By Nina Totenberg
The U.S. Supreme court dodged a major ruling on the question of whether business owners can refuse services to gay individuals based on their religious objections.
In a case brought by a Colorado baker, the court ruled by a 7-2 vote that he did not get a fair hearing on his complaint because the Colorado Civil Rights Commission demonstrated a hostility to religion in its treatment of his case.
Writing for the case, Justice Anthony Kennedy said that while it is unexceptional that Colorado law “can protect gay persons in acquiring products and services on the same terms and conditions that are offered to other members of the public, the law must be applied in a manner that is neutral toward religion.”
He said that while in this case the Colorado baker, Jack Phillips, understandably had difficulty in knowing where to draw the line, because the state law at the time affording store keepers some latitude to decline to create specific messages they considered offensive. Kennedy pointed to the Colorado commission’s decision allowing a different baker to refuse to put an anti-gay message on a cake.
Continue reading by clicking the name of the source below.