Discrimination or religious liberty? High court to hear bakery case

Discrimination or religious liberty? High court to hear bakery case

Cheryl Sanders
December 4, 2017

The U.S. Supreme Court has rejected an appeal of a Texas Supreme Court ruling from June saying that SCOTUS' 2015 Obergefell ruling on marriage equality does not automatically require that same-sex couples be given the same rights and privileges as opposite-sex couples, leaving room for state courts to explore "the reach and ramifications" of marriage-related issues arising from the legalization of same-sex marriage, the Texas Tribune is reporting.

The U.S. Supreme Court declared on Monday that it will not review a decision by the Texas Supreme Court that questions same-sex couples' rights to government-provided marriage benefits.

In 2013, while Annise Parker, an out lesbian, was mayor of Houston, she offered employee benefits to same-sex spouses, causing gay marriage opponents to sue. The Texas decision also came the same week the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed Obergefell by overturning an Arkansas Supreme Court decision upholding a state law against placing both lesbian parents' names on the birth certificates of their children.

"Today's abnegation by the nation's highest court opens the door for an onslaught of challenges to the rights of LGBTQ people at every step", Ellis said in a statement.

The state Supreme Court's June ruling essentially wipes that slate clean and instructs the trial court to reconsider the case.

One thing you should understand about Texas Supreme Court justices is that they are elected, not given lifetime appointments. Phillips told the couple that he would make a birthday cake but could not make a cake that would promote same-sex marriage due to his religious beliefs. In the Arlene's Flowers case, similar to Masterpiece Cakeshop, the Court took no action.

Jonathan Saenz, president of the conservative nonprofit Texas Values and an attorney for the two plaintiffs in the case, called the U.S. Supreme Court's decision not to review the state court's decision "a major victory for Texas Values and Houston taxpayers".

"In light of this precedent, which the Texas trial court is required to follow, it seems constitutionally impermissible for the city to deny benefits to the same-sex spouses of its employees", Gilmore wrote. This lets the Texas ruling stand, and the Harris County court will consider the matter. "We're grateful that the U.S. Supreme Court has allowed our lawsuit to go forward".

The high court ruled that states must give same-sex couples the same rights as opposite-sex couples or else the state would be giving same-sex couples "disparate treatment", something forbidden under Obergefell.

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