SCOTUS Agrees To Hear Anti-Gay Colorado Baker Case

The Washington Examiner reports:

The Supreme Court decided Monday to hear a case involving a Colorado baker’s refusal to design and make a cake for a same-sex marriage. The baker, Jake Phillips, declined to make the custom cake and said it conflicted with his religious beliefs.

The Colorado Civil Rights Commission decided that Phillips’ actions amounted to sexual orientation discrimination under the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act. The Colorado Court of Appeals said the commission’s ruling did not violate the First Amendment because Phillips’ speech was “conduct compelled by a neutral and generally applicable law,” as attorneys for Phillips noted in their petition to the high court.

Think Progress reports:

The bakery claims both that its owner’s religious belief gives it a special right to defy the law, and that requiring the bakery to bake a cake for a same-sex wedding amounts to a form of compelled speech prohibited by the First Amendment. Neither of these arguments holds water under longstanding legal doctrines.

Yet, while the bakery does not have much law on its side, the timing of the Court’s announcement suggests that its most conservative members are eager to make some very significant changes to the law now that they have a new ally on the bench.

After receiving the bakery’s request to hear Masterpiece Cakeshop, the Court held the case over through five consecutive conferences of the justices without announcing whether or not they will hear the case. The most likely explanation for this behavior is that Roberts, Thomas, and Alito were biding their time until Neil Gorsuch would give them the fourth vote.


UPDATE: Tony Perkins reacts.

The U.S. Supreme Court now has an opportunity to issue a ruling that makes clear the government has no authority to force Americans like Jack Phillips to use their artistic talents to celebrate events with which they have a moral and/or religious disagreement.

With Justice Gorsuch now on the bench, we are more optimistic that the Supreme Court will uphold our nation’s long tradition of respecting the freedom of Americans to follow their deeply held beliefs, especially when it comes to participating in activities and ceremonies that so many Americans consider sacred.

The First Amendment has long protected Americans from being compelled by the government to advocate a message to which one objects. As Americans, our consensus on religious freedom has historically recognized the God-given right of Americans to live all aspects of their lives according to their faith. This is no different today. Attempting to restrict religious conviction to the four walls of a church is not freedom, that is tyranny.

UPDATE II: From the ACLU.

In 2012, Colorado residents David Mullins and Charlie Craig visited Masterpiece Cakeshop to order a wedding cake. Mullins and Craig planned to marry in Massachusetts and then celebrate with family and friends back home. Masterpiece owner Jack Phillips informed the couple that, because of his religious beliefs, it was his standard business practice to refuse to provide cakes for same-sex weddings. Phillips had turned away several other couples for the same reason.

“This has always been about more than a cake. Businesses should not be allowed to violate the law and discriminate against us because of who we are and who we love,” said Mullins. His husband, Craig, added, “While we’re disappointed that the courts continue debating the simple question of whether LGBT people deserve to be treated like everyone else, we hope that our case helps ensure that no one has to experience being turned away simply because of who they are.”

The American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Colorado represent Mullins and Craig in the case. Under Colorado law, businesses open to the public like Masterpiece Cakeshop may not refuse service based on factors including race, sex, national origin, or sexual orientation. After Mullins and Craig won, the Colorado Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal.

“The law is squarely on David and Charlie’s side because when businesses are open to the public, they’re supposed to be open to everyone,” said James Esseks, director of the ACLU’s LGBT Project. “While the right to one’s religious beliefs is fundamental, a license to discriminate is not. Same-sex couples like David and Charlie deserve to be treated with the same dignity and respect as anyone else, and we’re ready to take that fight all the way to the Supreme Court.”

  • Leo

    Kennedy could announce his retirement today though. What does that mean?

    • Honestly I assume this mean he’s not retiring until next year. This case and the voting districts case that SCOTUS granted last week are two things he will most likely want to weigh in on.

      • Leo

        Please don’t get my hopes up, ugh. I’m waiting until tonight.

        • Hope’s all I’ve got because if he does retire while Trump or Pence is in office we are all beyond fucked.

    • Gustav2

      I though he had already hired next years clerks.

      • Leo

        He did but the national press isn’t reporting that angle and still crowing it’s a possibility. Maybe it cuts down on the ‘excitement’ so they aren’t reporting it. Figures.

