Man ‘mar­ries’ lap­top, sues for wed­ding cake

Claims same rights as same-sex cou­ples

The Washington Times Weekly - - Culture, Etc. - BY ALEX SWOYER

Chris Se­vier says that if same-sex cou­ples are able to get mar­ried and de­mand that Chris­tian bak­ers make them wed­ding cakes, then he should be al­lowed to marry his lap­top and de­mand a cake to cel­e­brate the union be­tween one man and one ma­chine.

The self-iden­ti­fied “ma­chin­ist” says he mar­ried his lap­top in a cer­e­mony in New Mex­ico, and now he has sued to de­mand that a Colorado baker — who is al­ready in court after re­fus­ing to bake for a same-sex mar­riage — must be com­pelled to make cakes for him and his com­puter “bride.” He also has filed a law­suit de­mand­ing that Utah rec­og­nize his man-ob­ject mar­riage.

It’s the lat­est bat­tle­front in an in­creas­ingly thorny area of law, after the U.S. Supreme Court in 2015 es­tab­lished a con­sti­tu­tional right to same-sex mar­riage.

While le­gal an­a­lysts said the case is a stretch, a judge in Utah has al­lowed part of that law­suit to pro­ceed, and an­a­lysts con­cede that Mr. Se­vier’s claims get to the heart of how far the 2015 Oberge­fell rul­ing stretches when it comes to non­tra­di­tional unions.

“If mar­riage based on self-as­serted sex-based iden­tity nar­ra­tives is a ‘fun­da­men­tal right,’ ‘in­di­vid­ual right,’ ‘ex­ist­ing right,’ based on a ‘per­sonal choice’ for ho­mo­sex­u­als, then clearly it is also a ‘fun­da­men­tal right,’ ‘ in­di­vid­ual right,’ ‘ ex­ist­ing right,’ based on a ‘per­sonal choice’ for po­lyg­a­mists, zoophiles and ma­chin­ists,” Mr. Se­vier and sev­eral self-iden­ti­fied po­lyg­a­mists said in their law­suit against Mas­ter­piece Cakeshop, the Colorado baker they are chal­leng­ing.

Mas­ter­piece Cakeshop baker Jack Phillips is slated for a day in the Supreme Court this year after jus­tices said they would hear his ap­peal of a Colorado civil rights of­fice that pe­nal­ized him for re­fus­ing to bake a cake for a same-sex wed­ding.

Now it’s Mr. Se­vier and his co­horts — three po­lyg­a­mists — who said if Colorado can force Mr. Phillips to bake a same-sex wed­ding cake, then it also can make him bake a man-ma­chine cake.

Mr. Se­vier, whose law li­cense has been put on “dis­abil­ity in­ac­tive sta­tus” in Ten­nessee, has a his­tory of fil­ing un­usual chal­lenges. Ear­lier this year, he sued four Demo­cratic law­mak­ers for dis­play­ing rain­bow flags in the hall­ways of their gov­ern­ment of­fice build­ings.

Through­out the past year, he has filed law­suits against of­fi­cials in Kentucky, Texas and Utah in an at­tempt to le­gally wed his lap­top.

Next up are law­suits against Colorado and Cal­i­for­nia, he says.

“While it is undis­puted that self-iden­ti­fied gays, po­lyg­a­mists, zoophiles and ma­chin­ists can have wed­ding cer­e­monies, the states’ se­lec­tive le­gal recog­ni­tion of gay mar­riage vi­o­lates the es­tab­lish­ment clause in­sur­mount­ably,” Mr. Se­vier says in his lat­est fil­ing in the Utah case.

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