Tenn. reaction to SCOTUS decision: No one happy with ruling

Jun 5, 2018

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (OSBORNE)  --  The Supreme Court has ruled in a case that pits gay rights against freedom of religion and no one seems happy with the decision.

In 2012, Colorado baker Jack Phillips refused on religious grounds to create a wedding cake for a same sex couple.

Credit supremecourt.gov

The resulting legal battle landed at the Supreme Court in December. In a narrow decision by a 7 to 2 majority the justices sided with Phillips and reversed the lower court ruling.

In the majority opinion the justices opined the Colorado Civil Rights Commission displayed unacceptable hostility to Phillips’ expression of faith in ruling against him.

Writing for the majority, Justice Anthony Kennedy made clear the core issue represented by the case remain unresolved. Namely, does the right to the free exercise of religion allow an individual to violate the equal protection rights of same sex couples?

Chris Sanders with the Tennessee Equality Project says the gay community was hoping the court would favor equal protection.

“That’s not what we got, and the court indicates that there are more issues to be resolved in the future. Which means, I think, that they expect to see these complications again.”

David Fowler with the Christian based Tennessee Family Action Council is pleased Mr. Phillips prevailed, but agrees the issue is isn’t going away.

“The majority clearly left it open into the future as to whether a similar claim that is not treated with overt hostility to religion would still prevail.”

Similar cases are currently making their way through the lower courts and may force the high court to resolve the issue in the future.