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U.S. Supreme Court backs Christian baker who spurned gay couple - Reuters

* Court says state panel violated baker's religious rights

* Ruling was 7-2, with 2 liberals joining 5 conservatives (Adds details on 2012 incident that triggered the case, Kennedy quote)

By Lawrence Hurley

WASHINGTON, June 4 (Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday handed a victory on narrow grounds to a Colorado Christian baker who refused for religious reasons to make a wedding cake for a gay couple, stopping short of setting a major precedent allowing people to claim exemptions from anti-discrimination laws based on religious beliefs.

The justices, in a 7-2 decision, said the Colorado Civil Rights Commission showed an impermissible hostility toward religion when it found that baker Jack Phillips violated the state's anti-discrimination law by rebuffing gay couple David Mullins and Charlie Craig in 2012. The state law bars businesses from refusing service based on race, sex, marital status or sexual orientation.

The ruling concluded that the commission violated Phillips' religious rights under the U.S. Constitution's First Amendment.

But the justices did not issue a definitive ruling on the circumstances under which people can seek exemptions from anti-discrimination laws based on their religious views. The decision also did not address important claims raised in the case including whether baking a cake is a kind of expressive act protected by the Constitution's free speech guarantee.

Two of the court's four liberals, Stephen Breyer and Elena Kagan, joined the five conservative justices in the ruling authored by Justice Anthony Kennedy, who also was the author of the landmark 2015 decision legalizing gay marriage nationwide.

"The commission's hostility was inconsistent with the First Amendment's guarantee that our laws be applied in a manner that is neutral toward religion," Kennedy wrote.

But Kennedy also stressed the importance of gay rights while noting that litigation on similar issues is likely to continue in lower courts.

"Our society has come to the recognition that gay persons and gay couples cannot be treated as social outcasts or as inferior in dignity and worth," Kennedy wrote.

"The outcome of cases like this in other circumstances must await further elaboration in the courts, all in the context of recognizing that these disputes must be resolved with tolerance, without undue disrespect to sincere religious beliefs, and without subjecting gay persons to indignities when they seek goods and services in an open market," Kennedy added.

The case marked a test for Kennedy, who has authored significant rulings that advanced gay rights but also is a strong advocate for free speech rights and religious freedom.

Of the 50 states, 21 including Colorado have anti-discrimination laws protecting gay people.

The case pitted gay rights against religious liberty. President Donald Trump's administration intervened in the case in support of Phillips.

Mullins and Craig were planning their wedding in Massachusetts in 2012 and wanted the cake for a reception in Colorado, where gay marriage was not yet legal. During a brief encounter at Phillips' Masterpiece Cakeshop in the Denver suburb of Lakewood, the baker politely but firmly refused, leaving the couple distraught.

They filed a successful complaint with the state commission, the first step in the six-year-old legal battle. State courts sided with the couple, prompting Phillips to appeal to the top U.S. court. Phillips has said a backlash against his business has left him struggling to keep the shop afloat.

The case's outcome hinged on the actions of the Colorado commission. In one exchange at a 2014 hearing cited by Kennedy, former commissioner Diann Rice said that "freedom of religion, and religion, has been used to justify all kinds of discrimination throughout history, whether it be slavery, whether it be the Holocaust."

'OPENLY ANTAGONISTIC'

Kennedy noted that the commission had ruled the opposite way in three cases brought against bakers in which the business owners refused to bake cakes containing messages that demeaned gay people or same-sex marriage.

"Government hostility toward people of faith has no place in our society, yet the state of Colorado was openly antagonistic toward Jack's religious beliefs about marriage. The court was right to condemn that," said lawyer Kristen Waggoner of the conservative Christian group Alliance Defending Freedom, which represents Phillips.

Waggoner said the decision "makes clear that the government must respect Jack's beliefs about marriage."

American Civil Liberties Union lawyer Louise Melling, who represents Mullins and Craig, said the high court made it clear that businesses open to the public must serve everyone.

"The court reversed the Masterpiece Cakeshop decision based on concerns unique to the case but reaffirmed its longstanding rule that states can prevent the harms of discrimination in the marketplace, including against LGBT people," Melling added.

The case became a cultural flashpoint in the United States, underscoring the tensions between gay rights proponents and conservative Christians.

Mullins and Craig said Phillips was using his Christian faith as pretext for unlawful discrimination based on sexual orientation. Phillips' lawyers said his cakes are an art form - a "temporary sculpture" - and being forced to create one to commemorate a gay wedding would violate his constitutional rights to free speech and expression and free exercise of religion.

The litigation, along with similar cases around the country, is part of a conservative Christian backlash to the Supreme Court's gay marriage ruling. Phillips and others like him who believe that gay marriage is not consistent with their Christian beliefs have said they should not be required to effectively endorse the practice.

Gay rights advocates said the case is just one part of a bigger struggle seeking greater legal protections for gay, bisexual and transgender people, including in the workplace, even as they fight efforts by conservatives to undermine gains secured in recent years.
 

