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News round up and open thread 6/21 w/ UPDATES

Right-wing Transgender Rights

– LGBT employees will honor Gavin Grimm, the transgender student who’s suing his school board in Virginia to be able to use the correct bathroom, at the US Justice Department’s Pride event.

– The Department of Education is closing its LGBT cases involving student discrimination and bathroom use, since the Justice Department is getting less involved in civil rights under the Trump administration. More on that, with filings, here.

– The Supreme Court has not yet acted on Pavan v. Smith, a case involving same-sex adoption, or Masterpiece Cakeshop, a case involving a baker who wants to avoid compliance with state anti-discrimination laws in order to refuse a cake to a same-sex couple. The Court is expected to decide whether to grant or deny the cases before the term ends at the end of the month.

UPDATE 6/22: Earlier today, the Fifth Circuit ruled that the people challenging Mississippi’s law allowing recusal of state officials and service providers in cases involving same-sex couples, among other things, don’t have standing to challenge the law because they lack any injury related to the law. The challengers will ask the full Fifth Circuit to rehear the case.

Thanks to Equality Case Files for these filings


  • 1. allan120102  |  June 21, 2017 at 2:14 pm

    Hopefully everyone reads this. Is about how ssm and lgbt rights have been won in Mexico step by step. It shows opinions from important lawyers and what steps need to happen for ssm to be legal in all of Mexico.

  • 2. VIRick  |  June 21, 2017 at 4:54 pm

    DC DMV to Allow 3rd Gender Option on IDs, Driver's Licenses

    Per Equality Case Files:

    The DC DMV will now allow residents to choose a gender neutral identifier whenever they obtain a local ID card or driver's license. The department announced the move on 20 June 2017 after months of planning. According to the DMV, from later in June, residents will be able to select a gender option that includes "non-binary", "undesignated," and other categories.

    The identifier will be marked with an "X" on their cards instead of an "M" or an "F."

    DC follows closely behind Oregon in allowing a 3rd gender listing on IDs and driver's licenses. Both California and New York are in the process of allowing the same.

    Note: I see I can edit a few of these early posts of mine which, as yet, do not have any replies. However, I am unable to reply to any post whatsoever, nor can I make a new post.

    I suspect that the sudden appearance of a new troll (or the re-appearance of a tired, old one) may have a lot to do with this peculiar situation at hand. Oh, yes. All the troll's posts, as well as all the ensuing back and forth, has been deleted, and everything from the 8th post on down to the end of this thread seems as if it has been "frozen." There have been no new posts made for the past 15 hours which haven't otherwise been deleted for having gotten caught up in the cross-fire (edited to note time at 1900 hours EDT). Plus, there are now only 24 posts still remaining in this thread, as opposed to the 60 stated just above.

  • 3. VIRick  |  June 21, 2017 at 4:56 pm

    Survey Finds Broad Opposition to "License to Discriminate" Laws

    According to the latest PRRI (Public Religion Research Institute) survey, the percentage of people who oppose allowing a small business owner to refuse to provide products or services to gay or lesbian people, even if doing so somehow violated the owner's so-called "religious beliefs," varied from a high of 75% in Vermont and 72% in Connecticut to razor-thin majorities in an assortment of red states. Rather surprisingly, Alaska showed the least opposition to such pseudo-religious bigotry, at exactly 50%, but was closely followed by Alabama and North Dakota at 51%, Mississippi and Montana at 52%, Oklahoma at 53%, and Louisiana and Tennessee at 54%.

    Despite all the political noise coming from Texas of late, 57% of its residents actually oppose any such "license to discriminate." And overall, within the entire USA as a whole, 61% oppose.….

  • 4. VIRick  |  June 21, 2017 at 4:58 pm

    First Same-Sex Marriage in Tecuala, Nayarit (by a Couple from Mazatlán, Sinaloa)

    Tecuala.- En 20 de junio 2017, con la solemnidad y el protocolo correspondiente, el Director del Registro Civil de Tecuala, Víctor Manuel Alcaraz Gómez, entregó el acta correspondiente al abogado, Daniel Martín Morales Acosta, y al arquitecto, Jesús Domingo Hernández Aldana, vecinos de Mazatlán, Sinaloa, luego de contraer matrimonio igualitario en sociedad conyugal, en el Municipio de Tecuala, Nayarit.….

    Tecuala.- On 20 June 2017, with all the solemnity and corresponding protocol, the Director of the Civil Registry of Tecuala, Víctor Manuel Alcaraz Gómez, recorded the act uniting the lawyer, Daniel Martín Morales Acosta, and the architect, Jesús Domingo Hernández Aldana, neighbors from Mazatlán, Sinaloa, after entering into an equal marriage in a conjugal union, in the Municipality of Tecuala, Nayarit.

    The state of Nayarit has already legalized same-sex marriage. However, for a long interval immediately afterward, almost all such marriages only occurred in the state capital, Tepic, or in Nuevo Vallarta to the south, abutting Puerto Vallarta in Jalisco state. So, this marriage in Tecuala is significant as having taken place in another Nayarit jurisdiction other than those two. Furthermore, the couple is actually resident in Mazatlán, Sinaloa, the neighboring state immediately to the north, one which has adamantly refused to legalize same-sex marriage. The coastal municipality of Tecuala directly abuts the Sinaloa state line, not overly far from Mazatlán, thus making it the closest out-of-state locality with marriage equality.

