Monday, June 04, 2018

In Narrow Decision, Supreme Court Decides In Favor Of Baker Over Same-Sex Couple

Jack Phillips, owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop in Lakewood, Colo., is one of the bakers who does not want to bake wedding cakes for same-sex couples, saying it violates his religious beliefs.Matthew Staver/The Washington Post/Getty Images

National Public Radio reports:

The U.S. Supreme court dodged a major ruling on the question of whether business owners can refuse services to gay individuals based on their religious objections.

In a case brought by a Colorado baker, the court ruled by a 7-2 vote that he did not get a fair hearing on his complaint because the Colorado Civil Rights Commission demonstrated a hostility to religion in its treatment of his case.

Writing for the case, Justice Anthony Kennedy said that while it is unexceptional that Colorado law "can protect gay persons in acquiring products and services on the same terms and conditions that are offered to other members of the public, the law must be applied in a manner that is neutral toward religion."

He said that in this case the Colorado baker, Jack Phillips, understandably had difficulty in knowing where to draw the line because the state law at the time afforded store keepers some latitude to decline creating specific messages they considered offensive. Kennedy pointed to the Colorado commission's decision allowing a different baker to refuse to put an anti-gay message on a cake.

Justices Ruth Bader Ginsberg and Sonia Sotomayor dissented. The court's four most conservative justices, including Chief Justice John Roberts, concurred with the decision offering different rationales for the future.

Kennedy went out of his way to say that decisions on specific cases in the future may well be different.

See full story here.

1 comment:

Raybeard said...

One assumes, then, that those with 'religious convictions' are 'privileged' (if one can use that word in this situation) to set aside the law in cases like this, something which would be denied to anyone who is NOT religious. It frightens and saddens me to think how many would shout "Yay" to this.