The Supreme Court has agreed to take up one of the most controversial cases in recent years, a case that involves a homosexual couple suing a Christian-owned bakery for declining to make a wedding cake for a homosexual ceremony.
The case, Masterpiece Cakeshop Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights will be heard by the Court in the upcoming session, which begins in October. The case was last heard by the Colorado Court of Appeals, where the Masterpiece Cakeshop won. However, the state civil rights division appealed, and the U.S. Supreme Court will be taking up the issue, The Hill is reporting.
As SCOTUSblog reports, the question that the justices will wrestle with is as follows:
Whether applying Colorado’s public accommodations law to compel the petitioner to create expression that violates his sincerely held religious beliefs about marriage violates the free speech or free exercise clauses of the First Amendment.
Under the free exercise clause of the First Amendment, no law shall be created that prohibiting the free exercise of religion. For most of American history, it has been well-respected with few exceptions. But in recent decades, the protection for religious freedom has been eroded.
One infamous Supreme Court case that dampened those protections was the 1990 case of Employment Division vs. Smith, ironically written by the late Justice Antonin Scalia. In the opinion, the Court claimed that religious liberty cases involves free exercise have always had another Constitutional right that was implicated, and never using the free exercise clause alone.
Some courts have rejected this idea, while others have simply not known what to do with it. You may have heard of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act; this act was passed in response to the Smith case to further protect religious freedom.
This case involves a state law though, so RFRA is not applicable. This is a First Amendment challenge, where the owners of the bakery refused to participate in a homosexual wedding ceremony because of their beliefs on marriage. The gay mafia could not accept that, and simply had no choice but to bring force into the equation.
What the issue here really boils down to is this: are Americans free to exercise their religious beliefs in public, even in their businesses, or no?
To me, and most people who like freedom, the answer is pretty clear: yes, they have the right to do that.
But will the Court agree? It will probably be another 5-4 decision, with the 5 conservative-leaning justices upholding the First Amendment, and the 4 liberal justices voting to erode the free exercise clause to “protect” the LGBTQLMNOP crowd.
The case will be heard this year.