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Supreme Court Hands Down Ruling – For One Anti-Gay Wedding Cake Baker

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The U.S. Supreme Court has just ruled that one cake baker can refuse to sell wedding cakes to gay people and same-sex couples. The 7-2 ruling is on a Colorado Christian baker who said his religion prohibits him from “celebrating” or “participating” in a same-sex wedding, which he believes includes baking a wedding cake.

The ruling is being characterized as narrow, and applicable to only one baker, and not to be applied broadly.

“This is a victory for the baker,” NBC News’ Pete Williams reports, “but what the Supreme Court says here is because of the peculiarities of his specific case, he wins but the court doesn’t answer the larger questions here.”

Here’s Williams’ initial reporting:

The Court did not rule on the larger issue, but opened the door for more cases. It did state that “tolerance” for people of faith must be balanced with the rights of gay people in the marketplace.

Masterpiece Cake Shop owner Jack Phillips was represented by an anti-gay hate group, the Alliance Defending Freedom, which several years ago focused on attracting a number of high-profile anti-gay bakers, florists, and other wedding industry owners.

Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote the majority opinion. Justices Ginsburg and Sotomayor dissented.

UPDATE: 10:46 AM EDT –
Perhaps the most important takeaway from the decision so far: This is a ruling against the commission that effectively prosecuted Phillips. The Supreme Court suggests it acted with animus, and with “hostility,” and went too far. It does not say that he was right to reject the same-sex couple.

The Commission’s hostility was inconsistent with the First Amendment’s guarantee that our laws be applied in a manner that is neutral toward religion. Phillips was entitled to a neutral decisionmaker who would give full and fair consideration to his religious objection as he sought to assert it in all of the circumstances in which this case was presented, considered, and decided. In this case the adjudication concerned a context that may well be different going forward in the respects noted above. However later cases raising these or similar concerns are resolved in the future, for these reasons the rulings of the Commission and of the state court that enforced the Commission’s order must be invalidated.

The outcome of cases like this in other circumstances must await further elaboration in the courts, all in the context of recognizing that these disputes must be re-solved with tolerance, without undue disrespect to sincere religious beliefs, and without subjecting gay persons to indignities when they seek goods and services in an open market.”

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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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Seven Florida Republicans File Slew of Anti-LGBTQ Bills

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Seven Florida Republican lawmakers have filed four bills attacking the LGBTQ community.

NBC News reports “the bills would ban gender-affirming health care for transgender children, repeal municipal and county ordinances protecting LGBTQ workers, and legalize so-called gay conversion therapy in places that had banned the medically debunked practice.”

Conversion therapy has been compared to torture by those who have been victims of it, and states have been banning the practice given its ties to suicide and attempted suicide.

The lawmakers are Rep. Anthony Sabatini, Sen. Dennis Baxley, Rep. Bob Rommel, Sen. Joe Gruters, Rep. Michael Grant, Sen. Keith Perry, and Rep. Byron Donalds (images above, in order of NBC’s reporting.) (NCRM has added links to their Twitter accounts.)

Orlando Weekly’s Solomon Gustavo reports on House Bill 136, filed by Sabatini and Baxley, “which would make it a second-degree felony for health care practitioners to administer treatment for transitioning or changing a child’s sex.”

 

 

 

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Elizabeth Warren Calls for Investigation Into Legality of Trump Tipping Off Mar-a-Lago Guests to Soleimani’s Killing

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Elizabeth Warren is calling for financial regulatory agencies to investigate whether President Trump broke the law when he told guests at his Mar-a-Lago resort to expect something “big” in response to Iran’s killing of an American contractor in Iraq, The Daily Beast reports.

“Individuals who were guests at President Trump’s resort may have obtained confidential market-moving information,” a letter Warren sent to agencies read. “These private individuals … would have had the opportunity to obtain significant profits simply by being guests or members at President Trump’s private resort.”

Read the full report over at The Daily Beast.

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Rupert Murdoch’s Son Rips Fox News for Pushing Falsehoods About Australian Wildfires

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Rupert Murdoch’s younger son and his wife launched an attack on News Corporation for promoting conspiracy theories about Australia’s devastating wildfires.

Columnists and broadcasters from News Corp Australia — which dominates the country’s media — have questioned climate change’s role in the fires and downplayed the devastation, and James Murdoch and his wife Kathryn condemned the family business, reported The Daily Beast.

“Kathryn and James’ views on climate are well established and their frustration with some of the News Corp and Fox coverage of the topic is also well known,” said a spokesperson for the couple. “They are particularly disappointed with the ongoing denial among the news outlets in Australia given obvious evidence to the contrary.”

James Murdoch is CEO of the investment firm Lupa Systems but sits on the board of News Corp, which publishes more than 140 newspapers in Australia, and his brother Lachlan runs the Fox News Channel in the U.S.

“They are pissing inside the tent and that’s unusual,” said a longtime News Corp executive. “It’s evidence of how high tensions are within the family over climate change. The majority of people who work here agree with James. We are hoping this may be the tipping point.”

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