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Wedding Cake v. First Amendment

Micah Phillips, Social Media Editor

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The U.S. Supreme Court is hearing the arguments between a Colorado baker and a gay couple. The couple wanted to order a wedding cake, but the baker refused because of his religious beliefs. This will be the second biggest case for the LGBTQ community since 2015 when same-sex marriage was legalized.

 

This wedding cake incident happened in 2012 to Charlie Craig and his partner David Mullins. The couple attempted to order a cake for their wedding from Masterpiece Cakeshop in Lakewood, Colorado. Before going over the design, or the couples’ ideas, the owner, Jack Phillips, refused the couple saying he could not make the cake because it would violate his religious beliefs.

 

The legal aspect of this case is that it while it is legal in 29 states to refuse services to gay couple, it is illegal in 21 states, including Colorado. The Colorado Civil Rights Commission found Phillips ran afoul of that state’s law, and a state appeals court agreed. The US Supreme Court is now hearing an appeal.

 

Phillips’s lawyers are claiming that making custom cakes are a form of expressing creativity, and so he is protected by the First Amendment under freedom of expression. Phillips is allowed to speak freely and exercise the religion of his choice, and by being forced to use his creativity to participate in this marriage, it violates his first amendment rights.

 

But on the other side, the couples’ lawyers are saying that if nothing happens to Phillips, then people in the LGBTQ community will continue to be discriminated against and nothing will change. They are afraid that this will broaden the civil rights movement for people in the LGBTQ community and that this will let businesses get away with discrimination.

 

Either way, this will be a landmark case sure to determine future cases to come.

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Wedding Cake v. First Amendment