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.

No reason to believe America’s right-wing will stop at ending Roe vs Wade


Brendan Smialowski/AFP

Washington awoke to a changed political environment on Tuesday. Reproductive-rights groups were in uproar, protesters were camped outside the Supreme Court, and politicians were staking out their positions in reaction to a leaked draft majority opinion from Justice Samuel Alito, which would overturn Roe v. Wade

Prominent Democrats went further and demanded an immediate end to the Senate filibuster, which insures that most types of legislation require sixty votes to pass, and the passage of a federal law defending a woman’s ability to obtain an abortion. “Congress must pass legislation that codifies Roe v. Wade as the law of the land in this country NOW,” Senator Bernie Sanders tweeted on Monday night after Politico published Alito’s draft. “And if there aren’t 60 votes in the Senate to do it, and there are not, we must end the filibuster to pass it with 50 votes.”…

…If the political challenges the Democrats face in eliminating the filibuster remain formidable, the prospect of the Supreme Court’s adopting Alito’s draft ruling has further strengthened the argument for pursuing such a course. When Manchin voted to preserve the sixty-vote rule, he claimed that it “plays an important role in protecting our democracy from the transitory passions of the majority and respecting the input of the minority in the Senate.” But, if Alito and four other conservative Justices vote to overturn nearly fifty years of legal precedent, maintaining the filibuster will serve only to entrench minority rule in the United States…

According to a new Washington Post/ABC News poll, Americans support retaining Roe v. Wade versus overturning it by a majority of roughly two to one. This survey isn’t an outlier: public opinion about abortion rights has remained favorable for decades. What has changed is that Donald Trump, a President who won in the Electoral College but lost the popular tally by almost three million votes, was enabled, through retirements and the happenstance of the mortality tables, to appoint three Justices who have fundamentally altered the balance of the Court and made it an agent of conservative counter-revolution…

RTFA. Educate yourself…even if your elected representatives in Congress continue to ignore your wishes. Just one more reason to quit wasting time on sending them imploring emails. Vote ’em out of office. Stop believing the bullshit lies they deliver in their weekly press conferences. If they do not move every voice and vote to protect Roe vs Wade, they do not deserve to hold Congressional office. This question is as critical as one person, one vote was towards eliminating Federal support for the worst of the racism that infects this nation.

Waking up the NEW LEFT

The New Left emerged independently at two great postwar knowledge factories, the University of Michigan and the University of California at Berkeley. More than a third of their students were in graduate or professional school. Michigan had more contracts with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration than any other university in the country. Berkeley was the main federal contractor for nuclear research, and had more Nobel laureates on its faculty than any other university in the world.

Yeah, I skipped using the first paragraph. Lots of students in the New Left would have agreed 100% with it. In truth, the New Left was late to the dance. Folks, North and South, predominantly Black, had been leading an uprising against American Racism which came to be called the Civil Rights Movement. Lots of grassroots. Urban and rural. Students and workingclass activists alike had been building organizations like SNCC and CORE for a few years before, say, the founding of SDS. And these groups had already begun the reconstruction of an American Left that breached public comprehension with the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom in August, 1963.

I was there as co-founder of my local CORE Chapter along with the other founder, a Black member of one of the biggest UAW locals in Connecticut.

As discussions of New Left analysis grew across the U.S., most of the “welcoming committees” were folks already committed to the civil rights movement. In general, as community-based organizations, we were working class, all colors. And saying that, please, move on and read this article. It is a useful, thoughtful, pretty direct depiction of what the New Left thought of itself and the land where it was born.

Mississippi frat rats pose with their guns before a bullet-riddled civil rights memorial


Click to enlarge

❝ First off, if you haven’t learned about – or are old enough that you should remember and don’t – here’s a link to the tale of Emmett Till. Tortured and murdered by racists in Mississippi in 1955.

❝ Second, here’s an article in ProPublica – the first place I saw mention, today, of an incident involving Ole Miss students posing with their guns in front of a bullet-riddled roadside memorial pointing out the site where Till’s body was discovered in 1955. Not a helluva lot changes in Mississippi, I guess.

This won’t get as much coverage in mainstream media as, say, our fake president’s just-as-evil twin being elected Prime Minister of the barely-United Kingdom of England, etc.by his obedient followers.

Trump’s papier-mache-education flunky cancels 1200+ civil rights probes

❝ Our data analysis shows that the Trump administration is less likely than its predecessor to find wrongdoing by school districts on issues ranging from racial and sexual harassment to meeting educational needs of disabled students…

❝ “This is indicative of how they are now evaluating and handling complaints,” said Kaitlin Banner, a senior attorney with the Advancement Project.

A ProPublica analysis of data on more than 40,000 civil rights cases, obtained through multiple public records requests, bears out Banner’s point. We found that, under Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, the department has scuttled more than 1,200 civil rights investigations that were begun under the Obama administration and lasted at least six months. These cases, which investigated complaints of civil rights violations ranging from discriminatory discipline to sexual violence in school districts and colleges around the country, were closed without any findings of wrongdoing or corrective action, often due to insufficient evidence…and other phony excuses.

This is what anyone who cares about maintaining and improving public education feared. Trump, DeVos, the whole wrecking crew on the racist, class war Right have looked forward to the opportunity handed over by populist chumps in the 2016 election. It doesn’t matter whether your excuse is “stupid” or ignorance or “golly, I never thought anything like this could happen in America” – it is happening and it was predictable. If you voted for Trump? You own it!