The Supreme Court recently ruled in favor of a Colorado baker who refused to make a wedding cake for a same-gender couple.

Its ruling, however, was particularly narrow and reflective of the specifics in the case. The decision avoided setting any new precedent on if a business owner can discriminate against an LGBTQ patron based on religious belief.

In writing the majority opinion, Justice Kennedy made sure to affirm protections for LGBTQ people, The New York Times reported.


But the misleading narrative that SCOTUS' ruling was "a major victory for religious liberty" — as Sen. Ted Cruz claimed in his tweet below — began to take hold, regardless of the details in the court's decision.

That narrative is music to bigots' ears.

Some anti-LGBTQ leaders and business owners have felt emboldened by SCOTUS' decision.

In a controversial Facebook comment after the ruling, South Dakota Rep. Michael Clark celebrated the development and claimed a business owner "should have the opportunity to run his business the way he wants" — even if it includes refusing to provide services to people of color.

(Clark later walked back the claim.)

Jeff Amyx, who first made waves in 2015 for hanging an abhorrent "No Gays Allowed" sign at the front of his Tennessee hardware store, called SCOTUS' new wedding cake decision a "ray of sunshine."

[rebelmouse-image 19477544 dam="1" original_size="576x310" caption="Image from Brandon Rook/YouTube." expand=1]Image from Brandon Rook/YouTube.

"Christianity is under attack," Amyx explained. "This is a great win, don't get me wrong, but this is not the end. This is just the beginning."

Fortunately, at least one LGBTQ rights group isn't sitting idly by.

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) decided to fight back against the hate by equipping allies in the business world with a simple but effective tool: a sign of their own.

HRC took out a full-page ad in USA Today that reads, "We stand with the LGBTQ community," and "We are open to all."

The ad, as HRC's Charlotte Clymer indicated on Twitter, can be hung in a business' window to ensure queer and trans patrons know they're welcome inside.  

The nonprofit also put a downloadable and printable version of the ad on its website and is encouraging supporters to stand in solidarity with the queer community by using the hashtag #OpenToAll on social media platforms.

Moves like this one can make a big difference.

In 2015, after then-Gov. Mike Pence signed a now-infamous anti-LGBTQ "religious freedom" bill into law in Indiana, thousands of businesses pushed back against the discriminatory legislation by placing "This business serves everyone" signs in their storefronts.

Some lovely people “shop hopping” at #openforservice businesses #love #support #wewelcomeall http://ow.ly/i/a8vEO

Posted by Open For Service on Saturday, March 28, 2015

That initiative by Open For Service was part of the broad backlash to the law, which was later revised to protect LGBTQ people in employment, housing, and services.

Aside from HRC's sign, there are other simple ways you can ensure patrons know your business is inclusive.

Hang a rainbow flag — as big or small as you'd like — in an area where people will spot it. (They're not just for Pride month, after all. Leave 'em up 365 days a year.)

Let it be known that your restrooms are inclusive of transgender, nonbinary, and gender-nonconforming people. And if your business has only one or two restrooms, why needlessly assign a gender to one or either of them when the facilities can be explicitly all-gender?

Write messages affirming your belief in equality on message boards, menus, and/or customer-facing pamphlets. If you have a space where the community leaves event flyers, include your own LGBTQ-affirming flyers or signs as well. Small but meaningful steps like these can make a difference — not just politically, but on an individual level, too. If you want LGBTQ people to know they're accepted and welcome in your business, speak up!

Vocal allyship is critical in the fight for fairness. Let it be known that you stand for equality.

Moricz was banned from speaking up about LGBTQ topics. He found a brilliant workaround.

Senior class president Zander Moricz was given a fair warning: If he used his graduation speech to criticize the “Don’t Say Gay” law, then his microphone would be shut off immediately.

Moricz had been receiving a lot of attention for his LGBTQ activism prior to the ceremony. Moricz, an openly gay student at Pine View School for the Gifted in Florida, also organized student walkouts in protest and is the youngest public plaintiff in the state suing over the law formally known as the Parental Rights in Education law, which prohibits the discussion of sexual orientation or gender identity in grades K-3.

Though well beyond third grade, Moricz nevertheless was also banned from speaking up about the law, gender or sexuality. The 18-year-old tweeted, “I am the first openly-gay Class President in my school’s history–this censorship seems to show that they want me to be the last.”

However, during his speech, Moricz still delivered a powerful message about identity. Even if he did have to use a clever metaphor to do it.

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Matthew McConaughey in 2019.

Oscar-winning actor Matthew McConaughey made a heartfelt plea for Americans to “do better” on Tuesday after a gunman murdered 19 children and 2 adults at Robb Elementary School in his hometown of Uvalde, Texas.

Uvalde is a small town of about 16,000 residents approximately 85 miles west of San Antonio. The actor grew up in Uvalde until he was 11 years old when his family moved to Longview, 430 miles away.

The suspected murderer, 18-year-old Salvador Ramos, was killed by law enforcement at the scene of the crime. Before the rampage, Ramos allegedly shot his grandmother after a disagreement.

“As you all are aware there was another mass shooting today, this time in my home town of Uvalde, Texas,” McConaughey wrote in a statement shared on Twitter. “Once again, we have tragically proven that we are failing to be responsible for the rights our freedoms grant us.”

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Meet Eva, the hero dog who risked her life saving her owner from a mountain lion

Wilson had been walking down a path with Eva when a mountain lion suddenly appeared.

Photo by Didssph on Unsplash

A sweet face and fierce loyalty: Belgian Malinois defends owner.

The Belgian Malinois is a special breed of dog. It's highly intelligent, extremely athletic and needs a ton of interaction. While these attributes make the Belgian Malinois the perfect dog for police and military work, they can be a bit of a handful as a typical pet.

As Belgian Malinois owner Erin Wilson jokingly told NPR, they’re basically "a German shepherd on steroids or crack or cocaine.”

It was her Malinois Eva’s natural drive, however, that ended up saving Wilson’s life.

According to a news release from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Wilson had been walking down a path with Eva slightly ahead of her when a mountain lion suddenly appeared and swiped Wilson across the left shoulder. She quickly yelled Eva’s name and the dog’s instincts kicked in immediately. Eva rushed in to defend her owner.

It wasn’t long, though, before the mountain lion won the upper hand, much to Wilson’s horror.

She told TODAY, “They fought for a couple seconds, and then I heard her start crying. That’s when the cat latched on to her skull.”

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