Baker wins Supreme Court case over gay wedding cake

Baker wins Supreme Court case over gay wedding cake

The Supreme Court ruled today in favor of Jack Phillips, a Colorado baker who refused to make a custom cake for a same-sex couple because he believed that doing so would violate his religious beliefs.

- The commission's treatment of Masterpiece Cakeshop showed a "clear and impermissible hostility" toward the baker's religious beliefs, the high court ruled.

In doing so, the commission violated Phillips's religious rights under the First Amendment of the US Constitution.

Phillips, the owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop, was told by a Colorado Civil Rights Commission that he can not refuse to bake cakes for events that violate his conscience, even though he had a long history of selling items in his cakeshop to anyone who walked through the door. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote a dissent, joined by Justice Sonia Sotomayor.

"The second is the right of all persons to exercise fundamental freedoms under the First Amendment, as applied", Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote in the opinion.

In other words, the bureaucrats in Colorado went about it the wrong way, but in the view of the Supreme Court it's not necessarily unconstitutional for states to crack down on businesses that discriminate against people based on their sexual orientation even if said discrimination is motivated by sincerely held religious beliefs.

"This sentiment is inappropriate for a Commission charged with the solemn responsibility of 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", Kennedy writes.

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John Eastman, chairman of the National Organization for Marriage, which opposes same-sex marriage, as well as a law professor at Chapman University's Fowler School of Law in Southern California, predicted "a lot of the human rights commissions will lose a lot of those cases. due to their targeting of religious beliefs".

But the Supreme Court's verdict instead focuses specifically on Mr Phillips' case. "But only, as the Court rightly says, if the State's decisions are not infected by religious hostility or bias".

The decision is expected to have wide-reaching ramifications for similar cases around the country involving Christians who have objected to being forced to provide services for gay weddings. Colorado state courts upheld the determination.

Shunning customers based on their sexual orientation or gender identities is still illegal in or - and the Supreme Court's decision does nothing to change that, the group said during a news conference in downtown Portland.

The commission issued an order requiring Phillips to cease and desist discriminating against same-sex couples, and the Colorado Court of Appeals affirmed.

They filed a successful complaint with the state commission, the first step in the six-year-old legal battle. Those other rulings occurred while the case of Masterpiece Cakeshop was pending, the Supreme Court noted. Wisconsin Democrat Cathy Myers said that the decision will only embolden other "bigoted bakers", while writer Robert Sandy said that the decision gave Phillips license to be a "homophobic a**hole".

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