At the heart of the recent Supreme Court’s decision in Ashers Baking lies the ruling that nobody should be forced to express a view in which they do not believe. The unfortunate implications of this content-neutral reasoning go far beyond the circumstances of this case. This reasoning will result in vindicating behaviours that are founded on anti-liberal values, thus undermining core liberal values.
If courts follow this reasoning they will have to rule that a bakery, for example, does not have to provide customers cakes with icing that says either ‘homosexuality is a sin’ or ‘support gay marriage’ if these views run against the deeply held belief of the bakery’s owners.
In many aspects, the statement ‘homosexuality is a sin’ is not different from ‘support gay marriage’. Both statements are legal; both contradict deeply held beliefs of others; and both reflect deeply held beliefs – religious or others. And yet…
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The main theoretical argument of Party in the Street is that when movements and parties overlap, the movement will collapse if the party moves on to other issues. We saw it in the antiwar movement and now we might see it again post-2018.
After Trump’s election, we saw the rise of two movements tied with the Democratic party. One is the broadly titled “#Resistance” movement and then you have more focused ones like the March on Science or the Women’s March. What do they have in common? An overwhelming majority of participants are Democrats. What about March for Science? Dana Fisher’s work shows a very high proportion of Democrats. The March for Science people aren’t just Democrats, they are overwhelmingly Clinton Democrat (e.g., 84% had voted for Hillary Clinton).
So we now have a test. If the Democrats win the House in 2018 and the Presidency in 2020…
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