The Supreme Court ruled Monday that a Lakewood baker who refused to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple because of religious beliefs did not violate Colorado’s anti-discrimination law.
The case pitted Jack Phillips, the owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop in Lakewood, and the couple, Charlie Craig and David Mullins.
The court ruled that the Colorado Civil Rights Commission’s actions violated the free exercise clause.
In arguments before the court in December, Justine Anthony Kennedy, the author of all the court’s major gay-rights cases, worried that a ruling in favor of Phillips might allow shop owners to put up signs saying “We do not bake cakes for gay weddings.”
But later, Kennedy said the Colorado Civil Rights Commission seemed “neither tolerant nor respectful of Mr. Phillips’ religious beliefs” when it found his refusal to bake a cake for the gay couple violated the state’s anti-discrimination law.
The case pitted Phillips’ First Amendment claims of artistic freedom against the anti-discrimination arguments of the Colorado commission, and the two men Phillips turned away in 2012.
“The commission’s hostility was inconsistent with the First Amendment’s guarantee that our laws be applied in a manner that is neutral toward religion,” Kennedy wrote, referring to the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
“The outcome of cases like this in other circumstances must await further elaboration in the courts, all in the context of recognizing that these disputes must be resolved with tolerance, without undue disrespect to sincere religious beliefs, and without subjecting gay persons to indignities when they seek goods and services in an open market,” Kennedy said.
Of the 50 states, 21 including Colorado have anti-discrimination laws protecting gay people.
The closely watched case before the Supreme Court, which in 2015 legalized same-sex marriage nationwide, pitted gay rights against religious liberty. President Donald Trump’s administration intervened in the case in support of Phillips.
Mr Americana, Overpasses News Desk
June 4th, 2018