U.S. Supreme Court Protects Colorado Baker’s Religious Beliefs

The U.S. Supreme Court has decided that a local Colorado baker is not required to make a wedding cake for a same-sex marriage. Jack Phillips of Masterpiece Cake in Denver was sued in Colorado state court after he refused to make a wedding cake for a same-sex marriage. The Colorado court ruled that the baker was barred from denying the gay couple’s request based on Colorado’s public accommodation law which bans discrimination by companies open to the public. Phillips argued that his cakes are a personal expression of art, and that forcing him to make them for same-sex weddings would be in violation of his religious beliefs. He also refuses to make cakes containing alcohol, celebrating Halloween, and closes his doors on Sundays.

The 7-2 decision of the U.S. Supreme Court in favor of Phillips was written by Justice Anthony Kennedy, the same writer of the Court’s landmark case in favor of same-sex marriage. Kennedy felt that similar disputes must be resolved without “undue disrespect to sincere religious beliefs, and without subjecting gay persons to indignities when they seek goods and services in an open market.” Despite the monumental ruling by the Court, little guidance was provided to the lower courts on how to analyze similar cases in the future.

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