The Supreme Court will decide whether businesses can legally discriminate against LGBT+ people

In 2014 the Colorado Civil Rights Commission ruled against Denver-area baker Jack Philips in a case where he refused to create a wedding cake for a same-sex couple, saying that his religious beliefs absolutely forbade him from fulfilling the order. Later state courts supported the commission’s decision. Now the Supreme Court, in a surprise move, has decided to hear the case.

The results of the case could have wide reaching consequences affecting every  minority protected by the Civil Rights Act. Philips argues that the couple are violating his right to religious freedom and freedom of speech. The couple, Charlie Craig and Dave Mullins, argue that his freedom of religion and speech end where their rights as customers begin, and that religious freedom is not a license to discriminate.

The American Civil Liberties Union represents Mullins and Craig. “The law is squarely on David and Charlie’s side because when businesses are open to the public, they’re supposed to be open to everyone,” said James Esseks, director of the ACLU’s LGBT Project.

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