Why the Supreme Court sent a new case on same-sex wedding cakes back to lower courts

The case has a lot in common with last year's high-profile clash between a Christian bakery owner and gay couple, Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission.

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  • Counter Intelligence Salt Lake City, UT
    June 21, 2019 11:30 a.m.

    The Supreme Court sent it back because the lower court got it wrong (and the supremes were giving them a chance to correct the ruling, rather than simply provide a body slam)

  • Liberal Survival on Planet Zion Salt Lake City, UT
    June 20, 2019 12:50 p.m.

    RedShirt -

    “now you make even less sense than you did after the dentist gave you too much Novocaine before you headed off to court.”

    I’m truly embarrassed for you Red. Just state that you have nothing, rather continually making a fool of yourself.

    “Since when have you or any of your ilk been been able to connect me to a leftist group?”

    Semantics anyone. Your definition of “Alt-Right” is beyond absurd. Continue doubling down it makes for great entertainment.

    “I have not been name calling. I have only reminded everybody about the activities you have told us about.”

    How nauseating adolescent. A simple read of the comments clearly indicates otherwise. Thanks for proving the gross disconnect from reality once again Red.

    “Sort of like that time in elementary school when you got busted passing notes to that blond haired girl.”

    I’m definitely busted on this fact. Just like currently, I’m sorry no one was interested in the notes you passed during elementary school Red. You’re welcome.

  • Liberal living on Planet Utah SLC, UT
    June 20, 2019 11:44 a.m.

    Red-

    “I am NOT a leftist!! How dare you accuse me of being a leftist!! (FYI, Alt-Right is just another name for Leftist, hence the name alternative to the right which means left.)”

    Thanks for proving the point made regarding the ongoing gross disconnect from reality and factual information Red. This claim has also been debunked by myself and numerous posters on this forum. Hopefully at some point you’ll realize that your latest post supports every single one of the points I have made about you Red. You don't answer direct questions, and when asked for proof or some sort of evidence you not only deflect constantly, but fail to produce anything substantial whatsoever. Then, there is the constant passive-aggressive name calling that you engage in Red. Henceforth the adolescent and extremely “off topic” question you asked. “Can you tell us more about your time as the Grand Wizard? How embarrassingly absurd Red. Furthermore. ‘If you actually read all of my post, you will see that I have directly challenged you and until yesterday have almost always provided proof to support my statements’. Deflect away! You’re welcome Red.

  • SliceofHumble Issaquah, WA
    June 20, 2019 11:32 a.m.

    Religious beliefs aside, if you own a business open to the 'public' then you should serve the 'public'. If you want to pick and choose your customers, then operate a 'private' business. I do not agree with same-sex marriage but the Christian thing to do would be to treat others as a "child of God"...a label that should come before straight or gay or male or female or black or white!!!

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    June 20, 2019 10:57 a.m.

    To "PostLimitCapped" actually no, you and your ilk have not explained how that is any different than somebody with a sincere religious belief that they should not take part in or support gay weddings.

  • PostLimitCapped Rio Rancho, NM
    June 20, 2019 8:42 a.m.

    @RedShirtHarvard
    "To "PostLimitCapped" so you are saying that if a photographer refused to photograph a black nudist event that they are discriminating based on the color of their skin and not because they don't want to and never have photographed nude people?"
    No. This has been explained.

    @pbennettp
    "precedent has already been set with the decision by the Supremes against the state of Colorado's Civil Rights Commission."
    You have either misread or been mislead about that case. The SCOTUS explicitly did not rule on the merits of the argument, and instead ruled that the Colorado commission had shown bias against Phillips. Their decision was basically "we aren't saying the commission was wrong, but they need to be more polite next time".

    And again, no. Scripture doesn't matter in the court room. In the courtroom no one cares if your belief in wearing a pasta strainer on your head† is based in a personal belief that is unique to you, or if you can point to a poorly translated Bible passage. What maters is that you assert it's a sincere belief.
    ________
    †Not a hypothetical, actual case. And the guy won, and now has a pasta strainer on his head in his driver's license photo.

  • UtahEngineer Sandy, UT
    June 20, 2019 5:37 a.m.

    Bigger Bubba - Herriman, UT has it right!

    "If I owned a bakery, I would refuse to make a gay wedding cake as well. It would violate my firm religious beliefs about marriage." That would be a special right or seldom resorted to non-right/accommodation.

    "However, if a gay couple walked into my store and asked for a birthday cake, no problem. Celebrating a birthday does not violate my religious beliefs." The bakery fulfills the public right of customers to receive general or typical business service, regardless of their sexual orientation or anything else.

  • UtahEngineer Sandy, UT
    June 20, 2019 5:25 a.m.

    At fault are the insane penalties dreamed up by Oregon's Russian-gulag-inspired Labor commission.

    In a sane America the following mis-quoted sentence should have read,

    'The Bowman-Cryers complained to the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries, which ruled the Kleins had violated state nondiscrimination law and must pay $1,350 in damages.'

    When gays , lesbians want to be part of a sane America, they can start acting like the punishments demanded for such trivial wrongs be of the same proportions as the actual loss "suffered".

    Save the $135,000-penalties for the surgeon whose ineptitude causes substantial health problems and real, continuous physical pain to a patient.

  • Lilly Munster , 00
    June 19, 2019 7:15 p.m.

    Much of this article oversimplification , and with some distortions.
    Let's be perfectly clear. This Supreme Court ruling was NOT "a win for the cake bakers." Far from it. The Supreme Court has effectively let stand the previous legal rulings, in individual cases: that discrimination against any group or any individual is unconstitutional. The Supreme Court remanded it back for further considerations. They did not nullify any anti-discrimination laws that already exist, nor did they excuse the behavior of two cake bakers and one florist.
    There is absolutely NO way that any law can be crafted, that allows discrimination against LGBTQ Americans, but forbids all other forms of discrimination. Any law that allows for "sincerely held religious views" would allow for Jews vs. Muslims, Baptists vs. LDS Americans, Catholics vs. former Catholics, etc. Moreover- how would any Believer decide whom to exclude, if not from a long list of questions and scrutiny? Are you Saved, baptized, keep kosher? Did you fast for Ramadan? You're not one of those Mormons, are you? A religious war would ensue. It would be a tragedy for all civil rights, including for LDS Saints.

  • Lib on Planet Zion Salt Lake City, UT
    June 19, 2019 2:15 p.m.

    RedShirtnotHarvard -

    “oh, so you were the Grand Wizard, sorry about getting the title wrong.”

    The lack of being able to bring anything intellectually substantial into the conversation should be beyond embarrassing Red. If you spent as much time investigating facts and acknowledging reality it would save you so much wasted time.

    “I am only doing what I learned from you. If you don't like the way I engage you now, then change the way you engage everybody.”

    Deep yawn. The deflection now being that you somehow believe you are now an online monitor is beyond entertaining Red.

    “If somebody asks you for verifiable proof, then give it. It is called being polite.”

    States the poster that continually regurgitates Alt-Rightist, nonsensical talking points

    The sad thing is that you expect everybody to think and act as you do. You don't even consider that people may trust other sources than you do. You blindly follow the most biased news sources and pretend that they are neutral.

    I will continue to respond to you this way until I see an improvement in your responses.

  • RedShirtHarvard Cambridge, MA
    June 19, 2019 1:41 p.m.

    To "Lib on Planet Zion " oh, so you were the Grand Wizard, sorry about getting the title wrong.

    I am only doing what I learned from you. If you don't like the way I engage you now, then change the way you engage everybody. If somebody asks you for verifiable proof, then give it. If somebody asks you a question (even if that question has been asked before) answer it. It is called being polite.

    The sad thing is that you expect everybody to think and act as you do. You don't even consider that people may trust other sources than you do. You blindly follow the most biased news sources and pretend that they are neutral.

    I will continue to respond to you this way until I see an improvement in your responses.

  • pbennettp Neotsu, OR
    June 19, 2019 1:24 p.m.

    @escher-enigma

    "And again, that isn't theory, that's *precedent*."

    ******

    Precedent? LOL, You don't like precedent... precedent has already been set with the decision by the Supremes against the state of Colorado's Civil Rights Commission. The Owner of the Bake Shop proved that his decision not to produce a cake for the Gay Wedding was embedded in his Religious Beliefs (which is backed up by Biblical Scripture). The Baker's position was "Reasonable" and as such he was Protected by the First Amendment "Freedom of Religion".

    Furthermore, interpretation of a written law is no different than the interpretation of scripture or other historical data that supports "Reasonable Interpretation" of what constitutes legitimate Religious Positions or any other position for that matter. "reason-ability" is the Test NOT "Sincere Belief"... Either way though there has to be a foundation for the "belief"... Just orally claiming a "belief" does not clear the bar.

    I think I am up against the maximum posts on a controversial topic so this will be my last comment on this issue.

    Again, LGBTQ now being considered a "Protected Class"

  • Lib on Planet Zion Salt Lake City, UT
    June 19, 2019 1:17 p.m.