  • 5. VIRick  |  June 21, 2017 at 4:59 pm

    First LGBT+ Pride March in Querétaro

    Primera Marcha del Orgullo LGBT+ en Querétaro

    En sabado, 17 de junio 2017, más de un millar de personas, entre las que destaca la participación de 16 organizaciones civiles, empresas, y colectivos, se han congregado a las afuera de la Alameda Hidalgo para celebrar la “Primera Marcha del Orgullo LGBT+, Celebrando los Cuerpos y las Vidas,” una estrategia para poner a prueba el respeto que la sociedad queretana dice tenerles.

    Dos de los objetivos que tienen son exhortar al Poder Ejecutivo y Legislativo a que saquen adelante la iniciativa de ley que regularía el matrimonio igualitario, además de la educación incluyente en las escuelas de nivel básico.….

    On Saturday, 17 June 2017, more than a thousand people, including participants from 16 civil organizations, companies, and groups, gathered outside the Alameda Hidalgo to celebrate the "First LGBT + Pride March, Celebrating Bodies and Lives," a strategy to test the respect that society claims to have in Querétaro.

    Two of the objectives of the march were to urge the Executive and Legislative branches to move forward on the bill that would regulate marriage equality, in addition to inclusive education in elementary schools.

  • 6. VIRick  |  June 21, 2017 at 6:07 pm

    Mexico: Marijuana is Legalized Nationwide

    Per Geraldina González de la Vega:

    As of today, 20 June 2017, the medical and scientific use of marijuana is legal throughout all of Mexico.

    Ya permiten siembra y cosecha de plantas y venta o compra de fármacos con derivados que cumplan la norma.

    The planting and harvesting of plants and the sale or purchase of drugs with derivatives that meet the standard is now permitted.

    This change in the law in Mexico should go over well, given the negative attitude on this very subject by the current AG of the USA, while free-lance "importers" of various stripes should have a happy time inventing new ways to move their legally-obtained goods over, under, and around Trump's wall.

  • 7. VIRick  |  June 21, 2017 at 6:36 pm

    New York: First Openly Gay Judge Confirmed to State's Highest Court

    Per Rex Wockner:

    Albany — New York’s highest court has a new member. On Wednesday, 21 June 2017, the state Senate confirmed Paul Feinman to serve on the Court of Appeals. He will be the first openly gay person to serve on the court.

    Feinman has been a judge for more than 20 years. He fills a vacancy created by the death of Judge Sheila Abdus-Salaam, who was found dead in the Hudson River near her Manhattan home in April.

    Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo nominated Feinman and today called him a “trailblazer” whose career has been dedicated to the causes of justice and fairness. Senators from both parties hailed Feinman’s experience and said he would be an excellent addition to the Court of Appeals.

  • 8. FredDorner  |  June 21, 2017 at 10:48 pm

    I'd be very, very surprised if SCOTUS grants cert to the Masterpiece Cakeshop case given that they denied cert in the Elane Photography case, which arguably had a better argument.

    While IANAL, I don't think SCOTUS has ever ruled against a public accommodations law.

  • 9. Rick55845  |  June 22, 2017 at 5:14 am

    My hope is that there are insufficient votes among the justices to grant certiorari, and the delay in announcing it is to allow one or more justices to write a dissent (or rant, or whatever). Or mayhap they were waiting for the vacancy to be filled before voting on it? We could get an answer today.

  • 10. JayJonson  |  June 22, 2017 at 8:52 am

    So happy to learn that the Cincinnatti City Council voted unanimously to name a street in honor of Jim Obergefell and his late husband John Arthur. The renamed street is where Obergefell and Arthur lived the final two years of Arthur's life.

  • 11. davepCA  |  June 22, 2017 at 9:50 am

    So a hotel desk clerk can refuse to allow an interracial couple to check in on their honeymoon because the clerk doesn't want to be "instrumental in the celebration" of the "idea" of the couple's marriage? Riiiight. Cuz it's not that he's racist, it's just that he disagrees with "the idea" of an interracial couple marrying. Riiiight. Good luck with that "argument" in court.

  • 12. Randomutation  |  June 22, 2017 at 10:06 am

    Is the front desk clerk being asked to create anything symbolic – such as a wedding cake, or a floral arrangement? If not then I fail to see that his free speech right is infringed any more than the person who sold them the airline tickets for their honeymoon.

  • 13. allan120102  |  June 22, 2017 at 10:07 am

    As expected the 5th circuit has rule against us and the law of Mississippi has gone into effect. The 5th circuit said that until someone show that the law harms them, the law is constitutional. Unless it goes to the supreme court this case is done as the whole 5th circuit will not overturn the ruling. Sad day for lgbt people in the 5th circuit.

