The court will review a 2012 Colorado court decision that found self-proclaimed "cake artist" Jack Phillips of Masterpiece Cakeshop illegally discriminated against David Mullins and Charlie Craig when he refused to make a cake for their 2012 nuptials, citing his staunch Christian beliefs. They'd planned to marry in MA, since same-sex marriage wasn't legal nationwide at the time, and hold a reception in Colorado. According to the bakery owners, they have a religious objection to marriage equality and baking a cake that celebrated a same-sex couple violated their First Amendment religious free exercise and speech rights. The state court had ruled that refusing to serve the couple violated the state's public accommodations law, which bans such discrimination.
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The U.S. Supreme Court said Monday that it will hear Jack Phillips' lawsuit challenging Colorado anti-discrimination laws.
"There are a number of artists across this nation who are being coerced into violating their religious convictions or having to choose between their right to create artistic expression that is consistent with their faith", Alliance Defending Freedom attorney Kristen Waggoner told me.
The justices on Monday left in place an appeals court ruling that upheld the San Diego sheriff's strict limits on issuing permits for concealed weapons. "All of us cherish the American promise of religious freedom as protected under the U.S. Constitution, but that doesn't give anyone the right to discriminate against others". The brief closes with that classic defense: Mullins and Craig could've gotten a "rainbow" cake from another baker.
The legal dispute goes back to 2012 - when Colorado allowed same-sex civil union but not gay marriage.
Southwest Florida LGBT activist Stephanie Burns said she will be watching the Supreme Court case closely. The Supreme Court turned away appeals in all three cases.
One of the sponsors of the legislation, now-House Republican Leader Patrick Neville of Castle Rock, said, "As Americans, we cherish our fundamental rights to free speech and freedom of religion".
The high court was previously slated to hear the case of Gavin Grimm, the trans teen suing his Virginia school district for the right to use the men's bathroom, but later chose to send the case back to the lower court.
Twenty-two states have anti-discrimination laws that, in some form, protect gay people.