Case of Gay Couple's Wedding Cake Heads to Supreme Court - NBC Bay Area
National & International News
The day’s top national and international news

Case of Gay Couple's Wedding Cake Heads to Supreme Court

Jack Phillips believes he has free speech and religious rights under the First Amendment that should protect him from being compelled to bake a cake specifically to honor a same-sex marriage



    Case of Gay Couple's Wedding Cake Heads to Supreme Court
    AP Photo/Brennan Linsley, File
    In this March 10, 2014, file photo, Masterpiece Cakeshop owner Jack Phillips cracks eggs into a cake batter mixer inside his store in Lakewood, Colo. The Supreme Court is taking on a new clash between gay rights and religion in a case about a wedding cake for a same-sex couple in Colorado. The justices said Monday, June 26, 2017, they will consider whether a baker who objects to same-sex marriage on religious grounds can refuse to make a wedding cake for a gay couple.

    A Colorado clash between gay rights and religion started as an angry Facebook posting about a wedding cake but now has big implications for anti-discrimination laws in 22 states.

    Baker Jack Phillips is challenging a Colorado law that says he was wrong to have turned away a same-sex couple who wanted a cake to celebrate their 2012 wedding.

    The justices said Monday they will consider Phillips' case, which could affect all states. Twenty-two states include sexual orientation in anti-discrimination laws that bar discrimination in public accommodations.

    Phillips argues that he turned away Charlie Craig and David Mullins not because they are gay, but because their wedding violated Phillips' religious belief.

    Melania Trump Vows to Continue Cyberbullying Fight Despite Skepticism

    [NATL] Melania Trump Vows to Continue Cyberbullying Fight Despite Skepticism

    Pushing back against her critics, first lady Melania Trump said she's committed to fighting cyberbullying despite skepticism. Her husband, President Donald Trump, routinely uses Twitter as an outlet for berating public figures he dislikes.

    (Published Wednesday, March 21, 2018)

    After the couple was turned away in 2012, they complained about Masterpiece Cakeshop on Facebook, then filed a complaint with the Colorado Civil Rights Commission. The state sided with the couple.

    "It solidified the right of our community to have a right to public accommodations, so future couples are not turned away from a business because of who they are," Mullins said Monday.

    Phillips says that artisans cannot be compelled to produce works celebrating an event that violates the artist's religion. A lawyer for Phillips pointed out that another Denver-area baker was not fined for declining to bake a cake with an anti-gay message.

    "The government in Colorado is picking and choosing which messages they'll support and which artistic messages they'll protect," said Kristen Waggoner of the Alliance Defending Freedom, which took the baker's case.

    The decision to take on the case reflects renewed energy among the high court's conservative justices, whose ranks have recently been bolstered by the addition of Justice Neil Gorsuch.

    The Colorado case could settle challenges from at least a half-dozen other artists in the wedding industry who are challenging laws in other states requiring them to produce work for same-sex ceremonies.

    White House Defends Trump's Congratulatory Putin Call

    [NATL] White House Defends Trump's Congratulatory Putin Call

    White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders defends President Donald Trump's congratulatory call to Russian President Vladimir Putin on his re-election, noting that then-President Barack Obama made a similar call in 2012.

    (Published Tuesday, March 20, 2018)

    Those cases include a Washington state florist who has been fighting a lawsuit filed after she refused to provide services for a gay wedding in 2013.

    And earlier this month, owners of a Phoenix calligraphy studio filed suit against a city anti-discrimination ordinance that could lead to jail time if the Brush & Nib Studio denied service for a same-sex union.