  • 14. scream4ever  |  June 22, 2017 at 10:12 am

    They've added tomorrow and Monday as opinion days. The latter will presumably be the finally day before they go on break (it's also the anniversary of Lawrence v Texas, Windsor v United States of America, and Obergefell v Hodges).

  • 15. davepCA  |  June 22, 2017 at 10:13 am

    You are making a distinction without a difference. Same error that the defense made in their arguments when they lost the case against Masterpiece Cakeshop. And Elane Photography. And a list of other cases that tried that same tactic, and subsequently lost the case.

    You would do better to read the rulings, find out how and why the cake shop lost the previous cases, and then, if you find some error in the ruling that proves you have a NEW argument that could show the court was incorrect, come on back and tell us about it. But just re-hashing old arguments that didn't win the first time, and that have clear explanations in the rulings of WHY they didn't win the first time, isn't going to get you very far.

  • 16. Randomutation  |  June 22, 2017 at 10:21 am

    I've read all the rulings. In none of them was there any proof that the baker or florist declined service because of sexual orientation.

  • 17. Samiscat1  |  June 22, 2017 at 11:07 am

  • 18. FredDorner  |  June 22, 2017 at 11:48 am

    As the civil rights commission and the court unanimously ruled, the bakery denied service because the customers were a same-sex couple….even though the bakery is in the business of making and selling wedding cakes to the general public. That was a very clear violation of CO's public accommodation's law.

    Note that the dumb bigot who owns the bakery is free to run his bakery as a private members-only club, like the whites-only club which Lush Dimbulb attends. That way he could deny service to anyone his Southern Baptist cult teaches him to hate – gays, blacks, Jews, etc. He could even call his club something like "Hate Cakes by Jack".

  • 19. Randomutation  |  June 22, 2017 at 12:11 pm

    You're simply citing a ruling that itself was not based on any proof that the baker declined service because of sexual orientation. Using one unsupported claim to support another unsupported claim is just a form of circular reasoning.

  • 20. davepCA  |  June 22, 2017 at 12:20 pm

    You are yet again trying to rely on an 'argment' that is attempting to use a distinction without a difference. Arguing that the defendant denied service because the couple who were legally marrying were a same sex couple but somehow not because they were a GAY couple isn't a valid argument. And the ruling clearly explains why. More than once. Fail.

  • 21. FredDorner  |  June 22, 2017 at 12:25 pm

    Well, you're simply wrong. This is from the appeals court ruling:

    "Masterpiece contends that the ALJ erred in concluding that its refusal to create a wedding cake for Craig and Mullins was “because of” their sexual orientation. Specifically, Masterpiece asserts that its refusal to create the cake was “because of” its opposition to same-sex marriage, not because of its opposition to their sexual orientation. We conclude that the act of same-sex marriage is closely correlated to Craig’s and Mullins’ sexual orientation, and therefore, the ALJ did not err when he found that Masterpiece’s refusal to create a wedding cake for Craig and Mullins was “because of” their sexual orientation, in violation of CADA."

    Also note that SCOTUS doesn't distinguish between status and behavior in regards to sexual orientation, so you bigots are pretty much screwed using the "logic" you're using.

  • 22. Randomutation  |  June 22, 2017 at 12:27 pm

    You're "distinction without a difference" mantra is baseless. A hotel room is functional. A wedding cake is expressive. There is in fact a major difference between the functional and the expressive. Your mantra is what failed.

  • 23. davepCA  |  June 22, 2017 at 12:40 pm

    Nope, and this is explained in the ruling. Baking a cake involves effort and expertise, but it's not an issue of artistic expression that would trigger first amendment protections, especially when the defendant flat out refused to provide the couple with any goods without any discussion of the 'artistic' nature of the cake in advance.

    These types of paper-thin non-arguments aren't any valid justification for allowing the defendant to violate the law. In fact, they do nothing other than to make it abundantly clear that you (and the defendants) are merely striving to avoid revealing the real reasons the defendant chose to violate the law.

    But that's beside the point. You still have no argument. (I'm not counting 'arguments' that have already been debunked in court with a clear explanation of why they are not a valid argument).

  • 24. Randomutation  |  June 22, 2017 at 12:43 pm

    In the first place there is no proof that same sex marriage is "closely correlated" with sexual orientation. So once again we have an unsupported claim propping up another unsupported claim, which props up another unsupported claim. Just a house of cards.

    In the second place, it's the wrong "correlation" to consider anyway. The baker is only involved with the celebration of marriage – not the marriage itself. And the people who have celebrations for same sex marriage is a diverse group – parents, other family, friends, co-workers etc. So the only relevant "correlation" would be between sexual orientation and those who CELEBRATE same sex marriage.

  • 25. Randomutation  |  June 22, 2017 at 12:48 pm

    It doesn't matter if it's "artistic" or not. Wedding cakes are symbolic and expressive, and that's all that matters from a freedom of speech standpoint.

  • 26. davepCA  |  June 22, 2017 at 12:56 pm

    Your'e wrong on both counts. And as I have stated several times already – the reason for why you are wrong about this is already explained.

    Straight couples who wish to marry enter into opposite sex marriages, gay couples who wish to marry enter into same sex marriages.