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TRUMP AGAIN REFUSES TO RECOGNIZE LGBT PRIDE MONTH, BUT STATE DEPARTMENT IS CELEBRATING IT

By Harriet Sinclair On Monday, June 4, 2018 - 09:58


June is LGBT Pride Month. PHOTO: RAUL ARBOLEDA/AFP/GETTY IMAGES

For the second year running, President Donald Trump’s White House has refused to acknowledge LGBT Pride Month, which runs for the whole of June.

In a break with the tradition of the previous president, in 2017 Trump failed to recognize June as LGBT Pride Month, instead issuing five separate proclamations at the end of May choosing to honor Caribbean-American heritage, African-American music, homeownership, the outdoors and the ocean in June.

And this year, he issued the same proclamations, once again leaving out LGBT Pride.

He follows in the footsteps of the George W. Bush, who also did not recognize June as LGBT Pride month. Both Barack Obama and Bill Clinton did choose to celebrate Pride.

Continued @ http://www.newsweek.com/trump-again-refuses-recognize-lgbt-pride-month-state-department-celebrating-956803


How any self-respecting gay individual can support this bigoted clown is beyond me.

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Pride Month isn't something most gays really care about either. In all my years on TF it's barely caught any attention.

Do not use us to feed your TDS.
 

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Pride Month isn't something most gays really care about either. In all my years on TF it's barely caught any attention.
TF is nowhere near representative of the world on any aspect.

Do not use us to feed your TDS.
Your way of saying you're one of 'em, eh; a Trump supporter.


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TF is nowhere near representative of the world on any aspect.



Your way of saying you're one of 'em, eh; a Trump supporter.


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Call me what you like. I actually still believe in like 80% of the socially liberal ideas I used to but you guys are just too out there for me now :shrug:. The fact that you think like 45% (and rising - his approval is rising not falling) of your own country are simply bad people because of who they voted for and think that's a completely rational, righteous point of view is a perfect illustration of what I mean.

Also forgot to say, Obama said marriage was between man and woman, as did Clinton, until the minute it was no longer considered cool to do so. He was just the president when the public opinion had shifted far enough in its favour after many years in the making.
 

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Call me what you like. I actually still believe in like 80% of the socially liberal ideas I used to but you guys are just too out there for me now :shrug:. The fact that you think like 45% (and rising - his approval is rising not falling) of your own country are simply bad people because of who they voted for and think that's a completely rational, righteous point of view is a perfect illustration of what I mean.

Also forgot to say, Obama said marriage was between man and woman, as did Clinton, until the minute it was no longer considered cool to do so. He was just the president when the public opinion had shifted far enough in its favour after many years in the making.
Correct. President Obama served the people, not himself. Glad you realize that.

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I'm happy the Christian bakers won! :inlove: I find it repulsive how some gays viciously want to exercise their newly acquired power for shaming people and trying to bring them down. I am gay and so I am allowed to be critical of their shameful behaviour.
 

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Justifying one's bigotry under the pretext of popular opinion... That's just sad.
As usual you make zero (0) sense. Who's bigotry was justified and how? People change their minds about issues for a variety of reasons and, unless there's something disingenuous about it, you serve no purpose by constantly thrusting their pasts into the forefront. It's damned if you do, damned if you don't with you.

I'm happy the Christian bakers won! :inlove: I find it repulsive how some gays viciously want to exercise their newly acquired power for shaming people and trying to bring them down. I am gay and so I am allowed to be critical of their shameful behaviour.
Based on that logic I look forward to you no longer critiquing Black race-relations because, ya know, you're not Black. :shrug:

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The opening event for pride week in tel Aviv started with a concert of songs

Divas throw the years and opera

I took a video of amazing Grace that closed the night

https://streamable.com/wm5ap
 
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Pride Month isn't something most gays really care about either. In all my years on TF it's barely caught any attention.

Do not use us to feed your TDS.
A - That's BS. You are not representative of most LGBT+ people.
B - that's not at all the point.

TDS = "the condition in which a person is deranged enough to think Trump is fit to be in the WH."
 

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Call me what you like. I actually still believe in like 80% of the socially liberal ideas I used to but you guys are just too out there for me now :shrug:. The fact that you think like 45% (and rising - his approval is rising not falling) of your own country are simply bad people because of who they voted for and think that's a completely rational, righteous point of view is a perfect illustration of what I mean.
No one thinks they're all "bad people." It's a mixture of ignorant people, deluded people, and "bad people." Is it IYO irrational to think that the Germans who voted Hitler into power were much like that?

You're not quite correct claim about President Obama is another example of you reaching for thinks to validate yout TDS.
 

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Justifying one's bigotry under the pretext of popular opinion... That's just sad.
First of all, believing marriage is only valid between a man and a woman doesn't automatically make one bigoted.

Second, it if does then more than 70% of Trump supporters are committed bigots.

Third, one can hold bigoted opinions at one time and then genuinely change.
 

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tel aviv celebrated the pride

i truly dislike all the nudiry there, i dont think it serve or help anyone.

my friends said there were lots of ppl and great vibes





 

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