Supreme Court rules in favour of baker who would not make wedding cake for gay couple

NZ Herald 5 May 2018
Family First Comment: Great decision….
“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. The court was right to condemn that. Tolerance and respect for good-faith differences of opinion are essential in a society like ours. This decision makes clear that the government must respect Jack’s beliefs about marriage.”
#FreeToBelieve

The US Supreme Court yesterday ruled for a Colorado baker who refused to create a wedding cake for a gay couple.

In an opinion by Justice Anthony Kennedy that leaves many questions unanswered, the court held that the Colorado Civil Rights Commission had not adequately taken into account the religious beliefs of baker Jack Phillips.

In fact, Kennedy said, the commission had been hostile to the baker’s faith, denying him the neutral consideration he deserved. While the justices split in their reasoning, only Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor dissented….

Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel Kristen Waggoner, who represented Phillips, praised the ruling. “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,”she said “The court was right to condemn that. Tolerance and respect for good-faith differences of opinion are essential in a society like ours. This decision makes clear that the government must respect Jack’s beliefs about marriage.”

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. Courts have routinely turned down the business owners, as the Colorado Court of Appeals did in the Phillips case, saying that state anti-discrimination laws require businesses that are open to the public to treat all potential customers equally.

There’s no dispute about what triggered the court case in 2012, when same-sex marriage was prohibited in Colorado. Charlie Craig and David Mullins decided to get married in Massachusetts, where it was legal. They would return to Denver for a reception, and those helping with the plans suggested they get a cake from Masterpiece bakery.

The couple arrived with Craig’s mother and a book of ideas, but Phillips cut short the meeting as soon as he learned the cake was to celebrate the couple’s marriage.

Phillips recalled: “Our conversation was just about 20 seconds long. ‘Sorry guys, I don’t make cakes for same-sex weddings.'”

The couple then learned that Colorado’s public accommodations law specifically prohibited discrimination based on sexual orientation, and they filed a complaint with the Colorado Civil Rights Commission. The commission ruled against Phillips, and the appeals court upheld the decision.

The case is Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission.
READ MORE: https://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=12064576

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