Supreme Court sides with Colorado baker who refused to make wedding cake for same-sex couple

The Supreme Court ruled Monday in favor of a Colorado baker who refused to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple, in one of the most closely watched cases of the term. 

In a 7-2 decision, the justices set aside a Colorado court ruling against the baker — while stopping short of deciding the broader issue of whether a business can refuse to serve gay and lesbian people. The opinion was penned by Justice Anthony Kennedy, who is often the swing justice in tight cases. 

The narrow ruling here focused on what the court described as anti-religious bias on the Colorado Civil Rights Commission when it ruled against baker Jack Phillips. 

“The Commission’s hostility was inconsistent with the First Amendment’s guarantee that our laws be applied in a manner that is neutral toward religion,” Kennedy wrote in his majority opinion.  [Fox News website]

As with any Supreme Court decision, there will be people who are cheering this decision as well as those who will be jeering (or, just dismayed) at the decision.

Here is the important part regarding this decision:

Phillips has said he lost business and had to let employees go because of the controversy.

And he has maintained that it’s his choice: “It’s not about turning away these customers, it’s about doing a cake for an event — a religious sacred event — that conflicts with my conscience,” he said last year.

The court in December specifically examined whether applying Colorado’s public accommodations law to compel the local baker to create commercial “expression” violated his constitutionally protected Christian beliefs about marriage.

When “gay” marriage legalization was decided by the Supreme Court years ago, many Christians were concerned that their religious beliefs would be negatively affected.  They were correct!  This is only one case out of dozens that have come up because of the clash between that decision and the deeply held religious beliefs of Christians.

As Jack Phillips reiterated in the article, it was about the event he was asked to use his business talent for, not the people involved!  This is an important distinction and it is my hope and prayer that this ruling will end the bashing and suing of Christian business owners that is going on here in America; and the rights of such business owners will finally be recognized.

I did a search to find the signs that have been placed outside the doors and windows of businesses in the past.  I’m old enough to remember seeing many of them displayed at restaurants and other places of business.

Some of the signs are actually humorous.  “Unless you’re Batman” LOL!

Now, take a look at the opinions in the following surveys.  Can you see the difference in the wording in the second survey (on the right side) vs. what Jack’s refusal at his Phillips Cake Shop was actually about?

 

Please read about Barronelle Stutzman’s case and view the video.

ADF Legal.org: Arlene’s Flowers v. State of Washington | Arlene’s Flowers v. Ingersoll

Barronelle Stutzman, the sole owner of Arlene’s Flowers in Richland, Washington, has served and employed people who identify as homosexual for her entire career. Despite this, the American Civil Liberties Union and the Washington Attorney General claim that she is guilty of unlawful discrimination when she acted consistent with her faith and declined to use her creative skills to beautify the same-sex ceremony of a longtime customer, Robert Ingersoll, and another man, Curt Freed.

Did you catch that?  Mr. Ingersoll was a long-time customer of Ms. Stutzman!  This is another case of religious beliefs of a business owner vs. the demands of two homosexual men who want to marry and have a Christian unjustly punished because she will not use her talents for an event that goes against her deeply held religious beliefs!  Please take the time to go to the link and read/view the video regarding the entire story on this lawsuit.

It is extremely sad that this gentle woman is being BULLIED by that state’s attorney general and the ACLU into compliance through an unnecessary lawsuit by individuals who want to FORCE a person to comply with their desires.  It is an example of forced coercion.  Rather than respecting her religious beliefs on this one issue (the two men involved were given kind advice to go to another great florist) they, and the Washington State attorney general as well as the ACLU, would rather destroy this woman’s livelihood in order to get their way!

Excerpt from ADF website:

“You have to make a stand somewhere in your life on what you believe and what you don’t believe,” Barronelle told CBN in an interview. “It was just a time I had to take a stand.”

After hearing about Barronelle’s decision in the news, the Washington State attorney general decided to take matters into his own hands, and sued her. The ACLU followed close behind. Both lawsuits attack not only her business, but Barronelle personally.

Alliance Defending Freedom asked the court to dismiss the attorney general’s lawsuit since he was not personally involved in the incident, and filed a countersuit against him. They also asked the court to protect Barronelle from personal attacks from the ACLU and the state, and restrict the lawsuits to her business, Arlene’s Flowers.

The court ruled against Barronelle and ordered her to pay penalties and attorneys’ fees.

ADF petitioned the Washington Supreme Court to take up Barronelle’s case, and, in March 2016, the court agreed. Oral arguments were heard on November 15, 2016 at Bellevue College.

