Monday, August 17, 2015
Earlier this blog discussed the resistance to Obergefell by private businesses and government entities. One of the cases referenced was against a Colorado baker, Masterpiece Cake Shop, Inc. Masterpiece had refused to contract with Charlie Craig and David Mullins when they requested that Masterpiece prepare their wedding cake. Basing its findings on state law, the trial court found that Masterpiece had violated the law in refusing to accept the Craig-Mullens order. Masterpiece appealed.
Last week the Appeals Court of Colorado issued its opinion upholding the trial court's decision. The court rejected Masterpiece's argument that it had not denied the request because of the sexual orientation of the customers, but rather that it opposed marriage equality. The court rejected defendant's religious-based arguments and found that sexual orientation and marriage equality are so intimately bound together that the distinction cannot be parsed. The court dispelled any free expression argument, as well: "It is unlikely that the public would understand Masterpiece’s sale of wedding cakes to same-sex couples as endorsing a celebratory message about same-sex marriage." Masterpiece is considering appeal.
In Morehead, Kentucky, a court clerk refused to issue marriage licenses to several same sex couples. In so doing, the Clerk refused to comply with the Kentucky governor's direct order. Last Wednesday, Federal Court Judge David Bunning ordered the clerk, Kim Davis, to resume issuing marriage licenses. But Ms. Davis did not show up for work on Thursday. Looks like Morehead County might be welcoming a new clerk soon.
The NY Times also reported that thirteen Alabama probate judges are refusing to issue licenses. One unintentionally humorous response from a state legislator was to encourage the state to get out of the marriage license business, the abolition of civilly recognized marriage. Now there is an idea many feminists can get behind. Roll Tide!