U.S. Supreme Court justices signal Masterpiece Cakeshop case will be difficult decision

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  • Ranch Here, UT
    Dec. 9, 2017 8:44 a.m.

    @Harrison B;

    If they make cakes with swastikas for some people, then they need to do so for any who ask. However, we both know that if they don't do it to begin with they won't be required to if asked.

    The difference, which you are well aware of, is that Masterpiece Cakes DOES make wedding cakes for *ANYBODY* who asks for one - unless they're gay. You see the difference and the fact that you're posting such comments indicates that you don't care about truth.

  • Harrison Bergeron Holladay , UT
    Dec. 8, 2017 12:19 p.m.

    Should a Jewish cake maker be compelled to make a cake for a neo-Nazis? With swastikas?

  • Lilly Munster , 00
    Dec. 8, 2017 2:25 a.m.

    The hypocrisy and shameful anger toward LGBT Americans is breathtaking and very sad.
    If this man wins, on the claim that he has the right to discriminate against (fill in the blank) because of religious beliefs, we all lose.
    How soon will Christian Fundamentalists be refusing Mormons? Can Jews refuse to serve Christians and Muslims? Baptists refuse to serve Catholics? Can Atheists refuse any Believer? Open this can of snakes, and persecution of Mormons cannot be far behind, since much of Christianity considers us a cult.

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    Dec. 7, 2017 1:19 p.m.

    @dgw;

    If the baker puts obscene images or makes obscene cakes for one group he may not refuse other groups; however, if he doesn't do them for any group to begin with, he can't be required to by customer XYZ. In this case, the baker makes wedding cakes he's simply refused to sell wedding cakes to LGBT customers. That is why this case is about discrimination.

  • EscherEnigma Ridgecrest, CA
    Dec. 7, 2017 12:00 p.m.

    @InMyOpinionAlso
    I skipped over this earlier, but you're flat-out wrong. Even if same-sex marriage is a "wrong decision", that has nothing to do with non-discrimination law. This case got started in 2012, a year before Windsor v. United States and three years before Obergefel v. Hodges.

    Like Elane Photography before, Masterpiece Cakeshop is about non-discrimination law, not legal marriage. And it's that non-discrimination law precedent that says "because God" is not an out, that "I'm refusing the event, not the customer" doesn't fly, and that defined the line between refusing a specific message ("KKK cake") and refusing a class of customers (Southern Baptists).

    This case, and other non-discrimination cases, aren't about marriage. They aren't even really about religion or gay folk. They're about to what degree it's acceptable to compromise people's Freedom of Speech to advance the government's goal of reducing discrimination in the marketplace (AKA: non-discrimination laws).

    @imsmarterthanyou
    So long as I also have the right to refuse you, I can accept that. But that means you have to repeal large parts of the CRA (1964) first.

  • imsmarterthanyou Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 7, 2017 11:40 a.m.

    It's not too difficult for me. "I reserve the right to refuse service to anyone, for any reason, or no reason." No business can be forced to serve someone they don't want to serve. I would close my doors first. Go on unemployment & welfare & food stamps like all the other liberals.

  • EscherEnigma Ridgecrest, CA
    Dec. 7, 2017 11:19 a.m.

    @dgw
    Well that's an unworkable standard. The baker can refuse to bake, but the make-up artist can't refuse to apply make-up. There's a reason the Justices pushed the ADF's lawyers *hard* on where the line of who was or wasn't an "artist" lay.

    There's a reason a lot of *lawyers* looking at this keep saying that if we give this baker a break, that it'll probably end up undermining non-discrimination law in many more cases.

    And as I've said, I'd be fine with that *if* it goes both ways. Either we all have to be nice, or we all get to be nasty.

    @Scottashley
    The business license. When you apply for and accept a business license, you are affirming that you'll willingly obey a number of laws and regulations, including health code and non-discrimination regulations. You can think that a business license shouldn't come with such conditions, or that business licenses shouldn't be required, but that's not the world we live in.

    @dgw (again)
    Bakers and other vendors can already refuse specific messages, including text and symbols. The new thing in *this* case is that that Phillips is arguing that *any* cake would be a "message".

  • dgw Clovis, CA
    Dec. 7, 2017 10:33 a.m.

    @Ranch
    I understand what you are saying. I agree that the baker should not be allowed to discriminate against the individual making the request, I disagree that he/she should be forced to make something thing that he/she disagrees with, for example a Nazi symbol or an obscene image or shape of cake. If YOU were a baker, would you want to be forced to make a cake that goes against YOUR beliefs??

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    Dec. 7, 2017 10:32 a.m.

    @InMyOpinionAlso;

    The only 'wrong decision' that has been made, so far, is the one of bigotry and discrimination. SSM may be the wrong decision for you, but it is the right decision for LGBT citizens.

  • InMyOpinionAlso sandy, UT
    Dec. 7, 2017 9:25 a.m.

