Court rules against gay couple who were refused wedding cake

Gay married couple David Mullins (left) and Charlie Craig pose for a photo in Denver, Colorado, November 28, 2017.
Gay married couple David Mullins (left) and Charlie Craig pose for a photo in Denver, Colorado, November 28, 2017. Photo credit: Reuters

The US Supreme Court has ruled in favour of a baker who refused to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple for religious reasons. 

The case involved a couple - Charlie Craig and David Mullins - who in 2012 approached the Masterpiece Cakeshop in Lakewood, Colorado, to have a wedding cake made for their big day. But the owner of the shop, Jack Phillips, said he would not provide a cake for a same-sex couple for religious reasons. 

The two men complained to the Colorado Civil Rights Commission, which decided against Mr Phillips, the Guardian reports. But when the case made it to the Supreme Court on Monday, it ruled that Mr Phillips had the right to deny the couple under the first amendment, which guarantees freedom of expression. 

However, the court did not address the wider issue of whether businesses should be able to refuse same-sex couples in general, saying this "must await further elaboration". 

Justice Anthony Kennedy, speaking on behalf of the court, said the Colorado Civil Rights Commission showed "hostility" to Mr Phillips' religious beliefs when they ordered him to undergo anti-discrimination training. 

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

Two liberal justices, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor, stood against the ruling, saying they would have upheld the finding of the commission, which decided that Phillips violated Colorado's anti-discrimination law that prohibits businesses from refusing to serve people based on race, sex, marital status or sexual orientation. 

"I feel like we've won in a sense because we've started a nationwide dialogue," Mr Craig told the Guardian following the court's ruling. 

"We never thought our case would make it to the Supreme Court so we hope that more people are able to make it there and a different ruling happens. We don't see our case as the end of this process." 

Newshub.