Supreme Court sides with baker who turned away gay couple

HIGH STAKES The U.S. Supreme Court could decide some blockbuster cases today as the term nears its end. AP file

HIGH STAKES The U.S. Supreme Court could decide some blockbuster cases today as the term nears its end. AP file

Plenty of gay rights supporters expressed their displeasure outside the high court, with some saying they resent this being described as a religious rights case.

Liberal justices Stephen Breyer and Elena Kagan joined the conservative justices in the outcome. Justice Anthony Kennedy writing for the court said: "It is a general rule that [religious] objections do not allow business owners and other actors in the economy and in society to deny protected persons equal access to goods and services under a neutral and generally applicable [anti-discrimination] law'". "These disputes must be resolved with tolerance, without undue disrespect to honest religious beliefs, and without subjecting gay persons to indignities when they seek goods and services in an open market".

And while the court's decision strongly affirms the principle that states have a compelling interest in enforcing anti-discrimination laws, including those that cover LGBT people, most states do not have those laws.

"These cases are not about challenging the fact that the Supreme Court just a few years ago, legalized same sex marriage".

President Donald Trump's administration intervened in the case in support of Phillips. "That isn't freedom or tolerance", Phillips said in a statement.

Ginsburg agreed with Kennedy's assertions that same-sex couples should be spared "indignities when they seek goods and services in an open market".

Alliance Defending Freedom attorney Kristen Waggoner said the court's ruling did not address the free speech issues in Phillips' case, but that it did issue a broad ruling on religious freedom.

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Putin also congratulated Assad on the "successes of the Syrian government's army in the fight against terrorist groups". Its military support not only ensured the survival of Assad's regime but also changed the course of the war.

Monday, in a resounding 7-2 ruling, the Supreme Court affirmed that the government can not crush your freedom unless they're really nice about it.

"The supreme court ruling indicates that the government must not treat Jack Phillips with hostility because of his religious beliefs", said Stephani Liesmaki, a spokesperson for MNFC.

The Supreme Court justices' limited ruling turned on what the court described as anti-religious bias on that commission when it ruled against Phillips.

At stake in the case, said the Conference of Catholics Bishops, was "the freedom to live according to one's religious beliefs in daily life".

Phillips had argued that he refused to serve the couple, David Mullins and Charlie Craig, when they walked into his shop in 2012 because he opposed their planned marriage on religious grounds.

In July 2012, Mr Mullins and Mr Craig went to Mr Phillips' Masterpiece Cakeshop in Lakewood, near Denver, to order a cake to celebrate their planned marriage in MA later that year. That question, which some advocates had hoped would be answered with the Supreme Court case this session, will have to wait for another case.

The ACLU, representing Mullins and Craig, said they never discussed with Phillips what kind of design, if any, they wanted on their cake, diminishing his claim that his freedom of expression was at stake. "This decision makes clear that the government must respect Jack's beliefs about marriage". Phillips and others like him who believe that gay marriage is inconsistent with their Christian beliefs have said they should not be required to effectively endorse the practice. As a result, the decision did not resolve whether other opponents of same-sex marriage, such as florists and photographers, can refuse commercial wedding services to gay couples.

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