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Old 02-13-2018, 12:06 PM
doreen doreen is offline
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Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Woodhaven,Queens, NY
Posts: 5,813
I don't think anyone here believes that sexual orientation is a suspect class at the Federal level. But that's not really the question in any of these cases. The question is whether and to what extent state and local governments can prohibit discrimination against groups who are not suspect classes under Federal law. The thing is though, I don't think it makes much of a difference to the people on either side of the debate whether it's a free speech issue or a religious freedom issue or whether sexual orientation is a suspect class at the Federal level.

The free speech vs. religion issue might make a difference to some of those who believe the baker should not be able to refuse to bake a pre-designed cake for the gay couple because it's entirely possible for someone to believe that any speech is in the designing, not the baking. But I truly don't believe it matters to anyone whether sexual orientation is a suspect class for Federal purposes. It clearly doesn't matter to those who believe that state and local governments should be able to protect groups that aren't protected Federally. But I don't think for one moment that those who believe the baker's rights are being violated are going to suddenly be OK with it if SCOTUS decides anything other than that these bakers do not have to bake these cakes.

It doesn't matter what SCOTUS decides- if they decide that the situations in these cases don't qualify as speech, if they decide that the state/local governments have a compelling interest in ending discrimination on this basis, whatever - those people are not just going to say " Well, now that SCOTUS has said it's legal for a state to require a baker not to discriminate against same-sex couples, I'm fine with it."