Most Americans do not support businesses citing religion to deny service to LGBT people

By Eugene Scott

The Supreme Court ruled Monday in favor of a Colorado baker who refused to create a wedding cake for a gay couple in a 7 to 2 decision. That decision is in contrast to popular opinion: Most Americans don’t support allowing gay Americans to be denied services because of the religious convictions of a business owner.

Justice Anthony M. Kennedy wrote that the Colorado Civil Rights Commission had not adequately taken into account the religious beliefs of Jack Phillips, a baker and cake artist who refused to make a wedding cake for the upcoming nuptials of two gay men.

“The Court’s precedents make clear that the baker, in his capacity as the owner of a business serving the public, might have his right to the free exercise of religion limited by generally applicable laws,” Kennedy wrote. “Still, the delicate question of when the free exercise of his religion must yield to an otherwise valid exercise of state power” needed to be done in a setting where “religious hostility on the part of the State itself would not be a factor.”

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