    Red-

    “Coming from somebody who once claimed to be a Grand Dragon, I would think that you would have the answers to your questions. I have already answered them, along with the NPR, PBS, NY Times, and the Economist.”

    What are you talking about? “Grand Dragon”? Doubling down once again unfortunately. Don’t you find the nauseating deflection and lack of understanding the subject matter even remotely embarrassing? Just state that you clearly have absolutely nothing intellectual or substantial to offer, rather the ongoing empty rhetoric. I’m embarrassed for you Red. You’re welcome.

  • RedShirtHarvard Cambridge, MA
    June 19, 2019 11:15 a.m.

    To "PostLimitCapped" so you are saying that if a photographer refused to photograph a black nudist event that they are discriminating based on the color of their skin and not because they don't want to and never have photographed nude people?

  • PostLimitCapped Rio Rancho, NM
    June 19, 2019 8:36 a.m.

    @pbennettp
    "Interesting take... but certainly not a legal one... "Sincere Belief" is as subjective a term as could ever be conjured up."
    Nope. It's the legal one. And it's not "subjective", it's just a very very low bar.

    Which is why the big hurdle in those cases is seldom "is this their religion", but "is the government's requirement here an undue imposition".

    This is intentional because we don't want courts stepping in and saying "well actually, your interpretation of scripture is wrong." "No, your religion does not require that religious headgear, take it off for the driver's license photo." "You've been doing your religion wrong, shave the beard". And so-on.

    Scripture and whether other people think your take on your religion is "reasonable"? Has no place in the courtroom.

    And again, that isn't theory, that's *precedent*.

    @RedShirtHarvard
    "To "EscherEnigma" since when has it been illegal to decline an event?"
    Since 1964. Refusing service to a "black" event is indistinguishable from refusing service because someone is black. This isn't new precedent, and is precisely why Phillip's lawyers didn't try that argument in court.

  • RedShirtHarvard Cambridge, MA
    June 19, 2019 7:38 a.m.

    To "EscherEnigma" since when has it been illegal to decline an event? If it was illegal to decline an event, then there are quite a few performers who should be in trouble for refusing to play events in cities and states where they didn't agree with the laws that they passed.

    To "tahnl" no, it is quite different to say, "I can't do that becuase of MY religious beliefs" than it is to say "I can't do that because of who/what YOU are."

    To "Liberal On Planet Zion" coming from somebody who once claimed to be a Grand Dragon, I would think that you would have the answers to your questions. I have already answered them, along with the NPR, PBS, NY Times, and the Economist.

  • Silflay Katy, TX
    June 18, 2019 8:47 p.m.

    @ Justin M

    "We're turning into a nation of people who try to find someone else to deal with our inconveniences."

    While the appeal of Phillips' case was pending and he was bound by the Colorado ruling at that time, he stopped selling wedding cakes to anyone rather than violate his conscience. This is bearing the inconvenience of his own beliefs, yes?

    Yet he and others like him are asking SCOTUS to rule that this burden should shift to others who don't share these beliefs. Isn't this exactly what you're complaining about?

  • pbennettp Neotsu, OR
    June 18, 2019 8:47 p.m.

    @escher-enigma (liberal mecca Cali)

    "What matters is a person's *sincere belief*, not whether they can point to scripture to back their claim. Someone's belief that god is anti-gay is just as protected as someone's belief that god is anti-black. So we either protect *both* or *neither*. No special rights."

    *****

    Interesting take... but certainly not a legal one... "Sincere Belief" is as subjective a term as could ever be conjured up. A "Reasonable Religious Belief" is much better suited for Legal Testing and it appears that the Bakery Shop in Colorado easily cleared that hurdle with the Supremes by a 7-2 margin.

    The outcome (like it or don't) is that a newly designated "Protected Class" can not trump "Reasonable Religious Beliefs"... The Liberal position lost. The Supremes said that the Bakery did not have to take an order and produce a cake for a Gay Wedding... and with a 7-2 decision, I don't think that law is going to change anytime soon regardless of how many times Liberal States and Individuals wish to pursue it.

    OH, and BTW... Religious beliefs become "Reasonable" based on documented history and the Bible (scriptures) matter. (Again, Like it or Don't).

  • Justin M Roseville, CA
    June 18, 2019 2:20 p.m.

    @EscherEnigma - You're missing my point. People expect business to be an EXTENSION of government.

    And yet, when business platforms choose to censor what appears there, people scream censorship with some wanting the government to do something about it.

    Why is it incumbent that a couple of people patronizing a business force their lifestyle upon a business owner? My wife often complains about "skanky clothing businesses", but she's not going in and telling (or suing) them to get modest clothing in there. (And I'm the one who encourages her to write to the company to help influence change, and to vote with her wallet in modest clothing shops.)

    Somewhere in all this, the notion of respect for individual agency and consequences has been lost. We're turning into a nation of people who try to find someone else to deal with our inconveniences.

  • Karen R. Houston, TX
    June 18, 2019 1:55 p.m.

    @ Smokin' Joe

    Nature, reason and science tell us that nature produces more than one sexual orientation (and not just in homo sapiens). Accordingly, with the very same voice this also tells us that a heterosexual is not a homosexual, therefore the right order of sexual relations is one that's consistent with one's given nature. To insist otherwise would be to insist on the UN-natural.

  • Smokin' Joe ALTURAS, CA
    June 18, 2019 1:40 p.m.

    Paraphrasing the great Straussian philosopher Harry Jaffa, nature and reason tell us that a man is not a horse or a dog or an ox and with the very same voice they also tell us that a man is not a woman and accordingly, that the right ordering of the sexual relation between the sexes is between male and female.

  • EscherEnigma Ridgecrest, CA
    June 18, 2019 1:00 p.m.

    @stand up for truth
    Then work to get religion stripped out of the CRA (1964) and all similar laws. As-is, yes, it is illegal for a bakery to refuse a customer because the customer is a Satanist. That's pretty obviously religious-based discrimination.

    @pbennettp
    What matters is a person's *sincere belief*, not whether they can point to scripture to back their claim. Someone's belief that god is anti-gay is just as protected as someone's belief that god is anti-black. So we either protect *both* or *neither*. No special rights.

    @search diligently
    @Red Shirt
    If you think your hypothetical is relevant, you have a faulty understanding of how non-discrimination laws work in this country.

    @Justin M
    "I find it a curious argument that people are insisting that businesses act like extensions of the government, with the application of constitutional laws that were meant to mostly restrict the spread/abuse of government.

    That sounds like communism to me."
    Then we, as a nation, have been communist since 1964.

    That said, if you really think non-discrimination in public accommodation laws are "communism", you have a remedy: work to repeal all such laws.

  • tahnl Francis, UT
    June 18, 2019 12:50 p.m.

    @redshirt
    "To "tahnl" actually no, you can't discriminate against somebody because of their beliefs. You can only adhere to your own religious beliefs. It is the fine line between bigotry and beliefs." ...and you have hit the nail on the head, the only difference between belief and bigotry is in the eye of the beholder. What you may see as 'belief', another will see as straight forward 'bigotry'. Any discrimination IS discrimination.

  • jeclar2006 Oceanside, CA
    June 18, 2019 12:46 p.m.

    search diligently - Lehi, UT
    ---
    Stand up for truth has it right.

    What if I was LGBT and someone comes into my shop and says they want to order a cake celebrating their anti-LGBT movement or party? Would an LGBT baker be required to bake them a nice cake? After all, don't anti-LGBT people have right to practice being non-LGBT?
    ---

    This is not the situation as described in the Masterpiece case, nor in the present case in Washington.

    Most bakers do not make a large number of 'wedding' cakes each day, for sale during the day, nor do they bake a large number of flat 'birthday' cakes either, because the call for such is low.

    Bakers have been successful in defending against 'forced speech' in the form of objectionable written messages.

    But claiming an arbitrary categorization as 'wedding cake', then claiming that such a categorization itself is a message, stretches the definition of 'message'.

    There are now 'divorce' receptions. If a 'wedding' cake is ordered for such a party can the baker refuse the business if they object to divorce?

    And 'birthday' cake has been used for a person who is transitioning their gender. Does this allow for further refusal opportunities?

  • Justin M Roseville, CA
    June 18, 2019 12:15 p.m.

    I find it a curious argument that people are insisting that businesses act like extensions of the government, with the application of constitutional laws that were meant to mostly restrict the spread/abuse of government.

    That sounds like communism to me.

  • Liberal On Planet Zion SLC, UT
    June 18, 2019 12:04 p.m.

    Red-

    “The LBGTQ+ community doesn't want equal protection they want superior protection.”

    Specific examples of the LBGTQ community requesting “superior protections”. “Superior” as in, I’m “Christian” and believe my “religious liberties” give me the right to discriminate openly.

    “The Christians were persecuted while the gay coffee shop owners were ignored.”

