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.

Religious Animus Revisited

The Washington Blade reports that Sen. Krysten Sinema (D-Ariz.)

…the first openly bisexual person elected to the U.S. Senate, didn’t place her left hand on a bible as per tradition. Instead, she used a book obtained from the Library of Congress which includes both the U.S. and Arizona constitutions.

The Pew Research Center for Religion & Public Life states that Sinema is the only member of Congress that identifies as “religiously unaffiliated.”



Progressives in general are increasingly showing their animus.

There’s Always a Hierarchy

Social justice warriorhood is ostensibly about the victimhood of blacks, women, Muslims, transgender people, etc. But it’s also, and ultimately, about ensuring the power dominance of the highly privileged white liberal elite. On the left, identity politics has all but killed and buried old-fashioned class analysis as the matrix for understanding power relationships.

If progressive politicos, academics, pundits, funders and activists were more confident in their views, they wouldn’t be so very afraid of engaging with nonprogressive viewpoints.


The cultural contradictions of progressivism.

Racism and Political Correctness Have Much in Common

Wesley Yang writes:

We wouldn’t even be able to conceive of the microaggression were not the macroaggression stigmatized and on the retreat. My parents’ homes were reduced to rubble in Korea. To speak to them about a microaggression is just not credible, it’s simply absurd.

On the other hand, it’s also true that there’s a lot of pain that goes with being an Asian-American, which I write about. …

But… when one looks at remediating that through a system of policing speech and thought, then you cross over into this whole other territory where you’re talking about extinguishing human freedom for the purpose of pursuing some person’s ill-defined therapeutic grievance.


Similarly:

DeVos–and Due Process–vs. the ACLU

More. As Camille Paglia notes: “The headlong rush to judgment by so many well-educated, middle-class women in the #MeToo movement has been startling and dismaying. Their elevation of emotion and group solidarity over fact and logic has resurrected damaging stereotypes of women’s irrationality that were once used to deny us the vote.”

Furthermore.

A Heroine

Sen. Susan Collins has stood up to the mob and our republic will be the better for it. From her speech on the Senate floor:

Some argue that, because this is a lifetime appointment to our highest courts, public interest requires that doubts be resolved against the nominee. Others see the public interest as abiding to our longest tradition of affording to those accused of misconduct a presumption of innocence. In cases in which the facts are unclear, they would argue that the question should be resolved in favor of the nominee. Mr. President, I understand both viewpoints. This debate is complicated further by the fact that the Senate confirmation process is not a trial. But certain fundamental legal principles about due process, the presumption of innocence and fairness do bear on my thinking and I cannot abandon them. In evaluating any given claim of misconduct, we will be ill-served in the long run if we abandon the presumption of innocence and fairness, tempting though it may be. We must always remember that it is when passions are most inflamed that fairness is most in jeopardy. The presumption of innocence is relevant to the advice and consent function when an accusation departs from a nominee’s otherwise exemplary record.


The Human Rights Campaign, which believes women (except for Juanita Broaddrick…‎Paula Jones…‎Kathleen Willey…et al) responded predictably.

And here:

And the Women’s March weighed in:


Versus:


More, you say:


Let’s remember what’s driving the hysteria. Other than reflexive Trump hatred, it’s the demand for a Supreme Court that will oppose state restrictions on abortion, including limits on late-term abortion on demand, preferably done at taxpayer expense. (I agree with more-knowledgeable court-watchers that the likelihood of a whole-scale overturning of Roe by the conservatives on the court, especially under an incrementalist like Chief Justice Roberts, is virtually none.)
I know, I am not entitled to an opinion about terminating the lives of unborn babies.


Flashback
I wrote in September 2011 about Collins’ pivotal actions in overturning the military ban against openly gay service members:

Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid, it should be noted, never pushed for repeal or any other pro-gay equality legislation, but his role with “don’t ask, don’t tell” was particularly egregious. In late 2010, he insisted that the repeal bill be combined with an appropriations measure that the GOP was determined to block, and did with its filibuster. Reid then declared it was the GOP’s fault that the repeal failed. An incensed Sen. Collins and Sen. Lieberman demanded that a separate, stand-alone “don’t ask” repeal bill be brought forward, and the media glare [they generated] forced Sen. Reid to capitulate. The stand-alone repeal was brought up for a vote and easily passed with the support of many senators, including Sen. Brown, who had voted against the combined appropriations/repeal bill. …

…Sen. Collins shared that she simply couldn’t, at first, believe what Sen. Reid was doing (and then charged to the podium to protest the maneuver and its foregone conclusion—to no avail).

Keeping “don’t ask, don’t tell” in place as a campaign and fundraising issue while blaming the GOP for blocking repeal was the strategy all along. For the same reasons, when Democrats had a big majority in the House and a filibuster-proof Senate majority for nearly two years (2009-10), and with a “progressive” president in the White House, they choose not to pass comprehensive immigration reform (or vote on a federal LGBT anti-discrimination measure, for that matter).