LGBT activists condemn ‘heartbreaking and frustrating’ US Supreme Court decision in bakery case

LGBT rights groups have lamented the decision of the US Supreme Court to rule in favour of a baker who refused a cake to a same-sex couple.

The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) earlier today ruled in favour of Jack Phillips, a baker who was battling the Colorado Civil Rights Commission over his refusal to provide gay wedding cakes.

The court ruled 7-2 in his favour – and though the narrow ruling shied away setting out a wider case for the right to discriminate based on religion, LGBT groups and allies have expressed fear about the potentially-harmful precedent.

Gay couple Charlie Craig and Dave Mullins, who were denied a cake by Phillips, said: “Today’s decision means our fight against discrimination and unfair treatment will continue.

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

“We brought this case because no one should have to face the shame, embarrassment, and humiliation of being told ‘we don’t serve your kind here’ that we faced, and we will continue fighting until no one does.”

Pro-LGBT law firm Lambda Legal lamented: “This 7-2 ruling, while limited, invites discrimination and further efforts to justify withholding service from LGBTQ people. This will encourage all sorts of mischief by well-funded anti-LGBTQ organizations who want to create exceptions to nondiscrimination laws.

“We’re going to see years of needless, hurtful litigation by those seeking to evade responsibility for discriminating against members of our community.

“The Court today has turned its back on longstanding precedent and offered not just encouragement but a roadmap to those who would deny civil rights to LGBTQ people and people living with HIV.

“Religious freedom under our Constitution has always meant the right to believe whatever you wish. NOT to act on your beliefs in ways that harm others.

“SCOTUS has become an accomplice in the right’s strategy to hollow out one of its finest achievements, the right to equal marriage, and create what Justice Ginsberg memorably termed ‘skim milk marriages.’

“We are ready to fight back and make sure this heartbreaking and infuriating decision is understood for what it is: a narrow ruling limited to unique facts that cannot be used to justify discrimination in any other context.

“We will continue to fight in every arena and in every court until LGBTQ people and people living with #HIV have full equality under the law in every aspect of our lives. We deserve no less.”

Charlie Craig and husband Dave Mullins, who were denied a cake by Masterpiece Cakeshop, outside the US Supreme Court (BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty)

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