Wedding cake case heads to Supreme Court


They wrote that the Arkansas Supreme Court's decision denied married same-sex couples access to the "constellation of benefits" that the state has linked to marriage.

"Now that the Supreme Court has agreed to hear the Masterpiece Cakeshop case, this ruling could have a significant impact throughout the country regarding businesses being forced to go against the owner's sincerely held religious beliefs", said Matt Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel. The Colorado Supreme Court declined to take the case after the state's Court of Appeals affirmed a Colorado Civil Rights Commission decision from May 2014.

The justices will review a federal appeals court's ruling a year ago that the 2014 New Jersey statute permitting sports betting at casinos and racetracks violated a 1992 federal law that prohibits such gambling in all states except Nevada, Delaware, Montana and Oregon. "Like the one in Colorado will result in kind-hearted Americans being dragged before state commissions and courts, and punished by the government for peacefully seeking to live and work consistent with their beliefs about marriage?"

"The law is squarely on Dave and Charlie's side because when businesses are open to the public, they're supposed to be open to everyone", said James Esseks, director of the ACLU's LGBT Project.

"The Arkansas decision was an outlier in that regard and I'm very hopeful now that the U.S. Supreme Court has reversed the Arkansas Supreme Court that other state supreme courts will understand that the law really does require equal treatment of same sex married parents", Minter said. Potentially, it could sweep even more broadly, opening a religious exemption to civil rights laws that could allow discrimination against other groups.

But Craig and Mullins claim they were discriminated against by the baker for his refusal to bake a cake for them in 2012. Both are enshrined in the First Amendment. They filed separate cases contesting the relevant federal law, and their cases were eventually combined into one at the Third U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Pennsylvania.

Justices Clarence Thomas and Neil Gorsuch said the court should have reviewed the appellate ruling. A marriage between a Muslim man and woman, or an atheist man and woman, would still be marriage between a man and a woman.

Phillips was told that if he wants to keep making wedding cakes, he needs to make them for everybody.

The Los Angeles Times reported that Phillips' lawyers characterized him as a "cake artist" who will "not create cakes celebrating any marriage that is contrary to his understanding of biblical teaching". That apparently had not mattered to Phillips. "Maybe there are now votes to reverse", he said.