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US Supreme Court rule in favour of baker who refused gay couple

The Supreme Court of the United States have ruled in favour of a Colorado baker who cited his Christian beliefs to refuse service to a gay couple looking for a wedding cake.

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The justices found the Colorado Civil Rights Commission had shown an impermissible hostility toward religion when dealing with baker Jack Phillips’ case in 2012, ruling that the body had denied Phillips his religious rights under the US Constitution’s First Amendment.

The 7 to 2 ruling did not, however, define which circumstances service providers could seek exemption from existing anti-discrimination laws, nor whether the act of baking a cake should be protected by the First Amendment.

“It’s hard to believe that the government punished me for operating my business consistent with my beliefs about marriage,” Phillips released in a statement.

“That isn’t freedom of tolerance.”

David Mullins and Charlie Craig, the couple who were refused service by Phillips, said the decision means their fight against discrimination will continue.

“We have always believed that in America, you should not be turn away from a business open to the public because of who you are.”

Authorising Justice Anthony Kennedy said that while society recognises “gay persons and gay couples cannot be treated as social outcasts or as inferior in dignity and worth,” the Colorado Civil Rights Commission had acted unjustly in the original case.

“[The Commission] was inconsistent with the First Amendment’s guarantee that our laws be applied in a manner that is neutral toward religion.”

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