    And adhering to a law that says a business which offers goods and services to the general public must do so without discrimination based on whether the customers are a gay couple or straight couple is not forcing the business to declare support of anything, or to 'celebrate' anything, it is simply a matter of requiring them to obey the law, regardless of whether they personally 'like' this or 'agree' with this or not.

    First Amendment protections don't automatically apply just because somebody doens't like what the law requires and doesn't want to do it. People can WANT to discriminate against gay couples or any other citizens, but those personal sentiments cannot be given the force of law. Duh. Sheesh.

  • 27. davepCA  |  June 22, 2017 at 1:06 pm

    The ruling explains why this is not the case, and why First Amendment protections do not apply in this situation. You have no argument.

  • 28. Randomutation  |  June 22, 2017 at 1:08 pm

    Once again you make a claim without proof. You're just making the house of cards bigger without providing it any support.
    Furthermore you have failed to deal with the fact that the baker deals with those who want to have celebrations of marriage – not necessarily the same as the people actually getting married. Thus when you try to "correlate" same sex marriage with sexual orientation you are on the wrong path anyway, because the only meaningful correlation would be between those who CELEBRATE same sex marriage and sexual orientation. And there is not one shred of evidence that gay people are the only ones who celebrate same sex marriage

  • 29. Randomutation  |  June 22, 2017 at 1:12 pm

    Yeah, so your only argument is that the court is right because the court says that the court is right. Perfect circular reasoning. Thanks for proving my point

  • 30. davepCA  |  June 22, 2017 at 1:16 pm

    The proof is in the ruling, including the portions of the ruling that explain the applicable precedent. YOU are the one who is repeatedly tossing out long-debunked 'argument's with no proof that they have validity.

    And your ever-more-convoluted wordsmithing about celebrating and correlating doesn't give you any more traction now than it did in your opening comment, and it has no more traction now than it did when it was offered in court and proven to not be a valid argument.

    You have no argument.

    Look, if all you are trying to do is convince yourself that you are right and the facts in the case don't exist, go right ahead if that's what makes you happy. But you're not going to have any luck convincing people who know the facts and understand the reasoning of the ruling and how principles of Constitutional Law are applied to the case.

  • 31. davepCA  |  June 22, 2017 at 1:19 pm

    You conveniently ignore the word 'why'. because you have no argument against what the ruling says about this.

  • 32. Randomutation  |  June 22, 2017 at 1:26 pm

    So once again this mythological proof "is in the ruling." Yet somehow or other you are unable to simply copy and paste this so-called "proof" so that it can be judged for logical validity. FredDorner at least did that much. And when he did, I was easily able to show the error the court had made. You tried and failed to justify the court's error. The fact remains that there is no proof that the baker declined service because of sexual orientation. All your sound and fury does not change that fact

  • 33. Randomutation  |  June 22, 2017 at 1:30 pm

    You are perfectly free to explain the 'why'. And when you do I will explain to you where your error in logic is.

  • 34. davepCA  |  June 22, 2017 at 1:58 pm

    No, you failed to show that the court made any error in your reply to Fred.

    And I have already shown exactly how your claim that there is no proof the defendant chose to deny goods and discriminate because of the plaintiffs sexual orientation is a false claim, right here in these comments, and just as the court did in the ruling.

    So you can just as easily read the info in the actual ruling without me copying and pasting, so knock yourself out. Since you're now just pretending that facts don't exist, even when they are right here in these comments, you're obviosly not interested in legitimate debate. You're shouting in a well to hear your own voice. Enjoy.

  • 35. davepCA  |  June 22, 2017 at 1:58 pm

    The courts have already done so, and you can read it in the ruling without me copying and pasting.

    But I'll bet you just continue ignore the facts there, in the ruling, just as you have done here, in these comments. Suit yourself.

  • 36. Randomutation  |  June 22, 2017 at 2:18 pm

    Once again here is the court’s rationale as posted by FredDorner
    “We conclude that the act of same-sex marriage is closely correlated to Craig’s and Mullins’ sexual orientation, and therefore, the ALJ did not err when he found that Masterpiece’s refusal to create a wedding cake for Craig and Mullins was “because of” their sexual orientation, in violation of CADA."

    And once again there are at least two errors in it:
    1) The court offered no support for the claim that “the act of same-sex marriage is closely correlated to Craig’s and Mullins’ sexual orientation”, and
    2)The “act of same-sex marriage” is the wrong thing to correlate anyway. The baker declined to service the CELEBRATION of same sex marriage – not the “act of same-sex”: marriage. These are two different things. The “act of same-sex marriage” is serviced by a JP or judge or a minister or someone else authorized by the state. The baker has nothing to do with that, and hence has nothing to do with any “correlation” of sexual orientation with “the act of same-sex marriage”. It’s the wrong standard to apply in the first place
    Neither you nor anyone else has been able to justify those errors.

  • 37. VIRick  |  June 22, 2017 at 2:25 pm

    I will be there at the Supreme Court on Monday, 26 June 2017. This year, for Equality Day, I'm not completely certain what we will be celebrating, other than the anniversary date of those previous years' wins. Nevertheless, I will be there.

  • 38. davepCA  |  June 22, 2017 at 2:29 pm

    1. Straight couples who wish to marry enter into opposite sex marriages, and gay couples who wish to marry enter into same sex marriages. It is clearly evident that there is indeed an extremely close correlation between the sexual orientations of the individuals and whether their marriage is a same-sex or opposite-sex marriage. duuuhhh.

    2. And although YOU are trying to now say that this is not the correlation that is in question, this is precisely the correlation or lack theirof which the defendants were trying to present as a defense.

    3. And this pretzelled remark about 'servicing the celebration' still doesn't get around the fact that the law which required the baker to do this on an equal basis was not doing anything that would trigger First Amendment protections. It all just amounted to the fact that the baker didn't like the idea of gay people marrying and didn't personally endores this. So what? He can hold those personal views if he wishes, but that doesn't mean that providing a cake infringed on First Amendment rights, it just means the baker had to do something he didn't want to do. And that is not a new issue for a business that provides goods and services to the general public, and is required to comply with applicable no-discrimination laws.

    You have no argument.

  • 39. Randomutation  |  June 22, 2017 at 2:30 pm

    If you are convinced that the courts have adequately explained why free speech is not an issue when a baker is required to be instrumental in the celebration of an idea he objects to, then you would simply copy and paste it here.
    Your failure to do so, merely shows that you know there is no valid argument.

  • 40. davepCA  |  June 22, 2017 at 2:33 pm

    Now you're just trolling. And failing.

  • 41. Randomutation  |  June 22, 2017 at 2:41 pm

    1} What about two straight single moms in a joint household who want to gain the benefits of marriage for the sake of their joint family?
    2) Wrong. No defendants tried to use this correlation as a defense. I defy you to back up that absurd claim with an actual quote.
    3) Requiring someone to be instrumental in the expression of an idea they object to does in fact violate their free speech right (Wooley v Maynard for example) The SCOTUS ruling on this is more important than any state court rulings

  • 42. davepCA  |  June 22, 2017 at 2:55 pm

    1. What about them? An extremely rare exception, like this, or the two straight guys who married for a radio stunt, does not disprove the strong correlation.

    2. Read. The. Ruling. Or continue to ignore the facts in the case if you prefer. It changes nothing.

    3. The law did not require that of the defendant. It's a straw man argument.

    You have no argument.

  • 43. VIRick  |  June 22, 2017 at 2:59 pm

    Mississippi: HB1523 Becomes Law after 5th Circuit Court Overturns Injunction
    Jackson — Today, 22 June 2017, the controversial "Protecting Freedom of Conscience from Religious Discrimination Act" has now become state law, after the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the 2016 injunction that prevented House Bill 1523 from becoming law on 1 July 2016. The opinion says that plaintiffs, who were Mississippians from every corner of the state claiming the wide-ranging legislation affected and discriminated against them, did not prove that they had suffered injury-in-fact that would allow a court to deem the law unconstitutional.

    "We do not speculate on whether, even with those allegations, the injury would be too attenuated to satisfy the standing requirements. The plaintiffs have not shown an injury-in-fact caused by HB 1523 that would empower the district court or this court to rule on its constitutionality," the opinion says.

    The court did not shut down the possibility of further litigation where a plaintiffs could prove that they suffered injury due to the implementation of House Bill 1523, but the "Barber v. Bryant" case is officially closed. "We do not foreclose the possibility that a future plaintiff may be able to show clear injury-in-fact that satisfies the 'irreducible constitutional minimum of standing,'" the opinion says. "… [T]he federal courts must withhold judgment unless and until that plaintiff comes forward. The preliminary injunction is REVERSED, and a judgment of dismissal for want of jurisdiction is RENDERED."

    The three-judge panel ruled unanimously with an opinion from Circuit Judge Jerry Smith. Jennifer Elrod and Catharina Haynes were the other two judges. Plaintiffs could appeal to the full 5th Circuit Court of Appeals to hear the case or appeal to the US Supreme Court.

    In addition, the ACLU of Mississippi will continue their case, " Alford v. Moulder," filed on behalf of Nykolas Alford and Stephen Thomas, executive director Jennifer Riley-Collins said in a press release. “That case was put on hold until the court of appeals ruled. We will continue to proceed on behalf of Nykolas and Stephen to protect them, and other same-sex couples from this harmful and discriminatory law."

  • 44. guitaristbl  |  June 22, 2017 at 3:10 pm

    Expected given that panel of clowns.
    To SCOTUS I guess and hopefully this is heard with the current composition of the court.
    Gorsuch and co. will be blistering hopefully.

  • 45. JayJonson  |  June 22, 2017 at 3:21 pm

    Thank you, davepCA, for your patience in replying to the repetitive troll. He has no understanding of constitutional law.

