Thoughts on the Colorado Cake Case

by John McClaughry

Last week the US Supreme Court gave a partial victory to Colorado baker Jack Phillips, who had  declined to make an artistic cake for a gay wedding based on his strongly held Christian beliefs. Apparently Phillips was perfectly willing to sell cakes off the shelf, but wouldn’t employ his artistic talents to make a cake glorifying a union that he believed to anti-Christian. Instead of choosing another cake artist, the gay couple ran to the Colorado Civil Rights Commission, who found that Phillips had unlawfully discriminated against them.

The Court found not that Phillips had a right to refuse based on his Biblical beliefs, but that the Civil Rights Commission exhibited religious bias in issuing its order, exemplified by a member who likened Phillips beliefs to supporting human slavery and Holocaust genocide.  That left open the  Phillips’ persecution by a commission that kept its collective mouth shut and just issued the order.

Justice Clarence Thomas, concurring, argued that Phillips had a right not to be an active participant in the gay marriage celebration. He invoked Court precedents that tolerated white supremacist expression, and concluded that the Court should have held that “States cannot punish protected speech because some group finds it offensive, hurtful, stigmatic, unreasonable, or undignified.”

You don’t have to share Jack Phillips’ religious views to believe that the state should just leave him alone, and the couple should engage a baker who supports their preferences, or doesn’t care either way.

John McClaughry is vice president of the Ethan Allen Institute.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Deanne June 9, 2018 at 4:46 am

Yeah for the baker with a backbone. Thankfully, it sounds like there was some logical reasoning from the Supreme Court. That’s something positive in a world that seems to be going off the deep end. Thank you for the update.

Reply

Dave June 11, 2018 at 12:46 pm

Vermont had a very similar case, as you may remember, with an innkeeper in the NEK that refused to stage a gay wedding on their property. The innkeepers paid dearly for their firmly held Christian values. Lawyer fees and negative press took a toll on their business which is just now coming out of dire straits. Which Vermont business is next to fall to these predatory “PC” jerks…?

Reply

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post:

About Us

The Ethan Allen Institute is Vermont’s free-market public policy research and education organization. Founded in 1993, we are one of fifty-plus similar but independent state-level, public policy organizations around the country which exchange ideas and information through the State Policy Network.
Read more...

Latest News

An AP Climate Story

March 15, 2019 by John McClaughry Here’s an interesting story from Associated Press, dated June 29, 1989: “A senior U.N. environmental official says entire nations could be wiped...

Join Us! For EAI’s 25th Jefferson Day Dinner

Tuesday, April 9th At Trader Duke’s, 1311 Williston Road, South Burlington 5:30 pm social hour. Dinner & Program 6:30 pm. Click Here to Order Your Tickets Online “Jefferson, the...

So, We Can Stop Pretending Pre-K Is “For the Kids.”

March 12, 2019 by Rob Roper When the state started to ramp up its government-funded, government-run pre-k programs in 2005-2006, the rhetoric was all about how great this...

EAI’s Carbon Tax Stance Attacked By National Organization

March 8, 2019 By David Flemming Some folks are getting anxious that “progress” on passing carbon taxes at the state level has stalled nationwide. Media Matters, a nationwide...

Roll Call! Senate Votes To Commercialize Marijuana (23-5)

S.54 – AN ACT RELATING TO THE REGULATION OF CANNABIS PASSED in the State Senate on February 28, 2019 by a vote of 23-5 . Purpose: To create a regulatory system...

Video