Brian Brown Lays Out Path To Overturning Obergefell

 

Via email from hate group leader Brian Brown:

With the addition of Justice Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, we at NOM believe there is now a strong majority on the Court to overturn Obergefell if the right case is brought before it. We are determined to do just that, but we need your help.

The strategy behind trying to bring a case before the US Supreme Court to overturn the Obergefell gay ‘marriage’ ruling is complex. We can’t simply file a lawsuit and ask the Court to take it up.

First, we need to present a real and present controversy that requires a judicial ruling to resolve. What that issue might be requires a great deal of thought and coordination with allies and policymakers in several key states.

It could be a state law passed by a supportive Legislature, an executive order or regulation issued by a supportive Governor, or possibly even a law enacted directly by voters via a ballot measure. Our team is working hard to evaluate all the options.

We also must consider the judicial territory where the controversy arises and the path it would take to get before the Supreme Court.

Because lower courts are bound to follow the Supreme Court’s Obergefell precedent, we know that we will likely lose in the lower courts.

We will need a situation where an official party who has standing to appeal will be able to press the case forward to the Supreme Court.

Of course, we also need to consider the political and public opinion environment in which this sort of case will be debated, and the financial resources that can be devoted to supporting the effort. We have a lot of work to do, and we urgently need your help to be successful.

Thanks to the matching gift fund that has been made available to us through the end of the year, we can get a head start on this critical work if you will help with a generous donation that will immediately be 100% matched.

Can I count on you at this important time, knowing that your donation will DOUBLE in size and impact?

So how can a person be so happy to take rights and happiness from others? There is nothing about my marriage that harms Brown, yet his mission is to make my marriage illegal. Hugs

Trump-Appointed Federal Appeals Court Judges Strike Down Palm Beach County’s “Conversion Therapy” Ban

Via press release from Lambda Legal:

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit today reversed a lower court ruling and struck down local Palm Beach County. Florida, and City of Boca Raton ordinances banning so-called conversion therapy on minors. Lambda Legal CEO Kevin Jennings issued the following statement:

“The City of Boca Raton and Palm Beach County joined states and municipalities across the country who have properly banned the discredited and harmful practice of so-called ‘conversion therapy’ on minors in order to protect LGBTQ youth. Laws prohibiting this dangerous practice have withstood legal challenges in numerous courts. Today’s decision is a marked departure from precedent and an incredibly dangerous decision for our youth.

“So-called ‘conversion therapy’ is nothing less than child abuse. It poses documented and proven critical health risks, including depression, shame, decreased self-esteem, social withdrawal, substance abuse, self-harm and suicide. Youth are often subjected to these practices at the insistence of parents who don’t know or don’t believe that the efforts are harmful and doomed to fail: when these efforts predictably fail to produce the expected result, many LGBTQ children are kicked out of their homes.

“Both judges joining today’s decision were appointed by President Trump. We fear that today’s decision may be the tip of the iceberg in terms of the harm that may come from a federal judiciary that has been packed for the last four years with dangerous ideologues. The damage done by this misguided opinion is incalculable and puts young people in danger.”

Photo: Federalist Society’s Andrew Brasher, whose nomination to a lower federal court failed to advance in 2018, at his successful 11th Circuit Court nomination hearing before the US Senate in December 2019.

 

🚨11th Circuit rules that bans on anti-LGBTQ "conversion therapy" violate the First Amendment. 2–1 decision, both judges in the majority appointed by Trump. A really awful and frightening decision.

Note that these bans only apply to minors and licensed counselors. Not clergy or private citizens. And lawmakers found that trying to change a child's sexual orientation or gender identity is extremely harmful and dangerous. The 11th Circuit's Trump judges don't care.

This is what Rule By Trump Judges looks like: We are not allowed to shield LGBTQ youth from discredited "conversion therapy," even though it increases risk of suicide.

Trump judges won't let LGBTQ people protect our own communities, our own children, from harm. Sickening.

Today's decision from the 11th Circuit blocking bans on LGBTQ "conversion therapy" for minors creates a circuit split. There is thus a very good chance the Supreme Court will now take up the issue. I have no real doubt that SCOTUS will find these bans unconstitutional.

The Supreme Court's six conservative justices will likely (1) strike down laws barring licensed counselors from seeking to change a minor's sexual orientation or gender identity, and (2) continue to uphold laws that force physicians to recite anti-abortion propaganda to patients.

This is an important point from Martin's dissent. The majority claims there's not enough evidence that "conversion therapy" is harmful. But medical experts have said *it would be unethical* to conduct the research that the majority demands, because it would harm children.

