back to article Let's take a look at those US Supreme Court decisions and how they will affect tech

The US Supreme Court has issued two decisions that threaten to upend efforts by tech companies to become more diverse, equitable, and inclusive. On June 29, 2023, the Supremes ruled [PDF] that the admissions programs at Harvard College and the University of North Carolina violate the 14th Amendment's equal protection clause by …

  1. Joe W Silver badge

    What about signs

    "no grumpy white men need apply"

    or

    "no Texans"

    or

    "no NRA supporters"

    That covered by the same rules?

    1. Strahd Ivarius Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: What about signs

      Of course!

      This is about "free speech", whatever you want to say is protected.

      You can even add "we don't serve morons" in the last 2 cases...

      1. Dimmer Silver badge

        Re: What about signs

        Actually, we have

        “idiots are not allowed in the Datacenter”

        written in our access security policy.

        1. b0llchit Silver badge
          FAIL

          Re: What about signs

          Beware of evolution. A bigger-and-better-disguised-Idiot will be produced and will sue you for insulting behaviour as well as discrimination of the bigger-and-better-disguised-Idiot's believes. This is not going to end well...

    2. DS999 Silver badge

      Re: What about signs

      The last two were always legal. You can't discriminate against a protected class (by race, by sex, by religion) so you could refuse to hire Texans or NRA supporters.

      Though I wouldn't be shocked if this court was willing to eliminate the concept of protected classes and allow businesses to discriminate by sex, race and religion. Until someone posts "no evangelical Christians allowed", then I imagine that court will find some tortured logic that makes that wrong but "no atheists allowed" just fine.

      This court clearly was given an agenda by the Federalist society where most of its conservative members came from. They don't even let stuff like lack of standing (since there was no injured party in the gay website case) if they hadn't wanted to rule to push that agenda.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: What about signs

        Of course, they'll find a way to weasel it so that they and *only* they can discriminate with impunity. If one were a card-carrying member of the Satanic Temple, they wouldn't get such a "pass". Honestly, I do think that there is more justification to discriminate against those with shitty hateful beliefs than there is against someone for being LGBT+. Beliefs are mutable, and I don't see any reason why they deserve more protection than immutable characteristics. And let's not forget that the entire Southern Baptist denomination was created just to justify slavery.

    3. Tom7

      Re: What about signs

      The whole article is a serious beat-up. The equal protection clause applies to governments, not businesses. Even universities are free to use affirmative action in their admissions, so long as they don't receive government funding for those places.

      For an article about "how [those decisions] will affect tech" there is not a lot here about how those decisions will affect tech; just a bunch of left-wing bashing of the decisions and some scaremongering "maybe this will have big implications for tech companies." What implications?

      1. Jaybus

        Re: What about signs

        The equal protection clause of the 14th amendment applies to state governments, stating "No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States". Colorado's anti-discrimination law does indeed affect business and was the law being examined, whether or not it violates the plaintiff's 1st amendment rights. The equal protection clause is certainly applicable.

  2. Jou (Mxyzptlk) Silver badge

    This is somewhat weird...

    OK, European here, which are a bit less haunted by the "PC-Principal" problem going on in America.

    She is employed as webdesigner at the state, as far "Havard Collage" and "University of California" can be considered to be close to the state (I don't know the details there).

    That employee, which somewhat represents part of the government if I understand that correctly, is still putting up such things like "same sex marrige not OK" or "you may only have our true religious belief".

    If I understood that right: Why does she, being employed there, has to point out such a thing and fight against such unconstitutional nonsense? Is there no control instance? Even I know that famous part of the constitution, on the other side of the pond. On the one hand the PC-Principal exaggeration at various places, on the other hand that...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: This is somewhat weird...

      I can't figure out what your are trying to say. Nobody in the web design case was an employee of the state. I don't know what "PC-Principal" means. What is "control instance"?

      The issue here was that SCOTUS concluded that the state's laws compelled the woman to "speak" by saying should could not turn away a customer whose marriage she was opposed to and that this way of compelling speech is against the first amendment.

      1. Jou (Mxyzptlk) Silver badge

        Re: This is somewhat weird...

        PC Principal

        Thanks for clearing that up - I am not trained in US-English legaleze-speak. It is like they are trained to use a huge amount of words to say what they mean in the most convoluted way possible.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: This is somewhat weird...

          a) Please tell me that you are not learning about the US legal system, or the US in general, just by watching South Park.

          b) You will find that most laws are written by lawyers, and thus the fact that they require multitudes of overpaid lawyers to interpret, argue over, and re-interpret is not a surprise. Perhaps it is different where you live?

          1. Jou (Mxyzptlk) Silver badge

            Re: This is somewhat weird...

            a: Weird idea.

            b: Not different, but it is my native tongue and not English, so I handle it. Can you handle German lawyer speak?

            1. stiine Silver badge
              Happy

              Re: This is somewhat weird...

              Do they use even longer words than typical Germans? If so, no.

              1. Jou (Mxyzptlk) Silver badge

                Re: This is somewhat weird...

                Measuring complexity by the length of words? Doomed to fail. And another fail on top: You don't know the semantic behind those long German words. FYI: English has similar rules, but they use spaces or hyphens. US-A specific: Abbreviations en mass to avoid long word constructions, especially abbreviations which contradict what they are standing for to get better PR (AKA propaganda value). Quite a few articles on The Reg show how much US-centric the writer is just by using abbreviations only valid in the US bubble.

                1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

                  Re: This is somewhat weird...

                  FYI: English has similar rules, but they use spaces or hyphens

                  Not always (English - as a multi-source language build on an early Germanic base is somewhat... special).

                  So we have words like 'becalmed' [1] which is an agglutinated word. Or antidisestblishmentarianism (also agglutinated). I suspect that whther it contains hyphens or not depends on the age of the work. The Victorians and Edwardians did love their compound words..

                  [1] The 'ge' prefix in German became the 'be' prefix in English. Lots of fun refernces to vocabulary and grammar drift between early Germanic and English :-)

            2. Alf Garnett

              Re: This is somewhat weird...

              German lawyer speak, all those 12 and 15 letter words are the stuff of nightmares.

          2. Dan 55 Silver badge
            Trollface

            Re: This is somewhat weird...

            a) Please tell me that you are not learning about the US legal system, or the US in general, just by watching South Park.

            If Chewbacca lives on Endor, you must acquit! The defence rests.

            Seems a pretty accurate depiction of US justice.

    2. LybsterRoy Silver badge

      Re: This is somewhat weird...

      Mxyzptlk I'm guessing you are a martian and related to the famous one who posts here.

      1. Jou (Mxyzptlk) Silver badge

        Re: This is somewhat weird...

        No, I'm from the 5th dimension.

        I am still fighting following due to convoluted wording of the article (i.e. shitty US-legal speech):

        1. Is she, who was supposed to make the website, against gay marriage or for gay marriage? If the is against and refuses to do her job she should be thrown out of her job. Her private beliefs don't have to interfere here.

        2. OR is she for/neutral to gay marriage, and "the Harvard College and the University of North Carolina" wanted to force her to write an anti-gay-marriage website?

        I suspect the court ruling to be number 2, and therefore correct, and any "Collage" or "University" doing such nonsense should be kicked in the butt.