  • 46. Randomutation  |  June 22, 2017 at 3:29 pm

    1) It's not up to me to "disprove the strong correlation. " It's up to those who claim there is one to prove it. And you can't defer to the court. Because the court never proved it either. I used the two single moms merely as a counter-example to your claim "Straight couples who wish to marry enter into opposite sex marriages,"

    2) I read the ruling many times. No defendant used that correlation as a defense. Just another one of the things you made up and cannot support..
    3) Punishing the defendant for his choice to not be instrumental in the celebration of an idea he objected to is exactly what the states of Colorado, Washington, and Oregon have done.

  • 47. Randomutation  |  June 22, 2017 at 3:39 pm

    So just as I thought you can't back up your claim

  • 48. davepCA  |  June 22, 2017 at 3:41 pm

    Basic statistical information, as well as it being 'intuitively obvious to the casual observer' easily reveals that straight couples who wish to marry enter into opposite sex marriage and gay couples who wish to marry enter into same sex marriages. You are now just trolling. Again.
    2. Then you missed it and you might want to read it again.
    3. There's that straw man argument again – the law did not force the defendant to do any such thing, nor punish him for refusing to do any such thing. Denying goods in the form of a cake to certain customers because you don't like the idea of those customers being a gay couple who are marrying is not protected by First Amendment claims. It is merely someone deciding to act in a discriminatory manner based on their personal discriminatory views, in violation of laws which have been ennacted precisely to prevent such unjust discrimination in the sphere of public business.

    The truth is that you wish it were okay to discriminate on this basis. But you won't admit this openly and you instead try to employ a smokescreen of false arguments in an attempt to avoid stating this view and to try to somehow skirt around the real merits and issues of this case. And you're not fooling anyone.

  • 49. VIRick  |  June 22, 2017 at 3:59 pm

    Plaintiffs in "CSE v. Bryant" Intend to Seek En Banc Review

    Per Equality Case Files:

    Note the correction to the interpretation from the initial Jackson "Free Press" news article, as just issued by the CSE in its own blistering press release, quoted in full, that said ruling, only announced today, it NOT yet effect, despite all the self-congratulatory back-patting on the part of a host of Mississippi politicians,– and that said ruling may never be in effect:

    Per Campaign for Southern Equality:

    The plaintiffs in the case, "Campaign for Southern Equality v. Bryant III" (the correct title to the case, rather than "Barber v. Bryant"), will appeal this ruling, seeking review by the full 5th Circuit Court of Appeals:

    The three-judge panel did not rule on the merits of the law itself. The opinion reverses Judge Reeves’s lower court decision granting a preliminary injunction. However the preliminary injunction will not be lifted – and HB 1523 will not go into effect – until the formal mandate of the Court of Appeals issues. If the 5th Circuit agrees to take this case en banc, the preliminary injunction will remain in effect until the court rules.

    This decision is not only deeply upsetting for the rights of LGBT individuals living in Mississippi, but also for the protection of religious liberty in our country. Our clients have already suffered enough. The state communicated a message loudly and clearly with the passage of HB 1523: only certain anti-LGBT beliefs will get the protection and endorsement of the state. Under the logic of this opinion, it would be constitutional for the state of Mississippi to pass a law establishing Southern Baptist as the official state religion.

    "We plan to seek an en banc review of the decision by the 5th Circuit” says Roberta Kaplan, lead counsel for the plaintiffs in "Campaign for Southern Equality v. Bryant," one of two cases challenging HB1523 (the other being the ACLU case, mentioned above, "Alford v. Moulder").

    “HB 1523 is a reckless law designed with only one purpose – to discriminate against LGBT people in Mississippi. We will continue to fight this law in federal courts and to stand with the LGBT community across Mississippi,” says Rev. Jasmine Beach-Ferrara, Executive Director of the Campaign for Southern Equality.

    Passed by the Mississippi Legislature and signed into law by Governor Phil Bryant last spring, HB 1523 would enable Mississippi officials and service providers, such as doctors or store owners, to recuse themselves from serving LGBT individuals on the basis of three specific religious beliefs about gay marriage, transgender individuals, and sex before marriage. Plaintiffs in "Campaign for Southern Equality v. Bryant (CSE III)" argued that HB 1523, by protecting three specific religious beliefs above all others, is unprecedented and violates the First Amendment’s guarantee that government cannot endorse, or establish, religion.

    Continued below:

  • 50. VIRick  |  June 22, 2017 at 4:03 pm

    Campaign for Southern Equality press statement continued:

    HB 1523 would allow public employees, service providers, and business owners in Mississippi to deny treatment, services, and goods to LGBT individuals on the basis of three specific religious beliefs: (1) that marriage can only be between a man and a woman; (2) that sexual intercourse is properly reserved to such a marriage; and (3) that sex is an immutable characteristic that is assigned at birth and cannot change. Thus, a restaurant manager in Jackson, Mississippi who chooses not to “recognize” the marriage of Rev. Hrostowski and her wife would have been empowered under HB 1523 to refuse to seat them together at a table for two on their anniversary, despite the existence of an ordinance prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. HB 1523 also prohibits the state from intervening to protect the best interests of gay or transgender children in the care of adults who may hold one or more of these religious beliefs. And HB 1523 not only allows private citizens to refuse to provide counseling and psychological treatment on the basis of the three specific religious beliefs in clear violation of professional ethical guidelines—it also permits state employees, including public school guidance counselors, to turn away students desperately in need of support.

