Bay State marriage central to wedding cake baker’s SCOTUS appeal

The U.S. Supreme Court agreed to review the victory of a same-sex couple who married in Massachusetts and were denied a wedding cake for a 2012 celebration for friends and family in their home state of Colorado.

The U.S. Supreme Court announced it will review a Colorado court victory for David Mullins and Charlie Craig, who married in Massachusetts, after a bakery denied them a wedding cake.

According to a June 26 update from the ACLU, which represents the couple, “After a victory in the Colorado Court of Appeals on August 13, 2015, Masterpiece Cakeshop appealed to the Colorado Supreme Court. When that Court declined to hear the case, Masterpiece Cakeshop asked the Supreme Court of the United States to hear the case. On June 26, 2017, The Supreme Court announced it will review the decision from the Colorado Court of Appeals.”

Notes Mother Jones magazine in a June 27 article, “A ruling in favor of the baker could roll back years of progress made by LGBT civil rights groups in combating discrimination, allowing all sorts of businesses to close their doors to gays and lesbians simply by invoking a religious objection.”

“This has always been about more than a cake,” Mullins wrote in a statement with his spouse. “Businesses should not be allowed to violate the law and discriminate against us because of who we are and who we love.” His husband, Craig, added, “While we’re disappointed that the courts continue debating the simple question of whether LGBT people deserve to be treated like everyone else, we hope that our case helps ensure that no one has to experience being turned away simply because of who they are.”

For civil rights advocates, the decision would seem like a no brainer. But given the current political shift to the far right in Washington, D.C., an impartial and fair judicial system may be sorely challenged.

The case, points out the Mother Jones piece, “seems custom-made for the court’s newest justice, Neil Gorsuch, who was one of the lower-court judges who ruled in favor of Hobby Lobby, the craft store that claimed providing health insurance to its employees that covered contraception violated its corporate religious freedom rights. The Supreme Court later upheld that ruling in a 5-4 decision. At the time, critics warned it would be used to justify the kind of anti-gay discrimination at issue in the cake case.”