The Battle Between Religious Freedom and LGBTQ Rights Continues

This term, the clash between freedom of speech and LGBTQ rights continues as the Supreme Court is slated to hear oral arguments in 303 Creative LLC v. Elenis. The following question is before the Court: Whether applying a public-accommodation law to compel an artist to speak or stay silent violates the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment.

Lorie Smith is the owner and founder of 303 Creative LLC, a graphic design firm that offers graphic and website design services to the public. Smith wishes to expand her portfolio to include wedding-related services. However, Smith refuses to design websites for same-sex weddings on the ground that it violates her religious beliefs. She claims that offering wedding-related services to non-heterosexual couples “would compromise [her] Christian witness and tell a story about marriage that contradicts God’s true story of marriage – the very story He is calling [her] to promote.”

Smith wants to post a message on her business page explaining her wedding service policy, but the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act (“CADA”) prohibits businesses open to the public from discriminating on the basis of a protected characteristic, including sexual orientation. Further, CADA includes a Communications Clause that prohibits businesses from posting a notice that indicates that goods or services will be denied to an individual based on a protected characteristic. Smith brought this action to challenge CADA’s constitutionality.

Lots of tough questions asked of folks who feel they have a “God-given” right to discriminate against fellow citizens of the GOUSA.

Borderland Ministries

Ana Reza has served as bridge chaplain for the Rio Grande Borderland Ministries of the Episcopal Diocese of the Rio Grande for about three years.

The bridge chaplain moves back and forth between the U.S. and Mexico to greet incoming asylum seekers or immigrants seeking legal entry into the U.S.

“I do want people to know how grateful we are in everything we’ve done so far and we look forward to build new relationships and to continue to build the new relationships we have now,” Reza said. “The need is there…”

“It’s a lot of work. Pray for us that we be able to continue to provide a safe space because if it wasn’t for the shelters, Border Patrol would just drop them off at the airport and we see how that’s going,” Reza said.

There is a government-run shelter in Las Cruces with 29 staff members that just received about $1 million in FEMA funds, Reza said.

“I think that’s a healthier way to run things,” Reza said. “That’s a good model that our government needs to have a place where we, as pastoral people, can go and be pastoral to the people instead of running the shelter barely and as a manager my volunteers who volunteer to stay the night, have a better chance of interacting than I do because I’m just moving around making sure everything is moving along.”

Many of the people Reza spoke to who are seeking asylum in the U.S. came from situations that were unsafe and getting worse and the family decided they wanted a better life in the U.S.

The kind of Christians I grew up with, the church I belonged to when I was a kid, many of the nicest folks I know in this life of mine – often we march to the beat of the same drummer. We may think we hear differences; but, often, what counts most over time are the similarities.

Moody’s withdraws TWITTER’s previous credit ratings because of “insufficient information”


..Issuer: Twitter, Inc.

…. Corporate Family Rating, Withdrawn, previously rated B1, and Under Review for Downgrade
…. Probability of Default Rating, Withdrawn, previously rated B1-PD and Under Review for Downgrade
….Senior Unsecured Regular Bond/Debenture, Withdrawn, previously rated B1 (LGD4), and Under Review for Downgrade

Outlook Actions:

..Issuer: Twitter, Inc.

….Outlook, Changed To Rating Withdrawn From Rating Under Review


Moody’s has decided to withdraw the ratings because it believes it has insufficient or otherwise inadequate information to support the maintenance of the ratings…

Um, OK.

You may get Moody’s Gateway Guardian if you click our link. Just scroll to the bottom of their crap and click “agree” to read the whole document.

Keep an eye on these bills in Congress!

I rarely use this blog time and space to press for bills walking their potential way through Congress. Today’s update newsletter from CFI notes a few bills making progress and I feel they’re worth supporting.

The Respect for Marriage Act (S. 4556) has already passed the House of Representatives and would be awaiting a similar result in the Senate. This Act codifies federal protections for same-sex marriage in the face of considerable religious opposition. That’s why OPP [Office of Consumer Protection from Pseudoscience] supported the bill and called on readers to take action by contacting their Senator earlier this fall.

The Ensuring Access to Abortion Act (H.R. 8297), prohibits state law-based interference with a person’s ability to access out-of-state abortion services. This too passed in the House in July, despite religion-based opposition to reproductive choice.

The Women’s Health Protection Act (H.R. 8296) similarly anchors the right to abortion care in federal law. It has passed in the House and awaits a Senate vote.

The Right to Contraception Act (H.R. 8373) codifies the right to access birth control free from religious or political interference. It passed in the House in July and is up for a Senate vote.

Folks at CFI and many more conscientious and thoughtful individuals of the Progressive persuasion are busy with continued support for these small steps. I hope you will consider doing the same.

10 years ago today

I knew you were ready to die.

We carried you in a blanket out into the courtyard to feel the day, breezes and distant barking, birdsong,
all the smells and scent of bosque and prairie
this place once was.

We knew you were ready to die.

Sitting beside you unable to stand waiting for Doctor Heidi
waiting for the end.

You knew you couldn’t get up, stand unassisted any longer. Rested, filled with a dozen shared years.
Peaceful. Calm.

You left me alone, today
and if I were wholly alone, I would follow.

I would follow you into death and darkness knowing there is nothing there for either of us. Memories remaining here for others.

The years we spent together as companions
especially our walks defined by sight and sound and smell, this prairie, this high desert all round us –
filled a certain need recognized by ancient genes.

A need described before we discovered language. And this would be a good day to die.

You left me alone, today
and if I were wholly alone, I would follow.

I would follow you into death and darkness; but, there is a light here –

Helen is the light
she is more than a companion.

She is the best part of my life.

Helen has become the love that joins all our emotions, the star that found you one morning.

And this would be a good day to live. A little while longer.

My own step slows along the path we walked together.