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Religious Liberty Takes the Cake

On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court sent a ruling against Oregon cake bakers Aaron and Melissa Klein back down to the state court system, asking that its rulings be reconsidered in light of the Supreme Court’s ruling last year in the Masterpiece Cakeshop case.

In that case, the Court ruled that the Colorado Civil Rights Commission had violated Jack Phillips’ religious liberty by disparaging his religious beliefs in deciding whether he had violated Washington state’s anti-discrimination statute by refusing to custom design a cake celebrating a same-sex union.

The Kleins, who also refused for religious reasons to custom design a cake for a same-sex wedding, were fined $135,000 for violating Oregon’s anti-discrimination policy and were forced to shut down their business. So the Kleins decided to take their case all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

“This is a victory for Aaron and Melissa Klein and for religious liberty for all Americans,” First Liberty President Kelly Shackelford said in a statement. “The Constitution protects speech, popular or not, from condemnation by the government. The message from the Court is clear, government hostility toward religious Americans will not be tolerated.”

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Oregon Baker Case Before U.S. Supreme Court

The U.S. Supreme Court has been asked to review the case of Oregon bakers Aaron and Melissa Klein through an appeal from Oregan state courts by First Liberty Institute on their behalf.

The Kleins were fined $135,000 for declining to bake a cake for a same-sex “wedding,” a ceremony that went against their strongly held religious beliefs. The steep fine forced the Kleins to shut down their business, Sweet Cakes, and a gag order initially prevented them from sharing their beliefs about marriage in public, although that aspect of the original order was overturned by the Oregon Court of Appeals.

The Kleins are hoping that a more conservative Supreme Court will take their case and build on the decision in Masterpiece Cakeshop case by explicitly ruling that religious expression is protected by the First Amendment. As Kelly Schackelford of First Liberty Institute says, “This case can clarify whether speech is truly free if it is government mandated.”

SCOTUS could decide whether or not to accept the case as early as Monday. If they do, the Kleins no doubt hope the majority will pick up on the sentiment expressed by Justice Neil Gorsuch in his concurring opinion in Masterpiece: “It is in protecting unpopular religious beliefs that we prove this country’s commitment to serving as a refuge for religious freedom.”

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First Nonbinary Person Reveals Sham of Gender Identity

After becoming the first person designated as “nonbinary” under Oregon’s 2016 law purporting to create a third “sex” on state identification documents in addition to the existing biological categories of male and female, Jamie Shupe is now trumpeting a new cause—exposing the transgender movement as dangerous and fraudulent.

Despite all the medications to transform his appearance into that of a female, Shupe came to recognize the truth that he did not look like a woman and that biological sex is immutable.

Initially, however, and with LGBT backing, he was able to change his birth certificate and passport to an “X” designation, change his name, and have the homeowner debt he incurred as a man forgiven.

But when Shupe spoke out against transgender military service members and the sterilization and mutilation of gender-confused children, Shupe saw the LGBT’s callous underbelly; those who had once lauded him were quickly turning their backs on him.

This year, Shupe made a crucial decision to give up the fantasy and face the hard truth: “In January 2019, unable to advance the fraud for another single day, I reclaimed my male birth sex. The weight of the lie on my conscience was heavier than the value of the fame I’d gained from participating in this elaborate swindle.”

Shupe says he only wishes that doctors, judges, and activist groups had not indulged his fantasy.

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Oregon Lawmakers Propose Unlimited Abortions

If a bill passed by the Oregon legislature is signed by Gov. Kate Brown as expected, Oregon health insurance companies will be required to provide full coverage for abortions up until the day of delivery—for any reason—beginning January 1, 2018. The Reproductive Health Equity Act would make free abortions without limits the reality in a state that already seems to value death over life.

Whether or not some Oregon taxpayers believe abortion is morally repugnant has no bearing; all would be forced to pay. And some fear that this law would increase the amount of sex-selective abortions, which would create a population imbalance.

Writes The Federalist’s Georgi Boorman, “Ironically, the same radicals who support explicit consent for the act that creates life don’t think they need your consent to have you pay for its destruction.” Oregon already allocates $2 million of state Medicaid funds for abortions. This new bill would add another $10 million.

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Oregon Senate Votes for Free Abortion Coverage

In a 17-13 vote Wednesday, the Oregon Senate approved a measure that would require state health insurance companies to cover abortions and other reproductive services free of charge regardless of the patient’s income, citizenship status, or “gender identity.” The bill, which heads to the governor’s desk, would also allot nearly $500,000 to expand coverage for abortions and other reproductive services to illegal immigrants ineligible for Medicaid. If signed into law, the measure, which provides an exemption for employers with religious objections to providing abortion coverage, would give everyone in Oregon access to these types of reproductive services even if Obamacare is repealed. Oregon is the only state that has no restrictions on abortion.

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