In a 7-2 decision, the Supreme Court ruled Monday in favor of a Colorado baker who refused to make a wedding cake for a gay couple. Despite rulings against the baker all the way through the Colorado court system, the Supreme Court finally ruled in his favor.
In 2012, Jack Phillips, owner of the Masterpiece Cakeshop, told gay couple David Mullins and Charlie Craig that he would not sell them a wedding cake because it went against his Christian beliefs.
“This is an event that goes against my faith,” said Phillips. “It’s not about turning away these customers, it’s about doing a cake for an event – a religious sacred event – that conflicts with my conscience.”
According to Justice Gorsuch, “The Colorado Civil Rights Commission failed to act neutrally toward Jack Phillips’s religious faith.”
“Most notably, the Commission allowed three other bakers to refuse a customer’s request that would have required them to violate their secular commitments,” he continued. “Yet it denied the same accommodation to Mr. Phillips when he refused a customer’s request that would have required him to violate his religious beliefs.”
Justice Gorsuch also pointed out that Phillips did offer to make other baked goods for the couple, including cakes that celebrated other occasions, meaning it was not a total denial of service.
Justice Anthony Kennedy, who eventually sided with Phillips, stated that what occurred was an “affront to the gay community” but also accused the Colorado Civil Rights Commission of exhibiting “hostility toward religion” by being “neither tolerant nor respectful of Mr. Phillips religious beliefs.”
“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,” said Kennedy.
“The reason and motive for the baker’s refusal were based on his sincere religious beliefs and convictions. The Court’s precedents make clear that the baker, in his capacity as the owner of a business serving the public, might have his right to the free exercise of religion limited by generally applicable laws," Kenney wrote.
"Still, the delicate question of when the free exercise of his religion must yield to an otherwise valid exercise of state power needed to be determined in an adjudication in which religious hostility on the part of the State itself would not be a factor in the balance the State sought to reach," he concluded.
Watch CNN's coverage of the Supreme Court case in the video below.