High court’s ruling on baker’s refusal to make same-sex wedding cake: mixed
San Francisco Chronicle
by Bob Egelko
June 4, 2018
Businesses, regardless of their owners’ religious beliefs, are bound by state laws that require equal treatment for lesbians and gays. And state agencies that enforce those laws must avoid hostility toward religion.
Those were the seemingly conflicting messages from Monday’s long-awaited U.S. Supreme Court ruling on a Colorado baker’s refusal to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple.
While seven of the nine justices said Colorado’s Civil Rights Commission had violated the baker’s right to a fair and neutral assessment of his objections in ruling against him — one commissioner recalled that religious freedom had been used to justify slavery and the Holocaust — the court did not define the boundaries between freedom from antigay discrimination and the First Amendment freedoms of religion or speech.
By choosing to leave that for a future case, the court gave room to both sides Monday to claim vindication.