Image courtesy Pixabay.com
The US Supreme Court has sided with a Colorado baker who refused service to a same-sex couple on the grounds of religious objection.
The Supreme Court decided 7 – 2 in favour of Jack Phillips, who refused to bake a wedding cake for same-sex couple Charlie Craig and Dave Mullins. The court ruled against the Colorado Civil Rights Commission, who bought the case, as it found that some of the commissioners held anti-religious bias.
Delivering a confusing decision, the court reaffirmed that “Our society has come to the recognition that gay persons and gay couples cannot be treated as social outcasts or as inferior in dignity and worth.”
“For that reason the laws and the Constitution can, and in some instances must, protect them in the exercise of their civil rights. The exercise of their freedom on terms equal to others must be given great weight and respect by the courts.”
GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis said "Today’s decision emboldens the anti-LGBTQ Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) and the Trump Administration in their persistent push to legalize discrimination against LGBTQ people under the misnomer of religious freedom. "
The couple at the centre of the case said afterwards that “Today’s decision means our fight against discrimination and unfair treatment will continue."
“We have always believed that in America, you should not be turned away from a business open to the public because of who you are."
“We brought this case because no one should have to face the shame, embarrassment, and humiliation of being told ‘we don’t serve your kind here’ that we faced, and we will continue fighting until no one does.”
Adrian Coman and American Claibourn Hamilton were married in Brussels in 2010, however Romania does not recognise their marriage. Hamilton was refused a Romanian residency permit as the government argued that he wasn’t entitled to the EU residency rights of a spouse. EU law allows a non-EU spouse of an EU citizen to live in the member state where the European national resides.
On Tuesday the EU Court of Justice ruled that "Although the member states have the freedom whether or not to authorise marriage between persons of the same sex, they may not obstruct the freedom of residence of an EU citizen by refusing to grant his same-sex spouse, a national of a country that is not an EU Member State, a derived right of residence in their territory."
Adrian Coman and Claibourn Robert Hamilton. Image: Claibourn Robert Hamilton Facebook