    Mississippi is home to 60,000 LGBT adults and an estimated 11,400 transgender youth and adults, according to 2016 data published by the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law. The state is also home to 3,500 same-sex couples, 29 percent of whom are raising children—the highest rate in the nation.….

  • 51. FredDorner  |  June 22, 2017 at 5:43 pm

    "And you can't defer to the court. Because the court never proved it either."

    You're free to whine all you like but so far the courts (including SCOTUS) disagree with you. So your opinion is irrelevant. But if you prefer an alternate analysis, the dumb bigot engaged in sex discrimination based on the relative sex of the couple……exactly as racist Southern Baptist bakers engaged in racial discrimination by refusing service to interracial couples.

  • 52. FredDorner  |  June 22, 2017 at 5:53 pm

    It's hard to see how HB1523 isn't a violation of Romer v Evans, Lawrence v Texas and Obergefell v Hodges. So while I think it won't survive review by SCOTUS, the standing issue is an interesting one in a state which generally doesn't have any protections for sexual orientation or gender identity. So regardless of whether HB1523 was in force that kind of discrimination would generally be legal. But I think the issue here is that the bill specifically targets LGBT folks for harm and that simply isn't permissible under Romer.

  • 53. VIRick  |  June 22, 2017 at 6:11 pm

    Virginia: Prince William School Board Approves LGBT Non-Discrimination Policy

    On Wednesday, 21 June 2017, the Prince William County School Board approved a proposal that would add sexual orientation and gender identity to the district’s non-discrimination policy. The entrenched anti-LGBT bigot, State Del. Bob Marshall (R-Prince William County), and his Democratic opponent for the same seat in the House of Delegates, Danica Roem, who is transgender, were among those who testified prior to the favorable 5-3 vote.

    In a statement, the American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia criticized school board members who also voted in favor of a provision that it said “appears to invite” the district’s superintendent” to “write implementing restrictions that restrict the right of transgender students and employees to choose to use the bathroom that confirms with their gender identity. If the superintendent were to accept the board’s invitation and adopt any such restriction, the rule would violate the constitutional and statutory rights of Prince William students and employees who are transgender — rights the ACLU of Virginia continues to stand ready to defend,” it said.

    Prince William County now joins Arlington, Alexandria, and Fairfax Counties in a bloc in northern Virginia, all with the same sexual orientation and gender identity non-discrimination school policies, one totally in opposition to the school board policy in Gloucester County where the "Grimm" case originated.

  • 54. VIRick  |  June 22, 2017 at 6:57 pm

    Morelos: First Anniversary of Marriage Equality

    Per IMRy TV Morelos and Graco Ramírez, Gobernador del Estado de Morelos:

    A un año de la aprobación del matrimonio igualitario, colocan banderas de la diversidad sexual en Casa Morelos, el edificio historico del sede de gobierno en Cuernavaca.

    One year after the approval of marriage equality, sexual diversity flags are placed on Casa Morelos, the historic government headquarters building in Cuernavaca.

    IMRy TV Morelos – Instituto Morelense de Radio y Televisión
    Graco Ramírez – The current leftist democratic governor who successfully pushed the marriage equality legislation and state constitutional amendment through to fruition.

    Per Graco Ramírez:

    En Morelos, construimos una Sociedad de Derechos, el Matrimonio Igualitario se elevó a rango constitucional y se respeta la diversidad sexual.

    In Morelos, we are building a Society of Rights, where Marriage Equality has been raised to the constitutional level and sexual diversity is respected.

    Graco Ramírez personally tweeted the above message to the Matrimonio Igualitario website, in celebration of the first anniversary.

  • 55. VIRick  |  June 22, 2017 at 7:59 pm

    California Bans State Travel to Four More States over Anti-LGBT Laws

    California has banned state-funded travel to four more states because of their newly-enacted anti-LGBT laws. The announcement, made by California Attorney-General Xavier Becerra in San Francisco this week, doubles the number of banned states from four to eight.

    The banned list, originally put in place by Becerra’s predecessor Kamala Harris, already includes Kansas, Mississippi, North Carolina, and Tennessee. Now, the new additions to that list are Alabama, Kentucky, South Dakota, and Texas.

  • 56. ianbirmingham  |  June 22, 2017 at 8:37 pm

    Montana: New Anti-Trans Ballot Initiative After Legislature Nixes Similar "Potty Bill"

  • 57. Elihu_Bystander  |  June 23, 2017 at 12:02 am

    From the article, "The foundation called the effort a necessary step to protect "the privacy, safety and dignity" of Montana children and help guard against sexual predators."

    Wasn't that the Anita Briant organization's claim in Florida? "Save the Children?"

