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tv   Religious Freedom Anti- Discrimination Law  CSPAN  March 31, 2018 9:24pm-10:33pm EDT

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constitution center's interactive constitution, and the landmark cases podcast at >> last december, the supreme court heard oral argument in masterpiece cake shop versus colorado civil rights commission. their decision is expected later this year. the case centers on a bigger's refusal to bake a cake for a gay couple. a debate on the case posted by the national constitution center in philadelphia. this is just over one hour. >> it is time to introduce tonight's program, bringing together leading thinkers about this question of how to balance free speech and religious liberty against equality in one of the biggest supreme court cases of the term, masterpiece cake shop versus colorado civil
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rights commission. i am so excited our partners for this event are spike magazine, and spiked will be represented by brendan o'neill. spiked is a superb magazine. it describes itself as a political magazine devoted to radical humanism and libertarianism. it is hard to categorize politically, but hard in its defense of individual liberty. "a dutyis the author of to offend: a group of selected essays." stephanie has defended a young muslim woman discriminate against in her appointment, the little sisters of the poor before other practitioners of religious liberty. and finally one of the attorneys who represented the
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case,uple in this starting at the trial level. she has been working with this case for six years, and was a finalist for the ct case, starting at the trial level. la case of the year on award on her working craigla case of the year on award on her working craig versus masterpiece cake shop. please join me in welcoming them. >> [applause] la case of the year on award >> wonderful. when we have formal debates at the constitution center, we vote before and after. because this case will be decided by the court, i'd like to have a vote. i will state the constitutional question. i want you to vote not for the site you want to win politically, but that you think should win constitutionally. you could think it is really
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couple in the gay this case not to be able to get the cake, but the constitution right, orhe baker's you could think it is fine for him to refuse to sell the cake as a policy matter, but the law requires it. does the or you could think it is fine for constitution protect the baker's right to refuse to gay couple?to a in gay couple? in particular, do the religious freedom and free expression provisions of the first amendment protect the baker's right to refuse to sell to a gay couple? constitution protect the winner will be the site that shifts the most sivotes. does the constitution -- does the first amendment to the
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constitution protect the baker's gayt to deny selling to a couple? who believes it does protect his right to refuse to sell the cake ? a strong majority in favor of on constitutional grounds. we have no better person to start us off than public bryson, who has been representing the couple in this case for six years. why don't you start by listing the facts in the case, and the constitutional and free-speech issue for our audience. >> as a trial lawyer, it is hard for me to sit down and talk, but i will try. this case is about a couple, charlie and david. they got married in massachusetts because at the time colorado law does not recognize same-sex marriage.
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they were planning a wedding celebration in colorado in a townhouse sound the center area -- - in a town outside the denver area. their wedding planner said go to masterpiece cake shop, they make nice cakes there. they were really excited about going and ordering a cake for their celebrations. they got some ideas together in a little folder and walked into the cake shop, masterpiece cake shop, sat down at a table, the three of them. jack came up -- what can i do for you? they said, we want a wedding cake. jack's response was, for who? sitting td david were here, a very loving couple.
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the cake was for them. and they said, it's for us. i that point, jack said, no, don't do wedding cakes for same-sex couples. silence. was a stunned charlie and david kind of looked at each other, and they stood up along with their mom debbie and walked out of the store. got in the car, and on their way home, charlie started to cry. upset that charlie was upset, and went home and put his facebook page -- can you believe this happened to him? we just wanted a cake. that started what you all know,
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made it eventually to the supreme court. the next day, debbie was very upset. she called jack and said, why did you refuse to make my son a wedding cake? jack again said, i don't believe in same-sex marriage. not legalarriage isthe next dae in colorado. it was against his religious beliefs. page, it kindbook of want viral. -- went viral. the support poured out for charlie and david, and a letter support came out --- a lot of support came out for jack too. they filed a complaint with the colorado civil rights division. the civil rights division agreed there not legal in colorado. was discrimination based on sexual orientation, which was a colorado state statute.
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at that point, the commission then took it to a hearing. i represented charlie and david at that hearing. won at hearing. the baker took it to the court of appeals. we won at the court of appeals, and the baker and his lawyers took it to the supreme court, and we are where we are now. mr. rosen: thank you for that helpful statement of facts. anything to add? >> first of all, thank you for having me and thank you for being here tonight. we anything to add? >> defend religious liberty for people of all faiths, from a to z, from anglican to missouri street. zoroastrian. can't tell you how happy i was when we got that zoroastrian case.
