The United States Supreme Court ruled 7-2 Monday in favor of the Colorado baker that refused to make a wedding cake for a gay couple.
According to USA Today, the justices narrowed the ruling to specifics in the case, namely that the Colorado Civil Rights Commission was hostile against baker Jack Phillips and his religious objection to making a wedding cake for gay couple Charlie Craig and Dave Mullins.
“The outcome of cases like this in other circumstances must await further elaboration in the courts,” Justice Anthony Kennedy said writing for the majority. “These disputes must be resolved with tolerance, without undue disrespect to sincere religious beliefs, and without subjecting gay persons to indignities when they seek goods and services in an open market.”
While this ends the particular case, the court did not say if other merchants could, or could not, refuse such services on the basis of religious beliefs.
That point was made by liberal Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in writing for the minority that included Justice Sonia Sotomayor, according to the USA Today story.
“Phillips would not sell to Craig and Mullins, for no reason other than their sexual orientation, a cake of the kind he regularly sold to others,” Ginsburg said in the dissenting opinion.
Monday’s decision seems at odds with prior landmark decisions in 2013 and 2015 making same-sex marriage legal nationwide.
According to the article, the high court ruled in 2013 that the federal government must recognize same-sex marriages in states where it was allowed, and then in 2015, extended the ruling nationwide.
Monday’s case focused on Phillips, the owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop in Colorado who refused to bake a cake for Craig and Mullins because their union went against his religious beliefs.
Craig and Mullins filed suit in 2013 declaring discrimination based on sexual preference, according to the story.
The case boils down to the right to freely practice religion against the freedom of speech.
Monday’s decision, however, kept the focus strictly on the individual case, finding that Phillips was within his rights to refuse based on his religious convictions and that the Civil Rights Commission and a lower court could not force him to bake the cake or make regulations forcing him to.
Discrimination against members of the LGBTQ community is currently prohibited in 22 states, according to the story.
The ruling still leaves other florists, chefs, and service providers in the dark, however, on how far they could go in refusing to provide similar services.