Justices side with Colorado baker on same-sex wedding cake

Posted: Updated:

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Supreme Court ruled narrowly Monday for a Colorado baker who wouldn't make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple. But the court is not deciding the big issue in the case, whether a business can invoke religious objections to refuse service to gay and lesbian people.
 
The justices' limited ruling turned on what the court described as anti-religious bias on the Colorado Civil Rights Commission when it ruled against baker Jack Phillips. The justices voted 7-2 that the commission violated Phillips' rights under the First Amendment.
 
Justice Anthony Kennedy said in his majority opinion that the issue "must await further elaboration." Appeals in similar cases are pending, including one at the Supreme Court from a florist who didn't want to provide flowers for a same-sex wedding.
 
The same-sex couple at the heart of the case, Charlie Craig and Dave Mullins, complained to the Colorado commission in 2012 after they visited Phillips' shop in suburban Denver and the baker quickly told them he would not create a cake for a same-sex wedding.
 
Colorado law prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, and the commission concluded that Phillips' refusal violated the law. Colorado state courts upheld the determination.
 
But when the justices heard arguments in December, Kennedy was plainly bothered by comments by a commission member. The commissioner seemed "neither tolerant nor respectful of Mr. Phillips' religious beliefs," Kennedy said in December.
 
That same sentiment suffused his opinion on Monday. "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," he wrote.
 
Liberal justices Stephen Breyer and Elena Kagan joined the conservative justices in the outcome. Kagan wrote separately to emphasize the limited ruling.
 
Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor dissented.

(Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

6/4/2018 10:48:06 AM (GMT -4:00)

  • SlideshowsSlideshowsMore>>

  • The 'worst toys' for the holidays, according to safety group

    The 'worst toys' for the holidays, according to safety group

    Tuesday, November 13 2018 6:35 PM EST2018-11-13 23:35:07 GMT

    A Black Panther “slash claw” and a plastic Power Rangers sword are among the items topping a consumer safety group’s annual list of worst toys for the holiday season.

    A Black Panther “slash claw” and a plastic Power Rangers sword are among the items topping a consumer safety group’s annual list of worst toys for the holiday season.

  • Deadly wildfire devastates Northern California town

    Deadly wildfire devastates Northern California town

    The Northern California wildfire has killed at least 42 people, making it the deadliest in state history.

    The Northern California wildfire has killed at least 42 people, making it the deadliest in state history.

  • Just Married on Long Island

    Just Married on Long Island

    News 12 Long Island wants to announce your wedding. Share your pictures and videos with News 12 Long Island viewers!

    News 12 Long Island wants to announce your wedding. Share your pictures and videos with News 12 Long Island viewers!

sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 20 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login or create an account to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to news12.com while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."