US Supreme Court rules in favor of baker who refused to make gay wedding cake, Americans react to the ruling

US Supreme Court rules in favor of baker who refused to make gay wedding cake, Americans react to the ruling

The Supreme Court voted 7-2 against the gay couple.

The US Supreme Court has ruled in favor of a Colorado baker for refusing make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple (pictured above). In a 7-2 decision handed down earlier yesterday, the Justices found for baker Jack Phillips in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission. Jack Phillips cited his religious objections to marriage equality. Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor cast the lone dissents. Fellow liberal Justices Stephen Breyer and Elena Kagan voted with the majority.

The National LGBT Bar Association said: “We believe the rights of minority groups to be free from the oppression of a majority religion cannot be infringed. Freedom of religion is an important and cherished right guaranteed in our Constitution, but that right does not and should not give anyone the right to treat certain Americans as second-class citizens.

“Discrimination under the guise of so-called ‘religious freedom’ must not be allowed to flourish. LGBT Americans deserve the same respect and dignity their heterosexual and cisgender friends, neighbors, family, and countrymen deserve. We must continue to fight against discrimination in all its forms, whether it be through the legislature or the courts. This is not the end.

“There is still much work to be done. We will continue to work, day in and day out, to ensure that our community is protected. We understand that the courts and the law are the last frontier in securing our rights and we’ll do everything we can to ensure a forward momentum.”

The baker, Phillips, claimed he was fighting for the rights of ‘creative artists’ to choose what they sell.the couple, Charlie Craig and David Mullins represented a test between the Constitution’s guarantees of free speech and religion and laws in 22 states prohibiting discrimination against the LGBTI community. The couple won before the Colorado Civil Rights Commission and the state Court of Appeals.

Baker Jack Phillips

Numerous political groups and voices have responded to the US Supreme Court’s decision, which centered on the Commission’s proceedings early on in the case and giving Phillips an unfair and biased case. They did not issue opinions on the wider implications of discrimination, equal rights, and the First Amendment, which mean those matters remain unresolved.

Lambda Legal CEO Rachel B. Tiven asserted: “The Court today has offered dangerous encouragement to those who would deny civil rights to LGBT people and people living with HIV.” She argues that the Court’s decision “should have been a firm, direct affirmance of longstanding equality law.”

“Religious freedom under our Constitution has always meant the right to believe whatever you wish but not to act on your beliefs in ways that harm others,’ the statement continues. ‘The Court today alarmingly fails to heed that distinction.”

Democratic National Committee Chair, Tom Perez released the following statement:

“This case was never just about a wedding cake. It was about all people– no matter who they are – having the right to celebrate their love without facing discrimination. The Democratic Party believes that no individual has a license to discriminate. We believe in the dignity of every human being. And we will continue to fight for equality for LGBTQ people in all areas of our society – from housing and health care, to bathrooms and boardrooms, to bakeries and the ballot box.”

Those from the right also weighed in.

Gregory T. Angelo, president of the Log Cabin Republicans, a group that represents LGBTQ conservatives, called the Supreme Court’s decision “wise”.

“There will be many on the left who will say that this ruling opens the door to rampant discrimination, and many on the right who will declare that this is a major milestone for advocates of religious liberty,” he said. “But neither will be correct.”

Angelo further states that Democratic appointed Justices siding with the majority reveals there is more nuance to the decision.

“More than anything else, the Masterpiece Cakeshop decision shines a spotlight on the glaring absence of federal LGBT non-discrimination legislation. Log Cabin Republicans remains committed to passing such protections while also honoring the religious liberty upon which our nation was founded.”

Similar to Lambda Legal, Equality Texas CEO Chuck Smith recognizes the limited nature of the decision. However, he also believes they could have gone further.

“Our nation decided more than 50 years ago that when a business decides to open its doors to the public, that business should be open to all,” he said. “While the Court’s decision does not create a new license to discriminate, it also does not address the discrimination that millions of Americans and Texans still face.”

The Campaign for Southern Equality hopes the Supreme Court does decide on the issue of discrimination one day.

“Here in the South, we see daily evidence of the growing support for LGBTQ equality, even as we continue to face discriminatory laws. We will continue to fight for full equality – and nothing less,” said Executive Director Rev. Jasmine Beach-Ferrara.

Daniel Hoffman-Zinnel, Executive Director of One Iowa, an LGBTQ group in Iowa, stated, “The Court stated that public officials should not display bias against someone’s religious beliefs. We agree with that assessment.”

He also warns: “Although the Court has limited the scope of this decision to this specific case, we know that those who want to create a constitutional right to discriminate will use today’s decision to try and undermine nondiscrimination protections in states like Iowa. They will try to open the door to mistreatment and discrimination against a broad array of Americans.”

