SCOTUS: Colorado Baker Doesn’t Have to Bake a Gay Marriage Cake


Colorado baker Jack Phillips won his case in a 7-2 the Supreme Court ruling finding he could not be forced to bake a cake for a gay wedding. The narrow ruling only focused on this particular case and did not deal with the larger issue of protecting other wedding services under the First Amendment right to religious freedom.

This is a case of the government compelling speech versus offending a gay couple.

Mr. Phillips is very religious and will also not bake cakes with alcohol or for Halloween. His religion also prevents him from creating wedding cakes for gay marriage.

The baker argued that he should not be compelled to make a cake for a same-sex wedding, in a case that pitted freedom of religion against what the two litigants called discrimination.

There are other cases and other wedding services that have been challenged by gay couples but the Supreme Court did not deal with the issue in general.

At stake in the case, said the Conference of Catholics Bishops, was “the freedom to live according to one’s religious beliefs in daily life.” But civil rights groups warned that a win for the baker would create a religion-based exception to laws forbidding other forms of discrimination, too.

The Supreme Court sided with the religious exception in this case but did not generalize the right.

Mr. Phillips said he is an artist and he didn’t want “to be forced to create art, any of the things I do for an event, that goes against my faith.”.

In 2012, when David Mullins and Charlie Craig walked into his shop and asked him to bake a cake for a reception to celebrate their wedding, Phillips said, “I’m sorry, guys, I can’t do that.”‘

NBC claims there was a silent, pregnant pause, but, in fact, some reports say the two men are activists who picked this bakery out of many bakeries. On the other hand, they are a sympathetic couple, but compelled speech can never be the case in the United States. The Constitution must always prevail.

The case pitted “compelled government speech” against gay marriage. Can the government force people to express themselves in a way that goes against their beliefs under the First Amendment?

Do we want the government to be able to force private business owners to create a cake when it’s against their core beliefs?

Baker Jack Phillips says he is not discriminating, he is refusing to engage in a religious event he is not allowed to religiously support. The Alliance for Defending Freedom defended him. The lawyer explains tolerance in this case is a one way street.

The prior administration required religious people receiving government contracts to promote gay marriage despite their beliefs. That is a very dangerous road to travel.

Baker Jack Phillips says he is not discriminating, he is refusing to engage in a religious event he is not allowed to religiously support. The Alliance for Defending Freedom is defending him.

The lawyer in the first clip below explains tolerance in this case is a one way street. The lower court found for a baker who refused to make an anti-gay marriage cake,  but ruled the opposite way in Mr. Phillips case. That is judicial activism and well beyond their purview.


CATO discusses both sides.



  1. This is not necessarily a “win” for the “right” but more of an admonishment against the Commission. If this Commission would have behaved with the same respect as in previous decisions I doubt the decision would have been a 7-2. In fact, Kennedy may have sided with a majority against the bakers.

    I think there is a serious mistake basing the refusal as a “religious event”. The event “may” have religious overtones but is not solely religious in and of itself. It is a “State” sanctioned “Contract” with the State being a “third party” to that contract via the “marriage license”. As a ‘Party’ to the contract a State may eventually be granted participatory language that will allow certain regulations to be imposed.

    When I first got married I questioned why, and how, can the “State” even be involved with “requiring” a license by the “Government”. At that time a blood test was required and I think that is no longer the case. As it stands now, and what may arise in the future, the best recourse is for States to fully relinquish any and all involvement with any “Marriage Law” including licensing.

  2. It was this part that should be most concerning:

    “The State’s interest could have been weighed against Phillips’ sincere religious objections in a way consistent with the requisite religious neutrality that must be strictly observed. But the official expressions of hostility to religion in some of the commissioners’ comments were inconsistent with that requirement, and the Commission’s disparate consideration of Phillips’case compared to the cases of the other bakers suggests the same.”

    Once the State and the Courts have become involved with the “Marriage Contract” it has allowed the same to re-define basic definitions. Common Law “should” have withstood this since a ‘marriage’ is “union” with a product of procreation creating a family unit. A same-sex marriage has no product by themselves and can only “gain” a product by outside means. There are no means whereby the “two” can generate an offspring, hence, there is no “union”. Marriage has now been reduced to merely a sexual partnership. The Court’s original decision should be treated as infamous as Dred Scott.

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