WaPo: SCOTUS “Closely Divided” On Anti-Gay Baker

The Washington Post reports:

The Supreme Court seemed closely divided Tuesday over whether the First Amendment protects a Colorado baker who refused to create a wedding cake for a same-sex couple, with Justice Anthony M. Kennedy likely to cast the deciding vote.

Kennedy, during a nearly hour-and-a-half oral argument, gave both sides reason for hope and concern. He worried that ruling for the baker would allow shops to put up window signs saying they refuse to provide wedding services for same-sex couples. But he also said Colorado had been “neither tolerant nor respectful” of the baker’s religious convictions.

Several justices questioned what other types of business owners would be exempt if the court made an exception for Phillips. “Who else is an artist?” asked Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. What about a florist, a chef or a makeup artist, asked Justice Elena Kagan.

Phillips’s attorney, Kristen K. Waggoner, distinguished between the baker’s highly-stylized, sculpted creations and the services provided by other professions that she said were “not speech.” “Some people might say that about cakes,” responded Kagan.

UPDATE: From the ACLU.

The case centers on Charlie Craig and David Mullins, a gay couple who entered Denver bakery Masterpiece Cakeshop in 2012 hoping to buy a cake for their wedding reception. But before any specifics of design or other details could be discussed, baker Jack Phillips informed the couple that Masterpiece would not sell products to same-sex couples. Craig and Mullins brought a complaint to the Colorado Civil Rights Commission, who found that Phillips had violated the state’s anti-discrimination law. But Phillips continued to appeal the case, resulting in one of the most consequential civil rights cases of the 21st century.

At arguments today, Justice Kennedy — who represents the court’s swing vote — expressed concern for both sides of the case. He appeared to recognize the bakery’s argument could undermine civil rights laws across the country. He also appeared to show concern about the expression, rights, and religious freedom of the bakery.

“It is hard to overstate the implications of this case,” said David Cole, legal director of the ACLU, who argued on behalf of the plaintiffs today. “Jack Phillips has claimed he has a First Amendment right to discriminate against same-sex couples. He does not. Businesses open to the public may not choose their customers. These laws ensure that everyone, including gay people, have the freedom to walk into a business and know that they will be treated the same way.  A decision against Charlie and Dave would allow businesses across the country to argue that they too can refuse service based on who the customer is. As we argued in court today, the justices have an obligation to defend the principle of equal dignity under the law for all Americans — including Dave and Charlie.”

  • ColdCountry

    Come on Kennedy!

  • Gustav2

    Going to put the kettle on…

    • ColdCountry

      Or put glasses in the freezer to chill? Might need them regardless of how the vote goes.

      • Gustav2

        We won’t know for months, right?

      • Christopher

        That’s why I just keep the Vodka in the freezer. No wait time. Speaking of…

        • Tawreos

          Can you grab me one while you are up?

    • JeauxFan

      I had my first shot 20 minutes ago. I’m still crying. I can’t believe this is happening.

      • Gustav2

        There is always a backlash to any civil rights advance, we just have to fight on.

        • JeauxFan

          Backlash from bigoted citizens, yes, but I didn’t expect it from the SCOTUS.

          • Gustav2

            They follow the mood of the country, or their reading of the mood of the country. It is not always straight forward law.

          • Librarykid


    • Mikey

      hiding the razor blades.

  • Ninja0980

    He has to know if he sides with the bigots he is ensuring his LGBT legacy will be history.

    • another_steve

      Interesting observation, Ninja.

      Kennedy’s personal legacy is indeed at stake.

    • JeauxFan

      Hostility to religion??? BULLSHIT!!! It’s hostility to HYPOCRISY!!!! It has been all along. You can’t hide your bigotry behind “religion” if you’re providing services to the public.

      • lymis

        As I recall, the state was pretty blunt and abrupt in the way they handled the case. It’s possible to be measured in siding with equality and expressing the fact that the other side does in fact have rights, including explaining the limits of those rights.

        I’d have to go back and read it again, but I remember thinking “Ouch” when I read their findings when they first came out.

        It may be that Kennedy was expressing that, rather than indicating siding against their conclusions. A state entity tasked with upholding anti-discrimination really does need to take everyone’s rights into account, even while recognizing that some rights outweigh others.

        • Librarykid

          Do you think that the state would have been softer in its reply if the customer denied service had been Black or Jewish? Would a softer reply have been tolerated if the customer denied service had been Black or Jewish? What rights would the baker have had in refusing service to a Black or Jewish customer? I’m curious. This is not the 1950s, much as some people wish it were, where businesses displayed signs stating that they reserved the right to refuse service. This is just more hate masquerading as religion or hiding behind religion.

    • Jean-Marc in Canada

      Sorry guys, but I can’t really apologize for this….


      • 2patricius2

        I’m hostile to people who use religious beliefs to trample on the concrete human rights of people to be treated decently and equally when they are seeking services in the public marketplace. Seems to me that rights supersede discriminatory beliefs.

      • AJD

        No apology necessary. At a fundamental level, we’re a country founded by wealthy, heterosexual white men who wanted life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for other wealthy, heterosexual white men. Meanwhile, non-wealthy, non-heterosexual, non-white and non-male people have had to fight for those same things and in many respects still are.

      • Buford

        Quick reminder – being religious is A CHOICE. In what other scenario can a person choose to join a group that now gives them the legal right to discriminate…???

      • David

        Nor should you apologize, you’re absolutely correct.

    • zhera

      Maybe he doesn’t see Obergefell as his legacy, but Citizen United…

  • bkmn

    It was close before arguments and it is close after. No big surprise.

    • lymis

      Kennedy has looked shaky in oral arguments before.

  • Boreal

    When will the decision be handed down?

    • David

      NPR said June.

  • This is why all minorities and American democracy are in danger with Trump and the GOP deciding who sits on the US Supreme Court.

    • Stuart Wyman-Cahall

      Anybody but Hillary, right?

  • Yalma Cuder-Zicci

    Remember when we used to think Roberts was going to maybe possibly be kinda gay-friendly-ish because he vacationed in Provincetown?

    • Ninja0980

      And because he has a lesbian cousin?
      Sure has shown how he feels about her.

  • JoeMyGod

    Refresh for reaction from the ACLU.

  • j.martindale

    My heart breaks for the poor religionists. Don’t have to pay taxes. Have a slew of laws protecting them from discrimination. Getting all kinds of rights to influence the politics of our country. And have the sanctimony to look down their noses at all us lesser mortals. Christ, will you faggots just let it go! /sn

    • joeyj1220

      You gays got marriage, what else do you want? /sn

      • j.martindale

        Equality. But it doesn’t look like it is coming soon.

      • Steverino

        Yep. Reminds me of the pre-civil rights era of the 1960s: “Lincoln freed the slaves, what more do they want?”

    • CanuckDon

      All of that PLUS taking in a sale for your business where you make the product and make good money for your work! Oh,.the pain….the PAIN !!!!!

    • Buford

      If they rule to allow this faith-based discrimination, the free market will find it’s own balance. Businesses which discriminate will be avoided… and new forms of anti-hate discrimination will pop up.

      “Is that a cross necklace? Go shop somewhere else, hater”.

      • LaChatSayWha

        I was especially struck by Kennedy’s oh-so-considerate worry about how we would be harmed by businesses displaying signs refusing us service.

        Fuck that. If they rule in favor of the ChristoFascists, I want every bigot’s business to display a giant sign in the window in extra bold 120pt type: “This business does not serve faggots, dykes, trannies or other pervert queers. Heterosexual child molesters welcome! (Ask for our Roy Moore special.)”

        These days the racists HATE being called racists. Fuck them, they need to own their hate and take the consequences in the free market. Being the craven little whores they are, they won’t display those signs.

        But I will make it my purpose in life to create and post those signs on every bigots’ business I can access. And I will offer the art for free to everyone who wants to join me. If they want a war, they can have it. There are still more queers and allies in this country & these fake Christians are not going to succeed in taking our rights back.

        • Buford

          I fully expect the social media app which, like YELP or WAZE, uses real-time community feedback to list and track those business which discriminate on the basis of their faith. The rest of us will check the app while shopping and those businesses will be avoided.

          This is not just an LGBT issue… it’s a discrimination issue. Not in the USA, folks… and certainly not in the name of religion!

    • LaChatSayWha

      They, the Dominionists & “Christians” are fighting a war to retain their hold on power. And we (LGBT, women, PoC) are their opponents.

      Shit is real right now. We are in a battle for our fundamental rights. They want to be first among equals. Or, some animals are more equal than others.

    • prixator

      And religion is a chosen behaviour. Not innate.

  • Stuart Wyman-Cahall

    I know. I get it. Not serving the general public at a Woolworth’s lunch counter isn’t where our country should be heading back to. But wouldn’t you want to know that the cake you’re serving at your wedding isn’t tainted? I’d want my flowers to be arranged with love…not shoved into place. Frankly, unless you live in Bumfuck, Alabama you can find public accommodation just a few doors down. And if you do live in Bumfuck, Alabama and you’re gay…leave. It’s their loss. ( I know. More easily said than done.)

    • Tiger Quinn

      At what point did it occur to you, if ever, that some people don’t have that option?


      • MikeBx2

        He said “unless you live in”, meaning it occurred to him that some don’t have the option. Also, he said it “isn’t where our country should be heading back to”, meaning he recognizes it’s wrong.

      • Stuart Wyman-Cahall

        I’m prepping myself for the worst. This is Trump’s America now. I’m glad I don’t live or even visit anyplace below the Mason Dixon line.

        • Friday

          It’s not ‘his,’ only the bigots think that.

    • another_steve

      Ideally, if the bigot prevails in this case, progressives and fair-minded people should do everything they can to ensure that only his fellow bigots do business with him. Protest outside his store. Take out ads in the local papers. A warning to the others, this would be.

      If theofascists have to choose between their deities and dollar bills, I think they’ll choose the dollar bills.

      But, (picking up on your comment) organizing in this way and sticking with it is easier said than done.

    • zhera

      That’s what Yelp and other sites are for. The law must be for equality. If not, it’s back to separate restrooms and black people at the back of the bus.

    • MikeBx2

      I get your point. Personally, if a food preparer is that much of a religious extremist, I’d like to know that up front.

    • Helen Damnation™

      I completely agree. I don’t want someone who hates me and my people to fix my plate or my cake.

  • Tiger Quinn

    I can’t even fucking believe this. If this passes I will leave this fucking country.

    • Friday

      If this passes, we’ll just have to make sure everyone knows who the bigoted businesses are. They ignore how unpopular discrimination actually is.

      • LaChatSayWha

        This^^. Let the free markets deliver some consequences to these bigots.

        You know they don’t want to put up “No Irish or Dogs” signs. They want to quietly hate & benefit from the privilege they’ve been gifted. They Do Not want to be outed as bigots. Like every 2¢ racist screaming about how difficult it is being white, they don’t want to own up to what they are. Call a racist a racist, call a homophobe a homophobe.

        So we must loudly out every Christian bigot online and at their place of business. They will discover the price of their hatred.

  • DreadPikathulhu

    If Kennedy does side with us, they’re going to do everything they can to get him to retire as soon as possible. Either way, we lose.

  • Jean-Marc in Canada

    For me, this is a very simple question: which right has precedence? For myself, the answer is simple, my actual, present, tangible existence should always supersede someone’s fictional character. Gay people are real, we exist, there’s empirical evidence of our existence, the same cannot be said of God. As such, logic and simple decency should conclude that the rights of gays must come before God’s. Period.

    • zhera

      It’s much simpler than that. Masterpiece Douche wants to discriminate based on the customers, not what he makes for the customers. A cake is a cake is cake, no matter it’s artistic value. Who pays for it is irrelevant.

      • Jean-Marc in Canada

        Alas, I doubt the court will see it that way. If Kennedy’s waffling and the presence of Gorsuch is an indicator, we pretty much know how this is going to go…more’s the pity. But hey, her emails, am I right?

        • Ninja0980

          That and she didn’t fit the purity bots checklist 100%

        • John30013

          I wouldn’t put much effort into trying to divine how Kennedy will vote based on oral arguments. The current ideological makeup of the court isn’t much different than the one that decided Windsor and Obergefell.

          • Jamie_Johnson

            I had two thoughts on yesterday’s SCOTUS (non?)-decision to not take up the Texas spousal benefits case: that today’s Masterpiece case was going to take care of the problem altogether as the decision will ultimately say marriage is marriage and we’re all equal under the law; and that waffling by Kennedy, who every body knows is going to decide this case, should be taken at face value, or perhaps more accurately described as giving the cake baker his right to argue his case how he sees fit but that the decision was made in Windsor and then Obergefell, and the religious among us need to accept that fact.

          • Nic Peterson

            My inner optimist died of alcohol poisoning last November. The only outcome I can see is Justice Kennedy leaving our cake out in the rain.

          • JAX

            I hope he realizes that his legacy will be decimated if he rules against us… against his own argument of giving the LGBT community, “dignity.”

          • Pierre

            Glad my liver was not the only one to suffer……

        • Chris Gardner

          I’m just waiting for the Berniecrats to try and explain to us again how Hillary would have been no better than Trump. /s

      • SkokieGuy [ChicagoAdjacentGuy]

        A straight couple wearing crosses come into Masterpiece to pick up the cake they ordered. They take it to their gay friends house who serve it at their 10th wedding anniversary. A party where there will be male strippers. And dildos, because the couple wants to give gift bags to all their guests (what good host doesn’t)?

        Is Masterpiece harmed? More or less than if the gay couple had ordered the cake themselves?

        • Buford

          Better yet, force them to prove that a key tenet of their faith is that supporting gay weddings is a sin. Let others of that same faith offer counter-arguments about how the faith does not consider gay wedding cakes to be a sin. THEN, rule on the merits of the argument

          Taking their claims at face value has to stop… make them defend them, or fail trying.

          • SkokieGuy [ChicagoAdjacentGuy]

            God I would LOVE to see that. Or explain why they won’t inquiry about prior marriages or children out of wedlock, but eeew Lesbos & Homos are stealing my freedom!!!!

          • Buford

            Yep. I’m pretty sure that if I claimed that a key tenet of my faith required my employer to provide me with a window office (to be closer to nature) and 2-hr midday naps (meditation), I’d be forced to cough up some documentation to prove my claim… but in the case of gay marriage and abortion, the claims of ‘religion’ are just taken at face value.

            Neither gay marriage nor abortion are prohibited anywhere in the bible.

          • Frances

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    • j.martindale

      And discrimination is discrimination, regardless of whether there is a religious motive for it.

    • Buford

      It’s simpler than that. If your personal choice to follow a religion conflicts with your other personal choice of how you’d like to earn your living, then you… and only you… need to reconcile those conflicting choices.

      We are not obligated to make accommodations for your poor life planning.

      • glass

        We are not obligated to make accommodations for your poor life planning.

        This needs 1,000,000 up votes!

    • Randy503

      I agree, but the problem is that our First Amendment allows people to believe in a fictional person who is, to them, right there too. So that isn’t much help in deciding this case.

      However, you are on the right track, I believe, since people needs cakes and that doesn’t infringe on what they think or believe, or affect how they worship. So yes, it’s quite simple.

  • zhera

    How exactly has Colorado been non-respectful?

    Kennedy seems like an ass, most of the time. If you can see the injustice of discrimination, how can you still be all ‘But Jeeziz!!!1!’?

    • Tomcat

      Must be by upholding the laws of Colorado?

      • zhera

        How dare they!

  • Ninja0980

    I will say this..regardless of how he rules, Kennedy has ensured his LGBT rights legacy is in danger anyway due to gems like Bush V Gore, Citizen’s United and the gutting of the VRA.
    It’s why even after all he has done for us, I’m still loathe to worship him as a hero.

    • Todd20036

      Not just Kennedy. Hey Bernie bros, your purity test just may have allowed LBGTs to be legally discriminated against.

      You know when last happened?

      Zimbabwae against whites.

      Germany against Jews.

      Americans against blacks.

      How’d those work out?

  • gaycuckhubby

    Hey Kennedy! Pssst… we still deserve dignity

  • Tomcat

    The mere fact that one is told they need to move on that you don’t respect them as a human is wrong whatever you are selling.

  • Paula

    Even if Kennedy does side with Us, it will only be temporary. Trump will appoint another anti-gay, anti-humanity son of a bitch to the court and everything goes back.

    • ColdCountry

      Or Pence will, if we manage to get rid of Dump.

      • melllt

        If dump goes down, pretty sure he’ll drag pence with him (fingers crossed)

      • Chris Gardner

        Maybe Mueller will finish his investigation after 2018 elections hand both houses of Congress back into Democratic hands and then both Trump and Pence are impeached resulting in a President Nancy Pelosi!! 🙂

  • Tread

    Well, at least we don’t have Hillary’s worse Supreme Court appointee to worry about, amirite?

    • Jean-Marc in Canada

      So true. Aren’t you glad you dodged that bullet? Can you imagine who she would have appointed…you just know they would have reversed Roe v Wade, undermined Obergefell and pushed to have the civil rights act repealed…all in her first 100 days. Seriously, it’s what Susan Sarandon implied and we all know she and others like her were totes right about it.

      too much? 🙂

      • Ninja0980

        The fact is they know that but didn’t give a damn.
        It’s either their way or none.

