California: Judge Rules Baker Is Not Required to Bake Lesbian Wedding Cake

Bakersfield, California: Judge David Lampe ruled against forcing Cathy Miller, owner of Tasteries Bakery, to bake a cake for a lesbian couple, because it would violate her First Amendment rights. However, he said that, if the couple wanted to buy an already-made cake, Miller would be required to sell it to them to comply with the state’s anti-discrimination law. -GEG

A California court has ruled that a Christian baker cannot be forced to bake a wedding cake for a lesbian couple because it would violate her First Amendment rights — a decision that runs against a national trend of cases now before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Kern County Superior Court Judge David Lampe ruled Monday that it would have been impermissible for baker Cathy Miller, who operates the Tastries Bakery in Bakersfield, to refuse to sell a cake that was already made to a same-sex couple. However, forcing her to bake a new cake would have been an impermissible form of coercion, he ruled.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports:

A wedding cake, even one without an inscription, “is an artistic expression by the person making it,” Kern County Superior Court Judge David Lampe said Monday in a ruling denying a state agency’s request to require the bakery owner, Cathy Miller, to comply with California’s antidiscrimination law.

“The state asks this court to compel Miller against her will and religion to allow her artistic expression in celebration of marriage to be co-opted to promote the message desired by same-sex marital partners,” Lampe said. “The right to freedom of speech under the First Amendment outweighs the state’s interest in ensuring a freely accessible marketplace.”

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Oregon: Male to Female Transgender Prisoner Receives Transition Aid at Taxpayers’ Expense

Oregon: Michale Wright, who was convicted of attempted robbery, has supposedly been transitioned enough from male to “female” by hormone treatments that “she” is being moved from the men’s prison to the women’s prison. Oregon’s Department of Corrections granted Wright’s request for hormone treatment after he filed a lawsuit. It is unknown if the state also will pay for his requested orchiectomy to remove his testicles. Oregon’s Corrections Department has 55 transgender or intersex inmates in custody. -GEG

You may recall a story on The Gateway Pundit from October 25th, 2017, where a transgender prison inmate in Oregon sued the Department Of Corrections for $267,500 because they refused to perform “transitioning” surgeries on the inmate. Now that inmate, Michale Wright, sometimes spelled Michalle Wright, has supposedly been transitioned enough from male to “female” that “she” is being moved from the men’s prison to the women’s prison.

The Oregonian reports:

Michalle Wright, 27, who has identified as a woman since 16, had requested a transfer from the Oregon State Correctional Institution in Salem. She’s been moved to Coffee Creek Correctional Institution in Wilsonville, where agency officials said she will be housed in the general population.

Wright, who grew up in Gresham, is serving time for attempted robbery.

Mat dos Santos, legal director of the ACLU of Oregon who represented Wright, welcomed news that his client is now housed at the women’s prison.

Transgender inmates, he said, are especially vulnerable to abuse. “We are really relieved that action was taken to protect our client from a known and foreseeable threat to her well-being,” he said.

The state’s online inmate database originally listed Wright as a male. As of Tuesday, Wright was listed as a female housed at Coffee Creek.

Last year, the Corrections Department granted Wright’s request for hormone treatment. She has also requested an orchiectomy, a surgical procedure to remove the testicles, before she is released from state custody later this year. The agency declined to comment on the status of the request, citing medical confidentiality.

The Corrections Department has 55 transgender or intersex inmates in custody, said spokeswoman Betty Bernt. Intersex refers to people born with a combination of male and female biological characteristics, such as chromosomes or genitals.

Bernt said transgender and intersex inmates are housed at prisons across the state. Some are housed in prisons that “match their assigned sex at birth, while others are not,” she said.

Bernt confirmed Wright’s transfer and said inmate placement decisions are based on “individual inmate programming and housing needs, and the department’s need to manage institutions and the inmate population in a safe and secure manner.”

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Israel Launches Attack on Syria After Unverified Gas Attacks

Israel has been bombing Syria for years in an effort to provoke war, and they targeted a city near Damascus that is said to be a research facility related to chemical weapons.  Israel’s assault follows on the heels of allegations of a chemical attack on Syrian citizens. In its pursuit of regime change in Syria, Israel has given covert support to al-Qaeda linked groups. This latest attack is part of what has developed into an open state of war between Israel, Syria, and Syria’s Iranian allied forces. -GEG

Overnight Tuesday Israel again launched a major attack on Syrian government locations near Damascus in what seems a monthly exercise that many analysts now openly recognize as an Israeli attempt to provoke war with Syria. For at least the third time since the start of the 7-year long war in Syria, Israeli jets attacked a site just outside of Syria’s capital city called Jamraya – believed to be a military research facility related to chemical weapons. 

Jamraya is an area well-known for its multiple government facilities, including a branch of Syria’s Scientific Studies and Research Center, which was the site of two prior attacks by Israel – one in 2013 and another in early December 2017 – but also has sprawling civilian residential areas. It lies on the opposite side of Mt. Qasioun, against which the Damascus city center is nestled.

Like with other recent attacks, Israeli jets are reported to have fired from over Lebanon, with a Syrian military media statement saying that its air defenses intercepted most of the inbound missiles, though no further details were given. Unconfirmed international media reports, however, indicate one or more of the Israeli missiles may have impacted parts of the Syrian government facility during the strikes which occurred at 03:42 am local time Wednesday morning.

In statement picked up by Reuters the Syrian military said, “The general command of the armed forces holds Israel fully responsible for the dangerous consequences of its repeated, aggressive and uncalculated adventures.”

And similar to a September 2017 strike on a military research facility in Masyaf – also said to be a chemical weapons development site, it appears Israel has timed the assault closely on the heels of recent allegations of repeat chemical attacks carried out by the Syrian government against al-Qaeda held pockets of the country – namely Idlib and East Ghouta. Though admitting “no evidence” US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis suggested last week that the Syrian Army may be using sarin gas while also alleging multiple smaller scale chlorine attacks.

Israel, however, has lately been quick to justify what Damascus has condemned as unprovoked “acts of aggression” in humanitarian terms as retribution for supposed gas attacks. Israel has long been on record as condemning Iran’s presence in the region, however, Israeli leaders lately appear increasingly reliant on chemical attack claims as rationale for bombing Syrian government sites. 

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Syria: Without Evidence or Logic, US Ambassador to UN Says New Chemical Attack against Syrian Citizens Was Done by Syrian Government

Three weeks ago, the Trump administration agreed to keep thousands of US troops in Syria and, as if on cue, a new chemical attack against Syrian citizens has been blamed on Syrian President Assad. This is a repeat of similar events in the past, all of which turned out to be false-flag operations by anti-Assad rebels, not the Syrian government. Predictably, the US Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, is blaming Assad and calling for war before an independent investigation of the event can be conducted. It is highly suspicious that the medics at the scene of the supposed gas attack are the ‘White Helmets’ who are linked to al Qaeda and who previously have been exposed staging fake attacks and providing actors to play the role of victims. -GEG