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>> [laughter] >> this is a tough zoroastrian. case where there are deep feelings, hurt feelings, and important interest going on. that is why sometimes it can be difficult to talk about. i ami am so grateful to the natl constitution center for having this national dialogue. jack, like many business owners, made a decision about what sort of message or event he wanted to support. i think it is important to step back and think about the ways in which in our society, business owners and individuals make these decisions all the time. recently there was a gay coffee shop owner in seattle that asked christian individuals to leave his premises, when they were advocating for pro-life principles he disagreed with. chipotle decided they did not want to cater to the boy scouts, because they disagreed with the then-position on gay scout
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leaders. in colorado, there were gay ca e bakers asked for a christian client to bake a bible themed that condemned homosexuality, and the bakers refused. in their scenario, the colorado commission said that's right, td homosexuality, and the before colorado, he is willing to sell anything off the shelf in his business to anyone, and has been willing to design all sorts of cakes for this couple, but he could not create a custom design wedding cake for an event that goes against his deeply held religious beliefs. that is not the only type of cake staff would not create. he would not create cakes
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celebrating racism, divorce, alcohol -- those are cakes he has declined in the past. i understand many people in this your ce, and i saw by your votes, disagree with the choice jack ultimately made about what message he should support, and whether or not he should use it in that way. that is not the question. the question is, do we want to get the government the power to make decisions about important sensitive moral issues like sex, religion, and politics, and do we want the government to say who is right and who is who is right and who is wrong,a nd if you disagree, you can be punished? that is what is at stake. mr. rosen: we have the facts, and the sense thatsensitive mors truly joined. brendan, you are a defender of individual liberty and vigorous
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defender of free speech. out on the details and a second, but how do you see the liberty issues and who on constitutional grounds should win? >> i think it is fairly straightforward. i know the in's and out have gone on for a long time. a business or individual cake maker should not have the right to refuse to sell his goods to someone because of his sexual orientation, because that would give rise to discrimination across society, and a certain section of society would be unable to access goods and services in the same way other people could, and that is wrong. however, an individual business, a cake maker who describes himself as an artist, should have the right to refuse to express something that he does not believe in. if he had said to this couple,
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cakeot someone you a because i hate you people. that to me would have been a straightforward instance of discrimination and unconstitutional and you make. -- and illegal. but what he said is i am happy to sell you a cake, but i cannot express support for an institution that i don't believe in. i cannot say, whether with words, images, or my artistry, support gayit, marriage. i think we have to support his right to say those words. the reason i am saying that is pretty simple. we have to reckon with how itrifying and unspeakable
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would be if it would be if the government could compel you to say something that you don't believe, if the government could make you express something that goes against every core of your belief system and every value you hold. that is the first step in my view toward tyranny. that would be a far worse outcome than the fact that this couple were incapable of getting a wedding cake from a particular shop. in my view, that they could not get the cake there but presumably many other places is not particularly nice, and i am sure they were upset. if you have a situation where the government can force individuals to say things they don't believe are true, or partaking ceremonies they think are wrong, or to express views they think are repulsive or horrible or disgusting, which many of you probably disagree with them. if we have a situation where the government can make people do that, we no longer have freedom
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of speech. we have government mandated ch anyonehinking, whi in this room could potentially fall victim to, and made to say things they don't believe. i think that is infinitely worse from the perspective of open choice in a society than the fact that this couple could not get a cake from this guy. mr. rosen: brendan has put on the table with admirable clarity his view that forcing the baker to sell the cake would be a form of compelled speech. let's focus on one another to constitutional issues. -- on of the two constitutional issues. the trump administration has taken the position that someone cannot be forced to utter sentiments with which they disagree. describe this as precisely as you can, the compelled speech
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claim, and why you think it is wrong. mr. greisen: i am a trial lawyer. very rarely and i suspect, but i will try. -- am i suspect, but i will try. facts do matter. the facts are important. in example stephanie used about the baker w wouldho -- baker who would not bake a cake that speechtiall has hate on it. she agreed to bake a cake with a bible. after she thanked the cake, she was asked to write in gays.""god hates she said, i find that offensive. you can write it if you want, wordswill not write those
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ofor anyone on that cake. that is a big difference from asking for a cake and asking someone to write a hate message on that cake. words onthe issue is not whether or nt jack is compelling anyone to say anything. in our society, we regularly regulate commercial activity. the law at issue here says to people, you can't discriminate amongst your customers when you sell something. it's not telling jack what to say or what to think, it's letting jack expressed his religion. we all clearly no what he believes. i believe in the first amendment. the law isn't doing that. this law is a general applicable doesn't is neutral, it target speech. it's just that when we have commercial activity in this
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country, we decided as a nation that we are not going to let you pick and choose your customers, that there is something fundamentally wrong with that. saying.what this law is it's not saying you can or can't say anything, it's sayn you have t -- saying you have to sell to protect classes across the board. mr. rosen: if you could talk about this first amendment claim, and why it would protect the baker, but not allow makeup artists, or jewelers to refuse to participate in what is as well. -- in weddings as well. ms. barclay: in oral argument, one of the facts the justices factdisturbed by is in
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colorado's rule would require caketo write words on a she would disagree with. the attorney for colorado admitted under the rules they are advocating, jack would have to create a cake that says, god bless the union of this couple, whoever their names are. he would have to write words on a cake that say any number of things endorsing a same-sex marriage, if he was right anything remotely -- if he would write anything remotely similar for another cake she would disagree with. event. our country, we recognize a lot of things count as speech, but aren't words you write down. i think that is a good thing. we say speech includes things like burning flags and the color of an armband you wear in protest.
