“The reason and motive for the baker’s refusal were based on his sincere religious beliefs and convictions.”
The US Supreme Court has ruled in favour of the homophobic baker who refused to make a wedding cake for a gay couple.
In 2012, Colorado resident Jack Phillips – owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop in Lakewood – turned away David Mullins and Charlie Craig due to his religious beliefs. He told the couple it was “standard business practice not to provide cakes for same-sex weddings”.
The Colorado Civil Rights Commission (CCRC) ordered Phillips to “cease and desist from discriminating against same-sex couples by refusing to sell them wedding cakes or any product [they] would sell to heterosexual couples.”
Today, the Supreme Court overruled this decision, and Justice Anthony Kennedy said the baker did not violate the state’s anti-discrimination law.
“The Colorado Civil Rights Commission’s consideration of this case was inconsistent with the State’s obligation of religious neutrality,” stated the majority opinion. “The reason and motive for the baker’s refusal were based on his sincere religious beliefs and convictions.”
Kennedy added: “When the Colorado Civil Rights Commission considered this case, it did not do so with the religious neutrality that the Constitution requires. It is proper to hold that… the Commission’s actions here violated the Free Exercise Clause; and its order must be set aside.”
Phillips’ lawyer, Kristen Waggoner, expressed her joy at the ruling.
“Jack serves all customers; he simply declines to express messages or celebrate events that violate his deeply held beliefs,” she said. “Creative professionals who serve all people should be free to create art consistent with their convictions without the threat of government punishment.”
Pro-LGBTQ law firm Lamba Legal slammed the decision, and vowed to continue fighting for justice.
“This 7-2 ruling, while limited, invites discrimination and further efforts to justify withholding service from LGBTQ people,” they stated. “This will encourage all sorts of mischief by well-funded anti-LGBTQ organizations who want to create exceptions to nondiscrimination laws.
“We’re going to see years of needless, hurtful litigation by those seeking to evade responsibility for discriminating against members of our community. The Court today has turned its back on longstanding precedent and offered not just encouragement but a roadmap to those who would deny civil rights to LGBTQ people and people living with HIV.
“We will continue to fight in every arena and in every court until LGBTQ people and people living with #HIV have full equality under the law in every aspect of our lives. We deserve no less.”