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The ‘Splainer: A wedding cake for the Supreme Court

Photo courtesy of Joel Kramer/Flickr, Creative Commons

(RNS) Sometimes a wedding cake is just delicious. And sometimes it is a First Amendment football.

In its new term, which began Monday (Oct. 2), the Supreme Court, will hear Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, a.k.a. “the cake case.” It stems from 2012, when two gay men visited a Lakewood, Colo., bakery in search of a wedding cake. The owner-baker, who is Christian, turned them away. The case has been in court ever since.

U.S. Chief Justice John Roberts, seated center, leads, in front row left to right, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Justice Anthony Kennedy, Justice Clarence Thomas and Justice Stephen Breyer, and, in back row left to right, Justice Elena Kagan, Justice Samuel Alito, Justice Sonia Sotomayor and Justice Neil Gorsuch in taking a new family photo including Gorsuch, their most recent addition, at the Supreme Court building in Washington, D.C., on June 1, 2017. Photo courtesy of Reuters/Jonathan Ernst

What argument will each side make? Will this be another landmark decision? And when is a cake not just a decadent dessert but an expression of deeply held religious beliefs? Let us ‘Splain …

What are the facts of the case?

In 2012, David Mullins and Charlie Craig, a Denver gay couple, wanted a wedding cake from Masterpiece Cakeshop. Jack Phillips, owner and baker, refused, saying to do so would violate his deeply held Christian beliefs. The couple filed discrimination charges against Phillips and won before the Colorado Civil Rights Commission and in the state courts.

In this March 13, 2014, photo, Dave Mullins, left, and his husband, Charlie Craig, play cards and talk after a workday, at their home in Westminster, Colo. The couple filed a legal complaint with the Colorado Civil Rights Commission against Denver-area baker Jack Phillips, who refused to make a wedding cake for the two men, based on his religious beliefs. Phillips, the owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop, is appealing a 2013 ruling by a judge that upheld the complaint and orders the baker to serve gay couples despite his religious beliefs or face fines. AP Photo/Brennan Linsley

What will the baker argue?

Phillips’ lawyers have argued that two of his First Amendment rights — freedom of religion and freedom of expression — were violated. They lost. Pundits predict Phillips’ attorneys will emphasize the freedom of expression angle before the Supreme Court.

In this March 10, 2014, photo, Masterpiece Cakeshop owner Jack Phillips decorates a cake inside his store in Lakewood, Colo. Phillips is appealing a recent ruling against him in a legal complaint filed with the Colorado Civil Rights Commission by a gay couple who sought a wedding cake from him after he refused, based on his religious beliefs. AP Photo/Brennan Linsley

They say this is because the expression argument — Phillips considers himself an artist who expresses himself through baked goods — is stronger than the religion argument.

To win under the religion argument, Phillips’ lawyers would have to prove that Colorado’s anti-discrimination laws are not religiously neutral — that they “burden” people of one particular faith. But the courts, in the past, have upheld those laws as neutral.

So the freedom of expression angle may be stronger. Phillips’ lawyers may argue his cakes are a form of art and art is a form of speech, so the law cannot compel him to make a speech — or a cake — supporting gay marriage.

David Cortman, one Phillips’s lawyers, told The New York Times, “Every American should be free to choose which art they will create and which art they won’t create without fear of being unjustly punished by the government.”

What will the couple argue?

The couple’s lawyers don’t buy the cake-is-speech thing. They say Phillips is discriminating against them the way some businesses would discriminate against blacks and other minorities, refusing to serve them or sell to them.

Who is gonna win?

Some legal scholars say Phillips can take hope from the court’s 2010 ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, which established that corporations have free speech rights. And there is long legal precedent that prohibits the government from compelling speech.

“It seems clear that a pro-life baker could not be forced by the state to provide a cake for a Planned Parenthood office party with the inscription ‘Pro-Choice,'” Eric Segall, a law professor at Georgia State University writes on SCOTUSblog. “Whether Phillips’ wedding cakes are communicative enough to warrant similar protection, or whether Colorado’s interest in fighting discrimination against gays and lesbians is compelling enough to override that protection, are difficult questions, but they relate exclusively to free speech, not religion.”

The couple have precedents on their side, too. They highlight one 50-year-old case where a South Carolina restaurant argued it could turn away African-American customers because its owner had a religious objection to mixing races. The owner claimed its barbecue sauce was a form of artistic expression. He lost.

Former U.S. Solicitor General Gregory Garre commended Phillips’ lawyers for “an effective job of converting a gay marriage case into a test of free speech.”

