Rolling Stone reports:
The facts are quite simple: A gay couple in Colorado wanted a custom cake for their wedding. They went to Masterpiece Cakeshop for the cake, but the baker refused to serve them, claiming his religion forbade him from supporting same-sex marriage. Colorado, which bans shops open to the public from discriminating based on sexual orientation, found that the baker violated the law. Now, that baker is arguing to the Supreme Court that the state's anti-discrimination law violates his constitutional right to freedom of religion.
At the argument before the Supreme Court Tuesday morning, [Justice Anthony Kennedy] dropped the hammer on the state of Colorado while its lawyers argued that the state law is generally applicable – that everyone in business has to follow it, no matter their religion (or lack thereof). Therefore, the state's argument went, the law does not violate anyone's religious freedom.
"Tolerance is essential to a free society," Kennedy said in the midst of that argument. "And tolerance is most meaningful when it's mutual. It seems to me that the state in its position here has been neither tolerant nor respectful of [the baker's] religious beliefs."
So, with all eyes and ears on him [as the likely deciding vote], Kennedy proclaiming that he thinks the state is not being "tolerant nor respectful" is about as clear an indication of what will happen in this case as anyone could have possibly expected from Tuesday's arguments.
See the full story here.