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    The US Supreme Court has ruled in favour of a baker in Colorado who refused to make a wedding cake for a gay couple.
    The Colorado state court had found that baker Jack Phillips' decision to turn away David Mullins and Charlie Craig in 2012 was unlawful discrimination.
    But the Supreme Court ruled on Monday in a 7-2 vote that that decision had violated Mr Phillips' rights.
    The conservative Christian cited his religious beliefs in refusing service.
    Gay rights groups feared a ruling against the couple could set a precedent for treating gay marriages differently from heterosexual unions.
    But the Supreme Court's verdict instead focuses specifically on Mr Phillips' case.
    The decision does not state that florists, photographers, or other services can now refuse to work with gay couples.
    The ruling comes three years after the Supreme Court made same-sex marriage the law of the land in its landmark Obergefell v Hodges decision.

    The US Supreme Court has ruled in favour of a baker in Colorado who refused to make a wedding cake for a gay couple.
    The Colorado state court had found that baker Jack Phillips' decision to turn away David Mullins and Charlie Craig in 2012 was unlawful discrimination.
    But the Supreme Court ruled on Monday in a 7-2 vote that that decision had violated Mr Phillips' rights.
    The conservative Christian cited his religious beliefs in refusing service.
    Gay rights groups feared a ruling against the couple could set a precedent for treating gay marriages differently from heterosexual unions.
    But the Supreme Court's verdict instead focuses specifically on Mr Phillips' case.
    The decision does not state that florists, photographers, or other services can now refuse to work with gay couples.
    The ruling comes three years after the Supreme Court made same-sex marriage the law of the land in its landmark Obergefell v Hodges decision.


    Wrong time, wrong case

    Analysis by Gary O'Donoghue, BBC Washington Correspondent
    For the owner of the Masterpiece bakery, the ruling is unquestionably a victory. But for those on both sides of the argument hoping this case would deliver a definitive constitutional view, there will be disappointment.
    The court was clearly reluctant to take a categorical view at this stage - witness this line from the judgement: "The outcome of cases like this in other circumstances must await further elaboration in the courts," - which means both sides in the general debate live to fight another day.
    The seven-to-two outcome also indicates the justices - four of whom are regarded as more liberal - felt this was neither the time nor the case on which to decide the general constitutional balance between freedom of religious belief and state laws barring businesses from discriminating.
    However, given the harsh words the justices had for the Colorado Civil Rights Commission, many states with similar laws will now be looking carefully at how they prosecute such cases.






    How did the legal action start?

    In July 2012, Mr Mullins and Mr Craig went to Mr Phillips' Masterpiece Cakeshop in Lakewood, near Denver, to order a cake to celebrate their planned marriage in Massachusetts later that year.
    But Mr Phillips refused, saying it was his "standard business practice not to provide cakes for same-sex weddings" as it would amount to endorsing "something that directly goes against" the Bible.
    Instead, he offered them other products, including birthday cakes and biscuits.
    Mr Phillips argued "creative artists" have a right to decide what they sell.
    Colorado is one of 22 states that includes sexual orientation in its anti-discrimination law, which allowed Mr Craig and Mr Mullins to win their case before the state's Civil Rights Commission.






    Which Justices disagreed with the ruling?

    Liberal Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor were the two dissenting votes.
    "Phillips would not sell to Craig and Mullins, for no reason other than their sexual orientation, a cake of the kind he regularly sold to others," Justice Ginsburg wrote.
    "What matters is that Phillips would not provide a good or service to a same-sex couple that he would provide to a hetereosexual couple."
    Justice Ginsburg did not agree with the finding that the Commission acted unfairly.
    She cited "several layers of independent decisionmaking of which the Colorado Civil Rights Commission was but one" in the state case.







    Is this an issue elsewhere?

    A similar 'gay cake' row is ongoing in Northern Ireland.
    The Supreme Court in Belfast has yet to release an opinion on a lower court ruling that found the owners of a bakery discriminated against a gay activist for refusing to bake a cake with the slogan "Support Gay Marriage".


    The row began in May 2014, when gay activist Gareth Lee placed an order for a cake with the gay marriage slogan.
    Two days later, the Christian-owned Ashers bakery cancelled the order saying it "would contradict their religious beliefs". Mr Lee subsequently took legal action.



    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-44361162
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    A business should be able to turn away customers for any reason they like so I’m definitely in favour of this decision
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    I believe Christianity to be morally abhorrent, can I refuse to serve Christians?
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    (Original post by Axiomasher)
    I believe Christianity to be morally abhorrent, can I refuse to serve Christians?
    You should certainly be allowed to.
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    (Original post by Axiomasher)
    I believe Christianity to be morally abhorrent, can I refuse to serve Christians?
    Sure, I can always shop somewhere else and we'd both happily move on with our lives. I'm guessing the baker was unnecessarily harsh to the couple which is why there's been so much backlash but imo unless (s)he was the only baker for 10 miles I don't see why such a huge deal is still being made over it 6 whole years later.
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    If you read the judgement in this case, the rationale is really dumb though. The court has a really odd rationale - that this whole thing hinges on the original order being biased ab initio. It suggests that the Colorado Civil Rights Commission was not a neutral arbitrator. This would suggest that everything would be ok, if the CCRC had been neutral.
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    (Original post by Underscore__)
    A business should be able to turn away customers for any reason they like so I’m definitely in favour of this decision
    *Any* reason?