        • Gustav2

          You mean like all the stories about the Democrats being in disarray, but the Republicans who have the House, Senate and POTUS and can’t pass shit are not?

          • Ninja0980

            Not to mention the 1,000 lost seats don’t talk about gerrymandering and voter suppression?

  • PickyPecker
  • Todd20036

    And with a red scotus, it could mean we are officially second class citizens

    • Halou

      Not yet. The only one Trump hap put in was a replacement for the career bigot Scalia. No liberal-leaning judges have been replaced.

      • Tiger Quinn

        Wait.

      • Rambie

        yet

    • Skokieguy [Larry]

      If only it were a red scrotus, then the solution could be as simple as some ointment.

  • bkmn

    Thankfully our side knows how to argue this case AND Trump has not yet packed SCOTUS with far right assholes. If you can afford it please make a donation to lambdalegal.org and/or aclu.org. If you know of other groups involved in representing our side in this please add them below.

    • Tom

      Say a prayer for Justice Kennedy then.

  • Johnny Wyeknot

    Religious extremists of all stripes are licking their chops.

  • Ninja0980

    https://twitter.com/rickhasen/status/879332687604994049
    Just in case you were wondering if Gorsuch was going to be an LGBT ally or not.

    • scottrose
      • Andymac3

        Gosh, golly, an extremist judge played the country bumpkin as he lied his way through his nomination hearing when he was confirmed as the youngest sitting supreme court judge taking the position that was stolen by the Republicans refusing to hear the previous Presidents nominee. He will forever be the Supreme Court judge in the stolen seat.

    • Stephen Elliot Phillips

      Im not wondering anything. We are one scotus judge away from overturning equal marriage rights by replacing kennedy. And when ginsberg retires the scotus will be so fucking hard right they may even reinstate slavery after theyve devolved women into fetus carriers and nonvoters

    • The_Wretched

      There never was the least doubt that Gorsuch is about as bad as it gets.

    • Chucktech

      If Scalia hadn’t died, we’d be in this same boat right now.

      • Vista-Cruiser

        No, Scalia’s wasn’t going to live much longer anyway. Gorsuch could be on the Court for the next sixty years.

  • Skokieguy [Larry]

    This should be decided as discrimination based on sex – which is protected at the Federal level. The only reason the bakery refused is the sex of the spouse. This isn’t creating LGBT as a new protected class, this is about recognizing same sex marriage as ALREADY protected under existing laws.

    That being said, logic and reason no longer apply in this country and I fear for our future.

    • j.martindale

      This argument has gained a lot of currency in very recent times. It has been used successfully, as I recall, in a job discrimination case relating to the EEOC. And in the Obergefel decision, one of the things that Kennedy suggested as supporting his writings was that as time progresses, the understanding of who may be included under the umbrellas of things such as a right to marriage has enlarged, and has not remained static. If the SCOTUS is to remain consistent in its decisions, and specifically if Kennedy carries his arguments to their logical conclusions, this will be the argument on which our protections are successfully defended.

  • ben

    Scotus already addressed this issue pretty decisively in 1878 in (ironically) a case involving a religious claim to a right to polygamy. The case is Reynolds V. US, from which I quote:

    Laws are made for the government of actions, and while they cannot interfere with mere religious belief and opinions, they may with practices. Suppose one believed that human sacrifices were a necessary part of religious worship, would it be seriously contended that the civil government under which he lived could not interfere to prevent a sacrifice? Or if a wife religiously believed it was her duty to burn herself upon the funeral pile of her dead husband, would it be beyond the power of the civil government to prevent her carrying her belief into practice?
    So here, as a law of the organization of society under the exclusive dominion of the United States, it is provided that plural marriages shall not be allowed. Can a man excuse his practices to the contrary because of his religious belief? [98 U.S. 145, 167] To permit this would be to make the professed doctrines of religious belief superior to the law of the land, and in effect to permit every citizen to become a law unto himself. Government could exist only in name under such circumstances.

    • Natty Enquirer

      There has been a lot of law since then balancing the interests of the state against freedom of religious practice. In particular, City of Boerne v. Flores, 521 U.S. 507 (1997) opened the door to states passing “religious freedom” statutes that run head-on into their anti-discrimination laws. Ironically, it began with the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act sponsored by Chuck Schumer.