        BUUUT: When I read all those posts here: Even people born in the US don't seem to agree which of those two apply! How should someone non-US then know what the correct interpretation is when people from the US-A themselves have difficulties understanding the actual meaning? All I get is down votes by blind haters from the other side(s). As for those blind haters: Yeah, you are those which make the United States Of America look like an idiot country, even though those blind haters are not the majority, but they are the loudest. Blind haters are exactly the same type I see in middle-east religious extremist countries, taking their M16 in one hand, the AK47 in the other, screaming "for god" and shooting in the air for the show on camera.

        1. flayman

          Re: This is somewhat weird...

          "Even people born in the US don't seem to agree which of those two apply! How should someone non-US then know what the correct interpretation is when people from the US-A themselves have difficulties understanding the actual meaning? All I get is down votes by blind haters from the other side(s)."

          I know it's hard, but try not to take downvotes personally. You're right. Even people from the US-A have a hard time understanding and agreeing on the nuances of this judgement. Actually, Americans are at a serious disadvantage because the reporting is highly partisan. The justices are very smart people. They don't all agree, and they don't seem to understand the other sides. But we're left trying to pick up the pieces. You have at least a decent grasp of English, so I'd suggest that rather than try to satisfy your curiosity here, go to the source. Read the judgement and the dissent. They are not difficult to follow. Search for 303 Creative v. Elenis, and you'll find a link the Supreme Court judgement.

        2. flayman

          Re: This is somewhat weird...

          I think you deserve an answer to your question:

          "1. Is she, who was supposed to make the website, against gay marriage or for gay marriage? If the is against and refuses to do her job she should be thrown out of her job. Her private beliefs don't have to interfere here.

          2. OR is she for/neutral to gay marriage, and "the Harvard College and the University of North Carolina" wanted to force her to write an anti-gay-marriage website?"

          It's number one. She opposes same sex marriage because of her Christian beliefs. She cannot be thrown out of her job because she is sole proprietor of the business. She can only have her conduct regulated by the law as it applies to public accommodations. Harvard and UNC are referring to a completely different case on affirmative action admissions policies.

          1. Jou (Mxyzptlk) Silver badge

            Re: This is somewhat weird...

            > It's number one.

            Oh, then the court decision is bonkers. Especially with "no such scenario occurred". Even more weird the supreme court wasting their time on such matter, there must be something in the background pushing that issue to the court, like a fundamentalist intolerance-lover push. Even more weird: This proves, again, that the current supreme court deeply believes in values tending to more un-american-intolerance. Even more weird with the hire-and-fire culture of USA which allows easier kicking out of the job, but makes it easier to leave a bad job (IMHO it is somewhat 50:50 whether that is really good or bad, it is just a cultural difference I'm not used to I'd say).

            1. flayman

              Re: This is somewhat weird...

              It's unusual for the Supreme Court to hear a pre-enforcement challenge, but they granted certiorari because the lower courts found that the plaintiff had standing. That may have been based on a phony order, but that's neither here nor there. The decision is troubling, though I wouldn't call it bonkers. It comes down to how each of the justices attach weight to different competing values. Gorsuch's opinion is well reasoned and well written, but upon further reading I now feel that he misdirected himself on some of the facts and the conclusions arising from them. 6 justices agreed, so that's the law now.

          2. JohnDyson

            Re: This is somewhat weird...

            Whether or not she is personally opposed to gay marriage, she openly serves LBGTQRST or whatever people in HER business. However, she was asked to represent a situation and create content (speech) that she doesn't feel comfortable to do. She did NOT decline to serve her customer until that service became speech. For example, a stronger variant of the situation that the business ownder declined to participate in: maybe I'd be very happy to help a friend who is gay, but I shouldn't be required to participate in a gay pride parade. Of course, the work product was not participating in a parade, but was something similar that it might be construed as advocacy (speech) that the businessperson didn't feel comforbable about. Maybe another way to look at it, but not technically exactly the same: I am happy to have a 'best friend' who is gay, but don't want to have lots of PDA in my presence.

            I personally don't care if someone is gay, but I don't want to actively participate in the lifestyle or represent myself as supporting it. That is mostly what the ruling is about, NOT that she would/would not serve a gay person, because SHE IS HAPPY TO DO SO.

            1. flayman

              Re: This is somewhat weird...

              That's how I initially saw it too, but it's more nuanced than that. It's worth reading the full majority opinion and then the full dissent. I found things towards the end of the dissent that changed my mind. Maybe you would too.

        3. doublelayer Silver badge

          Re: This is somewhat weird...

          The reason this doesn't make sense to you is that the article talks about two separate, unrelated court cases, each one involving different people and a different political point, and you've grafted pieces of the two into one Frankenstein's monster of a case. For example, this theory about what might be happening: "OR is she for/neutral to gay marriage, and "the Harvard College and the University of North Carolina" wanted to force her to write an anti-gay-marriage website?"

          The universities are part of case number 1. The website designer (well, perspective designer at some point) is part of case number 2. The two do not connect. The only case that has to do with websites and their content is case number 2. I'm afraid that providing more information may just re-introduce the confusion, but you may want to search out more information on each of the individual cases to better understand what has happened.

    3. Alf Garnett

      Re: This is somewhat weird...

      The web designer is self employed. She works for herself. The first amendment guarantees freedom of speach and freedom of religion. Over the last 80 years the court has ruled that governments also cannot require people to say something they don't agree with. Look at it this way. I will assume for this argument that you support Ukraine in the current war. Let's assume you were a web designer and a customer came to you and wanted you to design a pro Putin website. Naturally, you would object.

      About the university admissions policy; there are laws in the U.S. that ban discrimination based on a person's race when it comes to education. Affirmative action is racial discrimination. The universities practicing it are admitting people of one race, or multiple races because of those peoples' race. Affirmative action was created supposedly to make up for past discrimination. It's been over 60 years ago that not allowing people into university because of their race was made illegal. Affirmative action penalizes the current generation of university students for something that was made illegal decades before they were born. If you think affirmative action is a good thing, just ask yourself if you would like it if you were denied admission to the university you wanted to go to because of your race.

      1. georgezilla

        Re: This is somewhat weird...

        " ... If you think affirmative action is a good thing, just ask yourself if you would like it if you were denied admission to the university you wanted to go to because of your race. ... "

        < shakes head >

        So you don't know that you just agreed with affirmative action. You made the case for it. Because people of color WERE being denied admission for that very reason. "White" people weren't/aren't being "denied admission" because they were "white". Someone was being admitted because they were better qualified. IN SPITE of their color. Based on merit.

        So yes, yes I do think affirmative action was, is a good thing. If you don't .....................

        " ... just ask yourself if you would like it if you were denied admission to the university you wanted to go to because of your race. ... "

  3. abend0c4 Silver badge

    The odd billionaire-run fiefdom that monetizes outrage.

    The odd billionaire in question seems unable to succeed in that regard. Perhaps all this controversy is less, well, controversial than the chyrons contend.

    1. t245t Silver badge
      Windows

      Re: The odd billionaire-run fiefdom that monetizes outrage.

      @abend0c4: “The odd billionaire in question seems unable to succeed in that regard. Perhaps all this controversy is less, well, controversial than the chyrons contend.

      Could you provide that in English.

      1. abend0c4 Silver badge

        Re: The odd billionaire-run fiefdom that monetizes outrage.

        "Hello, Dick!", said Jane.

