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U.S. top court leaves in place Texas ruling questioning gay spousal benefits

06 December 2017
U.S. top court leaves in place Texas ruling questioning gay spousal benefits

She said the Supreme Court's compelled speech doctrine "forbids the commission from demanding that artists design custom expression that conveys ideas they deem objectionable". The briefs raised hard arguments about free speech and religious liberty, equal rights and anti-discrimination laws.

The Trump administration has backed the Christian baker, Jack Phillips, who argued his free speech right to express himself through his cakes was infringed when Colorado's Civil Rights Commission ordered him to bake cakes for everyone, regardless of their sexual orientation. The case centers around a dispute between baker Jack Phillips and two men he refused to create a custom wedding cake for.

The case will have its most direct impact on the approximately 22 states that bar discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation by establishments that do business with the public. The two men planned to throw a party locally in celebration of having been legally married in MA.

Pivotal Justice Anthony Kennedy sent mixed messages during a spirited U.S. Supreme Court argument Tuesday over a Colorado baker who refuses to make cakes for same-sex weddings. According to CNN, while Phillips refused to make Craig and Mullins a wedding cake, he did offer to make them other baked goods.

In the meeting, Phillips stated, "I feel I'm being constrained to make fine art for an occasion - an inalienably religious occasion - that conflicts with my confidence, and I'm being constrained to do as such under punishment of prison time and fines". Phillips said he knew right away that he couldn't create the product they were looking for without violating his faith. Backers of Craig and Mullins countered: "Love wins".

The Supreme Court will take up a standout amongst the most earth shattering instances of the term on Tuesday as it considers contentions from a Colorado cook who declined to influence a cake to praise a same-sex to couple's marriage since he trusts that God composed marriage to be between a man and a lady.

Several of the court's conservatives, including Kennedy, criticized the remarks of a civil rights commissioner who had said using religion to discriminate was "despicable". The following year, the Colorado Supreme Court declined to hear the case, and the conservative group Alliance Defending Freedom, which is representing Phillips, appealed to the Supreme Court.

In another case involving the scope of protections provided by the Obergefell decision, the Supreme Court in June overturned a state court ruling that had allowed Arkansas to refuse to list both same-sex spouses on birth certificates.

While the court's liberal justices said the "cake artist" likely can not refuse to serve gay couples, and conservative justices said his religious and free speech rights should be respected, Justice Anthony Kennedy once again was the man in the middle.

Thus far, Craig and Mullins have won at the Colorado Civil Rights Commission and the state Court of Appeals.

But Kennedy was also concerned with the idea of forcing religious business owners to act in ways that violate their sincerely held beliefs.

Lawyers for Pidgeon and Hicks told the state Supreme Court that the Obergefell ruling should be interpreted narrowly and did not require states to give taxpayer subsidies to same-sex couples any more than the U.S. Supreme Court's 1973 Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion required states to subsidize abortions.