      • j.martindale

        Yes. That act was an abomination. It said the state could not compel people to violate their religious belief without a significant public interest being involved. That nonsense should never have been allowed. Now the state has to prove it has compelling public interests to preclude people from acting on their superstitions.

    • scottrose
  • Tiger Quinn

    I really can’t fucking believe this.

  • Halou

    Déjà vu all over again.

    • fuow

      Yup. And all because the majority of liberals can’t be bothered to vote except for someone who is100% perfect while the conservatives keep their eyes on the prize.

  • Boreal
  • Smokey

    Remind me again who wants “special rights”.
    “The bakery claims … that its owner’s religious belief gives it a special right to defy the law…”

  • djcoastermark

    It is still hard to believe that in this day and age, basic civil rights are still being debated and denied to certain groups of people.

  • Mike

    The Republicans have been salivating for revenge over civil rights since 1964, and their time may have come. A finding for the cake makers would be tantamount to a reinstatement of Jim Crow laws and the rehanging of signs advising Jews and Irishmen to take their business elsewhere.

    The Supreme Court’s mere acceptance of this case indicates that they consider the constitutional stuff about equality under the law to be optional. The christian menace gets worse and worse. Religion is organized fear, and no one does it better than the christians.

    • Ninja0980

      Yup, and if folks think they are going to stop with LGBT folks, they are dreaming.
      They want to end the entire 1964 Civil Rights Act and nothing more.

    • Gerry Fisher

      I agree that taking the case is a bad sign. Especially given how often the court has upheld the right of the state to restrict freedom of association in order to serve a greater social good (reduce discrimination against protected classes).

    • Snarky

      They’ve taken a pass at this case for a while. Now with Gorsuch a majority on the court must think it’s time. Ugh.

    • Frostbite

      Yup

    • Chucktech

      Oh, no. No, no, no, that’s totally different…

      And simply take out “Christian” in this example and it’s still a perfectly logical conclusion.

      • Albertadcastro

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    • Snarky

      Love this. Thanks for posting.

    • Neil

      It’s a clever meme, but the reason it doesn’t really apply to this case is that the supreme court is going to be considering the cake baker’s artistic “expression” as it relates to his right to refuse service based on his religious beliefs. The baker’s issue was that he didn’t want to bake a product, i.e., the cake and the designs on the cake, that specifically “express” support for same-sex marriage, which the baker doesn’t support or “agree” with (I know, I hate that logic, too), but, using the logic of the meme above, the gun shop owner doesn’t sell a gun with a specific “expression,” even for guns that are made for a specific act, like hunting or sport. I guess the better way to word this meme would be: “If a gun shop owner was asked to engrave the gun with gold plated words stating ‘I can’t wait to use this to kill my brother-in–law” would the gun shop owner be said to have participated in that murder?”

  • Ninja0980

    https://twitter.com/gabrielmalor/status/879335338514186240
    The fact you had three dissents on this shows that there are three votes to overturn Obergefell (so far) if it goes back to SCOTUS.
    For those who stayed home, voted third party etc. and told us rights we’ve gained can never be overturned, kindly go fuck yourselves.

    • Alyssa

      I think this being a 6-3 was pretty good news because Obergefell was 5-4. I expect this “religious liberty case” will be another 5-4 in favor of our side.

    • Jamie Wilson

      That’s not necessarily true. You could uphold Obergefell and still hold that Arkansas need not extend the parental assumption on birth certificates.

  • fuow

    Hey all you gay men who didn’t vote or voted ‘green’ to teach us a ‘lesson’, and we’re all the same, anyway – congratulations.
    You totally got what you wanted.
    Happy now?

  • Smokey

    What’s unfortunate about these cases is that the law cannot delve into the aggrieved party’s actual belief. For instance, Mr. Phillips, in your faith why is gay marriage a more serious issue than divorce? Than remarriage? Than promiscuity? Do you ask other patrons about their adherence to your belief? It would easily show it’s about animus, not belief.

    • another_steve

      If the Supreme Court rules in favor of the bakery here, what’s to prevent someone from saying that their deeply-held religious beliefs prevent them from serving disabled people — whom their god has declared are being punished for their sins by way of their disability?

      Keep in mind that disabled people aren’t a constitutionally protected class. Just like queer people aren’t. Just like women aren’t.

      How could the law declare that not to be a deeply-held religious belief?