        "Hello, Jane!", said Dick.

        "You look angry, Dick!", said Jane.

        "I am angry, Jane", said Dick.

        "Why are you angry, Dick?", asked Jane.

        "Half the people at our school are really cats!", said Dick.

        "Where did you get that idea?", asked Jane.

        "That's what Dad told me, Jane", said Dick.

        "That doesn't seem very likely, does it Dick?", said Jane.

        "And he said if I tell him who they are he can make a lot of money!", he added.

        "But you told me Dad is a fucking idiot!", said Jane.

        "He saw it on television", said Dick.

        "That doesn't mean it was true", said Jane.

        "But this was written on the television", said Dick.

        "What do you mean, 'written on the television'?", asked Jane.

        "It was in writing, under a picture", said Dick.

        "Like in our books?", asked Jane.

        "Yes", said Dick, "so it must be true".

        "Are you saying that you're swayed by the format rather than the content?", asked Jane.

        "Put like that, perhaps I'm a fucking idiot, too!", said Dick.

        "I quite like cats", said Jane.

        "I quite like cats, too", said Dick.

        "Shall we pretend to be cats?", asked Jane.

        "Let's pretend to be cats!", said Dick.

        "How adorable!", said Dick & Jane's mummy and daddy.

        1. bombastic bob Silver badge
          Alert

          Re: The odd billionaire-run fiefdom that monetizes outrage.

          If I am allergic to cats does that mean I have to start sneezing?

  4. t245t Silver badge
    Holmes

    No such scenario occurred - really ?

    “Ms. Smith filed a lawsuit seeking an injunction to prevent the State from forcing her to create websites celebrating marriages that defy her belief that marriage should be reserved to unions be- tween one man and one woman.”

    elReg: “Never mind that no such scenario occurred, it's now a legal precedent.

    Yes, that is precisely why Lorie Smith took-up the case. There have been actual cases of bakers being sued for refusing to bake a “gay” cake.

    ‘Gay cake’ row: man loses seven-year battle against Belfast bakery

    Baker's refusal to make same-sex wedding cake now before U.S. Supreme Court

    Colorado Masterpiece Cakeshop owner loses appeal over gender transition cake

    1. DS999 Silver badge

      Re: No such scenario occurred - really ?

      That's not how the law works. You can't seek an injunction over something that might happen. If a gay couple asked her to design a website that's when she can act, just like how the gay baker case happened when someone actually asked the bakery to make a cake for a gay wedding.

      IMHO she ought to be prosecuted for making false statements in a court of law, and I hope the Colorado AG pursues such charges as is rumored. You can't simply make up an injury as a way to concoct a court case. That's no different than me seeking a trespass order against you by falsely claiming you pooped on my lawn and I want the trespass order to prevent you from doing it again.

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: No such scenario occurred - really ?

        Falsely claiming something to a Court has nothing to do with trespass laws. It is, however, perjury.

        Fortunately, all you need to do to legally get rid of trespassers here in the US is properly post the property with "No Trespassing" signs.

        Note that "properly" varies with jurisdiction. As always, consult your local officials for local rules and regulations.

        1. bombastic bob Silver badge
          Trollface

          Re: No such scenario occurred - really ?

          post a sign. yeah that'll help.

          I think certain kinds of sports equipmentr, blinding lights, extreme noise at close range, and a general fear that some extremely unhinged person might cause physical harm are a pretty good deterrent, too...

        2. LogicGate Silver badge

          Re: No such scenario occurred - really ?

          Yes, whenever I am in the US, I see these signs and shudder.

          Go for a walk, overlook one sign, and some gun-toting maniac can come charging after you to protect his "rights".

          I grew up with "allemannsretten" https://www.visitnorway.com/plan-your-trip/travel-tips-a-z/right-of-access/

          Now that is what I call freedom. A freedom that comes with rights and responsebilities.

      2. t245t Silver badge
        Holmes

        Re: No such scenario occurred - really ?

        > That's not how the law works. You can't seek an injunction over something that might happen.

        The US Supreme Court has determined otherwise.

        > If a gay couple asked her to design a website that's when she can act ..

        and spend SEVEN years in-and-out of Court.

    2. jake Silver badge

      Re: No such scenario occurred - really ?

      Now don't get me wrong, I understand the meaning of "It's the principle of the thing" ... But why on Earth would a gay couple, when confronted by a bakery (web designer, whatever) which obviously is run by anti-gay bigots, want to force said bigots to do their wedding celebration baking?

      And ESPECIALLY with something as personal as a wedding cake. I may not be gay, but I am married, and I guarantee that there is no way in hell I would want my cake to have been made by some fool who hated my guts just because they disapproved of the person I was marrying. I certainly wouldn't pay them actual money for the privilege.

      When I run across such stupidity on the part of a business, I vote with my wallet and go elsewhere. And I make sure to tell my friends and family about it, too. Life's too short to deal with idiots, so warn all the people you care about!

      Seems to me this entire argument is flipped around bassackwards. I have money and I want a good or service. Where I get that good or service is MY decision, not the decision of the purveyor of that good or service. I hold all the power, the purveyor has none. If they indicate that they hate me or mine, fuck 'em. Their business can die as far as I'm concerned.

      1. Redact Ted

        Re: No such scenario occurred - really ?

        This is another exercise of power; the power the customer thought they had to force people who hold opposing beliefs to do something they find distasteful.

        "Activists" wanting to push/punish the "bigots" and/or gain notoriety by forcing those evil people on the "wrong side of history" to do something they don't want to do, probably aiming for tik tok or reddit fame.

        Were it some kind of task requiring rare skills that have a major impact on their life (only neurosurgeon in the state or something) they might have a point, but webdev or bakers aren't precisely difficult to find...

        I believe this was also a tactic used by some of the more militant new atheist movement back before it fractured, just top point out its been used by all sides of the culture wars.

        1. georgezilla

          Re: No such scenario occurred - really ?

          " ... "Activists" wanting to push/punish the "bigots" ... "

          As they should be. Bigotry, in all it's forms, should not be tolerated. Especially when these "bigots" are, will be the first to cry foul when they feel that they are the ones that discriminated against.

          Whine, whine whine. No one likes me because I'm an ignorant asshole!

          1. Ideasource Bronze badge

            Re: No such scenario occurred - really ?

            Clothing bigotry is a big problem.

            It's rampant.

            People keep mistaking the clothes people wear to avoid being arrested for being naked as an expression of the person themselves.

            Unfortunately that form a bigotry is not going anywhere.

            The person is their mind and their body and everything else is just stuff and definitely not the person.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: No such scenario occurred - really ?

        I hold all the power, the purveyor has none. If they indicate that they hate me or mine, fuck 'em. Their business can die as far as I'm concerned.

        So you have never heard the phrase "willing buyer, willing seller" , which under pins the whole concept of the free market?

        Vendors are not slaves, they are free people with the right to work and the right to not.

        And for the record, the bakers don't "hate" gay people, they just believe that marriage is special, divinely ordained, and has a specific meaning it was given in scripture. It is not a "social construct", a "contract", something dreamed up by the state, or anything else that can be redefined by fashion, law or whim.

        1. Glen 1

          Re: No such scenario occurred - really ?

          The difference between marriage being handed down by God, and it being a matter of Law, is largely a difference of record keeping.

          Before said record keeping, many a young lady had been duped into thinking they were married, until the grooms *other* family was revealed a few villages over.

          Still happens today, except we tend to have better records.

          If you believe marriage is holy mumbo jumbo handed down by God, then its between the newlyweds (whatever their gender) and their maker, and none of *your* business (or the churches).

          If you believe its 'not real' unless it happens in accordance with the church (whichever church) - then that *is* a matter of church law, by definition, and as such changeable under the mechanisms those churches provide. See also: the rules around divorce. Do second marriages count as marriages? The Pope "annulling" a marriage is somehow different?

          Abusive spouse? Tough! Marriage is permanent in the eyes of god. (according to some sects)

          Divorced after a year? Why not get married again? (according to other sects)

          Make it make sense

          When you have folks taking someone's umpteenth marriage (after umpteen divorces) more seriously than a gay couple who have been together most of their lives... It really makes it difficult to take certain religious types seriously.

          History is littered with 'marriages' where the people involved were unable to give consent - or were only doing it for the legal status.

          Children being married off?

          Political marriages?

          Green card marriages?

          Shotgun weddings?

          All of those taken more seriously than two consenting adults freely committing to spend the rest of their lives together.

          Tell me you can at least see the disparity?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: No such scenario occurred - really ?

            You don't blame the architect/engineer/designer if the construction crew swaps out the thickness of a safety-critical component (e.g.: Minneapolis Interstate 35W Mississippi River Bridge that collapsed in 2007).

            Likewise, don't blame God and His ideal plans for loving, caring, mutually beneficial relationships because of the sinful creatures we humans are and how we messed -- and continue to mess -- it up. (And also don't blame God for our sinful nature -- blame our first parents for that.)

            1. flayman

              Re: No such scenario occurred - really ?

              I don't blame God for anything, because I don't believe that God is real. I blame superstition and human nature for a lot of things.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: No such scenario occurred - really ?

              You don't blame the architect/engineer/designer if the construction crew swaps out the thickness of a safety-critical component (e.g.: Minneapolis Interstate 35W Mississippi River Bridge that collapsed in 2007).

              That's not how I read it. The original design had gusset plates that were too thin. There was an insufficient margin of error in the original design according to the NTSB. Is there subsequent findings that contradict that?

              Quote:

              The NTSB concluded that the probable cause of the collapse was the inadequate capacity of the U10 gusset plates, which resulted from an error by the original bridge design firm, who failed to perform all of the necessary calculations to properly design the main truss gusset plates. The U10 gusset plates failed under the combined loads arising from the original bridge weight, the increases in weight caused by modifications to the bridge, along with traffic and the construction vehicles and materials staged on the bridge in an area concentrated above the U10 nodes. A review of the design showed that the U10 and L11 gusset plates were only half as thick as necessary to meet the design specifications.

              https://www.engineeringcivil.com/minneapolis-i-35w-bridge-collapse-engineering-evaluations-and-finite-element-analysis.html

            3. Glen 1

              Re: No such scenario occurred - really ?

              "ideal plans for loving, caring, mutually beneficial relationships"

              That's what a lot of gay couples already have.

              Trying to claim they "don't count" or "it's not real" because its not for you... then trying to rationalise it by referring to several thousand year old fairy tails.

              How's that "not mixing of mixing of fabrics" coming along?

              Basically trying to deny other people "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness"

              Spiteful

            4. Ideasource Bronze badge

              Re: No such scenario occurred - really ?

              Any being that is considered omniscient, there's personal responsibility for every reaction stemming from any action they have ever done.

              The only reason that doesn't apply to humans is because we are not omniscient we cannot know any better and therefore must discover through experimentation both as individuals and as groups.

          2. Ideasource Bronze badge

            Re: No such scenario occurred - really ?

            Marriage is neither of those.

            All the marriage ever was was an agreement to partnership.

            What the the schemes of legal definition considers marriage is not marriage..

            After all law does not make reality. Law develops in order to spite or distract from reality in the preference to an author desired fiction.

            What religious texts define marriage at is not marriage either. Because religion has the same antagonistic relationship with reality that law does.

            Those are perversions of the concept compromised towards centralized control.

            True marriage is a two party agreement to put each other ahead of everything else in the world.

            The details of such an agreement are specific authoritative only within those two parties.

            No more and no less. Any further definition is just a distorted manipulation for purposes of control of others by the power hungry.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: No such scenario occurred - really ?

          Vendors are not slaves, they are free people with the right to work and the right to not.

          OK, so let's take a slightly different scenario.

          You walk into a car showroom, or a supermarket. The salesman or cashier refuses to serve you, because you're gay. (Or black, or Muslim, or disabled. Whatever). Is that behaviour that we should accept as a society?

          Financially, it would be stupid of them to lose a sale - but the same applies to the "gay cake" scenario.

          You do have the right to walk out and find another shop (not that you have a choice). But are you saying that market forces are sufficient remedy here? What about the times when bus companies refused to let black people on board? Can a doctor or ambulance worker refuse to help a gay person?

          It seems to boil down to this: "I refuse to afford you the same courtesy that I would to anyone else, because this thousand-year-old book tells me that you are sinful. I don't want to do anything which *might* be construed as me supporting you in any way"

          1. Jaybus

            Re: No such scenario occurred - really ?

            There are lots of scenarios, right? Another would be a would be customer sues a Kurdish restaurant for refusing to serve them pork.

            1. MiguelC Silver badge
              FAIL

              Re: No such scenario occurred - really ?

              Or if a record store refuses to serve you a meal? Just as stupid as your scenario....

              (by the way, not all Kurds are Muslim - ethnicity and religion are not the same)

            2. LogicGate Silver badge

              Re: No such scenario occurred - really ?

              Our local Kurd server lovely Döner with pork-meat. (You can get other meats or no meat upon request)

              "We are Kurds.. we do not take that stuff so seriously" was the reply upon my curiosity.

          2. flayman

            Re: No such scenario occurred - really ?

            The "gay cake" scenario is a bit different, and different still depending on which case you're referring to.

            There is the Asher's Bakery case in Belfast, where a cake shop refused to make a cake for a custmer that had a slogan supporting same sex marriage. It wasn't a wedding cake, and anyway same sex marriage was not recognized in Northern Ireland until 2020. The UK Supreme Court unanimously overruled the NI High Court and found in favour of the bakery. The High Court had made numerous errors in law, including erroneously treating support for gay marriage as a proxy for sexual orientation.

            Then there is the Masterpiece Cakeshop case in Colorado, which is what had Lorie Smith worried. That did revolve around a wedding cake, but at the start of litigation way back in 2012, same sex marriage was not recognized in Colorado, nor indeed in most of the United States before 2014. The US Supreme Court gave a very narrow majority ruling on that case in favour of the cake shop without addressing the merits.

        3. georgezilla

          Re: No such scenario occurred - really ?

          " ... they just believe that marriage is special, divinely ordained, and has a specific meaning it was given in scripture. ... "

          Which is ignorant bullshit. And is a bastardization of their religion in order to validate their hate, fear, ignorance and intolerance.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: No such scenario occurred - really ?

        Downvoted for referring to someone whose beliefs aren't the same as yours as a "bigot". Note that in that very case, the baker had served them a number of times previously, knowing they were gay. It was strictly the creation of a cake to celebrate their relationship that he politely declined and suggested another bakery. One of the two men in question even noted how nice he was about it and wanted to let the matter lie, it was the other who insisted that the baker be punished for politely declining to ignore his own beliefs in favor of theirs.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: No such scenario occurred - really ?

          Many of the 'activist' types see small business owners as members of the petit bourgeois and thus prime targets for their activism. Easy targets who will bend to their whims.

          Maybe if the activist had comprehended that they already owned the means of production they could have baked their own cake but we must remember the activist class are rarely members of the proletariat and do not wish to lower themselves to performing the acts of physical work.

          1. flayman

            Re: No such scenario occurred - really ?

            Spoken like a true anonymous coward.

      4. LybsterRoy Silver badge

        Re: No such scenario occurred - really ?

        BIGOT:

        1) One who is strongly partial to one's own group, religion, race, or politics and is intolerant of those who differ.

        2) A hypocritical professor of religion; a hypocrite; also, a superstitious adherent of religion.

        3) A person who is obstinately and unreasonably wedded to a particular religious or other creed, opinion, practice, or ritual; a person who is illiberally attached to any opinion, system of belief, or party organization; an intolerant dogmatist.

        Which was the meaning you understand the baker to have (I'm betting no. 1)?

        The issue was raised to try and force others to accept the gay viewpoint regardless of their own viewpoint - a bit like the trans stuff going on now.

      5. georgezilla

        Re: No such scenario occurred - really ?

        " ... want to force said bigots to do their wedding celebration baking? ... "

        Because assault actually is illegal. Which I think is the proper reaction to these hateful, fearful, ignorant, intolerant people who bastardize their religion to validate their fear, hate, ignorance and intolerance. Because the right to "freedom FROM religion" is also in the Constitution. And your right of freedom of religion ONLY protects that right FROM THE GOVERNMENT! NOT from me.

        But then going to someplace like Yelp and posting that these types of businesses should be avoided because they are hateful, fearful, ignorant, intolerant religious bigots might work too.

    3. Falmari Silver badge

      Re: No such scenario occurred - really ?

      @t245t "Yes, that is precisely why Lorie Smith took-up the case. "

      What case? How can Lorie Smith's company be forced to create websites celebrating marriages, (same sex or otherwise) when her company does not offer that service. We know her company does not offer that service from the linked Supreme Court pdf.

      "Lorie Smith wants to expand her graphic design business, 303 Creative LLC, to include services for couples seeking wedding websites."

      "No such scenario occurred - really ?"

      Yes really? The scenario refers to an event she claims happened in 2016 in her court filings which did not in fact happen. If you follow the link in the article you will see that she claims she was contacted by Stewart (contact details included in fillings) to produce designs possible a website for his pending marriage to Mike. The reporter contacted Stewart who claimed that did not happen, and this was “the very first time I’ve heard of it.”

      Also Stewart is married with a child, was married at the time, lives in a different state and is himself a website designer. So why would he contact an out of state company for a service they do not offer, that he is able to perform himself.

      There should never have been a case. Lorie Smith's case is based on a what if and fiction.

      1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

        Re: No such scenario occurred - really ?

        There should never have been a case. Lorie Smith's case is based on a what if and fiction.

        This is a strange aspect to the case. Steve Lehto's done a couple of videos on it, wondering how the case managed to get so far without checking Steve actually existed.

        The rest is just the mess the legal & political system has found itself in. We have protected characteristics, but we seem to be developing a rights hierachy. Religious beliefs are protected, so are sexual preferences, yet when they come into conflct, one seems to trump the other. In a civil society, we should be able to respect people's diferences and it could be handled as easily as simply recommending another baker or website designer & best wishes for their happy occasion. But that doesn't generate the publicity, page impressions or ad revenue.

        Employement gets even more complicated. The only thing that should matter is whether the candidate is the best person for the job, and can do the job. Then the challenges that if they can't, proving termination for cause and not ending up facing claims of discrimination. But that's probably why AI is looking ever more attractive to employers because they have no rights. At least not yet.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: No such scenario occurred - really ?

        Kinda like Roe vs Wade, then?

        It's a sad aspect of our court system that the USSC has repeatedly made use of the issue of standing in a way which is pretty clearly "whatever we want it to be" in order to make a case. Not constantly, but with a few very big cases.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: No such scenario occurred - really ?

      "'Gay cake’ row: man loses seven-year battle against Belfast bakery"

      How long has Belfast been under US Supreme Court jurisdiction?

      1. flayman

        Re: No such scenario occurred - really ?

        Ashers case is cited in a footnote of the majority opinion. It must have come up in arguments.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: No such scenario occurred - really ?

          There is also a side note in that case surrounding potential copyright issues and that the copyright holders have previously threatened litigation when Bert and Ernie's image has been used in the past.

    5. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Megaphone

      Re: No such scenario occurred - really ?

      I'd equally support a web designer or cake maker who refused to make a product that celebrated or priomoted a numher of things, from racism to communism to evil dictators to people that illegally stick those flourescent green signs in the middle of the road because their kids are playing in the front yard (never mind telling them to stay out of the road which is what my mother did when I was 3-4, they have to literally bully everyone else into being just as unreasonably paranoid about THEIR kid, and disrupt the world with their passive aggressive bullying, but I digress).

      There are a LOT of disagreeable positions that an artist or craftsman might not want to do a creative work for. It's just that some ideas/beliefs/behaviors are more "special" than others.

      (I was thinking of 'Animal Farm' when I wrote that last part)

      1. Andy The Hat Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: No such scenario occurred - really ?

        But on moral grounds, would you refuse to jam with Hitler? (Even one who was curiously soft spoken and didn't look like Hitler?) ...

        Coat already on and leaving by the nearest airlock ...

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: No such scenario occurred - really ?

        == It's just that some ideas/beliefs/behaviors are more "special" than others.

        Seriously, you're mocking the protected groups?

        The moment that organised groups of people march the streets, telling the world that all bombastic people should be killed or neutered or thrown out of the country, year after year, you just hope they add you and yours to the protected groups.

        1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

          Re: No such scenario occurred - really ?

          Seriously, you're mocking the protected groups?

          I don't think that's the case. It's what happens when two protected groups come into conflict. Who's rights should take precedence?

          the moment that organised groups of people march the streets, telling the world that all bombastic people should be killed or neutered or thrown out of the country,

          Already happening with non-protected groups like smokers, the unvaccinated, or climate 'deniers'. The last one is especially interesting given belief in global warming has already been considered protected and effectively granted religious status.

          I think it's a complex issue that's at risk of turning into a situation where if you're not in a protected minority, you have no protection.. which isn't exactly equality.

    6. georgezilla

      Re: No such scenario occurred - really ?

      " ... for refusing to bake a “gay” cake. ... "

      JHF'ingC!!

      Cakes aren't "gay".

      And if I can decide to NOT bake "gay cakes" because of my religious beliefs, I can decide to NOT bake "straight cakes" for MY religious beliefs too. Or "christian cakes". Or "white cakes". Or ..................

      Any fucking other "kind" of cake.

      And you don't see just how fucking stupid the whole Idea is?

      Fuck, all they had do do is to say that they were all booked up, or some other bullshit. But NNNNNOOOOOooooooooooooooo, these fucking morons just had to make it about THEM AND THEIR FUCKING RELIGION!!

      < shakes head >

      Fuck them and their mythical sky faerie that does magic!

  5. JohnDyson

    Maybe, someday soon, corporate virtue signaling will come to an end. Using merit and kindness for hiring and advancement will go much further than the new form of institutionalized racism/sexism that is often called DEI. A modified form DEI that has benefit and is truly based on some sort of kindness for all might be a good thing. However, it appears and is very clear, that most of these misguided new discriminatory 'anti-discrimination' programs are only hurtful for alll... Devaluting those who 'benefit' and damaging the self-worth of those with merit. (BTW, I had always been on the high end of the meritc scale, solving problems, developing new implementations & tech that my co-worker friends had trouble with...) It would have made no difference my race, gender, preferences, etc -- merit really does work very well. If you want to help minorities, then PLEASE improve the K through 9 education in the US... That is a good first start to give all of our friends a 'leg up.' Cheapening standards, cheapening those who are supposedly helped, and making inferior choices based on something other than merit and given a 'leg up' to those who might have shown poor character attributes (felons, violent people, discriminatory people based on language usage, etc) is only self destructive.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I've personally been declined an interview, in the US, for a Fortune 500 company, expressly because I'm a straight white male. To quote the hiring manager, "We have to evaluate all the diversity candidates first" before they could even consider me. Sure enough, a "diversity candidate" got the job, and I never got an interview.

      "Equal opportunity" means "don't take these protected parameters into account". "Affirmative action" means "give people with non-majority protected parameters priority". These are opposites!

    2. ecofeco Silver badge

      Using merit and kindness for hiring and advancement will go much further

      I'll stop you right there. This will never happen, proven over and over again, hence the regulations.

    3. jmch Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Affirmative action was always a tool that was very limited in scope. Even the leaders of the original civil rights movement in the 60s from Martin Luther King on down, were more in favour of policies that would help the poorest and most needy *of whatever race*, in the knowledge that the vast majority of those getting help would be black, but also in the knowledge that it would not leave the poor white working-class as a least-privileged group that would create a lot of resentment.

      And in fact the reality with affirmative action is that a lot of the black students admitted to the Ivy League schools aren't African-Americans from the poorest ghettos and descended from slaves, but ones whose parents are rich professionals immigrated more recently to the US from Africa. In any case, this "If those institutions are whiter and have less diversity, then the pool of applicants is going to be whiter and have less diversity," is complete bullshit. "Those institutions" that practiced affirmative action in their admission were the Ivy League universities and a handful of other universities who have far more applicants than places. The vast majority of US universities will accept anyone with the requisite grades and admission fee. The real elephant in the room with regards to educational diversity is that 9% of black people in the US go to college, and that is an issue that has to be fixed starting from kindergarten age all the way up to high school, because at university age it is already far too late.

      And the only concrete racial outcome that affirmative action at elite universities has been having is to discriminate against Asian kids

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Sadly with the rise of equity from the roots of affirmative action we now have schools in poor urban areas that are graduating kids who are functionally illiterate and innumerate. They basically get a pass just for showing up. The soft bigotry of low expectations has a lot to answer for. Rather than try help kids up we've lowered the standards. Not at all helped when you have organisations stoking the racial fires by implying that hard work and good timekeeping are 'whiteness'. It is as if those in power who complain the most about racism really want it to continue because otherwise they'd have nothing to moan about.

        1. ecofeco Silver badge

          Utter bollocks.

          Under-funding schools in poor neighborhoods was retaliation by racists.

          Passing children who should not pass on to the next level is everywhere. Parents of every economic status are directly to blame for loudly complaining their child should pass.

          But thanks for letting us know who you are.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Uh huh. The usual 'we just need to spend more and all will be good' response.

            https://www.mdpolicy.org/policyblog/detail/how-much-money-will-be-enough-for-baltimore-schools

            https://www.census.gov/newsroom/press-releases/2021/public-school-spending-per-pupil.html

            So Baltimore, which has some of the worst school performance in the US, spends $5k more per pupil than the national average.

            There comes a point where you have to stop throwing money at the problem and actually take a careful look at what is really going on.

            Spending more won't make the kids turn up or pay attention in class.

            1. flayman

              This is a shitty comment. I think we can all agree that it's entirely possible to spend a lot of money without seeing the results you're hoping for. It depends on how the money is spent. That happens in both the public and private sectors. If you're throwing money at a problem, the implication is that you're not concerned about where it lands. I wonder why you think kids don't want to turn up or pay attention in class in the poorer areas, assuming that's true. Something inherent in the quality of poor people? By all means, let's take a look at what is really going on.

          2. jmch Silver badge

            "Under-funding schools in poor neighborhoods was retaliation by racists."

            Possibly at the margins, but it's mostly NIMYism combined with how the school district funding works. Because they are funded at a very local level, rather than each school nationwide having a common per-student budget paid out of state or federal budgets. So schools in poor neighborhoods are underfunded compared to those in rich neighbourhoods.

  6. ChoHag Silver badge

    Why is this story not about the anti-gay crusaders stealing the identity of someone who wants nothing to do with them to use him to lie to the court about supposed support for their obnoxious demands, and the fact that the court doesn't seem to have noticed or care?

    If that's not perjury it certainly should be.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I look forward to seeing signs saying "No white male Christians served here". Perfectly legal under this ruling.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Me too! It's time we show those oppressors how it feels!

      #Anything-but-whiteLifeMatters

    2. t245t Silver badge
      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        You are supporting Kirk Cameron and the publisher Brave Books? A publishing company whose entire purpose is to create books that are intended to shut down even discussing any issues that don't fit with a fundamentalist world view?

        Against libraries that, quite politely, told him they wanted to open up discussions about anything the teenagers want to talk about? Which sounds like a pretty good description of a library's function.

        Is it the drag queens you object to? The people who tackle the world by being wildly flamboyant and over the top, who can break the ice and get teens to open up because "What, you are shy about asking that? You think you can shock *me*?".

    3. Version 1.0 Silver badge
      Megaphone

      Definitely but let's permit white males if they have been in a drag race ... that's the only racial aspect I support, a drag race is so much fun that it doesn't matter who wins.

  8. flayman

    I was initially attracted to the majority opinion in 303 Creative

    "And I would imagine that many business owners are in the same position as I am, evaluating that decision, wondering what the heck do they mean here, where [creating a wedding website for a same-sex couple] is considered speech instead of conduct."

    Create a wedding website is a speech act. That cannot be denied, and Colorado do not deny it. It's a creative act which will involve the creator putting something of themselves into it. An artist who takes commissions is free to turn down any commission to make a work that they do not want to make. The problem here is when a business is treated as a public accommodation, in other words, we are happy to deal with any member of the public. By putting a booking form on the website, the company is "hanging its shingle".

    When I heard about this judgement and read the reporting around it, I immediately reacted thinking that the dissenters had got it wrong. I am very free speech oriented, so this is a natural reaction. I had the same reaction to the Masterpiece Cakeshop controversy, and I have to say that I found myself most in agreement with Thomas' concurrence there. I read this judgement and found nothing in it which I could fault. I then began reading Sotomayer's dissent and spent most of that time shaking my head. It wasn't until about four or five paragraphs from the end that she made an argument that stopped me in my tracks. A website designer could refuse to produce a wedding website for a mixed race couple on almost the exact same footing. That seemed to me such an affront to dignity that I had to go back and reread everything. Then I got it.

