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Why wedding websites are the next frontier for same-sex marriage rights...
December 06, 2022 View Online | Sign Up | Shop 10% Off

Morning Brew

Capital One

Good morning. As if you needed any more confirmation that winter has arrived, at 19:56 UTC (2:56pm ET) today, the largest percentage of Earth’s human population will experience darkness. With nightfall covering the vast majority of Asia, Africa, and Europe at that time, the sky will be completely dark for 85.92% of everyone living on Earth, according to EarthSky.

Sure, it’ll be light out here on the US East Coast, but we’re small fish in the Earth’s pond. North and South America combined only account for 13% of the world’s population.

Max Knoblauch, Sam Klebanov, Abby Rubenstein, Neal Freyman

MARKETS

Nasdaq

11,239.94

S&P

3,998.84

Dow

33,947.10

10-Year

3.585%

Bitcoin

$16,957.07

Salesforce

$133.93

*Stock data as of market close, cryptocurrency data as of 4:00am ET. Here's what these numbers mean.

  • Markets: Stocks took a dive yesterday due to a classic case of good news = bad news. Positive economic data has investors worried that the Fed might keep raising interest rates for longer than they expected. Salesforce stock, meanwhile, has now dropped to its lowest point since April 2020 as it keeps losing executives. Co-CEO Bret Taylor announced he was leaving last week, and yesterday the CEO of Slack (which Salesforce acquired) said he was on his way out, too.
 

LAW

SCOTUS hears case over wedding websites for gay couples

Protesters outside of the Supreme Court Kent Nishimura/Getty Images

The Supreme Court heard oral arguments in a hugely consequential First Amendment case yesterday. The court’s conservative majority seemed primed to side with Colorado-based evangelical graphic designer Lorie Smith, who claimed that she should not have to make wedding websites for potential clients in same-sex relationships.

It’s the second time in five years that SCOTUS will rule on a First Amendment case from Colorado involving the bounds of religious freedom and LGBTQ discrimination. In a 2018 case—which concerned a business just five miles from Smith’s office—the court ruled in favor of a wedding cake designer who turned away a gay couple, but it stopped short of determining whether the First Amendment allows business owners to discriminate based on their religious beliefs.

The arguments

Smith’s lawyers claim that Colorado’s Anti-Discrimination Act violates her freedom of speech by requiring her to publish messages she opposes.

The State of Colorado argued that by refusing to provide a service to same-sex couples that she would provide to heterosexual couples, Smith would be committing unlawful discrimination (Title IX prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation).

  • Would is a key word: Smith’s company has not actually made any wedding websites, or refused service to anyone yet—making it an unusual case for the Supreme Court.

The two sides in the case also debated what constitutes speech—primarily whether websites displaying stories of individual couples represent Smith’s speech as the graphic designer, or, as Justice Sonia Sotomayor suggested, the individual couple’s.

Justice Sotomayor also repeatedly questioned whether a ruling in favor of Smith would also allow for discrimination on the basis of race, disability, or ethnicity.

What’s next: The Supreme Court is expected to rule on the case in June.—MK

        

WORLD

Tour de headlines

Photo of Elon Musk in court Apu Gomes/Getty Images

Neuralink is reportedly under federal investigation. Elon Musk’s medical device company is being probed by the feds over potential animal welfare violations, according to Reuters. The investigation, which reportedly kicked off months ago, comes as employees at the company have been raising concerns about Musk’s aggressive testing goals that have allegedly led to more animals being killed. Last week, Musk said that human trials for Neuralink’s wireless brain chip could begin within six months.

Nike cut ties with Kyrie Irving. A month after suspending its contract with Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving after he tweeted a link to a movie that featured antisemitic tropes, Nike decided yesterday to just do it and sever its relationship with him completely. The company had worked with Irving since 2014, and its Kyrie-branded shoes are popular with his fellow NBA players (the Kyrie 8 model was supposed to debut in November). Irving’s agent described the parting of ways as mutual, and Irving tweeted his gratitude yesterday to anyone who had bought his branded products.

Romantically entwined GMA3 anchors pulled off the air. ABC News is temporarily taking T.J. Holmes and Amy Robach off their Good Morning America anchor positions while it decides what to do about the recent revelation that the two are romantically involved (despite being married to other people). Their relationship came to light after the Daily Mail published an account of their relationship, complete with photos, which apparently took ABC by surprise.

TOGETHER WITH CAPITAL ONE

Now on the menu: cash back

Capital One

It’s hardly a surprise these days to check out your fave menus and realize that prices have increased since your last order or visit. That’s why our hangry bellies are rumbling with excitement about this new credit card offer.

With the Capital One SavorOne credit card, you earn 10% cash back on purchases with Uber *and* Uber Eats. Tastes almost as good as those truffle fries, right?

Plus, SavorOne comes with another amazing perk: a complimentary Uber One membership through Nov. 14, 2024. (Can you say unlimited $0 delivery fees with your mouth full?)

Enjoy your fries *and* that 10% cash back. Heck, spring for the extra special sauce, too.

Apply for the SavorOne card today.

GOVERNMENT

I got my runoffs out in Georgia

Herschel Walker and Raphael Warnock Illustration: Francis Scialabba, Photos: Getty Images

It’s been a month, but we’re not quite done talking about the midterm elections yet. Georgia voters will head to the polls today for a key runoff election between incumbent Democratic Senator Raphael Warnock and Republican challenger Herschel Walker. Recent polls show Warnock with a slight advantage, but just like the original contest that forced the runoff, the race is tight.

Both sides are relying on voter turnout to win, and so far voters are certainly turning out: More than 1.85 million Georgians have already cast early votes. That might be because people were desperate to go somewhere that wasn’t in front of the TV. Atlanta’s ABC affiliate, WSB-TV, brought in the most political ad revenue of any station in the country this year ($86 million).

