Case of gay couple's wedding cake heads to Supreme Court

27 June, 2017, 14:24 | Author: Zachary Santiago

A trio of legal firms - the National Center for Lesbian Rights, Arkansas attorney Cheryl Maples, who represented the lesbian couples in the case before the Supreme Court, and the D.C. -based law firm Ropes & Gray - filed a petition for certiorari before the Supreme Court in February calling on justices to reverse the decision.

The Court will take up the case, Masterpiece v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, in its next term, which starts in October. After Phillips' unsuccessful appeals, the Supreme Court justices will now decide whether the Colorado law violates the Constitution by compelling Phillips to create something he argues is against his religious beliefs.

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.

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The case began in 2012 when David Mullins and Charlie Craig wanted to purchase a cake from Phillips for their wedding in MA. "Marriage equality is the law of the land, and this decision sends a clear message that states must follow the law and treat all married couples equally".

"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.

"It is no answer to say that Mullins and Craig could shop somewhere else for their wedding cake, just as it was no answer in 1966 to say that African-American customers could eat at another restaurant", the lawyers wrote.

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The baker argues that he did not turn away Craig and Mullins because they are gay, but because their marriage violated his religious belief. They arranged to have their reception in Denver after returning to Colorado. "Because that differential treatment infringes Obergefell's commitment to provide same-sex couples 'the constellation of benefits that the States have linked to marriage, ' we reverse the state court's judgment".

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

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