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sometimes really hurtful and offensive things like a nazi protest that the supreme court unanimously upheld. in this case, the rainbow cake is what the couple ultimately received. that means that gay bakers, or a black light matter -- black lives matter baker could be a confederatee bake flag case, because that is protected under colorado law as well. we are dealing situation with all sorts of individuals could be forced to express something that they disagree with, which triggers free-speech protections, but also triggers in this case religious freedom protections. one thing justice kennedy pointed out -- tolerance is important in our society, but
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tolerance has to go both ways. colorado was not very tolerant of jack and his beliefs. that is what justice kennedy said at oral argument. he has been a defender of tolerance. in his opinion where he vindicated the right of same-sex couples, he said the problem in this case was the government was picking one right view of marriage and punishing or excluding those of a different view. justice kennedy talked about the lots oft we have different views about marriage and sometimes disagree on that fact. worthy ofs are protection. the problem is when the government takes the correct view and punishes someone. this case is the exact worthy of protection. the problem is when the
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scenario, but in reverse. there have been gay business owners who have stood up and said, we remember what it was like to be the minority that was marginalized and treated poorly, and we don't want to have a government that can punish us for allergies. we don't think we should give the government that scenario, but in reverse. power in that case. mr. rosen: the justices seem to think it was tough to draw the line. there were lots of questions from justice sotomayor, saying w hat about the -- justice kagan saying, what about a makeup artist? how do you limit this to wedding photographers, but not include the guy that does not want to sell barbecue to an african-american couple in the 1960's? the government saying you can't be forced to participate in the ceremony -- is that a place where the principal kicks in, or is it writing on the cake at the
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time you are making it? speech doesn't just cover words. there are many different ways in which you can express yourself. there are different forms of expression. that is the right to silence, the right to burn flags, the right to dawarf certain things that might express visceral emotion. think it seems pretty clear to me that the creation of a cake which might have a rainbow flag on it or two male statuettes, whatever they have that expresses support and conviction in the institution of gay marriage, strikes me as an expressive act. we are facing a situation where someone would be forced to express themselves in a way they don't want to do. as to where the line comes to
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clearly a clearly a speech or expressive act and what is, that is a difficult area to decide. wedding cakeswedding cakes are e things, that is why you have to. you don't have them just to eat. they are a centerpiece of the wedding in many instances. they say something about the wedding. i was at my brother's wedding recently. he has two children before he got married, which many would frown upon on his cake -- there was a man and woman and two children at the top. i'm sure there might well be a bigger in the world -- well be a baker in the world that does not want to make that cake. they should not have to make that cake. it says something about values, about morality. i think it is wrong to force someone to express themselves in a way they don't want to. one thing in all of these cases
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-- in britain, there was the case of a bakery in northern ireland taken to court for refusing to make a wedding cake. is whyfind interesting couples who have the inconvenience -- i'm not doubting for a moment it is inconvenient and upsetting that get the particular cake get the particular cake -- why they don't go to another baker. this is question because the majority of bakers will make a gay wedding cake. that is what we have in britain, and i am sure it is the same situation here. it is not an important difficuly there is a me that punitive element -- that there is a punitive element to all of
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this, that it is unacceptable for a bakery to exist which doesn't share the mainstream values of society. i find that slightly vindictive an and veering on the edge of religious persecutions, where businesses that will not serve you so you can make it into an incident. couple to get a wedding cake. in britain, people are trolling to make spectacles. what are the moral consequences of the decision that gets taken? the moral consequences of this couple not being able to get a cake in this bakery is they will be inconvenienced. we should not undermine that. but it can be rectified by them going to another place, or possibly encouraging other people by social media to not go to this bakery that benoit --
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that annoyed them. the consequence of forcing every victory in the country to express or do something that goes against every grain of their belief -- those consequences strike me as more dire. those consequences will be the boosting of government power over expression, and the erasure of any realm, small realm, in viewspeople can hold which break against the mainstream. i think those consequences are far worse than gay couples being put out because some bakeries refuse to serve them. mr. rosen: this was designed for a good response. [laughter] if you could, please give the audience some case law. one of the big supreme court precedents, saying the boy scouts -- a parade is an
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expensive activity protected by the first amendment. why don't you think they cover the first amendment claim in this case? mr. greisen: first i want to clear up a few things. when you talk about a cake being expressive, whose viewpoint is it expressing? the person who orders the cake is expressing their viewpoint. it was your friend who said, i want to couple with the two kids on the top, it was not a baker's v., it was a customer viewpoint. the idea that someone at that wedding went think a wedding cake created by masterpiece cake shop ca somehow expressed the br 's viewpoint is one that i do not buy, it is the customer's v.. that is important. this other concept of convenience i find very upsetting.
