Monday, April 7, 2014

Tony Perkins is "saddened" by the Supreme Court

Tony Perkins - Family Research Council
Family Research Council, a hate group according to SPLC, has now reacted to the Supreme Court's refusal to hear the case of Elane Photography v. Willock. In an email early this afternoon the group's head, Tony Perkins had this to say:
The Supreme Court's refusal to hear and uphold the First Amendment rights of Elaine Huguenin, a wedding photographer, are deeply disturbing. Does our nation's highest court really believe the price of citizenship is the surrender of conscience?

The New Mexico Supreme Court's decision to allow a state commission to fine her for acting out her conscience would stun the Framers of the U.S. Constitution and is a gross violation of the First Amendment. Our nation's long tradition of respecting conscience is likely why 85 percent of Americans, according to a Rasmussen poll, support the right of photographers to decline participation in a same-sex wedding ceremony.

The Supreme Court ignored an opportunity to reaffirm the basic principle that the government may not trample on fundamental rights of free speech and the free exercise of religion. These rights do not stop at the exit door of your local church, and instead extend to every area of a religious person's life.
Mr. Perkins believes his own bullshit. This case was never about freedom of speech. This was an attempt to carve out religious exemptions to valid anti-discrimination laws. Doing so would subvert the very purpose of such laws in the first place.

“Our nation's long tradition of respecting conscience” is a figment of Mr. Perkins' vivid imagination. In 1989 Justice Antonin Scalia, (yeah, that Scalia) writing for the majority in Employment Division v. Smith observed that the Court has never held that an individual's religious beliefs excuse him from compliance with an otherwise valid law prohibiting conduct that government is free to regulate. Allowing exceptions to every state law or regulation affecting religion “would open the prospect of constitutionally required exemptions from civic obligations of almost every conceivable kind.”
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