Discrimination or religious liberty? High court to hear bakery case

Discrimination or religious liberty? High court to hear bakery case

Discrimination or religious liberty? High court to hear bakery case

The Supreme Court on Tuesday will hear another important case involving gay rights, a conservative Christian baker's assertion that the Constitution protected his right to refuse to make a cake for a gay married couple in violation of his religious beliefs.

David Cole, an attorney for Mullins, a 33-year-old poet and musician, and Craig, a 37-year-old interior designer, said he respected the sincerity of Phillips' convictions.

If the Court were to rule in Phillips' favor, they would be ruling in favor of a constitutional right to discriminate based on religious exemptions, which would directly contradict previous decisions they've made. But Colorado's anti-discrimination law also says Phillips can't refuse his service to someone due to their sexual orientation.

One other possible result that emerged from the argument is that the justices could return the case to the Colorado commission for reconsideration if the court finds its first decision was tainted by the religious bias of a commissioner.

The U.S. Supreme Court will allow a ruling that there is no de facto right to government benefits for legally married same-sex couples in Texas to stand.

On the other hand, Kennedy criticized the Colorado Civil Rights Commission that found Phillips violated the state's anti-discrimination law.

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Because same-sex marriage was not yet legal in Colorado in 2012, Justice Samuel Alito noted, Craig and Mullins could not have obtained a marriage license where they lived or gotten a local official to marry them.

Phillips then took his case to the Supreme Court and the justices agreed to take it up after mulling it for several weeks. In 2015 the US Supreme Court overturned the ban on same-sex marriage.

"At which point they both stormed out and left", he said.

The Kentucky court recently struck an interesting balance between the free speech and religious freedom rights of businesses which oppose messages based upon their content, and gay people who insist upon being served by a business regardless of their sexual orientation.

She said that Phillips is ensured by two sections of the First Amendment: its insurances of religious exercise and free discourse.

On the one hand, Kennedy pointed to photographers, florists, graphic designers and even jewelers who might likewise be able to refuse working on a same-sex wedding if the court rules for Phillips. They will urge the court to embrace their interpretation of religious liberty principles, insisting that if they don't win, the rights of people of faith will be in serious jeopardy.

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"SCOTUS's decision in this case upholds discrimination and opens legal avenues for those who want to chip away at LGBTQ equality", DNC spokesman Joel Kasnetz said in a statement.

The couple is being spoken to in court by the American Civil Liberties Union.

Cole said that whether a cake is an artistic expression is not at issue.

Colorado is among only 21 states with statewide laws barring discrimination against gays in public accommodations.

Similarly, Banzhaf's published analysis had suggested that a baker who refused to bake a swastika-shaped cake for a white supremacist group would not be guilty of illegally discriminating on the basis of race if he had a policy against baking a cake in the shape of a swastika, whether it is ordered by a German Nazi sympathizer, a racist fraternity, a Jewish student seeking to "take back" the hated symbol (similar to a recent situation at GWU), an insensitive person who wanted it as a joke, etc.

A few onlookers and place holders started holding up in line last Friday to secure one of the uncommon seats open to the general population in the lofty court. Phillips' lawyer claims that the baker is an artist and should not be forced to express what the government dictates.

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