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Supreme Court sides with Christian baker who denied cake to same-sex couple

The Supreme Court ruled on Monday in favor of a Colorado baker who refused to design a wedding cake for a same-sex couple. But the decision did not resolve the issue of whether a business may even invoke religion to refuce service to LGBTQ people. The 7-2 decisions was a significant but narrowly tailored victory for advocates of religious freedom. Amna Nawaz reports.

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  • Amna Nawaz:

    A Christian baker in Colorado who turned away a same-sex couple shouldn't be penalized. That was the judgment from the U.S. Supreme Court today in one of the highest-profile cases of this term. The 7-2 decision was a significant, but narrowly tailored victory for advocates of religious freedom.

    The court ruled in favor of Colorado baker Jack Phillips, who refused to design a wedding cake for a same-sex couple. Advocates on both sides reacted to the news this morning:

  • Michael Farris:

    Justice Kennedy's opinion can be summed up as tolerance is a two-way street. Religious freedom is to be respected, just as he's respect gay rights decisions in many other contexts.

  • Woman:

    We are saddened, but we're not shocked. And, really, the case is a loss, but it's a narrow loss. It's a limited loss.

  • Amna Nawaz:

    Six years ago, when Charlie Craig and David Mullins were planning their wedding, they visited Phillips' cake shop.

  • David Mullins:

    As soon as we sat down with the owner, he asked who the cake was for and we told him it was for us.

  • Jack Phillips:

    So, I'm thinking, OK, how can I politely tell these guys that's an event that I can't participate in? I said, I will make you a birthday cake, cookies, brownies. I will sell you anything in the shop. It's just an event that I can't create a cake for.

  • Charlie Craig:

    When we left the bakery, we cried together. You know, it was really emotional. It was really sad.

  • Amna Nawaz:

    Last year, Phillips told the "NewsHour" that designing the wedding cake would have violated his religious belief that marriage is between a man and a woman.

  • Jack Phillips:

    All I'm trying to do is use my art, use my craft to create cakes to help people celebrate special occasions in their life. I never turn anybody away, just events that I turn away.

  • Amna Nawaz:

    But the couple claimed the baker discriminated against them based on their sexual orientation.

  • David Mullins:

    He turned us away because of who we are and because of who we love.

  • Amna Nawaz:

    Mullins and Craig brought their complaint to the Colorado Civil Rights Commission, who sided with the couple. But today, justice Anthony Kennedy disagreed. He ruled the commission didn't act as a neutral party, that it had been hostile to the cake maker's religious beliefs.

    The decision didn't resolve the issue of whether a business may ever invoke religion to refuse service to gays and lesbians.

    We will talk about the significance of the decision after the news summary.

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