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June 17, 2019

Supreme Court Remands Decision Against "Sweet Cakes by Melissa" Bakery, Which Refused to Bake a Cake for a Gay Wedding

They sent the case back down to lower courts to reconsider in light of their Colorado decision, which said that a state agency cannot prosecute such cases while motivated by "animus" against religion.

The Supreme Court on Monday threw out a ruling against two Oregon bakers who refused to bake a wedding cake for a lesbian couple.

The couple, Melissa and Aaron Klein, cited religious beliefs as their reason for not providing services for a gay wedding. This touched off the latest in a series of such cases making headlines in recent years. During the court's last term, justices ruled in favor of a Colorado baker in a similar situation, stating that a state body demonstrated improper hostility toward the baker's religion in finding that he violated a state anti-discrimination law.


On Monday, the Supreme Court sent the Klein case back down to a lower court "for further consideration in light of" their Colorado decision.

Remember that The Also Fiercely Heterosexual Former Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy's decision in Colorado was a punt, though: his vote tipped the court against the Colorado persecution, but only on the narrow grounds that it had been mounted with "animus" against the religious.

Well, what if a state agency persecutes a business for refusing to violate their religious beliefs by taking a major role in a gay marriage, but the state agency does not exhibit an "animus" against religion while doing so?

The Supreme Court didn't say.
The Supreme Court had earlier remanded the state persecution of a florist in Washington State, sending the case back to the Washington (state) Supreme Court, also telling that state supreme court to reconsider in light of the Colorado decision.

Well, on June 6, the Washington (state) Supreme Court found again against the florist, finding that there was no "animus," just good ol' neutral discrimination against the religious.

Now that case will likely return to the Supreme Court, who will not be able to punt again.

In a hotly anticipated decision, the Washington Supreme Court ruled against a florist who was fined for not providing services for a gay couple's wedding.

The court had previously heard the case, State of Washington v. Arlene's Flowers, ruling that Barronelle Stutzman and her store, Arlene's Flowers, violated the Washington Law Against Discrimination (WLAD) for refusing to make floral arrangements for a gay couple in 2013. Stutzman claimed that she was only acting in accordance with her religious beliefs. The U.S. Supreme Court asked the state high court to take another look at whether it violated her religious rights by not being neutral to her religion when making its decision.

That court said no.

"We now hold that the answer to the Supreme Court's question is no; the adjudicatory bodies that considered this case did not act with religious animus when they ruled that the florist and her corporation violated the Washington Law Against Discrimination ... by declining to sell wedding flowers to a gay couple," the Washington Supreme Court's ruling said, "and they did not act with religious animus when they ruled that such discrimination is not privileged or excused by the United States Constitution or the Washington Constitution."


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posted by Ace of Spades at 06:31 PM

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