On Monday June 4th, 2018 the United States Supreme Court ruled that the Christian Baker from Lakewood, Colorado did not violate Colorado’s anti-discrimination law.
The case pitted Jack Phillips, the owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop in Lakewood, and the couple, Charlie Craig and David Mullins. The Supreme Court Justices did not decide on the ‘Big Issue,’ which is whether or not a business can decide not to serve LGTBQ peoples.
Rather the Justices’ limited ruling Monday turns on what the court described as anti-religious bias on the Colorado Civil Rights Commission when it ruled against baker Phillips.
Justice Anthony Kennedy says in his majority opinion that the issue “must await further elaboration.” Appeals in similar cases are pending, including one at the Supreme Court from a florist who didn’t want to provide flowers for a same-sex wedding.
Furthermore, the case presented “difficult questions as to the proper reconciliation of at least two principles. The first is the authority of a State and its governmental entities to protect the rights and dignity of gay persons who are, or wish to be, married but who face discrimination when they seek goods or services,” Kennedy wrote.
“The second is the right of all persons to exercise fundamental freedoms under the First Amendment.” – Anthony Kennedy
Kennedy continued; “Whatever the confluence of speech and free exercise principles might be in some cases, the Colorado Civil Rights Commission’s consideration of this case was inconsistent with the State’s obligation of religious neutrality. The reason and motive for the baker’s refusal were based on his sincere religious beliefs and convictions.”
In arguments before the court in December, Kennedy, the author of all the court’s major gay-rights cases, worried that a ruling in favor of Phillips might allow shop owners to put up signs saying “We do not bake cakes for gay weddings.”
But later, Kennedy said the Colorado Civil Rights Commission seemed “neither tolerant nor respectful of Mr. Phillips’ religious beliefs” when it found his refusal to bake a cake for the gay couple violated the state’s anti-discrimination law. — Fox31, Associated Press
Final Outcome – To Be Determined…
Associated Press. “Supreme Court sides with Lakewood baker in same-sex wedding cake case.” Fox 31. . (2018): . .