    Source material please. This has Infowars/Limbaugh written all over it!

    “if I refuse to make erotic cakes, and a gay couple wants to order an erotic cake and I refuse, am I denying the gay couple service because they are gay?”

    Are you making “erotic” cakes for ANYONE? If so you’re discriminating despite the ridiculous example given.

    “The other, and often forgotten issue, is consumer protection. Think about it, do you think a baker will put the same effort into a cake for an event they don't like as they will for an event they like? Would you pay full price for sub-standard work?”

    STRAW MAN and absolutely nothing more!

    “actually no, you can't discriminate against somebody because of their beliefs. You can only adhere.”

    How about The Church of Satan Red? Do they discriminate against “Christians”? You’re welcome.

  • search diligently Lehi, UT
    June 18, 2019 11:07 a.m.

    Stand up for truth has it right.

    What if I was LGBT and someone comes into my shop and says they want to order a cake celebrating their anti-LGBT movement or party? Would an LGBT baker be required to bake them a nice cake? After all, don't anti-LGBT people have right to practice being non-LGBT?

    How is this any different from the actual scenario? Must the feelings, the rights, the religious or social conscience be compromised to comply with the so-called rights of another?

  • stand up for truth Lehi, UT
    June 18, 2019 10:44 a.m.

    Look, if I don't provide certain services in my businesses because of sincerely held religious beliefs, that should be respected.

    What if someone wants me to make a cake to patronize Satan or that glorifies him? Must I do it just because some cult worships Satan? I think not. That is not respecting my rights or beliefs, and, in a way is reverse discrimination to impose it on me.

    As far as that goes, if I am an atheist, I may not want to make a cake for the Pope or God. Do you really think that the Pope or others would sue me for it? Do you think they would prevail on me as an atheist if they did? I think not.

  • pbennettp Neotsu, OR
    June 18, 2019 10:35 a.m.

    @thomas jefferson

    ""I know of no religion that has a reasonable foundation in scripture (particularly Christian Scripture) that condemns an individual based on the color of one's skin"
    Until 1978 the Mormon church had exactly that. They are a christian church and it was in their christian scriptures."

    *****

    This is a false statement. The Book of Mormon (which is the scripture that you are trying to attack) does not make any statements that indicate that condemns individuals based on the color of their skin. Perhaps you could share with us a scripture or two that you refer to in making that charge.

    I know of no BOM scripture that asserts that Black Skin is condemned or even discussed.

    I can however, recount several stories where people with "darker skin" are celebrated for their faithfulness (i.e. Samuel the Lamanite; the Anti-Nephi-Lehi's, etc.).

    I find it humorous when someone who is obviously not well connected to the faith tries to indict that faith based on their own prejudices. That very problem is the basis of the Colorado Bakery issue and that (IMHO) is why the state of Colorado lost.

  • pbennettp Neotsu, OR
    June 18, 2019 10:16 a.m.

    @ranch

    "You are wrong; the SCOTUS did not rule that businesses could discriminate against LGBT customers..."
    *****

    Actually ranch, you are wrong.

    This was a First Amendment case and the far left leaning Government Agency lost it. The question was a simple one... Can a member of a protected class (a newly made protected class) force a business owner who sells his product/craft to the public mandate that business owner to produce a product for an event that is contrary to his deeply held (and reasonably founded) religious beliefs... and the answer was a very clear "NO".

    I fully expect that the LGBTQ crusaders will continue to try and overturn the case law but they will fail... The decision by the Supremes was 7-2 and that's a wide gap... Especially with a Conservative leaning Court.

    If the Left continues to push the issue, look for an eventual Oberlin College result down the line against the state of Colorado (a Defamation award in the amount of $44.4 M)... If that were to happen the Colorado Taxpayers will be flipping the bill and they will begin to make sweeping changes in future elections.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    June 18, 2019 9:51 a.m.

    To "Ranch" but the 14th Amendment says that the government cannot "deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws." That is the problem. The LBGTQ+ community doesn't want equal protection they want superior protection. Nowhere does it say that businesses must accommodate any request made by a client.

    For example, the coffee shop that kicked out the Christians was never attacked and destroyed like the bakers who declined a custom order but offered their off the shelf cakes. The Christians were persecuted while the gay coffee shop owners were ignored.

    For example, if I refuse to make erotic cakes, and a gay couple wants to order an erotic cake and I refuse, am I denying the gay couple service because they are gay?

    The other, and often forgotten issue, is consumer protection. Think about it, do you think a baker will put the same effort into a cake for an event they don't like as they will for an event they like? Would you pay full price for sub-standard work?

    To "tahnl" actually no, you can't discriminate against somebody because of their beliefs. You can only adhere to your own religious beliefs. It is the fine line between bigotry and beliefs.

  • Thomas Jefferson Salt Lake City, UT
    June 18, 2019 9:39 a.m.

    RiDal says:

    ""It asks what should take precedence when LGBTQ nondiscrimination laws clash with the First Amendment."

    Free exercise of religion: Clearly enunciated in the Constitution.

    Right to force a person to bake a gay wedding cake: Mentioned nowhere. A pure fantasy."

    And yet on other articles rdull claims that YouTube and Twitter should be FORCED to allow reich wing nut jobs say whatever they want on their PRIVATE platforms. Showing once again a complete lack of understanding of what 'free speech' is .

    Hypocrisy: Its what conservatives really shine at.

    @ poyman
    "I know of no religion that has a reasonable foundation in scripture (particularly Christian Scripture) that condemns an individual based on the color of one's skin"
    Until 1978 the Mormon church had exactly that. They are a christian church and it was in their christian scriptures.

  • Dee Conner Ivins, UT
    June 18, 2019 9:39 a.m.

    Where does it say in scripture that it is a sin to serve perceived sinnners? In fact, I think it teaches the opposite.

  • EmmanuelGoldstein1984 Salt Lake City, UT
    June 18, 2019 9:28 a.m.

    The baker’s objection seems to spring from some religious belief in reproductive capability. That is, in his church’s view, apparently, marriage should be restricted to two people who together can biologically create a baby —I.e. a youngish woman and man.
    What should the baker’s response be, then, if two elderly people wanted to get married? As in the gay couple case, should the baker refuse to serve them as well? That would seem to be the logically consistent course of action on his part.

  • EscherEnigma Ridgecrest, CA
    June 18, 2019 8:59 a.m.

    Look folks, this is pretty simple.

    If you think a baker, florist, venue, etc. and so-on shouldn't be obligated to work with a same-sex couple, you have a couple of ethical options.

    (1) You can work to amend non-discrimination laws such that these service providers are not public accommodations. But these must apply equally... if a baker isn't a public accommodation when the customer is gay, it's not a public accommodation when the customer is Catholic.
    (2) You work to provide broad "conscience" exemptions to non-discrimination laws. But these must apply equally... if "because God" is a sufficient reason to not provide service to a customer who is gay, then "because God" is a sufficient reason to not provide service to a customer who is Israeli.
    (3) You can work to do-away with all non-discrimination laws. But this must apply equally. If non-discrimination laws that cover gay people are repealed, then so are the non-discrimination laws that cover sex.

    But if you leave-in-place the status quo that venues and bakers are public accommodations, and demand exceptions that *only* apply when the customer is gay, then you are not behaving ethically.

    No special rights.

  • EscherEnigma Ridgecrest, CA
    June 18, 2019 8:59 a.m.

    Look folks, this is pretty simple.

    If you think a baker, florist, venue, etc. and so-on shouldn't be obligated to work with a same-sex couple, you have a couple of ethical options.

    (1) You can work to amend non-discrimination laws such that these service providers are not public accommodations. But these must apply equally... if a baker isn't a public accommodation when the customer is gay, it's not a public accommodation when the customer is Catholic.
    (2) You work to provide broad "conscience" exemptions to non-discrimination laws. But these must apply equally... if "because God" is a sufficient reason to not provide service to a customer who is gay, then "because God" is a sufficient reason to not provide service to a customer who is Israeli.
    (3) You can work to do-away with all non-discrimination laws. But this must apply equally. If non-discrimination laws that cover gay people are repealed, then so are the non-discrimination laws that cover sex.

    But if you leave-in-place the status quo that venues and bakers are public accommodations, and demand exceptions that *only* apply when the customer is gay, then you are not behaving ethically.

    No special rights.

  • OlderGreg USA, CA
    June 18, 2019 8:37 a.m.

    As you arrange your event that is supposedly the stuff of sweet memories, you seek out those who would add value to it. Especially those artisans whose creative instincts are driven by their own heart strings.

    Do you want to sabotage your event? Then go ahead and force someone who has negative feelings about your event to decorate your cake, dress up the venue, take your photos, create your film, whatever.

    Duh!

  • Tekakaromatagi Dammam, Saudi Arabia
    June 18, 2019 8:35 a.m.

    @Blake1986:

    "The question is, would an African-American baker be forced to make a cake with the Confederate flag on it because a Southerner wants to celebrate Robert E. Lee's birthday?"

