After turning down similar appeals, the justices have decided to take on this case.
The Supreme Court has decided to hear a challenge from a Colorado baker, after the state charged him with violating the state’s anti-discrimination law when he declined to make a wedding cake for a gay couple. From the LA Times:
Jack Phillips, the owner of the Masterpiece Cakeshop in Lakewood, Colo., was charged with violating the state’s anti-discrimination law, which says businesses open to the public may not deny service to customers based on their race, religion, sex or sexual orientation.
The state commission held that his refusal to make the wedding cake amounted to discriminatory conduct, and the state courts upheld that decision.
Back in 2012, Charlie Craig and David Mullins asked Phillips to make them a wedding cake. The two “planned to marry in Massachusetts but then have a reception in their home state of Colorado.” They had to marry in another state because Colorado did not even recognize same-sex unions until 2014.
Phillips said no since “it would violate his religious beliefs.” Buzzfeed continued:
Represented by the ACLU, the couple filed a complaint with the Colorado Civil Rights Commission, which found in 2014 the baker ran afoul of the state law banning discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. A Colorado appeals court upheld that decision, saying that if the baker “wishes to operate as a public accommodation and conduct business within the State of Colorado, [the ColoradoAnti-Discrimination Act] prohibits it from picking and choosing customers based on their sexual orientation.”
The court added the law “does not impose burdens on religious conduct not imposed on secular conduct.”
The state supreme court declined to take the case.
That’s when Phillips decided to ask the Supreme Court to hear his case. The LA Times reported:
But Phillips appealed to the Supreme Court, arguing he deserved a religious exemption based on the 1st Amendment’s guarantee of freedom of speech and free exercise of religion. His lawyers described him as a “cake artist” who will “not create cakes celebrating any marriage that is contrary to his understanding of biblical teaching.” They also said he has refused to make cakes to celebrate Halloween or created baked goods that have an “anti-American or anti-family themes” or carry profane messages.
“They said you have to create cakes for same-sex couples, so he removed himself from the market. He chose to stop making wedding cakes,” said Jeremy Tedesco, a lawyer for the Alliance Defending Freedom, who appealed on his behalf.
The Supreme Court has faced appeals from others across the country from vendors who have faced discrimination charges after they turned down gay marriage contracts. The court turned down an appeal from a wedding photographer in New Mexico two years ago.
The Alliance Defending Freedom may bring another appeal to the Supreme Court. Its lawyers represent “a florist in Washington State who turned away a gay couple seeking flowers for their wedding.” The state supreme court ruled against her and the group has stated that it will “appeal to the Supreme Court.”DONATE
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