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we don't make unconstitutional laws based on convenience in this country. i don't think anybody here would have suggested rosa parks just find another bus rather than move back a row or anything like that. yes, maybe in denver somebody --, when we have a lot of people in this country that live in small towns that don't have a lot of baker to choose from. even if you do, aren't we relegating them to second-class citizens, go door-to-door and find someone who will serve you? so many commercial activities in our country are expressive. think about the website designer -- can a website designer say, i think women should be in the
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home, i'm not going to design a website for an all-female owned business. how sensitive would we find that ? an interracial couple walks into a photography commercial business. photography is clearly within the first amendment. can the photographer say i don't believe in interracial marriage, therefore i want to give you service? -- won't give you service? this is a slope -- in the supreme court, a makeup artist wasn't protected, a baker is, michelangelo would not be protected because they are doing it for a building, but a chef would be under certain circumstances. this is not a slope we want to go down as a country to decide which businesses can pick and choose their customers. the court said, how is raise different? how are you going to choose you
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will protect this religious temperament of this baker? the answer was, race is -- we are not quite sure why -- but every other group is fair game. so people with disabilities, veteran's status, gender, all the other categories we see as protected -- those individuals againstbe discriminated religion,e of including religious protections. the supreme court talked about this issue back in the civil rights era, when a barbecue notthis issue back notd believe to the intermingling of races and did not want to serve african-american people in this barbecue restaurant. the supreme court said, no --
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that freedom of speech argument is not going to fly. we will not constitutionalize freedom to discriminate in the name of protecting your first amendment rights. that is the precedent the court should continue, look at this as regulation of commercial speech. the parade is different, because it was a private expression of belief, and a privately expressive activity. this is different. this is someone who is supposed to be open to the public for a business, and i think they should have to do some. -- should have to do so. mr. rosen: the claim is he himself does not have the expressive right, rather than the boy scouts. why is race different? at the oral argument, the council conceded if the baker
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to make for an african-american couple that would not be permissible. mr. greisen: as far as expression goes, sometimes it is hard to draw lines when to whau are doing is expressive enough and when it is not. it is important to keep in mind the supreme court deals with thisexpression outside of hot topic all the time. it is expressive when someone burns their flag in protest, but not when they are just throwing it out in the trash. it depends on the context and what was understood by those actions. those are always fact specific questions. it is important to keep in mind in the context of a wedding, weddings themselves are deeply expressive events. talked about how
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important weddings are, and americans should be allowed to make deeply personal decisions about whether they will participate or not. even if we think about a cake at a wedding, i have never been to a wedding where i thought, gee, that cake was delicious. i don't know if anyone else has had that experience. i think we need to be honest why do we all, keep eating bad cake at weddings? it is part of this ceremony. one since she also why do we all the oneing bad cake was sociologist called it the social sacrament of our time. they daintily feed each other, if you are my husband, shove it as he far as my nostrils can. it can be the case that marriage
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and weddings matter when we are defending those rights to help you become -- to lgbt couples butwant to be part of that, ignore those who do not want to participate in that. how do we draw the line is the justices wrestled with. it is important to keep in mind if it is expressive, that is just the first part of the test. it doesn't mean because someone hasit is important to keep in md if it is an expressive belief ty can get off scott free and deny doing whatever they want. now it means the government must have a good reason for trumping those first amendment rights. we have not resulted in this
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slippery slope scenario where we have had discrimination that looks this slippery slope scenario where we have had discrimination that looks like the jim crow south. those cases still don't exist after decades of the supreme court balancing these important rights. factors the supreme court looked at are, how broad is the objection? is the objection just to a particular message which case the government has over best interest there. is that thectors supreme court looked at is there some sort of a market failure here that the government has an interest in addressing, is there a monopoly? is there a wide group of businesses that won't provide this interest? here in this case, the government did not produce one iota of evidence about that. there were bakeries begging for
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the business and offering to provide it for free. those of the factors that the supreme court has provided for us. the first amendment doesn't mean that we always win, it means that we are not giving the whatnment power to decide view is right for our society. one last question on the free speech. there are a lot of cases building up in the lower courts. shoulducky -- kentucky, the printer be forced to create the shirts yet go the gay copy christianeattle asked members to leave because of the pro-life movement.
