Supreme Court: Baker within rights to refuse making same-sex wedding cake

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In a narrowly-defined opinion, the U.S. Supreme Court has reversed a Colorado ruling against a baker who refused to make a same-sex wedding cake for a Colorado couple.

The ruling is narrow in that it only decided that the Colorado Civil Rights Commission violated Denver baker Jack Phillips’ First Amendment right of free speech.

It did not decide the larger question of whether a business can refuse to serve gay and lesbian people.

In 2012, Phillips, owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop in Lakewood, Colorado, refused to bake a wedding cake for a same-sex couple, arguing to do so would violate his religious beliefs.

The couple filed a complaint with the the Colorado Civil Rights Commission, which ruled Phillips violated the state’s anti-discrimination laws

The Supreme Court, however, said the Colorado Civil Rights Commission held an anti-religious bias when it ruled against Phillips, citing several examples of comments expressed during its meetings that disparaged Phillips’ religion.

The court also pointed out the commission had, in three separate occasions, allowed similar refusals of conscious by other bakers when it involved cakes “with images that conveyed disapproval of same-sex marriage, along with religious text.”

You can read and download the full Supreme Court decision here.

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