    Difficult Decision? Yes it will because it follows an already wrong decision of gay marriage.

  • pragmatistferlife Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 7, 2017 8:13 a.m.

    A lot of misinformation here. If one were to pay attention and listen to credible discussions like those on NPR, you would be far more informed.

    There are actually cases that deal with the artistic question. The Baker claims that by using his artistic talent he is forced to show support for something he finds immoral. That is a test of first amendment speech, however there is a 2nd part, and that is the message the artist claims to be forced to portray needs to be perceived by others. In other words those at the wedding need to look at the cake and reasonably say..oh this baker supports gay marriage. That is a pretty high bar to clear.

    The 2nd piece of the argument is around who do you get to discriminate against. If here then who else?

    I still think it will be completely partisan with Kennedy the swing. The conservatives will bring a religious bias so strong that they will ignore case law, or just say, of course it's a public message. They will huddle around religion so strongly that the second answer will be..who else? Anyone who violates "my" principles.

  • Hblocalboy2 West Jordan, UT
    Dec. 7, 2017 5:20 a.m.

    Straight news. Nice job.

  • Scottashley Modesto, IL
    Dec. 6, 2017 9:15 p.m.

    Why is the act of burning an American flag legally protected "freedom of expression" while the act of making and decorating a cake NOT freedom of expression? Can someone explain that to me?

  • Ranch Here, UT
    Dec. 6, 2017 9:06 p.m.

    Yar says:

    "...but please let us live our faith. We would express so much gratitude to you if you gave us that freedom. It means so much to us."

    --- First, there is not a single scripture or tenet in your (Christian) faith that tells you that your business should refuse to serve "sinners'. Your god did command you to treat people the way you'd like them to treat you though.

    Second, your plea rings very, very hollow after your refusals to live and let live by Prop-8 and Amendment-3. Jesus preached that you reap what you sow. You've sown hate and bigotry for far too long; we're not going to roll over now and let you denigrate and demean us we're done with that. What you're asking is for us to simply play dead for you. Ain't gonna happen.

    @dgw;

    The baker can still worship and believe anything he wants; his *business* can't discriminate; you get the difference?

  • christoph Brigham City, UT
    Dec. 6, 2017 9:04 p.m.

    I charge you $25,000 for a cake. Economy solves many problems.

  • dgw Clovis, CA
    Dec. 6, 2017 8:48 p.m.

    @Yar
    No, if the item/cake that is being made is not against your beliefs, you cannot discriminate FOR WHOM it is being made, whether you agree with who they are, or how they live their life.

    @EcherEnigma
    I agree with you that "... this guy can refuse me service because of how his God feels about ***" is NOT acceptable. That is blatant discrimination! However, "this guy" should be allowed to refuse to "make something", or physically participate in something that they find uncomfortable, or goes against their beliefs (religious, moral or ethical), regardless of whomever is requesting it. That right should be available to ALL people.

  • hbeckett Colfax, CA
    Dec. 6, 2017 8:04 p.m.

    maybe the USSCOuRT will decide if you can have your cake and eat it too

  • Gildas LOGAN, UT
    Dec. 6, 2017 6:31 p.m.

    This is not difficult at all. Should a photographer be required to accept an assignment in which he photographed indecent or even just intimate acts he felt uncomfortable about? Of course not. Same with the a case of a cake celebrating a homosexual "marriage"; It violates the conscience of the baker just as the photographer had a right not to promote something he regards as reprehensible.

    It is the very first freedom in the Bill of Rights. Congress shall make no act .... prohibiting the free exercise of" religion. The baker or any other workman has long had "the right to deny service" even if only on the grounds of being unshod or unshirted. Without that right and control of property, and without that freedom of conscience, workers and business owners are mere slaves and we don't believe in slavery, or we are just whores to customers' whims which amounts to the same thing.

    Of course it would help if our state and federal laws accepted marriage under its original definition not twisting it to apply to newly concocted meanings, involving acts that were illegal within living memory.

  • EscherEnigma Ridgecrest, CA
    Dec. 6, 2017 2:24 p.m.

    @Yar
    "please let us live our faith"
    You keep saying things like this, but you never clarify.

    Does that mean that you're free to refuse us service? Do we get to refuse *you* service?
    Does it mean that when you refuse us service, we don't tell people about it on Yelp! and Facebook? That you suffer no social or economic consequences because people disapprove of your discrimination?
    Does it mean that I'm supposed to stand idly by while you send your kids to "conversion therapy" that's known to increase suicide risk?
    Does it mean that we're supposed to never talk about our family lives at work? Would you also refuse to talk about family at work?
    What about TV and movies? Are we only letting you "live your faith" if we disappear from them, so you never have to see a positive depiction of a gay person?
    What about politics? Are we supposed to never run for office, never petition the government for redress over wrongs done to us?
    Does it mean that teachers are banned from even mentioning that yeah, we can get married now and all the research shows me make just fine parents?