    No. Being a southerner is not a protected class. Why the need to hypothesize?"

    A southern who would want to celebrate Robert E. Lee's birthday would be a white southerner and now we have a protected class. Racism.

    In addition, we have protected classes to rectify previous discrimination. If white southerners or conservative administration officials or stamp collectors, or left handed people, etc are being discriminated against, then they should become protected classes.

    If not then we are discriminating.

    Yes, I think this is dumb how things are becoming. But when we take 'equality' and make it the one guiding principle that all other principles need to bow down to, then we've created a dystopia rather than a utopia.

  • EmmanuelGoldstein1984 Salt Lake City, UT
    June 18, 2019 8:34 a.m.

    There's a simple remedy to this kind of situation. A baker whose religious beliefs prevent him from making certain kinds of cakes should post a sign in his store window saying so. Then customers wanting such a cake could discreetly and quietly go elsewhere.

    Such a precedent already exists. Many shops across the land have signs saying something like, "No shoes, no service." In the Jim Crow south, many restaurants posted signs saying "Whites only." In both cases customers were alerted to the deeply-held beliefs of the store owner and acted accordingly.

  • Karen R. Houston, TX
    June 18, 2019 8:26 a.m.

    @ mhenshaw

    "Sexual orientation is a trait that is, by definition, expressed through a specific type of behavior."

    Sexual orientation also gets expressed through emotion, but we don't call it an emotion.

    I think the first part of your sentence has it right: It's a trait.

    @ Traveller

    "Nobody sued him over refusing to make Halloween cakes..."

    Two reasons: 1 - He treats all customers equally by not selling Halloween products to any of them. 2 - Halloween revelers aren't a protected class.

    @ Traveller

    "The difference is between discriminating against a person, which is illegal, and discriminating against a message..."

    We already constrain bakers, florists, and photographers from using their religious beliefs as cause for refusing their wedding services to mixed-race couples and mixed-faith couples. Bakers, etc. with beliefs surrounding homosexuality aren't being asked to do anything different.

  • Thomas Thompson Salt Lake City, UT
    June 18, 2019 6:22 a.m.

    "By asking the state courts to reconsider their ruling in light of Masterpiece Cakeshop, the justices are, in effect, asking the Oregon courts if a similarly narrow basis is available for resolving this case," said Steve Vladeck, a law professor at the University of Texas . . .".

    Respectfully, I believe Professor Vladeck is mistaken. The clear implication of the Supreme Court's action is to tell the lower court that it must now rule in favor of the cake baker because the highest court in the land has already addressed this exact issue.

    On the merits, of course, the decision is an easy one in the context of an issue as trivial as whether a baker must bake a cake -- the answer must be no. When the issue involved is more critical, however -- such as whether an emergency room physician may constitutionally refuse to treat a gay person at the hospital -- it is likely that the result will and should be different.

  • tahnl Francis, UT
    June 18, 2019 6:21 a.m.

    @4601 - Salt Lake City, UT

    That person performing the critical or life-dependent service for 'the baker' could be the person that 'the baker' just discriminated against.

    It's either discriminate against none, or discrimination against any and all. A little bit of discrimination is discrimination!

  • mrjj69 Bountiful, UT
    June 18, 2019 12:36 a.m.

    Too bad SCOTUS decided to punt on this issue. By kicking this back to the lower courts, the judges have only delayed the inevitable trip back to SCOTUS. Neither side is willing to compromise.

  • tahnl Francis, UT
    June 17, 2019 11:41 p.m.

    IF you can discriminate against me because of your 'sincerely held' religious belief, it is only right and fair that I can return the favor and discriminate against you because of your 'sincerely held' religious belief.

    Cakes are becoming the gateway drug to open, legal discrimination for and against all.

  • Oatmeal Woods Cross, UT
    June 17, 2019 10:55 p.m.

    It seems to me that freedom of expression needs to weigh in. If cakes are examples of artistic expression, should a client be able to dictate every particular that expression? May the client be able to wield force to extract that expression from the business? I don't believe so. An architect, artist or musician may withhold their services without repercussion in many instances. They may negotiate a contract stipulating what their services entail and what the product will look like. Should not all Americans have the same right?

    I see nothing different for a cake celebrating a gay marriage. Now if a baker refused an ordinary birthday cake, while offering identical creative expressions on the market for other clients, that case would be ironclad in favor of the plaintiff. That is an obvious case of discrimination. But refusing to perform or engage in a type of expression without regard for who the customer is? That should be protected. There are certain expressions we choose not to engage in. Whether our reasoning is religious or not is beside the point. It is freedom of expression, freedom of thought that is in danger here.

  • 4601 Salt Lake City, UT
    June 17, 2019 9:26 p.m.

    Critical or life-dependent services, yes, the courts should weigh in. But cakes, really now?

  • Karen R. Houston, TX
    June 17, 2019 9:20 p.m.

    @ mhenshaw

    "Sexual orientation is a trait that is, by definition, expressed through a specific type of behavior."

    Sexual orientation also gets expressed through emotion, but we don't call it an emotion.

    I think the first part of your sentence has it right: It's a trait.

    @ Traveller

    "Nobody sued him over refusing to make Halloween cakes..."

    Two reasons: 1 - He treats all customers equally by not selling Halloween products to any of them. 2 - Halloween revelers aren't a protected class.

    @ Traveller

    "The difference is between discriminating against a person, which is illegal, and discriminating against a message..."

    We already constrain bakers, florists, and photographers from using their religious beliefs as cause for refusing their wedding services to mixed-race couples and mixed-faith couples. Bakers, etc. with beliefs surrounding homosexuality aren't being asked to do anything different.

  • jeclar2006 Oceanside, CA
    June 17, 2019 7:30 p.m.

    THEREALND - Mishawaka, IN
    ---
    The question is, would an African-American baker be forced to make a cake with the Confederate flag on it because a Southerner wants to celebrate Robert E. Lee's birthday? Yes. Would a Baptist baker be forced to put a model of the Salt Lake Temple on a cake for a couple getting married there? Yes.
    ---

    If those items are on a menu of the respective bakeries, then the would have to sell them to the general public without regard to the 'person' making the order.

    If they aren't on the menu, well, that's the end of the story.

    In the court filings there is no indication of any special request by the 'gay' couple for a 'special' message that would have been added or supplied by the baker.

    From the court decision it seems the baker rejected the couple's order based on their being 'gay', and asking for a 'wedding' cake. Further, it appears the baker was willing to sell them other baked goods that the shop offer, but not the one listed as 'wedding cake'.

    With a small bakery, every item in the store would require 'handwork' by the baker. So, it is not the case that a 'wedding' cake would be significantly different.

    That is discrimination pure and simple.

  • Lilly Munster , 00
    June 17, 2019 7:14 p.m.

    Amazing, just amazing, that no one has commented, from detailed examination of these court cases, that all.....all of the business owners involved are members of Fundamentalist Christian Denominations that also deem LDS Americans as "not really Christians." Do your homework, LDS citizens. The next door slammed in someone's face could possibly be.......you.
    Of course, that would be a brand new learning experience for those who have lived their lives in religiously dominated enclaves, and have never had the degree of abuse as almost all Blacks, Latinos and LGBT Americans have always, I repeat, always experienced.
    Consider, please: We have dozens of relatives that are RCA (Reformed Church in America) and Christian Reformed relatives that have been at war with each other, for a lifetime, over infant baptism, predestination, and whether to immerse or sprinkle believers. Give them the legal power to deny service to each other, and they absolutely, positively....will do so. You don't even need to ask how fast and fierce each of those two family factions would usher their LDS cousins (us) to the door, with all the angry and well worn screeds about LDS reprobates.

  • 1covey Salt Lake City, UT
    June 17, 2019 7:01 p.m.

    If segments of our society cannot abide 'live and let live' civility, then our society will eventually explode. If somebody really has a sincere belief, then stop pestering them about it. That is what the LGBT community originally desired; now let them also abide by it.

  • Hugh1 , 00
    June 17, 2019 6:31 p.m.

    From my gay perspective, this whole discussion is outrageous. The last thing gays need is a Christian baker making them a cake. These are test cases about essential services that all people need. So, it's time to stop the staged, sighing outrage that a gay guy in leather is going to demand a cake with naked men dancing in matching leather thongs from a little old Christian lady baker. Think loan accessibility, real estate bias, service rentals, jobs, and public accessibility (marriage licences). The outrageous part is that civil marriage has no religious significance at all - except that inferred by the religious objector! Weird. If you can't provide me and my husband with a secular service, why should I provide you and your wife with the same service. What if your religion offends me because my religion says yours is blasphemous? Should I have to provide you with a marriage license and a wedding cake? Move on, and how about a little common sense, this is really getting old.

  • Smokin' Joe ALTURAS, CA
    June 17, 2019 6:20 p.m.

