LGBTQ Rights No Cakewalk In Supreme Court of the United States
June 09, 2018 Update: Christian puts up “No Gays Allowed Sign” at Hardware Store.
June 09, 2018 Update: Christian teacher misgenders student and sues on grounds of religious discrimination.
June 2018 – The Trump Administration’s rollback of LGBTQ-friendly policies was a hard pill to swallow for many Americans and advocates, and now, there’s a larger pill to swallow with a new decision handed down by the Supreme Court of the United States. If you are unaware of, Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights Comm’n (16-111)2)584 U. S. ____ (2018), the case is about a devout Christian named Phillips, who informed a gay couple that he does not “create” wedding cakes for same-sex weddings. Phillips explained his belief that “to create a wedding cake for an event that celebrates something that directly goes against the teachings of the Bible, would have been a personal endorsement and participation in the ceremony and relationship that they were entering into.”
The couple then filed a discrimination complaint against Masterpiece Cakeshop and Phillips in August 2012, shortly after the couple’s visit to the shop. The complaint alleged that the couple had been denied “full and equal service” at the bakery because of their sexual orientation. SCOTUS, however, didn’t see it this way. In its opinion, the highest Court of the land stated, “Since the State itself did not allow those marriages to be performed in Colorado, there is some force to the argument that the baker [Phillips] was not unreasonable in deeming it lawful to decline to take an action that he understood to be an expression of support for their validity when that expression was contrary to his sincerely held religious beliefs, at least insofar as his refusal was limited to refusing to create and express a message in support of gay marriage, even one planned to take place in another State.”3)Id. at pg. 11
The opinion also articulated that the Commission’s conduct towards Phillips was inconsistent with the First Amendment’s guarantee that U.S. laws be applied in a manner that is neutral toward religion.4)Id. at pg. 18 Thus, it reversed the Colorado Court of Appeals decision.5)Id. Decision in favor of couple, Craig and Mullins reversed. With the opinion handed down from SCOTUS, one can’t help but wonder if the decision has opened a Pandora’s box to more civil right violations across the country. For instance, a hotel owner with white supremacist ideology could refuse to rent a room to guest celebrating a bar mitzvah because of perceived “religious” or political beliefs, as these beliefs are protected under the First Amendment. Moreover, this ruling would allow a Christian t-shirt shop the right to refuse to imprint merchandise bearing Islamic names; and could be conduit for a Jehovah Witness who owns a catering company to deny its services to an individual seeking to celebrate their recovery from a blood transfusion. For instance, after SCOTUS’s ruling in Masterpiece Cakeshop, store owner Jeff Amyx hung a “No Gays Allowed” sign outside his hardware store. Joshua Sutcliffe, an evangelical pastor, misgendered a transgender student at Oxfordshire school and later filed suit against the school alleging religious discrimination. SCOTUS missed the mark, as no offense is taken because a person believes in a God. Offense is taken by believers trying to force others to live by the rules of the God they believe in.
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|1.||↑||WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND – AUGUST 19: Two Lego men decorate the top of Paul McCarthy and Trent Kandler’s wedding cake prior to the reception at Martin Bosley’s on August 19, 2013 in Wellington, New Zealand. Australian gay couple Paul McCarthy and Trent Kandler were flown to Wellington by Tourism New Zealand in a promotion to highlight to Australians that same-sex marriage is legal in New Zealand.|
|2.||↑||584 U. S. ____ (2018)|
|3.||↑||Id. at pg. 11|
|4.||↑||Id. at pg. 18|
|5.||↑||Id. Decision in favor of couple, Craig and Mullins reversed.|