The Supreme Court ruled in favor of the baker in the Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission on Monday, June 4.
According to an opinion released by the Supreme Court, Phillips, the baker of a Christian background, refused to make the wedding cake for a gay couple who were to be married in Massachusetts because of his religious opposition to same-sex marriage but was willing to make them any other type of cake.
Justice Anthony Kennedy delivered the opinion of the court on June 4 and said during the court ruling that Phillips’ refusal to make a wedding cake was based on sincere religious beliefs and convictions.
Kennedy wrote, “The Court’s precedents make clear that the baker, in his capacity as the owner of a business serving the public, might have his right to the free exercise of religion limited by generally applicable laws.”
David Magleby, a professor in the Teacher Education Department at BYU-Idaho, said he believes the Supreme Court sided with the baker because the wording used toward and about the baker was misguided throughout the trial process.
“The language of the court led me to believe they wished they could side with the couple, but that would have been difficult when the baker had endured discrimination as well for his personal beliefs and choices,” Magleby said.
According to The Washington Post, similar cases have arisen with people from various related professions, including photographers, florists, bakers and others who believe being forced to give their wedding services to gay couples is against their rights.
“I can see why they would rule in favor of the baker because restaurants and business do have the right to refuse service, but I am a tad bit upset that there was no retribution for them because they did insult the gay couple,” said Khaley Chin, a freshman studying civil engineering.
Courts have turned cases like these down because state anti-discrimination laws require public businesses to treat all customers alike.
“I believe this case is a wonderful example of a concept we wrestle with in American Foundations; what should government force people to do?” Magleby said. “For this round, at least, it appears “bake cakes” is not on the list.”