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Supreme Court Will Hear a Same-Sex Wedding Cake Case

Supreme Court Will Hear a Same-Sex Wedding Cake Case

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.”


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I was thinking about this. IMO Christians have fallen short in the fight for these businesses.

In the father’s rights realm- when a state or county entity does this- you FOIA the living hell out of them. They don’t take a crap w/out you getting 10 records requests from that department. You know WHO, WHAT, WHEN about EVERY PERSON working in that department. You find out who the bigots are and learn their career paths up down and sideway. You find out who they are connected to and you look for every crack you can to go after them. Even if you don’t win, it’s death by FOIA for everyone on that side of the fence. In Wa, they have to pay a penalty for being late on those requests. Within those requests you find every place they color outside the lines and you pin them to the wall for it.

Christians as a group have a million times the resources as we did. They could have brought these agencies to their knees.

    Paul in reply to Andy. | June 26, 2017 at 1:47 pm

    Yep, but “turn the other cheek” and all that. The progs know they won’t fight back, so like a bully they attack perceived weakness.

If a straight couple came in and ordered a homosexual wedding cake, they would have been refused as well. If a homosexual couple had some in and order a plain old cake, they would have been served. The bakery is not discriminating against people because they are homosexuals, they are simply not providing a service that they believe (and I agree) that their religious faith does not condone.

The notion that the state can force you to provide services that you do not wish to provide is tyranny – and I don’t think that is too strong a term for it.

    tom swift in reply to topcat69. | June 26, 2017 at 11:42 am

    The notion that the state can force you to provide services that you do not wish to provide is tyranny

    As long as we have a Federal Selective Service system—and we do—the courts will have to find a way to ignore this argument.

    The notion that the state can force you to provide services that you do not wish to provide is tyranny….

    Well, they’ve already decided they can force you to buy services that you do not wish to buy (see: Affordable Care Act), so forcing you to sell services you do not wish to provide is just the next logical step.

      Milhouse in reply to Archer. | June 27, 2017 at 1:31 am

      No, they didn’t. In fact the Supreme Court decided the exact opposite, that Congress has no power to make anyone buy anything, and that it can’t cover up an attempt to do so by calling it something else.

      I keep telling you this, and you keep not listening; read the decision and you will see that Roberts got it exactly right. Congress can impose taxes; it cannot mandate purchases. And it makes no difference what Congress says it has done; the courts, knowing that Congress often lies, care only about its actions, not about its words. A mandate is invalid even if Congress calls it a tax; and a tax is valid even if Congress calls it a mandate.

        A mandate is invalid even if Congress calls it a tax; and a tax is valid even if Congress calls it a mandate.


        If the government can punish you with a penalty impose an additional tax mandate if you don’t buy insurance — a tax mandate that: a) wouldn’t be imposed if you did buy; and b) will ultimately be enforced by armed government agents — then what is the constructive difference between “forcing you to buy” and “penalizing imposing additional taxes on you for not buying”?

        Your argument seems to center around the “choice” whether or not to buy insurance. Mine focuses on the government-imposed consequence on only one outcome of that “choice”.

        Sure, you have the choice, but the mandate tax is designed to make it financially burdensome and/or unfeasible to choose to not buy insurance.

        For practical purposes, that leaves a lot of people with no choice at all.

        [T]he courts … care only about [Congress’] actions, not about its words.

        Congress doesn’t do anything; it cannot take action on its own. All of Congress’ actions (“Acts”) are words on paper, and words mean things.

        And yes, I’ve read the decision. The government bent over backward to find some way to avoid striking down the mandate, and Roberts bought it.

        The law, as written by Congress, calls it a mandate, and calls the punishment for violating the mandate (the “shared responsibility payment”) a penalty. That is what they are, per the statute. Congress could have called it a tax and cited their Article 1, Section 8, clause 1 authority to levy taxes, but they chose not to do so.*

        Roberts, in his opinion, acknowledged that Congress has no power to impose such a mandate under the Constitution, and that by calling it a “penalty” instead of a tax, it dodges the Anti-Injunction Act, which means plaintiffs can sue before paying it.* He also dismantled the argument that used the Commerce Clause as a possible justification for the mandate (holding that Congress can only regulate pre-existing commerce; it has no power under the Commerce Clause to create or compel commerce that would not otherwise exist) and the argument that used the Necessary and Proper Clause on similar grounds (even if “necessary” for the law to work, such an expansion of government power is not “proper” due to the limitations on the Commerce Clause).

        This is where the opinion should have ended, with all the government’s arguments shot down.

        But then he nevertheless found the mandate Constitutionally-valid under a clause that he had just found does not apply to the statute, as written. He says the mandate is a penalty and not a tax** for the purposes of the Anti-Injunction Act, but then contradicts himself in the very next sentence*** by saying it’s a non-punitive penalty (an oxymoron if there ever was one), and allowable under Congress’ power to tax.

        So according to Roberts: It’s not a tax, it’s a penalty. But it’s non-punitive, so it’s allowed under Congress’ power to tax. So it’s a tax — but it’s still not a tax, it’s a penalty. (repeat ad nauseam)

        Roberts may have gotten it “exactly right”, legally speaking, but it’s still wrong as practiced and enforced, and the opinion strains logic to breaking.

