Right Hooks

Colorado Appeals Court Says Baker Discriminated

Dan Gilmore · Aug. 14, 2015

Eventually, the Supreme Court will have to clarify the implications of its Obergefell v. Hodges ruling that legalized same-sex marriage nationwide. The dissenting judges warned that the ruling would call into question the free speech and religious rights in this country. And Jack Phillips, owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop, is the most recent proprietor to join the handful of small business owners the court ruled discriminatory because they refused to bake cakes or make floral arrangements for same-sex wedding ceremonies. On Thursday, the Colorado Court of Appeals upheld the decision handed down by the state’s Civil Right’s Commission, saying Phillips' speech and religion rights do not apply to this situation. “[T]o the extent that the public infers from a Masterpiece wedding cake a message celebrating same-sex marriage,” the court said, “that message is more likely to be attributed to the customer than to Masterpiece.” Phillips' lawyer, Nicolle Martin, said they plan on appealing the case to the Colorado Supreme Court. But it’s not the end of the road. How much religious liberty do Americans have after Obergefell? SCOTUS opened Pandora’s box, and it’s up to SCOTUS to close it.

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