In February 2017, the Washington Supreme Court concluded that the government can force her—and, by extension, other Washingtonians—to create artistic expression and participate in events with which they disagree.

In July 2017, ADF petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to take up Barronelle’s case. We are awaiting the Court’s decision.

Create Freely

Alliance Defending Freedom is here to protect the right of creative professionals to use their God-given talents in ways that are consistent with their beliefs.

Hat tips to all links.

 

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2 Responses to “Supreme Court sides with Colorado baker who refused to make wedding cake for same-sex couple”

  1. GMpilot Says:

    The narrow ruling here focused on what the court described as anti-religious bias on the Colorado Civil Rights Commission when it ruled against baker Jack Phillips.

    Yes, a narrow ruling indeed. It was not so much in favor of Phillips as it was against the Colorado Civil Rights Commission.

    From the ruling:

    There were, to be, sure, responses to these arguments that the Statecould make when it contended for a different result in seeking the enforcement of its generally applicable state regulations of businesses that serve the public. And any decision in favor of the baker would have to be sufficiently constrained, lest all purveyors of goods and services who object to gay marriages for moral and religious reasons in effect be allowed to put up signs saying “no goods or services will be sold if they will be used for gay marriages,” something that would impose a serious stigma on gay persons. But, nonetheless, Phillips was entitled to the neutral and respectful consideration of his claims in all the circumstances of the case.

    The neutral and respectful consideration to which Phillips was entitled was compromised here, however. The Civil Rights Commission’s treatment of his case has some elements of a clear and impermissible hostility toward the sincere religious beliefs that motivated his objection.

    So, you’re half-right. But what it really means is that Phillips does not have the right to discriminate against another request from another same-sex couple. For everyone’s sake, I hope no one tries; we have enough domestic problems without that.
    DailyKos notes:

    The First Amendment’s requirement of religious neutrality is so strong that even if you reach the proper outcome based on a fair and objective understanding of the facts and the law, if you say anything that offends the party with regard to his “religious beliefs” or his declarations thereof, any ruling you make against him will be set aside, because you “tainted” the proceedings with your anti-religious bias. (boldface mine)

    If I ran a business and refused to serve you because I’m an atheist and you’re a Christian, I would also be violating someone’s rights. But according to this ruling, if you called me ‘satanspawn’ or the like in your righteous fury, you too would lose.

    I’ve seen those ‘no service’ signs too; a great many of them were seen in the South, once upon a time. They were often used to be exclusionary when there was no real reason to refuse service to certain people.

    Admittedly, the Batman one was funny. The one against flip-flops is too general; in Hawaii where almost everyone wears them on most days, refusing service to anyone wearing them would be absurd. Most beachfront businesses—anywhere!–don’t mind flip-flops either. The only places I know of where they’re not worn is in business meetings, hospitals, factories and at Hickam AFB’s flight line, where they’re considered a safety hazard.
    “No Shoes, etc” = health hazard. “No service to the intoxicated” = perfect sense. Could be in a restaurant, which may mean creating a public nuisance and a potential health hazard. Or just the local ‘bad boy’ looking to cause trouble. “No older RVs allowed”? Sure: noisier, perhaps no catalytic converter to reduce exhaust emissions, more likely to simply be abandoned if they break down, leaving the park owners the task of getting rid of it.
    However, the one with the US flag is displaying it improperly; I’d sic the city on them just for that alone, because that IS a civil offense. So many people who claim to love the flag don’t know how to treat it!

    I’m glad the ruling pleases you. No more of that ‘legislating from the bench’ BS now, right? Right.

    Like

  2. christinewjc Says:

    This Supreme Court decision was not a sweeping one. It was meant to solve this case, but this case alone. The battles and lawsuits will likely continue to go on because the ultimate question (does religious freedom allow Christian business people to get the same rights as LGTB people get their rights?) was not settled.

    Furthermore, both Jack Phillips and Barronelle Stutzman (next up at the Supreme Court) had many gay customers. Stutzman had gay employees. The objection was the following (in each case):

    As Jack Phillips reiterated in the article, it was about the EVENT (Christians believe that marriage is sacred and is the union of one man and one woman, as it is written in God’s Word, the Bible) he was asked to use his business talent for, not the people involved! This is an important distinction and it is my hope and prayer that this ruling will end the bashing and suing of Christian business owners that is going on here in America; and the rights of such business owners will finally be recognized.

    Like

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