      What possible legal line could they draw there?

      • Stephen Elliot Phillips

        The republicans are all calvinist anyway.

      • Chucktech

        Christians don’t hate the disabled. Christians hate queers.

        • Librarykid

          But what about treating an injured LGBT person either by a paramedic at an accident scene or by someone employed by OR RUNNING a hospital? Such laws were passed under the German NAZIs as part of the dehumanizing of Jews.

          • I think that any hospital or emergency facility or 24 hour medical facility must, by law, treat anyone who comes in on an emergency basis for help if their life is in danger in all 50 states — this is a law. Also, it is a federal law (signed by President Reagan) that any emergency room in any hospital cannot turn away anyone for any reason, if I am not mistaken. This is why the poor go to emergency rooms for basic treatment. I am not sure about this.

          • Uncle Mark

            And businesses by law are to serve the general public. The problem with the RFRA laws is that religious belief (or the appearance of religious belief) supersedes all Federal & local laws. A SCOTUS argument in 1878 stated that very fact. “To permit this would be to make the professed doctrines of religious belief superior to the law of the land, and in effect to permit every citizen to become a law unto himself. Government could exist only in name under such circumstances.”

            Thanks to BEN for providing the quote.

          • Smokey

            For profit hospitals (like the one in our town) can set rules on emergency room care. If you don’t have insurance they simply stabilize you and then ship you to a non-profit hospital nearby. Not for profits treat you and then receive some kind of federal payback for uninsured care. Not really sure how that works under the ACA or ACHA.

        • Well right wing ones also hate anyone who is not a certain type of white Xtian. And they do not consider Catholics Xtians if they are KKK and like Richard Spencer, correct?

    • Chris Baker

      I hope the lawyers argue about things like this, and where one can draw the line if the court rules in favor of the baker. What if the baker believes that interracial marriage is wrong?

      • Smokey

        My understanding is that a lawyer has to accept the belief otherwise the case devolves into arguing the validity of a particular religious dogma. Perhaps JMG legal minds can help here.

        • Chris Baker

          OK, yes, accepting the baker’s religious beliefs as his valid beliefs is not the issue, but there are also people who sincerely believe that interracial marriage is a sin and wrong. If the court is going to open up religious beliefs as a way to circumvent laws then the lawyer has to ask the court where the line can be drawn. Because this ruling does not affect this one case, but many future scenarios like this.

          Yes, it would be nice to hear from a lawyer about this.

          • Smokey

            That is the problem with RFRA’s and these types of cases. Belief is allowed to supersede law which is counter to our entire history.

      • Vista-Cruiser

        With this Supreme Court, expect interracial marriages to also be voided pretty soon.

      • Uncle Mark

        Heck, let’s drill this down further. What if the owner of the bakery has no problem providing his service/cake to this gay couple, BUT his EMPLOYEE decides that his offends his religious beliefs…refusing to make such a cake. Can the owner fire the employee? Can the employee sue for this termination violating his religious beliefs? We’ve had pharmacy employees in drug store chains refusing to dispense certain birth control, because it offends them?

        Does religious freedom extend to ALL of us, or only those that own the business? If so, then why should the wealthy only have the freedoms to exercise their beliefs in the marketplace? Will employees be expected to sign contracts guaranteeing that they will abide by the owner’s religious beliefs…superseding their own? What a can of worms this opens !!

  • Dana Chilton

    The dissent in hobby lobby said the decision would lead to religion being used to legally justify discrimination. Kennedy, in his concurrence, dismissed that concern and made the plea “can’t we all just get along?” Kennedy may have written the past several landmark gay rights cases but it is not gauanteed that he will side with the rights of gay people over giving religion a preferred legal status.. again, the cavalier attitude is all fun and games now but when fundamentalists gain more power and non christsian religions grow in voting numbers then our generally applicable laws are diminished and then our entire civil rights structure is castrated.. something conservative groups actually call for today.

  • Blake Jordan

    I know Scalia was moderate compared to Gorsucks, but he was still anti-LGBTQ+… so the make up of the court has nkt changed on these issues…

    • The_Wretched

      Other than a Garland might not be in such doubt.

