Christian baker who refused to do same-sex wedding cake wins

HIGH STAKES The U.S. Supreme Court could decide some blockbuster cases today as the term nears its end. AP file

HIGH STAKES The U.S. Supreme Court could decide some blockbuster cases today as the term nears its end. AP file

Scattered across the country, florists, bakers, photographers and others have claimed that being forced to offer their wedding services to same-sex couples violates their rights.

Justice Anthony Kennedy, who was forecast to be the swing vote, wrote the majority opinion, saying Phillips' Free Exercise rights were violated because the Commission showed hostility to his religious beliefs when they were making the decision. Justices Kennedy, Roberts, Alito, Breyer, Kagan, Gorsuch and Thomas ruled in favor of Phillips, Ginsburg and Sotomayor dissenting.

"I see no reason why the comments of one or two commissioners should be taken to overcome Phillips' refusal to sell a wedding cake to Craig and Mullins", Ginsburg writes.

Kennedy reasoned that Phillips, in refusing to create a same-sex wedding cake, had good reason to believe he was within his rights.

Of the 50 states, 21 including Colorado have anti-discrimination laws protecting gay people.


"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.

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 determined the Christian business owner in question, Jack Phillips of Masterpiece Cakeshop, did not get fair hearing with the Colorado Civil Rights Commission after he declined to make a cake for a gay "wedding". Craig, 37, and Mullins, 33, were fighting for the rights of LGBT customers to choose what they will buy.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, which is now one of the most liberal federal appellate courts in the county, affirmed, holding that when federal immigration authorities take into custody a female illegal alien who is pregnant, including teenagers, that if that illegal alien wants an abortion, the U.S. Constitution requires the U.S. government to allow and even facilitate the abortion. Twenty-one other states have similar laws. Nor were they mentioned in the later state-court ruling or disavowed in the briefs filed here. In 2013, it ruled that the federal government must recognize gay and lesbian marriages in the 12 states that had legalized them.

Most likely nothing. The decision is very narrowly tailored to where strongly held religious beliefs clash with other civil rights. "The reason and motive for the baker's refusal were based on his honest religious beliefs and convictions".

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