“But on the other side,” he told NPR, “is a very exceptionally compelling narrative of our history as a society, the public accommodations law, sort of the crown jewels of the Supreme Court’s civil rights decisions.”

What to watch for?

All eyes should be on Justice Anthony Kennedy. At 81, Kennedy is the longest-serving, second oldest justice on the court and is a conservative — except when he’s not.

Kennedy has sided with the court’s more liberal justices on several landmark cases, as he did in Obergefell v. Hodges, the 2015 decision that made same-sex marriage the law of the land. But he also sided with the conservative judges in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, a ruling that the Christian-owned chain of craft stores could deny contraception coverage.

Several of his law clerks have speculated Kennedy will soon retire and may be mindful of his legacy. “This is a case where we are likely to have a court of one: Justice Kennedy,” Garre said.

The Supreme Court will likely hear oral arguments in December and issue a decision by June 2018.

About the author

Kimberly Winston

Kimberly Winston is a freelance religion reporter based in the San Francisco Bay Area.

181 Comments

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  • Dead in the water for the bakery. Kennedy is the swing vote and gay rights has been his building legacy. The only reason it got to SCOTUS was the anti gay lobby pushing hard for appeal.

    But the free speech argument is pretty dire here and you will find even supporters of the baker don’t really buy it. They know it’s really just about denying services and goods to gays out if petty spite.

  • I would prefer the original reason, Christ disapproves be used as a defence, and have read why they chose not to go that route. Sad, “Christ disapproves”, should be the only reason necessary to not be forced to override Christ’s desires.

  • The Civil Rights Act of 1964 expressly forbids discrimination on the basis of religious belief in public accommodations. Every one will lose actual religious freedom if the religious dominionists win this one.

  • The FIRST Amendment.

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or
    prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of
    speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to
    assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances

  • I’m sure that would please you.
    Those laws are no longer valid. The Civil Rights Act still is.

  • True. I would like to see children protected from immorality. It may also help people to not commit the immorality and live normal lives, Ben. Seems children are not the only ones who need to be protected.

  • I’d like a world where people could make a space to actually be tolerant. Want to get married. Great. Don’t want to contribute to it. OK.

  • Thanks ason…..I would prefer a world where people will end up in Heaven and not have to experience the horrors awaiting some.

  • – I didn’t write that. At one time in our recent past, laws were based on what Christ taught. It is only in the present that we are moving away from that.
    A theocracy – here would be difficult indeed, as we all sin, but, when we are glorified and with Christ, it will be much easier.
    My comment is predominantly, I would prefer people wanted to please Christ, more than themselves.

  • If you are in the business of baking wedding cakes then you are obligated to serve all. Should the baker win, another baker who disapproves of intrracial marriages would be free to discriminate against those couples.

    Citing Citizens United to justify the baker’s case shows again why Citizens United was a terrible ruling.

  • The first amendment does not permit people to harm others in the name of their beliefs. Discrimination in open commerce is a tangible harm to customers and considered a public harm

    The Court has repeatedly demonstrated it does not apply to such harmful behavior as:
    -Refusing to give medical treatment to one’s children
    -Human sacrifice
    -Burning crosses on people’s lawns (without their permission)
    -Refusing service to people in public accomodations

  • Then please don’t have children and don’t try to teach them. I can think of no greater abuse and harm than to let you near any.

  • “Don’t want to contribute to it”?

    Spare me the dishonest euphemisms.

    We are talking about vendors selling goods and services in open commerce. They are transacting business to the general public, not “contributing” to anything. If they want to say, “we don’t serve your kind here” like any other discriminatory bigot, they can do their business in less open venues. Word of mouth business, membership clubs, limited venue advertising…

  • Kennedy dealt with this issue more or less about 20 years ago.
    https://www.oyez.org/cases/1995/94-1039
    “Justice Anthony Kennedy noted that oftentimes a law will be sustained under the equal protection clause, even if it seems to disadvantage a specific group, so long as it can be shown to “advance a legitimate government interest.” Amendment 2, by depriving persons of equal protection under the law due to their sexual orientation failed to advance such a legitimate interest. Justice Kennedy concluded: “If the constitutional conception of ‘equal protection of the laws’ means anything, it must at the very least mean that a bare desire to harm a politically unpopular group cannot constitute a legitimate governmental interest.””

  • If all one has to do is declare that the work they do is “art” (and thus protected by free-speech), it would open a gigantic loophole in our Civil Rights laws that would make them essentially meaningless and unenforceable.

    If the Supreme Court buys that argument, then why couldn’t a restaurant owner (once again) declare his food as “art” and decline to sell it to black people? Or a business owner declaring his product as “art” and decline to employ women to help him make it?

