Legislative Updates for February 12 2018 by FACT

California Court Upholds First Amendment Rights of Wedding Cake Creators

In a wonderful First Amendment victory, California Superior Court Judge David Lampe ruled in favor of Christian baker Cathy Miller of Tastries Bakery. Miller refused to bake a wedding cake for a same-sex couple last August but was willing to sell them a pre-made cake. The lesbian couple refused the offer and took their case to the California Department of Fair Housing, which launched a formal investigation. Miller contacted Freedom of Conscience Defense Fund to fight back. Instead of bowing to the Left’s LGBT agenda, Judge Lampe opted to side with freedom of speech guaranteed by the Constitution by saying, “The State asks this court to compel Miller to use her talents to design and create cake [sic] she has not yet conceived with the knowledge that her work will be displayed in celebration of marital union her religion forbids . . . Such an order would be the stuff of tyranny.” If Lampe had sided with the same-sex couple, Miller could have been forced to bake cakes against her religious beliefs or else have her business shut down. Hopefully, the U.S. Supreme Court will exercise the same wisdom when it renders its decision later this year in the case of Colorado baker Jack Phillips, who also refused to bake a wedding cake for a same-sex couple because it violated his faith.

Teacher Suspended for Calling Homosexuality a Sin

If you think what you say as a teacher on your own time and on your own Facebook page won’t affect your job, consider the case of Jenye “Viki” Knox. She has been dealing with repercussions of stating her culturally unpopular opinions about homosexuality on her personal social media network for the past seven years. Knox was a teacher at Union High School in New Jersey and an ordained minister who was charged with conduct unbecoming a teacher and suspended without pay by the school district in 2011 for sharing her belief that homosexuality is a sin on her personal Facebook page. School officials later sought to remove her tenured status with an intent to ultimately fire her. Knox resigned in 2012 due to stress, but in 2013 she sued the school district for violating her right to free speech and religious expression. She asked that she be reinstated to her position with back pay and given an acknowledgment that her rights had been violated. Having previously come to a confidential settlement on the tenure issue, Knox recently settled her other claims by agreeing to a suspension of her teaching license for three years, but without admitting or conceding to the truth of the allegations made against her.

Amazon Weighs Headquarters Options as Left Pressures

Amazon is being pressured by gay rights groups to put its new headquarters in an LGBT-friendly state that supposedly does not “discriminate” because it has sexual orientation/gender identity laws. But FRC explains that those states that are conservative and care about religious liberty, while not having SOGI laws, are actually the best states in which to do business. In fact, of the top 10 states that Forbes identified as the best in which to conduct business, seven of the 10 did not have the policies that the LGBT advocates say should be a prerequisite in determining the location of Amazon’s headquarters. It remains to be seen whether Amazon will cave into the pressures from the Left or whether politicians in conservative states like Tennessee will sell their souls by passing sexual orientation/gender identity laws to get Amazon’s headquarters.

Sequel to ‘The Passion of the Christ’ Makes Headlines

Mel Gibson is making a sequel to The Passion of the Christ that will portray the Resurrection with Jim Caviezel reprising his role as Jesus. And Caviezel, who calls this upcoming film “the biggest film in history,” says it will “shock the audience.” In speaking of the sequel back in 2016, Gibson told USA Today, “The Resurrection. Big subject . . . We’re trying to craft this in a way that’s cinematically compelling and enlightening so that it shines new light, if possible, without creating some weird thing.” The sequel does not have a release date yet. Gibson’s 2004 The Passion of the Christ brought in $611 million worldwide on a $30 million budget.

Three-Parent Embryos Come to the UK

Doctors at Britain’s Newcastle University will be implanting two women who have gene mutations with embryos created from the genetic material of three people. Embryos created through the DNA of three people and in vitro fertilization would supposedly create disease-free babies. However, this type of embryo creation has ethical as well as legal issues. Besides trying to decipher who the parents would be and what rights they would have, these “designer babies” are created through a method that “destroy human life, since, in order to construct a disease-free embryo, two healthy ones will have to be destroyed,” notes Bishop John Keenan of Paisley, Scotland. So far this procedure is not being considered in America. In December 2015, Congress prohibited the FDA from moving forward on this method of baby creation “until safety and ethical issues can be resolved.”

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