    What if this baker didn't want <insert any race here> customers?
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    (Original post by Trinculo)
    You should certainly be allowed to.
    What do you think the Supreme Court would say though?
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    (Original post by Drewski)
    *Any* reason?

    What if this baker didn't want black customers?
    Obviously that would be a discriminatory act if they had refused on the basis of ethnicity, but this was not the case in this instance.

    However, in the U.S. constitution you have this idea of free religious expression. The government cannot force the baker to make the wedding cake for a gay wedding as it goes against their religious beliefs (i.e., certain interpretations of the bible does not allow for homosexual marriage).

    Now in this case, you either remove the religious freedom rights that the bakery owner has and the government forces him/her to make the cake for the couple or the couple can just go find another bakery that will make the cake for them. I know which option I'd choose.
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    This was just a narrow decision (i.e. narrow in scope) on the lower court’s treatment of the one case, It’s not a ruling on the ability to discriminate. It doesn’t matter.
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    I think the UKSC and the SCOTUS have both put themselves in positions where it's very difficult. They're trying to avoid creating a hierarchy of interests, and in doing so creating a hierarchy of interests. You certainly wouldn't be allowed to have a sign that says "no Christians allowed".This is the problem - where there is clash of freedoms, it's impossible to pick a winner - surely the better thing is to not have clash of freedoms?For example - let's say you have a religion that says you will not associate with Christians, and you sincerely hold that belief. If you have a shop and refuse to serve Christians, you are breaking the law by holding to your religious beliefs. The courts have to weigh your freedom to exercise your religion against religious discrimination law.Surely the better thing is to say - in a commercial sense, you can serve who you like.
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    You shouldn't be compelled to serve someone for any reason, other than if a contract was signed of course. It's perfectly right for the law to tell people what they cannot do, eg don't put up signs saying 'no black customers', but to tell people they can't not serve someone? No, I am a free individual, me not doing something should be perfectly legal.
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    somehow I can't imagine the people here defending this guy, would still defend him if the guy was a Muslim
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    (Original post by Trinculo)
    I think the UKSC and the SCOTUS have both put themselves in positions where it's very difficult. They're trying to avoid creating a hierarchy of interests, and in doing so creating a hierarchy of interests. You certainly wouldn't be allowed to have a sign that says "no Christians allowed".This is the problem - where there is clash of freedoms, it's impossible to pick a winner - surely the better thing is to not have clash of freedoms?For example - let's say you have a religion that says you will not associate with Christians, and you sincerely hold that belief. If you have a shop and refuse to serve Christians, you are breaking the law by holding to your religious beliefs. The courts have to weigh your freedom to exercise your religion against religious discrimination law.Surely the better thing is to say - in a commercial sense, you can serve who you like.
    A religion that stated not to associate with a certain demographic of people would not be allowed to exist in the West because that goes against our fundamental values.

    The gay couple wanting the cake have the freedom to shop elsewhere for their cake. However, they do not have the freedom to force someone else to do something for them if it goes against their Christian beliefs.
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    (Original post by Cubone-r)
    A religion that stated not to associate with a certain demographic of people would not be allowed to exist in the West because that goes against our fundamental values.
    Depends on how narrowly you define "associate" as we certainly do have such sects.

    The gay couple wanting the cake have the freedom to shop elsewhere for their cake. However, they do not have the freedom to force someone else to do something for them if it goes against their Christian beliefs.
    They don't have the freedom to do it -they have the force of law to do it.
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    Unfortunately the correct result and will always be so as long as we follow the absurdity of the legal and social requirement of "respecting people's religious beliefs."
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    (Original post by Trinculo)
    Depends on how narrowly you define "associate" as we certainly do have such sects.


    They don't have the freedom to do it -they have the force of law to do it.
    Very true, but if you go into a Kebab shop they won't refuse you service on the basis of your ethnicity. If they did, then that would be against UK discrimination law.

    Not according to US law as we're seeing. It's more of a merkier area - but I can see why the Supreme Court ruled the way it did; the government shouldn't be able to force anyone to do anything. It's all about that 'Murican freedom over there.

    Do you prevent the bakery owner from being able to express their religious freedom which is protected in the US constitution or do you believe that the rights of the couple should trump those religious freedom rights and the government should force the bakery to make the cake for an event that goes against their religious beliefs? It's a tricky one but I think the Supreme Court made the correct the decision.
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    (Original post by MJ1012)
    Unfortunately the correct result and will always be so as long as we follow the absurdity of the legal and social requirement of "respecting people's religious beliefs."
    It's not as simple as that, religious freedom is protected under the US Constitution.
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    what about if you wanted a Swastika Cake ?

    the Swastika is a venerated symbol of Good Fortune in various Eastern Religions.
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    Political Ambassador
    (Original post by Axiomasher)
    I believe Christianity to be morally abhorrent, can I refuse to serve Christians?
    Yes you can. That is what is called Freedom. Freedom should not be to your benefit and my detriment.
 
 
 
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