    Why do Evangelical Christians always ask to be exempt from the laws in this country? They’ve always got a reason for why they should get an exception to general laws (like non-discrimination laws) that everyone else has to follow.

  • In other words, Gay Goliath wants it all. Always has, always will. No space for constitutional religious freedoms, period. No space for Christians.

    Don’t know who will win or lose this one case, but Christians will have to continue fighting Goliath either way.

    No more compromises, no more Neville Chamberlain co-operation, with this evil.
    Gotta fight Goliath or bow down to him, and bowing down just **absolutely** ain’t gonna work.

  • Gay Goliath? That’s a new one. Clearly your understanding of history is lacking. And math, for that matter. Gays are a minority oppressed by the Christian majority for basically all of this country’s history, save for the last few years.

  • Masterpiece Cakeshop has already met your stated requirement, (treating gay customers like human beings), except that YOUR only way to meet that requirement is for all Christians to be forced to participate in gay weddings/receptions and thereby have their own constitutional religious freedoms repealed.
    Gay Goliath loves you for it. True blue, thru & thru.

    But I’m pointing to something else.
    This important case is NOT the end of the story, that’s what I’m getting at. Goliath ain’t going home and giving up, even if he loses this historic USSC case. Not legally, not politically, and most of all not spiritually. So it’s up to us Christians not to go home and give up either.

  • The court may agree with you. It may not. I stand for the clear rights enshrouded in the Constitution. Freedom of religion. Don’t like it, there is a process for amending it. But I took an oath to stand up for the Constitution and defend it.

  • “Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission” is a good step in the right direction. Hopefully we will continue to see steady progress towards overturning those nasty ugly laws that force gay “marriage” (perversion and immorality) on society. Parents who love their children deplore so-called gay “marriage” and all the garbage that surrounds it.

  • Citizens United probably isn’t all that important here because the baker was sued in his individual capacity as well, not just the corporate Masterpiece Cakeshop entity.

  • And if a vendor states that “Christ disapproves” making a cake for an interracial wedding, are you okay with that?

  • The article left out one very pertinent fact, one that may lead the Christian right to “lose the battle but win the war.” It is undisputed that the couple here was denied service once the baker found out they were a gay couple getting married (they arrived at the cakeshop with one of their mothers). There was no discussion of the type of cake. In other words, the couple did not ask for any kind of design, much less something like the rainbow cake featured above. It’s quite a thing for the baker to claim that his “art” is compelled speech when he was never asked to create any art. Nevertheless, I think the Court may make some kind of law here to the effect that some vendors may be “artists” for such purposes and their art may be not compelled under the First Amendment.

  • “We don’t serve your kind” is treating people well and proper? Good luck with that.

    I am sure you feel sympathetic to anyone who does it to you. 🙂

    If they didn’t want to cater to all customers walking in with reasonable requests for items they normally sell, then they shouldn’t open a store to the public.

    As for continuing to find avenues to discriminate, it’s telling Christian bigots fall back on age the old tactics they used to fight desegregation. You merely prove that bigots don’t ever really get better. They just look for new targets to hate. It’s ironic you use the same arguments and support the same actions used by people who considered you subhuman.

  • Dear Arbustin,
    I love my children and do not want them to be sodomized because I know that would destroy their lives and harm our family. I am distraught when I see other people’s children being flagrantly and legally sodomized, I hope that never happens to your children.

  • Then stop sodomizing your children. Problem solved. You can stop trying to throw people off the trail by blaming gays for it.

  • Forget about “art.” The purpose of gay marriage is to somehow force society to accept and embrace all forms of sexual immorality and perverse decadence. Gay marriage is evil and a deviant methodology intended to abuse children.

  • “Art” is the essence of this case and its relation to wedding cakes and free speech is the reason it’s at the Supreme Court. The legality of gay marriage has already been decided.

  • Spuddie,
    For the record, I do not sodomize my children nor anyone else. Sodomy is the nemesis of homosexuals and those who support gay marriage.

    Question – Is is normal for young men to practice sodomy? What about young ladies? What about older women like mothers and aunts? If gay males sodomize females are they still gay?

  • The legality of gay (fake) marriage has already been decided, but our hope is that it can be reversed. By the way, can you answer the questions that I asked Spuddie regarding whether or not it is normal to practice sodomy?

  • AT LAST!!!!!

    you admit it. You want to see us in prison. Any pretense you have to christian love is now officially ended.

  • From a medical standpoint, sodomy is the most dangerous sex act. Most people who believe that sodomy is normal support this practice for other people’s children but not their own. The pro-sodomy crowd is primarily interested in encouraging young men to practice sodomy, but not young ladies.

