Quantcast
Published On: Tue, Jun 18th, 2019

SCOTUS rejects Oregon baker gay marriage case due to Jack Phillips ruling

In a victory for Sweet Cakes Bakery and Melissa and Aaron Klein, today the U.S. Supreme Court sent their case back to the Oregon Court of Appeals in light of the June 2018 decision in the Masterpiece Cakeshop case.

“Lesbian” wedding mock-cake at the Roma Gay Pride in 2008. Picture by Stefano Bolognini via wikimedia commons.

Sweet Cakes by Melissa, v. Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries involves bakers Melissa and Aaron Klein, who paid a $135,000 judgment to a same-sex couple for declining to create a cake for them in 2013. The Kleins were forced to shut down their bakery in the city of Gresham because of the conflict over their religious beliefs.

The Supreme Court’s brief order directs the Oregon Court of Appeals to consider its 2018 ruling in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission. Last year the Supreme Court ruled that government decision makers must not be hostile to religion when deciding free exercise of religion claims. The Court ruled that the Colorado Civil Rights Commission violated the neutrality required by the First Amendment by making disparaging comments against Jack Phillips’ religious beliefs regarding same-sex “marriage.”

The court took over three months, discussing the case behind closed doors, to render Monday’s summary decision. The timing suggests the justices were debating different ways of resolving the case, short of putting it on the calendar for next term.

It was an order of two sentences with no noted dissents.

First Liberty, the group representing the bakers, said in a statement Monday that the court’s move was a “victory.”

“This is a victory for Aaron and Melissa Klein and for religious liberty for all Americans,” said Kelly Shackelford, the president, CEO and chief counsel to First Liberty. “The Constitution protects speech, popular or not, from condemnation by the government. The message from the court is clear, government hostility toward religious Americans will not be tolerated.”

The case “is not just about cake. It’s about the harms and humiliation LGBT people endure on a daily basis just trying to live their lives and to participate in society like everyone else,” Pizer said.
Supporters of the bakers argue that this is a case about the freedom of expression and right to reject participation in activities that violate ones’ religious beliefs.
“Today’s move to send the case back to the Oregon state courts is something of a surprise, because this case had been pitched all along as raising the broader constitutional question that the Justices ducked last year in the Masterpiece Cakeshop case,” said Steve Vladeck, CNN Supreme Court analyst and professor at the University of Texas School of Law.

“By asking the state courts to reconsider their ruling in light of Masterpiece Cakeshop, the justices are, in effect, asking the Oregon courts if a similarly narrow basis is available for resolving this case — even though the parties have framed the case as presenting a broader conflict between the constitutional rights to religious liberty and same-sex marriage.”

 

Justice Clarence Thomas attacks Planned Parenthood’s ties to ‘eugenics’

Supreme Court rejects transgender bathroom, privacy case

 

About the Author

- The generic Dispatch designation, used primarily for press releases or syndicated content, but may be used for guest author requesting a generic nomenclature

Tags

Leave a comment

XHTML: You can use these html tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>



Categories

Archives

At the Movies