One of the biggest cases to recently hit the Supreme Court—involving a baker, a gay couple and a wedding cake—was ruled in favor of the pastry chef on Monday, June 4.
The baker, Colorado-based business owner Jack Phillips of Masterpiece Cakeshop, initially refused to create a custom wedding reception cake for a same-sex couple on the grounds of his own personal religious beliefs. The incident, which took place in 2012, prompted the couple David Mullins and Charlie Craig to sue the baker based on his refusal.
At the time, Mullins and Craig said that they were humiliated by Phillips’ response after the baker had stated that he could not support a same-sex marriage with his talents as it went against his own faith and beliefs. The case, Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, eventually went to the Colorado civil rights commission and ultimately into the state courts.
On Monday, the Supreme Court reached its decision with a majority ruling of 7-2, which was explained in detail by Justice Anthony Kennedy.
“Our society has come to the recognition that gay persons and gay couples cannot be treated as social outcasts or as inferior in dignity and worth,” he wrote. “The outcome of cases like this in other circumstances must await further elaboration in the courts, all in the context of recognizing that these disputes must be resolved with tolerance, without undue disrespect to sincere religious beliefs, and without subjecting gay persons to indignities when they seek goods and services in an open market.”
Justice Kennedy also wrote, “The neutral and respectful consideration to which Phillips was entitled was compromised here. The Civil Rights Commission’s treatment of his case has some elements of a clear and impermissible hostility toward the sincere religious beliefs that motivated his objection.”
The timing of the ruling also coincided on Monday with the ongoing events surrounding LGBT Pride Month.