    Generally the pro-sodomy crowd does not encourage this vulgar sex act for their daughters, wives, mothers and grandmothers. However, the pro-sodomy crowd enthusiastically promotes and encourages sodomy for young men who are above the legal age of consent. That is the purpose of gay marriage and that is why it is evil

  • If you think that men aren’t interested in encouraging women to practice sodomy, you know very little about common heterosexual sex practices.

  • Arbustin,
    Our concern is about adult gay men encouraging boys and young men to practice sodomy (which is never normal or healthy). Gay marriage is evil.

  • You just accuse complete strangers in consensual adult relationships of doing so in a rather defamatory manner. When one reviles and slanders as you do, they should expect the same to be returned upon them.

    Question: How is are of the acts between consenting adults your business?
    Answer: It isn’t. Not one bit.

    If you want to prevent child abuse by strangers, the statistically best course of action is to keep them out of the unsupervised care of people with arbitrary authority like clergy. But where is the fun? You can’t act like a raging bigot if you do something sensible like that. No fun at all. 🙁

  • haha. Isn’t Queen Elizabeth II the head of state of Canada? I know there’s a governor general who acts as her appointee but still. Oh well, if I had to explain my joke I guess it didn’t go over very well.

  • Actually, I, with God’s help, would help them to become faithful followers of Christ – the next generation to love Him and have life everlasting.
    You offer death.

  • You clearly do not stand for freedom of religion. You seek to have your faith to be considered above the law and given special consideration over others. You don’t want freedom, you want privilege. Plenty of faiths/sects do not feel a hostility to gays in all matters. Yet their views should get pushed aside under the law to placate those who wish to harm others in service of their faith? No.

    As I said before, freedom of religion doesn’t give you license to attack others in service of it. It also means that nobody ever has to care what your religious beliefs are, nor can you force them to. You may have taken an oath, but you appear to lack understanding of what it really stands for.

  • Please do go with the “freedom of expression” argument, because you are simply admitting that your “freedom of religion” argument lacks any merit.
    So you bake a cake for a Christian wedding. You cannot bake exactly the same cake– same number of eggs, same amount of frosting– without expressing something different?

  • There you go again, fanaticizing about sodomy and children.
    I’ve been committing sodomy for 46 years. Still healthier than you.

  • Evil is bigotry hiding behind religion. Evil is constant fantasizing about gay sex and pretending that you hate what you can’t stop thinking about.

  • You simply cannot stop thinking about sodomizing people– male female, adults, children, it is all that you think about.
    get help, get a dildo, get something.

  • I know what love is. I’m not interested in sending people to prison because I love them. you are.

  • As opposed ot fundelibangelist Christians like you wanting it all: authority over our lives, the ability to harm us under color of law.
    Just like your good little lollipop tripled dipped in psycho, Ms. sandimonious. Do you want to see us in prison, just like her?

  • Actually, you have written that. You want authority to send us to prison because of your religious beliefs. you have said so clearly.

  • You’re not hurting my feelings. You don’t have that kind of power.
    You are saying that you want us to be imprisoned in the name of your perverted notion of faith. You are demonstrating that everything you say about love is a lie.

  • I agree with you being sent to jail because what you do is wrong and not only do you hurt yourselves, you hurt everyone around you.

  • I know hate. I’ve been looking at people like you hiding behind their faith and pretending that it’s love for my entire life. You’ve finally removed your little mask of love. “Put them dirty homos in prison, if that’s what it takes.”
    Fascism and theocracy. You’re quite a charmer.

  • It’s ok. My understanding was that the British sovereign is the official, ceremonial head of state but that the governor general may also be referred to as head of state. As opposed to the prime minister being the head of government.

  • Yes, but that’s a test the US courts cannot judge. Our First Amendment forbids the court from determining the “validity” of a religious belief. While the courts can determine whether something *is* a religious belief, as one court recently did in denying religion status to a federal prisoner who claimed he was an adherent of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, they cannot find whether those religious beliefs are “correct,” have scriptural authority, etc.

  • Then you are to be all for sending Mormons to jail, Seventh-day Adventist to jail, Jehovah’s Witnesses to jail, since you have called them all cultists who do not believe in your version of Christ.

    And then you would probably want to send Jews to jail, Muslims to jail, Hindus to jail, and atheists to jail

  • It’s easy to know if something is of God, Arb. Read a Bible. That’s why He left His word – to confirm what He taught and who He is.

