The case originated in 2012 after a couple, Charlie Craig and David Mullins, filed a discrimination complaint against Phillips, who said that his religious beliefs prevented him from providing them with a wedding cake. A footnote in Justice Elena Kagan's separate concurring opinion, joined by Justice Stephen Breyer, points to the reasoning the court might have employed if it had engaged this larger question-and it doesn't bode well for advocates of free speech and freedom of religion.
But the court stayed out of the thornier issue of whether people can avoid providing services to same-sex weddings because of religious beliefs. He said in a statement that he was disappointed by the decision but that he "takes seriously the court's admonition that the state must apply its laws in a way that is neutral toward religion".
Legal director for the Transgender Law Center Flor Bermudez said that, in hinging its decision on Phillips' treatment by the commission, the court missed an opportunity to unequivocally state that anti-discrimination laws should be enforced as written.
The Supreme Court's decision to hear the case raised the alarm among civil rights advocates.
In the Court's decision, the Justices found that while handling the claims against the cake shop, the Commission had shown "hostility" towards the baker's religious beliefs and in doing so, violated his religious rights under the First Amendment.
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Homes in Kapoho Beach Lots and Vacationland are on smaller lots and are closer together than in other parts of the Puna district. Seven people were cited Saturday for loitering in a disaster zone, and they will have to appear in court, Hawaii officials said.
The case also is a reminder that the community needs to remain vigilant about its rights, she added. The commissioner had said that freedom of religion was used to justify slavery and the Holocaust. Kennedy expressed concern that a general anti-gay exemption from anti-discrimination law would allow "a long list of persons who provide goods and services for marriages and weddings [to] refuse to do so for gay persons".
The two blockbuster cases this term were considered separate until Monday's opinion, when Justice Anthony Kennedy, who is expected to be the deciding vote on the travel ban case, issued an opinion that seemed to link the two cases-and to hint that he may not be sympathetic to the Trump administration's attempt to protect the travel ban. None of that changes the fact that he broke the law by discriminating against them, and still would be if he resumed selling wedding cakes to different-sex couples only.
"The commission's hostility was inconsistent with the First Amendment's guarantee that our laws be applied in a manner that is neutral toward religion", Kennedy wrote.
In this case, he said he offered to make Mullins and Craig other desserts for their wedding, but refused design a wedding cake due to his religious beliefs.
The State's interest could have been weighed against Phillips' honest religious objections in a way consistent with the requisite religious neutrality that must be strictly observed.
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Phillips also said that he wouldn't bake cakes that would be "disparaging to the LGBTQ community".
Despite the outcome, the couple said it doesn't consider the case "a lost cause". Kristin Waggoner, Phillips' attorney who is based at conservative Christian NGO Alliance Defending Freedom, saw the case as a huge win.
Although the court ruled for the baker, its reasoning should give LGBT people hope - and spur lawmakers to take action. She teaches a gay legal issues course at Case Western Reserve University School of Law and has followed the Colorado baker case. Phillips and others like him who believe that gay marriage is not consistent with their Christian beliefs have said they should not be required to effectively endorse the practice.
"When it comes to weddings, it can be assumed that a member of the clergy who objects to gay marriage on moral and religious grounds could not be compelled to perform the ceremony without denial of his or her right to the free exercise of religion", the ruling states.
"It said that the government can not express religious hostility and that there's no place for that kind of hostility in a pluralistic society", she said.
SES-12 all-electric satellite successfully launched
It was the 56th launch of a Falcon 9 rocket, SpaceX's 11th flight so far this year and the company's fifth launch for SES . The launch was completed just after midnight local time, the satellite was deployed about 32 minutes after takeoff.
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