‘most Expensive Cake In Uk History’
Questions will now be asked as to whether the Equality Commission was right to spend more than Â£250,000 of public money on this case.
DUP Ian Paisley MP said he has written to the Northern Ireland Secretary calling for a review of the organisation’s funding.
I have written to the Secretary of State for NI calling for a review of funding for the equality commission. After such a decisive finding by the Supreme Court the equality commissions immediate response has been to threaten to waste more public money on this case. Stop it now!
Ian Paisley MP
The commission backed Mr Lee, who ordered the “gay cake” but was refused.
Four years later, the Supreme Court has ruled it was not a case of discrimination.
Ashers bakery has spent more Â£200,000 on the case. It is being paid by The Christian Institute, a charity and lobby group.
The cake at the centre of the dispute would have cost Â£36.50.
It has proved to be the most expensive cake order in UK history.
Ashers Gay Cake Row: Bakers Win Supreme Court Appeal
The Christian owners of a Northern Ireland bakery have won their appeal in the so-called gay cake discrimination case.
The UKs highest court ruled that Ashers bakerys refusal to make a cake with a slogan supporting same-sex marriage was not discriminatory.
The five justices on the Supreme Court were unanimous in their judgement.
The high-profile dispute began in 2014 when the bakery refused to make a cake with the slogan Support Gay Marriage.
The customer, gay rights activist Gareth Lee, sued the company for discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and political beliefs.
But the bakery has always insisted its objection was to the message on the cake, not the customer.
The legal battle which has lasted four-and-a-half years and has cost nearly Â£500,000 so far has raised questions over equality and freedom of conscience.
Ashers bakerys general manager Daniel McArthur said he was delighted and relieved by the ruling.
I know a lot of people will be glad to hear this ruling today, because this ruling protects freedom of speech and freedom of conscience for everyone, Mr McArthur said outside the court.
Mr Lee said the case had made him feel like a second-class citizen and that he was now concerned about the implications for all of the gay community.
To me, this was never about conscience or a statement. All I wanted to do was to order a cake in a shop, he said.
Northern Irelands Attorney General John Larkin welcomed the decision.
Petition For Writ Of Certiorari
Masterpiece Cakeshop petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court for certiorari , under the case name Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, of the following question:
Whether applying Colorado’s public accommodations law to compel Phillips to create expression that violates his sincerely held religious beliefs about marriage violates the Free Speech or Free Exercise Clauses of the First Amendment.
Both the Colorado Civil Rights Commission and the American Civil Liberties Union urged the Supreme Court to reject the appeal, fearing that a Court decision in favor of the business would create a “gaping hole” in civil rights laws on the basis of religion. The final briefs at the certiorari stage were received in December 2016. The Court agreed to hear the case in the 2017 term and oral arguments were heard on December 5, 2017.
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How Did The Legal Action Start
In July 2012, Mr Mullins and Mr Craig went to Mr Phillips’ Masterpiece Cakeshop in Lakewood, near Denver, to order a cake to celebrate their planned marriage in Massachusetts later that year.
But Mr Phillips refused, saying it was his “standard business practice not to provide cakes for same-sex weddings” as it would amount to endorsing “something that directly goes against” the Bible.
Instead, he offered them other products, including birthday cakes and biscuits.
Mr Phillips argued “creative artists” have a right to decide what they sell.
Colorado is one of 22 states that includes sexual orientation in its anti-discrimination law, which allowed Mr Craig and Mr Mullins to win their case before the state’s Civil Rights Commission.
What Did Monday’s Ruling Say
The Supreme Court’s majority opinion said the Colorado Civil Rights Commission had been biased against Mr Phillips.
The verdict said the commission had shown “clear hostility” and implied religious beliefs “are less than fully welcome in Colorado’s business community”.
Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote that while Colorado law “can protect gay persons in acquiring products and services… the law must be applied in a manner that is neutral toward religion”.
The opinion cited the following comment from a Colorado commissioner during a public hearing:
“Freedom of religion and religion has been used to justify all kinds of discrimination throughout history, whether it be slavery, whether it be the holocaust. And to me it is one of the most despicable pieces of rhetoric that people can use to use their religion to hurt others.”
The opinion called such language disparaging of Mr Phillips’ religious beliefs and inappropriate for a commission charged with “fair and neutral enforcement of Colorado’s anti-discrimination law – a law that protects discrimination on the basis of religion as well as sexual orientation”.
