The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday appeared closely divided with likely pivotal vote Justice Anthony Kennedy posing tough questions about a Christian baker’s refusal to make a wedding cake for a gay couple but also questioning whether a Colorado civil rights commission that ruled on the issue was biased against religion.
The nine justices heard an intense, extended 80-minute oral argument in the major case on whether certain businesses can refuse service to gay couples if they oppose same-sex marriage on religious grounds.
The case concerns an appeal by Jack Phillips, a baker who runs Masterpiece Cakeshop in the Denver suburb of Lakewood, of a state court ruling that his refusal to make a cake for gay couple David Mullins and Charlie Craig in 2012 on the basis of his religious beliefs violated a Colorado anti-discrimination law.
Kennedy, a conservative who sometimes sides with the court’s four liberals in major cases, raised concerns about issuing a ruling siding with the baker that would give a green light to discrimination against gay people. (Reuters)