On Monday the Supreme Court sided 7-2 with Jack Phillips, a Colorado baker who has since 2012 been caught up in a legal whirlwind over his decision not to bake a cake for a same-sex wedding due to his Christian beliefs about marriage. The male couple decided to file charges of discrimination against Phillips with the Colorado Civil Rights Commission. The Supreme Court ruled that the Commission violated Phillips’ rights under the free exercise clause of the First Amendment.
In the majority opinion, Justice Kennedy noted that the Commission’s handling of the baker’s case “showed elements of a clear and impermissible hostility toward the sincere religious beliefs motivating his objection. As the record shows, some of the commissioners at the Commission’s formal, public hearings endorsed the view that religious beliefs cannot legitimately be carried into the public sphere or commercial domain, disparaged Phillips’ faith as despicable and characterized it as merely rhetorical, and compared his invocation of his sincerely held religious beliefs to defenses of slavery and the Holocaust.”
Phillips’ attorney and president of the legal nonprofit Alliance Defending Freedom Michael Farris said of the case, “Justice Kennedy has held that tolerance is a two-way street, and Jack Phillips was not tolerated by the Civil Rights Commission of Colorado.”
You can read the Court’s full Opinion on Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission here.