Franklin Graham: Bakery Ruling 'Huge Win for Religious Freedom'

Franklin Graham: Bakery Ruling 'Huge Win for Religious Freedom'

Jack Phillip wouldn't bake for David Mullins and Charlie Craig in 2012, prompting lengthy court action.

"The laws and the Constitution can, and in some instances must, protect gay persons and gay couples in the exercise of their civil rights, but religious and philosophical objections to gay marriage are protected views and in some instances protected forms of expression", the ruling says.

CNN Supreme Court analyst Steve Vladeck said that with the many different Constitutional questions in this case remaining largely unanswered, the decision was ultimately less meaningful than previously expected.

During oral argument in December, Kennedy and other conservative justices had expressed concern about the potential effect on other merchants with strong religious objections to same-sex marriage, from chefs to florists.

In fact, it is at the heart of the travel ban case, which the Supreme Court will decide sometime this month, although the government has argued that it shouldn't be.

Phillips, who had previously served gays without incident, refused to bake and decorate one special cake to celebrate a same-sex marriage.

The Supreme Court's majority opinion said the Colorado Civil Rights Commission had been biased against Mr Phillips.

The case has similarities to a Colorado baker's case decided by the high court Monday, in a 7-2 decision. They were married in MA because same-sex marriage was not yet legal in Colorado. Colorado state courts upheld the determination. It's only based on a ruling that the Colorado Civil Rights Commission was biased in its own findings. "Do cake bakers now have the legal right to refuse service to interracial couples if that violates their religious beliefs?"

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Liberal justices Stephen Breyer and Elena Kagan joined the conservative justices in the outcome.

The view that marriage is the union of a man and a woman, Kennedy wrote in that ruling, "has been held-and continues to be held-in good faith by reasonable and honest people here and throughout the world".

Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor dissented. Despite his pro-gay marriage judicial work, Kennedy is a staunch advocate for free speech and religious freedom. While there was "much in the Court's opinion" that she agreed with, she wrote: "I strongly disagree, however, with the Court's conclusion that Craig and Mullins should lose this case".

President Donald Trump's administration intervened in the case in support of Phillips.

The baker told Today that he also refuses to make Halloween cakes because of his religious beliefs. "Do not treat them different than you do others that bring their perspectives into the public arena'".

"Slavery in America was defended on religious grounds for 240 years because 'it's in the Bible, '" said Peace House Director Nathaniel Batchelder in an email Monday.

"The biggest thing we want people to take away from this is that today's verdict does not invalidate Colorado's anti-discrimination act", Mullins said. Waggoner said her client can resume his refusal to make cakes for same-sex marriages without fear of a new legal fight. At the end of a footnote in which she pretends not to know of any symbolic meaning to a wedding cake, to the point where it is doubtful she would be able to identify one if she saw it, she concludes merely that "Phillips points to no case in which this Court has suggested the provision of a baked good might be expressive conduct".

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