The case of the Colorado baker that refused to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple reached the Supreme Court. This fall, the country’s highest court will have to weigh on people’s religious liberty and LGBT rights in a contentious fight.
The owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop, Jack Phillips, hopes the SCOTUS will do justice to people like him who are fighting for their religious liberty. The plaintiff says that in a free country, a business owner should not be forced into bankruptcy for refusing to violate his deeply-held religious beliefs.
LGBT rights activists, on the other hand, are concerned that a ruling might diminish some of the gay community’s hard-fought rights.
Law experts think that central to the Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission case is Phillips’ faith. The case started before same-sex marriage gained legal status nationwide, so justices will have to be careful when they handle the language of Obergefell v. Hodges.
Obergefell is a 2015 SCOTUS ruling that granted LGBT members “equal dignity in the eyes of the law.” So, justices must now decide if Obergefell principles can be stretched to infringe Americans’ religious liberty.
The baker’s lawyers want people who don’t agree with the LGBT’s definition of marriage to be able to act upon their belief that marriage can be done only between a man and a woman.
When the plaintiff opened his first bakery in 1993, he knew he would refuse to make certain types of cakes such as Halloween cakes because it would be against his and his wife’s Christian faith principles.
In 2012, a gay couple walked into his bakery and asked him to make a cake that would celebrate their union. At the time, gay marriage was not legal in his home state. Phillips recalls that the conversation with the two men was “fairly short.”
David Mullins and Charlie Craig told him they want a wedding cake for a ceremony that would take place in another state.
The Bible says ‘in the beginning, there was male and female,’
The baker replied.
He added that he cannot, in good conscience, honor the order since it violates God’s teachings, but offered to create any other baked goods for the pair. The two men refused and sued the bakery.
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