SCOTUS Narrowly Sides with Baker

As difficult as this is, we must take the high road and not act hostilely either directly or indirectly, as with the Colorado Civil Rights Commission. Otherwise, things will go against us for the most ridiculous reasons, like in this case.

The Supreme Court sided with a baker who has religious objections to same-sex couples’ weddings in a narrow decision on Monday morning.

The long-awaited decision in the Masterpiece Cakeshop case, however, mostly avoided the hot-button question of whether civil rights laws could force that baker, Jack Phillips, to make a wedding cake for such couples.

Instead, Justice Anthony Kennedy’s decision for the court focused on the fact that Phillips was treated with “hostility” by Colorado’s Civil Rights Commission — action that the Supreme Court ruled violates the First Amendment’s Free Exercise Clause.

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The Legal Issues of the Gay Wedding Cake Suit Going before SCOTUS

Five years ago, now, a gay couple in Colorado approached a bakery to create a wedding cake for their pending nuptials. The owner of the bakery refused on the grounds that it violated his religious rights. I found this article on Buzzfeed laying out the issues really are and quite frankly, it’s no clearer to me than before I read it.

The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on Tuesday in the polarizing case of a Colorado baker who refused to sell a wedding cake to a gay couple. The Trump administration will even be weighing in to support the Christian baker, saying he had a First Amendment right to turn away the couple.

The dispute has generated stacks of debate among the public — including some arguments that stray from the legal underpinnings of the case. One reader of the Denver Post asked if people would feel differently if the baker “refused to make a swastika shaped cake for a pair of neo-Nazis.” People may feel very differently about a swastika cake, but that’s not the case — and it’s not the exact question for the Supreme Court.

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SCOTUS to Hear Wedding Cake Case

I see now that after three years, the Supreme Court has finally decided to hear the case of Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission.

I will probably come across as the biggest ignoramus of the 21st century, but if someone doesn’t want to do business with you, why bother? Is it because they’re the cheapest bakery in town? Is it because they are the only bakery in town? Is it because you sincerely like their work and are just dying to have one of their cakes on your special day? Is it just because they are anti-lgbt? From my ignorant point of view, that’s just a little less business that they will be getting and someone else will benefit from. You can change hate in court. These so-called Christians only understand hate, never love. I’m open to hearing from anyone on this matter.

The Supreme Court announced on Monday that it would hear the case of a Christian baker in Colorado who refused to make a wedding cake for a gay couple, teeing up the country’s highest stakes legal showdown about whether laws that protect LGBT people from discrimination can violate religious people’s constitutional rights.

The justices granted certiorari to hear the case, Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, in its next term, which begins in October.

“We were surprised,” Kristen Waggoner, general counsel of Alliance Defending Freedom, a religious legal group representing the baker, said in an interview with BuzzFeed News on Monday morning. The high court had been silent on the case for months, leading many legal experts to believe the court would reject it.

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NC House bill to make gay marriage illegal again

NC should just hang a sign on the front door that says WE HATE GAYS! I have family there, unfortunately, and they are very much in line with all anti-LGBT sentiment. It truly makes me sick that so-called Christians are supposed to be CHRIST LIKE and they are anything but. Saying that what the United States Supreme Court decided about gay marriage is null and void is like a child telling a parent that he/she is not punished for whatever the child did wrong.

A bill filed Tuesday by four N.C. House Republicans would direct state government to defy a U.S. Supreme Court ruling and restore the state constitution’s ban on same-sex marriage.

House Bill 780 is titled “Uphold Historical Marriage Act,” and is sponsored by some of the House’s most conservative legislators. They frequently file bills that don’t get a hearing because House GOP leaders don’t support the proposals.

The bill says that the 2015 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that legalized same-sex marriage across the country “is null and void in the State of North Carolina.” The sponsors argue in the bill language that it’s “clear that laws concerning marriage are for each state to establish and maintain severally and independently.”

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Federal Court Rules Employers Can’t Fire People for Being Gay

Well if SCOTUS is too scared to address the issue, I’m glad that the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals is willing to address it.

In a groundbreaking, 8-3 decision, the full Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation violates federal civil rights law.

The court found that such discrimination is a form of sex discrimination in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the federal law prohibiting employers from discriminating against employees on the basis of sex, race, color, national origin, and religion.

