The US Supreme Court delivered a historic but limited victory Monday to a Colorado baker who refused to design a wedding cake for a same-sex couple, in a closely-watched case pitting gay rights against religious liberty.
In a statement, a spokeswoman for Avakian says the agencies "rulings have been consistent with OR public accommodations law and the United States Constitution".
At one point, Justice Kennedy's majority opinion emphasized that American "society has come to the recognition that gay persons and gay couples can not be treated as social outcasts or as inferior in dignity or worth, " such that "the exercise of their freedom on terms equal to others must be given great weight by the courts".
Hickenlooper said the Supreme Court ruling is being taken seriously.
They said: "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 honest religious beliefs, and without subjecting gay persons to indignities when they seek goods and services in an open market..."
Charlie Craig and David Mullins, a same-sex couple, asked Phillips to make a cake for their wedding, but he refused because of his religious beliefs. They were married in MA because same sex marriage was not yet legal in Colorado.
Phillips maintains that he said no to the baking of the cake itself rather than to the couple. "The judgment of the Colorado Court of Appeals is reversed".
He described the ruling as a "win for freedom of speech and freedom of religion".
"I think we should take stands wherever we are whether it's Colorado or Easton, Pennsylvania", said the bakery's owner, Jason Hoy.
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Religious groups and First Amendment advocates welcomed the ruling, saying it struck a blow for liberty and pluralism. Justice Kagan, joined by Justice Breyer, faults the Commission's reasoning in deciding the baker cases but not its results.
Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor dissented. "There is much in the court's opinion with which I agree", Ginsburg wrote of Kennedy's repeated references to protecting the rights of gay people.
The Trump administration intervened in the case on Phillips' behalf, and Attorney General Jeff Sessions praised the decision. Instead, it held that the commission was hostile toward his sincerely held religious beliefs and therefore violated the Constitution's free exercise clause. One member of the commission, which was determining whether the baker violated the couple's civil rights, compared the baker's religious views to slavery and the Holocaust.
The majority opinion argues that the state commission treated Phillips differently from other bakers who refused to bake cakes that offended them.
In a statement released to the media, Rabbi Yehoshua S. Hecht, presidium chairman of the Rabbinical Alliance of America/Igud HaRabbonim (an organization of 950 Orthodox rabbis) said, "Since its inception in 1942, the RAA/Igud has consistently championed the protection of our first amendment rights of freedom of speech and freedom of religious choices".
He added: "In this historic decision, religious and religious conviction have been preserved and honored by the distinguished jurists of the Supreme Court, whom we wholeheartedly applaud".
Waggoner and Esseks disagreed about the ruling's effect on Phillips' wedding cake business.
"I would apologize to the Civil Rights Commission and (Civil Rights) Division if it's caused problems there, but I don't apologize for standing up for what I think is right and what I think it wrong", said former commissioner Diann Rice.
Craig, one of the plaintiffs, said Monday night he will continue to fight against discrimination. "We avoided steadfastly injecting this case into the debate simply because it was such a lightning rod". On the other end of the spectrum, Justices Gorsuch, Thomas and Alito appear to recognize no legal distinction between the denial of a wedding cake for a gay wedding and the refusal to create cakes with the anti-gay messaging. Across the country, appeals in similar cases are pending, including another case at the Supreme Court from a florist who didn't want to provide flowers for a same-sex wedding.