      • Lumpy Gaga

        There was a point in time I would have answered “Yes”.

        That point is gone.

  • Pohaku

    So if the Supremes rule in favor of the baker- that he has this religious right, I guess gay people can use this same argument and Supreme Court ruling to refuse to pay school taxes because their belief system doesn’t believe monies going to secular public schools should be diverted to or should fund private religious schools that preach intolerance and even death to them as a religion?

  • gaycuckhubby
  • SkokieGuy [ChicagoAdjacentGuy]

    Religion is a choice and easily changed on a whim. It is based on ‘rules’ that have been written under various patriarchal and political influences and nothing can be defined, but is merely interpreted. It can be used to justify or deny virtually anything and for that reason should be of little consequence in determining the laws of our land.

    10 commandments – thou shall not kill.
    Levitticus – A disobedient child should be put to death

    • Librarykid

      Actually the translation of the Hebrew word is “Murder”.

  • Mike

    This should be a slam dunk. But first they have to see that the issue is not just about anti-gay bakers and wedding cakes, it is about enshrining discrimination of all kinds in the law. This is America’s segregated lunch counters redux. A finding “for the baker” would be a cold dish of revenge for civil rights laws. Inevitably, it may be their tribe on the losing end of a discrimination case, and they may be sorry their prayers were answered—and they’ll cry like whiny little bitches.

    • LaChatSayWha

      More than half of the court are the same people who justified slavery with Christian dogma. After reading all the transcripts, I worry.

  • Tomcat

    One only has to look a little ways back in history to see organized religion is known for getting a lot of things very wrong. Remember that SCOTUS when voting.

  • Ninja0980

    Hate to relive the 2016 primary but I will.
    I lost track of how many Bernie/Stein folks who smugly told me that if we wanted to get progressives on SCOTUS, vote for Bernie or else.
    That mentality still exists today and Bernie and his bots are still pushing that.
    And if you don’t like me saying that, feel free to block me.
    Bernie,Saradon etc. are just as much to blame for this as Republicans are.

    • Tomcat

      I only wish that SCOTUS were made up of moderates. That way they would exercise the law instead of politics in their judgements.

    • zhera

      I want to believe that the ones who REALLY cared about SCOTUS voted Dem, Bernie or not.

      I want to believe that.

      • The_Wretched

        Evidence would back you up. Emotive masturbation in response to twitter trolls would support other positions.

    • The_Wretched

      You could keep knee jerking your fav hate point or move on to evidence based reality.

      The vast majority of Bernie supporters voted for Hillary. The fraction that didn’t weren’t going to vote DEM were Bernie around or not. /pearl clutch, what about the margin!!! yep, that fraction was about the size of the margin. So was the impact of Comey leading to dem voters staying home. The amount of voters blocked from voting from Crosscheck was substantially greater than the margin in those 3 midwestern States. And then there’s the impact of all the voter ID laws….

      But really, there’s an emotional political post so shit on the liberals some more. Hate the socialists. Hate the people who aren’t party loyalists. Hate the people who want the financial sector and the oligarchs trimmed and limited.

  • boobert

    Even if this does squeak through, it will come up again after the next appointment.

    • Tomcat

      Cannot give up hope on WHAT IFS.

    • Todd20036

      a Trump appointment

  • SkokieGuy [ChicagoAdjacentGuy]

    So if I drive drunk and kill a large family, along with all their kittens (who are fluffy) and puppies (did I mention their huge eyes and pink bellies?), I will be found not guilty as long as my defense is religious based. I told Jesus to take the wheel. Good to know!

  • PickyPecker
  • boobert

    I still think roberts is a homocon closet case !

  • Hank
    • glass

      They need to add, does not cover: spreading hate, bullying people that are not a part of their religion.
      I hate how religious nut jobs always act as if you are a part of their religion and you must follow their psycho beliefs.
      It’s your hell, you burn in it.

  • Ragnar Lothbrok

    ” claimed he has a First Amendment right to discriminate ”

    That ALONE should give us a win.

  • Mike

    Christmas is the perfect time for this case that would give legal protection to bakers, innkeepers, etc. who turn away gay people, pregnant virgins, etc., because of bigotry.

    It remains true that no one has ever sought to have a law changed as a religious accommodation to allow them to be kinder, more generous, or more inclusive, but they often want laws set aside to clear the way for them to be more cruel, to deprive people of their dignity in jebus’ name.

    • Tomcat

      Pregnant virgins, I like that one.

      I heard of one young virgin girl that was molested by god.

      • Mike

        I know of only two pregnant virgins: The Virgin Mary and Bristol Palin.

        • JDS

          Yeah, they both had babies by an unknown father!

  • Boreal
    • Christopher

      I knew he was going to do this!

      This is a VERY dangerous, and incredibly stupid, move to make.

    • ByronK

      Whoops, didn’t see your post. This is just running around pouring gasoline on everything and yelling, “light’em if you got’em!”

    • BearEyes

      Russia’s heating up. Time for a distraction.

  • Todd

    I am sick about this case, this day …. all of it. 2017 and this is still an issue. Get ready for the 1930’s-1950’s redux. No difference between Trum and Hillary my ass

    Things will never be the same again

    Thanks non voters, gay Republicans, etc, etc, etc

    • Lumpy Gaga

      Jennifer Rubin (I know, I know) is the 2nd Talking Head I’ve seen on teevee in the last two weeks (and the other was not a rotwinger…) who said that their Rethuglican-leaning acquaintances were all hankerin’ for that tax “reform”, and were willing to hand-wave aside a lot of Trumposity to get it.

      I think we make a mistake to assume it’s all because Alabama.

