Lawyers rejoice while Christian farmers fined for not hosting gay marriage
The ink was not even dry on the Supreme Court’s opinion declaring gay marriage a constitutional right before Republican lawyer Ted Olson was assuring us everything would be OK.
As reported by CNSNews:
Former Solicitor General Ted Olson told “Fox News Sunday” that it is “not illegal” for a bakery for instance to refuse to participate in a gay wedding under last week’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling legalizing same-sex marriage nationwide.
“It's not illegal under this ruling,” Olson said in response to Fox News host Chris Wallace’s question about how the ruling will affect religious freedom.
In upstate New York, however, two Christians who rent their farm for weddings were fined $13,000 for turning down a gay couple. As reported at The Washington Times:
When Melisa Erwin called the Giffords about using their upstate New York property for a same-sex wedding ceremony, she apparently knew in advance that they would refuse. For one thing, she and her fiancee recorded the conversation.
Even so, an administrative judge with the New York State Division of Human Rights ordered the Giffords to pay $3,000 to Ms. Erwin and Jennifer McCarthy for “mental pain and suffering,” in addition to $10,000 for violating the state’s human rights ordinance.
Meanwhile, the June 26 headline at Law360 reports “Attorneys Rally Around High Court's Gay Marriage Decision.”
From BigLaw to boutiques, lawyers were united in their praise for the U.S. Supreme Court's landmark 5-4 decision Friday in favor of same-sex marriage, with many calling it a victory for humanity.
They applauded the court for making the union 'a little more perfect' while reflecting on what a long struggle it has been for gay couples nationwide to gain full acceptance in the eyes of the law. They acknowledged (sic) the same-sex battles that still lie ahead[.]
Now, before people start jumping all over us lawyers because there’s much money to be made both instituting and defending lawsuits, writing new employment policies for corporations, interpreting and opining on both old and new laws and regulations in light of the gay marriage ruling, etc., please understand that most legal colleagues whom I know agree with the following statement: “There is no federal constitutional right to same-sex marriage.”
That was said by now Justice Elena Kagan – one of the five votes to make gay marriage a (ahem) “federal constitutional right” – during her 2009 confirmation hearing for solicitor general. (Hat tip: Legal Insurrection via Instapundit.)
Note: The Washington Times article about the fine for the two farmers to which my blog links is dated June 28, 2015. However, the blog’s author now finds that this was an incident that occurred in 2014. This does not change the gist of the blog, and perhaps makes claims even more untenable that the recent gay marriage ruling won’t have adverse consequences on small businesses.