According to Primus, the court found a way to rule in favor of Jack Phillips, the owner of the Masterpiece Cakeshop, while making it clear the first amendment is "not a shield against anti-discrimination law". Twenty-one other states have similar laws.
The Supreme Court's decision Monday in a case pitting same-sex marriage against religious and free speech rights had a clear victor but no real losers.
"This will surprise lots of people until they read what actually happened", Richard Primus, a constitutional law expert at the University of Michigan Law school, told Newsweek of Kagan and Breyer's decision to join the majority.
This was a key part of Justice Kennedy's argument, the dignity of the person.
"Our society has come to the recognition that gay persons and gay couples can not be treated as social outcasts or as inferior in dignity and worth", Kennedy wrote.
"Our society has come to the recognition that gay persons and gay couples can not be treated as social outcasts or as inferior in dignity and worth", Kennedy wrote. These "disputes must be resolved with tolerance, without undue disrespect to honest religious beliefs, and without subjecting gay persons to indignities when they seek good and services in the open market".
Georgia Democratic nominee for governor, Stacey Abrams, said discrimination posing as religious freedom had no place in the state.
Of the 50 states, 21 including Colorado have anti-discrimination laws protecting gay people.
"The opposition wanted the court to come out and say that gay rights always trump religious liberty". Without ultimately deciding the claim brought by Charlie Craig and Dave Mullins, the court instead ruled that the baker's religious beliefs were not accorded proper respect. In response, the couple filed a complaint against Phillips with the Colorado Civil Rights Commission.
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In the past 13 months, federal appeals courts in Chicago and NY also have ruled that gay and lesbian employees are entitled to protection from discrimination under Title VII. Phillips has said a backlash against his business has left him struggling to keep the shop afloat.
KING: Let's start with this case in Colorado.
Kennedy referenced the comments of one commissioner who said during the public hearing, "Freedom of religion and religion has been used to justify all kinds of discrimination throughout history, whether it be slavery, whether it be the holocaust, whether it be - I mean, we - we can list hundreds of situations where freedom of religion has been used to justify discrimination. What matters is that Phillips wouldn't provide a good or service to a same-sex couple that he would provide to a heterosexual couple". And the couple said, look, we've got a right to the same services and to buy the same products as everybody else in the state under the state's law.
The court ruling was hailed by the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), a conservative nonprofit organization that supported Phillips' appeal. "This decision makes clear that the government must respect Jack's beliefs about marriage". Like the court's other conservatives, he has strongly defended religious freedom in cases ranging from government-mandated birth control coverage to prayer at government meetings.
The Supreme Court issued a narrow decision for an anti-gay baker in the Masterpiece Cakeshop case.
The case became a cultural flashpoint in the United States, underscoring the tensions between gay rights proponents and conservative Christians.
In the decision, Kennedy writes those words from the commissioner demonstrates hostility toward Phillips' religion both by describing as despicable and by characterizing it as merely rhetorical.
"Jack serves all customers; he simply declines to express messages or celebrate events that violate his deeply held beliefs". "Phillips was entitled to a neutral decision-maker who would give full and fair consideration to his religious objection as he sought to assert it in all of the circumstances in which this case was presented, considered and decided".
Matt Duncan, chairman of the board for Georgia Equality, the statewide advocacy group for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, said the group was "disappointed" but that the ruling affirmed the need to protect the rights of the LGBT community as others are regardless of race, national origin, religion and other characteristics.