  • WTF – this is a States issue – the only reason for SCOTUS to hear this is for them to strike down any local Accommodations protections. This is very very very bad…

  • j.martindale

    Kennedy, once again, holds out the only hope for gay people on the SCOTUS. We had better hope he doesn’t retire in advance of this decision. Frankly, I doubt that he would have written the Obergefel decision, and then go along with the religious right and say that when gays get married, people can treat them as second class citizens. Although he bought into the Hobby Lobby crap which disadvantaged women who were employed by religious nuts, that decision didn’t permit overt discrimination. We will see.

  • Rebecca Gardner
    • Bj Lincoln

      YES! THANKS YOU!
      Did you have fun at the parade?

      • Rebecca Gardner

        I did! Even if it was a very weird Parade this year.

        First, street sweepers lead the parade about 1 block in front of us, they were apparently there to remove any protestors that planned to block the parade route. That was followed by about a dozen motorcycle cops, and then us. So there was lots of stop and go and it was just not normal, but the crowds liked it when we stopped in front of them and gave a little engine rev.

        Other than that I had my friend, the beautiful Barbary Rose (https://www.barbaryrose.com/), as my passenger this year and we all met at our usual Thai restaurant for lunch at the end.

        I’m the blonde behind this pic of my friends.

        https://twitter.com/fraggle94/status/879026447293136896

  • Charlie

    Personally, I wouldn’t want a bigoted baker to be forced to bake me a wedding cake. Who knows what awful ingredients they will add ( Minnie’s chocolate pie from The Help comes to mind) to get revenge (such ‘good’ christians). Homophobic bakers, florists, etc. should be required to post their beliefs in full view at their door so no one gets surprised. Of course they won’t do that because it would piss off many people who support The LGBT community. At the very least, reviews should be posted all over the internet if someone is discriminated against for ANY reason.

  • DesertSun59

    I can see a disturbing perfect storm brewing…

    1. The SCOTUS agrees with the baker. Christians are free to deny services to anyone they see fit for any reason.

    2. 45 is toast and Pence becomes POTUS. He’s a Dominionist, who believes ALL of society must worship precisely what HE believes to be true.

    Pence can cause disturbing and lasting damage to our society, more so than the ass clown known as 45.

  • Pluto Animus

    It is 10am. The phone rings at the Christian Bakery for the 100th time this morning.

    “Hello, Christian Bakers.”

    “Hi, do you serve gay people?”

    “No.”

    “Then go fuck yourself, Christian scumbag.” [hangs up]

    Phone: “Rrrrring!”

  • JWC

    I an sorry but if these people want to use religion to deny themselves business , fine knock your selves out LBGT should blacklist them as an antigay business people and do a reverse discrimination We don’t shop there because it offends our lifestyle

    • Mike C

      Look, I agree. I wouldn’t shop there and I’d glad to let everyone know why but this is an attempt to drive a stake into the heart of the precedent set by other civil rights cases dealing with public accommodation. A bad ruling on this issue won’t stop at cakes.

      • JWC

        True, Just one perspective solution

      • Snarky

        True. If the bakers win this case, I can’t wait for the first redneck restaurant owner to say serving POC offends his sincerely held religious beliefs, and we’ll be right back in the mythical ’50s where straight white guys had things the way they wanted.

  • Ragnar Lothbrok

    Hopefully they agreed to hear it so they can finally say : STFU and make the fucking cake ! Period !!

    • Vista-Cruiser

      Apparently you don’t realize who’s on the Supreme Court right now.

      • Ragnar Lothbrok

        Oh, I do. It’s ideologically the same as it was when we got Obergefell

  • Rob

    What with the Courts decision on the Religious Freedom ruling they just came out with, I’m a bit worried about the outcome. They weighed in on a religious freedom law and came down in favor of the religious folks 7-2. I know it’s a total Separation of Church/State issue, their ruling leaves me worried about how this one would come out. There’s certainly a number of cases to look at today, and the need to weigh them against each other is important. What with Hobby Lobby a few years ago, the rulings we are reading about today, and the fact that they FINALLY accepted this case doesn’t bode well for us, as they’ve sided with religious freedom more often than not.Or maybe the fact that they came down to an equal treatment under the law ruling for the Birth Certificate case might be a positive. They issue such contradictory decisions lately that they seem fragmented and schizophrenic.

    • Alyssa

      I think SCOTUS will view this very similarly to segregation because that’s exactly what it is.