One startling aspect of today's opinion: The majority discredits the opposition of *every mainstream medical organization* to "conversion therapy," claiming that these groups are simply trying to censor therapists who don't share "majority preferences."

https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2020/11/trump-judges-conversion-therapy-lgbtq.html

Originally tweeted by Mark Joseph Stern (@mjs_DC) on November 20, 2020.

Alito Blasts LGBTQ Rights In Federalist Society Speech

Alito Blasts LGBTQ Rights In Federalist Society Speech

Politico reports:

Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito delivered an unusually inflammatory public speech Thursday night, starkly warning about the threats he contends religious believers face from advocates for gay and abortion rights, as well as public officials responding to the coronavirus pandemic.

Speaking to a virtual conference of conservative lawyers, the George W. Bush appointee made no direct comment on the recent election, the political crisis relating to President Donald Trump’s refusal to acknowledge his defeat or litigation on the issue pending at the Supreme Court.

However, Alito didn’t hold back on other controversial subjects, even suggesting that the pressure Christians face surrounding their religious beliefs is akin to the strictures the U.S. placed on Germany and Japan after World War II.

Slate reports:

Alito abandoned any pretense of impartiality in his speech, a grievance-laden tirade against Democrats, the progressive movement, and the United States’ response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Alito’s targets included COVID-related restrictions, same-sex marriage, abortion, Plan B, the contraceptive mandate, LGBTQ non-discrimination laws, and five sitting Democratic senators.

Ironically, Alito began his pre-recorded address by condemning an effort by the U.S. Judicial Conference to forbid federal judges from being members of the Federalist Society. He then praised, by name, the four judges who spearheaded a successful effort to defeat the ban—or, as Alito put it, who “stood up to an attempt to hobble the debate that the Federalist Society fosters.”

Alito is delivering the keynote speech at this year’s Federalist Society convention. He’s using the occasion to defend the group, claiming its members face “harassment and retaliation for saying anything that departs from the law school orthodoxy.”

Alito attacks the Judicial Conference for attempting to forbid federal judges from being members of the Federalist Society, and praises the conservative judges who successfully fought the ban.

UHHH, Alito seems to be criticizing governors for issuing “sweeping restrictions” in response to COVID-19. Also criticizes progressives and New Dealers for putting too much faith in scientists and experts.

Alito says this rule by executive fiat is “where the law has been going for some time—in the direction of government by executive officials who are thought to implement policies by scientific expertise.” Suggests this is a dangerous trend.

Whoa, Alito is VERY critical of COVID restrictions and “rule by experts.”

Then he says: “in certain corners, religious liberty is fast becoming a disfavored right.”

He condemns “the protracted campaign against the Little Sisters of the Poor.” Calls it an “unrelenting attack.”

Alito now condemns Washington State for requiring pharmacies to carry Plan B, “which destroys an embryo after fertilization.”

He also criticizes the Colorado civil rights commissioner in Masterpiece Cakeshop who said “freedom of religion” can be used for discrimination.

Alito criticizes Harvard Law Prof. Mark Tushnet for this notorious blog post, and quotes from it extensively. Says “it’s not dark yet but it’s getting there,” quoting Bob Dylan.

https://balkin.blogspot.com/2016/05/abandoning-defensive-crouch-liberal.html?m=1

Now Alito is criticizing the Nevada governor for giving casinos a higher COVID attendance cap than churches.

He moves onto criticizing the federal judge who suspended the rule that required people to pick up abortion pills in person.

Yikes. Alito condemns Obergefell, the same-sex marriage decision, and says it has led to censorship of people who believe marriage is “a union of one man and one woman.” Says freedom of speech is “falling out of favor in some circles.”

Alito brings up a brief filed with the Supreme Court by five Democratic senators in a gun case warning that the court is becoming too political. He calls the brief “an affront to the Constitution and the rule of law.”

Without saying the words “court-packing,” Alito warns about Democratic efforts to “bully” the court with threats to “restructure” it. Tells a story about a foreign judge threatened with death if he didn’t rule for the government.

Alito is done.

That was easily the most political speech I’ve ever seen delivered by a Supreme Court justice. Wow. Same-sex marriage, guns, abortion, contraception, persecution of the Federalist Society … he really squeezed it all in there. Yikes.

Probably the strangest aspect of Alito’s speech, other than his attack on COVID restrictions, was his claim that people who oppose same-sex marriage get called “bigots” and this somehow threatens freedom of speech. But how?! Public criticism is not censorship! He knows this!

