Petition for cert.
July 9, 2014 4:33 PM   Subscribe

On the same day that a Colorado judge struck down that state's ban on same-sex marriage (pdf), the Utah Attorney General’s Office announced it will take the issue of same-sex couples’ marriage rights back to the Supreme Court, bypassing a 10th Circuit en banc review. All of this news comes just one day after several prominent LGBT groups announced they will no longer support the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, as written, due to the religious exemptions therein. President Obama is facing pressure from religious groups to write a religious exemption into his promised executive order to protect LGBT federal contractors and workers from discrimination.
posted by roomthreeseventeen (43 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite

I love how it's fine to be a discriminating arsehole as long as you're religious
posted by lesbiassparrow at 4:41 PM on July 9 [31 favorites]

Parts of the Colorado opinion were a little confusing because it looks like the Court was summarizing the positions and arguments of the parties and it's not until about page 29 that you see the Court's reasoning.

posted by MoonOrb at 4:42 PM on July 9

But never fear, the HRC's still on board with ENDA (or they were this morning). Is anyone surprised?

/me rolls eyes
posted by hoyland at 4:43 PM on July 9 [11 favorites]

I fucking hate the whole religious "liberty" rationale for undermining legal protections. It's just another reason to discriminate, and if (when?) they could get away with it, that argument is tailor-made to gut the Civil Rights Act.
posted by zombieflanders at 4:48 PM on July 9 [12 favorites]

Oh, and RIP to ENDA. Alito et al can go DIAF for running down individual freedom in the name of corporate personhood.
posted by zombieflanders at 4:50 PM on July 9 [1 favorite]

I partially understand some of the religious freedom arguments involved in the hobby lobby and other cases, but I don't understand the exemption for federal contractors at all.

Unless the government is forcing a business to provide it service, the religious freedom is already there -- contractors are welcome to find another client to do business with if they don't like the client's rules.

And if there are no other clients, that's an admission the service provided is really a de facto government function/agency and therefore should be nobody's private domain subject to personal religious claims.
posted by weston at 4:51 PM on July 9 [12 favorites]

I love how religious exemptions are complete arbitrary bullshit. Like oh yeah, how Mormons are allowed to practice plural marriage.
posted by latkes at 4:52 PM on July 9 [2 favorites]

nah man religious exemptions are great, huitzilopochtli demands a sacrifice of my enemies and i've got a list

i bet i can even get a tax deduction on these awesome obsidian knives
posted by elizardbits at 4:58 PM on July 9 [43 favorites]

what do you mean that's not how it works
posted by elizardbits at 4:58 PM on July 9 [32 favorites]

A college I attended got in on that letter (article) and it was controversial among some more liberal students and alumni. The school President, new since I attended, didn't even seem to have a clear need for the exemption, he just wanted to "stand up" for liberty. Fucking bullshit.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 5:03 PM on July 9

You can't hold a man down without staying down with him.

- Booker T. Washington
posted by Benny Andajetz at 5:17 PM on July 9 [13 favorites]

Oh, and \o/ for Coloradans.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 5:40 PM on July 9

But never fear, the HRC's still on board with ENDA (or they were this morning). Is anyone surprised?

So very, very un.

Haven't many, many religious organizations and people argued over the years that being gay is a choice? And if we didn't want to be discriminated against in housing or employment or child custody cases or etc. we could just, you know, change! And if not, well, we could just not practice our sexuality - we could be it, but not do it. Oh, and stay in the closet. That was okay, too.

Is there any reason not to throw these arguments right back in the face of of these yutzes who are insisting they need religious exemptions? Talk about "special rights"! Jesus wept.
posted by rtha at 6:05 PM on July 9 [15 favorites]

If I recall correctly, a lot of people came to this country specifically to escape state-sponsored religion. Joke's on them, I guess.
posted by tommasz at 6:28 PM on July 9 [2 favorites]

We're a theocracy to a shockingly large percentage of the population. It's sad this isn't surprising.
posted by glaucon at 6:51 PM on July 9 [3 favorites]

Our people came here to escape state-sponsored religion and we're still fighting.

just...not against the anglicans anymore. except for parking on sunday.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 7:03 PM on July 9 [2 favorites]

I hate being right about shit. I was hoping I was just turning into a crank when it started looking like this was the game plan. I think at this point, it makes sense to view American democracy as having fallen to a hostile takeover from within. The closely-held powers that be have systematically stripped away all the public aspects of public life in the US to avoid being held accountable to laws meant to keep people from discriminating. It's an astonishingly subtle and sinister trick that's been pulled on all of us. I might even think it was brilliant if it weren't so shortsighted and ultimately self-defeating.

Now all the little baby gods made out of law are ganging up on and dismembering the papa god made out of law before they throw the whole mess into Tartarus. We've reached the point where the only comparisons that seem to fit our legal system are tragic Greek myths.
posted by saulgoodman at 7:22 PM on July 9 [6 favorites]

(In practice, at least, it could be worse, because there are fortunately still plenty of good people left in the US to keep things running reasonably well despite the poor condition of current law.)
posted by saulgoodman at 7:42 PM on July 9

At least, I hope so because that's all we've really got.
posted by saulgoodman at 7:46 PM on July 9

Our people came here to escape state-sponsored religion and we're still fighting.

Really? I thought some of our forefathers and foremothers came here to establish a DIFFERENT state-sponsored religion.
posted by oneswellfoop at 7:56 PM on July 9 [2 favorites]

they came to party down and eat turkey and fight with their families
posted by elizardbits at 8:45 PM on July 9 [2 favorites]

Keep your god off my country.
posted by jefflowrey at 9:22 PM on July 9

Still waiting for that time when some white supremacist True Believer decides to use HIS religious beliefs to openly deny employment to Jews and blacks.

