The Supreme Court on Monday handed a narrow 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. In doing so, the commission violated his religious rights under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
But the court did not issue a definitive ruling on the circumstances under which people can seek exemptions from anti-discrimination laws based on their religious views.
The commission had 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.
Two of the court’s four liberals, Stephen Breyer and Elena Kagan, joined the five conservative justices in the ruling authored by Justice Anthony Kennedy.