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great concerned with the difficulty that lower courts will have if this pandora's box is open? >> i would like to live in a society that kind of absorbs cases like that and live with the fact that it will be a minority of businesses in a minority of individuals who will not want to express certain things or have people express on their premises. if this was a widespread thing, a cross american society or cross british or cross european society, there would be a problem, but these are pretty small cases of individuals or companies that don't want things to be said or done in think it is preferable for society to find a way to manage that society then to invite the government to police for you .uch -- must associate with living with it is preferable to that. there is a real contradiction in
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this particular case because on the one hand we are told that the couple were deeply upset and i have no reason to question the cake was incredibly important to them. it was incredibly or in part of what they wanted in their ceremony and their life. on the other hand, we are told .s just a cake i think that is a really interesting contradiction because you're either saying that this cake is so improperly important that you are going to go all the way to the supreme court which suggests to me that it is more than cream and jam and butter. there's something else going on here. that is precisely why i think we have to try and have a situation where people can refuse in certain circumstances to express another person's point of view on their behalf in creating a product or something for them. i really think it is incredibly important that anyone who has
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takes the sideho of the bigger in this case or cases similar to it is like the people who wanted rosa parks to stay in the back of the bus like the people who wanted, who support discrimination against black people and diners in the 1950's and so on. no one here is defending the rights of any company in america, as far as i know to refuse to serve couples on the basis of their sexual orientation. no one is defending the right of any company in the united states to refuse to offer services or products on the basis of race, gender, orientation and so on. certainly i am not. what we are saying is there a particular incidents where a service becomes an expressive product and it becomes problematic for minority people. that is very distinct from the the -- kind of discrimination
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that took part. it really did not offer any clarity except to try to boost the model authority of your side to try to complete those two things. just one final point is that i think it is really worth the termabout discrimination. we all think discrimination is a bad thing and it can be a bad thing, but discrimination can also be a good thing. you can be a discriminating person, you can have a discriminatory case in art, for example. a point that hannah made in the 1950's after some of the racial controversies. she made the point that the right to discriminate is absolutely essential to the freedom of association. if you cannot at some level discriminate particularly in private groups, if you cannot discriminate, and you cannot have a freedom of association and that is a problem it she raised the possibility that
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between private groups where there should be the freedom of discrimination, there is a great aria -- area which we would be full list to invite the government to police and the way that i think this case is going to. >> thanks for that. table thethe religious of freedom claim to the first amendment says that congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of prohibiting-- from the exercise is there of. that he is being violated when he is being forced to show a message he disagrees with. to thent to respond notion that this is about a piece of cake. this is about human dignity. jack, the reason
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why charlie and david filed their complaint was not because of a piece of cake, it was about what it felt like to be humiliated and a second-class citizen. when we start talking about the humiliation and pain of discrimination, we cannot trivialize it by saying well, just go to that service someplace else. i think that is a really important to this debate. person who decided to continue appealing and appealing and appealing this mainly because the issue of same-sex marriage is very divisive right now. if this was a jewish person who cupcakes and asked for for a bomb itself and had been
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refused, nobody in this room would have said that is ok. but because it is the issue of gay marriage, which is still very divisive, this has become a very polarizing issue that i think is a very slippery slope once we start going down it. the freedom of association argument that you referenced is the argument that was raised in piggy park. our freeiolating speech and freedom of association, the first amendment by requiring us to associate with the black people sitting at our counter. that is an argument that we have rejected as long as there is a governmental interest in the commercial regulation. here, and i will disagree with stephanie, i think colorado argued very successfully as most states in this country would does that the government
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have an interest in eradicating discrimination. one decision which has been referenced several times talked about the historic discrimination faced by gay people in this country. for over a century, we used to sex.w same-sex we criminalized it. chronicled, in addition, he said it is very important to be respectful of religious beliefs, but this is a group that , as opposed to characterization where it happens now and then, discrimination against the gay community has been systemic in our country, has been from with violence and terror and i don't think this is an isolated situation by any stretch of the imagination.
