ASSOCIATE JUSTICE RUTH BADER GINSBURG’S “PANDORA’S BOX” IS WIDE OPEN
“WE THE PEOPLE” REMAIN CONFUSED OVER BIBLE AND 14TH AMENDMENT
Mississippi is the latest state of these United States of America to legislate discrimination based on “closely held religious beliefs” (and moral conscience) now that governor Phil Bryant (R- of course) has signed the “Protecting Freedom of Conscience from Government Discrimination Act” into law. In a bit of twisted, if inadvertent irony, Mississippi’s Lt. Gov., Tate Reeves (R-of course) stated the following:
“In the wake of last year’s U.S. Supreme Court decision, many Mississippians, including pastors, wanted protections to exercise their religious liberties. This bill simply protects those individuals from government interference when practicing their religious beliefs.”
Just in case you missed it: this government official says that the state government's law enacting lawful discrimination by private businesses is protecting business owners from discrimination based on religious beliefs. Wasn't there something in the Constitution that forbids governments from enacting any law that promoted religion? I must be wrong.
So the Mississippi State Legislature’s new law makes it okay for bakeries to refuse to sell wedding cakes to gay men or a photography studio to refuse to take pictures at a lesbian wedding or a bed and breakfast owner to refuse accommodations to LGBT couples if such owners firmly believe that their ability to practice their religion is impeded. Right. (NOTE: Not sure how B&B owners will determine this: Hidden cameras maybe? Non-LGBT disclosure forms at registration? )
And, as Associate Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg predicted in her dissenting opinion in the 2013 Burwell vs. Hobby Lobby case, the sanctioning of discriminatory practices based on the “closely held religious beliefs” of private citizens would result in a Pandora’s box of similar such claims. Mississippi’s newly minted anti-LGBT is based on (you could have guessed this) protecting “sincerely held religious beliefs and moral convictions.” The Hobby Lobby decision was based on the "closely held" religious belief concerning contraception, the Hobby Lobby owners don’t believe in it, but now this “closely held” concept has expanded to include a much broader range of religious and moral convictions. Just as Justice Ginsberg predicted.
The next closely held religious belief on deck? I’m thinking the Bible’s prohibition against multi-fabric clothing blends. Or maybe it’s the prohibition against consuming shellfish. Or possibly just working on the Sabbath. I can imagine the lawsuits that would flow from a class action suit of believers against Netflix or Apple by employees who invoke this Biblical prohibition. But the one I’m truly waiting for is the closely held religious belief to practice incest. Yes, that ‘s right. INCEST! The Bible actually does condone incest under certain conditions. (See Genesis 19: 30 -36). This one ought to rile the true believers like nothing else.
Here’s a couple of cogent parts of Justice’s Ginsberg’s lengthy dissent: Ginsburg wrote that her five male colleagues, "in a decision of startling breadth," would allow corporations to opt out of almost any law that they find "incompatible with their sincerely held religious beliefs." And: "Would the exemption…extend to employers with religiously grounded objections to blood transfusions (Jehovah's Witnesses); antidepressants (Scientologists); medications derived from pigs, including anesthesia, intravenous fluids, and pills coated with gelatin (certain Muslims, Jews, and Hindus); and vaccinations[?]…Not much help there for the lower courts bound by today's decision."
IN OTHER NEWS:
NORTH CAROLINA’S NEWLY ENACTED ANTI-LGBT BATHROOM LAW FACING PUSHBACK
PayPal rescinded it’s expansion plans for a new $3.6 million center in North Carolina with a concomitant loss of 400 jobs in the state. Me? I added $100 to my PayPal account yesterday just to show my support. As of today, some 120 companies have demanded that the North Carolina State Legislature repeal its “Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act.” In contrast, when California’s Proposition 8 (banning same sex marriage) was passed eight years ago in 2008, only five companies formally objected. So times have changed. At least for the non-radical religious communities that us non-closely held belief believers (or not) live in. It is the Twenty First Century, after all.
And here’s why:
A recent survey by the Public Religion Research Institute found that 71% of Americans support laws that would protect LGBT people. The Pew Research Center found that 55% of the American people support same sex marriage. The same survey found that 70% of Millennials were in support. When the Human Rights Campaign established their “Corporate Equality Index” in 2002, 13 companies received a perfect score. Today this figure is 407.
It would appear that “We The Sane People” actually believe in the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America when it states that:
“No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”
I’m guessing that Cruz’s closely held “We The People” supporters probably haven’t read the 14th Amendment or why would they be anti-LGBT? Oh, wait. Here’s why:
TED CRUZ (R-TX) QUOTES:
"Instead of a federal government that works to undermine our values, imagine a federal government that works to defend the sanctity of human life and to uphold the sacrament of marriage."
"We look at the jihad that is being waged right now, in Indiana, and in Arkansas, going after people of faith who respect the biblical teaching that marriage is the union of one man and one woman,"
“If you look at other nations that have gone down the road towards gay marriage, [hate speech is the] next step of where it gets enforced. It gets enforced against Christian pastors who decline to perform gay marriages, who speak out and preach biblical truths on marriage and that has been defined elsewhere as hate speech — as inconsistent with the enlightened view of government.”
“I support traditional marriage. Under President Obama, the federal government has tried to re-define marriage, and to undermine the constitutional authority of each state to define marriage consistent with the values of its citizens,” Cruz said. “The Obama Administration should not be trying to force gay marriage on all 50 states. We should respect the states, and the definition of marriage should be left to democratically elected legislatures, not dictated from Washington."
Any More Questions?
In the words and music of Bill Withers "It's Gonna Be A Lovely Day!"
WELL, EXCEPT FOR THE FACT THAT HERE IN D.C. IT'S BLOODY FREEZING OUTSIDE!