The decision — which came in Lambda Legal’s case on behalf of Kimberly Hively, an instructor at Ivy Tech Community College who was fired for being a lesbian — makes the Seventh Circuit the highest federal court to reach this conclusion and could change the national landscape of employment law for LGBT people.

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Dozens of Big Businesses Back Gavin Grimm

First, please allow me to apologize for not posting more as of late. I know a lot is going on with the new regime in position, but at times it is overwhelming to me and I tend to want to just shut down mentally.

Second, this story has brought to life a legal term I’ve heard before, but don’t know much about: amicus brief. This is the definition of an amicus brief, for anyone unfamiliar with the term as I was:

An amicus brief is a document that is filed in a court by someone who is not directly related to the case under consideration. The most classic example is a document filed by an advocacy group, such as the American Civil Liberties Union. The additional information found in such a document can be useful for the judge evaluating the case, and it becomes part of the official case record. Many nations allow people or entities to file such documents with their courts.

The tradition of accepting amicus briefs comes from a larger concept, the amicus curiae, or “friend of the court.” A friend of the court may be interested in a case for various reasons, although he or she is not directly involved. For example, a court might be preparing to try a case related to online file sharing, an issue of great concern to many people. A brief might be filed to discuss the larger ramifications of potential case outcomes, since these ramifications might not be brought up by the prosecution or defense during the course of a trial.

I think it’s remarkable that 53 major companies have put their name to a single brief involving one young man’s struggle, but with huge impact on all who struggle as he does.

Dozens of companies have signed up to back a transgender teenager who is taking his case to use the bathroom matching his gender identity to the Supreme Court.

A coalition of 53 companies on Thursday wrote an amicus brief to the Supreme Court supporting the Virginia student.

I think, however, that this brief will be directed toward the lower courts as I heard yesterday that the Supreme Court declined to hear argument so the case reverts to the lower courts.

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Source of definition

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Stories Behind Transgender Laws

The struggle for rights is ever-present no matter if you’re L, G, B or T. I think the struggle for transgender individuals is harder, in some respects, because their issues are more complicated. People just aren’t ready or willing to accept that others may have been born the wrong sex; that their god or Mother Nature can screw up sometimes. Hell, as we’ve seen this election cycle, there’s a lot of hate that exists beyond the LGBT community.

As soon as Friday, the justices of the Supreme Court could decide if they will hear the appeal in a critical case about whether Gavin Grimm, a transgender male student, can be barred in his Virginia school district from using the boys’ restroom.

The justices first considered whether to take the case on Oct. 14, but took no action, leaving LGBT advocates — and Grimm — in waiting.

The case in question concerns Gloucester County School Board, an Education Department policy, and the widely covered issue of transgender people and bathrooms. But the underlying question of whether existing law — specifically, sex-discrimination bans — protects against gender identity-based discrimination has been moving forward in the courts and administrative agencies for years now.

As the election season clock ticks down to election day, the legal fight over transgender protections is reaching a crescendo. During the Obama administration, officials have undertaken a revolutionary application of those existing laws to affirm the rights of transgender individuals, spurring a rapid shift within the federal government as the culture, too, changes. Meanwhile, as the petition pends before the Supreme Court, there were three federal district court actions on transgender rights this past week alone — one of which led the Justice Department on Thursday afternoon to announce that it will be taking the matter to a federal appeals court.

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Davis Won’t Go Away

I think at this point, she’s just clinging to the fame. There are many stories around the web right now about this woman who won’t go away. I’ll share links here:

In Rural Kentucky, Residents Disagree About County Clerk Kim Davis

Kentucky Clerk Files Brief Arguing She Should Not Be Held In Contempt Of Court

Kentucky Clerk Kim Davis Anticipated The Same-Sex Marriage Ruling — And Planned Accordingly

Meet Kim Davis, The Woman Denying Same-Sex Couples Marriage Licenses In Kentucky

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Kansas governor’s order shields clergy on same-sex marriage

*sigh* The hate just builds.

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas’ governor told state government agencies Tuesday that they can’t punish ministers or religious groups for opposing same-sex marriage, and critics said he is sanctioning discrimination even as the state extends new benefits to gay and lesbian couples.

Gov. Sam Brownback issued an executive order in response to last month’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling legalizing same-sex marriage across the nation. Brownback’s order said the “imposition” of gay marriage could lead to “potential infringements” of religious liberties.

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