Here is Justice Alito complaining that the Supreme Court’s same-sex marriage decision has crushed the free speech of anti-LGBTQ advocates.

Here’s Justice Alito complaining about this amicus brief filed by @SenWhitehouse, @SenBlumenthal, @maziehirono, @SenatorDurbin, and @SenGillibrand, and warning of Democrats’ threats to “restructure” the Supreme Court.

And here is Justice Alito defending Masterpiece Cakeshop’s Jacks Phillips for refusing to bake a cake for a same-sex couple. Alito notes that the couple was offered a free cake elsewhere, then supported by “celebrity chefs.”

As @danepps pointed out, Alito inadvertently made a very strong argument for court reform this evening. https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2020/11/alito-federalist-society-speech-insane.html @Slate

Originally tweeted by Mark Joseph Stern (@mjs_DC) on November 13, 2020.

Fort Lauderdale’s Gay Mayor: Trump Cultists Called Me “Faggot And Pedophile” At My Voting Location [VIDEO]

Fort Lauderdale’s Gay Mayor: Trump Cultists Called Me “Faggot And Pedophile” At My Voting Location [VIDEO]

Miami’s CBS News affiliate reports:

With all the vitriol that has surrounded this election season, there’s another claim of harassment – this time from the mayor of Fort Lauderdale.  He recalled how homophobic slurs were hurled at him while he was at an early vote location at Coral Ridge Mall.  Trantalis is the city’s first openly gay mayor.

“I encountered a number of people who were there on behalf of the Trump campaign who immediately accosted me, calling me pedophile, started calling me a [homophobic slur] and thought it was fun,” he said. He called the people behind it a fringe element.

“I know it’s not the Republican Party. I know it’s just a lot of rabble rousers that are fringe elements of the Trump organization that felt they could come into our city,” he said. “Several were not from our city. They admitted they came from other parts of the state.”

As I reported earlier, that Coral Ridge Mall voting location has been the target of multiple Trump and anti-mask protests.

Graham: There’s A Place For Women In America If They “Embrace Religion, Follow Traditional Family Structure”

Graham: There’s A Place For Women In America If They “Embrace Religion, Follow Traditional Family Structure”

“You know what I like about Judge Barrett? She’s got everything. She’s just not wicked smart, she’s incredibly good. She embraces her faith. I want every young woman to know that that there’s a place for you in America if you’re pro-life, if you embrace your religion and you follow traditional family structure, that you can go anywhere, young lady.” – Sen. Lindsey Graham, speaking to supporters in South Carolina.

 

tired of this nonsense

Today, Lindsay Graham told women there's a place for them in America if they embrace their religion and follow "traditional family structure".

Are y'all tired of this nonsense? All women are valid. All families are valid.

Make calls for @harrisonjaime:

https://bit.ly/2HRwIDK

Originally tweeted by Charlotte Clymer 🏳️‍🌈 (@cmclymer) on November 1, 2020.

Anti-LGBT TX Grifter Behind Bid To Toss Out Votes

The Texas Tribune reports:

For the nearly 127,000 people who did so at drive-thru polling places instead of in traditional indoor sites, many are now watching with fear as a wealthy conservative activist, a Republican state representative and two GOP candidates aim to throw out their ballots at the last minute.

In the state’s most populous — and largely Democratic — county, drive-thru voters are left anxiously awaiting court decisions before Election Day on Tuesday that could force them to go back to the polls. Likely many more are unaware of their votes’ potential demise.

The plaintiffs, all Republicans, are conservative activist Steven Hotze, state Rep. Steve Toth of The Woodlands, congressional candidate Wendell Champion and judicial candidate Sharon Hemphill. They argue that the county’s new drive-thru voting sites are an illegal expansion of curbside voting.

Hotze last appeared on JMG when he left a voice mail for Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, telling him to “shoot to kill” Black Lives Matter activists.

You may recall that Steven Hotze has compared gays to “communist termites” eating away at America’s moral fabric. He is also fond of declaring that it’s now a hate crime to denounce homosexuality.

It was Hotze who bankrolled the successful campaign to repeal Houston’s “wicked, evil, Satanic” LGBT rights ordinance, during which he compared gays to rapists and murderers.

According to Hotze, same-sex marriage will result in children “practicing sodomy” in kindergarten.

Last year he appeared here when he “prophesied” that God will deliver “just retribution” to lawmakers who vote for LGBT rights.

