The original story behind the Masterpiece Cakeshop case is both undisputed and well known: a gay couple in Colorado walked into the bakery in 2012 and asked for wedding cake. The owner and master baker, Jack Phillips, declined to make a custom cake for their party because he said their union violated his religious beliefs.
The couple filed a complaint with the state’s civil rights commission, which found Phillips was violating the state’s anti-discrimination laws that prohibit businesses from discriminating against LGBTQ people.
The battle between the two sides, the state and Phillips, eventually landed in the high court.
Last summer, the court narrowly sided with Phillips — and admonished the state’s commission for showing animus against religion.
But because it didn’t settle the looming question on whether the First Amendment guarantees of religious freedom are more important than a state or city’s anti-discrimination laws, similar cases are again simmering in lower courts — including Arizona and Colorado.
Among the questions: when does an invitation or a cake qualify as free speech?
“The main question is do you get to object to that kind of anti-discrimination law because it’s forcing you to convey a message?” said Ilya Shapiro with the Cato Institute, a conservative think tank that has supported some businesses that have turned customers away. Read more via NPR