Supreme Court takes on new clash of gay rights, religion


The owner of the Masterpiece Cakeshop, whose case involving his denial to make a cake for a gay couple was taken up by the U.S. Supreme Court Monday after being declined almost a dozen times, says the lower court's decision, which will now be argued in front of the nation's highest court, has caused him to lose business and that he's received threats. He was ordered to make cakes for homosexual newlyweds and to file reports for two years to show that he was abiding by anti-discrimination laws.

Celestino-Horseman admits that the Pavan v. Smith decision isn't a guarantee that the appeals court will rule in favor of her clients, but says the case should carry some weight in their opinion.

Either way, a ruling is certain to have massive legal and cultural implications, and it may prove to be a landmark ruling similar to that of Roe v. Wade, with the ramifications being felt long into the future.

Continued Lynn, "Religious freedom - the right to believe or not as you see fit - is a fundamental American value".

The couple, David Mullins and Charlie Craig, then filed a civil rights complaint in Colorado.

Another piece of LGBTQ-related news to come out of the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday: A ruling in favor of same-sex couples was handed down in the case of Pavan v. Smith, which concluded that states can not legally treat same-sex couples different from their heterosexual counterparts when it comes to issuing birth certificates to their children.

The Supreme Court on Monday said it will consider next term whether a Denver baker unlawfully discriminated against a gay couple by refusing to sell them a wedding cake.

"The Arkansas Supreme Court's decision, we conclude, denied married same-sex couples access to the 'constellation of benefits that the state has linked to marriage, '" the court said Friday.

In other so-called religious conscience cases, the Supreme Court has on two recent occasions ruled on Christian objections to the contraception coverage requirement that was part of the Obamacare health law. In this case, Phillips says, he felt that baking the cake would make him an active participant in a gay wedding-something he opposes because of his Christian beliefs.

ADF General Counsel Michael Farris echoed those sentiments, saying it was likely the court would start hearings in the late fall.

'Legal arguments trying to win new religious rights to reject customers easily can open the floodgates of religiously motivated discrimination.

Lower courts ruled Masterpiece Cakeshop owner Jack Phillips violated Colorado's public accommodations law that bans refusing services to customers based on race, sex, marital status or sexual orientation.

So if a state helps to pay for new playground equipment, that subsidy can not be denied to a religious school on the shaky ground of "separation of church and state".

"The Supreme Court's ruling only limited the venue in which the state of Colorado can be sued for the harm done to New Mexico children, families and businesses", AG's office spokesman James Hallinan said. U.S. District Court Judge Tanya Walton Pratt ruled the law as unconstitutional a year ago. The state Department of Health said it will take information from same-sex couples who want to amend a birth certificate, but was waiting on guidance from the state's high court.

Both Mullins and Craig, the couple who were denied the service by Phillips, also spoke following Monday's decision.

After all, the court is pretty well decided on this case, except for Kennedy.