      • Ninja0980

        The reddest areas of NY are no different then Alabama, as shown by the Congressmen we have from those areas.
        This is a Republican Party problem, not an Alabama one.

  • ByronK

    OT – Breaking – Trump to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Yup, he has now officially fucked any hope for Middle East peace into the ground.

    • Tomcat

      Is congress going along with that?

    • The_Wretched

      The oligarch / elite republican billionaires just want to watch the world burn.

    • LaChatSayWha

      He and Bannon want & need a war. Throwing the world into chaos on a fucking whim.

      And all of his hypocritical Evangelist followers love this move because they honestly believe it will bring the Rapture about. And they claim their religious freedom is being denied. These crazy white assholes are going to get us all killed.

  • -M-

    o/t More about Russian disinformation on social media.

    Bloomberg: How the Kremlin tried to pose as American news sites on twitter.


    • Lumpy Gaga

      Watched the Oct. 04 ep (guest John Hodgman) of “Daily Show” last night, and there was a great bit about how to detect Russian-troll memes. Don’t want to spoiler. I assume it’s findable on the Comedy Central website.

      (Also a great separate bit about guns, and guest John Hodgman!)

  • Alright_Okay

    While putting up a sign in a business that says “we don’t serve gays” may remind people of “colored” water fountains from our dark past, I’ve been saying for a while that that tactic may be the right course of action. I’m one that would argue that sexuality, like skin color, shouldn’t be used as an excuse/reason to discriminate… but I do think where we are as a society is different than the 50’s, and what we have available to us to sway people is radically different. If an anti-gay bakery HAS to put up a sign that notes they don’t serve homosexuals, it would signal not only gay people to steer clear, but also anyone that finds that stance abhorrent. And with the internet and social media, would it not be fairly easy to sink discriminatory businesses?

    I’m ultimately against this license to discriminate, but trying to find the best solution in a discriminatory world.

    • canoebum

      If you think the signs will read “We Don’t Serve Gays” you’re engaging in a bit of wishful thinking. I’d expect to see many more “No Queers Allowed”.

      • Oh, Parker

        Which would be worse. I’m guessing they would only evade business-closing level backlash in hick territory.

      • Alright_Okay

        Oh I think you’re right… but that also doesn’t change my point. Imagine seeing THAT in the culture we do now. When it happens in Russia it makes news. A business putting “No Queers Allowed” in this digital age is going to see their Yelp, Google, Trip Advisor… whatever SUNK by people that think that is disgusting.

        They want to act like they are the victim now… but when you’re the one throwing slurs around and rejecting business, even if lawful isn’t going to keep you in business long.

        • canoebum

          So true.

  • Tomcat

    OT: Did you guys hear about Facebook creating Messenger Kids for 13 and under kids? Mold their minds early and often.

    • Oh, Parker

      The Roy Moore channel?

  • MonochromeMouse

    This is one of those times where if we lose we need to riot. Make it so Phillips has no store to return to if he wins.

    • kanehau

      Uhhhhh… no.

      • MonochromeMouse

        You can’t keep your rights if you peacefully and politely allow them to be taken away. Bigots need to see consequences to their bigotry or they won’t stop.

        • Snarky

          If the court does rule in Philips’ favor, let’s not smash his windows and make him the victim. There are plenty of ways to protest that remind everyone that he’s a bigoted asshole, and not a poor victim of those mean ol’ gays.

  • Tomcat

    Buy offenders cakes and throw them into the store window in defiance.

  • Pizza009

    Jim Crow 2.0 will be reinstated. This will be followed by Kennedy retiring or RBG dying or both. The court will then overturn roe vs Wade, and we will live thoroughly in Christian Obligarcy.
    All because of a bunch of emails.

    • Tomcat

      Sort of like Sharia law.

    • fedupmd

      There is always Canada.

      • Helen Damnation™

        Do I need a passport to “visit” Canada? Oh lort, I’m runnin’ out of options here.

        • AmeriCanadian

          You need a passport to return to the U.S. so Canada won’t let you in without one as you are expected to return to the U.S. in a timely manner.

    • matrem

      Nobody will survive the Christian oligarchy. Get your passport in order.

    • The_Wretched

      You were great until the last line. Welcome Troll.

  • Publius

    This anxiety sells papers. Justice Kennedy’s thing is to express skepticism of both sides during oral argument. He plays Devil’s Advocate like a good law professor, and challenges the sides equally. He did the same thing in 2015, and had many of us feeling anxious then too. It’s not a big deal.

    • AmeriCanadian

      I don’t believe in prayer but I do have hope. It’s all I’ve got though.

    • The_Wretched

      yes, it is a big deal.

      Every member of scotus should have no trouble saying that speech or religion must not trump duly passed anti discrimination law. This is no different from Loving at the core of it.

      • Publius

        What is not a big deal is the fuss over Justice Kennedy’s reaction, which is ordinary and characteristic of him. I was not saying that anti-discrimination is not a big deal.

  • GayOldLady

    “But before any specifics of design or other details could be discussed,
    baker Jack Phillips informed the couple that Masterpiece would not sell
    products to same-sex couples.”

    “baker Jack” “would not sell products to same-sex couples”. After reading this I’m more hopeful because it’s apparent the baker wouldn’t have served them cupcakes, because he recognized them as a gay couple. This isn’t about using his “artistry” to bake a wedding cake in violation of his conscience, it was that serving a gay couple was in violation of his conscience. He wouldn’t have sold them widgets or peanuts or nail clippers and he used the fact that it was his business to discriminate. That will not stand.

    • Snarky

      Exactly! That’s my hope too. That the court will see animus in the baker’s decision to not sell the same cake to a gay couple as he would to a straight couple.

      The baker keeps calling himself an “artist” (something I’m sure he started doing after the case went to court), whose cakes are his “expression.” But Phillips never even got to talking about a cake (or any of his supposedly artistic designs) for Craig and Mullins’ wedding – he said he wouldn’t sell them a wedding cake as soon as he heard if was for a gay couple. No “artistry” was ever discussed.