Los Angeles LGBT Center CEO Lorri L. Jean stressed the realities of the case, while also warning of future potential harm.

“In its ruling today, the US Supreme Court ruled on narrow legal technicalities of the case, while reaffirming current discrimination protections for LGBT people at the state level. But at the same time, the justices opened a very dangerous door that could eventually condone legal discrimination against the LGBT community based on so-called religious grounds.”

She also explained how the case is not just about buying a wedding cake. “It is critical to understand that, at its heart, this case is not about buying a wedding cake any more than the sit-ins at lunch counters during the Civil Rights movement were about getting a hamburger and a Coke.”

She concluded by saying religion is “a smoke screen to deny rights to people without power” in this country.

Congressman Joe Kennedy III called the decision “a dangerous signal to those across the country who wish to use religious freedom as a sword rather than a shield.”

“Most critically, today’s decision underscores the urgent need for nationwide non-discrimination protections to ensure no one who calls America home is denied services, opportunity or basic dignity simply because of who they are,” the congressman from Massachusetts said.

Congressman Jared Polis, a Democratic Congressman from Colorado and an original cosponsor of the Equality Act, said the decision “is disappointing, but thankfully narrow in scope.”

“Now is the time for Congress to answer definitively by adopting our bipartisan Equality Act into law. We can and must provide LGBTQ people with abundantly clear protections from discrimination in law.”

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  1. trystham
    June 05, 09:52 Reply

    Weird how they claim religious beliefs and can still be serial cheats, abusers and divorcees.

  2. Dunder
    June 05, 11:45 Reply

    This was the only logical outcome, especially after Kennedy’s early comments- the fact that the guy would have to put icing on the cake allowed him slide under that 1st amendment banner and unlike Ms. Davis, he is his own employer.. He offered to sell the couple other items and cakes for the wedding but did not want to “design” a cake for two men or women getting married. Any minority attacking the first amendment, is slicing its own throat because no speech or expression needs to be protected as much as that coming from minority voices. I’m happy that the court however pinned their ruling on the overzealousness of a court process and did not address the major issues in this case. The solution to this issue may be best resolved first at the level of each state and then when the entire country is sick of Mississippi and Alabama, a federal bill will end the discrimination BUT, this ruling, as discouraging as it is, shields LGBT folk and their allies from having to print or design “God Hates Fags” souvenirs and placards for Westboro Babptist. This does not give any BandB or restaurant the right to push people out or not serve them- there is no gay marriage spaghetti and a hotel room is not a creative work. The judges did not rule for bigotry. This Maradona ruling signaled a need for better strategy. One opening was the fact that the baker asked the couple what the cake was for- was this before or after agreeing to serve the?. Does this guy also refuse wedding cakes for divorces, fornicators, polygamous Muslims etc?

    Justice Kennedy put it in context by saying that if a member of the clergy were to refuse to perform a same-sex marriage, that would be understood to be a protected exercise of religion “that a gay person could recognize and accept without diminishment to their own dignity and worth….if that exception were not confined, then a long list of persons who provide goods and services for marriages and weddings might refuse to do so for gay persons, thus resulting in a community-wide stigma inconsistent with the history and dynamics of civil rights laws that ensure equal access to goods, services and public accommodations”. Any decision in favor of the baker, he said, would have to be constrained or else all business owners who object to same-sex marriages for moral or religious reasons would be allowed to refuse their services.- gotten from The Hill.

    Justice Clarence Thomas is the kind of guy that would vote for the “right” of a person who beheads an apostate, beats his wife or wants to enslave Thomas himself because it is religious freedom. His opinion does not deserve a copy and paste on this comment.

    I watched some interviews of the baker months ago. He looked like someone who seriously regrets that his name may go down in history as a bigot- he comes across as a true believer, not as bigoted as those using his situation for their hateful agenda. He doesn’t make cakes for adult themed parties or Halloween either. On the other hand, the couple would have felt discriminated against and heard statements that ring back to the days before so much acceptance and equality. They felt they needed to stand up for themselves which is reasonable and I feel for them..

    Let’s remember that the rainbow flag flew high and was applauded by the Republican party at the convention that produced Trump. Many conservative voices of today are gay. Trump may think picking on trans people may win him points with a few bigots but je has always had those votes anyway. Mainstream republicans including those who held their noses to vote for him have to many LGBT relatives and don’t want any part of such inequality. Even while campaigning, he knew to always side with the gay marriage ruling because even his party had evolved beyond that. There’s hope.

    June 05, 17:30 Reply

    Yet another wonderfully well written comment from Dunder. You deserve some accolades

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