The dispute over bakery Sweet Cakes by Melissa that refused to provide a wedding cake for a same-sex couple because of religious beliefs raised so many issues.
Oregon’s Bureau of Labor and Industries decided that the Gresham business violated a anti-discrimination law and required a $135,000 fine. The Oregon Court of Appeals found in January that the level of fine was not religiously neutral. Oregon Labor Commissioner Val Hoyle reduced it to $30,000 this week.
For some this case was a victory for tolerance and fairness. Others feel it violated religious freedom. However you feel, it is a reminder of how very important it is to think about who to vote for. In Oregon, we vote on judges. Often those races are uncontested. When they are contested, it is worth doing your homework.
One of the legal precedents important in cases regarding same sex marriages is the Supreme Court’s decision Obergefell v. Hodges from 2015. Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote in the majority opinion “many who deem same-sex marriage to be wrong reach that conclusion based on decent and honorable religious or philosophical premises.... But when that sincere, personal opposition becomes enacted law and public policy, the necessary consequence is to put the imprimatur of the State itself on an exclusion that soon demeans or stigmatizes those whose own liberty is then denied.”
That decision may not be under imminent threat of unraveling because of the court’s decision in Roe v. Wade. But a vote for president is like a vote for the future direction of the U.S. Supreme Court. So, choose wisely.
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