    So please. Explain. How is this supposed to work. Because y'all's track record ain't so clean.

  • EscherEnigma Ridgecrest, CA
    Dec. 6, 2017 12:15 p.m.

    If at end of it all, this guy can refuse me service because of how his God feels about gays and then follow me to *my* place of business, and I'm legally obligated to ignore how his God feels about gays, then justice will not have been done.

    Either we can all be as mean and nasty as we like, or we all have to smile and serve. But you get to be nasty while I have to smile? Not acceptable.

  • Yar Springville, UT
    Dec. 6, 2017 12:07 p.m.

    @RanchHand

    Look, if you want to engage in the things we advise against, that’s fine. But this is not something we can celebrate. It’s against our moral code. I know you don’t agree with us about sexuality and marriage and you don’t have to, but please let us live our faith. We would express so much gratitude to you if you gave us that freedom. It means so much to us.

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    Dec. 6, 2017 11:37 a.m.

    @sister;

    "It is interesting to think as an LDS Christian we are taught that only those who are "righteous who keep the commandments of God" will inherit the Kingdom of God..."

    -- Here's one of his commandments to the "righteous": Treat others as you would have them treat you. (This case is a huge failure to obey this commandment).

    Here's another commandment: Judge not.

    You so-called "righteous" are failing miserably at keeping his commandments.

    Here's one more for the record: Eating shellfish is an abomination according to "god"; how good are you at keeping that one?

    @Yar:

    "it’s still communicating a message of celebration."

    -- Oh, the horror of it!! A celebration! The absolute HORROR!

  • dgw Clovis, CA
    Dec. 6, 2017 11:15 a.m.

    @RanchHand:
    You ask 4 questions, but then answer them yourself incorrectly:

    Who was it that pushed to restrict the rights of the other? It can also be argued (and has) that the rights of the cake maker are being restricted to force him to make something against his beliefs. (See other responses about the message requested on the cake.)

    Who is it that demands the right to refuse services to the other? Was it the people he was refusing or the message?

    Who is pushing laws to restrict where we can go to the bathroom? "Society" for many, many years have created 2 bathrooms, based around biological anatomies, not around to whom a person is attracted or more closely identifies.

    Who is pushing laws to allow us to be fired, evicted, denigrated and ostracized? Though there are smaller examples to the contrary, the most religious state in the union has had anti-discriminatory laws in place for employment and housing for many years, and continues to enforce them.

  • dgw Clovis, CA
    Dec. 6, 2017 10:59 a.m.

    Some others have mentioned something like this, but I believe the key issue is separating the item (or service) being produced (artistic or otherwise) from the party who is requesting it. The artist (or manufacturer) should not be required to make an item that goes against their beliefs (moral, political, religious, etc.). This would include words, symbols, shapes, and purpose (how used, not who used). They should also not be required to put themselves in an environment where they did not feed comfortable or safe. For example, a photographer should be equally not required to work at a KKK wedding, nor a nude wedding, if either made them feel uncomfortable or unsafe. (Or even a more average wedding (or other event), if they were asked to "do" something that they felt uncomfortable or unsafe.)

    However, the artist should not be allowed to discriminate against whom he/she provides the item or service, based solely on the customer's race, religion, gender, orientation, etc. I hope that the SCOTUS looks at this difference, and uses it as a key aspect of its deliberations and ruling.

  • sister GRASS VALLEY, CA
    Dec. 6, 2017 10:35 a.m.

    RanchHand:
    when the story came out two years ago the item regarding a message on the cake was included by the baker. It is one reason the focus on defence is "freedom of speech". News since has not included this - mainly because the national "media" is focused on the baker as being "anti-gay" and discriminatory. It is interesting to think as an LDS Christian we are taught that only those who are "righteous who keep the commandments of God" will inherit the Kingdom of God - Does that make God "discriminatory", "intolerant", or "hateful"? I ask because we mortals judge incorrectly - we WILL know one day!

  • Yar Springville, UT
    Dec. 6, 2017 10:31 a.m.

    @RanchHand

    Yes there was. Even if there were no words, it’s still communicating a message of celebration.

    Also, keep in mind that it was gay activists that have abused their otherwise valuable goal for pretty dubious reasons. Attacking our churches for example.

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    Dec. 6, 2017 9:42 a.m.

    Back Talk says:

    "Gays are not tolerant of Religious belief."

    --- Who was it that pushed to restrict the rights of the other? It was the "religious".
    Who is it that demands the right to refuse services to the other? It is the "religious".
    Who is pushing laws to restrict where we can go to the bathroom? It is the "religious".
    Who is pushing laws to allow us to be fired, evicted, denigrated and ostracized? It is the "religious".

    You think that we don't tolerate your beliefs and yet, you continually try to relegate us to the dumpster.

    @NoNames;

    If you don't want to advertise your discrminatory practices, you're being a hypocrite about them.

    @wrz;

    Customers can easily add a shirt or shoes. Not a problem.

    @sister;

    There was no "message" being put on the cake.

  • Karen R. Houston, TX
    Dec. 6, 2017 9:10 a.m.

    @ No One of Consequence

    "We have the tools available today to work through this as a society..."

    Like what? Are you saying that we, a divided, tribal America, have the tools NOT to use our shops to passively-aggressively punish those we don't like/approve of? Or are you calling for a balkanized America - an America where we don't work to get past this non-violent civil war and instead fracture into our tribes?

    I'm for a United States. This requires promoting civility and basic respect/dignity, and DE-emphasizing our differences. Phillips is asking SCOTUS to emphasize them.

  • Zabilde Riverdale, UT
    Dec. 6, 2017 8:59 a.m.

    A wedding cake isn't just a cake you bake and let walk out the door. A quality professional wedding cake is delivered and set up by hand at the event by the baker. They finish connective work between separate pieces and touch up elements jarred during transportation.

    A wedding cake is a work of art. Forcing this baker to put his personal artwork to endorsing something he finds morally repugnant is wrong. He sold regular cakes and bakery items to the customers in question all the time without a problem. It was when they wanted him to lend his artistic creativity and voice to their ceremony that he chose to decline them. I worry about how Kennedy chooses to go on this. The Supreme court hesitates to overturn prior rulings so if this goes against religious freedom and the freedom of speech it will be hard to find the case that could get it overturned.

  • Furry1993 Ogden, UT
    Dec. 6, 2017 8:54 a.m.

    Karen R. - Dec. 6, 2017 7:30 a.m.

    @ Furry1993

    If SCOTUS lets us down, I would rather we go with the "If You're Buying, We're Selling" signs only. I'd prefer to let the absence of a sign speak its volumes and we already know what the equivalent of "whites only" signs does to society. We also already have enough negativity being injected into society from those currently in power. We don't need to add to the daily ugliness they're providing (IMO).

    -----------------

    Good point. I just want there to be some overt and prominent sign or other indicator so that people will know if they're welcome.

  • NoNamesAccepted St. George, UT
    Dec. 6, 2017 8:45 a.m.

    @Cheesecake: Should a baker be any less concerned about how his product is used than you expect a gun dealer or pharmaceutical company to be? Double standard?

    @Furry1993: I can't guarantee anything about what people choose to feel. I believe the homosexual community is as capable of dealing with minor slights with dignity and aplomb as the LDS are responding appropriately to plays that mock their most sacred beliefs.

    @Henry Drummond: We can quibble over whether a cake is art or expression and whether the baker is really involved in the wedding. What say you to the photographer whose work is unquestionably art--routinely copyrighted as such--and whose personal, physical presence is required at the event and who must pose and frame photographs so as to present the event in a positive light? Does the photographer have a right to earn a living while remaining free to decline work that offends her?

    This case go well beyond this baker. And the same folks trying to use the specifics of this case to set precedence were just as demanding that photographers be required to provide creative services to events they oppose as they have been the baker. Seems a little dishonest to me.

  • Mayfair Logan, UT
    Dec. 6, 2017 8:40 a.m.

    Someone said "A cake maker can make cakes, but if the maker chooses to refuse to modify,perform artistry, or put words on the cake that run contrary to his/her beliefs, the government has no role in forcing the artist to make the objectionable message."

    Many want to debate the 'artistry' angle, or the 'what was on the cake' angle.

    Perhaps that was what Mr Phillips was concerned about.

    But maybe it was just the men told him they were celebrating their Same-sex marriage--- and he didn't want to make a cake to celebrate a same-sex marriage.

    Even if they wanted a snowman cake or an airplane cake, with no gay couple cake topper on it or no hijacked rainbows, he likely would have not wanted to be involved with his time and effort to make any kind of cake being used to celebrate something he found offensive and wrong.

    So forget the 'artistry'. Let the man avoid anything to do with SSM if that is how he feels.

    (I know a man that will take no orders associated with BYU emblems because he's a diehard Utes fan and despises BYU fans.
    His choice)

    At the very most, the gay men should have told the baker what they thought of him - and then gone to another bakery.
    Period.

  • Edmunds Tucker St George, UT
    Dec. 6, 2017 8:36 a.m.

    See column LDS Church, 22 Utah senators back Colorado baker in Supreme Court case, boy @dennisromboy, Published: September 12, 2017 Deseret News, They put their names on amicus or friend-of-the court briefs supporting Masterpiece Cakeshop owner Jack Phillips in his case against the Colorado Civil Rights Commission pending before the U.S. Supreme Court. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and seven other religious organizations say in the brief that they accept same-sex civil marriage is the law of the land.
    "But some deeply religious Americans, including some of amici’s members, cannot in good conscience assist with same-sex weddings. Now that the court has protected the liberty of same-sex couples, it is equally important to protect the religious liberty of these conscientious objectors," according to the brief. LDS Church affirms that its doctrine holds that “marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God." It also acknowledges that civil law allows same-sex marriage but that it does not change church doctrine, teachings, practices or policies regarding marriage.

  • Karen R. Houston, TX
    Dec. 6, 2017 8:33 a.m.

    @ Shaun

    "I was under the assumption that the baker declined to bake a cake before any design considerations were even discussed."

    You are correct. They didn't get to design, so Phillips had no idea what they had in mind.

  • No One Of Consequence West Jordan, UT
    Dec. 6, 2017 8:10 a.m.

    The more I read about this case the less supportive I am of any anti-discrimination laws that compel behavior or speech by individuals. The government must treat all citizens the same but by creating anti-discrimination laws that make one group of citizens privileged over another the government is not treating all citizens the same. The people need to be free to interact according to their conscience, within the bounds of the Constitution. I don't see anything in the Constitution that says you should be given special consideration in commercial interactions with your fellow citizens based on your skin color, beliefs or sexual drives. Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, not the guarantee of happiness. We have the tools available today to work through this as a society without compelling anyone to violate their conscience.

    If your freedom requires my servitude, are either of us truly free?

  • Karen R. Houston, TX
    Dec. 6, 2017 7:30 a.m.

    The purpose of the marketplace isn't buying or deigning to grant approval, so it seems a little self-important for the shop owner to inject this into a transaction. And as at least five justices recognize, carving out an exception for one opens the door to all, and there goes public accommodations laws, valued by all who think civility, decency, and basic respect are good things to promote in a diverse marketplace.

    @ Furry1993

    If SCOTUS lets us down, I would rather we go with the "If You're Buying, We're Selling" signs only. I'd prefer to let the absence of a sign speak its volumes and we already know what the equivalent of "whites only" signs does to society. We also already have enough negativity being injected into society from those currently in power. We don't need to add to the daily ugliness they're providing (IMO).

  • Mick , 00
    Dec. 6, 2017 6:34 a.m.

    Henry Drummond-

    No that’s not it at all. Read the entire story about this baker. He makes cakes for EVERYBODY. What they do with it after it leaves the store is their business. He doesn’t care. What he doesn’t want to do is use his artistic talents to put personal touch and message on it that he doesn’t agree with.

  • Furry1993 Ogden, UT
    Dec. 6, 2017 6:31 a.m.

    @NoNamesAccepted - Dec. 5, 2017 6:34 p.m.
    @Furry1993: "I propose that all businesses be required either to ..."

    We could just respect the freedom to decline to promote messages one finds offensive without asking to be vandalized or picketed.
    ------------
    What would you suggest be put in place to prevent people from being made to feel rejection and humiliation if they go to a business to buy a given product/service, and be told by the proprietor that s/he refuses to sell to them the good/service the business sells to every other type of sinner who comes in the door? In the case of Masterpiece, that the gay couple weren't worthy to receive a product that the business would sell for the "marriage" of two dogs prior to their being bred (yes, Jack Phillips really did that -- check out Google)?

    What mechanism would you require to be put in place to ensure that the business could discriminate if it chose to do so, but potential customers would be able to know whether they would be accepted as customers if they chose to patronize that business? That's why I suggested that the businesses should be required to prominently state whether or not they would do business with everyone.

  • Shaun Sandy, UT
    Dec. 6, 2017 1:02 a.m.

    I was under the assumption that the baker declined to bake a cake before any design considerations were even discussed. Can anyone verify this?

    To me, that makes a huge difference because without design considerations even being discussed you have to define what is a gay wedding cake and what is not a gay wedding cake.

    In the end, I will support the decision made by the SC because I believe in the rule of law.

  • sister GRASS VALLEY, CA
    Dec. 5, 2017 11:04 p.m.

    The media reporting of this case, which impacts comments for or against constantly leaves out THE most important fact: this baker makes cakes cakes for EVERYBODY. including gays and lesbians. What he objected to was the MESSAGE he was asked to put on the cake. His religious beliefs do not support gay marriage. Being asked to do this he felt would indicate that he was in support of gay marriage, which he is not.

  • christoph Brigham City, UT
    Dec. 5, 2017 10:45 p.m.

    Trump wins again in 2020 if terrorism continues, and if red states feel threatened by un-elected life- time appointed judges. Gay marriage was a big over reach which backlash gave us Mr. Trump as president to bring us back to normal. Red states will stay red and from Florida to Idaho you can drive through all red states. The equality movement is angry they gets wins and then they lose elections and lose on the Supreme Court. For Breyer to say, "it will be chaos" if we rule in favor of the baker, so we have to always give in to the loudest threatening unhappy voices, is sad. Happy people will always win. So I guess the ruling doesn't matter. Meanwhile in Utah the past few days, protests abound concerning environmental lands few will ever step foot on, and we don't see protests about there being homelessness. Where are our values?

  • wrz Springville, UT
    Dec. 5, 2017 9:08 p.m.

    @Palmetto Bug:
    "If this were an easy decision the case wouldn't be at the Supreme Court."

    The Court should rule that anyone can refuse service to anyone. This seems to already be the case. Some restaurants can refuse to admit customers who are not wearing shirts or shoes.

    What if polygamists wanted a cake?

    The issue is easily solved... build the cake and make it look goofy. This might put an end to it.

  • Henry Drummond San Jose, CA
    Dec. 5, 2017 8:36 p.m.

    @Cheesecake

    I think you nailed it. The baker is basing his refusal on how the cake is used after it leaves his store. He’s not being forced to endorse anything. It is no different than some providing furniture say he won’t sell it to you if its used in a Mormon Temple because Mormon beliefs offend him.

  • Hugh1 Denver, CO
    Dec. 5, 2017 7:53 p.m.

    From my reading of Justice Kennedy's comments, he is concerned that this is a Trojan horse. I expect the swing justice to narrowly limit any religious speech relief to written words and not grant a global amnesty to blatantly discriminate against gays. Kennedy knows that any crack in the equality wall would also put religious, racial, and social minorities at risk.

  • libertarian Cedar City, UT
    Dec. 5, 2017 7:21 p.m.

    The decision should be simple. The plaintiffs need to show how they were injured or damaged by the baker and prove it in court. "Hurt feelings" do not constitute injury or damage. Laws on the books that force people to "behave" in a certain way just because they might "offend" someone simply don't belong in a free country, and that includes the Colorado law. Crime is properly defined as injury or damage to an actual victim and when we start criminalizing thoughts or beliefs, our liberties will soon be gone. As much as the liberals would like to see it happen, you cannot legislate "fairness".

  • unrepentant progressive Bozeman, MT
    Dec. 5, 2017 7:09 p.m.

    The apologists for the baker want to make sure that religious conscience is allowed. The same sex couple's allies want non-discrimination policies to remain in place as written.

    Apparently, these are in conflict. So it is up to our Courts to tell us which principle has the higher ground. Or which party is the more grievously harmed.

    I believe it is important for the same sex couple to win on the grounds that the anti-discrimination laws are that important. And I believe that the baker is stretching his claim of religious expression into a characateur of an reasonable argument. Furthermore, by beginning the exemptions allowed for religious conscience represents a clear and present danger to all law protecting minorities and other disfavored populations in this country.

    No one is burning down churches, passing laws to restrict religious services or any governmental interference in the business of any given religion. In fact, government has gone to far in my opinion to accomodate some extreme views in my opinion.

    We will just have to see how the Judges decide, and learn to live with the consequences.

  • Cheesecake Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 5, 2017 7:06 p.m.

    I want to agree with the baker, but for one problem. He seems awfully concerned with what his customers do with his products. Why does it matter? If someone comes in and purchases a wedding cake, and uses it for a same-sex wedding, why is that the baker's concern? Obviously he is protected by the First Amendment as to what he puts on the cake, and how he designs it. But he is arguing that he should be able to discriminate against his customer's protected attributes (like gender or religion) based on how they intend to use his product after purchase. He says he is "supporting" same sex weddings by selling the cake to a same-sex couple. I think that is a stretch, and he is stepping over the line with that logic. He has every right to ensure the substance of a product leaving his shop is in line with his beliefs, but once that product leaves his shop, it's none of his business what happens to it. Once he is compensated for the product, ownership belongs to the purchaser. He is off the hook in terms of how it is used, just a gun shop owner is off the hook when someone buys a gun for nefarious purposes. He has no business refusing service based on religion, gender, etc...

  • Facts are friendly Sandy, UT
    Dec. 5, 2017 7:05 p.m.

    What a silly notion that a man should be able to make his own decisions for his privately-owned business.

    Government really needs to do something about this. Too much liberty.....

  • NoNamesAccepted St. George, UT
    Dec. 5, 2017 6:47 p.m.

    There is a distinction between event/messages and individuals.

    Refusing to bake a birthday cake for a homosexual person would be discrimination unless the customer requested a specific, pro-homosexual message on his cake. A birthday is just a birthday. Ditto a house warming, or work anniversary.

    Ditto a Mormon birthday cake...unless the request is for the cake to celebrate baptism, priesthood advancement, or other explicit religious event tied to the birthday.

    In contrast, weddings are deeply personal and yet also intended to send a very public message. In Cali--even post Prop 8--Civil Unions conveyed every (State level) legal benefit of marriage. Yet homosexuals are still angry about Prop 8. The dignity of having their unions called a "marriage" was a central point argued to and ruled on by the supreme court. Marriage send a message.

    Church weddings and LDS temple weddings send a different message than a civil marriage with a judge. Homosexual weddings send a different message (for many) than do heterosexual marriages. Ditto polygamous marriages vs monogamous unions.

    Let individuals, not government, determine which messages they want to support.

  • Mare1972 The Woodlands, TX
    Dec. 5, 2017 6:43 p.m.

    Leave him alone! I'm sure there is someone else who would love to make a cake for them.

  • majmajor Layton, UT
    Dec. 5, 2017 6:41 p.m.

    This is a really simple issue. A cake maker can make cakes, but if the maker chooses to refuse to modify,perform artistry, or put words on the cake that run contrary to his/her beliefs, the government has no role in forcing the artist to make the objectionable message.

    This should have been an easy business decision, but both parties have gone out of their way to prove themselves right. If the business would have asked another artist to perform the modification, it would have been seamless to the customer, and this wouldn't be an issue.

    The above works for religion, or any social messages. Don't want to put an LDS temple, biblical scripture, gay message.. on a cake, I'm fine with that. The artist needs the customer more then the customer needs the artist. Don't shop there, and convince others to do the same. Money, or lack there of, will change the business' behavior.

    In free societies, objectionable speech is rarely corrected in the courts, and the government can't force anyone to be polite. Successful businesses will make arraignments to satisfy as many customers as it can.

  • NoNamesAccepted St. George, UT
    Dec. 5, 2017 6:34 p.m.

    @Furry1993: "I propose that all businesses be required either to ..."

    We could just respect the freedom to decline to promote messages one finds offensive without asking to be vandalized or picketed.

    I recognize that you and your side view this as discrimination against individuals. But it would do much for civility for you to at least acknowledge that you understand how those on this side see this as event or message based rather than based on individuals.

    Refusing to bake Halloween cakes isn't discrimination against Pagens. Mr. Philips doesn't bake such cakes for anyone.

    Refusing to decorate cakes with bigoted and hateful messages isn't discrimination against the KKK or skin heads when I won't sell such cakes to anyone.

    Refusing to create wedding cakes for homosexual ceremonies isn't discrimination against homosexuals. Mr. Philips would refuse such a cake if a heterosexual friend asked to buy it.

    If a photographer isn't comfortable with church weddings, or just LDS temple weddings, she should not be forced to take those jobs as a condition of earning a living taking photographs at other weddings. Why do homosexuals demand special protections in such intimate events?

  • Yar Springville, UT
    Dec. 5, 2017 6:02 p.m.

    @Furry1993

    OK. That’s a fair compromise. After Phillips wins (if he does), let’s post some stuff that gives everyone an idea on what happens at the shop. You get your cake. I get my beliefs. Both of us win. I like that idea.

  • byufootballrocks Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 5, 2017 5:51 p.m.

    What's ridiculous about this whole argument and the case itself is that the plaintiffs could have easily found a wedding cake just about anywhere, as many cake decorators would not have refused, but instead they chose to single this guy out who refused to make a cake for a customer because of his sincerely held religious beliefs.

    That's wrong.

  • One opinion west jordan, UT
    Dec. 5, 2017 5:37 p.m.

    Let Walmart or Costco make the cake - they are good, tasty and don't care who eats their cakes.
    It is not right to be able to force someone to make and decorate a cake - surely there are others who wouldn't mind. Leave the guy alone as well as the blessing of being able to be free to follow our beliefs.

  • Furry1993 Ogden, UT
    Dec. 5, 2017 5:08 p.m.

    Yar - Dec. 5, 2017 4:18 p.m.

    My preference is that all businesses operating in the civil/secular marketplace be required to serve all potential customers equally, and that prejudicial discrimination for whatever reason (including sexual orientation) be prohibited. That's the same way the question of racial discrimination was handled.

    But, if the USSC allows anti-gay discrimination (or any other type of discrimination), how about this for a compromise?

    If the court allows prejudicial discrimination, I propose that all businesses be required either to let people know they will serve everyone equally (like the 2014 "If You're Buying, We're Selling" campaign in Mississippi) or state that they will not sell [given product/service] to [given class of person]. One of those options must appear prominently in all their advertisements, and be posted prominently on the door(s) of the business site. If neither of these options appears in their advertising or on their business door, they are presumed and required serve everyone equally.

    That way we all will know what to expect if we seek to buy a good/service from the business, and the proprietor could be "selective" if s/he so chooses.

  • Anonymous100 Anywhere, UT
    Dec. 5, 2017 5:05 p.m.

    "Photographers, makeup artists and architects" and anyone else should be able to turn customers away based on the behavior and event they are asked to participate in. They are not turning down people based on their sexuality, but on the event they are asked to support. Should a makeup artist be forced to work at a transexual modeling event if they are opposed to that lifestyle? No, they should not. Should a makeup artist be able to turn away a transexual customer in his or her own shop? No, they should not. Should an architect be compelled to design a sadomasochism bondage room for anyone of any sexuality? Not, they should not. Should they be allowed to turn away a gay couple looking to design a house. No. Should photographers be mandated to take photographs at gay weddings? No. Should they be allowed to turn away a gay couple who comes to their studio. No? It's not about the person, it's about the activity, and anyone and everyone should be able to say no to that.

  • NoNamesAccepted St. George, UT
    Dec. 5, 2017 4:52 p.m.

    It is actually kind of unfortunate the court decided to take this case, with the baker, rather than an earlier case involving a wedding photographer.

    One might split hairs about whether a wedding cake is a creative work or art or merely a commodity, and about how much baking a cake is actually "supporting" the message of the event where the cake is served.

    I think a wedding photographer is a much more clear case. Clearly photographs are works of art, routinely copyrighted. There is no doubt that a wedding photographer has to be personally in attendance at the wedding, and that she is obliged to portray the event in the most positive light possible. That just seems a much cleaner discussion.

    Religious freedom is but one aspect of this. Freedom of speech/expression and association--all of which must include freedom not to speak, not to express/create, and not to associate--are also crucial. I hope the decision is not about carving out a religious freedom exception, but rather is about recognizing an "event or message" based exception.

    Nobody should have to support an event or message that offends them.

  • dski HERRIMAN, UT
    Dec. 5, 2017 4:48 p.m.

    What happens if a Jewish baker is asked to do a cake symbolizing Nazi symbols and beliefs? What about a black baker is asked to do a cake decked out with KKK symbols and lynching pictures? As we wade into restrictions of our daily conducts, we find that we are giving away our liberties to satisfy the designated behavior of the day. The gay couple could have gone to another bakery. But as they want to force their right on another person's right, we are in this situation. The High Courts will never satisfy everyone.

  • banliberals Bountiful, UT
    Dec. 5, 2017 4:45 p.m.

    what is the difference if a former jewish concentration camp survivor, now baker were forced to make a nazi a cake....then I guess that is OK according to our gay litigants in this case.........

    I will be glad when the Colorado agency who supported the gay cake case and failed to support the christian litigants in another case are left with cake on their face!

  • Cougsndawgs West Point , UT
    Dec. 5, 2017 4:37 p.m.

    ""It was clear that many of the justices wished there was a way to reconcile the competing values in a workable way — even if the arguments ended with no evident path to such an outcome,"

    This was my favorite quote in the piece because it made me chuckle. In my mind I can picture some of these justices saying to themselves, "why can't these people just respect each other and get along...why do they need us to show them how to do something they should have learned in kindergarten". Treat each other with respect and dignity and stop being offended at every little innocuous statement or opinion. It's time for our society to grow up...and the juveniles are on both sides of this argument.

  • Back Talk Federal Way, WA
    Dec. 5, 2017 4:28 p.m.

    Agree, the "decorating" of the cake aspect of this case makes it different. It should surely be protected.

    Also, I hope Judge Roberts or some other judge will state if "outsourcing" of this service would be acceptable . That way, the service is provided but the cake maker can tell the gays how he feels all day long.

    As always, Gays dont want people who dont approve of their lifestyle to participate in their weddings. They just dont want them to have a legal right to so no.

    Kennedy said it right, tolerance really has meaning only when it is done on both sides. Gays are not tolerant of Religious belief.

  • Bigger Bubba Herriman, UT
    Dec. 5, 2017 4:20 p.m.

    Gay marriage advocates want to have their cake and eat it too.

  • Yar Springville, UT
    Dec. 5, 2017 4:18 p.m.

    “...a ruling for Phillips would create a win-win situation. Religious believers could participate fully in the public square without compromising their convictions, and members of the LGBT community could find bakers who want to take part in their wedding.”

    Assuming that we construct this correctly, I agree that this will be a win-win. You get your cake. We keep our faith. Both benefit.

  • Palmetto Bug Columbia, SC
    Dec. 5, 2017 4:17 p.m.

    If this were an easy decision the case wouldn't be at the Supreme Court. There's support and precedent for either side and there's likely no perfect outcome.

    I have my guess on what the Court do but I'm not a legal expert.

    I'm interested to see what the Court decides.

  • USAlover Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 5, 2017 4:10 p.m.

    Leave the man alone.

  • Chessermesser West Valley City, UT
    Dec. 5, 2017 4:05 p.m.

    The is not that difficult. Why do smart people turn something simple into something complicated? Wedding cake decoration is an art. You can’t force an artist to do something that he doesn’t want to do.

    I agree if he wouldn’t sell to someone a run off the mill cake for religious reasons, that would be obvious discrimination. However this is not the case.

    If the court rules that this is discrimination, then religion is dead in America. Then no one can ever use his religious beliefs his guide in life.

    This whole situation is becoming more and more like the tail wagging the dog.