      • Vista-Cruiser

        But the current SCOTUS probably supports segregation.

  • Raising_Rlyeh

    I’m trying not to be pessimistic, but all I can think is that we’re fucked. The SCOTUS is going to legalize discrimination under the banner of “religious freedom.”

    • Snarky

      I’m with you, but I’m less worried about the religious freedom argument than I am about compelled speech. The questions will be:
      1) is decorating a cake speech?
      2) does Colorado’s law simply ensure equal access or does it compel speech?
      3) does the state have the right to compel a person to speak (if decorating a cake is indeed speech) in a way that offends what they call a sincerely held religious belief?
      4) when a business person opens their doors to the public, do they have to serve every person who comes through those doors equally?

      I’m worried as fuck that this court is taking up this case. Alito, Thomas, Gorsuch and Roberts could twist themselves into logical pretzels just so they can codify anti-gay discrimination.

    • customartist

      I predict that they will somehow ‘split the baby’

  • Hank
  • abqdan

    It’s disturbing that SCOTUS would take a case that is in every sense about a state law. If they plan to support this on first amendment grounds – where federal constitution trumps state law and constitution – then none of our recently won civil liberties are safe, including marriage. Talk about ‘activist judges’…

    • customartist

      The Federal Constitution DOES trump State Law and State Constitution, as it relates to Individual Rights. And it does so in OUR favor, not in the favor of service providers. The Hobby Lobby ruling was categorically wrong.

      Having said this, I am not confident how SCOTUS will rule in this case.

      • abqdan

        Actually, I was trying to say the same thing – if they are making a case on 1st or 14th amendment grounds, SCOTUS would be above state law – but on its face, this is a state’s rights issue to regulate business in the state. I think it highly likely that this court will vote as they did for Hobby Lobby on those grounds.

  • Irishsupporter

    Could somebody explain this to me it seems to me that if the baker wins the case it would not only allow anti gay discrimination in Colorado but could be used to kill already existing anti discrimination laws (both by lawsuits using this case & by bigotted state goverments) undoing all the advances over the last number of years and relegalising anti gay discrimination nationwide!

    • Snarky

      I think a key difference is some law affects equal access to government, such as marriage. Even if there is a win by these homophobic bakers, it would be a stretch to say that would roll back marriage equality, serving openly in the armed forces, etc.

      • Irishsupporter

        I was think of more generalised discrimination, like a gay person or couple going into a shop and are refused service because of who they are & or a bad ruling used by anti gay state governments to kill existing anti discrimination laws or amend them to actively allow discrimination against lgbt persons

        • Snarky

          What you said was “all the advances over the last number of years,” so I was considering all the advances.

          • Irishsupporter

            True I did, sorry!!

            Though It could happen if trump gets to stack the supreme court with ultra right wing nutters, I mean judges!

        • Jerry Kott

          In other words, does Federal Law trump State or municipal law? A reasonable question I always pondered. Is refusing to sell me gasoline for my car because you believe I use my car to engage in Sin , just around the corner

  • DonMN763

    A clue to the Colorado baker case may two of the rulings handed down this morning. That a christian business cannot be excluded from receiving some public funds available for a secular intent (keeping children safe). And striking the Arkansas law prohibiting two women being listed as parents on birth certificates. It seems the court is attempting to find common sense approaches. Legalizing discrimination against any class based on religious belief is not a common sense approach.

  • BobSF_94117

    IIRC, he further refused the mother-in-law-to-be’s request to buy cookies for the event.

    • customartist

      I didn’t know that

    • That can’t be allowed. But why the hell is she patronizing the place? I am sure cookies are pure profit.

  • netxtown

    Would somebody help me find that ‘religious belief’ in the buybull where it says same sex marriage is not ok?

  • -M-

    So per reichwing hypocrisy, a commercial bakery shouldn’t have to bake a standard cake for paying customers regardless of their race, religion etc as required by the laws that allow and enable them to operate as a business, but atheletes can be required to stand and pledge allegiance to a government that is not making a credible effort to provide liberty and justice for all?