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yes, we do need to be respectful of religious, and the colorado state statute specifically exempts organizations or businesses that are primarily religious services. those businesses that operate primarily for religious purposes do not have to comply with this law. we areve that is how respecting freedom of association and freedom of religion. >> thanks, for that. let's really dig in on the religious freedom claim which of this is devoted to protecting. and telephonelaim the relevant cases and why you think that those cases support the bigger's right to not serve the couple on basis of religious ofunds to >> there are a lot similarities here he is arguing
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that being forced to custom design something that he is creating that goes against his religious beliefs is something that the first amendment prohibits. you talked earlier about it is not his message, it is the couple's message. i think of the couple's message too, but there is also something significant about the act of creation. i think it would be significant if we forced someone who believes in black lives matter to have to create a confederate flag. that very act of creating something that goes against our believes i think is something that should be protected for for jack partere, of what he has objected to is the act of being forced to create something that contradicts what he religiously believes in. the way that the supreme court has protected a free exercise
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rights is that they have said if the government is willing to provide protection to people for secular reasons, they are willing to protect the game makers in the states who did not want to create the bible case that had a message that they rightly disagree with, think they rightly chose not to create that message in that case, is a double standard. it is constitutionally dangerous to not go for -- offer that same sort of protection for jack. there are other things that are relevant here and the level of coercion that the government is engaging and, if colorado wins, if their order is law, not only would jack be forced to create these kinds of cakes, and as we discussed cakes that have words as these other same-sex couples, he would also have to give training to his family
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employs about why his religious boys are incorrect. >> i think you have to give training on his antidiscrimination laws. >> and why he is not able to carry out his believes for the business. that came up in oral arguments. the attorneys for colorado admitted that he has to give that further training to his family employees. that is a really troubling level of government coercion in this case. i want to go back to a few of the case that pollock talked about with the eu market case. that is the case then unpublished decision where the supreme court said there would not be attorney fees for a business owner who says he was never willing to serve black people because of his religious beliefs. i think it is important to think about the really shameful history that our country has of race discrimination and the jim south and the fact that individuals in that era
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sometimes had to carry green books with them so that they knew where they could stop to eat and how they could even try to survive in our political and economic society. that is something that was a serious problem in our country. something that we created powerful tools to address through public accommodation laws. no one would dispute that if this was a case where jack was saying i am not willing to serve shop.eople in my under supreme court precedent, the government would have a much stronger case. that is not what is going on. jack is saying i will sell you anything my shop or cakes for another event, i just cannot create this custom-designed message. one last point to make, i think it is absolutely fair to recognize the dignitary interests, and no one i know is about the feelings of
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this gay couple. think about the holocaust survivors in the supreme court case. some of these individuals still have tattoos on their body from the mistreatment that they received during not to germany -- nazi germany. they were arguing to the supreme court that their dignity should protestszi -- nazi protesters to come to their state. i think we can all agree that hateful, ande and we would not join the protest. the supreme court unanimously protected first amendment rights in that case because they recognize that if we are not willing to protect freedom even when we do glee is a great and it is hurtful -- we deeply disagree and it is hurtful, the we are not able to attack freedom for all of us. we live in a society work the government can take freedom away from anyone.
