Gay wedding cake row reaches US Supreme Court

The US Supreme Court Just Rejected a Texas Case About Gay Marriage Rights

Lower courts ruled Mr. Phillips violated Colorado's anti-discrimination law by refusing to create the wedding cake for Charlie Craig and Dave Mullins in 2012.

Meanwhile, anti-LGBTQ activists in the state launched a letter-writing campaign to pressure Texas Supreme Court judges, who are elected officials, to reopen the case and threatened to vote against them if they did not decide against the city and the same-sex couples.

In one of the most animated oral arguments the high court has held, justices on both sides peppered four lawyers with questions to illustrate how their decision might affect other merchants, such as chefs and florists, and other minority groups, such as Catholics and African Americans.

In court papers, Kristen K. Waggoner, a legal counselor from the traditionalist Alliance Defending Freedom who is speaking to Phillips, contended that the First Amendment promises him the privilege to decay to make wedding cakes that praise relational unions that are in struggle with his religious convictions.

He wondered if Phillips prevailed "could the baker put a sign in his window, we do not bake cakes for gay weddings?"

Kennedy wondered if that showed a "hostility to religion".

The case pits the religious freedom cases of Jack Phillips, who possesses Masterpiece Cakeshop, against the couple, David Mullins and Charlie Craig, who say Phillips' activities add up to segregation. The city appealed the case, which was denied by the US Supreme Court.

To refuse to sell any t-shirt to a person simply because he is gay would violate the statute, whereas refusing to print a t-shirt which promote a gay lifestyle or activities, for anyone regardless of sexual orientation, is not illegal discrimination.

They fear that if the Supreme Court ultimately sides with Phillips, it will diminish its landmark ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges.

All three sat in the third row of the court's public section for the roughly 85-minute oral argument inside the packed courtroom. "If that's the case, how do you draw a line?"

Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Elena Kagan ticked off other categories of people who are involved in weddings to ask if they, too, might be able to refuse a same-sex couple. "The hair stylist?. The makeup artist?"

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A few onlookers and place holders started holding up in line last Friday to secure one of the uncommon seats open to the general population in the lofty court. But there's more to the MasterpieceCakeshopcase now before the Supreme Court than just cake.

Chief Justice John Roberts said Catholic Legal Services could be forced to provide free representation to a same-sex couple in a marital dispute.

Waggoner contended that a man seeing one of Phillips' custom wedding cakes - his "aesthetic articulation" - would "comprehend that it celebrates and communicates bolster for the couple's marriage".

Colorado is among only 21 states with statewide laws barring discrimination against gays in public accommodations. But the Supreme Court, bolstered in April by the addition of stalwart conservative and fellow Coloradan Neil Gorsuch, could be a different story.

Supporters of Colorado baker Jack Phillips were chanting, "We got Jack's back".

The Democratic National Committee also weighed in on the case, vowing to eventually change the law to recognize same-sex spouses' marriages.

Edie Windsor's attorney in the historic gay marriage case United States v. In 2015, it extended same-sex marriage nationwide.

"It must be emphasized that religions, and those who adhere to religious doctrines, may continue to advocate with utmost, honest conviction that, by divine precepts, same-sex marriage should not be condoned", Kennedy wrote in 2015.

Over the past three months, the high court has been flooded with almost 100 "friend of the court" briefs, equally divided between the two sides.

But during oral arguments on Tuesday, some justices anxious that making an exception for Mr Phillips would allow other businesses to discriminate against same sex couples.

The Supreme Court is taking up the highly anticipated case of the Colorado baker who refused to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple.

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