Supreme Court sides with baker in same-sex wedding case

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Religious-liberty advocates got another expansion of the Free Exercise Clause, which has been championed by President Trump and his evangelical base, who don't want to be forced into actions, like providing employees birth control, if it violates their religious beliefs. It did state that "tolerance" for people of faith must be balanced with the rights of gay people in the marketplace. He was joined by the four other justices on the conservative wing of the court, but also by two on the liberal-leaning side, Elena Kagan and Stephen Breyer.

Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor cast the lone dissents.

Experts expect religious right groups to try to use the ruling to undermine local and state nondiscrimination protections nationwide.

The U.S. Supreme Court handed down their opinion in the case of Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission on Monday.

In other words, the bureaucrats in Colorado went about it the wrong way, but in the view of the Supreme Court it's not necessarily unconstitutional for states to crack down on businesses that discriminate against people based on their sexual orientation even if said discrimination is motivated by sincerely held religious beliefs. Phillips is a religious Christian, who said he would not make a cake for a gay wedding.

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Read the full decision here.

But he said this ruling would not apply to other similar disputes.

He said a Supreme Court ruling in his favor would "declare to the world that my faith is not a scarlet letter". Ginsburg stressed that there "is much in the Court's opinion with which I agree", but she "strongly" disagreed with the idea that the same-sex couple "should lose this case". "They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law". "T$3 he only reason the Commission seemed to supply for its discrimination was that it found Mr. Phillips's religious beliefs 'offensive, '" the concurrence noted. But the critical question of when Phillips' right to exercise his religion can be limited had to be determined, Kennedy emphasized, in a proceeding that was not tainted by hostility to religion.

During oral arguments in the case before the Supreme Court, Kennedy has expressed concern over these words from the commission, prompting observers to speculate might issue a decision punting in the case and remanding it for reconsideration without hostility toward religion. "The First Amendment prohibits governments from discriminating against citizens on the basis of religious beliefs". Phillips refused his services when told it was for a same-sex couple. His store remains in operation, but he no longer creates custom cakes. The couple won in state and appeals courts as well before the decision was reversed by the SCOTUS.

"Whatever the confluence of speech and free exercise principles might be in some cases", Kennedy wrote, "the Colorado Civil Rights Commission's consideration of this case was inconsistent with the state's obligation of religious neutrality".

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