  • She used to be but when we got our “constitution” she really just became a….cannot think of the word…..symbolic

  • But, if everyone doesn’t want to “please Christ,” you’d at least be happy if the gov’t enforced biblical law following a fundamentalist interpretation (e.g., the police can lock Ben up because he’s gay). Or am I misreading your many statements here (and elsewhere)?

    If I’m reading you correctly, the form of government you want is properly labeled a theocracy (i.e., a form of government in which God is regarded as the supreme civil ruler).

  • First of all, there is only one interpretation of scripture. Scripture defines scripture.
    I think the number of people Ben has possible hurt are great – worse yet, he isn’t taught well enough to know he is also hurting himself.
    Homosexuality should be a crime. Christ thinks it is serious enough to punish people for if it is unrepentant.

  • lol is not a response, dear.
    Yes or no will do. Mormons are cultists who do not believe in your version of the truer Christ. do they belong in jail?

  • You’ve already been refuted on Masterpiece Cakeshop’s willingness to serve gay customers. Jack Phillips made it clear, just like florist Baronelle Stutzmann did.

    (Why would you would mindlessly repeat a point that has been shot down repeatedly? Maybe you don’t have any ammo left.)

    But since you want to enslave black Americans to your cause, let’s listen to Gilbert Thompson Sr, a former longtime leader of Boston’s black clergy:

    “Today, we look back with scorn at those who twisted the law to make marriage serve a racist agenda, and I believe our descendants will look back the same way at us, if we yield to the same kind of pressure a radical sexual agenda is placing on us today. Just as it’s distorting the equation of marriage if you press race into it, it’s also distorting if you subtract gender.”

  • I would hope that fathers and mothers aren’t encouraging their children to commit sodomy. That would be just as creepy as your constant fantasizing about it,

  • Gay people in general? Nope. I don’t.

    You? Hmm, lemme think it over for a while. Get back with you on it.

  • So still not a response. Not that I needed one.

    But you know you inadvertently let your bigot cat out of your bigot bag. So in your usual passive aggressive manner, you just pretend that it never happened.

    But it did.

    You have a nice day, too.

  • Not at all. All they did was the modern version of “you can pick up orders in the back, but can’t sit down inside”. Again all you are doing is stumping for recycled versions of tactics used to demean and attack people like yourself back in the day.

  • Let’s be accurate. They are happy to serve gay customers and take their money, as long as those uppity figs don’t pretend to be their legal, moral, familial, sexual, faith based, marital, and cultural equals.
    As Spuddie says, it is the equivalent of “you can pick up your orders at the back door, but don’t think that you have any legal or moral right to sit down at the same counter.”
    Though more accurately, it might be termed “You can ride on this bus, sure. But you WILL sit at the back, and at the back only.”

  • “…there is only one interpretation of scripture.”

    There are thousands of different denominations and sects yet only one interpretation? Let me guess – yours is the correct interpretation?

  • Bigotry against Christians. I bet you hypocrite libs wouldn’t demand a Muslim baker to bake a cake with a picture of Muhammad on it then destroy his life for refusing to do it.

  • I’m surprised the author didn’t at all touch on the inherently symbolic nature of a wedding. Or the hybrid rights in Smith which if applied would invoke strict scrutiny and make most of the article’s reasoning moot.

    If the case does hinge on Kennedy (I don’t think it does, Kagan’s jurisprudence shows a sympathy for Phillips’ position) then he betrayed his conclusion in writing the Obergefell ruling by writing at length of the first amendment protections those who oppose same-sex marriage will continue to have.

  • Bigotry against gay people and claiming it is about religious belief. You can bet we “hypocrite libs” wouldn’t demand a cake with a picture of Mohammed on it, if he doesn’t make cakes with pictures of Mohammed on it.

    That’s not the issue. If you can distinguish between two cakes, one for my wedding and one for yours, you would have a point.

  • Thank you again. Homosexuality should be a crime. Those people should be locked up if that’s what it takes. Your interpretation of scripture is the only one that matters.

    So I will ask you again. Since Mormons, SDA’s, Christina Cientists, and Jehovah’s witnesses all disagree with your interpretation of scripture, and orhsip a false Christ, should they be put into prison?

    Since Jews, atheists, Muslims, Buddhists, and Hindus all reject the entirety of your religious lbekeifs, should they be put into prison? OR do you just reserve that for gay people.

    Simple answer. Yes. Or No.

  • That you have to give it ANY thought at all says worlds about you. None of what it says is very nice.

    But I’ll make it simple for you.

    Homosexuals belong in prison because they aren’t following the word of your Christ. You’ve said that clearly.

    You have also said that all of those other religious people are not worshipping Christ properly, not following his clear words.

