The Commanding Heights

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This National Review piece is somewhat overstated—LGBT people in rural areas, especially, still face discrimination. But it is true that in blue America and throughout the national mainstream media the orthodox view is pro-LGBT. Taken to an extreme, however, LGBT nondiscrimination rights become dismissive of others’ rights, such as regarding speech, expression and association.

America is about finding a balance among competing rights, but progressives are behaving as newly ascendant inquisitors.

Another example of progressive orthodoxy run amuck and attacking liberal (in the classic sense) values. At least this time, there was some pullback in the face of an obvious and disingenuous overreach.

The Transgender Military Ban

Perhaps the courts can see that a rational balance is struck by reversing the blanket ban on enlistments by anyone who has had gender transition medical care, while upholding the ban on those who require gender transition treatment and reassignment surgery.

More. Scott Shackford’s take at reason.com.

Bake Me a Cake—Or Else—Taken to Its Illogical Conclusion

Shackford also notes:

The show ends up taking this role reversal to a weird and terrible conclusion. Grace, who hates Trump and all he stands for, pushes the bakery to make Karen’s MAGA cake, going so far as to raise the specter of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) coming after them. To its credit, the show takes the argument to its natural, terrible conclusion: The episode ends with the baker reluctantly baking a customer a cake with a swastika on it.

Compromise Can Be the Best Way

A compromise on LGBT nondiscriminination rights and religious liberty rights requires that both sides recognize that the other also has rights, and that sometimes these rights conflict and reasonable and workable compromises must be sought.

I’m more partial toward recognizing the right not to be forced to engage in activities that violate religious conscience in the private sector, and in particular the rights of small business owners not to be forced by the state to engage in expressive activities that violate their beliefs. But it seems like the outcome of this North Carolina case regarding a public official is fair to both sides—the individual magistrate does not have to officiate at the same-sex wedding ceremony as long as someone is on hand to provide these services.

This, by the way, differs from the situation in 2015 involving County Clerk Kim Davis in Kentucky, where she would not allow anyone in her office to issue same-sex marriage certificates, including clerks who had no issues with doing so.

A different compromise was reached in that case: Gov. Matt Bevin issued an executive order that removed the names of all county clerks from marriage licenses issued in Kentucky. I wrote at the time:

Government officials are responsible for following the law of the land, even when doing so is at odds with their own religious beliefs. They are public servants, not private, self-employed service providers.

But it’s for the good if a small, symbolic action can defuse a contentious “culture war” face off and serve civility without diminishing individual rights, and I tend to see that happening here.

Allowing individual magistrates to opt out as long as no couple is denied a prompt marriage takes things a bit further, but if no couple is harmed I don’t see a problem. It’s akin to not making religiously observant employees work on the sabbath.