US court rules baker has right not to bake cake for gay wedding

US court rules baker has right not to bake cake for gay wedding, by Cameron Stewart.

The US Supreme Court has ruled in favour of a baker who refused to bake a wedding cake for a gay couple in a much anticipated decision which upheld the need to respect religious tolerance over claims of discrimination.

But the Supreme Court in its 7-2 decision also took steps to try to ensure that the ruling did not open up the floodgates to broader discrimination against gay people in service industries.

The court stated that similar cases in the future must be resolved “with tolerance, without undue disrespect to sincere religious beliefs, and without subjecting gay persons to indignities when they seek goods and services in an open market.”

The case examined the competing constitutional rights of same-sex couple Charlie Craig and Dave Mullins and that of the religious baker Jack Phillips, pitting questions of religious freedoms against those of anti-discrimination. … Mr Craig and Mr Mullins filed a civil-rights complaint against Mr Phillips after the baker declined to bake a wedding cake for them in his Denver bakery in 2012 saying it was against his religious beliefs. …

The finding was welcomed by conservatives as a victory for religious freedom. … The ruling is also a win for the Trump administration which had argued in favour of Mr Phillips.

But Sarah Kate Ellis, CEO of the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) said the decision would invite discrimination against gay people.

“While this decision does not change existing civil rights protections, it leaves the door wide open for religious exemptions to be used against LGBTQ people,” she said.

hat-tip Stephen Neil, Scott of the Pacific