The New Culture Wars

Transgenderism has transformed what used to be the fight for gay and lesbian legal equality. Now, it’s something very different.

Every time the old Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) was poised to pass Congress, activists and Democratic sponsors changed it so it couldn’t win majority support. First it was a bill to outlaw employment discrimination based on sexual orientation, and once that had enough Republican support to pass, it was changed to include gender identity, which didn’t. The Equality Act is ENDA on steroids, vastly expanding the scope of “public accommodations” to include creative-services providers (such as bakers and wedding photographers), gutting the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, and requiring that bio males who chose to “present” as female (no physical alteration required) be treated as women in all areas, including the right to compete as women in sporting competitions.

The GOP-led Senate won’t pass the Equality Act, and rightly so. But Democrats and LGBT progressive will say it’s because Republicans don’t oppose employment discrimination, as if it were the original ENDA.


SCOTUS to Rule on LBGT Discrimination

As I noted in a prior post, it would be preferable if the Supreme Court ruled that existing sex discrimination laws covered sexual orientation and gender transition (perhaps unlikely, post-Kennedy) than if Congress were to pass the sweeping Equality Act, with its greatly expanded definition of public accommodations to include small creative-services providers and its crippling of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act—not to mention defining “sex” as gender presentation without any pretense about physical transitioning (meaning bio-males in women’s locker rooms and sporting competitions, based on their identity “presentation”).

If the Supreme Court were to expand existing Title VII civil rights protections to gay and transgender people, Democrats and LGBT intersectional progressives would still try to pass the Equality Act—but they’d have to do so arguing in favor of its more extreme provisions instead of presenting it as a jobs discrimination bill.

They’re for ‘Free Speech’ Unless They Don’t Like It

The Advocate reports:

“Following an online outcry and protest threats, New York City’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center canceled an event — billed as the #WalkAway LGBT Town Hall — that was to feature controversial queer conservatives and encourage LGBTQ people to “walk away” from the Democratic Party.”

The Center issued this Orwellian statement:

“We strongly oppose censorship and fully stand by our commitment to free speech, but as our space use policy states, we reserve the right to cancel any event that promotes discriminatory speech or bigotry; negatively impacts other groups or individuals that use The Center; or conflicts with, or interferes with, Center-sponsored or produced programming. It has become clear that this event would violate all of these important policies.”

So, the Center won’t allow a conservative LGBTQ group to use its space because they oppose the agenda of LGBTQ Democratic groups. But those groups routinely rip into LGBTQ Rebpuplicans and conservatives, and that’s just fine.

As instapundit Glenn Reynolds likes to say, if it weren’t for their double standards, progressives would have no standards at all.

More. Over the years, the Center has received considerable funding from both New York City and State taxpayers.

The Equality Act Targets Service Providers


Moreover:

“And while the Equality Act doesn’t alter the exceptions in the Civil Rights Act for religious organizations, it specifically notes that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 cannot be invoked as a defense for discriminating under these laws.”

In other words, courts can consider the “discrimination” of a LGBT activist being told “Sorry, I don’t want to decorate a cake with a same-sex couple because it’s against my religion but they’d be happy to bake you one next store,” but won’t be able to consider the religious freedom rights of the service provider with regard to the protections provided under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

RFRA requires that the authorities meet the high standard of showing that the government has a compelling interest to justify infringing on religious freedom when enforcing federal law. If stripping defendants of RFRA protections in these cases wasn’t a big deal—that is, if it were obvious that compelling service providers to craft messages in support of same-sex marriage or gender transitions clearly trumped any rights to religious protection—why would progressives be insisting on a RFRA exclusion?

More. In the comments to an earlier post, reader “Sebastian” wrote a response to the argument that conservative Christians have had a long record of working to deny LGBTQ people their legal rights, replying that:

Your identity is so bound up with being “the victim” that you’re unable to see that, in this situation, you’re now the oppressor. It reminds me of the communists who were persecuted and then took power and persecuted those who were of the class that had persecuted them. They couldn’t see that they were now the oppressor — they had no mental picture in which it was conceivable to them that good communists, who had been targeted and persecuted all of their adult lives, could now be the oppressor.

I think that’s spot on. When I hear the argument that we must force bakers to craft same-sex wedding cakes in order to “stop their hate”—as, for instance, a recent episode of Will & Grace reiterated the “need to struggle” against the “haters” who won’t bake same-sex cakes—it seems clear that LGBTQ activists (and those who go to court to force religious conservatives to craft supportive messages are by definition “activists”) have no mental template in which it’s possible to consider that they themselves have become the persecutors.

A Win for Freedom

More. The Colorado Civil Rights Commission was headed for another probable 7-2 loss before the Supreme Court, given that some of its members had shown the same religious animus against baker Jack Phillips that they had the first time around.

As The Federalist reports, Phillips’ attorneys:

found current commissioners publicly agreeing with 2015 comments from commissioner Dianne Rice that compared Jack’s Christianity to the ideologies motivating slavery and the Holocaust. Rice’s comments were specifically singled out by the Supreme Court as evidence of the commission’s bias.

That bias aimed to jettison Jack’s constitutional rights to free speech, freedom of association, and free expression of religion, all over a cake that could be had from any number of nearby shops. Yet when the commission discussed the Supreme Court ruling in summer 2018, two commissioners openly supported Rice’s comparison of Christianity to Nazism and racism. …

Faced with this evidence of their persistent animus against Christians, the commission folded its second case against Jack. But it still maintains the power to do this to anyone at any time, even still based on anti-religious bigotry so long as they keep that to themselves.


Related: Washington Post, The Senate just confirmed a judge who interned at an anti-LGBTQ group. She’ll serve for life.

V

The Covington Kids

Imagine the coverage if the pro-life, MAGA-capped kids had shouted “faggots” and other insults at that black and Native American protestors, instead of what actually happened.

A better way:

Bake Me a Cake, Redux

The Colorado civil rights commissioners and LGBT activists share a set of core beliefs on what is acceptable as religious dissent—and the extent of state power in compelling artistic expression that violates the religious beliefs of a provider of creative services. Meanwhile, conservative Christian artisans have a different set of core beliefs at odds with the progressives. Consider, however, who is supporting cultural diversity here and who supports state-imposed uniformity.