      I hope you’re right, and that the court sees this as animus, not protected speech. If they rule on favor of the baker, we could easily see the current version of Woolworth lunch counters going back to discrimination based on race or any other protected class.

  • Ross

    Kennedy also said Colorado had been “neither tolerant nor respectful” of the baker’s religious convictions.

    Dear Justice Kennedy,

    Religion has a very long history of destroying people. But I guess the problem was that all these millions of ruined lives should have been more tolerant and respectful.

    And why should I be tolerant and respectful of ANY religion when it assumes a right to deny me equality?

    And, Justice Kennedy, when millions of African-Americans in the 1950s and 1960s were routinely denied equality under the guise of religious beliefs, I guess that, again, the problem was that this oppressed minority was not tolerant and respectful enough.

    Oh, and Justice Kennedy? We have a separation between Church and State. So, in short, FUCK ALL RELIGION THAT SEEKS TO DENY ME EQUALITY.


    All Sane People

    • Snarky

      Kennedy was saying that he felt the CO civil rights commission said several things in its ruling that he felt trampled on the baker’s First Amendment rights. Kennedy wasn’t making a sweeping argument about religion, he was talking about speech and expression. Kennedy never defended the baker’s religious rights, he defended speech rights.

      • The_Wretched

        And religion isn’t speech. Kennedy should get that.

        • Snarky

          Religious *belief* isn’t speech, but religious *expression* is.

          The First Amendment of the Constitution. I’ll just leave this here:
          “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

          • glass

            Interesting how this baker thinks a “bakery” qualifies as “an establishment of religion”, that would be a church or temple.

          • Snarky

            That word “establishment” has led to lots of legal discussion since the framers included it. But it’s not meant as an actual noun-establishment, like a building. It’s been found to mean “the act of establishing,” as in the U.S. should not establish a state religion. Google “establishment clause” for a much better discussion than I can provide.

          • The_Wretched

            At law, the balance between religion and government is governed by the SOCAS – this part “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof”.

            Going for ‘religious rights’ via “or abridging the freedom of speech,” is legally and morally wrongful. The christianists only started bringing ‘free speech’ cases when they lost a bunch of SOCAS cases. I utterly refuse to grant them more via ‘free speech’ than they get via SOCAS.

  • Rex

    So if they allow discrimination based on sexual preference, what’s next? Denying serviced because of religion, race, political affiliation, height, weight, hairstyle? This is a slippery slope that will take us backward.

  • Leo

    Constant chaos/conflicts on several fronts and now this. It DOES feel like the late ’60s/early 70s all over again. I guess all I have to go on since I can’t afford to move is the countless cases that will result if Kennedy ruling for the baker. The interim will be a fucking shitshow though. The ruling’s late June? Ugh, I can’t wait that long.

  • Mike

    These anti-gay bakers are doing the equivalent of legislating from the bench. There is no religious admonition I know of that says merchants must interview customers, get the particulars about the way they live, and then refuse to trade with people they judge to be sinners. (Actually, there is something about not judging lest they be judged. Glad to oblige. I judge them to be contemptible liars.) They are reverse-engineering their fear and hatred, trying to convince us and themselves that their indecency is what the religion requires, that it’s all there between the lines in their precious holy book.

    These zealous churchies are frauds, oh so faithful when it comes to being cruel to gay people, but they probably can’t even name any of the litany of “abominations” in Deuteronomy and Leviticus that demand their attention. I’ll bet they even wear clothing made of blended fabric—but let’s not call for them to be stoned over that abomination.) They are cafeteria christians, pretending this is about religious convictions when it’s only cheap, dirty bigotry.

  • Hue-Man

    Mostly O/T
    Newfoundland & Labrador schools stop participation in Operation Christmas Child over homophobic policies

    In a statement to CBC News, [Samaritan’s Purse] said it asks volunteers to sign a “statement of faith,” confirming their beliefs are in line
    with the “infallible word of God.”

    Among the beliefs in the statement are that “human sexuality is to be
    expressed only within the contexts of marriage,” and that real marriage
    is only between a “genetic male and genetic female.”


  • TimCA

    Jack Phillips said from outside the court today that “it was never about the cake but the message”. But from this article published a few years ago, he had no problem creating a custom cake for a ‘dog wedding’. Essentially, Jack Phillips will serve dogs but not gay men and women.

    From the Atlantic, June 2013:


  • drbrentzenobia

    For those who may be feeling anxious or depressed today, it’s important to maintain some perspective. Suppose we lose this case – it’s certainly possible, Kennedy has usually but not always sided with us in the past, and the reasoning he uses to side with us has been unpredictable. We may not be able to count on him this time.

    Just a reminder, we have lost battles before at SCOTUS but we have always won in the end. We will ultimately prevail here, even if we lose this case. We lost the Bowers v Hardwick case in 1986, a bitter blow that kept laws on the books that made us criminals; but we overturned that decision in time. We lost the Dale v BSA decision that allowed the Boy Scouts to discriminate against us; we got the BSA to back away from that position by applying tremendous public pressure on them. Ditto the St. Patrick’s Day parades.

    So it would be here. If the SCOTUS allows private businesses to wage war on us, we are quite capable of fighting back – online, and in our communities. We can force those businesses to relent or close by exposing them online, or by waging sit-ins like those civil rights lunch counter actions in the 1950s. We are not defenseless, we will not take this lying down, and we have many allies. If it comes to that: WE SHALL OVERCOME.

    • Helen Damnation™

      Okay, enough already. I’ll go get my “fightin’ clothes” out of storage. But thanks for the sliver of hope.

    • bobbyjoe

      What a wonderful post. Thank you.

    • LaChatSayWha

      You’re right. There are a lot of battles in this war.

