Sorry to stomp on Betty, but I’m running off to a meeting and wanted to post this.
WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court ruled Monday that a Lakewood baker who refused to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple because of religious beliefs did not violate Colorado’s anti-discrimination law.
But the court is not deciding the big issue in the case, whether a business can refuse to serve gay and lesbian people.
The case pitted Jack Phillips, the owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop in Lakewood, and the couple, Charlie Craig and David Mullins.
The justices’ limited ruling Monday turns on what the court described as anti-religious bias on the Colorado Civil Rights Commission when it ruled against baker Phillips.
The justices voted 7-2 that the Colorado Civil Rights Commission violated Phillips’ rights under the First Amendment.
Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote in his majority opinion that the issue “must await further elaboration.”
Appeals in similar cases are pending, including one at the Supreme Court from a florist who didn’t want to provide flowers for a same-sex wedding.
The case presented “difficult questions as to the proper reconciliation of at least two principles. The first is the authority of a State and its governmental entities to protect the rights and dignity of gay persons who are, or wish to be, married but who face discrimination when they seek goods or services,” Kennedy wrote.
“The second is the right of all persons to exercise fundamental freedoms under the First Amendment.”
“Whatever the confluence of speech and free exercise principles might be in some cases, the Colorado Civil Rights Commission’s consideration of this case was inconsistent with the State’s obligation of religious neutrality. The reason and motive for the baker’s refusal were based on his sincere religious beliefs and convictions.”
Time for the free market to balance the scales I guess.