US Supreme court dodges dispute between Texas, California over religious freedom, gay rights

04:55  27 april  2021
04:55  27 april  2021 Source:   usatoday.com

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The conflict between gay rights and religious rights has become a central theme at the high court , which now has an 6-3 conservative majority. Supreme Court to consider right to carry gun outside the home.

Texas sued after California in 2017 added it to its list, now numbering 12, of states covered by the ban. Texas was placed on the list after its Republican-controlled legislature passed a measure that allowed child welfare providers to deny service based on their religious beliefs - a move California said Texas said in its lawsuit, which was filed directly at the Supreme Court as is allowed in some disputes between states, that California 's law violated the U.S. Constitution's so-called commerce clause by discriminating against interstate commerce. West Virginia, Kansas and Tennessee were among 19

WASHINGTON – The Supreme Court declined Monday to take up a heated dispute between one of the nation’s most liberal states and one of its most conservative in a case that had pit freedom of religion against gay rights.

The decision to turn down the case drew a dissent from two of the court's conservatives, Associate Justices Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas.

California passed a law in 2016 prohibiting taxpayer-funded travel – such as for state employees to attend conferences – to any state that doesn’t ban discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. Texas law allows foster-care and adoption agencies to deny same-sex couples on religious grounds.

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More conservative Supreme Court faces major dispute pitting religious freedom against LGBTQ rights . More: Supreme Court to decide if foster care agencies can snub gay , lesbian couples due to religious objections. The foster care agency sued, but two lower federal courts refused to block the city's action. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit ruled unanimously that the agency "failed to make a persuasive showing that the city targeted it for its religious beliefs or is motivated by ill will against its religion , rather than sincere opposition to discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation."

The Supreme Court ducked deciding whether religious merchants have a constitutional right to deny service to gay people, but did rule that a Christian baker didn’t get a fair hearing before a state civil- rights commission and therefore shouldn’t be penalized. The court ’s decision brought an inconclusive end to one of the most contentious social issues on the justices’ docket, the first major follow-on to the 2015 decision affording same-sex couples the same marriage rights as those held by opposite-sex couples.

a large stone building with United States Supreme Court Building in the background: A view of the Supreme Court in Washington, Thursday, April 22, 2021. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh) ORG XMIT: DCSW119 © Susan Walsh, AP A view of the Supreme Court in Washington, Thursday, April 22, 2021. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh) ORG XMIT: DCSW119

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Texas took California directly to the Supreme Court last year, asserting the travel ban was "born of religious animus" and that it violates the Constitution.

The justices had been considering whether to take the suit for months. The court did not explain its decision not to hear the case.

More: Supreme Court hears Philadelphia foster parent dispute pitting religious freedom against LGBTQ rights

"If this cycle of retaliation continues, it will leave a country divided into red and blue states: The former spend money only in other red states; the latter spend money only in the blue ones,” Texas told the court last year.

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With the Supreme Court decision, such inequity has been addressed the same way most other discrimination against the LGBTQ community has been tackled in the past: through the courts , not the political process. That said, the “ religious thesis” is not unimpeachable. Indeed, it could well be a distraction. After all, other deeply religious societies have made tremendous progress in advancing LGBTQ rights . Moreover, the American religious landscape has changed dramatically in recent decades as a consequence of rising secularism.

The Supreme Court has refused to consider Texas ’ challenge to California ’s ban on state-funded business trips to Texas and other states deemed to discriminate against LGBTQ people. Justices Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas said they would have allowed the lawsuit to go forward at the high court . Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton sought to file the suit at the Supreme Court , which hears disputes between states. He has called the California law an effort “to punish Texans for respecting the right of conscience for foster care and adoption providers.”

Because the lawsuit started at the Supreme Court, Alito questioned the court's decision in a dissent.

"It will not even permit the filing of Texas’s bill of complaint," Alito wrote of the suit. "This understanding of our exclusive original jurisdiction should be reexamined."

The potential conflict between gay rights and religious freedom has become a central theme at the nation’s highest court, which now has an ostensible 6-3 conservative majority. One of the highest-profile cases this year involves a Catholic foster-care agency in Philadelphia that has declined to screen same-sex couples based on its religious objection to gay marriage.

California asserts that it is striking that balance as it sees best for its residents.

“The fact that California has balanced these sometimes competing concerns differently from Texas does not demonstrate that California acted irrationally or with animus toward religion,” the state told the court.

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Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton filed the lawsuit Tuesday. The President on Wednesday filed a motion to intervene -- basically a request to join the lawsuit, asking for the same result. Paxton seeks to file the lawsuit against other states, and in such instances he is allowed to come directly to the Supreme Court . So-called "original jurisdiction" cases are almost exclusively meant to handle inter-state disputes that can't be resolved elsewhere, such as border disagreements or suits over water rights .

Civil rights advocates are condemning a proposed Texas law they say opens the door to discrimination against the LGBT community and religious minorities. The Texas state senate passed Senate Bill 17 earlier this week, which would protect the right of state-licensed workers such as doctors, teachers and She said the difference between both bills is that Senate Bill 17 is broader in scope in that it extends beyond the bathroom and into the workplace. “We believe religious freedom is a fundamental American value and it’s already protected in the US constitution, but religious freedom was never

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Supreme court dodges dispute between Texas, California over religious freedom, gay rights

A Shareholder Asks Some Inconvenient Questions .
Companies ought to answer for their commitment to and advocacy of divisive political positions.With this in mind, over the past several days I’ve taken time out of my schedule to attend shareholder meetings. I registered for each of them using proper procedures and was admitted into each web page as the meetings commenced. Generally, our stakes in these companies have been on the order of magnitude of millions of dollars. In other words, I am not an activist who buys one share so I can speak up at the annual meeting.

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This is interesting!