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SC Rules in Favor of Baker Who Refused Gay Couple


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Jun 6, 2018
Categories: News, Politics, Religion

SC Rules in Favor of Baker Who Refused Gay Couple

In a 7-2 decision, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of baker Jack Phillips, who refused to serve a gay couple who wanted a cake for their wedding, citing his religious beliefs. The gay couple then filed a complaint with Colorado's Civil Rights Commission, and went on to win in the state courts. The Colorado Court of Appeals also ruled in favor of the couple, and determined that Phillips' free speech rights were not violated as making a traditional wedding cake would not be making a protected statement, particularly since Phillips had turned the couple down before discussing the design.

Instead of addressing free speech, the Supreme Court decision, written by Justice Kennedy, determined that members of the Civil Rights Comission had acted with "clear and impermissible hostility" towards Phillips religious beliefs, citing some of the commissioners' statements, and therefore ruled in his favor. Notably, Kennedy, who has ruled in favor of protections for gay Americans in the past, declared that "The outcome of cases like this in other circumstances must await further elaboration in the courts."

I wish that the court had made a larger statement concerning discrimination against gay people. If the Civil Rights Comission really was acting with anti-religion bias then the ruling against Phillips should be overturned, but I still feel like the ruling itself was a cop-out of sorts. Personally, I think that Phillips was discriminating against the couple unlawfully, particularly because, as stated above, he refused to serve them before discussing the design of their cake. If they had wanted a cake with symbolism he disagreed with, he could have fairly turned them away, but I think turning them away before that point is discriminatory. 

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