  • 58. Randomutation  |  June 23, 2017 at 7:47 am

    1)Your claim of “Basic statistical information” is just one more in your long list of unsupported claims. One more unsupported card in your unsupported house of cards.
    2)So you weren’t able to find anything. Just as I thought. And any scraps you could find are so weak you are afraid to post them knowing that they can easily be destroyed. Any alleged “discrimination” would be “discrimination” against those who have celebrations for same sex marriage – parents, other family, friends etc. gay and straight alike. It’s a diverse group – not a protected class.
    3)He did not deny service because he did not “like the idea of those customers being a gay couple who are marrying”. That is just one more bogus claim that you cannot support with any facts. As long as the baker will not service a celebration of same sex marriage for anyone – gay or straight – he is merely rejecting the celebration. And since celebrations are a form of speech, his rejection falls squarely under his right of free speech. His only crime is being politically incorrect.

  • 59. Randomutation  |  June 23, 2017 at 7:52 am

    SCOTUS has not ruled on it yet. So your claim that SCOTUS disagrees with me is bogus.
    And you have your analogy backwards. Refusing to service same sex marriage would be like refusing to service same race marriage. Not a good business model, but not illegal as far as I know.

  • 60. FredDorner  |  June 23, 2017 at 10:45 am

    As I noted, SCOTUS doesn't distinguish between status and conduct in this area.

    And given that marital status, sex and sexual orientation are all protected under CO's public accommodations law, the bigoted baker will continue to lose just as every other dumb bigot has lost in every similar public accommodations case. Your side literally has not won a single case in this area.

  • 61. Zack12  |  June 23, 2017 at 4:34 pm

    Indeed.. there was no way we were going to get a favorable ruling from this panel.

  • 62. Zack12  |  June 23, 2017 at 4:35 pm

    Should be noted this hate group is funded by the Republican who was just elected to Congress from Montana, which makes him an all around bigot.

  • 63. Randomutation  |  June 23, 2017 at 5:06 pm

    Your “SCOTUS doesn't distinguish between status and conduct in this area” is far to vague to be a meaningful justification for your claim that SCOTUS disagrees with me.  Please cite the SCOTUS case you are referring to, and explain how it says something that amounts to disagreeing with me.  Meanwhile if you really want to go down this “status and conduct” path, the “conduct” is that of celebrating same sex marriage.  And the “status” of those who engage in the “conduct”  includes both gay and straight people – parents of same sex couples, other family members, friends, activists etc.  It's a a diverse group, not a protected class.  Virus-free.

  • 64. VIRick  |  June 23, 2017 at 6:25 pm

    I see I can now reply to the first 9 posts on this thread. Here's what I wrote earlier when I could only edit these first handful:

    Note: I can edit a few of these early posts of mine which, as yet, do not have any replies. However, I am unable to reply to any post whatsoever, nor am I able to make a new post.

    I suspect that the sudden appearance of a new troll (or the re-appearance of the same tired, old one) may have a lot to do with this peculiar situation at hand. Oh, yes. All the troll's posts, as well as all the ensuing back and forth, has been deleted, and everything from the 8th post on down to the end of this thread seems as if it has been "frozen." There have been no new posts made for the past 15 hours which haven't otherwise been deleted for having gotten caught up in the cross-fire (edited to note time at 1900 hours EDT). Plus, there are now only 24 posts still remaining in this thread, as opposed to the 60 stated just above.

  • 65. ianbirmingham  |  June 23, 2017 at 11:38 pm

    Altus Air Force Base Hosts LGBT Pride Month Luncheon


  • 66. ianbirmingham  |  June 24, 2017 at 5:45 pm

    After Greens & Left, Maas & SPD also back LGBT+ equality in Germany

  • 67. scream4ever  |  June 25, 2017 at 10:36 am

    Internal talk suggests Malcolm Turnball is getting ready to allow a free vote in the Australian Parliament on the marriage bill:

  • 68. ianbirmingham  |  June 25, 2017 at 3:44 pm

    In Istanbul, Mr. Gay Syria Fears For His Life

  • 69. allan120102  |  June 26, 2017 at 6:51 am

    Breaking Scotus will hear the baking case of Colorado. I smell another 5-4 decision.hopefully it will be on our side.

  • 70. allan120102  |  June 26, 2017 at 6:58 am

    Breaking as expected the case of same sex couples of Arkansas has been reversed. What I didnt expected was the dissent of Thomas,Alito and Gorsuch. If anyone expect Gorsuch lgbt friendly think again.

  • 71. guitaristbl  |  June 26, 2017 at 7:27 am

    Extremely worrying that SCOTUS decided to hear the baker's case. Lets hope Kennedy stays on court next year and rules in our favour. Especially the trio of Alito, Gorsuch, Thomas must have really pushed on that..

    Also kind of symbolic that they granted cert on this so symbolic for the LGBT community date – 2 years since Oergefell, 4 years since Windsor and 14 years since Lawrence.
    On another note we have another pro-LGBT decision on this day with the per curiam reversal in the Arkansas adoption case. Comforting Roberts did not join the dissent.

    Gorsuch wrote the dissent by the way right ? Not surprised. Just read it. Truly laughable – the man has no legal argument to support his position. He just marches on his already stated bigotry and position that the scope of Obergefell is not settled. He is determined to undermine it all the way to its reversal.

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