Fidest – Agenzia giornalistica/press agency

Quotidiano di informazione – Anno 32 n° 312

US Supreme Court rules in favor of Colorado cake artist

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 9 giugno 2018

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled 7 to 2 Monday in favor of Colorado cake artist Jack Phillips in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission. The case involved Jack Phillips, who in 2012 declined to bake a cake for a gay couple’s same-sex wedding, because of his religious objections to same-sex marriage.The Civil Rights Commission ruled that he had discriminated on the basis of sexual orientation, although Phillips stressed repeatedly that he would happily create other products – such as birthday cakes or graduation cakes – for gay clients, but reiterated his opposition to gay marriage. A devout Christian, he also refuses to bake cakes for bachelor parties or Halloween.
“Jack serves all customers; he simply declines to express messages or celebrate events that violate his deeply held beliefs,” said Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel Kristen Waggoner, who argued before the high court on behalf of Phillips and Masterpiece Cakeshop.
“Government hostility toward people of faith has no place in our society, yet the state of Colorado was openly antagonistic toward Jack’s religious beliefs about marriage,” Waggoner added. “The court was right to condemn that. Tolerance and respect for good-faith differences of opinion are essential in a society like ours. This decision makes clear that the government must respect Jack’s beliefs about marriage.” On behalf of the majority, Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote “the record here demonstrates that the Commission’s consideration of Phillips’ case was neither tolerant nor respectful of his religious beliefs.” The Commission “showed elements of a clear and impermissible hostility toward the sincere religious beliefs motivating his objection.” As such, the Commission’s actions against Mr. Phillips were a violation of his constitutional right to the free exercise of religion.
“Today’s decision confirms that people of faith should not suffer discrimination on account of their deeply held religious beliefs, but instead should be respected by government officials,” said leaders of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.Not a definitive ruling on free speech and conscience issues:Some commentators have called the ruling “narrow” because much of the Court’s majority decision rested on the behavior of the Commission, rather than deciding whether Jack Phillip’s rights to freedom of speech and conscience had been violated. The Court came to this decision for two main reasons. First, several statements made by Commission members during public hearings “endorsed the view that religious beliefs cannot legitimately be carried into the public sphere or commercial domain, implying that religious beliefs and persons are less than fully welcome in Colorado’s business community.”Because of this, the Supreme Court found that the Commission showed clear hostility toward Phillip’s religious beliefs. Second, the Court noted inconsistent treatment by the Commission because there had been three other cases where bakeries declined to make cakes with anti-gay marriage messages, and the Commission did not punish those bakers.Princeton law professor Robert P. George warned that the reasoning behind the majority’s ruling could be used to oppose religious freedom in the future. “As it stands, there is a danger that state officials will interpret the decision as licensing discrimination against Christians and other religious people so long as those officials don’t reveal their anti-Christian or anti-religious animus in public statements,” he cautioned.

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