Supreme Court Sides With Anti-Gay Baker


After the couple filed a formal complaint, Colorado courts ruled that the state's public accommodation law, which bans discrimination by companies offering their services to the public, did not allow Phillips to refuse the gay couple's request.

The 7-2 ruling is on a Colorado Christian baker who said his religion prohibits him from "celebrating" or "participating" in a same-sex wedding, which he believes includes baking a wedding cake.

In the decision, Kennedy writes those words from the commissioner demonstrates hostility towards Phillips' religion both by describing as a despicable and by characterizing it as merely rhetorical. The Court found that Colorado's Civil Rights Commission, which enforces discrimination policy, operated in a manner at odds with religious tolerance.

"These cases are not about challenging the fact that the Supreme Court just a few years ago, legalized same sex marriage".

He said that in this case the Colorado baker, Jack Phillips, understandably had difficulty in knowing where to draw the line because the state law at the time afforded store keepers some latitude to decline creating specific messages they considered offensive.

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Last December the high court heard impassioned arguments in the closely watched case pitting free speech, religion and artistic freedom against anti-discrimination laws.

He appealed the state's decision, but lost in the Colorado courts.

When Mullins, along with Craig and his mother, arrived at the shop, bakery owner Jack Phillips greeted them politely, but, as soon as he realized who the wedding cake was for, Phillips instantly knew this was "not a cake that I can make". In a brief exchange, Phillips said he could sell the couple other goods, but not a wedding cake, because same-sex marriage ran against his religious beliefs.

Seated from left, Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Associate Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, Chief Justice of the United States John G. Roberts, Associate Justice Clarence Thomas, and Associate Justice Stephen Breyer. The decision does not give free rein to businesses to discriminate against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

The opinion called such language disparaging of Mr Phillips' religious beliefs and inappropriate for a commission charged with "fair and neutral enforcement of Colorado's anti-discrimination law - a law that protects discrimination on the basis of religion as well as sexual orientation". That consideration was compromised, however, by the Commission's treatment of Phillips' case, which showed elements of a clear and impermissible hostility toward the honest religious beliefs motivating his objection. The justices ruled that the commission should have weighed this evidence before punishing Masterpiece Cakeshop. However later cases raising these or similar concerns are resolved in the future, for these reasons the rulings of the Commission and of the state court that enforced the Commission's order must be invalidated. Phillips refused his services when told it was for a same-sex couple. Waggoner said her client can resume his refusal to make cakes for same-sex marriages without fear of a new legal fight. The Colorado Civil Rights Commission failed to note this important nuance.