The Patriot Press

Supreme Court Sides with Baker in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission

By Joe Mezza and Nick Tulino

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On Monday, June 4th, the Supreme Court sided with a Colorado baker in the closely watched civil rights case Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission by a 7-2 majority.

The case stems from an encounter between baker Jack Phillips and a gay couple, David Mullins and Charlie Craig, in 2012. When Mullins and Craig asked Phillips to make a cake for their wedding, Phillips refused, claiming that baking a cake for a gay wedding would be at odds with his Christian faith.

Mullins and Craig, feeling their rights had been violated, reported the event to Colorado’s Civil Rights Commission, which sided with the couple. State courts and appellate courts took this position as well, with many official court opinions explaining that, since his cake would not be seen as representing his views on same-sex marriage, Phillips’ first-amendment rights were not being violated.

When the Supreme Court chose to hear the case in 2017, many believed it would establish a wider precedent about religious freedom and its relation to civil rights for members of the LGBT community. However, the court’s decision was decidedly narrow, with Justice Kennedy citing religious animus in the Civil Rights Commission, not free speech protection, as the driving factor behind the court’s decision.

In his majority opinion, Kennedy reaffirmed the protections gays and lesbians have under US law and suggested that other, similar cases could be decided differently.

WHHS Senior Kalina Totzeva said “I think that the Supreme Court made the right ruling because regardless of if it’s discrimination or not, our Constitution says that we have the freedom of religion and there is no limit as to where you practice it. I don’t think that it has anything to do with discrimination and the baker has the right to practice his own rights, whether the gay couple believe it’s discrimination or not is their opinion but I really don’t think it was.”

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Supreme Court Sides with Baker in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission