Jimmy Sengenberger Show, John Suthers, December 20, 2014

Station:   KNUS, 710 AM

Show:      Jimmy Sengenberger Show

Guests:    Suthers

Link:        http://sengenberger.podbean.com/

Date:       December 20, 2014

Click Here for Audio


Topics:    Christmas, Deputy District Attorney Daughter in Denver, Navy Lieutenant Commander Daughter in Djibouti Africa, Mayor of Colorado Springs Campaign, Cynthia Coffman, Attorney General’s Office, Carr Building, 450 Employees, 275 Attorneys, Water Law, Public Utilities Law, Conservation Easements, Medical Law, Four Year Term, Ken Salazar, Governor Bill Owens, Former U.S. Attorney, Former Head of the Department of Corrections, Supporter of Liberty Day Institute, Government Education for Youth, U.S. Constitution, Challenge to the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), Commerce Clause, Healthcare, Medicaid Expansion Challenge, Waning Federalism, Rehnquist Court, Supreme Court Appointees, Gay marriage,  14th Amendment, Colorado Clerk and Recorders, Stay of Order, 10th Circuit Court, Suit to Stop Clerks from Issuing Same Sex Marriage Licenses, Colorado Supreme Court, U.S. Supreme Court Refusal to Hear Appeals, Windsor Case, Justice Kennedy, Masterpiece Cakes, Gun Laws, Republican Attorneys General Association Funneling Money Through the Republican Governors Association, Tom Tancredo, Second (2nd) Amendment, Fourteenth (14th) Amendment, Essential to Due Process, Universal Background Check, Limit of Rounds in a Magazine, California Ten Round Limit, New York Seven Round Limit, Choice as AG Not to Take a Case, Don Quick, Washington Post Editorial, Lobato Case, School Financing, Slippery Slope, Settlement between States and Five Largest Banks over Misconduct in Mortgage Loan Servicing, TABOR Challenge, Guarantee Clause, Republican Form of Government, Initiative Process as Violation of Guarantee Clause



COLORADO ATTORNEY GENERAL, JOHN SUTHERS:  We have a law in Colorado, our Public accommodations law. And a couple years ago when Democrats were in charge of both houses, they inserted sexual orientation along with race and gender as protective classes. And so in Colorado, essentially, sexual orientation has essentially the same protection as race in terms of anti-public discrimination laws. So, if you have a business, whether it be a motel business, restaurant business, cake shop– hold yourself out to the public, –you must abide by this public accommodations law. And in this case, it was alleged, that a gay couple who’d been married in another state, wanted to have a celebration in Colorado, went into this cake shop, were very frank with the owner about what they wanted to do, and he refused to bake them a cake. Despite the fact that they probably could have walked a block and gotten the cake at another bake store, they complained to the Colorado Civil Rights Commission.  The Civil Rights Commission voted to direct the Attorney General to bring a case under the public accommodations law.  And it does appear this individual violated the Colorado public accommodations law, so the case was brought.  And so, while one side — you know, one side of the political spectrum was yelling and screaming at me about the same sex marriage case, the other side was yelling and screaming at me about this.  And in both instances I was trying to uphold Colorado law.

SENGENBERGER: Well, what about the role of this argument that was made at the time, and I think is a very compelling one in a variety of issues and a variety of ways, as well.  And that is that we’re talking about First Amendment, freedom of religion, and if gay activities are in someone’s religious beliefs in some way against — in violation of that, and they want to run their business in accordance with their religious views, do they not have legal protection?

SUTHERS: Uh, only if the practice is part of the practice of religion. And therein lies the problem, Jimmy. The reason why I think the state is going to win this case throughout is that baking cakes is not the exercise of religion. If you told the Catholic Church they had to marry gay couples, then you’re violating the First Amendment. It’s complicated, and there is a long line of cases about it, but sadly enough, I think the State is probably going to win this case. As you know, New Mexico [has] a very similar case, uh, about photography– wedding photography– went to the state supreme court, they upheld the civil rights commission claim against the photographers, and the United States Supreme Court denied the cert.  I think that’s going to happen here.  And, I would urge everybody to look at the legislature and the public policy that is involved here. I think what’s different, Jimmy, than 1964 at the time of the Civil Rights cases, is if a Black [person] went into a restaurant in the South in 1963 and was refused service, he couldn’t walk into a restaurant next door and get service, for the most part.  Everybody refused service. That’s not the atmosphere we have today. We have this guy, who as a matter of his religious [beliefs], would prefer not to do that. But we have plenty of guys down the street who are perfectly willing to do it. I just don’t think it’s the same atmosphere. And I think the legislature ought to be sensitive to that fact. But the Colorado legislature, with the majority at certain points in time, has not been. It has been very frustrating to me, because when — as you know, a couple years ago, after civil unions failed by one vote, certain people spent a lot of money to make sure that the Democrats took over the legislature with comfortable enough margins that it would pass and all previous versions that had been tendered had a religious exemption in them.  When they knew they had the numbers, they took out the religious exemption.  And I went over, not as the Attorney General but as a kid who was born out of wedlock and had been adopted through Catholic Charities, and said, “Hey, look!  This organization has been around for over a hundred years, adopting kids.  Do you really want to tell the Catholic Church that they’re out of the adoption business because they insist on adopting to marriages with a man and a woman?”  And basically their attitude was, “Yeah, that’s what we want to do.”  Uh, I just think that’s sad.