A case that was brought to the Supreme Court is finally getting its day to be heard after a same-sex couple went to purchase a cake from a baker that would be used in conjunction with them celebrating their marriage. The baker, who believes “God designed marriage to be between a man and a woman,” refused to bake a cake for the happy couple. The truth is, same-sex marriage is now legal, whether citizens agree with it or not and discriminating against someone who simply doesn’t share the same views on the matter isn’t exactly tolerated any longer.
As both parties in the case came prepared with their attorney’s ready to represent, many were looking to Justice Anthony Kennedy as his courtroom now was responsible for handling a controversial case that has sparked the interests of many.
As the case began to unfold, the representing attorney for the Colorado baker, Jack Philips, highlighted that his client was exercising his right to free exercise and free speech. But, liberals, such as Justice Elena Kagan, questioned where a line was supposed to be drawn that designated “which business owners could qualify for an exemption from anti-discrimination laws.”
Does an exemption from anti-discrimination laws even exist?
Another pressing question that comes to mind is “should there be a line drawn?” After all, business owners, such as bakeries, are open to the public and aren’t exactly given the right to discriminate against whoever they wish, even if the services they provide don’t coincide with their religious or ethical beliefs. Not all restaurant owners practice the Christian religion yet anyone is allowed to walk inside and enjoy a nice meal, right? Or what about a florist? Someone who designs bouquets for couples may not agree with same-sex marriage but they certainly can piece together some flowers for a job they are asked to complete.
The fact is, this couple wasn’t asking whether the baker was excited for them or if he wanted to come out and celebrate, they simply asked him to provide the services he does for all others. The only difference may have been the cake topper that would display two men, not a man and a woman. So, by creating this, the baker felt as though he would be using his artistic expression to go against his own beliefs, and this is something he just couldn’t do.
While Justice Kennedy heard each side, there were times where he shared an understanding with each. According to ABC Local 10 News, “Kennedy worried about the dignity of the same-sex couples,” yet he also sided with Phillips when he told a lawyer for the commission, “It seems to me that the state in its position here has been neither tolerant nor respectful of Mr. Phillips’ religious beliefs.”
Each side presented evidence that supported their actions which is why it ended up in the lap of the Supreme Court.
While Phillips’ attorney claims his client was protected by two parts of the First Amendment, the couple, David Mullins and Charlie Craig, feel as though they were discriminated against. The two men were represented by American Civil Liberties Union and had David D. Cole speaking on their behalf. Cole pointed out that the artistic expression wasn’t the issue, rather, the question is “whether the Constitution grants businesses open to the public the right to violate laws against discrimination in the commercial marketplace if the business happens to sell an artistic product.”
Although there hasn’t been a ruling on the case just yet, because religion and beliefs come into the picture, it is likely going to a difficult one for the Justice to decide on.
If you are someone who feels you have been discriminated against or mistreated by someone else, you may have a viable case on your hands. Personal injury attorneys and even employment law attorneys can help individuals dealing with certain issues initiate a case. USAttorneys.com can connect you with a local lawyer in your area now.