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Was There Hostility To Religion
In appraising the Courts decision, the critical question is whether there was impermissible hostility to religion. As described above, the Court points to three pieces of evidence as demonstrating impermissible hostility to religion by the Colorado Civil Rights Commission. The first was the statement Phillips can believe what he wants to believe, but cannot act on his religious beliefs if he decides to do business in the state.
That, though, is not expressing animus to religion: It simply says that a business has to comply with the laws of the state and not discriminate. In fact, the Supreme Court in Employment Division v. Smith was explicit that free exercise of religion does not provide a basis for an exemption from a general law of a state, here an antidiscrimination law. To express the view that someone should not be able to inflict injury on others, here by discrimination, is not animus against religion.
The second piece of evidence of hostility to religion was the statement by a commissioner, Freedom of religion and religion has been used to justify all kinds of discrimination throughout history, whether it be slavery, whether it be the Holocaust, whether it beI mean, wewe can list hundreds of situations where freedom of religion has been used to justify discrimination. And to me it is one of the most despicable pieces of rhetoric that people can use toto use their religion to hurt others.
Baker Who Refused To Make Cake For Gay Couple: I’ve Had Death Threats
Liberal justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor dissented Monday, while Stephen Breyer and Elena Kagan joined with the conservatives Samuel Alito, Neil Gorsuch, Clarence Thomas, and Chief Justice John Roberts in the outcome.
After Colorado’s Civil Rights Commission said that Phillips could not discriminate by refusing to make cakes for same-sex weddings, he chose to stop baking wedding cakes for all customers, which he said cost him about 40 percent of his business.
He had said a Supreme Court ruling in his favor would “declare to the world that my faith is not a scarlet letter.”
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Colorado Court Of Appeals
Masterpiece appealed the decision to the Court of Appeals with the aid of Alliance Defending Freedom, and refused to comply with the state’s orders, instead opting to remove themselves from the wedding cake business Phillips claimed that this decision cost him 40% of his business. Alongside the Colorado Civil Rights Commission, the American Civil Liberties Union represented Craig and Mullins during the appeals. The state’s decision was upheld on the grounds that despite the nature of creating a custom cake, the act of making the cake was part of the expected conduct of Phillips’s business, and not an expression of free speech nor free exercise of religion. The court distinguished its decision in Craig from another case, brought to the Commission by William Jack, in which three bakeries refused to create a cake for William Jack with the message “Homosexuality is a detestable sin. Leviticus 18:22″,:21 citing that in the latter, the bakeries had made other cakes for Christian customers and declined that order based on the offensive message rather than the customers’ creed, whereas Masterpiece Cakeshop’s refusal to provide Craig and Mullins with a wedding cake “was because of its opposition to same sex marriage which…is tantamount to discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation”.:21
The Supreme Court of Colorado declined to hear an appeal.:3
Supreme Court Passes On Case Involving Baker Who Refused To Make Wedding Cake For Same
The Supreme Court on Monday passed up the chance to decide whether a bakers religious objections to same-sex marriage mean she can refuse to create a wedding cake for a gay couple when state law prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation.
The case would have been a sequel to last years consideration of the same topic. The court ruled then for a Colorado baker who refused to make a cake for a gay couples wedding reception, but it left undecided whether a business owners religious beliefs or free speech rights can justify refusing some services to gay people.
The Supreme Court deliberated for months about whether to take the Oregon case. The delay indicates there were behind-the-scenes negotiations, though the justices did not reveal them. Instead, they simply sent the matter back to an Oregon appeals court and told it to look again in light of the Colorado decision.
It is one of several cases around the country in which bakers, florists, photographers, calligraphers and others have said they dont want to participate in same-sex nuptials because of religious convictions. So far, courts have largely sided with the plaintiffs, saying businesses that serve the public must offer their services to all.
The case involving the Kleins was decided by an Oregon court before the Supreme Courts decision last June in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission.
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The Broader Argument For Masterpiece Cakeshop
Masterpiece Cakeshops attorneys, including members of the anti-LGBTQ advocacy organization Alliance Defending Freedom, arguedthat Phillips, as a baker, is an artist, and that Colorados nondiscrimination law stifles his artistic expression. They claimed that by forcing Phillips to make and sell a cake to a same-sex couple, the government was essentially telling him to support a same-sex marriage that he is genuinely opposed to on religious grounds.
To this end, Masterpiece Cakeshops legal brief emphasized that Phillips serves LGBT individuals he simply declines to create art that celebrates same-sex marriage, such as, from his view, a wedding cake. Each of Phillipss cakes, the brief stated, announces the couples union as a marriage and conveys celebratory messages about the event. Since Phillips is opposed to same-sex marriage, forcing him to serve a same-sex couple would, in his view, force him to express support for their marriage.
Phillipss attorneys pointed out that he even offered to provide other kinds of cakes, brownies, or cookies to Craig and Mullins showing that the issue was not that the men are gay. But he did refuse all wedding cakes to the couple, including cakes that were made for other customers before and a nondescript cake showing that he was singling out gay people in refusing at least one kind of service.
The brief went on:
The Court Said The Colorado Civil Rights Commission Violated Masterpiece Cakeshop Owner Jack Phillips’ First Amendment Right To Oppose Same
9:44 AM on Jun 4, 2018 CDT
This story has been updated throughout.
The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that a Colorado baker had the right to refuse to make a wedding cake for a gay couple.
In a 7-2 decision Monday, the court said the Colorado Civil Rights Commission violated Masterpiece Cakeshop owner Jack Phillips’ First Amendment right to oppose same-sex marriage when it expressed hostility toward “his sincerely held religious beliefs.” While it sided with Phillips in this case, the court made clear its ruling doesn’t give businesses free rein to discriminate against LGBT customers.
“When the Colorado Civil Rights Commission considered this case, it did not do so with the religious neutrality that the Constitution requires,” Justice Anthony M. Kennedy wrote for the majority. “Given all these considerations, it is proper to hold that whatever the outcome of some future controversy involving facts similar to these, the commission’s actions here violated the Free Exercise Clause and its order must be set aside.”
The Supreme Court’s ruling found the commission and a Colorado appeals court that also ruled in favor of the gay couple had erred. But Kennedy warned the court could come to a different conclusion in future similar cases.
Justices Ruth Bader Ginsberg and Sonia Sotomayor dissented.
1/5Jack Phillips at his business, Masterpiece Cakeshop, in Lakewood, Colo., in 2014. Phillips’ refusal to make a cake for a gay couple led to a Supreme Court battle.
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Supreme Court Sides With Baker Who Refused To Make Gay Wedding Cake
Court rules in favor of Masterpiece Cakeshop, but doesnt address principle of whether a business can refuse to serve gay people
The US supreme court on Monday ruled in favor of a Colorado baker who refused to make a wedding cake for a gay couple for religious reasons, although the justices avoided a wider ruling on religious exemptions for businesses.
Charlie Craig and David Mullins went to the Masterpiece Cakeshop in Lakewood, Colorado, in July 2012, only for owner Jack Phillips to say he would not provide a cake for a same-sex couple. The two men complained to the Colorado Civil Rights Commission , which decided against Phillips.
The case went all the way to the supreme court and on Monday it ruled 7-2 that the commission violated Phillips rights under the first amendment, which guarantees freedom of expression. The court did not address the wider principle of whether a business can refuse to serve gay people, saying this must await further elaboration.
Writing for the majority, justice Anthony Kennedy said the CCRC showed hostility to Phillips religious beliefs in ordering him to undergo anti-discrimination training.
The decision focused narrowly on the handling of Phillips case, however, leaving open the question of whether anti-discrimination laws should supersede religious beliefs in future cases.
Of Colorado, he said: The state we call home has had our back every step of the way.
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WASHINGTON The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday handed a victory on narrow grounds to a Colorado baker who refused based on his Christian beliefs to make a wedding cake for a gay couple, stopping short of setting a major precedent allowing people to claim religious exemptions from anti-discrimination laws.
The justices, in a 7-2 decision, said the Colorado Civil Rights Commission showed an impermissible hostility toward religion when it found that baker Jack Phillips violated the states anti-discrimination law by rebuffing gay couple David Mullins and Charlie Craig in 2012. The state law bars businesses from refusing service based on race, sex, marital status or sexual orientation.
The court concluded that the commission violated Phillips religious rights under the U.S. Constitutions First Amendment.
Two of the courts four liberals, Stephen Breyer and Elena Kagan, joined the five conservative justices in the ruling authored by Justice Anthony Kennedy, who also wrote the landmark 2015 decision legalizing gay marriage nationwide.
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