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6 June 2018

Special Edition 183

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Supreme Court sides with Christian baker who refused to do gay "wedding" cake

WASHINGTON, D.C., June 4, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) - In a major religious liberty victory, the United States Supreme Court has ruled 7-2 that
the government may not force Christian business owners to participate in same-sex "weddings."

The Court determined the Christian business owner in question, Jack Phillips of Masterpiece Cakeshop, did not get fair hearing with
the Colorado Civil Rights Commission after he declined to make a cake for a gay "wedding."
Pro-family and pro-LGBT advocates were closely watching the case, Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, as it will have
enormous ramifications for the implementation of same-sex "marriage" in the U.S. three years after the Court imposed it on the country.
The Court determined Phillips' unfair hearing violated the Constitution's "Free Exercise" of religion clause. The seven justices all essentially
agreed that the Civil Rights Commission hadn't treated Phillips' Christian faith with neutrality.
In a major surprise, Justice Anthony Kennedy, known for his sympathy to the LGBT cause, authored the main opinion, to which Justices Roberts,
Breyer, Alito, Kagan, and Gorsuch joined. Justices Kagan and Breyer wrote their own opinions as well.
Justices Gorsuch and Alito wrote an opinion together. Justice Thomas, joined by Justice Gorsuch, wrote an opinion of his own.
The only two to dissent were Justices Sotomayor and Ginsburg.
"The free speech aspect of this case is difficult, for few persons who have seen a beautiful wedding cake might have thought of its creation as
an exercise of protected speech," the Court wrote in its majority opinion.
"This is an instructive example, however, of the proposition that the application of constitutional freedoms in new contexts can deepen our
understanding of their meaning."
"Whatever the confluence of speech and free exercise principles might be in some cases, the Colorado Civil Rights Commission's consideration of this
case was inconsistent with the State's obligation of religious neutrality," the Court continued.
"The reason and motive for the baker's refusal were based on his sincere religious beliefs and convictions... It is proper to hold that
whatever the outcome of some future controversy involving facts similar to these, the Commission's actions here violated the
Free Exercise Clause; and its order must be set aside."
"The Civil Rights Commission's treatment of [Phillips'] case has some elements of a clear and impermissible hostility toward the sincere
religious beliefs that motivated his objection"to baking the cake for the homosexual ceremony, Kennedy's majority opinion states.
Ginsburg and Sotomayor wrote that they believe "a refusal to sell any wedding cake to a gay couple should occasion affirmance of the Colorado
Court of Appeals' judgment" against Christian bakers.
Kagan and Breyer's opinion noted Colorado sided with bakers who refused to create a cake opposing gay "marriage," but that the state wouldn't
side with bakers who refused to celebrate gay "marriage" with their work.
Justices Thomas argued in his concurring opinion that wedding cakes are expressive and therefore protected speech.
"The Court has said 7-2 that the Constitution requires us all to try and get along," said Mark Rienzi, president of the pro-religious
freedom law firm Becket. "There is room enough in our society for a diversity of viewpoints, and that includes respecting religious beliefs too.
The decision is a strong message to governments across the country that they must respect - rather than punish - religious diversity on important issues."

