The Supreme Court ruled Monday in favor of a Colorado baker who refused to make a custom cake for a same-sex couple, citing his religious beliefs. Hollywood is weighing in, but slowly, with comments and retweets – like Judd Apatow’s, of the ACLU’s response that its lawyers are hard at work this morning because “This fight isn’t over until EVERYONE has equal treatment under the law.”
Harry Shearer, meanwhile, had a “Question for Justice Kennedy: So now an atheist baker can refuse to make a cake for a couple wearing crucifixes?”
The high court’s ruling focusing narrowly on what justices determined to be disrespect shown to the merchant’s claimed were religious convictions that prevented him from making the cake.
Dodging a wider ruling on the subject, Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote for the 7-2 majority that the Colorado Civil Rights Commission had violated Masterpiece Cakeshop owner Jack Phillips’ rights by its “hostility” to his religious beliefs as he was found to be in violation of law; he was ordered to anti-discrimination training.
Even so, Attorney General Jeff Sessions took a victory lap in a statement, saying, “In this case and others, the Department of Justice will continue to vigorously defend the free speech and religious freedom First Amendment rights of all Americans.”
Phillips in 2012 declined to make a custom cake for Colorado couple Charlie Craig and David Mullins. The civil rights commission required Phillips to “cease and desist” that policy, and keep records for two years about any refusals of service.
In his writing, Kennedy denounced one commissioner having brought up slavery and the Holocaust before blasting Phillips’ religious freedom claim as a “despicable piece of rhetoric” to “use their religion to hurt others.”
“The Commission’s hostility was inconsistent with the First Amendment’s guarantee that our laws be applied in a manner that is neutral toward religion,” Kennedy wrote. “Phillips was entitled to a neutral decision maker who would give full and fair consideration to his religious objection as he sought to assert it in all of the circumstances in which this case was presented, considered, and decided.”
Some of the reax: