Supreme Court Tosses Ruling Against Bakers Who Refused Cake For Gay Couple
The U.S. Supreme Court threw out a ruling against two Oregon bakers who refused to make a wedding cake for a lesbian couple.
The couple, Melissa and Aaron Klein, cited religious beliefs as their reason for not providing services for a gay wedding. This touched off the latest in a series of such cases making headlines in recent years. During the court’s last term, justices ruled in favor of a Colorado baker in a similar situation, stating that a state body demonstrated improper hostility toward the baker’s religion in finding that he violated a state anti-discrimination law.
On Monday, the Supreme Court sent the Klein case back down to a lower court “for further consideration in light of” their Colorado decision.
The central disputes in the case — which pits LGBT rights against religious freedom considerations — have yet to be addressed by the Supreme Court.
A similar case involving Washington state florist Baronelle Stutzman previously was sent back so the state court could review its decision against Stutzman in light of the Colorado case. The Washington court upheld its decision, and the case is expected to go back before the Supreme Court once more.
Christian Baker Who Won Supreme Court Case In New Cake
A baker who won Supreme Court case is suing Colorado in cake-making conflict.
Baker who refuse to make cake for transgender customer sues state
When Christian bakery owner Jack Phillips won a landmark U.S. Supreme Court case in June over his refusal to make a wedding cake a gay couple based on his religious convictions, he thought his legal battles with the state of Colorado were over, according to a lawsuit.
But now Phillips, owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop in Lakewood, Colorado, is facing a new court fight, this one involving a lawyer who asked him to bake a cake to celebrate the anniversary of her gender transition.
Phillips filed a federal lawsuit this week accusing the state of Colorado of “anti-religious hostility” against him and asked the U.S. District Court in Denver to overturn a Colorado Civil Rights Commission ruling that he discriminated against a transgender person.
“He’s extremely disappointed because the Supreme Court’s decision was very clear. It condemned Colorado’s hostility toward his religious beliefs,” Phillips lawyer, Kristen Waggoner, told ABC News on Thursday.
The lawsuit, filed Tuesday, names Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, state Attorney General Cynthia Coffman, and all seven members of the state Civil Rights Commission as defendants. It also names Aubrey Elenis, director of the Colorado Civil Rights Division as a defendant.
Scardina did not return messages from ABC News seeking comment.
Concurrence By Justice Kagan
Justice Elena Kagan concurred in the court’s decision and also wrote separately, joined by Justice Stephen Breyer. Kagan agreed with the majority that the Commission’s consideration had violated Phillips’ rights. She wrote to emphasize her understanding of the courts’ and Phillips’ references to the cases of three other bakers. In those case, Kagan wrote, the Commission ruled in favor of bakers who had refused to make “cakes with images that conveyed disapproval of same-sex marriage, along with religious text,” for a customer named William Jack. Kagan argued that those cases were distinguishable from Phillips’ case. In those cases, she argued, the customer asked the bakers to make cakes the baker would not have made for anyone in Phillips’ cases, she continued, Phillips refused to make a cake for a same-sex couple even though he would have made the same cake for an opposite sex couple.
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Colorado Civil Rights Commission
While another bakery provided a cake to the couple, Craig and Mullins filed a complaint to the Colorado Civil Rights Commission under the state’s public accommodations law, the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act, which prohibits businesses open to the public from discriminating against their customers on the basis of race, religion, gender, or sexual orientation. Colorado is one of twenty-one U.S. states that include sexual orientation as a protected class in their anti-discrimination laws. Craig and Mullins’s complaint resulted in a lawsuit, Craig v. Masterpiece Cakeshop. The case was decided in favor of the plaintiffs the cake shop was ordered not only to provide cakes to same-sex marriages, but to “change its company policies, provide ‘comprehensive staff training’ regarding public accommodations discrimination, and provide quarterly reports for the next two years regarding steps it has taken to come into compliance and whether it has turned away any prospective customers”.
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
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What Was The Judges Response
Judge Wiley Y. Daniel said he believed the Supreme Courts ruling was relevant to the current case and that he was inclined to allow the case to move forward.
He also noted that in the now-retired Justice Anthony Kennedys conclusion, the commission had shown hostility toward religion, according to the AP report.
Daniel said he would issue his written decision at a later date.
Another hearing is set for February.
Concurrence By Justice Gorsuch
Justice Neil Gorsuch concurred in the court’s decision and also wrote separately, joined by Justice Samuel Alito. Gorsuch read the majority’s opinion and the Commission’s rulings in the William Jack cases differently than Kagan did. Gorsuch argued that the Commission erred in failing to treat Phillips’ case in exactly the same way as it did the cases of the three bakers who refused to make the anti-same sex marriage cake for William Jackâin other words, he argued that the Commission should have found in Phillips’ favor for the same reasons it found in favor of the bakers in those cases. Gorsuch believed that all four bakers were in the same situation. He wrote:
|The facts show that the two cases share all legally salient features. In both cases, the effect on the customer was the same: bakers refused service to persons who bore a statutorily protected trait . But in both cases the bakers refused service intending only to honor a personal conviction . . . he bakers in the first case would have refused to sell a cake denigrating same-sex marriage to an atheist customer, just as the baker in the second case would have refused to sell a cake celebrating same-sex marriage to a heterosexual customer. And the bakers in the first case were generally happy to sell to persons of faith, just as the baker in the second case was generally happy to sell to gay persons. In both cases, it was the kind of cake, not the kind of customer, that mattered to the bakers.
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Why Did The Bakers Refuse
The family-run baking company, based in County Antrim, has described the same-sex marriage slogan as “inconsistent” with its religious beliefs.
But it points out that the company’s issue was with the slogan and not Mr Lee, claiming it would have refused the same order from a heterosexual client.
As he arrived outside the Supreme Court for the start of the case in May, Mr McArthur said: “We didn’t say no because of the customer we’d served him before, we’d serve him again.
“It was because of the message. But some people want the law to make us support something with which we disagree.”
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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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 organisations 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.
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Elizabeth Nolan Brown|6.21.2021 9:40 AM
Another cake controversy out of Colorado. The baker at the center of a 2018 Supreme Court case concerning religious freedom, same-sex marriage, and civil rights is back in court over his refusal to serve up another cake. This time, the controversial cake was requested by a transgender woman in celebration of her gender transitioning.
Once again, Masterpiece Cakeshop’s Jack Phillips said making the requested cake would go against his morals. And, once again, the state isn’t having itpotentially setting up another prolonged showdown pitting religious liberty and freedom of expression against the application of statutes aimed at protecting LGBTQ rights.
In the last caseMasterpiece Cakeshop Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights Commissionthe Supreme Court ruled 72 that Colorado was wrong to fine Phillips for refusing to make a wedding cake for a gay couple. The couple argued that this violated anti-discrimination law. Phillips said it didn’t, since he would sell regular baked goods to gay people with no problemjust not a wedding cake, as same-sex marriage was against his religious beliefs. Phillips argued that compelling him to participate in a gay couple’s marriage ceremony by baking a cake for the occasion violated his freedom of speech and religious liberty.
So far, Phillips’ latest legal battle has only made it to state court. But it has all the fixings to go bigger.
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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.”
Which Justices Disagreed With The Ruling
Liberal Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor were the two dissenting votes.
“Phillips would not sell to Craig and Mullins, for no reason other than their sexual orientation, a cake of the kind he regularly sold to others,” Justice Ginsburg wrote.
“What matters is that Phillips would not provide a good or service to a same-sex couple that he would provide to a hetereosexual couple.”
Justice Ginsburg did not agree with the finding that the Commission acted unfairly.
She cited “several layers of independent decisionmaking of which the Colorado Civil Rights Commission was but one” in the state case.
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What Does This Mean For The Law
When Mr Lee first took action against the firm, he said the bakery’s actions left him feeling like a lesser person.
On Wednesday, the Supreme Court ruled that there was no political discrimination as well as no discrimination based on Mr Lee’s sexual orientation.
“This conclusion is not in any way to diminish the need to protect gay people and people who support gay marriage from discrimination,” said Lady Hale.
“It is deeply humiliating, and an affront to human dignity, to deny someone a service because of that person’s race, gender, disability, sexual orientation, religion or belief.
“But that is not what happened in this case.”
Five Supreme Courts justices travelled to Belfast earlier this year to hear the case.