The U.S. Supreme Court Monday morning handed down a ruling in the case brought by a Colorado baker who refused to bake a wedding cake for a same-sex couple, citing his Christian beliefs.
Many initial reactions from pro- and anti-gay observers and groups have been wide ranging, and many have been wrong. (Perhaps most of all, Donald Trump Jr.’s, but more on that later.)
Here are five of the most important things you need to know about the Supreme Court’s ruling in Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd., et al. v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission et al:
1. The ruling does not allow discrimination against same-sex couples, LGBT people, or anyone else. It changes no laws and sets no precedents.
2. The ruling applies to one person only: Jack Phillips, the anti-gay Christian baker. Again, it does not set precedent, it cannot be used by others to discriminate against anyone. Period.
3. The only “person” the ruling is against is the Colorado commission that ruled against the baker – and not because of the commission’s overall conclusion, that Phillips engaged in unlawful discrimination. The Supreme Court’s 7-2 ruling says that the commission acted with “hostility,” in this one case, against Phillips.
4. The Court’s ruling calls for Americans to find a way to be tolerant towards each other, respecting the rights of gay people and the rights of people of faith. (It does not state those are two opposing groups.)
5. If anything, the Supreme Court’s ruling is in part a win for the LGBT community and supporters of equality. Here’s the key passage from the Court’s majority opinion: “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.”
You will no doubt see huge proclamations of victory from the anti-gay right. If they say anything other than what’s above, chances are good they’re false.
For more, read: “SUPREME COURT HANDS DOWN ANTI-GAY RULING – FOR ONE WEDDING CAKE BAKER.”
Will we ever know how much money Trump and his family squeezed out of his presidency?
Welcome to another edition of What Fresh Hell?, Raw Story’s roundup of news items that might have become controversies under another regime, but got buried – or were at least under-appreciated – due to the daily firehose of political pratfalls, unhinged tweet storms and other sundry embarrassments coming out of the current White House.
Four years ago, a victorious Donald Trump insisted that he had only lost the popular vote due to widespread fraud while raising tens of millions of dollars for his inauguration. Now, as his baseless, often goofy lawsuits get laughed out of courtroom after courtroom, a defeated Trump and his allies are raising tens of millions of dollars from his easily-enraged MAGA base to "stop the steal." And the lion's share of the $207 million Trump has raised since the election hasn't been spent on his legal campaign, but will instead fund his new political slush fund, among other things.
Critics pile on #DesperateDonald for last second demand Georgia’s governor override the will of the voters
Reaction to Donald Trump's reported call on Saturday morning to Gov. Brian Kemp (R-GA) asking him to force the state's Republican-majority legislature to overturn the election so Trump can rake in Georgia's 16 Electoral College votes ranged from accusations of sedition to ridicule with the president dubbed "#DesperateDonald."
According to the Washington Post, "Hours before he was scheduled to hold a rally in Georgia on behalf of the state’s two GOP senators, Trump pressed Kemp to call a special session of the state legislature to get lawmakers to override the results and appoint electors that would back him, according to a person familiar with the conversation.”
How the MAGA crowd is motivated by Trump the fascist artist
More than eighty years ago, a then-obscure German philosopher wrote an essay that foresaw the essential reason behind President Donald Trump's enduring political appeal. His name was Walter Benjamin; born to a Jewish family in Berlin, Benjamin was present for a pivotal moment in history, and watched Hitler rise to power. By the time he wrote his most famous essay, he was an exile living in France amidst financial hardships, having recognized that the Reichstag fire three years earlier signified that the Nazis had achieved total power in Germany.
This article first appeared in Salon.