In a 7-2 decision on 4th June, the Supreme Court sided with a Colorado baker in a case that put anti-discrimination laws up against freedom of speech and freedom of religious expression.
Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, writing for the majority, said the Colorado Civil Rights Commission had violated the Constitution’s protection of religious freedom in its ruling against the baker, who refused to make a wedding cake for the same-sex couple.
Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor dissented.
Kennedy noted the case had a limited scope, writing that the issue “must await further elaboration.” Across the country, appeals in similar cases are pending, including another case at the Supreme Court from a florist who didn’t want to provide flowers for a same-sex wedding.
The ruling in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission stems from the case argued before the court last December from an incident in 2012 when Charlie Craig and David Mullins asked the Colorado baker, Jack Phillips, to make a cake for their wedding reception. Phillips refused, saying his religious beliefs would not allow him to create a cake honoring their marriage.
The couple filed a complaint with the Colorado Civil Rights Commission, which decided the baker’s action violated state law. The decision was upheld by the Colorado Court of Appeals. The Colorado Supreme Court wouldn’t take the case, letting the ruling stand. The US Supreme Court agreed to hear the case.
Picture: Baker Jack Phillips decorates a cake in his Masterpiece Cakeshop in 2017 in Lakewood, Colo. In a 7-2 decision on 4th June, the Supreme Court sided with the baker, who refused to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple. The case put anti-discrimination laws up against freedom of speech and freedom of religious expression. (CNS photo/Rick Wilking, Reuters).