U.S. Supreme Court Considers Religious Liberty Impact of Masterpiece Cakeshop

By Don Byrd

Written by Don Byrd

The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments today in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission. (See the Baptist Joint Committee’s statement, released following the argument). The case involves cake shop owner Jack Phillips’ claim that his rights of free speech and religious freedom entitle him to refuse to provide a cake for a same-sex couple’s wedding celebration, despite state law prohibiting businesses that are open to the public from discriminating against customers on the basis of sexual orientation.

As the BJC emphasized in a brief filed with the Court, nondiscrimination laws like Colorado’s are important means of protecting against religious discrimination in the marketplace. If the baker is allowed to act counter to such laws based upon his sincerely held religious beliefs, the brief argued, the ability of adherents of all faiths to participate equally in the marketplace may be jeopardized.

(For more background on the case and the BJC’s position, see the Masterpiece Cakeshop resource page.)

Responding to questioning by Justice Kagan, both Masterpiece Cakeshop attorney Kristen Wagonner and Solicitor General Noel Francisco seemed to concede that yes under their argument a baker with sincere religious objections could refuse customers on the basis of their …read more

Read more here:: http://bjconline.org/supreme-court-ponders-religious-liberty-impact-in-masterpiece-cakeshop-oral-argument-120617/