Supreme Court hears Christian baker’s case
by Evan Wilt
Posted 12/05/17, 10:42 am
WASHINGTON—The U.S. Supreme Court is hearing oral arguments Tuesday morning in a landmark case that will determine the extent of religious liberty for business owners asked to participate in same-sex weddings. Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission began in July 2012, when Dave Mullins and Charlie Craig went to Masterpiece Cakeshop in Lakewood, Colo., to buy a wedding cake for their same-sex ceremony. Jack Phillips, the shop’s owner, said he could sell the couple a cake but would not help design one specifically for the ceremony because it would violate his Christian faith. The couple sued Phillips, pointing to a Colorado anti-discrimination law that bars public businesses from refusing customers because of their sexual orientation. Alliance Defending Freedom took on Phillips’ case, and attorney Kristen Waggoner plans to argue that designing a custom cake counts as speech—forcing Phillips to craft something to convey a message he does not agree with would violate the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Wedding service providers across the country, including bakers, florists, photographers, and venue operators, have faced legal challenges over their decisions not to service same-sex ceremonies. The ACLU and the Human Rights Campaign, the largest LGBT activist group in the United States, organized protests outside the court Tuesday morning, while supporters of religious liberty protections gathered there to pray. Dozens of people camped outside as early as Sunday night to reserve a place in the public viewing section for Tuesday’s arguments.
See Emily Belz’s report on Tuesday’s arguements before the Supreme Court.
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Evan is a reporter for WORLD Digital based in Washington, D.C.