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Supreme Court about to legalize discrimination

It’s more than likely the case that the Supreme Court is about to legalize anti-Gay discrimination in the name of free speech and/or religious freedom. The case arises out of the refusal of a baker to make a wedding cake for a gay couple. It’s terribly unfair, he says, that he should be asked to use his creative talents to create a piece of art endorsing something to which Jack Philips, the baker’s owner, is opposed:

“It’s more than just a cake,” he said at his bakery. “It’s a piece of art in so many ways.”

The government, Phillips contends, should not be allowed to compel him to endorse a message at odds with his beliefs.

“I’m being forced to use my creativity, my talents and my art for an event — a significant religious event — that violates my religious faith,” he said.

via The Boston Globe

In any other legal era this argument wouldn’t carry the least bit of water, but given the present Supreme Court, it’s likely to win.

What is never mentioned in these articles, even by the people who are opposing these pernicious claims, is the fact that this is really just a foot in the door. Gays are an easy target, because 1) they are gays, and 2) the law is still unsettled with respect to them on a number of points.

But this argument, if trusted home, destroys all civil rights laws. If Mr. Philips can’t be expected to create his “art”on behalf of gays, what’s to say he can’t withhold it if the couple is interracial, or interdenominational, or choosing to say their vows before a justice of the piece or an Imam rather than a Christian cleric? This definition of speech is so broad that it’s hard to see what services are not covered. Why should a chef be required to implicitly approve of the idea of black people eating in the same restaurant as white people by being required to cook for them, which is every bit as much speech as baking a cake?

The argument is that the state can’t force one to “endorse a message at odds with [one’s] beliefs”. If I don’t believe that a person should be allowed to eat in my restaurant or sleep in my hotel, or work in my corporation because of the color of their skin, or their religious preference, etc., then this argument implies that I need not serve or hire them, as that would be an endorsement of the view that such people should be allowed to mix with good Christian white people.

This argument waits in the wings. The folks advancing these legal arguments play the long game. The racists on the court, see all this coming, but they realize too that it must be done, as the wicked witch said, “Slowly”.

It is an irony of our times that while the court expands this sham right to speech, it simultaneously restricts the fundamental right to speech: the right to express one’s political preferences at the ballot box.

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