    So, do they belong in prison or not? Give it some thought, but don’t take too much time. you should be able to come with an answer in about 30 seconds.

  • Not believing that Jesus died for your sins is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. That is what super Christians believe.

    Any wedding which does not acknowledge the role of Jesus in that God ordained institution, or one that invokes the false gods of any religion but yours, is by that definition blasphemy.

  • So you can’t give a simple answer. Got it.

    I won’t be worrying about it. I already know you want me in jail. I will tell any Mormons, SDA, etc. that they should worry about it.

  • The Government cannot force a person to practice religion a certain way. That’s why this country was founded. If you want to blaspheme God with your cake then go find someone to do it for you, but leave Christians alone.

  • I’m sure you were saying that when hyper conservative Christians were enacting marriage bans despite the objections of Christians who disagreed.

    But if you are going to claim this, then please show the chapter and verse where it says that baking a cake is an article of religious belief. My concordance doesn’t mention it,

  • feel free, Ben. Write it in the sky. The idea may catch on and become reality again. (edited)

  • That’s irrelevant because the First Ammendment protects Christians from the Government forcing them to practice an establishment of a any particular brand of Christianity.

  • They dont mind baking and decorating cakes for adulterers celebrating second , third etc marriages, but gays are their scapegoats now. Please. What hypocrites!

  • Nobody asks for an adultery cake, bestiality cake, whore cake. Only gays have been tyrannical perverts on this issue.

  • Wait a minute. My faith and my Christian, progressive church believes that gay man Ben has equal rights to marry his husband.
    That’s the Christ’s interpretation.

  • Yes they do. Clearly you never read your Bible.
    Matthew 5 : 32. So called “Christian” baker doesn’t mind making cakes to celebrate adultery but has problems with gays, hypocrite!

  • 1 Corinthians 7 – Now for the matters you wrote about: “It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman.” 2 But since sexual immorality is occurring, each man should have sexual relations with his own wife, and each woman with her own husband. 3 The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. 4 The wife does not have authority over her own body but yields it to her husband. In the same way, the husband does not have authority over his own body but yields it to his wife.” But since sexual immorality is occurring, each man should have sexual relations with his own wife, and each woman with her own husband.”

  • No wonder majority of young Christians support gay marriage. Your interpretation of the Bible is hopelessly outdated…
    But that’s how life works. People were convinced that bible supports slavery, segregation, prohibits interracial marriage, is anti gay marriage…. these walls fall ,one by one.

  • I bet you do. Unfortunately for you no one is going to heaven or hell. The only evidence we have is that every living thing dies and there is no coming back. So try to enjoy the life you have now and gather in all the hate before it’s too late – you won’t be floating on a cloud watching those gay and pagans being tormented in hell.

  • Actually, they do ask for adultery cakes, every time they get married after divorce for any reason except adultery. And good Christian cake bakers are happy to bake those adultery cakes.

  • It is you who do not understand. The founders specifically include this “first” amendment because of various historical attempts to suppress various religious practices that others did not agree with. This amendment does not allow the government to regulate or suppress religious belief or expression. It was designed to protect those who practice a particular religion from those who might have the power to suppress it.

    But in the end my opinion and your opinion don’t really matter. The Court will decide. I hope they uphold the integrity of the original meaning of the Constitution as anything else is a slippery slope.

    Don’t like the amendment, there is a Constitutional process to change it.

  • Sorry buddy, but your right to free exercise has never ever been considered license to harm people on behalf of one’s faith. You don’t get out of murder charges for burning heretics at the stake. Besides the arguments used here are a BS free speech one which is completely laughable if not for the money put in defense of it.

    Your opinion is not based in anything like an honest reading of the constitution, facts or laws. Mine is simply reiterating over a century of thinking on the subject and 20 years of specific decisions by the still sitting swing vote justice.

  • Only because you chose to close your eyes and put your hands over Btw – homosexuals are pagans

  • The Bible does not support homosexual marriage. It is quite clear what it supports and what it considers immorality.

  • thats just an opinion and one interpretation.Many Christians disagree with you.
    Also you clearly unwilling to have a productive discussion. So I am done with you.

  • We can all do things to protect kids from lies. I don’t take mine to Church for instance. No need for them to see people supporting lying preachers or adultery. But I don’t believe for one second that the mere existence of churches will harm my children!

  • “We don’t serve your kind” came out of your brain – not from the cake maker’s mouth. He not only never said that, it’s obvious he never thought it, either. He’s already made it clear that he willingly (even eagerly) serves gay PEOPLE, but balks at participation in celebrating gay MARRIAGE. I’m still wondering why that kind of bright line distinction is so difficult for gay enthusiasts to even acknowledge, much less to factor into their comprehension.

