SCOTUS decides Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission

June 4, 2018 — This morning, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its decision in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, the case where an LGBTQ couple was denied service by a cake baker. In a very narrow ruling limited to this specific case, the Court voted 7-2 in favor of the anti-LGBTQ baker.
The good news is that this ruling is very limited and applies narrowly to the unique facts of the Masterpiece Cakeshop case. It did NOT create a license to discriminate or overturn existing LGBTQ non-discrimination protections. Instead, the court reaffirmed the need to protect LGBTQ people from discrimination in the market place through nondiscrimination laws. Places like California, which have strong non-discrimination laws, will continue to protect its LGBTQ people.
But this case also presents new challenges. As we’ve always said, this case was never about cake. Fundamentally, this was an attempt by our opponents to attack marriage equality and carve away LGBTQ civil rights protections, which we’ve fought so hard to obtain. This decision will embolden our opponents to continue to attack the civil rights of LGBTQ people through the courts, the legislatures and ballot boxes across the country. This case demonstrates that the right-wing will accelerate their attacks on the LGBTQ community across the country and that we have much more work to do.

More than half a century ago, our nation decided that when a business is open to the public, it must be open to all. Not just a policy, this is a fundamental principle at the heart of who we are — and how we treat one another — as Americans.
Ultimately, the overwhelming majority of Americans do not support discrimination, and will continue to use our wallets to support businesses who value fairness and inclusion — and our ballots to support candidates who will fight to protect LGBTQ Americans from discrimination, including passing the Equality Act in Congress.
Equality California and our partners will do everything in our power—in state legislatures, in Congress, at the ballot box and in the courts—to fight these attempts to roll back our civil rights—and we will continue our work to shape hearts and minds. We will not stop until we achieve our ultimate goal of creating a world that is healthy, just and fully equal for all LGBTQ people. And we need your continued support to do so.
Join us in pledging to stand with Equality California in the fights ahead:

Rick Zbur
Executive Director
Equality California

Fired Transgender Journalist Speaks Out

Fired ‘Marketplace’ Reporter Wonders: Is Objective Journalism Dead?

Lewis Wallace, former “Marketplace” reporter. (Sam Worley / KCRW)

In this week’s episode of “Scheer Intelligence,” Truthdig Editor in Chief Robert Scheer interviews Lewis Wallace, a former reporter fired for questioning objective journalism in the age of Trump.

Wallace had been working for the American Public Media show “Marketplace” for months when he was abruptly fired in February. The reason? He’d written a personal blog post, titled “Objectivity is dead, and I’m okay with it,” in which he explored how journalists will “adapt to a government that believes in ‘alternative facts’ and thrives on lies, including the lie of white racial superiority.”

“Marketplace” executive Deborah Clark stated that the blog post “was a clear violation of our ethics code.” Wallace, who is transgender, tells Scheer that he can’t be objective when it comes to LGBTQ issues in the news — nor should he have to be. The two also discuss diversity in journalism. Listen to the full interview below:

The Fresno State Cross-Cultural and Gender Center

The Fresno State Cross-Cultural and Gender Center is a great place to meet new people and find a sense of belonging on campus.
We are excited to bring new programming, and honor existing, as well as collaborate with groups, clubs, and organizations across campus.

If your group would like to work on a campus event or ongoing programming with us, let us know! We are not limited to the groups listed above, and we would love to partner with you!

We are located in between the Satellite Student Union and the Kennel Bookstore in the Thomas Building, Room 110.

Cross-Cultural and Gender Center
5241 N. Maple Ave. M/S TA35
Fresno, CA 93740
P 559.278.4435
FaceBook: › Places › Fresno, California › Organization
Resources for Transgender Students
What Are My Rights at School?
The federal Title IX law, which bans sex discrimination in schools, has been interpreted by courts and the US Justice and Education Departments to prohibit discrimination against transgender and gender non-conforming students.

You have the right not to be bullied or harassed because you are transgender or gender non-conforming. If school administrators become aware of bullying or harassment they must take action to end it.
You have the right to equal educational opportunities regardless of your gender identity or expression or your race, nationality, or disability. This includes not being punished or excluded from school activities or events because you are transgender or gender non-conforming.
You have the right to present yourself in a way that is consistent with your gender identity, so long as you follow rules for how to dress that apply to all students.
You have the right to use restrooms and other facilities that are consistent with your gender identity, and can’t be forced to use separate restrooms.
You have the right to privacy concerning your transgender status and gender transition. Any such information kept in school records must be kept private and not shared without your permission.
You have the right to join or start a Gay-Straight Alliance or Pride Alliance, and to have your group treated like other student groups.

In Memory of Hal Hynds

Hal Hynds was a long time personal friend and an active member who served several terms as Secretary of Fresno Stonewall Democrats.