That's the corner we're slowly backing ourselves into.
posted by hippybear at 10:13 PM on July 9 [1 favorite]

"Keep the children away from me, bro."
"Eww, lepers. Sick."
"Get Mary and the other prostitutes out a here. Bros before hoes, dude"
-Jesus Christ. Constantly discriminating against sinners and undesirables.
posted by munchingzombie at 10:58 PM on July 9 [2 favorites]

Can I have a church of atheism so I get some rights too?
posted by Belle O'Cosity at 1:17 AM on July 10 [3 favorites]

So don't discriminate, unless you think it's ok to discriminate, in which case it's fine. Wow what an effective law.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 4:52 AM on July 10 [5 favorites]

I love how religious exemptions are complete arbitrary bullshit. Like oh yeah, how Mormons are allowed to practice plural marriage

I'll assume you are referring to the portion of the Utah bigamy law that was struck down last year. The only change is how they no longer equate cohabitation to marriage. Plural marriage is still illegal.
posted by popaopee at 7:09 AM on July 10

No. I'm talking about how historically there was large scale political repression by the US Government toward Mormons due in significant part to their practice of "plural marriage" despite prevailing laws disallowing it.

I'm saying the government is totally arbitrary in who it allows "religious exemption" to, meaning, some people can break the law because their religion dictates it, others cannot.
posted by latkes at 8:18 AM on July 10

It's not difficult. The government allows religious exemptions to the religions it approves of. Mormon bigamy? Nuh uh. Jehovah's Witnesses against blood transfusions? Compelling state interest. Evangelicals don't want to serve or hire gay people? A-OK.
posted by Ben Trismegistus at 9:34 AM on July 10 [1 favorite]

How about someone in the USA starting the Church of Anti-Bigotry?

watch conservative heads asplode
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 10:30 AM on July 10

Salem [MA] terminates contract with Gordon College due to non-compliance with City’s Non-Discrimination Ordinance
In response to Gordon College President D. Michael Lindsay’s recent actions in support of an exemption from federal regulations that bar employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, as well as the current policies at Gordon College that require strict adherence to behavioral standards for students, faculty and staff that are discriminatory towards LGBT individuals, Mayor Kim Driscoll sent a letter to President Lindsay this morning notifying him and his Board of Trustees of the City’s termination of their management contract of Old Town Hall due to the institution’s non-compliance with the City of Salem’s fully LGBT-inclusive Non-Discrimination Ordinance.

“I am truly disappointed in the stance you have taken, which plainly discriminates against the rights of LGBT individuals, both on and off campus,” said Mayor Driscoll in the letter to President Lindsay. “These actions fly in the face of the City of Salem’s Non-Discrimination Ordinance, which prohibits our municipality from contracting with entities that maintain discriminatory practices. While I respect your rights to embed religious values on a private college campus, religious freedom does not afford you the right to impose those beliefs upon others and cannot be extended into a publicly owned facility or any management contract for a publicly owned facility, like Old Town Hall. Moreover, I hope you realize how hurtful and offensive these “behavioral standards” are to members of the greater Salem LGBT community, some of whom are Gordon alumni, staff and/or students.”
posted by rtha at 11:49 AM on July 10 [1 favorite]

Colorado Judge says clerks can still issue marriage licenses.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 3:57 PM on July 10 [2 favorites]

Colorado Judge says clerks can still issue marriage licenses.

There are a lot of county clerks who have been extremely awesome in the push for marriage equality. The county clerk in Boulder who basically said "fuck it, I'm marrying same sex couples, go to court to stop me if you want", the two from Denver who are quoted in that article ("Denver Clerk and Recorder Debra Johnson described the news as 'awesome. Finally, we can give out marriage licenses to all loving couples.'"), the clerk in New Mexico who also essentially said "fuck it, if state law doesn't say I can't issue licenses to same sex couples, then I'm going to", and plenty of clerks in other states who kept offices open late or over weekends to get as many people married as possible before the rulings were stayed.
posted by Blue Jello Elf at 5:29 PM on July 10 [3 favorites]

If they're ever successful in turning these United States into a theocracy, as is apparently the intent, a whole lot of people are going to be shocked when their exact flavor of Christianity isn't the officially supported one.
posted by LastOfHisKind at 6:03 PM on July 10 [1 favorite]

That Boulder County Clerk wasn't even the first one to issue same sex marriage licenses.

You have to go back to 1975...
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 7:53 AM on July 11 [1 favorite]

So that's how many petitions for cert for the next SCOTUS term now?

also \o/ Utah!
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 7:20 PM on July 11

Executive order, no exemption:

WASHINGTON — President Obama plans to sign an executive order on Monday that protects gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender employees from discrimination by companies that do federal government work, fulfilling a promise to a crucial Democratic constituency, White House officials said on Friday. But the directive will not exempt religious groups, as many of them had sought.
posted by rtha at 9:38 PM on July 18 [1 favorite]

4th Circuit appeals court has upheld the federal judge who ruled against the Virginia ban. Not clear if this applies to the rest of the circuit yet (West Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina.)
posted by tavella at 11:17 AM on July 28

And the opinion appears to apply to the entire Fourth Circuit--a footnote early in the opinion explains that NC, SC, and WV have similar laws and a WV case was stayed pending the outcome of Bostic v. Schaefer.
posted by MoonOrb at 11:37 AM on July 28

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