      If SCOTUS rules against us today, we can bring the fight to these bigots. Every discriminating business will be outed online & should be labeled as such with large signs stating that the business will not serve “Faggots, Dykes, Trannies or Other Queers. Heterosexual child molesters ask for our special discount.” Let these upstanding “Christians” see how the free market responds to their hate. Actions have consequences, bigots.

  • obarthelemy

    I’ve got 3 issues:

    1- cake is not speech.

    2- I could understand religious issues. But that specific religion also forbids marrying not a virgin, re-marrying, wearing 2 different types of cloth… If they want to invoke the bible, they’ve also got to prove they do apply 100% of it. Otherwise, it’s personal choice, not god-prescribed edicts.

    3- there’s a difference between “don’t do it” and “prevent others from doing it”.

  • Ann Kah

    Does the baker sign his cakes? No? Then it’s not art. Does he bother to copyright his masterpieces? No? Then somebody else can do his cake style just as well.

    • The_Wretched

      Minor technicality, copyright applies to works of art upon their creation – not upon a filing. Your rights in a copyright infringement case are enhanced if you filed your copyright and affixed a notice to the work. Evenso, a wedding cake from a shop is not a work of art and likely lacks the originality needed to qualify for even minimal protection.

      • canoebum

        Is he a Listed Artist? Have any of his “artworks” been curated or displayed in a gallery or museum? A coffee table book even? He’s a baker, a craftsman at best. Besides, he refused them service just because they were a gay couple. No cake order was ever placed. Straight up discrimination.

  • fuow

    Yeah, we’re fucked.

  • Leo

    This is why millennials are leaving organized religion in droves. This shit right here.

    I’ll be prepared mentally for the inevitable aftermath of all this by June.

    The next few years will be…sigh.

  • Phil Touchette

    If the Supreme Court rules in favor of the anti-gay baker, thus allowing discrimination throughout the country, every business that would wish to discriminate must affix a notice telling potential customers who they will not serve. If you’re going to be an absolute garbage person who thinks you’re better than me and that I’m unworthy of your service, I think I have the right to know upfront.

    If the discrimination notice is impossible, it will be the responsibility of every LGBT citizen to NAME, SHAME and BOYCOTT these businesses when they reveal their prejudice. Get your LGBT allies involved, too.

    If the law won’t protect public accommodation, it’s our duty as citizens to make it known that discrimination doesn’t pay.

    • drbrentzenobia

      Yup, it worked in getting the Boy Scouts and the St. Patrick’s Day parades to back down from antigay discrimination after those orgs won their SCOTUS cases against us. Public pressure will work for us here as well. Public sentiment is increasingly in our side as the homophobes age out of the actuarial pool. We can and should leverage that.

  • BeaverTales

    I think I’m done with this. I give up.

  • The_Wretched

    “But he also said Colorado had been “neither tolerant nor respectful” of the baker’s religious convictions.”

    It’s disgusting Kennedy cares about the religous conviction that says a business may violate discrimination law. It’s entirely equal to saying you have to take a Klansman’s ‘right’ to discriminate against black people seriously.

    • drbrentzenobia

      Kennedy sided against us in the cases involving the Boy Scouts and the St. Patrick’s Day parade. Don’t be shocked if he does it again here.

    • Snarky

      Kennedy was saying the CO commission had not taken both sides into consideration equally. He was not defending discrimination, he was basically saying the state had done a bad job.

      This is not to say Kennedy agreed with Phillips, he simply disagreed with what Colorado had done. There’s a difference.

      The difference between this case and the Klan hypothetical you brought up is that speech and action are not always the same in the eyes of the law. A Klansman is allowed to hold racist views and speak them. He can make a sign that espouses racist views. He is not allowed to hit someone with the sign.

      That’s the needle that Kennedy (I assume) has to thread in this case. At what point does Phillips’ “sincerely held religious expression”* break anti-discrimination law?

      * Yeah I don’t believe that line either. That “sincerely held” phrase is simply bullshit, a fig leaf that people use when they’re homophobic assholes.

  • Kevin Andrews

    The treasonous Roberts SCOTUS couldn’t care less about the Constitution. Cash = Free Speech according to this mercenary body loyal only to the loudest bidder. There is no control by Christ-O-Fascism these Missionary of Hate won’t seize.

  • David

    If this doesn’t go our way I want a sign in the window of every business who agrees that they don’t have to serve our community. The market will sort that shit out quickly.

  • Piernudo15

    When will the “straight only” signs start appearing in businesses’ windows and doors?

  • Halou

    I guess it doesn’t take crystal balls to figure out what Gorsuch thinks.

  • Jack

    I don’t see how “cake art” is expressive of anything in particular. AND, if anything is going to be expressed, it’s the couple’s perspective, not the cake decorator.

    “It’s a second marriage for us both. I was widowed, she’s divorced. We each have sole custody of our children. I have two boys, 9 and 11. She has Two girls, 14 and 13. Their father abused them. No one from their father’s side is invited. My mother refuses to attend a wedding where the bride was previously divorced.”

    Can you make a cake that both celebrates our union and expresses our sadness for those that won’t share this day with us?”

    • glass

      I think the cake art thing is just an excuse. They were buying a wedding cake, not a piece of art. Xians always move the goal posts to change the outcome.

      • customartist


      • Jack

        It’s their argument. [Insert shrugging shoulders emoji]

  • Refugay

    When is a decision expected on this?

    • drbrentzenobia

      If it follows the usual pattern it will be one of the last cases decided in the term, last week of June or so.

    • Snarky


  • Mike

    The issue isn’t anti-gay bakers, the issue is way bigger than that. We face a threat of not only constitutionally protected lunch counter discrimination and segregation, but legal protection for every anti-social impulse anyone may have to do harm to others, because now fear and hate is a religion.

