Minnesota groups weigh in on Monday's Supreme Court ruling
MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) - Several Minnesota groups weighed in on Monday's Supreme Court ruling that sided with a Colorado baker who refused to make a wedding cake for a gay couple, falling in predictably on either side of a contentious case whose broader implications, due to the court's narrow ruling, will remain slim for now.
The decision hinged on what justices described as anti-religious bias on the Colorado Civil Rights Commission, the body which originally ruled against Jack Phillips. The justices voted 7-2 Monday that the commission violated Phillips' rights under the First Amendment, but didn't weigh in on whether it's okay for businesses to refuse service to LGBTQ individuals on the basis of religious grounds more broadly.
For this reason, Monica Meyer of Outfront Minnesota says she's relieved the ruling didn't actively undermine civil rights laws. The organization's fight for equality, however, is far from over.
“This country was founded on freedom of religion and we’re not asking that to be changed," she said. "But freedom by enacting your own beliefs doesn’t give you the right to discriminate against people.”
The Minnesota Family Council, however, believes Monday's decision was a big win for the protection of religious freedom across the country.
“The supreme court ruling indicates that the government must not treat Jack Phillips with hostility because of his religious beliefs," said Stephani Liesmaki, a spokesperson for MNFC. "This has incredible positive implications for both people of faith and those who don’t associate with a faith.”
Later this week the Supreme Court is scheduled to privately consider whether to hear another similar case, this one concerning a Washington State florist who declined to serve a longtime customer who asked her to do the flowers for his same-sex wedding.