Today I attended the demonstrations outside the Supreme Court building in Washington DC regarding “Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission”, while oral arguments took place inside at 10 AM. There was still a long 3-Minute line, and I do not think I could have gotten in. People had camped out since Sunday night.
I tried to shoot clips from both camps about evenly. The “gay rights” (so to speak) camp was on the right side (ironically, as an anti-pun). But many of the speakers on both sides were way off base as to the legal issues. The crowds as a whole were very polarized and intersectional.
At one point I was asked if I would carry a sign for NGLCC but declined, for two reasons. One is that I try to be objective when I go to demonstrations and film. The other (“lab practical”) is that I can’t handle the cameras and carry a sign very well physically at the same time.
Toward the end, the Masterpiece crowd was chanting “Jack, we have your back”.
There was an acoustical feedback disruption on the gay side that shut down the gay speakers for four or five minutes.
My own take is pretty much like Smerconish on CNN Saturday. It seems to me that the cakeshop is a public accommodation, and cannot legally refuse to sell to gay customers for that reason under religion alone. But it can refuse to make certain artistic changes, like showing two men on a wedding cake. Bit there might be some problem in the idea that the shop would not service “same sex weddings”, A wedding is not the same thing as a person.
I met a photojournalist from the New York Times in the crowd. We started talking about Trump, North Korea, and not only the nuclear weapons threat but the possible intermediate threat to the power grids in the US (including Hawaii, Guam, Japan, and South Korea) along the way. I said that the mainstream (as opposed to conservative) media is sleeping on this issue of infrastructure stability in the face of foreign hostilities. This sounds like an odd conversation to have at a gay-related case rally.
1 (Transgender emphasis, way off the legal issues)
Also on Monday, December 4, the Cato Institute held a forum “The First Amendment v. anti-Discrimination Law: A Preview of Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission on the Eve of the Oral Argument“. It was moderated by Roger Pilon and featured John Paul Schnapper-Casteras from the NAACP, and Ilya Shapiro, from Cato. I did not make it to this event, but a full video and description from Cato itself is available now at this link.
(Posted: Tuesday, December 5, 2017 at 3:30 PM EST)