The Supreme Court ruled 7-2 in favor of the Colorado baker who refused to bake a wedding cake for a gay couple. From USA Today:

The verdict criticized the state’s treatment of Jack Phillips’ religious objections to gay marriage, ruling that a civil rights commission was biased against him. As a result, the decision did not resolve whether other opponents of same-sex marriage, such as florists and photographers, can refuse commercial wedding services to gay couples.

Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote the court’s 7-2 decision against the same-sex couple, departing from his long history of opinions in favor of gay rights dating back a generation. Included among them was the court’s 2015 decision legalizing gay marriage nationwide.

Justices Ruth Bader Ginsberg and Sonia Sotomayor were the ones who dissented.

Back in 2012, Jack Phillips, the owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop refused to make a wedding cake for Charlie Craig and David Mullins, who took legal action against the business owner. Phillips lost in front of the Colorado civil Rights Commission and the state Court of Appeals due to Colorado having anti-discrimination laws. Kennedy argued the application of the law:

Kennedy reasoned that Phillips, in refusing to create a same-sex wedding cake, had good reason to believe he was within his rights. State law at the time allowed merchants some latitude to decline specific messages, such as those demeaning gay people and gay marriages.

The government cannot impose regulations hostile to citizens’ religious beliefs, the ruling said.

During oral argument in December, Kennedy and other conservative justices had expressed concern about the potential effect on other merchants with strong religious objections to same-sex marriage, from chefs to florists.

Kennedy wrote:

“The laws and the Constitution can, and in some instances must, protect gay persons and gay couples in the exercise of their civil rights, but religious and philosophical objections to gay marriage are protected views and in some instances protected forms of expression,” the majority opinion said.

“While it is unexceptional that Colorado law can protect gay persons in acquiring products and services on the same terms and conditions as are offered to other member of the public, the law must be applied in a manner that is neutral toward religion.”

The decision “did not address the larger question of whether the First Amendment protects providers of wedding and other services who have cited religious and free-speech objections when refusing to serve gay and lesbian customers in the wake of the Supreme Court’s 2015 same-sex marriage decision.”

Instead, the ruling “is tailored to the case at hand.”

Despite this, the ruling brings up the clergy:

Full decision here:



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