But, whoever wins the runoff, the Democrats will still control the Senate while Republicans will have a majority in the House. So why does it matter so much?

Having 51 seats rather than just 50 could impact how much the Democrats can accomplish. The extra vote would shift the balance of power within the party, curbing the outsized influence centrist lawmakers like West Virginia’s Joe Manchin and Arizona’s Kyrsten Sinema have enjoyed due to a 50/50 Senate split. A larger majority means the pair won’t have the same leverage to demand changes to legislation or delay confirmation of progressive judges.—AR

        

TRAVEL

Real ID is really delayed

sticky note with date crossed off and re-written Hannah Minn

If you’re one of the more than 50% of Americans who has a state ID but hasn’t found the time to get a Real ID yet, you now have two extra years to get one. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) pushed its 2023 deadline for more stringent ID requirements for domestic air travel to May 7, 2025, citing Covid delays.

What’s a Real ID?

If your driver’s license lacks a star (or a bear in California) in the upper right corner, it isn’t Real.

The Real ID standard, which sets minimum security requirements for states issuing licenses, was passed by Congress back in 2005 as part of a sweeping federal effort to shore up national security in the wake of 9/11. The requirement was supposed to take effect in 2008, but the deadline has since been pushed back multiple times.

How do I get one?

The process for obtaining a Real ID is similar to that for a regular state ID, except it requires more supporting documents and an in-person visit to your local DMV branch. Deadline extension notwithstanding, you might want to book your Real ID appointment ASAP, since who knows how many years you’ll spend in that DMV line...—SK

        

GRAB BAG

Key performance indicators

Cristiano Ronaldo against a gold background Photo Illustration: Dianna “Mick” McDougall, Source: Getty Images

Stat: In a win for salary transparency, it appears that soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo will be making about $200 million per season to play for Saudi Arabian club Al Nassr after the World Cup—a figure that would make him the highest paid athlete in the world. The megastar’s contract with Manchester United was terminated last month after he publicly dissed the team and its manager. While Ronaldo’s jump to Al Nassr is being soft-confirmed to outlets like Spanish newspaper Marca, the BBC reported that no contract has been signed yet. Ronaldo’s Portugal faces Switzerland today in a World Cup knockout match.

Quote: “I’m hoping that you’ll just let us go tonight.”

Tampa Police Chief Mary O’Connor resigned yesterday after recently flashing her badge at a sheriff’s deputy in a nearby city and asking him to let her off without a citation (for the least transgressive traffic violation in the history of Florida: driving an untagged golf cart on the street). More than two weeks after the traffic stop, O’Connor phoned Tampa’s mayor to come clean about the incident, which was recorded on the officer’s bodycam.

Read: Why the US keeps running out of prescription drugs. (Vox)

WHAT ELSE IS BREWING

  • Kirstie Alley, a two-time Emmy-winning actor who was best known for her role on Cheers, died from cancer at 71.
  • Iranian activists dismissed claims that Iran has really abolished its morality police. The Biden administration is also skeptical.
  • Prison sentences: Michael Avenatti, the lawyer best known for representing Stormy Daniels, was sentenced to 14 years in prison for stealing from his clients. And the man who shot Lada Gaga’s dogwalker last year was sentenced to 21 years in prison.
  • The house featured in the ’80s classic The Goonies is being bought by a fan who wants to preserve it.

BREW'S BETS

Don’t settle for Swiss Miss. Here’s how to make French, Italian, and Mexican hot chocolate.

Holiday tip: How to become a truly excellent gift-giver.

Staying informed about the latest tech can be a lot. So let Emerging Tech Brew do the work for you. It’s the free email that curates all the latest tech news into one convenient newsletter. Learn more here.

Need brow growth? This thickening treatment brow balm has a 3-in-1 formula that tints, holds, and delivers natural-looking volume—all while increasing hair growth. Use code MORNINGBREW15 for 15% off sitewide + a free bag.*

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Get informed: Learn about the biggest business topics on our Business Casual podcast, sponsored by Purple—the mattress designed for overnight success. We’ve got fresh takes + honest convos with dynamic business leaders. Listen here.*

*This is sponsored advertising content.

GAMES

The puzzle section

Brew mini: “Word after common or sixth” (five letters) is your sample clue for today’s Mini. Play it here.

Name that word

Oxford Dictionaries unveiled its Word of the Year 2022 yesterday. We’ll give you a few excerpts from the description, and you have to identify the word. (Important: It’s actually a two-word phrase.)

  • “A type of behaviour which is unapologetically self-indulgent, lazy, slovenly, or greedy, typically in a way that rejects social norms or expectations.”
  • This term “rose in popularity...as Covid lockdown restrictions eased in many countries and people ventured out of their homes more regularly. Seemingly, it captured the prevailing mood of individuals who rejected the idea of returning to ‘normal life,’ or rebelled against the increasingly unattainable aesthetic standards and unsustainable lifestyles exhibited on social media.”

Can you name the phrase?

AROUND THE BREW

The future of hiring

The future of hiring

Thinking about implementing automated interviews at your company? HR Brew can help you weigh the pros and cons. Download the guide.

Live from Web Summit 2022, Business Casual dives into how Laura Katz, the founder and CEO of Helaina, is transforming the infant formula industry in the wake of shortages. Listen here.

Morning Brew’s latest sprint, Difficult Conversations at Work, will give you the tools and the hands-on practice to tackle awkward conversations. Secure your spot today.

We all know about the great return-to-office debate, but what else do employees want in today’s work environment? Stream our latest virtual HR Brew event now to learn more.

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ANSWER

Goblin mode

         

Written by Neal Freyman, Sam Klebanov, Abigail Rubenstein, and Max Knoblauch

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