  • Squicky

    It’s rather telling that there doesn’t seem to be any mention of a ‘reasonable accommodation’ standard. Did Phillips really have to make the cake himself? Did he try to have another employee or associate make it? Did he try to hire a freelancer? Did he offer to send a ‘template’ cake to another business to decorate? If he had made this kind of effort to balance conscience as an individual and his obligations as a business owner, and failed, then he might have a better argument. It was his cavalier refusal to serve the couple, without any attempt a reasonable accommodation or compromise, that makes his actions discriminatory.

    • Natty Enquirer

      LGBT is not a disability. The law requires equal treatment, not reasonable accommodation.

      • Squicky

        Well, I believe there is a ‘reasonable accommodation’ precedent in matters of religious practice and garments. I remember one case where a company wanted to fire a Muslim employee because he had to pray 5 times a day (his religious obligation) and they wouldn’t allow it because it freaked out the customers. He won the case because there was no sign that the employer made any effort to find a ‘work around,’ like letting him pray in the back of the store. Granted, this case is about the obligations of a business owner to a customer and not an employee, so perhaps you’re right and there’s simply no legal precedent.

    • customartist

      Bottom line: He’s making a statement.

  • GanymedeRenard

    Sorry for repeating what I said on another threat, but I think there may be a point there to be made:

    You’re selling art, you claim. Tell me, if you were a classically trained artist and owned a gallery say, in New York’s SoHo, would you refuse to sell a painting (executed by you) to a gay couple who wanted to decorate their bedroom because it would go against your “deeply held religious beliefs”?

    • customartist

      Well,…, it SOUNDS like a combination of art and religion??

  • Puck

    I like how the justices say that religion needs to be respected in these cases. There are laws that prevent me from discriminating against their religion. So I am forced to respect their beliefs but I still have to fight for my tangible rights.

  • Renfield

    I’m an atheist so I have no religious views that need to be respected. But my deep felt feeling is that my company should not do business with evangelicals. Does that count?

    • Just call it a “sincerely held belief.”

    • customartist

      Equal Protection of the 14th Amendment means YES, you have the same rights as the religious.

      • Renfield

        Yes, but….nearly all the legal argument refers to religious beliefs, not beliefs.

  • Oh, Parker

    I’m really confused about where the lines will be drawn on this. Will it only apply to gay people because we are not a protected class, or will a gay couple who own a florist shop be able to refuse service to, say, a Christian couple who are preparing for their second marriage because they disagree with them? Is this only going to go in one direction? What about large entities such as hospitals? Will a nurse decide she doesn’t have to care for a gay person because of her beliefs even though the hospital itself has an anti-discrimination policy? Is this just for small private businesses? I am legitimately confused about this, and I can’t even believe we’re still arguing this shit.

    • Baltimatt

      Sexual orientation is a protected class in Colorado.

      • Oh, Parker

        I get that, but we’re not federally if I understand correctly. So this would set precedent in places like, say, Mississippi, Alabama, etc. allowing them to discriminate?

        • Baltimatt

          They are already allowed to discriminate there on the basis of sexual orientation.

      • Joba

        Mod Pets are a protected class on the Baltimore Sun talk forums

    • It could very well lead to having to litigate everything associated with same-sex marriage and LGBT civil rights. I suspect that there won’t be much traction for allowing businesses to discriminate on the basis of religion, sex, race, etc., because those are all protected categories under federal law.

      But count on the “Christian” right to keep chipping away, just as they have with Roe v. Wade.

      • Oh, Parker

        That’s what I was getting at, because we are not protected federally. So then any person in any state, even places like Colorado who have local protections, would be overruled by a negative ruling in the SCOTUS?

      • customartist

        And under the Constitution, which is THE HIGHEST law, LGBT people are protected by the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment. No subsequent “Laws” are necessary. They may clarify or reinforce for the general public, but they are not necessary.

    • customartist

      Gays have already been ruled a “class” of people by SCOTUS, and I believe it wad Kennedy who wrote that particular word in his opinion.

  • JCF

    “He appeared to recognize the bakery’s argument could undermine civil
    rights laws across the country. He also appeared to show concern about
    the expression, rights, and religious freedom of the bakery.”

    I read that as Kennedy will decide FOR Colorado, yet give them a verbal side-eye (and perhaps a warning, that religious expression may YET win over anti-discrimination laws—but not here, not yet). OCICBW.

  • customartist

    Nowhere in the Constitution does it distinguish a greater right to service providers of “Artistic” expression. Could this same baker refuse to provide a cake to African Americans because his religious beliefs do not align with the “mixing of the races’, which was indeed a rationale used at the time of the Civil Rights era.

  • Gianni

    I can’t imagine that any of these learned Justices cannot or will not foresee the consequences of allowing anyone to use “Religious Beliefs” (their personal interpretations) as a way of circumventing equality protections and anti-discrimination laws. Talk about opening Pandora’s Box!

  • ted-

    “If you are privileged, equality feels like oppression.”

  • customartist

    The “Art” excuse sounds a lot like the “Gay Panic” excuse.
    Both bullshit.

  • So by the same reasoning, supporters of the baker MUST be ok with a sign that says “we don’t bake cakes for mixed race weddings.”

    But here’s the point that is continually overlooked. The cake is NOT for the wedding ceremony, it is for the after-party, aka ‘reception’. The baker doesn’t “participate” in the wedding any more than the cleaners do.

    THINGS are not protected:
    A baker may refuse to write a racist or anti Semitic message on a cake.

    PEOPLE are protected:
    A baker may not refuse to sell a cake to a gay man.

  • SFHarry

    My prediction is that bakers will be required to serve everyone but will not be required to decorate with words or symbols of which they do not approve.
    So, gay wedding cake is a yes but gay wedding cake with congratulations Steve and Bruce is a no.
    Jewish bakers will have to makes cakes for the Nazi rally after party but no swastikas as decoration.