I listened to the oral arguments
in the case.
Kennedy will probably write the opinion, and he clearly wants to see tolerance flow both ways, and is trying to find a legal principle to fit that. To Colorado, which wanted to say Masterpiece must treat gay marriage the same as any other marriage, Kennedy said this:
Kennedy wrote:Counselor, tolerance is essential in a free society. And tolerance is most meaningful when it's mutual.
It seems to me that the state in its position here has been neither tolerant nor respectful of Mr. Phillips' religious beliefs.
To the lawyer for the baker, he asked a similarly challenging question:
Kennedy wrote:If you prevail, could the baker put a sign in his window, we do not bake cakes for gay weddings?
!!! SNIP !!!
And you would not think that an affront to the gay community?
I like the idea of tolerance flowing both ways, and would love to see them find a legal standard for that. I'm not sure what that would be.
Colorado compared this to a religious person who opposed interracial marriage. Justice Roberts explored a difference based on whether decent people hold a particular view:
Roberts wrote:And the racial analogy obviously is very compelling, but when the Court upheld same-sex marriage in Obergefell, it went out of its way to talk about the decent and honorable people who may have opposing views.
And to immediately lump them in the same group as people who are opposed to equality in relations with respect to race, I'm not sure that takes full account of that -- of that concept in the Obergefell decision.
That feels about right emotionally, but I am not sure how that translates into law. Who gets to decide what decent and honorable people believe, and which views are not held by decent and honorable people?
Justice Ginsburg asked about who would be covered by a ruling - the florist? the photographer? the person who designs the invitations? the jeweler? the hair stylist? the makeup artist?
I think that points out a flaw in seeing this as covering only artistic expression, and Kennedy at times seemed to be implying that recasting this as a basic First Amendment case would be better.
You can follow developments here:http://www.scotusblog.com/case-files/cases/masterpiece-cakeshop-ltd-v-colorado-civil-rights-commn/
Better yet, pray that the justices will find a way to preserve religious liberty in this case. It's going to require fresh approaches.
Is it biblical? Is it Christlike? Is it loving? Is it true? How can I find out?