Home / National News / Supreme Court rules in favor of baker who refused to make wedding cake for gay couple


(WASHINGTON) — The Supreme Court ruled on Monday in favor of a Colorado baker who refused to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple because it violated his religious beliefs.

In the opinion issued by Justice Anthony Kennedy, the court disagreed with a Colorado court’s previous ruling that the gay couple, Charlie Craig and Dave Mullins, had been discriminated against based on sexual orientation. The Supreme Court decision said the Colorado Civil Rights Commission was hostile to the first amendment rights of the baker, Jack Phillips.

 The majority decision said that “Phillips’ religious objection was not considered with the neutrality that the Free Exercise Clause requires.”

The decision also seems to limit the possible precedent, saying that future cases must be weighed in the courts with respect to the rights of both individuals’ religious rights and the rights of same-sex couples.

“In the context of recognizing that these disputes must be resolved with tolerance, without undue disrespect to sincere religious beliefs, and without subjecting gay persons to indignities when they seek goods and services in an open market,” Kennedy wrote in the decision.

Justice Neil Gorsuch agreed with the opinion, writing that even though a wedding cake doesn’t have words or symbols, it sends a message that celebrates a wedding and that the courts shouldn’t force someone to convey that message if it is against their beliefs.

“At its most general level, the cake at issue in Mr. Phillips’s case was just a mixture of flour and eggs; and its most specific level, it was a cake celebrating the same-sex wedding of Mr. Craig and Mr. Mullins,” Gorsuch said.

Craig and Mullins complained to the Colorado Civil Rights Commission after they sat down with Phillips, owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop, for a wedding cake design appointment and he told them that he did not design cakes for gay weddings.

He offered them baked goods, but said he would not bake them a custom cake, which he described as a form of artistic expression.

 A Colorado court previously ruled that the baker violated the couple’s civil rights under a state law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. But Phillips appealed, argued that baking is a form of artistic expression and an important part of a wedding ceremony, and he could not participate in a wedding that violated his religious beliefs.

“I serve everybody, all the time,” Phillips said on ABC’s The View last June. “But I don’t make a cake for every event that’s required of me.”

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