Monday, June 26, 2017

U.S. Supreme Court to hear appeal of Colorado baker who denied service to gay couple

Posted By on Mon, Jun 26, 2017 at 4:58 PM

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Many Coloradans in particular remember the turbulent beginnings of the 2012 court case of Craig and Mullins v. Masterpiece Cakeshop. It caused a big stir, locally and nationally, as it fed into the hotly debated topic of same-sex marriage.

A refresher: In 2012 a Lakewood-based baker, Jack Phillips, refused to bake a cake for a gay couple, David Mullins and Charlie Craig. The couple planned to marry in Massachusetts — one of only a handful of states at the time with full and legal marriage equality — and wanted Phillips to provide the cake for the reception.

Phillips cited the First Amendment, claiming that his right to religious freedom and freedom of expression trumped Colorado’s anti-discrimination laws, though he initially lost the battle in a Colorado court and before the Colorado Civil Rights Commission.

Well now the U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear Phillips’ appeal: Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, and we can likely expect a ruling sometime next year.

Another piece of LGBTQ-related news to come out of the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday: A ruling in favor of same-sex couples was handed down in the case of Pavan v. Smith, which concluded that states cannot legally treat same-sex couples different from their heterosexual counterparts when it comes to issuing birth certificates to their children.

All this, of course, has happened at the tail-end of Pride Month, and on the two-year anniversary of marriage equality — a nice, hefty reminder that the struggles for equality fought by the LGBTQ community are far from over. However, we can celebrate two victories Monday, and hope for another in case of the baker.

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