Hooray for people who thought “BUT HER EMAILS!” was a good reason not to vote for Hillary Clinton! Donald Trump’s Justice Department has weighed in on a very important case at the Supreme Court, where a bigot cake baker from Colorado is fighting for his God-given right to say “NO CAKES FOR FAGS,” even though such discrimination is illegal under Colorado law. Surprise, the Trump administration is on the side of the bigot cake baker, and not on the side of anti-discrimination laws, because #TrumpsAmerica and also #FuckYou.
Jack Phillips, who owns the Masterpiece Cakeshop in Lakewood, Colorado, has had his ass handed to him by courts several times. The Colorado Court of Appeals ruled that he can’t refuse to make cakes for same-sex weddings because he’s worried Jesus will send him to hell, because discriminating against the act of a same-sex wedding is tantamount to discriminating against gay and lesbian people. The Colorado Supreme Court simply told Phillips to go suck on a cake froster and refused to hear his case entirely.
But now it’s at SCOTUS! This could end badly … or it could end goodly. We just don’t know.
The amicus brief filed by Justice is kinda weird, though. It’s not about how religious people definitely should be able to discriminate against anybody they want, even in public accommodations where they’re providing goods and services. Hate groups like the Family Research Council would love that, but it’s simply not there, as Ian Millhiser points out at Think Progress. It actually acknowledges civil rights laws a whole bunch, and then proceeds to argue that this is different, because if ludicrously conservative Christian cake bigots are forced to squeeze out “BRUCE ‘N’ TED 4 EVAH!” on top of cakes, that violates their FREEDOM OF SPEECH, and even more than that, violates their cake bigot ARTISTIC INTEGRI-TAH!
Really. These are bigoted cake ARTISTS we are dealing with, and when their Cake Muses visit them, they feel much like Beethoven did when he composed the “Waldstein” Sonata, or when Michelangelo was working to get David’s ball sack JUST RIGHT. It is a spiritual experience, is our point.
The brief argues that Phillips, if he makes the gay cake, is essentially saying, “I artistically declare that two dudes pledging boners to each other is awesome!” Let’s look at a couple excerpts:
If old Jack makes that cake, you might as well force him to wear a sign that says “Blessed are the Buttfuckers,” and we all know that is not one of the Beatitudes.
AND A CAKEY BAKEY FOR JESUS CANNOT BE FORCED TO FROST.
Also, there is a slippery slope here, because if bigot bakers have to do the precise interpretive dance of baking for gross homosexuals, it’s only a matter of time before people are forced to make business cards for Westboro Baptist Church and Nazis:
There is an interesting question at hand here, about where the line is between “creative expression” and simple goods and services. Millhiser at Think Progress flags a section of the brief where Justice admits that “whether governmental compulsion creates an association with an unwanted message depends on a reasonable observer’s perception of the relevant expression.”
As an example, the brief distinguishes between a hotel providing tables and chairs for a wedding (not “expressive”) and a wedding singer warbling out a love song for the couple (supposedly “expressive”). The Justice Department says the musician is communicating that she is OK with the wedding, by virtue of singing the song.
We have a bone to pick with this, because CLEARLY The Justice Department has never provided music for a wedding. BUT YR WONKETTE HAS!
If you didn’t know, yr Wonkette is a classical pianist and a singer and a songwriter and we have played MANY MANY MANY MANY MANY FUCKING WEDDINGS in our life, many for conservative opposite hoo-hoo couples. Singing or playing whatever bullshit they request — and they usually pick overdone crap literally nobody wants to hear, unless you get a cool couple (which is rare), so mostly the only thing that gets you through the experience is the $$$ you agreed on beforehand — has NEVER EVER EVER felt for one fucking iota of a second like “artistic expression.” And we are a really fabulous pianist. (And obviously not shy about that fact.)
So fuck off, Justice Department. Come back after the thousandth time you’ve been asked to play “Piano Man” for a drunk idiot and tell us WHAT IS ART.
Millhiser gets into the meat of why trying to draw this imaginary line between #Art and #NotArt is difficult, using an example about meat:
Consider, for example, Katzenbach v. McClung, a seminal case establishing that the federal ban on whites-only lunch counters is constitutional. McClung involved Ollie’s Barbecue, an Alabama establishment that refused to serve African Americans in its dining rooms.
As nearly anyone from the South will tell you, producing barbecue can be a deeply expressive activity. […] Chefs may spend years developing their technique and experimenting with different kinds of sauces and cooking styles. A barbecue shack in rural Arkansas won a James Beard Award, roughly the equivalent of the Oscars for chefs.
So if a barbecue chef designs a custom menu for a private wedding, is that an expressive activity worthy of First Amendment protection?
Millhiser also addresses the definition of “participation in an expressive event,” noting that in the Jim Crow South, it would probably have been considered far more EXPRESSIVE if Ollie’s Barbecue had served blacks and whites equally, compared to what jackass before the Supreme Court is being asked to do, which is making sugar squiggles for weddings he’s not invited to.
As we said, it’s a weird brief. We just hope Anthony Kennedy reads it for the bullshit it is.
In conclusion, fuck the Trump Justice Department, and thanks once again to all the voters who stayed home, voted third party or protest voted for Trump. You really done made your point.
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