Battle over forced baking of gay cakes began in 2012

Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission stemmed from a 2012 incident in which a homosexual couple sought a wedding cake from
Phillips' Masterpiece Cakeshop in Lakewood, Colorado. Phillips declined, citing his religious convictions, and referred the couple to another
area baker willing to bake their cake.
But instead of taking Phillips'accomodation and moving on, Charlie Craig and David Mullins filed a discrimination complaint with the
Colorado Civil Rights Division, which deemed him guilty of violating state anti-discrimination laws and ordered "re-education"
for Phillips and his employees.
Phillips appealed the decision, lost before the Colorado Court of Appeals, and eventually convinced the nation's highest court to hear the case.
The pro-homosexual Human Rights Campaign marshalled numerous corporations and food-industry personalities to weigh in against him.
"I'm happy to sell a cake to anyone, whatever his or her sexual identity," Phillips explained in a USA Today op-ed last December.
However, cake design is inherently expressive, "a message telling all who see it that this event is a wedding and that it is an occasion for celebration."
"What a cake celebrating this event would communicate was a message that contradicts my deepest religious convictions, and as an artist,
that's just not something I'm able to do, so I politely declined," he declared.
"But this wasn't just a business decision. More than anything else, it was a reflection of my commitment to my faith."
The Trump administration also intervened in the case, filing an amicus brief urging the court to side with Phillips.
"In the view of the United States, a [...] First Amendment intrusion occurs where a public accommodations law compels someone to create expression for
a particular person or entity and to participate, literally or figuratively, in a ceremony or other expressive event," the brief argued.
Alliance Defending Freedom attorney Kristen Waggoner represented Phillips in oral arguments, noting that the court "has never compelled artistic
expression, and doing so here would lead to less civility, diversity, and freedom for everyone, no matter their views on marriage."
Observers noted at the time that left-wing Justices Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor predictably signaled their hostility to Phillips' argument,
while left-leaning swing vote Justice Anthony Kennedy sent mixed signals in his questioning.
Justices Kagan and Breyer wrote in their concurring opinion: "Colorado can treat a baker who discriminates based on sexual orientation differently
from a baker who does not discriminate on that or any other prohibited ground. But only, as the Court rightly says, if the State's decisions
are not infected by religious hostility or bias."
For months, rumors have persisted that Anthony Kennedy intends to retire before the end of the year. This would give the president an opportunity
to appoint another Supreme Court Justice, theoretically establishing a clear conservative majority on the court.
The ruling will have a profound impact on religious liberty across the United States. Phillips is just one of many Christian small business owners,
from bakers and florists to photographers and venue providers, whom LGBT activists have attempted to force to provide services for same-sex "weddings,"
with varying degrees of success.
The tactic is part of LGBT activists' broader strategy of pressuring dissenters into compliance rather than persuading them via arguments.
But while the LGBT lobby has had great success in recent years enacting pro-homosexual laws and blocking religious liberty protections,
there is some evidence that their cultural offensive is having an unintended drawback.
In March, GLAAD found that America's LGBT acceptance has actually begun to decrease, despite public support for same-sex "marriage" previously
reaching historic heights.

Image from a Facebook member's page

Radical Taxpayer-funded Program Promoting Homosexuality and Gender Confusion to Children as Young as 11.

As reported in Coober Pedy News Special Edition no. 166, February 2016

There have been media reports last week about the controversial Safe Schools Coalition
Australia (SSCA) program.
It claims to be an "anti-bullying" program, but it is far from safe for all students.

Disturbingly, SSCA material (promoted in nearly 500 schools across Australia) teaches children:
      to imagine (at age 11) that they are 16 and going out with a person of
the same sex that they are "really into";
      to use toilets and change rooms based on the gender kids "feel" they are, regardless of their
actual biology;
      that asking whether a newborn baby is a boy or a girl reinforces a "heteronormative worldview";
      chest binding for girls who feel they are boys (despite potential injury);
      penis tucking for boys who feel they are girls (despite potential injury);
      to advocate for "same-sex marriage" (resulting in bullying of kids who support natural marriage).
It also provides misleading statistics, including the debunked claim that 10% of people
are same-sex attracted.
Our schools are meant to be places of safety and learning, not to promote dangerous, divisive and
age-inappropriate sexual content.
This program should be de-funded immediately.
In recent weeks, Jerome Appleby from the National Office of FamilyVoice Australia,
a Christian voice for family, faith and freedom, was able to present open letters against
the program, signed by more than 14,000 Australians, to then Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss.
FamilyVoice Australia wants to ensure the removal of this dangerous program from all state and
territory education systems.
You can help stop the Safe Schools program by contacting your local
state or territory MPs, via this website:
whereby you can send your message to all of them.

Don't Be Fooled: this is what the SAFE SCHOOLS program is REALLY about

Wrong even if it were made Law

The heading above is the English translation of the Italian words in the banner in the photo.
Now that same-sex "marriage" is legal in Australia, a statement such as "Wrong even if it were made law" is out of date.
So to make it current, it would have to read "Wrong even it it has been made Law", which in Italian would be:

"Sbagliato, anche se e stato fatto legge"

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