When he’s not calling on God to kill politicians or the governor to kill protesters, Hotze sells “miracle” supplements because high cholesterol doesn’t really cause heart disease.

Hotze regularly quotes QAnon slogans.

 

https://www.texastribune.org/2020/10/31/harris-county-drive-thru-votes/

A poll worker feeds a voting machine and power cord through a voter’s car window in the drive-through line at NRG Stadium in…

But for the nearly 127,000 people who did so at drive-thru polling places instead of in traditional indoor sites, many are now watching with fear as a wealthy conservative activist, a Republican state representative and two GOP candidates aim to throw out their ballots at the last minute. In the state’s most populous — and largely Democratic — county, drive-thru voters are left anxiously awaiting court decisions before Election Day on Tuesday that could force them to go back to the polls. Likely many more are unaware of their votes’ potential demise.

The Republican legal effort could jeopardize 10% of the in-person early votes that were cast at 10 drive-thru polling places throughout the county — a vote count higher than the entire early vote total in Nueces County, home of Corpus Christi and the state’s 16th most populous county.

 

Two lawsuits by the group of plaintiffs have been filed in recent days after a similar challenge was already rejected by the all-Republican Texas Supreme Court.

“I’m just crossing my fingers and hoping for the best, but I think this is ridiculous,” Christine Charles told The Texas Tribune Saturday. “They could have done this two weeks ago, and we could have voted [inside] in person.”

Charles, 32, works at a medical center in Houston with her friend, so they opted to stay in her car to vote when they arrived at NRG Park. They didn’t want to potentially expose other people to the coronavirus in a voting line, she said. She was “jazzed” about the process, which includes the same safeguards as voting indoors.

“We thought it was fine, and then I see these stories,” she said, referring to the lawsuits seeking to toss the votes. “We can both still go on Tuesday and vote if we have to, but I want to know. If my vote’s going to be thrown out, when are we going to know that’s the case?”

The state’s Republican leadership, meanwhile, has stayed silent on the issue.

Harris County first tested drive-thru voting in the July primary runoffs with little controversy, and the county’s 10 drive-thru centers were established for the fall election to make early voting easier for people concerned about entering polling places during the pandemic. Voters pull up in their cars, and after their registrations and identifications have been confirmed by poll workers, are handed an electronic tablet through their car windows to cast ballots.

The plaintiffs, all Republicans, are conservative activist Steven Hotze, state Rep. Steve Toth of The Woodlands, congressional candidate Wendell Champion and judicial candidate Sharon Hemphill. They argue that the county’s new drive-thru voting sites are an illegal expansion of curbside voting and violate Texas election law and the U.S. Constitution. Curbside voting, a separate option long available under Texas election law, requires workers at every polling place to deliver onsite curbside ballots to voters who are “physically unable to enter the polling place without personal assistance or likelihood of injuring the voter’s health.”

Hotze is an active GOP donor and is one of the most prolific culture warriors on the right. He’s a fierce opponent of same-sex marriage and was a key figure in the unsuccessful push for the 2017 “bathroom bill” in the Texas Legislature. This year, he has filed numerous lawsuits seeking to overturn Gov. Greg Abbott’s coronavirus restrictions and block Harris County’s efforts to make it easier for people to vote. And he left a voicemail for Abbott’s chief of staff this summer telling him to shoot and kill people protesting the in-custody death of George Floyd.

 

Teeing up a massive potential disenfranchisement of Harris County voters, the Republicans are asking the courts to not only declare drive-thru voting illegal in Texas, but to throw out the votes cast at such polling locations. An earlier legal challenge against drive-thru voting brought by Hotze, Hemphill and the Harris County Republican Party was rejected by the Texas Supreme Court last week.

“Unless stopped, illegal votes will be cast and counted in direct violation of the Texas Election Code and the United States Constitution and result in the integrity of elections in Harris County being compromised,” the petition to the court said.

(Voters who used the drive-thru option are subjected to the same verification requirements as those who vote in traditional polling places.)

Harris County officials have continued to defend the legality of the program, and noted that the Texas secretary of state’s office had approved of drive-thru voting. Keith Ingram, the state’s director of elections, said in a court hearing last month in another lawsuit that drive-thru voting is “a creative approach that is probably okay legally,” according to court transcripts.

 

Plus, the county argued in a Friday filing that Texas’s election code, along with court rulings, have determined that even if the drive-thru locations are deemed violations, votes cast there are still valid.

“More than a century of Texas case law requires that votes be counted even if election official[s] violate directory election laws,” the county’s filing said.