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>> removed by the religious claim independently from the free-speech claim? how would it fair in britain which has no protection for religious freedom in the same way. should for-profit religious companies be required to list all qualities that violate? >> i am really worried about the state of religious freedom and the western world at the moment. i think we have become too cavalier about it. i think we have become too cavalier about the freedom of conscience and the freedom to act on their beliefs within reason without ideally harming other people. we forget that much of the modernized west is built on the atedom of religion and cannot happen, we would not be having this discussion now. it is an incredibly important freedom. if you went to see a slippery slope, have a look at what is
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happening in britain in regards to the application of equality legislation to undermine peoples freedom of association because once you go down this route of inviting the government to tell companies, and it could balloon into other groups as well, one to them by the government to tell people, they must prioritize equality in all instances, then you open the floodgates to simply to radical behavior. governmentin, the legislation a few years ago forced a party called the british national party, which is a horrible, racist organization, forced them to rewrite the constitution which said that the party was only open to caucasian people on the basis of it was -- it separated and equality. that is to radical. that is the end of freedom of association.
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there have been other instances where religious groups and other parts of europe has been punished or, and in some cases, given prison sentences for expressing certain views that are seen as pushing and equality, for example i pastored in -- pastor in sweden was given a one month prison sentence as -- before describing homosexuality as a tumor on society. that is his deeply held religious of you and it ran counter to swedish hate crime and equality laws and he was punished. --ritish church was meant to may to take on a poster that said if they did not believe in god they would be sent to hell alarmingt was seen as and making non-christians feel humiliated and bad.
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i think it is bad to base laws on the bounds of how people feel instead of their rights. look at what is happening in europe with the use of the law and freedom of association. to just reiterate how unhelpful i think it is that you are conflating the discrimination against black people which was widespread and her friend us with this case. as i said before, i have never heard one person, not one single person, including jack or anybody else say that they want to discriminate against gay people they want to stop serving or associating with gay people. i genuinely believe that you risk minimizing the crimes of the past by constantly
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marshaling them to your cause because you're suggesting that what rosa parks faced was similar to a couple who are incapable of getting a cake when in fact what she can -- faced was the demonstration of her entire life and her entire building and her ability to go about her life unmolested and in any way whatsoever. i think it is a profound problem to conflate those things. in relation to the freedom of religion thing, i am worried about the way in which religious beliefs are now being redefined as some people as i can to bigotry. a certain view on gay marriage anything marriage is between men and women and the genuinely believe that, you are automatically branded a big it. you are homophonic -- homophobic. i'm not religious, but i come from a religious background so i know lots of people who think that marriage should be between men and women.
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i can tell you they are not bigots. they do not hate gay people, they simply have a religious leaders about the institution of marriage. i'm worried about the constant creeping redefinition of belief as hate crimes, of certain convictions as the four mark of abuse or bigotry. i think it is worth going back to the actual definition of the word bigotry. bigotry actually means intolerance for someone who thinks differently than you. bigotry does not actually mean racist. the dictionary definition of the term is intolerance of someone who has a different opinion to a differentsually religious view. i'm worried about the way that those who pose as warriors against bigotry in cases like this, who are often and forcing a bigotry of their own through making it increasingly difficult for people of certain religious views to express themselves or
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not express themselves as they see fit. paula, you may want to respond to a bit of that. we have about five minutes and all of these great questions. i'm going to pose one to you. could you deduce anything from the justice's question that the oral arguments, have you expect the court to the? -- boat? -- vote? going back to his point, i believe in religious freedom. my mother is a very religious person, she is a christian. she accepts gay marriage. i'm not saying her believe is right and jack's belief is wrong. i think it is really interesting when we start trying to value the harm or discrimination between different groups. to say the harm of
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discrimination felt by african-americans is somehow more important than the harm felt by other religious groups or by groups based on sexual orientation. this country does have a very pronounced history. anybody who knows the matthew shepard case and knows about that gay college student who was tortured because he was gay and tied to a fence and left to die where he did five days later, is not an isolated incident. i don't think we can start calibrating who's a to dignity is more real of -- or of more importance than somebody else's. i'm certainly not and never have questioned jack's sincerely held religious belief. i applaud him and i think he should be able to express them. i have never called him the name