Hal was born in Bakersfield, CA, September 6th, 1957, and died in Fresno, CA, on July 16th, 2017. His sister Berma Absher has several children and grandchildren still living in Kern County and also in Florida. His sister Doris Rogers has one daughter still living in Bakersfield. Hal enjoyed the role of uncle, particularly after both his own sisters passed away.
Hal attended public schools, proudly graduated from CSU Bakersfield, working from a young age. He enjoyed listening and playing music, skiing, visiting Los Angeles. He learned and enjoyed auto repairs, carpentry, plumbing, electrical work, and tile cutting and laying. He worked as a Social Worker for Kern County, liking the challenges of the tasks of counseling, providing evidence in court, and assisting the Sheriff’s Office to move children to foster care when parents were taken into custody. While responding to such a sheriff’s call, he was almost killed in an auto accident in 1989. Hal’s courage and strength enabled him to learn to walk again with over two years of surgeries and rehabilitation. He retired to Fresno.
September 20th, 1996 was our anniversary, the date we first met, as marriage was not available then. For over 20 years, we shared our world of love, work, social and political groups, dining out. We both found peacefulness in life. Hal had the time, tools, and talent to improve our home by painting, landscape improvements, tile and carpet laying, and always had a project underway. He played the piano, harps of all sizes, acoustic and electric guitar, and several brass instruments. He greatly enjoyed his time with the Clovis Community Band, usually playing the euphonium. And, he loved our dogs, and canaries, guppies, and all other animals.
June 20th, Hal suffered a severe stroke in a Bakersfield motel, while on a four-day weekend trip to shop in Long Beach and Los Angeles. He died in a hospice in Fresno on July 16th, 2017. My thanks to Dawn Williams and her family, Matthew Avilez, Jared West, Jared Callister, my cousin Janelle Hiam, my neighbors Karen and Mary, and all the many others who helped through this terrible time. At Hal’s request, his remains were cremated without ceremony. Remember that Hal believed we should all enjoy each other, while we are with each other. I will always mourn the loss and treasure every minute of our many years together. Please allow us all time to mourn in peace.

Trump Speaks at anti-LGBT, anti-Muslim event

Trump Is First Sitting President To Speak At Hate-Filled ‘Values Voter Summit’ President touted religious freedom for right-wing Christians at annual anti-Muslim, anti-LGBT event
by Julia Conley October 14, 2017

Trump Is First Sitting President To Speak At Hate-Filled ‘Values Voter Summit’

Advocates of LGBT rights and religious freedom denounced President Donald Trump as he became the first sitting president to address the Values Voter Summit on Friday.

In his speech, Trump assured his supporters that Judeo-Christian religious values would be protected by his administration and pushed the narrative that social conservatives have been under attack in the U.S.

The Southern Poverty Law Center, which classifies the Family Research Council, one of the groups behind the summit, as a hate group, tweeted about the gathering the president had chosen to address.

The FRC’s website reads, “Homosexual conduct is harmful to the persons who engage in it and to society at large, and can never be affirmed…We oppose the vigorous efforts of homosexual activists to demand that homosexuality be accepted as equivalent to heterosexuality in law, in the media, and in schools.”

The annual event is taking on a decidedly anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant tone this year as well, with Brigitte Gabriel, Sebastian Gorka, and Steve Bannon speaking in addition to the president.

In his speech, Trump drew on his ubiquitous “Make America Great Again” slogan, promising a “return” to religious values supposedly upheld by the signers of the Declaration of Independence.

Despite a number of references to religious liberty, the president made clear throughout the speech that his concerns lie with the freedom to express Judeo-Christian beliefs. He invoked the alleged “War on Christmas,” promising, “We are stopping cold the attacks on Judeo-Christian values.”

He also addressed the Johnson Amendment, the law signed by President Lyndon B. Johnson eliminating religious organizations’ tax-exempt status if they publicly advocate for political candidates. Trump touted his executive order which weakened the amendment earlier this year, touting his commitment to protecting Christian and Jewish leaders—but made no mention of other religious groups.

“We will not allow government workers to censor sermons or target our pastors or our ministers or rabbis,” the president said. “These are the people we want to hear from, and they’re not going to be silenced any longer.”

Trump, who has spent most of his life in socially progressive New York City, expressed liberal views about the LGBT community prior to his 2016 run, once saying he supported an amendment to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to include discrimination based on sexual orientation and noting that he “grew up in New York City, a town with different races, religions, and peoples. It breeds tolerance.”

But since announcing his presidential run in 2015, he’s proven to be dependent on the support of groups like the Family Research Council. Opening his speech, he mentioned his affinity for groups that approve of his professed views.

Exporting anti-LGBTQ laws

This morning LGBTQ people in Mississippi woke up knowing that their state now officially has the most discriminatory anti-LGBTQ laws on the books, worse than any state in the country.
Today HB1523, a religious refusal law, took effect in the Magnolia State. The law authorizes Mississippi officials and service providers, such as doctors and store owners, to refuse to serve LGBTQ people on the basis of three specific religious beliefs about marriage between same-sex couples, transgender individuals, and sex before marriage.
It’s a terrible law, leaving all LGBTQ people vulnerable to discrimination – and now that it’s in effect, you can bet that opponents of LGBTQ equality in state legislatures nationwide will seek to replicate its effects in their own states.
The 2018 legislative session is fast approaching – and we need to be ready to resist bills like HB1523 in key states nationwide. Can you help us prepare by donating $4 to Freedom for All Americans’ States Action Team, which was built to fight back against anti-LGBTQ legislative attacks? Click here.
When Indiana passed its distorted “License to Discriminate” RFRA law in 2015, dozens of state legislators held the law up as inspiration for their own attacks. When North Carolina prohibited restroom access for transgender people, many nearly identical bills advanced far in other state houses.
Now, we anticipate our opponents to look to Mississippi’s HB1523 as an example of a “License to Discriminate” that they can pass in their own state – and we can’t let that happen.
LGBTQ people need laws protecting them from discrimination – not laws that ease discrimination altogether. Our States Action Team is gearing up for a busy legislative session in 2018 – and we need you with us.
Click here to donate $4 to the States Action Team and make a difference so we can avoid the next HB1523.
Thank you,
Kasey Suffredini
Freedom for All Americans