  • Question- Can someone answer this please?
    Is this case about compelling a baker in Colorado to “design and make a cake for a same-sex marriage” or is it about “refusing service to a class of people (LGBT)?
    —-
    Now, of course I am against any discrimination to any group of people of people for any reason. But would a bakery owned by the following individuals be compelled to do a custom cake with the following messages that they might object to (sarcasm here)?
    —-
    An LGBT bakery “Happy Anniversary Westboro Baptist Church”
    An Orthodox Jewish Bakery “Christ is King”
    An Atheist Bakery “Celebrate Creation”
    A New York Bakery “Daddy Died On 9/11”

    At what point does a baker not have to do a custom cake because he or she finds it offensive for any reason – religious or otherwise? Or is this case not about that — and simply about refusing to sell an off-the shelf cake to LGBT people? Is the law compelling someone to physically write something? I don’t understand the case.

    • customartist

      At what point..?
      At the point that those who a being discriminated against do not belong to a suspect class, such as felons, for example.

      This case is about public accommodations. Woolworth’s could not discriminate against African Americans even if claiming that it was against their religious beliefs for the races to “intermix”, and it is likewise against the Constitution for LGBT citizens to be discriminated against based upon a service provider’s “religious beliefs” as well.

      • Are you sure that is what the case is about? Public accommodations? Or is it about baking a cake – ie, having people write something that they claim their religion does not agree with? That is what I am asking. It is confusing. Or is SCOTUS going to sort this out? i agree with you, I just cannot figure this out.

        • LesbianTippingHabits

          Or the baker can be a radical Lesbian who objects to [heterosexual] marriage as patriarchal oppression.

        • customartist

          Yes, I’m sure.

  • Jamie Wilson

    IMHO, this is really bad news and suggests that Kennedy is going to retire. In theory, if Kennedy retires, we could have a worst case scenario as follows:

    – Obergefell overturned and marriage equality wiped out in 33 states, surviving in only 17 states. LGB people would need to fight state by state. While some states like OR and CA will be reclaimed quickly, reclaiming all 50 may take 25-30 years.

    – Religious exemptions to non-discrimination laws recognized as a Constitutional right, not as a right stemming from RFRA. If an exemption becomes a Constitutional right, then Christians will be able to discriminate regardless of how strict the non-discrimination law is and regardless of whether a state has a RFRA law.

    We’ll survive but that damage could take 2 generations to undo.

    • Tread

      BUT HER EMAILS.

  • EdmondWherever

    Sorry, but when this guy agreed to make a wedding cake for a DOG wedding, he blew his defense.

    • LesbianTippingHabits

      Was it a “man on dog” wedding, which so distressed then-Senator Santorum (R-PA)?

      • EdmondWherever

        (R-Edundant)

  • Three possible scenarios when it comes to bakeries:

    1) A bakery sells off-the-shelf cakes that someone would like to use for their wedding. They’re already made, sitting in display cases.
    2) A bakery shows someone a list of possible options. Customers are presented with Options #1, 2, 3 or 4 and that’s it. No customizations allowed.
    3) A bakery offers only custom cakes. Everything from style to ingredients and verbiage can be built according to the customer’s desires.

    I can see the Supreme Court allowing some “religious protections” for #3, but unlikely for #2 and most definitely not for #1.

    Personally, the only allowance that I think makes any legal sense is to allow a bakery to refrain from putting specific verbiage or decor on a cake. They should have to give you a cake, but I think we can put our own little groom statues on it.

    (This being said, if someone said they really didn’t want my business, then I’ll be damned if they’re getting my money.)

    • Can you see this extending to other groups and other messages per my point below? Why just same-sex weddings? Could anyone be compelled to put a message on a cake they find objectionable for any reason?
      Or, is that what this case is not about?
      Yes, you would have to be insane to have a cake made in a hostile bakery. They could urinate in the batter. It is like the old saying. Leave a restaurant if you start arguing with the waiter before you even order a meal.

      • customartist

        It is not about the message on the cake – it is about the selectivity of the recipients of the cake [or other service], and specifically when they belong to a protected or suspect “Class”.

        SCOTUS has already ruled that LGBT citizens are a “Class” of people.

  • Jean-Marc in Canada

    Show the Justices this meme and then ask them to justify an answer to it.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/8ee301ab590a19215028528bf971de7a5578e0f3a477c834046270f10898debc.jpg

  • LesbianTippingHabits

    Despite the legal merits, I’m not sure taking an anti-LGBTQ baker to court, or whatever, was a very wise move. Bad cases can make bad law.