In Cake Baker Vs. The Gay Couple, What’s At Stake Before The Supreme Court

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Photo: Figurines are depicted in an embrace at a wedding cake display at Masterpiece Cakeshop, in Denver,
Figurines are depicted in an embrace as part of the wedding cake display at Masterpiece Cakeshop in Denver, Thursday, June 6, 2013.

The case of a Colorado baker who refused to make a cake for a gay wedding will go before the United States Supreme Court when its new term begins next month. Amy Howe of SCOTUSblog, tells Colorado Matters the court's ruling could have big implications -- not just for Colorado, but for other states with public accommodation laws as well.

The arrival of the case at the nation's highest court began when David Mullins and Charlie Craig filed a complaint with the Colorado Civil Rights Commission after Jack Phillips, of Masterpiece Cakeshop in Lakewood, said he wouldn't make a cake for their 2012 wedding because it went against his religious beliefs.

The Colorado Civil Rights Commission found that Phillips violated the state's state law public accommodation law, which prohibits discrimination. The Colorado Court of Appeals upheld the decision, ruling that Phillips either makes wedding cakes for same-sex couples or stops making wedding cakes at all.

The Trump administration has sided with Phillips. Last week, the Department of Justice filed a brief in support of the baker, saying "forcing Phillips to create expression for and participate in a ceremony that violates his sincerely held religious beliefs invades his First Amendment rights.” The ACLU, which will represent the couple, called the brief "shocking."