Not much comfort for Lyle Shelton and friends in United States cakeshop case

J. Scott Applewhite  Associated Press file		The US Supreme Court building

But Kennedy and the court chose the narrowest possible way to resolve the case of Masterpiece Cakeshop vs. Colorado Civil Rights Commission.

They filed a successful complaint with the state commission and state courts sided with the couple, prompting Phillips to appeal to the top US court.

In other words, said Louise Melling, deputy legal director of the ACLU, the high court overturned the Colorado Court of Appeals' 2015 ruling "based on concerns unique to the case but reaffirmed its longstanding rule that states can prevent the harms of discrimination in the marketplace, including against LGBT people".

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 cases for all customers, which he said took away about 40 percent of his business. And in her dissent, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, joined by Justice Sonia Sotomayor, made a notably different argument from Justice Anthony Kennedy's majority opinion. The court ruled 7-2 in favor of Phillips, citing Phillips' right to religious freedom under the First Amendment and the "hostile" treatment he received from the Colorado Civil Rights Commission. These "disputes must be resolved with tolerance, without undue disrespect to honest religious beliefs, and without subjecting gay persons to indignities when they seek good and services in the open market". "We can disagree about gay marriage without hauling each other into court; without the states punishing people for simply acting on their belief that marriage unites husband and wife".

What the court's ruling will mean for future cases that could pit LGBTQ rights against religious freedom rights remains to be seen.

The Trump administration sided with Phillips. Phillips said he couldn't create the product they were looking for without violating his faith.

"In this case and others, the Department of Justice will continue to vigorously defend the free speech and religious freedom First Amendment rights of all Americans", he added.




Clinton said Monday on NBC's "Today Show" he had no plans to apologize directly to Lewinsky, and as we've heard from several men in recent months, he believed the past is being unfairly relitigated.

"It said that the government can not express religious hostility and that there's no place for that kind of hostility in a pluralistic society", she said.

Justice Anthony Kennedy's majority opinion makes it pretty clear that they're punting on the substantive issue, because it keeps referring to future rulings in almost identical cases that might go the other way.

The ruling comes almost six years after Charlie Craig and Dave Mullins walked into Phillips' shop with the intention of ordering a cake for their upcoming nuptials, only to instead be turned away.

While the ruling is certainly painful for the community that had hoped for an LGBTQ+ rights victory, Justice Kennedy's admission that LGBTQ+ individuals should not be "subjected to indignities" when attempting to make the same purchases as cisgender and heterosexual consumers has some weight.

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 MA later that year. "This decision makes clear that the government must respect Jack's beliefs about marriage". Phillips told them he would not create a case for a same-sex wedding.

Phillips, 62, owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop, was fighting for the rights of "creative artists" to choose what they will sell.

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