President Trump, we are told, backs a position held by US lawmakers that bakers should be able to display signs saying they won’t serve gay people.
This was the disturbing news from White House Press Secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders this week.
News which hasn’t filtered into mainstream media, during a period which saw Trump enrage Palestine and much of the world with his recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
That, and new questions regarding his physical and mental health after slurring and stumbling his way through a typically odd and incendiary speech, clouded out the revelation that the President of the United States apparently supports the right of business owners to refuse service to gay customers.
This latest step towards a troubling brand of clownish political prejudice begins with a gay couple, Charlie Craig and David Mullins, in Colorado in 2012, who ordered a cake from the Masterpice Cake Shop for their wedding. They were refused by the bakery owners on religious grounds.
You might be aware of the so-called ‘gay cake’ case in Belfast, where the religious owners of Ashers Bakery on the main shopping street of the city tried to do the same thing when asked to bake a cake in support of gay marriage.
Yet, Even in Northern Ireland, with the cynical anti-gay gargoyles in the leading DUP party, the gay couple in question won their case. Not that the bakery seems to have seen the light, by the way.
In Colorado, though, sympathy apparently lies with the bakery and not the customers denied service on the basis of their sexuality. Why?
The argument goes that making a wedding cake is inherently an artistic act of expression (questionable if you look at their cakes) protected under the First Amendment.
Meaning? That the Masterpiece CakeShop should be able to deny wedding cakes based on a religious objection to same-sex couples such as Charlie and David.
The support for the cake shop from no less than the US Justice Department threatens to pave the way for businesses to display signs refusing custom to gay people, or anybody for that matter, who their god suggests is going to burn in the oven for all eternity.
Meanwhile, The Colorado Civil Rights Commission feels from a distance like a dying ember of goodness and sanity in a country increasingly giving voice to cretinous bigotry. It determined the cake shop’s denial of service to the couple amounted to unlawful anti-gay discrimination under the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act. Although state courts have affirmed that ruling, the Supreme Court agreed to take up the case earlier this year.
And so, we come to the human sponge and miss-deeder of the free world, Donald Trump. Hours after oral arguments in the Masterpiece Cakeshop case concluded on Tuesday, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was asked where the POTUS stood on the issue.
She said: “The president certainly supports religious liberty, and that’s something that he talked during the campaign and since upheld since taking office.”
With politicians, it is often what they refuse to say or decide not to support that tells us more about their direction than the actions they take and the (albeit garbled, slurred and nonsensical) words they speak.
Here is a US President giving his backing to his own now-twisted Justice Department in a case that threatens the liberty of millions of LGBT+ people in the land of the freak.
Will businesses in the United States start displaying signs reading “NO GAYS” or words to that effect? It might have seemed a hysterical suggestion not so long ago but history teaches us that times change very quickly.
It should also teach us that there is a point at which the loss of liberty is too late to challenge and that those who might have stood by the side of the minority at the start of an attack on freedom, will later watch – blankly – from their own bland security as those less ‘acceptable’ slip into Hell.
To end with a positive, here is the Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington raising their voices in a show of strength outside the US Supreme Court. Other voices must continue to join with them.
Incredible moment outside #SCOTUS just now. The Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington just surrounded a heckler during #OpenToAll protest. A rep of theirs told me they wanted to “take the opportunity to surround hate with harmony.” #MasterpieceCakeshop #LGBT pic.twitter.com/D1z4boIe8a
— Lauryn Gutierrez (@GutzyLo) December 5, 2017