    This nation was founded free and independent on an appeal to a non-sectarian moral law in "the laws of nature (unassisted human reason) and of nature's God" (divine revelation). Both Athens and Jerusalem agreed on the substance of the moral law and both were unstinting in their condemnation of homosexuality, even if they approached it from two different premises. The homosexual rights agenda, which is now a veritable fait accompli, is a complete repudiation of both "the laws of nature and of nature's God". As such, it is a repudiation of the very possibility of any objective moral truth whatsoever. The "morality" governing the public square post-ascendance of the homosexual rights movement, is simply that "might makes right".

  • Frozen Fractals Paducah, KY
    June 17, 2019 6:09 p.m.

    @poyman
    "The fact is that case law has clarified the fact that a Bakery, owned by a Christian, who reasonable believes that same sex marriage is an assault on his deeply held religious beliefs may in fact refuse to make a wedding cake for a same sex wedding... It is NOT "illegal" as you proclaim (i.e. the Colorado case). "

    That's not what that ruling said at all yet you and several others here continue to be mistaken in that notion.

  • matman Provo, UT
    June 17, 2019 6:00 p.m.

    Being a BYU fan I'm sure an Utah die hard fan would love to bake me a BYU cake!

  • godbdian Gilford, NH
    June 17, 2019 5:58 p.m.

    Let the lgtb community seek out a baker who wont mind baking a wedding cake,, and fyi, a muslim bakery will also refuse to bake that wedding cake honoring gay marriage.

  • Lilly Munster , 00
    June 17, 2019 5:56 p.m.

    No, this is not a victory for "religious belief."
    Imagine how easy it would be, and how justifiable it could some day be, for a Muslim to deny any and all services to a Jew. Or a Southern Baptist to send ALL of us LDS Americans away, because, of course, they have always accused us of being a Cult. Imagine anyone, with any "firmly held religious belief" to claim the right to discriminate. We couldn't possibly make a law with only ONE intended victim. Or had we planned to ONLY target LGBT Americans?

  • jeclar2006 Oceanside, CA
    June 17, 2019 5:41 p.m.

    NeifyT - Salt Lake City, UT
    June 17, 2019 2:00 p.m.
    ---
    Religious practice is a constitutional right. Everyone gets to practice the religion they want to (so long as it doesn't infringe on others... such as obviously no virgin sacrifices).
    ---

    Religious practice can be limited, even excluding a 'virgin sacrifices' absurdist argument.

    It is surprising to see so many posting from Utah, and have some similar sentiment.

    In Reynolds v The United States, 1878, the Supreme Court found that the state(or Federal government) could regulate marriage, as an action, to two persons not otherwise married. The Mormon Church practiced polygamy, and Mr Reynolds, a resident of Utah Territory, was charged with bigamy, having married two women.

    Reynolds attempted to defend against the charge claiming his marriage was a duty by his religious belief and that the government could not interfere based on his 1st Amendment rights to practice his religion. The Court found otherwise.

    The court separated out a belief vs action. In the former the court could not control belief per 1st Amendment establishment of Religion. The court however could control action, such as marriage.

  • BJMoose Syracuse, UT
    June 17, 2019 5:25 p.m.

    For Lost in DC
    Regarding your comment:
    BJMoose
    So you are for establishing religious litmus tests. I am glad the 1st amendment is in place to protect us against such requirements.
    My post was as follows :
    BJMoose - Syracuse, UT
    June 17, 2019 10:39 a.m.
    If you choose to own and/or run a business that serves the public then serve the public or find some other line of work.

    Please explain just where I mentioned religion in any manner or form and your thought process that evolved into religious litmus tests. I will admit I’m totally flummoxed with the conclusions you came up with.

  • Red Corvette St George, UT
    June 17, 2019 5:17 p.m.

    @cthulhu_fhtagn - Seattle, WA

    re: "Sources?"

    The Book of Mormon, the Old Testament are just two of many.

  • THEREALND Mishawaka, IN
    June 17, 2019 5:11 p.m.

    The question is, would an African-American baker be forced to make a cake with the Confederate flag on it because a Southerner wants to celebrate Robert E. Lee's birthday? Yes. Would a Baptist baker be forced to put a model of the Salt Lake Temple on a cake for a couple getting married there? Yes.

  • THEREALND Mishawaka, IN
    June 17, 2019 5:05 p.m.

    I wouldn't want to buy a cake from the bearded guy with no hair net. The thought of it brings a tickle to my throat and a full blown cough.

  • Thid Barker Victor, ID
    June 17, 2019 5:04 p.m.

    Cityboy: You are confusing racial issues with sexual behavior choices! Not the same thing! A person's race is not a choice, demanding someone make you a cake for a gay wedding is a choice. Go find another baker! Problem solved! Or is the real issue one of forcing one person's behavior (not race) choices upon society?

  • mhenshaw Leesburg, VA
    June 17, 2019 5:03 p.m.

    >>Gender isn't a behavior. (Nor is sexual orientation.)

    Sexual orientation is a trait that is, by definition, expressed through a specific type of behavior.

  • Independent Henderson, NV
    June 17, 2019 4:42 p.m.

    "So the Civil Rights Movement was unreasonable, irrational, and dishonorable?"

    Makes you think doesn't it? At least it should. At what point are we going to confront the ugly truth? Racial bigotry was an ugly thing that we needed to deal with, but at what cost? We sacrificed individual liberty and freedom of conscience for the greater good. We sacrificed our inalienable right to self government to right the wrongs of racism. Was it worth it? Maybe so, but what a price we paid! Targeting this guy over and over again like this is not right, not matter what you think about the moral and political issues at stake. Leave the poor guy alone. Bigotry is wrong, but thought policing is much worse.

  • cityboy Farmington, UT
    June 17, 2019 4:34 p.m.

    @ Thid Barker,
    Under your personal “live and let live” philosophy, irrespective of what the law stipulates, a few events in our country’s history would have been dramatically different had decision-makers shared that same philosophy:
    * the North would have simply told the south, “Sure, go ahead and keep your slaves, but if you don’t mind we’ll go in a different direction
    * Rosa Parks would have been told to find a different bus line
    * Woolworth’s (if it still existed) would not be serving people of color at its lunch counter
    * Hank Aaron would never have broken Babe Ruth’s homerun record
    * women would not have the vote
    * the government would be gathering U.S. citizens of Iranian descent and placing them in internment camps
    * the headquarters of the LDS Church would still be in Nauvoo

    Our country is the better for being a Constitutional Democracy.

  • Thid Barker Victor, ID
    June 17, 2019 3:40 p.m.

    Cityboy: Ok. If I was "discriminated" against by any business, I would simply take my business elsewhere! I would not make it a political issue or make it my agenda to try to force my will upon other people who might disagree with me. That's what any reasonable, rational, honorable person would do. Live and let live some people say! Others might say it differently: Mind your own business and stop trying to mind other people's business. This entire issue is nothing more than some people trying to force others to accept their behavior!

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    June 17, 2019 3:21 p.m.

    Americans (people who believe and accept that all people have equal right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness) do not and would not deny a fellow American the protection of our Constitution no matter the conflict of personal religions.

  • cityboy Farmington, UT
    June 17, 2019 2:52 p.m.

    @ A Guy With a Brain,

    “I mean, seriously, the vote above was an overwhelming 7-2; even 2 of the 4 liberal Supreme Court justices saw it as discrimination/an attack on one's religious beliefs.”

    The Supreme Court did not rule on the merits of the case. It ruled that the Colorado Commission, which had jurisdiction over the matter, failed to act neutrally in respect to the cake baker’s religious beliefs.

    Rest assured that ultimately the Supreme Court will need to tackle the merits of these kinds of cases rather than simply punt based on tangential elements.

  • Ranch Here, UT
    June 17, 2019 2:46 p.m.

    @NeifyT;

    I understood exactly what you said: You said that it should be legal to discriminate based on "behavior".

    Religious practice (a behavior) is a constitutional right - owning a busines is a privilege, a privilege you obtain via licencing, etc.

    That said, if you allow discrimination based on "behaviors" then you *must* allow discrimination against religious behavior as well.

    @poyman;

    You are wrong; the SCOTUS did not rule that businesses could discriminate against LGBT customers - all they said was that the commission didn't give Mr. Phillips "religious beliefs" the respect they deserved (IMO, beliefs supporting discrimination don't deserve respect).

    As it stands, if/when Mr. Phillips discriminates next time - he will (rightly) end up back in court.

  • poyman Draper, UT
    June 17, 2019 2:40 p.m.

    @bgl in santamonica

    "Play ball in the Negro leagues and quit acting like you are "owed" the chance to play against the white players."
    "There is plenty of water in the drinking fountain that is marked "colored". Drink from it and stop acting like your feelings are hurt."
    "There are 70 seats on this bus. Pick a nice one in the back and stop harassing the driver and the nice people in the front."

    *********

    Surely you are able to understand the difference between the Colorado Cake Case and Racial Discrimination... If not, let me help you...