  • A Jewish bakery or eatery that is kosher would not be expected to produce non-kosher food. Why, their expression of religion is protected and respected. A Muslim run bakery might have the same concerns as the Christian run bakery. In the end, its just a cake. I’m not willing to start eroding Constitutional freedoms over a cake that can be found anywhere.

  • In the end, it’s about more than a cake, it’s about thrusting the gay lifestyle into the faces of those who reject it – compelling their unwilling affirmation of it, and their equally unwilling participation in its celebration. Why such aggressiveness? In the moral structure of the universe, homosexuality has no place to fit in. Therefore, the demand to affirm the unaffirmable leads to an essentially infinite moral imperialism. Because Reality is arrayed against it, Reality has to be challenged comprehensively, at every level, and those who speak from or stand for Reality have to be challenged especially.

  • You are really leaning into the terrible stock arguments here.

    In what way was the wedding cake ordered different for a straight couple than a gay one? It wasn’t. It was the same product he would have sold to any other customer. The only difference being the class of people who were the customers.

    Nice try, but it was always a rather brain dead argument when this issue came up before. We aren’t talking about an unreasonable request of a vendor or an unusual product not normally sold by the them either. We are talking about a vendor who just didn’t want to sell the product to “those kind of people”.

  • It was the most honest expression of the sentiments given.

    So its the modern equivalent of “black people can pick up their orders, but they can’t sit down inside the restaurant”. That kind of behavior was offensive back in the day. It remains so. Its good to see you are so unoriginal that you are simply copying arguments used by segregationists. It makes it so much easier to show complete and utter contempt for your views here.

    A baker is selling baked goods to customers. They are not “celebrating” or “participating” in anything here besides a commercial transaction. If you can’t serve all classes of customers, you don’t belong in open commerce. Being a Christian does not grant you special privilege to discriminate.

    He made it clear he was willing to serve gay customers. Just not serve them as equals to others. He discriminated in his services and goods offered. Selling one type to one class of customers, denying the same to others. Textbook definition of discrimination.

    He opposed the notion that gay customers had to be treated with the same most basic level of courtesy he treated others. That they had the the temerity to act like any other customer with the expectation of receiving the same goods as everyone else.

    So frankly the baker can go stuff himself and to support such behavior is morally repugnant.

  • You are supporting attacking people in the name of your faith. Your moral fiber is at best questionable, at worst non-existent.

  • Thrusting the gay lifestyle, whatever that might mean, Into the faces of those who reject it? What about thrusting religion and hate hiding behind religion into the faces of those that reject it? We had sodomy thrust into the faces of those that reject it, all because of bigoted translation of a small chapter in an ancient book that had nothing to do with the subject.

    You want to talk about aggression? Let’s talk about the unceasing attacks on our right to exist for the last 2000 years.

    In the moral structure of the universe, homosexuality has no place to fit in? IT’s never been a moral question, not now, not ever. but thanks for letting me know that as far as someone like you is concerned, a human being like myself, a law abiding, productive, tax paying and contributing member of society, has no place.

  • No, first, he isn’t participating. That’s a fanatasy to give him more importance than he has. He is only a purveyor of cakes.

    Second, he is willing to serve gay people, as long as gay people don’t claim to be his religious, human, marital, sexual, Moral and familial equal. And that is indeed the problem.

    Sure, boy. You can ride on the bus. Just don’t think that you can ride anywhere except the back.

  • “From a medical standpoint, sodomy is the most dangerous sex act.”

    Then you are doing it wrong. 🙂

  • A simple test for your bigotry claim — is the vendor willing to serve them under other circumstances? For instance, would the bakers be willing to sell the couple a birthday cake, or a graduation cake? These are celebrations that have nothing to do with the religious implications of being gay, as same-sex marriage does.

    A good example of pure bigotry is a Seattle coffee shop owner that recently refused to serve to serve Christian pro-life activists. Taking a break to drink coffee, with no political activity taking place in the shop, is the equivalent of a Jewish restaurateur refusing to serve a known member of the KKK who drops in for lunch. It is NOT the equivalent of refusing to cater a KKK meeting. http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/oct/6/christian-activists-booted-from-seattle-coffee-sho/#!