    The Colorado law is not regulating speech. It is regulating conduct, and I understand what that means now. The website designer is free to make wedding websites that clearly express her view that marriage is between a man and a woman. Here's the catch. She would have to make all of her wedding websites express that view. She is apparently unwilling to do that because she would have trouble selling those. Most customers would balk at such a thing, even opposite sex wedding customers. Because she's willing to offer neutral expressions for opposite sex weddings, she must be prepared to do so for other weddings that are considered legitimate, regardless of her own views (before this precedent). Segregationists used 1st Amendment arguments of freedom of association to challenge rulings that they must, for example, allow black people to dine in the common areas of their restaurants. Those were rightly rebuked.

    I now get it, and I intend to go back and reread the ancillary Masterpiece Cakeshop opinions to see whether I've missed anything. There is an interference with speech, but that interference is incidental, despite the speech being of a creative nature. Sotomayer is a gem. All I can say is that she managed to make the argument that I couldn't find when I read Ruth Bader-Ginsburg's blistering dissent a few years ago. I respect the opinion of the Court, since it was so hard for me to see what's right, but I worry it will have negative consequences. I believe and accept that it is well intentioned.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I was initially attracted to the majority opinion in 303 Creative

      I have to strongly disagree. To be allowed to politely decline to create same-sex wedding websites, the designer would either have to state on every site she makes that she believes that marriage is between a man and a woman, or be forced out of business? It's not enough for one's work to be neutral, every case has to expressly state their beliefs? That's nonsense. Consider the cake-baker: would every opposite-sex cake have to include a "marriage is between a man and a woman" statement?

      A simple statement on her own site (or other sizable advertisements, things longer than a couple sentences) saying such would be more than sufficient. As for the "freedom of association" argument, she's not saying they can't legally do what they want, only that she cannot in good conscience provide her services for that type of event.

      1. flayman

        Re: I was initially attracted to the majority opinion in 303 Creative

        I understand those arguments. To be honest, I'm not entirely sure about what I came up with. It's a synthesis of the position I inferred from the dissent. Particularly, on page 34 of the dissent (which is illuminated by some earlier passages):

        "...the Accommodation Clause and the State’s application of it here allows Smith to include in her company’s goods and services whatever “dissenting views about marriage” she wants; and contrary to this Court’s clear holdings that the purpose of a public accommodations law, as applied to the commercial act of discrimination in the sale of publicly available goods and services, is to ensure equal access to and equal dignity in the public marketplace..." [The Court's holding was that it's purpose was to remove the offending ideas from the public dialog.]

        I see that argument as being like a card shop that sells wedding cards which only refer to traditional weddings (or do not obviously advertise same sex weddings). If a customer asked to see same sex wedding cards and the shop keeper says we don't sell those, the customer is not getting any less than anyone else. If the shop keeper refused to sell ambiguous wedding cards in stock to a particular customer because they knew or suspected those would be used for a same sex wedding, this would clearly be against the law. As a public accommodation, the business must treat customers with equal dignity and respect regarding protected characteristics. A way around this would have been to take such bookings only privately, perhaps by referral. You could even have a sign reading "ask me about these other services I offer privately". Private contracting is not covered by public accommodations law.

        A public statement saying "We don't make websites for same sex weddings" is not unlike a statement saying "We don't make websites for interracial weddings." If this doesn't offend you as a human being in the modern age, then I'm not going to win this argument. To me it serves to delegitimize and stigmatize a person's choice in life partner. That goes to the core of a person's dignity. That's exactly the sort of mischief that these public accommodation laws are intended to capture. And if you think such a statement would be a stretch or might not be protected by this judgement, all I can offer is that there are still people who insist that the Bible forbids racial mixing.

        Now, to your question:

        "To be allowed to politely decline to create same-sex wedding websites, the designer would either have to state on every site she makes that she believes that marriage is between a man and a woman, or be forced out of business? It's not enough for one's work to be neutral, every case has to expressly state their beliefs?"

        To be very clear, it would only be the wedding sites that this would apply to. As I see it, it's not enough to be neutral if you're not willing to be neutral for everyone. There previously would have been (and I think I agree with this) no right to refuse to make a website for one customer that is offered to others (I know they are all unique, but that's beside the point...), so if a same sex couple for whatever reason were willing to have a website that communicated the designer's belief that their wedding was not legitimate, she could not refuse to do it for them. Not as a public accommodation. It would be akin to the refusal to sell merchandise I mention above. Privately, you can refuse any commission. You don't even have to give a reason.

        I recommend a careful reading of the two opinions. First the majority, and then the dissent, and then reread anything that you might want to take another look at. Both of the opinions are well written, and I can't come close to paraphrasing or reconstructing their arguments.

        1. martinusher Silver badge

          Re: I was initially attracted to the majority opinion in 303 Creative

          I'm not anti-anything but I don't agree with forcing a small business owner to comply with something that they not comfortable with. Its a formula for endless disputes about quality and service. This particular case was bogus, anyway -- it was concocted with the sole aim of bringing a case through the courts and so setting some kind of precedent (something that's a bit pointless these days since SCOTUS doesn't seem to be interested in precedent, merely ideology).

          To me there's a huge difference between private and public discrimination. Individuals come in all sorts of shapes, sizes and prejudices (unfortunately) and while I'd like everyone to be open minded and what have you the mere act of forcing them to conform to my liberal norms means I'm directly contradicting myself. Public is a whole different game. No discrimination of any sort should be entertained, period. Even if it is a good cause (because favoring one group is discriminating against another).

          Still, I can't stop this kind of thing so I'll just ignore it.

          1. flayman

            Re: I was initially attracted to the majority opinion in 303 Creative

            I don't really understand this reasoning. It seems self-contradictory. You say "To me there's a huge difference between private and public discrimination." Yes, indeed there is. Then you say "Public is a whole different game. No discrimination of any sort should be entertained, period." Do you not see that this IS public? It's under public accommodation laws. You don't agree with forcing a small business owner to comply with something that they are not comfortable with, but that's exactly what was forced upon segregationist business owners who didn't want to serve black customers under the same terms. They made their pleadings based on first ammendment reasoning. There was substance to it, but it was not overriding.

            "Still, I can't stop this kind of thing so I'll just ignore it." Tempting, but it doesn't solve anything. The best service you can do is to make every attempt to understand both sides. Civil discourse is in grave peril.

      2. flayman

        Re: I was initially attracted to the majority opinion in 303 Creative

        It could turn out I'm wrong, and it would be acceptable under Sotomayer's reasoning to include the messaging about marriage beliefs only where the designer wishes to. That's just not how I read it, because the same dollar in different hands does not buy the same (sort of) thing. Of course, the same-sex couple are hardly going to want to pay for a wedding website that calls into question the validity of their marriage.

  9. Steve Crook

    Still discrimination

    Diversity, equity, inclusion are all good things.

    But if you're going to use +ve discrimination to fight discrimination then you need to be really really sure nothing else works, that +ve discrimination does, and that those disadvantaged by it are compensated somehow.

    Because we're all against discrimination when based on race, class, gender etc. Right?

    I can't help feeling we've slid into +ve discrimination as the solution withouth actually trying much else beforehand.

