The Supreme Court ruled Monday in favor of a Colorado baker Jack Phillips, who refused to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple, the ruling being a lesson to the LGBT community that tolerance goes both ways.
“In a 7-2 decision, the justices set aside a Colorado court ruling against the baker — while stopping short of deciding the broader issue of whether a business can refuse to serve gay and lesbian people,” Fox News reported.
The majority opinion was written by Justice Anthony Kennedy, a Reagan appointee who’s frequently the swing justice in cases, with a narrow focus on what was seen as anti-religious bias on the Colorado Civil Rights Commission when it ruled against Phillips, according to Fox News.
“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 two most liberal justices, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor, dissented.
“The reason and motive for the baker’s refusal were based on his sincere religious beliefs and convictions,” Kennedy wrote. “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.”
“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.”
Phillips maintained that he has a choice, based on his religious convictions.
“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,” the baker said last year.
Mat Staver, founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel, said Monday’s ruling “protects that inalienable right to conscience.”
“This is a huge victory for the religious rights private citizens,” he said in a release. “People should not be forced to speak a message that violates their conscience. Just as any person or business should have the right to refuse to promote a KKK event, in the same way no one should be forced to promote a same-sex ceremony that violates their sincerely held religious beliefs.”
Here’s a quick sampling of the responses to the court’s decision from Twitter:
This is a huge win! Take out the fact he was Christian and take out the fact they were gay. You can not force a privately owned company to sell to anyone they don't want too. #Supremecourt https://t.co/Yvys6u5IOo
— Tone Def (@tonytata75) June 4, 2018
@FoxNews Any business has the right to refuse goods and services to anyone with or without cause. https://t.co/nJ5PogG2iV
— D. A. Kelley (@kelley_ph) June 4, 2018
Is this the end of legal terrorism? I hope so! #SCOTUS #ReligiousFreedom https://t.co/Q7K7ZEjR52
— BuckeyeGal (@BuckeyeGalOH) June 4, 2018
This is great news! One of those issues about which praying Americans really asked God to intervene. https://t.co/meE6HwXh31
— Carol Branch (@cbranchingout) June 4, 2018
To be clear :Religious Neutrality is one of the requirements of the Constitution, Religious Freedom is one of the Hallmark of the principles of the Constitution, Tolerance is a Two way streak! Its a Win for Constitutional democracy!
— David Obanyero (@Davidobanyero1) June 4, 2018
Please note the very narrow focus of the decision . Freedom of Religion, not anti-LGBT.
— Stephen Tabb (@Tabb1Tabb) June 4, 2018
Just remember who voted against religious freedom on this one: Democrats pic.twitter.com/XAtnH313fi
— Evan Goodwin (@EvanGN00) June 4, 2018
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