    I know of no religion that has a reasonable foundation in scripture (particularly Christian Scripture) that condemns an individual based on the color of one's skin... On the other hand there are many scriptures in both the old and new testament that condemns same sex relationships. Christian Religious Beliefs were not formulated to discriminate against LGBTQ individuals or relationships... and simply because a Government Body passes legislation protecting LGBTQ folks those folks do not then have the right to demand that scripture on the topic be ignored or whited out.

    I applaud the Supremes for protecting Freedom of Religion in this case.

  • cityboy Farmington, UT
    June 17, 2019 2:25 p.m.

    @NeifyT,
    Follow the DNews’ link to the actual record of the court case and you will find (as I mentioned) that the Oregon Court spoke specifically to the status/conduct distinction you are trying to make. It found that Oregon law did not decouple the two as you are suggesting.

    The example of the couple being denied restaurant service due to their conduct (interracial marriage) as opposed to them being able to enter individually into the restaurant and be served (racial status) was not an example of my making. It was the court’s and it is appropriate.

    @Thid Barker,
    “If ... people are dissatisfied about the service they receive from any business, they simply take their business elsewhere.”

    I have to say that I am slack-jawed on your misunderstanding of the issue at hand. This is not about someone receiving poor service at a store or not liking a restaurant meal that was ordered. This is about discrimination which violates the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment.

    We can’t pick and choose which aspects of the Constitution that we’ll agree to live by.

  • poyman Draper, UT
    June 17, 2019 2:19 p.m.

    @unrepentant from montana,

    "...This notion that a same sex couple should just shop elsewhere if they are illegally refused service is a throwback to segregation, based on a differing characteristic. I am shocked and appalled that it is suggested by otherwise presumably "nice" people."

    *****

    I too am shocked and appalled... only coming from the other direction. .. The fact is that case law has clarified the fact that a Bakery, owned by a Christian, who reasonable believes that same sex marriage is an assault on his deeply held religious beliefs may in fact refuse to make a wedding cake for a same sex wedding... It is NOT "illegal" as you proclaim (i.e. the Colorado case).

    It's hard for me to understand why someone defending newly acquired class protection rights can now insist that this protection trumps "freedom of religion"? Particularly when the Supremes have clearly ruled in the Colorado Cake Case that it does not in fact trump religious freedom. I simply don't see the Supremes reversing themselves.

  • NeifyT Salt Lake City, UT
    June 17, 2019 2:00 p.m.

    @Ranch - "Religion is a 'behavior,' should discrimination against the behavior of 'religion' be allowed too?"

    You obviously didn't understand anything I said; or you would not be asking that question. I suspect few actually understand what I am saying; or it would already be the rule of law.

    Religious practice is a constitutional right. Everyone gets to practice the religion they want to (so long as it doesn't infringe on others... such as obviously no virgin sacrifices).

    A corp. has every right to discriminate against another person's religious practice (e.g. I will not provide a prayer rug in my establishment). But cannot kick a person out just because they are obviously part of another religion (e.g. wearing a kippah). A corp should not have to cater (pun intended) to another religious practice -- such as a caterer should not be required to provide food to an event he disagrees with like a bar mitzvah.

    Further (and sorry to bring Judaism in too many times) a restaurant would not be required to cook "kosher" just to not discriminate against Jews.

    Again, easy to determine if the discrimination is against the person or a person's behavior such as a social gathering/event.

  • Traveller Farmington, UT
    June 17, 2019 1:58 p.m.

    @Ranch

    You are correct that baking a generic cake for an LGBT couple with no writing on it doesn't communicate any message. Baking a wedding cake, however, does. Wedding cakes are not just cakes. They are symbolic and carry a message.

    The Masterpiece baker would have been perfectly happy to sell the couple that sued him any cake in his shop that he had already made, or any other baked goods for that matter. What he objected to was making a cake that sent a message he didn't agree with.

    He treated all his customers the same, as well - he refused to bake any cake for a customer that sent a message he didn't agree with, including Halloween cakes (because he personally found Halloween to be unchristian), cakes communicating anything anti-American, and he said he would refuse to make a cake insulting anyone, including the LGBT community.

    Nobody sued him over refusing to make Halloween cakes, by the way.

    @Thornbush76
    Refusing to disclose why you are rejecting a customer is not enough. You might still be taken to court, especially if they suspect you are doing it because of your religious convictions.

  • LOU Montana Pueblo, CO
    June 17, 2019 1:49 p.m.

    Clearly Jack Phillips, owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop in Lakewood, Colo., does no follow his Christian beliefs and chooses to spread his hate and discontent.

    I say leave him alone. It appears to be a marketing strategy that he denies people service.

    If he cannot get fame from being ignorant to gay people then he would be denying service to people of color.

    There are plenty of good moral and decent cake shops to do business with.

    I grew up believing a business has the right to refuse service to anyone they want.

    Leave Jack alone and let him sort it out with GOD later in life.

  • NeifyT Salt Lake City, UT
    June 17, 2019 1:39 p.m.

    @cityboy and Karen R.,

    The courts as far as I am aware never really looked at what I have proposed, not from the frame of reference of distinguishing between behavior and attribute. Cityboy mentions interracial couples; but that is an erroneous comparison. Eating at a restaurant is not the same thing a marriage ceremony. Denying entrance to an interracial couple is discriminating not based on behavior; but based on skin color (or integration of the two). Now, if the restaurant had said they will not cater to a wedding reception of an interracial couple; that would be a valid form of discrimination.

    While Karen R. mentions weddings vs. gay weddings. My point being the wedding event has no rights; and thus can be discriminated against; while the couple getting married has rights.

    But, in that I am sure lawyers could site examples of where courts truly disagreed with my point of view wouldn't be surprising. I seem to have a very different take on the world and constitutional freedoms than most the population; of which the courts (such as just again today--with their still allowing double jeopardy); outright ignore the purposes behind the constitution and its founding principles.

  • Thid Barker Victor, ID
    June 17, 2019 1:37 p.m.

    If rational, logical and reasonable people are dissatisfied with the service the get from any business, they simply take their business elsewhere! We have all done that! Why is this gay wedding cake issue any different?

  • Ralph Salt Lake City, UT
    June 17, 2019 1:30 p.m.

    It's a free country. You can discriminate against and "hate the sin" of others who are different from you, but if you have a business that is open to the public, you have to treat all people the same, even the people you think are icky.

    Some day, you might critically examine what your religion tells you about people who are different than you and your tribe, and decide all those verses in your book don't mean what you have been told that they mean.

  • Ranch Here, UT
    June 17, 2019 1:28 p.m.

    Billy Bob;

    "Ranch,
    I respectfully disagree that the 14th amendment should apply in this case. I know you are referring to the Equal Protection Clause, but I don't see how allowing a Christian (or Jew, or Muslim or whatever religion or lack thereof) to refuse service based on religious beliefs violates this clause."

    -- It violates this clause because the government protects religious people from discrimination by LGBT business owners (see: Civil Rights Act), but does not protect LGBT customers from discrimination by religious business owners.

    @Traveller;

    Baking a cake for an LGBT couple communicates NO message whatsoever on behalf of the business, other than that the business owner in in business.

    zgomer says:

    "I have yet seen when it says a bakery has to do business with same sex couples."

    -- But the LGBT baker MUST bake for the Christian bigot (see: CRA).

    @bamafone;

    Good for you; (I don't believe you, but good for you).

  • J in the Desert Maricopa, AZ
    June 17, 2019 1:28 p.m.

    Sending the case back to the Oregon court with specific instructions was probably the best decision under the circumstances for a couple of reasons. First, the Kleins were asking the court to overturn Employment Division, Department of Human Resources of Oregon v. Smith, 494 U.S. 872. This decision, authored by Antonin Scalia, severely dialed back the first amendment right of free exercise of religion. In any case, that was probably a bridge too far for the conservatives on the court. The other reason is that both the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industry and the Oregon Court of Appeals showed some serious animus toward the Klein's beliefs and their desire to conduct their public lives according to their beliefs.

  • cityboy Farmington, UT
    June 17, 2019 1:15 p.m.

    @NeifyT,
    “The easy answer. It should be illegal to discriminate against an individual (a person) based on their characteristics. It should, however, be legal to discriminate against their behavior.”

    The Oregon court disagreed with you and the cake bakers when they argued that they didn’t deny service on account of sexual orientation (status) but on account of their conduct. The court stated that Oregon law made no distinction between status/conduct and cited an example. A restaurant cannot exclude service based on race (status) yet deny that same service to an interracial couple based on their marriage (conduct).

    The Supreme Court will ultimately need to tackle these cases. And it won’t come down to a 1st Amendment determination. The courts have already denied attempts by commercial establishments to discriminate on those grounds. It will come down to a freedom of religion argument. I suspect that the cake bakers will lose on those ground, too, in that their commercial establishment is not foremost a religious enterprise. A minister cannot be compelled to perform a gay marriage which would violate his religious convictions whereas a plumber cannot similarly deny his services.