    1. abend0c4 Silver badge

      Re: Still discrimination

      "we've slid into +ve discrimination as the solution withouth actually trying much else"

      The thing is, anything "else" you attempt as an intervention is a form of positive discrimination. The only thing that isn't is doing nothing.

      And doing nothing is a perpetuation of historical negative discrimination.

      "Wouldn't it be nice if this all went away" is the reason it hasn't.

      1. jmch Silver badge

        Re: Still discrimination

        " anything "else" you attempt as an intervention is a form of positive discrimination"

        Yes, but it doesn't have to be positive discrimination based upon protected characteristics. A scholarship program for any student with grades X or higher whose family earns $Y or less is likely to help a lot of needy black students. It will also help other needy students of whatever race, and the point is they don't need help because they're black, they need help because they're poor. Even better, improving schools in the poorest districts would do wonders.... but can't work because of the way that US school districts are funded locally (meaning rich localities can pay more for better schools and poor localities have to make do with what they have).

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          @jmch - Re: Still discrimination

          You hit the (right) nail right on its head.

          A real US government could and should do this in order to solve all this problems. A 0.001% of what's currently being spend on military would be very welcome to poor schools and neighbourhoods. Unfortunately, giving money to the poor is extremely un-american. The reach people can't stand seeing poor people being helped and they resent relinquishing control over the money they've already paid in taxes.

  10. TheMeerkat

    Affirmative action is racism.

    If you support this “affirmative action” it is YOU who are the racist.

    1. aks

      Racecraft

      This Wikipedia article says it better than I could.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Racecraft

      1. ecofeco Silver badge

        Re: Racecraft

        What utter drivel.

    2. Claptrap314 Silver badge

      You know who implemented affirmative action? President Nixon. You know why? Because he knew that the D's would be hooked on it and unable to let go. So? It would anger the whites & break their then-twenty-year hold on the US house.

      You know who came up with the #$*@ idea of majority-minority congressional districts? President Bush 41. Why? Because it would concentrate D-leaning minority voters into a few district, increasing the net number of R districts.

      Politics is war. Never forget that.

  11. MisterHappy

    Question...

    Please bear with me as I am unsure of the impact of this.

    Is this saying that a business owner cannot be forced to make a website (or cake) that goes against their personal and/or religious beliefs?

    Or

    Is this saying that an employee of WebSiteCo can refuse to work on something that goes against their personal and/or religious beliefs?

    1. flayman

      Re: Question...

      The second statement was never at issue in the 303 Creative case. The first statement needs to be more subtle. A business owner was never going to be forced to make something that went against their conscience: A) It was always a choice whether to offer that service in the first place, so the idea of some sort of conscription is laughable; B) There were ways of dealing with it that would allow the conscience to come through; C) There exists the private route, which is perhaps less convenient but possibly viable.

      1. MisterHappy
        Happy

        Re: Question...

        Thank you... I appreciate the clear reply

    2. Jou (Mxyzptlk) Silver badge

      Re: Question...

      I suspect the third variant: A state related WebSiteCo may not force someone to create a website which goes against The Constitution of the United States - but how should an European know such things...

  12. JDX Gold badge

    Discrimination is discrimination

    If I am the best applicant and you don't offer me the job because I'm white, you are racist.

    If I am the best applicant and you don't offer me the job because I'm not white, you are racist.

    If I am the best applicant and you don't offer me the job because I'm a man, you are secist.

    If I am the best applicant and you don't offer me the job because I'm not a man, you are sexist.

    If I am the best applicant and you don't offer me the job because I'm straight, you discriminating.

    If I am the best applicant and you don't offer me the job because I'm not straight, you are discriminating.

    Maybe you shouldn't be allowed to see or speak to candidates at all.

  13. philstar

    The beginning of the end of the DEI racket

    It's about time that the corporate leech that became the DEI department started to disappear, anyone who has ever seen the members of a DEI department will know that they are neither diverse, equitable or inclusive and predominantly full of racists who blame Caucasians for just about every malady that faces the world we live in. Racism is not good no matter what race it is aimed at

  14. I miss PL/1

    I think SV is diverse. Just not in the way the Democrats want it to be.

  15. JDX Gold badge

    New sign to put on the wall...

    You don't have to be LGBTQIAB+ to work here but it helps

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Look up "Sweet Cakes" in Portland, OR & wedding cakes

    State ran them out of business, despite their religious beliefs. State is still trying to vindictively pursue financial judgment against the long-since closed business.

    IMO, that business made a mistake. Instead of objecting on the basis of beliefs, the business should have simply stated a same-sex wedding cake is not a product they sell. "We don't sell cakes with two brides or two grooms. This is not a market segment which our business is pursing at this time. There is simply too much demand and we would be unable to keep up with the quality products that our core target market demands."

    Then sell the customer a cake with a bride & groom on it, along with a spare set. If the customer wants to swap them out, that is up to them.

    This is not new. Businesses do it all the time. 'We don't sell that model car with a CD-player. You are welcome to buy the car and change it once you own it'.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    You misunderstood the Supreme Court decision

    I read the PDF. It does NOT say it is acceptable to refuse services to a protected class of people. It clearly makes a distinction between (a) the customer you are serving, and (b) the task the customer is asking you to do. So, let's suppose for the sake of argument that I'm anti-gay (which I'm not, but pretend I am). So I don't want to make a website that says "being gay is good", regardless of whether it's a straight person or a gay person who is asking me to do it. But I am OK with making a website that says "ice cream is good" (or whatever), regardless of whether it's a straight person or a gay person who is asking me to do it. I am not refusing a customer because they are in a class; I am only refusing a specific job that I don't like, and that's first amendment.

    If the Supremes had decided this case the other way, it might compel newspapers and magazines to publish any article, however bad they thought it was, sent to them by someone of a protected class, just because it was someone of a protected class that sent them the article. There is a difference between "serving people of a protected class" and "publishing".

    1. flayman

      Re: You misunderstood the Supreme Court decision

      The majority opinion claims that the judgement does not pave the way for status based discrimination. That is the majority's opinion. Whether the opinion is and will be correct on that point as something that remains to be seen. The dissent construes a different result, which might see a business owner refuse to create wedding websites for mixed race marriages on more or less equal footing. The two sides are vehemently in disagreement. If you think it's very simple, chances are you are wrong. Your suggestion that the case being decided the other way "might compel newspapers and magazines to publish any article, however bad they thought it was, sent to them by someone of a protected class" is clearly wrong, since a newspaper is not a business that is covered by public accommodations laws.

  18. SenorCardgage

    Follow Canada's Lead...

    We have affirmative action explicitly baked into our legal system. In order to right the historical wrongs inflicted on our Indigenous population, we account for race in government hiring, university admissions, taxation rates, property rights, child welfare, and even sentencing guidelines for convicted offenders.

    To those who support the Supreme Court's recent ban on affirmative action, please consider the following:

    Through decades of race-based policy-making at the academic and federal level, Canadians have been able to reduce the over-representation of incarcerated Indigenous people by over 0%. In recent years, we've narrowed the post-secondary graduation gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous graduates by an astounding -1%. And in our previous federal election, out of the 338 seats available, we elected nearly 4 Indigenous representatives, almost doubling the number from our second-ever election in 1872.

    This is what true progress looks like.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Follow Canada's Lead...

      Hmm.. didn't Trudeau force an indigenous woman to resign when she wouldn't bend to his demands?

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