Monday, June 4, 2018

Supreme Court rules that the LBGTQ can't have their cake and eat it too when it comes to pitting one civil rights protection against another

In what was bound to be a landmark battle between the Constitutional rights of a Christian (religious) based business and the Civil rights of a sexual orientation group, the Supreme Court just now ruled on June 4 that the state of Colorado was at fault for imposing penalties on a Christian based bakery for their choosing to refuse service to a gay couple.

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday handed a narow victory to a Christian baker from Colorado who refused for religious reasons to make a wedding cake for a gay couple. 
The justices, in a 7-2 decision, faulted the Colorado Civil Rights Commission's handling of the claims brought against Jack Phillips, saying it had showed a hostility to religion. 
The commission said Phillips violated the Colorado anti-discrimination law that bars businesses from refusing service based on race, sex, marital status or sexual orientation by rebuffing gay couple David Mullins and Charlie Craig in 2012. - CNBC
This court battle contained was distinctly unique in the fact that it pitted several opposing factions against each other, with some having much stronger protections by law than others.

Freedom of religion for example is a Constitutional protection that supersedes most created statutes... such as the anti-discrimination laws created in the state of Colorado.  Additionally, a 1964 Civil Rights law that was created to protect consumers from discrimination did not have in its wording protections for sexual orientations, and this is where Colorado violated the religious and business rights of the bakery by instituting those protections 'after the fact', and in conflict with the Constitution.
At the heart of the debate is a system of anti-discrimination laws enacted by federal, state and local governments. The entire United States is covered by the Federal Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination by privately owned places of public accommodation on the basis of race, color, religion or national origin. Places of “public accommodation” include hotels, restaurants, theaters, banks, health clubs and stores. Nonprofit organizations such as churches are generally exempt from the law. 
The right of public accommodation is also guaranteed to disabled citizens under the Americans with Disabilities Act, which prohibits discrimination by private businesses based on disability. 
The federal law does not prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation, so gays are not a protected group under the federal law. However, about 20 states, including New York and California, have enacted laws that prohibit discrimination in public accommodations based on sexual orientation. In California, you also can’t discriminate based on someone’s unconventional dress. In some states, like Arizona, there’s no state law banning discrimination against gays, but there are local laws in some cities that prohibit sexual orientation discrimination. – Legal Zoom
In the end the Supreme Court ruled correctly because state laws cannot override Federal or Constitutional laws/protections, and no intrinsic harm was done to the gay couple since they had availability to purchase a wedding cake from any number of bakeries willing to do so in that local area.

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