The Supreme Court is preparing to hear and make rulings on a number of cases that will affect domestic life in the U.S., such as a Wisconsin gerrymandering case that could very well have national repercussions and President Trump’s travel ban. Joining those cases on the docket? An appeal from a baker who lost a discrimination case after refusing to sell a wedding cake to a same-sex couple.
In 2012, David Mullins and Charlie Craig tried to buy a cake for their wedding reception from Jack Phillips, one of the owners of Masterpiece Cakeshop in the suburbs of Denver:
Mr. Phillips, who calls himself a cake artist, argued that two parts of the First Amendment — its protections for free expression and religious freedom — overrode a Colorado anti-discrimination law and allowed him to refuse to create a custom wedding cake.
Mullins and Craig filed a complaint against Phillips with the Colorado Civil Rights Commission saying he violated the state’s public accommodations law which prohibits businesses from refusing service to people based on factors like race and sexual identity. The couple won and Phillips lost, but refuses to let this one go. In his Supreme Court brief, Phillips’ faith only allows him “to use his artistic talents to promote only messages that align with his religious beliefs,” which is why he doesn’t make Halloween or atheist cakes, either. The brief closes with that classic defense: Mullins and Craig could’ve gotten a “rainbow” cake from another baker.
According to Jezebel, SCOTUS refused to hear a similar appeal from a photographer who refused to take photos of a lesbian couple’s wedding two years ago (when Scalia was still alive!). Lawyers for the Colorado Civil Rights Commission and the ACLU previously implored SCOTUS to turn down the appeal saying that it could open a “gaping hole” in civil rights laws if businesses could cite religious beliefs to refuse anyone service. Happy Pride week, everyone.