”

Wallace reminded Cotton that President Barack Obama named Judge Merrick Garland as his nominee after Justice Antonin Scalia died in 2016.

“Senate Republicans blocked the choice of Garland,” Wallace noted before playing a clip of Cotton defending the move at the time.

In the clip, Cotton notes that the country will have a new president “in a few short months.”

“Why would we cut off the national debate about this next justice?” Cotton says in the clip. “Why would we squelch the voice of the people, why would we deny the voters a chance to weigh in on the make up of the Supreme Court?”

Wallace continued following the clip: “Garland was nominated nine months before the election and you were saying then, nine months before the election, it was wrong to deny voters a chance to weigh in. So if it was wrong then nine months before the election, why is it OK now six weeks before the election?”

For his part, Cotton argued that Republicans won the Senate in 2014 to stop President Barack Obama’s judicial nominations, and then he claimed that the current Republican Senate is in power to uphold nominations by President Donald Trump.

“You really don’t think there is any hypocrisy at all,” Wallace pressed, “in saying, we need to give voters — because you can parse the 2014 election, the 2018 election any way you want — but you stated a pretty firm principle in 2016 about Merrick Garland: It’s wrong to deny voters a chance to weigh in.”

“You don’t see any hypocrisy between that position then and this position now?” the Fox News host wondered.

“Chris, the Senate majority is performing our constitutional duty and fulfilling the mandate that the voters gave us,” Cotton opined.

Watch the video below from Fox News.

 

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News

Trump Says He Will Make SCOTUS Nomination Next Week – Appears He Will Use Seat to Strengthen Where He Is Weak in Polls

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President Donald Trump says he will announce his nominee to replace Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg “next week.”

He made clear his primary deciding factors will be to help him in the polls.

Trump told reporters Saturday afternoon “most likely” he will choose a woman.

CNN reports he is leaning towards choosing a woman mostly because he is doing poorly in the polls with women.

Trump spoke about two women judges. He talked about Barbara Lagoa, noting she is Hispanic and from Florida. He is struggling in the polls with Hispanics and in Florida.

Reporters also asked about Amy Coney Barrett, a far right wing anti-choice, anti-LGBTQ extremist. Trump spoke positively about her as well. Reports say she is the current frontrunner.

This is a breaking news and developing story. Details may change. This story will be updated, and NCRM will likely publish follow-up stories on this news. Stay tuned and refresh for updates.

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