We are all familiar with Marie Antoinette’s words to the peasants who had no bread: “Let Them eat Cake” or in its original French “ Qu’ils mangent de la brioche.” (Actually, there is no proof that Marie made the statement, but these days in the world of The Don, who cares about facts?)
Since brioche was a luxury bread made with butter and eggs, it was completely unaffordable, and reflected her disregard and disdain of the poor. When the French Revolution came, she got her comeuppance at the guillotine!
Given the Don’s support of the heartless healthcare bill, which will deprive healthcare to the less fortunate , in order to give tax breaks to the rich, the callous deregulation of essential climate and environmental policy, so rich oil barons rake in more profit and his wish to rule the land like a king, it wouldn’t be surprising to hear those infamous words repeated*. Then all we would need is a revolution for him to get his comeuppance!
But this piece is not about The Don’s demise, but about cake and the desire of Jack Philips, of Colorado, owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop, to deny his masterpieces to lesbian and gay couples that are getting married. Thankfully, a Colorado Court of Appeals ruled against Mr. Philips, but now the Supreme Court has decided to hear the case. In the brief filed with the court, Philip’s lawyer stated “his faith (Mr. Philips) requires him to use his artistic talents to promote only messages that align with his religious beliefs.”
“There is word on the street that other components of the brief include statements like: Jesus told me I would be excommunicated and irredeemable if I created a buttercream holy wafer for those people.”
“These are my artistic creations and I’ll be damned if I share them with heathens like them. I was once at the Louvre and there was a gay couple holding hands looking at the Mona Lisa and I swear she looked away in disgust.”
More than 50 years after the Civil Rights Act was passed, the battle for equal rights for all Americans sadly continues. Before the law was passed, blacks were refused service in restaurants because of Jim Crow laws. It’s a national embarrassment that after the horror of slavery and the emancipation of African Americans, that it took a hundred years for blacks to have the same Civil Rights as whites. Gay and transgender people have been fighting for the same rights and though there has been progress, there is still a long way to go as evidenced by this case. If left to the religious right in this country, the LGBT community would have Jim Crow type laws governing them, too!
Do you think if Jesus was a baker instead of a carpenter he would have denied gay or transgender people one of his cakes? Not allowed them to drink the magical wine he produced from blood? I doubt it. His was the world of inclusion. His emergence was based on rejection of the Orthodoxy of the Judaism at the time and a desire to embrace all people. He was adamantly opposed to the disturbing vilification of the other that has been at the center of racism and homophobia in this country.
So where does The Don’s administration stand on LGBT rights?
Mara Keisling, the executive director of The National Center for Transgender Equality believes “It has been a catastrophe… Every twitch we have seen from Trump administration has been anti-LGBT.”
Jeff Sessions, The Don’s racist Attorney General and his merry band at the Justice Department, signaled it would no longer consider the rights of transgender individuals to be protected under the 1972 civil rights law.
While the Department of Health and Human Services under the Obama administration worked to expand health care for Gay and Transgender Americans, the department is now being led by Tom Price, who, as a congressman, was a vocal opponent of gay rights. The civil rights branch of this agency, that made it easier for transgender individuals to get health insurance, is now being led by Roger Severino, an ultra conservative activist, who actually accused the Obama administration of attempting to “coerce everyone, including children, into pledging allegiance to radical new gender ideology.”
The person replacing the secretary of the Army, who was an openly gay man and instrumental in moving the pentagon toward allowing transgender people to serve openly, is being replaced by Mark Green, who called being transgender “a disease.”
The Census bureau has scrapped questions regarding sexual orientation and gender from 2020 census and the American Community Survey.
The Don, who is vocal about many things, is absent from the conversation and proves he cares little about the rights of the LGBT Community. He may not be creating the policy, but by selecting individuals like Jeff Sessions and Tom Price for cabinet posts, he is condoning their actions. He is like the parent who knows there is abuse going on in the home, but pretends it isn’t happening-his collusion implicates him and makes him a co-conspirator..
As far as the buttercream wedding cake case, this should be a no brainer for the Supreme Court. It should support the Appeals Court that found Mr. Phillips actions a violation of the civil rights of the plaintiffs. Unfortunately, given the politicization of the court, nothing is a sure thing. If they don’t uphold the plaintiff’s right to “eat cake” as a matter of their civil rights, then we are really are in trouble.
*The comic Kathy Griffin got some serious blowback for her portrayal of The Don’s demise in Antoinette fashion, so I’ll leave that one alone and just root for Robert Mueller, the prosecutor to serve up The Don’s comeuppance. Actually, I changed my mind.