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.

Full story


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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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


Notorious RBG

I love the title they’ve given to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg of the US Supreme Court. It suits her, I think, and it’s great to know that she’s embraced it. She’s just an amazing woman!

[…]American marriage law, and the English law that it was derived from, presumed that the wife was both financially and sexual subservient to the husband. In a world where marriage is defined as a union between a dominant man and a submissive woman, each fulfilling unique gender roles, the case for marriage discrimination is clear. How can both the dominant male role and the submissive female role be carried out in a marital union if the union does not include one man and one woman? This, according to Justice Ginsburg, is why marriage was understood to exclude same-sex couples for so many centuries.

But marriage is no longer bound to antiquated gender roles. And when those gender roles are removed, the case for marriage discrimination breaks down.

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Supreme Court declines free speech, gay marriage case

I admit that when I saw the link for this story, I immediately thought it was going to be something negative. Thankfully, the SCOTUS’ refusal means that the ladies WIN! 🙂

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to consider whether a New Mexico photography company had free speech grounds to refuse to shoot the commitment ceremony of a same-sex couple.

The court’s refusal to intervene means an August 2013 New Mexico Supreme Court decision against the company remains intact. Albuquerque-based Elane Photography had said its free speech rights under the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution should be a valid defense to the state’s finding that it violated the New Mexico Human Rights Act. The law, similar to laws in 20 other U.S. states, bans discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.

The company’s owners, Elaine and Jonathan Huguenin, are Christians who oppose gay marriage. Because taking photographs can be seen as a form of speech, the First Amendment protects them from being required to “express messages that conflict with their religious beliefs,” their attorneys said in court papers. Elane Photography has previously declined requests to take nude maternity pictures and images depicting violence, its lawyers said.

Full story


Victory is OURS!

We have won the battle, my friends, but believe me when I tell you we have not won the war.

But let us savour the victory given to us by the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) by striking down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in a 5 to 4 decision. I have been dreading this ruling, feeling that the delay meant bad news.

Even though she will never read these words, I wish to give heartfelt thanks to Edie Windsor, the woman who made this possible when she requested a refund of state taxes paid when her wife died in 2009. Edie, and by default her beloved Thea, is a true pioneer for the LGBT community.

Keep up the fight, my sisters and brothers, and most importantly, never lose sight of hope!!!

Edit: I misspoke earlier regarding Ms Windsor and also left out a bit of information. Ms Windsor was suing the IRS for a refund of federal estate taxes that she’d paid upon the death of her spouse, Thea, not state taxes. Also, I neglected to point out that not only was DOMA struck down today, but California’s Proposition 8.