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Evangelicals hail US Supreme Court ruling on gay cake case

The US Supreme Court has backed a Christian baker who refused to make a wedding cake for a gay couple on the grounds of his religious belief.
Charlie Craig and David Mullins went to the Masterpiece Cakeshop in Lakewood, Colorado, in July 2012, but were told by owner Jack Phillips that he would not provide a cake for a same-sex couple.
The Colorado Civil Rights Commission (CCRC) initially ruled against Phillips but the case was eventually heard by the Supreme Court — the highest court in the US — which overturned the decision by a 7-2 majority in favour of Phillips.
The ruling said the CCRC had violated Phillips’ first amendment rights which guarantees freedom of expression.
However the decision focused narrowly on how the case was handled, leaving open the question of whether anti-discrimination laws would supersede religious freedom protections in the future.
Justice Anthony Kennedy, writing for the majority said the CCRC had shown ‘hostility’ to Phillips’ religious beliefs.
‘The laws and the constitution can, and in some instances must, protect gay persons and gay couples in the exercise of their civil rights,’ Kennedy wrote, ‘but religious and philosophical objections to gay marriage are protected views and in some instances protected forms of expression.’
‘The court’s precedents make clear that the baker, in his capacity as the owner of a business serving the public, might have his right to the free exercise of religion limited by generally applicable laws,’ he added.

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