Still, the challenges have arrived in front of conservative judges in part of what the county’s attorney in the state lawsuit said is part of a national Republican strategy in the courts for what’s expected to be a close presidential race. The lawsuits were filed as a record number of voters turned out in Texas and polls showed a narrowing presidential race in the state. There was no lawsuit or public expression of concern when the county first tried this method in the July runoffs.

Susan Hays, attorney for the Harris County Clerk’s Office, said Saturday that if a court moved to invalidate the votes before Tuesday, voters could cast on Election Day a provisional ballot. Provisional ballots are reviewed after Election Day and counted once election workers determine they qualify. The clerk’s office is confident the county’s about 800 polling locations could handle the 127,000 people whose votes are at risk, she said, but that depends on the voter being aware of the fate of their first vote and able to make a second trip to the polls.

 

The challenges join a flurry of other lawsuits on Texas voting procedures filed in recent months, with Democrats and voting rights groups pushing for expanded voting access in the pandemic and Republicans seeking to limit voting options. The courts have recently ruled against other last-minute challenges on voting access by noting that cases were filed too late, and that changes to voting procedure during an election would sow voter confusion.

In the pending cases on drive-thru voting, the state’s highest civil court could rule on the pending case at any time, and U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen has scheduled a hearing for Monday morning.

Since the first Republican challenge to drive-thru voting was filed on Oct. 12, the Texas secretary of state and Abbott have both ignored requests from reporters and Harris County officials to clarify their positions on whether the process was legal.

In the meantime, voters feel held in limbo.

 

Clifton House’s 77-year-old mother-in-law, Annbell, voted at the Houston Community College – West Loop drive-thru center on Oct. 16 at his and his wife’s insistence, House said. His mother-in-law had just been discharged from the hospital the day before, and they didn’t want her standing in lines to potentially be exposed to the coronavirus. In hindsight, he said, it may have been bad advice.

“She specifically did not want to vote by mail to ensure her vote got counted,” he said. “Because of the [U.S.] Post Office stuff, and the signature matches and all the things they can do where you don’t have any chance to defend yourself.”

Shelby Strudler, 44, took the opportunity to vote in her car because a herniated disc and pinched nerve in her back makes standing for long periods of time painful. She called the lawsuits “wholly un-American.” She also voted at the West Loop HCC location.

“It just causes a lot of chaos and confusion,” she told the Tribune. “If this particular judge does nullify these votes, will I be allowed to vote on Tuesday? Am I not allowed to vote at all now? Does my vote not count at all?”

 

Strudler, who keeps up to date with news online, said even if there is another opportunity to vote, many of the other nearly 127,000 people won’t know that or be able to again cast a ballot on Election Day.

“The GOP is doing everything possible to not allow people to vote, and I don’t think they understand that there are Republicans who also took part in drive-thru voting.”

Franklin Graham Condemns Pope For “Normalizing Homosexuality” – God Says Gays Face “Eternal Death”

Franklin Graham Condemns Pope For “Normalizing Homosexuality” – God Says Gays Face “Eternal Death”

Franklin Graham writes today on his Facebook page:

The news has reported that Pope Francis said in a new documentary that “homosexuals have a right to be part of the family” and is calling for civil union laws for same-sex couples. I find these comments from the Pope unthinkable in light of the Word of God.

For Pope Francis to attempt to normalize homosexuality is to say that Holy Scriptures are false, that our sins really don’t matter, and that we can continue living in them. If that were true, then Jesus Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection wouldn’t have been needed. No one has the right or the authority to trivialize Christ’s sacrifice on our behalf.

Yes, God makes it clear that He loves us and does want us to be part of His family, but He also tells us how that can happen. The Bible says, “Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord” (Acts 3:19).

I want everyone to know the truth and to find the peace that comes only from fully surrendering our lives to Him and His commands. The consequence of an unrepentant, unbelieving heart is also clear in the Word of God — eternal death.

Unless we repent and receive His offer of forgiveness, surrendering our lives to Him, we will spend eternity a part of a different family when we leave this earth—the family of the condemned.