        * – Quote from the opinion, pg. 12 [pg. 18 of the .pdf]: Congress, however, chose to describe the “[s]hared responsibility payment” imposed on those who forgo health insurance not as a “tax,” but as a “penalty.” There is no immediate reason to think that a statute applying to “any tax” would apply to a “penalty.” […] Congress’s decision to label this exaction a “penalty” rather than a “tax” is significant because the Affordable Care Act describes many other exactions it creates as “taxes.” Where Congress uses certain language in one part of a statute and different language in another, it is generally presumed that Congress acts intentionally. [internal cites omitted]
        ** – Quote, pg. 37 [pg. 43 of the pdf]: In distinguishing penalties from taxes, this Court has explained that “if the concept of penalty means anything,it means punishment for an unlawful act or omission.” [internal cites omitted]
        *** – Quote, pg. 37 again: While the individual mandate clearly aims to induce the purchase of health insurance, it need not be read to declare that failing to do so is unlawful. Neither the Act nor any other law attaches negative legal consequences to not buying health insurance, beyond requiring a payment to the IRS. [internal cites omitted]

      Milhouse in reply to Archer. | June 27, 2017 at 1:34 am

      PS: However none of this is relevant since there’s no question that states can make you buy health insurance or anything else. And all these cases are coming up under state or local law, since there’s no federal law against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.

    notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital in reply to topcat69. | June 26, 2017 at 4:48 pm

    Silly me. I didn’t know that Wedding Cakes had sex.

    Or do all cakes have sex?

    By sex, I mean male and female cakes.

    Isn’t the Left discriminating against Trans-gender Cakes?

    Why, yes, Jennifer the expert told me the Left is discriminating against’ Trans-gender Cakes!


RBG already has her opinion written to which the wise (cough) Latina and that other one are adding their personal emoticons.

I’m sorry, but there is one MAJOR problem with most Christians (and yes, I am one). The problem is that most Christians are just TOO NICE.

This is not a characteristic that I share.

If I own a bakery and you force me to bake you a cake, I will. If you force me to plan/manage your wedding, I will. What ever you force me to do, I will.

But. You know how they say your wedding is something you will never forget? If you force me to participate, that will be the truth. and what a truth.

For the rest of your life, you will wake up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat, absolutely HORRIFIED at the memories of what transpired on your ‘Special Day’.

No. I am not a nice person. Deal with it.


    The Friendly Grizzly in reply to DCP. | June 26, 2017 at 2:10 pm

    My method might be a bit different. Maybe my website would include examples of catering jobs I have done, and would include “The Smith Wedding, which Grizzly’s Caterers catered under threat of prosecution by state and federal authorities”.

    notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital in reply to DCP. | June 26, 2017 at 4:52 pm

    Your comment reminds me of how Christ grabbed a whip and drove the money changers from the Temple.

    It also reminds me of the instructions to “be angry and sin not.”

    So….Christ was angry, grabbed a whip and drove the money changers from the Temple, and yet he sinned not.

    Methinks we Christians have been told some lies about “turning the other cheek.” We only have 2 cheeks, right?

    Liz in reply to DCP. | June 26, 2017 at 10:18 pm

    Since the gay activists were targeting small companies, why didn’t the small company figure out how many weddings they could handle with their staff and limited space? After all, baking/decorating cakes or arranging flowers are time-dependent. It is not something you can do 1-2 weeks in advance.

    They could have easily said that they were fully booked for that date and ask if they wanted to be on the waiting list in case someone cancelled their wedding.

The proponents (“=”) of couplets’ right to marriage and the transgender judge who saw fit to confirm it, have a Pro-Choice problem. They could have established civil unions for all, instead they applied the Pro-Choice doctrine to carve out an unprincipled exception for transgender couplets.

Our firm provides professional services to the public. We have several gay/lesbian couples as clients. (The ratio of gay / straight clients mirrors the general population). We have provided advice regarding the financial pros and cons of marriage post Ogelfell.

It is common in our industry to both accept new clients and to reject new clients. We frequently reject new clients for a variety of reasons, the most common of which is what the industry would term as high maintenance clients (lot of work for little fees) and high risk clients. High risk clients includes clients that are high risk for litigation.

Based on the information publicly available, this potential wedding cake client, fits into both the high maintenance category and the high risk of litigation. The vast majority of firms in my industry would have rejected this client for valid business reasons long before they issue of same sex marriage entered into the scene.

    notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital in reply to Joe-dallas. | June 26, 2017 at 4:55 pm

    So, Joe, your firm is exercising it’s long recognized right to “refuse” service to “potential” customers, no?

    Like the store signs “No Shoes, No Service”…….

    Arminius in reply to Joe-dallas. | June 26, 2017 at 7:04 pm

    So, a great many firms in your industry are perfectly fine with rejecting new clients because of their religious convictions.

    But of course it’s out of bounds for committed Christians to reject new clients by insisting on their constitutionally guaranteed rights. In other words their first amendment rights of free exercise of religion and freedom of association.

    Would the anti-Christian constitution-shredding bigots in your industry also reject a new client if as a Christian they would refuse service to someone who wanted a cake for the celebratory after-party following their Satanic black mass?

As an aside, a family member is part of a franchise where one of the members was sued for not hosting a gay wedding.

The party suing were never really looking to have a wedding at the venue, they were just trolling around looking to find out which businesses were Christian based and said they might refuse and then sued on that basis.

    Joe-dallas in reply to Andy. | June 26, 2017 at 3:53 pm

    As I noted above, our industry routinely rejects potential clients if we believe they are high risk including high risk for litigation.
    A ruling in favor of the gay couple would put additional risks on many professions and force the acceptance of clients that are problems.

    notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital in reply to Andy. | June 26, 2017 at 4:56 pm

    That is very, very common Andy.

    That is the Left and Democrat’s “Divide and Conquer” plans.

clayusmcret | June 27, 2017 at 6:43 am

There are many cases across the country where Christian bakers, florists, photographers, etc., have been targeted by the hostile LGBTMOUSE community for declining to provide support to a gay wedding. This case will have broad ranging effects. Notice, however, that this hostile-to-Christians community never seems to want service from a Muslim-owned business; at least they are never suing Muslims for declining service.