  • So, you are arguing that they are not necessarily anti-gay bigots, just religious bigots. It’s funny they have no problem with the religious beliefs expressed in in the religious ceremonies which invoke alien gods, or no gods at all, or false gods.
    “Sure, I’ll sell you a cake for your birthday, as long as it isn’t for one of those Jesus denying jewish ceremonies. But if you want my cake at your Jewish denying Jewish ceremony, forget it.”
    Here are some parallel examples for you.
    “We’ll let you ride on the bus. but you have to ride in the back of the bus. But you can’t call us bigots, because we’re letting you ride on the bus. see? Everyone is treated the same!”
    “Everyone can belong to the same church: mine. See everyone is treated equally.”

  • You’d think you hadn’t even read my post. To make it clear, refusing to be an accessory to ACTIVITIES that violate your religious beliefs is not an act of bigotry. Refusing to deal with someone entirely because you hate their kind is. So for a baker to refuse to bake a wedding cake for a gay couple because his church teaches that gay marriage is a sin is not bigotry, but for that coffee shop owner to refuse all service to pro-lifers because he hates them is. The first focuses on the activity, the second on the people.

  • Sandi: you lost this one. Bad. If you think you walked out of this with anything but a GREAT deal of egg on your face, then you’re the only one who thinks so. Hateful bigots will hatefully bigot though.

  • Ben, don’t buy into the premise “moral structure of the universe.” The universe is moral-free. The universe just is.

  • Oh, I don’t dont believe in the moral structure of the universe, not in THAT sense. I just borrowed the phrase from the poster.

    The only moral structure I can see in the universe, at least the corner that I inhabit, is that what you put out usually comes back to you, that where you put your attention is what you create in your life.

    Another way of putting it is that there are no rewards or punishments, and certainly not in the christian sense.

    there are only consequences.

  • This is not sticking the gay lifestyle in anyone’s face. It is a cake. The baker is not attending the wedding. He is making the cake for the reception. He is not decorating it with “gay” writing. You are not forced to go to any gay events, or to contribute to any gay or unchristian function, but if you are running a business you can’t discriminate. If the Supreme Court agrees with the baker, than I can refuse service to anyone who wears a cross around her neck.

  • They are not participating in the wedding. They are baking a cake. They are baking the same cake they do for others.

  • Will the Government Control ALL Business ? The Basis of Trade is the ‘Consensual’ Agreement of ‘BOTH’ Parties; On Every Incident !!
    To say Religious Beliefs do Not Matter in the United States is the First Step to a Dictatorship based on Someone’s Religion. Everyone in America has the Right to do Business without breaking their own Religious Principles . Would you Require Jewish or Muslim eateries to sell Shredded Pork ??
    Do you think that’s Important ? The Free Market WILL have Homosexual Businesses open for Homosexual Users as the Market ALLOWS !! Or, maybe their Moms will Bake them a Cake or Take their Photos, etc. in the meantime !

  • The bakery, whether a kosher one or the one from this Supreme Court case, doesn’t have to produce any specific type of food. But both of them have to provide that food on a non-discriminatory basis.

  • As the article points out, this is not a freedom of religion case. And if it was that clear, it wouldn’t have reached the Supreme Court.

  • The First Amendment does allow for religion-neutral laws that have the effect of “regulating” or even “suppressing” religious belief or expression. Justice Scalia himself said so, in a case where a state denied unemployment benefits to someone fired for drug use who said he had taken the drugs in a Native American religious ritual.

  • And honestly the Court’s decision is NOT the last word on this issue, just as wrong USSC decisions like “Dred Scott” and “Plessy v. Ferguson” were NOT the last word on those respective matters.

    The Supreme Court is important — but it is not God. When the USSC messes up & promotes evil, Christians are NOT obliged to cooperate with the evil. Fight back, such as with abortion-on-demand. Fight back, Christian vendors, Christian clergy.

    Christians CAN fight back. Christians can choose to simply pay the legal price that comes with not cooperating with evil messed-up laws. (Example: Martin Luther King Jr.)

  • Youcan’t force me to bake a cake for your wedding…

    Says the guy who bakes cakes all day for weddings.

  • “Reality” never “held” that. The reality has always been that the earth is round. Some PEOPLE mistakenly BELIEVED it was flat.

  • But in the day it was THE reality. Likewise the “mistaken Beliefs” of today are sometimes presumed to be reality. What some believe is Natural Law could well turn out to be just that: a belief.

  • The baker does not want to participate in your gayness. Having him make a rainbow cake with two guys on it is not what he wanted to do. It’s that simple. His business. His call. That you think you’re equivalent to the black civil rights movement is really delusional. Go live your life. Be gay. Have a great time. Just leave me out of it.

  • “The beliefs of today” are always changing; they’ll be different “tomorrow.” Natural Law, like God, is not a “belief of today;” it is a belief that has endured, and will endure – because it comports with Reality. That’s why it arose, and that’s why it will last.

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