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Showing posts from September, 2017

Changing My Name Late In Life: “Doug” to “Douglas”

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I have a friend who in his late 50s (and for professional reasons) completely changed his name, both first and last.  This transformation caused some serious confusions for him, but he is now happy with his new name, and finds, I’m sure, a certain satisfaction in having chosen for himself the name by which he is identified in the world.  The rest of us have to live with (or battle or pervert) the name assigned to us without our consent by doubtless well-meaning parents.





My given name is “Douglas John Whaley” and I’ve always been happy with it.  The middle name of “John” is in honor of my paternal grandfather, John Alvin Whaley (and I carried on that tradition when my son was born by giving him the middle name of my father).


When I was a child almost no one called me “Douglas” with the sometimes exception of  my mother when annoyed with me, as in “Douglas John, come here at once!”  Everyone addressed me as “Doug” and that has continued until quite recently.  There was an occasional us…

Must a Baker Create a Cake for a Gay Wedding? What Will the Supreme Court Likely Say?

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The United States Supreme Court has agreed to hear this term the case of a Christian baker who violated Colorado’s non-discrimination law (which, among other things, forbids discrimination in public accommodations on the basis of sexual orientation) by refusing make a wedding cake for a gay wedding.  The case is Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, and it has generated furious debate.  Around 80 briefs arguing for both sides have been filed so far with the Court. The Trump administration caused much comment when it filed a brief backing the baker’s right to discriminate against gays.







The facts are clear.  The baker, Jack Phillips, is a devout Christian who has in the past refused to make cakes for various events that are in conflict with his deep faith: ones for Halloween, cakes with adult themes, cakes containing alcohol, etc.  His appearances on various shows like “The View”  [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=coBIZle18kM] make it clear that he’s a nice guy,…