  • Karen R. Houston, TX
    June 17, 2019 12:55 p.m.

    @ NeifyT

    "I don't understand why it is so hard for anyone (especially the court system) to logically look at details; and come up with a solution for all."

    The courts have looked at your solution. Their conclusion is that you're making a distinction without a difference because the behavior being objected to isn't getting married. It's being of the same gender and getting married. Gender isn't a behavior. (Nor is sexual orientation.)

    Re: Prof. Laycock's distinction between core religious practices and more marginal ones, I was struck again by how much some religions revolve around sex and sexual purity. I just don't believe these things are core to me. They aren't unimportant, but core? Really? At the end of my life one of the primary things I want to be able to say is, "I only had sex with certain people at certain times?"

    I also don't think the distinction affords a solution unless he's going to argue that freedom of belief grants more weight to religious than secular beliefs. I.e., his "core religious practices" still has to grapple with "core secular practices" (like equality).

  • bamafone Salem, UT
    June 17, 2019 12:41 p.m.

    Ranch here,
    I would go to the next bakery, or, bake an extra big cake myself with a lot of extra frosting. I would eat too much, and then roll over in the cake and play dead I’d be so offended lol.

  • zgomer Salt Lake City, UT
    June 17, 2019 12:32 p.m.

    Freedom of religion, that is what it says in the Constitution. I have yet seen when it says a bakery has to do business with same sex couples. I believe the LBGT groups just want to get attention in this issue no matter what. Then play the victims. Get over it and move on to so some who will do it without all of this nonsense.

  • Chessermesser West Valley City, UT
    June 17, 2019 12:28 p.m.

    The Supreme Court needs to hear the case. The rules need to be defined.

  • Thornbush76 Keller, TX
    June 17, 2019 12:13 p.m.

    Or, here's an idea, stop telling people why you won't accept their business. If business owners have to worry about losing their livelihood because a customer has decided to financially destroy them if they don't share their ideals, stop explaining yourself. A simple, "I'm sorry , we can't fill that order " should suffice. No explanation required. Protect yourselves, people.

  • bgl Santa Monica, CA
    June 17, 2019 12:09 p.m.

    DRich says---There are thousand of cake shops like grocery stores find one you like support it and stop harassing because your feelings got hurt.

    Others have said similar things.....

    "Play ball in the Negro leagues and quit acting like you are "owed" the chance to play against the white players."
    "There is plenty of water in the drinking fountain that is marked "colored". Drink from it and stop acting like your feelings are hurt."
    "There are 70 seats on this bus. Pick a nice one in the back and stop harassing the driver and the nice people in the front."

  • Traveller Farmington, UT
    June 17, 2019 12:05 p.m.

    @Ranch

    If I own a business that sells shoes or is a restaurant or something I am rightly required to treat people the same regardless of their race, gender, etc. in providing services.

    However, if I own a business that is a platform for communication, such as a newspaper, while I am still required to treat potential customers the same regardless of their characteristics, I am not required to publish any message that anyone brings me. I can choose what messages I will use my business to communicate and which I will not. That is because speech is constitutionally protected.

    Creating a cake that communicates a message is a form of speech, and cannot be compelled.

    As for what I would do if a baker refused to bake me a cake for, say, an LDS missionary farewell because I wanted a Book of Mormon scripture on it or something similar, my answer is that I would find another baker who would do it. Or, if I couldn't find any bakers, I would make my own cake.

    I would not attempt to legally compel someone to express a message they don't agree with, or attempt to destroy their business because they will not support my message.

  • Billy Bob Salt Lake City, UT
    June 17, 2019 12:01 p.m.

    Ranch,

    I respectfully disagree that the 14th amendment should apply in this case. I know you are referring to the Equal Protection Clause, but I don't see how allowing a Christian (or Jew, or Muslim or whatever religion or lack thereof) to refuse service based on religious beliefs violates this clause.

    For example, if an Evangelical baker refused to bake a cake for my LDS wedding reception or baptism or whatever because he thinks "all Mormons are going to Hell", I think that he has the right to do so. Another example would be an atheist baker or a gay baker refusing to bake a cake for my religious event because they don't like my Church. They should also have the right to do so.

    I wouldn't like it, and would possibly spread the word about it. Maybe others would boycott them based on that. But I wouldn't go crying to the government to try to force them to bake me a cake. I'd simply find a different baker who is willing to bake my cake.

  • Ranch Here, UT
    June 17, 2019 11:55 a.m.

    @drich;

    Why don't you tell the bakers to just bake the darn cakes rather than "having their feelings hurt" by having to treat all customers equally?

    BTW;

    It isn't about "feelings"; it's about discrimination and bigotry in the public square.

  • DontTR3@DonM3 Tooele, UT
    June 17, 2019 11:48 a.m.

    @Ranch:

    "For all of you telling the gay customers to "go somewhere else"; what if YOU were the victim of this blatant discrimination? Would you just roll over and play dead? I sincerely doubt it."

    I absolutely would go somewhere else, and I'd tell everyone I know about it. If people agreed with my point of view, they might go somewhere else too. If not, then they wouldn't. And, in our current social-media saturated world, the business stands or falls based on its reputation. This is free market capitalism, more importantly, it is freedom in the truest sense.

  • BleedCougarBlue Enid, OK
    June 17, 2019 11:33 a.m.

    @ poyman - Draper, UT - June 17, 2019 10:07 a.m. - "@LDS 4-ever "...I think they need to do their jobs that we the people are paying them for and settle this once and for all."
    ***************
    It already has been decided... The Lower Courts in Liberal jurisdictions are bucking it though. Sending the case back to the lower courts for "reconsideration" is simply a way for the Supremes to tell the lower courts to follow precedent and quit wasting their time.
    In all probability, the liberal activist judges in the lower courts will hold to their decision and the Supremes will have to rule (as they have before) once again."

    My comment: Absolutely right! The Supreme Court DID already decide in favor of the ability for all people to express their religious beliefs without interference and are telling the lower courts to get a clue. And I also agree with you that they (the lower courts) will not change their ruling and that this case will go up to the Supreme Court again where the ruling will be in favor of the Christian bakers. I totally, 100% agree with you on these 2 statements.

  • A Guy With A Brain Enid, OK
    June 17, 2019 11:27 a.m.

    Article quote: "The Supreme Court sidestepped that question in its Masterpiece (bakery) decision. Justices based their 7-2 decision on the actions of the Colorado Civil Rights Commission, ruling that it had unlawfully disrespected the religious beliefs of a Christian baker."

    That says it all. I mean, seriously, the vote above was an overwhelming 7-2; even 2 of the 4 liberal Supreme Court justices saw it as discrimination/an attack on one's religious beliefs. What more powerful message do liberals want that the Constitution, as well as our Supreme Court, sides in favor of the expression of one's religious beliefs?

  • drich Green River, UT
    June 17, 2019 11:08 a.m.

    There are thousand of cake shops like grocery stores find one you like support it and stop harassing because your feelings got hurt.

  • OlderGreg USA, CA
    June 17, 2019 10:49 a.m.

    I'm feeling a bit ambivalent on this Supremes dereliction of duty.

    When some states passed laws that either specifically allowed partnership registrations, Supremes stood silent.

    Then some states passed laws that either specifically allowed SS marriage.
    Then the Feds passed that family protection thing, Supremes stood silent.

    Then some states passed laws that refused to recognize SS marriage. Supremes stood silent.

    Some lower court decided that SS marriage prohibition of any sort is unconstitutional. Supremes stood silent.

    Then some Civil Servant took the Feds to court over employee benefits and taxes. Supremes determined that the Feds are subject to the Full Faith and Credit Clause of the Constitution, reaffirming that a marriage performed in one state is still a marriage in all other states.

    Subsequent Supremes derelictions (ie standing silent and failing to apply the Full Faith and Credit Clause) resulted in lower court decisions becoming the law of the land by default.

    Supremes are not doing the balance of power and checks n balances thing.

    (Edited because the caps court acronym is deemed screaming)

  • BJMoose Syracuse, UT
    June 17, 2019 10:43 a.m.

    From: RiDal - Sandy, UT
    June 17, 2019 8:59 a.m.
    “At this point it is clear that the government of Colorado is just harassing the baker.”
    The article is discussing an Oregon case. I recommend reading it.

  • Ranch Here, UT
    June 17, 2019 10:42 a.m.

    @Billy Bob;

    Well, the 14th Amendment (Equal Treatment) is part of the Bill of Rights which is part of the Constitution. The Constitution is the supreme law of the land. I think it is pretty obvious what should take precedence. You do know that an amendment "amends" ALL that came before it, right?

    @Traveller;

    There is no difference between the "message" and those for whom the "message" is being written if the only people for whom the "message" applies are those being denied the "message".

    @RiDal;

    Equal Treatment under the law: Clearly enunciated in the Constitution.

    @NeifyT;

    "It should be illegal to discriminate against an individual (a person) based on their characteristics. It should, however, be legal to discriminate against their behavior."

    -- Religion is a "behavior", should discrimination against the behavior of "religion" be allowed too?

    @Bigger Bubba;

    Wedding cakes are not gay nor straight; they're just cakes.

    For all of you telling the gay customers to "go somewhere else"; what if YOU were the victim of this blatant discrimination? Would you just roll over and play dead? I sincerely doubt it.

  • Utahnareapeculiarpeople Salt Lake City, UT
    June 17, 2019 10:38 a.m.

    It's hard to figure out what the court wants the lower courts to reconsider. Apparently, there wasn't anything in the record in this case regarding one of the people involved in the administrative decision having disparaged religion.

  • BJMoose Syracuse, UT
    June 17, 2019 10:39 a.m.

    If you choose to own and/or run a business that serves the public then serve the public or find some other line of work.

  • Back Talk Federal Way, WA
    June 17, 2019 10:28 a.m.

    Justice Roberts is afraid of the Supreme Court appearing political. In truth, however, delaying this decision until after Kennedy was replaced does that even more than it would have.

    Justice Kennedy was the deciding vote for Gay Marriage. He should have also been the deciding vote affirming the rights of Religious Freedom on the Masterpiece Cake case. That would have taken the political message out of those decisions.

  • Back Talk Federal Way, WA
    June 17, 2019 10:29 a.m.

    Justice Roberts is afraid of the Supreme Court appearing political. In truth, however, delaying this decision until after Kennedy was replaced does that even more than it would have.

    Justice Kennedy was the deciding vote for Gay Marriage. He should have also been the deciding vote affirming the rights of Religious Freedom on the Masterpiece Cake case. That would have taken the political message out of those decisions.

  • Jeff Harris Edmonds, WA
    June 17, 2019 10:26 a.m.

    This is the second time. The Supreme Court kicked another civil rights case back to Washington state's Supreme Court asking them to reconsider in light of the Masterpiece Cake ruling. Washington state's Supreme Court reconsidered and this year unanimously upheld ts earlier ruling against the florist who refused to sell flowers for a gay wedding.

    The state supreme court's decision said, neither the Washington Supreme Court nor the Benton County Superior Court acted with religious animosity when they ruled the florist violated Washington state's discrimination law.

  • unrepentant progressive Bozeman, MT
    June 17, 2019 10:26 a.m.

    Freedom of speech and freedom of action are two entirely different things. And even the freedom of speech has limitations. Furthermore, conflating speech and action is a very big mistake. I doubt the country wants to go down the road of selective acts of discriminatory action against disfavored populations.

    IMHO, the bakeries, florists, etc that refuse to provide services for a same sex wedding or other such event readily available to their heterosexual siblings violate law in those places which ban public accommodation discrimination against LGBT individuals. Their participation in the public marketplace is constrains their freedom of action. Their freedom to speak their mind on the topic of gay marriage is not inhibited in the least. Nor is their freedom to participate in worshipful activities. Nor any other Constitutional rights.

    This notion that a same sex couple should just shop elsewhere if they are illegally refused service is a throwback to segregation, based on a differing characteristic. I am shocked and appalled that it is suggested by otherwise presumably "nice" people.

  • M_Hawke Golden, CO
    June 17, 2019 10:11 a.m.

    When is the Supreme Court going to grow a spine and rule (in favor of the 1st Amendment and religious freedom) on this nonsense?

  • poyman Draper, UT
    June 17, 2019 10:07 a.m.

    @LDS 4-ever

    "...I think they need to do their jobs that we the people are paying them for and settle this once and for all."

    ***************

    It already has been decided... The Lower Courts in Liberal jurisdictions are bucking it though. Sending the case back to the lower courts for "reconsideration" is simply a way for the Supremes to tell the lower courts to follow precedent and quit wasting their time.

    In all probability, the liberal activist judges in the lower courts will hold to their decision and the Supremes will have to rule (as they have before) once again.

    Newly found law that gives LGBTQ groups "protected status" will not over-rule Religious Freedom firmly implanted in the Constitution, regardless of how many times the far left government organizations challenge. At some point the people will need to address the renegade behavior of the far left and I cannot wait for that to finally happen.

    Simple solution... find another Bakery OR open one yourself.

  • Bigger Bubba Herriman, UT
    June 17, 2019 9:43 a.m.

    If I owned a bakery, I would refuse to make a gay wedding cake as well. It would violate my firm religious beliefs about marriage. However, if a gay couple walked into my store and asked for a birthday cake, no problem. Celebrating a birthday does not violate my religious beliefs.

  • Latter-daySaintForever St. George, UT
    June 17, 2019 9:41 a.m.

    It appears that the Supremes are getting chicken with regards to this issue. I think they need to do their jobs that we the people are paying them for and settle this once and for all.

  • NeifyT Salt Lake City, UT
    June 17, 2019 9:26 a.m.

    The answer to "balance" rights and protections is extremely simple. I don't understand why it is so hard for anyone (especially the court system) to logically look at details; and come up with a solution for all.

    The easy answer. It should be illegal to discriminate against an individual (a person) based on their characteristics. It should, however, be legal to discriminate against their behavior.

    This balances the right of free association (or non-association) with freedom of religion AND freedom of speech.

    An example with the cake bakers. A cake baker should not be able to turn down making a cake for a person just because of that person's orientation. However, a cake baker should be allowed to turn down the commission of a cake for a specific event (a social association) if that event contradicts their religious beliefs. Thus not kicking a person out or refusing service to an individual in general ... but refusing to endorse a behavior of that individual via a celebratory event should be allowed.

    Just because one offers services to the public doesn't mean one must give up their own freedom to do so.

  • Tekakaromatagi Dammam, Saudi Arabia
    June 17, 2019 9:26 a.m.

    @Billy Bob: The deeper issue is are we going to redefine boycotting to mean 'discrimination'?

    Boycotting is when you don't cater to an event that you disagree with. For example, someone may not like Chick-Fil-A and they will boycott them, or they may not invest in companies that do business in Israel to protest Israel's human rights record.

    Discrimination is when you don't serve a group across the board. Like if a tax accountant will not provide income tax services to a gay couple, for example. Or if a bar tells two gay men, "We don't serve your kind here." Or if restaurants put up a sign that they don't serve black people.

    The right to boycott is a first amendment right and is certainly a liberal principle and even a liberal responsibility.

  • bamafone Salem, UT
    June 17, 2019 9:12 a.m.

    There are some really good do it yourself cake mixes at the store.

  • RiDal Sandy, UT
    June 17, 2019 9:00 a.m.

    "It asks what should take precedence when LGBTQ nondiscrimination laws clash with the First Amendment."

    Free exercise of religion: Clearly enunciated in the Constitution.

    Right to force a person to bake a gay wedding cake: Mentioned nowhere. A pure fantasy.

    It seems pretty clear.

  • RiDal Sandy, UT
    June 17, 2019 8:59 a.m.

    At this point it is clear that the government of Colorado is just harassing the baker.
    It is all part of the Left's agenda to destroy all traditional moral values.

  • Traveller Farmington, UT
    June 17, 2019 8:50 a.m.

    This is fallout from the SCOTUS's decision to settle the Masterpiece Cakeshop case on essentially bad prosecutorial conduct rather than the underlying principle. Masterpiece itself has faced more law suits because of this as well.

    The SCOTUS in the first place should have simply said "No, you can't compel speech. While you can't deny someone a service you routinely grant to others because of who they are, you obviously also can't force someone to provide a service in support of a message that they have religious objections to. The difference is between discriminating against a person, which is illegal, and discriminating against a message, which is not only legal, but is protected by the First Amendment."

  • Thid Barker Victor, ID
    June 17, 2019 8:49 a.m.

    This gay couple should go find another baker and stop using the courts to enforce their discrimination against anyone who disagrees with their choices! "Discrimination" is such a overblown, misused, rebranded for political purposes word. What this comes down to is irreligious people and people who engage in alternative sexual behaviors can discriminate against everyone with whom they disagree, but not the other way around. Stop your reverse discrimination and go find another baker!

  • OldMain Saratoga Springs, UT
    June 17, 2019 8:24 a.m.

    Should an African-American baker be forced to make a cake with the Confederate flag on it because a Southerner wants to celebrate Robert E. Lee's birthday? No. Should a Baptist baker be forced to put a model of the Salt Lake Temple on a cake for a couple getting married there? No. Nobody is an exception to the rule. If this baker doesn't want to make a cake for a Lesbian couple, go somewhere that will.

  • Billy Bob Salt Lake City, UT
    June 17, 2019 8:10 a.m.

    "It asks what should take precedence when LGBTQ nondiscrimination laws clash with the First Amendment."

    Well, the First Amendment is part of the Bill of Rights, which is part of the Constitution. The Constitution is the supreme law of the land. I think it is pretty obvious what should take precedence.