In a move that has left LGBT+ rights groups speechless, the United States Supreme Court has ruled in favour of a Colorado baker who refused to bake a wedding cake for a gay wedding.
Ruling 7-2 in favour of the anti-LGBT+ baker, the Court determined that the rights of Jack Phillips, who is the owner of Colorado’s Masterpiece Cakeshop, had been violated by the Colorado Civil Rights Commission’s initial ruling against the baker.
The Commission who in 2014 found the baker guilty of discrimination following his refusal in 2012 to make a wedding cake for a gay couple, Dave Mullins and Charlie Craig, due to his religion.
Citing his religious beliefs and his right to freedom of expression as his defence, Phillips fought the decision, taking his case all the way to the United States Supreme Court.
In their ruling, it was agreed by the majority of the justices that the Commission was “neither tolerant nor respectful of Phillips’ religious beliefs,” especially in comments made by some of the commissioners.
The judges stated that, “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” and that “Phillips was entitled to a neutral decision maker.”
Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who voted against the baker, disagreeing with her colleagues wrote that “What matters is that Phillips would not provide a good or service to a same-sex couple that he would provide to a heterosexual couple.”
“I see no reason why the comments of one or two Commissioners should be taken to overcome Phillips’ refusal to sell a wedding cake to Craig and Mullins,” Ginsburg added.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has also commented following the ruling highlighting that it was important to note that while the Supreme Court had ruled in favour of the baker, it “did NOT rule that the Constitution gives a right to discriminate.”