I think from what I have read and watched today the Pope has been preaching acceptance and opening the church to gay people since he was a bishop before becoming Pope.  He is in the middle of a firestorm from what I have read.  There are a lot of gay priests who are tired of hearing they are going to hell while they are also the means to heaven and forgiveness for the people.   But there are hardliners who are openly and actively against the Pope’s stance of inclusion and for years have fought him over doctrine.   There is a few Archbishops who openly say he is not the real Pope but the prior Pope still is.  The prior Pope even added to a book condemning many of the current Popes positions, which he publicly had to take back claiming he did not understand what was being asked.   Yes he did but his cushy gay lifestyle was about to end so he retreated fast.     The fact is the current Pope understands the church is dying, losing members due to two things.   The molestation scandal while claiming moral superiority, and the fact the majority of the public has moved on from their stance on moral issues and are leaving the church.   He knows if he wants to rebuild the church they need to keep the younger people, they need to rebuild the brand.   The diehards don’t want the brand to change.   They are willing to accept death of their religion thinking such a thing can never happen, their money and their god wont allow it.   The more realist people in the church realize their god is spiritual and the world is realistic.  So this Pope has for years been trying to bridge the two, the fanatical dogmatic dictatorial side of the church and the more open less dogmatic more modern accepting side of the church.   

I do not have enough back ground in either religion or Catholicism to truly grasp the fight here or where it will go.   I think this baby step is all the Pope thinks he can do now, but I think he can read polls that say the majority of Catholics support gay people.  What do you think on this?   Hugs

Edit to add this comment from the post.

 

 

I thought this was a rather enlightened spin on the Seven Deadly Sins

Wrath is beating someone up because they exist in a way that you don’t like. Wrath is not being angry because someone hurt you.

Lust is not wanting to have sex with other people. Lust is using sex to hurt other people or hurting another person in a sexual way.

Gluttony is not eating lots of food. Gluttony is when you have enough resources, but keep them to yourself because you do not want to give up the power associated with it.

Greed is not wanting to improve the state of your material life because it would improve your quality of life. Greed is taking opportunities and resources away from already marginalized people.

Envy is not looking at someone who has a higher quality of life and wanting to improve it. Envy is when you are looking to take away from someone who is in the same situation as you.

Sloth isn’t when you’re exhausted or hurting and being too tired to do anything else. Sloth is when one contributed nothing to the work and yet reaps the rewards of the work.

Pride is when you think of yourself as greater than your peers and your fellow humans. Pride is not being proud of yourself or others for accomplishing something that was difficult. You are allowed to be proud of your hard work and accomplishments.

If Marriage Equality is Overturned by SCOTUS, Interracial Marriages May Be Next

If Marriage Equality is Overturned by SCOTUS, Interracial Marriages May Be Next

Last week, the Supreme Court chose not to take up a case brought to them by former Rowan County (Kentucky) Clerk Kim Davis, the anti-gay government official who wouldn’t issue same-sex marriage licenses even though that was her job. But that wasn’t the big news.

The headlines focused on how two justices, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alitoissued a statement saying that, while they agreed it was the right move not to hear this particular case, they believed the Obergefell ruling that legalized marriage equality nationwide needed to be overturned.

That was especially disturbing because Chief Justice John Roberts dissented in Obergefell, two new justices have been appointed to the court by Donald Trump, and another vehemently anti-LGBTQ judge will likely join them within weeks. There’s a very strong chance that, like abortion rights, marriage equality will soon be overturned.

Because this is obviously a matter centered around religion and “religious freedom” (i.e. faith-based bigotry), the leaders of the Congressional Freethought Caucus have issued a statement denouncing that possibility.

Representatives Jared Huffman and Jamie Raskin sent this along in an email:

Suggesting reversal of this landmark ruling is a dramatic attack on the LGBTQ+ community that turns religious liberty into a weapon against other people’s fundamental rights. Religious freedom isn’t the right to compel the government to deny the equal rights of other citizens. But, as members of the Congressional Freethought Caucus, we see right-wing forces on the Court and in Congress trying to twist religious free exercise into a bizarre new right to make the state discriminate against disfavored groups.

Any government that can turn the clock back to discriminate against same-sex couples can also turn it back to discriminate against interracial and interfaith couples. Nothing could be more deeply at odds with our principles of constitutional freedom and equality for all Americans.

That right there is alarming. The congressmen are saying that if marriage equality can be overturned, there’s really nothing that could prevent Christians from making the same argument in other ways.

What happens if a county clerk refuses to issue a marriage license to an interracial couple using the same justification as Kim Davis? What happens if a baker refuses to sell a wedding cake to an interfaith couple? If religion becomes a legal excuse to avoid following the law, it would be a disaster.

This is not a slippery slope fallacy. While fewer Christians have a problem with interracial/interfaith couples, those bigots exist. It’s up to our courts — and our legislators — to make sure bigotry has no place in the public square. With a conservative supermajority on the Supreme Court, that protection could be out the window.