Supreme Court Sides With Colorado Baker In Same-Sex Wedding Cake Case

Supreme Court Sides With Colorado Baker In Same-Sex Wedding Cake Case

Supreme Court Sides With Colorado Baker In Same-Sex Wedding Cake Case

The United States Supreme Court released a highly-anticipated decision Monday morning, siding with a Colorado baker who refused to make a same-sex wedding cake.

The other liberally leaning justices, Elena Kagan (appointed by Obama) and Stephen Breyer (appointed by Clinton) joined in with the conservatives.

The opinion also noted the uneven application of the Commission's rulings, as it had decided in favor of other individuals with similar objections, while ruling against Phillips. The Commission sided with them, but the Supreme Court said Monday that the Commission didn't show enough neutrality to Phillips' beliefs. Justice Thomas concurred in part with Kennedy's opinion and concurred with the result, making the final tally 7-2 in favor of overturning the 10th Circuit's decision, which had upheld the legality of the Civil Rights Commission's actions.

During oral arguments in the case before the Supreme Court, Kennedy has expressed concern over these words from the commission, prompting observers to speculate might issue a decision punting in the case and remanding it for reconsideration without hostility toward religion.

"We read this decision as a reaffirmation of the court's longstanding commitment to civil rights protections and the reality that the states have the power to protect everyone in America from discrimination, including lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people", said James Esseks, director of the ACLU LGBT & HIV Project. The Denver-area baker cited his Christian faith in refusing to make a cake for their wedding celebration.

The Colorado Civil Rights Commission, however, determined that Masterpiece Cakeshop had violated Colorado Civil Rights laws by discriminating against the couple for their sexual orientation.

Refusing to bake any same-sex wedding cakes, as Phillips did, is equivalent to having a discriminatory policy, the dissent argues. Owner Jack Phillips refused to fulfill their request-he would not create wedding cakes for same-sex couples. The case was taken up by the highest court in the land.

"While I realize the court was balancing religious liberty with the rights of gay people to be free from discrimination in the public sphere, the court got this one wrong".

Kennedy wrote that the question of when religious beliefs must give way to anti-discrimination laws might be different in future cases. State courts sided with the couple, prompting Phillips to appeal to the top US court.

The ruling comes three years after the Supreme Court made same-sex marriage the law of the land in its landmark Obergefell v Hodges decision.

This case began when Charlie Craig and Dave Mullins were organizing a wedding reception for themselves in Lakewood, Colo., and were referred by their wedding planner to the Masterpiece Cakeshop, known in particular for its wedding cakes.

"Government hostility toward people of faith has no place in our society, yet the state of Colorado was openly antagonistic toward Jack's religious beliefs about marriage", Waggoner said. Justice Anthony Kennedy authored the majority opinions in both cases.

Mr. Mullins and Mr. Craig won before the Colorado civil rights commission and in the state courts.

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