Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Baker Who Refused to Bake a Cake for Same-Sex Wedding2 min read
Last year, the United States was divided when news outlets covered the story of a Christian baker who refused to make a cake for a same-sex couple in 2012. Monday, June 4 saw the final ruling on the matter: in a narrow decision, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Colorado baker.
In a 7-2 decision, the Supreme Court ruled that the Colorado court did not handle the case appropriately, instead showing hostility toward baker Jack Phillips and his religious views.
Regardless, the Supreme Court only acknowledged that Phillips’ case was specific: the ruling offers no suggestion as to how future cases might be handled when religious freedom and LGBT rights are at odds.
When the couple filed a complaint against the baker, the ensuing lawsuit regarding the baker’s religious rights put the country at odds: on one hand, religious freedom advocates claim their rights should be upheld — in fact, one-third of all weddings are performed in religious institutions — but on the other hand, many saw this as a form of discrimination against marriage equality and LGBT rights.
In an interview with “Today” the following day, Phillips claimed he does not discriminate against anyone, instead citing that he did not bake cakes for “every message.”
“It’s just that I don’t create cakes for every occasion they ask me to create,” he said on Monday. “I don’t discriminate against anybody — I serve everybody that comes in my shop. I don’t create cakes for every message that people ask me to create.”
However, this is not the case, according to the gay couple that originally filed the complaint. Mullins and Craig were looking for a baker to create a wedding cake for their wedding reception when they were met with immediate hostility.
“He simply turned us away just because of who we are instead of what we asked for,” Craig told NBC.
June marks Pride Month across the United States and since the Supreme Court ruled in favor for same-sex marriage in 2015, the specific ruling for the Phillips’ case may have an impact on future Supreme Court rulings when free speech is at stake.
The ACLU, who represented Craig and Mullins in this trial, was not happy with the result.
“The Supreme Court today reaffirmed the core principle that businesses open to the public must be open to all. … The court did not accept arguments that would have turned back the clock on equality by making our basic civil rights protections unenforceable, but reversed this case based on concerns specific to the facts here.”