The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday
announced that it would hear arguments on December 5 in a case
involving a Colorado baker who refused to serve a gay couple.
The case, Masterpiece Cakeshop v.
Colorado Civil Rights Commission, marks the first major case for
the high court involving LGBT rights since Obergefell, the
2015 case that struck down same-sex marriage bans nationwide.
In 2012, Jack Phillips, the owner of
Denver-based Masterpiece Cakeshop, refused to consider baking a cake
for Dave Mullins and Charlie Craig. The men married in Massachusetts
and wanted to buy a cake from Phillips for their Denver reception
(Colorado at the time recognized gay and lesbian couples with civil
unions, not marriage.). Phillips said that serving the couple would
violate his religious faith.
The couple sued, saying that Phillips'
faith does not give him a right to discriminate, and a Colorado court
found that Phillips had discriminated against the men under Colorado
law. After the Colorado Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal,
Phillips turned to the Supreme Court, arguing that the First
Amendment protects his religious rights.
who refused gay couple says Jesus would do the same.)
The U.S. Justice Department, under the
leadership of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, has sided with
Phillips, arguing in a 41-page amicus brief filed last month
that “Forcing Phillips to create expression for and participate in
a ceremony that violates his sincerely held religious beliefs invades
his First Amendment rights.”