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HRC Responds to Major News from the US Supreme Court

28 June 2017

A pivotal civil rights case involving a baker who refused to serve a gay couple in Colorado will be reviewed by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Correspondent Richard Wolf explained in his write-up, "Supreme Court will hear religious liberty challenge to gay weddings", that "the court will hear a challenge from a Colorado baker who had lost lower court battles over his refusal to create a wedding cake for a gay couple".

He said he was happy to create other types of cakes for the couple.

Today, the high court also ordered the state of Arkansas to allow both married same-sex parents to be listed on their child's birth certificate.

The suburban Denver baker argues that he did not turn away the gay couple in 2012 because they were gay, but because their marriage violated his religious belief.

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Separately Monday, the court in a 6-3 ruling struck down an Arkansas law regarding birth certificates that prevented adding the names of both parents in a same-sex union. A win for the business could gut the nation's civil rights laws, licensing discrimination not just against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people, but against anyone protected by our non-discrimination rules.

The couple's lawyer likened this argument to refusing black customers food at a restaurant "in 1966" because they could find food elsewhere.

Mr. Phillips politely declined - explaining to the gentlemen that he would make them any other type of baked item they wanted - but he simply could not make a cake promoting a same-sex ceremony because of his faith. The men married in MA and wanted to buy a cake from Phillips for their Denver reception. Supreme Court said Monday it will rehear an unresolved immigration case to determine whether the federal government has the authority to detain migrants indefinitely while their legal status is being determined.

In another case of "how can this be a thing that was still allowed to happen", the Supreme Court has ruled against a law that allowed some states to treat same-sex couples differently than opposite-sex couples on children's birth certificates.

The couple, David Mullins and Charlie Craig, then filed a civil rights complaint in Colorado.

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"At issue is whether an American has a right to speak and live consistent with his beliefs on what marriage is - and consistent with his religious convictions", she told me.

"The law says you can't discriminate against people in a certain number of categories - including sexual orientation and gender identity", said Arash Jahanian of the ACLU.

Colorado is one of the states whose laws protect gay couples, and Jack Phillips, the owner of the Masterpiece Cakeshop in Lakewood, Colo., was charged with violating it.

Two years later, the court sidestepped a similar case concerning Christian nonprofit organizations.

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