Supreme Court appears skeptical of Colorado baker's refusal to make a wedding cake for gay couple

David G. Savage, Tribune Washington Bureau on

Published in Political News

Phillips says he gladly serves everyone who comes in, including gays and lesbians. But he says he draws a line at making a custom wedding cake for a same-sex marriage because doing so would conflict with biblical views.

The Colorado courts upheld the state's anti-discrimination law and ruled Phillips had no right to an exemption. The state had acted in response to a complaint from Charlie Craig and David Mullins, who were planning a wedding reception and were surprised when Phillips turned them away five years ago.

Phillips has continued to operate his bakeshop, but says he no longer designs custom cakes because he will not abide by the state's policy of equal treatment.

In June, the Supreme Court agreed to hear the baker's claim that designing a custom wedding cake involves expression. If so, forcing him to design a cake that violates his views conflicts with the freedom of speech protected by the 1st Amendment, his lawyers say.

The justices will not hear his separate claim that requiring him to make a custom cake violates his right to the "free exercise" of religion also protected by the 1st Amendment.


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