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or denigrated in any way, nobody has in this case, and certainly david and charlie have never thegrated jackpots belief question is in a society that is a pluralist society like ours, if you are going to open up a business, private associations are different. writing pamphlets, i would even say are different. there are so many activities that are expressive once we start going down that road, you do open up the floodgates. we do have a bill of rights in this country. we do have the equal protection clause as well as the first amendment. i am not as worried. most of the examples you hear about preachers or religious they already, exempt those organizations in our country. i think religious freedom can sit side-by-side with the
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government regulation that if you are going to open for business, you are going to serve everybody equally. i completely forgot with the other question was. >> i'll post it to stephanie because we should just get it on the table. noted, manyry people think that though is up to justice kennedy. he seemed to express something for both sides in the oral arguments. have you think he is going to vote? >> that is a great question and it was a really interesting oral argument. justice kennedy clearly cares about the dignity of this gay couple and gay couples everywhere in all sorts of marginalized groups in society. i think you take that very seriously and i also think paul is right that i don't think it
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makes sense in this case to act as though the couple did not experience hurt and that there has not -- there have been times in this country where we have treated lgbt individuals terribly and they have faced all sorts of injustice. it is clear that that was on his mind. it is also clear that he understands that in a pluralistic society, we have to protect dignity on both sides are at he also talked about jackpots dignity. dignity. he also talks about a 70 euro grandmother her case because she cannot provide a service for same-sex, she would not only lose her business but the state would come after her for millions of dollars. i think that was why he brought up the importance of tolerance and our country needs to be a two-way street. he also talked about some concerns that he and other justices pointed at in colorado. some of the states that
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commissioners said were quite hostile. sort of acted like if you open a business or if you are coming out here, you should not be able to have religious beliefs at all, you are going to have to compromise. that has been greatly -- deeply troubling to jack. there seems to be animosity toward religion and also that there was this double standard between the colorado treated a baker's but not jack. i think that is going to be important. i also think that the supreme court precedent in the first amendment area has generally been quite clear that while the tory interest certainly matter and we don't want to minimize those, we have to look elsewhere when we decide whether or not the government has the power to force someone to express a message they disagree with or do something contrary to their religious beliefs. that is why the supreme court has protected the first
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amendment in cases. they are protected protesters at funerals have said horrific things about those individuals going to hell, which also certainly hurt their dignity in the case. the supreme court has said we have to look to other government interest in order to decide whether coercion is warranted. here, the government simply has not made a case beyond dignity why they are justified in taking away jack's freedom. i still have not heard an answer why this case of the any different than if we were acreng black lives matter to create a cake that had a veteran -- a confederate flag on it. you cannot give protection to the baker and yet not given to jack unless we are going to live in a society where the rule is that we protect people we agree with and no one else. that is no way to run a constitutional democracy. supreme court arguments have
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to end more or less on time and therefore it is time for our final vote. i want you to reflect there a carefully about the constitutional arguments you have heard on both sides. approach them with an open mind. now, having heard the arguments, please vote once again. do you believe that the first amendment to the constitution protects the baker's right to refuse to sell the cake to the gay couple who believes that the first who believes that it does not? who changed his or her vote as a result of the discussion? how many people change their from apollo side to stephanie's side?
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how many people change their vote from stephanie's side to palos side? this is extremely imprecise. i'm going to call it a try. i want to thank our panelists for this extraordinary discussion. thank you very much. [laughter] wonderful job. ♪ >> c-span's "washington journal." live every day with news and policy issues that impact you. sunday morning, a talk about politics and the media. c-span's 1968: america in turmoil series, emery and neilen cleaver
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joseph discuss civil rights and race relations in 1968. live at 7:00tch eastern on sunday morning. during the discussion. -- join the discussion. >> the national commander of the american legion talks about president trump's decision to fire the a secretary. the aso discusses hospital management and health care challenges for veterans. sunday at 10:00 a.m. on c-span. sunday night on "q&a." were instudents washington dc for the annual did state senate youth program. we met with them at the historic mayflower hotel when they talked about their thoughts of government and politics. >> i am passionate about daca. hang infair that lives the balance because our congress
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cannot find a solution. it is not a democratic or republican issue. it is a human's right issue. >> climate change. the notion that we are the only country in the world that is not in the paris climate accords is a travesty. every other country in the world has recognized the detrimental impact of climate change. we have not stayed on course with the other countries. >> we are the richest nation in the world. we have citizens who go bankrupt trying to cover basic health care costs. that is not reached. we should be ashamed. >> sunday night at 8:00 eastern on c-span's "q&a." >> former presidents jimmy carter, bill clinton, and george w. bush spoke at a funeral service for former georgia governor and u.s. senator zell miller. he died earlier this month at the age of 86.


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